As one of the major global professional services organisations recognised by capital markets, regulators and international standards setting bodies, Grant Thornton has been built on the basis of transparency, connected thinking and driving real insight.

The global organisation that we recognise today dates to 1904, when Thornton & Thornton was formed in Oxford, UK. Twenty years later and on the other side of the Atlantic, 26-year-old senior accountant Alexander Richardson Grant established Alexander Grant & Co in Chicago, US.

Supporting dynamic organisations has been high on our agenda from the beginning. Thornton & Thornton advised automotive pioneer Morris Motors on its flotation in 1936 and also delivered international audit services before the Second World War.

We took our first steps to becoming a truly global organisation in 1979 when the UK and the US firms set up a new international organisation. Many of the original member firms remain in our global organisation, including the UAE, India, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Singapore.

Seven years later in 1986, the US and UK firms each changed their names to Grant Thornton and in 1997, the first International Business Centre opened to manage our cross-border activity.


Grant Thornton in the UAE

In 1966, the UAE member firm, which was founded by our Chairman Farouk Mohamed, joined the Grant Thornton network and has continued to grow exponentially over the last five decades.

We have a long legacy in the region which spans to over 55 years, therefore not only have we supported economic prosperity but have worked to support businesses who have started humbly and which today have become successful and profiled conglomerates.

The UAE practice is supported by over 600 locally-based professionals who are represented by over 50 nationalities, given diversity is a core fundamental to providing a holistic yet varied perspective to our client’s challenges.

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Farouk established the business in 1966. He has been instrumental in building strategic business relationships across the region.

His client portfolio covers some of the largest names in the country including prominent multinational companies, some of the largest local public shareholding companies and many privately owned businesses.
He has over 40 years of business experience and has a particular interest in audit of financial institutions. He has vast experience and exposure in assurance, tax and management consultancy services, including preparation of documentation and company structure for IPO and listing within the local and international financial markets.

He has also worked with a number of leading family owned businesses and has guided them from concept to billion dollar businesses. Farouk is well known within the Emirate and region for being a leading advisor to family owned businesses and currently works closely with the founding generation, advising them on their international growth strategies.

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Hisham is the CEO of Grant Thornton UAE who has successfully led the firm’s offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah for over 10 years. With a focus on innovation with exemplary leadership, he has played a key role in transforming the firm into one of the fastest growing companies in the UAE.

Hisham is well-known for leading high-profile advisory engagements for some of the largest international conglomerates and local groups mainly in the finance, hospitality, real estate and construction, FMCG, and family business sectors.

He has worked closely with various financial institutions, providing advice on regulatory and compliance matters, whilst supporting firms with dispute resolution as an expert witness on arbitration cases across industries.

Hisham sits on the board of numerous companies in the UAE and region, including HBS Club in the GCC.

Hisham is a patron and avid mentor for entrepreneurial businesses and dynamic SMEs. He advises and mentors through TechStars, Fintech Hive, and Endeavor, helping develop the startup ecosystem in the region. He is a also a supporter of gender equality and part of the 30 % Club of the GCC and Reach to support and female entrepreneurs.