Thirteen Saudis were listed among the most powerful Arab personalities of 2012, according to the latest ranking of the Gulf Business magazine.
The list topped by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal also included prominent female personalities such as Reem Asa’d, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, Lubna Al-Olayan, Wojdan Seraj, Sarah Attar and Manal Al-Sharif.
The magazine also noted that 28 percent of the world’s most powerful Arabs were born and brought up in Saudi Arabia.
“The world’s most powerful Arab, Prince Alwaleed’s influence pervades global finance, real estate, politics, media, health, education and philanthropy. With an estimated personal wealth of over $ 27 billion — up from around $ 23 billion last year — the founder and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company doubled his firm’s share price in 2012. Under the umbrella of his company, Prince Alwaleed owns stakes in Citibank, Apple Inc, News Corp. and Twitter among other corporations,” the report said.
In the finance sector, five Saudis were listed as the most powerful Arab personalities, while Emirates airlines and Emirates NBD CSShairman Sheikh Ahmed were ranked in the second place. In addition, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency’s Gov. Fahd Al-Mubarak earned third place in the finance sector.
Lubna Al-Olayan, chairperson of Olayan Company, came in the fourth place, followed by the Chairman of UAE’s Mubadala Co., Khaldoun Al-Mubarak. The sixth rank went to UAE businessman Abdul Aziz Al-Gharir, chairman of the Mashriq Co, according to the magazine report.
The three top Saudi real estate businessmen, according to the magazine’s ranking, include Chairman of the MBI International Muhammad Al-Thanya, followed by Chairman of Saudi Binladin Group Bakr Binladin. The seventh on the list is the chairman of the Saudi Dar Al-Arakan, Yusuf Al-Shalash.
Saudi Aramco’s CEO Khaled Al-Falih was identified as the second most outstanding Saudi personality in the industrial sector after Prince Alwaleed. The title of the third most powerful Saudi personality went to Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi for his accomplishments in the energy sector. The fourth position went to SABIC Chairman Muhammad Al-Madi for his performance in the industrial sector.
This year’s list saw 25 new entrants, with the highest new entries from three women: Reem Asa’d, women’s rights advocate; the Olympic athletes Sarah Attar and Wodjan Ali Seraj Shaherkani.
Asa’d launched a campaign to boycott lingerie shops that only employed men. The initiative gained international recognition, and soon 44,000 jobs for women were created. Alongside promoting female employment in the Kingdom, Asa’d continues to work on a road map for labor reforms in the Kingdom. She was also awarded fifth position as the most powerful Saudi personality in 2012.
Even though Sarah and Wodjan, the two Saudi women who earned the second place in the list of the most powerful Arab women in the year, did not win any medals, they were the most talked about athlete stars in the last Olympics.
Manal Al-Sharif, who demanded permission for women to drive was ranked third. The eighth position went to Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, wife of Prince Alwaleed.