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30 under 30
Sunday, 02 August 2009

CEO Middle East profiles 30 of the Arab world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, age 30 and under.

Is youth really wasted on the young? Not if you’re judging the entrants in CEO Middle East’s first ever 30 under 30 list it isn’t. Their grandparents might have founded the modern Arab world but our list proves that the next generation of Arab leaders is as keen to continue its legacy.

There are of course a few familiar names such as Ayman Hariri and his younger brother Fahd, two of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri’s five children. While both could have easily sat back and enjoyed their multi-billion inheritance — no Rich List would be complete without at least one Hariri name — the brothers have each opted to forge ahead in their own careers, proving that their late father’s business flair does indeed run in the blood.


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But there are also some more unfamiliar names. Take Sami Khoreibi as an example. At just 29 years old this UAE national is already CEO of his third company, Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena, having successfully set up two companies, one of which listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange when he was just 25.

Khoreibi isn’t alone in his commercial success. 25-year-old Abdulrahman Bin Ismail Tarabzouni manages to juggle his responsibilities of being CEO of Mubadiroon, a Saudi-based hybrid venture capital fund and incubator for start-ups, with performing his duties as Master of Ceremonies at Saudi Aramco’s 75th anniversary. It’s all in a day’s work for our 30 under 30.


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Comments (44)

Re:
Posted by McculloughLorie on 12 September 2010 at 05:19 UAE time

Every one understands that life seems to be high priced, but different people need money for different things and not every one gets enough cash. Therefore to get quick business loans or just auto loan should be a correct way out.
Keep moving and dont watch behind you Amna
Posted by Mohammed Ali Murshed - Sales Manager - GCC Countries / Al Jaber Aviation, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 26 May 2010 at 08:25 UAE time

" Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. when it does not exists, Design it."

Sir Henry Royce
The Next Generation
Posted by Joseph Hanouti, New York, USA on 16 March 2010 at 02:49 UAE time

I want to congratulate the 30 under 30 and Arabian Business Magazine for letting the world know about our brightest and best. We, and the rest of the world, will be expecting a lot from these leaders for many years to come. Although many on this list come from Royal/prominent families, I do see some rags-to-riches stories in here as well which is inspiring.
Well Done!
Posted by Sister on 22 November 2009 at 17:58 UAE time

Rabee has done a briliant job! He had to overcome many hurdles to reach where he is today! Well done!! :)
European Arab young business leaders
Posted by Said Badouri, Lelystad, Netherlands on 12 September 2009 at 17:12 UAE time

I am proud to know about the successes of young Arab leaders in MENA region. For your information their are successfull young Arab businessmen and professionals in Europe. A good idea to publish a list in this regard in your magazine. http://www.gibn.net
What about the others ?
Posted by Mohamed Fouad, Casablanca, Morocco on 1 September 2009 at 04:28 UAE time

I think we missed to higlight some brilliant arab young leaders involved in human development and poverty fight issues...they are doing great job and will be of course the leaders of tomorrow.

Way to go to all the arab young leaders !
Sure Of Your Success
Posted by Saif Alkado & Family, UAQ, Untied Arab Emirates on 1 September 2009 at 00:11 UAE time

Never doubted your ability, Vision and determination to accomplish your goals
We admire your courage, attitude and unique calmness
Your success filled our hearts with joy.
We wish you the best of luck every step of the way ……..may Allah bless you.


Saif Alkado & Family
Arab young leaders
Posted by Samar Samir Mezghanni, Tunis, Tunisia on 31 August 2009 at 13:34 UAE time

Thanks to all those who commented on the list. I agree that if we had to put all the Arab young leaders, the list would go on and on. I believe there are more than 30 young successful people in our region who inspire us
I am overwhelmed by everyones achievements on this list no matter what background/family he/she comes from. I think they all deserve appreciation and encouragement.
Thats the First Step
Posted by Karim Helal, Beirut, Lebanon on 31 August 2009 at 12:41 UAE time

Waiting to see more from u !!!! Good Luck !!!!
Well to GO Habib!!!!
Posted by JOE, Montréal, Canada on 30 August 2009 at 14:40 UAE time

Well to GO Habib, Very proud of you, a lot of people here use Yamli, and they find you very bright
you missed one!
Posted by N, Dubai, UAE on 30 August 2009 at 10:36 UAE time

I think a little more research could have been done to complete this article. Someone pls check www.almarakeb.net, this guy was only 24 when he started his own boat manufacturing company and has already been in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi boat shows!!

Having said that, Congrats to everyone who did make the list!!
The Youngest Real Leader
Posted by Oussama BARKIA, Tunis, Tunisia on 27 August 2009 at 22:03 UAE time

Congratulations Samar,

You've certainly deserved it !

Continue this way and hope you will succeed all your plans.

Wish you all the best Great Young Leader, we are all proud of you :)

Good luck for the upcoming challenges !

Greetings from Cairo,

Oussama BARKIA
Regards from First Step
Posted by Jafar Zuabi, Tulkarm, Palestine on 27 August 2009 at 13:39 UAE time

This is amazing news Samar
I am so proud
This is a great achievement
wish you all the best and success
You can't imagine how proud you've made us
Posted by Ola Alkado, Carnoustie, UK on 12 August 2009 at 01:17 UAE time

Jinanne!!! I am not surprised at all that I am writing to you during this immaculate occasion! All I can say Jinanne is that you've made your wee cousin and your whole family proud of you and that you should definitely continue confidently in the direction of your dreams...Live the life you have imagined and dreamt of...Remember to walk with your head raised and stick your chest out because as I mentioned earlier, you have all the right to! As I have this great opportunity I want to express my delight at this great achievement of all those Arab Leaders...This is truly what our Arab nation needs...

With admiration,
Ola
way to go champ!!!
Posted by sana, jounieh, lebanon on 10 August 2009 at 14:19 UAE time

Habib Haddad . Well deserved. Very proud of you. Congratulations
Jinanne Tabra & ARABOH.com
Posted by ARABOH Team, Sharjah, UAE on 9 August 2009 at 15:01 UAE time

We are privileged to be part of this innovative organisation.
Jinanne is a wonderful leader and a pleasure to work with.
We ought to acknowledge the efforts of both Carnegie Mellon University (Qatar), Qatar Academy, and Education City, Doha, Qatar for producing such a unique talent.
Worthy nominee and we are confident that this is merely the start for Jinanne and ARABOH.com. The best is yet to come....
Congratulations.
ARABOH.com & Jinanne Tabra's Contribution to Overseas Arab World
Posted by zameer Hassan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 9 August 2009 at 11:24 UAE time

Dear Jinanne Tabra
I must say that I was not surprised to read of your success posted on Arabian business .but I was pleased , because I noted how bright you are and how you have a very quick mind for success . Combine those attributes with your relentless work ethic and commitment to contribute in overseas Arab world is exceptional talent , and it is obvious that you have a wide-open future ahead of you.
There is no doubt that your recent achievements will be spoken of for all time and is great example and inspirational tool for young generation , and that the admiration for your accomplishments is felt by all of us as well as within the Arab world .
Of course, I can only hope that your experience working with us contributed in some small way to your success. it makes me feel good simply to have been involved with you from the sidelines. However your achievements will definitely contribute in some way to our business success.

On behalf of the Ilogycs.com, I wish you all the best in your future career and life endeavors, Please accept my heartiest congratulations for your success.
Souktel Business
Posted by Nada on 9 August 2009 at 10:11 UAE time

It is not an easy job that's you are doing Lana but it is fruitful and recognized. Best of luck and keep the good work.
Lets give things its real names
Posted by noor on 9 August 2009 at 09:00 UAE time

In my opinion, the list should focus on mainly the persons who offered something to the nation from their personal achievement(s) and those who were individually initiative to such achievements.
Innovative, creativeness, accomplishment, and many other great criteria could have added some other names to the list(and maybe took out some ofthe existing ones).
Where are the rest of the Arabs?
Posted by Rasha on 9 August 2009 at 08:59 UAE time

This list is a good start but it is incomplete. Where are the Kuwaitis? Kuwaitis are well known for thier entrepreneurial success and I am surprised that not a single one is on the list. I understand that CEO ME is based in Dubai but this is too UAE centric.

Also, where are the Palestinians? I see 2 on the list. If you are selected Arab leaders who hail from wealthy, elite families then you will definetly find many of those from Palestine and Jordan. I see very few here.

Again, I applaud your effort but this list needs to be more inclusive
Thanks
Rasha
Way to Go!!
Posted by Shehran Sadique, Dubai, UAE on 9 August 2009 at 08:28 UAE time

That is a great achievement Jinnane!! Wish you all sucess!!
ARABOH.com & ARABIC TALENTS
Posted by Ez Tabra, Doha, Qatar on 9 August 2009 at 01:22 UAE time

Sincere congratulations to Jinanne for her vision and dedication in establishing an innovative online Arabic book store.
We ought to celebrate the fact that young Arab entrepreneurs are showing ambition, desire and dedication to succeed and prove to the entire world that the Arab world can and will produce leaders who can inspire future generations.
I am an extremely proud father of Jinanne; the founder of ARABOH.com, and very proud of all young Arab entrepreneurs.
ARABIAN BUSINESS
Posted by Haitham Jalal Tabra, Dubai, UAE on 8 August 2009 at 19:54 UAE time

I'm really proud of Arraboh's founder who has worked really hard to acheive this, hope all our youngsters will learn from this and feel strong to deliver some ideas which benifit generations to come.
congratulations
Posted by wafa, ghadir, lebnan on 8 August 2009 at 10:55 UAE time

we are so proud of you habib haddad. you did really something great
Habib Haddad is awesome !!!
Posted by Tariq, Jordan on 7 August 2009 at 21:29 UAE time

Mr. Habib is awesome ... I love Yamli, we need more role models like him ! Way to go !!!
congratulatory message to the young enterpreneurs
Posted by sylvia d. rivera, Quezon City, philippines on 7 August 2009 at 10:00 UAE time

I hope thse young enterpreneurs will also be able to help spread PEACE not only among Arab countries but the Christians as well. Being young and brainy, i believe that they will be a big asset in making this world a better place to live. CONGRATULATIONS!! ! !
Mixed list btw Rich kids and self made entrepreneurs
Posted by Ahmed, USA on 7 August 2009 at 04:23 UAE time

The list is mixed ... I see some impressive self made entrepreneurs such as the Lebanese Yamli founder Habib Haddad but a lot of others are just born into wealth but maybe they have been doing a great job at managing the family wealth ...
One more to add
Posted by Osama on 6 August 2009 at 15:52 UAE time

I suggest to add Ahmed Ashour (28), CO-Founder of AlJazeeraTalk.net to the list.
This is not how it should be
Posted by Irrelevant on 6 August 2009 at 15:32 UAE time

With all respect to the opinions posted before mine, its fine to lable these people as "Rich" but please don't say that they are all achievers, it just doesn't work for some of them to be ladled as such, being handed down the money, and resources to build whatever they dream, and the branding power that has been built by parents over the years doesn't really qualify.
I'm sure there are tons of people in the Middle east, north Africa that would fit the "achievers" category. Just lable the article right next time!! :)
More reading needed
Posted by Constantine Nicolaou, Cambridge, UK on 6 August 2009 at 13:40 UAE time

I agree with the fact that everyone is really working hard to get somewhere. BUt there are some differences that we might be able to see. Each person on the list has had a lot of advantages than the rest of us, and that enabled him or her to be the person they are today.
Of course working hard is rewarding, but you need to be in the right outfit and with the right tools.

I know the fans of Malcolm Gladwell who read Outliers are familiar with the concept.

But generally, well done for all. Great achievements for our Arab nation
Unfair
Posted by Londoner on 6 August 2009 at 13:00 UAE time

I read this profile with interest:

'...started her career working for the family firm, the $6.4bn Al Barari project in Dubailand. Having cut her teeth in the real estate industry, she co-founded Abu-Dhabi based Zaya, a luxurious real estate developer, which is responsible for two of the UAE’s most niche projects, Nurai and Makani. Also led the initial public offering for the Abu Dhabi Energy Company and sat on the board of the Taweelah Asia Power Company"

now:

- started career working in family firm - NEGATIVE, doesnt want to see different perspective of how to do business or start from the bottom, wants comfort from the start, most families in US have their kids start at investment banks or elsewhere first....

- ''Having cut her teeth in real estate business'' - How? how many projects did she lead and successfully sell? at what IRR? lets be rationale here we know RE business in GCC is overinflated...

- ''Founded company reponsible for luxury niche RE projects in UAE'' - YEAH! and we all saw how that market has gone, probably dropped in value by 50% and deeply in the red....

- ''Led IPO of Abu Dhabi Energy..'' - HOW? is she an investment banker?

- ''Sits on the board of ....'' - HOW HARD IS THAT IN THE GCC? probably uncle is chairman of that company....


Apologies but i fail to see a single achievement in the above!!
Joke?
Posted by Khaled on 6 August 2009 at 12:47 UAE time

the list is a joke, son of Harrods owner is a LEADER because he is doing an MBA and will take a job with, you guessed it, Harrods!?

find some poor background youngsters who have came up with inventions, solved formulas, doing research in Cambridge under scholarship etc...or alternatively, DONT publish a list at all.....but for a youngster with a billionaire father to take a loan from rich daddy, opens a business and appoints himself chairman, doesnt make him a leader.....maybe if he lists it on london stock exchange after it triples in value we can argue about that (By how much did the Harriri sons grow their fathers wealth for instance? zero)....

I would rename list as ''Top 30 Rich Kids List''
Let's not Look at the Positives
Posted by Nadim, Beirut, Lebanon on 6 August 2009 at 11:53 UAE time

Yes most of you guys are correct, many of the people on the list are coming from rich families, and hand an easy way to the top.
But what about the others, for example habib haddad he was voted as a YGL as well in the WEF and accomplished so much for the arabic web, and arab entrepreneurs.
LEARN FROM PEOPLE LIKE TARABZOUNI
Posted by HM Yamen Al-Hajjar on 6 August 2009 at 10:17 UAE time

I've Known him since he was in school and the only thing I can say is God Bless him, determination and continuous focus on one goal.. the betterment of the nation, the religion, and mankind..

FORGET ALL STEREOTYPES.. and return to the REALITY..

We need to get out of the ditches and back into our towers!

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE

Y7
Bitterness does not get you anywhere
Posted by Sarah, Dubai, UAE on 5 August 2009 at 11:57 UAE time

I completely agree with stereotypical much. These leaders would have had to work hard in university to get where they are and you have to be smart to run a business. I'm 22 and working as a journalist - I worked my way up without any help but that does not mean that rich young people do not have to work hard too. Plenty of millionaires do not have to work simply because they don't have to. These Arab leaders have decided to work anyway - lazy? I don't think so!
Stereotypical much?
Posted by X, Los Angeles, United States on 5 August 2009 at 05:52 UAE time

This is in response to any of the comments that more or less were stereotypical towards the names listed as Arab leaders. It is in fact true than many of the people on the list may have been born into affluent families, however claiming that they have been 'spoon - fed' and mocking their 'hard work' is purely out of reason. Ask yourselves this; if the money they have been born into had such an affect on the way they lived their lives; why for one second would they think of working? establishing relations and companies? & working hard not to only be accepted but to thrive through the first class universities they have been enrolled in? In reference to your subjective and with all due respect ignorant comments, being called an Arab leader would solely have no value to them if they thought that money could get them any where they wanted in life. Quite uninspiring? I don't think so, people in the west may be used to the rags-to-riches stories, but where have the children of the rich and elite ended up? on the tabloids of all the gossip magazines as being the party animals that they have grown to be ? Sorry, but Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and these children of 'obscenely wealthy parents' in the West are incomparable to the people who made the Arab leaders list and the achievements they have made this list. Your right when it comes to prominent leaders of the modern day such as Warren Buffet, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama; their stories are admirable and inspiring. However just because these Arab leaders were born into a family of success does not mean what they have done over the course of their lives is not well-earned. This list might not be accurate, up to date and as precise as it should be; but looking over the accomplishments each individual has made, every name on the list deserves to recognized as an Arab leader.
Boring!
Posted by hexchrome, cairo, egypt on 4 August 2009 at 23:15 UAE time

if i was born in Hariri family and i am a CEO what is fun in this ?! where the achievement! Guys .. get us stories on self made and young CEO's and Founders.. for example .. my boss is the founder of fully fledged company which operates in 2 countries, he started by nothing and now he run a firm with more then 100 employee .. and he is still under 26! this is an interesting story to be told and to inspire young people ..
Misinformed!
Posted by Mohamed Saeed on 4 August 2009 at 17:57 UAE time

I believe this list in way shows who are the true players of the next generation!This list really shows that no effort was put into making this list.
What happened to the ALJabers,Futtaims,Habtoors,Gosaibi's,Mikati?all under 30 and have alot more impact than the people listed.
do they deserve this?
Posted by khatri irfan, dubai, uae on 4 August 2009 at 08:58 UAE time

Most of the work for their success is usually done by their parents, guardians and existing executives & managers of their companies. They get everything spoon fed, hence they only have to endorse decissions taken by the others in their own name. However they have the moral right to enjoi the riches of their parents. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work.
Truth to be told
Posted by Hanan, Dubai, UAE on 3 August 2009 at 12:43 UAE time

I agree with all your comments however, I would like to highlight another perspective to the subject. Let's take a look at rich people's children around the world and judge those that have wasted their lives and parents money and didn't accomplish a thing worth mentioning. Then you'll see that these people would still stand out from the crowd. I think what I'm trying to say here is to not compare them with self built people but compare them with their likes and you'll find that they deserve some credit. Just my opinion.
Quite uninspiring II
Posted by RAK on 2 August 2009 at 14:34 UAE time

I agree with MA. I didn't go thru the whole list, but my sampling of 10 of them indicated that 100% of them are born into rich families. Wow! They must have worked very hard to do that!
Spoonfed Successes..
Posted by Kaptain, Abu Dhabi, UAE on 2 August 2009 at 14:02 UAE time

..and they are trying to spoon feed and digest their successes which are again pseudo-imposed. Great leaders and Business Tycoons did it at early ages, starting in their teens selling either vegetables or Newspapers or selling pens.
But they had their script already written 10 years before they were born.
They can't emulate / eulogise with common man and hence cannot understand how to buy loyalties.

Well said MA, stories like Agha Hassan Abidi, BEST WAY Cement are just some of those numerous examples who rose to riches from unending oblivious poverty.
Not nearly accurate
Posted by Sabri Hakim, Amman, Jordan on 2 August 2009 at 13:40 UAE time

There is no relevance in the names and accomplishments achieved by these individuals. This is random list of 30 successful people in the Arab world
Quite uninspiring
Posted by MA on 2 August 2009 at 12:27 UAE time

Coming from the west, I'm used to rags-to-riches, and triumph in the face of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Most of the people on this list are children of obscenely wealthy parents (Hardly difficult to become MD of daddy's company, or get 2 mln seed capital when your family has 400 mln).

Kind of depressing, really...Dont know about you guys, but I dont care to read the life story of someone born into wealth and who stayed wealthy. Its the Icanns, the Buffets, the Obamas of this world who are actually interesting - Ivanka Trump (and her regional brethren) are simply filler for tabloids.
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