Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Leads All-star Delegation to Abu Dhabi

  • “I see potential for Abu Dhabi to become the Switzerland of the Middle East” – Kevin O’Leary

Highlights and photos from Access Abu Dhabi, by Maven Global Access and powered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. The star-studded inaugural delegation kicked off this week in Abu Dhabi including Kevin O’Leary, Patrice Evra, Christina Milian and Metta World Peace. 

Kevin O’Leary, Access Abu Dhabi programme ambassador, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and star of Emmy award-winning television show Shark Tank, said: “Coming to Abu Dhabi, it’s clear to me that doing business in this nimble and accommodative environment is a breeze. The rate of progress is unique to this country. The leadership listens to what the private sector needs and acts on it, even in fast-moving sectors like FinTech. Here, you have stability and you have innovation. I see tremendous potential for Abu Dhabi to become the Switzerland of the Middle East, and for investors that’s very attractive.”

Patrice Evra, Manchester United football legend, said, “The same determination that took me to the top of my game is reflected in the resolve and boldness I see in Abu Dhabi’s business ecosystem. This is why I’m looking toward the emirate as I take the leap into entrepreneurship. I’ve always known Abu Dhabi for its diverse population and welcoming environment. Access Abu Dhabi has been a game changer. It opened my eyes to the remarkable business climate and the opportunities for growth”

The delegation comes on the back of Abu Dhabi signing a multi-year agreement to host NBA games starting 2022. On the emirate’s rapid emergence as a sports hub:

Metta World Peace, NBA champion, said: “The convergence of technology and sports is set to grow and everything I’ve seen here shows me that Abu Dhabi has the potential to lead the way. It has the infrastructure, both in terms of stadiums, gyms and facilities, and also strong digital capabilities. As an entrepreneur looking to bring sports, marketing, management and business to Abu Dhabi, this was a great opportunity for me to meet the movers and shakers. I’m really excited to show people what I experienced here as I continue my journey of going global.”

Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, said: “It’s hard to understand the pace of development and growth in Abu Dhabi unless you’ve been here. That’s why Access Abu Dhabi has been an overwhelming positive experience. From the moment we arrived, I’ve seen first-hand the business opportunities and I’m excited to share this with my community. If there’s one thing I’m taking away, it’s that Abu Dhabi is open for everyone.”

About Access Abu Dhabi’s inaugural delegation

The inaugural delegation of Access Abu Dhabi, led by Kevin O’Leary, gained an insider experience of the emirate’s business opportunities. Access Abu Dhabi is a new programme created by Maven Global Access and powered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) offering US companies a bridge to the fast-growing Middle East region by way of Abu Dhabi with a slate of tailored incentives and support.

The inaugural Access Abu Dhabi delegation included:

  • Kevin O’Leary, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and star of Shark Tank
  • Metta World Peace, NBA champion; founder and chairman, Artest Management Group, XvsX app 
  • Patrice Evra, Manchester United football legend and Founder of ‘I Love This Game’ production 
  • Hill Harper, actor and founder of The Black Wall Street App 
  • Christina Milian, actress and singer; co-founder of Persona Technologies; co-founder, Beignet Box; founder of AM:PM by Christina Milian
  • Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League 
  • John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor, Washington DC 
  • Dr. Wanda Durant, mother of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, President and CEO of Hope, Dream, Believe and Achieve 
  • Benny Bonsu, Director of Daily Content, International Olympic Committee 
  • Bonin Bough, Chief Growth Officer, Triller 
  • Patrice King Brickman, Founder and Managing Director of Inspire Capital 
  • Nancy Cheung, Director of Public Relations, O’Leary Ventures 
  • Ashley Davis, Lead Principal and Co-founder, West Front Strategies 
  • Maya Ford, Founder and Chairman, Artest Management Group 
  • Angela Franco, President and CEO, Washington DC Chamber of Commerce 
  • Kate Goodall, Co-founder and CEO, Halycon; Founder, WECapital 
  • Andres Hayes, Director of International Trade and Commerce, Washington DC 
  • Alex Kenjeev, President, O’Leary Ventures 
  • Carmen Milian, President, Milian Management and Productions
  • Dr. Melita Moore, Board member and chair, Global Esports Federation 
  • Elizabeth Morris, Co-founder and CEO, Beignet Box; Founder, IrvingMorris Foundation 
  • Nicole Quiroga, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 


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