Although Dubai is a small town, it is the 20th most expensive town in the world and the second most expensive city in the region behind London. Dubai is one of the most prosperous and technologically advanced cities around the globe. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a wealthy country situated on the Arabian Peninsula, with its major cities, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, ranking number 11 and 10 respectively, for the highest GDP capita worldwide. The country is also located near major trade routes along the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf. Dubai’s high standards of living and growing economy are among the main factors contributing to its people’s wealth. In this article, we will take a closer look at the ten richest people in Dubai.
10. Saif Al Ghurair – $1.7 Billion
Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair was an Emirati billionaire businessman and the founder of Mashreq Bank, one of the country’s most successful companies. Mashreq Bank was founded in 1961 and has a loyal customer base of more than 500,000. Ghurair is also the CEO of the Dubai-based Al-Ghurair Group, one of the largest manufacturing and real estate companies in the United Arab Emirates. Al Ghurair was born in 1924 and is the eldest of the five sons of Ahmed Al Ghurair.
In 2006, he opened the company Taghleef Industries by merging Dubai PolyFilm with AKPP in Oman and Technopak in Egypt. As a result, Taghleef Industries became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of polypropene films, food packaging, and lamination. As the 412th richest person worldwide, Saif Al Ghurair has a net worth of $1.7 billion, which can be greatly attributed to his several investments in different companies. He also owns the major stakes in Emaar Properties, which he co-founded with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Unfortunately, Saif Al Ghurair died on 27th August 2019 and was buried in Dubai in Qusais Cemetery.
9. Hussain Sajwani – $2.1 Billion
Hussain Sahwani is an Emirati billionaire businessman and the CEO of DAMAC Properties, which is a real estate development company. Sajwani is the eldest son of five children. Both his parents were entrepreneurs; his father was a trader selling shirts, pens, watches, and other goods imported from china. Hussain’s success story began after leaving school at fourteen to work as a mechanic. He later obtained a government scholarship and attended a medical college in Baghdad. Sajwani started his career in the finance department of Abu Dhabi Gas Industries in 1981. He launched DAMAC Properties in 2002, which has grown to be one of the largest property development firms in the Middle East. Since its establishment, the company has delivered more than 27,000 homes.
In October 2011, DAMAC Properties launched DAMAC Maison Hotels & Resorts. Hussain Sajwani was honored with the title Real Estate Legend at the Arabian Business Real Estate Awards and the Real Estate Business Leader of the Year at the Gulf Business Awards. According to Flashy Dubai, Hussain has a net worth of $2.1 billion and is listed among the 100 most globally influential Arabs by Gulf Business. In 2018, as the CEO of DICO International, he signed an international hospitality partnership with the famous global fashion house Roberto Cavalli Group to re-design the AYKON Hotels. In June 2021, Hussain Sajwani resigned as the Chairman of DAMAC Properties and agreed to privatize the company.
8. Abdulla Futtaim – $2.5 Billion
Abdulla Al Futtaim is an Emirati billionaire businessman and founder of the Al-Futtaim Group, a large conglomerate based in Dubai, UAE. Al-Futtaim Group employs more than 44,000 people and mainly operates in divisions such as; electronics, industries, automotive, real estate, insurance, services, retail, and overseas. Robert Willet was the CEO of Al-Futtaim Group until he resigned in January 2011. The conglomerate currently holds the franchise right to IKEA stores in Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Egypt. The group is also the distributor of major car brands, such as Lexus, Hino, and Toyota. In 2008, Al-Futtaim Group bought approximately 90 percent of Robinsons & Co.
Abdulla is also the founder of Carrefour UAE, which is a joint business between Groupe Casino and Al-Futtaim Group. Since his childhood in Yemen, Futtaim has advocated for free trade. He began trading at age nine with 50kg of ground coffee, and at the age of 13, he had already sold his first house. According to Forbes Middle East, Abdulla Futtaim is married, and his son, Omar Al Futtaim, is the current CEO of Al-Futtaim Private Company. Abdulla’s company is the largest retailer in Africa, with more than 250 department stores, shopping centers, hypermarkets, and outlets located in various parts of the continent. Al Futtaim is also the owner of the megayacht named Radiant, which is ranked the seventh most expensive luxury asset of all time.
7. Sunny Varkey – $2.6 Billion
Sunny Varkey is an Indian-born, Dubai-based education entrepreneur, billionaire, and philanthropist. He is the executive chairman and founder of the Global advisory and Educational Management firm, GEMS Education, which is an international education company. GEMS Education is also the largest operator of private kindergarten schools worldwide, with more than 80 schools in about seven countries. Sunny’s family moved to Dubai when he was three years old.
He attained his undergraduate degree at The American University in Cairo before enrolling at Indiana State University for his Master’s degree. Thanks to his great achievements in the educational sector, Sunny Varkey has been awarded several awards throughout his career, including 2012 Middle East Excellence CEO of the Year, 2012 Education Business Leader of the Year, 2012 UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year, 2007 Global Indian Business Award and 2007 Outstanding Asian Businessman of the Year. Sunny is married to two sons, Jay and Dino, who have several leadership roles in GEMS Education.
6. B.R. Shetty – $2.6 Billion
B.R. Shetty is an Indian-born businessman who is the founder and a shareholder in several major companies, including; BRS Ventures, NMC Health, Finablr, and Neopharma, situated in the United Arab Emirates. Shetty has been actively involved in advertising, hospitals, financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail, and information technology. In 1973, he was appointed as the country’s first medical representative and later launched the New Medical Centre Health in 1975. In 2016, B.R. Shetty announced that he was building the first medical university in Abu Dhabi. Due to his involvement in the health sector, he was awarded several awards like the 2011 Asian Achievers Award, 2012 Global Indian of the Year, and 2017 Annual Health Awards. In May 2018, Shetty was listed among the top Indian Leaders in the Arab world.
5. Micky Jagtiani – $3.1 Billion
Mukesh Wadhumal “Micky” Jagtiani is an Indian billionaire businessman who is the owner and chairman of Landmark Group. Micky studied in Chennai and Mumbai before moving to London, where he was enrolled at an accounting school. He eventually dropped out of school and began his career as a taxi driver. In 1973, Jagtiani relocated to the United Arab Emirates. After spending a decade running his deceased brother’s shop in Bahrain, he decided to expand his operations by opening six additional shops. At the start of the Gulf War, Micky relocated to Dubai, where he founded the Landmark Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate.
Since its establishment, Landmark Group has expanded its interests in furniture, footwear, baby products, beauty products, electronics, budget hotels, fashion, healthcare, and home improvement products. In 2008, Jagtiani was listed as the 16th richest Indian with a net worth of $2 billion; his net worth has gradually increased to about $3.1 billion in 2022. According to Glusea, Micky Jagtiani is married to Renuka Jagtiani, and they have three children.
4. M.A Yusuff Ali – $3.7 Billion
Yusuf Ali Musaliam Veetil Abdul Kader, popularly known as Yusuff Ali M.A. He is a UAE-based Indian businessman and billionaire. According to Webbspy, Ali achieved his $3.7 billion net worth as the Managing Director and Chairman of Lulu Group International. This Indian multinational company owns the Lulu International Shopping Mall and the Lulu Hypermarket chain worldwide. Under his leadership, the company has been able to increase its operations over the past few years extensively and now has interests in both food and non-food categories. Lulu Group International currently employs the largest number of Indians living outside India. In 2006, he started his large business investments in India by launching the Lulu Convention Centre. In 2013, Yusuff Ali bought 5% of the Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) and about 5% of the Dhanlaxmi Bank.
Lulu Group International began its operations as a family business venture and was later diversified to include the import and distribution of frozen commodities from the United States and Europe. In 2013, Lulu International Shopping Mall was opened, making it the group’s first retail venture in India and the largest shopping mall in India. M.A Yusuf Ali has been honored with many awards for his business accomplishments, including the 2010 Business Man of the Year, the 2012 Swiss Ambassador’s Award, the 2012 Arab Business Leader of the Year, and the 2021 Abu Dhabi Award, and many others. Yusuf Ali is married to Shapira Yusuff Ali and has three daughters. His elder daughter Sabeena is married to Shamsheer Vayalil, a billionaire businessman.
3. Ravi Pillai – $4.2 Billion
B. Ravi Pillai is a Dubai-based Indian billionaire businessman and the founder of RP Group. Pillai was born in a family of farmers in a coastal town in Kollam. He was enrolled at Cochin University, where he attained a degree in Commerce. While in university, Ravi started his first business and later an engineering contract business. He worked for some major industrial houses such as Cochin Refineries, Hindustan Newsprint Limited, and Chemicals Travancore Limited.
However, Pillai started a small trading business by partnering with a local farmer and established Nasser S. Al Hajri Corporation (NSH) with 150 employees two years later. RG Group is a multinational conglomerate employing more than 70,000 employees across its business. This includes RP Mall at Kollam City and Shopping Mall in South Kerala.
Ravi Pillai has grown his enterprises in other countries such as Bahrain and Qatar. He has also gained interest in other segments such as cement, hospitality, steel, construction, and oil and gas. Ravi’s wife is Geetha Pillai. They share two children; a daughter, Dr. Arathi Ravi Pillai, and a son, Ganesh Ravi Pillai. Throughout his career, he has several accolades and awards. This includes the Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2009 Asian Awards, an honorary doctorate from Excelsior College. He is included in the Republic Day honors list in 2010 by the Indian Government. B. Ravi Pillai is one of the most successful self-made Indian entrepreneurs.
2. Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair – $4.9 Billion
Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair is an Emirati billionaire businessman. He and his brother Saif Ahmad Al Ghurair founded Mashreq bank, which is today one of the leading banks in the United Arab Emirates. He increased his net worth by earning a huge salary as the bank’s chairman but later stepped down in October 2019. His eldest son, Abdul Aziz, is the current CEO of the bank and chairman of Al Ghurair investment.
Abdulla’s $4.9 million net worth is from his mammoth holding company focusing on food, construction, and real estate. His construction company also builds in the Dubai Metro. It is also behind the construction of the Burj Khalifa’s exterior cladding, the world’s tallest building. Abdulla Al Ghurair is the first Goodwill Ambassador for education in the Arab world since 2016. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at The Arab Monetary Fund.
1. Majid Al Futtaim – $6.2 Billion
According to Startuptalky, Majid Al Futtaim is the richest person in Dubai, with a net worth of $6.2 billion. He is the chairman and founder of the Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF), a well-known entertainment conglomerate. He has investments in real estate projects, car distribution, leisure, and entertainment. Since its establishment, MAF has grown to be one of the largest firms in the United Arab Emirates.