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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Renowned American business college to open in Dubai 

Babson College is widely known for its MBA programme

Kerry Healey, president of Babson College, pictured in DIFC. Courtesy: Babson College
Kerry Healey, president of Babson College, pictured in DIFC. Courtesy: Babson College

An American business college renowned for its MBA programme is to open up a regional hub in Dubai, with a focus on working with women leaders and family run businesses.

Babson College is expanding outside the United States for the first time to offer courses for executives from November and an MBA course from January 2019.

The college, which celebrates 100 years next year, said it will be tailoring its courses to the UAE.

Kerry Healey, president of Babson College, based on the outskirts of Boston, said she is looking at setting up hubs in “areas of great entrepreneurial innovation”.

“A natural next step for us is to look around the world at where you see the most creativity in terms of leadership, openness and promotion of entrepreneurship," she said.

"We are also looking for places that are hubs of air traffic, travel hubs, centers of financial activity and where we have a significant concentration of our alumni. Dubai is a natural answer to that question.

“We understand that the current political environment in the United States is such that some people might have cause concerning travel or study."

The college is hoping to attract entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial families from the region and believe students are generally willing to travel for up to three hours for key classes.

Its first enrolment programme, Approaches to Innovation in the UAE, will launch in November. Another course, including one on family entrepreneurship, will be announced later.

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In UAE, the college will have three points of focus.

"One is the support and promotion of female entrepreneurs, another is supporting entrepreneurs who are focused on social impact and the third is family entrepreneurship," said Dr Healey.

The college is aiming to study and collaborate with family run businesses in Dubai and the Middle East.

"We would like to become the global leader in global entrepreneurship and... work with business families to understand the unique ecosystem and culture of family businesses in each area. We expect to be doing that in Dubai and in business families throughout the Middle East," she added.

For the Babson College MBA Dubai, participants will be studying case studies specific to the region.

Dr Healey said she sees Dubai as a long term investment.

"I believe that Dubai is perfectly positioned to continue to be a financial an entrepreneurial leader in the region and that they will soon regain their stride," she said.

Dr Warren Fox, head of higher education at Dubai's education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said the Babson College MBA “would be a good option for people who are already working at DIFC and want to get their master’s degree.”

City University of London and London Business School are already running programmes at The Academy at DIFC.

“The college is very well known for its entrepreneurial management programme which gets top rating from various observers. This fits Dubai’s goal of having more entrepreneurial graduates headed towards innovation and change. These are skills we are looking for and so we are very happy to have this entrepreneurial focus,” said Dr Fox.

“I think there is room for growth and DIFC is growing. They college will tailor the courses to the UAE market as the students have to get real world manager and entrepreneurial experience,” he said.