DUBAI: Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attended a ceremony for the 16th commencement exercise of the American University in Dubai (AUD) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The ceremony, marking the graduation of more than 450students in various disciplines, took place in the presence of Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Cabinet Affairs Minister Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Education Humaid Mohammed Obeid Al Qattami, Director General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, senior officials, dignitaries, educational leaders and parents of the graduates.
Shortly after entering Sheikh Rashid Hall, His Highness and the attendees listened to a rendition of the UAE and USA national anthems, followed by a speech from the AUD's Vice President, Elias Bou Saab.
In his speech, Bou Saab cited some examples of Dubai success story, including attracting students, scholars and experts to its educational institutions.
He said the achievements made in higher education, digital economy and information technology fields reflect the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
At the conclusion of his speech, Bou Saab introduced the commencement speakers Arianna Huffington, the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor of the US city of Los Angeles.
Arianna Huffington, who is originally from Greece, spoke about her journey when she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa began his speech with a salute to Sheikh Mohammed for the great achievements he saw during his visit to Dubai.
He congratulated AUD, its students and its teaching staff for the successes made throughout the 18 years of its existence.
Following the speeches, Sheikh Mohammed distributed graduation certificates to great applause. His Highness shook hands with the graduating students and congratulated them on their success.
Sheikh Mohammed then posed for the memorial photos with the graduates and faculty.
The graduates received certificates in Master of Business Administration (MBA) Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE), Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSComp.E), Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Communication Speaking on behalf of their fellow students, this year's top graduates at AUD, Sana Dia'ei and Mohammed Hussain Mohammedi thanked in separate speeches Sheikh Mohammed, the faculty and their families for the care given to the students through their graduation.
In remarks towards the end of the ceremony, AUD President Dr Lance de Masi thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his patronage and support of AUD and the education in UAE generally. He congratulated the students on their graduation.
Sheikh Mohammed left the ceremony hall ceremony surrounded by the graduates among applauses and cheers.