Speaking about the difficult experiences she had faced as a female minister, Sheikha Lubna shared her story of being sent to the United States for negotiations after some of the lawmakers opposed the acquisition of six US ports by DP World, a Dubai-based company. .
At that time, she recalls, she was branded Dubai’s secret weapon in a news article that highlighted the importance of her negotiating skills in easing the situation.
Sheikha Lubna said she assumed she was given this task because of her experience working with Dubai Ports earlier. However, she said, upon her return, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, confirmed to her that she had been entrusted with this role. also because he believed that as a woman, she would be able to remove many obstacles and change misguided impressions of the UAE.
The former minister, who was ranked as one of the most powerful women by Forbes and topped the list of the most powerful Arab women for several years, also recalled her first speech at the Organization’s Ministerial Conference. World Trade in Hong Kong.
She remembered the organizers asking her for the minister when it was time for her to speak, as they had stereotypically assumed the minister would be a man.
“Name me [as a minister] was political empowerment for women in the UAE,” she said, recalling people saying then that she “raised the threshold for a woman.”
“And that impact has not only been on UAE society… but also outside the UAE, in the region, especially in the Gulf countries. And now we have nine women ministers. I remember, every year [after that], there has been the appointment of women ministers in the Gulf countries, as well as in the Middle East. This is very important,” she observed.
Similarly, Minister Shamma recalled how Sheikh Mohammed’s decision to appoint her minister led to similar moves in various countries. Welcoming Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, she said more than 42 young ministers had been appointed around the world in just two and a half years after his appointment.
Sharing important lessons learned during his time there, Shamma said it was important to be open to continuous learning, to keep listening to others, to have the good intention to serve the people and to do his best for the best interest of the team which is serving the nation. .
Sheikha Lubna said some of the most important values she learned were respect and appreciation which she saw from the highest to the lowest personality.
The two leaders hailed Sheikh Mohammed and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who are leading by example and conveying inspiring messages through their actions.
While Shamma likened the UAE’s leadership to chess players who think not just about the next step, but several steps ahead (in terms of responding quickly to adverse situations like the COVID-19 pandemic), Sheikha Lubna said she felt leadership in the UAE was like an orchestra playing a symphony, guided by a conductor.