Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Al Olayan is the most powerful woman in the Arab world: Forbes

Published September 22nd, 2016 - 11:30 GMT
Al Olayan also appears on Forbes’ list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. (World Economic Forum)
Al Olayan also appears on Forbes’ list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. (World Economic Forum)

Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Al Olayan, who’s at the head of a family empire, tops the Forbes Middle East’s list of “The Most Powerful Women in the Arab World” this year.

The list, released for the fifth consecutive year, highlights the region’s most influential and inspiring businesswomen.

Al Olayan also appears on Forbes’ list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.

Of the 100 women on the “The Most Powerful Women in the Arab World” list, 54 are corporate executives, 23 are at the helm of family businesses, 12 are entrepreneurs, and 11 work in government organisations.

In addition, Forbes has two smaller rankings, 10 each, of women who hold ministerial posts, and women of Arab origin who have made a mark on the world stage.

To rank the leaders, the magazine applied the following metrics: position, size of company or organization, and sphere of impact.

Egypt, Arab World’s most populous country, continued to lead with the highest number of entries with 18, followed by the UAE with 17 and Kuwait and Lebanon with 11 entries each.

The top 10 on the list are:

1. Lubna Al Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing (Saudi Arabia); 

2. Lobna Helal, deputy governor, Central Bank of Egypt (Egypt);

3. Raja Easa Al Gurg, managing director, Al Gurg Group (UAE);

4. Fatima Al Jaber, Group CEO, Al Jaber Group Construction (UAE);

5. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chair, Qatar Museums (Qatar);

6. Maha Al Ghunaim, vice chair and Group CEO, Global Investment House (Kuwait);

7. Shaikha Al Bahar    deputy group CEO, NBK (Kuwait);

8. Mona Almoayyed, managing director, YK Almoayyed & Sons (Bahrain);

9. Nezha Hayat, chair, Moroccan Capital Market Authority (Morocco);

10. Khawla Al-Asadi, director general, Rafidain Bank (Iraq).

Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief of Forbes Middle East, said: “In the past four years we have seen a constant increase in women holding senior level positions in businesses. This is contrary to the popular perception about Arab women in the business world. Such recognition will further boost encouragement and inspire more women to break the norm and achieve great successes in their line of business.”  

There have been a lot of major developments for these iconic Arab Women. For example, Eaman Al Roudhan, who was the chief regulatory officer of Zain Group last year, has been promoted to CEO.  In June Khawla Al-Asadi was appointed director general of Iraq’s biggest bank, Rafidain Bank.

“This is our small way of supporting women with high ambitions to achieve great heights in their careers,” added Omian.


Copyright 2021 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group

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