Shareefa Al Bloushi

Pilot

Airline Pilot Shareefa Al Bloushi exemplifies how with ambition and a hunger for excellence, virtually anything can be achieved. An Emirati-Filipino born to Abu Dhabi native, Mohamed and Iman Saflor who hails from Cavite, Shareefa was raised in the UAE capital and was initially a banker.  Despite enjoying her profession at the time, she still felt she yearned for something more. So, she joined Etihad Airways as a cadet in 2009. After years of fruitful hard work, she now flies a Boeing 777, her dream aircraft, as part of a small but growing class of extraordinary female pilots in the Emirates – a testament to the continued ascent of women in the region towards continued empowerment.

Emirati-Filipina Pilot Shareefa Al Bloushi – Photo by EY Media

Aiming to become airline captain in the near future, Shareefa attributes her current accomplishments to her unique cultural background: “I carry my Emirati nationality with great pride. The greatest pride of Arabs is their identity and knowing their past. I love being an Emirati because the whole country feels like one big family working on keeping our father Sheik Zayed’s vision alive.  I’m also proud of my other half as a Filipina, as the values of family and being humble, hardworking but smart; all made me who I am today.”

In spite of the hardships faced working in a field that is as challenging as it is competitive, Shareefa considers herself as her biggest threat: “Now as a pilot, I find the challenge is more inside my head. The challenge of fine-tuning your skills and adapting to change. As a woman, I see no difference between my work and my fellow male peers’ work. There will always be some who look at your gender as weakness. If they see weakness, I see the fear in them. The trick is to focus on the mission, and it will divert unnecessary under sight.”

“My greatest achievement is having the courage to do what I love. I went through a career change because I knew I wasn’t reaching my full potential and needed to do what I’m passionate about. Once I reached my goal to become an airline pilot everything fell in place; I became independent and content where I am in life.”

 

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Special thanks to our sponsors: Emirates Airline, Stars n Bars La Mer, Liali, Instax – Grandstores UAE, Dusit Thani Dubai, Gver – Your Friendly Marketplace for Sharing, Meeting Dancewear , MPQ, CMG, Filbrit, and our partners Rozen Antonio Photography,  Alex Callueng Photography, Jef Anog Photography, and Ethereal Photography.

 

Browse the digital issue of Illustrado 100 Most Influential Filipinos of the Gulf 2018

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