Middle East businesses consist of several family businesses that cover three-quarters of the private sector’s economy workforce. These businesses have had a great impact on employment and the economy of the Middle East and are some of the biggest in the region, with most of them diversifying and becoming conglomerates, working in various sectors.
From Kuwait to the UAE, scroll down for 10 of the most famous family businesses in the Middle East!
Mansour Group is almost 70 years old. Founded by Lotfy Mansour and handed down to his sons, the company operates in more than 100 countries. The Egyptian multinational conglomerate works as a distributor and dealer with reputable brands such as MG, Caterpillar, and McDonald’s. Their diversity has enabled them to have six subsidiaries: Al Mansour Automotive, Mantrac, Al Mansour Holding Company for Financial & Investments, Manfoods, Mansour-Maghraby Investment & Development Company, and Man Capital.
Alshaya Group is 131 years old. Founded by the Alshaya family, the Kuwaiti multinational retail franchise work in commercial trading, property investment, mall developments, and much more. With their headquarters based in Kuwait and 4,500 stores spread across the MENA region, Russia, Turkey, and Europe, the company works with more than 90 franchised brands in various fields such as H&M, Starbucks, and Pottery Barn Kids and is involved in food, pharmacy, fashion & footwear, health & beauty, home furnishings, optics, and leisure & entertainment.
The Saudi Arabian company Abdul Latif Jameel is 76 years old and is one of the largest vehicle distribution companies in Saudi Arabia. It operates in more than 30 countries, specializing in transportation, engineering, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, consumer products, environmental services, and the advertising and media sectors. The ever-growing company has six subsidiaries for motors, machinery, finance, energy, and, electronics and handle a large number of international companies including Toyota, Lexus, Ford, HinoTrucks, and Komatsu.
Established in 1976 by Salem Ahmed bin Mahfouz, SEDCO Holding is actually the largest employer of Saudi Arabia and is the leading family-owned business in the Kingdom active in diverse businesses. The company provides an extensive range of services and products, including manufacturing, trading and distribution, logistics and transportation services, owning the biggest car rental company in Saudi Arabia, financial services, and investment management. It has grown from a small family company to becoming one of the leading companies in both national and international markets with over 400 subsidiaries, employing more than 79,000 people.
Al Faisal Holding
Al Faisal holding is a colossal conglomerate specialized in selling car parts and was established in 1964. It’s a distributer of tires, but also works in hospitality, transport, property, services, education, and information technology. Owning more than 20 hotels around the world, from Miami to London, Al Faisal Holding also works in real estate, and pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
The Al-Futtaim Group, founded in 1966, is a family-owned business that has grown to be the largest privately-owned company in the UAE and one of the top 10 largest companies in the Middle East. The Group operates along five major lines: retail and wholesale; automotive; investments and real estate; hospitality; and food production. Al-Futtaim Motors is the largest automotive retailer in the Middle East with over 35 years of experience in the industry and operates 18 outlets in Dubai under four brands, namely Al-Futtaim Automall (BMW), Al-Futtaim Honda (Honda), Al-Futtaim Chevrolet, and Al-Futtaim Jeep.
Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons
Founded in 1940 by Yousuf Almoayyed, who hailed from a wealthy family of traders, the company has expanded to specialize in cars, building materials, home appliances, electronics, furnishing, and high-end goods. The company works with major brands such as Ford, Renault, and Infiniti, and with over 150 years of expertise, they’re well-established serves as Saudi Arabia’s biggest car distributor to China.
Memaar Al Morshedy
Memaar Al Morshedy is 38 years old and is the official producer of the Skyline project in Cairo that amounted to $550 million, creating more than 3,000 units to be sold in Cairo. As they provide the country with numerous projects including Degla Palms, their residential and commercial projects is a game-changer in Egypt and has grown to become one of the most successful and influential businesses in Egypt.
Established in 1955 by Brahim Zniber in Morocco, Diana Holding is the leading family-owned business in Morocco, active in various businesses such as agriculture, olive growing, trade, and distribution. The company produces over 500 tons of olive oil and 10,000 tons per year in products. Led by a female CEO, Diana Holding landed a place on the Forbes list of the richest family businesses within the Middle East.
Born in 1960, Al Ghurair is a leading retail company based in the UAE and is famous for their diversity and working in foods, resources, properties, construction, energy, mobility, and ventures. The company created the first shopping mall in the Middle East in 1982 and own the Mashreq bank which values trust, honesty, and respect for employees. Actively operating for more than 60 years and across 20 different nations including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, Al Ghurair is notably a source of UAE pride.