The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states on the southwest shore of the Arabian Gulf. The largest is sedate oil-rich Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, home to the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, now emerging as a regional leader in culture and the arts, and in the development of sustainable energy. Next door is far-from-sedate Dubai, famous for its spectacular skyline - including the iconic sail shaped Burj Al Arab, and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building – for its luxurious beach hotels, for bustling gold and spice markets, and for its dynamic international trading and financial centres. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are home to many expatriate workers who have helped design and build the modern infrastructure, and help keep the wheels of commerce and finance turning. Foreign residents outnumber Emiratis by about 4 to1, and this adds a vibrant cosmopolitan feel to the UAE’s traditional Islamic culture.
The UAE aims to expose participants to the economic, financial, social and cultural issues which face the most rapidly-expanding states in the Middle East. The themes that form the core of the program include the story of Dubai’s transition from oil and gas dependency to a tourism, trade and transportation led economy, Abu Dhabi’s management of its oil revenues, and plans for diversification and sustainable development; and market entry techniques and expansion potential for Western companies interested in operating in the Gulf region. By the end of the program participants should gain an understanding of issues facing key sectors in the UAE, including conventional and renewable energy, conventional and Islamic finance, real estate development, retailing, hospitality, sports, shipping and trade, and telecommunications and infrastructure. Participants will also be able to develop knowledge of the cultural and political sensitivities that are unique to the region, and the challenges of managing in a multicultural environment.