Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the CEO and founder of Kingdom Holding, remains the Middle East’s richest with a fortune of $30 billion, according to the latest Wealth-X’s Middle East Rich List.
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia comes second on the list with a fortune of $19.8 billion.
The other three people on the top five ranking of the list are: Khalifa Bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE -$18.2 billion; Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the UAE- $17.7 billion; and Joseph Safra of Lebanon – $15.4 billion.
The combined wealth of the top 10 Middle Eastern billionaires on the Wealth-X list is $144.8 billion. Saudi Arabian tycoons claimed five of the top 10 spots, while four billionaires from the United Arab Emirates appear on the top 10 list.
There are 157 billionaires in the Middle East with a combined net worth of $354 billion according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013. There are 64 Saudi-based billionaires with a total net worth $204 billion, followed by United Arab Emirates with 37 billionaires ($45 billion); and Israel with 17 ($29 billion).
Prince Alwaleed, 59, has 95-percent control of Kingdom Holding, an investment services company, it said. Alwaleed is also Citigroup’s largest individual shareholder and the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation after the Murdoch family, owns the Four Seasons Georges V Hotel in Paris (for which he spent $400 million to acquire and renovate) and part of New York’s legendary Plaza Hotel. He also holds major stakes in dozens of other Western companies through Kingdom Holding.
Renowned for his business acumen, Alwaleed has been called the “Saudi Warren Buffett”, Wealth-X said.