Shell and Dubai Quality Group (DQG) announced today (Monday, November 6, 2006), the launch of the Emirates Businesswomen Award (EBWA) 2007 at a press conference held at Millennium Hotel, Sharjah. The Emirates Businesswomen Award recognises the contribution of businesswomen to the UAE’s economy and honours women who have excelled in their field and have made a difference with their leadership and skill.
Speaking at the press conference, Abdul Qader Obaid Ali, Chairman of Dubai Quality Group, said, “Ever since its inception, the Emirates Businesswoman Award has been successful in motivating an increasing number of women in the UAE to assume roles of responsibility and leadership. The business environment in the UAE has been changing rapidly in recent years, but the most positive aspect of this change is the fact that women have been playing a major role in the country's business and economic progress. Women have proved to the world that they can match their male counterparts in every sphere, and this is the essence of the Emirates Businesswomen Award. We are continuously working to improve the Emirates Businesswomen Award to more fully reflect the advances made by women in the UAE and to recognize their growing achievements.”
Shaikha Majd Bin Saud Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Owner and Managing Director, Al Saud Company attended the event and spoke about the vital role women play in the UAE’s economic and business scenario. She also spoke about how women now face better education and career prospects than ever before, due to the rapid advancement of the country.
Women today are playing a major role in the country’s economic development. Currently there are around 10,700 businesswomen across the emirates, 4,095 of whom are based in Dubai, 3000 are in Sharjah and 2,732 are in Abu Dhabi. The Businesswomen have invested a sum of AED 12.4 billion in various businesses including manufacturing, food and hotel, building and construction, trade, financial brokerage, and real estate.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Head of External Affairs and HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment), Shell, said: “Duly recognising women's contribution in business and the corporate world will motivate more women to exploit their entrepreneurial and managerial talents. The Emirates Businesswomen Award has become one of the most prestigious awards for the country's women, and it is encouraging to see the forthcoming 2007 edition eliciting such a major response. Shell is pleased to continue its strong support to the Emirates Businesswoman Award, which has emerged as an ideal platform for creating role models for the UAE Society.
“We have been at the forefront of supporting socially relevant causes, and empowerment of women has been foremost among them. The Award celebrates the UAE woman's entrepreneurial spirit and her pursuit for excellence. The Award also reflects Shell's commitment towards the development of the different communities that we operate in, keeping with our global drive for Diversity and Inclusiveness."
Presenting the objectives, benefits, categories and criterion for the Emirates Businesswoman Award, Judith Barton, Chief Assessor for the award said, “The Award is open to Nationals and expatriates and is awarded in two categories – Business Owners and Professionals. To qualify for the Business Owners category, the applicant must currently own a business located in the UAE; the business must have been in operation for a minimum of three years and the applicant must be primarily responsible for the current performance of her business. To qualify for the Professional category, the applicant may be employed in any professional sector and she must be employed in the UAE and must have worked in the UAE for a minimum of three years. All candidates for the 2007 Award will be given the advantage of mentorship from winners of EBWA 2006.”
The criteria for the Award include Leadership; Future Goals and Financial Performance; Business, Professional and Career Achievements; Community Contributions; and Participation and Innovation.” The deadline for applications is 4th March, 2007. The prizes for the 2007 edition of EBWA will be sponsored by Paris Gallery.
According to official statistics, 72 per cent of students enrolling for higher education in the UAE are women. In addition, women comprise 42 per cent of the students at the faculty of Natural Sciences, which includes computer science and engineering. At the Higher Colleges of Technology, the proportion of female students is three times higher than that of men.
Launched in 2003 by Shell in cooperation with Dubai Quality Group, the Award recognises the contribution of women entrepreneurs and professionals to the UAE’s socio-economic development and celebrates their successes. It also provides an effective networking forum for women entrepreneurs and professionals to further their businesses and careers and holds up women achievers as role models for other women to emulate.