At a glittering awards ceremony held in Dubai’s business district, Forbes Middle East celebrated the best-performing companies in the region and revealed the much-awaited ranking of the Top Companies in the Arab World 2015.
With a guest list boasting some of the Middle East’s most influential names in business, the event held at The Oberoi, Dubai, honored the region’s most formidable corporations, including Al Tayyar Travel Group, Etisalat, Ooredoo Telecom and Dubai Islamic Bank.
The evening also celebrated the Top Private Arab Companies Making an Impact, also featured in the Forbes Middle East June edition. Though not publicly listed, these homegrown businesses are nevertheless helping to shape the future of Arab economies. Companies from this list awarded at the event included Saudi Oger, Ajlan & Bros, American University of the Middle East (AUM) and Paris Gallery Group. Following the awards ceremony, the month’s edition of Forbes Middle East was revealed on stage.
Speaking of the ranking, Mrs. Khuloud Al Omian, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Middle East, said: “Forbes Middle East is dedicated to celebrating and honoring success across the Arab world and that is what this event is all about. Low oil prices have made this past year an unpredictable one, but the Top Companies in the Arab World 2015 show that through strong leadership and hard work, no challenge is too great.”
Addressing the elite audience, Head of Sales, Forbes Middle East Mr. Krishna Natarajan stated: “Months of in-depth analysis and meticulous research went into compiling the Top Companies in the Arab World 2015 ranking. Forbes Middle East acknowledges the remarkable contributions of each business on the list as they help create a promising future for all of us.”
General Manager at The Oberoi, Dubai, Mr. Karim Bizid shared: “We are happy to partner with Forbes Middle East for one of the region’s most exclusive gala evenings to announce Top Companies in the Arab World 2015. The Oberoi, Dubai has made its mark in the region’s hospitality landscape in a short span of time and is a befitting venue to celebrate leadership and success.”
Featuring only publicly-listed companies, the Top Companies in the Arab World builds on FORBES’ pioneering Global 2000 and was based on disclosed financial statements for 2014, collated from stock markets across the region. Criteria considered when producing the list included total revenues, net earnings, total assets, and market valuation. The latter was based on April 1, 2015 closing prices.
A total of 10 countries are represented in the list. Together, their combined 2014 revenue stood at $348 billion and net earnings, $70.7 billion. Unsurprisingly, wealthy GCC companies dominate the lineup, with the top 10 companies including five entries from Saudi Arabia, four from the UAE, and one from Qatar.
Once again, topping the list is Saudi Arabia’s SABIC with $50.4 billion in revenue and an asset base of $90.9 billion. Qatar’s QNB takes second place, followed by UAE telecom giant, Etisalat. Last year’s number two, Saudi Telecom, finds itself in fourth place for the 2015 list, followed by Saudi Electricity.
In terms of number of entries, Saudi Arabia dominates not just the top 10, but the overall ranking. Represented by 59 entries on the list, the combined recent market value of this year’s Saudi companies stands at $436.5 billion, with $159 billion in revenue.
The UAE features with the second-highest number of entries this year, with third-place Etisalat leading the way. It is followed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD and FGB—all of which appear in the top 10.
Qatar, with 26 companies, finishes up the top three. It is followed, respectively, by Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain and Lebanon.
Similar to the Top Companies in the Arab World 2015 ranking, Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead the way in the Top Private Companies Making an Impact. Some 40% of companies on the 100-strong list are based in Saudi, while 27% call the UAE their home.
Topping the ranking is Kuwait’s Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons. It is followed by Saudi Binladin Group and the UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group. In fourth and fifth place are Saudi companies Dallah AlBaraka Holding and Zamil Group Holding.
The diversified sector dominates the list, with 64% of entries showing diversified business interests. Retail, the second-most featured sector in the ranking, makes up 9% of the list, followed by real estate & construction with 8%.
For the evening’s special event, the esteemed partners in making the evening a great success included travel and tourism leader Al Tayyar Travel Group, business conglomerate Stallion Group; contemporary luxury hotel The Oberoi Dubai; Skyline University; luxury travel company Elegant Resorts; construction and engineering company Danube; corporate travel services provider Elite Executive Services; and official and exclusive radio partner Dubai Eye 103.8.