HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum attends Cass Business School graduation ceremony at DIFC



HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Fiscal Committee and Chairman of Emirates Group, celebrated the graduation of the first ever cohort of Cass Business School Dubai Executive MBA (EMBA) students yesterday during a ceremony held at DIFC.

Launched in 2007 in association with DIFC, nineteen of the EMBA’s first students graduated at the ceremony last night, after completing the 24 month programme that offers two specialisations: Islamic Finance and Energy – a world first for an EMBA.

HE Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of DIFC said: “The availability of a large number of talented and skilled business professionals is crucial for our region to effectively take advantage of the opportunities that growth and change are bringing. DIFC has brought together a variety of programmes that enable professionals to benefit from the very best of global management thinking, research and practice. The availability of these programmes gives UAE and GCC Nationals an exceptional opportunity to obtain globally top-ranked executive education within the region. Programmes like the Cass Executive MBA help executives in the region develop a truly global outlook while equipping them with the knowledge necessary to make greater contributions to their businesses and economies.”

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “World class executive education programmes like Cass’s Executive MBA are crucial for business professionals to keep themselves at the forefront of the industry. The DIFC Centre of Excellence, from where Cass offers its programme, was established to bring together global programmes that can train and inspire professionals in developing new approaches to business challenges, and new business ideas and strategies. Partnering with global business schools like Cass Business School is part of DIFC’s efforts to develop a large pool of dynamic professionals who can fuel the growth of the region’s financial industry.”

Richard Gillingwater, Dean of Cass Business School, commented on the success of the first group of Dubai-based EMBA students: “Cass Business School has successfully offered Executive MBA programmes in London for several years now, and we are extremely proud that our first extension into the Middle East has been equally as rewarding. Judging by the achievements and the high calibre of the first cohort of graduates, the course will certainly serve the intellectual needs of the region and will allow executives to receive a world-class education at their doorstep.”

The Cass EMBA is a flexible part-time course aimed at managers in the Gulf region who want to accelerate their career development whilst remaining in full-time employment. The course is comprised of the same content as Cass’s London-based Executive MBA, which is ranked second in the UK and fourth in Europe by the Financial Times.

The core financial sector of DIFC contributed US$ 2.2 billion worth of value added, which accounted for 78% of the DIFC GDP. The value added in the business sector totalled US$ 527 million, approximately 19% of the total GDP. Other non-financial sectors including retail and wholesale trade, hotels and restaurants, and public administration recorded a tiny contribution of 3% of GDP with US$ 88 million.

Students graduating from the first Dubai EMBA programme include top level executives from across the Gulf region, representing sectors including energy, engineering, finance, legal, government and telecommunications.

Cass Business School is ranked in the top 10 UK business schools for business, management and finance, and classes for the Executive MBA are delivered by Cass academics who visit Dubai over a long weekend once a month. These lectures are supported by the School’s online learning platform, CassLearn, which is used for online tutorials, group discussion and research.

The course’s comprehensive electives cover topics such as Leadership and Change Management, Advanced Corporate Strategy, Islamic Economics, Islamic Law of Business Transactions, Islamic Banking and Finance, as well as Mergers and Acquisitions, Advanced Corporate Finance and Private Equity.

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