Who are the World's Wealthiest Arabs?
By: Arab America Contributing Writer/ Alana Rehman
The wealthiest people in the world have had a challenging year; there are now 2,668 billionaires worldwide, down from 2,755 in 2021. This year, 236 new people joined the list, and 329 left. Global billionaires’ combined net worth in 2022 was $12.7 trillion, down from $13.1 trillion in 2021. Following are the top 8 richest Arab persons who were on the Forbes list for two years.
- Nassef Sawiris
Nassef Sawiris is an Egyptian Billionaire Businessman, his net worth was US$8.7 billion as of October 2021, making him the richest Arab. He is fourth on the Forbes Billionaire list of the wealthiest African people in 2021. He owns OCI, one of the biggest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturers in the world, which has facilities in Texas and Iowa and is traded on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.
He holds shares in Adidas and the world’s largest cement company, Lafarge Holcim; he also serves on Adidas’ supervisory board.
- Issad Rebrab & family
Rebrab is a millionaire businessman from Algeria with a net worth of USD$4.6 Billion as of today. He is the CEO of the Cevital industrial group, the country’s largest private corporation, and a player in the food, steel, and electronics industries. Rebrab was released on January 1, 2020, after serving eight months on corruption-related offenses. He claims he did nothing wrong.
- Naguib Sawiris
Sawiris is an Egyptian billionaire businessman with a net worth of USD$ 3.3 billion, born to businessman Onsi Sawiris (founder of Orascom Group). Naguib’s brother Nassef is also a billionaire. He amassed wealth in the telecom industry and sold Orascom Telecom in 2011 in a multibillion-dollar deal to the Russian telecom company VimpelCom (now Veon). He is the chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which owns shares in, among other things, an Italian internet company called Italiaonline and an Egyptian asset management company.
Through his Media Globe Holdings, Sawiris owns 88% of the pan-European pay TV and video news network Euronews. Also, he built the opulent Silversands resort on the Caribbean island of Grenada.
- Najib Mikati
Mikati is the Prime Minister of Lebanon. Forbes says he is the wealthiest man in Lebanon, with a net worth of USD$ 2.8 billion. Together with his billionaire brother Taha, Najib Mikati co-founded the investment firm M1 Group in Beirut. He has stakes in the South African telecom company MTN, the clothing retailer Pepe Jeans, and real estate in New York, London, and Monaco as part of its investments.
In 1982, Mikati and his brother Taha established Investcom, which sold satellite phones at the height of the civil war in Lebanon.
- Taha Mikati
Mikati is a billionaire businessman with a net worth of 2.8 billion today. He is from Lebanon and is the brother of Najib Mikati, the current prime minister of Lebanon and another billionaire. He co-founded Investcom, the M1 Group, and the Mikati Foundation. Pepe Jeans, a clothing retailer, and prime real estate in New York, London, and Monaco are among his investments.
In 1982, Mikati and his brother Najib established Investcom to sell satellite phones at the height of the civil war in Lebanon. As they expanded, they constructed cellphone towers in Ghana, Liberia, and Benin, among other African nations. His Investcom went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2005, and in 2009, MTN of South Africa paid $3.6 billion for the Mikatis’ stake.
- Hussain Sajwani
Hussain Sajwani, an Emirati businessman with a net worth of USD 2.7 billion today, is the founder of DAMAC Properties, a property development company, and DAMAC Group, a private investment company. He started in the food services industry, serving the US military and the construction conglomerate Bechtel. He switched his business to real estate in 2001 when Dubai allowed foreigners to own property and sold units in a residential building in less than six months.
In 2013, Damac and Donald Trump collaborated on developing two Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai developments.
Sajwani is known for extreme showcasing, sometimes offering free Lamborghinis to condo purchasers. He has co-branding agreements with Bugatti and Versace.
- Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & family
Abdullah is a member of a prominent Emirati Business family with a net worth of USD 3.1 million as of January 2022. In 1967, Abdulla Al Ghurair established Mashreqbank, a central UAE bank. He resigned as chairman in October 2019 but continues serving on the board. His eponymous holding company is involved in real estate, construction, and food; The team of leaders includes people who aren’t family members. His company built the Dubai Metro and the exterior cladding for the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
- Abdulla Al Futtaim & family
Al Futtaim is an Emirati Businessman with a net worth of USD $2.4 billion today. He is the owner of the conglomerate Al Futtaim Group. In 1955, the company became Toyota’s sole distributor in the United Arab Emirates, which still holds that position today.
In addition, Al Futtaim holds licenses to operate Hertz, Ikea, Toys “R” Us, and Marks & Spencer in the United Arab Emirates. These stores are the anchors of its malls, which include Dubai Festival City, Dubai Festival Plaza, Doha Festival City, and Cairo Festival City.
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