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Special Distinction – 2023

Mohammad Al Zubair, a visionary leader and influential entrepreneur, has had a profound impact on Oman’s corporate and cultural arenas. Born in Salalah in 1938, his lineage is steeped in Oman’s governance, with his father, Sheikh Al Zubair bin Ali, serving as an advisor to Sultan Said bin Taimur.

After completing his education in Kuwait, Mohammad Al Zubair embarked on a remarkable journey. He began his career at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and later founded ‘Muscat Trading Company’ in 1967, laying the foundation for what is now The Zubair Corporation, a prominent Omani business conglomerate.

With the advent of Oman’s renaissance in 1970 under Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Mohammad Al Zubair played a pivotal role in the nation’s economic development. He founded the National Transport Company and was a founding member of various Omani public companies, serving as chairman for entities like Omani Ports Company, Oman Air Services, Ominvest, and Oman Arab Bank. His influence extended to legislation, where he contributed to the drafting of commercial and banking laws. He held the position of Minister of Commerce and Industry and chaired several higher councils related to development, finance, and energy.

Mohammad Al Zubair chaired crucial meetings during the formation of the GCC Council and served as an advisor for economic planning affairs under Sultan Qaboos’s leadership. He oversaw Sultan Qaboos University and made significant contributions to its development.

Beyond his business acumen, his passion for literature and history led to monumental projects, including the Sultan Qaboos Encyclopedia of Arab Names and the “Encyclopedia of the Land of Oman.” He authored comprehensive works on Oman’s mountains, history, and culture.

As a distinguished artist, author, and advocate, he championed arts, culture, and heritage. The transformation of his family home in Old Muscat into Bait Al Zubair museum, offering educational and cultural programs, showcases his commitment to preserving Oman’s heritage. He also introduced the “Oman Youth Fund” to support young entrepreneurs. Honored with numerous awards and medals, including the Renaissance Medal and the Order of Merit of Sultan Qaboos, Mohammad Al Zubair’s global impact earned him honorary doctorates from esteemed universities. His legacy continues to shape Oman’s cultural and business landscape.