On Sunday, it was discovered that Emirati women dominated the list of the region’s most successful businesswomen.
Raja Easa Al Gurg of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and Hana Al Rostamani of First Abu Dhabi Bank are rated 1 and 2, respectively, on Forbes Middle East’s list of “The Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2023.”
The ranking honors industry leaders from 27 different countries and 27 different areas. With 15 and 12 entries, respectively, women from the Emirates and Egypt predominate the list. Following them are Saudi Arabia (11 entries), Kuwait (8 entries), Lebanon (6 entries), Oman (6 entries), and Qatar (6 entries apiece). 23 of the 100 entrants are leaders in the banking and financial services industry. Following closely behind with 11 and 8 women each are diversified conglomerates and the investment sector.
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) Group CEO Hana Al Rostamani moved up two spots to take first place this year. FAB completed a merger with Bank Audi Egypt in June 2022 to form FABMISR, which as of March 2022 had assets worth $10 billion and was one of the biggest international banks in Egypt.
The top three were completed by Lubna S. Olayan, Chair of the Saudi British Bank, Chair of the Executive Committee, and Deputy Chair of Olayan Financing Company, and Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson and Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group. Sheikha Khaled Al Bahar of NBK is ranked #1 in Kuwait and fourth overall in the region. Al Rostamani and Al Gurg were both included on Forbes’ list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World for 2022.
Shaista Asif, Cofounder and Group COO of PureHealth Group, Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Wadha Ahmed Al Khateeb, CEO of the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, all made their maiden appearances in the top 10. (KNPC). In the top 10, half of the women are employed by the banking and financial services sector.
This year’s rating of businesswomen shows that many of them attach great importance to programs that promote empowerment and education. In order to provide bilingual courses in the GCC, The Apparel Group, under the direction of Founder and Chairwoman Sima Ganwani Ved, created its Digital Learning Academy in October. The National Council for Women and RAMSCO’s founder and chairwoman, Rawya Mansour, collaborated to empower African women through an organic agricultural project and an entrepreneurs’ initiative for zero-waste eco-villages. In addition, Hind Bahwan, the founder and CEO of Bahwan CyberTek Group, forged an agreement with Dubai’s Heriot-Watt University to provide students with internships and intensive work experiences in order to meet the rising need for cutting-edge technologies like AI, ML, and IoT.
MIDDLE EAST’S TOP 10 BUSINESSWOMEN WITH THE MOST STRENGTH, 2023
1. Hana Al Rostamani | Nationality: Emirati | Group CEO, FAB
2. Raja Easa Al Gurg | Nationality: Emirati | Chairperson & Managing Director, Easa Saleh Al Gurg (ESAG)
3. Lubna S. Olayan | Nationality: Saudi | Chair of Saudi British Bank; Chair of the Executive Committee and Deputy Chair of Olayan Financing Company
4. Shaikha Khaled Al Bahar | Nationality: Kuwaiti | Deputy Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait Group
5. Renuka Jagtiani | Nationality: Indian | Chairwoman, Landmark Group
6. Wadha Ahmed Al Khateeb | Nationality: Kuwaiti | CEO, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)
7. Sarah Al Suhaimi | Nationality: Saudi | Chairperson, Saudi Tadawul Group
8. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari | Nationality: Qatari | Managing Director, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)
9. Shaista Asif | Nationality: Pakistani | Cofounder & Group COO, PureHealth Group
10. Randa Sadik | Nationality: Jordanian | CEO, Arab Bank