By Anil Bhoyrul
Saudi prince is world’s most powerful Arab for eighth successive year
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed has topped the Arabian Business Power List for the eighth successive year. The Kingdom Holding chairman took top slot in the coveted list of the world’s 500 most influential Arabs, published on Sunday by Arabian Business.
Emirates Airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed was ranked second. The highest new entry was third placed Reem Asaad, the Saudi woman who launched a campaign to allow women to work in lingerie shops. Last July, her campaign paid off when the Saudi Labour Ministry banned men from working in lingerie shops after a directive from King Abdullah – in an instant, creating 44,000 jobs for women.
Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar was fourth on the list, with the Libyan activist Mohammed Nabbous in fifth place. Nabbous was the founder of Libya Al Hurra TV in Benghazi, the first independent broadcast news organisation since Gaddafi took power in Libya. The 28-year old was killed last year by Pro-Gaddafi forces.
“Since his death, many experts in Libya and the west have credited Nabbous for his pivotal role in bringing the world’s attention to the killings in his native country. Without him, it is debatable whether the western powers would have intervened in the conflict,” said Arabian Business.
The 2012 Power 500 contains a record 127 new entries, and also features 105 women, the highest ever number. The UAE has the highest number of entries with 96 on the list, followed by Saudi Arabia with 62 and 45 from the US. In total, Arabs living in 37 different countries are featured on the list.
When it comes to countries of origin, Lebanon contributes the most with 85 entries, followed by 67 from Saudi Arabia and 58 from Egypt.
Ed Attwood, Editor of Arabian Business, said: “What we have published today is the most comprehensive guide every to Arab influence all across the world. Our researchers have looked at the work of Arabs in every continent and every country across the globe, and covered every sector from business and finance to media, sports and science. It is clear from this list that Arab success and influence across the world has never been more significant than it is today.”