Dubai-based company launches $2.7 million fund to nurture Global Grad Show innovators

Updated 11 November 2019

Dubai-based company launches $2.7 million fund to nurture Global Grad Show innovators

  • The new initiative aims to provide international creatives with support and financial encouragement
  • The winning projects will be selected by a community of senior executives from diverse industries

DUBAI: UAE-based conglomerate A.R.M. Holding has joined forces with Dubai Design Week’s Global Grad Show (GGS), to establish a 10-year-fund of $2.7 million to back and nurture start-ups conceived by graduate talent from across the globe.  

“The fund is very important for us because we would like to empower students from all over the world,” Mohammad Al-Shehhi, chief executive officer of A.R.M Holding, told Arab News. “We want to invest in the most creative ideas from the best universities around the world.”

As the former COO and then CEO of Dubai Design District (d3), Al-Shehhi had the chance to see first-hand the wealth of talent showcased by the GGS — an annual showcase of student-designed innovations from around the world.

A strong advocate of young talent, Al-Shehhi’s new initiative aims to provide international creatives with the support and financial encouragement they require while simultaneously supporting the ecosystem of start-ups and bolstering the level of talent flowing into the country and region. 




"Shelters for extended families" by Dina Samara from the American University of Sharjah. (Photo: Global Grad Show)

“Through the fund, we are looking to bring inventions and ideas to life in Dubai by enabling students to develop their projects for the region,” Al-Shehhi said.

The winning projects will be selected by a community of senior executives from diverse industries that were hand-picked by Al-Shehhi to represent the conglomerate. “We will make sure that we choose projects from a number of different industries, including health care, technology and sustainability,” he explained of the jury’s selection process.

Taking place annually during Dubai Design Week, the Global Grad showcases student-designed innovations from more than 100 universities around the world. “The Global Grad Show combines some of the most brilliant students from top universities across the globe under one roof,” Al-Shehhi added.

“Most great ideas that we see today in the market, including Facebook, they all began as small start-ups in universities,” he mused, “So you never know, the next big entrepreneur could be one of our winners.” 


What We Are Reading Today: Life in a Cold Climate by Laura Thompson

Updated 06 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Life in a Cold Climate by Laura Thompson

In an enjoyable biography of an interesting woman, Laura Thompson effectively analyses Nancy Mitford’s work in the context of her life and loves.

Mitford “was obviously a much more complex character than many modern accounts paint her and this book certainly demonstrates this,” said a review in goodreads.com.

A stylish and well-informed writer, Thompson brings a snobbishness of her own to her sympathetic account of Mitford’s life.

Christopher Benfey said in a review for The New York Times: “The firmness of Mitford’s anti-fascist views was put to the test during World War II when she was approached by British intelligence to spy on General de Gaulle’s Free French officer corps in London. A mole was apparently passing information to the collaborationist Vichy regime. Thompson tells us frustratingly little about this episode. Instead, she trains her attention on Mitford’s love affair with one of the officers, Charles de Gaulle’s right-hand man and chief political adviser, Gaston Palewski, a heavyset man with a Hitler mustache and receding hair.”