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This edition is produced by Mead Management Services Ltd. Andrew Mead has many years experience in the Gulf and has produced similar publications for other British Business Groups. Hopefully he will be producing our future newsletters but we do need your input. The newsletter is an ideal vehicle to give exposure to your company’s services or products, launches etc. so please take advantage of it. David Galbraith Chairman BBBF

As you know we now have a base in the Burton Room of the British Club. Joan has done a magnificent job in getting our membership records up to date including updating the website and getting our house in order. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the British Club for providing this room for our use free of charge. Upcoming events include a KLM evening meeting during Ramadan on 27th October at the British Club where your entry ticket will be used as a raffle ticket for a prize of 50,000 air miles kindly donated by KLM. November meeting on 23rd will be an address from a representative from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and our Christmas lunch meeting on 21st December will be a talk by Martin Whittaker, manager of the Bahrain International Circuit who has offered to host a visit by us to the BIC early in the New Year. We hope to have Dr. Nada Haffadh address our lunch meeting in January and. February’s meeting on 15th is a presentation on the first Arab expedition to the South Pole. Our AGM is to be held on 16th March. So with a busy schedule ahead we look forward to your continuing support. 1

Date: Wednesday 27 th October 2004 (Ramadan meeting) Speaker: Lee Mancini, KLM Venue: British Club Time: 7.30 pm for 8 pm Cost: BD 7.000 for members and guests (Spouses welcome) Date: Tuesday 23 rd November 2004 Speaker: Bahrain Chamber of Commerce representative Venue: Hilton Hotel Time: 12.30 pm for 1 pm Cost: BD 7.000 for members & BD 8.000 for guests Date: Tuesday 21 st December 2004 (Festive Lunch) Speaker: Martin Whitaker, Bahrain International Circuit Venue: British Club Time: 12.30 pm for 1 pm Cost: BD 7.000 for members & BD 8.000 for guests

Date: Tuesday 18 th January 2005 Speaker: To be confirmed Venue: To be confirmed Time: 12.30 pm for 1 pm Cost: BD 7.000 for members & BD 8.000 for guests Date: Tuesday 15 th February 2005 Speaker: Adnan Al Qassab (First Arab Expedition to the South Pole) Venue: To be confirmed Time: 12.30 pm for 1 pm Cost: BD 7.000 for members & BD 8.000 for guests Date: Tuesday 16 th March 2005 Event: Annual General Meeting Venue: To be confirmed

David Galbraith Chairman Davis Langdon Arabian Gulf Tel: +973 1782 7567 Fax: +973 1772-7210 Email:

Dr Joseph Dunn Deputy Chairman CCMI (Bahrain) WLL Tel: +973 1740-2624 Fax: +973 1740-1513 Email:

Robert Grey Treasurer Bahrain National Life Assurance Co. Tel: +973 1758-7388 Fax: +973 1758-3277 Email:

Linda Jennings Honorary Secretary The Bookcase Tel: +973 1769-0566 Fax: +973 1769-0891 Email:


Julie Lomas Public Relations & Media Co-ordinator KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Tel: +973 1769-4628 Fax: +973 1769-7862 Email:

Isabel Mulvaney British Embassy Bahrain Tel: +973 1757-4113 Fax: +973 1757-4101 Email:

Steve Ritchie Investcorp Tel: +973 1752-5145 Fax: +973 1753-8990 Email:

Mohammed Sadiq Khalil Dawani Al Jazira Cold Store WLL Tel: +973 1772-0700 Fax: +973 1772-1139 Email:

I am delighted that the BBBF has revived its Forum magazine and am pleased to address you in my capacity as Honorary President. It is difficult to believe that we are already in the last quarter of 2004. The year proved to be a busy one for us at the Embassy and I hope for you too. We have hosted many visitors this year, including three trade missions: the Middle East Association, the Motorsport Industry Association (about which, more below) and, most recently, Deansgate who led their first mission to the Gulf last Robin Lamb month. At the time of writing, we British Ambassador have the London Chamber of to the Kingdom of Bahrain Commerce and Industry trade mission to come. All so far have reported good activity in the market and we hope to announce some good news stories in the near future on specific successes. We were lucky on the VIP visitor front too with HRH the Duke of York’s visit in April and HRH Prince Michael of Kent who made a private visit to the island to attend Powergen and Water Middle East expos (several UK companies took part). The Duke of York was here in his capacity as Special Representative for UK Trade and Investment and as part of his programme we took him to visit Bahrain’s new super port project at Hidd. Following his visit we arranged a visit to UK by the Director General of the Ports Authority to undertake a series of meetings with relevant UK companies. The Duke of York also visited the Bahrain Financial Harbour which, I am glad to note, is making excellent progress and appears on schedule for the 2006 launch. UK companies have been kept appraised of opportunities at BFH and we wish them every success in bidding for work. On 1 July 2004 Bahrain became the first Gulf country to fully liberalise its telecommunication sector. Again my team has been working with the TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) to ensure all opportunities are brought to the attention of UK companies. Although the F1 circus has been and gone for this year I must mention Bahrain’s outstanding achievement in April in hosting the Middle East’s first Grand Prix race. Not only was it a tremendous coup for Bahrain, in light of regional competition, but the event itself was proclaimed a global success – no easy task with the world’s press monitoring every move! All this and still within the (advanced) completion date for the track and related infrastructure. Bahrain, and in particular, His Highness the Crown Prince, can be rightly proud of this tremendous achievement. My trade team didn’t let this opportunity go unnoticed and in May we hosted eighteen UK companies from ‘Motorsport Valley’ ably led by the Motorsport Industry Association. This was the first dedicated mission of its kind to our market and we expect to see the MIA again in 2005 and subsequent years. There is much to keep us occupied in the coming months. I’ve already mentioned the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) who return in November with thirteen companies. MEED conferences on Project Finance and Airports take place in October and November respectively and the World Islamic Banking Conference will be held here again in December. . I hope to touch on these events in the next issue of Forum and to report on our forthcoming visitor programme, which is already very full for the autumn/winter schedule. Until then I wish you success in your business and look forward to seeing you at the next gathering of BBBF members.


Abduljaleel Al Ansari Chairman Al Ansari Group PO Box 5648, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1772-7483 Fax: 1772-9796 Mobile: 3963-1110 E-mail:

Karine Baroudi Operations Manager Al Ghalia Co. WLL PO Box 54123, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1771-0271 Fax: 1774-9297 Mobile: 3968-0401 E-mail:

Martin Budd General Manager Posford Haskoning Environment Gulf WLL PO Box 10379, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-3259 Fax: 1753-3754 Mobile: 3996-6132 E-mail:

John Downe Manager, Business Advisory Solutions Ernst & Young PO Box 140, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-5455 Fax: 1753-5405 Mobile: 3932-0466 E-mail:

Andrew Greenwood General Manager Royal & SunAlliance Insurance PO Box 11871, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1758-1661 Fax: 1758-2622 Mobile: 3677613 E-mail:

James Ironside Operations Manager Langmead Associates PO Box 15469, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1771-7004 Fax: 1771-5003 Mobile: 3933-1849 E-mail:

Nena Jacques Public Relations Executive Regency InterContinental Hotel PO Box 777, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1720-8314 Fax: 1720-8367 Mobile: 3941-7066 E-mail: 4

George Koumendakos General Manager Crowne Plaza Hotel PO Box 5831, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-1122 Fax: 1753-2221 Mobile: 3960-4778 E-mail:

David Malloch Country Manager (Saudi) OKI Europe Ltd (UK) PO Box 30402, Budaiya, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1779-3243 Fax: 1779-3243 Mobile: 3968-9170 E-mail:

Betsy Mathieson-Abdulrahman Group Managing Director Betsy’s Group PO Box 1144, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1774-2222 Fax: 1771-7655 Mobile: 3961-3739 E-mail:

Stuart Ovington Managing Director Papermoon WLL PO Box 30716, Budaiya, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1769-9568 Fax: 1769-9147 Mobile: 3975-5537 E-mail:

Nicola Phillips Sales and Marketing Manager Al Ghalia Co. WLL PO Box 54123, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1771-0271 Fax: 1771-0165 Mobile: 3914-6885 E-mail:

Stephen Wagstaff Business Development Manager Royal & SunAlliance Insurance PO Box 11871, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1758-1661 Fax: 1758-2622 Mobile: 00966 505291394 E-mail:

BBBF Lunch October 2004 Aqua Resources Group Aqua Resources Group, the Recruitment and Human Resource Services company based in the United Kingdom, has already made a name for itself in the Gulf. Having attended a conference in Bahrain last year supporting one of its Middle East clients, Aqua’s management team decided that it made commercial sense to establish a presence in the Gulf. Aqua opened trading in the Gulf in September last year. Aqua has established a strong presence and is already getting solid results in its Information Technology and Construction and Engineering Sectors. A number of Banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were the first to buy into Aqua’s services with many others from both Banking and the Construction & Engineering sector set to commit this quarter. Matt Thompsett, CEO of Aqua Resources Group, and a member of the BBBF, says “…Establishing a Group office in Bahrain, serving all our key sectors, will enable us to p r o v i d e recruitment services at the highest level of quality throughout the region…” The Middle East has a growing thirst for high level technology expertise and experienced engineering resources. Much of the resource required will come from all over the World. However, programmes for employing nationals means that Aqua will have to ensure that skills transfer takes place at a local level as well as developing strong links with National Educational organisations. Aqua Resources Group [Middle East] WLL is the Bahraini entity established in October 2004 with offices in the Diplomatic Area of Manama, Bahrain.


This edition of the BBBF Forum magazine was compiled by Andrew Mead at Mead Management Services Ltd. Chandler House, Fox Croft Walk, Chippenham Wiltshire SN15 3YB United Kingdom UK Mob: 0044 7940 55 99 25 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151, email in cooperation with Krishnan Surendran at Jumana House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Tel 009661 402 4785 Fax: 00966 10 405 9861 Our thanks to all the contributors and advertisers without whom this issue would not have been possible. If you would like to contribute to a future edition please let us know either by calling or sending an email to

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. BRITISH Trade with Bahrain is now subject to significant competition in this era of globalization particularly from countries in Europe and from the USA 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. Membership directories are distributed to members of visiting Trade Missions and are available to businessmen visiting Bahrain through the Embassy and business centres in five star hotels. Simply click on “Sign Up” on our website complete the application form and click submit. Sounds simple, it is, it must be worth it. Cost of membership BD 50 per annum, with an additional BD20 once-only registration fee.

BBBF Membership Application

Corporate Membership Individual Membership

Please complete the membership form and send it to: BBBF Administration Manager, Fax: (00973) 1781 3489, or Email: For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, Web site:


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


Date of Birth

CPR Number

Address of business (P.O.Box & Town)

Business telephone


Home telephone


E-mail address


I agree to abide by the BBBF Constitution & Internal regulations.

Applicants Signature




FAST, DIRECT TAX RETURN SERVICE FOR UK EXPAT COMMUNITY A specialist tax return service is helping expatriate UK citizens to comply with Inland Revenue requirements quickly, simply and directly. The service, from chartered accountants Mokhtassi Williams and ocaso technology, is aimed at UK citizens living and working overseas who have properties and other investments in Britain, making them liable for UK tax. Mokhtassi Williams offers specialist tax planning expertise, while ocaso technology provides a range of marketing and IT skills. Prospective clients submit a request to by telephone or e-mail. They are then contacted and, typically, interviewed over the telephone within 24 hours. (Contact can be maintained via the Internet, telephone or fax). then prepares the relevant documentation and forwards this to the client for signature before submitting the signed forms for registration with the Inland Revenue. Mr Mokhtassi, general manager of, says: ”As a tax consultant with increasing number of expat clients, we identified the need for specialist tax services uniquely designed for UK expats. He continues: “The tax return service offered by is designed to simplify the process and to relief the clients of form filling. This includes a phone interview with the client by one of our consultants and forwarding the completed documents to the client for confirmation.” When a tax return is due, contacts the client to obtain the relevant information and prepare a tax return. It then schedules work to meet required dates and times, saving the client the financial burden of penalties and interest. For guidance, an estimated fee is provided. XpataX charges a standard fee for all routine work. For non-routine work, a quotation will be given before commencement. All services all free of UK VAT (except for those working in the EU). Web site: 8

Expatriates and business travellers throughout the world can read their post within hours of its delivery in the UK, with an electronic mail forwarding service that eliminates both delay and the risk of loss in transit. Users of the MFExpress service arrange for Royal Mail to redirect their post to a prestige address, where it is opened, electronically scanned and uploaded to a secure Internet server. They can then read, print, save or delete each document online by logging on to a personal mailbox, which is more secure and offers greater storage capacity than conventional e-mail systems. MFExpress will remove any unsolicited mail before it is scanned (if the customer so wishes) and, once a month, the original mail is repackaged and sent to a UK address specified by the customer. Alternatively, if required, the repackaged mail may be sent to an overseas address by courier for just the standard retail charge, or stored for a low monthly charge, irrespective of quantity, until the customer returns to the UK. In addition to standard mail forwarding, MFExpress offers optional extra services. For example, cheques received in the post can be paid into a bank on the day of receipt and any UK bills that arrive may be paid on the customer’s behalf. Business customers can use their MFExpress addresses as a registered office for UK limited companies, and completion and fulfilment services – with high-quality on-site print facilities – are available for sending out responses or products. All post is accessed for scanning and forwarding purposes only, after which it is held securely until being despatched to the customer. All MFExpress staff are subject to a strict confidentiality agreement and are carefully selected to meet security requirements. Web site:

VENDING MACHINE ISSUES AND RELOADS “SMART” MEMORY CARDS Re-usable “smart” memory cards used in a variety of commercial applications can be issued and reloaded with credit by a userfriendly vending machine developed in the UK. The C386 card dispenser and recharge unit, from Scott Tod, is suitable for use with a wide range of “smart” memory cards. It can be used to load pre-set or variable credit values on to new cards as they are issued, or to add credit to existing cards when they are inserted. The unit can also be used to refund unused credits. A liquid crystal display and multi-function push buttons combine simple operation with the flexibility to accommodate the requirements of a variety of applications. Both notes and coins are accepted by the C386, with credit card payment facilities available as an option. Physical protection for the C386 is provided by a secure 2-mm-thick steel cabinet, with a locking mechanism that secures all cash containers, even when the door is open. The C386 is supplied with fixings for wall mounting. It measures 597mm x 525mm x 380mm and weighs 40kg. Web site:

BRITISH TRADE MISSION TO BAHRAIN “Deansgate Associates Ltd, with the support of UK Trade and Investment, brought a major British trade mission to Bahrain, in September. Nine British companies made up the delegation, which spent two full working days in Bahrain as part of a wider Gulf tour, including Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE & Oman. Andrew Robbens, the mision leader said:“Deansgate has been providing overseas trade services to British Industry and business since 1985 and, we are delighted to be the sponsor of this important Trade Mission. This Mission is the latest in a series of successful visits to the Gulf States, organised by Deansgate and demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting trade, investment and understanding between the UK and Bahrain. In addition the diversity of this trade mission demonstrates the UK’s serious commitment to strengthening our trading links with Bahrain” Some participants in the trade mission were visiting Bahrain for the first time and are seeking local agents and distributors as well as contacting potential end-users for their products and services. Other companies on the mission are already wellestablished in the market and came to support their existing agents.

The companies visiting Bahrain included:Bake-Ex Ltd – quality bakery ingredients and retail food products Carpet Maintenance Specialists – dry carpet cleaning machines and environmentally aware cleaning products Drilling Systems (UK) Ltd – innovative simulation technology for the oil & gas industry Golden Falcon Exports Limited – Fire, safety and security products including NOVECTM 1230 fluid which will be the next generation of chemical fire extinguishant International Food Link Ltd – logistics specialist in all sectors of the food industry Pulsar Light of Cambridge Ltd - lighting control systems for the architectural, leisure and entertainment industries Scottrade International Ltd – represents Scottish companies offering Weather protection canvas, bottled water, toiletries, cleaning compounds, Industrial & Domestic Tapes and more Telenor (UK) Ltd- International telecommunications operator. Gateway services for data, I.P. voice and video distribution via satellite Timesco of London – one of Europe’s leading surgical and medical companies offering complete ranges of surgical instruments for all procedures

Businessmen who wish to find out more about a particular company should contact the British Embassy’s Head of UK Trade and Investment, in Bahrain Isabel Mulvaney on 17574113. When asked aboutthe success of the mission, Isabel reported that “All mission members commented that their visit had been successful. Those visiting for the first time had been impressed with the warmth of the welcome and that they had used the opportunity of making many new contacts. In a market wherein the UK has enjoyed longstanding links of friendship and trade we hope to report on the success stories in the near future” she added.

Global Laughs At Edinburgh TheEdinburgh Fringe Festival has always been a magnet for artists and performers from around the world. American, Australian and Canadian comedians in particular have enjoyed huge success at the Scottish capital’s week-long arts event. And this year has been no exception with a record number of comedians from non-English speaking countries taking part. Among them were Taking The Peace from Bahrain - who provided all you wanted to know about Arabs but were afraid to ask. 9



he Scholarship Program is a scholarship for Bahraini youth, initiated by His Highness, Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, The Crown Prince and Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defense Force. The principal aim of the program is to give the opportunity for the brightest, most dedicated and most motivated High School students to study at top International Schools, Universities and Colleges. His Highness’s vision is to develop young Bahraini’s from all walks of life to take key positions in Bahrain’s public and private sectors in order to provide the country with the knowledge that it will need to continue to grow and prosper. It is hoped that this initiative will provide the motivation for high achievers to aim for the top.


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The program works with about eighty top high school students each year, with approximately a third coming from private schools and two thirds from Ministry of Education Schools. Four students are selected from the private schools and six from Ministry of Education schools, to

First Graduates: Mona Fawaz and Aysha with H.H. receive the scholarship each year. His Highness is keen to promote equality and half the places are given to girls and half to boys. In order to apply the students should hold a Bahrain passport and typically have a Grade point Average of 97% or above. If selected as a candidate they are put through the SAT and TOEFL placement tests, produce a portfolio of evidence with regards to their academic achievements and extra curricular activities, highlighting special talents and achievements, they also pass through a series of interviews. The program Directors are looking for those students with the ‘X’ factor, not just academics but those with leadership skills, drive, character, in short, that extra something which sets them apart from the rest. To date it seems to have successfully done just that. Resulting in forty-four very special young people studying at top educational institutions in the UK and USA.





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Mona Isa Janahi Husain Al Musaad Ohood O. Abdul Ghaffar Fawaz Y. Abdulla Aysha Al Sherawi Lubna Al Tajir Marwa Al Sabbagh Lisa Amin Deena A. Fakhro Nadia S. Khalaf Isa Al Sabea Redha Fardan Noor Hasan Fatema Ebrahim Amal Ahmadi Noora Al Musallam Ahmed Al Khaja Nadya Rouben Islam Abduljabbar Maram Al-Sabbagh Sayed Ali Husain Fajer Al-Binali Faisal Buali Alaa Saeed Nada Bastaki

Muharraq Secondary School Al Na’aim Secondary School Sacred Heard Ibn Khuldoon National School Ibn Khuldoon National School Ibn Khuldoon National School Khawla Secondary School Khawla Secondary School Bahrain School St. Christopher Hamad Town School Hamad Town School Al Hidd Secondary School Sar Secondary School Al Noor Secondary School Al Hidd Secondary School East Riffa Secondary School St. Christopher Khawla Secondary School Khawla Secondary School Ahmed Al-Omran Ibn Khuldoon National School Ibn Khuldoon National School St. Christopher Bahrain Bayan School

University of Nottingham University of Cambridge London School of Economics Oxford University London School of Economics University of Bristol University of Nottingham University of Warwick Architectural Association Oxford University Oxford University University of Cambridge London School of Economics University of Cambridge Cheltenham College Canford School Oundle School London School of Economics Oakham School Sedburge School Shrewsbury School London School of Economics University of Durham London School of Economics University of Warwick

The Program has now been running for five years, there are currently twenty three of these young people studying at UK Schools and colleges. The program has allowed for a closer bond to be formed between our Bahraini students and the UK education system. Due to their consistent high performance and excellent reputation, our students are accepted readily at schools, where often students would be on a waiting list from birth. By looking at the table below it may indicate to some extent the level of education that these students have achieved. All university places were earned by the students own performance and applications and not by any influence from the scholarship office. Scholarship recipients from the private school will already have applied for university through the UCAS system and they go on to their chosen university and course as planned. Students from the Ministry of Education are sent to select boarding schools for two years of sixth form studies, during which they take A’Level qualifications and make their UCAS applications. We feel it is important that the students have this transition between school in Bahrain and the UK education system in order for them to apply to the top UK universities. All the students are encouraged to expand their horizons beyond the academic forum. Field trips to date have included Borneo, Tanzania, Washington, Syria, Sweden, France and Cyprus and the list is growing. One of the students,

Marwa Al Sabbagh, obtained her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award this summer and also won a National writing competition for the British Council. Some students were given summer internships with leading financial and corporate institutions in the UK. Each Easter the students are involved in an outward bounds and team building program. Four students completed their A level programs this Summer with top marks, Reda Al Fardan from Shrewsbury College earned a place at Cambridge University, Isa Al Sabea from Sherborne College has gone to Oxford University, Fatima Ebrahim from Malvern College has gone on to Cambridge University and Noor Hasan from Haileybury College has gone to London School of Economics. These results prove the success that can be achieved by these Ministry of Education students if given the opportunity to study at top UK schools and explains why these prestigious schools are always so keen to have our Bahraini students. Over the years the Scholarship Program has served to promote the UK education system in Bahrain and to build up strong bonds between them and our Bahraini students. In July we proudly saw our first three graduates from UK universities. Mona Janahi graduated with first class honours in Banking and Financial Management from Nottingham University. Fawaz Abdulla graduated with first class honours in Economics from London School of Economics and has gone on this year to take his Masters Degree at Oxford. Aysha Shirawi graduated with first class honours in Business Management from King’s College, London and has gone on this year to take her Masters at the London School of Economics - I rest my case! Ann Hearn Head of Educational Affairs Court of The Crown Prince

Pictures: Above: New Group 2004 BelowLeft: The Scholarship Team; Ron, Shatha, Ann & Mubarak Below Right: , Ann, Sayed Ali, Maram & Islam


A Dream into Reality by Adnan Al-Qassab

The Bahrain The Bahrain South Pole Team reach SouthAntarctica Pole Team reach Antarctica When asked to join the committee of the Bahrain South Pole team in June 2003, I took control of a dream and turned it into reality by November of the same year. The main concern I had was to acclimatise ourselves along the way so we could move from the heat of the Middle East to the freezing cold weather gradually. Our first stop was London then after a few days onto Orlando and Miami, USA. A few days later, we moved to South America enjoying Buenos Aries before our final leg to the end of the world… Ushuaia. The end of the world hosted the team for one week until we boarded the Russian ice breaker Professor Multanovskiy, which is actually used by Russian scientists on their explorations to the Antarctic, on 14th December 2003. Our mission was simple; we wanted to promote Bahrain as a leading Arab country and to let the world know that our small nation was opening the doors to discover new horizons. I had arranged the trip so that the team would be able to place the flag of Bahrain upon the icy plains on Bahrain’s national day.

The ‘Bahraini South Pole’ team at the ‘British base - LockRoy’ on 19th Decmber 2003, the team signed an agreement of understanding with the British team , to explore & co-operate further studies & research with the Bahrain authorities.

The crossing took only a day and a half, passing through Drake Passage- a most unpredictable passage due to the stormy and unpredictable weather, we, on this occasion, were very lucky and had a smooth crossing. We reached the Northwest side of this remote, unexplored continent early on the morning of 16th December 2003. All the team were so eager to board the rubber boats to step foot on the shore. This was finally our dream come true, the feeling of achievement for all of us was indescribable, and “WE’VE DONE IT” rang out, especially I who had planned the trip and now it was reality. We stayed along the coast for about 10 days- before departing for Bahrain and home. The Bahrain flag was proudly placed in the ice for the entire world to see.

Al-Qassab holding the Bahraini flag on arriving ‘South Pole’ on 16th December 2003

The Antarctic ice sheet has an area of about 13.33 million square kilometres(1.7 times the size of Australia, 1.4 times the size of the US and 1.3 times the size of Europe) The total ice volume is about 32.4 million cubic km, roughly 2.7km thick but in some area’s 4kms. 200 million years ago, Antarctica was joined with Australia, Africa, South America, India and New Zealand in the sub continent Gondwana. 10 million years later Gondwana began the slow process of breaking into the places, as we know them today. 70 million years ago, the separation was so diverse that the Drake Passage was formed. After another 40 million years, Antarctica settled into its present position and began to cool dramatically. This trip was a dream come true, not only a personal achievement but for all of Bahrain and a lifetime experience which I will treasure forever.

The team at another site in ‘South Pole’ 12

The trip was supported by Batelco, GPIC, Bapco, Alba and Banagas.


n the year 2035, robots are an everyday household item, and everyone trusts them, except one slightly paranoid detective investigating what he alone believes is a crime perpetrated by a robot. The case leads him to discover a far more frightening threat to the human race. “I, ROBOT” uses a spectacular state-of-the-art visual technique to bring a world of robots to life. Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) is something of a misfit. He wears retro clothes, he likes to drive his futuristic car manually, and he has a profound distrust of robots - even though all robots are hardwired with a set of three laws preventing them from causing, or even allowing, humans to come to harm. Just as the huge corporation US Robotics is launching a new model of robot onto the mass market, Del is summoned to investigate the apparent suicide of one of the company’s founding scientists.


The action is fast and frenzied, even if the end does go over the top in intent. Most notable is a great chase sequence between two robot trucks and Will’s car, not only including death-defying vehicle antics at high speed but dozens of swarming killer robots added to the mix. It’s all got a strong energy and even if the mystery is a little predictable, the outcome isn’t and you do wonder how things will end up. There’s not many characters here but the actors are all solid, Smith’s turn a little less wise cracking than normal but still with that usual Smith charm. I, Robot is gripping entertainment. But it might also be a useful insight into our own future or just possibly another societies past. 13

Choosing the Best Motor Insurance

Richard Morrison Country Manager, Norwich Union, Bahrain

The initial instinct of any customer seeking motor insurance is always to go for the ‘lowest price‘. This is understandable as insurance is an intangible product that the majority of people will never actually use. In addition to this, premiums for the same vehicle and driver can vary widely within Bahrain and this can often lead customers into believing they are being over-charged. However most people are unaware that the kind of cover available varies significantly between insurance providers. The basic insurance policy will only cover you for liability to third parties and not for damage to your own vehicle. Even with these more comprehensive policies, the extent of cover can vary significantly between insurers. So how can you make sure that you’re getting value for money from your insurance provider? Firstly, it’s important to check the ‘limits‘ on your policy. These limits will apply for Medical Expenses, Personal Belongings and Personal Accident cover. Secondly, find out if the policy covers your vehicle for repairs at the dealership? If not, then make sure your I insurance company uses approved garages and provides a guarantee for all the work carried out. In addition to the basic insurance cover, some companies can provide additional features such as a 24-hour breakdown service or a hire car in the event that your car needs to be repaired after an accident. These ‘extras‘ can often become an ‘essential‘ if you’re unfortunate enough to he involved in an accident.


If you are a responsible and safe driver you should definitely select an insurance company that rewards your claims free status. Ask the company for a price without being able to prove a claims free history and then compare it with their price for four years claim free driving. This will give you some indication of how much that particular insurance company values your claim free status! For an additional premium, some insurance companies will even let you ‘protect‘ your No Claims status. This will allow you to make a number of claims on your policy before your claim free status is reduced. Once you have fully investigated the quality of cover you’re being offered, it’s just as important to investigate the quality of the company providing the cover. How reputable is the company? How good is their claims service? How long have they been in operation? Do they have a reputation for quality and good customer service? Ensure the company has sound financial backing and employs a sufficient number of qualified staff to provide you with a good level of customer service. Find out whether the company operates extended working hours so that you are able to contact them out of normal office hours. Some of the more established companies can provide instant cover over the telephone if you are able to pay by credit card (you may even get a discount for purchasing your insurance this way!). Finally, remember your choice of insurance company is never more critical than when you purchase a new vehicle, especially when that vehicle is being purchased on finance. Most financial institutions will insist on proof of insurance from a reputable insurance company before actually providing finance. After going to the trouble and cost of arranging finance and buying a new car, the last thing you need is to end up with a damaged, worthless vehicle and a huge loan to pay off! Use this checklist before purchasing car insurance * Check the ‘limits‘ on your insurance policy for Medical Expenses, Personal Belongings and Personal Accident cover. * Does the insurer use approved garages for carrying our repairs? * Are repairs guaranteed? If so, for how long? * Will the insurer provide you with a 24-hour breakdown service or a hire car in the event that your car needs to be repaired after an accident? * If you are a responsible and safe driver, use an insurance company that will reward your claim free status. Ask them to quote you the difference between having four years no claims discount and having none! * How reputable is the company providing the insurance? * Does the company operate a customer service facility outside normal office hours? * Don’t feel obliged to accept the insurance offered to you at the car show room. At the very least take time to investigate the type of cover being offered as well as the company who is providing the cover. Richard E. Morrison MA ACII Country Manager Norwich Union Insurance (Gulf) B.S.C. (c) Ground Floor, Building 177, Road 2803, Near The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Al Seef District 428 PO Box 45, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 00973 17 588 248 Fax. 00973 17 583 050 E-Mail: Web:

LIVING IN A B O X With the world’s population growing steadily, and crowding into massive megacities appearing to be the trend for tomorrow, one Japanese institution, the capsule hotel, may indeed be pointing the way to the future. The capsule hotel derives its name from the capsule, a box about 1 metre wide, 1 metre high and 2 metres long, that serves as your “room”. The classic “room-the-sizeof-a-closet” complaint is no exaggeration. Crammed inside are a mattress and in most hotels, a TV with headphones, a light, and a clock. Capsules hotels make

vending machine beer may be all you need to sleep soundly in your own little womb. [Though detractors of this convenience living might say that the ‘coffin-like’ experience should be regarded more as a tomb.] Living in a box is not an activity confined

perfect sense in Japan where the economics of astronomical land prices and punitive taxi fares dictate the requirement. Couple with this the mandatory late-night drinking sessions with work colleagues and an ability to tolerate large crowds and small spaces (and large crowds in small spaces) and it makes perfect sense.

peacefully in the capsule until morning.

“Salarymen” (mid-level execs) out drinking after the last train leaves for home can fork over big money on a long, lonely cab ride for a couple hours sleep, or just spend $25-$33 to hang out with their buddies in the capsule hotel lounge and then sleep

reading or watching TV. For other activities, capsule hotels have many other facilities often including: saunas, bath areas, restaurants and snack bars as well as lounge areas featuring lounge chairs, larger-sized TVs, and vending machines offering instant noodles and beer.

In fact, the capsule itself is used only for the largely motionless pursuits of sleeping,

as a covered bed with a shuttered door, and you’ll be fine. Just remember that ear-plugs could be a useful addition to your overnight bag. After a long day cruising around wintry Tokyo, the hot sauna, warm bath and cold

to Japan, during the last few years we have seen Container City in London’s Docklands rise up to provide Studios for artists and start-up businesses. The second phase of the development was built in 2002 and provided 22 studios

It’s like room service, only faster and cheaper. Bathe, dine, chat with colleagues or watch TV until you’re ready to retire to your “room” to sleep. Anyone who can handle the sleeping compartment on an overnight train can manage a capsule hotel. If you think of it as your “room”, then it’s small. But look at it 15

over five floors, all connected with lifts and bridges. Container City in London was the brainchild of Eric Reynolds who claimed his inspiration came from a visit to Rotterdam where converted containers were in use as recording studios. And that’s not all, in Lelystad in the Netherlands, one company specializes in building the “Space Box”.

Only 10m2 per Hotel Room Space Boxes are compact, composite housing units which are “stacked” together to create temporary housing for students.

MORE TECHNOLOGY Another area where Japanese technology may lead us all is the humble ‘john’. Launched late in 2003, the Neorest from Japanese company Toto, provides gentle front-and back-aerated warm water spray, which can be regulated for preferred water pressure and temperature. Other features include oscillating spray massage, heated seat, automatic catalytic air deodorizer, and warm air dryer. The Neorest’s lid automatically opens whenever an i n d i v i d u a l approaches it. If one continues to stand in front of it, the toilet seat automatically rises also. When the individual leaves, the toilet automatically flushes and the lid automatically closes. The Power Catalytic Deodorizer function, which automatically engages when a user rises from the seat effectively eliminates unpleasant odors from the room, no matter the quality of the room’s ventilation system. Another switch controls the self-cleaning cycle which together with the revolutionary glazing process (that seals the porcelain with an ionized barrier preventing particles from adhering to the super-smooth, non-porous high-gloss surface) makes the old loo brush redundant. 16

Manchester saw the plans for its ‘Krashpad’ micro-living spaces ditched last year when planners threw out the application. Each flat was to be no bigger than 6m x 5m. Dubbed “Posh dosshouses” by one councillor, over 70 had been sold off-plan before planners declared that they were not ‘right’ for the city’s image. Containers are however in successful use at Cove Park set in the stunning Argyll countryside where three re-cycled containers provide a double bedroom, bathroom and kitchen area with a balcony giving spectacular views over the loch. Latest news for those interested in the ‘small is beautiful’ adage comes from YO! Sushi director Gerard Greene. Following on from turning the UK restaurant industry upside down with YO! Sushi, YO! is turning its attention to hotels with the launch of YOtel at 100% Design in September.

YOtel (pic above courtesy of Philip Vile) YOtel is a revolutionary hotel concept destined to deliver the industry a wake-up call. Offering its customers the quality of a 4/5 star hotel for around £75 a night in central London, YOtel is described as the world’s most revolutionary hotel concept, offering luxury accommodation at an affordable price. Founder of YO! Sushi, Simon Woodroffe says he got the idea after flying first class on a BA flight where the seat folds down into a bed. “It is not enough that a hotel is designed well; people want to be excited when they stay at a hotel, they want things to work, to be treated like a first class traveller but they also want value for money. We have been bold enough to take steps that no other hotel product has taken before and therefore are able offer a first class travel experience comparable to a luxury yacht or private aircraft.” says Greene Designed by Priestman Goode, who has helped Airbus define the double deck aircraft

of the future, the rooms feature rotating beds, techno walls, sophisticated lighting, flat screen TV complete with a choice of hundred’s of films and CD’s and wi-fi access. It’s luxury liner meets The Fifth Element in 10 sq metres. The hotel pods are to be prefabricated and could go anywhere. The first YOtel being planned for central London should be open within a year. However, the truly revolutionary element of YOtel is its windows, which are internal rather than external – they look into the corridors, which are in turn naturally lit through reflective mechanisms and channelling of light. This allows YOtel to boldly go where other hotels simply can’t – tricky central city locations, airports, even underground. The reduced land costs and savings can then be passed on to customers to offer a first class experience at an affordable price.

[ Anyway that’s what the press release says - Ed]

Bahrain Property Rental Market

Susan Tedd Noble Real Estate

The rental market for apartments and villas in Bahrain has been, and continues to be a matter of much discussion in recent months, both in Bahrain itself and the Gulf in general, but particularly in Saudi Arabia. An influx of expats from Al Khobar after the May hostage siege led to huge demand for good accommodation, which in turn led to an increase in prices of 15-20%. Rumours circulated that with many American families leaving the prices had decreased, but families moving over from Al Khobar more than compensated for this. The most popular areas for expat accommodation are Saar and Budaiya, where most compounds are located and just a few minutes drive to the Causeway to Saudi Arabia. The cost of a three or four bedroom villa varies greatly from BD500-2500. Tenants must also pay 10% of the rental value in Municipal Tax, plus electricity and water. Villas are usually semi-furnished, which includes cooker, fridge, washer, dryer, air-conditioning and curtains. Some are fully furnished, but these are increasingly harder to find, though landlords are open to furnishing at an increased rental. Leisure facilities on the compounds usually include a swimming pool and tennis court, at the very least, with some having squash courts, gyms, children’s playground etc. There are many new compounds, in various

stages of completion, being constructed at present, but these tend to be at the upper end of the market. For now, it seems that the housing market for expats has stabilised , but with more and more companies still considering moving families to Bahrain, it may only be a matter of time before we see greater increases. Apartments are abundant with the majority located in town in the areas of Juffair, Adlyia, Mahooz and Hoora. After the American military lowered their quotas in buildings from 50% to 25%, this left some buildings with a quarter vacancy. This enables prospective tenants to bargain a little more with landlords. Again, prices vary greatly from BD300-1500. Unlike a villa, it is not always very easy to find unfurnished, or semi-furnished apartments. Apartments are generally fully furnished, and the rental includes Municipal Tax, electricity and water charges. Not all, but many buildings have rooftop swimming pools and gyms. Unlike Saudi Arabia, where six months or even one years rental is required in advance, in Bahrain rental is normally paid three months in advance and on a monthly or quarterly basis thereafter.


any of the other international email providers, you will be a target for phishing. And it won’t be long before local service provides such as Batelco will feel the pressure too. So what is phishing? Simply put, a phisher creates a web site that looks just like the web site of a major corporation – a bank, a credit card company, a telephone company. The phisher creates an email which looks like it probably came from that company and sends it to as many people as possible. The email will perhaps explain that the company is updating its customer records and needs you to confirm your details. Clicking on a link in the email will take you to the fake site where you will be asked for bank account details, passwords, credit card details, pin numbers and so on. Once the phisher has this information they have your online identity and identity theft has cost banks and credit cards issuers about $2.4billion in the last 12 months alone. Small fry compared to the billions lost by “traditional” credit card fraud, but it’s a growing phenomenon.


redit card fraud – a quick scan of your card by the waiter as he takes it to the cashpoint and within hours, someone else could be spending on your card. Sophisticated scanners and pin-point cameras at ATMs can record your credit card details and PIN and by the time you spend the money you just withdrew, a thief has cleared out the rest of your account. We’re all pretty careful about who we hand our credit cards too and about who’s looking over our should when we enter our PIN number, but how much information do we freely give away without batting an eyelid? A year or so ago, if you came across the term “phishing” you would probably assume it was a typo, but industry surveys suggest that in the last 12 months, almost half of all the “online adults” in the US had received at least one phishing email. And the rest of the English speaking world was not far behind. But hey, we’re in the Middle East, that doesn’t affect us – does it?? Indeed it does! One of the features of the Internet is that it reaches the parts that other systems fail to reach. Even though you may live in Bahrain, if you have an email account with Yahoo or Hotmail or

One of the major internet security organizations reported that it intercepted 14 phishing messages in August 2003. In January 2004 it intercepted almost 340,000. Almost every English speaking continent has been subjected to phishing attacks over the last year with organizations such as Citibank, Visa, Barclays, NatWest, ANZ and Westpac (to name but a few) being targeted. While the initial impact on those companies was on their brand and reputation, it is quickly becoming a financial and legal issue too.

phishing ( pp. Creating a replica of an existing Web page to fool a user into submitting personal, financial, or password data. —adj. —phisher n.

How do you protect yourself? Well, a large dose of common sense coupled with a measure of perpetual distrust is perhaps the best place to start. Be cautious with any site that asks for personal information such as PIN codes or passwords. Check the URL – if it looks like a Citibank web site but the URL is, its probably not a Citibank web site. Check the details in the email – an email from your bank asking you to confirm personal details would probably include your name (spelt correctly) rather than starting “Dear Valued Client” , for example. And never, ever, ever, click on the link which says “click here to unsubscribe and never hear from us again” – all you are doing is confirming to the phisher that they’ve found a real live email account so the volume of spam (unsolicited junk mail) you will receive will go through the roof! But don’t think it’s going to be easy – almost 60 million Americans received a phishing email last year and in one online test, almost 30% of participants couldn’t tell a phishing site from the real thing! If you think you may be part of that 30% please send me BD20 in used notes and I will tell you how to spot a scam!!

Britain’s first 20lb barbel, a fish that had become one of the Holy Grails of coarse fishing, has been caught from a stretch of the Great Ouse near Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. It was taken by Tony Gibson, of Northampton, and weighed 20lb 6oz. With Angling being the most popular participation sport in the UK it was no surprise to see a new record hitting the national press earlier this month, An estimated 4 million people cast their rods on a regular basis in the UK and one of them just caught a new biggie.

Gibson caught his fish from the now-famous Adams Mill beat, a short length of water that abuts the river’s other famous reach, Kickles Farm. The Great Ouse in this area is a small river, in places just a few yards wide. While the Great Ouse here holds big fish of several species, it holds just a handful of


monster barbel some estimates suggesting fewer than a dozen. The fish are so individually identifiable that they have been given names, including The Pope, Stumpy, Liner and Tear D r o p . G i b s o n’s fish was known as The Traveller.

Top Ten Tips for Finding a Phish 1. Know yourself: Know the companies you deal with. When a suspect email arrives, remember: it could be fraud, if it’s definitely spam, and it is not for you. Delete it. 2. Subject matters: Consider the subject line of an email carefully. Citibank will never send you an email headed “_Citiibank_account_update ACT-N0W”. These messages may get through spam filters because they appear to come from a reputable source, but that doesn’t mean it’s really from Citibank. 3. Learn the language: Understand how the companies you deal with want to interact with you. For example, banks usually want you to access your account through their website–not an email link. “Phishing” emails stand out because they don’t follow the rules. 4. Browsing: Practice safe browsing. Open a new browser window each time you log on to a web site that displays personal information. When you are done at that site, log out and close that browser window.

5. Spelling: Be sure to read emails that say they are from companies you know. Sometimes a real email will have a spelling or grammatical error, but anything more than one error is suspicious. 6. Use your mouse: Scroll over the links in emails you receive and check them. In some email systems, you can scroll over the different links in an email and see the actual contents of the link. If the email says PayPal, but the link content says “”, be careful. But note: URLs can be disguised—so don’t take a suspect link at face value. 7. All form, no function: Never enter your personal or credit information into a form in an email. If you feel the email is legitimate, call the company or visit their web site and log in to provide the requested information. 8. It’s personal: Expect good customer service. Unless your name is “Website User” or “johnsmith93”, most “phishing” emails are not personalized. If you receive a “Dear Customer” email, it may be time to move on. Stay on Guard 9. Check statements: Read your statements – every one, every month to ensure your charges and debits are correct. Often information obtained through phishing is not used right away. Stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately. 10. Stay current: Use and maintain your email protection software for spam blocking, fraud blocking, and anti-virus. If you have any questions, there are many fine web sites which can provide the latest information on the latest virus, “phishing” attack, or on-line scam.



NEW BRITISH COUNCIL DIRECTOR The BBBF recently said goodbye to Amanda Burrell, Honorary Secretary of the BBBF Executive Committee and Director of the British Council, who moved to London to take up her new post as Regional Director, Near East and North Africa. The new Director of the British Council in Bahrain is Sandra Hamrouni. Sandra joined the British Council in 1984 and her first posting was to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Since then, she has worked in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Oman and Spain where she has managed British Council Teaching Centres, Examinations Services and Grant Funded English Language Teaching activitiy.

With great enthusiasm, The Bahrain International Circuit has embarked recently on an agenda preparing for a range of motor sport activities at their very own high-tech circuit. The first of these events will be an exhibition race weekend in November featuring an array of cars that compete in the FIA GT Championship from a number of countries around the world. The event of November 25th &26th will give international GT drivers the first opportunity to race on the Middle East’s only Grand Prix circuit.

Staging the Bahrain GT Festival as a precursor to a fully fledged FIA GT round in 2005 will add strength to the portfolio of events that will be held at the circuit. The Bahrain GT Festival will bring in more than 70 cars of different brands and models, both current and historic from around the world, to present an impressive lineup giving spectators a new racing experience. The Festival underlines the standard of motor sport that will be seen at the circuit in future and will give regional fans a taste of what to expect next year when Bahrain hosts one of the official rounds in the FIA GT Championship in 2005. The event over the weekends of November 25-26 and December 9-10 are expected to attract motor sport fans from across Bahrain and the region. Upwards of 15 F3 teams will be in attendance, most of whom will have contested the World famous Macau F3 SuperPrix a few weeks earlier around the streets of the Chinese city overlooking Hong Kong harbour. 20

She has also worked as a volunteer (VSO) in Kenya, and has worked in Mexico, France and the UK. On behalf of the Executive Committee I should like to welcome Sandra to Bahrain. David Galbraith Chairman, BBBF Executive Committee


Another inaugural event similar to the 2004 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is being staged in December 2004, the Bahrain F3 SuperPrix. The first race of its type in the Middle East region is creating a buzz of excitement with the motor sport spectators, enthusiasts and industry spectators. One of the traditional stepping stones to Formula One, Formula 3 is acknowledged as being the proving ground for future champions although it is rare in this day and age for F3 races to take place on current Formula One circuits. Consequently, the Bahrain F3 SuperPrix on December 9th and 10th will be a “must” for all Formula One teams and talent scouts out to spot the young drivers who have what it takes.

BBBForum Winter 2004  

The first magazine produced by Andrew Mead of MMSL on behalf of the Bahrain British Business Forum

BBBForum Winter 2004  

The first magazine produced by Andrew Mead of MMSL on behalf of the Bahrain British Business Forum