Doha: Seven Qatari private companies or holding companies jointly owned or managed by Arab families feature in Forbes’ Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in 2022, and two more Qatari companies join the list this year. Qatari family businesses include Al Faisal Holding (Rank 9), Power International Holding (Rank 13), Alfardan Group (Rank 33), Almana Group (Rank 74), Jaidah Group (Rank 93), Abu Issa Holding (Rank 96), and the Al Muftah group (rank 100).
According to Forbes Middle East, Arab family businesses in the region have “so far this year seen many of the areas in which they are most active – including retail, real estate, energy and technology. industry – welcoming a V-shaped recovery”. He added that these companies are constantly evolving. Forbes noted that while leading Arab family businesses are still investing in their traditional businesses, they are also looking to new-era industries, investing in startups and, in some cases, founding their own new ventures.
“The way Arab family businesses are run and controlled used to be extremely concentrated, but that is changing. In many of the first 100, the third generation and beyond are joining the business. Many have started to focus on succession planning and separating ownership and management. Some have even listed their flagship company or significant subsidiaries, a trend that seems to continue to grow in the future. Of the top 100 family businesses this year, 89% are diversified business conglomerates,” Forbes said.
Al Faisal Holding, which rose to rank 9 in this year’s list from rank 11 in 2021, was established as a small auto parts trading company nearly 60 years ago. Today, it has 50 companies in the fields of culture and education, hospitality, real estate, construction and project management, trade, manufacturing and financial investments. . The company has 29 hotels in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Europe and the United States. In May 2022, Al Faisal Holding launched a new subsidiary offering production services, Metaserra, a joint venture with Turkey’s Doludizgin.
Power International Holding (PIH) is a newcomer to the list, but already ranks 13th among the top 100 Arab family businesses. PIH is a second-generation, family-owned conglomerate with operations in five main sectors: general contracting, industries and services, agriculture and food industries, real estate and lifestyle, including hospitality, leisure and catering. The company employs more than 65,000 people, with operations in 10 countries. Its subsidiaries include construction company UCC Holding, milk and dairy brand Baladna, property company Assets, hospitality and lifestyle entertainment company Aura Group and Estithmar Holding which is set to open Al Maha Island, home to the highly anticipated Lusail Winter Wonderland in November.
The Alfardan Group, which was first established as a jewelry company, has now grown into a leading business group in the region with a wide range of portfolios including jewelry, financial exchanges, real estate development, automotive, hospitality, marine and investment. Alfardan Real Estate also owns 6.1% of Dubai Investments, which was worth $162 million as of August 2022.
Almana Group, ranked 74th, started as a trading house in 1960 and has since grown into a diversified business operating in automotive, industrial, contracting, real estate, projects division, catering, finance, security and IT, and travel. It employs 10,000 people and has more than 30 subsidiaries and partnerships with more than 100 global brands.
The Jaidah Group, which is back in this year’s list, was established in 1898 in Qatar and now operates in real estate, energy, heavy equipment, automotive, power and industrial supplies . In 2022, Jaidah Project Division’s Switchgear factory started assembling smart panels in Qatar in collaboration with Schneider Electric. In the same year, Jaidah Prime Security Services completed the supply, testing and commissioning of IP CCTV systems and PA systems at Al Rayyan Stadium, Forbes noted.
Abu Issa Holding started as a luxury department store “Blue Salon” in 1981. Today, it is home to more than 70 businesses in 11 sectors including retail, e-commerce, hospitality, real estate , broadcasting, outsourcing and engineering services, among others. The conglomerate operates in nine countries through 47 branches, 12 warehouses and 200 retail stores. The group also employs more than 4,000 people.
Al Muftah Group, a regular on the list, was a tire dealer in the 1960s. Today the group has operations in 14 sectors, including engineering and construction, automotive and transport, real estate, wellness and fitness, education and home appliances. The group established Al Muftah Center department store in 1987 and Al Muftah Jewelery in 1984, which sells watches from well-known global brands.