Motoring workshops aim to give women drive to learn about auto mechanics

Three Emirati women have taken it upon themselves to empower other women with the knowledge of the basic workings of cars through workshops that will help prevent attendees from falling foul of rogue mechanics.

The Mootary campaign has partnered with Al Nabooda Automobiles - Audi and Emirates NBD bank. Courtesy Rihab Awadh
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DUBAI // Many women in the UAE love their cars as much as men do, but their interest often flags when it comes to maintaining their vehicles.

Three Emirati women have now taken it upon themselves to offer workshops on basic vehicle maintenance to help female drivers prevent costly repairs.

Last year they started their campaign, called Mootary – which means “my car” in English – with a workshop to teach 25 women about car engines and maintenance.

The workshop covered such things as oil changes, checking water levels, tyre treads and dealing with vehicle emergencies.

The participants were between 17 and 50 years old.

“The idea behind Mootary is to make women able to do what they have been told they cannot do,” said Rihab Awadh, 25, one of the campaign’s founders.

“If they have a driving licence and drive their cars everyday they need to have the basic knowledge of cars.”

Ms Awadh said she had to call her father or brother for help when her car broke down, waiting for hours at times.

“If women go to the garage by themselves, they could be cheated because of their lack of knowledge,” she said.

Kaltham Al Ketbi, 24, one of the workshop organisers, said they surveyed UAE women of all ages from different countries and identified three issues.

“The three gaps are: society perception, the knowledge gap and the interest gap,” she said.

“In society perception, we found that women always have to depend on men to take their cars to a garage. This is one of the reasons we want them to be more independent.”

The three women have now partnered with Al Nabooda Automobiles to offer the workshops and they are sponsored by Emirates NBD bank.

“The workshops are in two parts – theoretical and practical. In the first part, we give the participants historical information about vehicles and the main components of cars. In the second part, we have a trainer from Audi who shows them how to change tyres, check the level of oil, water and battery,” said Ms Al Ketbi, a human resources officer.

Ms Al Ketbi is passionate and knowledgable about cars. After getting her driver’s licence when she was a university student, she changed her vehicle’s oil and water herself.

“I also used to take it to the garage by myself and monitored what the repairers did.”

The three now plan to open a garage that is fully run by women for women.

Ms Awadh said they wanted to encourage universities to offer courses on cars for female students and to encourage women to work in the automotive industry as not many do.

The second Mootary workshop will be held on January 21 from 10am to 3pm at Al Nabooda Automobiles on First Al Khail Road in Dubai.

Seats are limited.

For information or to register, email