Issue 5 Public Sector Excellence UAE

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ISSUE 5 MAY 2015

EMPOWERING EXCELLENCE Among many determinants of an organization’s success, the quality of its products and services is one of, if not the most important.


Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health, lends his insights into the UAE’s healthcare sector and shares some of his experiences in UAE government leadership

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PSE Magazine is the ďŹ rst and only public sector and business excellence magazine in the UAE and aims to be the number one business excellence magazine in the region by 2018. By sponsoring PSE, you can: Position your organization as a local and regional leader and supporter of government excellence. Enjoy exclusive branding and advertising opportunities to over 15,000 PSE readers through premium ad positions in our monthly magazine.

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SHARING EXCELLENCE Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health, lends his insights into the UAE’s healthcare sector and shares some of his experiences in UAE government leadership


Denise Daane, Managing Editor at PSP introduces our fifth issue of PSE: The Health Edition







A summary of the latest public-sector news and current affairs across Abu Dhabi This month we conclude this series of project management process groups with the Project Closing process

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A look at some of the good practices and innovative solutions in public healthcare from around the globe

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE “Breaking Down Silos to Achieve Strategic Agility” by Sarah Wachter, INSEAD Knowledge Contributor

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Enabling Excellence through Processes, Products, and Services


An in-depth look at the present and future state of Abu Dhabi’s healthcare system










LMs. Aisha Al Rashedi, Founder and Owner of Rashat Soukar, shares her story in starting a business from scratch in the UAE Drones: Why this technology and its potential applications is on the top of the Technology Watch List

Crowdsourcing: Learn how the public sector can pick the brains of its citizens in shaping public policy Explore some of Abu Dhabi’s finest Middle Eastern food experiences

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information centre

OUR UPCOMING ISSUES Stay in the loop with our monthly issues. Each issue we provide an in-depth look at the key Abu Dhabi public sector industries that are shaping the city today.

JUNE 2015

In June, PSE navigates through the capital’s formidable real estate and construction sector that has developed into a modern day marvel



PSE’s July issue takes readers on a tour of Abu Dhabi’s exciting and rapidly growing tourism industry in the Tourism Edition.

In August, we explore the growth and development of Abu Dhabi’s banking and finance industry into the world class system it is today

How to Contact Public Sector Excellence EDITORIAL:


Managing Editor Denise Daane Deputy Editor Paul Cook Copy Editor DeMar Southard Arts Director Regis Sudo

COMMERCIAL SALES: General Manager Khalid Mohammed Tel: +97150 3188891 Sales Manager Peter Mushington Tel: +97152 7297978

PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION: Group Production & Distribution Director

Faisal Chareuf Tel: +44747 2011995

Please visit our website for more information and visit our Knowledge Centre for useful Project Management and Business Excellence Templates and Resources!


Public Sector Excellence is published by Public Sector Publishing FZ LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or in part, without prior written permission of Public Sector Publishing FZ LLC. is expressly prohibited. Public Sector Publishing FZ LLC, PO BOX 769365, Blue Building, Office 41, Sheikh Zayed Street, Eastern Ring Road, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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AINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE and keeping fit has long been a popular topic of discussion, and with summer approaching, most residents will be planning their holidays to escape from the heat. Abu Dhabi has so much to offer in the line of healthcare—state-ofthe-art hospitals and clinics, fitness centres, nutritional outlets, organic markets and cafes, and more. The list is long and continues to grow! In this month’s health edition we cover the capital’s dynamic and comprehensive healthcare system, and take you through Abu Dhabi’s healthcare industry in our “In Focus” section, highlighting some of the milestones achieved over the years in healthcare reforms and public awareness initiatives. Looking abroad, we bring you updates on good practices in global public healthcare and innovative solutions that have been introduced to tackle existing and new diseases and illnesses. In our episode on “Sharing Excellence,” PSE offers you an interesting interview with H.E Dr. Amin Alamiri, the undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health, who provides us with a broad view on some of the country’s key public health policies and initiatives that have been implemented to alleviate the health concerns facing citizens and residents. Continuing with our series on Excellence Enablers, this month’s “Empowering Excellence” provides readers with an in-depth look at how to enable excellence in corporate performance through processes, products, and services. In “Knowledge Exchange,” Sarah Wachter, INSEAD Knowledge Contributor, discusses one of the biggest challenges currently facing public sector organizations around the world in her article titled “Breaking Down Silos to Achieve Strategic Agility.” In “Project Management at a Glance,” we continue from where we left off in our last issue’s project execution article, and carry through into the project closing process. We travelled to Sharjah for our “Local Enterprise” section, to bring you an inspiring story of local entrepreneur Aisha Al Rashedi, mother of seven, a government employee, and businesswoman who shares her journey in establishing her own business. As customary, we continue to provide you with updates on Abu Dhabi government news and affairs, as well as our monthly “Idea Watch,” where we explore the rapidly evolving technology of drones and their peaceful applications. In our “Off Topic” article, we visit a selection of some of Abu Dhabi’s finest Middle Eastern dining experiences. To our subscribers who have contributed their valuable feedback and suggestions, we offer a word of appreciation and continue to encourage our readers to share their opinions via email to Also, stay tuned for some upcoming competitions with great prizes in our future issues.


If you have missed any of our previous issues, or are looking for additional articles, downloads, and professional resources please visit our website: Best regards, Denise Daane Managing Editor

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After an agreement signed in Brussels, UAE nationals no longer require a visa to travel to the 25 countries in The Schengen area, in addition to eight other applicant countries. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister described the agreement with the European Union as a significant achievement for UAE diplomacy. Citizens can now travel to most European countries without going through the process of applying for a Schengen visa.



The Abu Dhabi General Secretariat of the Executive Council has stated in a press release that its introductory rounds for government entities participating in the fourth session of the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance (ADAEP) have been concluded. The introductory rounds are aimed at informing government leaders about the details of the Award’s fourth session and affirming their prominent role in urging their departments and employees to strive for excellence in government services.

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The Department of Municipal Affairs has announced that the Municipal System reached an agreement with 13 public and private entities concerned with the issuance of NOCs in respect of public utilities and the infrastructure of Abu Dhabi Emirate. The agreement aims at simplifying operations, and reducing procedures of obtaining NOCs by individuals and companies. The agreement was made in the context of the program of issuing NOCs relating to facilities and infrastructure in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which was launched by the Government in 2011, and designed by Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre in collaboration with the Municipal System and 19 relevant entities.

HEALTH SLOW CRIPPLING OF POLIO AND UAE’S EFFORTS RECOGNIZED WORLDWIDE On 30th April 2015 the UAE received due recognition for its efforts in eradicating polio

and becoming a polio-free country since 1993. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative indicated imminent disappearance of this crippling disease worldwide. The attendees included representatives from the WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, American CDC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The UAE was praised for its role in the fight against this debilitating disease, and the WHO Director of Polio Operations, Dr Hamid Jafari commented that; “The UAE has been a key partner providing not only funding, but on-the-ground support as well.” The UAE’s hard work in helping Pakistan overcome its problems involving polio vaccination was also lauded. The event followed on the heels of HAAD’s National Polio Campaign, which is responsible for vaccinating 254,082 children.

MEDIA, ARTS, AND CULTURE MUCH AWAITED DEBUT Asma Alshamsi, a local puppeteer has added a new creation to the colorful cast of Iftah Ya Simsim – the Arab version of Sesame Street. The new addition is Shams, a bubbly six-year-old girl who intends to make her debut at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair – May 7 to May 13, much before the relaunch of the show. Bidaya Media spokesperson had this to say: “The public debut of Shams is an incred-

PUBLIC SECTOR NEWS AND AFFAIRS ible milestone in our journey to bring one of the region’s most loved television shows back into homes of old and new fans alike.” Shams was also available to welcome children at the Knowledge Square in the Creativity Corner throughout the book fair.

M TOURISM AND TOURISRY ST DEVELOPMENT INDU DESERT CHALLENGE COMES TO AN END On 3rd April 2015, the 25th world-class Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge ended on a sparkling note at Yas Marina Circuit with a dinner, followed by the prize awarding ceremony. The event was held under the patronage of the Ruler’s Representative – for the Western region – H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It forms the opening round for FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship and the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. Vladimir Vasilyev (Russia) owned the cars title for his second consecutive time while Marco Coma (Spain) won in the bike category after previously winning this title seven times! Mohammed Bin Sulayem, President, and Tarek Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit presented the trophies. Ahmed Al Fahim and Mansour Al Helei, both UAE nationals, were awarded trophies for the T3 buggies and T2 production class cars categories, respectively while Mohammed Abu Issa (Qatar) received the quads crown.

EDUCATION ADEC HOSTS THE 3RD PRIVATE EDUCATION INVESTMENT FORUM The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has organized the 3rd Private Education Investment Forum to attract investors and operators to establish new schools and/or expand existing private schools. The Education Investment Forum is hosted annually in alignment with ADEC’s strategic initia-

tive to develop a private schools promotion and business development plan, which will increase the number of schools providing quality education, while offering affordable quality options for students across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In addition to the contribution for the betterment of the education system in Abu Dhabi, private schools also play a pivotal role in the economic development of the country, with Dh3 billion generated from private schools annually, and an estimated requirement of a further 60,000 private school seats in the next five years.


MASTABA – A MASSIVE PROJECT WITH MATCHING BENEFITS Christo, an octogenarian, is an avant-garde artist, known for his megalomania. After finishing the Floating Pier project (Italy) next year, Christo will revisit his plans for Mastaba in Abu Dhabi – Mastaba means a trapezoid bench-like tomb in Arabic. He plans to erect this model of architecture near the Liwa Oasis, Al Gharbia. Mastaba is expected to be 300 meters tall and was the brainchild of Christo and his wife way back in 1977. Forty years later, Christo is still connected to Abu Dhabi by the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award. Budding artists of the UAE are awarded this annual prize. All of Christo’s projects are sale-funded through his designs which are sold to private collectors and museums. The expected financial impact on Abu Dhabi is promised to be enormous since the Mastaba is expected to attract $390m in the Dubai Expo 2020 alone.


INNOVATION IN DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR CHILD PROTECTION The Ministry of Interior (MoI) Child Protection Center conducted a brainstorming session to generate creative ideas in the field of child protection. According to the MoI website, the initiative is the first of its kind in this field and has been implemented in a methodical manner in accordance with specific rules by expert, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Omar Ibrahim Al Ali, Deputy Director at the Creativity and Leadership Development Center. Present at the session were an elite group of Zayed University students who were invited to contribute their ideas and innovative solutions to community issues, including child protection.


The UAE Search and Rescue Team at the Ministry of Interior, started its humanitarian mission by providing logistics support to the international relief operation to aid the victims of the earthquake in Nepal which caused the death of over 7,000 people and injured 16,000 people, according to Lt. Colonel Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Ansari, Head of the UAE Search and Rescue Team, Director General of Civil Defense in Abu Dhabi. The Minister of Interior utilized the Security Media’s drones to assess the damaged buildings’ integrity. This was the first experience worldwide to use the drones in search and rescue operations and field scanning to provide further safety and protection to the human element participating in such operations. Al Ansari highlighted that the team’s mission in Nepal, from the moment of arrival, was focused on providing medical services, which included examining and assessing patients, supporting hospitals with the latest medical tools and equipment, as well as training Nepalese doctors and nurses to introduce the best methods in categorizing different medical conditions. This comes as an embodiment of the UAE’s willingness to help victims devastated by natural disasters around the world.

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ProjectClosing A

FTER ALL THE BLOOD, sweat, and tears (figuratively speaking, we hope) expended in the previous project phases—Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Monitoring and Controlling—we finally arrive at the stage where we close the project. We look at what we’ve built, marvel at its glory, clock out, go home, put our feet up, and relax.

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Oh, if only it were that easy. The good news is, if the rest of the project has been well managed, the closing phase should not be difficult. In closing, the project manager basically ensures that all project tasks have been completed, including the documentation, and receives formal acceptance from the project customer that the project

has met all requirements outlined in the final approved Scope Document. Let’s step through the details of the process.

Scope Verification In the Project Planning phase we created a Statement of Scope. During the Project Execution phase we may have made changes to the

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT A GLANCE practicing project managers, however, will tell you there’s a more direct and easier test to ensure project completeness: The schedule has every item checked off. This comes with a caveat, of course. In the planning phase, did you ensure your task list, which was used to create the schedule, included everything needed to fulfill the scope? If you did, you’re golden. This is where we go back to meticulously planning the project. That Scope Statement should have been treated like a sacred document. It wasn’t cobbled together just to check it off the list of required documentation; it was written as if the project manager’s professional life depended on it. That’s because it does. The Scope Statement is the contract between the project and the customer. If you’ve been reading this series of articles, this may sound like a broken record, but a project manager risks professional suicide if planning isn’t given the utmost importance. Yes, this article is about closing the project, but closing can be a bear if the project wasn’t planned and executed properly. original scope, but at this point in the project, we should be able to proudly present the final scope document, including all updates, and be able to check off each item in it as having been complete to the project customer’s satisfaction. In parallel with the Project Execution phase, we monitored and audited the project to ensure that all outputs met the requirements objectives. By diligently ensuring the customer was satisfied with the output as the project progressed, we should get to the completion having no questions about what was actually produced. That’s one way of verifying that the project is complete and all requirements have been met. Most

Let’s assume that the project manager did plan and execute carefully. With the Statement of Scope generating the list of activities that had to be accomplished to produce all deliverables within that scope, and with the activity list generating the schedule, we get to the end of the schedule and find, magically, that every item in it has been checked off. Because we have received customer acceptance as we completed each and every deliverable during project execution, the final acceptance should be no more than a matter of paperwork. Yes, you want to verify that all deliverables within the Scope Statement are complete to the customer’s satisfaction. But, the practical reality is that the schedule, properly done,

provides the project manager with a checklist that does exactly that.

Close Procurements If our project included purchasing hardware or services, we probably have some purchase agreements to check up on. Of course, all organizations always pay their invoices as soon as humanly possible (we pause briefly for a smile), but just in case one might drop through the cracks, it’s the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that each and every purchase agreement is either paid or is in the process of being paid. It’s rare that a PM has any direct authority for making payment, but at a minimum, he or she has the obligation to ensure that all contracts are being managed according to the organization’s policy. In short, the PM ensures that nothing has fallen through the cracks. In some cases, it may be necessary to close out general ledger accounts that were opened specifically for the project or manage other financial or cost accounting processes. As with so many other tasks in the project, the project manager probably will not do this, but will ensure that it is complete before calling the project closed. If there were problems with a purchase it may be the case that final resolution won’t be complete for months or even years, but this doesn’t hold up the closing of the project. Rather, the situation is turned over to another process within the organization and is documented within the project records. Clearly, every contract dispute is not the project manager’s responsibility, but documenting the source and current status of the dispute must be part of the project closing documentation. During the Project Monitor and Control phase, the project manager made sure that all contractual obligations between the enterprise and vendors were well

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT A GLANCE managed. He or she checked off obligations as they were fulfilled, or documented disputes and disagreements as they occurred. If there were contract problems, now, at the project closing phase is where documentation concerning the dispute is turned over to the proper organization to be handled. If any documentation remains to be approved or if any action items were created through the audits, they need to be closed or turned over to another process outside of the project so that the project no longer has responsibility for them. This other process might involve a negotiated settlement, arbitration, or litigation. In any case, the project documentation will include all specifics of the dispute. Even though the project is closed, documentation will remain to support the organization’s case.

Transfer New Service or Process


Whether the the final deliverable of the project was a building, new software, a process, or service, the transition of the end result from project to daily use should have been built into the project deliverables as part of the scope. So, a new building, at the end of the project should be in the hands of a property manager or building maintenance group. New software should be in the hands of IT production. A new process should be owned by the organization it serves. Project closure, however, requires that all documentation is complete regarding the transference of the physical plant, hardware, or process. This is where all i’s are dotted and all t’s crossed. All stakeholders know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the project now has nothing to do with the output, the result of the project. Not only do they know it, but they sign their name to a document stating the fact. The absolute last thing a project manager

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wants is for his or her phone to ring three months after completing the project and have someone request further ostensible project-related activities. If this happens, and the project manager cannot produce documentation showing that the project has no more responsibility in that area, someone (read, project manager) has messed up. As we said in the last article, if it’s not it writing, it didn’t happen. The process of formal transfer of project deliverables, with physical sign-off, cannot be stressed enough.

elease Project Personnel This process varies widely according to the organization, and it’s for that reason that Organization Process Assets are again so important. It may be the case that the project manager really has nothing to do in this area; a functional or weak matrix organizational structure may preclude the PM from having any responsibility for formally releasing personnel from the project. However, in cases where the organization is projectized or utilizes a strong matrix structure, the project manager will have some administrative duties to perform. This may be an informal process of verbally informing the team member’s line manager

that the project is complete and the services of the person are no longer required. On the other hand, there may be paper or automated forms that the project manager is required to fill out to update a personnel assignment system, acknowledging that the person is now available to work on other projects or services. Projectized organizations may also require that the project manager provide performance reviews of the project personnel.

Lessons Learned In life, things go well and sometimes, not so well. Authors and historians document life’s successes and failures. Intelligent people read those accounts—stories and histories—and learn from them. Likewise, during the course of the project things go well, and things don’t go so well. The problem is, there is rarely a novelist or historian to document the story. Without that, lessons we might use for future projects go to waste. Like a good history book, a document of lessons learned from a project helps to guide future projects. We don’t have to keep making the same mistakes over and over. All we have to do is ask whether a similar situation has ever existed and find out how

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT A GLANCE those who preceded us handled it. This may be as simple as, “We used XYZ vendor for wiring and they were horrible! Never use them again.” Or the situation might have involved a very specific software setting that caused a problem for a development team. The lesson might just as well concern a very successful process or project innovation, such as, “We studied every article and followed all suggestions on project management in Public Sector Excellence Magazine and our project ran without a hitch.” The point is, Lessons Learned can be positive or negative. Anything the project team learned that might possibly help another future project should be documented. Not only should they be documented, the information should be readily and easily available to future project personnel. It does no one any good for a paper list of lessons learned to be filed in a cardboard box in an offsite warehouse. With today’s technology, there is absolutely no reason every lesson learned from every project cannot be entered in an indexed database, easily searchable by keywords. People love to give advice and tell others of their experiences—IF—they believe that advice and experience is actually going to do someone some good. A project team will approach a lessons learned information gathering session with extreme cynicism if they believe their comments will be filed in a dark corner of an obscure warehouse. But if they know that their wisdom will live for future generations

and be useful and actually used by others, they will put every effort into documenting successes and failures.

Yes, but… Yes, but some projects do not complete successfully. There are as many possible reasons for this as there are failed projects and there always seems to be sufficient blame to pass around so that nobody needs to go back to their office without at least a little egg on their face when a project “has gone south.” Scope creep, those seemingly insignificant changes and additions to the project, may have become an unbearable weight, causing the entire project to crash and burn. Unmanageable risks may have become issues that could not be overcome. Key personnel may have left the company. Costs, for whatever reason, may have spiraled out of control.

project became unnecessary or another project requiring the budget and personnel became more important or urgent. Whatever the cause, most of the above closure activities still have to be carried out. The difference being, rather than have the project customer sign off on final deliverables, they may be asked to sign off on a statement of partially completed deliverables or other agreements or statements of understanding. The issue is that all parties have to know the status of the project so that they can make plans for limited, or no, project deliverables. Part of the close process will be an evaluation of all costs that will be incurred if cancelation of procurement contracts incurs penalties.

It may simply be the case that business conditions changed; the


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PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT A GLANCE Procurement agreements, even if not complete, still need to be closed out and possible cancelation provisions invoked. Unfortunately there is no “Canceled Project Process.” Each one is different so it’s important to consider all project deliverables, procurement contracts, personnel issues, and myriad other considerations and properly handle all the normal steps noted above as well as any issues that arise as a result of “dismounting in mid-stream,” as it were.

And One More Thing


What follows is not in the Project Management Body of Knowledge, that tome known only to professional project managers, normally sitting on a shelf somewhere near his or her desk (good for reference but not what one would call entertaining reading by any stretch of the imagination). No, what this author has to say about project closing is only gleaned from decades of experience, not only managing projects, but in life. And here it is: the last thing a good project manager does, the last thing a good project sponsor does, is to express gratitude to the project team. Yes, normally they have received a salary for their work and even outstanding work may be considered just and fair trade for the remuneration they’ve received. But research has shown that in the workplace, money is not a motivator. When the employee feels they are not being sufficiently compensated the issue of money is a de-motivator. But once an employee feels they are being fairly compensated for their work, money loses its motivational flavor. It’s exactly the case with water or food— once you have enough of it, getting more is not a driving force. What is a driving force for most

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Project Management Plan

Deliverables get accepted in the Verify Scope Process

Accepted Delivered

Organizational Process Assets


Tools & Techniques The Project Manager makes sure all work is done and that each deliverable has been accepted by stakeholders

Expert Judgement

Project Meetings

Analytical Techniques

Ex. Statistical and trend Analysis to analyze project data for future improvements

Outputs including: Final Products and Services

humans, and employees normally count themselves among this group, is feeling appreciated, even needed. A project team is normally assembled for a one-time project; they are a team only for a short time. For that brief period, with good project management, they feel as if they are part of a group of talented individuals who have come together temporarily to produce something new and, hopefully, wonderful. Then at the close of the project they go their separate ways. People who may have enjoyed working with their team members may find that they never have the opportunity to work together again. By the end of a successful project, there is a spirit of camaraderie, of success, of winning. This is the perfect time to capitalize on strong feelings of being part of a team, of being proud of having accomplished a goal. What a shame, when project teams are disbanded without taking advan-

Organizational Process Assets

Lessons Learned

tage of these positive emotions to encourage team members by demonstrating the company’s gratitude. The size of the team and the resources of the company play a big part in what kind of demonstration of gratitude is given, but a special luncheon, possibly with a few awards for those who went above and beyond the call of duty should be considered a minimum effort on the part of the project sponsorship. With a closing celebration, the team members will have a sense of closure that helps generate good morale in the rest of their work life. With a closure that helps to give meaning to a project, when they are requested on another project, employees will be more likely to look forward to the opportunity and will give it their best efforts. And from a project manager’s perspective, that is as close to heaven on Earth as one can get.

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Let’s Benchmark!

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PERATIONAL MODELS for public healthcare vary widely throughout the countries of the world, from the complete unavailability of government paid healthcare to complete coverage. Most developed nations of the world provide some level of support for their nation’s healthcare system, but the amount and nature of the support varies widely. The categories of support, used by the World Health Organization (WHO) as criteria against which to measure effectiveness, can be seen in who is covered, the financial extent of the coverage, and

exactly what services are covered.


Global Benchmarks in Public Government-provided, or public universal health care is a complicated proposition under the best of circumstances. Factors that contribute to complexity include, but are certainly not limited to social, cultural, political, and economic conditions within the country. Yet, governments attempt to mitigate the difficulties caused by these factors and compromise where necessary to achieve workable solution for their citizens. No system has yet achieved perfection and the process to improve continues.

Designs of health care payment systems fall into four categories: Out-of-Pocket Out-of-Pocket is another term for “no public health care.” Today, only a handful of the poorer nations have no public health care system. Those who can afford to pay for health care services do so, while others

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rely on private charity, paymentin-kind (barter for health care with whatever goods of value the consumer possesses), or do without, relying on traditional or folk medicine. One might find this system in use in rural parts of some countries in Africa, South America, and India.

The NHI Model The National Health Insurance system uses private-sector providers who receive payment for services from a government-run insurance program. Citizens pay into the program through taxes or other mandated fees. This program is relatively inexpensive and simple-to-manage because all parties involved operate on a no-compete, not-for-profit model. Costs are controlled, however, through limitations on the medi-

Let’s Benchmark!

15 cal services that are paid, so some needed care may not be available through the healthcare system. The NHI system is found in Taiwan, South Korea, and Canada.

Bismarck Model Named for Otto von Bismarck, this system is used in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, and other countries. A variation of it has recently been adopted by the US. In this system, purchasing health insurance is man-

dated by the government while health insurance and medical providers, even if private enterprises, are highly regulated. In this system, health insurance is normally a benefit of employment. For those who are self-employed, having a government-approved health insurance policy is a government mandate.

Beveridge Model William Beveridge is given credit for the design of the system used in Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain,

and most of Scandinavia. In this system, healthcare is a government service completely financed by taxes. The government owns most of the hospitals and employs most of the doctors. Those hospitals and doctors that remain private still bill the government for their services, thus patients never receive a bill. The benefit this model is low cost per capita, but costs are controlled by limiting the services available to the public and the amount that doctors are allowed to charge for services.

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Let’s Benchmark! WHO Public Healthcare Excellence Criteria The World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority on matters of health care internationally in the United Nations. As such, it shapes the agenda of research into health-related topics and sets norms and standards of health care and wellness. Each year, WHO issues its report

of the state of health care among member nations, focusing on a different topic in each report. Its goal is to provide information to policy-makers and influential organizations that provide funding for government and private health initiatives and influence decisions toward higher quality health care for more people. Their measure of public health-

care systems of member countries uses five criteria to determine relative quality of care provided. These criteria are quality, access, efficiency, equity, and the extent to which citizens of member nations are able to lead healthy lives.

Quality of Healthcare Quality indicators for a country’s public healthcare system are mea-

WHO’s Top 5 Public Healthcare Systems Based on these criteria, the WHO rated these countries as having the best healthcare systems.

Australia According to the WHO, Australians can expect to live an average of 74 healthy years. In this country, healthcare is a combination of services funded by the Commonwealth, State Government, and private health insurance.


The universal health insurance plan since 1984, Australia’s Medicare program provides treatment in public hospitals without fee from the consumer. Subsidized care is provided for vision, dental, and psychological care, as well as consultations with general practitioners, specialist care, physician-prescribed tests, and most surgical procedures. The Australian government also provides special healthcare benefits to war veterans and their dependents. Some of Medicare’s funding comes through an income tax surcharge to Australians earning more than a prescribed threshold. Benefits are based on a government-established fee schedule. While doctors are free to set their own consultation fees, they are encouraged to accept the Medicare

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benefit as full payment. The system itself comprises three programs in addition to a program specifically for the lowest income residents. The first is free healthcare to the general public. Another program covers conditions specific to military service-related conditions. A third program makes certain medications available at reduced rates to citizens who are war veterans or senior citizens. For low-income citizens there are discounts on medicines and concessions on certain

health services. A surcharge on income for people who earn over a threshold set by government encourages these people to purchase private insurance. Those individuals then have a wider array of choices in doctors and health facilities; they can use doctors and public or private hospitals of their choice. Depending on the policy, income, and age of the policy holder, that person may be entitled to rebates on some medical costs.

Let’s Benchmark! sured with respect to effectiveness, safety, coordination of care, and the degree to which care is patient-centered. Other factors in the quality realm included the extent to which health information technology is improving, how much of the total health care resources are dedicated to prevention, and the monitoring and coordinating of patient care.

Access Patient access to health care can be evaluated on cost concerns and whether primary and specialized care is received in a timely manner. Affordable care and timely care can be conflicting requirements, so the report takes a subjective look at the balance between these two criteria.

Efficiency Efficiency is gauged on whether the right care is received for the patient’s needs. For example, it is deemed inefficient for a patient

to be relegated to an emergency room, with its high cost structure and long waits, when the condition can be easily and quickly be treated by a physician.

Equity The WHO considers healthcare to be a public right, universal, meaning that anyone should be able to receive necessary health care without suffering financial hardship as a result.

Healthy lives The WHO measures healthy lives using three main criteria: incidence of mortality that should have been prevented by medical care, infant mortality, and a healthy life expectancy to the age of sixty years.

France In France, healthcare is seen as so important that its national director is a cabinet-level government position. Employees pay for compulsory health insurance through a payroll tax; the self-employed pay the same tax on their income. Insurance companies are all non-profit organizations that negotiate annually with the government to set service fees and prices. When visiting a doctor, the patient will pay a small fee for the initial office visit, but will receive re-


imbursement for most or all of that fee from the government. If necessary, the general practitioner will refer the patient to a specialist or a hospital. Alternatively, the patient may go directly to a specialist, but the specialist will then only receive payment correspondent with the general practitioner rate. Virtually all medical practitioners in France have contracts with the national health insurance plan so fees for services are standard throughout the country.

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Let’s Benchmark!

Germany The oldest national healthcare system, Germany’s is based on the aforementioned Bismarck model where universal healthcare is financed via mandatory health insurance. Insurance may be provided by private insurers or through the public insurance plan. Salaried workers and those earning below a government-mandated income threshold are automatically enrolled in one of the many “sickness funds,” while those who earn above the limit, students, and government employees have the option of private health insurance. Rates for the public system are determined by income level while private insurance premiums are actuarial, based on risk factors of the insured. Benefits covered by Germany’s health insurance are of three basic types: basic health insurance, accident, and long-term care. Of these, accident insurance, covering injury at the work place and while commuting to and from it, is the responsibility of the employer.


Dental insurance is provided as part of health insurance, but not all procedures are covered by public insurance. If the procedure is deemed purely cosmetic, payment for the treatment may be denied. For this reason, some Germans carry additional private dental insurance.

Costs are maintained through regulation by the Federal Joint Committee which not only negotiates with doctors and hospitals to set rates for procedures and all other aspects of health care, but makes regulations governing all facets of health care in the country.

Netherlands The Netherlands continues to take top honors in the Euro Health Consumer Index, earning the number one position in 2014, and has been in the top three countries in this index since 2005. Health insurance in the Netherlands, as with other countries in our report, is mandatory. However, health insurance paid for by individual premiums covers common medical care, while costs associated with long-term nursing care are considered separate and paid for by the government from general taxes.

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Let’s Benchmark! Health insurance premiums are not based on risk factors, instead everyone is covered under the same risk pool, making insurance relatively more expensive for healthy individuals so that those with high risk profiles do not have to pay as much as they would under a risk-based pricing system. Those who cannot afford health insurance are subsi-

dized through a system of allowances based on income. Insurance regulators oversee the entire process, ensuring all insurance providers offer the same services and that collusion between insurers does not happen. Insurance companies receive forty-five percent of their income from consumer

premiums, and so have incentive to compete on price. They can negotiate with hospitals and doctors to maintain costs in order to offer lower premiums. However, even with competition, insurance companies have no incentive to avoid payments to policy holders because the government will compensate insurers whose payouts exceed income.

Canada nizations to coordinate the overall healthcare system so that it is equitable everywhere. The provincial and tribal units are responsible for local administration, hospital planning and funding, payment for and negotiation of pricing for professional services, and for the promotion of the general public health. Primary care providers are the first point of contact, ensuring continued care and ease of movement throughout the system, even when the patient requires specialized services. This comprehensive service covers a range of areas—disease and injury prevention and treatment, emergency services, referrals to coordinated and specialized care, etc. Private practice doctors are paid based on a fee-for-service schedule. Those in public practice are paid salaries or blended payments.

The Canada Health Act was designed to ensure reasonable access to all necessary medical services. It discourages user fees and, through equalization payments, tries to ensure access to all by leveling the playing field between prosperous provinces and those that are less so. In remote areas, primary care and emergency services, community-based health programs, and non-insured

health benefits programs are offered in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations and other provincial and territorial systems. Canada’s federal government sets and administers the public healthcare system so that it meets national standards throughout the country. As mentioned above, it works with smaller governing orga-

Secondary or specialized care refers to care in hospitals, community, or long-term care facilities. In Canada, the majority of hospitals are managed by regional health authorities or voluntary organizations under the watchful eyes of a board of trustees. The government does not fund home-based medical care but it does pay for care in long-term care facilities, and it provides coverage to seniors, low-income patients, and children.

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Enabling Excellence through Processes



MONG MANY determinants of an organization’s success, the quality of its products and services is one of, if not the most important. Skillful marketing, adept product placement, business process acumen, market timing—all are vitally important to success. But without the level of quality in the product or service that the customer demands, an organization cannot be successful. An organization

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that wants to achieve excellence must be diligent in designing, implementing, and continuously improving excellent products and services. Most government and semi-government entities in Abu Dhabi are part of the service sector, and the government employs the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Excellence Model to help ensure that the services it pro-

vides to its people are of the highest quality. Through this model, the government can make sure its services meet international benchmarks of quality. Their success in this regard can be seen in the steady growth of numerous economic indicators including GDP, standard-of-living indicators, and citizen satisfaction indices. With the goal of being one of the top five performing governments in the world, policies developed by and employed within the

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EMPOWERING EXCELLENCE government of the UAE have helped many industries to lay claim to being the best in the world. With a savvy and demanding customer base that expects nothing but the best, and a government vision to provide citizens and residents with just that, public sector entities have their work cut out for them. In this article, we explore some of the key elements that must be considered and implanted into any organization that aims to deliver product, service, and process excellence.

Design and Manage Processes to Optimize Value All processes have, as their root objective, the furtherance of organizational goals. To be profitable and acceptable to the entire organization, they must be designed from the point of view of that high-level goal. Processes need to be lean, efficient, and most importantly, strategy driven. The successful implementation of any organizational strategy is contingent on processes that have been designed and implemented in the best, most efficient manner possible. Improving process quality may seem to be a mundane task, but it is of utmost importance to the long term survival and success of any organization. Therefore, leaders should make time to manage those boring process maps covered with boxes, arrows, and diamonds. Process management should always be a core component of any organization’s management system. End-to-end processes must be designed and implemented via leadership’s direction, and should be frequently analyzed, categorized, and prioritized for effective management and continuous improvement. Through these various management approaches, an organization should be able to improve its product and service development and production processes and better manage oper-

ational and strategic performance. A constant process review and improvement cycle will ensure that an organization’s products and services continue to deliver value and meet, if not exceed, customer and stakeholder expectations, all the while cutting costs, improving efficiency, and reducing errors and waste. Quality management has been and continues to be among the most discussed business management topics of our era. Quality Management Systems such as the ISO 9001, Lean, and Six Sigma are effective quality management systems that aim at delivering and maintaining product and service excellence. These systems, or frameworks, can be adopted to assess and/or audit process effectiveness and efficiency at regular intervals and promote continuous process improvement. As such, most excellent organizations employ a large portfolio of management systems to ensure compliance and efficiency across all key functions and processes within an organization. However, as so many of us already know, earning a quality certification or accreditation is one thing; implementing a quality management system is something completely different. According to most Forbes 500 organizations, it boils down to one thing: A culture of excellence that starts with an organization’s leaders and that is adopted by all employees. The importance of innovation in business has been discussed numerous times in this segment. A culture of innovation, cultivated by the leaders, and adopted by the people of an organization is a key ingredient in ensuring your organization is and remains ahead of the competition. Innovation can be integrated into you organization’s management systems by designing work flows that integrate brain storming and idea generation activities into your process review and improvement processes. Finally, leaders must ensure

that innovation is always recognized, rewarded, and encouraged in order to keep great ideas coming.

Provide Optimum Value for Customers throughProducts and Services Any company following the EFQM Model for Excellence needs to strive to provide its customers with the highest value. These stakeholders are primarily satisfied through the products and services that are developed and produced for them. Organizations need to keep coming up with innovative ideas to optimize the value of products and services for customers and embrace creative solutions as a way to keep improving their products. For this to be possible, it is important to know exactly what the customer’s expectations, moods, and tastes are and what they deem valuable. This knowledge may be gained through market research or surveys and other forms of customer feedback. This helps anticipate where the market is going and what changes the organization may need to make to improve the current product and to help steer future product development and marketing. The company may even involve current customers and suppliers in helping to dream up and develop innovations for better products and services for existing customers and to broaden the customer base. (Also see our article in this issue, “Crowdsourcing—Empowering the Public.”) An important component of product development is technology. Technological advancements are sometimes hard to keep up with, and therefore having a savvy information technology director on board is invaluable. Excellent organizations stay up to date with the

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EMPOWERING EXCELLENCE technology trends, especially those which may impact their products or industry, and make appropriate investment decisions to ensure they are always one step ahead. A recent shift in focus from the traditional customer satisfaction model to the “Customer Lifetime Value” approach means that not only do excellent organizations strive to provide the products and services customers want today, but they anticipate what their customers will want tomorrow, next year, and five years from now. Attracting new customers is much more costly than keeping existing customers happy. Excellent organizations get to know their customers well. They manage current products and services in a way that delights their customers and develop new products and services that will keep them coming back year after year.

Efective Promotion, Marketing of Products and Services


Marketing your products and services is all about creating the right value proposition. Developing a value proposition is an essential part of business strategy. It defines the value that an organization can deliver to its customers through its product and service offerings. Combining this with a clearly defined business model that irons out the core capabilities, processes, partners, and target markets, an organization can identify a “unique selling point” that can aid in marketing strategies. From here, other details such as target customers, market positioning, and distribution can be determined. Once an organization has defined its value proposition, it then uses savvy marketing strategies to promote products and services to target customers and various user groups. The excellent organization carries

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out its marketing in a systematic way, targeting current customers as well as seeking to attract and develop new ones to broaden market share. Organizations are often accused of false advertising and in many cases fail to deliver all the great features and benefits claimed about their products and services. This is never the case with excellent organizations. Advertising should never go overboard; great organizations make sure they can deliver on all the promises they make in their marketing campaigns because they know and understand the risk of damaging their integrity.

Production, Delivery and Management Understanding customer expectations and needs while keeping your value proposition in mind is a difficult task. Organizations must incorporate this delicate balance in production and delivery processes. Unsuccessful organizations disappoint, mediocre ones meet needs, but excellent organizations’ products and services are strong enough to not only fulfill, but exceed all expectations and delight their customers. Product management is important, but excellent organizations understand that this process does not end once a customer receives a product or service. They provide post-delivery support in the form of customer service, technical support, warranty and refund provisions, as well as provisions to recycle and reuse products where applicable. Such mindfulness helps organizations be considerate of the environment and society, and allows them to give something back to the planet. It is a great way to limit the depletion of natural resources and to maintain a good and healthy public image. Production, delivery, and prod-

uct management are processes that should concern a wide range of stakeholders. Excellent organizations have learned to involve their people, customers, partners, and suppliers in optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of their value chain. Key among these stakeholder groups are the front line employees. Employees need to be provided with the necessary tools, competencies, information, and empowerment to be able to maximize the customer experience. Additionally, processes can be continually improved by comparing them to internal and external benchmarks including local and international market leaders, in order to recognize and incorporate innovative and beneficial practices in the organization’s processes.

Managing Customer Relationships Customer Relationship Management is an art that differentiates mediocre organizations from excellent organizations. Customers need to feel valued, cared for, and respected by their favorite companies. When they buy a product or use a service they enter into a bond. It is the job of the organization to solidify this with integrity, honesty, and openness. Customers should feel that they can reach the organization when needed, and that the company should be accessible and attentive to their needs. Thus, excellent organizations have made themselves available to customers on a daily basis, some even going as far as being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Offering memberships and subscriptions to customers is one way that excellent organizations use to add long term value and customer engagement. Etihad Airways has come up with a nice way to help customers remain open with them about any breach of values and ethics. Their Ethics Line is

available not just for customers but for other stakeholders as well. It is regarded as a great initiative to engage customers and improve their image and value positioning by maintaining a dialogue with stakeholders based on trust, transparency, and openness. Monitoring customers’ experiences is essential to understanding them and ensuring that they return. Feedback from customer surveys, complaints and suggestions, social media polls and reviews should be continuously monitored. Customer perceptions and experiences must be documented, reviewed, and improved. An unsatisfied customer can hurt an organization more than any satisfied customer can make up for, as those who have been disappointed are much more likely to tell others about their grievances which can end in a messy and viral public relations disaster. This is why it is important to address complaints, make amends as quickly as possible, and turn any customer frowns into smiles again. The successful enterprise, one that achieves excellence, does not do so by chance. The path to excellence is fraught with obstacles, obstacles that may not be apparent. Some obstacles are unavoidable and can be dealt with. Others have to be avoided, else they create an environment or situation from which the organization cannot recover. This is why organizations that achieve success and go on to reach excellence actively and continuously look for ways to improve everything they do along the path to producing the product or service that eventually reaches the customer. They seek out ways to improve every aspect of their business, even those that seem to be running perfectly because an excellent organization knows that there is no perfection and that anything can be improved. Excellent management dedicates themselves to becoming better at everything they do every day.


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Breaking Down Silos to Achieve Strategic Agility Sarah Wachter, INSEAD Knowledge Contributor

Scotland’s civil cotland’s civil service overhaul holds lessons for enhancing national competitiveness.


HERE ARE TWO main obstacles to delivering better public services, according to the architect of a model implemented in Scotland. Sir John Elvidge, Scotland’s Permanent Secretary from 2003 to 2007 identified the country’s focus on incremental change and siloed departments as major hurdles to change. The story of how Scotland created a suppler and more effective civil service is documented in a new INSEAD case study: Strategic Agility in Nations, The Scottish Example. The civil service went from a siloed structure of departments

each focused on its own incremental improvement, to abolishing departments and setting organisation-wide goals, which were measured and assessed according to long-term outcome-based performance indicators in the context of a national framework for development. “The problems, which were the driving force of the change, were on the one hand, being very successful in conventional narrow terms – such as rates of educational achievement,” Elvidge told INSEAD Knowledge. But, on the other, this “apparent success sat side by side

with long-term, intractable failure.” For instance, Scotland had the worst life expectancy rates in Western Europe.

Incremental success, long-term failure The first step he took, through long term foresight analysis was to help civil servants discover and recognise the issue (the appearance of success but an inability to address key societal problems successfully) and to gain their support for deep changes across the operations of government.

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KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE make progress on these.

Networks, not islands Elvidge borrowed a metaphor for the ‘change narrative’ from computer networks: “To encourage people to use the skills of building and operating networks, in place of techniques around command and control,” he said. The logic behind integrating civil service departments sprang from the multi-dimensional origin of social problems, Elvidge said: “Fostering a culture of getting departments to work together came from the nature of the societal problems. Solutions existed in different functional areas from where the problems manifested themselves.” He found that rising juvenile crime rates were due more to family breakdown, weak education and health care, not to inadequate police staffing, for example.

Seeing is believing


The next step was to engage them in a new way of working. “We restructured government in such a way that integration was the guiding principle,” he said. “Our response was to move away from the conventional structure of government – a department of education, a department of justice etc. acting separately - and try to achieve the idea of government as a single organisation,” he said.

hierarchy as the driving force for integration. The most senior government officials were to become the agents of change. The heads of department became directors-general. They met weekly and were made collectively responsible for a set of organisation-wide outcomes. The directors group in turn set up a similar network of peers, to spread change across the whole civil service.

Change starts at the top

Cross department teams were set up across the organisation. All had to deliver on one of five themes for a better nation that were selected by Scotland’s political leaders (a smarter, healthier, greener, safer-and-stronger, and wealthier-and-fairer nation) and focus on seventeen key areas to

Instead of driving organizational change from the middle up, which Elvidge said is often the case in change processes, he focused on the top three to four levels of the

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Elvidge led the civil service to see the need for departments to work closer together emanated from the way problems needed to be tackled: “People could see the common nature of the solutions was that links between problems and solutions had to involve a dialogue across functional boundaries,” he said. To get civil servants to work together, Elvidge broke up the senior leaders into groups of about 10, in which they were encouraged to support each other in meeting common objectives, identify leadership gaps across government functions, and pass along what they had learned from these shared experiences throughout the public sector ranks.

A stroke of political luck At the critical moment when the major changes were to be implemented, Elvidge’s reforms got a

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE boost from an unlikely source, a major change of government. In 2007, an untested political party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), started governing as a minority party. The country shifted away from many years of stable coalition governments.

sphere of law and order, in the fabric of communities – in families, schools, housing. “Greater focus on how one could improve those aspects of community life has impacts on the offending rate, and we’ve seen incidents of crime fall,” he said.

Elvidge reckons that such political circumstances appeared to increase the willingness to take the risk involved in radical change. The SNP was keen to be seen making positive changes in the run-up to this year’s referendum on Scottish independence from the UK.

Scotland also put a new approach in place, whereby panels of local volunteers meet with children at risk more broadly, because the children have been abused, missed school, or have a lack of parental supervision. The program has shown impressive results. Youth crime in

The SNP committed to policymaking based on outcomes, and to assess and report on the government’s performance based on value created, which it records at its website, Scotland Performs. The SNP also pledged to govern as a united cabinet instead of as individual ministries.

Still, preliminary evidence of success is trickling through. One example Elvidge cites is crime rates, where law and order had reached their limits of effectiveness. Scotland had at the time the highest teen reoffending rates in the UK. Once again, the drivers of repeat offenders, especially teen offenders, were found outside the

Be radical Change through more integrated ways of working is something with which many countries are experimenting. But Elvidge counsels them to be bolder. And to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. “The evidence suggests that some of the things that are more conventionally done - strong units at the center trying to drive integration, interdepartmental groupings of various kinds - do not have a sufficient degree of success,” he said. Yves Doz, INSEAD Emeritus Professor of Strategic Management, who developed the cases, opines, “if governments do not become much better at developing integrated answers to these issues, then the loss of European competitiveness will get worse. If they manage to develop these capabilities, then the situation can improve relatively rapidly.”

Almost seven years on, Elvidge admits that the massive undertaking involved in changing decades-old behavior of the civil service, and for a body of evidence to develop to determine the project’s success, will take longer.

Early signs of success

as it were, appear to be the most committed to the change.”

Glasglow has dropped every year since 2006, with steep falls in teen offenses reported in other Scottish cities. Commitment to change inevitably wanes with time. But one vector of reform continues to burn brightly, Elvidge said: “Change has been enthusiastically embraced by emerging younger leaders. So the people who own the future,

“Most governments have given up on this idea of working in a more strategic fashion, working in a more unitary fashion, working in a way which is going not just to accomplish marginal improvements on small issues but really deal with societal problems of the future. Like aging, health care, youth inclusion, unemployment and so on. So I think that just the fact that Scotland did it is already a powerful message,” he added. Elvidge concurs and presses other countries to take another view; “I would encourage them to take the view that the radical steps we’ve taken in Scotland are less challenging than they appear,” Elvidge said.

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Sharing Excellence

At the Heart Meet Dr. Amin Alamiri, the Ministry of Health’s Medicine Man By Shannon Wylie



QUAL PARTS HEALTH advocate and medical advisor, Dr. Amin Al Amiri is the Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing at the Ministry of Health, a position he has held since 2006. Dr Al Amiri is responsible for the Medical Licensing and Advertising Regulation department, the Drug department and the Empowerment and Health Care Compliance department within the Ministry of Health. His Excellency also oversees all Public Health Policies within the Ministry. Dr. Al Amiri also has several voluntary commitments, which he actively supports alongside his current position. One of the most notable among these is his role as Secretary General of the Sharjah Voluntary Award, which he has held for 13 years. Not to mention he has also had many publications published in the field of blood transfusion medicine in local and international journals. Moreover he’s been awarded for his vast voluntary services by the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Executive Office and the Arab League, as well as receiving the Sheikh Rashid Award for Culture and Science.

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However, his roots are much more deep seeded in the country’s future of ‘fitness’ following his initial inauguration back in April 1985. Since joining the Ministry, Dr. Al Amiri has insisted on turning matters of health into pulse points that would eventually see the Emirates become a leader in many forward thinking health plans namely blood transfusion, his area of specialty. Now thirty years on, almost to the date, and we’re meeting with Dr. Al Amiri exclusively to discuss the Emirates’ successful state of health, legislation and the future of healthcare in the UAE. “Anything that relates to human health is a top priority,” begins Dr. Al Amiri. “But we’re not just focusing on Emiratis, everyone who lives in the UAE, who we consider to be part of our nation, part of our family, is important and therefore we work as one, together. However if we are to talk about importance, blood transfusion has a top priority because without sufficient supplies of safe blood you can’t save a human’s life because there is no substitute for blood transfusion or blood components anywhere in the world.” Dr. Al Amiri has been at

the forefront of blood transfusion, a department he proudly acknowledges is now ‘fifth best worldwide’ after he first stepped foot into the sector in 1986. “We were the first country to have a double accreditation for blood transfusion. I was also the first Emirati to be a Director and then Assistant Undersecretary to handle this sector.” Moreover when asked what spurs him on to fight new frontiers in the field of medicine, Dr. Al Amiri replied: “Here you get a taste of your work, you know that you’re doing something for humanity, and for patients, you’re helping to save human lives and you can really feel it.” But his achievements don’t stop there.

Dr. Al Amiri first studied chemistry at the Emirates University before joining the Ministry of Health. Then to further his education Dr. Al Amiri moved abroad to work in the medical laboratory technology industry across the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Netherlands. Later he went on to gain his Masters at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland followed by a PhD in blood transfusion and medicine, a degree that would later prove vital to his position within the Ministry of Health. Forging foundations in the field of chemistry puts Dr. Al Amiri in a statutory position to serve the Emirates’ growing capacity to produce and administer medicine – a top priority in order to combat growing health issues, namely diabetes, hyper retention and OBCT (obesity). “We can’t say we’ll eradicate these non-communicable diseases completely but we’ll minimize them gradually,” confirms Dr. Al Amiri. “We have a target for the year 2021, which is in line with that of the federal government, to minimize such diseases by controlling the lifestyles of people through public awareness and education programs; this includes concentrating on youth to ensure that we expose them to healthy lifestyles,” continues Dr. Al Amiri. Campaigning to combat the health of future generations is a serious issue within the Emirates and one that is currently taking the limelight, for good reason. In parallel to educating and enhancing the public health sector, Dr. Al Amiri says: “One of the other targets that we’re concentrating



Sharing Excellence on is to be a leader in the pharmaceutical industry.” It’s an industry that is estimated to be worth AED6billion by 2018, which is exponentially higher than last year’s stated market value of AED5billion. “We have 13 factories that produce 990 medicines, with two more that will be functioning by the end of 2015 and by 2020 we’ll have 30 pharmaceutical factories,” confirms Dr. Al Amiri. This only proves positive for solidifying the future state of health within the Emirates. “As well, over the past three years, we’ve been behind international companies to help them produce innovative medicine in the Emirates. Four MOUs have been signed, with the first between Merck Serono and Neopharma, Abu Dhabi, the second was between Pfizer and Neopharma, Abu Dhabi, followed by Merck Sharp Dohme (MSD) and Julphar in Ras Al Khaimah, and Ventus with Global Pharma, Dubai.”


According to Dr. Al Amiri, “five products have entered the market since April 1 with more companies set to follow.” A feat that would seem impossible in other countries, within such a short time span, however Dr. Al Amiri confirms that: “With flexible regulation and fast track registration, a single drug can be approved in the Emirates within three months if the file is complete.” By pushing pharmaceutical boundaries the health and wellbeing of the UAE can continue to be maintained, whilst growing proportionately. This strategy also ensures that health-related issues that are paramount to the MENA region are at the forefront of health reforms locally and internationally too. However Dr. Al Amiri confirms that: “Without different medicines, a physician, hospital or clinic, cannot save a human life and you cannot treat patients, you cannot help them. You cannot diagnose illness and you cannot prevent them.” Hence the bottom line doesn’t sit with just one health care division it is instead a focused,

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educated, and emphatic evaluation of several sectors coming together for the good of the public, the emirates community and the greater world of medical practitioners. Besides enticing foreign companies to set up on our shores, the Ministry of Health is edging ever closer to ensuring that the region remains one of the best in the world. In order to do that Dr. Al Amiri and his team are for-

hospitals too.” With stringent criteria, pillars are now becoming paramount for measuring the success of the Ministry of Health’s output, of which they could one day be strengthened and streamlined into a model for medical treatment emulated the world over. With a focus that is unrelenting, the Ministry of Health is also dedicated to ensuring that not only are

IT’S A COMPETITION. IF THERE’S NO COMPETITION, THEN YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO IMPROVE SERVICES AND BECOME THE BEST. IT’S A CHALLENGE” ever studying groundbreaking practices. “You need to study the existing market and the best practice worldwide but to implement the best practice you need to make sure that you can improve existing services and compete with the strongest countries. It’s a competition. If there’s no competition, then you won’t be able to improve services and become the best. It’s a challenge.” A challenge Dr. Al Amiri has welcomed with open arms and together with His Highness the Prime Minister, has been separated into two different sectors to aptly administer the appropriate attention to each field: service provider and regulatory body. “This is the best model worldwide and this is a model that is being practiced in Singapore and Australia. You cannot have both under the same umbrella.” Within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Al Amiri tackles the universal mission to separate the sectors aptly. “My sector is responsible for drug legislation, regulation, compliance, auditing and control. We now audit our own

health services a top priority but so too are their advancements in digital services. When asked about the sector’s e-services Dr. Al Amiri confirmed that 95 per cent of services are now electronic and that just this year, at the Emirates Government Summit, they were awarded for the “success of their e-services model”. Currently the e-services extend to the licensing of health professionals, the licensing of hospitals, factories and pharmacies, the evaluation of health professionals as well as the evaluation of the import and export of medicines and goods. According to Dr. Al Amiri any service that is not currently available electronically, will be soon. A clear vision, international trajectory and a drive to ensure that everyone who lives within the borders of the UAE is provided with the best medical services, places the Ministry of Health on track to becoming one of the world’s leading healthcare sectors. “Nothing stops us from being number one, there are no barriers,” concludes Dr. Al Amiri.


Abu Dhabi’s Healthcare

Sector T

HE EMIRATE OF ABU DHABI has one of the best health care systems in the world that encompasses a comprehensive range of health services through which all UAE residents are covered under health insurance plans. It consists of an open system for all certified health service providers, and delivers top quality care in compliance with high international standards. According to a World Bank report, Abu Dhabi is one of the leading medical destinations in the region and is renowned for dispensing high standards of medical care.


Providers of health services are independent, predominantly private, and follow the highest international quality standards. As of the last published survey in 2012, there were a total of 5,528 physicians, 969 dentists, 12,375 nurses, 4,319 allied health professionals and 1,993 pharmacists working at 1,508 licensed facilities in the capital. These facilities include 39 hospitals, 540 health care centers, 316 clinics, and 454 pharmacies located in Abu Dhabi.

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Health Care in Abu Dhabi With an ever-increasing population, the health industry in Abu Dhabi is also set to expand significantly over the coming five to ten years. The responsibility of managing and overseeing the development of the health sector in Abu Dhabi rests with two government authorities:

1. Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) 2. Health Services Company Abu Dhabi (SEHA) These two independent governmental agencies are continually striving to upgrade the quality and standards of the health system in accordance with Abu Dhabi Vision

2030, launched in 2007 under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Authorities Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) regulates and develops poli-

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-Cradle-to-grave”, the individual’s care throughout life -Access to care of all types -Capacity planning – including rural areas in the Western and Eastern Regions

-Publish outcomes and processes once data is validated

-Emiratization -Encourage Research, Innovation, Education andTraining


-Community initiatives to enhance wellness and awareness


Implementing initiatives to increase the number of qualified, professionally-trained doctors and other paramedical sta

The key functions of the authority include:

Building solid foundations for research, development, and education throughout the health care sector

Defining regulatory frameworks for the health care system Developing and implementing projects and work plans that promote health care.

Developing the infrastructure required to support/achieve world class standards for healthcare delivery

Encouraging world-class quality and performance targets

Establishing and repositioning ambulatory health care services

Initiating programs to improve societal health

SEHA (Arabic for ‘health’) actively strives to establish Abu Dhabi as a market leader in providing integrated high quality healthcare services. It also endeavors to build patient trust by ensuring patient safety in the healthcare system.

Ensuring health care services comply with regulations and enforcing standards -Be prepared at anytime for a major disaster or disease outbreak



-Track outcomes and processes from healthcare providers to drive quality improvement




-Address healthcare issues specific to Emiratis

cies for the health care sector in the city. The responsibilities of HAAD are varied and cover all aspects of health care services in the city.

-Reduce waste -Encourage Private Sector -Effective management of funded mandates -Elimination of loss transfer for non-mandated healthcare provision -Ensure appropriate reimbursement framework

-Including Telemedicine -Tool to drive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 above


Issue 5 - MAY 2015

At the strategic level, HAAD ensures best practices in the health care sector and is responsible for overseeing that stringent medical practices are maintained and patients receive proper medical treatment. Coping with a rapidly expanding population, this responsibility is of paramount importance and requires the development of a large infrastructure and health care program.

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by Cleveland Clinic, serves as the flagship institution for SEHA’s healthcare system. SKMC was created in 2005 as a result of the merger of all public health organizations in the capital. The health institution provides comprehensive health care services that cater to the needs and priorities of the community.

Health Services Company Abu Dhabi (SEHA) manages government owned health care facilities in the city. Its stated mission is to continuously improve health care in Abu Dhabi to recognized international standards. The authority operates 12 hospitals with 2,644 beds, 62 ambulatory and primary healthcare centers, and two blood banks.

Evolution of Public and Private Health Care in Abu Dhabi

Main responsibilities of SEHA include:

What started as a simple public health service has quickly transformed, but also systematically developed into a world class health system where top quality care is assured. In 1970 there were only

Ensuring health care services are provided efficiently

The healthcare system has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, with a strong demand for quality services to combat increasingly new diseases; especially those associated with lifestyle.


37 seven public hospitals. That figure has now grown to 12 hospitals that accommodate 2,644 beds. With a steadily increasing population, there was a clear need for additional health care facilities in the region. This need was filled by the private sector in Abu Dhabi. Private clinics via investors saw this as an opportunity to provide paid, high-level health care. In part, this was also introduced as

private health insurance was tied into many expatriate employment contracts which, in turn, financed the growth of private health care.

Strategic Goals and Key Priorities in the Health Sector

Through these investments, private health care has grown tremendously, with facilities offering top notch medical treatment encouraging a steady stream of visitors from abroad seeking all types of medical treatment in the capital.

The growth of the medical sector is dependent on large investments in technology, which Abu Dhabi is in a position to make. Abu Dhabi’s health authorities and service providers, in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi government leadership understand the importance of at-

Issue 5 - MAY 2015

IN FOCUS tracting the world’s best healthcare institutions. This is a key component of the government’s health policy. HAAD has initiated a number of major improvement initiatives in the healthcare sector. The first of these was the provision of lifelong care for UAE citizens and residents allowing access to all types of healthcare services, with particular emphasis on medical issues specific to Emiratis. A drive to ensure quality and safety and enhance patient experience is the second on the list of priorities. Attracting and maintaining a knowledgeable and talented workforce is also central to the execution of HAAD’s strategic plan and involves encouraging research, innovation, education, and training in the field.


At a macro level, priorities also include emergency preparedness in the event of a major disaster or pandemic outbreak and a public health approach to wellness and prevention. The latter includes community initiatives to enhance wellness and awareness. Most of us have seen the recent “Say no to tobacco” campaign” as well as the “Flying Angels” drive targeted at improving child passenger safety among residents. Such campaigns are instrumental in raising awareness and promoting safe and healthy lifestyles. In addition, one of the biggest changes proposed over the next five years is moving towards a world-class paperless health care e-service system in the capital. With the health system going through major growth and increasing the pressure on existing facilities, resulting in longer waiting periods, a paperless e-service system has the potential to improve customer service performance by up to 80%. Additionally, this improvement in customer relationship management also has

Issue 5 - MAY 2015

the potential to reduce costs and improve services.

Challenges and concerns in the Health Sector As Abu Dhabi continues its economic development, it has begun to experience certain lifestyle problems such development often brings with it. According to New York University, Abu Dhabi’s Public Health Research Center, The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is confronting major public health challenges in tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. In 2012, it was reported that 36% of the adult national population were obese—33% males and 38% females—while 21% of the adult population suffer from diabetes, split 22% between males and 20% females, ranking the rate of diabetes in Abu Dhabi one of the highest in the world. The Center has begun to conduct the first cohort study in Abu Dhabi which is expected to provide unique and substantial evidence for both lifestyle and genetic determinants of common diseases in the Abu Dhabi population. Keeping up with the rising demand for health care facilities due to the rapid increase in population, estimated to exceed five million by 2030, has become one of the greatest challenges to the health care system. Currently, the population is just over 2.3 million and is growing at a rate of around eight percent per year. The vast majority of this growth is due to the influx of expats who make up approximately 79.6% of the total population as of 2013. In a 2012 survey, it was recorded that there were 4,226 operational hospital beds in Abu Dhabi. However, health officials announced that a further 1,300 would be needed by 2021 were Abu Dhabi to meet the growing demand for in-patient care. In addition to this, between 1,200 and 1,700 additional doctors

would be required to treat the increasing number of patients over the coming years. The other concern is controlling possible outbreaks of infectious diseases. MERS and the latest Ebola threats had been identified in the past, and are still considered, as serious concerns according to HAAD. Since Abu Dhabi has become a major business and tourist destination as well as a significant transit hub in the region, such an outbreak could be difficult to control and preventive measures will always be a top priority.

Key Improvement Initiatives in Healthcarea Due to increasing life expectancy, rapid population growth, and growing affluence, the UAE’s healthcare technology sector is set to experience considerable expansion in the next five years. The scale of the ongoing projects in Abu Dhabi is unprecedented in the region’s healthcare industry. Public sector investment in the health care sector is expected to grow to more than Dh12 billion this year. Many new mega hospitals are being opened both in the public and private sectors. For example, design and enabling works have been completed for the new 745-bed Mafraq Hospital and the 687-bed Al Ain Hospital. Also planned are replacements or enhancements to existing facilities such as Tawam Hospital, Al Sila, and Al Ghiathy. Upcoming Mubadala Healthcare ventures include the recently delivered Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a multi-specialty hospital built in partnership with top US-based Cleveland Clinic, which is currently phasing in its 30+ complex and critical care specialties with the goal of being fully operational by 31 May 2015.

IN FOCUS With a large percentage of the population overweight and either having or being at risk of type two diabetes, there are a range of programs that are being run by HAAD, with the two major programs focusing on exercise and healthy eating. These are also being looked at in conjunction with creating a more walk-friendly urban infrastructure and also the development of bicycle paths and facilities. The UAE government also plans to remove all “junk� food from school canteens and provide healthier alternatives, an initiative that has already been adopted by several schools across the Emirates. The goals for the growth in new mega hospital projects in Abu Dhabi is twofold; firstly, to manage the increasing demand of health institutions in the capital, and secondly, to promote medical tourism by attracting patients from around the world. Major global companies and brands including clinics, healthcare IT and equipment companies, and private healthcare providers have already started flocking to the Emirate to take part in this lucrative and fast growing industry. In summary, there has been a paradigm shift in the health industry over the last two decades, which subsequently has spurred great changes in the regulation of health care facilities. New legislation and regulations are in place to ensure that local standards adhere to international best practices. Further, a number of measures and incentives have been introduced to attract foreign direct investment to create a thriving private healthcare economy. With the current five year strategic plan looking to further build the health industry, it is likely that Abu Dhabi will become a medical hub for the region, further fueling economic growth and diversification away from oil and gas.

Abu Dhabi’s Healthcare Highlights As of 2012 Healthcare survey results

39 Hospitals 540 health care centres and 316 Clinics 1,993 Pharmacists across 454 Pharmacies 5,528 physicians and 4,319 allied health professionals 12,375 registered nurses 969 Dentists including publicly managed.....

12 hospitals

2,644 beds

62 Ambulatory & 2 Blood Banks Healthcare Centres

Managed by

Issue 5 - MAY 2015


Local Enterprise

Aisha Rashid Obaid Al Rashedi Founder and Owner of Rashat Sukar

By: Faisal Chareuf

L IK E MO ST of our readers, our local entrepreneur of the month is also a public sector employee who has been working with the Ministry of Education for the past 23 years. In this feature of “Local Enterprise,” Ms. Aisha Al Rashedi tells our readers how she manages to juggle a full time job and a business of her own, among other major responsibilities.



HEN WE ASK Ms. Aisha to give us a brief about her, she gets straight to the point. “They call me Umm Mansoor. I am originally from Ras Al Khaimah. I married in Sharjah where I have been residing ever since with my family. I am the mother of seven children and have 23 years of experience in education.” We laugh as she realizes that her response sounded like a scene from the movie The Gladiator. She then continues to introduce how she first uncovered her entrepreneurial potential: “I started my business from home in 2007. I have always loved to cook and my food usually receives good reviews! At first, my business was to cater to friends and family and through word of mouth for gatherings, buffets, and all other sorts of events. I was one of the first Emiratis to start a home based business in the Emirates. Thanks to my friends and family who love my cooking, orders starting coming in and I was delivering buffet-style meals to all sorts of events and social gatherings in no time.” When Umm Mansoor saw the potential from her smallscale home-based business, she decided to give it a real shot. “In 2011 I decided to start a formal business and registered ‘Rashat Sukar’ (Arabic for ‘A Hint of Sugar’),” says Umm Mansoor. In the same year, a royal decree announced that the Khalifa

Issue 5 - MAY 2015

Fund for Enterprise Development, Abu Dhabi’s government sponsorship local business start-up fund, would expand its funding reach to cover all seven Emirates. Umm Mansoor decided to try her luck and applied for funding from the Khalifa Fund. “Al Hamduli Allah, I was among the first UAE nationals outside of Abu Dhabi to receive funding from the Khalifa Fund.” Umm Mansoor received diplomas in entrepreneurship and hospitality from The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development. As part of the program, she enjoyed an internship at the Burj Al Arab, where she learned the tricks of the trade in the hospitality and service industry. However, her experience in the kitchen came naturally. Umm Mansoor says, “I love to cook. I always have and always will enjoy cooking. This is what I am passionate about and I have always been good at it. However, I have had some great support. The Khalifa Fund together with the Ministry of Foreign Trade, have organized many trips to some of the best international trade and food and beverage exhibitions in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be part of groups that travelled to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and mainland China to participate in some of the best trade shows in the industry.” In

addition to the post-funding support she received, Umm Mansoor tells us that she received a lot of support from the Khalifa Fund even before receiving funding. They supported her with workshops and tutorials on market analysis, feasibility studies, and business planning to help her put a successful business plan together; a plan worthy of funding. “Khalifa Fund held a conference in Abu Dhabi to introduce their services, inviting Emiratis from the Northern Emirates to participate and encouraging us to start our own business. H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed himself was there in person and I got to meet him personally! It is amazing to see our leaders get so involved in supporting small businesses. We are truly blessed!” she says proudly. Umm Mansoor goes on to tell us the very familiar story of the rough start up that most entrepreneurs experience. “In 2011, I opened Rashat Sukar on Mohammed bin Zayed Street in Sharjah, thinking that location was one of the key factors. Right after opening, major construction started on the street which was estimated to take three years, blocking access for customers to my shop!” Umm Mansoor says rather

Local Enterprise casually before continuing. “That is when I decided to change my strategy. If my customers couldn’t get to me, then I would prepare orders and deliver to them!” She focused her efforts on establishing distribution deals with local supermarkets and souks, which meant she would now have to work on her product packaging, labelling, delivery, and other requirements that came with this change in strategy. “I got some cars, hired some drivers and got to work. We would prepare and package all our cakes and sweets at the shop and have them delivered to our distribution/retail partners as well as directly to our customers. I was successful in negotiating deals with a number Dubai and Sharjah Co-operatives and local souks.” Next, Umm Mansoor tells us more about some of her learning experiences in establishing a professional business that is in it for the long run. “If you want to compete in the UAE market, you have to put in all your effort. Yes, I make great cakes! But that is not enough to successfully compete here. I had to learn how to package our products, include labels with detailed ingredients and expiry dates, and learn how to negotiate distribution agreements. I also had to make sure I understood what customers wanted, what the latest trends and favorite flavors were, and then learn how to make and perfect these products. This was all new to me but I was determined to succeed.” She adds proudly, “I have introduced the first ice cream that I know of and now offer it in four flavors!” Umm Mansoor is constantly browsing through cookbooks, websites, and TV stations for the latest and greatest recipes and delightful ideas. Then, as Umm Mansoor explains, it’s a matter of trial and error. “Self-improvement is one of the most important goals for me. I want to learn to be great in all aspects of my business, from cooking to marketing and even accounting. I think this is one of the key attributes re-

Issue 5 - MAY 2015


Local Enterprise quired for success: The willingness to learn and improve.” Umm Mansoor tells us she believes that the UAE market presents extremely lucrative business opportunities for those willing to put in the effort required to succeed. However, she says that because the market conditions are so ripe, it has become very competitive. Therefore, entrepreneurs have to invest a lot of time into market research, analysis, and feasibility studies before launching their business. “With the Expo 2020 coming and the rapid growth of the economy, now is a perfect time for anyone who wants to open their own business. But it’s not about having the money and just deciding to open a business. Entrepreneurs must be willing to put in the extra work to study the market, study the competition, and analyze all the market factors that can work for and against him or her.”


As part of the Ministry of Education leadership program, Umm Mansoor delivered lectures to local high school students in Sharjah for her final course project. Having many years of experience in education, she strongly believes that entrepreneurship and practical business management courses should be offered to high school students to get them thinking about starting their own businesses. She says, “Locals should be introduced to entrepreneurship and business skills at an early age. They should be encouraged to start thinking about establishing their own business before they leave high school.” Umm Mansoor has proposed her idea to introduce elective business and entrepreneurship class in local schools and the idea has been received with great enthusiasm. She felt that the students were very responsive and extremely interested in learning how they can become businessmen and women. Umm Mansoor started with two employees whom she trained to pre-

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pare the cakes using her special recipes as well as a driver for deliveries. Today, she has ten employees: three drivers and seven kitchen and store staff. Her biggest distributors today include Union Co-op, Sharjah Coop and Aswaaq Sharjah, with many more in the pipeline from Sharjah and Dubai. After her recent success with her sweets and cakes, Umm Mansoor is now looking to expand her business into a comprehensive catering business that offers a wide variety of food and dessert options.

ning!” I ask Umm Mansoor if she believes that the motive for such encouragement was free cake and we have a good laugh. I then ask Umm Mansoor what advice she might give to anyone looking to start their own business in the UAE. She responds by saying, “This is a great time to start your own business in the UAE. As I mentioned previously, the time is ripe and the economy is growing fast. There are so many opportunities and so much

SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT GOALS FOR ME. I WANT TO LEARN TO BE GREAT IN ALL ASPECTS OF MY BUSINESS, FROM COOKING T O MARKETING AND EVEN ACCOUNTING”. But this, she explains, will require considerable investment in capital. “Before I can do this, I will need to invest in new equipment and machinery for food preparation, cooking, and packaging. This way, I will be able to increase the capacity and quality of our production output.” In addition to expanding her product and service line, she aims to continue to expand her distribution channels to cover all of the Emirates through the major supermarket and retail chains. “I want to compete with the large local and multinational companies in the UAE,” Umm Mansoor claims confidently. We were curious to ask Umm Mansoor how in the world she manages to juggle the responsibilities that come with being a mother of seven and a full-time government employee but still have time to manage her own business. Her answer: “If it weren’t for the support of my husband and family, I would not have been able to reach where I am today. My friends have also been very supportive of me from the begin-

government support available. However,” she adds, “competition is fierce. We do not need any more generic business ideas. We need new and innovative ideas. This is what works and this is what people want here. Most importantly, entrepreneurs should be dedicated and persistent if they wish to succeed.” Next, we discuss some of the key challenges that business start-ups face in the UAE. “It differs from business to business. Every business is faced with its own unique challenges. However, I believe that one of the biggest challenges is recruiting the right people. The local labor laws also make things tough for us to recruit and retain good employees. Keeping motivated and keeping a positive attitude I believe is the most important challenge that I think applies to anyone starting their own business. You just need to get up every day and do what you have to do with a positive attitude. Staying motivated is tough sometimes, especially when things don’t go as planned, but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on.”

Idea Watch




Commercial Drones

The concept of carrying out aerial military operations beyond international boundaries without having to risk pilots attracted significant attention from many governments. As a result, the technology was heavily militarized and used in warfare. Today, though, UAV technology isn’t restricted to only military usage, but also offers

Due to technological advancements in the technology, drones have started to shed their perception as purely war tools and are now being considered as a game changing technology in every other sector, similar to automobiles or computing. Due to the incredible improvements in GPS, digital camera, computing, wireless communication, and battery technology, commercial drones now offer businesses unrivalled advantages

N UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE, or UAV, is a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft. The first such remotely controlled flight took place in 1916. However, today’s modern UAV technology can be traced to the 1970s.

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incredible potential for commercial and other non-governmental use.

in terms of efficiency and a broad range of applications. They are now used in geophysical surveys, forest protection, communications, and various other ways. The potential of civilian drones in terms of new applications indicates the technology can replace previously existing applications in a wide variety of industries and further extend a new dimension to pre-existing applications. Drones can significantly reduce the danger to humans in many spheres of operations and are significantly more cost effective compared with other current practices.

Idea Watch Feature Drone: Ambulance Drone A Belgian engineering graduate, Alec Momont has unveiled a drone he calls the Ambulance Drone that can deliver first aid equipment and even has a defibrillator attached to it. People suffering from cardiac arrest must receive immediate medical attention. Even a very slight delay in response time can drastically reduce their chance of survival. The ambulance drone can substantially reduce response time, significantly increasing the survival chances of people in need of immediate medical attention. The ambulance drone functions via tracking mobile calls and standard GPS protocols to determine the exact location of the caller. The drone has a microphone, speakers, and a camera that can be used to provide basic verbal assistance to the distressed caller to stabilize or revive the victim.

Commercial Applications of UAV Technology Agriculture The application of drones in agriculture deserves special mention due to the various merits and amazing potential to transform the economy by reducing costs and improving efficiency. Instead of farmers surveying the land on vehicles, they can use drones to survey from the air. The bird’s eye view of the land helps in shortening the process and saving one of the most precious resources: time. Furthermore, an agricultural drone is capable of spraying crops from a height of two to three feet above ground, resulting in more targeted application and less loss due to the effects of wind.

The agricultural use of drones can be segregated into two broad categories. First, equipped with the proper sensors, they can be used for remote sensing of disease or general health problems, look for areas of problem hydration, and gather data with which to chart growth and identify problems early in the growing season. Agricultural managers can then use this information for precise targeting of remedies, potentially using less of the remedy and reacting more quickly, improving or even saving crops. Second, drones can be equipped for application of fertilizers or herbicides and apply the same precisely when and where needed, possibly resulting in the use of fewer chemicals and lesser quantities.

Infrastructure Surveillance UAV technology possesses inherent surveillance qualities, making it a highly cost effective and pro-

ductive surveillance technique. The technology can be used for the surveillance of electrical infrastructure, pipelines, road conditions, etc. Surveying large land areas using ground transportation is extremely time consuming and arduous. A better solution was the use of helicopters, but this is expensive and poses risk to human life. By using drones rather than surface vehicles or helicopters, environmental disruption is reduced, capital and expense costs are far less, and there is no risk to life.

Disaster and Emergency Management Smaller hand launched drones have been developed which are equipped with sensors capable of detecting life, an application which is proving to be extremely helpful in disaster management and relief operations. Whether it’s monitoring or reconnaissance of disaster-affected regions or delivering relief articles to affected

Issue 5 - MAY 2015


Idea Watch populations, drones have proven to be the optimum technology in every way. Drones offer incredible versatility and are well suited for ad hoc situations, a prime consideration in disaster-struck regions. Natural catastrophes such as earthquakes or floods can impact a large area which can be difficult to survey. Aside from providing relief, drones can also be used in the prevention of disasters such as floods. Water levels can be observed in disaster prone areas and seasons to detect early warning signs of impending disaster so authorities can formulate and implement a disaster prevention strategy.

Natural Resource Extraction Drones can assist in the exploration of oil and minerals extraction by using them to acquire information about the region and build 3D models of the terrain. Remotely piloted drones, due to their size,

relatively low cost, and inherent versatility can obtain data not available to surface exploration or even helicopters. Specifically, mapping of terrain from a low altitude is easy and safe. The use of drones in exploration for precious metals, coal, and oil is already becoming commonplace.

Drones Complementing Satellites Even though satellites cover huge areas at a time and photo resolution can be astounding, drones can be used to acquire an even more detailed view of the region in question. Changing the operational program of a satellite is extremely restricted and only relatively minor options are available for those already in orbit. Unlike satellites, drones can be retrieved, upgraded, and re-tasked at will. Their sphere of operations is virtually unlimited and their automated GPS-generated flight pattern can be changed quickly and at a very low cost.

Communications Drones can also substitute for communication satellites, which tend to function at far below maximum effectiveness in poor weather conditions. Because drones fly at lower altitudes, their signals are less likely to be distorted due to weather conditions. Drones can also be used in weather forecasting and journalism, as they can gather on-site information and provide live data feeds from the scene. There are some missions where a drone is the only safe and effective option. Consider, for example, a hurricane tracking mission, where any alternatives to a drone would be unable to safely penetrate through icing conditions, lightning, and strong wind shears. With current drone technology capacity, we can build rugged platforms to withstand the most severe weather conditions, producing a truly all-weather aircraft for remote weather analysis.

Filming and Photography As Drones are experiencing an increasingly rapid adoption rate commercially, film makers and photographers now have a wonderful new addition to their filming arsenal. The new platform offers increased versatility in terms of creativity, which would previously not be possible. These drones are GPS stabilized, and so are easy to fly and perfect for the average user.


Fast pizza delivery maybe???

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Given their usefulness and relative low cost, it is not surprise that the usage of drones in Hollywood has also already been approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration. To date, six different film and TV production companies can now utilize a UAV for filming purposes. This will further facilitate the adoption of drones in other commercial ventures.

Idea Watch




UAE Drones for Good Award

indoor spaces and search for potential disaster victims thanks to its geodesic exoskeleton design

doesn’t carry a financial reward. Instead, they will be honored and recognized for their work towards creating a better world.

January 12th 2015, Abu Dhabi – At the government summit in February 2014, the UAE Government announced the Drones for Good Award, which was dubbed as the World Cup of Drones. The initiative will highlight the positive aspects and the incredible humanitarian potential of this technology. Three different competitions are held: international, national, and government entities, summarized below. • International Competition The international competition is open to individuals, teams, and non-governmental entities from around the globe. There will be three different phases: open call, semifinals, and finals. The winner of the international competition receives 1 million USD. This year’s winner of the international competition is Patrick Thevoz, creator of Flyability, the world’s first collision resistant drone for search and rescue. Designed for the disaster relief sector, Flyability is a small, lightweight drone which has the unique capability of being able to collide with obstacles without losing stability and of being safe to fly in contact with humans. It has the unusual ability to squeeze into tight

• National Competition The national competition is open to all UAE citizens and residents, including anyone who is working, living, or studying in the country and is open to individuals, teams, and non-governmental entities. The competition is held in three different phases: open call, semifinals, and finals. The winner of the competition receives 1 million AED. The winner of the 2015 National Drone Award is the New York University Abu Dhabi for their creation, the Wadi Drone. The Wadi Drone was designed and built to document the vast diversity of the UAE’s wildlife by gathering images of different Wadi’s flora and fauna. The 2.2-kg drone can fly for up to 40km around the Wadi Wurayah National Park, the UAE’s first mountain protected national park, and collects data from 120 camera traps that capture images of wild animals at the park. • Government Entities The third competition is a special category exclusively designated for UAE Government Entities. Unlike the other two competitions, the Government Entities award

The initiative taken by the UAE government has been acclaimed globally, as it will significantly help to improve the negative association of drones with militarized war machines. Furthermore, it will provide talented individuals with a platform to voice their innovative ideas. The initiative has been considered as a good step towards a better tomorrow. The 2015 winner in this category is Etisalat for their Etisalat Network Drone. Designed to support logistics and disaster relief, the Etisalat drones can instantly extend network coverage; critical in times of emergency. The drones can be used to save lives by providing connectivity to remote locations such as off-shore oil rigs or ocean vessels. Connected through Thuraya network, the drones extend GSM coverage and enable people to use their existing mobile phones in the most critical conditions. The drones can also deliver high-grade medical diagnostic tools to emergency sites, enabling non-medically trained individuals to administer basic medical procedures and, under real-time supervision from doctors connected wirelessly to the emergency site from the hospitals, remotely execute life-saving procedures in real-time.

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Build Your Social Profile


Issue 5 - MAY 2015

Build Your Social Profile



the Public


R O W D SOURCING, a relatively recent phenomenon in the digital world, refers to the practice of gathering information, ideas, and input from a large group of people through digital media. The online community becomes the major source of contribution, as opposed to traditional means such as employers or suppliers. Crowdsourcing has become an important tool in the overall use of social media and is being employed by both the private and public sector alike in many countries around the world. Crowdsourcing is the most significant improvement in citizen and stakeholder engagement in decades. Effective citizen engagement is demanded, and increasingly mandated by governments and other public sector organizations to help ensure that plans, policies, and public services reflect the needs and priorities of key stakeholders. This method of public input goes beyond forums and surveys by providing an interactive online process, focused on specific objectives, that guides

collaboration and innovation, enabling the user to more effectively gather input and achieve the desired outcomes. Importantly, in times of tight budgets, crowdsourcing reaches more people, more effectively, and at a lower cost than traditional engagement methods. Whether the need is citizen input for a new urban plan, public consultation during policy development, or a “grand challenge” to seek innovative solutions for social issues, crowdsourcing provides a highly accessible method of engagement that can lower the overall cost, while raising both the quality and quantity of participation. It is worth noting that participants in well-designed crowdsourcing engagements report stronger connection as a result of having the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. This stronger connection is a large step toward more satisfied citizens.

Crowdsourcing Rewards The benefits crowdsourcing offers have made it an attractive online tool for companies in the public and private sectors. Some of the most popular advantages of incorporating this in the overall marketing strategy of a company are:

Stakeholder Engagement: Crowdsourcing is an excellent way to engage the public, whether they be consumers, customers, clients, or any other type of stakeholder of the enterprise. Citizens and residents can participate by contributing their ideas, experiences, and suggestions in the formulation of public strategy, policy, and service design. Seeking the buy-in of citizens and residents for changes that will impact their community is a great way to engage the public sector’s number one stakeholder: The Public. Gauging Public Opinion: Crowdsourcing allows public sector entities to share ideas related to their policies and services, efficiently distribute legislative and regulatory matters to concerned parties, and provide a platform for the public to participate in decision making by voicing their views and opinions. By doing this, public policy makers and government decision makers can gauge public opinion and customer sentiments on a wide range of issues, helping policy makers to make informed decisions on government initiatives and services that better serve their constituents’ needs and desires. Lower Costs: Crowdsourcing is an

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Build Your Social Profile inexpensive method of gathering large amounts of information. Compared with any other social media channel, it is more cost effective and time efficient. It allows people to contribute to debates and discussion on a much larger platform than any

services worldwide. Fresher Ideas: Because there is, for practical purposes, no limit to the number of people participating in crowdsourcing initiatives, it presents an opportunity for various projects

are especially keen on incorporating this concept in their pursuit of a more open and transparent framework. There are several examples of the use of crowdsourcing on the international front, in both public and private sectors: The United Nations has used the Crowdicity crowdsourcing platform to gathered ideas, insights, and contributions from over 8,000 young people from 173 nations. From this was created the first ever crowdsourced policy document to be granted official status by the United Nations. An independent panel of judges saw the global initiative, which harnessed the combined voice of young people from all around the world, to co-create solutions for social good and inform world leaders about their priorities for the ICT sector. The initiative in the US is an excellent example of crowdsourcing being used to spur various challenges with the aim of greater government efficiency. A tool for public-private collaboration to incentivize research and development of innovative solutions to problems, the program also gives awards in order to motivate greater participation from the public.


other practical option and generate innovative solutions and ideas. Public-private Partnership: This is an excellent way for the governments to focus on public-private collaborations in order to find better solutions to public issues. It also leads to greater transparency, hence increased trust in public services. Services such as policing have been revolutionized with crowdsourcing. More and more people are now reporting incidents and actively participating in debates aimed at improving police

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and ideas to be shared simultaneously. For example, the General Services Administration (GSA) in the US asked its employees for ideas to improve organizational performance and efficiency. Within a span of six weeks, 632 ideas were submitted, with the top five being implemented in subsequent months.

Global Best Practices The concept of crowdsourcing has become increasingly popular in the public sector in most developed nations. Governments worldwide

Crowdsourcing has been very successful on the commercial front. It has led to the birth of several fashion houses in that industry. For example, started off as a crowdsourcing initiative to allow people to design and vote on the designs they made. This venture has now become a full time business and demonstrates just how effective crowdsourcing can be in the entrepreneurial world. The Transport Safety Administration (TSA) in the US has its own crowdsourcing application called IdeaFactory. It enables all workers to share ideas and suggestions on how to improve its performance.

Build Your Social Profile They can vote on ideas and decide if a suggested practice is worth implementing. This has led to TSA’s adoption of several new policies such as TSO Referral Bonus and a website called Job Swap which allows workers to post interests in swapping job locations.

Crowdsourcing has snowballed into crowdfunding in the UAE. The concept is being extended to solicit funds from potential investors to startup businesses and introduce new products and services. In 2012 a Dubai based company called Eureeca was established to combine

Crowdsourcing in Abu Dhabi The introduction of the concept of Smart Government in the UAE meant a need to ensure that government entities are forward thinking, responsive, and proactive in providing services to the general public. Since then, the government has emphasized the use of phones and mobile apps to implement its Smart Government objectives. In this regard, crowdsourcing has been widely integrated in the government’s transition to a technology-enabled government in various ways.

Public sector companies in Abu Dhabi can use crowdsourcing to improve the services they offer to people, and to invite and evaluate feedback on their products and services. Investment companies can use it to encourage investors to share ideas on possible investment opportunities. Similarly, as was pointed out by the example of Eureeca above, many companies in Abu Dhabi can follow in its footsteps to develop new businesses and generate an entrepreneurial environment in the country. This would not only devel-

the concepts of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to enable entrepreneurs to invest in business opportunities. Such initiatives can propel entrepreneurial activities in the UAE to new heights, and can also be seen as an economic driver towards Vision 2030.

op investment opportunities in the country but would also help the government to uphold its reputation of a smart government. The benefits of crowdsourcing can be significant, but it takes planning and strategy to do it right. Citizen engagements have their own unique requirements: Who are the right participants? What are the right topics? What technology is right for the engagement? How long should the engagement be? What results can be expected? Make sure you have the answers to these questions before embarking on your crowdsourcing initiative.

Case Study

Launched in 2011, CityGuard, a crowdsourcing application developed by Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre, allows Abu Dhabi citizens and residents to report incidents and civic issues by capturing audio, video, or photographs and then uploading the file for access by the authorities. The file is then geo-tagged to let authorities identify the exact location of the incident. The aim of the app is to improve government services and the city image with the help of the public. Therefore, several incident types such as public safety, consumer protection, and environmental issues have been identified. Among the participating government entities are the three municipalities of the Abu Dhabi Emirate, Abu Dhabi Po-


lice, Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and Health Authority - Abu Dhabi. Since its launch in 2011, CityGuard

has been widely regarded as a huge success. Cases reported in 2014 consisted of 46 different categories. The most common cases reported were related to damaged roads (522 cases), waste disposal (320 cases), accumulation of waste (200 cases), and parking related issues (133 cases). CityGuard has been downloaded by over 70,000 users. To date, over 9,000 cases have been reported, of which 86 per cent have been closed successfully. With its slogan “Your City, Your Community, Your App”, CityGuard aims to increase civic participation and collaboration between the public and the government in improving the city’s image and the overall wellbeing of those living in the emirate.

Issue 5 - MAY 2015


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A Selection of

Abu Dabi’s Finest Middle Eastern Dining Experiences Li Beirut 02 811 5666 Daily from 12:00 - 15:00 and 19:00 - 00:00 (Bookings are essential!) Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Street, Opposite Emirates Palace in the Ras Al Akhdar area

52 Complementing the overall theme at Jumeirah, Li Beirut’s menu is a mix of traditional Lebanese and the chef’s own signature Lebanese-inspired dishes. This restaurant boasts a graceful outdoor terrace with a spectacular view, but in the summer you may prefer the elegant interior. Traditional or experimental, Lebanese or Arabic, every dish from the masterful chef is sure to please. Chicken liver in pomegranate sauce and honey fudge dessert have turned some of the most trusted reviewers Issue 5 -into MAYfans. 2015

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18º 02 596 1440 com/en/hotel/dining/18Degrees. html Breakfast – 6:00 - 10:30; Lunch – 12:00 - 15:00; Dinner – 19:00 - 23:30 Hyatt Capital Gate, Near Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, Al Safarat

The signature restaurant of Hyatt Capital Gate is an exquisite experience. The view of the sunset from eighteen floors above the city and the quality of food compete to offer an unforgettable experience. With a wide range of Eastern Mediterranean dishes from Italy, Greece, Turkey, and other cultures, the three show kitchens always serve fresh,

seasonal cuisine. This is a great location for meetings throughout the day as the dining area is spacious and the tables are set far apart. 18⁰ has received rave reviews from some of the toughest

critics—the lamb ribs and Arabian Mezze have been given special mention. Tables with the best views are almost always occupied nights and weekends. To ensure your best dining experience, make sure you reserve your table in advance.

al Mayass 02 644 0440

12:00 - 23:30

Sheraton Hotel & Resort, 1st Street and Corniche Road

Al Mayass is a small but global chain of family owned restaurants. The owners bring together traditional Lebanese cuisine influenced by their Armenian heritage with handpicked décor to create an intimate, family-like experience. This cozy setup in a cottage on the beach side of the Sheraton feels like it was lifted straight out of a Middle Eastern movie. It’s not just the decor or the location but the warm and welcoming demeanor of the staff and the flavorful cuisine that keeps this venue buzzing with customers. Issue 5 - MAY 2015


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02 614 6020 Open daily 19:00 - 03:00 Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah

An opulent and classy interior makes Marakesh an authentic Moroccan experience. Live performances by belly dancers, singers, bands, and authentic, traditional music keep guests entertained while they enjoy some of the best traditional dishes from Morocco.

The Moroccan restaurant is quiet and captivating unless you visit on a buffet evening when it is buzzing long after midnight. The chef prepares the dishes to suit global taste buds; dishes can be bland for some, so a preference for spices must be mentioned at the time of order.

Lunch – 12:00 - 16:00; Shisha – 12:00 24:00; Dinner – 18:00 - 23:30; Dinner & Shisha – 18:00 - 00:30 (Thurs & Fri)

Beach Area, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana Hotel, West Corniche Road, Ras Al Akhdar

Kamoon 54

Better known as “The Beach Restaurant”, Kamoon is a great location with an amazing view of stars, skyscrapers, and the sea. The restaurant is part of the Rotana brand, firmly rooted in the values of the Arabian culture and does not serve alcohol. The Middle Eastern cuisine is spot on for lunch and dinner or a relaxing time with a sheesha by the sea. This is one of the preferred restaurants for local Emiratis to dine with friends and family. 02 657 0000

Issue 5 - MAY 2015

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A hidden gem on the Abu Dhabi Al Ain Road, Al Maqam offers local Emirati and Arabic dishes as well as international fare. Seating can be chosen from a number of options in the dining hall or on the terrace. This venue offers fine dining in true Emirati style but is best enjoyed on a weekend getaway along with the day safari or the overnight desert safari package.

02 676 9990

Arabian Nights Village, Razeen Area of Al Khatim, Abu Dhabi Al Ain Road, Al Khatim



A contemporary Arabic restaurant, Mijana is tucked in the picturesque courtyard of the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal. The cuisine is authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern regional and brings the old and the new together in great style. With live Arabic music, the ambience and the view from the terrace keep many patrons coming back for more. It is one of the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi to bring a guest for a business lunch or dinner.

02 818 8282

Sat-Thu 12:30 - 16:00, 19:00 - 01:00; Fri 16:00 - 01:00 The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Al Maqtaa

Issue 5 - MAY 2015



Led by our vision for a better future for every generation, Abu Dhabi University was founded in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to promote academic excellence through degree programs in various specialties. Our 23 bachelor’s degree, 8 master’s degree and doctorate degree programs are all accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. We at Abu Dhabi University proudly continue to pave the way forward to a new era, providing you with the finest learning environment and resources to empower your future.

College of Engineering Programs are Internationally Accredited by ABET*

* Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Apply today for tomorrow’s success. Toll Free: 800 ADYOU (23968) | Email:




About ADU

Abu Dhabi University (ADU) was chartered as a private institution of higher learning in the year 2000 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of Abu Dhabi Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi and the other in Al Ain City. ADU has four Colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the College of Business Administration (COBA); the College of Engineering (COE); and the University College (UC); all of which is open to students from all nationalities and uses the American model of higher education.


Abu Dhabi University is an internationally recognized for quality education and applied research that drives regional economic and social development in the region and beyond.


The mission of ADU is to produce highly qualified career-oriented graduates in alignment with regional and global needs through excellence in teaching, student learning, faculty scholarship and engagement in community development.

Undergraduate & Postgraduate Programs Scientific Research and tailored to meet the dynamic demands of the regional industry.

College of Arts and Sciences

• Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Culture and Heritage Management • Bachelor of Arts in English • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health & Safety • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science • Bachelor of Science in Public Health • Bachelor of Law (In Arabic) • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (In Arabic – Offered in Fall 2015) • Professional Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Al Ain) • Master of Law (In Arabic – Offered in Fall 2015)

College of Business Administration

• Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting • Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance • Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources Management • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management • Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing • Bachelor of Business Administration • Master of Business Administration Concentrations in: (Logistics & Supply Chain Management ; Project Management; Human Resource Management; Finance) • Master of Human Resources Management • Doctor of Business Administration

College of Engineering

• Bachelor of Architecture • Bachelor of Science in Aviation • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology • Bachelor of Science in Interior Design • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering • Master of Engineering Management • Master of Project Management • Master of Science in Civil Engineering Concentrations in: (Structural Engineering; Construction Engineering Management) • Master of Science in Information Technology

Whether you choose to stroll amongst the cafĂŠs of the Corniche, or savour the hustle and bustle of the Central Market, a serene oasis awaits your return. You will be captivated by Arabic splendour and tones and textures as warm as the welcome you will receive.

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