By Jo Anne Bladd
The 500 most powerful Arabs on the planet
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed has topped the list of the 500 most powerful Arabs on the planet, Arabian Business can reveal.
The Kingdom Holding chairman took the top spot for the seventh successive year, beating off competition from Mohammed Bin Hammam, the head of the Asian Football Confederation, and chairman of Emirates Airline Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
The prince, whose investment firm holds stakes in Apple, News Corporation and TimeWarner, balances a global empire with a wealth of philanthropic interests. In the last 30 years, he has donated more than $3bn to good causes and shows no signs of slowing his pace.
In second place on the Power 500 is Google’s marketing chief Wael Ghonim who, for a few weeks this year, became the face of the people’s revolution in Egypt, sparking an uprising that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after a 30-year reign.
In at third is the man who brought the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, Mohammed Bin Hammam. Rounding out the next three slots is a trio of the Arab world’s biggest business leaders, including Emaar boss Mohammed Alabbar, and the head of the region’s most controversial news network, Al Jazeera’s Wadah Khanfar.
The all-important top 10 slots contain three surprises, one of which is our youngest ever Power entry. In at No.7 is Yemeni child bride Nujood Ali who, at the age of 10, became a global symbol of the Arab state’s fight against forced marriage.
Not surprisingly the Arab world contributes the most names, with 69 entries hailing from the UAE, 62 from Saudi Arabia and 45 from Egypt.
But this is a truly global list: there are 7 Brazilians in the rankings, 48 US entries, 18 from the UK, 7 from Canada, 4 from Australia, and even Arabs living in Russia, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Argentina.
May God continue to lift your hands up and give you the power to help those in need.