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How this UAE royal became Dubai's first female police pilot

Filed on February 18, 2020 | Last updated on February 18, 2020 at 05.39 am
Capt Mozah, UAE royal,  Dubai, first, female, police pilot,  Capt Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan Al Maktoum,
At 17, she was the youngest student when she joined Oxford aviation to pursue her commercial pilot's licence.-Photo Courtesy Twitter

The 23-year-old lieutenant pilot was also featured as the 'game changer' at the Global Women's Forum.

A flying lesson at the age of 12 planted the first seed of aviation in her and, since then, the sky became home for Capt Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan Al Maktoum, the first female pilot in the Dubai Police. "I will never forget: It was a hot summer day. I was flying in the Robinson 22 with no doors attached. What I didn't know at that time was that day was going to change my trajectory and determine most of the choices that led me to where I am today," said Capt Mozah.

The 23-year-old lieutenant pilot was featured as the 'game changer' at the Global Women's Forum on Monday and spoke about her undying passion for flying and how she pushed boundaries to achieve her dream.

"I love the feeling of soaring between the clouds; seeing the earth from a different perspective. Every flight is different, and the adrenaline rush never ends. I had finally found my home."

She said that even as a child, she spent most of her time doing adrenaline-inducing activities - be it horse-riding, rock-climbing, boxing, trampolining or bungee-jumping.

"This is the thing with adrenaline. The more you get, the more you want."

Her thirst for adrenaline and the drive to push the limits, Capt Mozah said, made her set the Guinness World Record on wing walking in 2013. She willingly tied herself to the frame of an airborne aircraft, then the pilot did 10 flips.

'Go test reality'

She said girls need to fight what is known as 'limiting beliefs' the same way she did and overcome it.

"The thing with us girls is we always tells stories to ourselves. We tell some version of a potential outcome turning around inside our heads, when we should be really testing reality.

"If we sit there and wait for our dreams to materialise, that day will never come. Many of us are really great in creating boundaries within our minds; answering questions in our heads before we start out."

At 17, she was the youngest student when she joined Oxford aviation to pursue her commercial pilot's licence. Capt Mozah joined Emirates Airlines after getting her licence and flew her first passenger flight - EK409 - to Oman.

Recently, she graduated from the Dubai Police academy and became the first female pilot to join the force. Her duties include patrol and conducting search and rescue missions.

"I am proud in serving my country. It is a very rewarding role where I get to help the community on a job I love and I am so passionate about."

Encouraging more women to enter aviation

Speaking about the number of women in aviation, Capt Mozah said it is encouraging to see more women entering the male-dominated profession.

"We are slowly getting more women to join. Given my experience and my love for it, I felt compelled to do something tangible to accelerate the growth rate of women entering the industry," she said.

In October last year, Capt Mozah established an association called Shehana, aiming to increase the female ratio in aviation and spread awareness.

"I personally would like to see more young girls made aware of the opportunities. Our leaders have demonstrated so much faith in us. Now, it is our turn to make them proud and show that UAE women can represent them locally and internationally."

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.

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