February’s – ‘The Future Issue’ – Download Now
Having celebrated 50 years of incredible vision, we look at the new generation that’s set to drive the next five decades of the UAE.
From aspiring designers to art curators, several names in the industry have been making their mark and innovating in the region.
One of the trailblazers of the next generation in the UAE is the Emirati endurance rider Maitha Al Qubaisi. We spoke to her about what it was like growing up in the Emirates, what she loves about the country and her hopes for the future.
Growing up in this region, so much has changed over such a short period of time. What has it been like growing up during this time?
Having grown up in this region there have been so many changes that have progressed so much, it makes me feel so proud and honoured to be a part of it all.
What do you love about being from the UAE?
What I love about being an Emirati is how wonderful our culture and heritage is. I have been blessed to have my father’s proud family heritage instilled in me, he often used to reflect on his life as a child and compare it with mine, celebrating my achievements as if they were his own. This is particularly raw for me at the moment as my father passed away just before New Year and so every day I am able to draw on his profound wisdom. The Emirati culture is so deeply ingrained in us all.
We recently celebrated 50 years of the UAE, what do you envision for the next 50 years of the UAE?
I envision UAE will advance in industry and commerce, putting us on the international map even more. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ensured that the careers of women are supported and their sky is not the limit, either now or in the future. I know he has unselfishly paved the way for us all to succeed. I’m also proud to share the same birthday as our beloved Ruler, I hope I too one day can make a small difference and be remembered.
How do you hope to pave the way for future generations?
I hope to pave the way, just like my parents did for me. My mother and father prioritised our education and experiences, including travel, so that I could achieve my dreams. They taught me always to believe in myself, be kind to people and animals, be respectful to others, no matter what their path. I hope that I can inspire our society in the future to think the same.
What are your hopes for the future of women in this region?
To be independent, have more opportunities and plenty of options in their career choice. Emirati women are so extraordinary in so many ways, I hope to make a difference in the region in my own way. I have been taught to be courageous and strong no matter what adversity lies ahead. I often draw upon my experience in endurance racing, sometimes we don’t know what the day brings. We need to take things one step at a time keeping in mind what we know, what we don’t know and not being afraid to ask for help for those who also want to achieve.
Who are your biggest inspirations in life?
My mother and my father are my single biggest inspiration. Bubba (my father) used to say I was his single biggest inspiration and from my mother, I learned commitment, trust, inclusion and courage. My mother came to the Middle East at 21 with no knowledge of the region. I have to give them thanks for the person I am today, they’re irreplaceable in my heart and mind, I am their blood.
What have been some of the hurdles you’ve experienced in your career, so far?
One of the hurdles I’ve experienced so far is I’ve been thrown off by a horse multiple times and at speed. I have always I got back on, sometimes to finish, sometimes to complete a 120km race only to be eliminated at a vet check. Disappointment is hard obviously but at the end of the day, my horse is the most important, he is my partner and I can’t do what I do alone. I have always been supported, encouraged, and respected by other riders, our trainer, our grooms and our vet team at F3, they carry me over the hurdles. Sport has taught me that a win for me is a win for the team. And that’s how I feel about the Emirates. Recently my father passed away from cancer and that has been one of the most difficult situations that I’ve faced to date. I hope I will continue to carry his legacy on, both in my career and in life, as my father would want me to do.
This is ‘The Future Issue’ – how do you hope to be a role model for future generations in this region?
I hope to be a role model for future generations to show women that anything is possible and you must always believe in yourself. Whenever you fall you can always tell yourself you can do it and you get back up there and achieve your goals. Encouraging women for the future generation will make a massive difference for women in the UAE.
February’s – ‘The Future Issue’ – Download Now
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