Issuu on Google+

The American Business Council Q3 Newsletter

July –October 2011 Edition

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION 2011 INSIDE

Quarterly Wrap-up  Member News  From the President  Fall Calendar Highlights


T HE A ME R I C A N B U S I NE S S C O U N C I L

The annual Independence Day Celebration, July 1, 2011, held at the Meydan Sky Bubble was an evening not to be missed. We danced along with the Arthur Murray dancers showing us the way, we dined on all kinds of American fare including Texas style ribs and the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcakes courtesy of Bloomingdales and after many prizes were won, we were wowed by the biggest fireworks ABC has ever presented. ABC President, John Podgore, spoke reminding us of the significance of the day and our unique American heritage of independence, freedom and democracy. Bilal Sabouni, our master of ceremonies and Vice President for Programs, kept the night lively from the Presentation of the Colors by the detachment from the Mesron to the last of 22 grand prize draws—two business class round trip tickets on Air France KLM. Thank you to our support sponsors, donating prize sponsors and contributions-in-kind sponsors and to our members and guests for making it a star spangled Independence Day Celebration! Let Freedom Ring!


T HE A ME R I C A N B U S I NE S S C O U N C I L

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS RED SPONSOR

WHITE SPONSORS American Hospital Dubai Boeing Chevrolet Inchcape

BLUE SPONSORS International Herald Tribune Microsoft NCR Seven Seas Services LLC The City Hospital


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL

GRAND PRIZES American Express  Atlantis The Palm Dubai Barloworld Dhamani  Dollar Rent A Car  Jumeirah Beach Dental Clinic  Jumeirah Group  Kidville  Motorola Mobility  Paris Gallery  Persian Carpet House  Royal Caribbean International   Yum! 

PRIZE SPONSORS Abela & Co  Armani Hotel Dubai Crowne Plaza  Lime Tree Café & Kitchen Palmer’s  Radisson Blu Media City

 Ruth’s Chris Steak House  Sesshin Spa  Spa Dunya AIRLINE SPONSOR Air France KLM MEDIA SPONSOR Khaleej Times SUPPORT SPONSORS Arthur Murray  Baskins Robbins Contempo  Crown Relocations  HP Magnolia Bakery  Pepsico


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL

No Lazy Days of Summer for Interns at ABC This summer our college bound intern is Nicholas Zlevor. Nich is working on a data compiling project to record our event statistics. He also pitched in with help on the Independence Day Celebration prep work and at the event. Nich takes off at the end of the month for the University of Wisconsin where he will begin his freshman year. Good luck Nich! Sarah Mamlouk returned to ABC again this summer for a two week internship to help with the Independence Day Celebration event. Sara is a rising junior at SMU in Dallas, Texas. High School interns Lana Makhzoumi, Tala Duwaji and Ahmed Nazari, all students at ASD worked diligently with staff at ABC on event preparation for the Independence Day Celebration. You may have met them at the event where they ran the HP photo booth. We are grateful to all of them for their help. There is nothing like a teen when you need to program electronics!


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL

Don’t Miss out! ABC events continue to be popular. In order to ensure your participation make your event reservations as early as possible. We want to see you there!


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL

FROM

THE PRESIDENT

John Podgore, President ABC Board of Directors

Dear Members, It has been a busy second quarter. The Consulate Dubai called on us to provide a focus group for US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance, Michael Camunez, to discuss trade access issues. Members from the President’s Club and Vice President’s Club provided support to give the Assistant Secretary an accurate on the ground account of trade access concerns that members face. The UAE is the largest trading partner for the US across the Middle East. This quarter we also lost one of our own most favored trading partners at the Consulate, Principal Commercial Officer, Robert Dunn. Bob is heading to the US Embassy, Doha where he will hold the position of Senior Principal Commercial Officer. We wish him well in his new position. I look forward to introducing ABC membership to the new Principal Commercial Officer in the fall at our ABC Iftar dinner on August 22.


THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL

At the Hail and Farewell event held at Jumeirah Group’s stunning new Zabeel Saray on the Palm. Hail to new members and Farewell to Principal Commercial Officer Bob Dunn.

Coming up this fall will be the second “Honoring Emirati Alumni who attended US Universities” event. As you may remember, last year we refocused this event that had not been held since 2004. Our plans are to build on last year’s success in creating sustainable ties between our members and the Emirati business community. Keep an eye on the ABC website calendar or signup at ABC’s facebook page to stay current with all the upcoming events. Every member should have their 2011 Membership Directory by now. Concluding the quarter’s business agenda, the 2010 audit process has been completed by our auditors, Ernst and Young, who reported our books are complete and in order. As we all head in different directions, enjoy your summer and stay in touch. The ABC offices are open all summer and you can always reach me and the board through contact with the office. Regards, John


T HE A ME R I C A N B U S I NE S S C O U N C I L

SECOND QUARTER WRAP-UP

AT THE Q2 INTERINTER-COUNCIL NETWORKING

Our ABC representatives on the DoorKnock team, Anne Jafery, Jack Montgomery, Bilal Sabouni and Katie Shaver, joined other MECCAC members in Washington from April 3 to 8 to present the initiative’s agenda to members of Congress. ABC’s 20th Annual Golf Tournament was held on April 21 at the Address Montgomerie Dubai. April 26 a corporate member recruitment coffee morning took place at the ABC villa. ABC hosted an all day meeting of the regional MECCAC steering committee May 5 followed in the evening with our Cinco de Mayo celebration attended by a capacity crowd of ABC members and their guests along with the Mexican and Canadian Business Councils.

THE THREE CONSULS CONSULS GENERAL AT CINCO DE MAYO MAYO

On May 23 the MECCAC team reported to ABC members on their activities at the monthly meeting, which took place at the Crowne Plaza Dubai, and Virginia Jeker presented 2011 tax legislation changes.

DINNER AND DISCUSSION WITH US ASST. SEC. FOR MARKET ACCES AND COMPLIANCE AND MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT’S AND VICE PRESIDENT’S CLUBS


T HE A ME R I C A N B U S I NE S S C O U N C I L

GOLFERS AT THE 20TH ANNUAL ABC GOLF TOURNAMENT—ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI

At the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray May 25, new members were welcomed and Robert Dunn, Principal Commercial Officer was given a sendoff at the Hail and Farewell networking event. June 8, ABC along with the Consulate Dubai hosted dinner and discussion with Michael Camunez, US Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, and members of the President’s Club and Vice President’s Club. June 13 ABC members participated at the interbusiness council networking night hosted by the Netherland Business Council. The quarter ended with our spectacular Independence Day Celebration on July 1 and the a cappella concert by Yale’s Whiffenpoofs on July 4.


MEMBER News

NEW EXXONMOBIL Website in English and Arabic ExxonMobil invites ABC members to visit its new MENA and UAE websites: learn about its business activities, community involvement, career opportunities and much more. The recently launched ExxonMobil UAE Website and Middle East and North Africa Website feature information about ExxonMobil's activities in the region and in the UAE. The content is in English and Arabic and is organized around sections on Energy and Environment, Community Commitment, and a section “About Us”. www.exxonmobil.ae www..‫اإلمارات‬-‫موبيل‬-‫إكسون‬com.

www.exxonmobilmena.com www..‫أفريقيا‬-‫شمال‬-‫و‬-‫األوسط‬-‫الشرق‬-‫موبيل‬-‫إكسون‬com


MEMBER News

1973 IBM invents the UPC bard code, transforming the retail industry.

IBM Marks its Centennial Year Ideas that Shaped a Century and a Company 1967, IBM researcher Benoît Mandelbrot published the initial findings of what he would later describe as “fractal geometry”.

1981, three IBM scientists—Rangaswamy Srinivasan, James Wynne and Samuel Blum—discovered a process that became the foundation for LASIK and PRK surgery.

IBM has taken part in every US manned space effort in history, working on systems for Mercury, Gemini-Titan and Apollo-Saturn missions, and for the historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. IBM has also helped develop Mission Control for the Gemini, Skylab and US-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz projects, as well as for the Space Shuttle program.

One hundred years ago, the company that would become IBM took its first step into an unknown future. Even before the bet-the-business gamble on the legendary System/360 in the 1960s, through the turnaround of the 1990s, IBM has held a seminal position shaping American business and the what we now think of as corporate culture. With multiple initiatives marking the centennial, IBM examines and celebrates its contribution to the evolution of technology and the modern corporation over the past 100 years to reveal a distinctive mindset and organizational culture, animated by a deeply held commitment to the hard work of progress.

Graphics from the Icons of Progress series (left) are featured at www.ibm.com/ibm centennial. From a small business that made scales, to a globally integrated enterprise with more than 400,000 employees, the stories that have emerged throughout IBM’s history are complex tales of big risks, lessons learned and discoveries that have transformed the way we work and live. The featured 100 iconic moments, named Icons of Progress, demonstrate IBM’s faith in science, determined pursuit of knowledge and a belief that combined they can make the world work better.


MEMBER News

Expat US Tax, a proudly Dubai-based US expatriate tax practice, was established in February 2011 to help the growing number of US citizens and Green Card holders living and working in the Middle East. The idea was simple: remove the stress and worry from the lives of the US expatriate community in the UAE…at least when it comes to the US tax code.

This focus will continue to grow as the Obama administration enforces FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which is set for implementation by January 1, 2013, with far-reaching consequences for US citizens and Green Card holders living outside of the US. While there is technically a choice, it is widely expected that financial institutions in the UAE

More Tax News from Tax Expert and member Andrew Landin “After spending eight years helping large US companies and their US expatriate employees in the UK, Australia and Qatar via my employment with two of the Big 4 accounting firms as a US tax manager, I realized that there was a large part of the US expatriate community that wasn’t being served and I thought “there’s more I can do to help”. I realized that Dubai was one of the most popular places the US expatriate community had chosen to call home, and that no-one was providing locally based assistance, so that’s why we’re here”, says Expat US Tax Founder & Managing Director, Andrew J. Landin. Andrew holds a Masters degree in International Tax law and the prestigious Enrolled Agent (EA) qualification, alongside other tax qualifications. An EA is a Federally-authorized tax practitioner who has passed rigorous IRS examinations, demonstrating technical expertise in the field of taxation. EAs, unlike CPAs and attorneys who may not actually specialize in tax, let alone specialize in the subtleties of expatriate tax, are empowered directly by the Department of the Treasury. Moreover, they are subject to stringent ongoing professional education requirements, ensuring that they are fully aware of the latest changes in the tax code so that their knowledge is up to date. Since the 2009 Swiss banking crackdown, the IRS is focusing its attentions on Asia and the Middle East, where it believes over 90% of US citizens and Green Card holders are not fulfilling their US tax filing obligations. Do you have member news for the ABC newsletter? Contact communications @ abcdubai.com

will have no real alternative other than to sign up to FATCA, meaning in effective handing over a list of their US clients to the Department of the Treasury. This will provide the IRS with more power to enforce the US tax code on US citizens and Green Card holders living in the UAE. So what does all of this mean for US citizens and Green Card holders living in Dubai? In a nutshell, your tax is about to get a whole lot trickier. It means that the IRS probably knows how much salary you have deposited in your UAE bank account each month and that when you file your tax return, a computer driven “compatibility check” is run to see if things seem in order. But the biggest impact is likely to be in relation to filing requirements that you were not aware even existed. Some of us know that we need to report our foreign bank accounts (FBARs) or risk being on the receiving end of significant (some might say quite ridiculous) penalties, courtesy of the Department of the Treasury. What many people don’t know is the requirement, in most cases, to report the income growth you have impressively earned in that high-performing retirement savings account that you set up in the UAE/Isle of Man/Jersey (delete as applicable) because you no longer have access to 401(k). It doesn’t matter that you haven’t yet received any distributions from the fund and, while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to report that account to the Department of the Treasury when you prepare your FBAR.


Save the Date

The ABC fall 3rd

quarter highlights of coming events

August 22: the annual ABC Iftar Dinner—Mark your calendar for memorable evening as we gather to mark the end of the Ramadan and the start of the fall season. As in previous years members can make this your own corporate event by inviting your guests and reserving seats or a full table in your company name.

September 12: Back to Business — Fall Inter-business Council Networking— It’s our turn to host this mega event and we are ready to get back to business! That means being as inclusive as possible and as hard working for our members as possible. Come ready to make the most of this networking opportunity and get back to business in a big way!

September 26: Emirati Alumni Event— Following up on last year’s successful event , “Honoring Emirati Alumni of US Universities” will again see the ABC host this impressive night that brings the best of American Business, Emirati who have studied at US universities and alumni of top US universities together for a night of shared experiences and opportunities to meet on common ground.

Watch for emailed updates and details on these events and additional events are added to the ABC calendar throughout the third quarter and by checking the ABC website calendar at www.abcdubai.com


“MISSION COMPLETE, HOUSTON”

The shuttle Atlantis as it was moved to the launch pad for its final mission in early July.

With this sign-off, Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson of the Navy, commander of the shuttle Atlantis, completed the last shuttle flight, July 21. When the first space shuttle, Columbia, blasted off in 1981 a new phase in the American space program began. NASA’s manned space flights in the 60’s when many of us were children, became a source of awe and inspiration as we watched men and then women become astronauts making their first flights, land on the Moon and generations to be come aerospace engineers. As the program comes to an end with the final mission of the Atlantis, the shuttles have come to be synonymous with manned spaceflight, pride in American engineering and capabilities, heart stopping tragedy and the ability to surmount unknowable obstacles with equally breathtaking accomplishments. For over 50 years our imaginations have been fired by NASA’s daring missions. After 134 shuttle launches, including July 20th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing, NASA will focus on deep-space unmanned missions. As this era ends, another begins leading us into an equally unknown adventure where imaginations can again soar.


Q3 2011 American Business Council Newsletter