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From The Chair

Khalid Al-Zayani OBE Chairman Welcome to the Autumn edition of the BBBF magazine. We have, it seems, all enjoyed a long summer and now we are back to business as demonstrated at our well attended lunch in September. Thank you for your attendance and continued support as ever. We have a number of changes afoot this Autumn. Mr Simon Martin CMG has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain in succession to Mr Iain Lindsay OBE. Mr Martin has served in London, Rangoon, Budapest and Prague in a number of policy and commercial roles. We extend a very warm welcome to Her Majesty’s Ambassador, his family and of course his team including Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Mockbul Ali. We are delighted and honoured to have him represent the United Kingdom in Bahrain. Our two Kingdoms share a long and special history which

will be highlighted of course during the celebrations to mark the bicentenary of our relationship in 2016. We look forward to strengthening our ties with the British Embassy and UK Trade & Investment for the continuing growth and enhancement of trade between Bahrain and the UK, both inward and outward. There remains a clear message that in Bahrain we want to see more British companies winning business in the Kingdom across all industry sectors. To that end and to ensure that our members get the best opportunities to network and explore business opportunities our Special Interest Groups will continue with their programme of seminars, events and workshops through the remainder of the year. The SIGs are now headed by Rick Hopper of Atkins. I would like to thank everyone who organises the numerous events, our sponsors and our members who support the Special Interest Groups of the BBBF with enthusiasm throughout the year. We are looking forward to having the Minister for Industry and Commerce, H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani, join us for lunch in October. He will no doubt provide us with an informative insight on the state of affairs as regards

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local, regional and global issues impacting upon, and of course benefiting, Bahrain. We are looking forward to our prestigious Poppy Ball on 6 November along with the annual visit of the Chelsea Pensioners to Bahrain. This year’s event looks to build on the excellent feedback that we received last year. We hope to see as many of you as possible on the night for what looks set to be another wonderful evening and all for a good cause. HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank continue to be a great source of financial support and generous encouragement. Their unwavering support allows us the financial security to increase the number and quality of events that we organise for your benefit and enjoyment. We are also pleased to see Etihad continuing its sponsorship relationship with us. We do hope that you enjoy this edition of Forum and that you had a relaxing Eid break this Autumn, whether in Bahrain or wherever that may take you. As always we look forward to seeing you, and your guests, at forthcoming BBBF events. Kind regards Khalid Al-Zayani

Contents The 2015-2017 Executive Committee........2 Welcome to New Members..................3 Poppy Ball Ticket Outlets..5 Member Benefits ..............6 Why join the BBBF? .........7 Advertiser Index................8 Diary Dates.......................8 From Her Majesty’s Ambassador.....................9 Embassy News...............10 SIG Update ...................12 SIG Security ..................14 Construction Sector .......20 Financial News ...............22 Feature Article Afraid you’ll outlive your Nest Egg?...............26 Health Matters................28 Motoring News ...............30 Education Sector............35 News from the EP ..........36 Hotel & Leisure News .....40 BBBF Golf Day ..............44 Bahrain News .................46 Banz Group to manage services in Dragon City ...48 And Finally......................56

Cover Image: Some of the winners at the BBBF/BBA Social Golf Day Prize-giving. One of the last events attended by outgoing HMA Iain Lindsay before leaving the Kingdom 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

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The 2015-17 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

Embassy Representative Heather Hopper Mob: 3947 4208

Member Adel Fakhro Tel: 1727 5000

Member Nasser Al Arayedh Tel: 1727 2575

Member Mazen Alumran Tel: 1771 5555

Member Ava Garbutt Tel: 3941 1938

Member Rick Hopper Tel: 3979 1090

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 3638 7595 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to 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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Executive Manager Dena Wales Tel: 3969 6191

The printed edition of the 2016 BBBF Directory is now being prepared. Keep your information up-to-date by checking the data on the BBBF Website at www.bbbforum.org, follow the link to the Directory and use the Text or Picture Search facility to find your entry.


Welcome to New Members Basel Jawad Habib Alkhayyat BDO Partner Tel: 1753-0077 Mob: 3691-6666 basil.jawad@bdo.bh

Russel Blake RMR Group Director Mob: 3369-1919 Russell.blake@hotmail.com

Ali Amralla GULF HOTELS GROUP Director of Business Development & Strategy Tel: 1771-3000 Mob: 3698-8881 dbds@gulfhotelbahrain.com

Christopher Bloodworth AECOM Middle East Limited Infrastructure Manager Tel: 1755-6634 Mob: 3604-9901 Chris.bloodworth@aecom.com

Basel Aryan Aryani Trading Managing Director Tel: 1334-3433 Mob: 3633-4663 basel@aryani.net

Federico Charosky Gulf International Bank Head of Security Projects Tel: 1753-4000 Mob: 3351-4923 federico.charosky@gib.com

Mohammed Baqer BCMS Gulf CEO Tel: 1751-8750 Mob: 3939-3444 mhbaqer@hotmail.com

Shirley Conway RMR Group Office Manager Mob: 3944-0975 shirleyconway@gmail.com

Mohammad Barakat Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Director of Marketing Tel: 1711-5000 Mob: 3230-0041 mohammad.barakat@ fourseasons.com

Jonty Crosse Julius Baer (Bahrain) B.S.C. Managing Director Tel: 1751-2735 Mob: 3962-7026 jonathan.crosse@juliusbaer.com

John Barnes AECOM Middle East Limited Ports & Maritime Manager Tel: 1755-6634 Mob: 3888-5197 John.barnes02@aecom.com

Michael Doporto RMR Group Director Mob: 3965-3797 mdoporto@banzgroup.com

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Emilio Escartin Bahrain Development Bank BSC © Head of Investment Tel: 1751-1116 Mob: 3333-8693 eescartin@bdb-bh.com

Yousif K. Hubaishi Petrolink International Director Tel: 7711-2848 Mob: 3966-3639 yousifhubaishi@gmail.com

Fouad Eslam Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Director of Sales Tel: 1711-5000 Mob: 3230-0110 eslam.fouad@fourseasons.com

Graham Jessup British Embassy Political and Economic Officer Tel: 1757-4103 Mob: 3230-0284 Graham.Jessup@fco.gov.uk

Sarah Grannell The Entertainer WLL Business Development Manager Tel: 1650-0578 Mob: 00971 505 520 868 sarahg@theentertainerme.com

Bishwajit Ranjan Kumar AECOM Middle East Limited Civil 7 Infrastructure Manager Tel: 1755-6634 Mob: 3604-9902 b.ranjan.kumar@aecom.com

Leonardo Gresele Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Sales Executive Tel: 1711-5000 Mob: 3230-0116 leonardo.gresele@ fourseasons.com

Emilia Mateva British Embassy Trade & Investment Officer Tel: 1757-4100 Mob: 3532-3006 Emilia.Mateva@fco.gov.uk

September Lunch

Below: General Manager Panos Panagis from the Diplomat Radisson Hotel donated 2 vouchers for ‘dinner for 2’ for our welcome back after the summer BBBF business networking lunch meeting

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Welcome to New Members Clarke Morton-Shepherd AECOM Middle East Limited Director, Building + Places Tel: 1755-6634 Mob: 3222-0730 clarke.morton-shepherd@ aecom.com

Claudia Sonnenschein Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Sales Executive Tel: 1711-5000 Mob: 3230-0115 claudia.sonnenschein@ fourseasons.com

Gregory Pirkle Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay General Manager Tel: 1711-5000 Mob: 3231-5000 greg.pirkle@fourseasons.com

Craig Thackray AECOM Middle East Limited Country Manager Tel: 1755-6634 Mob: 3607-7384 craig.thackray@aecom.com

Richard Potter RMR Group General Manager Mob: 3604-2290 dickpotter@gmail.com

POPPY BALL Tickets can be purchased from the 1st October from the following outlets British Club Reception (1772-8245) Sunday – Saturday 9am – 9pm (cash or cheque made payable to Bahrain British Business Forum) The Bookcase in Budaiya (1769-0566) Sunday – Thursday 9am – 8pm & Friday 10am – 2pm (cash only) Bahrain Rugby Football Club Reception - Saar Sunday – Saturday 9am – 9pm (cash or cheque made payable to Bahrain British Business Forum) For more details or to reserve a table contact the BBBF office Email: bbbfevents@batelco.com.bh or Telephone: 1781-3488

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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. Al Areen Palace & Spa would like to offer all members of the BBBF special rates on their Villas and 20% discount on Spa treatments and F&B outlets:Villas:1/9/15 to 31/10/15 Desert Pool Villa at BD180++. - Royal Pool Villa at BD280++ 1/11/15 to 30/12/15. - Desert Pool Villa at BD160++ -Royal Pool Villa at BD260++ Dining & Spa: 20% discount on Food & Beverage at all our outlets 20% discount on all spa treatments at Al Areen Spa. Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park - 50% Discount on entry for resident guests Health Club Membership: Access to Gym, Pool, Group Classes, Tennis & Squash Court and Kids Club, Single at BD450net. Couple at BD650 net. Family at BD750 net (2 Adults + 2 Children 4-16 yrs)

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 Expat Angels 10% discount on all packages and services. Contact: info@expatangelsbahrain.com

Tel: 3832-0439

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.

*Please carry valid BBBF ID Card to avail the offer. *For reservations please contact Elaine at sales.coordinator@alareenpalace.com or 17845000 Ext 202 or Pari at pari.s@alareenpalace.com or 36056389

Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: karim@karimmansouri.com

AXA Insurance 10% discounts to members on personal lines insurances. (excluding medical) Terms & Conditions Apply. Contact: Stephen Wagstaff Tel: 1758 8222 Email: stephen.wagstaff@axa-gulf.com

Hotel Services (NHSC) 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer. Contact: Ian Bricklebank Tel: 1781-5929 Email: nhsc1234@batelco.com.bh

Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) Special schemes have been arranged with BKIC for BBBF members for the following classes of insurance: House & Contents, Domestic Servants & Motor Insurance. Special terms are available on production of your membership card.

Nexus Financial Services 10% premium discount to members on personal lines insurances.(e.g. Motor, Medical, Travel and Home Contents etc). Premium Allocation Benefits for International Retirement and University Education Funding Plans. plus Free Monthly Premium Benefits for Life Assurance and Critical Illness Policies. Terms & Conditions Apply. Contact: Emanuel Lantzos Tel: 1753 1766 / 1753 1703 Email: Emanuel.lantzos@nexusadvice.com or info.bahrain@nexusadvice.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 BIZNET BBBF female members can join BIZNET for a 25% reduction in the fees (BD 75 for 9 events instead of BD 100). This also includes complementary entrance to mixed events. A member discount card is also provided. BBBF male members are welcome to attend mixed events for BD10 per session. BMC BBBF members and Organisations are eligible to a 20% discount on Team/Executive Coaching and Association for Coaching International Coach Training as well as 10% discount on other training, consulting and psychometric profiling. Contact:- Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy (Managing Director & Master Coach), Mobile:- +973 38442727, Email:- clare@beckett-mcinroy or office@beckett-mcinroy.com Charm Ladies Beauty Salon & Spa - 15% discount offered to BBBF Lady members and to BBBF male members wives on all their packages and products (valid until 28th February 2016). To avail this offer members must show their BBBF membership card. For more details and to see their brochure visit their Website at www.charmbahrain.com or telephone +973 1310 8598 Craig Consultants 10% discount for members on 1-on-1 Executive Coaching, Contact: Kevin Craig Tel: 36199980 Email: kevin@craigconsultants.com 6

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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 emma@primeinstantoffices.com Protection Insurance Service offers BBBF members special rates on their personal insurance (motor, home, travel and any other insurance cover). Members will just call to select the cover type, share the credit card number and we will deliver the policy documents to his / her office. Please call 3904-3446 or 3645-4282 Ritz-Carlton, Doha Stay for minimum 2 nights at the club level of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and get a Food & Beverages credit of USD 50/day. 15% savings for all treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa Contact: Hanny Gunawan, Director PR, Tel: +974 4484 8303, email: hanny.gunawan@ritzcarlton.com Royal Over-Seas League Reduced rates for BBBF members at ROSL clubhouses in London and Edinburgh Email: fvanicek@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 (2015) 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.

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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.

2 Connect ........................................ Inside Back Cover Allied Pickfords................................................ page 53 Almoayed Wilelmsen Ltd................................... page 8

BFC ................................................................. page 22

Tuesday Oct 6th Business Networking Lunch Venue: Diplomat Hotel Speaker: HE Mr Zayed Alzayani - Minister of Industry & Commerce (MOIC) Registration: 12 noon

Budget Car & Van Rental ............................... page 33

Wednesday Oct 14th - Islamic New Year

AXA Insurance ............................. Outside Back Cover Banz Group ..................................................... page 49 BAPCO............................................................ page 21

Charles Russell Speechlys.............................. page 34 Crown Relocations .......................................... page 50 Crowne Plaza Hotel......................................... page 39 DHL ................................................................. page 11 Dipomat Radisson Blu..................................... page 45 Etihad Airways................................................. page 27 Euromotors Jaguar.......................................... page 31 Four Seasons Bahrain Bay Hotel .................... page 41 G4S ................................................................. page 17 HSBC .............................................................. page 25 Mansouri Mansions ......................................... page 46 Nexus ..............................................Inside Front Cover Skin Health Centre .......................................... page 28 Streetlight Photography..................................... page 5 The Robin Hill Hotel ........................................ page 52 Viva ................................................................. page 37 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 Caroline Wilkie on 3671-8115

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Diary Dates

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Wednesday Oct 21st An evening function BBBF Welcome Reception for the new British Ambassador, HE Simon Martin CMG Venue: tba Oct 23rd - 25th - Ashura Wednesday Oct 28th BBBF SIG O&E meeting Presenter : Ahmed Al Akbar of ACK Solutions Venue: tba Registration: tba Friday 6th Nov BBBF/BBA Annual Poppy Ball VIP Guests - The Chelsea Pensioners Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel Reception from 7pm - Seated by 8pm Thursday Dec 3rd Christmas Lunch Venue: tba Speaker: HMA Simon Martin CMG Registration: 12 noon Events in the pipeline Please note - dates and timings are subject to change. Visit the BBBF website www.bbbforum.org and check the calendar for updated details on the above and other events/ meetings being held.


From Her Majesty's Ambassador

I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to represent the United Kingdom in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Our two countries share a long and special history. And we are strong partners in many fields.

Ambassador Martin presented his credentials to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on 22 September. Mr Simon Martin CMG was appointed as Her MajestyÂ’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain in September 2015. Mr Martin joined the FCO in 1984 and served in London, Rangoon, Budapest and Prague in a number of policy and commercial roles. His most recent role was as Deputy Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Mr Martin is married to Sophie and they have two sons and two daughters. He enjoys running, swimming and (when he gets the chance) golf and skiing.

I arrived in Bahrain at the start of September and everything I was promised about my wife, Sophie, and I being made to feel welcome, by Bahrainis and Brits alike, has delivered. From His Majesty, to His Royal Highness The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness The Prime Minister and the ministers I have so far had the pleasure of meeting, continuing to build strong business, trade and investment links is a shared priority. As the Government of Bahrain pushes ahead with its ambitious reform programme, the UK, as a close friend, remains committed to providing assistance to Bahrain, to help ensure effective implementation of the proposed political, economic and social reforms. Economic development and growth remains an important

element in helping reforms take root. I share the Gover nment of Bahrain’s vision for ensuring more UK companies come to Bahrain and that there should be more Bahraini investment in the UK. As we look ahead to celebrating 200 years of friendship, UK Trade and Investment, the BBBF and the EDB, together, can make a real difference in exploiting the opportunities here and in the UK, to develop our relationships still further and drive forward mutual ambitions, in the interests of our two countries and peoples.” As Ambassador this is one of my most important objectives. I look forward to working with the BBBF and with you, my fellow BBBF members, in this exciting challenge.

Simon Martin CMG H. M. Ambassador

On 29 September at the Gudaibiya Palace His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received the UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and the British Ambassador to Bahrain Mr Simon Martin CMG. HM the King welcomed the UK Defence Secretary, and reviewed with him the long-standing relations of friendship and cooperation bonding the two countries, lauding the advanced level of the Bahraini-British relations in various fields, particularly regarding military coordination and defence cooperation. HM the King lauded the role played by the United Kingdom and its contributions to strengthening the pillars of security and stability in the region, and serving global issues. Forum

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Embassy News

Salford University enters partnership with Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance

areas relevant to the region’s economy and development like oil and gas and post-oil economies, it said. Dr Ahmed Al Shaikh, BIBF’s Deputy Director, said: “BIBF is keen to expand its academic offerings as part of its commitment to satisfy business needs across all sectors, and further strengthen Bahrain’s position as a regional financial hub primarily through the unparalleled quality of its workforce.

UK-based University of Salford has entered into a new partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) to launch a number of collaborative academic initiatives for Bahrain and the UK. The two institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the university become a BIBF academic provider of choice, said a statement. The relationship will lead to the joint development of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, building on Salford’s expertise in areas such as business administration, marketing, tourism, and Islamic banking and finance, it said. These are all academic areas where Salford already has an international reputation of excellence which this new partnership will only enhance.

region and provides a full portfolio of entry-level courses as well as qualifications aimed at senior leaders in the banking industry across the Middle East, said the statement. In addition to its expertise in businessrelated courses, Salford also has an internationally renowned reputation in areas such as built environment, energy, healthcare, media and digital, and science and technology, it said. “The University of Salford is focused on forging long-term partnerships with key institutions across the Middle East and the BIBF are the leading organisation for business and finance education in Bahrain,” said Prof. Marshall. “I am delighted to have strengthened our relationship with such a powerful regional partner that shares our belief in practical based learning underpinned with regional and international academic expertise,” she said.

A special event was held at the BIBF to celebrate the new partnership in the presence of Mockbul Ali, Deputy Ambassador to Bahrain; Professor Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford; and Solveig Nicklos, director of BIBF.

The partnership will lead to the development and expansion of BIBF’s doctoral level teaching provision, as well as open up a range of joint research initiatives between the two institutions, said the statement.

BIBF is the leading provider of financial and business related courses in the

The academics from Salford will visit and work with their BIBF counterparts in key

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We continue to advance the quality of our offerings through strategic partnerships with the world’s most prestigious educational and professional institutions, and the agreement with the Salford Business School at the University of Salford is a prime example of this.” As part of the agreement, there will also be opportunities for student and cultural exchanges, with Salford students able to study short programmes at BIBF and experience what it’s like to work on a trading floor by taking advantage of BIBF’s simulation ‘dealing room’. Dr Keith Sharp, BIBF’s head of Centre for Academics, said: “We are delighted to be signing this MoU with the University of Salford. This is an excellent opportunity for students from our Foundations Programme to progress to degree-level study in one of the UK’s leading universities, and hopefully the start of a long and mutually beneficial partnership between our two institutions.” “Maintaining an international context to the University of Salford is imperative to our long term strategy and this new relationship with the BIBF can only add to our already excellent reputation in delivering industry-relevant postgraduate and professional level qualifications,” said Prof. Marshall. “Salford and the BIBF have a shared ethos. We both believe in equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a competitive industry and I look forward to developing a meaningful partnership together in the years ahead,” she said.


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SIG Update

SIG Sponsors

Back to work! I hope that most of you will have had time to take a break this summer and are now back with a renewed energy for what always proves to be the busiest period of the year around Bahrain.

A few additional updates: •

Oil & Gas: Simon Bromyard joins the foray as head of the Oil & Gas SIG following on from the inaugural event in March, we look forward to his events in the near future.

•

Security: Long-term BBBF member and head of the Security SIG, Mr. Tony Palys will shortly be stepping down. We at the BBBF would like to thank Tony for all that he has done, he will be missed. Tony has already arranged for someone to support Tony Tesar in the ongoing management of this group, they have always been one of the most active groups and I’m sure this will continue.

•

Young Professionals: I am pleased to announce that Ava Garbutt, BBBF Committee Member, has stepped in to assist Tom Reynolds with the Young Professionals SIG. There is a lot of potential for this group and I believe a great team is in place to now make this a reality.

•

Construction: Although I head up the SIG’s, my intention is to continue running the Construction SIG as well. That said, if you have some spare time and would like to work with me to keep the Construction SIG going strong, I would welcome your support!

•

Hospitality & Leisure SIG: Following on from our last BBBF Committee meeting, it was agreed to pursue the addition of a Hospitality & Leisure SIG group. We have had a many requests to cover this sector and will be looking to start up this group in the next couple months.

Rick Hopper SIG Chair

Over the next three months you will be receiving numerous invites for upcoming events, including the always popular Poppy Ball in November, not to mention the monthly BBBF lunches and speakers in between and we are keeping our fingers crossed to also have an introduction with the new British Ambassador to Bahrain, HE Simon Martin CMG. In the SIGs, we intend to keep up this momentum by fitting in as many events as we can. I see the SIGs as one the greatest benefits of membership in the BBBF and also a gateway to membership for our guests that attend. Therefore, and as I keep mentioning in my posts, we are going to be running more joined up / cross-sector events as much as possible in the future. One such cross-sector event is happening Wednesday, 28th October 2105, called “Closing the High End Sale – How to increase sales dramatically”. This 90 minute workshop gives you all the tools you need to close more high-end business. This is a new approach to selling, with a focus on differentiating your sales approach from the competition by using effective influence techniques and focusing less on deliverables and more on value. If a large portion of your time is spent on closing business (or managing those that do), then this is the right workshop for you. The workshop is being presented by Ahmed Al Akber, whom some of you will know from his long time membership of the BBBF or through his company, ACK Solutions. I think you will all find Ahmed to be a very dynamic speaker with a wealth of great information to share. I sure hope we get as many BBBF members as possible at this event.

SIG - ICT

The ICT Special Interest Group has had two meetings so far in 2015, the first one in January at the Crown Plaza Hotel. The subject was ICT – Friend or Foe: Practical Guidelines for mere mortals. Ravi Jayasundera addressed the group and gave an excellent presentation on Internet and Mobile usage. Ravi is very active in the field of Cyber Security. The second ICT meeting was held in March where John Ogle of Panduit gave a presentation on their SmartZone solutions. He spoke about the Data Centre Energy Efficiency award they received from Yahoo for The Green Grid using the SmartZone solutions. This had resulted in a saving of

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Please make sure to read on about our past and upcoming events in the SIG sections that follow. If you would like to discuss anything you’ve read, or have ideas on what we could do to improve the SIGs, it would be my pleasure to speak with you.

7.5 million kilowatt hours for Yahoo. With energy and cost savings being of particular importance in Bahrain, this presentation was well attended and well received.

David Wales (BSc, MIEE) BBBF ICT SIG Chairman

The summer months are traditionally quiet in Bahrain so there have been no further ICT events up until now.

With everybody back to work, we will look to hold another event soon.


SIG - Banking & Finance SIG - Oil & Gas The initiative for the BBBF Special Interest Group (SIG) for Oil & Gas ‘O&G’ Has been underway for some time now. Having been invited to participate in its organisation I was delighted to accept to be a part of this exciting Interest Group. Nicole Philips Joint SIG Chair

Jonathan Trafankowski Joint SIG Chair

The quiet, sweltering summer months are drawing to a close, and as cooler weather (hopefully) beckons, the Banking and Finance SIG is looking to kick things back into gear. We are in the process of planning a breakfast panel with the Legal SIG on UK Pensions for expats, as well as linking up with our friends in the Security SIG for a possible joint effort on banking security. Interested members are welcome to suggest additional speakers and events.

SIG - Legal With the BBBF gearing up again after the summer season, the Legal Special Interest Group will continue to provide a forum where UK-headquartered law Joanne Emerson Taqi firms and British lawyers can BBBF Legal SIG Chair share knowledge and legal updates and discuss topics of importance to all of us, as well as help legal professionals enhance their networks by building on their existing relationships and developing new ones. We hope to arrange two events before the turn of the year, focussing on transport infrastructure projects in the GCC and on how companies law in Bahrain can affect your business. Details will be released soon. One of our key aims remains to promote interaction with the local law sphere in Bahrain. Dealing with local law firms is a vital part of all our work here in the Kingdom, and we will continue to keenly promote the involvement of local firms in our Special Interest Group, including through inviting them to be part of our events as speakers and discussion panel members. Please do get in touch if you would like to join the group, or if you have any ideas for future events, venues or speakers. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Simon Bromyard SIG Chair

As an experienced Engineer, with over 20 years’ experience in O&G, I believe that the existence of such an Interest Group, allowing professionals to network and share information will only serve to augment the profile of O&G business activity and project opportunity. Current Networking initiatives would include: • • •

Key note O&G industry speaker to attend Group meetings. Encouraging ‘open’ Q&A sessions. Encourage networking discussion and sharing of information on upcoming O&G project opportunities.

We will continue to develop further ideas and establish the Core Team, as we organise over the next couple of months and hope to hold a social event in support of this. Should you have any interest in becoming part of the Core Team or have questions or ideas for SIG O&G, please feel to make contact at either sbromyard@oakbh.com OR bbbforum@batelco.com.bh or call on +973 3981 5642. On behalf of the BBBF SIG for O&G we look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to our first SIG for O&G meeting. Regards Simon D. Bromyard

BBBF Online Directory

The online database has been upgraded to a more mobile friendly presentation over the summer. This should make it easier to see and use the search facilities on your smartphone or tablet. If you experience any difficulties please advise Andrew Mead on email: andrew@sbtd.co.uk With preparations for the printed version of the 2016 Directory due to start as soon as this magazine is distributed please visit the BBBF website and make sure your own contact information is up-to-date The BBBF Website is at www.bbbforum.org There are still a few members who seem to be getting younger every year. If you have a more recent photo please email a copy to andrew@sbtd.co.uk as soon as possible to help with the update. Forum 13


SIG - Security

[Note: That “Driving Overseas Best Practices” should always be included when briefing members of staff who have been “relocated” as part of their welcome pack, for example:]

Driving In Bahrain

Is it me or has the world of crazy driving antics now firmly left the dedicated race tracks around the world to be repeated on the highways and byways where the traffic police are virtually helpless as they continue to watch the body count rise. In a recent post on Facebook I was complaining about this subject, especially the lack of use of that marvelous tool called an indicator in this Region. The replies came in from all over the planet of similar issues coupled with driving issues linked with security concerns. So with that I thought that this would be a good subject to follow up on with, this being my last contribution to the Forum Magazine. “If humanity wants some quick wins, a good place to start would be road accidents. Traffic killed 1.24 million people in 2010, says the World Health Organisation. That’s about double the toll of homicides and armed conflict combined. Yet we could save many of these lives quite easily, our failure to do so is in part a simple failure of imagination. “Road traffic injuries have been neglected from the global health agenda . . . despite being predictable and largely preventable,” says the WHO. Car crashes aren’t considered news precisely because they are routine, remarks the Dutch writer Joris Luyendijk. He says that although road accidents are “the biggest bloodbath in the Arab world”, media instead focus on the much smaller bloodbath of terrorism.”

When I started researching this topic I was overwhelmed with the amount of information available.There are many websites, including Embassy Country Reports, which will have advice on driving in various countries. 14 Forum

Bahrain drives on the right and you can drive on the licence of most countries for up to 3 months. Highways and major roads in the northern third of Bahrain are four to six lanes wide and well maintained. Roads in villages and older parts of Manama and Muharraq are narrow and twisting but are generally reasonably well maintained. Driving standards are variable and you may encounter speeding motorists on main roads. Bahrain operates a zero tolerance to drink/driving. If you are caught you will be arrested, put into the drivers prison and your case will not be heard until the next working day. First time offenders will have to pay a minimum £900 fine and could be banned from driving in Bahrain. British visitors from Saudi Arabia will be subject to the same punishment but with the addition of a driving ban there also. For repeat offenders the costs and ban will be more serious. As part of the briefing there may be a need to have your Security Adviser assist with a Security Awareness Briefing to your staff that cover such things as the following: • An up to date country briefing to include a map so as to discuss “Possible Hot Spots”

no circumstances must you try to cross a roadblock that has been put in place by activists as you may well incite aggression against you. • Always ensure that you carry photographic identification with you such as your CPR or passport. • Be prepared for journeys to take longer than usual due to traffic delays. Ensure that you have water and snacks in your vehicle. • if you come across a suspicious object do not approach it. Try and create as much distance between it and yourself immediately. When you are at least 400 metres away consider alerting the police of what you have seen. You should not, under any circumstances, touch, cover or try to remove the object. • Maintain alertness to your surroundings and ensure that villas and apartments are properly secured as the current unrest has led to a rise in opportunistic, acquisitive crimes such as burglary, theft and robbery.

General World Advice In many urban locations, using the local public transit system may be easier and faster than complying with local self-driving laws and customs and fees and avoiding criminality. Further, many large cities discourage urban driving by issuing a congestion charge or employing rotating access based on license plate numbers.

• Employ secure journey management – particularly at night time and if you have to travel near known trouble spots.

For guidance on specific transit safety and security please, once again, review FCO Country Reports for the intended destination. The following highlight general best practices for self-driving:

• Avoid know trouble spots whenever possible and consider alternative routes.

1. Do not patronise rental companies that do not have paperwork translated into English

• Approach roadblocks with caution and treat whoever is stationed at the roadblock, whether police or protestors, with respect and patience. Do not engage in negotiation but turn back if possible. If possible take an alternative route or wait in a safe place until it is clear to proceed without danger. Under

2. Confirm the type of fuel required for the vehicle. Remember that fuel is generally listed at cost in local currency per litre and many cars may run on diesel fuel, although increasing numbers may be electric or use alternative fuel sources


(police station) to resolve the situation. Remaining at the scene of an accident can be a risk to one’s safety 9. When possible, park in a protected, illuminated area like inside a residential compound, in a parking lot with an attendant, or at least within view of your destination. When parking in a shopping lot, park as close as possible to the store entrance and away from dumpsters, bushes, or large vehicles. Always check the interior and exterior of your vehicle prior to getting in

Anthony Peter Palys MBE

Cyber Security/ Crime Awareness

10. Always drive with headlights on. In some countries, this is mandated. Regardless of the law, it is a means not only for basic visibility but for making other drivers aware of your presence 3. Even when use is not legally mandated, the use of seat belts whenever possible is advised 4. If the use of a mobile phone is necessary, pull over to a safe location for the duration of the call. Know the laws on cell phone usage 5. Motorists should generally carry a mobile phone and first aid kit in case of an emergency 6. Plan routes, and notify family/friends of your itinerary. Know the signage and street markings of your destination. Avoid becoming stranded in remote regions or accidentally entering unsafe areas. In some regions, it is highly recommended to caravan with at least two cars outside of major cities. In particularly remote areas, 4X4 vehicles with winches are recommended. Vehicles should be in top condition and have spare tires and water, food, and emergency supplies 7. Investigate whether credit cards can be used at petrol stations and have local currency on hand in case of emergency 8. If you are being followed/harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest police station, hotel, or other public facility from which to call the police. Never lead the person to your home or stop and get out of your vehicle. It is recommended that anyone involved in an accident resulting in the formation of a mob proceed directly to a safe place

11. Avoid driving at night, especially in poorly illuminated areas. In many locations, U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside the major cities after dark (generally after 6pm) 12. Keep car doors locked and windows up. Especially while idling, leave adequate room (generally at least half a car length of space) to maneuver out of a threatening situation and to avoid rear-end collisions. Be prepared to take evasive action at any time 13.The use of a car alarm is strongly recommended to deter vehicle thefts and thefts of interior contents. Do not leave anything of value in plain view in parked vehicles

As I scramble to find my research notes, I am once again “blown away” at what the headlines actually represent especially when one “chases the backstory”; as CNN would put it. With that in mind it was quite refreshing to take a look at a Gulf Weekly “Cover Story” interview by Mai Al Khatib-Camille with BBBF Member Ravi Jayasundera the founder of Sysprove Consulting, a business process and strategic IT consultancy based in Bahrain of which I will return to shortly.

14. In the event of a flat tire or other breakdown, keep doors/trunk locked and the windows rolled up to prevent theft of items by “Good Samaritan helpers” while you are outside the vehicle. 15. Never drink alcohol or consume mind altering medications/drugs before or while driving. Alcohol consumption is a common factor in accidents. Give long-haul cargo trucks a wide berth.

President Xi and President Obama Likely to Clash over Cyber Spying, Human Rights and the South China Sea

Remember Think Safety Drive Safely

There is no doubt that the big news at the moment is the talks taking place between the US & China as I prepare this contribution for this magazine. For example the headline in the China Daily reflected Beijing’s lofty expectations of a diplomatic tour de force as President Xi Jinping began his Forum 15


SIG - Security

week-long U.S. visit. “Key Deals in Sight,” the state-controlled paper confidently predicted, noting that Xi and President Barack Obama were likely to seal more than 40 agreements, including a major accord on climate change. But among White House officials, the forecast for the summit is markedly more cautious, with the two leaders expected to clash once again in at least three major areas: China’s use of cyber-spying to poach U.S. trade secrets, China’s territorial claims in the western Pacific and Beijing’s poor human rights record. National security adviser Susan Rice set the tone for Obama’s talks with Xi in a speech on Monday. She underscored the corrosive effect that China’s cyber-spying against American companies is having on U.S.-China relations. “This isn’t a mild irritation,” the famously blunt-spoken Rice said. “It puts enormous strain on our bilateral relationship, and it is a critical factor in determining the future trajectory of U.S.China ties...and it needs to stop.

are people who obtain unauthorized access to your personal information, such as Social Security and financial account numbers. They then use this information to commit crimes such as fraud or theft.

• Set up a user account and password to prevent unauthorised access to your computer files.

• Spyware - Spyware is software that “piggybacks” on programs you download, gathers information about your online habits, and transmits personal information without your knowledge. It may also cause a wide range of other computer malfunctions.

• Microsoft users can download the free Secunia Personal Software Inspector (https://psi.secunia.com/), which lets you scan your computer for any missing operating system or software patches and provides instructions for getting all the latest updates.

Top Seven Cyber-Safety Actions:

Even closer to home – Protect Your Children:

1. Install OS/Software Updates 2. Run Anti-Virus Software 3. Prevent Identity Theft 4. Turn on Personal Firewalls 5. Avoid Spyware/Adware 6. Protect Passwords 7. Backup Important Files Cyber-Safety at Home: • Physically secure your computer by using security cables and locking doors and windows in the dorms and off-campus housing.

Closer to Home What is Cyber Safety: Cyber-safety is a common term used to describe a set of practices, measures and/or actions you can take to protect personal information and your computer from attacks. Cyber Threats consist of : • Viruses - Viruses infect computers through email attachments and file sharing. They delete files, attack other computers, and make your computer run slowly. One infected computer can cause problems for all computers on a network. • Hackers - Hackers are people who “trespass” into your computer from a remote location. They may use your computer to send spam or viruses, host a Web site, or do other activities that cause computer malfunctions. • Identity Thieves - Identity Thieves 16 Forum

• Avoid leaving your laptop unsupervised and in plain view in the library or coffee house, or in your car, dorm room or home.

• Do not install unnecessary programs on your computer.

Returning to the Gulf Weekly “Cover Story” interview by Mai Al KhatibCamille with BBBF Member Ravi Jayasundera the founder of Sysprove Consulting, a business process and strategic IT consultancy based here in Bahrain. “Ravi is passionate about assisting people on how to protect themselves online. Ravi said; “Sadly, children are often targeted online. Before there used to be one computer in a household, usually located in a common place, which made it easier for parents to monitor what their kids were doing. “Now, with smart phones and tablets, children have more access and sometimes don’t realise when they have stumbled on a predator or hacker.” Ravi has contributed interesting articles on a number of occasions to the Forum magazine of which his article on “Protecting Children From Cyber Threats”, which was printed in the Spring Edition 2014, is well worth a revisit. The article uncovers various threats that we as parents, in this most testing social media age and environment, must not only be aware of but must also understand the impact and harm that such threats can bring to our children. The Gulf Weekly interview is also well worth a review. Ravi - “Cyber safety must be a collective effort and sharing of information is key between various parties, as in parents, teachers, kids between friends and schools.”

Remember Always Challenge the Norm & See Something Say Something


Over the past few months we have been attempting to catch-up on outstanding appreciation awards that relate to those folks from our communities as well as the BBBF membership who have supported us prior to our past and during our partnership with OSAC www.osac.gov, especially since 2011. These awards also recognise the “new generation” that have taken up that information baton in ensuring that the open source and real time communication is still flowing with an objective of “Keeping The Community Informed. Awards pictured include Caroline Wilkie, Joanne Bromyard, Stephen Harrison, Adam Radicic and Michael Hughes. There are still a few more to be presented, so watch this space. To each and every one of the recipients our most sincere collective thanks for all that you have done and for your continued support.

Forum 17


SIG - Security

ATM Fraud Update:

We have, over the past few years, covered this subject on a number of occasions with the hope of raising awareness not only within the membership but also within the community with presentations to Banks, Organisations and Hospitals. Unfortunately we are still hearing of numerous cases of ATM Fraud especially here in the GCC. With this in mind we thought it prudent to re-visit past articles and research updates and case studies where possible, especially as criminal organisations have ramped up their sophistication and global reach, the industry has watched with increasing alarm the rising statistics on ATM skimming fraud: more than $2 billion in losses (and rising) at ATMs around the world. Case Study 1 Saudi duped of SR290,000 Two young men have stolen SR290,000 from a woman’s account in a scam operated at an ATM, said a media report. The father of the woman said he had withdrawn money using her ATM card in Al-Mahjar Street in Jeddah. He claimed that two young men approached him as he was leaving and said that he had forgotten his card in the machine. “I escorted him back to the ATM, and saw the other man was waiting for me next to the machine with an ATM card similar to that of my daughter’s in his hand,” the father said. “He told me he had removed the card from the machine, 18 Forum

and suggested I re-enter it to check that my account transactions were closed. “The father said that he did not think to check whether his daughter’s card was in his wallet, or the name on the card held by the man. The following evening, he said his daughter informed him that she had received SMSs from her bank indicating the withdrawal of large sums from her account within a few hours. “We realized more than SR290,000 were withdrawn and transferred from her account, and several purchases made at various locations.” The father said that he filed complaints with the police, the bank, and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and was now waiting for feedback. Atti Al-Qurashi, spokesman of the police department in Makkah, said the authorities had previously dealt with similar cases. The case is being probed, he said. Case Study 2 Europeans arrested in ATM card scam case The Ajman police have arrested a gang of five European men involved in stealing credit card details of bank customers with the help of a chip inserted in the ATM machine. The company in

charge of Ajman bank’s security was informed about two suspicious looking men loitering outside the bank, Colonel Abdullah al Matrooshi, director of the Criminal Investigation Department said. They immediately rushed to the location and found a chip inserted in the ATM machine and a camera installed on the device. The gang achieved their goal by installing a chip inside the ATM machine. When a bank customer inserted their card in the ATM machine slot, the chip would copy all its details including the pin number. Once the gang copied all the details they used the data to steal the money via withdrawal. According to media reports, the suspects entered the country on a visit visa.The arrested suspected confessed and also provided details of the fifth accomplice, who was a resident of Ajman.


Theft of Debit-Card Data From ATMs Soars ATMs are under siege more than ever from skimming. Skimming, where ATM thieves steal your PIN and account number using remote devices, is increasing dramatically. Often done by sophisticated crime rings from the Eastern bloc countries, ATM skimming is becoming a high-tech art that’s hard to detect. Typically, ATM thieves use two devices to capture your PIN and card data. One device sits near where you swipe your card and reads the magnetic stripe on your card with your account number. Even more confusing, the device mimics the card slot. “The technology has evolved to a point where the molded plastic fits like it belongs there,” says Siciliano. Devices are even readily available over the Internet for as little as $300. A camera, hidden from view, captures the PIN. “You can get the data in real time,” says Siciliano. “You can be in your car with a laptop remotely accessing the device.” Thieves then burn the data onto a blank card to access your money. 4 tips to protect you from ATM thieves 1. Cover your password with your hand. Hidden cameras are disguised so they can pick up your password. By protecting it, ATM thieves can’t access your account. 2. Use familiar ATMs and limit your visits. ATMs in dimly lighted spots or used late at night could be more susceptible to fraud, while ATMs under video surveillance can be safer. Stay away from ATMs at retail stores or restaurants. Airports, convenience stores or kiosks are equally vulnerable to ATM thieves. Still, even highly trafficked ATMs outside a bank branch have been targeted by thieves. Also, try to limit your visits to the ATM. 3. Check bank balances frequently Given the two day window for reporting fraud, it pays to check your account frequently. If you don’t report fraud within 60 days, you have unlimited liability. Sign up for alerts and notice

unusual withdrawals. With credit cards there are more protections in place, and you can dispute charges. 4. Observe the ATM. Consumers are advised to look at an ATM to make sure a card slot is legitimate and not tacked on. Look for things that strike you. Some people have felt that when they inserted their card, something went awry. If that happens to you, try another ATM.

Rose knew just what to do. She helped the cardholder contact the Florida unemployment fraud office and connected her with someone who could speak in her native language. Quickly, they flagged the fraud and then gave her the appropriate steps to take with the Social Security Administration and the IRS. She was told how to request an earnings statement and let them know about the possible identity theft.

Summary: When protecting your account against ATM thieves it’s all about awareness, paying attention and understanding risks. There are hundreds of thousands of ATMs and every one of them is susceptible to fraud. The speed and convenience of technology has replaced the security of technology.”

As for the credit card … Rose helped the cardholder contact her bank to clear it up and close the account.

Strange Letter Has Woman Worried About Identity Theft

The cardholder couldn’t have been more appreciative, exclaiming, “Rose, thank you so much for all your help. You are very nice and I appreciate that. Thank you, thank you for all your help.”

Fraud and identity theft is a real concern, which is why MasterCard is launching its “Take 5 to Protect Yourself” initiative in the U.S. and encourages cardholders to sign up for MasterCard ID Theft Alerts™ on the website. It’s everything you need in one place online whether you’ve lost your wallet or you suspect something more sinister. It complements help that they also offer over the phone - help that one cardholder recently took advantage of.

But that’s not where the story ends. Two months later, Rose reached out to the cardholder just to confirm that there was no fraudulent filing at the IRS and that her identity restoration was complete.

Sometimes MasterCard customer service agents help after a traveler has been robbed, or plan the perfect wedding proposal. In this case, “Rose” answered the phone and guided the cardholder through what could have been a very complicated process, giving her peace of mind and a quick solution. Priceless.

Someone ‘signing on’ It all started when she received a letter in the mail, informing her about her application for unemployment benefits in Tallahassee — an application she hadn’t submitted. She was immediately nervous. There was also some suspicious activity on one of her credit cards …

There may be thousands of businesses out there that can plan and deliver what you’re looking for. But did you know that your MasterCard card may carry this benefit for no additional fee?

What’s the first place you would turn to, to get help? Looking online for any sort of fraud or identity restoration service can be scary – so many websites pop up that it’s hard to tell sometimes what’s reputable. Sometimes the fraudsters even come to you, in phishing schemes.

• Mastercard - “Beyond the Transaction” http://newsroom.mastercard.com/ blog/

Our cardholder knew who to call though – she dialed MasterCard benefits assistance and was transferred to “Rose”.

Resources used and for further information:

• WSJ - http://www.wsj.com/articles/ theft-of-debit-card-data-from-atmssoars-1432078912 • Bankrate - http://www.bankrate.com/ finance/savings/4-tips-to-protect-youfrom-atm-thieves-1

Forum 19


Construction Sector Major Infrastructure projects get go-ahead

With massive Bahrain infrastructure projects in the pipeline, Nass Contracting Company (a subsidiary of Nass Corporation BSC) recently signed contracts for major roads and water sector projects. Nass Corporation’s flagship company, Nass Contracting recently inked deals for two water transmission projects with the Electricity and Water Authority totalling USD 126 million. “Our contract involves the design and construction of 10nr 5million gallon Ground Storage Tanks (GSTs) and 4nr 1million gallon Elevated Service Reservoirs (ESRs) at various locations in Bahrain together with all associated pumping stations, ancillary and integration works,” said Mr. David Anthony, General Manager of Nass Contracting. Construction of new and fully automated pumping stations with SCADA and control systems have begun and are due for completion in 2017. Among the newly-awarded projects, USD 124 million contract for the construction of five bridge structures to upgrade Sh. Jaber Al Ahmed Al Subah Highway (Alba & Nuwaidrat Interchange) was also awarded to Nass Contracting Company and its joint venture partner - KCC Engineering & Contracting Company, Kuwait. The GCC funded project was part of a critical infrastructure development

20 Forum

Officials of Electricity and Water Authority with Nass Contracting during the contract signing ceremony; Centre: Sh. Nawaf Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of EWA shakes hand with Mr. Sameer Nass, Chairman of Nass Corporation.

under the Strategic Roads Master Plan Project umbrella of the Ministry of Works. Contract involves replacing the existing Alba Roundabout with a new three-level interchange, and the replacement of existing Nuwaidrat Roundabout with a new two-level interchange. Upgrade of all highways and road levelling leading to the above roundabouts, namely, Sh. Jaber Al Ahmed Al Subah Highway, King Hamad Highway, Estiglal Highway, Moaskar Highway, Avenue 15 and the Refinery Avenue is also part of the scope. “The ALBA-Nuwaidrat Interchange project is critical as it involves the relocation of several utilities, especially the relocation of twin 16” BAPCO gas pipelines and the extension of BAPCO Culvert and Ducts across King Hamad Highway. Mobilization has begun and

we expect to complete the project by August, 2018”, said Mr. Anthony. With years of experience and proven expertise in the civil engineering industry Nass Contracting have made major contributions to Bahrain’s commercial and industrial infrastructure, having successfully undertaken projects in virtually every sector of the country’s economy. “NASS is known for its dedication in achieving highest standards of construction and maintaining client satisfaction in the industry, and we look forward to supporting such infrastructural developments by the Government of Bahrain in the future, which aims to boost public spending and accelerate the growth of Bahrain’s economy.” he concluded.


A4 Advert.indd 1

9/22/15 1:18 PM


Financial News

Elian granted licence to offer investment management capabilities and partners with SEI Elian has been granted an investment business licence by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC). Working with global financial-services company, SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC), Elian Capital Services is now able to offer an integrated investment management programme. Elian Capital Services, which is regulated by the JFSC, has a dedicated team of qualified investment specialists. The investment management offering will provide clients of Elian Performance and Reward Management and Elian Private Wealth with access to a cost-effective, comprehensive and robust wealth management solution. The service will be managed out of the Jersey office. With $262 billion in assets under management, SEI is a leading global provider of institutional and private client wealth management solutions that help professional wealth managers, institutions, and private investors

to create and manage wealth. SEI will provide Elian Capital Services with a custom designed, innovative solution that combines SEI’s asset management capabilities, the SEI Wealth PlatformSM and investment operations into a comprehensive proposition. Elian Capital Services can, in turn, offer its clients a flexible, transparent and dynamic investment management programme that is easy to understand and responsive to client demand. Elian Capital Services director Niall Husbands said: ‘Elian is one of only a handful of administration companies that are able to offer an integrated investment solution. Elian is committed to anticipating clients’ needs and to providing innovative solutions to meet them. We understand that our clients’ demands are evolving, and they are increasingly looking for a one-stop shop for administration and investment requirements.’

Nigel Brook-Walters, sales director f o r S E I ’s A s s e t M a n a g e m e n t Distribution unit, said: ‘This partnership offers Elian’s clients access to a proposition that is different from anything else on the market today. In short, it offers an institutional investment process that provides access to some of the world’s best investment managers and includes manager research and selection, portfolio construction and asset allocation guidance, as well as the risk-management, transparency and oversight required by clients.’ Mr Husbands added: ‘SEI is a highly respected and established provider of outsourced investment solutions. Our clients will benefit hugely from this partnership and from the depth of investment management services they offer.’ Elian is a specialist in Private We a l t h , C a p i t a l S e r v i c e s , F u n d Services and Corporate Services. Elian, which launched in September 2014 following a management buyout from Ogier Group, employs 525 people across 11 offices.

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22 Forum

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5/25/15 10:35 AM


New CEO appointed along with the global launch of AXA Partners to develop and accelerate AXA’s global partnership business France and member of the Management Committee of the AXA Group.

In a major initiative to offer value added risk solutions to individuals, SMEs and corporations, AXA Group has announced the launch of AXA Partners, a dedicated unit to develop partnership business globally. Simultaneously, AXA has also announced the appointment of Jad Ariss as the CEO for AXA’s activities in the Middle East, the Gulf region and Africa. Jad Ariss replaces Jerome Droesch, who has now been appointed the CEO of the newly introduced AXA Partners. AXA Partners will be involved in distribution agreements whereby AXA will be insuring or delivering a service to private individuals and SMEs, through a partner. As part of its mission, AXA Partners will: • Design, implement and manage partnerships with selected global partners, • Support AXA entities to develop successful local partnerships. The main partnerships will be managed along the following sectors: • Automotive, • Banks and credit cards, • Retailers, utilities and telecoms, • Digital players, • Public sector and Non-Government Organisations.

Jad Ariss Jad Ariss started his career as a consultant a t M c K i n s e y, b e f o r e joining the AXA Group in 1991 as Chief Financial Officer of AXA Global Risks. In 1999 he became head of AXA Group Investor Relations, before joining AXA France 2001 to hold the successive positions o f S e c re t a r y G e n e r a l , Head of P&C of AXA Entreprises, Head of Human Ressources and CEO of AXA Entreprises and deputy CEO of AXA France. Jad is a graduate of the business school HEC and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (U.S.A.).

Jérôme Droesch Jérôme Droesch joined the AXA Group in 1991. He held several commercial, operational and managerial positions in France. In 2003 he was appointed P&C Insurance Organization Director in France before taking the lead of the sales and distribution direction for the French West Region in 2005. In 2008, he became Regional CEO for the South-West region of AXA France. He joined AXA in the Gulf in February 2011 as Chief Executive Officer and became Chairman of AXA Cooperative (Saudi Arabia) in 2012. Jérôme is a graduate from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, and has a diploma of Studies Specialized in Patrimonial Engineering from the College of Business of Nice.

“We are convinced that many companies and organisations from car manufacturers to the leaders of the fastgrowing sharing economy - could enrich their offering with insurance products and services, to enhance the experience and the protection of their clients. AXA Partners aims at becoming the

partner of choice for these companies, by building a specific expertise and providing dedicated resources to develop innovative and tailored insurance solutions, be the easiest to do business with, and deliver a great service to the end-customer,” said Nicolas Moreau, Chairman & CEO of AXA

“AXA Partners is uniquely positioned to promote partnerships with both global and local players leveraging the worldwide presence of the AXA Group, its know-how across insurance business lines, and the strength of local AXA entities. Partnership business delivers today over 4 billion euros of revenues across the Group and the success of AXA Partners will make it a source of sustainable growth for AXA going forward”, added Nicolas Moreau. Jerome Droesch, the newly appointed CEO of AXA Partners will also supervise the two existing business entities that currently manage global partnerships: AXA Assistance and AXA Creditor (including potential acquisition of Genworth Lifestyle Protection Insurance 1). Prior to being appointed as the CEO for AXA in the Middle East, the Gulf re g i o n a n d A f r i c a , J a d Ariss was the CEO of AXA Enterprises and deputy CEO of AXA France. Jad has been with the AXA Group for almost 25 years, having joined in 1991 as C h i e f F i n a n c i a l O ff i c e r of AXA Global Risks. In h i s n e w ro l e , J a d w i l l re p o r t t o J e a n - L a u re n t Granier, member of the Management Committee of the AXA Group and CEO of the Mediterranean and Latin America region. Forum 23


Financial News

Intercol - Nexus agreement

Mr. Abdul Rahman Ali Alwazzan, Director of Intercol and Mr. Emanuel Lantzos, General Manager of Nexus Financial Services signed an agreement regarding the marketing of different products of LIC International at a function held in the Movenpick Hotel, Bahrain. Board members of LIC International and other officials were also present during the event. Seen in the photograph are from left, Mr. S.K Roy, Chairman, LIC of India, Mr. Abdul Rahman Ali Alwazzan, Director, Intercol group and LIC International, Mr. Vikas Bhide, Resident Manager, LIC International,

Mr. Emanuel, General Manager, Nexus and Mr. Rajesh Kandwal, CEO & MD, LIC International. Both Intercol and Nexus are reputed brands in their own areas of operation in Bahrain. Their joining together is likely to bring in considerable volume of New Business for LIC International. LIC International is well accepted brand among all Indian expats in GCC and they also have a wide range of very unique and attractive products, suitable for all age group and segments.

Strategic Partnership announced at Cityscape Global The Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), has signed an agreement appointing JLL (formerly Jones Lang LaSalle) as its Strategic Leasing Advisor / Agent. JLL is the leading global professional services and investment management firm specialised in real estate and has a number of offices in key commercial centres in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia. The partnership will highlight the property’s many unique features and advantages to regional and international organisations looking to relocate, or set up operations in the GCC. Speaking during today’s announcement, Angus Campbell, Bahrain Financial Harbour’s CEO commented; “We are pleased to sign this agreement and look forward to marketing with JLL the unique features of Bahrain’s premier business address as an attractive option for both regional and international corporate firms & businesses. This is a great time to take advantage of Bahrain’s dynamic and liberal business environment, which offers zero corporate and personal taxation, world-class infrastructure and a young and highly educated workforce. We look forward

GCC Board Directors Institute Chairman Summit

Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, and the GCC Board Directors Institute (‘BDI’) have successfully completed the third GCC Board Directors Institute Chairman Summit, which was held in Riyadh on 14th September 2015. 24 Forum

In his opening remarks, Mohammed Al Shroogi, Co-CEO of Investcorp and Chairman of BDI, emphasised the importance of instilling world-class standards of corporate governance and board effectiveness in the GCC in order to make a strong impact on economies

and societies in the region. Mr Al Shroogi talked about the growing role BDI is playing in promoting professional directorship and effective boards across the region. He explained: “these two areas are key components of good corporate governance, which,

Above L to R: Alan Robertson, Angus Campbell to shortly announcing the addition of further prestigious names to our expanding list of organisations that call the Bahrain Financial Harbour home.” Alan Robertson JLL’s CEO MENA said; “JLL is committed to adding value to property for both owners and tenants across the globe. We are excited to add the BFH, which has been purposebuilt to meet the exacting needs of global businesses and financial institutions, to our list of clients. We look forward to showcasing Bahrain’s thriving business environment and attractive financial incentives to both regional and international businesses and organisations”.

once achieved, translates into strong market confidence and better access to capital, both domestic and foreign, allowing companies to invest and create jobs, and in turn stimulate the growth of the wider economy.” On Investcorp’s involvement in BDI, he said: “BDI’s vision and role in the GCC aligns very closely with what we aim to do at Investcorp, as both a listed company and an investor in growing economies across the region and around the world. Our objective revolves around maximising value creation; and ensuring a strong board of directors is in place is an important part of this process.”


Feature Article -

Afraid You’ll Outlive Your Nest Egg? You are not alone – most people fear they will run out of money after they retire We once thought of retirement as a time to relax, play golf and maybe travel — to finally have a little fun, maybe buy that sports car you always wanted. For some, that will still be the case. For others, the thought of retirement brings anxiety: They’re worried that they’ll simply run out of money. In a recent 2015 HSBC study found that 71|% of pre-retirees in the Gulf worry about having enough money to live day to day, and 68% fearing they will run out of money after they stop working, or are forced to stop due to illness.

involves the topic of withdrawal rates from your retirement savings and longevity. With worldwide interest rates remaining low for the foreseeable future, drawdown rates have to be in the 4% per annum region to ensure retirement income is sustained, as the days of 10% are long gone and may never return. Try and get engaged in your retirement plan by taking some action, don’t be a bystander to your own retirement future, as you may find that you will be left behind.

You may have already amassed a sizeable nest egg which can sometimes make you overconfident. One million dollars always sounds a lot of money. For someone who is retiring at 60 and plans to withdraw $80,000 or £53,000 a year from their portfolio for the rest of their life, that’s not realistic anymore. I have to tell clients that if you keep spending at that rate, you will run out of money.

A quarter of the middle-class which includes western expatriate workers said they “get unnerved” thinking about their finances during retirement, Forty-eight percent of those who have not retired yet were not confident that they will have saved enough to live “the lifestyle they want” in retirement. I don’t know that there is anyone who doesn’t have that fear from time to time, myself included. Our customers tend to be very successful and earn above average incomes. Most of them have a low probability of running out of money. Yet they still have that fear.” I suppose that my biggest anxiety comes mostly from realising that I am no longer adding to my savings or investments, but will soon have to withdraw, and that it will have to last me for the rest of my life, or longer. Sometimes the uncertainties of how long we are going to live, how much do I need and the cost of healthcare if I have a critical illness can be overwhelming. These barriers can often lock the mind into taking no action at all in the short term believing that you will sort it out later. The best way to feel better about your retirement is to develop a plan, have a discussion with your advisor that 26 Forum

So the same goes for me. I can tell you “Perhaps you can retire later, maybe you can cut your spending and save more.” It doesn’t mean though that you are going to do anything about it. The answer could be to change the investment approach of your asset allocation or time horizon. Obviously, it’s different for every person.

Your chances of not running out of money increase with some form of guaranteed income. Either from property rental, fixed deposits or annuities. Annuities which can be purchased in retirement are a good strategy if you are worried about running out of money. However you must have saved or invested beforehand to have enough capital to purchase these later on in life. If you are already doing this then you are probably going to be fine.

However let’s not panic. If you are planning to retire in the next 10-15 years simply speak to your advisor and make sure that you are saving enough today. Let him or her do the calculations for you based on reasonable and sustainable rates of return, so when you do get to your retirement date there are less surprises and more time to enjoy yourself.

This brings me to those people who really are in danger of running out of money because they haven’t saved enough or are spending too much. Sometimes people understand that, and sometimes they don’t. You can tell someone they need to exercise, diet and take medication. It doesn’t mean they will do any of those things. But you don’t want your doctor to dance around that and not tell you.

Emanuel Lantzos is General Manager at Nexus Financial Services in Bahrain. For more information contact him on Emanuel.lantzos@nexusadvice.com


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22/9/15 3:03 pm


Health Matters

For a healthy body and mind - how about trying Yoga? After a long and hot summer most of us are trying to settle back into our daily routines and set goals to achieve as the year comes close to its end! At Studio RCT, we are back on track and are ready to focus on training modules to help people achieve their fitness and health goals. Yoga being one of them.

breathing in connection to this word? Contrary to popular belief Yoga has many more benefits to the mind and body that extend beyond just flexibility. Regular yoga practice is a proven method that contributes to weight loss or weight management and overall health.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years and how many of you automatically think of flexibility and

For those of you coming back after the summer ready to shed off some weight or trying to fulfill your new year

resolutions we wanted to focus in this issue on the importance of yoga and how it can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals and how it contributes to managing your weight. But first let us start off by clarifying some main points that are widely misunderstood about weight and weight loss: 1. weight loss is not about calories counted or calories burnt - the hormonal impact of food is what’s important and protein, fat & carbs as well as exercise have different impacts on our body composition. 2. diets don’t work - over 90% of all dieters fail to keep the weight off long term 3. eating freely the right foods can have a big impact on weight loss, regardless of being a vegetarian, vegan or a meat eater 4. proper breathing can help with activating the parasympathetic nervous system which in turns regulates many other systems in our body Yoga works from inside out, as it balances our hormones and improves our digestive system and helps us become more healthy. So, what do we mean by being healthy? We mean • having a healthy body fat composition (not in relation to weight or BMI body mass index) • having a healthy blood sugar level • having a strong digestion • having consistent energy throughout the day • having restful sleep • having a healthy appetite • having clear eyes, tongue and skin Yoga is not about the intensity of the exercise, or how flexible we are, but what we can become once we start in the yogic journey. The healthy habits detailed above will last a lifetime. Learning how to breathe properly in such a stressful modern society will have great impact on your overall health. We are still offering many disciplines which are unique on the island as well as providing educational courses and workshops which are recognised worldwide for continuous education credits with REPS and ACE and the Yoga Alliance to name the leaders.

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International Hospital of Bahrain and Metlife sign partnership agreement

A full programme at InTouch It has been an exciting couple of months at InTouch Integrated Chiropractic Spine Centre welcoming all the new team members in our organisation. There are numerous initiatives coming up In November and December.

L to R: Chris Lewis, IHB CEO; Fadi Gali, Metlife Bahrain.

The International Hospital of Bahrain (IHB) has recently signed a partnership agreement with MetLife. The IHB is now included in MetLife’s network of preferred medical service providers, with direct billing for patients. MetLife in Bahrain, a leading provider of insurance and employee benefits programmes, and the International Hospital of Bahrain (IHB), one of Bahrain’s most prominent healthcare service providers, have signed a partnership agreement under which the IHB has joined MetLife’s Preferred Network of Medical Providers and now offers healthcare services and treatment to patients covered under MetLife health insurance policies. Following this agreement, patients with MetLife health insurance policies are now able to access world class pre-approved medical services, consultations and treatment provided by IHB with the added benefit and convenience of direct billing, replacing the ‘pay now and claim later’ process that was in place previously. "We are delighted to sign this agreement and to join the MetLife preferred network. The response

from our patients who are insured by MetLife has been extremely positive," said Mr. Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of IHB. "MetLife’s and IHB’s direct billing systems are fully electronic and easy to use, which means that patients no longer need to pay at the hospital and then complete claim forms for reimbursement. The added convenience makes a big different to patients and their families and allows them to concentrate fully on the patient’s medical needs." "Bahrain is a very important market for MetLife. This new partnership with IHB, with its strong heritage and reputation, is a significant addition to our preferred network, and enhances the benefits and services we offer to our insured members in the Kingdom," says Mr. Theodor Alexandrescu, General Manager, MetLife – Gulf. "MetLife health card holders will now have even greater choice with access to the medical services and treatments offered by IHB.” “In recent months partnership agreements for direct settlement have also been signed with other leading health insurance providers including GEMS, GlobeMed, MedNet and NextCare,” says Mr. Chris Lewis.

Many prominent Bahraini and Saudi Athletes are treated at InTouch. Last year the InTouch team was the main recovery care team for the Bahrain Challenge and the GCC Gaelic games. After a successful relationship, InTouch has been asked once again to be the official recovery care team on site for Ironman and Bahrain Challenge. Moreover, InTouch Clinic will be the medical team providing support to teams of athletes coming to Bahrain for the Calisthenics World Cup taking place in November, 2015 at the Ritz Carlton. The 2015 Gulf Healthcare Summit took place in Bahrain in September. Dr. Amy Bowzaylo was one of the speakers addressing the quality of patient care. An invaluable speaker or panel member, Dr. Bowzaylo has exceptional charisma, is a very knowledgeable expert speaker and engages and connects with delegates, other speakers and organisers alike. InTouch clinic is setting benchmarks in Bahrain for “Excellence in Patient Care” and believes in raising the expertise in the field of both Bahrain and the Middle East. InTouch is also pleased to announce that they will be showcasing a selection of illustrated artworks by artist

Tejbir Singh that depicts lively sports action scenes. These are created with pen, ink, pencil crayon and watercolour and are all hand drawn. Being a sports lover, Tejbir could not resist the temptation of doing a series of drawings from sports practiced and played in Bahrain as well as some International games. An architect by profession, Tejbir has been working with leading consultancies in Bahrain since 1998. He has been drawing since a very young age and has focused mostly on depicting Historical buildings/houses and Cultural sites in Bahrain. Lately he has decided to explore figural studies, specifically with sports action imagery. These images fit well in InTouch due to the nature of the Clinic and its focus on Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. The exhibition opening will take place on October 7th, 2015 at 7pm at InTouch Clinic in Janabiyah. The walls of the Centre regularly display changing exhibitions of Bahraini based artists’ work. InTouch values healthy creativity and expression that supports a balanced and proactive life. It is the only health care centre in Bahrain that promotes artists in a relaxed atmosphere different to that of a traditional gallery. Forum 29


Motoring News

Euro Motors Jaguar Land Rover host Ramadan Ghabga for guests and media in the ‘Glow-Ramadan Lounge By Jaguar Land Rover’ Jaguar Land Rover in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in collaboration with The RitzCarlton, Bahrain, hosted a Ghabga in the ‘Glow-Ramadan Lounge by Jaguar Land Rover’ for VIPs, corporate guests and members of the Bahrain Media Community in June. The ‘Glow-Ramadan Lounge by Jaguar Land Rover’ was a state-of-the-art, domeshaped pavilion, that rests on the grounds of The RitzCarlton, Bahrain and served as a mobile showroom that revealed a different vehicle each night from Jaguar and Land

Rover’s elite collection of cars and SUVs that are available in the Euro Motors Jaguar Land Rover Showroom in Bahrain. The futuristically designed

marquee encompassed the most technologically advanced equipment so as to fulfill its purpose of being a fully functional and convenient

exhibition of Euro Motors’ comprehensive range of capable vehicles that is guaranteed to make one feel alive.

Jaguar’s F-PACE breaks world record for largest loop the loop Jaguar celebrates 80th year by revealing all new F-PACE to a global audience, breaking Guinness World Record title of largest loop the loop drive in a car, ahead of Motor Show debut in Frankfurt.

stunt driver Terry Grant. The Pro Driver undertook two months of intense physical and dietary training to ensure his body was prepared for the 6.5 GForce, which is greater than the forces experienced by space shuttle pilots.

The all-new Jaguar F-PACE, the world’s most practical sports car, was driven with daring precision by expert British

The F-PACE sped through the specially built structure, using its sports car

Hejaz Ancient Desert Railway provides the Perfect Adventure for Land Rover in Saudi Arabia As part of its MYLAND (Ardhi in Arabic) creative communications platform, Land Rover MENA recently completed a commemorative expedition to one of the oldest railway networks, Hejaz, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The expedition is part of a series of challenging Land Rover journeys that are currently underway across the region, and follows two Saudi nationals; Faisal Binladen and Salman Sultan, as the duo trace the Hejaz Railway route from Madinah to Tabuk over three days. The expedition is captured in a three part documentary series highlighting some truly stunning, challenging terrains across the Kingdom. 30 Forum

derived technology and world-class collection of safety features to complete the record loop and officially signal the opening of order books worldwide. The extraordinary feat, showcased the powerful design of the lightweight F-PACE and its ability to combine agility with sports car speed and performance.


Motoring News

McLaren announces Middle East pricing for new sports series models

McLaren Automotive has announced its pricing for the exciting new McLaren Sports Series models across the GCC. The McLaren 570S Coupe, first shown at the New York International Auto Show in April, is on sale in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, with a base retail price starting at $201,026, before options. A pure McLaren, the 570S Coupe brings class-leading levels of performance coupled with optimised handling characteristics and driving dynamics – the first time McLaren has offered its original and race-derived supercar technologies in the sports car segment. In line with the naming convention that began with the 650S, the number 570 gives away its power output: 570PS (562HP). In addition, the McLaren 540C, the most attainable McLaren yet, will debut in the GCC at a base retail price of $176,960, before options. Like the 570S, it shares its DNA with models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series, including a lightweight carbon-fibre chassis and race-derived technologies. It too is fitted with a mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which has been developed to be responsive and thrilling even at low engine speeds. As its name suggests, a dedicated application of the award-winning McLaren power unit generates 540PS (533HP). Orders for the new McLaren Sports Series are being taken by retailers across the region, with the first Middle Eastern customer deliveries of the 570S anticipated in January 2016, with deliveries of the 540C due from May 2016 onwards. Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director, McLaren Automotive MEAF ‘The arrival of the Sports Series in the region marks a new chapter for McLaren as both the 570S and 540C are aimed at a new audience. These new arrivals mean it’s the first time we’ve competed in the sports car as opposed to the supercar market. As with all McLaren models, we have prioritised performance, driving engagement and exhilaration. They are totally driver-focused cars, with excellent ergonomics and visibility, and a class-leading driving position. These are also the most day-to-day usable, practical and attainable McLarens we’ve ever made. They are dramatic and beautiful sports cars and will prove extremely popular with our Middle East customers.’ 32 Forum

The benchmark of its class: the all-new Audi Q7 arrives in Bahrain

Audi Bahrain has announced the arrival of the all-new Audi Q7. Sporting a dynamic new look, the premium SUV has gained recognition as the lightest and most efficient car in its class, introducing a number of innovative new driver assistance and infotainment systems. Its spacious interior meets the highest standards of luxury and functionality, comfortably accommodating up to 7 passengers. The all-new Audi Q7 is available now with a starting price of BD 28,500. “As the best-selling Audi model in the region, the Audi Q7 has already established itself as a leader in terms of luxury, comfort and technology. This new generation brings significant improvements to an already exceptional car that we can’t wait to introduce to our customers,” said Audi Bahrain Sales Manager, Allen Blake, commenting on the new arrival. Among other items, 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon plus headlights and LED rear lights, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors with memory function, an electric luggage compartment lid and roof rails are standard inclusions. With the optional LED and Matrix LED headlights, the daytime running lights together with the turn signals form a double light guide arrow – a new and unique light signature within the Audi family. The new Audi Q7 enters the Middle East market with an intensively overhauled supercharged V6 engine that pairs impressive performance with unusually low fuel consumption. The 45 TFSI with 333 hp accelerates the SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, hitting a top speed of 250 km/h. Requiring only 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers, the TFSI consumes 27 percent less fuel than its predecessor, setting new efficiency standards in the large SUV segment with all-wheel drive. Scoring top marks for safety with a five star rating from the European Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) consortium, the new Audi Q7 offers an extremely broad range of new driver assistance and safety systems. The standard driver information system already includes the attention assist, which analyzes driving behavior and warns the driver if there is any indication that he or she is starting to lose concentration.


Motoring News

Al Zayani Group launches its high-tech “Body Works” in Bahrain

Launched earlier this year Body Works is a joint venture between Zayani Motors, First Motors and Zayani Leasing.

equipment and provided with the latest technology to repair both passenger and heavy duty commercial vehicles.

Present at the grand opening were the group’s Chairman, Mr. Nawaf Al Zayani along with Al Zayani Group’s senior management, a number of VIPs, various staff members and employees of various insurance companies.

Bodyworks is the only facility in the Kingdom of Bahrain that is equipped with a 10 metre long dedicated commercial vehicle paint booth.

Located in Sitra, Body works is the largest accident repair facility in the Kingdom of Bahrain; featuring state of the art

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Mr. Majed Al Zayani, Managing Director at Body Works, welcomed the attendees before the guests toured the facility to get a first-hand view of the operations.


Education Sector

CPISP organises lecture on employment for student candidates The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Programme (CPISP) organised a lecture at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) on “Preparing for the Job Market & Career Opportunities,” as part of the training and functions organised for the student candidates applying for next year’s scholarships. Mr. Cameron Mirza, Head of Projects at the Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Council (HEC), spoke about the results and outcomes of the National Skills and Employability Summit that took place in June. He affirmed that job market opportunities are constantly changing within sectors, so job seekers have to develop their skill sets in multiple areas, especially their ability to adapt, in order to ensure a successful career path. He

also advised students to take part in internships and summer training initiatives to gain work experience in preparation for entering the job market. Mr. Mirza provided all the student candidates with copies the HEC’s report entitled “Industry and Employer Graduate Skills Requirements,” which outlines job opportunities and skills required from graduates entering the Kingdom’s various sectors. Mr. Ahmed Janahi from labour fund Tamkeen then spoke about the opportunities and various programmes offered by Tamkeen in supporting Bahrainis and developing their skills and abilities in preparation for entering the job market and employment. Mr. Janahi pointed to the importance of seeking employment in a field that suits both personality and skill sets,

‘Towards a Coaching Culture’ interactive key note address

Over 200 teaching and nonteaching staff at British School Bahrain (BSB), were provided with a coaching session addressing reducing toxic behaviours in educational organisations, roadmap towards a coaching culture,

non-directive communication and transition management. This session was led by Dr Clare Beckett-McInroy (EdD MAEd Master Coach/ Founder) and Sameera Ali Baba (Senior Trainer and Coach) at Beckett McInroy.

and to use the guidelines of desire, opportunity, and ability in looking for a job. He added that there are many different personality and career path tests and assessments available that can help determine suitable fields of study in preparation for employment. At the end of the session, the lecturers answered questions and discussed ways of developing soft skills and what employers look for in hiring employees, as well opportunities for starting own businesses. CPISP Director Dr. Cynthia Gessling thanked the guest lecturers for taking part in the training and activities offered to the Programme’s student candidates, and for offering information and advice that will benefit their personal, academic, and professional development.

Workshop for British School classroom. It enabled Bahrain Leaders the the participants to ‘play with’ Over 30 middle and senior managers at British School Bahrain (BSB) were trained in coaching competencies to enable them to implement a coaching culture in their school. This programme was delivered by BMC. This programme, delivered across sectors, addresses the key differences between mentoring and coaching, highlights the benefits of a coaching culture and supports, in this case, middle and senior managers in education in their coaching roles both within and outside

coaching models, identify and use coaching competencies, build trust with stakeholders and ask powerful questions to ensure a learning organisation and a ‘no blame’ culture. Mr. Khalil Ahmed, Head of Senior School, who coordinated the programme with BMC said, ‘Our leadership team found this interactive course very useful and have been able to examine how different coaching competencies can be used within the educational setting. Forum 35


News from the Eastern Province Moving to the business climate. EP is starting to feel the impact of the lower oil price with projects being slowed down and potentially some staffing reductions starting to appear. Indications also suggest that the Saudi Government is also looking carefully at infrastructure projects with a view to reducing or deferring spending to minimize the use of financial reserves. Welcome back to all from the summer break and hopefully the declining temperatures will be well received after the steamy summer….before we know it the Festive Season will be upon us. On the political front, the region continues to be unstable with extensive problems in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and North Africa, to mention but a few, and this has unfortunately had a profound impact on Europe in the form of massive migration of displaced refugees. Unfortunately, there seems to be no simple solutions on the horizon despite considerable debate within the EU and UN. Sad times…

Saudi Snippets A risky bit on the side

For some Saudis, Haj is a time to get behind the wheel and make extra money by ferrying pilgrims to and from the holy sites. But things have not been easy this year because of the tough rules that have been put in place. “Drivers who are caught with undocumented pilgrims face six months in jail and thousands of riyals in fines,” said one driver interviewed by the Arab News. “Nobody wants to take chances because of the penalties. Whatever you earn can 36 Forum

Myself and Gavin Ames had the pleasure of attending and representing the BBA at the MEA Opportunity Arabia 12 at the Institute of Civil Engineers in Westminster, London on 14 October. The annual event again attracted about 180 organisations interested to listen to a programmme of formidable speakers. The conference was very successful and will hopefully result in some of the companies taking the time to visit Saudi and assess market opportunities on the ground. Congratulations to the MEA on a great event. This is the time of year that preparations are being made vanish in an instant if you are found with undocumented pilgrims in your car.”

The British Business Association (BBA) - Eastern Province P.O.Box 1868, AlKhobar 31952 Tel: 03 882 5288 ext 1651 Fax: 03 882 5384 Email: secretary@bbaep.org Website: www.bbaep.com

for the approaching 2015 annual Poppy Ball which is scheduled for 6 November at the Crowne Plaza, Bahrain. Given, the success of last year’s event we are hoping for an even better turnout... see you on the night. It is also noteworthy that we have recently completed an update to our website and thanks go to Jeff Stewart for coordinating this effort. I would encourage you to visit the site at www.bbaep.org Finally, I would like to acknowledge the recent passing, after a long illness, of a British business stalwart, Stuart Smith (Saad Group). Stuart worked in Saudi for many years and lived in Bahrain. He was well known in the business arena as well as the social circles in Bahrain. He will be sadly missed by many and our

Binladen sanctions

“On average I earn SR3,000 a day. Those who have GMCs can earn SR7,000 a day,” he said. “The season lasts for 25 days and we want to make the most of it.”

King Salman has ordered that top officials of the Saudi Binladin Group be banned from traveling outside the Kingdom after probers pinned the blame partially on the construction company for the deadly crane crash in Makkah.

Jeddah’s SAPTCO bus stop near Al-Balad or Bab Makkah are the main areas for the part-time drivers. If a pilgrim in the past did not have a permit, the drivers would charge through the nose. Now, the drivers make sure the passengers have permits before negotiating the fare.

A royal court announcement said the King is reviewing the report of the Accident Investigation Committee, which suggested negligence on the part of the Saudi Binladin Group, but concluded that it found an “absence of criminal suspicion.”

heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Angela and family. Should you have a need to contact us then send an e-mail to our Secretary, Rachael Routledge on secretary@bbaep.org

Geoff Fennah MBE Chairman, EPBBA

Budget Shortfall

Saudi Arabia will cut spending and issue more bonds as it faces a record budget shortfall due to falling oil prices, the Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf is reported to have said. Saudi Arabia has projected an official budget shortfall for this year of $39 billion, but the IMF and other institutions believe the actual deficit will be much higher. The IMF forecast is that the deficit will be 20pc of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while Saudi Arabia’s Jadwa Investment firm said it expects the shortfall to be around $109bn.


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Hotel & Leisure News

Azerbaijan’s luxury ‘Dreamland Golf Club’ appoints award-winning, Bahrain-based digital Marketing Agency East Innovations

Phil Jones, General Manager of Dreamland Golf Club, IMG Golf M a n a g e m e n t s a i d “ I n c re a t i n g the first golf course in Baku, Azerbaijan, we are delighted to have East Innovations’ wealth of experience and creativity to provide our members and guests with userfriendly, unique and design-led online access to the club’s information. East Innovations were behind the successful website launch of the Royal Golf Club in Bahrain within the Riffa Views community. The Dreamland development here in Azerbaijan mirrors that concept with residential villas and apartments, an 18-hole Dye-designed championship course and amenities, on-site Sabis international school, exclusive shopping mall, and future plans for a luxury hotel. We are confident that East Innovations will be able to present what will be a content-rich site, via an effective and beautiful interface.” Due to officially open later this year, Dreamland Golf Club is a luxury destination; home to a pristine championship golf course and IMG Golf School with two performance studios and 24-bay driving range led by PGA Head Golf Professional Michael Sweenie, premium clubhouse and various fine eateries. 38 Forum

Mark Warman, Managing Director at East Innovations commented, “We are thrilled to build on our longstanding relationship with Phil Jones, and to collaborate with him and his team in Baku on this exciting project for our first commission in the Caucuses. Having worked as the Royal Golf Club’s digital marketing partner

THE APPOINTMENT TO THE 300-HECTARE PROJECT, BACKED BY GLOBAL SPORTS AND MEDIA COMPANY IMG, FOLLOWS A MULTI-AGENCY PITCH – HIGHLIGHTING THE ABILITY OF A BAHRAIN-BASED AGENCY TO COMPETE ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL. here in Bahrain from 2008 to 2013, we feel perfectly placed to draw on our agency’s experience to ensure that Dreamland’s website will be executed to a world-class standard. Our rendition of the Royal Golf Club’s website in 2012 listed on 3 independent global award sites, winning the highly commended award at the International Property Awards Arabia for best developer website. Of course, we’ll be looking to better this where we can but first and foremost, our focus will be to ensure a positive user experience for all visitors to Dreamland’s site.”

The primary online platform for many businesses is their official website and for the majority, this represents an anchor for their digital marketing and communications strategy. “With 3 billion active internet users across the globe and worldwide mobile penetration at 51%*, companies must consider how to optimise each and every touch point of their customer’s online journey. It’s businesses who incorporate digital throughout their organisations, helping to serve customers better, direct business strategy, empower employees and use data to deliver insights and measure impact, who will ultimately define themselves from their competitors”, stated Warman. “Golf technology has come a long way in the last 10 years, and Dreamland’s cutting-edge practice and tuition software and state-of-theart facilities are at the forefront of such advancement. The Club’s website will reflect this, providing users with an online experience that sets the tone for what they can come to expect out on Dreamland’s premium golf course”. Three times major winner Colin Montgomerie will host Dreamland Golf Club’s opening ceremony in October 2015. With its full website set to launch later this year, start your experience online now at www.dreamlandgolfclub.com


Hotel & Leisure News

Four Seasons Bahrain Bay now fully open

J

ust in case you haven’t noticed, the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is now fully open for business. Rising dramatically above lushly landscaped lawns, gardens and pools, this landmark property is a striking symbol of the country’s growing luxury hospitality sector.

the opportunity to ride in the customdesigned seats of the new Bentley Mulsane. “The Mulsanne is focused on the very highest of standards and quality just like Four Seasons is committed to provide the utmost luxury in product and service. said GM Pirkle.

At the inauguration ceremony in March, HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa expressed his confidence in the contribution of Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay to the national economy. During the ceremony, Greg Pirkle, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, (pictured below centre) expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain – its leadership, government and people – for their support and assistance on the project, and also thanked HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa for patronizing the official opening ceremony. Mr Pirkle said: “Bahrain is a very strategic market for us in the GCC, and we are thrilled to have been able to enter it with our strong local partners who share our vision and have helped deliver a truly iconic property.” In an assortment of press releases over the Summer, the Hotel has announced a variety of partnerships with local businesses including giving guests

In a separate press release to celebrate Global Wellness Day, the Spa at the Hotel compiled a programme of activities designed to encourage health and harmony among the Hotel’s guests. Envisioned as the most dazzling urban spa in the city, and the second biggest Spa within Four Seasons, the facility crowns the Hotel with the most spectacular panoramic views over Bahrain Bay and the Manama skyline beyond.

The seventeen treatment roomed Spa prides itself in a women-only relaxation lounge and café, two cutting-edge fitness centres equipped with Life Fitness cardio machines - one for women and one unisex - yoga and spinning studios, hammam, whirlpool and relaxation area, and a Spa boutique.

Throughout the Summer, the Hotel has launched an incredible range of special offers to attract guests to this luxurious facility with either free nights or discounts from the standard rates for extended stays. If if you don’t need a hotel room, why not enjoy a candlelit dinner in one of the Hotel’s seven restaurants and lounges at Bahrain’s one and only private manmade island? And... If you are staying in the hotel, the Seasons In-Room Dining is a relaxed and cosy dining experience within the comfort and convenience of your guest room or suite. Guests may choose from an extensive menu – day or night – that is ideal for time-zone-hopping travellers, impromptu meetings or quiet, private dining. International specialties include Middle Eastern, South Asian and Western comfort foods. There is also a 15-minute Express Menu, a Children’s Menu, and vegetarian options.

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BBBF Golf Day back on the annual calendar. The Bahrain British Business Forum in conjunction with its counterpart across the border in Saudi Arabia, the BBA, held their first “social golf day” event at the Royal Golf Club...which was hailed a huge success! Over a hundred players took part in the Texas Scramble competition which enjoyed support from Sponsors - Citi Bahrain, EuroMotors, AXA Insurance, AECOM, and Etihad Airways. Including hole sponsors, Banz Group, 2Connect & National Motors. There were a number of side contests available for players during the event, including a hole in one prize for a MINI car on the 16th Hole, sponsored by EuroMotors and AXA Insurance; Nearest the pin on hole 2 for a 2 night stay at the Four Seasons Hotel; and a par 3 shoot out on hole 7 sponsored by Etihad Airways with a return ticket to the UK. A prize giving dinner took place after the golf in the Royal Golf Club’s Marquee where prizes were awarded to first, second and third team winners sponsored by Citi Bahrain. During the evening we said farewell to HMA Iain Lindsey as it was his last golf

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game with the members of the Bahrain British Business Forum. Also during the evening lots of fantastic raffle prizes were won. Thank you to all the sponsors for their donations in support of this event. The evening was rounded off by some fun Flight Scope golfing activities, sponsored by Citi Bahrain at the Club’s driving range. These included longest drive contest and a Skills Challenge. On behalf of all the BBBF members we would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of this event and in making it such a successful and enjoyable day for everyone! More photos of the event can be seen on the BBBF Website, www.bbbforum.org Results: 1st place - The Deakins Team; Gabriel, Araceli, Daniel & Mathew. 2nd place - The British Embassy Team; HE Iain Lindsay, Dena Wales, David Wales & Steve Wagstaff. 3rd place - The BBBF & BBA Team; Les Flintham, Ian MacKeller, David Endall. Best Gross Score prize went to The Saudi Sandbaggers; Graham Stirman, Dave Jones, Alan Phillips & Kevin Capstick.


Hotel & Leisure News New sky bar in Seef

Perched on the 28th floor of Swiss-Belhotel Seef, B28 is the newest sky-bar address in Bahrain. B28 Bar Lounge and Restaurant offers visitors a 360 degree view of the city in an intimate and trendy ambiance. The venue provides a cosy and stylish place to relax after a long day at work and enjoy exclusive cocktails or favourite drinks among friends and colleagues. Looks matter and the interior of this new address speaks volumes. Wooden floors, comfy sofas and an impressive bar counter are key features and guests are sure to be entertained watching the bar’s master mixologist in action. B28 prides itself on being the ideal place to relax and have fun. The music is as eclectic as the drinks menu and the evenings start with the sounds of the 80s before switching to a more loungy ambience. Meanwhile, the B28 Grill Restaurant offers a food sharing concept featuring a tantilising selection of grilled prime meats and seafood. The show kitchen allows guests to catch the chef and his team in action.

B28 Grill is a casual and trendy place offering great value on favourites such as wasabi buttered jumbo prawns and fish and chips. B28 Bar Lounge is open weekdays from 4pm – 2am and from 1pm – 2am on weekends. B28 Grill is open from 6pm – 12am everyday.

The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa brings the eighth annual Box Appeal to Manama The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa has announced its participation in the Box Appeal, an annual charity initiative organised by the Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels. Now in its eighth edition, the month long campaign kicks off on September 15th across seven countries in the Middle East and South Africa. The Box Appeal involves volunteers from The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, volunteers will then distribute these boxes to the underprivileged. “We have been involved with the Box Appeal since 2010,” said Mr. Panos Panagis, General Manager of the Hotel. “Living and working in Bahrain involves more than just day to day operations at the hotel. With 500 boxes for this year’s campaign, responsibility to the community is proving to be ingrained into our thinking.” Launched in 2008, the Box Appeal has collected more than 90,000 boxes for the Middle East’s less fortunate. This year’s campaign will include the participation of 24 hotels in Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Oman and the United Arab Emirates as well as South Africa for the first time this year. “At its heart, the Box Appeal is based on a keen sense of responsibility—to people, to the community and to society,” said Mark Willis, area vice president, Middle East & Turkey for the Rezidor Hotel Group. “The expansion of the Box Appeal into Africa for the first time proves that the values backed by this campaign transcend borders, beliefs and languages.” 44 Forum

This year’s campaign is sponsored by the McLaren Construction Group and NRTC Group of Companies for the first time as well as Coca Cola for the second year. Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels are managed by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Carlson Rezidor was one of the first international hotel groups to implement a companywide initiative focusing on health and safety for guests and employees, on respect for social and ethical issues within the company, and on a reduced negative impact on the environment. Additionally, Carlson Rezidor has consistently been recognised as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by The Ethisphere® Institute. For a full list of participating hotels and other information, please visit www.facebook.com/theboxappeal


EXPERIENCE MEETINGS COFFEE BREAK AT BLU HOTELS DESIGN TO SAY YES! THE DIPLOMAT RADISSON BLU HOTE, RESIDENCE & SPA +973 17 531666 sales.diplomat@radissonblu.com


Bahrain News

Jewellery Arabia 2015 Glitz, Glamour & Jewellery galore The Middle East’s premier jewellery and watch exhibition, Jewellery Arabia 2015, is set to take place from 24 – 28 November 2015 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The exhibition is the largest in the prestigious 24-year history of the series. Across 5 days, over 600 exhibitors from 30 nations will showcase their precious wares across an area of 21,000 square metres at the venue, which includes specially commissioned temporary halls. On sale will be a dazzling range of finished jewellery, luxury timepieces, precious stones, antiques, objets d’art, jewellery packaging and technology from across the globe. “The show has grown by 17% in 2015,

New Products now available in Bahrain

and is our largest show to date. Visitors can look forward to new exhibitors and features, exclusive previews, inspiring trends, limited edition pieces and the opportunity to purchase from the largest selection of jewellery in the Middle East. We are looking forward in all confidence to an outstanding event,” said Arabian Exhibition Management’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Key. Exhibitors at Jewellery Arabia 2015 include world-famous brands, upcoming designers, and leading

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The organisers are expecting upwards of 50,000 visitors from Bahrain and surrounding GCC countries at this free to attend event.

Recognition for Le Beck International Anthony Tesar, CEO at Le Beck International writes to advise of the company’s most recent commercial approval and validation. “In addition to the continued growth and expansion of our security advisory services to the Corporate Sector in the GCC, we are now expanding our services offered to the Ports and Maritime sector here in Bahrain.

BBBF Member Nevin Megchiani writes to advise that among products now available in Bahrain from UK company Smith Detections is the Target-ID, the first Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyzer specifically designed to support narcotics interdiction efforts. Combining the power, speed, and accuracy of FTIR with a library of up to 2,500 narcotics, precursors, common chemicals, and cutting agents; Target-ID returns identification results in a matter of seconds without damaging or degrading the sample.

manufacturers and retailers from across the globe. The show also welcomes 9 national groups from leading jewellery export countries including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey. New for 2015 is a delegation of companies from the United States.

We have recently been formally awarded the title of Recognised Security Organisation (RSO) by the Designated Authority (DA) which comprises the Ministry of Interior, Bahrain Coastguard and the Ports and Maritime Authority (PMA) to conduct Security Risk Assessments of all applicable port/ maritime facilities, commercial jetties and other marine facilities that are required to comply with the International Maritime Organisations - International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

This also allows Le Beck to officially review, write, audit and revalidate an organisations Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) which is a requirement under the ISPS Code. This accreditation is a major development in having a local (Bahrain based) security company to provide this essential service. We are justifiably proud to have been given this unique recognition and hope to expand these services throughout the GCC region. Should you have any questions regarding this accreditation, please do not hesitate in contacting me directly and in the meantime, feel free to forward this news to those you feel may benefit from such as service. I look forward to keeping you updated on developments in all areas as we move forwards in delivering our security advisory services throughout the GCC.”


Key staff appointments at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain the Monday Moules night at Waves, and the Flavours of India at Spices restaurant and new theme nights – taste of Italy & Asian night at the La Mosaique restaurant, designed to delight people all over Bahrain.

Crowne Plaza Bahrain welcomes the new Director of Sales and Marketing, Ms Janet Turner, who will also be taking on the role of Area Director of Sales & Marketing for the Northern Gulf – Bahrain & Kuwait. Ms Turner, originating from New Zealand, has over 29 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, having worked across four different Janet Turner countries in four continents. She has studied management and administration in both UK and New Zealand. Janet first joined IHG over 10 years ago at InterContinental CityStars, Cairo as Director of Catering Sales and progressed soon thereafter to take the position of Director of Sales & Marketing at Crowne Plaza Muscat, before moving to Asia in early 2012 to assume the Commercial lead of Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. As a hotelier, she is considered being a down to earth and hard working person, Janet has a solid track record of successes. Janets primary role will focus on leading the overall Commercial performance for Kuwait and Bahrain. Outside of work, Janet enjoys traveling and discovering new places, reading, scuba diving as well as photography and is very much looking forward to be back into the Middle East. With all his french suave and culinary genius, we are pleased to welcome David Miras as our new Executive Chef! Taking over a fully functioning kitchen, David brings a new lease of life to the Crowne Plaza Bahrain operations and has already whipped up some culinary creations such as

He joins us straight from Le Meridien Noumea, New Caledonia, where he was the executive chef from November 2014, and tasked with keeping David Miras the team motivated and, being thrown straight into the festive season, providing a 5 star food experience to all guests. Previously, he was Executive chef/F&B manager at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa in UAE, Chef de cuisine at Le Meridien Al Aqah in Fujairah UAE (where he won the best sous chef award at the middle east awards), and Tirador Bar, Sabang, Phillipines, which was his own business that he opened as a new venture and passed on to a family member, with the intention of furthering his own career. Being such a highly talented chef came with a lot of training for David, as he traineed in Jesse de Forest culinary school in France, and qualified with a BEP/CAP in pastry, chocolate work and ice cream craft, and then took on training as a sous check in Cambio Italian Restaurant in Guildford, UK. Like a true Frenchman, David enjoys all the finer things in life, and has a special interest in photography, with pictures of food being his specific talent. Taking pictures of what he creates is a favorite past time, and making sure that it is recognized and so he can share his creations with more than those that can just eat them. He also enjoys reading, billiards and motor racing, which is perfect for Bahrain when the formula one comes to town!

PRIME Launches New Intellectual Property Department PRIME Instant Offices & Business Centre offers business support services and serviced offices for companies setting up and operating in Bahrain. The Company holds the Affiliated Partner status with the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, is a member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, both the Bahrain and the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and most recently PRIME joined the BBBF. It also has connections and key contacts with many associate firms throughout the GCC and wider MENA region allowing them to provide its Clients with an all-encompassing service offering.

experience in the IP field. PRIME’s new IP department delivers the full range of IP services which includes but is not limited to, copyright and trademark registrations and renewals and all types of patent services. PRIME delivers the highest quality service with the most competitive charges in Bahrain.

Mr. Qusai Al Masri

PRIME is now proud to announce the successful launch of its new Intellectual Property (IP) Department which is being headed up by Mr. Qusai Al Masri, who holds ten years’

If you have a brand and you want to protect it, or you have an invention and you want to patent it, or you have a query related to IP in any country in the GCC and MENA region, you will find PRIME is a great choice to manage your IP rights throughout.

As a gesture of greeting to other members PRIME is offering some great discounts on its services to BBBF Members which you can find in the Members Benefits section. Forum 47


Diyar Al Muharraq Appoints BANZ for Warehouse Management & Logistics Services for Dragon City Diyar Al Muharraq, one of the leading urban developers in the Kingdom of Bahrain, announced the signing of an agreement with the BANZ Group, the leading warehouse operator and logistics provider of choice in Bahrain, that entails the appointment of the latter for Warehouse Management and Logistics Services for Dragon City. The agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Diyar Al Muharraq, Dr. Maher Al Shaer, and the Chief Executive Officer of the BANZ Group, Mr. Jason B. Smith, in the presence of officials from both companies. Under the contractual obligations that the agreement necessitates, BANZ will comprehensively manage the 5,000 square metre area designated for warehouses in Dragon Mall, the state of the art Chinese themed shopping centre in Dragon City that will encompass 747 retail and wholesale units as well as provide logistics services. Elaborating on the significance of the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of Diyar Al Muharraq, Dr. Maher Al Shaer, said: “This is an immensely significant occasion as our partnership with the BANZ Group will effectively provide a comprehensive solution to all our warehousing and logistics needs. As Dragon City is one of our most prestigious and landmark projects, with warehouses being spread over an extensive 5,000 sqm area, it was imperative that we outsource our management needs of the same to an experienced and well connected establishment that thrives on the highest quality of work standards and immaculate work ethics and in the BANZ Group, we found all this and more. We look forward to hosting these professionals in our premises and ensuring that their every requirement is looked after as ultimately, it results in a considerable increase in our ability to assure the utmost satisfaction to our retail clientele that will soon set up shop in Dragon City.” On this occasion, Chief Executive Officer of the BANZ Group, Mr. Jason B. Smith, said: “It is an enormous honour for us to be awarded the appointment of warehouse management and logistics services for one of the most substantial projects, both within Diyar Al Muharraq and in the Kingdom of Bahrain as well. This venture, that is equally colossal in every aspect of its financial and physical structure, is set to enormously contribute to the Kingdom, propelling it to further heights in the tourism and trade sectors in the G.C.C. and we are proud to be given the opportunity to associate ourselves with such an inspiring and renowned endeavour as our successes here will lead to the consolidation of our current status as the leaders in our respective industry in Bahrain. With Dragon City opening its doors to the public very soon, we eagerly await the start of our operations and look towards doing soon what we do best, the perfect execution of our myriad services in our relentless pursuit of excellence.” The all-encompassing warehousing services that BANZ will provide include de-stuffing of containers, quality control, storage in climate controlled areas, order picking, value added services such as repacking, labeling and kitting, retail distribution and other services such as LCL Container Freight Station. 48 Forum

The logistics operation includes all facets of operations associated with inventory management such as receiving, distribution, warehousing, inventory control, delivery and transportation. The BANZ group will act as an agent for importers and exporters and offers amongst its services the preparation of customs documentation, liaising with Bahrain Customs, Ministry of Health, Port and Airport authorities, shipping and carrier agents and other relevant government institutions as well as notifying the consignors and consignees of anything and everything that pertains to their operations and products. Set in the southwest corner of Diyar Al Muharraq on a 115,000 square meter area with a gross floor area of circa 56,000 sq. metres, Dragon City is the first-of its kind development in Bahrain which will offer unique wholesale and retail opportunities to local consumers, trade customers and tourists. Phase 1 of Dragon City encompasses Dragon Mall, the design of which is infused with Chinese architectural and cultural aspects, in a layout which incorporates 747 individual retail store spaces and additionally, a 5,000 square meter area designated for warehouses. So far, Dragon City has obtained 100% lease interest and the occupancy rate has reached more than 95% with its grand opening expected to be before the end of this year. The BANZ Group started operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain as a privately owned shareholding company. Conceptually envisaged to be a privately operated project, the company has now grown and diversified to cater to the ever growing needs and demands across all sectors. BANZ commenced its operation offering the most technologically advanced temperature controlled storage facilities in the Middle East. In pursuit of its vision to further enhance its position as the leader in cold storage services, the company grew and expanded its operations. Possessing all the ingredients for a more successful future and balancing its growth with the need for greater environmental awareness, a philosophy that aligns with Diyar Al Muharraq’s very own, BANZ Group continues to be committed a mutual and rewarding partnership with its clients. Diyar Al Muharraq is a unique master planned city for the people of Bahrain offering range of housing options and quality lifestyle. Diyar Al Muharraq offers a cohesive mix of residential and commercial properties with a strong line up of projects aimed at creating a long term and sophisticated township.


Bahrain News

date we also anticipate a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship going forward.”

Gulf Air in Talks with Airbus Group on Future Fleet Requirement

A meeting held between the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, national carrier Gulf Air’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maher Salman Al Musallam, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Airbus Group Mr. Marwan Lahoud and Managing Director Airbus Middle East Mr. Fouad Attar saw discussions on the airline’s future narrow and wide body fleet requirements - up to 50 aircraft in total. Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed said: “Gulf Air is a strategically important, key national infrastructure asset, connecting the Kingdom of Bahrain globally and supporting the country’s long term aspirations for economic development

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Gulf Air currently operates an all-Airbus fleet composed of 28 combination wide narrow and wide body aircraft that serve the airline’s network of 43 destinations.

and diversification. We have seen considerable positive progress achieved by Bahrain’s national carrier on both an operational and financial level since the airline embarked on a comprehensive restructuring in 2013. Optimizing Gulf Air’s fleet is an ongoing process and a critical component of its current and long term strategic business direction.” Commenting on their discussions, Mr. Marwan Lahoud said: “Airbus has been a long term, committed partner of Gulf Air’s since 1992 and while we are delighted to have had Bahrain’s national carrier utilize the Airbus family for its developing fleet requirements to

The carrier’s expansion comes on the back of the news last month that the Kingdom will invest $815 million on the expansion of Bahrain International Airport. The plans comprise seven key projects, including a new passenger terminal, 24 air bridges, new arrival and departure lounges and airport ‘aprons’, where planes are parked, unloaded and refuelled. It is intended to increase capacity at the airport to 17 million passengers a year, up from 4 million at present. The expansion will be completed by the first quarter of 2019, with work commencing in the near future.


DHL Express organised relief for Syrian refugee camp in northern Iraq

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain grows its leadership team and welcomes its new Director of Sales Award-winning Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain welcomes its new director of sales, Rameez Shaikh. With numerous accomplishments and experience in strategic growth planning, Shaikh is the perfect man for the task of steadily strengthening the hotel’s competitive edge and helping build the hotel’s revenue.

• Donations from month-long campaign by Bahrain Rugby Club, Gulf Weekly readers and St Christopher’s School delivered to Syrian refugees in Erbil’s Darashakran refugee camp DHL Express, the world’s leading logistics company, has successfully delivered much needed relief aid to Syrian refugees currently residing at the Darashakran refugee camp in Erbil in northern Iraq. Part of the contributions which were delivered by DHL Express were the result of a month-long donation drive by the Bahrain Rugby Club, where community members gave clothes, shoes, bedding and school stationary during the holy month of Ramadan. The remaining items were collected through donations from Gulf Weekly readers and the children at St Christopher School, which were handed over to Bahrain-based staff at DHL Express who personally delivered them to the refugee camp in Iraq last week. Phil Armatage, Country Manager DHL Express Iraq, said: “These donations have

really brightened up the lives of families at Darashakran, many of whom are very far from home and suffering under mounting uncertainty about when they will be able to return. We are glad to have made a small difference to the lives of the men, women and children who live in the camp, and were especially happy to deliver school supplies donated by children in Bahrain.” The Darashakran camp currently houses over 10,000 refugees, the majority of whom are from Qamishliye, a town in north eastern Syria close to the Turkish border. The camp opened in October 2013, and is spread over one million square metres. The majority of the residents living in Darashakran are aged between 18 and 59, 2,000 of whom are school age children. The camp has a planned capacity of around 20,000 residents.

Shaikh, 35, has nearly 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry with previous roles at two prominent Mövenpick hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He is well versed in corporate and leisure sales in the Middle East, with particular focus on GCC market segments, including government and leisure. The 106-room hotel is positively performing in Bahrain’s market and has diversified its offerings by adding a luxurious spa in 2014. With many of its rooms overlooking the lagoon, high-tech meeting rooms and proximity to the airport, the property is the ultimate choice for business and leisure travellers. It also caters widely to local residents.

The hotel’s general manager, Daniel Kaan said, «It’s a great pleasure to welcome Rameez on board. I am certain we will greatly benefit from his past four years experience in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia which is a key market feeder. He’s the right fit to our team and I wish him all the success» Over the course of his career, Shaikh gained leadership experience and a unique drive for creating business opportunities for his previous hotels. He will be building onto Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain’s strong profile of accounts and accelerating its sales operations by retaining customer loyalty and team motivation, in addition to expanding the hotel’s profile across the Middle East.

Forum 51


Bahrain News

Expat Angels introduce new Cultural Induction Courses for Expats The reality of today’s global marketplace requires companies to move employees around the world in order to establish and nurture a business presence abroad. Many executives and managers sent to staff foreign operations are usually chosen for their skills and accomplishments within their native country. The assumption is that ‘if they can do it at home, they can do it abroad’, research suggests however that this is not always the case as cross-cultural differences can make such skills less effective in a new environment.

into the new culture or work effectively with his/her new colleagues, the whole venture will be a waste of valuable time, effort and money and could even damage a company’s reputation. Research has recently shown that expatriate relocation assignments fail for a variety of reasons with crosscultural differences, such as the inability to adapt, or spouse dissatisfaction, accounting for many of these issues. Having said that, cultural differences are often the biggest unknown obstacle when relocating to a new country.

Maximizing the chances of an employee’s success in a foreign location is a critical business priority. If a manager is sent abroad and fails to either settle

Cultural induction helps the expatriate to understand the local cultural value, customs and etiquette and helps to work more effectively with people from other

cultures. An appreciation of how different cultures do business reduces time wasting caused by misunderstandings and ensures the business is making the most out of every employee’s contribution.

also be targeted at nonrelocating employees or teams who have regular contact with the local culture in their role, e.g. sales, project teams, senior management and business travelers.

As part of the innovative and bespoke relocation service, Expat Angels Bahrain WLL not only provides a full range of relocation services, but also offers cultural induction programs for executives on a one-to-one basis or as a tailored group.

Not forgetting about the success of an international assignment also lying in how happy spouses and families are in their new environment, Expat Angels is also offering cultural induction mornings for spouses ranging from understanding local values, customs and etiquette, finding out more about Bahrain’s rich history, society, religion and uncovering what this island has to offer.

Corporate training covers business culture, etiquette, inter-cultural and interpersonal communication, international development and leadership helping to improve personal and organisational effectiveness. These programmes can

This also provides a great opportunity to meet other newcomers.

Revitalizing your business Along with SteppingStone Global Founder and President Jean Nicolai, Mike Orlov, BBBF Member and Partner in SteppingStone Global (SSG), led the sixth and seventh in a series of evening workshops held at The Domain Hotel on 5th August and 15th September 2015. These events focused on ‘Organizational Culture’ and ‘Revitalizing Your Business’. Both were great successes with over 90 senior business executives from large family concerns, multinationals, and also small and medium sized enterprises signing up for lively debate and discussion.

SSG partners were also busy through the summer with personalized and bespoke intensive workshops for a number of clients, including Al Zayani in Bahrain, Al Arrayed Logistics in Bahrain, Well Flow in KSA and Petrofac Qatar in Doha (pictured above). Robert Salmon, Country Manager at Well Flow said: “Simply the best management and leadership training course I have ever participated in.” Ameera Al Arrayed, Director Finance and Administration at Al Arrayed Logistics added: “Special thanks to all at SSG for all their work with the Al Arrayed Logistics team. It is good for a consultant and coach to get so close to our activity.” 52 Forum


Another international recognition; GARMCO Receives CE Certificate

The Bahrain-based international aluminium rolling mill and one of the largest downstream aluminium facilities in the Middle East today, has announced that it has received CE Mark approval for their products manufactured at the Bahrain Facility intended for exports. The letters “CE” are the abbreviation of French phrase “Conformité Européenne” which literally means “European Conformity”. The CE mark, or formerly EC mark, is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1985. The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that are manufactured in, or designed to be sold in, the EEA. It is in that sense similar to the FCC Declaration of Conformity used on certain electronic devices sold in the United States. CE Marking on a product is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation, in practice by many of the so-called Product Directives. The CE marking is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives. CE Marking on a product ensures the free movement of the product within the EFTA & European Union (EU) single market (total 28 countries). GARMCO is the first company in Bahrain to be certified for CE by TUV Middle East (Member of TUV NORD Group) for their products manufactured at the Bahrain facility intended for exports, after rigorous process of implementation procedure and audits for over a period of one year. The certificate was handed over to GARMCO senior management team by the team from TUV Middle East comprising of Mr. Ramakumar – Country Manager & Mr. Godly George – Sales Executive. Jean-Baptiste Lucas, Chief Executive of GARMCO commented: “this recognition is surely an encouragement for us to continue delivering the highest standards of services to our clients; we shall continue with our set strategic business plans and our confident commitment to the industry to realise and adding value to aluminium.” Forum 53


Bahrain News FootGolf Arrives in Bahrain!

Unisono Wins Three International Design Awards by Design and Design Unisono, one of the region’s leading strategic creative consultancies, has been awarded three Design and Design International Awards for 2015. The Bahrain and Dubai based agency is the first creative consultancy in the Kingdom of Bahrain to be honoured by Design and Design which recognises brilliance in product and print design. The firm has won several Design and Design awards over the past two years, and has been awarded 14 times so far this year in international creative award shows for strategic branding and design.

The Royal Golf Club has recently introduced FootGolf to their weekly events calendar, a sporting craze that has been taking the world by storm and is now catching on in Bahrain. This unconventional game combines both football and golf with players kicking a football around the golf course with the aim of getting it into giant-sized cups in as few kicks as possible. FootGolf runs on Sunday evenings on holes 10 to 18 of the floodlit Montgomerie championship course. The events are open to anyone of any age and prices start from just BD 5 per person.

This year’s Design and Design awarded projects include: GFH (Gulf Finance House) Annual Report, Bahrain International Garden Show Book and Unisono’s marketing collateral. The recognised designs will be published in the Design and Design Book of the Year Volume Eight to be released in December. This is the second time the agency has featured in the book. Liam Farrell, Unisono’s founding partner and executive creative director, says: “These international design awards celebrate Unisono’s commitment to raising regional creative standards of creativity, while also recognising our clients’ desire to achieve brilliance for their brands.”

Arencon Security goes back to school! Over the Summer, Arencon Security have performed a security upgrade at the St. Christophers School Saar and Isa Town campuses. A state of the art IP-based CCTV system has been installed at each campus to monitor the perimeter wall and all entrances to each site. The systems supplement the manned guard force and the centralised monitoring improves their ability to respond swiftly to any suspicious activity as well as providing recorded evidence to aid any subsequent investigation. As befits Bahrain’s foremost British Curriculum school, the 54 Forum

equipment Arencon Security provided is all of UK origin. The cameras and recording system are manufactured by Synectic Systems Ltd. of Sheffield and the ruggedised Ethernet Switches were supplied by AMG Systems Ltd. of Biggleswade. Both these companies provide cutting edge solutions principally for public sector and critical private sector applications in the UK and throughout the world. “Both my kids attend St. Christophers”, commented General Manager Richard Monkhouse, “so I was especially happy to be

able to assist the school with this requirement which further improves the safety of the premises for staff & students alike”. Mr Edward Goodwin OBE, Principal of St Christopher’s School said: “At St Christopher’s School, we take our responsibility to safeguard our students, staff and facilities very seriously. We are very pleased to have added CCTV to our security provisions and to have contracted Arencon Security, with their high level of expertise in this field, to carry out this important work.”


Impact Estate is launching a new residence in Amwaj Islands Award-winning property management company Impact Estate and the prominent Bahrain-based developer Zahed Modern Properties W.L.L. introduce a new bespoke residential development, Modern Residence – 2. Designed by Elevation Architects and Engineers, Modern Residence2 offers spacious and luxurious apartments with sea-views for sale. Located in sought-after Amwaj Islands apartments and penthouses range from over 87 sq.m. to 198 sq.m. in size and have been thoughtfully designed to create a comfortable and lavish living. High-quality finishing with the finest materials, including light fittings, custom-made furnishing supplied by Modern Woodworks, fully equipped kitchen with appliances, high specification leisure facilities and flexible payment schedule make this property an attractive investment. The building is due for completion in June 2016.

This is the second project of Zahed Modern Properties W.L.L. The first residential building, Modern Residence -1, was successfully launched in 2014 and sold out in a matter of weeks. Oksana A.K., General Manager of Impact Estate says: “It is an honor for us to work with the developer on his second project. All properties developed by Zahed Modern Properties W.L.L. are tastefully appointed and boast high-end product. With the increasing interest in Amwaj Area this building will be popular with discerning home owners”. All apartments are fully furnished and will be ready to move into right after the handover. Additionally, terraces and balconies of four Penthouses provide stunning views of the sea and Amwaj Island.

Leading strategic IT consultancy firm Sysprove Consulting hosts breakfast presentation with speakers from Norton Rose Fulbright and Tamkeen

Sysprove Consulting, a leading business process and strategic IT consultancy in the Kingdom of Bahrain, hosted a breakfast presentation in September to the country’s industry leaders at the Capital Club in Bahrain Financial Harbour. Sysprove Consulting team were joined by speakers from Norton Rose Fulbright and Tamkeen, to discuss the importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) strategies and its impact on businesses. The event focused on sharing experiences with decision-makers on helping to select, procure and implement ERP systems and increase the success rates of ERP projects. Mr. Ravi Jayasundera, Chief Executive Officer of Sysprove Consulting, deliberated on the ERP systems selection and implementation processes, highlighting the obstacles many companies face in this regard. Mr. Dino Wilkinson, a leading practitioner specialised in technology contracts from international legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright, elaborated on the contracting side and how to best manage the procurement process for success. Concluding the presentation Mr. Esam Hammad, responsible for the Enterprise Relations and Advisory unit at Tamkeen, discussed Tamkeen’s experience with funding ERP systems for SMEs and gave an overview of current support schemes. Ravi Jayasundera, Chief Executive Officer of Sysprove Consulting, commented on the event saying: “Based on our past consulting assignments we have noticed that organisations do not devote sufficient time and resources to define an ERP strategy in alignment with their business and technology strategies. We wanted to bring together the ERP experts and leading organisations to share their

experiences on this topic which is relevant to organisations who are planning on implementing an ERP system or upgrade their current systems.” Mr. Dino Wilkinson of Norton Rose Fulbright stated: “ERP is a significant facet of business strategy and we are pleased to share our expertise on the legal aspects in technology contracting, how to avoid the common pitfalls and tips on how to negotiate successful deals.” Tamkeen’s Mr. Esam Hammad remarked: “Tamkeen’s Enterprise Relations and Advisory unit acts as the key link with the business community in Bahrain and provides assistance to companies exploring funding and partnership opportunities. We are glad to share our learnings to support enterprises to acquire business systems, including ERP.” Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are an integrated set of applications that provide support for core organisational processes such as manufacturing, logistics, finance, operations, sales and marketing, and HR. An ERP facilitates the flow of information across all functional areas of an enterprise and enables to streamline business processes, increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service. Sysprove, with its long-term establishment in Bahrain, has assisted a number of organisations in acquiring suitable ERP systems and managing the implementation process. Throughout its seven year operation in Bahrain and the GCC, Sysprove has completed a number of assignments with a variety of both government and private sector organisations.

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Just how prepared are you? It was about the middle of August this year when the first email arrived reminding me that Christmas was only 18 weeks away! To see just how much (or how little) time you have left for shopping visit www.xmasclock.com What the email was reminding me was that I had to start thinking about what I would be buying and who I’d be giving to this year. Top of the must-haves for 2015 is supposed to be some sort of Robot. it appears that gadgetbased toys will be top of letters to Santa this year as retailer Hamleys unveiled its top predictions for this year’s Christmas musthaves. The recent move back towards old-fashioned wooden toys appears to be firmly relegated to the past, replaced by a robot featuring speechto-text technology and a cuddly “My Friend Freddy” bear who “really knows you” the moment he is connected to a smart device.

The £65 i-Que Intelligent Robot, (above) for those aged three and older, uses speech-to-text technology to “literally understand almost anything you say”, while 56 Forum

dominated by the big and small screen, including Frozen & Thunderbirds. Indeed many of the toys on the list are similar to those that parents may have played with when they were younger.

even toddler favourite Peppa Pig will break into a version of Ring A Ring O’ Roses if her hands are held. Also on the list is a doll named C a y l a who uses speechto-text Google software to look up answers to questions online.

For those with a little more cash to spend, for about £625 there’s Crazy Cart. A patented drift system allows the driver to vary the rear caster angle so you can drive and drift forward, backward, sideways, diagonally and everything inbetween. With a 24V battery, speeds of upto 19kph are claimed BUT beware... it has no brakes! According to Argos however, this year’s list of top children’s toys is

With toys like Tracy Island, Lego and Barbie, 48% of parents said they would be more likely to play and bond with their child, with 10 per cent wanting to play themselves.

Slightly more adult themed the Fitbit Flex fitness tracker looks like a stylish bracelet, but it’s actually a powerful lifestyle tool (so says the ad blurb) to help you or a loved one track physical activity… Available in 11 colors, the Fitbit Flex displays your progress with indicator lights so you don’t have to keep looking down at small notifications. As you exercise, successive lights illuminate. When all five lights are lit, you know you’ve achieved your fitness goal for the day, and, there’s a free app allowing you to compete with your friends .

And Finally

On the gadget list, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, or quadricopter, hovers (pun intended) over the middle ground between toy and true drone, offering a perfect balance of fun while still allowing you to capture some incredible aerial footage or snap some high-quality photos from its two highdefinition cameras. Prices vary between £2-300. But what’s going to be on my list?... It’s got to be the proverbial chocolate teapot. Available for about £20 simply fill the teapot with hot water, stir in cocoa powder and pour a wonderful hot chocolate drink. Add more water to create a lovely chocolate fondue inside. Dip any of your favourite fruits, strawberries or marshmallows into the creamy chocolate fondue and enjoy the chocolate covered delights. When finished, simply break up the teapot and eat it. That’s what I call really useful!


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Bbbforum Autumn 2015  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

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