What makes a successful CEO? How can you measure leadership? Tricky, isn't it? \nWe have taken their current market capitalisations to create a list of the top CEOs in the UAE.
1. Etisalat \nSector: Telecommunications \nMarket Cap (US$): 47.2 billion (173.5 billion AED) \nCEO: Saleh Al Abdooli \nPrior to becoming the CEO of Etisalat earlier this year, Al Abdooli served as CEO of Etisalat Misr and Etisalat UAE. He holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Technology from the University of Colorado Boulder.
2. First Gulf Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 14.4 billion (52.88 billion AED) \nCEO: André Sayegh \nSayegh has been CEO of FGB since 2006. Before securing the top position at the bank, he was COO. Sayegh is credited with modernizing the bank’s operations. He holds an MBA from the American University of Beirut.
3. Emaar Properties \nSector: Real Estate \nMarket Cap (US$): 13.88 billion (50.98 billion AED) \nCEO: Amit Jain \nJain was appointed Acting CEO in April 2016, after Abdulla Lahej resigned. The CEO, who joined Emaar in 2006, also serves as Chief Operating Officer. He has over 20 years of experience in real estate, banking and management consultancy and is a CFA Charter holder.
4. National Bank of Abu Dhabi \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 13.24 billion (48.66 billion AED) \nActing CEO: Abhjit Choudhury \nChoudhury, formerly NBAD’s Chief Risk Officer, took over as CEO in August. He has over 40 years of experience in banking, having worked at the Arab Banking Corporation in Bahrain for 17 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Jawakarlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
5. Emirates NBD \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 12.34 billion (45.35 billion AED) \nCEO: Shayne Nelson \nNelson has been CEO of Emirates NBD since 2013. Prior to joining the bank, he held several high profile positions in the banking industry, including CEO of Standard Chartered Private Bank in Singapore and Chairman of Standard Chartered’s Saadiq Islamic Advisory Board. He also served as regional CEO at Standard Chartered Bank, MENA.
6. Emaar Malls \nSector: Real Estate/Financials \nMarket Cap (US$): 9.8 billion (35.92 billion AED) \nCEO: Nasser Rafi \nRafi joined Emaar Properties as Head of Information Technology in 2005. He was previously the Managing Director of Hamptons International, Middle East. In his role at Emaar Malls, he has focused on boosting the company’s retail revenue. Rafi holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.
7. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): $9.8 billion (35.64 billion AED) \nCEO: Ala’a Eraiqat \nEraiqat became CEO of ADCB and joined its Board of Directors in early 2009. Prior to taking the helm, he held various positions in the bank. Before joining ADCB, Eraiqat had senior roles at Citibank and Standard Chartered.
8. Du \nSector: Telecommunications \nMarket Cap (US$): $8.1 billion (29.71 billion AED) \nCEO: Osman Sultan \nSultan has been the CEO of Du for more than a decade. The Du chief has a long and illustrious career in the telecommunications industry, having held senior roles at Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services, MobiNil Telecommunications Co. and France Telecom. He has a degree in engineering.
9. Dubai Islamic Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 7.2 billion (26.54 billion AED) \nCEO: Adnan Chilwan \nChilwan has been the CEO of DIB since mid-2013. Prior to taking on the role, Chilwan worked in both conventional and islamic banking in the Gulf region. Chilwan holds a PhD and an MBA in marketing, and is a Certified Islamic Banker.
10. Aldar Properties \nSector: Real Estate \nMarket Cap (US$): 5.88 billion (21.62 billion AED) \nCEO: Muhammad Al Mubarak \nBefore becoming CEO of Aldar, Al Mubarak served as the company’s deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer. He was also Director of Estates and Infrastructure. Mubarak has a degree in Economics and Political Science from Northeastern University.
11. Commercial Bank of Dubai \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.96 billion (14.57 billion AED) \nCEO: Peter Baltussen \nBaltussen has been the CEO of CBD since mid-2006. Prior to joining CBD, he held a variety of senior managerial positions at ABN Amro Bank, Banque de Neuflize-Paris, and Saudi Hollandi Bank. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Economics.
12. DAMAC Properties \nSector: Real Estate \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.8 billion (14.22 billion AED) \nCEO: Hussain Sajwani \nSajwani is the CEO and Chairman of DAMAC, which he founded in 2002. One of the biggest names in the Dubai real estate industry, Sajwani built and sold multiple hotels in the 90s as the emirate expanded. Sajwani, who first made a name for himself in the food services industry, holds a BA in Economics from the University of Washington.
13. Dubai Parks and Resorts \nSector: Consumer Staples \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.4 billion (12.8 billion AED) \nCEO: Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi \nBefore Al Nuaimi became CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts, he was the Chief Leisure and Entertainment Officer at Meraas Holding and held senior management roles with a number of other Dubai property and leisure groups, including Dubailand and Dubai Properties Group. He has a BA in Business Administration from Ashford University.
14. Mashreqbank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.46 billion (12.74 billion AED) \nCEO: Abdul Aziz Abdulla al Ghurair \nAl Ghurair has been CEO of Mashreqbank since 1991 and a Board Member since 1979. He also serves as the Chairman of the UAE Banking Federation, Vice Chairman of the higher board of the DIFC, and Chairman of Oman Insurance Company. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University.
15. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.1 billion (11.63 billion AED) \nCEO: Tirad Mahmoud \nMahmoud joined ADIB in early 2008 after a 22-year career at Citibank. While at Citi, he worked as Division Head in the Corporate Bank and Regional Credit Director for Citibank North Africa. He currently serves as a Director of Saudi Installment House. Mahmoud has a BA in Corporate Finance from Loyala of Concordia University in Montreal.
16. Union National Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 3.06 billion (11.23 billion AED) \nCEO: Mohammad Nasr Abdeen \nAbdeen’s career started in Egypt, with the National Bank of Egypt, in 1965. He went on to work for Libya’s National Co. for Food Industries and Oman’s Mashreq Bank before joining UNB in 1999. Abdeen also serves as the Vice Chairman of Union National Bank, Egypt.
17. Dubai Financial Market \nSector: Investment and Financial Services \nMarket Cap (US$): 2.96 billion (10.88 billion AED) \nCEO: Essa Kazim \nKazim serves as the Chairman and CEO of both the DFM and Borse Dubai. He formerly held positions at the UAE Central Bank and the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Kazim has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Iowa.
18. National Bank of Ras al-Khaimah \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 2.37 billion (8.72 billion AED) \nCEO: Peter England \nEngland has been CEO of the National Bank of Ras al-Khaimah since 2013. Prior to joining the lender, he led retail banking at CIMB Group Sdn Bhd and CIMB Bank, was the Chief Operating Officer at Hong Leong Bank Bhd, and the head of HSBC Malaysia’s credit card business. England holds an MBA in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
19. Dubai Investments \nSector: Investment and Financial Services \nMarket Cap (US$): 2.31 billion (8.5 billion AED) \nCEO: Khalid Kalban \nKalban has been the CEO and Managing Director of Dubai Investments for almost two decades. He has also served as the Chairman of Union Properties since 2009, having previously been its CEO. Kalban has had an illustrious career that’s spanned some 35 years, and has worked in or been associated with numerous regional investment, insurance, banking, petrochemicals and telecommunications groups. Kalban holds a BS in Management from Metropolitan State College.
20. National Bank of Umm Al-Qaiwain \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.91 billion (7.02 billion AED) \nCEO: Nasser Al Moalla \nMoalla serves as both CEO and Managing Director at the National Bank of Umm Al-Qaiwain, as well as the Deputy Chairman of Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Industries. He is also on the board of Umm Al-Qaiwain General Investments Co. and Ras Al Khaimah Co. for White Cement & Construction Materials.
21. Arabtec Holding \nSector: Real Estate and Construction \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.88 billion (6.92 billion AED) \nActing CEO: Saeed Mohamed Saeed Al Mehairbi \nBoard member Al Mehairbi was named acting CEO of Arabtec in late 2015. The Arabtec head also holds management roles at Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and International Petroleum Investment Co. Al Mehairbi, who has almost two decades experience in the oil and gas sector, holds a Master’s in Quality Management from Wollongong University in Dubai.
22. Air Arabia \nSector: Transportation \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.75 billion (6.44 billion AED) \nCEO: Adel Abdulla Ali \nAli set up Air Arabia in October 2003 and now heads the biggest low-cost carrier in the Arab World. The CEO also serves as the chairman of Alpha Sharjah catering, Sharjah Information Systems Associates and Alpha Aviation Academy.
23. National Bank of Fujairah \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.65 billion (6.08 billion AED) \nCEO: Vince Cook \nPrior to joining the National Bank of Fujairah, Cook served as Managing Director for the GCC at Barclays Capital, CEO of the Islamic Bank of Asia Ltd and General Manager for corporate banking and capital markets at Qatar National Bank.
24. Aramex \nSector: Transportation \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.54 billion (5.68 billion AED) \nCEO: Hussein Hashem \nHashem was appointed CEO of Aramex in 2013. He has more than two decades worth of experience in logistics and previously served as Vice President for company’s UAE and Oman operations as well as the CEO for the GCC. He holds a BA from the American University of Beirut.
25. Dana Gas \nSector: Energy \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.06 billion (3.9 billion AED) \nCEO: Patrick Adrian Allman-Ward \nAllman-ward was appointed CEO of Dana Gas in 2013. Prior to that, he was a General and Country Manager for Dana Gas, Egypt, and a Petroleum Exploration and Management Consultant at Allen Ward Limited. A graduate of Imperial College London, Allman-Ward also held several senior positions at Shell and has a background in geology.
26. Sharjah Islamic Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.02 billion (3.76 billion AED) \nCEO: Mohammed Abdallah \nAbdallah has been CEO of SIB for a decade. Prior to assuming the role, he served as Deputy CEO of the bank, as well as Managing Director.
27. Al Waha Capital \nSector: Investment and Financial Services \nMarket Cap (US$): 1.01 billion (3.71 billion AED) \nCEO: Salem Rashid Al Noaimi \nAl Noaimi has led Waha since 2009. He also serves as managing director of the company. Al Noaimi previously served as Deputy CEO and CEO of Waha Leasing after holding roles at the UAE Central Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The Waha CEO earned a degree in Finance and International Business from Northeastern University.
28. Agthia Group \nSector: Consumer \nMarket Cap (US$): 983 million (3.61 billion AED) \nCEO: Iqbal Hamzah \nHamzah has served as CEO of Agthia since September 2014, having joined the company in 2006. Prior to assuming the role, he was Agthia’s first Chief Financial Officer as well as its Company Secretary. He held senior positions at the Gillette Company, where he worked for 17 years.
29. Invest Bank \nSector: Banking \nMarket Cap (US$): 950 million (3.49 billion AED) \nCEO: Sami Rached Farhat \nFarhat is both CEO and General Manager of Invest Bank. Prior to joining Invest Bank, he served as Director of First National Bank.
30. Deyaar Development \nSector: Real Estate \nMarket Cap (US$): 926 million (3.4 billion AED) \nCEO: Saeed al Qatami \nAl Qatami has been CEO of Deyaar since April 2010. He was previously the company’s Managing Director for its UAE Business. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate and financial services and holds a BA in Science and Mathematics from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.