Country: Saudi Arabia
Wealth: 6.2 Billion
The big news from Tareq Al Qahtani’s family firm last year was the move into aviation. As Saudi Arabia’s domestic market has opened up, one of the two new airlines entering the sector is owned by the Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani Group of Companies. Saudi Gulf Airlines (below) will start flying in the first quarter of next year, and has already invested $2bn in a fleet of 16 commercial jets. It’s a big punt for the firm, but based on its track record in other sectors, the airline looks like it should be in good hands.
Originally founded by Sheikh Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani in the 1940s as a wholesaler and supplier of food products and materials, the group has been expanded to cover various sectors and considered to be one of the largest and most reputable privately owned companies in Saudi Arabia with excellent relationships in both government and commercial sectors. Its chairman, Tareq Abdel Hadi Al Qahtani, has grown and diversified the company into supplying other industries including petrochemicals and the oil and gas sectors.