Like many corporate dynasties in Arabia, BAB Holding Group has its roots as a family trade.
The Batterjee family brought the first modern medicine to this part of the world—in the 1920s, in the early stages of the state’s emergence, Shaikh Abdul Jalil Batterjee instituted the first national pharmacies. The pharmacy business evolved to become an exclusive distributor for international companies for more than two decades. Later, BAB Holding branched out into hospitals, allied healthcare facilities and curative, promotive and preventive health-oriented businesses. The family has also invested in real estate and has large reserves of asset-backed capital to support future business needs.
Pioneers in healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Batterjee family is one of the prominent families in the Gulf region. Their business started with a pharmacy in Jeddah nearly 100 years ago. Today they are renowned for their business acumen, philanthropic endeavors, energy and vision.
The Batterjee Group remains to this day the largest family-owned healthcare enterprise in Arabia. Some of their other endeavors include higher education, youth incubation and finance, real estate investments, commercial development, wellness, construction, real estate and facilities management. Notably, this is the only Saudi family that devotes all its energy and efforts exclusively to healthcare—it is their sole focus and passion and is therefore given their undivided attention.
The Batterjee House is the center of a special relationship between the KSA & US
The Batterjee House located in Jeddah is one of the most well-
known historical places ingrained in the memory of Americans who spent time visiting or residing in Saudi Arabia, of its history of hosting the first US consulate in the Kingdom. It was built in 1860 and was at first owned by Sheikh Omar Bajubair for a period of 50 years, then the ownership was transferred to Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Batterjee in 1909.
The Batterjee House was also used as the headquarters of the British Company for the Development of Petroleum Resources in Western Arabia. Later it was taken by the Arabian American Oil Co. or Aramco, to be used as a residence for its employees.
Also, between the1940-1952, the United States government needed to rent the house to be used as the headquarters of their first US embassy in the KSA. And during that time, the US ambassador offered to buy the house’s main door for $10,000, which still exists to this day.
The house consists of 3 floors, with an additional neighboring house belonging to the Batterjee family. And the second building was used as the headquarters of the first British mission to explore for oil in KSA. It also contains a collection of items in the house that dates to 1917, 100-year old printers, guns, and glassware from the Ottoman era, Copperware that goes back to the 7th and 8th centuries, and also coins of the first, second, and third Saudi states.
The Batterjee House is considered one of the most famous places in the area, with around 200 pieces of antiques and items of interest. The house also includes the first Saudi phone, bearing the Kingdom’s two swords and a palm motif pattern. And it has become a tourist destination in Saudi Arabia, as it’s the first nucleus of the historical Saudi US relationship, and an incubator of the world’s biggest oil companies, that transformed the history of the region and the whole world, So the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and the municipality of Jeddah were enthusiastic about restoring the two buildings. And the house is now being completely restored to its original condition, as the house is considered one of the greatest houses in the Al-Sham neighborhood in Jeddah.