Emirati Women's Day 2022: 17 inspiring women on how the UAE empowers them – Emirates Woman – Emirates Woman

August 28, 2022 marks the seventh annual Emirati Women’s Day launched by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi, the Mother of the nation, in 2015.
This year’s theme for Emirati Women’s Day is ‘Inspiring Reality… Sustainable Future’. Keeping in line with the achievements of Emirati women, this special occasion marks their accomplishments and openness to overcoming challenges.
Upon announcing the theme for 2022, Sheikha Fatima praised the women of the UAE saying, “Emirati women have proven that there is no task that is impossible, due to their hard work and innovation.”
From fashion designers to athletes, no task is too big for these women is continually inspiring future generations with their ability to think outside the box.
With an aim to empower women and shackle stereotypes, we spoke to 17 inspirational Emirati women about how the UAE is supporting their hopes and vision of achieving their goals.
Yasmin Al Mulla
Our actual reality in the UAE is purely inspiring and deserves to be celebrated on a daily basis, so having a sustainable future in terms of new limitless goals and passions urges us to work harder to reach them on a daily basis.
Growing up in the UAE is naturally inspiring, witnessing all the magnificent accomplishments, and rapid developments urge us to work hard to keep up and develop ourselves, and our goals too. We are very driven in representing our country in an optimistic manner.
Phenomenally. My ultimate goal is to always connect the beauty of my Emirati traditions with today’s mindset. Through my designs and collaborations, my aim was and will always be to connect the beauty of the brands (brands we relate to, and grew up endorsing) to the legacy of the local community — Merging both cultures is a celebration by itself. Representing our beautiful country globally is the best way to pay back to this incredible society.
Education comes first, passion is next, and it is the tool to achieve your dreams. Trust your instincts and the voice inside you. You are living in a country where women are being supported in all aspects, use your chances, and always remember that there is room for everyone — We rise by lifting others.
Without any doubt. Throughout the years, we have witnessed incredible developments, and massive transformations on a daily basis. The UAE is truly a magical place.
Butheina Kazim
It’s refreshing to see a grounded and long-term view on this celebratory day; it invites us to take stock and be mindful and reflective while flagging an urgency of the impact we have on the environment and the future of this planet.
As a small and mighty nation, I am always aware of the privilege of what that reality means and taking to heart the responsibility of that position that whatever we do now is effectively shaping a component of the society and the place we hold in the world which reminds me always that its important to keep building something meaningful and contributing to our story of the nation taking shape before our eyes with us as women at the centre of it.
My work has always been fueled by an insistence to bring to light and focus on the voices and complicated histories of our region; through the films, we have shown at Cinema Akil, there is an ongoing commitment to representation and critical engagement with the community we serve.
I don’t believe in following in anyone’s footsteps; your path is always your own while collecting insights, challenges and inspiration from the world around you.
Having such wisdom as a beacon of our journey as women in our society is a gift and motivation to keep pushing, keep trying and fail. It is a reminder to look back at the strength of the very women that contributed at every juncture of this nation’s growth, especially during the early days of the country’s history when the challenges of existing and surviving were part of every day. The women building this country today are an extension of a long line of women who arise from a history born of challenge, survival, of self-reliance. It is humbling to look back and learn about that history to understand ourselves as women in today’s world and draw confidence and strength from that history.
Latifa Al Gurg
A sustainable future, to me, is one of balance. One of my future goals, and enjoying the moment at the same time. One of working hard on something challenging, and being free-spirited and at ease. Planning for that future inspires my present and the reality at hand.
No one can deny the remarkable achievements the UAE has accomplished. This could only be accomplished with great vision. That, in turn, inspires me to have a great vision, and realise it through the vision of the UAE.
I believe that we are a sum total of what has come before us and our current experiences. I carry with me both my heritage and the experience of living in such a cosmopolitan city. I believe that this has given us a broader view of the world as a whole within our microcosm right here in the UAE. This has given me the opportunity to grow and advance in my career with a foundation of acceptance and a thirst for learning from others.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare, but also understand that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Reflect on your journey regularly, and enjoy it.
Definitely. There’s so much energy within the Emirati woman, and a desire for learning and growth that is truly inspirational to me.
Yasmin Baker
To me, the term “sustainability” is achieving balance. That can be applied on the micro-level; a person gaining an inner sense of peace and content knowing that all elements of life are in alignment, all the way through to the macro-level, existing within the boundaries of our planet in ways that benefit both humanity and nature. The future goes hand in hand with sustainability. Without living sustainably, we are merely surviving, not thriving.
The UAE being such a new country means that it is a fresh ground for people to explore their potential and achieve things that were previously thought of as out-of-our reach or impossible. But as HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid put it, “impossible is not a word in our dictionaries.” For me, the UAE has granted me endless opportunities to discover new interests both personal and professional and has given me the encouragement to pursue these and use my experience to benefit others.
My heritage and culture are founded on the principles of giving, hospitality, growth and serving a collective good. These values have been driving forces when it comes to my career choices. I have always tended towards careers that are fundamentally purposeful and oriented to improve the lives of people, the status of communities, and the condition of our Planet.
Fear and excitement have the same physical feeling, we simply label them differently in our minds. Lean into that feeling, and explore the opportunities ahead of you even when they seem intimidating or scary. There is always something to gain by trying and everything to miss out on by not trying and if things don’t go the way you envisioned, by simply going for something, you have already created a new path for yourself that did not exist beforehand.
Emirati women are just scratching the surface of what is possible, and it’s only a matter of time until more glass ceilings are broken, more stigmas are dispelled, and more accomplishments are made. Emirati women have shown that it is possible to adapt, overcome and excel is many different roles, and they are able to in parallel. They have shown that they are able to adapt, overcome and excel in many different roles and some roles at the same time. In achieving this, they exemplify the term “balance” and paint a bright picture of what’s ahead for our country.
There is so much in our world today that inspires us to build a sustainable future.
We are given so many opportunities and means that help us grow in this part of the world.
Their simplicity and love for our environment have deeply influenced my work. I’m inspired by its ecosystem and people on a daily basis.
Our country is rich in culture and resources, we must make the most of what we locally have and use that to make something beautiful.
There is absolutely nothing impossible for us women especially women of the UAE, we strive to accomplish our goals no matter what obstacles we face.
Aisha Rashid
The United Arab Emirates is making great efforts to empower Emirati women, and the results of these efforts have been reflected through the achievements made by Emirati women in several fields: in politics, culture, art, entrepreneurship, space and more. These achievements are a source of inspiration for us and for future generations to create a sustainable and prosperous future.
I consider myself fortunate to be a woman from the United Arab Emirates, as Emirati women have the constant support and trust from our leadership to develop themselves and refine their talents. The trust and great support from our leadership motivate us with a responsibility to work hard and excel in our fields to be the pride of our country.
A piece of advice that I would like to give, is to never stop learning, be open to new opportunities, and accept challenges. Since their journey is a series of challenges and every step of the journey makes you wiser and stronger.
Over the past years, Emirati women have proven multiple times that nothing is impossible. Achievements of Emirati women are not limited to one field where we can see them in many different fields such as aviation, art, fashion, government, business, and many more. Emirati women have shown that they can be effective members and leaders in our country and aid in the development process that our country is witnessing. In commemorating Emirati Women’s Day this year, I am pleased and privileged to extend my heartfelt deepest admiration and appreciation to the most inspiring and influential woman in our country today, the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for her continuous support and trust.
Noora Shawqi
Reading the theme made me realize it is a really powerful one, knowing that we are a part of the big changes happening in the UAE. It’s recognizing Emirati women with the goals of the UAE and inspiring them to thrive in a better and more sustainable future.
Being a woman in the UAE has a huge impact on society, as our Rulers and society helped increase awareness of the importance of a woman. We are appreciated as mothers, daughters, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Whichever road we choose to take, we have support right behind us and are appreciated.
Heritage has been taught to us from a very young age by our parents, it’s a part of our identity and what has shaped us. We carry it with us throughout all paths of life, including our careers. It might not be a direct influence, but it has taught me how to interact with people, and how to evolve on a better path that’s suitable for me.
If this is the right path for you, just believe in it, keep going, and don’t give up.
I definitely agree with this, we have grown up seeing Emirati women achieving and being part of life-changing projects. I have grown to see my friends become something big in society which I’m so proud of. All we need is support to keep us going, and with the help of our country and unconditional support, we are able to achieve it all.
Noora Al Serkal
We live in a time where it is easier for us Emirati women to strive in our field of work, be able to express our creativity and have the freedom to accomplish our goals. In order for future generations to experience the same or even opportunities, sustainable measures need to be taken. However, I believe it can only be achieved collectively.
Being a woman from the UAE empowers us to strive for more since as a nation, we’re always exploring more ways to advance and improve our quality of life. If there are endless possibilities to do so, without any restrictions implied, it is evident for us Emirati women to want the best as well.
As an artist, my heritage and culture play huge roles in my artwork. Once an artist truly understands where they come from, they start to recognize the importance of exploring ways to incorporate their heritage into their work. It then becomes a vessel to showcase our differences to the world.
My advice to the upcoming generation of Emirati artists would be to explore all forms of art. Do not feel the need to be restricted to one form of expressing art as a way to automatically label your work for others to recognize. Art is meant to be explored freely.
Yes, I do agree with Sheikha Fatima’s statement as Emirati women are always breaking boundaries and diminishing stereotypes, especially when it comes to their goals and dreams. We currently have Emirati women striving in certain fields of work that no one thought they could join or potentially be interested to do so in the first place. The sky’s definitely not even the limit for us.
MKS Jewellery
I want all of my work to relate to the women who will wear it by providing a wider message. By finding new ways to reduce waste, reduce carbon footprint, and reduce the energy cost of doing business, I believe we can all play a unique part in building a more sustainable future.
Women in the UAE are beginning to find their voices in a different way from previous generations. I feel blessed to be part of such a rich and historical culture, and I feel empowered to stand on the shoulders of the many millions of women who came before me. If I can use whatever position I find myself in to lift up the next generation, even just in some small way, my time will have been well spent.
My heritage is the foundation on which the rest of my life is built. It influences the way I think, the way I create, and the way I go about working through the design process. We’re blessed in the UAE to be open to ideas and cultures from around the world, but the largest source of creative direction always starts at home. By attempting to blend timeless and contemporary ideas, I want to show the world where the UAE is heading.
Stay true to yourself and follow your passion. If you can do these two things you will never have to look back on a decision you made with regret, and you will never wake up early wishing you didn’t have to work that day. Do what you love and you will always love what you do.
I would most definitely agree with this. Her wise words speak to the energy, determination, and tenacity of not just women in the UAE, but everyone who calls this beautiful corner of the world home. We’ve shown that we can break down barriers, find our voices, and make the wider community a better place in a sustainable, long-term way.
Rawdha Thani
It means nothing is impossible to what we can do and achieve, it means making dreams a reality is easier with every passing day.
With all support Emirati Women receive, we are able to accomplish so much. Being a woman in the UAE makes me feel like i am capable of anything i set my mind to, there’s no limit or ceiling to what I can do or which field I get into or which passion I want to follow, everything is possible.
My heritage has had an impactful influence on my career. I always look at where we came from and our values. Whenever I feel lost in thought or need inspiration, I always take a step back and go back to my roots, as it helps me reflect.
The advice i always give is just to go for it. Don’t think it through and don’t be scared, just go ahead and start and mute all the doubting voices that might come up. In the process be kind to yourself, don’t be too hard, and remember to always be your biggest fan.
I absolutely agree with this, there are Emirati women in every single field I can think of. There isn’t anything that’s impossible to accomplish.
It means that we apply this to our day-to-day life and most importantly in our business, we hope to and aspire to be a sustainable business.
Our Leadership has set the tone in the very early days of the Union that women will have a vital role in the growth of this country, and this promise has shaped who we are, Emirati women have stepped into very important positions. We are empowered by leadership, empowered by our families and supported to step into these roles.
We have always been surrounded by opinionated women, strong personalities, and great traditional values, I love what I do and my roots, my traditions and values have always dictated a lot of my decisions in my career. I am blessed that I can be who I truly am and what I believe in while following my dreams.
I am a wife mother daughter and sister first, My family to me is my biggest accomplishment, and I can only give advice from my own experience, follow your dreams, find time for it, start slow and at your own pace, but start, everyone has his own path and journey and it is never too late.
This statement is a true testament to what Emarati women have achieved, nothing is impossible because we were provided education, opportunities and the trust given to women to achieve the impossible.
Roudha Al Shamsi
Each and every Emirati woman is setting the bar higher by striving for the best only. Today, We are overwhelmed by Emirati women’s achievements in various sectors. For me, “inspiring reality… Sustainable future’ sums up the vision I see for myself and my peers in the world of design. It’s the appreciation of the wonderful design around me to be motivated to present beautiful pieces. Nevertheless, passing the knowledge to the younger generation to trigger motivation for future Emirati designers.
I think looking up to our leaders and the vision they’ve set for themselves is the main influence on what we do today as Emirati women. On the other hand, originality and creativity are vital aspects of a successful career in design.
The design market today is looking for original works but also it is eager to see innovative Emirati designs from this region. The questioning of what truly an Emirati design is and what Emirati designers are all about, push UAE-based designers to present unprecedented works inspired by the local environment to keep on with the global design momentum. A lot of our products are inspired by Emirati heritage such as Meghzal and Acacia.
Aspiring Emirati designers need to have knowledge and creativity to be future designers.
History speaks for itself. When looking back at the great accomplishments of Emirati women for decades, one would see that Sheikha Fatima witnessed the growth of Emirati Women. On the other hand, Her Highness herself is a great supporter of women aspiring to leave a mark in the Emirati society.
Huda Al Shamsi
The United Arab Emirates is quickly becoming recognised as a regional leader and global champion for sustainability through the launch of ambitious initiatives to secure a greener and brighter future. Projects such as Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest solar power plant, embody the nation’s commitment to renewable energy. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates will serve as the host country for COP28 next year, further cementing the nation’s position as an advocate for climate action.
As Emiratis, we are renowned for our heritage of hospitality – as born wanderers, we have a tradition of compassion for fellow travellers. Throughout my career with Abu Dhabi Airports, I strive to combine the hospitable nature that is intrinsic to our culture and history to provide a warm welcome to every passenger who travels through our airports.
As a child, my role model was my grandmother – she instilled principles and values in me which have shaped the person and woman I am today. She taught me how discipline trumps motivation every time and the ambition to excel means going beyond the possible, in pursuit of the seemingly impossible.
Throughout my career, author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek influenced my leadership style and his book – “Leaders Eat Last” – taught me that good leaders provide purpose, perspective and show empathy.
Have a vision for your career and own it – set ambitious goals, take calculated risks and lead by example.
Chef Hend Al Raisi
Emirati Women’s Day is a day that recognizes women’s achievements and successes over the last 50 years. As one of the few Emirati women in the hospitality industry with a special focus on culinary, I always aim to inspire the future generation of Emirati women to thrive and follow their passions and dreams regardless of the field they are interested in. In the future, I look forward to celebrating more accomplishments, as we continue inspiring the young Emirati women toward working on their goals and achieving their dreams.
The great leaders of the United Arab Emirates have taught us that ‘The road to excellence has no limitation’. With all the numerous initiatives our nation has adopted, Emirati women today occupy some of the highest positions in the country as they work hand in hand with men to further develop and represent our nation across all sectors.
I learned my love for food and culinary art from my family. I studied Interior Architecture at the American University in Dubai and after I graduated, I decided to pursue my love for cooking by joining one of the leading culinary schools in Armenia where I studied Italian, international cuisines, and sushi secrets. When I returned, I started my own catering business before joining one of the Jumeirah Group. Starting my hospitality career with Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, have been instrumental in developing my skills in culinary. Being part of the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray family, I got exposed to a variety of cuisines with access to a global kitchen environment and talented chefs, which allowed me to continuously evolve and nurture my talents.
The hospitality industry has always been greatly supported by the leaders of this beloved country and the next generation will be crucial to the future of the hospitality sector in the UAE. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is continuously empowering Emiratis by providing a career platform to innovate, and build knowledge and expertise. My advice for any woman looking to explore a role in hospitality is to be brave and determined as hospitality jobs tend to be high-pressured, no two days are the same which is part of the appeal.
Her highness Sheikha Fatma Mubarak was keen on developing a generation of women who are capable to drive development in their country and I strongly agree with the statement, as with the right drive, passion and clear vision, a career in any industry are possible for anyone.
To us, this means that as entrepreneurs of the country it is our responsibility now to be more mindful by implementing sustainable changes wherever possible to help benefit the future generations. Our ultimate goal is to be able to shed light on the younger population and enlighten them on how to build a conscious future.
The UAE continuously strives to encourage and educate women of the country to work hard and achieve their dreams. The support we receive inspires us to continue building our platform as it is our way of giving back to society.
Our heritage and our culture are rooted in our brand’s ethos. With every collection, we embrace our culture by designing styles that we believe will be loved by women of all ages.
Serrb is our canvas where we blend heritage with modernity so that our culture lives on for generations.
Our advice would be to follow your dreams! It will be overwhelming but the key is to navigate through the ups and downs one at a time. This process will teach you more about yourself both professionally and personally which is the most rewarding thing.
Definitely! Over the years it has been very clear that Emirati women are determined and hard-working, achieving everything they have set their minds to.
Images: Supplied 


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