Heads of Saudi Aramco, Adnoc and Emirates Group retain their top three spots in the Forbes Middle East third annual list of the Top 100 CEOs in the Middle East, who collectively managed revenues of over $1 trillion in 2022. Their firms are collectively worth more than $5 trillion.

Amin H Nasser, President and CEO of the world’s largest crude oil producer Saudi Aramco, topped the ranking. Adnoc Group’s Sultan Al Jaber and Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group rounded up the top three spots. These three executives have retained their ranking for the third consecutive year.

The 2023 cohort represents leaders from 22 nationalities. Emiratis dominated with 23 entries, followed by Egyptians with 19 and Saudis with 18. These three groups comprise 60% of the ranking, signaling positive momentum for localisation.

Banking sector

With 17 CEOs, the banking sector claimed the most entries, followed closely by real estate and construction with 14 and telecommunications with nine. Among the top 10 alone, six different industries are represented, illustrating the sector diversity in top leadership.

Against the recurring priority of sustainability this year, the leaders on this ranking have accelerated their corporate sustainability measures to align with global commitments. Majid Al Futtaim – Holding’s Ahmed Galal Ismail led the group to achieve an 82% reduction in single-use plastic consumption in the first half of 2023. At the COP28 held in Dubai, Adnoc Group’s Sultan Al Jaber served as the president-designate of this year’s climate change conference for global transformative climate action. Meanwhile, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer intends to increase its water desalination capacity to 730 million imperial gallons per day by 2030, up from 490 million in 2023.

To construct this ranking, Forbes Middle East assessed the CEOs using various metrics, including the individual's accomplishments and implemented innovations over the past year, size of their company, and their impact on their firm and the wider industry. Only CEOs of companies headquartered in MENA were considered.

Top 10 CEOs In The Middle East 2023

*Amin H. Nasser

Nationality: Saudi

President & CEO, Saudi Aramco

*Sultan Al Jaber

Nationality: Emirati

Group CEO & Managing Director, Adnoc Group

*Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Nationality: Emirati

Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group

*Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi

Nationality: Qatari

Deputy Chairman, President & CEO, QatarEnergy

*Isam Jasem Al-Sager

Nationality: Kuwaiti

Vice Chairman & Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK Group)

*Nawaf S. Al-Sabah

Nationality: Kuwaiti

Deputy Chairman & CEO, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)

*Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Nationality: Emirati

Group Chairman & CEO, DP World

*Olayan Alwetaid

Nationality: Saudi

Group CEO, stc Group

*Syed Basar Shueb

Nationality: Emirati

CEO & Managing Director, International Holding Company (IHC)

*Hatem Dowidar

Nationality: Egyptian

Group CEO, e&.-- TradeArabia News Service

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