Ethiopian-born businessman Mohammed Al Amoudi, 63, who is now a Saudi citizen and resident of Jeddah, ranks 43 among the world’s richest people, Forbes Magazine announced.
The self-made businessman, whose net worth is estimated at 9 billion, amassed his wealth in construction and real estate in Saudi Arabia before investing on energy. He is one of Sweden’s biggest foreign investors with ownership of Svenska Petroleum and Swedish refinery Preem.
According to Forbes, the net worth of the world’s billionaires fell from $4.4 trillion last year to $2.4 trillion in 2009, while the number of billionaires was down to 793 from 1,125. “Billionaires don’t have to worry about their next meal, but if their wealth is declining and you’re not creating numerous new billionaires, it means the rest of the world is not doing very well,” Chief executive of Forbes Magazines Steve Forbes told reporters. “The typical billionaire is down at least one third on their net worth.”
Al Amoudi, who has donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, has so far invested more than $2 billion in Ethiopia. His landmark project in the country, the Sheraton Addis, with 293 rooms – including 33 suites, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, 1 nightclub, and a private bar, is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. It is the most luxurious in Africa. He also operates a gold mine in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, currently producing 6 tons of gold annually and expected to double production by 2010.