There are 30 billionaires in the Arab world with a collective wealth worth of $125.3 billion, Forbes in its 2007 list of the world’s richest people has announced. The world’s total number of billionaires totalled 946 with a collective net worth of $3.5 trillion, a significant increase from the 2006 figures of 793 billionaires with a collective net worth of $2.6 trillion.

The 34th issue of Forbes Arabia, published in April 2007, also reports that the number of Arab billionaires increased 25 per cent in a single year, compared to a 19.3 per cent increase of billionaires worldwide, however the collective net worth of Arab billionaires only increased by 15.4 per cent, compared to a worldwide increase of 35 per cent.

Saudi Arabia offered 13 out of the 30 total billionaires, and Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud topped the Saudi rankings with a net worth exceeding $20.3 billion. Seven Arab newcomers debuted in the 2007 world’s richest list.
Bahrain Tribune

Yeah, okay. Good for them.

But, if you remove the ones from royal families or their entourage, how many would be self made?

Put another way, Bill Gates is worth fifteen Arab billionaires… does that tell you something?

Any other questions?


  1. naddooi

    Oh oh oh, so do they have like a list with names, addresses photos and a little profile? hehehe

    Is there like a “Forbes Arabia Most Eligible… Male” ??? (note i did not say bachelor, as they can have more than one wife! lol)

    But on a more serious note, I think the majority of these “new” billionaires are probably the result of currency fluctuations! They’ll have investments in Europe, and with a stronger Euro, they are suddenly a billionaire and no longer a millionaire… so not only are they not self made, they are pretty much a result of exchange rate circumstance! lol

  2. Redbelt

    I might be wrong, but I haven’t witnessed anyone who became rich by himself in the GCC. You gotta be rich or a royal to be more rich. Who can name me someone that rose from normal middle class or below to Bently-as-a-second-car status?
    They can become well off, but I don’t think Just anyone can be a millionaire or billionaire here with a mere thought like it’s possible else where.

  3. Eyad the Great

    Not only none of them are self made, none of them have real investment in the region, nor they will ever do.
    the more you research you see how much money is going to the states, Europe, far east, India, and now Russia and east Europe, I mean what business does a big Islamic bank has in buying a fried chicken chain in the states (arcapita’s acquisition of churchels chicken).
    But thats all nice and dandy as long as its legit money, well, sometimes its.

    and for those of you wondering, Yes, Mi7tar, Mi7tar 7ady haha.

  4. JK

    let’s hope we get a self-made billionair by 2010. In Bahrain!

    I guess i’ll be the one. I guess I’ll be the richest in da world ever.. hahah

  5. Finlandi

    Hate to burst your bubble JK, but with the way things work in Bahrain i dont think anyone will make the list honestly….

  6. Anonymous

    In Saudi Olayan, and Al Rajhi, In Dubai Al Habtoor, actually there are a lot who made it from nothing. In Kuwait too. Actually even in Bahrain we have or had half billionaires who made it from nothing. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Bahrain: 15 Arab Billionaires Equal Gates

  8. Hamad

    In my opinion to be rich you need specific skills not luck only . In modern nations you can see lots of training center that help you to be rich by developing the necessary skills + many books written in this topic while in our part of the world if you tell some one attend training to make you ready to be rich he will tell you (U Must be infected with MAD Cows) .

    I think our culture not helping us a lot as we believed every thing should be ready made by gad to us or we have no choice but to live the life we got .

    Another important factor is our business and economics context which seriously put lots of limiting factors for personal growth . If you grow you could be threat for some people in place of thinking its an opportunity for economics boost .

    Freedom in all its dimensions is the solution to have more rich people in our part of the world .


  9. Bahraini and proud

    I some how agree with finlandi, because i just don’t see a bright future for our nation with capitalism………. disregard what i believe in i just think that we should focus on education and importing others knowledge and applying few changes to the mentalty of alot of our people ( stop the labelling ( we are not items in the great supermaket of life))…

    i wait for the day when my ears will hear the words “we are bahraini and we are proud”.

    who needs the money when you can invade space the first and be the best in nuclare technology??????

    slava u nas strana = glory to our country

  10. F

    There are several people who have created their own wealth in Bahrain.

    They are not ‘self-made’ as one will require lots of people
    to do various tasks, to generate the income that is required to
    do accumulate that much wealth.

    These people tend live the life that they have worked hard to achieve.

    However, they also prefer their privacy and tend to keep a low profile.

  11. Sara

    What Mahmood means by “self-made” is that they didn’t come from families with money, use individuals who have connections (wasta) or hold government posts to gain their wealth, not necessarily that these people worked alone without employees etc.

  12. F


    Thank you for your response. I concur with you about Mahmood’s
    stance – self-made without inheritance, royalty, wasta, gov’t posts, etc.

    I was just stating that ‘self-made’ really does include – employees. In addition, it also includes connections, opportunities, deals, hard work and good luck. 🙂

  13. Joker

    Yes I do have a question. So the collective wealth of jet sets rose from 2.6 to 3.5 trillion… arab billionaires increased in value and volume.. and every day in the news paper I read about how GCC economies are experiencing an unprecidented boom… Can anyone tell me why my salary increase from 2006 to 2007 was 4%?

  14. CerebralWaste

    A 4% raise isn’t bad Joker. It is above the rate of inflation though I do agree you are worth much much more!

    BTW Where have you been hiding of late? :ninja:

  15. Aliandra

    Interesting at how we’re tallying billionaires now, since a million dollars isn’t really that much anymore.

  16. Post
  17. Adrian

    I cant get why people want to be billionair, im happy with the small amout of money i have :w00t:
    money doesnt make me happy

  18. fas

    the money like gold he is in every where but you have to dig to found it . after you found it you cant hold you self to spend it .
    so becerfull with hem .$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :devil: :angel:

Comments are closed.