JEDDAH: Prominent Saudi businessman Saleh Abdullah Kamel, born 1941, died in Jeddah on Monday. He was the chairman and founder of the Dallah Al-Baraka Group, one of the Middle East’s largest conglomerates.
Kamel was chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) (2009-201) as well as the Islamic Chamber of Commerce.
In an interview with this newspaper of Aug. 10, 2012 he estimated the total value of Islamic zakat in the Kingdom at SR 1 trillion. “Such a huge amount could be used to solve many economic and social problems in the country.” He said that people should pay zakat for real estate properties that have been offered for sale. “We Muslims should understand the economic wisdom behind the system if we collect and use zakat properly for it can bring about substantial improvement in our economic conditions.
He was called “the father of contemporary Islamic finance,” and received Malaysia’s Royal Award for Islamic Finance in November 2010.
He was involved in efforts to expand trade significantly among member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In his capacity as chairman of Dallah Al-Baraka Group , he led numerous projects to promote Saudi Arabia as a regional economic force.