Emirati Women's Day: Event honours female achievers encouraging entrepreneurship

Her Excellency Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, delivered a keynote address on behalf of Sheikha Fatima before the awards ceremony


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 5:32 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Aug 2023, 12:44 PM

Abu Dhabi authorities have spotlighted the achievements of 51 inspiring Emirati women responsible for furthering innovation and entrepreneurship across various sectors.

The initiative was spearheaded by Tamkeen and startAD — the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) — alongside the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office (ADGMO) and The US Mission to the UAE.

The selected Emirati women were honoured with a commemorative book profiling their personal journeys and experiences in their field titled 'Emirati Women Achievers' at the event on Tuesday evening.

The first copy of the book was received by Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State, on behalf of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and in the presence of:

- Rima Al Mokarrab, Chair of Tamkeen and Trustee of NYU

- Hana Barakat, Senior Associate Director of startAD

- Nihal Shaikh, Assistant Director of Communications at startAD

- Robin Solomon, Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The prestigious event was held under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day.

'Inspiring Reality, Sustainable Future'

The awardees were felicitated during a ceremony that included a set of keynotes and the official unveiling of the commemorative book Emirati Women Achievers.

This was followed by a roundtable discussion on the significance of, and the stories behind, the 2022 Emirati Women’s Day theme announced earlier this year by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s office: “Inspiring Reality, Sustainable Future.”

Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, said: “Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is a role model for all of us, and we are honoured to follow in her footsteps and continue on her path towards establishing a prosperous future for our beloved country and all humanity.”

She further praised the contributions and efforts of Emirati women in the workforce and towards the country's development.

"Sheikha Fatima has established the values and principles that support women", Al Shamsi explained.

"She has enabled them to obtain the highest levels of education, encouraging them to participate in various aspects of economic, political, and social life.

She has also employed all capabilities to make Emirati women occupy an advanced position among the women of the world."

Al Shamsi added that this would not have been possible without the wise leadership of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who possessed the vision for women to be a key partner in the growth of the UAE.

Dr. Maitha added: "Sheikha Fatima realised that caring for women and preparing them for their life and their future is necessary.

That development cannot be achieved without their participation, so we must provide them with science and knowledge, empower them, and enhance their capabilities to contribute constructively.

This will not only contribute to economic development, but social development as well. She advocates for women empowerment to focus on the mothers, the educators, and those who build the future generations.”

A Generation of Future Leaders

Dr. Al Maitha highlighted the contribution of these Emirati women towards innovation in the UAE, crediting them for paving the way for future generations of inspiring women to achieve even more impressive achievements. ​

Rima Al Mokarrab, Chair of Tamkeen and Trustee of NYU, said: “In tribute to our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and with the leadership of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Emirati women across all sectors are helping to chart the UAE’s path of progress.

Today, they are teachers, diplomats, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and astronauts. These remarkable Emiratis are an inspiration to us all. They represent the next generation of leaders and continue to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

Assistant Director of Communications at startAD, Nihal Shaikh, said: “The UAE has seen an active history of strong, resilient, visionary, and inspirational women who have paved new paths of social, cultural, and economic progress. Thanks to their efforts, we now have a treasure trove of established and emerging role models who are building a better future from the ground up."

“Emirati women now hold leading positions across the nation and play an instrumental role in the country’s economic and social prosperity", he added, "along with its push for sustainable development."

With innovation being a central pillar of the UAE’s plans to build a highly competitive economy, women can lead the way.”

Daleya Uddin, Head of Public Affairs and Outreach at the US Consulate General Dubai, said: “The US Mission to the UAE is proud to partner with startAD to celebrate Emirati women achievers who are advancing the UAE’s agenda for women's empowerment. We are thrilled to recognise these inspiring leaders as they contribute to the success of the UAE’s economic development through innovation and creativity.

She added further: "With the support of the US Mission to the UAE, startAD has implemented the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) training program in the nation, which has supported 44 UAE women entrepreneurs in growing their businesses since 2020.

AWE gives enterprising women the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses. We look forward to continuing to work with UAE-based organisations to promote women's economic opportunities.”

The women participating in the campaign, who shared their stories and achievements, expressed their pride in the UAE’s steady steps towards a sustainable and knowledge-based economy.

Mona Al-Hashmi, Incubator Chief at the Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an, commented: “The UAE has established itself as a pioneer for development in the Arab world. I am optimistic and confident that further progress and growth await us at local, regional, and global levels. I dream that the UAE will reach the highest levels of gender equality in the economic and social fields.”

Of her aspirations for the next 50 years, Al-Hashmi added: “My goal is to contribute and play a leading role in this journey for positive, sustainable development.”


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