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Our Leadership

Dr. Mohammed Al ZarooniDr. Mohammed Al Zarooni

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority in 2002 and 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 decrees No. 23 and 30 regarding the formation of the Dubai Free Zones (DFZ) Council and appointed Dr. Al Zarooni as Secretary General of the council.

In 2014 Dr. Al Zarooni was elected as the chairman of the World Free Zones Organisation, an association for free zones around the world that was established a year earlier in Geneva, which is set to transform the way in which many economies around the world operate.

In 2010 Dr. Al Zarooni was appointed as the Director General of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and a member of the Executive Committee of DAE in 2006. Additionally, Dr. Al Zarooni is a member of the Dubai Executive Council's Economic Development Committee.

In 1995 Dr. Al Zarooni 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 eight years.

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

Shahla Abdul Razak BastakiShahla Abdul Razak Bastaki

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Shahla Abdul Razak was appointed in June 2006 as the Deputy CEO of DSOA. She has been leading this ambitious Dubai government technology park project since its inception. Over a period of 13 years, she has successfully developed the park from a green field to a technology park with more than 2,000 companies and 60,000 residents. Today DSO is a Dh 25 billion project created from a start-up and growing fast and profitably.

She has recently also been responsible for developing several initiatives for the Dubai government, one of them is the development of eco-system for technology entrepreneurship and innovation, which resulted in the successful establishment of the largest entrepreneur center in the MENA region.

She has been 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 2016 Shahla was ranked among the 100 most influential and powerful businesswomen in the Arab world by Forbes Magazine.

In 2015, she received the Arab Woman of the Year award in London, recognizing over 20 years of her work in Business and International Trade.

In 2013 she won the Emirates Women Award.

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.

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.

Prior to joining DSOA, Shahla was part of the leadership team that established the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) in 1997. Over the 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 1,000 companies in the free zone.

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 a Masters in Business Administration from Schiller University, UK.

Dr. Juma Al MatrooshiDr. Juma Al Matrooshi

Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Operations & Client Affairs

Dr. Juma joined DSOA in December 2006, bringing with him a vast experience in Finance, Commercial Operations, and Licensing amongst other areas. Prior to joining DSOA, Dr. Juma held several senior governmental positions, including as 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 Dubai government at general assemblies for publicly listed companies. He has also served as a member of several committees, including the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s trademark committee, Dubai Marketing and Tourism’s development board, and the UAE Banking institute’s insurance brokerage committee.

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 KatheeriEng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri

Executive Vice President - Engineering and Smart City

Eng. Muammar joined 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. Two years later, Eng. Muammar was appointed as the Chief Planning and Construction Officer.

In 2010, DSOA merged the Planning & Constructions Department with the Operations & Facilities department under one leadership. Following this, 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 DSO.

Prior to joining DSOA, Eng. Muammar served with major real estate companies in the UAE, he was appointed as the Projects and Maintenance Manager at Emirates Real Estate Corporation, where he worked on major projects including the Ministries Complex project AUH; the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Labor in Dubai; UAE Embassies in Germany and Australia, and the UAE Consulate in Munich, among other prestigious projects. He also served as a Design Engineer at the Ministry of Public Works in Dubai, and as a Project Design Manager at Etisalat in addition to being a partner at a local design consultancy.

Eng. Muammar holds a Masters degree 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, UAE.

William ChappellWilliam Chappell

Chief Financial Officer

William Chappell was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of DSOA in 2005, 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 UK-based Trikon Technologies Inc., 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 two years.

In 1993, William Chappell was appointed as the Director of Finance at Adac Laboratories a NASDAQ listed medical equipment supplier.

From 1995 to 1998 he served as the Chief Financial Officer of a Canadian public company, Tecmar Technologies, a manufacturer and supplier of tape backup 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 the UK (1983) and is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

buhannad.jpgBadr 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 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 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.

Badr 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, Badr 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, Badr 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.

Badr 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.

Ghanim Al FalasiGhanim 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 brought with him extensive knowledge 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, Ghanim drives 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 established an ICT directorate for DCA based on a study conducted to identify the infrastructure and services required for outstanding performance. Ghanim also worked for several governmental organizations, including the UAE Ministry of Defence, UAE Armed Forces, and the Central Military Command.

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



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