Dubai Business Associates Honours International Graduates in Ninth Cohort Celebration

Dubai, UAE – 10 June 2024: The Dubai Business Associates (DBA) programme celebrates the graduation ceremony of its ninth cohort, held today at Emirates Group Headquarters. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the DBA programme continues to be a beacon of excellence in graduate management education. The fully-funded unique graduate programme provides talented young professionals with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills in strategy, business, and leadership.

Since September 2023, the 36 Associates, representing 20 countries who were selected from over 12,500 applicants have taken part in the DBA programme. The Associates immersed themselves in a comprehensive experiential and project-based learning approach, delivered in collaboration with esteemed learning partners including PwC Academy Middle East, CAPADEV, and Bon Education. Through a blend of experiential learning and project-based strategic assignments, they have honed their abilities to tackle worldly challenges faced by industry leaders in Dubai and beyond. Additionally, the programme has embedded cultural learning for a deeper understanding of Dubai as the Associates become ambassadors for the city when pursuing their chosen careers.

Alongside their classroom learning, the Associates simultaneously gained real-world experience by delivering consulting projects that addressed real-life problems for multiple partners. These partners included some of Dubai’s leading organisations, such as Emirates Airline, dnata, Dubai International
Financial Center (DIFC), Expo City Dubai, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), and Falcon and Associates.

The graduation ceremony opened with a warm welcome from James Maughan, Director of Projects and Initiatives at Falcon and Associates, acknowledging the remarkable achievements of the graduating cohort. A keynote speech delivered by DBA partner Amira Al Falasi, Senior Vice President of Learning and Talent at Emirates Group, highlighted the significance of nurturing future global leaders in Dubai’s vibrant business landscape.

During the ceremony, a series of special awards were presented to outstanding individuals, recognising their dedication, accomplishments and contributions to the learning environment, leadership potential, adherence to professional standards, and exceptional performance during placements. In addition, DBA’s esteemed partners were presented with awards recognising their steadfast commitment and support for the programme.

Maha Alshehhi from the UAE received the prestigious Emirati Award for her exemplary representation of Emirati values. The Falcon Award was bestowed upon Majed Bin Thaneya, also from the UAE, for his outstanding leadership and strategic thinking. Leya Ali from the UK was honoured with the Faculty Award for her academic excellence and contribution to the learning community. Varika Pinnam from the USA was named Best Fellow, recognised by her DBA fellows for being the top contributor to the class’s overall learning process, whilst Faris Hasan from India received the Erin Langlards Award for his innovative solutions and commitment to excellence. The Partner Appreciation Award was presented to Emirates Airline for their long-standing support to the programme during the last nine years, while the Consulting Prize Award was presented to Expo City Dubai.

James Maughan, Director of Dubai Business Associates, shared his pride in the programme’s ongoing
success. “The DBA programme continues to be a beacon of Dubai’s commitment to nurturing talent
and fostering innovation. We congratulate our graduates on their remarkable achievements and look
forward to witnessing their continued success as they embark on their professional journeys. I am
especially proud of this cohort’s achievements and am confident that they will continue to excel as
ambassadors of Dubai’s dynamic business landscape.”

Following the formal proceedings, attendees enjoyed a networking lunch, fostering connections and
celebrating the collective success of the DBA community.

The DBA programme received applications from 166 countries for its tenth year, scheduled to
commence this September. The programme eagerly anticipates welcoming the next generation of
talented graduates, keen to launch their careers from Dubai.

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