Company: UAE Genetic Diseases Association
Designation: Founder and executive director
Country of residence: United Arab Emirates
Dr Maryam Matar has worked tirelessly to reduce the prevalence of genetic disorders in the UAE for more than 15 years. A scientist and humanitarian at heart, she founded the UAE Down Syndrome Association in 2004 to support families of children with the condition. Two years later, she broadened her scope of help by launching the UAE Genetic Diseases Association, which is one of her main accolades. Her other health-related initiatives including the UAE Free of Thalassaemia campaign in 2012. Fittingly, she is also the deputy chairperson of Dubai Cares.
Dr Matar was the first Emirati woman to hold a director general role within the Dubai government, at the Community Development Authority. She is also a board member of the Marriage Fund, Awqaf, Minors Affairs Foundation and Dubai Women Establishment. She has a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery and a degree from the Family Medicine Residency Programme with distinction.