Can you give us an overview of Haider Holding?
My grandfather's father started trading with main food items like rice, sugar, and dates. After he died, his son came to stay with his cousins in Doha and set up a business for basic food items. When we started the company, we were in three lines of work: real estate, the share market, and foreign investment. In 2008, Uncle Ali Hassan Salman Al Hadi, CEO of the Haider Holding Group of Companies, who is Bahraini, started laying the foundation for this group and developing and improving the performance of all the companies in the group.
What was the reason behind establishing such a complete holding?
The Amir has said that in 10 years, oil and gas must not be the main source of income for the country, as we need other things such as education, sport, and tourism. That is why we are not working in just one sector. When it comes to the balance sheet, we want it to be diversified. We need to be sure about any new services, show the market that it needs them, and most importantly that it adds value to our company. All the companies in our group help each other for this reason. The real estate sector is one of the biggest in our company. We have the Al Sultan Beach Resort, many villas, and several compounds. We have two towers namely Al Jumaira Tower and Al Sultan Tower, which is now one of the oldest in Qatar built in 1981. We brought it under Haider Holding in the last 10 years and it's for lease in the market. We also have Mesopotamia, our contracting company. In the same sector, we have Manzil Al Sultan Carpentry. We can custom build anything for homes and offices. We also have Al Qatariya, one of our companies responsible for real estate management. We are doing work for companies such as Sidra and Qatar Airways.
What other sectors are you present in?
The second sector is the food sector. Today, we are the oldest agent for American brands of cigarettes such as Camel and Winston. JTI is a company that started at the end of the 1950s, and we are its oldest agent and have a good share in Qatar. My uncle had a vision to make of us one of the top 10 companies in the food sector and started a hypermarket similar to Carrefour under the name Uncle Ali Market. We have opened our third branch. I used his name and picture as I want everyone in Qatar to know that he is the reason for our success. Food security is an important sector for the government because of the blockade. My uncle built a strong asset for the food sector as he wanted it to be strong in the future. And we became partners with the Ministry of Economy and the Chamber of Commerce. This is a big responsibility and if there are any mistakes, we directly have to face the prime minister who works by himself to solve all matters.
Which other new sectors could Haider Holding enter in the future?
This is exactly what we are working on now. My uncle is the brain behind this company and wants to take us international. We are currently in the food sector in Pakistan and Jordan, and in the future we will be in more countries. We wait for opportunities. We have entered Oman's real estate sector, as we have shops and factories there, and the second step is to enter another sector. We also have many opportunities in Turkey and the Sultanate of Oman, as the market is for real estate and retail is massive. Now is the time for us to work internationally. The most important sectors currently are education and health, and we have not gotten into these sectors to date. In the last few years, my uncle has conducted many studies to enter these two sectors. We are in negotiation with one of the biggest British schools. This would be beneficial to both us and the school as we could do something amazing if we come to an agreement. We would do something that would become a landmark in Qatar.