top of page

The Tycoons Controlling Dubai

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene.

Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline

The Emirate allows very comfortable tax laws to influence international business magnates, today it is the go-to destination for anyone with business approaches and money to burn.

The UAE is ranked 20th worldwide for having the highest number of billionaires. Dubai is home to 18 billionaires, ranking the city 25th among global cities which have the highest number of ultra-high net worth individuals.

Here we are introducing some tycoons that controls Dubai and laying its path for the future, the No. 1.

Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair & family

Abdulla Al Ghurair founded Mashreqbank, a leading U.A.E. bank, in 1967. He stepped down as chairman in October 2019, but remains a board member. His eponymous holding company has interests in food, construction and real estate; non-family members are part of the leadership team. His construction company did the exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and helped build the Dubai Metro. His brother Saif Al Ghurair, who passed away in August 2019, was also a billionaire.

Net Worth: $3.7B

UAE Rank: #1

World Rank: #494

Citizenship: UAE

M.A. Yusuff Ali

Middle East retail king M.A. Yusuff Ali presides over $7.4 billion (revenue) LuLu Group International, with 193 stores in the Gulf and elsewhere. Hailing from a village in Kerala state in south India, Yusuff Ali left for Abu Dhabi in 1973 to join his uncle's small distribution business. In April 2020, a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family reportedly acquired a 20% stake in LuLu for $1 billion. Other assets include the Waldorf Astoria in Scotland and the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, the former headquarters of the U.K. Metropolitan Police. Yusuff Ali donated $6.8 million to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. He also built and donated a treatment center with 1,400 beds in Kerala.

Net Worth: $3.5B

UAE Rank: #2

World Rank: #538

India Rank: #22

Citizenship: India

Majid Al Futtaim & family

Majid Al Futtaim founded retailing and entertainment giant Majid Al Futtaim Holding, known as MAF, in 1992. MAF owns and operates 13 hotels and 26 malls, including Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and the Mall of Egypt in Cairo. It also has the exclusive license to operate hypermarkets for French company Carrefour across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. His son Tariq sits on the board while non-family members manage the conglomerate, which publishes its revenues and profits annually.

Net Worth: $3.3B

UAE Rank: #3

World Rank: #590

Citizenship: UAE

Ravi Pillai

Indian-born farmer's son, Ravi Pillai migrated to Saudi Arabia after his small construction business in his native Kerala state went bust. With help from a well-connected local partner, he started over in 1978 and built his RP Group into a $7.8 billion (revenue) construction heavyweight. The construction magnate has used his Gulf riches to invest back home, picking up stakes in banks, hotels and real estate.

Net Worth: $2.5B

UAE Rank: #4

World Rank: #836

India Rank: #33

Citizenship: India

Abdulla Al Futtaim & family

Abdulla Al Futtaim owns conglomerate Al Futtaim Group, run by his son Omar, who is vice chairman. In 1955, the group became the exclusive distributor in the U.A.E. of Toyota, which has the leading share of the auto market with nearly 30%. Al Futtaim also has the license to operate Hertz, Ikea, Toys "R" Us and Zara in the U.A.E. The retailers anchor its malls, which include Dubai Festival City and Cairo Festival City. His cousin Majid Al Futtaim is also a billionaire.

Net Worth: $2.1B

UAE Rank: #5

World Rank: #1001

Citizenship: UAE

Source: Forbes


bottom of page