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The surname Rai may have several origins.
- Rai equivalent to Rana, Raja, Rao a historical title of honour in India.
- Rai (Kanji 雷, Hiragana らい) is also a Japanese surname derived from the Chinese Lei (雷)
- Rai dynasty (c. 416–644 CE), a Buddhist dynasty based in Sindh, in modern-day Pakistan.
- Sometimes it may be spelled as Ray.
- Acharya Kuber Nath Rai, writer
- A.N. Rai, Ex VC NEHU
- Aishwarya Rai, (born 1973) Former Miss World (1994) and Indian actress
- Amit Rai, film director
- Alka Rai, MLA Mohammadabad
- Anurita Rai, Indian dancer
- Bali Rai, English young-adult fiction novelist
- Baleshwar Rai Ex IAS
- Jharkhande Rai, former Member of Parliament, India
- Gauri Shankar Rai, former Member of Parliament, India
- Kalpnath Rai, politician
- Kayyar Kinhanna Rai, Kannada writer and activist India
- Kusum Rai, politician
- Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928), Indian author, freedom fighter and politician
- Lakshmi Rai, South Indian actress
- Manikala Rai (born 1988), Nepalese ultra runner
- Brij Mangal Rai freedom Fighter
- Muthappa Rai, Indian businessman, philanthropist and social activist
- Prakash Rai, Indian actor
- Krishnanand Rai ex MLa
- Ram Bahadur Rai, journalist
- Viveki Rai, Hindi writer
- Shivpujan Rai Freedom Fighter 1942
- Mangla Rai Hind Kesari
- Vinod Rai Ex CAG