Revealed: Top 5 most powerful Arabs in Qatar
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Revealed: Top 5 most powerful Arabs in Qatar

Revealed: Top 5 most powerful Arabs in Qatar

The highest ranked Arabs originating from Qatar in Gulf Business’ annual Arab power list


Qatari nationals emerged as the third largest group in the Gulf Business‘ annual Arab Power list for 2021, with eight entries this year.

Running point is the president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, who is also the chairman of Industries Qatar.

Meanwhile, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, broke into the top five ranking.

Those on the list span across several industries, ranging from finance and sports to culture and society.

Also read: Revealed: Top 5 powerful Arabs in the UAE

1. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi
President and CEO, Qatar Petroleum/Chairman and MD, Industries Qatar

Sector: Diversified
Overall rank: 5

As the head of two of Qatar’s most important business assets, Qatar Petroleum (QP) – the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, and Industries Qatar, Al-Kaabi has a huge role to play in shaping the growth of the Gulf state’s economy. Having joined QP in 1986 as a student, he eventually climbed the ladder to lead the company in 2014. In November 2018, he was also appointed Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QP’s deputy chairman.

He is currently leading QP’s mega $28.75bn North Field East (NFE) project, said to be the world’s largest LNG project ever.

2. Hassan Al Thawadi
Chairman, Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup

Sector: Sports
Overall rank: 13

Al Thawadi, who was instrumental in bringing the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar, is now overseeing all the preparations for its successful delivery. Set to be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, the tournament hopes to attract about a million fans to Qatar.

Along with his roles as the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and the chairman of Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup – the joint venture between FIFA and the SC responsible for organising and staging the event – Al Thawadi also serves on boards at Katara Hospitality and Qatar International Islamic Bank, among others.

3. Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud
CEO, Qatar Investment Authority

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 17

Al-Mahmoud assumed the CEO role of Qatar Investment Authority in 2018. He was previously the head of risk management at QIA and is now helping navigate one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, which manages around $300bn in assets and ranks as the world’s 11th largest by total assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

The fund is looking at deals in Asia to diversify its investment portfolio, according to a Bloomberg report in January this year. Al-Mahmoud is also a board member at Qatar National Bank.

4. Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa
Group CEO, Qatar National Bank

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 19


The biggest lender in the GCC, Qatar National Bank surpassed QAR1 trillion in total assets for the first time in its history, while its net profit for 2020 equalled QAR12bn. In H2 2020, the bank issued its first green bond at the London Stock Exchange. Al-Khalifa, who rose through the ranks to become the bank’s group CEO, also serves as a board member for telecoms company Ooredoo.

As the regional banking sector continues to reinvent itself, the CEO will play a lead role in positioning the lender for future growth opportunities.

5. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Chairperson, Qatar Museums

Sector: Culture and Society
Overall rank: 34

One of the most influential personalities in the global art scene, Sheikha Al Mayassa serves as the chairperson of Qatar Museums, a role in which she reportedly has an annual budget of $1bn to spend. She has been instrumental in bringing some of the world’s leading artists to the region by way of exhibitions and artwork purchases.

Sheikha Mayassa also serves as the chairperson of Doha Film Institute – which she founded to boost appreciation, financing and education of films in Qatar, as well as education focused NGO Reach Out to Asia (ROTA).

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