A red carpet awards ceremony celebrating achievements of Top CEOs in the GCC.  Organized by TRENDS magazine and INSEAD business school, the Top CEO Awards targets the region’s most affluent people, CEOs, CMOs, Presidents, and VPs.

Top CEO is the only regional ranking based on the financial statements of publicly listed companies. It is an award ceremony to celebrate the achievement of the region’s top players in the market, making Top CEO the most credible and transparent awards in the region.



The Top CEO Conference is an open discussion among thought leaders, executives and officials. Its purpose is to bring global issues – specifically, disruption – into a regional context, helping  Executives and leaders look at the possible impact of such issues and consider the best ways to take their organizations forward while taking advantage of the coming transformations. The conference’s format will comprise both on-record and off-record sessions,  allowing delegates to discuss and exchange ideas freely.




The awards function will be organized to honor business leaders of the GCC region.  The Top CEO list also looks into the transparency of a company. All of the companies listed on GCC stock exchanges are evaluated.  At the Top CEO awards ceremony every year, the 100 best-performing companies and CEOs will be announced.

However, we are launching 10 new categories of awards from 2019. The new categories will reflect the performance of the region’s business leaders in a more effective way. Mediaquest’s Top CEO Awards are distinctive in the GCC region because only the CEOs of listed companies are eligible. The awards are based on the companies’ financials; furthermore, the process is transparent and audited. TRENDS is also working closely with INSEAD to ensure that the formula is the most accurate and also with Hawkamah to ensure that corporate governance and disclosure criteria form a part of the ranking.



Change is the nature of the life of business and business of life. Starting in 2019, the TOP CEO ranking will change. For the fifth edition of the TOP 100 CEOs, we have decided to introduce categories. After discussing with our stakeholders and without touching the DNA of our TOP CEO ranking, we are introducing 10 awards in 10 categories. The categories are based on the key business sectors under which companies are listed on GCC stock markets.


During our discussions, we found that if the GCC’s banking sector performed well in a particular year, a majority of the top 100 companies would be from the financial services sector that year. Though the previous years’ rankings were perfect in principle but not reflective of our mission to celebrate business leadership in spirit. The rankings will continue to be based on the financial performance of companies during the calendar year and good corporate governance.


Below are the 10 categories:
1. Top 10 Banking Companies
2. Top 10 Financial Services and Investment Companies
3. Top 10 Telecom, Tech and Media Companies
4. Top 10 Insurance Companies
5. Top 10 Retail, FMCG and Consumer Care Companies
6. Top 10 Energy and Utility Companies
7. Top 10 Malls, Real Estate, and Construction Companies
8. Top 10 Mining, Metal and Chemical  Companies
9. Top 10 Shariah-Compliant Banks and Financial Services
10. Top 10 Logistics and Industrial Companies



Leadership, a good business strategy, and sustainable growth are some of the major traits a successful chief executive officer must possess. A CEO is akin to the captain of a ship, who is responsible for ensuring a successful voyage. A chief executive leads from the front, not only making policies but also finding ways to execute them. Decisions taken by a CEO can make or break a company.

The Gulf region has recorded steady growth over the past five years. Revenues of companies are increasing, stock markets are rising and employment in the region is growing for every extra point of GDP growth. At the helm of these companies are men and women who are transforming the business in the GCC. These CEOs deserve recognition from their peers and from the wider business community.

TRENDS magazine launched the ranking of Top CEOs in the region in 2011. The aim was to develop a transparent and credible ranking in the Gulf region and promote corporate governance.

Our team focuses on financial facts for publicly listed companies and started by closely studying firms listed on the Dubai Financial Market, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, Tadawul. From 2015, we started looking at all of the firms listed on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.







TRENDS is the leading magazine on Arab affairs in the Mena region. The magazine provides business leaders with critical insight and in-depth analysis of issues and developments in the Middle East while forming opinions on business, social, political and economic matters. Delivering sterling information and analysis on the region for more than 15 years, TRENDS has established itself as the premier source for Arab affairs.




INSEAD, the Business School for the world. As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures, and ideas to change lives and to transform organizations. With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents. Its 146 renowned faculty members from 34 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree program participants annually in MBA, Executive MBA, Specialized Masters’ degrees (Master in Finance, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change) and Ph.D. programs. In addition, more than 12,000 executives participate in INSEAD’s Executive Education programs each year.



Who is ranked

Only the firms listed on the stock exchanges of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman are eligible for the ranking. The leaders or the CEOs of the listed firms on the GCC bourses are ranked based on their company’s performance during the past fiscal year. All companies are evaluated.


Modus Operandi

Market reports are sourced from the GCC stock exchanges and parameters include revenues, earnings per share, profits, growth and corporate governance (transparency, timely submission of financial reports to the regulators and communication with shareholders). The ranking is finalized on the basis of hard statistics and numbers readily available to any researcher. This method makes the TRENDS and INSEAD’s Top CEO list the most transparent and unbiased in the region.


Who compiles this ranking?

The ranking is compiled by TRENDS magazine in association with INSEAD business schools. TRENDS magazine is recognized as one of the most credible business publications in the region. With unique insight, depth and analysis, TRENDS reaches the C-suite executives and government officials in the region. One of the top business schools in the world, INSEAD provides unique insight and research to develop the algorithm on which the formula is based. Deloitte – One of the leading top 4 auditing firms in the world, brings its expertise in ensuring that the entire process is transparent and credible.