American business magazine Forbes recently released its annual list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women ... and one Arab woman managed to surpass Beyoncé Knowles in the ranking.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE's first ever female cabinet minister, came out No. 36 on the global ranking, whereas Beyoncé Knowles ranked No. 50.
Al Qasimi, who is a member of Sharjah's ruling family, led the list of Arab women, which also included several other Khaleejis.
As one of the UAE's most respected female leaders, Al Qasimi was the first woman in the nation to hold a ministerial post and has since gone on to head various government ministries.
She was the first Emirati woman to receive the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2015 and has successfully developed the cargo system at Dubai International Airport. She also founded the Middle East’s first business-to-business online marketplace, Tejari.
Internationally, Al Qasimi is well-recognized as a powerful voice for female empowerment and for promoting Islam as a religion of tolerance and coexistence.
Who are the two other Khaleejis on the list?
Lubna S. Olayan ranked No. 59 on the list (Saudi Arabia)
Widely considered to be one of the most influential businesswomen in the Middle East, Olayan oversees more than 40 companies under her family-run finance business.
Olayan joined the family firm in 1983 as the first and only woman. Since then, she has been praised for her progressive business practices, bringing more than 400 women to join the company's team.
With her election to the board of the Saudi Hollandi Bank in 2004, she became the first ever woman to hold that instrumental position.
Last year, the company formed a joint venture with Fortune 500 engine and power generation firm Cummins and partnered with asset manager Chelsfield to acquire New York’s Sony building for $1.4 billion.
Raja Easa Al Gurg ranked No. 90 on the list (UAE)
Raja Easa Al-Gurg runs the UAE’s Al Gurg Group, whose trade and commerce she has expanded to include 24 companies and 370 international brand partnerships.
She has also contributed to multiple economic, political, and social advancements in the UAE.