Free yourself of limitations, Dubai's Sheikha Mozah tells women at London summit

First female pilot in the Dubai ruling family speaks at Arab Women's Summit

First Arab Women's Summit held in London

First Arab Women's Summit held in London
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The first female pilot in the Dubai ruling family has urged Arab women to aim for the skies.

Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan, a former Emirates pilot who currently serves as Captain Pilot at the Dubai Police Airwing, told the Arab Women's Summit at Lancaster House in central London on Thursday that her position was a "true testament that all women across the globe can equally contribute to every endeavour".

She said as an Arab female pilot she has been "privileged to pioneer the UAE’s aviation industry and my country’s history".

“I know the saying goes 'the sky is the limit', but to me as a female aviator I always say the sky has no gender and your altitude is only limited by your attitude.”

The event was attended by numerous high-profile women from the Arab region, including Khuloud Al Nuwais, chief sustainability officer with the Emirates Foundation.

She issued her own advice to the mainly female Arab audience, saying to achieve their goals they had to be “persistent, to follow through with their dreams”.

“And they need to find people on the journey who can support them,” added Ms Al Nuwais, who also discussed ways in which Emirates Foundation supports young people in the UAE.

“We worked on a programme which trains volunteers to be ready whenever they are needed to support the country in any crisis situation,” she said.

“Their contribution was phenomenal during Covid. Because all the government entities were reaching out to us to engage volunteers that are registered in our system, they were taking care of Covid-19 patients. They were supporting the government during curfew hours.”

Speaking of the role of the government in empowering young people, she told the audience that the UAE appointed Shamma Al Mazrui as its first Minister of State for Youth Affairs in 2016.

“She was only 22," Ms Al Nuwais said. "So this was an amazing way to encourage women but also to encourage youth to formulate youth councils that have been developed across the Emirates to engage young people in dialogue and how they can be part of the process to co-create the right solutions to address these issues.”

Arab Women's Summit - in pictures

The event was attended by several MPs, including former prime minister Theresa May, as well as Middle East Minister Tariq Ahmad.

He paid tribute to Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s UN ambassador, in a keynote speech which also covered the pivotal role women play.

“As the UAE’s permanent representative, she’s played a phenomenal role during the time of the UN Security Council,” he said.

“It’s important that we both celebrate what is being achieved while at the same time recognise how important the role of women remains for all of us.

Mr Ahmad spoke about Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation – who is one of several Arab partners the UK is in touch with in an effort to end the Israel-Gaza war – saying more women should take part in conflict resolution talks.

“Peace deals last longer,” he said. "Peace is more sustainable. Communities prosper when women are at the heart of these solutions.

“Because ultimately that is how we will pave the path to lasting peace."

Updated: March 04, 2024, 9:24 AM