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Meet The UAE's Female Banker Turned Entrepreneur

If you’re looking for inspiration to change your current career and pursue what you are truly passionate about, then look to Tahany Taher. An Emirati banker working for a popular multinational bank, Taher is also an entrepreneur and founder of HAYAWIIA, a brand that offers delicious snacks for a healthy lifestyle, bringing some of the UAE's nutritious bites right to your doorstep.

Born in the UAE, Taher actually grew up and studied in Mumbai, India. It was there she pursued her higher education, going on to obtain a master’s degree in accounting and economics at Mumbai University. She then headed to the United States to pursue a master’s in business administration at University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition to having two master’s under her belt, Taher currently holds ICMQ and IIAC certification from London Institute of Banking and Finance as well.

Since 2014, Taher has built a career in the UAE's banking sector, having previously worked for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi as Head of SME, and then Head of Multinationals. Today, she is the vice president of Citi Bank. However, banking isn't Taher's only line of work.

As the world was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taher would soon discover the true impact of a healthy diet and, with her husband Akram Oomer, she decided to launch HAYAWIIA in May 2021. The brand name derives from an Arabic term for health, vitality, and vigor. Through this venture, Taher sources nutritious ingredients from small-scale, female-owned businesses in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. In return, she sells them to buyers in the UAE on, with the goal to offer fresh ingredients for a healthy diet, as well as suitable alternatives for anyone suffering from food allergies. In fact, the products are arranged by category such as snacks, beauty and wellness, vegan and keto, and more.

With overwhelming success, Taher hopes to take HAYAWIIA to new heights. In a recent interview with Arabian Business, she discussed the possibility of taking her brand to other GCC countries, as well as supplying for the F&B industry through vegan or keto restaurants, and catering to companies providing monthly food programs. In addition, HAYAWIIA is getting an app which, at least on Google Play Store, is currently on beta.

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