Oxford & Cambridge Society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The Oxford & Cambridge Society UAE provides a focal point for all alumni of Oxford or Cambridge resident in the United Arab Emirates. The Society is free to join and, since being founded by David Spearing in 2005, has grown to over 600 members.

We have an active social calendar in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Recent highlights include the Boat Race Dinner, the May Ball (actually in May), an Iftar during Ramadan and a debate against Harvard. We also host receptions for academics and dignitaries, hold lectures by visiting professors and arrange frequent, more informal gatherings. Alumni and faculty visiting the UAE are always welcome to attend our events.

We maintain a broad range of links back to Oxford & Cambridge, and actively work with schools and government institutions in the UAE to promote a greater understanding of the opportunities for students at the two universities. We are also keen to support other alumni groups around the world.

If you are resident in the UAE (either Emirati or expatriate) and would like to join the Society, please fill in the short membership form. We can then keep you informed of upcoming events and activities. If you would like to participate in organising events or running the Society, we always welcome your support and ideas. Any further enquries can be sent by email to Katrina Pierce-Grove, Communications Officer. You can also join our LinkedIn group.

The Committee:

Founder and Honorary Life President - David Spearing MBE

Chairman - Mark Beer OBE (Dubai)

Vice Chairman - Joe Booth (Abu Dhabi)

Honorary Secretary - Peter Gray

Honorary Treasurer - Sheena Morjaria

Upcoming Events

There are currently no forthcoming group events - details of future events will be posted as and when they become available.

Recent Events

Thursday, 6 October 2016:

Talk by Amanda Pullinger at RitzCarlton DIFC

A great evening at the Ritz, where we could sit outside for the first time this season. Amanda gave a brief overview of her work:

- CEO at 100 Women in HedgeFunds, supporting over 15,000 professional women with educational programming, professional leverage opportunities and philanthropy

-Chairman at the HALO Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian mine clearance organisation

- Member of the Oxford University Alumni Board

A very interesting and accomplished lady, it was a pleasure to host her in Dubai and we hope to have more such unscripted events as distinguished people from Oxford and Cambridge pass through.

Steve Cronin, Oxford & Cambridge Society of the UAE


Wednesday, 11 May 2016: 

Ivy League & Oxbridge Mixer, Capital Club, Dubai

On a cool mid-May evening we tried an experiment to see if two nations were really divided by a common language. I’m delighted to report that we are not.

The idea for the mixer came about during a convivial dinner with Ali Draycott, the Ivy League alumni presidents and I, during which it became obvious that we each shared a passion for our own alma mater, and enjoyed the company of the others. Could that work on a bigger scale, we thought, and so it was agreed that we try an Oxbridge and Ivy League mixer: I’m delighted to say it was a huge success.

Just under 100 alumni gathered at the Capital Club on May 11 for an evening of good conversation, drinks and canapes. Whilst there was a propensity for chinos and bow ties on the one side, and talk of rustication and bedders on the other, it wasn’t long before an enthusiasm for Brexit and Trump brought the room together to avoid both subjects. Thanks also to the Capital Club for offering a wonderful raffle prize.

Feedback after the event has been excellent with people wanting more, and we hope to deliver just that.

Mark Beer, Oxford & Cambridge Society of the UAE