In recent years, the UAE government has made a concerted effort to ensure that women play a much bigger role both in the wider economy and in workplaces in general.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to look too far for inspiration, with a number of female-led companies already having a big impact on workplaces across the country.
Here are a few of our favourites.
Founded by the indominable Janine Bensouda, Bensouda Consulting specialises in bringing brands to life through employee engagement.
According to its website, the company helps “clients reflect their brand proposition through motivating and engaging staff, improving processes, delivering distinguished standards of sales and service, and enhancing performance”.
Capitalising on the increasing number of workplaces that realise healthier employees are more likely to be happy and productive is The Workplace Yogi.
Founded by HR director-turned-yoga-teacher Emma Carbery, The Workplace Yogi offers companies weekly classes, which it says will help build a “long lasting wellness practice that will increase their health and maximise the performance of the business”.
Speaking of healthy workplaces, Fruitful Day is all about promoting healthy eating in the office.
The fruit box delivery service was founded by Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Rawi and Lindsey Fournie and is something of a pioneer in the market.
By going beyond the standard fare offered by fruit delivery services, the company has made solid ground in Dubai, especially among the Emirate’s more progressive organisations.
“Lots of cool, new companies in Dubai have been very receptive to Fruitful Day, as they’re looking for new and exciting ways to do business, rather than the old, traditional corporate style,” Marie-Christine told us in a 2016 interview.
“Companies have opted for Fruitful Day over other suppliers, as our fruit boxes actually offer up something unique beyond your standard apples and oranges, and give employees the chance to try out interesting and exciting fruits from around the world.”
The sedentary nature of the modern workplace can have a seriously detrimental effect on people’s health.
One company out to ensure that employees keep moving is Flabuless.
A corporate fitness tracking solution, it comes out of employee wellness startup Rewardz, which was founded in Singapore in 2012 before being taken to Dubai by cofounder Jaya Maru in 2015.
The platform allows corporates to set challenges – such as step goals – for their employees. Meeting those goals allows employees to unlock rewards from a variety of food, health, and fitness partners.
While fitness is its primary focus, the platform also allows users to earn points for taking part in other employee wellness initiatives; from corporate health checks to CSR programmes, and even check-ins at healthy restaurants.
Okay, so Nabbesh might not change your workplace directly, but it might help you find the kind of freelancer who gets you through that business-transforming project.
Founded in 2012 by Loulou Khazen Baz, the seeds for the freelance marketplace were planted while Baz was still working at a Dubai-based venture capital firm.
Long hours spent poring over business plans had a serious impact on Baz, making her want to go out into the world of entrepreneurship herself.
Today, Nabbesh is one of the most high-profile startups in the UAE, with little sign that its growth is about to slow down any time soon.