The GCC countries are punching above their weight economically and the region is somewhat insulated from the global ‘rocky recovery’, marked by high inflation, elevated interest rates and a slowdown in the world’s two largest economies – China and the US.
Despite projections that growth in the GCC will stall in 2023 before picking up again to 3.6 and 3.7 per cent in 2024 and 2025, respectively, the story of companies and industries across the region is one of resilience, adaptability, and forward-thinking strategies.
Through diversification, technological innovation, and a commitment to sustainability, the GCC has not merely weathered the storm but has emerged as a dynamic force in the global economic landscape.
In a dazzling display of glamour and achievement, the 11th edition of the Gulf Business Awards unfolded as a celebration of excellence, bringing together industry leaders, luminaries, and trailblazers under one resplendent roof.
The awards gala, which was held at Palazzo Versace Dubai on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, recognised companies and captains of industries across different sectors including energy, tourism and hospitality, aviation and transport, real estate, banking, healthcare and retail.
More than 250 business leaders and C-suite level executives attended the Gulf Business awards ceremony, where distinguished individuals and companies were lauded for their contributions to innovation, growth, and positive impact on both the local and global stages.
The coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023 was conferred to Emirati billionaire Hussain Sajwani, the chairman of Dubai-based luxury real estate developer Damac Properties. Founded in 1982, the property developer has grown exponentially over the years and has already dipped its toes into the residential market in London, Florida and the Maldives.
Furthermore, this year’s Business Excellence Awards recognised institutions and individuals who made a mark last year and impacted the region’s business ecosystem in a meaningful way.
Ian Fairservice, managing director and group editor-in-chief of Motivate Media Group congratulated the regional business community and the captains of industries on their success and the role they are playing in driving growth.
“For more than 25 years, Gulf Business has stood witness to the amazing transformation of the Gulf region, particularly the UAE. We have cheered every milestone as it morphed from a vast desert expanse into a powerhouse of economic growth and innovation,” he said.
Award winners were chosen by a judging panel of respected industry luminaries, including Anthony Milne, chief commercial officer – Motivate Media Group, Helen Barrett, deputy chair – British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, and partner – CBD Corporate Services, Ian Fairservice, managing partner and proup editor-in-chief of Motivate Media Group and Robin Joffe, partner-managing director, Frost & Sullivan Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) operations.
The award ceremony was hosted by Gulf Business and Motivate Media Group and sponsored by Century Financial, associate sponsor – Yardi and activation sponsor – Warehouse Gym. Event partners included Super Angels Summit 2023, vote processing partner – Jacobsons, Palazzo Versace Dubai for venue and Palazzo Versace Hospitality for F&B, African and Eastern, and Matrix Public Relations for PR.
LIST OF WINNERS 2023
BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS
SME of the Year: Tarabut Gateway
Sustainability Company of the Year: Masdar
Disruptive Company of the Year: Kitopi
Business Leader of the Year: Sir Tim Clark
Marcom Leader of the Year: Lucy Aziz, OPPO
Young Achiever of the Year: Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-founder and CEO of Astra Tech
Company of the Year: Accor
Lifetime Achievement Award: Hussain Sajwani – Chairman and founder, DAMAC Group
BANKING, FINANCE & INVESTMENT
Online Trading Company of the Year: EFG Hermes ONE
Investment Company of the Year: AIX Investment Group
Banking Company of the Year: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Finance Advisory Company of the Year: EFG Hermes
Banking, Finance & Investment Business Leader of the Year: Shayne Nelson, group CEO, Emirates NBD
REAL ESTATE CONSTRUCTION
Lifestyle Project of the Year: Kyoto by Oro24
Real Estate Agency: Driven Properties
Developer of the Year: Aldar Properties
Innovative Project of the Year: Keturah Reserve by MAG Properties
Project of the Year: Atlantis the Royal, Dubai by Kerzer International
Proptech Company of the Year: Property Finder
Business Leader of the Year: Atif Rahman, founder and chairman, ORO24 Developments
TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
Tourism Company of the Year: Saudi Tourism
Tourism Business Leader of the Year: Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Hospitality Company of the Year: Accor Hotels
Hospitality Business Leader of the Year: Satya Anand, president of Marriott EMEA
Retail Company of the Year: Dubai Duty Free
Retail Business of Leader of the Year: Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding
TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS
Transport and Logistics Company of the Year: Emirates
Transport and Logistics Business Leader of the Year: Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates
Healthcare Company of the Year: Al Khayyat Investments
Healthcare Leader of the Year: Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM Healthcare
TECHNOLOGY & ENERGY
Cloud Company of the Year: Huawei
Technology Company of the Year: Microsoft
Technology Business Leader of the Year: Prateek Suri, founder and CEO of Maser
Energy Company of the Year: Aramco
Energy Business Leader of the Year: Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, MD, director and group CEO of ADNOC, and chairman of Masdar
GOLDEN FRAME AWARDS
Retail Company of the Year: GMG
Disruptive SME of the Year: Polynome Events FZE
Agribusiness Leader of the Year: Export Trading Group
Innovative SME of the Year: Petrafos Energy FZC and Downtown Reality Real Estate Brokerage LLC
Sustainable SME of the Year: Healthy Pop Foods Co LLC
Social Innovation Excellence Award: Butterfly Social Technologies Ltd