UAE MBA programmes rank among world’s best
“I thought [the MBA] would help me out a lot,” said the Emirati, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. “It helped me to speak the same language as business people.”
He is not alone. Business education is booming in the Arabian Gulf – and the UAE is home to campuses of six of the world's top 100 business schools, according to this year's Financial Times international ranking of MBA programmes.
Two of the world's top 10 business schools have campuses in the country – London Business School (LBS), the world's third-best, and Insead, which was ranked fifth internationally.
Both schools offer executive education in the UAE, in addition to MBA programmes where students rotate between several cities worldwide. Insead's MBA is taught in Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
LBS's MBA students can expect a salary of US$156,553 three years after graduation, while Insead graduates will take home an average of $148,183, according to the FT. For typical graduates this represents an average salary boost of 107 per cent and 87 per cent, respectively.
But this enhanced purchasing power doesn't come cheap – tuition fees at Insead are €62,500 (Dh309,473), and £64,200 (Dh387,477) at LBS.
Cass Business School, a division of City University London, offered the world's 41st-best MBA programme, while Manchester Business School was ranked 43rd. Both offer courses in Dubai.
Hult International Business School, which was founded in the United States, was ranked 61st internationally, while the University of Strathclyde's Business School, which has a campus in Abu Dhabi, was placed 73rd.
“We celebrate both this week's result, in which Strathclyde Business School moved 14 places up the global full-time MBA rankings, as well as the FT's October 2013 executive MBA rankings, in which Strathclyde ranked 58th worldwide,” said Deborah Blinder, the school's marketing manager.
Harvard Business School remained at the top of the table despite the higher average salary of Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni. Stanford graduates can expect a three-year average salary of $184,655, while HBS alumni can anticipate only $178,300.
Rob Melville, who teaches courses in corporate governance for the MBA at Cass Business School, said that potential students of all ages should be encouraged to pursue business education. “People look at education at times and say: ‘I'm past it',” he said.
“But I've taught masters students in their sixties, and my oldest doctoral candidate was 75. An MBA is a great way to change direction.”
With an MBA, “you learn how to make decisions with limited information and in a limited time frame, while learning how to articulate your opinions clearly”, said Pierre Chandon, the L'Oreal professor of marketing at Insead.
Explaining the importance of group learning in an MBA, he said: “Analytical skills are important, but being articulate, being able to convince others in a group setting under pressure – it's a very important skill you'll use every day as a manager.”
“It helped me move on with my career, and gave me more management responsibilities,” said Mr Al Shoaibi.
“As an engineer you deal with problems that are very technical. Sometimes you lose sight of the human element. The MBA helped me to learn a lot more about the human element, and to keep the big picture in mind,” he said. “There's always a hidden dimension that cannot be put in an equation.”
Updated: February 3, 2014 04:00 AM