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The visit of IGAPA and the UAGRPL members to Dubai


From 20 to 22 December 2021, IGAPA and its partner UAGRPL hold a working visit to Dubai (the United Arab Emirates).  During the visit, its representatives managed to visit “EXPO 2020” – the World`s Fair of Major Achievements of more than 190 countries.

“EXPO 2020”  promotes the ideas of sustainable development, mobility and opportunities. Within this topic, IGAPA delegation held a number of unique experience exchange meetings, including working discussions, discussions with Arab experts in public administration, business, economics, energy, culture and more.

IGAPA, as one of the coorganizators of the meeting, is interested in expanding the international community of professionals in Government Relations, Lobbying, Public Advocacy and developing it internationally. An important contribution was made by the visit to Dubai, the purpose of which is to exchange and use the experience gained by Arab experts in practice to establish a transparent dialogue between business and government.

One of the secrets of structured development of economic and infrastructural policy of the UAE is the construction and implementation of development strategies in the UAE. It is also very important to establish a mechanism of work between the government and business sectors, which confirms the high level of development of “Public-Private partnerships” – a guarantee of transparent dialogue between the state and business.

The importance of GR development was confirmed by a number of unique working meetings with leading international Arab specialists in the field of energy economics and policy, investing, GR,  PR, lobbying, business, including:

Abdullah Aljefri is a well-known Arab lawyer, a specialist in public administration; co-founder of the largest Arab e-learning system in the region “NajahTrain”. As an influential human rights activist in the UAE, Mr. Aljefri explained the importance of building a state development strategy for its success not only in economic, energy and other vectors of public policy, but also in developing cooperation, building qualitative dialogue between the state and entrepreneurs.

The well-known lawyer noted that in order to facilitate the development of business in the UAE, the state had  reformed the system of laws, which helps to do business not only for the indigenous people of the UAE, but also for expats. Tax policy has also been revised: not only locals but also locals are required to pay 5% VAT in the UAE. According to Mr. Algefri, this decision led to the development of a culture of smart consumption of natural resources, which is one of the key themes of “EXPO 2020”.

Obaid Al Shuweihi, GR-Director of the leading premium real estate company BloomHolding, an UAE investment and agricultural policy specialist, focused on the relationship between infrastructure development, investment and economic growth. Mr Al Shuweihi added:

“The sovereign investment partnership, which is gaining  in the UAE, has a positive impact on financial support and infrastructure innovation. It will help not only to build a sustainable and profitable market for entrepreneurs, but also a high-quality economic growth of the state”.

Of particular note is the meeting of the delegation of the Ukrainian Association of GR Professionals and Lobbyists with representatives of the private office of His Royal Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Faisal Al-Qassimi, a member of the ruling Sharjah family, namely: His Majesty Tomasz Zaleski, Dunston Abneil

Also, IGAPA delegation was honoured to take part in a meeting with representatives of the private office of His Royal Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Faisal Al-Qassimi, a member of the ruling Sharjah family: His Excellency Tomasz Zaleski (Chairman of the Board), Dunston Pereira (the COO), Salwa Abdul Aziz Zayn (the CEO). During the working meeting, the UAE’s special system of values ​ was discussed.

His Excellency Tomasz Zaleski, admitted the coherence of business with the idea of sustainable development is the only guarantee of business success in the UAE. However, its connection with government officials is also very important, because it helps to achieve two goals. Firstly, it is promoting business products on the national and international markets. Secondly, it is increasing the level of the economy by promoting the development of the UAE’s private business sector.

The IGAPA delegation met representatives of the Municipality of Dubai and the Department of Food Safety of Dubai. The meeting was chaired by Mohammed Ahmed Abdulmajida, a representative of the state body, a specialist with many years of experience in improving food safety through the development of integrated food safety systems and unified procedures for controlling imported goods.

Also, IGAPA hosted a meeting with Lavanya Mandal, the PR Director of AsterDMHealthcare, one of the largest healthcare conglomerates in MENA (Middle East and North Africa). Ms. Mandal has extensive experience in the most well-known PR companies, including Ogilvy Marketing Agency and Edelman Consulting. As a PR professional working in the medical field, Ms. Mandal stressed the importance of developing an effective UAE health insurance system: every citizen had a clear list of quality health services that they were entitled to receive from the state.

Noteworthy is a meeting with representatives of the investment company Bowline, a part of the business holding AlTayerGroup – one of the largest holdings in the UAE with over 40 years of experience working with 6 countries in the Middle East.

Represented by the investment company, its CEO Munter Muhazein is an experienced specialist in building and expanding business in the UAE. It confirms his valuable experience in the Dubai Executive Board. Also, Intisar Ul Hassan Alvi, Bowline’s Chief Financial Officer, took part in the meeting. Mr. Alvi has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of corporate finance, as well as in investment banking, leasing, financial consulting and more.

During the working visit, the delegation had the honor to meet with Javad Raja, a well-known Pakistani businessman with over 43 years of experience in trade. Mr. Raja is also one of the co-owners of AVTChannelsNetwork, which owns and operates 4 AVTKhyber, KhyberNews and Kay2, KhyberMiddleEastTV, the first Pashto TV channels in the UAE widely used in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries.

Mr. Raja is deeply convinced of the urgency of using the media sphere as one of the key areas of influence on the development of the cultural segment, preservation of traditions and customs. Kateryna Odarchenko, President of the Ukrainian Association of Professionals and Lobbyists, said:

“In a period of powerful globalization, where informatization is at the forefront, society forgets about the core of every nation – customs, traditions and, of course, language. The example of Pashto-language TV channels is a unique and at the same time positive phenomenon for promoting the development of the nation, preserving and continuing history through culture ”

IGAPA members were honoured to meet with Sima Adebradu, a specialist with over 20 years of experience in the field of Public Policy, technology, education, healthcare and international politics. Mrs. Adebradu currently works in the field of digital strategy, non-profit organizations, negotiations, government work and international relations. As a Public Policy expert, the Eastern professional advised Ukraine to start with small goals when adopting new reforms. There are the practice and consequences of work that will affect the lives of people from the regions that are the measure of the success of public policy.

During the working visit, a working meeting was held with Malek Kassam, Director of Corporate Services at CVML Limited, one of the leading law firms in Dubai, UAE. Among the company’s clients are specialists from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. CVML Limited’s main services include dispute resolution, bankruptcy avoidance, contract preparation, franchising, distribution and retail, taxes, real estate, intellectual property, asset tracking and law enforcement, and corporate relations.

Also noteworthy was a meeting with Falvel Manzano, a Philippine investment specialist, and experienced marketing and real estate expert. The Eastern Specialist has more than 1,000 employees in a number of countries in the Southeast Asia and the Middle East within the FRM Prime Realty Corporation.

The IGAPA delegation managed to discuss the current state of real estate development in the UAE and other countries. The Philippine expert stressed the need to develop investment in this sector, as it will help increase revenues to the state economy with a regulated tax system and a well-established dialogue between government and business.

It was also interesting to meet with Ferozkhan Shanavas, the President and CEO of Dravida Petroleum DMCC, a successful integrated oil and gas company specializing in oil exploration and production in the Middle East. Mr. Shanavas is an oil and gas strategist in the Middle East. The competence of the specialist with many years of experience includes: oil geology, reservoir engineering, production technology, technical and economic evaluation of oil and gas assets and business development in this area. The topic of discussion was the need to increase domestic production of natural gas, oil and uranium, as well as to improve their marketing technologies.

As part of a series of unique experience exchange meeting, the Ukrainian delegation also had the honor to meet with Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki, an influential Arab cryptocurrency expert, De-Fi, Fintech, Managing Director of CasperLabs, a blockchain-focused company covering North Africa. and the Middle East.

Mr. Al Darmaki is the founder of a number of foundations and organizations specializing in crypto-services, including AlphabitFund, TeraBlock and SheeshaFinance. The increase in the influence of cryptocurrencies on the market was discussed during the business conversation.

IGAPA member had more than 12 experiece exchange meetings with talented and influential experts in GR, Public Policy, Business etc, which confirmed the interest of foreign and international professionals to communicate and cooperate with IGAPA.

We look forward to further fruitful activities of the International Government Affairs Professionals Association!