Dubai is becoming a key part of top business school recruitment
strategies, according to the world’s largest series of international MBA and
Executive MBA fairs.


The QS World Exec
MBA Tour, which comes to Dubai on Monday, December 8, spoke with some of the
world’s top business schools, all of which reported that due to Dubai’s growth
as the business hub of the Middle East, demand for Executive MBA programs are


Gillingwater, Dean of Cass Business School, says the Middle East is a growth
region for skills, talent and education, particularly in the light of the
financial crisis.

“This (crisis) will
cause an influx of labour and talent in the Gulf region, but it is a great
opportunity. Until now the scarcity of skilled labour was a major drag on
development, but this has now eased. As with any emerging market, the need and
demand for MBAs is set to grow in line with the development of the region.
Dubai will therefore form an important part of our recruitment strategy.”


Arnold Longboy,
Director of Student Recruitment – Europe at the University of Chicago Booth
School of Business says the school has consistently enrolled students from the
UAE since opening its Europe campus in 1994.


“UAE students offer
unique insights into Middle Eastern business culture and their fellow EMBA
students can learn from their experiences and recommendations. Their
contribution to the diversity of the EMBA cohort is invaluable. What’s also
interesting is the insight they offer of working in an environment which
continues to produce double-digit growth.”


Cass Business School
currently has 21% of its EMBA program cohort as UAE nationals, and of the
University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ class of 90, six per cent are
resident in the Middle East.


“The UAE has always
been a good market for us and we have an excellent track record of attracting
high-quality Middle East-based students to our Executive MBA program,” Longboy
says. “The UAE is a solid economy and there have been several high-profile investments
from Middle East-based funds in UK companies recently, demonstrating the strong
bonds between both countries.”


Cass Business School
launched its Executive MBA program in Dubai in 2007, in partnership with the
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In its second year (2008), the
program had a 35% increase in cohort size and the school has now established a
representative office within the DIFC’s Centre of Excellence.


“Our Emirati
students make a very important contribution to the overall learning experience
in class, bringing real world experience and practical examples of how the
development, changes and business challenges within the UAE are shaping up,”
says Gillingwater. “We also encourage greater networking opportunities and
cross fertilisation of knowledge and ideas between our executives on the Dubai
and London programs through electives in both London and Dubai (which includes
the launch of a new symposium in Dubai), so the impact of UAE nationals on our
EMBA programs has a greater impact across the Cass MBA community.”


The QS World Exec
MBA Tour in Dubai will open with a panel discussion on “The Full Time vs
Executive MBA”, hosted by a selection of top international MBA and EMBA
programs including Wharton, Chicago, Cass, ISB Hyderabad and the Swiss Finance
Institute. This will be followed by a Q&A session for candidates and
corporate representatives.


The QS World Exec
MBA Tour is also an opportunity for HR Managers in charge of training and
development, chief learning and training officers, as well as line managers in
charge of the careers of top company talent, to find out more about MBA and
EMBA programs.