Company: Saudi Binladin Group
Country: Saudi Arabia
As chairman of the Jeddah-based Saudi Binladin Group, Bakr Binladin holds considerable influence in the construction world. Despite the region’s stuttering construction sector, he has managed to expand the business. The firm was founded by Bakr’s father, Mohammed Binladin, in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah in the 1950s. The group has since grown into one of the kingdom’s largest companies, and was entrusted by the royal court with expanding holy sites in Mecca and Medina.
The Binladin construction group has also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for members of the Saudi Royal family, and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. A major power broker in the Saudi business capital, Bakr tends to keep a low profile. Still, his reputation precedes him. “We have a mayor and all kinds of political heavyweights. But the true ruler of Jeddah is Bakr Binladin,” a source said.