November 2017

Dubai Women Establishment hosts Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr in a “Qudwa” session at the Dubai Women’s College

Dubai Women Establishment hosted Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, in the eighth knowledge-sharing session of the “Qudwa” initiative. To mark Emirati Women’s Day, the “Qudwa” initiative was launched by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, as a platform for female Emirati role models to inspire aspiring national women across all strata of society.

Titled “Leading in Innovation for a Smart Future”, the session took place at the Dubai Women’s College of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), addressing more than 60 senior students. The inspiring discussion was moderated by Diala Ali from Dubai TV in the presence of Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi, Director of Dubai Women’s College at HCT, and Her Excellency Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment.

Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr thanked H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for her vested interest in the state of Emirati women and for her efforts in creating platforms that bolster their position as leading and imperative players in the society. She also thanked Dubai Women Establishment for facilitating the “Qudwa” sessions, which work towards instilling the Emirati values of giving among students and all women of the society.

In an interactive discussion with the students, Dr. Aisha started the session by recalling experiences from her earlier years and sharing snippets about her education. She told the students that her upbringing in an environment that encouraged reading and education has kindled her yearning and passion for learning something new every day, highlighting the importance of women acquiring general knowledge in various fields.

She spoke about the significant impact that her father had in shaping her knowledge-seeking personality, saying, “Growing up, I always considered my father’s library to be a treasure that sparked in me a passion for learning and exploration. Not a day went by without reading at least one page from the wealth of books in his library, or at least skimming through pages when I felt pressed for time”.

In response to a question about her decision to pursue a career in information technology, Dr. Aisha said that her interest in the field was ignited by a “Macintosh” device that her brother brought from a USA trip as well as an electronic device that her uncle gifted her. In 1994, Dr. Aisha embarked on a career in telecommunications, starting with a mere salary of AED 4,600. She said, “My first job was very rewarding and challenged me to deliver to my best ability. It changed the course of my life by providing me with the precious opportunity of delving into the world of information technology”.

Touching upon other turning points in her career, Dr. Aisha spoke about the support of His Excellency Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Cabinet Member and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, who always presented her with challenges that helped shape her professional journey.

Commenting on her current role, as the Director General of the government entity mandated to establish Dubai as a global hub for smart solutions and technologies, Dr. Aisha said, “My role represents yet another prominent turning point in my life and I proudly accepted this challenge as an Emirati woman that grew up in an atmosphere conducive to innovation and I strive to live up to it”.

“Holding a high ranking position is not limited to a prestigious title but rather comes with a huge responsibility to deliver to your best ability. In the role that has been entrusted to me, I will endeavour to truly realise the vision of Smart Dubai Office and contribute to the development of the nation,” she added.

She continued, “Since the establishment of the UAE, our leaders have had a vision for the youth of the UAE and believed in our abilities to serve these positions. We should continue to learn from the rich paths of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, who paved the way for us and ensured that generations are armed with knowledge and education”.

Dr. Aisha highlighted the leadership skills of Emirati women and attributed them to the efforts of the UAE leaders in empowering them and providing them with opportunities to achieve great successes and assume indispensable roles in the society.

In response to a question about the factors that helped Dr. Aisha assume senior positions, she said that passion and teamwork are key factors to achieving success and leadership. She added, “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, we at the Smart Dubai Office work as a unified team to continuously develop innovative programmes with an aim to provide seamless government services and experiences to Dubai residents and visitors”.

Broad experiences

Dr. Aisha said that the Smart Dubai Office has been forging strategic partnerships with several entities to achieve the goal of establishing Dubai as a smart and happy city. From the inception of the idea of “Smart Dubai” in October 2013 to the decision of covering the entire Emirate with Wi-Fi, Smart Dubai Office has been designing comprehensive experiences to provide government services that are up to par with Dubai’s world-class standards while maintaining the highest levels of efficiency, flexibility and privacy.

Commenting on the work environment for women in the UAE, Dr. Aisha said, “We are blessed to be living in a society that respects the rights of women and provides personal and professional security and stability. With all the initiatives available to women by entities such as Dubai Women Establishment and UAE Gender Balance Council, Emirati women have been empowered to assume leadership roles across various fields”.

Dr. Aisha also expressed her interest in sports and emphasised on its importance, commending the Dubai Fitness Challenge launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

As for her aspirations for Smart Dubai Office, Dr. Aisha said “The UAE has enriched our lives with a comfortable and secure infrastructure that allowed us to grow and realise our dreams. My utmost ambition is to give back to our country and contribute to the betterment of its people’s lives. Today, I urge each of you to put her education and skills to good use by working towards the development of the nation”.

H.E. Shamsa Saleh commended the efforts of Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr and her legacy in the field of IT. She said, “We are very proud of Dr. Aisha’s participation in the “Qudwa” initiative through this enriching knowledge-sharing session with the students of Dubai Women’s College. Dr. Aisha embodies the values of giving and stands as a role model for serving the country. We hope the students here today and future generations learn from her rich journey and follow her dedication and loyalty to the UAE and its people”.