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Business a Business magazine for today’s entrepreneurS

sep / oct 2013 VOLUME-7 NO.10

in gulf

october / NOVEMBER 2013 / Vol-8 No:10

Jordan: JOD 3 - RiyalQatar:Riyal 20.00 - Oman:Riyal 2.00 - UAE:Dirhams 20.00 - Kuwait:KD 2 - Saudi Arabia:Riyal 20.00 - Bahrain:BD 2

Turkish Economist & University of Bahrain faculty, Dr. Bora Aktan shares his research & views on Bahrain’s Economy PUBLICATION

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Contents Business 42 in gulf

october / NOVEMBER 2013

Bahrain: A Remarkable & Resilient Economy

COVER STORY 42 Bahrain: A Remarkable & Resilient Economy Ace Turkish Economist & University of Bahrain faculty, Dr. Bora Aktan shares his research & views on Bahrain’s Economy. His current research activity focuses on emerging capital markets, global investments, particularly in real estate investment trusts, financial time-series analysis, volatility modeling-forecasting and energy issues.

FEATURE 50 Corporate Governance Practices in Bahrain Dr.S.Sankaramuthukumar & Mr. R. Satya Pavan Kumar do a case study on the telecommunication industry in the Kingdom and the corporate governance practices that are adopted by them. 6

october / NOVEMBER 2013


Corporate Governance Practices in Bahrain

Keeps pace with your mind. The New Flying Spur. Bentley Flying Spur fuel consumption in l/100 km: Urban 22.4; Extra Urban 10.2; Combined 14.7; CO2 Emissions (combined) 343 g/km. Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval. For more information visit #FlyingSpur


131 Shk. Salman Highway, Zinj 358, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain P.O. Box 26332, For information call +973 17 238822 / +973 17 238190 or visit

BENTLEY BAHRAIN Ahmed Zayani & Sons W.L.L.


The Luxury of Performance


MEPEC 2013 Held


Froyo With A Whirl


Shabby Chic


Final Destination







Mariam Abdul Rahim is an entrepreneur with more than two ventures to her name. She tells us about her journey with Purple Swirl.

Mepec 2013 had the slogan “Overcoming Future Challenges Through Engineering Excellence”. Under the patronage of HRH the Prime Minister, an exhibition was organized at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.

The 22nd edition of the Middle East’s premier jewellery and watch exhibition, Jewellery Arabia 2013, is set to take place from 19 to 23 November at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of HRH the Prime Minister of the Kingdom.



Sibos 2013 was organized at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. It brought together influential leaders from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners to do business and shape the future of the financial industry.

The Luxury of Performance

Froyo With A Whirl


Shabby Chic Nouf & Fajer Al Pachachi, had a tough time decorating their home. To solve that issue, they set up Pachachic. They tell how it has been.


Final Destination Mayssa Al Ghawas has been in the furniture and décor biz for quite a while. Her latest venture is Playworks. She tells us more. 8

october / NOVEMBER 2013

MEPEC 2013 Held

SIBOS 2013


BIG Autos


Hotel Outlet Guide

Your guide to the Kingdom’s hotel outlets for dining, shopping, nightlife and spa.

24915_Kempinski Saveur Lunch_BIG_HR.pdf



11:38 AM

It is a fact. The economy of our beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain is indeed on the fast track to recovery. Dr. Bora Aktan, leading Turkish Economist and University of Bahrain Faculty breaks it down for us and makes it easy to understand where Bahrain’s economy is headed. While the economy is booming, it is also important that we give back. Corporate Governance is key, and the Telecom companies in the country are involved in a number of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities. Do check out the case study by our contributors. And as always, we bring you inspirational stories of entrepreneurs, from fields as diverse as IT, gaming, food and interior decorating industry. The faith and commitment we see from them is simply phenomenal. They are truly the building blocks of Bahrain’s future. Do you know someone who has a compelling story to tell? An entrepreneur, who has realized his dream? Tell us, and we will feature them. You can reach out to us via social media. Until next time, Happy Reading! Dilraz Kunnummal

Deputy Editor




Business in gulf

Bahrain’s premier entreprenurial lifestyle magazine Publisher / Editor in Chief Sameer Uchi Managing Partner / Group Editor Mohd. A. Kayani Deputy Editor Dilraz Kunnummal EDITORIAL Coordinator Jakrapong Saengnuan SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Tarek Rashdan SALES & MARKETING manager Christelle Yaacoub Production Manager Sachan Chandran Graphic Designer Haroon Rasheed

Dr.Sankara Muthu Kumar Sadayan is a Senior Lecturer, Commercial Studies Division, Bahrain Training Institute, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain, Email: and Mr. Satya Kumar is a Lecturer, Commercial Studies Division, Bahrain Training Institute, Email:

Maria Sorger is the owner of redlemons consulting, providing smaller size companies and individually owned companies with outsourced marketing services. An MBA graduate, a global thinker, and a passionate branding advocate, Maria is a consummate professional with over 20 years of marketing experience working for multinational companies in B2B and B2C sectors.

Kelly Armatage Director of “Kelly Armatage Inc”. Coaching Sessions, Corporate Training, Self Development Seminars, Public Speaking and Meditation Classes.T: +973 17002320 / M: +973 39931399

Photographer Honey Sharma Distribution Controller Salah Abdulla Hassan

Please e-mail us any form of business, banking, financing, investments or entrepreneurial news. email us on:





website Address


Subscription enquires: +973 17402482 ext-143 (Mob: +973 36665633) Editorial: +973 17402482 ext-112/145 Advertising enquires: +973 17402482 ext-125 (Mob: +973 36977111) +973 17402483 Publisher: Group Editor: Advertising: Subscription: P.O. Box 108 Bldg. 428, Road 84, Block 407, Tashan, Shk. Salman Highway. Bahrain

NOVEMBER 2013 october / november

Annual Subscription to BIG; Bahrain BD15 ($40.000) GCC Subscription is BD25 ($66.000) for 1 year. Foreign Subscription is BD35 ($93.000) for 1 year. BIG is published 12 times a year. 3 easy ways to subscribe e-mail:  Online at  Call +973 17402482, Fax +973 17402483 

B.I.G is published monthly and is available in all Supermarkets and book stores across the GCC. If you cannot find our magazine in your area, please give us a call on Bahrain (973) 17 402-482 and we’ll tell you where you can get a copy. Remember to always ask for B.I.G. Licence no: CBIG 712 Copyright: 433\04 B.I.G Magazine all rights reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without our written permission. The content of this publication is the exclusive property of MAXMEDIA CO. W.L.L and must not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, MAXMEDIA CO. W.L.L and all its publications cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission.

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7/29/13 11:39 AM 7/29/13 11:39 AM



Question by: Lisa



"Most customers make decisions based on price and perceived value. When a competitor cuts prices, your competitive edge is to double the value of what you're offering in a way that is meaningful for your target customer. There are many ways to do this, including expediting delivery, offering additional payment plans, or simply improving your customer service experience." - Alexia Vernon | Communication and Leadership Author, Speaker, Coach, and Trainer, Alexia Vernon Empowerment LLC

"Sometimes having a competitor slash prices isn't always a bad thing. When you think about it, slashing prices (unless you're selling on crazy high volume like Wal-Mart) cuts a company's margins and makes it less flexible and less attractive to higher quality customers. Position yourself as the high quality option. Make it an "apples to oranges" comparison rather than you both trying to be apples." - Trevor Mauch | CEO (Chief Entrepreneurial Officer), Automize, LLC

RE-INVESTING YOUR PROFITS “Not lowering your prices means you maintain the profit margins to re-invest in your product or service. Convey to your customers that this is why they should continue to pay your price...because it’s invested into the superior quality of service that they have grown accustomed.” - Benjamin Leis | Founder, Sweat EquiTees

CRITICAL THINKING - OR JUST COMMON SENSE “Help you customers think about WHY the competitor would have had to make such a drastic change. Is their product or service that low of quality? What makes you think they’ll perform better than before, just because their prices are lower? Close their eyes on the dollar signs by helping them consider the contributing factors.” - Therese Kuster | Owner, TargetClick Marketing Solutions

APPEAL TO CUSTOMERS' NEEDS "Your competitor is under the impression that cost, not value, is the most important aspect of the transaction. You may lose some customers who want a cheaper service or product, but stick with the clients who care more about value. Understand what those clients want more than cheaper prices and give it to them in spades." - Kelly Azevedo | Founder, She's Got Systems



“Yes, your competitor has lower prices. But so what? You have a better brand, experience, community, service...the list goes on and on. So remember to remind your users about all of the incredible context you have created around them for their comfort and success, and reinforce that trust in YOU that will keep them from straying elsewhere.” - Caroline Ghosn | Co-Founder and CEO, The Levo League

“There will always be competitors looking to jump in, lower prices and take your customers away. What you can do to keep your customers is fully explain to them that they pay more to stay with you because you provide the best overall experience. That means the best quality and, equally as important, the best customer experience, however that translates to your niche.” - Justin Beegel | Founder, Infographic World, Inc.



“Zappos has proven that you don’t need to be the lowest cost provider to succeed- just compare their prices against other online retailers that are often 20-40 percent cheaper. By eliminating risk with their ridiculously customer-friendly refund and exchange policies, they’ve been able to build a billion dollar company—and you can too.” - Matt Mickiewicz | Co-Founder, Flippa and 99designs

“You know your product to be better, so why make consumers second guess it? If you’ the market leader,ignore the price points when pitching your product/service to others. Fill the page with customer testimonials, value over cost. Don’t give the consumer a reason to second guess your price point by comparing yourself to another brand.” - Jerry Piscitelli | Owner / Inventor, Portopong LLC

SHOW YOUR FACE “You don’t need to do anything other than show them that you are still there. People who lower their prices are almost always going to lower their service level. Use that to your advantage by providing a higher service value. Whatever you do, do NOT compete on price.” - Lucas Sommer | Founder CEO, Audimated

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.


october / november 2013

BahCon FGW Ad FA.pdf











2:22 PM


Saudi approves new pipeline Bahrain firm launches JV with China’s CPIC to feed Bahrain refinery

Bahrain: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have approved plans to lay a 350,000-barrel per day (bpd) oil pipeline between the two countries, with the link expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of 2016, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) said.The pipeline will replace an ageing 230,000 bpd link and will help Bapco expand its 267,000 bpd Sitra refinery to up to 460,000 bpd pf capacity. Crude oil will flow from Saudi Aramco’s

Abqaiq plant via the 115 km pipeline, 74 km of which will run overland and the rest under the Gulf, Bapco said. Bapco said it was working with Saudi Aramco to prepare for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract tender in the fourth quarter of 2013, with the contract expected to be awarded by the second quarter of 2014. Bahrain relies on output from the Abu Safa oilfield that it shares with Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain: A new joint venture agreement between Abahsain Fiberglass and CPIC China was signed at the Bahrain International Investment Park, a report said. Patronizing the

event, the Industry and Commerce Minister described last week’s visit by His Majesty King Hamad to China as “very successful” and expressed his confidence that as a result of the visit, Bahrain will become a hub for future Chinese investments in the Middle East.Dr Fakhro welcomed the new joint venture saying that by combining their strengths, the new partnership will become the leading player in the regional fibreglass market.

Consolidation ‘vital for Bahrain banking sector’

Bahrain to streamline SMEs procedures

BahraiN: Bahrain Industry

and Commerce ministry plans to streamline procedures and make it easy for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to operate in the kingdom, said a report. Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro confirmed continuous government support to small businesses at the 15th meeting of main committee to co-ordinate and integrate SMEs. Representatives from United Nations Organization for


october / NOVEMBER 2013

Industrial Development (Unido), InJAz, Ebdaa Bank, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Supreme Council of Women, Bahrain Businesswomen Society, Bahrain Businessmen’s Association, Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprises Society, Young Entrepreneurs Society, Supreme Council for Environment and Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry took part. They also discussed issues and developments related to SMEs sector. During the meeting, Jafcon Consulting Company gave a presentation about the project to develop the capacity of sub-contracting, said the report. The meeting also reviewed ways of boosting co-ordination among SME stakeholders and members of the main committee on coordinating and integrating effective partnerships and exchange information about upcoming projects and initiatives.

BahraiN: There is a major need for consolidation in Bahrain’s retail banking sector if it is to compete in regional markets. That was the message from Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) chairman Abdul Razak Al Qassim. Speaking at the BAB’s quarterly Press briefing, he said that while the presence of large number of small banks in Bahrain was good for competition, there was still a need for consolidation in the sector to face major challenges.

He said that Bahrain’s two largest local banks - BBK and NBB - were only in the top 40 to 50 in terms of size in the region, even if they merged they would still only create an entity that was on the top 25 to 30 entities. “Consolidation of the retail banking sector in Bahrain is an important issue for us to move forward and that is an issue that has to be addressed and one that has been emphasized by the governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain on a number of occasions,” he said.

Alba lab enters ‘Top 5’ global list Bahrain: Aluminium Bahrain’s (Alba), laboratory was judged to be within the top 5 position out of a list of 41 labs from different smelters around the world, according to the report of ‘Baked Anode Round Robin 2012-13’ conducted by R&D Carbon, Switzerland. The report was finalized after analysing a test sample of baked anode sent from R&D Carbon to over 41 laboratories around the world, said a statement from Alba. Some of the parameters used for the test were: apparent

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density, electrical resistance, thermal conductivity, crystalline size and others. The analysis accuracy in comparison to R&D Carbon laboratory was 99 per cent, the statement added.


Arcapita Builds Asset Management Firm BahraiN: Bahrain-based

Arcapita is aiming to build a new asset management firm with a debut local deal in the logistics, education or healthcare sector as the company recovers from the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy process undertaken by a Gulf Arab entity. The Islamic investment firm emerged from Chapter 11 on September 17 after seeking court protection in March 2012 under hedge fund pressure ahead of the repayment of a $1.1 billion Islamic loan. Under the court-approved restructuring plan, Arcapita is to be split into two entities: one which will hold the existing company assets as they are sold down to pay creditors, with a second in charge of the process’ management. It is the latter which is hoping to rebuild itself going forward, said Atif Abdulmalik, chief executive of Arcapita,

with the entity aiming to raise $100 million of new equity from original Arcapita investors by January to help fund dealmaking. “Our name still carries credibility and integrity as we kept on facing our investors and shareholders even during the darkest days of Chapter 11, telling them that what happened has happened but we’re not going to let you lose here,” Abdulmalik told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. “The interest is there, from the same old board members and investors. They’re interested to roll the dice again.” Abdulmalik said it was looking for investments that would yield in the region of 8 percent, although this would depend on the transaction, with logistics, education or healthcare the likely areas from which a first deal would emerge.

Bahrain to Sign FTAs Bahrain: BAHRAIN,

as a part of the GCC, is set to sign collective free trade agreements (FTAs) with several countries and economic blocs. They will create new job opportunities, widen the country’s economic base and encourage foreign investment. The agreements will be signed with Japan, the European Union (EU), Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), South Korea, China, India, Turkey, Russia and Australia. A report on the outcome of


negotiations relating to the agreements was discussed in the Cabinet at its weekly session at the Gudaibiya Palace. “Negotiations have been excellent and have reached their goal and soon Bahrain, alongside GCC countries, will be signing FTAs with several economic blocks and friendly countries,” said Minister of State for Information Affairs and government’s official spokeswoman Sameera Rajab during a Press conference following the session.

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Sharaf DG opens new outlet in Bahrain BahraiN: Leading regional

retailer Sharaf DG opened its third outlet in Bahrain. The 11,000 sqft store located within the Ramli Mall in A’Ali is positioned to attract the more than 50,000 residents of A’Ali and Isa Town catchment area. “While our sales have not grown as the market sentiment has been negative, we have fared reasonably and are optimistic about a pick-up,” said managing director Yasser Sharaf. “Bahrain is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The residents in Bahrain and the increased flow of tourists into Bahrain make it a very attractive market for Sharaf DG. We are very fortunate to have been welcomed into Bahrain five years back and have had a strong growth in terms of market share,” he said.

“As part of our retail expansion strategy we wanted to be closer to our customers. This store in Ramli Mall addresses an untapped market and provides convenience of location to one of the fast growing areas in Bahrain. Along with our award winning world class service levels, we bring to A’Ali a wide range of electronic products across categories, from top brands in the world, at the best price that Sharaf DG is famous for!” Speaking about the offerings that differentiate Sharaf DG from other retailers, Sharaf said: “Apart from the widest choice, best value and trusted service, Sharaf DG is known for its 24-hour Brand Promise, DG Help, Extended Warranty, DG Remote and DG Data Recovery.

Insulin Factory To Be built in Bahrain BahraiN: Construction

work for a new insulin factory in Bahrain will soon get underway, it has emerged. Being built by Gulf Biotech Company at an investment of $93 million, the plant will come up on a 16,000 sqm site in Salman Industrial City, the company’s chief executive Dr Riyadh Al Ashban said in a statement.“The plant is expected to start operations

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by mid-2015 with an initial production capacity of 42m units. “We expect to create around 250 jobs for Bahrainis and Saudis,” he said. The project will be backed by an alliance involving global multinationals Merck, Helm and Linde. The products will match American and European specifications, he said.


Top Bahrain firms sign major China deals Bahrain: Kuwait Finance

House - Bahrain (KFHB) and Diyar Al Muharraq, the biggest private urban development project in the kingdom, have announced the signing of agreements with a number of major Chinese companies. The agreements were signed during His Majesty King Hamad’s visit to the Asian country. Senior officials from the two companies were a part of the high-powered business delegation that went with the King. “The visit has opened up the potential for new economic opportunities for Bahraini companies that will help them grow further and contribute to sustainable economic development,” said KFHBahrain managing director and chief executive Abdulhakeem

Alkhayyat, who’s also chairman of Diyar Al Muharraq. “It has also created connections between the private sectors of the two countries which will hopefully be transformed into new joint ventures.” Menatelecom, an investment subsidiary of KFHB, is exploring new prospects and opportunities to extend the scope of its strategic partnership with Chinese firm Huawei. Alkhayyat and KFHB head of project development Osama Al Khaja met senior executives from Huawei during the Chinese-Bahraini Business Forum.

Bahrain launches more flexible work permits Bahrain: Bahrain’s Labor

Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has announced more flexible durations for work permits in accordance with a new resolution issued by Labor Minister and LMRA Board chairman Jameel Humaidan. The LMRA said it has adopted a new system that gives employers the

big -tionary Describing business terminology


benefit of applying for work permits with a duration of one year, instead of the regular two years, at half the price - with the choice to renew it for another six months or one year for the associated cost. The regular two-year visas will continue to be issued and renewed as normal.


Degree and type of relationship between any two or more quantities(variables) in which they vary together over a period; for example, variation in the level of expenditure or savings with variation in the level of income.

october / NOVEMBER 2013

Bahrain Among Top Economically Free Countries Bahrain: Bahrain is among

the top 10 economically free countries in the world, says a leading think tank. This is the second consecutive year the kingdom has ranked in the top 10. Bahrain, with an overall score of 7.93 of 10, has been named eighth in the rankings by Canada’s Fraser Institute. The UAE (8.7) and Bahrain led rankings in the GCC, followed by Qatar (7.62), Oman (7.31), Kuwait (7.22) and Saudi Arabia (7.14). “Bahrain’s ranking in the top ten freest economies in the world for the second year running is a testament to more than a decade of

economic reforms that have been undertaken to improve prosperity in the kingdom,” Transportation Minister and Economic Development Board acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed said. The other top 10 nations are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mauritius, Finland, Canada and Australia. Other recent reports have also highlighted Bahrain’s economic strengths. Earlier this year, Bahrain was ranked first in the Middle East and 12th place worldwide in the 2013 Wall Street Journal / Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index.

Bahrain diesel ‘fifth cheapest’ in the world

Bahrain: Bahrain has the fifth cheapest diesel in the world, while Venezuela has the cheapest at six fils ($0.015) per litre followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to a new report.

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Bahrain’s price of 60 fils per litre makes it the fifth cheapest place to buy diesel, according to research commissioned by UK car parking provider and financial website This is Money. Qatar was seventh on the list with diesel prices of 90 fils per litre. While Middle Eastern countries dominated the top of the list for cheap diesel, nine of the 10 most expensive countries were in Europe.


Seef Mall announces its new look Seef Mall celebrated its new revamped image with a 5 day fun filled family-friendly celebration that ran from October 9th to 13th . Robert Addison, General Manager of Seef Properties commented, “We are presenting a new look but remaining true to our core values of family and convenience that have made us Bahrain’s favorite mall.” The festivities planned for the launch of the new logo are as full of fun and friendly energy as our new logo depicts. Among the many activities planned, the mall management has set up the Kingdom’s firstever interactive Digital Graffiti Wall.

BFC launches 36th branch in Bahrain Bahrain Financing Company (BFC), a leading money transfer and foreign exchange firm, has announced the launch of its 36th branch in the kingdom. Catering to the highly populated expat community in Saar, the branch is located in Saar Mall, close to St Christopher’s Junior School. The sixth branch to be opened this year and 36th overall, it is conveniently located to meet the foreign exchange and remittance needs of parents and teachers living and working in the area, as well as the many commuters to Saudi Arabia who choose to live in this area.

GUCCI In New Bahrain Investment

BAHRAIN: Gucci, one of the

world’s leading luxury fashion brands, announced its direct entry into the Bahrain market, through the signing of a joint venture with the local partner Taleela Co. W.L.L., reinforcing their strong commitment to the development of the Gucci business in Bahrain.As a result of a multi-year franchise relationship with Taleela Co. W.L.L., Gucci currently has one store in the Moda Mall (Bahrain

october / NOVEMBER 2013

all around the world move in to establish themselves in the minds of Gulf shoppers. The signing ceremony took place at the EDB office and was attended by Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transport and Acting Chief Executive, the EDB, Abdul Jalil Abdulkarim Ahmed Al Ansari and Ahmed Abdul Karim Ahmed Al Ansari of Taleela Co. W.L.L along with a number of other representatives from Gucci, Taleela & the EDB.

LuLu International Exchange Launches operations in Bahrain BAHRAIN: LuLu International Exchange B.S.C (c), a wholly licensed subsidiary of the UAE based LuLu International Exchange, inaugurated its operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain by opening

big -tionary Describing business terminology


World Trade Centre), which opened in 2009. The first Gucci store in Bahrain was opened in 1989 at the Sheraton complex, from where it was relocated. Luxury brands have been expanding rapidly in the GCC as they look to access the $1.5 trillion Gulf market and growing mass-affluent Gulf population. The increasing purchasing power of Gulf residents, driven by consistent economic growth, has seen luxury brands from

its first branch in LuLu Hypermarket at Hidd. The company is a JV between AKA S.P.C, Bahrain and LuLu International Exchange L.L.C., UAE. His Excellency Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, the Governor of Central Bank of Bahrain inaugurated the first branch of the company. Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu International Exchange and Managing Director of Lulu Group has stated they were committed to serving their clients in the best way possible.


Unwritten rules or guidelines that are peculiar to every culture ororganization, and are supposed to be observed by all parties in the conduct of business, entertaining, negotiating, politics, etc.

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Opens in China QELA Launches VIP Reception CPC KSA: Qatar: Qatar’s first home-

grown global fashion brand, QELA, has been launched at a VIP reception in Doha where its debut boutique has opened. The brand, the latest project for Qatar Luxury Group (QLG), offers a superior level of services with one-off pieces and unique creations made to client order. the company said in a statement. Characterised by classic lines and understated Arab influences, QELA is designed for women with a sense of modesty who value the quality of fine craftsmanship and precious materials, it added. Qatar Luxury Group said QELA’s business aim was to develop as an international fashion brand.

It said it has hired a team of talented designers and skilled craftsmen from all over the world to conceive and create QELA’s ranges of leather goods, shoes, jewellery and made-tomeasure women’s couture. “QELA is the beginning of an exciting journey,” said Haya bint Khalifa Al Nassr, QLG’s managing director and vice chairperson of the board of directors. “It is Qatar’s first home-grown global fashion brand, international in style with understated Arab influences. We have brought together talented young designers and the world’s finest craftsmen to create modern elegance with a sense of modesty and intimacy.”

Saudi-based Construction Products Holding Company (CPC) has opened its first factory in China producing quality marble with an investment of $15m. The company said the factory was part of its expansion plans in a major emerging market and will deliver its innovative building technologies more quickly to the growing number of customers based in China, Saudi Arabia and the GCC region. The new factory is expected to produce 400,000 sq m of interior/ exterior flooring, wall panels and interior decorations, it added in a statement. Walid Samaha, CPC’s chief operating officer, said: “China is an important market for CPC and we have a long-term commitment and strategic interest in this market. It will also enable our industrial marble business to expand and leverage its global

reach, and win market share in emerging markets.” He added: “This move is part of the company’s ongoing programme to consolidate and optimise its global production network and we chose China because of positive investment environments, availability of the raw materials sources and the efficiency of the industry park infrastructure.” Riad Kiwan, chief operating officer of CPC International, added: “The inauguration of the GNMT Factory is an important milestone for us and our customers. The new factory will enable the company in implementation of its projects domestically and internationally.” Fifty percent of the production of the new factory will be allocated for domestic consumption in China, and 50 percent for export to Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries, he said.

Just Falafel Set for IPO UAE: Just Falafel, a UAE-based

franchise restaurant offering the traditional Arab food, has hired an advisor to help arrange an initial public offer of shares on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse as soon as October, sources said. The plan suggests IPO activity in Dubai is resuming after a gap of more than four years caused by the global financial crisis and the emirate’s 2009-2010 property market crash.Bank of London and The


october / NOVEMBER 2013

Middle East, Britain’s largest stand-alone Islamic bank, said it planned to seek a listing on Nasdaq Dubai next month; the most recent listing on either of Dubai’s stock two markets occurred in early 2009, when construction firm Drake & Scull listed. The sources, who are aware of Just Falafel’s plan, declined to be named because the matter is not yet public. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

Mixed Response to New Family Visa Rule OMAN: A recent rule restricting expatriates earning a monthly income of less than 600 Omani riyals from acquiring family visas has evoked a mixed response. Some small and medium enterprises (SME) are worried about affordable manpower supply. In an effort to create more job opportunities for the nationals, the Omani government has changed visa regulations, under which only those expatriates earning more than 600 riyals per month will be eligible to bring their wives and children below the age of 21 on ‘family joining visa’. Those on family visas will not be permitted to

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take up employment. The new rule, however, is not applicable for dependents already in the country on family visas. The minimum monthly salary previously was 300 riyals to be eligible for obtaining family visas. “There are a few pros and cons to this, it will impact SMEs as well as the large corporates,” Omani entrepreneur Qais Al Khonji told Gulf News. Talking about the positive impact of the decision, he agreed that the move will create more jobs for Omanis. “We may see some expatriates leaving their jobs as they cannot get their families here,” he said.


THE WEC 6 HOURS OF BAHRAIN Bahrain :Buckle up for an unforgettable weekend of

endurance racing, and exciting family fun when the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Bahrain rolls into town this November. Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East,” is playing host to the international championship for the second straight year, and will give motorsport fans from around the region a chance to enjoy some spectacular endurance action live and up close. When the championship debuted last year, Bahrain made history when it was named the only Middle East race on the calendar. Fans flocked in numbers to the 2012 6 Hours of Bahrain - the sixth round of the championship. This year, in addition to once again being the only Middle East round, the 6 Hours of Bahrain is the WEC’s eighth round and its grand finale, giving fans a tantalising prospect as they predict who will be crowned champions for 2013. Emphatic performances by both Audi squads at last year’s 6 Hours of Bahrain saw the German team secure a 1-2 on the LMP1 podium, while Strakka Racing managed a third-place finish. There was action aplenty in the LMP2 class as well, with victory ultimately going to Pecom Racing, who put forward a convincing performance to see off threats from second placers Signatech Nissan and Starworks Motorsports who came in third. The world’s premiere endurance racers, including former Formula 1 drivers Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson, will feature in a busy grid of nearly 30 cars to compete on November 29 and 30. As is the case in Formula One racing, endurance racing requires the use of specialised vehicles that have been meticulously built to specified standards. WEC racing takes place across 4 classes the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), the Le Mans Grand Touring Experience – Professional (LMGTE Pro), and the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance – Amateur (LMGTE Am), where each class requires specific technical configurations, which in turn makes the races more exciting to watch. Endurance racing isn’t the only motorsport activity lined up during BIC’s WEC weekend. Fans will have the chance to enjoy a spectrum of high-octane support races over the two days, including the opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, the MRF Challenge and BIC’s own BIC 2,000cc Challenge. The endurance


october / NOVEMBER 2013

spectacle itself will kick off at 3pm on race day and continue after sunset, presenting a day and night racing event that should not be missed. As is always the case with BIC’s top events, a roster of colourful entertainment will also take place off-track including several familyfriendly acts and a number of fun carnival games and activities. A number of exciting local bands will take to the stage, performing live at different times throughout the weekend. Children will love the magicians, face painters, bouncy castles, rides and other fun-filled happenings that the weekend promises. Whether it’s true motorsport fans or people who would like to enjoy the buzz of an exciting weekend out, the 6 Hours of Bahrain has everyone covered. Tickets cost BD20 for adults and BD10 for children aged from three to 12 years old, while children aged up to three will enter for free. To enjoy an elevated viewing experience, topped off with premium world-class hospitality, BIC’s exclusive Le Mans Spirit Club is the best choice. Tickets to the club cost BD200 for the two days. Buy your tickets today using BIC’s newly launched online ticketing system located at BIC’s official website, and also through BIC’s official Facebook page. To learn more about the 6 Hours of Bahrain call the BIC hotline on 17450000.

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New Concept Unveiled at Plums

BAHRAIN: The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa organized an event at their steak house Plums to introduce their new menu, and activities. The management explained the changes made and the chefs introduced the new concepts.

FASHION CAPITALS OF THE WORLD BAHRAIN: Moda Mall, Bahrain’s ultra-modern shopping destination in collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, has announced the launch of its magnificent MODA Mall Fashion Festival 2013. The two-week high-fashion event will transform MODA Mall into an international fashion hub featuring the latest Autumn/ Winter 2013 trends from the key fashion cities of London, New York, Paris and Milan. The inauguration ceremony was attended by leading fashion trendsetters, Huda

and Mona Kattan along with Veronica Kemsky, leading international fashion illustrator and Sally Mathews, Fashion Director at Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, members of the press and a large number of the trendy fashionistas. This high-end Festival provides fashion conscious shoppers and trendy visitors a unique experience in beauty, style and creativity in its highest form. The highlight of the grand opening ceremony was the inauguration of the Fashion Capitals of the World by the Kattan sisters.

The City of Light BAHRAIN: Massimo Dutti brought the city of light to Bahrain, hosting its ‘Night in Paris’ event at the distinguished Capital Club. The exclusive event revolved around the Spanish couture house’s latest FW 2013/2014 collection, inspired by the beautiful city’s autumnal colors, cold winter, and the different urban groups depicted in the neighborhoods, streets and squares with their endemic identity. From the moment they walked in, guests felt like they were in the heart of France, as Bahrain’s Capital Club was transformed into a typical Parisian street, with performers and artists spread across the venue, giving the event a real Parisian feel. Mannequins were also decked in styles that characterize Massimo Dutti’s inspiration for its latest sophisticated collection. The event delivered a breath of fresh air, with a live jazz band and live portrait drawing station keeping guests entertained. In addition to the French-inspired beverages and fingerfoods, guests took memorable photos in the instant photo-booth using French-themed props.


october / NOVEMBER 2013

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Attention BIG readers email us your new s at,



global leader and technology innovator in the electronics brand, in association with AJM Kooheji Group BSC (c) launched a new showroom in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This new showroom is an endeavour of LG to bring its consumers closer to the brand and its environs. The new showroom is located in Muharraq and is in the heart of the market place. With the addition of this new LG showroom the total number of showrooms in the country increases to four. This new LG Electronics showroom will stock all categories of LG innovative products, ranging from Home Electronics & Entertainment, Home Appliances, Air Conditioning, IT products & all kind of LG accessories.

French Wine Week Organized

BAHRAIN: Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa celebrated the inauguration of its “French Wine Week� which was celebrated in unison throughout all 120 Sofitels worldwide. The event, hosted in the Tapas Restaurant & Bar was a pleasant evening of French Culture complemented by a fine selection of 15 wines and of course a fine selection of French cheese. In attendance were VIPs including H.E Mr. Christian Testot, The French Ambassador and H.E Mr. Alberto Vecchi, The Italian Ambassador along with invited members of the Bahrain & international media. The French wine week presented guests with a week entirely dedicated to French wines, celebrating the harvest which traditionally takes place in the northern hemisphere during the month of September. The restaurants at Sofitel Bahrian served more than 15 variations of French wines during the week including Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Languedoc, Loire, Rhone and many more.

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october / NOVEMBER 2013



Pachachic Store Launched

BAHRAIN: Sisters, Nouf and Fajer Al Pachachi have opened the first store of Pachachic, their dream venture at the Riyadat Mall. The only spot for shabby chic furniture and home ware, the opening of the store saw a massive turnout.

Amina Gallery Opened BAHRAIN: Entrepreneur and artist, Amin Al Abbasi launched her gallery at he Riyadat Mall. The artist, who has diversified into more than just paintings, believes that hers is modern art with a traditional touch. Her products include canvasses, bags, side tables and more. A number of invited guests including dignitaries, bloggers and media attended the event.

BizLadies Bahrain starts new season

BAHRAIN: Bizladies Bahrain organized a special event at the Movenpick Hotel. They were addressed by Mrs Bridget Lindsey, HE the British Ambassador’s wife, This event launched Bizladies season of debates, presentations and workshops aimed at authentic, reciprocal networking for senior business ladies, entrepreneurs and business owners and boasts chapters in Vienna, New York and Munich to name a few. President of Bizladies GCC, Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy commented that “Not only were the ladies provided with a display of exemplary presentation skills, we were also entertained with interesting and humorous stories of Bridget’s role, her identity, interests and career in its own right, as well as the more serious side of her commitments…”. Also present were Mrs. Mala Kumar, HE the Indian Ambassador’s Wife and Mrs Bonnie Krajeski, HE the American Ambassador’s Wife.


october / NOVEMBER 2013

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Breakdown of news and numbers from around the globe


Middle East carriers are expected to post profits of $1.6 billion this year, marginally ahead of the $1.5 billion previously forecast, an Iata report said.


US$1.6 Bn



Apple sold a higher thanexpected nine million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in the first three days following their launch, prompting the company to issue a more optimistic financial forecast.


Bahrain’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.3 per cent at constant prices and 8.5 per cent at current prices, according to a national accounts report for the second quarter of this year.

BD 150Mn Bahrain has attracted an investment totaling BD150 million ($394 million) in the kingdom’s hotel sector this year, said a senior official.

11% 102 bn

The Middle East paper consumption reached 20 million tons in 2012, compared with 18 million tons in 2010, marking an increase of 11 per cent, according to recent statistics.

Mobile app stores will see annual downloads reach 102 billion in 2013, up from 64 billion in 2012, according to research firm Gartner.


Smartphone maker BlackBerry has agreed to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by its biggest shareholder, allowing the on-the-go email pioneer to regroup away from public scrutiny after years of falling fortunes and slumping market share.

October / November 2013


FRoyo with a whirl The Story of Purple Swirl 30

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ariam Abdul Rahim is an entrepreneur with more than two ventures to her name. Hoping to tap into a different market than beauty, she decided to give a go in the food industry and set up Purple Swirl. She tells us her story.

What made you launch Purple Swirl?

As an entrepreneur, I had already launched a successful salon and spa. After that, I was looking into a different avenue and ventured into the food industry. I wanted to tap into frozen yogurt market; it is booming in the rest of the world and there is always a high demand for it, from health conscious people. While studying the market, I realized Bahrain had not been saturated with this type of FnB, and that’s why we decided to launch Purple Swirl.

You have a total of four branches now. Can you tell us about your journey from day one till today?

Prior to starting Purple Swirl, we spent nearly two years doing thorough research on the product, the machinery used and the frozen yogurt industry at large. We visited many countries and attended trade fairs and seminars to understand the best options available in the market. When we started our first outlet at the Al Aali Mall, political turmoil hit Bahrain and our business suffered a lot. But we were patient; we started perfecting our brand through trial and error. People received our product very well and

because of their positive feedback and increased demand, we were compelled to open in Amwaj, Riffa and Saar. Due to the request from our regulars, we have also started doing outdoor events and caterings. So far, it has been a very challenging and soul satisfying journey.

What sets Purple Swirl apart from other frozen yoghurt companies in the Kingdom?

Purple Swirl Cafe is at the number one position in an ongoing poll on Bahrain Menu Website ahead of International brands like Pinkberry and TCBY. I am proud to say that one of the things that differentiate Purple Swirl Cafe is that it is created in Bahrain unlike the others, which are imported brands. The second main reason behind Purple Swirl Cafe’s popularity is the flavors, which are available at the café, which have been very well received by the GCC residents, as it is healthy and tasty. Our staff is also extremely friendly, attentive and provides personal service. Another unique experience you can have at Purple Swirl is the concept of self-serve, weigh and pay. This has given our guests a freedom to choose as many flavors, toppings and quantity. I believe we are competitively priced and give more value for money than our competitors. We are also the only one having a catering module in Bahrain.

Do you have any prior experience in the food biz or did you learn ‘on the job’?

No, when we started out in this particular line, we were newbies, with no prior experience. But it helped a lot a lot that we didn’t dive head first into it. We didn’t rush with the idea. We spent the better part of two years preparing for it, studying and researching. And even after we launched, we did a lot of trial and error. It is a continuous and ongoing learning process.

What are the main challenges you faced in running this particular business?

It is a competitive market. Frozen yogurt joints are creeping up on every corner. Our main challenge is to maintain the higher standards in the market at a very competitive price.

What has been the most exciting moment so far, as the owner of Purple Swirl? The recognition is great. But more importantly, the appreciation from my customers have made it all worthwhile.

A number of entrepreneurs choose to start in Bahrain’s Food Industry. Why do you think it is so?

Bahrain has a very vibrant food industry, with a number of ideas and outlets coming up every day. It is an area that entrepreneurs are not very afraid of. I guess the chances of success seem higher in this biz. It could possibly be because of the human instinct of love towards food. Especially in this region, we love to experiment and try out new kinds of food. And that definitely helps the entrepreneur.

Which, among those available at Purple Swirl is your favorite flavor?

Undoubtedly, it has to be the Taro. More than just being my personal favorite, it is our star flavor, and a lot of customers come for us asking for it.

Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

When you have decided to take a plunge, I suggest that you don’t rush into it. Do a thorough study of the product, your competition and the market. And when you are into it, sincerely dedicate all you time and energy towards building the dream. Take feedback from your consumers and use it as a tool to perfect your brand. Build a good experienced team to carry your work ahead.

What is in store for the future for Purple Swirl?

We are currently working n building a delivery module throughout Bahrain. We have plans to open more stores throughout Bahrain. We also hope to put our product on the shelves of supermarkets and to move to neighboring countries and expand in those regions.

october / november 2013


SHABBY CHIC The Latest in Interior Decorating 32

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or sisters, Nouf & Fajer Al Pachachi, decorating their home proved to be a task, because they couldn’t find what they were looking for in the country. They decided to solve their own issue, and help others in the process by setting up Bahrain’s first shabby chic outlet, Pachachic, selling furniture and other home decorating products. They share their journey so far.

First of all, tell us about yourself.

Nouf: We are two passionate designers, experienced event planners, avid admirers of unique furniture & accessories and, all in all, proud entrepreneurs with a vision to offer high-quality, affordable products and services to the market, as well as promote and nurture fellow national business woman who share the same drive as us.

What is Pachachic?

Fajer: ‘Pachachic’ is a one-stop shabby chic store offering unique and affordable shabby chic, vintage style home accessories and furniture to compliment any home. We also offer event rentals and services – turning people’s ideas into reality.

Why did you get into this particular line? What inspired you to start your own business? Nouf: From first-hand experience. When I began to furnish my place, I couldn’t find an extensive range of shabby-chic furniture or accessories to adorn my home. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands – I explored online and during my travels and ended up with great finds at reasonable prices. I also had a few ideas of my own so found a carpenter I trusted to create unique furniture and accessories of our own; cue Pachachic.

What makes it unique?

Fajer: ‘Shabby Chic’ is a style that is widely popular in Europe and the United States and has quickly picked up as a popular furniture style in the Middle East. The term encompasses the decor you might expect to find in a tastefully decorated country- cabin or cottage. Many shabby-chic themes center around the use of shades of white. This is invariably combined with soft dreamy floral-patterns, wonderful pastel blues, greens, creamy peach, and delicate pinks. The concept provides that additional love and warmth to a house to make it a ‘home’. As popular as it may be, this particular style is very hard to come by on the Island. It didn’t take long to realise that there was no dedicated shop focusing on shabby-chic furniture and accessories in Bahrain. Everything was scattered and came with inflated price tags. It was during this time when we realized there was an opportunity to cater to an audience with similar interests and requirements as ours. Currently, people travel abroad to find these unique home furniture pieces and accessories so why not offer the community the same products at reasonable prices?

Do you have any background in interior decorating/ furniture designing?

Nouf: Having been brought up in a house of artists and designers has rubbed off on us. My mother being a respected interior designer will also be vital in advising and directing the overall vision of our interior design and event services.

How do you source your products?

Fajer: We have established relationships with many suppliers in Europe to source unique home furniture and accessories whilst also designing and creating one-off

home furniture items regionally. To date, we have also secured retailer rights for many beautiful international brands, one of them being the popular Netherlands-based porcelain brand, Pip Studio – PIP’s style uses a mix and match concept with layered patterns and has a sharp eye for tiny details and special finishing touches and also become a reseller for Royal Albert, a Fine China brand that has been around for over a 100 years - truly beautiful products. It allows people to mix their old and new collections, creating their own unique table setting, as a product is never ‘stand alone’, but always an element in a broader concept. In addition to this glamorous brand, we are extremely excited to announce many other reputable brands that we will be showcasing in our store – we hope you are as excited as we are, so stay tuned for the surprise!

How has the response been so far? Nouf: We have received extremely positive feedback from the market – we held a prelaunch event in March to introduce our brand and concept and the feedback we received was tremendous. People are looking for new unique items at affordable prices and hopefully our products have helped accent their home.

How would you describe your style?

Fajer: Many of our products have been carefully handpicked to make sure we offer an array of items that suit to a wealth of tastes and styles. Mostly our products look vintage, many with floral and pastel accents. All in all, our pieces look like they’ve been transported directly out of a warm European cottage in the countryside!

What has been the most exciting aspect?

Nouf: I think the most exciting aspect was watching this idea become a reality. What started off as a small family discussion turned into a race to open the doors to our dream store.

It is exciting to witness the concept from idea generation till the actual opening – the support and motivation to move forward by family and friends was tremendous.

What has been the most difficult hurdle to cross?

Nouf: To be honest, our biggest challenge was finding a suitable location to open our store. Fortunately for us, an opportunity presented itself when we came across the new development in Aali, which supports female entrepreneurs.

How can people find out more about you? Fajer: We have just opened the doors to our store and we are also active on social media including instagram, twitter and Facebook (@ pachachic). We are also working on the creation of our website to enhance our customer’s experience and hopefully provide a platform so we may expand our product offering to neighboring countries - so please stay tuned.

Where will see you in, say, 5years?

Nouf: Hopefully a regional brand for shabby chic home furniture and accessories. Once established in Bahrain we will work on expanding our reach to neighboring countries.

october / november 2013


FINAL DESTINATION Playworks Builds A Place To Call Your Own 34

october / november 2013



ayssa Al Ghawas has been in the furniture and décor biz for quite a while. She started out concentrating on designing kids rooms, but her clients realized her potential and pushed her to test the waters. Armed with the confidence of her clients and her own talent, she launched Playworks. She tells us more.

Why did you set up PlayWorks?

I had previously founded a company that specializes in designing kids furniture and décor. After a while, I started receiving requests to personalize rooms for young adults, salons, offices, exhibition stands, etc. I think my clients saw that I also reflect their personalities in their spaces, so I took on projects that interest me, that allows me to create a place where they belonged for my clients. That is when I came up with the concept of PlayWorks, personal spaces for work and play.

What does Playworks specialize in? PlayWorks focuses on personalizing spaces, designing and customizing furniture Pieces and décor tailored to the clients’ personalities, and fit to their needs whether young or old.

How has the start up journey been so far?

It’s been great! Our Kingdom has made it very easy for Bahraini women and entrepreneurs in general, to start their own business. From applying for a CR, to getting funded by banks that support startups like Ibdaa, and the help you get from Tamkeen to start your business. In Bahrain, the startup journey is definitely a journey you don’t take alone. I’m truly grateful to those who were happy to help me achieve it.

Do you have any background experience/education in furniture design? I have an experience of 6 years in designing furniture and décor; I was specialized in designing for youth and manufacturing and finalizing the rooms from beginning to end. As for my education I’m proud to say I’m self taught, and that my client’s satisfaction is the certificate that matter’s the most to me. I’m also a certified Associate in 3Ds Max and Auto Cad, and never tire from learning something new in the field of Interior design. I also have a Bachelors Degree in Business Information System.

What are your main influences?

The client’s wants, needs, and personality. I try to compliment it, enhance it, and bring out the best in it. Studies show that our environment can be therapeutic if designed right for us; I want to design a space that allows my clients to prosper and grow. I have mothers calling me noting changes in their kid’s behavior after I designed their room for them, a kid who was suffering from a broken home did a lot better

after he got a room that made him feel his parents’ love for him; older clients reported to me, a year after I had completed their rooms, that they still come back to their rooms after a long day of work and feel they are home, they wake up to a room that inspires them to achieve their dreams and be who they are. Those are my main influences when I design.

What has been the most exciting moment so far?

There is nothing more exciting than the feeling of achievement, choosing a company’s name, seeing the design, logo and stationary getting done, every day getting closer to being a real company. But I distinctively remember a moment when my first client and her kids liked the room I designed for them and the quality so much that she commissioned me to do another room for her straight away. And it was also quite a thrill when I first started receiving requests from abroad like the USA, Dubai, Riyadh, London and South Africa.

What are the main challenges you face? I design customized furniture and pieces, so I need suppliers that can manufacture them for me. The lack of skilled suppliers is my greatest challenge. It limits the creativity and design.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

More than just about talent, it is about how you can manage running a business. Ask your self if you’re up for it? If you can handle and manage stress well, then go for it. My other advice is if you decide to go ahead and start your own business, don’t start BIG! Start small, test the market, get feedbacks, go back to the drawing board and enhance your product or service.

What plans for the future?

I would love to start a kid’s center that teaches the kids life skills, the things they are not taught in school, how to be a better person, how to give back to the community, how to deal with problems and issues, and host a collection of all the talented entrepreneurs specialized in child care, education, health and care in one area, its like a hub for kid’s after school activities, a summer camp but is also place where they can learn young how to live right. october / november 2013


Going Organic Ali’s Mission To Change Lives 36

october / november 2013



rganics Food & Café is the only store in the Kingdom which specializes in organic products and it is also one of the largest such stores in the region. Ali Al Khalifa set it up to make a positive change in people’s lives. He tells us his story.

What inspired you to set up Organics Food & Cafe?

I had lost way too many people to cancer. The most prominent cause of cancer in Bahrain is the food we eat. Bahrainis pump an incredibly astounding amount of chemicals through our body as it is completely legal to sell things here that are banned everywhere else in the world.

Can you tell us about your start up journey?

I studied economics in university – nothing to do with the food & beverage industry. After serving my time in investment projects, I decided I needed to do something that is worthwhile; hence the idea of opening an organic supermarket in Bahrain. Luckily, I had just met Nils, who guided me, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Are all items in the store organic?

Our shop is 95% organic. We have a few non-organic products for when an organic alternative is not available, such as fish products; they usually cannot be organic since they are not grown in controlled environments. Specialty foods for diabetics or celiacs are not always available organic. Also, soy products were all classified as non-organic a few years ago due to cross-contamination, but some were finally awarded organic status again this year. We support those that have taken the leap and gone back to organic by stocking those products first.

What sets Organic Cafe apart from other cafes?

The café is 95% organic. The food cooked in the café is also sold in the store. The café setting and atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and it’s welcoming for people and families to come and relax there while enjoying quality organic food.

How has the response been to the store?

The feedback has been phenomenal. We have developed a small but loyal customer base of people that have discovered the difference that eating organic has on a person! With our shop, we have made organic products and produce very accessible. It is here, available, and at a reasonable price. In addition, every third Friday of the month we have a 15% off all groceries sale for those who wish to try

organic and still believe it’s too expensive.

What is the most exciting aspect of being in the business?

have any dyes or hormones, and hasn’t been fed any antibiotics. You can really taste the difference!

What are your plans for the future?

Educating people about the benefits of organic food for health and changing lives. Many people are living healthier lifestyles or have strict diets, and our store is the main place where they can find ingredients that fit within their dietary requirements.

Well, there are a few projects in the pipeline. There is a always something we are working on, looking for new avenues to satisfy our clientele. You will definitely be hearing the announcements soon.

What has been the biggest challenge?

Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

The biggest challenge is lack of education about organic. Sometimes people don’t understand the difference between organic and conventional food.

What is your personal favorite item from the cafe?

You are what you eat, so make what you eat tasty, healthy, and most importantly natural. It is only when you are healthy and happy that you can conceive and develop new and exciting ideas.

The organically farmed salmon from Scotland that doesn’t

october / november 2013


Gaming Glory Arabic Games to Be Launched 38

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ed Stallions Interactive has good news for gamers. Launched in 2011, the gaming portal is devoted to developing and distributing interactive entertainment across the Arabian Gulf region. We speak to its Chairman, Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Juman to find out more.

acclaimed Black Light Retribution from Zombie Studios, which we’re very proud of. But we have also signed various games such as sports games, fighting games, RPGs (role-playing games), zombie games, war games, etc. We currently have deals signed for about 50 games, but are rapidly increasing our catalogue. We have a team dedicated to exploring games, ensuring their quality and their interest for the MENA region, to approach publishers and reach deals to bring these games to the RSI platform.

What is www.

That’s an interesting question actually. I have a strong personal interest in new technologies, which I have often explored in different business ventures. When we explored the gaming industry, we realized it was a huge industry, and that nothing existed for the Middle-East gamers, who had to either purchase packaged products, or download in a hap hazardous manner from game providers in the US or Europe. So we started talking to gamers in the region, understanding their expectations and their requirements, explored the opportunity and evaluated a MENA-dedicated concept, which has become Red Stallion Interactive, RSI.

RSI is a first of its kind platform in the Middle East, which provides a one-stop online shop for gamers, where they can access many different games, as well as a whole array of services. Users register with us once, and they can download free games and paid games. They have different payment methods, and can easily manage their credit. They have access to local technical support. Foremost, we wanted to make their experience enjoyable and shareable: thus the platform includes the possibility to create user communities and groups, to chat in both Arabic and English, to rate games, to contribute to forums, to express wish lists for future games, etc.

What kind of games does RSI specialize in? Our objective is to offer a wide range of highly rated games for both casual and dedicated gamers. It ranges from table games, for which we have a strategic partnership with GTO (GameTable Online), a leading US provider, to our first FPS (first-person shooter), the highly

What inspired you to enter this particular line?

What were the major hurdles?

We had identified several hurdles: finding the financing, convincing game publishers, implementing a regional technology platform, managing intellectual property rights, etc. Interestingly, although it wasn’t all obvious and simple, it turned out to be not as complex as we had

figured. The project quickly raised interest among key players regionally and abroad.

What has been the feedback of the gaming industry to the RSI concept?

Very positive actually. We feared this would be a major challenge: when you are an American, a Japanese or a European publisher, the Middle East is generally not really prominent on your radar screen! But publishers have responded very positively, showing strong interest in seeing their games developing in our markets, collaborating technologically with us, and adapting their licensing schemes to adapt to our market size and potential. And there’s obviously a snowball effect! As we are signing publishers, more publishers are interested! We were worried that by bringing the game contents to our local market, we would need to charge our users more than American or European users are paying. But in fact, the publishers have been very receptive to our approach, and we have together ensured that the users could get all the benefits from the RSI platform without being overcharged for it.

This industry is mainly run by Americans and Japanese. Do you see an Arabic gaming industry emerging?

We are already talking to a couple of Arabic game publishers to include their games on the RSI platform. But we want to go beyond that: there are clearly people out there developing games

for our markets, and we want to encourage them by providing tools and services to them. And we also want to contribute to the development of a regional gaming industry ecosystem. We are recruiting local people and getting them trained on the advanced development, operations and networking technologies required to feed and operate a platform like RSI. We hope that this will go a long way: we now have many contacts with the gaming industry in the USA, Europe and Asia: why not facilitate the export of Arabic game content in the future?

Any advice for Young Entrepreneurs?

Never let an opportunity go by. Always research, always learn. And be open to new ideas. And if you think you have a good idea, learn all aspects about it and give it a shot. Look at international companies, which are in the same business. Learn from them and adapt to fit your idea and system.

What about future plans?

For now, we are concentrating on developing games in Arabic. We believe that has a lot of potential. We also are working on ensuring that RSI becomes everyone’s favourite gaming portal in this region.

october / november 2013


No More Manual Labor RSquare Makes It All Computerized 40

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hantini Raja once had a tough time trying to fill out 60 checks at one go. Too many errors meant spending too much time and effort to finish the project. That got her thinking: why do it manually? She then set up RSquare Technologies to provide solutions to all such problems. She tells us more.

What made you set up RSquare Technologies?

The R’s in RSquare stands for Robust and Reliable. Rsquare Technologies’ innovative IT solutions with Robust and Reliable services aim to minimize the many manual time consuming operations happening in day-to-day life. I thought of this concept after a personal experience of spending hours to write out 60 checks. We ended up making a lot of errors, sometimes while converting the amount to words and sometimes with the vendors’ names. I decided that there had to be a better way than the tiresome manual process.

What does RSquare Technologies specialize in?

Rsquare IT products/solutions are all made in Bahrain by my team. Hence, we can customize our solutions to cater to any and all requirements of the client, in any sector. We can create various templates like shipping forms, traffic forms, HR forms, check template and printing in any pre-printed stationary, HRMS payroll solutions, Property Management system and Fleet management system. Our solutions are now being successfully used in more than 300+ corporate companies in Bahrain as well as in Qatar. We

are specialized in converting the Fox Pro programs into the latest Technology and into creating any customized solutions as per clients’ requirement.

How has the start up journey been so far?

Like all journeys, this too had its fair share of ups and downs. But getting positive feedback from the clients keeps us going. It is especially encouraging when they recommend our name to other organizations.

Do you have any background experience/education in this field?

Yes. I have done Masters in Computer Application( M.C.A). I have also been a lecturer at MVJ Engineering College in Bangalore and have also worked as EDP Manager at Gulf Exchange Company at Qatar.

Can you tell us a little about the training your staff undergoes?

Most of our training revolves around the customer relationship, as we believe that the customer is king and that one happy customer is the best form of marketing there is. And of course, we have continuous training sessions to ensure that our saff stay up to date with the latest technologies, solutions and services that our clients will require.

What has been the most exciting moment so far? Without a doubt, it has to be the unique and blessed opportunity to meet HRH the Crown Prince of the Kingdom and to have Ms. Ahlam Janahi, the President of the Bahraini Businesswomen Society, introduce me as a businesswoman.

What are the main challenges you face in this industry?

One of the key challenges of being in an IT related field is the constant innovation in technology. Today’s invention is outdated by tomorrow. Similarly, we have to ensure that our IT solutions are constantly evolving. And we also need to ensure that we are marketing it at a very fast pace, so that there is an awareness in the market about the available solutions and services.

Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Try, try again. Never Give up! Develop a unique idea, which can serve multiple organizations. And always develop the plan, keeping in

We believe that the customer is king and that one happy customer is the best form of marketing.” mind that it needs to serve the social aspect as well. Dare to be different and dare to take that leap of faith.

Can you tell us about your future plans?

We hope to spread our wings. Literally. We want to market our services and solutions all over the GCC. We also hope to add to our repertoire a number of IT solutions including RFID, CRM and AMR systems.

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Dr. Bora Aktan Discusses His Research and Views on Bahrain’s Economy

Bahrain A remarkable resilient economy D

r. Bora Aktan is Assistant Professor of Finance in the College of Business Administration at the University of Bahrain - Kingdom of Bahrain. His current research activities focus on emerging capital markets, global investments, particularly in real estate investment trusts, financial time-series analysis, volatility modeling-forecasting and energy issues. Dr. Aktan has published research in different refereed journals such as International Journal of Forecasting, European Journal of Finance, International Journal of Business and Journal of Property Investment and Finance. He is also a member of several professional bodies such as The International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), Society for the Study of Emerging Markets (SSEM), The American Finance Association (AFA), The Financial Management Association (FMA) and The Society of Financial Econometrics (SOFIE), among others. Dr. Aktan also serves EuroMed Research Business Institute as a Research Fellow at the Asset Management and Emerging Markets’ Groups. In a published study in 2012 on the official Turkish website www. titled: “The Best Economists And Economics Departments In Turkey Based On The Publication Performance (20062011): An Evaluation With Impact Factor Weights”, which evaluated the contribution to the field by Turkish economists between 20062011 that was conducted on 168 Turkish universities (103 Public & 65 Private universities), Dr. Aktan ranked No. 6 on the list of 10 top Turkish economists based on his research performance and contributions in the field in that same period. october / november 2013


What are the total number of researches you have accomplished to date and how many of them have been published in international academic journals?

First and foremost, it is very vital to clarify the importance of research as an integral part of the work and existence of an academic and researcher. Furthermore, research is a must to keep ourselves and students in the field and all concerned stakeholders up to date with the subject matter. In addition, quality in science is essential rather than quantity, which can be measured through the number of citations of the research work. As for the number of researches I completed and were published by refereed international academic journals within the field, by now, they are 38 researches, including a few other research reports done, specifically, for professional bodies such as capital markets boards, enterprise resource for engineers... etc.

How many of these researches have you worked on/published within your time at Bahrain University?

Frankly speaking, I would like to give great credit and appreciation for this remarkable country and my university; University of Bahrain (UoB) for providing me with the ideal research environment and making it possible for me to be more enlightened and productive. Furthermore, I would like to thank all those, who have made it a successful period of my life as an academic and researcher, whereby I was able to conduct and complete 13 researches of which some I have worked solely on, while I had partners in completing other researches. At least 7 of these researches were published by recognized and reputed journals such as European Journal of Finance on behalf of the University of Bahrain since I started with UoB in February 2012. Therefore, sincere thanks go out to the UoB President, Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Dean of the College of Business Administration, Professor Minwir Al-Shammari and last but not least the Head of the Finance Section, Dr. Seref Turen for their boundless support and appreciation.

How many of these researches are related to the local Economy & financial markets?

I have always been interested in studying the GCC economies with special focus on Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar as, currently, they represent the most effective economies in the region and worldwide. However, since I came to live and work in my second homeland, Bahrain, I have discovered a rich field and area for research. Despite the short time I have spent in Bahrain, I was able to probe the local economy and find genuine areas of interest, which led me to complete and publish two research papers related to 44

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Dr. Bora Aktan

“I perceive this remarkable country as a ‘flattop’ that from my opinion will not only be one of the most vivid financial hubs, but also one of the production, distribution (for Asia in particular) and entertainment centres of the GCC.” the local economy and financial markets. Furthermore, as part of my community service activities, I have also published a number of articles in the daily English and Arabic newspapers and monthly business magazines. One of my priorities is to attempt to issue an academic journal via Emerald Publishing Company of UK targeting GCC economies to add value and spread knowledge not only to local, but also to regional and international investors. Moreover, one of my objectives’ is to increase “financial literacy” within the local business community to pave the way for a deeper and broader understanding of financial markets.

How do you assess the performance of the local financial markets in comparison with the international financial markets?

When it comes to financial markets in the Kingdom, Bahrain Bourse (BHB) in particular, formerly Bahrain Stock Exchange, draws the attention with its BD 6.5 billion market cap (appx. USD 17.5 billion) at the equity side, bonds and sukuk at the debt side and mutual funds which shows robust activities. By June this year,

there are 48 firms that pertain to a wide range of sectors listed on the BHB dealing list. On the other hand, the financial services sector contributes to about 17% of the country’s GDP ($30.4 billion-2012) with about 411 registered institutions as of May 2013. In addition, Bahrain not only presents a midpoint for offshore banking and funds in the region with 2847 authorized funds registered as of June 2013, but also is a major centre for Islamic banking with this sector’s assets reaching a total of $25.8 billion as of May 2013. From a historical point of view, there has been a relatively gentle but gradual growth. US and EU debt crises and global economic slowdown has continued to create a tough environment for especially exchanges across the region but I am positive on the outlook for Bahrain as an emerging market with its steadily developing policy of economic diversification under Economic Vision 2030 aiming to improve non-oil exports.

What do you recommend should be done to improve the economic status quo? In fact, the answer is implied within the term, “Developed Economy”. There are many different measures of development used by international institutions such as

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to the current local, regional and global economic and regional geopolitical changes and local unrest, which can be readily seen in sovereign ratings which is the lowest in the region (Baa1 negative of Moody’s and BBB of S&P’s). Due to this on-going situation, some Businesses are shutting down while others are opening to find Bahrain to be a safe business haven. That said, we can sense the firm presence of a dynamic strategy and strong element of resilience that is protecting the country’s economic potentials. Moreover, the last decade witnessed real and effective reforms launched by a wise leadership and actioned by a fast steed and vigilant government. The robust financial support battery the government has intelligently built over the last decade to support Bahrain’s Economic Development, thanks to the initiation of the economic reforms; launching of the Economic Development Board (EDB) that helped put Bahrain on the map of international economic players through a number of effective initiatives that resulted in a healthy diversification of its resources. These initiatives that were launched in pursuit of economic sustainability have been, considerably, successful, up to now, in shielding the country from any foreseen or unforeseen local, regional or international adverse effects.”

United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), among others. The term “Developed Economy” refers to a country with a relatively high level of economic growth and security. IMF’s definition is maybe the most comprehensive taking into account “ per capita income or gross domestic product (GDP)”; “level of industrialization”, “export diversification” and “the degree of integration into global financial system” together with non-economic factors such as “relative degree of education”; “literacy” and “health care”. It is well known that money likes a safe environment with real high return, therefore, in parallel with development of the financial sector in the country, by considering 50 -100 years of the economy, setting up industrial areas based on the core competencies would be a great asset in order to lessen the risk. This will be achieved by turning the people from consumption into production mode.

Do you see that Bahrain has a clear economic plan with regards to dealing with crisis?

I’m very vigilant of the local economic status that is a bit unstable and believe that “The market is clearly and continuously fluctuating between a rise and fall due

With its strategic geographical location and easy laws related to local investment and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), In your opinion, Are there any promising investment opportunities in Bahrain that has not yet been probed?

Forthrightly, I perceive this remarkable country as a ‘flattop’ that from my opinion will not only be one of the most vivid financial hubs, but also one of the production, distribution (for Asia in particular) and entertainment centres of the GCC. There are many opportunities in the country that need to be further probed and the tourism and recreational sector is just one good example of the available sum of 18 main sectors entailing over 200 sub-sectors that make up Bahrain’s economic landscape. The EDB’s direct efforts in following up the business status quo and its developments and trying to find opportunities for further business development and Foreign Direct investments and other specialised efforts through the fairly new launched organizations such as the 7-year-old Tamkeen is becoming evidently very effective in identifying areas that need attention and can be further developed in the local market, including other potential inexistent sectors. Tamkeen’s effective strategy that depends on market research and market gaps analysis studies to identify such needs have provided specialised technical, financial and business october / november 2013


support for SMEs and launched training programs to supply the market with local trained workforce to handle present and future demand of the growing market! This is being done while benchmarking on regional and international levels. We also need to regain the market trust of investors, especially after the unrest and its effects that are still clouding Bahrain’s business skies despite the country’s low cost of doing business, very skilled young workforce and easy access to the immense GCC market!

With regard to facing routine and the red tape/bureaucracy in the commercial and financial sectors, can we define a methodology to change rigid mind sets that lack initiative and the desire to change? It’s well known that routine and red tape delays progress and consequently is damaging to business! Rigid mind sets that lack initiative and the desire to change are again another form of hindrance. Therefore, a call for new or amended laws that govern the trade and commerce segment to stimulate and liberate the country’s economy and thus, boost internal and foreign investment is a must! New or 46

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amended trade and commercial laws that would allow freedom of trade and create an open door for foreign investments, with easing off the current applied restrictions would definitely push the stumbling wheel and subsequently, boost the country’s economy. Bahrain has always been portrayed as a GCC country member and petroleum producing Gulf State that is connected in its different financial, banking and business transactions directly to international markets. Bahrain has a lot working for its benefit and its strategic location in the Middle East have made it an inevitable preference to international businesses and investments, but capital is sensitive to risky environments and has the tendency to deal with solid guarantors, free and flexible business and trade laws. As for changing mind sets, it is not an easy process, especially with aging minds, organisations, laws and practices, and the only way to overcome this issue is by a change of blood, i.e. exchanging rigid and old with younger , but dependable top managements. Nevertheless, almost 65% of Bahrain’s local population falls under the youth segment, which is a good indicator that present and future business makers are young and speak the language of change and entrepreneurship. Therefore, this change has to start at school through a

“We need to regain the market trust of investors, especially, after the unrest and its effects that are still clouding Bahrain’s Business Skies”

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sound integrated educational system that can transform today’s smart Bahraini youth to future successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Do you think it is a shared responsibility between the public & private sectors to push forward the wheel of economy towards further growth and in your opinion how can that be?

That is an excellent question, which leads me to define my favourite economic system termed “mixed economy”. In fact, a mixed economy is a mixture of capitalism and socialism (both have pros and cons) that combine private economic freedom and centralized economic planning together with regulations. Recurrent crises across the world have showed us that mainly globalization and deregulation in financial markets, complex financial instruments, uncontrollable hot money, unlimited economic independence among others in capitalist systems create “greedy” market makers whereas socialist systems do not let individual entrepreneurs to hold the whole economy and resources of the country, which creates “meagre businessman type leaders” who might be prone to corruption.

What do you think are the most important factors affecting the economic and financial growth of the local, Gulf & regional markets?

Honestly, in today’s multi-player power games, the most important factor affecting the inseparable mates; economic and financial growth, is the geographical factor. This is a long term valid factor, not only in the 21st century, but also in the past. In my humble opinion, Bahrain in the Middle East should have been Switzerland of Europe as a common bank of world capital but due mainly to geographical/ geopolitical difficulties it will take time to realise that. Yet, it is thought that the world free capital would flow to Asia, Singapore then to Switzerland in the short run, of course Bahrain will benefit from that route too. Outspokenly, all the recent researches point out that “Entrepreneurship”, “Innovation” and “Technology” are the magical words for a sustaining development. Therefore the education system should focus on raising researchers, rogatory and brave individuals as future entrepreneurs from the primary school to university. Evidently, it takes a considerable time to harvest this ambitious long term project, which promises positive, significant and sustainable results. Meanwhile, and for the short term, forging some production agreements/cooperation with Asian tigers such as Japan and South Korea the government has embarked on presents its wise and visionary leadership, which reflect a sure investment for the future of this remarkable and resilient country. october / november 2013


Cyrus Institute of Knowledge To Organize Conference

What is the purpose of CIK?

CIK is a nonpartisan academic and consulting think-tank founded by Professor Nader Asgary; CIK’s current President. It is located in the U.S.A., in Boston/ Massachusetts. Its focus is on educational and consulting activities for scholars and practitioners in the disciplines of entrepreneurship, leadership, economic development, and sustainable innovations; focusing on the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa regions. I believe we are the only institute that integrates academic research with practical entrepreneurship/ leadership/management consulting initiatives, while specializing in those regions of the world. More importantly, we have extensive expertise and experience in providing educational services and executive training for business leaders, professionals, and organizations in the Middle East. Our prominent scholars and practitioners offer executive training and consulting in several management disciplines; including economic development, financial management, human capital development, leadership, product development, project management, marketing research, and the latest buzz in the U.S.A. “Big Data”.

Can you share with us a some details on the past activities of the CIK?

Tracking Sustainable Entrepreneur Oportunities The Cyrus Institute of Knowledge (CIK) is gearing up for their latest project: West-Meets-East: Exploring Sustainable Development, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Opportunities, a conference to be held in Dubai in early January 2014. We speak to CIK’s Chief Marketing Officer, Gabrielle Bedewi to find out more. Would you please tell us a bit about yourself? I was born in Egypt, and my family moved to Kuwait when I was 2 years old. I grew up in Hawally - now a large suburb and commercial center in Kuwait – and completed my Bachelor of Commerce at Kuwait University in Applied Statistics and Insurance. 48

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Here is a personal “Shout Out”, to fellow alumni and students from Kuwait University. After immigrating to the U.S.A., I earned a Ph.D. in Management Science and Statistics at Smith School of Business/University of Maryland and an Executive M.B.A. at Simon Graduate School of Business/University of Rochester. I currently live in Rochester/

New York and serve on CIK’s board of directors, sharing the role of international marketing and strategy with Jila Asgary, as Co-Chief Marketing Officer. I look forward to reconnecting with childhood friends, and sharing my heritage and culture with my colleagues from the U.S.A., at our planned conference on January 9-11, 2014 in Dubai.

CIK had a very successful conference in the U.S.A., in Cambridge/ Massachusetts in October 2012, where we had 10 invited keynote speakers, 58 presenters, and more than 150 participants. Prominent international and national scholars from the U.S.A. (such as Harvard and M.I.T.) offered sessions on a variety of topics that were relevant to the Middle East and central Asia; such as, Higher Education Partnerships, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Energy, Natural Resources, Economic Development and Sustainability; just to name a few. Five well-known universities and organizations in the U.S.A. – Bentley University, Hult International Business School, Southern New Hampshire University, Suffolk University, and The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education – co-sponsored that conference. Furthermore, CIK developed a research study entitled “Concept Paper on Regional Economic Development: Afghanistan’s Perspective.” The

We welcome participation from public and private sectors to attend the conference. Participants will find the presentations enlightening and will enrich their professional careers and personal lives. Additionally, there will be extensive opportunities for networking. To register for the conference please visit the website link http:// We welcome paper submissions that represent a variety of business disciplines, economic development, and cultural issues. We are interested in examining challenges and opportunities related to the topics listed below. All research studies that consider the effects of globalization on the Middle East and Central Asia are welcome. All submitted proposals will be double-blind reviewed by the program committee and referees. An electronic proceeding for all accepted proposals will be created. A selected number of best papers will be published in the electronic Journal of CIK. The deadline to submit a half page abstract is November 1st, 2013.”

report covered major areas of development topics including: Energy, Transport Infrastructure, Extractive Industries, Technical and Managerial Know-How, Trade and Transit, Potentials for Pak-Afghan Economic Cooperation, Potentials for Indo-Afghan Economic Cooperation, including Rules, Procedures, and Policies. The research was conducted at the request of the Afghan delegates of the India-Pakistan-Afghanistan (IPA) Conference. We are now planning an international conference on January 9-11th, 2014, in Dubai. We welcome all academicians, students, and practitioners to consider submitting a paper, be a presenter and/or an attendee at the conference. Jila and I look forward to personally meeting everyone in Dubai. For further information, please visit our website at http://

Why here, in the Middle East, when CIK is located in Boston?

CIK’s competitive edge is its members’ specialized areas of expertise, experience, and technical knowledge; as well as their personal interest and cultural appreciation and understanding of that region. CIK’s scholars and executive members have a global presence— including the Middle East. First, many of our CIK associates are sons and daughters of the Middle East region who speak its language and possess the ethnic identity and insights that are embraced by the regions’ citizens. Second, our associates have a wealth of intellectual and technical knowledge that is enhanced by state-of-the-art business consulting and scholastic experience. Therefore, CIK has the depth and breadth, as well as the competitive edge, to offer tangible and actionable solutions to critical business and economic development challenges in the Middle East.

What can participants expect from the conference in Dubai?

The conference’s title is West-Meets-East: Exploring Sustainable Development, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Opportunities. Therefore, participants can expect presentations by renowned scholars, practitioners, and

policymakers from the United States and the Middle East region, on the topics of business development and governance, entrepreneurship, innovation and product/service development, ethics and social responsibility, higher education institutions, leadership, natural resources and sustainability, organizational and cultural challenges. Furthermore, there will be several formal and informal opportunities for networking among scholars and business executives.

What are you looking for in potential speakers and presenters?

We welcome business leaders, scholars, and policymakers who have conducted research and/or have extensive practical experience addressing subjects that pertain to the domain of the conference. For example, Mr. Sameer Uchi, founder of the, has accepted our invitation to participate in a panel discussion with other business executives and scholars on the topic of entrepreneurship, where he will be sharing his professional experience and success in establishing and building profitable businesses and start-ups in the region.

For further information please visit our Call for Papers link at: jan-2014-conference/call-for-papers.

If companies, organizations, and individuals are interested in knowing more about this conference and/or collaborating with CIK, how could they contact you?

Please send us an email at CIK@ or Our mailing address is on our website. On behalf of CIK’s President and the Board of Directors, I express my sincere appreciation for giving us this opportunity to introduce CIK to your region! CALL FOR PAPERS “Scholars and practitioners are invited to submit a proposal at ( callforpaperssubmission), for in-person presentations and interactive sessions that reflect state-of-the-art perspectives across a variety of management disciplines. We also encourage participants to submit a proposal to facilitate sessions. For additional information please check the CYRUS website at

Preferred Topics of Interest Business Development and Governance, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Product/Service Development, Ethics and Social Responsibility, Higher Education Institutions, Leadership and Cultural Characteristics, Natural Resources and Sustainability, Organizational and Cultural Challenges. General Topics Accounting, Decision Sciences, Economics, Finance, Information and Communication Technology, International Business and Cultural Issues, International Economics, International Finance, Marketing, Project Management, Statistics, and Strategy. Conference Executive Committee Dr. Nader Asgary - President of CIK and Professor of Management and Economics at Bentley University Dr. Gabrielle Bedewi - Member of Board of Directors of CIK and Former Global Demography and Segmentation Leader at Nielsen Measurement Sciences/Population Centre of Innovation Dr. Shariar Khaksari - Member of Board of Directors of CIK and Professor of Finance at Suffolk University Dr. Massood Samii - Member of Board of Directors of CIK and Professor and Chairman of International Business Department at Southern New Hampshire University october / november 2013


Corporate Governance Practices in Bahrain A Case Study on the Telecommunications Industry D r. S . S a n k a r a m u t h u k u m a r & M r. R . S a t y a P a v a n K u m a r

Bahrain is one of the most investor friendly economies in the Middle East.

Thanks to transparency, simple regulatory processes and a no-tax system, the country is marching forward towards economic vision of 2030 successfully. According to 2013 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, Bahrain is the 12th freest economy in the world, and the freest economy in the Middle East. Canada’s Fraser Institute has given still a better ranking for Bahrain in this regard. According to the Institute, Bahrain has been named as the eighth freest economy in the world. Vision 2030, a comprehensive economic vision for Bahrain provides a clear direction for the continued development of the economy. According to Vision 2030, Bahrain needs better access to capital for businesses to thrive, better and fairer regulations, better trained personnel and more opportunities for businesses to serve the region from Bahrain. To achieve this end, corporate governance plays a vital role in ensuring a sound business and economic systems in the country. 50

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Corporate Governance in Bahrain:

“The telecom companies are seriously engaged in maintaining Corporate Governance in general and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in specific.”

The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain is keen to promote good corporate governance principles in Bahrain in order to enhance investor confidence and foster economic development. Over the past several years, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Bahrain, has worked with the National Corporate Governance Committee to develop a Corporate Governance Code through a consultative process.

Corporate Governance Code of Bahrain:

The Code states nine fundamental principles of corporate governance, each of which is followed by one or more numbered directives for applying the Principle. These Principles and directives are broad and they should be complied with by every company.

Principle 1: The Company Shall Be Headed By an Effective, Collegial and Informed Board

Principle 2: The Directors and Officers Shall Have Full Loyalty to the Company

Principle 3: The Board Shall Have Rigorous Controls for Financial Audit and Reporting, Internal Control, and Compliance with Law

Principle 4: The Company Shall Have Rigorous Procedures for Appointment, Training, and Evaluation of the Board

Principle 5: The Company Shall Remunerate Directors and Officers Fairly and Responsibly Principle 6: The Board Shall Establish a Clear and Efficient Management Structure

Principle 7: The Company Shall Communicate With Shareholders, Encourage Their Participation, and Respect Their Rights

Principle 8: The Company Shall Disclose Its Corporate Governance

Principle 9: Companies Which Refer To Themselves as “Islamic” Must Follow The Principles Of Islamic Shari’a Law.

Corporate Governance in Bahrain Telecommunication Sector: The Bahrain telecommunications sector is opening to competition. Batelco was the first telecoms company in Bahrain and it is supported by the government, in part. It is now facing healthy competition from Zain (previously MTC Vodafone), Kalaam Telecommunications and recenty, VIVA (formerly known as Saudi Telecommunications Company). Batelco, Zain and VIVA are the main players in Bahrain’s telecoms market. 52

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Batelco was the first Middle East telecommunications company to receive ISO9002 certification from the British Standards Institute and has an alliance with Cable & Wireless. Though the telecommunications sector in Bahrain was privatized since last decade, the sector is one of the vibrant in ensuring the Corporate Governance Code of the country in general and the Corporate Social Responsibility in specific. The following paragraphs deal with the Corporate Governance of the telecommunications sector in Bahrain with special focus on the three major operators such as Batelco, Zain Bahrain and Viva Bahrain.

Corporate Governance Practices: A Comparative Analysis

The Corporate Governance practices can be discussed under the four heads; Governance, Community, Employees and Environment.


Governance includes the efficiency of the Board of directors, leadership ethics and the extent to which the organization is transparent. Batelco is the only company which has fulfilled its corporate governance responsibility by providing extensive reporting on the board of directors, their academic background and experience, which ensures the efficiency of Board of directors and their leadership ethics. Viva Bahrain has reported the names of the Board of directors and their attendance in various management committees. However, Zain Bahrain has not concentrated on much on reporting about the efficiency and transparency of their Board.


The Corporate Governance expects the business houses to contribute towards Community Development & Philanthropic projects, Products with societal concern, and the business without damaging the Human Rights & Supply Chain. All the three telecom companies, Batelco, Viva Bahrain & Zain Bahrain have concentrated on community oriented programs so as to fulfill their corporate social responsibility.


The business with a sound corporate governance system must ensure that: it provides fair compensation and benefits to its employees, it ensures diversity & labor rights, and provides adequate training on health and safety in the interests of the employees and other stakeholders of the organization. From the sources (like annual reports), one could easily understand that it is only Viva Bahrain, which has a specific program to take care of their employees (VIVA Wellness), which conduct professional programs to take care of the physical and emotional well-being of their employees.

resource management. Viva Bahrain and Zain Bahrain have taken specific efforts for environment protection through their ‘Eco Viva’ and ‘Zain National Mobile Phone and E-Waste Recycling Campaign’ respectively.


The telecommunication industry in Bahrain is vibrant and is one of the fast growing sectors in the Middle East. The present scenario in Bahrain is that the telecom companies are seriously engaged in maintaining Corporate Governance in general and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in specific. They do make more strategic decisions about CSR for various reasons. However, the CSR efforts must not be a formality or a responsibility as per the rule but it must be in the interest of the both the corporate and the community. To achieve this, the telecom companies in Bahrain must find ways and means to determine or quantify the contribution of CSR towards the overall enhancement of business in the long run. Dr. Sankara Muthu Kumar Sadayan a Senior Lecturer, Commercial Studies Division, Bahrain Training Institute. Email:


Every business has the responsibility of protecting the environment. Thus, each organization should work towards energy & climate change, eco-policy & reporting, and the

Mr. Satya Kumar a Lecturer, Commercial Studies Division, Bahrain Training Institute. Email:

CSR Activities undertaken by Bahrain’s Telecom Companies S.No.



Criteria of CSR

CSR Focus

CSR Activities

CSR at Batelco † † † † †

Health Education Community Sport Culture

† Bahrain International Circuit † Royal Charity Organisation † Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources † Bahrain Golf Club † Bahrain Football Association † Al Rahma Centre for Youth Care † Anti-Drug Day † H.H. Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Football Tournament † King Hamad Golf Trophy † Bahrain Tennis Federation † Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation † Think Pink Gala Evening † Bahrain Society for Women † Supreme Council for Women † Shaikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Salman Al-Khalifa Cardiac Centre † Bahrain Cancer Society’s Walk for Cancer † Bahrain Diabetic Society’s Walkathon † Free distribution food packages during the holy month of Ramadan † Free PCs’ and internet for the Bahraini Community † Public Parks cleaning campaign † Annual Batelco Golf Tournament † The World Champions Batelco Racing team † The Cross country Championship. † Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research

CSR at Zain Bahrain

CSR at Viva Bahrain

† † † †

Education Youth Activities Empowering Women Supporting People And Children With Special Needs † Pushing Technological Awareness † Environmental Programs

† Community Empowerment † Minimizing environmental and social impact † Treating employees with respect & fairness † Supporting volunteerism † Transparency

† Back-To-School Initiative † Developing The Zain E-Learning Center † F.U.N. Work Experience Program † Creativity Private School Project Sponsorship † Shaikha Hessa Girls School Sponsorship † Zain Bahrain Supports Women’s Gateway Portal † Supporting Individuals With Special Needs † The Zain National Mobile Phone And E-Waste Recycling Campaign † Zain also financially assisted Al Tafa’ol Center for Autism and Down’s syndrome † Caring for Individuals (Youth and Children) with Special needs † Youth Development and Empowerment † GenNext through our one-ofits-kind Future University Network which gives young people a hands-on experience of work in the company † The F.U.N. project envisages preparing young Bahraini university students for the job market of the future † Zain National Mobile Phone and e-Waste Recycling Campaign † Zain Bahrain Sponsor the Social Media Masters Forum 2012

† Viva Community: Community program focusing on people with special needs † Viva Tech: Build sustainability within technology sector through applying best practices † Viva Family: Professional programmes for taking care of the physical and emotional well-being of employees † Eco Viva: VIVA formed a Quality Assurance Environmental Health & Safety Committee which encourages recycling habits. † VIVA Jusoor lends a helping hand to charitable institutions and families † VIVA’s 22 young players get a head start into professional football training at Manchester † VIVA offers career opportunities for young Bahrainis through its ‘Graduate Development Program’ at Career Expo 2012 † VIVA Sponsors Bahrain Deaf Society

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IS KING Back in 1996, Bill Gates stated in his ‘Content is King’ speech that he believed content is where real money will be made online. He said that “One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create.”


ast forward today, and indeed the buzz word is Content Marketing. With the advance of the internet and specifically the explosion of social media channels, it is no wonder that content marketing has come to be at the forefront of companies’ objectives. The latest online usage figures reveal that internet users in the Middle East have reached 90 million. This number is estimated to reach 413 million by 2015. Additionally, 88% of the Middle East online population uses social networking sites daily. Therefore it should come as no surprise that everyone is turning to online content as Gates predicted 17 years ago.


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So what exactly is content marketing as we know it today? Many definitions exist but one that I find most significant is from the Content Marketing Institute “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Whilst it would be right to say that content marketing is not a new science and has been around for ages – in the past brochures and flyers were sent by post or handed out directly to customers – it is important to note that, what has

drastically changed is the quality and type of content. In the past, content was passed from company to consumer as a one way advertising message whereas today, in this highly fragmented media scene where consumers’ attention span is quite short, a two way communication is a must in order to connect with your customers. Companies must share content that is compelling and contagious, engaging and relevant to what the organization is selling and by doing so they (the organization) are informing and educating people. This in turn, will result in loyal customers who trust the company, like it, and want to do business with it.

Below are 3 important steps to keep in mind: 1. Tell a story

Consumer dialogue is key to content marketing and companies must find a way to inspire a conversation. One of the most effective methods is through story telling. Everyone loves to hear stories because stories can make us laugh or cry therefore we connect and relate to them on an emotional level. The Nike campaign ‘Find your Greatness’, launched during the London Olympics, touched millions of consumers worldwide as it strived to inspire everyone to find their greatness, not just famous athletes. It conveyed the message to all levels of society that greatness is within you and therefore it resonated well with consumers – people could identify with it at their own personal and individual level.

2. Listen

The goal of content marketing is not to talk about how great your brand or company is - organizations need to listen to what customers want in order

to be able to fulfil their need. Starbucks created a website community page called ‘My Starbucks Idea’ where it encourages customers to submit ideas for improved products, better customer experience and what generally they would like to see at Starbucks. This has encouraged participation and engagement from customers as well as built a loyal and strong following and made Starbucks a dominant brand in the market.

3. Quality versus quantity

Nobody likes to read bad writing. If a company’s content lacks a high-quality edge, the audience will notice it— and the company’s marketing efforts will fall flat. Organizations must explore topics which are relevant to their business but not necessarily about the organization itself. It is important to develop content themes that will resonate with the target audience and by doing so companies become known as industry experts in their related field.

With 1 billion active users on Facebook, 200 million on Twitter, 187 million on LinkedIn and 87 million tumblr blogs, companies have come to realise that the right content shared on the social web will give their brand a momentum that will be impossible for them to achieve on their own. What Gates predicted 17 years ago is still true today: “Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.” But there are major challenges that exist today; the social chatter space is crowded, the noise is deafening, and consumers are wary of advertising messages thrown at them from every social media site they belong to. So how do companies go about ensuring that their content will be read and most importantly shared? How can companies find the right content strategy that will not only resonate with their target group but will also build relationships and loyal customers? To conclude, content marketing has gone through a paradigm shift and companies do understand the value this can bring in helping retain customers and obtain new ones. Any company that is not shifting to the ‘new language’ of the internet by talking with their customers rather than at their customers will find itself isolated on the social web sphere. Maria Sorger is the owner of redlemons consulting, providing smaller size companies and individually owned companies with outsourced marketing services. An MBA graduate, a global thinker, and a passionate branding advocate, Maria is a consummate professional with over 20 years of marketing experience working for multinational companies in B2B and B2C sectors.

october / november 2013


The Top 10 Ways

To Lead By Example Kelly Armatage; Coach, Speaker, Writer and Seminar Facilitator outlines her empowering techniques on how to lead from the front, via self development and team encouragement.

There’s an old saying about the difference between a manager and a leader: “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.” When we have the correct behaviour in place to be a magnificent leader, we produce dramatic influence and change in our environment. Below are my top 10 ways to ensure unmatched leadership by example:-

3. Encouragement v Criticism

1. Listen

To listen is a skill, to listen is an attribute, to listen is a fundamental leadership strength. When we can develop our muscle of listening, we open up the relationship dynamic for others to feel trusted and important. To lead by example, we need to allow others to be in the space of being respected. When people feel not listened to, their resentment and rebellious behaviours kick in.


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2. Actions

Ensure your actions are extremely leader orientated. Leaders are positive. Leaders think, feel and behave optimistically. Leaders are action orientated and rarely, if ever procrastinate. By ensuring you symbolize yourself as a person of action, you allow those around you to emulate you. As you are happy, content and empowered during the completion of your goals, your behaviour becomes contagious.

Remember when a parent, teacher or manager in the past criticised your performance? How did that feel? Did you feel a sense of confidence after that judgement, or a sense of failing? Of course it was the latter. When we criticize others, especially those that look up to us for guidance, we dis-empower them. It is essential to offer support, encouragement and compliments to co-workers, as they then feel motivation to do an even better job going forward. Leaders have high self value and are able to encourage themselves via self talk and because of this, are capable of encouraging others too.

“When we criticize others, especially those that look up to us for guidance, we dis-empower them”

4. Self Focus / Self Development

Statistically, CEO’s and Entrepreneurs spend more money on coaching and self development than entertainment. When you enter training, coaching and self development programs, you become self aware. All negative behaviour then starts to change and great success is the result. The empowered leader knows that continual and regular development on their mind, will ensure magnificent triumph within both their personal and professional lives.

5. Create Solutions

A true leader of strength never gives focus, energy and importance to problems. They are fundamentally aware this exasperates and deepens the issue, by adding more to the negative. “What you focus on expands” is a statement of principal truth. Concentrating on providing solutions to the issue ensures the issue dissolves. The positive energy of faith in something better has to override all previous negatives.

6. Meditation

Meditation improves our thinking patterns, decreases our stress levels, enhances our positive emotions and ensures success. There is no other way to cleanse the mind, the most important tool of our body. Leaders ensure they meditate as often as possible, as they know the absolute benefit and positive consequences of a strong, empowered mind.

7. Exercise / Adequate Nutrition

schedules. They are aware that having a balanced work and personal life, will ensure their resentment levels towards work are low. By regularly taking time out, they are refreshed, invigorated and motivated to re-connect to work at a faster and more productive pace.

Leaders are all about self esteem (the high value and appreciation of oneself). Leaders ensure they feel good about themselves, by fueling their bodies with fresh food and regular exercise. Powerful leaders are aware that exercise and good nutrition have a massive impact on their energy and mood levels. Leaders look for ways to improve their positive moods and influential, energy vibration as much as possible.

8. Positive Vibration

Emotions are contagious. If a Leader is frustrated, demotivated and sad; this will have a massive impact on their co-workers. Leaders are there to be modeled and modelled they will be, in whichever behaviours and vibrations they emit. By finding ways to feel happy, content, positive and goal-focused consistently, the co-workers have to react to that dynamic and become the same.

9. Time Management Amazing leaders manage their time at work with

Kelly Armatage Director of “Kelly Armatage Inc”. Coaching Sessions, Corporate Training, Self Development Seminars, Public Speaking and Meditation Classes. T: +973 17002320 / M: +973 39931399

absolute precision. They schedule in their tasks, goals and activities AND ensure they are completed. Here is a quote by the great Coach, Robin Sharma - “The things that get scheduled are the things that get done”. Great leaders time manage perfectly and they do this via scheduling and of course, completing that which gets scheduled.

10. Stress Management

Leaders manage their stress levels, by ensuring they also incorporate regular hobbies, activities and self pampering into their

october / november 2013


A Scrumptious & Satisfying Lunch A Three Course Meal in Under One Hour


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Most of us forego lunch, owing to work pressures, mainly because lunch seems to be a long and time-consuming process. But Kempinski Grand and Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre brings you the answer: the business lunch at Saveur. Our Deputy Editor, Dilraz Kunnummal checks it out. From October, come to Saveur for the new Business Lunch menu, a 3-course culinary adventure featuring different choices every day of the week to entice every palate. It might be a three-course meal, but the beauty of it is that you can finish off the last bite of dessert and get out with enough time left to reach back to office, within your lunch hour. It is a quick and easy experience, but more importantly, it is delicious and

gets you rested and ready to attack work for the rest of the day. We are talking from experience! The day I visited, the set menu boasted of mouthwatering delicacies. My pick for the starters was the Cheese ravioli with basil cream sauce, sautéed mushroom, and pine nuts. And my partner picked the other option of Beef essence, root vegetable and tomato concusses. We were thrilled. The ravioli was so perfectly done, that just looking at it brought a smile to my face. The basil cream sauce added a unique texture, which was complemented wonderfully

warm and comforting. In fact, if I were given another bowl full of the gnocchi, I would have gobbled it up happily. My partner picked the Beef medallion with potato puree, rosemary jus and parsley foam. It is a thoroughly fulfilling and satisfying course, to say the

by the pine nuts and mushroom. The beef essence was so flavorsome. Its unique taste was both relaxing and exciting at the same time. And this was just the beginning. The starters set the pace, and the main course did not disappoint. My pick was the Pan fried Hammour with confit tomato, gnocchi and verte volute. I absolutely loved it, for it gave me two of my favorites: seafood and Italian. The fish was beautifully cooked, with crisp skin and lovely flavor. The gnocchi was of first class quality, soft and

least. The beef was cooked to perfection, and the potato puree is what soul food is made of. For desserts, we helped ourselves to the assortment of pastries. The carrot cake and the chocolate mousse were delectable. For those who are looking for a lightly healthier option, there are fruit cuts and fruit salad as well. Depending on the day you visit, the menu changes, covering a wide variety of delicious dishes. Round off each meal with assorted international pastries and fresh fruits from the dessert buffet. Impress your colleagues and business partners with your proposal, and Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre will make sure to impress your taste buds with full flavours and fresh ingredients.

The most surprising part came when we looked at our watch post meal; it took us under 40 minutes to enjoy the three-course meal. It was very delicious and we were definitely satisfied. The ambience of Saveur only added to our experience. Well lit and spacious, the setting is a great spot for a formal yet relaxed meeting. For BD 10, a threecourse meal with one soft drink is definitely a dream come true. The new Business Lunch menu is not just for business people; it’s for everyone! Whether you’re in-between shopping with your friends in Bahrain City Centre or looking to treat yourself to a 3-course meal at a great value, the new Business Lunch in Saveur is a great option for every guest. Benefitting from a partnership forged with a local farm in early 2013, all the dishes at Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre are made using the finest, freshest ingredients, giving you the value of a healthy, yet fulfilling, lunch at Saveur. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, capsicums, varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, courgette, salads, spring onions, water cress, and many types of herbs…much of the vegetables are sourced locally from their partner farm in Karranah, a green oasis located just minutes away from Manama. For additional information or reservations: (+973) 1717 1000 or, Follow them on Facebook & Twitter: and

october / november 2013


Go offshore with the sovereign group understanding how offshore banking works


overeign’s core business is setting up and managing Onshore, Offshore and Free Zone companies, trusts and other structures to meet the specific personal or business needs of their clients (Individuals and Corporate).Typically these needs would include Trading, Consulting, Bank Accounts, Residency, Citizenships, and Insurance, tax planning, wealth protection, foreign property ownership and facilitating crossborder business. The first Sovereign office opened in Gibraltar in 1987 and now the company has offices in all the major international Finance centers. A total of 27 offices till date with offices in Bahrain, Dubai, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Cayman islands, British Virgin Islands ... etc. Sovereign currently manages over 7,000 structures for a wide variety of clients worldwide. Majority of the clients are individuals, expatriates, entrepreneurs, freelance consultants, private investors, or wealthy persons and their families. Sovereign have developed a wide range of supporting services embracing asset management, corporate finance and fund raising, specialist tax advice, ship and yacht registration, insurance broking, credit cards, as well 60

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as trademark and intellectual property registration and protection. Offshore Companies are often demonized in the media, which paints a picture of investors stashing their money with some illegal company located on an obscure Caribbean island where the tax rate is next to nothing. While it’s true that there will always be instances of shady offshore deals, the vast majority of offshore investing is perfectly legal. In fact, depending on your situation, offshore companies may offer you many advantages

What is an offshore company?

Offshore or non-resident companies are described as companies that conduct an insubstantial or zero volume of business within their jurisdiction of incorporation. More specifically, offshore companies have three characteristics: Firstly, they should be registered as an entity within the jurisdiction of incorporation. Secondly, the ‘incorporators’ should be domiciled outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation. Finally, the company should transact the major majority of business outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation. However, most

associate the term ‘offshore company’ as a means of increasing tax efficiency.

Why should I use SOVEREIGN to open my offshore company? Our professionals have more than 25 years of experience in Offshore consultancy. During this time we have been able to develop a network of offshore service providers that remains unparalleled. We provide tailor-made advice to our clients, fully integrating the latest laws. We are one of the most competitive offshore providers.

  

Which jurisdiction should I choose for my company? The most important factor in choosing a jurisdiction is to be sure that your company will be incorporated in a country that has:    

reliable means of communication political and economical stability good reputation sophisticated corporate laws

Fifth Annual



21 – 23 October 2013


uman Resources thought leaders and training gurus from around the world will converge in Bahrain from 21-23 October 2013 at the Fifth Annual Human Resources Management Summit – HRM Summit 2013. The event will be held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Abdulhussain Bin Ali Mirza, Minister for Electricity and Water Affairs. Held in strategic Alliance with BSTD – Bahrain Society for Training and Human Resources Development, the two-day Conference is brought to you by industry leading experts and is meant to address the growing need for HR and Training professionals to connect with global best practices. “The Conference assumes importance in light of the global economic uncertainties and a regional economic slowdown,” says MA Sridhar, CEO of Roshcomm, the conference organizers. “Our event’s main objective of creating transformative HR Management practices begins with new criteria, meaningful experiences, and smart, innovative development paths. HR Leaders who will succeed tomorrow are not created with systems and practices built yesterday. Within the last 5 years, the tenacity and depth of change that has taken place in the market place has changed the entire business landscape. The economic and social change has forced businesses, big and small, to change the way they operate. To keep up with this change, and survive in a new uncertain, global environment, organizational development process to attract and retain top talent, must also adapt; and adapt quickly.” “To enable this transformative journey, one of the most critical segments is building a continuous culture of learning. Many HR practitioners find themselves now having to not only learn about new practices, but also learn how other organizations have implemented these practices. HR practitioners will require new skills and competencies including a greater understanding of technology - including social, mobile, internal processes, and decision-making methodologies,” he added. 62

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“A leading event for the HR community, such as the HRM Summit makes it easier to develop a community of HR Practitioners that remains fresh and innovative. HRM Summit is unlike any other – the insights you walk away with, the practical programs and initiatives you can bring back to your organization, the new connections and network you build with fellow conference attendees – make for an incredible, educational, and sometimes career-changing experience.” HRM Summit is supported by Tamkeen and is approved by the Ministry of Labor for Government Levy Reimbursement. “We are very pleased with the endorsement from the Ministry of Labor, by bringing this event under the Government Levy Reimbursement Scheme. We thank the Ministry officials for recognizing this event as an important Conference that is aimed at improving the overall HR Practices within the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are also thankful to

Tamkeen for their support in having the HRM Summit subsidized under their Conference Attendance Support Program. Tamkeen has been playing an important role in enabling and empowering Bahraini Workforce in getting up to speed on global best practices. The announcement of these important developments supporting the Human Resources Management Summit 2013, represents yet another reassurance that the Conference continues to attract distinguished global and regional leaders.� Featuring a host of keynote speakers discussing various topics on Human Capital Development, the key attraction of the conference is the 3 parallel HR Workshops that will run post-conference: l

Leadership Development Strategies Elements for HR Success: SHRM Competency Model l Driving performance, increasing motivation and retaining human capital l

The Human Resources Management Summit 2013 is scheduled to take place from 21 - 23 October 2013 at the Hawar Ballroom, Diplomat Radisson BLU Hotel, Bahrain and will attract key executives and decision-makers from different organizations across the region. For full details of the Conference call +973 1736 5044/ 39294292 or visit the event website at

october / november 2013




he 22nd edition of the Middle East’s premier jewellery and watch exhibition, Jewellery Arabia 2013, is set to take place from 19 to 23 November at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. This 5-day spectacular will feature over 600 exhibitors from 30 nations who will spread their precious wares across an area of 18,200 square meters. On display will be a huge range of finished jewellery, luxury timepieces, precious stones, antiques, objet d’arts, jewellery packaging and technology from across the globe.


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Jewellery Arabia 2013 is set to be 10% bigger than the previous exhibition and visitors can look forward to a number of new and exciting participants, including high end Italian jeweler Bulgari and multi-national celebrity jeweler Mouawad. Jewellery Arabia 2013 will also witness the first official group participation from the UK, coordinated by British Allied Trades Federation (BATF), and Singapore, coordinated by the Singapore Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME). Event director Fawzi Al Shehabi said that exhibitor interest in Jewellery Arabia is particularly strong this year. “We have an extensive waiting list of companies who have requested space. We are considering constructing an additional temporary hall to meet demand and further increase the show’s size, whilst providing space for even more quality exhibits for visitors to choose from,” said Arabian Exhibition Management’s Director of Sales and Marketing Fawzi Al Shehabi.

Eminent jewellery houses and watch manufacturers making a return appearance at Jewellery Arabia 2013 include Chopard, David Morris, Gaspari, Harry Winston, Piaget and Staurino Fratelli amongst numerous others. Watches also remain a prominent feature in 2013. Visitors can source the latest in design and manufacture from a vast range of important brands including A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Baume & Mercier, Corum, Hublot, Omega, Officine Panerai, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin to name just a few. Many of these high profile international jewellery and watch brands will use the exhibition as a platform to introduce exclusive collections and limited edition pieces to the Middle East collector’s market. Complementing these iconic brands are large national groups of retailers, designers and manufacturers from leading jewellery export countries. National groups at Jewellery Arabia


2013 include Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. Collectively, these groups of companies reflect the very best manufacturing capabilities, design expertise and gemmological resources that their respective countries have to offer. “Over the last 22 years, Jewellery Arabia has steadily evolved into the single most important jewellery and watch exhibition in the Middle East. Its reputation, size, quality of exhibits and sheer variety is unique in the region. The show is seen as an essential buying event for private collectors and the trade. Incredible designers choose Jewellery Arabia as their sole platform in the Middle East, whilst many more use the exhibition as an opportunity to showcase exclusive and new collections. We are looking forward in all confidence to yet another outstanding event,” said Fawzi Al Shehabi. Joining international brands and national groups are and a host of

independent companies from all over the world, led by a selection of Bahrain’s leading jewellers. They include Bahrain Jewellery Centre, Asia Jewellers, Al Mahmood Pearls, Al Zain and Devji among others. Last year’s show attracted over 46,300 visitors. Of the total, 25% were drawn from the region’s single largest jewellery market - Saudi Arabia, with significant support also coming from Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbouring countries.

New Timings for 2013

Jewellery Arabia will open from 16.00 to 22.00 on Tuesday 19 November to Friday 22 November. On Saturday 23 October the exhibition will open from 12.00 to 22.00.

The 9th Middle East Watches, Jewellery and Pen Awards

Further highlighting the importance of Jewellery Arabia to the Middle East

jewellery and watch industry, for the ninth successive year, the Middle East Premier Awards for Watches, Jewellery and Pens will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Bahrain on 19 November. Hosted by MPP ME, publishers of the industry magazine title Arabian Watches and Jewellery (AWJ), the Awards are the culmination of an online public voting system and the analysis of an elite committee comprising of watch, jewellery and pen experts. Fostering cohesion amongst Jewellery Arabia participants whilst also acknowledging their individual contribution to the industry, the ceremony will be a star-studded event with the expected presence of specially invited dignitaries and senior professionals representing the international and regional watch, jewellery and pen industries. For further information please visit:

october / november 2013


Van Cleef & Arpels’ Perlée collection Takes on a new shine

Initially available in pink and white gold, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Perlée collection now also includes models in yellow gold. A warm new style for these creations inspired by one of the Maison’s emblematic know-how: golden beads.


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The sunny warmth of yellow gold

The Perlée collection has always been distinguished by its delicate golden beads, lending their silhouette to jewelry that is cheerful and feminine. Testimony to the Maison’s heritage and savoir-faire, they glitter in an exquisite range of variations. This emblematic Van Cleef & Arpels collection now takes on a new light, in the form of the sunny reflections of yellow gold. Whether adorning the hand, the neckline or the wrist, it stands out with an unmistakable gleam. The Van Cleef & Arpels signature – engraved in fine English script – contributes a timeless elegance to rings and bracelets of yellow gold. Diamonds add sparkle to its warmth, tracing a glittering ribbon or graceful clover motifs. Perlée hoop earrings illuminate the face with a subtle glow, while the pendant adds a scintillating point of light to the neckline. Yellow gold generously shines all the way to the fingers, with refined rings – their lines emphasized by diamonds. The latest Perlée creation – entirely covered with diamonds thanks to the snow setting technique – is a dazzling cuff bracelet, its ethereal honeycomb structure composed of gleaming yellow gold.

Refined jewelry to mix and match

Graphic and refined, Perlée creations adapt elegantly to every mood or occasion. Different models can be combined by each wearer in infinite combinations, to express a unique and personal style. Yellow gold makes it possible to make new associations and create unprecedented plays of light: the purest pieces make a harmonious match with those adorned with diamonds. Combining yellow gold with white or pink gold lends contemporary style to the collection, in a cheerful symphony of luminous beads. Perlée’s yellow gold line can also form subtle harmonies with other Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, notably with pieces from the Alhambra® collection. Adorned with malachite and the famous beaded border, recent Magic Alhambra and Vintage Alhambra creations lend themselves to joyful juxtapositions rich with enchanting overtones.

A style emblematic of Van Cleef & Arpels

Illuminating the Maison’s creations with their gentle gleam, golden beads have been part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ heritage since the 1920s. At that time, a thin thread of textured metal was first used to edge the stones and motifs of certain jewels. This type of setting – achieved by using a tool to raise the precious metal and shape it into a ball – was notably used on the Egyptian- style pieces then in fashion. From 1948, beads of yellow gold multiplied to form the necklaces, earrings, bracelets and watches of the astonishing Couscous collection, sparked by an Arpels family voyage to Morocco. During the 1960s – while Twist jewels were offering a graceful combination of golden, hard stone or coral beads – Alhambra creations were framed with an elegant beaded border. Whether as decorative elements or fully-fledged sources of inspiration, golden beads have continued to illuminate Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations. They gave rise to the Perlée collection’s joyfully feminine style in 2008.

“Illuminating the Maison’s creations with their gentle gleam, golden beads have been part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ heritage since the 1920s.” The excellence of Van Cleef & Arpels’ savoir-faire

From meticulous polishing and setting through to the choice of diamonds, each Perlée creation benefits from the Maison’s unique expertise, perpetuated in its workshops for over a century by the Mains d’OrTM. The craftsmen’s skill is revealed in a succession of gestures, patiently carried out by hand. The jeweler shapes the golden beads that will go on to form a ring, or a row perfectly aligned with the curve of a bracelet. The polisher patiently reworks them until they sparkle. The stone-setter delicately positions the diamonds, ensuring that their setting is as flawless from the rear as it is from the front. As for all Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations, the diamonds are selected using the most stringent criteria: color D, E or F and clarity IF, VVS1 or VVS2. Thanks to these high standards and an attention to detail characteristic of High Jewelry, every piece in the Perlée collection is invested with that special emotion instilled by rare treasures.

Contact: 17131122 october / november 2013


Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa to Host

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa plays host to Michelin starred chef, Gilles Choukroun on his first visit to the region. Parisian born Chef Gilles will be sharing his modern and inventive take on French cuisine with the Kingdom of Bahrain from 5 to 8 November; giving food aficionado’s the chance to experience Michelin star gastronomy.


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Michelin Star Chef, Gilles Choukroun D

eveloping his taste for fine cuisine at a young age, Gilles passion for experimenting with and creating new dishes came from his desire to explore, thus triggering his aspiration to become a chef. Drawing inspiration from North African roots from his father’s side, Gilles enjoys fusing different cuisine in order to make, what he calls his ‘signature cuisine’. Gilles is the proud owner of MBC, his restaurant in France, which he has owned for five years. The venue itself is quite unique, both in its name, MBC which stands for the Chefs signature combination of Mint, Basil & Coriander, then of course the ambiance of the restaurant which demonstrates visually the uniqueness of the cuisine created within. “I wanted a very urban restaurant,” says Gilles. “The walls are fully covered by graffes, created by some of my closest friends who are graffiti artists. I wanted a restaurant in agreement with myself and the uniqueness of my work, a uniqueness I look forward to sharing with the rest of the world.” With a multitude of local produce available, Gilles is looking forward to

incorporating local products into the custom-made menu he is preparing for the food aficionados of the Kingdom of Bahrain. “I have a lot in store for the foodies of the region,” he says. “I want them to discover my kitchen and my signature cuisine. It’s important to know the evolution of French cuisine throughout the world, and in recent years it has enjoyed many advancements.” Chef Gilles Choukroun will be delighting guests with his unique take on French cuisine from 5 to 8 November at La Mer restaurant. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa is located on a dream coastline featuring azure waters and pristine white sandy beaches. Each of the hotel’s 262 rooms boasts cutting-edge technology and private balconies with sea views, as well as showcasing an amazing collection of gastronomic high end foods and delicacies in a vibrant yet exclusive ambience, making it the perfect getaway for those within the Kingdom of Bahrain. With its proximity to the King Fahd Causeway it is also the most ideal respite for those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Get it first. Get it fast Buy nothing until you read Arabian Homes

ARABIAN HOMES is Bahrain’s premiere Real Estate magazine covering a wide-range of areas relative to the housing industry in Bahrain and beyond, from in-depth reviews of developments and property investment, to art, design, and lifestyle. Arabian Homes is highly popular amongst property developers and investors, homeowners, prospective buyers, furniture shops, and those looking to settle down. ARABIAN HOMES magazine is sold in supermarkets and bookstores across the GCC.

Visit our website: Or call: +973 17402482

The Luxury of



october / november 2013


entley establishes a new luxury performance sedan benchmark with the launch of the new Flying Spur. With its unrivalled blend of effortless driveability, exquisite luxury and craftsmanship, sculpted design and state-of-the-art technology, the new Flying Spur takes the worldwide success of its iconic predecessor further. Bentley’s styling team has developed an athletic design for the new Flying Spur that combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a sporting stance and contemporary details. Sharp feature lines complement muscular rear haunches, while LED day-time running lights, dipped headlights and taillights characterise the front and rear profiles. The interior designers have created a luxurious, spacious cabin that dresses advanced acoustic and electronic technologies in exquisite hand-crafted leather hides and wood veneers. Driver and passengers alike interface with the car and the outside world through touch-screen infotainment, mobile connectivity including Wi-Fi, a Rear Seat Entertainment suite and a new hand-held Touch Screen Remote which allows rear-cabin occupants to control an extensive range of features from the comfort of their seat. An eight-channel, eight-speaker audio system with Balanced Mode Radiators provide high quality sound clarity, with the 1100W Naim for Bentley premium system available as an option. Powering the new Flying Spur is Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin turbo W12 engine, coupled to a ZF eight-speed transmission. Developing 625 PS (616 bhp) and 800 Nm of torque, the new Flying Spur features more power than any other Bentley four-door in history. A 14 per cent improvement in the power-toweight ratio over the outgoing model delivers a breath-taking 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top-speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). In the modern Bentley tradition, power is delivered to the road via all-wheel drive with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split for a sure-footed, engaging drive in all road and weather conditions. As with the entire Bentley range, the new Flying Spur is built to individual customers’ exacting specifications. A range of seventeen standard exterior paint colours includes Dark Cashmere, a sophisticated and contemporary addition to the Bentley palette. The extended paint range of over 100 colours is joined by Damson, a rich hue inspired by the extremely rare purple diamond, and one that is complemented by an optional matching hide colour. Customers wishing to extend the range of available options further can choose to include the Mulliner Driving Specification. This includes five additional hides, expanding the number of available shades to 17, and five further wood veneers. Bentley’s traditional diamond quilting is incorporated to the seats and door panels, together with an indented leather headlining and embroidered Bentley wings to the headrests. Drilled alloy foot pedals, a knurled sports gear lever, jewel filler cap and 21” two-piece five-spoke alloy wheels in painted or polished finish complete the Mulliner suite of options. october / november 2013



The latest and trendiest way to dressing up BIG brings to you the latest fashion from the top brands in the fashion world. vv

“Couture” Patent Leather Bag

Buffalo Leather Chelsea Boots Burberry Refined buffalo leather Chelsea boots, Elasticized panels, leather pull-tab, Soft leather insole

Sunglasses Chanel Oversized round nylon sunglasses with titanium rimmed lenses and chanel signature on the temples.


october / November 2013

Versace This beautiful shoulder bag from the “Couture” line illustrates contemporary design crafted according to the finest Italian savoirfaire. The signature Greek quilted motif and the gold hardware promise to enrich your daily outfit. Wear it to add a touch of sophistication to everything from your daily looks to your evening cool ensembles.

Prince of Wales Mix

Dolce & Gabbana Prince of Wales print is a very big trend this winter. From the masculine fashion sphere, heavy, bountiful almost in its rich feel and demure print, Prince of Wales proves to be the perfect mix with lace.

Necklace with Crystal Pendants


Gucci metal with ruthenium finish, black and blue crystal pendants, interlocking G detail, Made in Italy, adjustable length.

Armani Cool wool, Solid colour, Button, zip, Rear slit, Three pockets, Three internal jacket pockets, Lined, Lapel collar, Belt loops, Four pockets, Long sleeves.

october / November 2013



Stuff we like Check out the latest gadgets and a host of other items for executives on a break or having some family time


NX300 Gold Edition

Available in Saudi Arabia through Axiom Telecom and a few retailers in the country, Samsung placed some 22k gold plating around its latest compact system camera, the NX300, giving it a vintage-like look and feel. There’s a unique serial number and engraved signature, and it comes with two lenses and some accessories.



Porsche Design

Styled by Porsche Design, forged in stainless steel and plated in luxurious 24ct. gold by Goldgenie, finished in leather and powered by BlackBerry. The Porsche Design P’9981 Smartphone from BlackBerry is engineered luxury at its finest.


The Trakdot luggage tracking system provides you with some peace of mind in case your luggage goes missing. It’s a palm-sized cellular-based tracking device that you pair with your cell phone and pack in your suitcase before you check your bag. Once you land at your destination, the Trakdot will notify you of its location via SMS or email.


Video Helicopter

Drones- Not Just for Military Use Anymore! The Wi Spi Helicopter is an app controlled video surveillance vehicle with a built-n camera. Just download the app to your smartphone or tablet and experience full RC 3-channel flight control via WiFli. You can view the video transmission live. Video and pictures can also be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook or e-mail in seconds.


october / november 2013


Vaio Laptop Red Edition

Sony has introduced high-end versions of Vaio laptops, and instead of their usual assortment of colors, this particular laptop comes in Ferrari red. The laptops do have improved specs over the standard Vaio line, but their biggest differentiator is the color, which supposedly screams luxury.





The term “wall of sound” is often thrown around too liberally in reference to large stereo systems. But the Megatrend MKIII speakers really do form an actual wall at seven feet tall and more than three feet wide. And that’s just one speaker. They come in pairs: the aforementioned wall with 24 eight-inch woofers, and an accompanying ribbon-line speaker tower for the high end. The Megatrend MKIII is a more than just an expensive speaker system -- it’s an audiophile’s dream.

Hasselblad’s H4D camera range appears to be a photographer’s dream. One of its high resolution camera is the H4D-200MS featuring a 50MP sensor and 200MP Multi-Shot Technology. This camera is handy to capture extremely large or extremely close shots with the highest detail possible. In fact, it is three cameras in one, adding functionalities from the previous models such as the H4D-50 and the H4D-50MS. Some of its features include 36.7 x 49.1 mm CCD Sensor, True focus, Ultra focus, digital lens correction and 3-inch display.


Crystal Headphones

Audiophiles who would like to add a ‘blinged’ accessory to their collection, can now opt for the iWave Crystal Headphones with Swarovski Elements. Adorned with 6,500 hand-applied Swarovski crystals, over 10 hours of labor has gone behind creating each pair in the collection. Although the headphone looks gaudy wrapped entirely in dazzling crystals, one can be assured of the performance of the Ultrasone PRO 750, thanks to the S-logic Natural Surround Sound technology – that offers three-dimensional sound experience.


AK120 MQS Player

Audiophiles eager to get their mitts on iRiver’s Astell & Kern-branded AK120 should take note: the portable Mastering Quality Sound player is the bigger, 2.4-inch sibling to the AK100, promising to net deep-pocketed audio perfectionists improved stereo imaging and dynamic range; this is achieved by two Wolfson WM8740 DACs, each of which are dedicated to a single channel. The player features a physical volume knob and packs 64GB of onboard storage with support for up to 192GB through two microSD slots.

october / november 2013



MEPEC 2013 Held Overcoming Future Challenges Through Engineering Excellence


he Middle East Process Engineering Conference (Mepec 2013)was held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. He deputized Finance Minister and Minister in charge of Oil and Gas Affairs Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa to inaugurate the event at Gulf Hotel’s Gulf Convention Centre. Mepec 2013 has the slogan “Overcoming Future Challenges Through Engineering Excellence”. The minister also opened the accompanying exhibition at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Mepec 2013, the Middle East’s large-scale process engineering conference and exhibition, provided a vital forum where process engineering technology providers, oil, gas and petrochemical companies, and end-users, can share best practices, discuss the challenges faced by the oil, gas, refining, chemicals and petrochemicals industries, and explore potential solutions to some of their most pressing concerns. Mepec 2013 focussed on how ‘smart’ engineering, together with manufacturing and operational excellence can create value in process industries.


october / november 2013

october / november 2013



SIBOS 2013 Financial Conference Held At the World Trade Centre, Dubai


ibos 2013 was organized at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. It brought together influential leaders from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners to do business and shape the future of the financial industry. Facilitated and organized by SWIFT for the SWIFT community, Sibos is a unique forum to collaborate and take collective action in payments, securities, cash management and trade. With the power to draw some 7,000 participants from across the globe, Sibos is unparalleled in its reputation to reach the entire financial services industry.


october / november 2013

october / november 2013



SAP Reveals Potential of Cloud-Based Banking Network Making MENA’s banks run better


he future of banking in MENA is technology-led and innovations such as in-memory computing, mobile and cloud are set to play an increasingly influential role, senior banking executives and leading industry experts agreed today. “Banks need innovations such as cloud computing. Lack of transaction visibility and control, a lack of agility, multiple failure points and complex infrastructures, as well as considerable maintenance and expertise costs means they simply cannot be ignored,” said Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services Industries, SAP. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of financial services executives, 71 per cent said they will invest more in cloud computing this year — up from 18 per cent who said the same in 2012. In addition, 50 per cent plan to invest in private cloud technology. Wainwright’s comments come as the MENA region as a whole is starting to look to the cloud more than ever before. Gartner predicts that MENA is projected to experience one of the highest global growth rates for public cloud services, increasing from 2012 to 2013 by 24.5% to USD 462.3 million. The UAE is likely to be particularly active in this respect, with IDC predicting annual compound growth of 43.7% until 2016. Wainwright was speaking on a panel at SIBOS alongside Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi and Deutsche Bank. He explained that demands for greater innovation in the financial service industry had aggressively driven the creation of the SAP Financial Services Network (FSN), which connects corporate customers with their financial services providers in the cloud. “What corporate treasurers need is a faster, simpler way to connect to their banking partners that could also provide a consolidated view of their enterprise’s financial 80

october / november 2013

positions and real-time access to all of their banking information. That could happen in the cloud”. “A single service could connect banks and corporate treasuries, enabling them to share data - including payments, payment statuses, and statements – as well as automate collections, reconciliations, settlement updates, financial reporting, and other key processes on a common platform. More importantly, it could also serve as a foundation upon which to build analytics applications that harness all of that data”, said Wainwright “Banking is undergoing massive and rapid transformation, and its future in MENA will be powerfully influenced and led by technology,” said Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA. “Increasingly, we will see market forces and customer demands force banks to incorporate technologies related to the cloud, mobile, analytics, applications and database and technology. Institutions that want to lead, innovate, retain custom and unlock new opportunities simply cannot afford to stand still - particularly against the backdrop of MENA’s cutting-edge development agendas. The step-change in this industry is unavoidable and hugely exciting, and I am proud to say that SAP is playing a leading role in making it all happen.”


Companies from all over the world were recognized for business excellence in Dubai, at the Bizz 2013 awards organized by Worldcob. Among the companies who received THE BIZZ 2013 were:


he event aims to recognize companies from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Africa, Europe, and Latin America for their outstanding achievements in business excellence. These companies have gained success for their high standards in corporate leadership, management systems, the quality of their goods and/or services, innovation and creativity, CSR, etc., thus demonstrating their good business practices. The event was held at the Atlantis The Palm Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Atlantis The Palm is one of the world’s best hotels, a true paradise of entertainment and exploration.

Abu Dhabi University (UAE) Emirates Identity Authority (UAE) Dubai police (UAE) Doha Bank (Qatar) Oman Arab Bank (Oman) BBK (Bahrain) Solidarity Saudi Takaful Company (Saudi Arabia) Credit Libanais (Lebanon) Karabuk University (Turkey) International Marble Co. Llc (Oman) The Imperial New Delhi (India) Gazelli Group (Azerbaijan) Russlavbank (Cjsc) (Russia) Acruta & Tapia Ingenieros S.A.C. (Peru) Editorial Educativa Kingkolor S.A.S. (Colombia) Sanaire S.A. De C.V. (Mexico) The Beige Group (Ghana) S.A. Cambios (Mozambique) Mengly J. Quach Education (Cambodia) Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (Nigeria) Arabian Magazines (Bahrain) Venus Interiors International (Bahrain) october / november 2013


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. . the B I G

hotel guide Your guide to the Kingdom’s hotel outlets

Dining Sheraton Hotel Bahrain Al Safir Restaurant

Gastronomical buffets for breakfast lunch and dinner as well as superb á la carte options.

Opening Hours: Thursday - Saturday 12:30PM to 3:00PM Every night except Sunday: 8:00PM to 11:00PM Fiamma is closed on Sundays

Saraya: All Day Dining / International

Exquisite buffets with flavors from across the world. Available is breakfast, lunch and dinner and also a la carte and live cooking station.

Soie Chinese Restaurant

Wok: South East Asian Restaurant

Opening Hours: Daily: 7:00 PM – 11:30 PM Closed on Fridays

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday: 7:00PM to 11:00PM Wok is closed on Tuesdays

Discovery of traditional Iranian dishes with freshly oven-baked breads served at the table. Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday Lunch 12:30 PM – 2:45 PM Dinner 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 PM Friday: Lunch 12:30 PM – 3:45 PM Dinner 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM Closed on Saturdays

Espressamente Illy

A perfect place to meet and enjoy a cup of espresso, refreshing beverages and light snacks. Opening Hours: Daily: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM For Information & Reservations Al Safir: +973 17533533 ext 259 Soie Chinese Restaurant: +973 17 533 533 ext. 497 Golestan Restaurant: +973 17 533 533 ext. 375

october / november 2013

Designed with an indoor and an outdoor seating area, this outlet will serve authentic Italian food.

Opening Times: Daily 6:30AM to 10:30 AM (11AM on weekends) Lunch: 12:30PM to 3:30PM Dinner: 7:00PM to 10:30PM

Golestan Restaurant


Fiamma: Italian Restaurant

Opening Hours: Breakfast 6:30 AM -10:30 AM Lunch 12:30 PM – 3.30 PM Dinner 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM Relax in the dramatic ambience with dark wood floors, oriental ornaments and lanterns.

Baharat, Kempinski

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

Espressamente Illy: +973 17 533 533 ext. 1790

The perfect combination of stones and wood in the décor to reflect an Asian feeling is defiantly there.

Tapas: Restaurant

It services a wide range of exciting tapas, and the best cocktails on the island. Tapas bar has a truly vibrant and lively atmosphere with its Cuban band. Opening Hours: Daily: 11:30AM to Midnight

La Mer: Seafood Restaurant

It is the signature restaurant of the hotel, guests will enjoy the freshest seafood and catch of the day cooked at the live cooking station with a French savoir-faire to please all tastes. Opening Hours: Daily: 7:00PM to 11:00PM

Pashawat: Arabic Restaurant

It is open in the evenings and offers a delightful Lebanese cuisine. Guests will enjoy large varieties of Mezzah as well as delicious charcoal grilled specialties. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00PM to 1:30 AM (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays) For Information & Reservations Hotel: +973 1763 6363 Concierge: +973 39349659

China Garden

The restaurant, which is designed in a modern oriental style, offers a varied selection of food influenced by distinct Chinese regions creating Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking specialties.

La Med, Ritz Carlton

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday Lunch 12:00pm to 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm to 11:00pm Closed on Sunday


The K Hotel Klouds

Enjoy an assortment of culinary delights with their special Themed Nights everyday of the week. Opening Hours: Daily: 7PM to 11PM

Friday Brunch

Discover The K difference in Friday Brunch!


The specialty being premium beef and fresh, top quality seafood, it provides guests with the ultimate in dining pleasure. Opening Hours: Dinner: 7 PM to 11:30PM


Primavera, the ever popular Italian restaurant offers a very exciting menu.

Opening Hours: Friday, 12:30PM to 4:30PM

Opening Hours: Lunch: Noon to 3PM Dinner: 7PM to Midnight

The K lounge


Some new dishes include the world famous Angus steaks and exceptional desserts with that extra K flavor. Our ongoing promotions include: Daily Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm Coors Light & Burger Treats Ladies Night from Saturday to Wednesday all cocktails free of charge for Ladies.

Nirvana brings royal flavors to The Ritz-Carlton for a dining adventure rarely enjoyed outside of India.

Opening Hours: Daily: 11AM to 2AM

The Ritz-Carlton has a dedicated cigar lounge with a cellar of premium malts, cognacs and vintage wines.

Kenza Lounge

Outdoor seating and Arabesque interiors, experience the finest Lebanese dining. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 7PM to 2AM For Information & Reservations K Hotel: (973) 1736 0000 Klouds: (973) 1736 0000 ext. 4019 K Pool: (973) 1736 0000 or email

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN hotel & spa Overlook Café

The perfect place to relax by the water and enjoy a variety of light lunch items, refreshments, beverages and cocktails with a tropical flair. Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM to 6 PM

La Med

Casual dining in generous surroundings is brightened with natural sunshine and views of the turquoise blue waters of the Gulf. Opening Hours: Continental and Arabic Breakfast: 7AM to 10:30AM Lunch Buffet: Noon to 3:30PM Lunch Express: Noon to 3:30PM All Day Dining Menu: 3:30PM Dinner: 7PM to 11:30PM Friday Brunch: 12:30 PM to 4PM

Opening Hours: Lunch Noon to 3PM Dinner 7PM to 11:30PM

Burlington Club

Opening Hours: Daily: Noon to 2AM

The Lobby Lounge

The traditional high tea is served daily in the Lobby Lounge and boasts all the luxurious delicacies that you would expect. Opening Hours: Daily: 8AM to Midnight

The Ritz Gourmet Lounge

Experience authentic chic ambience like in a Parisian along with homemade pastries and richly decorated desserts.

Fusions is a contemporary and stylish rooftop restaurant boasting unrivalled views over the hotel’s tropical gardens and Manama skyline. Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 6pm – 12am Closed on Saturday

La Pergola

Renowned for being one of Bahrain’s oldest Italian eateries, the intimate restaurant offers a fantastic Mediterranean ambience with a vaulted roof and striking wall murals depicting scenes of ancient Rome. Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm

Margarita Mexicana

All dishes, including tortillas and guacamole, are freshly prepared at guests’ tables to guarantee that the menu and fine dining experience are as authentic as possible. Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 6:00pm – 12:00am Closed on Saturdays

Royal Thai

The restaurant is situated in a grand pagoda in the grounds of the hotel’s tropical gardens and provides scenic views overlooking the turquoise waters of the outdoor swimming pool. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm Closed on Mondays


It is favored by Japanese Embassy staff who are said to love its peaceful Zen-like surroundings and exquisite features, including teppanyaki rooms and an authentic robatayaki grill and a Sushi bar with a smoking section. Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm

Takht Jamsheed

Taking inspiration from Persia’s royal palace of Takht Jamsheed, the Gulf Hotel’s chic restaurant offers a fine dining experience fit for a king. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm Closed on Mondays


The menu boasts an extensive selection of hot and cold mezze, grilled meat and regional Lebanese fare, such as beautifully presented shish kebab served in a golden box atop warm Arabic bread and burning coals. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday Weekdays: 7:00pm – 1:00am Weekends: 7:00pm – 2:00am Saturday Lunch 12:00pm -3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 2:00am For Reservations

Al Waha: +973 1774 6425/26 China Garden: +973 1774 6423/24 Fusions: +973 1771 3000 La Pergola: +973 1774 6419/20 Margarita Mexicana: +973 1774 6462 Royal Thai: +973 1774 6421/22 Sato: +973 1774 6429/30 Takht Jamsheed: +973 1774 6431/32 Zahle: +973 1774 6417/18

Golestan, Sheraton Hotel Bahrain

Opening Hours: Daily: 7AM to Midnight For Information & Reservations Hotel: +973 1758 0000

Gulf Hotel Al Waha

Diners are spoilt for choice with an extensive array of buffet fare featuring local and international dishes, as well as an impressive variety of Bahraini hummus. Opening Hours: Breakfast 6:00am – 10:30am Lunch 12:00pm – 3:30pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm Friday Brunch: 12:30pm - 4:00pm october / november 2013


Royal suite, living area - The K Hotel

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel T-spoon

Conveniently located on the ground floor of Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre with direct access from the mall, bringing flavours that will delight your sweet tooth. Opening Hours: Daily: 9:00am – 11:00 pm

Mezzanine Lounge

The comfortable lounge setting features a media wall with 11 mounted screens; complemented by a collection of innovative food design of tasty salads and platters. Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00am - 1:00am

Nasmat - Lounge & Restaurant

The al fresco poolside Mediterranean ambiance offers a haven in which to escape and unwind from Manama’s buzz throughout the day. Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm


Contemporary international cuisine and luxurious ambience ensure its place as Manama’s restaurant of choice for special occasions. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday Breakfast 6:30am - 11:00am Lunch 12:30pm - 3:30pm Dinner 7:00pm - 10:30pm

Opening hours: Daily: 7:00pm - 12:00am


Mediterranean Grill buffet restaurant serving a variety of Mediterranean and international foods. Opening hours: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00pm For Reservations

Hotel: +973 1729 8008

Al Safir Hotel Yalla Yalla

In place of Savoy Café, Yalla Yalla offers lunch and dinner bufftets as well as an ala carte menu. Opening Hours: Daily: 6:30AM-Midnight


Enjoy tasty food and spirited conversation. Opening Hours: Daily: 6AM-2AM

Cucina Italiana

The place where Italian Food is served with style and passion. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6:00AM - 1:00AM


Experience Arabian fine dining that promises to deliver a new, exceptional culinary adventure for the whole family. Opening Hours: Wednesday to Friday 7:00pm - 01:00am For Information & Reservations All restaurants: +973 1717 1000

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain Silk’s restaurant

Experience fine dining and sample creative menus prepared by seasoned and culinary experts. The unique show-kitchen/live-cooking concept provides an exciting and lively setting. Opening Hours: Daily: Breakfast 9:00am - 10.30 am Lunch 10:00am – 4:00pm Dinner 5:00pm – 12:00am For Reservations

Silk’s restaurant: +973 17460017

Shopping Sheraton Hotel Bahrain Alhilal Bookshop Opening Hours: Daily: 9AM to 9PM For Information

Alhilal Bookshop: +973 17 531 665

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN hotel & spa Chopard Boutique Opening hours: Daily: 7AM to Midnight

Mohd Sharif Hatam & Sons

Novotel Al Dana Resort La Perle

Enjoy a delicious range of culinary specialties with an extensive selection of appetizers, salads and desserts to complement your choices Seafood and fishes.


october / november 2013

Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday: 10AM to 2PM – 4PM to 8PM For Information

Chopard Boutique: +973 17 580 667 Mohd Sharif Hatam & Sons: +973 17 580 889

Spa & Salon Sheraton Hotel Bahrain Image Spa & Leisure Opening Hours: Daily: 6Am to 10PM

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Pure Spa Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm For Information & Reservations +973 1717 1122

Sheraton Health Club Opening Hours: Daily: 7AM to 10PM

Sheraton Fitness Opening Hours: Daily: 9AM to 8:30PM For Information

Image Spa & Leisure: +973 17 524 570 Sheraton Fitness: +973 17 524 570 Sheraton Health Club: +973 17 533 533

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN hotel & spa Elie & Jean Beauty Center Gents Saloon Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday: 9:30AM to 8PM Friday: 10AM to 7PM

Sports Club & Spa (Membership only) Opening hours: Daily: 5:00AM to 10:30PM For Information

Elie & Jean Beauty Center - Gents Saloon: +973 17 580 798


(Call for Appointment) For Information & Reservations Hotel: +973 1763 6363 Concierge: +973 39349659

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BAHRAIN hotel & spa Elie & Jean Beauty Center Gents Saloon Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday: 9:30AM to 8PM Friday: 10AM to 7PM

Sports Club & Spa (Membership only) Opening hours: Daily: 5:00AM to 10:30PM For Information

Elie & Jean Beauty Center - Gents Saloon: +973 17 580 798

Al Safir Hotel Ann Beauty Salon

Come in and relax to soothing music as our therapists provide the perfect treatment. For Information & Reservations Al Safir Hotel & Tower: +973 1782 7999 Email: Bennigan’s: +973 1781 3750 Website: Cucina Italiana: +973 1700 1317 Website:

The K Hotel The K lounge Opening Hours: Daily: 11AM to 2AM

Champions Sports Lounge Opening Hours: Daily: 11AM to 2AM For Information

K Hotel: (973) 1736 0000

Gulf Hotel Sherlock Holmes Opening Hours: Daily: 12:00pm – 2:00am

Typhoon Bar and Lounge Opening Hours: Daily: 5:00pm – 1:00am Happy Hour: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Vintage Wine Bar Opening Hours: Daily: 5:00pm – 1:00am

For Reservations

Royal Suite Bedroom, Kempinski

Fiamma, Sofitel

Nightlife Sheraton Hotel Bahrain An Nada Lounge Opening Hours: Happy Hour: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm Daily 1:00 PM – 1:00 AM For Information

An Nada Lounge: +973 17 533 533 ext. 293

K Hotel: (973) 1736 0000 Sherlock Holmes: +973 1771 2450 Typhoon Bar and Lounge: +973 17 746 395 Vintage Wine Bar: +973 1774 6461

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Boudoir Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 5:00pm - 2:00am

Bizarre Lounge Opening Hours: Daily: 9:00pm - 2:00am For Information & Reservations Hotel: (973) 1717 1000

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa Amber Bar Opening Hours: Daily: 6PM to 2AM

Lagoon Pool Bar

Novotel Al Dana Resort Le Bellevue

A relaxed yet elegant bar offering one of the most stunning views of the sea and city skyline. Light live music in the evenings.

Opening Hours: Daily: 8AM to 8PM

Opening hours: Daily: 4:00pm - 2:00am

Lobby Lounge Bar

Pool Bar

Tapas: BAR

Pool bar is open on weekends during December- February and every day from March 1 until November. (Closed during Ramadan).

Opening Hours: Daily: 11:30AM to Midnight

Opening hours: Daily: 9:00am -8:00pm

Opening Hours: Daily: 8AM to Midnight

For Information

Hotel: +973 1763 6363 Concierge: +973 39349659

For Reservations

Hotel: +973 1729 8008

october / november 2013



“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison


“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted succes.”

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.”

John D. Rockefeller

Albert Einstein

Thomas Jefferson

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Benjamin Franklin

Walt Disney

Winston Churchill

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VIP & Registration Sponsor

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Offshore & Onshore Company Formation Since 1987 our worldwide network of offices have provided corporate structures for many thousands of discerning clients around the world.

Company incorporation and management Trust Services Personal and corporate tax planning

Call us now for an initial chat, free of obligation or charge: Nabil Khoury: +973 17 15 15 71, Wassim El Sayegh: +973 17 15 15 72 Sovereign Trust & Consultancy (Bahrain) W.L.L., 5th Floor GBCORP Tower, Bahrain Financial Harbour, Manama, The Kingdom Of Bahrain

Succession planning Offshore banking Free Zone set up services Offshore credit cards Property holding structures Asset management Mutual fund set up and licensing Yacht registration Accounting Insurance Services Providers of Intelligent Offshore Tax Planning for 25 Years

Abu Dhabi, Bahamas, Bahrain, British Virgin Islands, China, Curaรงao, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom.

Trademark Registration & Franchise Services

Business in gulf - October 2013  

Business in Gulf January 2013 Issue. Published by Maxmedia Co. Bahrain

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