GlobalWelsh, the global diaspora organisation focused on connecting Wales to the Welsh diaspora around the world, has launched a new hub in the Middle East. GlobalWelsh Middle East joins a network of other hubs in economically vibrant cities around the world including London, Beijing, Tokyo and Dublin. The hub will be officially launched with an event on 15th December at the British Embassy in Dubai with guest speaker, Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS, joining virtually from Wales.
The virtual hub will represent GlobalWelsh and facilitate activities on the ground in the region focusing on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which includes UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Led by Mark Prendergast, former group CEO of global engineering firm Harris Pye Engineering Group, who has spent over 20 years living and working in Dubai. The hub also has strong support locally from Welsh Government and Clwb Cymru Dubai, the Welsh community within the British Social Club based in Dubai.
Mark Prendergast, GlobalWelsh Middle East host, commented, “I’ve spent the last 25 years travelling around the world with business, and in that time I’ve been very fortunate to truly understand the power of building a network. Throughout my career I’ve grown increasingly passionate about my roots in Wales. Having exited my business in 2020, it’s now time for me to channel my passions back to Wales and GlobalWelsh provides the perfect platform for me to do this. Helping Welsh people and businesses within the community to connect locally, globally and back to Wales, is what GlobalWelsh is built on and I am incredibly excited to put a big Welsh stamp in the Middle East.”
GlobalWelsh hubs are led on a voluntary basis by passionate members of the diaspora who have networks and experience to facilitate GlobalWelsh activities and support people and businesses in the community who are looking to make connections, uncover opportunities and gain market knowledge. For local members it provides a way for them to network with other professionals and business leaders locally, but also globally and back home in Wales.
Walter May, founder and CEO of GlobalWelsh said, “We are delighted to open our hub in the Middle East. We recognise the vibrancy and economic power of the region and the importance to Wales in attracting investment and trade. The fact we have an impressive community of high-achieving Welsh people in the region provides a huge opportunity for GlobalWelsh, our members and Wales. We very much look forward to working with Mark, the team and his network, on impactful projects and connecting Wales to this important part of the world.”
The launch of the new hub will be celebrated with an event at the British Embassy in Dubai, on the afternoon of 15th December. The launch, in partnership with Welsh technology company Vortex IoT, will be a gathering of local Welsh people and business leaders who will also be joined by Welsh Government, Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS, who will formally mark the occasion with an address ahead of a Welsh Government event held at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai targeted at Welsh Diaspora.
Welsh Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “It’s great to see the launch of GlobalWelsh’s Middle Eastern hub. This hub promises to take engagement with our business diaspora in the region to the next level, and this is something I very much look forward to seeing. The Welsh diaspora are an important asset for Wales, and it is really encouraging that organisations, such as GlobalWelsh, recognise the value and potential of engaging with diaspora and are committing resources to help harness that potential.
“The Middle East is a very important market to Wales, especially for our exporters. This hub will play a key role in ensuring our Welsh diaspora in the region are supporting and helping to grow the prominence of Welsh companies and Welsh products here. As an article in the Economist once outlined, migrant business networks are changing the world. I am sure that this new hub will play its part in changing Wales by supporting and driving the Welsh economy forward into the future.
“Wales is a small country with a population of a little over three million and we already punch above our weight on the world stage. Through engaging with our global family, I am convinced that, collectively, we can help Wales grow and thrive and I am very much looking forward to that journey.”