Power is an invisible energy, measured not by the person, but by his or her actions. There is no one specific way to demonstrate power as so ably shown by each and every individual on the fourth annual Gulf Business Top 100 ranking of the world’s most powerful Arabs.
Each of these personalities has shaped the Arab World in their own unique way, some using the influence of their vast wealth and others just the strength and courage of their convictions.
The top 10 included:
Prince Al waleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Al-Saud, founder and chairman of Saudi’s Kingdom Holding Company, has topped the annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful Arabs for the fourth consecutive year this time. The second position was held by Sheikh Ahmaed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates/Emirates NBD. Sheikh Ahmed, whose many hats include chairman of Emirates, flydubai, Dubai Airports and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority is sure to be pleased with the performance of his many aviation responsibilities this year.
Third position was held by Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister of Saudi Arabia who arguably wields greater power and influence than ever before with the current level of oil prices.
Eight Kuwaitis, including three women, were also among the 100 most powerful Arabs list. Mohammed Al- Shaya, Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Company, is the top Kuwaiti and ranked 28th overall on the list. Coming in second among Kuwaitis is Suad Al-Humaidi, businesswoman and President of the Suad Al-Humaidi Group. She is listed 45th overall. Bader Al-Kharafi, Vice President of M.A. Kharafi Group, is the third most powerful Kuwaiti according to the list, where he is listed 47th overall.
M.A. Kharafi is a powerful business with an annual turnover of $5 billion. Regarded as a pillar of the Kuwaiti economy, the conglomerate has interests in 25 countries across multiple sectors including banking, manufacturing, construction and food, with more than 120,000 employees.
Other Kuwaitis included in the list were Omar Al-Ghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries, who is listed on the 58th position, Bader Al-Saad, Managing Director of Kuwait Investment Authority, listed 68th overall, and Marwan Boodai, CEO, Managing Director and Chairman of Boodai Group and Maha Al-Ghunaim, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of GIH, is the eighth most powerful Kuwaiti respectively according to the list. She is listed 93rd overall in the list.
This year’s list saw 24 new entrants, including Emirati female Fighter Pilot Major Mariam Al Mansouri, who was ranked among the top 10. Overall, women accounted for 17 entries on the list this year. Sector-wise, Arabs in finance made up 23 percent of the Top 100, down from 26 per cent last year, while industry and real estate were the next biggest sectors at 13 and 11 percent respectively. In terms of positions held, the majority – 40 – are chairpersons, while 23 of the most powerful Arabs are CEOs.
Not surprisingly, most of the entrants on the list originate from Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom accounting for 28 percent of world’s most powerful Arabs. The UAE came second with 25 percent, and Qatar rounded off the top three countries, with 15 percent of the entries.