The #SheMeansBusiness category will celebrate female business leaders in the region

 For the first time in the Emirates Woman Woman of the Year Awards history, we have a special category in partnership with Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness programme which honours the innovation and empowering spirit of the region’s leading entrepreneurial women.

The idea behind #SheMeansBusiness is that when women do better, economies do better. That’s why Facebook is celebrating women who have built and run businesses. #SheMeansBusiness is a global program that Facebook launched in the Arab world to inspire and train women entrepreneurs. Emirates Woman and #SheMeansBusiness share like-minded values in helping to foster a community of ground-breaking women. 

Here are the nominees:

 Azra Khamissa


The Dubai-based Canadian-South African chiropractor and designer is the founder and creative director of Azra – a homegrown accessory label, celebrating minimalism and handmade by local leather craftsmen in Dubai. Founded in 2015, her eponymous brand brings unique contemporary handbag designs to the Gulf, placing a large focus on premium and locally-sourced leather.


Zaina and Rania Kannan


Zaina and Rania Kannan are the founders of Charicycles, a custom bike shop that specialises in ‘upcycling’ vintage bicycles. The Palestinian sisters grew up in Canada, and inspired by their bicycle commute in Montreal, started Charicycles in Dubai in 2014. Charicycles finds bicycle frames that have been forgotten and restore them into the beautiful bikes they once were.


Alia El Alami


Alia El Alami is a UAE-based baker and founder of homegrown boutique bakery Looshi’s, which serves a range of macaroons, cakes, pies and dessert jars. Alia’s love of macaroons led her to baking them at home. She began a Facebook page and started selling her macarons to events and weddings, as well as gifts – and then started her own bakery in 2014.


Dina Ghandour


Dina Ghandour is the founder of yApparel, the UAE’s first yoga and fitness apparel boutique. After 6 years in the world of marketing and PR, Dina began yApparel in 2014 to serve a growing yoga and active community in the UAE. The company has now become one of the region’s most popular online stores for everything fitness and fashion. Aside from running yApparel, Dina is also a Jivamukti Yoga certified teacher.


Nasreen Afshar


Nasreen Afshar is the founder of Buttons and Bows Tailoring, which is a professional door-to-door tailoring service based in Dubai. Seeing a gap in the market for easily accessible tailoring solutions, Nasreen founded the company to provide customers with a specialised tailoring service at their doorstep, offering everything from fabric shopping and alterations to custom tailoring.


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