Dubai: Women in the UAE have been trailblazers in the region and beyond, thanks to their pioneering spirit and the vision of the country’s leaders.
As Emirati Women’s Day approaches, professionals from a wide range of sectors share their experiences on how Emirati women’s day celebrates their personal journey’s as well as the exceptional advancements of women in the UAE.
Parvin Mansoor, Senior Manager, Development. IMKAN Properties
“On the special occasion of Emirati Women’s Day, the IMKAN team and I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the UAE government for its continuous commitment to empowering Emirati women and putting our advancement among the Nation’s top priorities. As an Emirati woman working in one of the country’s leading industries, I am proud to be among the females contributing to the rapid evolution and growing prominence of this nation’s remarkable and vibrant property development scene. Aided by the government’s commitment to empower Emirati women and provide them with equal opportunities, the status of women within the UAE is continuing to flourish, and Emirati women today constitute a vital part of the nation’s workforce — actively contributing to our country’s governance and economy.
"I have been working in the construction industry for more than 12 years and have always found it to be a dynamic and exciting work environment, allowing me to think on my feet to solve complex challenges on a daily basis. It is refreshing to see an increasing number of women entering the industry, providing undeniable value and an innovative point of view. Working as the Senior Manager for Development at IMKAN since 2019, I manage and oversee the design and development of IMKAN’s vast portfolio of projects across the Emirates’ capital and beyond.”
Maha Salem Alkaabi, intern at ADNOC Offshore, Abu Dhabi.
“I am one semester away from graduating from Khalifa University with a degree in chemical engineering through an ADNOC scholarship. I was so happy to work virtually offshore with ADNOC this summer. I wanted to explore and see something new and ADNOC provided the opportunity for me to gain insight into the oil and gas industry. I was particularly interested in artificial intelligence used at the Umm Lulu facility to improve safety and efficiency. In fact, AI is my passion and I will be pursuing my master’s degree in AI starting in January. I plan to invent something that will improve the energy industry, and contribute to the UAE’s success. This country has given me so much and I want to give something back.”
On Emirati Women’s day, she said: “Emirati Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women who have persevered to follow our dreams.”
Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President and CEO, GE Gulf
“This year’s Emirati Women’s Day is special as we celebrate it to coincide with the success our nation has achieved in addressing the global pandemic. For the past months, women have been at the forefront of serving the country and its people, as we addressed one of the biggest challenges of our time to emerge stronger and more resilient. In every sphere — from contributing to the Mars Hope Probe mission to serving as frontline staff during the COVID-19 crisis — women continue to make remarkable achievements and prove their mettle.
"The pivotal role that women play in shaping the future of the nation is further defined under this year’s theme of the Emirati Women’s Day — ‘Preparing for the Next 50 years: Women are the Support of the Nation.’ I urge every woman in the UAE, Nationals and residents alike, to continue contributing to achieve the vision of our leadership as it establishes the UAE as one of the leading nations globally.”
Nayla Al Khaja, filmmaker and Canon ambassador in the UAE
“As we emerge from an unprecedented time in human history, Emirati women, more than ever, have an increasingly prominent role to play supporting the nation in its preparation for the next 50 years. We have the confidence and foundations to overcome any challenges and build a stronger, resilient nation that is an inspiration to future generations in the UAE and the world.
"Having proved our mettle in diverse areas, from creative enterprises and film to space research and next generation technology, Emirati women will continue to be at the forefront in shaping the next chapter of our nation’s history.”
Alya Fadil Saeed Lootah, Business Executive managing Dubai Tram at ENGIE Solutions
“Emirati women have reached great heights and are the building blocks of society. We have earned our seat at the table, made many achievements, and are continuing to work tirelessly towards preparing our country for the next 50 years. As an Emirati woman, it gives me great pride to be able to contribute to this great country that has given all women every opportunity to thrive. Together, we are fostering the growth of the nation.”
Khadija Khalifa, Senior Director of Commercial & Sponsorship, Global Village
“My Global Village journey has been truly exceptional working alongside a team that embraces our cultural values of diversity, equality, and collaboration. I am proud to be part of a group that strives to offer women of all nationalities the opportunity to reach their potential whether it be within the organisation or as our esteemed partners.
"At Global Village and across the UAE, women are acknowledged as a catalyst for cultural diversity through our commitment and passion. As part of our milestone 25th season, we are thrilled that the talented Global Village entertainment team are launching our first-ever ‘All-Women’ show. The coming years will present ever more opportunities for women to demonstrate their creative and innovative prowess as we continue to work alongside entrepreneurs to support them and pave the way for their business success.”
Sharifa Ibrahim Abdullah, Guest Services Associate at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
"I am proud to be at the forefront, promoting and representing the place I work in. It provides me with great pride and satisfaction when I see visitors and guests pleased with our services.
"One of the most important skills I learnt on this job is to take responsibility across all encounters with our guests. I have also learnt how to ensure that every task, no matter how large or small, is always carried out to the best of my capability."
Shamma Al Marzooqi, Marketing Support Manager — Yas Island
"This job has offered me the chance to connect with different geographies and cultures through a wide range of markets and stakeholders. It is a privilege to ultimately support Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry on a local and international level.
"The pride I hold when I showcase the beautiful experiences my country offers to the world is something truly unique that keeps my enthusiasm high every day. The response, “Yes I am an Emirati”, to those who ask, makes this career path feel even more special. My degree in Business Management, supported by self-confidence, enthusiasm and good communication skills have been fundamental to my success to-date.
"I was fortunate to witness my mother’s life journey which affected the way I look at life, understand it and approach it. My ambition drives me to be an aspiring ambassador and representative for my country, and to become an example to those ladies who can still sometimes doubt their potential and capabilities."
Hanan Albalooshi, Food & Beverage Administration Assistant at Yas Waterworld
"What I enjoy the most about my job is being able to interact with guests from a variety of backgrounds. It makes you more confident and agile, while enabling job development and growth.
"Every day is different, and depending upon where you are placed, this requires continuous realignment of your temperament and evolving skill sets. My bachelor’s degree in psychology has enabled me to quickly understand people’s different personalities and adapting to their personal preferences in a timely manner.
"As a young Emirati woman, our goal is to help build a tolerant Emirati society, while instilling these values in our children, society, and youth. It is up to us all to build the future."