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Sun 18 Dec 2011 11:47 AM

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Rich pickings

We may be facing the greatest economic crisis in history, but that hasn’t stopped the world’s richest Arabs from making even more money during 2011

Rich pickings
Rich pickings
Rich pickings
Rich pickings
Rich pickings

Welcome to the Arabian Business rich list 2011, our annual countdown of the world’s 50 richest Arabs.

It may have been another tough year in business, with fears of a double dip recession in Europe causing uncertainty in the Middle East. Coupled with the Arab Spring, the last twelve months have continued to be challenging at the very least.

Not that this has affected our super rich. As our special issue shows, the world’s 50 richest Arabs are now collectively worth $256.67bn, a rise of 4.76 percent on the previous year. The average wealth of the top 50 now stands at $5.13bn.

But while the rise in wealth is considerable given the economic circumstances, it is far less than in previous years. Between 2009 and 2010, the top 50 saw their wealth rise 18.3 percent.

So who is on the list? Our top three remain in unchanged positions from last year, though each with increased wealth. Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed remains top of the charts for the eight consecutive year with $21.3bn, followed by Mohammed Al Jaber ($12.75bn), the Olayan family ($12.4bn) and Issam Alzahid ($10.7bn).

The figures for three of the top four in our list have been verified by their private offices and accountants.

There are eight new entries in this year’s list, the highest being Jordan’s legendary Shoman family, who enter the list at number 24 with $4.2bn. Qatar’s Hussein Alfardan makes his first appearance on the list at number 30, with $3.42bn.

Just two females feature in our list — Lubna Olayan  in third place and Nayla Hayek, a new entry at number 38 with brother Nick, who have $3.1bn.

And if you fancy getting on the list, well it appears you need to up your game. Five years ago, just $700m would have guaranteed you a slot. This year, the entry level is at $2bn, its highest ever.

So did you make the grade? Turn the page to find out…

*Rich List Researchers:

Anil Bhoyrul, Ed Attwood, Hassan Abdul Rahman, Anees Dayoub, Joanne Bladd, Will Milner, Claire Ferris-Lay, Shane McGinley, Elizabeth Broomhall, Sara Scott, Fawzia Yasmineh, Samer Batter.

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