Everybody loves ice cream. A short and inspiring story of alternative success in the Middle East.
A little over fifty years ago, Abdul Rahim and Abdul Latif Ibrahim Galadari sat down and decided they wanted to introduce the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the technological advancements of the western world. Thus came the founding of the Galadari Brothers, a company that has introduced over 30 global brands to the Middle East. As stated on their website, the company “is multi-industry, multi-product, multi-service and multi-national, overseeing operations across the Gulf, Asia, and Australia.” Galadari Brothers has given people access to companies they would otherwise never be able to purchase from in the UAE, from Mazda cars to Baskin Robbins ice cream. I’m sure citizens were ecstatic to have access to 31 delicious ice cream flavors in the blistering summer heat. Additionally, the company employs over 4,000 people and significantly benefits the economy.
The company’s most significant export is via Galadari Printing and Publishing Co. L.L.C., which publishes Khaleej Times, an English language daily newspaper that is distributed throughout the Middle East. The paper holds the distinction of being the first English newspaper launched in the UAE, publishing its first edition in 1978. The paper publishes standard news, such as politics, economics, and crime, and then turns tabloid with photos of Shaikh Mohammed’s son’s birthday or nine things President Obama will be remembered for (complete with a photo of a winking Obama). The online version reads Daily Mail-esque and, to many who see nothing but a war-stricken Middle East on every TV news source, offers a unique glimpse into the livelihood, gossip, and interests of Middle Easterners.
The UAE is well known for her vast oil and natural gas reserves, which account for the majority of the country’s income. Galadari Brothers has chosen a different path to success and has, in the process, acted as a key liaison in bringing unique products to the region. Their positive track record is proven by the countless awards they have received, from Galadari Brothers Equipment Solutions LLC’s award for the Best All Round Dealer Performance in the Middle East for 2013 to Galadari Ice Cream Co. Ltd. (LLC)’s “Developer of the Year Award” by Dunkin Brands for record breaking number of New Store Openings in 2013. For a country famous for exporting oil and natural gas, it’s nice to be known for importing ice cream.