Fulbrighter | Middle East Public Policy Advisor | Research, Strategy and Communications Expert
Omar Al Busaidy
Am I a proud alumnus? Absolutely. AUD helped me to reach where I am today. Staff members realized my potential and were flexible when I needed to take time off to travel for work and when I tried to register for classes that were full. Also in 2008, I had massive surgery. They were extremely understanding and helpful. I cannot thank them enough.
Few are fortunate enough to turn their passion into a career but Omar Al Busaidy has done just that. Twice.
With a genuine love of communication and sports – specifically soccer – the 29 year old is Tourism Investment Manager & Sponsorship Manager of Manchester City Football Club. Employed by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, he combines his strongest skill, people interaction, with the beautiful game, and is extremely grateful.
“I work with a great team of hard-working professionals,” he says. “Our mantra is ‘get the job done’. The main function is to enhance the Abu Dhabi visitor experience, particularly in the leisure sector, so we identify the right location to put the right product for the right experience, by attracting both public and private sector investments.”
Describing his role as a “significant opportunity”, Omar is no stranger to the world of business and has even authored a hit entrepreneurial guide to self- development called Just Read It.
But where did all this knowledge come from? Much of it originated at AUD, from where he graduated in 2009.
After several consultations with advisors and family members, he decided to study marketing, believing that a degree in this field would greatly enhance his already strong communication skills.
“Marketing was the perfect fit,” he says. “It was only going to improve my abilities and take them to a new level.”
And he was absolutely right. At AUD, he met some of the region’s best professors and students who helped him grow in his career. He is still in contact with many of these people today.
It was the valedictorians, however, who inspired Omar the most, especially at graduation when he would listen to their speeches and feel overwhelmed by their spirit and ambition. While he remembers these moments fondly, his favorite memory of AUD is mingling with staff, including Peggy Awad, Director of External Relations, and Matilda Jabbour.
“They were my best advisors,” he smiles. “Matilda, who was the Registrar at the time, was like my mom. She always reminded me of my deadlines for registering courses, as I was so late and disorganized. She used to have a hard time with me, but I think my charm worked on her. I’d just smile and tell her I was building my empire,” he says.
With so many cherished memories, is there any advice Omar would like to share with current students and alumni?
“Yes. I would tell all students and graduates to take advantage of the library, as it’s extremely useful for feeding the mind and soul. Also, spend time with the professors - they can share advice or pass on knowledge that you don’t necessarily learn in textbooks. And finally, be a good ambassador for your family and country. It will take you a long way.”
Speaking of the future, Omar aspires to run a successful holding company with businesses in oil and gas, management consultancy, education, hospitality and real estate - fields in which he has a strong interest.
Perhaps in a nod to his time at AUD, he would like to spend the majority of his time “dedicated to education” by lecturing at either universities or secondary schools and sharing some of the many lessons he has learned throughout his impressive career.