Abu Dhabi has a new poster boy. Khalifa bin Butti is believed to sit on over U.S. $1.5 billion worth of assets, after starting his career in energy company ADNOC, and is thought to be the youngest billionaire in the Emirates. Track his commercial network and find what underpins his success.
Almost ten years to the day since sanctioning the purchase of Manchester City Football Club, Mansour bin Zayed continues to fly under the proverbial radar. His influence is best understood through the high-level positions he holds, most notably via a strong presence in Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds.
The maritime sector has been central to Dubai’s economic diversification away from its modest petroleum reserves. Overseeing the Emirate’s ports and free zones is Sultan bin Sulayem; a confidant and close friend of the Emir, Sultan has experienced both ups and downs but evidence points towards his enduring influence.
Dubai’s port authority has extended the UAE’s reputation to far-off locations – for better or worse. Now the city’s leadership must focus on narrowing the space for DP World’s vulnerabilities to have negative impacts on the Emirate as a commercial hub. An intriguing political dynamic further colours this nuanced case-study.
Control the media and you control the masses – a motto applicable to Riyadh’s power players. Although media ownership garners less attention than petrochemicals and construction in Saudi Arabia, its relevance to understanding internal dynamics must not be downplayed.
With approximately 40 years separating his eldest and youngest children, King Salman’s lineage is intriguing. A cadre of sons and grandsons are known to have acquired prestige since his coronation in 2015 but there are a series of influential business and political personalities attached to the King that fly under the radar.
As the face of wealth in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, Alwaleed bin Talal is the envy of many. Connections to the power core afforded him great prestige in his rise to the top but he has since strayed from the accepted line; an act that will not be tolerated under King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed.
It’s not all about Aramco. SABIC lives in the shadow of its energy cousin in Saudi’s corporate landscape, but evidence suggests that it may be of equal strategic value to Riyadh’s power players. As the path towards diversification continues, investors are advised to become familiar with SABIC.
Among the multitude of foreign actors vying for influence in Iraq is Russia. Western influence is on the wane as Moscow ups its efforts to engage the political elite; energy companies with ties to the Kremlin are central to this, spearheading a strategy of ‘commercial diplomacy’.
With a monopoly over the production of electricity cables, the Elsewedy family are quite simply giants in Cairo’s business scene. Trends suggest that they are seeking to safeguard their assets by gaining strong political status, which has profound implications not only for sector dynamics but systemic integrity as a whole.
Emir of Abu Dhabi and UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is vastly wealthy; reports indicate assets in the tens of billions of dollars. A closer look at his finances reveals where the money goes and, more importantly, who else signs off on it.
All eyes are on the much-discussed cabinet reshuffle expected in Cairo in the coming months. With signs that even the Prime Minister himself could be replaced, a review of his prospective successors will allay the uncertainty that this change could pose to Egypt’s investment environment.