Female leaders inspire at the Women Who Empower event in Dubai


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – One is an American journalist and the other is an Emirati businesswoman. And together, they’re breaking down boundaries to unite for a universal cause: female empowerment.

At a joint celebration at The Arts Club on Tuesday night, the two inspirational women leaders shared how they rose to the top and how they pave the way for other women to follow in their footsteps.

Hosted by Moroccan entrepreneur Nezha Alaoui, the event featured Jessica Michault, Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and Harper’s Bazaar Saudi, along with Muna Al Gurg, Deputy Chairman and Retail Director of UAE business conglomerate Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group.

Part of Northeastern University’s Women Who Empower: Our World series, the event addressed mentoring, misunderstanding and the media and inspired attendees including students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. A similar event took place in London last week.

Clemence Cazeau, a young global leader from the North East and CEO of arts concept 37xDubai, introduced the speakers and paid tribute to the pioneering women before her.

“The Women Who Empower initiative is about bringing diverse and inclusive communities together to empower a better world,” she said. “It encompasses everything from entrepreneurship and the Innovator Awards to events and mentorships aimed at empowering its members to drive change and make a meaningful impact.”

From boardrooms to breaking down entrenched beliefs

Al Gurg, one of Forbes’ 50 Most Influential Women in the Middle East, first spoke about her passion for women’s rights in the Arab world and beyond.

“My background has been in business for the past 20 years, but my passion has been youth empowerment,” she said. “The milestone for me came in 2010 when I was selected to be part of the Aspen Middle East Leadership Initiative and it really got me thinking about the legacy I wanted to leave behind. I am very, very passionate about women’s rights.”

As the daughter of a prominent businessman, AI Gurg was welcomed into the family businesses and encouraged by her male relatives. Throughout her career, she has used her position to promote women who have not been so lucky.

“I think a lot of women face cultural barriers in this part of the world,” she said. “It’s not about dominating the country, it’s about the culture of society, which sometimes encounters obstacles.

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