The first three Emirati women—Sahar Rasti, Fatema Al Khaja, and Mahra Al Shamsi—have received the Certificate of Competency Master of Coastal Waters up to 24 Meters Vessels, graduating from the Maritime Training Centre at Abu Dhabi Ports as masters of 24-metres vessels along with ten other students. The six and a half month course included ten weeks of classes as well as four months at sea for practical experience under the guidance of lecturers from the Australian Maritime College. Certification will be issued by the Australian Marine Safety Authority, which is the official representative of the International Maritime Organisation in Australia.
The course was initiated by Abu Dhabi Ports with the aim of training Emiratis to become sea captains alongside the UAE’s vision of empowering Emirati women to become a vital component in the development of the society. This follows on from the achievements of Fawziya Al Dhaheri, the first Emirati woman to pass the vessel traffic services (VTS) course and work as a VTS operator for Abu Dhabi Marine Services, Safeen.