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Life & Style

Hermès to Gulf royals: world’s richest add $1.5trn to their wealth in 2023

  • Al Nahyans, the rulers of Abu Dhabi, lead the way followed by the Walton family
Published December 9, 2023
(L-R) HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, and HH Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
(L-R) HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, and HH Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia

The House of Nahyan – rulers of Abu Dhabi – topped Bloomberg’s annual ranking of world’s wealthiest families, while Al Thanis – the royal family of Qatar – came in at fifth place. The owners of French luxury brand Hermès came in third place, reported Bloomberg this week.

The Al Nahyan family, with a $305 billion fortune, made their inaugural entrance on the list, surpassing the Walton family of Walmart by $45 billion, bumping them to second place.

These were followed by the sixth-generation dynasty behind luxury brand Hermès, who added $56 billion to become the world’s third-richest likely by cultivating brand loyalty among its customers, added the report.

The Mars family of Mars chocolates, the Al Thani family of Qatar and the Koch family of the United States followed closely.

The royal family of Saudi Arabia came in at number 7, followed by the Ambanis in eighth place.

Mukesh Ambani’s succession planning is a bonus

Bloomberg attested this rise to petro-fortunes reshaping global business, stock prices rebounding and the world economy holding steadier than forecasters had predicted.

The world’s richest have also prospered largely by “sticking together”, added the report, helping dynasties endure despite wars, downturns, taxes and feuds.

“Buoyant markets” help too, but the most successful families are “fixated on generational, not quarterly, milestones”, said Bob Gould, a partner at Creaghan McConnell Group, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

“They play a much longer game.”

The Wertheimer family – owners of French luxury couture house Chanel came in at 9, while the Thomson family of Thomson Reuters rounded off the top 10.

Indian tycoon Gautam Adani and American socialite and philanthropist Julia Koch are the only two of the world’s 20 richest people who have fallen in rankings this year, as per Bloomberg.

World’s Richest Families 2023

  • Al Nahyan: $305 billion
  • Walton: $259.7 billion
  • Hermès: $150 billion
  • Mars: $141.9 billion
  • Al Thani: $133 billion
  • Koch: $127.3 billion
  • Al Saud: $112 billion
  • Ambani: $89.9 billion
  • Wertheimer: $89.6 billion
  • Thomson: $71.1 billion

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