The Decision to Establish the Chamber of Riyadh:
The resolution of the Council of Minister no. 239 dated 10/4/1381 AH was issued to approve the establishment of the Chamber. As stated in the resolution," The Council of Ministers after reviewing the file attached to this and submitted to His Majesty the Prime Minister by H.E. the Minister of Commerce no. 1/5018 dated 7/4/1381 AH including the request of Riyadh traders to establish a Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh. In order to present the views of its traders to the government on the issues related to their affairs and at the same time to defend their interests like other cities of the kingdom, to support the request of the Ministry of Commerce to establish a Chamber of Commerce and Industry to coordinate their interests and maintain them. Its request to approve this we resolve the following: Approval to achieve the request of Riyadh traders to establish a Chamber of Commerce and Industry to coordinate their interests and protect them like the Chambers of Commerce existing in Mecca, Jeddah and Dammam. A letter in this regard was sent by H.E. the Minister of State for the Council of Ministers Affairs to HE the Minister of Commerce at that time.
The Support of His Majesty the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz to the Chamber of Riyadh:
Those who read the exciting story of the renaissance of Riyadh and examines its great march will know how the dream turned into a reality. Not only that but also how hard was the beginning, how the chamber was treading its first steps depending on its own efforts and the determination of it sincere men, how it started off, and grew and became stronger and more mature. This person will realize that the link and organizer of the two marches is one man: The lover of the first, the cause of its renaissance and the sponsor of the second and the supporter of its effectiveness. He is the Custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz may Allah preserve him, Minister of Defense and the ex-Governor of Riyadh for six decades.
The beginning of the establishment of the Chamber of Riyadh was very hard and difficult. It was just an idea then it became a reality on the ground. It was an out of reach dream as confirmed by the Custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, may Allah preserve him. While the Custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman was inaugurating the new headquarters of the Chamber in 1985 AD when he stated, " Who returns to 25 years ago and thinks how the establishment of this Chamber was and the difficulties and obstacles it faced. Mr. Abdulaziz Al Muqairen, the first chairman of the Chamber knows this. At that time there was a lack of understanding of the objectives and the purposes of the Chamber. There were other obstacles which the interested parties managed to overcome until it became a reality and an important entity in the community of Riyadh area, which participates in achieving the national objectives of the State and promote the capacity of the private sector and its performance.
Those who follow-up the strong mutual relationship between the Custodian of the two holy mosques king Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, may Allah preserve him and the Chamber of Riyadh and its men which started early and continued for about six decades will realize that it is a fate and existence relationship. The role of his Royal Highness emerged as an engineer and draftsman of the roadmap of the first pioneers to be followed step by step in their efforts to complete the foundation stage. Those who witnessed the establishment phase praised that role played by his Royal Highness until they managed to consolidate and develop the idea in the minds and hearts of finance and businessmen sector at that time. Without that role, the Chamber would not have been established at that time and its birth would have been delayed.
The early start of the march of the Chamber witnessed an honorable sponsorship and interest by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, may Allah preserve him. King Salman was the Governor of Riyadh at that time and the sponsor of all the initiatives, events and programs adopted by the Chamber, which helped it continue its permanent fruitful and productive cooperation with its social surroundings first, and its mutual effective relationship with the business communities across the world countries through the flow of huge numbers of foreign commercial delegations. These distinguished efforts made during the foundation phase consolidated this attitude which continued to increase until this date. These helped the chamber efficiently to perform its rising role and improve it in the development of the private sector in Riyadh Area. Also, develop it and protect its interests as well as the constructive cooperation with the governmental authorities concerned to provide all facilities to activate its participation of various development fields. Therefore, Riyadh may become with the help of Allah the Almighty and due to his majesty distinguished efforts may Allah preserve him in the lead in all the economic, industrial, agricultural, commercial and services activities.
The Founder of Riyadh Chamber:
Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Suleiman Al Muqairen , may Allah have mercy on him.
Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Suleiman Al Muqairen , may Allah have mercy on him was known for his efforts, persistence and self-made character . He early realized the importance of finding link or a connection of the efforts of the traders and businessmen. He made great efforts over decades of time which was more or less like a process of turning the cross-terrains into one high entity and the sporadic spaces to one place under which all traders and the various crafts men in Riyadh. Thus, Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Suleiman Al Muquairen, may Allah have mercy on him endeavored to be the man of the difficult stages and the most difficult tasks at an important stage of the foundation of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its growth and development. This is what the founder Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Suleiman Al Muqairen did and worked to achieve so that the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry may become a national economic system overshadowed by a beautiful dream banner, super ambition, genuine thought, push it forward towards development and progress and to make it one of the most important commercial, economic and development center. This is not only in the city of Riyadh but all over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to exceed the regional and international arenas.
The Story of the Chamber Establishment:
(According to the story of the founder of the Chamber Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Muqairen my Allah have mercy on him).
An elite of traders thought of establishing a chamber of commerce and industry in the kingdom to sponsor the affairs and problems of the internal and external trade in order to become a connection link of communication between the governmental officials and the traders. The officials welcomed this move and accordingly a Royal Decree was issued to establish it in 1381 AH. Most of the traders in Riyadh did not lack the motive and the desire to have in the city which they loved a special Chamber of Commerce in it like Jeddah, Mecca and the Eastern Area. But many of them were not aware of the function which it may perform. The idea of creating the chamber was not without any problems like any-thing else characterized by modernity. Those who were less enthusiastic feared that the establishment of the Chamber and existence may limit their commercial movement. Therefore, the efforts to promote the idea were not easy. But nevertheless the conviction and the belief in its feasibility and importance constituted the majority among the traders. The supporters of the idea felt the importance of the idea and began to study the experiences of others inside and outside to understand what they should do and provide the reasons and endeavors necessary to establish such an institution. We took the first opportunity to start the follow-up steps with the authorities concerned though a suggestion submitted by H.E. the Minister of Finance then to the traders in Riyadh urging them to work to establish their own Chamber. Accordingly, we began immediately to prepare a letter on 18/6/1372 AH to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Saud Ibn Abdulaziz, may Allah have mercy on him, in which we expressed our desire to establish a Chamber of Commerce in Riyadh. I wrote the letter to him with my hand and it was signed by Messrs Sa'd Al Tukhaifi, Sa'd Ibn Saeed , Suleiman Al Ghunaim, Suleiman Al Muquairen, Saleh Al Rajhi, Saleh Ibn Abdulqader, Abdulaziz Al Haqabani, Abdulaziz Al Jumaih, Mohammed Al Jumaih, Mohammed Ibn Sayar and his brothers, Mohammed Al Sania', Mohammed Al Saleh, Saleh Al Saleh and Mohammed Al Musaira'i. We gave a copy of the letter to H.E. the Minister of Finance to be informed of its contents, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince at that time responded to our letter by a written telegram dated 16/10/1372 AH. Which he addressed to H.R.H Prince Nayef Ibn Abdulaziz the Governor of Riyadh may Allah save him.
In which he said, "The regulation of the Chambers of Commerce is being studied now in the Shura (consultative) Council and he will provide him with a copy of it when it is completed."
After a period of time from this move, I proposed to my colleagues the need to continue our endeavor. We need to renew the request and communicate with the authorities which may support our endeavor. All of them approved this effort and they charged me to follow up with the issue. I had no alternative but to go to meet H.R.H Prince Salman Ibn Abdulaziz who was known by his love to be close to the citizen's heart and his continued readiness to adopt such initiatives. I went to meet his Royal Highness, may Allah preserve him and expressed to him our desire to establish a Chamber of Commerce in Riyadh. I explained to H.R.H the fears of some of the traders that Chamber may be as a commercial court. I asked H.R.H to advise me as regards what to do. H.R.H advised me to meet His Eminence Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Ibrahim Al Sheikh Mufti of Saudi Arabia may Allah have mercy on him. Before I go to meet His Eminence I saw that it would better to have a copy of regulation of Mecca Chamber with me . I met his Eminence and explained the matter to him. I said, "The Chamber will work to settle any problem that may arise between a Saudi trader and a foreign trader and it will strive to protect the interests of the Saudi traders and economy. I gave him a copy of Mecca chamber regulation and he asked me to wait for one week to receive his opinion about this matter. When I returned to him his eminence told me of his approval and appreciation of that endeavor. I returned happily to inform H.R.H Prince Salman of what happened between me and Shaikh Mohammed Ibn Ibrahim. H.R.H expressed his pleasure of this move. In implementation of the instructions of H.R.H Prince Salman we prepared a letter addressed to H.E. the Minster of Trade on 6/4/1381 AH. and it was signed by more than thirty traders. However, I know later that one of the traders may Allah have mercy on him objected to the project in front of King Saud, may Allah have mercy on him which caused the deal to stop. I went to visit H.E. Acting Minister of Commerce at that time Sheikh Abdullah Al Turaiki may Allah have mercy on him who promised to clarify the issue to King Saud and accordingly a Royal Decree was issued to approve the establishment of Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RDCCI).
Formation of the First Board of Directors:
On Thursday, Jumda II, 1381 AH corresponding to 16 November 1961 AD a group of traders met including Saleh Al Humaidan, Saleh Al Rajhi, Abdulrahman Al Misha'al, Abdulaziz Ibn Nassar, Abdulaziz Al Muqairen, Abdulla Al Sa'di, Abdulmuhsen Al Suwailem, Omer Al Aqad, Mohammed Saed Baghaffar, Mohammed Al Sani', Mohammed Al Oraifi, and Mohammed Al Hadlaq. These traders paid a visit to H.E. the undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce at that time, Mr. Omar Abdulqader Bafaqih who promised to support the Chamber and expressed the approval to the Ministry to consider the above mentioned the first Board of Directors of the Chamber. During this meeting Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Muqairen was elected Chairman of the Board and Abdulmohsen Al Suwailem Vice Chairman. In the following week, the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chamber was held in the first Headquarters of the Chamber in Thumairi Street under the chairmanship of Abdulaziz Al Muqairen and in the attendance of Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Nasser, Sheikh Saleh Ibn Humaidan, Sheikh Ali Ibn Rayes and Sheikh Mohammed Al Oraifi.
The Building in which Al Thumairi apartment was located
The first Headquarters of Riyadh Chamber
The meeting discussed how to establish the Chamber, the organization of its sessions and the suitable place for its activities in the future, the services which shall be provided to the traders, and how to furnish the Chamber in the absence of any financial resources. The group donated what they had. At this meeting, the board decided the following: To extend thanks to those who supported the founders in the establishment steps led by H.R.H Prince Salman Ibn Abdulaziz. The board visited H.R.H. during his first meeting with the first Chamber Board of Directors, he expressed his willingness to help the Board in any problem they face. The board also visited H.E. the acting Minister of Commerce at that time, Sheikh Abdullah Al Turaiki, may Allah have mercy on him for his support to the founders in the establishment of the Chamber. In addition, the visit of his H.R.H the Mayor of Riyadh, at that time Prince Fahed Al Faisal, may Allah have mercy on him to explore the possibility of cooperation with the municipality, the possibility of selecting a place to be used as Headquarters of the Chamber, the election of the Secretary General of the Chamber, recruitment of the staff and provision of resources.
These efforts made by the founders assisted in the implementation of many of the ambitious ideas and the consolidation of the rules of the establishment phase. May Allah have mercy on Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Muqerien and his companions who passed away or who are still alive and may Allah bless the business society and their initiative.
For more information about the history and the establishment of the Chamber please review the following issuances: