Emerging Approaches to
Leadership Development
in the Gulf – Abu Dhabi

In-Person | Thursday 29 February 2024
8:30 – 12:30 GST
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


In a rapidly evolving business landscape where growing local talent and alignment to the Gulf’s vision for responsible business is paramount, this event will explore how organisations are adapting their approaches to develop impactful leaders for the future. During the event we’ll delve into how HR leaders can foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, as well as highlighting the integration of digital technologies, experiential learning, and the development of soft skills as key components of progressive leadership.

This event will explore the emerging approaches to leadership development, tailored to the unique demands of the Gulf region, providing a comprehensive overview of the innovative strategies that are reshaping leadership development in major organisations across the Gulf.

Underpinned by CRF research, the event will showcase good practice from leading organisations enabling participants to stay at the forefront of the thinking and application in the region.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and apply the latest trends and approaches to leadership development in the Gulf region
  • Leverage the insights of leadership development professionals from leading organisations
  • Share insights with peers to stay at the forefront of leadership development in the region

Who is this event for?

This is an invite-only event designed to bring together HR Directors, Heads of Leadership Development, Head of Talent and Learning as well as senior business leaders and senior HR professionals in the region.

If you are interested in attending, please contact events@crforum.co.uk.


Rory Hendrikz

Global Head of High-Performance Business and Sport, Hult EF Corporate Education

Rory is an accomplished Managing Director with over 30 years’ international experience with sector leading organisations in Healthcare, Technology, FMCG, Executive Education and Organisation Consulting sectors. His career has evolved from a corporate background, having been on the regional board of Johnson & Johnson (Middle East) and has held several leadership positions in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Over the past 20 years, Rory’s focus and expertise has been working with senior executives and organisations on leadership, strategy and change, where his work received a Silver Class Award at the highly acclaimed Management Consulting Awards (UK). 

As the Associate Dean and Head of Sport and High-Performance Business at Hult Ashridge Executive Education (UK), a Premier Executive Leadership Coach with the J&J Human Performance Institute (USA) and an Advanced Neuroscientific High-Performance Coach. Rory works extensively with Boards and Executive team leaders, focusing on achieving peak performance in challenging and complex environments. 

His work in this area is informed by his research into the high-performance parallels between executive business and elite sports teams, highlighted in his TEDxTalk ‘The Reality of Winning’.

Rory earned an MBA from City University, London, during which time he led a project team for the globalisation of GlaxoSmithKline’s nutritional healthcare division, and holds an MSc in Organization Consulting and Change, where he researched into accelerated development processes for senior leaders. He is also the External Examiner for the MSc in Sports Leadership at Cardiff Metropolitan Universities, School of Sport.

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Dr. Belisa Marochi

Professor, Hult International Business School

Dr. Belisa Marochi is faculty at Hult International Business School Dubai. Additionally, she has held positions at universities in Denmark, Sweden, US and UK. Her research focuses on sustainable development, diplomacy and gender-based agendas. Her experience includes consulting for companies such as Airbus, Kraft Heinz and Procter & Gamble and governments in the GCC, Europe and US. Dr. Marochi holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Roskilde University in Denmark and other degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from IE, Brown University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Larry Mayers

Leadership and Talent Lead, Emirates Group

Larry Mayers joined the Emirates Group in August 2022, as leadership and talent lead. In this role he is responsible for a number of Group wide, Global executive leadership development interventions.  

Prior to joining the Emirates Group he had a variety of roles, including Director of People development at Avolon, a global Aircraft Leasing company, based in Dublin. He has also run his own leadership and organisational development consultancy, where he serviced clients from industries as diverse as Sugar manufacturing, Steel Casting and  personal electronic device development. He built his career based on 10 years at Global Boutique Leadership development house, YSC. Here, as Director, he looked after clients such as British Airways and Shell. He is registered Organisational Psychologist. He is currently a PhD. candidate in politics.

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John Whelan MBE

Director, CRF

John Whelan is a Director at Corporate Research Forum. Formerly UK HR Director of BAE Systems, the FTSE 100 defence, security, and aerospace company, John’s experience and strengths lie in business and HR Transformation, Organisation Development and Employee Relations. Prior to joining BAE, he held a variety of HR roles in engineering, technology and manufacturing businesses across the telecommunications and semi-conductor industries including Matra-Marconi Space where he was HR Director for the UK and, latterly, Group HRD.

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08:30 Registration opens

09:15 Welcome Address including table introductions

09:30 Emerging Approaches to Leadership Development

10:30 Break

10:50 Empowering Leaders – New Trends and Shifts

11:40 Case Study: Emirates

12:10 Panel Discussion

12:30 Closing remarks and 2024 Research and Event Agenda

12:40 Network lunch


Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Khor Al Maqta – Rabdan
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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