The World’s Richest Arabs 2014 - Construction and Property
Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Arabian Business Rich List, our annual countdown of the world’s richest Arabs.
4. The Sawiris family
\nIt’s all go for the various members of Egypt’s richest family, who are putting their money where their collective mouths are in helping to redevelop their home country. Naguib Sawiris has announced plans to invest over $1bn in Egyptian construction, real estate, agriculture and microfinance. Not to be outdone, Nassef Sawiris announced last month that his Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) conglomerate would also be boosting investments in the country. Ever since Onsi, the patriarch of the family handed over the reins to Naguib, his eldest son and two brothers Nassef and Samih (pictured), their fortunes have rocketed. They took over and expanded the Orascom conglomerate into a telecommunications, construction, hotel and development business. Naguib launched the first mobile operator in Egypt, Mobinil in 1998.
22. Hussain Sajwani
\n$4bn (New entry)
\nHussain Sajwani is both the founder and CEO of Damac Group, the Middle East's largest private sector luxury property developer. Sajwani started his career in the oil and gas industry, but in his heart, he was an entrepreneur. He left his job after two years, and founded a conglomerate whose activities encompass property development, insurance, manufacturing, education, securities, investment and commercial trading. You may know Damac from its luxury property portfolio, but Damac Holding also operates the largest catering company in the Middle East and is one of the leading insurance providers in Bahrain. The true extent of Sajwani’s net worth has only really become evident via the recent listing of Damac Properties in London, which values the company at some $4bn. Sajwani’s 85 percent stake in that company, together with his other existing interests in Damac Group, put \nour estimate of his wealth at a conservative $4bn.
32. Issad Rebrab
\n$3bn (New entry)
\nAself-made man, Issad Rebrab is currently celebrating his 70th birthday. He runs Algeria’s biggest conglomerate, Cevital, which manages not only one of the world’s largest sugar refineries, but also has interest in steel, cars, agriculture and refining. In 1998, Rebrab launched the project to create an industrial/ energy complex, Cap 2015, about 60km east of Algiers, together with a small town of 250,000 inhabitants with the ambition of generating 100,000 direct jobs and a further million indirect jobs.
34. Bahaa Hariri
\nSwitzerland (Saudi Arabia)
\nIt’s been a landmark year for Rafiq Hariri’s eldest son, Bahaa. In June, he opened the first phase of a $5bn mixed-used megaproject in Amman. His real estate arm, Horizon Development, focuses on commercial projects in Jordan and Lebanon and is a major shareholder in the Abdali Investment and Development Company. Hariri chose not to follow his father’s path into politics and instead forged his own career in business. \n He currently resides in Geneva, and derives the bulk of his fortune from investment management. 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.
35. Saad Hariri
\nMarried with three children, Saudi-born businessman and politician Saad Hariri is 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. Raised 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. 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.
36. Ziad Manasir
\nEarlier this year, Ziad Manasir sold off all his shares in Stroygazconsulting, the firm he built from scratch, to Chechen businessman Ruslan Baisarov. It marks a sea change for the Jordanian-born magnate, who travelled to Russia on a student exchange programme at just 19 years old before deciding to make the country his home. In 1996 he established Stroygazconsulting, which has grown from a small firm erecting single buildings and structures, to one of Russia’s largest construction holding companies. The firm employs over 63,000 people and operates around 30 production units that span the former Soviet countries, the Middle East and the Gulf. The firm has close ties with Russian energy giant Gazprom and has expanded into pipelines, roads and other infrastructure construction. Manasir, who tends to shun the limelight, was awarded the Order For Merit to the Fatherland last year by Russia, for his career achievements and work \non the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline.
45. Nadhmi Auchi
\nThe British Iraqi businessman moved to the UK in the 1980s, and 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 subcontinent 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, and Pope John Paul II, among others.
47. Hasan Abdullah Ismaik
\n$1.8bn (New entry)
\nJust 37 years old, he became Jordan’s first business billionaire in June this year after his stake in construction giant Arabtec was raised to 20.5 percent. Ismaik had taken over as the CEO after joining the company a year earlier, following the purchase of a 22 percent stake in Arabtec by Aabar Investments, which also resulted in the departure of founder Riad Kamal.
\nBut shortly after achieving billionaire status, Ismaik resigned from the company as its share price plunged – only to recover after Aabar increased its stake to 34.93 percent. Having earlier sold a huge chunk of shares to Aabar, Ismaik is still registered as the owner of 11.8 percent of Arabtec shares. According to Reuters he is looking to offload these in the new future, but for now at least, the shares — and their value — can be attributed to him.