The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
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Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Industry: Government

Company: Government

Designation: Minister of International Cooperation and Development

Country: UAE (UAE)

For the fourth year in a row, there’s just no beating Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who has again made it to the top of our Power List. The UAE’s first-ever female cabinet minister, Sheikha Lubna was promoted to her current brief as Minister of International Cooperation and Development after a lengthy stint as Minister of Foreign Trade.

Sheikha Lubna was appointed to her first ministerial post in November 2004 — becoming Minister of Economy and Planning.

This year marks her tenth anniversary of serving her country’s government.

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 vice president and prime minister of the UAE.

The minister is currently working hard to sign off the US Middle East Free Trade Area.

But amidst her whirlwind tours around the world, Sheikha Lubna has still managed to retain her own business interests, which have included setting up a perfume line.

The minister also sits on the board of directors at the Dubai Chamber for Commerce and Industry, is vice chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and is on the board at the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Sheikha Lubna is also a board member of the Emirates Foundation Abu Dhabi, as well as the Dubai School of Government. She is also a board member of Friends of Cancer Patients.

She holds a BSc from California State University of Chico, as well as an MBA from the American University of Sharjah.