Arab Women’s leadership and achievements celebrated at UAE Awards ceremony


Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States, at the Arab Woman Awards 2021 ceremony in Dubai, UAE. Photo: Courtesy of ITP Media Group

The Arab Woman Awards, organized by ITP Media Group in partnership with the UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, announced the winners for its UAE 2021 edition in a ceremony hosted in Dubai on 13 October.

Established in 2009 by ITP Media Group, the Arab Woman Awards were created with the aim of raising public awareness of the significant achievements of Arab women, and to support the advancement of women’s public engagement and leadership by celebrating inspirational role models. The event provides an opportunity to shed light on inspirational Arab women and offers attendees and winners the chance to open communication channels, create networks and share their stories of success.

The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for International Cooperation, H.E. Reem Al Hashimy was declared unanimously as the country’s most inspiring woman for her leadership on Expo 2020 Dubai. Other winners included Sheikha Azza bint Rashid Al Nuaimi who was named “Humanitarian of the Year” for her work at the Himaya Foundation for creating a haven for women and children. Huda and Mona Kattan of the successful global brand, Huda Beauty, were applauded for their business acumen and for supporting women entrepreneurs through their venture, HB Investments. The “Lifetime Achievement” award went to Naziha Nasr, founding partner of Al Mawakeb Schools, who has dedicated over 40 years of her life to working as an educator, and who is often referred to as the ‘mother of education’ by her former students, parents, and team members.

“The Arab Woman Awards give us a wonderful opportunity to applaud women on their dedication and achievements - benefitting not only their respective industries but the overall economic development and prosperity in the UAE. These outstanding women, through sharing their knowledge and expertise, inspire others in the UAE and the region towards achievements of their own, that collectively help our societies to thrive,” said Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States.

Full list of winners of the Arab Woman Awards UAE 2021:

Humanitarian: Sheikha Azza bint Rashid Al Nuaimi, Founding Chair of Himaya Foundation
Government: Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of Community Development
Inspirational Woman:  Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020
Lifetime Achievement:  Naziha Nasr, Founding Partner, Al Mawakeb Schools.
Artist: Shaikha Al Mazrou, Emirati artist
Business: Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Seddiqi Holding
Digital Media: Raghad Fahmi, Social Media Influencer
Education: Professor Fatma Al Sayegh, University Professor, United Arab Emirates University
Entrepreneur: Butheina Kazim, Founder, Cinema Akil
Fashion: Nadine Kanso, Founder and Creative Director, Bil Arabi 
Medical: Dr Mai Ahmed Al Jaber, Medical Director, Healthpoint
Media: Caroline Faraj, VP and Editor in Chief, CNN Arabic Services
Sport: Hamda Al Hosani, Emirati sprinter
Social Enterprise: Mira by the Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative
Special Recognition: Huda Kattan and Mona Kattan for HB Investments
Special Recognition: Ataya Exhibition
Special Recognition: May El Husseiny, Marketing Director, Sony PlayStation MEATI
Special Recognition: Hanan Mohammed AlSiddiki, Founder, Hanayen Couture
Special Recognition: Dr Najwa Aaraj, Chief Research, Cryptography Research Centre
Young Talent: Nour Ardakani, Singer, Now United
Young Designer: Atika Al Abbas, Creative Director, Audrey and Grace Fashion

This year’s winners were selected by the Arab Woman Awards Board members including Alissar Nasr, Elham Al Qasim, Manal Ataya, HH Sheikha Maytha Hasher Al Maktoum, Nadine Maalouf, Paula Al Askari, Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi and Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen. The focus of the selection committee was to recognise women who are pioneers in their field and who use their positions positively to create an environment where other women can thrive.

The ceremony was hosted at the annual Harper’s Bazaar World of Fashion at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.