The Abela family is part of the royal family of Spain. Ávila (called Abela by the Romans) is the capital of the Ávila province (where Saint Teresa, Doctor of the Church, is born), part of Castile and León, the largest autonomous community of Spain. The Abela family is also a noble family of Malta and a reputable family of Lebanon.
George Abela was unanimously elected President of the Republic of Malta by the Maltese Parliament in 2009, for the first time since the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom. His term ended in 2014.
“Abela Frères” was established in 1927 as a family owned firm importing and distributing pharmaceutical products in Lebanon and the Middle East.
In 1941, Robert Abela founded in Lebanon the Syndicate of Press Editors (“Syndicat des rédacteurs de presse”) and became its first president. He also acquired the papers “Al-Zaman” and “Al-Bachir”.
In 1948, along with his brothers Joe Abela and Edwin Abela, Albert Abela founded in Lebanon a major-league catering international group including various forms of catering, from life support services and food processing to transportation: supplying in-flight meals but also catered in airports (such as the airports of Beirut, Dubai, Heathrow, Gatwick, Athens, Sharjah, Bucharest and Sofia), in hospitals, in nursing homes, in hotels (in France Monaco, London and Egypt), in organizations (such as the United Nations United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia, ESCWA, in Lebanon), in schools, in universities, in onshore and offshore oilfields and in event and hospitality catering. The group has also invested worldwide in the field of high-end leisure: acquisitions of several four- and five-star hotels in Egypt, the United Kingdom, France (Gray d’Albion in Cannes), and Monaco (L’Abela Hotel in Monaco now known as Hôtel Colombus). It also owns a significant stake of Casino du Liban, one of the largest state-owned enterprises in Lebanon and has been operating and managing it. The group has also opened, owned and managed supermarkets in Lebanon (later re-branded Monoprix after it has been rented and managed by the Lebanese operator of the brands of the Galeries Lafayette group) and in the Gulf. Operations in 40 countries (including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, India and the United Kingdom), over 15 million meals a year including meals served to air passengers of 165 airlines, 34,000 employed people, and annual turnover of $1.3 billion. In 2001, the world largest catering organization, Sodexho Alliance (today known as Sodexo), acquired two companies of the group (also one of the world largest catering organization): in France, Sogeres (60% owned by the group and 40% owned by Paribas Affaires Industrielles, BNP Paribas), a company running the catering at the Roland Garros tennis championships in Paris and holding catering contracts with French commercial television channel TF1 and the American Hospital of Paris; and, in the United States, Wood Dining Services (100% owned by the group), a company operating in 21 states and having among its clients the National Security Agency, elderly care group ManorCare and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The group was the first to handle catering on offshore drilling rigs in the North Sea. Moreover, in 1974, in joint venture with the Maltese government, the group set up Medserv Limited. In 1997, the group bought out the Maltese government stake. In 2001, AD Holdings Limited (later renamed Medserv plc) was granted options by the group to purchase the entire equity of Medserv Limited (later renamed Medserv Operations Limited), a transaction that was completed in 2003. Medserv has exclusive rights to a 200-metre-long, deep water quay at the Malta Freeport, with an additional 5,000 square metres of adjacent land area and laydown facilities extending to 50,000 square metres within the Malta Freeport confines. Medserv offers a variety of services to oil and gas offshore operators, with the company’s main focus being on industry activity within North Africa and the Mediterranean basin. Aside from its Malta base, Medserv also has operations in Cyprus, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iraq and Libya.
Since 1995, Gilbert Abela has opened several restaurants in Beirut, Lebanon such as Julia’s (at Monnot street and then at Sursock street, with Albertino Abela), Claudia’s (at Abdel Wahab el-Inglizi street), Way’s Café (at Place Sassine, with André Fayad), “Restaurant-Diner” (former “Le Coffee”, at Monnot street), Bar Tabac (former “French Cofé”, at Sodeco area) and, Casa del Gelato (at Independence street, with André Fayad).
In 2001, Marlon Abela founded in Mayfair, London a group which owns and operates a worldwide portfolio across London and the east coast of the United States including the two-Michelin-starred Greenhouse, Mayfair, the two-Michelin-starred Umu, Mayfair and the two-Michelin-starred The Square, Mayfair; Morton’s Private Members’ Club, Mayfair; Green’s Restaurant, St James’s; O. W. Loeb Wine Merchants (known for specialising in Burgundy, Rhône and German wines), Tower Bridge; MARC Fine Wines (120,000 bottles of fine wine in stock), Mayfair; MARC Patisserie & Bakery, Perivale; A Voce, Madison Square Park, New York; A Voce, Time Warner Center, Colombus Circus, New York; Morello Bistro (formerly Gaia), Greenwich, Connecticut; Bistro du Midi, Boston, Massachusetts; and, Cassis Bistro, South Kensington, London.