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Small Guide on the Most Influential Women of the Middle East

It’s no secret that women entrepreneurs face more challenges at work than men. And these challenges are more significant and worse in the Middle East. However, this did not scare off the region’s ambitious women. On the contrary, it nourishes them and motivates them to continue working towards their career goals.

Who are the Most Influential Women of the Middle East ?

These women (in no particular order) dare to dream, achieve and strive for what they have never done before. They are role models and show a whole generation of women that nothing is impossible.

Raja Easa Al Gurg

She ranked number one among the ten most vital women entrepreneurs in the Middle East. She is the executive director and deputy chairman of the ESA Saleh Al Gurg Group, one of the Middle East’s largest conglomerates. Al-Gurg is also president of the Dubai Women’s Business Council and works to increase business setup in uae among women in the UAE. 

Raja Easa is also a board member of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Women’s Association, and HSBC Middle East. She is the first female emirate to be appointed to HSBC Bank Middle East Limited’s board of directors.

Renuka Jagtiani

Renuka, chairman of the Middle East’s largest grocery retailer, has led the group’s corporate strategy and has developed the fashion and hospitality business for the past 25 years. Renuka played a crucial role in founding the fashion brand Splash in 1993.  

In its current position, Renuka manages all retail and hospitality businesses and leads strategic growth by expanding new markets and driving the group’s CSR initiatives.

Under his leadership, the group started e-commerce and invested in the most significant private logistics and distribution center in the MENA region with a vision of reaching customers wherever they shop.

Huda Kattan

Huda is one of the influential leaders in the global beauty industry, starting its corporate journey in 2013 by launching one of the fastest-growing beauty brands globally, Huda Beauty. Since then, the brand has launched several records around the world. Products are now available for purchase worldwide at hudabeauty.com and retailers including Sephora, Sephora at JC Penney, Harrods, Selfridges, and Cult Beauty.

A lifelong passion for beauty led Hood to enroll in a prestigious Los Angeles cosmetology school and build a list of clients, including top celebrities and the royal family. What started as a beauty blog, hudabeauty.com is now a hugely successful e-commerce platform selling a massive variety of beauty products that are the best selling today. 

With 47 million Instagram followers, 4.1 million YouTube subscribers, and record highs in the Middle East and the United States, Huda Katan is one of the region’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Queen Raina

Queen Rania is a royal in several ways. From establishing foundations such as Queen Rania and Madrasti Education and Development Foundation to raising awareness about vaccine inequality, Queen Rania has long been a leader and is working hard to make a difference.

He also founded a counseling center on violence against children and founded the Arab Leadership Group on Sustainable Development to create a more sustainable future for the Arab world.

Amna Al Habtoor

Founded in 2018, Arcadia stands out among other brands in the region for creating unisex fragrances devoid of cruelty, parabens, and chemicals. Amna manages and manages and feels the brand’s overall look and feel, from photoshoots to brand profiles and packaging. He is also involved in the company’s day-to-day operations and overall vision and plans to run it globally.

Amal Suhail Bahwan

Amal Bahwan is MD and Vice President of one of Oman’s most prominent corporate organizations, with a diverse portfolio covering automobiles, electronics, travel, lifestyle, and healthcare. Not only did he promote the growth, innovation, and success of the conglomerate his father created, but he was also the chairman of the National Bank of Oman.

Emma Banks

Emma Banks is an experienced hospitality director with international experience across multiple channels, operating platforms, and ownership styles. 

She develops product concepts and solutions overseas, provides and manages relationships with brands and restaurant operators in EMEA. She leads the company’s long-term trading strategy.

Zahra Lari

Zahra Lari has opened the doors to countless Arab women who dream of excelling in non-standard careers. This talented athlete is the first professional hijab skater from the UAE to represent the country internationally. She was recently included in Nike’s hijab campaign and is an inspiration to a generation of ambitious Arab athletes.

Heike Harmgart 

Harmgart is MD of the South and Eastern Mediterranean at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The Cairo-based company is responsible for formulating and executing the EBRD strategy and business plan for its territory, including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. He manages a team of 150 people with more than $ 11.1 billion in annual business.

Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr 

Bin Bishr is the Director-General of the Dubai Smart Office, a state structure responsible for innovative city-wide transformation. Bin Bishr is also chair of the 11th Global Council for Sustainable Development and a member of the Global Future Council of the World Economic Forum, and the fourth Smart City Readiness Index for the industrial revolution. Before his current role, Bin Bishr was Deputy Director-General of the Dubai Executive Office and Deputy Secretary of State for the United Kingdom. 


Saudi executives dominate Forbes’ ranking in the Middle East for the region’s best business leaders. The list uses various measures, including company size, individual accomplishments, and executive impact on the industry.

Author bio-

Amy is a zealous writer and with her passion to read and write about Business setup in UAE and its implementation in our modern world. Her inquisitiveness towards learning about how business has evolved in emirates is commendable. With such curiosity embedded in herself, she researches extensively before writing a blog to deliver a credible and detailed content piece. 


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