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Chairman's message

Webster’s dictionary defines as “a degree or grade of excellence or worth”. For the best companies in today’s global business environment, the term means much, much more. Ahmed Nasser Al Rayes, President and Managing Director, Al Rayes Group sees quality as the cornerstone of his enterprise, and the ability to enhance it as the defining principle of profitability.

Ahmed Al Rayes graduated from the University of Salford, Manchester, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1980. Soon after, he returned to Qatar and joined the family business which was established by his grandfather 75 years ago. They had their first shop on Hamad Street (Grand Hamad Avenue) and his father was the first businessman in Qatar to import spare parts for cars. When Ahmed joined his father in 1980 they had a shop in Souq Faleh which sold electronic goods like air-conditioners, refrigerators, watches, televisions, washing machines etc. Ahmed helped expand the business with another shop in Souq Aseri and it was all systems go from there.

Ahmed Al Rayes is the only Qatari to be awarded honourary US citizenship. The Virginia Business Club bestowed this honour on him in 1993. Ahmed is a member of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and represents Qatar with many foreign delegations, the recent one being to Taiwan. He also attends 80% of the exhibition round the world in Europe, Asia and America connected to his business. This leaves him very little time for breaks, so he usually combines the two. “If, for instance, I’m in Las Vegas for the laundry exhibition for a week, I take another week off.” It also means he rarely goes on holidays with his family, so the time he spends with them is very precious. He is proud of all his children and jokes about his 18-year old son Bader Al Rayes who is currently on a sabbatical, filming a video clip in Dubai. “I foot the bill,” he smiles though it is pretty obvious that he is proud of his singer son who has already shot clips in Turkey and Dubai and is a budding singer in the region. His older sons do pass by the office & especially when I’m not in town, and he says they are still too young to join the business. He would however, like to do what his father did. “My father’s policy was simple. We are five brothers and are all in business, but he told us to go our separate ways and not be partners. We do support each other though, and we have never had problems with each other.”

Ahmed has one weakness it’s his antique collection. These include a 100 year old carpet that belonged to the King of Hyderabad and many such collectables. While he does visit auctions and buy from collectors, he admits he isn’t able to spend as much time on his collection as he would like. He is very content with life though and considers himself very blessed. His dream, he says, is to someday be able to build affordable apartments for those in the low income bracket.

The group has been making outstanding progress in a business where customer is king. Armed with the strength of the Al Rayes Brand and the value it can bring to its customers, Ahmed Al Rayes is geared to take the group further in a country that is racing ahead in the global arena.

Al Rayes Group has over 37 companies under the umbrella and employs over 1900 people. The companies include Ahmed Al Rayes trading for general trading, imports and distribution and Ahmed Al Rayes Gas and Al Shamal Gas Centre for distribution of gas cylinders for domestic purposes. The two gas companies between them own 36 vehicles that have been distributing cylinders for the last 30 years. Ahmed however is of the opinion that it is time for Qatar to have piped gas distribution.

Al Rayes Laundry & Dry Cleaning provides laundry and dry cleaning services to all companies in Qatar with a door to door service. “ We are the only professionally run laundry business in the country,” says Ahmed. “We have 26 branches and two factories with a staff of 320. “The laundries are fitted with the latest equipment which involved an investment of QR26 million. They have won contracts for the Asian Games, all the major conferences including the WTO round held in Doha, and their clientele comprises airlines, hotels, big compounds and foreign army bases. Ahmed has plans to increase the number of branches to 60 in a year’s time with staffing of up to 1000 employees.

Through Al Rayes Laundry Equipment & Accessories, the company markets equipment and equipment for the use of commercial laundries and hotels and they are the agents for Tintolav products and Seitz Chemicals. Al Rayes Cleaning Company handles cleaning of carpets, curtains and sofas. Arizona English Language Centre holds classes for TOEFL and general English language classes. They are linked with the University of Arizona.

Arizona Trading mainly deals with food and beverages and are the agents for brands like Power Horse, Star Juice, Al Mudish milk, Aqua water, San Miguel, Cali, Noon & Freeze while British Restaurants serves typical British meals.

Nasco Group Building Material, Nasco Trading & Contracting, and Dome Trading & Contracting take on contracts for renovation of apartments and villas and are also agents of various brands of wall tiles, floor tiles, marbles and granites. MPH provides services to the oil and gas industry. Other companies in the group include Al Rayes video, Al Rayes Car Rental, Lion Rent a car (Limousine Service 24 Hrs) and New House Complex House Hold Items.

The group is also into real estate and owns compounds with villas. Ahmed Al Rayes is however waiting for rents to stabilize before venturing into apartments. Another project in the pipeline is a four-star business hotel and Ahmed is looking forward to building his own brand rather than bringing in a franchise. He would also like to open more restaurants that offer fine dining. “Change is the only constant in life. You need to keep renewing yourself. In business if you stop you get lost,” says the dynamic president who plans on opening a travel agency as well so he is able to offer his customers the entire gamut of services. His vision says, would be to offer all of these services, including schools and clubs, in each of the compounds he builds.


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Address: Al Rayes Group, Doha, Qatar

Phone: 4444 6008

Email: info@groupalrayes.com