Emirati Women’s Day: From fashion runways to thriving in retail; Fatema Al Fardan’s journey so far

She underlines that Emirati women’s strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the relentless advancement of the UAE is truly remarkable


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 28 Aug 2023, 6:42 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Aug 2023, 10:31 PM

Fatema Al Fardan, who has more than a decade of experience within the fashion and retail industry, believes that Emirati women can overcome any barriers with their dedication and passion.

Fatema, who is currently the senior retail relations manager at Al Maryah Retail Company, started her career as an entrepreneur, breathing life into her own fashion label, Fatema Fardan Designs. Her creative flair and innovative mindset came to the forefront when she crafted a bespoke piece for Swarovski's 120th anniversary in 2015, a testament to her artistic prowess.

One of her greatest achievements was becoming the first Emirati fashion designer to showcase a collection at New York Fashion Week among industry icons such as Rachel Zoe and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, propelling her into the international fashion scene.

Fatema underlined that Emirati women’s strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the relentless advancement of the UAE is truly remarkable.

“The women of the UAE are not only pioneers in their respective fields but also serve as beacons of inspiration for generations to come,” Fatema told Khaleej Times.

Throughout her dynamic career, Fatema contributed her expertise to renowned brands such as Al Futtaim Group, Robinsons, Sandro, Maje, and Marks & Spencer, where she gained a wealth of knowledge across diverse segments of the industry.

Witnessing the achievements of Emirati women fills her with a sense of pride and solidarity.

“I see them as my sisters, and their triumphs resonate deeply with me. What strikes me most is their recognition that their successes are not isolated events; instead, they have a ripple effect that paves the way for others to follow. When one Emirati woman achieves greatness, she doesn't just open a door for herself, but she also holds that door open for the multitude of other talented and ambitious women striving to make their mark.”

Today, Fatema continues to champion the retail landscape, aiming to inspire aspiring fashion entrepreneurs and enthusiasts with her journey.

“As senior retail relationship manager, I have a wonderful opportunity to enhance the guest experience and drive profitability. I am dedicated to fostering exceptional customer service, curating unique shopping experiences, and promoting collaboration among our retailers, all of which contribute to creating a vibrant and engaging community within our mall.”

Al Maryah Retail Company was established by Mubadala Investment Company, offering services such as management of assets, property, and investment, and leasing services for the Galleria Al Maryah Island. Fatema celebrated Emirati Women’s Day with her team at the Galleria.

“By actively seeking and utilising guest feedback, implementing effective visual merchandising strategies, and introducing personalised marketing initiatives, I aim to elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty. Through my strategic approach, I am excited to shape an environment where our guests not only enjoy shopping and dining but feel part of an immersive and enriching experience here at The Galleria.”

Asked about advice she would give to women who wish to follow in her footsteps or may be unsure of their career path, she highlighted: “Embrace the road less taken, for it is often on the uncharted paths that the most rewarding and transformative experiences await. While the journey may be unconventional and even challenging at times, the lessons learned and the growth achieved will undoubtedly prove to be invaluable in the long run.”


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