1. Sir Tim Clark
Two weeks ago, Emirates Airline reported another astonishing set of figures, with profits up by 42.5 percent to $887m in the last financial year. So it’s no surprise to see Tim Clark, who was knighted at the beginning of 2014 by the Queen for “services to British prosperity and the aviation industry”, retain his top place in this year’s Brit List. Sir Tim has been an ever-present member of the Emirates management team since the airline was founded in 1985 and is an able assistant to Emirates Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Having previously worked at British Caledonian and Bahrain’s Gulf Air, Sir Tim leveraged his experience in conjunction with Dubai’s strategic location, and oversaw Emirates’ expansion into the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic on the back of one the strongest international networks of any carrier. During his tenure, the carrier has been involved in some of the largest plane orders of all time, including a mammoth $99bn order for Boeing and Airbus aircraft at the Dubai Airshow last year.
The London University economics graduate became president of the carrier in 2003 after spending 18 years helping build an aviation empire. Clark is the chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation, a non-profit charity that he helped found, which provides humanitarian, philanthropic aid and services for children in need around the world. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Twenty years ago the Dubai-based business tycoon watched his parents flee the Rwanda genocide having lost everything — again. Today, the company he started to help get his family back on their feet is a monstrous conglomerate in 22 African countries.