Forbes Middle East has posted its ranked list of the most powerful Arab family businesses in 2020.

The list included the 100 largest family businesses in the region, with more than 600,000 employees across all of them. According to Forbes, the 10 most powerful Arab families have a wealth of more than $31 billion.

Here are the top 5 business families:

- The Mansour Group (Egypt)

- The Al-Futtaim Group (UAE)

- The Olayan Group (Saudi Arabia)

- Majid Al Futtaim (UAE)

- Rashed Abdul Rahman Al Rashed & Sons Group (Saudi Arabia)

Family businesses from Saudi Arabia dominated the list with 36 companies ranked in the 100 list. Family businesses from the UAE had 21 entries and ranked second, while Kuwait was third with 10 companies on the list.

According to Forbes, the list included 10 companies more than a century old, and 13 companies formed between 75 and 100 years ago. Over 80 percent of the family businesses on the list are licensed to sell international brands, either in the countries in which they are located, or across the region.

Family businesses have certain advantages. “They are able to take a long-term view on business, as they are not answerable to shareholders. They are able to adapt quickly to changes in the business environment, and, more importantly, they tend to diversify. Of the 100 companies on the list, 87 are diversified businesses,” according to Forbes.

Doing business with government-owned companies have benefitted many business families.

“Several founders as well as other members of the family business have held various government positions serving as ministers or mayors or heading up government departments. Osama Al Zamil of the AlZamil Group is the Deputy Minister of Minerals in Saudi. Obeid Al Tayer of the Al Tayer Group is the UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs. Aziz Akhannouch is the Minister of Agriculture in Morocco,” Forbes said.

In order to develop the list, Forbes looked at approximately 200 Arab family-owned businesses in the region. The many factors considered include: Group investments in regional and global stock exchanges and real estate assets, business diversification and the number of sectors in which they have significant operations, Types of business activity and to what extent they have been affected by this crisis as well as number of employees and number of countries they are present in and geographical diversification.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)



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