Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum takes to the skies as the first female commercial pilot from Dubai’s royal family. In April last year, the Emirati princess passed the APP First Officer Programme from CAE Oxford Aviation Academy; she recently went above the clouds for her first assisted flight assignment as a pilot for Emirates Airlines. The news was revealed by her aunt Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum––founder of Tashkeel––who shared an image of her niece suited up in uniform on Instagram, writing: “My niece @mozahmm our first female pilot from the family on her first assisted flight as a commercial pilot. Proud of you! The sky is not the limit. As long as you can dream it you can achieve it.”
Mozah joins the ranks of trailblazing female pilots from the Gulf. Last year, Aisha Al Mansouri became the first Emirati A380 female pilot by flying for Etihad Airways. Her sister, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, became the first Emirati female fighter jet pilot after graduating from Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007.
Meanwhile, Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi also made history as Saudi Arabia’s first female to earn a pilot license. She’s joined by both Kuwaiti Munirah Mohammad Buruki, who earned her wings at the age of 19 and went on to become Kuwait’s first female pilot, and Maisa Hazeem, who was the first Bahraini female to qualify as first officer for Gulf Air in 2007.
Middle Eastern women continue to push boundaries. Just a few months ago, Rafeea Alhajsi took her first turn on the catwalk during the third edition of Arab Fashion Week in Dubai. The first Emirati runway model made her debut during Lebanese designer Aiisha Ramadan’s Spring 2017 showcase. At the 2012 London Games, track and field athlete Sarah Attar and judoka Wojdan Shaherkani made history by becoming the first Saudi Arabian women to participate in any Olympic Games. That number doubled at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where Attar gunned for gold alongside sprinter Cariman Abu Al-Jadail, judoka Wujud Fahmi and fencer Lubna Al-Omair.