Arab Billionaires Worth $121.3bn

Saudi Prince Alwaleed topped the list of regional billionaires released by Forbes with a fortune of $18 billion.

Arab billionaires increased their fortunes to $121.3 billion in 2011, up from $117.6 billion in 2010, according to the latest rankings released by Forbes.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud again topped the list, which includes 36 billionaires, with a fortune of $18 billion.

In second place was Lebanese-Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra with $13.8 billion.

While Saudi Arabia and Lebanon topped the overall rankings with eight billionaires each, Egypt followed with seven. The UAE ranked fourth with four billionaires this year.

The majority of the UAE’s billionaires also saw their wealth rising.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair’s wealth increased to $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion, Saif Al Ghurair’s worth rose to $2 billion from $1.7 billion and Abdulla Al Futtaim’s assets went up to $1.6 billion from $1.3 billion.

According to Forbes, only Majid Al Futtaim’s fortune reduced marginally to $1.1 billion in 2011, compared to $1.2 billion last year.

The new entrant on the list this year was Morocco, which entered the rankings with three billionaires: Miloud Chaabi, Othman Benjelloun and Anas Sefrioui.

Chaabi, who ranked tenth on the list with a fortune of $2.9 billion, was highlighted by Forbes as being an “inspirational man.”

Chaabi started working at the age of 15 as a shepherd, then as a farmer, before moving into the construction industry.

Today, he heads Ynna Holding, a company specialised in real estate development, hotels, retail and industry.

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