Four Arabs unseated from Middle East billionaires list
The US-based business magazine said the 2019 list includes 21,53 billionaires, but Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Bassam Alghanim, Fawzi al-Kharafi and Mohannad al-Kharafi were not among this year's billionaires.
Forbes reported that 2019 has been a tough year for even world richest people due to economic climate difficulties and weak global stock markets.
These conditions took their toll on most of Middle East's billionaires as well, who saw their fortunes shrinking by 5 percent at $191.3 billion from $201.4 billon in 2014, with only seven billionaires being able to increase their reaches.
Lebanese-Mexican Carlos Slim topped this year Middle East's list as the richest man in the region, with a $64-billion, from $67.1 billion in 2018.
Slim controls Mexican telecommunications corporation and has been its Chairman Emeritus since 2005.
Second in the list was Joseph Safra, the richest banker in the world, whose fortune stood at $25.2 billion, with an increase of $1.7 billion.
Syrian entrepreneur Ghassan Aboud, founder of the UAE- headquartered Ghassan Aboud Group, was the prominent newcomer in 2019’s list.
Aboud - whose group invests in diverse sectors, including autocars, hospitality, logistics, real estate and retail - increased his fortune to $1.75 billion, according to the financial ranking.
The list, which did not include any Saudi billionaires for two years in row, reported that eight billionaires of Indian origin live in the region, with a fortune of $22.9 billion in total, from $24.3 billion in 2018.
The Indian billionaires are spearheaded by real estate tycoon and Lulu hypermarket owner Yusuff Ali, whose capital totaled $4.7 billion, from $5 billion last year.
Saudi Arabia had the highest number of billionaires on this list until a number of leading business leaders were detained by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in what has been described as a "shakedown".