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Case Study

A homegrown global conglomerate: Kanoo Group

A homegrown global conglomerate: Kanoo Group

Established in 1890, the Kanoo Group is one of the largest and longest-standing family-run companies in the Gulf region. Based in the UAE, the company made its name in the world of shipping, disrupting the market share long held by British firms in the Arabian Peninsula.

Kanoo Shipping is the largest local shipping agency in the Middle East, and overseas it operates in more than 20 countries – with over 20,000 port calls every year across its network from the Suez to Sri Lanka. It also works with shipping partners from Egypt and Jordan to India, Kenya and the Seychelles.

Over the last 130 years, the company has expanded to include many more divisions across travel, machinery and rentals, energy, cranes, capital services, steel reinforcement, real estate, logistics, chemicals and other retail and commercial activities.

Kanoo Travel is one of its longest-running divisions behind shipping. Launched in the late 1930s, its early operations included refuelling services for long-haul airlines. By 1947 it became the first IATA agency in the Middle East and was also the first to receive ISO certification. Today, Kanoo’s travel arm operates in 180 IATA locations and has built a global presence through its partnership with American Express Travel Services.

Despite its international success, the Kanoo Group remains dedicated to enhancing the UAE and the surrounding region. Through its corporate philanthropy initiative, it invests in the development of local communities through the arts, education, health, social welfare and the environment.

In its commitment to the latter, the company is close to achieving its aim of replacing all company lighting with energy-saving alternatives, as well as installing smart sensors and timers to reduce waste and unnecessary emissions.

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