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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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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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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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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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\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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\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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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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\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.