Regional Ranking of the Largest Arab Employers

Sunday, November 25, 2012
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In response to several messages we received regarding the potential of Arab SMEs to meet the region’s youth employment challenge, we decided to also look at the other end of the employment spectrum to determine which entities across the region are the largest employers.

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In our post Company Sizes in the Arab World: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Dominate Arab Economies we found that 92% of businesses in the Arab region are under 200 employees. The concentration of SMEs in Arab economies has a significant on employment creation and potential public sector responses the region’s youth employment challenge.

Below is a list of the Arab region’s largest employers segmented by country and industry gathered from press accounts, regulatory filings, and government sources. In several countries education, health, and defense ministries employ large segments of the population. We also observe much similarity across the region in terms of industries which are large employers (telecom, services, construction, diversified conglomerates, aviation, and financial services). What is less clear, however, is whether these industries have produced high skill and knowledge-content, high wage jobs.

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In our blog post Many Arab Countries Are Headed Towards Knowledge-based Economies.. But What are Knowledge-based Industries? we explore how the concept of Knowledge-based industries and economies lacks a clear definition. Defining the size and growth of knowledge-based industries is especially difficult in the Arab region.

In our blog post Knowledge-based Economy and Employment Generation in the Arab World we show that the emergence of knowledge-based industries has not necessarily led to meaning levels of job creation in the region. 

CountryEntitySectorNumber of Employees
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education Education
418362
Saudi ArabiaMinistry of Defense and Aviation
Defense
106000
Saudi ArabiaMinistry of Health Healthcare
73314
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Aramco
Oil & Gas51000
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Basic Industries Corporation
Chemicals
31000
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Electricity Company
Utilities 28300
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Telecom Company
Telecoms
21190
Saudi ArabiaThe Savola Group
Conglomerate
12500
Saudi ArabiaZamil Group
Conglomerate
10000
Saudi ArabiaAlmarai Co.Food Industries
9505
Saudi ArabiaAl-Rajhi Banking & Investment Company
Financial services
8299
Saudi ArabiaZamil Industrial Investment Co.
Financial services
8200
Saudi ArabiaAbdullah Al Othaim Markets Co.Retail5097
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Public Transport Co.Transport
5065
Saudi ArabiaRiyadh Bank
Financial services
4768
United Arab EmiratesArabtec Construction
Construction
52000
United Arab EmiratesMinistry of Defense
Defense
48800
United Arab EmiratesAl Habtoor Group
Conglomerate
40000
United Arab EmiratesEmirates GroupAviation
30297
United Arab EmiratesDP WorldTransport
30000
United Arab EmiratesAl Jaber Group Conglomerate
25000
United Arab EmiratesMinistry of EducationEducation
24000
United Arab EmiratesAl Ghurair Group
Conglomerate20000
United Arab EmiratesAl Futtaim Group Conglomerate20000
United Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi National Hotels Company
Hospitality
12000
United Arab EmiratesMajid Al Futtaim Group
Conglomerate
11000
United Arab EmiratesJumeirah Group
Hospitality
11000
United Arab EmiratesEtisalat
Telecoms10083
United Arab EmiratesDepartment of Health & Medical ServicesHealthcare
9422
United Arab EmiratesEmirates NBD
Financial services
8139
United Arab EmiratesMinistry of HealthHealthcare7000
KuwaitAl-Kharafi Group Conglomerate
100000
KuwaitMinistry of Health
Healthcare
36000
KuwaitMinistry of Education
Education
34801
KuwaitAgility
Services
31055
KuwaitKuwait Food Co. - Americana
Food Industries
21522
KuwaitArabian Construction Company
Construction16500
KuwaitAlshaya
Retail16130
KuwaitMinistry of Defense
Defense15500
KuwaitAl-Abraj Holding Co.Services15000
KuwaitZain GroupTelecoms
15000
KuwaitKIPCO
Services8000
KuwaitSultan Center Food Products Co.Food Industries7000
KuwaitNational Cleaning Co.Services6022
KuwaitHeavy Engineering Ind. & Shipbuilding Co.Services5000
KuwaitKuwait & Gulf Link Transport Co.Services5000
KuwaitThe National Industries Group
Conglomerate
4000
KuwaitKout Food Group
Food Industries4000
KuwaitNational Mobile Telecommunications Co.Telecoms2923
KuwaitNational Bank Of Kuwait
Financial services
2921
KuwaitCombined Group Contracting Co.
Construction2831
KuwaitAl Arabi Group Holding Co.Conglomerate2763
KuwaitKuwait Hotels Co.Hospitality2540
KuwaitKuwait Finance HouseFinancial services 2032
KuwaitACICO Industries Co.Construction2000
OmanMinistry of Defense
Defense41700
OmanOmzest Group
Conglomerate
40000
OmanMinistry of Education
Education39993
OmanMinistry of Health
Healthcare
21447
OmanSuhail Bahwan Group
Conglomerate
15000
OmanSaud Bahwan Group
Conglomerate
11000
OmanRenaissance Services Co.Services9000
OmanOman Aviation Services CoServices3360
OmanOman Telecommunications CompanyTelecoms2735
OmanOman National Engineering & Investment Co.Services2630
OmanShanfari Group
Conglomerate2500
OmanBank Muscat
Financial services
2157
OmanSalalah Port Services
Services2079
OmanOman Holding International Co. Financial services 1600
OmanNational Bank Of Oman Ltd.Financial services 1155
BahrainMinistry of Defense
Defense12000
BahrainMinistry of Health
Healthcare
7213
BahrainMinistry of Education
Education5000
BahrainAlmoayyed Group
Conglomerate
5000
BahrainAhmed Mansour Al A'ali Group
Conglomerate5000
BahrainNass CorporationServices
4729
BahrainDadabhai GroupConglomerate3500
BahrainAhli United BankFinancial Services2800
BahrainBahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) Telecoms2579
BahrainFakhro Group
Conglomerate1000
QatarSupreme Education Council
Education13000
QatarMinistry of Defense
Defense11800
QatarQatar Shipping Company
Services3518
QatarIndustries Qatar
Conglomerate
3400
QatarAamal Company
Conglomerate3000
QatarQatar Navigation Company
Services2500
QatarMannai Corporation
Services2400
QatarQatar Telecom (Qtel)Telecoms2000
QatarSalam International Investment Co LtdServices2000
QatarQatar Electricity and WaterUtilities1500
QatarQatar National Bank
Financial services1400
QatarQatar National Health Authority
Healthcare1200
QatarBarwa Real Estate Company
Services
1100
QatarQatar National Cement CoServices1050
IraqMinistry of Interior
Civil Affairs
348000
IraqMinistry of Defense
Defense
270000
IraqMinistry of Education
Education 120000
IraqMinistry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
Education 100,000
IraqMinistry of Health
Healthcare100000
IraqMinistry of Electricity
Utilities42000
IraqSouth Oil Co
Oil & Gas18000
IraqNorthern Oil Co
Oil & Gas13000
IraqKBR -IraqOil & Gas7000
IraqAl Elaf Group of Companies
Conglomerate5000
IraqFalcon Group
Conglomerate3500
IraqBaghdad Soft Drinks CoFood Industries3400
IraqBahrani Group
Conglomerate3000
IraqZain Iraq
Telecoms3000
IraqIraqi Airways
Aviation
2400
IraqDanube Group
Conglomerate2000
IraqAsiaCell
Telecoms2000
YemenMinistry of Education
Education194443
YemenMinistry of Defense
Defense66000
YemenMinistry of Interior
Civil Affairs
51200
YemenHayel Saeed Anam Group
Conglomerate25000
YemenPublic Electricity Corporation
Utilities15000
YemenSabaFon
Telecoms10000
YemenMinistry of Health
Healthcare7300
YemenPublic Telecommunication Corporation
Telecoms7000
YemenYemen Company for Drug Manufacturing and Trading (Yedco)
Services
5000
YemenYemen Economic Corporation (YECO)
Services5000
EgyptMinistry of Education
Education
1099000
EgyptMinistry of Interior
Civil Affairs
350000
EgyptMinistry of Health
Healthcare215000
EgyptMinistry of Defense
Defense
80000
EgyptTelecom Egypt
Telecoms55000
EgyptOrascom Construction Industries
Construction50000
EgyptKuwait Food Company (Americana) in EgyptFood Industries45000
EgyptOrascom Development
Real estate18000
EgyptOrascom Telecom Holding
Telecoms15000
EgyptMansour Group
Conglomerate11000
MoroccoMinistry of Defense
Defense196300
MoroccoMinistry of Interior
Civil Affairs
93500
MoroccoMinistry of Health
Healthcare
52000
MoroccoGroupe OCP
Chemicals
20000
MoroccoChabbi Group
Conglomerate
18000
MoroccoMaroc Telecom
Telecoms
11000
MoroccoYNNA Holding, Group Miloud Chaabi
Conglomerate
11000
MoroccoONA Group
Conglomerate10000
MoroccoMinistry of National Education
Education
7400
MoroccoLesieur Cristal
Food Industries5000
MoroccoBanque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur
Financial services4000
MoroccoCompagnie Generale Immobiliere
Real estate
2800
MoroccoAttijariwafa Bank
Financial services
2000
TunisiaMinistry of Education and Training
Education124000
TunisiaMinistry of Health
Healthcare105000
TunisiaPoulina Holding Group
Conglomerate
13000
TunisiaTranscom Worldwide Tunisia
Services11000
TunisiaSatex
Textiles10000
TunisiaCompagnie des Phosphates de Gafsa
Chemicals9000
TunisiaTunisie telecom
Telecoms7500
TunisiaLeoni Tunisie
Services6500
TunisiaTunisair
Aviation5200
TunisiaGroupe ChimiqueTunisien Services4500
TunisiaSystem De Cablerie Automobile De Sousse Services4300
TunisiaEvolServices4000
TunisiaSte des Arts TextilesTextiles3300
TunisiaThe Banque Nationale Agricole
Financial services2700
TunisiaThe Societe Tunisienne de Banques
Financial services2600
TunisiaBanque Internationale Arabe the Tunisie
Financial services2200
LibyaGumhouria Bank
Financial services3500
LibyaGeneral Tobacco Company
Tobacco1500
LibyaTrucks and Bus Co
Services1000
LibyaArab Union Contracting Company
Construction800
LibyaAlmadar
Telecoms550
LibyaCentral Bank of Libya
Financial services300
LibyaAkida Group
Conglomerate195
LibyaLibyan Tractor Company
Services100
AlgeriaMinistry of Education
Education323000
AlgeriaSonatrach
Oil & Gas120000
AlgeriaNaftalOil & Gas30000
AlgeriaAlgerie Telecom
Telecoms27000
AlgeriaAir Algerie
Aviation8800
AlgeriaGiplaitFood Industries
4500
AlgeriaGroupe Saidal
Pharmaceuticals4400
AlgeriaMinistry of Health and Population
Heath care4400
SudanFederal Ministry of Health
Heath care54000
SudanMinistry of Education, Science and Technology
Education 18000
SudanSudan Railways Corporation
Transport13000
SudanChina National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in Sudan
Oil & Gas11000
SudanKenana Sugar Company
Services6000
SudanDAL Group
Conglomerate4000
SudanSudatel Telecommunications Group Ltd.Telecoms2500
SudanSudan Airways Company
Aviation2000
LebanonSarkis Group International
Conglomerate
7000
LebanonMinistry of Health
Healthcare5400
LebanonZakhem Group
Conglomerate5000
LebanonOgeroTelecoms
3800
LebanonAverda Group ( Sukkar Engineering Group)
Conglomerate 3,500
LebanonMiddle East Airlines (MEA)
Aviation3000
SyriaMinistry of Defense
Defense319000
SyriaMinistry of Health
Health care63354
SyriaMinistry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Oil & Gas47000
SyriaSyrian Telecommunication Establishment
Telecoms25000
SyriaSyrian Petroleum Company
Oil & Gas17500
SyriaGeneral Establishment of Syrian Railways
Transport12000
SyriaSyrian Arab Airlines
Aviation5300
SyriaCham Holding
Conglomerate4000
SyriaJoud Company
Conglomerate3000
SyriaGeneral Company for Electrical and Communication Works
Utilities2500
SyriaMTN Syria
Telecoms2100
SyriaAlfadel Group
Conglomerate2000
SyriaSyriaTel
Telecoms1900
SyriaND Group

Conglomerate1450
SyriaByblos Bank
Financial services1150
SyriaSyrian Modern Cables
Services1050
JordanMinistry of Health
Healthcare24000
JordanArab Bank
Financial services6500
JordanThe Royal Jordanian Airlines Company
Aviation4300
JordanThe Royal Jordanian Airlines Company
Metals and mining4300
JordanJordan Telecom Group /Orange
Telecoms4000
JordanHikma Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceuticals2700
JordanArab Potash Company
Services2000
JordanHousing Bank for Trade & Finance
Financial services1900
PalestineMinistry of Education
Education48000
PalestinePalestine Development & Investment Ltd. (PADICO)
Conglomerate35000
PalestinePalestinian Security Forces
Defense30000
PalestineMinistry of Health
Health care13000
PalestinePaltel
Telecoms12000
SomaliaSecurity Forces of Somaliland
Defense7000
SomaliaAmal Group of Companies (Amal Express)
Conglomerate1000
SomaliaSOMTEL
Telecoms1000
SomaliaTelecom Somalia
Telecoms750
SomaliaSomafone
Telecoms150
MauritaniaSociété Nationale Industrielle et Minière--SNIM
Conglomerate804
MauritaniaSOMAGAZ
Oil & Gas400
MauritaniaAir Mauritanie
Aviation300
DjiboutiDaallo Airlines
Aviation 250
DjiboutiDjibouti National Army
Defense11000
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