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The Arab International Women's Forum extends deep thanks and appreciation to Shell Middle East, PepsiCo International, Merrill Lynch, Abraaj Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, General Motors and DLAPiper UK LLP as Global Corporate Sponsors. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.



Present in over 130 countries, Shell aims to meet the energy and petrochemicals needs of society in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Shell produces more oil and gas than any other private company. We integrate our business from seismic surveys and drilling, through trading and refining, to the marketing of fuels, electricity and chemicals to over 20 million customers a day. Shell has pioneered much of the world’s oil and gas technology in use today and we continue to innovate in all our activities, including our growing renewable energy business.

Shell’s partnerships in the Middle East stretch back over a century. Today they are involved in exploration and production in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Iran, Oman and Syria and are developing business in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Corporate social responsibility is very much on the Shell agenda with the view to maximizing employment opportunities and providing sustainable development as part of their ongoing activities.

Since Marcus Samuel’s first tanker passed through the Suez Canal on August 24th 1892, Shell has had a close association with the Arab world. Today, enshrined in our business principles is the goal to promote the development and best use of human talent and equal opportunity employment. As we look to the future and our continued commitment to building partnerships and doing business across the Middle East, we can think of no better way to do this than by association with Arab women’s groups such as the AIWF.



Pepsi the company and the brands are closely interwoven into the whole fabric of Arab society, and supporting groups in society is a central part of that fabric. Through our support of groups like the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), our partners in the region and the music and sports stars we work with to promote our products, Pepsi is at the centre of Arab life.

Having achieved considerable success in the region, we take our role in the local communities very seriously. The Arab International Women’s Forum is an example of this commitment. Representing professional women from 22 countries and from diverse backgrounds ranging from technology to manufacturing, the AIWF is making significant contributions to breakdown the stereotypes that still exist in many business circles.

It is through our partnerships with groups like the AIWF that we are able to give back to the community in which we operate. At Pepsi, we feel corporate responsibility has become a central role in everyday business practice.

Some readers may be aware that PepsiCo celebrated its centenary in 1998. What may not be so apparent is that this year we are celebrating 50 years of uninterrupted business in the Arab World.

Given that Pepsi only formed an international division in 1934, which at that time marked the commencement of sales outside US borders, our half-century in the Middle East is a major milestone for the company. We believe it is testimony to how integrated Pepsi is in the region and, in turn, how strong the region’s relationship is with us.

In enjoying the status of the number one brand by far, we also recognise that with this lofty position comes a high level of responsibility to everyone with whom we come into contact. Employment is a key priority for us and we strongly recognise the skills local women can bring to business success.

At Pepsi, we have strived and succeeded in employing some of the best available Arab talent, which has allowed us to better understand and therefore serve the needs of the local community and the Arab market as a whole.

In countries such as Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt the majority of our workforce is drawn from the local population and we are among the biggest single employers in these countries.

We have also taken our citizenship programme a major step further forward. Companies such as Pepsi continue to give back to the community that have proved to be such strong supporters of ours over so many years. With that in mind, PepsiCo Middle East and Africa will be donating an additional $1 million towards supporting a range of educational projects in the Arab World.

We sincerely hope our platinum sponsorship of the AIWF helps in building the power of professional women in all Arab countries. Partly because we know such an organisation is critical, and partly because we call on this workforce to help our business succeed.

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Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading wealth management, capital markets and advisory companies with offices in 37 countries and territories and total client assets of approximately $1.6 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global trader and underwriter of securities and derivatives across a broad range of asset classes and serves as a strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Merrill Lynch owns approximately half of BlackRock, one of the world's largest publicly traded investment management companies with more than $1 trillion in assets under management.

As Merrill Lynch has successfully reinvented itself over the years — from a U.S.-based retail securities broker to a diversified global financial services company — our workforce diversity efforts have evolved as well.

The focus on race and gender issues that initially drove our diversity initiatives in the United States now has a global perspective. We want to ensure that Merrill Lynch is a meritocracy in which diversity thrives at every level and at every location of the company.

Through our partnership with AIWF we are in a strong position to further our diversity efforts and support the development of professional women in the Middle East.

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Abraaj Capital is the premier investment firm specializing in private equity investments in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. With over US$5 billion of assets currently under management, Abraaj has collectively executed some of the most compelling and successful transactions in the history of leveraged acquisitions across the region. Recently recognised by Arabian Business as one of 50 Most Admired Companies in the GCC, Abraaj is also the first pure private equity firm to be registered by DFSA to operate out of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Abraaj aims to nurture the potential of the region by investing in human capital, and the firm takes seriously its commitment to growing the organisation from within. Abraaj’s investments, in sectors as diverse as banking, retail, airlines, ship manufacturers, hospitals, and schools, ultimately create jobs, develop infrastructure and contribute greatly to the growth and development of the region as a whole.

These objectives lie at the heart of the vision and mission for AIWF, which places a strong emphasis on the engagement of the global private sector in all of its initiatives to generate opportunities for education, employment and empowerment for women in the Arab world.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers is very pleased to be associated with the AIWF. Our success as an organisation depends upon unlocking the potential of our people, in the same way that the AIWF aims to open up the opportunities and influence of Arab women in business and government.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' strength is built on the diversity and talents of 130,000 people in 144 countries. We work most effectively for our clients when we harness the rich mix of our collective skills, knowledge and backgrounds. We connect together within our organisation, with our clients and in the wider communities in which we operate to create stronger ideas and better answers. We call this approach Connected Thinking. Through it, we combine our capabilities in order to bring fresh perspectives that go beyond conventional thoughts and solutions.

It seems to me that this approach fits well with the aims of the AIWF and its 'Building Bridges, Building Business' ideology. I am therefore delighted that we are able to support the work and objectives of the Fund.

Elham Hassan
Senior Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bahrain

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With a heritage stretching back over eighty years, General Motors (GM) today brings its host of vehicle brands, services and technologies to customers across the region. Through its regional headquarters in Dubai, GM oversees operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Syria and Yemen - the largest presence of any automaker in the region.

The range of vehicles offered by GM in the region under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Opel, Saab and Hummer brands is unmatched by any other manufacturer. From small cars like the Chevrolet Aveo to full size trucks such as the GMC Suburban or luxury cars like the Cadillac STS, GM offers the Arab customer reliable, fun to drive vehicles.

GM was the first automaker to test, validate and re-engineer its vehicles with specifications tailored for the harsh driving conditions and specific customer preferences of the region. GM also offers a rich after-sales experience through the ACDelco and GM Parts businesses.

General Motors is dedicated to contributing to ongoing development of the region, recently announcing plans to build several educational programmes to develop local talent in hand with leading educational institutions in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

GM's commitment to the region has never been stronger as evidenced by the number of new vehicle introductions, customer service initiatives and significant investments in business infrastructure.


"Thousands of employees, partners and retailers are the face and spirit of GM in the Arab world. Their expertise has helped spearhead GM's globalization while their roots have anchored us to local communities over many generations."
Maureen Kempston Darkes
GM Group Vice President
President, GM Latin America, Africa & Middle East

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DLA Piper is a global law firm with offices across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the US. With over 3,100 lawyers across 62 offices and 24 countries it is the second largest provider of legal services in the world, providing a wide range of services including real estate; corporate, finance, restructuring/bankruptcy and taxation; commercial; project finance; franchise and distribution; litigation; intellectual property; technology, media and communications; human resources/labour; and regulatory and legislative law.

DLA Piper is relationship driven, meeting the ongoing legal needs of clients, wherever they choose to do business. They are culturally attuned to the business demands and legal requirements of a particular country or state. Through their award-winning Client Relationship Management programme, DLA Piper constantly strives to find new and better ways of doing things so clients can benefit. Their geographic coverage allows DLA Piper to service clients globally and advise international organisations in multiple jurisdictions in all core disciplines.

The firm’s commitment to the Middle East region is total and comprehensive. Responding to clients’ demand for access to full service international quality legal capabilities located directly in the Middle East, DLA Piper opened their Dubai office in January 2006, now with 20 lawyers. In March 2006 they entered into an affiliation with leading Saudi lawyer Abdulaziz Al Fahad, following the launch of DLA Matouk & Bassiouny in Egypt in 2005. Their Middle East team includes lawyers qualified in a wide range of international jurisdictions and offering services in Arabic, English and French.

DLA Piper also has a dedicated Africa practice, with lawyers who understand the dynamics of working on the continent. DLA Piper has a strong presence in sub – Saharan Africa providing expert local advice through DLA Piper Group firms in South Africa), Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, soon to be joined by Ghana. These sit alongside the Brussels-managed base in Kinshasa. DLA Piper also has close links to leading practitioners in the other important African jurisdictions.
For more information please visit their website:


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Jumeirah properties are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The company was founded in 1997 with the aim to become a hospitality industry leader through establishing a world class portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts. To date, the Jumeirah portfolio includes luxury hotels and resorts in Dubai, London and New York.

Jumeirah’s core essence to STAY DIFFERENT
TM promises guests experiences that are as unique and innovative as the brand itself. It recognises the distinctiveness of luxury travellers and the importance of personal experiences in their lives.

In line with this core essence, the individuality of the Jumeirah portfolio is unmistakable. Building on this success, in 2004 Jumeirah Group became a member of Dubai Holding - a collection of leading Dubai-based businesses and projects - in line with a new phase of growth and development for the Group.

Jumeirah is pleased to welcome the AIWF events to its hotels in London, the Carlton Towers and the Lowndes and in Dubai, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers and to the world renowned Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel.

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Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, constitutes a groundbreaking development for institution building, corporate sector reform, sound banking, financial sector development, good governance, sustainable economic development and growth in the region. Hawkamah’s mission is to assist countries and companies in the region to develop sound and globally well integrated corporate governance frameworks.

Hawkamah is an international association that aims to efficiently coordinate and sequence the designing, planning and implementation of corporate governance reforms and monitoring the outcome of corporate governance policies at the private sector level.

Being in and devoted to the region, Hawkamah’s strengths lay in its proximity to the countries and companies of the Gulf and the Middle East and in its strong partnerships with international and regional organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Institute of Finance, Financial Services Volunteer Corps, Global Corporate Governance Forum, Center for International Private Enterprise, Union of Arab Banks, Dubai International Financial Centre, among others.

Hawkamah has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 11th of December 2007 with the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) to advocate corporate sector reform and strengthen corporate governance for women entrepreneurs with their businesses and investments in the MENA region.

The Hawkamah and AIWF alliance aims to encourage good corporate governance practices and promote the benefits of sound corporate governance to women businesses throughout the region. The cooperation includes conducting corporate governance assessments, research, surveys and improvement plans for women entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Hawkamah and AIWF will also assist in building capacity for and raising awareness of good corporate governance in the MENA region through organizing conferences, roundtables and workshops for women entrepreneurs.

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Powering the Future: Arab Business Women in a Modern Economy
The Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai
9 – 11 December 2007

The Arab International Women’s Forum is proud to have received the support of Global Corporate and Institutional Partners whose generous support and cooperation made the 2007 Dubai Conference Programme possible.

Leading Partners

Programme Partners

Supporting Partners

Conference Support

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The Arab International Women’s Forum extends it special thanks and appreciation to their 2007 Global Partners for their generous support of the 2007 Programme Launch

Programme Partner


Programme Supporting Partners

Conference Partner

The AIWF extends its warmest thanks and appreciation to Jumeirah Carlton Tower for their ongoing support.


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The Arab International Women's Forum extends special thanks to Shell International for their generous support of the AIWF 2006 Programme Launch



The AIWF would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude for the kind contributions by the following Annual Partners

Hildon Ltd - Platinum (2005 – 2006)
IBM - Diamond (2004 – 2007)
Procter and Gamble - Diamond (2003 – 2005)
HSBC - Gold (2005)

The AIWF would like to extend their warmest thanks to Mr Fawzi Beidas and Mrs Tohfe Beidas for their kind contribution as Annual Partners (2004-2005) and also for their support of the AIWF News (2003- 2005)


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AIWF wishes to thank our 2005 Programme Corporate Partners

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The Arab International Women’s Forum would like to thank the following conference sponsors for their kind contributions to the Third Annual AIWF Conference.


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AIWF is most appreciative of the generous support for the
Second Annual Conference from

Partner Sponsor
PepsiCo International

And also to Principal Contributor
Procter & Gamble

Jumeirah International



AIWF acknowledges the support of the AIWF Conference 2002 Sponsors

HSBC Republic
Jumeirah International

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The Arab International Women’s Forum extends special thanks to
His Excellency Dr Ghazi Algosaibi
and acknowledges with gratitude his most valued endorsement.


The AIWF also acknowledges with appreciation and gratitude the valued support of the following distinguished organisations as corporate founder sponsors.

Arab British Chamber of Commerce in London
Al Bawardi Enterprises LLC
Euromoney Institutional Investor plc
Emirates International Forum
HSBC Republic (International)
Shell Oman Marketing Company


We would also like to thank
H.E. Muhammad Bin Issa Al Jaber
 Chairman of MBI International, for his valued sponsorship of the AIWF NEWS 2002-2003.

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