World’s Richest Arabs Meet Global Billionaires of 2014

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  • Combined fortunes of the Arab World’s richest 100 reach $166.07 bn
  • 45 Arab billionaires feature this year sharing total wealth of $147.7 bn
  • The top 100 hail from 13 Arab countries with KSA in the lead
  • 21 Arab tycoons have made their fortunes in banking

Forbes Middle East has released its long awaited line up of the world’s top 100 richest Arabs. The April issue of Forbes Middle East, which also highlight’s FORBES’ renowned list of global billionaires, showcases an impressive list of billionaires and multi-millionaires hailing from 13 countries across the Arab world. Combined, their fortunes amount to a huge $166.07 billion. Whether self-made or from families of fortune, each has amassed in excess of $140 million and of the top 100 names, 45 are billionaires—four more than 2013—sharing total wealth of $147.7 billion.

Continuing his reign at the top, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud takes the number one spot with an estimated $20.4 billion, followed by Lebanese-Brazilian Joseph Safra in second with $16 billion, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Amoudi in third with a total of $15.3 billion.

Revered names from Egypt and the UAE also feature amongst the top ten, while Algeria makes its first billionaire appearance with self-made food industries tycoon, Issad Rebrab. Alongside Algeria’s entry, 10 further Arab newcomers feature this year. Meanwhile, on the global scene, Jan Koum, the man behind Whatsapp, enters the billionaire ranks for the first time following the headline-grabbing $19 billion deal with Facebook.

Continuing the theme of rising stars, Forbes Middle East’s cover story features Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries and son of the company’s billionaire chairman Kutayba Alghanim, as he seeks to continue the success of his family’s multi-billion dollar conglomerate.

Out of the 100 trailblazing tycoons on this year’s list, Saudi Arabia takes the lead with 39 rich residents and a combined wealth of $64.9 billion. Where number of entries is concerned, Egypt ranks second with 15 names followed by the UAE with 14, while Lebanon clinches the runner-up spot in terms of combined wealth, with a sum of $30.65 billion.

Sector-wise, a total of 21 millionaires and billionaires have made their fortunes in banking, while diversification and retail have proven lucrative, each claiming 14. Rounding out the top five sectors are real estate and the GCC giant, Oil and petrochemicals.

By identifying the investment choices of the Arab world’s richest inhabitants, and indeed those residing further afield, this ranking does more than showcase wealth, it provides valuable insight into the lay of the business land as well as the sectors, industries and geographies that make it tick.

In the name of transparency and fairness, Forbes Middle East has considered only publicly held shares recorded as of 13thFebruary 2014, as well as audited documents and other official, verifiable information available in the public domain or received directly from the source. Admittedly, dollars by the million are slipping though the net as a result, but the lavish list gives a glimpse into a world of impressive impresarios and flourishing families that have set the gold standard for enterprising success.

Global Giants

Forbes Middle East’s April issue highlights the full lineup of global billionaires. FORBES research revealed a total of 1,645 billionaires—including 42 new female entrants—with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion in 2013.

Bill Gates has returned to the global top spot following a four-year hiatus with $76 billion. Gates steals the number one rank from Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu who now resides in second with $72 billion. In third place is Spain’s retail king, Amancio Ortega with $64 billion, followed in fourth by Warren Buffett with $58.2 billion.

A record net worth of $31 billion was needed to make the global top 20 this year, and the biggest gainer was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg whose fortune rocketed to $28.5 billion from $15.2 billion in 2013.

Indian Impresarios

The world’s top Indian billionaires can also be found in this issue of Forbes Middle East. A total of 53 Indian impresarios make it onto the list, presided over by Mukesh Ambani with total wealth of $18.6 billion generated through his ventures in petrochemicals, oil and gas. In second place is steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal with $16 billion, followed by Azim Premji with $15.3 billion generated through the software industry. UAE-based billionaires such as Yusuffali MA, Sunny Varkey and BR Shetty also make a strong showing.

By identifying the investment choices of the Arab world’s richest inhabitants, and indeed those residing further afield, this ranking does more than showcase wealth, it provides valuable insight into the lay of the business land as well as the sectors, industries and geographies that make it tick.

In the name of transparency and fairness, Forbes Middle East has considered only publicly held shares recorded as of 13th February 2014, as well as audited documents and other official, verifiable information available in the public domain or received directly from the source. Admittedly, dollars by the million are slipping though the net as a result, but the lavish list gives a glimpse into a world of impressive impresarios and flourishing families that have set the gold standard for enterprising success.

Global Giants

Forbes Middle East’s April issue highlights the full lineup of global billionaires. FORBES research revealed a total of 1,645 billionaires—including 42 new female entrants—with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion in 2013.

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