The Middle East has advanced a great deal over the last century; the emergence of the global oil market and an increasingly complex geopolitical situation has made the Middle East an area of great importance. The region is now home to a number of very successful and wealthy entrepreneurs.
However, there are some businessmen in the region who truly stand out from the rest. Most entrepreneurs would agree that qualifying exactly what it is that makes a good businessman is difficult. There are a variety of different factors that affect someone’s overall entrepreneurial talents. Whatever the magic ingredient is that separates the good entrepreneurs from the great, these Middle Eastern businessman definitely have it.
Souq.com is described as the ‘Amazon of the Middle East’. As the co-founder and chief executive officer, Ronaldo Mouchawar is one of the region’s most prominent and influential businessmen. Souq acts as both a retail site, and a platform through which third-party sellers can trade, much like Amazon does in the West. The site was initially conceived as an auction site but was spun off in 2009.
Ralph R Debbas
W Motor was the first manufacturer of high-performance luxury sports cars in the Middle East. Ralph R Debbas founded the company in Lebanon in 2012. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength. The company’s first vehicle was the $3.4 million Lykan Hypersport. it holds the distinction of being the most expensive car to have featured in the Fast and Furious franchise. A special version of the Hypersport has even been delivered to the Abu Dhabi police force for testing. Debbas has received numerous awards and accolades for his adept business skills.
Fahad Al Rajaan
As the Director General of Kuwait’s Public Institute for Social Security (PIFSS), Al Rajaan has plenty of experience with managing money. Having received his education in Washington D.C., Fahad Al Rajaan has been able to incorporate methods and ideas from both Eastern and Western entrepreneurs, and has shown himself to be an adept businessman. In addition to his work managing PIFSS, he has also been involved in overseeing investments made by his Ahli United Bank, formed by the merger of two regional banks.
Originally from Ireland, Paul Kenny has become of the most recognisable and respected tech entrepreneurs in the region. Cobone.com is an aggregate deals site, which Kenny founded in 2010, and it has become one of the largest e-commerce sites in the whole of the Middle East and North Africa. The site was sold for $40m within a year of being founded, providing Kenny with the funding he needed to pursue other ventures.
The Middle East has traditionally been a land of innovation and invention. That is just as true today as it always has been, and the above four businessmen are just a small selection of the many rising stars in the region. These are the names to watch over the next couple of years.