Business education is continuing to gain traction in the Middle East with the decision by HEC Paris to offer executive education programmes - including an Executive MBA - in Qatar, following an agreement with the Qatar Foundation. The French school will also carry out research in the region.

This makes HEC Paris the first member of the Qatar Foundation Management, Education and Research Center (QF-Merc), which its founders hope will become the home to a number of elite business schools.

For Qatar, HEC’s programme will help develop the skills needed by executives in Qatar and the region to ensure their businesses remain competitive in a rapidly changing world. For HEC, according to HEC dean Bernard Ramanantsoa, the partnership “will strengthen HEC’s expertise in energy and financial management”.

HEC is not the first European business school to set up in the region. London Business School and City University’s Cass school, both from the UK, have established programmes in Dubai, while Insead has a third campus in Abu Dhabi - the first two are in France and Singapore. US business schools such as the Fuqua school at Duke University also have a presence in the region.

The Qatar Foundation was founded in 1995 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, as a non-profit organisation focusing on education, scientific research and community development.

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