Under the patronage of Her Highness 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, and in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day, Tamkeen and startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), along with The US Mission to the UAE, have spotlighted the achievements of 51 inspiring Emirati women furthering innovation and entrepreneurship across various sectors. The selected Emirati women were honored 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 Her Excellency Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State, on behalf of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, 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, Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The honorees 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 H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s office: “Inspiring Reality, Sustainable Future.”
On this occasion, Her Excellency Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, delivered greetings on behalf of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and sent Her Highness's appreciation for this initiative on Emirati Women's Day, and her pride in the sons and daughters of the Emirates alike, who have proven their capabilities over the past decades.
H.E. Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi emphasized that H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is a role model for all of us, and we are honored to follow in her footsteps and continue on her path to establishing a prosperous future for our beloved country and all humanity.
Moreover, H.E. praised the contributions and efforts of Emirati women in the workforce and the country's development and added: "H.H. 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," explaining 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 United Arab Emirates.
H.E. Dr. Maitha added: "H.H. Sheikha Fatima realized 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. H.E. advocates for women empowerment to focus on the mothers, the educators, and those who build the future generations.”
H.E. Dr. Al Maitha highlighted that these Emirati women are contributing to innovation in the UAE and paving the way for future generations of inspiring women to achieve impressive achievements.
Rima Al Mokarrab, Chair of Tamkeen and Trustee of NYU, commented: “In tribute to our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and with the leadership of Her Highness 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, 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. And 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 honor 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 who are advancing the UAE’s agenda for women's empowerment. We are thrilled to recognize these inspiring leaders as they contribute to the success of the UAE’s economic development through innovation and creativity.
“With the support of the U.S. Mission to the UAE, startAD has implemented the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) training program in the UAE, 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 organizations to promote women's economic opportunities.”
The women participating in the campaign who shared their stories and achievements expressed their pride in the United Arab Emirates’ steady steps towards a sustainable and knowledge-based economy. Mona Al-Hashemi, 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-Hashemi 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 specialty is the 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 Center’s Software Modernization 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.” Speaking about her hopes over the next 50 years, Al Zahmi stated, “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.”