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From top, clockwise, Habiba Al Marashi, Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, Amal Abdulrahim, Eman Al Shorafa, Naila Al Moosawi and Hamda Taryam. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: August 28 is Emirati Women’s Day.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the Mother of the Nation, has announced the theme “We Collaborate for Tomorrow.” for Emirati Women’s Day this year.

The theme is keeping in line with the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s announcement that 2023 will be the “Year of Sustainability”, highlighting the UAE’s commitment to finding innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

A number of Emirati women, through their accomplishments, inspire others to dream and achieve their goals. Here are a few:

Hamda Taryam: Off the beaten track

Hamda Taryam is an inspirational 22-year-old drag racer, a type of motor racer She is also President and Founder of Hamda Foundation, a philanthropist and entrepreneur.. She was featured in the Netflix show “The Fastest”. By the age of 21, Hamda managed to build a school and home for orphans, water wells for the poor in Masaka.

“It all started at the age of 15. I worked at an event from where I made some money and bought a car. I took the car out to the desert which led to a breakdown. This in turn made me to take the car to the workshop and fix it. Here I learnt about modifying cars.”

Hamda said she is self-motivated. “My message to fellow Emirati women, pick a goal that is good for you, the support will be there. The universe will help you somehow.”

Amal Abdulrahim: Out to educate

Amal Abdulrahim, Director of the Strategy and Future Department at the Ministry of Education, is a passionate contributer to the government’s ambitious goals in education. “I joined the ministry as an Advisor to the Minister of Education. Thanks to the ongoing support provided to women here, I became the Strategy and Future Department Director in less than six months. I am proud to work alongside Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, and senior ministry officials to devise educational strategies that equip our students with the knowledge they need in today’s world.”

She said as a child, her father used to take her to his workplace and show her how things were managed. “This experience helped me understand the qualities and capabilities I sought when building my team. I am eager to share my knowledge and experience with them while learning from them daily.”

Amal is a mother of four children, one of whom is a child of determination (ASD). “My six-year-old son Ammar has taught me that all of us can learn and thrive in different ways. My role as a mother is to try and understand them. “His passion and courage have inspired me to do more for other children of determination and their families. Education is one of the most powerful tools to uplift them, and this is what I remind myself of every day when I come to work.”

She said, “My message to other Emiratis is that they should build confidence in their abilities and others. Successful women manage their time more effectively and are focused and persistent. They should also be open to feedback and use it to improve themselves. We all need numerous skills to succeed, but I would summarise the main ones as the 3Cs – confidence, communication and creativity.”

Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna: Towards a sustainable future

Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President of GE in the UAE and Global Chief of Strategy & Operations for GE International Markets, said Emirati women have driven sustainability initiatives, catalysing progress in the energy transition and advanced technology. Dr. Dalya said: “As hosts of COP 28 this year, the UAE is propelling innovative solutions forward to address some of the most complex challenges impacting our planet. Over the past decades, more women are taking on leadership roles and will be pivotal as we work together with other nations around the world to build a more sustainable and equitable future for all.”

Naila Al Moosawi: Certified counsellor

Naila Al Moosawi is a certified counselor with a Master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling from the Middlesex University in the UK. She strives hard to create a supportive and inclusive workplace culture that encourages personal and professional growth. She has created opportunities for individuals to take charge of their mental health and wellbeing. Her commitment to creating an accessible and affordable platform for mental health services has helped to bridge the gap between those in need and the resources available to them.

Habiba Al Marashi: Environmental leader

Habiba Al Marashi, Co-founder and Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group, said August 28 is a testament to the unyielding spirit and unparalleled contributions of Emirati women. “This day stands as a symbol of honour, elevating the status of Emirati women who have left an indelible mark in history.”

“Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak stands as a towering beacon among Arab women, especially Emirati women. Her unparalleled dedication to gender equality and women’s empowerment has redefined the role of Emirati women within society. Her visionary leadership has paved the way for ongoing progress and stands as a timeless source of inspiration, transcending borders and resonating across the globe,” she noted.

Eman Al Shorafa: Entrepreneur with many interests

Eman Al Shorafa is a well-known entrepreneur. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration from Zayed University in 2009 and started her career in marketing and executive administration at United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) for few years. She then became the Chief Protocol Officer of the leading Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children for more than four year, following which she took charge as the Chief Operating Officer of Danat Al Emarat Hospital managing a team of 200 employees.

As one of the youngest female Emirati executives in the healthcare sector in UAE, Eman has proved herself as an excellent leader, inspiring her team to achieve positive outcomes and improve patient satisfaction rates.

She said: “In 2022, I founded Wevin Investments – the holding company of diverse organisations in security, technology, and education. I am also a partner in Bedayati Nursery in Abu Dhabi. My second establishment, Wevin Consultancy provides consultancy services for healthcare organisations to enhance their patient experience, hospital image, operational capabilities, hospitality, VIP services, facilities management and beyond. I am also a member in the Emirates Angels Investors Association, and a board member at United Eastern Group (UEG) and United Eastern Technical & Management Training (UETMT) and the co-founder and manager of three other businesses.”