Michel Chalhoub, founder and chairman of the Chalhoub Group, passed away on July 30th, 2021. As a legacy, he leaves behind him a group that benefited from his vision to grew as the Middle East’s largest luxury retail operator, with more than 700 stores and a workforce of more than 12,000 people across 14 countries.
Born in Damascus, Syria in 1931, Michel Chalhoub founded the Chalhoub Group in Damascus, with his wife Widad, by opening the city’s first Christofle boutique in 1955, at the at the age of 23. Through strong partnerships with many prestigious brands, the Group soon became an ambassador of luxury in the Middle East.
Michel Chalhoub had to face major crises during his career while running the business in a turbulent region. He moved from Syria to Lebanon to Kuwait and then Dubai in 1990 and operated during unprecedented periods of war and instability.
Michel Chalhoub drove the Group’s growth until the early 2000s when he became a Chairman, handing over the Group’s management to his two sons, the late Anthony Chalhoub, who died in 2018, and Patrick Chalhoub.
“My father was a visionary, a pioneer, a true leader, a great man that pushed us to be what we are today. He was resilient, inspiring, passionate. Along with our children and teams, we will honour his memory with our lifetime commitment to continue building on his legacy,” said Patrick Chalhoub, President of Chalhoub Group.
In recognition of his endeavour to promote the French art-de-vivre culture and language, Michel Chalhoub was appointed Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest French distinction, and Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, an official honour awarded by the French government. He was also awarded Commandeur de l’Ordre de Saint-Grégoire le Grand et de la Sainte Croix de Jérusalem.