The United Arab Emirates has a growing and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. The country has seen the rise of many successful entrepreneurs who have contributed to the growth of the UAE economy. These top entrepreneurs have helped create jobs, raised capital, and built successful businesses across various sectors.
The United Arab Emirates is the leading regional ranking with 2nd position in the Middle East, while it is in 27th position Worldwide with a population of 10.1 million. Some reports assumptions suggested that the UAE’s start-up sector grew by more than 40% between 2021 and 2022.
The success stories of these top entrepreneurs are inspiring and motivating as they prove that with dedication and hard work, one can achieve anything in life. Their consistent efforts have also helped shape the future of the UAE economy and move it closer to achieving its goal- when it is set to become one of the most innovative countries in the world.
There are few innovators who are moving the country toward success and shaping the future of business. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Abdulaziz Al Loughani
Abdulaziz Al Loughani is a prominent Kuwaiti entrepreneur, investor, and startup advisor. He is widely recognized for his exceptional business acumen and pioneering contributions to the startup ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Al Loughani is the founder and owner of Floward.com, a leading online flower and gift delivery platform based in Kuwait. The platform has grown exponentially since its launch in 2017, and it currently operates in several countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
According to various sources, Abdulaziz Al Loughani’s net worth is estimated to be around $150 million, a testament to his exceptional business acumen and entrepreneurial success.
Abdulla Elyas is a renowned tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Careem.com, the leading ride-hailing platform in the Middle East and North Africa. Born in Saudi Arabia, In 2012, Elyas, along with his business partners, Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson, founded Careem.com with a vision to revolutionize the transportation industry in the Middle East. Under his leadership, Careem has grown rapidly, expanding into multiple countries, offering various services including ride-hailing, food delivery, and more.
Elyas has been recognized for his exceptional leadership skills and innovative vision, earning numerous accolades, including being named on Forbes Middle East’s list of Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the Arab World. He is also an advocate for entrepreneurship and is involved in several initiatives to support and mentor young entrepreneurs in the region.
Abdulla Elyas’ net worth is estimated to be around $500 million, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in Saudi Arabia. Elyas continues to inspire and empower aspiring entrepreneurs in the Middle East and beyond, leaving a lasting impact on the tech industry and society as a whole.
Pioneering the Port Industry: Abdulla Bin Sulayem
Abdullah Bin Sulayem is a prominent figure in the port industry, having served as the Chairman and CEO of DP World for more than two decades. He has been credited with transforming DP World into one of the world’s leading port operators, overseeing major investments in infrastructure and technology that have enabled the company to expand its global presence and handle ever-increasing volumes of cargo.
He has also spearheaded numerous initiatives to improve collaboration between regional ports and support small-scale entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
Healthcare Visionary: B.R. Shetty
B.R. Shetty is a prominent figure in the healthcare sector in the UAE. He is the founder and Chairman of NMC Health, one of the largest private healthcare providers in the country. Under Shetty’s leadership, NMC Health has achieved tremendous growth and success, becoming one of the UAE’s leading players in healthcare services. His vision for NMC Health was to create a comprehensive network of high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services that put people first. He also led efforts to build and expand Al Noor Hospitals Group into a leading provider of specialized healthcare services.
Net Worth: $2.6 billion (2023)
Anass Boumediene is a successful tech entrepreneur and the founder of Eyewa, an online eyewear retailer that has revolutionized the eyewear industry in the Middle East. Born and raised in Morocco, Boumediene pursued his education in computer science and engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Morocco and a master’s degree from École Centrale de Lille in France.
In 2017, Boumediene launched Eyewa with a vision to provide affordable and accessible eyewear to consumers in the Middle East. Under his leadership, Eyewa has grown rapidly, becoming the largest online eyewear retailer in the region, offering a wide range of eyewear products, including prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses.
Boumediene’s innovative approach to business has earned him numerous accolades, including being named on Forbes Middle East’s list of Top 100 Startups in the Arab World. He has also been recognized as a Young Leader by the French-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Real Estate Titan: Hussain Sajwani
Hussain Sajwani is a renowned real estate tycoon in the UAE who has been aims to help in the growth of the real estate industry in the country. He is the founder and Chairman of DAMAC Properties, founded in 2002. He has grown DAMAC Properties into a multi-billion dollar international luxury property developer with projects ranging from luxury residential apartments to hospitality projects such as golf courses and resorts. Hussain Sajwani’s success with DAMAC Properties has helped shape real estate development in the UAE and made him one of the wealthiest men in the world. He is responsible for developing some of Dubai’s most iconic properties such as The Trump International Golf Club Dubai, The Address Downtown Dubai, and many others.
Net Worth: 2.7 billion USD (2023)
Michael Lahyani is a successful tech entrepreneur and the founder of Property Finder, the leading online real estate marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa. Born in Switzerland, Lahyani pursued his education in finance and economics, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Lausanne and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
In 2005, Lahyani launched Property Finder with a vision to transform the real estate industry in the Middle East by providing a comprehensive online platform for property buyers, sellers, and renters. Property Finder has grown rapidly, expanding into multiple countries, offering a wide range of services, including property listings, agent directories, and market data insight.
Michael Lahyani’s net worth is estimated to be around $500 million, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in Switzerland and the Middle East. Lahyani’s dedication to transforming the real estate industry in the Middle East has helped to create jobs, spur economic growth, and improve the lives of millions of people in the region.
Harnessing Technology: Omar bin Sultan Al Olama
As the Minister of Artificial Intelligence, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama has been focusing on helping the UAE become a global leader in AI technology. He has worked to develop an AI strategy for the country, which includes investments in research, talent development, and infrastructure. He has also worked to attract international investors to fund AI projects in the UAE and to create a supportive regulatory environment for companies working with AI-related technologies. His efforts have helped accelerate the development of AI applications in healthcare, transportation, education, and more. Additionally, he has promoted ethical standards for the use of AI and advocated for greater public awareness about its potential implications.
Net Worth: $5 million
Innovating Finance: Saif Al Ghurair
Saif Ahmed Al Ghurair has been known for his passionate work in the finance department. He was one of the leading Emirati Billionaire and the CEO of Dubai-based Al-Ghurair Group. Moreover, Saif Al Ghurair has made significant contributions to developing local capital markets through his involvement in setting up exchanges and launching new products like derivatives and commodity futures contracts. Al Ghurair Investment has investments in financial services, real estate, manufacturing and technology, making it a major player in the global financial markets.
Net Worth: 2.2 billion USD (2018)
Transforming Real Estate: Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani
Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is one of the most successful Indian businessmen in the UAE. He is a highly respected and influential figure in the region and his work has contributed to the development of the UAE economy. He founded Hiranandani Group, a company that has helped shape the real estate industry in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other emirates over the past two decades. He has been developing large-scale residential, commercial, and industrial projects across Dubai and other emirates. Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani has also played an important role in promoting foreign direct investment into UAE through his investments across multiple sectors including real estate, hospitality, healthcare, education, leisure, and entertainment.
Net Worth: 1.6 billion USD
Pushing Boundaries in Energy: Nasser Al Shaali
Nasser Al Shaali is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist from the United Arab Emirates. He has made significant contributions to the development of the UAE and its economy. Al Shaali’s most notable contribution is his involvement in the country’s banking sector, where he served as CEO of Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the Middle East. During his tenure at Emirates NBD, he helped to establish several innovative projects such as e-banking services and Islamic banking solutions.
Disrupting Business as Usual: Sanjeev Kanoria
Sanjeev Kanoria is a London-based liver transplant surgeon and healthcare entrepreneur. He was trained at the Kings College London and Royal Free Hospital and worked for 15 years as a liver transplant surgeon. He was been working to provide the best and establish the economic growth of UAE within his power.
Net Worth: $5 million (2023)
Hosam Arab is a successful tech entrepreneur and the founder of Tabby, a leading buy-now-pay-later platform in the Middle East. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Arab pursued his education in computer science and engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and a master’s degree from Stanford University.
Hosam Arab’s net worth is estimated to be around $200 million, making him one of the wealthiest young entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Arab’s dedication to offering innovative payment solutions has helped to empower consumers in the region and has spurred economic growth by increasing access to credit.
Relevant: Famous Personalities in UAE
Leading Logistics: Abhishek Shah
Abhishek Shah is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of RSA Global, a leading logistics and supply chain management company based in Dubai. Born in India, Shah pursued his education in business and management, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mumbai and a master’s degree from the University of Bradford in the UK.
In 2009, Shah founded RSA Global with a vision to provide innovative logistics solutions to businesses in the Middle East and beyond. Under his leadership, RSA Global has grown rapidly, expanding into multiple countries, offering a wide range of services, including freight forwarding, warehousing, and e-commerce fulfillment.
Shah’s innovative approach to business has earned him numerous accolades, including being named on Forbes Middle East’s list of Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World. He has also been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Gulf Business Awards in 2019.
Ali Cagatay Ozcan
As a co-founder of Justmop, Ali Cagatay Ozcan has achieved notable success in establishing the company as a leading on-demand managed marketplace for cleaning services in the GCC region. Under his leadership, Justmop has experienced significant growth with over 200K and a workforce of 15K cleaners, who execute 50K appointments monthly, Justmop’s goal is to enhance transparency and digitization in the GCC’s cleaning services market, which is highly divided and underutilized, with a valuation exceeding $2.5B.
Ozcan held leadership positions at Rocket Internet and Foodonclick, where he successfully led market expansion efforts and directed marketing and business intelligence operations in the Middle East. Ozcan’s academic achievements, including graduating with honors in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University on a full scholarship, have also contributed to his success as an entrepreneur and business leader.