For the first time ever, PKF International decided to hold their annual International Partners’ Symposium in the Middle East region and, fittingly, chose the UAE, the oasis of peace and stability in the region. The Symposium was held in Dubai over the 25th to 28th October 2013. Given the events of the recent past in PKF, the symposium theme “Building Momentum” had particular significance.
The presence of partners from all regions, including the Americas, Europe and Africa, confirmed the belief of the member firms in the PKF brand. It also underlined the importance and attraction of the U.A.E. as an investment destination and a tourist attraction.
The Symposium provided member firms with an opportunity to network with other member firms and explore cross-border opportunities, and the International Board a platform to brief, and get the buy-in of, member firms at large on their strategy to strengthen the PKF brand and grow the network.
The annual symposium provides new and existing member firms an ideal platform to showcase their capabilities to the other member firms. The Dubai Symposium saw presentations from member firms in China, Jordan and Dubai.
Presentations were also made by distinguished speakers, external and internal, on new practice areas and new business opportunities. These included presentations on ‘Islamic Finance’ by Mansoor Ahmed of the Shariah Review Bureau, on ‘Business Creativity’ by Frederik Haren and on ‘Office 365’ by Microsoft Corporation.
Accompanying spouses were not forgotten however. They were treated to a Dubai city tour (including a dhow cruise) on the 26th October and a shopping trip to the Dubai Mall on the 27th.
It was not all work for the delegates as well. Evening time brought the opportunity to relax at some of the most iconic places in the region. Dinner on the 26th October was at the Al Hadheerah Restaurant, Bab Al Shams Resort and on the 27th at the Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah.
28th October saw many delegates enjoy a catamaran trip in the afternoon along with their family and, in a fitting finale to the event, dinner at the Armani Pavilion, Burj Khalifa.
The conclusion of the Symposium saw the 2nd MENA sub-regional meeting taking place in the Westin, Dubai on 29th October. This meeting, chaired by Oliver Grosse-Brauckmann, Regional Director – EMEI saw the participation of firms across the MENA region deliberating on ways to improve the PKF brand in the region and cooperate on trans-border assignments
The ‘WOW’ factor of the UAE had its effect with many delegates promising to return.