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It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the website of Hawkamah. Since 2006, we have been working with government, companies, regulators, and financial institutions in the region to improve the level of governance understanding and application. Because of our commitment and high professional and ethical standards, we are proud to say that Hawkamah has been a key player affecting governance practices in the region. We nonetheless know that there is still a lot to be done, and because we were established by the region, in the region and for the region, we are up to it. For we believe that only through good governance, societies can achieve prosperity and sustainable development.

We call upon everyone who believes in the value of governance, to be a change agent in their organizations, small or large, public or private, family owned or state owned. Only then, the pace of reform will match what we all hope for.



H. E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi ( Vice-Chairwoman )

H. E Maryam Al Suwaidi is Deputy CEO at the Securities & Commodities Authority for Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement, a holder of a Licence (Sharia and Law) "Honor", a Master Degree in Commercial Law from the University of Wales (U.K), a registered Lawyer (Non-Practicing List) at the UAE Ministry of Justice, and a graduate of the UAE Government Leaders Program - Executive Leaders organized by the Prime Minister Office/ the Federal Authority For Government Human Resources (FAHR) 2010-2011. She is working at the Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA) since 2002, and currently occupies till date the position of deputy CEO for Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement. She has held several positions in SCA where she worked as the Manager of Legal Affairs and Acting Legal Advisor, the Director of Issuance and Disclosure, then the Deputy CEO for Legal Affairs, Issuance & Research 2008/2010, and previously she had worked at the Ministry of Education and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Al Suwaidi is a member in various entities, associations and committees; the Insurance Authority Boards in the current term 2012-2015, Women Corporate Directors (WCD) in the United States of America, the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee. In the domain of SCA, H.E is a member of SCA "Registry & Licensing Committee; Head of the Technical Committee in SCA that overlooks on all laws, regulations, and technical matters that related to the financial sector and companies working in the financial services; Head Team of Services Development of the Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement Sector; Head of SCA Female Group; Head Team of Oversight and Supervision on Financial Markets of the GCC Countries - Secretariat General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. She was a lecturer at the Institute of Training & Judicial Studies -- Abu Dhabi in 2003, and she has also participated in many events as a featured a lecturer, a keynote speaker, and a moderator: Arab Women Leadership Forum 'Board Leadership & the Case for Diversity' organized by Dubai Women Establishment, the Commodities Week Middle East, The SMARTS 7th Surveillance conference, held by SMARTS /NASDAQ, in New York-USA -Investment Regulations among National Regulations and International Agreements and its impact on the Economic Development of the UAE" Conference organized by the Law & Sharia College - UAE University, Draft of Federal Arbitration Law" Conference organized by the International Islamic Centre for Conciliation & Arbitration in coordination with the Institute of Training & Judicial Studies and Dubai International Arbitration Centre and Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre; "ADX Hermes listed company event" organized by Abu Dhabi Securities Market in coordination with Hermes Equity Ownership Services (UK); Training Workshop "Corporate Governance and the Role of Journalists" organized by Abu Dhabi Center for Corporate Governance; "The 2nd Annual Corporate Governance Congress"; "The 1st & 2nd Annual GCC Regulators' Summit in Qatar and Bahrain; the GCC IPO Summit - UAE Focus Day", Bloomberg channel in London; The Institute of Advanced Legal and Judicial Studies training course on "Legal Protection for Trading in Shares in UAE Financial Markets" The Annual Disclosure Conference; The Dubai Police Conference on the "Security of Financial Markets" Women and Investment Opportunities in the Financial Markets" organized by Abu Dhabi Women Association; The Institute of Training& Judicial Studies Seminar on 'Securities Markets' and The "Investments and the Stock Market" Lecture Series at Zayed University (Abu Dhabi). HE Al Suwaidi was granted Sheikh Rashid Awards for Academic Excellence for the Licence degree and the Master degree, two appraisal letters from the Minister of Economy & Planning and the Minister of Finance & Industry for the distinguished efforts in the Second and fourth Rounds of negotiation of free trade agreement between the UAE and the United States that were held in Washington 2005 and in London 2006; and also was granted an appraisal and appreciation certificate for the effective participation and distinguished efforts in the rewarding of the Legal Affairs, Issuance & Research Sector of SCA the ISO BS EN ISO 9001:2008 in 2009.

Dr. Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh ( Chairman )

A natural leader with excellent oratory skills and organizational capabilities, Dr. Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh ventured out to organize trade associations in printing and food processing industries. His hard work, determination and commitment to excellence led him to more responsibilities in government and private sectors.

Today he is actively involved with decision making bodies such as  Chairman, DUCAB (Dubai Cable); Board Member, DUCAB HV; Board Member, General Pension and Social Security Authority; Board Member, DAC; and Advisory Board, Member School of Business at the American University of Dubai.

His previous roles at private and public organizations include Vice Chairman, Emirates Islamic Bank; Board Member, Dubai Export Development Corporation; Chairman, Printing & Publishing Group, and Chairman, Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI); Chairman CBA Advisory Council at Dubai University; Member of Dubai Municipal Council, Chairing Rental Dispute Hearings; and Member of Dubai Economic Council.

Dr. Ahmad bin Hassan Al Shaikh is responsible for his family business. Appointed as the Assistant Manager of Modern Printing Press, Abu Dhabi, in 1984, he rose to Managing Director within two years, heading and diversifying his family business in printing, manufacturing and real estate such as Modern Printing Press, Hassan Bin Al Shaikh Food Industries, Hassan Bin Al Shaikh Paper Converting Industries and real estate developments including Souq Al Wasl, Dubai Shopping Center.

An avid reader and academician, Dr. Ahmad expresses his views on social issues and business matters in local newspapers and on social media.


H.E.Sheikh Hussein A. Al-Banawi ( Board Member )

Sheikh Hussein A. Al-Banawi is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Industrial Group, which was founded in 1957 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Today, The Industrial Group Continues to pioneer in Specialty Chemicals, Packaging and Food Flavors providing high-end application and performance driven products and system solutions in the business-to-business sectors in the Broader Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. Sheikh Al-Banawi is a member of the Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the World Waqf Foundation of the Islamic Development Bank; also, he is a founding member of The John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at The American University in Cairo; the Founder of the Chair in Islamic Economics, Finance and Management at Rice University; served as a founding member of the Council of Overseers of the Jones School of Management at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He also serves on the board of directors of a number of charitable organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and shares his business experience with other corporate leaders, both within and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through personal interactions and group forums. Sheikh Al-Banawi did his early undergraduate studies at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland; holds a Bachelor's Degree with a dual major in Business Administration and Political Science and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Rollins College in Winterpark, Florida. Moreover, Sheikh Hussein is the author of a recently published book titled "The Unknown Leader."

Alya Al Zarouni ( Board Member )

In her role as Executive Vice President of Operations at Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, Alya Al Zarouni oversees a number of internal functions, including Information Technology, Procurement, Administration, Corporate Development, Government Relations, Government and Registry Services. Her prime objective is to ensure DIFC Authority’s internal operations are well aligned to support the delivery of the 2024 Strategy and objectives.

Prior to this role, Ms. Al Zarouni held the position of Senior Vice President – Operations at DIFC Authority, and before that was Senior Vice President - Government & Registry Services for five years. In this capacity, she was responsible for driving the strategic direction across the organisations Government Services, Registrar of Companies and Registrar of Properties offices.

Before this, Ms. Al Zarouni worked with the Programme Management Office at DIFC Authority, where she rose from Assistant Manager to Director of Government Services Office. During her tenure, she partly managed and assisted project managers in handling a number of complex projects in the Centre.

Ms. Al Zarouni earned both her BSc in Computer Science and MBA from the American University of Sharjah. She is a PMI Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), an LRQA certified ISO 9000:2000 Series Auditor/ Lead, and an LRQA Certified Internal QMS Auditor. Ms. Al Zarouni has also successfully completed the Young Leaders Program from the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development.

Philip Armstrong ( Board Member )

Philip Armstrong is an internationally acknowledged expert on corporate governance. He has worked extensively with governments, regulators and policy makers, institutions and organisations, companies and boards on issues of corporate governance in some 70 countries around the world. His wide depth of experience and expertise covers policies, standards, best practices and their implementation. Philip has extensive knowledge and experience of the inner workings of complex board room situations in both the private and public sectors.

He was closely associated with the earlier King Reports in South Africa, notably as one of the architects of the 2002 edition known as “King II” which brought together a comprehensive package of globally-acclaimed corporate governance best practices and standards calibrated and integrated with stakeholder-focused issues and priorities. Among his involvement in many other internationally significant initiatives, he was an adviser to the Commonwealth Association on Corporate Governance (CACG) and was instrumental in developing the CACG Corporate Governance Principles adopted by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1999.

Philip retired in 2020 as Director: Governance at the Gavi Alliance based in Geneva, Switzerland which is an internationally important multi-stakeholder public-private partnership in the global health sector comprising representation across key players in public health, including but not limited to governments from developed and emerging market countries, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, business sector, etc.  Prior to that he headed the Global Corporate Governance Forum (GCGF), a joint World Bank/OECD initiative, from 2005 through 2012 which led several initiatives around the world seeking to develop the capacity of director and corporate governance institutes and was at the forefront of producing capacity building tools for the training of directors and corporate secretaries supported by a Private Sector Advisory Group made up of prominent business leaders from around the world. With the GCGF being absorbed into the Corporate Governance Group (CGG) of the International Finance Corporation, he took on the role of Senior Adviser from 2012 through 2015.

Philip Armstrong has also served on various governing bodies of professional institutions and policy initiatives in South Africa and internationally, including on the Board of Governors of the International Corporate Governance Network (representing over US$50 trillion in AUM) from 2012 through 2017 and as Board Vice Chair in his final two years on the Board. He is a Chartered Secretary by profession and served as President of The Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa in 2001. He has received numerous accolades and awards from around the world for his work on corporate governance, specifically in emerging markets, and was conferred with an Honorary PhD in Business Administration from the Oxford Brookes University in 2006.

In his earlier career, he has held executive and senior management positions in some of South Africa’s prominent listed companies including as Corporate Secretary of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Limited. Philip continues to be associated with a number of potentially path breaking initiatives associated with good corporate governance, as an adviser, in South Africa and the United States and is an independent non-executive director of Hawkamah – The Institute for Corporate Governance in the United Arab Emirates.


  • I want to thank  Hawkamah team for the rich and useful Board Secretaries workshop. The speakers were amazing and very experienced

    Sandra Corm - Group Company Secretary - Mohamed & Obaid Almulla

  • ‘’There was no doubt that once we communicate with Hawkamah for a workshop, we were sure that we will achieve our goals and get an added value. And thats what happened; we got a lot of positive feedback from participants which confirms the success of the company secretary 2 days workshop which took place in Manama – Bahrain as well as the fruitful feedback on the knowledgeable and insightful trainers and experts. We would be more than happy to have such cooperations in the future since we consider Hawkamah our patterner in success’’

    Faisal Al-Modlij - GM, Corporate Affairs and Governance - Sipchem KSA

  • "We extend our thanks and appreciation to Hawkamah institute for its cooperation and the effectiveness of the Director Development Program"

    Saeed Al Kaabi - Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Controlling Centre(ADMCC)

  • "The Director Development Program was very rich in useful information and added a lot to us, and the trainers’ experience, skills and capabilities had positive impact on delivering the information to us in a direct and clear manner"

    Hamad Al - Tamimi - Osool Asset Management

  • The corporate Governance in all type of entities adds morality and ensures implementation of the best practices to fulfill the responsibilities of those entities and to ensure the rights of all parties involved, especially those who have no authority to participate in the decision-making cycle.

    Hawkamah institute contributed to enrich the knowledge of these responsibilities and the role of governance for the success of institutional work in accordance with principles that establish values and ethics.

    Ajman Municipality

  • '‘Excellent, well delivered, informative program presented by well-seasoned trainers. The training program has helped transform and empower the Board’s vision and focus our minds on the relevant issues at hand. We sincerely thank you for the training sessions which helped broaden our perspective and decision making processes. We strongly recommend this training to elevate directors to the next level".

    Bank of Maldives

  • "I would like to thank Hawkamah for the ESG Reporting training , I found the two days ESG Reporting training very informative and helpful and I have definitely received some tools that I will use in my work"

    Rania Zaatari - Head of Makassed Communal Healthcare Bureau

  • "The DDP provides a solid foundation of corporate governance for existing and aspiring directors."

    David Haglund - Senior Executive Director and Portfolio Manager of the Templeton Frontier and MENA Market strategies

  • “Thank you so much for sharing such insightful webinar. It was great and valuable to all participate”

    Shady Rashed - Senior Economic Researcher at The Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt

  • “Good session and very well organized on the webinar about How to buffer and lessen the impact of the novel Covid – 19, to maintain business sustainability with Hawkamah - AUB / Makhzoumi” 

    Bilal Hamade - Executive Advisor

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