The ‘Shark Tank’ personality and businessman pays homage to his entrepreneurial Lebanese mother as ambassador to the new initiative, Access Abu Dhabi.Participating businesses will take advantage of specialty workshops led by Kevin O’Leary, market guidance from an expert advisory board, introductions to key stakeholders in the region and a range of other benefits. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a hub for innovation, a strategic partner of the U.S. and home to thriving financial and energy sectors.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beginning today, going global will take on fresh meaning for U.S. women and minority entrepreneurs interested in scaling their businesses overseas. Access Abu Dhabi, a new program created by Maven Global Access and powered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), will offer U.S. companies a bridge to the burgeoning Middle East region by way of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a slate of tailored incentives. 

The campaign strikes a personal chord for the Access Abu Dhabi ambassador, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and star of four-time Emmy award-winning television show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary. “My entrepreneurial Lebanese mother taught me how to balance business ambitions with empowering others,” he said. “This effort supporting women and minority businesses in their international expansion to one of the most innovative destinations in the world epitomizes everything I’ve learned from her. This endeavor will uplift entrepreneurs and enable them to scale new heights.”

His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), echoed O’Leary’s enthusiasm about the progressive program. “The UAE and the U.S. have enjoyed strong ties for decades, anchored by our strong trade and investment relationship and further enhanced by our alignment on advancing innovation to build a better future,” he remarked. “As part of Abu Dhabi’s vision to support ambitious businesses cultivating innovative, globally exportable solutions, we’re excited to welcome U.S. businesses, particularly female and minority-led companies, to our enabling business environment. Access Abu Dhabi is an empowering initiative reflective of the emirate’s inclusive nature a­­nd desire to serve as a gateway for business expansion to the Middle East in our increasingly globalized world.”

ADIO is the central government hub under ADDED responsible for facilitating private sector investment in Abu Dhabi. ADIO fosters opportunities for investors and businesses, providing a comprehensive range of tailored services and incentives to help businesses achieve long-term, sustainable success in the market and across the region.

In recent years, the Abu Dhabi government has doubled down on efforts to facilitate economic progress in Abu Dhabi by nurturing and attracting the best and brightest innovators, while creating a landscape that ensures businesses have access to the tools and resources needed to achieve success. Companies participating in Access Abu Dhabi will benefit from the emirate’s commitment to growth through a host of benefits including introductions to key stakeholders, setup support and one-on-one counsel and guidance from an advisory board led by O’Leary and UAE insiders. 

Sarah Omolewu, Managing Partner of Maven Global Access and founder of Access Abu Dhabi, was inspired to develop the program based on her own success story growing an award-winning entertainment marketing agency in the UAE over that last decade. “As an African American hailing from Ohio, one of the questions I am frequently asked back home is ‘what is it like doing business not only as a woman, but a woman of color in the region?’ People are often surprised and inspired when I tell the story of how female-led businesses from all over the world are thriving in the UAE,” she said. “I created Access Abu Dhabi to help lead the way for other women and minorities looking to turn their ambitions for international growth into reality.”

The initiative will also give a selection of notable Americans an insider experience of Abu Dhabi’s advanced infrastructure, hyper-connectivity, competitive talent pool, world-class lifestyle and myriad business opportunities through its curated delegations. These key groups will help spread the word amongst their respective communities back home.

Access Abu Dhabi’s inaugural envoy will take place November 21-23. The diverse group, led by O’Leary will explore various business opportunities and tech intersections between industries, including sports. Manchester United soccer legend Patrice Evra, NBA champion Metta World Peace and mother of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Wanda Durant will all be in attendance.

The UAE is the Arab world’s second-largest economy, with Abu Dhabi contributing more than 60% to the country’s GDP. In addition to being home to a thriving international financial sector, Abu Dhabi is a leader in the energy sector, a hub for innovation and a strategic partner of the U.S.


About Maven Global Access

Maven Global Access is an entity under the umbrella of award-winning entertainment marketing firm, Maven Marketing & Events that marries its strategic marketing know-how and expertise in dynamic global business markets. Through its marquee program Access Abu Dhabi, the Maven team is harnessing strong connections and deep knowledge of operations in the region to support women and minority businesses looking to expand beyond U.S. borders. From basic business setup to meetings with potential partners and investors, Maven's turnkey services provide 360-degree solutions.


About the Abu Dhabi Investment Office

As the central government hub supporting private sector investment in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) fosters opportunities for innovative investors and businesses of all sizes, forging connections with relevant stakeholders from Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem. ADIO provides a comprehensive range of tailored services and incentives to promote, attract and facilitate investment in Abu Dhabi, as well as help businesses achieve long-term, sustainable success in the market and across the region.


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