The winners of The Forbes Most Influential Women in the Middle East for 2018. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: At least 18 expatriates have been named among the 100 most influential women in the UAE and the rest of the Arab world, proving that the female gender can make huge career strides while working overseas.

The Forbes’ Most Influential Women for the Middle East 2018 has recognized for the first time successful expat females who have scaled heights in their jobs, and among those recognized are from India, Malaysia, United Kingdom, France, Germany , Australia, United States and South Africa.

Forbes' latest recognition pays tribute to 100 women who either work for major companies or run their own business, a strong indication that women have broken the proverbial glass ceiling and advanced across industries, including oil and gas, banking, automobiles and fintech. Most of the women are leaders in the organisations, occupying positions like CEO, CFO and president.

Ten other females heading government departments across the region have also been recognized.

"The region is undergoing a paradigm shift with women-led businesses dominating major sectors. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have showcased most gender diverse cabinets and the landscape is ever evolving," said Khuloud Al Omian, editor-in-chief of Forbes Middle East.

Out of the 18 expatriates who made it to the list, 16 of them are based in the UAE.

At the top of the list of expat women is UAE-based Renuka Jagtiani, the Indian CEO of retail conglomerate Landmark Group. Jagtiani was named the third most influential woman in the region.

Social media influencer-turned-entrepreneur Huda Khattan, also based in the UAE, bagged the ninth place. The American-Iraqi national is the founder and CEO of the billion-dollar cosmetics brand Huda Beauty.

Rafiah Ebrahim, a Malaysian expatriate in UAE who currently serves as the president for Ericsson Middle East and Africa, landed the 13th place., followed by British CEO Asil Attar of Alyasra Fashion in the 29th place.

Another UAE expat from France, Celine Bremaud, vice president for Microsoft Middle East and Africa landed the 33rd position, and Carmen Haddad, German CEO for Citi’s Private Bank Family Office Middle East and Citibank Saudi Arabia came in the 35th place.

Indian expatriate Shrimati Damal, CFO of UAE retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, bagged the 40th place, while Donna Benton, Australian founder and chairman of another successful UAE-based firm The Entertainer, took the 51st spot.

Also based in the country, American expatriate Donna Sultan, president and CEO of KEO International Consultants, emerged as the 52nd most influential woman, followed by Indian  national Zanubia Shams, co-chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare Group, in the 58th place.

Another British expatriate, Cynthia Corby, partner audit and assurance at Deloitte, landed the 63rd position, while Poonam Bhojani from India, CEO of Innoventures, took the 65th place and Alida Scholtz from South Africa, CEO Middle East for G4S Security Services, emerged in the 68th position. All of them are also based in UAE.

Here are the rest of the expat women who made it to the list:

Shafeena Yusuff Ali from India, CEO of Tablez Food Company, UAE (Rank: #77)
Jane Drury from UK, group CEO, Middle East Digital Group, UAE (Rank: #84)
Giselle Pettyfer from UK, CEO, Falcon & Associates, UAE (Rank: #88)
Jenny Hunt from UK, partner and CEO, Gateway Group of Companies, UAE (Rank: 94)
Kritika Rawat from India, co-founder of K Kompany, UAE (Rank: #97)

Full list of 100 most influential women

1.Lubna Al Olayan, CEO, Olayan Financing
2.Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group
3.Renuka Jagtiani, CEO, Landmark Group
4.Rania Mahmoud Nashar, CEO, Samba Financial Group
5.Khawla al-Asadi, General Manager, Rafidain Bank
6.Eaman Al Roudhan, CEO, Zain Kuwait
7.Shaikha Al Bahar, Deputy Group CEO, NBK
8.Mona Almoayyed, Managing Director, YK Almoayyed & Sons
9.Huda Khattan, Founder and CEO, Huda Beauty
10.Amal Bahwan, Managing Director, Suhail Bahwan Group
11.Huda Al Rostamani, Managing Director and Board Member, AW Rostamani
12.Henadi Al-Saleh, Chair, Agility
13.Rafiah Ebrahim, President, Middle East and Africa, Ericsson
14.Randa Sadik, Deputy CEO, Arab Bank
15.Muna Al Hashemi, Group Deputy CEO, Batelco
16.Elham Mahfouz, CEO, Commercial Bank of Kuwait
17.Nabilah Al-Tunisi, Chief Engineer, Saudi Aramco
18.Mona Zulficar, Founding Partner, Zulficar & Partners; EFG Hermes
19.Suzanne Al Anani, CEO, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects
20.Dalia ElBaz, Head , Risk, Banking Operations, Information Technology, Deputy Chair National Bank of Egypt
21.Hind Bahwan, Founder, Bahwan CyberTek
22.Haifa Al Khaifi, CFO, Petroleum Development Oman
23.Sahar El Damati, Managing Director, Union Capital
24.Rawan Ahmed Al Said, CEO; Chairperson,Takaful Oman; National Bank of Oman; 
25.Rita Maria Zniber, CEO, Diana Holding
26,Miriam Bensalah Chaqroun, CEO, Les Eaux Minerales d'Oulmes
27..Elissar Farah Antonios, CEO, Citibank U.A.E.
28..Nadia Al Saeed, CEO, Bank Al Etihad
29.Asil Attar, CEO, Alyasra Fashion
30.Nevine El-Messeery, CEO, Ahli United Bank—Egypt
31.Mervat Zohdy Soltan, CEO, Export Development Bank Of Egypt
32.Maitha Al Dossari, CEO- Strategic Projects at Emaar Properties From Jan 2018 ( she was CEO at Emaar Entertainment) Emaar Properties
33.Céline Brémaud, Vice President, Microsoft Middle East and Africa
34.Haifa Dia Al-Attia, CEO, Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development 
35.Carmen Haddad, CEO, Citi’s Private Bank Family Office - Middle East & Citibank  Saudi Arabia
36.Dalya Al Muthanna, President and CEO, GE Gulf
37.Maysa Jalbout, CEO, Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
38.Iman Mutlaq, Founder and CEO, Sigma Investments
39.Devaki Khimji, Executive Director, Al Tasnim Group 
40.Shrimati Damal, CFO, Majid Al Futtaim
41.Suha Karzoon, CFO, Bahrain Mumtalak Holding Company
42.Jalila Mezni, CEO, Societe d'Articles Hygieniques
43.Sahar Farahat, Senior Executive Vice President, Egypt Kuwait Holding
44.Latifa Homoud Alsabhan, CFO, Arab National Bank
45.Rasha El-Azhary, CFO, Vodafone Egypt
46.Hania Sadek, COO and Executive Director HSBC Bank Egypt
47.Marwa El-Ayouti CFO, Orange Egypt
48..Farah Foustok, CEO, Middle East Lazard Asset Management
49.Ghada Y. Al-Amer, Vice President—Finance and Administration, KUFPEC
50.Nisreen Shoucair, President and CEO, Virgin Megastore Middle East & North Africa
51.Donna Benton, Founder and Chairman, The Entertainer
52.Donna Sultan, President and CEO, KEO International Consultants
53.Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, CEO, Aksal Group
54.Hend El Sherbini, Group CEO, Integrated Diagnostics Holdings
55.May Al Mudhaf, CEO, Kuwait First Abu Dhabi Bank
56.Simona Sabella Bishouty, CEO, Managing Director Arab Banking Corp. (Jordan)
57.Mona Bawarshi, CEO, Gezairi Transport
58.Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson, Zulekha Healthcare Group
59.Laila Mamou, CEO, Wafasalaf
60.Ingie Chalhoub, President and Managing Director, Etoile Group
61.Huda Al Lawati, Chief Investment Officer, Savola Group
62.Randa El Assaad, CEO, Arif & Bintoak Consulting Architects and Engineers
63.Cynthia Corby, Partner Audit & Assurance, Deloitte
64.Reem Asaad, CEO, Raya Contact Center
65.Poonam Bhojani, CEO, Innoventures
66.Halla Sakr, Managing Director, Attijariwafa Bank—Egypt
67.Hala Fadel, Partner, Leap Ventures
68.Alida Scholtz, CEO Middle East, G4S Security services
69.Deema Sukhtian, CEO, Munir Sukhtian Group Company
70.Shaikha Al Maskari, Chair Al Maskari Holdings
71.Areej Mohsin Darwish, Chair Mohsin Haider Dawrish LLC
72.Ghosson Al Khaled, Deputy CEO, ACICO
73.Dona Abdelhaq, Co-founder & Executive Partner, ESKADENIA Software
74.Karine Labaky, General Manager and Country Chair- Levant Sanofi
75.Joumana Chelala, Deputy General Manager, Head of Consumer Banking Byblos Bank
76.Leila Hoteit, Managing Director & Partner, Boston Consulting Group
77.Shafeena Yusuff Ali, CEO, Tablez Food Company
78.Hoda Mansour, Managing Director, SAP Egypt
79.Randa Bessiso, Founding Director, Middle East Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
80.Kawthar Makahlah, CEO, BCI Group
81.Christine Sfeir, CEO, Treats Holding
82.Nashwa Al Ruwaini, CEO, Pyramedia
83.Enji Al-Ghazzawi, Executive Vice President, Operations Riyad Bank
84.Jane Drury, Group CEO, Middle East Digital Group
85.Noha El Ghazaly, Managing Director and Head of Investment Bankin, Pharos Holding
86.Shahira Zeid, CEO Vice Chair, MZ Investments, Maridive Group
87.Najla Al Shirawi, CEO, Securities & Investment Company
88.Giselle Pettyfer, CEO, Falcon & Associates
89.Rana Adawi, Managing Director, Acumen Asset Management
90.Nadia Cheaib,Founder, CEO,Clingroup Holding
91.Nadia Zaal,CEO, Zaya
92.Manal Jarrar,General Manager,National Insurance Company (Watania)
93.Myrna Soufan,COO,Banque Bemo
94.Jenny Hunt,Partner and CEO,Gateway Group of Companies
95.Amna BinHendi,Deputy Chair,BinHendi Enterprises
96.Soha El-Turky,CFO,Banque du Caire
97.Kritika Rawat,Co-Founder,K Kompany
98.Sumaya Al-Nasser,Founder,Sumaya 369
99.Sana Khater,CFO,Waha Capital
100.Jinan Zoya,General Manager,Family Business Council – Gulf

Top 10 women heading government departments

1.Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi Minister; Chair Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development; Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54, UAE
2. Sarah Al Suhaimi, Chair; CEO Tadawul; NCBC, Saudi Arabia
3.Lobna Helal, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Egypt
4.Nezha Hayat, President, Moroccan Capital Market Authority,Morocco
5.Maitha Bin Adai, CEO, RTA, UAE
6.Majida Ali Rashid, Assistant Director General, Head of the Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Centre, Dubai Land Department, UAE
7. Maryam Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO - Licensing, Supervision, Enforcement Securities & Commodities Authority UAE
8. Nevein Gamea, CEO, The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency 'MSME', Egypt
9. Shahla Abdul Razak Bastaki, Deputy CEO, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, UAE
10. Maryam Mohamed Fekri, Executive VP, COO, Head of Clearing, Settlement and Depository Division, Dubai Financial Market UAE