The MEED List: Dubai Free Zones

25 September 2009

The six leading figures responsible for developing free zones in Dubai are: Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb, Rashed Buqaraa, Abdulhamid Juma, Malek Sultan al-Malek, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum and Omar bin Sulaiman

Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, Economic Zones World

Biography: Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb was appointed CEO of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) and its parent organisation Economic Zones World, one of the world’s biggest operators of economic development zones and business parks, in 2005. Her appointment made history as she was the first woman to become head of a free zone in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to her appointment at Jafza, Hareb held various executive positions in government organisations including the Department of Health & Medical Services, where she was chief laboratory technologist. She also serves on Dubai World port authority’s ports and free zones board, and on the board of other Dubai World ventures including Dubai Exports Development Corporation and Forsa, which has been set up to offer women in the UAE the opportunity to invest and partner in the country’s development.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4807 8700

Rashed Buqaraa

Position: Chief operating officer, Dubai Aviation City Corporation

Biography: Rashed Buqaraa is chief operating officer at Dubai Aviation City Corporation, which incorporates Dubai World Central and Dubai Airports Company. In July, Buqaraa was instrumental in establishing the Dubai Logistics Corridor in conjunction with Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza). The venture will create one of the largest logistics corridors in the world and will bring together sea, land and air transport hubs. Prior to joining Dubai Aviation in 2008, Buqaraa was CEO of Duserve, the infrastructure and facilities management company owned by Dubai World Central. Dubai World Central is responsible for building eight major new projects in Dubai including Logistics City and Residential City. Before heading up Duserve, Buqaraa was an electrical engineer for the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4364 9999

Abdulhamid Juma

Position: Deputy director general, Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority (Tecom Investments)

Biography: Abdulhamid Juma was appointed deputy director general of Tecom Investments, part of state-owned Dubai Holding, in August 2006. Before joining the free zone, Juma was deputy director general of Dubai Development & Investment Authority, a position to which he was appointed in July 2005. In March 2002, Juma was appointed CEO of Dubai Media City, having previously worked as its chief sales and marketing officer since July 2001. Juma graduated from the University of Colorado in the US with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also holds a personnel management certificate from Ashridge College in the UK. Before joining Dubai Media City, Juma spent six years working for Jebel Ali Free Zone, where he was in charge of planning, sales and marketing.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4391 4555

Malek Sultan al-Malek

Position: Executive director, Dubai Internet City

Biography: Malek Sultan al-Malek joined Dubai Internet City, the largest information and communications technology cluster in the region, in 2001 to set up the free zone’s partner relations department. He was appointed executive director in April 2008. Dubai Internet City is part of Tecom Investments, which itself is part of state-owned Dubai Holding. Part of Al-Malek’s brief is to develop Dubai’s knowledge-based economy, and he has been promoting the use of technology in Dubai’s schools and universities. Al-Malek sat on the Dubai Shopping Festival committee from 2003-05 and was nominated for the Dubai Government Excellence Award from Tecom Investments in 2004. In 2008, 140 companies joined Dubai Internet City. Al-Malek holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a certified project management professional. He is currently studying for an MBA at Bradford University in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4391 1111

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum

Position: Chairman, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority

Biography: Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum is chairman of Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority and Dubai Aviation City Corporation. He is also the president of the Department of Civil Aviation, a position he has held since 1985, and CEO and chairman of Dubai-based carrier Emirates. Al-Maktoum is deputy chairman of the government policy-making body, the Dubai Executive Council. He is a board member for several other government entities including the Dubai Council for Economic Affairs, Dubai Corporation for Government Investment and the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority. He is also vice-chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre. He is the son of the former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum al-Maktoum, and uncle of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4299 5555

Omar bin Sulaiman

Position: Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre

Biography: Omar bin Sulaiman is governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In 2008, he was appointed vice-chairman of the Central Bank of the UAE. From 2004-06, Bin Sulaiman was director general of the DIFC Authority, and remains a board member of the financial regulator. In 2005, he played a key role in the successful launch of the first international financial exchange in the region, Dubai International Financial Exchange. Before joining the DIFC, he was CEO of Dubai Internet City and co-founder of Dubai Knowledge Village, which was set up in 2003. Bin Sulaiman holds a doctorate in leadership and a master’s in education from the University of Southern California, an MBA in finance from Golden Gate University in California, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Miami.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4362 2222

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