Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Dr Alzarooni was appointed as the Vice Chairman and CEO of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in 2002 and the Director General of the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) in 2000 and still leads both entities.

In 2015 H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai issued decree No. 23 and 30 regarding the formation of the Dubai Free Zones (DFZ) Council; thus appointing Dr Mohammad Alzarooni as Secretary General of Dubai Free Zone Council.

In 2014 Dr Alzarooni was elected as the chairman of the World Free Zones Organisation, an entity that was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 2013 and headquartered in Dubai. The WFO operate as an association for all free zones around the world, which is set to transform the way in which many economies around the world operate.

In 2006 Dr Alzarooni was appointed as a Director of the Board for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. Additionally, Dr Alzarooni is a member of the Dubai Executive Council's Economic Development Committee.

In 1995 Dr Alzarooni joined the Department of Civil Aviation as the Director of Administration & Research where he was a key figure in establishing the Free Zone Division. Prior to joining the Department of Civil Aviation, Dr. Alzarooni served at the Ministry of Education for 8 years.

Dr Alzarooni holds a doctorate in Economic Geography from Durham University – UK (1994). His doctorate thesis was titled: "The Place of Free Trade Zone in Economic Development". Dr Alzarooni also holds a B.A from Emirates University in Economic Geography. Dr Alzarooni is a lecturer at the UAE University, where he ensures to pass his extensive executive management experience in building free zones that exceed 20 years to the new generation.



Shahla Abdul Razak Bastaki

Shahla Abdul Razak Bastaki
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Shahla Abdul Razak was appointed in June 2006 as the Deputy CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). She has been leading this ambitious Government of Dubai technology park project since its inception. Over the period of 9 years she successfully developed the park from a green field to a technology park with over 2,000 companies and 60,000 residents. Today Silicon Oasis is a Dh 25 billion project created from a start-up and growing fast and profitably.

Recently she has also been responsible for developing several initiatives for the Government of Dubai, one of them is the development of eco-system for technology entrepreneurship and innovation, which resulted in the successful establishment of the largest entrepreneur Centre in the MENA region. Prior to joining DSOA, Shahla was one of the leadership team members who established Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) in 1997. Over the period of 10 years the Free Zone achieved substantial growth and is now considered one of the most reputed Free Zones in the world. DAFZA today contributes 4.4% of Dubai's GDP. During her tenure with DAFZA as the Director of Sales & Marketing she facilitated the establishment of over 1000 companies in the free zone.

Actively involved in the negotiation of the term sheets and contractual agreement for the setup of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a $1 billion investment in Aerospace. In 2006 Shahla led the team to invest and set up a partnership with the University of “Rochester Institute of Technology” (RIT) in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

In 2016 Shahla was ranked among the 100 most influential and powerful businesswomen in the Arab world by Forbes Magazine. In 2015, Shahla received the Arab Woman of the Year award in London, recognizing over 20 years of her work in Business and International Trade. Shahla also won the award from the United Nations for Best Woman Contribution in Regional Business & Trade Development at the 2004 Middle East Women's Achievement Awards and in 2013 she won Emirates Women Award.

Before joining DAFZA in 1997, Shahla held the position of Acting Commercial Attaché at the UAE Embassy in London where she promoted business, and trade between the two countries and supported British investment in the UAE.

Shahla holds a BSc in Business Administration from UAE University, and Masters in Business Administration from Schiller University, United Kingdom.


Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi

Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi
Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Operations & Client Affairs

Dr. Juma joined Dubai silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in December 2006 bringing with him a vast experience in Finance, Commercial Operations, and Licensing amongst others. Prior to joining DSOA, Dr. Juma worked several senior positions in many governmental organizations; these include the head of commercial licensing at the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and the Director of Finance, Commercial Operations, and Licensing at the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA).

Dr. Juma is a representative for the Government of Dubai at general assemblies for publicly listed companies. He has also served as a member of several committees; these include the Trade Mark committee in the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Board of tourism in Dubai Marketing and Tourism development board, the insurance brokerage committee in the UAE Banking institute.

Dr. Juma holds a doctorate from the University of San Francisco – California in General Management and an MBA in Business development Management from the University of North Carolina- USA.


Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri

Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri
Executive Vice President - Engineering and Smart City

Eng. Muammar joined Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in April 2006 as the Director of Planning and Construction Management Department; enriching DSOA with his wide knowledge and experience in Construction and Project Management. In two years time, Eng. Muammar proved to be an important asset for DSOA, where he was appointed as the Chief Planning and Construction Officer.

In 2010, DSOA saw the need to merge Planning & Constructions Department along with Operations & facilities under one leadership. Based on this decision, Eng. Muammar was appointed as Executive VP of Engineering Management. In 2014 Eng. Muammar was appointed as the chairman of the smart city project committee in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Prior to joining DSOA, Eng. Muammar served with major real estate companies in the UAE, amongst Emirates Real Estate Corp. as the Projects and Maintenance Manager, where he worked on major projects including: Ministries complex project AUH, Ministry of Education DXB, Ministry of Public works DXB, Ministry of Labor DXB, UAE Embassy in Germany, UAE Consulate in Munich, UAE Embassy in Australia, and many other prestigious projects. Eng. Muammar also served as a Design Engineer at the Ministry of Public Works in Dubai, and as a project Design Manager at ETISALAT and a partner at a local design Consultancy office.

Eng. Muammar holds a Master of Science in Innovation & Change Management from Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in Dubai, and a Bachelor degree in Architectural Engineering from Al Ain University; United Arab Emirates


William Chappell

William Chappell
Chief Financial Officer

William Chappell was appointed in 2005 as the Chief Financial Officer of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) bringing with him more than 27 years of executive management experience in the fields of finance, and audit. Prior to joining DSOA, William Chappell served as the Chief Financial Officer of Trikon Technologies Inc, in the United Kingdom, a NASDAQ listed supplier of equipment for the semiconductor industry.

William Chappell began his career in 1983 at Price Waterhouse Coopers in various positions in the U.K. until he transferred to the San Jose, California office where he held the position of a Senior Audit Manager for almost 2 years.

In 1993, William Chappell was appointed as Director of Finance at Adac Laboratories a NASDAQ listed medical equipment supplier which was purchased by Philips Medical Division.

From 1995 to 1998 he served as the Chief Financial Officer of a Canadian public company, Tecmar Technologies, a manufacturer and supplier of tape back up solutions for the computer industry.

In 1998, William Chappell returned to Europe and was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Eigner and Partner, a privately owned German company that developed product data management software and was subsequently purchased by Agile Software Corporation.

William Chappell holds a Chemistry degree from the University of Leeds in England – UK (1983), and is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).


Ghanim Al Falasi

Ghanim Al Falasi
Senior Vice President - Corporate Services

Ghanim Al Falasi was appointed in 2011 as the Senior Vice-President of Corporate Services of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). Ghanim brings with him extensive knowledge and know-how in the ICT sector through his previous role as Vice-President of the ICT Unit at Dubai Airports where he provided executive, technological and enterprise administrative leadership employment.

In his new role at DSOA, Al Falasi is mandated to drive strategic planning across the departments of Information Communication Technology, People Management, as well as Logistics.

In his earlier association with the department of Dubai Airports, Ghanim successfully established an ICT directorate for DCA based on a study conducted to identify the infrastructure and services required for the delivery of outstanding performance. Al Falasi also worked for several governmental organizations including the UAE Ministry of Defence, UAE Armed Forces, and the Central Military Command.

Ghanim holds a BS degree in Computer Science from California State University of Hayward, USA.


Badr Buhannad

Badr Buhannad
Executive VP - Corporate Strategy, ICT & Risk Management

Badr Buhannad joined DSOA in 2013 as the Senior Vice President, Audit & Risk Management. In this role he was responsible for establishing an independent and objective Audit & Risk Management Unit that functions based on international auditing standards. He was also responsible for the development and achievement of the Risk Based Internal Audit Plan (RBIA) and the implementation of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) within the organization. He also played a major role in achievement of the organization’s goals by aligning the Audit & Risk Strategy with the organizational goals and also contributing to the strategic decisions in DSOA.

In 2015, Badr was mandated to lead the ICT team in DSOA and due to his exceptional leadership in his existing and new role, Badr was promoted in 2016 to Executive Vice President Corporate Strategy, Information & Communications Technology, and Risk Management.

Buhannad brings with him more than 14 years of industry experience. Following a stint with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority from 2007 - 2010 as Vice-President of Internal Audit, he joined Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) as Chief Audit and Risk Officer.

In his capacity with DIFCA, Buhannad led the creation of an internal audit and risk department at DIFC, based on international auditing standards. In addition to overseeing DIFC's internal audit and enterprise risk management divisions, he also contributed to the delivery of DIFC's strategic imperatives and monitored a risk-based audit plan. He has served as secretary to the Audit Committee of the DIFCA Board of Directors.

During his tenure with DSOA from 2007-2010, Buhannad was seconded to the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) to assist in restructuring the internal audit division and drive team building initiatives. During this period, he worked closely with DAFZA's Director General and the executive team.

Buhannad has earlier worked with Dubai World, as well as the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation as Assistant Manager - Internal Audit.

Badr holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a higher diploma in accounting from the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai - UAE.