Ranked number one in the world for treating women with respect, the UAE is among a handful of countries, which have passed legislation requiring corporate boards to include a minimum percentage of women.
In one of his speeches, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “The evidence on respect for women reflected fundamental truths about Emirati culture and traditions. In many sectors they have been able to contribute more than men because UAE society gives women a supportive environment to achieve their full potential. Their contributions have outweighed those of men in many sectors, and this reflects the supportive environment that the UAE has always provided for women.”
Women of Substance
Ananke celebrates the UAE’s National Day by showcasing some of the most illustrious women of the country.
Born in the year 1958, Her Excellency became the first woman to assume a cabinet position in the UAE as Minister of Economy in 2004. She was later appointed as Minister of Foreign Trade in 2008, and assumed the role of Minister of International Cooperation and Development.
H.E. Sheikha Lubna has played a pivotal role in showcasing the UAE as a major player in global human development. Named in the Forbes “Most Powerful Women in the Middle East,” she is also a board director of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, a board director at the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai School of Government and Co-Founder and Board Member of the Friends of Cancer Patients. Her Excellency has gained worldwide recognition for her leading role in the country’s international philanthropic efforts.
According to Forbes: “The first woman to hold a top government post in the small Gulf state, she is a member of the emirate of Sharjah’s ruling family. The UAE spent some $1.6 billion on charitable endeavors in 2012, and committed $1.52 billion to development projects, making it one of the world’s most generous donors of foreign aid. Notable projects include a $50 million commitment, matched by the Gates Foundation, to support immunization programs in Afghanistan, a $65.2 million solar energy project in Afghanistan, Mauritius and Tonga, as well as a $30.6 million pledge for water and sanitation projects in 40 low-income territories.”
Spearheading the exponential growth of Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Mrs. Salma Bin Hareb is the first woman ever to assume the responsibility of a CEO in a free zone in, not only the UAE, but also in the Middle East and Levant region. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Economic Zones World, she assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority in June 2005. Listed in Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East,” the CEO is responsible for propelling JAFZA as the most customer-friendly organization across the Middle East and beyond. Receiving worldwide fame and recognition, Mrs. Bin Hareb was given the “Business Women Award 2006 for Leadership and Women CEO Excellence Award” presented during the Ninth Middle East CEO of the Year Awards in 2012.
An illustrious member of multiple prestigious, private and public sectors’ boards; including the National Media Council, an industry body established to regulate the UAE’s media sector; Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI); and the Higher Dubai Smart City Initiative Committee; Dr. Al Rustamani is the Group CEO of TECOM Investments FZ LLC. She joined the entity in 2001, appointed as a project manager for its satellite communications division. The CEO has been a key player in developing some of Dubai Media City’s key services for the media industry, especially the broadcasting sector. An acknowledged authority on wireless technologies, her doctoral work has been published in numerous leading journals in the engineering field.
Selected as the figure of the month by Al Waref Institute for Humanitarian Studies in September 2009, ranked 25th in Arabian Business’ list of “100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2013,” Mrs. Raja Al Gurg is the managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group. Awarded the 2011 Woman of the Year Award, Mrs. Al Gurg is also the president of Dubai Business Women’s Council, deputy chairperson of the board of directors at Dubai Healthcare City Authority, and a board member at both the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Dubai Women’s Council. She is also a member of the Dubai Economic Council.