DUBAI: As part of the popular series of programmes chartering the history, accomplishments and lives of Sikhs living and working in Dubai, Sikh Channel recently interviewed the Sikh community stalwart and chairman of the Al Dobowi Group, Surender Singh Kandhari.
During the fascinating interview recorded in Dubai, Surender Singh reminisces on his story from arriving in 1976 through to creating one of the world’s largest tyre and battery manufacturers as well as discussing his recently published autobiography “The Temple of My Dreams”.
As one of the earliest Sikhs to venture into business in the United Arab Emirates, Surender Singh describes how upon his arrival, Dubai was opening up as a trading hub and how he took advantage of the freedom for business and tolerance towards other cultures to set up the Al Dobowi Group in Deira. Translating to ‘the man from Dubai’, the Al Dobowi company name was given to Surender Singh by an officer of the Dubai Municipality.
In addition to being a world renowned businessman, Surender Singh is a well-known philanthropist having contributed over £15 million to build the first Middle-Eastern Gurdwara as well as a host of other humanitarian and social projects.
Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Jebel Ali was opened in 2012 and can cater for a staggering 40,000 worshipers per day. Speaking about the Gurdwara Sahib, Surender Singh states it was the fulfillment of a prophetic advice given by his grandfather, Atma Singh, who himself had helped build a Gurudwara Sahib in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Atma Singh implored upon the then eight-year-old Surender Singh to help build a Gurudwara when he grew up.
Davinder Singh Bal, CEO of the Sikh Channel who interviewed Surender Singh Kandhari for the series said:
“I was honoured to personally receive a signed copy of Surender Singh Kandhari’s autobiography.
“Having grown to know Surender Singh Kandhari over the course of the last ten years, I am ingratiated by his humility, strong ethics, and business ability; and I look forward to learning more about his early years and how his enormous achievements were shaped by his early life.”
Catch the interview with Surender Singh Kandhari and a host of other personalities by tuning in to the Dubai series, coming soon on Sikh Channel.