About Hanan Tabsh, Managing Director, UM Lower Gulf

With over two decades of experience in marketing, Hanan has consistently navigated through media evolutions and adapted to dynamic markets. Armed with a business and design educational background, she currently leads UM operations in Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain as the Managing Director of UM Lower Gulf.

Under her leadership, Hanan has cultivated a multicultural and passionate team, integrating a data-driven approach with a creative spirit to help clients forge new connections and futureproof their brands. Her strategic thinking, strong leadership skills, creative insights, and deep knowledge of the regional market have positioned her as a key female media leader in UM’s Gulf network and a notable thought leader in the industry overall.

Hanan’s diverse client portfolio includes some of the most recognizable household names in aviation, finance, sports, and telecommunications sectors. She leverages her expertise to deliver tailored solutions and drive impactful results for her clients.

Hanan’s journey with UM began in 2011, where she brought her multi-spectrum experience in both creative and media fields. She has led key national and global projects, starting from her role as an Account Leader for QNB in 2006, to the successful launch of the Pearl Qatar under UDC in 2008. Passionately focused on sports communications, Hanan has played a pivotal role in promoting Qatar as a global sports hub, from the Arab Games in 2011 to the World Men’s Handball Championship in 2015, and most recently, in delivering Qatar’s proudest achievement, the World Cup 2022,” to the world.

Throughout her tenure, Hanan has led UM Qatar to numerous accolades, including being awarded Campaign ME agency of the year in 2022, recognized as a Great Place to Work for two consecutive years, and been listed among the top 50 places to work for millennials in the GCC.

Hanan’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and leadership in the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and media.

About her thoughts for the industry

The current state of the media and communications industry is one of rapid evolution, driven primarily by advancements in digital technology, the proliferation of social media platforms, and the explosion of content creation. This evolution has resulted in a highly diverse media landscape that demands relevancy and accountability. As a female leader within this dynamic industry, here are my thoughts on charting a course for the future:

Empowering our teams for excellence is not just a strategic imperative; it is a moral obligation. By fostering a culture of competency and agility, we equip our teams to navigate the complexities of the modern media ecosystem with confidence and resilience. As leaders, we must prioritize mentorship, skill development, and inclusivity to cultivate a workforce that is not only capable but also empowered to drive meaningful change.

Cultural integration of competencies and agility is essential for fostering a workplace environment that thrives on innovation and creativity. As leaders, we must champion diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to ensure that every voice is heard and valued. By nurturing a culture of openness, collaboration, and continuous learning, we create a foundation for sustained success.

Partnerships are the cornerstone of our achievements. Collaborating with clients, stakeholders, and industry peers is vital for remaining at the forefront of innovation and achieving meaningful outcomes. At UM, we place a high priority on fostering partnerships and facilitating business growth for our clients. Our technical proficiency, paired with an agile approach to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities, is crucial. Today’s brands seek tangible conversions and results, necessitating a comprehensive 360-degree communications blueprint that emphasizes inclusivity. This comprehensive approach encompasses strategic thinking, innovation, efficiency, and value, all while proactively adapting to shifting norms.

Female leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the future trajectory of our industry. Our diverse viewpoints and collaborative leadership styles serve as catalysts for innovation and creativity. Over the years, female leaders have acted as trailblazers and change agents, enriching our industry with unique perspectives and insights. Beyond the media sector, our influence inspires aspiring female professionals and drives progress across various industries. By embracing and empowering women, we pave the way for a more equitable, inclusive, and vibrant media ecosystem, ensuring its sustainability for generations to come.

To close, I’d like to share a valuable lesson learned from my father, a guiding light in both my personal and professional journey. He instilled in me the principles and ethics of effective leadership, emphasizing the crucial distinction between perceiving a reality as an insurmountable obstacle and embracing it as an opportunity for growth.

This brings us back to the essence of nurturing an agile mindset. It’s crucial for both current and aspiring leaders to embrace this approach. We’re encouraged not only to confront the challenges posed by existing norms but also to view them as avenues for personal and professional growth. Rather than passively awaiting opportunities, we should proactively shape our destinies, seizing each moment to chart our unique paths forward.