100 smartest people in the UAE

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Sunil John

Sunil John

Company:

Asda’a Burson-Marsteller

Designation:

CEO

Like many journalists, Sunil John left the life of reporting behind for a career in public relations, but what a career it turned out to be. Now the chief executive of prominent public relations firm Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, John plays a key role in the corporate image of some of the UAE’s most iconic figures, including Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar and key Dubai government officials. With decades of experience, the CEO manages the company’s operations across 17 countries and 11 offices and 10 affiliates in the Middle East and North Africa.

He first founded Asda’a in 1999 before merging with global firm Burson-Marsteller in 2008, though he continues to be a significant shareholder. Judging by his list of clientele, one could argue John is one of the most powerful men in the UAE’s PR scene.