Revealed: Top 10 women behind Middle East's most-loved brands

Ten women from the Middle East have been named among this year's successful entrepreneurs behind some of the prominent brands in the region

Huda Kattan speaks on stage during BoFVOICES on November 29, 2018 in Oxfordshire, England.

Huda Kattan speaks on stage during BoFVOICES on November 29, 2018 in Oxfordshire, England.

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The new “Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands” list, released by American business magazine Forbes, includes businesswomen from Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco.

They are being recognized for the role they played in establishing labels that capture the hearts of consumers and trying to scale their business amid turbulent times.

Women in the fashion industry, emerged as strong performers, accounting for 42 percent of the power list with 17 entries.

Overall, Iraqi-American entrepreneur Huda Kattan, who founded Huda Beauty, a cosmetics brand that has amassed approximately 46 million followers on Instagram, topped the rankings. 

With a fortune estimated at $610 million, Kattan was earlier named one of the United States’ richest self-made women in 2019 by Forbes.

Lebanese-American fashion designer Reem Acra came second on the list, followed by Azza Fahmy & Fatma Ghali from Egypt, Dima Rashid from Palestine and Nada Ghazal from Lebanon.

Moroccan national Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch landed the sixth spot, followed by Lebanese national Gemy Maalouf.

Rounding up the top ten were Razan Alazzouni of Saudi Arabia (8th place), Andrea Wazen of Lebanon (9th) and Jude Benhalim (Egypt).

A total of 40 women have been included in the list, but so far only the top 10 has been released. Saudi women led with 10 entries, followed by Lebanon and Egypt with eight entries each, excluding dual-nationalities).

In creating the rankings, Forbes Middle East’s methodology included celebrity endorsement, revenues and growth rate, the number of countries the brand is present in, and media and social media reach.

Here's the complete list of ten women and their brands:

1. Huda Kattan
Nationality: Iraqi-American
Brand: Huda Beauty

2. Reem Acra
Nationality: Lebanese-American
Brand: Reem Acra

3. Azza Fahmy, Amina & Fatma Ghali
Nationality: Egyptian
Brand: Azza Fahmy Jewellery 

4. Dima Rashid
Nationality: Palestinian
Brand: Dima Jewellery

5. Nada Ghazal
Nationality: Lebanese
Brand: Nada Ghazal Fine Jewelry

6. Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
Nationality: Moroccan
Brand: Yan&On

7. Gemy Maalouf
Nationality: Lebanese
Brand: Gemy Maalouf

8. Razan Alazzouni
Nationality: Saudi
Brand: Razan Alazzouni 

9. Andrea Wazen
Nationality: Lebanese
Brand: Andrea Wazen

10. Jude Benhalim
Nationality: Egyptian
Brand: Jude Benhalim

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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