WAI-ME Awards

Join us in celebrating key women who have helped gender diversity in our industry!

The WAI-ME Award is the first of its kind in the MENA region. The Awards aims to recognise the achievements of organizations and individuals working in the aviation and aerospace industry in more than 19 nations. It is a celebration of those who have achieved success by virtue given personal dedication and made significant contribution to the advancement of women in the aviation industry.


The Women in Aviation Middle East Awards will be presented during the Women in Aviation Middle East conference on the 28 October alongside Airport Show at the World Trade Center, Dubai. The event starts at 9am.
Those who have worked particularly hard in contributing to the industry deserve recognition and a prestigious award that will be given to them during the ceremony. At the awards ceremony, a large number of media partners will be there to cover the event and the achievement of said individuals/institute will be promoted for several months after this event.
Entries for the WAI-ME Awards are now open. You can enter yourself or the institute you represent by filling the form to the right. If you are applying for yourself - you should quote your WAI-ME membership number where noted. If you are applying for your institute you should quote your Institue WAI-ME membership number where noted. If you are not a member you can apply for one right now on this link for Free.
Any WAI-ME member can nominate another individual or educational institution by completing the form to the right.
This awards program has the following Categories:
  • WAI-ME Entrepreneur Award: A woman who has successfully set up a new company or achieved remarkable goals in running one.
  • WAI-ME Innovation Award: A woman who has created a product or services that has been used by others or has inspired innovation.
  • WAI-ME Lifetime Achievement Award: A woman who has been recognized in the industry for her exceptional success in the industry.
  • WAI-ME Education and Training Award: An educational institution that has the maximum number of students who have been recruited or have achieved awards in aviation.
This prestigious award and the recognition by your peers in the industry is priceless.
The deadline to enter the WAI-ME Awards is Thursday 30 August 2020. Kindly consider nominating yourself or someone who deserves recognition for their contributions to the aviation and aerospace industry as soon as possible. The Women in Aviation Middle East Awards will be presented during the Women in Aviation Middle East conference on the 28 October alongside Airport Show at the World Trade Center, Dubai. The event starts at 9am.

Judging will take place in the first two weeks of May. Senior-level executives from the most successful companies in the aviation industry from the MENA region based on their function and experience have been invited to join us to form a panel of judges - see below for details.

During the judging, each entry will be reviewed and rated by no fewer than five judges who have been approved as qualified to judge those entries. Rating will be done on a scale of 1-10. The Finalist entry in each category with the highest average score after judging is completed will receive the Award of said category.

Any entry found to contain false or misleading information will be disqualified.

Individual criteria differ by category, but the emphasis is on the overall quality of the entry: the merits of the claims to innovation, integrity, effectiveness, creativity, growth, etc. claimed in the entry, relative to the judges' experience and their knowledge of the participant's industry, as well as the quality of the entry's content itself.

The WAI-ME Awards is organized by Women in Aviation - Middle East in partnership with Reed Exhibitions ME and Niche Ideas FZE LLC. The following are the terms and conditions of entry to The WAI-ME Awards. By submitting entries to the competition you assent that you have read and agree to abide by these terms and conditions and failure to comply with these terms & conditions will render your entries ineligible:

  • Eligibility: All for-profit and non-profit organizations and/or individuals from the MENA region are eligible to submit entries.
  • Language: All entries must be submitted in English language only.
  • Final Decision: In the event of a dispute as to the category in which an entry(s) will be judged, the decision of the WAI-ME Awards staff will prevail. Judges may recommend that an entry be switched to a different category, and at their discretion, WAI-ME Awards staff may change an entry’s category.
  • Submitted Materials: Any materials submitted as part of your entries will not be returned.

You are welcome to contact us on info@waiorg.me in case you have any questions. Please remember this is your community - come join us, and together we will make history.

Panel of Judges

Roula Droubi BScEcon

Roula Droubi joined Boeing in March 2016 as Director of Government, Industry and Community Engagement at Boeing Middle East. Working from the Boeing office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, she is responsible for the company’s strategy development and managing government relations, industry and community engagements within the Middle East.

Before joining Boeing in March 2016, Roula was the Business Operations manager at Oshkosh Corporation in Dubai and Oshkosh Defense in Abu Dhabi offices. In this position, she was a key player in setting the footprint of Oshkosh Corporation in the Middle East and took the lead in initiating many fundamental programs and operations over a period of eight years.

Droubi has 22 years of experience working with multinational organizations, helping them establish operations in the Middle East. She lived 10 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During this time, she was the Public Relations and Marketing manager for Saks Fifth Avenue and played an integral role to open its first department store outside the United States. She also started the British Council Women’s Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, promoting British education to Saudi women and children.

Droubi has a bachelor’s degree in commerce and economics and a degree in education and teaching from Damascus University. She started her career as an assistant professor, teaching economics at the University of Aleppo. Roula sits on the board of Injaz Al Arab, Injaz Qatar and Injaz Bahrain, she is active in international professional and trade organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in the MENA region and serves as the VP programs for AmCham Dubai. Droubi grew up in the United Kingdom and Syria and speaks both Arabic and English fluently.

Dr Nadine Itani PhD, MA

Dr Nadine Itani is an accredited Aviation Strategy Consultant. Dr Itani currently heads the Middle East Aviation Research Center which advocates for safe, secure and sustainable aviation. She has taken part in managing the United Nations-International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) projects in Lebanon and has been a team leader on airport infrastructure development projects. Dr Itani is also a Managing Partner at an Aviation advisory firm and is supporting regional government agencies and airport companies in the area of human capital capacity building, business planning and in executing sustainable aviation programs.

She is the founder of Women in Aviation Forum that connects and empowers Arab women in the aviation industry. She is also a university lecturer on business strategy and air transport topics. Dr Itani holds a Master's in Transport Systems and a PhD in Civil Aviation strategic planning from Cranfield University (United Kingdom).

Capt Martin F Mahoney MA, BSc (Hons), FRAeS

Capt Mahoney has been involved in aviation for the last 43 years. He flew Jaguars and Tornados in the Royal Air Force. On leaving the RAF he started flying commercially in the UK for Airtours, which became MyTravel Airways, which later merged with Thomas Cook. He flew A320s, A321s and A330s. Martin has been a Technical Captain, Simulator Standards Pilot, Air Test Pilot, CRMI, TRI, Fleet Manager and in his previous role, was the Chief Pilot with MyTravel Airways and latterly Thomas Cook.

He joined Emirates in Sept 2008 as Senior Vice President Flight Training where he is the Nominated Post Holder for Crew Training and Head of Training for the ATO. Martin has an Honours degree in Physics from the University of Strathclyde, a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from Kings College London, is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is chairman of the Society in the UAE.

Shafie Sabry BA

Sabry is Regional Sales Manager at FlightSafety International

Sonja Strand BScEcon

Sonja Strand is Vice President & General Manager of Honeywell’s Global Airports Business, part of the Honeywell Building Solutions’ strategic business unit, which is based in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Strand’s core responsibility is to drive the business strategy, offering and product development, sales & strategic marketing as well as the operations for all airside solutions globally. Prior to joining Honeywell in 2015, Strand served in various management roles; most recently as the Global Director of Airport lighting at Hella, and Chairperson of the Board of Hella Induperm A/S where she was responsible for all Airport lighting solutions.

Prior to this, Strand worked as a Senior Consultant with KPMG where she applied her earlier airports experience for managing various processes such as technology improvement projects for airports and airlines. She also worked for various airports in Germany in varied roles; training, organization development, passenger handling and security systems and finally working her way to the role of head of ground handling, fire station and engineering. Strand holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Paderborn, Germany as well as Bachelor's Degree in Business Law from the University of Hagen, Germany.