For the fourth year running, HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi tops the CEO Middle East list of the Arab world’s most powerful women.
Sheikha Lubna was promoted to her current role as Minister of International Development last year. As the UAE’s first ever female minister, Sheikha Lubna has long been a trailblazer and mentor to Arab women the world over.
Haifa Al Mansour, the Saudi film director, was placed second. Her film, Wadjda, was the first Saudi film to be nominated for the Academy Awards last year.
The highest new entry was third-placed Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE’s Minister of State and managing director of Dubai’s victorious Expo 2020 bid team.
Other entries in the top ten included Samia Halaby, the Palestinian contemporary artist based in New York, and Baynan Mahmoud Al Zahran, Saudi Arabia’s first practising female lawyer, who opened the country’s first all-female legal practice earlier this year.
There were a record 33 new entries in this year’s list. Included in the new names are the Jordanian molecular biologist who is aiming to put a library in every neighbourhood in the Arab world, the journalist bringing media to Egypt’s masses and the Lebanese tech entrepreneur whose inventions are wowing the US.
The UAE plays host to the most entries on the list, with 23 names based in the country. However, Lebanon has produced the highest number of entries, with 19 women claiming it as their country of origin. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon both have 15 names.
The CEO Middle East list examined the influence of Arab women across the globe in all sectors, including business, academia, science and entertainment.