The Middle East’s billionaires added nearly $3 billion to their aggregate net worth in 2019, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index.
While the rest of the world suffered setbacks in the form of trade tensions and economic slowdowns, the Middle East’s business sector ended the year on a high following the record-breaking IPO of Saudi Aramco amid signs that efforts aimed at boosting their economies were bearing fruit.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, a prolific investor with stakes in companies like Lyft and Snapchat, was the richest Arab on the list with a fortune of $14.7 billion. He is the founder of Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based conglomerate with investments in hotel chains, real estate and stocks.
Second on the list is Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, valued at $8.66 billion, who runs a handful of businesses ranging from construction to energy through his two holdings, Corral Petroleum Holdings and Mohammed International Development Research and Organization (MIDROC).
Mohamed al-Jaber, valued at $7.19 billion, owns a string of luxury and budget hotels in Europe and Egypt. He’s also the founder of Europe’s largest Middle East research institute, London Middle East Institute (LMEI) at SOAS.
Nassef Sawiris, valued at $6.86 billion, runs a construction business based out of Egypt and is most well-known for buying out English Premier League team Aston Villa last year.
Majid Al Futtaim, the United Arab Emirates’ richest businessman with a fortune of $6.61 billion, runs a namesake company that has real estate and retail arms. It owns the country’s largest insurance firm and holds the franchise rights to operate IKEA stores in UAE, Egypt and Oman.
Who puts that glass of milk on your table every morning? Sultan Al Kabeer, the billionaire founder of dairy giant Almarai, might be able to give you an answer. The businessman, valued at $5.43 billion, owns a significant stake in the firm and other companies in the Gulf.
MA Yusuff Ali, is the chairman and managing director of the Lulu Hypermarket chain, which has a large number of stores in the Gulf region. With a personal fortune of $5.34 billion, he is the richest Indian in the United Arab Emirates.
Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris built a fortune selling the family-run Orascom Telecom to a Russian firm in a multibillion-dollar deal. He has a net worth of $5.17 billion.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, was the richest person in the world for a second year in running with a net worth of $116 billion. He was followed by Bill Gates, valued at $113 billion, in the second position, and Bernard Arnault, the Chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, valued at $106 billion, in the third position.