Hanan Jawad has wanted to be a pilot since she was 14 and is now a Boeing 777 first officer with Emirates, one of two UAE national female first officers who have gone through the Emirates pilot cadetship programme.

Her career path is clear, she wants to become a captain on the Boeing 777, and sees flying as her lifelong career. She is not alone. At the beginning of 2014, there were five women in the cadet programme and the airline planned for a further 100 places to be opened to student pilots in 2015.

To meet the demand for new air services, Emirates, like most other major global airlines, is investing heavily in skills and professional training for both locally recruited  employees and staff who have joined the airline from other parts of the world.

As part of its long-term strategy to nurture talent in Dubai, the Emirates Aviation College was established, offering an extensive range of aviation-related courses and programmes for both Emirates employees and the general public. The airline is planning a new flight training academy, based at Dubai World Central Airport, which will train up to 400 students at a time. Over the next few years, 40,000 pilots are required in the Middle East alone. The airline invests in learning and development for its employees and also has focused retention strategies; 47% of the 56,000 staff have been with the Emirates Group for more than five years and over 11,000 staff have been with the company for ten years or longer.