H.E Faisal Al Bannai

Secretary General

Advanced Technology Research Council

His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai is Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council that was established to shape Abu Dhabi into a world-leading research hub and desired location for global advanced technology talent. Leveraging high-impact R&D in the advanced technology domain, Al Bannai plays an instrumental role in building Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s knowledge economy and in reinforcing its position as a preferred research and development ecosystem and one of the next global leaders in breakthrough technologies.

He is a member of the Emirates Research and Development Council headed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, that was constituted in September 2021 to accelerate R&D efforts in the country.

Al Bannai is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of EDGE, an advanced technology group for defense and beyond. In addition, he is a Member of the Board of Trustees for Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a world-class research institution that nurtures critical thinkers in applied science and engineering, as well as a Member of the Council of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the nation’s flagship university which aspires to be a research-intensive institution. He is also a Board Member of the UAE Space Agency that is transforming the UAE’s space sector.

Earlier in his career, Al Bannai founded DarkMatter, a global cyber security service provider, which he expanded into a US$400 million business. Prior to this, he founded Axiom Telecom, the largest distributor of mobile devices in the Middle East, with an annual turnover of US$2.5 billion.

He has received several accolades, the most notable being the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Al Bannai was also recognized as the Technology Business Leader of the Year at the Gulf Business Awards (2017). He joined the Arabian Business’s 100 Inspiring Leaders in the Middle East ranking (2018) as well as the elite Gulf Business Arab Power List (2018, 2019). Most recently, he ranked number 20 on Forbes’s Top CEOs in the Middle East 2021 list and was also cited in the Arabian Business’s Arab Power List for 2021.

Faisal Al Bannai holds a master’s in Shipping Trade and Finance from City University, London in the UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Boston University in the US.



05 December 2022 | 13:45 | KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

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