The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its establishment in the UAE with two hundred guests, at a gala dinner held in the Majlis Al Salam Ballroom at Mina A' Salam, Madinat Jumeirah.
The occasion was graced by HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, who was Guest of Honour at the commemorative event.
The dinner was hosted by UOWD President, Professor Trevor Spedding, and attended by a number of distinguished guests, including His Excellency Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar; Ms Jillian Broadbent AO, University of Wollongong Chancellor; Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor; and Dr James Langridge, University Fellow and chief architect of UOWD.
Sheikh Nahyan hailed the university's unparalleled multicultural environment and bold vision to go into unchartered territory by launching the UAE's first foreign campus at a time when no such institutions existed in the Gulf.
“I enthusiastically commend your academic accomplishment. But with even more passion, I thank you for helping to make the world safe for diversity.”
The gala event was the centre-piece of UOWD's year-long celebrations to mark the institution's 20th anniversary in Dubai. As the oldest foreign university in the UAE, UOWD is the first such institution to reach this momentous milestone in the country's private higher education arena. The event attracted guests from business and government organisations across the Emirates, who joined UOWD alumni and staff in commemorating this landmark achievement.
Servcorp's General Manager in the Middle East, Laudy Lahdo, attended the event and congratulates the University of Wollongong in Dubai on their accomplishments during the last 2 decades.
HE Pablo Kang paid tribute to the University's major contribution to Australian education and bilateral relations with the UAE. Now arguably Australia's most successful off-shore higher education facility, UOWD became the first foreign university to receive a licence from the Ministry of Higher Education.