Badr Jafar is the CEO of Crescent Enterprises, the president of Crescent Petroleum (the first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East), and the chairman of Gulftainer and Pearl Petroleum, as well as the founding patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
Jafar serves in a number of advisory positions in both the humanitarian and development sectors, as a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, a member of the UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education, and a member of the board of overseers of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
But it is not merely in business that the Emirati national and grandson of Iraq’s former development minister excels. He is a strong advocate of social entrepreneurship and often speaks out about issues affecting entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organisation in cooperation with the UN Office for Partnerships, in order to help promote good governance and transparency within corporations based in countries across the Gulf.
Consistent with his interest in promoting social entrepreneurship in the MENA Region, Badr also co-founded the Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ASEP) with Ashoka, and is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) board of governors. He serves on the board of advisors of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) and Gaza Sky Geeks, and is chairman of Endeavor UAE, a network that supports high-impact entrepreneurship.
Jafar is active with higher education institutions, serving as a member of the American University of Sharjah’s Business Advisory Council, and as a member of the Research and Innovation Advisory Council for The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (CERT) at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi. He also chairs the Alumni Advisory Council of the Cambridge University Judge Business School and serves as Board Member of their International Advisory Board.
Dr. Patrick Allman-Ward
Patrick Allman-Ward is the CEO of Dana Gas, an energy firm based in the United Arab Emirates, since 2013. He joined the company the year before, taking on the role of general and country manager for Dana Gas Egypt.
Before making the move to Dana Gas, Allman-Ward had worked for companies such as Shell. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Allman-Ward has worked all over the world, including Egypt, Denmark, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. He studied geology at Durham University, before later going to earn a Master of Science degree at the University of Leicester as well as a PhD at Imperial College London.
During the recent pandemic, the Sharjah-based business said that its exploration and production facilities, and its operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Egypt, had remained fully operational, and that its production had not been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Abu Dhabi-listed gas company, which is the Middle East’s largest private firm of its kind, said that natural gas makes up 75 percent of its production, which is sold under long-term gas sale contracts, with fixed prices to the host governments. The contracts make up approximately 50 percent of the business’s annual income and remained stable, as they were unaffected by any fluctuating oil prices.
Dana Gas reported a 41% increase in its Q1 2021 net profit compared to the same period last year, at $24 million, thanks to higher production from the KRI and lower borrowings in the quarter. The company is also resuming its plan to expand the Khor Mor field with Crescent Petroleum through the Pearl Petroleum consortium. With additional investments of $600m, the consortium is planning to boost production by around 57 percent, from 440 million cubic feet per day to 690 mscfd per day.
Saif Humaid Al Falasi
Saif Humaid Al Falasi is the Group CEO of ENOC. ENOC, or the Emirates National Oil Company, is owned by the government of Dubai and was first established in 1993.
Al Falasi was appointed CEO in March of 2015. With 37 years of experience working in the energy industry, Al Falasi has a wide range of specialties including project management and petroleum asset evaluation operations.
He first joined ENOC in 2008, working as a group general manager. Three years later, in 2011, he was appointed executive director for Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality (EHSQ) in the Corporate Affairs Directorate. He’d worked for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for 25 years before this, and also served as a board member of National Marine Services.
Al Falasi is the chairman of Gulf Energy Maritime, and is also a board member of the Supreme Council of Energy and the Green Energy Council.
He studied petroleum engineering at Louisiana Tech University in the United States, and in 2014, he was awarded fellowship of the UK Energy Institute, recognising his leadership of the ENOC Energy and Resource Management Programme.
Earlier this year, ENOC unveiled its plans to invest AED250 million ($68m) of its overall 2021 expenditure towards further progressing its digital transformation strategy. ENOC said its growth strategy will place strong emphasis on enhancing its business and operations through digitalisation while continuing to serve its main goal of meeting the growing energy demand in Dubai and the UAE.
Speaking about it at the time, Al Falasi said: “2020 was an unprecedented year for all and at ENOC we believe that it also presented great opportunities. It made us re-evaluate our operations and urged us to adopt innovative measures to keep up with the fast-paced transformation that our sector is going through. Understanding the current market realities allowed us to introduce changes to emerge as an agile, resilient and future ready organisation, while aligning our efforts with the national mandate.”
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
In his role as the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr Al Jaber oversees efforts to further expand the industrial development of the UAE and increase its competitiveness, helping drive economic growth by catalysing the diversification of the UAE’s economy.
Since being appointed Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in 2016, Dr Al Jaber has spearheaded a rapid and comprehensive transformation of the company at the direction of the UAE leadership. He has initiated a programme of increased efficiencies, strengthened ADNOC’s overall performance and fostered a more commercial mindset. Earlier this year, he was also given the additional title of managing director.
ADNOC is the UAE’s largest company, producing over 2.7 million barrels of oil a day. It has 15 subsidiaries, operating all aspects of oil and gas production in Abu Dhabi.
Before taking on the leadership position at ADNOC, Dr Al Jaber was the chief executive officer of the energy platform at Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment arm. He helped to establish the sustainable urban development of Masdar, and served seven years as its CEO.
As well as being the CEO of ADNOC, Al Jaber was appointed as the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology in 2020, as well as the head of Emirates Development Bank.
At ADNOC, some of Al Jaber’s digital transformation initiatives helped the company to adapt quickly to the coronavirus pandemic, but more recently he has been outspoken about the energy transition and the role that oil and gas could play in the solution to climate change.
In September of 2021, ADNOC announced that it would be going forward with an initial public offering of its drilling business, and that its shares would be listed for trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. It managed to raise over $1.1 billion in gross proceeds, and total gross demand for the IPO amounted to more than $34bn.
Zainab Al Ali
Young Future Energy Leaders Programme Manager
Zainab Al Ali joined Masdar Institute in 2009 as programme manager of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) programme which offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad the opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges, namely achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change.
Masdar Institute is Khalifa University’s flagship sustainability-focused research institute, playing a critical role in the research structure and culture of the university and serving as an interdisciplinary research unit focused on long-term strategic priorities.
Al Ali’s career journey led her to become senior manager, Outreach and Stakeholder Relations at Masdar where she again worked with youth through Masdar’s innovative Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) initiative.
Under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Y4S invests in and actively supports the development of the country’s youth, enabling them to become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.
Ali Al as an advocate for Emirati women in the energy sector and has contributed to the growth of Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy platform (WiSER) which works to position women of all ages as drivers of change and innovation, while ensuring that their voices are heard across the sustainability debate. She has recently written about the importance of empowering women in STEM skills so they may be better-equipped to join the energy sector.