At Expo 2020 Dubai, when the world ground to a halt, its director general Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, lifted spirits and strove onwards to ensure a Dubai Expo launch that the world would be proud of. She has done so with the grace of an army of like-minded women by her side.
Creative director of ceremonies, Amna Abulhoul develops creative programming, from concept and narrative to immersive experiences for Al Wasl Plaza. Alya Al-Ali delivers youth engagement ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai and beyond. Anoosha Al Marzouqi is the associate director of the opportunity pavilion and oversees the visitor experience. Dr Hayat Shamsuddin is the senior vice president of arts and culture certifying rich, diverse cultural initiatives and content. Fatma Alloghani is the head of the Expo Academy and Emiratization-Human resources, workforce, and volunteers. Maha Al Gargawi is the senior vice president of political affairs offering strategic oversight on various Expo 2020 matters relating to the UAE’s bilateral and multilateral relations. Manal AlBayat is the chief engagement officer responsible for interacting with local and international stakeholders across both the public and private sectors. Marjan Faraidooni is the chief experience officer, who oversees development and operations of the thematic pavilions that bring together the expo theme connecting minds, creating the future, and subthemes of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. She also oversees the Expo school program, encompassing engagement initiatives for schools. Fatima Alloghani, head of expo academy and Emiratization, human resources, workforce, and volunteers, is responsible for overseeing the integration of UAE national talent before, during, and after the next World Expo.
It’s a global showcase of women’s work, with 38 of the international participants represented by female commissioner generals. Women architects are responsible for pavilions like Australia and the UK. Sudan’s pavilion, designed by Sara Elhussein, offers a contemporary design inspired by the Nubian house and its environmentally conscious characteristics, while Oman’s pavilion, designed by F&M Middle East, offers a tribute to frankincense. The expo workforce includes women from 62 nationalities, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the US, and the UAE. Almost 60% of its female employees are under 35 years old ensuring that this equitable mindset will inspire generations to come.
Originally published in the October 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia