Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Heriot-Watt University Dubai (HWUD) announced the appointment of distinguished businesswoman Dra. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairman and Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG), as Chancellor of the University of Dubai. In this role, she will become the Honorary Principal of Dubai University and represent the University in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity, including at the awarding of degrees.
Speaking on the appointment, Professor Heather McGregor, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Dubai said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg and welcome him to the University community Heriot-Watt. Dr. Al Gurg is a renowned international business woman and brings years of business acumen and local knowledge that will inspire our team in Dubai and set an example for our students. As we just crossed our 200th anniversary, we are the way to a very exciting future and a new era of the University’s development, and appointing such an accomplished person as Chancellor will support our vision. As the first British university established in the UAE, Heriot-Watt has continued growing and providing a world-class education to its students, and we look forward to achieving more under Dr Al Gurg’s leadership and support.”
Dr. Al Gurg has been the CEO of Dubai-based business conglomerate Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group for more than three decades and took over as chairman earlier this year. As a leading entrepreneur in the region, Dra. Al Gurg has carved a unique niche for herself through her support and encouragement to increase the number of women in business. She is the founder of the Dubai Business Women Council and; Board member of Dubai Chamber and Dubai Women’s Association. He also sits on the advisory board of Coutts Bank, the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland group. The appointment of Dr. Al Gurg means Heriot-Watt University now has all-female leadership in Dubai, with Professor Heather McGregor recently moving from Edinburgh to Dubai to take up the role of Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.
Speaking about her appointment, Dr Al Gurg said: “I I am pleased to accept this role as chancellor and to be associated with a renowned institution that has a rich history of 200 years. As an advocate for women’s empowerment, I hope to be part of an all-female leadership team in Dubai. I hope that my engagement will further enrich Heriot-Watt University’s contribution within the UAE education sector and enhance the development of skills across various industry pathways. The essence of education for me is to challenge and stretch into unknown areas and accept that there is always more on the horizon. Regardless of age, experience or status, an attitude of lifelong learning is essential to staying relevant in our ever-changing world.“
The appointment of Dr. Al Gurg coincides with the University’s winter graduations, a celebration held at Heriot-Watt’s global campuses in Dubai, Malaysia and Edinburgh. This year more than 3000 students graduated from Heriot-Watt’s global campuses and 528 in Dubai, marking the closing of the classes of 2022.
Heriot-Watt University Dubai established its presence in the United Arab Emirates in 2005, as the first university to open a campus in the Academic City. Starting with an initial offering of three programs and a student population of 120, it has since become the largest international university in the UAE. Today it is based in Knowledge Park and is home to approximately 4000 students enrolled in 90 programs and is one of the UK’s top universities for business and industry with a five-star rating by the KHDA three years running.
About Heriot-Watt University Dubai
As the first British university to establish a campus in Dubai in 2005, Heriot-Watt University Dubai has established itself as a pioneer in the higher education market in the United Arab Emirates. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) five-star accreditation achieved two years running in 2019 and 2020 is testament to the University’s reputation for world-class teaching and practical research and avant-garde combined with its strong links with business and industry, has seen it attract a thriving population of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Heriot-Watt University Dubai offers a wide range of programs and disciplines, spanning postgraduate and undergraduate courses. Heriot-Watt graduates are highly employable and sought after by the world’s top organisations, with over 90% in undergraduate or further study jobs within six months of graduation.
For more information, visit https://www.hw.ac.uk/dubai.htm