Middle East: Home of the Billionaires


The Palm Islands in Dubai
The Palm Islands in Dubai

Have you ever seen pictures of the Palm Islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and wondered how those beautiful islands were crafted into what they are today? Money and geographical location has allowed the Palm Islands to exist. Dubai alone is home to nine out of the seventy-eight Middle Eastern billionaires. With this wealth, and the help of construction contractors and engineers, they were able to construct these islands out of sand and rock. Which is amazing, considering most other man-made islands are comprised of steel and concrete. The islands are located in the Arabian golf, which has the perfect depth to prevent large waves and is not heavily affected by storms. To create the islands they used barges, tugboats, and floating cranes to deposit the sand and rock layers. Also, the implementation of the breakwater crescent, which is the arc that surrounds the other islands, helps prevent island erosion. Rubble, sand, and rocks were all strategically placed in each section and crescent to maximize the quality of construction. Can you imagine how many calculations and measurements were made in preparation and implementation of this project?

The wealth in the Middle East is not strictly in Dubai, but rather spread out. Of the seventy-eight billionaires, one third are related. In Middle Eastern cultures, family ties are strong and I am assuming these strong family bonds are the main reason why wealth stays within the family. However, I’d be curious to know how money is split and passed down from generation to generation.

There is a wide range of business practices that these billionaires partake in; some of their more common practices deal with oil, real estate, and shipping. However, some others include, but are not limited to, construction, movie making, mining, investments and retail. Saudi Arabian Mohammed Al Amoudi has made his fortune selling coffee beans to Starbucks and tea leaves to Lipton, among other things. This is a prime example of globalization and illustrates the integration of American and Middle Eastern business markets.

The comprised net worth of these seventy-eight billionaires is $209 billion. Out of all these billionaires only two are females, one is Israeli and the other is Turkish. I wonder if there are only two females because wealth gets passed down to the men of the family? Either way, you would have to be pretty lucky to inherit these big bucks.

Resources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2014/03/26/meet-the-richest-people-in-the-middle-east/

https://sites.google.com/site/palmislandsimpact/general-information/construction-of-the-islands

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3 thoughts on “Middle East: Home of the Billionaires

  1. I wish I was wealthy enough to build an island! I’m curious to know if these billionaires give money to charities and which ones. That much money could have a huge impact on the people that are victims of political unrest.

  2. I was lucky enough to see these houses in the Palm while I was over seas in UAE this summer. The views were breath taking. It looked like something you would see out of the movies. Apparently, before they were built almost 95% of them had been sold. In Dubai you could see the vast amount of wealth by the type of cars they drove. You could not go a block without seeing a a luxurious car. I could not imagine how stressful it must have been to construct and build the Palm.

  3. So cool! I wish I was that rich! I find it fascinating that only two women out of 78 billionaires are women. I can’t believe someone hasn’t commented about that yet! I am wondering the same thing, that would be a very interesting topic to dive into.

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