Wed, Sep 7, 2022

Business, Banking & Finance
Olayan Group tops Arab family firms list

Thirty-seven of the top Arab family firms are based in Saudi Arabia, according to the Forbes Middle East’s annual list of the Top 100 Arab Family Businesses for 2022. Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group tops the ranking for the second consecutive year.

The list honours the region’s most successful legacy businesses, many of whom have been handed down through several generations. The ranking reveals the conglomerates moving into new-age industries and technologies under the leadership of the second and third generations, said a statement.

UAE accounts for 25 of the top 100 family businesses and Kuwait has 8 entries. Together, these three countries constitute 75% of the top 20 in the list. Qatar has 7, Egypt 6, Oman 6, Bahrain 4, Jordan 2, Morocco 2, Algeria 1, Lebanon 1 and Yemen 1.

All family businesses in the top 10 are diversified companies with operations in multiple sectors.

Saudi’s Olayan Financing Group (OFC) tops the ranking for the second consecutive year. In 2021, OFC joined the World Economic Forum’s coalition for stakeholder capitalism metrics. Egypt’s Mansour Group and UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group round up the top three.

At ninth position, Al Faisal Holding is the only newcomer to this year’s top 10 businesses, up from 11th place in 2021. In May 2022, it launched a new subsidiary offering production services, Metaserra, a joint venture with Turkey’s Doludizgin.

Diversified business corporations—groups that invest in various sectors and geographies—dominate the ranking with 89 entries. Three retail firms and two investment companies are the next most populated sectors. Of the top 100 family family-run companies in 2022, eight are owned by Arab billionaires. Algeria-based Cevital Group’s founder Issad Rebrab had a net worth of $5.1 billion as of August 2022, making him the second richest Arab in the world.

To construct this list, Forbes Middle East only considered private businesses or holding companies that are jointly owned or operated by Arab families. The conglomerates were ranked on their holding’s size and performance, business activity, age, legacy, and how diversified the business is in terms of geography and sector. 

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