USA in Bahrain - July 2021

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USA in Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Free Trade Agreement between Bahrain and The USA (2006 - 2021)

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USA in Bahrain

THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton Editor Farah Baig Contributors Kristian Harrison, Dick Potter, Behnaz Sanjana Sangeeth Mullassery, Ahmed Aldeleigan

contents 04

At the Helm of Affairs

06

Fostering a Pro-Business Agenda

08

Exploring the Possibilities

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The Path to the Land of Opportunity

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A Century of Trade

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A History in Healthcare

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Eat, Sell and Serve

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“There is no better entry point than Bahrain!”

Editorial Consultant Ahdeya Ahmed Graphic Designer / Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Art Director Hatem Monem Webmaster Nishad Eapen CRM & Database Coordinator Muna Yousef Staff Photographer Subeesh Kumar N S Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz Distribution Team CM Abdul Rahman, Gopal Arul Kumar Distributor Al Hilal Group (Hilal Direct Services) Media Sales Anuradha Manhas anuradha@redhousemarketing.com

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As president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) since 2013, Qays Zu’bi answers some pertinent questions touching upon US-Bahrain relations and the association’s raison d’être.

Mary McGinnis, the Executive Director of AmCham Bahrain, about the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), benefits of being an AmCham member and more.

American University of Bahrain Provost, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, talks about the benefits students in the region can enjoy through the university’s stateside partnership.

Ahmed Yateem, the Managing Director of Yateem Airconditioning reflects with pride upon his family’s business and personal relationships with the United States.

Corporate CEO and Chief Medical Officer at American Mission Hospital (AMH), Dr. George Cheriyan talk about the hospital’s illustrious history, plans for growth and more.

Trans Arabia International Trading W.L.L.(TA) CEO and Bahrain-based entrepreneur, José Matos, tells us about the company’s operations as a representative for international brand and its food production facility.

WestPoint Home LLC President and CEO, Jonathan Witmer talks about the company’s contribution of USD one billion to Bahraini exports under the FTA.

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A Global Contender

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Treat your Taste Buds to America!

1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Bahrain: BD24

Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Bahrain, Margaret Nardi, reflects on pathbreaking developments in relations between the two nations since her time on the island. She shares deeper insights on current US-Bahrain ties.

Wires International WLL is amongst the top ten global manufacturers of aluminum wire-mesh and exports to over 32 countries.

Here are a few of Bahrain’s iconic venues serving quintessential American cuisine. July 2021 3


USA in Bahrain

4 July 2021

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Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Bahrain, Margaret Nardi, has witnessed some trailblazing developments in relations between Bahrain and her country since her time on the island. She shares deeper insights on current US-Bahrain ties with BTM. Could you highlight the current status of trade relations between Bahrain and the US? Are there any developments in the pipeline to further strengthen the commercial relationship between USA & Bahrain? Economic development and strengthening commercial relations are among our top priorities. Since the 2006 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bahrain, trade has tripled from USD780 million to USD2.5 billion. We continue to look for more opportunities to bring U.S. investment here. We have highlighted what U.S. companies in Bahrain are doing to help Bahrain operate through the pandemic. For example, textile manufacturer, WestPoint Homes, has converted their production capacity to include making face masks. Some of them were donated to the Bahraini government, and others exported to the UK, U.S., and other markets. The company saw this as an opportunity to expand their business into the hospital and medical market. U.S. technologies, like Cisco, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services are being used here in schools, the embassy, and by the Bahraini government. With the new U.S. administration’s focus on the environment, we’re hoping to work with Bahrain on sustainable energy developments as well. U.S. companies are involved in a lot of the major infrastructure projects whether it’s the design work for the new causeway to Saudi Arabia, baggage screening at the new airport, or in telecommunications. Besides this, we try to expand in newer areas as well, and see if there are opportunities for U.S. businesses working with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the FTA between Bahrain and USA. What do you see as being the key benefits of this agreement for both parties and can you tell us a little bit about the untapped opportunities for further growth under the FTA? Well, I think that flow of two-way trade of industrial and consumer products without tariffs is definitely the main benefit for Bahrainis and for American companies. For the United States, having access to the broader GCC market is also an advantage as far as what more can be done. There is still a very large segment of the business community in Bahrain that is not aware www.bahrainthismonth.com

of the FTA or what its benefits are. So, we’re trying to do business outreach programs for them. We did a week-long series for women entrepreneurs to explain what the FTA means, the benefits of the FTA, and to answer any questions they had to help get them started. The Embassy also sponsored a contest with FinTech Bay for entrepreneurs to develop new apps. The winner received seed funding and training to support their business development. How will the end of the pandemic affect business and trade between the two nations? The pandemic hasn’t had a huge negative impact on business and trade between the U.S. and Bahrain because a number of the client companies that are here are in areas that were actually in greater need during the pandemic. I would say access to resources was one of the limitations, but I don’t think that there was a significant negative impact on U.S. companies. Also, the Embassy is now issuing multiple entry 10-year business/tourist visas to Bahrainis, and these things are going to help stimulate business further. Are there any, or likely to be any high-level delegations or VIP visits from the States to Bahrain or vice-versa that are planned at present? In my view, visits here are the best way for officials in Washington to understand Bahrain. From September last year to January 2021, we had high-level visits almost every week, following the signing of the normalization agreement between Bahrain and Israel. We are hoping to start receiving visitors after the easing of travel restrictions. Right now, travel from the State Department is limited.. However, we expect a robust U.S. delegation to attend the Manama Dialogue, as we have seen every year since the Manama Dialogue started in 2004. It is our goal to attract participants from both the legislative as well as the executive branch. Vaccine development and distribution has become priority in the global flight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The US-manufactured vaccine, Pfizer, proved to be quite popular among Bahrain’s citizens when choosing a vaccine. What are your thoughts on this?

The U.S. joined the international Covax scheme with a goal to donate $2 billion to vaccinate 30 percent of the eligible population in every member country. We have been encouraging Bahrain and our other partners to also contribute to Covax. The U.S. is now starting to donate some of its extra vaccines to different countries that are in dire need. We have been very impressed by Bahrain’s effort from the beginning to tackle the pandemic, and have been making efforts to support the government’s efforts to expedite the deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine. His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa has had remarkable foresight. Where else do you have four different vaccines to choose from? Some of us at the embassy, including myself, got our vaccines from the Ministry of Health earlier on and we’re very grateful for that. Since you have served both the present and former administrations during your term here, have you experienced any dichotomy of interest from the two State Departments with regard to your dealings with the Government of Bahrain? The Biden Administration immediately rejoined the WHO and rejoined The Paris Agreement for climate change. All of those things also impacted us here in Bahrain. There has been more focus on supporting sustainable energy or environmentally sound efforts in the countries where we live. There continues to be a strong focus on human rights and that’s an area where we already have very good engagement with the government. The United States is also seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term. What has been your most memorable engagement as US Chargé d’Affaires and why? The past year was a memorable one for the U.S., Bahrain, and indeed the whole world. I will never forget working with my staff, and our Embassy community, to deal with the COVID pandemic, while also handling visits of the U.S. Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury to mark Bahrain’s normalization with Israel and the signature of the Abraham Accords. I am so proud to have led such an impressive Embassy team at such a historic moment! July 2021 5


USA in Bahrain

FOSTERING A PRO-BUSINESS AGENDA

6 July 2021

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As president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) since 2013, Qays Zu’bi answers some pertinent questions put forth by Behnaz Sanjana, touching upon US-Bahrain relations and the association’s raison d’être. What brought about the establishment of AmCham and what are its objectives? The American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) was formed in 2006 as an independent, non-profit, non-political business association with a charter to capitalise on the newly implemented Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Bahrain. Its purpose was to help companies take advantage of the new markets and benefits that emanated from this important agreement. AmCham’s objectives include promoting commerce, investment and goodwill between the US and Bahrain, providing a forum in which business executives with American interests may identify, discuss, and pursue common interests, to heighten awareness of Bahrain’s strategic location, business-friendly laws, and commercial role in the Middle East, and increase bilateral US-Bahrain trade and business opportunities. AmCham Bahrain is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce and part of the global network of more than 120 American Chambers of Commerce to foster collaboration amongst the members and greater business opportunities between the US and the Gulf region. Through these affiliations, AmCham helps its members succeed by providing a wide range of networking and information sharing opportunities, B2B introductions, government advocacy, valuable business intelligence, and customised business support services. How has the FTA bolstered existing ties between Bahrain and the US and how has it helped new ones to evolve? As you may know, the US and Bahrain have enjoyed an economic relationship for over 120 years and the FTA has certainly made it even stronger. Bilateral trade of goods and services have more than tripled since the FTA went to effect and we have all expectations that this will continue to grow once the world economies recover from the impact of Covid-19. It is significant to note that the US has negotiated FTAs with only 20 countries worldwide. The FTA is clearly a sign of the US government’s faith in the strength and transparency of Bahrain’s economy. From a larger perspective, this vote of confidence in Bahrain attracts investment into Bahrain by companies that may not even plan to trade with the US. The FTA is here to stay. The agreement does not expire, so companies can rely on the tenets and benefits of the FTA. www.bahrainthismonth.com

“It has been an honor to serve

AmCham as its president since 2013. We have attracted strong board members committed to furthering AmCham’s mission which has allowed us to grow stronger, larger, and more effective. I have enjoyed building new alliances both locally, regionally and in the US to best leverage our strengths, expand our connections, and serve our members

What are some of the most notable benefits of the FTA in Bahrain? The FTA offers significant benefits that increase the competitiveness of a company’s exports/imports between the US and Bahrain. One hundred percent of bilateral trade in consumer, industrial, and agricultural products are tariff free. Both countries have accorded substantial market access across their entire services sector. They provide strong protection and enforcement for copyright, patent, and trademark owners as well as intellectual property protection in the digital environment, supporting electronic media and internet service providers. Under the Agreement, both Bahrain and the US must publish their laws and regulations governing trade. Both countries also have committed, to the extent possible, to publish proposed regulations in advance in order an provide an opportunity for public comment prior to implementation. The Agreement required both countries to take measures to increase transparency and efficiency in customs administration, including publication of laws and regulations on the Internet and procedural certainty and fairness. All these benefits create a ripe environment for promoting bilateral trade and investment. There still remains great potential for expanding bilateral trade and investment. AmCham is committed to working with both governments and the business community to find innovative ways to grow bilateral trade and strengthen the private sector. What is your membership profile and benefits do members enjoy? Our members include Fortune 500 companies, small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. This includes American, Bahraini and other companies

representing all sectors in the Bahrain economy with an interest in the US market. AmCham provides a forum for the exchange of information, insights and ideas, the development of professional networks, advocacy support for promoting solutions to issues that impact business, educational and networking programs and customised business service are just a few of the many benefits AmCham Bahrain provides its members. AmCham typically holds 30 events annually that are wide ranging and customised to meet our members’ varying needs and interests, making us the most active business association dedicated to US-Bahrain business opportunities. Each luncheon, seminar, tour, roundtable, and networking event provide members access and opportunities to meet other decision-makers from the private sector and government agencies. Members attend events for free or at a special discount. Membership includes invitations to ‘members only’ roundtables, exclusive events with visiting VIPs, business tours, B2B introductions, as well as unique promotional opportunities.

“I would like to invite any

company that desires to grow their presence in the US market and US companies investing in Bahrain to join the AmCham community and enjoy the benefits of an active and well-connected network.

Are there any new plans in the pipeline for AmCham? AmCham will be electing its next board of directors in July and they will assess new priorities but I know AmCham shall continue several current commitments which include raising awareness among the US oil and gas and alternative energy industries to encourage their interest and investment in the new and growing opportunities in Bahrain. We will continue to develop our resources to help companies use the FTA and find a path into the US or Bahrain market. We will also help companies better understand the tools available through the US Export Import Bank (EXIM) to help them compete in the international market. Listening to our members and finding innovative ways to support their success will always be a priority. We hope to bring back our charity golf tournament and US alumni reception later this year. July 2021 7


USA in Bahrain

EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES Bahrain This Month’s Farah Baig chats with Mary McGinnis, the Executive Director of AmCham Bahrain, about the FTA, benefits of being a member and more.

8 July 2021

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Having joined the American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain (AmCham Bahrain) in 2013, Mary McGinnis has a highly significant role as she directs all AmCham departments including membership, advocacy, sponsorship and consultancy services. With over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, she has successfully utilised her past experience to facilitate the growth of member companies in Bahrain. THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN AMCHAM MEMBER AmCham Bahrain has been in existence since 2006 when the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States came into effect for the purpose of helping businesses in Bahrain make use of the FTA. “AmCham does that in various ways we create a platform for business leaders to come together, network, share knowledge, learn and have access to resources,” explains Ms. McGinnis. There are currently around 200 AmCham members which includes iconic global Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, non-profits and individual entrepreneurs. “We’re certainly the most active business association dedicated to relations between Bahrain and the US,” she says. Around 30 AmCham Bahrain events, which are instrumental for networking and knowledge sharing, and often feature highlyexperienced topic speakers, are held every year. “We’ve collaborated with regional AmChams, during COVID, and had 75 virtual events which gives our members a rich opportunity to choose from a range of topics and experts in the GCC, MENA region and the United States,” says Ms. McGinnis. AmCham also provides members with advocacy services when faced with local or international issues which affect their business. “We go to the right body of people who can help resolve that, whether that’s in Washington DC or in Bahrain,” she explains, adding that the organisation then links members to resources which can open doors. “We also do introductions, certainly within our membership and other AmChams, and with companies in the United States. So, if a member is trying to expand their business that’s something we help them with – finding a partner,” she adds. www.bahrainthismonth.com

“HOW CAN I USE THE FTA?” “It’s one of the most common questions we get, and it really depends on what the business is,” she says. Consultancy services at AmCham are instrumental for companies that are trying to determine their eligibility. “People believe if they could crack the secret of the FTA, their business would expand easily, but expanding your business, with or without the FTA, is challenging,” she explains, adding that businesses must understand the market, rules and regulations, and supply chain of the country they wish to expand to. “The FTA doesn’t make any of that, any easier; what it does is make it more competitive by taking away all tariffs for 98% of all goods and services that are created in Bahrain or in the US for bilateral trade,” she explains. In order to be eligible for the FTA, 35% of the good’s value has to be created either in the US or Bahrain. “This is because the purpose of the FTA is to help local economies through the creation of jobs and more. Since Bahrain doesn’t have a lot of natural resources, the 35% is often created through the labour of putting things together and transforming them into something new and unique. So, we help companies figure out whether their goods meet the requirements,” she says. Companies also have to be established in Bahrain and follow the requirements for exporting to the US to make use of the FTA. “An undersold aspect of the FTA opportunity in Bahrain is that companies from all over the world could come and set up here to manufacture and ship to the United States. Given its business-friendly environment, low cost of living and other advantages, Bahrain is an ideal location to reach the MENA and Asia market,” she says. THE GROWTH OF AMCHAM In 2013, AmCham’s membership was below 50 members and has now grown to over 200. The organisation has grown during the pandemic, and has attracted a good number of global and local companies. “I think businesses realised that belonging to a group that can help promote them, raise their visibility and connect them to clients and resources is a good investment,” she says.

THE ROLE OF PAST EXPERIENCE Ms. McGinnis has travelled and worked in countries including India, Thailand, Italy and more and offers a cross-cultural perspective to her work. “Since Bahrain is so multicultural, as is AmCham, it allows me to connect, appreciate and support our members in an even better way. This is not only because I may have a story to tell of an experience in their country, but from a perspective of understanding how they may see the world in a different way - their perceptions and practices may be a little bit different. So, I can adapt my communication and what I’m offering to support that,” she explains. She also had the opportunity to live and work in different parts of the United States including San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington, and Alabama. “That has further helped me have a better sense of the cultures and markets business-wise to help our reach into the United States for our members,” she says. A VERY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCE WITH AMCHAM Having been with AmCham for eight years, Ms. McGinnis has had several memorable experiences within the organisation. “I was very honoured to plan and lead the trade mission for the Minister of Oil and Gas back to Houston, Texas and Washington DC two years ago, soon after the new oil and gas fields were found. The Bahrain government is very interested in using US technology and expertise in developing those fields, so we met with the industry leaders in Houston,” she says. THE LAST WORD In the last five years, AmCham Bahrain has grown its network of affiliations and is now a member of over 120 AmChams across the world, including the GCC and MENA AmChams. “I’d like to encourage people to attend our events, talk to me about membership and how we could specifically support their business,” she says. “We are also a part of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, which is the world’s largest business chamber with over three and a half million members. We can introduce you to a regional, global or American company that can help you expand your business. The possibilities are endless,” she concludes. July 2021 9


USA in Bahrain

World-class education starts here!

The American University of Bahrain has changed the face of education in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Here’s why: The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) is the first comprehensive, purpose-built, American-style co-educational University in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is supported by the Elm Fund. AUBH offers a holistic journey for students and a unique approach to education that fosters interaction and collaboration

their chosen industry. AUBH carefully considers how to academically challenge a student while simultaneously preparing them for a rewarding career and competitive job market. Students enrolling in AUBH are exposed to a university life that is very much influenced by collaborative learning, critical

and once awarded, AUBH would become the first and only higher education institution to be accredited by WSCUC in Bahrain. AUBH’s “beyond-the-classroom” approach, has a purpose of empowering the next generation with confidence, leadership and professionalism; skills they will required in the

between students, faculty, and the professional community. The contemporary and high-tech, 75,000 sqm. campus located in Riffa, was designed by US-based architects Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), who have developed projects for numerous universities in the US, including Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. Along with classrooms, library, and labs, the campus includes a Sports Center with indoor and outdoor courts and fields, vast student commons, and an auditorium for special events. True to being innovative and cutting-edge, AUBH also recently added voice technology to its campus with the launch of two Alexa skills which are aimed at providing students, educators, and parents with the ability to use their voice to maximise the learning experience and enrich university life whilst providing critical academic and campus information. AUBH curricula are built by experts and specialists to equip students with the knowledge and soft skills to succeed in a rapidly ever-changing environment. The AUBH quality of American-style education mirrors that of the best universities in the United States. The University’s unique academic structure enables students to find their real passions and allows them to develop their abilities, leading to long successful careers in

thinking, and technical education in an American-style University environment. Beyond the academic education that the students receive, they assimilate soft skills and competencies including problem solving, negotiation and creative thinking. The University, which primarily focuses its curriculum on STEM and Business, offers programs within the Colleges of Business & Management, Engineering, and Architecture & Design. Those include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering to name a few. The university also plans on offering the following degrees at the graduate level very soon: a Master of Science in Engineering Management*, a Master of Business Administration*, and a Master of Arts in Multimedia Management* among others. As AUBH continues to make its mark on the GCC and beyond, these programs will continue to expand and grow. Notably, on June 3rd, 2021, AUBH became the first University in the Kingdom to achieve eligibility to proceed with an Application for Accreditation with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). This is one of the highest levels of quality assurance,

workforce. It is soft skills like these and collaboration with companies such as Mumtalakat, stc Bahrain, Diyar Al Muharraq, Bahrain Airport Company, and Flat6Labs partnerships which help propel AUBH students into the corporate world. It’s fair to say that day-to-day life has changed since the pandemic began, and institutions that have operated the same way for years are having to adapt. As part of the University’s plan, students have access to a dual-modality experience, allowing them to attend classes on campus according to the University schedule, and simultaneously online, where students who are unable to attend class on campus or prefer to study at a distance can attend at the same time as students in the classroom. This solution incorporates a specialised camera system with views of the classroom, live broadcasting and remote participation, whiteboards, and activity through our interactive CleverTouch monitors, all being shared through Canvas, a cloud-based learning platform, and Microsoft Teams. For more information or to book a sociallydistanced, in-person campus tour, please visit aubh.edu.bh or call +973 77 999-997. To go on a virtual campus tour please visit: tour.aubh.edu.bh.

10 July 2021

*Subject to final approval by the HEC.

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The Path to the Land of Opportunity American University of Bahrain Provost, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, talks about the benefits students in the region can enjoy through the university’s stateside partnership. The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) has formed a partnership with California State University, Northridge (CSUN), which is sure to not enhance the higher education sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain, but also create a pathway to the US for its students. CSUN is part of the 23-campus California State University system, which is the largest in the United States with nearly 500,000 students and more than 50,000 faculty and staff. “We are proud to be pursuing an academic partnership with CSUN (subject to final approval from the HEC) which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and a number of field-specific accreditors,” says American University of Bahrain, Provost, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. “This pioneering partnership in the making aims to connect students based in the Middle East and North Africa to the largest university system in the United States, effectively paving a seamless pathway to the U.S. for those aspiring to access a more flexible international experience,” he adds. Located in Los Angeles, CSUN is one of the largest universities in the United States enrolling nearly 40,000 full- and part-time students in Fall 2020. Accredited by WASC, CSUN employs more than 2,000 faculty members teaching courses across 69 disciplines, master’s degrees in 69 fields and three doctorates. CSUN is widely recognised for impacting the lives of students and preparing them for leadership roles.

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“Through the academic partnership with CSUN, AUBH students would gain access to a robust curriculum focused on forefront preparation for academic success, as well as for careers in the regional and global marketplace, opportunities to study abroad, and a pathway to finish their studies in California,” explains Dr. Jeff, adding that CSUN has many discipline- and field-specific accreditations. AUBH would collaborate with CSUN to align its high-quality curricula and create opportunities for students to experience a broad range of new programs and international

experiences, including attending summer programs in California, and receiving a CSUN degree through completing one, two, or three years of coursework enrolled at CSUN, and vice versa at AUBH, for CSUN Students who wish to study in Bahrain. “Moreover, as academic partners we would develop opportunities for visiting professorships, industry collaborations, and internship opportunities between Bahrain and the United States,” he says This partnership would also provide students with a lucrative option to travel when they are ready for an international experience. “Effectively, we are working on providing students with a wide array of opportunities to travel abroad when they are ready to do so, whether it means starting a year, two, or three at AUBH and then transferring to CSUN, making the experience more accessible financially and from a global readiness point of view, as some parents are hesitant to send their children abroad as soon as they graduate from high school,” he says. This international partnership with CSUN would give students access to the University’s nine colleges: the Mike Curb College of Art, Media, and Communication; David Nazarian College of Business and Economics; Michael D. Eisner College of Education; College of Engineering and Computer Science; College of Health and Human Development; College of Humanities; College of Science and Mathematics; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the Tseng College for Graduate, International and Midcareer Education. “Crafting this distinctive partnership would not only represent an impressive milestone for the Kingdom in its continued efforts to elevate the quality of education in Bahrain, but it would also present a plethora of new opportunities for students based throughout the region and beyond to experience a world-class higher education, starting right here in the Kingdom,” says Dr. Jeff. “It would also open new avenues of collaboration between the industry here and in the U.S., creating new opportunities of exchange of a commercial, cultural, and artistic nature. The sky is the limit!” he concludes. For more information about AUBH, please visit aubh.edu.bh. For more information about CSUN, visit www.csun.edu. July 2021 11


USA in Bahrain

A Century of Trade

Mr. Ahmed Yateem

Ahmed Yateem, the Managing Director of Yateem Airconditioning is one of the emerging brood of prominent young family business owners reflecting with pride upon his family’s business and personal relationships with the United States. “A legacy that started a century ago by his late grandfather Mr. Hussein Yateem continues to develop in the 21st century” says Mr. Yateem highlighting the A.M. Yateem Brothers- an epitome of Arabian Trade Philosophy & culture which follows the motto of “Simplicity and honesty in Business”.

As we sat down over coffee in the Yateem Airconditioning office in Manama along with their COO, Mr. Mazin Zaidan, Mr. Yateem had prepared evidence in the form of newspaper cuttings and old advertisements documenting his grandfather and great-grandfather’s strident efforts to bring the best from America to serve Bahrain’s communities. As a young 28-year-old ambitious businessman, Mr. Hussein Yateem always had an eye for the best quality and highest form of customer service. According to one article in the New York Times, on 4th August 1939, Mr. Hussein Yateem, Mr. Ahmed’s late grandfather visited the United States for the first time in 1939 accompanying Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa al Khalifa to attend the World Fair. A visit that opened up a sea of opportunities. It was during this visit that he met another fellow businessman turned friend, the founder of Carrier, Dr. Willis Carrier. A friendship that blossomed into a strong relationship between Bahrain and the United States, most importantly favouring the future of business developments in Bahrain. In an era where air conditioning was relatively new, at the fair Mr. Hussein was mesmerised by a large revolving globe showing visitors how air conditioning was used all over the world- from the Arctic circle to the equator. Inside the Carrier Corporation pavilion, which was shaped like a giant igloo with “snow” encrusted walls

Carrier President, Mr. Geraud Darnis, meeting Mr. Hussain Yateem in Bahrain in 2010.

12 July 2021

and the “Northern Lights” glowing from its ceiling they explained the system that had the power to change climates. As a quick observer Mr. Hussein immediately spotted the potential for the Middle East region. By 1985, Mr. Hussain Yateem was one of the few people who had known and interacted with Dr. Willis the founder of Carrier. Hence, the then Carrier president, Mr. Geraud Darnis, in 2010 flew all the way on his private jet to Bahrain specifically to meet him. With the long history of trading with the USA, the A.M. Yateem Brothers contributed in developing the island’s business structure in numerous fields. In 1923, Mr. Ahmed’s late great grandfather Mr. Willis Carrier Ali Ahmed Yateem was the importer of General Motor vehicles and later Mr. Hussein Yateem imported Studebaker vehicles in the 1940’s. In an article in the South bend Tribune, Mr. Hussain, a man with a quick wit, joked that Studebaker vehicles don’t wear out, only to ensure that the vehicles were so reliable and long-lasting, that there was never any need to replace them. In the same article, Mr. Hussein, master of diplomacy, was also quoted saying that, “President Roosevelt is the most charming man I have ever met.” Adding to his established business of a movie theatre, concession for L&M tobacco, operation of distilled water, ice plants, gasoline and kerosene, Yateem became the official distributor for Carrier in 1946. This was followed by another major landmark in 1981 with the opening of the Yateem Center, which was the very first airconditioned shopping centre in the region; using Carrier technology, located next to Bab Al Bahrain. The first ice plant was introduced into Bahrain using Carrier Brunswick technology and was importing US manufactured appliances including refrigerators in the 1950s. These developments became popular with the island residents. A large population purchased air conditioners for their homes to “beat the heat” while weekends were spent visiting the Yateem center with family and friends – the results of a visionary Bahraini businessman with unmatched foresight. www.bahrainthismonth.com


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USA in Bahrain

A HISTORY IN HEALTHCARE

Corporate CEO and Chief Medical Officer at American Mission Hospital (AMH), Dr. George Cheriyan takes Farah Baig on a journey through the hospital’s illustrious history, plans for growth and drive to remain one of the most advanced healthcare providers in the Kingdom. The American Mission Hospital has a long-standing history in Bahrain’s healthcare sector. Could you highlight the relationship that Bahrain and the US have through the hospital? Our hospital has played a critical role in US-Bahrain relations. In 1892, a man from New Jersey, Dr. Samuel Zwemer, sowed the first seeds of modern healthcare in Bahrain on his arrival. Following his continuous requests, Dr. Sharon J Thoms and his wife, Dr. Marion Wells Thoms, who should rightly be called ‘the first modern physicians of Bahrain’ were sent by the Arabian Mission in 1900. The then Hakim of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, the great-great grandfather of our current ruler His Majesty King Hamad, helped them purchase land officially following which they constructed the Mason Memorial Hospital. We must always remember that long before Bahrain found oil in 1932, and long before US naval forces stationed their fifth fleet here in the 1970s, Americans were coming and serving in this country, and it was through this historic hospital. Many have lost their lives to diseases contracted here, and died in the line of duty. In a way, American doctors and nurses had set a base for establishing an effective healthcare system, not only in Bahrain, but also across the region we now know as the GCC. In the early 1900s, many AMH healthcare workers had died treating patients of cholera, 14 July 2021

typhoid and various epidemics that hit Bahrain during those times. Are there any collaborations with medical associations in the US and otherwise in the pipeline? Will there be any exchange of medical expertise? We will be having collaborations with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which is the second largest children’s hospital in the US. We are also looking at a partnership with the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, which can provide tertiary level consultation services. Tell us about the hospital’s recent US accreditation. In May, we became the first private hospital in Bahrain to win a College of American Pathologists (CAP) Accreditation – an

accreditation that medical labs around the world aim to achieve. CAP evaluates and certifies best practices in pathology and laboratory medicine. Our lab worked hard to ensure our quality systems are all in place to earn this coveted accreditation. How does the hospital remain one of the most advanced and stateof-the-art facilities on the island? We have always been quick to embrace new medical technologies and their applications in healthcare. It might interest your readers to know that in 1940s, the first X-ray machine in all of the Arabian Gulf was brought by the American Mission Hospital, Bahrain. It was only 10 years later, when government healthcare facilities were becoming more robust, that the Naim Hospital acquired one.

Could you tell our readers about the latest expansion in A’Ali? The King Hamad American Mission Hospital in A’Ali is a USD70 million, 775,000-squarefoot hospital. It will include an eight-bed intensive care unit (ICUs), 17-bed neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), outpatient unit, 20-bed urgent care unit, sixbed labour/delivery/recovery unit, and five modular operating rooms. The new hospital will open in October 2022 and is going to be a teaching hospital, with some parts built specifically for this purpose. This eco-friendly, solar-run project will also include underground parking for 500 cars, a 129,000-square-foot staff accommodation building, and landscaped garden area. How has the hospital been instrumental in the Kingdom’s fight against COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic? We had to be innovative and agile. We leveraged technology to provide virtual consultations, adapted to the pandemic quickly and set up a Covid-19 Task Force within the hospital. Sadly, our team member Dr. Solomon became the first physician in Bahrain to die of Covid-19 in June 2020. He must’ve contracted it while treating patients in Zwemer Clinic. And, as I had mentioned in the beginning, he is now counted among the many physicians of AMH who lost their lives in the line of duty. www.bahrainthismonth.com



USA in Bahrain

Built for the Community

We chat with First Bahrain CEO, Omar Al Temiemy, about his thriving real estate properties and what makes them unique.

Real estate and commercial developments across the Kingdom of Bahrain have proved to be a clear sign of innovation and progress for the nation. One company in particular, First Bahrain Real Estate Development Company (First Bahrain) has developed a glowing reputation in the field by focusing on niche opportunities, building right sized properties to meet the local demand. Among the most recognisable properties in the company’s growing portfolio are El Mercado

16 July 2021

Mall and its neighbouring residential property, El Mercado Village, which are located in Janabiya, aside from El Balcón Mall which has been developed in the Seef District. “We have a diversified portfolio which stretches across the retail, residential and industrial sectors. This diversification has proved to be important for the sustainability of our business,” says the Chief Executive Officer of First Bahrain, Omar Al Temiemy. “El Mercado is an upscale neighbourhood market anchored by the flagship store of the Alosra Supermarket chain, which sets the tone and demographic for the mall which also features a range of cafés, restaurants, and services to meet the needs of the surrounding community,” explains Mr. Al Temiemy. Promoting a healthy lifestyle, El Mercado features Tri Life, the premiere bicycle and triathlon gear shop, and the worldrenowned gym, Anytime Fitness. Pampering is available at Vanity

Salon and The Groom Room, for women and men respectively, while specialty coffee is on offer at Blink, Havana or Starbucks. Visitors can also take in the game along with a meal at Venice, get seafood at Samui Thai or a burger at McDonald’s. You can also take care of your health at Cryo Temp rehabilitation and Boots Pharmacy or your personal business at Ahli United Bank. The outdoor nature of the mall provides for, quite literally, a breath of fresh air, while it also proves to be a safe environment for children. “The water features and greenery help you relax and enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars with family and friends,” he says. The company’s latest development is the El Balcón Mall and the much-anticipated Jarir Bookstore which is Saudi Arabia’s premiere brand for books and home electronics. “The mall centers around an open courtyard with all shops having outdoor seating, a feature that has grown

substantially in demand under the recent circumstances,” he says. Visitors can relax at one of the salons, or perhaps get some of the island’s best dental care or dermatology services, at Dr. Ali Mattar’s Glow for Dental and Derma. It also features a drivethru Starbucks and a new, locally developed specialty coffee brand, Black Drop. “Our property tenants are distinct and handpicked – unique Bahraini businesses that reflect the best that Bahrain has to offer – along with internationally known brands,” he explains. El Mercado Village, which is close to the Saudi Causeway, is a beautiful mixed-use community comprised of 42 villas and townhouses integrated with an upscale neighbourhood market. “Only nine homes in the development remain available for lease or sale, and these are designed to offer modern amenities with a classic touch,” he says. The cornerstone for the company’s success has proved to the strength of their relationship with the local community. “Likewise, the strong support of our bank, Khaleeji Commercial, has been instrumental in enabling our ability to bring to completion two projects during this difficult year. This spirit of partnership in working closely with our stakeholders is what sets us apart,” he says, further expressing his sincere appreciation for the support provided by government organisations, namely Tamkeen and the Central Bank of Bahrain, during the pandemic. “Without these measures many shops would not have survived. We are confident that working together, we will come through this difficult season and realise a better future,” he concludes. www.bahrainthismonth.com


@venice_bh

Your favorite neighborhood market in Janabiya. Alosra Supermarket, McDonald's, coffee shops including Starbucks, and restaurants with various cuisines.

elmercadoj

- COFFEE @havanacafe_bh

- CHOCO @cafemayfair

@samui_bh

@blinkcoffee.bh

@squisitogelato

@vanitysalonbh

@gotrilife


Eat, Sell and Serve

USA in Bahrain

Trans Arabia International Trading W.L.L.(TA), established in 2012 by CEO and Bahrain based entrepreneur, José Matos, specialises in Food Service supplies and represents a number of major international brands. As the exclusive distributor of Café D’Vita powdered beverages (including the most exquisite cappuccinos, iced coffees, hot cocoas, chocolate and vanilla based drinks); Trans Arabia operates primarily in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and acts as the exclusive broker for the rest of the Middle East region. Other major US brands marketed and distributed by Trans Arabia include Finest Call (cocktail mixers); REAL Infused (syrups); Franks RedHot Sauces; Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauces; Glitz and Popping Pearls; both of which are made in the US but Bahraini branded. “As far as I am concerned, the key elements that define a US brand and make it stand out from the other countries’ equivalent are quality of product, stock availability, proper inventory control, outstanding after sales service and training”, confides José. More recently, the company has also begun Food Retail operations

18 July 2021

and expects to develop these further very soon. “We have seen consistent growth throughout the past five years, with the exception of 2020 for obvious reasons,” says José, “and we look forward to reaching even greater heights in the near future.” As well as their US products, Trans Arabia are also the Food Service agents for Dilmah Ceylon Tea, Giffard Syrups, Sauces and Fruit Purees, Chai Lattes; Matcha Green Tea mixers and powders as well as Master of Mixers. With large-scale supply contracts not only to major hotels and restaurants but also to large corporate entities including the national airline, Gulf Air, Trans Arabia has come a long way in one decade of business and now looks to regional expansion as the next logical progression. “Throughout the region, we take the orders, manage financial transactions, coordinate with our distributors, and then ship directly from US to the various countries where we have appointed distributors,” he says. “Also, in 2018, we set up production facilities for a new branch of our operation; Veggietalis W.L.L., which specialises in processing fresh cut

vegetables packaged in vacuum”, says José. “We expanded once again in 2020, to produce frozen french fries in standard and customized sizes, cubes and wedges,” he adds. Veggietalis as the first frozen french fries factory in Bahrain, supplies a large number of hotels, cafes and restaurants delivering an outstanding product to Trans Arabia’s Food Service clients. The company acts as the marketing arm of Veggietalis, distributing all frozen product lines via their temperature-controlled vehicles; made up of a fleet of eight delivery vehicles, just for the Bahrain market. “As part of our expansion strategy, we are currently developing efforts to create a retail distribution project with some of Bahrain’s Class A supermarkets and Hypermarkets to further develop our local presence in Bahrain while, at the same time, securing additional retail brands,” says José. “At Trans Arabia/Veggietalis, we pride ourselves on supplying premium quality brands and providing our customers with outstanding after sales service, presentations and demonstrations,

sharing product know-how and food preparation techniques. It is this passion for detail and obsession with quality that makes us such a successful operation with a totally satisfied client base exceeding 800 clients at present,” he says. José is extremely up beat regarding the FTA agreement and the benefits it has provided his company within recent years. “The FTA has given us a big advantage in terms of the absence of import duties on the US products that we import. Our brands are very well known and quality is guaranteed and consistent with every shipment. It is indeed a pleasure doing business with the United States”. He continues, “We are always looking for new opportunities in established product lines and with new technologies entering the food manufacturing industry in particular, we are truly excited about the immediate possibilities; dealing in truly healthy alternatives for confectionery, ice cream and fat calorie reduction products and services. We expect to be on the vanguard of this movement throughout the entire region.” www.bahrainthismonth.com


Brands

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USA in Bahrain

“There is no better entry point thanBahrain!” WestPoint Home LLC President and CEO, Jonathan Witmer talks about the company’s success and contribution of USD one billion to Bahraini exports under the FTA. WestPoint Home LLC, which is headquartered in New York City, is a leading global marketer of home textile products with a history spanning over 200 years. The company which has significant operations in 10 countries all over the world has a manufacturing base in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The company began in 1813 as a manufacturer of woollen broadcloth and quickly became a leader in textile innovation and design providing a full array of home fashion textiles in bed and bath. “From our wide array of textiles, we produce from fiber to fabric, to our state-of-the-art printing capabilities, WestPoint home has maintained its leadership position in the industry by having these distinct advantages along with speed to market,” says WestPoint Home LLC President and Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Witmer. The companies Bahrain factories currently employs1450 people including 140 Bahrainis. “Our Bahrain operations are critical to the Company’s global manufacturing model, and we are proud to market our ‘Made in Bahrain’ labeled superior quality products in the United States where we service customers such as Ralph Lauren, John Lewis, Sam’s Club, Marriott, Amazon and others in the retail and hospitality industries,” says Mr. Witmer. WestPoint Home is a proud beneficiary of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bahrain and the United States, since its inception. “WestPoint Home is a beneficiary of the FTA since December 21, 2006 just a few months

20 July 2021

after the FTA entered into force on August 1, 2006,” states Mr. Witmer. “Upon the Terrif Preference Level expiry in July 2016, WestPoint Home invested over USD nine million to enhance its yarn production in Bahrain to mitigate the impact. WestPoint Home has contributed well over USD one billion to Bahraini exports under the FTA,” he adds. When asked about the significance of Bahrain when it comes to WestPoint Home’s outreach to the GCC, Mr. Witmer expresses his belief that there is no better entry point than Bahrain. “This is especially for an internationally focused company looking to build a new business. We have significant commercial experience in the region and believe, without hesitation, if you want to enter

this region, do it properly, and position your business for many years of stability, growth and expansion, this is the right place,” he says. The company has also made significant investments for energy efficiency, conservation and additional innovation and growth in Bahrain. “As a corporation that manufactures products all over the world my answer is always the same. If I could put all of our factories in Bahrain, I would do it in a second! Bahrain has strong and stable facilities and infrastructure, an incredibly collaborative commercial environment, and most importantly, strong and supportive governmental and corporate partnership programs – allowing for all of us to succeed together,” he highlights. WestPoint Home manufactures and exports sheets, comforters, face masks, duvets, and decorative pillows for the U.S. retail and hospitality markets. “Our company has grown enormously, but our core beliefs remain the same: passionately creating high-quality, fashion-forward, sustainable products that makes people’s lives healthier and more comfortable every day,” he states, adding that the company also exports goods to the GCC and Europe through their subsidiary, Vision Linens. The company has enjoyed tremendous growth and success over the years, which it credits to its focus on innovation in every form. “Innovation in manufacturing that reduce costs and improve our impact on the environment, innovation in product development that brings amazing new products to market that genuinely help consumers lead better lives, and even innovation for simple things such as packaging or shipping that can reduce costs and improve our global impact on the environment,” he explains. “With your continued support, we feel very confident that WestPoint Home Bahrain, through continued investments, will continue to be a leader in the industry for another 200 years and lead in our markets in partnership with Bahrain,” he concludes. www.bahrainthismonth.com


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USA in Bahrain

American Express Middle East: Over 40 years of Service Excellence and Innovation Things have come a very long way since the express company that forwarded freight and valuables in the United States in the 1850s, evolved into a company that created and sold financial products like money orders and traveller’s cheques. Following an era of international expansion, the company became an entity perhaps best known for its credit and charge cards. Today, American Express is a global payments company and its cards were first accepted in the Middle East in 1958. In 1977, American Express established its regional headquarters in Bahrain, and since then they have been servicing their customers across 18 markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Being headquartered in Bahrain for more than 40 years, American Express Middle East has a long-standing commitment to the local

22 July 2021

economy. Over the years, they have partnered and supported many government initiatives and will continue to do so in the years to come to support the Kingdom’s economy. They have an

employee base of more than 500 in the region incorporating over 30 nationalities, all focused on delivering unparalleled innovation and an unrivalled service experience.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


A Global Contender

Founded in 1985, Wires International WLL is amongst the top ten global manufacturers of aluminum wire-mesh. The company exports to over 32 countries and enjoys a world-wide distribution network. “We have over 30,000 products, and hold patent pending technology on many of our bespoke manufacturing equipment,” states Mohamed Abdul Ali Al A’Ali, Managing Director of Wires International WLL. The company exports DIY and Contractor aluminum wire mesh products used for home and industrial use to the United States (US) and enjoys a competitive advantage over Chinese products as they do not fall under the tariffs currently imposed on aluminum products in the US. “We are fortunate to have an FTA with the US, with the help of our government, in its endeavour to help companies export Bahraini manufactured products across the world,” he says, expressing his gratitude to HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for their directives to ensure that Bahrain is at the forefront of export and global trade.

www.bahrainthismonth.com

“We would also like to express our gratitude to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. HE Zayed Al-Zayani for ensuring that the FTA is

benefiting Bahraini companies like us to export to the largest market in the world which is the United States,” he adds. The Founder and Chairman of Wires International WLL, Abdul Ali Al A’Ali, has supported the company’s expansions, keeping the management focused on maintaining the geographical market spread. “I, personally, would like to thank the management and all our staff for achieving various milestones throughout the expansion periods of the business. Our raw material suppliers, especially Midal Cables Bahrain has also been instrumental during our expansions by providing raw materials at competitive rates,” says Mr. Al A’ali. “A special thank you must go to our banking partners Khaleeji Commercial Bank, for their support, and Bahrain Development Bank, for facilitating our various expansion requirements,” he concluded.

July 2021 23


At Your Service! USA in Bahrain

On the Occasion of the USA Independence Day, American car brands owners can avail special offers at YK Automall Janabiya YK Automall is a unique concept where owners of cars of all models can experience an uncompromising level of state-of-the-art automotive services of all types under one roof. From a wide range of new cars and rental facilities to other services like Periodic Maintenance, Tires & Battery, Body & Paint Services, Smart Repair, Car Care Services, Spare Parts and many more, all are located within the same facility. Whether your vehicle needs a simple engine oil change or tyres rotated, our Service Centre is the quickest and easiest way to go. The modern and fully equipped Centre ensure a high quality and rapid service provided by certified technicians. We have a designated area for Bodyshop

24 July 2021

services which includes smart repair, dent repair, painting and polishing. On the US Independence Day (July 4th), YK Automall Janabiya has a special service offer for American car owners. The offer will be for a week starting from July 4 to July 10 and includes an engine oil and filter change starting from BD18* and free visual inspection, washing and sanitisation. YK Automall Janabiya services all brands and models, your one-stop solution for all your automobile needs, working from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week and provides a full range of professional services for your vehicle whether it be, purchasing new cars, engine oil & filter change, brake pad change, Nanotech, polishing, painting or dent repair, car wash, selling multifranchise spare parts and many more. For more information contact YK Automall on 17 470-834.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


A L L A M E R ICA N AU T OMO B I L E S !

Dick Potter explores the contributions of the US to the motoring industry.

T

he American contribution to the motoring industry, we may all concede, cannot be said to be too shabby at all. After the Great Depression and World War II, almost threequarters of all cars produced worldwide were made in the US. After this prolific start, America›s automotive industry grew rapidly and soon evolved into the largest in the world. The USA held that rank for decades- only being overtaken by Japan in the 1980s. Henry Ford - a name synonymous with American cars - designed his first moving assembly line in 1913 and revolutionised the manufacturing process of his Ford Model T. His assembly line, at the first Ford plant in Michigan, became the benchmark for mass production methods around the world. Since 1976, the blue and silver Ford oval has been used as an identification badge on all Ford vehicles, providing an easily recognisable and consistent brand for all the company›s plants, facilities and products around the world. The chap who founded Wal-Mart, clearly not short of a fil or two - chose to drive a Ford from the time he bought it in 1979 until his death in 1992. We could of course assume he was a just a very frugal man, however, I’d prefer to

consider it a testimony to Fords exemplary workmanship. Not surprisingly then, Ford is one of the two most popular iconic cars in America today, namely the Ford Mustang model. The Chevrolet Corvette, unsurprisingly, is the second of the two most popular and iconic. One cannot however think of American vehicles without the image of the ubiquitous pick-up popping up. I wasn’t aware that the Ford F-150 pick-up has been the best-selling truck (and vehicle) in the United States for more than 40 years. I was also unaware that the very first Chevrolet (Chevy) pickup truck from 1918 came without a bed, and buyers had to install their own. Thankfully, today›s Chevrolets don’t require such motoring mastery. The Ram name only showed up on a pickup truck in 1981- technically then, making the Ram 1500 a millennial. There are four states where the Ram series (1500/2500/3500) are the most popular pick-ups: Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona and Arkansas. General Motors Cadillac Escalade is a very lovely SUV that I have had the pleasure of driving for quite some time in Bahrain. Essentially, the Escalades aesthetics were similar to the GMC Yukon Denali and

actually the Escalade›s underpinnings were borrowed from the Denali line, with the GMC logos on the centre caps replaced with Cadillac›s crest. I particularly liked that the only standard colours the Escalade were available in were, Silver Sand, Sable Black, Aspen White and Bordeaux Red Pearl-and what other colours would you need for an SUV anyway? To my mind, the Escalade is America’s version of the UK’s Range Rover- in terms of its use as a means of ferrying around Celebrities and a Bodyguard type of vehicle! On the topic of ‘Celebrities’, many of us dream of just seeing some of the vehicles that Hollywood’s most successful stars drive on a daily basis. However, it may come as a surprise that the Tesla Model S remains the most popular among some of the world’s richest and most famous people. Tesla continues to attest to the remarkable American contribution to the automobile industry and is an American car that I’m still waiting-with great anticipation-to drive if not own in the not-toodistant future. Safe motoring all. dickpotter@redhousemarketing.com


USA In Bahrain

Back to our roots! Here are four of Bahrain’s most interesting vegan restaurants.

Anais Cafe Anaïs, which is located in Zinj, is one of the first raw vegan cafes in Bahrain. Their journey to educate people about plant-based food is very important. If you are looking for clean, healthy, and 100% vegan food, you’ve come to the right place. Their goal is to raise consciousness of the benefits of a plant-based diet while inspiring people to try raw vegan food and even some excellent keto-friendly desserts! Tuck into a wide range of their delectable cakes, freshly-baked bread, wide range of teas and more.

26 July 2021

Plant Cafe A pioneer in the vegan field in Bahrain, Plant Cafe tasked itself with a mission to nourish and rejuvenate body, mind and soul at a serene setting, serving mindful food - run by passionate people. Plant Cafe is more than just delicious and beautifully presented food – it’s a platform that sheds light on incorporating more plant-based foods as essential to health. The café delivers all over the island and is popular for its vegan shawarma, breakfast bowls and more.

Blaze Pizza Blaze Pizza is a modern-day pizza joint, serving up artisanal pizzas that are both: fast and affordable. The best part is you can customise one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create your own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, “clean” ingredients. With a wide selection of fresh ingredients to choose from, it’s no surprise that you can whip up a healthy, vegan pizza that’s generously loaded with fresh produce. Be sure pop in the next time you’re at The Avenues.

Raw Candy Ever heard of a Vegan candy store? Well now you have, Raw Candy, inspired by the Southern Californian lifestyle, offers a laidback approach to a modern plant-based cuisine. Situated in Almoayyed Tower in the Kingdom’s bustling Seef district, Raw Candy guarantees you light, healthy, nutritious food, organic or local where possible. Be sure to try their Salted Caramel Probiotic Parfait, Nutella Crunch Praline and Grilled Cheese and Vegan Falafel Bowl.

www.bahrainthismonth.com


A Dreamy Staycation Enjoy this Summer Offer at The Westin City Centre Bahrain. Ideally located in Seef District, The Westin City Centre Bahrain is the first-ever Westin Hotel to grace the island. Thoughtfully devised with a host of novel and innovative facilities that include the city’s first Heavenly® Spa, guests are afforded the opportunity to sample the unique Westin feel-good promise when staying for business or leisure. This summer, guests can enjoy 20% off on stay plus free breakfast at The Westin City Centre Bahrain. Take a moment to unwind this summer with the perfect staycation. Marriott Bonvoy members receive 20% off standard rates plus free breakfast. Non-members receive 15% off. Flexible cancellation applies. Promotional rates are now bookable valid for stays from 4th July 2021 to 11th September 2021. Guests can avail the offer by calling +973 17 171-000 or email reservations.bahrain@marriott.com The Westin is attached to City Centre Bahrain, the island’s most popular retail and leisure destination with more than 340 retail stores. One of two entrances leads directly to the mall’s ground floor, and is a few steps away from the luxurious Saks Fifth Avenue department store. More offers including Birthday package, Book two rooms and get 50% off the 2nd room, and more can be booked online at The Westin City Centre Bahrain Summer Offer - Bahrain This www.westincitycentrebahrain.com.

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Plan Your Summer Holiday Enjoy 20% off your stay plus free breakfast. Take a moment to unwind this summer with the perfect staycation. Marriott Bonvoy members receive 20% off standard rates plus free breakfast. Non-members receive 15% off. Flexible cancellation applies. Promotional rates are valid for stays from 4th July 2021 to 11th September 2021. In celebration of 15th Anniversary of the Free trade agreement between Bahrain and The USA an additional 15% discount in F&B and Spa in a form of voucher will be given at check-in upon presentation of this ad. Terms & Conditions apply. Call +973 1717 1000 or email Reservations.Bahrain@marriott.com

www.bahrainthismonth.com

July 2021 27


USA in Bahrain

Treat your Taste Buds to America!

While steaks and burgers come to mind first when talking about American food, the country’s culinary repertoire is as wide as the span between its coasts. Here are a few of Bahrain’s iconic venues serving quintessential fare from the Land of Liberty. Big Texas Barbeque & Waffle House Big Texas claims to stand out from other restaurants in Bahrain due to the painstaking attention to detail that is given to its slow-smoked meats. The secret to the venue’s success is simple – homestyle recipes that involve long cooking times of over 14 hours at a low temperature, with 100 per cent wood smoke and great quality meat. The restaurant also prides itself with offering guests great value for money, with prices significantly lower than other venues. Besides steaks, guests also make a beeline for delicious chicken wings, with a choice of seven flavours to pick from. Call 17 360-063.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck Located at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, CUT is a sleek and modern American steak restaurant that delivers innovation at every level through its unique culinary, service and design combination. The menu of this acclaimed restaurant features the widest and best selection of beef available, from prime dry- and wet-aged beef, along with premium shellfish and whole fresh fish. Guests are treated to a view of the chef’s state-of-the-art kitchen and a striking panorama that extends over the pool and across the hotel’s lush grounds to the city of Manama. Besides a delicious Filet Mignon and New York Striploin, the menu features interesting dishes like Steamed Loup De Mer ‘Hong Kong Style’, Veal Schnitzel, and Local Sikken Ceviche. Desserts include mouthwatering sweet treats to round off the sumptuous meal. Call 17 115-044.

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes Black Tap is an homage to the great American luncheonette experience. The menu features burgers ranging from the classic AllAmerican to The Vegan Burger, along with burger salad options, wings and sides. The wagyu beef Greg Norman Burger won “People’s Choice” at the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash competition three years in a row, from 2015-17. Black Tap’s signature CrazyShake™ milkshakes have reached worldwide acclaim with their whimsical and over-the-top decorations and flavours such as The Cotton Candy Shake and The Brooklyn Blackout Shake. Call 17 100-363.

T.G.I. Fridays From the very first outlet of T.G. I Fridays on Third Avenue in downtown New York, the American eatery has come a long way to become a name synonymous with great food and beverages packed with authentic American flavours. The menu offers a smart choice of steaks and ribs, accompanied with lip smacking sides and sauces. Succulent burgers and main course items vie for equal attention, as do pasta, seafood and Tex-Mex dishes. And of course, desserts and milkshakes at T.G.I.F are a must-try! Call 17 827-009. 28 July 2021

www.bahrainthismonth.com


Ric’s Kountry Kitchen One of the oldest and most-loved dining spots in Juffair, Ric’s Kountry Kitchen serves hearty American food that satisfies the senses and satiates the appetite. The restaurant has continued to woo guests with homemade tastes and fine ingredients, building a loyal fanbase over the years. With Yankee crowd pleasers like burritos, Southern style fried chicken and Cajun meatloaf served in generous portions and reasonable prices, no wonder this venue has stood the test of time on the island. Call 17 725-550.

Bennigans For the last two decades, Bennigans has wowed the crowds with the big, bold flavours of American cuisine, with a distinct Irish twist. With two branches conveniently located in Juffair and Amwaj, the outlet has earned a great reputation with locals and expats alike. From breakfast to lunch, dinner and everything in between, Bennigans has something for everyone. The venues have regular dining promotions and special offers that keep customers coming back for more, besides the delicious fare served. With show-stopper sandwiches, pub bites, prime burgers, thirstquenching coolers and much more, a meal at Bennigans is not to be missed. Call Juffair at 17 813-750 and Amwaj at 16 030-104/05.

The Cheesecake Factory An American icon, The Cheesecake Factory’s menu boasts over 250 selections made fresh from scratch daily, including Small Plates & Snacks, Appetizers, Pastas, Fish and Seafood, Steaks, Salads, Sandwiches and Pizzas. Guests can also choose from a lower-calorie SkinnyLicious™ Menu. The eatery is famous for its generous portions– but be sure to save room for dessert! Be spoilt for choice with a selection of over 30 legendary cheesecakes and speciality desserts like the Oreo® Dream Extreme Cheesecake, Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake, and Linda’s Fudge Cake. The Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake, which is topped with glazed fresh strawberries, has proved to be the most popular flavour for over 40 years. Call 17 110-600.

Black Angus Bahrain Located in Seef, Black Angus offers a unique ambience spread over two floors to complement some outstanding American fare. Diners can dig in to top-quality certified Angus Beef and other steak cuts, as well as a wide variety of scrumptious dishes, appetisers, signature mocktails and desserts. Other popular dishes include the Tomahawk steak, barbeque ribs, grills, Buffalo Wings and seafood. With its warm hospitality, and skilled team, the venue is a perfect setting for a spontaneous lunch, weeknight dinners, as well as an unforgettable experience that’s worthy of special occasions. Follow @blackangusbahrain on Instagram. www.bahrainthismonth.com

July 2021 29


The n i a r h a B

r e m Sum

! l y l a v u i J t s s i e f eturns th r

T

he 13th edition of the Bahrain Summer Festival will be held remotely in the month of July, stated the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA).

that will also serve as the platform for this year’s Nakhool Star talent competition, as well as music, arts and cooking workshops showcasing the cultures of several countries around the world. The slate of activities was revealed during a conference attended by BACA president Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Director General of Culture and Arts at BACA Her Excellency Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, as well as several foreign ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic organisations, festival partners and media members.

The full schedule of the Bahrain Summer Festival, which is set to run from July 1-31 as part of BACA’s larger year-long Pearling Path cultural programme, can be accessed on BACA’s website (culture.gov.bh). The public can stay up to date on all the latest happenings surrounding the festival via its dedicated social media channels (@Nakhoolbah), including broadcasts of all live events on YouTube.

More information on the festival can be found BACA’s website (www.culture.gov.bh) and social media channels (@NakhoolBah and @CultureBah).

Catering to all ages and interests, the festival’s events and activities range from stage plays and music concerts to workshops, cooking shows and other forms of entertainment, as well as the Nakhool Star talent competition. The festival will kick off on July 1 with Resto Maryam, a Lebanese stage play which will be shown throughout the month on the festival’s YouTube channel. Running alongside it will be a series of public competitions held every Monday and Thursday, as well as fun and educational activities and games, all of which can be accessed on BACA’s website. Other shows include a traditional Chinese music concert, and Tony Memmel and his Band, held in cooperation with the embassies of China and the United States, respectively.

This will be followed on July 18 by two shows held in cooperation with the Embassy of Palestine entitled ‘The Children of Our Neighbourhood’ and ‘The Wonders of Science’, and a concert organised by the Egyptian embassy entitled ‘Rehab Mutawa’ featuring the Bahrain Music Band. Local music is also strongly represented, with performances by Galali Folklore Band, Mohammed bin Faris Band and the Bahrain Police Band. As for workshops, the festival’s programme includes children’s short story writing classes


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