about

History

At its heart, AlShair Group  is a family company, founded by Dr. Talal Al-Shair in 1979 and later joined by his brothers Mostafa and Walid in 1982 and 1985 respectively. The ethos of these family values permeates through every part of its diverse business interests, with an emphasis on respecting others and working in harmony.

The history of AlShair Group  can be traced through three distinct periods. The first period was defined by a desire to establish a place in the market. Fiberglass was new to Saudi Arabia, and AlShair Group was the only domestic producer of its kind. Fiberglass possesses several qualities ideally suited to Saudi Arabia’s climate: it does not suffer from the corrosion or erosion as suffered by steel and wood, and requires no maintenance. A good example of the versatility and long term benifits of AlShair fiberglass is the current causeway fiberglass lamp posts to Bahrain (manufactured in1983). The company has since then carefully utilized the natural sand and petrochemical resources of the Kingdom and has expanded offerings to include furnishings, industrial and manicipal products.

In 1981, AlShair Group took its first step away from being solely a manufacturer when it was appointed as the sole distributor of General Electric’s polycarbonate “Lexan”. The experience of introducing fiberglass had left the company well prepared to find applications for the new product, and was eventually appointed as the preferred distributor of Lexan across the Middle East.

Demand for AlShair Group exceptional products for airports lead to the creation of a specialist division in 1983 (Airport Division) and would later match the growing demand of counterpart products such as the fiberglass lamp posts. The division would later supply products such as counters, seating and conveyor belts solutions across the Middle East.  

In the second phase of its development, starting in 1985, AlShair Group embarked upon a series of capital-intensive, high-track projects clustered within the new Yanbu Industrial City of the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu. Seeking to encourage growth in the Kingdom’s second strategic city for hydrocarbons and related development and to take advantage of the vast potential of the area as a shipping hub.

In 1986, AlShair Group , lead the development of the joint-venture of Cristal, a titanium dioxide pigment manufacturer based in Yanbu. The success of Cristal would become obvious as time went on, the partners developed the company into the world’s second largest manufacturers of white pigment with plants in Saudi Arabia, U.S.A., U.K., Brazil, France, and Australia.

Today, Cristal Global operates the largest and most advanced Research & Development facility in its industry.Other projects developed during the period included the Saudi United Company in Yanbu, a producer of sanitary products for hospitals and domestic uses which commenced production in 1994. In the same year the Saudi Metal Refinery (Dahab) was founded in Jeddah alongside CSF Thompson, with production commencing in 1997. In 2000, AlShair Group was again on the cutting edge of technology through their investment in digital imaging services with the formation of Medad Toner in Riyadh.

The driving force behind the investment strategy was an engagement with the Saudi Arabian Government drive to diversify the economy away from its dependence on the vagaries of the price of oil. The projects, by their very nature did not always return immediate profits and AlShair Group has worked hard over a number of years to build success. AlShair Group’s development business model is clearly illustrated in the growth of Cristal, where investment in both horizontal and vertical integration has served to create efficiencies and savings, so that today, for example, Cristal is one of the lowest cost producers globally in its industry.

In April 2003, AlShair Group  elected to dramatically enhance its strategic capability by trading their 33% holding in Cristal in return for 24% of the Saudi listed Joint stock company TASNEE, allowing the new highly liquid Group to diversify investment in a range of different directions. AlShair Group’s interests in mining were expanded with investment in Unigold in 2003, Minera IPL in 2004 and AMAK in 2007. Real estate development projects also accelerated.

Integration was still at the core of the strategy. Nabaa Industrial Investment Company was founded in Yanbu in 2005 to develop a range of green-field projects in chemical, petrochemical, minerals and metals industries, aiming to build synergies between projects in its development portfolio and also within existing projects to create the first industrial cluster in the Yanbu Industrial City.  AlShair Group has also invested in a new company to locally produce glass fibre, the raw materials needed for fiberglass product production. This investment is a further illustration of AlShair Group’s commitment to upstream business integration.


In 2011, AlShair Group  created Dar al Mal, a licensed investment house based in Dubai, to provide financial services and fuel the development of the Group’s companies. AlShair Group , despite its evolution, has remained true to its goal to better the Saudi economy through its strategic investment philosophy.

This investment strategy, although broadened, continues to focus on development of the Medina Region thereby producing employment opportunities and supporting growth within the local communities.