With the support of Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, the UAE's minister for culture, youth and community development, Forbes Middle East hosted a prestigious event at Ritz Carlton, Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, in recognition of The Top 500 Companies in the Arab World and The Top 100 Making an Impact.
The event, which included an exclusive award ceremony and gala dinner, was attended by senior government officials, top executives from various business sectors, and an array of other high profile guests. The event was also graced by the presence of Nasser bin Aqeel Al-Tayyar, president of Arab Publisher House, who welcomed Sheikh Nahayan along with other dignitaries.
Delivering a keynote speech on the occasion was Sam Alkharrat, managing director of SAP Middle East and North Africa. "A perfect storm of cutting-edge technology is transforming MENA’s business landscape," Alkharrat said.
"Everywhere you look, the cloud, mobile technology, social media and big data are inspiring profound change, empowering consumers, and increasing the reach and relevance of citizens like never before. Today, there are unprecedented opportunities for value-driven innovation, and business leaders must do everything they can to drive sustainable growth in what are clearly some of the world’s most diverse, exciting and dynamic markets. SAP is proud to be among those investing with long-term ambition in MENA, and we believe that our combination of pioneering solutions and multifaceted support for local talent is already having a significant, positive impact across some of the region’s most influential industries," he added.
Mark Batey, joint chair of the Psychometrics at Work Research Group at Manchester Business School and associate editor of the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving was also invited to address the audience on "creativity in business."
A number of the evening’s awards were presented by Alkharrat and Batey in the presence of Sheikh Nahayan and esteemed guests. Applause echoed as awardees from leading companies across the Arab world stepped up to be honored.
From the insurance sector, companies present included Orient Insurance from the UAE, Abu Dhabi National Takaful, and Al Khazna Insurance, all of which excelled in 2012, recording total assets last year of $ 753.1 million, $ 125.8 million, and $ 285.6 million, respectively.
Awardees from the industrials sector included Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), which achieved $ 14.7 billion in assets in 2012, Jordan’s Eqbal Invest, with revenues of $ 113.8 million and ALAFCO, aviation frontrunner from Kuwait with total assets of $ 2 billion.
Achievements of companies in the services sector were also acknowledged. Two companies from the UAE, National Marine Dredging and Abu Dhabi Aviation, both received awards for their performances in 2012; the former raking in revenues of $ 846 million, and the latter, recording assets of $ 976.2 million.
In the real estate sector, while having recently merged, the UAE’s Aldar and Sorouh Real Estate each performed strongly in its own right last year, earning them both awards. Aldar led the way with assets of $ 8.7 billion, while Sorouh recorded total assets of $ 3.9 billion in 2012. Saudi Arabia’s Dar Al Arkan with assets amounting to $ 5.9 billion, and the UAE’s Drake & Scull International with assets of $ 1.8 billion, also received awards.
Leaders from the banking sector included the UAE’s First Gulf Bank with total assets of $ 47.7 billion, and Emirates NBD, recording total assets of $ 83.9 billion in 2012. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank from the UAE, and Saudi Arabia’s Alinma Bank were also awarded in light of their strong financial standing, including asset bases of $ 49.2 billion, $ 23.7 billion and $ 14.4 billion, respectively. Demonstrating the UAE’s dominance in this sector, National Bank of Fujairah with total assets of $ 4.8 billion and United Arab Bank from UAE with assets of $ 4.1 billion also received awards.
From the retail sector, Saudi Arabia’s Jarir Marketing excelled, amassing revenues of $ 1.2 billion last year. As for the transportation sector, National Shipping Company (Bahri), also from the kingdom, performed strongly recording assets of $ 3 billion in 2012.
Saudi Arabia also shined in the food industry with Savola Group and Almarai both taking to the stage. The former generated revenues amounting to $ 7.3 billion last year, while the latter recorded assets of $ 5.2 billion. The pattern continued in the travel and tourism sector with the Kingdom’s Al Tayyar Travel Group awarded for its strong performance in 2012, which included revenues of $ 1.4 billion.
Saudi Arabia’s winning streak went on in the energy, telecom and petrochemicals sectors, with the UAE also demonstrating its strength. In the energy sector, with assets of $ 63.6 billion in 2012, Saudi Electricity Company was awarded for its success, alongside TAQA from the UAE with assets of $ 33.3 billion. Meanwhile, telecoms stalwarts, Mobily from KSA and Etisalat from the UAE, were recognized for their achievements; the two companies recording total assets of $ 10.3 billion, and $ 21.8 billion, respectively, in 2012. Rounding out the awards for the Top 500 Companies in the Arab World, was Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals powerhouse, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, which recorded total assets of $ 90.2 billion.
Among the Top 100 Making Impact in the region, eminent companies present and honored on the occasion were Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group, a comprehensive health care services provider, which counts among the largest in the MENA region; Abdul Samad Al-Qurashi, one of the finest producers of Arabian perfumes; and,Saudi Arabia’s Ajlan & Brothers, a longstanding frontrunner of the garment industry. Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Rajhi & Sons, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading industrial groups; the UAE’s Lulu Group International, a multi-billion dollar diversified entity spearheaded by an incredibly successful retail division; and National Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in the region today, also featured among the outstanding awardees.
Congratulating Forbes Middle East and the winners on their accomplishments, the Director Middle East of Manchester Business School, Randa Bessiso said: "Manchester Business School Middle East congratulates Forbes ME on this outstanding initiative to recognize the achievements of the top companies in the Arab World and we are honored to be supporting the awards event, in our role as "preferred business school partner" to Forbes. These leading companies represent the engine of the regional economy and they are playing a fundamentally important role in helping the region to transform and reach its true potential. From our position as a leading global provider of business education, we can see that there are many genuinely world class companies in the region and by showcasing their achievements, Forbes will help inspire and encourage others to follow suit and to reach for this very high standard."
Forbes Middle East continues to work with valuable business partners who share a common objective of furthering the socioeconomic progress of the Arab world, while ensuring it builds a reliable system of information and statistics for decision makers and investors. The awards evening was an inspirational gathering, stirring budding entrepreneurs to aspire to brilliance and well-established businesses to expand their horizons, collaborate with the best in the region, and win.
Reproduced with permission from Arab News