Fadi Semaan, International School of Choueifat – Abu Dhabi
Fadi Semaan joined the International School of Choueifat-Abu Dhabi (ISC-AD) in the U.A.E. in 1978 as a Grade 4 student and studied there for the next eight years. During his time at ISC-AD, Fadi embraced the opportunity to expand his knowledge, particularly in science, a subject that particularly interested him.
“My love for science started at a very young age,” commented Fadi. “The science program at ISC-AD challenged me and encouraged me to expand my knowledge [in the subject].”
While at ISC-AD, Fadi also took advantage of the opportunity to explore other interests. He was captain of the ISC-AD volleyball team for both juniors (under 14) and seniors and led his team to victory in the Eastern Mediterranean Activities Conference, playing against other SABIS® member schools, and winning the gold medal. He was also the captain of the soccer team, was ISC-AD’s table tennis champion for three consecutive years, proudly held 6th place in sprinting, and came in 4th in the Abu Dhabi open squash championship. He also learned to play the guitar and piano.
“I had so many interests and was given the opportunity to pursue many hobbies and activities while at school,” he said. “But it was never too much to handle. SABIS® teaches you how to use your time well, a skill which ten years later would be called ‘time management’.”
In 1986, with four As in A/O Levels under his belt, Fadi moved to Montreal, Canada, and graduated with distinction from Marianopolis College, the equivalent of an A Level college. Following graduation, he attended McGill University and graduated in 1992 with a degree in Electrical Engineering-Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and a minor in Business.
Following university, Fadi pursued an impressive career path. He worked for some of the world’s top suppliers of technology, integrated project management, and information solutions in the field of oil and gas. His talent made him stand out to competitors, who headhunted him, and helped distinguish him among colleagues. Based in Abu Dhabi while employed by BICC PLC, the world’s largest energy cable manufacturer employing 80,000 people, he served as the company’s youngest regional manager. Before moving on to explore opportunities with another company, he also served as General Manager and sat on the Board of Directors of BICC’s DUCAB (Dubai Cable company Pvt. Ltd), owned by the Abu Dhabi and Dubai governments and BICC UK in the U.A.E.
Fadi had always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, so in 2003, he set up FS International FZCO, an engineering trading enterprise specializing in the power and energy sectors, in the Dubai Free Zone. FS International FZCO currently employs 64 people with offices in Hong Kong and China and projects in Libya, Syria, Jordan, and the GCC states.
Fadi has many fond memories of his time at ISC-AD and credits SABIS® for the success he has achieved in life. “At school, I learned how to handle pressure, a skill which served me well at university and later in facing the pressure and demands of the real world,” he said. “SABIS® taught me that life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Even as a well-established, successful businessman, Fadi continues to set goals and aspire to achieve more. “One of my aspirations is to find a way to pay back the school that made me who I am today in so many ways. I would love to share my experiences with current students and show them how much it is possible for them to achieve in life.”