The Emirates woman of the year awards is an annual event held to celebrate achievements of women in arts, culture, business, philanthropic and visionary fields in the United Arabs Emirate. The event is usually glamorous as the event is adorned with designer dresses , glittering diamonds and fashionsita heels on the body of these extraordinary women who have worked so hard to exceed in their chosen fields and Guests alike. At the end of the event we heard that guests left with a list of stuffs namely:
A copy of Emirates Woman magazine – A fine fragrance mist from Bath & Body Works – A coconut water from Vita Coco – A balancing softener from Shiseido – A voucher for the ZO Skin Centre – A cleanser from Shiseido – Stationery from Fabergé – An Eideal hairbrush – A bottle of Fiji Water – Phizz vitamin capsules – Revlon mascaras, lipstick and highlighter – Clinique lipstick and samples – A No7 serum – A micellar water and moisturiser from Bioderma – A voucher, makeup and cleansing wipes from Skin O2 – A voucher from theoutnet.com – A voucher from Tryano – A voucher from cupNcakes – A voucher from Marina Home – A notebook from Calvin Klein – A voucher from José Eber LaLoge beauty lounge – A coffee cold brew and voucher from Detox Delight.
That is a lot of stuffs to go home with in one night, actually and while we are still admiring the gift items the guests walked away with. Who walked away with the awards? Out of the 26 nominees …. remarkable women bagged the awards and walked away with it, all smiles and warmth.
Here are the winners :
First category -The Artists, sponsored by theoutnet.com.
The award went to actor, writer and producer Dana Dajani, who is also the founder of The Human Spirit Project, a non-profit that raises funds through charitable events and performances.
Admitting she was shocked to win, she told Emirates Woman backstage that the award was an “incredible honour”, and thanked the audiences who come out to support her work, and the collaborators that continue to create and innovate with her.
Second category – The Achiever award sponsored by Marina Home went to Raha Moharrak, a barrier-breaking adventurer who has scaled the world’s highest summits, including Kilimanjaro.
Moharrak, who was the first Saudi woman to conquer Everest, has never let anything hold her back, telling the crowd that “women are capable of anything” and she just wanted to “scratch the glass ceiling”.
Following her win, Moharrak told Emirates Woman she was going to give her award to her father – and then have another go at a mountain she’s determined to climb before she retires from the pursuit.
“I want to go back and try to finish Denali, the highest peak of Alaska… I nearly died when I tried it two years ago.
Third Category was the Young Talent category sponsored by Fabergé and Gemfields, which was won by YouTuber and boutique owner Hayla Ghazal.
At just 20 years old, the entrepreneur has also been appointed Change Ambassador for Gender Equality by the United Nations.
That’s a cause she championed on the night, telling us backstage that her aim is to “empower women to make a change – because we can”, before humbly saying she was just honoured to be in the same room as her fellow nominees.
Fourth Category was the Humanitarian award – sponsored by Tryano – went to Emirates Autism Centre founder Amal Galal Sabry.
The ground-breaking Sabry was inspired to launch the educational facility after helping her own son become the first autistic child in the UAE to be integrated into a mainstream high school.
“This also opened doors for thousands of children with autism to receive a typical education and follow in his footsteps towards growth and independence,” she said.
Backstage, she revealed that her daughter had secretly nominated her for the Emirates Woman award due to her immense pride at her mother and brother’s achievements.
“I feel happy because [this award] will make other women with a similar background feel like there’s success ahead,” said Sabry. “[Autism] is not the end of the world.”
Fifth category was the Skin O2-sponsored Visionary category, which was awarded to Dubai Women Establishment CEO Shamsa Saleh.
Truly a champion of females in the region, Saleh has been instrumental in launching initiatives including the Arab Women Leadership Forum, Women in Board Initiative, Women Leadership Exchange Program, and The National Child Care Centres Project.
Telling Emirates Woman who celebrated its 35th year of existence as a magazine that she wholeheartedly believes the UAE can further close the gender gap in the next five years, Saleh said the awards send a “big message that we are a society that empowers women”.
“Fifty per cent of our population are women, and they make a great contribution in government, the private sector, and all sectors.
OVERALL WINNER was Raha Moharrak, the mountaineer.
The adventurer isn’t just scratching that glass ceiling, she’s smashing it, said Motivate’s Group Editor and Managing Partner Ian Fairservice, who dished out the award.
Apologising to the applauding guests for crying for “the first time in years”, Moharrak dedicated the trophy to her parents, “who taught me to dream big and live even bigger”.
She also told the crowd she just wanted to inspire girls to feel as if they can achieve anything they put their minds to.
“Even a Saudi woman can stand on top of the world,” she said, though later revealed to Emirates Woman that finishing the book she is currently penning “is probably going to be tougher than climbing Everest”.
“I never thought I’d be standing here having won an international award for being a Saudi mountaineer, so I’ve learned to believe in myself.”