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Innovation Arabia 10 kicks off with common aspirations for preparing for the future of Arab societies

March 2017


Major international event to discuss emerging trends in smart education,entrepreneurship, health, environment and quality


-        Goals of conference to complement ‘Reigniting Civilization,’‘10X’ and ‘Hope Makers’initiatives


-        Awards honor skills andbrilliant ideas of winners


-        Congress hosts ‘Virtual Congress’ for firsttime in line with the ambitious ‘Smart City’initiative


UAE, March 6, 2017 - Underthe patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, CrownPrince of Dubai and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU),and in the presence of H.E. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education,and H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police andGeneral Security in Dubai and Chairman of the HBMSU Board of Governors, the 10thannual Innovation Arabia congress began today (Monday, March 6, 2017) at theAddress Dubai Marina under the theme ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship: TheEngines of Sustainability.’


A series of extensive events and panel sessions havecommenced to determine the best practices and emerging trends in order toadvance continuous innovation and development across all vital sectors in theArab World. Among the participants and attendees are various governmentdignitaries, officials, policy makers, academics, researchers, journalists andrepresentatives of regional and international organizations.


Innovation Arabia 10 is being organized by HBMSU from March 6to 8, 2017. It focuses on the development of new innovative ideas for drivingthe transformation of the Middle East into a knowledge-based economy and pavingthe way for the transition to advanced phases of economic integration as wellas community and environmental sustainable development. The interactiveplatform encourages concerted efforts to improve the influence of innovationwithin key economic and social sectors, especially smart education, healthcare,entrepreneurship and the environment – all of which form essential pillars forbuilding societies and supporting comprehensive cultural development. Its threemain conferences cover ‘Quality andBusiness Management,’ ‘Smart Learning,’ and ‘Health and Environment.’


For the first time inInnovation Arabia’s history, this year’s edition will be hosting a ‘VirtualCongress’ which will facilitate the participation of experts and specialists inthe fields of smart learning, entrepreneurship, health, environment and qualityfrom around the world in events such as conferences, presentations, workshops,seminars and panel sessions through an advanced virtual platform. This qualityinitiative is in line with the ambitious ‘Smart City’ initiative which aims tomake Dubai the smartest city in the world by 2021.


HBMSUChancellor Dr. Mansoor Al Awar began the opening ceremony with a speechexpressing his sincere gratitude and thanks to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammedbin Rashid Al Maktoum for his patronage and unlimited support to the premierevent. He explained that Innovation Arabia provides an ambitious integratedplatform in line with the wise guidance and insights of the UAE leadershipwhich aims to prepare for the future and position the UAE among the mostinnovative countries in the world. Dr. Al Awar also thanked H.E. Al Hammadi andH.E. Lieutenant General Tamim for their attendance and active participation inseveral events under the umbrella of HBMSU. He emphasized that since itsestablishment more than a decade ago, the university has done its best to keeppace with the entrepreneurship and noble goals behind its inception. He saidthat the greatest credit for the success and achievements of the universitygoes to the guidance of the University's President and the support of the Chairmanof the Board of Governors.


Dr.Al Awar said: “The Innovation Arabia 10 congress is being held in line with thelatest humanitarian and community initiatives launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammedbin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler ofDubai, and to emphasize the pivotal role of the University in supporting theguidance of the wise leadership. One of the most important among these creativeinitiatives is ‘Reigniting Civilization’ which aims to uphold the Arab World asa leading and creative force again. Based on the directives of His Highness,who said that “reigniting civilization starts with education; and the future ofnations starts at their schools,” the university is prepared to take on itsrole as the first educational institution to adopt the smart learning approachin the Arab World and as a pioneer at the international level in thedevelopment of quality curricula based on overall quality and excellence.”


“Moreover,Innovation Arabia 10 significantly advances the ‘10X’ initiative designed todevelop government performance and make Dubai number one globally by pioneeringthe future and thinking beyond traditional frameworks. The University is committedto continuously enhancing its role in advancing creativity to place Dubai atthe forefront of the global race, as reflected by ongoing efforts to widen itshorizons and maximize its national, regional and international presence in thisfield. Since its establishment, HBMSU’s plans have focused on inspiring hopeacross the Arab World, based on its vision of delivering education to everyhome throughout the region in line with the noble initiative called ‘Arab Hope Makers’which aims to honor real Arab Stars as well as recognize goodness and those whoinspire hope and civilization in Arab countries,” he added.


Ali Jaber, Dean of the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication ofThe American University in Dubai and Group TV Director, Middle EastBroadcasting Corporation, MBC, actively participated as a key spokesperson atInnovation Arabia 10. He reviewed the broad prospects of education in thedevelopment of a clear roadmap for entering the realm of innovation andorienting minds towards creativity, excellence and proactiveness to keep pacewith the growing requirements of the 21st century. The said roadmap willsupport national and Arab-wide efforts to build integrated and well-educatedsocieties capable of carrying the banner of growth and following-up thetransition to knowledge-based economies and smart governments across the ArabWorld.


In hiskeynote speech delivered under the theme ‘Media and Its Role in the Developmentof the Arab World,’ Jaber stated that Smart Learning has become a main pillarfor an advanced healthy Arab society equipped with the capabilities andpotentials to address the enormous challenges posed by the era of post truthand fake news. He emphasized that providing learners with skills and highcompetencies in both critical and analytical thinking is vital to enhancing thedecision-making process at both the personal and professional levels.


The firstday of the conference featured several highly effective activities and meetingsresulting in a number of strategic partnerships and solid relationships. Theseaimed to consolidate constructive collaboration between pioneers and leadingsectors to accelerate development in the Arab World. HBMSU entered into twostrategic agreements for improving the quality of smart education in Arabcountries and taking it to higher levels of efficiency, professionalism, andinternational competitiveness. The first agreement appointed INDEX Conferencesand Exhibitions, the leading national company in events management, as theorganizer of Innovation Arabia 11. INDEX provides total event managementservices and logistical solutions in all fields, in addition to organizingtraining courses for Innovation Arabia. It has extensive experience incomplying with the best international practices and highest world standards inorganizing high-level, high-quality events. Such solid cooperation is expectedto have a great impact on intensifying the global presence of the conferenceand bringing together an elite group of scholars, researchers and academiciansfrom around the world to exchange ideas and recommendations within a strategicplatform that spurs academic and organizational innovation and scientificresearch to achieve the ambitious aspiration of Innovation Arabia to become themain reference for Smart Learning.


Dr.Abdulsalam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding Company, said: “We are verypleased to forge this strategic partnership today with HBMSU which we expect tocontinue for 10 more years. We look forward to organizing the 11thInnovation Arabia Congress which will once again be a state-of-the-art event insmart learning.”


“INDEXConferences and Exhibitions has more than 25 years of experience in organizingconferences, exhibitions, local and international events. Through its internaland external offices, INDEX will be able to promote this important event, whichwill host notable local and international keynote speakers and participants infuture sessions to remain not only a locally distinguished conference, but aninternationally acclaimed one as well,” added Dr. Abdulsalam.


HBMSU alsosigned a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with Philips Lighting on the installationand renovation of the lighting systems of the campus. Under the terms of theagreement, Philips will install advanced lighting systems especially designedto improve the university’s power consumption. The systems will also enhancethe Smart Learning experience by linking the learning environment with thesmart lighting systems, marking a first of its kind international initiativethat aims to adopt the Innovation Lighting Technology in the academicinstitutions. The agreement was signed by Dr. Al Awar and Mr. Rami Hajjar,General Manager, Philips Lighting Rest of Middle East.


Hajjar said: “Our work at HBMSU is our first global projectintegrating all our latest connected LED lighting systems under one roof, fromPower over Ethernet to Indoor Positioning and from Green Parking to Dali LedLighting. Philips Lighting is committed to supporting a high quality workingenvironment for UAE’s brightest minds through state-of-the-art smart technology,to achieve greater growth and to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.”


Commentingon the two agreements, Dr. Al Awar said: “HBMSU is taking two important stepsto maintain the university’s leading position on the world learning map andmaking significant national and regional impacts. The first is an agreementwith an international company with unparalleled experience in internationalevent management to oversee the organization of the conference starting nextedition. The second is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with PhilipsLighting on the development of smart lighting systems that will work in tandemwith the smart features of our Smart University.”


The Qualityand Business Management Conference was launched under the theme ‘Unleashing Innovation,Empowering Entrepreneurship.’ The agenda started with a keynote speech by Dr.Tarek Abdulfattah, Assistant Professor of HBMSU’s School of Business andQuality Management, followed by a workshop sponsored by TECOM Group on ‘FuelingInnovation through Entrepreneurial Enablement.’


YousufCaires, Vice President of Expo Live, presented notable features anddevelopments related to the hosting of Expo 2020 and the event’s importance insupporting the sustainable and comprehensive development of the region. Othersessions and training workshops under the theme ‘Planning by Scenarios- Shapingthe Future’ were also held which were developed specifically by HBMSU inresponse to the directive of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approving the ‘UAEFuture Foresight Strategy.’


The ‘Smart Education Conference’ focuses on the ‘BuildKnowledge Based Communities’ began with a speech by Dr. Khadeegha Alzouebi,Assistant Professor of HBMSU’s School of e-Education. The ‘DigitalTransformation in Education’ acquired the experts discussions within the paneldiscussion organized by Microsoft within the conference, which was followed upand discussed in detail during a series of concurrent sessions and trainingworkshops on “Empowering Technology Tools for Education.”


Dr. Moetaz El Sergany, Environmental Studies Department Chairof HBMSU’s School of Health and Environmental Studies, delivered the keynotespeech at the ‘Health and Environmental Conference’ which discussed a number ofthemes and topics related to ‘Changing minds, protecting the Environment’. Thefirst day featured highlights on ‘Emerging Business Model - IntegratingCorporate Social Responsibility into Business’ during a panel discussion heldunder the auspices of Imdaad. Participants also had an excellent opportunity todiscuss ‘Innovation in Social Responsibility and Sustainability’ through highlyinteractive training workshops.


People with skilled and enlightened ideas were honored at theopening of the Innovation Arabia 10 Conference, including Rafia AbdullaMohammad Saeed Al-Mulla, Founder and CEO of 54 East, Dubai, who received theFeigenbaum Leadership Excellence Award under the Rising Stars Category; Capt.Maryam Darwish Alhashmi, Fujairah Police, UAE, who was bestowed the FeigenbaumLeadership Excellence Award under the Women Leaders Category; BrigadierMohammed Ahmed bin Ghanim Al-Kaabi, Chief of Fujairah Police GeneralHeadquarters, who was awarded the Kano Medal: Excellence Catalyst; DubaiCustoms which received the El Baz Award for Excellence in OrganizationalSustainability;  and Alaa Al Amiry of theUniversity of Strathclyde Business School, UK who was awarded the ContiResearch Prize for Systems Thinking and Organizational Capability for herthesis on ‘An Exploratory Study on the Use of Mobile Apps and TheirImplications for Internal Business Processes in Healthcare Organizations in theUAE.’


Meera Al-Reyaysa from the British University in Dubaireceived the Kondo Research Prize: People and Organizational CulturePerspective for her thesis on ‘CSR in a Professional Services Firm,’ while theParasuraman Service Excellence Award was given to Lakshmi Nair of MiddlesexUniversity in Dubai for her thesis on ‘Work Life Integration and Leavism: AStudy of Workplace Practices in Business Excellence Award -WinningOrganizations in the UAE.’ Finally, the Harrington Best TQM Thesis/ProjectAward was given to Tamilarassi Rajappa of the Institute of ManagementTechnology, Dubai for the thesis ‘Process Improvement Program at FEAG MiddleEast LLC.’

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