November 30, 2015

Conference Opened with Keynote Address from H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), a worldwide professional organization dedicated to the advancement of women leaders within the aviation and aerospace industries, held its 27th Annual Conference in Dubai, UAE – the first IAWA conference in the Middle East. The conference was conducted November 10 – 12, 2015, and included delegates spending a day at the 2015 Dubai Airshow.

“The 2015 IAWA Annual Conference was a resounding success thanks to the support of our members, sponsors, speakers and conference delegates,” said IAWA President Abby Bried. “We would also like to give special thanks to H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development for opening the conference with a keynote address that set the tone for a productive and successful week.”

In her address to delegates, Sheikha Lubna highlighted the importance of the aviation and aerospace industries to the UAE and noted that the role of women was intrinsic to its success. Sheikha Lubna emphasized the commonality between the two: “unprecedented growth” of the aviation industry, and the fact that “women break barriers daily” in the UAE. She urged that it was time for the two to “cross paths and grow in symbiosis”. Sheikha Lubna also stressed that “we must facilitate the growth of women in the industry if we want to continue our success in the skies” and that “we cannot rest on our laurels – not when thousands of women should have the opportunity of following their dreams in aviation, and not when our country’s economy depends on it. We must continue to push the boundaries and break barriers every day.”

In addition to thanking Sheikha Lubna, IAWA President Bried went on to cite several factors contributing to the overall conference success:

  • Over 200 delegates attended the two-day conference.
  • Delegates represented 100 aviation and aerospace companies from 24 countries across the globe.
  • Local conference partner General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
  • IAWA sponsors included 32 companies and organizations. A complete list of IAWA sponsors can be found at
  • A prominent list of presenters covered critical and timely issues facing the industry. Link to the conference program 915.pdf
  • First time breakout session sponsored by GCAA–Young Women’s Aviation Forum—attracted 120 young women from across the UAE.
  • Presentation of 2015 IAWA scholarships recipients and announcement of a 2016 Middle East region IAWA scholarship.

“Our Dubai conference provided an important global opportunity for women in aviation and aerospace to realize IAWA’s mission to Connect, Inspire and Lead,” Bried concluded. “Thanks to everyone who made our first ever Middle East conference a memorable event.”

Additional information on IAWA and the 2015 Annual Conference is available at

Information on IAWA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Montreal, Canada can be found at

IAWA is a non-profit association providing a worldwide network dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries at all levels across the globe. IAWA sponsors informative meetings, hosts receptions and connects, publishes newsletters, and keeps its members updated on the latest industry developments.


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