Top 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2017 | Gulf Business
Home lists

Top 100 Most Powerful Arabs 2017


The last 12 months has been a period of challenge, uncertainty and change for many from the Arab region. But despite, economic, political and social headwinds the 100 individuals on our 100 Powerful Arabs list were able to maintain their power and influence, and in some cases stand taller than ever before. Read on to find out which business leaders, models, megastar musicians, inspirational women and athletes stood out from the crowd in 2016 and are in good stead to continue making waves in 2017. For the sixth year running Gulf Business counts down the most powerful Arabs from across the world.

How we did it

This year’s Arab Power List was selected by our team of leading business editors at Gulf Business. We took an in-depth look at the movements of those who had made their mark in the Arab world during 2016, using our broad knowledge base to promote, demote or consolidate existing entrants’ positions, as well as to identify and assess potential new entries that have emerged throughout the year. The ‘power 100’ format reflects the sheer number of people from the Arab world making an impact.

As in previous years, everyone in our ranking was weighted under the following criteria:

Financial capital

Human capital

Expansion plans

Personal fame

In general, politicians and royal family members were excluded unless they had an unassailable leaning towards corporate activity.

The resulting list is intended to be an inspirational representation of some of the Arab World’s greatest businesspeople, influencers, thinkers, achievers and future stars.

We trust this list will incite vigorous discussion and we look forward to your feedback.

Rank Name Title Origin Company Industry
1 HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Chairman KSA Kingdom Holding Company Finance
2 HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Chairman UAE Emirates/Emirates NBD Diversified
3 HE Khalid Al Falih Chairman KSA Aramco Energy
4 Joseph Safra Chairman Syria Safra Group Finance
5 Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan Vice Chairman and CEO KSA SABIC Industry
6 Carlos Slim Helu Honorary Chairman Lebanon America Movil Telecoms
7 Carlos Ghosn Chairman/CEO Lebanon Nissan/Renault/Mitsubushi Industry
8 HE Mohamed Alabbar Chairman UAE Emaar Real Estate
9 HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak CEO UAE Mubadala Investment Diversified
10 HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair CEO UAE Mashreq Finance
11 HE Mohammad Al Gergawi Chairman UAE Dubai Holding Diversified
12 Saad Sherida Al Kaabi President and CEO/MD and Chairman Qatar Qatar Petroleum/Industries Qatar Diversified
13 HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber Director General and CEO/Chairman UAE ADNOC/Masdar Energy
14 Akbar Al Baker CEO Qatar Qatar Airways Aviation
15 HE Noura Al Kaabi Chairwoman UAE twofour54 Media
16 Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber Chairman and CEO KSA MBI International Diversified
17 Nasser Al Khelaifi Chairman and CEO/Chairman/President Qatar Bein Media Group/Qatar Sports Investment/Paris Saint-Germain Media/Sport
18 HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi Minister of International Cooperation and Development, UAE/President UAE Zayed University Diversified
19 Mansour Saleh Al Maiman Chairman KSA National Commercial Bank, NCB Capital Finance
20 Lubna Olayan Deputy Chairperson and CEO KSA Olayan Financing Company Finance
21 HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani CEO UAE Investment Corporation of Dubai Finance
22 HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Bin Saud Al Thani CEO Qatar Qatar Investment Authority Finance
23 DJ Khaled Rap Artist and Record Producer Palestine Culture and Society
24 HE Ali Shareef Al Emadi Minister of Finance/Chairman Qatar Qatar/QNB Finance
25 Sheikh Sulaiman Bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Co-founder KSA Al Rajhi Bank Finance
26 Mohamed Mansour Chairman Egypt Mansour Group Diversified
27 Mohammed Bin Abdulmalik Al Sheikh Chairman KSA Saudi Capital Market Authority Finance
28 HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Chairwoman Qatar Qatar Foundation Culture and Society
29 HE DR Raja Easa Al Gurg MD UAE Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group Diversified
30 Mohammed Al Barwani Chairman Oman MB Holding Energy
31 Khalaf Al Habtoor Chairman UAE Al Habtoor Group Real Estate
32 Riyad Mahrez Footballer Algeria-France Leicester City FC Sport
33 Mohammed Alshaya Executive Chairman Kuwait MH Alshaya Retail
34 Majid Al Futtaim Founder UAE Majid Al Futtaim Diversified
35 Zainab Salbi Activist and Media Personality Iraq Culture and Society
36 Omar K Alghanim CEO Kuwait Alghanim Industries Diversified
37 HH Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer Co-founder and Chairman KSA Almarai FMCG
38 HE Reem Al Hashimy UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director General UAE Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau Diversified
39 HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman UAE DP World Logistics
40 HE Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani Group CEO Qatar Ooredoo Telecoms
41 Khaled bin Hussain Biyari CEO KSA Saudi Telecom Company Telecoms
42 HE Sheikha Mayassa Bint Al Thani Chairwoman Qatar Qatar Museums Authority Culture and Society
43 Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji CEO Bahrain Mumtalakat Finance
44 Rami Malek Actor Egypt-US Culture and Society
45 HE Sheikh Saleh Kamel Founder and Chairman KSA Dallah Albaraka Finance
46 HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak Chairman/Authority and CEO UAE Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority/Aldar Properties Diversified
47 HE Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi Director General UAE UAE Space Agency Technology
48 Fadi Ghandour Co-founder and Executive Chairman Jordan Wamda Capital Finance
49 Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha Doctor and Activist Iraq-UK Culture and Society
50 Bader Al Kharafi Director Kuwait MA Al Kharafi & Sons Diversified
51 Mohammed Al Amoudi Owner KSA-Ethiopia MIDROC Diversified
52 Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari CEO Qatar Qatar National Bank Finance
53 Huda Kattan Founder Iraq-US Huda Beauty Culture and Society
54 Saleh Al Abdooli CEO UAE Etisalat Group Telecoms
55 Hassan Abdullah Al Thawadi Secretary General Qatar Qatar 2022 Sport
56 Nayla Hayek Chairwoman/CEO Lebanon-Switzerland Swatch Group/Harry Winston Inc Retail
57 HE Essa Kazim Chairman/CEO/Govenor UAE Dubai Financial Markets/Borse Dubai/DIFC Finance
58 Dalia Mogahed Director of Research Egypt Institute for Social Policy and Understanding Culture and Society
59 Hussain Sajwani CEO and Executive Chairman UAE DAMAC Real Estate
60 Ala’a Eraiqat CEO UAE ADCB Finance
61 Bassem Youssef Satirist and Journalist Egypt Media
62 Mishal Kanoo Chairman Bahrain-UAE The Kanoo Group Diversified
63 Ali Rashid Lootah Chairman UAE Nakheel Real Estate
64 Noor Tagouri Journalist and Blogger Libya-US Media
65 Mohammed Bin Mahfoodh Alardhi Executive Chairman/Chairman Oman Investcorp/ National Bank of Oman Finance
66 Nassef Sawiris CEO Egypt OCI Industry
67 Khaled Bin Saleh Al Mudaifer CEO and President KSA Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) Industry
68 Munib Al Masri Chairman Palestine Edgo Group Diversified
69 HE Hamad Buamim President and CEO UAE Dubai Chamber of Commerce Diversified
70 Mazin Al Nahedh Group CEO Kuwait Kuwait Finance House Finance
71 Issad Rebrab CEO Algeria Cevital Diversified
72 Gigi Hadid Model Palestine-US Culture and society
73 Mohamed Al Hammadi CEO UAE Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation Energy
74 Badr Jafar CEO UAE-Iraq Crescent Enterprises Diversified
75 Omar Abdulrahman UAE National Footballer UAE Sport
76 Suhail Salim Bahwan Chairman Oman Suhail Bahwan Group Holding Group Diversified
77 Dr Amina Rustamani Group CEO UAE Tecom Group Diversified
78 Osman Sultan CEO Lebanon du Telecoms
79 Ronaldo Mouchawar CEO Syria Retail/Technology
80 Othman Benjelloun President and CEO Morocco BMC Bank Finance
81 Maher Zain Singer Lebanon-Sweden Culture and Society
82 Elie Saab Fashion Designer Lebanon Culture and Society
83 Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi Social Commentator and Founder UAE Barjeel Art Foundation Culture and Society
84 Yusra Mardini Olympic swimmer Syria Culture and Society
85 Maha Al Ghunaim Vice Chairperson and Group CEO Kuwait Global Investment House Finance
86 Nancy Ajram Singer Lebanon Culture and Society
87 Saif Al Aleeli CEO UAE Dubai Future Foundation Technology
88 Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Chairman and CEO Palestine-US Fresh Del Monte Food
89 HE Fatima Al Jaber COO UAE Al Jaber Group Diversified
90 Shaikha Al Bahar Deputy Group CEO Kuwait National Bank of Kuwait Finance
91 Issam Kazim CEO UAE Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing Tourism
92 Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi CEO UAE DXB Entertainments Tourism
93 Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch Founder and CEO Morocco Aksal Group Retail
94 Hala Gorani News Anchor Syria CNN Media
95 Hoda Kotb TV Show Host Egypt-US NBC Media
96 Mustafa Agha Head of Sports Syria MBC Sport/Media
97 Mona Eltahawy Journalist/Commentator Egypt Media
98 Muna Abu Sulayman Entrepreneur KSA Culture and Society
99 Bakr Bin Laden Chairman KSA Saudi Binladin Group Construction
100 Majed Al-Esa Music Director KSA Culture and Society


Scroll To Top