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Four Omanis among Middle East’s most powerful businesswomen

6 Feb 2021

The annual ranking of the Middle East’s most powerful women in business has now been revealed by Forbes Middle East. From the sultanate, four Omani women have made to the coveted top 50 of The Middle East’s Power Businesswomen 2021. 

According to the magazine, this year’s ranking of the Middle East’s most powerful women in business comes off the back of one of the most challenging years that most companies have experienced in recent history.

‘The 50 leaders we highlight have shown resilience, flexibility, and strength in the face of unprecedented adversity, both in the workplace and in their communities,’ it stated. 

Overall, this year’s power businesswomen hail from 19 countries and work across 16 sectors. Egypt scored the most entries in the list with eight, followed by the UAE with seven, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco with four each, and Bahrain and Lebanon with three each among others. 

From Oman, Haifa al Khaifi, who was recently named CEO of Energy Development Oman (EDO) is ranked 30th. 

She is followed by Hind Bahwan, founder and chairperson, Bahwan CyberTek Group, at 38th and the duo of Areej Mohsin Darwish and Lujaina Mohsin Darwish of Mohsin Haider Darwish, at the 40th place. 

Another notable listing is of Claudia Vergueiro Massei, CEO, Siemens Oman, who is ranked 41st. Claudia was appointed as the CEO of Siemens Oman in 2018. She has been selected as a member of the World Economic Forum, participating in the Global Future Council on Energy Technologies and on the Closing Future Skills Gaps Taskforce in Oman. The banking and financial services sector is the most dominant in the list, with 16 entries. 

Eight of these leaders hold executive positions in regional divisions of multinational companies, such as Heike Harmgart, who heads the SEMED region for EBRD, and Elissar Farah Antonios, who heads Citigroup’s MENA cluster and serves as CEO of Citigroup UAE. And seven hold positions in government entities, including Aisha bin Bishr, head of Smart Dubai, and Nezha Hayat, head of Morocco’s Capital Market Authority.

Last year, three women from the Middle East also featured on Forbes’ ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. 

Raja Easa al Gurg, managing director of the Easa Saleh al Gurg Group, Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman and CEO of the Landmark Group, and Rania Nashar, senior advisor to the Governor of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, ranked 89th, 98th, and 99th respectively. ‘Aside from accomplishments at work, many of these leaders have also been working towards giving back to the community, particularly when it comes to alleviating challenges caused by the pandemic.’


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