Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, addressing graduates of Canadian University Dubai at the convocation ceremony at Al Wasl Dome, Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has graduated the ‘Class of Al Wasl Dome’ during its 11th convocation ceremony hosted at the centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event was held in the presence and under the patronage of Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

The ceremony saw the graduates take to the stage in the central hub of Expo. Sheikh Nahayan conferred degrees on 406 students representing the university’s four faculties of Management; Architecture and Interior Design; Communication, Arts and Sciences; and Engineering, Applied Science and Technology.

The graduating class takes the name of Expo’s Al Wasl Dome in celebration of the setting for this year’s event.

Presiding over the ceremony was Marcy Grossman, Canadian Ambassador to the UAE; University Chancellor Buti Saeed Al Ghandi; President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Karim Chelli; and members of the university’s board of trustees including Abdulla Mohammad Obaidallah, member of the board of directors for Emirates Investment and Development; Honourable Charles Sousa, Former Minister of Finance for Ontario, Canada Board Member – Magellan Community Charities.

Building bonds

In his convocation address, Sheikh Nahayan recognised the achievements of the graduates and emphasised the role of education in building a peaceful and prosperous society. Reflecting on the staging of the event at Expo, he encouraged the graduates to take forward the mission set by the global gathering; to share knowledge, promote communication and cooperation, and to build international bonds based on tolerance and coexistence.

Speakers at the ceremony inspired graduates to contribute to society Image Credit: Supplied

Addressing the audience, Al Ghandi congratulated the graduates and paid tribute to the leaders of the UAE for their wisdom, for connecting the world through Expo, and in recognition of the nation’s achievements in the past 50 years. He thanked Sheikh Nahayan for his ongoing guidance and support for the university, pledging its commitment to advance further in the 50 years to come.

Speaking on behalf of the university, Prof Chelli said: “We take great pride in our graduates’ success, and we trust that this university will be a source of great pride for you, as you move forward in your careers. Thanks to the exceptional talent and dedication of our faculty and staff. This year CUD has been recognised among the top two per cent of universities worldwide – an outstanding achievement for such a young university. I encourage all of you graduating today to realise the value of your university experience, and to use your education to make your own meaningful contribution to society.”

Representing the graduating students was Master of Business Administration (Finance) graduate Shamma Al Tayer, who said: “As in every graduation ceremony, CUD never cease to amaze us, and the world. We thought that nothing could top the Burj Khalifa Class of 2020, yet CUD has done it again, as we find ourselves in this historical moment in the presence of the founding father of higher education in the UAE, Sheik Nahayan, at Expo 2020 in Al Wasl Plaza. We have all learnt so many lessons during out time at CUD, so let us now think about how we can each make a change to drive new research and innovation in the future.”

Previous CUD ceremonies have included a gathering at Dubai Opera in 2018. In 2020, the images of its graduates were projected onto the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.