UAE-UK thought leaders discuss post-Covid, post-Brexit era opportunities

Dubai Media Office organises programmes in London focussing on deepening commercial and cultural ties with Britain

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By Web Desk

Published: Thu 30 Jun 2022, 8:16 PM

With an aim to expand and deepen Dubai’s network of relationships and stimulate new dialogue with audiences in the UK , the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) organised a week-long series of engagement programmes involving thought leaders from both sides.

The programme kicked off in London with a ‘Sports and Culture Roundtable’ featuring an informal dialogue with thinkers, planners and managers from UK’s sports and culture sectors, including Lord Tony Hall CBE, former Director General of the BBC and Skindar Hundal MBE, Director of Arts for The British Council.

The discussions focused on strengthening Dubai-UK sports and culture networks, and examining opportunities for strategic cooperation. The events held later explored post-Brexit opportunities and areas of common commercial interest.

The programme also featured an informal engagement with British female entrepreneurs and activists during which the delegation shared Dubai’s remarkable gender balance successes.

The Dubai delegation included leaders of government organisations at the forefront of developing its economy and investment, future technologies, financial services, life sciences, healthcare, media and culture and creativity.

The British participants included a diverse cross-section of leaders from government, the armed forces, academia, business, culture and media, including some of the stars of the country’s vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.

In total, the Dubai delegation connected with over 80 UK stakeholders, including the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.

Another key event of the UK engagement programme was ‘The Techathon’, that featured panel discussions with tech leaders, emerging tech entrepreneurs, and tech learners from London and Dubai. The event showcased tech success stories from both Dubai and London.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, delivered a TED Talk titled ‘Reshape Tomorrow’ in which he set out Dubai’s vision for the future of technology.

Mona Al Marri, Director General of the GDMO said: "The programme has opened up many new avenues for Dubai to promote meaningful engagement with the UK, not only at the level of governments and public and business sectors, but also between our media, sports, life sciences, cultural and creative communities and broader civil society.”

Shamsa Saleh, CEO at Dubai Women Establishment, said: “This engagement programme was a fantastic opportunity for female changemakers from Dubai and the UK to build new alliances, share learnings and focus our efforts on female empowerment.” The other delegates were also in praise of the outcome of the engagement programmes.

The programme is expected to contribute to further expanding trade and investment ties between both nations. The UK was also the second largest source country for FDI projects in 2021, with 18 per cent, while the UAE is a key market for Britain's expanding trade ambitions in the post-Brexit phase.

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