Emirati Women Who Helped Build the Nation – Literally
Over a short span of time, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a Gulf nation consisting of seven emirates, rose to become one of the most developed and powerful nations in the world, known for – amongst many things – its cosmopolitan cities, awe-inspiring infrastructures, and award-winning buildings. Behind its rise to glory are great minds and skilled personalities who helped build the nation, many of them incredible and incredibly-talented women such as these six:
Majda Abdellatif Al Muhaideb
Majda Abdellatif Al Muhaideb and Sumaya Dabbagh are two female architects behind some of the UAE's iconic mosques. In fact, their contributions are major milestones for the nation. Al Muhaideb is credited for designing one of Sharjah's iconic mosques that dates back in the 1970s. It was the first major mosque in the Emirates to have been designed by a woman, especially with very few female architects at the time.
Sumaya Dabbagh is a renowned architect with diverse experiences in architecture, interior design, and project management spanning over 20 years. In Dubai, Dabbagh is credited for the design of the Mosque of Light in Al Quoz, a landmark famous for its simplistic, and yet sophisticated, modern design. Indeed, Dabbagh’s works center on contemporary architecture that are culturally and environmentally sensitive.
Maitha bin Adai
Maitha bin Adai is the CEO of Roads and Traffic Agency (RTA). She is credited for the construction, maintenance, and operation of infrastructures and road networks in Dubai. Having had experience as an engineer in the field of road projects, her experience has been key to producing world-class infrastructures under RTA, and meeting the city's long-term vision.
Noora Al Awar and Fatima Al Zaabi (Studio D04)
Noora Al Awar and Fatima Al Zaabi are the dynamic duo behind Studio D04, an architectural firm known for mixing regional with contemporary designs. Responding to how little variety was available, both women decided to create new public spaces with stunning architectural designs, and a woman's touch, that reflect on future generations. Studio D04 has also been involved in residential projects in Dubai and Ajman.
Anwaar Al Shimmari
Anwaar Al Shimmari formerly served at UAE's Ministry of Infrastructure Development, but her contributions were quite significant. Not only did she become part of the nation's growing number of female directors, she was in charge of handling infrastructure development in major cities such as Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman. In fact, she served as director in project planning, and then director of design, before becoming Chief Innovation Officer. During her time, the UAE carried out feasibility studies on the Hyperloop, a hyper fast alternative to traditional railways. In addition, she was also instrumental in developing an artificial intelligence (AI), with the goal of making robot engineers that would implement it.