Abu Dhabi drives entrepreneurial spirit in the UAE

Published April 3rd, 2010 - 01:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The UAE capital is vigorously promoting entrepreneurship amongst its nationals to further drive business activity and strengthen the country’s economic diversification objectives.

To further inspire Emiratis to start up new businesses, UAE Entrepreneurs, who successfully made their mark in the local and regional industry, and international experts on Entrepreneurship, are among the speakers who will impart trade secrets and business knowledge at the ‘Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship’, scheduled to take place on April 12th-13th, 2010 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.

The forum is among the steps undertaken to encourage entrepreneurship by the Abu Dhabi University, one of the leading local private higher education providers in the UAE, and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, an independent agency of the Government of Abu Dhabi.  Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the event’s platinum sponsor, the forum is entitled ‘Transforming Today’s Ideas into Tomorrow’s Success for a More Entrepreneurial Abu Dhabi’.

The main speakers of the forum are UAE businessmen led by His Excellency Mohammed A.J. Al Fahim, Honorary Chairman of Al Fahim Group and Dr. Sabah al-Binali, Principal and Chief Investment Officer of Saffar Capital. Al Fahim has managed to diversify and grow the group to be one of the largest family-owned businesses in the Middle East, with businesses in real estate, hotels, automotive, travel, industrial and oilfields servicing and advertising. Moreover, al-Binali was the CEO of Saffar Capital and is the Chairman of Zawya and a Director of the Boards of Saffar Holdings, Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia among others.

“Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development is established to ensure that the UAE particularly Abu Dhabi remains to be a competitive private-sector driven economy. We have always been strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit amongst UAE nationals and support their enterprise initiatives such as financial and business aid along with professional expertise,” said His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Khalil Al Mutawa, Chief Executive Officer, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

“Among our main objective is to provide every opportunity for nationals, both male and female Emiratis, to start their own businesses and contribute to UAE economy. The Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship provides the perfect platform to discuss issues and prepare budding nationals into venturing and effectively managing their own businesses from the local and international experiences of the forum’s main speakers,” Al Mutawa added. 

Along with the local speakers, the forum will also highlight international experts on the global entrepreneurship, namely Professor Poh Kam Wong, Professor at National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Business School and Director of Entrepreneurship, and Tim Atterton, Australia’s leading facilitator of Entrepreneurship. Both speakers will discuss international best practices in the field of entrepreneurship with Prof. Wong to explain Singapore’s Entrepreneurship Support Ecosystem and Atterton to tackle the characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs and New Business Ventures.

“The Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship is meant to provide a venue that will help develop young entrepreneurs as well as drive innovation in new and established businesses in the country. Together with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, we have carefully selected our speakers to make sure that they will deliver optimal value to attendees. Having been successful in their chosen fields, these UAE entrepreneurs are well equipped to share their experiences and insights in doing business in the UAE, while our seasoned world-renowned speakers will be able to impart the latest international trends as well as offer practical advice to participants,” said His Excellency Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi University.

Meanwhile, young local entrepreneurs will also share their experiences at the event such as the Emirati twin brothers Ahmed and Rashid Bin Shabib, Founders of Shelter, Brownbag.com and Brownbook Magazine; Azza Al Qubaisi, one of the UAE’s first contemporary Jewellers, Founder and Owner of Arjmst; and Mohammed Saeed Harib, Owner and Founder of Lamtarra Pictures and Creator of ‘Freej’. 

Shabib brothers’ Brownbag.com, an online shopping portal has around 25,000 registered users and will soon expand in Singapore while Al Qubaisi founded the first Gallery that specialise in designer Maker Jewellery in Dubai under the name of Voice Gallery in 2007 and has launched the brand Arjmst: The Arabian Workshop for Jewellery and Gemstones in Abu Dhabi. Harib’s Lammtara Pictures’ Freej became a cultural phenomenon when it was launched and has received various awards and accolades for the show.

The two-day forum, organised by Aim Events, Abu Dhabi University’s Events Management Division, will provide thorough research programmes responding to the toughest questions from the young minds of budding entrepreneurs and future business owners. Amongst the topics to be examined is the Entrepreneurship in the Emirates, creating the entrepreneurial spirit and setting the scene for Abu Dhabi as the Entrepreneurial Hub, and making the most from a market with opportunity. 

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