Passing The Waltons: How The House Of Nahyan Family Of Abu Dhabi Surpassed Walmart Heirs As World's Richest Family

The Al Nahyan family, which rules the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, surpassed the heirs of Walmart Inc. Founder Sam Walton as the world's richest family in 2023. 

The Al Nahyan family's fortune is estimated at $305 billion — more than Inc. Founder Jeff Bezos and legendary investor Warren Buffett combined.

The House of Nahyan, led by United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, strategically invests in various businesses, ranging from Rihanna’s lingerie line Savage X Fenty to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, contributing significantly to their unprecedented wealth. 

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United Arab Emirates National Security Adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, commonly called Sheikh Tahnoun, is a key figure overseeing the family’s assets and plays a crucial role in the family's wealth. He heads International Holding Co., a conglomerate that employs tens of thousands of people and has a market value of around $235 billion, making it one of the largest firms in the Middle East. International Holding Co. owns hundreds of businesses throughout various sectors including agriculture, energy, entertainment and maritime. 

Palaces and Yachts

Adding another layer to their opulent lifestyle, the Al Nahyans reside in Qaṣr Al-Waṭan, a $490 million presidential palace triple the size of the Pentagon. Open to the public, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Middle East. 

The family's penchant for luxury extends to the seas, with a fleet of the world’s most luxurious megayachts, including the Azzam and the Blue superyachts, valued at $600 million each. These vessels, among the top 10 largest yachts globally, incur substantial costs, with the Blue superyacht requiring $640,000 for refueling alone. Azzam is the longest yacht in the world at 591 feet, substantially larger than other notable yachts such as the 417-foot Koru, owned by Bezos

Apart from their nautical extravagances, Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan al Nahyan, known as Rainbow Sheikh, has a collection of over 700 cars in museums in the UAE and Morocco. Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, known as Sheikh Mansour, owns the Manchester City football club and holds stakes in notable automobile companies.

Keeping Up With The Waltons

The Waltons, who have held the title of the world’s richest family for four consecutive years, have a combined net worth of approximately $232.2 billion as of Dec. 13, according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires List. Despite losing their top position to the Al Nahyans, the Waltons continue to possess vast real estate holdings, vintage car collections and private art collections, such as Alice Walton’s renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

As the dynamics of wealth continue to shift, the rise of the Al Nahyans signals a new era in the global hierarchy of affluent families, marking a transition from business heirs to royalty at the head of the world’s wealth rankings.

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