Youth unemployment remains a major problem in many Arab countries, and Gulf nations aren't void of it. Despite the obstacles, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have nurtured some of the world's youngest achievers.
Forbes Middle East recently released its 30 under 30 list for 2019 ... and several young Gulf citizens secured their spot on the list - all women, to be more specific. The young achievers hail from Saudi Arabia and the UAE - two countries that have been paving the way for success in multiple ways.
"From world champions to CEOs leading high-growth businesses, these 30-somethings have left an indelible mark in the economy," writes Forbes Middle East.
Here's a look at the Khaleeji women who made their mark in recent years:
Nouf Al Saleem (Saudi Arabia)
Nouf Al Saleem is the co-founder of Mathaqi, an online platform in which customers can order meals prepared by at-home chefs. The platform currently has 95 chefs, 600+ dishes, and 14 different cuisines.
The 21-year-old created the platform after realizing the struggles of many productive families.
"I needed a model that not only could help productive families, but create job opportunities and make it easy for consumers to get home food and never be bored," she said in an interview with Saudi Gazette.
Balqees Fathi (UAE)
Balqees Fathi, an Emirati-Yemeni singer, has been making waves in recent years, especially after she became the first-ever woman to headline a female-only concert in Saudi Arabia.
The 30-year-old grew up in an artistic household; her father, Ahmed Fathi, was a well-known Yemeni musician.
Fathi began playing musical instruments and singing at a very young age. She released her debut album Majnoun in 2013.
Basma Al-Otaibi (Saudi Arabia)
Saudi singer and actress Basma Al-Otaibi is no stranger to wowing audiences around the world.
In February, the U.S.-based artist made headlines after her performance at the Miss Arab USA contest in Arizona. Al-Otaibi went in full opera mode at the pageant.
The 18-year-old turned her singing talent into a profession at the age of 16.
Sadeem Al-Marri (Saudi Arabia)
Sadeem Al-Marri, a computer science graduate, has been challenging the stereotypes with her passion for technology.
The 23-year-old is the creator of a 3D printed robotic hand to aid those with disabilities (deaf or deaf-blind). The creation translates Arabic texts entered in an app to their equivalent Arabic sign language.
The young Saudi national outranked her competitors in a competition titled "Innovators under 35" held in Dubai in 2018. Following her win, she was honored by Dubai's crown prince Sheikh Hamdan.