Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is the UAE’s first female minister. Her current role is Minister of Development and International Cooperation, to which she was promoted earlier this month.
She has previously served as Minister for Foreign Trade. The Emirati national’s background lies in IT; she won plaudits for developing a system that slashed cargo turnaround times at Dubai airport, and in 2000 founded Tejari, the Middle East’s first business-to-business online marketplace. The firm, which is now one of Dubai World’s most successful units, has franchises across the Middle East and was initially funded by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and prime minister of the UAE. Sheikha Lubna was appointed to her first ministerial post in November 2004 — becoming Minister of Economy and Planning, before taking the Minister of Foreign Trade brief afterwards. She also sits on the board of directors at the Dubai Chamber.