Zayed University hosts the 14th annual Global Communication Conference in Abu Dhabi campus

22 May 2016

Zayed University kicked off the 14th annual Global Communication (GlobCom) conference yesterday at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi campus under the theme of “Building Global Communication Networks for a Cause”.

Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, inaugurated the three-day conference, which aims to link students from around 16 universities in 16 countries in a competition to produce the best public relations strategy for a global task.

This year, the international student teams collaborated virtually via new media to create a strategic plan for the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project. Students worked towards raising awareness of the threats towards this endangered species.

Addressing the audience, Professor AlMehaideb said in his welcoming speech: “I am delighted to be here with you today at the 14th annual Global Communication conference with about 16 prestigious universities from different countries in 5 continents to support a global cause, “The Conservation of Marine Wild Life”.”

“This annual event was first started in 2003 and Zayed University was honored to host it at three previous occasions starting 2008, during which around 72 students from eight different countries participated. Over the years, we have witnessed its growth to reach the presence of 170 international guests and experts today coming from across the globe,” he added.

Professor AlMehaideb also expressed his thankfulness and gratitude to sponsors and partners of the annual Global International Conference including the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, which announced also on Sunday the launch of a 5.8 Million-Dollar grant to save endangered dugong and its seagrass ecosystems across the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.

Additionally, Professor AlMehaideb pointed out that hosting GlobCom not only provides a great learning experience for participating students, but also expands Zayed University’s academic interaction and mutual cooperation with international universities.

“This year’s conference is held under the theme of “Building Global Communication Networks for a Cause”, and by gathering here today, we all are part of the international network for cross-cultural understanding and international education. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a competition with their peers from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds to create the best public relations strategy for the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project. I wish your event success and I am confident that it will add a valuable learning experience to students and participants,” Prof. AlMehaideb added.

Also present at the event were Dr. Frédéric Launay, Board Member and Acting Director-General at the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Dr. Volker Stolz, President and Founder of the GlobCom Institute in Berlin, Germany, Cultural Attaché at the German, American and Australian Embassies, and a large number of faculty members, academics and experts in the field of mass communication, marketing, and public relations.

During the conference, Dr. Launay said: “Today is the International Day of Biological Diversity and we will join many people and many organizations around the world in celebrating biodiversity and species. The 2016 Global Communication Project will take on the challenge of “Building Global Communication Networks for a Cause”, the cause being the preservation of Dugongs and Seagrass. And this is a challenge. How to convey the needs to care and feel responsible for the fate of species and its ecosystem; in eight countries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; with a wide array of culture, tradition, and language.”

“It is a challenge to convince people to work together to save species that most people will never actually see in their environment. Saving species is a challenge that the Mohamed bin Zayed Fund took eight years ago, at a time where species’ conservation and the people committed to it were left alone. Today the Fund has supported more than 1300 projects in over 140 countries,” he added.  

The conference saw the presence of delegates from different countries including: Germany, Spain, Italy, India, New Zealand, Italy, Russia, South Africa, UK, United States, Thailand, Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey, Australia, Chile, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  

“The GlobCom Project aims at preparing students for an increasingly global work environment. We are giving young public relation students the unique opportunity to simulate working in a multinational team for a real client, an experience that will get them ready for their future,” Dr. Volker Stolz said in his welcome remarks.

“Working in global online teams is not always an easy process. Cultures are diverse and there are hurdles and misunderstandings that need to be overcome. Even in Europe, common words and terms may not have the same meaning. Furthermore, the term “public relations” is often understood and implemented differently in each country. Also, working virtually means we do not have the same social benefits as face-to-face teams. Therefore, building team cooperation and carrying out regular communication is more challenging but even more vital,” he added.

Three winning finalists will be announced on Monday out of nine international competing teams. The awarding ceremony will be held at the Ferrari World.

Dr. Marilyn Roberts, Acting Provost at Zayed University, Sean Cleary, Chairman of Strategic Concept and Executive Vice Chair of the Future World Foundation, and Dr. Volker Stolz, President and Founder of the GlobCom Institute, will be present at the ceremony to announce and recognize winners.

The GlobCom conference also witnessed the attendance of Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, who gave a keynote address, besides local and international experts, who engaged in open discussions and most up-to-date research and practice in international public relations  including:  Mazen Nahawi, CEO of Carma, Ghaleb Zeidan, Managing Director of Weber Shandwick, Khansa Al Blouki, Outreach Manager from Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency, Steve Martin, Partner at Brunswick Group, and Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marking at Yas Marina Circuit.

More information about GlobCom is available online at


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