The Harvard Business School (HBS) Club of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has unveiled "The House", its new permanent hub and a groundbreaking milestone for HBS alumni worldwide.
"The House" was officially inaugurated today by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority, UAE International Investors Council, and CSR UAE Fund's Board of Trustees, in the presence of dignitaries, officials and regional business leaders.
Al Marri said that the UAE’s vision for the future is based on nurturing a knowledge economy and collaborations. “We see the Harvard Business School Club as an important partner to enrich the developmental and economic dialogue and to present and share visions and future solutions capable of achieving real progress that will serve the development efforts in the country.”
He added, "The UAE's efforts towards a new, more diversified and sustainable economic model are based on a true partnership with the business and academic sectors, given the positive economic indicators that have been achieved. The UAE was among the fastest-growing economies in the world during the year 2022, with economic growth standing at 7.6 percent, in addition to the records set by the country's foreign trade.”
Al Marri attributed the UAE’s record performance in foreign trade growth, which exceeded AED 2.2 trillion, to the transformation brought about by the launch of incentives and development initiatives by the UAE government as part of the Projects of the 50.
"The House" will serve as a hub for over 400,000 Harvard Business School alumni worldwide, including the 1,400 alumni in the region and the extended HBS community. The space aims to provide the HBS alumni and its community a place to connect, learn and collaborate. It will further enhance HBS’s Crossroads initiative, which brings together global Harvard experts to focus on the challenges facing the GCC and the world, such as education, food security, health, and national development.
Located in Dubai, a city that is growing in importance as a global hub for global talent relocation and businesses, "The House" is the first permanent location of the HBS Club in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and embodies the crucial role that the private sector plays in today's volatile world.
The opening of "The House" also underscores the HBS Club of GCC's commitment to fostering meaningful conversations, effective networking and the exchange of cutting-edge ideas.
Addressing the attendees, Saleh Lootah, President of the Harvard Business School Club of GCC, said. "Dubai and the UAE’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration is attracting talented professionals and businesses from around the world and solidifying its position as a leading destination for expats and businesses. The UAE government's support of the Harvard Business School Club of GCC stems from this drive to further develop the region as a hub for innovation, sustainability and policy, actively supporting the government's initiatives."
"We are also in a period of transformation in the GCC, where we are aggressively diversifying our economies, moving away from hydrocarbons and realigning towards more diverse and sustainable formats. The Harvard Business School Club of GCC recognises the central role of the private sector in this transformation, where the global economy is constantly evolving, and geo-political conflicts are making headlines. Therefore, establishing a permanent location reflects our firm belief in the important role of the private sector in today's volatile world and our unwavering commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue and forging impactful connections," he added.
As a prominent think tank, “The House” is expected to actively engage with government institutions and non-governmental organisations to provide valuable insights, expertise and perspectives to shape policies and strategies for economic growth and resilience. It not only serves as a physical location for HBS alumni but also stands as a symbol of the HBS community's commitment to nurturing thought leaders and advancing policy discussions.
Steered by over 30 Harvard Business School Alumni members, the HBS Club of GCC organised the Closed-room briefings as well as sector-specific innovation studios as a part of the Crossroads initiative concentrating on six primary themes: healthcare, real estate, technology, food, finance, and retail industry. The opening of “The House” promises continuity of crossroads and other initiatives as a platform for insightful conversations, valuable networking opportunities and a shared commitment to shaping a prosperous future.