Virtual event

Dubai Holding shines a spotlight on women leaders in key industries at virtual ‘Women of Tomorrow’ event

  • Event follows launch of Dubai Holding’s Gender Equity Strategy and Framework

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai Holding, a diversified global investment firm with operations in over 13 countries, held its first flagship public virtual event, women of tomorrow, to mark International Women’s Day 2022, reaffirming its commitment to gender equality, following the recent launch of the Dubai Holding Gender Equity Strategy and Framework.

The online event provided a unique opportunity for various Dubai Holding stakeholders, as well as a wider audience of women entrepreneurs, professionals and graduates from the UAE, to engage and learn from women and leading men from Dubai Holding who have shared their knowledge and expertise on some of Dubai’s major business sectors, including hospitality, construction, asset management, entertainment and media, through a high-level panel and interactive sector-specific breakout sessions.

During the lighthouse women of tomorrow event, Dubai Holding announced the selection of 15 senior candidates for the Director Development Program by Hawkamah, Middle East Institute for Corporate Governance. The program will enhance the skills of the 15 female executives to help them advance to senior leadership and leadership roles, as well as prepare for the board.

Amit Kaushal, CEO of Dubai Holding Group, who delivered the keynote address at the event, said: “It is a privilege for us to have this opportunity to honor and celebrate our female leaders. company and our colleagues whose endless contributions to our organization, our community and society as a whole, have made the United Arab Emirates what it is today. As a responsible company and a key player in the socio-economic development of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Holding believes in the sustainable and strategic value that results from increasing the participation of women in the labor market. Research has consistently shown that having more women in the workplace boosts productivity, and women in leadership positions go a long way in improving the performance of any business.

Moderated by Brandy Scott, Main Presenter at Dubai Eye 103.8, Dubai Holding Entertainment, the main roundtable titled Empowering Women in UAE’s Leading Sectors saw speakers from Dubai Holding discuss the opportunities and challenges for women in the private sector. Panelists included Ellen Dubois du Bellay, HR Director, Jumeirah, Dubai Holding Hospitality; Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director, Dubai Design District, Dubai Holding Asset Management; Michelle Saywood, Vice President – Design, North25, Dubai Holding Real Estate; and Sara Stevens, Operations Manager, The Green Planet, Dubai Holding Entertainment.

Asked about the challenges encountered during her studies and at the start of her career, Khadija Al Bastaki, said: “The Government of the United Arab Emirates has always emphasized the importance of women in the social and economic fabric, taking important steps to close the gender gap through the measures designed and implemented by the Council to gender balance. Similarly, Dubai Holding champions the contributions of women across all of its businesses, continuously advancing the broader gender balance agenda through leading policies. Group leaders have indeed supported my ambitions, empowered me, recognized my achievements and given me this opportunity to lead the most creative and dynamic community – Dubai Design District (d3).

During the session, Ellen Dubois du Bellay highlighted the importance of the blind recruitment policies recently adopted by Dubai Holding. “Blind recruitment allows you to focus on the skills of the person and their CV versus their gender, age, nationality or appearance. We all have biases, and you can try to control them, but you still have them. And when you remove those biases, you get a more level playing field,” she said.

Panelists also discussed the importance of mentorship and training for women’s career development and advised them to embrace their passion, build their confidence and resilience, and seek out companies that have a mentorship program. gender equality.

Following the high-level panel discussion, four breakout sessions took place in parallel – Women in Hospitality; women in construction; women in asset management; and women in entertainment and media – each of which enabled deeper sector-specific discussions and learnings.

Women in hospitality

This breakout session was moderated by members of Dubai Holding Hospitality, Jaime Emiley Simpson, Managing Director of Jumeirah Mina A’Salam; and Dalia Alkhrisat, project manager at Jumeirah. The session also featured a video on involving women in the sector.

Jaime Emiley Simpson said: “One of the main challenges for women in the hospitality industry is the lack of flexibility, which can be particularly limiting for working mothers. But the situation is definitely improving with the increased adoption of gender-sensitive measures and thanks to unprecedented support from countries like the United Arab Emirates and organizations like Dubai Holding. Only a few women worked in the industry a few years ago, and today I am delighted to see many women in top positions achieving great results.

Women in construction

This breakout session was moderated by members of Dubai Holding Real Estate. It was moderated by Alexander Davies, Chief Commercial Officer, and panelists were Mariam Juma, Chief Operating Officer; and Peggy Lee, Estimation Manager – North25.

Asked about the importance of diversity in the construction industry, panelist Peggy Lee said: “Absolutely, and workforce diversity in a sense not only limited to gender but also applicable to origin ethnic as well as cultural and educational background, which is fundamental to creating an inclusive environment within an organization that facilitates knowledge exchange and opens up opportunities. The idea that the construction industry is male-dominated has undergone a phenomenal change in recent years. Over the next decade, I am confident that women in construction will no longer be a talking point because it will be the norm. »

Women in Asset Management

This breakout session was moderated by members of Dubai Holding Asset Management. It was moderated by Mahmoud Fansa, Head of Public Relations and Communications, and the panelists were Haif Zamzam, Executive Director – Business and Corporate Strategy; and Hanan Huwair, Executive Director – Enterprise Technology, Group IT.

Haif Zamzam and Hanan Huwair highlighted the importance of having policies in place to support women’s diversity and inclusion. “In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need policies to have diverse teams, but right now, policies help. Research has shown that diversity equates to a happier workforce, and more more diverse are more successful, and once companies see these benefits, it will become common practice,” said Haif Zamzam.

Speakers noted that Dubai Holding also supports women in the community through their assets such as in5, an entrepreneurship incubator. Zamzam noted that one in four startups at in5 is led by women. in5 also has several programs that support women entrepreneurs and provide them with a platform to introduce investors to funding.

Women in Entertainment and Media

This breakout session was moderated by members of Dubai Holding Entertainment. It was moderated by Kris Fade, Lead Presenter, Virgin 104.4, ARN, and panelists were Priti Malik, Lead Presenter, Virgin 104.4, ARN; and Jaki Ellenby, Executive Director – Marketing, Global Village.

Speaking about the implementation of the group’s gender equity strategy, Jaki Ellenby said: “We are committed to having 30% female entrepreneurial partners by Global Village Season 30 and will work with Dubai Eye d’ARN to create a women’s entrepreneurship club. It’s one of the concrete steps we’re taking to not only say we support women, but to actually make a difference in women’s lives by helping them start their own business.

She added: “What’s really amazing about what Dubai Holding is doing right now is that there’s a very strong group of women behind the scenes implementing this strategy – it’s pragmatic and real. , it’s not rhetoric and words.”

women of tomorrow is one of many gender equality initiatives that Dubai Holding has rolled out as part of the recently launched gender equality and inclusion policy framework. The flagship group-wide virtual event is part of the REACH program, which aims to promote gender-aware stakeholder engagement, partnerships, products and services.

Dubai Holding will continue to roll out more gender equality initiatives across its businesses over the coming months to support the implementation of the framework.


About Dubai Holding

Dubai Holding is a diversified global investment company operating in 13 countries and employing over 20,000 people. Founded in 2004, Dubai Holding touches the lives of millions of Dubai residents and visitors through its extensive portfolio of over AED130 billion in assets that support the diversification and sustainable growth of Dubai’s economy in 10 key sectors: real estate, hospitality, leisure and entertainment, media, ICT, design, education, retail, manufacturing and logistics and science.

Our portfolio is made up of four leading companies: Dubai Holding Real Estate, one of Dubai’s largest integrated landowners and master developers; Dubai Holding Asset Management, which offers a world-class portfolio of 10 business districts, 20 commercial destinations and 15 residential communities that collectively enable business and tourism activities as well as an enriched living experience for residents; Dubai Holding Hospitality, which manages premier hotel assets and a diverse collection of unique F&B concepts as well as premier hotel brands including Jumeirah, Dubai Holding’s flagship hotel brand and a global luxury hotel company; and Dubai Holding Entertainment, which includes Dubai’s top leisure attractions, media and entertainment venues such as Ain Dubai, Global Village, Dubai Parks and Resorts, ARN and Roxy Cinemas, among others.

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For more information, please contact:
Salma Madhoun
Corporate Communications Manager
Dubai Holding
[email protected]
Dima Abdullah
Account director
Brunswick Group
[email protected]