Influential businessmen and owners of international corporations are among the richest people in the world. But who are the billionaires of the Middle East? According to a new study, the royal blood of MidEast’ families dominates the wealth list, with Prince Alwaleed remaining the region’s wealthiest individual.
With an estimated net worth of $30 billion, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, CEO and founder of the Saudi’s Kingdom Holding , tops the latest Middle East Rich List by research firm Wealth-X, which specializes in qualified intelligence on ultra high net worth individuals. HRH Prince Alwaleed, who is a nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, started his business career in 1979 as an investor and now he has been called the “Saudi Warren Buffett”. Besides controlling 95% of the Kingdom Holding, an investment services company, he is also Citigroup’s largest individual shareholder. Alwaleed is also the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation after the Murdoch family.
Second in the ranking comes his uncle, the Ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud with a fortune of $19.8 billion. On third and fourth place in the list we can see members of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates. His Highness, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, is third with estimated net worth of $18.2 billion. Sheikh Khalifa, as he is also known, is followed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. According to Wealth-X, his worth is estimates at around $17.7 billion, also an impressive fortune for a royalty. At the fifth position, with $15.4 billion in assets, appears Joseph Safra from Lebanon who is also coming from a wealthy banking family.
The latest wealthiest list released by Wealth-X is very different from the Forbes ranking of the richest people in the Middle East. Compared to it, it ranks not only individuals, but entire families and their collective wealth. For instance, according to Forbes’ 2014 list, the richest person in the Mideast is Prince Alwaleed, but their data shows net worth of $20.4 billion. For us, this may not be such a great difference, but this is $10 billion more after all. Forbes also estimates that Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Amoudi comes second ($15.3 billion), followed by Israel’s Eyal Ofer ($7 billion), Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris ($6.7 billion) and Idan Ofer with $5.7 billion.