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The ABC Newsletter

First Quarter 2014

ABC is

! season how x a t ’s e It e. 4 to se tressful tim e g a p s Turn to during this u yo elping


The American Business Council o f

D u b a i


t h e

N o r t h e r n

E m i r at e s

Chapter, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

New Emirates Airline Exclusive Offer for ABC Members

Emirates is proud to offer exclusive savings for American Business Council Dubai members and their immediate family*, for both business and personal travel from Dubai to all Emirates online destinations worldwide.


Book online by 30 April 2015 to receive great savings across on Business Class and Economy Class fares, and experience exceptional service, fine dining and up to 1,500 channels of ice entertainment. First Class and Business Class passengers may also enjoy our complimentary Chauffeur-drive service and access to luxurious airport lounges. Savings are applicable on existing market fares at time of booking.

Book online using this special promotional code AEABC13 or logon to 1. Enter your destination and travel dates 2. Select your flights

3. Make payment at an Emirates Office th

Book by 30 April 2015

You are also eligible to earn Emirates Skywards Miles when booking this offer, plus you can earn bonus Miles with our Skywards Miles Accelerator. If you are not a member of Emirates' frequent flyer programme Emirates Skywards, enroll now and start earning. *Terms and conditions apply

About the ABC The American Business Council of





Emirates (ABC) functions under the auspices of Dubai Chamber

Table of Contents





and as


Industry Dubai

Chapter of the US Chamber of Commerce. The ABC represents U.S. business interests in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, while maintaining strong ties with the leadership of the communities in which our members live and work.

Looking Ahead Independence & Memorial Day Celebration!......................................................3 Knowledge Exchange: Tax Talk .............................................................................4





comprised all


of of

business and industry who elect

When to File and When to Pay...............................................................................4

a board of directors annually. This

Country Spotlight: Saudi Arabia..............................................................................5

board of directors is responsible

Monday Mixers..........................................................................................................5 To Note:

for the strategic vision of the organization




strong alliances with U.S. and

New Board Member.......................................................................................6

New Members to ABC...................................................................................6

greater voice to the membership

Watch for the New Directory!.......................................................................6


American Education working in the Gulf.............................................7

Looking Back Arab Health Breakfast............................................................................................11 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Meets ABC Members.......................13 The 23rd Annual ABC Golf Tournament.................................................................15 Farewell to Bob Bannerman ................................................................................17

Member News


Dr. Tommy Weir’s Latest Book....................................................................18

Premium Level Members......................................................................................19

UAE government officials, giving

Contact Information: Phone:+ 971 4 379 1414 Fax: +971 4 379 1515 PO Box 74648 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Cara Nazari Executive Director Aurore Nawfal Membership Coordinator Sabrina Walsh Events Coordinator Coco Makhzoumi Public Relations Coordinator Laura Goodnight Communications Coordinator Lilibeth Delatina Administrative Coordinator


Looking Ahead... Independence & Memorial Day Celebration! May 30, 2014

Mark your calendar for Friday, May 30 for our Independence & Memorial Day Celebration! Date: Friday, May 30, 2014 Time 4:00 pm -10:00 pm Venue: Jebel Ali Golf Resort

Come & enjoy... Dinner buffet Cash bar DJ and dancing Fabulous Prizes Fun Olympics - activities for all ages to take part in & of course

Fireworks! Keep watch for the invitation! Strategic Partner


To register for ABC events please visit us at

Knowledge Exchange: Tax Talk April 15, 2014

This tax talk panel discussion is open to anyone and everyone interested in the unique obligations of U.S. taxpayers who are working overseas, and the latest developments affecting your rights and obligations. The panel discussion will feature professionals from Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Registration: 7:30 am Program: 8:00 am - 10:00 am Breakfast Buffet Venue: Shangri-La Hotel Cost: ABC Members - 50 AED Non Members - 125 AED

When to File and When to Pay: Two Important Dates for American Taxpayers Living and Working Overseas


s most of expats know, all U.S. citizens/resident aliens are subject to U.S. income tax on worldwide income regardless of where they live and work. Most people are aware that April 15th is the tax-filing deadline in the U.S. However, for Americans living and working overseas there is an automatic 2-month extension to the April 15th filing date and the filing deadline for Americans overseas is June 16th this year. Most of the Americans who are working abroad/overseas are not aware that the IRS payment deadline does not change and continues to be April 15th. Therefore, we urge all clients to try and estimate their tax liabilities and ensure that payments are made by April 15th each year to avoid penalties and interest. Please contact Griffin Nagda & Company if you need help in filing your U.S. taxes. Griffin Nagda & Company has been assisting Americans overseas and in the region in the preparation and filing of the U.S. tax returns for over 25 years. They have full-time CPAs and registered tax-preparers with valid PTINs (Preparer TAX ID numbers issued by the IRS) based in the U.A.E. who are registered with the Internal Revenue Service and are authorized to file U.S. tax returns. Please contact them for all your tax needs.

To register for ABC events please visit us at


Country Spotlight: Saudi Arabia April 29, 2014 Maximizing Dubai’s Regional Hub Potential Spotlight on Saudi Arabia is the third in a series of Country Spotlight events aimed at maximizing Dubai’s potential as a regional business hub. Spotlight on Saudi Arabia is a business development and networking event designed to provide companies and individuals with the knowledge and contacts necessary to do business in Saudi Arabia, which is the largest market in the GCC.

What will we discuss? What opportunities does Saudi Arabia offer? How can I export to Saudi Arabia? How can I establish a presence in Saudi Arabia? What are the legal, tax and practical considerations? Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Registration: 7:30 am Program: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm Breakfast & Lunch Venue: Crown Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road Cost: ABC Members - 200 AED Non Members - 275 AED

Monday Mixers... Keep on the lookout for our Monday Mixers, held on the first Monday of every month. We started this year off with a bang! January hosted the Hail and Farewell to the Board, then February’s Monday Mixer Super Bowl Style, and finally the March Mardi Gras Monday Mixer. There is always a reason to stop by for a bite, a sip, and some high level networking. Coming soon to the Ritz Carlton DIFC near you…


Cinco De Mayo Monday Mixer - May 5th June Monday Mixer - June 2nd To register for ABC events please visit us at

To Note: New Board Member Mr. Tayyar has recently replaced the Vice President of Membership due to a relocation. Mr. Tayyar is the Director of Public Affairs & Communications, Middle East at The Coca-Cola Export Corporation. If you haven’t already, view the 2014 Board of Directors at Antoine Tayyar Vice President of Membership

New Members to ABC ABC would like to welcome the 2014 new members to the organization. As of April 2014 we have welcomed a total of 60 new members! We thank our new members for choosing to become a member of the of the most influential business community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Watch for the New Directory! The 2014 Membership Directory will be available soon! Members can purchase an extra copy at 500 AED please contact Lilibeth in the ABC office at 04 379 1414 or at

To register for ABC events please visit us at


American Education working in the Gulf Jamal Al Sharif, Managing Director Dubai Studio City and Chairman of the Dubai Film and TV Commission. American educated and the key contact for an American industry with revenues of $104 billion, supporting 1.9 million jobs, Jamal Al Sharif is the go-to guy in Dubai for film and TV. By Susan Simmons Whistler Writer Formerly at the New York Times & The American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates


or a man who runs one of the

has been a part of its growth from

in the Film Commission’s white paper

biggest job creating sectors

the original 80 offices and production

“Opportunities and Challenges in the

in Dubai he certainly keeps a

houses to its current 250 offices and

Middle East and North Africa Media

reserved profile. Jamal Al Sharif is

studios. Dubai Studio City is on a steep

Production Market,” the contribution

a study in low key. Managing Director

and profitable growth curve.

can constitute 1.2 to 1.4% of overall

of Dubai Studio City and Chairman of

GDP, a $390 billion3 addition to Dubai’s

the Dubai Film and TV Commission, he

Dubai Studio City recently opened


has many opportunities to rub shoulders

the Dubai Studio City Soundstage

with A-list celebrities and international

Complex, three sound studios and

we had 18 boutique studios, which

movers and shakers. But don’t mistake

water tank facilities for underwater

are now fully occupied. These are

Al Sharif’s approachability for anything



designed for small and medium sized

other than strength. Behind the polite

sound stages were designed by the

companies. Our research, both formal

smile and calm exterior is a man

U.S. architecture firm, Bastien and

and informal, told us that companies

responsible for an industry delivering

Associates. In the Dubai tradition

based in Dubai Studio City and other

a Dhs 150 million1 boost to Dubai’s

of going first class, the sound stage

areas of Dubai, including companies












studios are the largest in the Middle

in Dubai Media City wanted bigger

significant growth in the future.

East. An elemental part of putting

production facilities and that without

Jamal Al Sharif is the man

Dubai at the forefront of this industry

them the industry wouldn’t be able

charged with overseeing film, TV,

and providing a platform for growth,

to grow past that limitation. The three

commercials and studio production

the indoor water tanks in sound stages

sound stages we have now completed

for Dubai through Dubai Studio City

two and three are one of only three

cost millions to build. No one company

and the Film Commission. Media and

outside the U.S. (one at Pinewood

would do it, so we had to do it. We put

entertainment industry revenue was

Studios in London and the others at

in the right studio in the right place

nearly $1.6 trillion in 2012, worldwide .

Mediterranean Film Studios in Malta,

in terms of size, quality, services, and



which is salt water, and Cinecitta

infrastructure. The sound stages have

investment in infrastructure, Dubai

Studios in Rome). Surging interest from

been endorsed by directors as the

stands to take a strong position in the

Hollywood, Bollywood and regional

best in the Middle East. From the day

future of film and TV production in the

film centers in using Dubai as a shooting

we opened the first of the sound

MENA and beyond.

location and production base is driving

stages it has been fully occupied, sold





Mr. Al Sharif is tasked to

development. This massive production

out for six months and in talks for the


infrastructure is part of the nucleus

next six. The Dubai Studio City master

conceived as a base for boutique

of backlot, warehouses, workshops,

plan is 550 acres, 50 acres larger than

TV and radio broadcast companies.

and commercial and support offices

the Paramount back lot. We are also

Although less than 10 years since

that will support its aim to be the film,

planning a next phase of Dubai Studio



broadcast and music production hub

City that focuses on our boutique

City is already in an expansion and

of the region. Add to that an enviable

studios for creative entrepreneurs who

renovation phase. The current growth

transportation system that includes

want to be in the media business in

and re-thinking of Dubai Studio City

the highly ranked Emirates Airlines for

Dubai. We offer attractive incentives

is the result of a phenomenon of

bringing in TV and cinema talent, a

and low cost on leases to encourage

more and bigger, more companies

plethora of multi-starred hotels and


moving in and bigger companies

the Film Commission’s one-stop visa

segment of the business.”

following them. Al Sharif began his

program, the stage is set for another

association with Dubai Studio City in

media success story. Overall if benefits

2005 as Manager of New Initiatives

from developing this core film and TV

and became Executive Director in

production industry follow world wide

2008, Managing Director in 2010; he

trends, according to Oxford Economics



Under Al Sharif’s direction,











1 The National Feb 27, 2012, “Dubai earns $40m from film and TV production” 2 The American Motion Picture and Television Industry 2012 report 3 CIA World Factbook, 2013 UAE Economy.

From Dubai Internet City to Dubai Media City to Dubai Studio City, the creative leap.

only cities were Dubai Internet City,

at media city was based mainly on

Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai

attracting corporations, headquarters,

Media City. When I joined Dubai

back offices, branches of international

Internet City it was a solo brand; a very

companies - CNN, BBC, CNBC, Reuters,

From 2010 to December 2013,

high-end prestigious place to work,

Leo Burnett and other big advertising

Al Sharif was Managing Director for

bringing the leading information and

agencies and media players and

both Dubai Media City and Dubai

communications technology brands

also offering a place for homegrown

Studio City. Dubai Media City, Dubai

to Dubai. Dubai’s leadership sought

companies like ITP, and CPI to thrive

Studio City’s successful predecessor

to hire people who had experience

in.” Dubai Studio City has also seen

is 13 years old this year. Al Sharif

working with multinationals. At the

some of broadcast’s biggest players

became MD of both industry clusters

time there were few Emiratis with

put their stakes down – Fox, Discovery

in 2010. Since then Dubai Media City

experience working with the western

Channel and Deluxe production (the

has the largest number of registered

expats who were coming to Dubai

largest U.S. digital and post production

companies within the free zones under

to run those U.S. companies. Also

house) along with a host of important

TECOM Investments. He can truly say

I had work experience in the U.S.

local and regional companies such as

he grew with Dubai Studio and Media

with Merrill Lynch which gave me

Moby and our own ARN’s Virgin and

City as he climbed to the top position

work experience inside an American

Dubai Eye radio studios.

as the entities expanded horizontally,


vertically and in regional importance.

In those early days at Dubai

emirates’ free zones and cheaper

Returning to Dubai in 2002 with

Studio City and Dubai Media City,

places production companies can

his undergraduate degree in Finance

business platforms began to merge

set up how does Al Sharif plan to

from the University of San Diego and

and dissolve as Dubai’s successful

keep Dubai Studio City relevant?

a Master’s Degree in international

economic plan grew to staggering

He views that as a positive in that

business administration, international

heights. In 2005 TECOM Investments,

the infrastructure and success of the





“Cities” is what has drawn and allows

University, renamed Alliant University,

established as a parent company

companies to establish themselves

also in Southern California, Al Sharif

to provide a united organization for

outside of the clusters. “The visibility

joined Dubai Internet City a short

many of Dubai’s individual free zones,

and success of media and production

four months later, as partner relations

industry clusters and business parks.

are what attract companies to work

manager on the Microsoft, Cannon,

Today over 1,900 global and

and have commercial viability in

IBM and Oracle accounts. “Dubai

regional media companies are based

Dubai in the first place,” he states. It is

Internet City was brand new. The

in Dubai Media City. “The growth

rather like a build it and they will come







With the competition of other


Milestones 2000 Dubai Internet City launched

2001 Dubai Media City launched

2003 Dubai Knowledge Village launched

2004 First Dubai Film Festival held

2005 Dubai Studio City launched TECOM Investments FZ LLC established as parent company

2007 Dubai International Academic City established

2010 TECOM realignment of cities, parks and free zones to industry cluster groups: Media Cluster - Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Production Zone Education Cluster - Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City ICT Cluster - Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone Sciences Cluster - Dubai Healthcare City, DuBiotech and Enpark and TECOM Business Parks Operations

2013 Dubai Film and TV Commission launched Dubai Sound Stage Complex opens


scenario gone viral. The completion of

Koaik was also educated in the U.S.

shot in Dubai. Mission Impossible Ghost

the sound stage studios and creation

and brought over his knowledge

Protocol certainly opened doors for

of the Dubai Film and TV commission

and experience, with his goal being

us. “The crewmembers and talent that

has established Dubai Studio City as

development of a large local talent

came to Dubai for Mission Impossible

focal point for production in Dubai.

pool. Koaik had the foresight to see

Ghost Protocol have since become

To compliment and support

what Talent MENA needs to do in

our ambassadors, conveying their

Dubai Studio City, the Dubai Film and

order to support the development of

experiences and opinions on shooting

Television Commission was launched

this industry. “Talent MENA went live in

in Dubai to other film and TV-makers,

under Al Sharif’s leadership just over

August 2013, since then we have been

their fans, and the public. This word-

12 months ago. The relationship of

gaining a lot of interest from the public

of-mouth publicity, particularly from

the three entities, Dubai Media City,

and industry, we have participated


Dubai Studio City and the Dubai Film

in the recent Dubai International

affirm and market Dubai’s production

and TV Commission is an intertwined

Film Festival last December in their

capabilities,” states Al Sharif. “The Film

hub for creative activity. The recent

film market with a booth to promote

Commission sponsored the Cinema

restructuring and focus on Dubai Studio

the concept. Since then we have

Summit during the Dubai Film Festival

City and development of the Dubai

had thousands of talents sign up and

in 2013 which brought in technical

Film and TV Commission has seen Mr.

build their profiles on our platform

producers to give seminars to the local

Al Sharif step away from Dubai Media

to apply for casting calls placed

film community as a way to introduce

City to increase his concentration on

by casting directors for all types of

Dubai film makers and TV producers

the other two segments.

productions, some were feature films,

to international producers and vice

short films, student films, TV shows,

versa. This is a program we are looking

along with their four children spend


at extending again next year in

a fair amount of time in the U.S. No

The film and TV industry is growing

conjunction with the film festival.”

surprise they call southern California

rapidly in the region, we can sense

home when stateside. Not only is it the

that from various indications such as

commission to anticipate filmmakers

epicenter for TV and film, it is where Al

the growing amount of international

needs and facilitate their work and

Sharif knows the U.S. best. From his days

Film Festivals like the DIFF, ADFF, GFF

the building of the Studio City sound

as a student at USD to the upcoming

& Comic Con in the U.A.E. alone, to

stages and other facilities needed to

road show for Dubai’s film industry, he

name a few. The establishment of film

produce major TV and films here, all

knows Hollywood.

funds that support the development

the players and studios are in place.

and production of films in the region,

This symbiotic relationship between

Commission’s mission is complementary



the Dubai Film and TV Commission

to companies that operate in Dubai

the film commissions, the excellent

and Dubai Studio City is a winning

Studio City offering location assistance,

infrastructure the U.A.E. enjoys with

combination with Al Sharif in the

film permits, script approval pathways

great locations for shooting, all these

middle of it all.

and visa facilitation. Over the past

play a key role in attracting major

12 months the Commission working

productions from around the globe

with the Immigration Department has

and to encourage film makers in the

created a one-stop visa fast-track

region to start pursuing their dreams

office within the film commission for

and be a part of this growing industry,”

film makers and staff coming into the

states Koaik.


The commission has published

Ghost Protocol shot in Dubai in 2010

its first white paper report presenting

and released in 2011 put Dubai on the

challenges and successes to address

map for filmmakers with a broader and

the current state of the industry and

more solid reputation than ever before.

the needs for future development. It

Since the launch of Dubai Studio City

has also published the first Production

in 2005, over 7,000 films, TV series and

Directory to provide a resource to

commercials have been produced


here. Hollywood blockbusters Syriana

Jamal and his American wife















U.S. film, Mission Impossible

creative talent contacts.

(2008) and The Bourne Legacy 5 (2011)

One example of innovation in

were both shot in Dubai, with Deira’s

the industry is Talent MENA, the online

souks redressed as a Pakistan location

casting website for talent & crew. The

for The Legacy shoots. Bollywood and

owner of Talent MENA, Mohamad

Chinese productions are increasingly





With the creation of the film

Born with support from an American education the film industry is thriving in the U.A.E. and provides a promising outlook for opportunities. 10

Looking Back... Arab Health Breakfast January 28, 2014

“The U.S. pavilion in 2014 is the largest ever. Surely a clear indication that U.S. exporters are looking to the region for


he American Business Council of Dubai

gave recommendations for further expanding

& the Northern Emirates hosted industry

U.S. healthcare-related business in the U.A.E.

leaders from all areas of the health

In his comments, Mr. Abuissa noted “The task

sector, Arab Health exhibitors, local

force is charged with maximizing U.S. business

representatives, and government officials at

engagement in the U.A.E., and we need to work

its annual Arab Health Breakfast on Tuesday,

towards fostering a more informed conversation

January 28, 2014 at The Oberoi in Dubai.

about health, disease and treatments between

Last year U.S. exhibitors at the Arab Health

patients and their healthcare practitioners.

Expo posted more than $200 million dollars

Seeing these challenges addressed will become

in sales and this year are on track to exceed

a cornerstone of the health sector task force for

this number. This strategic event is held each


year on the sidelines of the Arab Health Expo

and highlights the work of the ABC Health

Breakfast and long term partner of the ABC,

Sector Task Force. The breakfast welcomed

Tom Kallman stated, “The U.S. pavilion in 2014

U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., The Honorable

is the largest ever. Surely a clear indication

Michael Corbin; U.S. Consul General in Dubai,

that U.S. exporters are looking to the region for

The Honorable Robert Waller; Country Manager



at Pfizer and Chairman of the ABC Health Sector

Other key guests included Regional

Task Force, Zeydan Abuissa; and host of the U.S.

General Manager of the Middle East & Africa at

International Pavilion at Arab Health 2014 and

Aetna International, Hisham Radwan; President

CEO of Kallman Worldwide Inc., Tom Kallman.

of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, Danny

ABC President, Ramsey Jurdi opened

Sebright; Executive Director for the Center for

the breakfast by saying “The U.A.E. has moved

Trade Development, Office of International

from a regional hub to an international hub

Business Development at the Pennsylvania

and the U.A.E. health sector continues to offer


significant business opportunities for American


business, and the future is very optimistic.


American contributions will ease the transition

Economic Development Corporation, Deanna

to the next level, and ABC’s objective to be the

Richeson; and Deputy Secretary and COO

voice of American business will bring added


value to our members by acting as an advocate


for U.S. business interests in the U.A.E.” U.S. Consul General in Dubai, The Honorable Robert Waller also addressed the group by noting the local business environment and the surge in bilateral trade between the U.S. and the U.A.E. over the past several years has contributed to

further growth.”

the success of many American businesses at home. Following Mr. Waller’s remarks Mr. Jurdi introduced Zeydan Abuissa.

During his keynote address, Mr. Abuissa

highlighted a few of the opportunities the ABC Health Sector Task Force was focusing on, and


As a key supporter of the Arab Health



Community Peter



Wisconsin Ryan


O’Neill; at

Economic Murray.

Economic Managing




From left to right: Executive Director for the Center for Trade Development, Office of International Business Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Peter O’Neill; Regional General Manager of the Middle East & Africa at Aetna International, Hisham Radwan; Deputy Secretary and COO at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Ryan Murray; Country Manager at Pfizer and Chairman of the ABC Health Sector Task Force, Zeydan Abuissa; U.S. Consul General in Dubai, The Honorable Robert Waller; U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., The Honorable Michael Corbin; Managing Director, Export Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Deanna Richeson; ABC President and Chadbourne & Parke International Partner, Ramsey Jurdi; host of the U.S. International Pavilion at Arab Health 2014 and CEO of Kallman Worldwide Inc., Tom Kallman; and President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, Danny Sebright.


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Meets ABC Members March 10, 2014


he American Business Council

to the U.A.E. reached a record-high

Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee,



of $24.6 billion in 2013, making the

the executive body responsible for

Emirates, Dubai Chamber, U.S.

U.A.E. the largest trading partner

the U.A.E.’s international bid to host

Chamber of Commerce, and

regionally for the U.S. Additionally,

Expo 2020. Ramsey Jurdi, President of

the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council co-

the U.A.E. was the 17 largest export

the American Business Council and

hosted U.S. Secretary of Commerce

destination for U.S. goods worldwide

Chadbourne & Parke International

Penny Pritzker at a luncheon in her

in 2013. American businesses continue


honor on March 10. Her Excellency

to capitalize on this momentum,

showcase Dubai and the U.A.E. in a

Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of

while also strengthening the U.A.E.’s

way that will further solidify Dubai’s

State delivered a keynote address



that focused on Expo 2020 and the

initial press release announcing the

financial, tourism, and logistics hub.

opportunities it will create. Among

names of the 21 U.S. companies

The American business community is

the 200 plus guests, the luncheon

joining her trade mission she states,

excited and primed to strengthen their

welcomed senior business executives,

“As the country’s Chief Commercial

investments in Dubai and help deliver

U.S. and U.A.E. government officials,

Advocate, a key part of my job is to

this event to the world. Secretary

and local representatives.

promote trade and investment and

Pritzker’s visit to the Middle East further














connect U.S. businesses with potential

motivates U.S. businesses to focus on

the region leading a week long

customers across the globe. The

this region and the opportunities that

Infrastructure Trade Mission to the

fact is that 95 percent of customers

Expo 2020 will bring.”

Middle East along with a high-level

worldwide live outside U.S. borders,

delegation of diverse U.S. firms. This

and that is why promoting exports


was the first visit of a sitting Secretary

is essential to our economic growth

stated, “Trade is a key pillar supporting

of Commerce with an accompanying

and job creation. The three countries


trade mission to the region in fifteen

we are visiting on our trade mission to


years. The mission highlighted export

the Gulf Region are among the top 50

between the U.S. and U.A.E. The

opportunities for U.S. businesses in

export markets for the United States.

U.A.E. is a critical hub through which

three leading industry sectors with an

Since the launch of the National

the U.S. connects to key markets in

emphasis on project management

Export Initiative in 2010, exports have

the broader Middle East, Africa, and

and engineering, renewable energy,

increased 111% to the United Arab


smart grid and energy efficiency, and

Emirates, 65% to Saudi Arabia, and

environmental technologies. Given

57% to Qatar. Clearly, the Gulf region

the close relationship between the

is a critical area of focus for our nation

U.S. and the U.A.E., reinforcing the

and its businesses.”

bond between the two countries is

a priority, both economically and

keynote speaker H.E. Reem Al Hashimy

politically. Total exports from the U.S.

who is also a decreed member of the






Co-hosted by The American Business Council o f




D u b a i & t h e N o r t h e r n E m i r at e s CHAPTER, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Council,




multi-dimensional, bilateral



David Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Ramsey Jurdi, President of the American Business Council and Chadbourne & Parke International Partner; H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State; and Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.


The 23rd Annual American Business Council Golf Tournament April 3, 2014


ast Thursday more than 100 ABC members and friends gathered for the 23rd Annual Golf Tournament at The Montgomerie. The day kicked off at 1:30 pm with a shotgun start in the Texas Scramble style tournament and ended with a BBQ

dinner and fabulous door prizes. All players played an excellent game!


1st Place - The Norton Rose Fulbright Putting Pirates 2nd Place - DynCorp 3rd Place - Kellogg’s Nearest to the Pin - Alex Munro Longest Drive - David Anderson

A special thanks to Subway for providing lunch, Abella for providing the shawarma station, PepsiCo for providing the refreshments, and Yalda Trading for providing the fresh fruit.

Presented by


Strategic Partner



Farewell to Bob Bannerman March 18, 2014

goodbye au-revoir

ma’a as-salaama toodle-oo bye-bye s a y o n a r a cheers adios adieu

arrivederci thank you

ciao farewell


best regards

so long

cheerio aloha


n March 18th the ABC staff and members came together to honor the years of service that Robert Bannerman has dedicated to the United States Government. Bob will be leaving his post as the Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai to build his dream house in North Carolina and partake in

some very well deserved fishing and rest and relaxation.

Previously, Bob served as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Rome, Italy; the Principal Commercial Officer

in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and as Commercial Attaché in Manila, Philippines and Beijing, China.

Thank you Bob! You will be missed but your work will always be remembered! The ABC will forever be grateful for your contributions to the organization!

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” 17

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Member News Dr. Tommy Weir’s Latest Book:

10 tips for Leading in the Middle East Dr. Tommy Weir has

been a member with

a senior leadership position or merely

the American Business

curious and a seeker of leadership

Council since 2010 and

knowledge, you will find 10 tips for

has recently released his

Leading in the Middle East to be a

newest best seller,

fascinating guide written by someone

10 tips for Leading in the

who knows firsthand the potential inside

Whether one is embarking on

Middle East.

the boardroom within the corporate

world of the Middle East. Each tip is

Dr. Weir spent a decade up

close and personally researching

explored in-depth offering unique and

leadership in the Arab World. This

practical insights.

started with understanding sociological

trends to frame the context for the

immediately separates itself from

Middle East, demographic implications,

theoretical texts while keeping the

organizational behavior and leadership

focus on the applicable nature of

approaches. His extensive experience

leading in the Middle East. Its simplicity

includes working with more than thirty

highlights what you can expect, which

companies, interviewing over seven

is in essence a “Coffee Conversation”

hundred leaders, and developing at

where the reader has asked, “Would

least three thousand leaders.

you tell me from your experience and

research what does it take to be a

Dr. Weir is a Leadership Junkie,

spending his days helping leaders become the best they can. Holding a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Dr. Weir is the author of several books including The Cheeseburger Theory and other leadership observations, The CEO Shift and Going Global. Weekly he is featured on Dubai TV’s “Money Map” answering, “What the CEO asked?” and leadership columnist for The National and Gulf Business.

10 tips for Leading in the Middle

East is among the first practical “guide books” assisting leaders in making sense of the complexity, diversity, ambiguity and youthfulness in first generation corporate societies. For senior executives looking to understand and address the leadership environment and gain the inside track on doing business in the Middle East, this book is the essential tool to ensuring leadership success.

This must-read book

good leader here?” Twitter: @tommyweir

Discount for ABC Members! 10 tips for Leading in the Middle East recently became the best-selling Middle Eastern business book. Dr. Tommy is offering special pricing to the ABC businesses for bulk purchases over 5. So, if you want to buy a copy for your leaders, we will make it available at 100 AED per copy (25% discount from the retail price). Just send an email to suzanne.ries@ and let us know and we will work out the delivery details. Or if you have any questions, let us know.


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ABC Newsletter First Quarter 2014  
ABC Newsletter First Quarter 2014