November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum is has risen to great heights in the aviation industry. We ask what it takes to lead and inspire the new generation of incredible women.
“The only way out it’s through, and that’s how you build resilience.”
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
I am a very active person by nature and while I would not claim to be part of the 5am club, I do wake up early and I like to have time to gather my thoughts for the day ahead, as work can be very demanding. If I can, I try to spend some time with the horses, riding before work or doing a quick workout, all with a generous amount of coffee.
You have achieved so much – what are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of becoming the first Emirati woman to join the Dubai Police as a helicopter Pilot. Serving my country by doing what I love doing most is simply the best feeling, and I am deeply grateful for it.
Describe the feeling of piloting your own aircraft in three words?
Freedom, adrenaline and peace of mind.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have come up against and how do you approach overcoming such challenges?
The biggest hurdle for me has been starting to pursue my dream at such a young age. It meant being surrounded constantly by people with more experience and more confidence than me and always being under constant pressure to not only measure up to them but also exceed and be the best I could be, consistently. I tackled it then the way I approach everything: Head on and with full force. The only way out it’s through, and that’s how you build resilience.
Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path?
When you are a pioneer in something, you are literally carving the path for someone else so I could not have had better inspiration and mentorship than following the guidance that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has provided for all of us Emiratis. He is constantly carving new paths for us. I am also deeply grateful to the support that His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has given me, opening doors and endorsing my choices to be a pilot under his blessing. They provided me with all the confidence I needed to succeed.
We believe when women support other women, magic happens. Have you been on the receiving end of such support and how do you hope to further share this?
I don’t need to look far away to tell you this: my mother and my grandmother have been the most supportive women around me from the start. I was lucky because my strongest role models come from my family. I remember on my very first flight when my mom was one of the passengers cheering me together with her friends while my grandmother was supporting from her heart from home. I can only hope to be as good as them with my own children one day, but until then I give back through my commitment to Shehana, the organization I established to open the doors of aviation to women from any background and profession. I hope to ignite for them the same passion that has led me to my achievements and to create a fairer participation of women to an industry that has so much to offer.
Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration?
@hhshkmohd and @faz3
Do you have any evening rituals that help you maintain a sense of balance?
There is nothing I love more after a stressful, busy workday, then to ground myself (literally) by reconnecting with nature. I try to spend as much time as possible with my horses, riding at sunset or just relaxing in their presence. They are such majestic, sensitive creatures and are able to infuse a sense of calm just by proximity. Otherwise I prefer to out at sea, as water is just as peaceful and calming. Nothing brings more balance than the natural elements and I love spending as much time as possible in nature.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
“Keep doing what you are doing little girl, and one day you will be flying up in the sky.”
If you had not followed a career in aviation, which other role would you choose career-wise?
Aviation has been a true calling for me, so I have not entertained any other possibility yet.
Who have been the most powerful female role models in your life and why do you admire them?
Aside from my mother and grandmother, whose unconditional love has being a guiding compass and support in my journey, I am incredibly grateful for women such as Sheikha Fatma Bint Moubarak and Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed for giving me the opportunity to share my story and my achievements on the stage of the Dubai Women’s Forum this past February. I had not appreciated the power of storytelling until I saw the reaction of the public when I walked on the stage in my uniform full of pride for my country.
This is ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’. Which piece of jewellery that you own is most special to you and why?
It is actually not just one but a series of pendants that over the years my grandmother has designed and created especially for me. They are constant reminders of the generational love that links us together.
Words & Creative Direction: Amy Sessions
Photography: Ziga Mihelcic
Hair: Ania Poniatowska at MMG Artists
Production: Kelli Maddock
Fashion Assistant: Sarah Joseph
Videographer: Steve Erana
All jewellery by Boucheron.
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Images: Emirates Woman