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Revealed: These are UAE's 19 richest people, and control Dh206b wealth

Revealed: These are UAE's 19 richest people, and control Dh206b wealth

The UAE is home to 24 billionaires, the highest in the Middle East and North Africa region, controlling $69.2 billion (Dh254 billion) wealth, according to the latest Hurun Global Rich List.

Among the richest people of the UAE, seven are UAE nationals who control $27.1 billion wealth, while the remaining 17 are expatriates holding $42.1 billion assets. Majid Al Futtaim is the richest person in the UAE with $8.9 billion assets, followed by $7.2 billion wealth held by Khalaf Habtoor & family, whose wealth grew by mammoth 91 per cent. Third-ranked MA Yusuffali, owner of Lulu Group, saw his wealth jump 14 per cent to $5.2 billion.

The fortune of UAE's 11 billionaires shrank while eight saw their wealth growing last year, reflecting impact of the slower overall economic growth witnessed last year.

The 37-year-old Divyank Turakhia of media.net, who owns $1.9 billion worth of assets, and 40-year-old Khaleefa Butti bin Omair Al Muhairi of NMC Health, with $1.2 billion assets, are the youngest billionaires of the UAE. Mashreq Bank owner Saif Al Ghurair and family are the oldest billionaires in the UAE, controlling $1.2 billion worth of assets. Al Ghurair passed away in August 2019 at the age of 95.

According to Hurun Global report, the UAE is ranked 20th worldwide for having the highest number of billionaires. Dubai is home to 18 billionaires, ranking the city 25th among global cities which have the highest number of ultra-high net worth individuals.

Saudi Arabia, ranked 30th, is the only other country from the Arab world listed among the top 30 countries with 10 billionaires in 2019.

Globally, there are 2,470 billionaires from 67 countries and from 1,931 companies. Their total wealth decreased by $950 billion or 9 per cent to $9.6 trillion. It was a difficult year for billionaires as 430 dropped off the list, which is a record number.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos retained his position as the world's richest person with $140 billion wealth. Other top 10 richest people in the world are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Bernard Arnault, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu & family, Armancio Ortega, Sergey Brin, Mukesh Ambani and Larry Page.

India lost 28 billionaires. The automobile, financial services and jewellery sector lost 8, 7 and 5 billionaires respectively, followed by pharmaceuticals and FMCG, who lost 4 each.

"The world today has just over 6,000 dollar billionaires, assuming that for every one we found, we have probably missed at least one if not more, particularly from the Gulf states. While some go to extraordinary lengths to conceal their wealth, for the most part, billionaires just prefer to be discreet, to prevent competitors muscling in on a good business or to protect their families," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.

Rupert Hoogewerf said, "Poor stock market performances and an appreciating dollar were the main reasons for this year's record drop in billionaires. Despite the strong dollar and its tax cuts, the USA added only 13 billionaires, but made it harder for the rest of the world to make the cut."

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