Reflections on the Dubai Symposium

The Dubai Symposium, led by the charismatic Professor Roy Batchelor, offered a special experience for Dubai based students to have intimate access to key companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

For London students, the awe of simply being in Dubai was evident, however for someone who has been living and working in the UAE for a number of years, the real attraction was reserved for attending the presentations and discussions. It was a great opportunity to get a better understanding from senior personnel of the dynamics of their operations, from some of the most renowned and diverse companies in the region ranging from real estate giants Nakheel and MAF, to advertising titans J. Walter Thompson to name but a few.

Having worked over the past 10 years for local and regional companies, at the time of the symposium I was preparing to begin a new role at a global corporation. While full of excitement for the new opportunity, I was looking forward to the symposium and the opportunity it presented to visit public and private sector companies, to gauge their responses to key UAE issues such as changing demographics, cultural influences, business targets for the coming year and the impact of the newly implemented VAT as of January 2018.

Some of the public sector companies included Dubai Tourism and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, a sustainable city which offered us the amazing experience to ride the first automated electric-powered vehicles in the region. During ‘Culture Day’ in Abu Dhabi, we visited the Louvre, with the bonus of a guided tour, to put it simply the art and civilisation museum was simply breathtaking and an educational journey full of history and intrigue.

Another great feature of the visits, was the opportunity to meet Executive MBA alumni who had graduated in Dubai and were experiencing successful careers in companies such as Nakheel, the Dubai Islamic Economy Department and International Humanitarian City.

On the final day we had presentations and were given advice from a number of successful Cass graduate entrepreneurs such as Julian Callanan of Sinterex and Khaled Boudemagh of the Golden Age Institute. They spoke about how the learning experience and network opportunities offered on a Cass MBA helped them in their respective entrepreneurial journeys.

The elective began after our final block core module examinations and despite our sleep deprived states, we were privy to a special experience. For one thing, the range of company visits gave new insights into different sectors. The presentations and Q&A sessions offered the opportunity to establish a real understanding of the mission and values of these organisations and how they do business in Dubai.

I would highly recommend the Dubai Symposium to prospective students considering their elective choices, regardless of where you are based, the elective has a lot to offer.

Adel Ellab
Executive MBA in Dubai (2018)

1 Comment

  1. Nicely written and definitely encouraging for your audience. 👏

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