Company: Abu Dhabi Airports
It took five years to finalise, but in 2013 Reem al Marzouqi managed to secure her first patent, becoming her country’s first to ever do so.
A student at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain, at the time, she developed the first car designed to be driven without using hands or arms. The steering, acceleration and braking are all managed by feet-controlled levers. Intended to help disabled people who do not have or are unable to fully use their upper extremities, the invention is protected by patents in the US, and the UAEU has said it is also seeking patents in Japan, China and Europe.
Al Marzouqi currently works as an engineer at Abu Dhabi Airports, but has also championed female engineers in the country, inspiring them to join what is traditionally a male-dominated field, and highlighting the importance of women in a knowledge-based future UAE economy.