THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Saluting women achievers who through sheer drive and determination have made their presence felt across the higher echelons of Oman’s corporate world .

Outstanding Services

Abla Al Riyami 

Gas Director, Petroleum Development of Oman
At the helm of Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO)’s gas directorate, Abla is directly accountable for meeting the company’s obligations as a gas operator of the government of Oman. Abla joined PDO as a petro-physicist in 1985, and after four years went to Shell International on a cross-posting. When she returned to Oman, she became a discipline engineer in petro-physics looking at training, succession planning and technology among other areas. After a period as section head in petro-physics, she moved up the ladder to become petroleum engineering team leader in the Fahud/Lekhwair team. In 2001/2, she had a range of managerial jobs on several assets before settling as petroleum engineering manager of south Oman, her last job before being appointed as gas director to the newly-formed gas directorate. Abla won Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)’s regional service award in 2010 for her outstanding service to SPE and the industry. She is also one of the advisory members of Gas Arabia Summit which will be held in Muscat from December 8 to 11, 2013.

A dynamic player

Aisha Abdullah Al Kharusi 

Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications, alizz isalmic bank

Aisha joined the senior management team of alizz islamic bank as assistant general manager for corporate communications in July 2013. She leads the day-today investor relations, external and internal communications, government relations, marketing, media, corporate sponsorship and the CSR operation. Prior to that, Aisha worked with National Bank of Oman from 2009 to early 2013 holding several positions such as head of corporate communications & CSR; and head of strategy. Between 2003 and 2008, Aisha worked for the world’s leading aerospace company Boeing, holding the positions of associate and deputy regional director based in Dubai covering ten Middle Eastern & North Africa (MENA) countries. Aisha was on the Global Corporate Citizenship advisory committee in Chicago headed by vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship representing her international peers worldwide. As a motivational guest speaker, Aisha attended several speaking engagements. In April 2012, she was invited for a speaking engagement at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, Washington DC. In October 2012, she bagged “Woman of the Year 2012” award by the Al Mar’a Excellence Award.

A success story

Areej Mohsin Darwish 

Joint Deputy Chairperson 

Mohsin Haider Darwish

Areej manages the automotive division and internal audit and computer systems arms of one of Oman’s most successful conglomerates- Mohsin Haider Darwish, founded by her father. Actively involved in the decision making process of the group, she charts business strategies and operational plans that align objectives with corporate goals. Before entering the family business, Areej, a graduate form Sultan Qaboos University, started her career with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) as an analyst programmer. During her tenure with PDO, she gained valuable exposure to various systems and processes. A firm supporter of women in business, Areej believes that more and more women managers are likely to come up in Oman and feels proud of being one of the early success stories. She is of the opinion that women can outshine men in certain attributes such as compassion, better instincts and the ability to remain cool under pressure. Areej was named among the ‘100 Most Powerful Arab Women’ by Arabian Business magazine in 2011.

A responsible mission

Badriya Al Siyabi 

Manager, Corporate Affairs, Omran & Co-Founder of Sibad Women’s Sewing Group

Badriya Al Siyabi, who after a successful career in banking now runs corporate social responsibility projects for Omran, has been instrumental in spearheading many of Omran’s CSR projects in the sultanate. She helped create long-term benefits for local communities across Oman by forming meaningful and sustainable programmes. Badriya’s endeavours also include nurturing and establishing relationships with residents located in and around Omran project sites. It was her single-handed zeal to give something back to the community that has created the country’s most successful cottage industry back in 2004 in the form of Sidab Women’s Sewing Group. The group manufacturers a range of items from tote bags and greeting cards to cushion covers, tissue box covers and dolls. The items are very popular with local hotels and art galleries. Badriya was named ‘CSR Woman of the Year’ at the annual Al Mar’a Excellence Awards in 2012.

Dedicated for a noble cause

Barka al Bakry 

Life Honorary Member of the Al Noor Association for the Blind

Barka Al Bakry, a founding member of Al Noor Association for the Blind, is a dynamic philanthropist actively involved in improving the lives of visually impaired Omanis. Al Noor Association is the only nongovernmental organisation (NGO) in Oman catering for the visually challenged. The association, which was set up in 1997, works for the economic and social empowerment of the visually impaired people with focus on their education, training, healthcare and overall welfare. It conducts computer training, language training and workshops on handicraft. Bakri believes that young women who were showing their passion of voluntary work had to sacrifice many valuable things in their lives. Bakri says she could fully focus on the voluntary work, only after her children were settled in their lives and they did not need everyday care and attention. Bakri is also the Oman representative of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) which will organise a three-day regional conference in November, 2013, to strengthen and promote volunteering in the Sultanate.

A gifted doctor

Dr Fatma Obaid Ali 

Founder and CEO, Emirates Medical Centre

Dr Fatma was the first physician in Oman to introduce laser technology in hair removal. That was in 1999 when she was working at Al Shatti Hospital as a skin specialist. She earned the distinction of having done more than 1,000 laser hair removal procedures during that time. Dr Fatma who obtained her MBBS in 1989 from the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain also holds MSc in Dermatology with distinction from the University of London. In addition, she did numerous cosmetic dermatology courses from US, UK and Singapore. Before moving to Oman in 1999, Dr Fatma had worked as specialist dermatologist at Rashid Hospital, Dubai from 1995. She is the recipient of Sheikh Rasheed Award for the best educational achievement in 1995. In 2000, she ventured into opening Emirates Medical Centre (EMC), as a small private clinic staffed by just one nurse and a receptionist. EMC has grown in popularity within in a short span of time and has become a full-fledged centre, offering skin health, anti-aging and rejuvenation services etc. EMC which opened in Muscat in 2000 was expanded to Salalah in 2010, Sohar in 2012 and Mawelah in 2013.

A multiplier

Ghada Mohamed Al Yousef 

Executive Manager – Communications and CSR, Electricity Holding Company

Ghada was recently appointed as executive manager – communications and CSR at Electricity Holding Company (EHC) to set up a new group function that directs and manages brand marketing, corporate affairs and CSR for EHC and its nine subsidiaries. Ghada continues to remain close to her family business as director – corporate affairs of Al Yousef Group and as managing director of Modern Hospitality Company, which operates Ubhar Restaurant, the first Omani fusion restaurant which serves the renowned Shuwa Sandwich.

During her free time, Ghada enjoys supporting SMEs in Oman through mentoring a few budding entrepreneurs. She is also a board member of Injaz Oman.

Professional par excellence

Haifa Juma Al Khaifi 

Finance Director, PDO

Haifa started her career with PDO in 1995, following her graduation from Ball State University in US with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in marketing and a minor in interpersonal relationships from the department of counseling psychology. After holding several positions in PDO including that of Contracts Engineer (Well Services), Haifa moved to London to continue her studies, while working with Shell-Oil Products, on structural cost reduction.

Hiafa returned to PDO as the head of finance planning (capital projects) before being posted to Shell- Gas & Power, where she was the regional manager for planning and reporting, based in Dubai, looking after Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. She was later appointed in PDO as finance manager for EOR project, financial controller and finance manager. This was followed by a brief posting in Hague with Shell International Exploration and Production BV. She assumed her current role as finance director (CFO) and company secretary in July 2012. Haifa is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACIMA) and a member of Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). She also serves as advisory board member of Academic Innovation Assistance Programme (AIAP) at Sultan Qaboos University.

With the Midas touch

Hind Bahwan 

Director, Suhail Bahwan Group & the Founder and Chairperson of Bahwan CyberTek

Hind Bahwan has proved her mettle as an enterprising and dynamic businesswoman by founding Bahwan CyberTek Group which is focused on IT, logistics and engineering projects. She is also the director of Suhail Bahwan Group, one of Oman’s premier family groups. Hind is involved in and has served on the boards of a variety of public and private organisations. She is a member of the Middle Centre Advisory Board of the London School of Economics and a board member of the Family Business Network for GCC. She had served as a member on the Middle East Advisory Board of the Deutsche Bank and on the board of Oman’s Public Authority for Social Insurance. Hind had previously chaired the Oman chapter of Young President’s Organisation (YPO). She is a recipient of many honours including Ernst & Young’s ‘Oman’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2000’, ‘e-Achiever of the Year’ award by Arabian Business, ‘IT Women of the Year 2002’ award by UNDP, ‘Global Leaders for Tomorrow’ award by the World Economic Forum, ‘Global Young Leader’ by the World Economic Forum and ‘Woman of Power Award’ by Asian Business Leadership Forum.

A go-ahead player

Ibtisam Al Riyami 

People and Change Director, Petroleum Development Oman

With a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Ibtisam joined PDO in 1989 as a computer programmer. Ibtisam obtained her MBA from Aberdeen University in Scotland, while on a cross posting assignment in Shell UK Exploration and Production. Ibtisam held a number of roles in PDO including head of subsurface application portfolio, SAP Mustaqbal, change and implementation manager, and manager of information management and technology. She was later appointed as director for corporate planning, responsible for the annual business planning process, change and lean deployment, new technology, corporate performance management, gas and water management. In this role she served as the custodian of the hydrocarbon accounting system and the technology support agreement. Ibrisam has recently been appointed as director of people and change that assumes all human resources duties.

Exploring new avenues

Intisar Al Kindi 

Exploration Director, Petroleum Development Oman

Intisaar Al Kindy, previously general manager and country chair of Shell Jordan, has taken up the role of exploration director at Petroleum Development Oman. Following a Master’s of Science in petroleum geology from the Imperial College, University of London, Intisaar joined PDO as a trainee in the exploration department where she spent six years learning the tools of the trade and developing her skills in three exploration evaluation teams. In 1997, Intisaar was cross-posted to Shell Expro in London, returning four years later to PDO for a brief stint as an exploration portfolio analyst. She was then assigned to her first leadership role, heading what was then the exploration government gas team, and then later took on the role of exploration manager of North Oman Oil Team before being cross-posted to Shell to manage the Jordan Oil Shell project and later being appointed as general manager and country chair of Shell Jordan. Now returning to PDO as exploration director, she is accountable for all oil and gas exploration activities.

Venturing into new territories

Jannat Moosa 

Marketing Director, Bin Mirza International

There is only one thing that connects a boutique bakery called BreadTalk, the home of Afro-Portuguese PERi PERi Chicken known as Nando’s and a place where each coffee is served with a little love by the name of Second Cup; and that connection is Jannat Moosa. She is the marketing director of Bin Mirza International (BMI) and is responsible for adapting these beloved brands to the Omani market. Effectively she is the face of these companies in Oman, which will be soon introducing Steak Escape. A key driver of this growing success is BMI’s passion to train young Omanis and transform the Sultanate’s hospitality industry.

A multifaceted personality

Lujaina Mohsin Darwish 

Joint Deputy Chairperson, Heading Human Resources & Omanisation Department

Lujaina started her career as a Lecturer in English language at Sultan Qaboos University in 1991. She joined her father’s company Mohsin Haider Darwish in 1994 and is currently holding the position of joint deputy chairperson heading human resources, Omanisation & training department.

She was one among the few women candidates to be elected for the first time to the Majlis A’Shura, representing Muscat constituency from 2001 to 2007. She was in fact elected twice to this position of honour. She also served as a board member of OCIPED and as director / member across various business committees and social/voluntary organisations which may be just one among the many factors behind her nominations to numerous awards including Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005. AMWAL magazine, published in France, conducted a survey for the leading GCC Businesswomen, and in its January 2006 issue, Lujaina was selected as one amongst the leading 18 businesswomen who draw the business map in the Gulf. Forbes Arabia identified her as the 42nd amongst 50 most prominent and influential Arab ladies in December 2004. In March 2006 and May 2008 she was ranked 13th and 21st amongst the 50 most powerful businesswomen in the Arab World.

Lujaina is no stranger to awards. Some of the prominent awards include the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award instituted by OCIPED in 2001, Women’s Voice in Business & Politics – Datamatix, Dubai, in 2003 and Woman of the Year – Al Mar’a Excellence Awards, in 2011. The Ministry of Social Development honoured her as one of the 27 leading women in Oman out of 210 nominees. In addition, she was ranked 18th as ‘The Most Influential Arab Women from Government and Family Business’ by Forbes Middle East in 2013.

A champion of SMEs

Malak Ahmed Al Shaibani 

General Manager, National Business Center under Public Establishment for Industrial Estates

As the general manager of an exclusive centre to support the development and growth of small and medium enterprises, Malak is currently busy redrawing the SME landscape of the Sultanate. She has been spearheading the SME development in Oman since 2012 and has been a member of the executive committee of the high level SME symposium in Saih Al Shamikhat as well as the team leader of the entrepreneur open market. She started off her career at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry as a market researcher at the industrial development unit. In early 2011 Malak started her own consultancy Creative Links with a specific focus on strategy development as well as human resources consultancy. In 2012, she partnered with Talent2, an international consultancy to introduce learning and development solutions into the Omani market. She holds BSC in business administration from Washington University St Louis; MBA from Strathclyde University, Glasgow; and diploma in Islamic banking from the Institute of Islamic Banking, United Kingdom.

A campaigner for charity

Maryam Al Zadjali 

Chairperson, Dar Al Atta’a

That an organisation conceived and developed by her and handful of her team members 11 years ago has today become a synonym for charity in Oman speaks volumes about the passion and dynamism of Mariam to work for the underprivileged section of the society. Dar al Atta’a which had a humble beginning in 2002 is now one of the largest charitable organsations in the region. In September, 2013, Mariam led a team from Dar al Atta’a to receive the Shaikh Issa bin Ali bin Khalifa al Khalifa voluntary work awards in Bahrain. The award was instituted to honour prominent figures in volunteering work representing 17 Arab countries and the United Nations Volunteer Programme. She shares the credit with her colleagues stating that each board member has a specific responsibility and they work hard to fulfil their duties. Mariam says Dar al Atta’a tries to be the link between the giver and the recipient. “As Islam stresses on sharing a number of people were doing charity, but most of them were repeatedly giving to the same set of people. We have helped them to reach out to a larger group.”

A Helping Hand

Munira Macki 

Head of Human Resources & Training Division, Bank Sohar

Munira Abdulnabi Macki heads the HR department at Bank Sohar, as the DGM of human resource and corporate support. She is the driving force behind various philanthropic and community engagement programmes the bank has pioneered since its formation. In this six-year period, Bank Sohar has garnered a solid reputation as having one of the most active corporate responsibility programmes amongst financial institutions in the Sultanate. In the same short period, under her astute management, the HR department has managed to achieve an exceptional Omanisation rate of 90 per cent within the bank. Munira has many years of experience in HR management, having worked with both the government and private sectors. Holder of a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from Beirut Arab University, Lebanon, and a Master’s degree in education from Sheffield University, UK, Munira began her career as a teacher from 1980 to 1983 and moved on to be the headmistress of the Ministry of Education school from 1983 to 1991. She held the position of the deputy director of educational activities, Ministry of Education from 1991 to 1996. Having completed a programme on ‘human resource strategy in transforming organisations’, at the London Business School, has added significant value to her current role.

A go-getter

Nada Maqbool Sulaiman 

Director, Salman Corporation

Nada opted for a massive career change when she moved from the banking sector to her family-owned business. After completing her Master’s in Financial Services from Glasgow, UK, she came back to Oman and joined the National Bank of Oman (NBO) where she worked as a ?nancial analyst before she decided to make the ‘big’ move. It’s been four years since Nada joined Salmanstores where she has attempted to bring in several innovations such as Salmanstores Advantage Card and new advertisement concepts.

The shift from ?nance to a marketing position in her family business has changed both life and career dimensions for Nada. “I wanted a change. It was not that I was unhappy in my previous job but I thought the place to be was in the family business and hence I made the decision to jump into a totally different line,” she explains. She also adds that being part of the family business also means that people expect more in terms of what you can do and how well you can do it.

An epitome of steadfastness

Naashiah bint Saoud Al Kharusi 

Chairperson, Oman Women Association

Naashiah is a member of State Council since 2011 and the chairperson of Oman Women Association at Muscat governorate elected in 2012. Earlier, she had served two terms as a member of the board of directors of the association. In addition, Naashiah was appointed as a member of Consultative Commission for the Supreme Council of the GCC in 2013. She served as a full time member of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the Sultanate from 2007 to 2011. She was deputed by the government from 2002 to July 2007 to establish the first Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) in Oman. She served as a full time member of the temporary committee which managed TRA functions and responsibilities until permanent members of TRA were appointed. She served as a telecommunications advisor to the Minister of Transport and Communications, advising on all technical and policy matters relating to the telecommunications sector development from 1980 to 2002. She participated in several telecommunications conferences and meetings both at the international and regional levels, leading Omani delegations. She contributed in 1973 to the establishment of the first Radio Frequency Coordination Committee for the GCC countries which was transformed thereafter as the Technical Telecommunications Secretariat.

Giving a cutting edge

Najla Zuhair Al-Jamali 

Associate Director – Strategy & Performance Management, Oman Oil Company

Najla Zuhair Al Jamali’s diverse and fascinating work experiences have taken her around the world. Over the last 15 years, she has worked in various onshore and offshore operational roles as well as managerial and consultancy positions in Africa, Europe and the Middle East at reputable companies including Vale, Schlumberger Business Consulting, IHS Energy, Shell and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). As the associate director for strategy and performance management at Oman Oil Company, Najla contributes her extensive experience to the company’s ambition of diversifying the Omani economy and promoting Omani and foreign private sector investments. Najla holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honours in mathematics with applied mathematics/mathematical physics from Imperial College, London. She also attained a Master of Science degree in financial management from the University of London and participated in a leadership programme at INSEAD, in France.

A pioneering role

Natasha Yahya Nasib 

Director, Yahya Services (Snowhite) & Chief Public Relations Officer, Yahya Group Holding 

As the director of Yahya Services (Snowhite), Natasha played a pioneering role in steering the remarkable growth of the company. She also assumes the responsibility of director of public relations for Yahya Group Holding, a position that allows her to provide guidance throughout each division. In her dual roles, Natasha concentrates on long term policy issues, focusing on customer relationships, employee welfare and matters related to Omanisation. Her style of management, while result oriented and assertive, revolves around the genuine concern she shows towards the employees of the group.

Natasha concluded her early schooling at The Sultan School in Oman and completed her university education in Switzerland majoring in business. In 2012, Natasha completed her commitment as a board member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and head of the Business Women Forum. With Oman taking the lead in ensuring women have an equal opportunity in business, she plays an active role to help promote women in business.

A key player

Neelima Vyas 

COO, Port of Sohar

Neelima heads the operation of one of Oman’s iconic infrastructure projects –the Freezone Sohar. The 4,500-hectare freezone project spearheaded by Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC) is a joint venture between the Government of Oman, the Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands and SKIL Infrastructure in India. Neelima who has been the COO of the project since January 2010 brings to the table a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Before joining SIPC, Neelima was involved in setting up the Pipavav Port, India’s first private sector port. She has specialised in transport and logistics in the Netherlands at Delft and Rotterdam and has a Master’s degree from the World Maritime University.

Looking beyond the obvious

Radha Mukherji 

CEO, ADINC DDB

Radha has a BSc (Hons) in statistics and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta. With a strong quantitative background, advertising wasn’t even remotely on her radar as a career option. So, in her first few working years she flitted between roles in MIS, marketing, market research, and product management until chancing upon advertising 30 years ago. She loved it instantly and just stayed on. She found the atmosphere of ad agencies a welcome change from the starchy, hierarchical set-up of the large organisations that she had worked in until then. Radha thinks that advertising sensitises one to look beyond the obvious, to recognise non-verbal cues, interpret behaviour, modify attitudes and in the process understand oneself better as well. In a profession where coming up with new ideas at each meeting and brainstorming is a basic requirement, there is not a dull day. Radha feels that gender is a non-issue when one gives not just one’s heart but the very soul to the profession.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

HH Sayyidah Rawan Ahmed Al Said 

Managing Director & Group CEO, ONIC Holding

HH Sayyidah Rawan is the first and only Omani woman to hold the position of a CEO in a publicly listed corporate. She has a Master’s of Science (MSc) in economics and finance from Loughborough University, UK. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in investment analysis from Stirling University, UK and BA in economics and political science from the American University, Cairo. She has 25 years of experience in the investment field both in public and private sectors. Prior to joining ONIC Holding Group as managing director and group chief executive, she held the position of deputy CEO-investment at State General Reserve Fund of Oman.

She is on the board of a number of reputed companies and financial institutions in Oman and across GCC (chairperson in Oman Investment Corporation, deputy chairperson in Oman ORIX Leasing and a member in National Bank of Oman, Oman Oil Marketing, National Investment Funds Company, National Life and General Insurance Company (NLGIC), International General Insurance (IGI), Jordan and National Finance House (NFH), Bahrain. Recently she has been appointed as a board member of the Public Authority for SME Development. She is also a member on the investment committee of the Public Authority for Social Insurance, chairperson of Al Kawther Fund (Islamic compliant fund) and a member of the investment committee of Orphans and Incapacitated’s Funds at the Ministry of Justice. In 2011, Sayyidah Rawan was bestowed the Business Professional Leader (BizPro) award. In 2012, she was ranked 14th in Forbes Middle East for the ‘Most Powerful Arab Business Women in Listed Companies’.

Custodian of Justice

Sahar Askalan 

Principal, Sahar Askalan Legal Advocacy

An illustrious legal professional, Sahar strives hard to raise the standards of legal practice in Oman. She is the first Omani woman to set up a law firm in the Sultanate. Sahar came to Oman to set up her firm, equipped with rich international legal experience as she had worked with top-tier international law firms such as Allen & Overy (London), Theodore Goddard (at present Addleshaw Goddard, London), Clifford Chance (Paris) and Richard’s Butler (Abu-Dhabi). Sahar graduated from Boston University of Massachusetts in US and obtained her dual post-graduate professional qualification at BPP Law School, London. She is a member of the Inner Temple, London and the Law Society of England and Wales and the International Bar Association.

A consummate professional

Sharifa Al-Barami 

Co-Founder & CEO, AlJazeera Technical Solutions & Training 

Sharifa Al Barami is a key contributor to creating and promoting a positive entrepreneurship ecosystem in Oman. She is the founder of BizHub Entrepreneurs Co-Working Space in Oman and executive partner of AlJazeera Global Services & Investments (AGSI), and a primary consultant of the “CELL” start-up accelerator initiative. Earlier she had worked as a business consultant, programmes manager and trainer at Amideast/Oman, spearheading the set-up and launch of the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute for the organisation in Oman. Currently Sharifa serves as vice-president of the Business Women Forum at the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, as well as a member of its Small & Medium Enterprise Committee (2011-2013). Earlier, she was elected vice-president of Omani Woman’s Association in Muscat (2010-2012). She bagged ‘Women of Excellence’ award (2012) in entrepreneurship, and ‘Business Personality of the Year award’ (2011), in appreciation of her contribution to SMEs in Oman. Sharifa is also a key player in communicating and bridging dialogue between private sector, civil society and government sectors in terms of SME development.

In the vanguard

Sharifa Mohammed Abdulla Al-Harthy 

Deputy Chairperson, MB Holding

Sharifa has been overseeing the personnel and human resources policies of MB Petroleum Services for nearly two decades. She is instrumental in advising group companies on human resources policy and development. Sharifa also takes care of government relationships and community development. Sharifa is the wife of Mohammed Al Barwani, the founder member of M B Holding group. She has a BA in business administration from Jordan University (Amman, Jordan), and also holds a Master’s Degree in business administration from Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas, US). She has attended several short specialised courses in human resources, manpower development, training and administration.

A global Personality

Shatha Salim Al Maskiry 

Country MD and Regional MD for Human Capital Consultancy, Protiviti 

Shatha has over 15 years of rich international experience in global organisations such as Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She consulted Fortune 500 companies on a wide spectrum of solutions around finance optimisation, system and process assurance, organisational transformation and risk management. She won awards at a national level in the US at the research center at PricewaterhouseCoopers for her contribution on how to help clients drive business value through a focus on corporate social responsibility and sustainability; she also received the first honorary mention for being a leading coach. Today, she is the first Omani lady to hold the position of a country and regional MD in a global independent consulting firm. She is also the founder of ‘Leadership in the digital age’ Forum in Oman, supported by Information Technology Authority, and successfully organised the event for two years in a row. Also, several of her business articles have been published in Oman’s leading business magazines and newspapers on topics such as business ethics, portfolio management and cost reduction, and reward strategy. Shatha holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the American University in Washington DC, and an MBA from the University of Surrey, UK.

Innovating IT landscape

Sheila Jamal 

CEO, Al Madina Logistics

Sheila’s career has had many interesting facets along the way starting with the Gulf War in 1990. Sheila took over Al Madina in 2004 with the goal of creating the most innovative IT and security documents organisation in Oman. As the CEO, Sheila is focused on delivering new turnkey solutions and technologies to address the greatest needs in the IT industry in Oman. Her industrial engineering background enables her to build innovative solutions for major projects to increase productivity and efficiency, reduce total cost of ownership and enhance customer satisfaction. She leads through a process-oriented approach which allows Al Madina to focus on providing quality services and solutions. For Sheila, keys of success in business are focusing on customers’ future, developing the talents of staff and ensuring integrity and responsibility in actions. Sheila also helps to address community topics, and sponsores ideas for safety driving and teaching children about safety.

Environmental crusader

HH SayyidaH Tania bint Shabib Al Said 

President, Environment Society of Oman

HH Sayyida Tania bint Shabib al Said is in the vanguard of environmental conservation and protection in Oman. She played a key role in setting up the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) – one of the most active civil society organisations and the only NGO for the environment in Oman – where she also fulfils the role of president and is anactive participant in various projects and initiatives to raise the awareness of environmental issues in Oman. HH Tania was honoured at the Sheikh Issa bin Ali al Khalifa Awards for Voluntary Work as one of the leading volunteers in the Arab world, in October, 2012. The award was an endorsement of her outstanding contribution to environment conservation. According to the citation of the organising committee of the award, “HH Sayyida Tania is a role model for volunteerism in Oman; her fantastic achievements for environmental awareness and protection have positively impacted the Omani society as a whole, and have aided a nation in learning more about their natural surroundings and how to protect them.”

A key enabler

HH SayyidaH Wisam Al Said 

Manager – Corporate Communications, Bank Nizwa

Wisam steers the corporate communication affairs of Oman’s first full-fledged Islamic bank, Bank Nizwa which started operation in January 2013. She joined the bank in 2012 and played a vital role in helping the bank during its prelaunch period to establish itself as the pioneer of Islamic finance in the Sultanate, and after the launch in spreading awareness about its various faith-based products and services in the market. Before moving to the bank, she was managing Oman Oil Marketing Company’s corporate affairs. Wisam completed her high school diploma at an international school in Paris and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in international corporate communications from the American University of Paris and a Master’s degree in strategic marketing from Cardiff University in the UK. After her Bachelor’s, Wisam had worked briefly with UNESCO and International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Wisam’s motto in life can be summarised as “work hard, prove yourselves and set achievable goals and in time you will get where you want to be.”

Life dedicated for a cause

Yuthar al Rawahi 

Founder and Chairperson, National Association for Cancer Awareness 

Yuthar Mohamed Al Rawahi is a member of the State Council and the founder and chairperson of the Oman Cancer Association (OCA), the first registered, non-governmental, non-profit organisation at the Ministry of Social Development. She graduated from the American University of Cairo and worked at the college of Medicine in Sultan Qaboos University in the Dean’s Office as the Medical Education Officer from 19961- 2000. Yuthar is a cancer survivor dedicated to advocating for cancer patients and their empowerment. Her organisation works to create cancer awareness and acceptance and promotes early intervention though self-examination. The Dar Al Hanan (Home Away From Home) project is her latest outreach initiative through which NACA provides accommodations for families accompanying their children for cancer treatment at the Royal Hospital in Muscat. Dar Al Hanan caters primarily to families from outside the Muscat Governorate area. In addition, Yuthar is involved in numerous community programmes such as the Annual Walkathon for Cancer, a monthly cancer survival help group, as well as fundraising for OCA education and research programmes.

A trailblazer

Zuwaina bint Sultan Al Rashdi 

CEO of The World of Handicrafts

Zuwaina stepped outside the comfort zone of her job as the branding and market communication manager with Omran to set up an own venture in the form of World of Handicrafts, which focuses on producing, selling, marketing, and promoting traditional Omani crafts. As the CEO of the company, she directly works with the craftsmen and women to ensure that the products are consistent with international standards and meet the requirements of local and intentional clients. World of Handcrafts encourages and motivates talented Omani craftsmen and designers to market and promote their products and helps them explore new markets for Omani handicrafts locally, regionally and internationally. Holder of Bachelor’s Degree (BSc) in journalism and information from Sultan Qaboos University and High National Diploma in development journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi, Zuwaina has an excellent track record as an experienced branding and marketing communication professional with Oman’s leading corporates such as Oman Mobile, Omantel and Omran. She won P Vishwanathan Award from Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2002, and was one of the finalists for the NTI BizPro Award 2009 in Business Leader category.

Playing a vital role

Zuweina Said Al Azri 

Communications Manager, Zubair Automotive Group

Zuweina is a seasoned communications professional with rich experience across the full spectrum of communication disciplines. She started off her journey with Zubair Automotive as a call centre supervisor back in 2000. In over 13 years she handled multi-faceted roles across various key verticals of the organisation. This spanned from the call centre supervisory functions to digital, recruitment and training, communications etc. She also has served as webmaster with General Automotive company, and manager of graduate recruitment and development with Zubair Corporation. She was instrumental in designing GOLD (Graduates Omani Leadership Development) aimed at enhancing the personal development skills, management skills, and leadership skills of the graduates. Currently as the marketing and communication manger of one of Oman’s most diversified automotive group, Zuweina handles and manages the development of digital and social media, implementing and expanding a new social media strategy to raise the company’s profile and market its activities. She maximise the publicity of the company by ensuring and maintaining a strong corporate image of the company with the public. Zuweina holds a Master of Business and Administration (MBA) degree certified by Bedfordshire in Majan College and Bachelor of Science in Marketing, from College of Commerce & Economics, Sultan Qaboos University.


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