The region’s most authoritative business list is here…

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, founder and chairman of Saudi’s Kingdom Holding Company, tops the second annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful Arabs, published by Gulf Business magazine.

The Prince enjoyed an extraordinary year as his share price more than doubled in 2012 and profits leapt by 10.6 per cent for the year to SAR707.1 million.

Emirates airline and Emirates NBD chairman Sheikh Ahmed ranks second, followed in third place by Khalid Al-Falih, who resides over Saudi oil firm Aramco, thought to be the world’s most valuable unlisted company.

This year’s list saw 25 new entrants, with the highest new entries from three women: women’s rights advocate Reem Asaad and Olympic athletes Sarah Attar and Wodjan Ali Seraj Shaherkani.


Gulf Business assembled a team of experts from within Motivate Publishing’s broad business division, including the Gulf Business team itself, which has decades of experience working with the Arab business community and reporting on regional news.

The team looked at the events of 2012 and judged each individual case on power merit.

We weighted our criteria on a points system across the following spheres of influence, with a particular emphasis on finance:

– Financial capital
– Human capital
– Expansion plans
– Personal fame levels.

In general, Gulf Business has excluded politicians and royalty, unless the contenders have a strong leaning towards business activity. We have included Arabs from across the world.

2Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum ChairmanUAEEmirates/Emirates NBDTransport
3Khalid Al Falih CEO and presidentKSAARAMCOIndustry
4Ali Bin Ibrahim Al Naimi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral ResourcesKSAEnergy
5Mohammed Al Mady CEOKSASABICIndustry
6Mohamed Ali Alabbar Chairman and CEOUAEEmaarReal Estate
7Mohammed El Erian CEO and co-CIOEgyptPIMCOFinance
8Ahmad Al Sayed Managing director and CEOQatarQatar HoldingFinance
9Carlos Ghosn Chairman & CEOLebanonRenault/NissanIndustry
10Reem Asaad Women rights advocateKSACulture and Society
11Dr Fahad Al Mubarak GovernorKSASAMAFinance
12Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber Chairman & CEOKSAMBI InternationalReal Estate
13Bakr bin Ladin ChairmanKSABin Laden GroupReal Estate
14Lubna Olayan CEOKSAOlayan Financing CompanyFinance
15Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak CEO and managing directorUAEMubadalaFinance
16Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi Minister of Foreign TradeUAEGovernment
17Sarah Attar & Wojdan Shaherkani Olympic athletesKSACulture and Society
18Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair CEOUAEMashreqFinance
19Mohammed Alshaya ChairmanKuwaitMH Alshaya GroupRetail
20Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Rajhi ChairmanKSAAl-Rajhi BankFinance
21Manal Al Sharif DriverKSACulture and Society
22Akbar Al Baker CEOQatarQatar AirwaysTransport
23Mansour Saleh Al-Maiman ChairmanKSANational Commercial BankFinance
24Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser ChairwomanQatarQatar FoundationCulture and Society
25Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi Director GeneralUAEADNOCEnergy
26Ibrahim Dabdoub Group CEOPalestineNBKFinance
27Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani CEOQatarQatargasEnergy
28Thoraya Ahmed Obaid Shura Council MemberKSAGovernment
29Dr. Charles Elachi DirectorUSJet Propulsion LaboratoryScience
30Elie Saab Fashion DesignerLebanon/ParisElie SaabCulture and Society
31Sheikh Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim Group chairmanKSAMBC GroupMedia
32Ali Shareef Al Emadi Group CEOQatarQatar National BankFinance
33Sheikh Saleh Kamel ChairmanChairmanDallah AlbarakaFinance
34Hassan Abdullah Al Thawadi Secretary GeneralQatarQatar 2022 Supreme CommitteeCulture and Society
35Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji CEOBahrainMumtalakatFinance
36Suad Al Humaidi InvestorKuwaitFinance
37Morsi Arab ChairmanEgyptInternational Diabetes Federation (EMME)Science
38Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani Director GeneralQatarAl JazeeraMedia
39Hayat Sindi Medical researcherKSADiagnostics for AllScience
40Tawakul Karman Nobel Peace Prize winner and political activistYemenCulture and Society
41Sabih Al-Masri ChairmanJordanArab BankFinance
42Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar PresidentUAEArab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF)Science
43Bader Al-Kharafi Vice PresidentKuwaitMA KharafiIndustry
44Khalaf Al Habtoor ChairmanUAEAl HabtoorReal Estate
45Mohammed Al Amoudi ChairmanEthiopia/Saudi ArabiaMidrocEnergy
46Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi GovernorUAEUAE Central BankFinance
47Khadem Al Qubaisi ChairmanUAEAabar Investments & ArabtecFinance
48Khalid Al Mudaifer CEOKSAMaadenIndustry
49Omar K Alghanim CEOKuwaitAlghanim IndustriesIndustry
50Abdullatif al-Othman Governor and ChairmanKSASAGIAFinance
51Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Bin Khalid Al Thani BusinesswomanQatarFinance
52Mohammed Jameel PresidentKSAAbdul Latif Jameel GroupRetail
53Dr. Abdulrahman Al Zamil ChairmanKSAAl Zamil Holding CompanyIndustry
54Jawad Ahmed Bukhamseen Founder and ChairmanKuwaitBukhamseenDiversified
55Bader M. Al Sa’ad Managing DirectorKuwaitKuwait Investment AuthorityFinance
56Issam Alzahid ChairmanKSAAlzahid group of companiesIndustry
57Dr. Nasser Marafih CEOQatarQatar TelecomTelecoms
58Dr. Khaled bin Abdulaziz Al Ghoneim CEOKSASTC - Saudi Telecom CompanyTelecoms
59HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel Vice ChairpersonKSAAlwaleed Bin Talal FoundationCulture and society
60Munib Al Masri ChairmanPalestinePalestinian Development and Investment Company (PADICO)Industry
61Mohammed Bin Ali Al Hedfa Group CEOQatarQatari DiarReal Estate
62Zuhair Murad Fashion DesignerLebanonCulture and society
86Hamad Al Ka’abi Nuclear SecretaryUAEEnergy
65Abdulrahman Al Fadley CEOKSAAlmaraiRetail
64Zaha Hadid DirectorIraqZaha Hadid ArchitectsReal Estate
66Marwan Marzouk Boodai CEO & MDKuwaitBoodai GroupIndustry
67Amr Diab SingerEgyptCulture & Society
68Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem ChairmanUAEDP WorldIndustry
69Tariq Abdullah Al Qahtani ChairmanKSAAbdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani Group of CompaniesIndustry
70Yousef Al-Shelash ChairmanKSADal Al-ArkanReal Estate
71Nemir Kirdar Executive chairman and CEOIraqInvestcorpFinance
72Majid Al Futtaim PresidentUAEMAFDiversified
74Ala’a Eraiqat CEOUAEAbu Dhabi Commercial BankFinance
73Dr. Sultan Al Jaber CEO and MDUAEMasdarEnergy
75Omar Hamad Almana ChairmanQatarAlmana GroupIndustry
76Dr. Samia Al Amoudi Activist (Breast Cancer Awareness)KSAScience
77Adel Ali Group CEOBahrainAir ArabiaTransport
78Said Khoury GovernorPalestineArab Monetary FundFinance
79Eisa Mohammad Al Suwaidi ChairmanUAEEtisalatTelecom
80Sir Magdi Yacoub Heart Transplant PioneerEgyptScience
81Ali Ferzat CartoonistSyriaMedia
82Sultan Al Qassemi Current affairs commentatorUAEMedia
83Mishal Kanoo Deputy chairmanBahrainKanoo GroupIndustry
84Sheikha Al Bahar CEOKuwaitNational Bank of KuwaitFinance
85Hussain Ibrahim Al Fardan ChairmanQatarAl Fardan GroupFinance
63Fadi Ghandour Founder and CEOJordanAramexTransport
87Maha Khalid Al-Ghunaim Chairperson and managing directorKuwaitGIHFinance
88Samira Ibrahim PlaintiffEgyptCulture and society
98Muhammad Al Zubair Group PresidentOmanAl Zubair FoundationGovernment
89Saeed Al Mazrooei CEOUAEEmalIndustry
90Ahmed Fahour MD and CEOSyriaAustralia PostTransport
91Fatima Al Jaber COOUAEAl Jaber GroupDiversified
92Sheikha Munira Qubeysi FounderSyriaAl QubaysiatEducation
93F. Michel Abouchalache CEOLebanonQuilvestFinance
94Khaled Samawi FounderSyriaAyyam GalleryCulture and society
100Nadine Labaki DirectorLebanonMedia
95Dr Farouk Al Baz ScientistEgyptScience
96Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh Chairman and CEOPalestineFresh Del MonteRetail
99Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa Founder and CEOKuwaitTeshkeel Media GroupCulture and Society
97Dr. Omar bin Abdul Munim Al Zawawi ChairmanOmanOmzestPolitics
1Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud ChairmanKSAKingdom HoldingFinance