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Top 100 most powerful Arabs 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed ways of living and working in the last year.

Accordingly, our annual Gulf Business Arab Power List has seen huge shifts with some leaders standing out as they not only survived a tough year, but also emerged successful.

This year’s list welcomes 28 new entrants, including eight from Qatar.

We also lead the list this year commemorating a certain group for the enormous power they have yielded. Receiving the special mention – ahead of number one – are the countless number of frontline heroes who saved and protected lives – sometimes at the cost of their own.

Covid-19 frontline heroes

A tiny virus has dominated our lives in the past year in a way we never deemed plausible. From a nondescript market in China, the coronavirus proliferated rapidly, jumping from one host to another, wreaking havoc from one continent to the next. For humanity, the warriors and superheroes this time came in the form of healthcare workers and vital sector operators, who risked their lives to protect and support us.

While recognition has come to them in many ways, words simply do not suffice to acknowledge the power they have wielded in this crisis.

To all the frontline workers who lost their lives, those who have sacrificed precious time with their families, those who have gone above and beyond what was required of them purely in the name of humanity, we salute you.


Gulf Business looked at the events of 2020 and judged each individual case on the basis of four criteria: financial capital, human capital, expansion plans and 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.

Read on to find out exactly who has risen and fallen and who has joined the list this year.

Rank Name Title Origin Residence Industry
1 Yasir Al-Rumayyan Chairman, Aramco/Governor, PIF KSA KSA Diversified
2 Dr Sultan Al Jaber CEO and managing director, ADNOC Group UAE UAE Energy
3 HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum Chairman, Emirates Group/Emirates NBD UAE UAE Diversified
4 Carlos Slim Helú Honorary chairman, America Movil Lebanon/ Mexico Mexico Telecoms
5 Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi President and CEO, Qatar Petroleum/ Chairman and MD, Industries Qatar Qatar Qatar Diversified
6 Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak CEO and managing director, Mubadala Investment UAE UAE Diversified
7 Amin Nasser President and CEO, Aramco KSA KSA Energy
8 Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri Minister of State for Advanced Technology/ Chairwoman, UAE Space Agency UAE UAE Science and Technology
9 Mohamed Al Hammadi CEO, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation UAE UAE Energy
10 HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Chairman, Kingdom Holding Company KSA KSA Finance
11 Mohamed Alabbar Founder, Emaar/ UAE UAE Real Estate/ Retail
12 Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem Chairman and CEO, DP World / Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One UAE UAE Logistics
13 Hassan Al Thawadi Chairman, Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Qatar Sports
14 Reem Al Hashimy Director general, Expo 2020 Dubai UAE UAE Diversified
15 Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan Vice chairman and CEO, SABIC KSA KSA Industry
16 Lubna Suliman Olayan Chairperson, Saudi British Bank KSA KSA Finance
17 Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud CEO, Qatar Investment Authority Qatar Qatar Finance
18 Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Chairman, Mashreq UAE UAE Finance
19 Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa Group CEO, Qatar National Bank Qatar Qatar Finance
20 Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani Executive director and CEO, Investment Corporation of Dubai UAE UAE Finance
21 Hana Al Rostamani Group CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank UAE UAE Finance
22 Essa Kazim Governor, DIFC/Chairman, DFM UAE UAE Finance
23 Saeed bin Mohammed Al Ghamdi Managing director and Group CEO, Saudi National Bank KSA KSA Finance
24 Mohamed Salah Footballer, Liverpool FC Egypt UK Sports
25 Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb Chairman, Saudi Tourism Authority KSA KSA Tourism
26 Mohamed bin Issa Al Jaber Chairman and CEO, MBI International KSA Austria/ UK Diversified
27 Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi/ Aldar Properties UAE UAE Diversified
28 Sarah Al Suhaimi Chairperson, Tadawul KSA KSA Finance
29 Majid Al Futtaim Founder, Majid Al Futtaim UAE UAE Diversified
30 Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg Vice chairperson and managing director, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group UAE UAE Diversified
31 Omran Sharaf Project director, Emirates Mars Mission UAE UAE Science and Technology
32 Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja UAE Ambassador to Israel UAE UAE Diplomacy
33 Khalaf Al Habtoor Founding chairman, Al Habtoor Group UAE UAE Real Estate
34 Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Chairperson, Qatar Museums Qatar Qatar Culture and Society
35 Fahad Al Mubarak Governor, Saudi Central Bank KSA KSA Finance
36 Mohammed Alshaya Executive chairman, Alshaya Group Kuwait Kuwait Retail
37 Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel Chairman and CEO, Abdul Latif Jameel KSA KSA Diversified
38 Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Co-founder, Al Rajhi Bank KSA KSA Finance
39 Mohamed Mansour Co-chair, Mansour Group Egypt UK Diversified
40 HH Prince Naif bin Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer Chairman, Almarai KSA KSA FMCG
41 Kutayba Yusuf Alghanim Executive chairman, Alghanim Industries Kuwait Kuwait Diversified
42 Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi CEO, Boursa Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Finance
43 Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi Vice chairman and CEO, Zain Group Kuwait Kuwait Telecoms
44 Khalid Al Rumaihi CEO, Mumtalakat Bahrain Bahrain Finance
45 HH Reema bint Bandar Al Saud Saudi ambassador to the US/ Member of IOC Committee KSA KSA Diplomacy
46 Olayan Mohammed Alwetaid Group CEO, Saudi Telecom Company KSA KSA Telecoms
47 Nassef Sawiris Executive chairman, OCI/Co-owner and chairman, Aston Villa FC Egypt Egypt Industry/ Sport
48 Faisal Al Bannai CEO and managing director, Edge UAE UAE Science and Technology
49 Nayla Hayek Chairperson, Swatch Group/ CEO, Harry Winston Lebanon/ Switzerland Switzerland Retail
50 Mohammed bin Mahfoodh Alardhi Executive chairman, Investcorp Oman Oman Finance
51 Hatem Dowidar CEO, Etisalat group Egypt UAE Telecoms
52 Nadeen Ashraf Activist Egypt Egypt Culture and Society
53 Naguib Sawiris Chairman and CEO, Orascom Investment Holding Egypt Egypt Diversified
54 Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah Chairman, UAE Fatwa Council Mauritania UAE Culture and Society
55 Akbar Al Baker Group CEO, Qatar Airways Qatar Qatar Aviation
56 Hamad Buamim President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry UAE UAE Diversified
57 Mohammed Al Barwani Chairman, MB Holding/Oman Air Oman Oman Diversified
58 Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo Chairman, Ooredoo Qatar Qatar Telecoms
59 Adel Ali Group CEO, Air Arabia Bahrain UAE Aviation
60 Elie Saab Fashion designer Lebanon Lebanon Culture and Society
61 Jassim Alseddiqi Group CEO, Shuaa Capital UAE UAE Finance
62 Reema Juffali Racing driver KSA KSA Sports
63 Hesham Al Qassim CEO, Wasl Asset Management UAE UAE Real Estate
64 Badr Jafar CEO, Crescent Enterprises UAE/Iraq UAE Diversified
65 Abdulla Jassem Kalban Managing director, Emirates Global Aluminium UAE UAE Industry
66 Ala’a Eraiqat Group CEO, ADCB UAE UAE Finance
67 DJ Khaled Musician Palestine/US US Culture and Society
68 Mishal Kanoo Chairman, Kanoo Group Bahrain/UAE UAE Diversified
69 Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al-Thani Founder, Ezdan Holding/Philanthropist Qatar Qatar Diversified
70 Sayyida Rawan Ahmed Al Said CEO, Takaful Oman Oman Oman Finance
71 Tarek Sultan CEO and vice chairman, Agility Kuwait Kuwait Logistics
72 Haifa Al Khaifi CEO, Energy Development Oman Oman Oman Energy
73 Ronaldo Mouchawar Co-founder, president, Amazon MENA Syria UAE Retail
74 Dr Amina Al Rostamani COO, AW Rostamani Group UAE UAE Diversified
75 Ghaith Al Ghaith CEO, Flydubai UAE UAE Aviation
76 Rashida Tlaib US Congresswoman Palestine/US US Politics
77 Murshed Al Redaini Group CEO, Yas Holding UAE UAE Diversified
78 Othman Benjelloun Chairman and CEO, Bank of Africa Morocco Morocco Finance
79 Fadi Ghandour Executive chairman, Wamda/ Co-founder, Aramex Jordan UAE Finance
80 Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Chairman and CEO, Fresh Del Monte Palestine/US US FMCG
81 Fahad bin Hussein Al Sudairi CEO, Saudi Electricity Company KSA KSA Energy
82 Hussain Sajwani Chairman, Damac Properties UAE UAE Real Estate
83 Munib Al Masri Chairman and founder, Edgo Group Palestine Palestine Diversified
84 Issam Kazim CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing UAE UAE Tourism
85 Mona Almoayyed Managing director, YK Almoayyed & Sons/Chairperson, Edbaa Bank Bahrain Bahrain Diversified
86 Rami Malek Actor Egypt/US US Culture and Society
87 Ons Jabeur Tennis player Tunisia Tunisia Sports
88 Mohammed Al Amoudi Owner, MIDROC KSA/Ethiopia KSA Diversified
89 Shaikha Al Bahar Deputy group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Finance
90 Nezha Hayat Chairperson and CEO, Moroccan Capital Market Authority Morocco Morocco Finance
91 Khalid Al Ameri Social media influencer UAE UAE Culture and Society
92 Ibrahim Al-Omar Director general, Saudia KSA KSA Aviation
93 Dr Hayat Sindi Scientist KSA KSA Science and Technology
94 Nour El Sherbini Squash player Egypt Egypt Sports
95 Huda Kattan Founder, Huda Beauty Irag/US UAE Culture and Society
96 Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi Founder, Burjeel Art Foundation UAE UAE Culture and Society
97 Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch Founder and CEO, Aksal Group Morocco Morocco Real Estate/ Retail
98 Farah Nabulsi Filmmaker Palestinian/ British UK Culture and Society
99 Amna Al Qubaisi Racing driver UAE UAE Sports
100 Muna AbuSulayman Media personality KSA KSA Media


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