UAE Women Most Powerful in Arab World, According to Forbes

Published July 18th, 2017 - 07:00 GMT
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, was voted the most powerful Arab woman in government in 2017. (Photo: Zayed University)
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, was voted the most powerful Arab woman in government in 2017. (Photo: Zayed University)

The UAE has topped the Forbes Middle East’s list of the Arab world’s most powerful women with 18 female leaders, followed by Egypt and Lebanon with 16 and 12 women respectively.

The recent issue, being issued for the fifth consecutive year, ranks the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Business Women, the Top 10 Most Powerful Arab Women In Government and the Top 10 Arab Women Social Media Influencers across the region.

Saudi Arabia leads the charge, with businesswomen climbing the ladder across private and government organizations. This year saw Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group, become the first woman in the Kingdom to head a commercial bank. Latifa Homoud Alsabhan was promoted to CFO of the Arab National Bank.

Sarah Al Suhaimi was appointed as the chair of the country’s stock exchange, Tadawul. And Lubna S. Olayan, CEO of the Olayan Financing Company, tops the businesswomen list for the third consecutive year. Elsewhere Lobna Helal became deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt. Nezha Hayat now heads the Moroccan Capital Market Authority. And Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi chairs the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance in the UAE is revealed as the number one most powerful Arab woman in government in 2017. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, is a new entrant and ranks second.

In the world of social media, Forbes Middle East looked at the top Arab women influencers for the first time. At the top is Huda Khattan, a Hollywood trained make-up artist and beauty consultant based in Dubai, with over 23.8 million followers. Following her are Joelle Mardinian, a successful beauty and make-up entrepreneur, and YouTube star Hayla Al Ghazal, with over 9.3 million and 7 million subscribers respectively.

Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief, Forbes Middle East said: “Arab women are not only taking the helm in business and holding senior leadership positions, but they are also excelling in all areas of life such as community service, sports, adventure, entrepreneurship and social media.”

“These women are providing senior leadership in different sectors ranging from banking and financial services, diversified, petrochemicals to healthcare, investments and retail,” Al Omian concluded. 

 


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