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Sat 14 Dec 2013 02:52 AM

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Middle East billionaires hold $354bn fortune

Top earners hold higher percentage of total wealth than any other region in the world - study

Middle East billionaires hold $354bn fortune

The Middle East’s billionaires, with a combined net worth of $354 billion, hold a higher percentage of total wealth than in any other region in the world, according to findings from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013.

Forty percent of the Middle East’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) wealth is being held by the region’s 157 billionaires, compared to 28 percent in Europe, 22 percent in North America and 18 percent in Asia.

Billionaires in Saudi Arabia control more than 70 percent of the country’s wealth, while their counterparts in the UAE hold 24 percent.

Saudi Arabia leads the region with the most billionaires (64), and 25 of these individuals are based in the country’s capital, Riyadh, according to the report.

The total wealth of Saudi billionaires ($204 billion) is more than half the combined net worth of their counterparts in the Middle East, according to data from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, the first-ever global study on the billionaire population.

The report shows that there are 157 billionaires among the 5,300 UHNW individuals (defined as those with net assets of $30 million and above) in the Middle East.

This makes the Middle East the region with the fourth most billionaires – after Europe (766), North America (552) and Asia (508), but ahead of Latin America (111), Africa (42) and Oceania (34).

Middle Eastern billionaires increased their wealth in the last year by $39 billion (12.4 percent) with five additional billionaires (3.3 percent).

Last month, a report by WealthInsight said the number of millionaires in the UAE is predicted to grow by 13.5 percent by the end of 2013.

The study forecasts that the country will boast a total of 54,600 millionaires by year-end, erasing the declines of the past five years.

The report said that by 2017 the number of millionaires will increase 34 percent to 69,000, with their wealth rising 48 percent to $269bn.

In 2012, the UAE had 48,300 millionaires, excluding their primary residence, WealthInsight said, as well as 625 multi-millionaires.

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Curious Human 6 years ago

What would happen if they all gave the poor only couple of billion dollars???

Anon 6 years ago

All that greed in the hands of a few families whilst the arab spring simmers all around them.

Cornelius Babangan 6 years ago

Our best wishes to the billionaires of the Middle East from the Philippines. We pray that your wealth increases even more.
God bless

HDee 6 years ago

It's their money , so we cannot have a say or any comment on it !

But, if these billionaires make a plan and set-up a Banking system , deposit some of their money there, they can distribute and feed several million hungry mouths in the World from the interest got from the deposits !

May ALLAH Bless them for their efforts.

Anon 6 years ago

This article couldn't quantify any more explicitly misery of the entire world specially the muslim world

khalid 6 years ago

havent we been reading a bit too much about wealth, billionaires and such on this website lately....there is so much more happening around the world AB...please...we know this is a 'business' site but arent there more 'business' issues than just counting wealth?

Peter Williams 6 years ago

hi every one,,we come here with our comments on this Billionaire subject but reality what is our,,,catch,,,,if there is free milk and honey in Arabic world ,is there any one generous enogh to take us throught this gate of this Billionaire,,,come on guys,,, proved it your self,,,,, Action speaks louder than words,,,,