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HH Sheikha Mouza Al Maktoum speaking at the Women in Aviation 10th AnniversaryAs the aviation industry takes flight, women are making significant strides in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With an impressive 27,000 women currently employed in the UAE’s aviation sector, representing a remarkable 42% of the workforce, it is evident that women’s active and constructive participation is transforming the field. This surge in female presence was highlighted at the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference, held in conjunction with the prestigious Airport Show, where key leaders and stakeholders gathered to discuss the vital role of women in promoting the aviation sector.

Mervat Sultan, President of the Women in Aviation Middle East Chapter, emphasized the importance of women’s empowerment for the betterment of society. Sultan stressed the need for women’s education and training, urging parents and children to be aware of the employment opportunities available in aviation. She highlighted that women are not limited to the role of pilots; they also excel as engineers, air traffic controllers, medical professionals, technicians, and legal staff.

Mervat Sultan speaking at the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary

Mervat Sultan speaking at the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary

Delivering an inspiring speech, HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum, First Lieutenant Pilot of the Dubai Police Airwing, acknowledged the persistent gender gap in the aviation field. She called for a practical roadmap to address this issue and shared her efforts in establishing Shehana, a Women in Aviation Association. Shehana aims to advance gender balance in the industry through local, regional, and international partnerships, empowering and supporting women in their journey towards leadership positions. Shehana strives to remove barriers and create incentives for greater female inclusion in the sector by collaborating with partners and sponsors.

A prominent industry player, Boeing has also demonstrated its commitment to enhancing gender equality in the UAE’s aviation industry. Kuljit S. Ghata-Aura, President of Boeing Middle East Türkiye and Africa, reaffirmed their efforts to increase the representation of women in leadership roles. In alignment with the UAE’s gender balance agenda, Boeing joined other private sector companies in signing a pledge to raise the proportion of women in leadership to 30% by 2025. Globally, Boeing has already seen progress, with women now accounting for 24.6% of their workforce, owing to focused hiring efforts and improved retention.

The Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference celebrated the achievements of outstanding women leaders in the industry. Several awards were presented to notable individuals and companies for their contributions to women’s empowerment and the advancement of the aviation sector. Suzanne Al Anani, CEO of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), received the Innovative Leader Award. At the same time, Mona Al Abdoli, Senior Vice President of Corporate Assurance at Dubai Airports, was honoured with the Women in Aviation Leadership Award. Boeing, recognized as the Most Supportive Company for Women in Aviation International – Middle East Chapter over the past decade, received a distinguished accolade. Other notable awards were presented to Etihad Airways, T3 Aviation, Dynamic Advanced Training, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and pilot Nour Utayim of Air Inuit.

The Airport Show, supported by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Dubai Airports, and dnata, showcased the latest trends and innovations in the aviation industry. With the goal of sustainable recovery, passenger demand growth, and a focus on future mobility, sustainable infrastructure, and innovation, the event provided a platform for industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and shape the future of aviation.

With women steadily ascending to new heights in the aviation sector, the UAE is poised to become a beacon of gender equality and inclusivity, serving as a global example for other nations to follow.




Written by: Stephen Peters