It is not often that we see women in leadership positions, and especially in the Middle East. However, one woman has managed to break the proverbial glass ceiling and moved up the ranks in both her career and as an entrepreneur. Somayeh Noor has established herself as a leading businesswoman in the UAE and a massively successful real estate investor. She is also an investor partner with Multibank. We interviewed her to gain insights into her success, challenges, and achievements in her life as a leading entrepreneur.
Q: Give us a bit of your journey from when you started till now.
Entrepreneurship has always been in my blood. I started making money when I was in high school by doing private teaching five days a week. By the time I turned 20, I had started learning about investing through books, magazines, and newspaper articles. In 2009, I extended my financial expertise to real estate and invested in multifamily residential properties in upscale locations in the UAE. I dealt with the acquisition, management, operation, and sale of the properties. I am currently responsible for leading the firm’s investment strategy and management. I supervise the research team and lead many of our largest investments in sectors like gold, petrol, commodity, and currency. It’s been a fascinating journey, and there’s much to do even now.
Q: It is not common to see successful businesswomen, especially in the Middle East. What challenges have you faced in this regard?
When I entered the family business, it was not socially acceptable for women to work in business. The main challenge I faced initially was people not taking me seriously and not thinking that I was good enough. With time, however, I have proved my excellence in my work. I explored several avenues. From building a successful career to becoming a successful entrepreneur, I followed my dreams and denied the naysayers. My goal is to see more women being decision-makers, controlling resources, and shaping policies. Somayeh added, “Despite the social stigma, I followed my passion, and that’s what I encourage other women to do too.”
Q: What is the proudest accomplishment in your career?
I have had the privilege of experiencing success in all my endeavors. The one thing that brought me the most profound joy was authoring and publishing my book. My book, “Success Vitamins,” talks about key success factors for personal growth and living your best life. Being on the board of several charities known for treating life-threatening illnesses in children and establishing my own foundation to help children and young people thrive is also something I am proud of.
Q: You are known to be very stylish and fashionable and were recently chosen as the most fashionable businesswoman in the UAE! How did that make you feel?
Yes. I believe in always looking my best, irrespective of the task at hand. My style is conservative but graceful. Class and elegance are essential in business, where first impressions matter most. I plan on launching my own fashion line this year, one that will be elegant, minimalistic, and subtle.