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Forbes Middle East’s 2024 List: 100 Influential Females Shaping the Business Scene

Forbes Middle East’s 2024 List: 100 Influential Females Shaping the Business Scene

Forbes Middle East just released its yearly list of powerful businesswomen in 2024, highlighting successful women shaping a better future. The list considers the size of their business, their impact, achievements, and performance in the past year, and their involvement in CSR and other initiatives. This year, family business leaders were not included.


Hana Al Rostamani, the Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), tops the list for the second time. She was also recognized in Forbes’ 2023 list of the World’s Most Powerful Women, ranking 63rd overall and 14th in finance globally. The next two spots are held by Kuwaiti leaders: Shaikha Khaled Al Bahar from NBK Group and Wadha Ahmad Al-Khateeb from KNPC.


The 2024 list showcases 100 entries, with 104 women representing 27 sectors and 28 nationalities. Egyptians lead with 17 women, followed by 14 Emiratis, and Saudis and Lebanese with nine each. The list is diverse, with banking and financial services having the most entries (26), followed by healthcare (13), and investments and technology (six each). Notably, 35 newcomers joined from 15 different sectors.


Breaking into the top 10 for the first time are three industry leaders: Dana Nasser Al Sabah from Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – KIPCO, Shazia Syed from Unilever, and Reem Asaad from Cisco. In the top 10, half work in banking and financial services, and two Pakistani leaders bring diversity to the region’s leadership.


Top 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen In The Middle East 2024


  1. Hana Al Rostamani (Emirati)

Group CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)


  1. Shaikha Khaled Al Bahar (Kuwaiti)

Deputy Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK Group)


  1. Wadha Ahmed Al-Khateeb (Kuwaiti)

CEO, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)


  1. Shaista Asif (Pakistani)

Cofounder and Group CEO, PureHealth Holding


  1. Dana Nasser Al Sabah (Kuwaiti)

Group CEO, Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – KIPCO


  1. Randa Sadik (Jordanian)

CEO, Arab Bank


  1. Sarah Al-Suhaimi (Saudi)

Chairperson, Saudi Tadawul Group


  1. Maryam Al Suwaidi (Emirati)

CEO, Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)


  1. Shazia Syed (Pakistani)

General Manager – North Africa, Levant, and Iraq & Arabia Senior Customer Development Lead, Unilever


  1. Reem Asaad (Egyptain – American)

Vice President – Middle East, Africa, Türkiye, Romania & The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Cisco



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