A pioneer in business education in the Middle East, HEC Paris in Doha is celebrating its 10th anniversary in this strategic region by inaugurating its new campus. Also, after 2 years of Covid restrictions, the school celebrated with great pomp the graduation of its 2020 and 2021 classes.

Two classes in the spotlight

The faces are masked but their expressions are joyful. It is in the heart of the dynamic Msheireb district also called the “new downtown Doha”, in Barahat Msheireb square, that the students graduating from the Executive MBA (EMBA) and Executive Masters in Strategic Business Unit Management (SBUM) came to receive their degree. The lights dim and the master of ceremony Faisal Almudahka, Editor in chief of the Gulf Times, hands the microphone to Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan, Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar. Cheerful, he begins « thank you so much for sharing your joy tonight. As you know, emotions are contagious. Our new home in Msheireb embodies the commitment of Qatar Foundation to HEC Paris and to its mission of impact and excellence in Qatar and the Gulf region. HEC Paris and its partners are helping build a knowledge-based, diversified, sustainable economy that is central to Qatar National Vision 2030, by training women and men to reach their potential as managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs and by creating and growing ethical and responsible companies that create a better future for all”.

By video, L’Oréal Chairman, Jean-Paul Agon (H.78), also addressed the new graduates: « You studied through extraordinary circumstances. You are the best prepared generation to overcome any situation” he asserted before continuing: « You are now part of something bigger; the alumni community, be active! » The new HEC Paris Dean, Éloïc Peyrache, who came for the occasion with his executive team, took his turn on stage: « As a leading global business school, our presence in Doha provides a platform to serve the needs of the business community in Qatar and the region. We thank H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Thani and Qatar Foundation for their support and trust which has spanned more than 10 years now and look forward to many years where we will help build the talent and leaders required to address our increasingly complex global economy”.

The lights go down and according to the very solemn rhythm of Sir Edwar Elgar’s Military March, the parade of long black gowns and graduate hats begins. Qatari and graduates of many different nationalities go up one side and down the other, diploma in hand. The applause intensified when it was the turn of H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who graduated with an executive master’s degree from the Class of 2020 and who is also the son of HH Sheikha Moza and brother of the CEO of Qatar Foundation, H. E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, also an HEC Paris EMBA alumna

Now recent graduates, employed or entrepreneurs in different sectors, their words echo each other: « The business school offers a powerful network » says Eman Alkuwari, Head of emerging technology at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology; « For me, the graduation is a wonderful end to a perfect journey » says Adam Liu working for Bank of China. Mabrouk to everyone!

The new campus opens in a strategic district

While in France November 11 celebrates the Armistice, in Doha this day marks the inauguration of the new HEC Paris premises in the iconic Msheireb district. Located in the heart of Doha, Msheireb downtown Doha (MDD) is the flagship development project of Msheireb Properties, a subsidiary of the Qatar Foundation. The old commercial district has been rebuilt to become the new destination for living, leisure, and business. Here everything aims to be sustainable. Buildings provide shade for each other, and the streets are designed North to South, to avail of the breeze brought in by the sea. The ponds and fountains at the foot of the buildings should lower the temperature by 10 to 12°C. And another world is played out underground where there are kilometers of parking lots, a whole floor for services (including deliveries) and a whole network for recycling waste collection. Finally, the tramway runs through the entire district, which is also well served by the brand new metro. This is where HEC Paris in Qatar’s new campus was inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza, Chairman of the Qatar Foundation, with Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of HEC Paris, featuring encounters with alumni entrepreneurs such as Hamad Al-Hajri, founder of Snoonu, and AbdulMohsin AlYafei, co-founder of Cwallet.

The inauguration marks a new stage in the strategic partnership between HEC Paris and the Qatar Foundation, which aims to accelerate the country’s economic modernization by 2030. As the first European academic institution part of Qatar Foundation’s ambitious educational plan, HEC Paris in Qatar launched its International Executive EMBA in 2010 and then rapidly expanded its portfolio of programs to meet the specific needs of executives, managers and companies in the region, via the Executive Master in Strategic Business Unit Management, Executive Certificates, short programs for managers and custom programs for major public and private organizations in the region (Qatar Investment Authority, King Faisal Hospital, Total Energies, Alstom Middle East…) to meet the growing talent needs of the region.

In 10 years, HEC Paris in Qatar has built a community of more than 700 alumni and has welcomed more than 4000 continuing education participants, including leading regional decision makers and successful entrepreneurs. « This campus and its alumni lounge are for the whole community. It is a place for connection. The alumni chapter is your tool, make it yours, make it come alive » says Adrien Couret, the new President of the HEC Alumni Association who addressed a group of 50 or so alumni who gathered to discover the new school premises. A first-time visitor to Qatar, Adrien Couret made the trip with Marguerite Gallant (H.03), Executive director of HEC Alumni, and other association staff members, eager to tune in to the needs of this fast-growing and diverse HEC community.  With 150 new alumni every year, Doha has become the third largest HEC alumni community worldwide. Qatar’s dynamic environment also provides the faculty with unique research opportunities on key themes for the future: innovation, entrepreneurship, women leadership and the sustainable transition of the energy sector. An extension of the Jouy-en-Josas Campus, with go-to Leadership programs for the local executive talent pool, and a growing, vibrant alumni community, Doha has become an essential regional hub for HEC Paris!

Read also – Doha : Discover the top picks of HEC greeters

Published by