The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East, sometimes called the "Gulf Tiger." Dubai, the country's largest and most populated city, is the region's cultural and business hub. Perhaps more than any other Arab city, Dubai is a destination for the rich and famous, meaning Dubai's residents are known for and many leading families have been in place for decades.

According to Forbes' 2020 list of the world's richest people, there are 11 billionaires living in Dubai that have a total net worth of $24.7 billion. Here are five of the richest people living in Dubai, with their net worth estimated with data as of Jan. 13, 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East, sometimes called the "Gulf Tiger."
  • Dubai, the country's largest and most populated city, is the region's cultural and business hub that attracts many billionaires.
  • According to Forbes' 2020 list of the world's richest people, there are 11 billionaires living in Dubai that have a total net worth of $24.7 billion.

Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair

Net Worth (as of 1/13/21): $3.8 billion

Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair's net worth was listed at $3.8 billion by Forbes and ranked as the 494th-richest person in the world. Abdulla was born into a successful business family, but nearly all of his wealth came after he founded Mashreqbank in 1967. It is the leading bank in the UAE. Although his son, Abdul Aziz, is the bank's CEO, Al Ghurair is still the company's chairman.

The Al Ghurair family fortune is controlled by a holding company called The Al Ghurair Group. The group also owns food, retail, and construction companies. In the 1990s, it split into two distinct operational entities. The company's food operations claim to have the Middle East's largest pasta factory, which is sold under the Jenan name. Al Ghurair's construction company helped build the Dubai metro and clad the exterior of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

In June 2015, Abdulla Al Ghurair donated approximately one-third of his assets to a new charity, the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education. According to Abdulla, the group will "invest in innovative high-impact programs that improve the quality of education at the primary and secondary levels." The goal is to provide 15,000 scholarships to Emirati students.

His brother, Saif Al Ghurair, was also a billionaire but passed away in 2019.

Pavel Durov

Net Worth (as of 1/13/21): $3.4 billion

Pavel Durov is the founder of Telegram, a popular messaging app focused on end-to-end encryption and speed with more than 300 million users worldwide. Known as the "Mark Zuckerberg of Russia," Durov created the country's equivalent social network called Vkontakte when he was in his early twenties. He lives in Dubai supposedly after refusing to hand over Vkontakte users' encrypted data to the Russian government and secret services. Forbes estimated his net worth at $3.4 billion in its 2020 list, making Durov the 565th richest person in the world.

Abdulla Al Futtaim

Net Worth (as of 1/13/21): $2.1 billion 

Businessman and investor Abdulla Al Futtaim is the owner and operator of the Al Futtaim Group, which is a managing force behind many of the world's most famous brands. The Al Futtaim Group became the prime distributor of Toyota in the Emirates in 1955, which has about 30% of the area's market share. The group also has a license to operate brands like Toys "R" Us, Ikea, Hertz, and Zara in the UAE.

Day-to-day activities of the group are handled by his son, Omar, although Abdulla remains a guiding presence as vice-chairman.

Abdulla's conglomerate has been successful in several different industries in the UAE and surrounding regions. Successful industries include electronics, engineering, insurance, retail, services, real estate, and property development.

Majid Al Futtaim

Net Worth (as of 1/13/21): $3.6 billion

Owner and operator of the Majid Al Futtaim Holding Group since its founding in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the brother of fellow Dubai billionaire Abdulla Al Futtaim. His business interests include shopping mall management, retail trade, and entertainment and leisure. His net worth was estimated at $7.1 billion.

The Majid Futtaim Holding Group, which was estimated to have $9.6 billion in revenues in 2019, specifically targets consumers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The MENA arm of the group's operations includes 11 hotels, 17 shopping malls, and a number of mixed-use community centers, markets, and movie theaters. His group owns and operates Dubai's Mall of the Emirates and Cairo's Mall of Egypt.

Hussain Sajwani

Net Worth (as of 1/13/21): $2.7 billion

With an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, Hussain Sajwani one of Dubai's richest people. Sajwani founded Damac Properties, a Dubai-based luxury real estate developer, in 2002. He is currently the company's chairman.

Before shifting to real estate, Sajwani began his career in food services, where he catered to the U.S. military and large construction companies. After the country made it easier for foreigners to own real estate in Dubai, Sajwani moved to real estate. Damac Properties partnered with Donald Trump in 2013 and developed two Trump golf courses in Dubai.

According to Forbes, Sajwani is known for his lavish marketing gimmicks. He has been known to give free luxury cars such as Lamborghinis to some of his real estate clients when they buy an apartment.