JEDDAH: An Italian investor who was born and raised in Jeddah said the past four years of reforms in the Kingdom were equal to the progress he had witnessed in the previous 30 years of his life in Saudi Arabia, describing the transformation as “incredible, in a positive way.”
Although his original hometown of Messina, Italy, has been described as the “heaven of Europe,” Corrado Mulfari found himself becoming more attached to the Saudi coastal city.
“Since I was brought up in Saudi Arabia, I made local friends here in Jeddah, and we built a good connection that lasted forever,” he told Arab News.
He is the son of the late Gaetano Mulfari, who came to Saudi Arabia for work, and considered the Kingdom his second home.
Mulfari said he had many fond memories of the Italian community who were living in the Kingdom, and that he had developed a bond with the Saudi culture. “I love the atmosphere in Ramadan, and I love the food and tradition and these became parts of me.”
His father was the first foreign member of Al-Ittihad football club in Jeddah.
I love the atmosphere in Ramadan, and I love the food and tradition and these became parts of me.
“I was brought up in the environment where Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli were rivals in Jeddah, and I’m an Ittihadi fan, I loved the football here in Saudi Arabia and I follow it closely.”
He started his business in the Kingdom in 1989 after he discovered his love for wood decoration in Bali, where he worked at an architecture company.
In 2001 Mulfari, along with his partner Faisal Kamal Adham, founded their first fully owned company in Saudi Arabia, introducing parquet to the local market and liaising with specialist Italian companies in this field.
As a foreign investor in Saudi Arabia, he is one of the many businessmen who have been touched by recent reforms in the country.
According to Mulfari, the decision to make the Kingdom a headquarters for companies with government contracts was a good opportunity for them to see how fruitful it was to be operating in the country.
He described the business environment’s evolution as a “fantastic” opportunity for all foreigners to go to the Kingdom and invest their money, saying it was not just about business, lifestyle, and family but also nature and landscapes.
Mulfari has dived in most of the country’s coastal sites and visited most of its major cities.
When he spoke to his friends in Italy he always told them that, as someone who had “lived and experienced” Saudi Arabia, life in the country was far better than they could ever imagine.
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