Gulf businesswomen participating at the 5th Gulf Businesswomen Forum 2023 called for creating a platform that brings them together to share aspirations, plans, and investment opportunities.
They said it would support their businesses and encourage them to move assets and enter the industry.
More than 1,000 prominent figures from Gulf and Arab countries participated in the 5th Gulf Businesswomen Forum 2023 and the accompanying exhibition held under the theme “Gulf Woman: Between Empowerment and Leadership.”
The two-day forum was hosted by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the empowerment and leadership of Gulf women in economic development and its sustainability.
Amani Bukhamseen, Secretary-General in charge of the Federation of Gulf Chambers, told Asharq Al-Awsat the Forum will work to create a platform for Gulf businesswomen to launch joint initiatives between the Arab Gulf countries, including a database for all businesswomen.
Another edition of the Forum will be held in 2024 in the Sultanate of Oman, revealed Bukhamseen.
According to Bukhamseen, Gulf women own assets estimated at $340 billion, which have not yet been operated or invested.
“These forums encourage women to enter the field of trade and get involved in developing the Gulf economy,” said Bukhamseen, noting that Gulf businesswomen had access to facilities offered by their governments.
Fatima Al Awadhi, executive member of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Businesswomen Council, also reaffirmed the need to create a platform for bringing Gulf businesswomen together.
Al Awadhi’s affirmation came during the Forum’s first session, which focused on the role of Gulf female entrepreneurs in planning and developing a sustainable economy.
One of the Forum’s outcomes is that a platform that includes Gulf businesswomen from the six Gulf Cooperation Council member states would be established, she told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“We will create the basic system, encourage Gulf women and facilitate their tasks to enter the world of finance and business, as well as the world of digital transformation, which has become the commercial and economic future,” added Al-Awadhi.
Furthermore, Al-Awadhi explained that many indicators confirm that the role of Gulf businesswomen has become an element of strength and support for Gulf economies.
She noted that the value of the assets of small and medium-sized companies managed by businesswomen in the GCC countries was estimated at about $385 billion in 2016.
The market size of high-net-worth women in the GCC countries is estimated at $224 billion, or 20.2% of the total personal wealth in the region, added Al-Awadhi.