Established in 1890, Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (YBA Kanoo) started from a humble trading and shipping enterprise founded in Bahrain by Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo. From Bahrain, the business spread to Saudi Arabia in the 1930s.
In 1967, Hamed Kanoo came from Saudi Arabia to the UAE to expand the family business. Having successfully established Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (YBA Kanoo)'s operations in Khafji in the Kingdom, the company asked him to replicate the same in UAE too. With only 5 people including him, Hamed Kanoo managed to put-up The Kanoo Group as a trade name in the UAE Map. At present, The Kanoo Group operates in UAE and Oman. Mishal Hamed Kanoo serves as the Chairman, with over 1,200 employees working for its divisions.
The Kanoo family remained true to their early values. This adherence to ethics and beliefs made them an essential component of the regional business life.
One of the first industries that Kanoo excelled at was shipping. No one could have predicted that it would challenge the monopoly of long established British companies and goes on to become the largest regional shipping agency in the Middle East. Kanoo Shipping is one of the founders of S5 Agency World Ltd. and was the first Arab shipping agency in the region in 1911. At present, Kanoo Shipping operates in 20 countries and in all principal ports and offshore tanker loading terminals around the Arabian Peninsula, including Iraq. It handles 11,000 port calls every year which covers all ports in the Suez to India range.
The historic rise of Kanoo Travel has proven similarly impressive. The group's interest in travel started in 1937 when the company used to provide refueling facilities for Imperial Airline sea-planes en route to India and Australia. In 1947, Kanoo Travel became the first IATA agency in the Gulf and became the very first travel company in the Middle East to receive the ISO certification in 1997.
The Group's another success story began in mid-1960s. Kanoo Machinery used to supply construction and material handling equipment in the region. At that time, the UAE was just setting up its oil and gas industry and developing its infrastructure. By providing the government and private sectors with world-class equipment and services, Kanoo Machinery helped lay down the foundations of the vital sectors of UAE's economy.
Today for over 130 years, the company is amongst the most diversified and highly regarded business houses in the Gulf region and operates extensively throughout Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen and Qatar. It has unremittingly grown its realm of businesses into various industries in shipping, travel, machinery, logistics, property, energy (oil & gas, power, water) industrial chemicals, training, joint ventures, retail, and commercial activities.