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Forbes Middle East Honors 100 Influential Female Leaders

Forbes Middle East Honors 100 Influential Female Leaders Shaping The Business Landscape In 2024

Meet The Region’s Top Female Powerhouses

  • The 2024 ranking of the region’s top women in businesses features 104 women from 27 sectors and 28 nationalities.
  • Egyptians and Emiratis lead the way with 17 and 14 entries, respectively.
  • Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have nine entries each.
  • 26% of listees work in the banking and financial services sector.

Dubai, February 16, 2024: Forbes Middle East has unveiled its signature annual list of the region’s most powerful businesswomen for 2024, ranking the most successful, influential, and impactful women in business, championing the way to a brighter, fairer future. The list was constructed based on the size of the business, the individual’s impact, achievements, and performance over the last year, and the scope of CSR and other initiatives led by the person. Leaders of family businesses were excluded this year.

Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), leads the list for the second consecutive year. She was also recognized on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women 2023, ranked at 63 overall and 14th in the finance category globally. Two Kuwaiti powerhouses – NBK Group’s Shaikha Khaled Al Bahar and KNPC’s Wadha Ahmad Al-Khateeb – round up the top three.

The 2024 list features 100 entries, with 104 women from 27 sectors and 28 nationalities. Egyptians dominate with 17 women, followed by 14 Emiratis, and Saudis and Lebanese with nine women each. Leaders in banking and financial services make up over a quarter of the ranking with 26 entries, followed by healthcare with 13, and investments and technology with six entries each. A wave of 35 newcomers have joined this year’s list from 15 different sectors.

Three industry titans broke into the top 10 for the first time: Dana Nasser Al Sabah, Group CEO of Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – KIPCO; Shazia Syed, Unilever’s General Manager – North Africa, Levant, and Iraq & Arabia Senior Customer Development Lead; Reem Asaad, Cisco’s Vice President – Middle East, Africa, Türkiye, Romania & The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Of the top 10 ranked women, 50% work within the banking and financial services industry, and two Pakistani trailblazers represent the region’s non-Arab, diverse senior leadership.

Top 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen In The Middle East 2024

  1. Hana Al Rostamani

Nationality: Emirati

Group CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Nationality: Kuwaiti

Deputy Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK Group)

Nationality: Kuwaiti

CEO, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)

Nationality: Pakistani

Cofounder and Group CEO, PureHealth Holding

NEWCOMER TO TOP 10

Nationality: Kuwaiti

Group CEO, Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – KIPCO

Nationality: Jordanian

CEO, Arab Bank

Nationality: Saudi

Chairperson, Saudi Tadawul Group

Nationality: Emirati

CEO, Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)

NEWCOMER TO TOP 10

Nationality: Pakistani

General Manager – North Africa, Levant, and Iraq & Arabia Senior Customer Development Lead, Unilever

  1. Reem Asaad

NEWCOMER TO TOP 10

Nationality: Egyptian-American

Vice President – Middle East, Africa, Türkiye, Romania & The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Cisco

Click here to view the full list of the Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2024.

About Forbes Middle East

Forbes Middle East is a licensed edition of Forbes for the Arab world, championing inspiring business journalism and entrepreneurial capitalism. Its online and social platforms break news covering billionaires, business, investment, technology, economy, entrepreneurship, leadership, and luxury lifestyles. The monthly magazine, featuring in-depth interviews with the Middle East’s most influential and innovative leaders, is published in print in English and Arabic, with digital versions available to both regional and global audiences online. Forbes Middle East extends the Forbes brand of journalism across the Arab world, conducting its own comprehensive research to publish original lists that adhere to strict methodologies. Its content attracts business leaders, investors, active and potential entrepreneurs, and a wide audience of ambitious and influential executives.

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