Hot 100 2011 - Haif Abdalla Zamzam

Viva La Volunteer
Hot 100 2011 - Haif Abdalla Zamzam
Haif Abdalla Zamzam

This Abu-Dhabi based Emirati may work in finance for a large organisation, but her heart is in her the volunteer work she does at the Abu Dhabi Centre for Language and Speech Disorders. “It’s shocking to see the number of children who have speech impediments and whose parents have a hard time accepting the disorder. The key to the progress of these children’s development starts with parents’ acceptance and search for potential methods of customised education.”

Not only is Haif an avid volunteer, she’s also keen to fight the stigma that all Emiratis are born with silver spoons in their mouths. “My grandparents and parents worked hard to get to the positions they’re in today and we as their children work hard too. If I had a dirham for every time someone referred to the UAE as a ‘pot of gold’, I’d be a billionaire. I think more people need to come to the UAE and interact with Emiratis so they can understand the people and its country better.”

Haif’s perfect day in the UAE would start with a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, followed by a cappuccino with gold flakes at Emirates Palace and a visit to their art gallery. Before lunch with the family, she’d stroll Abu Dhabi’s Corniche (on a cool day), and then stop for refreshments at the Cultural Café at Breakwater. Next up, a tour of the Masar Institute and, lastly, a camel burger at Switch in Dubai Mall. “Once you’ve had camel, there’s no going back!”