Dubai, UAE, 16 February 2020: Speaking at Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 today, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, highlighted that courage is key to women achieving their ambitions.
During a plenary conversation with CNBC anchor, Hadley Gamble, Her Highness shared insights into the UAE’s progress in the advancement of women and her personal journey to success.
Reflecting on the UAE’s history, Her Highness discussed how women were always at the heart of the family, while men worked in the pearl diving industry. Her Highness said: “We need to tell these kinds of stories for people to understand where we came from and what we are.”
Discussing the people that have influenced her throughout her life, Her Highness said: “I was very lucky to grow up with some powerful, influential women – my mother, my aunt – and other women in my family. I grew up watching them influence society and the bar was already raised high for me.” Her Highness highlighted that it was a natural transition for her to work in the public sector, because of the environment she was raised in.
Her Highness explained that when she decided to work following her graduation, her father, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, was her biggest supporter and encouraged her to pursue a career in the public sector. HH said: “I grew up watching my father. He was the youngest defence minister in the history of the UAE.”
Discussing women’s empowerment in the UAE, Her Highness said Emirati women have the respect and full support of their government on every level. HH said: “I believe the support of the government is crucial in driving women forward. I see women continuing to go from strength to strength.”
Her Highness highlighted the importance of supporting women in whatever they want to do. She said she started at the beginning of the government scale, and then learned the ropes. HH said: “To really achieve something, you have to work hard at it and pursue it.”
Her Highness emphasised the importance of being on the ground with the people you’re working with, highlighting the beauty of working your way up to achieve something. HH said success comes from merit, and highlighted that when women receive more opportunities, there is more potential for them to prove themselves.
Referring to her role at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Her Highness explained that Dubai’s cultural diversity is an enabler for the creative sector. Her hope is to continue building the foundations for the industry to flourish.