A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arabian Business' 50 Richest Arabs

Arabian Business magazine does an annual "50 Richest Arabs" list which is a sort of Fortune 500 of the Arab billionaires. (This year they're calling it "the Rich List" and apparently list only 49, the poorest of whom has $1.7 billion.) They include families as units, but don't include the ruling families as such, which of course would make a big difference. The 2010 list is here. Al Waleed bin Talal Al Sa‘ud, the media and property mogul who's also a Saudi Royal, ranks first for the seventh year running with an estimated $20.4 billion. The vast majority are from the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula; some of the Lebanese and Egyptians on the list also made their fortunes, or parts of them, in the Gulf.

Most of the top 50 are Saudis, Kuwaitis, Emiratis, or Qataris. You'd probably be able to guess two of the three Lebanese: Sa‘d Hariri (No. 27) and ‘Issam Fares (No. 45). Jeweler Robert Mouawad, a diamond merchant, is also on the list at No. 43.

The top ranking Egyptian is the Sawiris Family, at No. 28 ($3.55 billion), centered on telecom and press mogul Naguib Sawiris.

The last two mentions are interesting, though Arabian Business doesn't mention it: they're Christians, as is Palestinian contractor Said Khoury (No. 8 with $7 billion), so three of the richest 50 Arabs are Christian. Robert Mouawad is a Maronite I believe; Naguib Sawiris and his family are Copts, and Said Khoury is Greek Orthodox.

Oh, and one of the richest Arabs seems to actually be a Kurd, but who's counting?

1 comment:

C.Sydow said...

What I find most funny about the list is that Saad Hariri is listed as Saudi-Arabian. I mean he was born there and has the citizenship, but still he is Lebanese PM. Not sure if everyone in his camp is happy about the listing...