Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council (ADBWC), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), concluded the first edition of the UAE Inter-Businesswomen Councils Forum with astounding success in terms of results, achievements, the volume of participation, and reach within the UAE businesswomen community.
During the Forum, which was recently organized at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the ADBWC stated that the UAE Inter-Businesswomen Councils Forum has allowed it to extend and amplify its support to businesswomen across the entirety of the UAE. This aligns with the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Honorary Chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council.
Held under the theme “How to Thrive in a Sustainable Economy,” the Forum, in cooperation with the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), CCI France UAE, and Emirates Development Bank (EDB), witnessed significant participation from businesswomen and official figures, including Her Excellency Asma Al Fahim, Chairwoman of the ADBWC; Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairwoman of Sharjah Business Women Council; Françoise Niemtchinow, Honorary President of CCI France UAE Women Empowerment Committee; Nadine Halabi, Director of Business Development at Dubai Business Women Council; and Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of Emirates Development Bank.
In her keynote speech, Her Excellency Asma Al Fahim, Chairwoman of the ADBWC, said that the UAE appreciates the positive and effective contributions of women and has long understood the prominent role women play in the Emirati society. Further explaining that this is embodied by pioneering government initiatives for empowering women in the business sector and the society, such as enhancing legal frameworks that support women. These initiatives have provided many exceptional opportunities, propelled the growth of business incubators, and established women’s councils, creating a stimulating work environment for women in the UAE and giving them the opportunity to enter the business community with confidence and determination.
For her part, Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairwoman of SBWC, said, “Organizing the Forum involves elevating the organizational and coordination standards of Emirati businesswomen’s councils. This endeavor holds profound implications, encompassing robust support, encouragement, and empowerment for every woman engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits or harboring aspirations to enter the business domain. The convened meeting serves as a testament to the evolution of women’s businesses, transcending their erstwhile role as mere instruments for women’s empowerment and facilitators of their economic participation.”
Françoise Niemtchinow, Honorary President of CCI France UAE Women Empowerment Committee, spoke about the efforts made to unite businesswomen from all over the UAE under one platform through this Forum, which embodies their commitment to strengthening French-Emirati business relations.
Nadine Halabi, Director of Business Development at DBWC, said, “Today’s Forum symbolizes a collective commitment to unity, collaboration, and the advancement of women in business. The significance of this event is further magnified by its focus on a theme that resonates with the very essence of our time—”How to Thrive in a Sustainable Economy.”
Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB, said, “The key to empowering women in business revolves around discussion and exchange, and the Inter-BusinessWomen Councils Forum made that possible.”
The Forum was an exceptional platform, bringing together businesswomen from various parts of the UAE and providing opportunities to cooperate and exchange expertise and experiences. It offered a comprehensive overview of the business ecosystem and the infrastructure of the sector, in addition to providing a space to enable businesswomen in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE to achieve their goals and aspirations and enhance their effective presence in various business sectors.
The Forum included three valuable thought-provoking panels, which shed light on a number of important topics related to the main theme of the Forum, “How to Thrive in a Sustainable Economy,” where expert speakers discussed three main topics: financial literacy, technology and AI applications in various business sectors, and new trends and opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies.
The first panel discussion, addressing financial literacy, featured Haleema Al Owais, CEO of Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate; Alyaziya Bin Omeir, Business Development Director at Al Barakah Holding; Shaker Zainal, Chief Business Officer at Emirates Development Bank; and Claire Micheletti, Founder & Joint Managing Director of Cosmopole Consultancy. It was moderated by Salma Sakhnini, CEO of Icon Investment Consultants.
The second panel on technology and AI in business consisted of a panel of several experts in AI including Valerie Hawley, Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI); Naima Al-Falasi, Senior VP of Portfolio Strategy at Mubadala; and Yasmin Al Enazi, Ambassador of Women in AI (WAI) UAE Community. The panel was moderated by Ann Boothello, Co-founder of Exponential Individuals (EXL).
The third panel on upcoming trends and new business opportunities, welcomed Dr. Majida AlAzazi, founder and Chairwoman of M Glory Holding; Jarjana Abdel Rahman, co-founder and CEO of Wild Fabric; and Stephanie Bretonnier, founder and CEO of WE IMPACT.WORLD. It was moderated by Daniela Rossi, Founder of Unlimited Podcast Platform.
The UAE Inter-Businesswomen Councils Forum was structured to be an annual event hosted by various businesswomen councils in the UAE, providing a platform that brings together women entrepreneurs, offering them the opportunity to communicate, cooperate, and exchange experiences and knowledge. Additionally, it will provide specialized insights, highlight business sector trends, identify challenges, and find innovative solutions to address them, which contributes to enabling them to enhance the growth of their businesses and support their projects.