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Fast Company releases first-ever “Most Innovative Companies of Middle East” list

Fast Company, an American leading business media brand and publication, has released its first ever list of the most innovative companies of the Middle East as part of their annual selection of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

The international list ranks “the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture.” The main list includes notable names such as Asian ride-hailing app Grab, The Walt Disney Company, Shopify, and Dominos Pizza.

This is the first time that the publication has ever released a Middle East section for their annual listing, showing that perhaps it is a visible tell that the Middle East’s growth continues to attract global interest.

The list includes


Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the oldest on the list, ranked at number 3, and seems to have been placed for their newest addition to their business class areas, named QSuite.

According to the note by Fast Company, “Qatar Airways is now bringing a private jet experience to their business-class passengers. The ‘Qsuite’ experience provides restaurant-style food ordering and lets passengers create a cabin-within-a-cabin for extra privacy.”

Private closed off “rooms,” over 4000 menu options, and the ability to create co-working or leisure spaces for groups who are traveling together makes the experience something new and fresh in the airline industry.



The Dubai-based ride-hailing company has been getting a lot of good luck lately. Not only has it placed 5th on the list, the top administrative court lifted the ban against ride-hailing operators on Saturday.

Fast Company’s notes stated that “The company became the region’s first ever unicorn by treating ride hailing as a highly local enterprise, adding features like extra security measures for women and a different compensation system for women drivers as well as giving customers the option of paying in cash to accommodate the fact that the Middle East is one of the least banked regions in the world…”

Careem has also recently launched their Careem Bus in Cairo and wheelchair accessible rides in Alexandria.


The Modist

Modesty and high-end fashion aren’t always put together but this Dubai-based luxury modest fashion ecommerce platform is making sure to change that.

Fast Company writes “[The Modist] reflects the concerns of a growing group of women who, for reasons both cultural and personal, want full-coverage clothing that doesn’t forgo style.”


The Modist calls itself “a first of its kind, luxury style destination dedicated to dressing modestly…channeling a confident new voice which showcases a fresh take on contemporary fashion…”



Jamalon states that it is “the largest online bookstore in the Middle East, offering more than 9.5 million titles…” The company, founded by Jordanian entrepreneur Ala Alsallal and his siblings, are headquartered in Dubai and placed 8th.

According to Fast Company, “Readers in the region often find it difficult to obtain books, and many are forced to wait for yearly book fairs to purchase them directly from publishers. In addition to making it easier for Middle Easterners to find Arab books they want to read, the company introduced a print-on-demand service for Arabic authors who cannot find a publisher.”



The region’s first music streaming service comes out in 9th place, the Beirut-based company won its place for “providing a digital music community for people who can’t access concert venues.”

Fast Company states that “Its catalog comprises more than 30 million songs available for over 70 million users. The company also serves as a social network in a region where few concerts are held, experimenting with ways for fans to share music with each other and discover artists as a community.”

Anghami is still coming down from a year of highs, including its first localized campaign for Egypt and winning 6 awards at the MENA 2018 MMA Smarties Awards.

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