In honour of the 89th Saudi National Day, AboutHer.com has compiled a list of remarkable Saudi women that have motivated us to reach higher heights. With careers spanning from tech and finance to sports and gastronomy, here are 89 Saudi Arabian women with fervent work ethics that inspire us, intelligent minds that teach us, charismatic flairs that move us, and most importantly, passionate hearts that show us what the female population in Saudi Arabia is all about.
1- Al Hanouf Al-Obishi
Meet the creator of “Braille Table”. The design is a table that can scan through books, and subsequently turn them to a Braille writing system – which a system of protrusions on embossed papers or electronic screens used by people who are visually impaired. Braille Table is also equipped with a sound system.
2- Noura Al-Moammar
Noura Almoammar had her eyes set on being a chef at an early age. She studied at a prestigious gastronomy school in Paris, Le Cordon Bleu. Adamant at pursuing her passion at a professional standard, Chef Noura returned to the kingdom and opened her own restaurant in February 2018.
Dayem O Amer is a culinary escape situated in Jeddah and specialized in healthy eating. The Saudi chef wanted to fuse love for the cuisine along with fostering a healthy lifestyle for the kingdom, and that’s what her restaurant is all about.
3- Khulood Al-Abbasi
This 14-year-old Saudi girl is the proud inventor of a pollution-free scooter. This means of transportation is nothing like its peers. For starters, it has the amazing feature of producing oxygen. The scooter also has an eco-friendly battery and is rechargeable.
4- Dr. Hanan Al-Qawzi
Professor Al Qawzi is an inventor of a cure for glaucoma. Without treatment, glaucoma increases pressure and damages the optic nerve, thus leading to undeviating vision loss. She revealed a medication that triggers melatonin rate in the intraocular fluid that controls eye pressure, therefore relieves the symptoms.
5- Saleha Al-Shahrani
Al-Shahrani is responsible for “The Security Patrol Protection Box”, which is a progressive defense system that immobilizes projectiles before they reach their target (vehicles).
6- Sadeem Rashed Al-Marri
Al-Marri used 3D-printer to form a mechanical hand that can translate Arabic text entered in a mobile application into sign language, thus aiding hearing and speech disabled individuals in the Arab region to communicate with other people.
7- Hala Al-Hamrani
Hala Al-Hamrani is a certified boxing trainer with a black belt in Jujutsu, which she earned at the age of 16. She has also founded a gym, FLAG Boxing - Fight Like a Girl, where she trains women in self-defense and other forms of boxing and martial arts.
8- Nasreen Issa
Issa is a lawyer from Riyadh, and in addition to her pro-bono work supporting women in need of legal advice, she created an app called, “Know Your Rights”, which helps educate Saudi women on the law in case they are facing legal trouble. The app has an exhaustive guide that tackles the prevalent problems met by Saudi women in the justice system.
9- Amna Al-Yamani
Setting up a plan to start a bakery café in Jeddah, Chef Amna does not only want to create delicious treats, but empowering other women to reach their full potential is inlcuded in her plans as well.
This Saudi chef holds a BA in Hospitality Management and Marketing from the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland and a basic patisserie certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She also holds a MBA degree from IESE and experience in a bread factory in Paris. With all her extensive knowledge and practice, Amna's plan is up-and-coming and ready to be in full action by September.
10- Dhoha Abdullah
This woman is dubbed as the first Saudi female chef in the kingdom to head a hotel restaurant. Chef Dhoha is the lead orchestrator at Al-Majles, Andalusia Hotel’s Saudi Arabian cuisine restaurant.
Having gained her educational knowledge in cooking schools in Lebanon and India, she came back home to take the kingdom’s culinary scene by storm. The Saudi chef is known for adding her own touch to multiple international cuisines, including Syrian, Indian, French and Italian.
11- Khalida Al-Sulaiman
Chef Khalida is a pastry chef and the founder of Fatafeet Bake House, a popular online bakery in the kingdom. She started her journey by attending Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie and baking program. The baker then amplified her knowledge of the industry by working in different places including Jeddah, Boston, and Laguna Beach.
Now she heads Fatafeet, which is known to offer light, delicious, and healthy treats. Chef Khalida never compromises taste or quality, as she known to never use additives or food coloring.
12- Hadeel Ayoub
Ayoub is the creator of BrightSign, a smart glove that transforms sign language to sound. This creation has a whopping 97% accuracy and has already raised USD 1 million due to its brilliant idea of enabling speech-impaired or disabled people to have normal day-to-day communications.
13- Al-Maha Al-Dossary
Known as The Bedouin Vegan on social media platforms, Al-Dossary is known for combining her veganism with her Saudi Arabian identity. After finishing her studies in the kingdom, she tried applying to several jobs but to no avail. Not known to be a quitter, Al-Maha traveled to London to attend Le Cordon Bleu in order to strengthen her culinary knowledge, and that she did.
She returned to the kingdom with a prestigious degree under her belt and the ambition to take over the world. Chef Al-Maha is currently working as a chef in the kingdom and promotes her vegan lifestyle while making tantalizing dishes to back up her claims including vegan tiramisu and vegan roast “beef”.
14- Basma El-Khereiji
Coming from a background in business, Chef Basma’s ventures are all about turning passion into a real-life project. She started out with a marketing career, and soon took a leap of faith into her true life’s calling: the culinary arts.
Specialized in making healthy and wholesome food, the Saudi cook founded The Social Kitchen as part of The Social Collective. She shares her delicious and homemade cooking recipes modeled after her own life and experiences as a mother.
15- Badriyah al-Bishr
Al-Bishr is multi-award winning author who started writing at a young age, and continues her passion to this day forward. Her novel was surprisingly approved for publication in Saudi Arabia, but has received local acclaim from both critics and fans. Some of her most famous books include Love Stories on al-Asha Street (2013) - which was long-listed for the Arab Booker Prize in 2014. She currently writes for the newspaper Al-Hayat Saudi Arabia, under a column entitled Rima.
16- Khulood Olaqi
This culinary creative is responsible for opening the first Japanese sushi restaurant in Riyadh, which is headed exclusively by an all-Saudi Arabian team. The chef and restaurant-owner’s cooking journey started from an online blog, and with perseverance and passion, she turned her online videos into a real-life dining experience for everyone in the kingdom to enjoy.
Chef Khulood has received her education in making the Japanese delicacy from the Tokyo Academy in Singapore, making her the first Saudi chef specialized in sushi.
17- Dr. Huda Al Mansour
Other than being responsible for establishing the Kingdom’s premarital law, Dr. Al Mansour has 10 international patents under her name. Her contribution are as follows: a screw to fix long bones, photo laser syringes, an electromagnetic device to treat chronic and incurable diseases, and food supplements that treat senility-associated diseases.
18- Budoor Al-Solami
Budoor Al-Solami is a Saudi star chef who works at a five-star hotel, but that is not the sole reason she has captured fans’ hearts all over the world. She runs a very popular YouTube channel with her husband, who is also an executive chef at a Saudi restaurant.
The Segment is called Saawidha, which translates to “Make it Saudi”. They make well-known international dishes with a Saudi Arabian twist. Her bubbly nature and her delectable dishes are what make Chef Budoor a fan favorite!
19- Wed Saleh
Learning the trade at a young age from her mother, Chef Wed knew where her ambition and drive was heading. She started watching TV cooking programs, reading books, and following culinary websites.
Her favorites cuisines are Khaleeji, Asian, and Italian, and she manages to include twists from each of them in her own food. She made it on popular TV show, Top Chef, and is amongst the favorites of the team. One of Chef Wed’s goals is to become an inspiration for Saudi Arabian youth who are ashamed to be working in hotels or restaurants.
20- Asma Abdulhadi Tabaaji
Chef Asma reached a prodigious moment in her career when she headed the biggest Iftar feast in the Middle East at the Ramadan Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition center.
Her career started with catering services from her own home to working in hotels and restaurants. Today, she is the head chef of Premier Catering, a renowned catering company in Saudi Arabia.
21- Najla Al Radadi
This Saudi scientist has 2 patents in the field of oncology treatment. Her invention is a nanoparticle derived from Saudi date extract, and it contributes to the treatment of cancer cells.
22- Adwa Aldakheel
Determined since the age of 14, Adwa Aldakheel dreamt about financial independence and would keep a watchful eyes on stocks and shares on Bloomberg and CNBC, as she believed that trading was a lucrative thing to do. Now, at the age of 27, Adwa is looking onwards and upwards with her creation of the Falak Business Hub. Not only is Adwa Aldakheel an entrepreneur and finance trader, she became a qualified pilot to combat her fear of heights, and she is a squash champion, published poet and guitarist. Where does she find all the time?
23- Jumana Shaheen
Passionate about the movie industry, Jumana Shaheen has come leaps and bounds as a Visual Effects Producer. With people underestimating her due to her age, she defied the opinions of others and focused on her passions. After proving herself, she went on to produce visual effects for high profile TV shows and music videos, including Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” video, comedy shows Black-ish and Modern Family. Jumana doesn’t stop there when it comes to being a positive representative of Saudi women, she wants to break the negative perception that the world has about Saudi women.
24- Maram Butairi
You might know her for her sports career, but Butairi also has a corporate side. She worked in many financial roles in Saudi Aramco, but is currently a financial analyst. Butairi works for the treasury department in the corporate finance section at the company’s global headquarters in Dhahran. She previously worked as a financial analyst at the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al Khobar.
25- Reem Al Aboud
Inspired by her father’s passion for motorsports and his career as a racer, Reem Al Aboud became the first Saudi female racer to test drive the Formula E car, at the age of just 19. With a strong belief in herself, and not seeing motorsports as a man’s world, Al Aboud stresses the importance of hard work and determination, “(Saudi) Women are remarkably proving themselves and excelling in various fields. Now is our time to prove ourselves as much as we can. Since Saudi women have the full support from our country, there are no excuses now.”
26- Dr. Khawla Al-Kuraya
With the ambition to represent Saudi Arabia in eradicating cancer and finding a cure, Dr. Khawla Al Kuraya, who is a professor of pathology and director at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, finds her joy in relieving her patients of suffering and inspiring others. The female Saudi doctor in 2010, became the first woman to receive the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud – which is an order of merit for Saudi citizens. Her other mission is to lead Saudi women and empower them to become leaders themselves to aid the development of women under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan.
27- Lina Al Maeena
Lina Al Maeena is the founder of Jeddah United Basketball Club and the Jeddah United Sports Company, she also writes for espn.com. She was named one of the "200 Most Powerful Arab Women" by Forbes.
28- Adwa Al Arifi
Adwa Al Arifi is the first female committee member of the Saudi Football Federation, and is the founder of KSA’s first women's football team in Riyadh, Al Yamamah. She is a member of the Social Responsibility Committee, a consultant in the General Authority for Sport, and a member of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports.
29- Dr. Mariam Binladen
To raise awareness about Syria’s refugee crisis, Dr. Mariam Bin Laden became the only woman in history to swim the entire length of London’s River Thames, which is around 177km long. The images of the Syrian crisis saddened yet motivated her to swim across the English Channel. Dentist, Athlete, and Humanitarian, Dr. Mariam is glad to see that life in Saudi Arabia is changing for Saudi women for the better, the dentist advocates a number of humanitarian causes, including opening the first dental practice at a hospital site in Jordan’s Al Azraq Refugee Camp in 2016 – which is also free of charge for patients.
30- Dr. Majdah Mohammed Ahmed Aburas
Practicing a rare science, Dr. Majdah, associate professor at King Abdulaziz University Jeddahand co-founder & chairwoman of the Saudi Environmental Society, is an expert in her field of environmental biotechnology. Wanting to educate Saudi people about environmental damage, she founded the Saudi Environmental Society and speaking about the responsibility of Saudi citizens towards the cause.
31- Alaa Bahri
She is the first Saudi and Arab woman to specialize in the construction of ocular prosthetics for people who may have lost one of their eyes. What she enjoys most about her career is the fact that there is a creative side to it. In Saudi Arabia, this profession of an ocularist is not recognized as a licensed profession but Bahri has hope that soon it will be.
32- Rania Mahmoud Nashar
Rania Mahmoud Nashar is now the chief executive of Samba Financial Group. With 20 years of banking experience under her belt, she had been in several executive roles within the financial group, working her way up. Nashar is also a board member for Samba Bank Limited in Pakistan and Samba Global Markets Limited Company.
33- Lubna Olayan
Lubna Olayan is the CEO of Olayan Financing Co. and one of the most famous Saudi women in business and finance. She holds and manages all of Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group's businesses and investments across the Middle East.
Olayan also serves as a board member of several other companies such as Saudi Hollandi Bank, Rolls Royce Group, and Schlumberger. She studied in America and holds an MBA from Indiana University and a B.Sc. in Agriculture from Cornell University. Olayan was also named one of Forbes’ most powerful Arab women in the world.
34- Sarah Al-Suhaimi
Sarah Al-Suhaimi is the first Saudi Arabian woman to be elected chairperson of the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul. She is the CEO of NCB Capital, and is the first woman to assume this position since Tadawul’s establishment in 2007. A Harvard University alumnus, Al-Suhaimi was chief investment officer at Jadwa Investment and a senior portfolio manager at Samba Financial Group, before joining NCB Capital.
35- Rawan Al Bateeri
Al Bateeri participated in the World Economic Forum in 2016 as the youngest Saudi woman at the global event. She is one of the brightest and most prominent names in Finance at Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil company in the world, and is also one of the nominees for the Global Shapers Award, which is given to those who have made monumental achievements before reaching the age of 30. For her bachelor’s in Financial resources, which she studied in the US, Al Bateeri was awarded a scholarship by the Two Holy Mosques Overseas Scholarship Program.
36- Latifa Al-Sabhan
Latifa Al-Sabhan was appointed as the chief financial officer of Arab National Bank, which is one of the top 10 largest banks in the Middle East, with its largest shareholder being Amman-based Arab Bank.
37- Dr. Afnan Al-Shuaiby
Dr. Afnan Al-Shuaiby is a Saudi national who is Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) in London since 2007 and is the first Saudi woman to ever assume this position.
38- Dr. Nashwa Taher
Dr. Nashwa Taher is a Saudi businesswoman and a member of the board of directors of Al Taher Commercial Group. She is the first woman to head a commercial forum in Saudi Arabia.
39- Maha Al-Sadoon
Al-Sadoon is the Saudi woman responsible for the Counter Weight Hydraulic Piston. Her creation is basically a mechanical unit that is used to pump liquids and gases at a user-set pressure rate with zero, or very limited, energy consumption.
40- Dr. Nahed Taher
She received her doctorate in 2001 from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom in the area of "Monetary and Banking Economics, Macroeconomics, Standard Economics and Statistics, and International Economics." She worked as a lecturer at King Abdulaziz University.
It was not long before she joined NCB as an economic consultant in the senior management, and was the first woman to work in the bank's head office. She has also served as CEO and Board Member of GulfOne Bank in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Kuwait, an investment bank.
41- Enji Al Ghazzawi
Enji Al Ghazzawi is the first Saudi woman to serve as Executive Vice President of Operations at Riyadh Bank, and was chosen among the list of the most influential women in the Middle East in 2018.
42- Norah Almarri
Norah Almarri is the frst female Taekwando athlete to represent the kingdom in Taikwando in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. She has also competed in several international competitions.
43- Reem Asaad
Reem Asaad was ranked the third most powerful Arab woman in 2012 by Arabian Business Magazine. Asaad is a Saudi academic who specialized in Investment Finance at Northeastern University in Boston where she earned her MBA.
44- Ulfat Kabani
Ulfat Kabani is the vice president of the industrial committee in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and is also a member of the higher committee for productive families in the Makkah region.
45- Dr. Nouf Al Ghamdi
Dr. Ghamdi is a consultant on economic development and strategic planning, and an advisor on women's empowerment and gender balance. She founded Chief Outsiders Consulting, a consulting and developmental company, over a decade ago. Her company has representative offices all over the world.