Female Emirati doctorate holder releases research findings on Leadership Development Programs in Dubai Government

Dr Amira Kamali, currently working at Dubai Municipality, is keen to help groom a new generation of Emirati leaders

Dr. Amira receiving the Rashid Award from HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Dr. Amira receiving the Rashid Award from HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Dubai: A female Emirati doctorate holder has pledged her commitment to developing the next generation of UAE national leaders by pioneering a study into Effective Leadership in Emirati workforce.

Dr Amira Kamali, who works as HR Specialist at Dubai Municipality, recently released the results of her DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) research thesis which focuses on leadership development programs in Dubai government organizations and how these learnings can effectively transfer into the real-life workplace. 

The research, which was conducted as part of Dr Kamali’s DBA thesis at University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), revealed that lack of learning transfer and adaptability at workplace was a key factor in the effectiveness of these time-consuming and often costly leadership development programs.

Looking at what makes an effective leader and the necessity of effective leadership in government departments formed the basis of the research thesis which took her six years to complete.

“By interviewing effective leaders within Dubai’s government organisations, we were able to identify what we needed to look for when selecting and supporting a candidate for leadership roles,” said Dr Kamali, who was not only the first female Emirati to graduate with a DBA from UOWD but is also the recipient of the coveted Rashid Award for Scientific Excellence for her research thesis.

She adds, “The most important thing we found is that the skills these future leaders are learning need to be transferrable to the workplace but often they are not, due to factors such as lack of ability, motivation and supportive work environment. Despite these training programs being carefully planned, researched and professionally taught, it is an unfortunate fact that time and money spent on these programs is sometimes wasted because of the lack of learning transferability once the program is complete.”

Dr Kamali is now working closely within the Dubai Municipality to address this issue, ensuring a supportive working environment that encourages and further assists learning transfer.

On the subject of her DBA, Dr Kamali admitted that at times, the work was challenging. “Although I found the research tough at times, it was all worth it, when I see my thesis being put to good use, and my organisation using my recommendations as a blueprint for the future of learning transfer and encouraging effective future leaders within the UAE government.”

During the duration of her doctoral studies, Dr Kamali participated in many conferences to present her research. In 2014, she participated in the 2nd International Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA, and in 2015 she participated in the 3rd International Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance Co-hosted by Massey University and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2015, Dr Kamali was the first doctoral student from UOWD who visited the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia, to present her research paper to the faculty. In the same year, Dr Kamali published a paper in the International Journal of Management and Applied Research titled “Leadership Development Programs: Investigating the Impact of Contextual and Cultural Factors on LDP Effectiveness in United Arab Emirates”.


About UOWD
Celebrating 25 years of Academic Excellence in the UAE!

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE's oldest and most prestigious universities. Established in 1993 by the University of Wollongong in Australia - currently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world – UOW in Dubai represents a pioneering Australian initiative in the Gulf region. The University has more than 3,400 students and supports a network of more than 11,200 alumni.

Etresia Wolmarans
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T +971 04 278 1723
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Marketing & Communications, UOWD
T +971 04 278 1724  |  
E EtresiaWolmarans@uowdubai.ac.ae 

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