Forbes has released its 36th World’s Billionaires ranking for 2022, featuring the world’s 2,668 richest people—87 down from 2021. This year saw 236 first-time additions to the list and 329 people who lost their billionaire status.
The world’s richest Arabs largely remain the same as 2021. This year there are 21 Arab billionaires worldwide compared to 22 in 2021. Combined, the group has seen their aggregate fortune decline fractionally to $52.9 billion in 2022, compared to $53.4 billion a year earlier. Emirati tycoon Majid Al Futtaim, who passed away in December 2021, was the only drop off in the 2022 list. Saudi billionaires were excluded from Forbes’ World’s Billionaires 2022 ranking for the fifth consecutive year, says a local Arabic daily.
The annual list features 21 Arab billionaires, who are collectively worth $52.9 billion. The world’s richest Arab is still Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris, with a net worth of $7.7 billion. Egyptian and Lebanese billionaires make up more than 57% of the ranking with six entries each.
Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris is still the wealthiest Arab worldwide, with a net worth of $7.7 billion—$600 million less than last year, making him the biggest loser among the Arab billionaires this year. This is mainly due to a slump in the share price of sportswear maker Adidas, in which Sawiris owns a 6% stake.
Algeria’s only billionaires, Issad Rebrab & family, are the world’s second-richest Arabs, worth $5.1 billion. Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha are the biggest gainers this year, having both seen their wealth increase by $700 million. They each have a net worth of $3.2 billion.
Egypt and Lebanon, with six billionaires each, have the highest number of billionaires in the region. The six Egyptians have a combined net worth of $18.3 billion. They are the Mansour brothers Mohammed, Youssef and Yasseen; the two Sawiris brothers Nassef and Naguib; and Mohammad Al Fayed, the 93-year-old former owner of luxury department store Harrods.
The six Lebanese billionaires have a net worth of $12.6 billion. They include the two Mikati brothers, and the three brothers of former billionaire and prime minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri — Bahaa, Ayman, and Fahed Hariri.
The UAE has three billionaires on the 2022 list — Husain Sajwani, Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & family, and Abdulla Al Futtaim & family. Whereas Morocco and Qatar have two billionaires each, with Moroccan prime minister Aziz Akhannouch & family and banking tycoon Othman Benjelloun & family, representing Morocco, and Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani and Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, both members of the Qatari royal family, representing Qatar.
Globally, no one got richer than Elon Musk, who tops the World’s Billionaires list for the first time ever. The world’s richest person has a net worth of $219 billion on the back of a 33% jump in the share price of his electric vehicle maker Tesla. Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos, who fell to No. 2 for the first time in four years due to a 3% drop in Amazon stock and increased charitable giving.