Her Highness Sheikha Shamseh talks to international brand Marie Claire about her inspirations and ambitions for Platform 09. This article was originally published by Marie Claire, online and in print, and was written by Sima Maalouf.
What is the reason behind calling the exhibition this name?
09 is the area code for the emirate of Fujairah, where I was born and lived in my entire life. Initially, the exhibition was called B09, to represent Fujairah in general. In 2018, we presented the exhibition with a new name and a new suit, ‘Platform 09’, targeting a broader category of women, men and families.
Why did you choose it as the name of the exhibition?
We searched a lot for a name that represented Fujairah, to be a platform from Fujairah to the rest of the Emirates and the Arab world.
What is the main objective of the exhibition?
The first and main goal is to empower women and help them to develop their businesses and achieve their goals. Our exhibition is an important platform for exchanging experiences and supporting each other. And also to support known and unknown charities and highlight their activities in society.
How is the exhibition distinguished from other exhibitions?
Our showroom is definitely completely different from the rest of the exhibitions. Platform 09 provides an experience for everyone, women, men and children. We present every year a new topic that summarizes the experience of this year. In addition to 9 interactive platforms that allow visitors to learn more about the exhibition topic. Among the most important stations of the exhibition, the platform of speakers, we host inspiring women who share their positive stories to the Arab world. We understand that the journey to achieving success is not an easy one and we have to learn from the experiences of others in this field.
Why did you choose to work in this particular field?
At first, I had an obsession to build an event for the Emirate of Fujairah and spread the name of my beloved emirate in the Arab world. After starting planning and implementing the first exhibition in 2014, I realized that there are many things that I can achieve for the Emirati and Arab community in the Emirates.
What were your expectations from the exhibition and to what extent were they met?
Initially, I did not expect that the exhibition would reach this success. We have now concluded our seventh session, and every year we feel proud of the increase in our extended family of women entrepreneurs and visitors supporting the exhibition. Of course, I am proud of what we have accomplished with the Zero Nine team in the field of women’s empowerment.
Why did you choose to have the charity show?
First, to extend a helping hand to charitable organizations as part of society, and also to spread awareness and educate the current generation about the importance of helping others, and it is our duty as Emirati, Gulf and Arab citizens to take care of local and global issues and provide material and moral assistance as well.
Does the revenue from the exhibition go to a different association every year?
We look every year for a charity in the UAE, and we try as much as possible to provide all means of support, initially provide material support ticket revenue, and dedicate a place for them in the exhibition to recognize Visitors more about their activities, how to support them outside the gallery.
Every year a concept is selected for the exhibition, the concept of 'harmony' was chosen for 2020 - why was this?
We can find harmony in every aspect of our life if we decide to do so, and that is why the theme of our exhibition for the year 2020 comes under the concept of harmony, which is an inspiration for all and that gives you space to discover what is going on around you and helps you overcome the difficulties in your daily practical and scientific life.
On what basis are the exhibitors chosen?
We try to look for creative and different women’s projects and strive to diversify into all categories. The goal is to give women to get to know each other and exchange experiences and also to give visitors different shopping options.
Why did you choose to hold the exhibition in the Emirate of Fujairah?
Because I am from Fujairah! I was born and lived all my life in this beautiful and peaceful Emirate. Fujairah and its people helped me discover myself in a positive environment, so this exhibition is a token of thanks to the Emirate of Fujairah and its residents.
What distinguishes Arab and Emirati women specifically in this field?
In the opinion of Arab women, it is a model of strong, struggling women who work hard to achieve their goals. Especially now, Emirati women have made their mark in various fields, from medicine, engineering and science to the world of fashion and fashion. Innovation and creativity are inherent traits of women in this region, and after a long journey and many attempts, the creations of Arab women have reached the whole world.