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

Tradition and Innovation – How a 100-year-old business legacy inspires entrepreneurship


We were delighted to welcome fourth-generation family business member Abdulrahman AlBassam, as our keynote speaker.

During the session, Abdulrahman shared about his family business history and discussed his own role in following a rich legacy. Abdulrahman also shared his insights and experience on how he adopted entrepreneurship as a key heritage and manages to build on to the past whilst allowing for exponential innovation and change to prepare for the future.

Founded in Bahrain in 1914, A. S. AlBassam & Sons is one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest and most renowned family companies.


  • Tracing the history of a 100-year-old Saudi family business .
  • How do emerging leaders deal with a rich tradition and legacy?
  • Exploring the experiences of being of a family business (AlBassam & Sons), founding a family business (AWN Enterprises), and incorporating an alliance of family businesses (Tilal Real Estate)



Family Business Histories in the MENASA Region

Farida El-Agamy, Tharawat Family Business Forum

Martin Klimke, NYUAD 


Tradition and Innovation
Abdulrahman AlBassam, Executive Chairman, AWN Enterprises and CEO, Tilal Real Estates 


Conversation with Abdulrahman AlBassam

Farida El-Agamy, Tharawat Family Business Forum

Martin Klimke, NYUAD