Abeer Al Otaiba
As the Founder and Creative Director of SemSem, Abeer Al Otaiba has dedicated her professional life to empowering women through her luxury clothing line.
Before her journey with SemSem, she studied and worked professionally as a civil engineer. While she initially followed in her family’s career path, Abeer always knew that her true calling was fashion design. It wasn’t until after her daughter was born that she became inspired to find a way to fulfill her life-long passion and give back to the global community.
Abeer officially created SemSem in October 2015. Now an established fashion designer, she credits her time as an engineer with giving her the discipline and technical skills to create her latest collections. In the last few years, her work with SemSem has been featured in major fashion magazines such as Elle and Emirates Women, along with world-class events such as Arab Fashion Week.
Abeer’s rise in the fashion industry has not only changed the global perception of Arab women, but driven a larger conversation around protecting less fortunate women and children worldwide. In support of this cause, each SemSem collection features a nonprofit organization dedicated to female empowerment and related issues like gender equality, literacy and health. SemSem’s previous partners include Women for Women International, the Association for the Development & Enhancement of Women (ADEW) and Nation of Dolls.
Abeer has also teamed up with her husband and UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba to fund charitable work with Meridian International Center and several healthcare institutions across the US. As close friends of the Children’s National Medical Center, the couple was awarded the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Prize in Philanthropy in 2015 and helped fund the hospital’s first COVID-19 walk-up testing site in 2020.
In October 2020, she became the Chief Executive Officer of Al Otaiba Investments. Through this initiative, she is now committed to investing in unique opportunities that will make a positive impact on our world for generations to come. Also honorary chair of the Hope for Henry Foundation, Abeer has worked alongside her husband and the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC to reinvent the hospital experience for over 50,000 pediatric patients and their loved ones in the local area.