The World’s Richest Arabs 2016

Richest Arabs 2016

This past year wasn’t kind to billionaires all over the world. Plummeting oil prices, shaky stock markets and a stronger dollar wreaked havoc on fortunes. In the Arab world, aggregate net worth was down $29.9 billion from one year ago to a recent $95.5 billion. Out of a total of 32 billionaires, 12 tumbled off the list. Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia saw his net worth fall by more than 20%, but he remains the wealthiest Arab.

Still, FORBES MIDDLE EAST was able to uncover five new billionaires, including Hussain Sajwani and Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani from the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani from Qatar, as well as Suhail Bahwan and his nephew Mohammed Bahwan from Oman.

In addition to individual billionaires, FORBES MIDDLE EAST is inaugurating a list of 15 billionaire families. The timing couldn’t be better.

Families are pillars of the economy in the Arab world. They provide jobs and stability. Most have been around for decades, playing key roles in the development of their country.

A 2012 Harvard Business Review study showed that during an economic downturn, they outperform non-family businesses. The authors, Nicolas Kachaner, George Stalk, Jr., and Alain Bloch said “they forgo the excess returns available during good times in order to increase their odds of survival during bad times.”

View the full list of 2016 Arab billionaires rankings here.

The families on our list may not be household names (and many prefer to keep it that way), but if you drive a Toyota in Saudi Arabia, it came from the Jameel family, one of the biggest Toyota dealers in the world. The cup of Starbucks coffee you sip in Istanbul or Amman is courtesy of the Alshaya family. In fact, nine out of the 15 families have made a fortune owning licensing rights to foreign brands, mostly American.

Net worths are estimates as of February 12, 2016 for individual billionaires (unless otherwise stated) and March 8, 2016 for the families, where several relatives own shares in the same holding, but division of ownership is not known. The cut-off is $1 billion.

In the case of closely-held Olayan Group, we valued only publicly-traded holdings. To value private assets, we applied comparable price-to-sales ratios to revenues. Members of the Al-Kharafi and Alhokair families, who were no longer individual billionaires, made it on the family list.

One final note on the methodology.  Although he’s a native of India, FORBES ranks P.N.C. Menon as an Omani national, since he’s a citizen of that country.

View the full list of the Arab world’s richest families rankings here.

RankImageNameNet WorthAgeSource of wealthCountry of Citizenship
1Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud$17.3 BILLION61Investments, Self MadeSaudi Arabia
2Mohammed Al Amoudi$8.3 BILLION69Oil, Diversified, Self MadeSaudi Arabia
3Majid Al Futtaim$5 BILLIONReal estate, RetailUnited Arab Emirates
4Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & family$4.9 BILLIONDiversified; self-madeUnited Arab Emirates
5Nassef Sawiris$3.7 BILLION55Construction, chemicals; inherited and growingEgypt
6Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer$3.4 BILLION62Dairy farms; self-madeSaudi Arabia
7Suhail Salim Bahwan$3.4 BILLIONDiversified; self-madeOMAN
8Hussain Sajwani$3.2 BILLION63Real estate, Self MadeUnited Arab Emirates
9Abdulla Al Futtaim$3.1 BILLIONAuto dealers, investments; self-madeUnited Arab Emirates
9Issad Rebrab$3.1 BILLION72Food, Self MadeAlgeria
11Naguib Sawiris$3 BILLION61Telecom; inherited and growingEgypt
12Mohamed Mansour$2.5 BILLION68Diversified, Self MadeEgypt
12Najib Mikati$2.5 BILLION60Telecom, Self MadeLebanon
12Taha Mikati$2.5 BILLION71Telecom, Self MadeLebanon
15Mohammed Al Issa$2.3 BILLION91Investments, Self MadeSaudi Arabia
16Saif Al Ghurair & family$2.2 BILLION92Diversified; self-madeUnited Arab Emirates
16Bahaa Hariri$2.2 BILLION49Real estate; inheritedLebanon
18Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani$2 BILLION68Hotels, diversified; self-madeQatar
19Mohamed Al Fayed$1.9 BILLION87Retail, investments; self-madeEgypt
19Othman Benjelloun$1.9 BILLION83Insurance, banking; self-madeMorocco
19Saleh Kamel$1.9 BILLION74Banking, Healthcare, Self MadeSaudi Arabia
22Youssef Mansour$1.7 BILLION70Diversified, Self MadeEgypt
23P.N.C. Menon$1.5 BILLION67Real estate; self-madeOMAN
23Robert Mouawad & family$1.5 BILLION71Jewelry; inherited and growingLebanon
25Abdullah Al Rajhi & family$1.4 BILLIONBanking; self-madeSaudi Arabia
25Saad Hariri$1.4 BILLION45Construction; inheritedLebanon
25Yasseen Mansour$1.4 BILLION54Diversified, Self MadeEgypt
28Aziz Akhannouch & family$1.3 BILLION55Petroleum; inheritedMorocco
28Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani$1.3 BILLIONDiversified; self-madeUnited Arab Emirates
28Mohammed Saud Bahwan$1.3 BILLIONCar dealerships; inheritedOMAN
31Ayman Hariri$1.2 BILLION37Construction; inheritedLebanon
31Fahd Hariri$1.2 BILLION35Construction; inheritedLebanon