UAE business environment in focus as MBA delegation visits key industries

Students met with senior leaders from companies including Emirates National Oil Company, JWT and Emirates Airlines

A delegation of UK based MBA students studying at Cass Business School, City University London, has met with some of the UAE’s most prominent business figures and toured a number of leading companies, to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing key growth sectors in the country.

Dubai’s transition from oil and gas dependency to a tourism, trade and transportation led economy was a major theme, as was Abu Dhabi’s ongoing management of its oil revenues, its plans for energy diversification and sustainable development, and market entry techniques and expansion potential for international companies interested in operating in the Gulf region.

MBA UAE Elective 2016

For the seventh year, the UAE study tour, led by Roy Batchelor, Professor of Banking and Finance, and the Executive MBA Dubai Course Director, visited both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It featured trips to flagship companies across a range of sectors, including conventional and renewable energy, conventional and Islamic finance, real estate development, retailing, design, hospitality, sports, shipping and trade, telecommunications and infrastructure.

Ehsan Razavizadeh, Regional Director, MENA and Head of the Dubai Centre, said:

“Our UAE study tour aims to expose MBA students to the various economic, financial, social and cultural issues facing one of the most dynamic countries in the Middle East region. We hope that the experience was rewarding both personally and professionally, and most importantly, that it provided a unique insight into how some of the UAE’s most successful and innovative companies are managed.”

During the five-day tour, the students met with Mubadala Development Authority, Emirates National Oil Company, DP World, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Dubai Design District, Emirates Airlines, JWT, and Nakheel.

The MBA students were also given an overview of DIFC, where City University London’s Dubai Centre is located, by Margit Levay, Assistant Vice President - Institutional Partnerships, DIFC. Following this, Saeed Kharbah, Head of Strategy and Planning, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre provided his unique insights into the Islamic Economy and the industry in the UAE. Finally, Matthew Lewis, Partner - Middle East and Africa, from Boyden Global Executive Search spoke with the students on understanding the Gulf executive talent marketplace.

In addition to in-depth industry sessions, the visit also enabled insights into local customs and culture, through a trip to The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque, Alserkal Cultural Foundation Heritage House, a desert safari and a list to the top of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Roy Batchelor, Professor of Banking and Finance, and the Executive MBA Dubai Course Director at Cass Business School said:

“There is really no better way to understand the culture and business of the UAE than to spend time in the region, and to meet and interact with the people who are driving its vision forward. Thus week has been enjoyable and inspiring for everyone.”