The Middle East leaders included in WEF’s 2022 Class of Young Global Leaders

UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence is one of those recognised this year

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Working. Victor Besa/The National
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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has named prominent leaders from the Middle East in its 2022 Class of Young Global Leaders.

The class consists of what the WEF considers the 109 most promising young global leaders under the age of 40. They are involved in activities from green energy and health equity to refugee rights and education reform.

Regional figures who are part of the class include:

  • Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, UAE
  • Ola Doudin, co-founder and chief executive, BitOasis, UAE
  • Amal Enan, chief investment officer, American University in Cairo, US
  • Anne-Laure Malauzat, partner, Middle East, Bain & Company, UAE
  • Mayank Singhal, global head of private equity and venture capital, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, UAE
  • Mohammed Alghanim, group chief executive, Hamad S Al-Ghanim Group, Kuwait
  • Noor Boodai, chief executive, TenX, Kuwait
  • Fares Bugshan, chief executive, Bugshan Investment, Saudi Arabia
  • Hamad AlMahmeed, undersecretary for research and projects, Prime Minister’s Office, Bahrain
  • Naif Sheshah, chief strategy officer, Saudi Space Commission, Saudi Arabia
  • Safiya Al-Jabry, executive director, Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service, Yemen
  • Sahar Albazar, parliament member and deputy chair of foreign affairs committee, Egypt

They join the Forum of Young Global Leaders, whose members have gone on to become Nobel prize recipients, heads of state, chief executives of Fortune 500 companies and Grammy Award winners.

The forum has more than 1,400 members and alumni from more than 120 countries and includes the likes of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

The WEF said in a statement that members will take part in a three-year leadership development programme that will help them to reach their next level of effectiveness.

The programme offers executive education courses, expeditions and opportunities to collaborate and test ideas with a trusted network of peers.

“The leaders celebrated today have demonstrated exceptional ingenuity and vision across their fields," said Mariah Levin, head of the forum of Young Global Leaders.

"While they represent diverse sectors, regions and issue areas, they are united in their commitment to lead towards a more inclusive and sustainable world."

Ola Doudin, co-founder and chief executive of BitOasis at her office in Dubai Design District. Pawan Singh / The National

Mr Al Olama, who joined the UAE Federal Government in 2017 as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, has contributed to the preparation of the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy and the country's Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy.

Ms Doudin, from BitOasis, has, along with her co-founder, managed to build a business that has so far carried out cryptocurrency trades in excess of $4 billion. BitOasis is one of the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest cryptocurrency trading platforms.

The company, which raised $30 million in series B funding last year, said last month that it applied for a new licence from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara).

With offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Riyadh, Istanbul and the Czech Republic, BitOasis plans to expand further with a focus on markets in Mena and Pakistan while boosting operations in Turkey over the next two to three years.

“I always say that I’m an entrepreneur by accident. I don’t think there was ever a point in my life where I was like, ‘I want to start a business’. That never happened,” she told The National last month.

Updated: May 18, 2022, 11:13 AM