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Professor Karim Chelli, President and Vice-Chancellor, Canadian University Dubai
Professor Karim Chelli, President and Vice-Chancellor, Canadian University Dubai

Published: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 10:35 AM

Last updated: Wed 30 Mar 2022, 10:37 AM

The Governor General of Canada visits CUD sharing her insights on a range of topics

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Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada, recently made an official visit to Canadian University Dubai (CUD) as part of a working trip to the Middle East. Speaking to an audience of faculty, students and members of the Canadian community in the UAE, she shared her insights on a range of themes, including Inuit culture, climate change, and gender equality.

Accompanied by her husband, Whit Fraser, Simon was received by CUD President and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Karim Chelli. The visit began with a tour of the university’s new, state-of-the-art campus at Dubai City Walk, led by the CUD leadership team.

Welcoming the Governor General to the university, CUD Chancellor, Buti Saeed Al Ghandi remarked, “Our ambition at CUD remains to grow and strengthen our international networks, to help us make an ever-increasing contribution to building the regional knowledge economy, and it is with great pride that we do so in the name of both the UAE and Canada.”

The Governor General opened her address with greetings in Inuktitut, going on to share insights into her Inuit upbringing and the importance of acknowledging and understanding its history. Reflecting on her visit to the region, she spoke of the need for international collaboration to build a successful future for the world, concluding, “The UAE strives for new opportunities and innovations, and for that, Canada is the perfect partner.”

This was followed by a Q&A session, moderated by Associate Professor, Dr. Louise Lambert, where the audience took the opportunity to ask the Governor General about current issues, ranging from action on climate change to the preservation of language.

Closing the interactive session was CUD student and Canadian Business Council Dubai intern, Angela Raj, who thanked the dignitaries for their generous participation, saying, “This cultural meeting of minds we have experienced today is sure to leave a lasting impact on us all, students and faculty alike. Each and every one of us will be able to take something home from this empowering and momentous visit.”

During the event, the Governor General toured the exhibition, ‘Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Art, Architecture, and Traditional Knowledge’, which is staged by McGill University and installed at CUD’s HUB Building Incubator Zone.

As part of the visit, students from the University’s Bachelor of Communications in Journalism programme were also given the unique opportunity to engage with Fraser, who is a renowned author and storyteller. During the session, he discussed his extensive journalistic career, during which he reported from all four corners of Canada, and he then went on to answer questions from students about the future challenges of the journalism industry.

The visit to CUD was part of an official trip to the region, which also sees the governor General meet with heads of state and senior leaders in the UAE and other GCC countries.

Our significant climb in the QS rankings reflect our longstanding reputation for academic excellence and our growing portfolio of world class, high-impact research. With the recent campus expansion to City Walk, we are embarking on a new phase in the university’s impact across the Arab region; providing unique opportunities to study a Canadian curriculum in the heart of Dubai, whilst pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity to make a meaningful contribution to society that extends beyond the classroom,” said Professor Karim Chelli, President and Vice-Chancellor, Canadian University Dubai.


Kinza Khan, first year Public Relations student, Canadian University Dubai
Kinza Khan, first year Public Relations student, Canadian University Dubai

"It all started with the dream of going to Canada and building a future. I walked into the City Walk campus and knew CUD was where I wanted to be. Fast-forward to now, and I have settled into a world of new opportunities, diversity, and hope. What I admire most about CUD is that it’s homely, from the faculty to our students and alumni— we’re all one family.”

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