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From The Chair Dear Members, Welcome to the 2008 Spring Forum Magazine. The first quarter of 2008 has seen a flurry of cross border business activity between Bahrain and the United Kingdom and a number of high profile trade delegations visiting the Island. Most notably, was the visit in February of The Lord Mayor of London along with an impressive array of City ‘heavyweights’. HMA Jamie Bowden, Rebecca Eriksson, and their dedicated commercial team worked closely with the Central Bank of Bahrain, Economic Development Board and a number of other Bahraini Ministries to make the Lord Mayor’s visit a success. A consistent message resonated very clear

throughout the visit that Bahrain is a leading financial gateway to the Middle East and has in place the regulatory oversight and infrastructure to support global and regional financial institutions. The Special Interest Groups (SIG) initiative, led by Peter Lyall, Deputy Chair, has got off to a great start in 2008. Three groups have already been established: Banking and Finance (led by Robin Watson), Construction (led by Steve Sutton) and Security and Safety (led by Tony Palys). Each SIG aims to stimulate and focus detailed discussion and debate around industry specific issues that impact our Members. I would like to encourage each and every one of our Members to engage with one (or more) Special Interest Groups or

Contents contact Peter if you would like to establish and lead a SIG. We are delighted that Standard Chartered Bank will be our Platinum Corporate sponsors for 2008. I would like to thank Martin Fish, Chief Executive Officer, and his dedicated team for their generosity, guidance and commitment to the BBBF. Their continued support provides the BBBF with a strong financial base to fund a number of initiatives, throughout the business community, for the benefit of our Members and other stakeholders. I hope that you enjoy this edition and look forward to seeing you, and your guests, at the forthcoming functions

Letter from H.M. Ambassador ............ p3 BBBF Internal News ........ p4 Welcome new members .. p5 Member Benefits .............. p6 Application Form .............. p7 Special Interest Groups An update ......................... p8 BIC lunch for BBBF ......... p9 News from Platinum Sponsor .......... p10 Financial News ............... p12 Air industry News .......... p16 Bahrain Construction Update ..... p20 TRA introduce new measures to promote competition ..................... p24 Bahrain Hotel News ....... p26 Notes from the Eastern Province ........... p28 Bahrain News ................. p30 And Finally ...................... p36

Austin Rudman 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

Member Robin Watson Mob: 3669-9605

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

The big event over the past quarter has been the visit on 20-21 February of the Lord Mayor of London. I have been involved in a number of such visits around the Gulf over the past few years, and potentially this was the most successful of all. The delegation of senior figures from the British

financial services sector was the largest ever to accompany a Lord Mayor to any Gulf State. The Bahrainis gave a superb account of themselves. In meetings with His Majesty the King and His Highness the Prime Minister, and over a dinner attended by most of the Cabinet, the visitors were left in no doubt about Bahrain’s desire to do business with the UK.

identified a number of specific areas for practical follow up: Sharia compliant finance; a Bahrain-City-development project elsewhere link; emissions trading; and training and qualification (the SII and the BIBF had signed an agreement the day before).

Sh Mohammed bin Isa al Khalifa and Jane Dellar at the EDB impressed greatly with their presentation. The morning of the second day was spent at a round table with Bahraini counterparts, led by Khalid Zayani. This

Khalid has already made a return visit to the City with Bahraini colleagues and had lunch with the Lord Mayor. There is plenty of work to do to turn the good ideas into action, but the enthusiasm of both sides was clear. Several of the City delegation said that the message they were taking home was ‘Bahrain is open for business’.

Tuesday 15th April Venue: Golden Tulip Hotel Time: 12 noon for 1 pm Cost: Members BD10, Guests BD12

Tuesday 20th May Venue: Golden Tulip Hotel Time: 12 noon for 1 pm Cost: Members BD10, Guests BD12

At the Embassy we continue to receive a flow of enquiries from British companies about Bahrain. Its too early to say how this year’s trade figures will compare with 2007, but the omens are good. On the political front, His Majesty met Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street on 20 March. The atmosphere could not have been warmer and a wide range of political and business subjects were covered. Jamie Bowden British Ambassador

Diary Dates Sunday 13th April Curry Evening Venue: British Ambassador’s Residence Time: 7pm Cost:TBC

Thursday 19th June British Excellence Award Dinner Venue: Diplomat Radisson Hotel SAS Time: 7pm

The British School of Bahrain - Work Experience Scheme The BBBF are sponsoring the school with their work experience scheme. The school is looking to place 60 senior school pupils in the workplace. The scheme runs for one week at the end of June. The pupils are aged 16 - 18 years of age. While some students already have their career programs mapped out, many are simply at the idea stage and have a limited view of work life. The aim of the program is to

ensure the students spend a week in the workplace to experience first hand the business environment, covering issues such as dress code, timing delegation and a sense of responsibility to others. On the successful completion of the program the pupils will receive a certificate featuring the companies name and logo. This will help promote your business as the certificate will be shown to wide range of people as the

student finished their education and moves into the work place. You could find a future employee amongst these students. We have already received a number of welcome offers that involve a variety of job descriptions across a range of companies, but the British school is still looking for further assistance. We are the British school of Bahrain and have a wide variety of nationalities

amongst our students. Many of them speak more than one language and they are all well behaved and enthusiastic. If you can help by offering one or more placements, and have not done so this year, will you please contact Bridget or Tony by email: The Ministry has given clearance for this work experience and it will not effect Labour Ministry requirements.

For more information please contact either the BBBF office on 1781 3488, email: or Bridget Penrose or Tony Mackie at school on 1771 0878, email: Forum


BBBF Internal News Notes from the Committee The BBBF branched out recently at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre, as an exhibitor at Riffa Views Bahrain International Garden Show (RVBIGS). This prestigious annual event took place between 22nd until 24th February 2008, when the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre was transformed into a glorious showpiece of 14,000 square metres of professionallylandscaped gardens, and stands of gardening retailers and manufacturers displaying their products from around the world. Held under the Patronage of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain and Patron of the Bahrain Garden Club (BGC) and officially opened by Her Highness Sheikha Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa on 21st February 2008, the

exhibition proved a wonderful location for visitors to learn more about the BBBF whilst at the same time allowing BBBF members the opportunity to exhibit their services and goods. Exhibiting on the BBBF stand this year were John Davies from John A Davies, Landscape Consultants and Linda Jennings from The Bookcase. Both were kept busy answering questions about the BBBF and felt that the event was not only very professionally run but had been of great benefit in promoting their companies, and would encourage other members to take part.

Fahad Al Shirawi, Managing Director 2Connect Bahrain WLL PO Box 18057 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1650-0110 Fax:1650-0109 Mob: 3661-0101 Majed Ardati Business Development Manager 2Connect Bahrain WLL PO Box 18057 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1650-0123 Fax:1650-0109 Mob: 3963-9637

A BBBF stand has already been booked for the 2009 Bahrain International Garden Show, 12th – 14th February and we would request BBBF members wishing to take part next year to contact Dena Wales.

Our thanks to all the advertisers. Without their support, this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours. Al Ghalia Group - Mezzaluna .................................... page 30 Al Osra Supermarket ................................. Inside Front Cover AXA Insurance ........................................ Outside Back Cover Azrek .......................................................................... page 15 BAESYSTEMS ........................................................... page 17 British Club ................................................................ page 29 Budget Car Rental ..................................................... page 33 4


Crown Relocations .................................................... page 34 Gulf Agency Co .......................................................... page 25 Gulf Air ....................................................................... page 19 Gulf Hotel ................................................................... page 27 Royal & SunAlliance ................................................... page 2 Scott Wilson Ltd ......................................................... page 23 TNT Express .............................................. Inside Back Cover

Welcome to New Members Mr Nidal Al Fayyed General Manager Landmark Property WLL 4th Floor, Abulfateh Bdlg Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1729-7474 Fax:1729-5323 Mob: 3655-8115

Mr Liam Farrell Partner & Dir.of Brand Architecture Unisono Brand Consultants PO Box 75308 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1781-1802 Fax:1781-1803 Mob: 3952-7236

Waleed Sharif Al Rayes Managing Director Sharif Group PO Box 1581 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 11774-8999 Fax:1774-8990 Mob: 3967-4400

Mr David Garbutt Chief of Security Electricity & Water Authority PO BOX 2 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1764-0137 Fax:1745-8184 Mob: 3973-2968

Richard Bradley Projects & Development Manager Y B A Kanoo (Holdings) WLL PO Box 45 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1722-0736 Fax:1722-9122 Mob: 3931-7656

Mr Jon Harrison Creative Director Intermarkets - Bahrain Flat 41, Bldg 0693, Road 4015, Juffair, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1758-2033 Fax: 1758-2034 Mob: 3679-9095

Mr Robert Brown Partner BDO Jawad Habib PO BOX 787 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-0077 Fax: 1753-0088 Mob: 3657-1101

Mr Imran Amjad Khan Area Manager & Unit Head F1 Standard Chartered Bank PO BOX 29 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1720-9423 Mob: 3930-1339

Mr Hatem El Zeky National Sales Manager TNT Express PO Box20504, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1734-9199 Fax: 1732-0366 Mob: 3962-4334

Mr Premal Patel Director of Marketing (MENA) AMEX (Middle East) B.S.C. (c) PO BOX 5990 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1755-7747 Fax:1755-7833 Mob: 3672-1700

Corporate Sponsors 2008 Page 11

Mr Rory Skinner Strategic Consultant Unisono Brand Consultants PO Box 75308 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1781-1802 Fax:1781-1803 Mob: 3990-8869 Forum


Benefits for BBBF Members Benefits for all our members may be obtained on production of their Membership card at the concerned outlet. We would like to hear your feedback concerning these discounts. Please do not hesitate to offer your services to our members by contacting the BBBF office. If any member has any difficulty obtaining a discount, please contact the BBBF office so we can rectify the situation.

Mercure Discount Card Please note that registered members can collect their card direct from Sinan Koseoglu, the Executive Assistant Manager F&B, Mercure Grand Hotel Seef. Mob:+973 397 99 020 Tel: +973 17 584 406 Fax: +973 17 582 352 E-mail:

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

Morgan Price International Healthcare 15% discount on GlobalHealth Individual Insurance Plans on published rates. Contact: Samy Ebrahim Tel: 1753 3151 or 3940 4160 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: Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) Special schemes have been arranged with Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) for BBBF members for the following classes of insurance: House & Contents, Domestic Servants & Motor Insurance. Special terms are available on production of your membership card. Conscious Connections 5% discount on Crystal Therapy and Awareness, 10% discount for group bookings and group workshops Contact: Julie Lomas Mobile: 3960 6712 Email: Dessange 15% discount to BBBF Members Contact: Louise Moy Tel: 1771-3999 Email: Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: Hertz 10% discount on all prepaid rentals processed through their call centre in Bahrain. Simply show your membership card. Contact: Ali Ebrahim Kashef Alghata Tel: 1729 9147 Email:

National Hotel Services (NHSC) 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer Contact: Bill Beddall Tel: 1781-5929 Email: 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 Mathieson Appointments can be booked on Tel 3961 3739 Speedy Discount of 15% on repairs and maintenance. 20% on self drive cars through Europcar. Contact: Keith Issitt Tel: 1768-2999 for Car Repairs and Tel: 1732-1249 for Car Hire 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 3638 7595 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 its agents do not warrant the services of any of the individual or corporate members of the BBBF. The views and opinions expressed by independent contributors must not be regarded as those of the BBBF or its agents. Publication of any article or advertisement does not imply any endorsement of the views, products or services described therein.



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.



BBBF - Special Interest Groups An update

with a fish and chip supper.

Since the initial launch of the Special Interest Groups (SIG’s) matters have moved onwards, and upwards. Under the leadership of Tony Palys the Security Group has already had two meetings and the third is planned for later in April. The first Financial Group meeting is due shortly, under the leadership of Robin Watson, whilst Steve Sutton hosted the inaugural Construction meeting at the British Club on 25th March

We also now have Mike Jackson on-board and he has volunteered to host the COMMIT Interest group. He has been busy putting together a detailed proposal for the group and I am sure that he will have great support in the near future.

SIG - Security

compete or even take the place of any Governmental bodies or Organisations and neither is the group being setup to compete against present Security Organisations or their affiliates.

The Special Interest Group Security, SIG (S), has now been formed and although it is still early days the group has been able to be in a position to have already held two formal meetings with a third informal meeting being scheduled for the evening of Wednesday 16th April at the British Club. Both meetings have been centred on the question of Term’s of Reference and objectives of which a survey / questionnaire has now been agreed and circulated of which the collated feedback will be summarised in the next edition of BBBForum. The attendance, although not in great numbers thus far has facilitated a good diverse feel to it with both commerce and security being well represented; although my hope is for this to increase as we develop and interact with the other SIG’s, such as Construction and Finance, and with liaison with other organisations going forward. It must be stressed that the group is not being setup to 8


There is a notable level of enthusiasm from the leaders and participants who have attended the early meetings and it seems that the SIG’s

Rather it is hoped that once the group has established itself it will be there to work alongside said organisations to bring value and hopefully to encourage dialogue so as to enhance “Best Practice” whist at the same time ensuring competiveness across the board. To give the reader a flavour of the points that are under discussion for future agendas please review the following: • Risk Analysis & Assessment • Crisis Management • Security Design • Security Surveying • Perimeter Protection • Building Design & Security • Access Management & Control • Protection of Sensitive Information • Security & IT • Manpower Selection & Leadership

may prove to be a good conduit for attracting other members to the BBBF, let alone the individual SIG’s. The format of each group is slightly different, reflecting the make-up of the members and the agenda they wish to adopt. What is most important is that the BBBF is there to act as a support service, with each SIG working within their own framework, as the members see fit. The main objective is to act as a conduit for • Training • The implementation of New Laws & Guidelines within the subject matter mentioned above Two notable points to note thus far: 1. A visit to the Guards Training School (GTS) was undertaken by Tony Palys by kind invitation of it’s Director Mr. Andrew Stephenson where he was shown the setup and training being undertaken as part of the new Ministry guidelines on Manned Guarding and Security Guarding Companies. He was also shown the plans for the future proposed “Centre of Excellence” of which and with Andrew’s permission the reader will be kept up to date on. Going forward the GTS will be represented at the SIG (S) meetings by Mr. David Bowden who will bring value to the table especially in the areas of ISO 9000 and the City & Guilds accreditation. 2. Already through the expertise and their network possibilities we have already been able to assist

information exchange and discussion, in an appropriate environment. I am pleased to advise that we now have other volunteers who have expressed a wish to be involved in other groups, details of which will be posted shortly. If you are interested in joining or leading a group, please feel free to contact me. Peter Lyall BBBF Committee. one particular firm looking for Security support within Bahrain. This is exactly what we hope to be able to do with future trade delegations and the like.

So food for thought for those of you who may be reading this article and would be interested in joining the group. It must be noted though that to participate in the group you need to be a fully paid up member of the BBBF of which membership details can be found in this publication. The BBBF have been kind enough to waiver this requirement for a trial period of three months so as to get the group foundations in place but after this period non members will be encouraged to join. As mentioned earlier in this article our next meeting will be an informal supper format and scheduled for the evening of Wednesday 16 th April 2008. Please contact Tony Palys on +973 1752 5190 or email him on for further information.

BIC stages lunch for BBBF

The Bahrain International Circuit, home of motor sport in the Middle East, and the Bahrain British Business Forum joined hands in February as the circuit played host to a business lunch for the trade and investment Forum. Commonly known for its ongoing work to create, develop and sustain thriving work environments, the BBBF were welcomed to the track during one of the F1 testing days to view the

progress and development in facilities and resources that the BIC has come to house today. As BIC stands firmly as a BBBF member, Mark Hughes, Circuit Operation Director, welcomed the guests and gave them a brief insight into the activities held at the venue. Speaking to the Forum members as top drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa took to the track, he

highlighted the developments being made at BIC. He also revealed that with over 200 people visiting the temporary Kart Zone every time it’s open, a permanent karting track will be unveiled in a groundbreaking ceremony during the F1. He said, “building the CIK world-class circuit to a class one license category will give BIC added advantage for attracting the World Karting Championship.

He also added that the c i r c u i t w a s l o o k i n g at creating activities such as this to encourage young talented local drivers to develop their talents. Following the business lunch, Mark Hughes said, “It was a pleasure to welcome the BBBF to the BIC and to update them on our plans for the future, and we hope to host many more lunches with the BBBF in the future.”



Standard Chartered launches globally in Bahrain the much awaited Working Capital Management Guide Guide shares industry best practice and critical insights for business success in Asia, Africa and the Middle East Standard Chartered Bank announced in early March the launch of the ‘Standard Chartered – Working Capital Management in Asia; Asia, Africa and the Middle East 2008/09’ guidebook, to share critical business and regulatory insights for doing business in these emerging market regions. The book is the second edition in a series, looking at topics ranging from technology, security, electronic delivery channels and Basel compliance. In addition, the guide also carries articles examining China’s relationships with Africa and the Middle East and the opportunities and issues within these major trade corridors. This second edition has now also been expanded to cover Central and South Asia with specific analysis on Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Standard Chartered Bank is

well placed to share these insights. The Bank has been doing business in the Asian, African and Middle East markets for over 150 years. The bank is recognized in these regions as being one of the oldest international banks with an extensive domestic presence as well as cross border network, all focused on providing the best services for clients, for and in these regions. Martin Fish, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Bahrain said: “Standard Chartered Bahrain is for the first time launching the Working Capital Management guide in Bahrain. The guide is a testament to Standard Chartered’s commitment to the continuing economic success for Asia, Africa and the Middle East in decades to come, which reflects in the Bank’s unique network & footprint across Asia, Africa

& the Middle East. As the demand for international trade continues to grow in Bahrain, Standard Chartered’s established presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East makes the Bank ideally placed to offer advice and support to organizations operating in these areas. We are the Right Partner , leading by example. “With the challenges brought about by the credit crunch and global economic outlook, corporates are facing greater challenges in meeting their financing goals in relation to their overseas operations and supply chain finance. We believe the publication of this Working Capital Management Guide will help companies better understand the business and regulatory environment in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, putting them in a stronger position to not only navigate these challenging

times but also find solutions to optimize their business operations. Standard Chartered is a forerunner in Supply Chain Management and has strong expertise and networks in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Coupled with our depth of knowledge and our longevity across these key emerging markets, we are therefore truly well-positioned to offer our expertise and guidance in this area, added Martin “ Standard Chartered Bank aims to be the number one transaction bank for corporate and institutional clients based or operating in the Asia, African and Middle Eastern regions. It offers its Corporate and Institutional clients a full suite of working capital solutions encompassing Cash Management, Securities Services and Trade Services.

Standard Chartered completes acquisition of American Express Bank Standard Chartered PLC announced in February that it has received all the required approvals leading to the completion of its acquisition of American Express Bank Ltd (AEB) from the American Express Company (AXP). The total cash consideration for the acquisition is $823 million. The acquisition of AEB provides Standard Chartered with an opportunity to add capability, scale and momentum in the strategically important 10 Forum

Financial Institutions and Private Banking businesses. It will add 19 more markets to the Standard Chartered footprint, while deepening presence in some core markets and providing access to several new growth markets. The addition of the AEB business will fast track the growth aspirations of The Standard Chartered Private Bank, building immediate capability and scale in people, product and processes. AEB will enhance Standard

Chartered’s private banking presence in its key markets, leveraging on its exceptional advantage to grow market share and build scale in existing markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, India and The Middle East. It will also add capability in trust, fiduciary services, margin trading, wraps, and extend geographic reach with new booking centres in Geneva, Monaco, Miami, New York and London. AEB will also help accelerate Standard Chartered’s Financial Institutions

business and significantly enhance its capabilities in this core customer segment. AEB provides Standard Chartered with a direct Euro and Yen clearing capability. Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC said: “I welcome the American Express Bank employees into the Standard Chartered family. The AEB business brings along an exceptional management team and I look forward to them playing an important role in the Group.”

Forum 11

Financial News BMI announces significant increase in total equity Bahrain based, BankMuscat International (BMI) announced on the 27 th of February that it had increased its total equity (share capital and reserves) to BD 133.5 million (USD 352 million), an increase of 247% from the BD 38.5 million (USD 102 million) as at 31st December 2007. The increase is a result of a fresh injection of BD 95 million (USD 250 million) from the existing shareholders who reinforced their confidence and commitment to the long term strategy of the Bank. The fresh equity will be used to fund the banks organic

growth and provide necessary capital to expand into other regions and markets in line with the strategy Speaking on the increase, Andrew Bainbridge, Chief Executive Officer of BMI said: “I am delighted by this financial commitment by our shareholders to our continued growth and to the strategy of BMI. The increased financial strength that this gives BMI enables us to do more for our customers as we seek to support them in their own growth plans. Our ambition remains that of providing great service to our customers and being their first choice partner in financial services.”

New Alliance Expands Takaful Financial Services Sector in the Middle East Nexus has announced its intention to begin the provision of Takaful financial products, signing a key agreement with the Munich-based FWU Group and the Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company (AMAN). Nexus will be the distributor of AMAN’s Unit Linked Takaful and saving plans, both for regular and lump sum contributions. Globally, Takaful - insurance that is compliant with key Islamic tenants and based on the concept of collective insurance - is currently estimated to be a $2.3 billion market, with the Middle East region accounting for 46% of total sales, according to the Bahrain Insurance Association. 12 Forum

Growth within the region , as well as developments in emerging markets like Europe and America, could push the total market size to $14 billion by 2015. “We have decided to work with Nexus after careful examination of the market, selecting them for their financial expertise, understanding of the market and the depth of their client relations,” said Dr. Manfred J. Dirrheimer, CEO, FWU Group. The Nexus Group, launched in 2006, includes Nexus Financial Advisors (Bahrain) and has grown significantly in its first year of operations, expanding its panel to include a broad variety of financial solutions.

KPMG Named ‘Best Islamic Assurance and Advisory Services Provider’ KPMG takes top advisory prize at 2008 Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards KPMG was named ‘Best Islamic Assurance and Advisory Services Provider’ at the 2008 Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards ceremony in London. Now in its 6 th year, Euromoney’s Islamic Finance Awards are regarded as the benchmark awards for the global Islamic finance industry. In selecting KPMG, the magazine said: “KPMG’s breadth of assignments and the diverse geographic spread of their business was very impressive and was a key factor in selecting the company for the award.” Over the last year, KPMG member firms have provided assurance and advisory services to over 50 Islamic financial institutions

Star expands property service Melanie Bonas, General Manager for Star International Real Estate has recently announced an expansion of the Company’s services to include advice for property owners considering letting their property. Their guidance also extends to advising clients about the variety of mortgages terms and rates on offer both in Bahrain and Overseas. In addition to the home market, Star’s website now includes details of properties in India, Bulgaria and Thailand.

in the UK and Western Europe, the GCC, the Far East, North America and Africa. In addition, KPMG is a member of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). Jamal Fakhro, Managing Partner Bahrain & Qatar, said: “This fascinating market has expanded and matured both locally and regionally. Our team of Islamic Finance professionals is in a strong position in terms of our share in regulatory, tax and audit work for Islamic banks, and had the privilege to work alongside the region’s most prominent clients. This award is a testimony to the good work of KPMG’s Islamic Finance group, which will continue into the future.”

BMI prepares to launch Net banking Bahrain based BankMuscat International (BMI) is set to launch its new bi-lingual net banking service in April 2008. The service, available through their recently refreshed website offers customers the option to view loan details, pay utility and credit card bills, purchase Saving Certificates, and transfer funds between accounts or to someone else in another part of the world amongst others. BMI’s net banking service will be available to retail, private as well as corporate customers.

Financial News Standard Chartered Carves a Niche with the Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard Credit Card Standard Chartered Bank, in association with MasterCard Worldwide, a leader in advancing global commerce, today launched its prestigious product offering - the Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card. Extending its credit card

portfolio, Standard Chartered Bank aims to strengthen its leadership position in the credit card segment. The Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card is a first in the Kingdom of Bahrain, targeting the affluent consumers by offering a range of value added benefits, including best-in-class privileges that make traveling a truly luxurious experience. The Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card is being launched with a special introductory offer that provides MasterCard cardholders with 18,500 travel points. This point scheme is one of the remarkable features of the Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit

card. The cardholders are entitled to one travel point for every transaction worth one US dollar when using the card. The travel points collected can then be redeemed for air tickets from a cardholder’s preferred airline to a destination of their choice.

Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit cardholders can take advantage of free airport pick up and drop off to and from Bahrain International Airport. Exclusive discounts are also on offer at selected travel agents in Bahrain and cardholders have the advantage of free travel insurance as well as cover against fraud and accidents. In its pursuit to offer products that cater to an ever increasing demand for lifestyle enhancing products, Standard Chartered Bank offers cardholders special discounts on an array of premium brands and products ranging from luxury watch brands and accessories to fine dining outlets. In addition, MasterCard cardholders will

also benefit from unparalleled features such as an InstaBuys Purchase Plan and SafetyNet Protection among other benefits. Ashish Sood, General Manager, Credit Cards & Personal Loans, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “Our market research has shown that frequent travelers including business people and those from the higher income segment appreciate privileges that add value to their travel. Although the market has recently seen the launch of cards that offer free air miles and points, the Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card has created a niche with its impressive range of additional travel benefits, thereby surpassing privileges accorded by most other premium cards. The Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card fills the gap by providing unmatched convenience and comfort that best complement today’s busy lifestyle.” “The Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card is especially designed to enhance the lifestyle of frequent travelers. With its set of unique benefits, the card acts as the perfect travel companion by providing the cardholders with exclusive travel privileges,” said Muntaser Dawwas, Head of Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Bank. Sai Aroor, Vice President, Regional Key Account Management, MasterCard Worldwide, said,

“MasterCard is delighted to have worked with Standard Chartered Bank to launch the Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard credit card. MasterCard has a long and successful relationship with Standard Chartered Bank. This innovative initiative is a great example of how MasterCard works with customer banks to develop secure, convenient and rewarding payment solutions that deliver real value for cardholders.” For more information on Standard Chartered Titanium MasterCard, call 17 531 532 or visit the nearest Standard Chartered Bank branch. About MasterCard Worldwide MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institutions, customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to Forum 13

Financial News AXA Quick Cover+ AXA Insurance introduced its first Individual Life Product named Quick Cover+ at a lively interactive session with representatives of Insurance Brokers & Agents.

Stephen Wagstaff, Area Manager, Bahrain & Qatar, introduced the speakers and explained the exciting developments taking place at AXA Gulf in both the Life & Non-Life segments. He went on to explain how delighted he was to bring the capability of providing instant

cover at the point of sale with Quick Cover+. Paul Bromley, AXA’s Regional Head of Life introduced Quick Cover+ as part of AXA’s strategy to bring a comprehensive range of Life products to Gulf markets during 2008.

Expansion Venture for Loss Adjusters United Adjusting Services WLL (UAS), based in Bahrain and Whitelaw Loss Adjusters & Surveyors, based in the United Arab Emirates, announced a merger of their operations. This effectively combines the two companies to form the basis of a new Middle Eastern network. With offices currently in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai, a new office is due to open in Sharjah, UAE, in the coming weeks with additional offices for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due very shortly. Commented Graham Whitelaw, MD of Whitelaw Loss Adjusters & Surveyors,

“the new, larger, company provides the insurance market with a highly professional, independent, team who have decades of experience in the region. This means we can provide our clients with a greater degree of regional coverage, with prompt attendance wherever the loss location may be”. The joint operation combines the loss adjusting and risk surveying skills with other services such as insurance asset valuations, engineering and inspection services. Peter Lyall, MD of UAS WLL, said “Graham and I have known each other for

many years and we both share the same values in terms of customer service, quality reporting and impartiality. As the client base for each organisation has grown, there is an increasing amount of synergy which makes this merger a sensible, cost effective, move.” UAS WLL has been providing loss adjusting, risk surveying and insurance asset valuations since 2003, whilst Whitelaw Loss Adjusters & Surveyors has been operational in the United Arab Emirates since 2007.

Mark brings 13 years of experience in the Insurance industry, all of which have been with R&SA. The last 6 14 Forum

years have been spent in the Middle East where Mark has held a variety of roles that have included Branch Manager for the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, as well as Business Process & Re-engineering Manager for R&SA Middle East operations.

Mark Cooper, at the GAIF conference in Bahrain, said, “I’m delighted to be leading an excellent team both in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain which I believe is well

staff joining in the coming weeks, the merger marks a significant milestone in the expansion process. The team includes chartered loss adjusters, insurance professional, surveyors and engineers. It is anticipated that there will be additional offices opening around the region. Peter will oversee operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the northern Gulf, whilst Graham will remain in Dubai and oversee the operations in the southern Gulf region as well as the expansion plans for the group.

With additional experienced

Royal & SunAlliance Insurance appoints CEO- KSA/Bahrain Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) Insurance has announced the appointment of Mark Cooper as the CEO for KSA and Bahrain operations, effective 1st March 2008. Mark Cooper will be reporting to Pat O’Flynn, CEO, Middle East and will be based in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Prior to this, Mark was the Sales & Marketing Director for the R&SA UAE operations.

Isabel Haran AXA’s Head of Life Services explained the benefits of the cover and its special feature, i.e. Simplified process through WebMed, AXA’s online proposal and document issuance system designed to provide quick and hassle free cover.

positioned to capitalise on the significant opportunities across both markets. However, we will continue to invest substantially in these markets, especially in Saudi Arabia where we are in the final stages of our IPO listing.”

He also added, “We are attracting talent both from the local market and the wider R&SA Group to ensure that we work towards achieving our vision of being the leading ‘International Insurer of Choice’ in the Middle East region. Both in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, R&SA is a wellrespected and trusted name and I’m confident that we can continue to build on this reputation and our successes. I’m looking forward to meeting our customers and business partners in the coming weeks as we look to work together.”

Air Industry News Concerns over Heathrow East

Heathrow East, London’s replacement for outdated Terminals 1 & 2 may not open in time for the Olympic Games according to press reports in February. Balfour Beatty will build the first two phases of the new Terminal having secured a £350m BAA contract that will see the construction of the northern and mid sections of the midfield pier, as well as a tunnel linking the pier with the new terminal. In March it was revealed that Vidal Arquitectos have been asked to ‘shake up’ design of BAA’s new £1.5bn Heathrow East Terminal. The building website says that Ferrovial, BAA’s majority owner, has recruited Vidal Arquitectos to work with Foster + Partners on designs for the terminal. Vidal Arquitectos, a Madridbased practice that has worked on major projects with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has been asked to ‘shake up’ the design, says, quoting a ‘source’. The move will also be seen as an attempt to rein in costs on the scheme, as Ferrovial struggles to pay off the £10bn of debt it took on to 16 Forum

buy BAA in June 2006. Luis Vidal, the firm’s design director, was formerly a director of Studio Lamela, which worked with Ferrovial and RSH on Barajas airport in Madrid. That project won the Stirling prize in 2006. The practice also shares ‘offices, staff and resources’ with RSH in Madrid. The team has a lot of expertise on airport projects. Vidal has worked on airport designs at Murcia, Zaragoza and Warsaw as well as at Barajas. Ferrovial was appointed as main contractor on Heathrow East in a joint venture with Laing O’Rourke last year. The website’s ‘source’ said: ‘Ferrovial has more trust in a local architect. Foster is still the concept architect but the local architect will shake it up.’ The appointment of Vidal has lead to speculation that Ferrovial might cut Foster out of the process. However, a BAA spokesman said: “Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke have commissioned Vidal and Foster to do detailed designs for Heathrow East as a joint venture.”

BA says higher fuel costs hitting margins

slowdown, the impact of increased fuel costs and oneoff Terminal 5 transition costs,” said Finance Director Keith Williams.

British Airways has announced that it would fall short of its goal of a 10% operating margin next year due to weakness in the global economy and the rising cost of fuel.

The statement follows a warning that rising oil prices were becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Fuel costs are expected to rise by about £450 million to £2.5 billion, an increase of 20%. Non-fuel costs are expected to rise 3 to 3.5%.

The airline said revenue was expected to rise by 4 to 4.5% to over £9.1 billion in the year to March 2009, but the operating margin would fall to around 7%. Revenue forecasts were based on a 2.4% rise in capacity. “The outlook for next year is consistent with economic

Fuel costs have almost doubled in the last three years and account for 25% of all costs. Shares in the carrier plunged to a new low on the news, falling 7 per cent to close down 20p at 245p, just as oil hit a new alltime high of $105.97.

Gulf Air signs maintenance contract with Singapore company Gulf Air has awarded a longterm maintenance contract to Singapore’s SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC). The three-year contract, valued at US$ 21 million, covers heavy maintenance work for Gulf Air’s five Airbus A340, six Airbus A320 and six Airbus A330 aircraft from 2008 to 2010. The agreement was signed at the Singapore Airshow between Gulf Air President and Chief Executive Mr. Björn Näf and Mr. William Tan, CCEO for SIAEC. “SIAEC have a long history of excellence and dedication and we believe they are the right choice in fulfilling our engineering maintenance needs to enhance our operations and our network,” says Mr. Näf. “We are confident that this

deal will further enhance Gulf Air’s technical reliability and operational efficiency and, help our airline to achieve its goal of becoming the carrier of choice.” While SIAEC has been providing aircraft heavy maintenance services to several airlines in the Middle East, this is the first time Gulf Air has signed a long-term contract with SIAEC. “We are delighted that Gulf Air, a highly progressive and successful airline in the Middle East, is signing a longterm agreement with us,” adds Mr. Tan. “This is testimony to the confidence Gulf Air has on the quality of our services. SIAEC’s dedication to ontime delivery and high standards will help achieve higher fleet utilisation and operating efficiencies.”

Forum 17

Air Industry News Air Arabia to bmi launch start Delhi flights Dammam London flghts bmi, Britain’s second largest airline, launched flights to Dammam in March.

Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia is set to launch services to the India’s capital New Delhi starting from March 31. The flights will initially operate four times per week between New Delhi and Air Arabia’s hub in Sharjah and from May, the service will become daily, an airline official said. ‘New Delhi is Air Arabia’s 11th destination on the Subcontinent, the largest destination network in India of any Middle East-based carrier,’ said AK Nizar, head of commercial department, Air Arabia.

The new service, will operate three times a week on a widebodied Airbus A330 aircraft and is expected to build on the success of flights to bmi’s existing Saudi destinations Riyadh, which launched in September 2005, and Jeddah in April 2006. “This is one of the most exciting periods in bmi’s 70 year history,” said Nigel Turner, bmi’s CEO.. “With our new flights bmi now serve 41 destinations from London Heathrow.

Currently, Air Arabia provides direct service to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram. “Like the UAE,” Nizar said, “India is in the midst of a period of unprecedented economic expansion, and Air Arabia is proud to facilitate the strengthening of trade and financial ties between the two countries. With a $1 trillion national economy and annual fiscal growth in excess of 8.5%, India is clearly one of the world’s fastest-emerging economies. Nowhere is that expansion more evident than in the country’s rapidly evolving capital.” 18 Forum

Speaking at the launch party in Alkhobar in March, Peter Spencer, bmi MD (pictured above), said “With causeway crossing times taking up to three hours we hope the service will attract residents from the Eastern Province who might currently be flying out of Bahrain.” Mr Spencer also advised that with the opening of Terminal Five about 9 million passengers a year would move to the new terminal leaving Terminal One rather less congested.

Emirates to fly to Gulf Air to Calicut from July launch non-stop Emirates airline will launch flights to China six flights per week non-stop services to the south Indian city of Kozhikode (Calicut), starting July 1. Boosting air connections between the booming Indian and Arabian Gulf economies, Kozhikode will become the third city in the state of Kerala to be served with nonstop Emirates flights from Dubai. Kozhikode will also become Emirates’ 10th destination in India. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Kozhikode and the state of Kerala have a long-standing trade relationship with the Arabian peninsula that extends back into history. We are delighted to be able to provide a non-stop air link between Dubai and Kozhikode, which will help increase trade opportunities, and also make it more convenient for the large nonresident Indian community in the Gulf to visit their families and friends.

Gulf Air, the national carrier for Bahrain, will introduce non-stop Shanghai service as part of the airline’s growth strategy. The four times a week service will commence on 16th June 2008 and operate from Bahrain to take advantage of two-way connectivity to many Gulf and major Middle East markets. The route will be operated by using an Airbus A340-300, offering first, business and economy class service. The service will be later upgraded to daily flights, effective winter schedule 2008. “China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and for Gulf Air it is strategically important that we launch into this booming market this year,” says Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Björn Näf.

“We intend to continue promoting the beautiful state of Kerala and to bring more international tourists into the state through all our three gateways.”

“We will be offering our sky beds and other awardwinning in-flight services, such as the Sky Nanny service, to this new route and we are looking at other international destinations to expand our network as part of our strategy to become the airline of choice.”

On the Dubai-Kozhikode route, Emirates will initially operate its Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering over 4,000 Business and Economy class seats and close to 200 tonnes of cargo capacity per week in both directions.

Gulf Air’s Vice President Network Hashim Mahmood says the Bahrain-Shanghai route and the planned schedule to the destination will be the, “most attractive in the region.” Shanghai will become the 41st destination in the airline’s network.

Bahrain Construction Update for environmental architecture, being the first building in the world to incorporate large-scale wind turbines into a commercial development, which comprehensive ground tests indicate will generate 11-15% of the energy requirements of the two towers.

Power Tower Bahrain is the focus of the highly acclaimed National Geographic ‘Megastructures’ series, which details feats of international engineering excellence. Previous programme subjects include the Panama Canal, The Hoover Dam and the World’s tallest bridge, the Burj al Arab.

The National Geographic Team on site at the BWTC

bridge engineering and turbines, and their united ambition to create a world precedent.

The documentary has already aired on the National Geographic Channel in the US and UK, and will be shown in the Middle East region throughout March and details how many of the unique concepts were implemented.

The Megastructures ‘Power Tower’ documentary details the architecture and engineering challenges of installing three 29mdiameter turbine blades on Bahrain’s new landmark

World Trade Centre (BWTC). In particular, the programme focuses on collaboration between Atkins’ architects and engineers and Norwin and Ramboll, two Danish companies who specialise in

Airport projects total $68bn

Work on $66m Platinum Tower begins

The Bahrain World Trade Center is a pioneering stride

will require quality commercial space for those seeking to capitalise on the business opportunities available, and Platinum Tower is being developed and has begun construction with this goal in mind.”

The total value of airport development projects in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia is in excess of $68 billion, a report in the Saudi Gazette said. The Gulf countries represent $43 billion of the total amount with the UAE alone set to spend $21 billion. Topping the list at $10 billion is the new Al-Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali, UAE, which will become the largest airport in the world and handle 120 million passengers annually. It is followed by the Abu Dhabi International Airport project at $6.8 billion and Qatar’s $5.5 billion New Doha International Airport. Bahrain International Airport has a $815 million expansion project, Kuwait International Airport with $2.1 billion and Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan with $600 million. 20 Forum

The project has been designed to offer a firstclass business environment and is ideal for those who seek convenience, quality and luxury in the range of amenities and services provided, he noted.

The TradeArabia News Service reports that construction work has begun on the BD25 million ($66 million) Platinum Tower in the Seef area and the project is expected to be completed in 24 months. Pearl Development and Real Estate Company (PDREC), a consortium of investors from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other GCC nations, who were behind

the Abraj Al Lulu, the BD95 million freehold residential development property, are building the tower. “Bahrain is emerging as an attractive business destination and is rapidly building on its strength as the financial hub of the Middle East,” PDREC chairman Mohammed Dadabhai said. “A vibrant business climate

It has immense investment potential because of its location in the exclusive Seef area, and easy accessibility to Manama’s commercial business district makes it an ideal base for conducting business in Bahrain. “Even prior to the pre-launch, we have sold 25 per cent of the property, and an additional 25 per cent has already been booked by potential customers,” said Dadabhai

Bahrain Construction Update Gulf region ‘facing shortage’ of 5 million workers

Gulf region ‘facing shortage’ in materials supply Newspapers around the region reported in February that construction in the Gulf had been hit by increased worldwide demand for building materials as construction fever spreads to countries such as China where the World Bank has predicted that half of the worlds construction will be taking place by 2015.

An expected shortage of five million workers will hit major development projects in GCC countries over the coming five years, according to a report presented at a forum organised by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in Bahrain. “...projects in the Gulf rely heavily on professionals and skilled workers from Asia,” said PMI Arabian Gulf Chapter vice-president Abdulmajeed Al Gassab. “Now with the Asian economy booming, especially in India, such workforces are paid heavily back home and they are not keen on working in the Gulf,” “The golden days of cheap labour from Asia for the Gulf contractors are gone” said Al Gassab. US-based PMI International chairman Philip Diab and chief executive officer Gregory Balestrero met Works Minister Fahmi Al Jowder during their recent visit to Bahrain and praised the ministry’s initiative in setting up a central unit for project planning, control and execution. The challenges facing

development projects, especially in attracting skilled workforce, were discussed at various meetings attended by the PMI officials. Bapco chief executive Abdulkarim Al Sayed said Asia, Europe and the US were also facing an engineering and skilled workforce capacity crunch. “Coupled with the still common misconception outside the region, that the Middle East is a dangerous place to work in, it is somewhat difficult to attract foreign professionals to the region,” he noted. “The inevitable result is that employers in the region are going to have to pay inflated prices to attract the necessary resources, driving up the cost of projects.” Al Sayed said that Bapco felt the pinch in many ways. “We have lost more than 30 Western employees through resignation since January 2006,” he revealed.

The Gulf region has experienced its own building frenzy over the past few years on the back of recordhigh crude oil prices, which are pumping huge liquidity into the economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It was research firm Proleads that in November quoted the value of Gulf construction projects at $2.4 trillion. This would rise to $2.5 trillion, if projects currently only at planning stages were included, it added. But this building boom in GCC member states Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - has put extra pressure on the supply and cost of construction materials and labour force. “There is a chronic shortage of resources. Clients are facing a shortage of contracting capacity while contractors are having

difficulty sourcing labour and materials,” said a report by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Contractors Survey 2007. Dubai-based Emaar, the largest Arab property developer by market value, also acknowledged the impact of surging costs in January, saying higher “preoperating expenses” would cut profits generated by malls and hotels in 2008. The property giant, currently constructing the world’s tallest tower, Burj Dubai, said its profits in 2008 would grow at the same three-percent rate as last year. An Emaar spokesman told AFP that increased construction costs had not caused delays to projects being completed. But others in the construction industry have a different view. Contractors are not the ones shouldering the extra cost caused by delivery delays or price surges. Property developers are ending up bearing the brunt, an industry source said. Contractors are in fact making handsome profits in the Gulf region, which is attracting some of the world’s biggest construction companies, according to the MEED report.

“Bapco has also lost more than 30 Eastern employees through resignation since January 2006, mostly engaged in critical jobs.” Forum


Bahrain Construction Update Lighting up Manama Behzad Lighting have recently handed over the final stage of a lighting project familiar to most people in Bahrain, the Financial Harbour Towers and Mall exterior lighting. The training of an employee from the building management company in the control and programming of the computer managed lighting system ends a project that has taken over three years from design to implementation. The colour changing LED lights can be seen from all over the Kingdom and have proven to be both a landmark and a topic of discussion with the colour scheme changing

throughout the evening (the more exciting programs were originally planned later in the evening to avoid distracting passing traffic!) The LED lighting and control systems were manufactured by the British Company PULSAR UK and the $1,000,000 + project came about following an introduction through the British Embassy when Pulsar representatives visited the country as part of an organised trade delegation. The success with this project has led to cooperation between the Behzad Group and Pulsar on even larger projects in Bahrain and throughout the Middle East and is a great success for the introduction of new British Business to Bahrain

$800m waterfront complex The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2010.

An $800 million waterfront residential complex is to be built by Bahrain based Nomas Enterprises in the Al Fateh area of Manama. The project will include some 950 homes. The company unveiled a model of the real estate project at a press conference held at the Ritz Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa in March. Work is likely to go out to tender in the next few months and the company said it would unveil more details of the development at that time. 22 Forum

“The development occupies an area of over 35,000 sq m,” said Nomas Enterprises chairman Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa. “The mixed use and residential towers act like beacons with more than 60 floors. The towers’ slim, elliptical form means that all apartments gain sea views.” The company is in the process of increasing its capital to approximately BD200 million, he said. “With such a massive project in the making, ample job opportunities will be created in the hospitality and retail sector.

A significant achievement for the project is the site’s boundaries. The public waterfront connects Bahrain’s proposed National Assembly building in the North (pictured below) with the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge in the South. Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of Nomas said this project would add immensely to the economy of the country. With such a massive project there will be ample job opportunities in the hospitality and retail sector. He said, “This project today is the first and one amongst many future landmark projects that Nomas will be working on. “The Arabic word Nomas means of top distinction and that is the quality of work and quality of life that we want the people of the Kingdom to

experience and live via our properties,” he said. “This project is a new benchmark in destination design for Bahrain,” said managing director Rashid Al Rumaihi.“It is a true mix use facility on a massive scale combining premium residential apartments and townhouses, three floors of retail houses and entertainment options, a fivestar hotel and boutique waterfront office facility within four towers. “‘This is an economic, social and environmentally conscious project,” he added.

TRA Introduces a package of regulatory measures to further promote competition The award of a third mobile network operator license is one of the main measures proposed The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (“TRA”) released a Draft Statement that details a comprehensive package of proportionate regulatory measures that will further promote competition and the interest of consumers. These measures are the result of the August 2007 Consultation on the Strategic and Retail Market Review. TRA’s General Director, Mr. Horne commented on the announcement of the results of the Strategic and Retail Market Review saying: “The Strategic and Retail Market Review results will move the telecommunications market in the Kingdom of Bahrain to a next major stage in the development of the telecommunications industry, through implementing a package of balanced regulatory measures that will further promote competition and benefit the consumers. Continuous improvements to the services offered to residential and business users in terms of availability, range and prices will be a priority in the next phase of the market’s development. The package of regulatory measures proposed is consistent with the Telecommunications Law and supports the Government’s objectives outlined in the Second National Telecommunications Plan”. The key objectives of the Strategic Review were to assess and define the type and level of regulation 24 Forum

required to enhance competition. As such, TRA defined telecommunications markets where competition should be assessed, and appropriate regulatory measures have been identified. TRA has focused on removing and/or minimising unnecessary regulation and restrictions in order to allow the markets to develop through competitive forces. Some of the measures proposed to enhance competition involve the withdrawal of retail regulation, whilst others involve the introduction of more tightly focused new regulatory instruments to replace some of the existing measures. Additional wholesale regulations are defined together with measures to remove barriers to entry and to strengthen competition.

The nine main measures developed out of the strategic and retail market review include; • Removal of tariff approval process for all mobile services • Review of the retail tariff regime • Introduction of local loop unbundling • Introduction of carrier selection (call-by-call selection of telephony service providers) • The award of a third mobile network operator licence

• Removal of mobility restrictions for New Fixed Wireless services licences • Introduction of number portability for fixed and mobile • Development of competition guidelines • Data collection and reports of operators’ performance. The implementation of these measures will be of great benefit to business users not only in terms of providing a choice of telecommunications services but also in providing choice of operators, especially with the implantation of number portability, where businesses can maintain their number while moving between operators. All of the measures proposed aim to remove restrictions and barriers faced by operators to enable them to continue developing high quality services at better prices which the businesses can utilize for more efficient operations. Mr. Horne stated: “I would like to praise operators, financial institutions and all other stakeholders for their

involvement and investments and for their faith in the telecommunications industry in Bahrain. It is also important to thank TRA’s team for their dedicated efforts of moving the market to the second phase of liberalisation and aligning it with the second National Telecommunications Plan. The implementation of the proposed measures will contribute to creating an equal and fair competitive environment, it will give Batelco more flexibility to compete, and will lead to significant economic development through the enhancement of competition”. The details and timing of these measures will be worked out in consultation with the industry once the implementation phase begins. Together with the Draft Statement, TRA released on the 28th February 2008.: a Request for Comments, a Report setting out TRA’s analysis and rationale behind the Draft Statement, and a Draft Significant Market Power Designation Determination. To view the documents visit TRA website

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was established by Legislative Decree No. 48 of 2002 promulgating the Telecommunications Law. TRA is an independent body and its duties and powers include, among other things, protecting the interests of subscribers and users and promoting operators effective and fair competition among existing and new licensed. More information regarding TRA can be viewed at

Bahrain Hotel News Gulf Hotels Group looking to build another Hotel in 2008 and plans to build a 600 bay multi-storey car park with 7,000 m2 of office accommodation adjacent to the Gulf Hotel.

GHG Chairman Almoayyed Gulf Hotels Group (GHG) is looking to build another hotel in Bahrain, chairman Farouk Almoayyed said on the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting in March. He said the company had been in talks about developing a hotel on the Zallaq Beach area, though nothing was yet firmed up. The company expects to invest more than BD8 million

This move was deferred when the hotel closed down for six months in 2007 for its internal and external refurbishment but it is now going ahead and is expected to be completed by March next year. “This facility will greatly benefit the hotel which currently faces a shortage of car parking at the height of operations, as well as cater for the increasing demand for office space away from the Diplomatic areas,” said Almoayyed. The company has also signed an agreement to assist in the development and to subsequently manage a five-star serviced apartment block in Juffair consisting of 1,002 luxury

apartments, with extensive leisure and parking facilities for residents. Construction work has already commenced on this project, he noted. Designs are being finalised for a 90-seat Mexican restaurant and adjacent wine bar in the hotel which will augment the already extensive restaurant and bar portfolio. The new outlets are expected to come on line towards the end of the year. The hotel will also undertake the renovation of both the men’s and ladies health clubs. A state-of-the-art conference room on the top floor next to the new platinum lounge will offer a new meeting facility to guests and corporate clients. The number of guests who

visited Gulf Hotel’s restaurant and banquet facilities reached 533,641, by far the highest within the five-star market. At the meeting at the Gulf Hotel shareholders approved a dividend payout of BD3.11 million ($8.25 million) and a 10% bonus share issue. ‘It has been an outstanding year for Gulf Hotels Group,’ he said. ‘Trading results have been the best on record and all divisions of GHG exceeded their financial budgets.” The number of guests who visited the Gulf Hotel’s Tower Block is expected to significantly improve the Hotel’s results in 2008, enabling the Hotel to grow occupancy levels, average room rates and yield, all of which will have a strong impact on bottom line performance.

New Hotel for InterContinental Regency Bahrain appoints new General Manager having recently held a similar Hotel School, City & Guilds Bahrain position, for the newly refurbished InterContinental Abu Dhabi.

James P. McDonald has been named General Manager for InterContinental Regency Bahrain. McDonald brings with him over thirty years of hospitality experience, 26 Forum

“I am excited to be a part of one of the first 5 star hotels in Bahrain, a very innovative and prestigious property with an impressive history and so many positive attributes. I am looking forward to becoming a valued member of the team whereby I am confident that we will continue to deliver the highest quality guest experience” said McDonald. McDonald holds a degree in hotel management from the Professional North Devon Polytechnic Graduate of the

and various other accredited certificates from Food & Beverage Production and Service, Royal Society of Arts.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced plans in February to debut a 300 room St. Regis hotel on a reclaimed island facing Manama’s city centre which will open in 2011.

McDonald’s career began in the culinary world, where he held ‘Director of Food & Beverage’ and ‘Executive Chef’ positions at several properties of InterContinental Hotels Group and other 5star hotels around the globe.

The Hotel will offer a sophisticated, seductive ambiance, enhanced by meticulous design touches, exquisite cuisine and the renowned St. Regis Butler service.

He was instrumental in the execution of several international hotel openings, including InterContinental Abu Dhabi, InterContinental and Holiday Inn, Cairo City Star and many others.

“Expect nothing less than an unrivaled dimension of luxury and bespoke service - from arrival to departure, and beyond” said Ross Klein, President of Starwood’s Luxury Brands Group.

Notes from the Eastern Province becoming an increasingly significant issue along with contractors declining to bid and equipment resources being stretched. Clearly a lot of challenges ahead if the startups scheduled in the 2011 / 2012 timeframe are going to come to fruition as planned. Time will tell.

I can’t believe I am already being chased for my EP notes again – 2008 is flying by, reflecting the intense project activity and general business climate in the Middle East, and especially the Eastern Province. I don’t know how many of you were here in the 1980’s for the last boom but to me the current level of activity seems to be much greater. All sectors of the business community seem to be booming so let’s hope that UK plc make some gains out of the current opportunities. It is certainly an interesting time for the major petrochemical projects with manpower and housing availability

During March we saw the return of a British airline with the arrival of the inaugural BMI flight from London Heathrow into Dammam International Airport. It is about 7 years since a British carrier maintained a regular service into Dammam – so a big welcome to BMI and good luck with the new service. BBA membership continues to grow monthly and hopefully we will see the 200 barrier broken during 2008. There has been some more turnover in the Committee ranks with the most recent addition being Malcolm Weaver (Al-Zamil) as the new Treasurer – welcome to Malcolm who brings a lot of financial expertise with him. It has


r e be t o m N ew nu n e n ho p e el The British Business Association (BBA) – Eastern Province P.O.Box 1868, Oasis Gardens, AlKhobar 31952 Telephone: 03 882 5288 Ext 2011 Fax: 03 882 5384 E-mail: Website:

been a quiet start to the year for BBA on the business front but we hope to continue our successful series of business dinners in April. The Winter Ball was once again held jointly with the ABA at the Crowne Plaza, Bahrain on 6 December 07 and a great night was had by all who attended. The regular monthly quiz nights have continued in Khobar under the very capable management of Tony Mulrain – the number of attendees has increased so much we have had to move to a bigger room!! Jubail Group has also maintained an enjoyable social program including an excellent festive dinner

evening, a Mexican evening and a night out at the Blue Strawberry. We continued with our philosophy of going electronic with our communications in February 08 by issuing our first electronic quarterly newsletter. It is hoped that this move will greatly simplify our communications but we will wait for feedback from the membership before drawing too many conclusions. As indicated, in previous notes, our website has also proved very successful and will continue to be enhanced as we move forward. If you need to contact us then contact me directly or send an e-mail to our Secretary Donna at or via the website at

Geoff Fennah Chairman BBA EP

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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.

Bahrain News New appointment at DHL Express DHL Express, has appointed Andy Broughton to the role of Sales Manager for DHL Express Bahrain.

relationships he has developed, as well as his people-focused management style.

Broughton brings 10 years of experience in the freight and logistics industry within the Middle East.

In his Bahrain role, Broughton is focused on directing the country sales team in support of local customers, leading and motivating his staff to maximize their individual potential and in doing so, contributing to maintaining DHL’s market leading position in Bahrain.

With a successful track record in both direct sales and sales management with multinational organisations worldwide, Broughton has also gained extensive international experience across the UK, Europe, and the Indian Sub-Continent regions. He attributes his impressive record of revenue growth to the strong internal and external customer

Born in Leeds, England, Broughton is an avid sportsman who enjoys playing football, golf and cricket, and is married with three young boys.

Penny’s wins new school meals contract Linda O’Brien, Catering Manager of Penny’s Restaurants Co. WLL, and Bruce McWilliams, Director of the Riffa Views International School, have recently signed a contract for the provision of healthy school catering, continuing Penny’s “food to make the body smile” policy at the new school which opens in September 2008. “We are delighted to be associated with this prestigious development in

the Kingdom and look forward to providing the kind of food that is vital for healthy development in our young people.” said Penny. Mr McWilliams commented, “Riffa Views International School is very excited to partner with Penny’s on our school lunch program. Both Penny’s and RVIS are committed to providing students balanced, healthy menu choices made from the freshest possible ingredients. We plan to offer meals at a reasonable price that will appeal to children and ensure that they receive the nutrition they need to be active, successful learners.”

Parliament Secured

Pictured above at the project hand-over ceremony are: (L-R) Mohammed Isa Al Jowder, Head of General Services at the Shura Council, Leo Rosales, Project Manager at MWHSPD, Richard Monkhouse, General Manager of Arencon & Bob Hewitt, Director (Bahrain) at RMI.

BBBF member Arencon Security have completed an extensive upgrade of security installations at the Shura Council & Representative Council (Parliament) complex in Gudaibiya. British suppliers contributed significantly to the project. The hydraulic road blockers were manufactured by Newgate (Newark) Ltd. at their factory near Birmingham and the CCTV system, based on state of the art IP technology, centred around hardware & software manufactured by IndigoVision Ltd, based in Edinburgh. 30 Forum

Richard Monkhouse, GM of Arencon, commented, “the British Security Industry is recognised as one of the most sophisticated in the world, particularly in the realm of CCTV for public space surveillance. We are delighted to have worked with IndigoVision on this important project to safeguard an important National Facility and the people who work there”. Consultants for the project were BBBF member Risk Management International (RMI).

Bahrain News BFG bring interactive technology to the playground. A common complaint among parents today is the inability to get their children off the couch and away from indoor electronic or online games. As childhood obesity is on the rise, parents are looking for alternate ways to simultaneously encourage activity and teach lifelong skills. BFG Commercial Services & Playworld Systems Inc. have introduced NEOS™, a unique new product to the Middle East bringing

Electronic Gaming to the outdoor play space. While NEOS is designed for games of one or two players, teams of four or eight with varying abilities can be formed. With nine different games and three skill levels to choose from, one or more players can have their scores recorded, making NEOS competitive and challenging while improving agility, balance, fitness, and social skills.

Incoming Rotary Club President appoints new board

The design of the games allow for creativity in how the games are played. “The social aspect of the game is tremendous, not only can NEOS be an incredibly energetic game that can

leave your heart pumping, it also promotes social interaction, teamwork and healthy competition for all ages... even I love playing the game” said Lynne Biddle, GM of BFG in Bahrain.

BIGC launches new divisions at Garden Show

Betsy B. Mathieson has been elected as Incoming President of the Rotary Club of Manama. A founding female member of the Rotary Club of Adliya in 1993, Miss Mathieson, has since held several senior Board positions with both Rotary Clubs over the last 15 years. Bahrain International Golf Course Company (BIGC) launched two new divisions at the recent Riffa Views Bahrain International Garden Show.

“It is my intention to build on the excellent work of the Rotary Club of Manama and bring Rotary more into our Community to help where it is most needed and promote Rotary values of ‘Service Above Self’, provide humanitarian services and help build goodwill and peace in our Kingdom and around the world,” said Miss Mathieson, who takes over the reins officially on July 1st 2008 when the new Rotary year of office begins.

Sayeed; Director of International, Majeed Shafe; Community Services Director, Othman Janahi; Sergeant-At-Arms, Ali Birch; Club Services, Hadi Al Alawi and Fund Raising, Captain Peter Gronberg. The Rotary Club of Manama meets every Sunday at 12.45 in the Gulf Hotel.

The company, a joint investor in the Riffa Views luxury residential development and owning company of the Royal Golf Club, presented visitors to the exhibition with an eye-catching stand showcasing their new Landscape and Cart Fleet divisions.

Board positions are: Board Secretary, Robert Ainey; Treasurer, Waleed Al Rayees; Director of Vocational, Dr Mustapha

Visit for general information on Rotary International or call Miss Mathieson on 3961 3739.

The Cart Fleet division is the exclusive supplier in Bahrain of Mini Hummer golf carts which will be available for the first time in the Kingdom from

the middle of March. The department also rents out carts to numerous organisations within Bahrain and offers additional servicing and maintenance of carts of all types. The Landscape division is headed up by designer Nishrin Kothambawala and draws on the golf course maintenance team’s years of knowledge of growing top quality grass in Bahrain’s harsh climate. The division’s services range from golf course landscaping and turf grass management to complete design, production and maintenance of public areas, gardens and private courtyards. Forum


Bahrain News CPISP holds College Fair for Candidates

The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) held a College Fair for candidates applying for the 2008 scholarships at the Sheraton Hotel. The Fair featured educational opportunities available in the region for under-graduate studies, and included colleges, universities, and institutions located in Bahrain and Qatar, as well as representatives from French and German universities. About 60 students from Bahrain’s government and private secondary schools who qualified as candidates to the Scholarship Program attended the event, which has expanded this year to include information on higher educational opportunities available in Qatar, as well as Germany and France. “We are very pleased that this year’s College Fair includes both regional and international institutions, so that all of our candidates can take advantage of the 32 Forum

opportunities available to them,” said Dr. Kathy Cummings, who is in charge of the CPISP’s Candidate Program. Universities and institutions from Bahrain taking part in the event included Bahrain University, College of Health Sciences, Royal University for Women, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF,) Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Bahrain, University College Bahrain, and the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT.) Universities located in Qatar included the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Carnegie Mellon University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Georgetown University, and Texas A&M University. The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program awards 10 scholarships each year to Bahrain’s most outstanding students from both government and private secondary schools.

Shaikh Faisal Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Memorial Trophy Raises over BD 50,000 for Charity

The 2nd annual Shaikh Faisal Memorial Trophy charity golf tournament in aid of Bahrain Mobility International took place in February on His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s golf course in Safriya. The event was a resounding success, raising in excess of BD50,000 in sponsorship alone, with Riffa Views being the title sponsor. The event was played in a Team Betterball Stableford format, with teams of four being spilt into two pairs, who then combined their scores at the end of play. The team event was won with a score of 88 pts by Inchcape Shipping, comprising Brandon Smith, Clinton Evans, Joseph Femino and Madhu Gopinath. A Mini Cooper Cabrio was up for grabs on the 2nd hole as a Hole in One prize, sponsored jointly by Euro Motors and AXA Insurance. Unfortunately, no players achieved this, although several came close. Gulf Air sponsored a daily Nearest the Pin Prize on the 6th Hole, which was won by

Hussain Salem on day one, Abdulla Sultan on day two and Arun Varma on day three. Each of the winners received an invitation to fly a Boeing 767 on the Gulf Air Training Flight Simulator. A further BD1850 was raised by virtue of a par three shootout contest on the 7th hole, sponsored by Project System Group. Players had the opportunity to make a charity donation which gave them a chance to try to hit the green with their tee shot. Successful entrants’ names were put into a hat to win golf prizes sponsored by Project System Group. Winners of this competition were Rob Lane, Abdul Fakro, Tony James, Barry Hobday and Des Prunty. “This year’s tournament was a fantastic success,” said Dreena Rogers, liaison officer for Bahrain Mobility International. “We are extremely grateful to the organisers, all the sponsors and the competitors for their fantastic support. With the proceeds, we aim to build a complete recreational facility at our premises in Isa Town as well as new mobility equipment for our members.”

Bahrain News Key honour for Hikma Pharmaceuticals chief Hikma Pharmaceuticals founder and chairman has been named Ernst & Young Middle East Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007.

entrepreneur success stories to a panel of independent distinguished judges They were then assessed based on the criteria of entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, global impact, innovation, personal integrity and influence.

From a competitive pool of 17 finalists across the Middle East, Samih Darwazah, was honoured at a ceremony held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. Samih Darwazah, a qualified pharmacist, worked for Eli Lilly from 1964 to 1976, before establishing Hikma Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in 1977. Between 1995 and 1996 he served as Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jordan. He also founded the Jordan Trade Association and was a member of the Advisory Economic Council to Jordan King. Darwazah holds a masters degree from the St. Louis College of

Pharmacy in Missouri, USA. “This award has an important symbolic value because it confirms both my personal success and the result of the full commitment of the company’s employees. I hope to win the global contest since the prize will not only be a recognition for my work, but also an inspiration to others who aspire to be great entrepreneurs,” said Zarwazah. The finalists were given the opportunity to present their

“Samih Zarwazah’s temendous success through the setup of what is now a multi-national company demonstrates that the contributions of entrepreneurs truly matter and make a difference in our world,” said Fouad Alaeddin, Managing Partner of E&Y Middle East. “Ernst & Young are proud to make these entrepreneurs’ successes globally recognised as a testament to their hard work and vision”. Samih Darwazah will join the 2007 Entrepreneur Of The Year country winners from

over 50 countries around the world at a black-tie awards gala in Monte Carlo, to be inducted into the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Academy and vie for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year. The Entrepreneur Of The Year competition aims to recognise and encourage entrepreneurship around the world, and build a forum for the exchange of ideas not just between entrepreneurs of one region, but also of the world. The Ernst & Young Middle East Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2007 was sponsored by Lloyds TSB, International Private Banking. As the Middle East is an important region of growth for Lloyds TSB, the company is keen to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation amongst businesspeople in various industries.



Bahrain News Alosra Express opens at Amwaj BMMI are delighted to announce the opening of their first Alosra Express on Amwaj Island. The new express supermarket which opened for business on 12th March held a fun day and official opening ceremony on Friday 4th April when lots of activities were provided to entertain the Amwaj and surrounding communities. To keep the children happy there were a bouncy castle, pony rides, face painting. Jaffar Al Asfoor, marketing manager of Alosra said “We are very excited about our first Alosra Express in Amwaj. The new store will offer customers over 6,000 product lines that will include an extensive variety of fresh produce, such as fruit, vegetables and freshly baked bread. Tinned, chilled and frozen products will also be available together with a selection of toiletries, newspapers and magazines and ‘ready to go’ snacks, such as drinks, crisps and sweets.” Amwaj Islands is a development built on a vision of returning waterside living to the people of Bahrain. Residents will enjoy their life

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from all perspectives, right from living standards to their day to day grocery shopping. Alosra Express is located at the main entrance of Amwaj, at the first set of traffic lights to the Islands. The store is open from 8am until 9pm, 7 days a week and parking is available for 150 cars. “This is our first Alosra Express but we hope to open many more in the future” explained Gordon Boyle, BMMI’s Chief Executive. “The store in Amwaj is a temporary set up which will cater for the residents of the Amwaj Islands. We are currently awaiting the final decision from Amwaj about who will be selected to open a large supermarket as only one will be allowed to operate there.” Alosra Supermarket is one of the most popular supermarkets in the Kingdom – stocking a comprehensive range of high quality local and imported products. Known as the ‘fresh and friendly’ supermarket, Alosra enjoys a reputation for delivering fast and friendly service, and for the unrivalled

freshness of its produce. This applies particularly to the fruit and vegetables section, the meat and fish counters, and the delicatessen. Alosra is also famous for its deli range of cooked foods such as pies and pastries. In addition to food and groceries, Alosra provides electrical items, white goods, kitchen accessories, and gardening and outdoor equipment, together with books, DVD’s and newspapers, fragrances and cosmetics. Alosra Supermarket is located in the Najibi Centre at Saar, for which BMMI provides mall management services. This shopping centre contains a coffee shop, pharmacy, optician, bank, hairdressers, car rental

agency, and a fast-food family restaurant. Other retail outlets cater for DVD, video and audio, handicrafts, stationery and gifts, to name just a few. Dry cleaning, shoe repair and film processing services are also available at the Centre. For more information about the new Alosra Express store, please call 160 33773 or contact Jaffar Al Asfoor on 17 699 464.

Bahrain News Unisono awarded Toyota F1 campaign – again! After their iconic 2007 F1 campaign Unisono were awarded the 2008 F1 campaign for Toyota & E K Kanoo. Founded early 2006, Unisono is Bahrain’s first & only strategic branding & business development consultancy with a number of key regional successes under their belt – from Al Wa’ab City, Projects Group, BNH & BNI, to Automo, Dent Doctor, and of course the iconic Shoemart Walkathon, a colourful charity event in March 2008. With many exciting projects on the horizon - from branding and design to advertising and events, the successful launch of Toyota’s 2008 ‘Hero Power’ campaign is yet another example of Unisono’s continuing success in the region

Furniture store extends range Already familiar to many Bahrain residents, Ajoor Furnishing has recently refurbished its showroom to give an entirely new look. The company has extended the range of fabrics and materials on show which now includes a new range of home furniture. According to Director Nabeel Ajoor, many customers visit every two weeks or so just to see what’s new. “They won’t be disappointed” he says “the new look is graceful and exceptional.”

Gulf Air launches state-of-the-art Internet Booking Engine In its progressive efforts to provide customers an enhanced travel experience, Gulf Air has launched a new state-of-the-art Internet Booking Engine (IBE).

travel and related services such as accommodation and transport,” says Gulf Air Acting Executive V. P. Marketing and Sales Mr. Danny Barranger. (pic above)

The new IBE enabled website at provides faster, simpler, more convenient, accessible and even more secure features for both individual customers as well as corporate houses, including a frequent flyer miles redemption system. The IBE also facilitates online booking of hotel accommodation and car hire in several of Gulf Air’s network destinations.

“The new platform will significantly improve customer experience and offer simplicity yet maximum choice. Now customers can buy in a matter of minutes through the new booking process. Their reservation is automatically finalized and etickets are issued instantly. Visually impaired customers will find it easier to use the site thanks to its compliance with international accessibility standards. Most importantly, the newly introduced 3-D Secure payment system assures our customers that their payment details are always protected.”

“We want to provide a comprehensive and userfriendly internet booking experience to our customers as more and more customers have started using the internet for booking their

The new booking engine will

very soon come with a guarantee, that our customer can be confident that when booking on the Gulf Air web site, they will not find a more competitive fare for the same itinerary on any other web site. If they do, Gulf Air will reimburse the fare difference. “We wanted to provide our customers a wholesome travel experience at the click of a button that offers as many travel related services as possible,” adds Gulf Air VP Distribution & E-commerce Mr. Lars Denlew. “Using the latest web development technologies, we have included features like calendar shopping, choice of several products per flight, hotel and car hire booking, transparency of pricing and finally, payment in local currency.” Customers are provided with immediate confirmation and an e-mail with hotel or car hire vouchers. They will further be able to retrieve their booking and cancel on-line subject to conditions.

Rimmer returns to winners rostrum Little Aston professional Brian Rimmer won his second Gulf Air International Pro-Captain Challenge title in three years with victory in the 2007 Grand Final which took place at His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa’s golf course in Safriya in February. However, the 41-year-old 2005 champion was put in the shade by his amateur partner Neil Andrews on the final day as he carded five birdies in their second-round 58. That, combined with a 57 on the first day of play, gave them a 13-under-par total and a three-shot cushion over Royal

Mid Surrey’s Matthew Pagett and Peter Brooks, who had rounds of 58 and 60. The victory for Rimmer, who claimed the £2,000 first prize playing in his third successive Grand Final, and Andrews, playing in his second, made up for their disappointment in the 2006 edition when they fell two short of winning. Qualifying rounds were held in seven regions of the UK and Ireland throughout 2007 and the winning pair from each region traveled to Bahrain as guests of Gulf Air to compete in the 36-hole final.

Above: Gulf Air International Pro-Captain Challenge Winners 2008, Brian Rimmer (left) and Neil Andrews Forum


Bahrain News TNT Express Bahrain facility awarded prestigious TAPA-A security our business practices. certification Over the last couple of TNT Express has been awarded a TAPA-A security certification for its Bahrain operations. The certification is the latest in TNT’s continued efforts to further improve its business operations within the Gulf.

TAPA – the Transported Asset Protection Association - is an association of professional high-tech companies promoting higher security standards in the international shipping and air cargo industry. Security of transported assets is a major customer concern and TAPA certification assures the customer of the security precautions adopted by the TNT as standard practise. TAPA certifications are awarded after stringent evaluation of facilities, ensuring that they comply with set global security standards. Grade A is awarded only to those facilities that meet the highest possible standard requirements. “TNT’s customer centric approach in all facets of its business is amply reflected in the TAPA-A certification,” said Andrew Watson, TNT’s Country Operations Manager, Bahrain. “This certification will further assure our customers that they are making a safe and prudent decision in choosing TNT Express as their carrier.” “We continuously endeavour to progress all aspects of 36 Forum

years, we have also achieved the OHSAS 18001 standard for occupational health and safety, ISO 9001 for operational excellence, ISO 14001 for environmental management and SA 8000 for social accountability,” said Ahmed Gamal, TNT’s Country Manager, Bahrain. “Adopting TAPA standards across our network in the region will greatly contribute to the extensive growth of our business in the global high tech market.” TNT delivers 4.1 million parcels, documents and pieces of freight a week to over 200 countries using its network of over 1,200 depots, hubs and sortation centres. The division operates over 23,400 road vehicles and 44 aircraft and has the biggest door-to-door air and road express delivery infrastructure in Europe. TNT’s express division employs over 74,000 staff worldwide. It is the first organisation to have achieved global recognition as an Investor in People. The division reported revenue of •6.01 billion in 2006. The operating income was •580 million, up 21.8 % compared to 2005.

And Finally From The Book of Alternative Records, home to the collection of weird, crazy, incredible and unusual feats of dexterity, endurance, strength and agility I’ve learnt some pretty obscure facts. If you’re into running backwards, collecting airsickness bags, balancing things on your chin or eating the most baked beans in a minute, or any of thousands of other unusual records, this is the right place to be. On the website of the same name you will find a selection of world records featured in the book, including “The longest gum wrapper chain” and “The longest strawberry cake”, and you have the opportunity to become a world record holder yourself. If you have a fresh idea for a world record and you wish to attempt it, the publishers ask you to contact them with further details and ask for guidelines – before you go off and get crazy. The book is not only an amazing compendium of achievable records; it profiles many recordholding greats, such as John Evans (Head Balancing multi-record holder), Dean Gould (Egg Balancing, beer mat flipping and coin snatching), Peter Dowdeswell (Eating and drinking records) and Paddy Doyle (strength and endurance records) amongst others.

Did you know, for example, that there is a new world record for completing the Rubik’s Cube (remember them?) of 9.18 seconds and just recently, on the 18th March 2008, a lady from Liechtenstein finished the Rome Marathon in 4hrs 42minutes and 39seconds while running backwards! Within the incredibly pointless list, you might learn that 1067 people came together in Switzerland in May 2006 all dressed up as Pippi Longstocking. Staying with feet for a moment or more correctly a foot, Alastair Galpin from New Zealand wore 74 socks on one foot at Design To Wear in Auckland, New Zealand, on 7 November 2006. In case you’re thinking about joining the list of obscure reord holders, keep in mind that there are some rules. The publishers will not, for example, publish the record for drinking the most beer in 24 hours but they do lay down the odd challenge. Anyone fancy trying to beat the distance record for flicking a pea from a table?

BBBForum Spring 2008  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

BBBForum Spring 2008  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum