Introducing the Hot 100 Legends

Meet the Hot 100 elite
ByAhlan! Live ReporterThursday , 19 March 2015

There are some UAE figures who have pushed the boundaries in their area of expertise time and again. Their regular inclusion in our book has given them a special status within the Hot 100 family. This year we’ve given them the title of The Legends. These high-profile entrepreneurs, house-hold names in not just the region but internationally, hold the record for being included in the book multiple times since its inception. Their success in forging their respective fields in the UAE has been reflected in their collectively forming the backbone of the Hot 100, year on year.

Sarah Belhasa 
ice President of The Saif Belhasa Group of Companies

The always meticulously turned-out fashion maven, owner of boutique Studio 8 and serial entrepreneur has been a regular on our list since her first inclusion as a style icon. Always surrounded by celebrities and covetable couture, Sarah’s style-savvy is only matched by her sharp business sense as illustrated by the numerous Arabian Business accolades jostling for space on her groaning mantelpiece. 

Zayan Ghandour
Co-founder and Creative Director of S*uce and designer of Zayan the Label

Zayan is credited, quite rightly, with jump-starting the local fashion scene by showcasing and nurturing regional design talent through her numerous S*uce multi-brand lifestyle boutiques. These are now dotted around the UAE in seven distinct incarnations, giving other designers a platform from which to shine internationally via her distribution agency, Two Scoops. Her eponymous contemporary pret line, Zayan the Label, has become a stylista must-have, with its own stand-alone store. 

Thomas Lundgren
Founder and Chief Executive of THE One
The engaging Swedish interiors guru made his fortune by turning furniture and home accessories shopping into a theatrical experience (with a social conscience to boot though his Change The World Together initiative). On a mission to “save the world from IKEA”, he opened his first Abu Dhabi store back in 1996 has since been a perennial Hot 100 favourite. With 18 ‘theatres’ and boutiques under his belt in eight countries, three spin-off concepts (THE One Fusion, THE One Junior and THE One Outdoor) and more than 700 staff, Thomas has cemented his legendary status on our list.

Kris Fade
Host of The Kris Fade Show
This quick-witted radio stalwart, the name behind the immensely popular The Kris Fade Show on Virgin 104.4, is credited, along with his convivial team, with putting a smile Dubai commuters’ faces weekday mornings from 6am to 10am. Aside from being beamed into everyone’s lives on a daily basis, his services as an celebrity interviewer and MC have him perpetually rubbing shoulders with the glitziest of visitors to the city. This year Kris released his second single, In It For Love, a collaboration with friend Two Tone that has made it to the top of the Middle East iTunes chart and nabbed him a distribution deal with Sony Music.

Mohammed Sultan Al Habtoor
Founder of House of glaMO and fashion-influencer
This ground-breaking Emirati social-media guru is known for his role as a high-end style influencer, brand ambassador, and media personality with a healthy appetite for philanthropy. Mohammed first graced our Hot 100 list in 2010 for his range of slogan tees launched under his House of glaMO label and has been a regular presence since.

Ingie Chalhoub
President and Managing Director of Etoile Group

Long established as one of the region’s icons of chic, due to both her innate sense of personal style and her acumen when it comes to the business of fashion, Ingie Chalhoub has been pushing the boundaries of luxury retail since Etoile Group opened the first Chanel boutique in the Middle East in 1983. The success of this group, and its quick expansion to more than 80 boutiques (with brands including Valentino, Ralph Lauren, TOD’s, Hogan and most recently ISSA London under its umbrella) and 500-plus employees, is evidence of her drive and focus. Other coups include the launch of the high-end multi-brand Etoile ‘La boutique’ and the recent segue into design with her ready-to-wear line, INGIE Paris, which is now distributed internationally and has its own e-commerce site too.

Donna Benton
CEO and Founder of The Entertainer
In the 13 years since this Australian entrepreneur identified a niche in the Dubai hospitality market, her brilliant concept has evolved into an international voucher-based empire. The buy-one-get-one-free Entertainer, which provides vouchers for the restaurants, cafes, nightspots, spas, beauty services, hotels and attractions is a must-buy for visitors to and residents of the Middle East, Egypt, Cyprus, South Africa, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The portfolio now includes 51 products in 33 destinations across 16 countries worldwide – with offers from over 10,000 merchant partners, driving US$ 1.3 billion dollars into the global economy. In 2014, The Entertainer launched a brand-new app that allows consumers to redeem vouchers via their smartphones.