Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon record the highest number of billionaires
2012 welcomes newcomer Morocco to the billionaires club.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud tops the Arab billionaires list with a fortune of $18 billion
Forbes has just revealed the Arab billionaires ranking, composed of 36 distinctive billionaires from across the Arab world with a combined total net worth of $121.3 billion, improving on last year’s figure of $117.6 billion.
Topping the ranking for the second year running is the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud with a fortune of $18 billion, followed in second place by Lebanese-Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra with $13.8 billion to his name. Through this prestigious ranking, Forbes Middle East aims to highlight the inspirational stories of the region’s Arab billionaires, as well as the challenges and obstacles overcome on the road to success.
Both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon led the way on this ranking with eight billionaires each. Despite recent political turmoil, Egypt was runner up with seven billionaires, followed by the stable United Arab Emirates with a total of four. However, this year’s major headline was newcomer to the billionaires club, Morocco, which entered the ranking with three billionaires: Miloud Chaabi, Othman Benjelloun and Anas Sefrioui.
Kuwait ranked sixth with two billionaires, Bassam and Kutayba Alghanim, and it should be noted that Kuwait’s wealthy Al-Kharafi family were removed from the ranking following a formal request from the Kharafi Group. Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Sudan also featured in the ranking with one billionaire each.
Standing out amongst the success stories featured in the Forbes Middle East billionaires issue is Sulaiman Al-Rajhi & family, ranked in 5th place with a family net worth of $5.9 billion. The Saudi banking tycoon-turned-philanthropist made headlines last year with an unprecedented decision to relinquish much of his fortune; distributing his wealth amongst family and donating a significant proportion to charity. Also standing out from the crowd is Moroccan frontrunner Miloud Chaabi, ranked 10th with a fortune of $2.9 billion. Following a religious education, this inspirational man started working at the age of 15 as a shepherd, then as a farmer, before moving into the construction industry. Today, he leads the Moroccan billionaires as head of Ynna Holding; a company specialized in real estate development, hotels, retail and industry.