For some reason, the richest Arabs in the world list does not include billionaires from Saudi Arabia. That gives us less perspective because the Saudis are some of the richest people not only in the Arab world, but on earth. On the flip side; the list now accommodates high net worth individuals of other nationalities who would otherwise not have had the spotlight.
The wealthiest Arabs have spread their wealth all around the world; they have made strategic investments in diverse sectors of business, meaning that they have been conscious about the need to avoid the localization of wealth. Arabs have gained a firm grip on sports, oil, real estate, and many other sectors.
Britain, France, and Germany have been areas of special interest to Arab billionaires; with their steady economies, and the high probability of generating high turnovers, these countries have received significant Arab investment.
Top 10 Richest Arabs In The World 2023
1. Nassef Sawiris
Industries: Construction, investments
Net Worth: $8.3 Billion
Nassef Sawiris, the Egyptian billionaire businessman and investor, remains unchallenged in the Arabian money league. Youngest son of the great Onsi Sawiris, Nassef Sawiris is well known for his empire built around construction. He is the CEO of Orascom Construction Industries, which is an engineering company located in Cairo Egypt, but also operating in 25 countries.
The company was established by his father in 1950, and now boasts $4.3 Billion in revenue. It is a publicly traded company on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
However, Nassef Sawiris has been expanding his empire with aggressive investments in sports; he has been the Executive Chairman of Aston Villa Football Club of England for a few years, and in 2023 he just bought a controlling stake in the Portuguese club Vitória SC.
Nassef Sawiris has also been quietly buying up luxury homes in America; specifically in pristine areas like Trousdale Estates, in California. He has also recently set up an investment company to buy gold mines across the world.
2. Issad Rebrab
Industries: Food and Beverage
Net Worth: $4.8 Billion
Issad Rebrab recently lost more than half a billion of his valuation due to some socio economic issues affecting his home country Algeria. Nevertheless, he is still the second richest Arab in the world, and one of the most powerful businessmen in the Arab World.
Issad Rebrab remains Chairman of Cevital Industrial Group, which is the largest private company in Algeria, but he recently named his son Malik the CEO, after about 50 years at the helm. Cevital Industrial Group is involved in Food processing, as well as steel, agribusiness, media and electronics.
There were fears about him when he spent 6 months in jail in 2019 for tax evasion, but he rebounded quite well. He has recently purchased some media companies in a move which some sources said “demonstrated the power of money.”
He also spent around $600 Million to build a brand new plastic packaging manufacturing company to supply the local needs of his country. It is only a matter of time before his net worth points upwards again.
3. Tariq Al Futtaim
Industries: Real Estate and Retail
Net Worth: $3.6 Billion
Tariq Al Futtaim is the son of the great Majid Al Futtaim who died in 2021. Tariq was groomed for control; he comes from a family of long standing wealth. The Al Futtaim Family is one of the richest in the United Arab Emirates. Tariq Al Futtaim inherited control of a huge conglomerate encompassing real estate and retail. Many of his business interests are located in Asia and Africa.
Some of his company’s notable assets include the Mall of the Emirates, a huge edifice located in Dubai, the Emirates. This building has an indoor ski slope, and many more attractions. It is both a place of commerce and a tourist attraction in its own right.
Another important asset is the Mall of Egypt, which is a similarly impressive edifice.
Tariq Al Futtaim sits at the head of a company that has operations in at least 13 countries. The company may operate through subsidiaries in some countries.
4. Naguib Sawiris
Net Worth: $3.4 Billion
Scion of the great Sawiris Family; Naguib Sawiris is the eldest of the Sawiris billionaire brothers. The Egyptian billionaire has seen his wealth reduced by a small fraction. Nevertheless, as Chairman of Weather Investments, and former Chairman and CEO of Orascom Telecom Holding, he remains one of the most respected businessmen in the Arab World.
His business interests include railway, information technology, and telecommunications. These are all managed under his company; Orascom Investment Holding S.A.E.
The Egyptian Billionaire sold off his share of Beltone Financial Holding Company to Emirati Investors; a move that is thought to mean that he is trying to free up cash for other investments.
5. Abdulla Al Ghurair
Country: United Arab Emirates
Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
Abdulla Al Ghurair of the United Arab Emirates has seen his wealth decline over the last 12 months, but this seasoned businessman built a financial empire from scratch, but after decades at the helm, has now stepped down from the Chairman’s seat, but continues to have the final say in the business.
His major business is Mashreq Bank, an Emirati bank which he established back in 1967. Mashreq Bank has 45 local branches, and 20 international ones. The company is publicly traded, and has about 5400 employees on its payroll. Mashreq Bank offers a wide range of services including retail banking, investment banking, and asset management. The company recently recorded AED 3.7 Billion in revenue.
Abdulla Al Ghurair also owns a construction company which has been involved in several notable works such as the construction of the Dubai Metro, and the Burj Khalifa.
6. Mohamed Mansour
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Mohamed Mansour has seen his wealth decline by about $500 Million due to a tightened world economy, but as there signs of a recovery, and his business is well diversified, therefore he should not be too worried. The Egyptian billionaire is Chairman of Mansour Group, which is valued at around $6 Billion, and which employs around 60,000 people.
Mohammed Mansour controls the business, but other stakeholders include his brothers and other members of the family.
Monsour Group is the biggest General Motors dealer; a result of building close ties with US companies over the years. The company is known for brands like Chevrolet, Marlboro, General Motors and Caterpillar. Mansour Group also owns a chain of McDonald fast food franchises in Egypt, as well as Metro, the largest Egyptian supermarket chain.
7. Najib Mikati
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Lebanese Billionaire Najib Mikati has seen his net worth decline by a small fraction. Nevertheless, he remains arguably the biggest name in Lebanon. He is the founder of Investcom; a telecommunications company which was established in 1982, but sold it to the MTN Group in 2006.
As per the deal, he now owns the majority shares in MTN, and he still controls a high end fashion brand known as Faconnable. He has further diversified his wealth through several investments in Oil and Gas, Transport and Real Estate, in choice locations like Paris, London, and New York.
Having conquered the business scene, he has since turned his attention to politics; he is now the Prime Minister of Lebanon- a position he has held on two previous occasions.
8. Taha Mikati
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Taha Mikati is the elder brother to Najib Mikati; Prime Minister of Lebanon. His business interests are tied to his brother’s and as a result, he too has seen his wealth reduced by a small fraction.
Nevertheless, he is one of the most influential personalities in Lebanon, and has investments in Middle East, Europe, Africa, and America. The foundation of his wealth is the communications company Investcom, which he founded with his brother, and which he managed together until they sold to the MTN Group.
He is also the founder of M1 Group; a holding company with which he controls several investments in Beirut, estimated to be worth around $5 Billion.
9. Hussain Sajwani
Industries: Real estate
Country: United Arab Emirates
Net Worth: $2.4 Billion
Hussain Sajwani is an Emirati billionaire businessman. He has been listed among the most influential personalities in the Arab world. He is the founder of DAMAC Properties, a real estate development company in the UAE, as well as DICO Group; his private investment company.
DAMAC Properties was ranked number one on the Forbes 2017 Global 2000. This is one of the fastest growing companies in the real estate industry globally.
Aside from the construction and real estate business; he has made several investments into other sectors, such as hospitality and fashion through his company DICO, which recently signed an international hospitality partnership with global fashion house, Roberto Cavalli Group to design the interiors for AYKON Hotels which is set make ripples in the hospitality industry in Dubai.
10. Suhail Bahwan
Net Worth: $2.3 Billion
Suhail Bahwan is an Omani billionaire; he is a visionary entrepreneur, and an astute administrator. Suhail Bahwan started out as a small-scale trader in Sur; southeastern Oman. He started doing business with one sail boat he inherited from his father; exchanging goods between Oman and India.
He later moved to the capital, Muscat in 1965, and opened a shop in the Muttrah Souq with his brother Saud. They started trading in construction equipment and fishing nets.
He diversified the business by getting local licenses from Seiko and Toyota to deal on their products as distributors. The Suhail Bahwan Group is now the largest privately owned business in Oman, and one of the largest employers in the country.
There has been some significant shuffling of positions between the richest Arabs in the world. Nevertheless, the familiar names remain familiar, even those who have now handed the batons over to their sons. The bottom-line remains that Arabs continue to play an important role in the world economy; their businesses are scattered throughout the world.