At least two expatriates in the UAE who are from India are among the richest self-made billionaires in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, according to a new report.
Yusuff Ali M.A., the owner of one of the ubiquitous retail brands in the UAE, Lulu Hypermarket, and Micky Jagtiani, the success behind Landmark that runs a number of retail stores, have been included in the list of top ten richest people in the Gulf by China-based Hurun Research Institute.
Both entrepreneurs from India, with a combined net worth of $10.8 billion (Dh39 billion) are based in the UAE.
The institute’s first ever study of self-made billionaires from the Gulf also showed that Dubai is home to the highest number of people who have become billionaires through their own efforts, making it the most preferred destination for the Gulf’s ultra-rich.
There are now 12 individuals with at least $1 billion in fortunes living in Dubai, the highest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
The billionaires’ club in the emirate is dominated by UAE nationals, although it also includes Jagtiani from India.
Dubai is followed by Jeddah with four billionaires, and Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Muscat with three each.
Across the Gulf, the self-made billionaire population has reached 27 individuals, with combined fortunes hitting $84 billlion, and per capita wealth reaching $2.2 billion, up 10 per cent year on year. While only 27 billionaires from the Gulf have been documented so far, it is likely that the actual number is now close to 100.
“If we managed to find 27 self-made billionaires, you can be sure there must be close to 100 self-made billionaires in the Gulf, since for every one that we have found, we have missed at least two if not more,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.
By country, the UAE topped the list with 16 billionaires, followed by Saudi Arabia with seven billionaires and Oman with three billionaires. So far, only one billionaire has moved out of the region, Mahdi Al-Tajir, 75, who has a net worth of $1.8 billion and now lives in the United Kingdom.