1. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud
Eight years of the Arabian Business Power List, and eight years in the top slot for Prince Alwaleed. Profits at his Kingdom Holding Company for Q1 this year surged 11.3% to $26.8m, boosted by the sales of its stake in Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel and its share of the Oasis Kingdom project in Riyadh.
The group is one of world’s largest and most diversified private investment companies with holdings in a large number of Saudi Arabian, Middle Eastern and international companies. Today, Kingdom Holding Company, of which he owns 95 percent, covers 39 investments in seven sectors. It is the largest foreign investor in the US, with stakes in the likes of News Corporation, Time Warner, Apple and Citi. Regionally, major players from Samba Financial Group to Savola all have the KHC stamp on their shareholdings.
But despite so much success, there is no sign of the prince slowing down, with the last 12 months witnessing phenomenal growth. He announced plans to construct the world’s tallest building, the Kingdom Tower, in Jeddah. In the next year, he will also roll out his own 24-hour news channle, Alarab, based in Bahrain, which will directly compete with the likes of Al Jazeera and Sky News Arabia. And he continues to be one of the globe’s most prolific philanthropists, having donated more than $3bn to good causes.