Girl power is alive and well in the Middle East, as the newly released Top 50 Arab Power List 2016 sees seven women making the shortlist.
OK, while the figure may seem paltry, especially when you take into account that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai recently swore in eight women into top positions in the UAE government during the recent reshuffle, it is an improvement from the top 50 list from 2015 – only five women made the cut.
Either way, we’re happy our sisters have been recognised in the list, which was put together by Gulf Business, who selected the shortlist according to the following criteria: financial capital; human capital; expansion plans and personal fame.
Among the women selected was our much loved style icon Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser and UAE minister Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi. Below we reveal why these inspirational women deserved the recognition.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
Sheikha Lubna, a member of Sharjah’s ruling family, is no stranger to these power lists having also been recognised by Forbes. She is the Chairman and UAE Minister of international cooperation and development. She is also the first woman to hold a ministerial post in the United Arab Emirates, and the first Emirati to receive the Clinton Global Citizen Award.
Noura Al Kaabi
Noura is AS CEO of media company twofour54, Noura is a key influencer in the UAE’s media industry. Last year alone, asEO of Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority she also successful oversaw the filming of two Hollywood blockbusters in the UAE capital – Furious 7 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She is also one of the eight women who was recently sworn in to the UAE’s new cabinet. She was appointed as Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
Residence: Saudi Arabia
Considered a trailblazer in the world of business, esepcially in Saudi where it’s not as easy for women to take charge. Lubna runs KSA’s Olayan Financing Company, a billion-dollar family business. She has be influenful in introducing gender balance in Saudi, with her firm employing 400 women.
HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser
As well as being one of our favourite Middle East style icons, Sheikha Mozah who is also Chairman of the Qatar Foundation she has been instrumental in sponsoring education programmes and improving Doha’s cultural scene. Referred to as “Qatar’s elegant matriarch,” she is regularly rubbing shoulders with world leaders and their leading ladies, including Michelle Obama.
Reem Al Hashemi
Her Excellency certainly has a huge job on her hands as the UAE Minister of state and managing director of Dubai World Expo 2020. Before taking on the Expo 2020, Al Hashemi was deputy chief of mission at the UAE embassy in Washington DC. No surprise then that she is a strong female role model for Emirati women.
Sheikha Mayassa Bint Al Thani
Dubbed the Queen of the Art World, Al Thani chairs Qatar Museums and manages Doha’s vast and impressive art collection and museum landscape. She is renowned for overseeing the purchase of works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko, as well as a record-setting $250 million for Cezanne’s The Card Players.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani
Not only is she the Group CEO of TECOM communications, but has also helped Dubai be taken serious as a fashion hub, opening the fashion-dedicated Dubai Design District free zone.
Images: Getty and Instagram