In our June issue of Forbes Middle East, we bring you our latest annual list for the top 100 companies in the Arab world. From princes to businessmen who started their careers from scratch until they made it all the way to the top.
We bring you the top five owners of the region's wealthiest companies:
[caption id="attachment_25092" align="alignright" width="237"] Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, founder of Kingdom Holding Company[/caption]
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud
Company: Kingdom Holding Company
Country: Saudi Arabia
Worth: $18.7 billion
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud founded Kingdom Holding Company in 1979. He owns a 95% stake in KHC and a 47.5% stake in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, co-owned by billionaire, Bill Gates. Along with Jeddah Economic Company, KHC has been building the Jeddah Tower, which aims to be the tallest tower in the world at around 1,000 meters.
Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair and Family
[caption id="attachment_25093" align="alignright" width="240"] Abdullah Al Ghurair, founder of Mashreq Bank[/caption]
Company: Mashreq Bank
Worth: $6.8 billion
Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair founded Mashreq Bank in 1967 – the largest private sector bank in the U.A.E. The bank is now headed by his son, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair. Abdulla Ahmad Al Ghurair Investment Company owns 31.1% of the bank.
Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer
[caption id="attachment_25196" align="alignright" width="240"] Prince Sultan Al Kabeer, founder of Almarai[/caption]
Country: Saudi Arabia
Worth: $3.8 billion
Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer founded Almarai in 1977 and has a 24% stake in the company. In 2016, the company recorded $15.1 billion in market value. The group transports dairy products through 11,000 retail outlets across the Gulf and owns 170,000 Holstein cows.
[caption id="attachment_25094" align="alignright" width="240"] Othman Benjalloun, founder of BMCE Bank[/caption]
Company: BMCE Bank
Worth: $1.9 billion
Othman Benjelloun is the chairman and CEO of BMCE Bank. Founded in 1959, it is the second largest bank in Africa. Benjellon owns majority shares in RMA Watanya, owner of 30% of BMCE Bank, which recorded $30.4 billion in assets in 2016.
[caption id="attachment_25198" align="alignright" width="240"] Hussain Sajwani, founder of DAMAC Properties[/caption]
Company: DAMAC Properties
Worth: $3.7 billion
Hussain Sajwani founded DAMAC Properties in 2002, one of the largest real estate developers in the Middle East. Sajwani owns 72.2% in the company. In January 2017, DAMAC Properties announced the completion of the Versace Home-designed $300 million DAMAC Tower in Beirut.