Business and Finance
The Richest Saudis In The World Today
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is internationally recognized for its valuable natural resources, possessing the second largest oil reserves in the world and the sixth largest natural gas reserves. The abundance of valuable natural commodities means that this once poor nation is now the nineteenth richest country in the world, controlling about a fifth of the entire world’s petroleum reserves.
Until the 1930′s the populace of Saudi Arabia was largely nomadic and it was essentially an agricultural economy. Since the discovery of its energy resources, the country has developed rapidly – although some economists cite an over-reliance on this one industry, with oil revenue accounting for about 90% of the Saudi export revenue. However, related industries such as construction, banking, telecommunications, and cement have boomed on the strength of the petroleum business. Many of the entrepreneurs who recognized the chance to capitalise on the petroleum industry have created million- and even billion-dollar empires. As their fortunes have grown these Saudi business man have branched into diverse industries and many have expanded their business outside their home country; the extremely wealthy Saudis on this list are major players in developing economies such as Africa and Asia.
During the 1970′s the notion of the “Wealthy Arab” become a pop culture trope. The 1973 oil crisis meant that many oil-importing countries such as the US and the UK suffered economically, while the economy of countries like Saudi Arabia, who had independent reserves, were only strengthened. This led to a level of public intrigue, and a growing fascination with the immensely rich Saudi Arabian business men often seen jet setting to London’s exclusive Mayfair district or the exotic beaches of Monaco.
Many of the beneficiaries of the oil wealth are members of the Saudi Royal Family. Others such as the Al Rajhi brothers come from more humble beginnings – but no matter how they started, all of the men on this list now possess huge riches. Here you can find the ten richest Saudis and how they made their fortunes.
#10 Saleh Abdullah Kamel – Net Worth $2 Billion
Saleh Abdullah Kamel, hailed as the Father of Contemporary Islamic Finance, is the owner and founder of Dallah Albaraka. The business has interests in food production, real estate and banking. In 2012 Saleh Abdullah Kamel put one of his subsidiaries – Dallah Health – on the market while still retaining a 52% shareholding. His company is also involved in the medical industry and manages a Riyadh hospital. Kamel is a diverse businessman, with involvement in developing an urban area and mosque in Mecca as well as a light rail system.