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Her Excellency Hala Badri


In April 2019, Her Excellency Hala Badri was appointed as the Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority by a royal decree from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, following more than 20 years upon an impressive path across dynamic business sectors critical to the UAE’s economic development: telecommunications, oil & gas, media and real estate.

A passionate marketer, a technology enthusiast, transforming businesses through innovation and her exemplary managerial qualities, she is able to capably spearhead the achievement of the Authority’s strategic objectives. Prior to joining Dubai Culture, Badri was a senior advisor on strategic communications for ADNOC, the 12th largest oil and gas company in the world. She oversaw the management of strategic communications, while managing several projects that reflected positively on the company’s brand image, value and equity. During her tenure with ADNOC she was also seconded to the National Media Council as a senior consultant to oversee the content strategy and visitor experience for the UAE National Pavilion at Expo2020. Before ADNOC, she spent 11 years at UAE’s second telecommunications company, du, as the Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications. While at du, Badri passionately championed the creation of an enhanced, end-to-end brand and communications experience – one that tapped into all key touchpoints. Her firm belief that customers’ unique lifestyle demands would drive du’s operations and endeavours resulted in a cohesive brand strategy for the telecom operator that is now worth over AED 2 billion, making it the fourth most valuable telecommunications brand in the region in 2016. Recognition for the brand’s creative ingenuity has been validated through a number of international accolades. Under her leadership the du Tuesday campaigns won several impressive international advertising awards including the coveted Black Cube at the Art Directors' Club of New York, the elusive Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Awards and the UAE’s first Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions. In order to link strategic vision with employee productivity, Badri orchestrated several initiatives to nurture the next generation of Emirati visionaries. Throughout her career, she led communications teams comprised of the highest number of Emirati employees, many of whom progressed from graduate trainees to mid-management and director-level roles. A staunch advocate of social responsibility and the driving force behind the execution of long-term sustainability goals, Badri headed the first implementation of Social Return on Investment (SROI) for any telecom in the region in 2014. Her passion extends to female empowerment and she has championed women in ICT throughout her career, breaking stereotypes along the way. She is the Vice Chairperson for the Dubai Women Establishment, a role which gives her unique insights and allows her to be a role model for the active participation of women in creating value for the economy and society in the region. In 2021, she was appointed as a member of Dubai Media Council and of Dubai Future Council on Media. She is also a member of Dubai Future Council on Media, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), and Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children. She was also assumed board member and director roles for some of Dubai’s leading entities such as Dubai Properties, Dubai Cares, Dubai Media Incorporated and International Media Investments. Throughout her inspiring and diverse career, Badri has held various advisorship positions and her extensive academic and professional experience has contributed to the acceleration of institutional success, and contributed to stimulate economic, social, ethical and sustainable growth. Her Excellency is a well-groomed strategic c-suite executive, who has been named as The Holmes Report's 2018 Innovator 25 in EMEA, ranked at 33 of Forbes ME 200 most powerful Arab woman in the World and at 37 of 100 most powerful Arab business women in Listed Companies. Her Excellency is a certified director having completed the International Directors Program with INSEAD and holds an MBA in Managing e-Business from Zayed University, and a Higher Diploma in Communications Technology (Journalism) from The Higher Colleges of Technology, from which she graduated with Distinction and Highest Honor. Hala also completed the UAE Government Leaders Program in 2019 and the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Leadership Development Program in 2007. Her Excellency was twice awarded the Sheikh Rashid Award for Scientific Excellence, for outstanding academic achievement during her earlier education.

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