3.1.1 Does your university as a body have current collaborations with local or global health institutions to improve health & wellbeing outcomes?

Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has embarked upon a five-year partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada to collaborate on curriculum development and student transfer initiatives in the fields of health and social sciences.

Building upon CUD’s existing suite of programs in the School of Public Health & Health Sciences, it is anticipated that the new agreement will see the two institutions work on curriculum development in disciplines such as psychology, water science and environmental science. The partners will also work on the creation of opportunities for existing CUD Environmental Health Management students to transfer their studies to health science programs at Laurier.

As CUD prepares to bring forward a new undergraduate degree in social work, the partnership is expected to explore how Canadian accreditation principles will be incorporated in the curriculum, and how students can incorporate a period of Canada-based study in their program.

Meanwhile in the social sciences field, the two institutions will work collaboratively on ideas to create combined honours degrees that will attract awards to both universities. It is also anticipated that CUD will benefit from Laurier’s expertise in policing education, and explore the opportunity of delivering degrees and corporate training to the police service in Dubai.

Wilfrid Laurier University has more than a century of history in Canada’s higher education landscape, offering more than 110 programs in nine different faculties. With over 19,000 students across two campuses and two additional sites, it is a university with an international outlook, already holding exchange agreements with institutions in 28 countries.

This new agreement comes following a visit by CUD President, Pr. Karim Chelli, to Laurier’s campus in Waterloo, Ontario, where discussions took place on the areas of mutual interest to the two institutions. The visit culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will take forward the areas of cooperation.

Speaking about the partnership, Pr. Chelli said, “We are delighted to embark upon this collaboration, which promises to open up several new, exciting avenues for strategic development for both our institutions. Equally, we are honoured to have Wilfrid Laurier University join our ever-growing network of Canadian partners, and to provide our students with another range of opportunities to access the best in Canadian higher education.”

Dr. Deb MacLatchy, Laurier’s Provost and Vice-President: Academic, and incoming President and Vice-Chancellor said, “We are very happy to have signed this MOU with the Canadian University Dubai. This agreement will bring together some of the strengths of each institution to create pathways for students and exciting collaborative research opportunities. We welcome the knowledge and talent that faculty and students from CUD can share with us as we build on the teaching and research possibilities that come from this partnership.”

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has brought together leading experts from Dubai’s healthcare sector to provide their professional insights into the development of the City’s medical tourism industry.

Hosted by students Elizabeth Topolskaya and Abdulrahman Mohamed, the debate set out to explore the opportunities and challenges of Dubai’s growing medical tourism sector, as well as reflecting on progress towards the target to attract 1.3 million medical tourists by 2021.

Representing a cross-section of the industry, panel member included Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi Director of Healthcare Regulation at Dubai Health Authority; Mr. Malek El Husseini, Healthcare Operating Partner at Qatar First Bank; Dr. Naseem Mohammed Rafee, Head of Consumer Products Safety Section at Dubai Municipality; and Mr. Tanweer Alam, Deputy Manager of Marketing at Prime Healthcare.

Discussing the process of developing the Dubai health tourism brand, Dr. Al Marzouqi spoke about the unique features that make the City a destination of choice among patients looking to travel overseas for medical care. “Our niche lies in the patient bill of rights, the medical tourism visa and insurance systems we have established, as well as our partnerships with the airline and hotels in the City, all of which come together to provide what we call the Dubai healthcare experience” said Dr. Al Marzouqi.

Going on to discuss the comprehensive portfolio of specializations that are being developed in the City’s healthcare sector, Mr. El Husseini revealed how the quality of care and the technology that is available to patients has helped to put Dubai on the global medical tourism map. He also pointed to some of the challenges of globalization in healthcare, including price sensitivities.

Taking to the floor next, Dr. Rafee provided her insights into the infrastructure challenges presented by medical tourism and the role of Dubai Municipality in supporting the sector’s growth. Mr. Alam concluded the debate with a detailed overview of the patient experience, focusing on the design of healthcare facilities to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment.

Following the debate, the panel took part in an audience Q&A session, with discussion topics ranging from the role of higher education in supporting the development of the sector, to the risks and realities of providing cross-border patient care. The event concluded with an overview of the programs that CUD offers in School of Public Health and Health Sciences, provided by Assistant Professor and Chair, Dr. Yassen Al Foteih.



New MoU provides learning and engagement opportunities for sports management students and professionals

Thursday, June 3, 2021: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) and Al Wasl Sports Club (AWC) have established a new partnership to promote education and professional development opportunities that will help build capacity across the UAE’s growing sports management sector.

The new collaboration was sealed with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations. The partnership is set to boost cooperation and engagement through a range of initiatives, including student internships, academic-related projects and events, research activities and outreach programs. A fast-track course for professional development in the sector is one initiative currently in the works.

The MoU signing follows the launch last year of CUD’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management program. The first undergraduate degree of its kind in the UAE, the four-year course prepares students for a career in the dynamic and exciting business of professional sports.

The program is led by Associate Professor, Dr. Leonardo Jose Mataruna-Dos-Santos, himself an accomplished sportsman, having participated as part of the Brazilian Olympic Judo Team in London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, and Sydney 2000. Alongside his extensive academic experience in the region, Dr. Mataruna-Dos-Santos is also a commentator and advisor for the Arabian Football Gulf League.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Mataruna-Dos-Santos said, “This MoU will provide CUD students with hands-on exposure to the inside of the industry in the region, which will add real value to their learning experience. Through internships, real-life case studies and other professional interactions, it will help them to develop the professional networks they need to enter and advance within the sector.”

Mr. Mohammad Ali Amer, Executive Director of Al Wasl Sports Club, expressed his pleasure in partnering with the University, which ranks among the leading educational institutions at the regional and global level, saying, “The partnership comes from our keenness to implement social responsibility, which Al Wasl has always been proactive in implementing and is consistent with the vision and strategy of the club, which aims to enrich and consolidate cooperation with institutions in all fields, to achieve national goals in all cultural, educational, sports and social aspects.”

Prof. Karim Chelli, President and Vice-Chancellor of CUD, shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration with Al Wasl Sports Club, which has been awarded the title of club of the century in the UAE, in recognition of its tremendous achievements. Prof. Chelli remarked, “As an internationally-recognized educational institution for higher learning, Canadian University Dubai is committed to providing unique opportunities to our students that will enhance their academic experience and support their scholarly ambitions. Our willingness to continue to build these relationships reinforces our determination, hard work and compassion to succeed for our students, our faculty members and our community.”

Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chancellor of Canadian University Dubai, added: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, this partnership complements the Nation’s societal health and happiness, strengthening CUD’s connection not only with sport itself, but also with the fans, the regional football community and the United Arab Emirates as a whole.”

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management is set to welcome a new cohort of students for the Fall 2021 semester, who will be among the first to benefit from the new collaboration with Al Wasl Sports Club.

About Al Wasl Sports Club

Al Wasl Sports Club, established in 1960 under AlZamalek Club, is a football company registered in the UAE Pro League. Credited as the Club of the Century in the UAE by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), AWC promotes the values of sports as an educational tool, contributing to the development of the community and its future leaders.



Media channels in the UK and Australia are the latest to focus the spotlight upon the ground-breaking research of Dr. Efthymios Papatzikis, Assistant Professor of Educational Neuroscience at Canadian University Dubai (CUD).

An expert on the role of music and sound in infants’ learning and brain development, Dr. Papatzikis has been invited to act as a consultant to the UK’s national broadcasting organization, the BBC. The collaboration with the BBC’s pre-school channel, Cbeebies, focusses on fostering activities that can support early years education.

Dr. Papatzikis explained, “Cbeebies aims to boost and enrich toddlers’ exposure and understanding of music and sound from an early stage in life, which requires a valid and verified approach based on music and brain research. This is where I come in, helping them to connect theory to practice in a dynamic yet pedagogical way, always keeping in mind the specific audience’s age range, limitations, and developmental needs.”

He continued, “For example, it is one thing to say that music and sound activates the brain holistically, hence promoting brain development, but another thing to present pictures and specific sounds through a game-based approach that implicitly connects between brain development, music and sound. All this needs academic specialization to organize and implement effectively.”

Meanwhile, in Australia, Dr. Papatzikis’ research has been cited in a journal article about the benefits of music education on children. Published by Music Australia, the organization that represents all aspects of the country’s music industry, the article quotes Dr. Papatzikis’ findings, which show how music interaction in the early years of life can help in a child’s intellectual and emotional development.

Locally in the UAE, students from Dubai English Speaking College and the American School of Dubai have been learning about Dr. Papatzikis’ unique area of research through a week-long program of seminars on brain activity in relation to education, music and sound.

Throughout the seminar week, participating high school students heard from Dr. Papatzikis about brain function and structure, and the research surrounding brain and music interfaces. The unique academic activity week covered a variety of subjects ranging from basic neuroscience topics to specific research areas such as Multiple Sclerosis and music.

The educational exercise also took in a visit to the University of Sharjah Hospital, where Head of Medical Diagnostic Imaging and Associate Professor of Radiology, Dr. Abdulmunhem Obaideen, led a tour of the hospital’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG) facilities.

Moving forward with his pioneering research agenda, Dr. Papatzikis’ latest paper, ‘Discussing Musical Creativity in Learning: Psychological Perceptions and Brain Research’ was published in the June 2016 edition of the International Educational Scientific Research Journal. Building upon this, Dr. Papatzikis is now working on a new project in collaboration with Neuroscience student, Dania Chatila, of McGill University, Canada, to explore emotional stimuli in music.


September 17th, 2018: Canadian University Dubai (CUD) in conjunction with Dubai-based clinic Health Call and its general manager, Ousama Alnazzal, has hosted a day-long event dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing among everyone on campus.

Several trained professionals attended the event, including certified Obesity Medicine specialist, Dr. Charles F. Cheatham. The specialists from Health Call provided a full health examination for curious students, which included Smokerlyzer tests, blood sugar tests, and cholesterol tests. The students were also provided with a full height, weight, and waistline analysis. Many of the attendees among students and staff were also given a generous variety of vouchers, in addition to the free consultations.

Taking place at the same time as CUD’s Student Club Signup event, the whole day ran smoothly thanks to the organizers, the Student Council, whose members were present throughout. The experts and managers from Health Call attracted quite an audience of curious students who were more than happy with the advice that they were given. The students who attended agreed that the event was a great success.