The Burj CEO Awards celebrated its 6th edition by recognizing exceptional entrepreneurs, humanitarians, and business leaders from around the world. The dazzling event took place aboard a luxurious Mediterranean cruise, sailing from Greece to Turkey from August 22 to 27, 2023. Sponsored by Go Turkey, a global online-trading platform (GTC) and Stars on Board, the ceremony was graced by Doro Manzi, the Captain of Norwegian Jade. This prestigious occasion acknowledged remarkable individuals and organizations across a diverse array of over 50 categories.
This year’s notable winners who are based in the UAE included humanitarian activist, Salam Hamzeh Ghaith, who won the Burj CSR Award as President & Founder of the SmallWorld Foundation, Ghaith has helped support thousands of children from more than 60 charities in over 45 countries. Recognized for his astute business acumen and his selfless compassion was Afghanistan-born visionary, Sayed Atiqullah Sadat Hofiani. A serial entrepreneur and the President of Seyit Hofiani Jewellery LLC, he was honored with the Award for Visionary Leader with a Heart of Gold.
Dubai Duty Free earned the prestigious title of Best Global Duty Free, a testament to its exceptional performance on the international stage. Additionally, the coveted Women in Business Award was bestowed upon Senem Anataca, representing 180UTC, in recognition of her contributions in the business world. Winning the Award for Outstanding CEO of the Year was Dr. Aftab Hasan, Chairman of Risk Exchange (DIFC) Limited, and CEO of Arya Insurance.
Among this year’s international winners was Walther Uzi E. Buenavista, Founder and CEO of The Shawarma Shack Fastfood Corporation, the first ‘buy one, take one shawarma’ company in the Philippines. Building a network of over 750 branches across the country, Buenavista was honored with the Best Franchisee of the Year Award.
The Start-Up Company of the Year Award was presented to Pedro Gameiro and Meenu Sasikumar of Gritseek Ventures Limited, a start-up enabler that focuses on connecting entrepreneurs with investors. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. William Wraith III, Chairman & CEO, The Wraith Group, Inc., Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Lyten, Inc. Receiving the Business Excellence Award for Women were Naddira Couture and Hothur Ispat from India Private Limited. Among those recognized in the creative sectors was Dalida Khalil, who won the Lebanese Actress Award.
Renowned for staging extraordinary celebrations to honor influential figures in global industry, the Burj CEO Awards is often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the business world. The event was pioneered by CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, an award-winning, membership-based international organization with representatives from various industries and chapters across the globe. The Burj CEO Awards gala was launched in 2016 in Washington, D.C., USA, with succeeding editions in London, UK, Shenzhen, China, and Mauritius, while its 5th edition was part of Expo 2020 Dubai. Over the years, the events have recognized and awarded more than 300 business leaders and organizations for their outstanding achievements.
Speaking about the significance of the awards, Dr. Tariq A. Nizami, Founder & CEO of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, said, “Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution, and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities. We celebrate the extraordinary achievements of international leaders who have embraced excellence and made a lasting impact on the world through their dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment to success in business and other sectors.”
Sarah Dong, Managing Partner, added, “After all, leadership is not just about reaching the top; it’s about empowering others to rise with you, creating jobs and manifesting dreams. We are very proud that CEO Clubs is one of great pillars supporting business partnerships and bridging billion-dollar deals.”
Attended by over 100 award nominees, VIP guests, senior government officials, CEOs and entrepreneurs from the international business community, this year’s Burj CEO Awards took participants on a unique journey, taking in beautiful destinations such as Athens, Mykonos, Bodrum and Marmaris. Delegates also joined the Burj CEO Summit, which staged a series of stimulating panel discussions and various industry-focused sessions, as well as powerful networking opportunities, and nightly star-studded concerts, as part of the first-of-its-kind awards event.
Dr. Nizami concluded, “Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Go Turkey for their generous and pivotal support. Their engagement is poised to unleash a substantial, positive influence on both the present and future of Turkey's economy. “