Spinneys is a high-end supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

 chain in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 which begun as railway provision merchants, and expanded to a grocery firm importing British Empire goods to the Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

. The largest shareholder and manager of the brand is the Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital
Abraaj Capital
Abraaj Capital is among the world's 50-biggest private equity groups, and invests in the growing Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, a region also known as MENASA. Abraaj manages about $6.6 billion of funds and stakes in about two dozen companies, including some of the best known in...



The supermarket was founded by Arthur Rawdon Spinney (CBE
CBE and C.B.E. are abbreviations for "Commander of the Order of the British Empire", a grade in the Order of the British Empire.Other uses include:* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering...

), who, having served in the Staffordshire Yeomanry
Staffordshire Yeomanry
The Staffordshire Yeomanry was a unit of the British Army.Raised in 1794 following Prime Minister William Pitt's order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain from foreign invasion, the Staffordshire Yeomanry began as volunteer cavalry regiment. It first served overseas at the...

 and later on the staff of General Allenby, set up operations in the suburbs of Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 1924, which initially formed and organized the provision department of the Palestine Railways. He took over transporting contract to Mandate Palestine administration from two pioneering New Zealanders, Norman & Gerald Nairn, who established the first cross-desert bus service between Damascus & Baghdad following the First World War. Setting up his import and shipping headquarters in Haifa, he later sold imported English goods from the Jaffa Road store, which were then a novelty in Mandate Palestine and Syria through his two companies Spinney's Ltd., and Full-worth Ltd. , which contrasted with local merchants who only sold goods sourced from the region and were unfamiliar to the British living and serving there. His commercial position, and involvement with the Palestine Commissioner allowed him to also hold the post of a trustee for Haifa early in the Second World War. During the Second World War Rawdon Spinney also served as the Hungarian Consul General in Palestine, having moved house to Jerusalem, with two stores operated at the Spinney's (Spinney's Ltd., Haifa) Greek Colony branch, and Mamillah Road premises until 1949.
Initially Spinneys branches were located in the major regional cities frequented by British subjects via the railway line: Alexandria, Cairo, Haifa, Acre where it operated the Kabri Mineral Factory and Damascus. Since mid-1920s Haifa branch, where Spinney married Cecil Joan Glegg in 1928, and was later the President of The Haifa Rotary Club, also served as agents for Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is usually known as P&O, is a British shipping and logistics company which dated from the early 19th century. Following its sale in March 2006 to Dubai Ports World for £3.9 billion, it became a subsidiary of DP World; however, the P&O...

 Traders & Shippers Ltd. Due to interruption to railway services, on which Spinneys depended, with the start of the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine it moved its Haifa branch, from Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

 to Baghdad.

Mr Spinney joined the UK establishment when his daughter Elizabeth married John Slim, 2nd Viscount Slim
John Slim, 2nd Viscount Slim
Colonel John Douglas Slim, 2nd Viscount Slim OBE, DL, FRGS is a British peer and soldier. He is one of the 92 hereditary peers in the House of Lords, elected to remain after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999. In 1970, he succeeded to his father's title...

 in 1958 at Kyrenia, Cyprus where he had a presence since 1949.

In the 1960s Arthur Spinney retired from active participation in the managing of the stores, and died in August 1973 in Littlehampton
Littlehampton is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, on the east bank at the mouth of the River Arun. It lies south southwest of London, west of Brighton and east of the county town of Chichester....

, Sussex, where he was buried in the Crematorium.

After the 14 July Revolution
14 July Revolution
The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...

, its Baghdad store was relocated in 1961 to Dubai, UAE where it had operated since 1942 in Al Nasr Square, Deira. In later years other stores were opened across the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 region. In 1967 the first Sinneys store in Beirut was open.


In 2011, the Spinneys Group Limited is a premium supermarket retailer in the Middle East, and operates hypermarkets and supermarkets in one store in Qatar, six stores in Lebanon, three stores in Egypt, one in Jordan and through franchise agreements, 29 Spinneys stores in the UAE - 21 in Dubai, 5 in Sharjah, 2 in Abu Dhabi, 1 in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. In 2007, the chain announced an "aggressive expansion" programme across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region. Since 2006 Spinneys Group CEO is Michael Wright.

Plans to open two hypermarkets in Libya, one at end 2011, and one at end 2012, have been halted due to the 2011 Libyan uprising. Ambitious plans to open many stores spanning from the Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 to Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, including 12 stores in Egypt by 2012 have been called into question due to the ongoing 2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests
2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests
The Arab Spring , otherwise known as the Arab Awakening, is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Saturday, 18 December 2010...


External links

Lebanon°N date=December 2010°W
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