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From The Chair

Khalid Al-Zayani OBE Chairman

Welcome to the spring edition of the BBBF magazine. 2018 has already started positively for the business community. The first quarter has been very busy and high profile months; In January Dr Simon Galpin, Managing Director of Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), gave an excellent presentation in his address to the forum. He highlighted the opportunities that are being created around areas such as infrastructure investment, regulatory developments, innovation and fintech start-ups. The private sector will be the driving factor for growth in the future and we look forward in supporting the EDB’s efforts. In January we also saw the launch of the new Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism Special interest group and were very honoured to have as guest speaker HE Shaikh Khalid bin Humood bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, CEO of the Bahrain Tourism Exhibition Authority (BTEA). He delivered an excellent and informative

address to our members. His Excellency reviewed the present structure of the Tourism sector in Bahrain and provided valuable insight to the strategy adopted by the BTEA for the kingdoms future. He also highlighted the current up and coming ventures and the rapid progress being made on significant projects In March we held our annual F1 Curry night at the British Embassy. HE Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, gave an informative speech on this years new initiatives making racing even more accessible to race fans. We are proud to support this event each year. The eyes of the world are once again on Bahrain as it hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix race on 6 – 8 April. Many of you will already be captivated by the preseason practise sessions. The race weekend is a welcoming 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 members to support global showcase events like these visiting our island. The Special interest groups continue to drive forward and actively engage our members. With high profile speakers the SIGs highlight

Registration number ISSN 1985-9929

the effectiveness of networking for connecting and fostering business relationships. We now have 9 SIG groups set up with each one holding events throughout the year. I strongly encourage you to support them as these events represent an excellent opportunity to discuss topical sector issues and to make new contacts. I would like to sincerely thank our sponsors for their unwavering support of the forum. Their continued backing and generous encouragement allows us the financial security to increase the number of initiatives and enhances the quality and quantity of business networking events that our members benefit from and enjoy immensely. The BBBF continues to work to create and sustain a favourable business environment and strives to assist both the UK and Bahrain to benefit and enhance the common economic interests of the forum’s member companies. We hope that you enjoy this Forum edition. The committee as always looks forward to seeing you and your guests at up and coming BBBF meetings and events.

Kind Regards Khalid Al Zayani OBE

BBBF Tel: +973 1781 3488, Fax: +973 1781 3489, Email: bbbforum@batelco.com.bh Bahrain British Business Forum, P. O. Box 10051, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Contents Executive Committee....2 Advertiser Index............3 Diary Dates...................3 Welcome to New Members..............4 Member Benefits ..........6 Why join the BBBF? .....7 From Her Majesty’s Ambassador.................8 SIG Update ...............10 SIG Oil & Gas & Energy...... 11 SIG ICT ......................12 Annual Curry Night .....13 Financial Sector Introduction of VAT .....14 Why is Financial Planning Important? ...18 News from the EP ......20 Education & Training ...22 Construction News.....24 Health Matters............25 Hotel & Leisure News .26 Bahrain News .............30

Cover Picture: The speaker at this years BBBF Curry Night, held in the Bri�sh Ambassador’s residence garden was Sheikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Bahrain Interna�onal Circuit. Forum

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The 2017-19 BBBF Executive Committee

Chairman Khalid Al Zayani OBE

Deputy Chair Paula Boast Tel: 3319 4445

Hon-Secretary Ben Elsworth Mob: 3633 1167

Treasurer Jonathan Trafankowski Mob: 3914 8599

Member Nasser Al Arayedh Tel: 1727 2575

Member Mazen Alumran Tel: 1771 5555

Member Adel Fakhro Tel: 1727 5000

Embassy Representative Mohamed Ismail Tel: 1757-4124

Member Mark Gravener Tel: 3976-6565

Member Ava Garbutt Tel: 3941 1938

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: andrew@sbtd.co.uk UK Mob: 0044 7940 559 925 Bahrain Mobile: 00973 3627 2969 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to info@sbtd.co.uk 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.

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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.

Diary Dates Al Hilal Life ...................................................... page 19 British Club ...................................................... page 27 British Council ................................................. page 23 Crowne Plaza Hotel......................................... page 29 Dilmun Club..................................................... page 31 Etihad Airways................................................. page 21 Mansouri Mansions ......................................... page 32 Nexus ..............................................Inside Front Cover Skin Health Centre .......................................... page 25 Streetlight Photography..................................... page 3 Y B A Kanoo Group......................... Inside Back Cover

To advertise in a future edition of the BBBForum magazine please contact the compiler, Andrew Mead of MMSL on andrew@sbtd.co.uk or call 0044 7940 55 99 25 Adverting Rates for 2018 editions Full page: BD330 Half Page: BD200 Quarter Page: BD110 Small Box: BD55 10% Discount for multiple bookings (min 3)

Tuesday 27th March BBBF Business Networking Monthly Lunch Diplomat Radisson Hotel 12 to 2.30pm AGM - Members FOC Guests BD18 Monday 9th April Oil, Gas & Energy SIG meeting Capital Club 6pm - 8pm Guest Speaker: Co-founder & CEO of British Energy Saving Technology (BEST). Troy Wrigley Tuesday 17 April BBBF Business Networking Monthly Lunch Gulf Hotel 12 to 2.30pm Members BD15 Guests BD18 Monday 23rd April Banking & Finance SIG meeting Guest Speaker: Chief Economist from HSBC Global Capital Club 6pm - 8pm Monday 7th May BBBF Business Networking Monthly Lunch Diplomat Radisson Hotel 12 to 2.30 Members BD15 Guests BD18 Keynote Speaker: Sh. Fahad bin Ahmed Al Khalifa Advisor to Executive Office of HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa Wednesday 30th May Annual Ramadan Quiz Night 7pm - 9pm Saturday 22 September BBBF Annual Corporate Social Golf Day at the Royal Golf Club

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Welcome to New Members

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Jassim Abdulaal Grant Thornton Managing Partner Tel: 1750-0188 Mob: 3960-5262 Jassim.abdulaal@bh.gt.com

Said Hathout Al Hilal Life Acting Chief Executive Officer Tel: 1758-9800 Mob: said.hathout@alhilal.life

Kumar Ashwani Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, Seef Director of Sales & Marketing Tel: 1711-1988 Mob: 3689-7399 dosm@rameegrandbahrain.com

Jatin Karia Grant Thornton Senior Partner Tel: 1750-0188 Mob: 3957-5562 jatin.karia@bh.gt.com

Zahra Dallal Fakhro Transport BSC Š Sales Performance Manager Tel: 1721-7788 Mob: 3226-1119 zahra.dallal@fakhro.com

Jack Kilavuz Marsh (Bahrain) SPC Practice Leader Tel: 1720-4252 Mob: 3910-7131 jack.kilavuz@marsh.com

Iris Edwards Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain) General Counsel Tel: 7700-0107 Mob: 3999-2721 iedwards@kfh.com.bh

Adam Knights AF Willis Bahrain Manager Tel: 1717-1661 Mob: 3997-2636 adam.knights@ willistowerswatson.com

Magdalena Fincek AF Willis Bahrain Health & Benefits Manager Tel: 1717-1661 Mob: 3972-5888 magdalena.fincek@ willistowerswatson.com

Christopher Lewis Gulf Diabetes Hospital Chief Executive Officer Tel: 1723-9212 Mob: 3672-0010 christopher.lewis@ gulfdiabetes.com

Himash Fraser Gulf Agency Company (Bahrain) WLL Sales Manager Tel: 1733-9744 Mob: 3840-6843 himash.fraser@gac.com

Niall McAuliffe Grant Thornton Partner Tel: 1750-0188 Mob: 3534-3734 niall.mcauliffe@bh.gt.com


Welcome to New Members Neil McElhinney Ultra Electronics, 3eTI VP International Business Mob: 3997-0352 neil.mcelhinney@ ultra-3eTI.com

Yaser Abbas Salman Grant Thornton Partner Tel: 1750-0188 Mob: 3940-2188 yaser.abbas@bh.gt.com

Derek McKenzie Bahrain Rugby Football Club General Manager Tel: 1769-5809 Mob: 3836-1944 generalmanager@ bahrainrfc.com

Steven Samson AF Willis Bahrain General Manager Tel: 1717-1661 Mob: 3655-5259 steven.samson@ willistowerswatson.com

Jean Nicolai SteppingStone Global WLL Founder & President Tel: 1740-4955 Mob: 3777-1951 Jean.nicolai@ steppingstoneglobal.com

John Sharp Nexus Financial Services WLL Authorised Consultant Tel: 1751-1777 Mob: 3519-8188 john.sharp@nexusadvice.com

Prakash Panthulu AF Willis Bahrain Manager Tel: 1717-1661 Mob: 3944-9546 prakash.panthulu@ willistowerswatson.com

Ahmed Swailem AF Willis Bahrain Business Development Manager Tel 1717-1661 Mob: 3800-0530 ahmed.swailem@ willistowerswatson.com

Adil Rashid Mira Consulting Bahrain WLL Tel: 1758-0197 Mob: 3969-3965 adil.rashid@ miraconsultancy.com

Bilal Ul Haq Dilmun Club Finance Manager Tel: 1769-0926 Mob: 3439-1450 accounts@dilmun-club.com

Sulaiman Rawhy Al-Massis National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA) Legal Advisor Tel: 1731-2636 Mob: 3655-8911 salmassis@noga.gov.bh

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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: Jonathan Jane Tel: 1758-8222 Email: jonathan.jane@axa-gulf.com Bateel BBBF Members can enjoy 10% Discount when presenting their Membership Card, Complimentary collection for refilling, Complimentary delivery. Development Managers readily available for a courtesy meeting at your location. Email: m.shareef@almoayedgeneral.com Contact: Mahboob Shareef Mobile: 3964-4222 BMC BBBF members and Organisations are eligible to a 20% discount on Team/Executive/Board Coaching and accredited Leadership/ Innovation/Business English/Coach Training as well as 10% discount on psychometric profiling. Contact:- Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy (Managing Director), Mobile: 3844-2727, email: office@beckett-mcinroy.com British Airways Valid until 31 Dec 2018 ** conditions apply BBBF members can enjoy exclusive discounts of up to 10% on fares from Middle East in Club World business, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy fares on British Airways flights. The discount rate is applicable to round or one-way trips booked before 31 December 2018 and for outbound travel by 31 December 2019. This discount is not valid on taxes, fees and surcharges. Terms and conditions apply To book please login at www.ba.com/bgme-bh GRIP Arabia 10% discount for members on 1-on-1 Executive Coaching, Contact: Kevin Craig Tel: 3619-9980 Email: kevin@griparabia.com Crowne Plaza Hotel valid until 30th December 2018 Special offer for BBBF Members - 20% discount on all Food & Beverage consumption. BBBF Membership Card must be presented at checkout. May not be combined with other offers/discounts. Call 1753-1122 (offer excludes MICE) 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. Tel: 1736-4100 www.dhl.com.bh Fedex Express Middle East Valid until December 31, 2018 BBBF Members can enjoy a 40% discount* on FedEx rates. To avail this offer, Drop your shipment in-person at our FedEx Service Center at: GLS Facility, Avenue No.20, Area No. 224, Gate 23, Muharraq. Show your membership card / business card along with a valid ID. Maximum weight for each shipment 68kg See www.fedex.com/bh or call Customer Service: 1733 4448 * conditions apply

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Gulf Computer Services (GCS) IT Health Check. GCS have offered BBBF Members a site survey and assessment of all their computer hardware, software and systems. Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772-8144 email: karim@karimmansouri.com InTouch Integrated Chiropractic Spine Centre BBBF Members can avail themselves of a 20% discount on services Tel: 1769-0100 Novotel Bahrain Al Dana Resort BBBF members can enjoy 20% discount in our Restaurants & Lounge for up to 6 persons. Special CPR promotional rates during weekends. Please contact Reservations: 1729-8411/ email: H3600-RE1@accor.com Oasis Training Centre Oasis Training are pleased to offer 10% discount to members on all English, Insurance and Professional Soft skill training programs. For more information please visit http://www.oasistrainingbh.com, Call: 1733-0823 or email: info@oasistrainingbh.com PRIME Instant Offices & Business Centre 1. 10% off Videoconferences within Business Centre hours; 2. 10 off our Visa Processing services; and 3. One month free for all our Virtual Office packages. 4. 10% off our meeting room rates within centre hours. Contact Emma Curtis-Smith, Centre Manager Tel: 1757-0379 email: emma@primeinstantoffices.com Protection Insurance Services 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 Royal Over-Seas League Reduced rates for BBBF members at ROSL clubhouses in London and Edinburgh Email: membership@rosl.org.uk Tel: 0044 20 7408 0214 Fax: 0044 20 7499 6738 Servcorp Business Package First month FREE on any Servcorp Virtual Office package. For details contact: Danni Hunneyball, Assistant Manager Tel: 1750-3000 email: danni.hunneyball@servcorp.me 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: bbbfmemberships@batelco.com.bh. For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, Web site: www.bbbforum.org

Cost of membership Individual Membership: BD 100 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 5000 each year for three years Gold: BD 5000 for one year Silver: BD 3000 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

Individual Membership

Company Name

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

Facsimile

Home telephone

Mobile

E-mail address

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.

Date

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From Her Majesty's Ambassador It is wonderful to see the onset of spring everywhere. As I write, I have just returned from experiencing the currently extremely cold climes that the United Kingdom is experiencing so it was lovely to return to feel the warmth of the sun. As well as the change in weather, a another sign of the seasons changing – was being able to witness the start of The Kingdom of Bahrain’s tremendous ‘Spring of Culture’ festival with its launch at Qalat al Bahrain.

partners across a range of regional issues. This important event always helps to keep the UK firmly in play as Bahrain’s partner of choice as well as providing a solid platform to promote our wider bilateral agenda. This will be wonderfully demonstrated by the commissioning of HMS Jufair, the first major British Naval Facility east of Suez since 1971, which will heavily contribute to security in the region and is a key part of the UK’s Gulf Strategy.

Writing this foreword always gives me, not only an opportunity to look forward but also to look back on some of what has been achieved. In the last edition I said that there was “plenty more to come”, here is some of the high points. In November, Sophie and I were honoured to host an afternoon tea for the visiting Chelsea pensioners. I know that some of you were also with us and I am sure you will agree that it is always inspiring to hear the stories and memories of Bahrain from these colourful, yet humble individuals. December was once again time for the Manama dialogue an opportunity for a very senior UK delegation, led by our friend the Rt. Hon Mr Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for the Middle East and the UK Secretary of State for Defence, to engage with regional and international

I attended a fascinating panel discussion event “Pioneering Bahraini Women in Science & Engineering” aimed at inspiring and promoting more Women into, what we call STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We have been working closely with our British Council colleagues on the Gulf Science Innovation and Knowledge Economy Programme (GSIKE) as part of the UK Government’s strategy to support long term relationships between academia in the UK and the Gulf Continuing on the theme of education I am working closely with the University of Salford who plan to open a campus in Bahrain which will go by the name of the

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British University of Bahrain – the first British University to have a physical footprint in Bahrain, offering courses in engineering, computer science and business, and hoping to accept students for September 2018. January brought with it, not only a New Year, but Mohamed Ismail, our new Head of DIT and member of the BBBF Executive Committee. Mohamed has years of experience in the Gulf market split between developing Canadian franchises and supporting Scandinavian companies with commercial outcomes in various sectors. He is eager to support British companies achieve commercial outcomes and increased business collaboration in Bahrain. Looking ahead a little further to elections later this year we are delighted that the Westminster Foundation for Democracy have not only been providing training and support to the Bahraini Parliament, but working with the Young Pioneer Society which resulted in a sponsored visit to England and Scotland to understand more about UK democracy and parliamentary structures. More great examples of how the UK is working to support Bahrain in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of Government performance as part of their reform programme. As testament to our strong bonds of friendship, I was delighted to attend the reception organised by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa celebrating the Scottish community’s contribution to Bahrain’s economy and development. Few people know despite the southern accent I am proud to claim in my blood to be at least half Scottish myself!

Euromoney Conference was keynoted by a discussion and subsequent Q&A with the former Governor of the Bank of England Lord Mervyn King who shared his deep knowledge and experience on macroeconomics and the future of financial services – Fintech bay launched as the continued commitment to making Bahrain the leading fintech hub in the region and continuing to foster an environment that encourages the creation and growth of financial technology. We are excited about the potential for British companies to increasingly play a part in the growth of this hub and the sector as a whole. Being H.M. Ambassador also brings lighter-hearted moments with it. Sophie and I were recently asked to judge a sandcastle competition in which the participants were 55 fine young ladies who make up some of the Rainbow, Brownie and Guide groups in Bahrain. We took our duties very seriously and spent an amazing 2 hours with the group, marvelling at their creativity. The event was held to celebrate World Thinking Day, a day of International Friendship. Something we are all working towards whether we are children, Governments or business. I started by talking about the wonderful cultural celebrations that take place here, I will finish by looking forward to the wonderful commercial opportunities that continue to present themselves in the Kingdom. Please let me or my team know if we can help in enabling those opportunities in any way. Simon Martin H. M. Ambassador

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SIG - Update I would like to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to the members who have voluntarily given up their time to head the Special Interest Groups. Whilst clearly believing in the value of our organisation and the positive impact it is having in Bahrain, they are all busy people in their respective business and personal lives and their contribution to growing and developing the SIGs is vital to the work we do, not to mention the extremely high regard within which the BBBF is held. Banking and Finance is proving to have the widest of remits and we may need to consider a better segmentation for this group. In December they hosted “VAT – your questions answered”, in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and on the panel, we were delighted to welcome KPMG, E&Y, Keypoint, BDO Jawad Habib and KSi who made up our panel of experts. With a diverse range of experience, their representatives were able to provide comprehensive answers to the whole gamma of concerns and issues being faced by companies preparing for the implementation of VAT. This SIG was represented at the official launch of FinTech Bay in partnership with the Economic Development Board. Over 500 people attended for the start of this initiative in the fantastic atrium of the Arcapita building following two days of the Euromoney Conference, hosted again here in Bahrain. Our co-operation with the EDB continued in March with some members joining a delegation to the Innovative Finance Summit, held in London’s Guildhall where we equally reached out to UK based companies to learn more about what Bahrain has to offer the established finance industry and “disruptors”.

talking with C5 on ways in which we can support new start-ups, incubators, and young entrepreneurs and bring UK talent to the market. In addition, the SIG’s head Ravi Jayasundera presented a talk on Cyber Safety in March to a clearly very nervous audience! There is a growing realisation of how every interaction we have online, through our computers, tablets and smart phones is putting our identities and data at risk. This session whilst highlighting these dangers also provided a raft of actions and suggestions for prevention and recovery in such an event. The session also welcomed a highly personal and emotional recounting of the experience of identity theft, from Gulf Weekly’s own Mai Al-Khatib Camille. We thank her for her candor and bravery. From our Legal SIG, we had a very interesting session on the process and legal frameworks for Start Up businesses, the unique challenges they face and the flexibility that is being provided by Bahrain. An inquisitive audience made full use of another excellent panel comprising of the EDB, Intellectual Resources Management, Brinc, C5 and so ably moderated by Aamal Al Abbasi from Newton legal. Thank you to them for doing such a great job in their first year heading up this group. Projects & Construction brought in Twintech to explain the very latest developments in Concrete Floor Innovations and the Society of Construction Lawyers invited us to join their briefing on Unabsorbed Costs in projects. Thank you to Simon Baines from Al Hamdan Consulting for taking the lead on the former and Paula Boast of CRS for facilitating the latter.

We greatly look forward to hosting the Chief Economist of HSBC in April for what I am sure will be a highly popular event; please note this for your diary (23rd April).

Notably, we have now launched our new Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism SIG and were greatly honoured to have HE Sheikh Khaled Bin Humood Al Khalifa, CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority as speaker for this event at The Westin Hotel.

Moving on to ICT, they have been

A large turnout was impressed and

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Mark Gravener SIG Chair

encouraged by the presentation we received and the material progress being made in these vital sectors for Bahrain’s economy, but were also deeply appreciative of the generous time extended to us by Sheikh Khaled in answering so many questions. The HLT SIG, headed up competently and enthusiastically by Anna Marie Dowling and Rodney Davies has received some very useful feedback from our questionnaire to the membership and will be hosting the next event later in April. Also in April, we have the next event from our Oil, Gas and Energy SIG with a visiting guest from BEST (British Energy Saving Technology) showcasing digital technology for the home and business that can enable you to monitor your consumption accurately and make better decisions to reduce your expenditure on electricity (10th April). Projects & Construction will be delivering a session on the latest changes in FIDIC contracts, sponsored by CRS this will be on 12th April. So as you can see, we have been busy and have much more already committed in the diary. We always welcome your suggestions and requests, please keep them coming. It truly does help us to guide the SIG heads in what is most valuable to our members. Thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you to future events and activities. Remember many of the topics we cover, have broad appeal and are not always specific to the companies operating in these fields.


SIG - Oil, Gas & Energy The Special Interest Group (SIG) for Oil, Gas & Energy was created in 2015 to facilitate networking and exchange of information in terms of industry practices, technologies and key projects amongst industry professionals. Within the Kingdom of Bahrain we are gearing up for important infrastructure implementation as sources for alternative power supply in the Solar space with the construction of a 100 MW plant as well as initiatives utilizing Waste and Water. These initiatives will deliver cost effective change both industrially and residentially with focus on ‘closed loop systems’. The SIG has held important meetings over the last few months, with the first being a joint presentation with the SIG for Construction, which looked at innovative technologies for Steel Fibre Concrete and Concrete Floor. The Key Note speaker for this SIG was Tom Menary, with over 40 years’ experience in the Construction industry. The second meeting for SIG Oil Gas

Sponsored by

and Energy will be led by Guest Speaker, Troy Wrigley, Co-Founder & CEO of British Energy Saving Te c h n o l o g y (BEST). Troy Simon Bromyard is a veteran of BBBF Oil, the UK Energy Gas & Energy Conservation SIG Chairman Industry, with over 20 years’ experience in both in the UK and international markets. This presentation is likely to be of interest to many and in particular those in and around Green Building and LEED initiatives and the reduction of carbon footprints. If you are interested in contributing to this SIG in any way, please contact Mr. Simon Bromyard, Projects Director; sbromyard@oakbh.com

SIG Heads as at February 2018 SIG Chair - Mark Gravener Banking & Finance -Arshad Gadit, David Parker, Melika Betley Projects & Construction Emyr Rowlands, Simon Baines, Gary Laing Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism Rodney Davis, Anna Marie Dowling ICT Ravi Jayasundera, Mike Jackson Legal Aamal Al Abassi, Nicholas Williams Sumana Abdulkarim, Oil, Energy & Gas Simon Bromyard Organisational Effectiveness Mike Orlov Women in Business Georgina Munnik, Emila Mateva Young Professionals Ava Garbutt, Daniel Edwin

BBBF Events

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SIG - ICT The ICT SIG meeting held in March had Cyber-Safety as its topic. Ravi Jayasundera and Mai Al Khatib-Camille were the keynote speakers addressing matters such as practical guidelines for individuals and families.

of topics from current affairs to fashion. Mai is also a much sought after master of ceremonies and is regularly featured on fashion shoots and modelling assignments. Mai had first-hand experience in identity theft and cyber stalking and successfully recovered from the incident. Now she spends time on raising awareness about cyber safety. You can follow Mai on her Instagram@mai_gone_wild

Mai Al-Khatib-Camile is the Chief Reporter of Gulf Weekly, the leading weekly newspaper in the Kingdom of Bahrain. She reports on a range

IT and the Internet has become an integral part of our life. Whether it is the use of IT systems at the workplace, or use of social media or other tools at a personal level, our dependence on IT has grown over the years. Increased usage of IT has exposed us to a multitude of challenges as well.

Mike Jackson Joint SIG Chair

Ravi Jayasundera Joint SIG Chair

These include identify theft, credit card fraud, hacking of personal devices, cyber bullying, etc. There is a growing trend of cyber attacks on individuals. Understanding the associated risks and taking precautions can avert situations which can threaten individuals and families.

With security in mind, new BBBF member Jack Kilavuz from Marsh PRC has submitted the following blog discussing corporate risk.

Cyber-attacks Against Critical Infrastructure– Know Your Risk Recent reports of a cyber-attack that has affected systems within a critical infrastructure facility have raised concerns regarding cyber risks and their possible impact. The attack, thought to have been nation-state sponsored, used malware against the critical safety systems for industrial control units of an organisation in the Middle East.

essential and key systems, this opens it up to new vulnerabilities from cyberattacks. An attack on systems such as these has the potential to cause: •

Business interruption: as a result of forced emergency shut down where there was no emergency

This type of cyber breach marks the first of its kind against a safety control system. By compromising the safety system of the industry control unit, hackers could shut down parts of a plant in advance and could potentially stop operators from identifying and stopping destructive cyber-attacks.

•

Property damage: Attacks against systems have the potential to cause physical damage if an emergency shut down system becomes disabled and is not triggered. It could also result injury to employees.

Critical infrastructure facilities, manufacturing plants, and utilities organiszations are increasingly becoming targets for hackers. For example, the Shamoon virus in 2012 and Shamoon 2 in 2017, a data wiping malware that swept across public entities, government organisations, and large oil and gas facilities, resulted in severe system outages and damage to hardware. The impact from recent attacks could be similar.

•

As critical infrastructure relies increasingly on technology to monitor 12 Forum

Reputational impact: Public awareness of your systems having being compromised, including press coverage, can be damaging to your organisation’s reputation.

If systems are infected with malware, you may not become immediately aware the issue exists, meaning it could be infected for months before interruption occurs, or the attackers could exploit large amounts of data before the organisation can take steps to halt the attack.

Have You Taken Steps to Protect Your Organisation? Taking recent examples into consideration, organisations should take steps now to protect themselves against the impact an attack could have. • Be prepared for a similar attack: And know that you may not immediately be aware that your systems have been infected. •

Conduct a risk management assessment: Know which systems are interconnected, the exposures a facility has, and the impact if an outage occurs.

•

Review your insurance: Make sure you know whether your policy would compensate a cyber breach and pay close attention to exclusions; they may not cover for physical damage.

The more critical infrastructure providers, manufacturing plants, and utilities organisations implements new, interconnected technology, the more important assessing and mitigating the impact of an attack becomes.


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Financial Sector

Introduction of VAT in Bahrain and other GCC Countries BBBF Member Jawad Rasromani answers some of the questions you might have Ø

Jawad Rasromani info@rsm.bh

When will VAT be implemented? If you are not a VAT registered business then you cannot reclaim the VAT you pay when you purchase goods and services.

The Gulf Cooperation Council has released the GCC VAT Framework agreement in May 2017. Member states are expected to pass their individual laws relating to VAT by beginning of 2018.

Has Bahrain issued the detailed VAT Law and regulation

Ø UAE and KSA have started implementing VAT in their countries in Jan 2018, where the other GCC countries (i.e. Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain) are expected to start implementing VAT in 2019.

Bahrain has not yet issued its local VAT Law, it is expected to be issued some time during this year 2018. What are the key commercial impacts of implementing VAT in an organisation?

Ø Ø

Is there a threshold turnover at which companies must register for VAT?

• • • • • • • • • • •

The limit for compulsory registration for taxation is expected to be USD100,000 or its equivalent in the Member State’s currency. Ø

Are there any VAT exemptions / Zero% rate on some economic activities? The following business activities are not subject to VAT: • Educational activities; Health activities; local Transport • Sale or lease of residential property. • Working as a salaried employee in an organisation is not an economic activity therefore it is subject to Zero% tax. • Supply of Gold, Silver and Platinum for investment purposes will be subject to Zero Tax Rate • The place of supply of gas, oil, and water through the distribution grid of pipelines and the supply of electricity to a non-trader person subject to tax is the actual place of consumption.

Ø

Could there be different rates for different products /services activities? At the initial stage, VAT will be charged at 5% on all services and goods purchased. VAT can also be zero rated (charged at 0%) for certain businesses activities. Detail is not available yet.

Ø

What is the difference between VAT Registered Businesses and Unregistered Businesses If you are a VAT-registered business, in most cases you charge VAT on the goods and/or services you supply or provide.

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Pricing Policy Educating customers Invoicing – inclusive or exclusive of VAT Deal with existing contracts Cut-off procedures Review your Information Systems Inventory as at 31st December 2018 Awareness within the organisation Identify the inputs and assess VAT implications Maintenance and retention of records Identify intercompany transactions

Ø

How RSM can assist with the implementation of VAT at your business?

(A)

Phase (1) Impact Assessment study which covers: ü ü ü ü ü ü

(B) ü ü ü ü ü (C) ü ü ü ü

Identify taxability on inputs and outputs Review contracts Identify taxability on inputs and outputs Review contracts Review information systems Assess training needs Phase (2) Implementation Set up VAT policies and procedures Advise on the system and reports to be generated Testing of the VAT IT system Staff training VAT filing Phase (3) Support Ensure VAT compliance and efficiency Monitor new developments Ensure that VAT books are well maintained for audits Ongoing training of staff


Are you ready?

ready well before the deadline (potentially as early as 1 October 2018)?

At the GCC Financial Forum in Bahrain on Wednesday 20 February 2018, H.E. Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Finance, confirmed that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is working towards finalising the legislation, systems and processes required to implement VAT with the aim of having everything in place before the end of 2018 – “this is part of the joint commitment to the GCC states and in line with the unified agreement”. VAT went live in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as planned, on 1 January 2018. For many businesses in both countries who were hoping that VAT would be delayed, it was a scramble to get ready. Many of these businesses are still struggling to properly implement VAT as they face the stark reality of lodging their first VAT return. Have you started planning for VAT implementation? If not, are you delaying the planning process because you still think VAT will not be introduced in Bahrain? Are you hoping that the introduction of VAT in Bahrain will be delayed beyond the end of 2018? Even if this was the case - in the face of all evidence and categorical statements by government ministers - do you really believe that VAT is not going to be introduced? If not, what is stopping you from at least starting the planning process for VAT implementation? Do you know how long it will take for your business to get ready? The lesson learnt from Saudi Arabia and the UAE is that most businesses will need four to six months to get ready for VAT. Larger, more complicated businesses need more time - six to twelve months. How long will your IT function need to make critical IT system changes? Wouldn’t you rather be

If you are hoping the tax authority will provide leeway to a business who has known about the introduction of VAT but has done nothing - or has waited until it’s too late to meet the deadline - the lesson learnt from Saudi Arabia and the UAE is that tax authorities take a strict Mubeen Khadir approach to compliance with the VAT law Keypoint and regulations and there will be little, if any, leeway for businesses. The UAE published its VAT law roughly five months before VAT’s introduction and its final VAT implementing regulations on 28 November 2017, leaving very little time for those businesses that decided to wait till the regulations were released. With VAT already introduced in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, businesses in Bahrain do not need to wait for Bahrain’s VAT law and regulations to start preparations. Bahrain’s VAT law is unlikely to differ significantly from the legislation Saudi Arabia and the UAE have already introduced. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been publishing guides, clarifications and running information sessions on their VAT laws and regulations. Bahrain has second mover advantage! We have completed VAT implementations for over 50 businesses in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We have been working on VAT implementation with a number of businesses in Bahrain since mid-2017. We don’t have a crystal ball but we can safely say that VAT in Bahrain is a reality - so we strongly recommend you start planning for VAT in Bahrain if you have not already done so!

Bahrain will introduce VAT in October 2018

H.E. Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance

A statement from the Minister of Finance in January revealed that the Kingdom of Bahrain will be officially implementing VAT in in early October of this year. A 5% VAT will be implemented on many types of goods and services in the Kingdom.However, health sector, education and transportation will be exempted from VAT.

VAT will be imposed on the following sectors: Telecommunications Water and electricity Traffic and licensing department, Real estate Construction and oil, (fuels, including gasoline, diesel, electricity, and gas) Modern Cars from the agencies Car rentals Luxury goods Mobile phones Clothes and watches Restaurants Movement of sales and purchase in the markets Tax will also be imposed on companies whose annual profits are upto 40 thousand dinars and more per annum and tax rate would be calculated accordingly. The Ministry of Finance also

said that a tax collection system will be established in the Kingdom of Bahrain and companies with an annual income of US $ 100,000 should be required to register their company. According to some economic studies, the Kingdom of Bahrain will benefit BD500 million from the state treasury, selective tax of BD60 million and income tax of BD750 million from companies, i.e. a total revenue up to BD1.3 Billion within one year. The revenues from VAT will be used for the establishment of a high network of infrastructure, including construction of roads, streets, and bridges. VAT will also contribute in the improvement of transport and communications, construction of hospitals, educational facilities and other services of the country. Forum 15


Financial Sector

Julius Baer Next Generation investment philosophy Chinese tourism – a key growth driver of global tourism three years, according to iResearch1. After significant consolidation in the Chinese OTA industry over the last few years, Ctrip.com International Ltd. now holds an estimated 80% share of China’s online travel market and may expand its presence further in lowertier cities.

The Next Generation investment philosophy at Julius Baer is a thematic investing approach with a focus on long-term structural growth which allows us to harness the power of megatrends. By identifying companies with a competitive advantage in markets undergoing structural changes we can deliver superior investment returns. As part of our Arising Asia investment theme*, we have identified Chinese tourism as the key growth driver of global tourism. In this article we revisit the different strands of Chinese tourism and recent developments therein. China continues to lead global tourism in terms of outbound travel volume and spending, thanks to rising disposable incomes and improving infrastructure. Its outbound travellers reached a record of 135 million in 2016, with 72 million pursuing destinations other than Hong Kong and Macau. We expect Chinese outbound trips to reach 260 million by 2025, implying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% for the 2016–2025 period. Following ten years of double-digit growth in spending, annual expenditure by Chinese travellers grew by 12% in local-currency terms last year, to reach USD 261 billion. This is more than double the spending of second-ranked US outbound tourists. 16 Forum

Compared with the Chinese tourists of the past, who skimped on accommodation and focused on shopping, today’s Chinese would rather spend more time and money on experiences. They pursue highquality tours, good accommodation, eating well, fun and thrills, and spend more time exploring landmarks and attractions. Over 40% of Chinese outbound tourists still travel in groups organised by travel agencies. This is mainly because many are travelling abroad for the first time, fearing language barriers and other hurdles. Airports and airlines, a direct play on the theme Air travel in China has increased dramatically since the start of the 21st century. In 2000, the total number of air passengers carried amounted to 62 million; in 2016, this number had increased to 488 million, representing a CAGR of 13.8% from 2000 to 2016. Yet China had just 0.30 airline trips per capita in 2015, which implies much room to grow, as this comes in well below readings of 2.50 in the US or 0.90 in Japan. Led by millennial consumers’ uptake of online travel booking, the Chinese online travel market could increase by more than 20% annually in the next

Top Asian hospitals have set up special international desks and services to assist overseas patients with everything from doctor appointments to accommodation. Treatment in these hospitals can be as much as 60%–70% cheaper in Asia compared to average domestic prices in western countries and may also involve less waiting time; hospitals also tend to be equipped with the latest medical technology available. Asian medical tourism is not only attractive for western patients, but equally for mainland Chinese. Outbound Chinese medical tourism is starting to emerge as a large market. Investment conclusion Thanks to rising disposable incomes, improving infrastructure and a desire to explore, Chinese domestic and outbound tourism is expected to rise at high single-digit to low double-digit rates over the next decade. We favour regional airlines and airport operators with a strong exposure to Chinese tourism, as well as regional hotel operators located in the most visited areas of Asia (including Thailand, Malaysia and Japan). Both medical tourism and online travel are expected to grow over 20% per annum for the next three years. As 90% of Chinese outbound tourists visit duty-free shops (DFSs) at some point on their overseas trips, we see another reason to like airport operators, as they earn revenue from DFSs operating on their premises. * Find out more about Next Generation on the Julius Baer website.

By Jiazhi Chen Seiler and Alberto Perucchini, Julius Baer


Be professional in your business, take advice. Should you selfdiagnose using google, or see a doctor? That seems a ridiculous question. However, businesses are not following the same logic. The majority of businesses in Bahrain do not use Insurance brokers. Instead they go direct to Insurance companies, which is akin to going straight to the pharmaceutical company and ordering drugs after self-diagnosis. An insurance broker can save you time, money and worry. Just like an accountant or lawyer who provides you with professional advice, based on years of training and experience, a qualified broker can do the same with your insurance. Insurance can be incredibly complicated to fully understand, and an insurance broker can help you understand the details of a policy and also work out what level of cover you need so that you are properly protected.

Using a broker doesnÂ’t necessarily cost more. Often it costs less because brokers have knowledge of the insurance market and the ability to negotiate competitive premiums on your behalf. In addition, because insurance brokers deal with a range of insurance companies directly, sometimes they can access policies that are not available to most consumers. If the worst happens and you do have to make a claim, a broker will act on your behalf, liaising with the insurance company to negotiate the best possible outcome. Here are some items to review: Group health care: Health cover is a key factor in an employeeÂ’s decision to come on board and stay. Health care is an area undergoing rapid, innovative change. There are ways to control costs. Does your coverage meet your needs? Are you aware of all the options available to you as a company, especially the recent developments designed to maintain quality health care services while

controlling costs? Group pensions: Providing pensions for employees can be a very cost effective way to recruit and retain high quality employees. However, to make the most of this, advice is required to navigate the complex options. Key executive cover: If you donÂ’t have key person coverage on your most valuable people, you ought to at least explore its advantages. If you, a partner, or a key employee died or become disabled, the loss to the company could be devastating to your business. Business continuation; business interruption insurance and property cover: a fire, vandal, or storm can wipe out your business in minutes. If your facilities were destroyed, would your business be able to recover? Succession planning; This type of plan helps ensure that your family is appropriately compensated for the business if anything

John Sharp BSc (Hons), Dip PFS, Certs CII (MP & ER) john.sharp@nexusadvice.com

John has been advising clients on pensions and investments for over 20 years in the UK and Jersey in the Channel Islands and has recently relocated to Bahrain. In Jersey, John worked for HSBC International giving cross-border investment advice to clients of 58 n a t i o n a l i t i e s a c ro s s 71 countries. Prior to HSBC he specialised in pension advice for the Prudential, having previously worked as both an Independent Financial Adviser and for several blue chip pension and investment companies. happens to you, by providing the money for partners to buy your share of the company from them. Professional liability insurance: Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, covers a business against negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform. There is no one-size-fits-all policy for professional liability insurance. Each industry has its own set of concerns that will be addressed in a customised policy written for a business. Forum 17


Financial Sector

Why is Financial Planning Important? Life insurance, although increasingly recognised as a key financial planning tool worldwide, may not be the most exciting topic in the world. We do not simply wake up one day with a need to plan for our retirement or our child’s education. We tend to worry about insurance mainly when our car insurance comes around for renewal, or our medical insurance card has expired and we fall ill. However, life insurance and protection plans could help achieve our life goals rather than leaving things to chance. The majority of us plan to retire to a comfortable lifestyle coupled with certain luxuries. We also plan for our children to have the best possible education with the aim of seeing them graduate from top ranking universities. For most of us, these life goals can only be affordable through financial planning. However, the concept of financial planning and protection is relatively foreign in the Gulf region, which leads to lack of awareness and interest amongst people unaccustomed to the idea of saving for the future and financially protecting their loved ones. Al Hilal Takaful is a wholly owned subsidiary of Al Hilal Life (a wholly owned insurance company by Ahli United Bank B.S.C.), and focuses on Family Takaful. The venture was formed in 2009 with a vision to be the first choice for protection and savings in the Middle East. Since Al Hilal Takaful’s formation, many customers have relied on us for financial protection and to help plan for their life goals. Many of these customers have realised the benefits of financial planning, particularly those who have lost their loved ones and have found an alternative source of financial support when they needed it the most. Although it is very difficult to deal with loss, the individual’s life goals such as their child’s education still remain viable and intact due to the benefits of our financial planning products.

Financial Planning Tips These are some useful tips for someone who is new to the concept of financial planning: 1) BE S PECIFIC: Specifying your financial goals is vital to financial planning. You must decide which goals to pursue. Your financial goals can range from spending all of your current income, to developing a savings and investment program for your future financial security. You should periodically analyze your financial values and goals. This involves identifying how much you can afford to save compared to your income and liabilities. The purpose of this analysis is to differentiate your needs from your wants and help you identify your competency to contribute to your goals. An example of this analysis can be completed in the following table.

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2) HAVE AN ACTION PLAN: You will need to develop an action plan. This requires choosing ways to achieve your life goals. To implement your financial plan, you may require assistance from experts in the field. For example, you may use the services of a Financial Planner by purchasing a saving, education, flexible or retirement plan. 3) CONTINUOUSLY REVIEW: When life events affect your financial needs, this financial planning process will provide a vehicle for adapting to those changes. Regularly reviewing this decision-making process will help you make priority adjustments that will bring your financial goals and activities in line with your current life situation. Changing personal, social, and economic conditions will require that you continually supplement and update your knowledge. Financial planning for the future is of vital importance to all members of the society. Sooner or later each individual will most probably become one of the main sources of income for their families, and if that situation changes for the worse for whatever reason it may be, the negative effect of it will not be limited to the individual only but will affect all dependents as well. Should you wish for a financial planning review for yourself, please feel free to contact us on +973 1711 6510 or email info@alhilal.life to set up an appointment with one of our Financial Planners. For more information about financial planning, please visit any Ahli United Branch in Bahrain to collect brochures, or visit our website on www.alhilal.life


Saudi Arabia’s central bank signs blockchain deal with Ripple Accordng to Wikipedia, Ripple is a real-time gross settlement Saudi Arabia’s central bank has signed a deal with U.S. based Ripple to help banks in the Kingdom settle payments using blockchain software, as Gulf regulators begin to explore new forms of financial technology. The pilot program is the first of its kind to be launched by a central bank, allowing banks in Saudi Arabia to use Ripple’s software to instantly settle payments sent into and out of the country. “This will allow Saudi banks to make faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border transactions,” Ripple said, adding that the central bank would provide training to Saudi banks interested in the programme. Most regulators in the Gulf initially expressed scepticism about fintech and last year the Saudi central bank warned citizens against trading bitcoin because it was outside the bank’s regulatory reach. But Bahrain, keen to boost its role as a regional financial centre, has been exploring the use of digital currencies and in the last few months, regulators in some larger Gulf economies have followed suit. The Saudi central bank is reported as working with the United Arab Emirates central bank to issue a digital currency that would be accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries. Earlier this year, the regulator of Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre said it might create rules for exchanges handling virtual currencies.

system (RTGS), currency exchange and remittance network created by the Ripple company. Also called the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP) or Ripple protocol, it is built upon a distributed open source internet protocol, consensus ledger and native cryptocurrency abbreviated as XRP (ripples). Released in 2012, Ripple purports to enable “secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks.” It supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value such as frequent flier miles or mobile minutes. At its core, Ripple is based around a shared and public database or ledger, which uses a consensus process that allows for payments, exchanges and remittance in a distributed process. The network can operate without the Ripple company. Among its validators are companies, internet service providers, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Used by companies such as UniCredit, UBS and Santander, Ripple has been increasingly adopted by banks and payment networks as settlement infrastructure technology, with American Banker explaining that “from banks’ perspective, distributed ledgers like the Ripple system have a number of advantages over cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.” As of the first week of March 2018, XRP is the third largest coin by market capitalization.

Forum 19


News from the Eastern Province construction projects and also in defence. In construction the Kingdom already has significant projects running. Whilst the majority are single location projects, the majority being in the central and western areas, an announcement is apparently expected in the coming months regarding a major home building initiative across the Kingdom. Gary Hawkings Chairman, BBA(EP) With the first BBA (EP) update we wish a (belated) happy new year to all of our colleagues at the BBBF. Business developments in Saudi Arabia continue apace however possibly the most significant news at this time is the imminent visit to the UK of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. There can be no doubt that the Crown Prince is the driving force behind the Kingdoms move to modernize the Kingdom, and has been personally involved in decisions such as allowing women to drive from July 1st and the re introduction of public cinemas. His visit to the UK from 7-9 March, is widely expected to generate significant business opportunities, especially in engineering and

Saudi Snippets Saudi women will soon be able to drive. Will they be able to fly, too? It’s been less than four months since women in Saudi Arabia were told they would finally be allowed to drive. Now they also want the chance to fly. Eqbal Darandari, a female 20 Forum

Of significant concern to contractors and to expatriate workers are the ongoing increases in the costs associated with expatriate employees. The increases have already been ongoing for 2 years and by the time we reach 2020, these costs are expected to have increased 10 fold over approximately a 4 year period. The Kingdoms domestic unemployment currently stands at over 12.5%, and with almost 70% of the population being under 30, employing people has become a key issue. On the plus side, oil prices have continued to rise slowly over the last 6 months and now hover slightly over US$60 per barrel. Demand remains strong in spite of significant production increase by non OPEC member of the Saudi Shura Council, is reported as saying that allowing women into aviation would be an important step in realising the Kingdom’s goal to increase women’sparticipation in the workforce from 22% to 30%. “We’ve seen Saudi women piloting aircraft outside the Kingdom; now it’s time for the Saudi aviation authority to take the initiative,” she said. “Saudi women deserve to find work in their own country”

The British Business Association (BBA) - Eastern Province Tel: 0580 102 207 Email: secretary@bbaep.org Website: www.bbaep.org members, including the US which has become the worlds largest producer. The economy in general appears to be settling down, however the introduction of VAT at 5% in January coupled with a significant cut in state subsidies is having an impact. Much investment has been made in non oil projects as the government seek ways to reduce the independence on oil revenues. It has reported that the economy is expected to grow by approximately 1.5% in 2018. The BBA(EP) has continued to face challenges following the loss of the long time Trade Officers residence, affectionately known as just 50A. Whilst other venues have been identified, there have been significant logistical issues which have limited opportunities to arrange gatherings. However new options have been clearly identified and with other changes being made it is hoped that we will

Saudi companies sign MOU Ukraine’s Antonov State Company, Taqnia Aeronautics, subsidiary of Saudi Technology Development and Investment Co (TAQNIA), and WAHAJ, an affiliate of SIPCHEM, have signed a three party Memorandum of Understating to manufacture the AN−132 aircraft. This agreement was signed during the Armed Forces

have yet another good year. In spite of the issues faced we managed to arrange a hugely successful Christmas function, which had one of largest attendances in many years of over 100 people. The AGM is currently being planned for 19th April, where a new committee will be voted in. This of course does not mean that all of the current committee will leave, as all members are eligible to stand for office. Indeed it is hoped that at least some of the current committee will stand again, thereby offering both stability and continuity. The BBA (EP) remains in good shape and I am confident that we can look forward to a continuation of the successes of the past few years. Warm wishes from the Eastern Province to all BBBF Forum readers. Kind regards, Gary Hawkings, Chairman BBA (EP) Exhibition for Diversity of Requirements and Capabilities held in Riyadh on February 25 March 3, 2018, Antnov’s press service reports. “This Memorandum follows Taqnia’s recent initiatives in forming an alliance to establish manufacturing, testing, and maintenance capabilities for the aircraft,” reads the report. “TAQNIA and WAHAJ will construct components and units according to the cooperation scheme.”


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Education & Training

British Council trains 50 Higher Education Researchers

British Council Bahrain in partnership with the Higher Education Council, provided training for 50 researchers working in 13 Higher Education institutions via conducting a series of “Researchers Connect” workshops. The workshops; which took place from 6 to 11 January 2018, focused on sharpening research writing and communication skills of researchers, faculty members and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines. Researchers Connect is a professional development training opportunity that focuses on enhancing the participants’ communication skills and writing research in order to improve participants’ ability to publish their research in scientific journals and their participation in international conferences effectively. Dr. Abdul Ghani Al Shuwaikh, the Secretary-General of the Higher Education Council welcomed participants stating that these workshops are in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for Scientific Research that was approved by the Higher Education Council, and that the strategy emphasises the need to build university research capacity by enhancing their research skills and their ability to publish scientific researches and papers. Furthermore, Dr. Al-Shuwaikh explained that this agreement is an extension of the fruitful cooperation between the Higher Education Council and the British Council as the Secretariat has already implemented a number of projects in cooperation with British entities such as the Academic Accreditation Project and the Professional Certificate of Academic Practice (PCAP). The workshops series focused on four of the Researcher Connect modules; Foundation, Abstract Writing, Academic Collaborations, and Persuasive Proposals. The workshops were an opportunity for participants to measure their experience and identify areas that need further development; which was addressed in the workshops via practical activities for each module. Mr. Richard Rooze, British Council Bahrain Director said, “We McLaren 720S Velocity are very pleased to be working with by the MSO Higher Education 22 Forum

Council to deliver ‘Researcher Connect’ training for 50 researchers here in Bahrain. One of the aims of the British Council is to help Bahrain develop international research capacity and links with institutions in the UK, and the workshops are designed to help academics to publish their research internationally and communicate it effectively at conferences overseas. The British Council has had a long and productive relationship with the HEC, working towards the shared goal of enhancing Bahrain’s Higher Education sector through international partnership and presence.” “The workshop was very beneficial and clearly reinforced concepts and ideas useful for research and researchers, as well as introduced new techniques” said Sara AlNajjar, one of the participants. She continued to say “The sessions were very practical. For example, one of the aspects that were covered is networking. This has given me motivation and new ideas of whom I can approach for new research opportunities.” Another participant, Abdulmonem Ali also commented “The workshop has been exceptional. The bit about Academic Collaboration was extremely helpful; it addressed some obstacles in terms of personality and how to overcome.” For more information, kindly contact Marwa Alawi, Projects Coordinator, on +973 39114620 or email: marwa.alawi@britishcouncil.org.bh


Construction News

SSH awarded CanalView construction supervision contract

SSH has commenced the construction supervision consultancy services of Naseej BSC’s CanalView mixed-use development, in Dilmunia, Bahrain. This follows the successful execution of lead design consultancy services by SSH. Piling has now started on the project, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place in late October attended by key officials from Naseej and SSH, among other strategic partners. CanalView is a mixed-use residential and retail development comprising four elegant residential towers with a twolevel retail and F&B podium, developed over 13,068 sqm. The luxurious property is within walking distance of Dilmunia Mall, and is close to Bahrain’s main arterial roads, social infrastructure and Bahrain International Airport.

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The fundamental design approach is to create an urban environment that takes full advantage of the development’s prime waterfront location within Dilmunia Island. The CanalView development offers canal-side living at its finest. The residences are set in beautifully landscaped gardens next to a sweeping canal-side promenade. Residents can also enjoy the benefits of an exclusive private club, incorporating a range of sporting and entertainment facilities. The spectacular 1.6 km canal with dual pedestrian access provides ideal spaces for retail and F&B amenities. CanalView residents will have access to a breathtaking public park via the canal footbridge next to the property. Other iconic installations include the waterfall footpath and fountain system.

The two-storey, stone-clad podium provides residents and visitors with a double-level public promenade and provides an attractive architectural solution to the gradient difference across the site. The recessed terrace level design also reduces the overall mass of the podium and creates a sense of human scale to the development. “As lead design consultant on CanalView, we are now excited to be taking this exceptional mixed-use development through its construction phase,” said Andrew Barwick, SSH Resident Director. “Our appointment as construction supervision consultant on this project demonstrates our commitment to Naseej as a client, but also gives us the opportunity to ensure the construction meets the developer’s expectations through successful timely and quality completion.”


Health Matters

Gulf Diabetes Specialist Center launches its new laser unit The Gulf Diabetes Specialist Center (GDSC) has announced the expansion of its Department of Ophthalmology with the launch of its new state-of-the-art SCHWIND AMARIS 750S LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusisl) unit. LASIK surgery, or vision correction, is a fast, effective, relatively risk-free way to say goodbye to glasses or contact lenses. LASIK can be a great alternative for people who enjoy active sports or find it uncomfortable to wear glasses or contact lenses or personal lifestyle reasons. Schwind Amaris 750S laser technology provides the ideal treatment of shortsightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, higher-order visual defects, and presbyopia. Very high ablation speed enables the eye specialist to complete the procedure in an extremely short period of time. The corneal tissue

is preserved and an exceptionally s m o o t h surface is achieved. The unique eye tracking system actively compensates for even the slightest eye movements. Schwind Amaris systems have proven reliable in thousands of applications and offer the leading technology for laser eye surgery. This is documented by excellent clinical results in numerous scientific publications. AMARIS technology has earned many national and international awards. The GDSCÂ’s modern Department of Ophthalmology is specialised in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical eye diseases. The fully equipped operating theater performs

surgeries ranging from sutureless cataract removal, refractive and corneal procedures to oculoplastics including Botox Dr Mezan Senjab. Consultant Opthalmologist and fillers. The Department complements the GDSCÂ’s services including a Diabetic Foot Unit, Departments of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Neurology and Cardiology, all supported by comprehensive radiology, pharmacy, and laboratory services.

Forum 25


Hotel & Leisure News

Renovation plans for the Gulf Hotel Convention & Spa The Gulf Hotel Convention & Spa is pleased to announce that we are geared-up to renovate our Gulf Convention Centre, taking it up to another fascinating level. This state of the art facility consisting of 33 venues, and over 4780 square meters will feature all new re-designed event venues and conference halls, enhanced with luxury while boasting natural charm and elegance. The works are expected to be completed by the first week of October 2018. We are excited about the renovation and look forward to a completely n e w c o n f e re n c e a n d w e d d i n g venue to offer to all our guests and clients. “The iconic Gulf Convention Centre is the best destination for any large event and conference as well as being a much desired venue for weddings. Not only will the new facility feature a stunning contemporary design we will also have state-of-the-art advanced technology that will complement the new Gulf Convention Centre.” said Mr. Fares Yactine, General Manager.

New Country Club Manager joins Royal Golf Club Team The Royal Golf Club is delighted to welcome new Country Club Manager Alastair Crombie to the team. Having moved to Bahrain three years ago, originally to represent the Bahrain Rugby Football Club, Alastair has spent the last two years working as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Joining us from England, Alastair graduated from the University of West England with a degree in Sports Studies specialising in sports conditioning, also with a focus on 26 Forum

M r. Ya c t i n e , a l s o s a i d “ t a k i n g centre-stage of the renovation is the installation of 5 digital, 4-metre wide, 3 metre high H.D Screens. These will run impressive high definition videos with high resolution images together with spectacular surround sounds. The new video wall screens will also provide cost effective visual themes and trans-formative opportunities for any event or conference. To further complement the state of the art technology our ballrooms and pre-

function foyers will be transformed with elegant interiors featuring artfully inspired and decorated crystal chandeliers, wood and marble finishes. The Gulf Hotels Convention & Spa is certainly delighted to introduce yet another new chapter in the successful story of our iconic and glamourous Gulf Convention Centre, added Mr. Fares Yactine. While we create new additions we will also be delivering great cuisine together with excellent service. nutrition, psychology, analysis and coaching. As country club manager he will be using this experience to continue the development of the club as a whole and especially within the gym area, where he has plenty of ideas regarding new classes and events. “I’m really excited to start my new role at the Royal Country Club. It’s a new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to getting into it. Adrian has done a great job in the last 10 months and has got the ball rolling with regards to developing the gym. I will be looking to keep building momentum and striving to build a gym with a good energy and atmosphere, that people enjoy working out in and being a member of.” For information about Royal Country Club membership options and daily passes, call +973 17 750777.


British Club Special Offer to BBBF Members The latest work to be completed is a rebranding of the Club’s main restaurant. The new restaurant is now an Indian themed restaurant “The Ruby Murray” with a vibrant new look and menu, featuring an extensive range of Indian dishes. Also included is an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining during the pleasanter winter months. Other great reasons to visit the British Club include the following: Once an application is accepted by the Executive Committee, a joining fee of BD50 is charged in addition to the membership fees, but the joining fee is refunded in the form of vouchers to be spent in any retail area of the Club. A great way for new members to sample the various outlets. The British Club in Mahooz has been the foremost club in Bahrain for expatriates since 1935 and over the last few years extensive renovation

projects have been carried out, including refurbishment of the Coffee shop, the swimming pool area and the outside gardens.

In addition the British Club is making a special offer to eligible BBBF members who are approved for membership – 20% off on membership fees, minimum payment period 12 months.

Sunday-Wednesday: 6pm - Midnight Thursday-Saturday: 1pm - Midnight Live musical performances from 8pm on Weekends ������������������������������������ �����������������������

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Hotel & Leisure News

Crowne Plaza completes its Room Renovation project in time for the F1

Manager, Intercontinental Regency and Mr. Gilles Nicolas, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Bahrain. The new guest rooms and suites boast a spacious layout. A sleek, new design complete with interactive 43” smart televisions, brand new beds and airy window sheers, giving the rooms a whole new look and feel that compliments the hotel’s prime location. In addition to these improvements, the hotel now has included stylish deluxe rooms that can cater to families and small groups.

Crowne Plaza Bahrain, one of the wellknown business hotels in the Kingdom, known for its rich history, great service and as a leading venue for meetings and events raises the bar for leisure and business as it wrapped up enhancements to 140 guestrooms in one of the hotel’s wing and the addition of its new Club lounge, completing its room refurbishment project. Perfectly timed just before the F1 period, the official launch of the newly renovated rooms of the North wing of Crowne Plaza Hotel Bahrain could not have been planned better.

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The hotel officially opened the doors to the newly renovated rooms of the North Wing on Sunday, 18th March, at 7.30 pm. H.E Shaikh Khalid Bin Humood Alkhalifa, CEO of Bahrain Authority for Tourism and Exhibitions, graced the occasion as the guest of Honour and was accompanied by Mr. Farouk Yousuf Almoayyed, Chairman of the Board, Mr. Garfield Jones, Chief Executive Officer of GHG (Gulf Hotels Group), Mr. Abdulla Al Awadhi, General Manager of the Bahrain Tourism Company B.S.C, Mr. Jan Ific, General

The hotel recognises the need of techsavvy travelers to connect in real time; thus, all guestrooms are equipped with complimentary in-room Wi-Fi access for more than one device, smart TV and a media hub to stay connected. “We are excited to welcome guests to our refreshed product as we continue to redefine true hospitality with a touch of Bahraini warmth,” said Mr. Gilles Nicolas, General Manager. Our brand new club lounge: Exclusive to our Club room and suite guests, the all-new Club Lounge has been designed with the concept of a new modern look expressing professionalism, efficiency and performance, as well as comfort, warmth and restoration.


Bahrain News

Khalid Mohammed Kanoo Named New Group Chairman of the Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo Group Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (Holdings) WLL (“YBA Kanoo Group”), one of the largest, independent familyowned multinational businesses in the Middle East, Has announced the appointment of its new Group Chairman, Mr Khalid Mohamed Kanoo. The Board of Directors in a joint statement said: “YBA Kanoo Group Board of Directors are grateful for the lessons taught by our late Group Chairman, Mr. Mubarak Kanoo. As a family, we strive to continue to build upon his legacy in making our company one of the most respected and largest family-owned businesses in the Middle East.” “Mr. Khalid Kanoo’s appointment is a clear reflection of the company’s future aspirations to be ready to take on our Vision 2020 program. Mr. Khalid M. Kanoo has been supporting the group in Bahrain, the GCC and globally for many years as a known and trusted leader both within the Group and the wider business community. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and dedication to the role and we know that his strong focus on compliance, transparency, governance and fairness will continue to serve our business well. We

couldn’t be happier with Mr. Khalid M. Kanoo taking the Chairmanship of our Board and helping our family, management and customers achieve continued success.”. The Board of Directors statement concluded. Commenting on the announcement, Mr Khalid Mohamed Kanoo, Chairman of YBA Kanoo Group stated: “I am honoured and humbled to take the torch and continue to grow and nurture our family and businesses through sustainable strategies and sound leadership. Succeeding great forefathers starting with the founder Haji Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo and down to generations of extraordinary leaders who led the way through more than 128 years of successful entrepreneurship is both an exciting challenge and responsibility and I look forward to working with everyone in our family, our communities and business partners to bring further growth and success”.

Bahrain Family Business Association. He is also a Board Member of several banks and investment houses, and chairs the Board of Trustees of the Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Award amongst many other leadership roles.

Mr. Khalid Mohammed Kanoo has a wealth of knowledge and experience, where he held many positions and executive roles within and outside the group, as well as in many boards of directors and government agencies. He is the founder and president of the

Mr Khalid is also a published author with two books, the first entitled “House of Kanoo” and the second “Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the future challenges of the chambers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.” He has written many articles on family businesses, lectured and arranged several conferences and seminars on this subject in several countries from within the region and beyond. Khalid Mohammed Kanoo is also a visual artist with many participations in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

New Head Professional joins Royal Golf Club

Ireland. Upon qualifying, he started work at The Address Montgomerie in Dubai where he successfully managed the Junior Development program as well as helping individual clients.

PGA Teaching Professionals, on growing the game of golf here”.

The Royal Golf Club is delighted to welcome new PGA Head Teaching Professional Ben Todd to the Academy team.

Ben continually strives to improve his teaching skills and knowledge of the golf swing to help students learn effectively and enjoy their golf.

Ben is from Bath in the United Kingdom and started playing golf at the age of 8 and he carried out his PGA training in

Ben commented “I’m delighted to be here in Bahrain and look forward to working with Marc and Zander, our two

Ben has begun his role by renewing the academy programmes starting with the golf lesson rates and packages followed by new initiatives and programmes that came into effect on February 1st 2018.

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MODA Mall expands its retail portfolio with new lifestyle experiences Bahrain’s luxury shopping destination, MODA Mall announced the leasing of 600 square meters of retail space with seven new outlets of lifestyle experiences added to its portfolio of mall offerings over the past year. This led to an increase of 3.4% in mall’s leased retail space in 2017, featuring a portfolio of fashion brands commanding 72%, jewellery brands 15% and culinary brands 13%. This growth is attributed to new leases including additional fashion, lifestyle and culinary offerings, that further add a sense of novelty to MODA Mall and offer an unparalleled experience to its savvy consumers. Among the recent brands to launch their retail offerings at the mall include British Master Perfumer Roja Dove’s ROJA Parfums; one of the finest Italian luxury furniture brands, Bakokko; and an exquisite selection of decorative artefacts, Limited Edition. The mall has also enhanced its fashion and culinary portfolio with IZIQ Boutique, featuring a fusion of classic and contemporary gowns; Healthy Calorie featuring healthy and calorie-focused meal plans; Gadooa Sweets offering authentic Bahraini delicacies; and Ku-cha Café offering an enticing food and beverages menu. This year, MODA Mall as part of its ongoing leasing strategy to evolve its portfolio with new retail and experiential offerings, plans to launch a luxury spa and wellness concept as well as a high-end, multi-brand jewellery store, amongst other new additions.

Above: The Opening of the ROJA Parfum store in MODA Mall

Commenting on the new retail offerings, Bahrain World Trade Center and MODA Mall’s managing agent, Cushman & Wakefield Bahrain, Kelvin Crutchlow, Director & General Manager said, “As a luxury retail destination, we are constantly looking for new concepts and retailers that represent a diverse mix of local and international brands, which are distinct to the mall and customer requirements. Delivering on this strategy, we continue to upgrade our existing tenant mix with special incentive offers for our new retailers, and introducing new concepts that provide exciting and entertaining experiences to our customers.”

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Bahrain News

Investcorp partners with Bahrain Fintech Bay to accelerate Fintech Development Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, has announced its partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay (“BFB”), the largest dedicated FinTech hub in the Middle East and Africa. Investcorp will be a founding partner of BFB, where both organisations will work closely to drive FinTech entrepreneurship in Bahrain. Bahrain FinTech Bay, which officially launched on 21 February 2018, comprises state of the art facilities, coworking spaces, and a variety of other shared infrastructure for local and international corporate innovation labs and FinTech start-ups. FinTech Consortium (“FTC”), through its subsidiary FinTech Consortium Bahrain, will be responsible for managing the hub, as well as integrating it into its numerous FinTech platforms, including blockchain, insurance technology, and regulatory technology (RegTech). Commenting on the partnership, Investcorp’s Co-CEO Mohammed Al-Shroogi, (pictured above) said: “This is a

very exciting milestone for Bahrain, as Fintech has the potential to dramatically improve financial inclusion for those with limited access or no access to traditional banking and financing products. Our partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay is a valuable opportunity to combine our experience and expertise to harness the growth of Fintech startups and provide them with the necessary technical and leadership skills to make their startups successful. This is a top priority for us at Investcorp as we continue to empower talent in the region to be at the forefront of the ever-changing world of disruptive technology.” Khalid Saad, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Investcorp to accelerate Bahrain’s position in the FinTech space. We are firm believers in partnerships, collaboration and the creation of a complete ecosystem that can truly drive the Fintech industry in the Middle East forward. We are confident that our partnership with Investcorp will help develop the FinTech startup scene in the region.”

Impact Estate has signed partnership agreement with Experience Invest Impact Estate w.l.l. has joined forces with Experience Invest, a London based independent property specialist providing exclusive investments across a variety of assets classes. Patricia Powell, Head of International Property at Impact Estate, says: “As the appointed partner to some of the UK’s major property consultants, Impact Estate are pleased to work together with Experience Invest. At Impact Estate, we aim to consistently offer affordable and top-quality investment properties through awarding winning developers. From

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purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) to luxury waterside residential apartments located in some of the most exciting cities in the UK.” By joining with Experience Invest Impact Estate has added two new developments to the property portfolio. Both developments are located in prime locations in Liverpool and offer 8% NET P.A. assured for 5 years. Liverpool has recently been named as the Uk’s fastest growing economy and is a rapidly transforming city with huge amounts of regeneration activity taking place. According to JLL, the city continues to outperform other regional cities in terms of rental and capital growth and is now firmly at the top of many investors hit lists. Over the next few months International Property arm of Impact Estate is planning to offer its clients more lucrative investment opportunities in locations such as Cardiff, Newcastle, Luton and Salford.


SSG enjoys expanding reputation BBBF member and Bahrain based management consultancy, SteppingStone Global, has certainly been busy over recent months, with contracts taking the partners to Kuwait, Oman, Bangladesh and the UK as well as working in Bahrain with a number of clients on a variety of projects and programmes. When commenting on the work conducted by SSG Sayed Ali Khalaf, owner and managing director of Reynaers Middle East which is headquartered in Bahrain and with offices across the GCC and in Egypt, said: “SSG lives up to the promise of being more than a training service, more than a business coaching operation and certainly more than an advisory consulting practice”. Najat Mohammed Sharif, HR Manager at Gulf Petrochemicals Industry Company (GPIC) said: “SteppingStone Global is professional, planned well and worked enthusiastically”, adding;

“we would like to engage again with SteppingStone Global”. The owner and managing director of Gulf Equipment and Technology (GET), Bassim Al Awali, has also been pleased with the input from SteppingStone Global. He said: “The consultants at SteppingStone Global are not only experienced, skilled, knowledgeable, professional and highly competent, but are also committed to ensuring they go the extra mile for all delegates and participants on their custom-made programmes. With ninety people going through these programmes I am already conscious of many positive changes after just a few weeks. We are all looking forward to the next few months with SSG”. Being recognised for high quality delivery is always positive, especially when an institute such as the Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA), which has an outstanding reputation and the highest possible rating by the Bahrain Quality

Assurance Authority, decides to make use of SSG’s consulting, coaching and training services. GAA has said: “Protecting GAA’s reputation and ensuring we deliver the highest quality service for our clients ensures we are very selective about which organisations we work alongside. We are delighted with the quality offered by SSG and look forward to a fruitful relationship”. SSG has recently been working with GET, GPIC, Reynaers, Zayani Motors, Kooheji Jewellers, Tamimi Group, MRS Fashion Apparels and Armani in Bahrain (AABZ) as well as a range of SMEs such as Moda Mall based Tailor-Made; just to name a few of the organisations making use of SSG’s consulting, coaching and

A Hat Trick! BMC has recently won three awards and accolades in three months: 1.

HR and Training Awards 2017, Best Organisational Development Company MENA

2.

MENA Business Consultancy 2018 in Corporate LiveWire innovation and Excellence Awards

3.

Member of Forbes Coaches Council (invitation only)

Rima Al-Ebrahim, Director of Business Development, commented “We are delighted that the sterling work of BMC’s global team of executive coaches, psychometrists, learning and development experts and consultants, has been recognised at international level. We continue to enable professionals and organisations to achieve their objectives through positive transformation, identifying HiPos, drawing on their strengths, and also supporting succession planning. We have also identified a demand for creativity and innovation programmes, coaching for project managers, and, creative writing for professionals...” Forum 33


Bahrain News

Financial Services growth: Grant Thornton celebrates new appointments and recent promotions Managing Partner Jassim Abdulaal and Senior Partner Jatin Karia are pleased to announce new senior appointments and promotions. Grant Thornton Abdulaal (Bahrain) have expanded their financial services department with the recent appointment of partner, Niall McAuliffe. Niall started his career in London and gained further experience in the financial services sector from his time in the Cayman Islands and Dublin, Ireland. On his experience, Niall commented “The financial services sector market was mature during my time in both London and the Cayman Islands. Whilst I was in Ireland, Dublin was experiencing rapid growth in financial services. The market is very different here in Bahrain. Bahrain has lots of potential and there is a real sense of optimism of future growth. It’s an exciting time currently in Bahrain.” On Bahrain’s close relationship with Britain, Niall added “Bahrain certainly has strong ties with Britain, from a business perspective, as does Grant Thornton. Our global headquarters is in London and we work closely with the UK office as well as other Grant Thornton offices within the GCC. We are a large global organisation, but we are very much a local firm in Bahrain, tailored to the local market within Bahrain to provide an individual service to each of our clients.” On local financial services expertise, Niall pointed out “A couple of years ago a global forum (GPPC) represented by the six largest international accounting networks, including Grant Thornton, was instrumental in providing clients structure for implementation of IFRS 9’s impairment

requirements. Grant Thornton Bahrain is now assisting local clients with their IFRS 9 needs. This is just one example of how we can bring global success to the local market here in Bahrain.” Grant Thornton Abdulaal has also appointed a new IT advisory director, Navneet Sharma. Navneet has over sixteen years’ professional experience in IT and consulting, which includes IoT, FinTech and E-commerce in many industries that include banking, insurance and government services. The additions of Niall and Navneet complement the internal growth and success of Grant Thornton Abdulaal. In 2017 proudly promoted Jatin Karia to Senior Partner, as well as promoting both Sunil Thakkar and Nirmal Gheewala to Partner. Managing Partner, Jassim Abdulaal commented on the firm’s recent success. “Grant Thornton Abdulaal has exhibited exponential growth in the past decade….The growth of our operations reflects the evolution of Bahrain as a regional financial and business hub.” Grant Thornton Abdulaal (Bahrain) is a member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the world’s leading professional firms, operating in over 130 countries, with 50,000 personnel in more than 700 offices worldwide. Grant Thornton Abdulaal comprises over 100 staff members in two offices, offering a full range of services to clients of all sizes to address the opportunities and challenges of growth. The firm specialises in the fields of Audit, Advisory, Business Risk Services, IT Advisory, Tax, Outsourcing and Legal Services.

Bahraini receives Quilly Award in Hollywood, USA BBBF Member Mohamed Isa, Founder of 3D Speaking, was honored with the Quilly Award at the Roosevelt Hollywood Hotel Grand Ballroom, the original location for holding the first Oscars in 1927. The Quilly Awards were part of the 8th Annual Thought Leader® Summit. The National Academy of Best Selling Authors™ recognized Mohamed Isa for his book, The Success Blueprint, which he co-authored with the legendary success expert, Brian Tracy. In this book, Mohamed Isa’s contribution was on the critical subject of Public Speaking where he shared a time-tested methodology for creating effective speeches that speak to the mind, touch the heart and tickle the funny bony of any audience drawn from his international public speaking experience. 34 Forum


Primary School Coming Soon Eton House offers a unique multicultural learning environment for children and everyone is offered the opportunity to achieve their potential with the support of highly qualified and trained staff. At Eton House we are committed to inspiring hidden to learn how to take responsibility for their own learning. Eton House International School will be the first of it kind offering an educational pathway from Pre School to High School with innovative features. Our curriculum will deliver a programme designed to nature creativity and critical thinking skills amongst millennials. Our schools this is centred around strong pastoral care within the small and boutique nature of our campus. Families can look forward to a school where rich interactions between staff and students will form the basis of the curriculum and programme been offered at all levels Eton House is known for its high quality, offering small class sizes with rich student teacher interactions. We guarantee no more than 20 students per class. Our Pre School which has only been open several months has been a success and we will have waitlists for some classes in September. Our Primary School which will be located in Janabiyah will be opening 2018.We are expanding all over the Gulf over the next 5 years due to demand for Premium Quality Education. Prospective parents can contact the school to book a visit.

Business Continuity firm Standby Consulting team up with UK software provider Inoni This month, Business Continuity Management Consultancy Standby Consulting are pleased to announce that they have teamed up with UK based software experts Inoni to make best-practice Business Continuity Planning more accessible to Bahraini organisations of all shapes and sizes.

The partnership will see Standby deliver practical, affordable and standardsaligned Business Continuity programmes built on the Inoni software platform, allowing organisations to easily manage and maintain their plans online whenever they need to, with secure 24/7 access anywhere and from any device. “We are delighted to have partnered with Inoni” says Tom Ham, Senior Consultant at Standby. “Offering software alongside our consulting services takes away a lot of the repetitive leg-work we typically have to do as part of Business Continuity Planning. It means we can now focus all of our time on providing more facetime

and value to our customers.”

John Robinson, MD of Inoni added “Having consultants deliver their projects through our Business Continuity toolset is a win-win for everybody involved. The consultant saves time on lengthy document production, and the customer gets best-in-class automated Business Continuity Planning software. Standby have been through lengthy training on our software and combine this with their extensive knowledge and experience in the area of BCM, they are in a great position to support organisations in Bahraini and throughout the GCC.” Tom believes “The time and energy we can save using the Inoni tool will not only help us to price more competitively for larger organisations, but we will also be able to scale our product offerings to ensure we can also cater for the growing SME market in the Middle East. A market which has previously been almost untouchable by consultancies like ours

Tom Ham

due to the high consulting costs and limited budgets usually associated with any Business Continuity or It Disaster Recovery projects” Standby Consulting is a professional consultancy that specialises in Business Continuity Management (BCM) and corporate resilience. Based in Bahrain’s Business Bay and throughout the GCC Standby deliver across all business sectors, supporting organisations in the development, implementation and maintenance of Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Crisis Management. For more information on this partnership or to discuss your organisation’s Business Continuity, contact Tom Ham at StandbyConsulting. Forum 35


Bahrain office of Trowers & Hamlins recognised by IFN for “Most Innovative Deal of the Year” Trowers & Hamlins has been recognised at the annual Islamic Finance News (IFN) awards for its role advising its client Warba Bank of Kuwait on its first UK real estate acquisition that also included an innovative Takaful solution.

departmental Islamic Finance team provided corporate, banking and finance, real estate, construction and tax advice across the firm’s London, Manchester and Bahrain offices.

Nick Green, Bahrain-based Corporate p a r t n e r , The IFN awards commented: honour the best “We are in the Islamic delighted to financial industry Nick Green have acted for and are one of the most prestigious Warba Bank on its first awards highly recognised UK real estate acquisition. by the global Islamic This is a prime example of our class-leading capital markets. cross-border UK inward Trowers & Hamlins investment practice, advised its client Warba which offers our Gulfclients UK Bank of Kuwait on a cross- based border Shari’ah compliant expertise on the ground share acquisition of the in their own GCC markets property known as the and a seamless inward Kia Distribution Centre, investment service for Immingham, UK. The their UK ambitions.” transaction won the IFN “Most Innovative Deal Tony Poole, Londonof the Year for 2017”, based Corporate partner, due to the novel use of commented: “We are a Shari’ah compliant proud that the award, insurance solution on the and more importantly deal by Warba Bank’s the deal, showcases acquisition vehicle - the the ability of the firm first time this innovation to continue to discover had been deployed in the innovative solutions for our GCC clients. We UK insurance market. are very pleased that The deal was led by client Warba’s ground-breaking relationship partner Nick deal has been recognised Green (Bahrain) who by the industry and look leads a team providing forward to working with UK advice actually from Warba Bank on future Bahrain. The firm’s cross- transactions.” 36 Forum

British Airways Completes Over 85 Years of Successful Operations to Bahrain The British carrier is investing £4.5 billion to improve customer experience for all In 2017, British Airways’ completed over 85 years of successful operations to Bahrain and the Middle East. The UK’s largest international airline operates a four-cabin daily service between London and Bahrain on a Boeing 777 aircraft offering its customers the best of British hospitality in the air and on the ground. British Airways is investing £4.5 billion over the next five years, to offer more quantity and choice for all its customers. The investment includes: -

£600 million in its Club World product

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72 new aircraft

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New lounges and refurbishments across its global network of existing lounges

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At seat power across all cabins

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A multi-million-pound investment in its World Traveller catering, which includes expanded snack options and on longer flights, a full second meal

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The introduction of high-speed Wi-Fi across its long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years

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Self-service check-in and biometric boarding gates to speed up the airport journey

Starting on the 22nd of March, residents in Bahrain will enjoy an enhanced sleep proposition when they next fly Club World with British Airways, following the airline’s partnership with The White Company. Customers will be provided with a luxuriously soft large pillow and white cotton pillowcase and will also receive a super-soft woven blanket with satin trim, a bespoke luxury duvet, and a padded mattress cover to give them an extra layer of comfort and improve their quality of sleep. The new Club World amenity kits come in a bespoke bag from The White Company and contain products from the retailer’s ‘Restore & Relax Spa Collection’ offering a further touch of luxury in the sky. Also in 2018, British Airways will also roll out its new restaurant style dinning service in Club World on its Bahrain service. The new Club World catering provides travellers flying between the two cosmopolitan cities a selection of freshly prepared starters and desserts that they can chose from display trolleys when flying at 30,000 feet. British Airways flies to more than 200 destinations offering excellent onward connections to Europe and North America through, London Heathrow. The carrier has announced six new routes in 2018, with more to follow later this year.


Bbbf Spg18 web issue  

Tri annual publication from The Bahrain British Business Forum

Bbbf Spg18 web issue  

Tri annual publication from The Bahrain British Business Forum

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