Bahrain This Month - June 2022

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Since 1997

June 2022 | Vol. 26

| Issue 6 | BD2 / SR20




Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll Platinum Jubilee Anniversary

The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Brunch

Special Edition


National Boxing Team Member and Energie Fitness Trainer, Ariz Khan, on his Sporting Career


The Best of British Motoring with Kristian Harrison

WTM In Conversation with ILA President 2022, Shipra Dhir Passi In Her Shoes – Sonali Thadani Bright Fits for the Season Beauty Essentials Parenting









Digital Edition


Germany-Bahrain 50th Anniversary Celebration On the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Bahrain, German Ambassador, HE Kai Thamo Boeckmann and his wife Samira Rofa, hosted a reception at The Diplomat Radission Blu Hotel.

4 June 2022

THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton

Bahrain This Month June 2022

Editor Farah Baig Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Bill Grieve, Kristian Harrison, Pria Masson, Ouiam Charkani El Hassani, Simran Tiwari Editorial Consultant Ahdeya Ahmed


t is with a particular sense of pride that I introduce the latest edition of Bahrain This Month this June, which features a 48-page supplement (as well as a 10-minute documentary film) celebrating Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee anniversary of her rule since 1952, making her the world’s longest reigning living monarch.

Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Art Director Hatem Monem Webmaster Nishad Eapen

The relationship between Bahrain and the United Kingdom goes back 206 years and it is interesting to note that this one British sovereign has reigned over her subjects for 34 percent of that period!

CRM & Database Coordinator Muna Yousef Staff Photographer Subeesh Kumar N S

This media project celebrates in particular the extraordinarily close relationship that exists between the sovereigns of Bahrain and the United Kingdom. The late father of his Majesty, King Hamad, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa has a uniquely close relationship with Her Majesty and was one of the first heads of state ever invited to stay at the Queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace.

Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services)

The warmth and affection that exists between the UK and Bahrain is indeed legendary and the British Ambassador’s announcement on 1st June, that Bahraini citizens now qualify for a Visa on arrival in the UK, can only further enhance the spirit of cooperation, collaboration and support between the two nations.

Media Sales Director Anuradha Manhas

Join us as we take you down memory lane and focus on the cultural, economic, trade and social relationship that exists between the two countries. Prominent individuals who have been part of this unique association, grace the pages of this supplement many of whom are included in our short documentary which will be available online for everyone to enjoy.

DIGITAL & CONTENT MARKETING TEAM Digital Strategy Director Lini Reghunath Digital Marketing & Social Media Director Farah Baig Social Media Managers Simran Tiwari, Rohit Reghunath

As a Bahraini citizen, who first arrived on this beautiful island as a British citizen in 1979, this combined media project has certainly been a labour of love. I say, “Long Live the Queen” as I also say, “Long Live the King”, to both our sovereigns. And may the ongoing friendship between the UK and Bahrain endure forever more. While the festivities hold a very special place in our heart this month, be sure to flip through the pages of Bahrain This Month where you’ll find a very inspirational interview with the young National team boxer, Ariz Khan, and plenty of dining and entertainment options.

Printing Press Union Press, Bahrain Published monthly by

In the Woman This Month segment, you’ll be brought up to speed by ILA President 2022, Shipra Dhir Passi, who urges the public to support the association’s charitable efforts. You’ll also find the best of fashion, beauty, living and more. RED HOUSE MARKETING P.O. Box 20461, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: (+973) 17 813-777, Fax: (+973) 17 813-700 Email: © Copyright Reserved 2005-2020 The concept, content, style and design of this publication remain the exclusive property of Red House Marketing (Jersey) Ltd. and must not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Red House Marketing cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission. • Views expressed in this magazine by journalists and writers are not necessarily those of the publishers of Bahrain This Month. Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Code: TA001 ISBN 1 899 348 09 3


It’s an issue with plenty for you to look forward to, so needless to say, Bahrain This Month as ever continues to be your guide to a great way of life!

COVER Cover Picture:

UK in Bahrain

George F. Middleton Publisher and Chairman

Scan this QR Code to subscribe to the digital edition of the magazine.

Gulf and international subscriptions available on request.

June 2022







The best of events and entertainment this month.


Packing a Punch


The ever-so-inspirational member of the National Boxing Team and trainer at Energie Fitness, Ariz Khan, tells Farah Baig about his achievements to date and his awe-inspiring goals.









70 Years of Bilateral Relations A Special Supplement Honouring the Relationship Between the UK and Bahrain, and the Platinum Jubilee Celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



A Supremely Good Bahrain Brunch


June’s Culinary Happenings

Farah Baig savours the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay’s extravagant brunch spread with countless live cooking stations, premium seafood, succulent meats and more at the picturesque Bahrain Bay Kitchen. This month is jam-packed with dining offers and venues to be wowed by. Check them out in our listings that feature the best of the best options for you.



Exploring Great British Motoring


Motoring News

As we celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Kristian Harrison takes a look back at the British automobile industry’s extensive and prestigious history.



Investor Readiness – A quick check


Business Bites

Business expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, highlights how you can get your business ready for investors and while keeping some crucial factors in mind.

6 June 2022

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Utkal Divas 2022

Bahrain Odia Samaj held its annual Utkal Divas (Odisha Day) celebration under the patronage of the Indian Embassy with Indian ambassador, HE Piyush Srivastava, in attendance at the Cultural Hall, Juffair. The event featured a performance by award-winning sand artist, Dr Sudarsan Pattnaik, in addition to an exotic fashion parade and display of 75 handicrafts from Odisha. Bahrain Odia Samaj was founded by Dr Arun Kumar Praharaj to celebrate the richness of Odia culture across the Middle East and beyond.






TICKEt June 2022 7







Must-Have Skincare!


Your Summer Beauty Essentials 2022


Smoothen, nourish, and cleanse your skin with our selection of high-quality skincare products this month. You’ll be the freshest thing around this summer with our carefully curated selection of makeup, haircare and fragrances!



Colour Me Pretty! Brighten up your wardrobe this summer with clothing and accessories in some truly eye-catching hues.


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Living Room in the Limelight Spruce up your living room so you can beat the heat in your stylish cocoon and relax.



Service Before Self Farah Baig speaks to the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) President for the year 2022, Shipra Dhir Passi, and is brought up to speed on the organisation’s activities.

In Her Shoes

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Sonali Thadani Born and raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sonali Thadani’s sense of ambition, vibrant personality and skillset has led her to be the CEO of Baby Essentials and Director of Marketing at St. Christopher’s School, Bahrain. We take a walk in her shoes!

OPINION womanthismonth 8

June 2022



The Power Struggle Ouiam El Hassani gives us some tips for peacefully parenting your strong-willed child.


Barberia Bahrain™ Opening The grand opening of Barberia Bahrain™ - a

Gentlemen’s Club and Salon, was held at Tala Plaza with DJ Giannis Nestor on the decks. The upscale fullservice barbershop offers a unique European Barbering & SPA Experience in Bahrain.

Shop Online:

June 2022 9





WorkSmart for Events Management in partnership with The Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH), will be hosting the tenth edition of the Information and Communication Technology Conference ‘MEET ICT’ and the Bahrain International Technology Exhibition (BITEX), from June 14 to June 16 June 2022. The event will be held under the patronage of the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunication, HE Engr. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed. The three-day exhibition, and two-day conference session will feature specialised workshops that will tackle comprehensive topics including Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, 5G, Blockchain, FinTech, and Cybersecurity among

others. Over 700 international delegates are expected to join while local, regional, and international IT companies are expected to showcase the latest in technology innovation at BITEX Exhibition. This event provides a conducive platform for bringing together private and public sector decision-makers, key players, IT experts, those interested in technology, and those who are passionate about networking, building valuable partnerships, reopening, and expanding business opportunities, to achieve the common goals of



This one is for all art and marvel enthusiasts. Special Marvel-themed activities and art pieces, as well as projections and a highly fascinating series of workshops are all on the agenda. This is the perfect opportunity to unleash your creativity the marvel way. The art experiences are titled Groot Clay Modelling, Marvel Mask, Galaxy Slime and Avengers cake decorating. Whether you are five or 50, this is definitely an experience worth trying. Call ahead for exact timings.. Call 17 621-802.

10 June 2022

highlighting innovative trends, services, and products of ICT companies and enhancing the capacity of ICT enterprises. The MEET ICT conference and BITEX exhibition, are considered leading events in the field of ICT in Bahrain and will be held under the slogan “Leading the way towards the digital economy through artificial intelligence” this year.. For more information, visit





The centre of Manama Souq is the place to go if you›re a foodie who wants to discover the best of ingredients, flavours and more. The ‘Food Tour’ is a walking cuisine and culture tour, designed to provide a rich and personalised experience. You›ll meander around the Souq›s winding alleys to the perfect spots to peruse, explore, and experience the most culturally rich places in Manama and a standing piece of Bahrain history while sampling a mix of local and regional flavours. The tour is priced at BD 5 per person, and takes place from 6PM to 9PM. Visit

The Grand Friday Brunch Special Early Bird Reservation Discount BOOK NOW


June 2022 11





Eat, sleep, party, repeat! Indulge in a day of sun, sea and sand at the Playlist Pool and Beach Party happening every Friday this June. Head to the stunning Art Hotel & Resort for an unforgettable experience featuring incredible DJs, a saxophonist and percussionist, dance and fire shows, games, a virtual reality corner and more! Pre-sale tickets are available ArtPoolfrom BD 10 onwards and will be priced at BD 25 at the door. The party starts at noon and goes on till midnight. Call 37 777-845.




Nothing beats the excitement of seeing a live band perform. At the Diplomat Radisson Blu Bahrain, Playlist Entertainment will present a broad mix of performers, musicians, and bands, making it the place to go for spectacular entertainment and loads of fun. Enjoy the sounds of local bands performing the best of alternative, reggae, fusion funk, electronic, rock n’ roll, and more! Call 37 777-845.






OVER 338

Get your weekly dose of techno at OVER 338. Witness incredible beats from local DJs as you immerse yourself in the heart of deep house. There’s no better place to be with Over 338’s fantastic set-ups, stacked lineups, and an incredible venue in the heart of Adliya. Call 39 781-234.

Here’s one for the movie buffs. Enjoy fun movie night experiences at The Raven’s Nest hosted by the renowned film critic and writer, Ahmed Zayani. Raven’s Nest promises nothing but the best selection of movies for you and your friends to enjoy in the presence of like-minded people. A cosy atmosphere, delicious variety of food and beverages coupled with the best company is what you can expect. The schedule for June is as follows: 7th- Jurassic Park, 14th - Back to the Future, 28th - Jaws. Don’t miss out on these classics, each of which will take you down lane. We recommend booking ahead, and reaching early to secure your seats before the movie starts at 8pm. The fee is BD 2 per head. Call 33 448-477. 12 June 2022


Florencia Icecream Seef Branch Opening

The Luxury Lifestyle Awards winning ice cream shop, Florencia Icecream, held a grand branch opening party allowing guests to savour its delicious handcrafted icecreams. The branch, which was opened at The Spot in the Seef district is the ice cream shop’s 5th branch in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

June 2022 13


g n i k c Pa h c n u a P

se that are easy feat. Tho o n is te le h e field and Being an at venture into th that, quite to h g u o en l qualities determined possess severa m strength to st u m ’ it e ak ‘m fro le them to go ab en , motivated, y, ll ra te li be disciplined orts while to e av h ey h sion for sp strength. T and have a pas emotionally strong. d te en ri -o al o d g ly, mentally an being physical ng one asure of meeti er of the le p e th ad h e b This month, w – a committed young mem Fitness, al gie such individu trainer at Ener d an am Te g National Boxin lls Farah Baig about being awete his Ariz Khan. He ts to date and en m ve ie h ac discovered, his s. inspiring goal

14 June 2022



iven that the Republic of India has a population of well over one billion, being chosen to be a member of their National Boxing team is quite the feather in one’s cap. At just 22-years-old, Ariz Khan can proudly state that he has not only been a member of the Indian National Boxing team, but is also currently a proud member of Bahrain’s National Boxing team – a seasoned young athlete through and through. Ariz has achieved a lot in the fighting arena and fitness industry over the last 12 years, but his passion for boxing started when he was just a young boy. “I was just nine or tenyears-old when I’d watch my brother come home from boxing training. He’d have messed up clothes and be tired but he was clearly extremely happy, so I was naturally curious. ‘What could it be that makes him so happy?’ I’d think to myself,” he reminisces. Clearly fascinated by the idea, the young Ariz expressed his interest in being a part of the next training camp, and so, his beloved late father brought him all the gear he needed for what would lay the foundation for Ariz’s career as an athlete. “He’s the one that supported me and got me started,” he says. “By 2015, I had received a silver medal in the national championship which drew the attention of the Indian National team,” says Ariz, who Is originally from the Indian state, Chattisgarh. “So, I moved to Bombay in 2015 where I trained with the national team. There was a total of 40 fighters including myself, 15 coaches, two doctors and several teams, and we’d have three training sessions a day – it was intense, but it was a fantastic experience.” While attending international fights in 2018, Ariz visited the Kingdom of Bahrain where he represented India in a World Championship – a turning point in his life. “It was then that I’d met Ahmed Mirza, the owner of Energie Fitness. He contacted me when I returned to India asking me if I’d be interested in moving to and being employed in Bahrain, and the rest is history,” he says. Ariz has now lived in Bahrain for the last three years and has continued to train avid gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts at Energie Fitness in Juffair. “I honestly believe that people in Bahrain are crazy about fitness and love sporting activities. In fact, I was the first employee at Energie Fitness and have seen the guy that joined on the first day come in nearly every single day up until now,” he says. A year following his move to the island, Ariz began posting his training videos online which soon caught the attention of the Head Coach of Bahrain’s national boxing team, Tony Davis. “He reached out to me and asked me if I would like to join the national team, and we had a conversation about my accomplishments as a member of the Indian National team, at international fights and championships,” he states.

“Tony has a lot of experience, is a 3-star International Boxing Association Coach and Technical Development Manager. Training with him has been an invaluable experience and I am extremely grateful for all his guidance,” he says. “He has helped me make tremendous improvements to my tactics and techniques, he’s taught me how to defend and attack and imparted some classic boxer tactics.” Considering the fact that fighters are faced with an opponent that is literally throwing punches means they have to think fast and have skills that surpass their opponent. “Being a fighter involves more than strength, it’s learning to think quick and Tony’s guidance has helped tremendously to further develop my skills,” he says. Ariz has been a part of the national team since 2020 and looks forward to continuing to be a contributing part of it. His goal is to continue training with the team and represent the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Olympics in 2024. “I believe that sports and fitness in Bahrain is going to continue to develop tremendously under the guidance of HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa. They are constantly supporting athletes, promoting sporting events and encouraging a healthy lifestyle among the public too,” he says.

going through a lockdown or gyms were closed, I always trained. I’m extremely active, lead a healthy lifestyle and even go to bed early on a Thursday so I can wake up at 4.30 am on Friday and go Dragon boating,” he says. “That’s what it all comes down to – training.” When asked what his advice for people wishing to get into boxing would be, he graciously concludes: “Just join a gym with the right equipment and train. Just start. Don’t overthink it or be nervous, just give it a try. The boxing community is very welcoming regardless of your fitness levels.”

Over the years, Ariz has gained tremendous sporting experience and accumulated several illustrious sporting accomplishments. “The last fight at the Royal Rumble held at Bahrain Rugby Football Club was really special to me along with the Brave Fight. The Royal Rumble was really a big change for me and motivated me to work even harder,” he says. In just over a decade, Ariz has gone from being a curious young boy to an accomplished fighter who boils his success down to consistency. “Training, training, training. Even in 2020, whether we were June 2022 15


USA’s 246th Independence Day Celebration

The US Embassy celebrated the 246th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Independence Day is a very special occasion for Americans, as it represents an opportunity to celebrate the democratic principles that were the basis the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and that have been sustained for nearly two and a half centuries. It is also an important day to reflect on the strength of the US-Bahraini partnership. US Ambassador, HE Steven C. Bondy remarked on the occasion of America’s Independence Day: “The US-Bahrain friendship is one of the oldest and closest in the region, based on a partnership that started in the late 1800s by the people of our two nations joining hands and working together for their mutual benefit. This spirit of partnership, friendship, and connection continues to this day.” Ministers and senior government officials, diplomats, businessmen, Shura Council members, members of Parliament, academics, and journalists attended the ceremony.

16 June 2022

70 Years of Bilateral Relations

UK in Bahrain

A Special Supplement celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the historic relationship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom

June 2022 17

UK in Bahrain


HISTORIC RELATIONS In June 2022, the British Embassy, the British Community and the people of Bahrain will join together in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Anniversary. On the occasion, Bahrain This Month spoke to the British Ambassador to Bahrain, His Excellency Roderick Drummond, about his time in the Kingdom so far and significant developments that are sure to enhance bilateral relations between the two Kingdoms.


our Excellency, you’ve had an extensive career spanning three decades. Could you give our readers a brief summary of your experience?

thing that I’m most proud of is that it’s going to be much easier for Bahrainis to travel to the UK with the electronic visa waiver scheme.

It sometimes doesn’t seem like such a long time, but I have gathered a bit of experience over the years, mostly in the Middle East Syria, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. It’s always been dealing with quite a mix of issues with prosperity trade investment being a common theme apart from security in some places. This is in addition to getting to know and develop relations with each of those countries. Experiences in Africa, the South Pacific and Fiji were also fascinating and provided a real contrast to working in the Middle East.

What are your thoughts on the close bilateral relations that have existed between the UK and the Kingdom of Bahrain over recent decades? How could this be further strengthened?

What are your thoughts on Bahrain, compared to other countries you have been stationed at in the region? Well, I’ve always enjoyed working in this region - getting to know people and their culture. I find that its easier, quicker and warmer here in Bahrain than anywhere else. I have friends from other parts of this region, but we became friends with many people here quite quickly. It’s been a real joy to get to know people in Bahrain and work together with them on common enterprises. You were appointed the ambassador to Bahrain in April 2019. What do you consider to be the embassy’s most significant achievements during this time? Despite COVID, we’ve been able to continue to deepen and extend the relationships in many different fields that we have a shared interest in. Broadening the offer from the UK to Bahrain in the field of education has been one of the trade investments projects we have been working on. Where security and defence are concerned, I’m very proud that one of Her Majesty’s warships is now in the Royal Bahrain Naval forces. We’ve done a lot across the board, but the 18 June 2022

One of the things that struck me here is that Bahrainis understand and know the UK extraordinarily well, enabling them to select what it is in the UK that’s relevant here. When I look at the kind of courses that are being run here with support from British universities, that’s diversifying because Bahrainis understand that those choices are relevant to their future endeavours. This is not staying still; it continues to develop. I’m very impressed with the Bahraini youth and their different perspectives. What do you consider to be your major objective as ambassador during the remainder of your assignment in Bahrain? I’ve got a long time to go - a year and a half. I haven’t started to think of the end of it yet, but we’re clearly coming out of COVID, and moving forward we want to check that we’re pushing in the right direction - putting our effort in the right place. As ambassador, I want to be sure that we’re backing the right schemes, getting involved in the right projects, reassessing our priorities and discussing them with our Bahraini partners. Are there any significant or noteworthy contributions made by British citizens in Bahrain in recent years? Yes, quite a number. I’m very impressed when I talk to the universities here; you know the British University of Bahrain is perhaps the most notable, but there are others and the way they’re developing new postgraduate offer is something that has not been done here before. I’m also very impressed with the Bahrain

British Business Forum (BBBF), which has a British and Bahraini joint leadership, and is going to give a new lease of life to business ties by turning into a Chamber of Commerce as part of the British Chambers of Commerce network. Could you highlight some of the most significant high-level delegations and VIP visits over the past 70 years? So, over the past 70 years, I think we have to think of the visit of Her Majesty to Bahrain in 1979. The relationship with the late Amir, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, was very important for so many years. And I look at the visits to the UK by His Majesty and all of the things that have flown from that, and His Royal Highness had seen all the top people including the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in London last year. So, I know that this is not something looking back, that’s only the historical visits, but those that have brought us to where we are today. And of course, we’ve had our own Prime Ministers here on many occasions over the last several decades because the UK-Bahrain relationship is special. It goes beyond the sort of individual components. There’s a real warmth to it on both sides and part of my job is to foster that. Turning now to the current status of trade between Bahrain and the UK. Has BREXIT provided any specific advantages for further developments in this regard? Yes, absolutely. So, I use as my benchmark the trade for the period right before COVID - the beginning of 2020, which was GBP 1.5 billion two-way goods and services, to both sides advantage, and after the pause and the changes around COVID, I think we’re going to bounce forward from that significantly. We’re about to start in the next few months negotiations for a free trade agreement with the GCC as a whole, and I think there’ll be

UK in Bahrain

some side agreements around that with Bahrain as well. The future is very bright. What are the most popular British products and services in Bahrain? We see lots of different professional services being offered in both directions. That’s a very strong sector that continues to grow. I think we’re seeing growth in manufacture which is going to start to take off over this next period. British firms are realising that talent is easier to recruit here in Bahrain than in London or other cities in this region, and are therefore setting up offices to take advantage of that and do part of their regional operations from here in Bahrain. The business-friendly nature of this economy remains very important and attractive in many sectors. How many British citizens currently reside in the Kingdom of Bahrain? Between 5,000 and 7,000 of which we believe 5,000 are permanently here and another couple thousand semi-permanently. That figure hasn’t changed in the last couple of years, but we are hearing of new firms coming in and setting up offices. There are Brits in every sector of the economy, Providing professional services in different ways: legal, insurance, financial and education. Some of them have also become Bahraini over time. Is there anything else you can say? Bahrain continues to delight and surprise me. I continue to find new things about this pearl… this small place in the middle of the Gulf. I’m very confident that, things are on the right track and the next several years are going to be very exciting period of optimism of growth and new developments. And the UK will be right here, part of it, working with our Bahraini partners to make it bigger and better.

June 2022 19

UK in Bahrain

REPRESENTING THE KINGDOM The Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom have enjoyed strong diplomatic relations for several decades. On the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll’s Platinum Jubilee, we spoke to the Kingdom of Bahrain’s ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, about his thoughts on the milestone, his diplomatic experience and the historic ties.


ou’ve had a distinguished career since joining the Bahrain Civil Service Bureau in 1990. Can you give us a brief summary of your diplomatic postings and missions so far? Serving the kingdom, both at home and abroad has been the greatest honour of my career. My diplomatic posting began as an ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Court of St James’s in 2015. I handed my credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll in December 2015, serving as the Kingdom’s 11th ambassador to the United Kingdom, since we commenced our diplomatic relationship with the UK in 1971. 20 June 2022

Shortly afterwards, my mandate expanded to provide non-resident representation to some of the key countries in Western Europe including Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and Norway. Out of the countries in Europe, Bahrain has about five or six covering Western Europe. So, each ambassador covers quite a bit in terms of being a resident and non-resident ambassador basically the mandate there is to strengthen while supporting Bahrainis residing in those countries.

UK in Bahrain

What are your key observations about living in the UK? How does it compare to your previous postings? I’ve experienced living in the UK during my commissioning course in 1993 and have been coming here with the family and kids on a regular basis. So, when I was first appointed as ambassador here, it wasn’t a new place or significantly different than what I’ve been used to and I have felt right at home since day one. We are accustomed to a lot of things that are similar to Bahrain. What do you consider to be your most significant achievement since joining the Court of St James’s? There have been a few memorable milestones. I think we had a number of official visits either here in the UK or in Bahrain, His Royal Highness Prince Charles visited Bahrain, and he chose Bahrain for his only day off in the Gulf a reflection of the depth of the relationship between the two countries. Here in the UK, His Majesty King Hamad usually comes every year for the Royal Windsor Horse Show and is hosted at Windsor castle every year. His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister’s first official visit abroad was to the UK where he met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. So, all of these, plus I have almost 200 official visits per year from Bahrain to the UK. It’s quite a busy schedule here in the UK where we tend to a number of issues that are related. However, during the pandemic I saw quite a bit of work between our two governments, whether in terms of sharing knowledge, experience and knowhow. We saw it firsthand, a number of issues regarding dealing with the pandemic first, and were lucky to both recognise the issues related to it and address them very early on. So, we were lucky, in the UK and Bahrain, to overcome the pandemic with as little damage as possible. That was quite a significant cooperation between the two countries. How many Bahraini expats live in the UK and what’s the main reason for them being there? There are a few thousands of Bahrainis living here who feel right at home and we support them in any way we can. I think we’ve got three kinds of Bahrainis living here in the UK. We’ve got Bahrainis who are married into British families and are living

with their partners here in the UK; Bahrainis that are working here in the UK in various fields; and Bahrainis that have graduated from universities here and are seeking experience in terms of getting jobs, internships or short-term working experience here. We also have over 50 doctors living and working here in the UK. What activities does the embassy of the kingdom of Bahrain in the UK undertake to promote cooperation and unity between the two countries? We have to basically engage, engage and engage. The embassy is focused on forging a strong relationship across all parts of society here in the UK, whether it’s policy shapers or taking people-to-people relations to new heights on a daily basis. So, we are engaged on all levels of people that influence policy here in the UK. What image of Bahrain does your embassy in the UK project to the host country? Well, the Kingdom of Bahrain has a bold vision for the future and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister held, in February of last year, his first wide ranging briefing since his appointment as Prime Minister. It was then that he made clear his ambition to unleash the full potential of the country’s economy, built on competition, innovation, adaptation and growth; a country that works with old friends and new allies across the globe to foster an open competitive environment with access to a global economy that rewards creativity and excellence. Our bilateral relations are anchored on a strong deeply-rooted partnership, not only in defense and mutual security interest, but trade, commerce and the bonds of friendship that go across the geographic borders in Britain and Bahrain. It’s not time to rest on our previous successes. Our nations are focused on having a meaningful, outward looking future where positive engagement and cooperation with global partners are more important than ever before. Yet, for all of this success, there is much potential yet to be unlocked. You’ve had several achievements in your career. Which of your experiences do you think have helped prepare you most for your role as ambassador?

experiences of how to engage and communicate with other officials, whether in Bahrain or abroad. So, I believe that it’s an accumulation of work that I’ve done before. However, I think what’s important is how to project Bahrain’s image and ideas abroad and how to foster these relationships that is key to making any diplomat’s work a success. From your experience, what personality traits are required to make a good diplomat in general? What I’ve seen here, considering that London is the largest host of diplomatic entities anywhere in the world with over 20,000 diplomats working and living here, is that communication is key. In addition, to become a successful diplomat here in London, being social and quite knowledgeable is essential because you’ve got a community here in London that understands the region very well. I think it’s very important to understand the politics of the region and how you can communicate that well. What are your personal thoughts about the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? Do you have any words to share on behalf of Bahrain? The Platinum Jubilee is a testament to 70 years of opportunities and many challenges shouldered by Her Majesty the Queen throughout her reign. She has been a symbol of stability and continuity in an ever-changing world, living and working by her principles of service, duty and hard work is what many across the world who work in public service strive to emulate. We are glad to have been able to celebrate the Royal Windsor Horse Show with her recently and to mark both, her birthday and her Jubilee. The vocabulary of the Bahrain Royals who took part alongside the participating countries, and the concluding was a whole show, which was held and her part of the celebrations. They will also take part on June the second for celebrations in front of Buckingham palace as well. So, we will participate in a number of events during that weekend and wish Her Majesty all the best.

It’s been accumulating. I think the working experience whether when I first started at the Civil Service Bureau or later on as Head of the Youth and Sports Organisation, or at the Information Affairs Authority, builds up your June 2022 21

UK in Bahrain

A HISTORIC TIMELINE Exploring the historic diplomatic ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom


May HM The Queen extends personal invitation to HM King Hamad who visited the UK and attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show and a private luncheon at Windsor Castle


Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office visited Bahrain


22 June 2022


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) Rt Hon James Heappey MP, visited Bahrain. Meetings with Bahrain National Security Advisor His Highness Major General Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defence Forces


Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) – Commander Royal Guard Special Forces Visit. The United Kingdom Maritime Component Command and HMS MONTROSE hosted a visit by His Highness Lieutenant Colonel Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Commander of the Royal Guard Special Forces.


United Kingdom Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) hosted a visit from Bahrain National Security Advisor His Highness Major General Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, for a visit to HMS MONTROSE.

UK in Bahrain


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson received HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Downing Street for an hour-long meeting on a range of issues from trade to security.





New Royal Navy operations hub opens in the Gulf.


UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited Bahrain to meet with the Kingdom’s Crown Prince and business leaders


UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson makes speech at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain


Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Bahrain and the Gulf Co-operation Council



Visit to Bahrain by HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall



Launch of UK-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Working Group

200th anniversary of Bahrain-UK relations.



GREAT British Week took place. Hosted in conjunction with the third international Bahrain Air Show, the GREAT British Week was an important part of the build-up to mark the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Bahrain.


Visit by Bahrain’s Parliamentarians to the House of Commons for talks with British Parliamentarians

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UK in Bahrain




Visit of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, to the Kingdom of Bahrain during which she met with officials.

1984 April

State visit of the late Amir of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa to the UK


24 June 2022

On June 13, 2007, a co-operation agreement was signed between Bahrain Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

1981 September

Visit by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Bahrain

1995 The Bahrain British Business Forum was formed.


Visit by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to Bahrain.

UK in Bahrain

1976 1956


British Airways first Concorde Service from London Heathrow to Bahrain


Political Agency Building – later British Embassy – was built on its current site in Manama


Bahrain formally becomes independent of the UK The Letter from British Ambassador to the late Amir of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa can be found in the Bahrain National Museum.

1938 The Princess Royal, Princess Alice and her husband the Earl of Athlone visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the winter of 1938. She was the first member of the British royal family to visit the country and the only one to meet King Abdulaziz.

Platinum Jubilee Celebratory Events

2022 May


21st May

Green Canopy Tree Planting and Tour of New Site (Nadeen School)

29th May

St Christopher’s Jubilee Songs of Praise

1st June

British Preparatory School - Jubilee Cake Competition

2nd June

Capital School - Jubilee Party Picnic

3rd June

British Club Street Party and Dilmun Club Jubilee Brunch

4th June

British School Jubilee Festival Lulu Supermarket British Week Launch

6th June

Scout Group of Bahrain - Queen’s Green Canopy - Tree Planting

8th June

Embassy Gala Dinner

10th June

BBBF Jubilee Cocktail Evening

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UK in Bahrain


Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the historic relationship between Bahrain and the United Kingdom.


n February 6, 2022 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the UK. To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, several events were planned across the UK to mark this momentous occasion. On this milestone anniversary, we look back at some iconic photographs of HM Queen Elizabeth ll, who has always maintained close diplomatic ties with the Kingdom of Bahrain. Notably, in 1979, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was welcomed by the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the then Amir of Bahrain when she disembarked from the Royal Yacht Britannia on her visit to Bahrain with the Duke of Edinburgh during her sixnation Tour of the Gulf States, the first ever by a female Head of State. HM also visited an exhibition of local crafts at Budaiya Park, and went on a tour of the Bahrain Museum in Muharraq. During the tour Her Majesty met with crowds and high-level officials. Given the close ties between the two nations, the late Amir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa paid a state visit to the UK in 1984. 26 June 2022

UK in Bahrain

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UK in Bahrain


As we celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, we spoke with one of the most influential figures in the historic relations between Bahrain and the United Kingdom, Lt Gen (Retd) Sir Tom Beckett. He is the Middle East executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and was instrumental in bringing the Manama Dialogue, the biggest annual military and political conference in the Kingdom, to fruition. He opened up about his career and historic ties to Bahrain.


ir Tom, you were born here in Bahrain! How long were you resident here for, and how much of an influence did your formative years in the kingdom have on your later career?

Indeed! I was born here in 1962 in Awali while my father was working for BAPCO. We left as a family in 1982 just after I turned 20, although for periods I was at boarding school in the UK because back then there weren’t really many opportunities for secondary education on the island using the UK curriculum. As for influences, you can’t live in a part of the world and not absorb some understanding of it. When, during my later career, I kept being brought back to the region, I felt I had a better understanding from having grown up here and lived in the Kingdom amongst Bahrainis and Arabs. Could you briefly summarise the highlights of your illustrious career to date? In particular, how did you get involved in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)? Having left Bahrain in 1982, I joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1984 and joined the British Army where I served for 34 years. For the first part of my career until 1991, most of the army was focused on the threat from the USSR. Then in 1991 there was the Iraq invasion of Kuwait which brought a lot of the armed forces back to the region and this was my first re-exposure to the Gulf, coming into Saudi Arabia and then being part of the enormous international coalition, which restored the sovereign boundaries of Kuwait. While in the desert in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, I did get to pop back to Bahrain on two occasions which I greatly enjoyed! 28 June 2022

UK in Bahrain What do you consider to be the most important highlights of the Manama Dialogue since its inception? The Manama Dialogue has two primary goals. The first one to bring, as mentioned previously, leaders and military figures together to present how they see regional conflicts going. The only thing we ask in return is that they take questions from an informed and expert audience that we have invited and that works very well. We air things, we challenge policy positions and everyone gets a better understanding of security issues in the region. The second is providing all attendees with a concentrated opportunity for bilateral engagement. We often see countries that might publicly disagree having private bilateral agreements which is obviously a good thing as it promotes international peace and security.

The highlights of my career are undoubtedly the command appointments and operations. I was fortunate enough to command a parachute battalion and an armoured brigade. In the former, I took part in the 2003 operation in Iraq and then in the latter I was the last British commander to leave Iraq. Being there at the beginning and end of it, having done effectively four operations in the Middle East region from 1991 to 2003, will always stand out to me. Sir Tom Beckett (fourth from right) during an Awali School field trip to the tropospheric scatter station on the Jebel. (1973)

As a result of that presence in the region and considering I was born here, an appointment called the Defence Senior Advisor, Middle East and North Africa came up and I was successful. That was my concluding job in the British military and to become a major part of the United Kingdom’s bilateral relations with the region was an amazing highlight. Finally, because of that, when the role with IISS came up, it just fitted neatly together and I came back to Bahrain where it all began! The IISS has been a hugely important factor in diplomatic and political relations internationally. What is your specific role and how would you describe the Institute’s ultimate goals and objectives? Its higher purpose is to promote international peace and security. We do this by being an independent of government research institute with a focus on strategic studies. We look at conflict that could have a significant military dimension. We’re in our 63rd year of being a heavily respected independent think-tank worldwide and it’s because of that intellectual underpinning that we can run events like the Manama Dialogue where we can bring together national leaders, ministers, policy-makers and more into Bahrain which is incredibly wellsupported by the government of Bahrain.

What has the Manama Dialogue done specifically to boost ties between the UK and the Middle East? The UK has a long and storied history with the Gulf and Bahrain was the seat of the British residency in the political agency. The two nations have always had a mutually positive relationship in terms of prosperity, security and stability. I also think when I look at it from a Bahrain perspective, His Majesty King Hamad retains a very strong affection for the United Kingdom and what it did for the Kingdom of Bahrain. You were knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 on your retirement from the army. How proud were you to receive this award? I was exceptionally proud, although ‘absolutely amazed’ is the dominant emotion really. I couldn’t quite believe it when I took the call. It is slightly different than civilian awards, whereby they are asked and can accept or decline, but because we are military, we take orders and are not asked but given it. I didn’t expect it but after a 34-year career it was the most significant honour I could ask for. Finally, do you have any words you’d like to offer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee? As a long-term soldier, the Queen is our Head of State and thus also our Commander-In-Chief. Many of us who have served, as part of the medals we receive for operations, have received Jubilee medals such as the silver and gold ones and we wear them with pride just as we do with our operational ones because we are part of the British army. Her Majesty has been an incredible influence for the United Kingdom and I think that on her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of unstinting service to the nation, is something that those of us who have also served the nation look on with the deepest admiration.

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UK in Bahrain



George Williams is one of the most renowned figures in local media,

n 2020, after a career “British links permeate having held a long and distinguished career as the editor of the spanning 42 years, deeply in the fabric of biggest English language newspaper in Bahrain. We found out how George Williams retired Bahrain society, from his position as the business and culture. In he used his position to bolster ties between the two nations. editor-in-chief of the fact, it has embraced Gulf Daily News. To this day, it remains the the British concept of thinking in many facets highest-circulated English language daily of life. I’m proud of this. newspaper in the Kingdom, while the benefits his “In return, from Bahrainis I learned courtesy, work brought to the press industry as a whole are tolerance, patience and self-respect, which are innumerable. now the cornerstones of my daily life. Furthermore, the newspaper helped to bolster ties between Bahrain and the United Kingdom in terms of story coverage and the simple matter of spreading the English language amongst the local community.

Mr. Williams said: “I dedicated more than four decades of my life to the development of Bahrain’s press industry – hugely supported by Anwar Abdulrahman and Ronnie Middleton. Between us we built Bahrain’s first daily English language newspaper from nothing into a formidable force for change. Despite challenging times for the print industry, I am very optimistic that, in tandem with online sites, it can still sustain significant reach and clout. “However, fake news pumped out constantly on social media does sicken me. Gone are the days when a newspaper was the main source of reliable, truthful news. An editor could control the veracity and honesty of every word he or she published. Now everyone thinks they can be journalists, so by the time a story is read in morning editions, several false and embellished

“I would like to think that my efforts helped take English-language journalism in Bahrain to another level, and even into a golden era. I believe I have helped lay the groundwork in promoting press freedoms and reforms in Bahrain – helped by an amazingly enlightened King and Crown Prince who promise a bright future with vision.

versions may have already been circulated online! “We must always strive to set the standard for ethical journalism and freedom of expression in Bahrain and regionally.” As the only British editor-in-chief in the Middle East at the time of his appointment, Mr. Williams worked tirelessly to strengthen the bond between his home and adopted nation. The GDN often worked closely with the British Embassy and the large British expat community in the Kingdom, whilst also involving itself in various Commonwealth Office surveys and initiatives. One particular highlight of his career was documenting the Queen’s visit to Bahrain in 1979.

Mr. Williams reserved his final words for the Queen. He said: “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is immensely important to me as it marks the first time a British monarch has spent an unprecedented 70 years on the throne. I for one will definitely be attending functions and street parties here in the UK – as I hope will many Brits in Bahrain. What a milestone! I also look forward to visits here by members of Bahrain’s royal family, whose close relationship with three generations of British royals has spanned decades and endured.

“I made a point of giving priority to any UK royal visit to Bahrain, and vice-versa, liaising closely with UK and local officials,” he said. We also carried many articles promoting Bahrain and British cultural activities, which I would often place with UK publications, news agencies, radio and TV stations. The famous Windsor Horse Show, sponsored by His Majesty King Hamad, was always a key fixture for example.

30 June 2022

Here for

UK in Bahrain



The Very Reverend Christopher Butt served as Dean of St Christopher’s Cathedral from 2009 until his retirement in 2019. He has returned to Bahrain for a brief period to help with the transition of the next Dean, and we couldn’t miss this chance to speak with one of the most important facilitators of strengthening cultural, religious and historical ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UK.


hen did the Church of England first establish a presence in the region? The cathedral was built in 1953. Therefore, it’s almost a parallel of the time of the Queen’s coronation. At the time it wasn’t actually a cathedral but became so in 1986, which also meant it became the seat of the Bishop. It still remains an Anglican Church, part of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. As an Anglican Church, what are the connections with the UK both, historic and modern? The Anglican Church initiative came initially from English people who were here in Bahrain, largely serving in government-related posts wanting a place of Anglican worship. That sowed the seeds, although it’s important to note that the ‘Anglican’ Church is not just English, it’s a worldwide communion. That is reflected by the whole range of different nationalities which make up our congregation. I feel that the English language crosses all sorts of boundaries and brings together nations and particularly nations of the Commonwealth. What are the main duties of a priest at St Christopher’s? The main duty is to provide regular worship. There is a daily service providing pastoral care to all who come under our ambit. Even if the diary for the day is not full, you will always find on any particular day that there are people who come just to talk or are in need in some sort of way, and we of course help in any way we can. During your time here, what did you enjoy most about living and working in Bahrain? I think what stands out first and foremost is the generosity and the hospitality that we received here from the royal family and the wider Bahraini community. I also highly appreciated interacting with the sheer mix of people,

from those that are well-off to those that are struggling, from local businessmen to migrant labourers because they are all part of our community and we must respond equally to them. Can you tell us about your own celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee? We’re obviously sharing the occasion with the community, so we will be at various celebrations. The big one at the Cathedral is the Commonwealth Songs of Praise event which we are hosting, and this is very deliberately ‘Commonwealth’ and not ‘British’ because of the cosmopolitan nature of our community. When I read the list of nationalities represented, it really is quite exciting to see who will be here. We’ve got representation from Pakistan, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK and more. Can you share your thoughts about the Platinum Jubilee itself and what it means to you personally since the Queen is the head of the Church of England? One of the themes of our Commonwealth event will be to feature songs from several of Her Majesty’s Christmas broadcasts, which over the years have reflected her own deep, personal faith. I also believe her position, or role, of service comes across very powerfully in these songs. One of the readings we will have is her vow that she made to the people of the Commonwealth in a broadcast from South Africa on her 21st birthday. Then, she was a young woman realising that she had a lifetime ahead of her dedicated to the service of God, of her people and to the people of the Commonwealth. And I think she’s just a marvellous example to everyone, a much better example than our political leaders I have to say. June 2022 31

UK in Bahrain



ith more than 50 years of international business acumen operating in fields such as banking, motoring, manufacturing and more, Khalid Rashid Al Zayani is one of the Kingdom’s most successful businessmen. It is no surprise that he has been elected Chairman of the BBBF numerous times, one of the most important institutions to foster trade between Bahrain and the UK. He explained: “We do a lot of business with the United Kingdom, such as being the exclusive distributor of Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles in the Kingdom, the history of which goes back to the 1940s. One of our companies, Midal Cables, has also manufactured and fitted high tension cables to refit the grid of the UK all the way from Scotland to Wales.” The BBBF was founded in 1995, more as a social club comprising just 16 members, than a business club. Under Mr. Zayani’s leadership, not only has it grown in membership to approximately 500 members, but it has

As the Chairman of the Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF), Khalid Rashid Al Zayani is one of the most important figures in relations between the Kingdom and the UK. We sat down for an insightful chat as part of our special look at bilateral relations between the two nations. considerably improved business and trade between the UK and Bahrain and set an example for others to follow.

The Duke of York presented Mr. Zayani with an honorary OBE in 2013, something he treasures to this day.

Mr. Zayani said: “I believe the BBBF has helped the Bahrain population to engage more with British businesses and vice versa for British businessmen to network in the Gulf. We have specialised groups which meet directly with those figures, whether it is in engineering, banking, industry, trading and many more fields where we have knowledgeable figures who can share advice.

Offering congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee, he said: “There isn’t a royalty in Europe as high in class as much as the British royalty and Her Majesty has ruled for 70 years as a true leader to her nation in both war and peace. People look up to Her Majesty and I had the honour and pleasure of meeting her when she came to visit us in Bahrain in 1979.

“Now that Britain is out of the European Commission, they are no longer curbed by regulations imposed on them. Therefore, we can have a free trade agreement with them and this is something we are looking forward to as we have a special relationship with the UK. There isn’t a Bahraini who doesn’t aspire to go there, own property or have some sort of business interests there.

“I was then the Chairman of Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society and I took her around some sites. I was so impressed by her knowledge of the site before she arrived and I said to her: “You’ve done your homework.” The Duke of Edinburgh then turned to me and said: “She always does her homework!” I shall always remember her kindness to me when I was a young man at that time.”

“I believe there is a natural relationship between Bahrain and the UK anyway. It’s easy to look at Britain as a great partner both in business and tradition. Even our police department, national defence and education sectors have strong British DNA in them. “Personally, I have a huge affinity for their quality cars. I love the UK’s history of quality engineering. Most of the exceptional technology we see in Formula 1 for example is processed in the UK and the standards of research and development are so high.”

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UK in Bahrain

BOOSTING BUSINESS TIES As Deputy Chair of the Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF), Paula Boast is instrumental in managing the membership and strategising for the future. We spoke with her to find out more about her efforts to boost Bahraini-British relations.


riginally from Northern Ireland, Ms. Boast has been an international construction engineering and projects lawyer for 20 years. She first arrived in Bahrain in 2006 to focus on iconic Bahrain projects such as Diyar Al Muharraq, Riffa Views, Durrat Al Bahrain and Bahrain Bay. She is now a partner with Charles Russell Speechlys and the current head of its Middle East projects team for the region, a job which she combines with her work for the BBBF. She said: “I joined the BBBF in 2008 as a member. It formed a key part of my projects networking and business development plan. I volunteered for the Committee until an election year came around in 2010 and I was voted in as Special Interest Groups Officer. I was responsible for delivering key events on a sector specific basis such as banking and finance, real estate, security, oil and gas etc. In 2014 I became Deputy Chair, and remain so to this day. “In terms of responsibilities, I am very hands on! We have a great team at the BBBF. A key part of my role is strategy and planning, and then delegation and management. So that could be for key events and our diary programme, website upgrades, communication and PR developments, diplomatic and trade liaison initiatives, meeting with incoming businesses and cross regional facilitation. It boils down to thinking about how we evolve, how we grow, how we stay relevant, and how we take BBBF into the future.” One of the BBBF’s core aims is to promote networking and boost business ties internationally, something it does through events and conferences. Following the pandemic, more in-person meetings are expected to resume. When asked how the BBBF has improved relations between the UK and Bahrain, Ms Boast explained: “Firstly, we operate a forum that allows people as a priority to actually

meet each other and to connect. In turn that allows them to build relationships. This remains a key factor in doing business in the Kingdom. We have always been business ‘friendly’ and we remain so. “We have members who span 20 or more years with us which is testament to our formula that networking is a cornerstone to business success. We have also driven forward cross-regional initiatives with other business groups in the region which is vital. From regional connections our members can also build global connections. So, the reach is beyond just British and Bahraini businesses.” The Forum’s major event of the year is the Poppy Ball in November, with a further key annual event to be added in the first half of 2023. This month, there will also be special celebrations held for Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Ms Boast said: “On behalf of everyone at the BBBF, we would like to pass to Her Majesty our heartfelt congratulations on her Platinum Jubilee. From a business perspective I think I speak for all of our members when I say that Her Majesty’s work ethic, adaptability and resilience stands as a shining example to us all. We have been very lucky to have had the support of Her Majesty and the Royal Family throughout the BBBF’s history and we look forward to seeing that continue. “The Platinum Jubilee marks a new chapter not just for Her Majesty but also for us at the BBBF. After 27 years, we now start our transition to becoming the British Chamber of Commerce Bahrain. We have a lot of work to do in the year ahead but we are very excited about the future.”

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Launch of the New Bentley Bentayga S

Bentley Bahrain held a launch event for the new Bentley Bentayga S - the latest model to join the extraordinary Bentley SUV range. Guests were treated to a first look at the striking car at the launch held at The Royal Golf Club, Riffa Views.

34 June 2022

UK in Bahrain



Stylish and Sporty

Bentley Motors is one of the most sought-after luxury car brands in the world. The company’s headquarters in Crewe, UK, is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. However, it also has a home in Bahrain thanks to the iconic marque’s exclusive distributor Behbehani Brothers, who this month launched the new Bentayga S at The Royal Golf Club, Riffa Views. Bahrain This Month was there to see the new model in all its shiny glory.

ith striking design cues and unique detailing, the Bentayga S is the latest version of Bentley’s benchmark, go-anywhere luxury SUV, designed and engineered in the UK and manufactured in Bentley’s carbon-neutral factory in Crewe. Building on Bentley’s established ‘S’ brand, this new enhanced sports Bentayga provides an even more engaging drive, with Bentley Dynamic Ride active antiroll control fitted as standard and an enhanced Sports chassis mode. A 15 percent increase in damping stiffens the chassis and provides a platform for a more dynamic SPORT mode ESC tune. Bentayga S also features a revised visual presence through the distinctive addition of black details, and a more sporting soundtrack courtesy of a newly designed, free-flowing sports exhaust – both of which increase the Bentayga’s already imposing presence on the road. The Bentayga S is distinguished by a range of distinctive exterior features, including new unique 22” wheels with three finishes, innovative ‘S’ badges positioned on the lower edge of the front doors, and Blackline Specification as standard. Inside a luxuriously refined cabin, bespoke style can be found with new seats, unique stitching, a new colour split and colour accents on the instrument panel, centre console, door pads and seat bolsters as well. Bentley’s sector-defining and market-leading luxury SUV is available in four, five or seven seat configurations and this fourth model in the Bentayga range joins the efficient plug-in Hybrid, the 4.0-litre turbocharged V8, and the powerful 6.0-litre, 12-cylinder Speed. The Bentayga S features Bentley’s renowned 4.0-litre, twin-scroll turbocharged V8 petrol engine, combining immense power with impressive fuel economy. The latest-generation engine develops 542bhp and 770Nm of torque, with a 0-60mph (0–100 kmph) time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180mph (290kmph). This class-leading performance is complemented by a range of 654km, with CO2 emissions of 294g/km. Of course, with this model’s sporty design, how the car drives is of utmost importance. In SPORT mode, there is improved steering feel, greater turn-in response and further reduced body-roll is possible due to an additional 15 percent increase in air suspension damping and a unique Electronic Stability Control and Bentley Dynamic Ride tune. A new sports exhaust is included as standard, with freeflowing primary and secondary pipes improving flow and combining with reduced perforations in the muffler to deliver enhanced character and volume, giving a more performance-oriented feel. The Bentayga’s comprehensive off-road abilities remain, with the optional All-Terrain Specification bringing four dedicated off-road modes (Snow and Wet Grass, Dirt and Gravel, Mud and Trail, and Sand) along with a 500mm wading depth. As far as infotainment goes, the Bentayga S shares a fully digital driver’s information panel with the Bentayga Speed, with pronounced dial graphics that take influence from high-end chronographs. The display brings a contemporary look to the cockpit, can be customised to the driver’s requirements and features real- time lighting effects with elegant animations. The high-resolution screen can be viewed in either Classic or Expanded format. In Classic, the display shows the traditional two-dial design of speedometer and tachometer. In Expanded, the right dial is replaced with an area for maps and media information. For more information on this spectacular Bentley, call 17 459-999. June 2022 35

UK in Bahrain

F R I E N D S When it comes to motorsport, the relationship between Bahrain and the UK has always been incredibly strong. We spoke to Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of Bahrain International Circuit, to find out more about the fascinating history the two nations share both, on and off the track.


he Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II marks the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne in 1952. By coincidence, 1952 also happened to be the year that the Bahrain Motor Federation was formed, which formalised Bahrain’s growing interest and participation in motorsport. The club’s first Vice President was an Englishman, Sir Charles Belgrave, and to this day, 70 years later, the links between the two countries remain significant and varied. Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said: “Since its beginnings in 1950, Formula 1’s spiritual home has been the United Kingdom. Silverstone held the first ever Grand Prix back in 1950 and is a circuit that remains at the heart of the sport. Further, not only is the UK home to seven of the current F1 teams as well as being the global headquarters of F1 itself, the vast majority of suppliers and manufacturers that provide technology to Formula 1 are based in the UK, in an area known as Motorsport Valley. “To be even involved in the pinnacle of motorsport therefore intrinsically ties you to the UK.”

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Bahrain’s motorsport ties to the UK stretch beyond just F1 and is based on deep-rooted historical and long-lasting ties which endure to this day. Current partnerships with UK organisations such as Prodrive have been going for decades, stretching back to the days of rally driving in the early 1980’s and continue to this day with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Dakar Rally entry. Bahrain’s part-ownership of the UK-based McLaren marked, through its sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, not only covers F1 but championships all around the world including Indycar, Extreme E and, from next year, Formula E. The BIC itself has had links with the UK since it was first opened in 2004. The surface of the track is made of greywacke aggregate, a special type of stone shipped to Bahrain from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire. This surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula 1 drivers for the high level of grip it offers.

involved with the Motorsport Industry Association in the UK, which offers a platform for us to engage with motorsport businesses from the UK and beyond. Given the UK’s role as the current and historic centre of motorsport, we always believe we can benefit from those experiences and individuals and continue to learn as a motorsport venue. “Further, it is always a pleasure to welcome the many British visitors who choose to come and visit the BIC. Every year, we welcome guests from all over the world to the many events we hold annually at the circuit and there is never a shortage of the British contingent, especially during F1. Outside of the GCC, our biggest fanbase every year comes from the UK, bringing their passion and understanding of decades of motorsport. “Finally, we offer Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as citizens of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, our warmest congratulations and best wishes on this special occasion.”

Shaikh Salman explained: “At the circuit itself, we retain strong ties with a number of UK organisations within the sport. We are actively

Remember to exhale. Bentayga S.

Discover a powerful obsession at Bentayga S WLTP drive cycle: fuel consumption, mpg (l/100km) – Combined 13.0) 21.7). Combined CO294 – ₂ g/km. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2021 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Bentayga S.


UK in Bahrain

A DISTINGUISHED SERVICEMAN Sam Thompson is a distinguished serviceman, with experience in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the London Air Ambulance. He spoke to Bahrain This Month about his new job in the Kingdom and gave us an insight into his training alongside some of the UK’s most prominent royals.

Please can you tell us about yourself and how you came to Bahrain? I work for the Ministry of Interior as an advisor for the police helicopter unit. They actually headhunted me and invited me over to develop and improve some of the aspects of safety and training with the aviation unit. I took them up on the offer, learnt a little bit about Bahrain beforehand and it’s been an absolute pleasure since. You were a helicopter pilot in the RAF for 11 years. Can you briefly share the highlights of that assignment? I do remember certain things such as survival training and counter-interrogation training, which involved being shouted at when extremely cold, wet and having been starved of food for several days. This is standard intense military training which at the time I’m sure I felt were particularly unpleasant, but now as I’m older and with slightly rose-tinted spectacles, I feel very proud to have persevered through that. I’ve had the privilege and honour to work with some very interesting and professional people. I’ve led a squadron fly past, at which His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent was there to see the ceremony and it was a privilege being asked to do that considering it was my last 38 June 2022

flight in the RAF. You worked alongside some very famous British Royals for a spell, can you tell us more about that? Indeed! I have some strange parallels with Prince William actually. We were rather surprised during helicopter training in 2008 to be told that we’d have a special guest, or rather a special colleague, who would be joining us to go through his helicopter training. He was doing a slightly bespoke course, a little bit different to the rest of us, but we graduated as one unit. We had the privilege of being accompanied by William, his father Prince Charles and Camilla to the ceremony, and because of their attendance it was made extremely special and it is a career high which will stick in my mind forever. I thought that would be the last I’d see of him in the RAF. However, he did go on to serve in the search and rescue unit, and then quite bizarrely, we ended up leaving the air force at a similar time. I went to fly with the London Air Ambulance, and him being the Duke of Cambridge, he went to fly on the unit based in that county. There was one particular day where I was working on top of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, which is the major trauma centre for London. We saw

another helicopter coming in, which was not too unusual, so I didn’t think much of it until Prince William stepped out! I did have some contact with Prince Harry too. He was in the army, not the air force, but was also a helicopter pilot. I bumped into him on an exercise in Salisbury Plain where he was training in an Apache. What do you enjoy most about living and working in Bahrain? I didn’t know too much about Bahrain before I came to work here. What I found incredible is the hospitality and warmth of the Bahraini people I’ve worked with. The weather of course is incredible compared to the UK – my wife particular likes to make the most of it with sunbathing! Can you please share your thoughts about Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and what it means to you personally as an ex-serviceman? The Royal Family have an incredibly close connection to the military in the UK, with all branches and regiments having the royal title. I have a commissioning scroll signed by her personally, which I’m very proud of. The Queen served in the RAF during World War II and all of the princes have served in the arm forces, so I am privileged to share parallels with those. I think they continue to do a really good job and I offer my warmest congratulations.

Bahrain’s Leading Digital Solutions Provider

UK in Bahrain

THE PLACE OF USEFUL LEARNING Elvin Joseph, the Director of Business Development for the University of Strathclyde in Bahrain, spoke to us about the offerings from the university›s international Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Can you tell us about University of Strathclyde and how long it has been operating in Bahrain and the region? The university is based in Glasgow, Scotland, and was founded by Professor John Anderson in 1796. We have had a presence here in the Middle East for more than 25 years, beginning with Bahrain and Dubai in 1995 and in Oman since 2001. What are some of the most recent coveted academic awards won by the university? One of the most recent awards was our third Queen’s Anniversary Prize. The award, which is the highest national honour in the sector, was conferred on Strathclyde for excellence in advanced manufacturing. In 2020, we also received the accolade for its excellence in Energy Innovation. Furthermore, we are the only university to win the ‘University of the Year’ award twice, in 2012 and 2019. Can you elaborate on some of the different programmes offered by Strathclyde in Bahrain and regionally? We have two different programmes running in Bahrain. The first is our MBA which has been running for more than 25 years. Then, in 2020, 40 June 2022

we launched the Strathclyde FinTech programme in Bahrain and this has been a huge success in shaping the economic landscape of the Kingdom. The University of Strathclyde’ motto is ‘The Place of Useful Learning’. What does this actually represent? This was decreed by John Anderson when he founded the university. We here are connected in terms of business, industry and a high number of professional accrediting bodies. This ensures that students are updated, as well as guaranteea our programmes are up-to-date and fit for purpose. This helps us build the skills that students need for their career opportunities and engaging with professionals, so we can set them up for future careers. Furthermore, the programme is constantly being refined so that it will be of value for students throughout their lifetime. The skills and knowledge they gain from us will be useful in their workplace, long after their academic studies are over. How many students from Bahrain and the region have successfully completed Strathclyde’s programmes? Over the span of the last 25 years we have had

more than 6,000 alumni residents across the Middle East, with more than a thousand of them from Bahrain. One of the quirks of Bahrain is that we have students coming in from Saudi Arabia who study here as well. Why should people choose Strathclyde over alternative MBA programmes? Simply put, the University of Strathclyde is a multi-award winning university, as I mentioned earlier. We have been particularly commended as the Business School of the Year, the Workplace of the Year, and most importantly, our Executive MBA was ranked in the Financial Times’ Top 100 ranking of the best international executive programmes and in the Top 10 of the UK. These are outstanding achievements which I believe are unrivalled in the Middle East by anywhere else. What message does the university have for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee celebration? On behalf of the University of Strathclyde, I would like to congratulate Her Majesty on the remarkable Platinum Jubilee milestone, and we would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to her for her continuing support to the university.

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As a well-established top 10 UK business school* within a leading international technological University, Strathclyde understands the business needs of organisations: from start-ups and SMEs to global players. Our triple accredited and globally ranked Executive MBA is available at our international centres in Dubai, Oman and Bahrain. We also offer a dynamic, fully-rounded and innovative portfolio of specialist postgraduate programmes. New for 2020, in partnership with Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), is the MSc Financial Technology, fully delivered in Bahrain on a part time basis. Make Strathclyde your destination *Financial Times European Business School rankings 2018

UK in Bahrain


Dr. Abdulla Al Hawaj, the Founding President of Ahlia University, is one of the top educational leaders in the Middle East. He spoke to us about his studies in the UK and his lifelong mission to improve higher education opportunities in Bahrain.


an you give us a brief overview of your career to date?

After receiving my Masters and then PhD from the University of Manchester in 1980, I spent 25 years at the University of Bahrain holding posts such as Chairman of both the Mathematics and Computer Sciences departments, as well as the Dean of Student Affairs. Most proudly, I was appointed – by royal decree – as a member of the Supreme Committee for the Kingdom National Charter, as the coordinator of the Educational Committee. Since 2001, I have also served as the President of the Bahrain Association for Academics. In 2001, I became the founder of the first private university in Bahrain. This came directly as a result of being voted and approved by the Bahraini people in the National Charter, whereby in the first chapter it says universities are a beacon of knowledge and the government of Bahrain should support the establishment of private universities. How rewarding was your time studying in the UK? Although I speak English well, going to Manchester was not an easy task at the beginning. One reason why I wanted to go was to be able to watch Manchester United! My other options were Swansea and Aberdeen but I really wanted to watch them play. I’m glad I did because I had an amazing, rewarding 42 June 2022

experience. I really wanted to transfer all the knowledge I received there to my people in Bahrain, so when I came back, I wanted to be a professor in a university and that was my sole goal. My father asked me when I returned if I wanted to be a merchant or an academic. Bear in mind I come from a business background family, working myself since I was six years old. But I knew I had to forge my own path and I chose academia. What do you consider to be your most memorable achievements in the field of education? When I was Dean of Students and Registration at UoB, I was very frustrated because many applicants could not get a place in the university. There was only one university, so many applicants, especially women, could not get a place and it seemed unfair that they would have to leave the country and travel far and wide to get a degree bearing in mind the costs and logistics involved. From there, I had the idea of building more universities in Bahrain. In 1991, that’s where the project of Ahlia University started. The government at the time was not open to the idea of a private university, but I never gave up. Once His Majesty nominated me for the National Charter, I received approval within three weeks. Fast-forward to the present day and Bahrain is a hub of excellence for higher education. We have 15 private universities and three

government universities, and I have achieved my dream. What prompted you to establish an alliance with Brunel University in the UK, offering PhD courses? As a new, private university, I was worried that parents would not be convinced to join us. Why would they join us over UoB with its government backing? So I looked for a partner with an extremely high reputation which would give us legitimacy. Brunel is a Londonbased university and Bahrainis really love going to London, and I believe the UK and Bahrain have a special relationship which we do not have with any other nation. Do you have any words of congratulations for Her Majesty on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee? I am very pleased for her. We are very fond of the UK Royal Family here in Bahrain, so I will take this opportunity to wish her a long life, great success and the very best of health.

UK in Bahrain

CENTRE OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE St. Christopher’s School is one of the Kingdom’s premier British curriculum educational institutes with a history stretching back more than 60 years. Principal Simon Watson spoke to us about the school’s links to the UK and its plans for the historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


imon Watson’s career has taken him from the UK to Copenhagen, New Zealand, Malaysia and now the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he has been the Principal of St. Christopher’s School since 2018.

age to become accustomed to others.”

Since then, the school has continued to win awards and maintain its position at the very top of international rankings, with Spear’s magazine ranking it as one of the top 100 schools in the world.

Furthermore, the school hosts fairs in which they bring representatives from international universities to help support students with their applications for higher education, while the school itself has specialised university counsellors and heads of year to facilitate decision-making.

One of its proudest achievements is fostering a diverse student base of approximately 2,300 students comprising more than 70 nationalities, including many of Bahrain’s British expats. It is an exciting time for the school, which has spent the last couple of years preparing and perfecting its ‘Education for a Shared Humanity’ curriculum which focuses on six key facets: Academic, Metacognition, Service, Enterprise, Digital and Wellbeing. Mr. Watson says: “The school was established in 1961 as a product of St. Christopher’s Cathedral, and by 1975 the constitution of the school was put together, which we still adhere to now as much as possible 60 years later. “One of the founding principles mentioned is that the school must offer an education that will allow students to go back and pick up their education in the UK. This is something we still adhere to and in fact, last year 45 percent of all of our graduates who went on to further education went to British universities. “I think intercultural understandings are really important. Our mission statement is education for a shared humanity, which is all about learning and living with other people, so we try to celebrate that cultural diversity and it’s important socially and educationally for students at a young 44 June 2022

The school also chooses to be inspected by the British Schools Overseas body and uses the British curriculum and examinations for its students.

Mr. Watson explains: “We have a programme in place where we help students who have not lived or even visited the UK before to undergo that transition. This includes basic things like transport, food and how to register with a doctor’s surgery.” The school is very proud of its British influences, and this month plans to host a number of events to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. A ‘red, white and blue’ day will be held to celebrate the occasion and the children of the primary school campus in Saar have written to the Queen. There will also be ‘street parties’ held within the school with bunting, flags and more, which the British Ambassador HE Roderick Drummond will attend. Furthermore, a brass band will be playing, there will be educational assemblies about the 70-year historical reign and a version of the ‘Great British Bake-off’. Mr. Watson says: “On the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, St. Christopher’s community congratulates and celebrates Queen Elizabeth II on her momentous achievement. As a community, we join together with millions of other families around the world to celebrate The Queen and her 70-year reign.”


St Chris ‘Party In The Park 2’ - Celebrating 60 Years Of Excellence In Education St. Christopher’s School, Bahrain hosted a huge celebration for its 60th Diamond Jubilee at its Saar campus. Starting from its humble beginnings 60 years ago, St Christopher’s School has been a cornerstone of the Bahrain community since 1961. Since then, St Christopher’s School has continued to grow and positively impact the Bahrain community.

From providing a world-class academic and extracurricular foundation to Bahrain’s youth to schoolwide community and global charity projects, St Christopher’s School continues to proudly nurture excellence and achievement in all its students. The Anniversary event welcomed almost 3,000 members of its community for an unforgettable

evening of music and celebration. Families gathered on the school’s outdoor sports pitch with blankets and picnics to enjoy the incredible musical talents from hundreds of students and staff. The community enjoyed performances from well-known St Chris bands; UNPLUGGED, the St Chris Big Band, Jawhara, the St. Chris Staff Band and the School Choirs.

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UK in Bahrain



Akram Miknas is amongst the most successful businessmen in the Middle East. The Bahraini national runs one of the most successful advertising agencies in the region, Promoseven Holdings, and has a number of other business interests around the globe. He spoke to Bahrain This Month about his affinity with the UK.

Akram’s sister, Baria Alamuddin with HRH Prince William at a reception in London.

Akram with his niece Amal Alamuddin and her husband, George Clooney.


ou have extremely close relations with the UK. Can you tell us how much the UK has been part of both you and your family’s lives? The UK has been hugely important for me! I will never forget my first visit to London where I took a cab from Heathrow to a small apartment next to Paddington Station. The first thing I wanted to do was go up to Buckingham Palace and wait in line to see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She came out onto the balcony to wave at us and I’ve never seen so much joy among a crowd; everyone was overjoyed to see her. The UK has been my second home ever since my family escaped Lebanon during the civil war there. They decided on London as a rescue and since then I have bought multiple properties there. I studied for a while in Scotland too to learn more about exhibitions and then in 1982 my advertising business needed a production house, which I started in London as it truly is the most international city in the world. Even to this day, my sister still lives in London, as does my niece Amal Clooney and her husband George. They all have British citizenship and are very proud to be so. I have only met the Queen once since, when she was decorating a family member with an 46 June 2022

award, and I was amazed by her incredible strength and presence. What are your thoughts about the current state of business between Bahrain and Britain? I think business ties are still strong because Bahrain is considered an important financial hub in the Middle East, while London is the hub of the world. I have personally invested in the British School of Bahrain and have another British-curriculum school called Quest which I am very proud of. You are renowned as the founder of one of the biggest advertising companies in the Middle East. Do you have a particular British-based ad campaign you are particularly proud of? Definitely! The best campaign I ever did was for HSBC Bank. It was a beautiful campaign because it featured an Arab traveller on his camel with a British guide. The story of the ad is that the traveller says: “Without you, I’d be lost”, and the guide says: “Without the bank, I wouldn’t be here!” We also did work for British Airways in and I still have many close friends and contacts from the work we did with them.

Baria Alamuddin with HRH Prince Charles at a reception. What is your favourite British brand? This is an easy one! It has to be Jaguar. I love their cars; I collect E-Types and currently have four. It’s the most beautiful car in the world, a marriage of impeccable design and engineering, coupled with the perfect match of inner and outer beauty. Do you have any words for Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee? From my very first day in the UK, I have always loved the Queen and the royal family. What she has done for the country and the people of the UK in terms of stability, vision and understanding democracy and working within it is incredible. She’s an example for all of humanity and the world is a much safer place with her in it.

UK in Bahrain

Cherished Memories & New Beginnings W

Bahrain This Month’s former motoring correspondent and a resident of the Kingdom for more than 40 years, Dick Potter, discusses his new venture back in the UK and reminisces on his time spent on our beautiful island.

hen Dick Potter and his wife, Shirley, left the desert behind for a new life in the historic city of York, they took with them decades of memories made in Bahrain.

They are now the proud owners of the Perky Peacock, a café located in one of the oldest buildings in York. Barker Tower was built in the 14th Century, originally for the purpose of collecting a toll from visitors entering the city, and sits on the banks of the River Ouse. In a famous story, Florence Nightingale once waited there for a ferry to take her across the water. Dick said: “It was with great sadness that we decided to leave Bahrain. We had made a lot of friends there during the course of our lives and we knew we wouldn’t be seeing them for a while. Bahrain is such a cultural society with Arabic, Indian, European, American and many more blending together in every aspect of society. The UK is multicultural too of course, but it is perhaps not as pervasive. “We left with trepidation as we hadn’t run a café before, so it was a step into the unknown, but thankfully it’s worked out thanks to some great staff and customers. “Having the café means you are naturally very sociable, as you are constantly building relationships with your clientele. Being on the river is an added dimension; we have a licence for beverages outside and there is an atmosphere like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. York is absolutely steeped in history and I encourage any readers to visit and breathe it in, take a walk around the city walls, visit the

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Minster, or any of the other countless historic sites.” The couple live just outside York in a farm, alongside their cats which were also relocated from Bahrain. Their furry friends love their new home more than their owners, as they can now walk around the fields freely in cooler weather rather than limiting their ventures in the Bahrain heat. Speaking of exploring, this is one area which Dick is able to enjoy to a greater extent than possible in a tiny country such as Bahrain. A petrolhead he will always remain, as he shipped his beloved Ferrari 430 back to England with him. He said: “To be able to take the car out on country roads and stop at a pub for lunch and a coffee is wonderful. The petrol prices aren’t though! “What we love about being in England is being close to my father again. Funnily enough, we even like the weather, even though it’s rainy and cold far more often than we’re used to. Variety is the spice of life and we do get that with seasons. “Admittedly, the one thing we do miss above all is the boating. It’s just not something you can really do to the same extent in the UK. It used to be wonderful having everyone gathered round on cruises where you could socialise easily. “However, since we are on a river, I do want to get a smaller boat so we can enjoy being out on the water again. After spending 40 years surrounded by it, you do grow a natural affinity for it.” Currently, the Potters are looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations this month. They will decorate their tower with Union Jack bunting, have special themed cakes and will play music outside on the river front.


CHILD-CENTRED AND INCLUSIVE Nadeen School, established in 1977, is well known for its child-centred, holistic approach to education. Nadeen School, which is rated as “Outstanding” by the Bahrain Quality Authority (BQA), is a founding member of the British Schools of the Middle East (BSME) and an accredited British School Overseas school (BSO) recognised by the British Government and British Department for Education. It is also Bahrain’s only inclusive school where all children are celebrated for their unique talents and abilities. The school truly believes that being welcoming and accepting of all children makes for a better schooling and community experience for all. Currently, 400 children (aged two to 11 years) are enrolled in classes from Pre-Nursery to Year 6. The school is truly international with over 50 nationalities represented within its population. To celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee and mark the occasion at the new campus, the Student Construction Crew and Deputy Ambassador

from the British Embassy planted trees at the new site as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign. After years of popular demand to expand, the school will be moving to a new, purpose-built campus in the heart of Dilmunia and extending over time to become a throughschool up to Year 13 next year. The new building will house state-of-the-art facilities for sports, science, design and technology, music, drama and performance, and art. Large outdoor play areas and learning terraces will provide a natural learning environment. There will also be amazing opportunities for extra-curricular activities, training facilities, and community engagement. The campus will also incorporate elements from the existing school: the original climbing frame from 1980, mud kitchens and fairy garden, and the tree houses, gardens, and farm areas…and its trademark “small school – big family” motto.

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UK in Bahrain



Environment Arabia Consultancy Services and Reef Arabia are Bahraini companies operating in the Kingdom of Bahrain, owned and managed by a Bahraini Environmental Specialist, Mrs. Halel Engineer.


nvironment Arabia Consultancy Services and Reef Arabia were established in 2001, with a mission to assist its clients to achieve sustainable development, through providing the highest quality environmental services. Today, the Company is listed as a Grade A Environmental Consultancy by Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Environment (SCE). Environment Arabia has been at the forefront of environmental sustainability, serving the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Middle East region and working with some of the largest global companies and clients, and investing in outstanding environmental specialists and marine experts who provide an unmatched service, making it one of the few environmental consultancies with a fully equipped team, marine equipment and vessels in the Gulf. It delivers high quality environmental consultancy services to a wide spectrum of businesses and industries, including: government, oil and gas, petrochemicals, ports and maritime, power generation, land reclamation and dredging, wastewater treatment, steel and aluminium manufacture, civil infrastructure, transportation systems, waste management infrastructure, etc. A broad range of services are offered, including: Environmental & Social Impact 50 June 2022

Assessments (ESIAs), environmental management plans, Health, Safety and Environmental Impact Assessments (HSEIA), environmental auditing, assessment and modelling of air emissions, greenhouse gas emissions assessment, assessment and modelling of noise emissions, marine ecological and coral reef surveys, marine impact assessment, waste management assessment and planning, ecological impact assessment, soil and groundwater contamination, assessment and remediation, Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) customised training and workshops, compliance and transformation. Reef Arabia was established in 2012 as a complimentary line of business to EACS, following a government initiative to deploy more than 2600 artificial reef units around the waters of Bahrain. With its mission to protect and enhance marine life by using innovative and effective artificial reef designs, products and solutions, Reef Arabia is the region’s first provider of a wide range of artificial reef units, including both licensed Reef Ball units and the Company’s own patented design - the Majfara unit. Reef Arabia offers a range of services, from design and deployment of artificial reef units to more extensive consultations on projects, such as site selection and monitoring. It is the

only company in the Arabian Gulf that operates a full-time, fully equipped manufacturing facility with professionally trained staff capable of supplying a diverse range of quality artificial reef units to anywhere in the region. It is also the only artificial reef company that has a fulltime professional environmental team alongside its reef unit manufacturing facility and vessels. The team has more than 20 years’ experience supporting clients to navigate through the complete process of site selection, reef design, permit applications, consultations, deployment, and monitoring. Both Environment Arabia & Reef Arabia support the continued education and development in the Kingdom of Bahrain by regularly holding educational sessions with local schools and interested parties and organisations seeking to further their knowledge on current environmental and sustainability matters. The Companies are recognised for their work and have been presented with multiple certificates and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) awards. With rising popularity in the Middle East region, both EACS and Reef Arabia’s services maintain a focus on high quality and dedication, working tirelessly to deliver projects and help industries and businesses to achieve sustainable development wherever they choose to operate.

Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of H.M Queen Elizabeth II

Protecting the environment for over 20 years

UK in Bahrain

GRAFF An ode to the formidable force of nature and the majesty of natural diamonds and gems, Graff’s high jewellery campaign for 2022 is an unrivalled display of high jewellery wonder that expresses the pure fantasy of the most fabulous jewels in the world. Photographed by rising star Carlijn Jacobs, GRAFFABULOUS presents a peerless trove of extraordinary stones, showcased in more than

Introducing Graffabulous Graff’s new high jewellery campaign harnesses the fantastical beauty of one of the greatest gatherings of gemstones ever seen in a high jewellery collection.

80 pieces of high jewellery, each one of a kind. All of the precious stones for which the House is renowned appear in the campaign, revealing the full spectrum of rarity at Graff. An unprecedented 3,600 carats of diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires are featured, making this among the greatest gatherings of gems ever seen in a single high jewellery campaign.

A TOUR-DE-FORCE OF DESIGN AND CRAFTSMANSHIP Some of the most audacious jewels ever crafted by the House, dreams and desire converge in these intensely precious new creations, which reveal the true artistry of high jewellery at Graff. Displaying a never-before-seen level of intricacy, diamonds and gemstones are forged into unique designs with myriad layers of detail that push the possibilities of Graff’s craft like never before. Necklaces feature prominently in the collection, carefully orchestrated to display a captivating 52 June 2022

rhythm that flows with a beautiful fluency from one gem to the next. “As designers, we listen to the songs the stones are singing, focusing on the music and the rhythm,” says Anne-Eva Geffroy, Design Director at Graff. “Like the ripples that emanate outwards when a stone is dropped in water, the tempo increases as the jewels graduate in size until they reach a crescendo: a central motif where the full force of these natural gemstones is concentrated.” Contemporary motifs first seen in the Tribal

collection have been further explored and expanded upon, challenging Graff’s artisans to custom cut diamonds into innovative shapes to realise these creative arrangements of stones, which are breath-taking in their threedimensionality. Illustrating the excellence of Graff’s craftsmanship and highlighting their textural complexity, an array of high jewellery rings sculpt the light into brave, new forms, with contrasting diamond cuts enhancing the exhilarating sense of perspective.

UK in Bahrain

A SUPERB COLLECTION OF DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES The House of Graff has always stood for the finest, the rarest and only the very best gems, and in these fantasy pieces, this passion for the exceptional really comes to the fore. Every high jewellery creation begins with the stones and their power to enthral, from a perfect 38 carat D Flawless ExEx Type Ila cushion cut white diamond to an unheated 109 carat Sri Lankan sapphire, a rare treasure that is emblematic of this unparalleled collection of high jewellery.

Equally sublime is Graff›s virtuoso use of colour of the most precious kind. Collected and cared for over many years, breath-taking sapphires, emeralds, rubies and yellow diamonds are masterfully combined in blazing displays of bravura. These include a phenomenal collection of Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds, transformed by the House›s designers into the fiery highlight of a masterpiece necklace.

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UK in Bahrain


Established in 1976, the Bahrain-based company Universal Electro-Engineering (UNEECO) has consistently adapted and implemented innovations to meet the diverse and changing needs of the region’s electrical and electronics engineering sectors. A large portion of the groundwork for the company’s success was laid by importing products from the UK and Europe.


NEECO, which established its first assembly plant in Salmabad, later moved to Mina Salman Industrial Area, where it operated for nearly 15 years, following which it rooted its state-of-the-art facility in BIIP at Bahrain’s Al Hidd Industrial Area. Since then, the company has earned itself the reputation of being the leading manufacturer of Low Voltage (LV) Switchgear Products and has expanded its import portfolio. Over the years, UNEECO tied up with various international players in the field of electrical and electronics engineering. “With these international associations, UNEECO delivers quality products and services to the society at par with global practices and standards,” said UNEECO Chairman and Managing Director, Abdulrahman Juma. One of the companies which UNEECO represents is the UK-based Schneider Electric, which is a world-leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art low-voltage feeder pillars and fuse boards for installation in public distribution networks. These are manufactured in Scarborough, a town in north-east England. UNEECO’s COO, Jayashankar Viswanathan, explained: “We have proudly worked with the UK for almost three decades, starting with 54 June 2022

Schneider’s GenieEvo product range. After that, specifications for certain electrical products changed in Bahrain so we shifted towards importing and selling low voltage fuse boards. Utilities providers in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to this day, prefer to use these products because of their lasting quality and reliability. “We are very happy with our enduring co-operation with the Schneider UK team and hope to maintain a partnership with them for many years to come. All of our infrastructure contracts in Bahrain use their UK products, such as mini feeder pillars, and we are in constant contact with Schneider since we place orders regularly multiple times a week.

worth of business with the UK in 2021 alone. The company has been involved in several recognisable projects and developments using their extensive portfolio of international products. Their imports from the UK in particular were put to use on some of Bahrain’s biggest development projects. These include: AXA Insurance, Bahrain Bay, Kingdom Mall, Once Mall, Abraj Lulu, EWA, Bahrain Airport, Salmaniya Medical Complex – Accident & Emergency Hospital, IKEA, Mall of Dilmunia, Alba, Ministry of Housing, Diyar Al Muharraq, Address Hotel and Marassi NBR.

“We are very happy to be working with UK companies because of the quality and consistency of products. They are also very flexible; whatever we want they are willing to modify or tailor things to the Bahrain market.”

“We’ve made a clear effort to provide our clients with excellent, high-quality products sourced from the finest manufacturers, and also provide leading after-sales service. That’s what our key to success has been – our customer-centric approach and attention to their satisfaction.

In addition to their partnership with Schneider, UNEECO imports other British-made products such as mini feeder pillars, Zettler’s advanced security systems, in particular their Thorn product line, Context Plus smoke detectors from Stockport, UK, and FG Wilson electrical generators also from the UK.

“We hope to continue working with the UK for many years to come. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her Platinum Jubilee. Ruling for 70 years is an incredible achievement and I wish many more years of prosperity for her and her people,” Mr. Juma concluded.

In total, UNEECO did more than GDP3 million

UK in Bahrain

GENERATIONAL TIES Bahrain is home to several family-owned businesses that have steadily grown and enriched the Kingdom’s history of trade and commerce over the years. One such family is the renowned Al Arayedh family, who are able to trace their deep-rooted history over centuries. We spoke to Nasser Al Arayedh, Chairman of Al Arayedh Group Holding (AAGH), who gave us an insight into their close ties with the British community.

Could you please give us an overview of your family›s relationship with the United Kingdom over the last 70 years? It started with my grandfather – Mansour Al Arayedh – and his pearl trading. He used to export some of his pearls there and then after that, my father went there to study when he was 15. When he came back, he started Bahrain’s first fresh dairy factory in the 1950s and imported all of the goods for the factory such as machinery, cars and bottles from the UK. Myself and my sisters, Jehan and Mariam, also studied in the UK and earned our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees there. In terms of business, we have numerous import contracts with the UK and have an educational joint venture with a UK company. Of course, we have direct investments in the UK in terms of property, real estate and as a financial hub to invest globally. What would you say are the key elements that define a British brand, which differentiates it from brands of other countries? What are some of your favourites? I think British brands have an element of heritage, creativity and integrity. I love British tea and when I’m in Bahrain I always take the opportunity to have some if offered. I also like British shopping brands such as Boots and Tesco which are

renowned worldwide for their wide range of products. Where is your favourite place to visit or stay in the UK? Of course, whenever I travel to the UK, the base is always in London. It has to be because that›s where our investments and properties are. I also like some places in the south not too far from there, such as Bournemouth and Torquay. What else would you like the British-Bahraini community to know about your connection with the UK? Is there anything special you›d like to divulge? As a group, we have a long history with the UK and we really do see it as the financial hub of Europe and even the world. We are guided by advisors to seek opportunities globally, but the once piece of advice they give us is to ensure a strong relationship with the UK first and foremost. Do you have any words for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee? I would like to congratulate Her Majesty on the 70th anniversary of her reign, and I wish her a long life and the people of Great Britain prosperity and future development.

The Al Arayedh family has a relationship with the UK that goes back to the beginning of the 20th century up to today and started with pearl trading. Here, Mr. Al Arayedh shows a milk glass bottle that was imported from the UK in the mid-1950s from United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. to their fresh dairy farm factory in Bahrain which was the first the Arabian Gulf region.

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Strathclyde Alumni Dinner

Under the patronage of British Ambassador, HE Roderick Drummond, the Strathclyde Business School held an Alumni Dinner at Florence Restaurant, Adliya.

June 2022 57

UK in Bahrain

A WORD OF THANKS The British Embassy would like to thank all those companies sponsoring our special Platinum Jubilee event, to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Wednesday, June 8. They represent the wide range of commercial interests between the UK and Bahrain and the best of British from education, engineering, technology, design, security, finance, legal, consultancy and professional services.

LOGO 2020

Bahrain Artistic Frames Centre- English only

In appreciation of the professional support provided in scanning and reframing historical images for this special project.

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Kimshealth Launches New Dialysis Centre KIMSHEALTH Bahrain has launched its new Dialysis Centre at the recently renovated KIMSHEALTH Medical Center in Umm Al Hassam. KIMSHEALTH’s foray into establishing a specialised Dialysis Centre

forms part of a larger vision to provide a complete Kidney Care Programme. KIMSHEALTH has already been providing dialysis services at the Royal Bahrain Hospital, and through the addition of the Dialysis

Center, it is bringing its services closer to the people of Bahrain. The Dialysis Center is located on the second floor of the KIMSHEALTH Medical Center and comprises 10 dialysis units and three private rooms with two having isolation facilities.

Hope Venture Event

The Rotary Club of Adliya held an event for Hope at which Fajer Al Pachachi, General Manager of Hope Venture, spoke on the role of the company in investing in Bahraini Youth and Entrepreneurship alongside the private sector. The talk was held at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa.

Brazil Re-opening

Brazil Rodizio Grill and Lounge, located in Adliya, held a re-opening party after having its interior redesigned.

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Infidelity is an ultimate sin that can devastate family unity, divide communities, destroy friendships and partnerships, and is considered a cancer in any society. Considering the magnitude of devastation, and the seriousness with which infidelity and adultery have been viewed and treated over time, there is little surprise that in times gone by, punishments for this heinous crime of moral bankruptcy, deceit and betrayal were far more severe. In Western civilisation, blood is often spilled too with love triangles regularly resulting in death and property destruction. BTM looks at this touchy subject and provides an insight into the elephant in the room. 60 June 2022


oor lay on her bed, devastated and almost incapacitated. She had just discovered that for almost a year, the father of her children and husband, Majid, an airline pilot Captain, had been having an ongoing relationship with one of the gullible married flight attendants a mother too. What had started in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the Bosphorous Coffee Shop, a long way from the crew’s hotel and prying eyes, was no coincidence. In order to woo them while grooming them, Majid took all his potential conquests to the quaint shop. The visit had been carefully planned and details stage managed right down to photographs at ‘the hole in the wall’ - just like a planned flight. Noor’s husband of over 10 years had been on the prowl and groomed the first ‘green signal’ flight attendant he observed to be infatuated by his position as a pilot Captain, preparing and coaxing her for months beforehand with only one thing in mind - an immoral relationship. “Please buy me this in London, I will meet you to collect it,” and “Please pick this up for me in London…” were regular reasons to communicate and draw her closer. So, the grooming went along nicely, and quickly extended into invitations

to “gatherings” in hotel rooms down route where often only the two of them remained after drinking with the rest of the crew. Charmed by the pilot - smartly dressed in his uniform, freshly manicured and saturated in expensive perfume - the naive flight attendant who hailed from a province in the Philippines, and was working to support her family, soon succumbed to his constant barrage of sexual innuendos, texts, pressuring, authoritative position, wit and charm. As they say in the classics, “When you go to a pilot’s room once, you never stop going”. The flabby middle-aged Captain had successfully secured his next mark and despite the puerile flight attendant’s marital status, he pursued her for sexual favours and encounters regularly thereafter, often seemingly begging the simple-minded flight attendant to sleep with him “quickly” whilst making her feel like the most important member of the crew. “I need some private lessons please - It’s been a while…” and “Can we please squeeze in a quick one after my Jeep is serviced and you are back from ISB (Islamabad)?” he would text her insistently. He also went on to warn her by saying, “We need to be cautious as we both have partners.” The cheap, low-grade sleazy hotel rooms rented

opinion locally on an hourly basis while her husband was working away and lack of any real affection from the narcissistic Captain began taking its toll on the wide-eyed flight attendant. She quickly realised she was simply another notch on Majid’s belt of philandering and it wasn’t long before she confided in her close friend Rina – a clear cut sociopath who was as promiscuous as a desert dog herself. It was this “secret” recounted by Rina to other crew members many times, often whilst drunk, and to her ‘Party People’ Whatsapp group, that eventually got back to Majid’s wife, Noor. The determined wife embarked on an uncanny journey of discovery and unraveled all the sordid details of the protracted affair. What the philandering Majid had miscalculated in his theory that “everything

that happens down route stays down route” was that STDs and affairs tend to follow you all the way home. With family lives shattered, marital trust destroyed, the children isolated, in-laws devastated and angry, the company was now wise to his philandering ways and all the cabin crew, and company employees were whispering about his activities while away from home or on an overnight, layover, DHD or positioning trip. This quickly took its toll, and so another illustrious flying career was doomed by the small brain of man with a moral compass the size of a pea. Author’s Note: This article is largely a work of creative non-fiction. The events described are based largely on true events, however, to protect the

Sleazy “Dive” Hotel Rooms Rented by The Hour

What to Do if You are an Affected Partner In most cases of infidelity, the wronged partner is generally the last to find out and almost always the most seriously hurt by the betrayal. Quantum physics teaches that there are only three elements of protection from anything in life: Time, Distance and Shielding. Use all three wisely and together in an ‘as and when’ required mix. The desire to hit back and expose the betrayer can be overwhelming - it may be advisable to be selective of who you discuss or tell your problem to not everyone is your friend. Do not react until you have had time to consider ALL your options, so take at least a few days before you start to play your hand to deal your own ‘cards’. Remember, exposing yourself and your position openly to all and sundry may curtail and seriously limit your options later. The light will shine again, but you are going to need somebody to lean on. Just don’t lean on the wrong person! Seek some professional counselling from registered health professionals (not just a friend) to help you though this dark period. You may also look into online resources or check out Dr. Jordan Peterson’s views on ‘Betrayal.

privacy of individuals, some names, characters, events and identifiable characteristics have been altered for literary effect. Any resemblance to actual living people or local personalities is unintentional and should not be misconstrued or taken as fact. The opinions and writing are directly attributable to the author and do not represent in any way the views of Red House Marketing, Bahrain This Month or any affiliated publications or the management, editor or owners. The magnetic attraction of the dark side is always there once that boundary has been broken and statistics generally show that ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’.

The Bosphorous Coffee Shop in Dhaka

“In most cases of relationship infidelity generally the wronged partner is the last to find out and almost always the most seriously hurt by the betrayal, treasonous deception, and immoral acts” “It’s a terrible, callous, cold-hearted, and cruel thing to do by anybody in a relationship...” Indicators and Red Flags to Look Out for!

- Unusual, sudden secrecy and over security of mobile phone/s and laptops

- Denial of or reluctance to give or do

almost anything affectionate for a partner

- Constant criticism - Avoidance of intimacy - Volatility, irritability and arguing perpetually

- Prolonged texting and phone use - Laughing and smiling to self while texting

- Hidden mobile phone, sim or e-sim cards, bank account(s) or linked credit card(s)

Perspectives of Bahrain Residents “The matter is not only sensitive, but also

confusing. This type of immoral behaviour exists everywhere. No law, no religion can stop it! It has to do with each human being and his/her value system.”- ED a staunch advocate of women’s rights, female business leader and scholar in Bahrain. “As responsible law-abiding members of society, we all have a duty to do something when this type of immoral behaviour surfaces. Just like ostracising drink drivers in society and making them outcasts, we all must address this when it happens.” - Businessman, Bahrain “Many of the local pilots I have worked with here in the region tend to be sleazy and when it comes to immoral conduct, especially down route - they don’t even try to be truthful to their families.” Commercial airline pilot ATPL. June 2022 61

dining review


There isn’t a Friday brunch quite like the one at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Farah Baig savours the hotel’s extravagant brunch spread at the hotel’s picturesque Bahrain Bay Kitchen.


ith breathtaking views, top-notch hospitality, phenomenally good food and relaxing entertainment, brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay has become an essential on the Kingdom’s brunch circuit for visitors and residents alike. Strolling into the restaurant on a Friday afternoon, in the company of good friends, I was positive that this brunch was going to be truly sensational. I mean, those that are familiar with Bahrain’s culinary scene are more than aware that the Four Seasons does nothing by half measures. The rich aroma wafting from the live cooking stations and the sight of their expansive range of desserts, as soon as you make your way to the bottom of the staircase, is enough to whet your appetite. While the hotel offers indoor and outdoor seating, given the windy day we were experiencing, we opted for a comfortable indoor table facing the bay. Once we had made ourselves comfortable, we scoured the 62 June 2022

countless stations that were available which included a wok, salad, carvery, seafood, Indian, Tandoori, pizza, and cheese and pastry stations. With the incredible selection of dishes, it might be hard for most people to know where to start, but for us it was easy – carvery. The chefs pull out all stops when expertly roasting, braising and broiling some of the most premium cuts of meat. We plated up a carnivore’s dream with generous slices of Roasted Lamb Leg, Slow Roasted Beef Brisket, Roasted Rump and Barbecued Short Ribs – all adorned with potatoes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and spoonfuls of their sensational sauces which are made from scratch in-house. The meats were cooked to perfection – juicy, tender and bursting with flavour. While each cut was perfect, what we found truly divine was the Barbecued Short Ribs which were melt-in-the-mouth tender and bursting with flavour; you could easily pull them apart with just your fork!

What drew our attention next was their variety of Asian cuisine – freshly steamed dumplings, Baos and a wok station too. What makes their wok station incomparable is the sheer variety of ingredients that you can choose from including a welcome sight for vegetarians with snow peas, broccoli, mushrooms, bok choy, spring onions, bell peppers and more. We opted for seafood udon noodles with prawns, mussels, calamari and a generous serving of vegetables. The udon is prepared to order by the chefs with your selection of fresh ingredients and a rich, flavourful broth before being served at your table. Nothing says “luxury” like a magnificent spread of seafood in an opulent location. The seafood station at the Bahrain Bay Kitchen was laden with a bounty of premium seafood. This included poached Omani lobster tails, prawns, crabs, calamari and mussels, aside from sushi and a variety of fresh ceviche. For those of you that love oysters, you’ll be pleased to know

dining review

that they have oyster station where they prep and shuck the oysters right in front of you. We were delighted by the freshness of the seafood and thoroughly enjoyed the delectable mussels, ceviche and more. It might seem unusual to some of you, but we always leave room for cheese at brunch! The Four Seasons Friday brunch was no exception to this rule for their selection of cheese and accompanying bread, nuts, and fresh and dried fruit are unmatched. Their carefully curated selection of cheeses includes French Reblochon, Swiss Gruyere, Italian Scarmoza, Italian Pecorino, Spanish Monchego, French Roquefort and Camembert among others. Our elected crème de la crème of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Friday Brunch was, without a fragment of a doubt, the dessert section. Nobody does dessert like the pastry team quite like them, the concept behind their desserts is truly unique – a true joy for anyone with a sweet tooth and a sense of appreciation

for detail. Laid out like a pastry shop, the dessert counters are laden with a selection of meticulously crafted pastries aside from four whole cakes (Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake and Japanese Cheesecake) that people can slice into as they please. What we truly enjoyed was the exploration of tastes, textures and aesthetics with their delicately crafted pastries. For instance, their stunning Lime and Mint Baba is crafted to look just like a lemon with eye-catching shades of yellow and green. When slicing into it you’ll find a new sense of appreciation for the ingredients and effort gone into it - white chocolate formed the outer shell, while a tangy centre brought forth the distinct flavour of lime and mint. The Mango and Coconut Torta was shaped just like a real coconut. Slicing through it with a knife is quite an experience, cracking through the chocolate shell to reveal a fresh mango centre and delicious creamy filling. The Cherry Pavlova was delightfully

crafted with a crisp meringue, delicious cream and fresh cherries. With what room we had left, we enjoyed dipping a variety of ingredients into the white and milk chocolate fountains, and helped ourselves to a scoop of the award-winning Florencia ice cream. Other items available include Kunafa, Arabic desserts, fresh fruit, and a range of fresh juices and lemonades. Despite the sheer variety of dessert, we found that not one of them compromised on flavour and was a true delight. We could go on and on about this brunch experience in particular, but if we have to mention one last thing it would be that it is truly family-friendly with its kids’ corner that includes crafts, games and a selection of kidfriendly food to keep the little ones busy. Needless to say, brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay has to make its way to the top of your list of ‘Things to do in Bahrain’! June 2022 63



The month of June is jam-packed with dining offers and venues to be wowed by. Check them out in our listings that feature the best of the best options for you.



Raise your glasses, say “Saúde!” and get in the festive mood with Vida Bahrain’s splendid Portugal Day Buffet Dinner celebrations on Friday, 10 June at Origins, from 7pm – 10.30pm. Gather around for a delectable feast featuring signature Portuguese dishes paired with a fine selection of Portuguese grape and enjoy the evening in company of friends and ‘família’ wrapped up in elaborate flavours and good vibes. This authentic meal is priced at BD25net per person including selected beverages. Call 77 488-100.

ONE FOR THE DADS La Mosaique & Harvesters at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain will be hosting a Father’s Day Brunch on Friday, June 17, from 12.30pm – 4pm, to make this Father’s Day extra special. A wonderful menu has been created for this special occasion, priced at BD17 for food, with an additional BD4 for unlimited soft beverages and BD17 for unlimited selected beverages. The best part is that Dads dine for free. This is a Dad-Approved feast you don’t want to miss! Call 39 242-391 for La Mosaique or 39 920-163 for Harvesters

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The Riviera is The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain’s latest pop-up concept at its beachfront venue, Nikmati. Embark on a gastronomic journey with a menu inspired by the food traditions from Marseilles in France to La Spezia in Italy, featuring signature dishes including the Onion Tart “Pissaladiere”, Cod Croquettes with oven-roasted bell pepper relish, and Assortment Royal of Shrimps and Oysters with shallot vinegar, mayonnaise and butter, to start with. Travel the coast with pizzas from San Remo, St. Tropez and Pampelonne, before indulging in main courses such as Mariner’s Mussels served with French fries, Grilled Sea Bream Provencal-style, or the famous Bouillabaisse Fish Soup with croutons, cheese and aioli. To conclude the evening, try the Cherry Clafoutis Cake or the Tropézienne Tart, paired with signature mocktails for a well-balanced and beautiful meal. The Riviera pop-up is on daily from 5pm - 11pm, except on Wednesdays. Call 17 586-499 / 17 580-000

SPANISH FUN Salero Bahrain, located at The Westin City Centre Bahrain, is the ideal place to enjoy Spanish dishes like paellas and tapas. Not to be missed is the Vermut a tu Salud, the venue’s Spanish Saturday fiesta. Socialise, share traditional tapas, sangrias and vermuts every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm, while you enjoy live tunes from the DJ and spectacular Flamenco performances. The meal costs BD22, with soft beverages, or BD 29.500, with selected beverages. Prior reservation is required. Call 17 171-300.


CHIILLED TIMES The Golden Tulip Bahrain offers the Burger and Brew promotion, perfect for a laid-back time with friends and associates. Guests can treat themselves to a chilled selected pint along with a hearty burger accompanied with crispy fries for BD8 at the hotel’s Cavalry Club. Call 17 535-000 / 39 995-182/42

AFTERNOON ENCHANTMENT Spend a delightful afternoon at Gallery Lobby Lounge at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain and enjoy an afternoon high tea served with sweet and savory treats that are guaranteed to please, plus a cup of tea or coffee to warm your heart. This afternoon affair is priced at BD15+++ for two people, available daily from 2pm - 6pm (excluding weekends). Call 17 460-017 or WhatsApp 33 640-032

TO DAD WITH LOVE FAMILY FRIDAYS What’s the weekend if it does not include a Friday family brunch? Join in with your trusted tribe of near and dear ones at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain’s brunch from 12.30pm – 4pm every Friday, to indulge in a wide variety of dishes, live cooking stations and live music with the QBA Band. There’s also face painting, balloon twisters and lots of family fun for all. Charges are BD29, with selected beverages, or BD23, with soft beverages. Terms and conditions apply. Call 17 713-000.

Calling all the dads to take a break and enjoy a twoday Father’s Day celebration at The Vida Beach Resort Marassi Al Bahrain – a perfect spot to celebrate Father’s Day. Treat your father to culinary delights within the contemporarily designed The Bistro by Origins on June 18 and the beautifully minimalistic space, Origins, on June 19, where dads get to dine on main course for free from 7pm – 11pm. (Terms and Conditions apply.) Call 77 488-100. June 2022 65


WELCOMING ALL CURRYCONNOISSEURS If you are craving tangy, spicy, rich flavours of Indian street food, head to the Indian Street Food Festival at Spices restaurant located at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain, from June 12-17, from 7pm – 11pm. It’s going to be a week of family-friendly entertainment, food and drink all nestled at Spices. Prices start from BD3. Call 17 531-122 / 38 987-167

FILIPINO FUN On the occasion of the 124th Philippines Independence Day, Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Islands by Wyndham will be hosting a threeday celebration at Citrus All Day Dining, where guests can experience Pinoy culture with delicious food and lively atmosphere, from June 10 – 12. On June 10 is Filipino Friday Brunch, priced at BD11, inclusive of soft beverages, or BD18, inclusive of selected beverages. On June 11 is Ready…Set… Boodle Fight for BD7, with soft beverages, from 7pm – 11pm. On June 12 is Kalayaan 2022, a sumptuous dinner feast priced at BD9, inclusive of soft beverages, or BD18, inclusive of selected beverages. Call 13 600-111.

THE RETURN OF THE DUCK The famous Beijing Duck is back at the China Garden Restaurant, located at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain. From June 6 – 30, Master Chef Chao Ding invites you to take a part in this unique and special dining experience, by indulging in the most authentic, flavourful Beijing duck in town, carved by your table. Half duck with two glasses of grape costs BD19+++, and a full duck with a bottle of grape costs BD29+++. Terms and conditions apply. Call 17 713-000.

FROM THE LAND AND SEA Baharat Restaurant, located at Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain, is the stage for Thursday Surf & Turf Night, where you get to savour your choice from a selection of prime beef cuts and fresh seafood flame-grilled to order. This amazing grill experience every Thursday, from 7pm – 11pm, is accompanied with fresh salads, starters, and locally-grown grilled vegetables. This sumptuous dinner is priced at BD24, including soft beverages, or BD34, including selected drinks, and ends with one of the largest, award-winning selections of dessert. The entertainer app is accepted. Call 17 171-000 or WhatsApp 33 204-175 66 June 2022


50 Objects from the Bahrain National Museum Dinner at Lanterns

A firm favourite of diners in Bahrain, Lanterns Restaurant in Adliya served up some delicious food and beverages for its valued guests while they enjoyed some live singing and entertainment.

In celebration of International Museums Day, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities held a book launch for “50 Objects from the Bahrain National Museum”, at the Bahrain National Museum. The book sheds light on fifty pieces from the marvellous, historicallysignificant collection of the Bahrain National Museum.

Experience the


avish Buffet & ive Music


Every Friday | 12pm - 4pm & 7pm - 11pm *T&C apply

For Reservation: 17590591





Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area Bahrain has the ideal culinary offering for private get-togethers with a ‘Served Buffet Style’ Menu for a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30 guests. A variety of cuisines can be selected from - international, Asian, Indian, Arabic or Italian. Courses include appetisers (hot and cold starters, soup, salad, live stations depending on the cuisine selected), main course and dessert. Call 16 161-888 or WhatsApp 33 621-016

AL FRESCO GRILLS Enjoy a barbecue by the poolside Palms Terrace at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain, while you take in the refreshing outdoors. Order your table Barbeque of fine Frankfurter sausages, Shish Tawook, beef tenderloin, and lamb chops and grill them the way you like. This hearty meal costs BD12+++ per person, and is on daily from 7pm – 11pm. Call 17 460-017 or WhatsApp 33 640-032

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Enjoy a three-course Business Lunch at the chic Italian venue, Trattoria, located at the Wyndham Garden Manama. The meal includes everyone’s favorite Italian dishes, which can be savoured daily (except on Sundays) from noon – 3pm for BD7 per person. Call 66 398-787.

A BUDGET FRIENDLY BRUNCH Here’s a Friday brunch that you can enjoy with all the family, guilt-free at Ya Hala Roof-top Lounge at the Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Islands by Wyndham. Enjoy a buffet featuring a variety of international dishes, carvery counter and live cooking stations with live entertainment and a kids’ corner every Friday from 12.30pm - 3.30pm, priced at BD11, with unlimited soft beverages, or BD18, with unlimited selected beverages. Call 13 600-111.


Pierric Dubois’ Birthday Celebration A party was held to celebrate the Pierric Dubois’ 45th birthday and his daughter Mimi’s 17th at their home.

k a e h S S ashim 9 d u i Clo Euphoria in a Sashimi!

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EXPLORING GREAT BRITISH MOTORING As we celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Kristian Harrison takes a look back at the British automobile industry’s extensive and prestigious history.


s with most good things in life, it all started with a friendship. When Frederick Simms met Gottlieb Daimler in 1889 and decided to buy the rights to sell and manufacture Gottlieb›s high-speed petrol engine, he kicked off a chain of events that led to Britain becoming the second-largest manufacturer of automobiles worldwide by the mid-19th century. Rolls Royce, Land Rover, Bentley, Lotus and Jaguar are just some of the household names familiar across the globe. That’s before you even get to pop culture icons such as James Bond’s Aston Martin and the Mini Cooper. British manufacturing hasn’t just been a success on the road either. On track it has delivered some of the most memorable machines in sporting history, with names such as McLaren and Williams etched into folklore. In fact, did you know that nine of the current 10 Formula One teams, except Ferrari 70 June 2022

obviously, are built and delivered in the UK despite their international ownership? Let’s go back to where it all began. Simms› documented plans to manufacture Daimler

motors were taken over, together with his company and its Daimler licences, by London companypromoter H J Lawson. In 1896, Lawson bought a disused cotton mill in Coventry from a friend for the purpose of car engine and chassis manufacture where, it is claimed, the UK›s first serial production car was made. Unfortunately, unlike the rapid mass production which Henry Ford revolutionised in the United States, early British manufacture was effectively stopped by a series of Locomotive Acts which severely restricted the use of mechanically propelled vehicles on the public highways. For example, each vehicle had to be accompanied by a crew of three and there was a 2mph speed limit in towns. Just imagine! You could literally walk quicker than you were allowed to drive. Good for pedestrians, not so much for

motoring anyone wanting to get anywhere in a hurry. It wasn’t until that man Henry Ford built a new factory in Manchester in 1913 that the industry got a foothold, building 7,310 cars that year to become the biggest manufacturer by a distance. Unfortunately, this ground to a halt as soon as it started due to the First World War and even after that, the green shoots of recovery were quickly stifled by the Second as almost all manufacturing was diverted to producing engines for British aircraft. Still, the requirements of war production led to the development of new mass-production techniques in the motor industry which proved invaluable in the post-war boom. By 1950, a year in which 75 percent of British car production and 60 percent of its commercial vehicle production was exported, the UK provided 52 percent of the world›s exported vehicles. By 1955, five companies produced 90 percent of the UK›s motor vehicle output: BMC, Ford,

Rootes, Standard-Triumph and Vauxhall, supplemented by popular niche producers like Rover and Jaguar. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to last. By the Sixties, labour-intensive methods and wide model ranges hindered opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs – the UK›s unit costs were higher than those of their major Japanese, European and American competitors. The opening up of continental Europe also led to more imports than ever before, and it was clear the motoring pool was diversifying. By the 1980s, European cars such as Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Volkswagen and Fiat were more common on the roads than British

vehicles. Luckily, offering tax incentives to international conglomerates resulted in a keen interest in setting up production facilities in the UK. In 1986, Nissan opened their first factory in Europe, choosing Sunderland as a location. It is still open to this day, and indeed, Britain is one of the biggest manufacturers of vehicles in the world … just for other countries’ cars! In a similar vein, a lot of the iconic ‘British’ cars are… well, not very British anymore. For example, Jaguar Land Rover is a subsidiary of Tata Motors, headquartered in India. Mini and Rolls-Royce are owned by BMW, Volkswagen has taken Bentley under its umbrella and most noticeably to us here in the Kingdom, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat owns 50 percent of McLaren! So while the British car industry is mainly an exporting business these days, its place in history will never be forgotten. For various periods of the 20th century it was a pioneer in production and remains to this day a vital cog in the industry, relied on by marques across the globe. And of course, we’ll always have the DB5’s ejector seat.

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motoring news


Celebrates 118th Anniversary Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has marked the 118th anniversary of the first meeting between its founders, Henry Royce and The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls, which took place at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, England in 1904. Through the combination of Royce’s engineering genius and Rolls’ talent for promotion, their company soon became recognised as the maker of ‘the best car in the world’ – a title that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars lays claim to still.

Today, the marque’s pinnacle product, the Phantom, is the ultimate expression of Bespoke luxury designed and handmade at the Home of Rolls-Royce, Goodwood. The Phantom family was born in 1925 when Rolls-Royce launched Phantom I. With its massive low-range torque and cutting-edge technology, the new model immediately established the fundamental traits that would define the family for the next 100 years. Phantom II gave customers a choice of a more performance-orientated model in 1930.



The most recent model, 2021’s Phantom VIII, was specifically designed to be the ultimate platform for Bespoke commissions. This has resulted in some of the most technically ambitious and challenging projects ever undertaken by the marque’s designers, engineers and specialist craftspeople. It is also the only Rolls-Royce model to feature the Gallery – an uninterrupted swathe of glass that runs the full width of the fascia, behind which the client can display a commissioned work of art or design.





72 June 2022

motoring news


The Ferrari SP48 Unica, the latest addition to the Prancing Horse’s One-Off series, was recently unveiled, joining the most exclusive group in Maranello’s entire production: unique, absolutely bespoke cars crafted to the specifications of a single client and designed as a clear expression of their own individual requirements. The SP48 Unica, designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre under the direction of Flavio Manzoni, Chief Design Officer, is a two-seater sports berlinetta developed on the F8 Tributo platform. Its taut lines and aggressive stance make it instantly recognisable with respect to the original model, and it is unmistakable too, thanks to its arrow-shaped front profile. Central to achieving this effect was the redesign of the headlights and the subsequent relocation of the brake air intakes. A pivotal aspect of the design of this unique new car is the extensive use of procedural-parametric modelling techniques and 3D prototyping (additive manufacturing) which enabled the Ferrari Styling Centre designers and Maranello’s engineers to completely redesign the front grille and engine air intakes. This advanced production process resulted in perfect 3D grilles that seem carved from a solid volume creating a sense of seamless continuity and dynamic fluidity.

MERCEDES WELCOMES NEW ERA Mercedes-Benz thrust itself into the future when it launched the luxury saloon EQS and the sporty executive saloon EQE, the marque’s entry into the all-electric upper market segment. Now the brand is preparing to launch the third model to share architecture in this series, the EQS SUV. The model offers plenty of space, comfort and connectivity for up to seven passengers in its avant-garde, luxurious interior. Thanks to powerful electric motors, responsive 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode, the EQS SUV is also capable of tackling light terrain with ease. The EQS Saloon is the current aerodynamics world champion for production cars, with a smooth underbody and efficiency. All EQS SUVs have an electric drive train on the rear axle, and the versions with 4MATIC also have aneATS on the front axle, showing a major step towards zero-emission mobility. Finally, in addition to the Dynamic Select driving modes Eco, Sport, Comfort and Individual, the 4MATIC versions feature Offroad.

DRIVING AN INTEREST Theeba Motorsport has announced its formation and entry onto motor racing’s GT3 world stage with a mission that extends beyond the track. Founded by Saudi Arabia’s first female racing driver, Reema Juffali, the team will improve Saudi access, participation and representation in the motorsport industry. Since becoming the first female Saudi racing driver, Reema has forged a reputation as a role model to many and will continue to make waves in the next chapter of her career as she seeks to spark further change. Theeba Motorsport will provide a platform and space for Saudis to learn about and participate in motorsport through a variety of engineering, mechanical and commercial internship and apprenticeship programmes. It is the team’s ambition and intention to one day compete at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours under a Saudi Arabian licence. The team will take its first competitive steps in 2022 by contesting the International GT Open Championship – one of Europe’s highest tiers of GT3 racing. Reema will participate in all remaining races in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO and will be partnered by long-time friend, driver coach and renowned GT ace, Adam Christodoulou.

A VISION FOR SELFDRIVING Hyundai Motor Company has launched a global manifesto campaign called ‘Innovation Begins, from Very Human Things’ to share its vision for self-driving robotaxis. Motional, the global leader in driverless technology, will work in partnership with ride-hailing services to deploy the Level 4 autonomous vehicles across major U.S. cities starting in 2023. The all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxi, which was first unveiled at 2021 IAA Mobility is an SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle that can safely operate without a driver. To make the robotaxi a reality, Hyundai partnered with Motional, to equip the award-winning IONIQ 5 with an array of hardware and software to provide safe and secure driverless operation. Hyundai and Motional plan to begin transporting public passengers in the IONIQ 5 robotaxi in 2023, starting in Las Vegas and then expanding to major cities in the US and globally. The company’s aim for the robotaxi is to go fully autonomous while retaining a humanistic touch. This narrative is depicted through two videos of the recently launched campaign which emphasise the humanistic qualities of robotaxis, showing how they adopt safe driving behaviors and care for passengers. June 2022 73



Business expert, Pria Masson, highlights how you can get your business ready for investors and while keeping some crucial factors in mind.

A quick check

The journey of an entrepreneur begins with an idea. The fuel for the journey is however money. Every implementation has a price tag and as the adage goes, you do need to spend money to make money. While financing and strategic decisions do need to be treated separately, every entrepreneur knows that the strategy that can secure the funds, is the strategy which shall be implemented.

can sometimes cause the biggest problems. This month, take greater control of your strategy. Begin by understanding what being investor ready is, and then choose whether or not you are, indeed, investor ready.

you are a start-up, bootstrapped, unable to take a loan, remember that this means when an investor wants to invest, they will want a large share of your equity. Be prepared and have answers. Is your organisation and its employees ready for investors?

How does one go about getting funds to implement an idea? ‘Investors’ is usually the resounding response. However, in reality, investors are not always the answer. All money comes with a price and just part of the price is quantified. The unquantified part, that is what

The starting point of the process is to understand your own business, objectives and motives for the investment. Here are some basic perspectives to be kept in mind: Are you prepared to give up a large share? Ideally, investors prefer companies whose entrepreneurs have skin in the game and have invested their own money. If you are not willing to invest in yourself, they rarely will. If

Investors like clean set-ups. Make changes to prepare yourself. Review your operational procedures and make sure the various aspects of finance, audit, accounts, sales, etc. all align with each other. Prepare your employees for an organisational restructuring which could come as a result of an investment decision.

Are you ready for the due diligence process?

Are you, as the entrepreneur, ready for an outsider?

Being investor ready is equal parts being due diligence ready. What this means is that all financial reporting systems are in place making your firm due-diligence friendly. Follow these steps to implement this:

Are you really ready for an outsider to be a part of what has been just yours – to have them evaluate your ideas, in your meetings, involved in strategy. Are you ready to ask for clearances from them and use their inputs for fruitful organisational change.

• Consider appointing a reputable audit firm • Clean-up your accounts and review the documentation supporting your accounts.

• Consider investing in good MIS or ERP

systems to produce accurate data during discussions and post funding

• Evaluate the most suitable legal structure for investment

• Have a robust business plan and strategy in

place and ensure granularity in projections as well as linkage to historical performance

Answer the above carefully keeping in mind that the right investor is like a partner. They can enable success that may have otherwise been beyond reach by providing value enhancement over and above money. The incompatible investor however, can do just as much damage. Being investor ready is like being ready for an alliance. You have to be mindful, know what to spend on and seek advice to keep your objective. Most importantly, remember to keep your own objectives and plans as the primary factor irrespective of investor readiness or investor acceptability. Your business was your idea, you need to be open to new opinions and change for growth, but, not if you completely alter the core of your business.

• Get a formal valuation done which can be

Ready to give up your share?

defended based on your business plan

Due diligence ready? Have the right corporate structure?

Investor Ready?

Are you accounts and support documents ready? Are you ready to share decisions?

Pria is the Founder and Managing Director of GMI Advisory WLL– a Management Consultancy specialising in emerging businesses. You can visit her company website to connect with her. You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle @guide­_my_idea. 74 June 2022


Welcome Dinner

Sabih Uddin Khan and his family held a dinner party to welcome the Ambassador of Pakistan to Bahrain, HE Muhammad Ayub, and his family to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The dinner was held at Al Waha Restaurant, Gulf hotel, on the first day of Eid.

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business bites

NEW BEGINNINGS The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) has appointed Dr. Bradley J. Cook to be its next president, starting in the summer of 2022 and succeeding Dr. Susan E. Saxton. He joins AUBH with more than thirty years of distinguished international and regional experience in higher education across the US and the Middle East. Dr. Cook, who has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, is an accomplished leader that has contributed to exceptional student outcomes and institutional development in his previous senior-level positions at US accredited higher education institutions. Having spent considerable time in the Middle East in his early life, he eventually obtained a Doctorate of

Philosophy in Middle East Studies from the University of Oxford. Dr. Cook previously served as the 17th president of Snow College in the U.S. and led it through record growth and other successes including the best ranking in the State of Utah by US News and World Report and 7th best public college in the West. In 2020, Snow College was ranked number one nationally in its class for student success. Dr. Cook has also previously served as president of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College and worked at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Additionally, he served as a Commissioner for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, a highly reputed U.S. institutional accrediting body.

PHENOMENAL PROGRESS Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB) reported a net profit of USD12.8 million for the first quarter of 2022 attributable to the shareholders of the parent, compared to a net profit of USD7.9 million in the prior year period, an increase of 62 percent due to higher net interest income and net fee and commission income. The consolidated GIB Group recorded a net profit of USD21 million compared to a net profit of USD14.1 million in the same period last year, an increase of 49 percent. Total revenues of USD109.0 million for the

three months were USD18.4 million or 20 percent up on prior year with increases recorded in almost all revenue categories. The year-on-year increase in the bank’s core revenue reflects the continued progress in implementing the bank’s strategic transformation plan. Net interest income at USD67.9 million was 21 percent higher than prior year, due to balance sheet growth and the stabilisation of markets resulting in higher yields. Fee and commission income at USD23.1 million was 35 percent up

on the previous year. The financial statements for the first quarter of 2022 were reviewed by the external auditors Ernst & Young (EY) and comply with International Accounting Standard (IAS) 34 – Interim Financial Reporting. GIB is owned by the governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund being the primary shareholder.

MAKING AN INTRODUCTION The American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham) was honoured to introduce Ambassador for the United States of America to the Kingdom of Bahrain, HE Steven Bondy, to its members and the wider business community at its recent bi-monthly Business Networking Luncheon. HE Ambassador Bondy provided critical updates on US-Bahrain bilateral economic priorities. “I want to emphasize that the U.S. Embassy is here to support AmChamBahrain. The strength of the U.S.-Bahrain bilateral relationship is built on free trade and shared prosperity, and AmCham plays a pivotal role in promoting new business and investment opportunities for American, Bahraini, and other international companies,” he said.

cooperation between the Embassy and AmCham’s members will deepen economic ties between Bahrain and the United States, to both countries’ benefit,” he added. AmCham expressed its keenness to work closely with the US Embassy to further develop the US-Bahrain business community.

“I view AmCham as a critical partner in our effort to support Bahrain’s postpandemic economic recovery. Sustained 76 June 2022

business bites

SOARING PROFITS Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) has announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. The bank reported a net profit of BHD 3.448 million attributable to the bank’s shareholders, compared to BHD 2.106 million for the same period of the previous year, with an increase of 63.18 percent. The increase in net profit is largely due to the growth of total income before return to investment account holders by 6.82 percent reaching BHD 13.703 million by the end of the first quarter of 2022, compared to BHD 12.828 million for the same period of the previous year. The financial results also showed an increase in total owners’ equity (after excluding minority interests) for the period ended March 31, 2022 by 0.64 percent reaching BHD 147.23 million, compared to BHD 146.30 million last year, as well as an increase in total assets for the period ended March 31, 2022 by 5.31 percent reaching BHD 1,228.11 million, compared to BHD 1,166.18 million last year. Total Deposits decreased by 0.81 percent reaching BHD 904.17 million compared to

BHD 911.55 million last year. “These positive results reflect our commitment to continue building on our accomplishments, while basing our approach on a business model that guarantees us efficiency in operation, achieving more returns on investment in infrastructure, services and products,” says Chief Executive Officer of KHCB, Sattam Sulaiman Algosaibi.

PROMOTING SMART FINANCIAL HABITS A Kuwait-based financial technology application, Spare, has received a license from the Central Bank of Bahrain to operate as an open banking ancillary service provider in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The license will pave the way for Spare to kickstart their operations in Q2 of 2022.

THE YOUTH OF THE NATION The final TradeQuest Awards Ceremony was held at the BIBF auditorium under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, and in the presence of the CBB Governor, HE Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, and Chairman of Bahrain Bourse, Abdulkarim Ahmed Bucheery. During the event, high school and university students taking part in the 20212022 TradeQuest Programme were honoured, with top finalists receiving cash rewards amounting to a total of BHD 30,000. The top three winners from the Private school category were Ibn Khuldoon National School (1st place), St. Christopher’s School (2nd place), and Al Noor International School (3rd place). The top three winners from the Government school category were Jidhafs Secondary Girls School (1st place), West Riffa Secondary Girls School (2nd place) and Al Noor Secondary Girls School (3rd place). The top three winners from the Universities category were BIBF (1st place), British University of Bahrain (2nd place), and Bahrain Polytechnic (3rd place). A total of 21 school teams and six university teams participated in the event. The ceremony was attended by students, investment advisors, senior representatives from sponsoring organisations, and senior officials from the Ministry of Education.

Spare is designed to encourage people to adopt smart and sound financial habits, breaks down spending and guides users to understand where their money is going. Spare will also allow users to make payments via account-to-account transfers and offer open banking bill payment solutions for businesses and merchants. “With Spare, we’re elevating the way people manage their money and providing hyper-personalised experiences, all powered through secure connections to their banking information,” says CEO and Co-founder at Spare, Dalal Alrayes. Open banking gives customers more choices and control over their financial data, and it opens up access to a variety of personalised financial products and services that are not available in the Middle East region. Open Banking in the Middle East is picking up momentum, and Spare’s analysis suggests that it is expected to reach over USD 1.2 billion by 2025 and that can grow faster as more countries in the region embrace open banking. June 2022 77

tv releases



Matthew Reilly co-writes and directs this action movie that’s about an army captain having to use her extensive experience to stop a global catastrophe when an attack threatens the remote nuclear missile interceptor station she is in command of. Elsa Pataky plays JJ Collins in the movie with Luke Bracey, Aaron Glenane, and Mayen Mehta also starring.

Turn on the telly and check out Kristian Harrison’s TV and series recommendations this month. You won’t regret it!

Peaky Blinders (Season 6)

It’s been a long and winding road for smash-hit Peaky Blinders, headed up by Cillian Murphy and his gang. The series, at last, comes to a thrilling end with the arrival of the final season.


Jeremiah Zagar is directing this new sports comedy starring Queen Latifah and Adam Sandler. After discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, a down on his luck basketball scout takes it upon himself to bring the phenomenon to the United States without his team’s approval. Against the odds, they have one final shot to prove they have what it takes to make it in the NBA.

God’s Favourite Idiot

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone headline this new comedy series filmed in Australia. Mid-level tech support employee Clark Thompson finds love with co-worker Amily Luck at exactly the same time he becomes the unwitting messenger of God. Also, there’s roller skating, a lake of fire and an impending apocalypse. 78 June 2021


Chris Hemsworth headlines his second major action franchise for Netflix in Spiderhead. The movie, directed by Joseph Kosinski, is about a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by a doctor who experiments on his subjects with mind-altering drugs.

tv releases

Postcards from the Edge The Wilds (Season 2)

Set on a deserted island, The Wilds features a group of teenage girls – who don’t know each other – who become stranded after their plane crashes, only to later find out they’re part of a social experiment. Season two introduces a whole other island with a group of boys suffering the same twisted fate.

Ms. Marvel

Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel is a new, original series that introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a superhero mega fan with an oversized imagination – particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home – that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to.

Based on the incredible late Carrie Fisher’s 1987 semi-autobiographical book of the same name, Postcards from the Edge follows Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) as she works to continue work as an actress while recovering from addiction. Upon her exit from rehab, it is recommended she stay with her mother, Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine), who makes life difficult for her daughter with her manipulative, selfish and competitive behaviour.

Hollywood Stargirl

In this follow up to Stargirl, this film follows Stargirl’s (Grace VanderWaal) journey out of Mica, Arizona, and into a bigger world of music, dreams and possibilities. When her mother Ana (Judy Greer) is hired as the costume designer on a movie, they relocate to L.A., where Stargirl quickly becomes involved with an eclectic assortment of characters. Elijah Richardson, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Judd Hirsch and Uma Thurman) also star.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Arguably the most eagerly anticipated show of the year, Obi-Wan Kenobi sees Ewan McGregor return to his iconic role as the titular Jedi Master. The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan faced his greatest defeat – the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

June 2021 79

websites Exploring the world of the internet? You’ll love these websites. color.adobe. com/create/ color-wheel

Adobe Kuler is an online colour wheel generator for designers and artists alike. You can use this website to create and explore different colour combinations that you would deem to be fit for your next graphical project, or just to browse the full spectrum for new shades.

Love weird stuff? Then check out Oddee, one of the web’s largest and most popular platforms featuring the craziest, strangest and most bizarre content you probably won’t find anywhere else. Posts feature photographs and videos in a range of categories including art, signs, places, objects, ads, science, medicine, home design, names, people, gifts, stories, tech and more.

‘Is it down for everyone of just me?’ is a really useful website for those whose internet is regularly playing up. Do you often find yourself wondering if the problem is with your network or if the website is really down? Going to this site and entering the URL of the website you think might be broken will be able to confirm or deny which end is causing the lack of access.

Bored Panda is the place you want to be when you want to discover interesting and visually appealing content. It’s a blog that publishes regular updates on the coolest finds in travel, photography, illustration, animals, DIY, technology, design and all sorts of other great categories. You can also create an account to vote posts up or down.

Sadhguru’s Visit to Bahrain #SaveSoil

Sadhguru visited Bahrain as part of his #JourneyforSoil - a 100-day, 30,000 km journey - to advocate policy change in favour of soil revitalisation across the world. The public event included a talk by Sadhguru about Save Soil Movement which was attended by over 6,000 people with the picturesque Bahrain National Museum and Bahrain National Theatre serving as a stunning background. The event was followed by a Q&A session along with some cultural performances.

80 June 2021


Belle and Sebastian

A Bit of Previous The songs on Scottish indie pop architects Belle and Sebastian’s tenth studio album, A Bit of Previous, wander through various energetic and sunny approaches, but they’re tied together by thematic undercurrents of aging, anxiety and existential questioning. Recorded and produced by the band at their practice space, every tune sounds comfortable and considered. This at-home feeling might also account for how wildly they swing between styles over the course of the album’s 12 songs.

Willie Nelson



The rock pioneers course correct with their sixth album.

What’s the story?

We is the sixth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. In April 2020, frontman Win Butler posted a letter to his Instagram account, indicating that work on a new record had commenced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and that the writing continued under lockdown measures. In March 2022, fans received postcards marked with the band’s logo; the postcards included the note “We missed you,” musical notations, as well as an image of an eye with the word “Unsubscribe” written below. Those same images began to appear in signage around London as well as on the band’s social media pages, indicating the earliest signs of a new album.

Worth a listen?

Arcade Fire’s latest pensive set captures the whirlwind of emotions felt during the first years of the pandemic – and not just because of COVID-19 itself, but also from the drastic social shifts and interpersonal adaptations made worldwide. The band soundtracks that melodrama with a tightly sequenced journey that plucks from every era in the band’s catalogue. Timely and relevant, WE works best when experienced in a single sitting. Split into two parts, Side “I” comprises the two-part “Age of Anxiety” and the four-part “End of the Empire” suite, picking up steam for Side “WE” and “The Lightning I, II,” “Unconditional” parts one and two, and the title track finale. The thematic split creates a thoughtful progression from the isolated and fearful first-person singular to the warmer, hopeful plurality of the second half.

A Beautiful Time Mortality hangs heavily on A Beautiful Time, as perhaps it should. The album came out on Willie Nelson’s 89th birthday, and it arrived roughly two months after the death of his sister Bobbie, who played alongside him for the better part of 40 years. A Beautiful Time was recorded long before Bobbie’s passing and features musicians who’ve been regulars on Nelson’s albums over the last decade. All of this means A Beautiful Time is very much of a piece with the records that immediately proceed it, albums that also feature Nelson pondering mortality, yet there’s a sense of earned wisdom and wry humour that elevates it above its predecessors. That’s what makes A Beautiful Time so rewarding: it’s no small achievement that Willie Nelson is still deepening his artistry at the age of 89.

Bloc Party

Alpha Games Bloc Party reconnect with their early days on Alpha Games. Bloc Party’s timing couldn’t have been better, considering that nostalgia for the early 2000s, as well as a post-punk revival, were at a peak when the record was released. Though Alpha Games’ distillation of days gone by is impressive, the way Bloc Party still rail against deception and hypocrisy, both personal and political, might be even more so. As uneven as the album can be, it’s never a simple rehash of Bloc Party’s glory days. June 2022 81


Namoo – Wonders of Plant Life Workouts++ Workouts++ features three different sections that you can switch between on-the-fly: Configure, Workouts and Stats. Changing the view that you’re in is easy and intuitive, and the app features a nice use of bright colours so that users can easily tell each type of workout apart from each other, as well as see stats clearly. Because the design is purposely minimal, the app is fast and responsive.

In essence, Namoo is a beautifully-designed app that helps young students explore the basics of plant physiology through magnificent interactive graphics and descriptive text. The detail is fantastic, the illustrations are lush and the interactivity will mean kids won’t be bored by walls of text and diagrams. In each corner of the screen is an illustration of a different part of a plant: flower, leaf, root, and trunk; and this acts as a visual menu for navigating to the meat of the app.

Waze 1Password Remembering a unique password for every app and service you use is a nearly impossible task. 1Password’s mobile app syncs with the desktop app to help keep your accounts safe by creating and storing a different secure password for all the services you use. All you have to remember is one password.

82 June 2022

The navigation app lets users connect with fellow motorists in the area and get real-time updates on traffic and road conditions. For instance, if a user reports a jam at a certain intersection or road, other users also get a notification about this. While Google Maps suggests the route with shortest travel time, Waze is a bit more specific and interactive.



BTM brings you the latest gadgets to push your technological buttons.


There’s no more need for old-fashioned pop-up thermometers in your grilled chops, or worse, guessing when your meat is done (and hoping it’s not overcooked). The iGrill 2 comes complete with all the bells and whistles: multiple prongs for gauging different meat temperatures at once and Bluetooth smartphone compatibility for checking on your steaks from across the yard.


Available at:

Instead of scratching your head trying to balance the barbecue outside and the pizzas in your standard kitchen oven inside, check out this portable outdoor pizza oven. It cooks pizzas in 15 minutes or less and allows you to take a break from hamburgers and hot dogs.


A solar-powered bag to charge your gadgets will definitely come in handy no matter where you are under the sun. The Solar Beach Tote features a high-tech flexible solar panel that generates 6.3 watts of power to charge a mobile phone, MP3 player, digital camera, or any other small electronic device on the go.

Available at:

Available at:



One of the most annoying summer chores is cleaning the grill after a barbecue. Sometimes it seems like no matter what type of brush you use, clean-up takes more elbow grease and time than you want to devote. But what if you could get a robot to do it? The Grillbot is a charming, automatic grill-cleaner that does a better job, and in half the time. Available at:

One of the most tiresome chores associated with outdoor parties is the ice run: someone has to run to the store to buy bags of ice, which only end up melting in the summer heat. This portable icemaker eliminates that frustration: it makes ice cubes in two sizes, and creates a batch in just six minutes. Available at: June 2022 83



There’s nothing quite like a good video game to help you kick back and relax. Check out Kristian Harrison’s recommendations this month.


A stylish but flawed throwback



Trek to Yomi is a side-scrolling action game developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital. As a vow to his dying Master, the young swordsman Hiroki is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats. Faced with tragedy and bound to duty, the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward.


The game sees you engage vicious swordsmen and supernatural beings with a streamlined combat system based around the traditional weapons of the samurai. There are two modes of melee attack; light attacks are fast but weak, and heavy attacks are slow but strong. A well-timed block will break an enemy guard, giving players an opportunity to counter-attack. You can also unlock new weapons such as ozutsu, bo-shurikens and ranged weapons such as bows and arrows.


Breath-taking camera angles and striking visuals in the spirit of classic samurai film create a true cinematic experience. Rarely has a game done such a magnificent job of distilling old school Japanese cinema into video game form. Trek to Yomi’s dedication to black and white samurai movies from the 20th century is apparent in literally every moment of it, from the look of its bootup logos and main menu all the way to the closing credits.


Evil Dead: The Game is an asymmetrical multiplayer game. It features both co-operative gameplay and player versus player (PvP) combat, although the single player mode requires an internet connection to be played. The game features a levelling up system, as well as skill tree mechanics. The multiplayer features various maps, including the cabin in the woods from the Evil Dead film series, along with more than 25 weapons, including Ash’s chainsaw and broom stick. Choose up to four playable survivor classes (Leaders, Warriors, Hunters and Supports), and three playable demons (the Warlord, the Puppeteer and the Necromancer). 84 June 2022


A once-peaceful kingdom is plunged into chaos by encroaching tides of Mages: merciless embodiments of elemental chaos. As a Marked Inquisitor, you’ll journey through the western frontier pursuing, hunting and obliterating the Mages that roam the realm. Craft unique weapons and armour from the otherworldly flesh and bones of the Mages you destroy.


Behold the third and final entry of the ‘My Name is Mayo’ Universe! The overwhelming and emotional story of our hero will unfold with the classic real-life tapping mechanic, lots of unlockable achievements in between, and one other surprise buried inside. Get ready to have your intellect enriched, your emotions manipulated and your mayonnaise expanded; as you unveil the stories and learn from mistakes.

Bahrain Edition


June 2022 | Issue 230

LIFESTYLE Cosy Up Your Living Room



Summer Haircare, Makeup & Perfumes

Bright Fits for the Season

Skincare for Soaring Temperatures

OPINION Parenting your StrongWilled Child with Ouiam

INTERVIEW A Chat with ILA President 2022 Shipra Dhir Passi

In Her Shoes – Sonali Thadani

FASHION | focus

Colour Me


Brighten up your wardrobe this summer with clothing and accessories in some truly eye-catching hues.


This summer, we’re going with a classic approach with our wardrobe and going bright, bold and beautiful. While florals and fresh whites have their own charm, it’s head-turning shades like fuschia, canary yellow, teal and royal blue that have been the subject of our adoration.




We love the vibrant Spring/Summer 2022 collection by Genny. Their Creative Director, Sara Cavazza Facchini, embraced a holiday inspiration for the assertively feminine collection which includes silhouettes, jumpsuits, mini dresses and a sensational red trench coat too.


June 2022

Pretty Little Thing

FASHION | focus

JW Anderson

Pretty Little Thing


Marks and Spencer

Other stunning pieces that we have our eyes on include the JW Anderson’s long-sleeved twist dress, Marks and Spencer’s tie front blue dress, and Pretty Little Thing’s bright green tiered dress and yellow one shoulder dress.

June 2022


Malone Souliers Iona

Malone Souliers Montana

FASHION | focus

Malone Souliers

Malone Souliers' Rita mini shopper bags, which are exclusively available on Ounass, is perfect for upcoming summer travels, with eight unique colorways available including hot pink, emerald green and mustard yellow. Malone Souliers' penchant for sculptural shapes is on show in this bag. Elegantly crafted from shimmering satin, the bag is designed to carry your daily essentials, and it is lined with fabric for added protection. The intricate detailing and crystal logo charm adds a touch of luxury, and its detachable chain helps lends to its versatility and functionality.

Malone Souliers

Malone Souliers Clio

Malone Souliers Maureen Pump

To adorn your colourful look, we suggest delving into the exquisite Spring/Summer 2022 collection of handbags and shoes presented by Malone Souliers. Their new collection was inspired by the optimistic energy of summer – beautifully presented through vibrant colours, shimmering textures and vivid details that play with tone and translucency. A joyful sense of colour and light is central to this season’s women’s collection. Malone Souliers stunning collection of shoes includes the Maureen mule, Iona, Montana and Clio.


June 2022

JW Anderson

JW Anderson

FASHION | focus

ok lo r u o y g in is r Accesso n’s new o s r e d n A W J with Bumper Bag! s the Bumper

JW Anderson

JW Anderson

prise er family com p m ith a u B ’s n o rs base is lined w e JW Ande h T . gs a b n o able er Mo p with knead u n and the Bump w lo b d n a ed piping djustable tubular padd discord, the a gn si e d a In g. in y the neoprene tub ze, inspired b si in n w o d n ke strap is shrun f a slim belt. proportions o n bags are Bumper Moo d n a r e p m u textures. The playful B lourways and co t n re e iff d her, ve glossy calf leat imagined in fi e in h -s h ig h e o-ton ffee and lilac, In twisted tw ct, such as to ra te in rs u lo and black. clashing co post box red , e lu b d n a k in bubble-gum p

June 2022



GLOW WITH SKIN GYM Skin Gym’s Face Sculptor Beauty Roller replicates the feeling of a deep-kneading professional facial massage - the best addition to your beauty arsenal for chiseled cheekbones. When cooled, the facial massage performed by the Beauty Roller does not only improve the appearance of the skin, but also releases facial muscle tension and decreases the risk of fine lines. Available at Sephora stores and at


Smoothen, nourish and cleanse your skin with our selection of high-quality skincare products this month. The hot summer months can be some of the toughest to deal with when it comes to keeping your skin in good shape. Check out these products that will have you looking your best despite the soaring temperatures.

BOOST YOUR SKIN HEALTH WITH PHYSICIANS FORMULA Physicians Formula Skin Booster Vitamin Shots give you a much-needed daily dose of skin-boosting vitamins to help prep your skin for a bright, even and hydrated glow. These nourishing vitamin shots come in three variants: brightening, hydrating, and time-restoring. As preferences change from excessive makeup to more skin-focused glam, this product becomes an essential in any makeup and skincare routine. Available at


A must-have for the upcoming summer months, Milani Fruit Fetish Lip Oils deliver instant hydration and glossy shine in an easy to apply formula while adding a subtle tint of colour. These custom oil blends combine fruit extracts and Vitamin E to nourish and hydrate your lips. Just pop it into your handbag and keep your lips in the best condition on-the-go! Available at


Harnessing the power of natural and certified organic ingredients, using a combination of modern science and results-driven formulations, Ixora is transforming skincare to rid the use of harsh chemicals. Rejuvenate and restore with the Organic Detox uses Ixora Rejuvenating Peeling Gel, a combination of essential oils and fine Himalayan salt gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, leaving an even skin tone and texture. This product is suitable for all skin types. Available at


Use Juana Skin’s Exfoliating Face Scrub, an intensely hydrating and purifying face scrub enriched with CBD, that provides deep cleanse, removes impurities and dead skin, and prepares the skin for regeneration. Infused with glowgiving natural oils, this luxurious scrub will leave you with skin that is fully prepped to renew itself overnight and enhance absorption for a youthful, hydrated glow in no time. Available at


June 2022

PEOPLE | interview


The Indian Ladies Association (ILA) is the oldest expat association in the GCC, and is renowned for its extensive community relief efforts in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Farah Baig speaks to ILA President for the year 2022, Shipra Dhir Passi, and is brought up to speed on the organisation’s activities.


ounded in 1956 by the Late Leela Jashanmal, ILA was formed with a group of proactive ladies who wished to serve society in as many ways possible. With the fitting motto ‘Service Before Self’, the non-profit organisation steadily implemented initiatives to positively impact various segments of society including under-privileged workers and special needs children. ILA has since grown to have 130 active members.

While most people would assume that registered non-government organisation are funded by the government, this is not the case as charitable organisations such as ILA depend on the generosity of donors and fundraising events. “With the pandemic, we had no choice but to suspend fundraising events. However, this did not stop us from continuing lessons and activities online for the special needs children in the care of Sneha,” she says.

Sixty-six years down the line, the association is now being guided by Ms. Passi who is also a published author having been one of 36 authors to tell her story through the inspirational book She Dares. She brings with her invaluable experience and an even more inclusive approach to the association’s efforts.

ILA organised a scaled-down version of their popular annual Dandiya event in 2021, and hope to return with a full-scale event in September. “We hope that the public, and sponsors, will support the event which is our most significant fundraiser. It is vital as we hope to reinstate in-person learning at Sneha to help the children and their families,” she says.

“I am a qualified finance professional with 11 years of experience in my field, but decided to take a sabbatical to look after my family,” explains Ms. Passi. “For mothers, our life largely revolves around the needs of our children. That being said, just like most mothers, when I noticed my child becoming more independent, I realised that having a purpose of my own was a necessity.” With an innate quality of supporting the downtrodden, Ms. Passi decided to participate in community groups to tackle causes. “I chose to work with under-privileged women and the Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF) which reaches out to low-income workers,” she says. ILA has several active initiatives including Worker’s Welfare, Women Empowerment, Speak Easy, the Youth Wing and so, in 2018 she became an ILA member. “ILA often pays visits to labour camps to distribute muchneeded goods, hold medical camps and check on the welfare of the workers. Having worked closely with women in need, I believed that these efforts could be extended to women too,” she says.

The goal for ILA in 2022 is to ‘Rediscover, Innovate and Grow’ – an initiative to actively conduct all activities following the challenges presented by COVID-19. “As the world begins to enjoy their usual routines, we hope that they will remember the needs of the disadvantaged segments of society and support charitable institutions so we may continue to help them through our work,” she concludes. Residents wishing to make a donation to the association may reach out to the organisation on 17 245-750 for further information.

Ms. Passi made the suggestion and they reached out to house help and other female workers in dire need. Having spearheaded the movement to reach out to underprivileged women, Ms. Passi was soon made the head of the Women Empowerment sub-committee formed in 2020. “We have been able to organise events which include them, and actively educate them on matters such as hygiene. These women are encouraged to reach out to us for their needs,” she explains.

June 2022


BEAUTY | news



Flormar brings you a unique collection of breathable nail paints, which offer a glamourous and velvety finish on your nails, in a delightful range of hues. These super-fastdrying nail enamels protect the moisture of the nails, permeates both oxygen and water vapor and allows for healthy nail growth.

Dry hair can be a real frustration, with frizz, breakage, and dullness at the forefront of your haircare woes. Throw in the region’s hotter climate and chances are your hair is in need of a little TLC. If this sounds like you, you’ll be thrilled to learn there is an effortless way to nourish your locks and keep them hydrated - the award-winning Dolce range by esteemed hairdresser, Rossano Ferretti.

These economically priced nail paints are available across the region at Flormar, in the UAE at Glam.

This Satin Glow Booster leave-in spray uses bio-certified vegan ingredients including chestnut and aloe vera to combat frizz, hydrate and reduce moisture loss. Improving softness and strength on the driest of hair and containing over 96 percent naturally derived ingredients, you can boost your styling results. Detangle, reduce breakage and colour loss, whilst adding a velvetlike sheen to the hair - styling will fast become a breeze! Suitable for all hair types, the Satin Glow Booster has an evocative scent containing Nectarine, Patchouli and Jasmin to create a calming and soothing scent.

Beauté stores and online at

The Rossano Ferretti haircare range offers a solution to all haircare needs and guarantees exceptional results. The extensive product range helps hair become healthier, stronger, softer and overall, naturally more beautiful.

Your Summer


Summer is upon us, but fret not for you’ll be the freshest thing around with our carefully curated selection of makeup, haircare and fragrances!

The hotter months in the Middle East present unique challenges when it comes to looking our best. With the sweltering heat and unrelenting humidity comes the need for beauty products that not only last, but stay put throughout the day. Whether you’re dealing with dry hair, are in need of a great foundation, or are looking for a signature scent, we’ll sure you’ll find what you need, right here in Woman This Month!

A SIGNATURE SCENT FOR SUMMER! Looking for a new signature scent this summer? Then come aboard Christian Louboutin’s perfume universe. A world of surprises inspired by his own memories and dreams illustrated by Hélène Tran’s whimsical drawings. His captivating scented journey saw the light in 2020 with a collection of seven unisex fragrances followed by three new eaux de parfum intenses in 2021. Inspired by Portugal, one of his favourite places in the world, Christian Louboutin has released the new Eau de Parfum


June 2022

Légère Loubimar. A Floral Citrus bouquet with salty ocean notes, the fragrance is essentially picked by Christian Louboutin from his Portuguese summer garden. Its splash of white flowers envelops you with a sensual foam of musk and tuberose. All topped with a freshness of lemon and tangerine. Immerse your senses in its powerful mystery. Available at leading beauty stockists.

BEAUTY | news

FOCUS ON YOUR EYEBROWS Brows are such a vital factor when it comes to looking fresh and groomed. Whether you’re planning on putting together a full face of glam makeup or a minimal natural look, your brows will bring the whole look together. Get your natural perfectly shaped brows, with Max Factor’s Browfinity longwear brow tint. The economically-priced brow tint will last for days with the new semi-permanent formula which has a built-in hair like precision applicator and a built-in blending brush. In order to blend with the wearer’s natural hair and skin tone, this tint is available in three shades: Soft Brown, Medium brown and Dark brown. To make things even better, Max Factor’s brow tint is sleepproof, water-proof, smudge-proof and transfer-proof. To further define your look, check out the Max Factor Brow shaper pencil which will be your go to product to master the shape of your brows. This double-ended pencil is available in three shades: Blonde, Brown and Deep Brown. It’s extremely easy to use for shaping, filling and defining your brows. Available at all leading beauty stockists.


French perfume house Parfums de Marly is delighted to celebrate the latest addition to its family of niche fragrances, Oriana. Delicate and airy like a muslin dress, Oriana surprises with a sparkling fruity and floral gourmet, designed entirely as a variation on texture, a ‘mille-feuille’ of flaky sweetness, softness, sensuality, energy and light, which is anchored with euphoric and seductive notes of orange blossom. Oriana’s top notes include the Parfum de Marly signature citrus splash of mandarin, Italian bergamot and grapefruit which gives way to a suave orange blossom and blackcurrant heart. A crisp, frosted, raspberry heart note is placed on an airy bed of sweet chantilly cream and incredible marshmallow. A base note of musk mallow, used in the 18th century to perfume and powder hair, distils a fresh and clean feeling leading to a warm and comforting musk. Since its creation, Parfums de Marly has committed to finding and using the finest ingredients to ensure the alchemy of perfume on everyone’s skin. Each formula combines the most natural, rarest, and luxurious essences in perfumery. Oriana is now available in a new 75 ml frosted pink bottle, and is available across the Middle East. Visit


Are you frustrated with the lack of toxin-free makeup? Are you looking for cleaner alternatives? Fret not, your search is over as the award-winning clean beauty platform Secret Skin has added one of the most sought-after and influencer-loved makeup brands, RMS Beauty, to its portfolio. We’ve got our eyes on the brand’s UnCoverup Cream Foundation - a rich, nourishing, cream foundation with a luminous, dewy finish. This concentrated formula contains RMS’s Beauty Oil for rich hydration that helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and silica that boosts coverage of dark spots and redness. Formulated with wild-crafted buriti oil, organic coconut oil, and the RMS signature adaptogenic herbal blend, this power-packed cream foundation evens skin tone with seamless, super-hydrating high impact coverage. Formulated using raw, food-grade, organic and natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced from the depths of nature and unique to indigenous cultures, RMS prioritises efficacy and durability with nourishing ingredients in their line. Available at

June 2022




As breezy evenings fade into Summer’s scorch, islanders will be running indoors to keep their cool (literally and figuratively!). What better time to spruce up the living room so you can beat the heat in your stylish cocoon with your favourites family and friends, curling up with a good read or just Netflix and chill!


Laid Back Sofa recliner Home Box

Shapes for the Side Console Lifestyle


June 2022


Textured Seat

Braids and Tassels

Ottoman Lifestyle

Jute rug Lifestyle


Photo frames

A Cosy Corner

Reading Pleasure

by Home Centre

Summer Vibe Jar THE One

Bookcase THE One

Cool and Calm Indoor water feature Home Box

Far from Plain


Wired Up Table lamp

June 2022


LIFESTYLE | opinion

THE POWER STRUGGLE Ouiam El Hassani gives us some tips for peacefully parenting your strong-willed child. Is there such a thing as a child that isn't at least occasionally strong-willed? These children can be a handful - highly energetic, challenging, persistent. How do we protect those fabulous qualities while encouraging their cooperation? While they can be a challenge when they're young, as long as parents resist the impulse to “break their will," they often become terrific teens, young adults and soon enough… leaders. Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure.


hat exactly is a ‘strong-willed child’?

Strong-willed children want to learn things for themselves rather than accepting what others say, often putting limits to the test. They want desperately to be in charge of themselves, sometimes putting their desire to be right above everything else and are prone to power struggles with their parents. However, it takes two to have a power struggle. You don't have to attend every argument to which you're invited! Take a deep breath when your buttons get pushed, and learn to sidestep them.

Here are some tips for peacefully parenting your strong-willed, spirited child: 1. Remember that strong-willed kids are experiential learners. That means they have to see things for themselves. So, unless you're worried about serious injury, it's more effective to let them learn through experience, instead of trying to control them. 2. Your strong-willed child wants mastery more than anything.


June 2022

Let them take charge of as many of their own activities as possible. Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves will have less need to be oppositional. Not to mention, they take responsibility early. 3. Give your strong-willed child choices. If you give orders, your child will almost certainly bristle. If you offer a choice, they’ll feel like the master of their own destiny. Looking for win-win solutions rather than just laying down the law keeps strong-willed children from becoming explosive and teaches them essential skills of negotiation and compromise. That being said, make some ‘Rules of the House’, too. That way you aren't the bad guy bossing them around – they’re just the rules. 4. Don't push them into opposing you. Kids don't learn when they're in the middle of a fight as that’s when adrenaline is pumping and learning shuts off. Kids behave because they want to please us. So, the more you fight with and punish your child, the more you undermine his/her desire to please you. If you take a hard and fast position, you can easily push your child into defying you. You'll know when it's a power struggle and you're invested in winning. Just stop, take a breath,

and remind yourself that winning a battle with your child always sets you up to lose what's most important: the relationship. 5. Listen to them. You, as the adult, might reasonably presume you know best. However, strong-willed children are resolute partly due to their integrity. They have an opinion that is making them hold fast to their position. Only by listening calmly and reflecting on their words will you understand what's causing the opposition. 6. Offer them respect and empathy. Most strong-willed children are fighting for respect. If you offer it to them, they don't need to fight to protect their position. And, like the rest of us, it helps a lot if they feel understood. Does this sound like Permissive Parenting? It isn't. You set limits, but you set them with understanding your child's perspective, making them more cooperative. You want to raise a child who has self-discipline, takes responsibility, is considerate, and most importantly - has the discernment to figure out who to trust and when to be influenced by someone else.

last word

In Her Shoes

Born and raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sonali Thadani’s sense of ambition, vibrant personality and skillset has led her to be the CEO of Baby Essentials and Director of Marketing at St. Christopher’s School, Bahrain. When asked to tell us about herself, she says: “I have lived most of my life on this gorgeous island. I am mum to three beautiful children and am married to my best friend.” Let’s take a walk in her shoes!

What’s your favourite food?

Name three things you are currently looking forward to.

Sushi and Mexican

The summer holidays; (1) roadtripping through California, (2) spending quality time with my family, and (3) shopping!

At karaoke, your go-to song is… I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

What’s the achievement you are most proud of?

When I first started Baby Essentials as a small home business, it was with the sole purpose of making sure that first-time parents had somewhere to turn to for “real mum” advice and where they could buy trusted, high-quality gear that would actually help their babies. Over the last seven years, we have built a beautiful community of mums and dads who genuinely trust us with their babies - I am so immensely proud of that.

Sonali Thadani

What’s a movie you never get tired of?

Any classic Disney movie!

What fascinates you most in life? What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

The most profound advice I have ever heard is that “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Only if you are healthy and happy, then you can be of service to those around you.

I adore watching the process of someone actualising a dream. We, as humans, are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. People who empower themselves to overcome their fears, grow and achieve “the impossible” are incredibly awe-inspiring to me.

June 2022


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Medical & Dental Services

43 49 44 41 47

Royal Hospital For Women And Children 57


Al Haddad Motors (Mercedes) . . . . . Behbehani Brothers Co. (Bentley) . . Behbehani Brothers Co. (Porsche) .

Hotels & Serviced Residences Ramee Grand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jewellery & Watches

Bahrain Jewellery Centre (Graff) . . .

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Al Arayedh Group Holding . . . . . . . . . 56 Alhayat Perfume Co W.L.L (Kolmaz Paris) 11 Bahrain International Circuit . . . . . . . 36


Barberia Bahrain W.L.L . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Batelco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 BBBF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC Energie Fitness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Environment Arabia Consultancy Services 51 Florencia Ice Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 M. Fakhroo & Bros (Philips) . . . . . . . 9 The Lost Paradise of Dilmun . . . . . . . 7 UNEECO Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Restaurants & Cafes

Maki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Lanterns Rest. & Lounge . . . . . .

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The Lost Paradise of Dilmun


The Lanterns Restaurant Lounge

The British School of Bahrain

Strathclyde Business School

St.Christophers School

Kolmaz Paris

Florencia Ice Cream

Environment Arabia Consultancy Services

Energie Fitness

Bahrain International Circuit

Al Haddad Motors Mercedes

Ahlia University


Behbehani Brothers Co Bentley



Barberia Bahrain

Mohammed Fakhroo Bros Philips

Nadeen School

Bahrain Jewellery Centre Graff



Royal Hospital For Women Children

Ramee Grand

Behbehani Brothers Al Arayedh Group Co Porsche Holding

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98 June 2022

Now you’ve seen your regular issue, which we hope you enjoyed, make sure to check out our websites and social media for daily updates of what’s happening across the Kingdom. You can find us at: bahrainthismonth womanthismonth

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