A Saudi Arabian billionaire is to give away his fortune.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest people, has announced he will donate all of his $32 billion (Dhs117 billion) wealth to charity over the coming years.

The Saudi prince said in a statement that he will donate the money to his organisation called Alwaleed Philanthropies to work in the fields of “intercultural understanding” and supporting communities in need.

Programmes will include promoting health, eradicating disease, bringing electricity to remote villages, building orphanages and schools, as well as “empowering women”.

The prince, who is chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, says he has already donated $3.5 billion to the charitable organisation.

Alwaleed joins other billionaires who have made similar pledges in recent years, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg.

A report by Reuters said that the wealth will include assets inside and outside the kingdom.

Reuters quoted Prince Alwaleed as saying some of the donated wealth will include his personal stake in Kingdom Holding, the investment firm in which he owns the majority of the stock.

But he said that no shares would be sold and there would be no impact on the company’s share price from his actions.

Reuters reported that he declined to give a timeframe for the allocation of the sum to charity but said it would not impact on his overall investment strategy.

Forbes describes Prince Alwaleed as a “high-profile investor who owns a swath of stakes in private and public companies in the US, Europe and the Middle East, mostly through Kingdom Holding Co”.

It said his holdings include stakes in Twitter, Citigroup, hotel management companies Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Fairmont Raffles Holding, as well as hotel real estate such as the Hotel George V in Paris and a stake in the Savoy Hotel in London.