Despite the continuing slow growth rate in other parts of the global economy, business in the Middle East is booming, building on its established strengths and diversifying into new areas – especially when it comes to trading internationally. These are some of the men and women whose inspirational leadership is making it happen.
As Chief Executive Officer of the M1 Group, responsible for the global stategy of the company and its implementation, Azmi Mikati is the Middle East’s youngest CEO and a man who is really going places. Making his name with telecommunications company T1, he was also CEO of Investcom, a leading international telecoms service provider functioning in 10 countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
In 2006, Mr Mikati moved into his current role, where he uses his skills to manage a stable of companies in the energy, travel, finance, fashion and real estate sectors. His academic background is in engineering and he has shown particular skill in managing complex international business networks, working across North America, Europe and Africa as well as the Middle East.
Mohammed Al Shaya
The most powerful retail magnate in the Middle East, Mohammed Al Shaya is the regional franchise holder for Starbucks, H&M, PF Chang’s, Foot Locker, Debenhams, Topshop, River Island, Office Depot and Mothercare. He also runs two major hotels and
Raja Easa Al Gurg
Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Raja Easa Al Gurg has played a pivotal role in the expansion of the company and has also made an impression as a philanthropist and mentor. As President of Dubai Business Women’s Council she has worked tirelessly to help other women in business. She also works on trade deals with the government of Dubai as well as speaking at conferences and trade events around the world.
Amina Al Rustamani
In addition to being CEO of TECOM business parks, overseeing nine of Dubai’s Free Zones, Amina Al Rustamani is known for her work on the Dubai International Film Festival, which she helped to found, and for her ongoing efforts to support and develop the country’s knowledge economy. She started out as a project engineer and has made significant contributions to Dubai Studio City, Dubai Media City and the country’s International Media Production Zone.
The charismatic CEO of Crescent Petroleum, Majid Jafar is also Managing Director at Dana Gas, but isbest known for creating the Arab Stabilisation Plan, which aims to coordinate infrastructure investment across the region to create employment opportunities, particularly for young people. Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, he also co-chairs the international Business Backs Education campaign.
With influential figures such as these at the helm, the future seems bright for business in the region. Their focus on supporting and skilling up the next generation means that the Middle East will be in a position to continue building on its successes as new leaders rise to the fore, but we expect it will be a long time yet before they are ready to give up their own positions as driving forces in industry.