Welcome to the inaugural Power 100 — our exclusive countdown of the world’s 100 most influential Arab women. Over the past six months, CEO Middle East has been scouring the globe to examine in the detail the influence of female Arabs. Though primarily from the business world, no sector has been left untouched — including science, media, entertainment, arts and sports. The result, we believe, is the most definitive list ever published on the power of Arab women.
So how do we define “power”? Quite simply, the more people you influence, the more powerful you are. Topping our list is the UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi. Since first being appointed to a senior government position in 2004, Sheikha Lubna has become a prominent figure on the global stage, and one of the most respected business leaders in the region. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, CEO of the massive Olayan Financing Company, is closely behind in second place, with another UAE figure Salma Hareb, head of JAFZA, in third. But as our list shows, it is far more than business success that brings influence. In fourth place is Leila El Solh, vice chairwoman of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation, Lebanon.
*We have not ranked royals although those we believe to be the most prominent figures have been featured throughout the list.