Abu Dhabi The Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (European Institute for Business Administration, known as INSEAD), one of the world's leading business schools, has expanded its activities in the UAE capital and is now a full-fledged campus.

With the formal inauguration of its Abu Dhabi campus yesterday, those interested in enhancing their professional experience can now choose from a range of courses offered or request a tailor-made programme that offers specialised instruction.

The official ceremony was held under the patronage of Shaikh Omar Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President's aide-de-camp, who represented General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"In 2004, INSEAD explored the idea of opening a third international campus and it didn't take very long to see that Abu Dhabi was the ideal location. The educational field in Abu Dhabi is developing and the overall emphasis on education from elementary to undergraduate as part of the government's 2030 vision is in line with our vision on education," Frank Brown, Dean of INSEAD, said.

Peter Jadersten, the Executive Director of INSEAD's Abu Dhabi Campus agreed.

Best location

"It took three years of travelling around the region and having many discussions about where the best location for its Middle Eastern campus would be. In the end, Abu Dhabi was chosen not only because of its diverse, multicultural society but also because the government's 2030 vision was a perfect match for us," he said.

However, when it first opened, the institute's main focus was researching various trends and issues relevant to the UAE and the region.

It was only after increased demand for its programmes that it evolved into a full- fledged campus.

Executive MBA

INSEAD will launch in October the first Middle East section of its Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) programme in Abu Dhabi, said Claude Janssen, Honorary Chairman of the INSEAD Board and Chairman of the International Council, and one of the founders of INSEAD in the late 50s.

Describing the Abu Dhabi's campus as the third major pillar of INSEAD, Janssen said: "We offer two sorts of programmes for alumni in Abu Dhabi, who arrive to us from all parts of the GCC region. Open programmes, which include students sent to us via companies, and custom made programmes, which are tailor-made by companies. We have also received many students who were required to do their research on specific sectors, such as health care."

Touching on the global angle Jenssen told Gulf News: "With the changing world we live in today, it is important for people from this region to understand how other countries work, and vice versa. For instance take France as an example. At first they were restricted to just being French, then they started to relate to Europe a bit more, and eventually became globally indulged, and that's what a business is about, it requires diversification, exposure and constant self-education".

— Dina El Shammaa, Abu Dhabi Deputy Editor