REVEALED: Most powerful Qataris
See photos of some of the most influential Qataris of the year
386 Tamim Al Kawari
\nBanking & Finance
\nRecently appointed as CEO, Al Kawari will take responsbility for the Qatari investment bank’s move to form a joint venture with Egypt’s EFG-Hermes. He was previously a managing director and country head for Goldman Sachs’ business in Qatar.
\nSee the full list of the 500 most influential Arabs in the world here
372 Essa Bin Hilal Al Kuwari
\nEssa Bin Hilal Al Kuwari’s remit as boss of the Qatar Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is to keep power and water supplies in step with the Gulf state’s fast-expanding infrastructure.
357 Buthaina Al Ansari
\nCulture & Society
\nA high-flying and inspiring business executive in Qatar, Buthaina Al Ansari received a Qatar Business Women Award for her Qatarisation work at Al Rayan Investment. She founded and manages Qatariat, a company that specialises in helping Qatari women advance into the workforce.
314 Issa Abdulsalam Abu Issa
\nSalam International Investment
\nBanking & Finance
\nEntrepreneur Issa Abu Issa is secretary general of the Qatari Businessmen Association.
313 Khaled Al Subai
\nAl Subai led the team that found a new planet - Qatar 1b - which has been named after the country.
222 Ziad Al Khalil
\nAl Khalil has worked for the family conglomerate his entire career, generating 20 years’ experience in general management, investment and finance and the beverages and real estate industries. Most notably, he has spread the Pepsi Cola soft drink labels across Africa, serving as general manager of SevenUp Bottling company in Nigera before establishing SBC in Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana.
\nHe joined the family’s MAK Holdings in 2004 as chief financial officer until 2006. He is now deputy chief executive officer and chief investment officer and involved in all of the company’s investment decisions in Africa and the Middle East, where it has thousand of employees and provides small business opportunities.
\nEl Khalil is also executive director of real estate developer Qatar Coral, which has built two residential towers on the Pearl Qatar. \nHe graduated with a BBA degree from the American University of Beirut in 1985 and received a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1987.
210 Hassan Al Thawadi
\nQatar 2022 Supreme Committee
\nFollowing on from his success in making a bold bid for Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Thawadi is vying for a role on the FIFA Executive Committee as the Asian Football Confederation representative. A vote is scheduled to be held on May 2.
\nAl Thawadi, 34, was a key player in securing Qatar the rights to host the 2022 Cup – which will be the first time it has been held in the Middle East - despite a flurry of criticism including that it would be too hot, and the country lacked association with football, had a tiny population and would not be able to provide the necessary infrastructure. Al Thawadi fought back at every point and 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.
\nAl Thawadi is also General Counsel at Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holding.
200 Hitmi Al Hitmi
\nBarwa Real Estate
\nSince its formation, Barwa has shown itself to be a dynamic and powerful force for the development of Qatar.
\nWith a shareholding of 45 percent held 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 QR74bn ($20.32bn) as of 31 December 2010.
\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.
158 Mohammed Bin Ali Al Hedfa
\nBanking & Finance
\nMohammed Ali Al Hedfa has his hands on the tiller of Qatari Diar, which is the property investment arm of the country’s $115bn sovereign wealth fund.
\nQatari Diar has more than 49 projects under development or planning in Qatar and in 29 countries around the world with a combined value exceeding $35bn. Infrastructure works at Lusail City, the company’s 38 sq km development, are progressing ahead of schedule. Beyond Qatar, the firm is making headway in its projects across Europe and the Middle East, most notably in France and the UK.
157 Issa Al Mohannadi
\nQatar Tourism Authority
\nIssa Al Mohannadi heads Qatar Tourism Authority and is helping the emirate position itself as a hub for travellers and tourists in the run up to the World Cup in 2022. The state recorded a 60 percent increase in the number of visitors last year with tourists from Asia registering the highest growth rate, followed by Europe. The government body plans to spend QAR 236bn ($65bn) to host the football tournament.
\nMohannadi previously led Msheireb Properties, and was the founder and chairperson of the Qatar Green Building Council, which actively promotes sustainability in the local construction industry and member of the World Green Building Council. He sits on the board of a number of leading private businesses, as well as serving in a civic capacity as a board member for a number of social and educational institutions in Qatar.
\nPrior to entering the real estate industry, Al Mohannadi worked with a number of multinational companies in the energy sector.
149. Ibrahim Al Ibrahim
\nBanking & Finance
\nSince 1988, Al Ibrahim has been a close advisor to Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar. Dr Ibrahim was between 2006 and 2011 the secretary general for the General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP). He has 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.
\nAs the state realises its global ambitions, almost every plan and process is going through Dr Ibrahim’s desk. Dr Ibrahim is the vice chairman of the board of RasGas Company Limited and chairman of the Marketing Committee. He is a board member at Qatar Petroleum. Al Ibrahim’s previous roles include a position at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and senior economist at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies between 1986-1988. He has a PhD in business administration from New York University. In 2009, he was awarded the LNG Visionary Award in Barcelona, Spain.
125. Wadah Khanfar
\nAl Sharq Forum
\nCulture & Society
\nHe is now the President of Al Sharq Forum, an independent network dedicated to developing long-term strategies for political development, social justice and economic prosperity of the people of the Middle East. He previously served as the director general of the Al Jazeera Network. He has been ranked by Foreign Policy magazine in 2011 as the first in The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers, and in Fast Company as the first in the 100 Most Creative People in Business (2011). During his tenure Al Jazeera went from a single channel to a media network with multiple properties including the Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera’s news websites, and the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center.
121. Dr Nasser Marafih
\nQatar’s state-owned telecommunications firm, Qtel will now be known as ‘Ooredoo’, which means ‘I want’ in Arabic. The rebranding, which was widely expected, came during the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. Ooredoo has been flexing its financial muscles in recent months, raising its ownership in Iraq’s Asiacell to 64 percent following the firm’s US$1.24bn IPO in January. Last year, the company increased its stake in Kuwait’s Wataniya to 92 percent in one of the Gulf’s biggest acquisitions. It is currently vying with the UAE’s Etisalat to buy Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom for around US$6bn.
\nIn the third quarter of 2013, Ooredoo reported a 74 percent increase in net profit to US$294m, while profits rose by 6 percent year-on-year.\nOoredoo also announced that the Barcelona football player Lionel Messi had become its new global brand ambassador, extending the Gulf states link with the Spanish side. The Qatar Foundation is currently the club’s main shirt sponsor, although Qatar Airways will take on this role from next season.
116. Ali Shareef Al Emadi
\nQatar National Bank
\nBanking & Finance
\nQatar National Bank, which is currently on an expansion spree with a number of high-profile acquisitions, is set to become the first Arab lender with assets exceeding $100bn, according to new data. Led by Ali Shareef Al Emadi, QNB said last year that it will pay $1.97bn for 77 percent of National Societe Generale Bank, its latest deal in overseas markets. The deal will boost the bank’s assets by 11 percent to about $107bn, more than double their value at the end of 2009.
77. Hisham Al Mana
\nSaleh Hamad Al Mana
\nHisham Saleh Al Mana heads up the Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co, one of the leading automotive distributors in the region & the sole distributor of Nissan, Infiniti and Renault brands in Qatar. The firm was founded over 50 yeas ago by Al Mana’s father, the late Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana. Today the group has a billion-dollar turnover, 2,000 employees and interests in the hotel, engineering and food sectors, as well as running successful Infiniti, Nissan and Renault dealerships in the GCC region. Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana was amongst the first to introduce and develop a wealth of experience to import and sell both cars and heavy equipment in Qatar. He established a philosophy based on a strong management and personal involvement in the day-to-day activities and operations of the company.
63. Bader Al Darwish
\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 growth in all sectors. Recently, 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.
44. Naseer Homoud
\nThe Wall for Investment and Real Estate Development
\nStarting out as a dentist in Jordan, Dr Naseer Homoud moved 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 - a much-needed sector in the country.
\nHomoud now plans to expand the firm into the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. His Consultant Dental Centre is well known in Doha as the place to go for an affordable smile, while the Spanish International Business & Trading Centre has already gained a reputation for being the must-visit destination for Spanish companies that are looking to invest in the region, and for Arab firms wanting to tap the Spanish market. Homoud 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.
29. Nasser Al Khelaifi
\nParis St Germain
\nFormer general manager of Al Jazeera Sports, Nasser Al Khelaifi led the buyout of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2011 before taking over as president of the French side.
\nQatar Sports Investment acquired the remaining 30 percent in the club in March in a transaction that valued the entire club at 100m euros ($131m).
\nQatar has since spent an estimated €80m euros in transfers. PSG has been playing in Ligue 1 since 1974 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. The French side, along with Marseille, is one of only two French clubs to have won a top European trophy.
\nSo far, Al Khelaifi’s plans are on track; he has signed big-money details to attract the likes of Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and David Beckham to the Parc des Princes.
\nAt the time of writing, PSG were comfortably top of Ligue 1, and had just booked their passage to the Champions League quarter-finals courtesy of an easy win against Valencia.
\nAl Khelaifi is a former tennis professional and is also the current director of Al Jazeera Sports.
24. Akbar Al Baker
\nThis year is a big one for Akbar Al Baker.
\nQatar’s brand new airport will open next month for the first commercial services, while the entire Qatar Airways operation will shift over to the newly renamed Hamad International by the end of the year. It’s not as if the charismatic CEO of the Qatari flag-carrier hasn’t enough on his mind already. Qatar Airways is still winning awards for its “five star” service, and confirmed a deal with FC Barcelona in 2012 that will see the carrier’s named emblazoned on the shirts of the world’s most famous football club. But it is still Qatar Airways’ new home that will garner all the attention in the year. The much delayed airport has been in the wings for several years now, and disputes over construction have pushed back the launch date on several occasions. Will the $16bn be worth the wait? The world, and Al Baker, will find out in 2013.
7. Ahmad Al Sayed
\nBanking & Finance
\nName any blue chip in the world, and the chances are that Ahmad Al Sayed either has, or is thinking about, a stake in it.
\nAs head of Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, Al Sayed is the man whose nod means everything. Among the investments that Qatar Holding has been involved with during 2012 are: a 20 percent investment in Ferrovial, a one percent stake in luxury goods behemoth LVMH and an undisclosed chunk of Credit Suisse. The firm also played a key role in the biggest merger of last year, between Glencore and Xstrata. Expect Al Sayed to be just as busy this year.