News from Cass Business School

Stelios opens Inaugural Cass Dubai Symposium

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009

Serial entrepreneur, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, opened the inaugural Cass Business School Dubai Symposium on Sunday 3 May at the DIFC Centre of Excellence in Dubai.

The Symposium is providing the School's MBA students with an opportunity to learn from leading business leaders about the challenges and benefits of doing business in the region.  It also provides a perfect opportunity for the 80 London-based students in attendance to network with almost 400 alumni based in Dubai and the surrounding region.

The week-long Dubai Symposium allows the Cass students to learn about the Dubai market first-hand through an intensive array of lectures and discussions with leading business representatives.

Stelios offered encouragement to the budding entrepreneurs at the event, suggesting that the current economic crisis may provide some opportunities for people looking to launch their own companies.  He said with many asset values down, and resources available, those people with the finance to start their own business may actually benefit from the economic climate.

He cautioned the students from taking large financial risks, however, and said he never advises anyone to throw everything in to one venture.  He said: I only take risks that I can afford to lose.

When challenged about the impact of airline travel on the environment he said: A well run business should not have to choose between success and the environment.  He emphasised the importance of investing in protecting the environment and drew comparisons between climate change and safety regulations.  He said: If you think safety is expensive, try an accident.

Other guest speakers at the week-long Symposium will include Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah; Abdulla Bin Sougat, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Lifestyle Group; Paul Koster, CFO of the Dubai Financial Services Authority; Adel Lootah, Executive Director Dubai Property Society, and Dr Deomos Petropoulous from Ocean Challenge.

Cass has been offering a Dubai-based EMBA for almost two years.  The programme is a flexible, part-time programme, delivered in collaboration with the DIFC Centre of Excellence, for committed and ambitious managers in the Gulf, the Middle East and the surrounding regions who want to accelerate their career development while remaining in full-time employment. Cass Business School's programmes draw students from more than 100 countries across the world and the Dubai EMBA has students from as far as New York, Europe and London fly in each month to study with Cass.

The inaugural Dubai Symposium another example of the Cass commitment to Dubai and the surrounding region. In 2008, Cass opened a representative office in theDIFC. Recently, the School also appointed Professor Roy Batchelor as specialist Course Director for its Dubai EMBA programme.

Faten Hani, CEO of the DIFC Centre of Excellence said: The Dubai Symposium organised by Cass Business School will help to strengthen interaction and dialogue between young business leaders of the UK and the Middle East. The increasing presence of leading European business schools like Cass Business School in the region is contributing to greater business links between the Middle East and Europe. The DIFC Centre of Excellence provides a world-class learning infrastructure and environment for educational institutions from around the world to provide their programmes to students in the Middle East.

Richard Gillingwater, Dean of Cass Business School said: Dubai has experienced exceptional growth in recent years, leading the Middle East in its economic boom. Cass is proud of our truly-world class alumni who are living and working in the region and we want to continue to strengthen our ties with the local business community.

This is a challenging time for all financial hubs including both London and Dubai.  While the crisis necessitates re-evaluation across the financial community, it gives us at Cass a unique opportunity to help shape the next phase sorting out the new financial order by providing world-class research and developing leaders of the future.
The Cass Business School Dubai Symposium is held in partnership with the DIFC Centre of Excellence and is supported by

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Sir Stelios opens the Inaugural Cass Dubai Symposium

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