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04 April 2018

Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government Welcomes Kazakhstan Students

Dubai’s lead in sustainability, renewable energy and Smart City engineering was the focus of a group of students from the Republic of Kazakhstan during their recent field trip to the UAE. The 19 Master of Regional Development students from the country’s Academy of Public Administration were guests of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) during their week-long stay, with MBRSG laying on a number of excursions and site trips throughout their visit.

“We were delighted and honoured to be able to host the group of students from Kazakhstan and to facilitate their stay with presentations on their area of study, which is concerned with development. It was a privilege to arrange site visits to show them Dubai’s functioning practical elements in the areas of sustainability, renewable energy and Smart City engineering. We are very proud of what Dubai and the UAE has achieved in this sphere and are aware of our responsibility to share the knowledge we have with other countries who are striving towards the same goals,” said Professor Martin Spraggon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at MBRSG.  

The first day of the students’ itinerary involved a meet-and-greet session at the Embassy of Kazakhstan, with day two seeing the students welcomed to MBRSG’s office, where they received a presentation on Smart Government from Fadi Salem, Director of Research, MBRSG. Included on the morning of the third day was a visit to Shams Dubai, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)'s smart initiative to connect solar energy to buildings, and a visit to Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer model. The afternoon of the third day was given over to a trip to The Sustainable City, where they received a tour and presentation. 

Day four of the itinerary saw the students listen to a talk from Dubai Police titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems’ and day five, the final day of scheduled activities, saw them visit the newly opened Dubai Frame in the morning and participate in a round table discussion on comparative issues in the afternoon. Following a weekend of free time to enjoy the city’s popular tourist spots and to round off their field trip, the students flew home to Kazakhstan. 

“It was a fascinating experience to host the Kazakhstan students during their week-long stay, with their visit providing us with the opportunity to learn from them as much as they were able to learn from us. For instance, we were able to explain the sustainability challenges we face from being a country in an area that experiences very low rainfall, while they were able to highlight some of the issues they face from being the world’s largest land-locked country. We would very much like to welcome this group again in the future and have the opportunity to update them on our advances and to hear about the progress they have made,” said Dr. Scott Fargher, Associate Professor at MBRSG. 

MBRSG is the first research and teaching institution focusing on governance and public policy in the Arab world. Launched in 2005 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the school aims to support good governance in the UAE and the Arab world. It also aspires to create an environment that is conducive to the creation of future leaders, with education, training, professional development and research at the heart of this strategy.
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