By Staff Writer
Roll call of winners includes champions of industry, sport and philanthropy
Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia bint Majid AlSaud was honoured this evening at the annual Arabian Business Achievement Awards.
At a glittering ceremony in the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah, Princess Lamia was described as a “ground-breaking game changer”.
Only a few months ago Princess Lamia was appointed as a champion of Generation Unlimited, the global partnership working to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens.
Launched in 2018, she aims to use her platform, leading role and widespread experience, to focus on generating private sector support for programmes that empower young people and provide them with quality education and training opportunities.
As the Secretary General and member of the Board of Trustees of Alwaleed Philanthropies, her influence goes even further with the foundation active at a global level, with initiatives in over 180 countries and focusing on cultural understanding, community development, women and youth empowerment and crisis relief.
This year she invested $2.5m to support a project which conducted the first-ever nationwide study of 15,000 Saudi households to gain insights into women’s involvement in areas such as the economy, health, education, legislation and society.
Accepting the award, Princess Lamia paid tribute to her team. "Believe in people; when you believe in people, this is the best thing in life. I'd like to thank my team. It's not a normal team. We are working in 180 countries. While we are speaking, there are over 60 projects around the world ongoing."
The event also honoured business leaders, a leading international sports star, a successful writer and author and an inspirational programme that mentors entrepreneurs in the Arab world.
Former CEO of Jumeirah Group, Gerald Lawless helped nurture the Jumeirah hotel brand name during his 18 years at the helm, expanding its reputation around the world, from China to the Maldives and beyond.
He also transformed the landmark Burj Al Arab into the epitome of luxury and raised the benchmark for hospitality around the world.
He has also service as the head of tourism and hospitality at Dubai Holding, chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for The World’s Greatest Show - Expo 2020 Dubai.
Careem co-founder Mudassir Sheikha was recognised for his fairytale success story with ride hailing app Careem.
Sheikha founded Careem in 2012 after a spell travelling around the region working for a consultancy company.
Careem is now available in 100 cities across 14 countries, has created more than one million jobs, and, in March this year, it was announced Uber is in the process of buying it as part of a mammoth $3.1 billion deal, making it the Middle East’s largest ever technology transaction.
Chaker Khazaal was born as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, spending much of his early life in the Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut.
He later emigrated to Canada after winning the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award from York University, where his influence began to take off.
Now a successful reporter, editor-in-chief and public speaker, Khazaal is also the author of the best-selling ‘Confessions of a War Child’ trilogy.
He has used his platform to be an advocate for refugees and aspiring young writers and has been presented with the Mentor Arabia Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdelaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, and shared the Global Trailblazer Award in New York with Arianna Huffington.
And he hasn’t stopped there, with his latest book, ‘Tale of Tala’, already an Amazon best seller.
British boxer Amir Khan proved a knockout at the annual Arabian Business Achievement awards.
The 32-year-old took the plaudits as his career was regaled to the audience.
Khan started training at the tender age of eight and was competing inside the ring by 11, winning a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Olympics and going on to become Britain’s youngest boxing Olympic medalist at just 17.
The native of Bolton, Lancashire, went on to claim the unified light-welterweight world crown from 2009 to 2012, as well as the Commonwealth lightweight title from 2007 to 2008 and WBC silver welterweight title from 2014 to 2016.
Khan is now moving into areas such as cryptocurrency and property but is also an ambassador for sport around the world, bringing boxing to new markets such as the previously mentioned Saudi Arabia.
On top of that, his charitable foundation also provides water wells in drought-stricken regions across Asia and Africa, builds orphanages in The Gambia and he has teamed up with Islamic Relief to help provide aid for Syrian refugees.
Badr Jafar, head of a UAE-based conglomerate that includes the Middle East’s largest privately-owned petroleum company, was presented with an award at the ceremony to great acclaim.
Jafar is also chairman of the Executive Board of Gulftainer, the world’s largest private container terminal operator, and chairman of Pearl Petroleum, a five-member consortium for the development of natural gas in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Outside his business ambitions, Jafar set up the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organisation founded to promote a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf region of the Middle East.
Through his passion for social entrepreneurship, he is also active with higher education institutions, serving as a member of the Advisory Boards of Cambridge University Judge Business School, American University of Beirut and American University of Sharjah.
And just this year, he was appointed to UNESCO’s Future of Education International Commission.
The team behind Ruwwad, Aysheh Alamaren, Maysoun Ayoub, Marwa Bakr and Rawan Alamayreh, were given a standing ovation as they collected their award in recognition of the work they have done.
The brainchild of Fadi Ghandour, the serial entrepreneur and founder of Aramex International, the organisation was set up with the singular aim of deploying entrepreneurship, talent, resources and skills, to underprivileged communities across the Arab world.
Operating in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine, the programme mentors entrepreneurs, who in return undertake community service.
The founder of Petrochem Middle East famously admitted that he once had to sell his wife’s jewellery to pay his debts in his 20s.
However, after arriving in Dubai in 1990, he set about building a billion dollar empire. And, nearly three decades later he is the owner of the Middle East’s largest chemical distributors.
Also a graduate of Harvard Business School, he has expanded the company to South Africa, Australia and Latin America and has even bigger plans afoot for the next five year.
Outside of his beloved company, he is also giving back and is a trustee in a $140 million Hindu temple being built in Abu Dhabi.