Meet our
Leadership

The Board delegates responsibility for formulating and, after approval, implementing the Group’s strategic plan and for management of the day-to-day operation of the Group to the Chief Executive Officer. The Group Executive Committee supports the Chief Executive Officer in carrying out their role and manages the day-to-day operation of the Group’s businesses.

The Group Executive Committee comprises the Executives and Senior Directors.

Bassam Zantout

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Bassam Zantout is the CEO of Sultan Center Group. Mr. Zantout is an accomplished business executive with over 24 years of experience in managing commercial operations and business development within the retail industry, his expertise spans across diverse markets such as Kuwait, Jordan, and Lebanon. Prior to joining The Sultan Center Group, Mr. Zantout held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Kazoo and More in Kuwait, where he successfully spearheaded the company’s growth and development. Mr. Zantout was also part of the Sultan team where he held multiple positions between 2000 to 2016. Mr. Zantout holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in Business Administration from The Maastricht School of Management.

Haitham M. Shalabi

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Haitham Shalabi is the Chief Financial Officer of Sultan Group and joined the organization in 2004 and moved from Group Finance Director to CFO in 2019.Mr. Shalabi has a combined experience of more than 20 years in Banking & Retail sectors managing Treasury and Finance Divisions of The Sultan Group. Prior to joining The Sultan Group, Mr. Shalabi was part of the Corporate Banking group with National Bank of Kuwait a leading financial service provider in the region, and responsible for the credit operations of corporate clients.Mr. Shalabi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Certified Treasury Professional from The Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) and Pre-EMBA from London Business School.

Toni Ibrahim

Chief Information Officer

Mr. Toni Ibrahim is the Chief Information Officer of the Sultan Group and joined the organization in 1999 and moved from ITG (a Sultan Division) IT director to CIO in 2016. Mr. Ibrahim has a combined experience of more than 29 years in Information Technology & Retail sectors managing IT departments of the Sultan Group. Prior to joining The Sultan Group, Mr. Ibrahim was part of MIS, a leading IT service provider in the region as the IT Manager. Mr. Ibrahim holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering, a member of The Lebanese Orders of Engineers, a certified IT professional in many technology fields.

Mona Dabbah

Chief Customer Officer

Ms. Mona Dabbah is the Chief Customer Officer of Sultan Group and joined the organization in 2022. Ms. Dabbah has a combined experience of more than 25 years in Customer, Marketing, Communication management. Ms. Dabbah has spent 9 years with such esteemed organizations as NBK and over 12 years with M.H. Al Shaya, the largest retailer in Kuwait. Prior to joining Sultan Ms. Dabbah was the Director of Customer Service at M.H. Al Shaya leading a team of 200+ covering 10 countries for over 90 brands across MENA such as Starbucks, H&M, Mothercare, Debenhams, American Eagle Outfitters, P.F. Changs, Boots Pharmacy, The Body Shop, Victoria’s Secret, KidZania and many others. Ms. Dabbah holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University.

Marianna Oneissi

HR Director

Mrs. Marianna Oneissi is the HR Director of Sultan Group and joined the organization in 2009 and was assigned the HR Director in April 2020. Mrs. Oneissi has a combined experience of more than 18 years in Human Resources, Business and Project Management, Corporate Governance, Strategic Planning, and Investments. Prior to joining The Sultan Group, Ms. Oneissi was part of the MIS team with Lebanon & Gulf Bank, one the leading banks in Lebanon. Mrs. Oneissi holds an MBA in Banking and Finance from Notre Dame University – Louaize (NDU) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in computer Science from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Maya Dabbous

Marketing & Communications Director

Ms. Maya Dabbous is the Marketing and Communications Director at Sultan and joined the organization in 2021. Ms. Dabbous has a combined experience of more than 18 years in CX, Communication, Strategy Building, Branding, Training, and Project Management. Ms. Dabbous has spent over 13 years in the banking sector with esteemed organizations such as NBK and Burgan Bank. Prior to joining Sultan, Ms. Dabbous was a Senior Consultant at Khayal Consultants, helping businesses shape their strategic growth both internally and externally through different principals of Communication, Marketing, and CX . Ms. Dabbous holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Operations from DeVry Institute of Technology from Calgary, Canada.

Our business is driven and managed by a high standard of corporate leadership, business integrity and professionalism in all departments and business dealings. The TSC Group pioneered the adoption of a comprehensive corporate governance model prior to the introduction of regulations by the Capital Markets Authority.

We have set an efficient culture of business management for our group through a diverse representation across our board of directors, and through active board committees and mindful engagement and involvement of our associates.

Our board of directors comprises a blend of executive and non-executive positions, all of whom bring to the table a wide range of skills and experiences.

Mr. TAREQ ABDULAZIZ SULTAN AL- ESSA

Chairman

Mr. Tareq Sultan is the Chairman of The Sultan Center Group and is the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Agility, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. Mr. Sultan’s experiences span over 30 years in managing a multitude of companies. Mr. Sultan has also previously served as advisor to the Singapore Economic Development Board, sat on Wharton’s International Advisory Council, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Gulf Bank and Burgan Bank. Mr. Sultan is an active supporter of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and is a member of the WEF’s International Business Council, which brings together 120 business leaders to represent global business from all industries. He is also a Steward of the WEF’s Stewardship Board of the Platform on Shaping the Future of Mobility and a Governor of the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain & Transport Industry Community. Most recently Mr. Sultan was named one of the Top 100 CEO in Forbes Middle East 2022. Mr. Sultan holds a Master of Business Administration from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree from William’s College, USA.

Mr. ESSAM KHALIL AL- RIFAI

Vice Chairman

Mr. Essam Al-Rifai has occupied different positions across his 30 years of experience that extend into Legal Affairs, Public and Governmental Relations. These notable and prominent roles were serving the Free Trade Zone for over 10 years as General Manager of the Free Trade Zone under NREC and was one of the founding committee members of mediation for the Free Trade Zone where he established several commercial project frameworks during his tenure. He served in several government bodies that include the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Commerce. Mr. Al-Rifai was a board member of Agility, and a former Chairman and board member of Gulf Real Estate. Mr. Al Rifai holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Kuwait University and a Law license from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

Mr. FAWZI SULTAN AL-ESSA

Board Member

Mr. Fawzi Al-Essa holds an impressive portfolio of positions that span over 40 years in experience. The most notable positions Mr. Al-Essa has held over his career extend as the Managing Director of the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East, (now Al Ahli United). Mr. Al-Essa was also Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington, and the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the General Secretary of the Development and Reform Committee led by the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait. Mr. Al-Essa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in Finance and Global Management from Yale University, USA.

Ahmed Wassim Al-Arabi

Board Member

Mr. Ahmed Al-Arabi is a seasoned retail and hospitality executive with over 35 years of solid experience across retail, investments and real estate industries and a proven track record of successfully developing and growing organizations internationally. Mr. Al Arabi previously served as a CEO of Alshaya Group for more than a decade, played a key role in growing and diversifying its business portfolio and placed it amongst one of the leading international franchise groups. He also served till end of 2019 as a Board Member of several Real Estate companies, including Mabanee Co. SAK and Shumool Real Estate Co. in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Al-Arabi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Arkansas, USA.

Khadija Oubala

Board Member

Board Member Ms. Oubala joined The Sultan Group in 2016 and held the previous position of CEO of Sultan, ushering in a transformative period of expansion and Sultan’s turnaround restructuring. Ms. Oubala has a combined experience of more than 20 years in Retail, Real Estate, Investments, and Strategy. Prior to joining The Sultan Center Group, Ms. Oubala served as VP of Strategy and Investments at NREC, Principal at Arcapita Bank and Portfolio Manager at Assiya Investments. Ms. Oubala holds an MSc in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University. She is a Fulbright scholar, a recipient of MIT Memorial Fellowship and a member of Young Presidents Organization.