Top 10 Most Influential Arab Businessmen in the World
In the past few years, many important figures have influenced, inspired, and admired us. They also talk about musicians, performers, or activists when it comes to it. However, we overlook that, in many cases, these individuals are often entrepreneurs. Indeed, many are passionate about their determination, strength, charisma, and power. The Arab world is recognized to have many successful entrepreneurs in many industries. Let’s discover 10 of them who, by their accomplishments, have shaped the world.
Prince AlWaleed bin Talal
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia is one of the most famous businessmen in the Arab world. The 65 years old entrepreneur, with a net worth of more than US$18.7 billion, the founder and CEO of Kingdom Holding Company, is perceived to be the wealthiest individual in Saudi Arabia and listed by Forbes as the 45th richest man in the world in November 2017.
AlWaleed is known for controlling parts of private and public businesses in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States by Kingdom Holding Co. His assets comprise one of the most famous hotels in London, the Savoy in London, and the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. He is a co-owner of the Four Seasons Hotel Group with Bill Gates. He is also the owner of the luxurious Raffles Seychelles Resort.
The prince has also invested in the ride-sharing service Lyft and controls the biggest Arab entertainment firm Rotana. He also invested major contributions in Citigroup, Apple, Twitter, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
Wael Ghanim is an Egyptian computer engineer and Internet activist with interest in social entrepreneurship. He is ranked as the 2nd most successful businessmen in the Arab world, as revealed in Arabian Business’ definitive list. He is the co-founder and CEO of Parlio, a new social networking platform for political participation that promotes civility. Wael spent six years as the marketing manager of Google, responsible for promoting the creation of Google products around the world and converting the usage of the Internet and increasing Arabic content in the region. He was named for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, elected one of Time 100’s most prominent, and received the JFK Profile of Courage Award. Also, he was recognized as a “keyboard freedom fighter” as he used the influence of social media and the Internet to battle for social justice, democracy, and civil rights in Egypt. He is the creator of the “Tahrir Academy,” a non-profit online information sharing platform for Arab youth.
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
HH Sheik Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Holding, has been at the center of Dubai’s phenomenal economic growth, for more than 25 years, for the productive expansion of aviation and, more recently, for the development of formulating economic, financial and fiscal policies and strategies to promote the emirate’s overarching vision.
Sheik Ahmed has been viewed as a powerful, effective business leader since 1985 when he was appointed President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and President of the newly founded Emirates Airline. He is now the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and the Group, including Dnata – the world’s largest travel services and ground handling business, providing aviation-related services.
Wadah Khanfar, a Palestinian businessman, operating in the media industry, is the President of the Al Sharq Forum, an independent network devoted to the implementation of long-term policies for the democratic growth, social justice, and economic empowerment of the citizens of the Middle East. Earlier, he served as the director-general of Al Jazeera Television Network.
Mishal Hamed Kanoo
Mishal Hamed Kanoo, one of Bahrain’s most emblematic Middle East business figures, is the chairman of Kanoo Group, one of the largest, longest-running, autonomous family-owned group of companies in the Gulf region. He has been featured in various publications and is listed in ‘Top 100 Powerful Arabs 2013’ and ‘The 15 Most Wealthy Arab Businessmen in the World 2012,’ among others.
Jawad Ahmad Bukhamseen
Jawad Ahmad Bukhamseen is a prosperous and well-known businessman in Kuwait, Arab and international countries in a variety of fields. His most notable contributions include the development of a variety of banks, industrial entities, real estate companies, construction firms, and many ventures inside and outside Kuwait. He is the Chairman and Founder of Bukhamseen Group Holding, which was established in 1957 and is now one of the largest financial and industrial companies in Kuwait.
Said Khoury was a Palestinian billionaire, mostly known for the establishment of the Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC). He was regarded as the construction giant of the Middle East and was ranked 10th in the most recent Arabian Business list of the wealthiest Arabs in the country, with a fortune valued at $7 billion. His company (CCC) is officially listed in the top 25 international contractors and the biggest construction business in the Middle East. It works in 40 countries, with more than 130,000 workers with a yearly turnover of $5 billion.
Elie Saab is a fashion designer from Lebanon. His main workshop is in Beirut, with additional facilities in Milan and Paris. Around the beginning of the 1980s, he started his fashion journey, specializing in bride couture. He was the first Arab to be appointed to the fashion sector’s governing body, Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair is the CEO of the oldest bank in UAE, Mashreq, and a member of the Board of Directors of Abdullah Al Ghurair, one of the largest and most stable business companies in the Middle East. Their operations cover more than 20 countries, and their company roots’ experience stretches around 50 years. Since the foundation of Mashreq Bank, he has also founded the public joint-stock company Emaar. Al Ghurair held numerous posts, both in government and industry, and had an influence both regionally and globally. Since the foundation of Mashreq Bank, he has also founded the public joint-stock company Emaar.
Carlos Ghosn is a Lebanese businessman who has long been recognized as one of the world’s top automotive producers. He was the president of Nissan and French automaker, Renault. He has also received the label “Le Cost Killer” for the closing of works and the dismissal of many employees. However, he was credited with modernizing Nissan by getting it back from the verge of collapse by creating what was then the world’s biggest vehicle group.
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