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Egyptian tycoon is world's richest Arab: Forbes

Businessman is a scion of Egypt's wealthiest family with interests in construction, chemicals

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Nassef Sawiris, an Egyptian tycoon with interests in construction and chemicals, is richer than any other Arab in the world.

Dubai: A number of Arab nationals are getting richer every year and so far, at least 30 of them have made it to the club of world’s wealthiest people on earth.

Following its annual ranking of billionaires around the world, Forbes announced on Thursday that 31 mega-wealthy individuals in the Arab world now own an estimated net worth of $76.7 billion, which is equivalent to a staggering Dh281 billion.

Their aggregate fortunes, however, have dropped from last year’s $123.4 billion, as 11 Saudi billionaires have been excluded from the 2018 rankings.

The list is dominated by UAE and Lebanon, with seven billionaires each, followed by Egypt, with six billionaires, and Kuwait, with four. Two billionaires from Morocco, and another two each from Oman and Qatar, also made it to the global rankings. One billionaire from Algeria also qualified for the wealthiest Arab club.

Taking the crown as the richest Arab is Nassef Sawiris from Egypt, who has accumulated $6.6 billion worth of fortunes as of March 2018.  The 57-year-old businessman is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. He has interests in construction and chemicals, and his holdings include stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas.

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Emirati business tycoons, Abdullah Al Ghurair, Majid Al Futtaim and Hussain Sajwani are trailing behind, with an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion, $4.6 billion and $4.1 billion, respectively.

The Saudi billionaires who were included in last year’s rankings did not make it to this year’s edition.

The magazine explained that it opted to exclude Saudi nationals from the list due to reports revolving around their asset seizures. Billionaires from Saudi Arabia were worth $42.1 billion last year and their fortunes are probably worth bigger than that this year, considering the rise in oil prices and capital markets around the world.

“As a result, the total wealth of Arab billionaires has fallen, and 11 have dropped off the charts,” Forbes said.

The 31 richest Arabs in the world

1.Nassef Sawiris: $6.6 billion

2.Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair: $5.9 billion

3.Majid Al Futtaim: $4.6 billion

4.Hussain Sajwani: $4.1 billion

5.Issad Rebrab: $4 billion

6.Naguib Sawiris: $4 billion

7.Suhail Bahwan: $3.9 billion

8.Abdulla Al Futtaim: $3.3 billion

9.Taha Mikati: $2.8 billion

10.Mohamed Mansour: $2.7 billion

11.Najib Mikati: $2.7 billion

12.Saeed Bin Butti Al Qebaisi: $2.7 billion

13. Aziz Akhannouch: $2.2 billion

14.Bahaa Hariri: $2.1 billion

15.Yasseen Mansour: $1.9 billion

16.Saif Al Ghurair: $1.9 billion

17.Mohamed Al Fayed: $1.6 billion

18.Robert Mouawad: $1.6 billion

19.Othman Benjelloun: $1.6 billion

20.Saad Hariri: $1.5 billion

21.Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani: $1.6 billion

22. PNC Menon* : $1.5 billion

23. Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi: $1.5 billion

24.Youssef Mansour: $1.4 billion

25.Bassam Alghanim: $1.4 billion

26.Kutayba Alghanim: $1.4 billion

27.Ayman Hariri: $1.3 billion

28.Fahd Hariri: $1.3 billion

29. Fawzi Al Kharafi: $1.2 billion

30.Mohannad Al-Kharafi: $1.2 billion

31.Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani: $1.2 billion

* Although he's of Indian origin, PNC Menon is now an Omani citizen, so his name is included in the Arab list, says Forbes.