Three Qatar retail companies make Forbes’ list of top 100 Arab family businesses


Three Qatar retail companies have made it onto Forbes’ list of top 100 Arab family businesses.

Abu Issa Holding, Alfardan Group and Al Mana were ranked at number 9, 33 and 74, respectively.

The Forbes’ list was compiled to celebrate the region’s most successful legacy businesses, ranking them in terms of size, performance, activity, age, legacy and geographical and portfolio diversity.

Abu Issa Holding is a global company that owns and operates a network of businesses in retail, art and auctions, engineering and contracting.

Established in 1981, its retail division includes global brands Cole Haan, Breitling, Godiva and Elie Saab.

Doha-based Alfardan Group, initially established as a jewellery company in 1954,  specialises in high-end jewellery and luxury goods. It has dealership arrangements with the majority of Europe’s renowned watch and jewellery designers.

Since its inception in 1960, Al Mana Group has evolved into a global conglomerate that operates in eight countries. Its retail portfolio spans luxury goods, beauty, fashion, home interiors, watches and jewellery. Its dedicated fashion extension, Al Mana Fashion Group, includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein and Furla.

Forbes said the family-owned business sector in the Middle East is flourishing, noting that some of the conglomerates listed, while initially anchored in traditional sectors, are diversifying and resiliently embracing a new-age industry, heavily investing in start-ups.

Forbes Middle East said the region’s Arab family-owned businesses have “done a V-shaped recovery so far this year in many of the sectors where they are most aggressive, including retail, real estate, energy and industrials”.

“Arab family business practices used to be very concentrated, but that is changing. Many of the top 100 have more than three generations in the business,” Forbes said.