Timeline of UAE women’s empowerment

27 Aug 2016

February 11, 2016

Khawla Abdul Rahman Al Mullabeen appointed chairperson of Sharjah Consultative Council, the first time a woman is elected to chair the council.

February 10, 2016

Eight women appointed ministers in newly formed UAE cabinet.

November 18, 2015

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi makes history by becoming the first woman in the Arab world to be elected speaker of UAE Federal National Council (FNC)

October 15, 2015

Mariam Al Mansouri, first woman squadron leader, an F-16 fighter pilot of the UAE air force, receives the Asia Game Changer Award at Asia Society’s Game Changer Awards at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

October 15, 2015

UAE is setting a precedent in gender balance and women’s empowerment at the workplace. Accounting for more than 66 per cent of jobs in the workforce in the public sector, they occupy key decision-making positions, according to Dr Shamsa Saleh, CEO of the Dubai Women Establishment and General Coordinator of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

October 12, 2015

UAE women leaders attend the 11th Women’s Forum Global Meeting held in Deauville, France. The group of Emirati women visit the forum under the directives of Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council and Dubai Women Establishment.

October 3, 2015

Naema Abdullah Saeed Al Sharhan, from Ras Al Khaimah, makes history by becoming the third woman to be elected to the Federal National Council, with 1,004 votes

September 21, 2015

Hind Abdul Aziz Al Owais becomes the first Emirati woman to be posted at United Nations headquarters in New York as a senior adviser.

August 26, 2015

Martyrs Mothers’ and Children are Ours, a humanitarian initiative launched, will see a group of Emirati media representatives visit mothers of martyrs to support them emotionally and financially.

June 14, 2015

Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak is named Islamic Personality of the Year 2015, making it the first time the award has been conferred on a woman.

April 9, 2015

35 young women, including Emiratis and expats from all seven emirates, launched for the first time in the Middle East by Promise of a Generation (POAG), a seven-year-old UAE-based community dialogue forum with the support of Emirates NBD called the ‘e7 Daughters of the Emirates’, the young women will have the opportunity to make their country better.

April 25, 2015

Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE) signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ducab for ongoing partnership and collaboration towards empowering Emirati women in the workplace, especially in the private sector. The agreement will see Ducab sponsor the annual Women Leadership Exchange Programme (WLEP) organised by DWE in collaboration with the Women for Sustainable Growth network and Sweden-based Mil Institute.

March 7, 2015

Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak launches National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women in UAE from 2015-2021.

February 10, 2015

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announces formation of UAE Gender Balance Council. The council aims to boost UAE efforts to evolve and enhance women’s role as key partners in building the nation’s future.

October 2014

Major Mariam Al Mansouri becomes UAE’s first woman pilot to lead a strike mission in Syria against Daesh.

July 2014

Hana Kazim becomes first Emirati to graduate and join alumni list of Hollywood legends at the most prestigious film school in America, the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles.

June 10, 2014

Captain Mariam Hassan Salem Al Mansouri becomes the first Emirati woman pilot to serve in the UAE Air Force.

March 17, 2014

Hafsa Al Ulama appointed UAE Ambassador to Montenegro.

March 8, 2014

Pioneering Emirati poet Ousha Bint Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Suwaidi is honoured with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014 Personality of the Year award in recognition of her contribution to Arab literature.

January 18, 2014

Emirati innovator Fatima Jasem Al Za’abi, 31, receives invitation to dinner at White House from US President Barack Obama, in recognition of her innovative use of Microsoft PowerPoint for creating architectural designs for homes.

January 4, 2014

Raja Eisa Al Gurg, managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC and President of the Dubai Business Women’s Council, appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HBME). She is the first Emirati woman to be appointed to the Board of HBME.

August 2, 2013

Lana Nusseibeh becomes first Emirati woman Ambassador to United Nations.

January 4, 2012

28-year-old Mariam Al Safar becomes the first Emirati woman to drive a train in the Middle East.

December 9, 2012

UAE Cabinet adopts resolution making it mandatory for women to be represented on the board of directors of all government bodies and companies.

September 24, 2011

Shaikha Eisa Ganem Al Arri is the second woman to be elected to FNC.

June 24, 2011

22-year-old Noufa Al Afeefi becomes first Emirati woman to become UAE Air Traffic Control Area Officer.

June 17, 2011

Shaikha Najla Al Qasimi is appointed UAE Ambassador to Sweden.

June 9, 2011

Salma Al Beloushi becomes the first Emirati woman to graduate from the airline’s cadet programme as a co-pilot and completes her first flight as a first officer on Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi to Athens.

May 20, 2010

Dr Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba appointed UAE Ambassador to Spain and the Vatican.

March 2009

Hamda Al Mahdaly becomes first female Emirati fitness trainer and has dreams of going international.

March 2009

Salma Al Beloushi recently made history by becoming first Emirati woman to fly a single-engine plane solo

February 2009

Ebtisam Ali Rashid Al Bedwawi becomes the first Emirati female judge in the Dubai Courts Department.

December 16, 2006

FNC conducts first-ever election. The first time UAE women enter the council. Dr Amal Al Qubaisi becomes first Emirati woman to be elected to the council.

November 29, 2006

65 women or 14.25 per cent of total candidates contest first Federal National Council election.

September 12, 2006

1,100 women included in the electoral college will get to vote in the election for the Federal National Council.

November 01, 2004

Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi becomes first Emirati women to join UAE Cabinet as Minister of Economy and Planning.

August 21, 2002

Hafsa Al Ulama becomes first Emirati woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Other information

Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) reports that Emirati women currently hold 66 per cent of all public sector jobs, up from just 11.7 per cent in 1975 — a sixfold increase in 40 years.

Here are other Emirati woman entrepreneurs

Najla Mohammad Al Awar, who has been holding the position of secretary-general of the Cabinet since 2006.

Emirati Fatima Al Merri, CEO, Dubai School Agency (DSA) of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

Rabab Al Tajir, first Emirati woman Car Rallyist

Jameela Al Za’abi First Emirati woman paramedic

Nayla Al Khaja (First Emirati woman film director/producer)

Dr Ayesha Sultan Al Suwaidi (First Emirati woman dental surgeon)

Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)

Amnah Sultan Al Owais, Deputy Registrar and SCT Registrar, DIFC Courts

Amal Bin Daiban, Researcher at Zayed National Museum project at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Director of Sustainability at Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company

Salama Al Mansouri, Administrator in the Abu Dhabi Police

Noora Al Kaabi, CEO of Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi and Twofour54

Ebtisam Al Mosaabi, Administrator in Abu Dhabi Police

Mona Eisa Al Gurg Director retail at Eisa Saleh Al Gurg Group and chairwoman of Young Arab Leaders

Muna Bin Kalli | Executive director Dubai Ladies Club

Nada Abou Zina | Director Tamayuz.com

Azza Al Qubaisi | Artist

Hanouf M. Humaisan | HR Coordinator

Shafiqa Al Ameri, leading businesswoman and member of board of directors of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Dr Hessa Lootah, Associate Professor at UAE University  

Compiled by Gulf News Archives

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