Ghalya AlAli named as EY's UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year

28 January 2019 3 min. read

Emirati student Ghalya AlAli has been named as EY’s UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year, beating out eleven other finalists in the event’s second year.

Established locally last year as an initiative to encourage Emirati women to pursue careers in the private sector, particularly with respect to the transaction services and corporate finance segments, the second annual UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year has been selected by Ernst & Young: Ghalya AlAli, a student from Zayed University who was named ahead of eleven other national finalists at a ceremony in Dubai.

Open to female Emirati university students undertaking bachelor or masters studies in accounting, finance, banking, economics or political science (or those minoring in accounting etc. while studying in another field), this year’s UAE Corporate Finance Woman programme drew applications from nine local universities, with a dozen stand-out participants picked to compete in the final following preliminary qualifications.

Applicants were asked to address how they would create a lasting legacy as a future Emirati leader, and were further required to submit their thoughts on a recent business transaction in the Emirates that was of personal interest, with those chosen as finalists then participating in group workshops and one-to-one interviews with regional EY leader and professionals from the firm’s transaction advisory practice.Ghalya AlAli named as EYs UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year“It was an honor to spend the day with these inspirational young ladies and speak to them about their ambitions for the UAE as well as personal career goals,” said Rana Sanyoura, a partner with EY’s MENA transactions practice and the event’s regional sponsor who has been with the firm for nearly 20 years. “We at EY were truly impressed with the talent, critical thinking, and creativity exhibited by the finalists.”

AlAli will now go on to compete in London at the end of next month against fifteen titlists from all over the world, including winners from the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and for the first time Saudi Arabia (to be announced this month) – with the global awardee granted a month-long all-expenses EY internship to visit the firm’s transaction advisory practices in multiple international locations. The other UAE finalists have also received internship offers from EY.

Last year, the global crown was won by Lena Förster, who spent time in Sydney, Dubai and New York during her global internship and remains with the firm’s office in Dublin, while local winner Aliaa AlMheiri continues to study a BA in economics at New York University in Abu Dhabi. “This has completely changed my perception of what corporate finance is and how it can impact the wider community,” AlMheiri said of her experience. 

“I am proud to be representing the UAE at the global competition in London in February, and I look forward to using my newfound knowledge in my studies and to kickstart my career,” said 2019 winner AlAli. “I believe that the competition is a unique opportunity for young Emirati females such as myself to expand their horizons on the opportunities available to them in the business and finance world.”