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Women excel in leadership across the Arab World
July 22, 2017, 10:52 am

Forbes Middle East, has unveiled its list of the Arab world’s most powerful women for the fifth consecutive year. The recent issue ranks the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Business Women, the Top 10 Most Powerful Arab Women In Government and the Top 10 Arab Women Social Media Influencers across the region.

The U.A.E. tops the list with 18 female leaders, followed by Egypt and Lebanon with 16 and 12 women respectively.

Saudi Arabia leads the charge, with businesswomen climbing the ladder across private and government organizations. This year saw Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group, become the first women in the Kingdom to head a commercial bank.

Latifa Homoud Alsabhan was promoted to CFO of the Arab National Bank. Sarah Al Suhaimi was appointed as the chair of the country’s stock exchange, Tadawul. And Lubna S. Olayan, CEO of the Olayan Financing Company, tops the businesswomen list for the third consecutive year. Elsewhere Lobna Helal became Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt. Nezha Hayat now heads the Moroccan Capital Market Authority. And Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi chairs the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance in the U.A.E. is revealed as the number one most powerful Arab woman in government in 2017. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, is a new entrant and ranks second.

In the world of social media, Forbes Middle East looked at the top Arab women influencers for the first time. At the top is Huda Khattan, a Hollywood trained make-up artist and beauty consultant based in Dubai, with over 23.8 million followers. Following her are Joelle Mardinian, a successful beauty and make-up entrepreneur, and YouTube star Hayla Al Ghazal, with over 9.3 million and 7 million subscribers respectively.

Khuloud Al Omian, Editor in chief, Forbes Middle East said: “Arab women are not only taking the helm in business and holding senior leadership positions, but they are also excelling in all areas of life such as community service, sports, adventure, entrepreneurship and social media.” 

These women are providing senior leadership in different sectors ranging from banking and financial services, diversified, petrochemicals to healthcare, investments and retail.

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