LIFESTYLE | The Wealthiest Regal Houses

Boasting fortunes running into the tens hundreds and even thousands of billions, the richest royal families in the world make likes of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos look decidedly hard up.

THE RUNNERS-UP

Not rich enough to make it into the top 10, the British royal family has an estimated combined net worth of $900 million, while Monaco’s Grimaldis and the family of the Aga Khan are thought to be worth $1 billion apiece.

10.Bahrain’s Royal Family: $4billion

Established in 1766, the House of Khalifa is the ruling family of Bahrain. The current monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, was previously known as the Emir of Bahrain, proclaiming himself king in 2002.

Since the country’s first oil well began pumping out the black stuff back in 1932, Bahrain’s royal family has cashed in to the tune of billions. The clan received a third of the nation’s oil revenue until 1973 the basis of its 10-figure fortune.

Along with his family, the king is reported to have a fortune of some $4 billion, but could actually me worth a lot more. According to the Financial Times, the dynasty’s assets include a UK property empire valued at $900 million, which is controlled via Premier Group, the Al Khalifas’ private investment firm.

9.Lichetenstein’s Royal Family: $12 billion

The only European royal family in our round-up, Lichtenstein’s eponymous regal dynasty takes the No.9 spot with an estimated net worth of $12 billion. The lion’s share of the family fortune rests with Prince Hans-Adam II, the reigning monarch.

Hans-Adam II is the latest in a long line of monarchs who have ruled over the tiny Alpine principality since its creation as a sovereign state in 1806. The financier royal, who pays no taxes, derives much of his wealth from LTG Group, the family’s private banck, which he controls via a foundation.

In addition to the bank, the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation presides over a portfolio of high-value property, thriving companies and other lucrative investments, not to mention a world-class collection of art featuring masterpieces by Raphael, Rembrandt and Van Dyck.

8.Dubai’s Royal Family: $19 billion

The House of Maktoum rules the roost in Dubai. Dating back to 1833, the royal dynasty has 12 primary members and hundreds of extended family members. Together, their wealth has been pegged around $19 billion.

The richest family member by far is the head of the dynasty of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The sheikh, who has ruled since 2006 and serves as the UAE vice president and prime minister, has an estimated fortune of $18 billion.

Rashid Al Maktoum controls investment vehicle Dubai Holdings and is known for his largesse, spending a world-record $100 million on his first wedding in 1979, and donating billions to charity. The sheikh also owns luxury properties in Europe, as well as one of the world’s largest yachts.

7.Morocco’s Royal Family: $20 billion

Morocco’s ruling family is the Alaouite dynasty, which was founded in 1613 but originated in the 13th century. The core family is made up of 19 members led by King Mohammed VI, who ascended to the throne in 1999.

Forbes has estimated the family’s combined wealth at up to $5 billion, but other sources put it closer to $20 billion. On top owning of dollars-worth of assets, the Moroccan royal family receives one of the world’s most generous civil lists.

Experts saddest as much as $200 million of taxpayers’ money a year is allocated to the Royal Court, which spends several million dollars on staff alone, and almost $1 million a year on electricity and water bills for the royal palace in Rabat.

6.Burney’s Royal Family: $30 billion

Burnei’s royal dynasty, the House of Bolkiah, was formed in 1363 and has ruled the southeast Asian country on and off ever since. It is headed by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has been in power for the past 51 years.

The family has become obscenely rich off  the back of Brunei’s vast oil reserves. The sultan is said t be worth $20 billion, while his party-loving son Prince Haji Abdul Azim is thought to have a personal fortune approaching $5billion.

Famously extravagant, the sultan resides in the Istana Nurul Iman palace, which cost $1.4 billion to build back in 1984. He owns 7,000 supercars including 600 Rolls-Royces and 300 Ferraris, and several private jets.

5.Thailand’s Royal Family: $60 billion

The Chakri dynasty has been Thailand’s ruling royal house for the past 236 years and continues to be treated with the utmost reverence in the country. The current King Maha Vajiralongkorn accepted the throne in 2016 upon the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Based in Bangkok, a total of 22 individuals makes up the Thai royal family including unofficial members and former spouses. The core family numbers just 10 Collectively, the dynasty is thought to control around $60 billion in assets through the Crown Property Bureau.

The assets, which can be spent at the “King’s pleasure”, include enormous tract of valuable real estate in central Bangkok, large stakes in several key Thai companies and shares in luxury hotel group Kempinski. The portfolio reportedly generates around $3 billion in revenue a year.

4.Abu Dhabi’s Royal Family: $150 billion

The House of Nahyan descends from the same tribes as Dubai’s ruling Al Maktoum dynasty, and has been the reigning royal family of Abu Dhabi since 1973. The clan counts 200 male members – the number of females in the family is unknown.

Like the other royal families in the Middle East, the Al Nahyand derives their wealth from oil. The family amassed the bulk of its $150 billion fortune during the 1970s when siphoning off the country’s oil profits wasn’t considered bad form.

Head of the family Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed has been the emir of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE since 2004 and chairs the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which manages $875 billion in assets, including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the world’s tallest building.

3.Qatar’s Royal Family: $335 billion

The House of Thani has been in charge in Qatar since the mid-19th century and the current ruler, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, who at 37 is the youngest soverign in the world, was appointed emir in 2013. The family is said to number in the thousands, possibly around 7, 000 or 8,000.

The Al Thanis, who fell out with their Gulf rivals last year after paying Al-Qaida a ransom of $1 billion for the release of a family members kidnapped in Iraq, control the country’s legendary $335 billion sovereign wealth fund.

The fund’s assets include London’s Shard skyscraper, the UK capital’s Olympic village and Harrods department store, as well as substantial stakes in New York’s Empire State Building and famous firms like Volkswagen, Barclays and Tiffany & Co.

2.Kuwait’s Royal Family: $360 billion

Over in Kuwait, the Al-Sabah family is at the helm. The dynasty has ruled the Middle Eastern country since 1752 and the current emir is Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. All in all, the family is said to number around 1.000 members.

Estimates of the family’s net worth are hard to come by, but a Time magazine article from 1991 pegged it at a staggering $90 billion. Much of the wealth is thought to be tied up in U.S. stocks, which have skyrocketed in value over the years.

In fact, experts believed the Kuwaiti royal family’s fortune may have quadrupled since the early 1990s, and even this estimate may be on the conservative side – the family is reported to have massive stakes in most of the major blue chip companies in the U.S.

1.Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family: 1.7 trillion

The wealthiest royal in the world and then some, the House of Saud is estimated to be worth an absolutely jaw-dropping $1.7 trillion. Yes, you did read that correctly. This unimaginable wealth is spread about among the vast family’s 15,000 or so members.

The House of Saud has ruled the nation that bears its name since 1744. The current King Salman has been on the throne since 2015 and power in the country, and much of its wealth, lies with the monarch and his relatives.

Prince Alwaleed, who was arrested last year on corruption charges, is the wealthiest individual member of the family with an estimated net worth of $18.7 billion. The prince, who was freed in January following several months’ detention, is thought to have agreed to pay the authorities $6 billion to secure his release. r

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