Forbes has released its World’s Billionaires 2021 ranking, and despite 2020 being one of the most difficult and unexpected in recent history it was clearly not a problem for the world’s richest people. In fact, rather than seeing the billionaire population fall, last year witnessed a boom.
There are 660 more billionaires worldwide in 2021 than there were in 2020—including 493 newcomers that have never featured on the Forbes’ list before. That equates to roughly one new billionaire being created every 17 hours in 2020. And that’s without Saudi Arabia even being considered—the kingdom has not been covered by the Forbes US ranking since 2018.
Globally, Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person for the fourth consecutive year with a net worth of $177 billion, while Elon Musk bags the number two spot with $151 billion.
This year there are 22 Arab billionaires worldwide compared to 21 in 2020. While this year’s list lost Kuwait’s Kutayba Alghanim, it welcomed back Qatar’s Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani with an estimated wealth of $1.3 billion, and Morocco’s Othman Benjelloun & family, also with $1.3 billion.
Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris is still the richest Arab in the world, with a net worth of $8.3 billion—$3.3 billion more than last year. His most valuable asset is a nearly 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. He also runs OCI, one of the world's largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa. In December 2020, he acquired a 5% stake in New York-listed firm Madison Square Garden Sports, owner of the NBA Knicks and the NHL Rangers teams.
Algeria’s only billionaires, Issad Rebrab & family, are the world’s second richest Arabs, worth $4.8 billion. Rebrab is the founder and CEO of Cevital, Algeria's largest privately-held company. Cevital owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with the capacity to produce two million tons of refined sugar a year.
Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris is also a billionaire, valued at $3.2 billion. As are the Mansour brothers, with Mohammed worth $2.5 billion, Youssef worth $1.5 billion, and Yasseen worth $1.1 billion.
Qatar’s second billionaire, Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, owns Al Faisal Holdings, and is valued at $1.6 billion. Oman’s only billionaire, Suhail Bahwan, is valued at $2.3 billion.
Lebanese Jeweler Robert Mouawad is the only billionaire living in Bahrain and is valued at $1.4 billion. Najib and Taha Mikati are the only Lebanese billionaires living in Lebanon and are worth $2.5 billion each. Bahaa, Ayman, and Fahd Hariri—sons of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri— all now live in Europe and are worth $2 billion, $1.3 billion, and $1.1 billion, respectively.
Here are the world’s 22 Arab Billionaires.