Hult International Business School held its first worldwide, video-enabled seminar involving students, faculty, deans, and outside experts from its campuses in Dubai, London, and Boston. The subject: Implications and lessons learned from the current financial crisis at Dubai World and in Dubai.
In London, students questioned if Dubai World's extended real estate holdings would depress markets in places as far away as Las Vegas. Dean Rick Joseph noticed a growing "eerie feeling in London because of the silence from authorities in Dubai." From Boston, Dean William Hancock's view was that the United States was more concerned about its own mortgage crisis. He noted, "The U.S. needs to be better educated about the Middle East and the basic differences in political, economic and financial structures." From Dubai, Dean Nick Van Der Walt added: "Dubai's debt is relatively small, and the UAE in totality is very asset rich. Being part of UAE, Dubai will not be allowed to fail."
Wrapping up the discussion, Ronald Jonash from the Center for Innovation, Excellence, and Leadership (IXL Center) pointed to four dimensions of the crisis that help to make sense of Dubai's future and its economic relations with the world.
The Economic Context:. While Dubai World's investments in real estate have taken it beyond its core expertise in running ports, Dubai and the UAE are well diversified.
Financial and Capital Markets: While there are regional network effects emanating from this debt crisis, the resilience of the region is based on a very strong asset base and commitment to being world players on the economic stage.
Governance: While the mix of "family" and political relations makes some UAE business practices seem unconventional from a Western perspective, they are the foundation for stability in the region.
Vision and Strategy: While strategic investments that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have made in infrastructure may sometimes seem outsized, these two city-states have made the most of being a logistical center for the entire region.
In closing, Hitendra Patel, IXL's Managing Director, observed that "Hult's global presence combined with IXL Center's technology created the opportunity to bring different parts of the world together simultaneously. No other campus has the infrastructure or the vision to do this so quickly and easily." Dean Joseph concurred, calling this a revolutionary step in education that marked the beginning of something unique. "Welcome to the new world of global business education" he concluded.
About Hult International Business School: Hult International Business School (formerly known as the Arthur D. Little School of Management) is the first global business school with operations in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. The School offers a range of business-focused programs including MBA, Masters and Undergraduate degrees. Hult is ranked 44th in the world and 23rd in the U.S. by The Economist, and 6th for International Mobility by the Financial Times. The School is a fully accredited member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of MBAs. www.hult.edu