Forbes recently released annual World’s Billionaires List, stating that 2023 is a banner year for the mega-wealthy. Among the Middle East’s Richest billionaires are Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani and Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani.

Forbes found an unprecedented 2,781 billionaires around the globe for this year’s World’s Billionaires list—141 more than in 2023 and 26 more than the previous record, set in 2021. The super-rich are also richer than ever, with their combined wealth hitting USD14.2 tn—USD2 tn more than just a year ago and USD1.1 tn above the previous record, also set in 2021.

The Middle East billionaires’ collective wealth amounted to USD100.9 bn. Pavel Durov—the founder and owner of the messaging app Telegram—is the richest man in the Middle East, with a net worth of USD15.5 bn in 2024, up from USD11.5 bn in 2023. Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris is still the richest Arab in the world and ranked second in the Middle East after Durov, with a net worth of USD8.8 bn.

The UAE is home to the highest number of billionaires on the list as well as cumulative wealth, with a total net worth of USD55.1 bn. Billionaires from the Middle East come from Lebanon, Egypt and even India (based in the Middle East).

Forbes’ The Middle East’s Richest Billionaires is an extract of the Forbes’ 38th annual World’s Billionaires List. Our list features all citizens of MENA countries, as well as expats whose business interests primarily lie in the region. Middle Eastern residents whose source of wealth is outside of the region have not been included.


21st: Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani

At the age of 64, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani is worth USD1.8 bn. He was prime minister of Qatar between 2007 and 2013; he also served as foreign minister from 1992 until 2013. His great-uncle founded modern Qatar in 1971, and he’s a cousin of HH The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Through an entity called Paramount Services Holdings, Al Thani owns 3% of Deutsche Bank, his biggest publicly traded holding. In 2016, he was mentioned in the “Panama Papers,” leaked files from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, which set up offshore entities for clients.

 


22nd: Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani

At the age of 76, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani is worth USD1.7 bn. He is the chairman of Al Faisal Holding, one of Qatar’s biggest conglomerates, which he founded in 1964. It owns more than 20 hotels around the world, including The St. Regis Washington, DC and Miami, and W London. Al Faisal Holding also has a majority stake in publicly-traded Aamal, which owns real estate in Qatar and sells medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Sheikh Faisal started selling car parts in Qatar at age 16. He became the sole distributor of Bridgestone tires in the 1960s. He has one of the biggest collections of classic and vintage cars in the world, which can be found in the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum).

To see the full list, visit forbesmiddleeast.com/lists/richest-billionaires


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