UAE National Day: Inspiring Women
Memories, highlights and hotspots from the region's finest female influencers
In celebration of the United Arab Emirates 42nd National Day today, Buro 24/7 Middle East sits down with a host of inspiring women based in the region to discover their most treasured memories, highlights and UAE hotspots.
CEO and Managing Director of Etoile Group and INGIE Paris designer
"Dubai is where I call 'home' and where many of my family and friends live. My profession takes me out of the UAE quite a lot, so unfortunately I do not spend as much time here as I would like - I always look forward to returning.
The UAE is continuously improving itself, never standing still, always pushing the limits. As well as the modern part of the city, there is also the older cultural side with traditional souks, fishing areas and mosques..."
UAE hotspot: "The Monte Carlo Beach Club in Abu Dhabi. I love the energy here in the UAE, It's such an exciting cosmopolitan hub, bursting with creative people with progressive and positive outlooks."
Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi
VP Marketing at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons
"The UAE is my home country. I love the fact that each of the seven Emirates has a different feel and vibe, yet we are all united in the love we all share to the entire Emirates. It is very rare to find a place where people from different nationalities and religions live in harmony."
Image courtesy of Kostas Lalas
UAE hotspot: "Being from Dubai I have a soft spot for my city, and I love every corner of it. But my favourite spot in Dubai would be the old town of Bastakiya, which is now renamed Al Fahidy. I hope that this area remains preserved as it is for many more generations to enjoy."
"December rain in Dubai reminds me of home, this is a place that symbolises the giving nature of Emirati people, who embrace talents from all over the world..."
UAE highlight: "The vision of truly inspiring leadership. They call it the land of opportunity, but I call it the hope of a better Arab nation."
Madiyah Al Sharqi
"I love everything about the UAE, but I think what I love the most is the endless possibilities it offers."
UAE hotspot: "Fujairah Fort"
Artist, photographer and jewellery designer
Instagram: @NKanso / @BilArabi
"Other than it being a home away from home, I love the UAE because it is a country where your dreams can come true, and if you work hard enough and have ambition? The sky is the limit."
UAE highlight: "Photographing the Emirati dhow sailing boats that are still used today, each hand made in the UAE. They were the foundation of a series of photographs detailing time lapse and heritage that I took for a collaboration with Louis Vuitton back in 2009."
Muna Easa Al Gurg
Director, Retail - Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group
"I love the UAE's passion and drive. The fact that my country is a melting pot to over 200 nationalities is incredibly inspiring. I feel a sense of motivation and enthusiasm on a daily basis as I have witnessed the UAE change and grow dramatically over the years since I was a child. The UAE's future excites me."
UAE hotspot: "My all time favourite spot in old Dubai is Al Fahidi (formerly known as Al Bastakiya)."
Head of school programs & development of museum studies: The Modern Museum, Doha
"The UAE has beautiful rich content that welcomes all people, appreciates beauty and encourages independence - that's what I love most about this country."
UAE highlight: "I took this photograph of one of my artworks, being photographed, that was purchased by the Women's Museum in Dubai. I was thrilled when I found out that they appreciate my work and see me as an international artist, and hopefully someone who will reflect our Emirati culture to the world."
"What do I love the most about the UAE? The energy, the passion, it's past, present and it's future."
Images: Zeinab Alhashemi
Bibi Naz Zavieh
Associate Specialist and Co-Head of Sale at Christie's, Dubai
"I adore the ever-expanding art scene here, with its galleries, museums, art centres, events and most recently the graffiti art that can be spotted along Dubai's urban landscape."
UAE highlight: "Abu Dhabi Art Fair really shows the dynamism of the art market here."
Khawla Al Serkal
Director, Sharjah Ladies Club
"I love the people here and their display of generosity. We are very well known for warm hospitality, which is deeply rooted in our culture - even today. Even though the UAE has transformed itself into a cosmopolitan country, our heritage and traditional values are timeless and have been pivotal in sustaining the authentic identity of our country. The seven Emirates each have their unique appeal and distinct characteristics, yet what is remarkable is that they stand united as one great country. This is 'my UAE' -'our UAE' - I am so proud of my country!"
UAE hotspot: "The Sharjah Ladies Club beach area is always filled with breathtaking views. This simply shows us how beautifully our heritage is preserved..."
Maryam al Omaira
"What I value about the UAE is its people, and their strong identity. No matter how modern the UAE becomes, and it is being modernised quite fast, culture is still of great value. In fact, its strong culture is being promoted, not overlooked, with the modernization taking place as people are showing off their pride in countless ways, through media, design and more."
Image: Saeed Khalifa