World's richest Arabs in telecoms and industry
Naguib Sawiris announced plans to invest $1bn in Egypt next year, focusing on construction, real estate, agriculture and microfinance.
6. The Sawiris family $10bn ($11.2bn) Egypt
\nThere is no stopping this family. Just last week Naguib Sawiris announced plans to invest $1bn in Egypt next year, focusing on construction, real estate, agriculture and microfinance. Indeed ever since Onsi, the patriarch of the family handed over the reins to Naguib, his eldest son and two brothers Nassef and Samih, their fortunes have rocketed. They took over and expanded the Orascom conglomerate into a telecommunications, construction, hotel and development business. Naguib, 58, launched the first mobile operator in Egypt, Mobinil in 1998, was chairman of the telecoms firms Wind Telecom and Orascom and launched Koryolink, the first mobile operator in North Korea in 2008. Naguib turned to politics as a wave of protests swept Egypt overthrowing former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
22. The Al Rajhi family $4.3bn (new entry) Saudi Arabia
\nSulaiman Al Rajhi, chairman of Al Rajhi Bank — Saudi Arabia’s largest Islamic bank, established by royal decree in 1988 — began transferring his assets to family members in July 2010. His bank’s origins date back to the 1940s, when it began operating as a money changer in the kingdom. Today, its operations include retail, corporate and investment banking. Sulaiman owns the largest cut of the institution’s shares. With an established base in Riyadh, Al Rajhi Bank has a network of over 550 branches, over 100 dedicated ladies branches and more than 2,600 ATMs. A philanthropist, Al Rajhi founded the SAAR Foundation, a flagship corporation representing charities, think tanks and business entities. Al Rajhi also oversees stakes in a number of Saudi firms — 24.9 percent of Al Rajhi Bank, 23.7 percent of Yanbu Cement and a 19.7 percent stake in Nadec.
27. Najib Mikati $3.4bn($3bn) Lebanon
\nNajib Mikati may no longer be Lebanon’s prime minister, but he is still his country’s richest man. Mikati, 57, who entered Lebanon’s fractious political scene in 1998 as 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. He helped steer the country towards parliamentary elections in the wake of the killing before returning in 2011 to serve as premier after the government of Saad Hariri was toppled by Hezbollah and its allies. Mikati, a graduate of the American University of Beirut, helped co-found Investcom along 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 the largest international listing of a Middle Eastern company. MTN Group Ltd, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, bought the company in 2006 for $5.5bn. M1 Group, which the two brothers run, became its second-largest shareholder. The company’s holdings include real estate investments in the US, Europe and the Middle East, as well as the Geneva-based Baboo airline and French retailer Faconnable.
35. the Zamil family $2.9bn($2.7bn) Saudi Arabia
\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 Bahrain in the 1930s. Today, 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 international partners. The family also has a significant stake in Bahrain-based Energy Central Company, which could prove a huge windfall given the region’s growing power demands.
38. Ayman Asfari $2.7bn ($3bn) UK (Syria)
\nMany of the names on our list have had their fortunes handed down by their families. Not Ayman Asfari. The boss of oil services giant Petrofac, 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.
47. Mohammed Ibrahim $2.15bn ($2.4bn) UK (Sudan)
\nAnother example of a self-made man, Mohammed ‘Mo’ Ibrahim is putting his money to good effect in Africa, where he has set up 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. Ibrahim 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 master’s degree and PhD, and ended up as an academic with a specialisation in mobile communications. When 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. He then sold his first company a few years later for about $1bn.
48. Saleh Kamel $2bn ($2.19bn) Saudi Arabia
\nSaleh Kamel is synonymous with Islamic banking and finance. Born in Taif, 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 AI Baraka 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 variousIslamic banking operations, with real estate, construction and manufacturing business segments.