Revealed: The UAE's most powerful business families

uae richest family businesses, ghurair, malls, dubai, futtaim

Dubai - Forbes Middle East issues list of 100 Most Powerful family businesses in the region.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 30 Jun 2020, 9:46 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Jul 2020, 11:38 AM

UAE's 21 families have been ranked among the Arab world's 100 most powerful family businesses, which is second highest in the region after Saudi Arabia.
According to Forbes Middle East, Saudi Arabia topped the list with 36 family businesses. While the UAE is followed by Kuwait (10), Oman (6), Bahrain (5), Qatar (5), Jordan (4), Morocco (4), Algeria (3), Egypt (3) and Lebanon (3).
Around 87 per cent of the region's family businesses are diversified while the rest are in to one or two sectors including real estate, jewellery, FMCG, industrial, food and beverages and retail. The top 10 families employ 600,000 people have a net worth of more than $31 billion (Dh114 billion).
Around 38 businesses are still run by first generation while 47 of them are managed by second-generation. Only 15 companies are chaired by third-generation or older. Below is the list of the UAE's 21 most powerful family businesses listed by Forbes in the UAE:
Al Futtaim Group
In the UAE, Al-Futtaim Group, which has over 200 businesses in sectors like automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and healthcare, is ranked first by Forbes. It also own franchises for brands like Zara, Marks & Spencer while real estate portfolio includes Dubai Festival City, Cairo Festival City, InterContinental Hotel and Crowne Plaza. Al Futtaim has a net worth of $2.1 billion. Abdullah Al Futtaim is chairperson of the group while his Omar is running the conglomerate.
Majid Al Futtaim
The group operates 27 shopping malls and 13 hotels. Among its famous malls brands are Mall of the Emirates and City Center Malls across the region. It also operates franchise rights of Carrefour. Majid Al Futtaim has a net worth of $3.3 billion and ranked 590 on Forbes' world billionaires list 2020.
The group manages a number of residential, industrial and hospitality businesses. It also established the region's first shopping malls in the Mena region - Al Ghurair Centre in 1982. It also own Swissotel Al Ghurair, Al Ghurair Foods and Mashreq bank. Its founder Abdulla Al Ghurair controls $3.7 billion worth is ranked 494 on Forbes world's billionaires list. While its chairmperson is Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair.
Al Ghurair Group
Founded in 1960, Al Ghurair Group's flagship property is The BurJuman Centre in Bur Dubai. It also has interests in petrochemical business and metal manufacturing among others. Its chairman is Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair.
SS Lootah Group
The group was set up in 1956 by Saeed bin Ahmed Lootah, who passed away on June 28.  Lootah also founded Dubai Islamic Bank - the first Islamic bank in the world. He also established the UAE's first contracting company and medical college.
Juma Al Majid Holding Group
Established in 1950, Juma Al Majid Group is comprised of around 33 companies with interests in automotive, shipping, real estate, contracting, construction, FMCG and travel industries. Its founder and chairman Juma Al Majid also set up Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage to restore and preserve manuscripts from all over the world.
AW Rostamani Group
The group has 14 companies representing automotive, real estate, retail, logistics, IT, travel and consultancy businesses. Its subsidiary Arabian Automobiles holds distribution rights of Nissan, Infiniti and Renault. Its chairperson is Khalid Al Rostamani.
Easa Al Gurg Group
Founded by its chairman Easa Saleh Al Gurg in 1960, the group holds distribution rights of Grundig and British American Tobacco. The group's portfolio includes 27 companies and 370 international brands including Dunlop, 3M, Danfoss and Osram among others.
Al Habtoor Group
The group, which was set up as a small engineering firm in 1970, has interests in automotive, hospitality, car leasing, real estate, education and publishing sectors. Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Habtoor Grand Resort are some of its hotels in the UAE. Its automotive unit holds distribution rights of Mitsubishi, JAC, Cherry, McLaren, Bugatti and Bentley.  Its chairman is Khalaf Al Habtoor.
Al Naboodah Holding
Al Naboodah Construction Group, which is its biggest subsidiary with 14,000 people, has worked on the UAE's many iconic projects including Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay, Yas Island, Dubai Water Canal Project, Dubai airports, Dubai World Central and Expo 2020. Its other businesses are in automobile, travel, electrical, logistics, agriculture and fit-out and renewable energy sectors. The group's chairman is Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah.
Khalifa Juma Al Naboodah Group
The group has 20 different companies in industries including automobiles, real estate, hospitality and food services management, construction, civil and marine engineering, hotels, education, printing, equipment trading and facilities management and consultancy, and employs about 10,000 people. Al Nabooda Automobiles is the sole importer of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Its chairperson is Khalifa Juma Al Nabooda.
Ali & Sons Holding
The group was set up by founder and chairman, Ali Al Daheri. Oil field supplies and services was the first division and is still one of the biggest revenue generators for the group. The group is also a dealer for Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Skoda in Abu Dhabi. It has interests in construction, real estate, shipbuilding, ship repair, and jewellery.  Its chairman is Ali Bin Khalfan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri.
Albwardy Investment
The group's founder and chairman is Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy and its portfolio consist of more than 30 companies in food distribution and retail, construction, and hospitality sectors. It represents international brands such as Four Seasons, Hyatt, Melia, and Desert Palm under its hospitality division. While its retail umbrella consists of Spinneys, Waitrose, and Al Fair. It distributes product brands such as Nestle, Kraft, Maggi, Dettol, Kleenex, Heinz, Henkel, Colgate, Ferrero Rocher and Libby's.
Ghassan Aboud Group
It was founded in 1994 by chairman Ghassan Aboud. The group has interests in automotive, logistics, media, hospitality, real estate, retail, and catering. It also has offices in Australia, Belgium, China, Jordan, and Turkey. It also established a TV production company and a satellite channel in 2008.
Abu Ghazaleh Investments
Its investment portfolio ranges from fresh produce, healthcare services, and manufacturing to aviation, hospitality, venture capital and real estate. It holds ownership or shareholdings in Del Monte, International Wings Group, Form Hotel, CF Tennis Academy, Oryx Ventures, and AGI Real Estate. The group was founded by its chairman Amir Abu Ghazaleh.
Al Nowais Investments
Its chairman Hussain J. AlNowais founded the investment firm in the late 1970s. It operate in the field of energy, infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality and real estate, FMCG, and technologys. Danway, its energy infrastructure arm, serves the GCC market. It also has a stake in Rotana Hotels, Alwaha Capital and AMEA Power.
Oasis Investment Company
Al Shirawi Group's holding company, Oasis Investment has 30 companies, with operations in trading, industrial, distribution, contracting and service industries. It owns Emirates Printing Press, Arcadia Education, Al Shirawi Contracting Co., Global Shipping & Logistics, and Arabian Oasis Industries. The company is chaired by Abdulla M. Al Shirawi.
Al Fahim Group
Founded over 60 years ago by Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, the group's subsidiaries operate in automotive, real estate, industrial, hospitality, and travel sectors. The group owns and operates Fairmont Hotel Bab Al Bahr, Al Fahim Motors, and Marjan Industrial Development. Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim is the chairman of Al Fahim Family Council and Al Fahim Supervisory Board Member, while Ahmed is the chairman of Al Fahim's management board.
Chalhoub Group
Founded by Michel Chalhoub, the group holds rights to sell Christofle, Baccarat, and Jean Patou. Today it is among the region's largest luxury retailers, with 650 retail outlets across 14 countries. The group has over 300 brands under its brand portfolio today, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Louboutin.
Al Tayer Group
Since 1979, the Group has introduced over 80 automotive and retail brands to the Middle East with nearly 200 outlets across the region. In 2010, it opened the first international Bloomingdale's store in Dubai Mall. Al Tayer Motors represents brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, and Jaguar. Its Chairman is Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, who is also the Minister of State for Financial Affairs.
Gulf Marketing Group
With operations across the GCC, GMG belongs to the Baker family. It has interests in sports, consumer, healthcare, education, living, properties, services, and logistics sectors. One of its most recognizable retail brands is Sun & Sand Sports with more than 200 stores. Its other brands are Farm Fresh, Super-Care Pharmacy, and Good Health Nutrition. It was founded by chairman Abdul Aziz Hassan Baker.

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