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Top 100 Powerful Arabs 2015

By Gulf Business | Lists | Published: 24th November 2015 at 14:07

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, famously said that if you have to tell people that you are powerful, you probably aren’t. It was a delightfully correct quip from a political leader once referred to as the “Iron lady” by her country’s cold war adversaries.

Power is an invisible energy, measured not by the person, but his or her actions. There is no one specific way to demonstrate power as so ably shown by each and every individual on the fourth annual Gulf Business Top 100 ranking of the world’s most powerful Arabs.

Each of these personalities has shaped the Arab World in their own unique way, some using the influence of their vast wealth and others just the strength and courage of their convictions.
They have, to put it simply, made things happen because they could. They chose not to take a backseat when it mattered and for that, they should be applauded.


We assembled a team of experts from within Motivate’s broad business division – including the Gulf Business team itself, which has decades of experience working with and reporting on regional business and current affairs.

We looked at the events of 2014 and judged each individual case on power merit.

We have included business people of Arab descent from all over the world. We weighted our points system across the following spheres of influence:


In general, we have excluded politicians and royalty, unless contenders have an unassailably strong leaning towards corporate activity.

The Gulf Business Arab Power 100 is intended to be an inspirational representation of some of the Arab world’s greatest achievers and future shapers.

1 HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Chairman KSA Kingdom Holding Finance
2 HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Chairman UAE Emirates /Emirates NBD Transport
3 Ali Bin Ibrahim Al Naimi Petroleum And Mineral Resources Minister KSA Energy
4 Carlos Slim Honorary Chairman Lebanon Ameirca Movil Telecom
5 Khalid Al Falih CEO KSA Aramco Energy
6 Mohamed Al Mady Vice Chairman And CEO KSA Sabic Industry
7 Suhail Al Mazroui Energy Minister UAE Energy
8 Major Mariam Al Mansouri Female Fighter Pilot UAE Military
10 Carlos Ghosn Chairman And CEO Lebanon Renault/Nissan Industry
11 Hassan Abdullah Al Thawadi Secretary General Qatar Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Culture And Society
12 Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber Chairman And CEO KSA MBI International Real Estate
13 Bakr Binladin Chairman KSA Binladin Group Real Estate
14 Khadem Al Qubaisi Chairman UAE International Petroleum Investment Company, Aabar Investments & Arabtec Finance
15 Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak CEO And Managing Director UAE Mubada La Development Company Finance
16 Lubna Olayan CEO KSA Olayan Financing Company Finance
17 Mansour Saleh Al-Maiman Chairman KSA National Commercial Bank Finance
18 Mohamed Ebrahim Al Shaibani CEO UAE Investment Corporation Of Dubai Finance
19 Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Bin Saud Al Thani CEO Qatar Qatar Investment Authority Finance
20 HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair CEO UAE Mashreq Finance
21 Akbar Al Baker CEO Qatar Qatar Airways Transport
22 Loujain Al Hathloul Driving activist KSA Culture And Society
23 Ali Shareef Al Emadi Minister Of Finance, Chairman Qatar QNB Finance
24 HE Reem Al Hashimy Minister of State and Managing Director, Dubai World Expo 2020 UAE Diversified
25 Sheikh Sulaiman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rajhi Chairman KSA Al Rajhi Bank Finance
26 Mohammed Bin Abdulmalik Al Sheikh Chairman KSA Capital Market Authority Finance
27 Mohammed Saleh Al Sada Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry Energy
28 Mohammed Alshaya Chairman Kuwait MH Alshaya Retail
29 Sheikha Mayassa Bint Al Thani Chairwoman Qatar Qatar Museums Authority Culture And Society
30 Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi Director General UAE ADNOC Energy
31 Somayya Jabarti Editor-in-Chief KSA Saudi Gazette Media
32 Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani CEO Qatar Qatargas Energy
33 Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji CEO Bahrain Mumtalakat Finance
34 HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Chairwoman Qatar Qatar Foundation Culture And Society
35 Abdalla Salem El-Badri Secretary General Libya Secretary General Energy
36 Elie Saab Fashion Designer LEBANON Culture and Society
37 Sheikh Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim Group chairman KSA MBC Group Media
38 Khalaf Al Habtoor Chairman UAE Al Habtoor Group Real Estate
39 Obadah Al-Kaddri Director Syria Al Watan Media
40 Dr Fahad Al-Mubarak Governor KSA SAMA Finance
41 Dr Nasser Marafih CEO Qatar Ooredoo Telecoms
42 Sheikh Saleh Kamel Chairman KSA Dallah Albaraka Diversified
43 Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Sugair Chairman KSA Saudi Telecom Company Telecoms
44 Abdulla J Kalban CEO and MD UAE Emirates Global Aluminium Industry
45 Suad Al Humaidi Investor Kuwait Finance
46 Nasser Al-Khelaifi Chairman, CEO, President Qatar beIN MediaGroup, Paris Saint-Germain F.C, Qatar Sports Investment Sport
47 Bader Al-Kharafi Vice President, Kuwait MA Kharafi Industry
48 Dr. Sultan Al Jaber Minister of state , CEO and MD UAE Masdar Energy
49 Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri Governor, CEO UAE UAE Central Bank and Emirates Investment Authority Finance
50 Nassef Sawiris Director and CEO Egypt Orascom Construction Industries Real Estate
51 Adel S Al-Ghamdi CEO KSA Tadawul Finance
52 Majid Al Futtaim President UAE MAF Diversified
53 Nayla Hayek Chairwoman, CEO Lebanon Swatch Group, Harry Winston Retail
54 Zaha Hadid Director Iraq Zaha Hadid Architects Real Estate
55 Mohammed Al Amoudi Chairman Ethiopia/Saudi Arabia Midroc Energy
56 Sheikh Ahmad Al-Ghamdi Saudi Cleric KSA Culture and Society
57 Khalid Al Mudaifer CEO KSA Ma’aden Industry
58 Omar K Alghanim CEO Kuwait Alghanim Industries Industry
59 Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman UAE DP World Industry
60 Youssef Al Shelash Chairman KSA Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate
61 Mohammed Jameel Chairman and President KSA Abdul Latif Jameel Group Retail
62 Eisa Mohamed Al Suwaidi Chairman UAE Etisalat Telecoms
63 Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Zamil Chairman KSA Al Zamil Holding Company Industry
64 Adel Ali Group CEO Bahrain Air Arabia Transport
65 Jawad Ahmed Bukhamseen Founder and Chairman UAE Bukhamseen Diversified
66 Ziad Bin Mohammed Al Shiha CEO KSA Saudi Electricity Energy
67 Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh Chairman and CEO Palestine Fresh Del Monte Retail
68 Bader M. Al Sa’ad MD Kuwait Kuwait Investment Authority Finance
69 Mohammed Bin Ali Al Hedfa Group CEO Qatar Qatari Diar Real Estate
70 Issam Alzahid Chairman KSA Alzahid group of companies Industry
71 Adel Aujan Chairman KSA Aujan Industries Retail
72 Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Bin Khalid Al Thani Founder and Chairwoman Qatar Amwal Finance
73 Marwan Marzouk Boodai CEO, MD, Chairman Kuwait Boodai Group, Jazeera Airways Industry
74 Dr. Amina Al Rustamani Group CEO UAE TECOM Investments Real Estate
75 Tariq Abdullah Al Qahtani Chairman KSA Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani Group Of Companies Diversified
76 Zuhair Murad Fashion Designer Lebanon Culture and Society
77 Omar Hamad Almana Chairman, Qatar Almana Group Industry
78 Baseem Yousef Cardiac Surgeon Egypt Satirist And Columnist
79 Sheikha Al Bahar Deputy Group CEO Kuwait National Bank of Kuwait Finance
80 He Essa Kazim Chairman, DFM, CEO, Governor, UAE Borse Dubai, DIFC Finance
81 Hussain Ibrahim Al Fardan Chairman Qatar Al Fardan Group Diversified
82 Haifa Al-Mansour Film Director KSA Media
83 Mishal Kanoo Deputy Chairman Bahrain Kanoo Group Industry
84 Mustafa Agha Journalist Syria Media
85 Hussain Sajwani Chairman And Founder UAE Damac Properties Real Estate
86 Fatima Al Jaber COO UAE Al Jaber Group Diversified
87 Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani Governor Qatar Qatar Central Bank Finance
88 Ahmed Hassan Zewail Scientist Egypt Science
89 Shehab Gargash Chairman And Founder UAE Daman Investments Finance
90 Hazem Shareef Winner Syria Arab Idol Culture And Society
91 Noura Al Kaabi CEO UAE Twofour54 Media
92 Dr. Omar Bin Abdul Munim Al Zawawi Businessman Oman Diversified
93 Maha Khalid Al-Ghunaim Vice Chairman And Group Ceo Kuwait GIH Finance
94 Munib Al Masri Chairman Palestine Palestinian Development And Investment Company Industry
95 Elias Zerhouni President, Global R&D Algeria Sanofi Pharmaceuticals Science
96 Ali Rashid Lootah Chairman UAE Nakheel Real Estate
97 Salah Tahlak Director Uae Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Sport
98 Taoufik Makhloufi Athlete Algeria Sport
99 Karl Sharro Satirist Lebanon Commentator And Architect Culture And Society
100 Muhammed Al Zubair Founder Oman Al Zubair Foundation Culture & Society

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