Layla Issa

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Layla Issa Abuzaid
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Born (1985-12-29) 29 December 1985 (age 36)
Alma materLondon Business School
Spouse(s)Wahdan Al Kadi

Layla Issa Abuzaid is a Brazilian businesswoman associated with the Lifestyle and Investment industries. She is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), at WK Holding.[1] (a platform for foreign investment in the Saudi Arabia) as well as the co-founder of C3 Arabia[2] which is an omnichannel food tech platform.


Early life

Layla Issa Abuzaid[3] was born on 29 December 1985, in São Paulo in Brazil, to parents of mixed origin, father being a Saudi Arabia national and mother of German Jewish origin. Her schooling was in Piracicaba, in Brazil and holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School. She is also trained in the Company Valuation and Negotiation Course (IBMEC), Proprietary (Leandro & Stormer) and Capital Market Intensive Course (Leandro & Stormer). Abuzaid left her familial home against her father's wishes, in her quest for independence, when she was 18 years old.


Early Career

Once she left her home, Layla Abuzaid worked in car sales at Remaza, after which she joined Otica Classic giving herself an entry into the world of PR. At the age of 20, grabbing all possible experience that she could, began her first business development role for Uri Engenharia. Her instinct for business was so determined that she initiated her way into asset management, as she focused on turnaround strategies for distressed assets which eventually paved for her first million dollar earning at the age of 24.

In the year 2009 she took up even greater challenges, as she gained partnership in an Islamic fund assessment, management company Vision Brazil Investments, where she held the role of fund raising from GCC countries. Later, as she moved to Saudi Arabia for a fundraising event for Vision Brazil Investments, she decided to stay there and build her career in Saudi Arabia.

Finally in 2011 she joined hands with Tharawat Holding,[4] a company which focused on agricultural commodities, together establishing the company. With offices in several parts of the world, the company gained a profit of US$ 50M, in the very first year. Abuzad served as the CEO of the company and adorned the position for 6 consecutive years

Investments and Events

Layla Issa Abuzaid founded WK holding,[5] following her tenure in Tharawat Business and partnership with Tharawat investment Holdings.


RAFA MFA is a conjoint venture amongst RAFA and MF group,[6] which is the prominent event production company in Russia. Bolstering with the Russian Ministry of Culture, RAFA MAFA Arabia has organized the most distinguished and memorable event, the first official Fashion Week, in 2018, for which Abuzaid raised the funding. The event featured leading international designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Roberto Cavalli along with vernacular designers including Arwa Banavi.

She formed the start-up subsidary company RAFA Events in January 2018, after which she collaborated with the most popular event production company, MF group and established the RAFA/MFA company. In addition, she introduced the Tharawat technology as a new shareholder of the RAFA/MFA company.


RUSSAD is a bridging company that offers other Russians lifestyle companies aspiring to enter Saudi Arabia. Her experience and knowledge was so vast that she was able to engage in a partnership with a Russian based corporation and HNWI 5 , enabling transactions beyond boundaries and mainly between Saudi Arabia and Russia. With the complete aid from the Russian embassy she was able to manage all official delegations and Visa services under the subsidiary company RUSSAD, which was another establishment of WK Holding[7].

Layla's ideas were so deviant and unique as she was experienced in several industries such as investment, agribusiness, trading, financial services, trade finance, hedge funds, private equity funds, and investment management sector at senior management and C-suite level.


SAPEG Fund established in Luxembourg to facilitate foreign investments in the Kingdom.

Ventures and Projects

WK Holding and C3 Arabia

Layla Issa Abuzaid is currently the CEO of WK Holding.[8] Joining hands with the worlds fastest growing food technology,[9] Abuzaid and the Co-Founder of C3 Arabia,[10] Sam Nazarian, initiated a major international venture, worth 375 million dollars[11] 2 which operates and manages Culinary Communities, ghost kitchens, and mobile delivery[12]

Abuzaid says, "We are resolutely ambitious committed to the realization of Vision 2030 and to paying our part in establishing the kingdom as an epicenter of excellence". The combined efforts of the organizations, C3 Arabia[13] and WK Holding,[14] have proposed an operating system based in Riyadh, enabling the designing and deliverance of state-of-the-art across the C3 Arabia[15] Saudi Arabia operating platform. It also incorporates the best quality food products even from local suppliers, which extends its application beyond expectations.

Valued at 100 million the venture aims at bringing popular C3 Arabia[16] US digital restaurants from globally renowned chefs including Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini, Katsuya Uechi, Dani Garcia, Martin Heierling, Michael Israel, Vincenzo Rossy and Romain Fornell to Saudi Arabia. The extended aim of C3[17] Arabia is to guide local talents and haul Saudi expertise to the corners of the world.

Personal Life

Ms Layla Issa Abuzaid is a successful businesswoman born to Brazilian parents. She holds a B.A. degree in economics and a Masters in Finance from London Business School. She speaks fluent Arabic, English, Spanish and Portuguese. She has been married to Wahdan Al Kadi.


  1. "WK Holding". WK Holding. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  2. "C3 arabia". wk-holding. June 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  3. "The Arab Fashion Council Announces the Opening of its Office in Riyadh and the Appointment of H.H. Princess Noura Bint Faisal al Saud as Honorary President - PR Newswire APAC".
  4. "Tharawat Holding Co". Tharawat Holding Co.
  6. "MF Group". MF Group.
  7. "C3 Arabia appoints Ian Toal as Chief Executive Officer - ETHRWorldME".
  8. "WK Holding: Riyadh lifestyle investor with global ambitions". 28 August 2021.
  9. "C3 inks $100M Saudi Arabian deal". Fast Casual. June 1, 2021.
  11. "A global food technology platform launches a project in Saudi Arabia worth 375 million riyals". asharqbusiness.
  12. "The Arab Fashion Council Announces the Opening of its Office in Riyadh and the Appointment of H.H. Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as Honorary President". The Arab Fashion Council. Dec 18, 2017.
  13. "C3 Arabia, the Middle East's Leading Omnichannel Food Tech Platform, Announces Ian Toal as CEO".
  15. "Saudi Arabia to launch fashion week in Riyadh".
  16. "Special Interview with the Saudi Businesswoman Layla Abu Zaid".
  17. "Fast growing Foodtech platform C3 partners with WK Holding". 2 June 2021.

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