By K.T. Abdurabb
Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Two popular and influential Emirati women executives have received prestigious ‘Excellence Awards’ which applaud best-in-class American and Emirati individuals and businesses for their achievements in the local business community.
Michael H. Corbin, US ambassador to the UAE, presented the awards to Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al-Qasimi, UAE minister of development and international co-operation and Noura Al-Kaabi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority (twofour54).
They were honored at the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Annual Excellence Awards and Annual Charity Gala tin Abu Dhabi.
More than 300 top business executives and government officials gathered to recognize leading UAE companies, institutions and entrepreneurs for their dedication to strengthening US-UAE commercial relations.
While Sheikha Lubna received the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Individual Award which recognizes an individual demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustainable US-UAE business relations, the Young Achiever Award went to Noura Al-Kaabi.
Sheikha Lubna is the first woman in the UAE to hold a cabinet position, where she had major impact on enhancing UAE economic and foreign trade relations with the US.
In 2013, Sheikha Lubna was appointed the minister of international cooperation and development.
She joined the federal government in 2004 as minister of economy, becoming the first woman to assume a cabinet position in the UAE.
She was later appointed in 2008 as minister of foreign trade.
She founded Tejari, the Middle East’s first business-to-business online marketplace in 2000. Currently the successful firm has branches across the region.
Sheikha Lubna has been honored by several countries for her role in enhancing their relations with the UAE.
In 2013, Forbes Magazine recognized her as the most powerful Arab woman and the world’s 67th most powerful women.
Besides her ministerial responsibilities, she also a board director at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, a member of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy — National University of Singapore, a member of the Board of Trustees for Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, Phoenix Arizona, a Board Director at the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai School of Government and Co-Founder and Board Member of the Friends of Cancer Patients.
Noura Al-Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, leads the Media Zone Authority and its subsidiaries, whose primary objectives are to foster Arab-focused media and digital businesses in the UAE.
Noura is the first Emirati who ranked on Foreign Policy magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers List’, an honor she received in 2013. Pope Francis, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani, Angela Merkel, Dilma Rousseff and Mark Zuckerberg were some other names in the global thinkers list.
Also in 2013, France’s leading weekly news magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, named Noura one of the 50 individuals who contribute to changing the world.
She was named Forbes Middle East’s 30 Most Influential Women in Government in 2013, Arabian Business’ 100 most powerful Arab Women in 2011 and 2012 and CEO Middle East’s 100 most powerful Arab Women in 2012.
Noura, who is a member of the Federal National Council (FNC), also oversees Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, and the Abu Dhabi Media Summit and sits on the board of Abu Dhabi Media, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Image Nation and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
“AmCham Abu Dhabi is proud to recognize the winners of the 2014 Annual Excellence Awards,” said Matthew E. Byrd, chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi.
“This year’s Excellence Awards winners are truly outstanding individuals and organizations; they embody excellence in their business by demonstrating passion and dedication to their work while continuing the strong bilateral commercial relationship between the US and UAE,” he added.