The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon record the highest number of billionaires, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud tops the Arab billionaires list with a fortune of US$18 billion.
Forbes Middle East said in its report on the Arab billionaires ranking that Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal tops the Arab billionaires list with a fortune of $18 billion, followed by Lebanese-Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra with $13.8 billion. The 36 Arab billionaires have a combined total net worth of $121.3 billion, improving on last year’s figure of $117.6 billion.
Despite recent political turmoil, Egypt was runner up with seven billionaires, followed by the stable United Arab Emirates with a total of four. 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.
Forbes Middle East’s editor-in-chief, Khuloud Al-Omian commented on the Arab billionaires ranking: “The motivation behind publishing this list is to deliver the powerful message, that behind these billions lay wealthy individuals who have fought long and hard, and given generously. These success stories present lessons to be learned that money cannot buy, and serve as an inspiration to us all.”
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 US$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.