A collaborative research project between New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum


Al-Suhaimi Holding Company

Information last updated on 4 September 2023



Family Name:


Founder’s Name:

Abdulrahman Saleh AlSuhaimi

Earliest Documented Business Name:

Abdulrahman and Mohammed Saleh Al-Sahimi Company

Founding Year:


Founding Location:

Jubail, modern-day Saudi Arabia


Current Operating Status:


Family Business Name:

Al Suhaimi Holding Company[1]

Headquarters Location:

Dammam, Saudi Arabia[2]

Key Industries:

Services, industrial, Contracting, Real Estate, Trading[3]

Number of Employees:


About the founder


Abdulrahman Saleh AlSuhaimi was born in 1899 in the city of Unayzah in modern-day Saudi Arabia.[5] When he was six, his father, Saleh, sent him to a teacher who ran a classroom within his house.[6] There Abdulrahman received his primary education in Quran, reading, and writing, continuing his studies until he was 12 years old.[7]


Abdulrahman grew up with his parents and younger brother Mohammed in Unayzah amid a stressful political climate. Political rivalries between warring local clans led to violent conflicts a few times every year. A measles epidemic in 1912, the fall of the Ottoman empire, and the onset of the First World War further exacerbated difficulties in the region.[8]


The AlSuhaimis themselves were part of a multi-generational tribal dispute, which meant their eldest son, Abdulrahman, was a primary target for potential revenge killings, especially once he reached the age of 16. Given all these challenges, Saleh decided to relocate from Unayzah with Abdulrahman.[9]


In 1915, they embarked with a camel caravan. Their first stop was the city of  Ha’il, a regular caravan stopover at the time. They stayed with relatives there for a few nights.[10] An accident during their subsequent journey through the desert of Al Nefud resulted in Abdulrahman losing the sight in his left eye.[11]


When they reached the city of Zubair (modern-day Iraq), they decided to stay for several months, leaving the caravan and then continuing the journey to the north on their own.[12] It was at this point that Abdulrahman’s mother passed away in Unayzah, a fact that Abdulrahman did not learn until a few years later.[13]

Founding Story


Abdulrahman and his father eventually reached Basra, a bustling international trade hub known for rare goods, agricultural produce, and diverse merchandise.[14] They stayed in Basra for three months, gathering inventory to set up shop at their next destination: Kuwait.[15] Upon their arrival in the British Protectorate, they found themselves in a thriving trade center, despite the decline of the local pearling industry, which would accelerate with the Great Depression. Abdulrahman and his father stayed with a family friend, aiming to set up a successful trade business through the bustling port. In 1917, Saleh sent Abdulrahman on his first solo trade voyage between Kuwait and Basra to purchase products for resale.[16] Abdulrahman was soon on his way to becoming an independent merchant, ready to set up his own shop. He had grown familiar with the customs of British-controlled Arab society in Kuwait and adjusted to the local culture. [17]


In the late 1920s, after trading in food in both Kuwait and Bahrain, Abdulrahman found a business opportunity in Jubail, a small port in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, and relocated there. The market was good and the town had a promising future. He started his first trading post in Al Safat, Jubail, where he made valuable business contacts and formed lasting friendships in the local community.[18]


By the time Abdulrahman’s father arrived in Jubail with Mohammed, Abdulrahman had established his own company. Adopting the name Abdulrahman and Mohammed Saleh Al-Sahimi Company,” Abdulrahman put his brother in charge of the company’s operations in Bahrain, where imports arrived at the port and were then shipped to Jubail. [19]


In 1948, Abdulrahman’s business associates bought equipment from the British army in Dubai to resell in Bahrain and Jubail. Abdulrahman took an unsold water well drilling rig to operate with the help of Aramco, ultimately drilling the first water well in Jubail for Sheikh Ali Alsalim Almahfood. In 1948, with the help of his son Abdulaziz AlSuhaimi, Abdulrahman established Suhaimi Drilling in Dammam.[20]


In 1950, the AlSuhaimi family business expanded into multiple new sectors, including of tiles, marble, dyes, and paints.[21] A new era began when the founders’ sons, Abdulaziz, Khalid, and Sulaiman, joined the business alongside Ahmed Mohammed AlSuhaimi, son of the founder’s brother.[22]


The group experienced significant growth during the 1970s with the onset of the Gulf oil boom, launching several joint ventures, ranging from manufacturing to specialized design and contracting.[23] In 1976, the company established a can manufacturer, Saudi Arabian Packaging Industry W.L.L (SAPIN), and an international joint venture focused on coatings applications, Global Suhaimi.[24]


In 1983, founder Abdulrahman passed away in Dammam.[25] In the mid-1980s, Suhaimi Drilling successfully diversified into water pump trading and services.[26] Further diversification into a wide range of fields took place in the following decades.[27] In 2001, Al Suhaimi Holding Group was elected to build a commercial center in Faisalyh, Dammam. Construction was completed in late 2004, and the centeropened for business in January 2005.[28]



Today, AlSuhaimi Holding Company is headquartered in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.[29] It is led mainly  by members of the second generation, with active involvement from the third generation. The multifaceted company has major operations in a variety of industries, including services, industrial operations, contracting, real estate, and trading.[30]


With now over 3,000 employees and more than half a dozen subsidiaries, AlSuhaimi Holding still operates primarily in Saudi Arabia, The company’s subsidiary Global Suhaimi has a presence in multiple locations, including Dammam, Jubail, Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu, and Jazan. The company has also established branch offices in the UAE, Qatar, and South Korea. [31] [32]


Photo Credit: Khalid Alsuhaimi, Abdulaziz Alsuhaimi and Sulaiman Alsuhaimi at Al Suhaimi head office 1970s. Image credit: Al Suhaimi. Source: Al Suhaimi


[1] “Al –Suhaimi Holding Company.” Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/?page=show_page&id=1. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[2] “Al-Suhaimi Holding Company.” LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/company/al-suhaimi-holding-company/about/. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[3] Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[4] “Al-Suhaimi Holding Company.” LinkedIn.

[5] See “عبدالرحمن بن صالح السحيمي.. رحلة ثراء .. من عنيزة إلى الجبيل.” alyaum, 13 April 2007, https://www.alyaum.com/articles/479807/%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%8A. Accessed 2 June 2023.

For Alsuhaimi’s birth date see Alsuhaimi, Adel. Semm Yubah: An Arabian Son’s Journey. Adel Alsuhaimi, 2021. Accessed 27 Jul 2023. P.29

For Alsuhaimi’s birthplace see The Founding Story of the Alsuhaimi Group Holding.” YouTube, 15 December 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QO5Nc4Dy-k. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[6] Alsuhaimi, Adel. Semm Yubah: An Arabian Son’s Journey. P.29.

[7] البدر, عبدالعزيز. “عبدالرحمن السحيمي.. التاجر والصناعي والإداري • مجلة الاقتصاد.” مجلة الاقتصاد, 17 March 2020, https://aliktisad.com.sa/2020/03/15456/. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[8]  Alsuhaimi, Adel. Semm Yubah: An Arabian Son’s Journey. p.30-31

[9]  Ibid., p.37.

[10] Ibid., p.37.

[11] Ibid., p.84.

[12] Ibid., p.86.

[13] Ibid., p.17.

Ibid., p.99.

[14]  Ibid., p.89.

[15]  Ibid., p.88-91.

[16]  “More About Us.” Alsuhaimi, https://www.alsuhaimi.com/history.

Alsuhaimi, Adel. Semm Yubah: An Arabian Son’s Journey. p.96.

[17]  Alsuhaimi, Adel. Semm Yubah: An Arabian Son’s Journey. p.97.

[18] “More About Us.” Alsuhaimi.

[19] البدر, عبدالعزيز. “عبدالرحمن السحيمي.. التاجر والصناعي والإداري • مجلة الاقتصاد.” مجلة الاقتصاد

“More About Us.” Alsuhaimi.

[20] “SUHAIMI DRILLING.” Alsuhaimi, https://www.alsuhaimi.com/copy-of-pumps-1. Accessed 25 July 2023.

“More About Us.” Alsuhaimi.

[21] “Al –Suhaimi Holding Company.” Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/?page=show_page&id=1.

[22] Ibid.

[23] “Al-Suhaimi Holding Company.” LinkedIn.

[24] Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/?page=show_company&id=1. Accessed 2 June 2023.

“Our History.” Global Suhaimi, http://www.globalsuhaimi.net/category/our-history.html. Accessed 1 June 2023.

[25] البدر, عبدالعزيز. “عبدالرحمن السحيمي.. التاجر والصناعي والإداري • مجلة الاقتصاد.” مجلة الاقتصاد

[26] “More About Us.” Alsuhaimi.

[27] “Al-Suhaimi Holding Company.” LinkedIn.

[28] “More About Us.” Alsuhaimi.

[29] “Al-Suhaimi Holding Company.” LinkedIn.

[30] Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Al –Suhaimi Holding Company, https://www.alsuhaimi.net/?page=show_company&id=2. Accessed 1 June 2023.

To cite this article please use:

“Al-Suhaimi Holding Company” Family Business Histories Research Project, New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum, 29 Jan. 2024, familybusinesshistories.org/spotlights/alsuhaimi