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Week at the top

Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo is a diverse family-owned group of companies, founded in Bahrain in 1890 by Haji Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo. As group managing director of his 115-year old family company and chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, Khalid Kanoo is a busy man

This is the first day of the week in the Arab world and a full schedule of appointments awaits me at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Its 9am and the Lebanese Ambassador has an appointment to see me to discuss organising an exhibition to promote trade with Bahrain. Following this I am reminded of a second engagement with a charitable society who wish to build a rehabilitation centre for retired people. Lunch today is hosted by the minister of commerce to honour a visiting minister of tourism.

At 3pm I return to my office to deal with our family business. There are business plans to review and approve, preparations for board meetings to be made and results of operations to digest. This keeps me busy throughout the afternoon and by evening I am ready for home.

But the day is not over. The Bahrain Businessmen Society has invited me to attend their meeting at 7pm after which I have a dinner invitation from the American Embassy. Day one of the week ends at 11.30pm.

A 9am meeting is called at short notice with the prime minister. He is keen to keep in touch with the business community in the Kingdom. After some rescheduling I am to meet a foreign business development delegation from Syria in the Chamber of Commerce at 11.30am. Although delayed I catch up with my appointment and we have lunch together at 1pm.

I arrive back at the family business by 4pm and have briefings from the divisional managers of Kanoo who manage the day-to-day affairs of the company in the Gulf region. At 5pm I attend the Economic Development Board Advisory Committee meeting of which I am a member and discussions take me through till 7.30pm. At 9pm I am invited to attend a reception by the dean of Gulf University for the launch of a new Centre in Bahrain. I am in bed by 11 pm again.

Just a quick visit to the office at 8.30am to finish some paperwork before I have to catch a flight to Jeddah at 12.30pm for a board meeting of UNASCO. UNASCO are one of our joint ventures who provide ground services at Jeddah Airport. General managers of our company meet me at the airport to update me en route to the meeting. As the founding chairman of the Young Presidents' Organisation, I am invited to attend their governing board meeting at 7pm, followed by dinner. It's nice to relax and chat with friends in the family house and have an early night, as I must be up early in the morning for the flight back to Bahrain.

I arrive back in Bahrain and go straight into a meeting at the Bahrain Monetary Agency of which I am a board member. At 1.30pm I attend a lunch invitation from the Minister of Commerce in honour of the Turkish Minister of Finance. A visit to the dentist is followed by a restful afternoon at home. At 6.30pm I attend a reception held by the Bahrain Businesswomen's Society. Finally, the day closes with a visit to a wedding party at 9pm. I'm back home again at 11.45 pm.

The Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Award for Excellence and Creativity is an award created to recognise people of exemplary nature in various fields – I will be attending their meeting today at 9 am. Later, I will be attending the executive committee of the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Bahrain, an institution I founded and chair.

Having skipped lunch, I am back in my office to catch up with my paperwork and meet our divisional managers to discuss the business. At 7.30 pm I attend a Secondary Students' Graduation Day ceremony. Dinner this evening is simple, at home with friends. Another long day, but fulfilling.

Most of the government institutions are closed on Thursdays and Fridays but I am off to my office early morning to attend one of our divisional board meetings. Today being the weekend I make it a point to be home in time (well I try my best!) for our family lunch with all my immediate family. Just a bit more business and I turn my attention to some of my property management decisions; these are on-site at housing compound developments where I can use my imagination and draw on the experiences of my travels.

After a week of hectic activities the day is spent relaxing with my family. I have created a farmhouse for my grandchildren; it encourages them to visit and gives me great pleasure. There is always something new to develop, adapt and improve as they grow older. Next week will be just as busy and fun too.

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