Company: Gazzaz Department Stores
Country: Saudi Arabia
Wealth: 3.17 Billion
A long-term player on the Saudi business scene, 85-year-old Hussein Bakry Gazzaz is the founder of Gazzaz Department Stores.
Gazzaz launched his career after a two-year stint in the Ministry of Finance, after which he secured the rights to distribute a brand of French perfume in Saudi Arabia.
The group made its name through perfumes but soon expanded to become one of the biggest distributors of a series of luxury products — including cosmetics, gifts, leather goods, crystal and homewares — in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah-based Gazzaz has been at the forefront of luxury trading in the kingdom since 1942 and has around 35 showrooms across Saudi Arabia. Retail in the kingdom has been relatively unaffected by the financial crisis, with many Saudis’ purchasing power remaining high. Gazzaz’s stores will be banking on continued growth, even as new mall space comes into play in the next few years.