COP 28, Digital Policies, and Healthcare in Focus at Business Council Board Meeting


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October 19, 2022

Abu Dhabi – His Excellency Waleed Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, and Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, co-chaired the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s 15th annual Board meeting at the St. Regis hotel, which was immediately followed by a reception hosted by H.E. Al Muhairi.

Senior executives from U.S. and U.A.E. companies attended this pivotal meeting along with partners and guests from the U.A.E. Embassy in the United States, U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, COP 28 organizing team, and AI, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office.

U.S. and U.A.E. executives underscored the dynamic bilateral business relationship and the growing importance of the U.A.E. as a global hub following the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the global economic downturn. Business leaders emphasized their commitment to double down on the U.A.E. where they see tremendous opportunities for growth.

H.E. Al Muhairi shared his outlook for the global macroeconomic climate at a time of inflation and monetary tightening. He also spoke of the importance of the U.S.-U.A.E. trade and investment relationship and emphasized Mubadala’s continued commitment to investment opportunities in the United States.

His counterpart, Dr. Mihaljevic, drew attention to the “silent yet global crisis in healthcare” coming out of the pandemic., including the acute shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and increases in the cost of healthcare.

Business Council Co-Vice Chair Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank, cited certain positive economic trends in the U.A.E. and the region despite the gloomy assessment of the global macroeconomic situation at the recent IMF/World Bank meetings. Her fellow co-Vice Chair Eugene Willemsen, Chief Executive Officer for Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia at PepsiCo, spoke of the rapid development of the U.A.E. and the strategic foresight of its leadership, citing Expo 2020 Dubai as a prime example. Badr Abbas, Senior Vice President at Emirates, reviewed the resilience and rapid recovery of the aviation sector, while highlighting Emirates’ expanding presence in the United States including through a new partnership with United Airlines.

U.A.E. Ambassador to the United States H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba and U.S. Charge d’Affaires in the U.A.E. Sean Murphy underscored the importance of business and trade to the vibrant U.S.-U.A.E. relationship.

COP 28 Director General H.E. Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi briefed the group on the U.A.E.’s plans for COP 28 and the role the private sector can play.

Saqr Binghalib – Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office within the Ministry of AI – provided an update on behalf of H.E. Minister Omar Al Olama about the U.A.E.’s forward-leaning digital policies and laws.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, the Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, outlined Abu Dhabi’s strategy for the growth and development of its healthcare sector, which included partnerships with key American companies.

For questions about this meeting or the Business Council’s activities, please contact Wissam Rose at