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BBBF - Special Interest Groups SIG - Security Since our last update the world and Bahrain have been rocked with the news of a number of incidents in countries such as: Afghanistan The increase in attacks on humanitarian organisations and an attack on the Indian Embassy; India Mumbai Combined Arms Operation and its impact on India / Pakistan relations; Thailand The airport siege where approximately 100,000 passengers were stranded; Israel – Gaza Strip Conflict and the resulting demonstrations around the World; Bahrain An alleged terror plot and the subsequent arrests. So lots of issues arising from just a snapshot of the past four months of which, made for three very interesting meetings. The continuation of combining both the BBBF SIG(S) & OSAC format seems to be working well as the depth of knowledge of those attending certainly enhances the subject matter



with personal experience and real scenarios being able to be discussed. Meetings were held at the Intercontinental Regency Hotel, Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Marriott Executive Apartments by kind permission of their respective General Managers. Guest speakers included:


• Julia Cloutier Canadian Embassy KSA Security Issues • Lt. Jerry Rivera STAAT Hotel Vulnerability Assessments • James McDonald GM Intercontinental Regency Threat Perception • Brig. Raymond Low National Resiliency Plan • SAC Mark Russ NCIS, Maritime Domain Awareness Our collective thanks go out to all these speakers for the time taken to prepare, the passing on of their valuable experience, knowledge and the sharing with us of the lessons learnt. Each meeting has seen in excess of 40 people attending from both

the business, commercial and security fields of which it is hoped that everyone attending has found something of some use and to be able to take away that something so as to use in their day-to-day working environments. I am also glad to report the forming of a “Hotel Group” with the objective of improving the communications between the differing Security Managers and to look at ways to enhance Hotel Security going forward whilst learning lessons from the shocking recent past. The meeting took place at the Diplomat Radisson Residence and Spa by kind permission of the GM Rick Erdos. This was another

well attended meeting which brought both GM’s and Security Managers from a number of 5* Hotels together to meet with other experts from both the Security and Commercial fraternities from within Bahrain and the Region. The guest speaker was Andrew (Andy) Williams, the Regional Security Director UKI, Middle East, Africa and Continental Europe Marriott Hotels International. Andy is known to the combined group as he was kind enough to give us a presentation on the Islamabad Marriot bombing, on his last visit, ensuring that we got the facts whilst at the same time quashing the speculation. One area that Andy did touch base on was Business Continuity Planning

/ Relocation and where does the hotel property and perspective “fit in” within your planning process. This will be something that we plan to look further at in the coming months leading up to the conference in June where we intend to have the subject on the agenda - watch this space. There is no doubt that the informal discussion format for this particular meeting was a good approach as it encouraged and got excellent value from those attending as well as the speaker. It was also good to see, as in all our meetings, some real time networking opportunities being taken advantage of with contact details being passed on for future development.

actually be found in the BBBF Membership Directory or from the SIG. Other subject matter covered in our past meetings have included Maritime Piracy and possible attacks on facilities either water based or bordering costal areas, Corruption in awarding contracts, visas and permits, Loss of jobs due to the Financial Crisis and the impact that it is having on the economy and of course the Internet Clamps which has certainly impacted on the readers letter pages in the local media. May I just take a few words to remind you of the OSAC ME Conference which is being held in Bahrain at the

Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Spa and at the Bahrain International Circuit in June. The BBBF SIG (S) will be taking part by way of a membership drive and assistance to the conference setup, administration and assistance to presentations. We have already had interest in Firms wanting to sponsor the conference by way of pledging funds so as to set up commercial stands and to participate in the programme of events. The agenda will cover a number of topical subjects with experts from around the world as well as the Region, and of course Bahrain. Further information is available from Tony Palys at

please visit the following site and find out all about Locate: travelling-and-livingoverseas/Locate/

I briefly touched on relocation as part of your Business Continuity Planning above and would ask you the question: “are you and your family registered with the Embassy?” My second question is: “If not, why not?”

Finally as we have reported in the past the Guards Training School (GTS) goes from strength to strength, here in Bahrain, as part and parcel of the regulating by law of the private security activities such as manned guarding but do they now have a competitor in the shape of the New Federal Guarding Industry Regulations in the UAE. So by way of a look forward the BBBF SIG (S) will be holding an evening get together in March at the British Club with a date to be confirmed, with an invitation to the Director of the GTS, Andrew D Stephenson, to come along to give us an update on where the GTS is at present and an outlook / overview on the future not only in Bahrain but also the GCC.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be registered with the Embassy as it will be too late if ever the time arises that an evacuation of nationals has to take place. This is by no way a warning of bad times ahead but as a really good bit of advice. So

As mentioned in my last few articles we are always looking for speakers and facilities to visit so please do not hesitate to contact Tony Palys at to confirm and also if you have any questions on anything covered within this article.

Subject matter for our combined meetings has once again centered on areas of crime related subjects such as Drugs, Car Jacking in KSA and Road Rage of which I reported on briefly in the autumn edition. It is key that companies must include such topics in their orientation programmes, not to the point of scaring away new employees, but to ensure that they are given the knowledge to know what to do in such incidents. Help for such orientations can Forum


Standard Chartered launches its newly renovated Priority Banking Centre at Manama main branch Standard Chartered Bank, launched its newly renovated Priority Banking Centre in February. Designed specifically for those who appreciate only the finest things in life, Priority Banking offers the very highest levels of personalised banking to match any status. The most private and luxurious settings prepared specially for Priority Customers make up the perfect sanctuary in which to conduct financial transactions and discuss financial needs. Priority Banking services give high net-worth individuals the privileges of exclusive banking areas, together with a personal relationship manager and a host of valueadded benefits. The Priority Banking Centre was officially inaugurated by His Excellency Dr Majeed Al Alawi, Labour Minister, Jonathan Morris, Chief Executive Officer, and B. Chandrasekhar, Regional Head of Consumer Banking. Jonathan Morris, Chief Executive Officer said, “Market-leading consumer banking initiatives focused on innovative distribution channels are a fundamental part of Standard Chartered’s vision of becoming the bank of choice. The launch of our newly renovated dedicated

Priority Banking Centre reflects the growing worldwide trend in retail banking to create friendlier, more accessible and functional environments in which to bank. Our new Priority Banking Centre will provide greater convenience and significantly improve the whole service experience for our Priority Banking customers. Priority Banking Centre is managed by a dedicated team of Customer Relationship Managers, who are highly experienced and trained in financial expertise to deliver prompt and timely attention of our customers banking needs. B. Chandrasekhar, Regional Head of Consumer Banking Bahrain, NGL & Oman added, “Our new look at Priority Banking Centre is timely, as it is in line with our new branch concept aimed to provide a cozy and conducive banking environment. We firmly believe that offering innovative services, and providing easy and convenient banking access for our customers, makes us stand out from other competitors in the region. We’ve worked to identify strategic locations to enhance our branch and ATM locations, to ensure we

B Chandrasekhar Regional Head of Consumer Banking, Jonathan Morris Chief Executive Officer Bahrain, His Excellency Dr Majeed Al Alawi Minister of Labour, William Kabalan Head Wealth Management are where our customers need us to be, when they need us.” Standard Chartered, the oldest bank in Bahrain has been here since 1920, where it is embedded as the fabric of the country’s community. Today, we have grown to the strength size of 531 employees with 6 branch networks in Bahrain. Globally, the Standard Chartered Group has a network of over 1750 branches in over 70 countries and employs about 75,000 people. Standard Chartered’s key brand promise is clear and simple, we believe in establishing ourselves as our customers’ Right Partner in their banking and financial

needs. We aim to offer integrated product and services that allows customers to live up to their aspiration. Therefore, Standard Chartered is built on our bank wide “Right Partner” experience platform. The Priority Banking Centre hours are from 7:30am to 3:00pm on all working days, Sunday through to Thursday, the centre will allow Priority Banking customers access to a full range of services including cash transactions, account transfers, and subsidiary account openings. For further information on Standard Chartered Priority Banking, please contact the nearest Standard Chartered Branch or call 1720 9688.

Standard Chartered Team Energized to Deliver Excellent Service Standard Chartered Bank recently rolled out service quality training for all front and back office staff. The training session which was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel was attended by more than 100 staff. During the training, Jonathan 10 Forum

Morris, CEO Bahrain, presented the opening remark followed by significant points from B. Chandrasekhar, Head of Consumer Banking, and Shalini Vaz, Head of Outserve & Service Quality on service behaviors expected out of each one of

our staff to change and deliver positive experience for our customers. With staff all energized, we would further strengthen ourselves as our customers Right Partner for their banking and financial needs. The highly interactive and

fun session was filled with exciting roles plays and quizzes while encompassing modules on how to achieve service excellence. The session also had a guest speaker from Ritz Carlton who presented on Guest Engagement.

Financial News BMI Bank and Geant Hypermarket unveil new cobranded credit card Bahrain based BMI Bank (BMI) and Geant Hypermarket recently unveiled their new co-branded credit card - La Carte - that offers customers a range of benefits including a loyalty programme with rewards, low monthly interest rate, no annual fees, competitive rates on foreign spend as well as a 50 day interest free period on all retail purchases with exclusive discounts and special offers. Unveiling the new card, Andrew Bainbridge, Chief Executive Officer of BMI said: “I am delighted to unveil our cobranded credit card in partnership with Geant, a hugely successful hypermarket in Bahrain with whom we share a strategic relationship. La Carte will add genuine value to our cardholders. La Carte has what we believe to be the

strongest credit card loyalty program in Bahrain. With the equivalent of 2% value back on customer spend in Geant, Last Chance and Le Marche, we are able to give something back to our customers by reducing the ongoing real costs of their everyday purchases. La Carte complements our existing cards, which include Classic and Gold cards, as well as Sapphire and Diners Club cards for our premier and corporate clients.” In addition to quick checkout during busy periods through dedicated cash counters at Geant, La Carte card holder’s will also receive exclusive benefits including a 100% cash withdrawal limit benefit as well as world wide acceptance in 24 million retail stores and 5 million ATMs. “Customers can collect their vouchers at the La Carte

Customer Service desk that has been specially set-up in the Geant Hypermarket in Bahrain Mall and can use these vouchers to buy anything from groceries to electronics at Geant Hypermarket, Le Marche and Last Chance Supermarkets. Customers can also look forward to special offers and discount exclusively for La Carte Credit Card holders from time to time”,

commented Yvan Baba, Manager of Geant Bahrain. “To top it all, the card comes loaded with the La Carte loyalty points programme which rewards customers with 2 La Carte points for every BD 1 that they spend using their card at Geant, Le Marche or Last Chance supermarkets and 1 La Carte point for every BD 1 that they spend anywhere else”, he concluded.

Vision 3 Alliance Holds Inaugural Board Meeting Vision 3, the strategic alliance formed by a trio of Middle Eastern banks, Gulf Finance House, Ithmaar Bank and Abu Dhabi Investment House announced in January the make up of its Board at their inaugural meeting. Board Members include: Esam Janahi; Imad Nesnas; Rashad Janahi; Mohamed Khalil Al Sayed. The primary goal of Vision 3 is to create value through the creation of tailored Islamic financial institutions that inspire innovation and foster visionary solutions to the long term challenges faced by a variety of sectors. To this end, Vision 3 has already announced the creation of 12 Forum

InfraCapital, the GCC’s first investment bank specialising in the provision of tailored infrastructure development and finance; AgriCap, a new investment vehicle focused entirely on serving agricultural ventures and communities and Hospitality Development Fund (HDF), established to nurture and support opportunities across the global hospitality sector. As Chairman of Vision 3, Esam Janahi (above) will play a leading role in the establishment of a strong team of managers and consultants with a range of specialist credentials. With new products due to be announced in 2009, he will

lead moves to identify unique investment opportunities throughout the MENASA region and beyond. Commenting on the announcement, the newly appointed Chairman, Esam Janahi, said, “Vision 3 alliance members have spent a lifetime in the successful identification of lucrative investment opportunities others have often failed to fully appreciate. The experience we share across a variety of sectors and geographies counselled the need for a more systematic approach to specialist investment. Vision 3 will deliver intelligent, tailored finance

to some of the world’s leading industrial thinkers. We will achieve this through a tireless approach to understanding the demands on different sectors, the geographies they inhabit and the practical minutiae of visionary projects we service. We’re proud to be playing a role in the development of ideas and solutions that will benefit people and communities the world over.”

Financial News Citibank & Sun Life Financial Host Exclusive Client Seminar on 2009 Investment Outlook

Veritas establish Bahrain operation

Citibank N.A. and Sun Life Financial hosted a joint seminar on the 2009 investment outlook and scenarios available for investors.

BBBF Member, Premal Patel writes to tell us, “Veritas Investments WLL has now launched. We are a regional business (headquartered in The Kingdom of Bahrain and registered in the UK) with two aims – revenue growth and profit maximization for our clients and partners. This is why we embrace the term ‘investment’ and truly believe that your time, products, services, funds and ability to serve customers effectively are an investment in building an organisation’s future shareholder, customer and employee value.”

“Citibank has always brought significant opportunities to its client base spanning across a vast array of investment products,” said Mr Navneet Kampani, Head of Wealth Management at Citibank Bahrain. “More specifically, the range of available investment offerings remains very competitive in this market place.” Mark Rogers, Senior Vice President and Director of International Sales at Sun Life Financials stated, “The recent volatility in the markets should not deter individuals from sticking with their long term plans. They

may want to stay invested to fulfill those plans.” “Depending on how you choose to look at it, 2009 could either offer a plethora of opportunities or be rife with economic challenges. To capitalize on the opportunities and tackle the challenges during this year, investors need to stick to an investment strategy based on their long-term goals and risk profile.” Citi has been in the Middle East for nearly 50 years and currently offers consumerbanking services in Bahrain, UAE and Egypt. In the Kingdom of Bahrain alone, Citibank, the consumer banking arm of Citi, has had a presence for the past 18 years, and is expanding its major operations within the country.

Citibank also offers Wealth Management services to key exclusive clients in Bahrain. The Citigold account is distinctive and designed with special products and services to provide an exceptional banking experience. Citigold members in Bahrain enjoy key privileges which are: Citigold Global access, Seminar & Special Events, World Class Research and Market Update, Dedicated Relationship Manager, Dedicated Service Desk & Teller Counter and Free* Ultimate Platinum Credit Card. They also receive quality Investment & Insurance products such as structured notes, fixed income securities, mutual funds, hedge funds, multimanager funds and unitlinked insurance Plans.

“Our core business disciplines are: Strategic Business Consultancy; Communications; Lifestyle, Sponsorships and Events; People and Property Investments.” he continues.

Heritage Insurance Management launch in Bahrain The establishment of HIMB represents the expansion of the Guernsey based Heritage Group into the Middle East. Captive insurance, as it is commonly known, provides the ability for corporate bodies to effectively establish their own insurance subsidiaries, through which to buy their insurances. The captive can then be used to generate surpluses through underwriting performance, transferring the expense of insurance premiums into a profit or surplus for the parent company. HIMB offers clients the ability to establish and manage these subsidiary companies. Shaun Brook spoke at the launch, explaining that, “HIMB will work with 14 Forum

companies in the region to develop a more sophisticated approach to managing and financing risk, which at the same time enables companies to retain their capital locally. To achieve this, my colleagues and I are working closely with local brokers, their clients and underwriters to satisfy the increasing demand for these types of structures. Ahmed Al-Bassam, Director of Licensing & Policy at the CBB said, “We perceive HIMB to contribute in enhancing the increase in insurance risk culture, awareness and management within the region.” Stephen May added, “This is a major step in Heritage’s growth plans for the GCC. We

have spent the past 18 months discussing opportunities afforded by captives and other risk financing structures with companies in the region. With the development of a world class regulatory framework in Bahrain and in other states such as Dubai and Qatar, the benefits of domiciling these

structures locally is now an extremely attractive proposition for many of our clients. We are in the process of securing local and international expertise to support this expansion and will be making further announcements regarding our licence applications in Dubai and Qatar shortly.

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 opened 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.

Air Industry News Gulf Air improves services to Frequent Flyer Programme members National carrier Gulf Air’s popular online booking engine that has won the praise of online customers for its enhanced features and greater functionality, has added another facility for its loyal Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) members. FFP members can now redeem their earned miles at any time instantly through The new facility allows FFP members to check availability and costs involved in terms of miles and money for taxes and surcharges while making their redemption bookings for Gulf Air flights. “Gulf Air constantly strives to enhance the services it offers to customers,” says Gulf Air Chief Strategy Officer Tero Taskila. “This online redemption facility is one

more step towards getting closer to understanding and fulfilling our customer needs, especially our frequent flyers, and making their travel experience as smooth and seamless as possible.” Members can book Economy, Business and First Class redemptions for Gulf Air flights online, and even have a mix in their journey, i.e., travel out in Economy and back in Business Class. As soon as the miles have been deducted from the member’s account, an eticket is sent to the their email address. In addition, there are no last minute quick redemption charges when booking online. “Redeeming Frequent flyer miles has never been easier,” adds Gulf Air Director of

Six bidders shortlisted in Oman According to the Times of Oman, the Oman Ministry of Transport and Communications has shortlisted six firms, including global construction company Bechtel, France’s Vinci and India’s Larsen & Toubro for a deal to build a $1.4 billion airport terminal. Saudi Binladen Group, Athensbased Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Joannou & Paraskevaides, were also prequalified for the Muscat International Airport deal, the official said, adding that last day of bidding would be April 9. According to Engineer Saeed Khamis Al Zadjali, acting deputy CEO of Oman Airports Management 16 Forum

Company, a number of improvement projects have been initiated to deliver additional capacity to meet the expected increase in passenger traffic, especially in the passenger processing areas. “This is to ensure that passengers using the airport can enjoy a comfortable and convenient experience as they arrive, depart or transfer through the airport,” Zadjali told the newspaper. The low bidder is a consortium of the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting Company and India’s Larsen & Toubro,” the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported last week. “We have been qualified for the terminal

Customer Services, Mrs. Ruth Birkin. “Now it’s simple, convenient and bookings can be made instantly anytime, anywhere.” “As we continue to enhance our services through the year our FFP members can look forward to other facilities such as Top Up miles purchase, upgrades and redemptions on partner airlines through this booking engine,” concludes Mrs. Birkin. Gulf Air launched its new FFP website in April 2008. Ever since then, it has become an instant hit due to the several enhanced features it offers. For instance, members can nominate up to eight of their family members online and make changes to any four of those in a year, all online instead of through a paper application; they can also

make claims for missing miles from both Gulf Air and partners online, reducing the need to attach copies of tickets and boarding cards, as in the past. Members can enjoy the new mileage calculator, where they can quickly find out the number of miles they can earn or need to redeem for specific flights, based on a one way activity. They can also get a snapshot of their travel plans, i.e., they can see details of flights they have booked but have yet to fly.

building project and we are now in the process of bidding for the job,” said Zahi Saba, project manager of CCC.

metres and connected to the existing terminal by a rail link. It is due to be completed by 2011.

Passenger traffic through Muscat International Airport, excluding those in transit, increased to about 3.2 million in 2008, up 18% from the previous year, media reports said early this month.

The airport, formerly known as Seeb International Airport, handles 4.5 million passengers a year, but will have capacity for 12 million passengers a year once the work is completed. Three additional phases could increase capacity to 48 million passengers a year.

The new project involves building the northern runway, taxiway system, aprons, roads, utility buildings and other civil works. Further packages will cover a terminal building, an air traffic control tower and ancillary buildings. The terminal will be built between the airport’s runways. It will have a floor area of 290,000 square

A team of Denmark’s Cowi and the local Larsen Architects & Consulting Engineers prepared the concept designs for the project. A JV of France’s Aeroports de Paris and Pakistan’s National Engineering Services Pakistan & Partners is the project manager.

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Air Industry News Explore the Middle East with the newest Star Alliance Airpass Airpass can contain between five and 10 coupons. Travel within the Middle East can be round trip, circle or openjaw in economy class and may last up to three months.

Travelling throughout the Middle East has never been easier than with the newly launched Star Alliance Middle East Airpass. The introduction of the alliance’s 12th fare product has been made possible following the joining of Egyptair in 2008, offering Star Alliance customers an extensive Middle East network covering 28 destinations in

14 countries - Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Air travel on these routes can be purchased with prices ranging from USD 110 to USD 210 per coupon, depending on the distance travelled. Each Middle East

“With the Middle East Airpass, we can provide our customers with more direct benefits from our vast network. No single airline, nor any other alliance, can offer such a great combination of international and domestic routes,” said Horst Findeisen, Vice President, Business Development at Star Alliance. The Star Alliance Middle East Airpass can be purchased by customers residing outside the Middle East in conjunction with an international round trip ticket or Round the World Fare to/ from/via the Middle East on any of the Star Alliance member carriers.

In addition to Egyptair, Air China, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United offer flights to the Middle East. Customers wishing to make travel arrangements using the various Star Alliance fare products can make use of the online tool to simplify the planning process. The Circle Fare and Airpass Calculator, available on the Star Alliance website at allows customers to plan their preferred routings at their convenience, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Once a valid itinerary for the desired trip has been created, it can be transmitted to one of the member carriers for ticketing or printed and taken to a travel agent.

Next generation merchandising tool due to launch in 2009 Sponsored by Oman Air, the second annual Sabre Airline Forum attracted more than 150 attendees who came to hear the latest industry trends and growth predictions, and get sneak previews of new products and solutions from Sabre. Topping the list of trends was “airline merchandising” and how airlines could maximise revenue through bundling or unbundling their products. “This is a significant area of focus for many airlines around the world. Some airlines choose to unbundle the base fare, giving passengers the ability to pay for services they want such as seat-selection, while others are taking a bundled approach, creating a 18 Forum

product or service attributes, varying the total price accordingly. Through Sabre’s new solution, agents and consumers will now be able to choose from a list of products and services they wish to purchase.

tiered family of fares with bundled services,” said Daniel Naoumovitch, CEO of Sabre Travel Network Middle East. In keeping with this trend, Sabre unveiled a nextgeneration merchandising tool to help travel agents and consumers shop and book travel content in an entirely

new way that also fits with how airlines are bundling and unbundling their service offerings. When booking travel, Sabre’s Attribute Based Shopping takes agents and consumers beyond the standard screen showing various airfare options, with the ability to include or exclude certain

Sabre’s Attribute Based Shopping allows shoppers to easily compare travel options, with visibility to the total price,” said Naoumovitch. “This will make it easier for the shopper to identify and select the best travel options, considering the optional charges that come with bundling or unbundling fares.” Sabre’s new Attribute Based Shopping is due to launch in 2009.

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IT and Telecommunications Condor Technology demonstrates Prysmian’s Blown Fiber Optic Technology Condor Technology, a leading designer, provider and implementer of new ICT technology, recently conducted demonstrations of the Prysmian Communications Cables and Systems UK, Blown Fiber Optic System to service providers, contractors and other businesses. Prysmian has partnered with Condor Technology to be a provider of this technology in Bahrain and the rest of the Middle East. “Blown fiber technology is fast making a name for itself as a flexible, cost-effective solution to preparing networks for expansion,” said Ian Plamondon, Chief Technical Officer at Condor Technology. “It’s long been a standard in Europe and has gained widespread acceptance in the United States. Simply in terms of its broadband capacity, fiber is the preferred medium for Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Business (FTTB) bandwidth-intensive services. These services are numerous and diverse, and

Above L to R: Alan Horne (Director General of the TRA), Fred Donnelly (CEO of Condor), Ian Plamondon (CTO of Condor), Ralph Sutehall (Principal Installation & Applications Engineer of Prysmian in the UK), David Wales (General Manager Operations of Condor)

are constantly growing more so. They include video-ondemand, high-definition TV, additional interactive services, business services such as Application Service Providers, IT outsourcing, virtual business networks, personal services, working and learning applications, peer-to-peer applications, and customer-generated content. Five years ago, some of these applications didn’t exist. You can be sure

that five years from now, applications that currently aren’t even a whisper will be the talk of everyone.” Prysmian’s blown fiber system enables optical fibers to be deployed on demand, thereby significantly reducing initial capital spending. Its advantages include reduced life-cycle costs and the ability to deploy capacity on demand, two primary issues for communications service

providers, networks and facilities managers. There are many other advantages for using blown fiber. First, it greatly simplifies network development, requiring less expertise on the part of installers and maintenance technicians. It’s a lot faster than other methods, too. Blown fiber can cover hundred of meters in a matter of minutes. And instead of having numerous installation crew members standing around while equipment is set up – as is the case with conventional installation – only one person at each end of a blown fiber run is necessary. It has been estimated that network upgrades with additional fiber could potentially be 12 times faster and cost a tenth of conventional methods. Condor Technology is constantly seeking ways to provide the latest end-to-end ICT network technology to its customers to allow them to achieve the most flexible and cost-effective solutions for their situation, while at the same time, maintaining the highest levels of reliability and efficiency.

Introduction of VLF Technology for Cable testing As a part of A. A. Bin Hindi Special Projects Division’s commitment to provide a high quality after sales service, the company recently held an informative seminar on VLF technology, Tan Delta and PD testing of cables for fault location and condition assessment in cooperation with HV Diagnostics (Switzerland). They conducted live demonstrations at various end users sites in Bahrain such as EWA & others. 20 Forum

The seminar was held at the Mercure Grand Hotel in Seef area and was attended by delegates & technical experts from the Electricity & Water Authority, ALBA, BAPCO, Bahrain Defense Force, GPIC and various other electrical contractors in the region. The seminar began with an introduction about A. A. Bin Hindi Special Projects Division products & services from Test Measuring & Calibration, and Power

Quality Management (PQM) equipment, delivered by Mr. Abdul Rahman Mastan, A. A. Bin Hindi Special Projects Division’s General Manager. This was followed by a technical presentation

regarding systems for cable testing applications by HV Diagnostics MENA Area Manager, Mr. Hussam Al Sharkawi & International Sales Director, Mr. Sean, and concluded with a question & answer session.



EGovernment Authority Leading the way to eGovernance in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 E-Government Authority (EGA) is successfully driving towards achieving its strategic goal of providing the community a faster and easier access to government services through modern electronic channels in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 (a comprehensive economic vision which promises to provide a better life for all Bahrainis) the EGovernment Authority has been playing a vital role in promoting e-governance in the Kingdom. In one year of operation the EGovernment authority has unveiled numerous eservices for the citizens, residents, visitors and businesses to enhance the service delivery mechanism. Acknowledging the importance of technology in today’s digital era the eGovernment Authority has undertaken a comprehensive programme to implement e-services throughout the nation. As part of the programme, EGA launched a number of major projects in 2008, including 67 integrated end to end online services. The authority successfully organised the Bahrain international eGovernment forum and the eGovernment excellence award and the new eGovernment portal address to propel the Kingdom to a leadership position in e-governance regionally and internationally. The strategy set by EGA will eventually deliver 167 governmental services in the Kingdom. 22 Forum

brought together several Bahrain Government entities and private companies under one umbrella (Bahrain Pavilion) to showcase their experience and achievements. Additionally, the Authority played a vital role in positioning the Kingdom as one of the regional leaders by organising the Bahrain International EGovernment Forum in May this year, assembling various GCC and international experts to discuss and debate the key issues and future directions in EGovernment.

Mohammed Al Qaed, Chief executive officer of eGovernment Authority

To encourage the use of the online Government services the EGA implemented more than 10 nationwide campaigns in 2008 to educate and motivate the community on the advantages. The EGA also conducted what will become an annual customer satisfaction survey to understand the needs of the public, based on which the new, easier and simpler portal address was identified. Besides changing the name of the e-Government portal address, the EGA further enhanced the content and structure of the portal and upgraded it with new additional features. To ensure Bahrain’s leading edge excellence in the field of eGovernance, EGA participated in various regional and international events in 2008 including GITEX Dubai where EGA

In a revolutionary step towards improving communication within the Kingdom of Bahrain, the EGovernment Authority in collaboration with other Government ministries is in the process of developing the Kingdoms first National Contact Centre which is scheduled to be launched by mid 2009. The eGovernment’s vision is to create a modern, worldclass centre which will contribute to the aspirations of Bahrain’s Vision 2030 by creating more than 200 jobs for Bahrainis, particularly women, besides diversifying the Kingdoms economy and making it more serviceoriented. The 24/7 contact centre once operational will support all Government departments in providing various services to the community. Gaining a leading edge over neighboring countries, the eGovernment Authority recently won the Arab Golden Chip Award during the ICT week held in Lebanon. The eGovernment portal was awarded the best online application in the Government sector against other shortlisted nations including Syria and the UAE. The EGovernment Authority continues its role as one of the major players in assisting the Government to achieve its aspirations for Vision 2030 by providing easier and quicker government services to all Bahrainis and thus enhancing their life styles. As part of the plans for the coming year, EGovernment Authority will reach out to more and more people to ensure effective delivery of applicable services to all irrespective of their education, nationality, age and income. In line with other countries, there are those in the Kingdom who remain unfamiliar with completing online transactions, and the EGA plans to establish kiosks at different locations in Bahrain to demonstrate and facilitate the use of these services. By end of 2009, the Government will provide integrated services via other channels as well, including web, mobile devices and the Contact Centre thus giving citizens and residents multiple choices in completing necessary transactions with speed and in comfort. The EGovernment Authority is working around the clock to ensure that no matter where you live in the Kingdom; there will be a convenient method available for you to interact with Government departments saving time and effort.

BSB Students attend Model United Nations

The British School of Bahrain (BSB) would like to thank the BBBF’s members for their kind donation which was used to buy blazers for the students who attended the Mediterranean Model United Nations. (MEDIMUN) Particular thanks goes to AXA Insurance who provided the students and staff with travel insurance free of charge. The four day MEDIMUN conference, held in Cyprus, in early January was a hugh success with our students

making significant contributions to some of the final resolutions. The BSB was represented by a delegation of 12 Students

from Years 10, 11 and 12. During the course of the conference, our Students grew in confidence with public speaking and

reasoned debate and came away with a better understanding of some of the complex issues the world is facing today.



Risk Management - A critical role

The economic crisis that is currently affecting Bahrain, the wider GCC region and the world economy is a complex global problem with no easy solutions. However, most experts believe that a better understanding and management of risk through improved corporate governance, increased transparency and greater global coordination has a major par t to play if confidence is to be restored and maintained in the long term. Peter Griffiths, a longtime BBBF member and a partner with the Kingdom’s leading professional services firm, Ernst & Young, shares some of his personal thoughts with our members. What are the major risks facing the Bahraini – or indeed the global economy? The credit crunch is the most obvious current risk to the global economy. However, it is vital that decision makers remain aware of a range of other risks, including regulatory and compliance issues; the deepening recession – particularly in the United States and Western Europe – which is eroding consumer confidence; radical greening and concerted government environmental regulation; 26 Forum

new competition, particularly from emerging economies; cost cutting; the attraction and retention of talent; making the right alliances and executing the right transactions; the possibility of a business model suddenly becoming redundant; and the risk of reputational damage – not only to firms but to entire industries. Not all of these risks will affect all companies in Bahrain in the same way – but it is right to predict that most will have some effect on many organisations in Bahrain. What should companies be doing to minimise the disruption caused by the economic crisis? It is crucial that companies consider the ways in which the economic downturn is going to affect their business. This can be done in a number of ways but one way to start is to conduct a risk and opportunities assessment and then carefully consider the conclusions reached as a result. On the positive side, companies might want to develop plans to grow the business through acquisition, sales growth and earnings improvement. At the same time, they need to consider planned corporate governance changes including (but not limited to) the tightening of internal controls, increased

frequency of board meetings, improving risk management, and establishing credit crunch ‘special projects’ teams. When evaluating the current financial health of the business, take care to balance prudence and optimism. It is certainly worth considering taking this opportunity to make the business fitter for the longer term. Finally, take steps to manage cash more tightly and improve cash flow forecasting. Why does risk management have such an important role to play? What we have seen in Western Europe and the United States – and perhaps in Dubai and Bahrain – is that some companies have found it very difficult to identify and manage risk. In some cases, even very senior management figures did not have a sufficiently firm understanding of the risks their companies were being exposed to by increasingly complicated financial transactions. One lesson that everyone must learn is that risk - any risk – has to be carefully considered in terms of its impact on the sustainability of the business model. There are now risks – such as compensation risk – which were very rarely measured as part of the risk

universe. Already, the risk universe is changing - the issue of whether bonuses should be linked to immediate, short-term objectives is already under the spotlight. The interplay of various risk dimensions such as market, credit and liquidity risk should also be considered. Directors must determine their priority risks; assess the likelihood that such risks will come to pass; understand the implications if they do; and identify appropriate mitigation strategies. Will confidence return to markets? Investor confidence in global capital markets has been very fragile due to the ongoing financial credit crisis. Once shaken, investor confidence and trust can be difficult to restore. However, a greater appreciation of risk – allied with a strengthening of global regulation and compliance – will allow companies to determine a clearer view of both the opportunities and the threats posed in any given situation. In the immediate short-term, only the brave and the liquid will be in a position to take advantage. However, they will inject confidence and liquidity back into to market, allowing others to join the feeding frenzy – and confidence will grow as a result.

From The Chair Welcome to the spring edition of the BBBF magazine. The year seems to have got off to a fast pace with many businesses playing “catch up� after a slow holiday packed end of 2008. No doubt everyone will be working hard, throughout 2009, as the global recession continues to impact the interdependent petrochemical dominated economies of the GCC. The current climate, albeit considerably more somber than 12 months ago, is a very opportune time to strengthen relationships and establish new business networks and contacts. At the end of January 2009, Rebecca Eriksson

resigned from her position as Head of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) at the British Embassy, to pursue business opportunities in the Bahrain private sector. I would like to thank Rebecca for her leadership and tremendous contribution to the BBBF over the last five years. We wish Rebecca all the very best and endless success in the future. Her place as Head of UKTI and place on the BBBF Committee will be taken by Rebecca Topping, who is a familiar face within Bahrain business circles and a keen supporter of the BBBF. We congratulate Rebecca on her new position and look forward to working closely with her.

Contents Standard Chartered Bank and Gulf Air, our corporate sponsors, who continue to be a great source of financial support and generous encouragement. Their unwavering support allows us the financial security to increase the number of initiatives and quality of events we undertake. Thanks are also due to AXA Insurance - please see page 4 for details. We hope that you enjoy this edition and look forward to seeing you, and your guests, at the forthcoming BBBF functions - see Page 3 for details.

Letter from H.M. Ambassador ............ p3 Welcome to new members .................. p4 Member Benefits ............. p6 Application Form .............. p7 Security SIG ..................... p8 News from our Platinum Sponsor .......... p10 Financial News ............... p12 Air industry News .......... p14 IT & Telecoms ................ p18 EGovernment ................. p22 BSB at MEDIMUN .......... p23 Risk Management .......... p26 Mens Health ................... p28 Chelsea Pensioners ...... p30 News from the Eastern Province ........... p32 Hotel News ..................... p34 Bahrain News ................. p38 And Finally ...................... p48 Registration number SBBB 492

A special mention also to Austin Rudman

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 Topping Mob: 3975-0496

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



Mens Health For this issue of BBBForum magazine I have summarised Dr Sanjay Gupta’s Article in the latest issue of Family Health magazine. - Rob Grey, Director of Communications & development at American Mission Hospital. How many men would like to be 100? Who would not! But perhaps the more important thing is to have good quality of life. Who would like to live bedridden, depending on others for feeding, cleaning and other activities of daily living?

Men are more prone to: • Die from heart disease • Shorter average expectation of life • Higher rates of injury from accidents, including industrial and motor • Higher suicide rates • Higher rates of alcohol abuse. Have you thought about discussing any of these with your Doctor?

Benefits of early detection of increased cholesterol

• • •

Elevated LDL cholesterol (the bad one) or low HDL cholesterol (the good one) increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

• While there are some things we cannot change – like our biological parents! Even our jobs or the place we live; there are many things that we can control. Several things work against men. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often. Some men define themselves by their work, adding stress. Some health conditions only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone. Many of the major health risks that men face – like colon cancer or heart disease - can be prevented with early diagnosis. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat, hence the importance of regular checkups.

Tobacco use Alcohol abuse Diet to reduce weight or cholesterol Exercise if you’re overweight Injury prevention: Using lap and shoulder belts while driving, using bicycle helmets, drink driving, household and recreational safety (poisoning, fire, hot water, drowning, firearms, CPR), fall prevention • Sexually transmitted disease risk reduction Depression screening and counseling

Benefits of early detection High blood pressure (over 140/90) can cause arterial disease (atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke and kidney failure. High blood pressure can cause diseases without any early warning symptoms. There is good evidence that treatment of high blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and kidney failure. The same applies to men with borderline blood pressure.

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Atherosclerosis can develop in adolescence and progress without any symptoms for many years. It leads to heart attack and stroke later in life. There is good evidence that lowering elevated or borderline LDL cholesterol and increasing low HDL is beneficial in heart attack prevention and in some cases stroke prevention in subjects with or without known atherosclerosis.

You will need to assess total calorie, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake as well as weight reduction and regular exercise. Benefits of early detection of Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus can cause atherosclerosis leading to heart attack, stroke, and compromise of arterial circulation to the legs and feet. Diabetes mellitus also can damage nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Diabetes mellitus commonly causes organ damage without symptoms until extensive damage is present. There is good evidence that

controlling hyperglycemia in diabetes with medications, diet, weight control, and regular exercise can slow the development of atherosclerosis, heart, eye, nerve, and kidney damage. The same methods can help prevent the development of diabetes mellitus, especially in adults at higher than normal risk. Colon cancer can be detected early by Stool occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, and Colonoscopy. These reduce colon cancer mortality by: 1. Identifying and removing polyps before they become cancerous 2. Increasing cancer cure rate by identifying early cancer at a treatable stage before the cancer has spread.

Recommended Check-Ups Routine examinations and screening tests Men 18 to 39 years old: • Blood pressure every 1–2 years • Height and weight • Checks your lipids (cholesterol etc) after age 35, or sooner if coronary risk factors are present • Fasting glucose if hypertension or hyperlipidemia is present Men 40 to 49 years old (in addition to the above ) • Consider screening for prostate and colon cancer if risk factor(s) present Men 50 to 64 years old (Includes tests above and) • Screening for colon cancer if aged 50 years and over or with risk factors • Consider screening for prostate cancer if aged 50 years or over

The purpose of screening for prostate cancers is to detect early, tiny cancers that are confined to the prostate gland. Early treatment of these malignancies can stop the growth, prevent the

spread, and possibly cure the cancer. On balance, men between 50 -70 are more likely to benefit from screening and early treatment.

Prevention contributes to a long and healthy life. So make sure you include regular checkups as part of your lifestyle as well as eating healthy, being active and managing stress.



Chelsea Pensioners Visit As members will be aware, three fine old soldiers with over 50 years of active service between them visited Bahrain between November 9th and November 14th as part of our annual fund raising effort in support of the Royal Chelsea Hospital and the Earl Haig fund. For Chelsea Pensioners, Charles Gilmore, James Wilson and George Streeter, this was their first visit to Bahrain and we arranged an activity packed week for them which included their attendance as guests of honour at the Poppy Ball on Thursday 13th November when Ivor Prestwood and his team at the Crowne Plaza did an excellent job looking after nearly 300 revellers.

attending to the more sombre responsibility of laying wreaths at Remembrance Services on Tuesday 11th November. The Poppy Ball raised BD2,462 and another BD400 was generously raised by the pupils of The British School of Bahrain (who held a nonuniform day). The BBA and BBBF Committees have agreed to distribute the funds equally to The Royal Hospital Fund (Chelsea) and The Earl Haig Fund (Scotland). We would like to extend a large thank you to all our sponsors for the Chelsea Pensioners week and the Poppy Ball. ‹ ‹

Dressed in their bright red Chelsea Hospital uniforms, Charles, James & George undertook visits to a number of other events and gatherings as well as

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‹ ‹



Gulf Air The Golden Tulip Hotel The British Club The British School of Bahrain Al Zayani Investments WLL Speedy Motors

Notes from the Eastern Province


BIC - F1 testing Cover Image: The BBBF were guests at the BIC during February and after a brief address from BBBF Chairman Austin Rudman and a talk from Martin Whittaker, the BIC CEO, they enjoyed a marvelous lunch in the Sakhir Tower. Whilst the remainder of the guests were taken on a tour of the Pit Lane, Senior Public Relations Executive, Mohamed Al Awadi took our photographer to a unique trackside position where he was able to obtain a few ‘exclusive’ shots of the F1 testing. 32 Forum

r e be t o m N ew nu n e on h ep el The British Business Association (BBA) – Eastern Province P.O.Box 1868, Oasis Gardens, AlKhobar 31952 Telephone: 03 882 5288 Ext 1651 Fax: 03 882 5384 E-mail: Website:

Allied Pickfords Advert



Hotel News New Developments for Gulf Hotel Group - Bahrain For 40 years the Gulf Hotel Bahrain has been providing the highest level of service to the people and their visitors of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and will continue to re-invest and transform the property to maintain its status at the top end of the Kingdom’s 5-star hotel market. This BD650,000 of the company capital will be invested in developing a 90 seat Mexican Restaurant.

completion date in 18 weeks. The hotel also finalised the renovation of the men’s health club, which opened in mid February. Present at today’s signing was Mr. Abdulla Al Khan, Chairman of World Décor, Mr. Aqeel Raees, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Hotels Group and Mr. Garfield Jones, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Hotels Group, Mr. Abdul Nabi Amini Director of Operations. From World Décor Mr. Girish Iddya – Marketing & Projects, Mr. Karpik V. – Project Engineer, Mr. Suresh Iddya – Contracts Manager

Gulf Hotels Group BSC owners and operators of the Gulf Hotel Bahrain announced today in the signing

ceremony, the investment of a further BD650,000 on the Mexican Restaurant of the Gulf Hotel in 2009.

VIP Guest for Golden Tulip

Crowne Plaza employees donate their blood

The General Manager of Golden Tulip Bahrain, Mr. Neman Abdallah personally greeted Mr. Loyrette upon his arrival. The President and Director of the Louvre Museum, Mr. Henri Loyrette, stayed at the Golden Tulip during his visit to Bahrain. His Majesty King Hamad received Mr. Loyrette to discuss an increase in the co-operation between Bahrain National Museum and the Louvre in a way to serve the cultural movement of both countries. 34 Forum

As part of Crowne Plaza Bahrain’s continuing commitment to the local community, employees took part in the first Blood Donation Campaign on Wednesday 20th August. 61 employees from different departments volunteered to give blood, and 42 were accepted. Representatives from Salmaniya Hospital assisted us in this initiative and set up 6 beds in the conference centre where employees could donate their blood. They oversaw the whole operation and looked after the well being of the employees, even offering advice when needed. They commented that they were impressed with the enthusiasm of Crowne Plaza Bahrain employees. The initiative was part of the hotels drive to show its dedication towards helping to build Bahrains community spirit, and was led by Ali Al Thawadi, Human Resources

The work commenced on 25 January with the expected

Manager, and Ivor E. Prestwood the newly appointed General Manager. Mr Ivor E.Prestwood, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Bahrain highlighted the importance of the initiative saying “This was an unbelievable achievement by the whole team at Crowne Plaza Bahrain. It’s a true demonstration of IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) values and shows that we really care about the

Bahrain community. This kind of contribution is critical to the local health care system in Bahrain.” The “Give a drop. Save a Life” campaign invited employees from all departments to take part, and witnessed a fantastic response. The next date is scheduled for the 8th March 2009 and we are hoping even more Crowne Plaza employees to take part this time.

Gulf Hotel Advert



Hotel News Historic InterContinental Al Regency Bahrain renovation unveiled

The hotel which has hosted presidents, world leaders, business tycoons and entertainers since opening in 1980 as one of the premier hotels in our nation’s capital, now announces a multiphased, multi-million dollar renovation to its 321 luxury guest rooms, suites and signature outlets.

The much anticipated renovation when completed will feature a sparkling lobby which will include a heightened sense of arrival, revamped and enhanced reception and concierge lounge with improved sightlines, modernised decor and more. The restaurants will present themselves in contemporary chic. The new restaurants will include a Steakhouse, Lebanese and Italian joints offering guests exotic cuisines by combining freshest ingredients and original flavors.

The make-over will add a fresh, contemporary look and feel to the guestrooms as well as all the public spaces. This transformation which will begin during the summer of 2009 is expected for completion at the end of the year.

With the conference group market in mind, the transformation of the hotel’s function rooms will include a complete refurbishment of the grand ballroom, break-out rooms and foyer areas. A delightful setting for all hotel function spaces will be

The InterContinental Regency Bahrain will be undertaking its largest and most comprehensive renovation ever, encompassing virtually every aspect of the hotel.

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completely transformed, offering the best in class for any events. This hotel will provide extensive meeting and convention space, and will be perfectly situated for both business and leisure functions

“Our staff are the hotel’s greatest asset with over 400 employees including a host of nationalities”. There’s a strong spirit of service and their commitment is frequently reflected in visitor comments and feedback.”

James P. McDonald, General Manager of InterContinental Bahrain explains that “this is one of the first internationally run chain hotels. For many years, the InterContinental Regency has been the premier location, everyone comes here. We want to build on that distinction, provide a futuristic renovation and take the InterContinental Regency forward. We’ll use our considerable experience and ability to regain our rightful position as the leading business hotel in what is undoubtedly the most central location in Bahrain.”

And finally, recuperation and relaxation will also play an important role at the InterContinental Regency Hotel. The ‘Regency Health Club’ will offer the finest cardio vascular and resistance machines, temperature controlled, relaxing “Free Style” pool for adults and infants, squash courts, modern ergonomic sun loungers, Technogym treadmills equipped with channel changer, LCD screens displaying the latest sporting action and full-service day offering the latest in massage and relaxation therapy.

New levels of personal training and fitness programmes now offered at Hasan Mansouri Group New BBBF Member Raona Williams is the Fitness Centre Manager and Trainer within Hasan Mansouri Group.

concentrated within the operations management of government health GP referral systems and intermediary care services of chronic conditions within British communities where she has held specific posts connected to the London Borough of Camden primary care trust and the London Borough of Lambeth primary care trust in England.

Raona’s primary profession has centered on health and leisure since she became a chartered sports physiotherapist after leaving a professional career as a biochemist in the 1990’s. After gaining extensive clinical experience in the British NHS as a physiotherapist, Raona then developed her career in the field of operations management within government public health and the private sector leisure industry. In addition she ensured her professional development was maintained by continuing her sports physiotherapy and fitness work within the private sector. She has benefited from travelling worldwide teaching and treating a wide range of different people including world class sporting individuals and teams such as British Olympic gold medallist, heptathlete Denise Lewis and current WBC Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye.

public sector environments in Britain, USA and Bermuda and Turkey. Private sector consultancy has involved working within hospitals, spas, dance companies, hotels, sports clubs, VIP private members clubs and mainstream gym and fitness environments worldwide. Her experience in the public sector has been

Raona brings to the Hasan Mansouri leisure outlets of The Country Club and Mansouri Mansions Hotel a wealth of fitness & leisure management experience and skills. In addition to providing a varied base of recreational activities and bespoke personal training, her professional approach, wide experience, management skills and diverse knowledge ensures these outlets work towards providing a high quality health and fitness based service.

Photo-op at the Diplomat Radisson

More than 150 clients and supporters of the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Residence and Spa attended an all executive party on Tuesday, 27th January. The island’s top publicationsnewspaper and magazine representatives were also present at the event. The get together was the hotel’s way of saying thank you to all of its loyal clients in 2008 as well as showing gratitude to all the members of the media that have combined efforts for maximum publicity for the hotel. National Hotels Company (NHC) GM Abdul Rahman Morshed was also present at the event.

Throughout her time in the UK, from a sports physiotherapy aspect she also maintained a locum outpatient physiotherapy clinic within Harley Street, London specialising in the conservative treatment of women’s health and lumbopelvic instability. As a leisure manager/consultant she has wide experience of working within private and Forum


Bahrain News Around the world New business venture for BMMI by bicycle The Marriott Executive Apartments Manama, Bahrain joins the project “Around the World by Bicycle”. 120.000 km through more than 100 countries in the five continents was the target, conducted by the young adventurer Pablo Garcia. His message is straight forward: “Peace and friendship among societies and different cultures, tradition and their way of living”. “Being the first Marriott brand property in Bahrain and the first time for Pablo to reach Bahrain, we apparently have the same vision to spread voice of peace to the world, and I am very glad to announce this collaboration,” said Marwan Haddad, Director of Sales at the Marriott Executive Apartments Manama Bahrain. Pablo Garcia who reached Bahrain on the 6th January is currently staying at the Marriott Executive Apartments Manama until 14 January 2009. As part of the expedition programs in Bahrain, Pablo has been visiting some places of interest and meeting Bahrainis for cultural study as well as symbolically spreading the peace message. “Traveling is a worth – living experience. I choose cycling because it’s a way of reaching every place’s heart and of its people. This is my story and I wish to share with you,” said Pablo Garcia.

BMMI announced the expansion of their Contract Services and Supply business in Africa. This follows the completion of a share purchase agreement with Compass Group Central Asia, Middle East and Africa (CAMEA), who specialise in the provision of integrated support services throughout the region. This investment has seen BMMI expanding their business activities into a further four African countries - Mali, Gabon, Ghana and Sudan - with future plans to investigate several other neighbouring regions. BMMI currently have a logistics operation in Djibouti, East Africa, which services governmental and overseas military operations. The new business venture branded Global Sourcing and Supply (GSS), is aimed at successfully providing a comprehensive range of remote site services, to commercial

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enterprises, governmental and NGO clients in developing markets. Operating in remote sites, defence and off-shore sectors GSS supplies its range of services to industries as diverse as mining, construction and oil and gas. Commenting on the deal, BMMI Chairman, Mr. Abdulla Buhindi said, “This agreement represents a major step forward in our strategy to forge new tactical alliances and business partnerships in order to expand the Group’s presence in the region and to widen the base of our core business activities.” “GSS will enhance shareholders’ value with a potentially superior longterm return on their investment in a regional rather than a national-based company,” added Mr. Buhindi. “It will enable the Group to take advantage of new investment opportunities in regional

markets, and provide a sound base for future growth.” According to BMMI Chief Operating Officer, Robert Smith, “this latest development underlines the objective of BMMI to enter new areas where we can tap into our core business competencies and add value. GSS will widen the spread of the Group’s contract services and supply business, and open up further new market opportunities across the region.” “BMMI is committed to continuously expand and enhance its provision of leading-edge logistics, supply chain, warehousing and camp services in the Middle East and Africa. We have now formed several alliances and teaming arrangements with specialist companies to enable us to provide turnkey solutions that are both time sensitive and professionally project managed,” he added.

Bahrain News New executives at Ernst & Young

As part of its response to changing economic conditions, Ernst & Young, Bahrain has recruited a number of senior executives for three of its sub-service lines: Healthcare Advisory Services (HAS), Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (FIDS) and Program Advisory Services (PAS). Stefan James Skrzywanek, a Senior Manager and the head of Ernst and Young’s Healthcare Advisory Services, has worked in the Middle East for over 14 years. He previously worked for the largest private hospital in Saudi Arabia as well as the largest telemedicine company in the world and has a wide range of medically-related business expertise, including hospital accreditation, feasibility studies and marketing. “I am really looking forward to developing the HAS practice”, said Stefan. “The government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has identified health and its supporting industries – tourism, infrastructure development and so on – as a potential source of growth, both in terms of revenue and employment. The GCC will

face an unparalleled and unprecedented rise in demand for healthcare over the next few years and Ernst & Young has the experience and the expertise to be at the forefront of healthcare consultancy in that push for growth.” Tertius Stapelberg has recently moved from Ernst & Young, South Africa and has considerable experience working in fraud investigations, having worked for a governmental investigative organisation for 5 years and the commercial crime unit of the South African Police Service before that. “In these times of changing economic realities, organisations often find that their bottom line has been affected in a negative way by poor practice. By offering forensic investigations, forensic technology and discovery services, dispute services, anti-fraud programmes and forensic data analytics, we can help clients to address the challenges and the risks of doing business in today’s environment.” Kamal Raza and Paul Kaman have recently joined the Programme Advisory

Services team. Before moving to Bahrain from the UK, Kamal worked for a global consulting firm and has considerable experience in advising governments and industry on the delivery of large outsourcing and transformation programmes. Paul worked for the National Security practice of another Big 4 firm in the Washington, DC area advising various US Department of Defense entities in Enterprise Risk Management; Governance, Risk & Compliance; Business Process Reengineering; and Strategy. “Our Programme Advisory Services team assists our clients to manage the risk associated with significant programmes and projects. This includes a set of services aimed at the critical areas of programme or project delivery including business acceptance, vision and direction, planning and execution and measuring and monitoring. Programmes and projects may be related to IT, construction, finance or other business functions”, explained John Sanderson, an Advisory partner in Bahrain. “I am confident that – with these new executives on board – we have put the people, the skills and the expertise in place to ensure that we continue to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with all of our clients in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region”, said Tariq Sadiq, the Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, Bahrain.

In the Press... January 2009, Ernst & Young has been rated as a Tier 1 tax firm across the GCC by the International Tax Review (ITR) in its latest global survey of tax firms. ITR is one of the world’s leading publications focussed on international taxation It publishes its annual “World Tax” book which ranks tax service providers based on interviews from corporate tax and finance directors and advisors. 40 Forum

Back in Bahrain

Crowne Plaza Bahrain is delighted to announce the appointment of James Hewitson to the position of Executive Assistant Manager. James is no stranger to the Hotel and Bahrain, having worked previously as the Food and Beverage Manager as part of his IHG career. James joins from Bangkok Thailand where he was the Director of Food and Beverage for InterContinental and Holiday Inn Bangkok. James has developed his career over 9 years across three of the IHG brands, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in a variety of destinations including Thailand, Malta, Kuwait and Bahrain. Commenting on returning to Bahrain James quipped, “Returning to Bahrain is like returning home, I have a great love for the Kingdom, People, and the Hotel and I will ensure that we steer the Hotel through the challenging times ahead delivering our brand promises to our guests at all times.”

Bahrain News Going on vacation - Travel Smart

AXA Insurance Bahrain held a travel seminar on 13 th January 2009 at Sheraton Hotel, to launch their new product - Travel Smart. Hemant Gupta, Travel Manager, AXA Dubai, conducted the seminar which was attended by all the prominent travel agencies of Bahrain. As part of product innovation this year, AXA GULF

introduced new travel insurance plans for the travel industry. These are: • Family & Schenghen travel insurance which caters for the specific needs of individual travelers, including a 24hr worldwide claims platform for immediate emergency medical assistance from multilingual healthcare professionals.

• Inbound travel insurance plan offers travel insurance to the tourist visiting GCC countries. All the products are available online on the website specially designed for the travel industry for easy, fast and efficient issuing process. Certificates can be issued and emailed in less than two minutes!

Stephen Wagstaff,AXA Bahrain Country Manager and Jonathan Jane, Regional Retail Manager based in Dubai, thanked all the travel agents for their excellent support in promoting the AXA Travel Smart insurance products in the Kingdom of Bahrain and presented trophies to the top three travel agents. The event was attended by 60 guests and was a great success.

Branding Great Buildings, Building Great Brands The Kingdom of Bahrain has witnessed a small revolution of re-branding, with the country’s biggest players evolving their design to become parallel to their international counterparts, especially in the real estate, telecoms and banking sectors. “In times of uncertainty, it is never more imperative to invest wisely in your brand” says Amy Morgan, Partner and Director of Strategy at Unisono, “Any branding or advertising expert will agree with me when I say this is the time to strategically invest in your brand and build its equity.”

Globally, the hardest-hit brands are the ones that have separated their business strategy from their brand strategy. “As long as you say one thing and do another you’re bound to get in trouble” continues Amy, “Companies that live and breath their brands everyday like Virgin, Apple, Hermes and Louis Vuitton have barely been touched by the global meltdown. After all, the waiting list for a Birkin bag is still nearly two years!”

savvy companies as a token of appreciation for investing in their brands wisely, and helping Unisono bring in the new era of international design to Bahrain. The packs contain Unisono-designed notebooks, calendars and

wall planners as well as the one-of-a-kind Transformational Brand Power Pack, a deck of cards that can be used to enhance and inspire your team’s brand values, strengthening their resolve and cohesion.

Unisono has also created their very own Purple Packs of Positive Power! The unique Unisono gift package is currently being sent to many of the country’s brandForum


Bahrain News Atkins sponsor students community work trip Atkins has sponsored the annual St. Christopher’s School community work trip to the Maekok River Village to lend a hand in the construction of education and medical facilities. The village is located along the Thai / Burmese border and with limited access receives little international awareness. The 33 students took time out from studying their first year of ‘A’ levels to travel to Thailand and work alongside local labourers in building and decorating the new community blocks and to assist teachers in English lessons to the local children.

donate t-shirts and to give instruction on site health and safety procedures. Site Operations Director at Atkins, Bob Seekings, addressed the pupils and was very pleased to be involved with such a worthwhile project, “It was a pleasure to meet such an enthusiastic group of teenagers who were focused on the work ahead of them. We have educated them about the hazards present on a construction site and also important factors to consider when travelling abroad to hot and unfamiliar countries.”

This is the second year the school has participated, and the village is certainly benefiting from the support its receiving. This year the school engaged Atkins to

Atkins in Bahrain Resident Director, Rob Ruse, believes this project has many benefits for the St Christopher students and hopes they will also engage

more in the immediate community. “By educating the next generation of young professionals in Bahrain on the conditions in which many struggle with on a daily basis, and by supporting their efforts to make a difference, we have made a big impact on the lives of many.”

Atkins has been engaged in a number of charitable events in Bahrain, supporting the ‘Bahrain Disabled Sports Association’, ‘Life in Music’ to promote the education of local children and the Shaikh Faisal Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Memorial Trophy in support of the ‘Bahrain Mobility International’.

Our core values, and our determination to offer clients the best possible service, remain unchanged.

globally which clients will understand wherever they engage with us.”

Davis Langdon brand evolves Davis Langdon has revealed its repositioning as a solutions-driven, global construction consultancy and launched a new global brand identity. This repositioning is underpinned by its decision to adopt a more sector-focussed approach and broaden its service offering. For a long time Davis Langdon has been more than just a Quantity Surveying firm and their brand identity is in recognition of this different position. As part of its brand programme, Davis Langdon has been looking across the regions in which it works and the firms it has merged with over the years with a view to moving towards a Davis Langdon master brand. In simple terms, this means the 42 Forum

firm will normally be called “Davis Langdon” regardless of service line. Rob Smith, Senior Partner at Davis Langdon says: “Our strategy has been to merge with leaders in various service areas with the result that we have broadened and strengthened our range of construction-related services. These services will now come under the Davis Langdon brand and further consolidate our position as a global construction consultancy. This reflects our confidence to ask our clients what their burning issues are, and provide far-reaching and cohesive solutions to those problems. Considering the market by sector - as opposed to geography or service line - further allows us to offer focused expertise.

“This has been a global project, as Davis Langdon & Seah International now have global turnover of US$616 million. We are increasingly finding that clients want global relationships with us and this move will help us share a single identity

Unsurprisingly, in the current economic climate cost neutrality is a guiding principle of the project. The programme and development of the evolved identity were kept in-house and the transition will be phased in over 12 months to avoid major reprints.

‘um Kalthum, the Fourth Pyramid’ exhibit inaugurated at Moda mall ‘Um Kalthum, the Fourth Pyramid’ exhibition, which is on its maiden voyage outside of Europe, was officially inaugurated in January at MODA Mall in the Bahrain World Trade Centre (BWTC) by H. E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa and Mr. Dominique Baudis, President of the Arab World Institute. The exhibit has been brought to Bahrain by the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research, in collaboration with the Arab World Institute, Paris; a foundation established to promote Arabic and the Arab world’s cultural heritage and spiritual values around the world. The exhibit is officially sponsored by MODA Mall, and will run from 10 January – 31 March, 2009. Speaking at the opening ceremony, H. E. Shaikha Mai, President of the Board of Trustees of the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed AlKhalifa Centre for Culture and Research said: “The Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed AlKhalifa Centre for Culture and Research promotes the values of the Arab World Institute in spreading word about the Islamic art and legendary Arab contemporary artists. As such we are delighted to be able to provide residents and visitors of Bahrain with the first opportunity to visit the exhibit of the Diva in the Middle East. Um Kalthum is a much admired and loved icon and we are very proud to have this opportunity to showcase her life and achievements.” While respecting the original concept and content of the exhibition curated in Paris, Ammar Bashir, Design

Director at Melablu Interiors, has re-created a distinguished display that highlights the living memory of Um Kalthum. The exhibit will be located in MODA Mall’s centre court and extends to the first floor providing visitors with the first opportunity in the Middle East to view, absorb and embrace the achievements and lifestyle of this global iconic figure. Also addressing officials and dignitaries, Dominique Baudis, President of the Arab World Institute, Paris said: “The Arab World Institute was formed upon the request of twenty one Arab countries to disseminate information about the Arab world and civilisation and set in motion detailed research to cover Arabic and the Arab world’s cultural and spiritual values. ‘Um Kalthum, Fourth Pyramid’ exhibition is a tribute to this iconic symbol and echoes the sentiment and love people have for her. We at the Arab World Institute, Paris are proud to accompany the exhibit to Bahrain in association with the Shaikh

Ebrahim bin Mohammed AlKhalifa Centre for Culture and Research, and encourage as many people to visit as possible to experience this unique artist.” The exhibition explores the persona and legacy of the Egyptian iconic artist through four thematically centred sections, each showcasing a medley of sound and audiovisual sequences, personal belongings, archived documents and contemporary art works of Um Kalthum. The first section of the exhibition entitled ‘Icon’, embraces the character of Um Kalthum and the prevailing socio-cultural conditions that influenced and formed her career. The second section, entitled ‘Talent’, illustrates the ambitious singer and highlights the sources of her success. The third section, entitled ‘Activism’, centres on the close engagement of Um Kalthum in her political life as a feminist and a catalyst for Arab Nationalism. The final and fourth section, entitled

‘Heritage’ showcases images of the artist as a continuing source of inspiration. In addition to the exhibit is the Um Kalthum Café, located in the centre court of MODA Mall, which provides a pleasant and relaxing setting for visitors to appreciate the songs of Um Kalthum. MODA Mall is ideally positioned to house the exhibit due to its superior design features. MODA Mall’s interior effortlessly combines the concept elements of wind, water, motion and the veil highlighted by an aweinspiring glass-domed entrance, cool marble floors and brushed steel, all creating an ultra modern backdrop against which luxury brands and five-star hospitality meet architectural ingenuity and flair. Upon leaving Bahrain in March, ‘Um Kalthum, the Fourth Pyramid’ will travel to its next destination - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Forum


Bahrain News Energy Central Company expands management team Having witnessed the unparalleled disruption of the global financial markets and the subsequent rippling effect into all market sectors, Energy Central Company (ECC), a multiutility services company completed the 2008 fiscal year upon a solid foundation of successful contract bids and ongoing projects throughout the GCC. It was a busy year for ECC as it was awarded three prestigious projects across the GCC. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Phase I was signed by a consortium led by Energy Central with Oman’s largest real estate and development project, Al Madina A’Zarqa aptly named Blue City for provision of various utilities. ECC also signed a MoU with Marina West STP, Bahrain’s iconic new residential development on the Kingdom’s west coast to

Safety Summit The first Ever International Fertilizer Association (IFA) Global Safety Summit is due to held in Bahrain. This is a leading event in the world wide industry and will take place from 14-18 March with the participation of more than 200 delegates from international fertilizer companies and leading experts in the field of production safety including ROSPA. The Summit is hosted by Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), one of IFA’s flagship members regarding safety, with Johnson Matthey Catalysts presenting a paper focusing on the learning from safety improvements in their manufacturing. 44 Forum

provide a sewage treatment plant. Lastly, signed during the second quarter of 2008, Energy Central Company agreed to be the main utility provider to the new Bahrain development, Uptown. Alongside its partner and local shareholder Zamil Industrial Investment Company (ZIIC), Energy Central is making decisive strides in implementing the Energy Performance Contract won end-of-2007 with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). Durrat Al Bahrain, the 25year concession to design, build, and operate its seawater desalination project procured end-of2007 is ongoing. Keeping in stride with contractual obligations, ECC will construct a Containerised Reverse Osmosis plant with a capacity of 2,000 CMD as a temporary water treatment

facility on the building site. Energy Central is in discussions with the developers to provide additional utility services for this landmark development.

alongside its local shareholder Platinum Investments in the UAE. The license to operate the utility business was issued during the last quarter of 2008.

Energy Central Company has bid for a number of prestigious contracts during the past year. Aramco and SOIETZ, the Saudi Organisation for Industrial Estates and Technology Zones now known as Modon - Saudi Industrial Property Authority, are just two examples of bids that have added to the Total Estimated Project Value which currently stands at approximately at BD 1 billion. Other bids were sent to various countries across the GCC including Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Energy Central Company has seen a restructuring of the internal organisation with the addition of new employees and new divisions. The company has welcomed a new Acting Chief Financial Officer, as well as a new Director of Projects and Engineering to their team, which coincides with a more streamlined internal structure. The company also added two new Business Development Managers who will oversee the Northern Gulf region and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new components of the managerial team are in place to direct the company into the very challenging 2009 year with qualified and prudent initiatives.

ECC established a majority shareholding stake in Emirates Utility Co. (L.L.C)

Award for Arencon New Partner for Bahrain office Charles Russell opened its office in Bahrain in August 2007. The office provides clients with access to its UK resources and expertise and is currently headed by Carol Roberts who has many years experience of working in the banking sector. At the recent InterSec 2009 Security Exhibition in Dubai, Arencon Security were presented with a Business Partner award by one of their UK-based principals, Remsdaq Ltd. Pictured are Arencon Security General Manager Richard Monkhouse receiving the award from Remsdaq’s International Sales Manager Mike Parry.

The team moved to the newly built Bahrain World Trade Centre and held an office launch party in November last year. The new offices enable the firm to expand the team in Bahrain and provide clients in the MENA region with a fuller range of services. As part of this expansion, corporate partner, Clive Hopewell will be joining the team in April

this year. Clive is Head of the Energy and Natural Resources Group at Charles Russell and his move will significantly strengthen the energy and natural resources expertise on the ground. He specialises in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, both public and private. Charles Russell London office will also be moving to a new building in March. This will coincide with the launch of their new website. The first 18 months in the Middle East have been very successful and provided the firm with a solid platform they need to widen their offering to clients.

Making the World a Better Place THE PLASTIC PLAGUE The bad news: • Plastic bags are said to be the most common manmade item seen by sailors at sea. Whilst most of us make New Year’s resolutions and then quickly forget them, Bahrain International Travel is committed to continuing its awareness campaign against plastic bags. Following the positive response the company got last year when it gave away 2000 reusable shopping bags to its Leisure customers, it has joined forces with FedEx to distribute another 3000. Every week the typical family living in Bahrain heads home from the supermarket with plastic bags which, within minutes, are discarded. These bags litter our streets, parks and beaches and often end up at sea, killing our marine life who mistake them for food. Globally we are using 1 million plastic bags per minute and these bags can take centuries to break down.

• A UN report in June 2006 estimated that on every square mile of ocean there’s 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floating. • Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90 per cent of that debris is plastic. • Marine wildlife eat plastic bags because they mistake them for jellyfish. Once in their guts, the bags cause intestinal blockages - which are deadly. • Plastic bags become serial killers because they do not break down in the environment. Once a creature which has ingested a plastic bag

dies, it decays at a much faster rate than the bag. When the animal has decomposed, the bag is released back into the environment, more or less intact - and ready to be eaten by another misguided animal or bird. • Plastic bags threaten urban environments as well as natural ones: plastic bags in drains were identified as major factors in the severe floods in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998. This resulted in a ban on plastic bags being impose there in 2002. India also is discouraging the use of plastic bags nationwide. • Plastic bags are costly in money terms too, both to produce and to clean up. • Plastic bags are made from ethylene, a gas that occurs as a by-product of oil, gas and coal production (all nonrenewables), which is transformed into chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules known as polymers or polymer

resin. After being heated, shaped, and cooled, the plastic is ready to be flattened, sealed, punched, or printed on. • Over 99% of plastic bags cannot be recycled. The ones that are collected must be disposed of in landfill sites. • There are three main types of plastic shopping bags: · light filmy HDPE (high density polyethylene), mostly used in food outlets · heavier LDPE (low density polyethylene) ones from clothing stores etc · very thick glossy ones made from linear lowdensity polyethylene (LLDPE). The good news: • Manufacturers don’t need to use plastic for carrier bags. There are now an increasing number of degradable alternatives to plastic carrier bags, including corn and potato starch (which can even be composted). • More and more countries, states and towns are taking action to ban plastic carrier bags, including Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, California, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Philippines, Scotland, Somalia, South Africa, The Republic Ireland; UK towns include Modbury, Hebden Bridge and Stroud.

Individuals can make a difference, Refuse a plastic bag whenever you can; Reduce your use of plastic bags – try to have a re-usable bag with you whenever you go shopping, leave one in the car; Reuse your existing bags. Be part of the solution and together we can make a difference with each bag we save. Any BBBF member who would like a bag(s) should contact BIT.

Concerned? - So what else can you do? See- The website lists collection and recycling points in Bahrain, showing road maps for many of the locations: Since some of them are located in private facilities you may need to call to establish premission to use some of them. Forum


Bahrain News New Year, New Faces at BAE Systems Bahrain

The BAE Systems’ office in Manama begins 2009 with two new faces. Newly appointed Director Middle East and General Manager Bahrain Mark Burgess took up the post at the beginning of the year and Ameena Mohammed Ali Buallay (2nd from left) began during January. The whole

team continues in its work of supporting the Bahrain Defence Forces, in particular the Air Training Wing at Shaikh Isa Airbase, and looks forward to the new opportunities 2009 will bring. For further information on the company please contact Mark Burgess on 00973 1722 9114

RSA expands team in Bahrain RSA has announced three new additions to its expanding team in Bahrain, through the appointment of Absar Mirza as Manager Risk and Compliance, Umar Khan as Senior Internal Auditor; and Andrew Mathieson as Sales Development Manager. In his capacity, Mirza, who has extensive experience in the financial services industry, will be responsible for managing the Regional Risk and Compliance Function and assisting local operations in working proactively with the regulator, CBB. Mathieson will be responsible for driving the ambitious growth plans of the operation. Prior to joining RSA, Methieson held the position of Director at Smart and Cook Insurance Brokers, where he was responsible for running the company’s Edinburgh Branch in the UK.

Finally, Khan will be responsible for setting up the appropriate internal control mechanisms and appropriate coporate governance frameworks as well as supporting the wider Middle East region. He joins RSA from PWC in Pakistan where he held the role of Audit Manager. Commenting on these appointments, Mark Cooper, CEO for RSA Bahrain and KSA said: “Bahrain and Saudi Arabia both represent significant growth areas for RSA in the Middle East. Strengthening our senior teams reinforces our commitment to driving performance in a controlled and regulated environment and delivering outstanding business results. The appointment of these talented and experienced professionals is part of our ongoing plans both in Bahrain and the wider Middle East region.”

New MD for dwp Bahrain office management skills to his position as Managing Director of dwp Bahrain. Having proven entrepreneurial skills, Neil is able to draw from past successes to develop and execute dwp’s Middle East business development strategy.

dwp Bahrain is proud to announce that Neil Glassberg has been appointed as Managing Director for our Bahrain office. Neil will work closely with our Regional Director and founder Kristina Zanic to enhance dwp’s capabilities in Bahrain and the region. During his 25 years in business, Neil has developed and led organisations in the United States, Latin America and Asia. He brings a wide range of professional 46 Forum

Neil builds high-impact teams and develops personnel in the organisation to ensure continued productivity during times of change. Since 2000, he has coached, trained, and motivated hundreds of individuals in leadership skills, performance, and career management. He can best be described as a hands-on business partner focused on providing practical, real world solutions that help companies markedly improve their bottom line. Neil has obtained a Master of Management and a Bachelor degree in Marketing from George Washington University.

The Shoaibi Group and Rental Solutions & Services Joint Venture Agreement for Saudi Arabia Operations. The Shoaibi Group, a diverse group of companies based in Saudi Arabia and Rental Solutions & Services LLC (RSS), a global provider of rental power & cooling have recently signed a joint venture agreement to supply temporary cooling and power services within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Khalid Al Shoaibi, The Shoaibi Group Director, says that “The Shoaibi Group is committed to providing significant resources and in-depth local market knowledge in chosen industrial sectors to deliver competitive advantages to its partners and customers. The Shoaibi Group will be providing local market knowledge while RSS will contribute an already very successful business model and niche technical capabilities. There is a perfect

synergy which will benefit Saudi Arabia’s industrial & commercial market.” BBBF Member, Mark Jenkins, Shoaibi Group Director, mentioned that “Saudi Arabia’s increasing construction projects in all sectors will provide significant opportunities for this venture.” Milan Balac, Managing Director of Rental Solutions & Services says that “The Shoaibi Group has provided RSS KSA with superb facilities and infrastructure that will ensure we can make an immediate impact in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, The Shoaibi Group, being one of the most diversified groups in Saudi Arabia will open up several key markets for this new venture.”

Colin Cavé, GM of RSS for Saudi Arabia says that “We can now provide excellent products and services within KSA. Not only can we offer the full range of rental cooling equipment, and generators, but we can

further support our wide and diverse customer base due to The Shoaibi Group’s presence in major cities, which include Dammam, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Riyadh, Madinah, Makkah, Jubail & Yanbu.”



From Her Majesty’s Ambassador situation in the region give the impression that business in the Gulf has ground to a halt. It hasn’t, but nobody I have spoken to in Bahrain, in both the public and private Sectors, is under any illusion that 2009 will be a challenging year.

50% of projects that were planned in the Gulf as of last summer are going ahead. 50% are not. This can be seen as a glass half-empty: the fact that 50% of projects are not proceeding is seriously bad news. But I see it as half full insofar as I was surprised that this figure was not much higher. A combination of the cancellation of some high profile projects, in Bahrain and elsewhere, and press reporting of the dire credit

It remains the case that Bahrain has been hit much less hard than the West, and than Dubai, by the global slowdown. No banks have been bailed out, there is a continuing high degree of confidence in the Central Bank and most banks that have reported so far have turned in a profit for 2008, although this will doubtless reflect in part the fact that the financial crisis didn’t fully bite until well over half way through the year. The Embassy continues to receive historically high levels of enquiries from British companies based in both the UK and, notably,

Dubai. Many of the former are first timers in Bahrain or the GCC. So are many British companies exhibiting at the various trade fairs here. Unsurprisingly, several have told us that the contraction of their traditional markets in Europe and North America is forcing them to look elsewhere, to places where the economy is relatively buoyant. Overall, the message we are getting from business people in Bahrain is ‘wait and see how things develop over the next few months’. The British Pavilion at the World Islamic Banking Conference in December was an even greater success that the 2007 one. Exhibitors reported high levels of interest. Many of the presentations were given by British people: they were of outstanding quality and will have done much to enhance the UK’s reputation as a key

international centre of Islamic banking. In early February there was a successful Trade Mission from West Yorkshire. In mid March we will receive a visit from HRH the Duke of York in his capacity as Special Representative for UK Trade and Investment. Finally, I should like to emphasise the priority that the Foreign Office is giving to playing its part in the British Government’s efforts towards ameliorating the worst effects of the recession in the UK and to getting the international financial system back on its feet. As part of a global team, this priority is just as important to this Embassy.

Jamie Bowden British Ambassador

West Yorkshire Businesses Return to Bahrain A delegation of 12 companies from the West Yorkshire region of the UK came to Bahrain from 11-12 February 2009 to explore new business opportunities and partnerships. West Yorkshire enjoys a close relationship with Bahrain through frequent trade missions to the region. On this occasion we had a diverse range of companies taking part; from education and training providers to neon

lighting and steelwork construction experts, from hitech medical equipment and automation to business and financial consultants. Mission delegates enjoyed two days of business meetings in Bahrain, whilst learning more about this dynamic market. They were also hosted at a reception in the Residence of the British Ambassador, on the evening of 11 February. For more information about the visitors

please contact Eileen Al Saie of UK Trade & Investment in the British Embassy Bahrain on 1757 4117 or email Details are also available on the British Embassy Website

BBBF Diary Dates Tuesday 17th March AGM Venue: British Club Time: 12noon for 1pm Cost: Members free, Guests BD12

Tuesday 7th April Curry Night Venue: British Embassy Time: 7pm Members Only

April 16-19 Garden Show at the BIEC



Bahrain News TNT creates safer roads in Bahrain with improved Road Safety Management System TNT, the global express carrier, has created the new ‘TNT Express Road Safety Management System’ in a clear demonstration of their commitment to the wellbeing of staff, community and other road users. The programme which aims to raise awareness and thereby lower the risk of traffic related accidents and fatalities is composed of two principle elements - the Road Safety Charter and the Implementation Plan. The latter, which includes the road safety risk assessment scheme works to identify the weakness of TNT drivers, thereby providing them with guidance on how they can become safer on the roads. Through the Road Safety Risk Assessment scheme each individual TNT driver is accompanied by another member of staff for a day and is assessed on their driving skills through the completion of a questionnaire. The questionnaire once finished will lead to an action plan providing each driver with areas for improvement. The other critical components of the Implementation Plan introduced as part of the revised RSMS include Performance Management, Subcontractor Management, Compliance Register, Driver Selection and Recruitment and Road Safety Training. Together these initiatives cover everything TNT’s drivers and vehicle management teams need to know to improve road safety. Throughout the company there has been clear support for the RSMS apparent through the endorsement of the Road Safety Charter. At a divisional level it has been signed by Managing Director MarieChristine Lombard as well as Vice President of the European Commission Jacques Barrot. Within Bahrain, Country 48 Forum

Operations Manager Andy Watson has voluntarily signed the document along with all drivers in Bahrain. The charter serves to highlight the commitment of all employees to road safety at a local level, as well as the commitment of senior level staff to pursue road safety excellence. Where TNT outsources drivers, the safety charter has been made a part of the contract to encourage those working with TNT to reach their objective of reducing accidents on the road.

And Finally With all the hype from across the pond it had to happen. A google search on Amazon reveals a total of 157 titles concerning the new American President and before it was even published, Graywolf Express hit the top of the Amazon best selling poetry books list with their 8$ paperback of the poem Elizabeth Alexander read aloud at his inauguration. Barack Obama’s presidential victory permeates this month’s list of best-selling political books, with both of his own works returning to the top and several by others landing among the 15 most popular.

Country General Manager Ahmed Gamal commented, “Whilst road safety is important wherever you are in the world, anyone familiar with Bahrain will be aware how important it is to improve road safety here. At TNT, all our drivers have voluntarily signed up to our Road Safety Charter showing that road safety is not merely a company policy implemented from above, but something in which our staff strongly believe in and are committed to achieving. Our commitment at TNT goes further than just raising awareness on the issue of road safety, and our initiatives that make up the implementation part of our Road Safety Management System highlight this. We hope our efforts will continue to reduce road accidents and fatalities and that by setting an example through our TNT staff we will encourage safer driving across Bahrain.”

President-elect Obama’s “Audacity Of Hope,” a former mainstay since the inception of the Caucus’s Poli-Book list, returns at No. 1, and his earlier memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” lands at No. 2. Some contrast then with the lists during the run up when top of the list were the antiObama books “The Obama Nation” and “Fleeced” a book breathlessly subtitled “How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the DoNothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us … and What to Do About It.” Personally I’ve had no time to read any of them having been totally immersed in my new toy (A Christmas Present from my wife) which is the totally fabulous Sony Reader. The package came complete with a CD

contaning 100 Book Classics which has enabled me to catch up on all those books I really did mean to get through when I was younger but never did. Of the dozen or so, I’ve read during the last six weeks, The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas and several by Jules Verne have revived my interest in books which may have long dropped off the best seller lists. The ability to add to the collection led me to look for Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier which turned out to be a real page turner. Whilst the early e-books were generally written for a limited audience, I suspect the format will become rather more popular in the future. Indeed in January one website, offered 130,000 different etitles and the number of those available is growing rapidly. Although I’m currently a fan, I must introduce an element of caution, since as the format develops, the equipment may quickly become obsolete and of course, being an electronic gadget renders it rather more susceptible to physical damage. Time will undoubtedly tell!

BBBF Internal News Our grateful thanks to all our advertisers. Without their support this edition would not have been possible. Please give them yours.

The BBBF would like to thank AXA Insurance who have kindly donated their time and effort in to producing all membership cards for 2009. The above photograph shows the BBBF Chairman Austin Rudman thanking AXA Country Manager Stephen Wagstaff for their support. The cards have been donated in addition to the 10% discount offered to BBBF members when producing their card on AXA retail insurance products. These cards have been given out at the various lunches in Feb onwards, however, if you have so far been unable to attended one of these, we will endeavor to get the cards to you in the near future / or for those who have not received, the card should have been included in this publication. I am sure all will agree with the improvement on the old versions. About AXA in the Gulf AXA Gulf is the largest non-life international insurer in the Middle East with more than 250,000 customers and a gross written premium of over US$ 350 million. AXA Gulf is offering a wide range of insurance products and services for corporate and individual customers through a workforce of over 580 employees in 12 offices region-wide. About the AXA Group AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA’s operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. AXA had •1,281 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2007. For the full year 2007, IFRS revenues amounted to •94.0 billion and IFRS adjusted earnings to •6.1 billion. The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISIN R0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). The American Depository Share is also listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol AXA. Our previous company performance is not a guide to how we may perform in the future. 4


Allied Pickfords ........................................................ 33 Alosra ..................................................................... IFC American Mission Hospital ..................................... 29 AXA Insurance ..................................................... OBC Bank Muscat International ....................................... 13 Best Western Hotel ................................................... 37 BIC ....................................................................... 24-25 bmi ............................................................................ 17 BMMI ......................................................................... 39 British Club .............................................................. 21 Crown Relocations ................................................... 26 Euromotors .............................................................. 27 GAC World ................................................................ 31 Gulf Air ..................................................................... 15 Gulf Hotel .................................................................. 35 Hasan Mansouri Group ............................................ 41 Royal Society of St George ..................................... 46 Speedy Motor Services ............................................ 47 Standard Chartered Bank ......................................... 11 The British School of Bahrain ................................. 23 The Royal Golf Club ................................................... 2 TNT ......................................................................... IBC TRA ........................................................................... 19 Corporate Sponsorships are being sought for 2009 Three levels of sponsorship are available: Platinum: BD 2500 each year for three years Gold: BD 2500 for one year Silver: BD 1250 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 Sponsors 2008/9 Pages 14 & 15

Corporate Sponsors 2008/9 Pages 10 & 11

Welcome to New Members Richard Bird

Premal Patel

Consultant Gulf Executives WLL Tel: 1753-3104

Executive Director Veritas property Investments Tel: 3672-1700

Mark Burgess

James Walsh

Director ME BAE Systems Tel: 1722-9114

Chairman British Club Tel: 1772-8245

Jane Dellar

Raona Williams

Founder and CEO Surava Advisory Tel: 3997-9725

Fitness Manager & Trainer Hasan Mansouri Group Tel: 1759-3593

Amit Kansal Sr. Relationship Manager CITIBANK N.A. Tel: 3613-7156

It is with great regret that we have to announce the death of one of our Members Mr Eric Dixon.

Sonia Norris General Manager Gulf Executives WLL Tel: 1753-3104

Eric was an active member of the BBBF and worked for Al Hamad as the Project Manager for the construction of the Financial Towers in Bahrain Financial Harbour. Eric had many friends and colleagues in Bahrain and was well known for both his braais (BBQ) and the professionalism he showed in every aspect of his work.

Adam Page Business Development Manager Unisono Brand Consultants Tel: 1781-1802

Eric was an outstanding husband and father and passed away very peacefully in South Africa with his wife Brenda, children Jo and Jon and Mother Marion by his side. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends at this time. 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. Al Faris Auto Centre Special discounts on parts and services. Contact: Yousif Eid Tel: 1787 7222 Email: Azrek Search Associates 20% discount on search and headhunting services. Contact: Rory Adamson Tel: 1758 3885 Email: AXA Insurance 10% discounts to members on personal lines insurances.(excluding medical) 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: DHL 25% discount from the cash tariff for any personal shipments being sent from Bahrain to anywhere in the world available on production of your membership card. Available until 31 Dec 09. Contact Andy Broughton DHL Service Point locations: Umm al Hassam 1781 4726; Budaiya 1733 9696; Seef 1732 8328; Muharraq 1733 9609. Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 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: National Hotel Services (NHSC) 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer. Contact: Ian Bricklebank Tel: 1781-5929 Email: 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 Motor Services Discount of 15% on all servicing; maintenance; and repairs on all vehicles for all BBBF Members on production of their membership card when booking in their vehicle at our Isa Town Workshop. 20% discount on all self drive hire cars through Europcar. Contact Stephen Connor. Email: Tel: 17682999 Ext 228 The MakeOver Experience 10% discount to BBBF members on all individual and group courses, with occasional extra special offers and prize draws. Additional discounts to BBBF corporate members for customised training courses. Contact: Dr. Leila Edwards Tel: 1759 2019 Mob:3966 7623 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 globalisation 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 1250 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 ax: (00973) 1781 3489, Manager,, FFax: or Email: For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, W eb site: www Web Company Name

Website address of business (if applicable)

Title and full name (Surname first)

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

Position in business Nationality

Date of Birth

CPR Number Address of business (P.O.Box & Town) Business telephone


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.



BBBForum Spring 2009  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

BBBForum Spring 2009  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum