participating in international collaboration on gathering or measuring data for the SDGs

Canadian University Dubai has established numerous partnerships with private and public-sector organizations from across the UAE, as well as international corporations with an established presence in the country. These partnerships are a result of collaboration, complementary interests and common goals, and have helped bring mutual benefit to the University and its partner organizations. We offer our expertise and harness our resources as an institution of higher education, to support the strategic objectives of our associates and collaborators. In turn, we and our student community benefit from partnership initiatives such as internships, placements and job opportunities, professional lectures and research projects, corporate scholarships, and financial support schemes.

Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and University of Lyon (Université de Lyon) have entered into a partnership to launch joint academic and research activities, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Dubai recently.

The MOU was signed by Prof. Karim Chelli, President of Canadian University Dubai and Prof. Khaled Bouabdallah, President of University of Lyon, in the presence of Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chancellor of CUD, Mr. Jacques Comby, President of Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, Mr. Alain Galliano, Vice President of metropolitan Lyon, and senior officials and academics of CUD.

The MoU envisages a host of collaborative activities, including exploring the launch of new programs, development of a diploma training program with member institutions of University of Lyon, and exchange of academics and students. It also covers exchange of publications and research materials, conducting joint projects related to research, teaching and faculty development and developing artistic and cultural initiatives for stronger community engagement.

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The Faculty of Architecture & Interior Design (FAID) successfully held an International Virtual Symposium on “New Sustainability Practices in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction”.

Organized by Canadian University Dubai (CUD) in collaboration with Sherbrook University (Canada) and La Rochelle University (France), the symposium addressed the latest advancements in the field, stressing on the importance of sustainable material and construction techniques in architecture.

Moderating the event, Dr. Seif Khiati, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Canadian University Dubai, said: "I believe that this event achieved the outcomes that we were hoping for. I am very optimistic that this FAID Symposium, is the beginning of more events to come that will help to lay the foundations for future multidisciplinary partnership, cooperation, research, and publication in this field."

Event attendees included: professionals, officials, educators, and university students from the related fields (architecture, civil engineering, material engineering, etc.) from a variety of municipalities, firms, and universities within the region.

Inspiring innovation, fueling the future in sustainable buildings, and highlighting practical ways in which we can improve in this domain moving forward, participants learned how to disseminate information on recent innovations in the field, strengthen the multidisciplinary approach to sustainable architecture, engineering design and implementation, encourage further collaboration between architecture and engineering to create a more sustainable society and built environment, and much more.

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Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has joined forces with the leading digital-tech institution Multimedia University (MMU) to establish a new platform for collaboration in higher education between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia.

The partnership was established with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two universities. CUD was represented by its President and Vice Chancellor Professor Karim Chelli, and MMU by Professor Datuk Dr. Ts. Ahmad Rafi Mohamed Eshaq, its President and Chief Executive Officer. Witnessing the signing was Professor Dr. Ho Chin Kuan, MMU’s Vice President (Academic & Internationalization), and Professor David Santandreu Calonge, Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Sciences at CUD.

The new agreement represents a step up in advancing CUD’s vision to become an international, world-class institution by developing mutually-beneficial relationships with leading universities around the globe, and in particular, across the Asia-Pacific region. The collaboration will create opportunities for CUD and MMU academics to work together on strategic intercontinental projects, as well as offering articulation pathways to students of the two universities.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an array of social and economic challenges that have had an unprecedented impact on public health, food systems, and the world of work. To shed some light on the actions the International Labour Organization (ILO) are taking to assist countries with their occupational health and safety measures, Dr. Manal Azzi recently spoke to our 4th year Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Environmental Health Management (EHM) students about the role of ILO in Occupational Health and Safety worldwide.

Dr. Manal Azzi is a Senior Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Specialist at the ILO based in Geneva, Switzerland. In her 16 years with the organization, she has had the opportunity to supervise interventions around the world. Dr. Azzi currently manages the branch’s work on chemical safety and the environment and leads ILO's activities on health promotion in the workplace including improved wellbeing, nutrition, and the prevention of stress, psychosocial risks, violence, and substance abuse in the world of work.

She also coordinates the world day for safety and health at work, which focuses on 2020 and 2021 and ensuring safety and health at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, she manages a global project to improve OSH in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. She also works on advancing OSH management systems and ILO Conventions 155 and 187 among others, to develop policies and programs and strengthen national systems on OSH in numerous countries.

In addition to this, an agreement was made to share information with Dr. She will also help during the research process in the nutritional part and the data obtained on the aspects caused by the pandemic.

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Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has joined the International Association of Universities (IAU), further demonstrating our commitment to growing our global network of institutional partners and facilitating our education and applied research development to enhance our academic and cultural exchanges.

Founded in 1950, under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the IAU is the leading global association of higher education institutions and organizations from around the world. As an independent, bilingual (English and French), non-governmental, membership organization, the IAU gathers more than 640 Members (institutions, organizations, affiliates and associates) from over 120 countries to identify, reflect, and act on common priorities.

As a respected global voice, the vision of the IAU is to promote collaboration among its members by articulating the fundamental values and principles that underpin the pursuit, dissemination, and application of knowledge. Central to these values and principles is the importance of international collaboration, tolerance, equity, and academic diversity.

The Association advocates for higher education policies and practices that respect diverse perspectives and promote social responsibility. Acting as a forum for sharing and joint action, the IAU encourages innovation, mutual learning, and cooperation amongst institutions.

CUD’s affiliation showcases the importance of developing mutually-beneficial global partnerships that strengthen our role in the international higher education community and contribute to the advancement of research and knowledge.

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Monday, June 14, 2021: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) is pleased to announce our membership to PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), a world-wide initiative of the United Nations Global Compact to promote responsible and sustainable management education.

CUD now joins 850 leading business and management schools across 95 countries around the world in their commitment to build a more sustainable future by supporting the achievement of PRME’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implementing the following Six Principles:

    1. Purpose: Develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large, working towards an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

    2. Values: Incorporate into our academic activities, curricula, and organizational practices the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

    3. Method: Create educational frameworks, materials, processes, and environments to enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

    4. Research: Engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental, and economic value.

    5. Partnership: Interact with managers of business corporations to extend knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities, and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

    6. Dialogue: Facilitate, support dialog, and debate, among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations, other interested groups, and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

April 25th, 2019: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has been awarded the accolade of International Collaboration of the Year at the inaugural Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards, hosted on 24th April at the Taj Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai.

Professor David Santandreu Calonge, Chief Advancement Officer and Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Sciences was in attendance at the exclusive gala ceremony to receive the award on behalf of the University. Speaking after the event he said, “As the portal to Canadian education, our strong commitment to internationalization sets us apart from other institutions in the UAE. The International Collaboration of the Year award recognizes exceptional projects carried out jointly between CUD and our international partners.

“One such example is the recent international accreditation of our advertising program by the International Advertising Association (IAA). This Forbes award demonstrates the global significance of the work of our academic staff, students, alumni and supporters. We are deeply honoured to be recognized in this way.”

CUD now has more than 25 international educational partnerships, allowing students to complete their degree overseas or experience a period of international study on another continent. These partnership extend worldwide, from Canada and the USA in North America, France and Ireland in Europe, and Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia in Asia and Oceania. The University’s campus in Dubai also plays host to transnational collaborations, with the forthcoming International Summer School set to welcome student from as far afield as China.

The Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards were established this year to celebrate outstanding examples of best practice across a range of higher education activities. Awards were conferred in 22 categories based on votes from key stakeholders, including students, teachers and business people working alongside higher education organizations. The final judging criteria considered the institutions’ application of innovative approaches and support services, as well as their academic curriculum and credentials.

Speaking about the award, Professor Karim Chelli, CUD President and Vice Chancellor remarked, “Being recognized by Forbes for our international collaborations is a fantastic achievement for all concerned at CUD. It confirms our strong commitment to a global education portfolio that is unique, and relevant to the needs of our community and wider society.

“Building bridges across continents and cultures through excellence in education is the essence of our institution and in this, the UAE Year of Tolerance, we are delighted to be recognized for our efforts in uniting territories worldwide through the power of learning.”

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November 22nd, 2015: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and global professional services firm, KPMG, have come together to collaborate on new educational, training and research initiatives as part of a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) established between the two organizations.

The MOU aims to further bridge the gap between academia and the local business community by facilitating the joint development and delivery of education and training services for professional learners, as well as supporting collaborative research initiatives that are relevant to the regional business environment.

The new collaboration was sealed with the signing of MOU by Ms. Tasneem Lakdawalla, Partner, KPMG Lower Gulf Limited, and Dr. Karim Chelli, President of Canadian University Dubai. Also in attendance at the signing ceremony were Ms. Judit Karfner, Associate Director, KPMG, and senior faculty and staff members from CUD.

As part of the MoU, the two organizations are also set to explore the creation of a KPMG Academy within the University, to provide a platform for the development of a comprehensive catalogue of professional training solutions.

The MOU will help to inform and enhance CUD’s current corporate training portfolio, which provides standard and tailor-made programs across a wide range of professional disciplines, for business and government sector clients in the UAE and beyond. For KPMG, the new collaboration will help to provide the academic framework and infrastructure to reinforce its continual professional education agenda.

Speaking on behalf of KPMG, Ms. Lakdawalla said that the collaboration would draw upon the expertise of the two organizations to bring out mutual benefit for the business and academic communities.

On behalf of CUD, Dr. Chelli commented, “We are privileged to be embarking upon this collaboration, which will impact learners at every level throughout the University. The applied knowledge and practical experience that KPMG brings to the collaboration will help us to provide a holistic learning experience and further harmonize our curriculum with the needs of the business world.”

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DUBAI, June 14, 2017 - Canadian University Dubai, in partnership with Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) will be working together to develop an exciting new program focused on leadership in the creative industries. The Bachelor in Creative Industries will combine creativity with business acumen in order to create a cadre of highly qualified students capable of leading the quickly expanding arts and culture industry in the UAE and abroad. The program will be officially launched once it attains accreditation from the UAE’s Ministry of Education.

The new program will be the University’s first offering as part of the newly established FCAD at Canadian University Dubai which has been developed in collaboration with Ryerson University, Canada, who currently run their own successful FCAD in Toronto boasting programs in the Creative Industries, Fashion, Graphic Communications, Image Arts, Interior Design, Journalism, Professional Communication and Performance.

The “Creative Industries” refers to a distinctive group of creative fields pertaining to media, design, entertainment and the visual and performing arts. While these fields have long been recognized for their cultural value, they are also an important economic driver and key to urban development and renewal.

“This will be the first program in the UAE targeted at preparing students for an entrepreneurial career in media, entertainment, design or the visual and performing arts,“ said Dr. Karim Chelli, Canadian University Dubai’s President and Vice Chancellor. “By combing solid business, communication and management skills with in-depth knowledge of these industries we will be creating the future leaders of the UAE’s entertainment, arts and culture scene. This program aligns with Dubai’s and the UAE’s strategies for future economic growth and offers students an advantage in the job market here and abroad. Furthermore, by establishing FCAD here at Canadian University Dubai, we are laying the ground work for future programs designed with the countries strategic goals and labor needs in mind, which is a bonus for the UAE and our students.”

“This is an exciting partnership for us in a global city known for its innovation and creativity,” says FCAD’s Dean Charles Falzon. “This collaboration represents an opportunity for us to mobilize talent, ideas and global connections in order to advance cultural industries in both countries. As a rapidly expanding economy and cultural hub in the Middle East, Dubai offers opportunities, for new ideas and creative people as well as a rich historical tradition. The Creative Industries program will capitalize on this by offering students classes in the art and business of film, the business and practice of news, printing and publishing, the music industry and the fashion industry.”

As part of the collaboration with Ryerson and in order to capitalize on their established and highly popular programs, the Toronto based university will provide ongoing technical and curricular expertise and will assist in the recruitment of scholars from around the world.

The new FCAD will offer Canadian University Dubai degrees and is expected to attract students from over 100 countries in the Middle East and Africa, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

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October 30th, 2016: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has signed an agreement with prestigious Ontario-based institution, Queen’s University, to extend the range of opportunities available for undergraduate students transferring their studies to Canada.

The new collaboration will enable students from CUD’s School of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology to transfer their studies to Queen’s Bachelor of Computing (Honours) degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science. The initiative establishes a 2+2 pathway program, where qualified students will move to Queen’s after completing the second year of their degree at CUD.

The agreement was signed by Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon and Dr. Karim Chelli, CUD President and Vice-Chancellor, during Dr. Chelli’s recent visit to the University’s campus in Kingston.

Dr. Chelli said : ‘The agreement with Queen’s University adds to an ever-growing portfolio of partnerships established by CUD to provide students across all undergraduate disciplines with the opportunity to transfer their studies to institutions in Canada, or to incorporate a period of international study within their CUD degree program. It also positions us in Dubai as a small ‘boutique’ institution, offering world class study and transfer options to students.’

With a 175 year history, Queen’s University is among Canada’s most renowned higher education institution, and is synonymous with academic excellence, cutting-edge research and an outstanding student experience. Alongside the opportunities now available to engineering and computer science students, the two institutions will go on to explore other areas of potential collaboration.

Dr. Hugh Horton, Vice Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s added: ‘Queen’s University is proud to welcome the Canadian University Dubai to our family of international partners. We are looking forward to welcoming our first cohort of CUD students into our School of Computing in the coming academic year. CUD students will be able to access a wide range of academic and professional development opportunities upon their arrival at Queen’s.’

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March 17, 2020: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and University of Lyon (Université de Lyon) have entered into a partnership to launch joint academic and research activities, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Dubai recently.

The MOU was signed by Prof. Karim Chelli, President of Canadian University Dubai and Prof. Khaled Bouabdallah, President of University of Lyon, in the presence of Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chancellor of CUD, Mr. Jacques Comby, President of Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, Mr. Alain Galliano, Vice President of metropolitan Lyon, and senior officials and academics of CUD.

The MoU envisages a host of collaborative activities, including exploring the launch of new programs, development of a diploma training program with member institutions of University of Lyon, and exchange of academics and students. It also covers exchange of publications and research materials, conducting joint projects related to research, teaching and faculty development and developing artistic and cultural initiatives for stronger community engagement.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prof. Karim Chelli, commented: “This partnership is a great opportunity for Canadian University Dubai and its students, as it will allow us to launch new programs, and enable our teaching researchers to benefit from the expertise of the University of Lyon to develop joint research programs, to launch Francophone, bilingual (French and English) and possibly trilingual programs (French, English and Arabic). Research, creativity and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the new partnership which seeks to create an education triangle between Europe, Canada and the Middle East.”

Prof. Khaled Bouabdallah, President of University of Lyon, said: “We are very pleased to launch this partnership. We believe this is the beginning of many joint projects and initiatives between us. Our goal is to share training and degrees, and to have students from CUD on our campus and our students on Canadian University Dubai campus. Together, we can develop common projects of international dimensions.”

Mr. Jacques Comby, President of University of Moulin – Lyon 3, remarked: “This collaboration we are creating with Canadian University Dubai will allow us to take our relationship to another level and I hope that in the very near future Dubai will be a member of the University of Lyon alliance.”

Alain Galliano, Vice President of Metropolitan Lyon, commented: “Lyon is a thriving business hub and a centre of academic excellence. We have been recording high growth over the past few years. We are delighted that several seeds of cooperation have been sown between Lyon and Dubai: in the fields of trade, transportation, tourism and today in the field of university education. We see great prospects for further cooperation in the coming years.”

University of Lyon, located in Lyon and Saint-Étienne, France, is a renowned center of higher education and research consisting of 12 member institutions and 25 associated institutions. It hosts over 140,000 students, of which 20,000 are international students. It has 17 doctoral schools and 5,400 PhD students.

Canadian University Dubai, established in 2006, offers academic programs based on the Canadian curriculum, and serves as a gateway for students to pursue higher education, research and employment opportunities in Canada. With a wide range of programs across disciplines in Architecture & Interior Design, Communication, Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and Management, students benefit from an education ranked 41st overall in the region and 8th in the UAE, according to the 2019 QS Rankings for the Arab Region.

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January 19th, 2016: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and Bank of China (Dubai) Branch (BOC) have joined forces to support a series of education, research and professional development initiatives for students and employees in Dubai’s banking sector. The collaboration was sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a ceremony presided over by Her Excellency Lingbing Li, Consul General of China, and Chancellor of CUD, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi.

The agreement will provide undergraduate students with exposure to the banking industry through job search support and internship opportunities, while sharing business research and intelligence through BOC guest lectures on campus at CUD. The partnership will also facilitate higher learning amongst BOC employees and promote Chinese cultural events across the university community.

China is one of the UAE’s largest trade partners and CUD has welcomed a growing Chinese student population in recent years. During her address at the MoU ceremony, Her Excellency Mrs Li said, “The implementation of this agreement not only combines the strengths of both entities, but also tightens the relationship of both countries.”

She continued, “Dubai was not a conventional, preferred destination for overseas student in the past. However, with the maturity of the academic environment, the booming demand for talent, and job opportunities generated by EXPO 2020, it attracts an increasing number of overseas students, specially the group from China. I trust that the 100 Chinese students currently studying in CUD are just the beginning of a new stage for both countries and their people to tighten friendship and civilian intercourse.”

In his remarks, Mr. Al Ghandi referred to the strengthening ties between China and the UAE, demonstrated through the recent visit to the country by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Of the agreement, Mr. Al Ghandi said, “On behalf of CUD, I would like to express how proud we are to be part of the portfolio of such a prestigious organization as Bank of China and we look forward to a long and successful collaboration.”

Established over a century ago, BOC is China’s most internationalized and diversified bank, having extended its operation across more than 40 countries and regions around the world. Representing the Bank to sign the MoU was Mr. Chunyan Cai, General Manager of Bank of China (Dubai Branch) and Regional Head (MENA).

Mr. Cai said, “Bank of China is delighted to be able to assist graduates by sharing information and making use of our extensive research capabilities. We are also excited about offering internships within our organisation where all-important experience and crucial knowledge of the Banking world is gained.

“This partnership allows Bank of China to understand more easily the youth of other cultures, and how cultural diversification in the region actually forms the bedrock of its success. I would like to thank CUD for giving the Bank of China Dubai access to the future treasure of our region – young, intelligent people from all cultures.”

Signing the MoU on behalf of CUD was President, Dr. Karim Chelli, who said that the University recognizes the value and significance of collaboration with China and its institutions, and this agreement will open the door to a range of unique opportunities.

The ceremony concluded with a special performance of Chinese calligraphy by Mr. Yuan Yongjia.

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August 25th, 2016: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has signed a landmark partnership agreement with leading US university Georgia Tech, which will see the creation of the region’s first research lab focusing on the development of the Physical Internet.

The new collaboration will bring together high-level researchers from the UAE and the international community to help establish the cutting-edge systems and technologies that will support the development of the Physical Internet.

The research will be focussed on hyper-connected logistics and supply chain design, modelling, simulation, management, sustainability, and mass customization, leading to a transformation in the way global supply chains function. The first step will be the creation of a specialized Hyper-connected Healthcare Lab, hosted by CUD.

The Physical Internet initiative is gathering global interest as it becomes evident that the way physical objects are currently supplied and transported around the world is unsustainable, both economically and environmentally. The system provides a universal logistics model based on the interconnection of networks through a standardized set of protocols and interfaces.

Ranked among the top ten public universities in the US, Georgia Tech is renowned as a leader in developing revolutionary technologies, and the collaboration with CUD will build upon its existing network of research labs in other global logistics hubs, including Singapore, Panama and the Netherlands.

The partnership was initiated at the International Conference on Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by CUD, where Professor Benoit Montreuil, leader of the International Physical Internet Initiative, delivered a keynote address. The agreement comes as CUD announces the forthcoming launch of both undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management.

Speaking about the new lab, Professor Montreuil said, “We are very pleased to be embarking upon this endeavor with CUD to establish the first Physical Internet research initiative in the Middle East. Our aim is to draw upon the context of Dubai and in doing so, target key sectors such as healthcare. A hyper-connected healthcare system within Dubai could act as a hub for labs across the entire region.”

Heading up the initiative on behalf of CUD is graduate studies director, Dr. Marc Poulin, who said, “As an important logistics hub and a supporter of bold and visionary initiatives, we believe that Dubai is the ideal location to establish this lab. We are delighted that Georgia Tech has chosen to partner with CUD in this initiative and look forward to contributing to both academia and industry, by developing world-class research and bringing forward innovative methods in the management of logistics.”

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Students will be the first to benefit from a knowledge exchange with Lyon

Dubai, March 5, 2013:Students from the Canadian University Dubai will exchange with students from the University Of Lyon in France in an innovative short-course that will kick-start a long-term collaboration between the two cities.

The partnership begins at the end of March following a visit to Dubai from a delegation from Lyon this week. The 47-strong delegation included the Mayor of Lyon, the Lyon Chamber of Commerce as well as industry leaders in education, culture and transport.

The delegation was hosted in Dubai by Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chairman of Emirates Investment and Development PSC and Chancellor of the Canadian University Dubai.

The partnership begins with seven students from Dubai being paired with seven students from Lyon for a three-week course in Media Production. Two weeks of the course will be held at the Canadian University Dubai in their industry-standard production studio and one week in Lyon at the studios of Lyon Capitale TV.

Dr. Karim Chelli, President of the Canadian University Dubai, said: "As well as student exchange, we will be sharing best practice with Lyon, which has some of the best universities in the world.

"Our mandate is to create world citizens and this partnership not only represents an educational exchange, but also a cultural one that will benefit both cities and forms part of a wider collaborative approach that will develop in the coming months."

Gerard Collomb, French Senator, Mayor of Lyon and President of the Greater Lyon Urban Community, said: "Before the crisis in 2008 we had a project to develop opportunities between our universities and the universities in Dubai. We can now explore the opportunities between the universities in the two cities and especially the Canadian University Dubai.

"We have great universities in Lyon, we have 112,000 students from many different countries. For example, we have 5,000 students from China. That shows the attractiveness of Lyon."

Mr Philippe Grillot, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon, said: "We know the Canadian University in Dubai and they know Lyon and it is easier to build something with known guys. We will work with Dubai and look at Universities, but the most important thing is to build a knowledge bridge between the two cities and exchange students and professors."

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The Centre of Excellence for Innovation and Creativity (CEIC) based at Canadian University Dubai has joined the ranks of the International Observatory on Smart City Learning, connecting the UAE with leading European research institutions in the field of smart technology.

The International Observatory, hosted by the University of Rome Tor Vergata, brings together academics and research groups from several top European institutions - including Stockholm University, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Aalborg University, and Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg – to to promote transnational collaboration and debate on the challenges and opportunities of smart city learning.

Founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of Dubai Education LLC, the Centre of Excellence set out to support the UAE's national strategic plan for 2021, including the goal of a sustainable and diversified economy through green development.

Under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the City has initiated a program of transformational projects that aims to build one of the world's most connected and sustainable smart cities by the inception Expo 2020.

With the Expo theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', knowledge and education will have an important role to play in the prelude to 2020, and by promoting the advancement of learning practices through smart solutions, CEIC is aiming to make its own contribution to the strategic vision of the event.

Speaking about the new partnership, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chairman of Dubai Education LLC, said, "The Centre of Excellence was established to bring forward knowledge and innovations that have the potential to make a significant contribution to UAE society. Smart technologies are a key driver in the evolution of educational practices, and by joining international leaders in the field we can harness our expertise to develop solutions that could transform the way we teach and learn."

Dr. Karim Chelli, CEO of Dubai Education LLC, commented, "This is a significant milestone for the Centre at an important time, as the UAE accelerates the pace of its development and implementation of smart solutions across both Government and lifestyle services."

Since its establishment, the Centre has created a platform for academic and industry collaboration on sustainable development through innovation and creativity, and attracted leading authorities in the field to speak at its international conferences and events.

Having established itself as an important think tank for smart city development in the UAE, the Centre will now represent the region on an international stage through the Observatory.

Dr. Kiran Tangri, Director of CEIC said, "Membership of the International Observatory will allow us to exchange best practices with global experts on smart city learning and help to showcase Dubai on the world stage as an ambitious, innovative and technology-driven society."

Prof. Carlo Giovannella, Coordinator of the International Observatory commented, "We welcome the membership of the Centre of Excellence for Innovation and Creativity, Dubai Education LLC, as a strategically important organization in the field, demonstrated through their leading role in last year's 'Dubai 2020: Smart City Learning' workshop.

"We look forward to a very fruitful collaboration that will lead to the development of exciting learning ecosystems in the region and, in turn, support the process towards the achievement of sustainable and people-centred smart cities.

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