Forbes ranks GCC's property, construction tycoons

Saudi Arabia's Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud has topped the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List as the Middle East's richest real estate magnate

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud. Photo: Getty.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud. Photo: Getty.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud has topped the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List as the Middle East's richest real estate tycoon.

A member of the Saudi royal family, Al Saud is one of three businessmen from the region with significant interests in real estate worth an estimated $US1 billion or more.

According to Forbes, Al Saud’s net worth stands at $22.7bn – placing him 34th on the billionaires list, and he is currently chief executive officer of Kingdom Holding Company, which invests in hotels and real estate. Global real estate network Lamudi said that Alsaud’s hotel management companies include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts and Fairmont Raffles Holding. He has invested in some of the world's most recognisable ultra-luxury hotels, owning the five-star Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and part of London's famous Savoy Hotel.

Majid Al Futtaim of the UAE is the region’s second richest property investor. With a net worth of $6.2bn which puts him 230th on the Forbes list, Al Futtaim runs one of the largest commercial property developers in the region. His Majid Al Futtaim Group currently operates in 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. His property portfolio includes 17 shopping malls and 11 hotels across the MENA region. His retail developments attract 175 million shoppers per year. With new projects announced in Eqypt this past week, Al Futtaim’s interests in the region continue to grow.

Bahaa Hariri, Lebanon, has a net worth of $2.3bn, making him the third richest man in his home country and 810th in the world. According to Lamudi, Hariri is son of assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and is a key property developer in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

As the founder of the Horizon Group, Hariri is working with the Jordanian government on commercial and residential development in central Amman. In 2014, a $US423 million project called The Boulevard, located in Amman's downtown district Abdali, was unveiled. Other projects currently under development include the upscale mixed-use Verdun Gardens site and Place Verdun mall, both in Beirut.

The richest man in construction globally is Pallonji Mistry, chairman of India-based construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group. The group owns an 18% stake in Tata Sons, the holding company for the $103 billion (revenues) Tata Group. Mistry's net worth stands at $16.3bn, while his sons are also considerably influential in India. Son Cyrus is chairman of the Tata conglomerate which owns performer is Tata Consultancy Services, now India's most valuable company; Shapoor, runs the family's legacy arm which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year – and he is also a member of the board of Malaysian offshore oilfield services provider Bumi Armada.

American tech guru Bill Gates still tops the Forbes list overall with an accumulated net worth of $79.2bn

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