Forbes Magazine highlighted seven Qatari family enterprises in its 2024 list of the Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in the Middle East.

According to Forbes Middle East, these family businesses represent a legacy of resilience, with six established before the 20th century and others tracing their roots back to the early 2000s. These are the following:

  • Rank 11, Al Faisal Holding
    • Established: 1964
    • Founder & Chairman: Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani
    • Business sectors: Real estate, construction, hospitality, trading, transportation, entertainment, education, services and information technology
  • Rank 12, Power International Holding (PIH)
    • Established: 1983
    • Group Chairman: Moutaz Al-Khayyat
    • President & Group CEO: Ramez Al-Khayyat
    • Business sectors: General contracting, food, agriculture, real estate, hospitality, lifestyle, etc.
  • Rank 17, Alfardan Group
    • Established: 1954
    • Chairman: Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan
    • Business sectors: Jewellery, exchange, property and hospitality, automotive, investments, marine services & medical
  • Rank 63, Darwish Holding
    • Established: 1900s
    • Chairman & Managing Director: Bader Abdullah Al-Darwish
    • Business sectors: Retail, wholesale, malls, real estate, investments, technology, etc.
  • Rank 73, Almana Group
    • Established: 1960
    • Vice Chairman: Saoud Omar H.A. Almana
    • Business sectors: Automotive, industrial, contracting, real estate, oil & gas and other sectors like travel/tourism, money exchange, IT and beverages
  • Rank 83, AbuIssa Holding
    • Established: 1981
    • Chairman: Ashraf Abu Issa
    • Business sectors: Retail, distribution, telecommunications, IT, energy and engineering, construction support services, investment, real estate and marketing
  • Rank 100, Almuftah Group
    • Established: 1963
    • Chairman: Abdulrehman Muftah Almuftah
    • Business sectors: Engineering & construction, travel & tourism, wellness & fitness, automotive, graphic design and publicity, etc.

Among the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia leads with 34 family businesses on the list, followed by 28 from the UAE, and seven each from Qatar and Kuwait.

These businesses, deeply ingrained in tradition and heritage, are not only economic powerhouses but also cultural and social institutions. They are increasingly diversifying into emerging industries, emphasising innovation, digital transformation, and sustainable practices to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Middle Eastern family businesses are expanding globally, investing not only in traditional sectors like real estate and hospitality but also in tech start-ups and sustainability ventures worldwide.

Source: Forbes Middle East

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