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Mon 2 Apr 2007 10:12 AM

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Forbes Rich List overlooks 15 Arab billionaires

The most respected Rich List in America fails to unearth some of the Middle East's wealthiest families.

The Forbes Rich List, which was published in the US last week, has uncovered 30 billionaires from the Arab world, contradicting the


Arabian Business Rich List

, which uncovered 45 billionaires in the region.

The richest Arab on both lists was Lebanese entrepreneur, now living in Mexico, Carlos Slim Helu, who was credited with a fortune of $49 billion by Forbes, considerably higher than the $34.6 billion attributed to him by Arabian Business.

Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal al Saud was the second richest Arab on both lists with a fortune of $20.3 billion, up slightly on the $28 billion that Arabian Business discovered. The difference could be attributed to the four months that have passed since the Arabian Business magazine research was concluded.

Several prominent names, particularly from the UAE, were missing from the Forbes list despite their wealth comfortably clearing the $1 billion barrier that was required to feature.

Abulaziz Al Ghurair ($8 billion), Abdullah Al Futtaim ($3 billion), Khalaf Al Habtoor ($2.5 billion) and Mahdi Al Tajir ($1 billion) made the list, but Arabian Business also discovered several other billionaires in the UAE including the Gargash family with $5 billion, Hussein Sajwani with $2.1 billion, the Al Tayer family with $1.2 billion, and the Al Rostamani family with $1.3 billion.

Commenting on the difference between the lists, Arabian Business magazine's Group Editor Anil Bhoyrul conceded that measuring the wealth of private individuals, particularly in the Middle East is not an exact science.

However, he added, "I do think that Forbes has missed a considerable number of important wealthy individuals and families from this region. Perhaps they'll give us a call next year to compare notes."

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Ryan Rowe 13 years ago

Before criticising Forbes' reporting, maybe you should improve your own game first:  1) What relevance does SABIC have with this article? (see text description under the photo of various currencies)  2) Alwaleed's .3 billion is not up slightly from billion, it's down? Maybe you meant billion?  3) What kind of silly remark is that for the Editor of your group to be making?  Happy to hear your comments.