The real lives of successful women in the United Arab Emirates - including royals, politicians, entrepreneurs, and celebrities - are being revealed in a new docuseries set to premiere next month in time for the country’s national day.
“Hi Emirates” follows the lives of 24 female achievers across all seven emirates in the UAE and across all different careers and backgrounds.
About half the women featured are Emirati and the other half are ex-pats from countries including Italy, Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Russia, and Venezuela.
The Emirati cast includes famous entrepreneurs Thoraya al Awadhi and Sara al Madani, members of parliament Dr. Mouza bint Mohammed al Ameri and Sabrein Hassan al Yammahi, pilot Ghada Mohammed al Rousi, ecologist Ameera Mohamed al Haranki, shooter Yasmine Abdul Rahman Tahlak, Vice President of Applied Intelligence at Expo 2020 Dubai Iman Abdulla al Omrani, and members of royal families Sheikha Aisha bint Rashed al Mualla, Dr. Sheikha Hind bint Abdullaziz al Qassimi, and Sheikha Noora bint Humaid al Nuaimi.
Kholoud Saleh Al Marzouqi, the Emirati woman responsible for the 2019 Special Olympic Torch Run, is also featured in an episode about the athletic event held in the UAE last March.
Italian producer Benedetta Paravia told Al Arabiya English that her series will showcase “how women in the UAE are truly considered a pillar of the nation.”
“I have chosen to raise the voice of Emirati and ex-pat women to the world because I truly believe that their stories of achievement will be a source of inspiration for many other women who will watch the series,” said Paravia in an interview with Al Arabiya English.
“The UAE can be a great example of leadership and women empowerment for the rest of the world,” she added.
The series aims to show talented women dedicated to pursuing their dreams, as well as what has made them successful in their various fields.
Italy’s national television channel RAI will also air the series, which will be available in English and Italian.
Dubai entrepreneur Thoraya Al Awadhi said the series is very important for people all over the world “to get to know the United Arab Emirates.”
“The series shows that women in this part of the world have gotten the chance to acquire all kinds of positions, and that if they are the right person for the position, then gender and age is not important,” Al Awadhi told Al Arabiya English, adding that the county’s rulers stand behind women empowerment.
Another cast member, Venezuelan producer of Cana Dorada Film Festival Raquel Victoria Flores, said she feels proud and grateful to be a woman in the Middle East and part of its future.
“Hi Emirates,” which has been endorsed by the Italian Embassy in the UAE and the UAE’s Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, finished taping in February just before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the country.
Paravia, who first arrived to the UAE in 2002, said that for those familiar with the nation, the series will be a “touching tribute to the country of Sheikh Zayed, the late founder of the nation, and his wife Sheikha Fatma bint Mubarak.”
“For those who don’t know the UAE, the series will be a learning experience about how the nation is modeling the way to a more connected and harmonious society,” she said.