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UAE billionaires’ wealth swells

Abdul Basit
Filed on April 9, 2012

DUBAI - Wealth of UAE billionaires increased by more than 10 per cent to $7.6 billion, according to Forbes Middle East Arab billionaires ranking.

Last year combined wealth of four UAE billionaires was declared at $6.9 billion. The UAE has been ranked fourth with four billionaires this year.

In the UAE, according to Forbes Middle East, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair’s wealth improved to $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion, Saif Al Ghurair’s assets jumped to $2 billion from $1.7 billion, Abdulla Al Futtaim’s holdings increased to $1.6 billion over $1.3 billion. Majid Al Futtaim’s wealth recorded a modest decline and reached $1.1 billion compared to $1.2 billion, according to the Forbes list.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia topped in the ranking, but combined wealth of KSA billionaires suffered seven per cent decline. Assets of Egyptian billionaires also suffered 8.5 per cent decrease in new ranking issued. Forbes Middle East has just revealed the Arab billionaires ranking, composed of 36 distinctive billionaires from across the Arab world with a combined total net worth of $121.3 billion, improving on last year’s figure of $117.6 billion.

“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,” Forbes Middle East’s editor-in-chief, Khuloud Al Omian commented on the ranking.

Topping the ranking for the second year running is the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud with a fortune of $18 billion, followed in second place by Lebanese-Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra with $13.8 billion to his name. Through this prestigious ranking, Forbes Middle East aims to highlight the inspirational stories of the region’s Arab billionaires, as well as the challenges and obstacles overcome on the road to success.

Both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon led the way on this ranking with eight billionaires each. Despite recent political turmoil, Egypt was runner up with seven billionaires, followed by the stable UAE with a total of four. However, this year’s major headline was newcomer to the billionaires club, Morocco, which entered the ranking with three billionaires: Miloud Chaabi, Othman Benjelloun and Anas Sefrioui. 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.

—abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com





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