Amr Al-Dabbagh

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Amr Al-Dabbagh
His Excellency Amr Al-Dabbagh.jpg
Amr Abdullah M.A. Al-Dabbagh
NationalitySaudi Arabian
Alma materKing Abdulaziz University
OccupationBusinessman and 2nd Governor of SAGIA (2004–2012)
Years active1991-present
Spouse(s)Hanan Enany
ChildrenYasmeen, Abdullah, Hassan, Haneen, Mohammad

Amr Al-Dabbagh (born 1966) (Arabic:عمرو الدباغ)is a Saudi businessman, philanthropist, former government minister, and author. He is the chairman and CEO of the Jeddah-based Al-Dabbagh Group. Al-Dabbagh is the founder of the Stars Foundation, a non-profit devoted to helping disadvantaged children, and Philanthropy University, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Global South civil society organizations, providing free non-credit courses based in Oakland, California.


Al-Dabbagh obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from King Abdulaziz University. He also attended executive programs in management at the Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the London Business School, as well as training programs with Merrill Lynch, Coutts & Co., and Banque Worms.


Al-Dabbagh Group[edit]

Since 1991, Al-Dabbagh has served as chairman and CEO of Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG). The business is a family conglomerate founded in 1962 by his father, Abdullah Mohammed Ali Al-Dabbagh, the former Minister of Agriculture of Saudi Arabia.

20x20 Effort[edit]

In 2014 Al-Dabbagh announced one of his key initiatives as CEO, the "20x20" effort. This initiative seeks to position Al-Dabbagh Group among the top 20 wholly owned family businesses in the world by 2020.[1]

Club 32 Initiative[edit]

As steward of the family heritage, Al-Dabbagh leads the "Club 32" initiative, created to empower the 32 members of the Al-Dabbagh family's third generation, including his own five children, to become global leaders. The initiative will endow Club 32 members with the skills and traits needed to become responsible stakeholders and responsible global citizens.


Al-Dabbagh served two four-year terms in public service as Governor and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), with the rank of Minister.

Accomplishments during his time at SAGIA included:

  • Launching the 10x10 initiative, a program designed to lead Saudi Arabia to a top ten global competitiveness ranking for its business environment by the year 2010.
  • An increase in Saudi Arabia's rankings in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report from 67th in 2005 to 11th in 2010, out of 183 countries.[2]
  • An increase in the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Saudi Arabia. Between 2005 and 2010, the average annual FDI increased to $25 billion from an average of $478 million for the preceding 9-year period. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Saudi Arabia was one of the biggest recipients of FDI globally during this period. As a result, the Kingdom increased its FDI stock by 831%, from $20.5 billion in 2004 to $170 billion in 2010, which was nearly 40% of its GDP.[3][4]
  • Launching the Economic Cities Initiative in 2005, four greenfield urban construction projects designed to capture and retain domestic and foreign capital and to increase the Kingdom's goal of increasing urban development. This initiative was spun off into the Economic Cities Authority (ECA) in 2010.[5]

Philanthropy University[edit]

Al-Dabbagh created Philanthropy University, an initiative based in Oakland, California. Philanthropy University, launched on 1 September 2015, offers Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to Global South non-profit leaders.[6]

The initiative was created with the collaboration of Laura Tyson, director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the Haas School. It attracted 200,000 registrants in its first month and has received news coverage from The New York Times and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.[7]

Philanthropy University has a stated goal of measurably improving the capacity of 5,000 civil society organizations by 2020 by offering free online courses, vibrant communities of practice and access to capital opportunities. [6]

Memberships and honors[edit]

Al-Dabbagh is a member of the World Economic Forum, as well as a Member of the Governing Body of the London Business School. He currently sits on the International Leadership Board of Cleveland Clinic and is a Trustee of the Eisenhower Fellowship.

Al-Dabbagh was the founding Chairman of the think tank the Jeddah Economic Forum.

In January 1995, the Executive Board of the World Economic Forum and the Editorial Board of Worldlink Magazine jointly designated Amr Dabbagh as one of 100 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow."

Al-Dabbagh has also served as Honorary Counsel of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Saudi Arabia.

He is a past board member of the Harvard Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at the John F. Kennedy School of Government; a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (and its former Chairman in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain); a member of the Advisory Board of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector; and a member of the Board of the Arab-French Chamber of Commerce.

Al-Dabbagh was appointed to two consecutive 4-year terms as a member of the Regional Council in the Makkah Region of Saudi Arabia and was also elected twice to consecutive 4-year terms as a board member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He has previously served as Chairman of the Jeddah Marketing Board.

Corruption charges[edit]

In November, 2017, Al-Dabbagh was detained as part of what was called a wide-ranging "anti-corruption" purge that also ensnared Saudi Princes Alwaleed bin Talal and Miteb bin Abdullah.[8][9] This was done on authority of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Until December 20, 2018, there have been no specific charges against Amr, or any legal proceedings. He was released without charge on January 23, 2019, after an undisclosed settlement with the government.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Governpreneurship: Establishing a Thriving Entrepreneurial Spirit in Government (with Robert Hisrich): Argues that entrepreneurial practices and principles from the private sector and an emphasis on innovation can make government organizations more effective.
  • Omnipreneurship: An Organized Approach to Living A Life of Meaning:Argues that an omnipreneur takes an entrepreneurial approach to every aspect of life—work, family, community, health, finances, spirituality, and more.


  1. ^ "Al-Dabbagh Group's 2020 strategy to help crack Top 20 wholly-owned global family businesses". Campden FB. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Doing Business 2010 - World Bank Group". Doing Business. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia | Data". Worldbank. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Annual Report of FDI INTO SAUDI ARABIA 2010" (PDF). SAGIA. National Competitiveness Center. 10 October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia's new desert megacity". BBC. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b Paul Sullivan (16 October 2015). "Online University Helps Philanthropic Groups and Their Leaders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ "UC Berkeley and Saudi Donor Start New Online 'Philanthropy University'". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Billionaire prince among dozens arrested in Saudi sweep". ABC. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Saudi Arabia detains princes, ministers in anti-corruption probe". Reuters. Retrieved 5 November 2017.

External links[edit]