William Gates III has built an empire worth $56 billion around Microsoft. It’s the thirteenth year Gates has been the world’s richest man. The Harvard dropout now has more than half of his net worth is invested outside Microsoft. Strange fact about Gates: he lives in Medina in the United States, the Arabic word for ‘city’, and the name of one of Islam’s holiest cities in Saudi Arabia.
Warren Buffet, worth $52bn, plays bridge with Bill Gates, and last June announced he had earmarked the majority of his Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity. From a newspaper delivery boy, to filing his first tax return at 13, Buffet went on to study under Benjamin Graham at Columbia, where he learned to hunt for undervalued stocks. Strange fact about Buffet: He married his longtime girlfriend Astrid Menks on his 76th birthday last August.
Carlos Slim Helu is a 67-year old Mexican citizen worth $49 billion, giving him the bronze of third richest man in the world. Last year, he topped the World’s Richest Arabs, due to his Lebanese/ Ottoman Turkish heritage. This year, Arabian Business has excluded him from their listings in the belief that his heritage does not strictly define him as Arab. Here he is seen speaking during the World Water Forum in March 2006 in Mexico City.
Swedish citizen Ingvar Kamprad is the fourth richest man in the world at $33 billion, and resides Switzerland. Eighty years old now, he is the Ikea King, the famous retailer which sells hip designs for the cost conscious. Strange fact about Kamprad: Avoids wearing suits, flies economy class, frequents cheap restaurants and says his home is furnished mostly with his own Ikea products.
Indian citizen Lakshmi Mittal is the fifth richest man in the world at $32 billion and is currently the UK’s wealthiest resident, living in London. Fifty-six years old, he heads Arcelor-Mittal, an industry behemoth that now accounts for 10% of world's production and which he personally owns 44%. Strange fact about Mittal: He threw a $55 million wedding party in France for his daughter Vanisha, featuring both Kylie Minogue and Bollywood stars in tow.