Forbes 2019 list of richest people on earth includes seven entrepreneurs and conglomerates from the UAE who currently hold massive assets in diversified businesses.
The value of total assets of the seven Emirati’s fell by $4.3 billion or 18 percent from $24 billion in 2018 to $19.7 billion this year due to the global slowdown.
This year’s wealthiest Emirati’s are:
1. The wealthiest Emirati this year is Retail magnate Majid Al Futtaim and family with a net worth of $5.1 billion (Dhs18.7 billion).
He is the only Emirati businessman with a higher net worth this year, increasing by about half a billion from 2018. He is the owner of a number of shopping malls, including Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre in UAE. From the second place in 2018, he claimed the top spot this year, by edging out last year’s richest, Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair and family.
2. The second wealthiest Emirati for 2019 is Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair and family, with a net worth of $4.6 billion, down from $5.9 billion last year.
His company has interests in food, construction, and real estate. He is also the founder of Mashreq bank, Dubai’s third-largest lender in terms of assets. His bank had recently announced that it will be cutting the number of its branches over the next three years by half, as it shifts towards digital banking.
3. Third, on the list of Wealthiest Emiratis, this year is Abdulla Al Futtaim (and family), a cousin of Majid Al Futtaim.
He built his fortune through franchising global brands such as Zara, IKEA, Toys “R” Us, and Hertz, selling Toyota cars, and setting up shopping malls like Dubai Festival City and Cairo Festival City. He moved up from the fourth position in 2018.
4. Real estate tycoon Hussain Sajwani slips down to fourth place this year.
He is the Chairman of Dubai-based luxury real estate developer Damac Properties and is currently valued at $2.4 billion, down from $4.1 billion last year. He is known for giving away extravagant gifts such as Lamborghinis to apartment buyers to attract investment. He also teamed up with Donald Trump to develop two Trump branded golf courses in Dubai. Earlier this year, he stated that he intends to invest approximately Dhs2.79 billion in the London property market to gain leverage on the weak pound.
5. Saeed Bin Butti Al Qebaisi is in fifth place.
He is the Chairman of Centurion Investments and is valued at $2.1 billion. His most valuable stake is in NMC Health, a London-listed firm that claims it is the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE.
6. Saif Al Ghurair and family is the 6th wealthiest Emirati with $1.9 billion assets.
The 95-year-old is the founder of family holding company Al Ghurair Group, which has interests in banking, steel, and packaging.
7. Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi brings up number seven.
He has assets worth $1.2 billion in healthcare, money exchange, and retail. His net worth slipped from $1.5 billion in 2018.