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From The Chair Dear Members, Welcome to the summer edition of our magazine. A number of you will shortly be taking a well earned opportunity to visit cooler climates on vacation with your families, and will sit back no doubt and reflect on the year so far. The first half of the year has literally flown past, and based on the discussions I have had with our members at BBBF functions, in airport lounges, and conferences in Bahrain and across the Middle East, 2007 has been very prosperous indeed on the back of buoyant oil prices, government budget surpluses and a

considerable appetite for international and local private sector investment. Our 3rd Annual Golf Day, at Riffa, was a great success and I would like to thank everyone at Riffa for hosting a thoroughly enjoyable day and evening for the 100 members and guests who took part. A special mention to our corporate sponsors, HSBC and Standard Chartered, and to KLM who once again sponsored the main prizes and to a number of other members who provided generous sponsorship and prizes. We wish the team at Riffa all the very best with their exciting new golf project and when you dredge the existing water hazards, please forward the contents to me! We are all looking

Contents forward to playing on the new course next year. We will continue with our lunch functions throughout the summer months and I do hope that you will have an opportunity to join us. Dates for your Diary should include lunch on 17 th July at the Golden Tulip, lunch on 21st August at the Diplomat and an evening function on the 18th September. We hope that you enjoy this edition and get a chance to recharge your batteries over the summer months whether in Bahrain or beyond our shores. Kind regards Austin Rudman Chair

Letter from H.M. Ambassador ............ p3 Golf Results ...................... p4 Welcome new members .. p5 Member Benefits .............. p6 Application Form ............. p7 June Lunch meeting ........ p8 AMH is Certified ............. p10 News from BIC ............... p12 Air industry News .......... p14 Standard Chartered Bank sponsor the Greatest Race on Earth ................. p16 Financial News ............... p18 Golf Day Photo ............... p20 Bahrain Construction Update ..... p22 The World’s First Supertruck ...................... p24 Notes from EP ................ p26 Welcome to Wales ......... p28 Connaught to make Green Sports Car ........... p30 Business Traveller Survey ............................. p32 Bahrain Hotel News ....... p34 Bahrain News ................. p36 And Finally ..................... p40 Registration number SBBB 492

The 2007-8 BBBF Executive Committee

Chairman Austin Rudman Mob: 3969-9475

Deputy Chairman Peter Lyall Mob: 3933-5003

Treasurer Patrick Dornan Mob: 3924-3739

Secretary Julie Lomas Mob: 3960-6712

Member Rob Grey Mob: 3966-3452

Member Linda Jennings Mob: 3962-5004

Member Bill Frost Mob: 3963-5110

Embassy Representative Rebecca Eriksson Mob: 3953-6989

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

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From Her Majesty’s Ambassador common interest in becoming centres of Sharia-compliant financial activity and discussed with His Majesty a range of regional issues. A major focus of the discussion was educational reform in the UK, in Bahrain and more widely.

On 27 June Gordon Brown will become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I am delighted that he will do so only a fortnight after meeting His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It was the first time that two leaders had met and the atmosphere could not have been warmer. This was a reflection of the inherent warmth of the bilateral relationship and the fact that the United Kingdom and Bahrain agree about so much. Mr Brown expressed his support for Bahrain’s various reform programmes, noted our

In Bahrain, education is the area of reform that has witnessed the most recent major step forward. On 14 June I attended the launch of the new educational plan in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince. One particular diagram showed every route that could be taken between primary education and the labour market. On one side were those who would enter the market with post graduate qualifications. On the other were those who would enter it a few years earlier but still with diplomas for skills relevant to the modern economy. There was scope for mobility between the different

streams. All of this was supported by a rigorous system of quality control and teacher training. The overall picture was of a high-class educational system that would serve the needs of Bahrain’s economy in the long term. This was the objective that the Government had set itself, and I believe they have the plan that will take them there. It came as little surprise to read a recent HSBC survey which found that business confidence in the Kingdom is high. The healthy state of the economy today and the bright prospects for the future will be key factors. The level of interest from elsewhere in the Gulf and further afield must also contribute. The BBBF’s joint stand with the Embassy at the annual Britain in the Gulf event in Dubai was well received. There was a similar stand from each GCC country but Bahrain’s attracted

more interest from business people, by far, than any other. On 21 June I shall be briefing an audience of businesspeople at the Middle East Association in London on the situation in Bahrain and considering future developments. A week later I shall attend the GCC and the City event sponsored by, amongst others, the Economic Development Board. Such activities all help to raise the Kingdom’s profile in the eyes of the British business community and to alert them to the opportunities here. The result, I am confident, will be a continuing increase in British activity in Bahrain and a further strengthening of the relationship between the two countries. I wish you all a summer holiday. I that we’ll need charged batteries busy autumn.

good know fully for a

HM King Hamad receives Gordon Brown

On 11 June, HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received at Shaikh Hamad Palace Treasury Chief and Britain’s next Prime Minister Gordon Brown, accompanied by Secretary

of State for Defence Desmond Browne. HM the King welcomed them and hailed BahrainUK historic ties and expressed keenness to

further bolster bilateral relations in all domains for common benefit. The meeting touched on current development in the Arab region where HM underlined the need to revive the peace process in the Middle East on the basis of international resolutions and legitimacy as well as the Arab peace initiative. HM the King also valued the role played by the United Kingdom in enhancing bilateral relations and maintaining world peace and stability, underling the

importance of exchange of visits in opening new horizons for co-operation and co-ordination between the two sides. Present at the audience were Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Royal Court Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Deputy Commander in Chief of the BDF and Defence Minister General Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and British Ambassador to Manama Jamie Bowden. Forum

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BBBF Internal News 3rd Annual BBBF Golf Day The Third BBBF Corporate golf day for members and guests was held on May 15th at Riffa. We were incredibly lucky with the weather with golfers teeing off on a breezy day with the temperature around 35 Degrees. These conditions did not seem to improve most players golf but as always there were those who benefited. If you remember last year the Ritz Hackers were accused of being bandits. Well this year that honour passed to our all ladies team from KLM. I’m not sure whether the expression should be ‘bandidatas’ but it seems close enough. The KLM Team of Dena Wales, Louise Robertson, Yvonne Newall and Alison Cowley picked up the KLM Trophy and a selection of prizes sponsored by Riffa Views.

Individual Winner – Gents Chris Cowley ( 1st prize KLM Air Ticket)

43 Pts

Individual Runner up – Gents Des Prunty Individual Winner – Ladies Alison Cowley (1st Prize KLM Air Ticket) Individual Runner up – Ladies Louise Robertson Side Contests – Nearest the Pin 4th Hole

Verleen Burkinshaw

Alison Crowley also won the Ladies Individual competition and won a return ticket to Europe from KLM. To make it a family affair the Mens Individual was won by husband Chris and amazingly they both scored 43 points.

Nearest the Pin 6th Hole

Mike Eastwood

Nearest the Pin 8th Hole

Stewart Waters

Nearest the Pin 13th Hole

Carlos Riera

A big thank you to all our sponsors, to Riffa Golf Club for helping with the organization and to John for the excellent catering. We look forward to 2008 on the new Riffa Course.

Nearest the Pin 16th Hole

Matt Gollant

Team Winners KLM Dena Wales Louise Robertson Yvonne Newall Alison Cowley

56 Pts

43 Pts

42 Pts B/9

Gents Longest Drive 7th Hole David Axtell Ladies Longest Drive 12th Hole Claire Cassidy Sponsors

2nd Place Team GULF STRATEGIC PARTNERS 53 Pts Wayne Giles John McIsaac Verleen Burkinshaw Geraldine Kavanagh

3rd Place Team THE YORKSHIRE SOCIETY Lee Kirk Chris Cowley Colin Bull Ian Moir

39 Pts

52 Pts

KLM Trophy – KLM Hole in one – Mohammed Jalal & Sons, AXA Hole Sponsors – Atkins, BCS, BIBN, Diplomat, E&Y, Riffa Views, Ritz Carlton, Wasserstein –GVP, STCH Bank, HSBC Bank, Gulf Cellar Prize Sponsors Riffa Views, Spa Arabia, Gulf Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Diplomat Raddisson, Crowne Plaza, Golden Tulip.

Our thanks to all the advertisers. Without their support this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours. Al Ghalia Group - Mezzaluna ............................. p38 American Mission Hospital ................................ p11 AXA Insurance ........................ Outside Back Cover BAE SYSTEMS .................................................... p27 British Club ......................................................... p37 GAC ..................................................................... p29 Group4Securicor ................................................ p25 4

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Gulf Hotel ............................................................ p33 HSBC ......................................... Inside Front Cover Mansouri Group .................................................... p8 Mohammed Jalal & Sons ................................... p31 Nexus ....................................................................p9 Royal & SunAlliance ............................................. p2 Standard Chartered Bank .................................. p17 TNT ............................................. Inside Back Cover


Welcome to New Members Bruce Aitken Asst General Manager Royal & SunAlliance Insurance P. O. Box 11871 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1758-1661 Fax: 1758-2662 Mob: 3940-1991 bruce.aitken@notes.royalsun.com

Fareed Bader Group Chairman Bader Trading Co WLL Group PO Box 10266 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1724-2155 Fax: 1725-1168 Mob: 3962-2155 fareedb@batelco.com.bh

Greg Garner Energy Central PO Box 24253 Zamil Tower Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1750-0250 Fax: 1750-0305 Mob: 3675-0026 greg@energycentralco.com

Riyaz Jivanjee Partner EMEA - Business Development WLL P.O. Box 75449 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Mob: 3962-7883 rjivanjee@emea-development.com

Alan Horne General Director Telecommunications Regulatory Authority c/o Investcorp Tel: 1752-0001 Fax: 1753-2125 Mob: 3971-0010 ahorne@tra.org.bh

Walid Ahmed Mahmood General Manager Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Co. P.O.Box 10166, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-1555 Fax: 1753-0799 Mob: 3967-7333 waleed@bkic.com

Shayma Kazerooni Senior Analyst Ernst & Young PO Box 140 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1753-5455 Fax: 1753-5405 Mob: 3920-1947 shayma.kazerooni@bh.ey.com

Teresa Sheepwash General Manager ReMAX Bahrain WLL PO Box 75200 Juffair, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1781-3666 Fax: 1781-3600 Mob: 3966-5085 tjsremax@batelco.com.bh

Ebrahim Kooheji Deputy General Manager Crowne Plaza Hotel PO Box 5831 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1752-5802 Fax: 1753-5943 Mob: 3944-8200 kooheji@cp-bahrain.com

Jerry Lonsdale General Manager G4S Security Services (Bahrain)WLL PO Box 15193 Adliya, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: 1771-4409 Fax: 1771-6577 Mob: 3966-0821 jerry.lonsdale@bh.g4s.com

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

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

Al Faris Auto Centre Special discounts on parts and services Contact: Yousif Eid Tel: 1787 7222 Email: yesadadi@batelco.com.bh

NHSC 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer Contact: Bill Beddall Tel: 1753 3764 Email: nhsc1234@batelco.com.bh

Azrek Search Associates 20% discount on search and headhunting services Contact: Rory Adamson Tel: 1771 4709 Email: rory@azrek.com AXA Insurance Some benefits/discounts to members on personal and corporate insurances. Contact: Stephen Wagstaff Tel: 1758 8222 Email: stephen.wagstaff@axa-gulf.com Conscious Connections 5% discount on Crystal Therapy and Awareness, 10% discount for group bookings and group workshops Contact: Julie Lomas Mobile: 3960 6712 Email: julie@batelco.com.bh Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email: mansouri@batelco.com.bh Hertz Hertz now offers BBBF members an exclusive 10% discount on all prepaid rentals processed through their call centre in Bahrain. Simply show your membership card and benefit from the discount on all car rentals in 7,000 locations in 150 countries. Contact: Ali Ebrahim Kashef Alghata Tel: 1729 9147 Email: alihasan@hcc.com.bh Mercure Discount Card For those of you that have applied for the Mercure Discount Card. Please note that it is ready for you to collect direct from Sinan Koseoglu. Contact details for Sinan, the Executive Assistant Manager F&B are: Mercure Grand Hotel Seef, P.O.Box: 18084, Seef District - Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: +973 17 584 406 Fax: +973 17 582 352 Mob:+973 397 99 020 E-mail: h5685eam@accor.com.bh

Riffa Golf Club Exclusive Membership Offer to BBBF Members only Join Riffa Golf Club and receive, 1 x Complimentary Golf Lesson, 5 x Complimentary Cart Seat Vouchers & 1 x Complimentary Golf Shirt - Please contact BBBF member Anita Ghavami directly on 3943-1310 or anita@riffagolfclub.com.bh 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: fvanicek@rosl.org.uk Spa Arabia by Betsy 25% Discount on all Spa, Beauty and Hairdressing Treatments and 15% Discount on all Spa Shop Purchases. The Spa Treatments are for ladies only but male members can visit and make purchases from the Spa Shop.( Skin Care, Hair Care, Cosmetics, Sun Care, Aromatherapy Oils, etc and Skin and Hair Consultations) They can also purchase Gift Vouchers at 25% off discounted rate. Conditions are: Discount on full price treatments and products only; Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offers. Contact: Betsy Bennett Mathieson Appointments can be booked on Tel 3961 3739 Speedy Discount of 15% on repairs and maintenance. 20% on self drive cars through Europcar. Contact: Keith Issitt Tel: 1768-2999 for Car Repairs and Tel: 1732-1249 for Car Hire The MakeOver Experience Discounts to corporate members for training courses. Contact: Leila Edwards Tel: 1759 2019 Email: leila@themakeoverexperience.com

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

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

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

BUSINESS between Bahrain and Britain must be promoted in order for Britain to maintain its dominant position. The BBBF has been formed to help in whatever way it can to do this and through its close cooperation with the British Embassy seeks to promote exchange of trade and good relations between Bahrain and Britain.

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

FORUM Is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as, “an assembly or meeting to discuss topics of public concern”. The BBBF provides through its monthly meetings a platform for networking amongst its members and the exchange and dissemination of useful business leads and opportunities. In addition, in return for a modest subscription, members receive the benefit of inclusion in an annual directory describing the products and services they have to offer and a listing on the BBBF website again with a description of activities, contact numbers and useful links.

Corporate Sponsorships Three levels of sponsorship are available:

BBBF Membership Application

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

Platinum: BD 2500 each year for three years Gold: BD 2500 for one year Silver: BD 1000 for one year Sponsor packages include a variety of advertisement opportunities in the Membership Directory, the Forum magazine, the BBBF website and at the regular lunch meetings. Full details are available on request.

Corporate Membership please complete separate form for each applicant

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

Website address of business (if applicable)

Title and full name (Surname first)

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

Position in business

Nationality

Date of Birth

CPR Number

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

Business telephone

Facsimile

Home telephone

Mobile

E-mail address

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

Applicants Signature

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

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June lunch meeting David Hadfield, pictured left, the Executive Managing Director of the Hidd Power Company, addressed BBBF members who attended the June lunch at the Golden Tulip Hotel. David explained that the Company was partly British owned, partly French and partly Japanese and gave a fascinating breakdown of the progress of the work todate. Most interesting to the majority of listeners was

David’s view that in the long term the increased water output from the plants would provide an alternative to ground extraction which would mean water levels would rise in the aquifers and Bahrain might see the reappearance of springs acorss parts of the island. The photograph below shows one of the new distillers producing six million imperial gallons per day. The company are installing another nine like this.

New Bahrain Hotel & Restaurant Guide Red House Marketing has issued the 9 th edition of the Bahrain Hotel & R e s t a u r a n t Directory. “This hugely popular annual guide to hotels, services apartment, restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues is the reference of choice for residents within the kingdom,” commented George F. Middleton, Managing Director and Publisher of Red House Marketing. “More than 400 outlets are 8

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referenced in the publication, providing a wealth of options for those looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy a good meal or a coffee.” In addition to alphabetical listings for each section within the publication, there is also a compendium of restaurants by cuisine style. The Bahrain Hotel & Restaurant Directory is distributed to subscribers of the Gulf Daily News and Bahrain This Month as well as retail outlets.


Accreditation—AMH is certified! by: Dr Paul Armerding Chief Medical Officer/CEO

May 7th was a “red letter day” for AMH. Dr. Desmond Yen from the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI) presented the hospital administration with a certificate of accreditation. Copies of the certificate are now displayed on various walls about the hospital so all can see that the staff of AMH - all working together - earned this award. Dr. Robin Pavillard, one of our coaches from Quality Healthcare Australia (QHA) traveled here with Dr. Yen and affirmed the staff’s good work and team spirit which resulted in May 7th’s ceremonies and celebrations. We began the day gathering with staff at AMH Saar Medical & Dental Center to receive the accreditation certificate. Dr. Yen made it clear that in achieving accreditation, all parts of AMH had been evaluated against world standards and had measured up. It was obviously a proud moment for the staff at Saar as we hung the certificate on the wall and cut a cake to celebrate. A reception was held outside the Samuel Zwemer Chapel / Classroom at 1:00 PM. The Minister of Health Dr. Nada AlHaffadh, US Ambassador William Monroe, Australian Consul David Gedge, other officials from Health and Social 10 Forum

Development, board members, sponsors and friends of AMH gathered in the auditorium for the brief presentation ceremony at 1:30 PM. Her Excellency congratulated our success and gave evidence that our example ought to be followed by declaring that the Ministry of Health is pursuing accreditation also. At 2:30, over half the staff of AMH gathered in the Fellowship Hall of National Evangelical Church for our final ceremony. We listened to Dr. Yen’s and Dr. Pavillard’s remarks emphasizing the quality of our work, the safe environment we provide for our patients, and above all, our willingness to accept criticism so as to continue improving AMH. That last remark was very important and I want to emphasize it again. All the staff members at AMH are human (no angels have applied to our HR department) and as the expression goes, “to err is human.” But in healthcare, we cannot accept errors glibly. We must do everything we can to prevent errors in patient care. Therefore, we all must accept the fact that we make mistakes—and that we must admit and study our mistakes together for the sake of preventing their recurrence. As “people of the book”, we recognize that God is gracious and therefore we are to be gracious to one another. We also recognize that God is truth, and we must honestly deal with our errors. So in that spirit, we seek to continue improving the care we give at AMH.

Accreditation What does it indicate? Good question! How does one evaluate a medical service facility to determine the quality of its work in a way that is meaningful and encourages improvement?

ACHSI identifies two broad categories of standards: • Continuum of Care: these standards cover the care and services provided to consumers / patients. They are organized so that they follow the care process from when a consumer /patient accesses a service through to when they leave the service. The four standards cover: o Access to health care services ensures patients receive quality and safe care. o A comprehensive assessment by appropriate professional provides a documented plan for delivery of quality and safe care. o Planning, delivery and evaluation of patient care ensures quality and safe care with desirable outcomes. o The coordination of services and the provision of information for ongoing management ensure quality and safe patient care. • Infrastructure Standards: these standards cover the main functions within an organization that are needed to support the delivery of quality and safe care. The infrastructure standards are arranged into the following five functions: ο Leadership and Management ο Human Resources Management ο Information Management ο Safe Practice and Environment ο Improving Performance Each function has standards. Each standard has criteria. Each criterion has elements. The elements describe important practices for each criterion and have been

categorized for each level of achievement – Early Progress, Marked Progress, Significant Progress, Advanced Progress and Outstanding Progress. These have been designed to help an organization: • Identify gaps in achievement • Identify opportunities for improvement • Identify the level of achievement For AMH, the preparation process did not mean changing the ways we do things in most cases. We have been focused on “best practice” standards in healthcare and had quality improvement tools in place in some critical areas. But in keeping with the growth of the organization, it had become imperative that we develop tools to monitor all aspects of our patient care and support activities and that we chart our progress to see if we really were making significant improvements. Over the past two years during which we prepared for the ACHSI accreditation survey, our goal was to institute a culture of quality improvement and patient safety. The leadership team and department heads of AMH, our coaches from QHA and the personnel of ACHSI worked together to achieve this goal. Further, the ACHSI program does not allow for accreditation to be a “one-shot” experience. AMH will perform a detailed self-assessment in 2007, will undergo a mini-survey in 2008, another self-assessment in 2009, and a full accreditation survey in 2010. We have committed ourselves to a process of continual improvement for the sake of our patients and our community.


News from BIC Bahrain’s Formula 1 revives region’s economy

The resounding success of this year’s Formula 1 was directly echoed in various economic sectors throughout the Kingdom of Bahrain, and its neighbouring countries. Newspaper headlines in Bahrain and throughout the GCC, read amazing numbers like 500,000 tourist visitors every month coming to Bahrain, and it was a welcome triumph that in addition to the regional visitors, almost 10,000 people from outside the GCC visited the country during April as they headed 12 Forum

down to the Bahrain International Circuit to watch the Grand Prix. Hotel occupancy was up to 104% during the 3-day event, which explained the 20% increase in their purchasing of fruit; outdoor advertising expenditure rose by 15% during the month of April; and the famous Manama Gold Souq witnessed a 30% increase, with the Karat reaching as high as BD7.2. The importance in such a successful turnout demonstrates the success

that Bahrain has made out of annually hosting the biggest sporting event in the world. Last year the Kingdom hosted the opening round and the success of the organisation and events in the build-up to the race weekend was celebrated around the world. The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2006 cemented the foundations for producing a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain and 2007 paid testament to its success. With Bahrain securing a long-term contract with Formula 1 Management in only four

years, the Kingdom has with it secured the knowledge of how positively the world views the race. The immigration authority’s ability to deal with such an enormous influx of guests entering the country was astounding. The smooth running of the visa operation meant many had to work double shifts to ensure that everyone was welcomed with traditional Bahraini hospitality. Already the country is preparing to build on the success and is looking forward to the 2008 event.


News from BIC Your Ultimate Motorsports Experience The Bahrain International Circuit is the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East, from where you can take home unforgettable experiences. Whatever motoring passion you have, it can be fulfilled in safety at one of the world’s leading sports facilities through BIC’s range of driving activities for private

bookings and corporate hire. For those seeking adventure in an actionpacked, adrenaline-fuelled environment, the BIC’s new Xtreme range of products will deliver maximum thrills and invaluable training. For those seeking to understand the sport from

the inside, special tours of the BIC’s facilities - VIP hospitality areas, the race organisers’ centres and the global communications hub of the Media Centre are also available every week. Included in the price is a chauffeur-driven lap of the circuit, and a chance to take home a memento at the BIC Pitshop. by an 85 degree incline. The ADA course takes you beyond regular off-road driving into extremes, the very limits of the vehicle’s capability, in order to give you the confidence and experience to tackle realworld situations.

BMW Performance At the BIC’s BMW Performance Centre, the only one of its kind outside Europe, you will receive intensive training from seasoned professionals from around the world as you take to the track in powerful BMW performance cars and the ultimate challenge: Formula BMW FB2 single-seaters. QuadXtreme QuadXtreme is known as the ‘roller coaster’ and for good reason. Skimming over the Sakhir desert on a 100km/h quad bike is an exhilarating experience that few theme parks can match.

4x4Xtreme 4x4Xtreme takes you out onto the Adventure Drive Arabia (ADA) off-road course, the only SPE CIAL purpose -built P R O M driving O challenge of its kind in the region. The ADA course offers an array of obstacles and you will be guided by our professionals, making this a safe environment. Whether it is in a 325hp Hummer H2 or a 220hp Hummer H3 there is ample power available under your right foot – even when confronted

CaterhamXtreme The CaterhamXtreme package offers you the chance to take the same corners as Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button at the wheel of a race-tuned Caterham sports car. Designed by M E R Formula One T I O N genius Colin Chapman the Caterham Seven is regarded by motoring purists as the benchmark for performance and handling. With expert tuition at every step of your experience, CaterhamXtreme is the ultimate taste of life in the fast lane.

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All the BIC’s products are available both for corporate clients and for private individuals. Whatever your driving passion, the BIC can deliver an experience you never dreamed possible. For more information on all the products available and to book your motoring adventures call: +973 1745 0000.

SkidXtreme SkidXtreme is one of the most invaluable programmes in the BIC’s training regime. As one of the leaders in the campaign for road safety in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the BIC is dedicated to raising driving standards and improving opportunities to learn how to handle tricky situations – in an atmosphere of safety, enjoyment and excitement. With expert tuition throughout the event, the SkidXtreme package is aimed at showing you how to avoid losing control on the open road, and when trouble is unavoidable, we will show you the best means of minimising the risk to yourself, your passengers and other road users. We guarantee that you will leave the SkidXtreme exhilarated and a better driver.

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Air Industry News IATA forecast $5 billion profit for airlines The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast a $5 billion profit for airlines in 2007. In his keynote State of the Industry address at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director general and CEO, said: “We expect airlines to make $5 billion this year. The industry has changed tremendously in five years. Labour productivity is up 56%. Distribution costs are down 13%. Non-fuel unit costs dropped 15% and load factors are at record highs - 76% in 2006. Airlines needed an oil price of less than $20 per barrel in 2002 to break even. Today we are profitable at nearly $70 per barrel.” While the results are encouraging, Bisignani also gave an important reality check. “Airlines are a $470 billion industry. A profit of $5 billion is peanuts. We need $40 billion just to cover the cost of capital. The industry is moving in the right direction, but with $200 billion of debt, the financial hole is deep. The challenge for us is to turn peanuts into sustainable profits.” IATA outlined six priorities for the industry. They include:

* Safety: “In a decade we cut the accident rate in half. 2006 was our safest year ever, with one accident for every 1.5 million flights. And IATA member airlines did considerably better at one accident for every 2 million flights. The IATA Operational Safety Audit— a condition of IATA membership—is crucial to our efforts to make air travel even safer. Already 153 airlines are on the Registry and the industry is on target to improve safety a further 25% by the end of 2008.” Not all regions are performing at the same level. “While we are raising the bar on safety, IATA is working with its members to deliver results. IATA’s Partnership for Safety has helped 89 airlines across Russia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.” * Security: “Nearly six years after the tragic events of 2001, we are much more secure, but the system is a $5.6 billion uncoordinated mess. Progress has been made on liquids and gels, but with more checked baggage, infrastructure issues must catch up. And governments have forgotten that our success on safety is based on global standards and cooperation. We need to take the same approach with security. It is a government responsibility to provide effective security that is also convenient. Our passengers have been hassled for six years. That’s far too much,” said Bisignani. * Simplifying the Business:

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Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director general and CEO, “Simplifying the Business is a winner. In three short years, ET penetration jumped to 80%. E-freight will be a reality in five locations by the end of this year. RFID will be part of a new approach to baggage handling. Forty-eight airlines are using bar coded boarding passes and CUSS is used in 59 airports around the world today. A $6.5 billion revolution is taking shape and now we are looking over the horizon to stage two—a strategy for selfservice that will define a new age for efficient travel,” said Bisignani. * Infrastructure Costs: “Infrastructure providers must also share airlines’ obsession with efficiency. While IATA achieved $1.9 billion in cost savings from infrastructure partners in 2006, cost increases totalling $2.6 billion wiped out the gains. While we are moving in the right direction with air navigation service providers, too many airports still operate as happy monopolies. Three airports - Bangkok, London and Paris - alone were responsible for $1.4 billion of the $2 billion of airport cost increases in

2006. Airlines live in a competitive world where commercial discipline is the regulator. Airport regulators are phantoms. Their financial results - with EBITs over 40% - prove that it’s a dream world for airports and a nightmare for airlines that pay the bill. The target for 2007 is to give the draft European Directive on airport charges some teeth by incorporating cost efficiency targets for the national regulators that it requires,” said Bisignani. * Liberalisation: “This is the Everest challenge for the industry. Airlines compete in a modern world, but live in a time capsule with 60-year-old rules. It’s like trying to climb Everest with equipment from 1944. The US-EU agreement is an important step in the right direction, opening up many new opportunities, but we lost a great chance for fundamental change. Governments must understand that we have modern businesses to run. Airlines need the freedom to sell their products where markets exist and to merge or consolidate where it makes business


Air Industry News Merged Airlines - New Logo It was revealed in Bahrain in June that the merger of Indian national carriers, Air India and Indian, will be completed in four months, making the new airline one of the largest in Asia. Both airlines, which currently have separate offices in Bahrain and other parts of the world, will redeploy their staff and work under one umbrella, said Air India’s regional director for Gulf, Middle East and Africa Freddie Vaz. “However, it will take one or two years before the total merger becomes a reality,” he told a Press conference at the Y B A Kanoo headquarters in Manama. “The combined fleet will have an initial strength of 150 aircraft, making it one of the largest in Asia and one of the best five international airlines in the world.”

sense. Progressive liberalisation is the only way forward. The bilateral system belongs in a museum, in a display case next to the paper ticket,” said Bisignani. * Environment: “The industry’s toughest challenge is the environment. Our track record has limited airlines’ carbon footprint to 2% of the global total. By 2050 the UN estimates it will grow to 3%. In today’s political reality that is not acceptable - for any industry. We must aim high. Air transport must

The new airline will be called Air India, which will be run by a new company called National Aviation Company of India. V. Thulasidas has been named as the chairman and managing director of the airline. Vaz, who was a former Air India manager in Bahrain, said Air India Express was currently operating 10 flights a week to Bahrain. “The merger will not affect the new budget airline’s operations,” he added.

said it was due to some technical reasons and steps have been taken to rectify the same. Air India currently operates 94 flights and Air India Express 50 flights on the Gulf- India sector every week.

“In fact, plans are under way to expand Air India Express services to all points in the Gulf.”

“During the financial year which ended in March this year, Air India increased its revenue by 11% on the Gulf sector,” said Vaz.”and passenger traffic grew by 17%.

On the delays experienced by Air India Express on its Bahrain operations, Vaz

Air India commercial manager-marketing T.R. Heerjee said no staff would

Former Logos

become an industry that does not pollute. We will not achieve this overnight, but potential building blocks for a carbon-free future are here. Turning this vision into reality will require leadership from governments, a global direction from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a technology leap from manufacturers and fuel suppliers. At the same time, IATA will work with airlines to implement best practice Environment Management Systems that place environmental responsibility alongside

be made redundant in the merger process. ”In fact, Air India will recruit some senior pilots from the Indian Air Force,” he revealed. The airline’s new Logo was announced by India’s Minister of Civil Aviation on 24th May 2007 when he told the world’s press that the new company would have its registered office in New Delhi with the corporate office in Mumbai. “The design components of the new logo and livery have been drawn after merging some of the current features of both Air India and Indian.” said Heerjee “The logo, which is a Flying Swan with the Konark Chakra placed inside it, will feature prominently on the tail of the aircraft.”

safety and security as a core promise to our 2 billion passengers a year.

issues: environment, safety and Simplifying the Business.

“Industry leadership is critical. IATA has to set tough targets to meet the tough reality of business. But our biggest challenge is to have all of our members on board. So IATA has an important role in building the industry’s leadership so that even small carriers can deliver great results,” said Bisignani. IATA is strengthening the International Airline Training Fund (IATF) to help its member airlines on the industry’s most critical

“Industry and government leaders must share a common view, addressing climate change with global solutions, tearing down the outdated bilateral system, ensuring cost efficient infrastructure, harmonising security and making travel convenient again. We are a great industry capable of innovation and change. So I am confident in our future: safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible,” said Bisignani. Forum

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Thrilling climax to Greatest Race on Earth series as winners of $1.5million prize pool are decided Kenyan Steven Kamar won the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon in March, taking his team Kericho to overall victory in the Greatest Race on Earth (GROE) 2006/07 series and a $400,000 first prize. In the final leg of the four-marathon team relay series, Kamar ran 2:17:03 to overturn a 44 second deficit on previous leaders Marathon Centre Kericho, lifting his team into first place with a cumulative time of 9:08:41. GROE is a relay of four marathons in the cities of Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The series sees athletes take on some of the world’s most challenging running conditions – including altitude, heat, humidity and steep inclines. Athletes compete in teams of four, running one marathon each, working together to strive for the fastest cumulative time. The prize pool on offer, $1.5 million, is the largest in world athletics. Kamar said: “This victory has already changed my life. It was very close, I was just looking at Marathon Centre Kericho’s runner all the time - all I wanted to do was defeat him by more than 44 seconds.” Paul Bor, brother of last year’s Hong Kong Marathon winner Simon Bor, distinguished himself with third place in the marathon today - finishing second in the Main Team Challenge and winning $195,000 for his team Marathon Centre Kericho. Paul Bor in fact formed the team himself, using money he won as a member of last year’s 16 Forum

Nations Challenge winners Kenya to fund the team’s travel and preparation. A solid team effort from Akaki runner Patrick Kimeli maintained their third position, assuring them a place on the podium and a $125,000 prize. Francis Bowen finished second in the marathon overall with a time of 2:17:19 to lift Team Gowar into a prize-winning position, from sixth to fourth place ($75,000). Moses Arusei finished with a time of 2:22:18 for PACE Sports Management to take the fifth and final prize for the Main Team Challenge ($50,000). Women’s Challenge winners Cyclone have dominated the competition since the first leg in Nairobi, breaking records along the way. Entering the Hong Kong leg, their runner Jane Ekimat already had a 19 minute lead ahead of nearest rivals Run for Peace who were being represented by Mary Ptikany. Cyclone won the $100,000 first prize and a further bonus of $20,000 for achieving a women’s series record of 10:22:27. Ekimat’s second place time of 2:39:33 was enough to convincingly hold first place for Cyclone. Rose Kerubo won the marathon with a time of 2:38:19, maintaining her team Grazy Girls’ third place in the Women’s Challenge, just 22 seconds behind second place. That position was clinched for Run for Peace by Mary Ptikany’s third place in the marathon with a time of 2:40:13 Marathon winner Kerubo said: “I’m very happy. The race was very good, but it

was difficult as the weather was very humid and the route was very hilly.” The Nations Challenge was won by Kenya for the third year running, having faced close competition from local rivals Zimbabwe and Uganda throughout the series. In doing so, they became the first team to be awarded the 9 carat, 300 gram solid Gold Baton trophy which was introduced for this series and specially commissioned to be awarded to the winning national team. The Gold Baton will be engraved with Kenya’s name, and the team will also receive and keep a replica. Their final leg athlete Edward Kiprotich Muge was paced and supported throughout the marathon by team-mate Sammy Karanja, who ran for the team in the first leg in Nairobi and flew to Hong Kong especially for this purpose. An elated Karanja said after the race: “Whilst Nairobi is challenging because of the number of talented Kenyan competitors, this marathon is difficult because of the humidity and hills. We are very happy and honoured to win this competition.” In the six regional competitions within the Nations Challenge, there were some exciting battles won and lost, with $50,000 at stake in each region. In particular, in the South Asia region, Kennady Chinna Ramu’s time of 2:25:11 converted India’s deficit of nearly four minutes behind Sri Lanka into victory by a margin of just 14 seconds.

Ramu said: “I prepared well for this race for three months. The course was very good for 35km but after that there are many ups and downs on the road. Finally though, I came through it and did well for my team.” Similarly in Europe & Oceania, Denmark’s athlete Jeppe Farsoeht overcame a five minute disadvantage from Australia to claim victory by a mere 28 seconds. Thailand were another team who came from behind, with a heroic performance from Boonchoo Jandacha clinching first place in the South East Asia region, and overcoming a 16 minute deficit to long-time leaders Indonesia. Jandacha said: “Running solo requires personal effort but running as a team requires co-operation and encouraging each other to victory. I feel proud to be a part of this international race and I’m grateful to GROE for giving me a chance in this world class marathon series.” And in other regions, Kenya (Africa), Taiwan (North East Asia) and Mexico (Americas) successfully defended their leads to claim victory. Hong Kong’s Lai Hok Yan ran a solid time of 2:37:01 for his team and said after the marathon: “The first and last races have the most pressure out of the four, and I got great support from the crowd being in my home city.” In a new award for this year’s series, Mauritius became the first recipients of the Most Improved Nations Team Award, having beaten their 2005/06 cumulative time by 2:39:07.


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Financial News Gulf banks more likely to merge Banks in the Gulf states are waking up to the challenges of global competition and are more likely than ever to seek merger opportunities in their local markets, a senior local banker said. “The time horizons are getting shorter,” Abdul Kareem Abu Alnasr, chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank said on the sidelines of the Institute of International Finance’s semi-annual conference. Earlier in an address to bankers at the conference, Alnasr cited as an example the National Bank of Dubai’s recent merger with Emirates Bank, another financial institution based in Dubai. Gulf banks are still small by international standards and need to combine in order to compete as business booms in the region, fuelled by a sustained surge in oil export prices, and as powerful new corporate players take shape. The combined assets of banks in the six states making up the GCC amount to $624 billion.

“That’s 60% of the size of ABN Amro, which is itself a target for acquisition,” Alnasr said. Dutch bank ABN is at the centre of a takeover battle between Barclays and a consortium of three banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland. The Gulf banks are also looking to mergers as a way to help them beef up staff. “The fundamental focus is to make sure these banks win the war for talent and can meet human capital capabilities. We believe these forces may speed up consolidation - domestic and cross-border,” Alnasr said. Gulf states are keen to attract foreign banks to the region. “Foreign banks are important and bring quality to markets, and regulators are looking for quality players as they strengthen the sector,” Alnasr later said. Meanwhile, “value-driven owners of some of these (Gulf) banks may decide it is time to sell to domestic or international players. There

Bahrain, Abu Dhabi markets sign MoU An MoU has been signed between the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) and Abu Dhabi Securities Market. The MoU aims to strengthen and widen co-operation between the BSE and Abu Dhabi Securities Market in the areas of mutual expertise and exchange of information. It also intends to spread awareness of the legal infrastructure and procedures applied in both bourses and 18 Forum

will encourage companies to cross list their shares in both markets. The MoU will assure periodic exchange of information and encourage collaboration between licensed brokers on the BSE and Abu Dhabi Securities Market. Joint training programmes will also be organised. The MoU was signed by BSE director Fouad Rashid and acting director of Abu Dhabi

is a tremendous opportunity for growth, but it does not come without challenges,” he added.

sustainable, then I think it makes sense to create the infrastructure to help make that happen.”

A far larger proportion of the financial surpluses generated by the oil boom over the past five years are staying in the region than in previous oil price bonanzas. The IIF said in a report published on in June that around $60 billion — or about 11 per cent of the region’s surplus capital flows over the past five years — had remained in the Gulf.

Big new corporate players with international aspirations have sprung up in the region in recent years such as Emirates Airlines, Dubai Ports and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), which bought General Electric’s plastics business.

“There is a lot of desire to intermediate this money in the region, and creating financial centres is a way to intermediate money in the economy,” said Alnasr. “If we believe what is going on in the region is Securities Market Rashid Al Baloushi. “By signing the MOU, we aim to establish mechanisms to achieve common objectives of both markets given the support of political leaders in both countries,” said Rashid. He added the private sectors in both countries would benefit from the joint cooperation under the MoU, especially shareholding companies, investors and brokers.

While banks are looking for opportunities to consolidate, new financial players are also entering the market. Saudi Arabia has 22 licensed banks, compared with just 10 in 2002. For comparison the Central Bank of Bahrain records 141 licenced banks and investment firms as at end of May 2007. Meanwhile, Al Baloushi said that signing this MoU was aimed to enhance cooperation between GCC bourses in order to provide more investment opportunities for investors. He also anticipated an increase in market capitalisation. “This MoU will hopefully allow investors to trade in stocks listed in both bourses with a total market capitalisation exceeding $110.1 billion,” he said.


Financial News Visa awards Credimax Bahrain for valuable contribution in fighting fraud. The arrest of nine fraud suspects last year has brought an international award for Bahrain-based Credimax. The suspects were caught trying to buy gold jewellery from several shops, using more than 61 counterfeit cards and several stolen cards. Credimax received the award from the global organisation Visa, of which it is a member. It won the recognition for working with merchants in support of Visa’s initiative to combat electronic payment fraud throughout the GCC. Merchants in sectors which fraudsters are most likely to purchase from have

undergone extensive training sessions to recognise fraudulent behaviour and understand the security features of the cards in circulation, said a CrediMax official.

fraud by collaborating with all parties involved in the payment card industry, including merchants, police, prosecutors, courts, issuers, acquirers and card associations,’ he said.

In addition they also are trained in effective reporting procedures designed to apprehend fraudsters successfully.

‘We believe that merchants have a key role to play in combating fraud and so we have introduced several initiatives to raise awareness and sharpen their skills in recognising high-risk situations, which we feel is effective in combating fraud,’ Al Aali noted.

CrediMax head of card security Mohammed Redha Al Aali said the company’s proactive efforts to train merchants was borne out of the fact that merchants come into direct contact with fraudsters and therefore had the most important role to play in countering fraud in Bahrain. ‘We decided to combat card

UK Company signs MoU with Saudi Bank Prudential plc (United Kingdom) and Bank Aljazira (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) announced on June 6th that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to Prudential plc taking a significant stake, and becoming the largest individual shareholder, in a new venture that will acquire the existing, market leading, Takaful Ta’awuni life insurance business of Bank Aljazira. The new Takaful Ta’awuni life insurance operation will be listed on the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange (the Tadawul).

The Saudi Arabian insurance market is currently relatively small with an estimated £800m in annual gross premiums and with more than 70 per cent of this being related to motor, medical and property insurance. However, with GDP per capita now exceeding £6,700 and life insurance penetration of less than one percent, there is significant room for growth. Bank Aljazira has a unique, well established and market leading Takaful Ta’awuni life insurance division, however, under new Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) insurance regulations it is now required to separate this operation from the bank and establish a new stock holding company.

transparency and attract capital and consumers to the banking system,’ he said. ‘When coupled with the safe and secure use of these systems, electronic payment systems can play a critical role in helping small business grow,’ Abed opinioned. ‘In this respect, we hope that our fraud control efforts will make a valuable contribution to the development of the banking industry and increasing its security.

Visa International Middle East fraud control manager Wissam Abed said the company was committed to expanding electronic payments.‘Electronic payments bring greater

This has created an ideal opportunity for Prudential plc to leverage its international expertise and Bank Aljazira’s excellent platform to take the development of this business to the next level.

phase of growth development”.

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, commented “We have a terrific track record of working very well with leading local players to create world class operations and I look forward to another success here in Saudi Arabia with Bank Aljariza”. Mishari Al Mishari, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Aljazira, added “The insurance market in Saudi Arabia is really set to take off and we believe Prudential plc will be excellent partners as this business enters its next

The new ventures are expected to launch later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

and

Prudential plc will also take a stake in Bank Aljazira’s new funds management business.

The MoU between Prudential plc and Bank Aljazira also agrees that a successful Takaful operation in KSA will potentially become a strong base for jointly expanding the Takaful Ta’awuni business throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

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Bahrain Construction Update Manama Suq work on target Top story on the TradeArabia website at the last time of checking was that work on the BD 5-million first phase of renovation of Manama souk is likely to be completed by next year, according to the main contractor.

and work is on schedule, say officials.

Some traders have had to move out while the work goes on, while those still in place say business is down by as much as half.

“We are starting the mall foundation footing and although we are having problems with authorities concerning utilities such as water, sewage and phone installations, we can still work on these issues until they are solved,” he said.

All are hoping that business will bounce back once the project is finished. Any potential delay to phase one, which centres around Bab Al Bahrain Avenue and the parallel Al Mutanabi Road, has been factored in

Bokhowa Contracting’s suq project manager PKS Kumar says utility services are causing a problem, but they are working to resolve them.

Kumar also said one of the problems is the relocation of a power substation in the work zone, that will have to

be moved with help from the Electrical Distribution Directorate (EDD). Relocation for utilities is necessary as part of the renovation, but foundation work can still go ahead, he said. Plans drawn up by Municipalities and Agricultural Affairs Ministry include a new mall at Bab Al Bahrain and facelifts for buildings on both sides of the road. A BD 2.8 million multi-storey car park for 400 vehicles is being built near Al Jazeera Hotel and the entire Bab Al Bahrain Avenue will be shaded. There will also be a plaza with restaurants. Renovation work is continuing at Manama Post

Office and the nearby Manama Police Station, which will be turned into a suq museum. Work on the first phase started last December, with an 18-month completion target. Delays have all been accounted for and various authorities are working in co-ordination as it was earlier planned, said the ministry’s suq project construction manager Mohammed Meqdadi. “We are still on track to complete the new ‘Suq Al Manama’ by the second half of next year,” he said. “The work is progressing as planned and everything is still on par with the schedule.

Amwaj Islands project launch The $1.5 billion Amwaj Islands project in Bahrain was officially launched by Crown Prince and BDF Commander-in-Chief Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The ceremony was held amidst great fanfare as the Crown Prince pushed the button on a monument designed as an Astrolabe to mark the occasion at the island’s Beach Club. It featured a host of entertainment, including a pipe band and a spectacular air display from the Blades in Bahrain. More than 150 dignitaries attended the ceremony, including ministers, MPs, businessmen and dignitaries. After the ceremony, Shaikh Salman and officials from the project’s sales agent Al 22 Forum

Saraya Properties and developer Ossis Property Developers went on a guided tour of the development. The land reclamation project secured 2.798 million m² of land allowing a beachfront of 9.5km. To link the island to Muharraq Island, near Qalali Village and the mainland, a 3km causeway was constructed to connect to a new ring road highway on the mainland. This makes the distance between the new island and Bahrain International Airport only 8km.

which involved dredging and reclamation and creating the infrastructure, we are proud to announce that phase three of building development is on target,” she said.

The project’s spokeswoman said the development was running on schedule and will have an estimated population of more than 30,000 by 2010.

“It is one of the first major mixed-use projects in the region to go live with basic infrastructure having been completed and properties already handed over to tenants.”

“Having completed the first two construction phases,

Amwaj Islands, covering an area of 30million sqft, is a

mixture of residential neighbourhoods with commercial districts and leisure resorts. Its key projects are the Amwaj Gateway, the Al Marsa Floating City, Tala Island, The Lagoon, The Dragon, Safina, Lagoona, the International School of Choueifat and the Marina. The Amwaj Islands project started in 2002 and the first phase was completed by 2003; phase 2 began early in 2004.


Bahrain Construction Update Construction materials prices ‘to go up’ Bahraini contractors were warned in May that they can expect to see materials prices rise in the coming year according to industry executives.

The cost of structural steel, or rebar, in Bahrain has leapt in recent years, from $480 a tonne at the beginning of 2004 to about $700 a tonne at the end of March 2007, according to cost consultants Davis Langdon.

However, a rapid increase in new capacity will relieve pressure on steel supplies from 2008 onwards, said a report in the Gulf Daily News. “We currently have about 760,000 tonnes of capacity in Qatar, which we expect to rise over the next year to about 1.4 million tonnes,” said a spokeman for Qatar Steel.

The cost of cement and aggregates such as sand and stone, which are mixed with cement to produce concrete, has also soared. Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa opened the event in the presence of senior government officials and leading industrialists.

“This will be accompanied by more than doubling our capacity in Jebel Ali to about 300,000 tonnes of steel products.”

Along with Hadeed of Saudi Arabia, the company is one of the main producers of steel in the Gulf.

Qatar Steel, formerly known as QASCO, launched its new brand image on the first day of gulfBID 2007, the region’s leading construction and interiors show at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.

Qatar Steel is also planning a permanent presence in Bahrain, after recently buying a 25% stake in the local Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC). GIIC, which supplies iron ore pellets to the steel

manufacturing industry in the Gulf, in June announced plans to more than double production to 11m tonnes a year, in one of the biggest industrial projects in the region.

The problem is particularly acute for countries such as Bahrain, which has little or no natural resources to develop for its construction industry.

The boom in the GCC region’s construction industry has fuelled a surge in demand for construction materials.

With several billion dollars worth of projects planned or already under construction, sourcing raw materials is a major concern for Bahrain.

Industry demand is expected to grow by $9.2 billion this year alone as new real estate and industrial projects are rolled out.

Earlier this year the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry had previously warned that construction materials shortages could stifle economic growth.

systems to operate the new container station. Work on the BD 31.4 million infrastructure project is being implemented by Ahmed Al A’Ali Company, while the main buildings

project, involving BD16 million, is being implemented by Bokhowa Group under the supervision of project consultants Royal Haskoning - ACE Al Moayyed.

Bahrain Port work on schedule The dredging and reclamation work at the control tower of the Khalifa bin Salman Port Project in Hidd has been completed, according to the Ministry of Works and Housing. Preparations are being made to receive huge containers in January. The Assistant Undersecretary for Construction Projects and Maintenance, Mohammed Hussain Al Mubarak, paid an inspection visit to the site and said infrastructure work was on

schedule for the overall project and work was expected to be completed by June 2008. Al Mubarak said infrastructure work included creation of special spaces in the port area that covered 110 hectares and 90 hectares in the goods distribution area. Special floors are being designed to accommodate heavy mechanical equipment, fire control tools, communication systems and the basic information

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Fast Track To The World’s First Supertruck grounds and major development centres across the world. The linking of the MIRA’s know-how in furthering the potential of the computer to advance both automotive design and styling with TTT’s successful use of carbon fibre in trailer-making is expected to lead to a supertruck that will be stronger, lighter and more durable, enabling it to carry heavier loads to reduce the number of large trucks needed. Carbon fibre and other lightweight materials and structures used in road supercars, Formula 1 racing cars and aerospace will figure in an initiative to speed the development of the world’s first “supertruck”. Fast tracking such a vehicle is the planned outcome of collaboration between the Motor Industry Research Association of the UK - now known simply as MIRA - and The Team Technology (TTT) company of Germany. The agreement brings together the MIRA’s skills as the automotive industry’s top consultancy in vehicle design, development and certification with the trailer and materials expertise of TTT based in Hamburg. A MIRA spokesman in London said: “Supercars and F1 racers deliver their astonishing performance because they are constructed from the best materials available - and, soon, heavy goods vehicles will be too. This exciting development could deliver lower emissions, higher fuel economy and greater potential for heavy cargo. 24 Forum

The move would actually reduce the number of trucks on the road, easing congestion.” Of the link-up between MIRA and TTT, the spokesman added: “The deal signposts the future of commercial vehicle design, and sets out the framework by which the parties will explore exciting new tractor and trailer units, using advanced lightweight structures and aerospace materials. MIRA and TTT plan to develop conceptual design solutions for carbon fibre vehicles. Once support from the European Union has been confirmed, these will revolutionise the commercial vehicle sector.” At the official signing of the collaborative agreement in Hamburg, John Petersen, head of MIRA’s global marketing, said: “It is an exciting time for commercial vehicle design and we invite all the stakeholders across Europe to share our vision of the future.” The MIRA, which in 2006 celebrated 60 years of vehicle engineering, will bring a wealth of expertise to bear on the supertruck of the

future. The company’s heritage dates from the foundation of the UK Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1899. Today, it is a truly international organisation with teams that have designed and developed automotive products for clients in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America and the United States. At its 307-hectare (760-acre) development centre at Nuneaton in the English Midlands, more than 450 experts exploit the findings of 32 major test facilities that use advanced design and modelling techniques to reduce development timescales and the need to build costly prototypes. The MIRA provides particular expertise in occupant and pedestrian safety, aerodynamics, thermal management, vehicle noise and vibration dynamics, electrical/ electronic systems, powertrain integration and all aspects of durability. It is also responsible for the design and construction of numerous other proving

A TTT spokesman said: “Carbon fibre composite is a great support material to make products safer and to protect life. There is no racing car whose chassis it not equipped with carbon fibre. Aviation and space travel would not be so successful without textiles made from carbon fibres. More goods can be delivered more easily by using less material and weight because of the truck being lighter, secure of twisting and rustproof. And, incidentally, this material is easier to produce, it is not dependent on expensive energy sources and proves its quality.” The collaboration is expected to see the MIRA’s muchacclaimed Optimus truck sleeper-cab design concept become a reality. Optimus was formally launched at the UK Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham in April 2006 when its innovation was claimed to set new standards for Europe. The Midlands design experts said that truck manufacturers adopting the concept’s modular digital and computer-aided design


(CAD) process will “slash months off development schedules and millions of pounds of development spending from future cab programmes”. The design process developed for the cab is seen as a means of starting rapid progress of a supertruck. Optimus is aimed at advancing the best facilities available to heavy goods vehicle drivers and is said to represent a radical change in cab design because it is a world first in using only computerised or “virtual” engineering tools. Such a cab is capable of being restyled to the particular needs of different truck manufacturers without costly re-engineering.

The MIRA said that Optimus “powered through its styling and engineering design phases” without having to take account of the various non-compatible computer software languages normally used, or resorting to the traditional use of clay models. Instead, it was designed directly in the industry’s standard CAD software called CATIA. The Optimus concept and a carbon composite trailer recently completed by TTT demonstrate that a carbon fibre supertruck will be lighter and easier to make, will have more space, style, driver comfort, practicality, aerodynamic performance and safety. MIRA experts in ergonomic design have

developed a unique wraparound cockpit with clear instruments and all essential controls at the driver’s fingertips. With a car-like drive feel, the practicality of the cab has been especially designed from the driver’s point of view with standing headroom and walk-through facility, integration of a climatecontrol system and abundant storage. A flexible living compartment offers a multipurpose bunk that has an ingenious stowage shelf that flips down to form a comfortable backrest. Final word from the MIRA spokesman: “MIRA’s 60year history of pioneering automotive design is central

to the successful delivery of a bespoke cab design in the coming months. Optimus is the world’s first truck cab to be designed entirely using virtual engineering tools. The design processes developed to enable this feat are now ready to enable the rapid development of the world’s first ‘supertruck’. “TTT have recently completed a carbon composite trailer and boast the vital production expertise needed to ensure any new products are delivered to the exacting standards expected of a luxury supercar. Plans for EU funding are already in place and if successful will serve as the vital catalyst for future development.”

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Notes from the Eastern Province viewed as a starting point and will be continuously developed to incorporate more useful information for both our members and the business community, in general.

The first half of 2007 is now behind us and we are all looking forward to our hard earned summer breaks. It has been a hectic period with Eastern Province focused on major project activities that seem to outstrip the intensity of the boom days of the 1970 & 80’s. Long may it last!! It has also been a busy period for the BBA as we continued to review our activities and systems. This effort resulted in the launch, during March, of our first website. Visit us at www.bbaep.com where you will find information on upcoming events as well as other useful information. The website is currently

Our successful program of business dinners continued with an interesting update on the South Rub Al-Kali (SRAK) project by CEO, Patrick Allman-Ward, in March and a detailed insight into the mechanics and trends of the Saudi economy presented by Mohammed Ramady, Associate Professor, Finance and Economics, KFUPM, in May. In March, EP had the honour of welcoming HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, to the Province on a trade visit. During late April, the British Trade Office introduced a very successful initiative by hosting a Saudi British Week in Al-Khobar. This involved a balance of business and social events attended by several trade missions from the UK as well

Chairman & guests at the BBA Summer Ball in June as members of the local British and Saudi business communities. BBA were pleased to contribute to the events and especially to sponsor the Garden Party for British Wives. Congratulations to Terry Evans and her staff at the BTO for a very successful and well-organized event, which must surely be repeated. The Queens Birthday Party, held during British Week, also provided an early opportunity to welcome the new British Ambassador, William Patey, back to the Kingdom after a ten-year absence, having spent time in London, Khartoum and Baghdad. The social scene has also been busy with the regular quizzes being well attended.

BBA also made a contribution to the success of the annual BAE Beach Day. The annual Summer Ball was held on 7 June at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Bahrain with a good time being had by all and it was especially pleasing to see representatives from the RGBB and the BBBF in attendance again. Don’t forget our open invitation to members of other British Business Groups to attend our functions, either business or social, as you will always be welcome. Any enquiries relating to our events should be communicated to bbakhobar@atheer.net.sa or via our new website as referenced above. Enjoy the holiday season. Geoff Fennah Chairman BBA EP

H.M Ambassador to Saudi Arabia William Patey giving a television interview during British week 26 Forum


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Welcome to Wales literature and the arts, where it is possible to hear one of the tongues of the ancient Britons in common use down the shops.

For a small country, Wales manages to cram quite a bit in. We’re not just talking about mountains, valleys and beaches. Whether you’re after culture, exercise, adventure or peace and quiet, they’re all here. Wales is easily reached from the London airports whether you prefer to travel by rail, car or coach. National Express coach services travel direct to South Wales or you can connect in London for North Wales. Likewise, rail connections take you from central London to Cardiff in just two hours. If you’re hiring a car, South Wales is reached in 2 – 3 hours, travelling on motorway all the way. Where the geological forces of the past shaped the sweeping coastlines and towering slate mountains of Wales, the physical shape of the place has in turn shaped the history of settlement in Wales. Archaeological sites date back to prehistory, but the current population of Wales is just under 3 million. And as you travel between the bustling towns and the peaceful countryside, you’ll never be bored by the 28 Forum

‘movierama’ passing by your window. It’s often said that Wales is green because of the rain. But it’s a mistake to think that Wales is a climatic wet blanket. Many parts of the country have average or below-average rainfall - it even boasts some of the sunniest spots in Britain! Dale, in the far west, is one of the sunniest places in Britain with over 1,800 hours of sunshine a year. Whatever the season, Wales is guaranteed to refresh your spirits - especially if the weather’s fine. Take a springtime stroll through bluebell woods in the Wye Valley. Spend a summer weekend walking the Pembrokeshire coast in the company of warm sea breezes and a carpet of wild flowers. On clear autumn days see if you can spot the rare red kite wheeling in the skies above central Wales. And banish those winter blues with an invigorating walk in snowy Snowdonia. From Merlin to Dylan Thomas and from eisteddfodau to Goldie Lookin’ Chain, the culture of Wales has something to appeal to everyone. A land of myths and music,

Feast your eyes on the works of world-famous painters on display at Cardiff, or seek out accomplished home-grown talent at modern regional galleries. The traditional art of porcelain manufacture reached a high point at Swansea and Nantgarw a few centuries ago. Today’s equivalent is scattered far and wide, at potteries and craft workshops throughout Wales. The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff sees more than its fair share of nail-biting football games: the FA Cup, the Worthington Cup, Nationwide League play-off finals. And there’s golf, with Wales having some of the best golf in Britain and Europe and the Ryder Cup due to be played here in 2010. Oh yes, and then there’s the Rugby! Rugby is the national game of Wales. It is played everywhere - on rough-andready village pitches, at welldeveloped club grounds as well as at the Millenium Stadium. Wales’s passion for

rugby is long-standing, the Welsh Rugby Union was formed in 1881. And that’s not all, at the end of November over 120,000 visitors are expected to head to Wales for trackside views of the 2007 Wales Rally GB, and for something a little unique, why not turn up to watch the World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championship on the 7th August on the outskirts of Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Britain. Should you enjoy good food, check out the website at www.walesinstyle.com. Wales after all, is home to some of the finest food in the world; the best restaurants in Wales will tempt you with a variety of culinary delights as wide as the magnificent landscapes from which they are derived. Discover the flavours of celebrated cheeses, fresh fish, fine beef and lamb. Enjoy the unique hospitality of Welsh restaurants. For a little more guidance on where to stay and what to do, visit the website at www.visitwales.com


Green Sports Car To Be Made In Wales A sports car maker with a tradition of producing winning models is going green - and setting up a new production plant in the United Kingdom. The Connaught Motor Company - the team behind the world’s first highperformance hybrid sports coupe that is kinder to the environment - is setting up its global manufacturing and research and development (R&D) headquarters in Wales to produce many of its cars with petrol-electric engines. Connaught’s decision to establish its headquarters in Wales is being supported by the Welsh Assembly government with regional selective assistance as well as SmartCymru funding for R&D of advanced hybrid technology. The Assembly’s International Business Wales team played a pivotal role in attracting the company to Llanelli following initial discussions at the 2006 British Motor Show. Connaught is one of the renowned British marques dating from the 1950s and had the distinction of winning the Syracuse Grand Prix in

Sicily in 1955, the first time a British driver, Tony Brooks, had won a Formula One grand prix in a British car. The brand, which is still synonymous with innovative design and technology development, was revived in 2002 by Tim Bishop and Tony Martindale after a 40year gap. Under their direction Connaught has developed five leading-class prototype vehicles that have caused considerable excitement and interest in the auto industry and generating hundreds of enquiries. Production of the Connaught Type-D starts in Wales this year, with the first customer vehicle expected off the production line in early 2008. The limited-edition fourseater Type-D GT Syracuse with a Connaught-designed V10 2-litre supercharged 300bhp engine will be its first car built in Wales, to be followed by the hybrid version - the Type-D V10 sports coupe that combines high performance with excellent fuel economy. It will be the world’s first truly high-performance hybrid

sports coupe and has been designed in-house, is patent protected and delivers 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions when compared with vehicles in its class. It will have a V10 petrol-electric engine making the car capable of 42 miles per gallon (67km/4.5litre), 0-60 (0-100km) in 6.2 seconds with a top speed of 150 miles (241km) per hour. Connaught anticipates building 100 cars in the first year, 250 in the second year, rising to 1,000 in year five, targeting the UK and European markets. It expects to recruit 30 engineers in the first year and scaling up as production of its first vehicle rolls off the production line 2007/08. Fred Page-Roberts, Connaught’s chairman, said the decision to establish its operation in Wales and manufacture in-house was taken in part because of the high level of support from the Welsh Assembly and its International Business Wales team. He continued: “The Assembly government is proactively looking to attract the next generation of

manufacturing jobs and technology to Wales – it is looking ahead and pursuing tomorrow’s technology today. “It is this extremely positive attitude, its global outlook and the strong political will that impressed us tremendously and made this such an attractive option for us. Wales also has the available skills sets for the sector, a highly developed supply chain and considerable academic expertise that provides a winning combination,” added Mr Page-Roberts. UK Trade & Investment, the government’s international business development agency, says the UK has a diverse, vibrant and worldclass automotive industry. It is one of the five major automotive-manufacturing countries in Europe, with more than 5,000 companies active in the sector. Altogether, eight companies make cars in volume in the UK, together with seven commercial vehicle and bus manufacturers. UK companies supply a comprehensive range of components to the global industry. Of the 20 leading component makers in the world, 17 have established production facilities in the UK. The UK has the strongest independent aftermarket in Europe, with many small operators doing business alongside the big household names. Another key UK strength is specialist design engineering. Total automotive exports currently exceed 20 billion pounds annually.

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It’s location, location, location for business travellers in 2006

 3 out of 4 business travellers choose location over price and facilities when it comes to staying away on business  Business executives turn away from business on a budget: use of budget hotels falls in 2006 Research released in May 2007 by Barclaycard Business reveals that an overwhelming majority of executives believe location is the most important factor when choosing business accommodation. The research has found that of those polled three-quarters (75%) of business travellers favour a good location with only 15% choosing a hotel because of its facilities. The research also shows that in 2006, business travellers were spending more per night for their hotel accommodation than they were in 2005. The research comes from the 11 th Barclaycard Business Travel Survey. The survey questioned more than 4000 business travellers across the United Kingdom and builds a comprehensive picture of the UK’s business traveller, gauging views on business travel and travel behaviour. The research asked executives to name the most important factor when 32 Forum

booking accommodation. The findings showed that location was more important to a business traveller than the price or facilities offered, with a company’s travel policy being the least cited reason why a particular hotel was chosen. Location 75% Cost 23% Services/Amenities15% Brand 4% Security 4% Travel policy3% Denise Leleux, Director of Commercial Cards, Barclaycard Business, commented on the findings: “Whilst some may see staying in a hotel on business as a perk of the job our survey shows that when it comes to business accommodation it is location that’s key and not the price of the room or the added facilities that the hotel has to offer. “The reasons for this are likely to be both for business and personal. Whilst most executives will cite location as most important because it allows them to be close to where they need to conduct their business, being in a good location may also allow the business traveller to take the opportunity to do some sightseeing, especially if they are in a location they’ve not visited before.” The research also found that the need to do business on a budget seems to be reducing with less business travellers choosing to stay in budget hotels in 2006. The results showed that in the last 12 months 51% of respondents had stayed in a budget hotel compared to 58% in the previous year. Again, it seems it’s the

location of budget hotels that is the deciding factor. The survey found that 42% of those that had chosen not to stay in a budget hotel during the last year viewed location as the main drawback. This was followed closely by the lack of facilities that budget hotels had to offer (39%). A further sign that business travel spend was on the increase in 2006 was the rise in the amount executives paid for hotel accommodation. The research found that 29% of business travellers said they paid on average more than £101 per night for a hotel room in 2006 compared to 26% in the previous 12 months. Denise continued: “Although a fair number of business executives are still willing or constrained to stay in cheaper accommodation whist on business, the availability of better location and facilities elsewhere is becoming increasingly significant when making the decision about where to stay. This has therefore had an impact on overall accommodation spend.”

When business travellers choose a hotel with extra facilities it seems that gym / leisure facilities are the most popular. Of those questioned nearly half (47%) stated that they use a hotel’s gym / leisure facilities when travelling on business, with the use of business facilities, such as the business centre, coming only third amongst business travellers.

“Offering additional facilities plays a key role in attracting new customers and many hotels do a good job by investing in a complete suite of different amenities in order to cater for everyone’s needs. Business travel can be a stressful time and it’s important that business customers feel they have the option to unwind and keep fit whilst away from home and out of their usual routine.”


Bahrain Hotel News Gulf Hotel announces improvements New Tourism Directorate for Bahrain to Bahrain facilities The Kingdom will have an The 240 bedroom Tower Block will be completely refurbished with a modern new external facia and enlarged renovated rooms to bring the hotel in line with the latest standards in the hospitality industry. Construction work started in May and will be completed by November 2007 at a total cost of BD8.5 million. The Al Waha café restaurant, the hotel’s 24hour dining restaurant, will have a complete new look with modern décor, stunning morals, state-of-the-art buffet display and an open kitchen with several live cooking stations. The Palace and Al Andalus Lounge will also sport a bright new look with lively vibrant carpets and rugs, and will include enlarged windows and new furnishings. The all new Platinum

Lounge, on the 13th floor of the Tower Block, will offer Executive Floor guests an unparalleled modern lounge, with stunning views over the city. This exclusive area will feature a dining room lounge, meeting room, complimentary bar, internet stations and flat screen TV’s. A new 12-storey car park and offices, adjacent to the Gulf Executive Residence, will create 8 floors of parking with 6,000 additional parking bays, and 4 floors of offices, offering 6,400 m² of office spaces. The brand new Typhoon Bar, located under the Royal Thai Restaurant, offers relaxing indoor and outdoor seating where guests can enjoy cocktails overlooking the hotel’s lush gardens and streams. With nightly entertainment, it promises to be a highly popular social venue.

independent tourism entity as part of Bahrain’s strategic initiative to consolidate and enhance the role of the tourism sector in the national development of the country, a top official at the Economic Development Board said. Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, chief executive of the EDB, highlighted the organisation’s operational plan for 2007 during the meeting of the Board at Riffa Palace. The other initiatives for 2007 include introducing more reforms and development initiatives to boost the Kingdom’s economy and create jobs and opportunities. These initiatives include unifying Bahrain’s economic vision,

During the meeting, the board expressed satisfaction over the achievements of the EDB to date, which include setting up the Labour Market Regulatory Authority and the Labour Fund, establishing Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding, implementing National Education Reform Initiatives, and other projects to enhance the business environment in Bahrain.

Bahrain to become more Family-Friendly for Tourists The Kingdom of Bahrain attracted more than six million visitors in 2006, according to Bahrain’s Ministry of Information’s Department of Tourism Affairs, compared to 5 million in 2005. “The ministry has spared no effort to promote Bahrain as an affordable tourism destination,” said a ministry spokesperson. “The country has made considerable investments to boost its tourism initiatives and campaigns over the past couple of years” Bahrain’s Information Minister Dr. Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar said recently the country expected revenues of more than $940

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building on educational and training initiatives, a national brand positioning strategy, and establishing a special entity for tourism.

million (BHD355 million) in the next five years from tourism. Other reports note that Bahrain hopes to double the share tourism contributes to GDP to 10% by 2014. Interviewed by the London based Arabic daily Asharq Al Awsat, the Minister said that the era of sub-standard tourism in Bahrain was over. He said the new strategy for ‘clean’ tourism would help to transform Bahrain into a place for Families and in this regard the Ministry would not be renewing the licences of Night Clubs in One and Two star hotels but stressed that the clubs in four and five star hotels offerred high quality shows without any violation of guidelines.


Bahrain Hotel News Cutting Edge Villa designs set new standards at the Ritz-Carlton brief was to create an element of surprise; the interior is not at all like the exterior with its pale pink walls and gabled roofs.

A new Arabian design has made its debut at The RitzCarlton, Bahrain Villas & Spa. Designer furnishings and accessories in the Gulf are becoming increasingly popular and gone are the Arabian Cliches of Persian carpets, rich reds, gilt pillars

and marble. Instead, Philippe Starck - inspired design adorns the 23 luxury units that nestle within The Ritz-Carlton resort. Initially built to accommodate the Heads of State for the Arab Summit, the villas are now available to book. The

The exclusive enclave of villas was designed in close association with the client, who as a regular traveller to the Far East, wanted to infuse a taste of those lands supported by the work of Bahraini architect Adel Ahmedi. The ambience is both sophisticated and familiar; the appeal is to modern travellers who crave inspirational and comfortable surroundings. The predominant theme of the villas luxurious contemporary interiors is the repetitive use of natural materials. The floors are made of magnificent green and brown Indian slate or parquet, sparingly covered with multi-colored striped accent carpets from India or sisal-edged in leather from Renckstul in Germany. The striped theme is repeated in

the oversized modular sofa and seats and on the linen bed spreads and curtain edges. The louvered shutters leading to the patio, all the wardrobe doors, beds, desks and tables, including the oval shaped Indian green marble dining table, were made in Bahrain using imported teak. The main cube-like coffee tables in the dining room are Flexform as are the accent chairs. Outside on the 90-plus metre terrace plus landscaped garden, the partially tented infinity pool continues the contemporary theme in the gardens. Humorous bright yellow and tan sofas, made from resin composite, again designed by Starck for Cartel, dominate the seating area from where beautiful views of the beach and tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf add to the drama of the buildings.

Bahrain to get new Hotel Classification system. According to a report in the Gulf Daily News, Bahrain is working on a new hotel classification system in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). In Bahrain, this programme will be funded by the Government and implemented by the UNWTO. Work on the system will begin later this year and although the time limit for its completion has not been set, the vast majority will be developed in the first year. UNWTO

technical

co-

operation official James Yoo told the GDN that the new system would give tourists information on what they can expect from different classifications of hotels, as well as provide hoteliers with a clear perspective on what services, facilities and standards they should offer. “This classification system won’t be perfect, but its impact will be more positive than negative,” said Yoo. ”It will review the current system and see that it’s being implemented correctly and the Government has the resources and know-how to implement it and make sure

hotels are complying. Bahrain is undergoing a period of development and it’s very exciting for the industry.” He said the existing classification system would not be abandoned, but updated to strengthen the industry and to take into consideration new Government constraints on entertainment licences, for example. The first phase will focus on quantitative (hard) factors (such as amount and size of rooms, facilities and services provided), in

addition to the cleanliness, maintenance and quality of the building and its furniture, fixtures and equipment. This phase will be compulsory for all lodging establishments. The second phase will entirely focus on qualitative (soft) factors. It will allow hoteliers to up-grade their bronze rating to a silver or gold classification to indicate outstanding service quality. The Bahrain Tribune reported in May that a total of 45 new four and five star hotels were currently planned for Bahrain with construction work on 15 of those already underway. Forum

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Bahrain News New Agreement for Mansouri Group

Hasan Mansouri Group has been awarded the sole distributorship for Bahrain to represent the fitness equipment company PRECOR. We have represented PRECOR in Bahrain for over 8 years, Hasan Mansouri has now been awarded a full distributor agreement. The PRECOR line has been supplied to the Sheraton Hotel, RitzCarlton Hotel, The Country Club, the Royal Court, among other prestigious

Clarendon Parker Middle East and Elite World form association in Riyadh Clarendon Parker Middle East FZ LLC (CPME), a regional leader in recruitment and staffing solutions throughout the GCC, recently signed an agreement with Riyadhbased Elite World Company for Recruitment and HR Services. The association allows CPME to work with

Elite World for permanent recruitment, contract staffing and HR related services throughout the Kingdom and will offer more opportunities for expansion throughout Saudi Arabia. Elite World specialises in HR consultation, recruitment services and

Speedy Open-Day

Director of Traffic, Shk. Khalifa Bin Hassan Al- Khalifa; Mr. Syed Bahauddin, Group Senior Manager; Mr. Keith Issitt, Business Development Manager 36 Forum

selection of executive personnel for the commercial, industrial, banking and service sectors. It is committed to the ongoing process of Saudisation and is recognised as one of the country’s leading specialists in providing consultancy for Saudisation programmes. The Company’s Chairman, Dr Sulaiman Al Hudaif, has Speedy Motor Service held their open day in April and are now fully operational. Mr. Keith Issitt hosted several dignitaries and explained the new equipment and facilities that are now available. The Garage is moving forward into a new era with new customers arriving daily and word is spreading across the Kingdom about the excellent levels of service. The garage is looking to a bright future. Speedy is also looking to progress into the fleet service and the maintenance market place and welcome all BBBF members and their companies. Part of the group is Europcar hire, offering customers a full

private clients. PRECOR is the inventor of the popular Crosstrainer, but also has treadmills, bikes, and strength training equipment that are industry leaders for quality and state of the art design. Cardio Theatre, the popular audio video equipment is also a part of the PRECOR group. Hasan Mansouri has trained technicians and a design consultancy. The Hasan Mansouri Sports division is available at +1772 8144 for enquiries. a long and distinguished career in such roles as HR Director for one of the Kingdom’s most prominent banks, and has been leading Elite World for the last 5 years. The signing increases CPME’s number of offices to seven, including branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

range of self drive hire cars along with limousine chauffeur driven vehicles. We would like to make some special offers to all BBBF members. Firstly, on all repairs and maintenance carried out by our specialist technicians, a discount of 15% on parts and labour will apply. Secondly, Europcar would also like to extend to all BBBF members a discount of 20% on self-drive hire tariff rates; this special offer also applies if your car is in the garage for repair and you require a replacement vehicle for a period. Membership cards must be produced to take advantage of these special offers.


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

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

Sports Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bahrain News Castaway launches The Castaway MiniMap. CCMI Services have produced a Mini-Map of Bahrain which will be launched at the end of June 2007. It is designed to fit into a wallet, pocket, briefcase, purse or handbag. The MiniMap, like the Castaway MiniCard information leaflets, will be freely available to business visitors, tourists and residents free of charge from the Castaway Display stands which are situated in all major locations throughout Bahrain. For further information, or to promote your products and

services through the Castaway network, contact the Business Development Manager, Kingsley Dodwell, on 3651-7984.

A new British School of Bahrain The new owners of the British School announced on May 5th 2007, in the local and regional press, that it has amalgamated with the Al Ruwad School. The new amalgamated school is to be called the ‘British School of Bahrain’ and will be located in Hamala. It is intended that all the British School’s pupils will move to the new location in phases throughout the next academic year. Pupils in the Infant School, from KG to Year 2, will move in September 2007, followed by Juniors and Seniors once new facilities are completed. The schools’ management, structure and curriculum have all been retained and the new Director, Bill Frost, has announced that the move will see the school expand to a four from entry KG to Year 13 School. New facilities, long overdue at the school will include an indoor

swimming pool, sports field, auditorium, multi-media library and a cafeteria, along with specialist science, music, art, design technology and language suites. The school will also offer a 192 bay underground car park for staff, parents and visitors to ease any congestion and smooth traffic flow. The amalgamation means that the school will be able to admit Arab nationals for the first time and hence will introduce a first and second language Arabic programme in stages from September next. The school is investing considerable funds into technology and intends to offer an on-line curriculum to its entire community. Families interested in finding out more about the school should contact Kate Hunt Seviour on 1771-0878 for a brochure and further details.

British School Work Experience For the second year running, the British School has been able to run a Work Experience programme. Thanks mainly to members of the BBBF, 40 plus students have been allocated placements in various companies around Bahrain. Although the programme got off to a slow start because of the other changes at the school, quick responses from the companies has made the whole process much easier for the school. The placements were run during the week 24-28th and during that week some of the 38 Forum

staff were out and about taking photographs of the students at work. This type of experience proves invaluable to the ALevel students as they include it in their personal statements when applying to universities around the world. It gives them more confidence when working with people and helps in team building as well as giving guidance when putting business theory into practice. The school would like to extend its thanks to all of those members who responded so promptly.


Bahrain News A new direction for Atkins Bahrain

The Bahrain office of international design and engineering company, Atkins, has announced the

succession of a new Resident Director. Rob Ruse officially steps into the role at the end of June and will manage a team of over 200 professional, technical and support staff and the implementation of landmark projects such as the Bahrain World Trade Centre and Durrat al Bahrain.

teams all over the world, including the UK, China and the Middle East. His portfolio exhibits a number of high profile commissions such as the China World Trade Center in Beijing, and the Jumeirah Beach Resort Development in Dubai, comprising the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the Burj Al Arab and the Wild Wadi Aquapark.

A chartered electrical engineer by profession, Rob has been a part of Atkins since 1990 and has led mechanical & electrical

In addition to developing the Bahrain business, Rob is keen to integrate Atkins further with the local cultural and business community.

Atkins plans, designs and enables the delivery of complex capital programmes for clients in the public and private sectors across the globe. Atkins Bahrain is part of a global network of design and engineering studios. With a worldwide staff base of over 16,000, Atkins is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK, the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe and the world’s third largest global design firm. (www.atkinsglobal.com)

AXA Insurance Gulf organises a Corporate Seminar for insurance brokers AXA Insurance Gulf, the fastest growing international insurance company in the Middle East, organised a corporate seminar in May for Insurance intermediaries in Bahrain at the Diplomat Hotel. The seminar was led by Toby Sizeland – AXA’s Regional Technical and Marine Manager. It featured information about new products launched in the Middle East; Office Secure and Business Secure, the comprehensive insurance packages for the large number of small to medium sized businesses set up in Bahrain together with presentation on the company’s underwriting ambitions, growth plans and a summary of AXA’s Commercial Product range. Mr. Sizeland introduced plans for their Life Insurance ambitions on behalf of AXA’s newly appointed Life Manager, Paul Bromley, explaining that “around 60% of AXA world wide premium income is from Life Assurance. At the core of

our plans to make AXA a leading International provider of Life Assurance solutions in the Gulf is the ability to draw on global expertise to progressively develop and launch targeted, value for money, products in selected Gulf Markets”. This was followed by a session on health insurance with a specific focus on the AXA Gulf philosophy. “Health represents today only a tiny share of the

Bahrain portfolio but AXA is currently establishing a solid base in preparation for the coming compulsory health regulation in the Kingdom” said Edouard Lesellier Regional Healthcare Manager. The seminar featured a presentation on AXA’s initiatives to build operational excellence along with insights on customer expectations and the company’s plans to meet these expectations.

Says Steve Wagstaff, Area Manager for AXA Insurance in Bahrain and Qatar, “This was a great opportunity to interact with brokers who play a critically important role in AXA’s distribution network. Broker feedback helps us to introduce products that address the needs of diverse customers and takes us closer to our goal to become the Preferred insurance company for our customers in the Gulf region” Forum

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Bahrain News

And Finally - Behind bars

TNT appoints Watson as National Operations Manager in Bahrain

With the world’s press covering the lock-up of the bubble headed heiress, I wondered what other jail stories there might be this month that might deserve just a little attention. Perhaps the papers could have made more of the case of a Bank Manager who turned himself in after realising he couldn’t cover up the 168 cases where he had transferred large sums of money from the rich and credited the poor. Single mothers, pensioners, the jobless all benefited to the tune of £1.5m after the banker turned Robin Hood in the town of Tauberfranken in Germany. “I only wanted to help them,” he said, before being sent down for 3 years.

TNT Express, has appointed Andrew Watson as its National Operations Manager in Bahrain. British born Watson, (34), joins TNT with 15 years international industry experience, a third of which was gained holding similar positions in the Kingdoms of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, acquiring excellent knowledge of the local market. “Andy will head up around 40 employees, and manage both our country operations as well as our road and air hubs,” said Ahmed Gamal, Country Manager-Bahrain, TNT Express. “His main responsibility will be to maintain TNT’s high level of operational output by differentiating us from our competitors in terms of 40 Forum

Watson will be focusing on developing new processes and procedures which will contribute to service improvements in the country, as well as forging relationships with customs, airlines and airport handlers.

Perhaps more newspapers should have covered the case of the British chap who was finally cleared of rape charges after spending three years behind bars. The Mail says the Home Office have decided to charge him almost £7000 for board & lodging during his time in prison. The money is to cover the cost of food and accommodation and will be deducted from whatever compensation he eventually receives for his wrongful imprisonment.

“Our Bahrain business grew by more than 52% in 2006, and we’re expecting similar growth in 2007. By employing people who fully understand our business, we will fulfil our clients’ rising expectations as their number one global logistics provider, and Andy’s extensive industry knowledge will be a tremendous asset to our fast growing network,” added Gamal.

Published in the Mankato Free Press last week (I’m sure you see it regularly) was the story of Texas Judge Keith Dean who decided that he would order the release of a man that he controversially sentenced to life in prison in 1990. Tyrone Brown was 17 when he committed a $2 robbery, and Dean initially put him on probation but changed it to life in prison when Brown tested positive for marijuana.

the quality of service we provide for inbound and outbound shipments.”

The drug test and life sentence that followed contrasted sharply with another case in the same judge’s court, both of which were profiled last year by The Dallas Morning News. In the other case, a well-connected business man got probation for murder and, despite several positive tests for cocaine and other violations, still avoided prison. With the law in Britain finally about to change on the 1st July, smokers might like to recall the tale of a woman from a town called Bowling Green in Virginia who was sent to jail for 10 days in 2004 for defying a court order not to smoke around her kids. Apparently she was banned from smoking around the two youths as part of a custody arrangement with her exhusband. Incidentally if you’re caught in England, fag in hand, after July 1st you could be fined £50. Those in charge of the premises could be fined up to £2500 if they fail to stop you smoking and could also face fines of £200 if they fail to display proper NoSmoking signs. Under the new law, no one is yet talking about jailing offenders but if you do get banged up, don’t worry, under the law, prisoners will be allowed to smoke in their own cells.


BBBForum Summer 2007  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

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