Forbes Middle East Unveils Top 50 Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands for 2023

by Nada Khaled

Forbes Middle East has just revealed its highly-anticipated fifth edition of the 50 Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands list for 2023. This ranking unveils a captivating group of visionary women redefining the landscape for fashion, beauty, jewelry, accessories, footwear, and perfume.

With unrivaled talent, unwavering determination, and an inspiring passion for their craft, many of these inspiring women have become icons in their fields, captivating audiences worldwide.

Fashion brands dominate the list with 30 entries, followed by eight beauty brands and five jewelry brands. The list showcases the fearless spirit and boundless creativity of these extraordinary women.

This year, the business titans hail from 21 different nationalities. Egyptian and Lebanese founders top the list with 14 entries each, followed by four Saudis. Most of the brands are based in the U.A.E. with 20 entries, followed by 10 Lebanon-based brands and seven in Egypt.

According to Forbes, Huda Kattan, co-founder of Huda Beauty, with an estimated net worth of $400 million as of May 2023 leads the cohort for the fifth consecutive year. Atelier Zuhra’s Rayan Al Sulaimani and designer Selma Benomar make up the top three. Egypt-based Azza Fahmy Jewellery is the oldest established brand on the list, having been established in 1969, with Hadia Ghaleb’s eponymous modest swimwear brand the youngest label, having opened in 2022.

Moreover, Forbes Middle East also included four female founders of Arab roots who have launched strong brands outside of the MENA region: three based in the U.K. and one based in the U.S.

It is worth noting that the famed magazine chose these founders based on criteria such as impact, innovation, media exposure, celebrity endorsements, and scope through an exhaustive evaluation process.

Here is a list of the Top 5 Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands 2023:

1) Huda Kattan

  • Brand: Huda Beauty
  • Category: Beauty
  • Established: 2013
  • Nationality: Iraqi-American
  • HQ: U.A.E.

2) Rayan Al Sulaimani

  • Brand: Atelier Zuhra 
  • Category: Fashion
  • Established: 2015
  • Nationality: Omani
  • HQ: U.A.E. and Oman

3) Selma Benomar

  • Brand: SELMA BENOMAR
  • Category: Fashion
  • Established: 2012
  • Nationality: Moroccan-French
  • HQ: U.A.E.

4) Hind Sebti 

  • Brand: whind 
  • Category: Beauty
  • Established: 2021
  • Nationality: Moroccan
  • HQ: U.K.

5) Mouna Abbassy

  • Brand: Izil Beauty
  • Category: Beauty
  • Established: 2012
  • Nationality: Moroccan
  • HQ: U.A.E.

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