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Revealed: Winners of the Gulf Business Awards 2023

Revealed: Winners of the Gulf Business Awards 2023

The awards celebrated luminaries from across the region’s business ecosystem


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.

READ MORE — IN PICTURES: All the Gulf Business 2023 Award winners

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 Gulf Business 2023 Awards attracted the best of the region’s business and C-suite community.

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.

Winners of the Gulf Business Awards 2023
Pictured: CEO and Managing Partner of Motivate Media Group, Ian Fairservice (left), and President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark (right).

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.

Well-known TV and radio personality Tom Urquhart was the MC of the Gulf Business Awards 2023.

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.



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

Pictured: President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark (left), speaking with the Deputy CEO of Dubai Airports Company, Jamal Al Hai (right).

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

A video of Hussain Sajwani – Chairman and founder, DAMAC Group — as he accepted the Gulf Business Lifetime Achievement Award.


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

Philip Jones, the Senior Vice President Operations, Middle East & Africa, Accor. His company was recognised being both the Gulf Business Company of the Year as well as Hospitality Company of the Year.


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

The ORO24 Developments Team with Atif Rahman (pictured centre, fifth from the right).


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

Pictured: Helen Barrett (far left) —
Deputy Chair of the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, and Partner at CBD Corporate Services — hands out the award for Retail Business Leader of the Year.


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

Attendees of the Gulf Business Awards 2023 settling in at the Palazzo Versace, Dubai, before the ceremony began.


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

Attendees at the Gulf Business Awards has the opportunity to listen to an array of top execs from the GCC business world.


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

An exciting evening was had by all at the Gulf Business Awards 2023. Congratulations to all the winners!

Read: GB Tech Web3 Awards 2023: Winners of the second edition announced in glittering ceremony

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