The Middle East needs to fuel innovation to make desalination sustainable

RIYADH: Saudi companies led the pack in the annual list of Forbes Top 100 Arab Family Businesses with 37 entries, followed by the UAE and Kuwait with 25 and eight entries, respectively.

According to the Forbes press release, these three countries constituted 75 percent of the top 20 in the list. In addition, all family businesses in the top 10 were diversified companies with operations in multiple sectors.

The Olayan family, which runs one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest conglomerates, was ranked the No. 1 Arab family business for the second year in a row.

(From L to R) Omar Al Futtaim, CEO of Al Futtaim Group, Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Group and  Mohamed Mansour, CEO of Mansour Group. (Supplied)

Founded in 1947, the Olayan Group comprises more than 50 companies and affiliated businesses. Egypt’s Mansour Group and UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group were the other two groups that clinched the podium finish.

Olayan Financial Co.’s investments in the public sector make the largest portion of the group’s portfolio, as it owned 20.3 percent of the Saudi British Bank in July 2022.

FASTFACTS

• The release stated that of the top 100 family-run companies in 2022, eight were owned by Arab billionaires.

• Algeria-based Cevital Group’s founder Issad Rebrab had a net worth of $5.1 billion as of August 2022, making him the second richest Arab in the world.

Mansour Group has also been in the spotlight for its humungous reach spanning 100 countries with over 60,000 employees and total revenues exceeding $7.5 billion.

Through its investment arm, ManCapital, Mansour Group has shares in global companies like Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, Meta, Twitter and others.

Other Saudi companies also made it to the top 10, with Al Muhaidib Group ranking fourth, Abdul Laitf Jameel in seventh and Rashed Abdul Rahman Al Rashed and Sons Group ranking 10th.

From a geographical standpoint, Qatar-based companies had seven entries, Egypt had six, Oman six, Bahrain had four, Jordan had two, Morocco had two and Algeria, Lebanon, and Yemen all had one entry each.

At the ninth position, Al Faisal Holding is the only newcomer to this year’s top 10 businesses, up from 11th place in 2021, the press note said. In May 2022, it launched a new subsidiary offering production services, Metaserra, a joint venture with Turkey’s Doludizgin.

Diversified business corporations dominated the ranking with 89 entries. For instance, Al Futtaim Group has built a legacy out of its operations in the automotive, finance, real estate, retail and healthcare sectors.

The group operates in over 20 countries with 35,000 employees and has significant shareholdings in Emirates Investment Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai and the Dubai Insurance Co.

Abdullah Al Futtaim and his family also had a net worth of $2.5 billion in August 2022.

The release further stated that of the top 100 family-run companies in 2022, eight were owned by Arab billionaires. For instance, Algeria-based Cevital Group’s founder Issad Rebrab had a net worth of $5.1 billion as of August 2022, making him the second richest Arab in the world.

To construct this list, Forbes Middle East only considered private businesses or holding companies jointly owned or operated by Arab families. The conglomerates were ranked on their holding size and performance, business activity, age, legacy, and how diversified the business is in terms of geography and sector.

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