Forbes magazine has released its annual list of most powerful women in the Arab world 2017. This year there are two lists, one for Business and one for Government. Topping the lists, as always, are Lubna S. Olayan and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi of Saudi and UAE. However. there is a rapid rush to the top by Omani women.
Dominating this list, as their company almost does in business within Oman, are Amal & Hind Bahwan. Amal Bahwan is the Vice Chair of Suhail Bahwan Group a 15000 employee company, whose diversity which includes automobiles, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, oil & gas services and telecommunications makes it well placed to ride out bumps in the road of Oman’ economy.
Hind Bahwan’s Bahwan Cybertek is also diversified, more internationally; which again achieves the same effect of insulating the company from economic changes.
Haifa Al Khaifi is a lifelong employee at PDO, Oman’s Government & Shell partnership, and is now CFO.
Rawan Al Said, Chairperson and MD at National Bank of Oman (also on NBO board is Amal Bahwan and several Directors from Commercial Bank of Qatar ) is included. She is on the board of Takaful Oman the Islamic insurance provider and many other Omani companies.
Huda Al Lawati joins the list. She was formerly Chief of Investments for the MENA area at Abraaj of Dubai and is now with Saudi’s Jeddah-based Savola food group which includes the amazing Almarai dairy company who manages to be the best-distributed dairy product in Oman, all the way from Riyadh.
Sharifa Al Harthy Vice Chair at MB Holding, who as a company started in Oil field work but has now grown to include ownership of the Anantara managed hotel in Salalah, has been counted in the list.
In top 10 Arab women in government Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed bin Nassir al Shibaniyah, Minister of Education (a slow load and might have unexpected images for education – when inserted they were of Oman’s Armed Forces) must have been included for the increasingly dynamic education system in Oman. Though surprisingly Oman’s Minister of Higher Education Dr Rawiyah bint Saud al Busaidiyah and the Ministry of Tourism’s Maitha al Mahrouqi, have not been mentioned.