Thunderbird School of Global Management opened a center of excellence in Dubai

Business, Education, Marketing

Thunderbird School of Global Management opened a new satellite center of excellence called Thunderbird Global Innovation Center in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial center and the top innovation hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), with over 350 FinTech and innovation companies in the region. 

The announcement is being made during DIFC’s Innovation Month which is bringing together a new generation of creative minds to explore the industry of the future. Thunderbird’s Global Innovation Center is located at the DIFC Innovation Hub, Gate Avenue, in the heart of Dubai’s flourishing international business district. Known as a leading world-class business and innovation destination, DIFC provides the most powerful innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region.  

Thunderbird Global Innovation Center will capitalize on DIFC’s unmatched location and network to catalyze and accelerate start-ups and existing firms while providing world-class international business, leadership and management training, including delivery of graduate degree programs. Thunderbird Executive Education will deliver elite hybrid learning programs (in-person plus remote) for organizations and individuals. Innovators and entrepreneurs will have opportunities to design, test and refine their ideas working alongside top educators, business leaders, financial experts and thousands of other trailblazers from DIFC’s vast and diverse ecosystem. Additionally, having a presence in this highly sought-after location will bolster regional recruiting and serve as a connection point for members of Thunderbird and ASU’s global alumni networks.

Thunderbird’s Director General and Dean, Sanjeev Khagram, commented:

“Our new home in Dubai’s financial nerve center will allow Thunderbird and ASU to do what we do best—spark innovation and build collaborative knowledge networks across sectors and disciplines—in one of the business world’s key locations. With the expertise of our partners at DIFC, Thunderbird will use this perfect location as a launchpad to drive regional transformation and export cutting-edge management mastery around planet Earth. We’re expanding our worldwide network of Thunderbird Centers of Excellence in major commercial hubs like Dubai, and this beautiful space, DIFC Innovation Hub within Gate Avenue at DIFC will leverage the latest technology to link up with our offices in other cities as well as our new state-of-the-art Thunderbird Global Headquarters in Phoenix, opening this fall as part of our 75th Anniversary celebrations. Being here now means our school and university will play an instrumental role in taking business innovations in Dubai to new heights as the Fourth Industrial Revolution accelerates.”  

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said:

“Thunderbird’s decision to locate its Global Innovation Center in DIFC is a testament to the strength of our reputation as a global business hub. It will enable the school to access our world-class infrastructure and innovation offering as well as reach the fast-growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. We are excited to be welcoming a first-of-its-kind Thunderbird Global Innovation Center to the DIFC Innovation Hub and look forward to working with the team to support the next generation of business leaders.”

Thunderbird School of Global Management is a unit of the Arizona State University Enterprise. For 75 years, Thunderbird has been the vanguard of global management and leadership education, creating inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide by educating future-ready global leaders capable of tackling the world’s most significant challenges. Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management was ranked #1 in the world for 2019 by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. ASU is ranked No. 1 “Most Innovative School” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for six years in succession. Thunderbird Executive Education has been ranked in the top 10 internationally for decades.

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution committed to access, excellence, and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social, and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. 

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of USD 7.7 trillion. With a 16-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of almost 27,000 professionals working across over 2,900 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance. Today, it offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.