Top 100 Most Powerful Arabs for 2013

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Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt are the most influential Gulf countries. Science and technology are enjoying an increasing importance in the region.

El-Achi, Hayat Sindi, Morsi, Abdalla Alnajjar, Samia Al-Amoudi, Magdi yacoub and Farouk El-Baz the most prominent scientists.. the absence of Zewail

Arab Top 100 Arabs Powerful

Gulf Business Magazine recently announced its list of 100 Most Powerful Arabs for 2013. The people on the chart work in various sectors like finance, real estate, science and technology, culture and society, and commerce. First was ranked prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KSA). Last year, the same position was occupied by young Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi who burned himself and became a symbol of the revolution of Tunisia. Emirates Airline’s Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum is second on the list, followed by Aramco CEO Khalid Al Falih (KSA), the Minister of Petroleum and mineral resources Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi (KSA) and SABIC’s CEO Moahmmed Al-Mady (KSA). The rest of the top ten spots were taken by Emaar’s chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar (UAE), PIMCO’s CEO Mohammed, Qatar holding’s CEO Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed (Qatar), Renault Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn CEO, as well as the women’s rights advocate Reem Asaad (KSA).

Technology and Scientific Development in the Arab Countries

Gulf Business expressed, for the second year in a row, a keen interest in the industries of science and technology. These sectors are often neglected for others like finance, real estate, trade and investment. However, the fields of science and technology are important factors for the development of Arab societies. That is especially the case in those that suffer from high unemployment rates. These regions are faced with the urgent need to pay the economic growth rates, to create new job positions and to increase wages. That is mainly due to the Arab Spring in the region.

Among the 100 Powerful Arabs for 2013 in the field of science and technology is Dr. Charles Al-Achi (Lebanese origin U.S. nationality). Al-Achi is a specialist in space technology and he takes the 29th spot this year. That is 12 places lower than his positions on the chart in 2012. For the first time, includes Dr. Morsi Arab (Egypt) chairman of the Diabetes Association EMME region who occupies the 37th place. Saudi researcher in medicine, Dr Hayat Sindi (KSA), is 39th.


Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar (Emirati – UAE), president of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), is fourth most influential Arab person in the fields of science and technology. Alnajjar occupies the 42nd spot this year which is one place higher that 2012. Abdalla Alnajjar’ work supports exceptional researches conducted by scientists from the Arab region. He financed the studies by attracting investments from all around the world. Alnajjar also makes the economy and sustainable development a key part of scientific researches and technological innovations. Right behind him, on the 76th spot, is Dr. Samia Al-Amoudi (Saudi Arabia) actively fights against cancer diseases.

Sir Magdi Yacoub (British of Egyptian origin), a famous heart surgeon, is now 80th on the list. That is 17 places higher than its last year position. Yacoub is followed by Dr. Farouk El-Baz (an American of Egyptian origin) who is Director of Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. El-Baz takes the 95th position which is a huge drop compared to his 2012 55th place.

For the second year in a row, the list of 100 Most Powerful Arabs does not include renowned researchers and scientists like of Dr. Ahmed Zewail, for example.

Influential Sectors, Countries and Gender

Arab countries’s were also analyzed for most influential sectors, as well as gender and geographical distribution. It was discovered that the most successful sector was finance (27%). The third and second spots were taken by culture and society (13%) and industry (14%). In the top five are also real estate (7%), science and technology (7%), followed by energy (7%), media (6%), transport (5%), retail (4%), government (3%) and diversified (3%). At the very bottom are telecommunication (2%), politics (1%) and education (1%).

The country which had the highest number representatives on the list is Saudi Arabia with 28%. Second is Unite Arab Emirates with 19% and third is Qatar with 12%. Kuwait (10%), Egypt (6%), Lebanon (4%), Palestine (4%), Syria (4%), other countries like USA, UK, Brazil and Australia (4%) also did well on the chart. With fewer representatives on the list were Bahrain (3%), Iraq (2%), Jordan (2%) and Oman (2%).

In terms of gender, 23% of the individuals on the 100 Most Powerful Arabs list were women. In comparison, men held 77%.

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