In this Feb. 1, 2018 photo, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with his wife Melinda, poses for a photo before an interview with The Associated Press in Kirkland, Wash. The Gateses, as the world's top philanthropists, are rethinking their work in America as they confront what they consider their unsatisfactory track record on schools, the country's growing inequity and a president they disagree with more than any other. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Bill Gates pledged to give away half his fortune to good causes and co-founded The Giving Pledge, a project that encouraged more of the world's wealthiest people to follow suit. Ted S. Warren / AP

Meet the billionaires who plan to give their fortunes away

It is an act of generosity difficult to measure without a calculator that adds up to at least a dozen zeros.

Fourteen of the world’s wealthiest people have just promised to give at least half their wealth to good causes.

They are part of The Giving Pledge , a project created by billionaire investor Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who flits between being the richest and second richest man in the world with a fortune of around $92 billion, depending on the Microsoft stock price.

Several of the newcomers live in the UAE. They include Dr B R Shetty, originally from Kerala, who founded NMC Healthcare, and his wife Dr C R Shetty. In his pledge, Dr Shetty, worth an estimated $4.2 billion, writes: “It is a crime when you are able to help others and choose not to.”

The UAE list includes Badr Jafar, the chief executive of Crescent Enterprises and the founder of the Pearl Initiative, which promotes corporate transparency and accountability, and Razan Al Mubarak .

They join an elite group of billionaires that includes some familiar names – George Lucas of Star Wars, and Sir Richard Branson of Virgin – and those less well known to the public, like fund investor Mario Gabelli, and Aneel Bhusri, CEP of the business software firm Workday, who collectively are worth around $4 billion.


Read more:

UAE healthcare billionaires donate half of wealth to Bill Gates Giving Pledge

Funding and innovation key to the future of global health, says Bill Gates

10@10 podcast: Healthcare in the UAE with Dr Shamsheer Vayalil


Since its creation in 2010, 183 individuals from all over the world have now signed The Giving Pledge, in which they promise to give half their wealth to philanthropy or charity, either during their lifetime or in their will. It is an elite club for billionaires only.

It formalises a concept that began as the number of the world billionaires began to increase, a number which currently stands at 2,208 according to the Forbes' Rich List and collectively worth $9 trillion ($9,000,000,000,000).

Bill Gates was an early enthusiast for giving it all away. In an interview with the UK Mail on Sunday seven years ago, he made it clear what the future held for his three children: "It will be a minuscule portion of my wealth. It will mean they have to find their own way." (Some reports have said this will be around $10 million each, so perhaps only minuscule to Mr Gates).

Many years before he co-established The Giving Pledge, Warren Buffet was expressing similar sentiments in a 1986 interview with Fortune magazine.

''My kids are going to carve out their own place in this world,” he told the interviewer, adding back then that he felt the right amount to pass down to his two sons and daughter was: “a few hundred thousand dollars.”

It was: “Enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."

Like Buffet and Gates, many billionaires intend to give away considerably more than half their worth. But there is probably no more extreme example than Charles Feeney, the founder of the DFS duty free shopping empire. By 2017, Feeney was estimated to have given away around $9bn, but then stopped.

There was nothing left.

The five pillars of Islam

Director: Inas Halabi

Starring: Nijmeh Hamdan, Kamal Kayouf, Sheikh Najib Alou

Rating: 4/5

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5


Director: Ali Abbasi

Starring: Sebastian Stan, Maria Bakalova, Jeremy Strong

Rating: 3/5

If you go

The flights
Emirates and Etihad fly direct to Nairobi, with fares starting from Dh1,695. The resort can be reached from Nairobi via a 35-minute flight from Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or by road, which takes at least three hours.

The rooms
Rooms at Fairmont Mount Kenya range from Dh1,870 per night for a deluxe room to Dh11,000 per night for the William Holden Cottage.

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Australia World Cup squad

Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa


Name: Dooda Solutions
Based: Lebanon
Founder: Nada Ghanem
Sector: AgriTech
Total funding: $300,000 in equity-free funding
Number of employees: 11

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo

Power: 268hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 380Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: CVT auto

Fuel consumption: 9.5L/100km

On sale: now

Price: from Dh195,000


Director: Nayla Al Khaja

Starring: Jefferson Hall, Faten Ahmed, Noura Alabed, Saud Alzarooni

Rating: 3.5/5

The specs: Fenyr SuperSport

Price, base: Dh5.1 million

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 800hp @ 7,100pm

Torque: 980Nm @ 4,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 13.5L / 100km

The bio

Date of Birth: April 25, 1993
Place of Birth: Dubai, UAE
Marital Status: Single
School: Al Sufouh in Jumeirah, Dubai
University: Emirates Airline National Cadet Programme and Hamdan University
Job Title: Pilot, First Officer
Number of hours flying in a Boeing 777: 1,200
Number of flights: Approximately 300
Hobbies: Exercising
Nicest destination: Milan, New Zealand, Seattle for shopping
Least nice destination: Kabul, but someone has to do it. It’s not scary but at least you can tick the box that you’ve been
Favourite place to visit: Dubai, there’s no place like home

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI
Transmission: Dual clutch 7-speed
Power: 320HP / 235kW
Torque: 400Nm
Price: from $49,709
On sale: now

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Swollen glands

Most Read
Top Videos

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today