‘Loyalty is the most fundamental value of being an Emirati’

Staff Report

As it globalises, UAE will keep its marvellous traditions intact, said Eman Al Tenaiji, lecturer at Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies.

Dubai: Even as a young girl, Eman Al Tenaiji was wanting to take up banking as a profession. “I am proud to have been born into an educated family that emphasises on learning and self-development. I developed a deep interest and admiration for the banking sector, particularly under the influence of my father who works in the UAE Central Bank. I acquired a bachelor degree in business from UAE University. My mother was also a significant influence on me, as I developed from her a love for learning and teaching through her career as a school teacher. Today, I am a lecturer at the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) where I combine my passion for banking and teaching,” said Al Tenaiji.

She considers her university years to be the best years of her life. After graduation, she got the master’s degree in finance from Zayed University.

“One of the biggest challenges I endured was finding time to balance studying for my master’s degree while working at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. In my opinion, nowadays, women and men are equally recognised in all industries. Women have been proving themselves day by day by working alongside men towards the organisational goal. There are many examples of UAE women leaders who have proved that being a woman is not an obstacle to success,” said Al Tenaiji.

The Emirati identity, she said, is founded on the UAE culture that has been “embedded in us for generations. I believe the Emirati identity has always been present. The UAE has a rich culture and a strong heritage with Emirati values embedded in all Emirati households”.

“Emiratis have set milestones in a variety of sectors and are continuously looking for bigger and better opportunities for the UAE. I believe that female Emirati identity is not necessarily different; nowadays, women and men in UAE society are more or less equal. Following the union of the emirates in 1971, the Constitution granted equal rights for men and women.”

And no matter how globalised the UAE becomes, it will continue to keep its traditions intact, which is a reflecton of the love of Emiratis for their country, said Al Tenaiji.

On the qualities that define Emiratis, she said, ”I believe loyalty is the most fundamental value [of being an Emirati]. This country has given its citizens a plethora of opportunities and has done an impeccable job in developing economy and quality of life. Loyalty to our nation and leadership is extremely important to me, it is our job to give back to our nation by contributing to its success and by being upstanding citizens.”

Personally, the values that drive her and make the difference to what she does are ambition and appreciation. “I am a very ambitious person and am always looking for ways to develop and grow. I always ensure I am appreciative to those who have helped me become the person I am today,” she added.

Expressing her love for her country, Tenaiji said, “I am extremely proud of my country and its immaculate accomplishments in the past 50 years.”

The most prominent milestone of the UAE, she said, has been the union of the seven emirates. “It was the foundation of our country and that occasion set the pace of our growth as a nation. Under the leadership of (late) Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan, the UAE grew into one of the most prosperous nations in the world. Through the unification, we became stronger together.”


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