2. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Over the past 25 years HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been at the forefront of Dubai’s remarkable economic development spearheading the successful expansion of aviation and, more recently, formulating economic, investment and fiscal policies and strategies in support of the emirate’s overarching vision. In his role as chairman of Emirates Airline, few can deny his staggering influence. Emirates has over 170 aircraft, and flies to more than 120 destinations in over 70 countries. He has managed to deliver a profit for 24 years in succession, with the 2011 figures showing income of $409m. But the airline is only part of his story. He holds a number of government positions and plays an increasingly pivotal role in leading the emirate’s finance and energy sectors. Sheikh Ahmed is also the chairman of Dubai World, Emirates NBD and the emirate’s Supreme Fiscal Committee. Amongst his many other roles are the deputy chairmanship of the Dubai Executive Council, and he also heads up the Dubai Power & Energy Committee.
4. Mohamed Alabbar
As boss of Emaar since 1997, Alabbar’s place in history is already secure. He will be long be remembered as the driving force behind the development of the iconic Burj Khalifa, though equally impressive has been the manner in which he has successfully diversified the company. Emaar is now involved in hospitality & leisure, malls, education, healthcare and financial services. With six business segments and more than 60 active companies, Emaar has a collective presence in several markets spanning the Middle East, North Africa, Pan-Asia, Europe and North America. But away from the property giant, the company’s boss has been spending an increasing amount of time on his own private venture, a mining company with extensive operations largely in Africa. The result is that, barely two years since Africa Middle East Resources (AMER) was created, Alabbar has created a mega mining empire. He now has his sights on exploring commodities in a big way: coal, copper, oil and gas, gold, bauxite, iron ore, phosphate, uranium… you name it, and the chances are Alabbar is mining it somewhere in Africa. He told Arabian Business last year: “The Burj was over. I was thinking where to go, what to do next? Yes we got there, but we’re human beings, so when we get there we say ‘So what are we going to do after this? Are you going to crawl and go back in a little hole?’ I can tell you this, that’s not me.”
10 Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
Sheikha Lubna’s background lies in IT; she won plaudits for developing a system that slashed cargo turnaround times at Dubai airport, and in 2000 founded Tejari, the Middle East’s first business-to-business online marketplace. The firm, which is now one of Dubai World’s most successful units, has franchises across the Middle East and was initially funded by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and prime minister of the UAE. Sheikha Lubna was appointed to her first ministerial post in November 2004 – becoming Minister of Economy and Planning, before taking the Minister of Foreign Trade brief afterwards In January, Sheikha Lubna met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss enhanced trade ties. The Gulf country is already the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East. The minister is also currently working hard to sign off the US Middle East Free Trade Area by next year. But amidst her whirlwind tours around the world, Sheikha Lubna has still managed to retain her own business interests. The minister also sits on the board of directors at the Dubai Chamber for Commerce and Industry.
12. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim
Now 60 years old, Tamim has had a remarkable career in public service. In 1970 he graduated from the Royal Police Academy in Jordan, after which he specialised in criminal investigations. After working his way up the chain of command, in 1979 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Police in Dubai, before taking the top job in 1980. Over the past 31 years, he has totally transformed the police force, its role and its reputation internationally and locally. He has published eight major reports on policing, and credited with a number of the police force’s key achievements in the last three decades. These include launching the Dubai Police Academy; establishing the Dubai Forensic Laboratory and the use of DNA in investigations; forming the land, marine and air rescue teams and establishing a special rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. Tamim is also largely credited with driving the force towards using modern technology – it was the first government department to use emails, and later became the first fully operational e-government department. He shot to worldwide fame when he led the investigation into the assassination of Mahmoud Mahbouh, a Hamas operative who was killed by a hit squad in a luxury hotel in Dubai. A major figure on the emirate’s political scene, Tamim’s forthright views are respected by both expatriates and locals. In addition, he is also highly regarded for his social welfare work, which has included the establishment of an orphanage in Dubai, and the launch of the Khalfan School for teaching the Holy Quran.
20. Khaldoon Al Mubarak
A trusted aide to the Crown Prince of the UAE, HH Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Khaldoon Al Mubarak — CEO of Mubadala — has masterminded many of Abu Dhabi’s strategic investments and key development projects. Educated in the US, a graduate of Tufts University, Al Mubarak sits on a number of boards, including First Gulf Bank, Aldar Properties, the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and he is chairman of the Executive Affairs committee. Worldwide, he is of course best known as the chairman of Manchester City Football Club since the club was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. Last month, the club secured its first title in the top flight of English football for 44 years, after beating Queens Park Rangers with an injury-time goal. It meant that the near $1billion of investment in the club that Mubarak has approved now seems very much worthwhile, and Mubarak himself has become one of the most popular figures in the city as a result.
23. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem
What a good year it’s been for DP World, the world’s third- biggest ports firm. Led by Bin Sulayem, the company posted an 82 percent increase in full-year profit for 2011, helped by gains from the part-sale of its terminals in Australia and as container volumes rose. NDP World last year completed the sale of a 75 percent stake in its Australian unit for $1.5bn, and the company, which operates more than 60 terminals across six continents, said recently that it will repay a $3 billion revolving credit facility six months ahead of schedule with its own cash. Furthermore, DP World’s landmark London Gateway project in the UK will start operations in the fourth quarter of 2013. DP World’s shares - listed on NASDAQ Dubai and the LSE - have risen by 20 percent this year.
40. Mohammed Al Marri
A former policeman with 26 years on the force under his belt, Al Marri has been at the forefront at massive change at the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), where a switch to online services, plus a new training complex, have seen a huge improvement in service. While many might see the DNRD role as a behind-the-scenes position, Al Marri’s role is actually vital in streamlining the vast numbers of visitors to Dubai, and ensuring that the flow of tourist dollars remains high. In a government reshuffle ordered by Deputy Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the start of 2010, Al Marri saw his responsibilities increased. Already head of Dubai’s Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) since 2007, he was appointed head of the commission for social development, one of five new committees that will assist the emirate’s decision-making process.
41. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair
It’s been a tough couple of years for bank profits in the region, but those of Mashreqbank — the cornerstone of Abdulaziz Al Ghurair’s business empire — have remained stable. The fact that Mashreqbank has performed so well despite its exposure to Dubai World-linked companies speaks volumes about the strength of its leadership. Al Ghurair is CEO of the bank, which he started from scratch with $1.6m of capital during the oil boom in the 1960s, and which is the country’s fourth-largest by assets. The lender was the first bank to introduce ATM machines and credit cards to the emirates, and is now in expansionist mode. Al Ghurair is also one of the founders of the property giant Emaar, and served as speaker of the UAE’s Federal National Council until earlier last year. He remains a fervent proponent of national identity in the country. The family legacy can be traced back to Ahmad Al Ghurair who founded Al Ghurair Group in 1960. The family name has been a fixture within the UAE business community ever since.
54. Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi
Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi is a UAE national was born in Abu Dhabi in 1953. He started his career at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) in 1978, at the Finance and Administration Department, and joined the Central Bank as Governor in 1991. At the Central Bank, Al Suwaidi was able to introduce or modernise many banking regulations. In 1994, he worked on establishing the ‘UAESwitch’ which started operations in 1996 and was able to connect all bank ATMs in the UAE. He also supported the establishment of an automated cheque clearing System for UAE banks. Guided by Al Suwaidi, the Central Bank is in the process of implementing many new initiatives such as the Image Cheque Clearing System, the Mobile Phone Payment System and Basel II.
57. Marwan Bin Bayat
If you’re going to do something in sport, you might as well do it big. And Bin Bayat did just that last March when he stunned the soccer world by announcing that Diego Maradona was going to be the next manager of Al Wasl Football Club. Bin Bayat said at the time: “The value of the contract is worthy of the stature and reputation of the great legend.” Al Wasl is the only UAE club that has won every single competition in the country, in every sport that the club represents, which includes basketball and handball. Al Wasl’s president is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates Group. For Bin Bayat, the Maradona moment has been a fantastic coup. But that said, the Argentinean legend - regarded by many as the greatest football player of all time - has faced a difficult time and there have been growing rumours that he may yet move on to manage to UAE national team. Time will tell. Right now, both he and Bin Bayat are hoping that victory in the GCC Champion’s League final will allow Al Wasl to forget a largely disappointing domestic season.
58. Raja Easa Al Gurg
Raja Easa Al Gurg wears many hats. Not only is she the managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, the firm of which her father is chairman, but she is also president of the Dubai Business Women’s Council. Al Gurg is also deputy chairperson of the board of directors at Dubai Healthcare City Authority, and a board member at both the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Dubai Women’s Council. She is also a member of the Dubai Economic Council, the Arab International Women’s Forum, the National Advisory Council and the College of Business Sciences. She represents the UAE at many global conferences and roundtables and is also part of the Dubi Government’s official delegation for trade and commerce meetings. Besides providing valuable counsel to various business groups and international trade alliances, Al Gurg spends considerable time in several philanthropic, social and charitable activities, notably with the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation.
67. Mohammed Omran
Mohammed Omran leads Etisalat, which is now one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world with a market value of approximately $25 billion. Omran has worked for Etisalat over three decades and served in many different positions until he became the Chairman of Etisalat in 2005. From his current position he has overseen many of the company’s major achievements and today is considered one of the key decision makers in the telecommunications sector in the region. Omran joined Etisalat in 1977, one year after of its inception. In 1982 he was promoted to Area Manager in Ras Al Khaimah, and then appointed as Deputy General Manager of Etisalat in 1984. He held several managerial positions after this until he became the CEO of Etisalat in 2004. Under Omran’s leadership Etisalat has accomplished much in terms of both revenue and operational growth.
68. Aldaba Saif Al Darmaki
The founder of Emirates Hospitality tied up with US reality TV star Kim Kardashian for the opening of the first Millions of Milkshakes store in Dubai, bringing the city to a virtual standstill in the process. Since then, Saif Al Darmaki has been busy taking the brand across the Middle East, with likely openings in Qatar and Kuwait. More significantly, he is working with Hollywood.TV founder Sheeraz Hasan on several celebrity branded projects that are expected to be rolled out across the region in the coming year. Emirates Hospitality is still in the early stages of growth, but experts are already touting it as one of the hottest new ventures to launch in the UAE, with a valuation that could top $100m.
73. Hamad Buamim
Hamad Buamim has been the director general of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry since November 2006. Educated in the US, Buamim graduated from the University of Southern California – Los Angeles in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. In 2002, He obtained an MBA in Finance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Prior to joining Dubai Chamber, Buamim worked in various positions in the public and private sectors. He was the secretary general of Dubai Economic Council, a corporate manager in HSBC Bank. He is now a board member at several major companies, such as Emirates NBD and Dubai World.
74. Helal Al Marri
As head of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) , Al Marri has managed to achieve continued growth for Dubai, helping stage some of the world’s biggest events such as Gitex in the emirate. Al Marri previously worked as a strategy consultant with Mckinsey & Co, one of the world’s leading consulting firms. He also worked with KPMG in London, holds an MBA degree from the London Business School and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Founded in 1979, the DWTC has been instrumental in establishing Dubai as a global financial and commercial hub and Al Marri was appointed its head in 2004.
75. Dr Habib Al Mulla:
Dr Habib is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities. He has over 27 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr Habib is a strong advocate for the improvement and modernisation of UAE laws. He is a frequent commentator on the legislation and economy of the UAE and is often consulted to draft and advise on Federal and Emirate level laws. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and is Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UAE Committee. He created the concept of financial free zones in the UAE and was the architect of the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
76. Khadem Al Qubaisi
As the chairman of Aabar Investments , Khadem Al Qubaisi’s recent string of high-profile acquisitions have helped propelled Abu Dhabi onto the international map. His latest move was taking over as chairman of Arabtec last month, after his company raised its stake in the construction giant. Aabar has been on the expansion trail since International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) — of which Al Qubaisi is also the chairman — took control of the firm in 2009. IPIC is one of the investment arms used by the government of Abu Dhabi to invest its oil income. Qubaisi attended high school in Abu Dhabi and studied at the University of the United Arab Emirates. He was awarded a BSc in Economics in 1993, and that same year commenced his career with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
84. Nart Bouran
Nart Bouran is director of news for Sky News Arabia, a new Arabic-language 24-hour news channel that began to broadcast across 50 million households in the MENA region last month. Among his wide scope of responsibilities he is in charge of directing and managing the channel’s news operations, safeguarding the Sky News standard of impartial and independent world-class news reporting, and achieving the company’s business objectives. He possesses a wealth of experience from a career in journalism spanning 20 years. He has worked extensively across the Middle East covering major stories in countries such as Iraq, Algeria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict.
87. Sulaiman Al Fahim
The one-time CEO of Hydra Properties is now based in the US, from where he continues to have considerable influence in the business world. He is putting together a major green building initiative and code, initially for New York City, that is expected to be rolled out in other US states next year. Al Fahim has also been at the forefront of many green social housing initiatives in Saudi Arabia. In the past year his focus has also been on developing solar and wind energy projects across the GCC. He has been working with Spanish companies looking to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia. Much of this work involves helping European and Arab companies work together on information exchange programs. Al Fahim continues to be active in philanthropy, spending several weeks in year working on projects in Africa.
88. Dr Amina Al Rustamani
Many in Dubai will be familiar with the name Dr Amina Al Rustamani, the CEO of TECOM Business Parks, the umbrella organisation for nine of Dubai’s free zones. Al Rustamani joined TECOM in 2001 as a project engineer for Samacom and quickly moved up the ranks, taking control of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Media Production Zone as the executive director of media for TECOM Investments. Al Rustamani has also played a significant role in establishing Dubai International Film Festival and is a regular contributor to leading technical journals in the fields of wireless technology around the world. “The fact is we have diversified our offering, and you can see the results,” she told Arabian Business earlier this year. “Could we get to 7,000 companies in ten years? Yes, we could get to that.”
91. Mishal Kanoo
Mishal Kanoo is deputy chairman of the Kanoo Group – one of the largest, independent, family-owned group of companies in the Gulf region, with diversified interests in: shipping, travel, machinery, logistics, oil and gas, power, chemicals, joint ventures, retail and commercial activities amongst others. Mishal was educated in Dubai, and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of St Thomas, Houston, Texas. He started his professional experience with Arthur Andersen in Dubai as an auditor before taking up his current position in 1997. He has also overseen the activity of many other prominent companies in the Gulf region and the world, in the capacity of director or chairman, including: AXA Insurance, Dubai Express, Johnsons Arabia, BASF Kanoo Polyurethanes and United Arab Chemical Company. He regularly contributes to a number of local publications, and his personal website is one of the most widely read in the region on a spectrum of topics that cover everything from Middle Eastern politics to Cuban cigars.
93. Mattar Al Tayer
He will always be known as the man who built the Dubai Metro and in the past year Al Tayer saw much of the project complete with the opening of the Green Line. But that is just part of his massive task, as he continues to oversee the many road and other major infrastructure projects under way in Dubai. Much of his time is now being spent overseeing the emirates’ first ever tram system, which will link many parts of Dubai into the metro system. Last month, Al Tayer announced that Dubai would spend $272m over the next five years on the improvement of its road network. “The move comes in the context of RTA efforts to improve roads network to accommodate the growing needs of the demographic and urban expansion seen by the emirate,” the chairman said, in a press statement.
109. Abdulfattah Sharaf
Abdulfattah Sharaf became the first CEO for HSBC’s UAE division when he was appointed in January 2010. Sharaf spent thirteen years at NBD before joining HSBC, and also looked after global giant’s retail offering before taking on the top position. In February, the Middle East unit of the banking giant reported a 67 per cent increase in profits to $1.4bn despite a global $900m cost-cutting drive that spurred it the lender to close 16 businesses across the world. Sharaf, a graduate of The University of Denver, is also a board member of the Network International, an advisory board member of HDG Mansur - USA and a member of Young President Organisation.
125. Moh-Din BinHendi
Moh-Din BinHendi started his career as the director of Dubai Airport Customs before being promoted to direct general of Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation in 1979. The Emirati is best known for BinHendi Enterprises, a Dubai-based conglomerate, which he established. Today, the firm operates 29 successful fashion, jewellery, accessory and food retail outlets, while its trading division reaches in excess of one thousand retailers. In addition to his business commitments, BinHendi also sits on the board of governors at Dubai Aviation College, is a board member at Emirates Golf Club and chairman of the Aviation Advisory Committee at Dubai Men’s College.
127. Khater Massaad
Dr Khater Massaad is arguably the most influential businessman in the recent history of Ras Al Khaimah. nThe driving force behind RAK Ceramics, Massad helped create one of the biggest manufacturers of ceramic products in the world, bringing in revenue of around $1bn from a network of more than 150 countries.
128. Fatima Obaid Al Jaber
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber is one of the Gulf’s most successful businesswomen. As the CEO of the family-owned Al Jaber Group she is responsible for managing the group’s contracting, industrial, trading, investment and real estate subsidiaries. nShe was also the first female representative on the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) and deputy chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen’s Council. nAl Jaber is also the chairperson of Al Bashayer Investment Co. A staunch advocate of women’s causes, she is actively involved in empowering Emirati women in the business arena. “Everything is there [in the UAE]; if a woman wants to start a business, she can. If she wants to work in government, if she wants to find a job, if she wants to study - the choices are all there,” she told Arabian Business last year.
135. Sultan Abu Sultan
Sultan Abu Sultan started his career with HSBC in 2003, moving up the ranks, before being appointed regional managing director. He joined Barclays in 2008 as the head of central support, responsible for the core functions of Barclays’ operations and business retail. In 2008 he was appointed director of administration and government relations and become the sole contact between Barclays and all government institutions across the UAE. He is currently the only UAE national chairing a global bank in the UAE. British lender Barclays, in which Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and the Abu Dhabi royal family hold stakes, is a major operator in the region.
140. Nayla Al Khaja
Nayla Al Khaja, the UAE’s first female filmmaker, has already made three short features in her brief career. One of Al Khaja’s films won a prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2007. In addition, the Emirati has also set up her own production company (D-SEVEN), and she also heads up the UAE’s first official film club. Al Khaja’s career choice coupled with her willingness to tackle taboo subjects has often led to controversy. Her last short film, which was released in 2010, took a look at the issues raised by arranged marriages. In ‘Malal’ a young Emirati couple visit Kerala on a honeymoon that is soured by the wife’s boredom with her new husband.
142. Sultan Al Jaber
Sultan Al Jaber is at the forefront of the UAE’s plan to remodel itself as a nexus of environmentally friendly technology, as the country bids to wean itself off hydrocarbon revenues and builds its own human capital base simultaneously. Masdar may have delayed its expansion plans slightly due to the economic climate, but building is still continuing, with construction work now entering the second phase. Elsewhere, Al Jaber holds the senior project manager position at Mubadala, as well as board positions at Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company and the American University of Dubai. The Masdar CEO has a PhD in business and economics from the UK’s Coventry University.
153. Mahdi Ali
When the UAE Olympic team goes to London this summer football coach Mahdi Ali knows his task will not be an easy one. n Drawn alongside the likes of hosts Great Britain, Uruguay and Senegal, Ali said he is confident this will be a chance for the team to show what they are made of. “This is a chance for us to show the media that we may only be a small nation but we have big ambitions. All the media in the world will finally get the opportunity to see what our team can do,” he told Gulf News. Off the pitch, Ali helped set up the Dubai RTA.
162. Ali Rashid Lootah
As chairman of Nakheel, the Dubai master developer, Lootah has led the company through restructuring and seen it return to the market with a diverse range of projects. The US-educated civil engineer happily announced in April that Nakheel’s latest results showed it achieved profit of AED1.28bn (US$348.5m) in 2011 and it has launched new retail and residential projects on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. “It has been a good year... It is a big sign of the recovery of the market,” he said earlier this year. Having also restructured nearly US$16bn in debts owed to its contractors, the profit is a dramatic turnaround for the state-backed developer.
181. Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb
Former lab technologist Salma Hareb spent years studying for diplomas in information technology and business while also holding down a job at Dubai’s Department of Health before she decided on a change of career. In 1997 she started working as a planner for Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), the operator of one of Dubai’s busiest and most important free zones. Hareb quickly moved up the ranks and in 2005 was appointed the CEO of JAFZA, as well as its parent company, Economic Zones World (EZW). “In the end we are motivated by a desire to serve our customers better,” she says.
182. Ghaith Al Ghaith One of the Middle East’s newest airlines, flydubai has made great strides since it was launched in 2009. CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith has brought modern aircraft, and has also experimented with new ideas, such as charging passengers to use seat-back entertainment screens. While the Arab Spring has hurt some sectors, Al Ghaith says the UAE is seeing additional international tourists because of the political turmoil elsewhere in the region. “Many people doubted Dubai for continuing to spend money on the development of hotels and associated tourism infrastructure at a time when people were cutting back on their travel spend,” said Al Ghaith. “But Dubai was right.” nRight now, Al Ghaith is in the process of drawing up flydubai’s future plans, which will include further destinations - with a focus on the CIS countries - along with new aircraft orders to complement its existing fleet.
221. Shehab Gargash Shehab Gargash is the CEO of the UAE’s Daman Investments, and one of the region’s most high profile bankers. Prior to founding Daman Securities in 1998, Gargash was closely involved with the UAE banking sector, and with leading multi-national and major local banking institutions. In late 2007, Daman Securities re-structured as Daman Investments PSC, a private joint stock company incorporated under UAE law. The group today is multifaceted and diverse with interests in investments, asset management, mutual funds, brokerage, real estate, venture capital and private equity.
223. Elham Qasimi As the first Arab woman and Emirati to ski to the North Pole in April 2010, the UAE’s Elham Qasimi has quickly become known for her bravery and determined attitude. In addition to her extra-curricular activities, she also has a degree in business and marketing from the American University in Dubai, and a Masters from the London School of Economics. Qasimi took off on the three-week expedition from Borneo, an ice station that floats between 88 and 89 degrees latitude, in 2010. Her journey was unassisted and unsupported, which meant she carried all of the required supplies for the entire expedition with no motorised equipment to propel her forward. On a typical day she would ski for an average of eight hours, with a ten-minute break every two hours to snack, cook her own food and pitch her own tent. Prior to her exploration, the 29 year-old worked at JP Morgan before joining the Impetus Trust as an investment manager. In order to build her physical and mental endurance for the expedition, Qasimi embarked on a high-performance training programme designed to optimise strength and power whilst enhancing agility and speed.
224. Ahmed Khalil Ahmed Khalil is just 19, but his football skills are those of someone older. Since joining Dubai’s Al Ahli club and the UAE national team, the Sharjah-based striker has proven extremely valuable to regional football, winning the award for Asian Youth Player of the Year in 2008, in addition to a number of other awards, whilst the whole time bearing the hopes of a nation on his slim shoulders. Today he is setting an example to young men around the region who are aspiring to be footballers. Dubbed “the future of the UAE” by UAE manager Srecko Katanec, Khalil continues his outstanding performance.
233. Ahmad Julfar Ahmad Julfar was given the role of CEO of the UAE’s biggest telecoms company in August 2011. Previously COO and general manager for Dubai operations, and an employee at the firm since 1986, Julfar has played a significant part in Etisalat’s growth over the years. He holds two degrees, one in civil engineering and one in computer science, both from the Gonzaga University in Washington. State-backed Etisalat, which operates in seventeen countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a profits of $492.79m in the first quarter, down from the year-earlier period. The former monopoly had reported declining profits in seven of the previous eight quarters. The Abu Dhabi firm’s profits have slid in the last year as rival operator du, which ended Etisalat’s domestic monopoly in 2007, won market share and internet-based phone calls hit the high-margin international calls business.
275. Ayman Sahli Ayman Sahli joined Gulf Pharmaceuticals Industries Julphar in 2008 as general manager. But, having excelled in leading the company and strengthening its operations through networking with various countries and their respective pharmaceuticals markets, Sahli was appointed as CEO. He is a holder of a doctorate in chemistry and specialises in pharmaceutical research and manufacturing. All efforts have placed Julphar on the podium, as the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Business Award for the best company in the industry sector, was collected. This year, the company announced plans to begin work on three plants worth over $70m.
277. Badr Jafar The Eton College and Cambridge University Graduate, Badr Jafar, has certainly inked a name for himself. Apart from serving as president of Crescent Petroleum, chairman of Pearl petroleum and of Gas Cities LLC, Jafar is leading a varied group of pioneering companies in his role as CEO of Crescent Enterprises. That is not where the list concludes. In fact, Jafar tends to be active in different industries, both regionally and internationally, including aviation, shipping, real estate and private equity. Jafar was recently honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
282. Marwan Bin Ghalaita Marwan Bin Ghalaita has had much to deal with in the past year. The jury is still out on whether the emirate’s property market has turned around but even the lower level of activity hasn’t diminished his workload. Last year RERA was at the centre of a row in Dubai after Nakheel banned several hundred residents from using its beaches on the Palm Jumeirah due to unpaid service charges. RERA suddenly found itself in the middle of a complex legal dispute that is still on-going. Nevertheless, under Bin Ghalaita’s leadership, RERA has been credited for several new initiatives such as publishing rental price bands for each area of Dubai.
289. Dr Karim El Solh Karim El Solh is co-founder and CEO of Gulf Capital, one of the largest Middle Eastern private equity firms, established with a capital base of $330m. El Solh holds a bachelors degree in civil engineering from Cornell University, an MBA from Georgetown University, a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute D’Etudes Politiques de Paris and a Certified Management Accountant diploma.
293. Mohammed Saeed Harib Mohammed Saeed Harib was just 19-years old when he wrote Freej, a six-page study book. In 2003 the Emirati got his first big break after Freej was adopted by Media City, who translated it to screen with funding from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders. The show, which features four elderly national ladies living in a rapidly evolving Dubai, premiered in 2006, a year after Lammtara Picture was established to oversee its production. With the show’s success, many doors have opened for Harib. In February, it was announced that Harib will contribute to the film adaptation of Gibran’s The Prophet. He also recently directed Freej Folklore, the largest Arabic theatrical production in the region.
300. Khalid Khalban Khalid Kalban serves as the CEO of Dubai Investments, a conglomerate that invests in viable and profitable entities. He is a well-known businessman in the UAE thanks to his broad experience in various fields including industrial, to financial and investment sectors. Kalban holds significant posts including member of the board of directors of Emirates Bank International, Emirates International Brokerage LLC, Saudi International Petrochemical Company, Arab Insurance Group, Dumoco LLC and Thuraya Satellite Communications-Telecommunications Company. He holds a degree in Business Management from Arapahoe Community College, USA. In 2012, Dubai investments reported a net profit of $29.3m for the first-quarter, a 6.3 percent rise from the previous year.
323. Abdul Majid Al Fahim Despite delays, the Dubai Pearl project will be one of the emirates most impressive when completed.
345. Wedad Lootah Wedad Lootah has earned high praise through her efforts to solve sexual problems between couples.
362. Abdel Qader Al Rais Possibly the most famous artist in the UAE, self-taught Al Rais has exhibited his work around the world.
412 Essa Kazim CEO, Dubai Financial Market
433 Hussein al Jasmi Singer, UAE
477 Hussein Al Qemzi Group CEO, Noor Islamic Bank, UAE