Although governments have traditionally held the majority stakes in the Middle East’s top companies—especially listed companies—private businesses have flourished in the region, and many business leaders have found their feet as their infrastructure projects and legislations paved their way to success.
Family business in the Middle East contributes heavily to the region’s economy. PwC estimates that the sector contributes 60% to GDP and 80% of the workforce. $1 trillion is estimated to pass from one generation to the next within the next decade.
No doubt you will have heard of many of the moguls in our first list of the Middle East’s business tycoons. The list includes those that represent their family businesses in the region, which have a notable track record. Many of them have shares in their respective conglomerates, or invest directly in Middle Eastern companies. These moguls are active in a wide range of industries, including retail (Majid Al Futtaim, Yusuff Ali M.A.), auto dealerships (Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, Abdulla Al Futtaim), and the industrial sector (Nassef Sawiris, Abdulla Al Ghurair).
The Middle East’s Top 100 Business Tycoons list was created by gathering information about business people in the region through our database and questionnaires. As a majority of businesses are family owned, we factored the information available to disclose. Factors taken into account included: