Country: Saudi Arabia
Wealth: 7.5 Billion
Two years ago, the Binladin Group won deals to construct Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Tower and the expansion of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Between then the contracts are worth over $20bn. Adding to those deals was a bumper contract to help build the first phase of the Haramain railway link.
The family fortune is based on a construction business that paid immense dividends when decades ago it was awarded contracts for major renovations in Makkah and other religious buildings in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Founded by Mohammed Binladin, the family also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for the royal family and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Salem, Mohammed’s eldest son, ran the empire left behind by his father upon his death in 1968 until he died when his private plane crashed in Texas in 1988.
Thirteen of Mohammed's sons sit on the board of the family’s firm — the most prominent being Bakr, Hassan, Islam and Yehya.