Mishal Kanoo is the current Chairman of his family’s business, The Kanoo Group, the largest, longest running independent family-owned groups of companies in the Gulf region. As one of the most influential business monoliths in the Middle East, Mishal has been featured in various major business magazines and is listed in the ‘Top 100 Powerful Arabs 2013’, ‘The 15 Wealthiest Arab Businessmen in the World 2012’, among others.
Born in Bahrain, Mishal was educated locally until he moved to the United States to continue his education. Over in the states, he took Comparative Theology and Philosophy and a double major in Economics as his first degree, later earning an MBA in Finance from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. In 1991, Mishal joined his family business as an Assistant Shipping Manager, before earning his second MBA at the American University of Sharjah where he subsequently became a visiting lecturer on a course in Family Business.
Before returning to The Kanoo Group as the Deputy Chairman in 1997, Mishal worked at Arthur Anderson in Dubai as an auditor. At this point in his career, Mishal’s uncle, Mubarak Kanoo, was the Chairman of the company, serving above Mishal until he took over.
Established in 1890, The Kanoo Group has grown to branch out into various divisions - these include Kanoo Shipping, Kanoo Travel, Kanoo Holidays, Kanoo Machinery, Kanoo Oil & Gas, Kanoo Power & Industrial Projects (Kanoo P&IP), Kanoo Freight, Kanoo Rapid Transit (KRT), H.A.K Industrial Chemicals, Kanoo Exhibition Organizers LLC, Kanoo Industrial Products, Kanoo Engineering LLC and Kanoo Equipment Rental to name a few. With strict family values forming the foundation for the company, they have been associated with the progress and development of the entire region. Today, The Kanoo Groups has developed world-class standards, evident in its brand value and consistently remarkable achievements through, for example, the Shaikh Khalifa Excellence Award.
Mishal is a frequent, prominent speaker, inspiring the business owners of the future by attending events from around the world; previously, he has spoken at the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Dubai and The International Herald Tribune's CEO Roundtable in Malaysia.