Last year, the combined wealth of the world’s 50 wealthiest Arabs stayed almost exactly the same as it had done in 2011. This came as something of a surprise, given the economic strength of the Gulf region – where the majority of our entries are based – and the signs of recovery witnessed elsewhere around the globe. Fast forward to this year and it’s abundantly clear that the largesse accumulated by the planet’s richest Arabs is back on an upward march. In total, the names you are about to see over the next few pages are worth a combined $266.21bn, a 3.5 percent increase on the year before. To put that figure into context, these 50 names alone are worth as much as the entire economies of Egypt or Hong Kong.
Much of that rise has been pushed by our number-one entry, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud. Over the last ten years of the Rich List, he has been the top-placed figure each year, and if anything the gap is widening. The Kingdom Holding chairman grew his wealth by just over 20 percent in the course of 2013 – helped by a canny investment in Twitter that has paid off in the billions after the social media firm went public in November.
Elsewhere, Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber also had a stellar year, with his wealth of $12.66bn a huge rise on the year before. Last year’s second-highest entry, the Olayan Family, has been pushed down to number three.