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UT and Tampa Business Leaders Enhance Connections in Dubai

Published: March 26, 2013
A group of 28 Tampa Bay-area business executives, joined by select University of Tampa faculty and administrative staff, recently returned from Dubai as a part of the Sykes College of Business Global Access Partnership program.

The group visited the Dubai Silicon Oasis Incubator Center, located on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME (Small and Medium Business Enterprises) Development (DUBAI SME) and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development. The group also dropped in on a career fair at Zayed University, and visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which features 82 domes and four minarets.

In addition to learning about Dubai’s business environment, culture and educational system firsthand, the UT contingent signed a memorandum “to foster friendly and cooperative relations in the field of education” between the University and Abu Dhabi University. The memorandum encourages the institutions’ respective students to explore each other’s cultures and educational opportunities, and to welcome each others’ students, faculty and staff to visit and explore educational, economic and cultural opportunities.

UT President Ronald Vaughn, who participated in the trip, said he was pleased to be able to connect UT and business leaders in Tampa Bay with strategic partners in the United Arab Emirates in education and entrepreneurship.

“I believe the relationship with Abu Dhabi University, and other economic development centers in Dubai, will be mutually beneficial in the short- and long-term between all parties,” Vaughn said.

Initiated in 2011, the Global Access Partnership (GAP) is an educational travel program designed to provide a platform for University community partners to experience the nuances of global markets and cultures firsthand so that they can confidently navigate the global business landscape. The program’s goal is to enable Tampa Bay-area business leaders to explore key emerging markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East to enhance trade connections, learning and cultural appreciation.

Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business, said that in addition to connecting the college with the business community, the GAP program expands the College of Business’ presence in the global arena. “These programs enable our faculty to be exposed internationally,” he said.