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29 November 2023

UAE gets first Emirati woman crane operator

Ayesha Al Marzooqi, UAE's first Emirati woman crane operator. (Supplied)

By Staff

In September 2014 Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT), manager and operator of Khalifa Port container terminal and longtime exhibitor at the upcoming Tawdheef Career Fair, organised an open day for UAE nationals in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports looking to recruit UAE nationals for operational roles at the Khalifa Port container terminal.

UAE national Ayesha Al Marzooqi decided that she wanted to apply for a role as a large STS (ship-to-shore) crane operator, a truly unique role for a woman to undertake.

"From the moment I heard about this role, I was determined that I wanted to go for this job. I am extremely proud to be the first female Emirati crane operator and I really hope that it will inspire more Emirati women to take up roles that are unique for women," said Al Marzooqi. 

According to Al Marzooqi, when operating a crane the most important thing is to exercise full concentration and always be ready to make immediate decisions without hesitation. The STS crane that is operated by her is 126.5 metres high and has an outreach of 65 metres, the equivalent of 22 containers with a lifting capacity of 90 tons.

Becoming a crane operator for one the fastest growing ports in the world is no easy task. ADT's training program for operational staff consists of theoretical classroom training in which trainee operators learn all aspects of operating a crane; including crane safety and crane components.

Once the theoretical part has been completed, they then shadow a fully qualified crane operator for hands on training, which upon completion means that they are ready to start operating the crane alone.

"Besides a minimum amount of training hours required, there are several exams that need to be completed before receiving the official certification.

The thing I enjoy most about my job is achieving new productivity targets. It really motivates me when I break a new record for my crane moves per hour (GMPH) which are a key indicator for performance in a marine terminal." added Al Marzooqi.

Ayesha Al Marzooqi will be attending the upcoming Tawdheef Career Fair to talk with other Emiratis who are interested in entering such a profession.

“We are immensely proud that Ayesha Al Marzooqi is the first female Emirati crane operator. Emiratisation of our workforce is one ADT’s top strategic priorities and Tawdheef provides us with an excellent platform to recruit UAE nationals in all levels of the organisation, ranging from senior and middle management to supervisory and practical roles. During the event we will focus on training opportunities for operational and technical roles and promote our successful on-job training programme for Emiratis which we started two years ago.” said Eisa Hassan Al Marzouqi, Senior Director Human Resources, Abu Dhabi Terminals.