The combined wealth of 12 UAE billionaires, who figure among the world's richest, surged to $36.2 billion from $34.1 billion in 2015 while across the globe, the top 20 richest on the planet saw their wealth depleting by $70 billion.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with a fortune of $75 billion, has been ranked the world's richest man for the third year in a row while topping the UAE billionaire list was Majid Al Futtaim, ranking 270 globally with a wealth of $5 billion.
Among the billionaires from the UAE, five are Emiratis and seven are Indians doing business in the Emirates.
With a fortune of $4.9 billion, Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & Family came second in the UAE. The India-born Micky Jagtiani, who ranks 338 globally, came third in the UAE and 291 globally with an estimated wealth of $4.4 billion. Jagtiani is the owner of Dubai-headquartered Landmark Group, the Middle East retailing giant.
Other super rich from the UAE who are ranked in the Forbes list include Yusuffali MA with a net worth of $4.2 billion, up from $2.5 billion last year. As the head of retail giant Lulu Group, he is ranked 358 globally, up from 737 in the previous year.
Real estate tycoon Hussain Sajwani of Damac is the fifth top billionaire in the UAE followed in the sixth place by Abdulla Al Futtaim (549 globally), with his current wealth estimated at $3.1 billion.
Ravi Pillai, with a net worth of $2.9 billion, who is ranked 595 globally, up from 782 last year, is the seventh richest man in the UAE. Saif Al Ghurair, ranked 810 globally, is the eighth richest in the UAE with a wealth of $2.2 billion estimated by Forbes.
Sunny Varkey, head of Gems-Varkey Education group, the largest network of private K-12 schools in the world, has been ranked No. 9 in the UAE and 959 globally with wealth estimated at $1.9 billion. Rounding up the UAE's top 10 wealthiest people is BR Shetty with $1.8 billion. He has interests in healthcare and foreign exchange remittances. Azad Moopen, founder chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, ranks 11th with a networth of $1.5 billion, followed in the 12th position by jewellery chain owner Joy Alukkas worth $1.1 billion.
According to Forbes' annual ranking of billionaires, India has the fourth largest number of billionaires at 84, of which four figure in top 100 richest in the world: Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion), Aziz Premji ($15 billion) and Shiv Nadar ($11.1 billion).
The US remains home to the most billionaires at 540, compared to 536 last year. There are 489 in Europe.
The Forbes list is dominated by men. Out of 1,810 billionaires, just 190 are women. The figure was 197 in 2015.
The biggest loser in 2015 was Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom tycoon who saw his fortune drop from $77.1 billion to $50 billion in a year.
The biggest gainer was Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook boss whose wealth rose by $11.2 billion to give him a total net worth of $44.6 billion.
Zuckerberg is the sixth richest person in the world, behind Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, Slim, investor Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, the businessman behind the Zara fashion empire, and Gates.
The only female billionaires in the top 20 inherited their wealth, including Liliane Bettencourt, the heir to the L'Oreal empire, and Alice Walton, daughter of the Walmart founder, Sam Walton.
By Issac John