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Sun 2 Aug 2009 06:00 AM

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30 under 30

CEO Middle East profiles 30 of the Arab world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, age 30 and under.

30 under 30

CEO Middle East profiles 30 of the Arab world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, age 30 and under.


Click here to view the 30 under 30 List>>


Is youth really wasted on the young? Not if you’re judging the entrants in CEO Middle East’s first ever 30 under 30 list it isn’t. Their grandparents might have founded the modern Arab world but our list proves that the next generation of Arab leaders is as keen to continue its legacy.

There are of course a few familiar names such as Ayman Hariri and his younger brother Fahd, two of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri’s five children. While both could have easily sat back and enjoyed their multi-billion inheritance — no Rich List would be complete without at least one Hariri name — the brothers have each opted to forge ahead in their own careers, proving that their late father’s business flair does indeed run in the blood.

But there are also some more unfamiliar names. Take Sami Khoreibi as an example. At just 29 years old this UAE national is already CEO of his third company, Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena, having successfully set up two companies, one of which listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange when he was just 25.

Khoreibi isn’t alone in his commercial success. 25-year-old Abdulrahman Bin Ismail Tarabzouni manages to juggle his responsibilities of being CEO of Mubadiroon, a Saudi-based hybrid venture capital fund and incubator for start-ups, with performing his duties as Master of Ceremonies at Saudi Aramco’s 75th anniversary. It’s all in a day’s work for our 30 under 30.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

MA 11 years ago

Coming from the west, I'm used to rags-to-riches, and triumph in the face of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Most of the people on this list are children of obscenely wealthy parents (Hardly difficult to become MD of daddy's company, or get 2 mln seed capital when your family has 400 mln). Kind of depressing, really...Dont know about you guys, but I dont care to read the life story of someone born into wealth and who stayed wealthy. Its the Icanns, the Buffets, the Obamas of this world who are actually interesting - Ivanka Trump (and her regional brethren) are simply filler for tabloids.

Sabri Hakim 11 years ago

There is no relevance in the names and accomplishments achieved by these individuals. This is random list of 30 successful people in the Arab world

Kaptain 11 years ago

..and they are trying to spoon feed and digest their successes which are again pseudo-imposed. Great leaders and Business Tycoons did it at early ages, starting in their teens selling either vegetables or Newspapers or selling pens. But they had their script already written 10 years before they were born. They can't emulate / eulogise with common man and hence cannot understand how to buy loyalties. Well said MA, stories like Agha Hassan Abidi, BEST WAY Cement are just some of those numerous examples who rose to riches from unending oblivious poverty.

RAK 11 years ago

I agree with MA. I didn't go thru the whole list, but my sampling of 10 of them indicated that 100% of them are born into rich families. Wow! They must have worked very hard to do that!

Hanan 11 years ago

I agree with all your comments however, I would like to highlight another perspective to the subject. Let's take a look at rich people's children around the world and judge those that have wasted their lives and parents money and didn't accomplish a thing worth mentioning. Then you'll see that these people would still stand out from the crowd. I think what I'm trying to say here is to not compare them with self built people but compare them with their likes and you'll find that they deserve some credit. Just my opinion.

khatri irfan 11 years ago

Most of the work for their success is usually done by their parents, guardians and existing executives & managers of their companies. They get everything spoon fed, hence they only have to endorse decissions taken by the others in their own name. However they have the moral right to enjoi the riches of their parents. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work.

Mohamed Saeed 11 years ago

I believe this list in way shows who are the true players of the next generation!This list really shows that no effort was put into making this list. What happened to the ALJabers,Futtaims,Habtoors,Gosaibi's,Mikati?all under 30 and have alot more impact than the people listed.

hexchrome 11 years ago

if i was born in Hariri family and i am a CEO what is fun in this ?! where the achievement! Guys .. get us stories on self made and young CEO's and Founders.. for example .. my boss is the founder of fully fledged company which operates in 2 countries, he started by nothing and now he run a firm with more then 100 employee .. and he is still under 26! this is an interesting story to be told and to inspire young people ..

X 11 years ago

This is in response to any of the comments that more or less were stereotypical towards the names listed as Arab leaders. It is in fact true than many of the people on the list may have been born into affluent families, however claiming that they have been 'spoon - fed' and mocking their 'hard work' is purely out of reason. Ask yourselves this; if the money they have been born into had such an affect on the way they lived their lives; why for one second would they think of working? establishing relations and companies? & working hard not to only be accepted but to thrive through the first class universities they have been enrolled in? In reference to your subjective and with all due respect ignorant comments, being called an Arab leader would solely have no value to them if they thought that money could get them any where they wanted in life. Quite uninspiring? I don't think so, people in the west may be used to the rags-to-riches stories, but where have the children of the rich and elite ended up? on the tabloids of all the gossip magazines as being the party animals that they have grown to be ? Sorry, but Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and these children of 'obscenely wealthy parents' in the West are incomparable to the people who made the Arab leaders list and the achievements they have made this list. Your right when it comes to prominent leaders of the modern day such as Warren Buffet, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama; their stories are admirable and inspiring. However just because these Arab leaders were born into a family of success does not mean what they have done over the course of their lives is not well-earned. This list might not be accurate, up to date and as precise as it should be; but looking over the accomplishments each individual has made, every name on the list deserves to recognized as an Arab leader.

Sarah 11 years ago

I completely agree with stereotypical much. These leaders would have had to work hard in university to get where they are and you have to be smart to run a business. I'm 22 and working as a journalist - I worked my way up without any help but that does not mean that rich young people do not have to work hard too. Plenty of millionaires do not have to work simply because they don't have to. These Arab leaders have decided to work anyway - lazy? I don't think so!