Under the patronage of H.H. 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, the “Mother of the Nation”, and in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day, Tamkeen and startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based start-up accelerator powered by Tamkeen anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), along with the US Mission to the UAE and the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office (ADGMO), have spotlighted the achievements of 51 inspiring Emirati women furthering innovation and entrepreneurship across various sectors.
The selected Emirati women were honoured with a commemorative book profiling their personal journeys and experience in their field titled “Emirati Women Achievers”.
The first copy of the book was received by Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, on behalf of Sheikha Fatima, 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, and Robin Solomon, Counsellor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The honourees were felicitated during a ceremony that included a set of keynotes and the official unveiling of the commemorative book Emirati Women Achievers, followed by a roundtable discussion on the significance and stories behind the 2022 Emirati Women’s Day theme announced earlier this year by Sheikha Fatima’s office: “Inspiring Reality, Sustainable Future”.
On this occasion, Dr. Al Shamsi delivered greetings on behalf of Sheikha Fatima and sent her appreciation for this initiative on Emirati Women’s Day, and her pride in the sons and daughters of the Emirates, who have proven their capabilities over the past decades.
She emphasised that Sheikha Fatima is a role model for all of us, and we are honoured to follow in her footsteps and continue on her path to establishing a prosperous future for our beloved country and all humanity.
Moreover, she praised the contributions and efforts of Emirati women in the workforce and the country’s development and added, “Sheikha Fatima has established the values and principles that support women. 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 also employed all capabilities to make Emirati women occupy an advanced position among the women of the world.”
She explained that this would not have been achieved 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. Al Shamsi added, “Sheikha Fatima realised that caring for women and preparing them for life and the future is necessary. That development will not 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 advocated women empowerment to focus on the mothers, the educators, and those who build the future generations.
Dr. Al Shamsi highlighted the fact that these Emirati women are contributing to innovation in the UAE and paving the way for future generations to inspire women to register impressive achievements.
Rima Al Mokarrab commented, “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.”
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, 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. At startAD we work with, support, nurture, collaborate, and get inspired by these exemplary women every day, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to honour and celebrate them.”
Daleya Uddin, Head of Public Affairs and Outreach at the U.S. Consulate General Dubai, said, “The U.S. Mission to the UAE is proud to partner with startAD to celebrate Emirati women achievers 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.”
The women 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.”
Dr. Aishah Al-Yammahi, Academic Board Advisor at Alef Education said, “What encouraged me to pursue education as a speciality is a continuous development that the UAE is undergoing, reinforced by the UAE Vision 2071, which aims for educational sector institutions to become an incubator for entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Salwa Al Zahmi, CEO and founder of the tech start-up SPL Co. Ltd, Head of the Emirates ICT Innovation Centre’s Software Modernisation Quality Project, and a scientist and inventor who has created practical solutions in technology, said, “The UAE government’s huge support for women has not only given me a platform to create practical business solutions in the real world, but it also inspires me to be the voice of women in technology. I would like to become the leading provider of the most innovative solutions for cloud computing and software governance and show how the UAE can become an exporter of knowledge-economy products and services on the global stage.”