Former lab technologist Salma Hareb studied for diplomas in
IT and business while also holding down a job at Dubai’s Department of Health
before she decided on a change of career. In 1997, she started working as a
planner for Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), the operator of one of
Dubai’s busiest free zones. Hareb quickly moved up the ranks and in 2005 was
appointed the CEO of JAFZA and parent company Economic Zones World. As a
result, she became the first woman in the Middle East to lead a free zone.