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On the occasion of Mother's Day, here's a list of top business women and high-ranking officials in the UAE corporate scene. These women have been at the helm of various industries for decades and have made history in their respective fields.
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Emirati Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, who is the Managing Director and Vice-Chairperson of UAE-based conglomerate Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG), has a long and impressive career. She has been at the firm for over 30 years. In addition to her work there, she advocates for gender equality, working as the president of the Dubai Business Women Council, and as a board member of the Dubai Women’s Association and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She made HSBC Middle East history when she became the first woman to be appointed to its board and more recently, she became the deputy chairman of the National Bank of Fujairah.
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Landmark Group’s Chairwoman and CEO, Renuka Jagtiani is quite at home in the corporate world. For more than two decades the Indian expat been at the helm of the company’s corporate strategy and expansion efforts and currently oversees 50,000 employees.
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Hana Al Rostamani, who has just been named the Group CEO of FAB, is a veteran in the field of finance and banking. The Emirati is a board member of the AW Rostamani Group, chairperson of FAB Private Bank Suisse, and a member of MasterCard Advisory.
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Amina and Huda Al Rostamani are the COO and Managing Director of the AW Rostamani Group, which was founded in 1954. As the COO, Amina oversees Group HR, Group IT and Group Strategy, in addition to the Group Properties division as the CEO of AWR Properties. Since 2007, Huda has been the managing director and a board member of the group. Huda Al Rostamani(Left) and Amina Rostamani (right)
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Rola Abu Manneh has been in her current role as the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank UAE since 2018. She has over 25 years of experience under her belt. She was the first Emirati woman to head a bank in the U.A.E. and has helped to transform the U.A.E. business into one of the biggest five markets for the Standard Chartered Group. The bank’s total operating income amounted to $503.6 million in 2019, with total assets valued at $13.4 billion. Since the onset of the global pandemic in March, Standard Chartered has donated over $25 million in the U.A.E. to NGOs, private organizations and local government authorities. In addition, a total of 30,000 N95 masks were donated to Dubai Health Authority and the Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an).
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As one of the few female managing directors in the FMCG industry in the Middle East and Africa, Melda Yasar Cebe has been with FMCG companies including Procter & Gamble, Gillette, and KraftHeinz. A trained chemical engineer with 19 years of experience, she has worked across more than 15 categories in over 100 countries. At Heinz, she led the company to gain 5% market share of local sauces in just five months.
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Marzena Kulis has been leading the medical devices business with Johnson and Johnson since 2019 having joined the firm in 2013. Before her current role in the Middle East, Kulis managed the company’s $250 million business in Central and Eastern Europe. Before her stint with J&J, Kulis worked on projects related to healthcare systems and reforms in Poland, the Baltics, and the Balkans with the World Bank. Kulis launched a “Beat Colorectal Cancer” campaign in 2019 across the region which reached 4,000 people, with 1,700 screened, 1,200 tested, and three diagnosed and treated.
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Noor Sweid is the founder and general partner at Global Ventures, which has a portfolio of startups including HolidayMe, Mumzworld, Kitopi, and Tabby. Earlier, Sweid was the chief investment officer of the Dubai Future Foundation and was a founding partner of Leap Ventures. She was named as one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes in 2018. Sweid founded a chain of yoga and pilates studios, which she sold in 2014.
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