Six Saudis among Arab world’s 10 richest

It  may not be the best of times for those whose personal fortunes are linked to the price of oil, but Saudi Arabian individuals and families nevertheless account for six of the top 10 places in Arabian Business magazine’s twelfth annual listing of the world’s 50 richest Arabs.

Of those 50 richest, 20 are from Saudi, counting the Elkhereiji family, which also has a presence in Switzerland, the publication’s latest research reveals.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given just how far the oil price has plummeted over the past 12 months, the total wealth of the 50 individuals and families Arabian Business has included in this year’s tally “has fallen by 9% percent over the course of the last year — and virtually no-one remains unscathed”, the publication notes.

Then too, “if you had parked your cash into the relatively safe zone of US equities, you would have been disappointed — both the Dow and the S&P closed the year in negative territory, marking the worst year since 2008,” it continues. “[And] the news wasn’t much better back here in the Middle East. The Saudi bourse — by far the Arab world’s largest — was down 17%  in 2015”.

Topping the list, with a fortune the Arabian Business puts at US$25bn, is Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud. Now age 60, he made global headlines last year, the publication points out, when he revealed plans to give his entire fortune to charity, via his Alwaleed Foundation.

Bringing up the bottom of the list, in fiftieth place, was Mo Ibrahim, the North Sudanese national who founded a pan-sub-Saharan telecoms business in West Africa, but who is best known to many these days for having set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which monitors the quality of governance in Africa.

Arabian Business concludes that those on its 2016 list could, at least, count themselves lucky that they weren’t the Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, who “saw $19bn wiped off his net worth in 2015”.

Below, in descending order, are Arabian Business’s 50 Richest Arabs in the World, 2016. To see the full list on the publication’s website, click here.

1 HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, of Saudi Arabia; US$25.1bn
2 Joseph Safra, founder of Brazil’s Banco Safra, in charge as well of Switzerland-based J Safra Sarasin; US$12bn
3 The Olayan family, of Saudi Arabia, US$11bn
4 The Sawiris family, of Egypt, US$10bn
5 Issam Al Zahid, of Saudi Arabia, US$9bn
6 Mohammed Al Amoudi, of Saudi Arabia, US$9bn
7 Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, of Saudi Arabia, US$9bn
8 The Binladin family, of Saudi Arabia, US8bn
9 The Al Ghurair family, of the United Arab Emirates, US$8bn
10 The Al Kharafi family, Kuwait, US$7bn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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