The Top 20 CIOs in Dubai and What We Can Learn From Them

Dubai, a global hub for innovation and technology, is home to a dynamic group of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who are driving digital transformation across industries. These visionary leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape of the city and beyond.

In this article, we’ll explore the journeys of the top 20 CIOs from Dubai, highlighting their achievements and the valuable lessons we can learn from their experiences.

1. Younus Al Nasser – Director General, Smart Dubai

Younus Al Nasser has been instrumental in spearheading Dubai’s smart city initiatives. His emphasis on collaboration, data-driven decision-making, and citizen-centric solutions serves as a reminder that successful digital transformation requires the collective effort of stakeholders.

2. Mohammed Al Zarouni – Director of Information Services Department, Dubai Electronic Security Center

Mohammed Al Zarouni’s focus on cybersecurity highlights the critical importance of safeguarding digital assets in an increasingly interconnected world. His commitment to building a robust cybersecurity ecosystem sets an example for organizations to prioritize security in their digital endeavors.

3. Wesam Lootah – CEO, Smart Dubai Government Establishment

Wesam Lootah’s leadership emphasizes the adoption of emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence to enhance government services. His approach underscores the need for continuous innovation and staying ahead of technological trends.

4. Aisha Bin Bishr – Director General, Smart Dubai Office

Aisha Bin Bishr’s dedication to promoting a culture of innovation is a testament to the role of leadership in fostering a transformative mindset. Her advocacy for open data and collaboration encourages organizations to embrace a culture of transparency and innovation.

5. Abdulla Qassem – Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD

Abdulla Qassem’s role in the transformation of Emirates NBD’s digital banking services underscores the importance of customer-centric digital solutions. His approach highlights the value of understanding customer needs and preferences in the digital age.

6. Asif Ansari – CIO, Al-Futtaim Group

Asif Ansari’s diverse experience in various industries showcases the adaptability required of modern CIOs. His journey emphasizes the need for CIOs to understand business operations deeply to drive effective digital transformation.

7. Shibu Vahid – CIO, Emirates Flight Catering

Shibu Vahid’s successful implementation of automation and data analytics in the aviation industry demonstrates the potential for digital innovation to optimize operations and enhance customer experiences.

8. Mohammed El Saadi – CIO, Dubai Airports

Mohammed El Saadi’s focus on leveraging technology to enhance the passenger journey exemplifies the importance of using data and technology to improve customer satisfaction and streamline processes.

9. Ali Al Hammadi – CIO, Dubai Municipality

Ali Al Hammadi’s leadership in implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy underscores the value of sustainability and efficiency in digital transformation. His commitment to reducing paper usage while enhancing services is an inspiration to other government entities.

10. Mohammed Bin Sulaiman – CIO, RTA

Mohammed Bin Sulaiman’s role in transforming the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority’s services through technology highlights the significance of embracing digital innovation to enhance urban mobility and transportation systems.

11. Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bishr – Director General, Smart Dubai

Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bishr’s dedication to creating a data-driven and technology-enabled city emphasizes the importance of strategic planning and the integration of digital solutions to improve quality of life.

12. Ahmad Al Mulla – CIO, Dubai Holding

Ahmad Al Mulla’s leadership in driving digital transformation across diverse sectors within Dubai Holding demonstrates the role of innovation and technology in shaping the success of conglomerates.

13. Fatma Lootah – CIO, Emaar Properties

Fatma Lootah’s focus on technology-enabled customer experiences in real estate underscores the need for industry-specific digital solutions that cater to evolving consumer expectations.

14. Saeed Belhoul – Director of eGovernment Operations, Dubai Electronic Security Center

Saeed Belhoul’s emphasis on enhancing digital government services and promoting cybersecurity awareness highlights the role of strategic leadership in building a digitally resilient ecosystem.

15. Osama Al Hashmi – CIO, Dubai Health Authority

Osama Al Hashmi’s efforts to transform healthcare services through digital solutions emphasize the potential for technology to enhance patient care, medical records management, and operational efficiency.

16. Mohsen Ahmad – CIO, DP World

Mohsen Ahmad’s role in the digital transformation of DP World emphasizes the importance of data-driven insights and analytics in optimizing supply chain and logistics operations.

17. Hessa Al Suwaidi – CIO, Dubai Customs

Hessa Al Suwaidi’s focus on innovation in customs and trade services highlights the importance of embracing technological advancements to improve regulatory processes and enhance international trade.

18. Adnan Al Bahar – CIO, Majid Al Futtaim Holding

Adnan Al Bahar’s emphasis on customer-centric digital experiences within the retail and leisure industry demonstrates the value of technology in understanding consumer behavior and preferences.

19. Mohammed Al Askar – CIO, Al Tayer Group

Mohammed Al Askar’s leadership in digital transformation within the retail and automotive sectors underscores the need for agility and adaptation to evolving market trends.

20. Jamal Abdullah Lootah – CEO, Imdaad Group

Jamal Abdullah Lootah’s commitment to sustainable technology solutions in facilities management exemplifies the significance of incorporating technology to drive efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Lessons Learned

The journeys of these 20 CIOs offer valuable insights for leaders navigating the complex landscape of digital transformation:

  1. Innovation as a Mindset: Successful digital transformation requires cultivating a culture of innovation, where employees are encouraged to embrace change and experiment with emerging technologies.
  2. Customer-Centricity: Prioritize customer needs and experiences in digital initiatives, aligning technological advancements with enhancing customer satisfaction.
  3. Strategic Collaboration: Collaboration across sectors and industries is crucial for shared knowledge, resources, and a holistic approach to digital transformation.
  4. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Leveraging data analytics and insights can inform strategic decisions and enhance the effectiveness of digital initiatives.
  5. Agility and Adaptation: Rapid technological advancements demand flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and consumer preferences.
  6. Cybersecurity Readiness: Prioritize cybersecurity as an integral part of any digital transformation strategy to protect sensitive data and maintain trust.
  7. Leadership in Sustainability: Incorporate sustainable practices into digital initiatives, contributing to environmental responsibility while enhancing efficiency.
  8. Industry-Specific Solutions: Tailor digital transformation efforts to address unique challenges and opportunities within specific industries.


The top 20 CIOs from Dubai stand as beacons of innovation, leadership, and resilience in the face of rapid technological change. Their experiences and achievements offer valuable lessons for organizations embarking on their own digital transformation journeys.

By embracing innovation, prioritizing customer needs, and fostering collaboration, organizations can navigate the complexities of the digital age and drive meaningful change in their industries.

As Dubai continues to lead in technological innovation, these CIOs serve as inspiration for both local and global leaders seeking to transform their organizations and industries through technology.

Dubai is a global hub for business and technology, and the city’s CIOs are some of the best in the world. These leaders are responsible for driving innovation and digital transformation in their organizations, and they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

Here are the top 20 CIOs in Dubai, along with some of the things we can learn from them:

  1. Shomon A. Zaman, Chief Information and Chief Digital Officer at Ali & Sons
    • Zaman is a visionary leader who is transforming Ali & Sons into a digital-first company. He is a strong advocate for data-driven decision-making and has implemented a number of successful digital initiatives, including a cloud migration and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
    • What we can learn from Zaman: The importance of data-driven decision-making, the need to embrace digital transformation, and the importance of having a strong vision for the future.
  2. Jason E. Roos, CIO, KAUST University
    • Roos is a strategic thinker who is helping to shape the future of KAUST University. He is leading the university’s digital transformation efforts and is focused on using technology to improve student success, research, and operations.
    • What we can learn from Roos: The importance of using technology to improve student success, the need to be a strategic thinker, and the importance of being a change agent.
  3. Mario Foster, CIO, Al Naboodah Group
    • Foster is a results-oriented leader who is driving innovation at Al Naboodah Group. He is focused on using technology to improve efficiency, productivity, and safety.
    • What we can learn from Foster: The importance of driving innovation, the need to focus on results, and the importance of being a strong leader.
  4. Veneet Purushotaman, Group CIO, Aster DM Healthcare LLC
    • Purushotaman is a thought leader who is helping to shape the future of healthcare. He is focused on using technology to improve patient care, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency.
    • What we can learn from Purushotaman: The importance of using technology to improve patient care, the need to be a thought leader, and the importance of being a strategic partner.
  5. Anthony Lynsdale, VP Information Technology, Atlantis Dubai
    • Lynsdale is a customer-focused leader who is helping to create a seamless guest experience at Atlantis Dubai. He is focused on using technology to improve guest service, operations, and security.
    • What we can learn from Lynsdale: The importance of being customer-focused, the need to use technology to improve the guest experience, and the importance of being a team player.

These are just a few of the many talented CIOs in Dubai. These leaders are paving the way for the future of technology in the city, and they have a lot to teach us. If you are interested in a career in IT, these are the people you should be following.

In addition to the CIOs mentioned above, here are some other things we can learn from the top CIOs in Dubai:

  • The importance of having a strong understanding of the business. CIOs need to be able to translate business needs into technical solutions.
  • The need to be a strategic thinker. CIOs need to be able to see the big picture and plan for the future.
  • The importance of being a change agent. CIOs need to be able to drive change and innovation within their organizations.
  • The need to be a strong leader. CIOs need to be able to motivate and inspire their teams.
  • The importance of being a lifelong learner. The technology landscape is constantly changing, so CIOs need to be constantly learning and adapting.

If you want to be a successful CIO, you should strive to embody these qualities. By doing so, you can make a significant impact on your organization and the future of technology.

The qualities of a good CIO are:

  • Business acumen: A good CIO understands the business and how technology can be used to improve it. They can translate business needs into technical solutions and communicate the value of IT to the business.
  • Strategic thinking: A good CIO has a vision for the future and can develop and implement plans to achieve that vision. They are able to see the big picture and think strategically about how technology can be used to help the organization achieve its goals.
  • Leadership: A good CIO is a strong leader who can motivate and inspire their team. They are able to build trust and rapport with their team members and create a positive work environment.
  • Technical expertise: A good CIO has a deep understanding of technology and how it works. They are able to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies and make informed decisions about how to use them.
  • Communication skills: A good CIO is an effective communicator who can clearly articulate their ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences. They are able to build relationships with stakeholders and get buy-in for their projects.
  • Problem-solving skills: A good CIO is able to identify and solve problems effectively. They are able to think critically and creatively and come up with innovative solutions.
  • Adaptability: A good CIO is adaptable and able to change with the times. They are able to embrace new technologies and ways of working.
  • Resilience: A good CIO is resilient and able to bounce back from setbacks. They are able to stay calm under pressure and keep their team motivated.

These are just some of the qualities of a good CIO. The specific qualities that are most important will vary depending on the organization and the industry. However, all good CIOs share the common goal of using technology to help their organizations succeed.


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