In a further sign of the growing importance Gulf businesses are putting on management education a press release from the State owned Dubai Aluminium Company, DUBAL, on the promotion to General Manager of eight managers all of whom have completed at least one executive program at IMD, Ashridge or INSEAD.
In line with the UAE government's nationalisation initiatives, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited ("DUBALDUBAL") - the entirely state-owned enterprise that operates the world's largest modern primary aluminium smelter with a captive power station - has implemented a comprehensive nationalisation policy that not only aims to achieve greater Emirati representation in its workforce, but also to ensure that its UAE National employees are developed to take on challenging roles with increased responsibility in the organisation. The latter entails investments in career development and progression, with the overall aim of building a strong second-tier management level comprising UAE Nationals as a vital component of the company's succession planning programme.
These efforts have reached new heights recently through the promotion of eight Emirati gentlemen to General Manager status. They are:
Sultan Al Sabri (designated GM Marketing & Sales: Europe & North America) - A Bachelor of Science (Engineering Technology) graduate, with majors in Design and Industrial Operation, Sultan joined DUBAL
's Graduate Trainee programme in August 1989. He has since risen through the ranks in various departments (Industrial Engineering; Human Resources; and Marketing & Sales) to Manager, Marketing & Sales: Europe & North America. During his 20-year career at DUBAL , Sultan has benefited from on-the-job and classroom-based training through the DUBAL Training Centre; and also attended world-class programmes at IMD (sales & marketing; leadership).
Nasser Mohammed Ismail Zainal (designated GM Marketing & Sales: GCC, Middle East and MENA regions) - A Bachelor of Science (Mechanical and Automotive Engineering), Nasser joined DUBAL in September 1994, as Graduate Supervisor Trainee (Smelter Maintenance). Following a series of promotions, he is currently Manager Marketing & Sales: GCC, Indian Sub-continent, Middle East and Africa. Over the course of his 15-year career at , Nasser has attended many training courses related to the positions he has held in maintenance; and marketing & sales; and also completed the Business Marketing Program through IMD.
Mohammed Abdul Rahman Ahmad Al Mutawa (designated GM Marketing & Sales: Asian Markets) - Since joining DUBALas Special Entry Graduate (Engineering) in April 2001, Mohammed has moved rapidly upwards through the organisation to Manager Marketing & Sales: Asia. At the same time, Mohammed's Bachelor of Science (Industrial Engineering) has been complemented by numerous training, skills and competency development courses offered internally through the DUBAL Training Centre. He has also completed training programmes through IMD and Ashridge Business School. Mohammed is also the Marketing & Sales representative for Emirates Aluminium (a new green-field aluminium smelter under construction at Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi), with responsibility for co-ordinating between DUBAL Marketing & Sales and Emirates Aluminium ("EMAL").
Saeed Ibrahim Al Qasem (designated GM: Export Finance, Administration & Logistics) - With a Bachelor of Science (Industrial and System Engineering) and a Masters in Engineering Management to his credit, Saeed joined DUBAL in October 1996 as Graduate Trainee in the Industrial and Engineering Department. A well-planned career progression path has seen him rise to Manager: Export Finance, Administration & Logistics, being responsible for the back-office Sales and Planning Operations. Over the years, he has completed all the middle management courses and the leadership programme offered by Ashridge Business School. Saeed is currently enrolled in DUBAL 's Executive Development Programme, which was launched mid-2009.
Mohammed Ahmad Kahin Jame (designated GM: Smelter Maintenance) - After joining DUBAL
as a school-leaver in October 1985, Mohammed completed BETEC (Levels I & II) through the DUBAL Training Centre, then went on to obtain an Ordinary National Diploma (General Engineering) and a Higher National Diploma (Mechanical Plant Engineering). He has since earned a Masters in Business Administration; benefited from numerous training, skills and competency development courses within DUBAL ; and completed the Building on Talent programme through IMD. Several promotions led to his current post of Senior Manager: Smelter Maintenance.
Saleh Ahmed Rabba Al Shehhi (designated GM: Reduction Materials) - A Bachelor of Science (Geology & Chemistry) graduate, Saleh joined DUBAL as a Trainee Supervisor (Carbon) in June 1994. A series of promotions led to his current appointment as Manager: Reduction Materials, each stage being accompanied by relevant skills and competency development training courses. Among others, Saleh has attended first line management, executive development (Hay Group), executive senior leadership, continuous improvement, hazard evaluation & risk analysis, and asset management courses through DUBAL ; and also completed the Building on Talent programme through IMD.
Amer Mohamed Abdulla Al Redhwan (designated GM: Expansion Projects) - Since joining DUBAL
as a Utility Operator (Reduction Lines) in February 1994, Amer has benefited from numerous DUBAL-sponsored opportunities including a Post-graduate Certificate in Light Metals Reduction Technology, plus Fundamentals of Aluminium Smelting and a Diploma in Aluminium Smelting Technologies. Currently Senior Project Manager: Smelter Expansions with responsibility for DUBAL 's major brown-field expansion projects, he has also attended most of the management training courses offered through the company, including middle management through ILM and the Ashridge Business School Senior Leadership Masterclass.
Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Kalban (designated GM: Power & Desalination Maintenance) - Armed with a Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering), Abdulnasser joined DUBAL as a Special Entry Graduate in September 1996. This programme, together with a series of training initiatives - including DUBAL 's in-house industrial core, project management and management development programmes; the Ashridge Business School Senior Leadership Masterclass; the Young Manager's Programme through INSEAD; and the Hay Group's Executive Development Programme - equipped him to rise to his current post of Senior Manager, Maintenance: Power & Desalination.
"The promotion of these eight talented individuals is a vital step in fulfilling our strategic objective of developing a strong second layer of UAE Nationals at executive management level," says Abdulla J M Kalban (President & CEO: DUBAL). "The initiative is integral to our overall nationalisation policy, in which dedicated training and skills development programmes, well-structured career progression opportunities and individual mentorship provide the scope for Emirati employees to reach their potential as quickly as possible. The policy also includes targeted UAE National recruitment and retention initiatives to fulfil the nationalisation targets that we have set for each level in our organisation. At present, 24 per cent of DUBAL 's 4,100-strong workforce are UAE Nationals - a figure well above the Dubai industry average of 4 per cent. The level of nationalisation at senior management level, following these promotions, has risen to more than 74 per cent.
"Given their progress within the company to date, we are confident that these newly-appointed General Managers will contribute meaningfully to the leadership of DUBAL in their respective areas of responsibility. Accordingly, we wish them every success in their new positions," concludes Kalban.
DUBAL is the world's largest modern aluminium smelter with a captive power station. It is also one of the largest non-oil contributors to the economy of Dubai. Built on a 480-hectare site in Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE, DUBAL's major facilities comprise an 960,000 tonne-per-annum primary aluminium smelter, a 2,350 megawatt power station (at 30°C), a large carbon plant, three casthouses, a 30-million-gallon-per-day water desalination plant, laboratories, port and storage facilities. Employment is provided to more than 4,100 people, of whom approximately 24 per cent are UAE Nationals.
Entirely state-owned, DUBALwas established to aid in the diversification of the UAE economy by adding value to the country's oil-rich mineral resources. After a series of six successive expansions, accompanied by a regular array of operational achievements and independent awards, the company is today widely regarded as the industrial flagship of the UAE. Having begun to tap metal in November 1979, the company celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, i.e. 2009.