The University of Dubai (UD), in collaboration with Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), hosted a forum for businesswomen recently. The forum inspired the dozens of women at the CBD headquarters in Deira, included 6 successful businesswomen relating their stories of hardship and triumph.
Speakers represented professions ranging from medicine to art and from relatively little business experience to those with more than 30 years worth. CEO of Asteco Property Management, Elaine Jones has 32 years of regional business experience and has grown the company founded by her in 1985 into one of the leading real estate agencies in the UAE. In 2007, Jones won the Middle East Businesswoman of the Year Award and at the forum last week she spoke about how the region has changed and how her business has grown along with the UAE. She described some of her most exciting times in Dubai, such as being part of the real estate team that presented the design of The Palm Islands to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The participants listened to valuable business advice as well as lessons about life and overcoming obstacles. Ameera Abdul Rahim Binkaram, Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women Council, spoke about her years studying Mass Communication at the Higher Colleges of Technology. In 1996, while doing an internship at Dubai TV for her degree, Binkaram overcame her shyness and ‘pidgin Arabic,’ as she described it, to become the first Emirati anchor on the station when she covered the first year of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
Moderator Kelly Eide thanked the University of Dubai and Commercial Bank of Dubai “for this unique initiative to bring together such exceptional women who inspire us all.” This is the first forum of its kind for the University of Dubai. Director of UD’s Center for Management and Professional Development, Usha Kaul, said the collaboration with Commercial Bank of Dubai was ideal and looks forward to future programs.