Top 100 World’s Most Influential Arabs


Charles El-Achi, Abdalla Alnajjar and Farouk El-Baz the most prominent scientists..

Waleed Bin Ibrahim and Ahmed Bin Jassim more importantly in the Arab media

“Gulf Business” magazine recently announced the list of Top 100 World’s Most Influential Arabs for 2012. The classification covers various sectors: finance, real estate, science and technology, culture and society, and trade.

In spite of the radical changes caused by the Arab spring in the region, the magazine chose the young Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi. He burned himself and became a symbol of the revolution of Tunisia and the beginning of a spark revolutions in other Arab countries.

Here are the names of the Top 10 World’s Most Influential Arabs:

  • Mohamed Bouazizi;
  • Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company;
  • Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Airline;
  • Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bib Jabr Al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Investment Authority;
  • Yemenite Tawakul Karman, Nobel Peace Prize winner;
  • Mohamed Ali Alabbar chairman of Emaar;
  • Khalid Al Falih CEO of Aramco;
  • Mohammed El Erian CEO of PIMCO;
  • Hassan Abduall Al Thawadi secretary general of Qatar 2022 supreme committee;
  • Carlos Ghosn CEO of Renault Nissan.

New interest in sectors of science and technology, media and the media

In 2012, readers of  “Gulf Business” expressed a keen interest in science and technology sector. Earlier  these  sectors were somewhat neglected in comparison to finance, real estate, trade and investment. Especially, science and technology is one of the strategic bases of any development in Arab societies.

The list of top Arab personalities in science and technology is topped by Dr. Charles Al-Achi (Lebanese origin U.S. nationality), specialist in the field of space technology. At  number 43 is Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar (Emirati), president of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) ranks second. His work supports exceptional research activities conducted by scientists from the Arab region by attracting investments from around the world. He is followed by Dr. Farouk El-Baz (an American of Egyptian origin) Director of Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University who ranked 55,. After him, Dr. Samia Al-Amoudi (Saudi Arabia) active in the field of cancer was ranked 79. Fifth is Sir Magdi Yacoub (British of Egyptian origin) known heart surgeon, who held the position 97 in the list of Top 100.

The media sector also received great attention, because it plays a pivotal role in the general Arab issues, especially the Arab revolutions. The most influential personalities in this sector are:

  • Sheikh Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim (Saudi) chairman of MBC Group ranked 66;
  • Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al-Thani (Qatari) director general of Al-Jazeera ranked 40;
  • Egyptian journalist Ayman Mohyeddin ranked 48;
  • Emirati Sultan Sooud Al Qassimi current affairs commentator occupied the 86;
  • Editor in chief of the daily Newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi Abdel Bari Atwan ranked 100 (Palestinian resident in the UK).

Influential sectors and countries

  • Finance,
  • Industry,
  • Culture and society,
  • Energy,
  • Real Estate,
  • Transport ,
  • Science and Technology,
  • Media,
  • Telecommunications,
  • Trade,
  • Politics and Law.

According their nationalities, World’s Most Influential Arabs originate from:

  • Saudi Arabia,
  • Unite Arab of Emirates,
  • Kuwait,
  • Qatar,
  • Egypt.


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