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22 UAE listed firms in Top 50 CEO List

Mr Julien Hawari, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mediaquest

- Banks and telecom firms hold strong

- du climbs from 38th position in 2011 to 13th position this year

- “Our methodology is simple, transparent and authentic,” says Mediaquest Group Co-CEO Julien Hawari

- We need to work harder to create a knowledge-based economy, say du Chief Executive, Osman Sultan

December 10, 2012 12:03 by

Dubai, UAE – December 9th, 2012 Five companies from the UAE feature among the top 20 of TRENDS’ Top 50 CEOs List of 2012. As the role of CEOs and business leaders becomes more complicated and challenging across the world due to financial downturn, the UAE-based companies are also affected.

In last year’s rankings by TRENDS, there were 14 UAE-listed companies compared to just five this year. The five top UAE-listed companies in 2012 are:

1)      Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank – the bank topped the list in 2011 but this year it was ranked sixth.

2)      Du – the telecom company was ranked 38th last year but in 2012 it has dramatically climbed to No.13.

3)      Union National Bank was ranked 14th in 2011 but it is now ranked 16th.

4)      National Marine Dredging Company was ninth on 2011’s list, but this year it is 19th on Top 50 CEOs list.

5)       Emaar is the only company that has maintained its ranking. The Dubai-listed company continues to be No.20.


TRENDS, one of the leading international English magazines on Arab affairs in the Middle East, started ranking the top chief executive officers in the GCC countries last year.

In 2011’s TRENDS Top 50 CEOs list, banks and insurance companies were in the majority, while 2012’s list is dominated by retail, telecom and construction companies.

The methodology adopted in finalising the rankings is transparent and simple. Trends rates performance of the CEOs through the financial statements posted by the publicly listed companies from time to time.

Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mediaquest Group, Mr Julien Hawari, said:

“TRENDS’ method of ranking the CEOs and businesses is simple, authentic and transparent. Our team compared growth figures of companies listed on DFM, ADX and Tadawul in 2010, 2011 and 2012 [until Q3], and closely examined profitability, share prices, size and reputation of the company in the market. We allotted points to each company according to the results posted by them on respective stock exchanges.

“One of the interesting aspects of the methodology is the turnaround factor, but in 2012 no company earned points on that count,” said Mr Hawari.

Spelling out tasks for the business leader to TRENDS, CEO of Du Osman Sultan, said people leading a business team should take into consideration the global economic environment. “I believe that there are three major points that everyone should bear in mind: focus on core competencies; take calculated risks but don’t ignore the basics, and listen to the needs of customers,” he said.

For challenges in 2013, Mr Sultan said: “The biggest challenge is that the needs and aspirations of the region’s youth need to be met. To do this, we have to create jobs, assist them in developing their career, and fuel their dreams and talents.

“We need to work harder to create a knowledge-based economy, which will be pivotal to the economic success of the region. Thankfully, we are in a part of the world, which is well-positioned to take advantage of this.

“In terms of telecom, there is the need for us to become more efficient while looking at creating new revenue streams and business models, such as those in ‘Content’.

“This will allow us to continue being relevant to our customers. On top of this, we have to create hubs that will attract the best, and most innovative, talent in the telecom industry to come to the region,” said the Chief Executive of du.

The 2012 power list of the Top 50 CEOs will help business managers and readers understand the changing dynamics of business in the region.


High resolution imagery is available on request

About Mediaquest: partner in media, partner in digital, partner in events… partner in success


For more than 20 years, Mediaquest has provided unique insights into the Arab world through its diverse range of media. It operates in Algiers, Beirut, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Paris and publishes in three languages.


With more than 20 consumer and trade titles covering business, marketing, communications, women’s interests, lifestyle, entertainment and automotive, Mediaquest is one of the leading media companies in the Middle East and North Africa.


Mediaquest’s mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences in the Mena region, providing a bridge between the Arab world and the West. It prides itself in providing unbiased analysis of the issues that matter most to the region.


Partner in publishing

Mediaquest Publishing – Business, corporate and consumer magazines. Celebrated titles include Arabies, Saneou Al Hadath, Trends, Gulf Marketing Review, Communicate, Haya, Raceweek,, Autocar Middle East with F1 Racing Middle East and Policy.


Partner in digital

dotmena – dotmena is fast becoming the premium network of choice for advertisers and publishers to expand their reach in the region. dotmena represents more than 2,000 websites in the fields of business, marketing, communications, sports, women’s interest, lifestyle and entertainment, allowing us to match the right ad to the right audience at the right time.


Partner in events

Mediaquest creates, project manages and delivers successful events, including:

  • ·         GMR Marketing to Women Conference: deconstructs conventional marketing wisdom to help unearth fresh insights, new attitudes and research to help marketers connect more deeply with one of the region’s most influential consumer bases.
  • ·         GEMAS Effie Mena Awards: the regional version of the world’s premier awards for marketing excellence, the Effie. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the Middle East’s business calendar.
  • ·         Insurex: A Meeting of Minds from the Middle East Insurance Industry, bringing together insurers, reinsurers, brokers, regulators, risk managers, lawyers and consultants from across the region and international markets to discuss key trends and share best practice, creating an open platform for discussion, sharing information and networking.
  • ·         SPIA: The Sports Industry Awards is a joint venture between 360 Sport and Mediaquest, designed to showcase the relationship of sporting excellence and business. The inaugural event will take place in March 2013.

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