Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sheikh Bahwan dies in Paris, aged 68

Big news in the papers yesterday and today is the sad death of Sheikh Saud bin Salim Bin Abdullah Bahwan, in a hospital in Paris. (why Paris? He has lived there essentially full time for many years).

The Sheikh was a tremendous pillar of the Omani Business Establishment, working his way up the hard way as a trader from the time he was a small boy. Self educated, hard working, and obviously extremely canny, his death represents a tremendous loss to the Omani pool of senior business talent. I think the example he set of working your ass off is something many of todays young wanna-be Omani business men could emulate.

What I liked about Sheikh Bahwan is that he was very much a self made man. His effective monopoly of the best brand of cars in the world - Toyota - was a powerhouse business model, and he built the brand (and others, such as MAN trucks) to be far and away the dominant vehicles of choice for Omani and expatriates.

In later years he was also a key figure of philanthropy too, which has to be admired.
I hope his sons can continue the tradition.

Note: Perhaps someone could also appropriately update the Saud Bahwan group website too - I'm a bit surprised that this has been left as it was before his departure.


  1. UD,
    why "young wanna-be Omani business men" why not just "young Omani business men"

    you obviously say this for a reason..

    have you not come across any young Omani business men who are not wanna-bes?

  2. In his latter years Sh. Saud has moved most of his charitable work into an officially chartered foundation, the Saud Bahwan Charitable Organization, and propped it up with a massive endowment. This will ensure that his giving will continue for many years after his death.

  3. Omanymous,
    why do you only ask simple rhetorical questions, all of which are answered in the body of the statement? You seem smarter than that!
    - Q1: Yes, I say this for a reason
    - Q2: indeed.
    - Q3: yes, and the comment was - by definition, duh - not directed at them.

    Yep. He was a gent of the old school... When one earns it the way he did, one has to respect how he wants to play the charity thing.

    I just hope he picked some really good lawyers, and set up the constitution of the foundation rock solid, you know?

  4. Dude again you talk about him,did anyone ask you for your opinion about him?, zipp it about him man, HE IS DEAD FOR GODS SAKE!!, dont you understand?, no one really gives a fly about what you think or hope, his compny is this and that?, fine!!, dont you have flaws?, no one or NOTHING IS PERFECT, so get over it seriously!!, and show abit of respect

  5. Yes, you bad, bad Dragon, you. How dare you discuss, in a measured and laudatory way, something that's taken up over thirty pages of each of the local papers? Really cheeky.

  6. muscato- Anonymous' comment was directed at me. Apparently I have no respect for the dead.

  7. Yikes! I hadn't seen the screed(s) over in your part of the world. Although my nagging still holds, directed at you:

    how dare you publish something thoughtfully critical five days before something very sad happens! Outrageous, what people want to get away with these days...

    (Oh, and Dragon - thanks for the coffee tip. Most satisfactory, and Starbucks just lost another customer. What are they thinking?)

  8. Anon, er, take a chill pill, and perform a logic check. Beating up on Muscati won't bring him back, and his blog post was days before Sh Bahwan died. What are you expecting - that he re-write history? But thanks for coming by, and I think most people in Oman are saddened by his relatively early death. I'd suggest you write a letter to the newspapers telling them off for writing opinions about the dead, if that's your problem. And I hope you're not working for

    Muscato - nice one x2. You're so funny mate.
    Glad the coffee thing worked out. I like it because you can make it good and strong without it coming across all french-roast bitter. Sometimes I cut it with around 30% of some American Columbian stuff to round it out a bit.

    Muscati - wow. Indeed, how totally non-psychic of you to not know that the great man was about to die 5 days later.

    And many of the flames you got reveal the inherent resistance to criticism, any criticism, even well meant and totally accurate criticism, over and above the grief response.

    I do find it a common thing here in Oman, the argument 'nothings perfect, so stop trying to improve things', and viewing all criticism as a personal attack rather than an opportunity to improve. It was one of the reasons I started blogging.

  9. muscati ..
    you have enemies dude .. you need someone to watch your back?

    Sorry buddy ... maybe i should have just asked direct ... tell me about the wannabes ... i am interested to know what you know about them ... maybe dedicate a post to them ..

    I wont talk about SB ... i dont need anymore enemies ...

  10. was he buried in Oman or Paris?


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...