Boom for women in business in UAE, but few reach company boards

Women are still underrepresented in company boards, according to a report of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (Shutterstock image)
Updated 10 February 2019

Boom for women in business in UAE, but few reach company boards

  • Emirati businesswoman now hold a combined 28,000 commercial licenses with investments of 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion)
  • UAE is now the regional hub for for more than 24 percent of the world’s 500 largest companies

LONDON: The number of registered businesswomen in the UAE grew by about 20 percent last year, although females are still underrepresented on company boards, according to statistics quoted by the state news agency (WAM).

A report by the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, quoted by WAM, found that the number of businesswomen registered with the chambers increased to more than 25,000 in 2018 compared with 21,000 in 2017.

More than 50,000 trade licenses were issued to women entrepreneurs last year, with Emirati businesswoman now holding a combined 28,000 commercial licenses with investments of 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion), the report found. 

Yet the proportion of women who are acting as chairs of the board in private sector companies in 2018 stood at just 4 percent — compared to 2 percent in 2013 — and the number of female board members stood at between 9 and 14 percent.

Hamid Mohammed bin Salem, secretary-general of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, also informed  WAM that the UAE is now the regional hub for for more than 24 percent of the world’s 500 largest companies.

 

 

 


Holiday Inn-owner IHG hit by weak China, Hong Kong bookings

Updated 35 min 29 sec ago

Holiday Inn-owner IHG hit by weak China, Hong Kong bookings

  • IHG’s revenue fall comes amid a general slowdown in the global hotel industry
  • Company opened 13,000 rooms in Q3

Holiday Inn-owner InterContinental Hotels Group blamed lower business bookings in China and Hong Kong protests for a 0.8% fall in third-quarter revenue per room on Friday, the latest company to be pinched by weaker global travel.
The hotel industry in general is feeling the impact of slowing global growth, which is denting business travel. Rival Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. warned that lagging growth in China and the China-US trade war would hurt revenue. Raffles owner AccorHotels narrowed its full-year profit guidance, citing uncertainty on China-related issues.
Four months of protests in Hong Kong have taken a toll on tourism, while weak economic data from China has been discouraging.
IHG reported a 6.1% fall in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Greater China during the quarter, with a 36% drop in Hong Kong. (https://reut.rs/35Lf0Jl)
“While we are certainly not at the stage where business travel has been scaled back on a large scale, the cracks are certainly showing,” AJ Bell’s Investment Director Russ Mould said.
Shares in IHG, which has nearly 5,800 hotels including the Crowne Plaza and Regent Hotels & Resorts brands, fell nearly 2% in early trade on Friday.
The company has been putting more money into China, its fastest-growing market, using new loyalty programs, digital payment options and revamping rooms at Holiday Inn to woo local business travelers. Of the 13,000 rooms IHG opened across its brands in the quarter, 4,100 were in China.
But Chief Financial Officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said the company was seeing more leisure than business travelers, who tend to spend less money on bookings.
Edgecliffe-Johnson said the company had also seen some pressure in the United States as US manufacturing businesses cut spending on conference halls bookings during the third quarter.