IMA® recently expanded its presence in the Middle East by launching its newest international chapter in Abu Dhabi, the capital and second-largest city of the United Arab Emirates.
Attending the April 18 launch event were 50 chapter members, as well as Hassan Sharafeddin, CMA®, CIA, a member of the IMA Global Board of Directors and president of IMA’s Dubai chapter. Mr. Sharafeddin welcomed the new chapter to the growing Middle East region and presented the chapter with its charter. Attending from IMA were Jim Gurowka, IMA vice president of international business development, and Hanady Khalife, regional operations manager for IMA Middle East based in Dubai. Moaz Barakat followed up the ceremony with a presentation on the "New Role of Management Accountants as Real Business Partners."
Abu Dhabi is now home to IMA's 19th international chapter. According to Mr. Gurowka, the process of establishing this chapter began more than three years ago and was successful thanks to the efforts of numerous people.
“The chapter organizing team received tremendous support from our colleagues in Dubai, particularly from the chapter president, Mr. Sharafeddin, as well as from IMA’s regional office,” said Mr. Gurowka. “IMA’s global headquarters in Montvale, N.J. also was strongly committed to expanding the association’s presence in this region. Finally, and certainly not lastly, the dedication that the chapter organizing team showed in getting the chapter up and running and establishing a long-term vision for the chapter’s success was incredible.”
Mr. Gurowka noted that two members of the Abu Dhabi chapter’s board of directors are from Mubadala, including the chapter president, Mohamed Al Masri, and Amal Al Ameri, the chapter vice president of communications and community relations. Ms. Al Ameri is one of a growing group of female CMAs in the UAE. Many chapter members work at Mubadala, which is also currently providing an in-house CMA review course for interested professionals. In addition, Mubadala is making its facilities available for many chapter events. Rounding out the chapter board are Sami Barakeh from Tamouh and Maher Nasreddine from Morgan International.
The goals for the new chapter are in keeping with those of other IMA chapters: to support the growth of IMA in the region, to provide assistance to the management accounting profession in general, and to help CMA candidates in their quest to becoming certified. There are certainly many members who fall into that latter category. According to Mr. Gurowka, nearly all members of the chapter – which currently number about 400 – are either CMAs or in the process of becoming CMAs.
To achieve its goals, the new Abu Dhabi chapter is already planning numerous networking events. Many members will attend the IMA Middle East Conference, taking place on May 10-11, 2011.
During that conference, IMA will announce the launch of another chapter in the Middle East region. That chapter, Saudi Arabia-Eastern Province, is being made possible thanks to the efforts and support of employees and IMA members at Saudi Aramco, a leading global petroleum company.
For additional information on IMA’s new Abu Dhabi chapter, please visit www.abudhabi.imanet.org.