The Judges on the Ro’Ya panel are experts from various industry backgrounds in the UAE. Each judge reviews the business plans

providing suggestions for improvements and deciding the shortlist for the Final in November 2015.

Below is a list of our esteemed judges:

Clare Woodcraft-Scott

Company: Emirates Foundation

Job title: Chief Executive Officer


Clare Woodcraft-Scott is the Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation, the national foundation of the UAE established by the UAE’s Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Chaired by the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Foundation focuses on guiding, inspiring and empowering youth in the UAE and addressing various challenges that young people face around their personal and professional development including leadership, community engagement and financial literacy.
Woodcraft-Scott was hired to oversee the transition of the foundation from a traditional grant-making entity to one that is an early regional adopter of venture philanthropy. This meant a fundamental shift from short-term grant making to long-term, measureable and financially viable social investment through corporate partnerships and a managed endowment. Prior to joining Emirates Foundation, Woodcraft-Scott was the Deputy Director at Shell Foundation which applies a similar model and invests in social enterprises to address global energy related development challenges to an annual $20mn budget.
Woodcraft-Scott has over 20 years of experience working in the field of sustainable development primarily out of emerging economies. She worked first as a development practitioner, then a journalist and then as a corporate executive specializing in the areas of CSR/social investment, government relations and stakeholder engagement. In her earlier capacity as Regional Director of Communications for Shell in the Middle East and North Africa, she led a team of over 50 professionals across 14 countries managing a budget of around $100mn in social investment. Earlier she headed up Visa International’s public affairs arm in emerging markets working with governments in the Middle East, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe to promote electronic payment as a means of achieving greater financial transparency and growth.
Author of a substantial body of work, she has served as Finance Editor of the Middle East Economic Survey, a market leader in the energy sector. She has also written extensively about development in the Middle East, trends in the philanthropic and third sector and the value of social enterprises. She is frequently asked to speak publicly about the topic of talent and youth and how industry can better connect to the academic sector. In 2014 she was voted the UAE’s most influential female British citizen by a leading business magazine, Arabian Business.
She currently has multiple non-profit advisory roles including for the Berkeley Program Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East and the University of Salford’s UAE Board. She is also a founding Board member of the Arab Foundations Forum, a regional network of foundations and advises Operation Hope, a US based entity promoting financial literacy, on regional engagement.
Clare Woodcraft-Scott has lived in the Middle East for over twenty years and is a fluent Arabic speaker having studied classic Arabic at University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Salford University in the UK and a Masters in Sustainable Development from the London School of Economics. She is a British citizen but also fluent in French.

Ziad Matar

Company: Qualcomm Technologies

Job title: Senior Director of Business Development


Ziad Matar serves as senior director of business development for Qualcomm Technologies, where he leads strategic business development activities with a focus on the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia Pacific regions. Based in Dubai, Matar is responsible for developing and driving the commercialization of new technologies outside of Qualcomm’s traditional cellular efforts and in adjacent segments.
Prior to his current role, Matar lead business development efforts in the Middle East and Central Asia regions where he managed Qualcomm’s strategic relationships with the Company’s regional customers, including network operators/carriers, mobile handset vendors and software developers.
Matar joined Qualcomm in 2008 as director of business development for the Middle East. Prior to that, he spent more than 10 years with Ericsson in technology, marketing and sales positions across the Middle East and West Africa.
Matar has an MBA from Notre Dame University and a Bachelor of Science in computer and communications engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Eyad Al-Kourdi

Company: MasterCard

Job title: Country Business Head


Eyad Al-Kourdi is the Country Business Head – UAE for MasterCard. In this capacity, he is responsible for maintaining existing and developing new relationships with customer financial institutions and helping them achieve their objectives by leveraging MasterCard’s portfolio of products and solutions.
Mr. Al-Kourdi joined MasterCard in 1996 as an operations specialist and has since then worked across several positions spanning from operations to business development. Mr. Al-Kourdi is the recipient of the CEO award for sales employee of the year 2007. Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Al-Kourdi served as a Phone Banking Supervisor with Citibank in Dubai for three years. During his tenure with Citibank, Al-Kourdi received the Citicorp Service Excellence Award.
Mr. Al-Kourdi has attended numerous professional training programs in the banking and card payments industry in the UAE and overseas. Mr. Al-Kourdi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ajman University of Science and Technology (UAE).

Maryam Al Noori

Company: Dubai Business Women Council

Job title: Board Member


Ms. Maryam Al Noori is the Managing Director at Worood Intraflora LLC, a member of internationally renowned Interflora Group, and one of UAE’s leading importer of fresh cut flowers, artificial and dried flowers from Holland, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Kenya and Ecuador. Worood Intraflora LLC is one of the Gulf’s most successful floral decoration and floral supply company.
WOROOD INTRAFLORA LLC now has grown to five (5) branches, Sheikh Zayed Road Shop, Al Rigga Shop and the classic store WOROOD located at The Dubai Mall, The Mall of Emirates and Uptown Mirdiff. Over the years, the company has likewise diversified its portfolio to include events management such as weddings, corporate events, exhibitions and interior decorations for palaces, hotels and corporate offices.
Ms. Al Noori is also a Board Member of the Dubai Business Women Council.

If you are interested in becoming a judge, please feel free to get in touch with us on +971 4 2028531/2 or email us at info@royadubai.ae