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Nahdah Abdalla

City, University of London launches MENA Alumni chapter in Dubai

The aim of the MENA chapter is to help graduates stay connected

by Nahda Abdalla (Senior Communications Officer (Dubai))

More than 150 alumni came together to celebrate the launch of the City Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Alumni Chapter at the Bvlgari Marina and Yacht Club on Jumeirah Bay Island.

The MENA Chapter is the latest in a series of global initiatives aimed at strengthening ties between City and our graduates, and providing them with a platform to grow their personal and professional networks.

Hosted by Viola Polakowska, Head of Alumni Relations and Rehan Pathan, founding President of the City MENA Alumni Chapter, the evening was a great opportunity to reconnect and reminisce with alumni and faculty members, engage with professionals working in top companies, and hear more about the MENA Alumni Chapter activities.

The celebration featured speeches by Polakowska, Pathan, Dr Kevin Dunseath, Regional Director, MENA and Head of Dubai Centre, and Professor Stephen Thomas, Professor of Finance.

MENA chapter is a "fantastic achievement"

Dr Kevin Dunseath, Regional Director, MENA

Polakowska was delighted to have so many alumni members attend the gathering, and said the launch of the MENA Alumni Chapter is “a fantastic achievement.”

Viola Polakowska, Head of Alumni Relations

“We have 20 alumni ambassadors in the MENA region who are instrumental in making sure that we engage with our alumni by hosting events on behalf of the Alumni Relations team. As part of the MENA chapter, our alumni ambassadors in Dubai have started hosting monthly gatherings to ensure the alumni community is regularly engaged,” said Polakowska.

Pathan who has been instrumental in setting up this chapter, said:

“The spirit of this chapter is alumni helping alumni. We’ve set up three initiatives as part of the MENA chapter – the entrepreneurs’ club, the professional women’s club and an employment initiative which will focus on helping alumni to find work opportunities. We have 2000 graduates based in the region, so if we can figure out how to keep alumni employing alumni, we’re on the right track.”

Rehan Pathan, founding President of the City MENA Alumni Chapter

Vibrant City graduate community

Members of the vibrant graduate community in the MENA region hail from various countries such as United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, India, Pakistan, Mexico and Nigeria – a reflection of the diverse student population that can be found at City. They now work in several sectors like banking, finance, marketing, telecommunications, media and healthcare.

Ife Adedoyin (MSc Real Estate, 2014), a City alumna who was at the event, said:

“Through the MENA network, I hope to build meaningful relationships with other alumni, and have a greater awareness of City’s and Cass’s activities in this region.”

City alumnus, Mahmood Jessa (EMBA, 2015) shares a similar sentiment. He said:

“As an entrepreneur, an alumni network will help in meeting new people so we can exchange ideas, explore avenues to collectively help each other as well as discover opportunities to collaborate. It will definitely help with opening doors to new ventures.”

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  • Dr Kevin Dunseath

    Photo by Nahdah Abdallah