UAE: Women in abayas set to vroom at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit

The all-women car rally will feature achievers of all ages who have overcome stereotypes in their respective fields


Ashwani Kumar

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 11:43 AM

Last updated: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 5:22 PM

With less than three months to go for the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where the likes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will burn rubber, around 100 women clad in abayas and sheilas will be leading the way with exhilarating drives at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit this Sunday.

Ringing in Emirati Women’s Day in the most glamorous way, the second Abaya Rally will feature engineers, athletes, entrepreneurs, actresses, bikers, singers, social media influencers, car enthusiasts and even more talented individuals who have overcome stereotypes in their respective fields.

Among other events there will be a red carpet, abaya fashion show, panel discussions and an award night honouring remarkable women leaders to be held at Al Raha Beach Hotel.

Women achievers of all ages are excited to showcase the ‘power of abayas’ on the F1 track.

Photo: Dr Suaad Al Shamsi
Photo: Dr Suaad Al Shamsi

“If you can dream it, you can do it", said Dr Suaad Al Shamsi, the UAE's first female Emirati Aircraft Engineer. "If you can do it, you can achieve it and you will succeed in it. Just follow your dreams and believe.”

The all-women car rally, promoting empowerment and equality, will see scores of achievers drive for the change they stand for. It will be organised by Orbit Events and Promotions with the support of the Emirates Motor Sports Organisation.

Photo: Pragna Vaya
Photo: Pragna Vaya

Pragna Vaya, managing director, Orbit Events, said the event celebrates the resolve of these women to overcome the challenges they face and achieve great things.

Photo: Dr Walaa Ahmed Al Shehhi
Photo: Dr Walaa Ahmed Al Shehhi

“Abaya Rally brings together women from different walks of life to show that they can have all the fun as well as drive forward more empowered, stronger, and more successful, towards a more sustainable world,” said Dr Walaa Ahmed Al Shehhi, a multitalented electrical engineer, writer, and life coach.

“As a woman, you are the power of now, and you hold the secret to creating the impossible. You are the key to everything possible.”

The panel discussions at Al Raha Beach Hotel will focus on the topics of women empowerment, leadership, excelling in careers, well-being, and the steps to achieving gender parity.

Kamal Zayati, general manager, Al Raha Beach Hotel, said the event gives women in the UAE the “recognition they deserve for their continuous outstanding contribution to the development of the nation”.

The first-ever Abaya Rally was held in 2020 on the UAE National Day.


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