Arabian Business Qatar Power List 2012
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani heads list of fifty most influential
1. Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani\n\nAfter the departure of Wadah Khanfar last September, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani stepped into the hot seat as the head of the Al Jazeera network. With the power of the station under him, he jumps straight to the top of our first ever Qatar Power List.\nAnd there can be little doubt about the influence Sheikh Ahmed now wields. Al Jazeera started out more than fifteen years ago as the first independent Arabic news channel in the world dedicated to providing comprehensive television news and live debate. Sheikh Ahmed now leads a global media network of over twenty channels – the network consists of Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Documentary, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.\nAl Jazeera’s indepth global approach to journalism, allied with a commitment to giving ‘voice to the voiceless’, has won it numerous awards and plaudits over the years. In the last year alone, Al Jazeera English has picked up the Columbia Journalism Award, a DuPont award, and Best News Channel for the third year running from UK’s Freesat. It was also nominated for the fourth consecutive year as RTS News Channel of the Year.\nThe Al Jazeera Network has more than 65 bureaux across the globe. It has more than 3,000 staff members across the world, including more than 400 journalists from more than 60 countries. Al Jazeera English has more than 1,000 highly experienced staff from more than 50 nationalities, making AJE’s newsroom among the most diverse in the world.\nSheikh Ahmed has significant international and business experience. Prior to taking up his post at Al Jazeera, he had been a member of the most senior decision making body at Qatargas, where he led an array of capital projects. His industrial background includes experience in France - with Total - and the US, and he holds degrees from numerous institutions worldwide including Imperial College (UK) and the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business (US). 2. Akbar Al Baker\n\nAkbar al baker has been instrumental in shaping Qatar Airways into one of the fastest growing and most highly acclaimed airlines in the world.\nBorn in Doha, he is a graduate in Economics and Commerce and worked at various levels in the Civil Aviation Directorate before becoming Qatar Airways CEO in 1997.\nAl Baker has, over the last decade, spearheaded the growth of Qatar Airways, which operated only four aircraft in a regional capacity prior to his appointment. Currently Qatar Airways flies to more than 100 destinations across an ever-growing international route network that spans six continents.\nHe is also leading the development of the New Doha International Airport, which will open in phases from this year onwards.\nA highly motivated individual, Al Baker has been a successful businessman in Doha for more than 25 years and holds a private pilot licence. He is also CEO of several divisions of Qatar’s national airline including Qatar Executive, Qatar Airways Holidays, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Duty Free Company, Doha International Airport, Internal Media Services, Qatar Distribution Company and Qatar Aircraft Catering Company. 3. CEO Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani\n\nCEO Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani took the top spot at QatarGas in 2010, and since then he has helped build it into one of the most important and successful companies on the planet. Qatargas, established in 1984, pioneered the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in Qatar. Today, Qatargas is the largest LNG producing company in the world, with an annual LNG production capacity of 42 million tonnes per annum (MTA).\nThe company has seven LNG trains, of which four are the largest in the world — known as mega-trains — each with a production capacity of 7.8 MTA.\nAnd Sheikh Khalid certainly has his hands full — Qatargas is a major contributor to the realisation of the vision of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, for the State of Qatar to be the largest LNG producer in the world, with a combined production capacity of 77 million tonnes per annum (MTA). Today, Qatargas’ customers are spread throughout the four corners of the world in European, Asian and the Americas markets. 4. Saif Al Hajeri\n\nThe Qatar Foundation is widely regarded to be one of the most exciting cultural projects being undertaken in the Middle East — its own literature says it is helping to build a sustainable society in the Gulf through research into education, science and community development. As vice-chairman, Hajeri plays a crucial role in its development and direction. Qatar Foundation was established in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, as a vehicle to convert the country's current, but temporary, mineral wealth into durable human capital.\nIt is achieving this goal through a network of centres and partnerships that are dedicated to excellence in their respective specialisations and that are growing together into a powerful force for social change. Central to this mission is a determination to defend and develop Qatar’s unique heritage and culture. Qatar Foundation is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, wife of the Emir, who supports and guides this process. It sets out to be an asset not just for Qatar but for the entire Middle East region and beyond, and it already touches communities and individuals well beyond the country’s borders.\nQatar Foundation’s flagship project is Education City, a 1,000-hectare campus on the edge of Doha where most of its member institutions are located. In addition to his work at the foundation, Al Hajeri occupies a number of prominent positions in the public life of Qatar. He is the founder and chairman of Friends of the Environment Centre, vice chair of Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs, and general supervisor at Al Noor Institute for the Blind. He has launched and continues to play a leading role in many initiatives, including Qatar Academy, the Qatar Leadership. Academy, the Qatar Music Academy, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Green Projects. 5. Ali Shareef Al Emadi\n\nQatar National Bank (QNB) is by far the largest in the country - with an estimated 40 percent of banking sector assets - and is also one of the biggest in the region. The bank is headed by Ali Shareef Al Emadi, under whose direction it has undertaken international expansion. Under Al Emadi's leadership, QNB became the most profitable bank in the Gulf during 2011. Annual net profit leapt by 32 percent to $2.05bn during a period that has generally not been kind to the region's banking community. 6. Hassan Al Thawadi\n\nEver since Qatar had expressed an interest in hosting sport’s biggest tournament, the bid had been doomed by naysayers from the start. Questions were raised over the validity of holding the World Cup in the heat of the summer, not to mention the country’s lack of association with football and its tiny population. But Hassan Al Thawadi, the chief executive of the 2022 bid, was nothing if not undaunted. Juggling this showpiece role with his other day jobs — the small matter of heading the legal department at the Qatar Investment Authority and at Qatar Holdings — Al Thawadi and his small team managed to find an answer to every seemingly insurmountable problem thrown their way.\nAir-conditioned stadia was the obvious answer to the summer temperature, but Qatar has ingeniously deflected environmental concerns by introducing newer, green cooling technologies and offering to donate stadium infrastructure to other developing countries. FIFA’s executive committee were persuaded by Al Thawadi’s argument that a vote for Doha would be a vote for the Middle East. Following from the introduction of Asia and Africa as hosts for the tournament in recent years, the region was the logical next step, but Qatar — under Al Thawadi — was bold enough to make the gamble.\nIn many respects, the win has already paid off. Billions of dollars of infrastructure projects have now been signed off, which will help Qatar become perhaps the most advanced state in the Gulf by the time the tournament is hosted. 7. Ahmad al Sayed\n\nEvery corporation and sports team in the world seems today to be queuing up to do business with Qatar. The oil and gas-rich Gulf Arab nation is on a spending spree, snapping up assets all over the world, and you would have had to have spent the last twelve months on Mars not to have noticed. Ahmad Al Sayed is the man whose nod is everything for would-be partners.\n2011 was not a restful year for him. Qatar is today linked, in the media at least, with every blue-chip on the planet, and with the small matter of the 2022 World Cup to organise, was thought to be on the brink of swooping for Manchester Utd. The coming decade will be one in which Qatar emerges fully onto the global consciousness, and Al Sayed’s role in that will be immense. 8. Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa\n\nMohammed Ali Al Redfa has his hands on the tiller of Qatari Diar, which is the property investment arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund.\nAs Qatari Diar marks its sixth anniversary, the company is also celebrating the considerable progress being made in its local and international portfolio, including new projects, sales launches and expansion in key markets internationally. Infrastructure works at Lusail City, the company's visionary 38 sq km development to the north of Doha, are progressing ahead of schedule. Beyond Qatar’s borders, Qatari Diar has recently marked a number of milestones in its projects across Europe and the Middle East, most notably in France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Tajikistan, Egypt and Sudan. Of the company’s signature projects in Europe, the redeveloped Le Royal Monceau — Raffles Paris reopened its doors in October 2010, while the legendary Hotel Schweizerhof Bern celebrated its reopening in June 2011.\nIn the UK, home to a number of Qatari Diar’s most strategic and sophisticated projects, the company has put two of its three residential buildings within the Grosvenor Waterside complex in Belgravia on the market: Bramah House and Caro Point. Through joint ventures with Delancey and Canary Wharf Group, Qatari Diar is actively involved in the legacy projects of the London Olympic Village and the Shell Centre respectively.\nInfrastructure works have recently started on Qatari Diar’s first project in Central Asia, the Diar Dushanbe development, an integrated community project on the Gissar Canal in Tajkistan. 9. Al Anstey\n\nAl jazeera network announced two years ago that Al Anstey has been appointed MD of Al Jazeera English (AJE). Anstey is now leading the channel in its next phase of evolution and will be responsible for overseeing its day-to-day operations across its 65 international bureaux.\nAnstey was one of the founders of AJE and a key member of the channel’s start-up team. He ran AJE’s News Department after the launch of the channel in November 2006 until earlier this year when he took on the position of director of media development for the network.\nPrior to joining Al Jazeera in 2006, Anstey served as head of foreign news at ITN in the UK after many years in the field as senior foreign editor. He also ran ITN’s American operations for two years after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Anstey started his career as a producer at CBS News and then moved to the start-up of Reuters/GMTV as a reporter and news editor. He then joined APTN based in New Delhi and then Sydney, before taking on the position of Asia Editor with responsibility for APTN’s bureaux and coverage in the region. 10. Bader Abdullah Al Darwish\n\nThe Al Darwish family is one of the most respected business families in Qatar. The family-owned Darwish Holding, a conglomerate whose activities include retail, business services, real estate investment, investments, construction and others, was founded by Abdullah Al Darwish Fakhroo and his brothers Jassim and Abdul Rahman in 1920 and is now run by chairman Bader Abdullah Al Darwish. Under Al Darwish’s leadership the firm has continued its substantial growth in all sectors.\nIn addition to its current business, Darwish Holding introduced the largest multi-brand luxury store in the Middle East, Fifty One East, which spans over 13,500 sq m of space. It also developed and operates the $348m luxury Lagoona Mall in the affluent West Bay of Doha. The 128,000 sq m mall was opened in 2011. Over the last eight years, the firm has set unparalleled benchmarks in the retail industry in Qatar.\nThe firm had plans to list its shares on the Qatar Stock Exchange Market in 2008 but pushed back its listing plans in the wake of the eruption of the global financial crisis. Al Darwish told Arabian Business last year that the plan is still on, however, at the right time. 11. Shashank Srivastava\n\nSrivastava joined the QFC authority in April 2006. He has sixteen years of global experience in the strategy consulting and investment industries, and has held key positions with Dresdner RCM Global Investors, Andersen Consulting, Abraaj Capital and DIFC. He has also worked for Swiss Re and Prudential of UK.\nThe QFC Authority is responsible for leading the expansion of Qatar’s financial services sector and for developing relationships with the regional and global financial community. In February 2010 the QFC Authority unveiled a new strategy focusing on the creation of a global business hub for three core markets — Asset Management, Reinsurance and Captive Insurance.\nThe QFC provides Qatari and international firms with access to local and regional investment opportunities, including over $137bn of prospective infrastructure investment in Qatar through to 2015, as well as over $1.2 trillion of planned investment across the GCC. 12. Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani\n\nHe Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani is the chairman of the Board of Directors at the Ezdan Real Estate and has carved a special niche in the Qatari community. By driving Ezdan Real Estate Company to a series of achievements and landmarks in the real estate sector of Qatar and the GCC region, he commands a great deal of respect for his business acumen, besides championing social and humanitarian causes.\nHE Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani’s vision and management ideology have turned Ezdan Real Estate into the largest real estate company in the Middle East and North Africa region on the basis of its market capitalisation. Ezdan Real Estate was valued at $16bn in the Doha Stock Exchange by the end of 2011.\nIt is one of the oldest real estate companies in the region, having been established by HE Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani in the 1960s. He is the largest shareholder in company.\nHE Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani also heads the board of the Tadawul Holding Group which is the financing arm of the Ezdan Real Estate, having a capital of QR28bn ($7.689bn).\nEven in the finance sector, HE Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani heads some of the largest banks in the Islamic banking sector in Qatar, such as the International Islamic Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank and Masraf Al Rayan. 13. Ahmad Meshari\n\nThe growth of sharia-compliant banking in Qatar is one of the cornerstones of the country's vision. Via the growth of the Qatar Financial Centre, the Gulf state is aiming to rival Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia as the global hub of Islamic finance. It should therefore come as no surprise to see the current head of Qatar’s top Islamic bank placing thirteenth on our list. Islamic lenders are estimated to take up 22 percent of the local banking sector by assets, with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) accruing nine percent of the total share in the country. Last year’s announcement from the Qatari central bank, which mandated that conventional lenders close down their Islamic operations, is likely to create further opportunities for pure Islamic lenders to grow.\nAlthough last year was a tough one for QIB, the lender is said to be considering issuing sukuk — which are likely to be well-received. The bank is also likely to benefit - like others in the country - from the economic benefits of the World Cup victory. 14. Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim\n\nIf you were expecting mega-business leader in our charts, think again. Placed in the number fourteenth slot is the man who has since 1988 been a close advisor to HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar. Outside the royal family, nobody has had a bigger say in the growth of Qatar.\nDr Ibrahim was between 2006 and 2011 the secretary general for the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP). He has very much been at the heart of the development process for the Qatar National Vision 2030, and is now also leading Qatar’s First National Development Strategy. As the tiny state realises its global ambitions, almost every plan and process is going through Dr Ibrahim’s desk.\nDr Ibrahim has experience in the oil and gas industry. He is the vice chairman of the board of RasGas Company Limited and chairman of the Marketing Committee. He is a member of the board of directors of Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatar Gas and Industries Qatar, vice chairman of the board of directors of Qatar Petroleum International and Industrial Bank and member of the board of Qatar Central Bank.\nDr Ibrahim was an Associate Professor of Business, Economics and Quantitative methods at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA from 1970–1978, Director of the Economic Department of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, Kuwait from 1979–1986, and a senior economist at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford, England from 1986-1988.\nDr Ibrahim holds a PhD in Business Administration from New York University in 1969 and his scholarly research has been published internationally in the areas of forecasting, business economics and energy economics. 15. Nasser Marafih\n\nNasser Marafih's tenure in charge of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has seen him steer the telco through a period of great change. Since taking the reins of Qtel in 2002, Marafih has carefully overlooked the firm's transformation into a global player. Under his guidance, Qtel has bought Wataniya Telecom and has masterminded the firm’s expansion into Asia. Qtel now has a presence in seventeen countries in the MENA region, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, supporting around 77 million customers. He also played a major role in the introduction of the first GSM service in the Middle East in 1994, helped with the introduction of the internet to Qatar in 1996, and assisted with the privatisation of Qtel in 1998.\nNot only that, but Qtel has also won significant plaudits for its handling of the first new competitor into the Qatari market just over two years ago, which broke the firm’s monopoly.\nAs a reward for his efforts, Marafih was promoted to CEO of the full Qtel Group in June last year.\nMarafih holds BSc, MSc and PhD qualifications from George Washington University in the US, and spent time working in the University of Qatar as a lecturer and research assistant, then assistant professor, in the department of electrical engineering. Marafih also sits on the board of directors for various Qtel subsidiaries. 16. Naseer Homoud\n\nStarting out as a dentist in Jordan, Dr Naseer Homoud move to Qatar in 2001 to expand his clinic. He ended up creating a real estate empire in the process. The Wall for Investment and Real Estate Development has become synonymous with the rapid growth of Qatar, as well as contributing hugely to the growth of affordable housing. His Consultant Dental Centre is the place to go for an affordable smile, while the Spanish International Business & Trading Centre has already gained a reputation for being the place to go for Spanish companies looking to invest in the region, and Arab firms wanting to tap the Spanish market.\nHomoud studied at the University of Damascus, graduating in 1987 before returning to Jordan, and by 1994 had already set up his first dental centre in Amman. He told Arabian Business recently: “ I believed that I needed to do much more. Amman has been a great place to work but my mind and heart craved for more, more work-achievements, and success. I wanted to go beyond all boundaries, whether national or professional. I decided to explore beyond Jordan. I thought about many countries in the Arabian Gulf. State of Qatar and the remarkable progress there fascinated me. I decided to make Doha as my city of work.”\nThree years ago he also formed the Spanish International Trading and Business Centre (SIBTC), to promote bilateral trade between the Middle East and Spain. He says: “The motivation for establishment of the SIBTC was the frequent visits of a significant number of Spanish businessmen to Doha, many of whom were seeking to have a permanent base to explore opportunities for cooperation and to put forward their real estate projects before their Qatari counterparts as well as potential buyers. In order to address this need, I founded the centre after meeting a delegation representing 20 Spanish real estate companies in Doha.” 17. Nasser Al Jaidah\n\nNasser al Jaidah is a graduate of geology and Petroleum Engineering; he has joined Qatar Petroleum in 1977.\nCurrently he holds the position of chief executive and a board member of Qatar Petroleum International, board member in Qatar Petroleum and board member of Industries Qatar.\nDuring the last 30 years, Al Jaidah has assumed many responsibilities at Qatar Petroleum in various positions, where in 1985 he became petroleum engineering manager and in 1989 the technical manager, 1991 manager of exploration and production, 1994 director of oil and gas ventures.\nAl Jaidah is a member of Qatar Gas Board, and vice chairman of Qatar Gas Executive Committee, vice chairman of Qatar Fuel Additives Company, vice chairman of Tasweeq. Member of Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG), member of the Advisory Council (Parliament), State of Qatar and member of Provisional Arab Parliament. 18. Ahmed Abdulaziz Al Buainain\n\nAl Buainain has a big role to play in the coming years as the country steps up its development plans for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. As treasurer, he will be keeping a close eye on the spending.\nAnd some spending it is: Around $50bn has been earmarked for the construction of stadiums, while another $77bn is being used to prepare the facilities for fans and teams. If that wasn’t enough, $45bn is being spent on the Lusail City, which covers 20 sq km to the North East of Doha. 19. Hitmi Al Hitmi\n\nSince its formation, Barwa has shown itself to be a dynamic and powerful force for the development of Qatar. With a shareholding of 45 percent by Qatari Diar (a company owned by the Qatar Investment Authority) Barwa is the largest listed real estate company in Qatar in terms of real estate developments, and has a total asset capitalisation of approximately QR 74bn ($20.32bn) as of 31 December 2010. In 2010 turnover of its shares represented almost 11.25 percent of total turnover of shares listed by the Qatar Exchange.\nBarwa has a market capitalisation of some QR11bn ($3.02bn). It employs over 600 staff, almost half of whom are Qatari nationals. While the group’s main activities are in Qatar, it also has investments and operations in thirteen other countries regionally and internationally.\nIn March 2011, Barwa Real Estate Company sealed a sales framework agreement with Qatar Petroleum. Accordingly, Barwa Financial District Company, a subsidiary of Barwa Real Estate Company, was mandated to develop the Barwa Financial District, a unique project from both a design and architectural prospective. Covering an area of 696,000 sq m, the Barwa Financial District is expected to house the headquarters of Qatar Petroleum, which will own and operate the development. 20. Hessa Al Jaber\n\nHessa al Jaber heads up ICT Qatar, the gulf state’s telecoms regulator. Perhaps her greatest achievements has been the liberalisation of the Qatari market, which resulted in Vodafone Qatar launching its services just over a year ago. The competition has benefited both the new player and incumbent Qtel, and has resulted in lower prices and better service for the consumer.\nAl Jaber is also spearheading Qatar’s plans to launch its first high-capacity satellite this year, and is active in using technology to help those with disabilities. 21. Nasser Al Khelaifi\n\nAt one time Nasser al Khelaifi was the GM of Al Jazeera Sports, after which he became head of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which led the buyout of French side Paris Saint-Germain, with Al Khelaifi then being installed as president.\nPSG has been playing in Ligue 1 since 1974, the current championship record, and is one of the most prestigious outfits in French football having won two League titles, eight French Cups, three League Cups and two Champions Trophies.\nParis Saint-Germain, along with Olympique de Marseille, is one of only two French clubs to have won a major European trophy, claiming the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996. Paris Saint-Germain was named IFFHS World’s Club Team of the Year in 1994 and ranked first in the UEFA Team Ranking in 1998. The capital outfit is the only French club to ever achieve these honours. Paris Saint-Germain is currently ranked twelfth in the IFFHS and 44th in the UEFA Team Ranking.\nKhelaifi came close to signing David Beckham for the club last month, before the deal fell through at the final hurdle. 22. Andre Went\n\nThe Qatar Exchange (formerly the Doha Securities Market) is the principal stock market of Qatar. The market was founded in 1997. NYSE Euronext owns 25 percent of DSM. The market currently has 42 listed companies. In June 2009, the market was changed into a shareholding company named the Qatar Exchange.\nAndre Went serves as the CEO of Qatar Exchange. Went has served as a managing director based at NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam. Other roles in which he served during more than 20 years in the Euronext group include director of strategy and market development, director of group policy for Euronext Paris, and as the head of Secondary Markets in Amsterdam. He also served as a director of Qatar Exchange. 23. Buthaina Al Ansari\n\nMs Al Ansari earned a master’s degree in Business Management and HR Strategic Planning from Qatar University, as well as diplomas and certifications in other business disciplines from universities and schools in London and Cairo. She is the founder and chairperson for Qatariat T&D Holding Company, which incorporates three different companies focusing on three different areas: Qatariat Training and Development, which targets Qatari women in Doha to develop their skills and expertise; Qatariat Magazine, a magazine for businesswomen which covers local and regional news, including their achievements; and Qatariat Development Consultancy, which targets both women and men in developing business plans and restructuring issues. 24. Hamad Rashid al Mohannadi\n\nHamad Rashid al Mohannadi joined RasGas — Qatar’s second biggest liquefied natural gas producer — as managing director in 2007. He has been a board member of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited since 1993.\nPrior to joining RasGas, from 1992 he was general manager at Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) responsible for its growth and expansion. In addition to his role as QAPCO general manager, he is also general manager of QATOFIN.\nHe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Engineering Science (General Science) from Portland State University, USA. Al Mohannadi was appointed in January 2009 as one of the Board of Trustees of Qatar University chaired by Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. 25. R Seetharaman\n\nHe has nearly three decades of experience in banking, information technology and consultancy. Indian national R Seetharaman has a distinguished academic background — he is a chartered accountant and holds certificates in IT Systems and Corporate Management, whilst earning a gold medal in his graduation from the University of Madras with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce in 1979. Seetharaman also has an extensive experience in integrating people, process, technology and re-engineering. He has excelled in handling multi-dimensional functions within the banking sector and has been responsible for two successful mergers. Prior to joining Doha Bank in 2002, he held executive management positions in three banks in Oman. He started his professional career at Price Waterhouse before moving to the banking sector. 27. Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad\n\nHe received the Takreem award for outstanding Arab corporate leader last year. Al Saad holds the position of chairman in several businesses including: Al Imtiaz Investment Company, A’ayan Real Estate, Al Jazeera Academy, Rizon Partners, Jersey Group, and Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad & Sons Holdings Group. He is also CEO and general manager of First Finance Company, as well as being a board member at Barwa Bank. 29. Alekh Grewal\n\nThe Mannai Corporation celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of the largest trading and services company in Qatar. From humble beginnings as an auto parts trader established by Ahmed Abdullah Mannai, the Mannai Group grew to encompass activities ranging from offshore rigs to telecommunications, with interests in many parts of the world.\nIt has hit the headlines recently with a bid for UAE-based company Damas.\nLeading the charge is CEO Alekh Grewal. His first job was with Thomson McLintock (now KPMG) in London and spent eight years in the UK before immigrating to Australia in 1987.\nAlekh has over 20 years experience in industry of which many were spent in the general management of medium to large sized companies. The businesses included hire and sale, contracting, services, technology, trading and distribution, consulting and manufacturing.\nDuring this period, he gained significant expertise in all aspects of executive management, particularly business start-ups, acquisitions, divestments and turnarounds.\nAlekh spent fifteen years in Australia, working for most of that time with James Hardie, a multinational Australian company, during which time he ran various subsidiaries in the capacity of general manager and CFO. His final position with James Hardie Asia Pacific was as CFO.\nHe left Australia in 2001 to join KPMG India as its chief operating officer, partner and deputy chairman.\nAlekh joined Mannai Corporation in November 2004 as chief financial officer, and was promoted to chief operating officer in January 2008.\nAlekh was appointed chief executive of Mannai Corporation in January 2009.\nHe is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree.\nHe attended Harvard Business School in 2008 and successfully completed the Advanced Management Programme. 30. Tidu Maini\n\nAs executive chairman of the QSTP, Dr Tidu Maini directs the park’s strategy and governance, leading its development of international research collaborations. He is also the Science and Technology advisor to the Qatar Foundation. Prior to his appointment in 2007, Dr Maini was the pro-rector of Imperial College London. With over 30 years of experience in the management of technology companies in defence, electronics and ICT sectors, Dr Maini has worked across Europe, the US, UK, Asia and the Middle East. Inaugurated in 2009, QSTP provides a base for technology-based companies from around the world. 31. Issa Hilal Al Kuwari\n\nThe company was founded in 1990 and approximately 43 percent of the shares of the company are owned by the government of Qatar and the remaining 57 percent is held by institutions and private individuals. But its reach goes far beyond Qatar — it plans to play a major role in Oman’s power plant and are in talks with different stakeholders in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for the setting up of 1,500 megawatt plants in those countries.\nThe company has already participated in an integrated power and water project in Sur, in northeastern Oman, and talks are in progress with different stakeholders in other GCC countries. 33. Paulo Autuori\n\nPaulo Autuori has coached teams from Portugal: such as Nacional, Vitória de Guimarães, Marítimo and Benfica; from Brazil: Portuguesa (RJ), Botafogo, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Internacional, Santos and São Paulo; and from Peru: Alianza Lima, Sporting Cristal and the Peru national team.\nAt the end of April 2005, just before quitting Peru, he was hired by São Paulo FC to replace Émerson Leão, who had just gone to Japan. In that year, he won the Copa Libertadores 2005 and the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship.\nOn December 29, 2005, he resigned from São Paulo to sign with Kashima Antlers, from Japan. At the end of 2006 he announced his new club as Cruzeiro EC, the third time he had chosen to work with the outfit. Then, the well-travelled coach headed to Gremio, a club which he left in 2009.\nIn November of the same year, Autuori decided to test his skills in the Gulf. Qatar League side Al Rayyan replaced Brazilian coach Marcus Paqueta with Autuori. After yet another short stint with Gremio, Autuori rejoined Al Rayyan, signing a three-year contract.\nBrazilian-born Paulo Autuori became the coach of the Qatar Olympic team (the under-23 side) on 27 August 2011. He replaced Frenchman Bernard Simondi, who achieved fairly limited results. His first assignment will be to lead the team during the 2012 London Olympics qualification stage. 34. Muhammad Ghannam\n\nMuhammad Ghannam’s firm handles the distribution of Qatar’s vast liquefied natural gas wealth.\nIt is a Qatari-listed shipping company established by the State of Qatar to own, operate and manage LNG vessels and to provide shipping and marine-related services to a range of participants within the Qatari hydrocarbon sector. Nakilat is an integral component of the supply chain of some of the largest, most advanced energy projects in the world undertaken by Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, RasGas and their joint venture partners for the State of Qatar. Nakilat owns 54 LNG vessels, making it the largest LNG ship owner in the world.\nIts fleet of vessels transport LNG produced from Qatar’s North Field, the world’s largest non-associated gas field with approximately fifteen percent of the world’s total proven reserves to global markets. These vessels, ordered from Korean shipyards, incorporate the latest technology for safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation of LNG. Nakilat has also developed the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard, a new world-class shipbuilding and ship repair facility in the Port of Ras Laffan. 35. Jabir Al Harami\n\nHaving been established 27 years ago, the Arabic paper has a circulation of 15,000, with Al Harami running the show. And it is some show — there has been no shortage of big events in recent months, with the paper giving extensive coverage to Qatar’s World Cup winning bid, and Qatar’s increasingly huge role on the Middle East political front. The paper is widely respected, and its business coverage has included a large focus on the country’s fast growing economy. 36. Abdullah Al Najjar\n\nAbdullah Al Najjar has overseen the development of the iconic Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.\nHe started his 20-year career with the field of industry in Qatar and elsewhere in the Middle East during which he held several positions. In 2004, he joined the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee as planning, coordination and integration director and became main operations centre director.\nAfter the Asian Games in 2007, Al Najjar became director of Commercial Affairs at Al Jazeera, the media network. 37. Nasser Al Attiyah\n\nNasser Al Attiyah has competed at world level in two different sports concurrently for over a decade. The Qatari competed in his first ISAF World Shooting Championship in 1994 and, although he has never won a medal at the championships, he has medalled at World Cup level. At Attiyah, who was Asian champion in both 2001 and 2006, was a member of the Qatari team that took team skeet gold at the 2002 Asian Games.\nInterspersed with his shooting career, he has been Qatari national rally driving champion five times, Middle Eastern champion in 2003 and 2005-2008 and won the production class of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2006. He has also competed in the Dakar Rally and in 2008 helped his BMW team clinch the FIA Cross-County World Cup. 39. Seraj Al Baker\n\nWith 35 years of experience, al baker began his career with the Kuwait Foreign Trading Contracting & Investment Company in 1975 where he eventually became manager.\nIn 1979, he joined KIIC New Issues Department where he eventually became deputy GM — Treasury, Syndication and Credit, and New Issues Department.\nHe has held other institutional and investment positions including Arab Banking Corporation senior vice president and head of Investment Banking, Ahli Bank of Kuwait, deputy general manager, National Investments Company, and International Investment Projects Company general manager, and Mashoura International Consulting Company managing partner. 40. Adel Mustafawi\n\nMustafawi heads up Qatar’s fourth-biggest lender by market value, which has seen stocks soar recently. He was also voted the Gulf’s seventh most efficient CEO in a survey by Arabian Business last year. And what a year last year turned out to be. In 2011, the Islamic lender posted a net profit of $384m - a 16 percent increase year-on-year. Assets rose by a whopping 59 percent, while customer deposits increased by 71 percent. Mustafawi will be hoping to continue the good work in 2012. 41. Dr Khalid Al Subai\n\nQatari astronomer Dr Khalid Al Subai has become instrumental in the discovery of a new alien planet, working in collaboration with scientists from the UK and the US. Qatar-1b is a giant Jupiter-like planet that is 20 percent larger in diameter, and ten percent more massive than the largest planet in the Solar System. Because it orbits only 3.5 million km from its star, Qatar-1b’s temperature is over 1,000 degrees Celsius, and it takes 1.4 days to complete an orbit.\n“The discovery of Qatar-1b is a great achievement — one that further demonstrates Qatar’s commitment to becoming a leader in innovative science and research,” said Dr Khalid Al Subai, leader of the Qatar exoplanet survey and a research director of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. “This discovery marks the beginning of a new era of collaborative astrophysics research between Qatar, the United Kingdom and the US,” Dr Al Subai added.\nThe Qatar exoplanet survey hunts for exoplanets by scanning the skies for stars that “wink,” dimming slightly, when an orbiting planet passes in front of its star, as viewed from Earth. Such surveys must meticulously examine thousands of stars, to find few detectable planets. To discover the new world, Qatar’s wide-angle cameras, located in New Mexico, USA, took images of the sky every clear night, beginning in early 2010. The images then were transmitted to the UK for analysis by astronomers from St. Andrews and Leicester Universities and Qatar. That analysis detected a few hundred candidate stars.\n*Material sourced from www.bibalex.org 42. Khadija Ben Ganna\n\nShe has become one of the most familiar faces on Middle East television as Al Jazeera becomes a crucial link between anti-government protesters everywhere from Tunisia to Yemen, and those in the outside world. Her influence in Arab media is made even more remarkable by the fact that she is a woman — and one of the first Arab women to rise to such a height of notoriety on a regional network.\nHer defining moment as a journalist — and as a public face of the women of Islam — came when she decided to put on her hijab, on air, just one day before the Eid Al Fitr holiday. Overnight her cropped, modern hair cut and trendy Western style blazers gave way to a salmon coloured veil, sparking a mix of public emotions. 43. Issa Abu Issa\n\nIssa Abu Issa established Salam Contracting in the mid-1980s, a firm which swiftly grew into Salam Holding. In 2002, Abu Issa spearheaded the merger between Salam Holding and Salam International. His is the first family-owned entity to be traded on the Doha bourse.\nIssa Abu Issa is chairman of Salam Bounian Development and a member of the World Economic Forum. He is also the secretary general of the Qatari Businessmen Association. 45. Abdulla Al Subai\n\nQatar Railways Company, a private and independent company, was founded to support and coordinate the growth of Qatar's rail industry. In addition to securing the resources, personnel and organisational requirements necessary to ensure the rail sector’s sustainability, the Qatar Railways Company will also develop the appropriate legal and legislative frameworks to ensure that all local and international regulations are met. As Qatar’s premier railway authority, the Qatar Railways Company will oversee the management, operation and maintenance of all local railways and lead coordination efforts with regional and international rail networks.\nAbdulla Al Subai has been charged with handling this crucial area of Qatar's infrastructure growth. Under his direction, the Qatar Railways Company will manage the development of the West Bay People Mover, Lusail City’s Light-Rail Transit system, and the integrated Qatar Railways Project, which will incorporate a metro system, long-distance passenger travel, and freight transport. In November 2009, Qatari Diar and Deutsche Bahn signed a joint venture to establish the Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC) under the administration of the Qatar Railways Company, wholly owned by Qatari Diar. Connecting Qatar’s network to neighbouring countries, QRDC will create the region’s most reliable and safe railway system for transporting residents, visitors and cargo throughout Doha and beyond. 46. Mubarak Mustafa\n\nA former Qatari football player and current director of football for Al Arabi, Mustafa (left) comes in at 46 on our list. He is known for his numerous achievements with Qatari club Al Arabi and extraordinary playing ability, as well as being the former captain of the Qatar national team.\nHe is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Qatari football and a major factor in determining Qatar’s rise to success in the 1990s, along with Mansoor Muftah, Mahmoud Soufi and Ibrahim Khalfan.\nMustafa started his senior international career at the age of nineteen. He helped establish the Qatar football team on the international stage, claiming many achievements in his time of playing for the Qatar national team, such as winning the 1992 Gulf Cup of Nations, reaching the quarter-finals of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and winning the 1998 Arab Nations Cup. He played for Qatar in the 1998 World Cup Qualifiers, scoring two goals in the group stage and securing the top position in their group before getting eliminated in the final round. In a match at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Mustafa scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Egypt, registering the first competitive win in Qatar’s history against an African nation. Mustafa had a reputation of being a fair player, having been shown very few red cards in his career. He received the World Fair Play Trophy in 2005. 48. Dr Ilham Al Qaradawi\n\nProf Ilham Al Qaradawi is professor of Nuclear Physics at Qatar University and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Texas A&M University in Qatar. She received her Ph D working in the field of positron physics from University of London, UK in 1991.\nOver the past decade at Qatar University, she has established a positron lab and successfully built the first variable energy slow positron beam in the Middle East. She has also established a radiation measurement lab carrying out research in the area of environmental radiation physics.\nShe is involved in many research projects and collaborations on local, regional and international levels. Her research is mainly in the field of positron physics working on various types of materials. Al Qaradawi is involved with Europe's CERN in the Antihydrogen experiment AEGIS. She is also involved in environmental radiation research and in physics education research. She represents Qatar in many areas related to nuclear, radiation physics and science education on the regional and international level. She is a keen educator who is always working to raise the standards of science awareness and teaching particularly in physics. She is the founder of the Qatar Physics Society; through which she regularly holds training workshops for physics teachers and other activities in an effort to spread physics knowledge and nuclear awareness as well as improve physics education. She has lectured in the World Nuclear University Summer Institute for the past four years.\nProf Ilham Al Qaradawi was awarded the Qatar University award for excellence in research in 2004 and the Ahmed Badeeb Prize for Arab Women in Science in 2008. 49. Rajan Jethwa\n\nDr Rajan Jethwa is the CEO for Virgin Health Bank in Qatar and the UK as well as the investment manager of Qatar Science Technology Park. As an investment manager of QSTP, he leads the strategy and management of a seed-capital New Enterprise fund and a growth-capital Technology Ventures fund, whilst providing specific input in to managing QSTP’s assets and tenant companies on commercial strategy in order to further develop and contribute to Qatar’s growing knowledge economy.\nRajan was a manager in KPMG’s Transaction services healthcare team, which focused on advising government, the National Health Service in England, multinational corporations, investors and private equity firms on aspects of commercial strategy, new market entries, market analysis and commercial deals. He advised the several the Department of Health in England on several procurements totalling $2.64bn in value. He also advised private equity firms on several multibillion dollar deals as an associate at a leading boutique healthcare consultancy.\nHe is a qualified surgeon, having graduated from Cambridge University and attained Membership to the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He has a unique and deep experience in healthcare, spanning the breadth of the health economy from strategy and policy design through to healthcare delivery. In addition, He has experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, business process outsourcing, and commercial business strategy.