The Middle East is well known for its massive production of oil and for the wealth of the region. Also, world-changing technological innovations have made the region a hub for radical industrial growth. With the growing need to digitize systems, many tech companies have risen from the MENA region. This is aided the Middle East economy in increasing productivity and efficiency.
Here are 11 trailblazer CEOs who have set the pace for technological structures in the Middle East. More so, they are an inspiration to many who are enthusiastic about the continuous growth of the region.
Ziad Rizk, Crayon
Crayon is an IT service company that helps customers leverage technology for the greater good. Ziad Rizk, the CEO of Crayon for the MENA region, grew the company to reach over 72 countries across the Middle East, generating over 1 billion AED annually. He graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Bachelor of Science and is skilled in sales, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Business Development, etc. Asides from being the CEO of Crayon, Ziad has worked for Microsoft as its Account Technology Specialist, among several other positions.
Denko Mancheski, Reef
Denko Mancheski is the founder of one of the fastest-growing blockchains named Reef Chain. Denko is concerned with investing and delivering value across the Middle East region. He ventured into the blockchain space about seven years ago, beginning with the NXT blockchain that later became Ardor. In 2020, his primary focus became Reef, with the intention of making it the best user-centric blockchain technology.
Ola Lind, FTFT Capital Investments
Ola Lind is the Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of FTFT Capital Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT) (“FTFT Capital”). Ola is also the brains behind a number of blockchain and NFT projects in the United Arab Emirates, including a few famous ones. The notable ones are Beat My Team, a collaboration with a free-to-play football team to create and deliver the first-ever Euro NFT National Tournament and Fantasy Football Metaverse, and DAS, a Metaverse-style NFT art gallery. He is also one of three designated Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) 2022 ambassadors for the United Arab Emirates, with Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan and Makki Ibrahim, who are all inspired by the UAE’s fintech revolution.
Hesham Elfeshawy, At Home Doc
Heshem co-founded At Home Doc with his brother Dr. Hatem in 2017. He is among Forbes Top 10 Inspiring Persons to watch in the Middle East. His frontend technology launched in 2016, At Home Doc, is designed to provide tech solutions for the Middle East health industry while taking user experience to a new level. He is also the founder of MediHealth Solution.
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Saudi Technology Ventures
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is the current CEO and Managing Partner of STV, which works with start-ups to scale the region’s disruptive technologies. Tarabzouni has held several executive roles, co-founded several technology ventures, and managed different areas in tech and finance. He is the recipient of many awards, including the 30 under 30 lists of Arabian Business and Gulf Business.
Hala Fadel, Leap Ventures
With a combined experience in the finance and entrepreneurship aspect, Hala is an international investor whose primary focus is on venture capital. Alongside Henry Asseily, she co-founded Leap Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on global technology companies. She has a Master’s in Financial Economics and recently co-founded the MIT ReACT hub, which delivers computer and data science certificates from MIT to displaced populations.
Mahmoud Kaiyal, Wikaya
Mahmoud is a digital health entrepreneur who is the current CEO of Wikaya, an AI-based platform for improving the prevention of chronic diseases. He is also the founder and ex-CEO of WebTeb, the leading health website in the MENA region.
Ali Belhaj Zahi, Evocraft
Belhaj Zahi is a tech enthusiast with a mechatronics engineering diploma and a professional Master’s degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from the National Engineering School of Sousse. His company, Evocraft, aims to include tech in education and manufacture the next generation of robots through the use of new technologies. Ali Belhaj has been recognized severally as a top startupper in the MENA region. In addition, his work has been honored by multiple international organizations like the UNDP.
Peter Somers, Emirates Post
Peter Somers is not only the CEO of Emirates Post; he is also the co-founder of European Express International Logistics. Somers aims to solve the demand for global e-commerce, the major focus of Emirates Post. Peter Somers was announced as the winner of the Industry Leadership Award at the World Post & Parcel Awards, 2021. Under his leadership, Emirates Post has experienced state-of-the-art technology contributing to the overall growth of the company.
Khaleed Zaatarah, 360VUZ
Zaatarah is passionate about everything creativity, innovation, and tech. He has been selected as Entrepreneur of the year by Entrepreneur magazine and has won two Guinness World Records according to his official website. His client base includes major firms like Apple, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and many more. With 360VUZ, Khaleed helps Teleport and Connect People in time to top happenings around the world while having full control.
Mohammed Aldhalaan, Noon Academy
Aldhalaan founded Noon Academy, an ed-tech start-up that aims to bring 50 million students and tutors from around the world together. Before this, he worked for an Information Security Company called and co-founded another Edtech platform called CloudTech. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from James Madison University and has completed post-graduate programs at MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.