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We shape the future
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr

As the 'soul and spirit' of our nation, Emirati women have made a lasting imprint in driving the all-round development of the nation

By Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr

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Published: Fri 25 Aug 2017, 11:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Aug 2017, 1:43 AM

As the UAE marks the Emirati Women's Day on August 28, we already know that our women have cut through that imaginary glass ceiling and are aiming for the clouds. In every walk of life, Emirati women have demonstrated their leadership quality and a commitment to excellence.
In his book, Flashes of Thought, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, writes: "One of the greatest contributions that women make to our nation will be their leadership in creating strong and educated future generations that love their country, seize challenges and carry on the building and development process."
As the 'soul and spirit' of our nation, Emirati women have made a lasting imprint in driving the all-round development of the nation, bringing to the fore the wonderful values of compassion, love, helpfulness and empathy, which go a long way in making the people happy.
After all, the happiness of our people is the primary goal of Smart Dubai that Sheikh Mohammed envisions. It is happiness and not technology that is the core of the Smart Dubai strategy.
Of course, we leverage technology to create and build a bright, smart future, but the hands that shape the future are that of our women. They are efficient and educated leaders and team members - who leave a mark on every initiative and endeavour.
So why do our women make such extraordinary leaders? First and foremost, it is the proud heritage of respect and dignity that Islam accords to women. 
We live in a great region that has, since time immemorial, given women place of pride. In the UAE, especially, since its formation, a top priority of our founding fathers has been to ensure that women are never discriminated in any aspect.
That is why it is not surprising to note that more than 70 per cent of our university graduates are women. With education expanding their horizons and skills, Emirati women have never hesitated to take on the challenges that the workplace demands.
They have never shied away from the workplace being concerned about work-life balance. They were an integral part of the nation-building process, and they were given equal opportunity by our leadership in being active members in our development strategy.
Women leaders are also incredibly tech-savvy, eager to learn and early adopters of technology. They also bring a high level of creativity, and a spirit of innovation to whatever they do.
Emirati women serve as great leaders also because our nation provides them the opportunity to excel in any chosen field. Our leadership has made all the appropriate regulations to ensure more women are appointed in corporate-level positions, and in top ministerial jobs. This naturally, increases the confidence of women to take on even more challenging tasks.
The remarkable track record of Emirati women today is an inspiration for all women - not just in the UAE but across the world. The women empowerment approach of the UAE is indeed the bedrock of our future growth - and we at Smart Dubai salute every woman in the UAE for making our nation truly great and well on the road to even greater glory. 
- Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr is Director General of the Smart Dubai Office

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