UAE, Saudi women in Forbes’ most powerful 2019 list


India’s Sitharaman ranks 34th in Forbes’ powerful women list.

Two women from the Gulf feature on Forbes’ ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list, including UAE’s Raja Easa Al Gurg and Saudi Arabia’s Rania Nashar.

Al Gurg, ranked 84 on the list, is managing director and vice chairperson of one of the biggest conglomerates in the Middle East, according to a brief bio on

The Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group consists of 27 companies ranging from retail to construction to a metal foundry. She is also president of the Dubai Business Women Council and works to improve female entrepreneurship in UAE. Al Gurg also serves as board member at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Women’s Association and HSBC Middle East.

She is the first ever Emirati woman appointed to the board of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HBME).

The 97th ranked Saudi national, Nashar, is the first female CEO of Saudi commercial bank, Samba Financial Group.

She becomes CEO at a time when Saudi Arabia is beginning to implement reforms that will promote gender equality as part of their Vision 2030. Samba Financial Group is Saudi Arabia’s third-largest bank by assets.

Nashar has over 20 years of experience in the commercial banking sector.

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is more powerful than New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, British Queen Elizabeth II and US President Donald Trump’s daughter and Advisor Ivanka Trump, according to the rankings by the US magazine.

Sitharaman has been ranked as the 34th most powerful woman in the world on Forbes’ list ahead of Queen Elizabeth II, who is on the 40th spot and US President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, who is on the 42nd spot and Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister.

The Forbes 2019 list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in the second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, ranked third.

Also on the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (29).

“In 2019, women around the globe took action, claiming leadership positions in government, business, philanthropy and media. These trailblazers are not to be messed with,” Forbes said.

The top-ranked woman for the ninth year in a row, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is crusading against anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe.

The 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg, one of 23 newcomers to the list, is fighting inaction on climate change and galvanizing millions of young people around the globe.

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