In 2023, the Al Nahyan family from Abu Dhabi has secured the top spot in Bloomberg’s annual ranking of family fortunes. With a staggering fortune of $305 billion, they surpassed the wealth of the Waltons, the family behind Walmart Inc., by an impressive $45 billion. Another newcomer to the list, the Al Thanis, the royal family of Qatar, claimed the fifth position.
These families, known for their petro-fortunes, are reshaping global business dynamics, underscoring the growing influence of the Gulf region.
The collective wealth of the world’s richest families has seen a significant increase of $1.5 trillion since the last ranking. Noteworthy among the gainers is the sixth-generation dynasty behind the luxury brand Hermès, which added $56 billion to become the third-richest family globally. Their success is attributed to a strategy of eschewing fads and fostering loyalty.
While faddish fortunes often fluctuate in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, these wealthy clans have thrived by staying united, driven by a shared sense of duty and the belief that their unity will enhance their wealth. This long-term perspective has allowed them to endure challenges such as wars, economic downturns, taxes, family conflicts, and unexpected in-law issues.
According to Bloomberg, the world’s 25 wealthiest families have experienced a remarkable 2023, adding another $1.5 trillion to their fortunes. Factors such as strong economic growth, controlled inflation, and resilient consumer spending have contributed to the success of their businesses in the past year.
The Al Nahyans, who not only preside over the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi but also own the UK soccer club Manchester City, have dethroned the Walton family as the world’s richest. This marks the first time in five years that a family other than the heirs of Walmart has claimed the top spot. Additionally, the family controlling Hermès has seen significant wealth growth in 2023, securing the third position on Bloomberg’s list.
Amidst this wealth accumulation, the year 2023 has witnessed the continued enrichment of the world’s two wealthiest individuals, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who together have added over $150 billion to their wealth, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.