In a statement released by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, earlier in the year, the chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood announced that the theme for this year’s Emirati Women’s Day would be centered around growth and opportunity. Often referred to as the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima noted that this year’s slogan, titled “Preparing for the next 50 years: Women are the support of the nation,” will exemplify the roles women have played in shaping the country’s development thus far, and the roles they are yet to play in years to come.
As we prepare to celebrate the achievements of Emirati women on August 28, we take a look at some of the ways in which Sheikha Fatima’s words have manifested into actions, particularly within the country’s chief executive body. With the highest number of female ministers in the Arab world, here are eight members of the UAE’s cabinet you need to know.
HE Noura bint Mohammed AlKaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development
Serving as the current Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development for the United Arab Emirates, HE Noura bint Mohammed AlKaabi is an Emirati politician and businesswoman. Having held the position since October 2017, Al Kaabi previously served as the Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs from February 2016 to October 2017, before being appointed as the Minister of Culture and Youth in July 2020. An Abu Dhabi native, Al Kaabi graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in management information systems from the United Arab Emirates University in 2001 and has since gone on to complete the Executive Leadership Programme from the London Business School, graduating in 2011.
HE Najla Mohammed Al Awar, Minister of Community Development
Appointed the Minister of Community Development in February 2016, H.E Najla Mohammed Al Awar’s work focuses primarily on Emirati families and communities. Having previously served as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs between March 2006 and February 2016, Al Awar’s expertise extends to government programs and initiatives, reviewing government policies, as well as working on Cabinet Retreats in coordination with various government entities to address related issues.
HE Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation
As the Minister of State for International Cooperation, HE Reem Al Hashimy joined the Federal Government in 2008 as the Minister of State and has since had a vital role in dealing with a number of foreign and domestic issues pertaining to the UAE. More recently, her work has extended to the World Expo 2020, where she holds the position of Director General and board representative.
HE Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education
Politician and cabinet member H.E Jameela Salem Al Muhairi currently serves as the UAE’s Minister of State for Public Education. Having graduated from the United Arab Emirates University with a degree in Management, Al Muhairi went on to work at the Ministry of Education from 1995 to 2004. Following her appointment as Executive Director of Dubai Knowledge Village between 2004 and 2007, she went on to become the Chief of Dubai School Inspection Bureau before being appointed State Minister.
HE Dr Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State
Having joined the Federal Government in 2008, H.E. Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi now serves as the Minister of State as well as an Advisor to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. In addition to her work within the cabinet, Al Shamsi also chaired the Marriage Fund between 2008 and 2016 and holds several academic positions at the United Arab Emirates University, including Vice Chancellor for Scientific Research.
HE Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs
As the youngest government minister in the world, HE Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui is an Emirati politician who serves in the UAE’s cabinet as the Minister of State for Youth Affairs. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with a concentration in Finance from New York University Abu Dhabi, Al Mazrui went on to obtain her Masters of Public Policy from the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford in 2015.
HE Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology
As the Minister of State for Advanced Technology in the UAE Cabinet, HE Sarah bint Yousuf Al Amiri has held a number of high-profile roles since the beginning of her career. Serving as the Chair of the United Arab Emirates Council of Scientists and more recently, as the Deputy Project Manager of the Emirates Mars Mission, Al Amiri holds a degree in computer science from the American University of Sharjah.
HE Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Development and Design Engineering, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi is the current Minister of State for Food Security in the United Arab Emirates. Since having joined the Emirati Ministry of Environment and Water shortly after graduating from the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, Al Muhairi’s work has largely focused on formulating national strategies to raise environmental awareness in the UAE.