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Gates to addess key forum in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, January 27, 2008

More than 250 government representatives will attend the Government Leaders Forum (GLF) Arabia 2008, which begins in Abu Dhabi today.

Bill Gates will be the keynote speaker at the two-day forum targeting the Middle East and North Africa, to be held at the Emirates Palace Hotel. This is the first time the Microsoft chairman is visiting the UAE.

GLF Arabia 2008 will seek to address issues related to the forum’s title: ‘Accelerating Arab Competitiveness’ through interactive panel discussions, practical case studies, best practices, and presentations by visionary keynote speakers. Every Arab country will be represented at the event, as government officials explore the most effective ways of building capacity through education and training, and also modernising government departments with the latest technologies.

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Economy, will deliver the opening keynote on Sunday and will be followed by a series of panel discussions chaired by leading academics in government and public sector development.

Microsoft chose Abu Dhabi to host one of the very first Government Leaders Forum (GLF) events in 2008 in recognition of the emirate’s visionary leaders, development strategies, and policies. Only the GLF Forum – Europe, held this week in Berlin preceded the Abu Dhabi gathering of Arab government and business leaders.

The emirate offers the ideal environment for the forum, since Abu Dhabi is itself a model of innovation, government modernisation, and enhanced government competitiveness through capacity development – the main themes to be discussed, it said.

“Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the emirate combines ambitious and forward-thinking leadership with rigorous, thoughtful, well-designed, and well-executed strategies and programmes,” said Charbel Fakhoury, general manager of Microsoft Gulf

Examples of Abu Dhabi’s pioneering planning include its Policy Agenda 2007-2008 – the first comprehensive policy agenda of its kind in the region. It outlines key goals and initiatives for all sectors of the government. The emirate also has developed a unique urban structure framework called Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 that will guide planning decisions for the next quarter of a century, Microsoft said.

“Choosing to hold this important regional event in Abu Dhabi and securing the attendance of Bill Gates is a clear indication of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Abu Dhabi and the Arab World as it moves toward realising its strategic development plans. Through our innovation and R&D investments, we want to ensure that the public and private sectors as well as consumers realize their potential through technology tools and platforms that drive innovation, and increase efficiency, and productivity," Fakhoury concluded. –TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Microsoft | Bill Gates | Government Leaders Forum |

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