February’s – ‘The Love Issue’ – Download Now

Hanan Mazouzi Sobati, the founder of Arabian Gazelles, sat down with Emirates Woman to talk life in the fast lane, following your passions and breaking down barriers in the GCC.

Can you talk us through your career?

I majored in marketing and went on to work in the fine jewellery industry, securing a gemology degree in the process. This helped me assess and anticipate the needs and preferences of a niche market for luxury products and services.

What brought about your love for cars? 

I have loved fast cars since I was young. Growing up watching Formula One, while playing with my brother’s car toys.

What inspired you to set up the Arabian Gazelles?

One of the main reasons was my growing frustration with the automotive industry and how women were overlooked in this male-dominated sector. It seemed that people just accepted it but no one did anything about it. So I decided to start the platform and find out if there were other women with the same passion who were ready to join me in building this community. We have now grown to over 100 members from more than 25 nationalities.

What do you love about what you do?

Breaking stereotypes and banishing misconceptions while forming strong bonds of friendship with like-minded, driven women.

You’re a woman of many firsts in your career. What is it like being a woman in this region to pave the way for others?

I like to see it as a collective work of empowered women who drive for change and pave the way for others to look for their passion and fuel it. Puns intended!

What are your hopes for women in the future in this region? 

I believe in the capacity of every woman’s boldness, passion and strength. In every aspect of life, a woman’s autonomy, freedom and opportunities are shaped by the degree to which her nation’s laws uphold gender equality. We are lucky to live in a country which has made significant strides in gender equality. The UAE believes in a woman’s role in society as a leader, decision-maker and a key partner in the development process.

You’re definitely a role model to many. What do you love about being a role model?

I believe each one of us should see their future self as a role model. When you are your own hero, you are writing your own story and living each day building it for yourself while inspiring others to follow suit.

What have been three hurdles you have experienced in your career?

When I started Arabian Gazelles three years ago, the obstacles I needed to navigate were manifold, ranging from issues related to my credibility as a woman entering a man’s world; being unable to secure sponsorship for a female-only car club; the need to always prove myself to be accepted in a territory that has traditionally been held and ruled by men for men. However, all hurdles thrown at us make us more creative and resilient and in the end, we prevail!

What have been three major milestones in your career?

Getting published in Forbes magazine; being recognised as ‘a game-changer in the Arab world’ by OSN and NBC; and being nominated for ‘Emirates Woman of the Year’.

This is ‘The Love Issue’ – what does love mean to you and how do you plan to instil love into your life throughout 2021?

It is undeniable that it means different things for different people. But for me, love is everything that gives meaning to our existence in this world. We feel and live better when we love, our world and our existence finds its achievement in love.

February’s – ‘The Love Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied