Event Details

The RSF is the flagship conference in our programme of events for C-suite regional business leaders and will take place on the morning of Wednesday 6 July in the Constellation Ballroom at the Address Marina Hotel in Dubai.

Just as the world is starting to reopen following the Covid19 pandemic, the global and regional economies are facing a confluence of significant new challenges, with war in Ukraine, rising commodity prices, spiking inflation and tightening monetary policies. Together we will explore to what extent these headwinds will cause new business risks, debt default, recessions and social unrest. As well as what business opportunities they may present.

The event will begin with a presentation of the latest global and regional economic forecasts from The Economist Intelligence Unit, delivered in person by our Global Chief Economist Simon Baptist, who will be visiting from Singapore.

And it will conclude with a keynote "fireside chat" interview with HE Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, during which we will explore how the UAE continues to develop its business, social and legal environments to maintain its attractiveness for investment and talent, while facing new competition for regional business-hub status from Saudi Arabia. How, for example, are the recent visa, company ownership and employment law initiatives, as well as the Projects of the 50, contributing to that goal?

This is a not-to-be missed event, so please register ASAP.


8.30am Arrival, Breakfast and Networking

9.15am Welcome and Introduction

9.20am Regional Strategic Forecast with Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist, The EIU

10.00am Panel Discussion (with 3 regional CEOs)

10.40am Coffee Break and Networking

11.00am Keynote "Fireside Chat" with HE Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade

11.40am Thanks and Closing Remarks

11.45am End and Networking

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.


  • Robert Willock (Director MENA & Regional General Manager of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network)

    Robert Willock

    Director MENA & Regional General Manager of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

    Robert is the Director of the Economist Corporate Network based in Dubai and covering the MENA region. Robert works closely with network members to help inform their business strategies through political, economic and operational insight and to connect them with their senior leadership peers.

    Robert is a business journalist, editor and publisher with 25 years of experience covering a wide variety of sectors, including hospitality, retail, construction, energy and transport, and a particular interest in human capital management.

    He is an accomplished event chairman, moderator and speaker.

    Robert completed an MBA at the University of Leicester School of Business in 2012 and holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nottingham.

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  • Naveed Kamal (Chairman, EMEA Emerging Markets Corporate Banking at Citi Bank)

    Naveed Kamal

    Chairman, EMEA Emerging Markets Corporate Banking at Citi Bank

    Naveed Kamal, Chairman, EMEA Emerging Markets Corporate Banking is a seasoned banker, with extensive experience in Corporate Banking, Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions.

    Previously the Head of Corporate Banking business in MENA, Naveed provides senior client coverage and drives business growth, working closely with product partners. He is a Senior Credit Officer.

    Naveed joined Citi in 1994. In 2004, Naveed moved to the UAE as the Corporate Finance Investment Banking Head for the GCC and in 2018 took over as the Corporate Bank Head for UAE.

    Naveed has been involved in various capacities in transactions including Acquisition Finance, Loan Syndications and Debt Capital Markets. His M&A experience includes privatization of banking and refining assets.

    Naveed has also advised investors on acquisition opportunities in sectors such as telecom, energy and chemicals.

    Naveed holds an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi. He is fluent English and Urdu. Naveed is married with three kids and is an avid golfer.

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  • Rola Abu Manneh (CEO, UAE of Standard Chartered Bank)

    Rola Abu Manneh

    CEO, UAE of Standard Chartered Bank

    Rola is chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank UAE, a role she has held since 2018. She is the first Emirati woman to head a bank in the UAE. Before joining Standard Chartered Bank Ms Manneh was head of corporate and investment banking for Abu Dhabi at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), responsible for relationships between the bank and its private and institutional customers. She also served as general manager of FAB’s wholesale banking group. Ms Manneh is a champion of women’s empowerment and female entrepreneurship and is committed to supporting the wider community by providing mentorship programmes for university students.

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  • HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (Minister of State for Foreign Trade)

    HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi

    Minister of State for Foreign Trade

    HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi was appointed the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, following the new UAE Government structure in July 2020, and has been assigned a file to attract the best talents and competencies to serve the strategic direction of the UAE. HE also oversees the development of non-oil foreign trade sectors and the expansion of global partnerships, in addition to enhancing the investment climate in the country, in order to cement its position as a major business destination at the regional and global levels.

    He had held the position of Minister of Climate Change and Environment previously, during which he supervised the implementation of the UAE's strategies locally, advancing environment and climate actions. He also led the country’s efforts in limiting and adapting to the repercussions of climate change at the global level, while also focussing on the preservation of the UAE’s biodiversity through the development and implementation of a set of effective policies and measures.

    Prior to assuming his ministerial position, HE Al Zeyoudi served as the permanent representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Director of the Department of Energy Affairs and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

    He began his career as a petroleum engineer at the Abu Dhabi Marine Area Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) before moving to the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), where he worked on the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions. He has played a major role in the UAE’s successful diplomatic campaign in 2009 to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in the capital, Abu Dhabi.

    HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi holds a Bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa; a Master's degree in Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT); a Master's degree in Project Management from the British University in Dubai; and a PhD in Strategy, Program and Project Management from SKEMA Business School in France.

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  • Dr. Simon Baptist (Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Dr. Simon Baptist

    Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Simon Baptist is Editorial Director and Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to his current role, he has held a number of other senior management and editorial positions in the business, including Managing Director for Asia, Regional Director of our Asia editorial team, Director of Global Forecasting, and Consulting Director in both Europe and Asia

    Simon’s focus is on the global economy, national and international political developments, and public policy. He engages with business, government and international organisations, helping them to understand the operational and strategic implications of the EIU’s forecasts.

    He has a doctorate in economics from and was a lecturer at Oxford University, along with degrees in economics and science from the University of Tasmania. His academic research investigated technology and the determinants of productivity in manufacturing firms.

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  • Andrew Mortimer (Managing Director, MENA of Barclays)

    Andrew Mortimer

    Managing Director, MENA of Barclays

    Andrew is the Country Manager and Chief Operating Officer for Barclays in the Middle East. He has Country Management responsibility for Barclays Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Wealth & Investment Management businesses based in the Middle East as well as all Infrastructure operations and is the legal entity representative with the respective regulatory authorities in the region.

    Over the past 30 years, Andrew held several senior positions at globally recognised financial institutions including SRM Global Fund, UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston Services, and Nomura International plc. Andrew holds an executive MBA from the University of Sussex in Applied General Management and is married with four children.

    He is also the newly elected Chairman and CEO of the British Business Group Dubai, a role in which he supports UK plc as well as UK citizens living in Dubai in both their day-to-day and wider business objectives.

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