Oct. 4, 2021


Aisha Hussein Alfardan

Qatar

Aisha Hussein Alfardan

Vice Chairwoman, Qatari Businesswomen Association (QBWA)

“Currently, we are seeing more and more women entering Qatar’s diverse workforce.”

BIO

Aisha Hussein Alfardan is a prominent Qatari businesswoman, Vice chairwoman of the Qatari Businesswomen Association, and head of the Qatar Hub and Board Member of the Middle East and North Africa Businesswoman's Network. In 2006 Alfardan was ranked 24th on the Forbes list of the 50 Top Businesswomen in the Arab Word, which recognized her success, prominence and ambition in the business world. She is the daughter of the renowned Qatari businessman, Hussein Alfardan—Chairman of Alfardan Group of Companies, and is following her father's footsteps as she has become one of the prominent businesswomen in the Middle East. Aisha graduated from Qatar University in 1993, with a degree in English literature. She began her career in the Commercial Bank of Qatar where she worked for over nine years, during which she climbed the business ladder to become the Ladies Branch Manager. In 2003, she joined Alfardan Group, to assist her father and brothers in running the family business; Aisha Hussein Alfardan claims her favorite part about working at Alfardan is “the challenge of continuing to build the legacy that her family has worked so hard to build”.


How have you been supporting the role of women in Qatar's society, and what are the main opportunities and challenges in having more women in high-level positions?

In line with Qatar's National Vision 2030, our mission through QBWA is to be a platform that supports female professionals and businesswomen with best practices to drive socioeconomic benefits for our country. QBWA has led numerous forums over the years focused on Qatar's female workforce and its growing impact on Qatar. Currently, we are seeing more and more women entering Qatar's diverse workforce. From our ministries to our frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic, women have also been playing a leading role in advancing the future of Qatar. As the pandemic has left a resounding impact on global economies, QBWA, along with Qatar's business community, has come together to create new national and international initiatives to assist female professionals in building sustainable business models for the future. We are proud to have the opportunity to witness this increase in female economic participation and remain committed to its progress in all sectors of our economy. It was an incredible honor for me to represent QBWA at the recently held Qatar Economic Forum 2021 (QEF), which brings together prominent financial and economic thinkers, policymakers, and business leaders from around the world to set the next stage of global growth. It is also a testament to our female leaders and professionals, whose strategic and successful contributions to Qatar's growth have been exemplary for the world. During QBWA's “Qatari Businesswomen: Shaping the Present. Leading the Future" virtual event earlier this year, leading businesswomen and speakers celebrated the success of Qatari women in executive positions in private and public sectors. Currently, Qatari women are leaders in various fields, including the medical, engineering, and entrepreneurial sectors. Women in such positions have the opportunity to inspire the next female workforce and encourage them to reach similar positions in their respective fields as well. Female leaders can also help women who face difficulties advancing their careers. Networks such as QBWA can help identify such challenges and offer experienced and professional insights from their associations. It is also important to celebrate and promote the achievements of women in workspaces. QBWA is the host of TAKREEM Awards, which recognizes the contributions of Qatari women to the country's economy. Such recognition serves as a benchmark for excellence and highlights the progress of female participation at all economic and corporate levels.

Alfardan Group is one of the companies that have most supported the economic development and diversification of Qatar. Now that the country is ready to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, what will be Alfardan Group's main contribution to a successful event?

The growth of Alfardan Group shows its legacy to continually deliver service excellence for the people of Qatar and contribute to the economic landscape of the country. The group, with its values of mastery, evolution, trust, passion, and distinction, offers products and services for every facet of life to all people and visitors of Qatar. Through its history of more than 65 years, Alfardan Group has evolved into a collection of businesses that began in 1954 with Alfardan Jewellery and grew with Alfardan Exchange in 1971. Now, Alfardan Group manages a multifaceted portfolio covering a wide range of industries and sectors. Alfardan Group's hospitable experiences have been recognized in various sectors throughout the years. In 2021, FACT Dining Awards lauded nine Alfardan Group food and beverage outlets for their fine-dining experiences, showcasing Alfardan Hospitality's commitment to delivering exclusive experiences to its guests. Alfardan Group is looking forward to supporting the Qatari government in delivering a successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by offering a holistic and integrated experience and much more to international visitors during the mega sporting event. Our contributions are aimed at making the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a memorable and distinct experience for all.

Which sectors will be best positioned to support the diversification of Qatar's economy, and what are Alfardan Group's plans in this regard?

Alfardan Group hails from a pearl trading background, a pivotal business at its peak during the early 1900s. As natural pearl trade was challenged by the introduction of cultured pearls, Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan, the group's founder and chairman, endeavored to create new businesses to serve the people of Qatar. Since the establishment of Alfardan Jewellery in 1954, Alfardan Group has been continually diversifying. The conglomerate has matched Qatar's economic pace and has grown vastly over the years in many fields, such as jewelry, exchange, property development, automotive, hospitality, marine, investment, and more recently, medicine. Qatar's government has extended remarkable support for the sustainable development of the national tourism and hospitality sector. It has bolstered our confidence in contributing to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and strengthened our diverse business capabilities and experience to solidify Qatar as a global tourism destination. The group continues to innovate and create products and services for Qatar's tourism and hospitality sector. Such versatile solutions are also sustainable as they are aimed to meet the current needs of the people of Qatar and secure a high quality of life for both the local community and visitors.

Being one of the most prominent businesswomen in Qatar, how do you expect the country's economy to perform in the short term, and especially after the FIFA World Cup 2022?

As the world continues to innovate, so do we. Qatar is an increasingly self-reliant country that continues to empower its people and create a sustainable and smart country for future generations. The delivery of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is one of Qatar's monumental goals that reflects how the country is utilizing its capabilities to amplify Qatar's position as one of the leading economies in the region and the world. As the country continues to progress toward a knowledge-based economy, Qatar is also supporting the rise in female workforce participation. Homegrown organizations such as QBWA are striving to empower female professionals at the forefront of this evolution and create new opportunities to serve the people of Qatar in a rapidly changing environment.

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