The World Trade Club (WTC), the UAE’s oldest private business club located on the 33rd floor of the iconic Sheikh Rashid Tower at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), itself a long standing symbol of the emirate’s rich past and dynamic future, celebrated its 25th anniversary in style, bringing together members new and old.
First opened in 1989 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the WTC has continuously played a central role as a networking platform for professionals and business executives from across the region over the last two-and-a-half decades.
Managed by DWTC, it operates under the World Trade Centre Association, which boasts over 700 members across 55 nationalities. Aligned to DWTC’s aim of positioning the emirate as the leading destination for business networking in the MENASA region, the WTC has long been a meeting place for the 'who's who' of Dubai's business, political and social circles.
“Building relationships is in the very fabric of our business growth for the UAE,” said Mohammed Al Jumairi, Vice President – Hospitality, Dubai World Trade Centre. “For 25 years, the World Trade Club has provided executives the much-needed balance between business and leisure, allowing them to forge new relationships and, very often, lifelong friends. Crossing such a remarkable milestone is a testament to World Trade Club’s capability to truly add value to business leaders around the region. We look forward to the next 25 years, where such connections continue to strengthen, benefitting a range of high-level industry leaders.”
Those attending the Silver Jubilee event included a wealth of names instrumental in Dubai’s emergence as a leading destination, such as Sir Maurice Flanagan, founder and ex-Vice Chairman of Emirates Airline, Guy Guillemard, the first General Manager and Director of Dubai World Trade Centre, and Mark Harris, the son of John Harris, the architect of Sheikh Rashid Tower and an architect himself.
For decades, DWTC has played a pivotal role in hosting high calibre international events, reaffirming Dubai as the business, financial and trading hub of the region. Over the last 25 years, WTC has also played its role, connecting local, regional and global industry peers through its association with 165 international World Trade Clubs around the world.
Guy Guillemard, former GM of DWTC, added: “DWTC proved a game-changer for Dubai, attracting regional offices and introducing new companies to the region through trade exhibitions. One of the initiatives that helped connect members of different business sectors and national communities was World Trade Club. Exchanging ideas, holding events, and creating a private place that fosters and promotes networking and partnerships are important elements. They form part of the essential glue that builds business, prosperity, and harmony within a community. As the GM and Director of the Dubai World Trade Centre in the 1980s, I am proud and honoured to have played a part in establishing WTC and congratulate all who have been involved over these exciting years.”
Over 700 members currently enjoy the benefits of WTC, spanning industries ranging from trading, to consulting, construction, engineering, contracting and many more.
WTC facilities mirror those of 165 World Trade Clubs around the world, such as fine dining and regular industry-luncheons. Members in the region are also able to access all of the global World Trade Clubs as well as all exhibitions which take place in DWTC, compounding the level of networking opportunities.