The Al Ain Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) will be rolling out an Executive MBA (EMBA) course next week to cater to student and business demand for qualified leadership professionals.

The 18-month course will focus on critical areas such as innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management in an aim to help the private business sector grow in the city.

"Al Ain has been crying out for something of this stature," said Tim Smith, director of Al Ain HCT.

"Al Ain has very little private industry so we are hoping this course will help it grow as well as encourage professionals to start their own businesses with a better chance at success," he added.

Following the lead

The Al Ain HCTs are following in the footsteps of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi HCT colleges, which already have EMBA programmes up and running.

However Smith said the selection process is very thorough as the college is looking to attract top level candidates.

"The ideal candidate would be a bachelors degree graduate with substantial experience in the work place, who is incredibly motivated to enhance their job knowledge," said Smith.

The course, accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, is open to UAE nationals and expatriates and has not yet been accredited internationally.

Students are required to take 12 modules in order to successfully complete the course and each module costs Dh8,500.

Smith said he is not expecting any major challenges as the Al Ain colleges have been able to learn from the Dubai and Abu Dhabi HCT experience with the course.

However he said that one possible challenge could be that students would not get as much global exposure at they would in the other emirates.

"Al Ain is starved of large private organisations, so one possible challenge is the experiences of the students on the course will not be as global as it is in the UAE's mega cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi," said Smith. "By nature Dubai and Abu Dhabi are large commercial cities who have a larger wealth of experience to call on," said Smith.

However, Smith said that industry professionals from Dubai and Abu Dhabi would be called upon to deliver courses to the Al Ain students, which would serve in broadening their perspectives and enhancing their EMBA experience.