Monday, August 28, 2017 marks the third annual Emirati Women’s Day. Extracted from the Forbes Middle East Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017 list, these Emirati women are making headway across industries, proving how the U.A.E. is leading the path to success for women throughout the Middle East.
Emirati Women’s Day was founded in 2015 by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, who is also the supreme chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. To set a standard, the U.A.E. Gender Balance Council was also established in 2015, a federal entity that helps boost the role of women in all fields.
Taking the top spot is the managing director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Raja Easa Al Gurg (who ranks at three in the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017 list). A successful businesswoman, budding philanthropist chairing Al Jalila Foundation and the head of the Dubai Business Women Council, she has been featured in the Forbes Middle East Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen since it began in 2012. Her role as managing director, which she has held since 1990, is not to be taken lightly as the conglomerate operates 27 companies and has accumulated 370 partnerships with multinationals.
Coming in second but still driving the position of businesswomen in the U.A.E. to great heights is Dalya Al Muthanna, president and CEO of GE Gulf. She joined GE in 2008 and is the first U.A.E. national to graduate from GE's Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. She’s also a board member of Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) Women in Solar Program and one of the members of the Steering Committee of the MENA Clean Energy Business Council. Forbes Middle East ranks her at 13 among all Arab businesswomen.
Flying in third place is the CEO of the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Suzanne Al Anani (who ranked at 22 in the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017 list). With her leadership intact, DAEP will be investing over $27 billion in the next nine years to allow Dubai airports to handle over 120 million travelers per year.
Majida Ali Rashid, the head of the Real Estate Investment Management at Dubai Land Department lands in fourth place, and ranks at 36 among Arab businesswomen. She has played a central role in developing Dubai's real estate market and attracting premium investment globally, as well as bolstering sustainability and technology campaigns in the sector.