Former lab technologist Salma Hareb spent years studying for diplomas in information technology and business while also holding down a job at Dubai’s Department of Health before she decided on a change of career.
In 1997 she started working as a planner for Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), the operator of one of Dubai’s busiest free zones. Hareb quickly moved up the ranks and in 2005 was appointed the CEO of JAFZA and its parent company Economic Zones World (EZW). The new title saw her become the first female in the Middle East and North Africa to be appointed head of an economic free zone.
Under Hareb’s leadership both JAFZA and EWZ (which also operates Dubai-based TechnoPark and Dubai Auto Zone) have continued to grow significantly. In recent years EZW has established free zones around the world including hubs in Djibouti, Shanghai, India and a 1,322 acre site in Southern Carolina. Hareb was also responsible for EZW’s takeover of the British logistics and warehouse builder Gazeley in July 2008.
Hareb is a graduate of the UAE’s Al Ain University and undertook post-graduate work in medical laboratory sciences at Cardiff University in the UK.title