The men and women on Forbes Middle East’s 30 Under 30 list, while all under the age of 30 at the beginning of this year, have already demonstrated a diverse range of considerable achievements and great potential for the future. These innovators are inspiring younger and older generations, bringing their ideas to life, and proving that you don’t need decades of experience to make a difference.
To find the region’s most promising young talent, we scanned the Middle East markets for outstanding young achievers, as well as collecting online nominations, where applicants could put themselves or someone else forward for consideration. We initially received over 300 applications. The Forbes Middle East research and editorial teams then evaluated all candidates, conducting two rounds of assessments to shortlist 60 candidates. We then turned to our external judges, who are all experts in their respective fields. They conducted their own research, deliberated the criteria, and shared their insights on who they thought should make the final list.
In making our judgments, we took into account qualitative information such as the impact that candidates have had on their industry, market, or society, and their future potential. We also looked at quantifiable data such as funds raised, awards won, revenues, the value of deals, number of people impacted, number of customers, and number of followers on social media.
We divided the final entries into six categories: sport, e-commerce, technology, and finance, as well as creative, which included entertainment and social media stars, and impact, which included policy, education, healthcare, and social entrepreneurship.
The 2021 list features 38 individuals from 20 nationalities. They are based across 11 countries in the Middle East. Egypt has the highest representation on the list with eight individuals, followed by Lebanon and Jordan with four each.
Of the 30 entries, 12 are based in the U.A.E., and four are in Egypt. The impact category has the highest number of entries with seven, followed by sport with six, and creative with five. The e-commerce, finance, and technology categories have four entries each.