Women as Global Leaders - Learning Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions

What you need to know before you come

Is it safe?
The UAE prides itself on having one of the lowest crime rates in the world, with almost no personal danger to residents and visitors. Although the Middle East is commonly perceived to be extremely volatile, to date there have been no terrorist incidents in the UAE.   [top]

I'm a woman. How will I be treated there?
The UAE is unquestionably the most progressive Gulf country in terms of women's issues. Women make up about 70 percent of the college and university population, and their participation in the workforce has multiplied six-fold since the 1970s (about 25 percent currently). Emiratis continue to place a strong emphasis on traditional family and home values, but the government actively encourages women to enter the workforce as well. One point of interest - public harassment of women is frowned upon so much that police will often arrest the violator and publish their photograph in local newspapers!   [top]

How should I dress? Will I have to wear a head scarf?
You will not have to wear a head scarf. Most UAE National women wear the traditional black abaya, a type of long enveloping robe, and the shayla, a black head scarf. Emirati men wear the dishdasha, a white, loose-fitting garment that is comfortable in hot weather. There is no requirement to do so, but most Emiratis choose to continue their cultural traditions by wearing "national costume." Foreign residents and visitors dress in a wide variety of styles, from Indian saris to Western business suits to T-shirts and jeans. Just use common sense and you'll fit right in!  Business casual is the expected dress for conference activities.   [top]

What is the conference like?
The keynote speakers are globally recognized female world leaders. The first day will consist mostly of keynote speeches and panel discussion. Days two and three will offer a total of six full breakout sessions, with each session offering about 16 different options to choose from. These options will include interactive workshops, panel discussions, lectures, and presentations of research and field work covering a variety of topics and counties. Lunch will be included daily, and dinner evening events will take place.

It's a very busy conference, packed with interesting and informative sessions and activities! You will meet delegates-mostly young women-from all throughout the world. If you want to do some additional sightseeing or other holiday activities, you may wish to consider staying a couple extra days.   [top]

If I go, I'd like to stay a few days extra. What is there to do in the UAE?
Beach sports. Dune bashing. Camel races. Water parks. Shopping in the Gold Souk. Archeological sites. Horseback riding. Desert safaris. Museums. Fine dining. Carpet shopping. Zoos. Scuba diving. Go-karts. Sand skiing. Bowling. Ice skating. Dhow tours. Golfing. Art exhibitions. Cinema. More shopping. Sound fun?   [top]

Will I get sick? Do I need any special immunizations?
Probably not, and no. Remarkably, the UAE was one of only two countries with no reported cases of holiday illnesses in a survey by the leading British travel magazine, Holiday Which? No special immunizations are required. The climate is great, the drinking water is safe and cleanliness standards are very high in restaurants and hotels. You're more likely to get sick staying at home.   [top]

I don't speak Arabic. How will I get around?
Ma fi mushkillah! No problem! Many people live and work here and can't speak a word of it. Although Arabic is the official language of the UAE, English is commonly used by all of the country's various ethnic communities.   [top]

What will the weather be like in March?
Warm and sunny. The average daytime temperature in March is 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit). Bring a sweater along with your sunglasses, though, since evenings may dip down below 20°C (68° F). Rainfall is rare in the UAE, averaging only about 120 mm (4.7 inches) per year. About a third of this, on average, falls in March.   [top]

What should I pack?
At the conference you will be comfortable in casual clothes or business casual attire. On the street you may be more comfortable wearing light short or long sleeved cotton shirts. Some things you may want to bring include a camera, a journal or notebook, business cards, an address book (you will make many new contacts), a few pictures from home to share with new international friends who want to see where you come from.    [top]

Will I save money by registering early?
No. There is no discount for early registration, as the fee has already been subsidized for all participants by our sponsors. However, early registration guarantees you a space in what we expect will be a very popular conference this year.    [top]

Can someone attend the conference without staying at the specified hotels?
Yes, but the registration fee remains the same and you will be responsible for your own transportation to the conference and conference events.   [top]

What about money?
Most of the shops in the shopping malls & hotels accept credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Amex, Eurocard), but for example buying souvenirs in smaller shops, light lunches or snacks, and in taxis you will most likely need to have the local currency - UAE dirhams - on hand.   [top]

What is the cancellation policy?
The registration fee is non-refundable.    [top]

Will we have e-mail access?
Yes. Internet access will be available through your hotel, for a charge. There are also local internet cafes, and WiFi access is available in some coffee shops now if you have a wireless modem.   [top]

What if something goes wrong - my flight is delayed, no one meets me at the airport, I twist an ankle, etc. who do I call?
We will have emergency contact numbers that will be available closer to the conference date.    [top]