Despite the dire economic crisis in Lebanon and the catastrophic poverty impacting more than half of the population, Lebanese billionaires haven’t fallen off the Forbes list like over a thousand global billionaires.
According to Forbes, there was a drop in global billionaires falling to 2,668 from the 2,755 listed in 2021.
However, Lebanon and Egypt (with 6 billionaires each) have the highest number of billionaires in the MENA region.
Here are the 6 Lebanese billionaires on Forbes’ World’s Richest Arabs 2022 list with a total net worth of $12.6 billion:
Najib and Taha Mikati
The Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha maintained their position on the list for 2022, with a net worth of $3.2 billion each.
They are the founders of Beirut-based investment firm M1 Group, with stakes in South African telecom firm MTN, Pepe Jeans, and real estate in New York, London, and Monaco.
In 1982, the Mikati’s also founded Investcom, selling satellite phones in Lebanon and then in Africa, where they built cellphone towers in Ghana, Liberia, and Benin.
In 2009, the South African MTN bought the Mikatis’ stake for $3.6 billion.
Bahaa Hariri is the eldest son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister and billionaire Rafik Hariri. Bahaa inherited his fortune from his father. In 2008, he sold his stake in the family business Saudi Oger to his brother, the former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri.
Bahaa Hariri founded Horizon Group, a real estate company with investments in Jordan and Lebanon. He helped revitalize an area in Amman, in partnership with the Jordanian government, which is now worth about $5 billion.
Bahaa Hariri now has a net worth of $2.1B.
Ayman Hariri also inherited a stake in his father’s company Saudi Oger, which he sold to his brother Saad Hariri in 2014.
In 2017, he sold his 42% stake in GroupeMed for $535 million and then invested in startups, including the New York-based firm Red Sea Ventures and smart thermostat Nest, which is now part of Google.
Ayman is also a co-founder and CEO of the ad-free social media platform Vero, where users can share music, videos, and photos.
He now has a net worth of $1.4B.
Fahed Hariri is the youngest son of Rafik Hariri. His net worth of $1.2 B came after he sold his shares in Saudi Oger in 2012 to Saad Hariri.
He invested some of the money in real estate in New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Lebanese banks. Fahed is also developing residential buildings in Beirut.
Having a net worth of $1.5B, Robert Mouawad inherited his family’s high-end jewelry business founded in 1890. In 2020, he turned over the management to his three sons.
Mouawad now possesses one of the world’s prestigious gem collections, including Dynasty, a 51.12-carat Russian diamond. He also owns numerous real estate and developed luxury residences in Bahrain.