skip to navigation skip to content

New Cambridge centre will spearhead research in the Middle East, for the Middle East


The University of Cambridge Judge Business School is to launch a new centre dedicated to researching the business environment and the particular leadership challenges and opportunities facing Middle Eastern organisations.

American University of SharjahThe new Middle East Leadership Research Centre (MELRC) will be launched at the American University of Sharjah, UAE on Wednesday 14 May 2014 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi. The launch will bring together senior business people from the region representing both public and private sectors, and organisations of all sizes, for a stimulating exchange of ideas and discussion about the challenges and opportunities for business leadership in the Middle East.

The Middle East Leadership Research Centre (MELRC) will make its main focus the developing of business and economic research based on the region and therefore relevant to business leaders and policy makers in the area. A current lack of region-based research means that teaching and learning alike have to rely on US, UK and European examples of business practice, which often have little relevance to those working and doing business in the Middle East.

The Centre will mainly operate virtually, but with regular events and programmes taking place in conjunction with partners based around the Middle East. It will build on an eight-year legacy of leadership and management development programmes offered by Cambridge Judge Business School for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area-based organisations.

CEO of Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, Peter Hiscocks said:

Cambridge Judge has a long-standing interest and commitment to the region, and many valued friends and partners there, and so we are delighted that the launch of our new Centre is taking place in Sharjah under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi. We have worked with many organisations providing bespoke learning and leadership development programmes and now is the right time to make our relationship with the region a more formal and lasting one, as signified by this new Centre.

Middle East businesses and economies have generally been under-researched, and we look forward to working with businesses and institutions in the region to address this and to offer relevant research-based expertise in this region. The overriding goal of the Centre is to produce high impact theoretical and applied research insights by engaging deeply with existing research and innovative management practice, focussed on the important issue of leadership in the Middle East context.

The guest keynote speaker will be Mr Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB). With over 30 years of experience in banking and finance, Mr Mahmoud is a prominent voice in the global debate on ethical banking. Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School Professor Christoph Loch will also deliver a keynote address. Professor Loch teaches Management Studies at the School, with research interests including creating innovation, managing new initiatives and cultural evolution.

An expert panel will lead the discussions and take questions. Panel members will include:

H.E. Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi
Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority

Khalaf Al Habtoor
Chairman, Al Habtoor Group

Dr Tawfeeq Almoayed
Chairman, T.A. Almoayed & Sons
Chairman, Almoayed Wilhelmsen

Nasser Al Nowais
Chairman, Rotana

Khalid Al-Falih
President and CEO, Saudi Aramco

Alongside members of Cambridge Judge Business School’s faculty:

Professor Christoph Loch
Dean, Cambridge Judge Business School

Mr Peter Hiscocks
Senior Teaching Faculty in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, CEO of Executive Education

Dr Kamal Munir
Reader in Strategy and Policy

Dr Jane Davies
University Lecturer in Operations Management