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Discover our journey

When opening our Dubai campus in 2007, we had a clear vision: to help shape the Middle East’s business landscape and develop its brightest talent. We also wanted to strengthen our already strong ties in the region with companies such as Emirates airline, a member of the Global Business Consortium since 2003, and give individuals the knowledge and expertise to achieve great things in business.

In our first 10 years we opened our campus in Dubai and launched our Executive MBA programme. In that time, we have also welcomed more than 3,000 participants from the Middle East on our open enrolment programmes and continued to forge strong relations with top organisations. Discover our journey and how far we’ve come in 10 years.

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Expanding the School’s global reach

Business is booming across the Middle East, driven by oil and ongoing investment in other industries such as property, tourism and healthcare as part of a region-wide diversification programme. All the signs suggest that now is the right time for London Business School (LBS) to open its Dubai campus.

  • Championing entrepreneurship

    first-dubai-class (First EMBA Dubai class, 2007)

    The School expands its global reach by opening a campus at the Dubai International Financial Centre . LBS launches the Executive MBA in Dubai (EMBA Dubai) and Executive Education programmes to develop top business talent and champion entrepreneurship across the Middle East.

  • Rubbing shoulders with royalty

    first-dubai-class (EMBA Dubai programme launch, 2007)

    The UAE’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends the EMBA Dubai programme launch along with the first cohort of students. Of the 450 applicants, 78 people are selected to attend the programme.

  • Shaking hands on a new partnership

    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation partners with LBS on a custom Executive Education programme for the manufacturing company’s senior executives. The relationship is still going strong today.

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Weathering the storm

While regions around the globe feel the full force of the economic downturn, the Middle East seems to be weathering the storm. High commodity prices, strong domestic demand and solid policy frameworks will drive the 6.5% GDP growth this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • Lectures theatres named after foundation

    The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, launched in May 2007 to establish the UAE as a centre for knowledge and research, is recognised for giving generously to LBS. The School names two lecture theatres the Dubai Lecture Suite to mark the foundation’s contribution.

  • LBS professor is awarded a new chair role

    Professor Zeger Degraeve, faculty director of LBS’s Dubai programmes, is appointed the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Professor of Innovation. The award is a new chair to honour the UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 09Making their mark

Graduates from LBS in Dubai are starting to make their mark in the Middle East. This year is the starting point for several alumni to launch successful ventures or establish themselves as influential business leaders.

  • Women in business

    Assilah Al Harthy graduates from the EMBA Dubai programme and starts her journey to becoming one of the Middle East’s most influential business women. She launches Omani-based private equity firm Group 6 in 2010, making her the country’s first female CEO. She is later named one of the most powerful Arab Women for 2015 by Forbes Middle East.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 10In good shape

The global economy is improving after some turbulent times following the financial crash in 2008. Despite facing challenges in this period, the Middle East has performed better than most regions and is expected to bounce back strongly over the coming years. The Dubai campus is also in good shape and set for another prosperous year.

  • Bringing London and Dubai students together

    The London and Dubai EMBA programme streams study together for the first time in the UK. Students from the Dubai programme spend a week with their London peers to share learnings and forge strong connections.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 11Scaling new heights

More graduates from the Dubai campus are turning their business dreams into reality or achieving great things in other ways. This year will see an alumna laying the foundations for a successful IT company, while an alumnus continues his long-held ambition to scale the world’s highest mountains.

  • Graduate’s video tutorial business takes off

    After completing her MBA, Ulrika Hedlund launches Business Productivity, a video tutorial provider that teaches people how to use Microsoft Office more effectively. She uses her experience as a customer and business advisor at Microsoft Gulf and the skills developed while studying at LBS to create a highly successful venture.

  • LBS alumnus scales the seven summits

    Atte Miettinen has one ambition when he graduates from LBS: to finish the Seven Summit challenge that he started in 2006. The goal is to reach the highest peaks of mountains Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Puncak Jaya and Vinson. The EMBA Dubai 2011 graduate becomes the first Finnish person to scale all seven summits in July 2012 when he climbs Denali.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 12Making waves in the Middle East

Entrepreneurial spirit throughout the region remains high, particularly in the UAE where LBS alumni are making business waves. Meanwhile, the School is capitalising on its global reach by hosting students from further afield.

  • Expanding LBS’s global reach

    The Dubai campus welcomes its first students from Australia and South Africa, who gain a global business and cultural perspective and benefit from being part of a rich and diverse international community.

  • Success for EMBA Dubai alumni

    Abdulaziz Al Loughani completes the EMBA Dubai programme at LBS before joining Kuwait National Fund for SMEs Development as Vice Chairman the following year. The fund provides financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Kuwait. Al Loughani’s other business interests include, a Kuwaiti-based food delivery platform – which is now the number one food delivery app in the GCC – First Dubai Real Estate Development Company and Leap Ventures, a venture capital firm.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 13Working with some of the region’s key players

Business is good for LBS. In recent years, the School has developed partnerships with some of the region’s leading organisations at a challenging time for the region. Partners include Oman Oil, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations and the National Bank of Oman. The School also works with Emirates and DP World through the Global Business Consortium. Growth in oil-importing countries is being squeezed by regional conflict and heightened political tensions.

  • Partnering with a Kuwaiti investment firm

    In November, LBS signs its biggest Executive Education contract with Kuwait’s National Technology Enterprises Company to deliver a US$38 million leadership programme for the Kuwait Petroleum Company. This deal is the latest in a series of partnerships with leading organisations throughout the Middle East.

  • Navin Valrani begins his journey with LBS

    LBS alumnus Navin Valrani completes the MBA, but graduating is just the start of his relationship with the School. In 2014, the Dubai-based businessman becomes Member of the International Alumni Council – a post that he still holds – and takes on the role of Chair of the LBS Governance and Nominations Committee the following year . Valrani is currently CEO of the Arcadia Preparatory School in Dubai.

  • Genny Ghanimeh launches microfinance crowdfunding platform

    A passion for finance and entrepreneurship see Genny Ghanimeh setting up Pi Slice, an online microfinance crowdfunding platform. The business allows individuals and corporations to lend to MENA-based microfinance institutions, which in turn fund regional micro-entrepreneurs.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 14Mentoring entrepreneurs

The Middle East is expected to bounce back this year in line with the improved global outlook. Oil-exporting nations are likely to see a 2.2% growth in 2014, while oil importers will enjoy a 4% increase over the same period. The School has its own feel-good factor story that will excite budding entrepreneurs.

  • Alumni launch a mentoring panel

    The Dubai entrepreneur mentor scheme is launched, giving entrepreneurial students and alumni access to successful business people in the Middle East. LBS alumni Genny Ghanimeh, Mohamed Nassar and Tommy Wakefield-Smith make up the initiative’s first Dubai-based mentoring panel, along with Aman Merchant. Students who have remote access to mentors in London can now arrange up to two in-person consultations with members of the panel.

  • Scholarship to support Indian women is launched

    Navin Valrani and his wife launch a scholarship to support Indian women who want to study at the School. The Monica and Navin Valrani Scholarship is for women who have shown the determination, ambition and motivation to achieve success.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 15Giving something back

Muna Al Gurg launches a scholarship to give people the opportunity to study at LBS. The EMBA Dubai 2009 graduate says the Muna Al Gurg Scholarship is her chance to provide people, particularly women, with the same opportunities that she had to gain a more rounded business education at LBS. Also this year, LBS launches a programme to develop Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company’s emerging financial leaders.

  • Entrepreneurship is growing

    The School’s survey of nearly 500 regional executives shows that the Middle East is seen as a growing market for entrepreneurship. More than two thirds (71.4%) of respondents describe business growth in the region as steady, fast or very fast.

  • Meeting the regions business leaders

    The School’s first UAE International Assignment is launched, giving EMBA students the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest business minds in the emirates. During their week-long assignment, 65 people studying in London or Dubai meet regional policymakers, practitioners and industry experts through guest lectures, site and company visits and panel sessions.

  • Insight from a leading businessman

    In November, LBS hosts ‘In Conversation – Making a Modern city’ featuring Mohamed Alabbar , Founder and Chairman of Dubai-based Emaar Properties. He talks to Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, in front of an audience of 250 LBS alumni, students and friends about Dubai’s emergence as a modern international city.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 16Dubai property built on solid ground

Most (84%) of the 200 business executives surveyed by LBS believe that Dubai property prices will not plunge as they did between 2008 and 2009. The report analyses the emirate’s residential real estate market and the potential for another bubble. Nearly half (47%) say they will invest in the market.

  • More learning opportunities

    The number of electives at our Dubai campus extends from six to nine to cover subjects such as private equity and venture capital, strategic thinking and wealth management. Introducing new electives gives our students more opportunities to broaden their thinking and develop the skills needed to succeed in a globally competitive business world.

229406 Dubai 10th Timeline banners 500x90 17Celebrating 10 years in the Middle East

What an incredible 10 years it has been. In that time, LBS has launched many careers, helped budding entrepreneurs achieve their goals and shaped the region’s business landscape. The School has also introduced scholarships to help talented people get the education they deserve. We want to continue making a real difference across the region and look forward to celebrating many more great achievements in the coming years.


EMBA Dubai

Click here to find out about our Executive MBA based at our Dubai campus.

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Dubai 10th Anniversary Celebration

Learn more and register your interest for this special event with speaker H.E. Dr Ahmed bin Abdulla Belhoul on 11 December.

Find out more

Executive Education in Dubai

Strategy, leadership and finance – we are bringing our world-class faculty, immersive learning methods and breakthrough ideas to the heart of Dubai.

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Breaking the Middle East's reliance on oil

Marcus Alexander

What should governments in the Gulf region do to diversify away from oil?

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Contact us

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