Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani has been named one of the three most powerful Arab Business Women in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
The Qatar Museums chairperson and sister of the Emir first debuted on the publication’s 100 most powerful women list when it launched three years ago and landed in the No. 3 spot this year.
The Forbes Middle East’s annual list celebrates Arab female empowerment in business and government, and features dozens of women with Arab roots from across the globe.
Forbes appears to have considerably consolidated its rankings from past years, as it previously recognized hundreds of Arab women across multiple categories for their achievements.
This year, the magazine named 100 of the most powerful Arab businesswomen alongside the 10 most powerful Arab women in government and the world’s 10 most powerful Arab women “making a global impact.”
According to Forbes, candidates were ranked based on the “size of their companies … their positions, and spheres of impact.”
Media presence in terms of Arabic Google entries and social media clout were also considered in the rankings, though they were not deciding factors except in a few cases.
Lubna Olayan, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Financing Co. – a multinational company with more than 40 affiliated businesses – topped the list of the most powerful businesswomen.
Egyptian Nemat Shafik, who became the World Bank’s youngest ever vice-president at the age of 36 and is currently the deputy governor of the Bank of England, was named the world’s most powerful Arab woman making a global impact.
In total, there were five Qataris on Forbes’ three lists. That makes Qatar the eighth-most represented country out of the 13 states considered for the rankings.
Sheikha Al Mayassa was recognized for her role as the chair of Qatar Museums, an international art powerhouse with an annual acquisitions budget of some US$1 billion, according to Forbes.
Dubbed by the magazine as the “undisputed queen of the art world,” Sheikha Al Mayassa was lauded for her role in the recent purchase of works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko, as well as for the record-setting $250 million paid in 2012 for Cezanne’s The Card Players.
Sheikha Al Mayassa has previously been featured by Forbes on its power ranking lists and has been recognized by other publications, including being named one of the world’s most influential people by Time and one of the most powerful women in art by Artnet News.
Other Qataris on Forbes’ list of the most powerful Arab businesswomen include:
- QNB Capital CEO Mira Al Attiyah at No. 23 for her role as chief executive of QNB’s investment banking subsidiary. Al Attiyah was previously the assistant undersecretary for trade at Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce;
- Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, the managing director of Hamad Medical Corp. at No. 37; and
- Sheikha Hanadi Al Thani, the founder and chair of the 17-year-old asset management company Amwal who is credited with launching Qatar’s first mutual fund, is ranked No. 79.
Qatar’s only entrant in the 10 Most Powerful Arab Women in Government sublist was Hessa Al Jaber, one of three female ministers in Qatar and the current head of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
This year’s list featured a heavy Egyptian, Lebanese and Emirati presence.
Lebanon and the UAE tied for second place with 17 entries each, behind Egypt’s 22.
Entries from the UAE include Raja Easa Al Gurg, managing director of Emirati conglomerate Al Gurg Group, and Fatima Al Jaber, chief operating officer of construction, logistics and trading firm Al Jaber Group.
On the government side, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE’s minister for international cooperation and development, as well as Social Affairs Minister Maryam Al Roomi, were also named to the list.
Other countries featured include Kuwait with 13 entries, Jordan with 11, Morocco with eight and Oman with seven. Saudi Arabia had six, Syria and Palestine each had three while Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia rounded out the lists with one entrant each.