In Conversation with Nouf Omar: The Youngest Female Emirati Pilot in the UAE

By Reiham Amin

“Don’t give up. The opportunities they come and go, but we create the obstacles for ourselves. Sometimes things are very easy but you make things complicated. Have a vision. If you have a vision of something, think about it and work towards that vision. Even if that means small steps, it’s the willingness to want to achieve it that will get you there.”

Nouf Omar

Nouf Omar holds the title for the youngest, female Emirati pilot in the UAE making her history in the aviation industry.

How did your parents react when you told them you wanted to be a pilot?

My parents have always been supportive of anything that I wanted to do. When I told them I wanted to be a pilot I think it was a shock for them. But at the same time, they were very excited that I wanted to join this field. They were always very supportive, even until this day.

How old were you when you flew your very first plane and how did you feel?

I think I was 19. It was a small plane and it was so exciting at the time. It was at the age of 20 where I flew my very first big plane and that was also exciting. I don’t remember feeling scared at all, I just remember being super excited and confident in my skills and the training that I had done. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much all the hard work had paid off.

If you didn’t go into the field of Aviation, what would you have done?

Before I discovered Aviation I was really into Chemistry, so I wanted to do Chemical Engineering. But I didn’t want to do something regular, I wanted to be extraordinary; and that’s been me since childhood. I have always been the child that has wanted to shine and be the leader of the group. If no-one wanted to play the game my way – then we’re not playing! You can call it bossy, but that is just the leader personality in me. That’s why I think being a Pilot is the most suitable job for me. I’m really happy I chose this field. The lifestyle, the routine – it’s something new every day.

Outside of work, Nouf Omar plays Padel Tennis for the UAE National Team and recently competed in the World Padel Championships 2022, which was held in Dubai.

You mentioned that being a Pilot provides something new every day, what does a normal day look like for you?

My days are different every single day. I don’t have a fixed routine. For example, I landed at 2am one day and on the same day I had training at 12pm, a game at 6pm and then I came back home. I usually sleep 5-6 hours if I am in Dubai, sometimes 4. That’s because there is so much to do in Dubai, I just don’t want to waste time. I don’t think sleeping is the greatest priority, that’s why I do it when I travel.

What would you say is a big challenge for you in the job?

The only challenge I would say that comes with this job is not being a female in a ‘male dominated industry’, but it is the lifestyle. But I think I manage it well. I still meet my friends and get time to sit with my family, whilst also having my time. Being a Pilot doesn’t mean you don’t have a social life; you create your own social life.

What is something you have accomplished that you are proud of?

There was a newspaper that my dad used to pick up every day, it’s called the الإمارات اليوم  (The UAE Today). Growing up, I have always had the vision of being in that newspaper, because I always admired the faces that featured on it. Because of being a pilot and a young Emirati girl, I got the chance to be on the first page of that Newspaper. To see that the vision I had one day of wanting to be on that newspaper come to reality, it reminded me that all the hard work is paying off.

What has been your favourite place that you’ve travelled to?

I can’t say one! I have a couple. I like Budapest and Stockholm. I have a very close attachment to Stockholm. I guess it’s because it’s just so different to home. In Asia, I would say Vietnam, Vietnam wow-ed me actually. I would also say Chicago.

What is the next plan for Nouf Omar?

Right now, I am a First Officer, so the next step is to be a Senior First Officer and then hopefully a captain. That is what I am looking forward too.

“Have the courage to dream. Some people settle where they are and that’s okay. But for the dreamers, you can’t stay there you have to keep working towards what you want.”

Subscribe now

Subscribe now

Subscribe now

Subscribe now

Subscribe now

Englisg GGC monthly