Emirati and Saudi women top Power List

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Lubna Olayan was the highest ranking female Saudi.

Lubna Olayan was the highest ranking female Saudi.

Women living in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have topped CEO Middle East’s Most Powerful Women 2012 list with nearly 50 percent of entrants residing in the UAE.

Saudi Arabia is home to the second highest number of women on this year’s this list with 12 entrants, including Lubna Olayan, the CEO of Riyadh-based conglomerate Olayan Financing Company and Princess Ameerah Al Taweel, followed by 11 in Lebanon and 12 in Kuwait.

The list, broken down by both country of residence and nationality, ranks 100 women living in 18 countries - including Holland, Switzerland and the US - with 17 different nationalities.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, is ranked the Arab world’s most powerful woman for a second year running followed by Tawakkul Karam, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nine out of the top ten currently live in their birth country with three in Saudi Arabia, three in the UAE, one in Syria, one in Kuwait and one in Yemen.

Saudi-born medical researcher Hayat Sindi is the only female in the top ten not to live in her home country. The US-based researcher arrived in the UK in 1991 unable to speak English, with no money and no direction. However, hard work and determination saw her land a place Kings College, Cambridge, one of the UK’s most prestigious universities. She later moved to the US.

Khadija Ben Ganna, a television presenter with Doha-based Al Jazeera Network, is the only Algerian woman to make it on the list, while Libya’s Eman Obeidy, who now lives in the US, is the only Libyan to make this year’s cut.

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