The UAE has celebrated a milestone with its very first female crane operator at Khalifa Port container terminal.
Ayesha Al Marzooqi, who is 28 years old, controls one of the port’s super post-Panamax quay cranes at Abu Dhabi Ports’ (ADP) flagship location.
Al Marzooqi explained her story: “I watched a documentary about a female pilot in the UAE Air Force who truly inspired me. Before I started my training at Khalifa Port container terminal, I was given a tour of the port facilities and the ship-to-shore quay cranes really fascinated me. I felt this was my calling and I decided to become a crane operator.”
She continued: “Being the first female quay crane operator in the UAE, I hope I will inspire other Emiratis to follow their ambitions, take on challenges and serve their country.”
The crane she operates has a height of 126.5 m, weighs 1,932 tonnes, has an outreach of 65 m (22 containers) and a lifting capacity of 90 tonnes – the same weight as 48 four-wheel drive cars.
She is one of 23 Emirati trainees, of which four are female, currently taking part in a training programme run by Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT), who operate the container terminal.
Although approximately 80% of the UAE’s populations are expats, ADP is looking to contribute to the “Emiratisation” of the country’s workforce, with UAE nationals making up 44% of the port company’s employees.