Director, FUNN (Sharjah Media Art for Youth and Children) & Director, Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival
Her Excellency Sheikha Jawaher Abdulla Al Qassimi took her passion for language and the arts, her critical thinking and creativity to FUNN, Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children, where she is currently Festival Film Director of SICFF and an Assistant Manager. From her work as an English teacher who taught stories in the language lab, to heading the English Club where she introduced teaching aids to familiarize children with the pleasures of reading, Sheikha Jawaher demonstrates the highest qualifications in introducing children to the arts.
Office of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
She is the Founder and President of Camp01, a Public Benefit Corporation based in Minnesota,
United States of America, whose mandate encompasses enabling partners and clients to effectively design, implement, and evaluate humanitarian and development projects that address pressing needs and challenges for the benefit of the most vulnerable people and populations of people around the world. She is also the Vice- President and a board member of The August Medical Foundation, also based in Minnesota, whose mandate is to provide services and grants relating to healthcare and education in communities that lack the necessary resources. In 2016, she was appointed to the post of Hunger and Poverty Advisor by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to assist HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein in her capacity as the UN Messenger of Peace.
Executive Director, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA
Her Excellency Laila Faridoon has 15 years of work experience and is currently the Executive Director of the Director General Office of the Roads and Transport authority (RTA). Ms Faridoon plays a pivotal role in facilitating decision making, analysing the effectiveness and efficiency of the policies and functions of RTA in accordance with the strategic goals of RTA.
Co-founder and Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group
Ms. Habiba has played a key role in the growth of the EEG, which is an active multi-sectoral organization in the UAE that has successfully brought the government, private sector and community under the same banner. Under Mrs. Al Marashi’s leadership, EEG became the first environmental NGO in the world to receive an ISO 14001 certification in 2001.
Director General, Rashid Center for the Disabled
Ms. Mariam has been at the helm of the center since its inception, 20 years ago. Having devoted her life to the betterment of the disabled children of this country, she has exhibited an indomitable spirit with compassion that knows no bounds. With a degree in psychology, she has embraced the needs of those with disabilities to give them hope and a new lease on life.
Founder, BCI Group of Investment Companies
With her vision of empowering women, her companies, especially Beauty Connection Spa, partake in different prime events in Dubai and have excelled at many local and international activities. From placing her superlative effort and translating her vision into realisty, Kawthar’s continuous business augmentation has had her achieving her goal of becoming one of the best in the beauty industry.
Described often as the “Oprah of the Arab world”, Dr. Al Ruwaini has inspired many people to achieve their dreams. From her early days in Qatar TV to the launch of her own media company and the philanthropic work that she is so passionate about, she is a keen mentor to those who seek her knowledge and is well known to extend her generosity to causes that help elevate people. She is also the co-founder of the Nashwa Foundation, which helps disadvantaged women and children in the region in fields of education, health and general living conditions.
Ros has over thirty years of management experience in education-based businesses. Her formative training and management experience was gained through twenty-five years with Sodexo, a global leader in international support services. She is a Trustee with the British Council, which complements her passion and interest in supporting the promotion of Education, Arts and Society.
Executive Director and CEO, Hospitals and Clinics GCC, Aster DM Healthcare
Overseeing the Gulf operations of Aster Hospitals and Clinics, Alisha Moopen is a graduate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a specialization in Finance and Accounting. Ms. Alisha worked with Ernst & Young in England for seven years and qualified as a chartered accountant during the course of her training there. On returning to Dubai she joined Aster DM Healthcare as Finance Director for Medcare. After a year, she was promoted to oversee the corporate affairs & strategies for the whole group.
Emirati Fitness Ambassador
Shaikha Al Qassemi believes that whatever you do in life, you do it with passion, love and being genuine. When you believe in yourself and put positive energy in what you do, everything is reflective in your attitude and life. She began her journey in Crossfit with the goal set to reach up to international standards. She now inspires and motivates women in the UAE.
First (Future) South Asian Space Tourist, First South Asian and UAE Founder Astronaut of Virgin Galactic
As a collector of firsts, Namira is the first Pakistani to conquer the North Pole, South Pole and the first Asian to skydive over Mount Everest, raising a universal peace flag on behalf of humanity. She has gone on to Co Found Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the first commercial space line of the world.
Fashion designer from the region
The Moroccan-Dutch designer, Laila Amraoui offers a unique collection of high quality handmade caftans . Rich fabrics, hand embroidery, beads and crystals are her trademark. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she combines the western and Arab cultures in her designs: The simplicity of the west with the colorful passion of the Arab world. Her collections include caftans, takshitas , jellabiyas and jabadors, made from quality fabrics such as silk, silk satin, silk crepe, silk jacard, velvet, and silk chiffon.
Sports Pioneer in the Middle East
As the female sport advocate in the Middle East, Ms. Amna has a number of historymaking debuts in her career. Well-known for being the first covered Emirati professional weightlifter; her passion for health and fitness started in 2007 and she is now undergoing the Olympic Qualifier Competition process for the Olympics 2016.
Founder & CEO, Diva Group of Companies
Nicole Rodrigues is a former top model and a serial entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Dubai based Diva Group of Companies. She initiated her entrepreneurial journey with the launch of Diva Modelling and Events in 2003.
CEO & Founder, Hybrid Humans
The 26-year-old founder of the UAE based independent gaming studio, Hybrid Humans, Fakhra is changing the way video games and the role of women within the industry is viewed. Through her work as game director, she has successfully launched Hop Hop Away and Who Lurks, to games that focus on the belief that games can have a positive effect.
UAE International Figure Skater
At the age of 11, Zahra knew ice-skating was to be her life. Now, at 21, she aims to be the first Muslim covered figure skater to compete at the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea. She believes that if someone tells you that you cant do it, don’t pay heed. Just follow your dreams.
At 16 years of age Mahira Khan began her career as a VJ with Most Wanted on MTV Pakistan and Weekends with Mahira on Aag TV. In 2011, Khan made her film debut in Bol, directed by Shoaib Mansoor and the same year, she acted in her first television drama, ARY Digital’s romance Neeyat. But it was Humsafar that catapulted her to fame. She played a starring role in a romantic drama, Bin Roye and a supporting role in the biographical drama Manto and a leading role in coming-of-age drama Ho Mann Jahaan (2016) all of which rank among the highest-grossing Pakistani films. Mahira Khan will be making her Bollywood debut with none other than Shahrukh Khan in his upcoming film Raees directed by Rahul Dholakia.
Fashion designer from Pakistan
Farah Talib Aziz is a formal wear designer whose work exuberates effeminate opulence, garnished with her signature embroidery and baroque motifs. Her design philosophy is to magnify femininity, with the help of regally draped cloth and expert artisans, while maintaining a form of elegant sophistication. Stunning audiences with intricate detail and a strong sense of beauty, Farah Talib Aziz creates luxe classic pieces that modernize traditions and serve as cherished legacies.
Photographs by: Sarfaraz Ali Photography