New satellite office expands ASU’s presence in the Middle East

ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management has opened a new satellite center of excellence in Dubai called the Thunderbird Global Innovation Center in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the global finance and leading fintech hub with over 300 fintech and innovation companies in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.

New satellite office expands ASU’s presence in the Middle East

The new Thunderbird Global Innovation Center is located within the DIFC Innovation Hub on the first floor of Gate Avenue at DIFC, in the heart of Dubai’s flourishing international business district. Known as a leading world-class business and innovation destination, Gate Avenue at DIFC provides the most powerful innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. 

Thunderbird Global Innovation Center will capitalize on DIFC’s unmatched location and network to catalyze and accelerate startups and existing firms while providing world-class international business, leadership and management training, including delivery of graduate degree programs. Thunderbird Executive Education will deliver elite hybrid learning programs (both in person and remote) for organizations and individuals. Innovators and entrepreneurs will have opportunities to design, test and refine their ideas working alongside top educators, business leaders, financial experts and thousands of other trailblazers from DIFC’s vast and diverse ecosystem. Additionally, having a presence in this highly sought-after location will bolster regional recruiting and serve as a connection point for members of Thunderbird and ASU’s global alumni networks.

“Our new home in Dubai’s financial nerve center will allow Thunderbird and ASU to do what we do best — spark innovation and build collaborative knowledge networks across sectors and disciplines — in one of the business world’s key locations,” said Thunderbird’s Director General and Dean Sanjeev Khagram. “With the expertise of our partners at DIFC, Thunderbird will use this perfect location as a launchpad to drive regional transformation and export cutting-edge management mastery around planet Earth. We’re expanding our worldwide network of Thunderbird Centers of Excellence in major commercial hubs like Dubai, and this beautiful space within Gate Avenue at DIFC will leverage the latest technology to link up with our offices in other cities as well as our new state-of-the-art Thunderbird Global Headquarters in Phoenix, opening this fall as part of our 75th anniversary celebrations. Being here now means our school and university will play an instrumental role in taking business innovations in Dubai to new heights as the Fourth Industrial Revolution accelerates.” 

Thunderbird’s launch event was the occasion of a special visit from the deputy ruler of Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also president of the Dubai International Financial Center, officially inaugurated the DIFC Innovation Hub located in the Gate Avenue complex. The luxurious facility is part of the new Dubai Future District announced in January 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.