How Emirati Women Are Shaping the U.A.E’s future
This year marked the fifth anniversary of Emirati Women’s Day, since it was launched by Her Highness Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi, the mother of the nation in 2015.
In May 2020 her highness announced that the theme for this year would be "Preparing for the next 50 years: women are the support of the nation".
The day landmarked a time where women are given recognition for the work they put into uplifting their country and establishing their mark in their designated fields.
The annual celebration ironically also coincides with the founding of the General Women's Union in 1975 which makes the celebration consequentially more meaningful.
Gratitude and celebratory wishes were also extended to all Emirati women by Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai) and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E.):
إلى المرأة الإماراتية في يومها.. اجتهدتِ.. فأنجزتِ.. وأثبتِ للعالم من أنتِ.. فخورون بك.. معتزون بشراكتك في مسيرة التنمية.... نرفع رؤوسنا بإنجازاتك.. كل عام وأنت أفضل وأجمل.. pic.twitter.com/mVxW9nzZfI— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 27, 2020
On Emirati Women's Day, we extend our gratitude to all mothers, sisters & daughters for their contributions to our nation, & their instrumental role in the frontline response to COVID-19. We congratulate & honour you, & we remain committed to the empowerment of all women. pic.twitter.com/WXdSKWXdrp— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) August 27, 2020
Here are five Emirati women that are pioneers in their field and continue to empower women through their work.
Nayla al-Khaja is the first female film director-producer in the U.A.E. She is the CEO of Nayla Al Khaja Films, which was previously named D-Seven Motion Pictures, and is also the founder of The Scene Club, Dubai’s first film club, launched in 2007. Through her dedication to the industry, she has advocated for women in cinema and helped mentor local talent. She has even won the ‘Black Swan Award for Women Empowerment’ in 2019.
Her Excellency, Dr Sara Al Madani
She is a renowned fashion designer, a CEO of multiple companies, the youngest board member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and most recently a Tech entrepreneur. Her exceptional contributions to the community have not only helped empower women but also shown them that working moms can have it all too. She is the quintessential Emirati female entrepreneur pushing boundaries and opening up a new age of women empowerment.
Areej Al Hammadi
Areej Al Hammadi, a 34-year-old female footballer is currently a Guinness World Record holder for, having accomplished 86 football 'hotstepper' control tricks in a minute beating out the previous mark of 56 set by the UK in March. In an Instagram post on Emirati Women’s Day, she said: “We’ve come a long way. The opportunities are endless and so many young Emirati women can truly pursue their dreams and aspiration in any field today. Happy Emirati women’s day keep living your goals girls!”
Bakhita Al Muhairi
The 23-year-old is the youngest female Emirates pilot and an inspiration to all aspiring Emirati women pilots. In an interview with ‘The National’, the Dubai-born pilot said that at the time she had joined the Emirates Airline National Cadet Programme she was the only Emirati female pilot but presently there are four. She has paved the way for all future Emirati female pilots and encourages them to pursue their goals.
Amna Al Qubaisi
Amna Al Qubaisi has managed an incredible feat at the mere age of 20. She is the first Emirati female race car driver and was also the first Middle Eastern woman to take part in a motorsport test program for Formula E after the Ad Diriyah ePrix in Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with Wheels Magazine when asked about whether she had any advice for Emirati girls that wanted to partake in motorsport Amna said: “I’d say go for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young. Motorsport is for all ages and all genders. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Use that as motivation to push harder and you’ll eventually make it to the top.”
Are you inspired buy the Emirati female pioneers listed above?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!