Najla Al Midfa is one of the most prominent and successful business women in the UAE. Her list of achievements is as impressive as her portfolio of titles. She is a board member of several leading business and finance organisations including Sharjah Business Women Council, United Arab Bank and Young Arab Leaders. But Najla’s most notable accomplishment has been the formation of Khayarat, an online career development platform designed to initiate young Emiratis into the private sector.
In recognition of her incredible contribution to the business world in the UAE, and more importantly, the development of young Emirati talent, Najla was honoured earlier this week with H.E. Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum and HMH Award for Excellence. Presenting the trophy, Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings, stated, “Ms Najla Al Midfa is a role model for many in the business world. Khayarat is a unique platform that has opened a world of opportunities for young Emiratis helping them understand their potential for a better future. With her drive, dedication and determination, she has succeeded in changing perceptions on both sides of the fence.”
Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum & HMH Award for Excellence is a tribute to exceptional women who work for human welfare in addition to achieving excellence in their respective fields be it in the field of healthcare, business, art, education, literature, culture, sports, environment or public life.
Accepting the award Najla commented, “I am truly grateful to H.E. Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum and HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings for considering me worthy of this honour. My primary objective with Khayarat has been to raise awareness among Emiratis about the opportunities that exist in Private sector. The advice that I give most often is a piece of advice that was given to me – and now I’m passing it on. When I got into Stanford, my mentor wrote me an email and I still have. It said: “We find comfort amongst those who agree with us, but we find growth amongst those who don’t.” I meet students who say that they don’t want to work in the private sector, because there aren’t many Emiratis in the private sector, and, yes, sure, you will be comfortable in an environment like the public sector where there are lots of Emiratis, but if you truly want to grow, you need to expose yourself to diverse nationalities and opinions.
An MBA from Stanford University, Najla rose steadily in her career working with top global firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shell and McKinsey & Company. She also worked for the Khalifa Fund in the UAE.
Founded in 2003 in Dubai, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings is a fully-integrated hotel management company that prides itself on being the first hotel chain in the Middle East to offer halal-friendly, alcohol-free safe environment. It provides hotel owners and developers a broad spectrum of comprehensive management solutions with five distinct, yet complementary, hotel brands catering to varied market segments from budget to luxury. These include The Ajman Palace Hotel, Coral Hotels & Resorts, Corp Hotels, EWA Hotel Apartments and ECOS Hotels. Through its dynamic operation and strategic expansion in the Middle East and North Africa, HMH has been successful in unlocking a world of opportunities while creating value for its stakeholders, associates, staff members and customers. Its existing portfolio features superb properties located in some of the most desirable destinations across the MENA region, as well as a healthy pipeline of hotels under development.