Country of residence: United Arab Emirates
Nashwa Al Ruwaini might be dubbed the Oprah Winfrey of the Arab world, but the Cairo-born Emirati media magnate has earned her own iconic stature, having begun her career in radio as a teenager before moving into television and becoming one of the youngest female presenters.
Shortly after, she founded media and television production firm Pyramedia, running offices across the Middle East and in London and New York. The company is known for helping cast Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Pyramedia also acted as a consultant for Hollywood productions including Syriana and Pirates of the Caribbean. In April, the firm held casting calls for Guy Ritchie’s remake of the classic Disney musical Aladin.
Al Ruwaini has made a name for herself beyond the borders of the Middle East, having co-founded the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which attracts names from across the international film scene. Some of her own work includes a self-titled talk show Nashwa on Dubai TV, which discusses social taboos and controversies surrounding women in the Middle East.
Today, she also serves as the chairwoman of Al Joude Investment and Management and Nashwa Charity, an organisation dedicated to helping women and children in the Arab world.