CEO Middle East Leaders For 2022

Originally published on Jan 21, 2022 | CEO Middle East

The business landscape has continued to be shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year, with industries responding differently to the unique challenges wrought by the virus. While some sectors have found success throughout the pandemic, others have faced tough challenges in the face of unprecedented economic upset.

Business sentiment appears to have improved over the past year, with leaders indicating that 2022 could be even further improved as the virus recedes, variants withstanding.

The upset that Covid-19, and ensuing lockdowns, caused on the global economy has likely changed the face of business permanently. Leaders continue to indicate that working from home, digitalisation and increased levels of flexible working are trends that are here to stay. Indeed, technology has been highlighted as critical to adapting to the world’s “new normal” and overcome fresh industry challenges.

Supply chain issues continue to plague businesses, with leaders increasingly looking to shore up procurement and build resilience to prevent any further disruption. In the Gulf, the rapid recovery in commodity prices has resulted in positivity for the region, with some businesses booming at pre-pandemic levels, although the risk of further disruption by new Covid-19 variants still looms large.

In this special section of CEO Middle East we have highlighted some of the biggest leaders that have managed to embrace the challenges of the past year and get their take on what 2022 holds. Our leaders come from across the business spectrum, whether they be in healthcare, education, food and beverage, or travel, and I trust that you will find their thoughts on the future insightful.

I would like to thank all of our entrants for sharing their thoughts with us. Given the limited space we have here in print, I would encourage all of our readers to visit the digital edition of this list to enjoy an expanded set of questions and answers from each leader.

Hussain Sajwani, DAMAC Properties Founder

What is your outlook for 2022?

The UAE’s rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic has attracted the world’s wealthy investors, who continue to flock to Dubai, snapping up the most expensive homes.

The UAE looks set to become a global economic centre of gravity in post-Covid era. Because of its successful strategy to handle the pandemic and quick roll out of its vaccination drive, it has a potential to attract up to $450 billion investments in real estate sector.

The demand is driven by how Dubai and the UAE government have handled the pandemic. A lot of people are relocating from Europe, the US, India and South Africa. People are moving here because they feel safe and because the pandemic is under well control.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, accelerated the vaccination programme to prevent the pandemic from spreading. According to official data, more than 21.3 million vaccine doses have been administered as of November since the start of last December.

I anticipate human capital will grow exponentially as there are so many ambitious plans across the UAE for expansion and growth.

The recent passing of the 100 percent foreign ownership law in the UAE has also boosted human capital in the UAE and attracted businesses here. More and more skilled expats will come to the UAE and make it their home, especially after a slew of legal and economic reforms were passed boosting the country’s value proposition.

These decisions will make the UAE more attractive as a regional destination for foreign companies.


List also includes:

  • Alaa Abu Siam
  • John Tsioris
  • Arif Amiri
  • Mohamad Ballout
  • Ahmad Al Zaini
  • Mohsin Hani Al Bahrani
  • Aloki Batra
  • Mutaz Ghandour
  • Dino Varkey
  • Nerio Alessandri
  • Issam Kazim
  • Paul Griffiths
  • Jamal Hussain