In a move reflecting a broader trend among the world’s wealthiest individuals, Nassef Sawiris, Egypt and North Africa’s richest person, has announced his intention to relocate his family office to Abu Dhabi — the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
His decision aligns with a growing wave of billionaires relocating their operations to the UAE. According to the UBS Billionaire Ambitions Report 2023, five billionaires have chosen the UAE as their base this year — with the recent move by Sawiris, the figure now stands at six.
Nassef Sawiris optimistic about UAE’s financial ecosystem
Sawiris, with a fortune of $7.65 billion derived from his stake in OCI N.V. a global nitrogen product manufacturer and shares in German sportswear giant Adidas, expressed his enthusiasm for the move, citing the UAE’s role in the global financial ecosystem. “I am delighted to announce our long-term commitment to the UAE and ADGM in particular,” he said.
He emphasized the significance of the UAE’s contribution to the worldwide financial landscape, believing that the transition of key activities to the UAE would foster the further development and growth of his portfolio and core activities.
As Russia and Ukraine bleed private wealth, UAE emerges as global magnet for millionaires and billionaires
As private capital exits Russia and Ukraine and the UK loses its status as a wealth hub, the UAE remains resilient. The nation closed 2022 as the top destination for migrating millionaires and has strengthened its position in 2023. Its allure is emphasized by its second-place ranking for billionaires in the MEA region, trailing only Israel.
Pending regulatory approval, Sawiris plans to redomicile his private investment company, NNS Group, in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the city-state’s international financial center. From this strategic location, NNS Group aims to build substantial stakes in a select number of companies, focusing primarily on Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
Nassef Sawiris eyes Africa, Middle East and Beyond with Abu Dhabi as springboard
Sawiris’ decision to relocate his family office comes amid a surge in his net worth, which increased by $623 million in 2023 alone, solidifying his standing among the world’s wealthiest individuals.
The move also coincides with Fertiglobe, a partnership between OCI N.V. (founded by Sawiris) and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, completing its listing in Abu Dhabi with an implied market capitalization of $5.8 billion in October 2021.
With a focus on exploring new opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond, Sawiris’ relocation of his family office to Abu Dhabi positions him strategically for future growth and investment in these regions.