These 10 women made it to the Middle East’s Most Influential Women of 2018 and it’s obvious why...
20 September 2018| Last updated on 25 September 2018
It’s very inspirational when you see great women achieving great things and these Middle East based women did just that.
Women have come a long way from just being housewives in the 19th century, nowadays, women are not only mothers but entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, CFOs and hold many more powerful positions.
And for many Middle Eastern countries, an inspiring moment was made on Tuesday when various Arab and Expat women made it on Forbes Middle East’s Most Influential Women of 2018 list.
The exclusive list featured a ranked list of 100 influential businesswomen and executives around the Middle East – and the decisions were made after considering the revenues, titles, scope and impact of the women’s work over the last three years.
And many expat women from India, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia, Germany, South Afirca, Germany, Australia and the United States – and out of the 18 expat women who made the list, 16 of the women are based in the UAE.
The announcement was made at a gala in Dubai, when the women were recognised for their work across business, public and governmental sectors – here is a summary of the most influential women in the region.
10. Mona Almoayyed, BAH
As the Managing director of YK Almoayyed and Sons – one of the oldest conglomerates in Bahrain – Mona runs the business and is a big campaigner for women’s rights in the region.
Mona took the 8thposition on the Forbes Most Influential Women in the Middle East during the Gala in Dubai.
The company, which was established in 1940, first started as a shop importing electrical goods, sugar, tea, coffee and sandalwood because a provisions supplier to the Bahrain Petroleum Company and more reputable companies in Bahrain.
And today is one of Bahrain’s most influential company in the sector of automotive, electronics, furnishing, building material and industrial materials and more.
9. Donna Sultan, USA
As the president and CEO of KEO International Consultants, the American CEO Donna Sultan emerged as #52 on Forbes most influential list of women.
Donna has been the CEO of KEO since 1991 and in 2016 because the Vice-President due to her extensive background in strategic planned and management consulting – and with over 40 years of professional experience in the Middle East.
8. Alida Scholtz, SA
Ranking #68 on the Forbes list, Alida Scholtz is the CEO of G4S Security Services in the Middle East.
The South African national has managed more than 67 markets in the Middle East, South America, Europe and Africa.
As Hertz previous Vice-President, Alida helped lead a five-year corporate and global program that delivered $250 million in savings.
7. Renuka Jagtiani, IND
Renuka Jagtiani has been the Chief executive of Landmark Group for over 20 years – she helped guide the company’s corporate strategy in the fashion and hospitality sector.
Originally from India, Renuka created the street fashion brand, Splash in 1993 and she has helped expand Landmark Group’s e-commerce platform in new countries.
With an initial store in Bahrain, Renuka and her husband, Micky Jagtiani have opened up more than 2,000 retail and hospitality outlets across the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and North Africa.
6. Cynthia Corby, SA
Cynthia Corby, originally from South Africa, is the Audit and Assurance partner of a well-established consulting firm – Deloitte.
She managed to land at #63 on the list for her 20 plus years of professional experience and her close work with major construction companies in the MENA region – advising on corporate transactions, acquisitions, due diligence and the re-organisation of company groups.
5. Giselle Pettyfer, UK
Grabbing #88 of the Forbes list, UK national Giselle Pettyfer was recognised for her work at Falcon & Associates in the UAE.
As the CEO of Falcon & Associates, Giselle established the advisory company with the help of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2009.
The company attempts to advise and spread positive influence views in Dubai’s existing and emerging economic markets – Giselle has worked on the 2020 Olympic Games bid and the Expo 2020 bid as well.
4. Raja Easa Al Gurg, UAE
Ranked #90 on the 2017 Forbes list, Raja is the managing director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group based in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Gurg Group is one of the biggest mother companies in the Middle East, which consists of 27 companies that specialize in retail, construction, metal foundry and more.
Officially, the group is the regional partner of well-known brands like: Siemens, 3M, and British American Tobacco among others.
And as the president of the Dubai Business Women Council, Raja’s business decisions always try to support female entrepreneurship in the country.
3. Donna Benton, UK
Australian entrepreneur Donna Benton took #51 on the Forbes list as the founder of The Entertainer – a UAE based publisher for offers across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Offering deals for restaurants, spas, hotel accommodation and leisure attractions, The Entertainer quickly gained popularity in the regions and helped Donna build a successful company since 2001.
And today, the company has expanded to more than 20 destinations in 15 countries.
2. Lubna Al Olayan, KSA
The Financing Chief executive of Olayan Financing Company was within the top of the Forbes list. Originally from Saudi Arabia, Lubna is in charge of the whole entity of the Olayan Group’s operations in the entire Middle East.
Founded in 1947, Olayan Group was created by Lubna’s father Sulaiman S. Olayan and handles distribution, manufacturing, services and investments all over the Middle East – it has an estimated net worth of $10 billion.
This isn’t the first recognised ranking for Lubna, she was listed as the #86powerful woman by Forbes Most Influential Women in 2014.
1. Jane Drury, UK
Originally from the United Kingdom but based in the United Arab Emirates, Jane Drury is the founder and CEO of ME Digital Group – an online marketing and publishing platform.
With popular websites like Expatwoman, EWModa, EWFood, Cobone and Croutique. Jane ranked #84 on the Forbes Most Influential Women In the Middle East this year.
For the past 15 years, Jane has not only launched successful global platforms but she has been a leading digital entrepreneur in the MENA region.
Settling in the UAE back in 1997, Jane saw a gap in the market for expat information sources and decided to launch her first digital publishing business, ExpatWoman, in 2002.