From The Chair
Khalid Al-Zayani Chairman Dear Members, Welcome to the Spring edition of the BBBF magazine. 2013 has got off to a positive start, for the business community, with the granting of significant funding from Bahrain’s neighbouring GCC counterparts, as part of the US$ 10 billion "GCC Marshall plan" over the next 10 years. This substantial injection of capital will be used for projects in housing, electricity, water, infrastructure and social services. We believe that these funds will create excellent opportunities for BBBF members across a broad range of sectors over a sustained period of time. Coupled with the continuing high oil prices the economy is planned to grow by approximately 5%-6% in 2013, which is a promising position despite the disruption that the country has endured. February was a very busy and high profile month. H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transport delivered an excellent address at our lunch meeting. His Excellency highlighted some fantastic opportunities for BBBF members as the GCC Marshall plan funds are applied to sustainable infrastructure projects.
Later in the month, The Lord Mayor of London visited the island for a high profile visit. With over 25% of Bahrain’s GDP originating from the Financial Services sector, the bi-annual visit is very important indeed and was once again well supported by the country’s leadership. It was an honour for BBBF members to meet the Lord Mayor and his visiting party of City heavyweights during the HSBC sponsored reception at the British Embassy. It was particularly encouraging to witness the close relationship between our two islands, particularly, in the areas of Islamic Banking, regulatory supervision and financial training. A critical success factor of Bahrain’s 2030 Economic Strategy, is to develop the skills of young Bahrainis to capitalise on the employment opportunities in the dynamic and rewarding financial services sector. A strong and transparent relationship with the City of London is imperative and for that reason, we consider the Lord Mayor’s visit a major success. The eyes of the world will be on Bahrain as it hosts the Formula 1 Grand prix race (19-21 April). The race weekend is a welcome shot in the arm for the resilient and dynamic hospitality sector. The race continues to drive opportunities for the private sector with a substantial inflow of capital and influential business leaders expected to visit. We ask all our members to support global showcase events like these visiting our island.
Registration number ISSN 1985-9929
The Special Interest Groups are actively engaging our members and I strongly encourage you to join one or more of the groups, which are free-of-charge for all BBBF members. Keep an eye out for forthcoming events or contact Jill Boggiss or Paula Boast, our joint SIG Leaders, or one of the SIG Heads directly. Please do join us as often as your diary permits as these events represent an excellent opportunity to discuss topical sector issues and make new contacts. A special mention also to both HSBC, our corporate sponsors, and Standard Chartered, our Special Interest Group sponsors, who continue to be a great source of financial support and generous encouragement. Their support allows us the financial security to increase the number of initiatives and enhances the quality and quantity of events that we are able to organise for your benefi t and enjoyment. We hope that you enjoy this Forum edition and the Committee is looking forward to welcoming you, and your guests, to the forthcoming BBBF functions we have in Q2. We also look forward to hearing more about how we can serve you better. Please see Page 4 for details of our forthcoming events. With kind regards Khalid Al-Zayani Chairman
BBBF Tel: +973 1781 3488, Fax: +973 1781 3489, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bahrain British Business Forum, P. O. Box 10051, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Contents The 2013-2015 Executive Committee ......2 Advertiser Index ..............2 From Her Majesty’s Ambassador ....................3 Welcome to New Members .................4 Diary Dates......................5 Member Benefits .............6 Why join the BBBF? ........7 Embassy News................8 SIG Update ...................10 SIG Org. Effectiveness ..12 SIG Construction ...........14 SIG - ICT .......................15 SIG Security ..................16 Feature Article Linked In or Locked Out .20 Financial News ..............22 Procrastination Financially speaking ......28 Helping Migrant Workers ............30 BBBF Lunch Photos ......32 News from the EP .........34 Health Matters ...............36 Education Sector ...........38 Feature Article Social Media Success ...40 IT Usage Policy .............42 Hotel & Leisure News ....44 BBBF Golf Day ..............52 Bahrain News ................54 Regional Roun-up .........62 And Finally.....................64 Cover Image: Minister of State for Transportation addresses members and guests at BBBF February lunch. More pictures on page 32. Forum
The 2011-12 BBBF Executive Committee
Chairman Khalid Al Zayani
Deputy Chairman Austin Rudman Mob: 3969 9475
Treasurer Jonathan Trafankowski Mob: 3914 8599
Hon-Secretary Jill Boggiss Mob: 3604 4100
Member Rob Grey Mob: 3966 3452
Member Julia Atherton-Dandy Mob: 3966 0598
Member Nasser Al Arayedh Tel: 1727 2575
Embassy Representative Debbie Dixon Mob: 3947 4208
Our thanks to all the advertisers in this edition of Forum. Without their support, this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours.
SIG Chair Paula Boast Tel: 3930 0577
Executive Manager Dena Wales Tel: 3969 6191
This edition of the BBBF Forum magazine was compiled by Andrew Mead at Mead Management Services Ltd. email: email@example.com UK Mob: 0044 7940 559 925 Bahrain Mobile: 00973 3638 7595 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org A full page advert is charged at BD330. A half page advert at BD200, A quarter page advert at BD110 A small panel at BD55 Assistance with Advert design is available if required Please note: The BBBF nor its agents do not warrant the services of any of the individual or corporate members of the BBBF. The views and opinions expressed by independent contributors must not be regarded as those of the BBBF or its agents. Publication of any article or advertisement does not imply any endorsement of the views, products or services described therein.
2 Connect ........................................ Inside Back Cover Al Jazira Supermarket ..................................... page 20 Almoayed Wilelmsen Ltd................................. page 56 AXA Insurance ............................. Outside Back Cover Bahrain International Circuit ............Inside Front Cover BFC ................................................................. page 26 BMMI - Al Osra Supermarket .......................... page 11 British School of Bahrain ................................. page 39 Crown Relocations .......................................... page 21 Cutis Clinic ...................................................... page 10 DHL ................................................................. page 63 Dipomat Radisson Blu..................................... page 51 Euromotors...................................................... page 31 G4S ................................................................. page 17 Gulf Agency Co ............................................... page 35 Gulf Hotel ........................................................ page 47 HSBC .............................................................. page 23 Insure Direct .................................................... page 13 Jeeves ............................................................. page 61 Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.............................. page 49 Mansouri Mansions ......................................... page 48 MJS Autos - Jaguar......................................... page 55 MSB................................................................. page 56 Nexus ..............................................................Page 29 Park Hyatt Hotel .............................................. page 45 Phil Weymouth Photography............................. page 6 Ritz-Carlton, Doha .......................................... page 53 Skynet ............................................................. page 15 Travelex........................................................... page 25
From Her Majesty's Ambassador shoulders" above other countries in helping Bahrain.
When I said in the last edition that we were in for a busy and productive autumn and winter, little idea did I have quite how busy it would be! I wrote as the Crown Prince was visiting the UK in October, hot on the heels of his father, His Majesty King Hamad, who visited in August. Since then there have more visits in both directions than for many years, covering all aspects of our rapidly intensifying bilateral relationship: political, defence and security, reform assistance, and trade and investment. With a week to go to Easter, the final visit of the first quarter looms: that of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, who are visiting Bahrain (and Saudi Arabia) as part of their enquiry into Britain’s relations with the two countries, in the context of Britain’s relations with the Gulf. Their visit comes just two weeks after the successful visit of Alistair Burt MP, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth office. So where does all this activity leave the bilateral relationship? Is it making a difference? The answer to the second question is a resounding ‘yes’ and, as a consequence, the answer to the first question is that there is far more evidence now to back up the Crown Prince’s splendid comment in his speech at the Manama Dialogue in December that the UK is "head and
On the overall political relationship, the tremendous warmth of the discussions between Alistair Burt and his Bahraini interlocutors, from the King down, was further evidence of His Majesty’s heartfelt comment to Foreign Secretary William Hague, at their meeting in the margins of the Manama Dialogue, that Britain was a true friend to Bahrain and the Gulf. Mr Burt’s visit saw the first meeting of the UK/Bahrain Joint Working Group (JWG), co-chaired by him and Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, but also involving other Bahraini ministers. The JWG was agreed during Sheikh Khaled’s visit to London in November for the excellent Bahrain Society dinner. The discussions covered all aspects of the relationship bar defence, which is covered by separate talks. I’d like to draw attention to two particular aspects of the discussions. First, the session on Bahraini reform and British assistance in support of that. I am very proud of the efforts which the UK is making to support reform in Bahrain. The British Embassy is, I believe, the only one in town with a team dedicated to reform assistance. Many of our visitors have been engaged in this work, eg the National School of Government and leading legal centres such as the Slynn Foundation and Bingham Centre. The JWG agreed on a number of further areas for assistance.
It’s early days yet, but I am confident that with the continued cooperation and support of the Bahraini authorities British assistance can make a difference here. The second is trade and investment. The context to our discussions was a 25% increase in UK exports to Bahrain in 2012, making Bahrain the UK’s fastest growing export market in the Gulf; the King’s comments to David Cameron that he wanted to see more British companies winning business in Bahrain; and a very successful visit to Bahrain by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, in February. It was good to hear the Minister for Transportation say that His Majesty’s message had been registered across government. Much work had been carried out to identify opportunities for British UK companies, eg in oil and gas, and public transportation (buses, network operation and bus shelters, where the Minister’s visit to the EuroBus Expo in Birmingham last November, which my UKTI team here organised, is starting to pay dividends). We also discussed the Bahrain/UK Business Forum, to be held in London on 24 April, which will be a tremendous opportunity to publicise to British companies the many high value opportunities available in Bahrain. On the basis of historical evidence, British companies should be looking at winning over £1bn of business. Not to be sniffed at.
comments on two very welcome developments: the restart of political dialogue and the appointment of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince as First Deputy Prime Minister. The dialogue is still in its early days. It is no mean feat that after 2 years of acrimony all the parties are sat around the same table. It will take time to make progress given the need to rebuild trust and confidence. People need to be realistic, constructive and, above all else, patient. We are encouraging all of the aforementioned. And finally the Crown Prince’s appointment. William Hague picked up the phone to congratulate him, which indicates the importance we attach to this move. We look forward to the Crown Prince bringing his clear progressive vision of Bahrain’s future to government and to working closely with him. And thank you to all the BBBF members and friends who came to the Curry Night in the Embassy garden this week. It was a great evening and a pleasure to welcome you all to the Embassy. Iain Lindsay OBE British Ambassador
Let me conclude with brief Forum
Ahmed Al Khan Chairman Jeeves of Belgravia Tel: 1746 5575 Mob: 3777 3777 email@example.com
Brian Kelleher Trowers & Hamlins Lawyer Tel: 1751 5602 Mob: 3971 7400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fatima Ebrahim Membership Manager Capital Club Tel: 1710 0100 Mob: 3838 2014 fatima.ebrahim@ capitalclubbahain.com
Graham Nugent MANDEVCO International Ltd Managing Director Tel: 17001638 Mob: 32233629 email@example.com
Alain Groleau Lightspeed Communications Business Development Director Tel: 1665 3170 Mob: 3960 9265 firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Perrins Takhzeen Self Storage General Manager Tel: 6999 0999 Mob: 3777 9009 email@example.com
Hassan Jarrar Standard Chartered Bank CEO Tel: 1722 3636 Mob: 3969 1914 firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleana Zachariades G. P. Zachariades (Overseas) Ltd Marketing Manager Tel: 1759 8800 email@example.com
David Johnston Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP Lawyer Tel: 1650 0200 Fax: 1650 0299 firstname.lastname@example.org
Garfield Jones GULF HOTELS GROUP Deputy C E O Tel: 1771 3000 Mob: 3655 2655 email@example.com 4
The BBBF Directory The 2013 printed edition of the BBBF Directory is now online. Copies of the pages in the printed edition are available to view as pdf files by following the Directory link from the home page of the BBBF website at www.bbforum.org. Members contact details may also be found online by using a Text Search facility or from a search of member photographs. The information displayed from the TEXT or PICTURE Search may be more up-to-date than that shown as a pdf copy of the printed page.
Welcome to New Members Diary Dates
UKTI Team complete
Tuesday April 16th AGM (election year) Venue: Moevenpick Hotel Time: 12 noon Wednesday April 24th Golf Social evening Venue: Royal Golf Club Tuesday May 14th BBBF business lunch meeting Venue: TBA Thursday June 6th BBBF Annual Golf Day Event Venue: Royal Golf Club Tuesday June 18th BBBF business lunch meeting Wednesday July 17th Ramadan Quiz Night Tuesday August 20th BBBF business lunch meeting Tuesday September 17th BBBF business lunch meeting
The UKTI team are at maximum capacity now and will remain a foursome after Laura moves on in July. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Sharon Hunt, Trade and Investment Officer Heather Hopper, Deputy Head UKTI Debbie Dixon, Head UKTI Laura Bocarro, UKTI Overseas Attache (she will be here for six months in total, due to return at the beginning of July 2013) 5. Imane Alalaiwat, Trade and Investment Officer
October 8th or 22nd BBBF business lunch meeting Thursday November 7th Poppy Ball Tuesday November 19th BBBF business lunch meeting Thursday December 12th BBBF Christmas lunch Events in the pipeline Please visit the BBBF website www.bbbforum.org and check the calendar for updated details on the above and other events/ meetings being held.
Not quite a new member yet! Finley Michael Dall born 8th October 2012 at Awali. Many congratulations to proud parents Arran and BBBF Committee member Julia. Forum
Benefits for BBBF Members
Benefits for all our members may be obtained on production of their Membership card at the concerned outlet. We would like to hear your feedback concerning these discounts. Please do not hesitate to offer your services to our members by contacting the BBBF office. If any member has any difficulty obtaining a discount, please contact the BBBF office so we can rectify the situation. AXA Insurance 10% discounts to members on personal lines insurances. (excluding medical) Terms & Conditions Apply. Contact: Stephen Wagstaff Tel: 1758 8222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) Special schemes have been arranged with BKIC for BBBF members for the following classes of insurance: House & Contents, Domestic Servants & Motor Insurance. Special terms are available on production of your membership card. Bizladies BBBF members can join Bizladies for a 25% reduction in the fees (BD75 for 9 events instead of BD100). In addition a 10% discount may be obtained against organisational and executive coaching, proof reading, training, assistance with academic writing and psychometric profiling. Contact:- Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy (Managing Director), Mobile:- +973 38442727, Email:- clare@beckett-mcinroy email@example.com British Airways Valid until 31 Jan 2014. BA is offering BBBF members a 10% discount on published fares from Bahrain to UK, Europe, North America and South America in Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller. The discount rate is applicable to round or one-way trip tickets originating from Bahrain. This discount is not valid on taxes, fees and surcharges.To book please login at www.ba.com/bbbf. Craig Consultants 10% discount for members on 1-on-1 Executive Coaching, Contact: Kevin Craig Tel: 36199980 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DHL 25% discount from the cash tariff for any personal shipments being sent from Bahrain to anywhere in the world available on production of your membership card. DHL Customer Service Tel: 1736 4100 www.dhl.com.bh Expat Angels 10% discount on all packages and services. Contact: email@example.com Tel: 3832-0439 Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeeves of Belgravia London’s Finest Dry Cleaner is offering all BBBF members an exclusive discount of 50% for their first trial of our services. Thereafter, all BBBF members shall get a 25% discount in all their orders. For collections, please call our hotline at 17 465 575 and visit our website: www.jeevesbahrain.com Marriott Executive Apartment and Residence Inn Bahrain 15% discounts when dining in Skyw@lk Café upon production of the BBBF membership card. 10% discounts on the best available rates for BBBF Member companies. For meetings and events, we offer a special day delegate rates of 13 BD per person inclusive of 3 coffee breaks and lunch. Contact Marwan Haddad Tel: 3624 2210 email:email@example.com National Hotel Services (NHSC) 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer. Contact: Ian Bricklebank Tel: 1781-5929 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Protection Insurance Service offers BBBF members special rates on their personal insurance (motor, home, travel and any other insurance cover). Members will just call to select the cover type, share the credit card number and we will deliver the policy documents to his / her office. Please call 3904-3446 or 3645-4282 Ritz-Carlton, Doha Stay for minimum 2 nights at the club level of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and get a Food & Beverages credit of USD 50/day. 15% savings for all treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa Contact: Hanny Gunawan, Director PR, Tel: +974 4484 8303, email: email@example.com Royal Over-Seas League Reduced rates for BBBF members at ROSL clubhouses in London and Edinburgh which include hotel-style accommodation. Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0044 20 7408 0214 Fax: 0044 20 7499 6738 Servcorp Business Package Two months at half price on any Servcorp Virtual Office Contact: Heather Longden, Sales Manager Tel: 1750 2710 email: email@example.com Web: www.servcorp.bh
Why Join The BBBF?
BAHRAIN The Pearl of the Gulf has had a long standing relationship with Britain and is still a major trading partner.
Membership directories are distributed to members of visiting Trade Missions and are available through the Embassy and business centres in five star hotels.
BRITISH Trade with Bahrain is now subject to significant competition in this era of globalisation particularly from countries in Europe and from the USA.
Simply click on “Sign Up” on our website www.bbbforum.org complete the application form and click submit. Sounds simple, it is, it must be worth it.
BUSINESS between Bahrain and Britain must be promoted in order for Britain to maintain its dominant position. The BBBF has been formed to help in whatever way it can to do this and through its close cooperation with the British Embassy seeks to promote exchange of trade and good relations between Bahrain and Britain. FORUM Is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as, “an assembly or meeting to discuss topics of public concern”. The BBBF provides through its monthly meetings a platform for networking amongst its members and the exchange and dissemination of useful business leads and opportunities. In addition, in return for a modest subscription, members receive the benefit of inclusion in an annual directory describing the products and services they have to offer and a listing on the BBBF website again with a description of activities, contact numbers and useful links.
BBBF Membership Application Please complete the membership form and send it to: BBBF Executive Office, Fax: (00973) 1781 3489, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, Web site: www.bbbforum.org
Cost of membership (2012) Individual Membership: BD 75 per annum, with an additional BD 40 once-only registration fee. Corporate Membership: BD 400 per annum (up to 5 individuals) plus BD 40 for each applicant up to a maximum of 10, with an additional BD 100 once-only registration fee. Corporate Sponsorships Three levels of sponsorship are available: Platinum: BD 3500 each year for three years Gold: BD 3500 for one year Silver: BD 1750 for one year Sponsor packages include a variety of advertisement opportunities in the Membership Directory, the Forum magazine, the BBBF website and at the regular lunch meetings. Full details are available on request.
Corporate Membership please complete separate form for each applicant
Website address of business (if applicable)
Title and full name (Surname first)
Describe how you / your company contribute to substantial business interests in Bahrain (Maximum 150 words)
Position in business Nationality
Date of Birth
CPR Number Address of business (P.O.Box & Town) Business telephone
I agree to abide by the BBBF Constitution & Internal regulations. Applicants Signature
Please note that the granting of individual or corporate membership is subject to BBBF Committee approval.
Embassy News Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations (BFEA) event The Bahrain Federation of Expatriate Associations (BFEA) held a "One nation, One Bahrain" open day at the National Stadium on Friday, 25th January 2013. This was an opportunity for all expatriates and their families to engage with ministries, embassies and other officials to offer their thoughts and suggestions whilst engaging directly with the relevant authorities. UKTI and the BBBF hosted a joint stand as part of the wider British Embassy stall. The day was a great success for UKTI and the BBBF with lots of interest about what we do to help UK companies enter the Bahraini market. To keep the atmosphere family related there were camel rides, food stalls and other forms of entertainment. Also present were officials from Tamkeen,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Commerce and
Industry, EDB and representatives from other local government bodies.
UKTI Bahrain at Britain in the Region and Arab Health Deputy Head of Mission Russ Dixon, attended the annual Britain in the Region event on 29th January in Dubai. The popular event showcases business opportunities in the GCC markets. It involved experts and representatives from regional companies responsible for stimulating trade and investment, as well as UK and local companies already established in the region. Russ Dixon chaired the Bahraini panel, together with BBBF Chairman Khalid Al Zayani as a panellist and Atkins Managing Director for Bahrain, Will Myles, spoke as a panellist for Bahrain and Kuwait, having worked in both markets. Together, they fielded 8
questions regarding market conditions and business opportunities. Russ also attended Arab Health in Dubai and met with healthcare professionals and other delegates in this growing sector. The Welsh Assembly and the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) opened with a short welcome address. There was a very popular UK pavilion where interested parties could congregate to meet with members of the health industry. Russ met with several UK companies to highlight the Bahraini market and where the British Embassy and UKTI could help businesses become established locally.
British Airways 80th anniversary of flying to Bahrain
CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN BAHRAIN We are making important changes to the way we deliver British passports. From 11 February 2013, you should submit passport applications to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in the UK for processing. All the information needed to complete the passport application process, is available on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/overseaspassports If you cannot find the information you need on the GOV.UK website, please contact the Passport Adviceline. Details are on the website. You should avoid leaving applying for your passport until the last minute. You can apply to renew your passport at any time. Any remaining validity up to nine months will be transferred from your old passport to your new one.
British Airways (BA) celebrated its 80th Anniversary at the Ambassador’s Residence at the British Embassy premises in December 2012. The event was hosted by the British Ambassador to Bahrain, HE Iain Lindsay, and was attended by Paulo DeRenzis, (pictured above) BA Area Commercial Manager Middle East & Central Asia along with other BA officials. The successful event marked the major milestone of the UK’s national flag carrier since it first started operating commercial flights in the Middle East in 1932.
Guests were treated to canapés and drinks throughout the night, leading up to the highlight of the event – the fashion show. Models and BA Ambassadors showed off vintage and modern air hostess uniforms on the catwalk. At the same time, guests learned about the origins of the uniforms and how their style has evolved over the years. The fun and informative event proved a great hit with guests who enjoyed the evening and learnt about BA’s commercial history and fashion legacy.
Lord Green meets with the Minister of Finance
Stephen Keith Green, Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint is the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and former Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc
The Minister of Finance, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa met with Minister of Trade Lord Green in London in January 2013. During his bilateral visit, he discussed where British companies could enter the market as well as airport redevelopment and energy conservation. The upcoming business conference due to be held at the Dorchester Hotel in London in April was also discussed.
If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received. If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks. Your application may take longer if IPS needs to request further information. You should not book travel until you have received your new passport. The British Government cannot accept responsibility for costs incurred if travel is booked and subsequently cancelled before the passport has been received. You will receive your new passport and supporting documents separately.
URGENT TRAVEL If you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should contact the nearest Consular Assistance team in Bahrain. In certain circumstances our staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport Forum
Special Interest Groups
practitioners from all backgrounds and areas of interest.
Paula Boast SIG Chair I have to start this update by passing the Executive Committee and various Heads of SIGs’ grateful thanks to Jill Boggiss for her input to the SIGs and in particular for her chairing of the groups. She has certainly laid down the gauntlet for my stepping into her shoes and the role as SIG Head generally. I am hoping we can keep up the impetus that she has managed to generate through 2013. Many thanks again Jill for all your efforts and hard work! Clive Hopewell, Chair of the Legal SIG ,reports that BBBF Member companies Charles Russell and Trowers & Hamlins participated in the St Christopher’s Careers Fair on 4 March. The focus was on encouraging a new generation of legal
The legal SIG also ran an event in November focusing on the new Bahrain labour law, facilitated by speakers from the local lawyer fraternity. This is an area that we continue to monitor. We had about 80 attendees so we do appreciate that these changes are impacting directly on BBBF members. We will endeavour to bring new updates as and when
group impacts.With this in mind, the Legal SIG will be teaming up later in the Spring with the Finance SIG and ICT SIG on a event focusing on FATCA – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – enacted by US Congress in 2010 to target non-compliance by US tax payers, it is likely to impact on the Middle East region generally, particularly as it requires foreign financial institutions to report information about financial accounts held
The theme for 2013 is integration between the special interest groups, focusing on areas where business interests overlap or where they have specific
the membership and the community. We have a new special interest group for you focusing on culture and the arts. This SIG will be headed by Clementine Perrins. We hope to see a presence from this SIG at our “Business Bazaar/ Networking” event later this Spring, and wish them all the best as they get up and running.
by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.
If you have any topics of concern or you would like to speak, then please do not hesitate to contact me. With this in mind we are looking in particular to more crossintegration with other SIG groups so do look out for those events. In particular Security SIG’s meeting on 22nd May on the theme of Cyber Crime, on which Tony Palys has more information, and Finance SIG’s upcoming session in relation to FATCA in conjunction with Legal SIG.
On the following pages you’ll find more articles about how the exisiting Special Interest Groups have been interacting with
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance from Standard Chartered in sponsoring the SIG events.
Legal SIG at St Christopher’s School Careers Day the law clarifies in practice throughout the course of the year.
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SIG - Organisational Effectiveness In December we held a meeting at the Gulf Hotel where around 50 people attended a workshop led by myself together with Susan Stephenson, who has recently left the Royal Golf Club. The workshop was focused on an idea relating to ‘Manager X Factor’ –what it takes to be an outstanding people manager and why this is key to business success.
Marketing Strategies. In his presentation Ahmed (pictured right) highlighted ways in which organisations can increase their chances of developing products that customers value and pay for.
I highlighted a number of findings from recent research including a study by iOpener Institute (of 9,000 people worldwide) For example employees who report being happiest at work:
Above: Jill Boggiss (left) & Susan Stephenson at the Standard Chartered sponsored SIG meetng.
Susan Stevenson shared her experience at the Fairmont Hotel group and her recent experience of working with the Royal Golf Club to ensure that the customer experience lived up to the promise of ‘creating a spirited environment that provides unrivalled memories for every member and guest’ and how this was achieved through a three year organisational development programme. Susan is currently working as an organisational development consultant for public and private sector organisations.
The potential of “good” bosses “Good bosses are teachers. In fact their teaching accounts for 67% of a boss’s effect on employees’productivity” Kathryn L Shaw
Stanford Professor of Economics Co-author of “The Value of Bosses” 12 Forum
Stay twice as long in their jobs as their least happy colleagues
Spend double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do
Take ten times less sick leave
Believe they are achieving their potential twice as much to those who are less satisfied
Having a great line manager is one of the keys to being happy at work. It shows up time and again as the reason people stay in organisations and when it is not working well, why they leave. This seminar was well received and we propose to do a series on manager skills. In February Ahmed Al Akber of ACK Solutions, a marketing strategy consulting firm, together with Brian Lees from the Bahrain Polytechnic held a workshop focused on Effective
He went on to explain that this value, when communicated in short, simple terms can be more easily understood by customers and therefore results in more business and often leads to an ongoing dialogue with customers, which ensures a consistent sales pipeline. His main message was that businesses would do well to work with customers when they are developing their products and launch with a ‘minimum viable product’ whenever possible. And in terms of communication to ensure that they broadcast from Radio WIIFM (Radio what’s in it for me, GEDDIT). We had an entertaining time with a tapping exercise that demonstrated the ‘tune’ we are running in our heads is so obvious to us but not to someone who is just hearing the ‘rhythm’ (you probably had to be there!). Marketing is obviously an area of interest to members and non members and we had over 40 people at the workshop. New ideas Business book club – I am working on an idea to get together and for an ‘expert’ in one of the guru books to outline it and for us to discuss.
The dangers of “bad” bosses Often it’s not what bosses do that makes them bad; it’s what they don’t do. In a study of 30,000 managers, employees cited these top five flaws again and again 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Fails to Inspire Accepts mediocrity Lacks clear vision and direction Unable to collaborate and be a team player Fails to walk the talk
Jill Boggiss Continued professional development
You cannot have been unaware of the flood of world-class speakers coming here – so we will try and hold our own ‘master classes’ on topics related to manager effectiveness. Team working International seminars – Tom Flatau of Team working International is offering to run seminars through the BBBF Organisational Effectiveness group and we are planning one for April. These will be
free for BBBF members and will costs BD10 for non-members.
Participants have asked if they can have an acknowledgement of attendance – and we will be able to issue a ‘certificate’ of attendance that will detail the hours spent and the topic covered. This will help some professionals with their hours for CPD.
Team working international are a UK based company who come to the region around once a quarter. They held a meeting at the Capital Club when they were here in February and when they return in April will run a session on the importance of having a ‘Leadership Mindset’. Details to follow.
The next workshop will be on harnessing the power of social media to improve organisational performance – both in attracting customers and in engaging staff. I will run this together with Adel Maymoon, who has a consulting business. See the article reprinted, with kind permission, from Gulf Insider on page 20.
Special Interest Group - Construction London 2012 legacy continues
Above: Paula Boast, BBBF SIG Chair 2013 introducing Tim Heading, landscape technical director, Atkins Atkins is continuing to use their London 2012 expertise across the region to showcase the breadth and depth of their technical expertise. The latest such event saw Tim Heading, landscape technical director, present to more than 70 people in Bahrain. Hosted by the Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) Construction Special Interest Group, the event enabled Tim to explain how Atkins’ specialists helped prepare London for last summer’s Olympic Games, while creating a legacy for future generations. High level guests included the British Deputy Ambassador, Russ Dixon, members of government ministries, professors from local universities and construction industry professionals. “For Atkins, London 2012 has been more than a celebration of sporting excellence,” says Tim. “It has been a celebration of the achievements of each and every one of the 1,000 colleagues who were part of our Olympic journey.” 14 Forum
“New skills have been developed and new solutions found, all of which can be brought to bear in projects around the world. The scale and complexity of the project made us think about engineering design in a new way. By working together, with a clear goal and concept of shared benefit, our industry as a whole has been able to rise to the challenge.” Atkins’ Olympic journey began in 2005 when it was selected by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) as the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Games, which included delivery of the site’s “enabling works” – the preparation and remediation of the 45-hectare Olympic Park site before development. Between 2006 and 2009, more than 1,000 professionals – engineers, project managers, ecologists, soil scientists and sustainability experts – worked with subcontractors and team partners under extraordinarily tight deadlines to ready the site for the construction of sport facilities.
Atkins’ role also included providing multidisciplinary design consultancy services to support the delivery of temporary venues and overlay for the Games. Working with LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games)
Atkins provided advice on accessibility for venues across London related to logistics, support and training venues, as well as venues across the rest of the UK including Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle and Cardiff.
Special Interest Group - ICT SIG Sponsor
The Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) Information Communications Technology (ICT) Special Interest Group held a lunch meeting on Tuesday 12th March at the Diplomat Hotel in the Al-Fanar Room.
Services providers, Security companies and ICT solution providers. As a result there was good discussion with a range of issues tabled, e.g., frequency licensing, last mile service delivery and Mobile Indoor coverage.
The meeting was chaired by the ICT SIG Head, David Wales of Condor Technology. There was a short presentation on ICT followed by an open discussion. A good variety of business sectors were represented including Telecommunication Service providers, Financial
This has prompted plans for the next meeting that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Directorate of Wireless Licensing Frequencies & Monitoring (DWLFM) will be invited to. The event was sponsored by NHSC and Standard Chartered Bank.
BBBF SIG Security - in partnership with OSAC - Bahrain Council What has the BBBF SIG (Security) been doing since the Autumn Edition?
Anthony Peter Palys MBE Media pundits have been reviewing the so called "Arab Spring" and are now, in some places, referring to it as the "Arab Winter" as some effected countries seem to be slipping back into forms of such anarchy and the refusal to accept the letter of the law or listen to words of commonsense not seen in the Region or in fact the world for quite some time. History teaches us so many lessons but generations, or should I say those in power, never seem to learn from them resulting in the innocents having to suffer.
To this day as I type we are hearing of atrocities being committed in Nigeria, Algeria and Syria to mention just a few not forgetting the never ending "Anniversaries" so with that all in mind the same old questions ring in my ears once again: • Is my Staff Personal Security Awareness Orientation & Training up to date? • Is my Business Continuity Plan up to date and tested? • Is my Staff Relocation Communications Plan up to date and tested? • Is all my Families Personal Documentation up to date especially the Passports? • Am I and my Family Registered with the Embassy? These questions are forever being repeated, but so often ignored until the last minute, placing so much pressure on the folks at the respective offices who in fact may also have to leave! With this in mind I thought, once again, to remind our respective communities and the readers of the BBBF Forum Magazine of information available at both the UK & US Embassies UK Embassy: http://ukinbahrain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-brish-nationals/ how-to-stay-safe-abroad/ US Embassy: http:bahrain.usembassy.gov/ 16 Forum
Since penning the Security update for the Autumn edition of the Forum Magazine we have certainly been working hard in a number of areas including communications. Due to the growing need for timely and accurate reporting whilst keeping in mind the "Duty of Care" for our respective communities, we are trying to stay on top of the rumour mongers that add to the concerns folks may already have. This has been achieved with better communication platforms, the frequency of meetings and an agenda that includes looking at ways to interact with the community, business and security alike. Reaching out to experts in their particular fields is on-going, resulting in some excellent presentations and an all-round better understanding of the assortment of issues. We have been given some excellent advice on how we can all work together in our respective roles from the Office to our homes and vice versa. Our Committee, in partnership with OSAC, has been represented at events in Philadelphia, Dubai, Washington and London, to name just a few, whilst at the same time completing five Committee meetings at both the US & UK Embassies and the Ritz-Carlton. We have also completed Formal Gatherings at the Crowne Plaza and at the US Naval Base. I should also mention the completion of nine Security briefings / updates given to various company Security Managers visiting Bahrain and the constant flow of information to and from a database in excess of 500. Corporate fraud was the focus of the BBBF monthly luncheon in January when our links with CRG facilitated Nicola Fowler, corporate investigations consultant at Control Risks, a leading independent global risk consultancy, led to her appearance as the keynote speaker. At the event in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nicola stressed that whilst the focus must be first and foremost be on fraud prevention, mitigation through special anti-fraud training and awareness, clear policies and framework, and exemplary leadership from senior executives was key . During this period we have also completed the handover to the new combined committee with BBBF members making up the majority. The Chairman is Jerry Lonsdale, Managing Director G4S Secure Solutions Bahrain & Jordan. The new Committee have put forward quite an aggressive Agenda for 2013 which will be revealed at the AGM scheduled for Thurs 21st March, at the Movenpick Hotel. It is confirmed that the British Ambassador H.E. Iain Lindsay OBE will be presenting the UK perception on Regional & Local issues and it is hoped that the US Ambassador H.E. Thomas C. Krajeski will also be able to attend in order to present the US perception. There is no doubt 2013 will be a very busy year as we continue to bring "Business to Security" instead of "Security to Business" so as to achieve a better understanding and to encourage interaction at all levels.
OSAC Bahrain Sponsorship Packages
Anthony J. Tesar CEO at Le Beck International Ltd
As part of the enhancement of services OSAC Bahrain is seeking to provide to its membership, we are actively encouraging sponsorship for the various events hosted throughout the 2013/14 period. To accommodate the different needs of organisations and individuals, we have prepared a number of options for consideration which are available on request.
OSAC Speaker Programme for 2013 and Update on Crisec Consultants Paul Gorman has recently assumed responsibility on the OSAC Executive Committee for organising the speaker programme for 2013. Aware of the wide range of industries represented by the OSAC membership Paul, in liaison with his EXCOM colleagues, has designed a programme to appeal to a number of those industries.
The sponsorship packages are designed to provide OSAC the ability to add additional value to its membership by attracting speakers within the region (and further afield where applicable) in providing relevant and timely presentation that would be of interest to the membership in general. The sponsorship packages also provide organisations and individuals the opportunity to promote their companyâ€™s presence, services and products to a wide and eclectic mix of people who are on the distribution list, regularly attend the general meetings as well as top table positions with the senior invitees.
The programme will follow a consistent theme throughout the year and all speakers have been asked to tailor their presentations to cover Security Threats; Challenges these present for security professionals; Solutions and Perspectives relevant to their particular industry. During the year the programme will include presentations on financial crime and the work of Certified Fraud Examiners; Cyber Crime; the Oil industry; Aviation Security and the Global Supply Chain. In addition there will be presentations from the British and American Ambassadors to Bahrain; the Executive Director of OSAC and other speakers that will add insight to the security concerns of business in Bahrain and the GCC.
Please contact Tony Tesar directly to see how you, or your organisation, can benefit from what is on offer, should you have any questions, wish to sponsor an event or simply to discuss alternatives that would better suit your needs. OSAC Sponsorship Representative TonyTesar@LeBeckInternational.com
Crisec Consultants is now in its third year of operation since obtaining its Commercial Registration and provides security, critical incident and therapeutic consultancy services to companies and individual clients. Paul and Sharon Gorman, the founders of the company, believe they offer a unique service in Bahrain as they are able to offer
BBBF SIG - Security in partnership with OSAC - Bahrain Council - continued clients assistance to prepare, plan, respond and recover from critical incidents. Most providers of these types of service Paul & Sharon Gorman do not retain Directors Crisec Consultants W.L.L. skilled therapists to assist with the human aspects of dealing with crises. Crisec Consultants differs in that Sharon has an already established excellent reputation in Bahrain for her counselling and therapeutic services gained over the last ten years in Bahrain. In addition to her corporate work on critical incident recovery Sharon still offers personal counselling to individual clients. Following on from a successful U.K. police career and several years as a senior regional director of security for the world’s leading logistics company, Paul continues to provide a wide range of security consultancy. In particular Paul provides physical security surveys, supply chain security and the provision of security assessments to assist companies in ensuring the safety and security of employees, facilities and customers’ business. For more information please see the company web site www.crise cconsultants.com OSAC Secretary Handover & Presentation Tony Palys has now stood down from the position as Secretary of the OSAC Bahrain Council after over five years in the job and handed over the reins to Gary Theobalds, also a BBBF member, at a small ceremony which took place at the British Club in February with colleagues and friends in attendance. At the ceremony Tony was presented with a plaque in recognition to his "outstanding Support" to the council. Tony will remain as an advisor to OSAC whilst retaining his position as head of the BBBF SIG (Security) ensuring that the partnership between the two organisations continues to go from strength to strength.
ASIS Chapter 276 Membership BBBF Member Andrew Deamer, CPP, PSP takes over the helm: Chairman’s Letter Dear Chapter Member, Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your vote of confidence in electing me to the Chapter Chairman’s position; a role in which I look forward to holding as the Chapter moves forward into 2013. My tenure has been made that much easier due to the sterling work of our previous Chair, Jean Perois, CPP, PSP who, from the inception of the Bahrain Chapter and through his two years as Chair, was an inspiration and guiding hand to all who have joined the ASIS community here. On behalf of us all I would like to thank him for giving us solid foundations on which to move forward. Thankfully Jean will be remaining with the Chapter in a voluntary role as the appointed Certification Representative. Looking forward, we have a number of local and regional events coming up. First is the ASIS 4th Middle East Security Conference & Exhibition – Dubai 17-19 February 2013, at which two of our Chapter members will be involved, David Loney as a speaker, and Jean Perois CPP, PSP as a Facilitator on the CPP Review. Locally the Chapter has a CPP review continuing from last year and a PSP review starting 23rd January with additional programs to follow. Our local relationship with the OSAC/BBBF SIG continues to grow, and future Chapter meetings will be held in conjunction with their two monthly meetings; this gives us the opportunity not only to meet as a Chapter but to network with like-minded professionals from other organisations. I look forward to the year ahead as your Chairman and welcome any ideas, or input you may have to improve our Chapter. Andrew Deamer, CPP, PSP. Chapter 276 Kingdom of Bahrain www.asisonline.org
ASIS Middle East 2013 draws record attendance
ASIS International held its 4th Middle East Security Conference & Exhibition on 17-19 February 2013 at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. ASIS Middle East 2013 took place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The event gathered a record attendance of 533 senior security professionals from 40 countries, which represents a 27% increase compared to the 2012 event. On Sunday 17 February, the programme started with a workshop on Emerging Markets for Private Security Companies followed by a Welcome Drink in the exhibition area.On 18 February, the exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori. The conference kicked off with the presentation of Amin H. Nasser, Senior Vice President, Upstream of Saudi Aramco at the opening plenary session. During the opening session His Excellency Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander in Chief of the Dubai Police graciously accepted the honorary chairmanship of the conference. On the second day, Prof. Dr. Leonard Yong, Senior Consultant of EuroMaTech Training & Management Consultancy provided a keynote presentation on Emotional Intelligence.The conference was closed by Prof. Narayanan Srinivasan, Professor of Security and Risk of Edith Cowan University who presented the need and challenges of professionalising security in the current environment. The conference also featured 33 high-level educational sessions provided by high-level speakers that included Massimiliano Montanari, Director of International Cooperation and External Relations of the International Centre For Sport Security (Qatar) on Major Sporting Events as Laboratories to Enhance Multisectoral Cooperation for the Protection of Soft-Targets, Steve Chupa, CPP, Director, Global Security of Johnson & Johnson (USA) on Supply Chain Security - Protecting the Essence of a Company, as well as retired US Coastguard Chief Kenneth R. Lukins on The Protection of Offshore Oil and Gas Installations. In addition, sessions designed especially for Chief Security Officers (CSOs) were organised by the CSO Roundtable, the ASIS forum for the most senior security professionals from the largest and most influential organisations in the world. The event also featured an exhibition where 42 sponsors, exhibitors, media and supporting organisations presented their products and services to security professionals.
Security & Workplace Violence Workplace violence and its impact upon victims, business and the surrounding community is a consistent subject of media coverage. Tragically, mass shootings capture the primary focus of news reporting. The majority of workplaces are safe, but even in the safest environments an incident of violence can erupt. Each year, an estimated 1.7 million workers in America are victims of assault according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Approximately 17% of American workplace fatalities in 2011 resulted from workplace violence according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of the seriousness of the situation, nearly 80% of American businesses have policies addressing workplace violence. Workplace violence is not solely an American problem, but one that spans the international business community. Workplace violence means: • The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker • An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker • A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker. There is not one particular sector of business afflicted by workplace violence over another. Reported incidents occur in the retail, hospitality, medical, financial and traditional business environs. A perpetrator of violence can include an employee, customer, vendor or anyone with a nexus to the workplace. Generally, people exhibit warning signs prior to committing an act of violence. These signs can range from patterns of intimidating, harassing, or exhibiting aggressive behavior to include bullying; any direct or indirect threat; or any type of physical assault. Businesses with workplace violence policies in effect are better postured to respond to an incident. Education awareness campaigns designed to reinforce senior management commitment and expectations of a safe workplace, inform employees of possible indicators and who to specifically report concerns are vital components to successful policy. Forum 19
“Linkedin” or “Locked out” Is there a digital divide in your workplace and what does it cost your business? and I have been thinking about the ‘consequences of the digital divide’ in the workplace (and the opportunities that this could offer). The usual human issues of contact, straight talking and clear communications notwithstanding I wonder if social media could help to improve the experience. In particular I have been thinking about how social media could support the performance management process to be more productive, more useful and as a ‘live’ tool to give feedback on results more quickly to improve performance in real time.
Teaching on a number of management and HR related programmes has put me in contact with many Bahrainis benefiting from Tamkeen funding of their professional development. And the experience is making me think differently about various business
processes. Teaching a topic makes you think just as hard as learning a topic, and hearing different views about what works is always interesting. In this case it has made me think about the way managers are taught to manage staff performance
I was introduced to Adel Maymoon, a young Bahraini entrepreneur, who knows his stuff about social media. He is an advocate for social media over traditional channels of communication when it comes to marketing spend. In terms of his working relationships he takes time to be strategic rather than get caught with campaigns or tactical work and so he wants to have
at least a year to support organisational learning. I was struck by his traditional approach in terms of contact time and his unshakeable belief that print and broadcast are gone forever (I can’t imagine a world without print at least). It is "all about owning your own channels and sending relevant and timely communications". And in some ways that is so for managers tasked with delivering a certain part of the annual business plan. So I asked him what would happen if the hierarchy was turned on its head and those who know how to use these channels effectively (usually younger staff members) get to decide how to communicate and they mentor those who don’t (usually older staff members and sometimes senior managers) about how to engage people in order to boost the bottom line results. "Organisations need to realise that they are no longer in control of access to the Internet during working hours. Harness the power of these channels by becoming the favourite channel. This will change the whole skills set of marketing and communications staff as well as those in HR and it will also put pressure on managers and CEO’s to have interesting things to say much more efficiently. He said "younger people ‘chunk’ messages down and communicate more regularly – they are more visual, use You Tube more, share photos– and use a range of free apps to get messages out – learn from their skills, do some of what they do" In our discussion I was surprised that he doesn’t think at all in terms of ‘generation
gaps’ and challenged me about whether this exists at all. And rather crushingly he thinks of himself as ‘older’ (he is 29), clearly I am beyond older (in years if not in spirit). So what can we learn from social media that can be adapted to support managers to turn performance management into a true engagement process. • Remember you create connections through shared interests • Pay attention to the metrics – they tell the story about Engagement • Your communication should be timely and relevant and easy to access • Dates and ‘events’ can be managed very well using an integrated mixture of channels • Entertainment and education can go hand in hand
structures are failing us, as the world gets so networked that traditional command & control structures cannot deal with the rapid change and increasing complexity." A report published by the World Bank highlights the fact that young people will be dominating the workplace over the next ten years "The large number of youth in the Arab world will continue to add pressure on the labour market over the coming years – approximately a third of the total population is currently below the age of 15, and a further third is aged 15-29. In consequence, tens of millions of young people will enter the region’s work force over the next ten years needing to find jobs either at home or through regional labor mobility"* *e4e Realizing Arab Youth Potential Report, April 2011 So giving the last word to
Adel – how does he believe employee engagement can be supported through new media? And what is his advice to Bahraini managers in terms of engaging with the coming ‘net’ generation and how to motivate them? "Don’t be scared of the technology, you can master it – be more concerned with what you say and how this connects with your staff and their interests. Focus on what you need to say – the same rules apply - you have to communicate topics that people are interested in –if you are dull or being irrelevant this will be simply be magnified through new channels – if you are interesting you will gain a following" Jill Boggiss Founder, Inside Change Article reprinted with kind permission from Gulf Insider magazine
• Just in time content is better than out of time content • It is important to have real relationships as well as virtual contact. The hierarchy still exists on paper and is symbolized with offices, perks and formal authority but we are increasingly working in networks that cross organisational boundaries and the ‘Wirearchy’ as outlined by Harold Jarche in his social learning blog (jarche.com) creates huge opportunities for all of us. In his blog he explores the impact of social learning and comments, "Our dominant frameworks for structuring work are currently hierarchical structures, like corporations and bureaucracies. But these Forum 21
Bahrain Central Bank prepares regulation crackdown arabianbusiness.com has reported that The Central Bank of Bahrain is preparing to crackdown on banks operating in the Kingdom, with a set of tougher regulations. The Governor expects this will lead smaller banks to merge and survivors to reduce profit expectations. CBB Governor Rashid Mohammed Al Maraj said the Central Bank would target a select group of banks declared “domestically important financial institutions”. The changes were intended to strengthen the country’s crucial financial sector but Al Maraj said he also expected it to lead to consolidation in the market. There are 405 registered financial institutions in Bahrain and the financial sector contributes 23 percent of Bahrain’s GDP compared to 6 percent for the entire GCC. Al Maraj said the CBB was working on a new concept to classify banks that are domestically important financial institutions, which would face tougher regulation but were more likely to be able to meet them. The details would be announced imminently, he said. “We have, over the past year and since this issue [of strengthening the finance sector] came about, taken an exercise to identify which ones represent the most domestically important,” he said during a Q and A at a Euromoney conference on 5 March. 22 Forum
growth and the days of large profits are history. “This is a regulated industry and it should behave like a regulated industry, not as a start-up ... that would expect 20-30 percent [profit],” Al Maraj said.
CBB Govenor Al Maraj addressed the BBBF at a lunch in 2010
“I think some of the banks will be surprised with what I’m saying now because we’re on the verge of issuing those names and communicating with those banks that have been selected as domestically important financial institutions, which will put on them certain requirements. “Those requirements, because of the nature of the business, the complexity of the business and the size of their market control will necessitate them to comply with additional requirements. ”The requirements include increasing the level of capital relative to debt, although Al Maraj did not provide details. Chief executive of BBK, Abdulkarim Ahmed Bucheery said the sector had expected new regulations but he was surprised to learn they would be targeted towards specific institutions. He expected the “domestically important financial institutions” to be
identified according to their market share, suggesting 10 percent could be the benchmark. Al Maraj said while the new regulations would make it more difficult for banks to operate, they were crucial for the sector. Banks had endured a “sort of stress test” during the “difficult” period since the GFC. However, the positive results of the banks clearly demonstrated the “soundness and the robustness” of the banking system in Bahrain. “What matters to us is to ensure the soundness of our banking system,” he said. “The shocks that we have seen as the result of the financial crisis could have catastrophic effect on our banks and if not for measures we have taken and for the collaboration of the banks we could have seen a much worse situation during this crisis.” Banks should no longer expect to see massive
“I think those days are gone. [The new regulations will] make it even more difficult for these banks to achieve the figures that they’ve achieved in the past, not only in Bahrain but globally. The expectation should be more modest than any other sector.” The CBB also is continuing to encourage consolidation of the banking industry. “This has been a policy of the Central Bank of Bahrain … to encourage further consolidation and we’ll continue to do that. As we move with more successful mergers this will be a good incentive for others to follow suit. [But] there’s no enforcement. “We’re entering a period where there’s no room for small banks. The requirement is going to be very challenging, the competition in the market is becoming very forceful and I think this will make it difficult for small banks to survive and to achieve results … that are in line with what’s been achieved over the years.” He expected successful mergers and acquisitions to encourage others to follow. “Mergers and acquisitions … provide stronger banks, which in turn are more able to … develop a much stronger base to withstand economic downturns,” he said.
Financial News BMMI Group reports strong gains for 2012 BMMI has announced a solid financial and operational performance for the year ended 31 December 2012. BMMI entered 2012 with the satisfaction of having provided consistent returns for its shareholders during the difficult year of 2011 and its business confidence has now witnessed another year of strong success. The Group has grown its sales revenues considerably: Total sales reached BD92.3 million in 2012, up from BD87.3 million the previous year. Net profit of BD8.6 million was up from BD6.7 million in 2011, reflected in an overall increase to assets from BD63.4 million in 2011 to BD65.7 million in 2012.
2012 has been a very important year for BMMI; the Group has enjoyed significant growth with the highest sales volumes ever achieved. This, together with significant investment in infrastructure and systems, has laid the foundation required to take BMMI to the next level of growth. On the other hand, BMMI’s Food distribution business has performed extremely well with double-digit growth in its Consumer Division and with Beverages sales well up on previous years. This has come about through improved distribution and stock management practices. Significant resources have been dedicated to the implementation of new
systems and procedures across the company’s network to include an Integrated Management Systems certification which now provides BMMI with the underlying qualifications to further expand its Contracting business with governments, NGOs and other international operations. Commenting on the year’s performance, BMMI Group Chairman, Mr Abdulla Buhindi, said: "As we look forward to 130 years of operations, I am pleased to say that BMMI once again achieved strong financial results with year-on-year improvements across all our businesses. We continued to operate from a position of strength in 2012 with zero
leverage, strong balance sheets and cash reserves." President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gordon Boyle stressed the importance of BMMI corporate culture in their continued success: "I am delighted that BMMI has clearly demonstrated strength and diversity of operations allowing it to reduce volatility, absorb setbacks and to capitalize on new opportunities in ways that many companies simply could not. Through its people and its inherent culture, the Group has produced a solid financial result over the course of the year and, additionally, has continued to progress the betterment of its management and operational systems."
Bahrain ’set to remain financial services hub’ Bahrain will remain the hub for financial services in the region, despite competition from Dubai and Qatar, top bankers said in February. They were speaking during Bahrain Association of Banks’ (BAB) third quarterly ’Meet the Press’ roundtable at the Gulf Hotel, and were unanimous in the opinion that what Bahrain offered as a location to the financial services sector was unmatched and would remain so. The panel included BAB chairman Abdul Karim Bucheery, Al Baraka Islamic Bank chief executive Mohamed Al Mutaweh, Economic Development Board (EDB) financial services director Boyd Winton, chief economist Jarmo Kotilaine, Bahrain Financial Exchange managing director and chief executive Arshad Khan. 24 Forum
Mr Bucheery said he hoped that the country would regain the A- rating soon. International rating agency Standard & Poor’s has recently revised its outlook on the Kingdom from ’negative’ to ’stable’. "In the current year we should start to see the beginning of the growth cycle. Bank lending to the private sector is expected to expand. Overall, banks have shown strong profit as compared to last year. Results released to date look positive from both retail and wholesale banks in the conventional and Islamic sectors and this confirms the positive trend," he said. Highlighting Bahrain’s edge in the banking space, Mr Winton said: "If you have a long-term five to 10 year
strategy to integrate into the wider regional market, then Bahrain has the unique mix of attributes that you look for - in terms of regulatory environment, legal framework, and qualified local workforce. "Studies have shown that in terms of cost-effectiveness, Bahrain is 55 per cent cheaper," Mr Winton said. "We are expecting more complementary businesses to come in this year and we are quite confident about the year ahead, both for new entrants and continued growth," he continued. Mr Kotilaine said growth is also likely to pick up further in 2013 due to planned large-scale industrial investments and growth in infrastructure spending. "The Bahraini economy is
fairly resilient to external shocks and it is currently estimated that real GDP growth could exceed 6% this year." Mr Al Mutaweh said overall we saw a marked pick-up in asset growth and profits in 2012 than in the previous year. "Islamic banks will look to identify new strategies for growth and prosperity while addressing new opportunities," he said. Mr Bucheery said the outlook appears bright. "There is the promise of improved profits and a stabler macroeconomic environment further boosted by higher oil prices. The country’s retail banks are generally in robust health and have been working to remobilise their liquidity.”
Aston Martin KFH-Bahrain & SIO Sign MoU to Provide Reduced Rate Owner to Sell Bahrain Bank Finance to Govt. Employees An MoU was recently of the government of that suit the employees’ Stake on Debt signed between Kuwait Bahrain to SIO to introduce needs in both the civil and Revamp Finance House – Bahrain a lending system that public sectors. (KFHB) and the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO) to provide government employees with shari’a compliant financing facilities.The aim of the agreement is to provide financial services in the form of personal finances to government employees. Through the utilization of Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain, the current retirement pension will be replaced for retirees in both the civil and private sectors in accordance with the Kingdom’s retirement laws. This initiative is based on the recommendations
complies with Islamic law. The MoU was signed by Mr. Zakariya Sultan AlAbbasi, CEO of SIO, and Mr. Abdulhakeem Yaqoob Alkhayyat, Managing Director & CEO of KFHB, at the Headquarters of KFHB in the World Trade Centre. On this occasion, Mr. Zakariya Sultan expressed his appreciation in signing the MoU which will meet the needs of a large number of the participants and offer them a variety of financing facilities to suit their preferences. He also thanked KFHB for their efforts in providing finance
Mr. Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat expressed his appreciation of this initiative and the signing of the MoU. Mr. Alkhayyat also said that the MoU is in-line with the Bank’s strategy that aims to increase its client base by diversifying its services and providing innovative products that match the needs of the market. Employees will benefit from the signing of this MoU as they will receive lower rates on their Islamic finance from KFHB whereas SIO will be acting as the guarantor.
News Agencies have reported that Investment Dar Co., the controlling shareholder in British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, has agreed to sell its stake in a loss-making Bahraini bank for $92 million as the Kuwaiti company restructures debt. Investment Dar reprotedly accepted an offer from National Bank of Bahrain and a state-run Social Insurance Organization Asset Management Co. to sell its 51.6% stake, or 484 million shares, in Bahrain Islamic Bank at 72 fils apiece, according to statements posted on the Bahrain Bourse.
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BMB concludes repayment of a $17.4 m legacy obligation Bahrain Middle East Bank today (B.S.C) announced in January the full repayment of a $17.4 m legacy debt obligation, together with interest, as inherited by the present management who took charge of the institution’s affairs in early 2009 Commenting on the repayment the CEO of BMB
Mr. Akbar Habib said that: “The Bank’s journey of restructuring has been painstaking and one carried-out amidst the most challenging environment and one that has witnessed a global financial meltdown, an European debt crises and other challenges. Notwithstanding, efforts
and endeavors necessary to safeguard and preserve the interest of our valued stakeholders have all been successfully undertaken; including those that were viewed as completely irrecoverable. Repayments have been undertaken entirely by way of internally generated funds without resorting to any external funding channels.”
“The restructured business model has received recent recognition from Fitch with the institution’s Outlook being notched up from “stable” to “positive”. The Bank’s current rating is its highest, in its entire history. With these positive developments, we look to the future with an increasing level of confidence and optimism”. he added
GCC watches on as Kuwait’s New Companies Law is introduced Businesses across the Gulf have been watching closely as the Kuwaiti Government passed the long-awaited Companies Law at the end of 2012. Published after more than 23 years of discussion and debate, the new law is a game-changer in terms of the way commercial entities will now operate in Kuwait. But the wider debate is around the potential ripple effect the adoption of these new principles might have, as other markets such as here in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia watch and learn. In the last month, Qatar’s government has drafted a proposed new law and most recently, the UAE has followed suit. Kuwait’s new Companies Law replaces the Commercial Companies Law of 1960 and brings with it a raft of new concepts and principles that without doubt, will help increasing the number of businesses we see setting up and investing in the Kuwait economy. The law’s far reaching reforms are indeed significant. Drafted by representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Capital Markets Authority, the Kuwait
Investment Authority, private industry representatives, academics and lawyers from DLA Piper, the new law should streamline, encourage and support the growth of commercial entities in the country. The regulatory system in Kuwait is dynamic, and as such, businesses need to constantly monitor developments. Commercial entities will need to review their structures with the introduction of the new Companies Law to assess if changes either have to be made or would be recommended to make their operations more effective and profitable. Effective with its publication, companies have a six-month grace period to conform to the new regulations. Amongst the key changes the new law brings is the introduction of the concept of a ’one stop shop’ for the incorporation and licensing of a company through a single department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This will undoubtedly speed up and increase the number of new companies being set up in the future. In addition, the law requires a more stringent adherence on the part of companies to
best practices of corporate governance. This, combined with the separation of the Board of Directors from the Executive Management and an expansion of the powers of Managers and Directors means we will see a more fair and robust management of commercial entities where transparency is encouraged. A further key change is the introduction of corporate regulations regarding Sukuks, bonds and convertible bonds. This is a critical development in what is a growing market and it is expected that this will create real advantages as the Islamic finance market continues to open up and grow.
the principle of a minimum 51 per cent Kuwaiti shareholding in the capital of Kuwait companies. One thing is certain, the new law not only brings a fairer, more transparent and more flexible structure for corporate entities, it also potentially enhances competitiveness and profitability for businesses in Kuwait if managed in a timely and strategic manner. These are all elements Governments around the region are trying to combine in their own versions of their Companies Law and the way in which Kuwait has woven the issues together could prove to be a template for the rest of the GCC.
The Companies Law also introduces the elimination of minimum shareholding requirements and security shares for members of the Board of Directors of stock companies, introducing greater flexibility in terms of shareholding. We will also see the adoption of the cumulative voting system for the election of board members. One point that will remain unchanged however is the existing restrictions on foreign ownership and
Article by Michael Yadgar, Legal Director in the Bahrain office of international law firm DLA Piper Forum 27
Procrastination – Financially Speaking
...And why it is important to your financial well-being What is procrastination?
Procrastination is where you put off taking an action in spite of being aware that prompt action would be better. We all procrastinate. It’s why we have lists of chores to do around the house; why we don’t clear out the garage; why children don’t do their homework; why I’ve left writing this article until the last minute. Why do we procrastinate? In a nutshell it is ’hyperbolic discounting’, which means that the immediate costs and benefits of a decision appear unduly vivid in comparison to the future costs and benefits. We exaggerate the present; we diminish the future. We postpone an unpleasant task until tomorrow in favour of a pleasant one today. We fail to anticipate that tomorrow we will find another excuse to postpone it again.
Batelco has announced
that the Company will fund the Riffa Bridge project, at a cost of BD350,000 as part of its commitment to support initiatives that benefit the community. Batelco Group Chief Executive Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa and Minister of Municipal Affairs & Urban Planning Dr. Juma bin Ahmed Al Kaabi have signed an 28 Forum
Why is procrastination important to your financial well-being?
There are three main concerns. First, our urge for instant gratification leads us to make financial decisions and take financial actions that are definitely not in our long-term financial best interests. For example, we spend on credit cards to purchase something NOW, but we then suffer an interest rate close to 20% as the consequence Secondly, we want to avoid emotional distress so we avoid financial decision making altogether, on the basis it will be painful. We know we should ...but we put it off till later. And, thirdly, we don’t want to think of ourselves negatively, which compounds the problem. We suffer cumulative procrastination! We redefine our life position
agreement at the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning to formalise Batelco’s support for the Riffa Bridge project. The planned Riffa Bridge, which will take approximately 24 weeks to complete once building starts, will provide a walkway linking the Southern Governorate and Central Governorate.
... "I really don’t want to get my finances in order because it would interfere with my ability to live in the present". We don’t want to admit our mistakes, even to ourselves. What can’t you do about it? There are several solutions that won’t work - here are two. Having more information will not solve the problem. We are quite likely to put off gathering the right information - procrastination again. And, if we do educate ourselves, it is quite likely the information won’t stick. However, there is a chance that information, presented in a vivid and personalised way, at the right time, may work. Relying on financial institutions is not a good solution, either. Such organisations play to our desire for instant gratification - ATMs provide cash on demand; credit cards allow us to purchase beyond our current wealth; current accounts carry no interest; savings accounts are not automatically linked to current accounts; payday loans are available and roll over. The very institutions we set up to help us save, are much more interested in helping us spend. What can you do? Learn from your elders and role models. Many pensioners regret not planning well for their retirement; in the UK, over 20% of all pensioners go back to work after retiring. Procrastination leads to regret.
Article by Emanuel Lantzos, General Manager at Nexus Financial Services
Try these simple remedies Talk to a financial adviser who will help you plan and will follow up with you every few months. Find a limited access savings opportunity, where you can put money in but cannot get it out for a defined period, e.g. a Pension Plan or Investment Account. Make a public commitment (at least to your family) about your plans and how you will fund them. Share the commitment. In Summary We all suffer from procrastination to some extent - it’s a human foible linked to our over-valuing the immediate at the expense of the future. It leads to us making some poor long-term financial decisions and eventual regret. To avoid the worst effects of procrastination, you can take some actions that are simple to explain but hard to take. But, to enjoy a long and financially secure old age, you had better start NOW.
From one society to another
- Helping the Migrant Worker’s Protection Society (MWPS) help migrant workers
I came to Bahrain for an adventure and to try my luck as an ‘Expat’. I was supposed to be heading to New York, that as they say, is another story. I joined the BBBF about 6 months after I arrived, I was pretty unhappy then and I found the group to be a good support. In the spirit of providing support where we can I would like to ask you all to help the MWPS if you can. After the fire in January where 37 workers died, after the two street cleaners were killed because of the roadside bombs, and after I have got to know people better and wanted to help in more than ‘one off’ ways I made contact with the Migrant Worker’s Protection Society. They need some practical help and they want to raise awareness of their work and the challenges faced by workers who end up in trouble or in need. So I offered to raise awareness within the BBBF – I know that we all have access to things that we don’t need and that will be valuable to
migrant workers. Ever since I have been in Bahrain I have been interested in the notion of being an expatriate and how this has altered my sense of self, my perspective on my country of origin. For someone of my age the idea of the glamorous expatriate lifestyle was something very exotic – no tax, sunshine, villas….no end of comfort. There were always a couple of kids at school who had lived abroad (unutterably glamorous to me) Well I have to say that I seem to have missed the glory years – for a British expat it seems as though the 70’s
and 80’s were the time to make your fortune and to live the high life. Never mind I am having my adventure nevertheless. As I adjusted to life here I also became aware of the number of people here from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India (particularly Kerala) – some in office jobs and many in housemaid jobs, driving jobs and laboring jobs. I can still remember sitting in traffic on the Budaiya highway behind the open vans and seeing large numbers of guys crammed into the back – always feeling tired after my day’s work – and being made very aware that my
day and my journey to and from work was a doddle by comparison. Usually some guys were asleep but lots were laughing and joking – often smiling back at me when I made eye contact with them. We all know the sacrifices that are made – and I guess what we all share is an experience of working abroad for a better life. For migrant workers this is often a better life for their families, to send money home to provide an education for their kids. Well times have changed and some things have improved – workers now have better transport, (well actually I don’t), safety barriers make labourer’s walk much further in order to cross the main highway (how about some bridges). And, we are still living in a world of stark contrast in terms of income, lifestyle and overall reward. And I guess that is always going to happen. That is the way of the world. by Jill Boggiss
Practical help needed Storage space for emergency packs – after the fire they needed to kit the guys out quickly. Ideal space will be: Centrally located and easily accessible – so that a member can gain access without lots of phone calls/red tape Weather proof – so things don’t get damp and smelly; Lockable – so things don’t disappear; Around 10m x 10m in size Second hand – good condition Men’s clothes - T Shirts, polo shirts, trousers, shirts, baseball hats Ladies clothes – any traditional Indian, Sri Lankan style Towels and bedclothes Toiletries Soap, Shampoo, toothpaste etc Arabic speakers and ‘legal’ help The society provides shelter for female domestic workers who are being mistreated or who haven’t been paid and they help them to navigate the legal processes. They need people who speak Arabic and/or have legal background. If you can help with supplying any of these things please contact me. email@example.com 30 Forum
News from the Eastern Province The British Business Association (BBA) - Eastern Province P.O.Box 1868, AlKhobar 31952 Tel: 03 882 5288 ext 1651 Fax: 03 882 5384 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bbaep.com
Geoff Fennah MBE Chairman, EPBBA Greetings from the Eastern Province and a belated happy and prosperous new year to all at the BBBF. 2013 is already passing quickly and as I write these notes the temperature is already starting to climb with another long hot summer ahead. Problems continue to surround us in the Gulf with Syria still at the forefront of concerns with Egypt not far behind. Dialogue in Bahrain is moving slowly but with commitment and goodwill from all sides it will hopefully bear fruit and return normality to the island. As for Saudi, everyone is far too busy to concern themselves with anything other than work! BBA membership was around the 200 mark at year end and continuing to grow as more people arrive to support the many projects being undertaken across the Province. I should make particular mention of the Jubail subCommittee, led by George Dinic, which has done a fine job by increasing their membership to over 30 providing us with better coverage of what is a huge area of opportunity - Eastern Province has a landmass of 672,500 km2 (259,600 sq. miles). Eastern Province continues to boom with considerable construction activity on the ground. I travel between AlKhobar and Jubail several times per week and it truly seems to be one large building site with construction in all directions. For this reason it was especially good to
host our Ambassador, Sir John Jenkins in Jubail on 3 February and show him first hand the extent of activity that is taking place. In terms of business activities we were pleased to support the British Trade Office (BTO), under the leadership of David Harries OBE, who continued to fly the flag for UK plc by hosting a very successful Energy Week in early December. This was very well attended, including approximately 46 companies from UK. Other events during the latter part of the year involved rail projects, mining, training and other opportunities which are attracting a lot of interest from British companies. The latter part of the year was again busy with visiting trade missions from the UK showing interest in the many opportunities that are surfacing and hopefully contributing to the growing trade deficit in the UK. The joint Annual Poppy Ball took place on 8 November at the Crowne Plaza, Bahrain and once again was a very enjoyable evening and very much enjoyed by all. It was a pleasure to welcome the Chelsea pensioners, Michael Riley, Louis Back and Michael Allen to Bahrain and to see them have such a memorable visit. I would also like to give credit to Khalid and his team who did the bulk of the work to set up the event. Almost time to start dusting off the dinner jackets for the next one! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce and welcome our new Secretary, Tara Patterson, who is already exerting her influence and administration skills. As always if you have any ideas or suggestions for the BBA or need to contact us then feel free to call me directly, send an e-mail to Tara at Secretary@bbaep.org or at our website www.bbaep.org
Left: Saudi British Energy Week reception. Above: HMA Sir John Jenkins with one of the sponsors, Khalid Al Abdulkarim 34 Forum
Health matters Prepare for the Unexpected As an employer, one of your worst nightmares would be losing important personnel to sickness. Now breathe easy with AXA’s Health Secure plans! treatment, out-patient consultation, treatment and diagnostics, cancer cover and pregnancy. The plans also include some valuable additional benefits such as worldwide emergency medical assistance, dental cover, personal accident cover and a telephone support "wellbeing" service.
The success of any business depends to a large extent upon the health of its employees. Sickness absence is a crucial concern for all employers, especially in the current economic climate. So when it comes to health matters, is your company fully prepared for the unexpected? Launched last year, AXA’s Health Secure series of medical insurance plans is specifically designed to meet the needs of people living and working in the GCC. The insurer has two sets of plans specifically designed for small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs): the Health Secure Standard is for businesses having up to ten staff members, while the Health Secure Enhanced plan caters for businesses in excess of 11 employees. "From the moment your organisation takes out an AXA Health Secure plan you will have prompt
access to the worldwide AXA network of high-quality medical providers. In case the unexpected strikes, then you will know that you’re covered," observes AXA Country Manager, Stephen Wagstaff. AXA has a range of seven Health Secure plan options, depending on where you work, travel or wish to receive treatment, tailored around three geographical areas to suit a variety of business requirements. These options are available for both the Standard and Enhanced plans.
Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA) Invites BBBF members to get healthy at their 3rd annual Health and Wellness Expo BECA will be opening their 3rd annual Health and Wellness expo on the 16th18th April and invites BBBF members to come down and see this years exciting event which is already shaping up to be the biggest yet. The expo aims to promote wellbeing and holistic lifestyle practices that will make a positive difference in one’s day-to-day living. The goal of the Health and Wellness 36 Forum
Expo is to increase awareness for the residents of the GCC on how to live a good and healthy life. This year BECA has signed a partnership with Fitness First Middle East who will exhibit in the expo for the first time and will brand the live stage area, where there will be fitness and wellness demos from them and lots of other fitness and sports
Three top-of-the-range international cover plans allow you to have medical treatment anywhere in the world, while three mid-range plans offer cover for regional treatment in the MENA region as well as the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia. The seventh plan offers local cover designed for those who desire high value treatment locally at a lower premium. Health Secure provide basic cover for your employees such as pre-existing and chronic conditions, inpatient private hospital
companies throughout the 3 day event. Since Health and Wellness is increasingly important in the minds of Bahrain’s residents, this year the show will see live fitness, dance, and relaxation methods demonstrated on stage, along with a specialist nail decorating competition and various beauty demos from local salons. Residents can also get their BP and heart rates checked along with Diabetes tests and lots of information on how to get a healthier lifestyle.
In addition to the coverage offered, all AXA’s SME corporate customers benefit fully from the support of the company’s medical platform which services over 300,000 members in the GCC. AXA is the largest international non-life player in the GCC, with a workforce of over 700 employees in 12 offices region-wide catering to more than 500,000 customers and a gross written premium of over US$510 million last year. Call 8000 1060 for more information.
Visitors will also be able to gain discounts on gym memberships and vouchers for free trials. Entrance is free for the 3 days – from 10am-7pm daily. The Health and Wellness Expo 2013 has the support of Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry with Tamkeen as the strategic partner. Media sponsors for this event will include Areej Magazine, Gulf Insider, Bahrain This Month and Bahrain Confidential.
International Medical Conferences
The International Hospital of Bahrain (IHB) leads the field in Bahrain in organising international medical conferences. The IHB started its 2013 event calendar with its ‘Second IHB International Rheumatology Conference’, held in February, at the Regency InterContinental Hotel. The event attracted over 250 delegates and guests. The Official Opening Ceremony was attended by HE Sadiq Abdul-Karim Al-Shehabi, Minister of Health, as Guest of Honor. "By including world leaders in their respective field of medicine as guest speakers to such scientific events the IHB is able to attract delegates not only from Bahrain but also the GCC," says Mr. Chris Lewis, IHB Chief Operating Officer. The next scheduled international conference for 2013 is on the topic of ‘Hepato-pancreatic-bilary’ and is expected to attract surgeons and physicians from around the Gulf into Bahrain.
conference included a bariatric surgery by Prof. Dillemans along with Dr. Ivo Fernandes, IHB General Surgeon, performed at the International Hospital of Bahrain and transmitted live to the conference. The delegates were able to see the surgery being performed and discuss any queries at the same time with Prof. Dillimans. Another conference held in 2012 included presentations by leaders in the field of Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases.
Conferences held in 2012 include ‘Bariatric Surgery (obesity surgery) with Prof. Bruno Dillemans (Belguim) and his team as guest speakers. This
IHB conferences are held under Dr. Faysal Saeed Zeerah, Honorary Chairperson, and President & CEO of the International Hospital of Bahrain.
Medical conferences open the way for scientific gathering of the medical community and discussions about the most recent advances and early diagnosis of various diseases. Such conferences attract CPD Professional Development accredited hours. Conferences include a workshop on CPR training, by approved American Heart Association (AHA) instructors. This workshop is also open to the general public as well as the medical community. For details of future events email email@example.com.
British School of Bahrain Branches Out!
Batelco sponsors Careers Day Batelco representatives attended the 13th University of Bahrain Career Day, which was held under the patronage of UoB President Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi.
BSB Academies 1st Birthday Party – January 2013
The BSB is very proud to have received an outstanding report from the QAAET (Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training) inspection authority which recommended for the school to share their excellent practice with others in Bahrain. With this in mind, the British School of Bahrain has expanded its services in offering top quality learning experiences. January 2013 saw the launch of 3 new separate ventures, the University Foundation Programme (UFP), the Evening Education Programme and the Professional Development Centre (PDC). The UFP is a first-of-itskind in Bahrain. It is a one year academic programme designed to bridge the gap between the High School Diploma (Tawjihiya) and undergraduate degree programmes at English universities. The initiative 38 Forum
is in partnership with the University Foundation Programme in the UK. Courses start in September 2013, and are designed for students aged between 16-19 years. This would allow students to remain in Bahrain in a safe environment, save on the expensive UK foundation course costs and give students a greater choice of universities. The Evening Education Programme was launched in January this year providing the opportunity for adults to develop additional skills, learn new hobbies and gain further qualifications in a secure and welcoming environment. A wide variety of new classes will commence in April 2013. In February, the PDC was launched with a oneday workshop, "Making Games Count" attended by 60+ Primary School Numeracy coordinators and Maths teachers. The
PDC will provide various workshops here in Bahrain inviting teachers from throughout the Gulf Region. As a leading school in the Middle East, the BSB are constantly developing the skills and knowledge of their teachers. Following the success of the PDC workshop a Bahrain Learning Community (BLC) has been formed to promote professional dialogue and encourage networking and sharing of good practice across the island. The ever popular BSB Academies, now a year old, is thriving, offering a number of sports, music and creative classes for children of all ages. Should you require further details of any of the above, please call 17610976 or email: bsbmarketing@ thebsbh.com
As Platinum sponsor of Career Day for 2013, this makes it the 9th year that Batelco has been the event’s main sponsor. This sponsorship comes from Batelco’s commitment to support education in the Kingdom. Career Day is an ideal opportunity for university students to learn about job opportunities in the telecommunications sector and labour market development in general. Batelco hosted a stand at the event where industry experts were available to answer questions and give advice based on their years of experience in their respective fields. Batelco Group GM HR and Development Shaikh Ahmed Al Khalifa expressed Batelco’s pleasure in supporting the Career Day event which is an iconic event on the Bahrain calendar for students and educators. "Such events provide the perfect opportunity for university students to find out more about careers in the telecommunications industry as well as the wider job market. The youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Education, knowledge and sound advice will provide invaluable tools to help them face the challenges
Career counselling a basic necessity
Above: Batelco GM Human Resources Bahrain Suhaila Alnowakhda presented the sponsorship cheque to UoB VP for Community Service & Alumni Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Mansour Al Shehab, at a presentation held at Batelco Hamala Headquarters.
that lie ahead. The UoB, in organising events such as these, is helping to build a
better future for Bahraini generations to come," Shaikh Ahmed added.
In a press release promoting the event, UoB stated “Career counselling has become a basic necessity in preparing students and graduates for the challenges that lie ahead in the professional world and through the changes brought about by the impact of the local, regional and global economies on the labour market. The University of Bahrain is fully aware of the significance of the role of career counselling and orientation in the creation of job opportunities and in finding new avenues for employment for its graduates. Career Counselling, thus, is an important component in the University of Bahrain’s goals for its students and is developed with a keen eye in meeting the expectations of members of both the public and private sectors.
The Careers Day aims to achieve the following objectives: • To work together with employers in providing University students with a wide spectrum of companies and establishments in the labour market. • To introduce students to various programmes and options available in different establishments. • To provide students with further job opportunity. • To allow companies and establishments to work closely with University of Bahrain in its different activities. By organising Careers Day, the University of Bahrain has committed itself to hold this event every year and ensure its overall success for years and years to come.
BRITISH SCHOOL OF BAHRAIN A coeducational, international British curriculum school for ages 3-18 years
Admissions: +973 1761 0944
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.britishschoolbahrain.com
Be A Part of Our History: A Social Media Success Story In April 2012, Porsche Centre Bahrain approached East Innovations to develop a strategy for the international brand’s local social media presence, with an initial focus on raising awareness of its soon-to-be-launched 2013 Porsche Boxster.
work on the "Be A Part Of Our History" 2013 Porsche Boxster campaign, the first part of which would give Porsche fans the opportunity to have their names printed on the very first 2013 Porsche Boxster to arrive in Bahrain.
You only need to run a quick Google search to see that the brand has achieved great success with its social media strategy on an international level, making a carefully considered local presence, developed in line with the approach taken internationally, of prime importance. One stand out example is the "Thank you. A 1,000,000 times." campaign in which Porsche had the names of their Facebook fans printed on a vinyl wrap in recognition of having exceeded one million followers on their Facebook page. The wrap was then used to cover a Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid, which is now on display in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.
In all aspects of their service offering, Porsche have developed unique processes designed to ensure that their customers receive the same experience and level of service wherever in the world they may be. This idea got us thinking. With a primary goal of raising awareness of the new Boxster among a targeted audience, we were also seeking to provide a unique local experience of the brand, while at the same time ensuring that any marketing efforts undertaken locally mirrored the brand’s international philosophy. We set to
As Porsche Centre Bahrain had no existing social media presence locally, the first important step was the development of a geographically and demographically targeted community. Without a community of followers to engage with, there would be no one to participate in the promotion. Even more importantly, if the community that we developed was not made up of enthusiasts based in Bahrain, who were ultimately potential customers, the campaign would not benefit our client. Through experience developed working with local, regional and international clients, we formulated both a short and long term strategy for Porsche Centre Bahrain that ensured all online advertisements were precisely targeted and displayed only to a 100% relevant audience. Two other factors were key to the successful roll out of the "Be A Part Of Our History" campaign. Firstly, we expanded upon Porsche’s initial idea of printing the names of Facebook followers on to the car. After ’liking’ the page, users were prompted to complete a quick sign up form in which they provided their name, country of residence and email address
The McLaren 12C named Middle East ‘Car of the Year’ McLaren Automotive has received two awards, including overall ‘Car of the Year’, for its debut model, the 12C, at the 2012 Middle East Motor Awards. The 12C was rated ahead of almost 50 car models, including some of the world’s top supercar models, by a jury panel comprising of the region’s top automotive experts across 17 categories. The Middle East Motor Awards are the region’s most prestigious automotive accolades, judged by a jury panel that includes 17 of the region’s most influential motoring journalists from nine countries. This is the first year a McLaren model has taken part in the awards, and the luxury high performance sports car manufacturer was named ‘Best 40 Forum
Super Car’, before being crowned with the overall title of ‘Car of the Year’. These honours cap a successful first year of sales across the world for the brand. Speaking at the awards ceremony, organiser Saif Al Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah, “The 12C is a clear winner for ‘Car of the Year’. McLaren’s debut model is a stunning car and worthy of making the ultimate wish list for any automotive fan.” Mark Harrison, (Pictured Right) Regional Director for Middle East and Africa said, “To win ‘Best Supercar’ in the Middle East is an amazing achievement coming in our very first full year as a luxury
before being prompted to opt in to receive further information about Porsche in general, the new Boxster in particular, or both, allowing us to simultaneously build a targeted database for Porsche Centre Bahrain to use in future marketing activities. After submitting their details, users were each provided with a unique, automatically generated link to share with their own Facebook community. These links enabled us to track the number of referrals to the Porsche Centre Bahrain Facebook page. The more people someone referred, the bigger their name appeared on the car thus encouraging the growth of the campaign by personal recommendation. At the end of the first stage of the campaign, over 1000 users had submitted their details, with over 76% of the entrants opting to receive further information from Porsche and 62% requesting information on the 2013 Boxster in particular, representing 620 potential sales leads. Once the 2013 Boxster was fully wrapped with the professionally printed and applied vinyl sticker featuring every entrants’ name, it was displayed in Bahrain City Centre Mall for three days in September, bringing an offline dimension to the campaign to compliment the digital strategy. The wrapping of the car was filmed and a dynamic time-lapse video displayed on the stand to provide passers by an insight into the campaign. Visitors to the stand were also prompted with banners and flyers featuring specifically developed QR codes that they could scan with their smartphones. This then led them directly to a secondary sign up form where they could enter a new competition making up the second phase of the campaign; the chance to win the 2013 Boxster for a weekend.
sports car manufacturer. But to win the overall ‘Car of the Year’ title is unbelievable.” “It is a great reward for all the skilled and passionate designers and engineers back at McLaren and our retail partners in the region who have worked incredibly hard to launch the brand. But the real winners, I believe, are our first customers. They are driving the Middle East’s ‘Car of the Year’.” McLaren Automotive strives to be at the forefront of innovation; this is what has enabled McLaren to win one in every four of the Formula 1 races in which they have entered since first competing in the sport nearly 50 years’ ago. The 12C
Over the three days that the car was on display in Bahrain City Centre, sign ups to the Facebook page increased by more than 370%, over 300 new users signed up to win the Boxster for the weekend and over 82% of these new sign ups requested further information on the car itself. In just a 2 hour period between 7pm and 9pm on the 8th of September, approximately 1260 people were counted interacting with the car, taking photos with their phones, searching for their name, picking up flyers etc. The two phase campaign in combination with an effective online advertising strategy resulted in the development of a community of an incredible 15,000 Porsche enthusiasts within a period of just 5 months. The development and roll out of engaging content and successful community management resulted in high levels of interaction including comments, shares and likes, ensuring maximum reach of information and brand awareness. Together, the overall effect has been to successfully establish Porsche Centre Bahrain as a major player in Bahrain’s social media landscape, raising awareness of the new 2013 Boxster and, perhaps most importantly, creating brand ambassadors and long term relationships with potential clients. For more information about this particular campaign, please visit: http://www.eastinnovations.com/case_studies/porschefacebook-application/ East Innovations is now working with Porsche Centre Bahrain, Audi Centre Bahrain, the YK Almoayyed Group and the EDB’s Spring of Culture developing and rolling out their social media marketing.
also benefits from this race-winning technology with features such as the pioneering Brake Steer and carbon fibre MonoCell which allow the 12C to offer dynamic driving capabilities unlike any other car in its segment. The 12C was launched in the Middle East in November 2011, and has since achieved sales of over 1,000 cars worldwide, and more than 100 in the Middle East. McLaren Automotive’s Middle East retail network of specialist, luxury automotive retailers is located in prestigious venues across Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there is also a service centre in Lebanon. Forum 41
Security & IT Acceptable Usage Policy Does your organisation have one? The Information Technology (IT) landscape keeps changing rapidly, providing employees and organisations with new tools. New innovations and advances in IT, changes the way employees perform their activities. With the pervasive usage of smart devices, users have multiple devices to perform their information processing requirements other than the PC, which used to be the case several years ago. Apple CEO Tim Cook calls this the “post-PC era”, a period where touchscreen-equipped smartphones and tablets will eclipse desktop PCs and notebooks. This evolution of technology has also provided the “bad guys” ample opportunities to exploit weaknesses in these technologies and in human behaviour. Employees utilising IT services often fall prey to these traps, exposing organisations to malicious attacks. Consequences can be devastating to organisations, including disruptions to IT services and exposure of confidential information. Another aspect is the dependence on IT services by employees to conduct their activities. If any of the IT services such as e-mail, instant messaging, Internet and social media are unavailable, employees become severely handicapped. Governing the basis of how employees utilise IT is essential for organisations to safeguard IT services. Having an Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) contributes significantly to achieve this goal. Need for an Acceptable Usage Policy With the increase in the threats of malware (malicious software) and other intrusions, action performed by users is a vital cog in maintaining enterprise IT security. At the same time, traditional attacks continue to become more sophisticated to target enterprises as well as individuals. Hackers and malware authors keep identifying innovative methods to entice employees to perform tasks which will enable them to access corporate 42 Forum
networks. According to Sophos (a UK based security firm), the number of attacks on organisations via its employees grew significantly in 2012. Often employees use corporate e-mail IDs for personal correspondence and other communications which have not been sanctioned by the organisation. Employers can be held liable for employee actions because e-mail is treated as a ‘written record’; it exists as evidence, even after the record is believed to have been deleted. Chevron Corporation settled out of court paying US $2.2 million after the company was sued because of an e-mail circulated within the company containing offensive material. Sufficient guidelines are necessary for employees utilising e-mail and other IT services. What is an Acceptable Usage Policy Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP), is a document which provides guidelines to govern the use of IT services by users within an organisation. AUP defines boundaries between what is and isn’t acceptable. While the specific coverage within an AUP varies depending on the organisation, a typical AUP covers the following: • • • • • • •
Internet usage E-mail usage Use of passwords and related safeguards Reporting incidents associated with IT services Use of social media Managing removable media Safeguarding IT assets
Other essential components to be covered include data protection, copyright infringement, and etiquette while using IT services, as well as guidance on the misuse of IT resources, such as generating excessive network traffic through the download of large files such as music or videos. In addition to the provision of guidelines to users on the use of IT services, AUPs are increasingly utilised by organisations to create awareness among users on good practices associated with the use of IT services and security. Another consideration is when employees access the organisation’s IT services using devices owned by the employee. Another acronym which has been recently added to the ever-increasing technology jargon is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). The concept of BYOD is gaining popularity, and IT Management is faced with challenges to ensure these devices do not pose risks to the organisation. What happens if a device is stolen? Guidelines to store confidential information within devices, access to corporate networks through the devices, and the installation of security software on devices are some of the issues to be addressed and are often covered within an AUP. Social media has already taken its place as a strong communication medium. Employees’ use of social media exposes an organisation to multiple security risks. These include exposure of confidential information, defamatory postings, and misrepresentation of corporate positions. Increasingly, organisations are using AUPs as a channel to communicate good practices that employees need to follow while posting information regarding the organisation on social media. The structure and content of an AUP varies based on the organisation. Several factors including the IT services provided to employees, the level of freedom to use IT for personal use, confidentiality levels required and other specific requirements by the organisation need to be considered when compiling an
Security & Lost Devices, BYOD Security a Growing Problem AUP. Additionally the AUP must be practical and easy for employees to comprehend. Proof of the pudding As with any organisational policy, the effectiveness of the policy is directly related to the awareness created and how well the policy is implemented and enforced. John Linwood, Chief Technology Officer of BBC, recommends taking a pragmatic line which recognises that the user will fight their way around very restrictive policies. Hence, it is vital to define policies which are practical, flexible and can adapt to address ever-changing requirements. According to GartnerÂŽ the importance of IT AUP is already well-known to organisations such as educational establishments and in the healthcare industry. Organisations in other sectors must also look at the benefits that can be accrued through the use of AUPs and reduce the risks posed to an organisation from IT users.
Half of companies have lost a device containing important company data, causing security implications for more than one in five organisations, according to recent report on bringyour-own-device (BYOD). Furthermore, 57 percent of employees believe BYOD also puts their personal devices at risk, but that despite these risks, almost 86 percent of the workforce says they are attached to their devices. Twenty percent of respondents consider themselves "borderline workaholic," 15 percent take their devices on vacation, and 7 percent claim there is no distinction between their work and home lives. The study found that adopting a BYOD policy seems to have a
small, though arguably statistically insignificant, positive effect on security as illustrated by a 5 percent drop in incidents at companies that have a BYOD policy. At the same time, companies that allow BYOD experience a far greater productivity drain, with nearly a quarter of employees saying they spend more time than they care to admit using their personal device for personal use while at work.
Security works hand in hand with Safety www.safercar.gov/parents/carseats.htm
About the author:
You may have seen reports claiming that traffic accidents are the biggest killer of young people worldwide with an estimated 50 million people injured every year.
Ravi Jayasundera is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT. He is a partner of a business-IT consulting practice based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, assisting organisations improve business processes and realise value from their IT investments. Ravi can be contacted on email@example.com
In the Bahrain Medical Bulletin published last year, Bahrain was shown as having the lowest rate of road traffic death in Arab countries, however the study also showed that the Seat Belt law was not strictly applied in Bahrain to all occupants of the vehicle. In some countries, car crashes are the number one killer of children aged between 1 and 12 years old. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
There are so many car seat types and models, how do you know which one is right for your child? The right car seat or booster fits your child and your car, and is one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not only will your child ride as safely as possible, you will be establishing the foundation for a lifelong habit of seat belt use every time your child travels. If you are ever driving with a child in the car, please take a moment to have a read of the article indicated above to raise awareness of what is available and what might be right for your child and remember if theyâ€™re under 12 they should be in the back seat! Forum 43
Hotel & Leisure News Bapco announce plans for their 2013 Golf Festival
The Bahrain Petroleum Company "Bapco" held a press conference in February covering the preparations for the Bapco’s Golf Festival 2013 which will be held from 26th March to 6th April, 2013. The Festival will be held under the kind patronage of HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa the Chairman Supreme Council for General Organisation of Youth
& Sports, the President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee. The press conference was attended by a number of journalists and reporters from various local newspapers and media in the Kingdom. During the conference, a presentation on the festival’s programmes was made to attendees outlining the three main occasions
related to the festival, including the 50th Bahrain Open Golf Championship, the 75th Anniversary of Awali Golf Club and the 25th Bahrain Ladies Open Golf Championship. The Awali Golf Club was established in 1930s. The festival of golf is a significant event for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bapco and the Awali Golf Club. Participants from Bahrain, GCC Countries and oversees will take part in this festival.
Estimated numbers of participants in the Ladies Open Championship and the Bahrain Open Championship are 80 and 120 respectively. On this pleasant occasion, the Bahrain Petroleum Company Bapco confirms its great pride in the continued support of HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa which contributes to the ongoing success of Bapco programmes in serving the Kingdom.
Why did they build it there?
Even today, with the adjacent Awali township, the town of Riffa and paved highways running north to Manama the question is still asked "Why would anyone want to build a golf course in the middle of the desert?" The answer lies in the fact that the discovery of oil in Bahrain in June of 1932 brought many Western expatriates to the island to work on exploration activities and latterly the oil field development. The original oilfield workers therefore brought the game of golf to the region. Although the records are a bit sketchy, it is quite clear that by 1934 a three hole course existed somewhere in the vicinity of the first oil well, close to the oil worker’s camp at Jebel AI Dukan. Throughout the 1930’s and until 1938 Awali golfers were constantly being moved on to new locations, as the land 44 Forum
they were occupying was needed for the development of the oil business. Finally, in 1938, a new 9 hole course was laid out. This was to be the forerunner of the current Awali Golf Club course and was designed and built by a Bapco employee by the name of Colin Pendal-Smith who was ably assisted by a committee of enthusiastic helpers. 65 years ago this course was designed to run from the site of today’s club house in a southerly direction. The original first hole was roughly the line of today’s 10th. Indeed, even today if one were to venture off into the desert to the right of today’s 11th you will come across the remains of the original Awali Golf course. So strong was the desire to play golf that it was not long after the inauguration of the 9 hole course that it was extended to become a 5000 yard 18 hole course. During the subsequent years some of the original holes were abandoned and
replaced whilst others were extended or reshaped in order to bring the overall distance to over 6000 yards. The many trees that can be found gracing the fairways were all hand planted and nurtured by the original Members.
The popular belief is that the Awali Golf Club achieved its official recognition as a sporting facility operated by 8apco in 1952. A full history of committee Members can be traced back into the early fifties and includes such celebrated names such as E. W. Scarff, W. Lewis and Dr. P. McGregor all of whom have their names dedicated to holes on today’s course, the 10th, 8th and 16th respectively.
Major club competitions started in 1956 although the club’s honours boards indicate that knock out competitions were running as long ago as 1939 when the first Kingsbury Cup was won by a gentleman called C.R.B. Hooper. The British Overseas Airways (BOAC) Cup, currently sponsored by British Airways, is indeed the oldest recorded official Golf competition in the Gulf region, this season being the 58th year that the trophy has been played for. Another ’first’ in the Gulf region is the Bahrain Open Golf Championship, organised and staged in 1964 by the Awali Golf Club. This truly international competition gains in popularity each year and continues to attract competitors from as far away as the UK, South Africa and of course the Middle East. Indeed this year is the 40th occasion that the Bahrain Open Golf Championship has been contested.
room with a view of the Red Sea your favourite refreshment served in the lounge exclusive event at Lazurde the only business trip which feels like a vacation
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Hotel & Leisure News Gulf Hotels Group appoints Garfield Jones as Deputy Chief Executive Officer Gulf Hotels Group has announced the reappointment of Mr. Garfield Jones as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Group. The Group’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Aqeel Raees stated, "At Gulf Hotels Group we are continuously upgrading our products in order to offer our clients first class facilities and services. The Group has recently announced several plans for expansion, including the introduction of the brand new Amwaj
Waves Hotel Apartments, the development of a Spa facility at The Gulf Hotel and an upgrade of the Hotel’s laundry facilities. We are confident that Garfield’s expertise will contribute positively towards the success of the Group’s future projects and new developments." Mr. Jones will be carrying out the duties of Deputy Chief Executive Officer, closely monitoring the operations of all the Group’s properties, including The Gulf Hotel, the Ocean Paradise Resort,
The K Hotel and Amwaj Waves Hotel Apartments. Additionally, Mr. Jones will also be working on implementing the Group’s plans for future development and expansion as part of his role. Mr. Jones’ vast experience includes over 30 years of experience in the hotel industry, seventeen of which have been with the Gulf Hotels Group, having first joined The Gulf Hotel as Food and Beverage Manager back in 1995, following which he held
several managerial positions over the years, until being appointed as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Hotels Group in 2007. Mr. Jones has recently rejoined the Group after a nine month sabbatical that began last April.
Gulf Hotels Group donates BD2000 Crowne Plaza Bahrain wins again to the Bahrain Association for at the prestigious Hotelier Intellectual Disability and Autism Middle East Awards 2012
In the photograph are: (from left to right) Dr. Ahmed Al Ansari, Mrs. Farida Abdulrahman Almoayed, Mr. Aqeel Raees, and Mr. Garfield Jones.
Gulf Hotels Group has made a donation of two thousand Bahraini Dinars to the Bahrain Association for Intellectual Disability and Autism, as part of the Group’s ongoing initiative to support organizations that provide a valuable and charitable service to the local community. Gulf Hotels Group’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Aqeel Raees presented 46 Forum
the donation cheque to Mrs. Farida Abdulrahman Almoayed, Chairman of the Bahrain Association for Intellectual Disability and Autism, in the presence of Mr. Garfield Jones, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Hotels Group, and Dr. Ahmed Al Ansari, Vice Chairman of the Bahrain Association for Intellectual Disability and Autism.
The eagerly-anticipated Hotelier Middle East Awards 2012 was held on October 31st at the RitzCarlton DIFC in Dubai, the first in the annual event’s eight-year history to have a theme.
More than 500 industry professionals from across the region attended the ceremony, among them the winners of the 19 Hotelier Middle East Awards categories who were recognied at the event.
One of the most glamorous ceremonies in the industry, Hotelier headed back to The Roaring Twenties for the awards ceremony to celebrate classic hospitality and recognize those hoteliers putting their guests and colleagues first.
Crowne Plaza Bahrain is proud to announce its latest addition to their series of awards: HR PERSON OF THE YEAR award 2012. 2012 Winner: Alena Miatlushka, HR Person of the Year
Hotel & Leisure News Kempinski Bahrain Receives Internal Award for Largest Growth Kempinski’s Global Sales & Marketing Conference recognises and awards Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre for largest growth in 2012 Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, Kempinski Hotels, recognised Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre as the property recording the largest growth in the Middle East and Africa region in 2012 in their Global Sales & Marketing Conference last month, an achievement that reflects the success the Bahrain property enjoyed in 2012. Kempinski Hotels opened the property in Bahrain on September 7, 2011, marking the arrival of its first 5-star city hotel in the Kingdom, just a one-hour drive from Saudi Arabia. Despite the challenging economic and political climate in Bahrain during the last two years, the hotel has fi rmly established its presence amongst the other 5-star hotels on the island. The efforts of the multinational Sales & Marketing team (pictured
above) at Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre were recognised and awarded at the Global Sales & Marketing Conference, held at Kempinski Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. The Bahrain property experienced the largest growth out of the 16 properties in operation in the Middle East and Africa region in 2012. "Bahrain has experienced challenging times in the last two years due to the political unrest which has affected the tourism industry in the country. Despite that we have continuously focused our
efforts on delivering the uncompromising Kempinski standard of quality and have managed to claim a strong position within Bahrain’s hospitality market, attaining the number two slot in a short period of time. We believed in success and we will continue to position ourselves as the luxury destination of choice for discerning business and leisure travellers to Bahrain,” said Puneet Singh, General Manager, Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre. Citing statistics on occupancy rates at Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre in the last year, Singh further adds, "Saudi Arabia represents one of our key markets, with almost 50 percent of our guests crossing the causeway every week. This year, we hope to continue catering to the leisure and business needs of our guests across the GCC, and maintaining our strong position in the local market."
Nestled in the heart of the island’s fashionable Seef district and connected to Bahrain’s biggest leisure and entertainment destination, Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre has claimed its place as a top choice for travellers from Saudi Arabia who frequent the hotel with their families especially over the weekends to enjoy an unparalleled selection of luxurious retail and entertainment outlets, at their fingertips. The Saudi Arabian market has proven to be an immense potential for the Kempinski Bahrain property, offering a rich seam of inbound traffic for both leisure and business. Building on their success in the region, the Kempinski Group have plans to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia with new luxurious properties opening in the next two years in up-andcoming key cities across the Kingdom, including Al Khobar in October 2013, Riyadh in 2014 and Jeddah in 2015
Hotel & Leisure News Theatre hailed as cultural milestone
The new National Theatre was opened in November last year. Built at a reported cost of $50m the Theatre, which took around two and a half years to complete, has an area of 11,869 square metres and the capacity to seat 1,001 guests, making it the third largest theatre in the Middle East region. During the inauguration
ceremony, KIng Hamad expressed pride in the Theatre’s role in contributing to Bahraini society and praised Bahraini creative artists and their contribution to the Kingdom. BBBF Member Peter Bustin said, “Façade Design and Services SPC successfully designed and engineered the glass wall supporting fins to bring to life the Clients vision and
the Architectural concept aspiration in design of the Bahrain National Theatre The clear uninterrupted inward visual on approach to the Theatre welcomes Theatre goer’s to Bahrain’s latest unique attraction. The 10.8 metre glass fins provide support for the glazed wall allowing clear panoramic views from within the foyer helping
to create the openness of space and provide natural light to display the many images and art on display. In the design, engineering and installation of the fins Facade Design and Services SPC introduced new methods much practised in Europe to Bahrain, helping the Contractors and Consultants achieve the schedule for the build.”
Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair joins the Capital Governorate to sponsor the competition for decorating buildings and houses on the Occasion of the National Day and Accession Day 2012
Under the Patronage of H.E. The Capital Governor of the Capital Governorate, H.E. Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, Residence Inn by Marriott along with Capital Governorate of Manama sponsored the competition for decorating buildings and houses on the occasion of the National Day and Accession Day 2012. A cheque of BD 2,000 was presented to the winner, Zamzam Ali Ahmed, at the ceremony held at the Residence Inn by Marriott. The competition was open to all citizens and residents of the Capital Governorate and the public and private sectors. The 50 Forum
decorate in a way that reflects the civilized aspect of the Capital Governorate "The Kingdom’s Heart."
H.E. Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, Governor of Manama and Mr. Sam Van Campenhout, General Manager of Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair, handed over the cheque of BD 2,000 to the winner, Zamzam Ali Ahmed
objective of the event was to beautify the Kingdom and spread the spirit of
celebration. The theme of the competition was that participants should
"It was a great opportunity for Marriott to sponsor this event and support the local community to enhance the spirit of celebration among the citizens of the Kingdom", said General Manager Sam Van Campenhout. He further congratulated the winner, Zamzam Ali Ahmed, for her creativity and appreciated for expressing the loyalty to the Kingdom through her participation. It was a wonderful experience to join hands with the Governorate and Marriott looks forward to supporting such events in the future.
Hotel & Leisure News BBBF Golf Social event on the 28th Feb HE Iain Lindsay gets first hole in one on the 6th green of the Wee Monty Par 3 course at the Royal Golf Club The BBBF Held its 2nd Golf Social at the Royal Golf Club on 28th February. Prizes for the event were sponsored by NHSC. During the evening, members and their guests took part in either a Texas Scramble competition on the "Wee Monty" or a Golf lesson/putting competition at the Academy with PGA professionals, which was a huge success with the members. Prize giving took place afterwards in the memberâ€™s lounge, where (as custom prevails) HE Iain Lindsay rang the bell to buy everyone a drink for his first "HOLE IN ONE". Prizes were awarded to 1st & 2nd place teams in the Texas Scramble along with side competitions. Future Events: The next golf social is scheduled to be held in April. If you would like to take part please contact the BBBF offices. Our "Annual BBBF Golf Day" is back on the calendar for the 6th June. For more information on the corporate sponsorship packages for this event, or if you would like to take part/ enter a team, please contact Dena Wales the Executive Manager at the BBBF office for more details. Dena Wales BBBF Exec Manager 52 Forum
Ambassador gets his first Hole-in-One
bnl Launches its New Website Bahrain National Life Assurance Company B.S.C. (c) (bnl), a subsidiary of Bahrain National Holding Company (BNH), have announced the launch of their new interactive website www.bnl4life.com. The site reflects bnl’s commitment to their customers with many extensive and content rich informative articles related to Policy Shopper’s interests and insurance, frequently asked questions as well as the bnl Café which has health and medical tips. "The website has been a well thought out operation. We looked at every detail through our Customers’ eyes to make the site as
user friendly as possible. This has led to a complete recreation of the site and how its navigational structure, social and visual elements are presented while updating content, options and abilities for users to quickly find the information they need and ask for quotes online. We believe in providing accurate information and this is the reason why we concentrated on making the process of finding and purchasing life and healthcare insurance easy, convenient and affordable," said Robert Grey, General Manager at bnl.
HE Iain Lindsay being presented with his hole in one certificate at the Royal Golf Club by General Manager DJ Flanders and Paul Crowe Director of Golf and BBBF Exec Manager, Dena Wales.
Royal Haskoning sponsor student
Bahrain joins growing band of GAC TRACE-certified companies Commitment to ethics recognised by anti-bribery body
Leading shipping and logistics company GAC Bahrain has become the latest GAC company to have its commitment to ethical business practices confirmed with certification by TRACE International. TRACE International Inc. is a non-profit membership association that offers practical and cost-effective anti-bribery and anticorruption compliance solutions for multinational companies. To gain certification, GAC Bahrain underwent a series of extensive evaluations throughout 2012, including a due diligence review. The company’s TRACE certification comes after it recently became the first shipping and logistics company in the country to receive the Integrated 54 Forum
Above : Amal is pictured above third from left with Ben Bullock, Mariam Al Jassim, & Syd Bell from Royal HaskoningDHV
Management System (IMS) certification signifying its high standards of logistics management for a variety of sectors, including the oil and gas industry. Managing Director Mikael Leijonberg says: "Together, these certifications represent a clear recognition of our firm commitment to the highest industry standards in everything we do."
Royal HaskoningDHV are delighted to confirm their sponsorship of a local student to be the first Bahraini Woman to set foot in Antarctica. Amal Al Saffar is a student at the Bahrain Polytechnic studying Supply Chain Management in the maritime field.
interaction between people and their environment. This mission is only matched by Royal HaskoningDHV’s high pedigree of local projects in Bahrain such as Khalifa bin Salman Port, ASRY Basin Quay Wall and East Hidd Dredging and Reclamation Works.
Amal is to represent the whole of the Arabian Gulf as a member of the global initiative 2041 who shall visit the pole to investigate sustainability, mining and waste management vs economics. The purpose and theme of this expedition aligns seamlessly with Royal HaskoningDHV’s mission to be a civil engineering consultancy which creates solutions for the sustainable
Royal HaskoningDHV provided not only sponsorship monies but also cold weather clothing and other items to aid Amal in the build up to her journey. As a proud supporter of local Bahraini initiatives Royal HaskonignDHV wish Amal and the rest of the team all the best on their upcoming adventure.
Bahrain News Leading Change Takes Off!
Last year proved to be an exciting one for MSB with the company celebrating its 25th anniversary. Amongst our guests at a special reception held in London, we were delighted that BBBF Chairman, Khalid Al Zayani and the EDB’s Steve Harrison were able to join in the celebrations. 2012 was also the year in which our local company in The Kingdom, Leading Change Consultancy WLL, was established to further consolidate our position within the GCC Region and to enable us to continue to develop our blue-chip client portfolio. We are grateful to our many friends and business partners in Bahrain for the support and encouragement which they provided to us during these exciting times.. and not least to the BBBF itself of which we are now proud to be a member. As it has been for the past 25 years, the company’s focus is on helping our clients to deliver customer service excellence through periods of change
Above: Brian, Bryn & Don photographed alongside Ambassadors, Alice Samaan & Iain Lindsay together with our good friend, Heather Harper Below: BBBF Chairman, Khalid Al Zayani, meets with UK Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, Nick Herbert MP, at MSB’s 25th Anniversary Reception in London
and transition in their businesses. MSB’s research, consultancy and training services are in demand across many sectors in the region including financial services, telecommunications and aviation. During the recent Manama Dialogue, it was a privilege to be present at a Reception where both the British Ambassador to Bahrain and The Kingdom’s Ambassador to the UK were represented giving us an opportunity to thank them both for the wonderful support which they have given to us during the past 12 months. We look forward with anticipation to what 2013 holds for us in Bahrain and in the GCC Region. If the first two months of the year are anything to go by, then it’s going to be a very busy and exciting one for our clients and ourselves! We trust that it will be a successful one for all BBBF members too.
Condor Technology celebrates 5th anniversary
Condor recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in business. The celebration was held at their Mahooz office. The inset picture (right) shows Condor CEO, Fred Donnelly cutting the cake,
the Construction sector for new large buildings and the Government sector for Ministries. Some of these solutions are structured cabling (copper and fiber), PABX, Wi-Fi, IT (Firewalls, Data Centers, etc), GSM indoor coverage, Access Control, CCTV cameras and Radio links. In some cases Condor has provided the entire ICT infrastructure in new buildings.
flanked by Office Manager Amina Jaleel (left) and HR Manager Haifa Ghuloom. Condor Technology is an ICT solution provider dealing with all sectors of Bahrain Business. Condor has installed solutions in the Education sector for schools and universities, the Finance sector for banks and Finance Houses,
Almoayed Wilhelmsen Ltd. officially inaugurate facility in Bahrain Logistics Zone.
Almoayed Wilhelmsen Ltd. officially inaugurated its Hidd facility on 5th February 2013. It was opened by Wilhelmsen Holding ASA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Wilhelmsen and
attended by Wilhelmsen Ship Service President Bjeorge Grimholt, Almoayed Wilhelmsen Ltd. Chairman Tawfeeq Almoayed, A.K Almoayed Group Chairman Khalid
Almoayed as well as management and company staff. Almoayed Wilhelmsen Ltd. was formed in 1976 and is a logistics provider for
Maritime Logistics, Marine Safety Services, Ships Agency and Warehousing. It is the first logistics company to build and moved to Bahrain Logistics Zone, Hidd area. Forum 57
Bahrain News East Hidd Housing unveiled for Bahrain National Day celebrations
The East Hidd Housing Development project was unveiled at the Ministry of Housing’s exhibition at Seef Mall as part of Bahrain’s National Day celebrations. Atkins was commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, to provide masterplanning, architecture and infrastructure design from concept through to detailed design for this social and affordable housing project. The appointment of Atkins, one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies, ensures that this integral addition
to Bahrain’s housing infrastructure receives high quality design and advice, in accordance with international best practices. Reclamation work at the site has been completed and the concept design is currently in its final stages. Once completed, the city will comprise around 4500 units across a 232 Hectare site, with an anticipated population of 28,000. The development will feature vibrant social and leisure zones including retail and food and beverage units,
mosques, schools and waterfronts connected by public parks and plazas. The inspiration for the design was an old photograph of Al Hidd illustrating the traditional architecture and urban setting. The Ministry supplied the photograph and challenged Atkins to design a contemporary masterplan that followed closely with that traditional heritage. The modern housing units incorporate four house and two apartment prototypes, with an emphasis on blending this traditional Bahraini
Norton Rose strengthens Bahrain practices4R1d International legal practice Norton Rose announces it is strengthening its practice in Bahrain. David Johnston has joined the projects and infrastructure practice in its Bahrain office as an associate. He joined from DLA Piper in Scotland and specialises in the transport, infrastructure, power, gas, state utilities and waste sectors. David is a UK qualified lawyer. Heros Leask is also joining in April as an associate into the corporate team. Heros has most recently been working for Cains, a first tier law firm in the Isle of Man assisting 58 Forum
on a wide range of corporate and finance matters. These appointments further strengthen the Norton Rose practice in the Middle East and particularly the team in Bahrain. Joanne Emerson Taqi, Bahrain partner commented: "We are delighted that David and Heros are joining our Bahrain office. Their expertise is a great fit for our clients in Bahrain and our core practice strengths as a business. Both of these appointments will add
further strength and depth to a very experienced team in our Bahrain office." Norton Rose has been active in the Middle East since 1979. It has offices in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and
heritage and architectural style. Atkins Managing Director in Bahrain, Rob Ruse said, "Atkins is proud to work on such an important project with the Ministry of Housing in pursuance of the Government’s housing programme to provide social and affordable housing services to Bahrainis. East Hidd Housing makes a major contribution towards the delivery of this programme and will create a positive legacy for the Kingdom and its future generations." Dubai. Norton Rose’s client base comprises of regional and multinational corporations, financial institutions, government, quasi-government entities and sovereign funds. On June 3, 2013 Norton Rose will join forces with leading US law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP to create Norton Rose Fulbright. With 3800 lawyers and 54 offices, including 11 in the US, Norton Rose Fulbright will be one of the largest global legal practices, with significant depth of expertise in the world’s leading business and financial centres.
MSCEB awarded new design contracts Although the past year was a challenging one for the building industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain in general, MSCEB managed to win several projects during this period. The Ministry of Housing awarded MSCEB with the Master planning and Concept Design of ten sites in various parts of Bahrain. Recognizing the vital importance of this project to the country and community, MSCEB’s professional team of architects and engineers delivered all ten sites and 4,000 residential units in record time and to the highest standards of design quality. Another recent project was the Lead Consultancy for the design of Diyar Homes Phase-2 at Diyar Al Muharraq: a community of affordable housing units of varying types and sizes, on an 8.3 HA plot.
MSCEB’s teams also worked on the design and supervision of the Moda Mall Fit-out Refurbishment project through 2012. Works are expected to be completed on site in the second quarter of 2013.
The company offers several disciplines under one roof, including Architectural, Interior Design, Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Quantity Surveying and Construction Administration, making it an attractive choice for Clients looking for a single point responsibility.
One completed project was the Diplomat Office Tower, which has been handed over to the client, the National Hotels Company. This project has over 30,000 sqm of letable office space and over 700 car parking spaces. It is another prestigious addition to the National Hotels Company’s already impressive development portfolio.
MSCEB is currently supervising the construction and fit-out of the new SLRB Headquarters building in Sanabis. Design of the Fitout works was carried out by MSCEB earlier in 2011-2012. The project will be handed over to the client in the second quarter of 2013.
Other recent projects include the Refurbishment of the Façade of the BIsB HQ building at Diplomatic Area, which has been awarded to a Contractor recently, and a boutique commercial development at Seef, construction of which is expected to start in the second half of 2013.
Bahrain-Saudi rail link discussed A team of experts from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recently held talks in Manama to discuss the feasibility of a rail-link between the two neighbours.
At the meeting, the participants decided to conduct a study to examine the possibility of building a link from Alkhobar to Manama running parallel to the King Fahd Causeway thus providing an alternative route which would ease congestion. The proposal is expected to cost around $4.2 billion.
Members of the causeway authorities on both sides attended the meeting with representatives of the GCC as well as private sector companies joining them in the deliberations. Among the key issues being explored is a build-operate-transfer option, which would involve the project becoming a private sector undertaking and supervised by the government. Discussions will conclude with
Established in 1970, MSCEB now has offices in Manama and Juffair and has grown over the years to become one of the largest and most respected Architectural and Engineering consultancy firms in Bahrain.
recommendations, an action plan and resolutions for decision-makers in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to mandate the way forward. One of the participants said the railways had helped advance economic development in Europe, the Americas and the Far East and the Gulf would be no different. The feasibility report is expected to be finalised by the end of 2014 with operations commencing in 2017. Forum 59
Bahrain News Alosra extends fresh & friendly offering to Juffair residents Alosra Supermarket, the fresh and friendly subsidiary of BMMI, has commenced plans to launch its fifth outlet at the soon-to-open Al Raya Shopping Centre in Juffair, one of the fastest developing areas in Bahrain coveted not only for its residential properties but also sought after for its commercial development. Operated by One Bahrain Hospitality, the new fourstorey neighbourhood community centre will be connected to the Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel and is scheduled for completion by Q4 of 2013. “As one of the capitals most preferred locations with many modern residential neighbourhoods, hotels and restaurants, Juffair will now boast another jewel in its crown - the Al Raya Shopping Centre,” explains Teodor Ardeleanu, General Manager of One Bahrain Hospitality. “Strategically placed to deliver on our
mission of everything closer to you, Al Raya promises to be a stylish boutique mall with Alosra as its anchor store.” Neighbouring commercial and residential buildings will benefit greatly from the retail chain’s fresh, high quality and speciality products and friendly service. Customers will be spoilt for choice with a wide selection of fresh and organic produce, meat, fish and poultry, delicatessen, baked treats, and household goods. In addition, office goers can choose from a line-up of ready-to-eat salads, sandwiches and sushi from the BMMI Great brand of deli products. With an eclectic mix of local and global brands, Alosra ensures that a little taste of home is never too far away for its expat customers. “As our supermarket and brand expands, we need to ensure that quality and consistency are at the core of our operations in
Above: Yasmin Hussain (CSR & Brand Executive-BMMI); Jaffar Al Asfoor (General Manager- Alosra); Teodor Ardeleanu (General Manager- One Bahrain Hospitality); Ammar Aqeel (Chief Financial Officer- BMMI); Ana Mihail (Sales & Marketing Manager- One Bahrain Hospitality)
order to succeed. Having successfully received certification in the ISO 22000 Food Safety standard, we are pulling our weight to ensure this promise is fulfilled along with additional customer satisfaction initiatives in the pipeline,” adds Alosra General Manager, Jaffar Al Asfoor.
The first Alosra Supermarket operates as the anchor store of the Najibi Centre community mall located in the upmarket Saar/Budaiya family neighbourhood. Since then, Alosra has branched out with outlets on the Islands of Amwaj, Durrat Al Bahrain, Riffa Palms (Riffa Views) and now Juffair.
years with high profile clients in search and selection assignments for their executive roles. What we have noticed on many encounters is that high profile individuals who would fit these roles were not being noticed, for reasons related to their profile structure and presentation approach", stated Carlo Kehdy, the Managing Partner – CEO of C & F Group "consultant" International Ltd.
expertise to serve those individuals and get them the necessary tools to reach the levels where they should be at a critical point of their career. S3SP programme deals on a confidentiality terms basis with individuals strictly in the levels of executive roles or what is more known Executive Exit Career. It has the tools to enable individuals build upon their previous experiences and knowledge through a multi layers process that can portray their real value. S3SP service will be officially activated on March 31st, 2013.
A new initiative in Executive Profiling C & F Group "consultant" International Ltd announced on the 1st March the launch of a new and unique initiative catering for Executive Profiles to boost their career. The "Strata 3S Profiling" (S3SP) service is thoroughly researched and designed service to assist individuals currently holding an executive role, or those mainly reaching the doorsteps of executive level careers, to pursue and present themselves in the best shape and form by getting noticed from 60 Forum
multinational or regional firms seeking interests in such profiles. "We have been heavily involved for the last 12
"Strata 3S Profiling" brings a knowledge-based approach associated with a wealth of
Gulf Air recruiting despite cutting jobs. The head of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund has defended his decision to restructure the country’s national airline, Gulf Air, laying off more than 1000 staff. Revealing an insight into discussions with the government over Gulf Air’s systemic losses, CEO of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s investment arm, Mahmood Al Kooheji said there was no political interference. Gulf Air has laid off 15% of its staff and cut four of its lossmaking routes since January as part of its restructuring, announced in December.
Al Kooheji said social and political impacts were never considered. “I’ll be very frank: we’re an investment arm of the country, we work in a very commercial sector,” Al Kooheji said during a Euromoney conference in Manama.
The loss-making carrier claims the measures have so far helped reduce its overall costs by more than 34% and it remains on track to achieve overall cost savings of 24% by the end of the year.
Al Kooheji conceded the government was not initially enthusiastic about his decision. “I admit there was a lot of eyebrows raised,” he said. “[But] at the end of the day, people come to the
“We are in the process of restructuring Gulf Air and when we looked at it we looked at it with a commercial eye. We said to the government, ‘this company is over-staffed, this company is running arrears ...’
conclusion the best thing for the company is to restructure the airline commercially and make a profit; that’s the way to move forward.” Despite going through the restructuring process that involves reduction in its workforce, Bahrain’s national carrier has started recruitment of all Bahraini pilots who have been affected by the closure of Bahrain Air. A statement from Gulf Air said the Bahrain Air
pilots have been contacted by the airline and all pilots who successfully complete this process will be offered appropriate positions at the national carrier. The decision highlights the company’s on-going commitment to filling as many positions as it can with skilled and qualified nationals, with specific focus on specialist aviation professionals such as pilots, said the airline in its statement.
Regional Round-up Qatar £10billion UK Projects fund
Newsfeeds reported early in March that Qatar has begun talks with the UK government to invest up to £10bn into key infrastructure projects in Britain. Officials and ministers from both countries have held discussions over what schemes the Qataris could invest in and whether a specific fund could be set up. The potential projects include energy plants, road and rail projects and even the Thames “super-sewer” under London. Qatar has become a prolific investor in British assets in recent years with a portfolio of assets from Harrods and the Shard skyscraper to Heathrow airport. Among the specific schemes discussed is the new £14bn nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset planned by EDF, the French energy giant. EDF has been seeking new investors in its newbuild nuclear programme since Centrica quit its joint venture last month. 62 Forum
Oman Atkins designs iconic Oman sports academy
Atkins is set to take its concept design for the Sultan Qaboos Sports Academy in Muscat, Oman, through to completion after been appointed to deliver detailed design and construction supervision services. The Sultan Qaboos Sports Academy will be a state-of-the-art complex, including 60m and 200m indoor running tracks and an indoor aquatic training centre, with Olympic-size swimming and diving pools housing spectator stands for 1,000 people. A 3,000-seat outdoor tennis stadium will be a focal point of the design, featuring a roof structure that illuminates at night. Additional facilities will include football fields, a 400m athletics track, a tennis stadium, beach volleyball courts, a gymnasium, sports medicine centre, sports science faculty and laboratories. Atkins’ concept designer, Rohan Thotabaduge, said:
"The architecture of the scheme is considerate of the Omani culture and the local history of the area. "The feature roof structure is designed to be a visible iconic memory of the Bousher sand dunes and will be a glowing beacon at night. Its structure will be visually prominent when viewed from the expressway and beyond, drawing the future young Omani athletes into the academy, while creating a sense of place and community appeal. It will interconnect all the buildings on the upper level, providing shade and enhancing sustainability." As well as being sympathetic to Omani culture, Atkins had to take into account a number of critical factors when undertaking the concept design of the academy, such as the tightly constrained site and the need for a flexible design solution. The complex will provide equal opportunity for men and women athletes.
Saudi Arabia Housing shortage critical
In opening remarks at the first session of the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF), Abdullah Sadiq Dahlan, member of the JEF’s organising committee and chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Business and Technology, warned of an imminent threat of a housing crisis exploding in the Kingdom over the coming years in the absence of realistic housing plans. Dahlan said that 37 percent of Saudis do not own houses and pay rent, while 30 percent live in inadequate housing facilities. He also pointed out that the Kingdom is in need of 350 million sq meters to accommodate a growing population with 67 percent of the population currently searching for affordable housing. According to statistics presented by Dahlan, 85 percent of the Saudi population lives in major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, with Jeddah listed as the city with the highest population density.
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Where to go and what to do? The year hardly seems to have started and here we are with a quarter of it already gone. Thoughts are turning to where to go and what to do in the Summer holidays and I’m sure many of you will have already made your minds up. Many of the friends I’ve made in Middle East countries tell me they love to go to the UK but sadly most of them hardly ever get out of London. The UK’s capital city has a wealth of attractions to suite every budget and every interest but those who think London is representative of the rest of the country are missing out - BIG TIME!
If relaxing in an historic garden appeals we have some of the most famous green spaces in the world. Bicton Botanical Park has magnificent grade 1 listed gardens set in East Devon’s picturesque Otter Valley or there’s also a whole rainforest undercover at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
If water “floats your boat” chugging down one of Britain’s inland waterways is a relaxing way to see the countryside. Step into a self-drive day boat and explore at your own pace. If you fancy the experience of sailing a classic yacht, you’ll find all sizes available in Brixham and Dartmouth.
For natural beauty, Dartmoor is the largest and wildest area of open country in Southern England and also in the south the Dorset and East Devon Coast, also known as The Jurassic Coast, has 95 miles of dramatic coastline providing an almost continuous geological ’walk through time’ spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. But what do you do if it rains?... and it does sometimes rain in England! Maybe a trip underground will fire the imagination. Find out about how our Stone Age ancestors lived in
the prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern. But perhaps you see yourself burning off energy in an olympic sized swimming pool or even testing yourself on an indoor climbing wall. If you’d rather come face to face with all manner of sea life, there are over 4,000 marine fish in the National Marine Aquarium, of almost 400 different species, as well as many thousands of invertebrate animals and one Loggerhead Turtle.
And don’t forget that we have some of the most famous zoos and wildlife parks in the world. You can get close to Agoutis and Zebras, rare and endangered animals or share the road with giraffes and meddlesome monkeys as well as seeing rhinos, tigers and lions.
And Finally in a small Hotel or Guest House. All of the places described in this article are accessible from the English Riviera, and that’s home to some great accommodation.
One elegant place to stay is The Robin Hill, pictured above. It’s an AA 4 Star rated Guest House. Bed and Breakfast for two in a superior en-suite room could be yours for as little as £120 per night. Located only 500m from Torquay Harbour it’s only a brief stroll to the shops, restaurants and bars but far enough away from them for you to enjoy a little peace and quiet if you prefer.
One of the most surprising things about getting out of London is how much cheaper it can be to stay Q. So where will I being going for my change of pace this year? A, The English Riviera in the County of Devon. Please call me if you’re planning a visit. Andrew Mead
Triannual publication from the Bahrain British Business Forum