“Gulf: Ambition Usurps Domestic Focus”
In the September 9, 2009 issue of The Financial Times, Booz & Company Chairman Joe Saddi (Middle East) said that Google’s recent acquisition of Maktoob, the largest Arabic-language web portal, was indicative of a new generation of entrepreneurs and companies in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council starting to make a mark on a corporate landscape dominated by state-controlled companies and family-owned conglomerates. “The main challenge for regional companies that want to become global contenders has been to acquire the right management skills,” said Saddi. “This has been the bottleneck, and the companies emerging now have finally cracked it.” Founded in 2000 in Jordan, Maktoob is now based in Dubai. Experts valued the acquisition at more than $75 million.