Chief executives from the UAE, the second-largest economy in the Arab world, dominated the latest list of the top 20 CEOs in the Middle East, released by global consultancy Brand Finance, occupying 11 positions, including the top four on the ranking.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, topped the list, followed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group, Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive of the UAE's biggest telecoms operator e& (formerly Etisalat) and Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World's group chairman and chief executive.
Hana Al Rostamani, who was appointed last year as the chief executive of the UAE's biggest lender by assets, First Abu Dhabi Bank, was the only woman to feature in the list at the 15th position.
Dr Al Jaber, who ranked higher than any chief executive in all of Europe and Africa at 15th position globally, faced the “difficult” task of “delivering an increase in Adnoc's oil production while seeking to transform the business to satisfy changing customer demands and address environmental protection concerns”, Brand Finance said.
“To face this challenge, he has overseen the development of an Adnoc sustainability strategy to extend their legacy as a responsible producer of oil and gas so that they can continue to deliver [maximum] value for the UAE and key stakeholders,” it said.
Adnoc retained its position as the top brand in the UAE for the fourth consecutive year as Dr Al Jaber, who is also the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, was named the world's top oil and gas executive in a report published in January by Brand Finance.
“Our ranking recognises those who are building business value in a sustainable manner, by balancing the needs of all stakeholders — employees, investors and the wider society,” Richard Haigh, managing director of Brand Finance, said.
The ranking is based on a survey of over 1,000 market analysts and journalists.
Saif Al Falasi, group chief executive of Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company, Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and Alaa Eraiqat, group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, were ranked seventh, ninth and 12th.
Jasim Thabet, group chief executive and managing director of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, Shayne Nelson, group chief executive of Emirates NBD, and Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive of Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s biggest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, were ranked 16th, 17th and 18th.
The top 20 list also featured six chief executives from Saudi Arabia and three from Qatar.
Abdulla Mubarak Al Khalifa, chief executive of Qatar National Bank, the country's largest lender, was ranked fifth in the list.
Saudi chief executives in the top 10 include Saudi Telecom Company’s Olayan Al Wetaid (sixth), Aramco’s Amin Nasser (eighth) and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s vice chairman and chief executive Yousef Al Benyan (10th).