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United Arab Emirates official meets with ASU officials

August 06, 2008
Sultan Saeed Nasser AlMansoori, minister of economy for the United Arab Emirates, met with ASU President Michael Crow and other university officials July 31 as part of a daylong visit to ASU conducted by the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement.

Rock, Almansoori and OvittAlMansoori is an ASU alum, having earned a degree in industrial engineering and management systems here during the late 1980s.

AlMansoori’s visit focused on a range of opportunities for cooperation between ASU and the UAE. Discussions centered on the increasing complexity and global engagement of the university since his time here, with emphasis on ASU’s strengths in technology transfer, sustainability and planning and public policy, in particular the role of information and policy informatics in areas that included health care and urban development.

The impact of ASU research – not only the theoretical, but practical applications – were cited as promising areas for future collaborations. Building on the theme of commonalities shared by the UAE and Arizona, AlMansoori noted a correspondence between the rapid expansions of the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas into a single “megalopolis” and similar growth in the UAE cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which also are expanding toward one another across a desert.

AlMansoori met with a group of current UAE students before a tour of Decision Theater. He pointed out that five or six other ASU alums hold high-level positions in the UAE government, and that they are among the best promoters of the university in his country. There was agreement that it would be beneficial for ASU to expand marketing efforts to attract even more students from the UAE and the Gulf region.

Representatives of the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement, the Global Institute for Sustainability, Arizona Technology Enterprises, the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, the Biodesign Institute, Decision Theater and the Alumni Association participated in AlMansoori’s program, which concluded with a private dinner conducted by Crow.

Earlier in the day, AlMansoori met with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and his staff to discuss possible joint efforts and future contacts between the city and the UAE.