Top 50 International CEOs Heading Local Companies
1 PAUL GRIFFITHS
CEO Dubai Airports Nationality: British Sector: Aviation
Griffiths oversees the operation and development of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), which has plans to become the world's largest airport with the capacity to handle up to 240 million passengers and 16 million tons of freight annually. He previously spent 14 years with the Virgin Group, working closely with Sir Richard Branson as a Board Director of the Virgin Travel Group. Dubai Airports is among the world's largest airport operators. Playing the organ is among Griffiths' passions and earlier this year he played the organ at the mass led by Pope Francis.
2 ALAIN BEJJANI
Majid Al Futtaim Nationality: Lebanese Sector: Diversified
Bejjani has been the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim since 2015, having held several leadership roles within the company. Before joining Majid Al Futtaim, Bejjani was Executive Vice Chairman of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon from 2001. Over the last year, Majid Al Futtaim has opened the first multiplex in Saudi Arabia and issued the world's first Green Sukuk Islamic bond. The group is the leader in corporate governance among private companies in the region.
3 SHAYNE NELSON
Emirates NBD Nationality: British
Emirates NBD Group is Dubai's biggest bank with $146 billion in assets. It has a strong digital banking presence, with over 90% of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. Nelson has had an extensive banking career. Before joining Emirates NBD, he served in Singapore as the CEO of Standard Chartered Private Bank and he was the Chairman of Standard Chartered Saadiq Islamic Advisory Board. Nelson is also a a founding member of the Higher Colleges of Technology Industry Advisory Council.
4 AMIT JAIN
Group CEO Emaar Properties Nationality: Indian Sector: Real estate
Emaar Properties has had a stellar year amidst challenging market conditions; it managed to grow its profit 30% to nearly $2 billion and increased sales by 37% to $7 billion. Jain joined the company in 2006 and is responsible for driving the Group's strategy and overall management of its operations. He has over 22 years of experience at senior positions with real estate, banking industries and as a management consultant. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a CFA Charter holder from the CFA Institute, U.S.
5 TONY DOUGLAS
Etihad Airways Nationality: British
Etihad Aviation Group employs 21,529 people, from 152 nationalities, operating 102 aircraft that fly to 84 destinations. Douglas has nearly 20 years of international leadership experience in transportation, infrastructure, and government sectors. He joined Etihad Aviation Group from the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense. There he served as CEO of the Defense Equipment and Support department, responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces, managing a budget of $20 billion a year.
6 STEFANO BERTAMINI
Al Rajhi Bank Nationality: German Sector: Banking
The Al Rajhi Bank was founded by the Al Rajhi family. It is Saudi Arabia's second largest bank, with over $97 billion in assets. Bertamini started his career in General Electric, where he worked for over two decades and grew through the ranks to become Chairman and CEO of Greater China and President of GE Capital Asia. Before joining Al Rajhi, he served as the Group Executive Director and CEO of Consumer Banking. He holds an MBA from the University of North Texas.
7 ADNAN CHILWAN
Dubai Islamic Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank is the largest Islamic Bank in the U.A.E., with a workforce of more than 8,000 employees. It is poised to grow even further when it acquires Noor Bank, another U.A.E. based Islamic lender. Chilwan is considered a leading authority in the field of Islamic banking and finance. A passionate cricketer and an avid sportsman, Chilwan has a PhD and an MBA in Marketing to his credentials. He is a Certified Islamic Banker (CeIB), a postgraduate in Islamic banking and insurance and an associate fellow member on the Islamic Finance Professionals Board.
8 ROBERT EID
CEO & Managing Director
Arab National Bank Nationality: Lebanese
Eid has been Managing Director and CEO at the Arab National Bank since December 2005. He is also a Board Member of MetLife-AIG-ANB Cooperative Insurance Company, Saudi Home Loans and ANB Invest. Arab National Bank has 183 branches spread across Saudi Arabia. Eid holds a doctorate degree in money and banking from the Sorbonne University of France.
9 HATEM DOWIDAR
CEO Etisalat International Nationality: Egyptian
Dowidar was appointed CEO of Etisalat International in March 2016, just six months after joining Etisalat in September 2015 as Group COO. He sits on the subsidiaries' boards in Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan. He initially joined Vodafone Egypt in its early startup operation in 1999, serving as a Marketing Director and later became the CEO of Vodafone Egypt from 2009 to 2014. Dowidar holds a bachelor's degree in communications and electronics engineering from Cairo University and an MBA from the American University in Cairo.
10 AMIT KAUSHAL
CEO Dubai Holding Nationality: British
Kaushal leads the diversified company's operations in more than 10 countries and across 12 industries. He was previously COO at Meraas Holding LLC, a Dubai-based holding conglomerate. He also held the position of Chief Financial & Investment Officer during his tenure at Meraas and was responsible for the funding, treasury, strategic capital and corporate finance businesses. Raised in Kenya, the British national returned to the U.K. for higher education, earning his mathematics degree and postgraduate in philosophy.
11 LES MALE
Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange Nationality: British
Sector: Financial Services Under Male's leadership, DGCX saw over 7.98 million contracts traded in the third quarter of 2019, with over 2.37 million contracts traded in September, valued at $41 billion.
12 RICHARD TENG
CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority
Abu Dhabi Global Market Nationality: Singaporean Sector: Regulator
ADGM established the first regulatory sandbox in the region, first private REIT regime and first comprehensive regulatory framework governing crypto exchanges and ICO issuances.
13 MASSIMO FALCIONI
Etihad Credit Insurance Nationality: Italian Sector: Financial Services Falcioni is one of only a few expats to lead a federal government institution in the U.A.E.
14 BRYAN THOMPSON
Abu Dhabi Airports Nationality: Australian-South African Sector: Aviation
In his previous role as Senior Vice President of Development at Dubai Airports, Thompson led the development of Dubai International Airport as well as Dubai World Central.
15 JOSÉ SILVA
Jumeirah Group Nationality: Portuguese Sector: Hospitality
Silva recently launched the new “Jumeirah E-Butler” service, which enables guests to communicate directly with the hotel team via WhatsApp.
16 COLM MCLOUGHLIN
CEO & Executive Vice Chairman Dubai Duty Free Nationality: Irish
McLoughlin heads one of the leading airport retailers globally, with sales over $2 billion in 2018.
17 MICHEL ACCAD
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait Nationality: American Sector: Banking
Under Accad's leadership, the Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait has acquired about $15 billion in assets and arranged a $800 million revolving loan facility to the Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) in October 2018.
18 RAGHAVAN SEETHARAMAN
Doha Bank Nationality: Indian Sector: Banking Seetharaman has multiple doctorates, including a PhD in Global Governance from the European University and a PhD in Green Banking and Sustainability from Sri Sri University.
19 BASHAR OBEID
Aramex Nationality: Jordanian Sector: Logistics
Obeid oversaw Aramex's public offering on NASDAQ, which was the first company from the Arab world to go public. The company now trades on the Dubai Financial Market.
20 KEZ TAYLOR
ALEC Nationality: South African Sector: Construction
Under Taylor's leadership, ALEC is developing the Mobility Pavilion, the CoEx Exhibition Center and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's pavilion for Expo 2020.
21 MIKKEL VINTER
Batelco Nationality: Danish
Sector: Telecommunications Vinter has almost 20 years' experience in the telecommunications sector. Previously, he founded Virgin Mobile, Middle East & Africa in 2006 and served as its CEO until 2016.
22 PETER ENGLAND
RAKBANK Nationality: British Sector: Banking
Under England's leadership, RAKBANK has recently been designated as the exclusive banking partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment's retail calendar.
23 BERND VAN LINDER
Commercial Bank of Dubai Nationality: Dutch
Linder established the “Cardless Cash Withdrawal” service, which allows its wholesale banking customers to withdraw or transfer money at a CBD ATM without using a debit or credit card.
24 IAN CHARLES DENCH
Ooredoo Oman Nationality: British
Sector: Telecommunications Ooredoo Oman is listed on Muscat Stock Exchange, and has revenues of more than $700 million. Dench was the Chief Marketing Officer of Ooredoo Qatar, before moving to Oman as CEO.
25 ABDALLAH MASSAAD
RAK Ceramics Nationality: Lebanese Sector: Industrials
Massad's strategic planning and expansion initiatives have enabled RAK Ceramics to sell enough ceramic tiles globally to cover a billion square meters.
26 ASIL ATTAR
CEO Damas Nationality: Iraqi
Attar is Damas' first female CEO in its history of more than 100 years.
27 ELHAM MAHFOUZ
Commercial Bank of Kuwait Nationality: Egyptian Sector: Banking
Leading the second-oldest bank in the Gulf with assets of $1.7 billion, Mahfouz has used her leadership position to encourage female empowerment in business.
28 VINCE COOK
National Bank of Fujairah Nationality: British
With Cook's focus on steady quality business growth, NBF has recorded its best ever half-year operating profit of $154 million, achieving a year-on-year growth rate of 9.1%.
29 OLIVIER NOUGAROU
Arabian Centres Company Nationality: German Sector: Real estate
Arabian Centers launched its IPO in early-2019—the biggest one in Saudi Arabia this year— which raised $659 million.
30 PATRICK ALLMAN-WARD
Dana Gas Nationality: British
Sector: Oil & Gas Allman-Ward leads the Middle East's largest regional private sector natural gas company. This year Dana Gas received $19 million from its operations in Egypt.
31 AHMAD IDRIS
ADNIC Nationality: Jordanian Sector: Insurance
Under Idris' leadership, ADNIC reported an increase in gross written prevmiums by 42.8% to $473 million during the first quarter of 2019 , compared to $322 million for the same period in 2018.
32 JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DURAND
National Bank of Bahrain Nationality: French
Before joining NBB, Durand was Regional CEO for BNP Paribas, Middle East and Africa. He also serves as Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bahrain.
33 JEROME CARLE
Julphar Nationality: French
Carle is responsible for all aspects of Julphar's operations. He joined the company in January 2017 as Corporate CFO, before being appointed GM and CEO.
34 GUY HUTCHINSON
Rotana Hotel Management Nationality: British
Rotana was the first hotelier in the U.A.E. to partner with Airbnb. The direct distribution agreement allows Airbnb customers access to Rotana's Arjaan brand.
35 RANJEEV MENON
Gulf Warehousing Company Nationality: Indian
Under Menon's leadership, the Gulf Warehousing Company has expanded its logistics infrastructure, which includes warehousing and distribution space, to cover nearly two million square meters.
36 JASON LIGHT
Emirates Insurance Nationality: British
Before joining Emirates Insurance in May 2007, Light was CEO of Hemayah Insurance, Toyota's ALJ's captive insurance business in Saudi Arabia.
37 AMR REFAAT
Gulf Business Machines Nationality: Egyptian
Sector: Information Technology Refaat led the execution of the new IBM Client Center in Abu Dhabi, a collaborative and a digitally immersive environment.
38 AHMAD M. ABU EIDEH
United Arab Bank Nationality: Jordanian Sector: Banking
UAB has an MoU with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment, under which it offers housing finance solutions to U.A.E. nationals under the purview of the Al Yusr programme.
39 NADER HAFFAR
Chairman & CEO
KPMG Lower Gulf Nationality: Syrian-American Sector: Audit & Consulting KPMG is the official sponsor of the Global Youth Leadership Summit, the world's largest humanitarian sporting event and global movement.
40 TARIQ CHAUHAN
Group CEO & Board Member EFS Facilities Services Group Nationality: Indian
Sector: Facilities Management Chauhan has spearheaded EFS's expansion into 23 markets across MENA, Turkey and South Asia, and supervised the growth of its workforce to more than 12,000 globally.
41 MICHAEL WALE
Kerzner International Nationality: British
Wale is spearheading Kerzner's aggressive expansion plans for the growth of the Atlantis and ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts brands worldwide.
42 KHALID ANIB
Abu Dhabi National Hotels Nationality: Finnish Sector: Hospitality
The ADNH group recorded $100 million of consolidated revenue during the first quarter of this year, up 1.1% from $90 million during the same period in 2018.
43 ALISON GRINNELL
RAK Hospitality Holding Nationality: British
Grinnell boasts over 20 years of experience in the hotels and hospitality industry, covering countries across Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East.
44 JASPER HOPE
Dubai Opera Nationality: British
Hope brought his experience as COO at the Royal Albert Hall to Dubai Opera in January 2015. The venue boasts a 2,000-seat multi-format arrangement.
45 JAMES MICHAEL LAFFERTY
Fine Hygienic Holding Nationality: American Sector: Industrials
Besides establishing a plan for an IPO listing by 2022, Lafferty also transformed the company's gender diversity by taking women in senior management from 0% to 30% in 12 months.
46 WALID EL HINDI
IMKAN Properties Nationality: Egyptian Sector: Real Estate
El Hindi is responsible for the global real estate portfolio of the Abu Dhabi Capital Group, which has a presence in four countries, with properties valued at more than $27 billion.
47 ALAA SAMIR AL ALI
Nirvana Travel and Tourism Nationality: Jordanian Sector: Travel & Tourism
Last year, Nirvana Travel and Tourism expanded to Cairo and handled all logistical support for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the U.A.E.
48 HANY FARAG
National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels Nationality: Egyptian Sector: Hospitality
Under Farag's vision to innovate and diversify its portfolio, the NCT&H has extended its expertise to develop new and exciting premium restaurant concepts.
49 JOACHIM YEBOUET
Foodco Holding Nationality: Ivorian
Sector: Food & Beverages Yebouet is leading Foodco Holding on a transformation journey by tapping into the U.A.E.'s organic food market and doubling the size of the present business.
50 SAMER ABU AKER
SEDCO Capital Nationality: Canadian Palestinian Sector: Financial Services Under Abu Aker's leadership, SEDCO Capital has pioneered a Prudent Ethical Approach that combines Shariah-compliance with ethical investing.
Samer Abu Aker
Alaa Samir Al Ali