Northwestern University holds Gulf Alumni Summit in Dubai


Photo by Neha Rashid


To connect Northwestern University in Qatar’s alumni with main campus alumni network, both NU-Q and Northwestern Alumni Association hosted a two-day Alumni Gulf Summit in Dubai last weekend.

The event, which took place from November 13-14 at Four Seasons Resort Dubai, was the first of its kind hosted by Northwestern in the Gulf. According to Everette Dennis, Dean of NU-Q, the event emerged out of the need to connect NU-Q graduates with the larger Northwestern alumni presence in the Gulf.

Photo by Neha Rashid

“The Northwestern brand is already well established but many alumni who’ve graduated from the home campus over the years and are now established CEOs and business leaders in the region, did not know much about our campus in Doha,” said Ismaeel Naar, an NU-Q journalism alum who currently works at Al Arabiya News in Dubai.

Approximately 80 people attended the summit, which included 21 NU-Q alums, 26 main campus alums and other faculty and staff members. The summit included presentations on the workings and future plans of the university, networking sessions and a key note speech by Managing Director of McKinsey & Company and Northwestern alum, Tarek Elmasry.

“I expected the turn out to be a little bit more, but I am happy that we have something starting. Everything starts as something small, and gets bigger,” said Zahed Bata, another NU-Q alum who graduated with a degree in communication.

The venue of the summit was chosen as Dubai so NU-Q could showcase itself outside of Qatar, including to high school students in the region, said Dennis. To that, the second day of the event included workshops with UAE school teachers and students on subjects taught at NU-Q.

“The real purpose is to introduce ourselves outside of Qatar, something we haven’t done in the past,” said Dennis.

According to Naar, many NU-Q alumni are trying to break out of Doha into the Dubai job market, and that’s where summits like these help students to network.

“HBKU hasn’t been advocating for alumni associations in the region [outside of Qatar] because they want to retain the talent in the Qatari job markets. But there’s only so much in Doha that the supply of graduates and available jobs are uneven,” added Naar.

Facebook Comments Box