The World’s Richest Arabs in 2017

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  • The April issue features two lists: Billionaires and the Arab World’s Richest Families.
    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal remains the top billionaire; the Olayans are the richest family.
  • Of the 42 billionaires, nine are back after dropping off the list in previous years.
  • There are two new entrants: Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Serafi and Qatar’s Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
  • Aggregate net worth jumped to $123.4 billion, up more than 29% from 2016.

Forbes Middle East unveils in its April issue its 2017 rankings of the World’s Richest Arabs and the Arab World’s Richest Families.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal remains at the top with an estimated net worth of $18.7 billion, up by $1.4 billion. For the first time, the U.A.E.’s Majid Al Futtaim lands in the number two spot at $10.6 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Amoudi who’s worth $8.1 billion.

There are two new entrants: Qatar’s former Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, who has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. He holds a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank.
Mohammed Serafi, also a newcomer, is one of the largest individual investors in the Saudi stock market, with a net worth of $1 billion. He has shares in real estate company Taiba Holding and Makkah Construction and Development Company, among others.

Khuloud Al Omian, Editor in Chief of Forbes Middle East said, “With a mild recovery in crude prices and the region’s stock markets bouncing back from the lows of 2016, it has been a good year for the region’s billionaires.”

With 10 billionaires, Saudi Arabia claims the highest number of billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $42 billion, followed by Lebanon and Egypt with 7 billionaires each. Emirati billionaires are worth a combined $22 billion.

In addition, Forbes Middle East came out with its second annual ranking of the Arab World’s Richest Families. Three out of the 12 families are self-made—the Alajlans, Alagils and Al Subeaeis. The rest inherited their wealth. All are from the Gulf. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of billionaire families, with an aggregate net worth of $25.7 billion. The Olayans top the list, with $8 billion worth of publicly-traded holdings, followed by the Alshayas and Abudawoods, who have a net worth estimated at $5 billion and $4 billion, respectively. Most families made their fortune by holding licenses to international brands.

Methodology:
Estimates are a snapshot of wealth based on stock prices as of February 17, 2017, for individual billionaires and March 8, 2017 for families, where siblings or heirs own shares in the same company that add up to a minimum of $1 billion. To value private assets, we apply comparable price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios to revenues or net earnings. Although he’s a native of India, Forbes ranks P.N.C. Menon under Oman, since he’s a citizen of that country.

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