The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed ways of living and working in the last year.
Accordingly, our annual Gulf Business Arab Power List has seen huge shifts with some leaders standing out as they not only survived a tough year, but also emerged successful.
This year’s list welcomes 28 new entrants, including eight from Qatar.
We also lead the list this year commemorating a certain group for the enormous power they have yielded. Receiving the special mention – ahead of number one – are the countless number of frontline heroes who saved and protected lives – sometimes at the cost of their own.
Covid-19 frontline heroes
A tiny virus has dominated our lives in the past year in a way we never deemed plausible. From a nondescript market in China, the coronavirus proliferated rapidly, jumping from one host to another, wreaking havoc from one continent to the next. For humanity, the warriors and superheroes this time came in the form of healthcare workers and vital sector operators, who risked their lives to protect and support us.
While recognition has come to them in many ways, words simply do not suffice to acknowledge the power they have wielded in this crisis.
To all the frontline workers who lost their lives, those who have sacrificed precious time with their families, those who have gone above and beyond what was required of them purely in the name of humanity, we salute you.
Gulf Business looked at the events of 2020 and judged each individual case on the basis of four criteria: financial capital, human capital, expansion plans and personal fame levels.
In general, Gulf Business has excluded politicians and royalty, unless the contenders have a strong leaning towards business activity. We have included Arabs from across the world.
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
Founder, Burjeel Art Foundation
Sector: Culture and Society
Emirati commentator and patron of the arts, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi remained engaged with his community during the lockdown last year by hosting online cultural majlis events. Al Qassemi, who is also the founder of Sharjah-based Barjeel Art Foundation – a massive private collection of modern and contemporary Arab art – also plays a key role in discussions about regional art, architecture and culture on social media platforms like Twitter, where he has nearly half a million followers. He is also a leading advocate for greater representation of women in the art world.
Originally published in Gulf Business, the article with the full list of 2021’s most powerful Arabs can be found here and a screenshot of this article can be downloaded here. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi’s own feature can be found here and a screenshot can be downloaded here.