LuLu Group chairman MA Yusuff Ali is at the top position among the United Arab Emirates-based expat billionaires, ahead of Landmark Group chief Micky Jagtiani, according to Forbes’ annual list of billionaires that was released on March 6.
A total of $22.7 billion (Dh83.3 billion) in assets is owned by seven Indian billionaires in the UAE, the Khaleej Times reported. As many as 14 UAE billionaires, which includes seven expatriates, own Dh171.3 billion worth of assets.
While Ali’s wealth totaled $5.5 billion according to Forbes, putting him at No. 388 on the list, Jagtiani figured at No. 480, with real time net worth of $4.7 billion. Jagtiani is followed by BR Shetty ($4.1 billion, No. 550), Ravi Pillai ($3.9 billion, No. 572), Sunny Varkey ($2.6 billion, No. 1020), Joy Alukkas ($1.48 billion, No. 1,561) and Shamsheer Vayalil ($1.51 billion, No. 1,561) on the list.
Ali, who has been called the Middle East retail king by the magazine, heads over the $7.4 billion LuLu Group, that has 132 stores in the Gulf region. “The group’s hospitality arm’s assets include the iconic Scottish hotel the Caledonian, a former Victorian railway hotel, overlooking Edinburgh Castle,” stated Forbes.
Retail magnate Micky Jagtiani started out as a taxi driver in London before he built the Landmark Group, which is headquartered in Dubai. Landmark has more than 2,200 stores spread across 21 countries in the Middle East, Africa and India.
The Forbes’ billionaires list 2018 also featured 10 Indian American persons, including one woman. Among them is Rakesh Gangwal, the co-founder of India’s IndiGo airlines, who is worth $3.3 billion and ranked at No. 703.
The Forbes’ list has 2,208 people, with two new Indian American entries — Niraj Shah, the CEO and cofounder of e-commerce company Wayfair, and Arista Networks CEO Jayshree Ullal.
The richest Indian on the list is Mukesh Ambani, who is ranked 19 with $40.1 billion. Among the other Indian billionaires named are Azim Premji ($18.8 billion, No. 58), and Lakshmi Mittal ($18.5 billion, No. 62).
Meanwhile, two NRI-owned business groups based in the United Arab Emirates recently inked separate pacts with the government of Telangana that will infuse investments worth Rs 3,500 crore in the state. While LuLu Group invested Rs 2,500 crore, BRS Ventures (a group company of BR Shetty Group) will set up ventures worth Rs 1,000 crore over five years. The agreements were signed during the visit of KT Rama Rao, the Indian Minister for IT and Industries, in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 28.