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Wed 01 July 2020:

Saudi Arabia and the UAE dominate the list of the Middle East’s top 100 family businesses, according to Forbes Middle East, accounting for over half of all entries.

The Forbes Middle East has revealed its ranking of the Middle East’s most powerful Arab family businesses for 2020, highlighting 100 of the largest family companies that have helped to shape the region.

Around 80 percent of these family businesses are dealers or agents for international brands, Forbes added, with international automotive brands, fashion retailers and fast-moving consumer goods – such as food and drink – all noted as particularly successful.

• Saudi Arabian family businesses, dominated the list with 36 entries. The Olayan Group, which ranked third on the list, was the top-ranked Saudi company on the list.

• The UAE ranked second with 21 companies: The Al-Futtaim Group, headed by billionaire Abdullah Al-Futtaim, comes second on the list, topping the UAE’s family businesses, thanks to his empire that includes car dealerships, licenses to numerous brands, and shares in companies listed on the stock exchange.

• Kuwait is the third-highest represented company with 10 Kuwaiti groups making the list. Alghanim Industries, headed by billionaire Kutaiba Alghanim, was the highest ranked Kuwaiti company.

• The list was topped by the Mansour Group from Egypt, which is managed by Mohamed, Yassin and Youssef Mansour, whose combined wealth is $7.4 billion.

• More than 600,000 employees work for companies listed in the “100 Most Powerful Arab Family Companies in the Middle East 2020” list.

• The 10 most powerful Arab families have a wealth of more than $31 billion.

• The list included 10 companies over the age of 100, and 13 companies between the ages of 75 and 100 years.

• Over 80% of the family businesses on the list are licensed to sell international brands, either in the countries in which they are located, or across the region.

• The list includes 15 families that have been passed on for more than three generations, 47 companies run by the second generation of the family, and 38 companies run by their founders.

Forbes examined around 200 family-owned businesses in the Middle East, examining group investments, business diversification, employee numbers, type of business and diversification, number of countries with operations present, and date of establishment in their ranking.

The top 10 family businesses in the Middle East

1. Mansour Group – Egypt

Egypt’s Mansour Group takes the top spot in the list, with operations in over 100 countries comprised of six divisions. The group is a large dealer for General Motors and Caterpillar, and runs over 100 McDonald’s outlets, Forbes noted.

2. Al-Futtaim Group – UAE

Established around 90 years ago, the UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group came second. The group has businesses in sectors ranging from automotive to retail, real estate, and financial services.

3. Olayan Group – Saudi Arabia

A considerable investor in banks and real estate, Saudi’s Olayan Group was founded in 1947.

4. Majid Al Futtaim – UAE

Relatively young compared to other top entrants and founded in 1992, UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim is a retail and entertainment giant, owning some of the largest malls in the world, including Mall of the Emirates.

5. Rashed Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed & Sons Group – Saudi Arabia

Founded halfway through the last century in 1950, Rashed Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed & Sons operates 26 wholly-owned companies, Forbes reported, including in construction, automotive, and food products.

6. Abdul Latif Jameel Group – Saudi Arabia

Operating in 30 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel Group deals in a range of services, including transportation, consumer products, and advertising.

7. Al-Ghurair – UAE

Al-Ghurair established the Middle East and North Africa’s first shopping mall in 1982, the Al Ghurair Centre, and operates the largest poultry farm in the UAE. The company’s billionaire owner Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair also founded Mashreq Bank, the UAE’s largest private bank.

8. Alghanim Industries – Kuwait

Alghanim was founded in 1932 and runs over 30 businesses in segments ranging from automotive to food and industrial. The company runs brands including Costa Coffee, Ford, and Wendy’s, Forbes reported.

9. Al Ghurair Group – UAE

Founded in 1960 by Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair, the Al Ghurair Group has a large real estate portfolio and petrochemical and metal manufacturing businesses.

10. Zamil Group Holding – Saudi Arabia

A century-old and founded in 1920, the Zamil Group became the first family business to be listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in 2002 and owns shares in two companies on the exchange – Zamil Industrial and Sahara petrochemical.


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