Three UAE-based CEOs make it to Forbes' top 10 Middle East list

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Emirates Group's Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ADNOC Group's Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Dubai Airports' Paul Griffiths have found their place in Forbes' top 10 CEO list.

According to Forbes, the inaugural list of the "Top CEOs in the Middle East" ranking, celebrates business leaders who are strategically spearheading growth, both in the workplace and their industries, while making significant contributions to the region's economies.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, these executives have demonstrated that agility and adaptability are the keys to survive and thrive. While some are scaling large family businesses; others are responsible for government-owned companies.

Forbes said it assessed the size of the CEO’s company using various measures, the individual's accomplishments over the past year, and their impact on their firm and the wider industry.

The list handpicks 100 CEOs, who represent 24 nationalities and 21 sectors.

Saudi nationals have dominated the list with 18 entries, followed by Emirati and Egyptian leaders with 16 entries each.

Four out of the top five are from the region's COVID-resilient oil & gas industry - Aramco's Amin H. Nasser; ADNOC Group's Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; Kuwait Petroleum Corporation's Hashem Hashem; and Sonatrach's Toufik Hakkar.

With 29 listees, the banking and financial services sector contributes nearly a third of the ranking. Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa, Group CEO of Qatar National Bank, stands as the Middle East's top banking and financial services executive. Notable newcomer, Hana Al Rostamani, ranks 19th on the list. The Emirati began her role as FAB's new Group CEO in late January 2021, having previously served as deputy group CEO and head of personal banking. 

Here are the top 10 CEOs in the Middle East 2021

  1. Amin H. Nasser
    Nationality: Saudi
    President & CEO, Saudi Aramco
  2. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber
    Nationality: Emirati
    Group CEO, ADNOC Group
  3. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
    Nationality: Emirati
    Chairman & CEO, Emirates Group
  4. Hashem Hashem
    Nationality: Kuwaiti
    Deputy Chairman & CEO, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation
  5. Toufik Hakkar
    Nationality: Algerian
    Chairman & CEO, Sonatrach
  6. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi
    Nationality: Qatari
    Deputy Chairman, President & CEO, Qatar Petroleum
  7. Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan
    Nationality: Saudi
    Vice-Chairman & CEO, SABIC
  8. Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa
    Nationality: Qatari
    Group CEO, QNB
  9. Paul Griffiths
    Nationality: British
    CEO, Dubai Airports
  10. Osama Mounier Mohamed Rabi
    Nationality: Egyptian
    Chairman & Managing Director, Suez Canal Authority

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