Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi

Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi

Chief Operating Officer

Mr Al Awadhi has more than 22 years of international and local experience in leadership, strategy and innovation across financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, and media and telecommunications. He serves as  the Chief Operating Officer  at the DFSA where he is responsible for operational excellence and for driving the development and implementation of world-class, innovative solutions and smart initiatives.  Mr Al Awadhi oversees the vetting and approval process for entities seeking authorisation to operate within the DIFC. His expertise contributes significantly to maintaining the integrity, efficiency and fairness of the licensing and authorisation process, ensuring the DFSA adheres to international industry standards.

Mr Al Awadhi represents the DFSA on strategic initiatives with Government entities and with local and regional regulators and international standard-setters. He was appointed board member of Dubai Health by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. 

He is a member of the United Arab Emirates National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NAMLCFTC), a member of the General Council on Sustainable Development Goals 17 (SDG17), a member of Al Jalila Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of the Dubai International Communication Committee (DICC) - a Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) initiative. He is also an International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Assessor for Mutual Evaluation. 

He plays a leading role in building UAE National capabilities both at the DFSA and within broader society. Previously, Mr Al Awadhi headed the Marketing and Communication division at Abu Dhabi Media, Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank, and was Deputy Head of Retail Banking and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank, where he also managed Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Marketing and Communications. Prior to this, he was the Global Director of Marketing and Sales at Sama Dubai - a member company of Dubai Holding - where he was responsible for over 20 international markets. 

Mr Al Awadhi is a graduate of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development ‘Impactful Leaders’ Program. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, a member of Harvard Business School’s Global Alumni Board and a member of the Harvard Business School Middle East Alumni Committee. He has a Master of Law in Commercial Law with a double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes and Money Laundering, and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. Mr Al Awadhi has published a book entitled ‘The Sustainability of Family Businesses in the United Arab Emirates – A Legal and Operational Perspective for Best Practice.

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