Would you believe that 10 of the wealthiest people in the world are actually Kings? Even more surprisingly, 6 of those 10 were voted in rather than inheriting their royal titles. These kings have something else in common — their kingdoms are tiny. The smallest country per capita is Monaco, with a population of just over 30,000. On our list, you will find a number of European countries including Monaco and Liechtenstein which have small populations but rich economies due to tourism and exports of goods like watches or wine. Certain properties such as oil reserves can also be attributed to some countries' wealth; for example, Saudi Arabia's economy relies on its vast oil reserves. It is also interesting to note that some of these kings don't actually rule their own countries, but rather they inherited the title. Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn is considered the world's most hardworking monarch as he never takes a day off from his duties. So, let's take a look at the richest kings in the world!
10. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar Net Worth: $2.1 billion - $1.2 billion
No. 10 on the list of richest Kings is the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He succeeds his father who was a former Emir from 1995 to 2013. Tamim’s net worth is estimated to be between $2.1 billion and $1.2 billion, making him one of the richest men in the Middle East. His wealth is estimated to be generated from Qatar's vast oil and natural gas reserves, at least $120 billion in net foreign assets, and from the country's economic growth since the mid-2000s.
9. Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, King of Spain (abdicated in 2014) Net Worth: $2.3 billion - $2 billion
Technically, Juan abdicated in 2014 and passed the mantle to his son but, in the absence of an up to date value of the current king (Felipe VI), “King” Juan Carlos is the closest we have. The current monarch likely has similar wealth. Juan Carlos I was King of Spain since the death of Francisco Franco in 1975. With a net worth between $2.3 billion and $2 billion, Juan Carlos is one of the richest men in Europe.
8. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Grand Duke of Luxembourg Net Worth: $4 billion
Henri is Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small European country that is best known as the home of the European Court of Justice. The duchy's other major economic activity involves steel, chemicals, and electronics manufacturing. The Grand Duke's fortune was made in part by his family's holdings in ArcelorMittal (one of the world's largest steel companies), as well as in SBM Offshore (an oil and gas service provider) and Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (a bank). His personal net worth stands at $4 billion, which makes him one of the richest men in Europe.
7. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Emir Sheikh of Dubai Net Worth: $4 billion
No. 7 on the list of richest Arab men is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. He is considered the driving force behind Dubai and has vast business interests in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. With a personal fortune of $4 billion, he has a stake in numerous companies, including Dubai World (worth $4 billion), DP World (worth $2 billion), Danube Flotilla (worth $2 billion), and others. He also owns various hotels around the world such as The Burj Al Arab, but he is perhaps best known for his role as an effective businessman in the financial sector since his reign with Dubai Financial Market started in 1971.
6. Mohammed VI, King of Morocco Net Worth: $5.7 billion - $2.1 billion
Mohammed VI is the current King of Morocco. He was born in 1957 and ascended to the throne in 1999. He is also the founder of the Justice and Development Party, a party with Islamist tendencies which came to power in 2011. Mohammed VI recently embarked on an ambitious plan, known as ‘Casablanca Valley’, to build a new city containing an international airport, a Formula 1 racetrack, sports venues, and hotels among others. His net worth is estimated at $5.7 billion by Forbes (2015) while Business Insider estimates it to be closer to $2.1 billion.
5. Hans Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein Net Worth: $5 billion - $3.5 billion
There is a dispute over the net worth of Prince Hans-Adam II. Forbes lists his net worth as $5 billion (2011) while other sites claim his net worth to be closer to $3.5 billion. Prince Hans Adam II is the head of state of Liechtenstein and the ruler of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. His official title is His Serene Highness The Prince of Liechtenstein but he goes by 'Your Serene Highness' in Liechtenstein, where he also has a residence at Schloss Vaduz. He also owns a residence in Austria which he uses as a summer residence. He was educated in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and England. He assumed the hereditary throne of Liechtenstein upon the death of his father in 1989. As the ruler of Liechtenstein he serves as legal guardian of each child as they come of age (at 18), a duty he takes very seriously. Prince Hans Adam II is married to Princess Marie-Aglae. The couple has four children: Hereditary Prince Alois (b. 1977), Hereditary Princess Sophie (b. 1979), Prince Nikolaus (b. 1983), and Prince Georg (b. 1986). His wife Princess Marie-Aglae has no official title.
4. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, Emir of Abu Dhabi Net Worth: $15.0 billion
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the United Arab Emirates. He was also the Emir of Abu Dhabi from 2004 to 2014. He is a member of the Abu Dhabi branch of the Nahyan family. The President's net worth comes from his father who served as ruler of Abu Dhabi for over 50 years before him. The President has assets in oil, gas, and investments including real estate and financial services. One of his largest holdings is an investment company, Aabar Investments PJS. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has a son and three daughters. His son Tamim bin Hamad Al Nahyan is the current Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and effective ruler of the Emirate.
3. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia Net Worth: $18 billion
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the King of Saudi Arabia. He is the youngest child of King Abdulaziz Al Saud, who founded Saudi Arabia in 1932, and his third wife Hassa bint Ahmad al Sudairi, from the powerful Al Sudairi clan. As Crown Prince, Salman was responsible for education policy and was a high-profile member of the House of Saud. Salman also regularly represented his father at regional conferences and on state visits before ascending to the throne in 2015. Salman has accumulated a vast amount of wealth through his position as monarch of Saudi Arabia; he owns real estate around the world including a luxury yacht worth $500 million named after himself. He also owns over 60 percent of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company.
2. Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei Net Worth: $28 billion - $20 billion
Hassanal Bolkiah is the absolute monarch of Brunei. Hassanal Bolkiah is a member of the House of Bolkiah which has ruled Brunei since the 1400s. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world. He has made billions from oil and gas. He owns companies in banking, construction, and development, oil and gas, property development, shipping, and hotel management. He also owns an extensive art collection. The Sultan's personal wealth is estimated to be around $10 billion; however, Time reported his net worth was closer to $20 billion in 2015 when it was still under investigation. Hassanal Bolkiah is married to two wives, several issued children.
1. Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand Net Worth : $43 billion - $30 billion
Vajiralongkorn is currently Thailand's King and has served as head of the country since 2016. Before he became King, he was the crown prince after his father had abdicated in favor of his son. Vajiralongkorn is known for being a 'hands-on' king. He owns some 200 companies including hotels, energy infrastructure, diversified financial investments, and agricultural holdings. His wealth comes from the wealth amassed by his family's reign over Thailand. He is known as a hardworking monarch who always arrives at his palace before daybreak and stays until breakfast time despite having a relatively small palace staff compared to other kings. The King has many residences all over the world including a palace for his son and daughter on the grounds of Chitralada Palace. Vajiralongkorn is married to his third wife and they have a daughter together.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson