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From The Chair

Khalid Al-Zayani OBE Chairman Welcome to the Spring edition of the BBBF magazine. The first quarter of the year has already got off to a flying start with the very successful and enjoyable Great British Week (GBW), under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad. I would like to thank everyone who organised the numerous events, our sponsors and our members who supported GBW with enthusiasm throughout the Kingdom. Seeing the iconic London Red Bus, navigating the Manama roads, brought back some very fond memories of London for many Bahrainis and Brits alike! As we fast approach the historic 200th year anniversary, of formal relations between our two islands, never has there been a better time for Britain and Bahrain to engage in business together, so

we were very pleased to welcome the visit of HRH Prince Charles in February. We also proudly hosted the 686th Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf, only the second woman to hold the position since 1189. As financial services represents the largest percentage of the country’s GDP (@25% of the total) it was an excellent opportunity to promote ties between our two islands, particularly in the areas of Islamic finance and financial services’ training. We really enjoyed explaining how Bahrain has progressed and our plans for the future, and her visit was made even more memorable by the fact that Alderman Woolf spent a couple of years in Bahrain as a newly qualified solicitor. Many of you will already be captivated by the pre-season Formula 1 practice sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir. The new engines and raft of regulation changes bode for a very exciting season ahead and real potential for new champions to step forward in a year of undoubted change. Bahrain will proudly run its 10th consecutive race in April, and this milestone

Registration number ISSN 1985-9929

will be celebrated by holding our first ever night race. The race week-end will once again provide a global focal opportunity to showcase the numerous benefits of doing business in Bahrain and using the island as a "business friendly" springboard to tap other GCC markets. We would like to welcome Etihad who have joined us as a Gold sponsor this year, and of course, special mention also to both HSBC, our corporate sponsors, and Standard Chartered, our Special Interest Group sponsors, who continue to be a great source of financial support and generous encouragement. Their unwavering support allows us the financial security to increase the number and quality of events that we organise for your benefit and enjoyment. We hope that you enjoy this edition of Forum and the Committee look forward to seeing you, and your guests, at forthcoming BBBF events. Please let us know if you have any ideas or initiatives that you would like us to pursue as the Committee do not have a monopoly on good ideas!

Contents The 2013-2015 Executive Committee ......2 From Her Majesty’s Ambassador ....................3 Welcome to New Members .................4 Advertiser Index ..............5 Diary Dates......................5 Member Benefits .............6 Why join the BBBF? ........7 Embassy News................8 GREAT British Week .....10 SIG Update ...................12 SIG Security ..................14 Protecting Children from Cyber threats .................16 Bizladies ........................18 Motoring News ..............20 Financial News ..............22 Health matters ...............26 Education ......................32 Travel News...................36 News from the EP .........38 Construction Sector .......40 Hotel & Leisure News ....44 Bahrain News ................50 And Finally.....................60 Cover Image: The Big Red London Bus produced by Wright Bus in the United Kingdom, enjoyed two weeks of intense interest across the whole Bahraini community. Everywhere it went on its magical mystery tour it created a buzz of interest like nothing seen in Bahrain before.

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



The 2013-15 BBBF Executive Committee

Chairman Khalid Al Zayani OBE

Deputy Chairman Austin Rudman Mob: 3969 9475

Hon-Secretary Jill Boggiss Mob: 3604 4100

Treasurer Jonathan Trafankowski Mob: 3914 8599

Embassy Representative Debbie Dixon Mob: 3947 4208

Member Julia Atherton-Dandy Mob: 3966 0598

Member Nasser Al Arayedh Tel: 1727 2575

Member Mazen Al Umran Tel: 1771 5555

Member Adel Fakhro Tel: 1727 5000

Member Rick Hopper Tel: 3979 1090

SIG Chair Paula Boast Tel: 3930 0577

Executive Manager Dena Wales Tel: 3969 6191

This edition of the BBBF Forum magazine was compiled by Andrew Mead at Mead Management Services Ltd. email: UK Mob: 0044 7940 559 925 Bahrain Mobile: 00973 3638 7595 KSA Mob: 00966 506 271 151 If you would like to contribute to a future edition please telephone or send an email to A full page advert is charged at BD330. A half page advert at BD200, A quarter page advert at BD110 A small panel at BD55 Assistance with Advert design is available if required Please note: The BBBF nor its agents do not warrant the services of any of the individual or corporate members of the BBBF. The views and opinions expressed by independent contributors must not be regarded as those of the BBBF or its agents. Publication of any article or advertisement does not imply any endorsement of the views, products or services described therein.



From Her Majesty's Ambassador

An official at the Crown Prince’s Court remarked last week that he could not recall a more intensive period of UK/Bahrain bilateral engagement. I know how he feels! In the 4 months since I penned my introduction to the last edition, we have seen two members of the Royal Family, three senior ministers, several very senior military officials and many senior business leaders visit Bahrain. Plus we have seen the biggest celebration in a generation (or more) of all things British during the wonderful GREAT British Week in January. This coincided with the Bahrain International Airshow, which with its major UK element justified the Al Khalifa description of the event as the Bahrain British Airshow. Phew! Just recounting it all makes me exhausted. It has not all been one way traffic. HRH the Crown Prince visited London in October to address the World Islamic Economic Forum, which laid the groundwork for closer

bilateral cooperation on Islamic finance. This was a key element of the very successful visit to Bahrain last week of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf. And in November, the Foreign Minister, HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, visited London for the second meeting of the UK/Bahrain Joint Working Group, which focussed among other areas on the substantial support and advice the UK is giving to Bahrain. The annual Bahrain Society dinner, held to coincide with the Minister’s visit, was addressed by HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, further underlining the close relationship between our royal families. It has been intense, and no more so than during the GREAT British Week, held under the generous patronage of His Majesty, King Hamad, reflecting his deep affection for the UK and his acknowledgement of the GREAT contribution made by British people to Bahrain. What a week we had! Bahrain was painted red, white and blue. The new London Routemaster Bus and the

Red Devils Freefall Display Team at the Bahrain Airshow

Union Jack-bedecked Mini and McLaren turned heads all over Bahrain. An awful lot of people have had an awful lot of fun. It was a GREAT success. The aim was to celebrate in style the close and longstanding friendship between the UK and Bahrain and also all that is best about Britain. Given His Majesty’s patronage, it was incumbent upon the organisers that we did His Majesty proud. The result was a large and inclusive event, involving many partners. We were honoured to have the Crown Prince open the Week at the Airshow in the company of HRH the Duke of York. Other members of the Bahraini Royal Family graced each of our keynote events. The huge British presence at the Airshow was also a plus, particularly the awesome RAF Typhoons and that elegant icon, the Spitfire. There were so many memorable moments in the space of just a few days. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra performing at the superb National Theatre their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was sublime; the intriguing sight of a London bus taking the Duke of York, the Crown Prince and numerous VIPs (standing room only and not an oyster card in sight!) to lunch with His Majesty; seeing the immacutely-turned out Royal Marines Band perform their precision drumming and marching at venues across the island; enjoying Fish ‘n Chips at St Christopher’s School; and the British School Choir singing ‘Food, glorious food’ at the opening of Lulu Hypermarket’s GREAT British Food Festival. Again, phew!

So, with nearly 50 events in 7 days it is amongst the biggest GREAT promotions staged anywhere. A huge and heartfelt thank you to our sponsors and partners for their generous support and cooperation, and to my team at the Embassy, Martin Whitaker and members of the Steering Group for pulling it all together. A special word of thanks to the couple whose brainchild the GREAT British Week was, namely Russ and Debbie Dixon. They put a huge amount of effort and dedication into the event. Not bad for the smallest British Embassy in the Middle East and North Africa. And then there’s the followup...! Two final remarks: congratulations to Khalid Al Zayani, who was presented with an Honorary OBE by the Duke of York for services to UK business overseas and UK/Bahraini relations. I am delighted that Khalid was honoured in this way. He has been a passionate supporter of the UK/Bahrain relationship and I greatly appreciate the personal support he has given me since I arrived two and a half years ago. And finally, welcome back to Bahrain to BAE Systems. I am delighted to see you establishing an office here. Further proof that the UK/Bahrain relationship is expanding and deepening. Forum


Welcome to New Members Stephen Harrison-Mirfield Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Medical University Chief Operating Officer Tel: 1735 1450 Mob: 3959 0723

Tim Murray Multinational School - Bahrain Partner Relations Tel: 1771 1444 Mob: 3333 1750

Abdul Hamid Mohammed Sharif Hatam M M Sharif Hatam & Sons Director Tel: 1722 8258 Mob: 3945 6569

Hina Patel Baker Tilly Director Tel: 0044 20 3201 8000 Fax: 0044 20 3201 8001

Ahson Hayat Reckitt Benckiser Factory Manager Tel: 1746 8555 Mob: 3995 9700

David Tansey Multinational School - Bahrain Principal Tel: 1771 1444 Mob: 3552 4172

Grant Jefferson Multinational School - Bahrain Vice Chairman Tel: 1771 1444 Mob: 3416 9444

Julia Jefferson Multinational School - Bahrain Chairperson Tel: 1771 1444 Mob: 3437 4444

Laura Jefferson Multinational School - Bahrain Marketing Manager Tel: 1771 1444 Fax: 1760 0299



The BBBF Directory The 2014 printed edition of the BBBF Directory is now available. Copies of the pages from the 2014 printed edition are available to view as pdf files by following the Directory link from the home page of the BBBF website at Members contact details may also be found online by using a Text Search facility or from a search of member photographs. The information displayed from the TEXT or PICTURE Search may be more up-to-date than that shown as a pdf copy of the printed page.

Our thanks to all the advertisers in this edition of Forum. Without their support, this issue would not have been possible. Please give them yours. 2 Connect .................................... Inside Back Cover Al Jazira Supermarket ..................................... page 57 Almoayed Wilelmsen Ltd................................. page 9 AXA Insurance ............................. Outside Back Cover BFC ................................................................. page 23 BMMI - Al Osra Supermarket .......................... page 55 Budget Car Rental........................................... page 41 Crown Relocations .......................................... page 36 Crowne Plaza Hotel......................................... page 49 Dipomat Radisson Blu..................................... page 35 Etihad .............................................................. page 29 G4S ................................................................. page 15 GPIC................................................................ page 19 Gulf Agency Co ............................................... page 43 HSBC .............................................................. page 25 Jaguar ............................................................. page 45 Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel .......................... page 47 Land Rover...................................................... page 21 Mansouri Mansions ......................................... page 50 Nexus ........................................... Inside Front Cover Park Hyatt Hotel .............................................. page 39 Phil Weymouth Photography........................... page 5 The Robin Hill Hotel ........................................ page 59

Diary Dates Wednesday March 26th Curry night at the British Embassy BBBF Members only (limited numbers) Monday March 31st AGM Lunch meeting Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel Registration: 12 noon Tuesday April 15th Business Lunch meeting Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel Registration: 12 noon Thursday April 24th BBBF SIG - Security Venue: tba Registration: tba (afternoon) Wednesday April 30th BBBF SIG Bazaar Venue: tba Registration: tba (evening) Tuesday May 20th Business Lunch meeting Venue: Diplomat Radisson Hotel Registration: 12 noon Tuesday June 17th Business Lunch meeting Venue: tba Registration: 12 noon Thursday June 26th SIG Security Meeting Venue: tba Wednesday July 23rd Ramadan Iftar Venue: British Club Details: tba Events in the pipeline Please note - dates and timings are subject to change. Visit the BBBF website and check the calendar for updated details on the above and other events/ meetings being held.



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. AXA Insurance 10% discounts to members on personal lines insurances. (excluding medical) Terms & Conditions Apply. Contact: Stephen Wagstaff Tel: 1758 8222 Email: Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) Special schemes have been arranged with BKIC for BBBF members for the following classes of insurance: House & Contents, Domestic Servants & Motor Insurance. Special terms are available on production of your membership card. Bizladies BBBF members can join Bizladies for a 25% reduction in the fees (BD75 for 9 events instead of BD100). In addition a 10% discount may be obtained against organisational and executive coaching, proof reading, training, assistance with academic writing and psychometric profiling. Contact:- Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy (Managing Director), Mobile:- +973 38442727, Email:- clare@beckett-mcinroy British Airways Valid until 31 Dec 2014. BA is offering BBBF members a 10% discount on published fares from Bahrain to UK, Europe, North America and South America in Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller. The discount rate is applicable to round or one-way trip tickets originating from Bahrain. This discount is not valid on taxes, fees and surcharges.To book please login at Craig Consultants 10% discount for members on 1-on-1 Executive Coaching, Contact: Kevin Craig Tel: 36199980 Email: DHL 25% discount from the cash tariff for any personal shipments being sent from Bahrain to anywhere in the world available on production of your membership card. DHL Customer Service Tel: 1736 4100 Expat Angels 10% discount on all packages and services. Contact:

Tel: 3832-0439

Gulf Computer Services (GCS) IT Health Check. GCS have offered BBBF Members a site survey and assessment of all their computer hardware, software and systems. This usually chargeable service is offered Free of Charge to BBBF Members. To take advantage of this unique offer contact Barrie Jones at Offer valid until Dec 31st 2013. Hasan Mansouri 10% discount to members at Mansouri Mansions Hotel and Country Club. Contact: Karim Mansouri Tel: 1772 8144 Email:

Jeeves of Belgravia LondonÂ’s Finest Dry Cleaner is offering all BBBF members an exclusive discount of 50% for their first trial of our services. Thereafter, all BBBF members shall get a 25% discount in all their orders. For collections, please call our hotline at 1746 5575 and visit our website: MANDEVCO International 10% discount for the Experiential Team & Leader Programme and all Corporate training, offsites & conferences delivered during May til Septmber 2014. Contact: Graham Nugent Tel: 00973 7711 8188 Email: graham.nugent@ Marriott Executive Apartment and Residence Inn Bahrain 10% discounts on the best available room rates for BBBF Member companies. 20% discounts when dining in Skyw@lk CafĂŠ upon production of the BBBF membership card. Valid until 31/12/14 Contact Florence Lantuejoul Tel: 1736 3999 email: National Hotel Services (NHSC) 5% on beers, 15% on wines and spirits with the exception of products already on special offer. Contact: Ian Bricklebank Tel: 1781-5929 Email: Nexus Financial Services 10% premium discount to members on personal lines insurances.(e.g. Motor, Medical, Travel and Home Contents etc). Premium Allocation Benefits for International Retirement and University Education Funding Plans. plus Free Monthly Premium Benefits for Life Assurance and Critical Illness Policies. Terms & Conditions Apply. Contact: Emanuel Lantzos Tel: 1753 1766 / 1753 1703 Email: or Protection Insurance Service offers BBBF members special rates on their personal insurance (motor, home, travel and any other insurance cover). Members will just call to select the cover type, share the credit card number and we will deliver the policy documents to his / her office. Please call 3904-3446 or 3645-4282 Radisson Blu - Muscat BBBF Members pay OMR99 per night for Room and 18 holes T: +968 2448 7777 E: Ritz-Carlton, Doha Stay for minimum 2 nights at the club level of The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and get a Food & Beverages credit of USD 50/day. 15% savings for all treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa Contact: Hanny Gunawan, Director PR, Tel: +974 4484 8303, email: Royal Over-Seas League Reduced rates for BBBF members at ROSL clubhouses in London and Edinburgh Email: Tel: 0044 20 7408 0214 Fax: 0044 20 7499 6738 Servcorp Business Package Two months at half price on any Servcorp Virtual Office Contact: Heather Longden, Sales Manager Tel: 1750 2710 email: Web:



Why Join The BBBF?

BAHRAIN The Pearl of the Gulf has had a long standing relationship with Britain and is still a major trading partner.

Membership directories are distributed to members of visiting Trade Missions and are available through the Embassy and business centres in five star hotels.

BRITISH Trade with Bahrain is now subject to significant competition in this era of globalisation particularly from countries in Europe and from the USA.

Simply click on “Sign Up” on our website complete the application form and click submit. Sounds simple, it is, it must be worth it.

BUSINESS between Bahrain and Britain must be promoted in order for Britain to maintain its dominant position. The BBBF has been formed to help in whatever way it can to do this and through its close cooperation with the British Embassy seeks to promote exchange of trade and good relations between Bahrain and Britain. FORUM Is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as, “an assembly or meeting to discuss topics of public concern”. The BBBF provides through its monthly meetings a platform for networking amongst its members and the exchange and dissemination of useful business leads and opportunities. In addition, in return for a modest subscription, members receive the benefit of inclusion in an annual directory describing the products and services they have to offer and a listing on the BBBF website again with a description of activities, contact numbers and useful links.

BBBF Membership Application Please complete the membership form and send it to: BBBF Executive Office, Fax: (00973) 1781 3489, or Email: For further information call (00973) 1781 3488, Web site:

Cost of membership (2014) Individual Membership: BD 100 per annum, with an additional BD 40 once-only registration fee. Corporate Membership: BD 400 per annum (up to 5 individuals) plus BD 40 for each applicant up to a maximum of 10, with an additional BD 100 once-only registration fee. Corporate Sponsorships Three levels of sponsorship are available: Platinum: BD 3500 each year for three years Gold: BD 3500 for one year Silver: BD 1750 for one year Sponsor packages include a variety of advertisement opportunities in the Membership Directory, the Forum magazine, the BBBF website and at the regular lunch meetings. Full details are available on request.

Corporate Membership please complete separate form for each applicant

Individual Membership

Company Name

Website address of business (if applicable)

Title and full name (Surname first)

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

Position in business Nationality

Date of Birth

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


Home telephone


E-mail address

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

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




Embassy News Prince Charles visits Bahrain

The Lord Mayor of the City of London

Rolls Royce sign a multi-million pound deal with Gulf Air We were delighted to note that Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, signed a five year agreement to extend Rolls Royce TotalCare support for its fleet of six A330 aircraft powered by Trent 700 engines. The renewal, worth over £63m, follows a successful appearance at the Bahrain International Airshow held earlier this year.

HRH the Prince of Wales visited Bahrain in February where he was received at Sakhir Air Base by The Crown Prince before meeting H. M. King Hamad at Bustan Palace. The heir to the throne has previously made five official visits to Bahrain in 1986, 1989, 1997 and 2007. The visit by Prince Charles, which is supported by The British Government, reflects the long-standing relationships between the United Kingdom and Bahrain as well as the two-hundred year old connections, which exist between the British Royal Family and the Al Khalifa Royal Family in Bahrain. Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Bahrain, Mr. Iain Lindsay said: "The UK/Bahrain relationship is a warm, close and long-standing one. Our first agreement of friendship dates from 1816, which is why over the next two years, leading up to 2016, we shall be celebrating the bicentenary of bilateral relations. I am delighted His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales is visiting Bahrain. The British Royal Family has a strong and well-established relationship with the Bahraini Royal Family. This visit underlines the strength of the UK’s bilateral ties with Bahrain.”



The recent visit by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf, came on the back of successful visits by the Foreign Secretary and the Duke of York. The Lord Mayor received the warmest of welcomes and clearly has a soft spot for Bahrain where she spent 3 years in the 1980’s as a banking and project finance lawyer. HH Shaikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairperson of Al Salam Bank-Bahrain and INJAZ Bahrain Executive Director hosted a Roundtable discussion with the Mayor at Al Salam Bank-Bahrain’s headquarters in the Seef District and brought together a select number of leading Bahraini businesswomen to discuss the vital role women play in the financial sector. The visit provided an ideal opportunity for engagement with the highest level players in the financial services sector, as well as maintaining the momentum on Islamic finance initiatives following the World Islamic Economic Forum. Educational Training Qualifications (ETQ’s) and women’s leadership in the financial services sector emerged as key themes which will be followed up during the months ahead.

The relationship between Gulf Air and Rolls-Royce stretches back to 1966, when the airline ordered a Dart-powered Fokker 27 aircraft and subsequently the RB211 engines for its Tristar Fleet. In 1999 Gulf Air operated its first A330 and today the airline operates a fleet of six A330s. The aircraft, which service Gulf Air’s long-haul destinations in Europe and Asia, are integral to the airline’s fleet. Globally, more than 90 per cent of Trent engines in service and on order are covered by TotalCare. The Trent 700, is specifically designed for the A330, is the market leader on the aircraft with 70 per cent of new orders over the last four years.

UK Islamic Finance Session at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC)

HRH the Duke of York presents Honorary OBE to Mr Khalid Al Zayani

HM Ambassador Iain Lindsay OBE opened a UK-led Islamic Finance Session at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) 2013 on 4 th December WIBC, alongside leading British Islamic finance thought-leaders and professionals. HMA reinforced the UK’s Islamic finance offerings and its position as the centre of Islamic finance in the Western world, with discussions focusing on real estate, education and training, investments, and the UK’s recent sovereign sukuk announcement among other topics. Panellists showcased some of the key Islamic finance developments and innovations in the UK to support the growth of Islamic Finance, with HMA highlighting the high-level support from Her Majesty’s government which opens its doors to Islamic finance activity in the UK. Representatives from over 11 British companies attended this year’s conference and former FSA Chairman Sir Howard Davies also delivered a keynote session on the future of banking regulations and implications for Islamic financial institutions.

On 17 January at the British Ambassador’s Residence, HRH the Duke of York presented an Honorary OBE to Mr Khalid Al Zayani, Chairman of the Bahrain British Business Forum and Chairman of the GREAT British Week Steering Group. Mr Al Zayani was awarded an Honorary OBE in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to UK business overseas and UK/Bahraini relations. Her Majesty The Queen gave permission for the honour to be presented to Mr Al Zayani during the Duke of York’s visit. The ceremony was attended by members of Mr Al Zayani’s family. British Ambassador Iain Lindsay congratulated Mr Al Zayani on receiving his honour, saying "I am delighted that HRH the Duke of York was able to present Khalid Al Zayani

with his Honorary OBE. Khalid has been a passionate supporter of the UK/ Bahrain relationship, particularly in the commercial field. As Chairman of the Bahrain British Business Forum since 2009 he has devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to promoting stronger business ties. But he has also helped promote wider relations, such as the annual visits by Chelsea Pensioners to Bahrain to mark Remembrance Day and the annual charitable Poppy Ball. It is fitting that the honour should be presented during GREAT British Week given the leading role Khalid has played, as Chairman of the Steering Group, in organising one of the biggest GREAT British events in the region and one which has attracted so much interest and enthusiasm across Bahrain. I offer him my sincere congratulations".



week, displaying UK highstreet fashion with a fashion show and bringing in a wellknown UK comedian to MC the event.

The British Embassy spearheaded an ambitious week’s programme of activities in January. Building on the Bahrain International Air Show and a visit by the Duke of York, they constructed a programme of events that included: an Advanced Engineering and Innovation Event at the BIC working in partnership with McLaren Automotive (who coincided the worldwide

launch of their P1 supercar in Bahrain with the GREAT week), Rolls Royce BAE Systems, Ordnance Survey, F1 in Schools, and the Silverstone University Technical College (UTC); a GREAT Knowledge event to showcase the work of UK universities and to foster UK/Bahrain educational partnerships; and a celebration dinner that marked the end of the

The Embassy generated considerable sponsorship and in-kind support. The Ministry of Culture kindly arranged to bring out the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra to play their “Symphonic Rock” concert to an enthralled audience at the National Theatre. The business community, supermarkets, hotels, British Clubs, societies, schools and the local cathedral all entered into the spirit of the week, putting on over 50 separate events. In the margins of the week, a number of UK companies secured significant contracts, including Rolls Royce.

Russ Dixon Deputy Head of Mission British Embassy

The whole island was captivated by the week, which was symbolised by the presence of the GREAT British Bus. A real highlight was the Duke of York, the Crown Prince and a whole host of other dignitaries boarding the bus at the air show to be driven to the King’s palace for lunch.

The incredible new McLaren P1 took centre stage in Bahrain as the ultimate next generation supercar arrived in the country to be demonstrated to the guests attending the GREAT British Week Advanced Engineering and Innovation Seminar held at the Bahrain International Circuit on 18th January 2014. Also during the week, for the first time outside the UK, McLaren P1 customers were able to experience the thrill of driving the car at an exclusive event hosted on the 20th and 21st January at the Bahrain International Circuit, this was followed by the world’s top motoring journalists also visiting Bahrain for their opportunity to experience the supercar and has since received unanimous acclaim as being the most outstanding hypercar ever. As part of the McLaren Automotive support for the GREAT British Week in Bahrain a McLaren 12C Spider with a striking Union Jack design was seen at a number of events throughout the week. 10 Forum

The GREAT Knowledge event, organised by the British Council, saw seven top British universities showcase their scientific and research programmes alongside designers from UK creative firms through interactive presentations. The event was designed to present UK innovation in science and research as accessible and vital, The event was highly successful with around 350 Bahrainis attending, as well as achieving impressive media coverage. Mark Crossey, country director and teaching centre manager of the British Council – Bahrain, said: “The event showcased the best of British education with top universities and colleges presenting the latest advancements in educational research, technology and the arts.”

HRH The Duke of York visited Bahrain’s newly-opened National Theatre for a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, as part of GREAT British Week. Conducted by Paul Bateman, the RPO played a rousing repertoire of symphonic rock. After two encores, The Duke thanked the performers. HRH remarked that he felt very “very privileged” to be the Orchestra’s Patron. The final event of the GREAT British Week was a Celebration Dinner. The dinner showcased other formidable British exports; notably fashion and cooking. Sponsors of this event include a range of great British high street brands operated by Alshaya Trading Co, including Debenhams, Mothercare, River Island, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfrdige, Evans, Wallis, Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and The Body Shop. A high street fashion show entertained dinner guests while they were treated to the traditional tastes of Britain. Forum 11

Special Interest Groups Details of events to date and to come are detailed in the following SIG sections. We have some interesting events ahead this Spring, and do hope that you will be able to join us for those. A call for speakers please. Your SIGs work best when facilitated by you so please do get involved. A special note that by the time Paula Boast of publication we will have held a SIG Chair special presentation on the Hidd Suspension Bridge Project. Not just a construction or projects sector focused event, it is something that has held the interest of us all in Bahrain for many weeks now and in particular on the night of the final push. It’s successful design, manufacture, installation, technology, security – I could go on and on – sets Bahrain and British businesses an example of what can truly

be achieved through a wide range of sector groups and industries working together, in partnership. So likewise that presentation will examine the many facets of something that held a true fascination for many here on our little island. We expect a turn out across all sectors, generations young and old are on the attendee list at as it stands, to watch the live time roll out undertaken so professionally, competently and proudly by so many. Following discussions and developments with members through 2013 we are focusing in 2014 on development of a special interest group for our younger membership, reaching out to all sectors of Bahrain business with this in mind. That includes cross initiatives between business groups, educators, entrepreneurs, and so on. Key agendas will include the ever evolving technology for business, networking and business development skills, mentoring and coaching. This is not just about what we can do for our younger membership but also about what they can do for us. Members can expect a diverse run of seminars and workshops focusing on these aspects and more. We are looking to release our programme for these in the next edition and of course you will be kept fully informed through our email updates and our website facility. Members with ideas, opportunities, initiatives on driving, enhancing, encouraging and supporting our younger membership to grow should not hesitate to let me know how they can or may be able to get involved. The rewards are there for everyone to share as we each drive our own industry and sector specific interests. SIG Sponsor

12 Forum

SIG - ICT The ICT group plans to hold a meeting in March on the topic of Cyber (Internet) Security. This will be a lunch meeting hosted by Kalaam Telecom. Details of this event will be coming soon and we look forward to another interesting meeting with healthy debate. Another meeting is being planned after

this hosted by Condor Technology who are an ICT solution provider and systems integrator based in Bahrain. They will present some of their innovative solutions for structured cabling, GSM coverage and Wi-Fi. I am sure that this will be of particular interest to all BBBF members interested in technology and communications.

David Wales (BSc, MIEE) BBBF ICT SIG Chairman

SIG - Construction On January 23rd we hosted a breakfast presentation at the Capital Club called ‘Perfect Your Pitch!’. Our speaker was Rekha Mehr who is the Start-up Entrepreneur in Residence for the UK Government Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. She had been in Bahrain for a couple of weeks in January, invited as a speaker at several events surrounding the GREAT British Week. Previously a Buying Manager with 7 years experience at Amazon and Waitrose, Rekha started her own business in 2012 selling luxury patisserie and secured a listing with London’s finest food hall, Fortnum and Mason, in just 3 months. She

understands what customers want and most importantly, how to successfully pitch to the decision-makers to secure the deal. Her presentation was well received by the more than 35 attendees whom were eager to share their experiences in business during the lively Q&A session which followed the presentation. This was not a Construction specific SIG event for a reason, at the BBBF and especially in the SIG’s, we are aiming to bridge the gap between all business sectors and will aim to have more events like this in the future. Looking ahead to the next couple of months, the Construction SIG will

Rick Hopper Joint Construction SIG Chair

be hosting a Site Visit to the Bahrain National Theatre to showcase some of the great projects that have recently been constructed in Bahrain. As always, we welcome any suggestions for speakers / events, please feel free to contact myself or Paula Boast to see how best to fit them in.

SIG - Organisational Effectiveness Adel Maymoon (pictured left) is going to run a talk entitled: Using social media to grow your business - 5 Key ingredients for success

My update for this edition is with the good news that we have an exciting event coming up in late March, date to be confirmed. If you have ideas for topics that are issues or topic based (ie not just promotional) let me know and we can put you into the schedule.

Founder and CEO of Tawasul Al Khaleej Social Media Communications, which provides tailored, end-to-end social media consultancy advice and management services to clients from governments, large corporations and other public and private organisations across the GCC, Adel has 12 years of experience in Media, PR, Marketing, and Online Communications. He was a founding team member of the eGovernment Program in Bahrain. Adel also is a founding Board Member & Communications Director for Social Media Club Bahrain.

Jill Boggiss BBBF OE SIG Chair He will cover the following 3 areas: u



Why social media is the best way for your business to communicate directly with your clients Proven experience from case studies with ‘How to’ tips for your business The 5 key ingredients for commercial success with social media

This will be in a workshop format for 45 min. Forum 13

BBBF SIG Security


n this edition we will, once again, remind you of the recommended actions to be taken when confronted by checkpoints; do please take a moment to review. We will also take a "snap shot", also with some "food for thought", at Anthony Peter Palys MBE the severe weather conditions that are impacting, so harshly, on the UK as well as the rest of the world. We endeavor to ask the question "Is Climate Change a threat to National Security?"Some folks think so but is it the priority when such a question is put up against, for example, "Food Security". We will also take a look at the ASIS Bahrain Chapter 276 Chaired by The current Chairman and Managing Director of the Moneo Group, Andrew Deamer, CPP, PSP where an objective is a possible "partnership in training" that could well be advantageous to BBBF Members and especially their Security Managers. Finally we have an interesting article about "Cyber Bullying" by Ravi Jayasundera, which we believe compliments the article printed in the 2013 Autumn Edition. Ravi is a welcomed return contributor and new member to the BBBF membership. Recommended actions to be taken when confronted by checkpoints Firstly, not that anyone needs reminding, we have been experiencing some increased testing times here in the Kingdom of Bahrain. With this in mind we thought that a reminder on recommended actions to be taken when confronted by checkpoints and / or roadblocks, both official and unofficial, would not go amiss.

Actions at Unofficial Roadblocks

SIG Sponsor

Please note that these recommended actions are for unofficial, nongovernment type road blocks only: • Remain calm, do not panic • Do not get out of your car • Ensure that your doors are locked and that your windows are up • If safe to do so try and extricate yourself from the situation by calmly turning your car around and driving the opposite way • If you are unable to drive away, and it is safe to do so call the Bahraini police (999) & relay the following information to them: - Your location - Your situation - Your mobile phone number • Ask the police to stay on the line with you until the situation resolves itself Note: During demonstrations, roads can become blocked, resulting in diversions. These may well re-route you to areas you are unfamiliar with. A good practice is to familiarise yourself with alternative routes to and from areas that you frequent.

Feature: "Is Climate Change a threat to National Security"

Actions at Official Police Checkpoints • Do not panic, be polite • Always obey the lawful commands of government personnel manning official checkpoints • Do not attempt to run through the checkpoint • Make sure your doors are locked and windows closed • If necessary, roll your window down just far enough to talk • If they insist on ID, present your CPR card or passport (for tourists). At no time should you relinquish control of the ID to those not in an official uniform • If asked, "where are you going?" state where (traveling home or to my hotel) Note: Under Bahraini law, it is an offence not to be able to present photographic ID if asked to do so by a member of the Bahraini authorities, and you may be subject to a fine of up to BD300. 14 Forum

Conflicting views at the highest level with one of the world’s top climate experts insisting that there is no link between global warming and the recent severe weather battering the UK. He said there was no evidence that warming was causing the jet stream ( fast-flowing, high-altitude winds) to shift south and bring storms to Britain. His statement has put him at odds with the Met Office’s chief scientist who had already recently said that “All the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play in the storms.” A leading politician attacked the government for not taking the threat of climate change seriously enough. He said climate change was now a national security threat like terrorism.

Climate change will mean more floods and more storms and “That’s why we’ve got to treat it like any other national security issue.” The Government’s response to the call for climate change to be treated as a “national security issue” was already government policy. From Wikipedia: National security has a number of component elements which, when individually satisfied, provide a nation with security of its values, interests and freedom to choose policy. These are listed differently by various authorities. Besides the military aspect of security, the aspects of politics, society, environment, energy and natural resources, and, economics are commonly listed. The elements of national security correlate closely to the concept of the elements of national power. The Link Between Climate Change and Security

Climate change is a risk to global security because it increases vulnerability in infrastructure, agriculture, energy and other factors. The security consequences of climate change will be determined by how it affects and interacts with local political, social, and economic conditions as much as by the magnitudes of the climatic shift itself. Academic researchers have been debating the links between climate change and conflict for decades. The academic consensus is that climate change alone is unlikely to be a primary cause of conflict, but it is an important secondary cause. A changing climate will increase vulnerability by exacerbating tensions related to water scarcity and food shortages, natural resource competition, underdevelopment and overpopulation. It acts as an accelerant of instability, which may lead to violence. These disruptions will burden civilian and military institutions around the world. Source: The American Security Project’s Climate Change and Global Security Defense Index 2013

A look forward: Food Security - Is it a threat to National Security

Food security has always been a fundamental issue for people, long before they formed political structures. It also refers to the availability and accessibility of food and is an issue that affects everyone. What do you think?

Forum 15

BBBF SIG Security - continued A Reminder About ASIS ASIS International is the pre-eminent organisation for security professionals, with more than 38,000 members worldwide. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programmes and materials that address broad security interests as well as specific security topics. ASIS also advocates the role and value of the security management profession to business, the media, government entities, and the public. By providing members and the security community with access to a full range of programmes and services, and by publishing the industry’s No. 1 magazine - Security Management ASIS leads the way for advanced and improved security performance. Bahrain Chapter 276 The current Chairman and Managing Director of the Moneo Group, Andrew Deamer, CPP, PSP. has set an ambitious set of objectives for the coming year. Due to a number of strategic changes in local partnerships, as reported in the Autumn edition, the Chapter will now run as their own entity with some alignment to the BBBF SIG (Security) in the area of training. Together we are looking at ways to develop training for Security Managers due to the demand for recognised qualifications being a pre-requisite in contract negotiations as well as for those prime positions in Security Management. We are also going to look at the possibility of funding this training through Tamkeen for our Bahraini collegues. A Certified Protection Professional (CPP) review course will take place starting in May, of which it has been suggested that those interested in completing the CPP this year should form their own working group. This will in turn help each candidate with the initial studies before the review course actually starts. Finally all present members of the Chapter are encouraged to introduce perspective members to future meetings, events and training courses. For further information please contact Andrew Deamer

16 Forum

Protecting children from cyber threats

With the increased use of social media and online services, the threats posed to children have taken a new dimension. Parents and teachers need to keep up and be familiar with various methods to protect their children from cyber threats. Often, the children may know more about technology than adults. As the parent of a teenage daughter, this is a daunting task! The rapid advances in technology pose significant challenges to secure children from cyber threats. Some of the previously advocated concepts such as keeping the family computer in a ‘hightraffic’ area of the home do not apply any more due to the pervasiveness of smartphones and mobile devices. "Can I have a (smart)phone?" If you’re a parent, you may have been asked this question numerous times. The age at which children own a mobile device is reducing. In a survey conducted by in 2013, it was identified that 56% of children aged 8-12 years own a mobile device which can access the Internet. The Internet provides an easy, costeffective platform for peer-to-peer communication which was previously unavailable. It is connectivity that makes the Internet powerful and attractive to both the young and the old. However it is the connectivity that poses the threats, making the Internet a dangerous place, especially for children. Different approaches There is no single easy solution to protect children. The use of a combination of d i f f e r e n t approaches

applicable based on the age group will help to keep children from harm’s way. According to Linda Criddle, a former online safety expert at Microsoft, and the author of ‘I look both ways’, parents need to be aware of the changes in technology, the available tools and approaches to safeguard children (as well as themselves) from various threats. Several organisations and individuals have set up campaigns and websites to provide guidance on these. To make online safety a family effort, use a mix of guidance and monitoring with your children. Excessive rules and controls can drive children to bypass these, and this can be done quite easily using today’s technologies and workarounds. Having a ‘Family Online Safety Contract’ defines a set of guidelines for children (as well as parents!) they are expected to adhere to. A sample template is available at This is equivalent to an ‘Acceptable IT Usage Policy’ available in organisations which the employees must abide by. Check the privacy settings on your children accounts on a regular basis, and make sure to keep personal information private. Social media sites like Facebook change their privacy settings and policies frequently, therefore revisiting the privacy settings of your child’s (and your) accounts at least every 6 months is a must. Parents are encouraged to become their children’s ‘friend’ on Facebook or other social media platforms. This enables parents to become part of the child’s network and able to identify any looming dangers, which the children may not be mature enough to identify.

Other aspects which children need to be aware of are the over-sharing of information on social sites, blogs and other websites. This is especially applicable to any information which can lead to embarrassment, identity theft, privacy issues, bullying, and more. When using the Internet, we are like ‘Hansel and Gretel’ - we leave bread crumbs about our lives all over the place. A child can expose details such as their age, school, grade, likes / dislikes, web sites visited, and other personal information on various social media platforms. For an unscrupulous party, these provide useful information which can be used for malicious purposes. Help your child understand what is okay and not okay to share or post online.

Cyber bullying In traditional bullying, it is often the physically bigger person who may have more power than the person being bullied. However, in cyber bullying, the bully can be anybody. A major difference between cyber bullying and other types of bullying is that the cyber bully can follow your child into the house, even into his or her bedroom. Another disturbing aspect of cyber bullying is that the victim often feels as if there is nowhere to hide. In an online context, the bullying can happen globally where the bully is from a completely different region. A range of precautions can be taken to minimise the risk of children being victims of cyber bullying. A good practice to be followed is being aware of your child’s online behaviour, and to prepare a conducive setting for him / her to inform you of any potential threats.

Smart phones and mobile devices The increased usage of smart phones and mobile devices to access the Internet has elevated the different risks which children are exposed to. While most apps (applications) are created with good intentions, there are some which may pose significant threats to both children and adults. Malicious apps will often obtain access to items within your device which may not be necessarily required by the app. For example, a drawing app does not need access to the contact list or SMS messages. It is important prior to the installation of an app for a parent to inspect the apps suitability, reputation, and specifically what features and data it has access to. Also, encourage your children to change their passwords for each app or website they are accessing. This is not only limited to their phones/mobile devices, but for their laptops and/or desktop computers. This limits the possibility of hackers being able to access all accounts that your child has in one go. While filtering and other access control tools are useful, these cannot replace a well-informed parent. Parents need to be proactive in becoming informed of the emerging trends and technologies so that they can take steps to safeguard their precious children.

A collection of helpful resources and tools: 1. A great site by the National Crime Agency targeting kids of various age groups, as well as parents and teachers 2. – A collection of guidelines from parents and children of different age groups 3. Internet firewall and web filtering from Blue Coat, a leading vendor of Internet security tools 4. Website maintained by Linda Criddle, with several tips for parents and teachers 5. Website focussed on cyberbullying and staying safe online 6. Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain’s website, promoting online safety 7. Family Online Safety Institute 8. Safesurfing

About the author: Ravi Jayasundera is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT. He is the CEO of a business process and strategic IT consulting practice based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, assisting organisations in improving business processes and realising the value from their IT investments. Ravi can be contacted at Forum 17 as an Ambassadors wife Over 45 like-minded and passionate members and guests were were honoured to be addressed in September by Mrs. Bridget Lindsey, British Ambassador’s Wife, who talked about ‘…life as an Ambassador’s wife’. The event at the Movenpick Hotel launched Bizladies season of debates, presentations and workshops aimed at authentic, reciprocal networking for senior business ladies, entrepreneurs and business owners. President of Bizladies GCC, Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy commented that "Not only were the ladies provided with a display of exemplary presentation skills, we were also entertained with interesting and humorous stories of Bridget’s role, her identity, interests and career in its own right, as well as the more serious side of her commitments…". Also present were Mrs. Mala Kumar , Indian Ambassador’s Wife and Mrs. Bonnie Krajeski, American Ambassador’s Wife.

Monthly Networking events

" I’ve learned a lot from this workshop” says Dr, Hala Jamal, CEO of Events Starts. “ Dr. Clare’s topic not only applies to our Business life but as well as to our Personal life. She stressed that being diverse entails sensitivity, respecting the opinions of others and their own perspective, so that we can work hand in hand in achieving the desired innovation we want. Be flexible, be open to changes, but at the same time be sensitive to things around you…" November at the Ritz Carlton H+K Strategies General Manager, Julia Atherton Dandy made a presentation to Bizladies on Social Media and Government. The presentation included research into the use of different methods of social media explaining how social media use in Bahrain alone has increased by 20% in the last two years. Julia explained why government should use social media, how they use it, what channels work best and the impact of social media in terms of behaviour change. She explained that public participation and transparency are important, as is providing incentives or rewards. She stressed the need for speed and accuracy when using social media and explained how strategy was essential for impact whilst working towards leveraging followers.

Over 20 senior business ladies attended the ‘mini workshop’ held at Fraser suites in Seef in October aimed at encouraging the right environment, mindset and behaviours for innovation to ‘ignite’, through knowledge sharing based on empirical evidence.

During her presentation, Julia advised Bizladies to use a range of social media and that quality, as opposed to quantity was more beneficial. She explained how Twitter and Facebook are the most heavily used in the region stemming from the impact of the Arab Spring. She concluded that, although dashboards can be formed, usually by experts, it can be difficult to gauge return on investment from some forms of social media such as Instagram.

Ladies from a variety of sectors including branding, manufacturing and commerce left with insight into their own skill set as well as action plans to promote organisational innovation through teamwork and reflection.

Ms Atherton Dandy commented "The emergence of social media as a communication tool across government sectors in Bahrain is impressive, and the Kingdom can be recognised as a regional leader in this area.

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Social Media Club Mr. Guillaume Larronde-Larrechte, Global Accounts Director for LinkedIn addressed an event at The Domain Hotel, in November. The event was attended by over 40 female and male professionals where they were educated about ‘LinkedIn Lessons for Personal and Organisational Success’. Mr. Larronde-Larrechte who has worked for LinkedIn for 4 years holds a position that enables global and local enterprises in MENA to develop their employer brand and deploy effective and innovative ways of recruiting the best talents. Mr. Larronde-Larrechte clarified the many benefits of LinkedIn as a social media platform to maximize professional success and provide results for businesses. With over 9 million users in MENA alone, out of which 2% are based in Bahrain, an increase of 2 members per second globally was reported. Gulf Air, Batelco, University of Bahrain, Tatweer Petroleum and DHL are the top companies represented in Bahrain whilst Banking is the top industry along with Information Technology Services, Oil and Energy, Financial Services and Telecommunications. LinkedIn was stated as the first destination for professionals wishing to actively engage in this channel which is moving LinkedIn towards its mission to ‘Create an economic opportunity for every professional in the world’ by assisting connectivity, encouraging the sharing of insight and be everywhere that members work. With over 3 million company pages where hiring, marketing and selling happen. It was noted that LinkedIn users in MENA are educated professionals with 73% having one university degree or higher whilst engagement in MENA has increased by 4% in the last year.

Motoring News

Euro Motors - Jaguar Land Rover Exclusive Promotion with Bahrain Islamic Bank

Euro Motors, the exclusive dealer of Jaguar Land Rover in the Kingdom of Bahrain have introduced its exclusive promotion in co-operation with Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB).

is a leading organisation in offering luxurious cars, and this campaign further highlights our commitment to our customers in offering them the best products and services".

As part of their collaboration, the interest rate for any Jaguar Land Rover customer has been reduced to only 1%.

The campaign is appropriately titled "Fuel your car, service is on us", and will be valid for 2 months, commencing from 15 February 2014 till 15 April 2014.

The promotion is valid on all current models in stock that both brands have to offer namely, the Jaguar F-TYPE, XF, XJ and XK, and the Land Rover LR2, LR4, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover and the All-New Range Rover Sport. In addition to the 1% finance deal, customers will also be eligible for a 5 year warranty period for both Jaguar and Land Rover, and a 5 year free service package with every Jaguar purchased. Speaking from BisB offices, Mrs Fatima Al Alawi, the Assistant General Manager of Retail Banking added " We are thrilled to be a part of the Jaguar Land Rover campaign, Euro Motors

Jaguar Land Rover awarded Best Car Display of the Bahrain International Motor Show

Anthony Raymond, Jaguar Land Rover General Manager, further added that: "This Campaign combines all the components of a unique deal: a 1% only finance deal, a 5 year warranty and a 5 year service package for free. Basically, the client should only care for his fuel. Driving a Jaguar or a Land Rover is not about driving a car, it is about driving the quintessence of cars, where capability meets elegance. This is the best driving experience any driver could wish for."

Jaguar Land Rover launches its approved programme Jaguar Land Rover Approved Used Cars programme has been officially and successfully launched since the 26th February 2014. All Approved vehicles have completed a multi-point vehicle inspection; have a minimum of 12 month warranty and 12 month roadside assistance, plus a verified service history and a full preparation and inspection by Jaguar Land Rover. Pictured below, Mr. John Ure is the Jaguar Land Rover Used Cars Sales Manager in charge of this programme.

Jaguar Land Rover participated in the 4th edition of the Bahrain International Motor Show (BIMS) which took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on December 12th – 14th 2013. More than 3,000 visitors enjoyed the motor show and in particular the Jaguar Land Rover pit with its eye-catching stand that stunned the crowd. Awarded ‘Best Outdoor Car Display of the Bahrain International Motor Show’ by Mr. Wassim Farhoud, the BIMS organiser, the combined display was a huge success with a pit which highlighted the capabilities and performances of the Land Rover vehicles and the elegance and power of the Jaguar vehicles. 20 Forum


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Financial News

AXA Bahrain Wins 2 Prestigious Industry Awards!

Stephen Wagstaff, Country Manager for AXA Bahrain has written to us as follows: “We are delighted to inform you that AXA Bahrain, as part of AXA Gulf, has been selected the Bahrain Insurer of the Year at the prestigious MENA Insurance Awards ceremony that is judged by an independent panel of industry experts.”

It is a great honour to be named the Bahrain Insurer of the Year for the first time; and a unique privilege since we are competing with some of the leading insurers in Bahrain. This award is a testament of our market leadership and a major boost to our expansion plans in the Kingdom. Apart from this, AXA Gulf also won the Insurer of the Year award at the MENA Insurance Awards for the fifth consecutive year and the Personal Lines Insurer of the Year award for the second time which proves its consistency to deliver world-class insurance products and services in the MENA region. We have been selected for these awards as it recognised our commitment to customers, innovation (Healthcare mobile provider, Online Website to purchase Motor & Home policy, etc.) and consistent delivery

of high quality coverage, product diversity, technical expertise, leadership and a strong, persistent financial performance. In addition, AXA Gulf has also been recently awarded the 10th Anniversary special edition MEIF Institutional Excellence Award 2014 which took place in Bahrain and is convened under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain. This is the second time AXA has won this award (previously in 2009). The MEIF Institutional Excellence Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the regional insurance industry.

Winning such a renowned award is a great achievement for us, as it is a testimony to our reputation to deliver consistent firstclass services. The award also provides additional motivation and determination for us to achieve more in the future. We are glad to share our achievement with you and thank you for your trust and continuous support. We are looking forward to working with you in 2014.”

Congratulations to Stephen and his team... Ed

Jawad Habib wins global award Mr Jawad Habib has won the prestigious Hans-Heinrich Otte Award at a ceremony held at the BDO Annual Conference in Hamburg which took place in October 2013. The occasion was made more special as it coincided with BDO’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The BDO Annual Conference aims to provide BDO partners with an update on developments in the profession including accounting, assurance and tax issues, as well as encouraging networking and relationship building between professionals across BDO’s many business borders. At the conference Mr Habib updated attendees on the progress of strengthening BDO’s market presence and expanding the network in the Middle East region. 22 Forum

Presented each year at the Annual / Biennial Conferences, the Hans-Heinrich Otte Award is named after one of the original founders of BDO, the driving force behind the development of the BDO network. The Award was presented to Mr Jawad Habib in recognition of his outstanding meritorious service as the Senior Partner of the Middle East region and is the ultimate recognition which BDO can bestow on an individual for his dedication to the furtherance of the success of the BDO network. Mr Jawad Habib and Mr Holger Otte, Chairman of the Board of BDO International, are the only two recipients of the Award this year.

Mr Jawad Habib, who has over 38 years’ of experience in professional accounting and consulting, is the Chairman of BDO in Bahrain, Oman and Qatar and Senior Partner of BDO Middle East.

Nexus Financial Services Win New Industry Accolade Nexus Financial Services kicked off 2014 in style, scooping the Personal Lines Broker of the Year Award at the MENA Insurance Awards in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Organised by the MENA Insurance Review, the highprofile awards are judged by an independent panel of experts and recognise the region’s top performing insurance players. The award is the 13 th significant industry accolade in seven years for Nexus Financial Services, which is the GCC’s largest independent financial advisor.

"We are delighted to win Personal Lines Broker at the MENA Insurance Awards," said Tarun Khanna, CEO, Nexus Group.

2013; the company’s savings business was up 36% on 2012, the protection business up 31% and employee benefits increased by 28%.

"There is a lot of competition in this sector and standards are continually improving, so awards of this nature are a worthy acknowledgement that we are on the right track. 2014 is set to be a big year for Nexus Financial Services, as we ramp our recruitment drive across the region, seek to expand into new markets, and consolidate our leadership position wherever we can."

"Nexus does not invest for the short-term. We are always looking ahead, and there is no reason why we cannot be in an additional 10 to 15 countries within the next decade," added Khanna.

Nexus Financial Services recently reported a successful

Nexus Group recently expanded further its operations in Bahrain and entered the Kuwait market. The company also recently launched, an insurance comparisons portal, which allows users

to instantly compare and purchase cover. Key to the company’s next phase of growth is a bid to add an additional 100 advisors by 2015 to create a team of over 500 with a potential expansion drive into Asia. Nexus Group’s reputation in the region is largely built on a long history of attracting and retaining some of the most talented consultants in the industry. This is supported by arguably the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions most rigorous and extensive consultant training programme.

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Forum 23

Financial News

Alba approves cash dividend

Alba has approved distribution of $105 million cash dividend for the fiscal year 2013. This is equivalent to 36 per cent of the nominal value of the company’s shares - which is 36 fils per share, of which an interim dividend of 14 fils has already been distributed to the shareholders. This was approved at its annual general meeting in February at the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel. The final dividend for 2013 of $82m will be payable from March 13 to Alba’s shareholders on record as of 27 February 2014.

The shareholders also approved the appointment of the new chairman of the board of directors Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa. They also approved the appointment of Yousif Abdulla Taqi, Osama Mohammed Al Arrayedh, Fahad Nasser Al Hazzani, Dr Mohamed Kameshki and Tony Robinson (Anthony Lee Robinson) by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Mutlaq Hamad Al Morished and Fahad S Al Sheaibi by Sabic Industrial Investments Company (SIIC) together with elected director Abdul Aziz Al Humaid from SIIC as new directors.

The 2013 Corporate Governance Report was tabled before the shareholders. Approval was given to the minutes of the previous ordinary general meeting held on March 7, 2013. The report of the board of directors for the fiscal year 2013 was discussed and approved while the auditors report for the year ended December 31 was reviewed during the meeting. Audited financial statements for the fiscal year 2013 were approved at the meeting. Approval was also given to the transfer of BD28.7m to retained earnings as well as to the directors’ remuneration for the fiscal year 2013. In addition, the board was authorised to specify their remuneration for 2014.

FROM6 appointed as Social Media Partner for the BFC Group From6, an Integrated Marketing Communications Agency based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has been appointed as the Social Media Marketing partner for the BFC group. FROM6 is now responsible for the digital strategy and management of the BFC social media channels including; Facebook, Google+ and Twitter across the Bahrain, Kuwait, UK, India and Malaysia Markets. The appointment consolidates the BFC marketing with one agency, 24 Forum

FROM6 have been working with the BFC Group since mid 2012 across all marketing and promotions. Pennie Nixon, MD of FROM6, said "We are very happy to be handling the social media for the BFC group, as it enables us to align all communications across channels, our team has been working in partnership with the BFC Marketing team for nearly 2 years, and the relationship has now moved to the next level. BFC continues to be our flagship account and we are proud of the work to date."

"I would like to thank Alba’s board of directors for their strategic guidance throughout the years, the trust they have placed in me, and would also like to extend my appreciation to the executive management team for their support in making things happen. I take the opportunity to welcome on board the new appointed chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa and wish him all the best in his new position," outgoing chairman Mahmood Al Kooheji said. "I am privileged to be appointed as the new chairman. I look forward to working with my fellow board members and Alba’s executive team to keep up the good momentum, achieve further success as well as continue to deliver value to our shareholders. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Mr Al Kooheji whose dedication has steered Alba to prosper during his tenure and to be one of the leading smelters in the world," Shaikh Daij said. The meeting also decided to retain Ernst & Young as the company’s external auditors for the fiscal year 2014.

Health Matters What is Pilates? It started with Josef Pilates over 80 years ago. Born in Germany in 1880, he was afflicted by many illnesses as a child, which inspired him to research into how to condition his body in order to improve his overall state of health. His strength of character and willpower allowed him to overcome his sickly childhood to become an athlete, excelling in gymnastics, body building, boxing and martial arts. Ultimately he devoted his life to creating a method of exercise to cover both physical and mental fitness.

The Pilates method, originally known as Contrology, was conceived during World War I in a British internment camp. Joseph strapped hooks and springs to a hospital bed so that he and other bedridden patients could exercise. The bed is now known as "The Cadillac". Moving to America in 1920, Joseph met his wife Claire and together they opened a studio in New York City. The clientele consisted mainly of dancers to whom he taught his innovative method of exercise so that they could achieve a perfect body under the control of the mind. Josef said of his body conditioning method of exercise: "You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty and have a completely new body in thirty sessions" My interpretation of this statement is that Pilates done correctly gives you a new body awareness which will be so integrated into your body at cellular level and can be used at any time. Pilates is much more than a fitness regime, however. It is a controlled form of exercise

which pinpoints specific areas of the body, repairs them when damaged, and tones and maintains them to achieve a healthy level of continuous physical fitness. It is more akin to physiotherapy than "keep fit", and indeed many of my clients have been referred to me by the gurus in the medical profession, for post physiotherapy exercises. Aches and pains can disappear for those who persevere, but it takes some effort and commitment. No pain, no gain. Pilates movements, in general are slower, and more controlled than in other exercise regimes. Body positioning and breathing are of paramount importance, as we tend to target not only those muscles we see, but internal muscles that are often ignored. One of the biggest health problems, and one that loses days of business production, particularly as we get older, is back pain, due to bad posture, working practices or other injury. Generally the damage has occurred over years and

it cannot be reversed overnight. But the good news is that the pain can be alleviated, if not stopped, ongoing damage can be prevented and the damage can even be reversed. This can be achieved by attending regular Pilates sessions, with a fully qualified and well trained practitioner. Qualifications are obviously important. You would not go to an unqualified doctor, so why would you get lessons or exercise programmes, which can seriously affect your body health, from someone who does not have proper credentials? When carried out correctly, with the right equipment, and under a professional guiding eye, Pilates can truly change the way you look and feel. The Stott Pilates method is arguably the most stringent of the schools of Pilates. Training consists of a combination of observation, on the job training, written and practical examinations, and an in depth knowledge of anatomy. In order to be able to get clients moving and breathing properly, it is imperative that they understand what is happening to their body, where the relevant muscles are, and how to engage them. At STUDIO RCT we run internationally recognised certification programmes in Pilates and Bodyflying as well as Continous Educational Workshops and Exams and have recently expanded to include a second location totally dedicated to Pilates Equipment. by Roberta Trzebinski

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Hospital extends its loyalty programme The International Hospital of Bahrain (IHB) recently extended its Loyalty Membership, with its very special pricing, to the whole community, making high quality healthcare more affordable. Membership is now free. Members enjoy very special, competitive costs of medical care. This includes fixed price surgeries (FPS), and fixed daily room rates on the In-patient Wards, High Dependency Unit (HDU), and ICU. The FPS is all inclusive, covering all services, with no extras, and no hidden costs, including the optimum and adequate number of days stay. Going into hospital is worrying at the best of times. So if you are paying the bill yourself the last thing you want is not knowing what the final bill will be. FPS offers a way around this, because the quoted price is guaranteed at the outset. Also new are the ‘Maternity FPS Packages’, with fixed antenatal care packages and Cesarean sections. The new ‘Health Check Packages’ have

proved very popular, especially with busy stressed out senior managers and executives! Customer feedback on the new loyalty rates and packages is extremely positive. These preferential rates and packages, implemented across the board, are now available to the whole community, making high quality healthcare affordable for all. The IHB is internationally accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare

VIVA Bahrain in deal with Health Ministry VIVA Bahrain has announced the signing of a strategic agreement with the Health Ministry. Under the deal, the two will work collaboratively to strengthen Bahrain’s health system and end-to-end patient experience. VIVA said it will provide best-in-class global information and communications technology solutions to assist in building the capacity and skills needed within the ministry and related health entities. Both organisations will also work together to identify and prioritise technology related challenges faced by the ministry, and jointly deploy VIVA’s latest technology for local health entities to adopt global best practices and clinical operating models. "VIVA has for long been working closely with leading organisations who have global expertise in the health domain," VIVA chief executive Ulaiyan Al Wetaid said. "With our know-how and expertise in the sector, we would like to assist the

ministry to bring the scalability and repeatability of health solutions in shorter timescales and at lower costs for the health sector. "This partnership Dr Aysha Buaneq also highlights Bahrain’s potential to be the health capital of the GCC and we look forward to achieving that together," he added. Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Aysha Buaneq said through the strategic partnership with VIVA, the ministry envisioned a major transformation in the health sector by investing in resources, expertise and future technologies. "The aim is to adopt best practices and clinical operating models through the deployment of technology to enhance the way we work and serve our patients to drive better and faster outcomes, which will have a truly positive impact on their lives," Dr Buaneq said.

Standards International (ACHSI), and is the only accredited hospital in Bahrain to also be rated by BUPA International’s Global Quality Programme as a ‘Quality Assured’ Hospital. Direct insurance billing has also been extended to include several additional leading insurance companies, and now includes Aetna, Alliance Worldwide Care, AXA PPP International, BUPA Arabia, BUPA International, CIGNA/SAICO, HTH Worldwide/GeoBlue, Tricare/ISOS, MSH International, T’azur and TCS.

New Medical Centre for Bahrain Bahrain has opened a dedicated medical centre for sickle cell patients, marking a milestone in healthcare for thousands suffering from the hereditary blood disease in the Kingdom. The BD4.7 million facility - the first and largest of its kind in the region - will cater to more than 15,000 patients - including around 5,000 sickle cell anaemia sufferers, reported the Gulf Daily News. "The 90-bed multi-disciplinary clinic is a model in the region," said Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi, who was deputed by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, to attend the opening of the Hereditary Blood Disorder Centre at Salmaniya Medical Complex. Parliament chairman and Bahrain Society for the Welfare of Sickle Cell Patients honorary president Dr Khalifa Al Dhahrani inaugurated the clinic. Forum 27

Health Matters Health, wealth and happiness…

- Obesity: The GCC is now fifth in the world for obesity. Apparently, 70 per cent of us men are overweight and the number for women is similar as well. - Diabetes: Some 20 per cent of residents in the GCC are diabetic (although up to 50 per cent of these do not know it) and a similar number are pre-diabetic. Overweight and obese people are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes, and expats in the GCC contract diabetes, on average, 15 years earlier than the global average.

Emanuel Lantzos says "the diseases and illnesses afflicting us in the GCC are those associated with affluence". The newspapers and journals have recently been full of interesting facts and figures about our health here in the GCC and how we compare to the world at large. For example, more than 17 million people will die this year from heart disease – it is the world’s biggest killer, dwarfing AIDS by some 13 million. Six million will die of lung cancer and ten per cent of these will be nonsmokers, killed due to an association with smokers. The diseases and illnesses afflicting the GCC and that includes us here in Bahrain, we are not an island when it comes to this phenomenon, are those associated with affluence. In fact, if you ask me, affluence is becoming the biggest killer of all time. The diseases include, but aren’t restricted to:

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- Hypertension: Forty per cent of the GCC’s adult population is suffering hypertension, which is a precursor to heart attacks and strokes. Stress and anxiety are linked to hypertension and heart disease. Surveys show that more than 40 per cent of people in the GCC feel excessive pressure from their jobs and 56 per cent feel insecure about their finances. And while stress affects us all, the fact is that it is felt more at the bottom of the social hierarchy than at the top – people who do not feel in control suffer more stress and anxiety, and are three times more likely to die from heart diseases than people who feel in control.

to buy it before you are diagnosed. Insurance companies won’t take the risk if there is already a risk. The average age of claimants is under 50 – these are not diseases and illnesses that occur only to the very old. However, this is not a sales pitch – it’s far from it. I’m not going on about the impact of a critical illness on your life, your ability to earn a living or about its possible effect on your family and its lifestyle. No, what I want to say is that control over your health is the basis of enjoying your life and your affluent lifestyle. It is the front line of life insurance. You can take control of your life by adjusting your habits – the routines we all use to lead our lives. We have good and bad habits – we have to spend time reviewing them and changing the ones that are leading us in the wrong direction, so we can take control of our health, enjoy our wealth and lead a long and happy life. It’s as easy to identify the habits that need to change, as it is difficult to make the adjustments necessary to bring about that change. Research has shown that a smoker who wants to give up smoking has a one in 20 chance of succeeding if they go at it alone, but a one in three chance if they have someone to help. Just as most people need help to work out what insurances they need, they also need help to change their habits.

- Cancer: Strokes, heart disease and cancer are the most common reasons why people claim on their critical illness policies – more than 90 per cent of all claims are for one of these three reasons.

Habits are the key to health, both physical and financial. Change your habits and change your future. Health, wealth and happiness go hand-in-hand, but none can exist on its own.

It would be easy to make the leap from the ‘affluence epidemic’ to the need to buy critical illness insurance. This insurance will pay out on the diagnosis of more than 30 illnesses, although you really only need worry about the top three, but there is a catch: You have

Emanuel Lantzos is General Manager at Nexus Financial Services. To contact Emanuel for advice on any insurance and investment product please email him


In the Business of Education The Multinational School, Bahrain’s salubrious campus in Adliya has a colourful history. Until last summer it was home to the New York Institute of Technology and before that it was the US Embassy, so the buildings have some stories to tell, but then so do Julia and Grant Jefferson the Chair and Vice Chair of MNSB. Grant had been posted to Riyadh with Ernst & Young and the couple were struggling to find a school for their son, Simon . "Simon needed a bit of extra support but none of the other schools seemed able to provide it without seeing him as a problem. So we decided to set up our own school, where every child would get the support and challenge they need to reach their full potential," says Julia. From that dream came the Multinational School, Riyadh, now home to 1500 students aged 3-18, and one of the top schools in the region. Students from the school have achieved the highest marks in the world in their IGCSE and A level examinations. Just as important to the school’s owners, though, is the fact that students with additional learning needs have them met and so they too flourish. And the school’s parents are delighted. Dianne Mitchell who transferred her son David to MNS-B believes that "there is no other school like this in Bahrain, it is fantastic that there is finally a school where David’s needs are being met and where he can excel and is happy – I highly recommend the school to anyone who is looking for a caring school that’s approach is getting the best out of every individual student."

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Looking to expand, the Jefferson’s settled on Bahrain because of its thriving expat community and their belief that none of the other schools in the Kingdom had quite the same mission. "St Chris, BSB, Nadeen’s and the others are all doing great work, but we think we can complement them by offering something a little different." So far, people seem to agree. Rave reviews from parents on Facebook and the buzz created by the school’s launch last September have seen growth ahead of predictions. "We are welcoming new families almost on a daily basis," says Principal, David Tansey. "I try to show them around myself so they understand what we are trying to achieve. The key point is that we are committed to excellence, and for us that means progress: every child knowing, understanding and being able to do more today than they could yesterday. Add up all those days and they will be more than ready for the examinations that provide their tickets to the future." But MNSB is not an exam factory. The students’ happiness and wellbeing are central to the thinking of everyone involved. "A great school is a joyful place," David continued. "It is a community, working together with a common purpose and having a lot of fun while doing so. There are schools where children are driven to academic success at the expense of their overall wellbeing. That makes me sad, and a little angry. After all, our young people’s success as adults will be down to their character at least as much as their qualifications. We want our students to be known for their creativity, imagination, resilience and people skills, the things that will make them great men and women."

Like, its parent in Riyadh, MNSB offers the Australian primary curriculum and will then switch to the English model for IGCSE and A levels. In September the secondary school is scheduled to open catering for students aged up to 14, with the examination years to follow on from there. "We are here to stay," says Grant Jefferson. "We aim to grow carefully, getting things right, and no faster than we can recruit the great teachers we need. We have a beautiful school, with lovely buildings and good technology, but without inspirational people in the classroom we won’t become the school we want to be." MNSB’s commitment to excellence and its’ holistic view of education can now be seen at lunchtime too. In a unique partnership, school food is provided by next door neighbour and top Adliya restaurant, Block 338. "The food is great," says David Tansey,"healthy, fresh and tasty." But the way the children eat is impressive too. "They sit down together and eat as a family, says Greg Marcombe of Block 338, "and they help each other. They are learning so many lessons that way." This is clearly a business partnership that makes sense. Because schools are businesses, make no mistake, Julia Jefferson has this take on it. "I am a parent and a teacher. That’s where we are coming from. My happy and successful son reminds me of that every day. I like to think that we are not so much an education business as in the business of education."

CPISP begins school visits to announce 2015 scholarship application procedures

The Tenth Year Anniversary of The British School of Bahrain’s Sixth Form

The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) began the first of a series of visits to private schools to announce the deadline and application procedures required for its 2015 scholarships.

criteria will then be contacted to sit for a series of qualifying tests organised by the CPISP in cooperation with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF).

This year is the tenth year anniversary of The British School of Bahrain’s Sixth Form. They have been celebrating excellent academic results since their first examination period in 2005. This year is extra special though as one of its Year 13 students has had the offer to study at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK.

Dr. Gessling affirmed that a minimum of 60 students will be selected to join the CPISP Candidacy Program, and will include 40 students from Ministry of Education Schools and 20 students from private schools. The candidacy stage will involve training in cooperation with BIBF, as well as courses in preparation for the IELTS and SAT exams, after which the final ten scholarship recipients will be selected.

The British School of Bahrain’s Sixth Form started with just thirteen students in September 2004 and although they have always had extremely talented and dynamic students the sheer number of applicants worldwide made the application to Oxbridge very difficult. Up until recently the average number of applicants applying to Oxbridge stood at one per year, and although students often got interviews, up until now they had not been offered places. This year saw a larger number of students apply and five students applied to Oxbridge. Past alumni have studied at such institutions as Berkley (US), Warwick (UK), Imperial College London (UK), Concordia (Canada) and Trinity College Dublin (Ireland).

CPISP officials met with Naseem International School officials and students who met the Programme’s application criteria, which require applicants to have Bahraini citizenship, be enrolled in the 11th grade and/or set to graduate from secondary school in 2015, and have a cumulative GPA of 97% or above for grade 10 and the first semester of grade 11. CPISP Director Dr. Cynthia Gessling announced that the application submission period for 2015 scholarships will be from 9 – 27 March 2014. She explained that applying for the CPISP’s 2015 scholarships is a two step process that first involves submitting an application to the Court of the Crown Prince during the submission period. Students who meet the Programme’s application

Dr. Gessling added that in addition to the private school visits, the Programme will organise presentations, in coordination with the Ministry of Education, for all governmental school students who meet the Programme’s application criteria. Applications can be downloaded from the CPISP website on

Miss Simran Lamba, an Indian National who has lived in Bahrain for ten years and has been attending the British School since Year 10, had her interview in late December and found out she had been offered a place to Study Law at Churchill College which is part of the University of Cambridge in early January. The school was ecstatic with this news and the Head of Sixth Form, Mr Nick Atkins said, "We are very proud of Simran’s achievements at our school, especially with her GCSE results which were the best on the island. She had spent a considerable amount of time constructing her application and with the support of her family, friends and The British School staff, made our first successful application. I sincerely believe this is the first of many in the future. The hard work is still not over for Simran as she still has to achieve three A* grades at A Level, no mean feat for any student but she has the full backing of the school, as do all of our students, and her teachers say she is more than capable and are behind her 100%." This year sees a record number of applications to the UK and the US for the school and as the Sixth Form now stands at over 115 students with expected numbers for next year to continue to increase the chances of more students attaining the top places at the top universities is even higher. Forum 33

HRH honors graduates at 2013 CPISP Graduate Recognition Ceremony HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, and Deputy Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa affirmed that investing in the development of Bahraini citizens is among the leadership’s top priorities, as outlined by HM King Hamad Al-Khalifa, and pointed to the graduates of the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPSIP) as models of success in seizing the educational opportunities around them and positively representing their country in the international arena. This came during the 2013 CPISP Graduate Recognition Ceremony, which was held under the patronage of HRH the Crown Prince at Riffa Palace, where 18 CPISP

scholars were honored for graduating from their respective universities. HRH Prince Salman congratulated the scholars and expressed pride over their academic and professionalachievements,andwishedthem success in achieving their aspirations, which will contribute to Bahrain’s development. HRH the Crown Prince affirmed that the Program’s graduating scholars are a testament to the high capabilities of Bahraini youth, affirming that their success and achievements come as a result of their hard work and dedication. HRH said he looked forward to seeing promising young Bahrainis continue to dedicate themselves to achieving their aspirations and make use of the opportunities around them, as

Eighteen CPISP scholars were recognized at the ceremony for completing university degrees from various top international universities in their respective majors, and included the following: - Abdulla Saleh Abdulaal 2013 - MSc in Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. 2011 - BSc in MORSE: Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics, and Economics, University of Warwick, UK. - Ali Saeed Abbas BSc in Operation Research: Engineering Management Systems, Columbia University, USA. - Amal Ahmed Ahmadi MSc International Management, Reading University, UK. - Ebrahim Al Qassab MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Management, Imperial College London, UK. - Fatima Abdulla Al Rayes MSc in Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. - Fawaz Yusuf Abdulla PhD in Economics, University of Cambridge, UK. - Khaled Waleed Al Khaja LLB Law and Economics, Edinburgh University, UK. - Mahmood Adel Abdulla BSc in Economics with Mathematics & Business Administration, University of Southern California, USA. 34 Forum

well as embrace an innovative outlook and become active members of society. HRH the Crown Prince thanked the Program’s sponsors and supporters for contributing to the success of the Program, its goals and objectives. He also thanked CPISP officials for their continued efforts and dedication to the Program and its scholars, and for providing them the support to develop academically, professionally, and on an inter-personal level. HRH the Crown also pointed to the vital role of parents and guardians in providing a suitable environment, encouragement, and support for their children to excel, demonstrate their outstanding academic abilities, and further develop their skills.

- Maram Khaled Al-Sabbagh MSc in Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, UK. - Marwa Khaled Al Sabbagh PhD in Reproductive Biology: Uterine Biology, Imperial College London, UK. - Maryam Ahmed Alireza BA in Economics & Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA. - Mashael Adnan Fakhro 2013 - MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University, USA. 2011 - BSc in Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, USA. - Mohammed Al Sadadi BSc in Applied Mathematics, Purdue University , USA. - Nadia Salman Khalaf MA in Near Eastern Studies, New York University, USA. - Noora Al Sindi MPP Public Policy at Georgetown University, USA. - Rawan Maki 2013 - MSc in Environmental Engineering (Constructive and Water Design Track) at Imperial College London. 2012 – BA in Environmental Engineering and Economics, Yale University, USA. - Sarah Ameen BA in Political Science & Modern Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA. - Sharif Al-Sayed BEng in Computer Science, University of Michigan, USA.

Travel News

The sky’s the limit for Bahrain’s fashionistas A recent survey commissioned by British Airways across the Middle East has shown that travellers in the region are fashion conscious when it comes to their travel attire, with one in three Middle East residents saying that they dress to look their best while travelling. From hairstyles to footwear, the survey has revealed that the Middle East has head to toe style while exploring the world. The survey was commissioned by British Airways across the Middle East and revealed the choices that Middle Eastern travellers make when it comes to getting dressed for a flight. When it comes to footwear, 62 per cent of women in Bahrain prefer to travel in flats with over one third opting for heels. As for the men, 40 per cent choose to wear formal shoes when they fly. Showing just how stylish they are, the survey also revealed that two thirds of residents in Bahrain style their hair before setting off. Across the region, one in two passengers regularly check in online, perhaps to allow more time for shopping, which was revealed as the number one airport pastime for travellers from the Middle East. Helena Flynn, British Airways Ambassador, said: "Our customers from the Middle East are definitely some of

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Above: Vintage cabin crew uniforms from the 1950s to present day

British Airways’ most stylish passengers. As we have seen in our recent survey, our passengers from Bahrain are not choosing comfort over style when it comes to dressing for air travel; rather they are choosing to have both. We understand that the all-round comfort of our passengers is of utmost importance to us and as well as looking stylish, they want to look and feel well rested and ready for their destination. That is why we provide products such as onboard care kits from Aromatherapy Associates, Refinery and Elemis, and make sure that our customers are taken care of by our staff, so that they can look and feel their best no matter how long their journey may be."

Short term? Permanent? Commuting? 7 common international assignment types


wenty years ago, it was common for even the most global of companies to have one – maybe two – international assignment types. Today, a company may need four times as many. Long-term Temporary Assignments Long-term temporary assignments typically span one to three years, though it is not uncommon for there to be a mechanism to extend them to up to five years or more. Most companies are focusing on keeping long-term assignments to a five-year maximum as a cost management effort to align with the maximum period of many tax-related totalisation agreements. Short-term Temporary Assignments Short-term temporary assignments are typically 3 - 12 months in duration, though the limits may vary by industry, with the most common variation being a six-month minimum and an 18-month maximum. These assignments are typically designed to accomplish a specific task or goal, such as to train local staff in a specific skill or to gain technical proficiency from local staff, to fill a vacancy until a more permanent solution is put into place or to participate in a designated project. Employee-requested Long- and Short-term Assignments The key element is the fact that the employee has not been asked to take an assignment but has requested to do so for his/her own personal and/or professional reasons. The company may wish to provide support for the employee during the assignment – most companies do – but at a reduced benefit level.

Permanent International Transfers Sometimes called one-way moves or indefinite transfers, international transfers are akin to domestic relocation, with international-related elements added in. Traditionally, international transfers have been used when an employee fills a permanent position in the destination country. Commuter Assignments Instead of taking a short- or long-term assignment or even an international transfer, an employee may commute regularly between their home location and the work site in another country. Because of the need to commute regularly, these assignments are most frequently used intra-regionally. Commutation may be weekly or bi-weekly. Developmental Assignments Developmental assignments address strategic needs within a company: to help an employee gain critical skills. They are often utilized for employees identified as high-potential at any point in their career, or they may be specific to early-career employees. Assignments in Difficult Locations Difficult locations are typically defined by living conditions that are far more challenging than those the employee experiences in his/her home location. Housing, living standards, remoteness, transportation options, limited education or medical facilities, and significant cultural differences are all elements that make this assignment type different than others. Author: Marco Dilenge, Marketing Manager EMEA, Crown Worldwide Group

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News from the Eastern Province The British Business Association (BBA) - Eastern Province P.O.Box 1868, AlKhobar 31952 Tel: 03 882 5288 ext 1651 Fax: 03 882 5384 Email: Website:

Geoff Fennah MBE Chairman, EPBBA A belated best wishes to all for a successful and prosperous 2014. I hope the festive season went well although I suspect most have already forgotten and are already making preparations for their summer break. As I write these notes we are approaching the 2014 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix and excitement at the prospect of the pending concert, by legend Eric Clapton. Hopefully, this all serves to indicate that Bahrain is settling back into a normal routine and that the ongoing dialogue is bearing fruit. The business climate continues to be very positive in Saudi Arabia and it is good to see UK plc getting in on the action. This can be exemplified by the signing of a 4.5 billion pound Eurofighter contract between

Saudi Snippets The world’s press have been reporting on the significance of Prince Charles being invited to don tradtional Arab dress and take part in a sword dance celebrating the warrior tradition of Saudi Arabia as he was “honoured” by his hosts. HRH joined members of the Saudi royal family taking part in the Ardah to celebrate the Janadriyah festival which 38 Forum

BAE Systems and the Saudi Government. Business relations between the two Kingdoms were also further strengthened in London on 4 February with a meeting of the Saudi / UK Joint Ministerial Committee. This meeting not only reinforced existing business cooperation but also identified some new areas of mutual interest, such as science and innovation, transport, agriculture and development of downstream applications for existing and new petrochemical products, such as plastics. This was also followed by a visit to Riyadh by Prince Charles mid-February to further strengthen the Saudi / UK relationship. Exciting times for the UK. Eastern Province itself continues to resemble a large construction site involving

infrastructure, residential and commercial developments. In Jubail 2, SATORP the world scale full conversion export refinery is now in the early stages of starting up and will be processing 400,000 bbls / day. Also SADARA, the $14 billion Aramco / Dow joint venture is approaching mechanical completion and will soon become operational producing an array of specialty polymers and chemicals. The run in to the end of 2013 was also busy with Mike Tunstall representing BBA at the annual MEA Opportunity Arabia (#10) conference held in Manchester where he presented a short review of opportunities in Eastern Province. We also saw a visiting Mission involving groups from North West, South East and Energy Industries Council (EIC) visiting Eastern Province as well as a visit to Jubail, by Deputy Head of Mission, Julian Reilly. I would also like to take this

opportunity to applaud the commercial team from the Embassy and the BBBF for organising a very successful Great Britain Week recently. Events like this don’t happen without considerable effort and planning…so congratulations to all involved. I am only sorry that work commitments prevented me from attending some part of the activities. On the social front, we joined forces with the BBBF to hold a very successful Poppy Ball on 7 November at the Crowne Plaza, Bahrain. This was once again a very successful and enjoyable event and thanks must go to Khalid and his team for taking on the bulk of the preparatory work. I was also pleased to be able to attend the BBBF Xmas lunch and enjoy the talk by HMA Iain Lindsay outlining the ever strengthening relationship between UK and Bahrain. I look forward to meeting up again at future events. marks all aspects of Saudi life. What wasn’t reported though was who it was interrupting on the phone.

Perhaps a caption competion for the next issue?...Ed

Construction Sector

SLRB Headquarters – A new Government Landmark Building in Bahrain and activities under one roof thus simplifying legal formalities and increasing the efficiency of procedures.

The new Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB) Headquarters is sure to meet the glimpse of any traveller along the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway as it prominently stands out amongst its surrounding with its distinct architecture and high quality construction. The state owned building project was assigned to the Strategic Projects Department of the Ministry of Works (MOW) where SDEO was appointed as the Design Consultant and MSCEB as the Supervision Consultant. G.P. Zachariades Overseas Ltd. (GPZ) was awarded the building construction as the Main Contractor being responsible for the complete works including interior fitout, MEP and landscaping works. The SLRB manages all land, aerial, and hydrographic survey services as well as the registration of real estate properties in the Kingdom of Bahrain, making it a fundamental governmental body with large operational demands. Located in Sanabis, adjacent to the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and LMRA, the new Headquarters have consolidated all departments 40 Forum

Constructed in a remarkable time frame, in spite of redesign constraints, the Employer (SLRB) through its senior representatives generously appreciated the accomplishments of GPZ in efficiently planning and executing construction works and delivering the HQ project to high quality standards and on time for SLRB to commence their operations on the planned date. MOW officials who periodically visited the project during the building phase also acknowledged the concerted efforts of the GPZ Project team for the successful completion of the project. SLRB operations are now in full swing with the HQ building buzzing with activity and functioning at optimum capacity with a regular high turnout of customers. The design of the 73m high building is based on the shape of surveying instruments, such as Transit and Theodolite, where the tripod is represented by large columns and horizontal circles by the 11 th floor protruding canopy; this is a unique design concept which espouses the operations of the Bureau. The eye-catching curtain wall is an impressive feature due to its sheer size, form and shades. Enveloped by gold and silver aluminium composite panels and blue glazing, the north-facing elevation is acoustically designed to keep down the noise levels from highway traffic. The double glazed

units have also received a special heat treatment to ensure durability/safety and a double level window cleaning system has been fitted to access the façade. Comprising 14 storeys and a total built area of 24,375 sqm, the building has a basement VIP parking for 28 cars and a vast outdoor parking area for 280 cars to accommodate visitors and staff. SLRB’s directorates, with over 450 employees, are distributed over 10 floors each consisting of lobbies, waiting areas, offices, training rooms, meeting rooms, machine rooms and stores, toilets, mechanical and electrical rooms. The space management incorporated into the building design ensures smooth movement for customers/employees and provides sufficient facilities for seating, prayer, etc. The ground and mezzanine floors are combined, forming an opulent atrium where most of the customer based activities take place. The main lobby has a specially patterned feature ceiling, which is a trademark of this building, and shadow effects are created using LED lights and mashrabiya screens.

Landscaped terraces can also be found on the 1st and 11th floors. Interior finishes of high standard have been intelligently selected to create a harmonised colour scheme inside the building. Floor finishes include granite, ceramic and porcelain tiles, broadloom carpets, parquet and epoxy paints, while wall finishes include paint and wooden oak panelling. Two floors have been dedicated for VIP use and display mahogany panelled walls amongst other highspec finishes. Bespoke wooden counters, cabinets, wardrobes, screens and TV units with motorized shutters have been installed throughout the establishment and have been manufactured by GPZ’s specialised Joinery division. Equipped with the latest gadgets and technology, the building’s telecommunications systems, access control, CCTV and other voice and data options are all stateof-the-art. The Bureau’s vast and vital electronic information is housed in the Data Centre which is specially built with fire proof

materials, while large controlled-access storages can be found on various floors. File movements are expedited vertically through a document lift and are securely tracked through a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). An effective energy-efficient design has been integrated in the building services to regulate energy use and conservation, providing a significant impact in both environmental and economic terms. A high-tech Building Management System (BMS) has been implemented to centrally monitor and control the extensive mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems in order to optimise the buildingÂ’s temperature, ventilation, illumination and power requirements. All MEP and architectural installations comply with the fire zoning and rating requirements of the Bahrain Civil Defence Regulations and an excellent fire alarm and fire-fighting system has been installed throughout. The building also has a centralised HVAC system with two air handling units per floor and required the biggest crane on the island to install the 12 ton chillers on the roof.

GPZ achieved a significant milestone in Health, Safety and Environment by completing over 3 million man-hours without Loss Time Injury (LTI) on this project. The safety record remained impeccable due to strict adherence to the companyÂ’s HSE policy and was acknowledged by the MOW and MSCEB through letters of Appreciation. GPZ Project Manager, Mr. Daren Figueredo has stated: "It has been a privilege to work on this prestigious project; the various challenges encountered gave GPZ yet another opportunity as a reputed and

reliable company to demonstrate and reiterate their commitment in meeting stringent quality requirements and tight deadlines." GPZ Managing Director, Mr. Stefanos G. Zachariades concludes: "The combined efforts of the GPZ Project Management team, supported by our Head Office and in-house manufacturing facilities, and in full cooperation with SLRB, MOW and MSCEB, created with success another government Landmark Building that will provide service to the KingdomÂ’s citizens for years to come."

Forum 41

Construction Sector

Successful completions and more to come

BBBF Members MSCEB have written in with a summary of projects, too many to mention them all, which illustrate the variety of construction in Bahrain. A few of those are outlined below in a small attempt to give the reader a sense of the continuing and diverse changes to the Bahrain skyline.

Above: GCT Building at Juffair Construction of this elegantly designed Office Building along Al Fateh Highway for Gulf Corporation for Technology was completed in March 2013.

requirements. Situated on a strategic corner plot, just behind BNH tower at Seef district, another MSCEB icon, the project location had a positive impact on developing a new architectural form that is both, timeless in image and sustainable in function.

Above: BCFC Headquarters Building at Isa Town: This elegant 9-storeyed Headquarters building comprises of 5 levels of office floors sitting atop 4 levels of podium parking floors. This is intended to be the new Headquarters for Bahrain Commercial Facilities Company (BCFC). The first of the office levels, located directly above the car parking podium has a large, doubleheight volume space, and is the floor where most of the day-to-day physical interaction with customers takes place. The levels above this comprise the other departments of BCFC. The roof top offers two separate well-appointed gyms for male and female staff.

Scope included master planning the full 83,000 m² plot and designing 6 basic villa types with 13 additional variant design types. The villas are expected to be delivered to customers by end 2015.

Above: Kazerooni Heights - Residential Development at Amwaj: The Kazerooni Heights is a 20 storey residential building with a four level parking block. The project has a mix of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments including a few duplex apartments at upper levels. This 100 apartment tower is programmed for completion in March 2017.

Above: VIP Buildings at KFCA Construction of two VIP Reception buildings, one on the Bahraini and the other on the Saudi side at King Fahad Causeway was completed in May / June 2013.

Above: Spa at Gulf Hotel : A two storied standalone Spa building at Gulf Hotel is currently under construction with completion scheduled by mid 2015.

Above: Mixed-use Commercial Development at Seef : MSCEB’s design proposal on this project was driven by the Client’s functional and commercial 42 Forum

Top Right: Diyar Homes Phase-2 at Diyar Al Muharraq: MSCEB have recently designed and tendered this 196 Affordable Villa development at Diyar Al Muharraq for Diyar Homes. MSCEB’s

Above: Ministry of Housing Project at Umm Al Hassam: This project for Ministry of Housing is part of a social housing redevelopment scheme at Umm Al Hassam. The project with 13 such towers, is planned to be executed in phases.

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Hotel & Leisure News Royal Golf Club awarded Troon Facility of the year

operating costs substantially and significantly improve its GOP by implementing Troon standards. The facility also recorded solid Guest Satisfaction Scores in 2013 through the introduction of impactful programs including Troon Rewards, Troon Executive Card and Troon Values Your Time. The Royal Golf Club’s board of directors and senior management team are delighted to announce that the Club has been recognised as the "Troon Golf Facility of the Year 2013," the top annual award from Troon ® , the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing. The Club was selected from over 200 Troon-managed golf properties around the world at the annual Troon Conference which took place in January. Five golf clubs were shortlisted for consideration for the award including Troon North, the flagship property in Arizona. "This award is a huge accolade and a tribute to the hard work of our dedicated team and supportive Membership," commented DJ Flanders, General Manager of the Royal Golf Club. "This is the first time a club has received the award in the first year of coming under Troon’s management so it’s a great achievement.” The criteria considered included the results of annual member, guest, owner and associate satisfaction surveys as well as financial results. The facility was able to reduce its 44 Forum

"I’m proud of our golf club being awarded Facility of the Year for the Troon Golf portfolio for 2013," added Shaikh Rashid Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of BIGCC, the owning company of the Royal Golf Club. "The award shows the dedication and hard work of the management and staff. I would also like to thank the Members, Troon Golf Management, Board Members and Shareholders for their support. This award puts our golf club with a select group of golf facilities from around the world." Attended by over 400 delegates, this year’s conference was the biggest in Troon’s 25 year history. Bruce Glasco Senior VicePresident and Managing Director, Troon International Operations commented. "This award not only recognizes the hard work and effort by the whole team at the Royal Golf Club but also the unflinching support from the Board of Directors. For the winner of this award to come from the International division not only demonstrates the way in which our programmes can be adapted to work in every part of the world but also the way they are embraced by our Associates to deliver for all our members and Guests."

Euro Motors supports GREAT British Week with the Jaguar Land Rover First Golf Tournament

Jaguar Land Rover organised its first charity golf tournament in January at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa. More than 130 players turned out to brave the early morning start as the sun came up. After a hearty breakfast to the sound of the British Royal Marines band, Mr. Zayed Al Zayani, Euro Motors Managing Director, welcomed His Excellency Iain Lindsay to join the other competitors and be part of this fundraising event, in support of Great British Week. Prizes included a 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE, Jaguar luggage sets, Jaguar test drives, British Airways

tickets and other exciting giveaways to the delight of the competitors. Players, along with Euro Motors and British Embassy representatives enjoyed the exciting golf day and were delighted by a British themed lunch afterwards. Mr. Anthony Raymond, Jaguar Land Rover General Manager said: "It is such a pleasure for us to be here today in support of Great British Week and to raise funds for a local major charity organisation in Bahrain which is Think Pink. This is a beautiful golf day which has been much appreciated by golf enthusiasts and we are already looking forward to the 2nd Jaguar Land Rover golf tournament next year!".

Hotel & Leisure News

Kempinski Bahrain Introduces Teen Concierges Kempinski Bahrain has begun yet another innovative concept at the hotel. To enhance guest experiences Kempinski has introduced Teen Concierges who interact with the guests at the hotel during weekends. The Teen Concierges work on Fridays and Saturdays when the hotel is very busy with family guests. During hectic check-in and check-out periods some queues might form and the lobbies are full of activity. The teens intermingle and chat with the quests, entertain children, advise them of what’s happening in the mall and the cinema; and give wide-ranging information about Bahrain, what to see and do on the island. Being natives they know their country, and of course speak the local language, which is important as so many of the hotel’s guests are Arabic speakers. “We are absolutely delighted to have launched the Teen Concierge concept at the beginning of the year. We

are the first hotel in Bahrain and also the first Kempinski in the world to do this, and we are very proud of that. Benefits of this pioneering initiative are many-fold: one of them is the enriched guest experience that strengthens our position as the leading family hotel in Bahrain. The initiative also helps us to project ourselves as an employer of choice for the locals. We are happy to help the future generation to gain valuable and beneficial work experience in the fastest growing industry in the kingdom” says Puneet Singh, General Manager of Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre.

The concept is an ongoing venture to augment guest services and provide the guests with fun, young local contacts. The work contracts with the teens are open ended, they choose their working hours, and can stay in their roles as long as they would like to. The concierges are expected to change once in a while, due to the fact that they are students. The teens will eventually move onto higher education so there will be natural attrition, which obviously opens the positions to other students. Mr Singh continues “What I would like to emphasize is that first and foremost our Teen Concierges are

students and their education is the priority. Their work experience with us develops their skills, boosts their confidence and of course it allows them to earn some pocket money too. As hoteliers we also hope that some of them will choose hospitality as their future career path.” Kempinski attended a government organised Career Day in October 2013 where they met students from various schools. The hotel introduced the project to the students and gauged their interest, then invited them together with their parents to attend a presentation at the hotel, where the initiative was explained in detail. Following that the students did a couple of days of job observation at the hotel, to ensure that this is what they really wanted to do. Finally the teens attended an intense custom designed orientation course made by the hotel’s training department specifically for them. Kempinski currently employs six Teen Concierges who began working at the beginning of the year. Feedback from both guests and the teens themselves has been extremely positive.

Gulf Hotels Group appoints new Board member The Gulf Hotels Group’s board of directors has announced the appointment of Aqeel Raees as a member of the Board of Directors in addition to his duties as CEO of the Group. Chairman, Farouk Almoayyed said: "This decision is in recognition of Aqeel’s dedication and continued efforts to develop the group’s business since his appointment as CEO in 2002, where he has successfully led the management team of all 46 Forum

divisions of the Group to achieving unprecedented results and doubling the income and net profits several times, which enabled the group to develop the facilities of the Gulf Hotel and to diversify and increase income resources." Raees expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Board of Directors for their confidence adding: “I am proud and honoured to be a member of the Gulf Hotels Group’s Board of Directors and I will spare no effort to

further improve the level of the Group’s performance.” Raees is one of the pioneers of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain, who began his hotel career through a scholarship to study hotel management in the UK in 1974. He has held many senior positions in the Gulf Hotel and in 1990 he was appointed General Manager. Aqeel Raees led the hotel successfully and in maintaining the hotel’s

leading position between five-star hotels in Bahrain he managed to achieve excellent results in terms of occupancy and the development of hotel facilities and outlets, which earned him the confidence of the board of directors.

Hotel & Leisure News

Top accolade for Crowne Plaza Bahrain Crowne Plaza Bahrain received a prestigious award for their outstanding achievements in the year 2013. The Executive team of IHG including Mr. Jan Smit {CEO Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA)}, Mr. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer for India, Middle East and Africa and Mr. Bander Harbi, VP of Operations KSA & Gulf flew down to Bahrain personally to congratulate Mr. Abdul Nabi Daylami, CEO, Bahrain Tourism Company and the Crowne Plaza Bahrain Management Team. The exclusive ‘TEN CLUB’ represents hotels that received top scores specifically related to guest experience, service delivery and employee satisfaction. Crowne Plaza Bahrain was also presented the "The Most Committed

Team of the Year 2013" for India, Middle East & Africa". Crowne Plaza Bahrain is part of an elite group of hotels to receive this special recognition and award.

In the picture above from left to right:- Mr Ebrahim Kooheji, Deputy General Manager; Mr. Pascal Eggerstedt, General Manager ; Mr. Abdul Nabi Daylami, CEO, Bahrain Tourism Company ; Mr. Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa; Mr. Bander Harbi, VP of Operations KSA & Gulf, Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer for India, Middle East and Africa and Mr. Michael Koth, Northern Gulf Regional General Manager.

Bahrain rebirth with a new Sales & Marketing team Bahrain hospitality industry is still recovering after being highly impacted during 2011, however, with a new General Manager and Director of Sales, Marriott Executive Apartments (MEA) and Residence Inn by Marriott (RI) are set and ready to develop new opportunities for 2014 with the help of a new Sales and Marketing team. As of the last quarter of 2013, MEA and RI have had a few changes in management positions. First, the arrival of our new GM Mr. Michel Sursock, who joined us from Marriott Salalah. He brings with him hospitality experience of over 25 years in the GCC market and will prove to be a valuable asset to the Bahrain market. 48 Forum

Mr. Reggie Titus, five years Marriott associate, pre-opened both properties as Sales Manager, and has now returned from Doha Marriott to setup new directions as Director of Sales. Al Ora, is the rate trends maker: selling the best rate at the best period to generate business as the Revenue Supervisor, working alongside Santosh ShettySales Manager and Radhi Hassan-Sales Executive. Both who are experienced and together, manage the corporate markets in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The Sales & Marketing team further expanded with the arrival of Ms. Florence Lantuejoul (left) as PR and Marketing Executive and Ms. Xanthe Sutcliffe as Sales

Executive. Both relatively new to the Middle East region, but have hospitality experience from their respective countries. With the expansion of the Juffair area in Bahrain, opening soon will be the Al Raya Mall which will be attached to the Residence Inn by Marriott. This new asset will provide more value to our guests with its very convenient location. Despite the current economic conditions and the incredibly difficult business environment the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries are currently facing, the new team at Marriott Executive Apartments Manama and Residence Inn by Marriott Manama Juffair, begins the new year with the aim for success and recognition.

Forum 49

Bahrain News

Designer Shaik advise April date for new product launch

MSB Consultancy helps Bahraini graduates perfect their job interviews

MSB Consultancy has launched a new programme designed to help Bahraini graduates improve their job applications and interview technique.

Designer Shaik, internationally recognised for its impeccable quality and stunning presentation, is proud to announce the launch of its new Astro Duo Astrolabe of Moments in Time. The beautiful and ingenious watches boast many unique and intriguing features and the intricately detailed patterns on the face are a visual expression of the complexities that lie beneath. This fascinating collection of different movements and sophistication is a luxury timepiece for generations to come. Designer Shaik is a unique phenomenon that encompasses the romance of the desert and the spirit of freedom where cherished gifts that are desired and admired by all; attainable by few.

More than 50 graduates attended MSB’s first Interviewing for Success seminar of 2014, which was held at Manama’s Kempinski hotel. The event was held in conjunction with Jobs4Bahrainis, the online careers service powered by Tamkeen. Through a mixture of presentations, quizzes and interactive group exercises, MSB shared with participants their knowledge of the entire recruitment process, from writing a CV to succeeding at interview. Recruitment experts were on hand throughout the three hour session to answer any questions. Participants learned how to write an attention-grabbing professional CV, how to prepare for a job interview, common mistakes, and how to answer the toughest interview questions. MSB also offered participants the chance to have their CV reviewed by an MSB expert, and to get individual feedback.

50 Forum

MSB consulted employers, re c r u i t e r s a n d t r a i n i n g experts to create the Interviewing for Success programme. Through its detailed research, MSB discovered the need for jobseekers, particularly graduates, to show employers not just a list of their qualifications, but also clear evidence of their skills. This is a key theme of the programme. Mohamed Ahmadi, Ta m k e e n ’s human capital development projects coordinator, said “Tamkeen welcomes the i n t e r n a t i o n a l a p p ro a c h taken by MSB in inspiring our job seekers to improve their career credentials.” Don Porter CBE, Joint Managing Director of MSB, said “The workshop demonstrated the clear benefits of MSB’s a p p ro a c h t o p r a c t i c a l , interactive learning. Participants left the w o r k s h o p w i t h g re a t e r c o n f i d e n c e t o p re p a re and succeed in their career. MSB looks forward to running more practical training seminars in conjunction with Tamkeen and Jobs4Bahrainis in the near future.”

Bahrain News

GRC Seminar successfully delivered Keypoint and ACL have successfully conducted a seminar on Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) on the 29th January 2014 at Crowne Plaza Bahrain. The event was well attended and presented by expert speakers from ACL, Mr. Chad Wood (GRC and Audit Management Specialist) and Mr. Nazeem Uddin (Channel Director MENA & Indian Subcontinent). The key topics covered discussed, Data Driven GRC and the ACL GRC Demo session

which generated a sound level of interaction from the day’s attendees. ACL provide solutions on Data analysis, Enterprise Continuous Monitoring as well as Governance, Risk & Compliance solutions that are specifically engineered to address those needs in the most essential and fundamental areas of an organisation’s corporate framework. Chaos, complexity, and fragmentation are inherent problems when it comes to governance,

risk management, and compliance activities. It is difficult and expensive for organisations to tackle fragmented departmental and technology needs while addressing business risks.

Using a shared framework for managing GRC activities drives consistency and quality, and will make incorporating expanded programs over time much easier.

Condor Technology announces Business Partnership with Panduit Corporation

Condor Technology (CT), a leading ICT solution provider in Bahrain, are happy to announce a recently formed business partnership with Panduit Corp. This partnership will greatly enhance Condor’s portfolio for systems integration in Bahrain. It will increase CT’s products availability to support projects and decrease the lead time for those products. Panduit Corp is a global manufacturer of physical infrastructure solutions that support power, communications, computing, control, and security systems. The company has a global coverage of more than 4,000 52 Forum

employees with support in over 120 countries. Founded in 1955, Panduit is headquartered in Tinley Park, Illinois, USA. Pictured above at the recent Bahrain Bitex Exhibition are John Ogle, Account Manager for Panduit OCONUS (Outside Contiguous United States) and Fred Donnelly, CEO, Condor Technology Condor has installed solutions in the Education sector for schools and universities, the Finance sector for banks and Finance Houses, the construction sector for new large buildings and the Government sector for Ministries. Some of these

solutions are structured cabling (copper and fiber), PABX, Wi-Fi, IT (Firewalls, Data Centers, etc), GSM indoor coverage, Access Control, CCTV cameras and Radio links. In some cases Condor has provided the entire ICT infrastructure in new buildings.

Condor recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in business. Pictured above:- Condor CEO, Fred Donnelly, cutting the cake with Office Manager Amina Jaleel (left), and HR Manager Haifa Ghuloom. Pictured below : A Group photo of Condor Staff.

Built overnight

BMMI Continues its Support of Bahrain Polytechnic Industry Projects Alosra Supermarket, BMMI’s fresh and friendly subsidiary, has continued its support of local education by opening its doors to two more students from Bahrain Polytechnic to conduct their Industry Project.

Nass Contracting in Joint Venture with Contrack International successfully installed the U.S. Navy Flyover Bridge which was a unique bridge construction effort. Its approach was one of the most cutting edge which included: "build, lift, move and install" and is unlike any bridge installation undertaken in the Middle East. "The flyover bridge is approximately 122.5m long, 16m wide and 21.4m tall (from ground 27.5m), and is a tied arch cable suspension bridge with a roadway and pedestrian walkway. The 16 meter wide bridge deck is a concrete post tensioned construction. The entire bridge was constructed at an offsite facility about 250 meters away from the permanent location across Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Highway and was moved to be placed at two end piers with highway completely open. "says Mr. Ghazi Nass, Director of Nass Corporation B.S.C. Known as the ’SPMT (Self-propelled Modular Transporter) Bridge Move’, a team of experts from Contrack Nass J.V. and Sarens Nass Middle East moved this offsite manufactured bridge weighing 2650 metric tons (with lifting beam 2850 metric tons) from the assembly location to the Prince Khalifa Bin Salman

Highway The use of selfpropelled modular transporter technology provides the ultimate flexibility and speed in moving and installing bridge structures and reducing construction related impacts to the traveling public as a major priority for the nation’s highway program. "Construction on the bridge began in September 2012, and the actual movement of the bridge to the highway started on Thursday, 30th January 2014 from 12:30p.m. till Friday at 8:30a.m.", says Project Manager, Mr. Ali Chahine. He added, "96 axles of selfpropelled modular trailers were used for transporting the 3000 ton bridge and jacking it to the bearing points on the highway. Bahrain’s Ministry of Works had ordered the closure of the highway to carry out this ambitious operation, a first in the Middle East. Off-site construction of the bridge, results in safer working conditions and shortened road closures." Mr. David Anthony, General Manager of Nass Contracting said that "Conventional bridge construction methods could be replaced in many different circumstances with the SPMT technology to reduce traffic interruptions from months to few hours at bridge construction projects."

The project aims to offer finalyear degree students with work placements in order to gain practical experience within their relevant industry. Ameer Mahmood Abdulla Alzeera, 21, and Jawaher Mohamed Shakib, 22, were the latest students taking part in the initiative as part of their marketing programme, starting last September for a work placement lasting three months. BMMI had previously welcomed two students last spring, as part of Bahrain Polytechnic’s first industry projects and the company was eager to offer the opportunity to more students. “We are delighted that we are able to take part in the students’ education,” said Pavlos Manousos, Alosra’s Buying Manager. “At BMMI we really do understand the importance of real industry experience and the value of this for employability.” Mr Alzeera and Ms Shakib were responsible for evaluating the company’s use of social media and identifying areas for improvements. They also helped create social media policy guidelines and a social media plan. Their research also identified online marketing tools that could be utilised by Alosra,

keeping the company up to date with the latest social media technologies and new software programmes. This helped both students gain a first-hand outlook on how the careers they wish to pursue operate, which consequently gives them a competitive advantage when they are ready to join the workforce. “We would like to thank Alosra for continuing to support our students on industry projects,” said Darren Morris, Bahrain Polytechnic’s Acting Program Manager of Marketing. “The social media project this semester was very exciting and provided Ameer and Jawaher with real industry experience that they learned a lot from. We were delighted with Alosra’s mentoring support and feedback.” Alosra plans to continue taking more students under its wings as part of BMMI’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. “We are so thankful for the support and enthusiasm Alosra continuously provides in supporting our community initiatives,” said BMMI’s Brand, Communications and CSR Manager, Yasmin Hussain “This initiative provides great value to the employability of the youth of Bahrain and demonstrates Alosra walking the talk of being a responsible corporate citizen.” The next batch of students to conduct their Industry Projects at Alosra are expected to join the company at the end of February to tackle yet another project. Forum 53

Bahrain News

Norton Rose Fulbright - 35 years in the Middle East

This year, we are delighted to be celebrating our continuous presence in the Middle East for 35 years. We opened in Bahrain in 1979 at the request of the Bahrain Monetary Agency when Bahrain was just staring to emerge as a regional financial centre. We recognised the potential at the start and the sense of optimism and confidence with which we opened 35 years ago is still clear today. We started with just two lawyers and a secretary and since then our practice has undergone a transformation. We now have over 50 lawyers including 13 partners across our Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Riyadh* offices. In Bahrain, we have a long standing connection with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Bahrain. We have been heavily involved in the development of Bahrain’s infrastructure and we have advised on every PPP project in the Kingdom. Our work in the Middle East extends across the region, into Central Asia and Africa. We advise regional and international businesses on major transactions, projects, ongoing commercial operations and disputes, many of them award winning. Our in-depth knowledge of the local legal, regulatory and business environments enables us to provide clients with a distinctly high quality and comprehensive service to their business advantage. Our expansion in June 2013 with global legal firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP has further enhanced our capabilities in the region and allows us to significantly widen our focus. We are one of the Middle East’s leading and long established practices, and we will continue to grow our practice as the region continues to develop. (*associate office) 54 Forum

BMMI successfully recertifies its Integrated Management System The BMMI Group has successfully achieved recertification for its Integrated Management System (IMS) across its various divisions and businesses in the Kingdom of Bahrain. BMMI first implemented and gained certification for its IMS, in 2011, becoming the first in its industry in Bahrain to do so. The Group’s IMS consists of certification in Health and Safety Management Systems (ISO 18001:2007), Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001:2008), Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2004) and the Food Safety Management Systems (ISO 22000:2005). The Group successfully proved to external auditors that the IMS standards have been observed and maintained in various locations, including BMMI’s Sitra Headquarters, BMMI Shops, Alosra Supermarket, Great Deli Café, Nader Trading and the Central Production Unit. Recertification in Quality Management Systems was also granted to Zad Marketing and Distribution, one of BMMI’s joint ventures in Qatar. "We are very pleased that we have been successfully recertified in our IMS," said Suttish Boodoo, BMMI IMS Manager. "BMMI works hard to ensure that we operate to the highest international standards and that we follow global best practices. We are committed to providing the best and safest services and products to our customers, and with our IMS in place, they can be sure that is exactly what they receive," he added.

Various initiatives, events and workshops take place annually across the Group to help raise employee awareness and commitments to IMS standards. One of the most recent of such initiatives was the celebration of the annual Quality Month. With the slogan of "building and sustaining a culture of quality", the month aimed to remind employees about the role quality plays on every level and aspect of the business. It featured a number of activities, workshops and competitions, where employees learned all about the importance of quality at work and how integral it is to the success of the business. The BMMI Quality Month also featured the first ever BMMI Quality Conference & Workshop, where BMMI partnered with industry experts from local businesses to share quality experiences, solutions and best practices. The conference’s robust agenda included topics such as the benefits and challenges of a quality management system, the cost of quality, root cause analysis and corrective action workshop, quality control tools, customer service excellence and building and sustaining a culture of quality. "We take our IMS very seriously at BMMI and we are always looking for ways to raise awareness about its standards and its benefits," said Mr Boodoo. "I am very proud to say that the external auditors have expressed their pleasure with the knowledge of IMS across the workforce, as well as management commitment and employee involvement."



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Bahrain News

Positive start to 2014 Norton Rose and outlook for the Fulbright advises on year ahead Bahrain’s first social As we move forward in 2014, it’s been housing PPP a positive start to the year already for

BMMI extends medical insurance to cover all Bahrain based employees

DLA Piper in the region. We kicked off the year with success at this year’s Islamic Finance News Awards, scooping best within the Restructuring category for our work with A’ayan Leasing and Investment Company.

The Bahrain and Dubai offices of international legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright have advised Ithmaar Bank BSC (acting as the lenders) on a social and affordable housing PPP project in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

A multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice team from our offices in Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Riyadh, Turkey and Iraq advised the Kuwaiti company on its complex US$1.3 billion restructuring, supporting the client in reaching a successful conclusion by December 2013. A’ayan stood out for being the first Shariah compliant restructuring under the application of the recently introduced financial stability law of Kuwait. As a Shariah compliant company, the defaulted structures included Murabaha and other Islamic instruments. Techniques used in the transaction included complex debt-forequity and debt-for-asset swaps.

The PPP project, a first for the Kingdom and the GCC region, involves the development of more than 2,800 social and affordable housing units in two strategic locations: Al Madina Al Shamaliya and Al Luwzi. The Bahrain government has signed a record agreement with a local developer to meet the social housing units demand. It is the largest housing project ever to be developed in Bahrain in partnership with the private sector and sets a new precedent for the entire MENA region, particularly in the fast-growing affordable housing sector.

BMMI has extended its medical insurance scheme to include all of its Bahrain based employees, helping to ensure the wellbeing and satisfaction of the Group’s team. The new medical insurance scheme is being provided through BNI and will cover a total of 404 employees in Grades One to Three, as previous medical insurance only covered employees in Grade Four or up.

This latest accolade is testament to the strength of the team’s capabilities as well as our in-depth understanding of Shariah compliant techniques, and we look forward to delivering more award winning work for clients in 2014. More recently, we hosted a dinner for General Counsels from Bahrain, the UAE and across the wider GCC at our inaugural GC dinner. Guests and lawyers from the firm discussed the challenges faced by GCs in the region, with representatives from some of the most successful businesses in the GCC. Hosted in Dubai, the dinner was part of our wider WIN programme - What In-House Lawyers Need - providing knowledge, support and networking for the in-house community, and we hope it is the first of many successful evenings. Michael Yadgar, Legal Director, DLA Piper Middle East 56 Forum

Joanne Emerson Taqi, projects and infrastructure partner and head of the Bahrain office, commented: "The shortage of social housing is a very pressing concer n in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are delighted to have been part of this groundbreaking PPP project which further cements our involvement and long history in the development of Bahrain infrastructure." Norton Rose Fulbright have been heavily involved in the development of Bahrain’s infrastructure and have advised on every PPP project in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The transaction was led by partners Joanne Emerson Taqi (Bahrain) and Mohammed Paracha (Dubai) with assistance from senior associate Angela Croker (Bahrain) and associate Katie Liszka (Dubai). Trowers and Hamlins acted as the legal advisors to the sponsors and Freshfields acted as the legal advisors to the Bahrain government.

The request for medical insurance for all staff was the one made most frequently in the Group’s Employee Opinion Surveys over the past two years. By implementing the scheme, BMMI’s management hope to provide a great boost to employee morale and productivity. “BMMI has always prioritised the wellbeing of its employees and we have been working really hard to provide this much needed benefit to all of our team,” said Mohammed Turaif, Human Resources Operations and Administration Manager. “Our Group believes that our people are at the core of our success and we strive to take every measure to help increase their satisfaction and to be one of the kingdom’s most people-focused employers.” The move comes with the full support and backing of BMMI’s top management. Gordon Boyle, BMMI’s President and CEO, said, “At BMMI we truly believe in the importance of our people, it is thanks to them we are one of the leading companies in the kingdom. In our ongoing process to make BMMI the employer of choice, I am personally very pleased that we have been able to execute this initiative and provide medical insurance coverage to all employees that belong to our Bahrain-based family. The well-being of our employees is top priority and I am proud to be a part of a company that has worked hard to continuously support the health and safety of its team.”

Health House expands operation FROM6 delivers ‘Extraordinary’ Health House, an campaign holistic healing centre, is expanding and opening a new branch in Manama. The new premises will be located at Villa 233, Road 1104 near McDonalds and YumYum Tree. Health House is the only centre of its kind in the Gulf Area, focused on the prevention of illness and the maintenance of health, and on searching for the root cause of problems as opposed to the treatment of mere symptoms. The practice is based on a holistic philosophy, one that considers the whole person – the mind, body, spirit, and emotions – in the quest for optimal health, wellness, and a balanced life. Thier goal is to stimulate and foster your innate ability to heal, and empower you to achieve greater health, beauty, and vitality. Health House offers guidance and counseling to help you achieve your health goals, 73 different bodywork procedures, services, including methods for detoxification and rejuvenation, and relaxation techniques. Services offered include: Colon Hydrotherapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Professional Non-Peroxide Teeth Whitening, Mayo Fascia Massage, Medical Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Chinese Massage, Thai Massage, Oil Massage, Reflexology, Natural Facial Cleansing,Hammam, Saloon and much more…

From6, an Integrated Marketing Communications Agency based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, is proud to announce the launch of the Fontana Gardens ‘Discover the Extraordinary’ campaign.

Fontana Gardens is a NEW state-ofthe-art residential development in Juffair boasting landscaped gardens and Bahrain’s largest swimming pool. Fontana Gardens, from Royal Ambassador Property Management, will be made up of three towers and include 405 apartments. FROM6 was responsible for the full 360 communications from Branding through to collateral and marketing roll out. To find out more about the Fontana Gardens development please visit the fully responsive fontana gardens website developed by FROM6. Pennie Nixon, MD of FROM6, said “This was a fantastic opportunity to work with such a prestigious development delivering through the line communications, this a brand we are very proud to have created.”

Forum 57

Bahrain News

Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo inks deal to buy part of Thomas Cook

UK travel giant confirms deal to sell businesses serving customers in Egypt and Lebanon Thomas Cook Group said it had sold its businesses serving customers in Egypt and Lebanon to Bahrain’s Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (Holdings) Co. Thomas Cook, which said in a statement that it will continue serving Egypt as a holiday destination, said it would receive £6.5m ($10.45m) in cash for the two businesses which generated an operating profit of £900,000 in the 11 months to endAugust. Harriet Green, chief executive, Thomas Cook Group said: "I am pleased to report further progress on our rapid transformation of Thomas Cook.

of our capital and resources on our core businesses, supporting the delivery of profitable growth." Saved by an emergency bail-out from its lenders two years ago, Thomas Cook is halfway through a three-year turnaround plan that has seen it cut 2,500 jobs and close 195 underperforming outlets in Britain. The firm said it would book a non-cash loss of £19.5m on the disposal in the year to end-September 2013.

This sale will enable us to focus more

Nabeel Kanoo Director Kanoo Travel

Oxford Business Group to launch Tenth-anniversary report on Bahrain Landmark publication to put Kingdom’s long-term economic vision in spotlight Bahrain’s efforts to carve a niche as a transport and logistics hub will be mapped out in a landmark investment guide to be launched later this year by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). The Report: Bahrain 2014 will feature an extensive range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives, together with a detailed, sector-bysector guide for investors. The publication, which marks OBG’s tenth report on Bahrain, will offer key analysis of the country’s plans to roll out educational reforms and develop human resources as part of its vision for long-term economic development. The Report: Bahrain 2014 will also analyse the $15bn investment programme earmarked for 58 Forum

the Kingdom’s oil and gas sector, which will be phased in over the next 30 years. OBG’s Regional Editor, Oliver Cornock, said the fact that key sectors of Bahrain’s economy, including real estate and banking, had made a strong start in 2014, bode well for the Kingdom’s broader growth prospects. "Numbers on the Bahrain Saudi Causeway have reached record highs, while spending on energy and infrastructural developments is set to continue, buoyed by rising investor confidence across the region," he said. "While challenges certainly remain, we expect our research to show that Bahrain’s efforts to focus on enhancing the country’s skills base as part of the broader diversification drive are producing benefits across the economic sectors."

Country Director, Loida Peral, said she was delighted to be playing a part in the production of OBG’s tenth-anniversary report on Bahrain’s economy. “During our decade here, the Group’s reports have documented Bahrain’s changing economic landscape, analysing its progress in developing emerging sectors of the economy," she said. “Our team has established long-standing relations with key representatives from the business arena, in particular those whose work contribute to or influence economic growth in their own sectors and who are therefore well placed to inform our research. This includes the Bahrain British Business Forum, of which we are delighted to be members. I look forward to many more years of working with them as we prepare to document the next phase

of Bahrain’s development, while marking a milestone of our own." The Report: Bahrain 2014 will mark the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG. The publication will assess trends and developments across the country, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will be available in print or online.

Bed & Breakfast in the Southwest of England The Robin Hill is ideally located in a central yet quiet area of Torquay in Devon, an area known as the English Riviera. It’s just a brief 500 metre stroll down the hill to the town’s harbour, shops, restaurants, bars and seafront. We offer comfortable en-suite bedrooms, a friendly welcome, free parking & wifi and a great breakfast selection. BUT don’t take our word for it... our most recent TripAdvisor reviews include the following: The hosts were lovely and couldn`t do enough for us. In the morning we came down to a fantastic breakfast selection, cereal juice cakes etc and when our full English breakfast came we were not disapointed it was very hot and and plentiful. Reviewed in January 2014 What a beautiful building, wow! It is so nice that they are trying to restore it to its former glory. We will return one day and would advise anyone else to stay here. Reviewed in November 2013 The en-suite was sparkling clean and well presented with complimentary consumables etc. The bed was comfortable and I probably had the best few nights sleep than I had had for ages. Even though we had the "great" storm Reviewed in October 2013 Great location, brilliant breakfast, friendly homely feel and very clean, a place with real class and great management, suitable for all age groups. Reviewed in September 2013 We stayed here for two days and wish it could have been longer. The new owners made us very welcome. Breakfast was a pleasure cooked to perfection and a good choice from continental to full english. This is a family run hotel, and we felt like part of it. Reviewed in August 2013 We’re taking bookings now for April to October visits. Please drop us a line or give us a call for prices and availability.

Room with a


F1 Testing

And Finally

BBBF held a F1 Testing Exclusive Lunch Buffet at the Bahrain International Circuit, in the VVIP Tower, 5th Floor on Saturday the 1st March 2014. The guest speaker was from the Marussia F1 Team, Graeme Lowdon, President & Sporting Director. For more pictures of the event visit the BBBF website.

Situated next to the Bahrain Conference Centre the Crowne Plaza Bahrain is at the heart of the action. Just 15 minutes by taxi from Bahrain International Airport the hotel offers a variety of packages to suit both the regular business visitor and those seeking a rather more leisurely get-away. With extensive remodelling just completed we stayed on Sunday night simply to check out the refurbishments. On entering our allocated suite we were immediately struck by the feeling of luxury. The personalised welcome pack (complete with our names) made us feel really welcome. The furniture was sleek, contemporary and elegant and the suite was very spacious having a very warm and comfortable feeling to it. The attention to detail was noticeable, including the easy to use hub for connecting laptops and mobile devices to the flat screen TV. Being able to run 3 simultaneous users on the WiFi and having the new ergonomic chair was an unexpected bonus for the business traveller. The en-suite bathroom was beautiful, spacious and very modern with nice quality finishing’s, especially the walk in rain shower, which was excellent. Plenty of mirrors, including a full length one, and the magnifying mirror with light in the en-suite added to the good feeling. Fully air-conditioned, the system was very quiet and the controls conveniently placed beside the bed were easy to operate. Sleep came easily in the soft and sumptous bed. The bedding was luxurious and very comfortable and having the choice of a different pillow fill was an excellent touch. The sleep advantage kit combined with the blackout curtains gave us a good night sleep. Another Tripadvisor reviewer said “I think the outstanding part of this stay will be very simply the attitude of the staff. They are superb - and I don’t say this lightly, there is an ‘esprit de corps’ where it seems that they understand that their job is to satisfy the guests.” ... We’d have to agree with that. 60 Forum

BBBForum Spring 2014  

The Spring 2014 edition of the triannual magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF)

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