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The Founder

 

 

 

Mr.Ali Alhashemi

President

  

There are none in the graphic arts industry in the Middle eastern Gulf,  who haven't  heard of Mr. Ali Alhashemi, the man who helped create the market for graphic arts in this region.

 

Like a true son of the soil, Mr. Ali Alhashemi rose from an unlettered childhood to a notable existence as a self made man.  And today popularly known as the `Father of Printing Industry in the Gulf'

 

Young Ali was compelled to leave the UAE for Bahrain. It was in Bahrain that the rendezvous with graphic arts would take place. It was also in Bahrain that Mr. Ali Alhashemi  had his initial education till the age of 18.

 

And then in late 1947, when he started associating with printing when he  started working in the Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Printing Press, where there was no electricity also & started with work on wooden types, wherein paper had to be manually placed one by one to be printed.  

 

Looking for greener pastures,  he even got venturing  in telegraph and wireless operations also worked in newspaper as a Morse code operator for a newspaper in Bahrain. Got exposure in news transcripting in both English and Arabic for the managing editor.

 

When Mr. Ali Alhashemi left Bahrain back to Dubai in 1960, and started  to retrace his late father’s profession &  started business of stationery items.

 

And gradually started  a printing press in partnership, somehow the partnership did not workout well and then tried venturing selling machines for the printing press. And it was exactly at this point that Mr. Ali Alhashemi tried to acquire the Heidelberg agency for the region, largely encouraged and influenced by the situation of the graphic arts industry in Lebanon where agencies of Agfa, Heidelberg and Hell were present. He finally did so in Dubai, during the early 60s by which time he was selling paper and consumables to a market which had become stagnant.

 

The boom time for Heidelberg  for him was in the 70s following UAE’s independence from the British. , letterpress machines (Platen and Cylinder) and offset sheetfed presses were sold many, nearly 200 of them over a period of three years within the gulf region.  Those days popular brands were only available in Lebanon, so he started acquiring agencies of  Hell, Polar and Stahl etc. Which was taking form of the beginning of the one-stop shop concept of his ideas.

 

The company’s first Heidelberg deal consisted of a Cylinder press and Letter press machine to Dubai’s National Printing Press in Dubai in 1963 while major deals were carried out with Al Bayan and the Al Ittihad newspapers. The most popular machines in the region during the early 60s were the cylinder press & letter press machines, however, offset started picking up & the Heidelberg GTO become very popular, in single, two & four color machines range, of which more than 500 new units were sold. Besides this, S-offset machines were also popular machines in larger format size viz. SORM, SORMZ, SORS, SORSZ models. Later on, with the awareness for automation on the rise, automated machines like the Heidelberg Speedmasters started becoming popular those days.

 

And eventually the company got its new name Ali Alhashemi Trading Est. in 1981-1982 and by that time were already dealing in mostly all the machines, equipments & materials as we are doing now, particularly, offset presses, finishing machines, silkscreen, stationery & consumables as well.

 

The period between 1968 and 1999  boom time of Mr. Ali Alhashemi, having sold a record number of Heidelberg printing units, nearly 1200 of them in UAE, Oman, Bahrain & Qatar.

 

He would encourage people to set up presses and help them right from acquiring a license through to financing.

 

Today, Ali Alhashemi Trading est. holds the agencies of 128 principal machinery and consumables companies, main among them being Komori, Sakurai, Wohlenberg, Shoei, Sakurai, MGI, Plokmatic, Bielomatic, Kohmann, Sanwa, Kluge,  and many more.etc, also operating within most African countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Zanzibar, Egypt, Yemen and the GCC. There are established branches of the company in UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and two branches in Saudi Arabia.

 

Mr.Ali Alhashemi particularly cites a case wherein a machine was sold to Holland from the company’s then branch office in Egypt. His machines have gone as far as England, India (Delhi, Bombay & Kerala), Pakistan and even in Afghanistan.

 

At the age of 75 plus, Ali Alhashemi still follows the same rigorous routine he followed as a youth. He is up every morning at 4 a.m. to recite the Holy Quran and after the Fajr prayer and breakfast, sets off to work. He holds the record for being the first man to enter into his office everyday in the morning.

 

Having led a full life, Ali Alhashemi looks forward to nothing but reward in the hereafter from Allah (ST). His door always open to his staff, he is like a father to them. A self made man, he regards life as a constant training ground, having trained himself in more aspects than one & he says  ‘Being a son of the desert I trained myself to ride a donkey and then a camel when I was a child and the learning process of life is ongoing, no matter that now my camel is a Mercedes.’