SOAR - United Arab Emirates (UAE) Chapter

United Arab Emirates joined the SOAR family in February 2015. Many Armenians originating from Lebanon, Syria and other Arab countries were drawn to UAE for the economic opportunities. The majority of Armenians in UAE are Orthodox Armenians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church and under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of Cilicia. The Catholicossate established the “Diocese of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf Countries.” It is headquartered in Kuwait, but also serves the Armenians in UAE. The Armenian Catholicossate, with the support of the Sharjah Emirate, established St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Al Yarmook, Sharjah – the first Armenian church established in UAE. Approximately 3,000 Armenians live in UAE, primarily in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Marina Simonian

Marina is an experienced investment professional with 6+ years of experience across private equity, private debt, fundraising, and investment banking.

She is also a major AI enthusiast and AI literacy advocate – having ran multiple workshops for K-12 students with the aim of demystifying AI and nurturing its positive use cases (ethical AI) to enhance human intelligence.

Marina completed her Master of Science focused on AI & Machine Learning at Oxford University, where she also served as Oxford Mathematics Ambassador and Oxford Women in Business (OxWIB) Ambassador. She holds the Student Leadership Accreditation (Gold Award) from the SSAT (UK), and is certified in Machine Learning Safety by the Center for AI Safety (US). Marina previously completed her Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Economics at McGill University.

She is also an active member of the SOAR community since 2015 in Montreal, assisting in the SOAR Language Tutoring Program and teaching English.