Winners ICAEWHeld at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development for UAE, the fourth annual Middle East Accountancy & Finance Excellence Awards, celebrated the best and brightest players in the fields of accountancy and finance.

Organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, ICAEW, with platinum sponsors Commercial Bank of Dubai, the gala event is the only dedicated awards programme for accountancy and finance professionals in the region.

Industry professionals from across the Middle East attended last night’s gala event, which included keynote addresses from Andrew Ratcliffe, ICAEW Vice President, and British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, OBE.

Winners were selected by a judging panel comprising nine of the region’s most respected industry professionals. Chaired by Edward Quinlan, retired EY Country Partner – UAE, the judging committee this year were: Mark Beer OBE, Former CEO & Chairman of the British Business Group for Dubai & Northern Emirates; Matthew Gribble, Senior Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, PageGroup; Steven Ralls, Senior Principal, Financial Audit & Examination, Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority; Umar Saleem, CFO, DEPA; Dr. Hadi Shahid, Founder & Managing Partner of Alliott Hadi Shahid; Bashir Siman, UKTI Special Representative to the UAE for Financial Services; Surya Subramanian, Group Chief Financial Officer, Emirates NBD; Dr. Jeanette Vinke, Senior Lecturer at the American University of Sharjah and advisory board member of ICAEW Middle East; Stephen Williams, CFO of Gulf International Bank.

Commenting on the awards, Michael Armstrong FCA, ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: “A solid accountancy profession is fundamental to the economic success of every nation. While talented finance professionals play a vital role in the success of businesses, their hard work can sometimes be overlooked. It gives us great pleasure to celebrate the region’s best talent in the accountancy and finance profession who demonstrate the highest professional and ethical standards.”

Accolades were awarded in 11 categories, including the popular Business Leader of the Year award. Among the winners of the 2014 awards were: Dr. Ahmad Al Meghames, Secretary General of the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession by an Individual; Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports for Business Leader of the Year; Sana Khater from Waha Capital for CFO of the Year and Anis Sadek, from Deloitte for ICAEW Chartered Accountant of the Year.

Mr. Alain Renaud, General Manager Corporate, Commercial and Investment Banking Group of Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), the ceremony’s platinum sponsor, said: “The Middle East is becoming an increasingly important financial hub and it’s important to acknowledge the region’s talent for their contribution to advancing the regional economies. At CBD, we are committed to support initiatives that reflect the highest standards of global financial best practices that can contribute to the growth of our region’s economy.  We congratulate all the 2014 winners and would like to thank ICAEW for this initiative.”