Industry: Arts and entertainment
Last year was another busy one for Nayla Al Khaja, the UAE’s first ever female film director. She wrote and directed two short films, Three (a horror film focused on a nine-year-old boy) and The Neighbour, which picked up the Muhr Emirati Special Jury award at the tenth Dubai International Film Festival. In addition, the Emirati has also set up her own production company (D-SEVEN), and she also heads up the UAE’s first official film club. Al Khaja’s willingness to tackle taboo subjects has often led to controversy. One of her films, which was released in 2010, took a look at the issues raised by arranged marriages.