Ritika Sharma / Emirates Business
‘It’s all about following your dreams’ – Saudi Arabia’s first female pilot Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi was quite clear in her thoughts and was full of conviction while she spoke during a panel discussion aimed at celebrating the womanhood in global aviation industry.
“It’s all about your dreams and you have to work hard to fulfill them. I joined aviation industry to live the dream of my father, who wanted to become a pilot but he could not achieve his aim,” said Al Hindi, who was one of the most-sought-after speakers during the conference here on Monday.
“I was determined to become a pilot and my steadfast determination has made me what I am today. Now it’s very satisfying and proud moment for me. It’s all about willpower and strenuous efforts made towards achieving your goal. Aviation offers plethora of opportunities for females and they can craft a very rewarding career out of this unconventional field. We really want more number of females donning various caps in this field,” she pointed out.
The aviation industry offers good opportunities for females as this sector is forecast to need more than 500,000 new pilots over the next 20 years to meet demand for international travel.
Al Hindi was speaking during the ‘First General Assembly and Student Career Orientation’ programme, organised by ‘Women in Aviation, Middle East Chapter’. This event hosted a series of panel discussions and lectures and it was held as part of the ongoing Airport Show 2016 (May 9-11) in Dubai.
“We are very excited and want more such events to be held at regular intervals. Panel discussions are quite visionary and listening to your life’s role model face-to-face is very encouraging. I got many new insights of the aviation sector. Currently I am looking forward to make a career in the navigation field of the aviation industry,” Wafa Arshad, a final-year student at the Emirates Aviation University (EAU), Dubai, told Emirates Business.
Orientation programme at the Airport Show was one corner that garnered a whopping response from visitors, especially from female audiences.
Bushra Athar, another final-year student at EAU, told Emirates Business, “I am more interested in aircraft designing and looking forward to do my internship from overseas. I want to learn the cutting-edge technology and to bring it back to the UAE aviation market.”