Biography

BIOGRAPHY

A LEGACY OF WISE LEADERSHIP

Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum is a prominent member of the Emirati society. She belongs to one of the significant UAE’s ruling family, which is Al Maktoum family, to which the rulers of Dubai belong and led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.

The family’s prestigious and historical lineage descends from the Al-Bu Falasah branch of the Bani Yas tribe, a tribal federation with centuries-old leadership throughout the region. Al Maktoum family has ruled Dubai since 1833.

Sheikha Mozah’s grandfather on her mother’s side was the late His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the brother of the ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, who promoted the remarkable and innovative development of the recent decades.

This peaceful and prosperous country, with its wise and visionary leadership, has continually impressed the world with radical achievements, multicultural tolerance, robust economy, and contributions on significant global platforms.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is widely credited for his farsighted and powerful outstanding leadership, which has contributed to the remarkable growth, stability, and prosperity – not only of Dubai but, indeed, of the UAE and even the gulf region – and it is on a clear journey to become one of the best countries in the world.

SUPPORT FOR OUR EMIRATI WOMEN

Inspired by her motivating family, it is little wonder that, even as a young girl, Sheikha Mozah was passionate about the call for the youth of the UAE – and its women in particular – to rise up with determination to devote herself to her country and fulfill the enormous achievements with her considerable talents and passions.

Emirati women are amongst the most highly influential in the Middle East. They play significant roles across a multitude of industries, from science and engineering to entrepreneurship and aviation, in which Sheikha Mozah is an active supporter of female participation. It is a source of great pride and motivation for the humble Sheikha that she has received exceptional support, encouragement, and acknowledgment for her achievements from her leaders, for which she is thankful.

Indeed, Dubai’s Crown Prince, (His Highness) Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, expressed great pride in his cousin, so he posted a photograph of himself and Sheikha Mozah on his Instagram account, congratulating her on her pioneering accomplishment of becoming the first member of the royal family to fly as a qualified commercial pilot for Emirates Airlines.

GROWING UP

Sheikh Mozah was born in 5th December 1996, as a child, she was always eager to chase the thrill of adventure. She was always on the go for many interesting activities such as horse riding at the break of dawn, rock climbing in the afternoon, boxing sessions, trampolining, even coasteering in a daring scramble and leap from dizzying rock cliffs when she got the chance.

“That feeling of anticipation mixed with uncertainty, culminating in an explosion of adrenalin… I am in love with that feeling. It’s always been that way, since I was a child.”

Sheikha Mozah attended Latifa School for girls in Dubai but it was on a family holiday to the United Kingdom that she first felt the rush of soaring free as a bird on the wing. She was just 12 years old at the time and that first flying lesson with her brother is amongst her most treasured memories.

“It was a hot summer day and I was flying on the Robinson 22 with no doors attached. What I did not expect at the time was how that day was going to change my trajectory and determine most of the choices that led me to where I am today.”

Her love for the skies had just begun at the age of 13, she was brave enough to complete her first skydiving jump from an aeroplane! Sheikha Mozah says her and loving family has always been her biggest source of support and strength, from her childhood passion for action and adventure, to her later decision to study abroad, become a commercial pilot and, now, a police air-wing pilot.

EDUCATION AND CAREER

YOUR ALTITUDE IS ONLY LIMITED BY YOUR ATTITUDE

Young Emiratis are encouraged to believe that, in the UAE, nothing is ‘impossible’. When recalling her journey to inspire others to follow their dreams, Sheikha Mozah urges them to boost confidence in themselves and warns against what she calls “limiting beliefs”.

“If we sit there and wait for our dreams to materialize, that day will never come. Many of us are really great at creating boundaries inside our minds… answering questions in our heads before they’re asked out loud. I also had those stories in my mind. My story was that I thought I would never be able to study abroad and I could not accept that. So I took the courage and asked the question out loud to my parents. What I got back was an amazing amount of support and encouragement.”

YOUNGEST STUDENT AT AVIATION ACADEMY

After her parents’ approval, Sheikha Mozah’s passion for flying started to take the shape of her serious pursuit of a future career. They imposed just one condition on her which is, she must pass her GSCE exams. Certainly, she passed it with flying colours, at the age of 17. She became the youngest student enrolled at Oxford Aviation Academy one of the world’s leading commercial pilot training schools, which is based in London Oxford Airport, in the UK, and Mesa Falcon Field Airport (Arizona) in the USA.

Sheikha Mozah was on track to attain her Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) First Officer programme. Her number one supporter – her mother – flew with her to academy to see her settled in. Despite the excitement, she knew the challenge she had set herself was not going to be easy.

“I’ll be honest, the first couple of months were tough!” Sheikha Mozah admits. Training alongside university graduates and experienced students, the young Sheikha had to adjust to the enormous study load. Moreover, harnessing the discipline, and the focus required for the difficult theoretical training, new challenges. Quite naturally, times when she missed her home, friends and family in UAE.

“The truth is, I may actually have had it more difficult than male students at some point, and that was ok. I’ve always faced such situations with a positive attitude. Many of my instructors were actually tough with me because they wanted to ensure that all the grades I got were well-earned.”

But for Sheikha Mozah, she enjoyed the practical flight training more than the ground school, as she was charmed by the beautiful sunrises or flying under star-studded night skies.

FLYING SOLO

The day that nurtures the dreams of every aspiring pilot came at last, her first solo flight.

“I woke with so much energy and excitement and, as I drove towards the Arizona sunrise, I could not believe how far I had come! I went through all my pre-flight checks methodically and it all felt quite normal until I got to the runway threshold and felt that major rush of adrenaline and excitement”.

“Then the aircraft finally lifted off the ground. What I felt is difficult to describe. Alone, in the sky… I finally did it!”

CONTINUOUS ACHIEVEMENTS & ASPIRATIONS

Sheikha Mozah’s first solo flight gave her the wings, not only to fly, but also to have the courage to soar higher into a world of endless possibilities. Despite her young age, her achievements have captured the attention of high ranking leaders, the media, and professional organisations. It is her greatest desire that these great achievements can serve as an inspiration to for Emirati women.

She is continually developing her knowledge, learning from the rich experiences that life has to offer, and utilize her aviation skills to become the best pilot in the world. You can read more about her career and passionate interests in this website, which include:

  • In 2015, she was appointed as a Commercial First Officer Pilot at Emirates Airlines, the first Emirati royal to fly for this world-class national carrier. She successfully obtained the Boeing 777 type rating.
  • In 2018, her great love for the equestrian sport of polo led her to form the King Pins polo team, with which she has enjoyed several sporting triumphs.
  • In 2019, she founded the UAE Women in Aviation Association (SHEHANA).
  • In 2020, the first woman ever to attain this position.
  • Her Highness is fluent in three languages: Arabic, French, and English
  • Personal development certifications include:
  • John Ambulance First Aid Course
  • Media Relations
  • Public Speaking
  • Board Governance and Chairman Preparation Course
  • Youth Leadership Programme

PERSONAL PASSION

For Sheikha Mozah, the opportunities that are endless and it is her ardent desire that all youth (in UAE) – especially women – should believe in themselves and put their talents into action to achieve success.

“I cannot believe that something that started out as a hobby turned my life around in such a meaningful way. I hope that my journey can serve as inspiration and encouragement to all young females searching for a path”.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time? I hope I will always want to try new things and explore more because this enriches us as women and as humans and as members of the civil society”.

“I am only 23 years old, and I’m still at the start of (beginning of) my journey. I hope I never lose this thirst for adventure. Flying has given me the greatest gift of all and the greatest wisdom, being able to trust in myself when I’m up at 39 000 feet above the ground. There are no limits to what we can defy in the pursuit of our dreams if we all have determination and persistence.”