Leading Arab CEO’s get recognised

With Prince Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Mohammed Bin Ayaf Miqren, Mayor of Riyadh

 Burj Al Arab was a hot spot and buzzing this week….the ex President of my University who is also the former Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in town to speak at the 9th Leading CEO Conference that honoured the most dynamic and inspirational CEO’s that have made a difference.

I had caught up with Dato’ Anwar earlier this month at the World PR Congress and his dynamism over the years has not changed one bit – he has the same energy as I remember when he gave us talks at the University and his home whenever he invited us over for iftar during Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur. It was apt that he gave the awards to leaders who have made significant contributions towards the development of the region’s economic growth and progress.

It was great to see such a great representation from Saudi Arabia as well – the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to UAE was beaming with delight when I said hello to him after the awards. It was awesome to meet so many global experts and leaders in an intimate setting under one roof at Burj Al Arab with  a lot of familiar faces thanks to the dynamism and hard work of Ali Al Kamali, Managing Director, Middle East Excellence Awards Institute.

It was also cool to catch up with Sunny Varkey from GEMs – I first met him in 2000 when he laid out plans for where he wanted to be in 10 years – although I only bump into him once every couple of years since then, its awesome to see that he achieved what he set out to do and more. Well deserved award I must say.

To give you an insight, see the CEOs who walked away with the awards.

Government CEO Excellence Award
: Prince Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Mohammed Bin Ayaf Miqren, Mayor of Riyadh City, KSA

Service Industry CEO Excellence Award: H.E Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdulrahman Al Hassin CEO General Presidency OF Two Holy Mosques

Industrial CEO Excellence Award: Abdulla Jassim M Kalban President & CEO Dubal.ae

Banking and Finance CEO Excellence Award: Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi Group CEO Qatar National Bank

Aviation Industry CEO Excellence Award: Mr. Khalifa Al Zaffin Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation

Maritime Construction and Engineering CEO Excellence Award: Eng. Yasser Nasr Zaghloul CEO National Marine Dredging Company

Knowledge Development and Education Partnership CEO Excellence Award: Sunny Varkey, Chairman, Varkey Group and GEMS group of schools

Multiple Industry CEO Excellence Award: Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah Non-Executive Vice Chairman, DP World & Group CEO, Port & Free Zone World

Woman CEO Excellence Award: Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb CEO, Economic Zones World

Corporate Management CEO Excellence Award: Eng. Saud Al Daweesh CEO STC

Community Service CEO Excellence Award: Ahmed Humaid Al Mazrouai Chairman RCA

The Middle East Excellence Awards Institute has always persevered to recognize, honor and promote the achievements of the region’s leaders and organizations and commended their outstanding performance and commitment to excellence….another superb ceremony by Ali.

More on the PR World Congress 2012

The last two days was a flurry of activity with heaps happening in Dubai as always to the point that I had to take annual leave to fit things in. But most important was the PR World Congress where Lord Tim Bell, Chairman of Chime Communications (Bell Pottinger) spoke to more than 450 delegates in his keynote address ahead of a panel discussion on ‘Public Relations in an Age of Dialogue: Challenges & Opportunities.

We enjoyed his key messages like “Practice good PR, no matter how difficult the circumstances, and you will be OK. After his keynote address, Lord Bell joined a high-profile panel discussion featuring Dr. Herbert Heitmann, Executive Vice President, External Communications, Royal Dutch Shell; Daniel Tisch, Chair, Global Alliance for Public Relations & Communication Management; Khalid Al Maeena, Editor-at-Large, Arab News; and Prema Sagar, Founder President, Public Relations Consultants Association of India.

A familiar face to me was Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the opposition People’s Justice Party, Anwar Ibrahim. He was a key role player in my University in Malaysia (IIU) and my fondest memories included going to his house every Ramadan with International students for ‘buka puasa’ or ‘iftar’ (breaking fast). He is just as eloquent, friendly and a people’s person as I remember him. I wish I wasn’t such a rebel when I was in University but I’m glad I attended all his talks for the very reason that I did my second degree in Islamic Science after completing my PR Bachelors instead of doing my MA in Literary Studies first because he felt that the top students should be given the opportunity to get this qualification so they get the best of both worlds.

Naturally all the sessions at PRWC were insightful. And I had a great time at the workshop on Wednesday – it was worth every penny I paid for it. All I can say is its great that the organisers worked so hard to bring the world congress to our doorstep so we get an opportunity to get exposed to the leaders in the PR industry.

The congress was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with the National Media Council of the UAE, the Public Relations World Congress is organised by the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter (IPRA-GC). And key sponsors of the Congress were Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industry Corporation (SABIC), which have signed up as headline Strategic Partners.

Emirates was the Official Airline of the Congress, while CNN and Al Arabiya TV are the International Broadcast Partners. Dubai Media City was the Industry Partner of the Congress, Bates PanGulf was the Design & Advertising Partner; ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the Marketing & PR Partner and Media Watch is the Media Intelligence Partner. We have these guys to thank these guys to making this happen for the regional PR industry.