noon, the Middle East’s homegrown digital marketplace, is celebrating the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ final by celebrating Emirati female footballing talent Houriya Al Thaheri.
As part of its ongoing noon |women series, noon caught up with the acclaimed female Emirati football coach, who recently became the first Arab female Football expert in FIFA.
“In 2007, I visited the FIFA headquarters in Zurich as a player, and took pictures near the FIFA logo,’ said Houriya. “To now be a part of FIFA, is a dream come true for me.”
Now a technical director in the Women’s Football Committee, Houriya is also head coach of the UAE’s under-15 girls team, and she is set on nurturing the next generation of female Arab football stars.
It is her passion to help the women of her country, and region, reach their greatest potential by pushing through obstacles. “One of the challenges is that there are not enough clubs for girls, especially in football,” she said.
A true inspiration in her own right, Houriya holds a football coaching license, which is the highest degree in the Asian football confederation. She also recently authored her first book Becoming A Legend– named after the football academy she established in the UAE for boys and girls.
“The idea for the book was to speak about everything, not just my accomplishments, but of all of the support female footballers get from the UAE government. There are a lot of inspirational stories about all the people who have accompanied me in my career, which I wanted to tell.”
The noon |women series has been developed to shed light on the incredible female talent driving change across our region, by telling the stories of these unsung heroes.