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Sun 27 Mar 2011 08:00 AM

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Recession fails to dim banking presence on Power 500

Field of finance boasts more than 87 of the world’s most influential Arabs, list shows

Recession fails to dim banking presence on Power 500
Prince Alwaleed is the highest ranked entrant from the worlds of banking and finance

The worst recession in living memory hasn’t diminished the Arab world’s financial presence, with the world of Banking and Finance boasting 89 entries in this year’s Power 500.

Top of these is Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed, ranked No.1, followed by the head of US investment giant PIMCO, Mohammed El Erian, in at No.11.

The man who holds the purse strings in the Gulf's wealthiest economy, Saudi Central Bank governor Mohammed Al Jasser, comes in at No.15 on the list.

But the field of finance fails to compete with Culture and Society, a sector that secures 94 rankings overall and two in the top 10 alone.

Among the entries are Egyptian-born web activist and Google marketing chief, Wael Ghonim, and Yemeni child bride Nujood Ali.

At 13, Ali is the youngest-ever entrant on the Arabian Business Power 500.

Also producing a solid showing is the sector of Arts and Entertainment, fielding 90 entries.

The entertainment industry boasts 13 entries in the top 100 slots alone, top of which is Syrian art gallery owner Khalid Samawi at No.18. Following closely behind is Egyptian singer Amr Diab at No.21, while superstar Ziad Rahbani comes in at No.29.

Construction and Industry – despite arguably being the sector worst-hit in the Arab world by the global financial crisis – fields 74 entries, while Media boasts a solid 39.

Top of the rankings is Al Jazeera boss Wadah Khanfar, at No.6, whose outspoken views have made him a key player in the Arab world’s burgeoning broadcast industry.

Sporting heroes also make a number of appearances on this year’s Power 500, led by Asian Football Confederation boss, Qatar-born Mohammed Bin Hamman, who nets the No.3 spot.

The highest ranked footballer is Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh: the Moroccan-born athlete placed at No.184.

To read the full Arabian Business Power 500 rankings, click here

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall