by Lindsay Judge
  • 4 minute read
  • July 09, 2024
Marwa Al Hashmi on achieving her goals as an endurance horse rider, part-time model, TV presenter and actress

Marwa Al Hashmi’s career comprises two very different trajectories. On one hand, she is an endurance horse rider, competing in races with up to 200 participants and living out her childhood dream of riding. On the flip side, she has a flourishing career as a model, actress and social media influencer, with a slew of successful campaigns to her name, a recent role in a film, and has been a Miss Universe UAE 2021 finalist. Balancing the two paths is not easy, but Marwa is dedicated to pursuing her dreams. 

“What got me into horse riding? I think it was meant to be. When I was young and I first saw a horse, I instantly fell in love,” Marwa confesses. “Riding makes me feel free and happy, and that’s the life I want.” 

She began riding when she was 14 after persuading her mother to take her for the first time. “She is very protective, because I am the only daughter. But I asked her every day until she took me – that’s how I knew I was a determined person,” says Marwa with conviction. Her riding journey began with show jumping, but after learning more about endurance racing, which sees around 200 opponents compete in long-distance horse races, she felt this was the path for her. “My goals never stop evolving. What I haven’t achieved yet is placing first in a competition. It’s very difficult to come first in endurance riding, as there are a lot of riders in each race. I have only achieved the top ten so far, so I would love to take first place,” she shares. 

One of Marwa’s many passions is horse riding. Image: Supplied

When she’s not competing, Marwa trains in Dubai with her horses, which she says is a source of calm in her life. “When I’m training and riding for fun, all my thoughts are peaceful and relaxing.” But, when the competitions begin, her mind focuses solely on that first-place prize. “I keep telling myself I can do it. I’m not a perfect person. I get anxious, and sometimes I get negative thoughts about not winning or falling, but I keep telling myself to calm down and be strong, manifesting myself to win. My mind is always focused on the race at hand,” she explains.

After graduating from the University of Sharjah, Marwa also had dreams of a career in media. Today, alongside her endurance riding, she works as a social media influencer, model and actress. She has been an ambassador for brands such as Carolina Herrera, Dyson Beauty, Coach, and Gucci Beauty. Her social following has also allowed her to step into acting, another passion she hopes will open up further. 

“I would like to do more, maybe in a series or a movie. There are now a lot of UAE-based movie productions and many of these are reaching worldwide. I’m so proud that the UAE is doing well in this industry and this is something I would love to be part of,” she says. 

Her first foray into acting came when she was just a teenager, when she earned a role in a UAE film production called Letter Writer. Directed by British-Emirati director Layla Kaylif, the film tells the story of a young boy growing up in 1960s Dubai and working as a professional letter writer for illiterate local travellers. “I filmed this when I was very young, but I’d love to do more acting, TV presenting and be recognised internationally for my work,” Marwa says. 

Marwa poses with her horse. Image: Supplied

At the age of just 26, Marwa has already achieved a lot, and she is acutely aware of how important it is not to be afraid to seize opportunities. “Never think you are too young to start something. Always try. Don’t be scared of getting turned down. I have so many friends who have achieved so much at a young age, so it’s never too early,” she affirms, while also recognising that it’s not always easy. “I don’t take failure as something bad or disappointing, because I failed a lot to reach where I am. I didn’t get everything easily, and I believe you have to fail in order to learn how to fix something and not do it again.” 

It seems the sky’s the limit for this young entrepreneur, who still has so much more she wants to accomplish. “There is a lot I want to do,” she shares. “I want to be a horse trainer in the future and teach others to ride horses. In media, I want to be internationally recognised, and I see myself having my own company.” For Marwa, this is just the beginning…

Follow @marwaalhash on Instagram. 

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