This tour was a real challenge for the Admissions Team, not least for me doing the travelling and Inés, my contact in Barcelona. The growing interest in ESADE and MBAs in the area made for the biggest challenge of all.
The route commenced with an MBA Fair in Istanbul, possibly one of the cities with most history in the World, which definitely lived up to the great expectations I had. The quality of students in this area has improved dramatically over the years. We would love to see more Turkish students representing their country at ESADE, enriching us with their culture; the bridge between continents and eras.
From Istanbul we set out for Riyadh. Our colleagues from ESADE’s Global Executive MBA and I have only words of gratitude for the Saudi people. This visit was incredibly interesting and got us thinking about the school’s popularity in GCC countries in increasingly exponentially. We hope to meet many more students in events held in Saudi Arabia or neighbouring Bahrain.
Kuwait was our next destination. You could definitely tell that we were by the sea here. The weather was especially good, or so we were told by our fellow Spaniards at the Spanish Embassy, who received us with open arms. They also told us, as we were able to see for ourselves at the MBA Fair, that Kuwait is growing in leaps and bounds, with its sights firmly set in the future. We are especially proud of this and hope to be able to collaborate with educating their future business leaders.
Bahrain and Doha were the next stops on the tour, muggy but mostly tolerable. In Bahrain we were visited by several Saudis. It was nice to see how popular the School is in this region and the feedback on the School at the fair was very positive. We will continue to make efforts in this area where possible.
The last country on this tour was the UAE. Abu Dhabi, thanks to the alumni and their efforts, was a perfect opportunity to visit Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) who do such a great job in training and educating the Emirati people.
Whilst in the Emirates, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit Dubai, the last MBA Fair of this visit. Though there were fewer participants this year than in previous years, Dubai is still an important recruitment area for ESADE MBA students.
Our colleagues from Executive Education will be back in the Emirates in the next few weeks. We hope they experience the same warm welcome as we were greeted with.
We are currently working on the next GCC countries tour and other Middle Eastern countries, which is planned for mid-April 2011.