His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh

Chairman and CEO, Al-Dabbagh Group

Global Competitiveness Awardee, 2016

His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh is the Chairman & CEO of Al-Dabbagh Group, a diversified conglomerate founded in 1962 with 57 companies — in food, housing, petroleum, auto services, and packaging — spanning more than 60 countries, and employing more than 13,000 people. In 1995, the World Economic Forum designated Amr as one of the 100 “global leaders of tomorrow.”


A champion of sustainability, and the role businesses can play in creating a more sustainable world, Amr serves as a Commissioner of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, making the case for why business leaders should seize upon sustainable development as the greatest opportunity of a lifetime, and leverage their companies’ capabilities for social and environmental impact.


In 2004, at the age of 38, he was appointed as a Minister of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, one of the youngest ministers ever appointed to a government post in the Kingdom.


For eight years, he served as SAGIA’s Governor and Chairman of the Board, working to achieve its ambitious agenda: to improve the country’s business environment, encourage foreign investment in the Kingdom, and diversify its economy. Under his leadership, SAGIA created the National Competitiveness Center to address the fundamental competitiveness of the Saudi Arabian economy, and to implement a series of indicators measuring the Kingdom’s competitiveness.


The NCC launched the 10x10 initiative to lead Saudi Arabia to a top ten global competitiveness ranking for its business and investment environment, which propelled the country up the World Economic Forum’s Doing Business rankings from 67th to 11th in just five years.


Under his leadership, SAGIA launched the Economic Cities Initiative, with the vision of building cities around local and national competitive advantages, but also to provide a sustainable city environment where millions of people would live, raise and educate their families, and run small businesses. His Excellency is also a globally focused philanthropist. He is the founder of the London-based Stars Foundation, which supports locally led solutions for disadvantaged children in the 100 countries with the highest “under five” mortality rate. It is on track to meet its goal of supporting 20 million children by 2020.


In education, he was a driving force in establishing Philanthropy University, which offers free online courses to NGOs and non-profit leaders around the world. Its goal is to provide access to unlimited capacity building for these change-makers, helping them scale, sustain and drive their longterm impact, with the ultimate goal of touching the lives of 100 million people by 2020. In its first cycle alone, there were 400,000 enrollees from 180 countries.


He co-authored his first book, Governpreneurship in 2012, which explores examples of entrepreneurial practices in government from around the world with a deep dive on SAGIA, and in 2016 published his second book, Omnipreneurship An Organized Approach of Living a Life of Meaning.


His Excellency is a innovator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and leader in the global competitiveness community whose success has touched countless industries and lives. The GFCC was honored to present the Global Competitiveness Award to him in 2016 and looks forward to his continued collaboration with our community.