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Sun 23 Jun 2019 03:33 PM

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Muslim police chief, female FA member and hijab-wearing model among top winners at the debut Arabian Business London Awards

The first ever Arabian Business London Awards took place on June 21

Muslim police chief, female FA member and hijab-wearing model among top winners at the debut Arabian Business London Awards
Mariah Idrissi, centre, our winner of Young Achiever of the Year.

The head of the National Association of Muslim Police, the first Muslim woman to serve on the Football Association Council and one of Britain’s first Muslim hijab-wearing models were among those awarded at the first-ever Arabian Business London Awards, which were held at a prestigious gala reception on June 21.

The event was held in two parts: The first section honoured those who have made major contributions to British society, while part two included a select group of achievers from our home region who have enjoyed success on a truly global scale and deserved to have their contributions acknowledged.

The awards took place at 8, Northumberland Avenue, in central London, and the exclusive banking partner was Barclays, the event planner was Grosvenor Capital and the social media partner was TINT.


Inspector Mustafa Mohammed, President of The National Association of Muslim Police, pictured with Andrew Neil at the Arabian Business London Awards.

Honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award was Inspector Mustafa Mohammed, President of The National Association of Muslim Police. The police chief is used to receiving awards as only a few weeks ago he received a medal from Prince Charles as part of the New Year’s Honours.

Awarded by the royal establishment for improving inter-police Muslim relations, things have certainly come a long way since he joined the police force in 1986.

Ayman Hariri, Mohamed Hadid among Arabian Business London Award winners

The first ever Arabian Business London Awards took place at a prestigious gala reception on Friday

Back then, he was one of a small number of Muslim officers. He has worked hard to help examine the issue of Islamophobic hate crimes and built the police force’s relationship with the Muslim community, actively encouraging members to join the force.

The number of Muslim police officers has grown to such an extent he went on to form the West Midlands Police Muslim Association and is also currently president of the National Association of Muslim Police.

He has been described by colleagues as a passionate and determined role model and is a worthy winner of our debut awards in London.


Dr Rimla Akhtar, winner of Award for Sports.

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 is currently taking place over in France. We will have to wait until July 7 to find out who will claim the trophy, but one thing that is certain is that Dr Rimla Akhtar, winner of Award for Sports, will be watching closely.

She was the first person who publicly identified themselves as an Asian, Muslim woman on the Football Association Council, she has spoken out many times for sport to adapt to accommodate Muslim athletes, she is the chair of the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation, she has been a trustee of Kick It Out, an organisation campaigning against racism in football and was awarded an MBE in 2015.

Breaking down barriers

Another big star helping to break down barriers for Muslims in Britain is Mariah Idrissi, our winner of Young Achiever of the Year.

A British model, public speaker, and online personality, this woman gained national recognition as the first Muslim hijab-wearing model when she appeared in a campaign for multinational retailer H&M in 2015.

She soon became the new face of "modest fashion" and was signed to the Select modelling agency, joining the likes of Agyness Deyn, Irina Shayk and David Gandy.

Born in north-west London to Pakistani and Moroccan parents, one of her biggest public events was a TedxTeen talk at London’s O2 Arena in front of an audience of thousands, so it is clear this woman is someone who is on course to really make a difference and be one of Britain’s stars of the future.

Among the other big winners on the night were Lebanese businessman Ayman Hariri, Palestinean-American property magnet Mohamed Hadid, Dubai-based Dr. Habib Al Mulla, Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall