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April 15, 2024

From Fighter Pilot to Business Tycoon: Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi’s Remarkable Journey of Success and Impact

Inspirational portrait (by Mawared)

Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi is a highly accomplished Omani businessman and former military chief who has made significant contributions to both the public and private sectors. As the Executive Chairman of Investcorp, Chairman of Bank Sohar, and previous Chairman of the National Bank of Oman, Al Ardhi has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a deep understanding of various industries.

Born in Sur, Oman, to Omani parents, Al Ardhi experienced a challenging childhood shaped by the difficult socio-political circumstances of the time. The Dhofar Rebellion, a prolonged armed conflict, affected his family directly, with their homes being bombed during the revolution. These experiences instilled in Al Ardhi a sense of resilience and determination, prompting him to pursue a career in public service.

Al Ardhi’s journey in public service began with his father’s guidance, urging him to engage in government internships rather than typical recreational activities. He worked briefly in the Ministry of Oil and Gas and the court of the Sultan of Oman before joining the Royal Air Force of Oman at the young age of 17. Al Ardhi served as a fighter pilot and later graduated from the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Military Academy, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Military Science. He further enhanced his military education by attending the Command and Staff College in Bracknell and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

During his tenure with the Royal Air Force, Al Ardhi made significant contributions to the defense and security of Oman. He held several esteemed positions, including chairman of the Oman–U.S. Military Commission and chairman of the Oman–Iran Military Committee. Al Ardhi’s leadership as the head of the Omani Air Force for ten years was characterized by his efforts to standardize military procurement among Persian Gulf countries. In recognition of his exceptional service, he was awarded the Order of Oman, the country’s highest honor, by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said.

Following his military career, Al Ardhi pursued higher education and obtained a Master of Public Administration from the prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Equipped with a strong educational foundation, he returned to Oman to join his family’s business.

Al Ardhi’s influence extends beyond the military and family business domains. He has held key positions in the banking sector, contributing to the growth and development of Oman’s financial institutions. As Chairman of Bank Sohar and previous Chairman of the National Bank of Oman, he played a pivotal role in implementing growth strategies, fostering corporate social responsibility initiatives, and expanding into Islamic banking.

Moreover, Al Ardhi has actively engaged in diverse investment sectors, including energy, real estate, and tourism. As the Chairman of Rimal Investment Projects, he directed investments in real estate development, oil and gas industries, and information technology. He also chaired Sundus Investments, where he played a crucial role in developing tourism infrastructure, including hotels, to support Oman’s ambitious economic objectives outlined in Vision 2020.

Currently, as the Executive Chairman of Investcorp, Al Ardhi spearheads one of the leading international providers of alternative investments with a strong focus on the Persian Gulf region. He has initiated a growth strategy aimed at doubling the company’s assets under management (AUM) and expanding its presence in European real estate markets. Under his leadership, Investcorp has strengthened its institutional shareholder base, exemplified by the partnership with Mubadala Development Company.

Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi’s professional journey reflects his unwavering dedication, strategic acumen, and commitment to excellence. His accomplishments as a military leader, public servant, and business executive have not only brought him personal recognition and numerous awards but have also contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of Oman’s economy. Al Ardhi’s visionary leadership and ability to navigate complex environments have positioned

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