Forbes has announced the most successful Arab celebrities — from actors and singers to fashion designers, directors and athletes — with a new annual ranking titled Arab Stars on the Global Stage.
Forbes Middle East examined the work and growth of these Arab celebrities over the course of two years to determine who reigned supreme.
French Montana, also known as the Moroccan rapper Karim Kharbouch, topped the list of singers, followed by Egyptian singer-actor Tamer Hosny in second place. Lebanese songstress Elissa came in third, followed by Moroccan pop star Douzi. Lebanon’s Ragheb Alama came in fifth place.
Star Trek Beyond and The Mummy actress Sofia Boutella, who hails from Algeria, came in first place on the list of actors. She was followed by Egypt’s Amr Waked, who starred in Lucy alongside Scarlet Johansson. Syrian talent Ghassan Massoud (The Kingdom of Heaven, Pirates of the Caribbean) came in third.
Meanwhile, Nadine Labaki (Capharnaum) topped the list of directors, above fellow Lebanese director Zaid Doeiri (The Insult). Abu Bakr Shawky, who entered the Cannes Film Festival with Youmeddine, a Palme d’Or contender, came in third place. Naji Abu Noward (Theeb) and Basil Khalil (Ave Maria) came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Lebanese designer to the stars Elie Saab was number one on the list of fashion designers, followed by Reem Acra, Zuhair Murad, Rabih Kayrouz and Georges Hobeika.
Finally, Liverpool striker and Egypt’s star footballer Mohammad Salah, dubbed ‘the Egyptian king’ by fans, topped the sports category.
Forbes Middle East also put together the top celebrities with Arab roots, who were raised outside the Arab world, in a list titled Stars with Arab Roots. Colombian-Lebanese singer Shakira, Palestinian producer DJ Khaled and Palestinian-Dutch model Gigi Hadid came in first, second and third place.
“Arab celebrities today entertain a large international audience — they are making it onto the Billboard charts, being recognised at global film festivals, and winning large film projects and endorsements,” said Khuloud Al Omian, editor in chief of Forbes Middle East. The complete lists can be found online.