The prize was given at the International Inspirational Women Awards 2020, an event organised by Indian not-for-profit organisation the GISR Foundation.
“I strongly believe in the development of society through education”
Sheikh has spent the last 35 years helping to set up international universities in Dubai, where she specialised in student recruitment. She was amongst 81 other women who were awarded for their contributions towards society.
“Our visionary leadership that supports women 100%, believes that for a society to be productive, it has to utilise the talents and capabilities of women who represent around half of the UAE population,” she told The PIE News.
“I strongly believe in the development of society through education – its value system – to leave a profound legacy for the future generation.
“I am of the opinion that international exposure and amalgamation of various cultures will help to create a tolerant and peaceful global society that will be progressive and will establish a future,” she added.
Sheikh started her career in education in the early 1980s, when she ran a Nursery school. She then went on to head a number of schools before moving into higher education in UAE.
She sponsored a foreign campus for Canada’s University of New Brunswick at Knowledge Village – a move that prompted other foreign universities to set up campuses in Dubai.
Sheikh then worked with institutes including The Canadian University of Dubai, Heriot Watt University from Scotland and Amity University of India in Dubai, where she contributed to the development of their foreign campuses.
She told The PIE that she was “so proud and grateful to see that my work has been noted and that I am being commended publicly for it.”
IIWA was set up to celebrate the commitment, courage and confidence of exceptional women across dimensions and geographical boundaries.
A number of women were honoured at the awards in categories including Woman CEO of the Year, Woman Change-maker of the Year and Best Woman Performer in Woman Rights.
Balvinder Shukla, who is the current vice-chancellor at Amity University, spoke at the event, telling the audience that women are change-makers who would bring about “change in the society, country and the world”.