Cover Story

‘The Man from Dubai’

Decades ago, the bride and the groom didn’t even get to know each other before deciding to tie the knot. And this is how SS Kandhari and Bubbles Kandhari became each other’s better half. Their story from India to Dubai is inspiring and filled with love and hard work. In conversation with Nikita Agarwal, they talk about their hardships and their belief in each other and how they began with AL Dobowi Group.

You are an inspiration for many, tell us about your story, how did you two meet and decided to get married?

In 1970 when I was one year in the tyre business with my father, he felt now that I have settled down I should get married. I was only 22 years old and I got a call from him while he was travelling to Bombay that son you are engaged to a beautiful girl from Bombay. Bubbles was 19 years then. We could not say “No” to our parents as the respect for elders in the family was supreme. We were taught to listen to our elders and not argue back.

The first meeting after the engagement ceremony and the dinner at the Club was the next day. We both went to see a movie called “Two Women”. Bubbles said that she could not see any movie without a coke and popcorn. We both enjoyed the popcorn, coke and the movie and that was the start of our romantic journey in life. I sent flowers (roses) to Bubbles every Sunday in Bombay to her home. I spoke to her every day for one year till we got married in 1971.

When and why did you decide to move to Dubai with your kids?

I came to Dubai from Hyderabad in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where my father owned the city’s first automotive spare parts business. After graduating I joined the family business in 1969. I then moved to Dubai in 1976 with my family, expanding the family business into the potentially lucrative GCC market.

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