Muslim woman have had a hard time. As soon as they began to break through barriers in their religion, terrorist attacks across the globe have shaken them. This has made it even harder for them to gain control of their personal freedoms. But this hasn’t stopped these women rising to fame and fortune to become some of the richest women in the world. Some of these women gained the wealth from family or marriage, others worked their behinds off to break through into the male-dominated workforces. Here are 17 of the richest Muslim women in the world.
Princess Ameera al-Taweel
If this name rings a bell with you it is probably because Princess Ameera is very outspoken about the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. She even wants to be one of the first women to drive on the roads of the country. That’s right, women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Princess Ameera was married (and later divorced) Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a man who is nearly 30 years older than her. She has won awards for her business and humanitarian efforts.
Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar
Sheikha Mozah is the second of three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Unlike many other women of Qatar, she has taken an active interest in the country’s government and policies. One of her favourite things is customizing couture to fit with the modesty rules in Qatar. Natural gas and oil in the area have given Sheikh Hamad a personal fortune of over $7 billion.
Imre Barmanbek has been listed in the top 100 of businesswomen lists several times over the course of her career. Barmanbek runs of the largest multinationals in Turkey, Dogan Holding. This is only one of the high ranking positions that she has held over the last 45 years, including a career in the Ministry of Finance. She received her degree in economics and finance from Ankara University.
Queen Rania Of Jordan
The Royal family of Jordan have not been very open about their wealth but it is believed that they have in excess of $1 billion. Queen Rania has used her status to promote youth empowerment and a positive image of the Arab world. Her wealth and advocacy work has helped to make her one of the most influential Muslim women on the planet.
This woman has been listed in the top 100 of influential women in the world and in the top 30 for most influential Arab women in the world. Sahar has had to battle against the glass ceiling of the male-dominated financial industry and is now one of Egypt’s top financial positions as managing director of Commercial International Bank (CIB).
Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah Of Brunei
This princess comes from one of the richest families in the world, he father even has a Rolls Royce coated in 24-carat gold! When the princess was married in 2012 to Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini, there was over $20 million spent on the ceremony and entertainment for guests.
Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah Of Brunei
This is another daughter of the Sultan of Brunei who is part of one of the richest royal families. The Royal family of Brunei topped the rich list in 1997 and have an estimated $20 billion in personal wealth. In 2007, she married Khairul Khalil and they have two children together.
This Muslim businesswoman has her eyes set on big things. As chairman of Kuwait’s Global Investment House, she has seen it grow to the point that it now handles over $7 billion in assets. She won permission to operate in Qatar and has plans to move her presence into Saudi Arabia. She founded the company in 1998 and took it all the way to the London Stock Exchange.
Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
This princess married King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2001 and they have two children together. The family has an estimated worth of around 2.5 billion and have one of the biggest private fortunes in the world. Although the Princess has kept a low profile compared to other Royal families, she has a bigger public profile than her predecessors and has been involved in cancer funding and HIV/AIDS work in Africa.
This Saudi businesswoman has been listed on the Forbes top 100 lists many times over the years including most powerful women and influential people of 2005. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Olayan Financing Company. Her family fortune is thought to be in excess of $10 billion, putting her in the top richest women in the world. Her company invests in over 40 different companies around the world.
Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
This Sheikha of Dubai is worth over $40 billion and is an Olympic athlete. During the 2006 Asian Games, she was the winner of a silver medal in the karate event. She then competed in the 2008 Olympic games in a taekwondo event. Rich, royal and a contact sport winner, is there anything she doesn’t do?
Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi
This Muslim powerhouse is the Minister for Foreign Trade. But before this she was the Minister of Economics and Planning of the United Arab Emirates. She has the honour of being the first woman to hold a ministerial post in the government. In March 2014 she was appointed as the President of Zayed University. Her main goals have been to clamp down on corruption in the stock markets with tougher rules.
When her husband died in 2002, Chhabria was thrown into the spotlight as the chairman of Jumbo Group. It hasn’t always been plain sailing for Vidya. After the death of her husband, she was forced into an ugly legal battle with her mother-in-law who attempted to lay claim to a large chunk of her son’s fortune. After a few years of battling, the lawsuit was settled and Chhabria kept all that was left to her.
Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Al Thani Of Qatar
This woman does not like to do things by half measure. Sheikha Hanadi was a lecturer assistant in the economics department at Qatar University. She then went on form The Qatar Ladies Investment Company in 2008, which is now called Amwal. She is one of Qatar’s most successful businesswomen and has an estimated worth of over $15 billion.
Princess Fathima Kulsum Zohar Godabari Of Saudi Arabia
Princess Fathima has shied away from the spotlight over the years. But since she became Queen of Saudi Arabia, more pictures of her have appeared in the media and online. She is part of one of the richest royal families on the planet. The large oil reserves in the area have helped to fund this royal family with a fortune of around $20 billion.
Yasmeen Premji is the wife of Indian business tycoon Azim Premji, the chairman of Wipro Limited. Over the years, her husband has been listed on the Forbes rich list plenty of times. Between 1999-2005 he was believed to be the richest man in India. The family’s personal wealth exceeded $180 billion during those years and now it is around $19.5 billion after billions were given away to charity.
Sultanah Nur Zahirah Of Terengganu of Malaysia
Before she was the Queen Consort of Malaysia, she was known as Rozita binti Adil Bakeri, former Girl Guide and student librarian. She married the Sultan in 1996 and became one part of one of the richest royal families. Her family was wealthy before she married, but they have not revealed what her worth is. It has been estimated around $15 billion but it could be much higher.