Dr. Easa M. Bastaki, President of University of Dubai, has met with the board members of the University of Dubai Alumni Association (UDAA) to exchange ideas and discuss future plans for the Association.
The meeting on January 28 was attended by Deans and Professors of University of Dubai faculties, and led by the university’s Department of Student and Alumni Affairs managed by Amina El-Marzak.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bastaki said: “UDAA is investing significant resources to transform the association into the best in United Arab Emirates. For University of Dubai, alumni are an invaluable asset not only for the institution, but also for the nation. A strong alumni association could be a vital organization that serves the interests of Dubai and the UAE.”
During the meeting, Amina El-Marzak described the challenges facing the association, showcased its numerous achievements and laid out an ambitious plan for its growth. She pledged continued support for the alumni’s numerous activities such as the ‘Annual Alumni Homecoming Event’ sponsored by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), which will take place this year on March 7, and the ‘Charity Gala Suhoor’ during the month of Ramadan.
UDAA President Sheikh Mohamed Al Maktoum said: “UDAA has been involved in many charitable events, demonstrated exceptional leadership and empowered their fellow students. We believe that we owe our education to University of Dubai which has empowered us with qulaity education to reach our full potential. We need to give back to our alma matter, our communities and help others attain good education in their life.”
The majority of the prominent alumni associations in the Middle East are internationally based entities. One of the major associations in the UAE is the ‘Harvard Arab Alumni Association’ (HAAA) whose main objectives are to support Arab students enrolled at Harvard and to assist more Arab students to attain Harvard education. The HAAA has raised more $10 million in the last three years for financially challenged students.
Other Alumni programs such as the University of Illinois Alumni Association have member counts of over 425,000 living alumni, many of whom actively contribute and participate in annual events such a career fairs, lectures and seminars, scholarship fundraisers, and several others. While the UDAA has yet to reach member numbers as large as those in American or European universities, University of Dubai is striving to compete on the international scale and create a name that will be known throughout the region as one of the most prominent alumni associations in the Middle East.
“It is well known that alumni programs contribute to the welfare and progress of any educational institution. We at University of Dubai,were the pioneers in launching first-time programs in the United Arab Emirates such as the Alumni Student Mentoring Program (ASMP), the Alumni Continuous Learning Program (ACLP), the Alumni Guest Speaker Series (AGSS), and the Alumni and Friends of the University of Dubai Scholarship Program, Ms. El-Marzak said. She addedwe are determined to work with our communities and support their causes in education, charity, advancement and much more.
UDAA, which is planning its second charity event this year during the month of Ramadan, has raised around AED 2 million in scholarships and sponsorships helping many financially challenged students and engaged prominent alumni in the Mentoring Program which aiding more than 100 students do better in their majors, and introducing them to the workplace through job shadowing. Furthermore, the alumni association secured hundreds internship and job opportunities to University of Dubai students. The Association has also recognized a number of alumni with its Professional Achievements Award and Most Active Alumni Award.