UAE’s Rasha Al Dhanhani, known to many as the mastermind behind PappaRoti Café, has been named one of the 200 Most Powerful Women in the Arab World for 2014 by Forbes magazine. The glitzy honouring ceremony was attended by HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development and took place on 1 October at Music Hall, Zaabeel Saray Hotel on Palm Jumeirah.
Ms. Al Dhanhani’s inclusion in the prestigious list means she has joined the likes of most powerful Arab business women. She took the 56th position in the Arab world and 14th among the 26 Emirati women who made it to the top 200. Honored as Entrepreneur of the Year in last year’s Arab Women Award, Ms. Dhanhani’s high-rank result in the Forbes list came as expected.
The Most Powerful Women in the Arab World List is compiled by Forbes editors on the basis of a full range of criteria which include among others: degree of power associated with the position, years in operation and professional experience, extent of global coverage.
Ms. Al Dhanhani is the Chairperson of PappaRoti Café, the Malaysian brand which she has transformed into a favorite café in several countries in the Middle East and beyond. Ms. Al Dhanhani holds the franchise licensing rights for PappaRoti in the GCC, Middle East, CIS, North Africa, India, Paris, Switzerland and Brazil.
Expressing deep appreciation, Ms. Al Dhanhani said, “I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship and believed the impact earnest pursuits bring to society in general. I didn’t think that such passion would one day put my name in the Forbes list. That I am recognized as influential in the Arab world in a very positive way is truly an honor.”
She further added; I strongly believe in the Empowerment of Women and what better way to set an example of women empowerment than for me to be listed on the Forbes magazine as one of the 200 Most Powerful Women in the Arab World for 2014.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my Emirati Women colleagues who have also made it to the top 200 in the Forbes Magazine. I encourage all my Emirati sisters to strive and work hard because with sincere dedication and hard work anything is achievable.
Ms. AL Dhanhani has proven her position of power with Rasha Investments and Brandnoise Creative Agency which she both owns. Combining business skills with her marketing savvy, she has multiplied her PappaRoti Café business to more than 53 outlets in the Middle East region in only five years. To date, she has empowered many entrepreneurs with franchise opportunities and is actively creating job opportunities to hundreds of employees in the region.
Besides her business expertise, her ethical leadership and commitment to provide people the best, whether customers or staffs, make Rasha Al Dhanhani the successful executive that she is today. She is an inspiration to anyone who dreams of taking something small and turning it into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Commenting on people’s share in her new career milestone, Ms. Al Dhanhani said, "The only proper way to receive this recognition is to accept it with my other hand extended towards everyone who has helped me through the years—my family, colleagues, friends and employees. They are behind my success.”
The complete 200 Most Influential Arab Women 2014 ranking can be viewed at