Country of residence: United Arab Emirates
Essa Kazim is a numbers man. As governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) since early 2014, he leads the world-renown financial free zone and is overseeing a $1bn expansion – the first new construction project in the financial district since the property crash in 2008.
But the respected thinker in the field of business and economics is also chairman of Dubai Bourse, chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) stock exchange, deputy chairman of the Supreme Legislation Committee in Dubai and a member of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee.
With his credentials, the list of high-ranking roles comes as little surprise – Kazim holds three degrees. He began his career as a senior analyst at the UAE Central Bank in 1988 before moving into Dubai’s Department of Economic Development and later being appointed as director-general of the DFM from 1999 to 2006.