Abeer Shoukry-Al Otaiba
Founder & CEO
As a female entrepreneur, women’s rights activist and philanthropist, Abeer Al Otaiba is shattering gender stereotypes and showing young women around the world that they too can be the change they want to see in the world. Through her work at Al Otaiba Investments specifically, Abeer collaborates with some of the world’s most talented innovators to help drive global solutions to pressing worldwide challenges.
Beyond Al Otaiba Investments, Abeer’s entrepreneurial spirit has led to her creating other personal business ventures — her fashion line SemSem being her most prominent. After several years in engineering, Abeer found herself deeply inspired by motherhood and launched her luxury fashion brand in 2015. SemSem designs include elegant dresses, tops, pants and other pieces for women and girls. Strongly influenced by her Arab roots, the SemSem clothing line is entirely hand-made and dedicated to female empowerment and development. Integrating her fashion work and women’s rights advocacy, SemSem partners with a different nonprofit organization every season to improve the welfare of disadvantaged women and children all over the world.
Outside of SemSem, Abeer herself also actively pursues philanthropic opportunities, advocating for critical issues affecting girls and women in impoverished areas. Throughout the years, Abeer has given her support to organizations surrounding gender equality, women’s health, literacy, education and human rights.
Abeer Al Otaiba has lived in a number of countries throughout her lifetime, amassing a unique set of experiences that have shaped her into the woman she is today. Having originally begun her professional career as a civil engineer, Abeer worked at Orascom Telecom in Egypt, where she quickly established herself as a leader in a traditionally male-dominated field.
After experiencing a medical emergency with her daughter, Abeer has also prioritized supporting causes surrounding pediatric care and public healthcare. Alongside her husband, Yousef Al Otaiba — the UAE Ambassador to the U.S. and Minister of State — the two have supported medical institutions such as Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The Al Otaibas have also established a Goodwill Fund through the King Hussein Cancer Foundation to provide financial assistance to underprivileged patients receiving cancer treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Center.
As a lifelong creative with a passion for the arts, Abeer also spends a great deal of time supporting creative and cultural organizations in Washington, DC. This includes the Meridian International Center, the Kennedy Center, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Washington Ballet and the National Portrait Gallery.