Upcoming Events
10 March 2021
In celebration of the International Women’s day, we are hosting a virtual panel to discuss Women’s Advancement in the Workplace.

Our panel features female business leaders in the Gulf region, who will discuss how their organisations have increased diversity representation and created an enabling environment to support women as they advance in their careers. 

Specifically, our panelists will cover:
•    The role of top leadership and diversity on corporate boards
•    Policies that companies can implement to build and grow a diverse workforce
•    Practices that shape a company culture for females to flourish

Keynote Speech:
•    Her Excellency Reem BinKaram, Director - NAMA Women Advancement Establishment

•    Rana Zumai, Head of Corporate Communications - Nesma Holding Company
•    Maryam Zaman, Partner, Head of Governance Services - Financial Services - KPMG Lower Gulf

•    Ranya Saadawi, Executive Director - Pearl Initiative
15 March 2021
This programme is a meaningful learning and growth opportunity for donors who are or will be stepping into roles in their family philanthropy and want to clarify their philanthropic identity and direction. The programme brings a fusion of experiential learning and purposeful skill-building that is designed for participants to align their values with their giving and consider how they want to allocate their time and talent to make an impact.

Through interactive exercises, peer discussion and conversations with guest speakers, this two-day  virtual retreat offers a powerful way to reflect on one’s own role as well as build relationships with peers, and  develop a shared skillset to leverage each other’s ideas and experiences. Participants will leave with actionable  next steps on strategic philanthropy and their role in it.

Learning Objectives
  • Clarify one’s philanthropic identity by examining the values and vision that drives  decision-making; 
  • Time, Talent, Treasure and Ties – Gain a broader sense of how to leverage participants’  toolkit of resources to make an impact;
  • Articulate and catalyse next steps for philanthropic action plans; and,
  • Develop, expand and/or deepen participants’ network of philanthropic peers to exchange knowledge, practices and experiences.

** Please note that this workshop is exclusively for next generation donors.
24 March 2021
In a post-COVID environment, MSMEs and start-ups are looking for ways to keep their businesses afloat and improve their resilience through the next unforeseen crisis. A key challenge faced by these organisations is the lack of access to capital, financial resources, and investments.

For most start-ups and MSMEs, identifying the right high-value investor and seeking out business growth advice is almost always the main priority, unaware that a strong commitment to governance is a key component of the development process. 

The panel discussion will shed light on:
•    The vital governance frameworks that attract investors to your business
•    Sources of funding for MSMEs and start-ups in the Gulf region and how to position your businesses to acquire it
•    What are some of the key market disruptors that are detrimental to new businesses in the region
29 March 2021


The case for diversity in corporate leadership has never been stronger. With the impact of social inequality being magnified by the pandemic, it is even more important to focus on diversity and inclusion. Diversity must be seen as a strategic imperative to address unfairness and inequality and as one that leads to better decision making and board effectiveness.

As we know, companies with effective inclusion and diversity strategies can experience multiple economic benefits: higher productivity, more innovation, better brand reputation, and lower employee turnover. So how do we get started?

This webinar will create a safe space between participants to exchange on inclusive best practices and explore the key factors for organizations to thrive with an inclusive and diverse workforce. While panelists will share their process for determining their D&I priorities within their organization, participants will walk away with tips that will help them better understand their priorities and drive diversity and inclusion in their organization and how it improves business sustainability.

More specifically, this webinar will address the key components in developing diversity and inclusion strategies and highlight the main challenges.

• Irada Aghamaliyeva, MENA Diversity & Inclusiveness Lead at EY Dubai
• Melissa Shilcock – Manager, Organisational Effectiveness I D&I champion, Emirates Airline
• Aysha Alawadhi, Vice President - Head of People Strategy, Diversity & Analytics, Emirates Islamic Bank

• Ranya Saadawi, Executive Director - Pearl Initiative

29 March 2021
Research shows that a majority (68%) of family businesses in the Gulf Region do not have a formal family council, and only 17% have a family protocol or constitution in place. The formalisation of these governance structures is necessary for the harmony of the relationship between the family and the firm, and the longevity of the business. 

The institutionalising of the family office is an increasingly prominent trend in the region, in order to manage intergenerational asset transfers. Family offices are also a vital function in bridging the family business with the wider vision and mission of the family. By expanding their remit beyond the growth of the businesses’ financial portfolio, family offices are well-positioned to centrally manage the family’s strategic activities, such as administering governance frameworks and improving generational transitions.

In conversation with family members and family office representatives, this panel will broadly discuss how family offices can be leveraged to compliment the role of the board and shareholder assembly, whilst providing wider strategic guidance on strategies to ensure business continuity. 
The following topics will be covered:
  • Leveraging the role of the family office to improve corporate governance,
  • Approaches to institutionalising the family office or the engagement of family members within the business, and
  • Strategies to maximise value of the family office beyond its financial remit.
28 April 2021
The world was unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the impact of SARS, MERS and Ebola in recent years. Since the onset of the pandemic, many questions have surfaced around how it could have been prevented, how it will be brought to an end, and how to avoid the next. 
In the context of life beyond COVID-19, governments are absorbed by the present – providing resources to help people survive, supporting healthcare and keeping peace. Private businesses are largely distracted if not crippled. Most non-profits are stretched beyond their limits. There now lies a tremendous opportunity and necessity for philanthropists across the globe to embrace their catalytic potential and take the lead in ensuring the global community can better weather the current crisis and prepare for the next one.

This session offers a broad overview of philanthropic efforts to spur innovation in the US, MENA, and India to better manage or avoid another pandemic scenario. During this session, panellists will discuss how philanthropic endeavours in specific markets are supporting innovation for pandemic preparedness and prevention. Panellists will also highlight areas where there is still much to be done to safeguard the future.

Panellists will be experts in the field, principal philanthropists, or shall represent philanthropists, or have exposure to draw upon broad experience and interactions with philanthropists.

Session Objectives
  • Provide an overview and insight into how philanthropists are supporting COVID-19 preparedness and prevention related innovation.
  • Help participants understand what challenges, gaps, and opportunities exist in response to the ensuing pandemic scenario.
  • Support donors in better understanding where and how to best direct their response, recovery, and prevention efforts in relation to need and impact. 
  • Allow the audience to share their current challenges and success stories via a live polling feature.