Revealed: Winners at the Gulf Business Awards 2018

A total of 21 awards were handed to the winners during the ceremony

The seventh edition of the prestigious annual Gulf Business Awards was held in a glittering ceremony on Monday evening hosting some of the region’s top business leaders.

The event, held at the Oberoi hotel in Dubai, saw a total of 21 awards given away during the evening.

Each winner was selected by an independent judging panel, and for the first time this year, Gulf Business also opened all the categories to public vote, which acted as the sixth judge.

The awards recognised companies and business leaders across across seven industries including energy, tourism and hospitality, aviation and transport, real estate, banking, healthcare and retail.

Winners were also honoured across four special categories – SME of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Businesswoman of the Year and Happiness and Positivity Initiative of the Year.

The esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 was awarded to Emirati icon HE Sheikh Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the UAE’s first female minister, president of Zayed University and founding CEO of governmental business-to-business e-marketplace

Airport retail giant Dubai Duty Free won the coveted Gulf Business Company of the Year award for 2018, while the recipient of the 2018 Business Leader of the Year award was HE Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation.

The judging panel included Crescent Enterprises CEO Badr Jafar, Kanoo Group chairman Mishal Kanoo, CEO and founder Mona Ataya, Motivate partner and group editor-in-chief Ian Fairservice, and Gulf Business editor Neil King.

The evening was hosted by Motivate Publishing in association with headline sponsor King’s College Hospital London and category sponsors: Eaton Middle East, Finesse, Crowe, HumanSoft, Jacobsons Direct marketing (voting partner), Design Studio (flower partner) and African + Eastern (beverage partner) and The Oberoi, Dubai (venue partner).

Also see: In pictures: Gulf Business Awards 2018 – Companies of the year

In pictures: Gulf Business Awards 2018 – Business leaders of the year

In pictures: Gulf Business Awards 2018 – Special category winners


Lifetime Achievement Award: HE Sheikh Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the UAE’s first female minister and president of Zayed University

Gulf Business Company of the year: Dubai Duty Free

Gulf Business Business Leader of the Year: HE Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation

Companies of the year

Aviation and transport



National Commercial Bank


Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)


King’s College Hospital London in the UAE

Real estate 



Dubai Duty Free

Tourism and hospitality

Rotana Hotels & Resorts

Business leaders of the year

Aviation and transport

Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates


Abdulhamid M Saaed, CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank


HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO, ADNOC


Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare

Real estate

Hussain Sajwani, chairman, DAMAC


Mohammed Abdulmagied Seddiqi, CCO, Ahmed Siddiqi & Sons

Tourism and hospitality

Manuel Rabaté, director, Louvre Abu Dhabi

Special categories

Businesswoman of the year

HE Maytha Al Habsi, CEO, Emirates Foundation

Innovator of the year

DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One

SME of the year

Pure Harvest Smart Farms

Happiness & Positivity Company of the Year

Landmark Group (Happiness Movement)