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Sun 27 Mar 2011 08:01 AM

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Ain’t no mountain high enough

The only way is up for HRH Prince Alwaleed, writes Anil Bhoyrul

Ain’t no mountain high enough

So there he is, at the very top again. For Prince Alwaleed, this is the seventh successive year that he has topped our Power List charts. Interestingly, for the last seven years only three men have always featured in the top ten: Prince Alwaleed, Sheikh Ahmed and Mohammed Alabbar.

So what makes them so powerful, so special – and in effect, so much better than the rest?

This year, we asked the man himself, in a video created during our most recent interview with His Highness in the Saudi desert last September.

In this video, I ask him whether he can measure success. He says a firm no. There is, for the prince, “no mountain top.” Or as he puts it; “The moment you reach the top you can only go down. And I am not planning to go down.”

This incredible passion and drive for greater achievement, no matter how many billions he has already made, is what makes HRH stand out from the crowd, and why I have little doubt he will top the power list for many years to come.

It is also the same reason I suspect that both Mohammed Alabbar and Sheikh Ahmed will also feature highly in our list for a long time to come. At the risk of name dropping, I have been lucky enough to interview both Sheikh Ahmed and Alabbar on several occasions. Each time, I have left the interview energised, inspired, and so in awe of the way these guys operate. Like Prince Alwaleed, they never stop and think; ‘Job done, let’s put our feet up now.’

It is an extraordinary quality that is seen very rarely. Such is human nature that most of us do measure success, and once we get to that point - if we ever do - we are more than satisfied.

But is Alabbar satisfied having built the world’s tallest tower? Actually, no, I bet he wants to do it again, and even bigger. Is Sheikh Ahmed content to have built the world’s third biggest airline from scratch? I reckon not. He wants to be number one.

And is Prince Alwaleed about to relax now that he has a multi-billion dollar empire and a remarkable global philanthropic organisation? No way, never.

To see the full Arabian Business Power 500, click here

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