Abdulla Al Hawaj

  • Academician

    14 February 1950


    Manama, Bahrain


    74 Years Old



    Other Information

    Occupation Academician and Businessman
    Other Name Al Hawaj
    Nationality Bahraini
    Notable Work Founder of the first private university in Bahrain, Member of the National Charter Supreme Committee
    Education University of Manchester


    Abdulla Al Hawaj (Arabic: عبدالله الحواج) is a Bahraini Academician, Businessman and opinion leader that belongs to a well-known business family in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Al Hawaj is the Founding President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ahlia University; the first private university in Bahrain.

    He served as the Founding President of the Bahrain Association for Academics, Chairman of the Executive Office of the Association of Arab Private Institutions of Higher Education, President of the Private Universities Association in the Middle East, Deputy Chairman of the World Technology University Network, among others.


    Abdulla Al Hawaj spent 25 years at the University of Bahrain, where he held numerous posts including Chairman of both the Mathematics and Computer Sciences departments, as well as the Dean of Student Affairs. In 2001, he was appointed by royal decree – as a member of the Supreme Committee for the National Charter, as the coordinator of the Educational Committee. He was the Founding President of the Association of Bahraini Academicians (Bahrain Academic Society) from 2001 to 2009. He was the Founding President of Ahlia University, which was established in 2001. Additionally, he was appointed as a member of the first Higher Education Council (HEC) – representing private HEIs, between 2007-2011.

    Early life and education

    Abdulla Al Hawaj was born in 1950 in Manama, Bahrain. His father was a well-known merchant and entrepreneur that steadily grew the family business to prominence. The Al Hawaj business group, established in 1942, expanded from a single retail store in Manama, to a business group spanning dozens of outlets, across many retail categories, including luxury retail and distribution, fashion retail, consumer electronics and home appliances, education, and hospitality.

    Al Hawaj studied at the Al-Hidaya Al Khalifia Highschool in Muharraq. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Kuwait, where he obtained a BSc (Hon.) in Mathematics. He pursued his postgraduate education in the United Kingdom, where he earned his MSc and PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Manchester.


    • Tree of Life Society Award for Charitable and Philanthropic Activity, 2023.
    • HH Shaikha Isa Bin Ali Al Khalifa Award for Voluntary Work in the Arab World, 2020.
    • Honorary Doctor of Science from Brunel University London, 2019.
    • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education by Asian Education Leadership Awards, Dubai 2009.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asia HRD Congress Awards, 2009.
    • HRH The Prime Minister’s Prize in recognition of Entrepreneurship in Muharraq, 2000.
    • The National Emiri Prize for Volunteerism, 1997.
    • The British Ambassador’s Prize for Scientific Research, 1992.


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