Pavel Durov: Meet the UAE’s richest resident

Dubai - Durov is the youngest billionaire in the UAE, region

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 8 Apr 2021, 10:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 8 Apr 2021, 10:30 AM

Meet Pavel Durov — the richest person in the UAE and the youngest self-made billionaire in the region in 2021.


>> Dh63 billion wealth: Telegram founder Pavel Durov is now UAE's richest person

On Wednesday, Dubai-based founder and owner of messaging app Telegram was named as the richest UAE resident in 2021 by Forbes magazine with a staggering wealth of $17.2 billion (Dh63 billion) in 2021.

Durov’s wealth has grown by over 405 per cent in a year from $3.4 billions in 2020 to $17.2 billion in 2021.

In the past three years, Durov has become richer by over 900 per cent from $1.7 billion in 2018 to $17.2 billion in 2011. Meanwhile, his ranking in the Forbes billionaires list improved from 1,394 in 2018 to 565 in 2020 and 112 this year.

Ranked 112th in Forbes’ richest list, Durov is the first UAE resident to be ranked among the top 200 billionaires.

The Russian expat controls approximately 40 per cent of a total wealth of $43.4 billion owned by 11 billionaires in the UAE.

Durov’s wealth grew exponentially recently after his messaging app Telegram became highly popular because Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced a new privacy policy for users. Launched in August 2013, Telegram users grew from 35 million in March 2014 to over 500 million worldwide by January 2021.

Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg

Telegram founder is also known as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg for creating Vkontakte, Russia's biggest social network. He founded Vkontakte when he was 22 and sold a 12 per cent stake in 2015 for an estimated $300 million.


>> Forbes rich list: How billionaire Mukesh Ambani reclaimed his spot as Asia's wealthiest

In 2018, Durov, with his brother Nikolai, raised $1.7 billion from investors to create Ton, a blockchain system based on Telegram.

The 36-year-old Durov holds a Master of Science degree from St. Petersburg State University.


Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

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