HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud – International Business Award

HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud is the CEO of Alfa International, a leading luxury retail corporation based in Saudi Arabia. Alfa is a fast growing business, whose interests currently include operating the Harvey Nichols department store in Riyadh. Until it was recently sold, Princess Reema was also CEO of Al Hama, which for the past 15 years managed brands including Donna Karan and DKNY in the Middle East.

Raised and educated in Washington, D.C., Princess Reema holds a Bachelor of Arts in Museum Studies from Mount Vernon College of George Washington University. Upon returning to Saudi Arabia, Her Highness dedicated herself to building businesses in her native country and, as an initial project, co-founded women’s day spa Yibreen. Her work in developing this wellness lifestyle concept garnered several accolades including Arab News’s “Top 20 Arab Businesswomen” 2008, and “Top 20 Women Owned Arabian Companies” in both 2007 and 2008. More recently, Princess Reema founded private equity company Reemiyah, through which she is launching several fashion and beauty related endeavors. The first of these is Baraboux, a fashion handbag and luggage range designed to provide practical solutions without sacrificing beauty. Her Highness is the brand’s Creative Director and its launch collection arrives in boutiques around the world for spring/summer 2013, already receiving positive reactions from the international fashion media including the fashion supplement of The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times’s How to Spend It magazine.

Social responsibility and charity-related work are always intertwined with Princess Reema’s business endeavors, with a focus on encouraging social philanthropy and fostering community awareness of women’s and children’s issues. Through Alfa, Princess Reema is able to provide many employment and training opportunities for women, with the participation in the Women in Retail campaign pioneering many of these endeavors. Getting women into the workforce was something Princess Reema began whilst working at Yibreen, where she also oversaw the spa’s active participation in supporting the Al Nahda Women’s Philanthropic Society and the Zahra Breast Cancer Association, of which she is a founding member.

Since 2007 Princess Reema has worked both to raise awareness for the Zahra Breast Cancer Association and also build the dialogue between women in business and their voice in charitable ventures. High profile activities, such as the organization of the world’s largest human pink ribbon in 2010 (as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records, and also as a recipient of the Holmes Report’s Platinum and Gold Sabre Awards), and being part of the first team of Saudi Arabian women to climb to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2012, have ensured that Princess Reema’s work keeps Zahra in the news and therefore in the minds of Saudi Arabian women.

In recognition of her significant accomplishments and commitment to social change and community activism; the Women’s Campaign International (WCI) appointed Princess Reema as Saudi Arabia’s Committee Mentor for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership, in the Middle East and North Africa.