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1.HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud
\nThe rapid rise in the price of KHC stock means that the Prince’s 95 percent stake in the Company, together with his private assets, which include real estate and other local, regional and international assets, and Rotana, which is 80 percent owned by the Prince, now bring his total wealth to $25.9bn. It also places the prince in pole position for the eighth year in succession.
\nBut arguably, the past twelve months have been amongst his very best. By early December Kingdom Holding shares registered a remarkable 147 percent rise over the previous twelve months.
\nKingdom Holding is active in thirteen sectors; financial services; real estate; hotel management; hotel real estate; aviation; petrochemicals; media and publishing; entertainment; private equity; healthcare and education; consumer and retail; agriculture, and various African investments.
\nSecond-quarter results for this year show a net profit of SR178.9m ($47.70m), compared to SR163.5m in the same period a year earlier. That equates to a 9.4 percent rise, while first-quarter profits went up 11.3 percent, thanks in part to the sales of its stake in Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel and its share of the Oasis Kingdom project in Riyadh.
\nBut it’s the Prince’s key investments that have made a huge difference, including a 34 percent jump this year in News Corp’s share price, a company in which he holds a 7 percent stake. Kingdom Holding also made a $300m investment in Twitter last year, which sources suggest equates to around 4 percent of the company.
\nAs in previous years, our estimate for the Prince’s total wealth has been verified by his private office.
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2.The Olayan Family
\nThis year marks the 65th anniversary of one of the most well-respected firms in the Gulf. The Olayan Group owns more than 50 companies, with hefty stakes in various multinationals and blue-chip names such as Credit Suisse, in which it upped its stake from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent in 2009 Its multi-billion-dollar portfolio is spread over continents including North America, Europe, Asia and, of course, the Middle East.
\nEstablished in 1947, the Olayan Group began as a trucking concern. In 1954 its founder, Suleiman Olayan, launched General Trading Company (GTC), the group’s food and consumer distribution business and was instrumental in bringing commercial insurance to Saudi, founding Arab Commercial Enterprises — which went on to become the region’s largest insurance and reinsurance broker.
\nSuleiman, who died in 2002, played a key role in developing Saudi Arabia's earliest electrical power companies, and also founded the country's first public utility, the National Gas Company.In the 1960s, Suleiman extended his business empire, adding interests in paper, cold storage and meat processing, and the manufacturing of pipes and fittings. Suleiman is survived by his son Khaled and his three daughters - Hayat, Hutham and Lubna.
\nThis year, the Olayan Group put its faith in the King Abdullah Economic City project by purchasing four plots of land on the gigantic site just north of Jeddah.
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3.Mohammed Al Amoudi (left)
\nThere’s no sign of 67-year-old Mohammed Al Amoudi letting up – only this October he signed a deal with an Italian firm to build an $800m steel factory in Ethiopia.
\nOne of the Arab world’s most successful businessmen, Al Amoudi’s father is Hadhrami Yemeni and his mother is Ethiopian. He immigrated to Saudi Arabia in 1965 and became a Saudi citizen. His wife is Sofia Saleh Al Amoudi who is a shareholder of Midroc Construction.
\nHe is said to be the largest foreign investor in both Sweden and Ethiopia. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the Addis Ababa University and has been honoured with the Order of the Polar Star by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
\nAl Amoudi made his first fortune in construction and real estate before branching out into buying oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden — where he was honoured with the Royal Swedish Order of the North Star by King Carl XVI — and his native Ethiopia. His holding and operating companies, Corral Group and the Midroc Group, employ more than 40,000 people. Corral Group has an investment portfolio in Europe and the Middle East that includes Preem Petroleum, the largest integrated petroleum firm in Sweden, Svenska Petroleum & Exploration, SAMIR, Naft Services Company (Saudi Arabia) and Fortuna Holdings (Lebanon).
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4.The Sawiris Family
\nThe aggregated wealth of the Sawiris family - a scion of Egypt's most successful Coptic business house - has surged over the years since Onsi, the patriarch of the family handed over the reins to Naguib his eldest son and two brothers Nassef and Samih. They took over and expanded the Orascom conglomerate into a telecommunications, construction, real estate, hotel and development business.
\nNaguib, 58, launched the first mobile operator in Egypt, Mobinil in 1998, was executive chairman of the telecommunications companies Wind Telecom and Orascom Telecom Holding (manages 11 GSM operators around the world) and launched Koryolink, the first mobile operator in North Korea in 2008. Naguib turned to politics as a wave of protests swept Egypt overthrowing longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
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6.The Kharafi Family
\nTwo years on from the death of the head of the Kharafi family, Nasser Al Kharafi, Kuwait’s biggest private business is going strong. Nasser Al Kharafi’s younger brother, Mohannad, took the reins of the firm alongside Jassim, Nasser, Fawzi and other family members.
\nEstablished in 1956, MA Kharafi and Sons is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and has operations in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tanzania, Botswana, Cairo, Kenya, the Maldives, Abu Dhabi and Albania. A diversified conglomerate, the group also oversees stakes, through the Americana food division, in various high-profile American eateries, and has the exclusive franchise rights in the Middle East for fast food brands including KFC, Wimpy, TGI Friday’s, Cadbury’s, Pizza Hut and Saint Cinnamon. He is also the largest individual stakeholder of popular doughnut company Krispy Kreme.
\nThe empire also spans sectors including construction, manufacturing, an airline and investments that include Kuwait’s leading financial institutions and other companies listed on the stock exchange. With an annual turnover of over $4bn, the MA Kharafi Group now operates in more than 25 countries around the world and has more than 100,000 employees.
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7.The Binladin Family
\nAs Saudi government spending keeps rising, so do the fortunes of the Gulf’s most prominent family construction empire. Last year, the Binladin Group won deals to construct Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Tower and the expansion of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Between then the contracts are worth over $20bn. Adding to those deals was a bumper contract to help build the first phase of the Haramain railway link.
\nThe family fortune is based on a construction business that paid immense dividends when decades ago it was awarded contracts for major renovations at Mecca and other religious buildings in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Founded by Mohammed Binladin, the family also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for the royal family and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Salem, Mohammed’s eldest son, ran the empire left behind by his father upon his death in 1968 until he died when his private plane crashed in Texas in 1988.
\nMohammed left 54 sons and daughters from several marriages. Thirteen of his sons sit on the board of the family’s firm — the most prominent being Bakr, Hassan, Islam and Yehya. Bakr, Mohammed’s second son, succeeded Salem at the head of the firm, which employs tens of thousands of people across the region.
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9.Said Khoury (right)
\nSaid Khoury is renowned as much for his business acumen as his passionate support of the Palestinain cause. He chairs the Palestinian Businessmen’s Association, he’s governor of Arab Monetary Fund and he’s a major shareholder in the Arab Palestinian Investment Company. But of course none of this would have been possible without his enormous commercial success. With cousin Hasib Sabbagh, in 1952 he founded Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), one of the first Arab construction companies.
\nThe company sees sales of $4bn a year and manages projects in 40 countries, with a focus on Middle East and North Africa. Born in Safad, Palestine, Khoury moved to Lebanon in 1948 after the Arab-Israeli war and got his first job helping to build Tripoli Airport. He is now based in Athens. CCC has built landmark projects in everything from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison (built in 1969, before the ascent of Saddam Hussein to the presidency of the country), to the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.
\nThe company has undertaken major projects in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Africa and the Gulf. The success of CCC is rooted in the early 1960s, with Sabbagh and Khoury securing a contract related to oil pipe storage facilities for the Iraq Petroleum Company, which entailed working with the Bechtel Group, the world’s largest construction company. That deal cemented a long and lasting relationship between CCC and Bechtel and it defined CCC’s scale of operations across the world.
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10.Mohammed Al Jaber
\nBorn in 1959 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Issa Al Jaber has built the MBI Group over the past 30 years into major international companies. In 1982, he established his first major endeavour in Saudi Arabia where he founded Jadawel International Construction & Development.
\nWithin twelve years Jadawel ranked seventeenth largest privately owned company in the country. JJW Hotels & Resorts was established in 1989 in Portugal and is now the owner-operator of more than 60 hotel and leisure resorts in Europe and the Middle East.
\nAl Jaber has funded scholarship programmes at some of the world’s finest educational institutions through his own MBI Al Jaber Foundation — and the alumni family now extends beyond 1,000. He is also the founder of the London Middle East Institute.
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12.Abdulaziz Al Ghurair
\nLast week’s announcement that a number of Dubai-based lenders were being downgraded by ratings agency Moody’s has put a slight dent in what has been an optimistic year for the emirate. One of those banks - Mashreqbank is the cornerstone of Abdulaziz Al Ghurair’s business empire, and despite last week’s blip, the lender is in good hands. Al Ghurair is CEO of the bank, which he started from scratch with $1.6m of capital during the oil boom in the 1960s, and which is the country’s fourth-largest by assets. The lender was the first bank to introduce ATM machines and credit cards to the emirates, and is now in expansionist mode.
\nAbdulaziz is also one of the founders of the property giant Emaar, and is a former speaker of the UAE’s Federal National Council. He remains a fervent proponent of national identity in the country. The family legacy can be traced back to Ahmad Al Ghurair who founded Al Ghurair Group in 1960. The family name has been a fixture within the UAE business community ever since. Ahmad Al Ghurair passed on his legacy to his sons Saif, Abdulla, Majid, Marwan and Jomaa. Until the 1990s Al Ghurair Group was led by Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair. This corporation was formed in 1960. In the 1990s, Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair and Abdulla Al Ghurair embarked upon creating two unique yet complementing diversified industrial groups. This decision led to the creation of Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair Group (now the Al Ghurair Group) and Abdulla Al Ghurair Group.
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\nThe biggest family firm in Bahrain, the Kanoo Group has now been in existence for over 120 years. Established in Bahrain in 1890 by Haji Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo, it has grown from its early trading and shipping business to become one of the most diversified and highly regarded business houses in the Gulf region and beyond. After the death of chairman and CEO Abdulla Ali Kanoo two years, Yusuf Ahmed Kanoo has stepped up to take the top role in the organisation.
\nMishal Kanoo, one of the region’s most recognisable executives, remains as deputy chairman. It now has fourteen divisions in total, and employs 4,000 staff, with another 6,000 employed in its various joint venture operations. The company’s joint venture division was established over 25 years ago and has been linked to high profile names such as Axa Insurance, Norwich Union Insurance, Maersk, BASF, Johnson Arabia, Freightworks, British Standards Institution, Infineum (Exxon/Shell), Halliburton, Akzo Nobel, Thales, and Amec Plc.
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\nPalestinian Lebanese businessman Toufic Aboukhater who resides in Monaco is a self made man, has stakes in has stakes in oil, transport and manufacturing companies. The reclusive businessman started out working for Royal Dutch Shell, before going on to develop strong relationships in the Gulf and UAE, building one of the first cement factories in Ras Al Khaimah. In early 2011, Aboukhater, who previously owned the Grand hotel in Monte Carlo and the Dorchester in London, purchased, through his company Mansion Services, seven hotels branded by InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, including the Carlton hotel on the Croisette boulevard in the French Riviera town of Cannes for about 450m euros. The seven hotels had changed hands several times before the purchase and had a valuation at one point of as much as 634m euros. Aboukhater sold the Carlton at the end of 2011 for 450m euros to a Qatari investor.
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17.Majid Al Futtaim
\nThe man who introduced shopping malls and hypermarkets to the region, Majid Al Futtaim has built an empire that is growing in line with the current boom in Gulf retail. Having established his company in 1992, Al Futtaim is most famous for building some of the emirate’s largest shopping malls and leisure centres, which have acted as a magnet for both consumers and retail businesses, and attract over 120 million visitors each year.
\nAl Futtaim opened his first shopping mall in 1995, City Centre in Dubai, and in September 2005 he opened the jewel in the company’s crown, the Mall of the Emirates. One of the largest shopping resorts outside North America, it is home to the five-star Kempinski and one of the world’s first indoor ski resorts. Majid Al Futtaim Holding, which also owns regional franchise rights for the French hypermarket chain Carrefour in 19 countries, is spending billions in expanding its portfolio of eleven malls in the region, by adding sites in Cairo and Beirut. Last week, the firm also announced that it was further diversifying its revenue stream into healthcare.
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21.The Gargash Family
\nWith an array of impressive and widespread interests in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf, the Emirates-based Gargash clan is well known in the business world. In the automobile sector, the Gargash family is the sole agent for Mercedes Benz in Dubai through Gargash Enterprises, whilst elsewhere, it is also involved in electronics, real estate, insurance, industrial development and construction. And, despite the turbulent economic climate, the growing Gargash empire continues to be prosperous. Founded in the last decade of the nineteenth century, the firm, which was built on the back of Abdul Gafour and his nephews, quickly emerged from a small body led by the late Ali Haji Abdulla Awazi Gargash, to one of the region’s leading trading houses today. Shehab Gargash has been particularly successful running Daman Investments, founded in 2000 and managing assets close to $1.4bn.
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\nWhile it’s been a tough year for Saad Hariri personally – he broke his leg while skiing in France in January – he will take solace in the fact that his investments are still performing admirably. Married with three children, Saudi-born businessman and politician Hariri is the wealthiest in his family, and a huge achiever in the Arab world. After graduating from the McDonough School of Business, he continued to meet the family’s high expectations, and in November 2009, at the age of 40, was sworn in as Lebanon’s prime minister.
\nRaised in Saudi Arabia, Saad managed part of Rafiq Hariri’s business until his father’s assassination in 2005, when he returned home to follow him into politics and became an elected Member of Parliament (MP). As the general manager of Saudi Oger — the family’s $9bn construction company — he had huge success winning large projects, and helping build the company up to what it is today. But never one to put all his eggs in one basket, Hariri currently holds large stakes in a number of large firms. Solidere, for example, has rebuilt much of Beirut. Following the downturn, he admitted to revising the value of his construction portfolio, but has continued to push forward with a view to emerging from the recession successfully.
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\nRafiq Hariri’s eldest son, Bahaa, chose not to follow his father’s path into politics and instead forged his own career in business. He currently resides in Geneva, and derives the bulk of his fortune from investment management. Other sectors include real estate development and logistics. His real estate arm, Horizon Development, focuses on commercial projects in Jordan and Lebanon.
\nHorizon Development is a major shareholder in the Abdali Investment and Development Company, responsible for the development of a 20 million sq ft mixed-use project in Amman, worth about $5bn. Hariri is a major stakeholder in Globe Express Services (Overseas Group), which is ranked among the top 100 logistics providers globally. He is a Boston University graduate. As the eldest son of the late Lebanese premier, Rafiq Hariri, Bahaa has made considerable efforts to continue his father’s legacy. Part of that drive has included sponsorship of the Atlantic Council’s Rafiq Hariri Centre for the Middle East, a body that seeks to bind the region’s political and economic ties with the transatlantic nations.
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\nSaudi-based Mohammad Kamal Jamjoom is the head of the Jamjoom Group, and one of many business pioneers to carry the Jamjoom name. Under his leadership, the family firm continues to strive ahead, not only as one of the wealthiest, but also as one of the most well respected business conglomerates in the kingdom. With over a hundred years of history, the group’s shiniest beacon is the Jeddah Trident Hotel, an associate of Oberoi Hotels. Its subsidiaries include Jamjoom Vehicles and Equipment, Jamjoom Metal Industries, Jamjoom Motors, Jamjoom General Agencies, Depot Pharmaceutique du Moyen Orient, Jamjoom Medicine Store and Jamjoom Pharma, many of which have been pillars of Saudi industry for longer than 40 years.
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27.The Shoman Family
\nIt’s been a difficult year for the Shoman family, one of the most famous Arab families in the region. In August, Abdel Hamid Shoman resigned as chairman of Arab Bank, thus ending an 80-year family association with one of the Middle East’s largest lenders. As far back as 1930, Abdul Hameed Shoman (Abdel Hamid’s grandfather) founded the bank on the meager amount of 15,000 Palestinian pounds, and with just seven investors, and still managed to secure the company a strong future. Aided by his son, it wasn’t long before Shoman shifted the bank’s HQ to Amman after the ‘Nakba’, whereupon the company began building out its operation with impressive speed. While the Shomans have slowly sold off their stake in Arab Bank, from 18 percent to 6 percent, they are not believed to be interested in selling off their interest completely.
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\nFor Adel Aujan, 2012 will always be remembered as the year when his drinks empire – Aujan Industries – passed its $1bn a year sales target. Not that 2011 was a bad year either; this time last year, Aujan was unveiling a colossal deal to sell a minority stake in his firm to Coca Cola for a sliver under $1bn. Not content with leading the Gulf’s biggest privately owned beverage company, Aujan Industries, the chairman of the firm has been aggressively growing his offerings to different markets.
\nAujan’s juice brand, Rani, is Iran’s best-selling beverage and is planning to add to its three factories by putting a facility in Iraq, politics permitting. In 2008, Aujan Industries nailed a target to deliver $500m in revenue twelve months ahead of its five-year schedule. The firm has tripled its sales since 2004 and is on track to double them again by 2014. Vimto, just one of its brands, has been a leading fixture on Gulf dining tables during Ramadan for time immemorial. Sales of Vimto in the MENA region topped 30 million bottles last year for the first time, with Ramadan pushing sales growth up by more than 20 percent year-on-year. Hand in hand with sales growth goes infrastructure investment and Aujan is ramping up investment in key facilities, including a $150m plant in Iran.
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29.Al Ghanim Family
\nKuwait’s third entry in the top 10 comes in the form of the Al Ghanim family. This year, we have ranked the members of the clan together, which explains their position as a new entry on the 2012 Rich List. Among the members are Bassam, who is reportedly splitting from the rest of the family’s business interests, plus Kutayba and Omar. Al Ghanim Industries was launched in its modern format by Yusuf Ahmed Al Ghanim, who returned to Kuwait in 1932 after studying overseas.
\nYusuf completely revitalised the firm, signing a deal with General Motors to bring the brand into Kuwait. Further deals have \tbeen signed with some of the world’s biggest companies, including Samsung, Nokia, Toshiba, Xerox and Hitachi. Outside the family business, Al Ghanim Industries also holds a sizeable stake in Gulf Bank, one of the country’s biggest lenders.
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30.The Hayek Family
\nThe money just keeps on coming for the two most prominent members of the Hayek family, who run by far the world’s largest watchmaking company. Sales at Swatch are predicted to come in at roughly $8.6bn this year. The firm is led by chairwoman Nayla and CEO Nick, who took over the publicly traded firm after the recent death of their father, Nicolas.
\nAnd, if their latest move pays off, it looks like the group’s revenues could be about to get even larger. Aside from sales of its own brands, which include Longines, Tissot, Omega and Breguet, Swatch also devotes significant investment to mechanical movements and components, which it has until now sold off to rival manufacturers. However, in a move that has been approved by the Swiss competition authority, Swatch is trying to curtail sales of these components, forcing smaller competitors with lower budgets to look elsewhere. That move was predicted to take place last year, but now looks more likely to occur in 2013.
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\nF1 fanatic Mansour Ojjeh is the French Saudi Arabia-born entrepreneur who heads up Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), a Luxembourg-based holding company. The firm owns 21 percent of the McLaren Group, the most important asset of which is the McLaren Formula One team. Ojjeh’s passion for motor racing is renowned. His interest was first sparked by a visit to the Monaco Grand Prix in 1978 and TAG quickly became the William’s team principal sponsor a year later.
\nIn 1981, Ojjeh invested $5m in a Porsche built turbo engine for McLaren and the two firms went on to establish TAG Turbo Engines. In 1983, Ojjeh became a majority shareholder in McLaren, although details of the deal were not made public until 1985. Ojjeh’s father is the Saudi-born businessman, Akram Ojjeh, founder of TAG. The firm was famous as an intermediary in deals between Saudi Arabia and France, particularly arms sales.
\nOjjeh was involved in the marketing of the French Mirage 2000 fighter jet to Saudi Arabia in competition with the British Tornado. TAG Group's interests also include TAG Aviation, a corporate jet firm which has Europe and Asia as its main growth areas and which runs a fleet of more than 100 aircraft. The firm also owns a hotel in the UK, and operates in commercial real estate and agriculture.
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\nBest summed as businessman turned politician. Mikati, 57, who entered Lebanon's fractious political scene in 1998 as a Minister of Public Works and transport, before then becoming a member of parliament representing his native northern port city of Tripoli, later served as a caretaker premier once in 2005 in the aftermath of the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri.
\nHe helped steer the country towards parliamentary elections in the wake of the killing before returning in 2011 to serve as Prime Minister after the government of Saad Hariri was toppled by Hezbollah and its allies. Mikati, a graduate of the American University of Beirut, helped cofound Investcome along with his brother Taha, which runs phone networks in emerging markets, with his brother Taha in 1982 and was later listed on both the London and Dubai stock exchanges in 2006, in what was at the time in what was then the largest international listing of a Middle Eastern company.
\nMTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, bought the company in 2006 for $5.5 billion. M1 Group, which the two brothers run, became its second-largest shareholder. The company's holdings include real estate investments in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, as well as the Geneva-based Baboo airline, French retailer Faconnable and being a major shareholder in Royal Jordanian Airlines.
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\nOften described as the Duke of Nablus or Palestine’s Rothschild, Masri is known as the patriarch of a prominent Palestinian family that has produced bankers, consultants and politicians. The 78 year old tall Masri a geologist, hails from the West Bank town of Nablus from where he resides at his Palestine House, a palace of limestone resembling the Palladio’s Rotonda in Vicenza, Italy. Masri, who was once a close confidant of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (who offered him the premiership three times), made his fortune in oil and gas working in the Gulf; North Africa and elsewhere.
\nWhen the Oslo peace process kicked off Masri helped set up the Palestine Development and Investment Ltd. (PADICO), the largest private investor by initial investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which he chairs. The holding group controls over 30 companies across various industries that include telecommunications, construction, tourism, energy, environment, banking, finance and agriculture. He also founded the Edgo group (industry, commerce, health, education, distribution, etc.), which oversees 29 companies across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.
\nToday however Masri is more of a fire fighter as he was in the 1970s when helped bring about an end to clashes that took place in Jordan when Palestinian guerillas challenged the authority of King Hussein. Masri is less concerned with the daily running of his businesses these days which he has left to his children. Much of his time has been dedicated to reconciling the Palestinian Hamas movement with President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group, in addition to trying to foster dialogue among Israelis and Palestinians who aspire to live in peace within the context of a two state solution. Masri who is a member of the Palestine Central Council is also a philanthropist.
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\nThe boss of oil services giant Petrofac, Ayman Asfari sits at the helm of one of the fastest growing FTSE 100 businesses. By any measure, Asfari is a success story. He took his first role in construction in Oman in his early 20s in a bid to fund an MBA at Wharton. It turned out to be unnecessary; less than a decade later, he was a millionaire with his own firm. Since buying out Petrofac in 2001, Asfari has turned it into one of the leading players in the oil market. It listed in 2005 and today employs more than 17,000 people worldwide, with bases spanning the UK, Sharjah, India and Malaysia. In 2006, Asfari launched his eponymous foundation, which funds education for young people.
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39.The Zamil Family
\nThe Zamil family is leading the way in the diversification of the Saudi economy, and are clearly reaping the rewards as they go. Zamil Group Holding Company was founded by the late Abdullah Al Hamad Al Zamil, a Saudi entrepreneur who established a modest trading entity selling food items and textiles in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the 1930s. Later, he expanded successfully into real estate investments. In the eight decades since its inception as a simple trading house in the 1930s the firm has grown exponentially.
\nToday, its activities span industrial and commercial interests, making its mark on everything from air-conditioning manufacturing to food processing, steel fabrication and travel services. Zamil began investing in the plastics industry over 30 years ago, and today the group can count on a 12,000-strong workforce in more than 60 countries, vast manufacturing facilities and strong affiliations with numerous international partners.
\nThe family also has a significant stake in the Bahrain-based Energy Central Company, which could prove a huge windfall given the region’s growing power demands. The firm is headed up by Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil who is also the CEO and chairman of the National Chemical Carriers and is an independent non-executive director of the Saudi-based National Shipping Co. He also serves as a director of Saudi International Petrochemical Co and Sahara Petrochemical Co and is a member of the advisory board at Gulf Capital.
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41.Mohammed Al Issa
\nMohammed Al Issa is one of Saudi Arabia’s canniest investors, owning sizeable stakes in some of the kingdom’s blue-chip firms. n 2005, Al Issa sold his 94 percent stake in the Saudi Construction Company, which he founded in the early 1970s — and pocketed a couple of billion dollars for his troubles.
\nThe money didn’t sit idle for long. Al Issa is today has colossal stakes in the Savola Group, as well as Banque Saudi Fransi – making him one of the biggest plays on the Saudi stock market, the Tadawul. Meanwhile, Mohammed Al Issa and Sons (MASC), a holding company created by its founder more than 35 years ago, is active in the financial, industrial, food and real estate sectors.
\nIt recently entered the hospitality business and Al Issa has taken a strategic decision to invest directly in several hotels in the Saudi market and internationally. MASC today has a string of five and four-star hotels on its drawing board, some of which have already started construction and some of which will soon be in operation. These include collaborations with the Kempinski group of hotels, and the Rocco Forte Collection.
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42.Mohammed (Mo) Ibrahim
\nAlso known as Mo, Ibrahim, 66, is a British Sudanese mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire. He was born in north Sudan and started out working at the African country's postal service. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alexandria before going off to the UK to get his Masters degree and PhD, and ended up as an academic with a specialization in mobile communications.
\nWhen British Telecommunications was about to launch the first mobile service in the UK the company invited him to come on board as a technical director and engineer. Ibrahim left his job with the support of his wife to become a consultant and eventually forming his own company with $50,000 in savings. With the help of 450 engineers the company designed networks around the world in Japan, Moscow and Europe.
\nHe then sold his first company a few years later for about $1bn. When big operators were reluctant to go into Africa, Ibrahim saw an opportunity and decided to enter the market in 1998 with his company Celtel, one of Africa's biggest telecommunications companies, vowing not to pay a single dollar in bribes. The company ended up with 15 operations in Africa increasing subscriber numbers from a few thousand to over 500m users.
\nHe sold it in 2005 to Kuwait investors for $3.4bn and now devotes himself to philanthropy. Ibrahim then created the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations’ performance. Ibrahim is a member of the Africa Regional Advisory Board of London Business School.
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\n82-year-old Miloud Chaâbi is the founder of Ynna Holding and the owner of Ryad Mogador hotel chain and group of supermarkets “Aswak Assalam”. He might be one of Morocco’s wealthiest businessmen today but Chaâbi’s career started in very modest surroundings. At just fifteen years old he taught in a mosque and worked as a goat herder and farm before saving up enough money to move to Kenitra where he started his first construction company. Chaâbi established his own ceramic company in 1964 and started to look for investment opportunities.
\nHe acquired the Yeyeena Group, which became one of the most powerful groups in Morocco. In 1994, he launched ELECTRA for electrical components, cables and television batteries and four years later launched Al Salam shopping chain which was followed by the launch of Ryad Mogador hotel chain in 1999. Chaâbi is renowned for his philanthropic and charity work. He is the operator of one of the largest charity organisations in Morocco, the Miloud Chaâbi Foundation, and donated ten percent of his fortune to build the first American university in Morocco in conjunction with the University of Maryland.
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\nThis British Iraqi businessman, who moved to the UK in the 1980s, is chairman of the Anglo-Arab Organisation with stakes in construction and trading companies in Iraq. Auchi founded Luxembourg based General Mediterranean Holdings, which has business segments in banking and finance, real estate, construction, hotel and leisure, industrial, trading and pharmaceuticals, communications, IT and aviation.
\nIts interests today span across the Mediterranean and beyond with over 120 companies employing some 11,000 staff with representation in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Asia Sub Continent and the Pacific Rim. The group’s consolidated assets now exceed $4bn. Hotel holdings include Le Royal in Luxembourg, Amman, Beirut, Tangier and Tunis He has been honoured for his services to the business community by the Queen, King Abdullah of Jordan, the former president of Lebanon and Pope John Paul II among others.
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46.Mohammed Al Fayed
\nOne of the Arab world’s most flamboyant entrepreneurs, Mohammed Al Fayed founded a shipping company in Egypt, moved its headquarters to Italy, and set up additional offices in London. It was then that he moved to England. In the 1960s, he met with Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum and was entrusted to help transform Dubai.
\nIn 1968, for instance, he set up the International Marine Services (IMS) in the city. Among his numerous business interests, the year 1984 saw Al Fayed and his brothers purchase a 30 percent stake in House of Fraser, a group that included Harrods. In 1985, the remaining 70 percent was bought for £615m ($946m). Harrods was eventually sold to Qatar Holdings for £1.5bn ($2.30bn). Other significant businesses for Al Fayed include a return to retail via the online site Cocosa, the Ritz Hotel in Paris and the West London football club Fulham F.C.
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\nSaleh Kamel's name is synonymous with Islamic banking and finance. Born in Taef, Saudi Arabia Kamel, 71, grew up in Makkah and attended Riyadh University and went on to work at the kingdom's Ministry of Finance. He left public office to start Dallah Establishment in the early 1960s. By the early 1980s he established the AIBaraka Investment & Development conglomerate, a holding company for many Islamic Banks and financial Institutions operating according to Islamic principles in various diversified business activities all over the world. Kamel built an empire through his government contracting ventures in Saudi Arabia. Kamel owns a majority stake in Dallah Albaraka Group, a holding company that has various Islamic banking operations, with real estate, construction and manufacturing business segments. Estimated net worth $2bn.
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Is the Vice Chairman & Deputy CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Saudi Oger Ltd.
\nHe has thorough knowledge of the Construction and Development industry and related fields. His extensive experience, strong leadership capabilities and entrepreneurial vision have helped Saudi Oger become the successful international organization it is today.
\nMr. Hariri has played an important role in leading his multidisciplinary specialists to provide the talent, expertise and positive attitude that advance the company's reputation for excellence. His passionate and visionary style has helped Saudi Oger prosper in a variety of geographical regions and demanding business environments.
\nAs the spearhead of Saudi Oger's operations, he is currently handling the Construction and Facilities Management of multi-Billion Dollars mega projects such Princess Noura Bent Abdularahman University for Women; King Abdullah Financial District; King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and many others.
\nHis direct involvement and dedication helped in the execution and handing over the state-of-the-art Academic & Administration Buildings of "King Abdullah University of Science and Technology" in record time. In 2009; 2010 and 2011 the Dubai-based Arabian Business magazine announced Ayman Hariri as one of the world's 100 most influential Arabs in their annual "Power 100" list and ranked him #6 in the CEO Middle East's list of the Arab world's most influential leaders in property; and the same magazine also selected Ayman Hariri as the "Best Executive in the Construction Sector in Saudi Arabia for two years in a row (2010 & 2011) and recently Ayman Hariri ranked number one in the Construction Week Power 100 List for 2011.
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49.Mohammed Shafik Gabr
\nThese days Mohammad Shafik Gabr, one of Egypt’s richest men, seems to be spending as much time on his passion for Orientalist art as he does on his company, the ARTOC Group for Investment & Development. In November, he told the New York Times: ““I flew to Paris just for seven hours yesterday just to see some paintings. In the old days I probably would’ve gone for two days but now with this ‘East West Dialogue’ on board I could only spare seven hours.
\nDefinitely this is taking a chunk of my time and effort and resources, but it’s exciting, and if my whole initiative over time is able to help build common interest and understanding, it will be worthwhile”. The keen philanthropist and art collector is renowned in elevated circles as a consummate networker. He counts royalty and political leaders from around the globe as personal friends, and is busy building a cultural exchange programme between East and West.
\nWhen Gabr joined ARTOC in 1980, the name stood for ‘Arab Trade & Oil Company’. Today it stands for success, and ARTOC Group for Investment and Development is a multi-disciplined investment holding company with assets under management of $1.1bn, and over 3,000 employees. The group has interests in steel, art advisory, petroleum, electronics, real estate, flight services, construction, consumer products and publishing.