New Class

We are delighted to welcome nearly 100 new Young Global Leaders to our community of outstanding people addressing the world's most pressing problems. From courageous journalists uncovering the most critical political and human rights issues of our time to savvy entrepreneurs transforming the way we work with technology, this year's class is packed with brilliant minds and passionate leaders from business, civil society, academia, and government. Discover the new class:

10 YGLs in Middle East & North Africa

Mohamed Almaraj

Chief Executive Officer, ila Bank, Bahrain

Mr. Almaraj is the Chief Executive Officer of Bank ABC’s Digital Retail Bank “ila” in Bahrain, joining the bank in 2015. Before this appointment, Mohamed served as the COO of ila Bank. Previously, he played a key role in several Group level initiatives, including establishing Bank ABC’s DIFC office, launching the Debt Capital Markets practice, and the overall fintech strategy for Bank ABC. Before joining Bank ABC, Mr. Almaraj was a Senior Associate with the investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners in New York, focusing on mergers & acquisitions transactions and corporate restructurings in the technology, media, telecom, and financial services sectors. He has 13 years of experience in corporate finance, restructurings, fintech, and digital transformations across the GCC and the U.S. He holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, United States.

Moath Alnaeem

Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Alpha Capital, Saudi Arabia

Moath has co-founded Alpha Capital and built a profound organization, which has been a well-respected entity both locally and regionally, evidenced by the recognition received in 2021 from Forbes as it became among the 30 most prominent asset managers in the Middle East. Before Alpha Capital, Moath worked in Saudi Aramco and was entrusted by Saudi Aramcos Senior Management to be part of a carefully selected solid team to manage several asset classes of Saudi Aramcos USD multi-billion Global Pension Plans. Throughout the journey of Alpha Capital, Moath attracted top-tier investment professionals, delivered top-quartile public equity performance consistently, successfully exited from the first private equity investment at an impressive return and advised on the fundraising and structuring of the first Saudi digital bank that the Council of Ministers has licensed. Moath has demonstrated strong leadership skills while serving on various government and non-government boards and committees.

Wafa Al Obaidat

Chief Executive Officer, Obai and Hill, Bahrain

Wafa Alobaidat is the Founder and CEO of PLAYBOOK - A fast-growing digital membership networking platform focused on connecting and supporting women and executive leaders in MENA. With an award-winning leadership team that is fully female-founded, our network has been making waves regionally and internationally. Wafa is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and public speaker represented by The Middle East leading speaker’s bureau, MENA Speakers. Her expertise lies at the nexus of growth and scaling up, with underlying themes of empowering women and youth, entrepreneurship in the Middle East, and starting and scaling companies. She was named one of the top 50 most influential women leaders in business by Business in the Gulf. She is a graduate of the University of the Arts London.

Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud

Founder and Managing Director, Culture House, Saudi Arabia

Her Highness Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud founded Culture House as a Saudi boutique consultancy providing advisory and implementation services related to culture, creativity, and sustainable business. Culture House signifies Her Highness’s return to the private sector after successfully establishing the Fashion Commission at the Ministry of Culture. Princess Noura joined the Ministry of Culture in June 2019. She led Strategy Development for the fashion sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, building local and international partnerships with fashion institutions and nurturing Saudi fashion talent. She was part of the team that developed the Commission’s flagship outreach projects, including the Fashion Futures annual conference, digital platform, and mentorship program Saudi 100 Brands. Through her appointment as the Commission’s Ecosystem Integration & Program Delivery General Manager, Princess Noura oversaw the implementation of the strategy’s initiatives, ensuring their delivery at standards of excellence with measurable impact. Princess Noura’s entrepreneurial career commenced in 2009 in the United States. In 2015 she co-founded her first business, which focused on talent and lifestyle, before launching Global Fashion House, a fashion consultancy based in Riyadh. In April 2018, Princess Noura organized the Saudi Kingdom’s first fashion Week with this company, bringing together international and local stakeholders.

Khaled Bin Braik

Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Arab Emirates

Mr. Khaled Bin Braik is a Partner in PwC’s Government & Public Sector consulting practice in the Middle East with a focus on public sector strategy, organisational transformation and human capital development. He serves as the first homegrown UAE National Consulting Partner at PwC Middle East. With over a decade of consulting experience, Khaled is also the firm’s Nationalisation Leader in the United Arab Emirates and spearheads the award-winning nationalisation program “Watani” to create a sustainable national workforce in the professional services sector. He partners with key government stakeholders and policymakers to drive youth engagement across economic sectors, and increase the employability and participation of nationals in the labour market. Khaled has deep expertise in shaping human capital development strategies and has led diverse large-scale civil service modernisation, institutional effectiveness and upskilling programmes to meet the long-term economic, social, and environmental aspirations of the region. During his tenure at PwC, Khaled has also advised leaders, governments and industry champions on evidence-based and purpose-driven policy reforms, strategic planning, organisational restructuring, governance and transformational leadership. Khaled is a recognised thought leader, public speaker, and author on public sector revitalisation, the future of work and sustainability. He is regularly featured in press such as Emirates News Agency (WAM), Arabian Business and multiple industry conferences, podcasts and webinars. Khaled has been felicitated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for his leadership impact across the nation and is a recipient of the  “Leader of the Year in the Private Sector” national award. He was selected to participate in the flagship Impactful Leaders Programme, run by the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Leadership Development, an exclusive leadership development programme for the top-tier of public and private sector national leaders identified to advance the sustainable development of Dubai. Khaled is a graduate in Political Science and Business Administration from Concordia University in Canada and has an MBA from Cardiff University in the UK. He is also certified in strategic foresight, transformative leadership and disruptive innovation with INSEAD, Imperial College, IMD, UC Berkeley, among others.

H.H. Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

President and Chief Executive Officer, UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), United Arab Emirates

Business leader, social entrepreneur, and published author Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is Executive Director of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), Founder of the Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives social enterprise, Co-Founder of Aurora50 and Founder of Reset MENA. Sheikha Shamma holds a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership and a Master of Philosophy in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge and a degree in Business Administration from Zayed University. She is a well-respected industry expert on sustainability due to her business and academic endeavors in the field. Sheikha Shamma is Chair of Alliances for Global Sustainability and the Advisory Boards of Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Pure Harvest, and Bamboo Capital. She is the Honorary President of the Emirates Green Building Council and a UAE Circular Economy Council member. She was awarded the Inspirational Woman of the Year by the Arab Women’s Awards UAE in 2020 and the Academy of International Business in the Middle East and North Africa (AIBMENA) Windtower Award in 2021. In 2022, Sheikha Shamma was selected as the first woman from the GCC to participate in the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellowship and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Multilateral Negotiations (CEMUNE). Sheikha Shamma cites her great-grandfather, the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a source of inspiration and credits his vision as why she places immense importance on sustainability, philanthropy, and female empowerment. Through her actions, Sheikha Shamma aspires to ensure that Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on and that his vision continues to create a positive impact globally.

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Finance of the United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates

Hussam Hammo

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Tamatem Inc., Jordan

Hussam Hammo is the CEO and Founder of Tamatem Games, a leading mobile games publisher in the MENA region. The company boast 150 million game downloads, with 3 million monthly active users and over 50 published games. Tamatem collaborates with international game developers worldwide to provide the best mobile games and entertainment to Arabic-speaking individuals.

Hussam, a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 17 years of experience, embarked on his venture with Tamatem in 2013. His vision was to develop games that authentically reflected the native language and rich culture of the Arab region. Being an avid gamer himself, Hussam keenly observed the glaring absence of Arabic content in the mobile gaming industry. To bridge this gap, Hussam created Tamatem Games to develop easy-to-understand games that resonated with audiences. Hussam is part of the Entrepreneurs Organization EO and Endeavor Global network.

Before Tamatem, Hussam had extensive work experience. He kicked off his career in 2006 as a product manager at, an interactive user-based portal for Arab online users. Following his time at d1g, Hussam moved on to become a product manager at an Arabic internet portal and online platform. Hussam co-founded one of Maktoob’s most popular products was the first ever all-Arabic social network with over 1 million users. Maktoob was acquired by Yahoo for $175 million in 2009.

After the acquisition, Hussam chose to quit working as a full-time employee and pursue his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2009, he co-founded Wizards Productions, a game studio that developed online browser-based games. Although the company had a successful track record, the prematurity of the industry in the region led Hussam to eventually close down the studio and focus on a different strategy for mobile games.

Despite the closing of Wizards Productions, Hussam continued to believe in the Arabic mobile games market and was persistent in creating content that was relevant to a region of 400 million native Arabic speakers. In 2013, Hussam’s idea of publishing and localizing international mobile games in the Arabic-speaking market was seen as a potential success by California-based accelerator ‘500 Startups’ and Tamatem received its first acceleration opportunity to be sent to Silicon Valley and began its journey of publishing the best Arabic mobile games.

Hussain Hanbazazah

Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Aramco, Saudi Arabia

With a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master's Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Hussain has held several significant leadership roles within Aramco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past 14 years. An engineer by training, he has an innate ability to adapt, build inclusive networks, and lead people from a variety of professions and backgrounds; from engineers to power operators to communications professionals to arts, cultural and museum curators, demonstrating that he is talented, diverse and highly well-respected no matter the situation he is faced with. Hussain currently serves as the Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Between 2021 and 2022, he was selected by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Culture to lead the Saudi Pavilion project as Commissioner-General during the World Expo 2020 held in Dubai. He was the Kingdom's Expo 2020 chief diplomat, promoting the country's rich history, heritage, and culture. Very importantly, he played a crucial role in fostering a better understanding of the Kingdom and the qualities of our people. In addition to his roles at Ithra and the World Expo in Dubai, Hussain has provided trusted thought leadership throughout his career at Aramco. He has served as Aramco's Head of Media Relations and has held many leadership and technical roles within the operations and electrical power system business.

Paolo Petrocelli

Head, Dubai Opera, United Arab Emirates

An internationally recognised cultural leader who promotes cultural diversity, gender equality, and peace through music and arts, Petrocelli is the Founder and President of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy), one of the largest organisation for the promotion of music diplomacy globally. Currently he serves as the Head of Dubai Opera, the main performing arts center in the UAE. In 2022, he was selected by the think tank Friends of Europe among the 40 most influential young personalities in Europe.