In the industrial area of Sharjah, IMEX Car Services stands as the home of the regions first female mechanic. 36-year-old Emirati, Huda al Matroushi operates the garage built by herself and her father in the evening, whist working for the Sharjah government through the day.
Having worked on cars for sixteen years this talented individual repairs engines, performs diagnostics, inspections and services. Finally, last week she received the recognition she deserved, as well as one of the most prestigious customers in the land.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called to congratulate her on her achievements in a male dominate industry, but also to book his car in for a service.
Al Matroushi said in an interview with Gulf News
“I was in tears when His Highness asked me if I would accept his car for servicing in my garage. I could not help being emotional. It was such a special moment in my life. I felt so proud of being an Emirati that day.”
Asked about how she ended up under the bonnets and behind the wheels of cars she said “when I was young, I used to be curious about toy cars. I wanted to understand the mechanics behind them”.
After 16 years of working on cars, she finally opened her own garage in 2020. Fast filling with clients, she has defied odds to achieve this lifelong dream, all in the garage she and her father built together.
She has since identified issues with services carried out by less-than-reputable firms in the area, even diagnosing a compressor issue on her own chauffeurs’ vehicle. Found working in her abaya, Al Matroushi proudly sticks to her roots claiming that the abaya is a practical addition to her mechanic’s regalia of overalls.
In a closing statement to Gulf News, she told of her vision for the future.
“I am not an engineer, but I will be one day. The dream is to expand my garage into a proper car centre that does repair work as well as serves as a hub for car accessories. I do not yet know whether I will ever get that far, but I’m sure my future looks bright.”
Breaking the taboo for what women can and cannot perform, Huda al Matroushi stands as an inspiration to women across the land, bridging the gap between men and women. In showing that we’re all equally capable, she raises the bar for what women in the region can achieve in these modern times.