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Where and who is detained Saudi chairman of ADG, Amr al-Dabbagh?  

On February 2017, just 1 year ago, the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) honoured Amr Al-Dabbagh, former head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA),  Chairman and CEO of Al-Dabbagh Group, as the first recipient of the GFCC’s Global Competitiveness Award.

The Award recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions to their nations, regions, cities and globally.

One year later, the whereabouts of 51-year old Amr al-Dabbagh are unknown.

The last thing we know is that he was detained alongside 200 plus princes, former ministers and businessmen, in the November,4 2017 anti-corruption raid.

AMEinfo tried contacting the group over 2 days, but no one is answering the phone, and got the same result with sister companies.

No longer detained at the Ritz, and not yet released could only mean he is either negotiating or awaiting trial, sharing this distinction with chairman of Bin Laden Group Bakr bin Laden, whose fate is also unclear, though his company relinquished parts of its assets to the kingdom as part of ongoing settlement talks.

Here’s what we do know about the businessman with the “10×10” and”20×20” initiatives and now an apparent outsider to Saudi Vision 2030.

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Chairman and CEO of Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG): 20×20

Amr Al-Dabbagh is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG), a family conglomerate composed of 62 companies with 13,000 employees in 60 countries.

ADG is composed of 4 business portfolios with a flagship company for each: the Food portfolio with the Tanmiah Food Group; Housing with Red Sea Housing; Petroleum and Auto Services with Petromin; and Packaging with Greif.

ADG’s 5th portfolio is Incubation for business startups.

On his linkedIn profile, Al-Dabbagh’s goal for ADG in 2014 was to be a top 20 wholly owned global family business by 2020, better known as the “20×20” effort.

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Governor of SAGIA: 10×10

Al-Dabbagh was Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) for eight years, with a rank of minister, during which time he launched the “10 x 10” initiative to position Saudi Arabia among the top 10 most competitive investment destinations by the year 2010, aka the 10×10 initiative.

According to The World Bank’s Doing Business report, by the end of Al-Dabbagh’s second 4-year term , Saudi Arabia was ranked 11th from 67th out of 183 countries.

He is credited with increasing the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Saudi Arabia.

Between 2005 and 2010 FDI reached $25bn from an average of $478 million for the preceding 9-year period, according the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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Economic Cities initiatives

Dabbagh was put in charge of Saudi’s six Economic City developments, a spin-off of SAGIA.

The most famous of these are King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, Prince Abdulaziz bin Musaid Economic City in Hael, Knowledge Economic City in Madinah, Jazan Economic City.

At a cost of more than $60bn, these 4 integrated Economic Cities were created to promote economic diversification and host 4-5 million residents.

The Kingdom hoped that by 2020 the cities will contribute $150bn to Saudi GDP in addition to creating 1.5 million jobs, but many of these developments were put on hold as funding dried out a result of the oil crisis and priority was given to more pending issues.

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ADG net worth

Saudi Arabia boasts the most billionaire families, with an aggregate net worth of $25.7 billion.

In 2017, Forbes put Al-Dabbagh ADG’s net worth at $2bn.


Amr Al-Dabbagh is the founder of the Berkeley-based Philanthropy University, a free online suite of classes taught by top academics and practitioners.

Al-Dabbagh and ADG have launched the London-based Stars Foundation which supports locally led solutions for disadvantaged children in over 100 countries with goals to support 20 million children by 2020.

Al-Dabbagh is behind organizing the annual Philanthropreneurship Forum where global leaders in academia, government, philanthropy, and the private sector get together to find innovative ways to achieve new levels of social change.

Al-Dabbagh’s ‘Game Changing Initiatives’ implements programs that reflect one of his four Ps—People, Profit, Planet, and Philanthropy.

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Amr Al-Dabbagh is a publish author. He wrote: Omniprenership where he preaches achieving one’s greatest goals, in every aspect of life.

He also co-wrote with Robert D. Hisrich Governpreneurship bringing a new argument to introduce innovative practices into public sector organizations.