Gulf Business has unveiled its highly anticipated 2024 edition of the 100 Most Powerful Arabs, spotlighting the exceptional achievements of dynamic individuals across the globe. Among the honorees, six distinguished Qataris have secured their place on this prestigious list.

These Qataris, recognised for their outstanding contributions to both the Arab world and the global stage, exemplify leadership and influence in various sectors.

Gulf Business utilised a comprehensive methodology, evaluating candidates based on financial capital, human capital, expansion strategies, and personal renown. Notably, this year’s list features a total of 21 influential women. Celebrating the accomplishments of these individuals, Gulf Business aims to inspire future generations and redefine possibilities for success.

4th place- HE Eng Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President and CEO of QatarEnergy

Sector: Diversified

2023 Rank: 4

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the president and CEO of QatarEnergy, stands at the forefront of Qatar’s energy sector. Al-Kaabi’s journey began when he joined QatarEnergy as a university student. Since assuming leadership in 2014, he has steered the company towards success, cementing its position as a global leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG) production.

Under Al-Kaabi’s guidance, QatarEnergy has executed strategic initiatives to bolster its LNG production capacity and secure long-term partnerships. In October 2023, the company inked a significant LNG sale and purchase agreement with Eni, further solidifying its market presence.

One of the pivotal projects overseen by Al-Kaabi is the North Field Expansion, aimed at elevating Qatar’s LNG production capacity to meet surging global demand. With new finds in the North Field and extensive appraisal efforts, QatarEnergy announced the ambitious North Field West project, set to add 16 million tonnes of LNG by 2030.

Al-Kaabi also serves as Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and holds key positions in prominent organisations such as Industries Qatar and the Qatar Investment Authority.

12th place – Mansoor Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)

Sector: Diversified

2023 Rank: 13

Al-Mahmoud assumed the role of CEO at Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) in 2018, overseeing assets of USD475bn.

His leadership has diversified QIA’s portfolio globally, notably with investments in projects such as Ariel Alternatives’ Project Black and renewable energy ventures in South Africa with Enel Green Power. QIA has also launched Qatar’s inaugural VC Fund of Funds, targeting over USD1bn in investments.

Al-Mahmoud’s strategic initiatives include the Active Asset Management Initiative with Ashmore Group, introducing the Ashmore Qatar Equity Fund, and attracting USD200m with QIA as an anchor investor.

Al-Mahmoud is also the vice chairman of Qatar Stock Exchange and national carrier Qatar Airways. In addition, he is a member of the supervisory board of Volkswagen as well as a board member of Qatar National Bank.

14th place – Abdulla Mubarak Al Khalifa, Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group CEO

Sector: Finance

2023 Rank: 13

Qatar National Bank reported QAR1.189tn (USD327bn) in total assets for 2022, posting a 9% rise on the previous year-end figure, and staying above the trillion-riyal mark for the third consecutive year. The lender also reported a 9% rise in net profit after the impact of hyperinflation last year, totalling USD3.9bn.

At the helm of the bank is Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa, who has risen through the ranks to become the lender’s group CEO and will play a key role in positioning it for future growth opportunities. Al-Khalifa also serves on the board of telecom operator Ooredoo Qatar.

32nd place – HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums

Sector: Culture and Society

2023 Rank: 33

Since 2006, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has been Chairperson of Qatar Museums. She is the sister of the Emir of Qatar and one of Qatar’s leading voices in art and culture.

In April 2023, Sheikha Al-Mayassa was a speaker at the ‘Art for Tomorrow’ conference in Italy, organised by the Democracy & Culture Foundation in collaboration with The New York Times.

In December 2023, she launched her podcast, ‘The Power of Culture’, which focuses on the cultural scene in Qatar.

Under Sheikha Al Mayassa’s watch, Qatar’s architecturally striking museums, including the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar, have positioned the country’s as a major hub for arts and culture in the Middle East. She also chairs the Doha Film Institute, Reach Out to Asia and Qatar Leadership Centre.

51st place – Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Managing Director and Group CEO of Ooredoo

Sector: Telecoms

2023 Rank: 56

Fakhroo oversaw Ooredoo’s signing of definitive agreements with Zain Group and TASC Towers Holding to merge their cellular towers into a USD2.2bn entity. Ooredoo owns a 49% stake in the merged entity, which has a portfolio of more than 30,000 tower assets across the Middle East. The Qatari telecoms firm pledged to invest USD1.1bn over the next two years to advance technological developments and boost digital solutions in the Middle East – an initiative that is expected to impact 109 million lives.

Fakhroo’s Ooredoo has a customer base of more than 58 million subscribers. Its full-year revenue reached USD6.4bn (QAR23.2bn) in 2023. He leads the company’s mobile, fixed, broadband internet operations as well as corporate-managed services in more than 10 countries across MENA and Southeast Asia.

71st place – Eng Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Qatar Airways Group CEO

Sector: Aviation

2023 Rank: New

Al Meer was named group CEO of Qatar Airways in December 2023. He oversees one of the world’s biggest airlines with a fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to more than 170 destinations across six continents.

Qatar Airways’ investment portfolio includes a 25.1% holding in International Airlines Group, 10% in LATAM, 9.99% in Cathay Pacific, and 3.38 per cent in China Southern Airlines, as of December 2023. The aviation group is ushering into a new era of travel by leveraging innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and metaverse.

It unveiled the world’s first AI-powered digital human cabin crew named Sama 2.0 to assist passengers in designing curated travel experiences. The AI cabin crew is accessible through QVerse, the airline’s immersive digital platform, as well as through the airline’s mobile app.

The flag carrier’s profit soared 113.8% year-over-year to USD1.03bn (QAR3.74bn) in the first six months of FY2023/24 while its revenue rose 7.4%to reach QAR40.13bn.

Gulf Business reported that the 2024 list welcomed eight newcomers who have been expanding their influence on a global scale. Alongside these additions, 21 women were recognised as power listers, marking a notable inclusion for this year.

The selection process considered Arabs from diverse backgrounds, with a particular emphasis on individuals demonstrating significant business activity. However, politicians and royalty were generally excluded from consideration unless they showcased a strong alignment with entrepreneurial endeavours.


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