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7 UAE billionaires among world's richest in 2018, according to Forbes

New list sees at least two newcomers after seeing their net worth rise over 12 months

Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
Abdullah Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair (left) and Majid AlFuttaim (right).

Dubai: At least seven of the UAE’s homegrown businessmen and conglomerates, who own massive assets ranging from mega shopping malls to high rises, banks and hospitals, are among the richest people on the planet this year, according to the latest data.

Forbes’ annual list of wealthiest individuals and families showed that out of the more than 2,200 billionaires around the world, seven originated from the UAE who now hold a combined net worth of  $24 billion (Dh88 billion) as of March 2018.

The number of Emirati billionaires increased from five last year, although their latest aggregate net worth dropped from $27.4 billion in 2017, as some wealthy entrepreneurs have seen their assets fall over the course of one year.

Businessmen raking in more fortunes in 12 months are those with interests in healthcare, money exchange and property, while those with investments in banking, automobiles and other industries have experienced a decline.

Now at number one is Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair and family, with an estimated $5.9 billion in assets, while previous year’s richest Majid Al Futtaim and family slipped to number two, with $4.6 billion.

Abdulla Al Ghurair is the founder of Mashreq and his holding company has interests in food, construction and real estate, while Majid Al Futtaim owns and runs 12 hotels and 21 malls, including Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

One of this year’s gainers is the chairman of Dubai-based luxury real estate developer Damac Properties, Hussain Sajwani, who climbed one spot to be the third richest billionaire in the country. Sajwani made nearly $1 billion in 12 months, with his net worth jumping from $3.7 billion to $4.1 billion.

The owner of conglomerate Al Futtaim Group and exclusive distributor of Toyota cars in UAE, Abdulla Al Futtaim, is this year’s fourth richest in the UAE, with a net worth of  $3.3 billion. The businessman was ranked the third wealthiest last year, when his net worth was estimated to be $4.1 billion. A cousin of retail giant Majid Al Futtaim, Abdulla holds franchise rights for a number of popular global brands, such as Ikea, Marks & Spencer and Zara, among many others.

A newcomer, Saeed Bin Butti Al Qebaisi, with $2.7 billion in net worth and holding investments in healthcare, money exchange and retail, took the fifth spot that was previously held by Saif Al Ghurair and family, now in the sixth position with $1.9 billion.

Finishing the top seven list of wealthiest UAE residents and joining the club for the first time is Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi, with $1.5 billion.  Like Al Qebaisi, the chairman of Abu Dhabi-based KBBO Group also has investments in healthcare, money exchange and retail.

Al Muhairi owns a huge stake in NMC Healthcare, which operates hospitals and clinics in a number of countries. NMC was founded by Indian billionaire B. R. Shetty.

The 7 richest billionaires in UAE

1.Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & family

Abdullah Ahmad Al Ghurair
Net worth in 2018: $5.9 billion
Net worth in 2017: $6.8 billion
Source: Diversified
Last year’s rank in UAE: #2
Current global rank: #296

 

2.Majid Al Futtaim & family

Majid Al Futtaim
Net worth in 2018: $4.6 billion
Net worth in 2017: $10.6 billion
Source: Real estate, retail
Last year’s rank in UAE: #1
Current global rank: #456

 

3. Hussain Sajwani

Hussain Sajwani
Net worth in 2018:  $4.1 billion
Net worth in 2017: $3.7 billion
Source:  Real estate
Last year’s rank in UAE: #4
Current global rank: #527

 

4. Abdulla Al Futtaim

Abdulla Al Futtaim
Net worth in 2018:  $3.3 billion
Net worth in 2017: $4.1 billion
Source: Auto dealership, investments
Last year’s rank in UAE: #3
Current global rank:  #703

 

5.Saeed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi
Net worth in 2018: $2.7 billion
Net worth in 2017: Unknown
Source:  Hospitals, investments
Current global rank:  #887

 

6. Saif Al Ghurair & family

Saif Al Ghurair
Net worth in 2018: $1.9 billion
Net worth in 2017: $2.1 billion
Source:  Diversified
Last year’s rank in UAE: #5
Current global rank: #1,284

 

7. Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi
Net worth in 2018:  $1.5 billion
Net worth in 2017: Unknown
Source:  Hospitals, investments
Current global rank:  #1,561

 

 

 

 

 

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