DIFC Week Confirms Key Speakers For Forum

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has confirmed the prestigious list of speakers for the DIFC Week Forum, which will be held on 24-25 November. Taking place in the midst of the global financial crisis, DIFC Week provides the ideal opportunity for leaders of the business world to come together and discuss the business impact of the current turmoil and the ability of the Middle East region to manage the implications for the future.

HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of DIFC said: "The financial stress facing developed countries has given the Gulf region and Dubai an opportunity to play more leading roles in the global financial market. The world economy is going through a period of transformation and GCC economies are well placed to take advantage of these changes. DIFC Week is bringing together a host of opinion leaders and prominent business officials, from across the world and the region, to talk about how the world and the GCC region in particular can convert the challenges brought by a changing global economy into opportunities for growth."

Amongst those due to speak at the two day event are:

  • Maha Al-Ghunaim, Chairperson & Managing Director of Global Investment House
  • Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company
  • Sheikha Hanadi Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Nasser bin Khaled & Sons and founder of AMWAL
  • Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC
  • HRH Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of Perak State Malaysia.
  • Jeff Singer, CEO, DIFX
  • Sameer Al Ansari, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive of Dubai International Capital LLC
  • Saad Hamad Al Barrak, Managing Director, Deputy Chairman and CEO, Zain Group
  • Tim Sebastian, Former Host of BBC Hardtalk
  • Peter Oppenheimer, Partner and Global Strategist at Goldman Sachs
DIFC Forum will focus on how to sustain prosperity in the Middle East in a turbulent financial world. It will cover a range of topics such as attracting foreign investment and human capital in the Arab world with the opening debate entitled "The economic outlook for the world and the GCC in 2009".

Peter Oppenheimer, Partner and Global Strategist at Goldman Sachs, said "The recent global financial turmoil has raised concerns about the sustainability of growth and profits, but may raise significant long term investment opportunities in an increasingly globalised World".

Commenting on the event Maha Al-Ghunaim, Chairperson & Managing Director of Global Investment House said, "The GCC region has been one of the most insulated economies and it will be interesting to explore the inter-linkages between investments and growth that these economies will show in the future, keeping in mind the current global turmoil and commodity cycle."

Sameer Al Ansari, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive of Dubai International Capital LLC, said: "The Middle East remains a bright spot during the volatility in the financial markets, and the UAE is developing increasingly strong trade and investment ties with high growth markets in the East. Dubai and DIFC Week is a highly relevant time and place to be hosting an international conference and debate the fundamental changes taking place in world economies."

DIFC Week will open on 23 November with a one-day Summit on family businesses which will bring together leading figures from the region to share their perspectives on the factors critical to growth in a globalised world and how to navigate the changes it involves. Themes of discussion include: resource challenges, new technologies, talent, cross-border strategic alliances, financial instruments, currency issues, and other questions related to globalisation.

Immediately following the Forum will be a Conference on 26 November titled: 'The Inside Track on Dubai', which will involve a series of workshops discussing the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai covering legal and regulatory issues, raising capital and understanding cultural aspects of living and working in the Emirate.

David Eldon, Chairman of DIFC Authority, who will be leading the conference, said: "Despite the various uncertainties and multiple challenges facing the global financial community, the DIFC continues to attract high-quality organisations. In fact, so far in 2008 we have been able to maintain growth levels similar to 2007. While it is too early to know the full impact of mergers and acquisitions within the global financial community, I am pleased to be able to say that we are still seeing a steady stream of organisations eager to establish themselves in the DIFC. The UAE and Dubai continue to be oases of growth despite the financial stress facing developed markets".

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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