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07 December 2021

MBRSG hosts 7th Annual Conference of the Academy of International Business MENA Chapter

The Academy of International Business Middle East and North Africa Chapter (AIBMENA) is holding its 7th Annual Conference on December 7 to 10, 2021, hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) in Dubai, and bringing together more than 60 delegates from over 46 different nationalities.

With the overarching theme of ‘Exploring Resilience and Agility within International Business in the MENA Region’, the event aims to offer new insights into the unique challenges and opportunities that MENA presents for multinational enterprises (MNEs). The conference kicked off with an Awards and Opening Ceremony on December 7, moderated by Dr. Immanuel Azaad Moonesar, President of AIBMENA and Associate Professor at MBRSG, and Prof. Vijay Pereira, VP and ProgramChair at AIBMENA.

The Academy’s MENA Chapter had issued a “first call” for conceptual and empirical papers that address one of four broad tracks: International Management, International Human Resources and Human Capital Management, International Policy Relations and Historical Studies, and International Sustainability and Responsibility.

The Awards recognised the Best Paper and two runner-ups; the Best Methods and one runner up, as well; and the Best Impact paper in terms of Sustainability.

“Agility is an indispensable trait to develop to navigate our 21st-century world,” said Prof. Raed Awamleh, Dean at MBRSG. “The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is a proud sponsor of the Academy of International Business’ MENA Chapter and we’re excited to be hosting the AIBMENA 7th annual conference. The event is a prominent platform for experts, professionals, and decision makers from various nationalities, disciplines, and backgrounds come together to explore how agility can be harnessed to rectify any damages caused in the past couple of years, charting a path towards a better, more resilient future.”

For his part, Dr. Immanuel Azaad Moonesar, President, AIBMENA and Associate Professor at MBRSG, said: “Today’s conference and awards highlight the growing importance of resilience and agility in addressing the challenges we face in an increasingly volatile and ever-changing world. The panel discussions and workshops on the agenda at the AIBMENA2021 conference serve to bridge the gap between knowledge development and its practical implementation on the ground, exploring solutions for the unique challenges facing the region, as well as broader issues affecting the world.”

AIBMENA2021 included two panel discussions, the first of which explored ‘Expo 2020 and Its Implications on Interest in Business’. The session was moderated by Prof Vijay Pereira and brought together Prof. Benjamin Laker of the University of Reading’s Henley Business School in the UK; Dr. Kamel Mellahi, Senior Manager at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Centre for Responsible Business; and Dr. Kamal Al Yammahi from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 

The panel broadly discussed four key topics: the context and planning leading up to Expo 2020 Dubai; the role of international business before, during, and after Expo; the newfound importance of agility and resilience for the MENA region; and the expectations and effects of the post-pandemic and Expo scenarios on the region.

The second-panel discussion, meanwhile, focused on ‘Rectifying the Regressive Effect of COVID-19 on Gender Equality’ to identify this regressive effect in various contexts and explore strategies to mitigate the impact from an international business and policy perspective. Moderated by Dr Racquel Warner, VP-Finance and Associate Professor at MBRSG together with four prominent panelists took part in the session: Dana Minbaeva, Professor in Strategic and Global HRM at the Department of Strategy and Innovation, and the Vice-President for International Affairs at Copenhagen Business School. Fiona Hurd, Head of Department, International Business, Strategy & Entrepreneurship at Auckland University of Technology Beverly Metcalfe, Professor of Women and devlopment at the ESA Business School and Jane Menzies, International Business Researcher | Master of Business Administration (International) - Course Director I Senior Lecturer of International Business.

Also on the agenda were five professional development workshops on Research Methods; Teaching Case Studies and Use of Evidence for International Business Policy; International Business in Crisis Management; Encouraging MENA Research in Journal of International Business Studies; and a ‘Meet the Editors’ session.

The Academy of International Business’ MENA Chapter was founded in 2009 to provide a regional focus from trade, finance, investment, and tourism perspectives. AIBMENA focuses on the unique challenges facing the region and the efforts made to diversify oil-dependent economies and investments in developing human capital. This year’s conference was sponsored by MBRSG,  and Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) , the Academy’s key objective is to help bridge the gap between practical application and knowledge development.

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