DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 5:  A reproduced photo of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (pictured C), Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with Dr Howard Reed (pictured 2nd R), director, Dubai Women's College (DWC) and senior director, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), taken in 2007 at the opening of the new Dubai Women's College campus. The copy photo was taken in Dubai on January 5, 2011.  Supplied Photo. For News story by Mel Swan
Howard Reed, who has been at the helm of Dubai Women's College since the institution opened in the humble setting of a converted car showroom, discusses how society, education and students have changeShow more

Director recalls 20 years of progress for Dubai's women

DUBAI // When Howard Reed arrived at the newly opened Dubai Women's College 20 years ago, he found a somewhat makeshift affair: a converted car showroom that held just 200 students.

Two decades later, numbers at Dubai's first women's higher education institute have swelled tenfold, to 2,200, and its campus is a thriving hub of learning.

In that time - the longest tenure of any college director in the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) campuses - some 4,000 women have graduated from DWC and gone into work. They include the UAE's Consul-General in Shanghai, Noora Juma, who graduated in 1992.

Regardless of their family name, on campus all women are equal.

"I'm seen as the father while the girls are in my college," he said.

The state-of-the-art computer facilities and paramedic labs are a far cry from the campus of 20 years ago, when there were just a handful of computers for staff. Many did not even know how to switch them on, he recalled.

As the college grew, temporary classrooms were added until the new campus in Mamzar opened in 1997.

"It was growing so quickly - I remember taking a hairdryer to the walls to get the paint to dry in time for the students coming to class," he said.

Now, the college offers diplomas and undergraduate courses in subjects that range from business to health sciences and education.

Its focus is more vocational than either Zayed University, which opened 10 years later, or the UAE University, which opened in 1976.

Many things have changed in two decades, not least women's standing in the educational sphere and the workforce.

"Education has become accepted now. Parents wouldn't want their daughters to not be educated.

"It would also diminish their chances of getting married even though a lot of the men aren't educated."

What made his students stand out, he said, was their dedication to making opportunities for themselves and intrinsic motivation and discipline not found in men.

"Just that they're working is a huge first step," he said. "It takes time for people to change their attitudes to women and women to change their attitudes to themselves."

DWC was one of the six colleges launched as part of HCT in 1988. Since then HCT has grown to encompass 16 colleges across the country, from Al Gharbia to Ras al Khaimah.

Nada al Yousuf was in the first batch of graduates in 1992 after studying in the wooden mobile cabins in Deira. She said the college allowed many more women in Dubai to continue their education. Previously, their only - unpopular - option was to live away in Al Ain at the UAE University.

DWC changed this, she recalled, but it was under Dr Reed that the students really felt the change.

She said: "We were so used to other people taking the responsibilities for us at school, but Mr Reed made us more independent and disciplined. He brought something new with him. It was a different way of studying for us."

Dr Reed has made a point of encouraging mature students, applying in person to the college chancellor and Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, for funding.

Salima Abbas, 26, is one such student. Married with three children, she is studying a higher diploma in business. She said Dr Reed had "done great things for Emirati women. He encourages us and gives us so many opportunities".

He has also tried to foster healthier lifestyles, banning fizzy drinks in the cafeteria and opening the first gym in a women's college.

He has made some bold moves, too - not least the introduction of a mixed-sex paramedic programme. A move that could have raised many objections, it has instead gained a strong reputation.

But there were still things to achieve, he said. He wants to set up a creche for student mothers, where their children can not only be cared for but learn.

With such steady progress, he said, it might not be long before the UAE's women overtook its men.

"Sometime there's going to be a woman who runs a marathon faster than the fastest man. It's about opening up the pool. The more women who run, the faster they will be."

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The stats

Ship name: MSC Bellissima

Ship class: Meraviglia Class

Delivery date: February 27, 2019

Gross tonnage: 171,598 GT

Passenger capacity: 5,686

Crew members: 1,536

Number of cabins: 2,217

Length: 315.3 metres

Maximum speed: 22.7 knots (42kph)

Signs of heat stroke
  • The loss of sodium chloride in our sweat can lead to confusion and an altered mental status and slurred speech
  • Body temperature above 39°C
  • Hot, dry and red or damp skin can indicate heatstroke
  • A faster pulse than usual
  • Dizziness, nausea and headaches are also signs of overheating
  • In extreme cases, victims can lose consciousness and require immediate medical attention
NBA Finals so far

(Toronto lead 3-1 in best-of-seven series_

Game 1 Raptors 118 Warriors 109

Game 2 Raptors 104 Warriors 109

Game 3 Warriors 109 Raptors 123

Game 4 Warriors 92 Raptors 105

Green ambitions
  • Trees: 1,500 to be planted, replacing 300 felled ones, with veteran oaks protected
  • Lake: Brown's centrepiece to be cleaned of silt that makes it as shallow as 2.5cm
  • Biodiversity: Bat cave to be added and habitats designed for kingfishers and little grebes
  • Flood risk: Longer grass, deeper lake, restored ponds and absorbent paths all meant to siphon off water 

Tewellah by Nawal Zoghbi is out now.


5.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m

Winner Spirit Of Light, Clement Lecoeuvre (jockey), Erwan Charpy (trainer)

6.05pm Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Dirt) 1,900m

Winner Bright Start, Pat Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor

6.40pm Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (D) 2,000m

Winner Twelfthofneverland, Nathan Crosse, Satish Seemar

7.15pm Handicap (TB) Dh85,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Imperial Empire, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar

7.50pm Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 2,000m

Winner Record Man, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar

8.25pm Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (D) 1,600m

Winner Celtic Prince, Fabrice Veron, Rashed Bouresly


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

The Specs

Price, base Dh379,000
Engine 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6
Gearbox eight-speed automatic
Power 503bhp
Torque 443Nm
On sale now

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Mia Man’s tips for fermentation

- Start with a simple recipe such as yogurt or sauerkraut

- Keep your hands and kitchen tools clean. Sanitize knives, cutting boards, tongs and storage jars with boiling water before you start.

- Mold is bad: the colour pink is a sign of mold. If yogurt turns pink as it ferments, you need to discard it and start again. For kraut, if you remove the top leaves and see any sign of mold, you should discard the batch.

- Always use clean, closed, airtight lids and containers such as mason jars when fermenting yogurt and kraut. Keep the lid closed to prevent insects and contaminants from getting in.


Company profile

Name: JustClean

Based: Dubai with offices in other GCC countries

Launch year: 2016

Number of employees: 160+ with 21 nationalities in eight cities

online laundry and cleaning services

Funding: $30m from Kuwait-based Faith Capital Holding and Gulf Investment Corporation

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.
Your Guide to the Home
  • Level 1 has a valet service if you choose not to park in the basement level. This level houses all the kitchenware, including covetable brand French Bull, along with a wide array of outdoor furnishings, lamps and lighting solutions, textiles like curtains, towels, cushions and bedding, and plenty of other home accessories.
  • Level 2 features curated inspiration zones and solutions for bedrooms, living rooms and dining spaces. This is also where you’d go to customise your sofas and beds, and pick and choose from more than a dozen mattress options.
  • Level 3 features The Home’s “man cave” set-up and a display of industrial and rustic furnishings. This level also has a mother’s room, a play area for children with staff to watch over the kids, furniture for nurseries and children’s rooms, and the store’s design studio.

Most Read
Top Videos

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today