Forbes Middle East Reveals MENA’s Most Powerful Businesswomen


Published on: Thursday February 3rd, 2022

Forbes Middle East Reveals MENA’s Most Powerful Businesswomen Meet the Region’s 50 Influential Businesswomen.

The ranking includes 19 nationalities, 17 sectors and 12 newcomers.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt scored the most entries with seven entries each, followed by Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait and Oman with four entries each.

32% – or 16 out of 50 – work in banking and financial services.

Forbes Middle East has unveiled its annual list of the region’s most powerful businesswomen, ranking the region’s most innovative and influential women leaders across all industries. The list was constructed based on the size of the company, the individual’s accomplishments over the past year, CSR and other initiatives of the individual.

Raja Easa Al Gurg, Group Managing Director and Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group Vice Chairman, topped the list for the third consecutive year. Likewise, Renuka Jagtiani of Landmark Group and Hana Al Rostamani of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) maintained their second and third positions from 2021, respectively.

The 2022 ranking presents leaders of 19 different nationalities in 17 sectors. Emirati and Egyptian women dominate the rankings, with seven entries each, followed by Saudi, Moroccan, Kuwaiti and Omani leaders, with four entries each. The top 10 leaders were evenly split between roster veterans and new faces. Among the top 10, Randa Muhammad Sadik, CEO of Arab Bank, made the most significant jump since 2021, jumping from 14th to 7th position, when she took over as chief in February 2022.

Of the 50, 12 women are listed for the first time, eight of whom are based in the United Arab Emirates, two in Qatar and two in Saudi Arabia. Among the newcomers, three women made the top 10: Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority, Hutham Olayan, Chairman of the Olayan Group, and Hanadi bint Nasser Al Thani, Founder and Chairman of Amwal; Founder and CEO of AL Wa’ab City Real Estate.

The banking and financial services sector is the most populated by regional women leaders, with 16 of the 50 listed working in the sector. Diversified conglomerates and the retail sector follow suit with six entries each, and the technology sector with five.

More than 25% of the people in the ranking hold senior positions in regional offices and divisions of multinational companies, such as Saeeda Jaffar of Visa, Derya Matras of Meta, Sophie Doireau of Cartier and Rima Assi of McKinsey & Company.

Many businesswomen have successfully reached crucial milestones for their business despite challenging global business circumstances over the past year. Under the leadership of Sarah Al Suhaimi, Saudi Tadawul transformed into a holding company and executed a long-awaited IPO. Mumzworld’s Mona Ataya has sold a majority stake in the company to Saudi group Tamer in one of MENA’s biggest exit deals of 2021. And Cartier’s Sophie Doireau oversaw the collaboration with the jewelry with Expo 2020 Dubai to launch the Women’s Pavilion, the first stand-alone pavilion dedicated to women at a World Expo.

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