Top 10: Women’s business groups in the UAE

Encouraging female empowerment in the workplace is receiving increasing attention, with companies recognising the important role women have to play in the success of a business, as well as the economic strength of a country. And there are a number of organisations in the UAE that help women achieve their business goals, whether that be in starting their own business, returning to work after a break, smashing the glass ceiling at work, or investing in start-ups. Here is Benchmark’s top 10, according to Ben Flanagan.

  1. International Business Women’s Group (IBWG) in Dubai

With over thirty years’ experience, this organisation “run by women in business for women in business” is firmly established in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Through its platform of events and networking opportunities, members receive professional support and share best practices relevant to both their professional and personal lives. Regular breakfast round-tables and lunches with guest speakers promote motivation in an environment that retains a sense of enjoyment. The IBWG encourages cultural diversity and welcomes businesswomen from all industry sectors and all nationalities.

  1. Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC)

As the “official representative organisation” for businesswomen in Dubai, the DBWC operates under the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to empower and motivate UAE National women to be productive members of the economy and society, while increasing awareness in the community to accept women’s role in business. Established in 2002, the DBWC educates women and provides opportunities through leadership training and courses, including the Inspiring Women in Business masterclass, and Digital Marketing training courses. The organisation also aims to promote women entrepreneurs in the UAE by hosting the Women-able initiative from, run in association with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

  1. Abu Dhabi Business Women Council (ADBWC)

With initiatives that support education, business achievements and self confidence in women, members of the Abu Dhabi Business Women Council can also expect to be part of a movement that places strong emphasis on the important role women play in supporting economic growth. Operating in the economic hub of Abu Dhabi, ADBWC members can participate in networking events and training programmes, as well as access the business women directory and special offers through the exclusive EmaratiyaCard, including discounts at various commercial businesses, companies and shops.

  1. Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC)

Women in Sharjah looking to build on their talent and careers can join the Sharjah Business Women Council, an organisation that aims help each member through inspiration, empowerment and encouragement. With its supportive attitude, the SBWC claims to be “only a phone call away” and is available to discuss all inquiries relating to the workplace and careers. Workshops, business talks, one-to-one business counselling, technical assistance and the facilitation of funding are also on offer to members.



Billed as a platform for “progress, equality and education”, WOMENA is an organisation that works with women to provide the confidence and understanding required to make intelligent investments. With high-net-worth women in mind, this group operates in three main areas: the providing guidance in making angel investments in shortlisted start-up businesses; workshops for aspiring female investors, run in partnership with financial institutions, corporate, and development organisations; and quarterly workshops to educate entrepreneurs on fundraising.

  1. The 30% Club GCC

Part of an international movement, the GCC chapter of this “Club” campaigns for business-led change to accelerate the promotion of capable women to senior workplace positions. With mentorship, business school training, investor groups and an emphasis on good governance, The 30% Club supports women in the region to achieve their career goals, and ultimately increase the number of women serving on company boards. The GCC chapter of this group was established in 2015 and works alongside international chapters including those in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.

  1. Mompreneurs Middle East

Fostering a community of strong and able female entrepreneurs in the region is the focus of Mompreneurs Middle East. This B2B platform acts as a one-stop portal providing all the information and training required for women to make their start-up a success. Members benefit from information sharing, education forums with expert guidance, company profile databases and training courses. The Mompreneurs Rising 5 is an eight-session course designed to teach the skills needed to grow a business, including mentoring groups and practice pitch opportunities.

  1. Hopscotch

With its comforting “cuppa and a chat” approach, Hopscotch is an agency that wants to understand the busy lives of the female job candidates it works with and match them with the perfect company to meet their needs. With One-2-One coaching, women looking for flexible work options can receive tailored advice to help get them back to work, or they can participate in group workshops where they’ll have the chance to brush up on general interview and workplace skills. Jobs, including those suitable for part time working are available to view online.

  1. Mums@Work

A recruitment agency with a difference, Mums@work is looking to smooth the “transition from ‘Mum’ to ‘Career Mum’” for women in the UAE. Under the umbrella of consultancy Mackenzie Jones, this new agency is already making positive changes for Mums wishing to return to work after a break – with mentoring, Ask the Experts advice, and CV rewriting sessions. Mums@Work can help place candidates in jobs at a range of companies from multinationals to SMEs, with the right package to fit their lifestyle. This October sees the launch of its monthly Back to Work workshops with networking opportunities and speakers from global brands including PwC Middle East, Bayer, Mumzworld and Edelman.

  1. Business Guide Confidential  

From the team behind Dubai Confidential, the lifestyle website for women, Business Guide Confidential is the go-to portal for working women in the emirate. With Business Ideas articles, a Business Little Black Book, a diary of business related social events and a job board, this regularly updated hub is easily accessible and perfect to dip into on your lunch break to keep ahead of industry trends and news.