Updated: Mar 30
Dubai: Reported by Aslam Jawaid
Dubai witnessed one of the most incredible events to celebrate womanhood this weekend,
Women’s Global Conference, 2023, organized by Funun Arts at The Metropolitan Hotel. The much-awaited event was graced with the presence of some of the most influential women in the UAE, who have been an inspiration to millions with their vision, hard work, and determination. The conference took on a deeper meaning as a place where women of all nations, occupations, ideologies, and social origins gathered to change the way society views what it means to be a woman. Women supporting women in rewriting their lives, and envisioning a better future was the focus of the Women’s Global Conference.
The conference featured expert panel discussions, art exhibitions by some of the most outstanding UAE artists, awards for the most powerful women, a competition for visual arts, and the introduction of Funun Arts' new international endeavor. Shiba Khan, the founder, and CEO of Funun Arts, gave a welcome address before the conference began with the UAE's national anthem. She expressed how futile it was to compare men and women. She spoke of the need to go beyond revolutions for equality and emphasized the importance of self-realization and self-improvement as key concepts of empowerment. Shiba welcomed the esteemed panelists to share their views on how their thoughts and ideologies have been influenced by the choices they have made in life.
"Accelerating Equality and Empowerment" was the focus of the first-panel discussion. Dr. Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi, the first Emirati aviation engineer, spoke about her experience in the aviation sector, which was mostly dominated by men. She highlighted the need to be strong in making decisions when one is entrusted with the responsibility to lead a team. Dr. Sana Sajan, Director of American Aesthetic Medical Centre, Danube, expressed her views on how important it is to be oneself.
According to Ms. Sajan, the true self of a woman is already empowered and needs no validation from anyone, for she is complete in herself. Ms. Asma Al Janahi, initiative manager and Emirati influencer, spoke about the need to know our priorities and invest time and energy into them. Being a woman is not a restriction but an opportunity to be a changemaker, according to Ms. Janahi. and Ms. Roberta Calarese, the founder and CEO of Ghaya Impact Strategy Consultancy, expressed her views on how women in leadership can make a positive change, creating more awareness and thereby more opportunities for women across the globe. The conviction and confidence of these women leaders are an inspiration to all women, as mentioned by Dr. Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi.
The program was hosted by two wonderful moderators Maitha Al Balooshi and Jen Serak.
Team Sunarthanam performed a dance piece centered on the life of a woman who overcomes difficult circumstances. Urdu poetry and an English voice-over that hailed the woman's incredible path to freedom and self-realization were used to complement the performance. The panel discussion on the subject of "Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality" followed. The representative for Art Bank, Ms. Marjan Farjam, stated her joy at having a connection to both art and business at the same time.
She discussed how inspiring it is to be a woman with a mission and how her love of art serves as a constant source of motivation. The CEO of NDigitize and Influencer, Ms. Naomi D'Souza, spoke eloquently about the decisions one must make in order to thrive. She asserted that pursuing one's interests and setting goals is empowering in many ways because doing so is difficult for women in this society. The secondary vice principal at NAIS in Dubai, Ms. Crystal C. Goodwin, emphasized the value of education in inspiring future generations. She stressed that early advice and encouragement can serve as stepping stones for women's achievement. Following the panel discussion, artist Yuvika Garg led an art therapy session in which she asked the audience to draw while closing their eyes. The session was energizing, entertaining, and engaging.
The following panel discussion was titled "The Rise of Women is Not the Fall of Men." Ms. Sultanat Abdykerimova, a businesswoman, coach, and consultant from Kyrgyzstan, spoke about the vast opportunities that women might pursue and how one's worldview can affect their perception of the world. The Expo 2020 star Mira Singh spoke about her aspirations for the future as well as the value of family support and good guidance beginning at a young age. The launch of the book featuring the top 100 artists and their works was also announced by Funun Arts. In September 2023, the book will be released simultaneously in Dubai and the UK."This book is going to be a part of many art festivals and biennales across the world and will also represent these artists in many renowned universities." says, Shiba Khan.
The Most Influential Women awards were given to Halima Abdullah Rashed, Dr. Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi, Dr.Sana Sajan, Mrs. Safiya Bari, Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi, Harjyot Oberoi, Sultana Kazim, Crystal C. Goodwin, Abida Hussain, Naomi D’ Souza, Desiree Vlekken, Ms. Marjan Farjam, Asma Al Janahi, Roberta Calarese, Bindu C. Chettur, Mona AL Assad, Petra Mueller, Shadab Khan, Reema Mahajan, Ritu Chaturvedi, Rania Ali, Fiza Khan, Maitha Al Balooshi, Sultanat Abdykerimova, and Mira Singh.
Khaled Asi (abstract), Roa Al Madani (portrait), Manal Dandan (landscape), Kimiya Hashemi (calligraphy), Sabah Anees (Pop Art), and Osama (photography) were also awarded for their outstanding artistic achievement as art competition winners.
Funun Arts Group is thankful to Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Said from Expert Mark Group and to the gift partners “The Green Revolution, Sterling Perfumes, and Dabur”. The green revolution welcomed each and every guest by giving one plant as they aim to inspire everyone to connect with nature and support them take action to protect it. Their tagline is Together we plant a better future. Sterling perfume sponsored the wonderful fragrance perfumes and Dabur gave their Super skin food which was perfect for the occasion.
"We had been nurturing the concept of the Women's Global Conference for a very long time. We stand here with pride as two ladies who had to work hard to fulfill their dreams. It is never a voyage taken alone. Thousands of women make up the Funun team, who unite to fulfill each other's goals and dreams.
We should help one another along the way, and we are confident that this conference has significantly increased our sense of power as women”, Shiba Khan says. Shiba Khan is a well-known artist and art activist in addition to being the founder of Funun Arts, and Farah Khan is a well-known photographer and food blogger. Everyone might be greatly inspired by the variety of roles these women perform in their lives and their success in all endeavors. The Khan sisters received the Cultural Visa in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the global field of art and culture.