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17 April 2024

A Rough guide to… the Fourth world CEO forum


By Nic Ridley

What is it? The World CEO Forum has been held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi since 2006. It is seen as one of the premier business and networking events in the region. This year's forum takes place at the conference centre in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, pictured, from Tuesday, March 17 to Thursday, March 20.

Who will be there? Basically anybody who is anybody in the business world – from the Middle East and beyond. Think chairmen, CEOs, CFOs, financial directors, chief technology officers, chief operating officers, heads of emerging markets, heads of region, heads of research, executive vice-presidents and business development executives, to name the obvious.

Why now? Some 90 per cent of the Fortune 500 CEOs surveyed recently said they had either already established bases in the UAE – or plan to do so in the near future.

What's on the programme? Day one is pitched around the theme of Developing Business in an Economic Downturn and includes a wealth of networking opportunities, with speeches by Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hasher Al Maktoum, Omar Hijazi, CEO of Tejari and Trevor Stokes of Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Jason Hellowell and Sean Bradley, of the Revere Group, are due to give a presentation on how to establish a business in Dubai. The first day closes with World CEO of the Year Awards and a gala dinner on the lawns near Burj Al Arab.

Day two is labelled Higher Impact, Lower Spend – Making Your Marketing Work For You and includes a workshop by Mark Voysey from London-based marketing firm, Cunning.

But surely it's not all work, work, work...? Indeed not. The second day concludes with drinks and canapes at the Volante Penthouse at Le Rêve. Day three's programme begins with breakfast in Dubailand and concludes with a tour of Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi. Day four is made up of an "optional" itinerary of seaplane adventure, helicopter tour of Dubai, desert bashing, golf, a trip to Burj Al Arab and lunch/dinner of Atlantis The Palm.

How do I get involved?

Visit www.worldceoforum.com for more information and testimonials from previous years.