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Some 36 Qataris have been ranked in the 2013 Arabian Business Power 500, a list of the region’s most influential Arabs.

Qatar Holding chief Ahmad Al Sayed is the highest-ranking Qatari, at No.7. Arabian Business reports:

As head of Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of  Qatar Investment Authority, Al Sayed is the man whose nod means everything. Among the investments that Qatar Holding has been involved with during 2012 are: a 20 percent investment in Ferrovial, a one percent stake in luxury goods behemoth LVMH and an undisclosed chunk of Credit Suisse. The firm also played a key role in the biggest merger of last year, between Glencore and Xstrata. Expect Al Sayed to be just as busy this year.

Neither of the two Qatari men who made it to the top 10 last year feature in this year’s index. Mohammad Bin Hammam, who in 2012 was president of the Asian Football Federation, formerly ranked No.3 and Wadah Khanfar, then director general of the Al Jazeera Network, was No.6.

Other locals who made it to the top 100 this year include Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways (24th); Bader Al Darwish, chairman of Darwish Holding (63rd); and Hisham Al Mana, head of leading automotive distributors Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. (77th).

This year’s index also features a record 118 women, three of them Qatari. They include ICTQatar head Dr. Hessa Al Jaber (232th), Qatariat founder Buthaina Al Ansari (357th); and nuclear scientist Dr. Ilham Al Qaradawi (463rd).

For the ninth year in a row, the top spot in the ranking went to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed, chairman of Kingdom Holding and one the world’s wealthiest people.

Olympic double gold champion Mo Farah (3rd) and Twitter operations chief Mazen Rawashdeh (5th) also featured.


Credit: Photo of Ahmad Al Sayed courtesy of Qatar Holding

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that some Arabs who made the list reside in Qatar, but are not nationals.

The Middle East magazine Arabian Business has launched a new list of powerful people in Qatar business, putting Al Jazeera’s director general Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani in the top spot.

It says the list intentionally excludes members of the ruling family (like the Emir and Prime Minister), except of course when they have a “very specific role in business,” i.e. Al Jazeera’s DG. 

Arabian Business doesn’t offer any specific insights on the importance of Al Thani himself, or what he’s done in the role so far, saying instead that “with the power of the station under him” he jumps to number one. “There can be little doubt about the influence Sheikh Ahmed now wields.”

In spots two and three of the list are Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and ex-QatarGas chief Faisal Mohammed Al Suwaidi, with acknowledgment of the work the two have done to build up their respective companies. Curiously, though, no mention is made of Al Suwaidi’s departure from QG, and his new role at Qatar Foundation as Director of Research & Development.

Click through the full list of 50.

Credit: Photo by Patrick Gage Kelley

Clarification: This post originally mentioned Al Suwaidi as CEO of QG, as per the Arabian Business article.

Arabian Business has released The Power 500, a list of the world’s most powerful Arabs.

Two of the men in the top 10 reside in Qatar – Mohammad Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Federation, is No.3 and Wadah Khanfar, director general of the Al Jazeera Network, is No.6.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Walid bin Talal and Egypt’s Wael Ghonim, famous for his role in the revolution there, claimed the top two spots, respectively. This is the seventh consecutive year Talal has been ranked the most influential Arab in the world, according to this index.

The top 10 list doesn’t just consist of wealthy men.

In at No.7 is Yemeni child bride Nujood Ali who, at the age of 10, became a global symbol of the Arab state’s fight against forced marriage.

Almost 40% of the listed most powerful Arabs reside in GCC countries: 21 in Qatar, 62 in Saudi Arabia, 68 in the UAE, 21 in Kuwait, 18 in Bahrain and 4 in Oman.

But Arabs living in Russia, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Argentina, among other countries, were also ranked.

Though a list of 500 people seems like it would be exhaustive, one commenter was surprised that Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize winner who was an important figure in the recent Egyptian revolution, didn’t make the cut.

What do you guys think of this list?