Manal Bint Mohammed: We are keen to provide inspiring platforms to communicate with prominent women leaders and benefit from their success stories

28 Mar 2024

Dubai Women Establishment hosts the UAE’s First Female Minister in Dubai Women's Talks

The Establishment organizes the Ramadan Talk in the presence of female government leaders


Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad:

  • Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is an inspiring model for Emirati and Arab women
  • Developing women leaders and enhancing the quality of women’s lives are two main pillars among the Establishment’s strategy
  • The Dubai Women’s Talks initiative focuses on enhancing the awareness of leadership and innovation through direct communication with female role models

Lubna Al Qasimi:

  • His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is an exceptional leader and is my first mentor in my professional and leadership career
  • We are proud of the inspiring leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed on the issue of gender balance. Reaching seventh place globally is an extraordinary achievement for the UAE.
  • The role of the mother is the greatest leadership role in a woman’s life
  • My period of work at DP World was one of the distinguished leadership experiences in my professional life
  • Passion for specialization, credibility, commitment, and a sense of teamwork are important pillars of professional creativity and successful leadership


Dubai, March 28, 2024: The Dubai Women Establishment hosted Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi during the Ramadan Talk, which was organized as part of the Dubai Women’s Talks initiative, launched by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, aimed at enhancing awareness of the influential roles of expert and successful Emirati women in various sectors.

On this occasion, Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum emphasised that the Dubai Women’s Talks align with the Establishment’s commitment to initiating programs that fulfil its strategic objectives. This includes efforts to elevate women's quality of life through knowledge exchange across diverse domains, fostering their growth and offering avenues of support. The platform also facilitates connections with accomplished female leaders, enabling others to gather insights from their success stories.

Model Entrepreneur 
Her Highness affirmed: “Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is an inspiring model for Emirati and Arab women. Through her academic excellence and professional and national contributions, she achieved distinguished successes in the political, economic, technical, scientific, and humanitarian fields, in addition to her role in the government of the UAE, by assuming four well-deserved ministerial positions. She will remain one of the pioneers who paved the way for others who carried the banner of extended and continuous successes for Emirati women.”


Important Stations

The Ramadan Talk was held at Dubai Women Establishment’s headquarters in the presence of Her Excellency Maryam Majid bin Theneya, Second Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council, Moaza Saeed Al Marri, Member of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Women Establishment, Naeema Ahli, Acting CEO of the Establishment, Sultana Saif, Director of the Women’s Development Department, and a number of Female leaders in government departments and the private sector, and media professional Safia Al Shehhi.

At the Ramadan dialogue, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi discussed critical milestones in her professional journey, from her graduation from Chico University in California, USA, to her tenure in four ministerial positions within the UAE government. She highlighted the significant challenges and transformative experiences she encountered throughout her career, as well as the enduring values that have guided her throughout this remarkable journey.


An Inspiring Personality and Successful Leader

At the beginning of the session, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi expressed gratitude to Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the invitation to speak at the Ramadan Talk, highlighting Her Highness's inspirational role in championing women's causes. She remarked: "We in the UAE are delighted and proud to have achieved seventh place globally in the Gender Inequality Index. This remarkable milestone reflects the concerted efforts and effective leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in this crucial area." She credited Her Highness's plans and strategic initiatives for aligning with the vision and objectives of the wise leadership, which prioritises women's empowerment within the national agenda.

Reflecting on her early leadership journey, she emphasised that leadership manifests at all levels, from at the start of one’s career to executive roles across diverse sectors. Recounting her trajectory, she transitioned from her role as an information technology engineer in a private sector company to her tenure at the UAE University, eventually joining the Dubai Ports Authority in 1993.

She recounted, "I collaborated with a stellar team to devise a strategy to position Dubai Ports as a global leader in container handling efficiency through technology adoption. Serving as the first female Director of Technology, this experience was pivotal and personally fulfilling." She regarded DP World as a learning hub where cutting-edge technologies were applied, contributing significantly to the company's global success in operating ports and container terminals across six continents. Looking back at her seven-year tenure, she commended the leadership of His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of DP World Group, considering it a distinguished chapter in her leadership journey. 

Love of Specialization and Supporting Families

Returning to university in the United States after graduating from high school in the UAE with distinction, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi immersed herself in information technology passionately. She emphasised her family's crucial support in her academic pursuits, leading to her professional success. She stressed the importance of genuine passion, discipline, and commitment to success, prioritising meaningful contributions over fame.


Exceptional Leader

The discussion shifted to her appointment as the first woman in the Emirates to assume a ministerial role in 2004. She described this as a pivotal moment in her life, preceded by 12 years of dedicated service at Dubai Ports and Tejari.com under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, UAE Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. She emphasised, "His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was my first mentor in my professional and leadership journey. His exceptional leadership has nurtured countless leaders, both men and women, who have gone on to inspire others." 

Reflecting on her 13 years in the state government and Council of Ministers under His Highness's leadership, she expressed gratitude for the invaluable lessons she learned. She highlighted not only His Highness's charismatic personality but also his compassion, humanity, and inclination for recognising and rewarding achievement.


The UAE’s First Female Minister

She remarked that her appointment in 2004 as the first Emirati woman in a ministerial role was a transformative moment. Having previously led teams of varying sizes, including 19 employees at Tejari.com and 90 in the Information Technology Department at Dubai Ports, she found herself overseeing approximately 300 employees following the merger of the Ministries of Planning and Economy. Initially grappling with feelings of anxiety, she soon found solace in the knowledge that it was the wise leadership's choice that led to her appointment. Their unwavering support and guidance instilled a newfound confidence in her abilities, marking a pivotal shift in her mindset.

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi emphasised that the wise leadership's trust in Emirati women and female leaders, coupled with their allocation of responsibilities, has been instrumental in their success. She noted: “In the UAE, the leadership's unwavering support ensures that individuals entrusted with responsibilities are set up for success, contributing significantly to the country's global standing across various sectors, including technology and space."

Furthermore, she underscored the enduring commitment of Emirati women to their traditions and morals, which serve as a source of pride. She added, "Our achievements today are a testament to the determination and values instilled by our forefathers, who laid the foundation for our success."

Leadership philosophy

The discussion with Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna focused on her leadership philosophy, highlighting the importance of the human element in every aspect of her work. She emphasised that success is a collective effort of the entire team rather than the result of individual endeavours. She highlighted the significance of humanity, credibility, and empathy towards team members and how these traits contribute to effective leadership.

She remarked: "Today, no fields are exclusively reserved for men, and I view my generation as a catalyst for following generations of women in various sectors. Young women have broader horizons and must capitalise on these opportunities by drawing inspiration from past experiences." She expressed her satisfaction with the positive energy, ambition, and innovative thinking displayed by today's young women.

Furthermore, she stressed the value of learning, experiencing, and embracing diverse cultures while preserving one's identity and traditions. Reflecting on her four-year university experience in the United States, she emphasised the significance of cultural immersion and academic education in shaping her professional and personal development. She advocated for self-evaluation and adaptability, recognising each job as a stepping stone towards personal and professional growth.

Addressing women's challenges and opportunities today, she emphasised the importance of facing challenges with positivity and determination, drawing from her experience navigating through approximately ten different roles. 

Her Excellency Lubna Al Qasimi reinforced the pivotal role of women as mothers, considering it the most significant leadership role in a woman's life. She highlighted the role of mothers in nurturing and shaping future generations, instilling in them essential values and principles.

More News