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Five big industry names in Arab Rich List top 10

by John Bambridge on Dec 17, 2012


Prince Alwaleed topped this year's list, but the ranks are swollen with construction players.
Prince Alwaleed topped this year's list, but the ranks are swollen with construction players.

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Five big names in construction have made this year’s Arabian Business Rich List, and a total of 17 made it into the overall top 50 rankings in a show of strength for the region's industry.

Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has topped the roster for the ninth year in succession, with his wealth now standing at $25.9bn.

The first construction industry player on the list is Egypt’s Sawiris Family, which weighs in at fourth in the rankings with a fortune of $11.2bn, a massive increase from its estimated $4.20bn last year.

The wealth of the Coptic Sawiris has surged in recent years since the family’s three brothers, headed by Naguib Sawiri, expanded the Orascom group into construction, property and communications.

Next up in fifth, with $11bn, is Issam Al Zahid, chairman of Saudi’s Alzahid group of companies, established in 1951 as the Alzahid Construction copmany, working on the Kingdom’s roads, and later on its first coast guard stations.

By 1958 the company was in full swing, building bridges, tunnels, flyovers and much of the basic transport infrastructure upon which the kingdom still relies. The group saw a domestic turnover rise of 14% even in 2009.

In seventh, with $8.10bn, is the Binladin Family, eponymous with high-level construction in Saudi Arabia. As the Kingdom's spend has risen, so have the fortunes of the group. It is now responsible for both the Kingdom Tower and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah - contracts which between them are worth over $20bn.

On top of this Bin Ladin has added a bumper contract to help build the first phase of the Haramain railway link.

Ninth in the rankings is the Palestinian Said Khoury, who has massed a fortune of $7.2bn over the last 60 years with his Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). Now based in Athens, the company sees sales of $4bn a year and manages projects in over 40 countries, with a focus on Middle East and North African region.

Rounding up the top 10 is Mohammed Al Jaber with $7bn in spoils. Now of French nationality, but born in Jeddah, Al Jaber founded Jadawel International Construction & Development in 1982. The group now includes JJW Hotels & Resorts, established in Portugal in 1989, and 60 owner-operator projects in Europe and the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia dominates the 2012 Arabian Business Rich List, and the country made a record 15 new entries.

In total 23 of this year’s entries are based in the Kingdom, including five from the top ten.



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