Back for another instalment, this year, Ladies with Zest brings three of the most inspirational Arab women in the fitness industry to Dubai. The event, taking place at Cove Beach on 9 April, will see all three entrepreneurs, activists, philanthropists and sporting personalities deliver powerful and inspirational speeches. Let’s meet the women…
Saudi football player Saja Kamal started playing football at the age of four before joining the prestigious Arsenal Ladies Club. Now, she represents her home country by travelling across the world playing competitive matches. Saja is also passionate about women’s rights. On the news that Saudi women can now enter football stadiums she says, “This is a huge step in the right direction; when you’re not given the same rights as men, women push harder to prove themselves and as more women are finally having a voice. We have a lot to say.
In 2017, Saja along with 29 other women, broke the Guinness World Record at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro for the world highest FIFA regulated football match. The team played at 20,000 feet in aid of the “Equal Playing Field” initiative.
Making serious headlines as of late, Elham Al Qasimi became the first UAE national and Arab female to reach the North Pole. Elham embarked on the three-week ski expedition in 2010 where she hand-carried the team’s supplies for over 100 miles. The 35-year old athlete went on to carry the Olympic torch at the London 2012 Olympics and has now taken up a director role leading and managing the $20 billion Mubadala Investment Company. Elham is also a mother of three and entrepreneur – her most recent venture, The Natural Laundry Company, provides a natural biodegradable alternative to traditional toxic dry cleaning.
Elham Al Qasimi at the North Pole
Amna Al Haddad broke the glass ceiling as an Olympic weightlifting champion. Hailing from the UAE, in 2012 she made history for becoming the first Arab woman to compete in the Reebok CrossFit Asia Regionals in Seoul. The sunsequent year, Amna became the first competitive hijab weightlifter from the Gulf to qualify for the Olympics. More recently, the 28-year old Emirati worked alongside Nike to create the award-winning Nike Pro Hijab.