Fortune 500 Arabia companies took part in the Fortune Global Forum, held in Abu Dhabi from November 27 to 29, showcasing business dynamism in the MENA region.
The forum saw the participation of several Fortune 500 Arabia CEOs, including CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban, CEO of UAE’s Crescent Petroleum Majid Jafar, CEO of Kuwait’s Agility Public Warehousing Tarek Sultan, CEO of UAE-based G42 Peng Xiao and CEO of e& International Mikhail Gerchuk.
Fortune Arabia’s special collector's edition featuring the Fortune 500 Arabia list which ranks the top 500 companies in the region based on annual revenue, was distributed at the forum.
Speaking at a session titled, ‘A New Era for Business’,” Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, an Emirati aluminum producer and a Fortune 500 Arabia company, addressed the crucial role of aluminum in sustainable development and the company's commitment to green investments.
He also announced EGA's plans to construct a 170,000-ton recyclable secondary aluminum smelter in the UAE, aiming to facilitate access to green aluminum and meet customer demands. “We are also looking for more investment globally, because this will give us easy access to, let's say, green aluminum. And this is what our customer is demanding.”
CEO of e& International Mikhail Gerchuk, meanwhile, highlighted the exponential growth in demand for connectivity, while emphasizing the importance of data generated by telecommunications services.
He said that artificial intelligence is the next driver of business progress and potentially the next technological revolution. "In order to enable development of artificial intelligence, you need connectivity, and you need a lot of data that telecommunications companies provide,” he said.
Fortune Arabia also participated in a thought-provoking panel session titled ‘MENA's Startup Ecosystem: Navigating the Landscape’, moderated by Editor-in-chief of Fortune Arabia, Hamoud Almahmoud. The session featured insightful discussions with co-founder and CEO of Egypt’s MNT-Halan Mounir Nakhla and co-founder and CEO of UAE’s Careem Mudassir Sheikha.
During the discussion, Nakhla and Sheikha debated the merits of super apps and their potential to revolutionize the digital landscape in the region.
Sheikha argued that super apps offer enhanced security and convenience for users. "In the absence of a single strong platform, you are actually putting your credentials in many different places, and you are just exposing yourself a lot more to identity theft and other thefts," he said.
Super apps provide a centralized platform where users can access a wide range of services, reducing the risk of data exposure. “Super apps will end up becoming the primary ways that people will consume digital services,” Sheikha said.
Nakhla, meanwhile, emphasized the convenience aspect of super apps. “I think once there is a destination of choice, and it is providing some services to you and they are providing good services, then it is very natural to go and add another service, and a third service, and you just keep on consuming.