MEA october 2016

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Middle East Markets | October


TIDE IS TURNING FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN MIDDLE EAST Albert Kahlow, Country Director – UAE and Iraq, Airswift, outlines the growing opportunities this has to offer.


Steel and Construction Led by Hydra Arc


Seamless Solutions with Hewu Attorneys


Bakouchi & Habachi: Success in Morocco

Editors Letter Welcome to the October edition of MEA Markets Magazine. In this issue, we speak to two successful law firms in Africa - Hewu Attorneys in South Africa and Bakouchi & Habachi in Morocco, to see how they have maintained success on the continent. Hydra Arc talks to us about how they have started from humble beginnings to become a leader in the steel and construction industry. We look at the situation in South Sudan, where despite the ongoing conflict, coffee farmers are making progress in reviving the country’s coffee industry. Elsewhere, Middle East’s renewable, electricity and water sectors are fast becoming a hive of activity according to Airswift. Finally, we round up all the deals and news from the region for your convenience. We hope you enjoy this issue.

Matt Lewis, Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 725 6842 Email: Website:



Hewu Inc. Attorneys

12 The Phoenix of Africa: Can Libya Yet Again be a Global Oil Player? 13 Nespresso and Local Coffee Farmers in South Sudan Progress in Rebuilding Coffee Industry 14 Fast-Track Access into the Middle East’s Electricity and Water Sectors 15 Pegasus Agriculture to Expand Operations in Oman


Hydra Arc Pty Ltd

LAW 16 Hewu Attorneys Providing Seamless Solutions 18 Regional Knowledge the Secret toSuccess

18 Bakouchi & HabachiHB Law Firm

PROPERTY 20 HH Sheikh Mohammed Breaks Ground on ‘The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour’ 22 The Landmark Amman Rotana Hotel Opens for Business 24 Hilton Builds for the Future at AHIF with Its First Modular Hotel in Africa 26 Marriott International Introduces Three New Brands to Cape Town TECHNOLOGY 28 Deep Divisions in Internet Usage in the Middle East and Africa 30 Rok Studios Launches Nollywood TV Channel on Sky DEALS 32 Kleptika and Contextor Partner to Deliver Next Generation RPA and RDA Solutions to MENA Organizations 33 Asite Announces Partnership with Dubai Future Foundation to Host International Competition on Future of Transportation Sector

Contents 4 Latest News from Across the Middle East and Africa CONSTRUCTION 10 Leaders in the Steel & Construction Industry

34 Atento Announces the Sale of its Operations in Morocco to Intelcia Group 35 Nuvias acquires SIPHON Networks: SIPHON Networks set to expand in UK and across EMEA

mea Markets News

Summit Concludes, Drawing Attention to Africa’s Potential President Paul Kagame welcomed the President of Uganda, government officials and investors from 55 nations to Rwanda to highlight the greater opportunities for investment in Africa. he Global African Investment Summit - COMESA & Government of Rwanda, attended by more than 1,000 delegates from 55 countries, saw two days of in depth discussions and panels focused on economic integration, strengthening Pan-African trade and increasing investment across the continent.The summit culminated in the signing of a number of high profile deals and partnerships.


The proceedings commenced with a Presidential panel attended by President Museveni of Uganda and His Excellency, President Paul Kagame. In his opening remarks, President Kagame highlighted that Africa can no longer remain a story about huge potential that never materialises. His Excellency then went on to state:

“There is nothing we are waiting for, and nothing we lack. Let’s work together across sectors and borders with the right mind set of urgency and build the Africa we want.”

Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), lead the Rwanda project presentation, a demonstration of the countries latest bankable projects in key growth sectors including ICT, manufacturing and agribusiness. He stated, “The summit was conceived to take the promise of investment in the Tripartite Free Trade Area from mere potential to reality, with a view to enhance the movement of people, goods and services so that regional integration can truly take place.” Co-organisers of the summit, COMESA, reported that the conference had been very successful. Secretary General, Dr. Sindiso Ngwenya commented, “We knew that by bringing together the business community and policy makers we would address the same concepts that the member states of the COMESA area are striving towards - the sustainable development of the region.” Paul Sinclair, Director of Africa, for dmg events added, “The summit was a resounding success, with delegates doing real business and making significant business connections. Deals have already been agreed and signed off, a testimony of the influence of the summit.”

Attended by more than one thousand delegates, including government ministers, high net worth investors and heads of business from 34 African nations and 21 international countries including the UK, France, Germany, US, India, China and the U.A.E, the summit was the catalyst for a number of deals and partnerships, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).The MOU will enable AWF and COMESA to work closely to ensure the conservation of wildlife habitats while Africa implements its development agenda.

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mea Markets News

iTradeNetwork Expands Focus in Fresh Food Supply Chain Across EMEA TradeNetwork, the leading global provider of on-demand supply chain management and intelligence solutions purpose built for the food industry, has expanded its offering for EMEA. Building on the company’s massive success in the United States, Bob Godfrey, VP for EMEA, will lead a new team focused on delivering iTradeNetwork solutions in key segments (retail, food services, distribution, manufacture) across the EMEA region.


With a 17-year pedigree, iTradeNetwork is the most widely used supply chain management solution for perishable food in North America and has a large network of suppliers, retailers, foodservice distributors and operators including 5 of the top 5 food service management companies, 9 of the top 10 food service distributors and 16 of the top 20 food retailers. With over $300 billion of spend managed, more than 10,000 trading partners and over 100,000 unique users in the food industry, iTradeNetwork is the leader in Food Lifecycle Management connecting all the participants in the food supply network. Bob Godfrey says, “Highly functional fresh produce departments are key drivers for both customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and profitability. But the fresh food supply chain, which is more demanding than staple goods, has a unique set of challenges, with high inventory turnaround and variables in both the quality and availability of stock. Supply chain directors know there is a need for much smarter logistics management and complete transparency to adhere to new food safety rules. iTradeNetwork’s product suite offers supply chain traceability, in addition to easing the day-to-day aspects of the commercial buy/sell transaction.”

answered easily and quickly with the solution that has options for order fulfilment, product attributes, temperature monitoring, quality scores and food safety compliance. Marie-France Nelson, President at iTradeNetwork, says,

“Building on our U.S. success and with growth areas in the fresh sector; for example, ‘Food-to-Go’, which is predicted to rise by 6.8% in 2016 to £16.1bn* in the UK alone, this is the perfect time for us to drive our expansion plans in EMEA.” iTradeNetwork is sponsoring IGD’s Supply Chain Summit 2016 on the 8th and 9th of November 2016 and will be holding 1-2-1 briefing sessions. Those interested in registering for a meeting with one of the EMEA team members should email fresh@ or visit the event website.

iTradeNetwork’s solution is the only strategic offering that brings together visibility, control and insights to quickly get products to the shelves, while optimising costs and minimising waste across the entire food supply chain. Questions such as ‘What is the true shelf life of the product?’ and ‘How can I respond to unplanned changes in my supply?’ can be

mea Markets News BizWorld UAE Brings Entrepreneurship Education to Children in the Region izWorld UAE, a new social-enterprise which provides entrepreneurship education programs for elementary and middle school children, recently launched its operations in the Middle East implementing pilot programs in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.


BizWorld UAE, part of Future Entrepreneurs DMCC and headquartered in Dubai, is spearheaded by Jordanian businesswoman Helen Al-Uzaizi. BizWorld programs aim to nurture children’s entrepreneurial spirit and develop their leadership skills through comprehensive entrepreneurship exercises specially designed for students between the ages of seven to 15. The programs specifically focus on developing students’ creative thinking and problem solving skills in addition to building their resilience and selfconfidence. The programs also focus on instilling a sense of optimism, empathy, and the importance of giving back to the community. Al-Uzaizi commented,

“Launching BizWorld in the region represents a pioneering step for entrepreneurship education in the Middle East; we are strategically aligned with the region’s efforts to further develop the education system and promote entrepreneurship to its young and ambitious youth.” She further explained,

“Improving education and promoting entrepreneurship are the highest priorities for governments across the entire Middle East as these are the most viable solutions to the current social and unemployment challenges facing the region.”

After implementing the pilot program in Jordan and the UAE, BizWorld is planning to expand its operations to cover more markets across the Middle East in the near future. “We are instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in our children to nurture a generation of capable leaders and empowered individuals who will shape the future of the Middle East, regardless of the career path they choose,” Al-Uzaizi concluded. BizWorld is being supported by major regional organizations through partnerships with Aramex as a shipping sponsor and Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine as an official media partner. Web address:

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mea Markets News Eyad Abdul Khalek Takes CEO Post at MediaCom MENA Khalek states that he wants to ensure that MediaCom maintains its growth and continues to provide clients with high quality content and communications.

ediaCom has announced that Eyad Abdul Khalek has joined the group as MENA CEO. He replaces Tarek Abdalla who left the agency to pursue an opportunity with Emaar Properties.


Eyad joins MediaCom MENA from DataMined where as Managing Director and Co-Founder he was charged with remodelling the business, increasing profitability and leading the development of marketing performance and effectiveness products for advertisers and media agencies. He also has a wealth of media agency experience, having previously held senior leadership roles with MCN and Starcom Mediavest Group in Dubai, working with large clients such as General Motors, Richemont Group and Saudi Telecom. Eyad’s brief at MediaCom will be to make sure that MediaCom’s clients across MENA continue to benefit from the best tools, talent and connected communications provided from across MediaCom’s network, leveraging our existing partnerships with media, entertainment and sports rights owners to bring additional value and advantage. “I’m thrilled to be leading MediaCom’s excellent team across MENA. The network has grown impressively in recent years and I want to ensure that it maintains that trajectory and continues to provide brilliant insights, superlative content and truly connected communications for its clients,” said Eyad. “MENA is a crucial part of our global network and one that we have invested heavily in over recent years. I’m confident that Eyad’s leadership will enable us to enhance and develop our services even further, ensuring that our clients continue to create great content that connects with their target audiences,” said Nick Lawson, MediaCom CEO for EMEA.

Filip Jabbour, CEO of GroupM MENA adds,

“Eyad has a history of strategically developing and growing client business and will be an excellent addition to both the MediaCom and GroupM senior leadership teams. We are excited to leverage Eyad’s operational diligence and extensive digital knowledge and look forward to his continued success leading one of the top agencies in the region.” MediaCom MENA is currently the sixth largest media agency in the region according to RECMA. Its clients include Mars, GSK, Sony and NBAD.

mea Markets News Caterpillar Affirms Commitment to Egypt’s Infrastructure Development Former Caterpillar Chairman and CEO optimistic of company’s role in country’s future following meeting with Egyptian President. t the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, former Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman sat down with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss the future of Egyptian rail, infrastructure and power generation.


“Meeting with President Sisi offered an impressive vision for the future of Egypt,” said Oberhelman. “Infrastructure development is one of his top priorities, and we are uniquely positioned to advance these efforts as Caterpillar has been involved in some of the largest infrastructure projects in Egypt’s history. While we’re proud of our history in Egypt, the country’s incredible opportunity and bright future for investment is where we’re focused today. Egypt is on the move and Caterpillar is committed to being a central part of the exciting developments on the horizon.” Caterpillar products helped expand the Suez Canal, while Caterpillar power generation products provided standby power for this massive infrastructure project. The company is also powering the construction of Egypt’s massive Tunnels Projects. Cat machines can also be seen building thousands of kilometres of new roads as part of Egypt’s National Roads project and actively participating in the construction of the

New Capital City outside Cairo. The rich history and investment opportunities also extend to rail. “EMD, our wholly owned rail subsidiary, has been in Egypt since the early 1950s, and today there are nearly 700 locomotives in operation, designed to run efficiently in Egypt’s unique environment of high heat and sandy terrain,” Oberhelman continued. “In order to continue supporting this critical market, we’re exploring substantial investments in rail centres to serve Egypt and surrounding areas, bringing our rebuild capabilities in country to enhance the existing fleet.” Caterpillar’s Egyptian dealer Mantrac is also a strong presence in the country. It has more than 1,000 employees along with 13 branch locations, including state-of-the-art training facilities, rebuild centres and parts distribution warehouses. During last week’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum, Caterpillar and its dealers announced their plan to make a major investment in Africa. As part of that, Mantrac intends to build a branch that will support the construction of Egypt’s new administrative and business capital on the outskirts of Cairo.

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Feature Construction

Leaders in the Steel & Construction Industry African Business Elite South Africa

Established in 1987, Hydra Arc started from humble beginnings, now a leading South African welding contractor, specialising in the manufacturing, maintenance and refurbishment of pressure vessels, piping fabrication, steel construction, refinery and boiler maintenance. ydra Arc offers a full range of welding processes and materials from carbon steel to the exotic material grades. Three tales have contributed to the Hydra Arc Group’s success. Each feeding and growing the other.


• • •

Sky Hill Heavy Engineering; Jomele Training and Placements & Mshiniwami Artisan Academy; and Hydra Arc refinery maintenance.

The Sky Hill Workshop Complex, one of the largest, best equipped, steel fabrication, pressure vessel and piping workshops in the world, began in 2009, on a field - from nothing, by 2010 Sky Hill had its first order, the fabrication of a major portion of the steam ducting for the Medupi power station. Ever since Hydra Arc have completed many other successful projects, with orders coming in from Europe, The Middle East and Asia. The primary fabrication facility consists of four different workshops/bays. That’s approximately 75 000m2 under one roof. A 10,000m2 pipe shop, a 5,000m2 laser & plasma cutting shop and outdoor fabrication platforms range up to 50,000m2. The building is designed with a green slant, only using natural light for day time production. Our primary facilities are supported by a 10,000m2 store for equipment, tools and consumables, 8

hectares of lay-down area and material stores, an electrical shop, diesel and petrol mechanical shops, a fully equipped machine shop, and carpentry shop. Our capacity, state-of-the-art equipment, design capability and skills enable us to fabricate the largest pressure vessels and a limitless range of piping which meet the most stringent local and international specifications. The equipment utilized in the workshop represents the very latest in technologic advancement. The PWHT oven (possible the largest in the world) 70m long by 10m wide with a temperature range up to 750℃, a second PWHT oven, 15m long by 6m wide, temperature range up to 950℃. The cranes, the tallest in South Africa, with a lifting capacity of 1,500 tons and a 22m under hook. A backup generator “power station” capable of indefinitely powering the site in the event of a power failure. There are 5 plate rollers with varying rolling capacities from 6mm to 150mm, a 1,250-ton bend press which can accommodate plate widths of up to 6.5m, specialized welding booms and rollers, designed and manufactured by Sky Hill, for the fabrication of large pressure vessels. We are all about Innovation and forward thinking. Shutdown and refinery management has always been our specialty and Hydra Arc has proven to be a South African leader in this field again, and again.

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Hydra Arc’s database of artisans ensure there will never be a shortage, and the ability to quickly and effectively deploy these artisans where or when necessary. A key business imperative within the Hydra Arc group is a training and the development of skills centre. Mshiniwami Artisan Academy trains 1,000 welders, 450 pipe fitters and fifty boiler makers a year, which means we can attract and retain essential skills needed to develop and maintain our businesses and at the same time grow a skills base so badly needed in South Africa. Welding is a major component to the Hydra Arc’s core business. There are many off spins to this. Skills can be accessed when needed, we can meet the customer demand quickly and effectively, man power can be mobilised and top skills can be enhanced and used. Hydra Arc is currently involved in several major contracts for clients such as petro-chemical group Sasol. At Sasol Secunda, Hydra Arc has successfully completed projects such as the assembly and fabrication work for their coal tar filtration east project, fabrication of a gunk stabiliser, pipe spools and ducting for the seventeenth oxygen train. We also fabricate water tanks for the local government so they can supply water to rural areas. Hydra Arc has made big strides in Africa. Each year, we train craftspeople to supply the South African market with boilermakers, welders and pipefitters. The firm is also involved in government projects that will positively affect the South African community. We empower individuals to be employable.

of skilled artisans in our country, which we have attempted to eliminate through our training program. Other challenges include cheap equipment imports from the east, dumped material from China and India and weak demand in local work. To overcome these challenges, we have implemented the right sizing of the company to match local market demand. We are still continuously investing in new capacity to broaden our markets into other fields such as power generation, mining and water storage solutions, along with aggressively aiming at the international markets. The Hydra Arc Group is a family run business, every one playing their part to make us the success that we have become. We care at every level. Our Group is very involved in community work which includes the development and sponsorship of an environmental school, donation of funds to schools, orphanages, churches and charitable associations. We are involved in the sponsorship of sports teams and participate in the Black Management Forum, Economic Development Forum, Audit Committee of the Gert Sibande Municipality, Management Advisory Council of the Vaal University of Technology and the local branch of NAFCOC. Company: Hydra Arc Pty Ltd Email: Web Address: Address: Head Office, 124 Danie Theron Street, Secunda, 2302, South Africa Telephone: +27 (017) 632-7000

Any business encounters challenges in the industry and Hydra Arc is no exception. There is a shortage

Environment The Phoenix of Africa: Can Libya Yet Again be a Global Oil Player? Based on data extracted from recent satellite imagery, the analysis team at ImageSat International believes the Libyan oil market may recuperate in a short time. mageSat International, an operator of advanced imagery satellites who specialises in satellite data extraction and analysis, has recently released a detailed report, in which it estimates that the Libyan oil market can recover and return to full-scale production within a few months. This assessment is based on the analysis of updated satellite imagery of key sites in the Libyan oil apparatus, which revealed that only a small number of sites, especially those adjacent to Islamist terror organisation hubs, were targeted and damaged. However, apart from those few, as determined by company experts in the report, the majority of the oil related sites are well maintained and will be ready for full-scale production in a short time. The report stresses, for example, the fact that the sites located in Western Libya, such as “Elephant” and “El Shahara”, which have a key role in the state’s oil production capability, seem to be in good shape.


“It is true,” stated ImageSat CEO, Mr. Noam Segal, “that many attacks target oil facilities, however these are mostly on few non-active facilities. The others seem to be well maintained and will be ready for renewed operation in no more than a few months.” The implication of this information is that the main

factor that hinders Libya from returning to its status as a key player in the turbulent global oil market, is the state’s political condition and not necessarily terrorist activity. The importance of this report, as noted by the company, is that only up-to-date data extracted from high-end, high-resolution satellite imagery, paired with advanced imagery analysis capabilities, can truly indicate the physical state of extensive infrastructure facilities, while offsetting the effect of groundphotographed data which allegedly depicts an extreme situation, however may not reflect the true condition. ImageSat CEO added that the company has decided to expand its satellite imagery data analysis services capabilities to commercial markets, and experts and different international analysis groups have expressed their interest in using this ability to research other markets and regions in the world. “ImageSat combines leading satellite capabilities with a high end data analysis foundation for various needs and tasks.” The CEO further noted that the company is a world leader in imagery analysis capabilities, calls additional consumers to challenge ImageSat experts with requests to produce situation reports on different regions and economic areas.

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mea Markets

Nespresso and Local Coffee Farmers in South Sudan Progress in Rebuilding Coffee Industry

espite the ongoing conflict, South Sudanese coffee farmers are making progress in reviving the country’s coffee industry. The result of their hard work and dedication - the Nespresso limited edition Grand Cru SULUJA ti South Sudan* - will launch in five new countries later this month, having previously only been available in France.


When Nespresso first introduced SULUJA ti South Sudan last year in France, it became the first coffee to be introduced from the new country of South Sudan and the country’s first significant non-oil export. Since then, more South Sudanese farmers have become involved in coffee production through Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program, enabling them to increase production and improve their livelihoods. Nespresso, in partnership with the non-profit organisation TechnoServe, began working in 2011 to revive this forgotten coffee, which was very nearly destroyed during years of conflict in the region. Since entering the country five years ago, Nespresso and TechnoServe have worked with over 700 farmers, teaching them essential coffee-farming skills and building production infrastructure. Together, they have helped to establish the first five coffee cooperatives in the country, and facilitated the construction and operation of six wet mills in the Yei region. The work thus far has allowed farmers to earn more money and contribute to the economic development of the region. The recent spread of the conflict to the Yei region, has impacted on the program and has made it difficult for TechnoServe to continue with local farmer training. To overcome this, TechnoServe will start to reach the many farmers who continue to tend their farms by broadcasting weekly agronomy trainings over the radio. Nespresso CEO, Jean-Marc Duvoisin, commented:

“We believe in the potential for coffee to create a positive impact for farmers in South Sudan and to diversify the economic base of the country. We remain strongly committed to helping coffee farmers

revive their industry. Our aim is to create a lasting legacy that will contribute to peace and prosperity.” The launch of this new coffee follows an announcement by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) earlier this year that it will work with Nespresso and TechnoServe to invest $3.18 million over the next three years in the project. The aim of the investment will be to help South Sudan to diversify its export market away from a reliance on oil - currently representing 99% of its exports- and raise the household incomes of smallholder coffee farmers. Working in partnership “Life for farmers in South Sudan has been challenging for a long time, and until very recently, most would not have thought that exporting high-quality coffee was a possibility. Nevertheless, we have made good progress working with the farmers to help build their skills and knowledge so they can improve the quality and quantity of their crops in a sustainable way,” said William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechoServe. “While the working environment in South Sudan has been challenging, governments and NGOs cannot do it alone. Business investment is critical for long-term economic development, and Nespresso has shown great leadership by entering South Sudan and continuing to invest in the country.” Exceptional coffee SULUJA ti South Sudan has been created solely from Robusta coffee resulting in a bold silky texture and intense aromas of dried cereals and subtle woody notes. SULUJA ti South Sudan is ‘washed coffee’, which requires a lengthier and skilled process by the farmers, but this has resulted in a finer, gentler, smooth textured and aromatic cup. SULUJA ti South Sudan will be available in Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, US, France and UK in extremely limited volumes as a result of the rarity of this coffee. * SULUJA ti SOUTH SUDAN means ‘Beginning of South Sudan’ in the indigenous language Kakwa which is the dominant local language spoken in the majority of the coffee areas in the region.

Environment Fast-Track Access into the Middle East’s Electricity and Water Sectors The Middle East’s renewable, electricity and water sectors are fast becoming a hive of activity, writes Albert Kahlow, Country Director – UAE and Iraq, Airswift. UK companies intending to seize this opportunity should look to the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) to fast-track their access. he Middle East’s growth over the last 30 years has been dominated by its plentiful fossil fuel reserves. As such, there has been little demand for new suppliers in the electricity and water sectors – traditionally leaving little opportunity for ambitious UK companies looking to grow. In the past, people have been known to put in years of hard work trying to get established in the region.


But, the tides are swiftly changing. Low oil prices and a target from leaders to provide a sustainable future energy source means that the Middle East is now in a hurry to diversify.

And, rather than reinventing the wheel, Middle East authorities are actively supporting and incentivising an environment of importing the necessary skills and services from more established sustainable regions overseas. This is where UK electricity and water industry veterans come in. The UK has been developing sustainable and renewable technologies for many years. The market is mature – suppliers have honed the right engineering techniques, design knowledge and production expertise. They have a proven track record under their belts, making UK engineering and technology experience highly valued in the region.

Business leaders and decision-makers in the region have demonstrated commitment to revolutionising the region’s energy landscape. New initiatives and targets have been introduced to help drive the way, including the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. This plan sets out the city’s vision to become a global centre of clean energy and green economy. As part of this, Dubai is targeted to provide seven per cent of its energy from clean sources by 2020, rising to 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050. The change is already clear to see. One of the projects supporting this region’s sustainability vision is the Dubai solar park. When completed, the park is expected to cover 33 football pitches and produce 1,000MW of clean PV and solar thermal energy. And this is just one of the many developments underway. These ground-breaking projects mean that there is a fresh demand for the right solutions, expertise and skill-sets necessary to bring them to life. Earlier this year, His Excellency Saeed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA and vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, highlighted $21 billion of large scale projects and tenders coming online in Dubai alone.

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What’s more, historic trade links between the UK and the Middle East mean that the UK is also a well-respected force in the region. In short, the opportunity is there for the taking – it’s now up to ambitious UK electricity and water innovators to seize it. The biggest challenge facing UK companies is getting in front of the right people. This can sometimes prove a cumbersome process. A networking event might lead to a business meeting, which could lead to another business meeting – all to get in front of someone vaguely relevant. But now things are different. Pressure is on for the UAE to meet its 2050 targets. The region’s industry authority – the Dubai, Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) – is on the hunt for the right partners to suit its urgent requirements. As such, DEWA made use of its event WETEX, the largest event of its kind, to meet the right companies, with the right skills, to deliver on its ambitions. Those exhibiting on the UK pavilion will get the benefit of facilitated introductions to key DEWA decision makers, including senior contracts and

procurement personnel. These introductions will be specially framed to act as a conduit towards signing agreements. Alongside the exhibition, WETEX will also host a line-up of industry-leading speakers. The sessions will provide an exclusive view into the workings of the Middle East’s electricity and water markets. Attendees will learn about the successes and challenges to date, the current state of the industry, and the line-up of projects that will soon open to tender. These insights from directly inside the Middle East’s electricity and water industry will allow determined UK companies to assess the market and define their strategy for seizing the opportunity. WETEX took place from the 4th – 6th of October 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Event exhibitors by-passed the cumbersome process that has traditionally preceded doing business in the Middle East and fast-tracked their access with facilitated introductions, unique insights and unparalleled business opportunities.

Pegasus Agriculture to Expand Operations in Oman Four new hectares of farmland are to be developed, along with 1000 more A-frames. nternational hydroponic experts Pegasus Agriculture have announced plans to drastically expand their operations in Oman. The expansion will take the form of the addition of 1000 more A-frames, and the development of some four new hectares of farm, which equates to approximately eight new greenhouses.


In order to support this new growth, the company will be signing new offtake agreements on a monthly basis, as well as hiring and training new teams of agricultural engineering specialists. This exciting new expansion has come about in response to massive public demand, both for the

agricultural produce yielded by the company’s patented A-frames and for Pegasus Agriculture’s dynamic investment model. The company has consistently offered high returns as part of their design, and Mahmood Almas, Group Chairman, is quoted as having attributed their success to this, at least in part, stating that “clients are often excited by the dual aspects of our investment model: both financially speaking and with respect to the future of the region’s food security.” Web address:

Feature Law

Hewu Attorneys Providing Seamless Solutions African Legal 100 (South Africa) Bartlett Hewu of Hewu Attorneys, a commercial law firm, chats to us about the company’s accomplishments in South Africa and the successful partnerships they have built in the MEA region.

ewu Attorneys is a corporate commercial law firm with a strong inclination towards corporate tax, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and dispute resolution. With its offices located in Fourways, Johannesburg, the firm provides clients across the sectors of financial services, energy, health, hospitality, gambling and information technology. The firm was established by Bartlett in August 2011, after 11 years in private practice with one client NBC Holdings, an employee benefits funds administrator, which has a footprint in South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Lesotho and Ghana.


At Hewu Attorneys, they have recognised the need to provide holistic seamless solutions for clients and in this regard they have, amongst others, brokered an association with a leading black owned forensic services company. Their professional team is committed to service excellence, professionalism and integrity in their dealings with each and every client of the firm. There are a range of services which Hewu Attorneys deliver. They provide cost effective legal services that meet with clients’ expectations, constantly communicate and provide status briefings on clients’ matters and deliver on their mandates on reasonable time frames to add value to clients’ business. Also, the firm invests in long term mutually beneficial relationships with its clients, striving to understand clients’ business operations in order to provide holistic and seamless solutions. In addition, Hewu Attorneys endeavours to be a responsible corporate citizen informed by the socio-economic challenges facing its communities and is committed to the

stakeholder approach of doing business by taking care of their employees, suppliers and clients. The firm also has a list of values which they adhere to in order to ensure a successful and happy client relationship. Firstly, they aim to perform all mandates to the best of their abilities, to provide high quality service to clients and to be transparent with clients and set realistic delivery time frames. Bartlett Hewu explains how he has seen the firm grow substantially, telling us, “We service blue-chip clientele, corporates, private equity funds, state owned and municipal owned entities. Our ongoing strategy is to ensure that we employ like-minded people who share the same vision and values as those of the firm. We continually embark in further education and development of our human capital. We also have a sizeable clientele in the MEA region. We are a firm founded on the principle of integrity, service excellence, innovation and ‘ubuntu’ – an African word which roughly translates to ‘humanity towards others’.” In order to adequately advise a new client, Bartlett believes it’s always important to understand the clients’ needs and their business operations. Understanding and honesty can forge strong partnerships with clients. “Upon receipt of an instruction, a preliminary view of our understanding of the issues will be sent to the client for confirmation and approval. Afterwards, a few scenarios with attendant consequences will be explored before a definitive cause of action is undertaken. This is geared towards an efficient and

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mea Markets addition, we use digital transcription machines and dictaphones for interviews with clients.” Investment in development and training for staff enhances Hewu Attorneys reputation in the industry, making the firm stand out from its competitors. “We invest in our human capital and promote further education and development at the firm’s expense. We believe in strength in our diversity and practise what we preach. In addition, it can be difficult to obtain new clients and it can be easy to lose them. This keeps us on our toes, thus we never take our clients for granted.”

cost effective legal service to the client. For instance, if it is befitting to settle a matter before incurring any further fees and costs, then that is what we advise our client. “I remember an instance during my first consultation with a client whereby, I advised the client to walk away from a deal in Switzerland after understanding the transaction and issues involved. The simple reason was that there was no value in the deal for our client. That advice culminated in a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with the client.” The Middle East and Africa region has benefitted from the experience that Hewu Attorneys provides. The firm has made strong client partnerships in the region, as Bartlett describes. “Over the past five years we have advised on several cross border transactions in the MEA region. We continue to forge and establish strong relationships with our colleagues and clients in the region. We were voted and received an award for the ‘Most Innovative Commercial Law Firm in 2016’ by Acquisition International.” “Africa is an emerging market and with a huge potential for growth. Over the past five years or so, the continent has attracted multinational law firms to its shores. In South Africa, we have a Legal Practice Act which seeks to regulate the professions of solicitors and barristers under one body. This results in clients being able to procure the services of barristers directly without the traditional route of accessing these services through the assistance of solicitors.” Bartlett explains how technology is used throughout Hewu Attorneys to ensure a more efficient client experience. “We have IT infrastructure and an IT support team. The practice management and billing systems including hardware are state of the art. Our website is linked to Google ads. Reports to clients and bookkeeping are all integrated in the practice management and billings systems. Data back-up is done religiously and we use the Microsoft cloud. In

“Our ethos is that our precious commodity is our staff and our bosses are our clients. Every day we join forces with my team to service our clients who in turn pay our bills. Somebody once said to me, when you pay an engineer you will have something to show for it; when you pay for a service, it is difficult to measure the value received against the payment. Hence we adopt the value added approach to our clients’ affairs. We have since realised the truth of the saying ‘business is built on relationships’ and cash flow is key to the survival of any business.” To be a successful leader, Bartlett believes that there are qualities that are integral to success. In addition to being well-motivated, having a positive and hardworking team are important at Hewu Attorneys. “I’d like to think that I am personable and dependable, a great listener, not averse to risk and never shy away from a challenge. I am willing to learn, and I am always looking for new opportunities. I believe in team work and trust the abilities and competence of my team. I take a keen and special interest in the welfare and wellbeing of my staff.” “To stay motivated, I have stayed true to myself and set realistic and attainable short to medium term goals and focussing on them until they are achieved without losing hope. I am an avid reader of business and political biographies and learn from other people’s experiences and I always tell myself that the best is yet to come.” In the future, Hewu Attorneys aims to build a medium size multidisciplinary firm and to maintain high levels of integrity. According to Bartlett, the firm will aim to have strategic partnerships across the MEA region. Company: Hewu Inc. Attorneys Name: Bartlett Hewu Email: Web Address: Address: Ground Floor, Block 9, Fourways Office Park, Cnr Fourways Boulevard & Roos Street, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa Telephone: +27 (0) 11 465 7901

Feature Law

Regional Knowledge the Secret to Success African Legal 100 Morocco

Kamal Habachi is a partner at Bakouchi & Habachi - HB Law Firm LLP. Located in Morocco, the legal firm specialises in all areas of business law. ounded in 2006 by Mrs Salima Bakouchi, ‘Bakouchi & Habachi - HB Law Firm LLP’ is a multidisciplinary firm of business lawyers with expertise in business law. The firm is designed to provide assistance to public & private institutions, financial institutions and individuals with legal and tax benefits of high quality in consulting, pre litigation and litigation.


In 2012, the firm was transformed through a professional partnership of lawyers. The choice of legal firm reflects a willingness of partners to pool the expertise of lawyers, which is in the client’s exclusive interest. Kamal Habachi speaks to us about what the law firm offers to its clients. “The activity of our firm, composed of lawyers and attorneys advice, and the diversity of our focus areas, allow us to assist, advise and defend our clients both in negotiations and support before the Moroccan courts . In order to effectively reach the needs of our customers, our firm maintains close professional relationships with governments, social partners and some international firms. “Our law firm is specialised in all areas of business law. The firm is divided into two complementary departments, department of litigation and the

department of counselling. Thus, we provide to private companies and public institutions, legal services of the highest quality. Our client approach involves providing a full range of services to cover all the clients’ needs and to make them feel secure with a professional services provider.” By continuously providing clients with a high quality legal service, they have built up strong working partnerships. Kamal remarks that having knowledge of the market is another reason why Bakouchi & Habachi have remained successful in Morocco. “The strategy of our firm is to provide high valueadded legal services. It offers a full range of services covering all clients’ legal and tax needs. The firm has lawyers from different backgrounds, thus enabling the firm to handle all the legal and tax issues a company may face. Also, and in a continuously changing environment, the firm seeks to broaden its areas of expertise and to build on the strengths of the HB Law Firm team to cater to all its clients’ needs. We strictly comply with the profession’s exacting code of conduct. Our ongoing business strategy is to set up a full services and proximity with the client and to build a partnership for punctual project or day to day business.”

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mea Markets “Our strong skills and good knowledge of the Moroccan market make us one of the business leaders in our sector. Also, being aware of the international laws, conventions and treaties ratified by Morocco, is very important in order to provide high quality legal services. We implement the best technology, maintain secure data and files, and we are assisted by professional services providers.” The MEA region has benefitted from Bakouchi & Habachi’s experience. They have gone on to help many companies in Morocco, whilst also facing the challenges of the country’s legal system. Knowledge of the region appears to be the secret to their success. “Our law firm helped many international firms to get established in Morocco. We have helped to facilitate many Moroccan companies to implement their business in other countries in Africa, as well as helping an important number of companies to face legal issues that had a huge impact on the company worldwide.”

“Morocco has adopted and amended many laws in the last decade. In consequence, many challenges are arising out of those changes: e.g. companies must comply with all these laws mainly in corporate law, anti-trust law, consumption law, and the protection of personal data law. Furthermore, Casablanca has become a regional hub, a gate to the African continent which offers many challenges and opportunities to our country as many big firms have decided to get established in Casablanca.” Kamal Habachi states that the law firm “remains open to new ideas and different points of view.” Bakouchi & Habachi’s future plans include hiring lawyers from different backgrounds and cultures, creating a more diverse workforce. Another goal of the firm is to make Bakouchi & Habachi more important in the industry, both in terms of the quality of their work and the quantity of their clients.

Company: Bakouchi & Habachi- HB Law Firm Name: Kamal Habachi Email: Web Address: Address: 6, Farabi Street, Résidence Toubkal, 2nd floor, Casablanca, Morocco Telephone: +212 522 474193

Feature Property

HH Sheikh Mohammed Breaks Ground on ‘The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour’ The future iconic tower will be the world’s tallest in 2020.

H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has marked the ground-breaking of The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, which will be the world’s tallest tower when completed in 2020. The ground-breaking was held in the presence of HE Mohammad Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding, Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, and other dignitaries.


Providing stunning 360 degree views of the city and beyond, the Tower strengthens the UAE’s reputation for innovation in architecture, engineering and construction, and will eclipse Burj Khalifa as the tallest building. Re-defining the spectacular skyline and setting a new global referral point, The Tower anchors the 6 sq km Dubai Creek Harbour, one of the world’s largest master-planned developments and a next-generation smart hub defined by the latest developments in artificial intelligence. A JV between Emaar and Dubai Holding, Dubai Creek Harbour is in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention, and the Dubai International Airport. The Tower is designed by Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls. Mohammad Al Gergawi said: “The groundbreaking is another historic moment for the UAE, as we mark the construction of another icon that will add to the UAE’s civic pride. It celebrates

the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed, underlined by the recently announced ‘UAE Strategy for the Future’ to drive the transformational growth of the nation.” Mohamed Alabbar said:

“Dubai is a centre of innovation for supertall structures and breakthrough developments in architecture and engineering. The Tower will be a sterling addition to the smart city that HH Sheikh Mohammed envisages. We will continue to push the frontiers of engineering to complete it in time for Expo 2020 Dubai.” With no similar super-tall structures in the world, Emaar adopts a new approach to building The Tower. Wind-engineering and seismic tests have been completed. Every aspect is designed to the highest international standards - from the materials to the construction technology. The crowning glory of The Tower is The Pinnacle Room in addition to several VIP Observation Garden Decks. It will have dynamic illumination making it a stunning visual landmark during the day and night.

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The Landmark Amman Rotana Hotel Opens for Business The tallest tower in the kingdom includes 50 floors and is 188 metres high.

mman Rotana hotel, the newest property by Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe, is already creating an expectant buzz and attracting widespread attention from both visitors and tourists in the Kingdom since opening its doors to guests in mid-July 2016.


Amman Rotana, the tallest building in the Kingdom, towers 188 metres and features 50 floors that include 412 lavish rooms and suites that were designed to combine luxury and comfort. Additionally, the hotel is home to a number of world-class dining venues, the cuttingedge Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club and an outdoor swimming pool. Mohammad Haj Hassan, Area Vice President of Rotana in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Bahrain, said, “The opening of Amman Rotana falls in line with our group’s determined expansion vision and Jordan’s rich tourism offerings and diverse cultural identity made it an appealing prospect, one that Rotana is proud of. Amman Rotana has already become a landmark in the city, towering over the capital and offering a unique luxury experience housed in a magnificent design. Located in Amman’s new downtown as an integral part of the Abdali project, the hotel is centrally located with a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of the capital and its seven hills. Amman Rotana is adjacent to The Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana and is steps away from the contemporary Boulevard commercial district, which features luxurious outdoor shopping options as well as

a number of popular restaurants and cafes. Also close by is the Al-Abdali Mall, Jordan’s largest commercial complex, showcasing numerous international brands and boutique shops. Cluster General Manager of Amman Rotana and The Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana, Atieh Hamarneh said, “The hotel’s design, architecture and interiors reflect creativity and innovation. The hotel has, in a short period of time, become an outstanding landmark of the Kingdom, and we are looking forward to being a qualitative addition to the hospitality sector in Jordan through our distinctive characteristics, world-class services and strategic location.” Amman Rotana hosts six diverse restaurants with menus boasting delicacies from around the world, including the venue ThreeSixty all-daydining, The Lounge, Rodeo Grill steakhouse, Italian restaurant Gusto, Bar on Four and The Deck Pool Lounge. Additionally, the hotel houses the Monarch Ballroom, a deluxe hall for special occasions and nine exclusive meeting spaces, as well as Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club with modern gym facilities that offer up-to-date equipment, expert trainers, a sauna, Jacuzzi and steam rooms. “Amman Rotana is focused on providing the best services to our guests in addition to providing exceptional facilities and meeting their needs in line with Rotana’s approach. Amman Rotana currently employs around 500 Jordanians, which certainly reflects positively on the national economy and we are looking forward to its official grand opening in November 2016,” concluded Haj Hassan.

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Hilton Builds for the Future at AHIF with Its First Modular Hotel in Africa Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road becomes landmark deal, with additional signings in Kenya and Nigeria as Hilton seeks to double its presence across the continent.

ilton Worldwide has marked this year’s African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) with the announcement of new properties and extensions in three African countries. It continues the company’s commitment to expansion across the continent as it seeks to double its footprint from its existing 39 hotels to more than 80 hotels in the next threefive years.


Among the new hotels agreed is Africa’s first modular build hotel, the 280 guest-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, a concept that Hilton first premiered in 2014 through a partnership with CIMC Modular Building Systems. Other deals see the creation of Africa’s tallest hotel in Nairobi, while Hilton builds on its industry leading airport hotel legacy with an extension to the recently signed Legend Curio at Lagos Airport. Hilton will manage all three properties as it continues to expand its managed hotel portfolio. Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Having been present in Africa for more than 50 years we’re proud to have remained at the forefront of pioneering hotel growth on the continent. This year at AHIF we’re breaking new ground in the region with the announcement of our first modular build hotel, a fast-paced construction solution that we feel has huge potential in Africa, with quicker returns for investors and a world-class hospitality experience for guests.

“We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-

class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.” Modular construction is an innovative solution that can be used to drive hotel development, offering numerous benefits including faster development, streamlined design and cost efficiencies. The process involves assembling portions of the hotel - including guest rooms and hallways - in China, before transporting them to the final site for completion, thereby significantly reducing the time taken for construction. The model helps ensure consistent quality and accelerates the build schedule on site, a particular benefit for developers and investors in emerging markets. Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road is being developed under a management agreement with Independence Properties Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd. With a planned opening in 2018, this will be the first Hilton Garden Inn in Ghana. Ian Morris Director Independence Properties and CEO Trasacco Estates Development Company said, “After building a number of three star plus properties in West Africa the option to go modular and improve on room quality, project delivery and minimise construction risk was warmly embraced by our development, design and construction teams and we feel is the future of the industry.” Paul Blackmore, Managing Director CIMC MBS, said, “We are very proud of the continued

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association between Hilton and CIMC, with Hilton Garden Inn being an excellent brand for utilising our modular technology. In Independence Properties we have another great partner focussed on a high-quality product. Africa is a key strategic focus for CIMC, where our solutions can minimise risk on site while protecting and improving owner returns.”

Co-developed by Jabavu Village and White Lotus Projects, Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill will comprise of an Executive Lounge and five food and beverage outlets, including a relaxing poolside bar, speciality smokehouse and grill restaurant, lobby dining area with landscaped deck and a boutique rooftop bar with unbeatable vista views of the Nairobi skyline on the 43rd level.

Located on Liberation Road, the main connection between Ghana’s capital and its major international airport, the hotel will feature three restaurants and amenities offered at each Hilton Garden Inn location, including complimentary high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24-hour business and fitness centres, alongside four adjustable meeting rooms and a 450sqm ballroom.

Business travellers will have a wide choice of professional facilities to choose from including a ballroom and meeting rooms of approximately 1400sqm. Guests will also have access to an outdoor pool and fitness and spa centres.

Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill, Kenya - (255 guest rooms) A management agreement with Jabavu Village Ltd and White Lotus Projects sees Hilton expand on its existing presence in Kenya to create Africa’s tallest building. Standing 330m high, Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is due to open in 2020, as a 255 guestroom and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital. “In recent years Upper Hill has grown to become a hub for international businesses and organisations, with a number of embassies and organisations setting up their regional offices in the district, including Cisco Systems, World Bank and the IMF,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide. “The striking new-build property will pierce the skyline of Upper Hill and will be well placed to meet this growing demand in one of Nairobi’s most exciting and colourful areas.” Kenya is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies with strong growth in agricultural, tourism, construction and telecommunication sectors. The country’s diversifying economy means it is a popular destination, busy with leisure and business travellers. Mr Mahat Noor, Project Director of Jabavu Village Ltd, said, “Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is our first project with Hilton and we are tremendously excited to be collaborating with them on this spectacular development. Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill and the larger mixed-use development, which will include a residential, retail and entertainment complex, as well as an adjacent office tower, will be Africa’s tallest building, standing at 330m.”

“The iconic Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill will be our 50th Hilton Hotels and Resorts property trading or under development in Africa,” said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. “Reaching this milestone is a testament to Hilton’s love of hospitality, which has helped drive the brands growth across the continent since first introduced with the opening of Hilton Addis Abba and Hilton Nairobi in 1969.” Hilton is set to double its presence in Africa in the next three to five years and is focused on further development prospects all over the continent, entering new countries but also growing in areas with an existing Hilton presence. Finally, having previously announced the signing of Curio, The Legend, Lagos Airport, Hilton has also confirmed that an additional 76 guest rooms will be added to the hotel bringing the room count up to 130-keys and further strengthening its expansion in the country. The hotel, due to open during 2017 will be the first within the airport environment giving guests and airline passengers alike unrivalled ease of access to the airports’ facilities. Web address:


Marriott International Introduces Three New Brands to Cape Town he world’s leading hotel company, Marriott International, Inc., has announced plans for the construction of three new hotel properties in Cape Town, in partnership with the Amdec Group.


These will be three new hotels in the city: one under the company’s signature brand, Marriott Hotels®, which will be the first Marriott Hotel in Cape Town; the second under the upscale extended stay brand, Residence Inn by Marriott®, the first for South Africa; and the third the upper-moderate tier lifestyle brand, AC Hotels by Marriott®, which is the first hotel under this brand for the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region. These three planned developments will add over 500 rooms to Cape Town’s hotel accommodation offering. Bringing 189 additional rooms to Cape Town, the AC Hotel Cape Town waterfront will be located at The Yacht Club in the Roggebaai precinct at the gateway to Cape Town’s waterfront, while at Harbour Arch (the current Culemborg node), currently the location of several major construction projects, will be the site of the 200room Cape Town Marriott Hotel Foreshore and the 150-room Residence Inn by Marriott Cape Town Foreshore. This announcement is an extension of Marriott’s existing partnership with the Amdec Group, initiated in 2015 with the announcement of the development of the first two Marriott branded hotels in South Africa. These two properties, situated in the popular upmarket Melrose Arch Precinct in Johannesburg, are scheduled to open in 2018, and are the Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and the Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch. Amdec’s total investment in these Cape Town and Johannesburg developments amounts to over R3 billion between the two cities which will have

positive economic spinoffs and a massive impact on job creation. The new developments bolster Marriott International’s robust growth strategy across the MEA region, which is geared to expand the global group as a leading travel company both within the region and internationally. According to Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.,

“Africa is particularly important to Marriott International’s expansion strategy because of the continent’s rapid economic growth, expanding middle class and youth population, as well as the increase of international flights into the continent. With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are enormous opportunities.” Marriott International’s growth plans for the continent are impressive: by 2025 the company aims to expand its current presence in Africa to 27 countries, with over 200 hotels and around 37,000 rooms. As for South Africa, Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, comments that, “The significance of this announcement for both the city of Cape Town and for South Africa cannot be underestimated. The developments in both Cape Town and Johannesburg confirm the country’s importance to the international travel market – for both the business and leisure traveller. From

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the perspective of tourism, the addition of three hotels in Cape Town, catering for different market segments among both international and domestic visitors, will strengthen the position of the city as one of the world’s top destinations, and we are confident that Cape Town will gain huge benefits from the likely increase in visitor numbers expected in the future.” James Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of the Amdec Group, says: “Marriott’s new hotels will become landmarks in South Africa and appeal to travellers from all over the country, the continent and the world. We are proud to develop world-class properties in both Cape Town and in Johannesburg. Melrose Arch in Johannesburg is well established as a magnificent multifaceted New Urban quarter focussed on creating an unforgettable experience with a vibrant atmosphere in a secure environment where people can work, shop, relax and stay. Amdec is thrilled to continue our growing partnership with Marriott International in Cape Town where The Yacht Club will offer an exclusive urban

experience in an energised precinct on a working harbour superbly connected to all the buzz of city living in a location steeped in history. In addition, we are delighted to be constructing two new hotels at Harbour Arch (on the current Culemborg node) where we hope to replicate the magical atmosphere experienced at Melrose Arch. Melrose Arch, The Yacht Club, and Harbour Arch are all perfect locations for Marriott’s first hotel properties in South Africa.” It is anticipated that, during the construction phase, approximately 8,000 construction related jobs will be created. Once the hotels are completed, over 700 new hospitality jobs will be created - 470 in the three new Cape Town hotels and 320 in Johannesburg. Cape Town’s importance in the world tourist market has been confirmed in recent years with the ever-increasing visitor numbers to the city. The addition of further accommodation to meet the growing demand will place the city in an even stronger position as a top global destination.


Deep Divisions in Internet Usage in the Middle East and Africa Internet penetration is nearly twice as high in the Middle East and North Africa vs. sub-Saharan Africa he internet audience in the Middle East and Africa will reach 301.6 million in 2016, representing just 20.7% of the region’s population, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of internet users around the world. This means the Middle East and Africa has the lowest level of internet reach in the world, well behind the global penetration rate of 44.6%. (Figure One).


Since its Q1 forecast, eMarketer has adjusted its estimates of internet penetration in the region downard, due to newly available data on Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Burkina Faso indicating lower-than-expected internet usage. Overall, just 16.9% of residents of subSaharan Africa use the internet on a monthly basis. In the rest of the Middle East and Africa, internet penetration is nearly twice as high. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), more than three-quarters of the population is already online, and by 2020, the share will be over 80%. In Saudi Arabia, similarly, more than two-thirds of the population will be internet users this year. Both countries are among the top 25 in the world for internet reach, despite the overall region’s low penetration rates. (Figure Two). The intra-regional disparity almost disappears when it comes to mobile phone usage, which is just below 30% in sub-Saharan Africa and just under 32% in the Middle East and North Africa. eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said, “High rural density, underdeveloped infrastructure and low literacy rates, as well as the high cost of mobile phones and plans, have all contributed to low internet adoption rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, central governments have not managed to spur along cheap and easy access to the internet, and so growth will remain low in to the coming years.

“By contrast, the oil-rich countries in the Middle East tend to be smaller, have higher per-capita GDP, modernized infrastructure that the government has been able to afford, very high urban density and higher literacy rates, which have all contributed to much faster internet adoption rates, which will continue to grow in to the coming years.”

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Figure One

Figure Two


Rok Studios Launches Nollywood TV Channel on Sky Nollywood Reaches for the Sky as it Brings Awesome Original Movies & TV Series to 10m UK Households

ok Studios, the award-winning Nigerian film studio, has launched a brand new Nollywood channel on Sky TV. The channel is programmed with thousands of hours of Rok Studios-produced TV shows and movies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available to all Sky subscribers on channel 344.


Nigerian cinema, known colloquially as Nollywood, is the second largest film industry in the world, in terms of production output. It currently generates over USD600m for Nigeria’s film industry each year, much of which comes from the African Diaspora; the UK is one of the industry’s most lucrative markets. The free-to-view channel is fully programmed, produced and developed in-house, by Rok teams in Lagos and London. Heading up Rok is Mary Njoku, an award-winning Nollywood actress and film producer who’s spent over 12 years at the heart of Nigerian filmmaking. The new channel is supported by Iroko, the VC-backed African technology and entertainment broadcaster and content distributor. Speaking on the launch, Rok CEO Mary Njoku says, “Nollywood’s appeal is truly global; it is not just for Africans, but for film fans in general. As a production house, we have been obsessed with curating amazing African content and telling African stories our way, and with the launch of Rok on Sky, we can bring our stories to millions more. This channel is an unashamed celebration of all things Nollywood, but more than that, a celebration of African stories - in our own words, with our own characters, with our own drama.

“In its short but busy history, Rok has become synonymous with edgy, distinct content, depicting the full gamut of Nigerian life. Compelling storytelling is at the core of everything we strive to produce at Rok, and across our movies and original TV series, we’ve showcased Africa’s most prominent actors, as well as brought to the fore many of the industry’s rising stars. Combine this with leading film production techniques and scripts from the industry’s most talented writers and we’ve built a film studio with an ever-growing global fanbase that has real momentum. Now, we are translating this creative content onto our biggest platform yet: Sky”. Since its launch in 2013, Rok Studios has produced some of Nollywood’s most talked about originals, including Husbands of Lagos, Desperate Housegirls, Losing Control and Cougars. The channel has launched with these

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blockbuster titles, and going forward, Rok viewers will be the first to watch new and exclusive homegrown Rok content, before it goes anywhere else. Rok will lead Nollywood fans in the UK to content they’ll love, and whilst the typical Nollywood audience is currently made up of a predominantly African and Caribbean demographic, those behind the channel hope to attract an even broader audience, thanks to the hyper-modern, original content. Njoku concludes, “As a production house, we have been obsessed with curating amazing African content and telling African stories our way, and with the launch of Rok on Sky, we can bring our stories to millions more. This channel is an unashamed celebration of all things

Nollywood, but more than that, a celebration of African stories - in our own words, with our own characters, with our own drama. We believe that this channel launch will be a game changer in attracting new fans to Nollywood.” Nollywood is the world’s second largest film industry in terms of output, producing approximately 50 films a week and employs over one million people in Nigeria, and contributes 1.42 percent of Nigeria’s GDP. Prominent themes in Nollywood films include family, religion, love and betrayal. Producing a movie in Nigeria costs on average USD25,000–USD70,000. Web address:


Shahid Khan Family Acquires Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Affiliate of Kingdom Holding Company purchases 100% ownership of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Canada. hahid Khan, the founder of FlexN-Gate Group and CEO of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League and the historic London-based Fulham Football Club, has announced, through various family holdings, the purchase of a 100 percent ownership of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto from an affiliate of Kingdom Holding Company (“KHC”).


The sale price was confirmed at C$225 million. The purchase has been approved by all appropriate regulatory bodies. Up until this sale transaction, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto was wholly owned by Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KHC is a publicly listed company on the Saudi Stock Exchange, founded and chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, one of the world’s leading investors. Following the completion of this transaction, Khan takes immediate ownership of the property, which will continue to be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. There will be no disruption of business. Guests and patrons will continue to receive the same high levels of personalized service and care they have come to expect of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. “My admiration and respect for the Four Seasons brand is deep and immense, and the importance and prestige associated with Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is something that I fully appreciate and, in fact, inspired me to explore whether this dream had the potential of becoming a reality,” Khan said. “The greatest and most global brands and companies all have a home, and Toronto is home to the iconic Four Seasons brand. By taking ownership of this property, I intend to treat it as the treasure that it is, and to do whatever it takes to maintain and build upon its leadership position in the luxury hotel segment in Canada.”

Khan added, “I am also honoured that His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has put his trust in me to accept the responsibility and privilege of caring for Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. HRH Prince Alwaleed is a fascinating man whose commitment to people and community throughout the world truly transcends his brilliance in business. Given his ownership stake in the management company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, I am happy that HRH Prince Alwaleed continues to play an integral role in the company’s global presence. I look forward to working in close partnership with Four Seasons to ensure a smooth ownership transition and a successful long-term relationship.” Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, with 99 properties worldwide, is currently owned 47.5 percent by Bill Gates’s Cascade, 47.5 percent by HRH Prince Alwaleed and 5 percent by the founder Isadore Sharp. Khan’s purchase of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto deepens his business roots in Canada, where Flex-N-Gate operates 11 plants in Ontario, and connects him closer personally to Toronto. “Without Toronto, you cannot tell the story of the greatest cities in the world,” Khan said. “I fell in love with Toronto many years ago through my many business trips to Canada and unquestionably feel a closer kinship today that will last forever. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is at the heart of what makes Toronto a world-class destination and, in fact, Four Seasons hotels, resorts and residences serve as the centrepiece of their communities no matter where you go in the world. I will be tireless in my efforts to celebrate Toronto and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto wherever I go and in everything I do.” A naturalized U.S. citizen, Shahid Khan arrived from Pakistan in 1967 at age 16 to study at the University of Illinois. With a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1971, he became Flex-NGate’s engineering manager. In 1978, Khan

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left and with $13,000 in savings and $50,000 from the Small Business Loan Corporation, he created the start-up Bumper Works, which revolutionized the industry through an innovative one-piece bumper design that remains the industry standard. Khan eventually returned to buy Flex-N-Gate, which was ranked in 2015 by Automotive News as the 10th-largest original equipment supplier in North America and the 38th largest supplier in the world. Flex-N-Gate employs more than 18,750 people at 55 manufacturing facilities and nine product development and engineering facilities.

Khan’s dream of owning an NFL team became reality on December 14, 2011, in a unanimous 32-0 vote by NFL owners in support of his purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The first team owner of minority ethnicity in NFL history, Khan serves on several influential NFL committees and was a charter board member of the NFL Foundation. In 2013, Khan complemented his sports holdings with the purchase of Fulham Football Club, which is currently in the top half of the table in the Sky Bet Championship.

UAE Exchange Associates with the Asian Football Confederation as Official Sponsor First and only remittance and foreign exchange house to sponsor all home football games till 2020. he leading global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions brand, UAE Exchange recently announced that it has signed up with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as an official sponsor of national football competitions from 2016 till 2020. With this association, UAE Exchange becomes the first and only remittance and foreign exchange house to join the official sponsors’ brandwagon.


Speaking on the association, Gopakumar Bhargavan, Chief Marketing Officer - UAE Exchange said, “It is our belief that sports is a binding force. We chose to partner with AFC because football is right up there when it comes to a worldwide fan following and emotional attachments. Similarly, with a strong legacy of 36 years, UAE Exchange has also grown to be a leading player in the remittance industry thanks to its loyal customer base and the bond we share with them. This is aptly represented in our association with AFC and we are delighted to be the exclusive money transfer and foreign exchange brand as an official sponsor of the national competitions till 2020. We see this sponsorship fit in with our strategic plans to connect and engage with our customers on a much larger platform, while reaching out to football-loving audiences regionally and worldwide.” The five-year agreement has UAE Exchange as the official sponsor of more than 200 home games

covering matches of Asian Qualifiers – Road to Russia, AFC U-19 Championship 2018, AFC U-16 Championship 2018, AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and AFC Futsal Championship 2020. “The Asian Football Confederation is pleased to welcome UAE Exchange on board as an official sponsor for the national team competitions. The AFC competitions are growing in terms of fixtures, excitement and audiences. More people are watching live in stadia and on television than ever before. This creates tremendous opportunities for global brands such as UAE Exchange to collaborate in promoting and enjoying the strength and popularity of the game in Asia,” said AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John. Bhargavan added, “This sponsorship deal provides countless opportunities to engage our audiences in novel ways, with above-, below- and through-theline components. To bring the game closer to our audiences, we have developed an integrated marketing campaign and outreach programme that will be leveraged across various channels. Our made-forthe-occasion theme of #YallaLetsPlay kicks-off with exciting on-ground, in-stadia and digital activities on offer to invite people into the footballing experience.” For more information about UAE Exchange, visit


Atento Announces the Sale of its Operations in Morocco to Intelcia Group •

Sale encompasses Atento´s operations in Morocco that provide service to the French and Moroccan markets. • Transaction allows Atento to continue to strengthen its focus on core markets in Spain and the Latin America region. • Atento remains the leading provider of customer experience services and solutions in the $10.4 billion CRM BPO Latin American market and ranks third worldwide.

tento S.A., the leading provider of customer relationship management and business process outsourcing services in Latin America, and one of the top three providers worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Intelcia Group for the sale of 100% of Atento Morocco SA, encompassing Atento´s operations in Morocco providing services to the Moroccan and French markets. Atento´s operations in Morocco, which provide services to the Spanish market, are excluded from the transaction and will continue operating as part of Atento Spain. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close before Atento´s fiscal year-end 2016. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


channels, including everything from traditional voice to social media. Our deep understanding of the sectors and socio cultural environments where companies operate allow us to provide unique insights into our customers’ businesses, operations and consumer needs. As a result, Atento has become the trusted partner to optimize the consumer experience for companies in Latin America and Spain.

The sale allows Atento to continue to strengthen its focus on core markets in Spain and in the $10,4 billion CRM BPO market in the Latin America region. Every day Atento connects more than 500 million consumers with more than 400 leading brands, delivering a differentiated customer experience that generates value for consumers and companies. Atento delivers a differentiated customer experience by managing customer relations through a unique blend of people, innovative services, technology and multichannel infrastructure to build sales, customer service, technical and back office support across all

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mea Markets

Nuvias acquires SIPHON Networks: SIPHON Networks set to expand in UK and across EMEA uvias Group, the pan-EMEA, high value distribution business, has announced the acquisition of SIPHON Networks, a leading unified communications (UC) solutions and technology integrator for the channel. The deal will see Nuvias making a significant investment in SIPHON to accelerate the integrator’s expansion, both in the UK and across EMEA.


Paul Eccleston, CEO Nuvias Group, said: “SIPHON is a great business with an exceptional reputation in the UC market. Its focus on high level service and solutions capabilities for the channel is perfectly aligned with the Nuvias Group philosophy and strategy. SIPHON is also highly complementary to the cyber security, advanced networking and UC capabilities of Wick Hill and Zycko, the existing businesses in the Group.

SIPHON will continue to operate from the same location, with the same staff and the same management team, led by Steve Harris, who will remain as managing director. “We will protect what has already been built by SIPHON,” added Eccleston. “We will enhance it through the other capabilities in the Nuvias Group, and we will expand it, taking it across EMEA.” Steve Harris, managing director for SIPHON Networks, said, “This is a great opportunity for SIPHON staff, vendor partners and customers. It enables us to accelerate our growth plans and expand geographically in the UK and EMEA, as part of a much larger organisation, which shares our core beliefs and dedication to high service levels, and has the resources to help us realise our goals.”

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