Abu Dhabi, The Gulf Observer: Waleed Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, and Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, co-chaired the US-UAE Business Council’s 15th annual board meeting at the St. Regis hotel, which was immediately followed by a reception hosted by Al Muhairi.
Senior executives from US and UAE companies attended the meeting, along with partners and guests from the UAE Embassy in the United States, the US Embassy in the UAE, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the COP 28 organising team, and AI, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office.
US and UAE executives underscored the dynamic bilateral business relationship and the growing importance of the UAE as a global hub following the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn.
Business leaders emphasised their commitment to engaging with the UAE, where they see tremendous opportunities for growth.
Al Muhairi shared his outlook for the global macroeconomic climate at a time of inflation and monetary tightening. He also spoke of the importance of the U.S.-UAE trade and investment relationship and emphasised Mubadala’s continued commitment to investment opportunities in the United States.
His counterpart, Dr. Mihaljevic, drew attention to the “silent yet global crisis in healthcare” coming out of the pandemic, including the acute shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and increases in the cost of healthcare.
Business Council Co-Vice Chair Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank, cited certain positive economic trends in the UAE and the region despite the gloomy assessment of the global macroeconomic situation at recent IMF/World Bank meetings. Her fellow Co-Vice Chair Eugene Willemsen, Chief Executive Officer for Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia at PepsiCo, spoke of the rapid development of the UAE and the strategic foresight of its leadership, citing Expo 2020 Dubai as a prime example.
Badr Abbas, Senior Vice President at Emirates, reviewed the resilience and rapid recovery of the aviation sector while highlighting Emirates’ expanding presence in the United States, including through a new partnership with United Airlines.
Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, and Sean Murphy, US Charge d’Affaires in the UAE, underscored the importance of business and trade to the vibrant US-UAE relationship.
COP 28 Director-General Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi briefed the group on the UAE’s plans for COP 28 and the role the private sector can play.
Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office within the Ministry of AI, provided an update on behalf of Minister Omar Al Olama about the UAE’s forward-leaning digital policies and laws.
Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, Under-Secretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, outlined Abu Dhabi’s strategy for the growth and development of its healthcare sector, which includes partnerships with key American companies.