Sheikh Issam Alzahid
Issam Alzahid is the chairman of the Alzahid Group of companies. It got its start in 1951 under the banner Alzahid Construction, when it had a hand in smaller-scale planning of roads and other city infrastructure. Later it would be tapped to build Saudi Arabia’s first coastguard stations.
By 1958 the company was in full swing, building everything from bridges to tunnels and flyovers — indeed much of the basic transport infrastructure upon which the kingdom still relies.
Today, with offices located in Al Khobar, the diversified conglomerate has over 41,000 employees and has significant interests in mining, logistics, oil and gas, manufacturing, information technology, foodstuffs, retail and many other sectors. Like the other members on the list, Alzahid has no plans to rest on his laurels.
It has announced plans to increase international investments by 23% during the course of this year. The recession may have been unkind to others, but not to Alzahid; his group saw total domestic turnover rise 14% in 2009, the latest year for which data is available.