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From The Chair Welcome to the 2007 Spring Forum Magazine. The new Committee is very grateful for the opportunity and privilege to serve you. Our membership is rapidly approaching the 300 mark; the Bahrain economic outlook continues to be bullish; and trade flows between Bahrain and the United Kingdom are at record levels. However, there is no scope for complacency and the new Committee will ensure that the BBBF continues to flourish and that we play an activity role in serving our Members. I am also delighted with the way our “special relationship� has


blossomed with the British Embassy in Bahrain. Ambassador Jamie Bowden may have only been with us for a few months, but he has already made it abundantly clear that he and his team have a real passion and interest in the BBBF and its Members. We are all looking forward to working with the Embassy, which continues to serve as a tremendous catalyst for bilateral commercial relationships.

number of initiatives.

We are delighted that HSBC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank have signed up as corporate sponsors for 2007. Their generosity and commitment to the BBBF provides us with a strong financial base to fund a

We are looking forward to serving you through some very exciting and prosperous times ahead

With fond memories, I would like to thank both Steve Ritchie and Terri Harwood for their leadership and contribution to the BBBF over recent years, and playing an integral role in our renaissance. No Committee holds a monopoly on good ideas, so please do not hesitate to contact any of us and share your thoughts with us anytime.

Austin Rudman BBBF Chairman

Letter from H.M. Ambassador ............ p3 Diary Dates ....................... p4 Welcome new members .. p5 Member Benefits .............. p6 Application Form ............. p7 Farewell from Steve Ritchie .................... p8 The Red Blades are in Bahrain ................. p10 F1 Season is upon us .... p12 Airline News ................... p14 Financial News ............... p16 HRH Duke of York in Bahrain ....................... p20 Bahrain Construction Update ..... p22 The move to Carbon Neutral Homes .. p24 BBBF Annual Golf Day ............. p26 Leisure ............................ p24 Jaguar launch at BIC ..... p30 British Council ............... p32 News from KSA .............. p36 Bahrain News ................. p35 And Finally ..................... p40 Registration number SBBB 492

The 2007-8 BBBF Executive Committee

Chairman Austin Rudman Mob: 3969-9475

Deputy Chairman Peter Lyall Mob: 3933-5003

Treasurer Patrick Dornan Mob: 3924-3739

Secretary Julie Lomas Mob: 3960-6712

Member Rob Grey Mob: 3966-3452

Member Linda Jennings Mob: 3962-5004

Member Bill Frost Mob: 3963-5110

Embassy Representative Rebecca Eriksson Mob: 3953-6989

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



From Her Majesty’s Ambassador

It is received wisdom that a baptism of fire is the best way to start a job. I feel I’ve had just such since I arrived in Bahrain four months ago, and I am very glad about it. The string of senior visitors (The Prince of Wales; The Princess Royal; The Duke of York, who is the UK’s Special Representative for Trade & Investment; the Minister for the Armed Forces, William Hague and sundry senior officers of the armed forces) and a great deal of other business have kept the Embassy in top gear. But each visit has presented me with

opportunities to meet senior Bahrainis and members of the British community and to learn in fast time the issues that are on people’s minds. Each has also raised further the profile of Britain in Bahrain. Some of these visits did not directly touch on business matters, some had business as their reason. But even those that had a more general focus helped to create the right environment for all of us, business people, diplomats, service personnel and others to operate in. As well as playing a key role in these visits, the Trade and Investment Section here helped with preparations for both the British Security Industries Sector (BSIA) Trade Mission in February and the British participation in the Middle East Oil Show (MEOS). The latter included organising a Reception in the Residence garden on 12 March attended by The Duke of York. The numbers of

Trade Mission visitors are still on the increase. The next one is from West Yorkshire in late April. The Section have also enjoyed a continuing close and fruitful relationship with Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, Business Links, export clubs and especially with the BBBF. I believe that we have all acted as multipliers of each other’s efforts. I am particularly sad that Steve Ritchie’s tenure as Chairman of the Forum has drawn to a close. He has led the BBBF through a period of growth, increased and very focussed activity and established direct links with the Bahraini Government at the highest levels. I wish Steve good luck with his new career(s), and Austin Rudman good luck as his worthy successor. I also congratulate the BBBF’s members on their contribution to last year’s trade and investment figures. British imports are up some 50% in the year to

November 2006 and investment continues to flow strongly in both directions. You may have seen the initial statements by Bahrain’s new Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, that his priority is to see more British business in Bahrain. Our two Governments therefore have a common goal. Business in Bahrain is clearly optimistic that the coming year will be another one of opportunity. The Kingdom’s economic, workforce and educational reform programmes will continue under the dynamic leadership of the Economic Development Board. I am sure that Britain will remain the partner of choice for many, even most, Bahrainis. All in all, it’s a good time to be a Brit in Bahrain. Jamie Bowden



BBBF Internal News BBBF holds AGM

Diary Dates Tuesday 10th April 2007 Speaker: Red Blades Venue: Golden Tulip Time: 12 noon for 1pm Cost: TBC Tuesday 18th April 2007 Speaker: from the FCO Subject: Money Laundering Venue: Golden Tulip Time: 7pm Cost: TBC

The Annual General Assembly was held at the British Club on Tuesday 13th March 2007. H.M. Ambassador to the UK, Jamie Bowden addressed the Forum and congratulated them on all their work. Our new Chair, Austin Rudman presented Jamie Bowden H.M. Ambassador with a BBBF Cheque for BD1000 for the Chevening Scholarship program.

On behalf of all the BBBF Members, Austin Rudman (Chair) presented Steve Ritchie with a gift and thanked him for all his work on the Committee and wished him all the very best for the future. The election also brought two new board members. Bill Frost, Principal at the British School and Patrick Dornan, Chief Exec of CCMI.

Tuesday 15th May 2007 BBBF Annual Golf Day Individual Stableford Competition Venue: Riffa Golf Club First Tee off: 1 pm Cost: TBC Tuesday 19th June 2007 Speaker: Christopher Fairey (De La Rue Currency -Bahrain) Venue: TBC Time: 12 noon for 1 pm Cost: TBC

Cover Picture: This photograph was taken from the 42nd floor of the East Tower of the new Bahrain World Trade Centre, looking in an easterly direction over the Diplomatic Area, towards Muharraq.

Our thanks to all the advertisers. Without their support this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours. Al Ghalia Group - Mezzaluna ............................. p38 Al Osra Supermarket ............................................ p9 APM Terminals .................................................... p19 AXA Insurance ........................ Outside Back Cover BAE SYSTEMS .................................................... p33 British Club ......................................................... p27 Cathay Pacific ..................................................... p14 Designers Box .................................................... p35 Dilmun Club ........................................................ p28 Gulf Hotel ............................................................ p11 4


HSBC ......................................... Inside Front Cover Kalaam telecom .................................................. p29 Mansouri Group .................................................. p37 Mohammed Jalal & Sons ................................... p31 Penny’s Restaurant ............................................ p34 Royal & SunAlliance ............................................. p2 Scott Wilson ........................................................ p25 Sheraton Hotel .................................................... p36 Standard Chartered Bank .................................. p17 TNT ............................................. Inside Back Cover

Welcome to New Members Ali Al Sharif Managing Director Ali Alsharif Est. PO Box 1322 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1754-0012 Fax: 1754-0029 Mob: 3966-6575

Tom Lockhart Director of Special Projects Aegis Specialist Risk Management PO Box 11620 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-0362 Fax: 1753-0348 Mob: 3979-2518

Hamid Rashid Al Zayani Managing Director Midal Cables Ltd PO Box 5939 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-0808 Fax: 1753-0818 Mob: 3966-6120

Riyaz Jivanjee Associate Director EMEA - Business Development WLL

Shams AlBaharna Managing Partner AGN Mezan PO Box 11816 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-7787 Fax: 1753-7757 Mob: 3966-4461

Jawad Rasromani Managing Director Romani Consulting P.O.Box 20101, Manama Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-7517 Fax: 1753-7518 Mob: 3945-7455

James Baxter Director Middle East Aegis Specialist Risk Management PO Box 11620 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-0362 Fax: 1753-0348 Mob:

Peter Sellers General Manager/Director Cebarco Bahrain PO Box 28812 Riffa, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1772-2213 Fax: 1772-2001 Mob: 3963-2251

Roula Crisp Business Development Manager KHP Middle East PO Box 15680 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1781-4709 Fax: 1782-7021 Mob: 3914-0218

Giles Ward Regional Director ACE Insurance PO Box 3214 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 11757-0393 Fax: 1753-2259 Mob: 3943-2293

Keith Issitt Business Development Manager Speedy Motors PO Box 800 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1768-2999 Fax: 1768-1000 Mob:

Bryan Winning General Manager KHP Middle East PO Box 15680 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1781-4708 Fax: 1782-7021 Mob: 3974-7800

Tel: 1753-0077 Fax: 1753-0088 Mob: 3960-2309



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.

Morgan Price International Healthcare 15% discount on GlobalHealth Individual Insurance Plans on published rates. Contact: Samy Ebrahim Tel: 1753 3151 or 3940 4160 Email:

Al Faris Auto Centre Special discounts on parts and services Contact: Yousif Eid Tel: 1787 7222 Email:

NHSC 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer Contact: Bill Beddall Tel: 1753 3764 Email:

Azrek Search Associates 20% discount on search and headhunting services Contact: Rory Adamson Tel: 1771 4709 Email: AXA Insurance Some benefits/discounts to members on personal and corporate insurances. Contact: Stephen Wagstaff Tel: 1758 8222 Email: Conscious Connections 5% discount on Crystal Therapy and Awareness, 10% discount for group bookings and group workshops Contact: Julie Lomas Mobile: 3960 6712 Email: Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: Hertz Hertz now offers BBBF members an exclusive 10% discount on all prepaid rentals processed through their call centre in Bahrain. Simply show your membership card and benefit from the discount on all car rentals in 7,000 locations in 150 countries. Contact: Ali Ebrahim Kashef Alghata Tel: 1729 9147 Email: Mercure Discount Card For those of you that have applied for the Mercure Discount Card. Please note that it is ready for you to collect direct from Sinan Koseoglu. Contact details for Sinan, the Executive Assistant Manager F&B are: Mercure Grand Hotel Seef, P.O.Box: 18084, Seef District - Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: +973 17 584 406 Fax: +973 17 582 352 Mob:+973 397 99 020 E-mail:

Riffa Golf Club Exclusive Membership Offer to BBBF Members only Join Riffa Golf Club and receive, 1 x Complimentary Golf Lesson, 5 x Complimentary Cart Seat Vouchers & 1 x Complimentary Golf Shirt - Please contact BBBF member Anita Ghavami directly on 3943-1310 or Royal Over-Seas League The Royal Over-Seas League has clubhouses in London and Edinburgh which include hotel-style accommodation. A quarterly journal issued to members free of charge. Reduced rates for BBBF members Application forms for membership are obtainable from the Membership Secretary at Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR Tel: 0044 20 7408 0214 Fax: 0044 20 7499 6738 Email: Spa Arabia by Betsy 25% Discount on all Spa, Beauty and Hairdressing Treatments and 15% Discount on all Spa Shop Purchases. The Spa Treatments are for ladies only but male members can visit and make purchases from the Spa Shop.( Skin Care, Hair Care, Cosmetics, Sun Care, Aromatherapy Oils, etc and Skin and Hair Consultations) They can also purchase Gift Vouchers at 25% off discounted rate. Conditions are: Discount on full price treatments and products only; Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offers. Contact: Betsy Bennett Mathieson Appointments can be booked on Tel 3961 3739 The MakeOver Experience Discounts to corporate members for training courses. Contact: Leila Edwards Tel: 1759 2019 Email:

This edition of the BBBF Forum magazine was compiled by Andrew Mead at Mead Management Services Ltd. email: UK Mob: 0044 7940 559 925 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151 Bahrain Mobile: 00973 3910 0113 and produced in cooperation with Krishnan Surendran at Jumana House, Riyadh, KSA Tel 009661 402 4785 Fax: 00966 10 405 9861 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to A full page advert is charged at BD300. A half page advert at BD180, A quarter page advert at BD100 A small panel at BD50 Please note: The BBBF nor it’s 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 it’s agents. Publication of any article or advertisement does not imply any endorsement of the views, products or services described therein.



Why Join The BBBF? BAHRAIN The Pearl of the Gulf has had a long standing relationship with Britain and is still a major trading partner. BRITISH Trade with Bahrain is now subject to significant competition in this era of globalization particularly from countries in Europe and from the USA.

Membership directories are distributed to members of visiting Trade Missions and are available to businessmen visiting Bahrain through the Embassy and business centres in five star hotels. Simply click on “Sign Up” on our website complete the application form and click submit. Sounds simple, it is, it must be worth it.

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.

Cost of membership Individual Membership: BD 50 per annum, with an additional BD20 once-only registration fee.

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.

Corporate Sponsorships Three levels of sponsorship are available:

BBBF Membership Application

Corporate Membership: BD150 per annum (up to 5 individuals) plus BD 40 for each applicant up to a maximum of 10, with an additional BD 50 once-only registration fee.

Platinum: BD 2500 each year for three years Gold: BD 2500 for one year Silver: BD 1000 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

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

Website address of business (if applicable)

Title and full name (Surname first)

Describe how you / your company contribute to substantial business interests in Bahrain (Maximum 150 words)

Position in business


Date of Birth

CPR Number

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

Business telephone


Home telephone


E-mail address

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

Applicants Signature

Please note that the granting of individual or corporate membership is subject to BBBF Committee approval.



Farewell was like a call to arms and it gave me the perfect platform from which to begin to raise the profile and impact of the BBBF.

As I leave Bahrain and head for Cyprus, I will take with me many happy memories of Bahrain and the people I have met here – in particular, those I have met through the BBBF. Though I have been a member of the BBBF for many years, it came as a bit of a surprise when I was asked to join the Committee about three years ago. The invitation came out of the blue when an existing committee member stepped down. If that was a bit of a surprise, it was a total surprise when I was nominated for the position of chair at the next elections. Looking back, I have enjoyed two wonderful years at the helm of this great organisation. I remember the first lunch we arranged post election. The speakers were representatives of the newly formed American Chamber of Commerce. Their participation could not have been more timely, nor their words more appropriate. When one of the speakers suggested that Amcham would be a proper business organisation, rather than a lunch club like the BBBF, it 8


Since then, we have continued to run our monthly lunch meetings, which have proved increasingly popular. Attendance has grown from an average of 40 in 2005 to over 80 in 2007 – with many meetings now drawing 100 plus guests and members. Our membership ranks have also grown over the same period from 150 to 250 today. The support we have enjoyed from the British Embassy has been outstanding throughout. The Ambassador (past and present), the Deputy Head of Mission and the commercial staff have all gone out of their way to involve us at every possible opportunity and to provide us with advice and guidance when requested. We have put considerable effort into developing relationships with other local organisations such as the Economic Development Board, the Ministry of Commerce, other local business groups and even Amcham – who, despite

their opening broad shot have become great partners and allies in many areas. We have also taken steps to build our relationships with overseas organisations such as the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and the Middle East Association. As a result, we have witnessed some interesting and exciting developments. In early 2006, we were invited to join a British Embassy mission to Dubai called Britain in the Region. Embassy officials, representing each of the Gulf States, delivered presentations on the business opportunities in their locale. The BBBF was the only business group invited to present. Later in 2006 we were also asked to deliver a presentation at a Bahrain Government sponsored event in London, alongside the Minister of Industry, the EDB and others. Each of these demonstrates the steady progress being made in respect of repositioning the BBBF as a serious business focussed organisation with teeth, rather than simply a lunch club. This is further supported by the latest developments in this area wherein the BBBF has been included in conversations

with representatives of the Royal Court and the Prime Ministers office with regard to how the BBBF can play a more central and official role in the development of business relationships between Bahrain and the UK. One key element, which has eluded us this far, is the granting of a Commercial Registration to the BBBF. However, I am delighted to confirm that, thanks to the efforts on our behalf by Qays Zubi, we have been advised that this will now be forthcoming. Although only a small piece of the overall puzzle, granting the BBBF a CR moves it from the official classification of a “club and society” to a fully functioning business organisation. A strong indication of the respect that the Government of Bahrain has for the BBBF. As I step down and head towards Cyprus and the next chapter of my life, I do so in the knowledge that the BBBF is in very safe hands. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the last two years and I wish the forum and its members every success for the future Steve Ritchie

Spectacular aerobatics Extra 300. The team are dedicated to providing daring, thrilling and outstanding new shows for 2007 that will enthral and inspire their audiences. Magnum Events and Exhibitions Management MEEM (a Bahrain based company) and 2Excel Aviation Ltd from the UK launched their joint venture “The Blades in Bahrain” above the waterfront at the Ritz-Carlton in March. Dynamic, exciting and extreme, the synchronized gyroscopic manoeuvres and precision formation

aerobatics entertained the specially selected guests. Combining their Royal Air Force heritage with last season’s experience in the

On board each aircraft are six broadcast-quality cameras that can be livelinked to the ground in realtime providing unique advertising opportunities to future clients. With 4 ex-Red Arrows pilots, 20,000 military fast jet hours, 2 OBEs, a Distinguished Flying Cross and Mention in Dispatches between them, The pilots

professionalism means that any event organiser can be confident that they will always excel, performing legally, precisely, reliably and safely at the most prestigious of venues. The Kingdom of Bahrain will be the official Gulf home for the team during this deployment and they are scheduled to appear at various events in the region including the the BIC during this years F1. British Ambassador Jamie Bowden attended the launch event commenting that here was another fine

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example of Bahraini-British Business cooperation. The Blades in Bahrain are the only formation aerobatic display team with a global Air Operator’s Certificate.

Put simply, this means they are legally licensed to fly passengers in the front seats of their superb Extra 300 aircraft as they loop and roll in formation just 12 feet from each other.


F1 season upon us The wait is almost over - the 2007 season is finally upon us. Or perhaps we should refer to it as 2007 PS - PostSchumacher. For the first time since Belgium 1991 (barring the races he missed in 1999), the great German’s presence will no longer influence the outcome of races and world championships. Think about that. The King is gone, and whenever that has happened in the past there has always been a period in which the next great begins to make his presence felt. This time it may be that Fernando Alonso has already done that, having beaten Schumacher these past two seasons. But even when he was doing so, Michael was always the man he had to beat. Now it is likely that the mantle will rest on the Spaniard’s shoulders initially, but with other changes throughout the paddock it may not stay that way. Will Kimi Raikkonen finally find at Ferrari the key he has been seeking to success ever since he rattled the establishment with his driving of a Sauber Petronas back in 2001? Will Felipe Massa, for so long underrated by those who looked no further than the top teams, become Ferrari’s

pacesetter? Will Giancarlo Fisichella rise to the occasion at last for Renault? Will Honda finally produce a car that can win regularly for Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello? Can Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica surprise for BMW Sauber? Or will we see a rookie either Lewis Hamilton at McLaren or Heikki Kovalainen at Renault - win a race in their first season in the big league? And what of Red Bull, and their Adrian Newey RB3 wonder car, on which so much rests? Will David Coulthard rise again? Will Mark Webber finally get the chance to define his quality? This is always the time of year when anything is possible, which is all part of the fun. Formula One racing thrives on its annual period of rebirth, and what we have seen so far in 2007 does nothing to dissuade one from the view that we are in for a bumper season, in which several drivers could be in contention for victory and the world championship. The real ‘New World’ lies a year hence, when custom cars, further regulation changes and a new Concorde Agreement arrive, but 2007, the first season for

15 years without Michael Schumacher, will begin to give shape to that bold future as the young tigers claw at the experienced veterans, and the rising marques slog it out “wheel-to-wheel” with the established giants of the sport. There are a number of key regulation changes for the 2007 season, principally related to engines, tyres and Friday’s practice format. The aims are to reduce costs, make the smaller teams more competitive and to encourage even closer racing… Engines They still have to do two races and there will still be 10 grid-place penalties for failures prior to a race, but in general reliability should be better in 2007 because all teams had their engine specifications frozen in China last year. This is part of FIA President Max Mosley’s plan to cut costs by significantly reducing engine development budgets. It’s difficult to see how those behind on power in China 2006 will ever catch up, but when manufacturers spend millions of dollars chasing another 10 bhp, some sort of cost control makes sense. It means teams will have to focus on other areas of the car to gain an advantage and it will be fascinating to see how it all works out. Tyres They may be round, black and boring to some, but they are the most crucial performance elements on any Formula One car. In the past everyone sighed in relief when a period of supply monopoly came to an end and there was a tyre war, because all of a sudden

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

2007 F1 Season Australia 18 March Malaysia 8 April Bahrain 15 April Spain 13 May Monaco 27 May Canada 10 June USA 17 June France 1 July Britain 8 July Germany 22 July Hungary 5 August Turkey 26 August Italy 9 September Belgium 16 September Japan 30 September China 7 October Brazil 21 October

things could get turned upside down. Remember Damon Hill and Arrows and the performance of Bridgestone in Hungary in 1997? Now the pendulum has swung the other way and everyone is getting justifiably excited about the fact that all teams and drivers will be on the same tyres Bridgestones - now that Michelin have withdrawn. The Japanese manufacturer will have one construction and four compounds, titled hard, medium, soft and super-soft for teams to choose from, but will only take two compound options to each race. Drivers will also have to use both compounds during a race (one of which will be marked so that spectators can instantly spot who is on which tyre). That may cause a few headaches here and there, but in general, like refuelling stops, once somebody demonstrates a clear way to do this, most will follow suit. Those teams, principally Ferrari, that ran on Bridgestones in previous years may have an advantage at times in tricky circumstances where experience in choosing

F1 brings $660 million compounds will count, but with Operations Head Kees van de Grint changing from engineering tyres specifically for Ferrari to a role in which he will ensure that everybody gets the same treatment in 2007, Bridgestone aim to address criticism from their previous spell as sole supplier that they favoured the Italian team. The big leveller is that the 2007 tyres are totally different to those used by the Bridgestone runners last year, and winter testing indicates that they do indeed suit far more than just the red cars. The good thing about a single tyre supplier is that overall the compounds will be harder -

minutes each, the first starting at 10am, the second at 2pm, guaranteeing a lot more track action for fans at the circuit. With the teams having agreed to more severe testing restrictions away from races this year, Fridays are expected to be treated more like test sessions. The use of third cars has been abandoned, although teams will be allowed to run a test driver in place of a race driver if they so choose. Furthermore, the two-race engine rule will no longer apply on Fridays. This means any driver starting a Formula One racing has pumped BD249 million ($660.5 million) into Bahrain’s economy so far. Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told MPs yesterday that despite reported losses of BD16 million by the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in 2004, according to the Financial Audit Bureau report, the Gulf Air Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix had proved a massive boost to the economy.

and hence slower - than they were in 2006, when lap times were slashed in places by up to six seconds. That will mean less grip and more emphasis on driver skill. Testing suggests that a smooth driving style is needed to extract the best from the new rubber, prompting those who used to be more aggressive on turn-in to adjust their technique accordingly. Practice sessions The timetable has been slightly re-jigged for 2007. Friday’s two practice sessions have been extended by 50 percent to 90

meeting with a fresh engine will not be penalised for an early failure. It also means a driver whose race engine is on its second event may opt to use an alternative unit on Friday and save his race engine for the remainder of the weekend. Final practice will continue to take place on Saturday morning (60 minutes), followed by the usual (and popular) knockout qualifying session in the afternoon. Once again, drivers will have to run with race fuel in the final top-ten shootout.

“New projects like the BIC are not profitable in their first years, but we expect them to generate profits when the strategy to utilise the place is complete,” said Shaikh Ahmed. “A specialised company is currently preparing it and will ensure that the place is busy throughout the year, as a centre for exhibitions, conferences and events by international and local organisations. “It is true that we (the Government) have given BIC

BD65m up to July last year, but this has been justified as BD41m, BD60m and BD148m, entered the national economy in 2004, 2005 and last year, respectively. “We are currently waiting for new developmental projects to be complete near BIC, something that will make the area more active.” Projects include new resorts and hotels, commercial centres and a new car factory. “The F1 has created directly and indirectly 390 permanent jobs and 2,000 temporary jobs,” he said. Shaikh Ahmed was responding to a question by Al Menbar MP Shaikh Nasser Al Fadhala on the financial status of the BIC. Shaikh Al Fadhala said the Government had promised that the BIC would generate a huge income when it came to Parliament to approve a loan of $200m for the BIC project. Forum


Airline News Cathay Pacific offers more of China

bmi acquires control of British Mediterranean British Midland plc announces that it has acquired control of the Heathrow-based BA franchise airline British Mediterranean (BMED). British Midland is the group holding company of bmi and has subscribed to approximately £30 million of new shares in BMED.

“Passengers now have more choices in flying between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The new daily service that we recently launched will help strengthen trade and commercial ties between both cities, as well as tourism, and will enhance Hong Kong’s position as an international aviation hub”, Tom Wright, General Manager Middle East, India and Africa, commented, as he announced Cathay’s code-share arrangement with its newly acquired partner, Dragonair.

place, we are currently offering 17 flights a day between Hong Kong and Shanghai, another 17 flights between Hong Kong and Beijing and 3 flights a day between Hong Kong and Xiamen”, Tom added.

“Cathay Pacific now operates to 3 cities in China – Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen - and with the Dragonair code-share in

Cathay Pacific operates a daily service from Bahrain to Hong Kong with excellent connections to its vast Asian network.

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In addition to the seven code-share destinations Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen, Tokyo, Kota Kinabalu, Phuket and Busan – passengers will also be able to book online through the Cathay Pacific website to Dragonair’s 21 cities on the China Mainland.

bmi’s chairman Sir Michael Bishop, chief executive officer Nigel Turner and deputy chief executive officer Tim Bye have been appointed to the BMED board with immediate effect. David Richardson will retain his position as chief executive reporting directly to Nigel Turner. All existing non-executive directors of BMED have today resigned their positions. Nigel Turner, chief executive officer of the bmi group, said: “Bringing BMED into the bmi group creates a business with a turnover in excess of £1 billion with substantial growth opportunities. The acquisition enables the bmi group to accelerate its

strategy of expansion into medium-haul markets. BMED operates to 17 destinations in 16 countries and has no overlap with any current bmi route. Many of these destinations have restricted access to the market due to existing bilateral agreements. Synergies include BMED’s Heathrow base and the fact that it operates IAE engined Airbus A320 and 321 aircraft in a two class configuration. “BMED has a first class workforce and they will be welcomed into the bmi group and we look forward to working with them to rebuild the business after some difficult times over the past few months. In the short term we plan for the business to continue to operate as it does today with no immediate changes to network or structure. A comprehensive review of the business will take place over the next 30 days.” An agreement has been reached with British Airways that will see the franchise agreement and any other commercial agreements that exist with them continuing for a transitionary period until the end of the summer 2007 timetable.

Qatar Airways to fly New York, Washington The rise of Middle Eastern carriers was much talked about at the ITB Berlin 2007, particularly with Qatar Airways having announced a raft of new destinations over the next few months. The newest destinations headlining the airline’s summer flight plan are the North American gateway cities of Washington DC and New York, and in Europe, Geneva and Stockholm.

These are in addition to four previously announced new routes as of this month – including Lagos (operational as of March 1), Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Chennai. All will be routed out of Doha, the carrier’s home base and hub. Al Baker said the airline was gearing up for an exciting few months of route launches and increased frequencies on existing services.

Lufthansa increases flights As of April 1, 2007, Lufthansa will be increasing its flights from Bahrain to Frankfurt from three to four weekly flights. The total number of flights from Dammam and Bahrain will increase to seven a week. Lufthansa will include

every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as departures and arrivals from and to Bahrain All flights will be operated by the Airbus A330-300 and Airbus A340-300 with the new Business class twometre sleeper seat.

Airline appoints new officials Mahmood Hashem Al Kooheji, the deputy chief executive officer of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), has been appointed as Deputy Chairman of Gulf Air's Board of Directors . Jawad Habib Jawad has also been appointed as a new member of the Board. The Board includes two other members from Bahrain Khalid Omar Al Rumaihi and Michael Wette - representing the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company. Gulf Air’s Board of Directors consists of eight members split equally between Oman and Bahrain. “On behalf of myself and

other Board members, who represent the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, it is my honour to extend our deepest gratitude to the leadership of the country for the trust that has been awarded to us and promise to strive hard to achieve the country’s aspirations,” said Mr Al Kooheji. “I am also grateful and thankful to Abdul Aziz Jassim Kanoo for his hard work and effort during his tenure as the chairman of the board. “I also welcome Mr Jawad as a new member to the Gulf Air board, our national carrier will highly benefit from his well established experience in the fields of accounting and consultancy.”

New Orders for Airbus Qatar Airways and Russia’s Aeroflot have both said they were interested in placing orders for the Airbus A350 worth $30bn (£15.4bn). With the •10bn (£6.8bn) development of the longhaul A350 still in progress and some funding issues unresolved, two such orders will be a boost for the company. Shares in Airbus’s parent, EADS, rose almost 3% on the news. Aeroflot had previously looked to buy the Boeing 787 instead of the A350, but it suspended negotiations with the US group at the end of February because of political tensions between Russia and the United States. The Airbus news comes as thousands of workers in France and Germany prepare for strike action

against the company’s intention to shed 10,000 jobs. Airbus employs about 12,000 people in the UK, but its two sites are not involved in action. Airbus has been hurt by delays to its A380 superjumbo, leading to cancellations and costly renegotiated contracts. Emirates, the Middle East airline and largest A380 customer with 45 ordered, once looked likely to cancel, but has gained a new deal. Commenting on the deal Emirates President, Tim Clark also defended the airline industry against claims it was a leading contributor to climate change. He said people would be better off using low-cost airlines rather than cars, because flying was cleaner for the environment.

BA announces new rules for checked baggage. BA applied new charges from 13th February this year claiming that their new policies would simplify check-in. Herewith a brief summary of the new rules.

Excess baggage charges

For Europe and all other international routes

You can pay for excess baggage at the airport but you can receive a 30% discount on airport charges by pre-paying online.

Adults and children aged 2 years and over First and Club World – 3 Bags Club Europe and World Traveller Plus - 2 Bags World Traveller and Euro Traveller – 1 Bag Maximum dimensions per bag (H+W+L): 158cm Maximum weight per bag: 23kg (51lbs)

Any items over the free checked allowance will be charged as excess baggage.

Longhaul - £120 per bag or £84 per bag if paid online. Shorthaul - £60 per bag or £42 per bag if paid online. UK Domestic - £30 per bag or £21 per bag if paid online For customers transferring flights, a single charge based on the longest flight applies. Forum


Financial News Standard Chartered PLC announce results for the year ended 31/12/2006 

Operating income up 26 per cent to $8,620 million (2005: $6,861 million)

Profit before taxation up 19 per cent to $3,178 million (2005: $2,681 million)

Profit attributable to ordinary shareholders* up 18 per cent to $2,253 million (2005: $1,917 million) Total assets up 24 per cent to $266 billion (2005: $215 billion)

Commenting on these results, the Chairman of Standard Chartered PLC, Mervyn Davies, said: “Standard Chartered delivered another year of record income and profits in 2006, driven by strong organic growth and continued good progress in Korea. We made strategic acquisitions in Taiwan and Pakistan. We have achieved great momentum and will continue to benefit from the growth opportunities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and from

our investment in the business. We want all our stakeholders to see us as The Right Partner – Leading by Example. We have the management depth to execute our strategy and we are attracting talented and diverse employees from around the world. The Group is in great shape and we are optimistic about the future.” Group Chief Executive, Peter Sands included the following commentary in his review: “...We are leveraging the

opportunities in Islamic finance, we see great potential in the Dubai International Financial Centre and are building our presence in Abu Dhabi. China, India and the Middle East are three of our biggest opportunities for organic growth. He closed his session by saying “...I would like to thank our customers and shareholders for their support; and the Group’s staff for their professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment.

Moody’s hails Bahrain economy In its annual report on Bahrain, Moody’s Investors Service says the Gulf country’s investment -grade ratings and positive outlook are supported by the government’s net asset position and Bahrain’s relatively high per capita level of GDP. The foreign currency country ceiling for bonds is A1 — upgraded from A2 in October — and is based on the foreign currency government bond rating of A3 — upgraded from Baa1 at the same time — and Moody’s assessment of a low risk of a payments moratorium in the event of a government bond default. “Bahrain’s prosperity is partly based on a vibrant non-oil economy focused on financial services, manufacturing, and tourism,” said Moody’s Vice President Tristan Cooper, author of the report. “Bahrain has developed the most sophisticated financial sector in the region, which continues to grow strongly, 16 Forum

Moody’s Investors Service is among the world’s most respected, widely utilized sources for credit ratings, research and risk analysis. In addition to the core ratings business, Moody’s publishes market-leading credit opinions, deal research and commentary, serving more than 9,000 customer accounts at some 2,400 institutions around the globe. Moody’s Investors Service maintains offices in most of the world’s major financial centres and employs more than 2,400 people worldwide, including more than 1,000 analysts. particularly in the area of Islamic finance.” He said the country’s sound economic fundamentals are supported by its relatively progressive political system, which includes a directly elected lower house of Parliament, as well as strong relations with most of its fellow GCC members, the US, and other G8 countries. “While its revenues are the least dependent on oil of any Gulf country and its hydrocarbon reserves are relatively limited, Bahrain remains highly reliant on hydrocarbons,” said Cooper. “In particular, it imports oil as refining feedstock from Saudi

Arabia, and is reliant on Saudi facilities for the bulk of its oil exports.” He said the ratings are constrained by this and the relative weakness of the country’s external and fiscal accounts, which are more sensitive than those of other oil exporters to a downturn in oil prices. Further constraints on the ratings include an employment rate officially estimated at 15%, tensions between the government and the Shia-dominated opposition, and the risk of contagion from political instability in the surrounding region. Economic analysis is also hindered by the poor

scope of the government’s macro-economic data, which is not generally available in a timely fashion. Following its upgrade in October, Bahrain’s ratings were placed on positive outlook in keeping with Moody’s expectation of a narrowing in the rating differential that currently exists between the richer Gulf states, including Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates,” said Cooper. “These richer countries are in the Aa rating category and carry stable outlooks while Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia have lower ratings with positive outlooks.” He said these trends assume that the public finances of Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia will further strengthen while the ratings of the higherrated countries remain constrained by political and institutional factors. Moody’s report, “Bahrain: 2007 Credit Analysis,” is a yearly update to the markets and is not a rating action.

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Financial News Credit Score-Another First for the BENEFIT Credit Bureau. The BENEFIT Company of Bahrain, the operators of the Credit Reference Bureau announces the implementation of the Global FICO Scorecard. This is the first time a scorecard has been introduced in an Arab Credit Bureau and is seen as a major step forward for BENEFIT and the Bahrain Banks. The Credit Reference Bureau has been fully operational since August 2005 and operates under license from the Central Bank of Bahrain and provides credit information to the Banking community of Bahrain. This information enables more accurate credit decisions to be made thus preventing customer borrowing beyond their capability of maintaining these loans in good order. Mr. Robin Watson, Assistant General Manager of the BENEFIT Credit Bureau, says that the Bureau

information can be seen in many different ways and needs time to be analyzed correctly. This can sometimes be interpreted differently by lenders leading to loans being declined by one Bank yet accepted by another. Now that Banks will receive a score based on the bureau information, they will be able to judge the credit worthiness of their customers more accurately. Mr. Watson was therefore pleased to announce that the implementation of the FICO Scorecard will be carried out by PIC Solutions who are based in Dubai. “This is the best of both worlds” says Mr. Janahi. “A recognized and modern method of credit decision making from an experienced company who are well established in the region. Both companies share the same objectives of providing high standards of service and value each others expertise in the

$13.3m profit for VC Bank The Venture Capital Bank has reported a strong performance for the first full year of operations.

results, organisational developments and business achievements have all exceeded expectations.”

Chairman Dr Ghassan Al Sulaiman said:

VC Bank posted a net profit of $13.3 million for the period ended 31 December 31, 2006, achieved a return on equity of 20.1 per cent, and recommends 12.5 per cent dividend of which 7.5 per cent cash dividend and 5 per cent bonus shares.

“In October 2005, the founding shareholders of the Bank embarked upon their ambitious mission to create the first Islamic venture capital bank focused on the Mena region. I am delighted to report that 2006 proved to be a blessed and successful first full year of operations for Venture Capital Bank. Our financial 18 Forum

Since its establishment, the bank has been successful in executing a number of innovative investment products and deals.

Signing of the Scorecard Agreement at the recent MEFTEK Exhibition. Left to Right: General Manager, Mr Janahi; Robin Watson; Stephen Leonard & Ian Read.

industry”. “This is a first for the Arab Credit Bureau industry and is part of the original strategy announced when the bureau became operational. This strategy is to provide a wide range of credit risk management solutions to the Banks and Finance Companies of Bahrain. BENEFIT intends to provide cutting edge technology to stay ahead of the region who have yet to adopt the provision of equivalent new These include the $250 million Mena SME Private Equity Fund; the $30 million Park Plaza in Bahrain; the $80 million Asas Real Estate Company in Saudi Arabia; and Challenger Limited – an oil drilling contractor in North Africa. Commenting on the Bank’s achievements since operations commenced, chief executive officer Abdul Latif Mohamed Janahi said: “From an operational point of view, we have successfully established the strong institutional capability that is required to support our strategic objective of becoming the leading

products and services for the financial services sector”. Mr. Ian Read, General Manager of PIC Solutions, MENA Region, adds “We are delighted to be working with The BENEFIT Company on this milestone initiative in the Arabian Gulf. BENEFIT has a track record of implementing industry firsts and we are confident that the tried and tested Global Fico Score will be a great success in Bahrain. Islamic venture capital bank in the Mena region. The annual general meeting of the bank’s shareholders will be called for Sunday March 25 in Bahrain to receive the report of the board of directors and the audited financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2006, and approve the recommended appropriations of net profit. This will be followed by an extraordinary general meeting, at which shareholders will be requested to approve the proposed increase in the bank’s capital to $150 million.

BKIC profit up 39 per cent Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) posted a net profit of BD3.4 million for last year. The figure is an increase of 39 per cent compared to BD2.5 million for 2005.

The underwriting profit has increased from BD1.5m in 2005 to BD1.9m last year. Investment income reached BD1.9m by the end of last year as compared to BD1.4m in 2005.

The board approved the results for the year ending December 31 and has proposed 30% cash dividend and 10% bonus shares subject to shareholder’s approval in the General Assembly.

Fakhro also said that the company’s gross premium revenue had increased from BD22.4m in 2005 to BD26.9m last year.

BKIC chairman Ali bin Yousif Fakhro said he was delighted with the excellent results achieved by the company on all fronts.

He added that technical reserves for last year have also increased by 15% to reach BD10.8m and the return on shareholder’s funds was 15.08% last year compared to 13.34% in the previous year.

IIB raising capital to $100m IIB (The International Investment Bank) is raising its issued and paid-up capital to $100 million.The bank based in Bahrain said it had received shareholder approval to more than double its issued and paidup capital from $43 million to $100 million. With the associated share premium, this will increase IIB’s total shareholder funds from $61.4 million to $170 million. This capital increase follows the ongoing rapid growth of the Bank and its strong financial performance since its establishment in October 2003.

A meeting of IIB’s shareholders approved the capital increase at the Bank’s General Annual Assembly Meeting (AGM) held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain. Subject to final regulatory approval, IIB will raise a total of $108.6 million through the issuance of an additional 57 million ordinary shares, of which 27 million shares will be issued to existing shareholders of the bank for a value of $48.6 million, and the remaining 30 million shares, valued at $60 million, will be issued to new strategic investors. Assets under management at year-end 2006 stood at $181.7 million

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HRH The Duke of York visits Bahrain The Duke of York is the second son and the third child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Named Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he was known as Prince Andrew until his marriage, when he was created The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh. Prince Andrew served for 22 years in the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot, seeing active service during the Falklands Campaign of 1982. Since leaving the Royal Navy, The Duke of York has worked as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. In this role, His Royal Highness is responsible for promoting the UK as an attractive

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business destination for inward investors, helping British business to improve its prospects in international markets, and improving opportunities for UK companies wishing to expand their export potential. He also carries out Royal duties in support of The Queen and works for a large number of charities and other organisations. During March 2007, the Duke made a twelve day tour of the Gulf States visiting Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain. The pictures show guests at a reception at the British Ambassadors residence when His Royal Highness was introduced to members of the local community and UK visitors attending MEOS.



Bahrain Construction Update MAF gets permission to extend Bahrain City Centre project. Developer Majid Al Futtaim Group has been given the go-ahead by the Manama Municipal Council to build a major retail and commercial development adjacent to its $663m Bahrain City Centre project, Trade Arabia reported in February. The new development to twin with the BD250 million ($663 million) Bahrain City Centre will be built on a 211,023 sq m plot, and linked to its sister complex by a bridge. The new project includes offices, shops, furnished apartments, flats and a huge hotel. Council technical committee chairman Abdulmajeed Al Sebea’a said his committee gave the project the goahead because of the investment potential. “We are speaking here about a major investment worth tens of millions of dinars and who are we to turn our backs on it,” he said. “It is true that we haven’t finalised the entrance and exit routes with those behind

the 150,000 sq m centre is now leased. More than 200 stores, local, GCC and international have already signed up to open their outlets at the centre. It will also house 54 food and beverage units extending over 9,700 sq m. These include 11 coffee shops, 13 restaurants, 21 food court units and nine smaller outlets. the project, but I believe they will be all right, since the Seef District is not that congested at the moment.” Bahrain City Centre General Manager Maher Al Shaer was delighted yesterday with the council’s approval, saying that Al Sebea’a has been helpful to them in the progress of work for the centre and now for the new project. “The project will have a different name than that of centre, but it will be linked to it,” he said. “We have just started preparing for this project, for

which we are currently finalising the designs, in addition to costs.” Bahrain City Centre, scheduled to be completed in June next year, will create 4,000 jobs, half of them for Bahrainis. The centre, which is one of Majid Al Futtaim Group’s landmark projects, will include a five-star hotel and a four-star hotel, with a total of 550 rooms. It will become the first integrated entertainment, shopping and leisure resort in Bahrain and one of the largest in the GCC. About 82 per cent of

The centre will devote almost 25,000 sq m to entertainment and leisure facilities, including a giant indoor/outdoor water park, a bowling centre, a Magic Planet family entertainment centre and Cineco Cinema, the largest complex in the region, with 20 screens. The car park will have the capacity for 5,500 vehicles. The three-level shopping and leisure centre will have more than 350 stores, offering the best in fashion and entertainment choices including the first Carrefour hypermarket in Bahrain.

$100m Sunset Hills development launched in Bahrain A major $100 million residential and commercial development is expected to offer affordable housing to Bahrain residents whilst attracting more foreign investors and stimulating local investments. Sunset Hills, which the Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) launched in February, will feature 123 mixed-use properties, including villas, town houses and terraced apartments, said a report in the Gulf Daily News. 22 Forum

Located within the $1 billion Al Areen development, the project covers around 500,000 sq ft and aims to provide modern living amenities in a desert setting. Details of the project were announced at a Press conference at the Al Areen Customer Relations Centre. Senior executives from the four companies involved attended the event, including ADIH chief executive officer Rashad Janahi and real estate director Michael Lawrence.

Construction of the project is scheduled to start within the next two to three months and is scheduled for completion in 2009. Officials said it was too early to reveal the price range of properties within the development, but that they were targeting “middle income” residents. Michael Lawrence said: “We are confident that regional and international investors will see Sunset Hills as a lucrative investment opportunity given its

excellent infrastructure and the excellent lifestyle and environment of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The real estate market is booming in the Kingdom and afforadble and quality projects will continue to attract investors.” The master plan for the development has been designed by Beirut-based ERGA, which has an office in Bahrain, and Bahrainbased Dheya Towfiqi Engineering Bureau, which will develop the engineering designs.

Build your own BWTC pictures Progress on the BWTC can now be monitored on the internet using live webcams. The composite image alongside was zipped together over the space of a few minutes by manipulating the camera from the writers own PC. Earlier in March, the BWTC hosted 10 interior design students from Al Ahlia University. This is one in a number of visits by students of architecture, design and engineering to the BWTC. The students were briefed by Simha Lytherao, Senior Project Manager, Atkins, who are the Masterplanner, Architect and Engineer of the BWTC project as well as a number of other renowned developments throughout the world. Highlighted during the visit were the BWTC’s many unique design features and elements. This included the sail-shaped design concept, overall vision of the project, and the dramatic impact the buildings have already made to the Manama skyline.

Students also gained invaluable first-hand insights about the wind turbine technology that will be in use at the complex. The BWTC buildings will be the first of their kind in the world using wind energy to provide 11 -15 per cent of the electricity needs of the office towers. Furthermore, the three turbines, installed at a cost of BD1million will be mounted on the building’s façade, will give the BWTC a truly dramatic design never before seen. Lytherao said: “The BWTC is a unique project in the market in terms of its design ingenuity and we are pleased not only to build awareness of this highprofile project but support the students in their growth. After today’s tour and briefing, we hope students have gained a better understanding and appreciation of the architectural and technical expertise involved and that the knowledge they have gained today can be applied in their future projects.”

Disneyland Bahrain still a rumour

Spanish firm wins Bahrain deal

Ranked among the world’s wealthiest by Forbes Magazine, member of the Saudi Royal family His Royal Highness Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz Al Saud is recognised as one of the leading tourism developers in the Middle East region and elsewhere.

One report translated by google from a German blog site says in effect that ‘sources’ reveal building will start in May 2007 and take six years to complete.

Officials at Sadad Homes Real Estate One said that the company has appointed Edicomsa to design and build its new housing project in Sadad.

Bahrain’s Al Waqt newspaper said it was unable to reach any spokesperson for the Prince to verify the rumour and the Kuwait Finance House who were supposed to be in talks about the $8billion investment declined to either confirm or deny any involvement.

The complex comprises around 100 high quality affordable homes and is being launched by ProCapital Associates.

Although the rumours seem to be, as yet, unconfirmed, it seems that Walid wants Bahrain to be the site of the next Disneyland.

Edicomsa are expected to commence construction work mid-2007, with homeowners being able to move in during 2008.

Edicomsa is a Spanish design and build firm, with over 25 years experience worldwide in housing design and construction. Using their own patented construction technology, Edicomsa have designed and built more than 100,000 housing units aimed at the middle-income market. The development comes in direct response to a demand for housing developments with a high standard of craftsmanship that cater to middle income families in Bahrain. Forum


Plan For Carbon-Neutral Homes In England By 2016

All new homes in England will have to be carbon neutral by 2016, under government proposals announced recently. A zero-carbon home is defined as a property with “zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from all energy use in the home”. This includes energy consumed by appliances such as TVs and cookers, not just other uses that are currently part of building regulations, including heating, hot water and ventilation. The scheme outlined by Government Minister Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary of State, includes tightening building and planning rules, and a star rating system that reveals a property’s energy efficiency to potential home buyers. 24 Forum

The United Kingdom’s 21 million homes are responsible for 27 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The Government hopes that the proposed measures will help it meet the target of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050. “Climate change is a real and imminent threat,” said Mrs Kelly in a speech in which she outlined the plans. “With a rising population and more people living in smaller households, the demands on housing are only set to increase. So it is vital that homes and other buildings are as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.” The measures outlined in the consultation document called Building A Greener Future: Towards Zero Carbon Development -


tightening building regulation over the next decade to improve the energy efficiency of new homes;

publication of a Code for Sustainable Homes that includes a green star rating for properties;

a draft planning policy statement on climate change that will take carbon emissions into account.

Mrs Kelly said that the decision to exempt carbonzero homes from stamp duty (sales tax) would act as a financial incentive to developers. The measures have been welcomed by conservation group WWF (World Wildlife Fund) that played host to the event where Mrs Kelly made the

announcement. Paul King, WWF’s director of campaigns, said: “The code sends the right signal, loud and clear, for house builders to put zero-carbon development at the top of their agenda. Zero-carbon new homes are critical in achieving the Government’s target to cut CO2 by at least 60 per cent by 2050 because homes built from today onwards will represent one third of the total housing stock by that date.” Recently, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) published a report warning that key environmental targets were “undeliverable” unless households cut the amount of resources they consumed. The Government’s environmental regulator

warned that existing properties also needed to be made more energy efficient. At least 75 per cent of properties are still expected to be in use in 2050, the year by which the Government hopes to have cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent from 1990 levels. The SDC concluded that retrofitting current technologies, such as better insulation and more efficient heating systems, to the existing housing stock was the most cost-effective way to reduce households’ environmental impact. Mrs Kelly acknowledged that more effort was needed to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes

and hoped the rating scheme, called Energy Performance Certificates, would encourage householders to cut consumption. The National HouseBuilding Council (NHBC), the leading standard-setting body and home warranty provider for new home construction in the UK has said industry must engage in the consultation phase on the Department for Communities & Local Government zero-carbon development document. NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “The plan for the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is one which has been long awaited by

the industry and we will need to engage in the consultation phase, alongside other industry stakeholders, to ensure the reality meets the aims of the policies for the benefit of consumers. While we work towards these objectives, we must ensure consumer protection and quality are maintained. “It is right that the Government should marry the aims of sustainability to the planning agenda in the Planning Policy Statement but we must be careful to ensure that the system meets the needs of both delivery and sustainability. “The newly launched National Centre for Excellence in Housing - a

joint venture between NHBC and the Building Research Establishment - presents an ideal platform to bring together Government and industry. The centre will facilitate the formulation of practical and workable solutions to the issue of carbon-neutral homes and planning while ensuring the interests of consumers remain paramount,” she added.

Contact: National House-Building Council (NHBC) Candlewick House, 120 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6AS Tel: +44 20 7648 4040 Fax: +44 20 7648 4041 Web:

Scott Wilson is an engineering & planning consultancy, with over 5,000 staff worldwide, specializing in master planning (urban & landscape), transportation (ports, airports, rail & highway), property (building developments) and natural resource management, including water and environmental issues. In Bahrain, Scott Wilson is involved in major infrastructure development projects; reclamation, maritime works, site formation, utilities and building design. With a core team servicing projects in the country we also liaise closely with and are able to draw upon the full network of Scott Wilson’s international resources. Full details of our activities are detailed on our website at P.O. Box: 70175 Sitra, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1764-1617 Fax: 1764-4265 Forum


BBBF Annual Golf Tournament As a result of the Riffa Views development and forthcoming changes to the course the BBBF committee has decided to bring the Annual Golf Tournament forward to May so that all 18 holes can be played. After the success of the 2006 event information will be sent out shortly inviting teams to register for this years tournament. The competition format will be Team Stableford with teams of four players with the best score at each hole to be counted. There will also be an individual 18 hole Stableford score. A prize giving dinner will follow the event.

Pictures alongside were taken from last years event in October.

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The Globe Cocktail Lounge Enjoy a relaxing drink before ordering from our extensive Concorde Restaurant menu or try one of our famous cocktails in a comfortable setting. This refurbished lounge is located opposite the Coffee Shop.

Belgrave Arms Decorated in a traditional pub style this bar is open from 12 noon until 11pm.

Sports Bar

The John Clarke Lounge Comfortably furnished and decorated in cool pastel shades, it’s the ideal place to meet friends or just relax. Situated adjacent to the Coffee Shop, refreshments and snacks are easily available.

The John Clarke Bar A quiet, smoke free environment with a pleasant atmosphere, situated off the above lounge.

The Sports Bar is adjacent to the poolside area and is open from 12 noon on SaturdayThursday and from 11am onwards on Fridays and on public holidays.

Coffee Shop Adjacent to the Lounge, the Coffee Shop is open seven days per week from 10am until 10.30pm.

Concorde Restaurant The Restaurant seats 85 persons and is open for lunch from noon until 3.30pm and for dinner from 6.30pm until last orders at 10pm daily except Fridays when the Restaurant closes at 3pm.

Poolside There is a swimming pool, children’s pool and poolside kitchen. Waiter service is available with a varied menu. Surrounding the pool are sun-loungers, chairs, tables and adjacent there is a lawn where one can relax and sunbathe, eat or drink and at the same time watch the children on the sanded area which has children’s play equipment.

Library Situated above the changing rooms, access may be gained by the adjacent stairs. It has approximately 7,000 volumes in the adult library and 2,500 in the junior library, with regular additions.

Gallery Bar Situated along from the Library, this room is used for private parties, seminars, small functions etc. Members may book this room for private functions.

Windsor Room A large hall used for entertainment and indoor games such as badminton, aerobics and social functions. An excellent stage and dressing rooms add a professional touch to shows and productions. A function bar services the hall and buffet lunch is provided on Fridays from noon until 3pm.

Health Club – “Velocity Fitness Studio” Here we have state of the art facilities – all you need to keep fit. Our highly trained, dedicated fitness instructors will be only too pleased to help and advise you on your personal fitness needs. Our Mission Statement “To meet and exceed members’ expectations through quality service and instruction and to provide a safe and motivating environment”.

Sports & Leisure Activities For raqueteers, we have two flood-lit tennis courts and an active tennis league for those who enjoy the competitive edge. For the very fit and would-be very fit, our squash courts have excellent facilities. Other sports activities include Cricket, Darts, Cycling, Football, and Aqua Aerobics. Other activities of interest available are Drama, Line Dancing, Badminton and Tae Kwon Do.

Culture Capital 2008 Unveils Exciting Programme Liverpool has publicised the first glimpse of its fantastic European Capital of Culture programme for 2008 – with a guarantee of even more exciting events to come. Consisting of 70 highlights many of them free - Liverpool 08’s initial programme features concerts, commissions, exhibitions, festivals and premieres across all cultural genres, from public art, architecture, dance, fashion and film … to literature, music, science, theatre and visual art. The city will celebrate European and UK geniuses - from Anton Chekhov, Le Corbusier, James Tissot and Gustav Klimt to Benjamin Britten and Shakespeare. Further events will be unveiled throughout 2007. The 2008 culture programme will also feature new work by acclaimed artists such as Jyll Bradley, Ben Johnson, Michael Nyman, John Tavener and Richard Wilson as well as performances by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Seamus Heaney, Akram Kahn, Philip Pullman and Simon Rattle. Revealed to coincide with the World Travel Market, the initial Liverpool 08 highlights are a collaboration between the Liverpool Culture Company and major cultural institutions, artists, performers and venues across Liverpool and Merseyside. Liverpool 08 also involves partnerships with major national and international institutions such as the BBC, the Tate gallery, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the European Opera Centre. 28 Forum

In a city already internationally renowned for its visual arts offer, 2008 will ensure that this reputation will grow even stronger. The 2007 Turner Prize at Tate Liverpool - from October to January - is the first time this prestigious event has been held outside London. The scale of the Liverpool 08 programme means many projects begin in a few months. Starting in July 2007, National Museums Liverpool is to stage an 18month exhibition exploring the city’s 800-year history called A Magical History Tour. A year-long programme of free street performances and public art has been specially commissioned to transform all areas of the city into a gigantic canvas and stage. The public art programme, arranged by the organisers of the Liverpool Biennial, begins in January 2008 with a Winter Lights Festival to extend the festive season. As an added feature of this city-wide celebration, a whole myriad of venues are being employed and created for events, from bus-stops to cathedrals as well as specially built pavilions for community performances. A series of new venues will open in 2008 - such as the 10,000-seat Liverpool Arena at Kings Dock in January, a gallery and museum at Liverpool University, and a new Art & Design Academy at Liverpool John Moores University. And the UK’s oldest arts centre - the Bluecoat - is to reopen. Liverpool 08 boasts a wealth of innovative performances and premieres including a new commission from Swiss

artist Pipilotti Rist as well as the world premiere of her first feature film at the FACT (Film, Art & Creative Technology) centre that will also stage a film, video and new media festival in January.

From April to July 2008, the Walker Art Gallery is to host a blockbuster exhibition called Monet to Hopper, the Artist and the Railway - also featuring work by painters such as Pissaro and Van Gogh.

The support and involvement of the public was critical to the successful bid and Liverpool has since developed a multi-millionpound creative communities programme. In 2008, there will be projects as diverse as the animation of doctors’ surgeries to one-off street dances to ensure Capital of Culture festivities reach every corner of the city.

The new Shipping Lines Literary Festival, by Liverpool University, will feature readings by giants of the written word including Seamus Heaney, Doris Lessing and Philip Pullman.

With public participation being a major element of Liverpool 08, plans are in place to get the city dancing in readiness for two spectacular Viennese-style balls in April, with music played by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. These concerts will be staged to coincide with the UK’s first comprehensive exhibition of work by the legendary Austrian artist Gustav Klimt at Tate Liverpool - also the inspiration for a wider series of concerts by the Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra.

The city is one of the world’s undisputed music capitals and this will be celebrated at the Liverpool Sound – a once-in-a-lifetime concert, featuring world-famous artists that will be beamed live across the globe from the city’s historic waterfront. And from July, there will be an exhibition of the city’s musical legacy - called The Beat Goes On - at the World Museum Liverpool. In June, loveliverpool hosts the People’s Festival, a weekend celebration of working-class culture from football, fashion and music to the role of the voluntary sector. The festival culminates with a specially commissioned work by Michael Nyman, one of the

UK’s highly regarded contemporary composers, exploring European football culture. A maritime festival will be held throughout July featuring the spectacular start of the Tall Ships Races 2008 that involves more than 3,000 young sailors from across Europe. In a city with a growing reputation for its groundbreaking productions, its theatres will be staging an array of “made in Liverpool” creations. Two new musicals will celebrate landmarks in the Adelphi Hotel, in April, and in the seminal 1970s nightclub - Eric’s - in October. There will also be a fresh interpretation of Chekhov’s

Three Sisters in May and a production of King Lear is under discussion. Performance in sport will be a key theme, with 2008 an Olympic year, and Liverpool will stage the European Senior Boxing Championships in February. This is a qualifier for the Beijing Games whose closing ceremony in September will trigger an event in Liverpool that will start London’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Other sporting highlights on Merseyside in 2008 include golf at The Open at Royal Birkdale in July, the World Firefighter Games in August and the finale of the Tour of Britain cycle race in

September. And autumn sees the return of Sir Simon Rattle to his hometown to conduct both the Berlin Philharmonic in September and the Liverpool Phil in October. Collaborations between international and Liverpool artists and residents form a major strand of 2008. Jyll Bradley’s year-long Fragrant Project will take a unique look at the story of the city’s botanical orchid collection, the largest in municipal hands. In partnership with local artists, Bradley will create a major piece of artwork, as Liverpool prepares for its Year of the Environment in 2009. And beyond Liverpool,

England’s north-west is joining in the 2008 festivities. Cheshire celebrates the Year of the Garden. Lancashire focuses on its rich culinary heritage as it hosts the Year of Food. Picking up the pace, Manchester has crowned 2008 the Year of Sport, while Cumbria will be encouraging people to get outdoors in its Year of Adventure. All in all, Liverpool should be an even better place to be from now on. See the website at: for more information.



Jaguar Launch in Bahrain

Building on the excellence of the all-new XK that debuted in 2005, the XKR takes the sports car experience to new heights. Mohammed Jalal & Sons, the exclusive distributor for Jaguar Cars in the Kingdom of Bahrain hosted an international launch event for the Jaguar

XKR Super Charged Sports Coupe at the BIC during March and incorporated a regional training day for Jaguar personnel from Middle East and North Africa. Over 120 delegates attended representing

dealerships in Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Algeria. “The new supercharged XKR captures perfectly the essence of what makes a Jaguar XK so special,” commented Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars’ managing director. “It is a perfect balance of refined Grand Tourer and serious performance sports car, that delivers a truly rewarding and exhilarating driving experience.” This was the only event of such prestige to be held anywhere in the World for Jaguar in 2007 and offered the participants a unique opportunity to experience the Peformance R Brand from across the range of Jaguars. A dedicated session for senior members of the Bahrain press community was also included to help them learn and experience for themselves more of what makes the Jaguar brand special. VIP and high profile Customers, were also offered an extremely rare chance to drive the performance range of Jaguars in the fabulous

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environment of the Middle East’s only FIA accredited F1 race circuit. The new 420bhp (SAE) Jaguar XKR is a truly rewarding car to drive. With 120bhp (SAE) more power than the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK and the same strong and stiff aluminium body structure, superb ride and handling is assured. Furthermore, a six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift that is regarded as class-leading in terms of speed and refinement ensures Jaguar’s blend of performance and dynamics reaches new heights with the XKR. Among the benefits of the increases in power and torque are a Coupe 060mph sprint time reduced by 0.3 seconds compared to the previous XKR and acceleration from 50mph to 70mph in just 2.5 seconds. Like the XK, the new XKR competes within the Large Premium Sport (LPS) sector. The combination of an advanced lightweight body structure, powerful engine and true sports car agility also gives the XKR capabilities close to much more expensive out-and-out performance models.

News from the British Council Young Bahraini Attends International Youth Conference For the first time ever, young people from 50 countries worldwide came together to air their views on how education is failing to produce global citizens at an international forum in Greenwich, London from 17 to 20 January 2007. Organised as part of a British Council initiative devised in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the project aimed at tapping the views of the younger generation for solutions to the current problems in education and present their collective vision for the future. Manal Al-Matrook was selected to represent Bahrain from numerous applications received from Universities, colleges, and youth groups around Bahrain. Manal is a 24-year old graduate from the University of Bahrain. She has a BA in English Literature, Educational Technology and Information and is currently enrolled in an MBA programme at the Arab Open University. The Middle East was represented by young leaders from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.

Alumni reception Sandra Hamrouni, Director British Council, Bahrain, held a reception in honour of visiting Strathclyde University faculty on 13 February 2007. Professor Andrew Hamnet, the Principal and ViceChancellor of Strathclyde University, Glasgow along with Prof Colin Eden and Ron Bradfield attended this reception that saw Strathclyde University MBA alumni turn up in full force. 32 Forum

Manal with co-participants at Number 10 Downing Street Bahrain was chosen because of the new strategy that has been established for youth by GOYS (General Organization for Youth & Sports). For Manal travelling to Greenwich was an “experience” in itself. At the forum she rubbed shoulders with, in her words, “Different people, different nationalities I have never met in my life. The question we kept asking each other was, ‘Where are you from?’ We found it useless to rehearse 60 names and so we ended up calling each other ‘Good morning USA!’, ’Hello Bahrain!’…etc.” Being a

toastmaster was an added asset and Manal couldn’t resist giving a speech on all three days of the conference. Her confidence soared as she received congratulatory remarks such as, “Manal you speak like a Minister.” Manal found two of the experiences at the forum most fulfilling. The participants who were grouped in sixes (representing different continents) enriched the group’s understanding of the main theme of the conference “Education in the world” through various outdoor trips and workshops and intensive team working.

Manal was chosen to attend a workshop on media relations and the visit she says she will never forget in her life was the reception hosted by Sir David Green, Director General, British Council at No 11 Downing Street, in the presence of John Healey MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Manal and her 60 young coparticipants, aged 20 – 25, voted for members from Australia, Egypt, Israel, Mauritius, South Korea, and Switzerland to share the platform with Gordon Brown, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Queen Rania of Jordan, in a session called Wisdom of Youth, chaired by Jonathan Charles of the BBC World at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. At the end of the Greenwich forum Manal comes away with just one thought, “It’s a very small world, but big enough to discover! You might be given a chance to learn one thing in one day, and sometimes 100 things in one day.” Manal will continue her work with the British Council in the field of education through various activities and events in Bahrain.



Notes from the Eastern Province With an increasing number of BBBF members having business interests across the Causeway there would appear to be some interest in developing ties with other British Business Groups in the region. We asked Geoff Fennah, Chairman of the BBA in Alkhobar to drop us a line for inclusion in the magazine. Happy New Year from the Eastern Province and hopefully 2007 will be successful and prosperous for all. I don’t know where 2006 went but it has gone!

RGBB and BBBF attendance as well.

EPBBA closed the year in style with a magnificent Winter Ball, run jointly with the ABA, at the Crowne Plaza, Bahrain. The evening was attended by almost 250 people with dancing continuing until the early hours and it was especially pleasing to see representatives from the


Membership numbers continue to grow steadily and it is looking like we will pass through the 200 mark before year-end, which would put us firmly back in the region of historical norms. This is largely due to new arrivals from the significant project activity in EP but is also an indication of returning confidence in Saudi and a slow return to normal. Reflecting on 2006, it was a year of significant change for the EPBBA with several changes in the committee ranks. The Association also took a step back and looked critically at how it operates and this resulted in some new initiatives being considered and the results of this will hopefully be seen in 2007. In February we said our goodbyes to HMA Sir Sherard Cowper-Cowles as he now heads off for new challenges in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sherard was a rock to the British community in Saudi Arabia during recent difficult times and he and Bridget will be sadly missed. British Trade Office (BTO) also continued to see change with the “free transfer” of Richard Wood on

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promotion to Riyadh where I am sure he will make as significant a contribution as he did in EP. We also welcomed Neil Wilson arriving from Tehran, as a replacement for Richard, and he has settled quickly into the Al-Khobar scene. We wish all every success in their new assignments. Looking forward, 2007 will be a year of consolidation, as we continue with our successful series of business functions as well as other work in progress to further develop the business activities of the Association. Accordingly, a new sub-committee has been established to specifically focus on “business” as well as to forge a closer working relationship with BTO to better support their objectives. Social activities, of course, will also continue with a variety of events being held in both Al-Khobar and Jubail. Don’t forget our open invitation to BBBF members to attend our functions, either business or social, as you will always be welcome. Any enquiries relating to our events should be made to Geoff Fennah Chairman, EPBBA

Bahrain News Bahrain Welcomes Charles and Camila His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, came to Bahrain in February. They were visiting the Kingdom as part of a 10-day Gulf tour and had previously stopped in Kuwait and Qatar.

The visit aimed to boost Britain’s ties with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE. The couple were met on arrival by the Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa and during their trip met with other royalty and leading business, military and religious figures.

British community members also had the chance to interact with the couple at various functions. Earlier in the day during a tour of the Airbase, a dust storm had threatened to destroy the Duchess’s wardrobe when strong winds

winds whipped the scarf from her face and tore at her flowing tunic jacket. The Duchess saw the funny side of the situation, as, fighting to see where she was going, the Crown Prince remarked that she was literally ‘being blown away’.

Pictures Left to Right: The Prince is presented with a traditional sword by the King of Bahrain. The Duchess joins Sheika Sabika, wife of the King of Bahrain, for a ladies-only dinner at the King’s Palace in Bahrain. The Prince meets British military personnel onboard HMS Sutherland which has been patrolling the waters of the Gulf. The Duchess meets female members of the Bahrainian Parliament in Manama, Bahrain.



Bahrain News New Chef for InterContinental

worked all over the world, including many Michelinstarred restaurants and Five star hotels Working with the InterContinental Group for over 7 years, he has come to Bahrain from the InterContinental in Malta where he supervised 8 restaurants and bars with large function facilities.

InterContinental Regency Bahrain has recently appointed Max Grenard as their Executive Head Chef. Max was born in the kitchen of the Michelin-starred restaurant in France where his father was the Chef Patron. A graduate from I-M-D-I in Nice France, Chef Grenard left school at 15 to start cooking. He has since

During his time in Malta Max cooked for Her Majesty the Queen during her visit to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2005. “The best chefs are like sponges,” Grenard says. “They should be able to absorb the stimuli around them and use it in their cooking. To be a really good chef, you must have the passion and even a certain intuition. You can’t approach cooking in a purely functional manner; you have to give it soul.”

New location for NHSC General Manager of the National Hotel Services Company (NHSC), Bill Beddall writes to tell Forum that his company has recently moved their Head Office to Mina Salman Industrial Area and have also closed their Umm Al Hassam retail outlet and moved that to the same location.

Mobiles clamp on Bahrain drivers People caught driving while holding their mobile phones in Bahrain could soon be fined up to BD500 or face up to six months in jail. A rule to fine drivers BD5 who are caught using handheld mobiles by traffic authorities went into effect in March. ‘This is not a law but a ministerial decree, which has limited powers and can only set fines of up to BD5,’ said Traffic Culture Director Major Moosa Al Dosari ‘However, there is a draft law that the directorate has submitted to parliament for approval and once it is passed the fine will be a minimum of BD50 and could go up to BD500.’

New contact details are: Tel: 1781-5929 (Office) Tel: 1781-1798 (Shop) Fax: 1781-1794.

Africa and will shortly receive new wines from Morocco, USA, Portugal and France. Mid April should see Hoegaarden and Leffe beers from Belgium.

NHSC have also introduced the Navasques range of Spanish wines along with Table Mountain from South

Full details of the complete range and location will soon be available on the website at

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For more information Call Toll-free 8001 8001 or visit

Major Al Dosari said that drivers could also face up to six months in jail and/or one month’s licence suspension. The new rules forbid the use of mobiles or any other handheld devices while driving. Hands-free devices are permitted. ‘In addition to a new law governing the use of mobile phones, the draft also

increases the power of judges to impose sentences on repeat offenders for a variety of violations including speeding, running red lights, drunk driving and others,’ said Major Al Dosari. ‘We hope that the judges will use these powers so that they become an effective deterrent.’ He also said that a recent accident in January highlighted the need for the new laws. ‘It was, thankfully, minor with no serious injuries, but the driver did admit that the use of his phone was the cause of the accident,’ he said. ‘Of course there have been numerous similar incidents in the years past.’ Al Dosari said that there is also an ongoing campaign on television and the radio, which aims to make people more aware about the issue, the new rules and the upcoming legislation. ‘Traffic police are currently watching out for mobile users on the road, but this won’t be a temporary campaign, it will be ongoing.’

Bahrain News New Partners at Ernst & Young Ernst & Young is proud to announce the appointment of two new partners to its Bahrain office with effect from 1 January 2007. John Sanderson, a BBBF member, is a Chartered Accountant (England & Wales). He has worked in the Bahrain office of Ernst & Young for the last six years and heads the Business Risk Services service line for commercial and industrial clients,

offering enterprise risk management, corporate governance and internal audit solutions. John has a wealth of experience in risk and assurance developed in several locations including the UK, Poland and Vietnam. Yaser Al Sharifi also joins the partnership after eleven years with the Bahrain Office and heads Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services line. Yaser has

Speedy extends repair services Speedy Motor Service has just undergone a complete renovation face lift. The workshop has been reequipped with the latest state of the art electronic equipment and new lifts etc, we are now geared up to meet the expanding challenges of the increasing market. Our AA Recovery service

has a new addition by way of a mobile repair truck, which is capable of repairs at the customers home or by the roadside for emergency purposes.It is equipped with a generator welder, oxy/ acetylene welding machine and a host of other maintenance and repair equipments to meet a niche missing in the Bahrain market place

been involved in numerous successful capital and debt raisings using both Islamic and conventional structures. Their appointment brings the

total Ernst & Young partners located in Bahrain to 15 and a total staff strength of approximately 400 of which nearly half are Bahraini nationals.

Conscious Connections launch revamped website

Julie Lomas and Steve Ritchie of Conscious Connections are both experienced and very well known practitioners of holistic stress management, meditation, reiki, crystal and angelic healing, and other complementary therapies. They recently participated in the Dubai Well Being Show, where they launched their second Meditation CD, Angelic Connection Volume 2.

healings as well as helping you send healing out to all those in the world who need it. There are plans for several more meditation CD’s with different meditation concepts in the near future. They also re-launched their website:, with the aim of making it more user friendly and more interactive, and now including their very popular monthly newsletter.

This second CD follows on from the first (Angelic They will be adding a Connection Volume 1), testimonials page to the site taking you into the temples very soon, featuring of Archangel Raphael and comments made following Archangel Michael for the Dubai show. For contact details see the website or email: Forum


Bahrain News Four scholars to attend Washington Summit The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship is proud to announce that four of its scholars have been invited to attend the 2007 International Achievement Summit, which will be held in Washington D.C. in June. The four-day event allows

the students to meet with and discuss issues with distinguished achievers, which include heads of state, leaders of industry, ministers, diplomats, artists, and scientists, in a series of extra-ordinary symposia and roundtable discussions.

The CPISP post-graduate students attending the summit are from left to Right: Khulood Ebrahim, who is finishing her MBA at the Paris Graduate School of Management in Paris, France; Khalid Fakhro, who is pursuing his Doctorate’s in Human Genetics at Yale

University; Marwa Al Sabbagh, who is finishing her Master’s in Biomedical Research at Imperial College; and Nadya Rouben who is finishing her LLM Law with Corporate Finance & International Banking at London School of Economics.

Middle East Media awarded exclusive advertising concession for Bahrain International Airport Middle East Media (MEM) has been appointed by Civil Aviation Affairs as the exclusive Advertising Concessionaire for Bahrain International Airport, with effect from 14 February 2007. MEM’s sister company, GMI, has been the exclusive advertising 38 Forum

concessionaire for Dubai International Airport since 1996, and for Abu Dhabi International Airport since 2000. Passenger traffic at Bahrain International Airport increased by 19.96% in 2006, making it the fastest growing airport in the Middle East.

Bahrain News TNT appoints new Managing Director for Gulf TNT Express, the world’s leading B2B express delivery company, has appointed Martyn Wright as its new Managing Director for the Gulf, replacing Mark Pell who is now Director of Operations and Security for America, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) in New York. Wright, an industry veteran having served TNT for nearly two decades, takes up the top position after three years as the company’s Regional Director for Operations in India, Middle East and Africa. He will now spearhead TNT’s GCCwide expansion and will be responsible for delivering higher levels of customer service across all aspects of express distribution in the Gulf. “TNT Gulf achieved its revenue growth and profit targets in 2006 and as a result we will invest more in

people, infrastructure and new facilities particularly in the UAE and Kuwait,” said Jinendra Sancheti, Regional Vice President – India, Middle East and Africa, TNT Express. “Martyn will help us continue this growth, increase market share and further expand our ‘Day Definite’ network, which is the only road service of its kind in the region, to Europe and Asia. “ Wright has over 25 years of worldwide international management experience having also worked in the UK, Spain, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand and Singapore.

New team-building event launched With the next Bahrain F1 just around the corner, the Bahrain office of biz-ability is launching its latest corporate teambuilding challenge - the ‘F1 Flat Out Challenge.’ This fun event challenges teams to create and race lifesize Formula 1 sports cars,

made almost entirely from cardboard providing learning experiences that anyone can take part in. “The event” says the company “is great for creating remarkable memories that live on long after the event is over”

“Martyn will also be in charge of expanding TNT’s infrastructure throughout the Gulf which will entail a 10% growth in the workforce by the year end,” added Sancheti.



March 2007 has been designated ErgonomiX Awareness month It sounds crazy, but your desk could be making you ill. Incorrect posture or equipment can lead to long term health risks including RSI. And you wouldn’t be alone, as approximately half a million workers in the UK suffer from the painful illness, yet in many cases it can and should be prevented. According to Ergonomic expert, Louise Shipley from Fellowes, many companies and individuals are simply not carrying our basic workstation assessments which can help identity potential ‘hotspots’ and therefore correct any problems with posture, layout or equipment.

One third of employees are not aware of ever having a workstation assessment and 36% of employees have had no workstation assessment following a change of working environment again, a legal requirement.

What about you? Has your workstation been assessed? Are you working comfortably? The fact is that assessing your workstation does not take hours and it isn’t expensive

Fellowes commissioned several research projects to understand how vulnerable UK workers and businesses are to the risks of workstation illnesses like RSI, and the results were quite shocking:

Assessing your workstation isn’t complicated and the feedback and action steps are easy to follow and implement. Fellowes have created a dedicated website containing everything you need to know to assess and improve your workstation, including an online tool kit and assessment.

25% of new employees have not had any formal workstation assessment despite this being a legal requirement.

Visit and take the online workstation assessment today and avoid potential problems tomorrow.

A few more designated days In case you didn’t know, April has been designated ‘Hug month’, you’ll need to work that one out for yourself. Also in April, from 23rd-29th we have ‘International Turn-off TV Week’. A campaign to get us all off the sofa and find out what we might be missing. May is supposed to be ‘National Share-a-Story month’ but also has ‘Compost Awareness Week’ from the 40 Forum

And Finally

6th to the 12th and ‘National Doughnut Week’ at the same time. June will bring ‘Wrong Trousers Day’ when kids in the UK will be encouraged to raise cash for hospitals and hospices around the UK and the ‘BT Giant Sleepover’ on the 16th with organisers gearing up to set a world record with 50,000 kids sleeping away from home.

Looking for something a little “off the wall” to comment on this month, I discovered something I had no immediate interest in at the start but which I find fascinating now. ‘Happy Homes and how to make them’ is an undated volume probably written around 1865 which contains chapters like ‘Courting and popping the question’; ‘Special duties of the husband’; ‘Four lessons from the landlady to the wife.’ and The Public House-the rival of home. Another book written in 1910 by T Sharper Knowlson offers the origins of Popular Superstitions, Customs & Ceremonies. So why am I going on about books you’re going to find impossible to acquire?

The answer is the Archive CD Books Project. The Project exists to make reproductions of old books, documents and maps available on CD to genealogists and historians, and to cooperate with libraries, museums and record offices in providing money to renovate old books in their collection, and to donate books to their collections, where they will be preserved for future generations. As a result they can offer CD copies of such diverse items as ‘The Ladies Elegant Pocket Souvenier 1823’ ; The Magazine of the Great War in 272 volumes starting in August 1914 and the ‘Ancient Funeral Monuments’ book first published in 1631 Check out the website at if you want to know more.

BBBForum Spring 2007  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

BBBForum Spring 2007  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum