Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi

The latest list from Forbes Middle East has revealed that the glass ceiling has well and truly cracked with an admirable 200 women being ranked for their success and political strength.For the second consecutive year, the prestigious Forbes Middle East 200 Most Powerful Arab Women list shines a light on the leading ladies making fundamental contributions to the business and political landscapes of an ever-evolving Arab world.

Motivation for undertaking this in-depth exercise stems from the reality that Arab women today are not only inspiring future generations of aspiring females, but driving the advancement of national economies and political agendas across the region.

The ranking includes women from three categories: family business, government and executive management.

Family businesses dominated with a total of 85 entries – the equivalent of 43 per cent of the total. At the top of the family business realm is Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director of UAE-based Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Company, and Mona Almoayyed, MD of YK Almoayyed & Sons Group in Bahrain, respectively.

Reflecting a steady rise in female representation in national politics, the list included a total of 59 women in government positions, accounting for 29 per cent of total entries. The UAE’s Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi (pictured) ranks first, followed by Oman’s Dr Rawya Al-Busaidi and Hind Subaih Al-Subaih from Kuwait. The move to include women in Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council also paves the way for strong Saudi representation in this sector.

This is the first time, that Forbes Middle East’s ranking has been extended to include accomplished women who occupy senior positions in the corporate world. The 56 women featured in the executive management category have risen through the ranks to assume C-level, board, chair and presidential roles within their respective organisations, and account for 28 per cent of the list.

Of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women ranking, Egypt dominates with 29 entries. The largest economy in the region, Saudi Arabia, has 27, followed closely by the UAE, with 26 entries. This just goes to prove that the sky is the limit for women in the region – it’s time to start chasing your dreams.

For more inspiring women in the region check out the amazing nominees for the Emirates Woman Woman of theYear Awards 2014.