DIFC Forum: Sustaining growth requires breakthrough thinking and new ideas, says HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman

His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank today said breakthrough thinking and ideas are necessary to sustain the growth of the region’s economy in the face of the global financial crisis.

He was speaking at the DIFC Forum, the second major business conference that forms part of DIFC Week, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) prestigious annual series of business events.

HE Dr. Bin Sulaiman said: “In a time when we took growth as a given and rewards as inevitable, traditional management methods were more than good enough. Today, however, sustaining growth requires breakthrough thinking and new ideas. This is our challenge, and yours. People say problems are the mothers of solutions. But, I say crisis is the mother of opportunities.”

“Over the past decade, Dubai has been synonymous with the term ‘opportunity’. The evidence is all around us, and all of you contributed to it. If we are to benefit from this positive energy, I urge you all to place your old habits and comfortable ways of doing business aside, and listen to each other with open minds. Only then will we unleash the creative thinking that is required to come up with exceptional solutions to the exceptional crisis that we face today,” he added.

HE Dr. Bin Sulaiman further said that the global community is entering uncharted waters and therefore facing uncertain times. “As we all know, uncertainty and risk are inherent in the nature of the financial system itself. None of us can forecast the future, not today and not tomorrow. Not in the best of times, nor in the days of greatest challenge.  We can manage risk but we cannot obviate it. This is our eternal challenge,” he said.

The DIFC Forum, being held on 24 and 25 November, is discussing critical issues like the impact of the global financial crisis on the region, the next generation of Islamic Finance, emerging markets in and after the financial crisis, and energy geopolitics in an era of structural change. Later in the session, HE Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, The Advisory Council, Government of Dubai and Chairman, Emaar Properties delivered the key note address at the DIFC Forum, where he reiterated that Dubai will take every possible measure to safeguard itself from the global financial crisis.

With over 70 speakers from the world’s major international markets, 21 separate sessions, and a televised debate on how to get confidence back in the global financial markets, DIFC Week will address the most important issues faced by businesses in the region both in the current financial climate and in the future. Topics to be discussed at the four-day event include growth strategies, opportunities and major challenges for family businesses both locally and internationally, the economic outlook for the world and the GCC in 2009, attracting foreign investment and human capital in the Arab world, and the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai.

Closing DIFC Week will be a Conference on 26 November titled: ‘The Inside Track on Dubai’, which will involve a series of commercial, regulatory and teaching streams that discuss the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai covering issues such as raising capital and understanding cultural aspects of living and working in the Emirate.

DIFC Week is proud to be supported by its Platinum Sponsors including Deutsche Bank and Abraaj Capital, and Sponsors who include Itau Securities and Goldman Sachs .  In addition, the DIFC Week Conference is sponsored by Alvarez & Marsal, Conyers, Dill & Pearman, Emirates NBD, Grant Thornton, HAYS, International Compliance Training (ICT) Middle East, Kershaw Leonard, Latham and Watkins, M: Communications, Norton Rose and Union Properties while the DIFC Week Gala Networking Reception is sponsored by SungardThe DIFC Summit is run in association with the Tharawat Family Business Forum.  

DIFC Week is also grateful for the active support and involvement of its Knowledge Partners who include Al Tamimi & Company, British Business Group, DIFC Centre of Excellence, Oxford Analytica, Simmons & Simmons, Young Arab Leaders, and DNM connect;  its Media Partners which are, AME Info, Arabian Business,, Al Arabiya News Channel, CNBC, Dow Jones, Dubai Eye, Financial News, The Times, The Sunday Times, SAB Media, The Wall Street Journal, Oxford Business Group and Zawya; as well as DIFC Week's Joint Marketing Partner, Dubai Corporate Counsel Group.. 

In addition, DIFC Week also expresses its gratitude to Itau Securities, the Sponsors of the DIFC Week Golf Championships.

To register or find out more information about the Summit, Forum and Conference taking place at DIFC Week, visit www.difcweek.ae

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