Wealth: 3.5 Billion
Maha A Mikati is founder and chairman of M1 Group. His wealth is rooted in his early delving into construction and engineering in the UAE in the 1960s, where he developed a diversified business along various industries including telecommunications, retail, energy, fashion, real estate and aviation.
Mikati, 68, was born and raised in Beirut attending International College, and later the American University of Beirut where he studied engineering after which he founded Arabian Construction Company. ACC carried out contracting and engineering projects in the UAE growing to become one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East. In 1978 he moved back to Lebanon with his family, to run his business from there. In the midst of the country's civil war he along with his younger brother Najib set up Investcom and entered into the telecommunications industry installing and operating satellite communications systems in the country for businesses to get around the country's dilapidated infrastructure. Investcom went on to become the first privately owned company to install a mobile network in the Middle East. In 2005, the company listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange, and on the Dubai International Financial Exchange.