Top 10 HR Leaders in UAE to lookout for in 2023

Top 10 HR Leaders in UAE

The world of work is changing at a rapid pace. Technologies like automation, robotics and AI are changing the way people work & the skills they need to work. Today we bring you 10 HR leaders from UAE, you should be following in 2023. These HR leaders are inspiring and changing workplaces by providing meaningful solutions in the areas of alternative work patterns, HR management, introducing HR Tech, employee experience, leadership, organizational behaviour, change management, gender, diversity & inclusion.


1. Andrew Stotter-Brooks

Vice President - Learning and Development, Etihad Aviation Group

Andrew is an HR Professional with more than thirty years of senior Human Resources Management practice in Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, and Aviation.

Prior to Abu Dhabi and Etihad Aviation Group, he worked for seven years with Alshaya Group as Head of Learning supporting the career development of more than 90,000 team members in 19 countries. Before joining Alshaya Group Andrew worked with Peninsula and Orient (P&O) in the South Pacific supporting their international Cruise fleet and Hilton International Group as the People and Development Director responsible for HR delivery and Management training within Europe supporting over 500 Hotels.

In addition to his professional development work with Alshaya, Hilton, YUM, and P&O, he has been an Executive industry coach for American University Dubai, Greenwich and Nottingham Universities, Rolls Royce, and Bass.

People development is his passion, helping others to overcome real and imagined obstacles to achievement, whilst creating an environment of trust and the ability to avoid ambiguity.


2. Charlie Salameh

Head of People, Etoile Group

It takes quite a visionary with passion and solid business acumen to support multi-million-dollar operations, their executives, and their people. Even further would be the strong determination to create and develop a culture of communication, harmony, and excellence to the best of their ability. Isn't this what HR is really all about after all? And that's exactly what Charlie Salameh, Head of People is and more. For over 20+ years, Charlie’s foresight, experience, and skills have helped create some major power achievements in human resources within the legal, consultancy, and most of all luxury fashion industry across France, South Africa, and the Middle East region. Some of these celebrated accomplishments are onboarding several new luxury fashion global brands as well as being appointed as Transition Leader to establish several Joint Ventures.

One of Charlie's proudest moments has also been, introducing several initiatives to impact sales as well as managing a full transformation and digitalization of the brands he served. Looking ahead at the future, Charlie praises a present of absolute dedication and thirst to innovate in the field of people and culture that is closest to his heart.


3. Monica Hernandez Alarcon

HR Director - Egypt & Middle East, General Motors

Monica has over two decades of experience in HR, with a wealth of insights that speed up talent growth. She is an experienced Personnel Director with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry in global and challenging environments.

She aspires to be a strategic, innovative, and positive leader that empowers and develops the best out of each person, to achieve and exceed business results through a fair and honest way of walking the talk.


4. Nadine El – Hadad

HR Director - Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Employer Branding Lead MENA, Unilever

Nadine El-hadad is a seasoned HR leader with 16+ years of Experience in a Multinational FMCG. Her Purpose is to "Help and Support Caterpillars grow into butterflies". She is passionate about growing businesses and growing people. Her mantra is "If she can change the workplace, she can change the world".

She is an Egyptian citizen that was born in the UAE and brought up in the US. She started her career in Egypt as a Finance Management Trainee, where she then decided to follow her heart and shift her Career to HR. She held multiple local, regional & global roles across HR in the space of Business Partnering, Talent & Organization, and Leadership development at Unilever.

She is currently the Head of HR for Unilever Gulf and the HR lead for Personal Care Arabia for Unilever based in UAE. She also leads an agenda that is very close to her heart, which is Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. She has made many breakthroughs in this space, the most recent is launching the Menstrual Leave in Unilever MENA.


5. Rashed Al Sadiq

Human Resources Director, Procter & Gamble

Coming from a Civil Engineering background, Rashed joined Procter & Gamble as an Associate HR Manager quickly taking over big responsibilities such as company policy revamp, improving the diversity of the organization, and focusing on Employee Well-Being.

Throughout his 9-year career in HR, Rashed has had a diverse set of experiences doing multiple business partner roles supporting the different, functions, markets, and even regions. His two biggest achievements were when he was appointed as an HR Transition Leader for the Divestiture of P&G's Consumer Beauty business to COTY and led the Acquisition of Merck's Consumer Health Business into P&G.

Rashed brings a modern, relationship-driven HR Style to the workplace while also remaining principled and fair in his decision-making skills. His personal top 2 elements of an organization are being enabled to make decisions in the work that he owns and working with an organization-focused Leader.


6. Reema Haddad

HR Leader: Talent Development and Diversity & Inclusion Leader

Reema comes with 14 years of extensive HR experience at IBM across Middle East & Africa, Europe and other global markets as well. She held diverse roles within the HR function such as: HR Leadership & Talent Management, Executive Succession Planning and Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, HR consulting, HR transformation, compensation and benefits, and HR operations.

Reema’s exceptional leadership and cultural awareness skills enabled her to build an excellent track record and a progressive career journey to acquire regional and global HR expertise.

Reema is known for her strategic and innovative thinking as well as execution skills. She has the capability to build strong relationship with senior business leaders as they see her a trusted HR advisor and career coach.

Reema is passionate about developing talent across the workforce and specifically into leadership roles. She is currently undertaking her MBA on Leadership & Management from the UK.


7. Rola Fattal

Director HR Strategy and Business Partner, Seera Group

Rola is a Lebanese/Saudi HR leader with 12+ years of experience in Human Resources in the region, who is focused on companies with a strong digital/technology strategy or aspiring to grow their digital presence.

Her deep expertise in the region's HR practices, especially in KSA, coupled with principles of agile & smart HR delivery, and effective senior stakeholder management, have allowed her to play a strategic and fundamental role in transforming companies, such as the case of her current company, Seera Group, from a traditional Travel Agency to a disruptive Travel leader.

Her approach is to cultivate an HR department that is focused on a deep understanding of the business, its strategy, operations, and financials, to shape and drive sustainable and transformative HR strategies which are designed to scale the organisation.


8. Sami El Sadek

Group Head - Human Resources and Administration, Binhendi Enterprises

Sami El Sadek is a seasoned HR Business Partner with 20+ years of HR Expertise across various industries such as Oil & Gas, Retail, Renewable Energy, FMCG, Pharma, Medical Laboratories, Logistics, Distribution, Contracting, Banking, and Education clubbed with a proven track record building and maintaining HR capabilities in areas such as HR Transformations, Cultural Transformations, HR Startups, Organizational Design, HR Operations, Compensation and Benefits, Recruitment & Selection and other related strategic and operational activities.


9. Samir Mardini

Partner - People Advisory Services, EY

Samir Mardini, a Partner at EY MENA within the People Advisory Services function, is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and Non-Executive Director with the purpose of contributing to effective board culture. His current projects at EY focus on the government sector as well as the healthcare industry.

His over 24 years of experience in the HR field working both in consultancy and in-house have allowed him to advise clients across various industries on a wide range of topics, including employee engagement and experience, the design of high-performance culture, organization strategy and structure, rewards and recognition, and leadership development.

Samir’s interest in HR initially began with an advanced course on the topic during his MBA studies, inspiring him to further research the strategies and implementation of HR best practices. As an HR specialist, he believes that people are the true asset of any organization, and that their well-being is a key component to creating a successful workplace.


10. Sheena Rajan

Group CHRO, Tristar Group

An Industry Leader Transforming Barriers into Opportunities while Striving for Success. Highly motivated and results-driven Human Resource Professional offering 27 years of business acumen & creating a legacy.

Sheena has an MBA in HR, a master's degree in Leadership Science, and a PG in Psychological Counselling, and is a Certified Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programs. In addition to her strong experience in hotels, oil and gas, manufacturing, and pharma, Sheena is a pioneer and seasoned HR specialist.Global Leader with excellent people management skills, Great work ethic, known as a Change Management Expert.

My personal mantra is “Build a Strong Foundation with the bricks that others throw on you.”

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