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TOP CEO 2019: Figuring out business growth amid a volatile future

The 5th edition of Top CEO Awards will not only highlight the accomplishments of the region's best CEOs, but will also offer an array of panels addressing timely regional topics.

This year's theme, "Growth in a Volatile Future," will shed light on the Middle East's dynamic but volatile region The role of women in business is more relevant today than ever before - "The Future of Women Business Leadership" will address this and more Tech panels will discuss blockchain, IoT and other groundbreaking innovations

The 5th edition of the Top CEO Awards, organised by TRENDS magazine (under publisher Mediaquest) and leading international business school INSEAD, will celebrate the region’s best-performing CEOs from companies that are listed on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. The event will be hosted in Al Areen Palace & SPA in Bahrain on April 11th, 2019 uniting some of the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs.

This year’s theme, “Growth in a Volatile Future,” will shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region. Oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, as well as armed and political schisms affect businesses posing new challenges, risks, and opportunities. The Top CEO 2019 Thought Leadership Conference aims to find growth solutions amid these numerous challenges.

As such, and leading up to the Awards ceremony itself, guests will be able to attend multiple panels on all aspects of growth in the region, and the issues affecting it.


A panel that took place at the 4th edition of the Top CEO Awards in 2018.[/caption]

The Opening Keynote will address digital transformation in the finance sector, providing insights on the next steps for the region to become a Fintech Hub. It will be presented by Jassim Alseddiqi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG).

The first panel will bring together 5 notable CEOs and will explore the myriad of ways the GCC can equip itself to face the challenges related to global and regional economic volatility, under the title “Future of Growth Amid Volatility.”

In a region with a major expat population, there has been never a more important time to talk about diversity and inclusion. In the UAE alone, expats represent 88.52% of the population, according to Global Media Insights. The “Promoting Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa” panel will shed light on the importance of inclusion and diversity in the business world, marked by the launch of The Diversity Council MENA, a diversity & inclusion accelerator, by Nordic consultancy Above & Beyond Group, and in partnership with Mediaquest.

Women as well play a role in diversity initiatives. When Saudi permitted women to drive in the Kingdom last year, Bloomberg Economics forecast a $90 billion boost to Saudi economic output by 2030 as a result. “The Future of Women Business Leadership” will address this and more, with the participation of Lamah Al-Khayyal, Head of Saudi Aramco Driving Center; Paolo Gallo Author, International Speaker and Executive Coach; Dr. Maliha Hashmi, Executive Director, NEOM; and Elham Yousry Mahfouz, CEO, Commercial Bank of Kuwait.

GCC governments take center stage with the panels “Bahrain’s Growth Dynamics,” “Cost Cutting, Profit Risks and Government Spending” and “Do Structural Reforms Attract Direct Investments?” With economic diversification plans such as Bahrain 2030 and Saudi Vision 2030 in full effect, GCC governments are taking conscious efforts to future-proof their countries.

Manama, Bahrain

You can’t talk about the future of business without mentioning technological innovation. The panels “The Blockchain Opportunity” and “The Human Factor and Tech Innovation” will bring together industry experts from Facebook, the Bahrain FinTech Bay, and King Abdulaziz University to discuss these topics. Bahrain is positioning itself to become the GCC’s go-to tech hub, through legislation such as allowing 100% foreign ownership of businesses, even outside free zones.

The award ceremony will follow starting at 7:30pm.


Mediaquest is one of the largest and most influential privately owned media houses in the Middle East and North Africa region. Established in 2000, Mediaquest remains at the forefront of the regional media landscape through its diverse set of brands targeting from business leaders, fashionistas, mature to millennials in the region and beyond. The company has adopted new technologies and data management to enhance the effectiveness of multimedia content creation, production, and marketing. With offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Algiers, Beirut, and Paris, Mediaquest is committed to being an important part of the Middle East Knowledge Economy.

Mediaquest generates a combined portfolio of more than 20 brands, covering business, marketing, communications, women’s interests, lifestyle, and entertainment. Reputed brands include Marie Claire Arabia, Haya, and Buro 24/7 Middle East, as well as the highly regarded business-to-business titles TRENDS, AMEinfo, Saneou Al Hadath and Communicate.

Mediaquest’s dedicated MEmob+ Data Mining Platform offers a full-service mobile campaign management solution for engaging with consumers on every step of their path to purchase. The platform helps to automate audience building at scale in real-time, measure the success of advertising through dwell-based micro-attribution, and unlock predictive insights to learn more about the customers, to refine the marketing and advertising strategies.

Mediaquest creates, manages and delivers some of the region’s best-known industry events, including the Arab Luxury World; the Top CEO Conference and Awards; the Arab Women Forum; the Saudi IT and Tech Expo; the Marie Claire Shoes First; the Parent and Child Wellbeing Conference Dubai and Saudi Arabia; the Festival of Media MENA Conference and Awards; the Saudi Summit (Roadshow); the Saudi Fashion and Beauty Week and the MENA Effie Awards.