Born and raised in a very humble, disciplined, and focused household in the UK, Farah Zafar is an award-winning Woman of the Year, Women of Influence in the Arab World, Inspiring Business Leader and Chief Legal Officer.
She has worked for the region’s most influential leaders and visionaries, has led government-to-government transactions for and on behalf of the Government of Dubai, Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Emirate of Ajman and has represented investment and quasi-government entities in the GCC region.
Over the last 22 years she has helped build successful billion-dollar corporations and feels all her experience has led her to her current position as CEO of one of the most exciting tech platforms to be launched this year.
Farah was raised in a house where academia was the primary focus. While growing up, she was not permitted to watch TV. Instead, the importance of studying and reading was instilled in her. Working hard was mandatory in her household, and failure was never an option.
Farah’s family immigrated to the UK in the 1950s, so she had witnessed her parents’ struggle and how hard they worked to build a comfortable good life. This inspired her to work hard, which will allow her to give back to her parents everything they had sacrificed. So, when her father presented her with 3 options; doctor, lawyer, and dentist, she chose to be a lawyer.
After completing her studies, Farah needed a training contract to be a registered lawyer in the UK, and after being rejected 532 times, she finally landed a training contract in a small criminal legal aid office in South London.
Sunshine after the Rain
During her training, Farah was verbally and mentally abused by her bosses; they treated her in the most horrendous way possible. The entire period of her training contract felt like torture. Every morning she used to wake up, cross the day in the calendar, throw up and go to work, where she would spend her next 18-20 hours. Despite this she later realised that her training gave her the resiliance to always work hard and strive for the best.
Soon after completing her training, she got her dream job in a law firm in Mayfair. Many years later, Farah received a call informing her that she had been selected for the Sole Legal Counsel’s position for the Engineer’s Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai. Recognizing the life-changing opportunity, Farah willingly relocated to Dubai and embraced the challenge presented in front of her.
From there onwards, she started holding various prominent positions including Sole Counsel to the the Engineer’s Office, the founding team of Omniyat, Head of Capital Transactions for Dubai Holding and Chief Legal Officer for the Public Investment Fund of Saudi for Amaala.
Due to her extensive contribution to the Middle East, Farah has earned a reputation as one of the leading and most influential business leaders
Legal CEO of the Year at 2019’s CEO Awards
General Counsel of the Year – Oath Middle East Legal Awards 2019
General Counsel of the Year – Middle East Legal Awards 2020
Woman of the Year – Big Projects Middle east Awards 2019
Women of Influence in the Arab World – CEO Magasine 2021
Inspiring Femal Business Leaders – Arabian Business 2022
Positively Impacting People’s Lives
Farah Zafar is the CEO of Lyvely. With Lyvely, she and her Co-founders are building a fully integrated platform that will assist content creators, independent professionals, and businesses to monetize their skills and passion online. The Lyvely team is developing the first creator-driven platform that enhances creators’ and consumers’ experiences through a revenue generation model, with the vision to help people get paid for doing what they love, the entire team hopes to make a positive difference in people’s lives and help people achieve their mission, vision and transition the masses from Web 2 to a more empowering Web 3 world.
An advocate of Female Empowerment
Farah is passionate about female empowerment and the growing role of female leaders in the Middle East. She also provides mentorship and support to upcoming dynamic female leaders.
When Farah started more than 25 years ago, the corporate sector in the Middle East was incredibly male-dominated. However, since then the region has made significant leaps in support and recruitment of women across various sectors. She believes that without the support of the progressive leadership of UAE and Saudi Arabia, she would never be able to get the opportunity to work as Chief Legal Officer for multiple large organizations.
Farah Zafar considers herself fortunate enough to witness the rise of Arab women in every sector. She has seen Arab women to conquer the world and step out of the shadows in their unique ways to pave the way for others. In her last 2 decades of professional career, Farah Zafar has seen Arab women become influential leaders, ministers, Olympians, Filmmakers, and entrepreneurs. She feels immensely proud to witness their growth and dominance.
Farah’s journey from Rockstar Lawyer To Tech CEO is one where she hopes to positively impact and inspire more females to venture into technology and the future of Web 3.