The Arab world is heating up with new job opportunities and economic growth fueled by the area's growing legion of powerful businessmen. ArabBusiness.com quoted a report by Elance-oDesk that found UAE companies achieved the fifth highest spend across the world in terms of recruiting talent online during 2014 and delivered a 15% increase in registered companies on the talent sourcing website.

Of the money spent, 74% was in search of technology talent to help expand the world focus on all types of technology. In trying to fill the gap in talent in the Middle East, these business leaders posted over 22,000 new jobs to continue their efforts to shape both the Arab and global economy. As the article explained, "With 60 percent of the UAE economy made up of SMEs and with a rapidly expanding pool of entrepreneurs, tech and start-up companies in region, a growing number of businesses in the UAE will benefit immensely from the access to global talent."

Behind these SMEs and global companies are powerful Arab business men with vision, passion, and determination, not to mention significant capital.

Let's meet 51 of the seasoned business executives and up-in-comers, listed in no particular order of power or wealth, which you should know about that would be crucial to your business expanding to the Arab countries:

Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud is a Saudi prince that is known in the global banking, finance, and investment and is estimated to be worth $24.9 billion. He has stakes in many U.S., European, and Middle Eastern public and private companies as well as large real estate holdings through his company, Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), which is considered to be one of the largest international holding companies in the world. His social views and unique investment philosophy have set him apart from others plus garnered him incredible success. The Kharafi Family from Kuwait is estimated to be worth approximately $8.3 billion and consists of numerous powerful Arab businessmen that stand out in their own right but also work together to form one of the most powerful businesses in the world. The Kharafi Group operates in 25 countries and has over 120,000 employees in numerous industries around the world. This family of businessmen has also diversified into numerous Gulf blue-chip investments to add to their impressive fortune and influence. The Bukhamseen Family is another group of powerful Kuwaiti businessmen across multiple generations with an estimated fortune of approximately $6.4 billion. This includes the founding father, Jawad Ahmed Bukhamseen, who established the Bukhamseen Group in 1957. Diversifying into many areas, such as hospitality, banking, media and manufacturing, the tradition of powerful businessmen continues today with his sons, Emad, Osama, Anwar and Raed, who are all actively involved in leading the Bukhamseen Group. The Kanoo Family of Bahrain is estimated to be worth $6 billion and is considered to be one of the oldest and most powerful families in the Arab world. The Kanoo Group was started in Bahrain in 1890 and has evolved from a trading and shipping business into a diversified and admired conglomerate with 14 divisions and 10,000 employees across the Kanoo Group and its joint ventures with companies like Maersk, BASF, and Axa Insurance. Other Kanoo family members include Mishal and Mubarak Jassim who are actively involved in the organization's leadership. Mohammed Al Amoudi has a Saudi father and Ethiopian mother, giving him a unique cultural perspective and a foundation for acquiring and building companies across both countries. While he has been a powerful man all the way back to the 1970s, he is still a force to be reckoned with across the construction, agriculture, energy, cement and gold mining industries. Estimated to be worth $10.9 billion, his agricultural company, Saudi Star, exports coffee beans to Starbucks and tea leaves to Lipton. While he has amassed a fortune, Al Amoudi has also been active in philanthropy. Nassef Sawiris is considered to be Egypt's richest man with an estimated wealth of $5.7 billion. Despite having to contend with many rulings against him in relation to tax evasion, which have been removed or are expected to be, he has forged ahead with major investments throughout Egypt. This includes partnering with other powerful Arab businesses, including Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company. He has expanded his investments by reaching out globally and investing in Martin Marietta, which acquired Texas Instruments. The Al Rajhi Family of Saudi Arabia is estimated to be worth $5 billion and has a multi-generational history of powerful Arab businessmen. Sulaiman Al Rajhi has donated a significant amount of money to charity but continues to amass money through its interests in the family's banking business. His three brothers, Abdullah, Mohammed, and Saleh founded Al Rajhi Bank, which is considered to be the second biggest bank in Saudia Arabia with a network of 550 branches. The family also has controlling stakes in other companies like Yanbu Cement, NADEC, and the Al Baraka Banking Group. Shaher Abdulhak is from Yemen and is considered one of the most famous individuals from there. Along with his family, he has gained a reputation as a successful Arab businessman through the multi-billion Shaher Trading Company as well as other ventures tied to brands like Mercedes and Coca-Cola. Besides being known as the "King of Sugar," his enterprising nature has seen him involved in real estate, petroleum and tourism as well as local politics. This powerful man does not give interviews, preferring to let his powerful position and business acumen do the talking for him. Stef Wertheimer is part of a self-made family fortune that was built in the tools industry. In selling their stake in that family business in 2014, he and his family have moved on to other pursuits and interests designed around stimulating the economy of his homeland of Israel. This includes creating industrial parks where Israeli startups can work rent-free to build out their businesses as well as investing in Israel's first luxury fashion line. Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair is also part of a wealthy family empire located in Dubai, UAE. In the 1960s, he founded Mashreqbank, which is now one of the top banks in the region. His sons have now taken on a larger role in the diversified family business, which includes real estate, food, and construction. He and his sons are also involved in the Family Business Network Gulf Cooperation Council, which is shaping the future of the family business structure in the UAE. Majid Al Futtaim operates from Dubai, UAE and is estimated to be worth $5.7 billion. Unlike many other Arab businessmen, he has chosen to run his businesses with non-family members. He is involved in a wide range of companies and industries, including shopping centers and hypermarkets. Also, unlike his Arab counterparts, his conglomerate is one of the most transparent with published financials and capital raising in various financial markets. Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kaber operates from his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is worth an estimated $4.2 billion. As a member of the Saudi royal family, his power and wealth has been long-standing, but he has also managed to amass a considerable amount on his own through the founding of a dairy company, now considered one of the largest in the Middle East. His other area of interest is horse breeding, which has provided him with another power base. Hussain Sajwani of the UAE is worth approximately $4 billion and is considered to be one of the newer breed of powerful Arab businessmen. He established and now leads the Damac Group, which is considered to be the largest private sector, luxury property development company in the Middle East. Before delving into property development, he was in the oil and gas industry. His entrepreneurial spirit has had him trying his hand in many areas and investments with great success. Eyal Ofer, along with his brother, Idan, is the heir of Sammy Ofer, once considered Israel's richest man. Eyal has continued in his father's footsteps, amassing an estimated $8.8 billion. Although he now is based in Monaco, Eyal continues to build investments throughout the Middle East in relation to shipping and real estate as well as across the rest of the world. In Israel, he has a stake in Mizrahi Tefahot Bank while his shipping investments include a stake in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Along with these lucrative lines of business, his investment passion also includes one of the world's largest collections of contemporary art. Idan Ofer is not to be outdone by his brother. Worth an estimated $3.8 billion, he owns Eastern Pacific Shipping and Quantum Pacific Group as well as a controlling stake in Israel Corporation, the country's largest publicly traded company that deals in shipping, chemicals, and energy. This year, he created Kenon Holdings, which has spun off power, shipping, and transportation from the Israel Corporation. He inherited half of his father's art collection and holds some of the most famous artists in the world within his own collection. He is also a philanthropist, giving to places like The London Business School. The Gargash Family of the UAE is another example of powerful business-focused DNA. Estimated to be worth around $3.5 billion, this family is renowned in the Middle East for their involvement in the auto industry, including being the sole agent for Mercedes Benz in Dubai. Founded at the end of the 19th Century, Gargash Enterprises has also been involved in real estate, manufacturing, electronics construction and insurance. The more recent generation of the Gargash family includes Shehab who runs Daman Investments while also being involved in the long-standing family business. Beny Steinmetz is an Israeli mining and diamond leader who has holdings around the globe, including Africa, which has grown from the diamond business he inherited from his father. Often facing numerous political battles with his mining rights, he has taken on dictators and competitors to establish is power base among the type mining companies in the world. Arnon Milchan is another Israeli that has proven that there are successes, failures, and more successes. His successes include his television and movie production company in the U.S. as well as the turnaround of his family's bankrupt business. However, failures have included an Israeli television channel. Yet, he continues to diversify his investments and generate new wealth and power. Mohammed Al Issa is from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is estimated to be worth $2.9 billion. As a power player in the Saudi stock market, he is one of the largest individual investors with stakes in Savola Group, Riyad Bank, and Saudi Hotels & Resorts Co. His son is carrying on the family tradition of wealth and power throughout the Arab world. Mohamed Mansour is an Egyptian businessman who has amassed a fortune of approximately $4 billion through his company, Mansour Group. He has been involved in his family's business tied to General Motors by having the sole distribution rights for Egypt through their company, Al-Mansour Automotive. Along with his two brothers, also billionaires, this power family has returned to Cairo after working from London to continue building out their empire across the globe with real estate and telecom education. Yitzhak "Isaac" Tshuva is estimated to be worth $3.6 billion, which makes him one of Israel's richest businessmen. With an entrepreneurial spirit that he put to work in the 1970s by building low-income housing, he has parlayed this into a significant real estate and energy empire through Delek Group. This publicly traded company also is involved in financial and automotive companies. Adel Aujan is a Saudi businessman with an estimated $3.3 billion in wealth built from a retail and beverage empire. Not only did he sell a minority stake in his firm, Aujan Industries, to Coca-Cola in 2011, but he has also expanded his juice brand throughout the Middle East and continually multiplied his sales forecasts ahead of schedule. Isaad Rebrab and his family are from Algiers and run the country's biggest conglomerate known as Cevital. Estimated to be worth $3.4 billion, he and his five children work at the company, managing one of the world's biggest sugar refineries. He and his family also oversee other interests, including margarine, vegetable oil, appliances, vehicles, steel, and refining. Abdulatif Al Fozan of Saudi Arabia has a $3 billion empire tied to the Al Fozan Group, a forty-one year old company, which he took over from his father and has continued to grow. In 2013, one of his holding companies, Saudi Bawan Holding, which specializes in building materials, was able to raise $144 million on the Tadawul Exchange. The Al Fozan Group is considered to be one of the largest importers of hardware, electrical, steel and wood, but the firm is also involved in many other industries through equity stakes, including banking, consumer retail operations, and recycling. Qais al-Khonji was recently named Social Entrepreneur of the Year Oman by Business Worldwide Magazine. He has also received the International Entrepreneur of the Year Oman Award. As a powerful figure in both business and politics, he is known for encouraging entrepreneurship and has been instrumental in getting it included as a subject in the national school curriculum. At just 37, he is making a significant different in Oman as the owner of two companies, Qais United Enterprises Trading and Genesis International. He has also been campaigning for an organized Angel Investment structure in Oman to provide finance for business start-ups. Rather than pursue his family's business, he decided to go his own way at 32 and has proved that he can leverage his entrepreneurial spirit in just five years to make a significant difference in the Arab world. His Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) laboratory services company is the first outsourcing company to operate within the company's oil and gas industry. The Hayek Family of Lebanon has emerged as the owners of the world's most powerful watchmaking brand, Swatch, which also owns Omega, Longines, Tissot and Breguet, from its headquarters in Switzerland. Valued at an estimated $2.9 billion, the Hayek Family also recently purchased luxury brand Harry Winston to further its reach into specific geographic markets. Bahaa Hariri is valued at over $2.8 billion thanks to his mixed-use developments in Amman through his company, Horizon Development, which is focused on Lebanon and Jordan. Along with his stake in Abdali Investment and Development Company, this Saudi born son of powerful Arab politician Rafiq Hariri is making his name known in business while also working in some areas of development through his sponsorship of the Atlantic Council's Rafiq Hariri Centre for the Middle East. Mohammed Al Fayed is in his mid 80s but he is still a powerful Arab businessman to watch as he continues to work and delve into new areas of investment. Estimated to be worth $2 billion, he has been a long-standing powerhouse in the Arab world, buying and selling everything from real estate to soccer teams. In recent years, he has shifted to online retail investments after selling off many of his brick-and-mortar retail investments, including London's iconic Harrod's, always keeping a visionary eye on where the best returns can be found. Omar Alghanim of Kuwait was born to lead since he comes from a long line of Arab businessmen. He was elected as the Chairman of Gulf Bank, previously holding other positions within this major financial institution. He also leads Alghanim Industries, which is a privately owned company with operations in 40 countries. He joined the company years before and contributed to turning it around by revamping the technology division and taking on more responsibilities. He offers the company and the bank his vision and understanding of the regional and global business and economic environments. Adel Ali is the head of Air Arabia and has made it one of the biggest, most admired brands in the Middle East. He wanted to create a low-cost carrier for the region that would offer service while still being affordable. This visionary has parlayed that idea into a sustainable business model and turned it into the largest listed carrier in the Arab world. While others thought sure he would fail, he proved them all wrong. Ahmad Bin Byat is a respected and successful leader in Dubai and recognized throughout the Middle East for this vision and business experience. He plays a key role in many of Dubai's leading companies as well as serves as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Holding, in addition to being Director General of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority and Chairman of Du. Hasan Abdullah Ismaik is a powerful Arab businessman under the age of 40 who is making a name for himself already being valued at approximately $1.8 billion. He was named as Jordan's first business billionaire after his stake in Arabec was raised to nearly 21% of this construction company. Although he only held his CEO position for a short time and has sold many of his shares to Aabar Investments, he continues to play a major role in Arab business as others seek his capital for their businesses. Ahmed Abou Hashima is an Egyptian entrepreneur who built Egyptian Steel from the ground up and into an empire. He is a patriotic and fervent young leader who is serving as a role model for the growing ranks of young Arab entrepreneurs. He won the 2013 Young CEO Middle East Award and is tirelessly pursuing more foreign investment for Egypt, including many projects he is currently working on. Hasaan Al Thawadi is a young Arab businessman who graduated from Sheffield University with a law degree and serves as the General Counsel at Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holding, which is involved in investments in Porsche, Barclays Bank, Harrod's and Volkswagen as well as numerous luxury European properties. Khaldoon Al Mubarak has transformed Manchester City FC into a successful sporting club with two Premier League titles as well as the League Cup and FA Cup. As CEO of Mubadala, the governmen'ts investment and development organization, he is also guiding Abu Dhabi's economic diversification. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and is a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council as well as holds the position of Chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority, and Emirates Global Aluminum plus he is a representative on many government organizations that include education and urban planning. As chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, he brought the Formula One Grand Prix and the FIFA Club World Cup to Abu Dhabi. Fahd Al Rasheed is coordinating King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which is a $100 billion development north of Jeddah that will house and employ two million people. It includes King Abdullah Pot, which he and the group behind the development see as a way to gain more shipping business away from Dubai. Ahmed Belhoul of the UAE is leading Abu Dhabi's development of Masdar City, which is aiming to be the first sustainable eco-city located just outside of the UAE capital. Outside of this project, his experience includes serving as the CEO of strategy and tourism sector development at Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and as a board member of the Emirates Development Bank, which is a government-backed financial institution focused on promoting economic growth through funding to small and medium-sized companies, housing development and specific growth industries. Rani Raad is a Lebanese power media executive who serves as executive vice president and chief commercial officer of CNN. He comes from a family of powerful Arab businessmen, including his father, Ramzi, who is chairman of Dubai-based advertising agency TBWA/Raad and his brother, Reda, who is the agency's chief executive. He rose through the ranks of Turner Broadcasting and is now focused on developing CNN's international ad sales and business. In 2011, the World Economic Forum awarded him the title of Young Global Leader for his contributions to the media industry. Majid Jafar of the UAE is CEO of Crescent Petroleum, which is the area's oldest privately held energy company. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Crescent Group, which is a holding company that was created by his father, Hamid Jafar, and that includes investment in real estate, logistics, and private equity. He is also Vice Chairman of the Global Energy Initiative, Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, and the Founder of the Arab Stabilisation Plan. Other roles include Chairman of the Middle East-North Africa Business Council. Badr Jafar is Chief Executive of Crescent Enterprises and also plays a role besides his brother, Majid, in many of the family's holdings. However, he also pursues his own interests, including the Pearl Initiative, a not-for-profit he founded with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to improve corporate transparency across the Middle East. He supports entrepreneurs and the development of SMEs through his work with the Global Board of Education for Employment and Synergos Arab World Social Innovators. He also serves on the Alumni Advisory Council of the Cambridge University Judge Business School. He has also done many philanthropic activities, including launching a not-for-profit theatre academy in the Middle East with the help of actor Kevin Spacey. Talal Al Gaddah is a prominent developer who heads up the MAG Group in the UAE and is focused on making his firm one of the top developers in the Arab world as well as expand into the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Numerous development projects throughout Dubai illustrate that he is capable of achieving that ambitious goal. Habib Haddad is a Lebanese entrepreneur who founded Wamda and Yamli.com. In 2009, he was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. To help other entrepreneurs, he serves on the Global Agenda Council and also advises startups and non-profit organizations throughout the Middle East. He also co-founded the International Network of Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Technologists (INLET), which is focused on promoting entrepreneurship in the region. Jassim Alseddiqi founded the Abu Dhabi Financial Group in the UAE and grown it to an investment portfolio worth $1.5 billion in just four short years. The Group has invested in real estate in London, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro. The firm also deals in debt structuring and financial management. He is also the Chairman of Integrated Capital and First Gulf Financial Services as well as a board member of the Tourism and Development Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Qannas Investments Ltd. And Northacre Plc. Abdalla Absi has been billed as the Arabian Mark Zuckerberg. A native of Lebanon, he has started six companies, including Rifflex and Zoomaal. He has won more than ten awards related to entrepreneurship and technology, including first place at Doha Venture Day, the Arab Thought Foundation's Fikr 2013, and the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper for the Beirut Hub. To fuel the passion of other entrepreneurs, he has organized startup weekends in Beirut as well as founded the Entrepreneurship Club (e-Club). Mohammed Kammas has taken his father's business in the UAE and helped grow it into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate of 30 companies in 25 countries with 9,000 employees. The Al Ahli Group has primarily focused on manufacturing and construction, but he has helped to further diversify the portfolio. He was the first Arab that developed and sold a multi-million dollar game development company to Walt Disney Company. Additionally, he has added investments in international franchise rights to Gold's Gym, the Dubai Outlet Mall, and the exclusive rights to publish comics and activity books belonging to some of the biggest animation and comic book brands in the world. He also created the Young Arab Leaders Organization (YAL), which connects entrepreneurs and young thinkers in over 30 areas in the Middle East. Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon of Qatar is a tech entrepreneur who founded numerous websites, including net, Qatar Events, Qatar News, and a YouTube content network. He also has a comprehensive content network with numerous online programs while also serving as CEO of the network plus as Founder and CEO of Haroon United Group, which is a holding company with interests in diverse brands and investments in a wide range of startups. He also serves as the Executive Director for Marketing and Communications at Qatar Stars League, the country's top soccer league, and Head of Innovation at Vodafone Qatar. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Qatar government ministry in 2011 and Young Achiever of the Year by Arabian Business in 2014. He is an ambassador for Qatar's National Cancer Programme, a board member of the Internet Society (ISOC), and Vice President of the Entrepreneurs Organization (Qatar). Sami Khoreibi is a Palestinian energy entrepreneur who founded Candax Inc., a publicly listed energy company in Toronto, Canada when he was just 25. He then went on to co-found Enviromena in Abu Dhabi, winning investments from multiple backers. Now, the company has become the largest solar developer in the Middle East and North Africa. He was named as a "Solar Pioneer" by the Middle East Solar Industry Association in 2014 and a Young Global Leader at the 2012 World Economic Forum. He has also served as a commentator for various global media outlets. Mohammed Bin Zaal is an entrepreneur from the UAE who has created luxurious developments in Dubai that also have incorporated many sustainability features, such as recycled water. He is one of many within the Zaal dynasty that have proven to be powerhouse Arab businessmen dating all the way back to the early 19th century. Chaker Khazaal is a Palestenian author and entrepreneur who lives in Canada but who continues to seek out ways to assist those in the Arab world. For example, he formed a group that offers contractual remote employment in such areas as e-marketing, graphics, social media management and web development. Omar Samra was born in Egypt and has parlayed his love for travel into a successful business. Although he worked in the banking and private equities markets around the world, he left that all behind to pursue entrepreneurship in the area of travel and tourism. He developed a company called Wild Guanabana, which specializes in creating ethical adventure travel experiences for companies and their staff. These destination vacations now include 15 countries across six continents. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin has his roots in Kuwait, but he has lived in many other countries, including Egypt, Austria, and the U.S. His experience includes working at Qatari news channel Al Jazeera English as well as a reporter and producer for the Doha Film Institute. He has also created, produced, and co-hosted Al Jazeera English's social media show, The Stream. Since then, he has worked in all types of media around the world, gaining a name for himself as an up-in-coming media tycoon.

This list captures the old guard, including the pioneers and seasoned veterans that have built the Arab's world infrastructure, business models, and economies. It also includes many exciting new faces that offer new generations of long-standing families that have headed family businesses as well as the new breed of Middle Eastern entrepreneur that mixes tradition with the emergence of exciting technologies and platforms collected from studying abroad. Together, this group of powerful Arab businessmen holds sizable wealth and the open minds to create more opportunities for future generations.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of Ahmed Shihab-Eldin.

Published on: Sep 26, 2015