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a Business magazine for today’s entrepreneurS Dec / JAN 2014


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ThSe ea son e v i t s Fe Edition


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Contents Business 44 in gulf

december / january 2014

Celebrating the Festive Season

COVER STORY 44 Celebrating the Festive Season With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, all the five star and four star luxury hotels in the Kingdom have a spectacular celebrations lined up. Here is a list to help you pick where you should go.

FEATURE 40 Suit Up We take a look at all the meeting room and conference facilities at Bahrain’s leading hotels. Big room for 3000people or just a meeting of 15, this list will help you pick where the place for your next big event. 8

december / january 2014

40 Suit Up

New Year’s Eve

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style at Kempinski! Ring in the New Year with friends and wonderful feasts for the perfect end to a happening 2013. New Year’s Eve Dinner at Saveur – BD 28++, inclusive of soft drinks New Year’s Eve Dinner at Baharat – BD 48++, inclusive of select beverages. BD 34++, exclusive of beverages New Year’s Eve Package at Bizarre – BD 10 net Afterwards, escape to your luxury room at Kempinski for as little as BD 29.95++ +973 1717 1441 | | kempinskihotelbahrain Kempinskibahrain KGIHBCC

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Bahrain City Centre

Terms and Conditions Apply

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Things To Do




Jewellery Arabia 2013 Comes To A Close

Five Star Quality







Framed! Manal Al Khan always had a passion for crocheting and with ‘Raindrops on Roses’, she explores how it can be converted into a successful business. We speak to her to find out more.


Things To Do When Mrs June Al Saffar arrived in Bahrain in the sixties, she realized that they had no place to go, to get their arts and crafts supplies. This convinced her to set up a “Things To Do”. Here is Mrs. Al Saffar’s story.


december / january 2014

Jewellery Arabia 2013 Comes To A Close Jewellery Arabia 2013, one of the most prestigious exhibitions of the Middle East, was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.


Discover EO The Entrepreneur Organizations (EO)’s Bahrain Chapter organized the Discover EO event at the Bahrain Stock Exchange.

Five Star Quality Bahrain based company, the 5 Stars Group was one among 54 companies from around the world to The World Quality Commitment Award In The Gold Category during The International Quality Convention. We spoke to its CEO, Murtaza Abdulla to find out more about the company, its history and the significance of this particular award.


Hotel Outlet Guide

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

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

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, 2013 comes to a close. It is the time to celebrate all that we have achieved this year. And we bring you a list of activities and events planned for the festive season at all of Bahrain’s leading Hotels. A big boisterous party or an intimate dinner with the family to mark the advent of 2014, our list will make it easy for you to plan the celebrations. And we also bring you a list of all the meeting and conference facilities at all the leading hotels, allowing you to plan your company’s activities and gatherings for the next year. It is also the time to look back and learn and to get set for a new prosperous business year ahead. So until next year we wish all our readers Happy holidays and a Fantastic New Year . “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning” - Albert Einstein 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 Noor Bahman SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Tarek Rashdan SALES & MARKETING manager Christelle Yaacoub Production Manager Sachan Chandran Graphic Designer Haroon Rasheed

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

Tania Chandler is a Senior Landscape Architect with Omrania & Associates. She can be contacted at

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

Mr. Harris Saseendran & Dr. Sonia Selwin are Business Studies trainers at Bahrain Training Institute. Mr. Harris can be contacted at +973 36305218 and Dr. Sonia can be reached at +973 36353897

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december / january January 2014

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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.












4:04 PM




Question by: Lisa

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND? "Not enough companies take advantage of the recommendation feature inside of LinkedIn. Plenty of personal brand accounts know about it and ask for endorsements proactively, but the same feature is underutilized for businesses. Send out an email to all of your current clients and ask them to recommend your business to their network. Rarely will you get a rejection; happy clients will gladly do it." - Logan Lenz | Founder / President, Endagon

VIRTUAL ROLODEX "Business is based on relationships, and LinkedIn is an excellent place to track, sort and maintain relationships. Connect consistently and systematically, then leverage. Just like developing a great online reputation via publishing or marketing, a great LinkedIn reputation is built on consistency and value." - Brent Beshore | Owner/ CEO, AdVentures




"Company profile pages on Linkedin are one of the first places that job candidates go when researching your company. Use this space to tell a story of what your company stands for. Let your personality shine and describe key elements of your work culture. What makes your company an exciting place to work? This will go a long way to recruiting top-tier talent." - Michael Margolis | President, Get Storied

"By either participating in existing LinkedIn Groups related to your business area or starting a group that will draw people interested in the topic, you can add value, enhance your brand and potentially draw new customers though Groups. Just be sure that if you're participating in an existing group that you follow their guidelines in terms of permissible business promotion." - Elizabeth Saunders | Founder & CEO, Real Life E®

"Answering and asking questions is probably the most effective way to stir up business for your brand. If you are looking for customers who buy widgets, join the widget forum and start asking people about their experiences with widgets. If you want to be direct you can answer their questions with your expert advice. You want your profile listed as an expert in your industry by using questions." - Lucas Sommer | Founder CEO, Audimated

BUSINESS VS. PERSONAL "Create a company page and develop it with interesting, relevant and up-to-date content. However, keep it separate from your personal brand, as you may want to develop them separately and not let one hold back the other." - Devesh Dwivedi | CEO, Breaking The 9 To 5 Jail

THE ONGOING NETWORKING EVENT "LinkedIn is an excellent source to develop relationships that can benefit your business. Target certain individuals that you know can help grow your company to interact with their communities or reach out to them. It’s all about networking." - John Hall | CEO, Digital Talent Agents



"Use your LinkedIn network to find prospective clients and partners, and then to prepare for meetings with them. Your personal connections can help generate warm introductions and help you research their backgrounds as well!" - Aaron Schwartz | Founder and CEO, Modify Watches

"Your personal brand and where you work need to be aligned. Brands are all about people and the people are what make the brands." - Ash Kumra | Co-Founder,

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


december / JANUARY 2014




10:52 AM


Batelco Wins Telecom Deal of the Year Award at CommsMEA 2013 Bahrain: Batelco Group,

“Horse Pride” Wins Award for Young Business Leaders Bahrain: Bahraini company

Horse Pride, a Tamkeen beneficiary which specializes in equestrian equipment, won the “Most Outstanding SME Projects in the Arab World” in 2013 in the 8th edition of the Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders (YBL) which took place in Dubai, UAE. Mrs. Huda Mahmood Abdulla Janahi, owner and manager of the company, received the award from Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the awards ceremony held at the

Dubai World Trade Centre under the patronage and with the attendance of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and attended by prominent officials and experts. Commenting on her win, Mrs. Janahi thanked the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, organisers of the YBL award, and said, “I am extremely pleased and proud as a Bahraini female entrepreneur to win this award which I consider to be an achievement for my country, Bahrain.”

was presented with the award for the Telecom Deal of the Year at the annual CommsMEA Awards ceremony, which took place at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai. The CommsMEA Awards set out to celebrate and pay tribute to the telecoms industry professionals and operators that have demonstrated outstanding performance and achievements during the year. The prestigious Telecom Deal of

Bahrain inks key sports deal Bahrain: Bahrain General

Creative Action Design To Launch in Bahrain BahraiN: Creative Action Design announced the opening of its new Bahrain offices, which will be delivering a unique blend of creativity and design experience. Starting the journey ten years ago in the Middle East by bringing Vodafone to Bahrain with partner MTC, Creative Action Design is back in the country to produce fantastic innovative work. As an international design agency, it combines global experience and awareness of design with a local knowledge and understanding – reaped from over ten years of


December / january 2014

experience working in the region. The Bahrain team will join Qatar and Oman offices in delivering stand-out creative solutions for clients large and small across the region.

the Year award recognises the operator that has completed a significant deal during 2013 that is considered transformative for the Company and included major investment. Batelco was selected for the award due to its acquisition of CWC (Cable & Wireless Communications) interest in Dhiraagu (Maldives), Sure Channel Islands and Isle of Man and CWC operations in Falkland Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Diego Garcia (“SADG”).

Organisation for Youth and Sport (Goys) has signed three deals worth more than BD1 million ($2.63 million) as part of a drive to upgrade the sports infrastructure in the country, said a report. Goys president Hisham Mohammed Al Jowder signed the agreements. The first one, with Al Gudaibiya Contracting, at a cost of BD535,368, involves rebuilding Isa Town Club’s

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premises. The new building will have a multi-purpose double-storey sports gym, a reception hall, administrative offices and computer conference and health facilities. The second, signed with Orland Construction Company, is to build a new artificial football stadium at East Riffa Club at a cost of BD162,801. The third agreement costing BD350,000 is to provide irrigation water for grass in stadiums and sports clubs.


BBBF Addresses Key Issues Related to Brand Creation and Protection BahraiN: The Bahrain

British Business Forum (BBBF) Legal and Organizational Effectiveness special interest groups held a joint seminar entitled “Building and Protecting Great Brands” with keynote speakers Mr. John Taylor, Business Development Director in Charles Russell, and Jasmine Montgomery,

CEO of Seven Brands. The seminar, which was attended by around 100 BBBF members and guests, addressed key issues and best practices on branding, including the effect of branding on the corporate identity, keys to creating and maintaining powerful brands, and measures for protecting the brand from infringement.

Regency Hosts Reception BahraiN: A welcoming cocktail reception for 2013 CIK-FIA

World KF & KF-Junior Championship. The event was hosted by the InterContinental Regency Bahrain together with the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) management team. BIC’s Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa attended the reception together with Mr. Sherif Al Mahdy, the Commercial Director of BIC. Many participants of the karting championship also came with their family members.

Bahrain Getting Set For 5G BahraiN: Bahrain will be

ready for the superfast 5G mobile network, potentially 100 times faster than 4G networks and which will enable onesecond film downloads, by 2017, said the Minister of State for Communications Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event held to mark the 35th anniversary of Ericsson’s first contract in the kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz said that with the final stage of the rollout of 4G/long term evolution (LTE) networks underway, the service would be available in the first quarter next year.

EWA Launches Landmark Information Gathering Initiative Bahrain: Bahrain’s Electricity and Water

Authority (EWA) has successfully launched a landmark public survey designed to facilitate closer interaction with customers and enhance service delivery. Speaking at the launch of the survey, His Excellency, Shaikh Nawaf bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, CEO of EWA, stated, “These information gathering activities are in line with EWA’s objectives to open up more channels of communication


December / january 2014

with the public, in order to enhance the level of customer satisfaction and provide better services to citizens and residents. The comprehensive surveys cover a range of questions, including conservation, customer service and service delivery, thus enhancing our understanding of the main issues citizens and residents face. As we are a professional organization, we will then take actions to ensure that our strategy is

in line with the findings.” The surveys are part of a series of four being managed by external marketing consultants, Bahrain based ACK Solutions, over the next 12 month period. In this current survey, over 2,000 EWA customers are expected to respond to the survey, which is being conducted at the three EWA customer service centers in Muharraq, Isa Town and the Country Mall. In addition, telephone interviews will be undertaken.

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Gulf Hotels Group plans new spa complex

Gulf Hotels Group (GHG) has signed an agreement with Almoayyed Contracting for the construction of a new BD3 million ($8 million) spa complex which will be located at the hotel. The agreement was signed by GHG chief executive Aqeel Raees and Almoayyed Contracting’s director and chief executive MT Mathews. The design of the spa has been done by Portugalbased spa specialist ASPA. Palmer-Grego Associates is designing the interiors and Bahrain-based MSCEB handling the architecture, as well as mechanical and electrical works. The project team is completed by BWS who are appointed as quantity surveyors.

OLIVETO Reopens BAHRAIN: After 2 years of anticipation due to the tragic blaze that gutted the restaurant in 2011, Oliveto has re-opened its doors to the public. The Grand Re-Opening of Oliveto took place under the patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Bahrain, Alberto Vecchi. Several dignitaries and officials were also present at the grand opening, which was followed by a sit down dinner, prepared by Executive Chef and Managing Partner, Paolo Arca. The newly designed and built restaurant boasts over 500 square meters of space accommodating up to 250-seated guests. The restaurant features a newly introduced outdoor deck, which is accented by mature Italian olive trees, a spacious dining room for and a cozy dining lounge.

Bahrain launches eGov Apps Store

Bahrain’s eGovernment Authority has announced the launch of the Government Apps Store, a unified window that consists of all government applications for an integrated mobile phone portfolio. The launch was announced by Minister of Transportation Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed during the inauguration of the ‘MEET ICT 2013’ conference at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. A number of high level officials are taking part in the summit which runs till December 12. The event involves Bahrain International Technology Exhibition (BITEX), debates along with roundtable discussions.

Ma’akum To Contest BCCI Polls BAHRAIN: Ma’akum, a group of 16 candidates

running for the 28th session of elections for the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry introduced themselves to the members of the press and announced the overall mission, vision and objectives of the group during a press conference held at the Gulf hotel. The mission of Ma’akum is; To continue to act as a model institution which serves the Kingdom and promotes the advancement of its national economy and business environment acting as a bold voice which, through dialogue and consultation speaks on behalf of our members; and aims to be an active partner in the business community, providing them with high quality services and programs.

big -tionary Describing business terminology


December / january 2014

The Ma’akum objectives include, creating more awareness of the central role that the BCCI plays in shaping the Kingdom’s future and to have an open channel of communication with the members in order to maximize participation and address requirements. Ma’akum aims to build a culture that values good corporate governance, Corporate Social Responsibilities and high quality standards as well as to build trust. We aim to establish the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including its various committees, as a reliable partner for the private sector to turn to in order to resolve its concerns and at the same time, strengthens relations with the government and all other stakeholders.


A cost or expense (such as for administration, insurance, rent, and utility charges) that (1) relates to an operation or the companyas a whole, (2) does not become an integral part of a good or service (unlike raw materialor direct labor), and (3) cannot be applied or traced to any specific unit ofoutput. Overheads are indirect costs.

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Aseel Super Market Opens in Galali BAHRAIN: Aseel Super Market has opened a

branch in Galali. The inauguration was done by MP Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood, the Galali MP. It is the second branch of the super market, with the other one operating in Umm Al Hassam. The launch event was attended by leadig members of the community, Aseel Super Market managing director K Abdul Rahman and guests.

Twenty4 Launches in Bahrain Mall BAHRAIN: REDTAG Group cordially marked the opening of its latest fashion trends twenty4 store in Bahrain Mall. Located next to Red Tag store, the 1st twenty4 store in Bahrain, they presented their new autumn/winnter fashion collection at the store’s opening event.

Lulu Exchange Opens Third Branch BAHRAIN: LuLu International Exchange, a global remittance and foreign exchange group, has opened its third branch in Bahrain. It started operations in the kingdom this October and plans to open six branches next year to expand its footprint. Located in Manama’s Al Muthanna Building next to Yateem Centre, the new branch complements LuLu Exchange’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its presence in high potential markets and bring its services closer to customers. The branch was inaugurated by Pakistani Ambassador Jauhar Saleem in the presence of the company’s board of directors and senior management. 22

December / january 2014

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GEI Report final (Eng) V1.pdf



1:04 PM


from the Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Chapter Data Report: EO Bahrain // Survey period: September 2013 Entrepreneurs and their businesses drive the global business landscape. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Entrepreneur Indicator taps into the minds of the world’s leading business owners to identify trends in the world economy. Global Entrepreneur Indicator… it's where the world’s leading entrepreneurs share their thoughts on the global economy.





63% 52% 4% 10%

51% 33% 5% 19%

52% 24% 4% 10%

61% 50% 17% 32%

76% 52% 6% 10%

28% 50% 14% 14%

27% 33% 11% 24%

32% 32% 6% 9%

34% 38% 3% 10%

67% 68% 12% 27%

81% 62% 3% 10%

43% 36% 15% 14%

84% 68%







December / january 2014

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More Than More Than

Developing SME’s Developing SME’s

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Breakdown of news and numbers from around the globe


Kuwait’s bank credit increased by KD391 million ($1.37 billion) in October, pushing year-on-year growth to 7.8 per cent and marking the largest monthly gain in five years, a report said.


Tourism and leisure business will be areas for Bahrain’s growth in 2014, with the financial sector being the key contributor to the GDP, which is expected to reach 3.7 per cent, said industry experts.

$ 7Bn Libya has lost more than $7 billion and faces new competition from Algeria and Nigeria in oil markets due to strikes at oilfields and ports drying up exports, Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said.


december / january 2014

BD11.14 mn

Snippets $ 15 Bn % Jewellery Arabia exhibition held in Bahrain witnessed a gold rush with total sales reaching BD11.14 million ($28.9 million).

A recent report by PayPal has revealed that spending online in the Mena will grow from $9 billion in 2012 to $15 billion by 2015.


Middle East carriers have registered a 12.3 per cent air freight growth in air freight October, as compared to the same month last year, said a report.

1.4 bn


Oman’s government budget surplus widened to 543.9 million riyals ($1.4 billion) at the end of October from 339.9 million riyals seen in the first nine months of 2013, data showed.v

10,ooo tonnes Dubai’s ship building unit Drydocks World said it has created history in marine and offshore operations by lifting 10,000 tonnes to a height of 52.8 metres from the dock bottom.


december / JANUARY 2014

A Mark of Excellence The Al Zain Legacy

Al Zain Jewellery is one of those big names in Bahrain’s Jewellery Industry which has carved a niche for themselves. Exquisitely elegant jewellery is what they are known for. We spoke to members of the Al Zain Family, Noora Al Zain, Mohammed Al Zain and Faisal Al Zain to find out more. What was the inspiration behind setting up Al Zain?

Who would you say is the ideal Al Zain customer?

handcrafting jewellery started to take form by our great grandfather, Mr. Hasan Al Zain who essentially was a pearl merchant at the time. Following several pearl dealings and a huge potential for growth, it had fallen upon our grandfather, Mr. Abdulla Hasan Al Zain to play a major role in the founding of our company. In 1977 in Tijar Road, we also opened our first workshop and a factory not long after, where we started manufacturing signature diamond jewellery including tailored designs for clientele who wish to create something special for themselves and their loved ones. Having taken charge of the company, my father, Mr. Nabeel Al Zain, had a vision to open a large factory that now has over 150 employees. He has also been dedicated to opening several boutique stores in the region - resulting in both gaining international recognition and winning various excellence awards.

every step of the way from birth, to graduation, to marriage to anniversaries. We cater items from simple gifts to exclusive one off pieces. Our values of Loyalty, Choice and Prestige are central to who we are as a company. Al Zain strives to be credible, honest and genuine with our customers with a firm belief that the choices we have to offer are original and unique and is a reflection of one’s self.

What makes Al Zain different from other jewellery brands?

What would you say are the three most significant moments that changed and improved the business?

Noora: In 1930, the family tradition of

Mohammed: Al Zain is known for its high standards in its manufacturing and finishing abilities. Apart from that, we also concentrate in creating unique and one of a kind designs to cater to our customers. We are also known to customize special orders for those who truly wish to have something like no other.

Faisal: Al Zain embraces life with you

Can you tell us something about the latest collection?

Noora: We have focused on developing our

Maharajah collection with stunning rubies this season. We have collaborated with a local artist to create a collection that was previewed at Jewellery Arabia which received a great reception. We are very excited about launching this collection.

Mohammed: The three most significant moments that led to the success of the business is expanding to the surrounding countries in the GCC and going into production while launching the current re-brand.

What are you thoughts on the GCC’s growing jewellery industry?

Faisal: The jewellery industry in the GCC is

fantastic, as the purchasing power for luxury goods have tremendously increased over the past decade. International events such as the World Cup, the Formula 1 and events of such caliber.

Early this year, you launched your new logo and slogan, what pushed you to re-brand? Noora: We felt the need to evolve. We had

a vision for where we want to be in the market. We had something beautiful but it wasn’t presented right. We had a story to tell and the challenge was how to present it.

What was your design direction for Al Zain’s new re-branding?

Mohammed: Our design direction came

very much from what we stand for as a family brand. We wanted to focus on our strengths and visually display who we are and what we do. I would say that our strengths are our valued relationships, our designs and our craftsmanship.

Tell me about the new identity, the packaging, and the redesign concept as a whole. Faisal: Our whole concept revolves

around our most cherished value; our relationships. As we embrace life with you through all stages of life, we wanted to visually present that. The logo symbolizes the embrace of a swan using Arabic calligraphy that spells out Al Zain. The swan is a symbol of eternal love, beauty and elegance. Our brand colours – lilac, cool grey and warm grey – are taken from our humble beginnings as pearl merchants. The colours are selected from the different shades of the Mother of Pearl. Our new shop concept takes the form of a circle representing the circle of life. Our boxes represent an embrace which brings us to our slogan “Embrace Life” as we celebrate life here at Al Zain. Our tagline “Handcrafted since 1930” shows that we design and manufacture our products in the heart of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

What plans for the future?

Noora: Our future plans are to gain

recognition as an international brand. We hope to expose ourselves to as many exhibitions and competitions, be it regionally or internationally; while staying true to our true identity. december / JANUARY 2014


Beauty at

your doorstep The Spa That Comes to You 30

December / january 2014



he Mobile Spa is an exceptional concept where instead of going to the salon, the salon comes to you. Established by Deena Al Ansari and her partner Souha Sawan, The Mobile Spa offers services all around Bahrain and has an impeccable selection of beauty treatments for children, teens and adults. It also is able to provide a special set up at themed parties, bridal showers and other occasions. We spoke to Deena and Souha to get more details.

What is The Mobile Spa known for?

Deena: In addition to its unique delivery service, The Mobile Spa is known for its dedication to offering the best in hygiene standards. We are the first spa in Bahrain to use an autoclave to sterilize implements similar to that used in hospitals, and where everything used on the client is disposable or given to the client at the end of the treatment. The Mobile Spa is also known for being the first exclusive mobile spa concept that has opened in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is a spa that delivers treatments to clients in the comfort of their home, private party, corporate function or wherever they are. We offer services to adults, teens and children. Services range from massages, body scrubs, manicures, pedicures and so much more. The spa also offers services to groups in the form of spa parties, referred to within The Mobile Spa as ‘Sparties’.

Sparties are available for groups of adults as well as children and are popular in many events ranging from corporate events to kids birthday parties.

Tell us about the start up journey.

Souha: The Mobile Spa was registered as a Company in October 2008. We came up with idea of the The Mobile Spa, while we were working long hours in our banking careers and decided that busy women deserved relaxing treatments in the comfort of their own homes. We also felt it was important to invest in implementing international hygiene standards because we were not satisfied with the hygiene standards of most spas and salons here. We started our journey two years prior to the registration of the company. As bankers, we had no idea how spas are managed or services are performed. To add to the complexity, we wanted to start a mobile spa. We had to figure out how every treatment would be packed, unpacked and services performed in various environments. A lot of time, funds and effort were invested in creating The Mobile Spa. Two years later it started its operation and fortunately, met the success we dreamt of.

“There are always challenges; when you overcome them, your dreams grow and with that new challenges arise.”

What are the background education/experiences that allowed you set up such a business? Deena: We had to study international best practices for the industry, from that we learned about the level of hygiene that is required. We visited exhibitions around the world. We met with certified beauticians who have worked in the world’s best spas and learned from them. We hired qualified and certified staff. We read, tested and failed and tried again until we gained the knowledge we now possess that allows us to make this business a success.

Does it provide all the services a regular spa does or is there a listed selection?

Souha: Yes! We offer all the services a spa does and more. Today, we are the only spa in Bahrain that offers a massage performed by 2 therapists at the same time. And to further challenge ourselves, we also offer a massage that is performed by 3 therapists. That’s 3 therapists massaging a client at the same time. The synergy and techniques required to offer a service this unique is very difficult to obtain. But with training and persistence, we were able to push every limit.

What has been the most exciting moment so far?

overcome them your dreams grow and with that new challenges arise. Today our new dream and challenge is franchising The Mobile Spa.

How many members are there on your team? Tell us more about their training.

Deena: Today the team is 16 members. Half are therapists and half are the support team comprising of manager, drivers, receptionists, accounts and admin. The therapists receive most of the training. We provide constant training through various methods. The longest training we had was 4 months ago when we invited a trainer to visit Bahrain and she spent a month doing in-house training: both theory and practical.

What are some of Mobile Spa’s popular treatments?

Souha: The most popular treatments are massages and manicure pedicures. We have many types of massages ranging from a basic aromatherapy, shea butter massage, lava shell massage, lava bamboo massage just to name a few. We also offer a range of manicure pedicures from the basic type to Brazilian Mani Pedi, Spa Mani Pedi, Lava Shells Mani Pedi among others.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Deena: Meeting people who don’t know us personally but know the business and hearing them speak about the hygiene, comfort, luxury and quality The Mobile Spa delivers. There is nothing like compliments from clients.

Deena: Never give up. It’s a journey with tough times and great times. Stay committed to your dream no matter how difficult things seem to get.

What are some of the challenges that you face?

Too many to list! For The Mobile Spa, we believe the next step is to franchise it.

What plans for the future?

Souha: There are always challenges, when you

December / january 2014


Safety, Quality &


Why Trust Traders goes by this motto 32

December / january 2014



r Ahmed Bahman is the CEO of Trust Traders, a company that specializes in roofing, stones and other building design materials. They have been in business for 20 years and offer a plethora of products that cater to Bahraini housing trends and market needs. When it comes to their work, they go by their SQS policy, which stands for ‘Safety, Quality and Speed.’ B.I.G sat down with Dr Ahmed to find out more about his company and the bond of trust they have established with their clientele.

What is Trust Traders known for?

Trust Traders is spear headed by dynamic teams of professionals offering a diverse range of services. The company offers a wide range of products that have been approved by laboratory tests and the appraisal authorities worldwide which. TT offers a massive range of Roof Tiles & Accessories, Stones (Natural & Artificial), Terracotta, Vinyl Floor Coverings, Magic Granite coatings & Trowel Stones, Ceramics, Glass Blocks, Glass/Stone Mosaics, Thermal Insulation and Waterproofing products. But products that are superior in quality.

Tell us about the start up journey.

It all started 20 years ago, when I was searching for a finished product that I could not find in the market. I scoured every building material store and showroom but it was unavailable so I eventually had to order it from abroad. And it was after this experience that I decided to launch a company

which would provide unique products to the kingdom and Trust Traders was officially launched in 1994.

What are the background education/experiences that allowed you set up such a business? To a certain extent i would say. I used to work in my father’s construction company, which helped me gain skills and knowledge about building materials. I then pursued my higher education in several related fields such as management, engineering and also a PHD in business administration.

What do you think sets Trust Traders apart from the rest?

All our labourers are highly skilled and professionally aware of techniques in installing products. In general we are a very unique company and products similar to ours are rarely found in the Middle Eastern market. We bring innovation and creative ideas that other companies take after. We have also have branches in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey and the USA.

What has been the best moment of your career so far?

Every time I see one of our projects completed as per my expectations and our client’s satisfaction, that particular moment suddenly feels like the best moment of my career.

What are some of the challenges that you face?

One of the main challenges in our field is designing a project, precisely according to our client’s requirement. Another is time management, i.e. finishing and handing over a project to the client according to a specific deadline because you may find yourself faced with

“We bring innovation and creative ideas that other companies take after.” unexpected issues . From time to time we also face obstacles in introducing new products to the Bahraini market and coming up with ways of establishing trends, which would help us maintain our status as pioneers in our industry. However so far we’ve managed to overcome all these challenges.

Can you tell us about some of the interesting projects that you have worked on? We have many projects all over Bahrain and the region. You can see our roofing and stone work in several places such as Yumyum Tree, Awali compound, Muharraq Club, Caribou Coffee in Seef Mall and Alba. We’ve also done workws for numerous villas and palaces in Bahrain.

We have heard that you are quite active when it comes to exhibitions and active promotions. Is this true? We’ve participated in campaigns for the Bahrain Motorcycle Club. We also frequently participate in exhibitions such as the Gulf Bid, the annual Garden Show, Saudi Build as well as international exhibitions in Malaysia, Turkey and Europe.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs (young people who would like to set up a business)?

I always advise those who would like to start any business to first come up with an idea and select what they want to pursue. Secondly they must seek advice from those with experience in entrepreneurship and study the market they’re based in. They must also be aware of the business they are interested in and all of its aspects. Lastly they must have great determination and not give up on their ambitions.

What plans for the future?

We have many plans to expand, especially in Bahrain. Unfortunately we currently don’t have industrial land to start a factory. We have a few factories overseas that specialize in making products from raw materials however we are trying to acquire land to start up a factory for producing finished products and are look forward to making it possible.

December / january 2014


Framed! Making It Personal 34

December / january 2014



anal Al Khan always had a passion for crocheting and with ‘Raindrops on Roses’, she explores how it can be converted into a successful business. We speak to her to find out more What made you set up Raindrops on Roses

I love crochet! The satisfaction and pleasure I feel after completing a project and seeing the outcome is so rewarding and exciting. I used to create crochet items as gifts for the special people in my life, such as for my friends’ and families’ children, and seeing the appreciation on their faces, it made me want to share and make items for more people, and by launching Raindrops On Roses I was able to do just that! There is something special about gifting something handmade, as it shows thought and creativity and special effort has been put into creating the item… and I’m really happy that I’m able to help people gift special handmade items for their loved ones.

What does Raindrops on Roses specialize in? Raindrops On Roses focuses on personalized frames with handmade crochet names, for example names of precious boys and girls. Frames can be hung in children’s bedrooms, nurseries, playrooms, and can also be used to decorate hospital rooms for baby deliveries. Customers can buy them for their own children, or for gifts for special people such us nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friend’s children, etc. They are ideal to give on special occasions such as birthdays, newborn babies, or simply to say “I love you”. Each frame is carefully hand

wrapped, with beautiful floral embellishments, making the frame ready to be gifted with love! In addition, I’m expanding the product line. Raindrops On Roses frames can also be made for stores, restaurants, working spaces, and they are customized to reflect the business brand, adding a personalized and creative touch to the business.

How has the start up journey been so far?

It has really been great! I’ve mainly been marketing and showcasing my products through Instagram, which has been a very useful and effective channel for me. Also, I’ve participated in a couple of exhibitions since the startup, such as the Bab Market and Al Reem Charity event held this year, which have all allowed me to showcase my products and reach a larger audience. I’m really very grateful to be part of these two events, and lucky to be in a country with enthusiasm for such activities. The support of my family, friends, and also the lovely people I’ve met since the launch has been amazing; I am really thankful for all their encouragement and support.

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

I’ve been crocheting handmade gift items since 2009, when my friend and I taught ourselves the art of crochet together using books and online videos. Since then, I’ve created crochet items such as blankets, cushions, baby booties, and other such items mainly for lovely young ones. During the past few years my confidence for the positive appreciation for handmade crochet product has grown, and by combining this with my business background I’ve been able to launch my Raindrops On Roses brand.

What are your main influences while you are designing an item? The frames are customized based on my client’s fabric,

name, and frame choice. I can add extra pieces of crochet appliqués to the frames such as flowers, cars, bows, etc. Usually clients choose the fabric from the available ones I have, but if a client wants a specific theme/color, I do my best to find a fabric to suit the client’s taste. Some customers like me to advise fabric/design choice, and others have their own suggestions which I do my very best to meet, such as a special client who wanted to add cute little sailboats to the sides of her chosen name.

What has been the most exciting moment so far?

I am very lucky to continuously have excitement during this journey! Whenever a frame is ready I first send a picture of the frame to the customer… and receiving their positive feedback and lovely comments after seeing their chosen frame/ name/fabric combination come to reality is truly rewarding for me, every single time! Another exciting moment was seeing a frame I produced for the new home accessories store “Pachachic” reflecting the store’s brand hanging up in the store. I’m currently working on a frame for a new café, and excited to see this one ready and up there too!

What are the main challenges you face in this industry?

In this kind of a business the main challenges are usually related to constantly innovating and offering clients new products. For instance the frames I offer are covered in fabric to suit customer’s preferences, such as those for girls or boys. I would like to expand on my fabric selection which can be quiet a challenge. I hope to be able to build formal collaborations with fabric suppliers in the country to order more fabric options than the ones currently available, and will also be ordering fabric from abroad in order to meet the business needs and demands.

Among all the things that you have created, what is your personal favorite?

It is very difficult to choose only one favorite, since every single frame that has been produced has been customized for a special person! One of my favorites items are the frames we produce for expectant parents for their babies about to be born. Its a special feeling to see them preparing for the arrival of their newborns. One customer after making a frame for her soon to be born child, asked for another frame since her mother-in-law wanted to hang one too, in the bedroom that she was making for her new grandchild in her own home! It was really one of the sweetest things to hear. That’s the lucky thing about being in this business… each frame has a story and a background, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

If you have an innovative product in mind, and a passion for it and belief that it will be welcomed in your market, don’t be scared to try and make your idea a reality. Trust your instincts, try to differentiate your product from the other offerings in the market so that it is unique and special, and test it out with family and friends before launching to obtain their real and honest feedback. Eventually, go for it!

What plans for the future?

I’m excited to see Raindrops On Roses grow steadily as I foresee an exciting and promising future. Plans are under way to offer my frames with inspirational messages in stores that I’m collaborating with…I’m currently working on it so you’ll see it soon!

December / january 2014



On Wheels The road map of the delicios Paco’s Tacos 36

october / november December / january 2014 2014



ou may recall Paco’s Tacos being that crowded stall at the Bab Market or the recent IGN convention. B.I.G interviewed founder Pakiza Abdulrahman to get the captivating story behind Paco’s Tacos. What made you launch Paco’s Tacos? Having my own place to Having my own place to share my own food inventions with others was my childhood dream. I am passionate about cooking but I rarely cook by the book as I HATE following recipes. Instead, I find it very amusing to guess a recipe of a dish I had at a restaurant and rush back home to try it. I look at our fridge and create a dish from any random ingredients I find in front of me. But I couldn’t find the unique-enough idea to base my food business on, till I spent some time in the United States. The authentic Mexican dishes I was exposed to during my one-year-long stay in Texas inspired me. I also enjoyed visiting a number of outlets that made mouth-watering fusion flavors for tacos. I remember spending our weekends chasing food trucks via social media just to try their specials and their delicious creations. There it was! The concept I was looking for! It was a new model for Bahrain, as it would be the first mobile Taco Station.

Can you tell us about your journey from day one till today? My journey started last year, when I tried to get a franchise in the Kingdom for a known brand. Due to the high costs involved and expertise required to manage such a business, I dropped the idea.

I decided to build something from scratch; putting the elements I liked the most into one concept. The plan was to launch it in a few years, when I would have a more relaxed schedule. But life had other plans. One of my friends introduced me to the management of Bab Market and they were very welcoming and granted me a spot to showcase my cooking talent and share it with the audience to get first-hand feedback. The time was never perfect and I was so scared to have to launch something that I had planned to do so in two years, in less than 3 weeks. Luckily the concept and recipes were already thought of and practiced. All I had to do is to get them documented, build the brand and get the game rolling for a Mobile Taco Station. We worked, after office hours on the brand identity, the credit for which goes to Fahad Fulad. Another team member brought his photography equipment and yet another was working on the logistics of the space and assembly line and listing down our supply requirements while I was scanning the market for food supplies and getting busy cooking. The official launch was in Bab Market, followed by catering requests for birthdays, bridal showers and participation at other markets and conventions.

What sets Paco’s Tacos apart from other fast food joints in the Kingdom?

We are the first ones to introduce a mobile Mexican food outlet, so to speak. Our flavors are authentic and our ingredients are hand picked. We also try to mix and match flavors to get fusion textures that have never been tasted in the country before.

Do you have any prior experience in the food biz? Or did you learn ‘on the job’? I have a full time job at Zain. I’m currently managing Adjacent Businesses and Enterprise Solutions. I had some experience starting up my cousin’s Lebanese Restaurant and managing its Marketing and Social Media Presence. I see myself learning everyday from every experience and the journey is full of new possibilities.

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

My main struggle is with the availability of fresh and well-priced supplies such as avocados. I once had to cancel my Guacamole from the menu, as I did not find ripe Avocados in the souq. With the rise of Mexican food outlets in Bahrain, we should be able to secure better supplies and have them at competitive prices. Also, people here don’t know much about Mexican cuisine. Some customers were referring to the Fajitas as Shawarmas! And that by itself was very shocking to me. I believe Bahrain will need extensive campaigns to spread the correct terminologies (and pronunciation) of Mexican food dishes.

What has been the most exciting moment so far?

My participation at BAB Market back in March 2013 and having an American couple that were living in Bahrain for the past 14 years, tell me that after having the Tacos, the flavor brought back memories from home! It made my day to be able to perfect the taste and remind them of what they have been missing. They now follow us to every event and take the time to drive all the way to have Paco’s Tacos. I am honored with their feedback. The day it rained in our second participation at Bab Market was so thrilling as we continued to serve our

customers in such devastating circumstances. Around the clock, taking orders, shifting our stand to a dryer place and moving all electrical equipment under the unexpected rain. With a smile on our face and extreme sense of achievement.

How has the response been so far?

It has been great so far. Even when people don’t understand what the food is called, they do enjoy it and relish every bite. People have begun associating us with authentic Mexican food that is flavorful, fresh and very light.

What is Paco’s Taco’s most popular item?

That’s a difficult question but I will have to pick the Beef Tacos, Chicken Fajita wraps in Spinach Tortilla, Virgin Mojito and our extremely spicy salsa.

Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Running a business is almost everyone’s dream. It will be realized once you know what you want to achieve and when you are passionate about it.

What is in store for the future for Paco’s Taco?

I am still categorized as a home business, and I am currently working closely with Tamkeen and BDB to obtain my CR. As the concept is new (Being mobile) and involving a food truck to the mix created a loop of discussions between approval bodies. I am working on some new fusion recipes to share with our fans and hope to start serving more Tacos from Paco’s Tacos Food Truck very soon. Hopefully one day, I will be able to expand the chain and share a Made-in-Bahrain business that is successful and unique with the region.

December / january 2014


THINGS TO DO! The One Stop Shop For Art Supplies 38

December / january 2014



hen Mrs June Al Saffar arrived in Bahrain in the sixties, she realized that although there were a few good artists in the country, they had no place to go, to get their arts and crafts supplies. This convinced her to set up a shop for them and today, “Things To Do” in Budaiya has developed into the one stop shop for all your arts and crafts requirements. Here is Mrs. Al Saffar’s story. What made you set up Raindrops on Roses IWhat made you set up Things To Do? I arrived in Bahrain in 1966 and as there were few jobs for women back then, I worked as a medical secretary for seven years. But while I was here I soon realized that many crafts were dying in Bahrain and add to that the art movement was very small. Luckily for me, back in the UK, I had previously worked in retail and I realized there was potential here, so I set up my first little shop for art supplies in 1975 in Fareeq Al Fadhel in Manama.

What Does Things To Do Specialize in? We specialize in Arts, Crafts, Needlework and Equestrian materials and equipment.

How has the start up journey been so far?

Very rocky at times. It has had its ups and downs. Bahrain has been affected by various financial crises around the world and during those times, we have had to weather the storms.

Do you have any background experience/education in this field? As I mentioned I worked in retail in London and obtained my retail certification while working there from the College of Retail Trades.

What are your main influences while you were setting up the place?

At the time when I first set up shop, communication means were very slow and very little information was actually available. So a lot depended on word of mouth. During those days, my main influences were actually the people of Bahrain who, even back then were eager to learn new things and were great communicators!

“We believe in giving the best service possible and this will continue to be our ethos.”

What has been the most exciting moment so far?

Watching the growth of Watching the growth of interest and talent for arts, crafts, needlework etc, amongst the local population particularly Bahrainis who have embraced the changes in their lives and around the world.

What are the main challenges you face in this industry?

All retail businesses face logistical problems with regard to obtaining and selling their ranges and the fact that many of the bureaucratic processes are becoming more complex instead of being made made easier by those who administer them. Small and medium businesses are facing challenges in these areas which render some of them unable to continue.

How has the response been so far? I think our customer base speaks for us. We believe in giving the best service possible and this will continue to be our ethos.

Any advice for young entrepreneurs?

The word ‘entrepreneur’ is being used constantly these days. Remember that it is the small details of your business, which will count in the long run since looking after these, enables you constantly to know and monitor your business and how you can improve it. Although media exposure is important in a new business, it does not supersede ‘word of mouth’ recommendations, which will ensure that your business can grow on the foundations on which it is built.

What plans for the future?

We are a very specialized business and will continue to bring to our customers new and good value products in order for them to go on creating. We will shortly be launching our on-line purchase web site, which will enable our customers to choose from at least some of our retail range.

December / january 2014


The Best Business Hotels in Town

SUIT UP! It is quite a task for the event management team of any company to pick a place for their meetings and conferences. What with multiple options depending on the number of attendees and the food and technology choices, it can be quite a headache. We make it easier for you. We bring you a detailed list of facilities that the leading hotels in the Kingdom provide. Have a Look.


december / JANUARY 2014

Al Areen Palace and SPA Located on a massive spread of land, Al Areen Palace & Spa features two types of luxuriously appointed Villa-style accommodations. As for business events, Al Areen provides a variety of options: Nadwah Ballroom – With a maximum capacity of 220 guests, Nadwah Ballroom can be divided into 3 smaller sections to accommodate smaller function/gathering. Al Maha 1 & 2 – ideal for business meetings for a maximum of 80 guests; each section will be able to accommodate 30 to 40 guests. Hewar Boardroom – executive boardroom ideal for board meetings; maximum capacity of 12 guests.

Crowne Plaza Bahrain Crowne Plaza is ideal for meetings and events being one of the largest conference centers in the country. The Bahrain Conference Centre, attached to the hotel complex, is a leading venue for seminars and exhibitions, catering to more than 2000 delegates. Supporting the 1700 square meters of conference and banqueting area with a further 8 individually appointed meeting rooms. Crowne Plaza’s latest addition of the 8 storey car park building with the facility to park 500 plus cars is an added advantage to our conference hall and hotel facilities.

Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa The stunning ballrooms with sparkling chandeliers at the Diplomat are an impressive venue for gatherings, while the smaller-scale meeting rooms provide an intimate setting for a board meeting or lunch. Features include individual climate control; Free high-speed, wireless Internet, full-service catering and modern audiovisual equipment. The hotel also has Bahrain’s only rooftop ballroom, a 14th-floor space that is elegant both inside and out. The meeting facilities can accommodate anywhere from 10 delegates in an intimate boardroom to 1,800 guests in the grand ballroom. The Meetings & Events team is on hand from initial planning stages until the last guest departs to ensure each event runs smoothly and efficiently.

GOLDEN TULIP BAHRAIN HOTEL The Golden Tulip Bahrain Hotel has the perfect meeting, business and conference facilities equipped with all the technology you will need for a successful business experience. The venues include: Gilgamesh A, Gilgamesh C, Gilgamesh B, Boardroom 616, Boardroom 716, Umm Nassan, Al Ghazal, Umm Nassan and Al Ghazal , Dilmun and Hawar. The Gilgamesh Halls can be combined and made into a huge ballroom if the requirement arises.

december / JANUARY 2014


The K Hotel The K Hotel also offers a great venue for meetings, events and conference with its meeting rooms that can cater up to 170 persons. The 5 meeting rooms and business center are equipped with state of the art meeting facilities, secretarial service upon request, daylight and audiovisual room compliment with world class services.

The Gulf Hotel Bahrain The Gulf Convention Centre houses 29 venues ensuring there is plenty of room for almost any type of event. It is supported by a team of professional staff who provide impeccable service for all sizes of gatherings, from intimate business meetings to theatre-style conferences. The Gulf Convention Centre’s crowning glory is its magnificent Al Dana Hall which comes equipped with a main ballroom floor area, hat can accommodate up to 3,000 guests for cocktail receptions and 1,260 for an elegant banquet. An additional Exhibition Hall can hold 75 booths and boasts direct drive-in access, a built-in stage, catwalk facilities, power supply units and light rigs, as well as the option to divide the hall into separate conference areas. A further 5 individual meeting rooms can cater to smaller meeting. All conference rooms are fully equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment, including hi-tech projection systems, video conferencing facilities, multiple power and telephone points, high-speed Internet access and two purpose-built translation booths for simultaneous translation in two languages, Arabic and English. The Gulf Hotel has also recently introduced the Hawar Meeting Rooms, which are five brand new executive meeting rooms that have been designed to the highest specifications.


december / JANUARY 2014

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel With refreshing and personalized hospitality at your fingertips, Kempinski is the premier address for meetings in the heart of Manama. The hotel encompasses an ultra-high-tech function space including 15 multi-purpose rooms outfitted with top tier amenities and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property. World-class conference and business facilities, combined with dedicated Kempinski service to coordinate the details, distinguish the hotel as the perfect destination choice for the most astute business travellers for corporate or social occasions. On the first floor of the hotel, the Mezzanine Lounge features individual sleek technology ‘pods’ with televisions, built-in entertainment and Wi-Fi connections for guests to meet in the comfort of a private environment.

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain is a modern, five-star property in the historic town of Muharraq. Meetings and events planners have a choice of 8 rooms including a ballroom and complimentary Wi-Fi internet. It is one of the leading Green Globe certified hotels, designating sustainable management with regards to the environment, social and cultural initiatives, quality, health and safety. Venues are well-appointed and fully-equipped with the latest technology which includes complimentary high speed wireless internet, projectors, wireless microphones, laptops, video conferencing and secretarial services on request. Al Murjan Ballroom which consists of three divisible rooms with a maximum capacity of 600 guests for a cocktail-style reception or 260 seated guests for a banqueting event. A total of eight meeting rooms, including the three rooms that comprise the ballroom. A team of certified Mövenpick Meeting & Events professionals along with an experienced culinary team.

december / JANUARY 2014


Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa From 5 boardrooms to a massive ballroom and pre-function event space, to their full-service hotel business canter, personalized business services and in-house gourmet catering, Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa’s unwavering standards of service all but guarantee a successful meeting. With a day light, capacity of 600 guests, the Acaia Ballroom is a great venue for celebrations or corporate meetings. 5 meeting rooms of different sizes are also available to accommodate your meetings, trainings or team-building programs. They are Palmyra, Grover 1 & 2, Oak 1 & 2. An advanced IT suite, professional AV equipment and a dedicated team are at hand to ensure every event is a roaring success.

InterContinental Regency Bahrain InterContinental Regency Bahrain offers a selection of meeting and conference facilities designed to host any type or size of event. Thier modern meeting rooms range from spacious interconnected ballrooms, capable of hosting up to 700 people. It has 15 meeting rooms and all facilities including projectors and stage lights.

Sheraton Bahrain Sheraton Bahrain Hotel offers a wide range of conference and event venues offering meeting spaces from 8 to 600 participants. The hotel offers 9 meeting rooms with latest audio-visual equipment to accommodate your event and meetings in Bahrain. From gala dinners to banquets and incentive events, Sheraton Bahrain Hotel can host your next big event. Our extensive conference and events facilities provide a sophisticated setting for coffee breaks, cocktail receptions, lunches and dinners.


december / JANUARY 2014

Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa The The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa offers over 3,750 square meters of meeting, conference and banqueting facilities including two ballrooms and four additional individual meeting rooms. The Grand Foyer,is beautifully accented by panoramic floor to ceiling windows. The resort can accommodate conferences for up to 1,000 people, yet the hotel retains its sense of intimate elegance, with its many secluded seating areas providing privacy and comfort. Both ballrooms are equipped with meeting room technology, including high-speed Internet and laptop access, and multiple telephone lines. Sound-proofed walls and partitions, combined with luxurious conference seating, enable delegates to focus on the contents of the meeting in comfortable surroundings. The conference facilities are complemented by a team of dedicated conference services professionals, who are able to work in partnership with meeting planners to create truly memorable events. The Business Centre is conveniently located in the lobby next to the reception, and is equipped with competent professionals eager to help with technical assistance, equipment rental and secretarial services. The folio of services includes as well a Boarding Pass Printing Station that allows guests to check-in to their airline flights and print boarding passes without leaving the surroundings of the hotel; and avoiding lengthy queues at the airport. The hotel's Technology Butler® is also on-call 24 hours.

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa offers a business center with 2 meeting rooms as well as a grand ballroom with banquet facilities that can accommodate up to 1,000 people, complete with top-of-the-range audio visual equipment. The elegant atmosphere of the grand Al Nakheel Ballroom sets the stage for various events of prestige to unfold. For magnifique meetings and events trust Sofitel’s event planners’ meticulous attention to detail and creative vision to tailor the outstanding facilities to suit your specific needs and objectives; providing seamless organization and a stunning stage for your most inspired, inspiring events.

The Domain Bahrain The Domain features a number of advanced meeting and conference rooms. Board rooms are fitted with the latest “white board technology”, allowing presenters – amongst other features to add comments and drawings to PowerPoint presentations, which can then be shared via Bluetooth technology with the audience. As a social club, The Domain Bahrain provides its business travelers with an unrivalled choice of unique restaurants and lounges. In a time in which the boundaries between business and leisure, work and play are continuously blurred, it is important to provide ample social space besides state of the art meeting and conference facilities. Butler and Domain Managers are on stand-by to assist with anything Guests may require in both the Public and Private Domain.

december / JANUARY 2014



The Festive Season..

With Christmas just around the corner, it is indeed the season to be merry. We help you plan your festive celebrations with a detailed look at the schedule at the various five star and four star luxury hotels around Bahrain. 46

december / JANUARY 2014

Al Areen Palace Hotel & Spa Christmas Eve: Enjoy a special international cuisine dinner with family and friends at Rimal or head to Keizo if you are looking for Far Eastern Delicacies. And if you want dishes with an Arabian flavor, Saffron is the place to go. BD 20++ per person. Christmas Day: For a spectacular night with musicians, Marwan Mattar and Farooq Al Shaikh, head to the Saffron Restaurant. BD 20++ per person. New Year’s Eve: Mark the arrival of a new dawn at the NYE Red Carpet Ball at the Al Nadwah Ballroom. BD 50 including buffet. At Saffron, enjoy a night of Arabic music with Marwan Mattar and Ms. Sanaa Al Saleh. BD 35++ including set menu dinner or head to Kiezo to listen to DJ Adel’s tunes. BD35++ including set menu meal.

Crowne Plaza Bahrain Christmas Day: Enjoy lavish Christmas day

lunch buffet at any of the 3 great venues, La Mosaique, Harvesters Bar & Terrace and Cappuccino’s. Savor the spectacular buffet with endless fresh seafood including prawns, oysters and crab and tuck into their traditional Christmas lunch special with an extensive range of specialty dishes and perfectly roasted carved meats with all the trimmings, live cooking stations, gourmet salads and condiments. Santa will be paying a surprise visit too!. BD 27++ inclusive of selected beverages and BD13.500++ for kids between the ages of 3 – 12years.

New Year’s Eve: Spices Indian restaurant

has a Bollywood-themed farewell to 2013 with buffet dinner and dancing. BD 19.950++ including selected beverages. ‘A Night in Las Vegas’ is the theme for the New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and it promises to be spectacular with a legendary Elvis Tribute, a European band and international dancers. BD70 per person including selected beverages.

Golden Tulip Hotel Chirstmas Day: Get into the festive spirit early with brunch starting at 10.30am in Al Wasmeyyah restaurant. All the usual live cooking stations plus some festive specials, kids’ activities, carols and a visit from Santa. BD24++ per person including selected beverages, kids six to 12 BD12.500++. New Year’s Eve: A DJ, Spanish Flamenco/salsa dancers and belly dancers, Latin rhythms from a seven-piece Cuban band and entertainment from the Crazy Horse show are all on the cards for Golden Tulip Hotel’s New Year’s Eve Party. . BD44++ including selected beverages and Spanish buffet.

Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa Christmas Eve: A fine 5 course menu for everyone to enjoy at BD25 net per person. Christmas Day: Book a table with family or friends at the Grand Ambassador for a great Christmas treat for all ages. Soak up the festive atmosphere, savor a sensational Christmas lunch buffet and dance along with the band. A special kids’ corner with balloons, bouncing castle and face painting will be provided. BD25 net per person. Kids under 6 can attend for free, while kids between 6 and 13 get a 50% discount. New Year’s Eve: Celebrate the way only Jay Gatsby would have in the fabulous era of Art Deco and lavish living with their New Year’s glamorous, Great Gatsbyinspired party. Time travel back to the twenties and start 2014 in style! Tickets are BD65 net per person incl. dinner buffet and selected beverages.

december / JANUARY 2014


Gulf Hotel Bahrain Christmas Eve: Al Waha embodies the Christmas spirit and transforms its buffet to include a range of delectable Christmas goodies. The ideal place to relax, unwind and enjoy a perfect pre-Christmas dinner. Buffet BD19. La Vigilia di Natale is an important Christmas tradition in Italy. La Pergola brings this to you through its home-style dishes with the view that ‘at the end of the day, the essence of Christmas is simple – family, love and food’. BD25 set menu including one glass of bubbly. Fusion’s Christmas Eve

dinner aims to be ‘by far the finest festive dinner on the island’ all served up with the restaurant’s famous panoramic view. BD25 including a glass of sparkling grape.

Christmas Day: Enjoy a festive brunch that has it all, a ballroom filled with cheer, a jolly Santa Claus, a Christmas movie and games for the young ones and all that wonderful food on a lavish buffet at Awal Ballroom. BD25 per person, kids six to 12 half price, five and under go free.

New Year’s Eve: There’s a Latinthemed evening at Margarita Mexicana with great food and live music. BD45 including a glass of sparkling and half a bottle of grape. Al Waha features a special, lavish New Year’s Eve spread throughout the lobby with surprise live stations. BD32++ including selected beverages, half price for kids six to 12 and under fives go free. Sherlock Holmes and Zahle also have celebrations lined up.

InterContinental Regency Christmas Eve: Nothing captures the warmth of Christmas like a dinner you’re your loved ones. Enjoy Christmas eve with a fivecourse meal at Medzo. BD26 per person. Or head to Selections for a special dinner. BD30 inclusive of house beverages.

Christmas Day: Enjoy a special

nine course brunch at Legendz Steakhouse. BD40 per person. There’s also a set five-course menu at Medzo. BD26 per person.

New Year’s Eve: Countdown party with a live performance from Cinderella Rockafella in Downtown Bar. BD40 including drinks. New Year’s Eve party with DJ Lisa & Saxo at Elements Pool & Lounge. BD40++ including drinks. NYE Dindinner and coundown party at BD 45 per person. 48

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Mövenpick Bahrain Christmas Day: A delectable brunch spread across the

Gallery Lounge, Silk’s, the Flamingo Bar and the Murjan ballroom. BD32.300++, except Murjan ballroom which is BD 29.000++ including selected beverages.

New Year’s Eve: Raise a glass on the stroke of midnight and dive into the bustling atmosphere of ‘A Journey Around Latin America’ with performers taking you to a world of the rhythm of drums, glorious costumes of sequins and feathers and Latin dancers adding a taste of the carnival with both live band and DJ. BD69++, Gallery, BD59++ Silk’s and Flamingo Bar including buffet and unlimited drinks.

Kempinski Grand & Ixir Hotel Christmas Eve: Bring in the Christmas spirit as you listen to

the Kempinski hotel staff choir performing all holiday classics at the Grand Lobby on Christmas Eve. Bring your family and join in the singing! Festivities served with warm fruit punch, holiday cookies and a crepe station to make everyone happy. And afterwards head to Saveur for a spectacular three course gourmet dinner at BD 24++ per person.

Christmas Day: Embark on a remarkable culinary journey

this holiday season with Kempinski’s Christmas Dinner in Saveur. Spoil your senses with an exceptional gourmet 3-course meal, prepared with the finest, freshest ingredients to create a festive menu of timeless classics. Combine your 3-course meal from the special festive menu or pick your favourites individually. BD24++ per person.

New Year’s Eve: See in the New Year with the lavish buffet

at Baharat including live entertainment. BD48++ including selected beverages, BD34++ without beverages. DJ Mysterioo is at the DJ console for an evening of eclectic music with drinks from the in-house expert mixologists at the Bizarre Lounge. BD10 including a glass of sparkling and finger foods.

Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa Christmas Eve: Special Christmas Eve menu at Lemon Tree

offering holiday creations on the buffet and caroling with the choir. BD21 including selected beverages. There’s also a special Christmas buffet running alongside the regular a la carte menu at Rialto, the Italian restaurant. BD21 including selected beverages.

Christmas Day: Lemon Tree is the place to go for all Christmas carousers with the finest international cuisine & beverages, melodious Christmas caroling from their in-house Choir, special activities and gifts for all children from everyone’s beloved Santa Claus. Exquisite holiday creations from the expert Chef with a special holiday buffet at BD 35 net for adults and BD 10 for kids New Year’s Eve: Enjoy International cusine and celebrate the fifties at the Lemon Tree for BD 50 net. For a whiff of the sixties, the go to place is Rialto for BD 60 per head. If it is Indian you are looking for, then Rasoi gives you a taste of the seventies for BD 70. You can party the night away at Ibrida for BD 80. All Prices for include a 5 course set menu, live entertainment, cotillions, unlimited select house beverages and access to Ibrida for the countdown & festivity with unlimited select house beverage. december / JANUARY 2014


Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa Christmas Eve: Celebrate the spirit of Christmas with

your choice of festive menu. La Med Festive buffet, including eggnog or hot cider. BD 29++ per person. Nirvana Festive five course menu. BD 28++ per person. Plums Eclectic four course menu. BD 38++ per person. Natale at Primavera Festive four course menu with Sgroppino upon arrival. BD 35++ per person.

Christmas Day: Check out the Christmas Day Brunch in the Grand Foyer and enjoy a festive celebration of culinary delights accompanied by fabulous live entertainment and magicians and clowns for the kids. BD 35++ per person, including house beverages. Half price for children.

New Year’s Eve: Enjoy an elegant New Year’s Eve

Gala dinner and show “Le Cirque du Nouvel An”, the very first of its kind in Bahrain at the al Noor Ballroom. A night full of entertainment awaits you with stilt walkers, fire jugglers, acrobats and aerial bartenders serving your midnight champagne from the chandeliers. Ring in the New Year in style with a magical night not to be missed! BD 115 per person, including wine.

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa Christmas Eve: Saraya restaurant will boast a hearty Christmas Eve buffet from 7:00pm – 10:30pm. Traditional favorites from all over the world, like turkey roast and Christmas puddings, will be prepared for this special occasion. BD 22 per person including dinner buffet and soft drinks. Or enjoy a delectable five course set menu meal at La Mer. BD32 per person.

Sheraton Bahrain Christmas Eve: Celebrate and enjoy special Christmas

Eve dinner buffet at Al Safir Restaurant from 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm. BD 12.5++ per person. Children from 4-12 years get 50% discount and below 4 years eat for free.

Christmas Day: Christmas Day lunch at the Al Safir

Restaurant promises to be an exciting meal for everyone. From roast turkey to tenderloin steak medallions, to Christmas cakes and tempting desserts, you will find special dishes to satisfy your taste buds. BD 16++ per person and BD 6++ for kids. If you miss out the Christmas day lunch, you surely don’t want to miss the Christmas day dinner at Al Safir Restaurant. BD 12.500++ for adults, children from 4-12 years get 50% discount and below 4 years eat for free.

New Year’s Eve: Make this year’s final meal an exciting

experience for all. Share memories of 2013 and welcome 2014 with family and friends while savoring favorite festive dishes. There will be live entertainment too to complete the celebration. So join in to bid farewell to 2013 at Al Safir Restaurant. New Year’s Eve dinner is priced at 18.000 for adults and 8.000* for children.


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Christmas Day: Three restaurants in the hotel will vaunt a lavish brunch with Christmas favourites paired with live entertainment from the resident band ‘Christian and Antonina’. The Wok Restaurant will feature cuisine with authentic flavours from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia while Saraya will provide live cooking stations with an international selection and Fiamma will tantalize the taste buds of Italian food lovers where you can prepare your own pizza. BD38 per person and includes buffet and free flow of house beverages. Children between 6-12 years old will be charged BD19 per child while children below the age of 6 years old can enjoy the brunch free of charge. New Year’s Eve: Welcome 2014 with a bang with the black and red-themed Glamour Night a show paying tribute to the great American entertainers from the past to the present. Songs from the ‘good-old-days’ come to life. A guest DJ from Orlando, Florida , DJ Gil Lugo, will also entertain guests with a mix of house, pop, electro and Top 40 hits as well as old time favorite classics. BD75 per person including dinner buffet and house beverages.

The Domain Bahrain Christmas Eve: Txoko Tasting featuring the sommelier’s personal selection of Spanish grape and superior malts will be paired with Basque pintxos (tapas).BD48 per person. At Imari there’s a five-course Izakaya-style dinner, inspired by the festive season, complimented with the sommelier’s private selection of beverages and entertainment from the resident DJ. BD48 per person. And at Le Domain 34 you can enjoy a three- or four-course table d’hote menu. BD27 per person. Christmas Day: In addition to the same treats as the Christmas Eve, enjoy a Christmas Brunch. The finest choice of Christmas favorites, complimented by a Turkey Carving Station, the best views in town and their Sommelier’s favorite selection. BD 35 per person. New Year’s Eve: Enjoy an 8 course Kaiseki Menu for the connaisseurs of the finer Japanese cuisine at the Imari Restaurant. BD 78 per head including a selection of premier Japanese and international spirits. At the Imari Lounge, enjoy Izakaya style free flow of IMARI’s signature dishes of Sushi, Sashimi and Robatayaki, complimented with selection of house beverages at BD 70 per person. Book a table for 10 friends, including a bottle of whisky, a bottle of vodka and 2 bottles of bubbly for BD 598. At L34, Enjoy Black Tie Dinner & Dance at The Domain. 6 Course menu, including our Sommelier’s finest selection of wines as well as a glass of champagne to celebrate the New Year. BD 75 per person.

The K Hotel Christmas Eve: Enjoy a special Christmas Eve Dinner and

kick-start the celebrations with your family and friends at the Klouds Restaurant. BD 17++ per person.

Christmas Day: Celebrate Christmas day with the lavish

Brunch, the buffet features local and international Christmas goodies, selected beverages and will be entertained by the duo “Anett and Adam”; plus surprise gifts for all guests. BD 19.5 ++ per person.

New Year’s Eve: Have a good time in the hotel’s stunning

the K lounge. The elegant last evening of 2013 features a multi-course buffet dinner with gourmet delicacies, complemented by sweet treats. The night’s event will continue with entertainment and live musical performances. Dance your way into the New Year with the DJ. BD 25++ per person, including free welcome drink. december / JANUARY 2014


French Paradise in Bahrain Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thallasa Sea & Spa’s Quest For Luxury

Since the launch of the Sofitel Brand in 2011, it has successfully managed to carve a niche for itself as one of the most sought after luxury hotels in the Kingdom. We speak to the Hotel’s General Manager, Samy Boukhaled to find out more. 52

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What does Sofitel stand for?

Sofitel is synonymous for luxury and elegance. It is a French brand which originates where luxury was born. Sofitel is part of the Accor Group. When the brand was rebranding in 2007, we decided that there are three main aspects of creating an exceptional hospitality experience that we should focus on. One was to create a link between French elegance and the best of the local culture. The French culture is prevalent throughout the Sofitel hotels worldwide, but each of the properties incorporate local influences, whether it be in décor, food or architecture, there is always a fine blend of local heritage with French elegance. The second aspect is our staff, who are known as ambassadors. The ambassadors have direct contact with guests on a daily basis. They are the ones who influence guest’s experience. We empower the ambassadors to make decisions as the guest contact point, which brings positive results and ensures the guest feels satisfied and has an extremely positive experience. The third aspect is customization. We can tailor make packages for any of our guests. We want them to feel welcome and at home at our hotel and give them the appreciation they deserve. We work by two rules: no guest leaves unhappy and when you want to serve a guest, you need to do it like you are serving someone in your own home.

What sets it apart from the other five star hotels in the Kingdom?

We are amongst the few resort hotels in the Kingdom that have a private beach. The premium leisure facilities ensure that guests are relaxed and the level of service offered is above-par, allowing guests to experience the epitome of luxury and relaxation. There is also a unique programme for children at the Kids’ club. Here, children are treated like young adults. They are encouraged to interact with one another and learn new skills. We have a one-of-a-kind weekly programme where children get to explore the various aspects of working in a hotel, from cooking with the chefs to learning the techniques of a good massage. The variety of cuisine on offer, including Lebanese, Asian, French and Italian, allows guests to go on a culinary journey across different countries without leaving the confines of the complex. We are also the only hotel in the region to offer exclusive Thalassotherapy treatments which contain all the trace elements, minerals and vitamins from sea water and aquatic plants. We also boast a temperature controlled indoor pool and all our 262 rooms have a sea view. Each of our six Opera suites has a different aesthetic theme and each come with their own private pool.

Can you tell us a little about your own experiences before you joined Sofitel Bahrain?

I was born in Casablanca but moved to France soon after. I was educated in France and in 1989, I joined the Accor Group. In 1999, I was sent to Morocco to develop the Accor brand where we opened the Ibis and then the Mercure. Soon thereafter, I became part of the Sofitel brand and ten months ago, I moved to Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.

In three words, how would you describe your experience at Sofitel Bahrain?

The first word will be results. Our occupancy has increased by 10% and our Revpar has increased by 35%. According to the feedback on TripAdvisor, we are ranked as number one in terms of customer satisfaction which is gratifying. The second word is ambassadors, because it would be impossible to be where we are today without them. They are passionate about the brand and they live the brand. We have ambassadors from almost 35 countries, which help us build a unique relationship with our guests. We empower our ambassadors to take initiatives on their own to ensure that the guest leaves completely satisfied. The final word will be people. It is the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain that have given us the name we have today and have made us feel so welcome in the country. The local population is extremely warm and hospitable. They treat outsiders like they are part of their family.

What has been the most exciting aspect of your career so far?

It has to be the trust and respect I have been able to earn from my peers. My career is an example of how much one can grow in an organization. I started as a headwaiter and today I am the Area GM for Sofitel for both The Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very proud to be part of this Group.

What, in your opinion are the challenges that Bahrain’s Hotel Industry faces? What we require is positive promotion and marketing of the Kingdom of Bahrain as a destination. The thing is Bahrain has all the factors, which are usually difficult to manage like the infrastructure, the flights, the weather, and the open mindedness of people. But we need to have a strong mechanism in place whereby we can share this information with prospective tourists from around the world.

We need to go beyond the GCC market and diversify into the markets including the Russian market, the Far-East and European markets.

In a small country like Bahrain, there are quite a number of five star hotels. What do you think makes Bahrain a favorable location for these hotel chains to set up base?

First of all, there are no taxes here, which make investing in the country extremely attractive. Bahrain is a unique mix of authentic heritage and modern technology; it is the best of both worlds. The kingdom has a number of successful five star hotels. This is proof that this is a viable market and that helps in attracting new players as well. The country is home to open-minded people who are well educated and well travelled, they know the brand and they know what to expect.

Among all the restaurants at the hotel, if you had to pick one favorite dish; what would it be?

Before coming to Bahrain, I was averse to pasta. I did not eat much of it, but the chef at Fiamma, the signature Italian restaurant at the hotel completely changed my perspective. Now, the tagliatelle with mushroom and seafood that is prepared by the Chef de Cuisine at Fiamma is my favorite dish.

Do you have any advice for youngsters who want to get into the hotel business?

This is a job that requires passion and commitment. It isn’t just a nine-to-five job; it’s more a lifestyle. There are three things I look for when I hire: education, presentation and availability. You can’t be counting hours on this job. If you are good at it and dedicated to it, you can grow very fast in this business. You don’t simply work in the hospitality industry, you live and breathe it.

What changes will we see at the Sofitel Bahrain in 2014?

We have a number of plans on the cards and we are constantly looking for new ways to satisfy and provide exceptional service to our guests. One of the major changes that will be taking place is the renovation of the outdoor pool area. New Thalassotherapy treatments are also in the pipeline, focusing specifically on weight loss. For now, that is all I am revealing, but you will hear about all the new happenings soon enough. december / JANUARY 2014



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Keeping it

Klassy The K Hotel Belongs in a League of its Own What does The K Hotel stand for?

Excellence! The K Hotel has been setting the trends right from the day it was launched. It is modern and sleek, although it is a four star on paper, our guests get a five star experience. It is indeed the place to be in Juffair. From restaurants, which serve delicious brunch, to the K Lounge where one can relax, we have it all. If sports and fitness is your thing, then the Champions Sports Lounge and the Health Klub Fitness center will be your favourite places at the hotel. Our rooms and service are also of exceptionally high quality.

What sets it apart from the other four star hotels in the Kingdom?

From the feedback we have received from our customers, we know that we are not like the other four star hotels in the region. The only thing similar is the prices, services, rooms, facilities; food and all other aspects of The K Hotel are all top-notch.

Can you tell us a little about your own experiences before you joined The K Hotel Bahrain? I have been in this industry for 34 years now. I left Germany in 1992; I was in New Zealand for three years, then in Moscow for two. From there I moved to Nigeria, where I stayed for seven years. I have also worked in Georgia and Sudan before moving to Bahrain to take up this post.

In three words, how would you describe your experience at The K Hotel Bahrain?

My three words would have to be challenging, rewarding and people. Every day brings a new challenge, some big, some small and it is quite rewarding to be able to build and develop the K Hotel Brand. And in this industry, it is all about people, about how you make the guests feel, and how you make the employees at the hotel feel and building up a strong bond with them, through our services.

What has been the most exciting aspect of your career so far?

People! I love working with people and I thoroughly enjoy being

The K Hotel, at the heart of Juffair is unique. It offers five star facilities for four-star prices. We spoke to the General Manager, Mr. Volker Mandlowsky to find out more.

able to create beautiful memories for them. When we make them feel safe and comfortable and they enjoy their stay, they will come back for more.

What, in your opinion are the challenges that Bahrain’s Hotel Industry faces?

This country has a lot of potential for tourism. There are a number of avenues that haven’t been explored yet. We need to develop Bahrain’s Tourism Industry a lot more. And we also need to get the word out there in the International markets to attract more tourists to the Kingdom.

In a small country like Bahrain, there are quite a number of five star hotels. What do you think makes Bahrain a favorable location for these hotel chains to set up base?

Since Bahrain has a strong hotel industry, new players feel safe to enter the market. The rules and regulations of the Kingdom also make it relatively easy to set up base.

Among all the restaurants at the hotel, if you had to pick one favorite dish, what would it be? I would pick the Sheesh Tawouk from Kenza Restaurant. It is truly delicious.

Do you have any advice for youngsters who want to get into the hotel business?

It is an industry where we need to deal with people on a regular basis, so it is important that you come in with an open mind. Be flexible and willing to learn. It takes commitment and hard work to stay in this business. Be ready to face some tough challenges early in the career.

What changes will we see at the K Hotel in 2014? Our Klouds Restaurant is set to undergo a slight revamp. Apart from that, we will be doing what we always do: constantly work on improving our services and facilities to ensure that our Guests have a fantastic time. december / JANUARY 2014


5 STARS QUALITY Bahraini company wins The World Quality Commitment Award

Bahrain based company, the 5 Stars Group was one among 54 companies from around the world to receive The World Quality Commitment Award In The Gold Category during The International Quality Convention held earlier this year in Paris, France. We spoke to its CEO, Murtaza Abdulla to find out more about the company, its history and the significance of this particular award. 56

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What is the 5 Stars Group Known for?

As the CEO, what are your responsibilities?

We are a unique company that assists businessmen. businesses and foreign investors in dealing with government requirements. Our objective is to empower businesses to concentrate 100% on their day to day activities while leaving their legal requirements, government paperwork, visas or any other official administrative work for us to deal with and take care off. We are fully capable of assisting and providing for all these services. For foreign investors, we offer consultancy and all other services they need when they plan to start working in GCC. We offer the initial market study, we advise them on the best way forward to enter the GCC market and we even help in finding you the best partner (if necessary). Our speciality lies in tackling administrative procedures for company set-ups, whether local or foreign. Many times we also assist entrepreneurs who have great ideas but shortage of funding, while other times there are those looking to invest but don’t have a good feasible idea. We try and connect those who can develop and build something new.

I try to get involved in every aspect of the company. I truly believe that what I can do, everyone can do and if I can’t do it, then I shouldn’t expect anyone else to do it either. I realize that clients depend on us and I push myself and my team to provide the best services we can. I also deal personally with most of my clients, and ensure that they are satisfied with us. I travel quite a bit as well due to business requirements but am always on the lookout for new ventures and new adventures.

You recently received an award. Can you tell us more about it.

We received The World Quality Commitment Award In The Gold Category during The International Quality Convention – World Quality Commitment Award Ceremony held in Paris. Five Stars Group WLL received the award in recognition for its Commitment to Quality, Leadership, Technology and Innovation, representing success for the Kingdom of Bahrain in the business world.

What made you set up this particular business?

My own life experiences actually! I spent most of my life in Bahrain, and have quite a large family here. I used to see my father struggle and run around to get our visas and paperwork done while growing up I realized, what a difficult process it was. That’s when I got this idea, to set up a company that would make life easy for people like my father and even others who have to go through tedious legal processes and procedures, which make them put their bread and butter jobs on hold, and go from one government office to another.

What is the significance of this particular award?

Why this particular name?

When I started out and decided I wanted to launch my own business, especially in the service industry, I was looking for something which would represent what we do and the quality of service we offer. We looked at various names but I finally zeroed in on 5 Stars because it is easier to understand for everyone. Five stars is associated with anything that is top quality, and that is what our company offers as well. Services of the highest quality.

Can you tell us a little about the company’s history?

We launched the company in 2004 and by 2006, we We launched the company in 2004 and by 2006, we launched 5 Stars Marketing. Our very first goal was to make people aware of the kingdom called Bahrain. Most people abroad didn’t even know where it was. It was our mission to let those with investing capabilities know that Bahrain was a fiscal paradise, that it is truly business friendly and offers opportunities like no other country in the Gulf. We then realized that various times the investors would sometimes have difficulties interpreting the government’s legal framework would therefore find themselves in discord due to paperwork, applications etc. This made us lunch “Nannu”, a clearing company where we played the role of intermediaries, not just between foreign investors and the government but also local businessmen and the government, as well as employees and sponsors. As time passed, we entered into strategic partnerships with firms like Alstom, Fifan Corp from China, MPH Global from France and other big names. This set the stage for our next venture, 5 Star Industrial Maintenance. Through this brand, we brought in skilled manpower to work on various projects within the kingdom. We have worked with companies like Swiss brand Rio-Thinto and Saudi Aramco, among others. That was all before 2011. With the political crisis, like all SMEs in the Kingdom, we too faced a rough patch. But we were fortunate enough to be able to get back on our feet. We then realized there was a gap in the medical sector, and that compelled us to launch 5 Stars Medical and Healthcare. We work closely with the Ministry of Health, the BDF and even Dubai and Abu Dhabi Ministries of Health. We are, in fact, the only company in the Gulf who do the auditing for hospital equipment. Without this audit report, hospitals would not be able to get the various certifications they require to operate. We are still trying to educate the sector for the need of this service as the guidelines are still not in place by most of the governing authorities in the region. Our latest project came about earlier this year, when we launched, The Energetic Trading Company in Dubai, UAE. Its aim is to provide alternative energy solutions.

Top Image: Mr. Abdulla with his Award at Paris, France.

Well, in fact when we first received the email saying we had been awarded, I thought it was spam. But we researched more into it and are thrilled to have received this honor. Firstly, the nominations are given by previous winners of the award. To us, it indicates that someone we had previously worked with had so much faith and belief in us that they considered us worthy of this. The entire process is confidential and despite multiple attempts, I still have no clue as to who nominated us. But more importantly receiving it has been a huge boost for me, as it was in recognition of what we set out to do at first - to provide good quality service in every area we work in. This award means that we have been successful in understanding the needs of our clients and delivering our promise to the best of our abilities.

What plans for the future?

We have entered a strategic partnership with a Spanish giant to launch our next venture. Bahrain is set to be the MENA headquarters for the project and it will deal with the easy disposal of mobile phones. For now, that is all I am willing to reveal. But we hope to be fully established in Bahrain by the end of January, and by June 2014, we will be in Qatar and Kuwait and by the end of next year, we will be in Dubai as well.

Do you have any advice for businessmen?

I think the best thing a businessman should do is to listen. Listen and learn, on ways of developing your brand. Use all the knowledge and resources at your disposal. Be more open to people, be they staff or vendors or clients. And always aim big. Don’t enter the market with an old idea, come up with something unique and something that works long term. december / JANUARY 2014


“Improve Your Inner Game”


he results of your outer life are testament to the inner game you have been playing up until this point. Should you wish to increase your success levels, mind selfawareness plus the desire to build on this is imperative. Below are 5 tips to ensure the creation of massive satisfaction, serenity and success in your life.

1. Life Satisfaction Check

Our lives are split up into many areas; career, relationships, health, finances, social, hobbies and so on. It is beneficial to perform a check on each area measuring the satisfiaction level; not satisfied, satisfied and very satisfied. The below


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Kelly Armatage; Coach, Speaker, Writer and Seminar Facilitator writes on how success is a game that can only be played, if one knows how to improve the rules of the mind.

average areas are due to negative thinking patterns directed to that area. For example if one’s health and body image is causing them stress, it is due to cognitive distortions within the mind such as “food is my only pleasure”, or “I just cannot stay slim”.

2. Removal of Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that perpetuate the effects of emotions and behaviour. We all have them in some form or another, gained from childhood or past experiences. In order to improve our lives, it is essential to identify the thought patterns,

remove them and replace them with new, empowering thought patterns that create healthier actions. You can check this technique, by thinking about an area of your life that is successful and then ask yourself how often do you think about that area negatively? The answer will be rarely. Hence the success that has been achieved to date. When we ruminate negatively, we create non-focused action or non-action, which creates the results we currently have. To improve our inner game, cleansing of the distorted mind is essential for success.

3. Energy Management

The emotional energy we vibrate is indicative of how successful we will be in our lives. Think of someone who has high self respect, high self dignity and exudes positive energy. These types of people are amazing to be around, because of the vibration they emit. It feels good to be in their presence. We can also create a high energy vibration by a) working on the thought patterns we are thinking all day (as thought creates emotional energy) and then b) finding a way to feel confident, loving and happy under any condition. As we practise our energy vibration, we become better at reinforcing these higher fields. With an elevated frequency of emotional energy, we literally open up the channels for success, opportunities and amazing experiences to come our way.

4. Organisation

I like the quote “what gets scheduled gets done”. High performers of success time manage and organise their lives perfectly. They do this via scheduling and of course, completing that which gets scheduled. To work on improving our inner game, organisation, creativity and achievement of large goals is fundamental.

5. Modelling A Mentor

Who is your mentor? If you are willing to pay for a mentor, a Coach is a great option. I employed 5 Coaches over the space of 4 years, which have been instrumental in my professional and personal success. While you may think you cannot afford one, I would challenge you to investigate it before dismissing it. If a Coach helps you to seize one opportunity, optimise your productivity, avoid one fatal mistake and assist in removing any cognitive distortions, it will pay for itself many times over.

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

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Laughter, Tears and Life in a Middle East Office

The road to becoming a Chartered Landscape Architect has not been without laughter and tears. I have loved every minute of the career path I began as a mature student in 1996 and still do as Senior Landscape Architect


hilst I love what I do, I was surprised that anybody else might take more than a cursory interest in my career, what I do, and how, as a woman, working in the Middle East, I define myself. When I was asked by BIZLADIES if I would be interested in giving a talk to discuss these issues at their November networking event at Mercedes-Benz Al Haddad Bahrain, I was flattered but overwhelmed by the feeling of how little I had to offer. The talk, attended by members of BIZLADIES, sparked some good debate and this has led me to agree to writing up several of the points we raised. Landscape architecture is a profession that fuses creative inspiration with technicalunderstanding, and demands that both be balanced in delivery, to generate physical shapes and formsthat continue topositively 60

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interact with one another through time. The creative aspect is strongly linked to my own two favourite landscapes; Oxford Circus, London, UK, with its continuous action and tension, brimming with people, infinite in their destination, it is the gateway to urbandiscovery; also woods and forests all over the world, softly buzzing with involuntary reflexes, mutually beneficial relationships and submersing the senses in the natural order of life. By juxtaposing the unmistakable energy of busy urban intersections with the calm intuitive energy of natural environments I attempt to create resonance in the landscapes we design. This design style has worked well when designing for arid landscapes in the Middle East, as we have developed a style that favours trees for shade and structure over trying to recreate an ideal of lush and verdant landscapes. Conversely, the greatest challengehas

been in the freedomto create sociable landscapes with seating and the intimacy of perceived enclosure in the public realm, where in the west, this is avoided due to antisocial behaviour. Omrania & Associates work on a wide range of projects including new build commercial, leisure, hotels, residential masterplans and transport infrastructure projects. The landscape team is relatively small compared to architectural and engineering departments; however we design, coordinate and produce all our drawings to tight deadlines and to a high standard and level of detail. Whilst working with the brilliant landscape team, we’ve developed some personal strategies that may not work for everyone, but have helped us to produce work as smoothly and efficiently as possible, no day or project being without it’s hurdles…below are the lessons we’ve learnt, often from

others and more oftenthrough getting it wrong, with a horticultural theme just to keep it relevant.

1 Desert rose

Everyday I wake up and want to invent a positive world around me, the way I dress reflects the world I want to live in. We are in a creative profession and we should present ourselves creatively.It is often women who inject colour, pattern and sparkle into the office and we should be proud of this and play to our strengths, dress code: your utopia.

2 Strong roots

Your team is the soil around your roots; the point of information transfer is vital for success. This transfer is going to be tested every time there is strong, wind, rain or no water. Within our office, we rarely use the internal telephone extension list, throw it away. We communicate face to face, talking, drawing, sketching and visualizing. Always say please, always say thank you.

3 Colonise

The team is distinguished by workload and can swell from the core team to include masterplanners, 3D visualisers, CAD technicians and document controllers. However, by defining our teamat meetings at the beginning of each week, we can reinforce our identity and strengthen connections. Ours are informal meetings with some outlines notes jotted down and a quick catch up with everybody in turn on current progress. The week ahead is summarised, deadlines highlighted and tasks allocated, which can often change based on the project programme or progress updates. We also brieflydiscuss the week beyond just to keep some longer goals in mind.

4 Flex in the wind

Designs are constantly evolving, and we cannot hold onto fixed ideas both in our projects and in the way we work with each other. Whilst often proposing solutions that meet our own ends, we must also be willing to change and adapt, often the constraints lead to more original thought and unique designs.

in water when 5 Take it’s available

Within a small team the workload can fluctuate dramatically, and often resource can be restricted due to other company requirements, planning ahead for staff and preparation in advance of key deadlines is the core of meeting the deadlines confidently.

Bear 6 attractive fruit

If we want to be recognized as first class, what we produce must reflect that. Clients must want our product because it is fantastic. We make it look easy and we only ever show the best.

7 Have dormant periods

It’s probably not only you that needs an afternoon reading some industry magazines, catching up on some filing and tidying your desk. A few hours nonproject based time-out can be great to refocus the mind.

8 Show signs of distress

Workloads can be overwhelming at times and I have struggled to overcome the feeling that I should be able to ‘do it all’. I now recognize that it is the ‘company’that produces the work, and not me, me, me. If you need help you have to ask for it. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you recognise what it’s going to take to get the job done right, and you’re communicating with those above you for the benefit of the ‘company’.

drop fruit 9 Only in summer

This was the most controversial topic in the discussions with Bizladies, and whilst it is not hard to put into practice, several

people had differing views. Personally, I only discuss the kids in a light hearted way, perhaps their achievements or a funny story, I tend not to say ‘I can’t attend x meeting because I’m taking Fred to the dentist’ or ‘I was late because I went to school assembly’, instead I will simply state ‘I can’t attend x meeting as I have something on’ or a statement of fact ‘I will be in late tomorrow’ and I don’t offer any reason. This is because whilst the kids often come into the office to say hello and everybody knows them, (in fact they have spent many weekends in the office, drawing, scanning and photocopying…) they do not need to be part of business or professional discussions.

Tania Chandler is a Senior Landscape Architect with Omrania & Associates. She can be contacted at Tania. chandler@omrania.

december / JANUARY 2014



I remember my first phone was a grey Nokia 3210 purchased from City Centre, Dubai in 1999. It was the same phone in the pocket of all my friends too. In fact you could bet it was the same one almost every stranger I met on the road had. Back then the Finnish firm was the king of the ring, the only company that produced cool and fun phones. With 160 million units sold, the 3210 was one of the most successful phones in history. Today as we know, with mounting losses, the company has been sold to Microsoft. The question is - what happened? 62

december / JANUARY 2014


imilar is the regrettable story of another tech giant – BlackBerry. The Canadian manufacturer RIM designed phones that were just perfect for the world’s business community. A combination of hardware (easy to type Qwerty keyboard) and a killer app (emails anywhere and everywhere) made it the must-have tool for all the corporate honchos out there. Even President Obama was said to be an avid BB-user when he first got elected (not to mention, it was the designated phone of the Secret Service too). But the fairy tale ended recently when revenues fell by a whopping 45% and the firm lost almost a billion dollars with a write-down of their latest unsold Z10 phones. But who could have envisioned such a future for these superstars of the tech industry back in the day when they were on top of the game? Even just 4 years back, there was a huge demand for their products. In Bahrain too, these two were almost the only phones you would find everywhere. In fact, those days in the training institute where I work, we used to joke how some students sit in the class with neither books nor pens but had only their BB and sunglasses on the table. These companies were the omnipresent, omni-powerful

pioneers of the mobile industry. Everyone knew that they could not be stopped; they could never fail Until they did. This is a hard hitting reminder to every business out there – “success doesn’t last forever”. The high and mighty rulers of any industry are just as susceptible to failure as the smaller businesses. A lot of failures in the fast-changing business world of today are simply because they get stuck on a single idea. They play it safe and then slowly die. Some of them even forget their original USP and make matters worse. Our very own Bahrain Air was one of those companies that started off as a low-cost airline but later switched to normal fares. They were neither able to match nor differentiate themselves from the dozen other airlines available in the region and thus gave customers no special incentive to fly Bahrain Air. When multiple challenges compounded their business model with financial woes, the company had to fade away into thin air. In the tech industry, presently Apple is ruling the roost. On the other side is the powerful combo of Samsung and Google. Samsung

although criticized for being an Apple copy-cat, designs hardware in various fabulous shapes and sizes that can do much more than the iPhone. Google is continuously improving its Andriod OS and growing its own app store to overtake the Apple app store very soon. Today Samsung has become the world’s number one phone manufacturer while Apple is the most valuable company on the planet with its iPhone considered the benchmark of the smartphone industry. Even in Bahrain, consumers feel that with the available attractive data plans from Batelco, Zain and Viva, there’s no better deal. Both these giants cannot be stopped. Everyone knows that Apple and Samsung cannot fail. But that’s just the lull before the next storm until it happens. If they don’t watch out, they could be the next Nokia and BlackBerry. According to a leading turnaround and recovery consulting company, 56% of companies in the technology sector—representing a full 88% of overall sector revenue have already fallen into financial stress or are at high risk of doing so. This includes smart-phone

manufacturers such as BB, Nokia, HTC and Motorola and consumer electronics companies such as Panasonic, Sony, LG, Sharp, Harman, Sharp, Pioneer, and JVC. The only two firms that are making all the profits in the industry are Apple and Samsung with a combined operating profit of 109 percent for feature phones and smart-phones in the third quarter of calendar year 2013. How do the giants of any industry fall from the top of their own empires? Are they so myopic? Are their all-knowing, worldtrotting brilliant visionary managers so naive? Let’s have a look at the mistakes made by Nokia and BB reflecting on some strategic concepts that they ignored:


A concept introduced by Gary Hamel, strategic decay is the understanding that the value of every strategy, no matter how brilliant, decays over time. Thus no company can have a fixed strategy for extended periods, no matter how successful they are. With the passage of time, new challenges

december / JANUARY 2014


and market changes will ensure that the chosen strategy will lose its competitive advantage. In the case of BlackBerry, the whole multi-billion dollar business revolved around its killer email app. The app became so popular among its die-hard loyal user-base that the company rested back imagining it had the market covered for eternity. But this is exactly what strategic decay warns us about. The killer app ended up killing them. At the height of BB’s power, the company failed to realize that it was not the brand or the product that the users were addicted to, but just a single feature of their service which was to basically access emails anytime anywhere. Once other competitors started providing users a richer experience with not only emails but much more, BlackBerry’s strategic superiority diminished overnight. Nokia, who were earlier the #1 phone maker in the world, rose to that position for the simple reason that they made dependable durable phones for a decent price. We still come across funny pics on Facebook where people compare the long battery life and durability of an ancient Nokia to the smart-phones of today. That trust of quality is what made Nokia become cocky with its strategic plans. It assumed that consumers got all that they wanted, that consumers could never ask for more. But then one day Apple came along with the iPhone and said, “Hey all you people, here’s a phone for you with all these cooler features you guys can get for a little extra cost.” Nokia assumed that such products would attract only BlackBerry’s higher-end corporatecustomers, but never realized that pretty soon all their consumers too would end up standing in long queues outside the Apple stores.


To avoid strategic decay businesses need to focus on disruptive innovation. Nokia and BB never saw it coming. When Samsung entered the race from out of nowhere and focused on innovation as its core competence to gain market share, Nokia was very late to play the game. Samsung did not start the disruptive innovation, Apple did. The only thing Samsung did right was to recognize the new wave that Apple created and ride the wave with Apple side by side. Both companies changed the whole


december / JANUARY 2014

smart phone industry, disrupting not only the existing technology but the distribution channels as well. Rather than getting consumers to buy the product from retail stores, these companies bundled their products with EMI schemes to the broad-band service provider. End result- everybody’s happy. Manufacturer goes laughing to the bank, the service provider gets to lock the customer base for years making sure they don’t hop away, and the consumer gets to purchase a powerful costly device without feeling the pinch. In Bahrain, the Batelco stores were filled to the brim when they first introduced 4G LTE data plans earlier this year. Consumers were enthused to finally harness the full power of their devices. I remember one of the earliest promotions of Nokia more than a decade ago when they proudly showed off their new phones with polyphonic ringtones and a sliding cover (it was a big deal back then). Then they brought a gamer’s phone, a phone for athletes and what not. A steady stream of new products kept flowing out of the Nokia stable. But over the years the focus shifted

from innovating to maintaining its top position. It’s not that Nokia stopped innovation completely because they did invest a lot in R&D. The difference is that just like the dominant players on top of any industry, they felt very little urgency to move forward. The innovation took its own sweet time by when the market radically changed to something totally unexpected. Today’s market leader, Apple faces a similar threat of getting too comfortable in its position. Apple seems to be resting on its laurels with the 6th generation of iPhones while competitors such as Samsung are already stealing the market from right under its nose. Samsung recently brought out a curved phone (Galaxy Round) and a watch (Galaxy Gear) as well. Others like Google are experimenting whole new concepts of technology like the eye wear ‘GoogleGlass’. Sometimes it does make sense to reinvent the wheel.


In order to create sustainable innovation, businesses need to broaden their strategic options

by investing in a wide range of portfolios, products and industries. Neither Nokia nor BlackBerry really tried to get a broader portfolio going and are today stuck in the position of playing the game set by the rules of its newer competitors rather than creating their own rules. It is crucial for successful companies to move beyond their core business and create new revenue streams by diversifying their businesses. For example although in the Middle East cola and fizz drinks are still very popular, in the West, consumers are becoming more calorie-conscious. Pepsi forecasted this change much before it happened, knowing very well that the world would not be sipping its sugar concentrated fizz beverages forever and thus wisely invested in a range of health drinks (Tropicana), cereals (Quaker oats), fast-food businesses (KFC, Pizza Hut) to name a few. Adidas who are the world’s second biggest brand in sports is another excellent example of a company that has invested in a broad mix of industries including medicine and biochemistry (to produce safe drugs that protect athletes against bodily wear and tear), optics and electronics (spectacles and other products to display performance measurements). When BB and Nokia lost the smart phone market, they had nothing else to build back their businesses. If a similar situation happens to Apple or Samsung, they can always go back to their other business interests (computers, televisions) without really having to feel threatened.


BlackBerry was one of the few known companies where there were two CEOs at the top rather than a strong one. Neither of them was known to be bold or innovative leaders. It was a sharing of functions with Mike Lazaridis taking care of the engineering aspect while Jim Balsillie managed the sales. This naturally resulted in the company having duplication of rules in the organisation structure and also a late response to market changes. Nokia on the other hand, signed a job contract with its CEO, Stephen Elop giving him a strong incentive to drive down the company share price, sell the core business to Microsoft and then collect $25million as bonus for doing that. (Whoever made the contract must have been fired by now) Mr. Elop certainly

made Steve Balmer’s day! Presently Apple too seems to be losing its direction after the demise of its charismatic and visionary leader Steve Jobs who was a legend in his own right. A strong leader can make or break any company.


The true mark of good leadership is the time taken to plan and execute decisions. Today with competitors charging forward with new products and services every 6 months or so, leaders need to be quick to forecast the future of the industry in which they operate. Not only was Samsung remarkably fast in deciding the OS it would use for its products, but it bet on multiple platforms, including Android and Windows Phone and even had its own home-grown OS, Bada, just in case none of the others worked out. In the end the Android platform paid off handsomely for both Samsung and Google. Samsung was the first to mirror Apple’s game-plan by dazzling consumers around the world with its high-end Galaxy Android phones. Every year, consumers know that there is a new line up hitting the stores from these companies. Thus they wait with high anticipation for the latest products which in turn drives demand. Also in consumer electronics, Samsung is the world’s leading television manufacturer, having overthrown Sony from the top by continuously bringing out the latest tech year after year. Nokia wasted time tweeking their Symbian OS until they decided to partnership with Microsoft. The company was too slow, too late — switching to Windows over two years after the introduction of the iPhone and Android products

picked up steam. Nokia also failed to notice the tough competition in the lower segments from Micromax, HTC, Huawei and ZTE. This led to double-trouble from both higher and lower segments. By the time Nokia realized the damage and launched their Asha series, the new entrants had already established themselves deep in the market and deeper in the minds of the consumer.


To stay alive and stay relevant, companies should not only continuously improve their present flagship products and services but also continue to invest in groundbreaking, new and varied disruptive technologies. A business can stay on top and reign for only as long as the consumer is awed by it. We learn a lesson here- any business that gets too cozy at the top is bound to crumble sooner than ever.

Mr. Harris Saseendran & Dr. Sonia Selwin are Business Studies trainers at Bahrain Training Institute, Ministry of Education, Bahrain, handling UK based CIPD and Edexcel Diploma programs for Marketing Management and Human Resource Management specializations. Mr. Harris can be contacted at +973 36305218 or and Dr. Sonia can be reached at +973 36353897 or

december / JANUARY 2014



Al Zain Jewellery the maharajah collection Inspired by the splendor and romance of the once great rulers of India, Al Zain Jewellery has re-created the opulence and nobility of those bygone days with the Maharajah collection. Exquisite pieces meticulously handcrafted from the finest natural pearls, rose cut, briolette and brilliant cut diamonds all set in 18 carat gold. The Maharajah collection was a great success and has returned this year after an evolution, replacing the diamonds with elegant rubies completing the noble look that it bestows upon its bearer.


november / january december december 2014 2013

november january / december 2013 2014


Chopard ďƒŞ

A stunning Haute Joaillerie set Decked out in diamonds and blue sapphires, this unusual white gold set composed of a modular necklace, earrings and a ring takes its place in an exceptional lineage of sophisticated, refined and yet innovative Haute Joaillerie creations that have become a Chopard signature. Chopard’s designers and jewellers, along with gem-setters, gem-cutters and polishers, have once again made a point of honour of lavishing their considerable skills and expertise on this spectacular jewellery set that took shape during over 250 hours of patient and meticulous craftsmanship within the hushed, diligent atmosphere of the jeweller’s Geneva workshops. The magnificent 18-carat white gold plastron is set with more than 300 nizam bead diamonds (66 cts), over 2,600 brilliant-cut diamonds (13 cts) and 27 deep blue sapphires (56 cts). This refined jewellery set also appeals by its modular nature, since the seven tassels of its necklace can be easily removed to form a choker. Its matching earrings, set with two sapphires and with diamonds, may each be enriched with a tassel. A dainty 18-carat white gold ring set with a sapphire and with diamonds once again proves that the whole art of Chopard lies in its ability to create unexpected pieces that are as wonderful to look at as they are exciting to wear.


december / JANUARY 2014


Power of a Bullet AKILLIS transforms an AK 47 bullet into earrings, to be worn by pair, or solo, or mismatched! Forever rejuvenating the traditional codes of traditional jewellery, AKILLIS stands out for the originality and boldness of its design. The AK collection represents a Kalashnikov bullet and has been a bestseller ever since it was launched.

As the festive season approaches, AKILLIS adds two stunning styles of earrings to the AK collection, for even more rock and roll. First, a pendant earring, clearly the shape of the bullet, and secondly a clip earring which recalls the design of the bullet’s head with a punk and/or rock effect. Without a doubt the coolest accessory trend of the season, we suggest you to be creative and

make up your own personal look. These earrings can be purchased one by one, to be worn solo or mismatched according to your mood, style and personality… Hand made in France out of 18 karat gold, studded with pure white or dark black diamonds, these novelties will be available from December at the best jewellery stores.

december / january 2014


Pandora 

FEATHER STORY The fragile and ornamental beauty of the feather is accentuated in a clean and simple palette of classic black and white. Embellished with pavé set cubic zirconia on sterling silver, the delicate and transient beauty of feathers comes to life.

VINTAGE NOSTALGIA Vintage is revived with a modern interpretation of bygone styles, beautifully crafted from nostalgic memories. Delicate and wistful, openwork charms, pendants and earrings crafted from precious gold and sterling silver feature sparkling green spinel stones. A khaki fabric string bracelet lends a modern feel to the precious heritage look.


december / JANUARY 2014

Jaguar Land Rover Powers Forward Regional debut of luxurious Jaguar XJR, Jaguar XFR-S


uxury automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has revealed a sneak preview of the next generation of its technologically advanced vehicles. Regional reveals included the Jaguar C-X17 Crossover Concept and the dynamic all-aluminium Project 7 roadster from Jaguar which debuted beside the model it was based on, Jaguar’s acclaimed F-TYPE. The new Limited Edition Land Rover Defender LXV also joins the luxury manufacturer’s strongest and most comprehensive vehicle line-up to date boasting enhanced features, innovative technologies and new levels of luxury, comfort and performance. Breaking world records and regional challenges is nothing new for the manufacturer of the fastest, most dynamic and most responsive Land Rover ever, and this past November saw the completion of the All-New Range Rover Sport›s ‘Empty Quarter’ desert crossing challenge, which has set a new record for fastest time across one of the most treacherous terrains in the

world. The record breaking vehicle was delivered this morning to the Jaguar Land Rover stand by the challenge team, led by Spanish off-road racer Moisès Torrallardona. Moi, as he is often referred to, competed in the Dakar Rally for ten successive years, with a best finish of 6th overall, and has also finished 2nd in the Trans-oriental Rally from St. Petersburg to the Great Wall of China - back in 2008. 2013 saw Jaguar celebrate the 25th year anniversary of its dynamic “R” badge range, and visitors to the 2013 Dubai International Motor Show were amongst the first in the region to view the new flagship Jaguar XJR sports saloon and the Jaguar XFR-S, the fastest, most powerful and agile sports saloon Jaguar has ever built. The 550PS XJR, and the XFR-S joins Jaguar’s class-leading 2014 model year line-up which includes the Jaguar XKR and the first full-blooded Jaguar sports car to be launched in more than 50 years; the award winning all-aluminium two-seater Jaguar F-TYPE. With Jaguar Land Rover sales up 38% from January to September 2013 vs.

the same period last year, the company is looking forward to further growth with the introduction of its technologically advanced 2014 model year line-up which includes the refreshed Range Rover Evoque, the Land Rover LR4 which boasts a new V6 supercharged petrol engine, and the new Land Rover LR2.

december / JANUARY 2014


So you’re in the market for a new vehicle, and it doesn’t need to be a daily driver; in fact, you’d prefer something that’s been built specifically for track activities! Well, you could opt for a classic – American, Japanese or you could go in for something a bit outta the ordinary. Something more like a “track chariot” that doesn’t insist much on practicality, but at the same time, it brings a stupid smile on to your face every time you push down onto that gas pedal. Here are some of the most talked track cars on the market today.



ith its 281horsepower offered from the factory, the KTM X-Bow GT is considered by most experts as one of the coolest variants of the X-Bow lineup. One of the biggest thrill factors of the KTM X-Bow is that it was designed with power and speed in mind. KTM sought to remedy that by adding two critical elements to any car into the X-Bow’s overall design package. The vehicle is built on a carbon fiber monocoque body with a windscreen and two doors added 72

december / JANUARY 2014

to its overall look. The underbody features a completely flat surface that allows air to slip under the car without creating any drag. Also helping is the massive downforce that the X-Bow GT’s body work creates, which totals 200kg at 200kph. Powering this lightweight machine is a 2.0L TSFI four-banger that produces 281bhp at 6,400rpm and 309pound-feet of torque at 3,200rpm. Thanks to its super-low weight, this small engine can propel the X-Bow to 100kph in only 4.1seconds and to a top speed of 231kph.

Ultima GTR 720


he exciting Ultima GTR is the result of over 20 years of extensive research and development and is a product that takes the Ultima marque to sensational levels of fit, finish and performance. Aerodynamic efficiency and balance has been of paramount importance on a car that is capable of going over 321kph. The chassis are made completely of space frame and it’s been designed to accept engines up to 1000 bhp! The Ultima GTR 720 comes equipped with a 6.3L Chevrolet V8, which develops a

maximum power of 720bhp and a maximum torque of 580lb/ft, this mid engined vehicle offers high end performance. Due to its low weight the power-to-weight ratio is 727hp per tonne and torque-to-weight ratio is 590lb/ft per tonne. The car can be treated both as a track monster and a daily driven one. It has a five speed manual gearbox with a mid engined design and rear drive layout. As for the performance, GTR720 has a maximum speed of 378kph and does 0-100kph in just 2.6seconds!

Lucra LC740


merican born and bred- our friends at Lucra sure know how to make one mean track car. A 630bhp Corvette ZR1-sourced 6.2L V8 powers up the 900kg LC740 to 100kph in a blistering 2.5seconds and straight on to a top speed of well over 321kph. Essentially an updated version of their previous model, the car features new bumpers, revised headlights and LED daytime running lights. There’s also ventilated fenders and an improved exhaust system with heat shields. Interior changes appear limited, but the model has a new steering wheel, a revised center console and a small glove box.

december / JANUARY 2014


Caterham Seven 620 R


he car still looks the same, but rest assured, its shape is probably the only thing it has in common with its predecessor: the R500. This is the Caterham Seven 620 R, despite having the similar body characteristics of pretty much everything Caterham has built in recent years, underestimating what the 620 R is capable of is an unwise thing to do. For one, it comes with an improved nose that allows for freer airflow. It also has a new gunmetal chassis, a race-spec cooling system, a De Dion rear suspension, a wide front track and a set of 13-inch alloy wheels

wrapped in Avon ZZR tires. Inside, the modifications were kept simple yet profoundly indicative to the kind of car this sports roadster is. A “performance-focused instrumentation and ergonomic switchgear” was added, as was a new Q/R race-spec steering wheel, carbon-fiber racing seats, a carbon-fiber dash and carbonfiber interior panels. It’s powered by a 2.0L Ford Duratec engine that develops 311bhp and 219 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful and torquefilled Seven to date (0-100kph in just 2.8seconds and a top speed of about 249kph).

Tramontana R


he Tramontana R Edition is an evolved version of the standard open-wheel two-seater, packing a Mercedes-sourced 5.5L V12 available in either naturally aspirated, 550bhp guise or a twin-turbocharged 760hp version that dolls out an astonishing 811 lb-ft of torque. The group claims a 0-100kph time of 3.6seconds and a 10.15-second run to 200kph. The wheelbase has been shortened by 50mm to improve handling and aerodynamics, and weight is down by 202pounds to just 2,777 pounds. Tramontana has fitted 20inch carbon fiber and magnesium wheels at each corner, along with high-performance summer rubber sized 245/40 in front and 335/30 in the rear. 380mm, six-piston Brembos handle stopping duties, while a custom Ohlins suspension allows the R’s rideheight to be adjusted between 85 and 135 mm. The body speaks for itself, as does the exposed carbon fiber interior, which features a chop-top steering wheel, an LCD instrument panel and the controls to the six-speed sequential gearbox.


december / JANUARY 2014

Ariel Atom 3.5


he Atom 3.5 model receives new chassis derived from the one used in the Atom V8 and the Mugen versions of the Atom, as well as a new digital LCD dashboard display with gear-shift lights, a restyled bonnet, twin projector headlamps, and LED turn, stop, and tail lights. According to Ariel, these changes will help the Atom 3.5 deliver a more comfortable ride and better traction and balance on the track. In its standard version, the Ariel Atom 3.5

is powered by the same Honda sourced 2.0L iVTEC K20Z4 naturally-aspirated engine that delivers a total of 245bhp, while the supercharged version gets the same engine with a raised output of 310bhp. The extra 65bhp was obtained by modifying the intake, fuel system, and mapping. There’s more mid-range power too, claims Ariel. The supercharged, 310bhp version will accelerate from 0-100kph in 2.7seconds, 0-160kph in just 6.7seconds, and top out at 250kph!!

Caparo T1


he Caparo T1 is a road legal Formula 1 car, designed by the same engineers that built the legendary McLaren F1. The vehicle is powered by an all aluminum dry sump V8 that produces 620bhp at 10,500 RPM and is shifted with a six speed sequential transmission. The vehicle’s lightweight F1 inspired monocoque weighs in at only 550kg; giving the T1 outstanding acceleration and handling. The vehicle can sprint to 100kph in only 2.8seconds and reach a top speed of 334kph and will pull 3.5 G’s while cornering. Combined with the endless amount of adjustability in the ECU and the suspension, the Caparo owners will never get bored of their toy.

BAC Mono


he BAC Mono is a car that aims to bring formula car capabilities down to a more democratic level (and for public consumption). The brothers Neill and Ian Briggs of Cheshire, UK, founders of the Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) have conceived of this as a road-going car and, yes, its street legal. The BAC Mono, short for monoposto (single-seat), is fitted with a 280bhp 2.3L normallyaspirated Cosworth engine, longitudinally mounted and coupled

Radical SR8 RX


adical has become one of those car companies that just “gets it.” They understand that not everyone is a multi-millionaire that can afford to drop several hundred thousand dollars on a racecar as an amateur. Radical has also built some very affordable sports cars, so that even a lower-budget racer can get into the sport. And for those that are a little more seasoned in racing and have the extra capital to spend, Radical can certainly cater to you too. One model that caters nicely to this group of more affluent racers is the Radical SR8

RX. The SR8 line is even the world record holder for fastest time around the famed Nürburgring, as its LM variant tackled the `Ring in just 6:48! The SR8 RX shares similar styling and safety features with its sibling the SR3 RS, but it beats with a different heart. The latest generation of RPE’s 2.7L acclaimed RPX V8 engine develops around 430bhp, and it powers the SR8 RX through a unique RPE/Quaife six-speed transaxle. Coupled with the RPE paddleshift system and auto-blipper, flat upshifts and clutchless downshift are part of the package.

to a six-speed sequential gearbox from Hewland with a limited-slip differential. She does 0-100kph in 2.8seconds and 0-161kph in 6.7 seconds, before reaching a maximum speed of 273kph. Suspension is a rose-jointed and aero-profiled pushrod set up with adjustable dampers from Sachs Racing. Brakes are by AP Racing while the HRT alloy wheels come courtesy of OZ Racing wrapped in Kumho tires. Electronics and instruments are supplied by GEMS.

Lotus Exos T125


he ultimate of all ultimate track day cars- get ready, your million dollar Lotus F1 chariot awaits you. Only twenty five examples have been made for loyal customers (costing one million dollars each), and it’s not just a track day- oh no, it’s a full track experience. The car is powered by a 650horsepower Cosworth V8 that runs up to 10,300 rpm, the 650kilogram open-wheeler is no doubt awesome fast. With a starter motor and a tear-down interval of 4,000kilometers, it should go relatively easy on budgets as well. Complete with a pit crew, 650bhp and the full day of racing. So, if you have a million bucks to blow, do this now!

december / JANUARY 2014



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

Giuseppe Zanotti

Leather Ankle Boo Armor-like metal plating stamps these chic leather ankle boots with tough-luxe edge.

Brera Orologi

Militare Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch This modern timepiece of stainless steel boasts three-eye chronograph functionality with a sleek rubber strap for long-lasting comfort.


Leather Horsebit Drivers Leather drivers with horsebit detail.


december / january 2014

Armani Collezioni

Colorblock Mockneck Sharply defined colorblocking accents this modern, mockneck silhouette.

Reed Krakoff

Compact Tech Jersey Colorblock Dress A modern colorblocked design, constructed from sleek, flattering technical stretch jersey.

Clover Canyon

Faux Fur-Lined Printed Neoprene Coat Jewel-toned faux fur lines the inside of this quintessentially Clover Canyon printed coat, creating a modern but opulent statement piece you’ll love year after year.

december / january 2014



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

Video Rec Binoculars

It’s so fascinating to observe something in the distance, for example wild animals, glittering stars, sporting events, hell, even your neighbors across the street! But it’s more fascinating to record what you’ve seen in Full HD! That’s right, the Sony DEV-5 Digital Video Recording Binoculars can zoom and focus an object up to 20x and shoot a 1920 x 1080 2D and 3D high definition video! Wicked awesome!

 The

 Toshiba

Touch Screen Laptop

The Toshiba Satellite Click 2in1 Touch Screen Laptop is perfect for the on-the-go user. A stylish silver casing and sleek design means fashion has met portability. It functions as a tablet when separated from the base and can be used as a laptop. Featuring 4GB of memory, an AMD dual-core processor, 500GB hard drive and a 13.3 inch high-resolution display.

Ring Clock

Wearing a wristwatch is stylish but not all people like the feeling on their hand and claim it’s uncomfortable. Here’s a new revolutionary concept of wearing a clock when you go outside! It’s in the form of a ring that’s produced with special technology and clean design – the Ring Clock! To display the time, just rotate the ring and LED’s will light up the exact numbers! And it comes with a Qi wireless power charger pad!


Light Newton’s Cradle

This is a futuristic take on classic desk accessory, where the Kinetic Light Newton’s Cradle would feature bright, multicolor LEDs in each glass sphere. We assume that if you enjoy a tipple or two after office hours while still at your cubicle, the Kinetic Light Newton’s Cradle would end up with an even more hypnotic value to you and your likeminded colleagues. The lights will react based on their position, and you will need to see it or believe it. There is also the option to be more Zen, as you set the LEDs to a single color, while watching the light fade as they swing back and forth.


december / JANUARY 2014


Lunarterra Arktos

The NIKE Lunarterra Arktos could be pretty much called all-weather boots! They’re designed to have the comfort of a sneaker combined with the solid and insulated protection of a boot. Suitable for runners, basketball players and other sportsmen, this exceptional pair of shoes has dynamic flywire and hyperfuse construction which is used in the upper part for an adaptive fit and maximized resilience. The Foxing, tongue and toe all feature the company’s “vac technology” that helps in reducing possible leaks and seams. A “lunarlon” midsole shaves weight, contributes to mobility and comfort. The zoned sticky and hard rubber outsole is a very important element too, because it boosts firmness in various terrains. The NIKE Lunarterra Arktos is also supplied with a sealed medial zip, which allows removing the integrated bootie in case you decide so. This product is the best solution for rough weather and walking conditions, it won’t fail you!

 Bed

 Sea

Doo Pro Sea Scooter

The Sea Doo Pro Sea Scooter lets you dive to 65 feet and speeds up to 2 mph, as its weight is barely 13 pounds! Charging the scooter ensures you more than a full hour of diving, so you can stay longer in the water and save air. For more adjustment, this device is manufactured with a buoyancy regulator. Explore the incredible underwater sea and lake life!

Prism Spectacles

The main idea of these Bed Prism Spectacles is that you can read a book or watch TV while lying flat on your back and resting your head on the pillow! Using these special prism glasses you won’t have to twist your neck and strain your eyes, because they can turn your point of view to a downward 90 degree angle, thus avoiding a head movement. Also appropriate for people with limited mobility.

 Sony

Waterproof Walkman

Wouldn’t it be great if you could listen to your favorite tracks while swimming in the pool?! Thanks to this Sony Waterproof Walkman you can! It consists of a pair of comfortable earphones with built-in 4GB music player and is the best companion of all swimmers. The gadget is also suitable for athletes who sweat a lot during work out.

december / JANUARY 2014


A Spectacular Affair

Jewellery Arabia 2013 Comes To A Close Jewellery Arabia 2013, one of the most prestigious exhibitions of the Middle East, was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.


he 22nd exhibition, which was held under the patronage of Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, hosted as many as 600 companies from more than 30 nations. On sale was the largest display of finished jewellery, luxury timepieces, precious stones, antiques and objets d’art in the Middle East.


december / JANUARY 2014

The five-day show featured a number of new and exciting multinational high-end participants. Jewellery Arabia 2013 also witnessed the first official group participation of companies from the United Kingdom and Singapore coordinated by British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) and Singapore Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) respectively. Large national groups from Brazil, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia also exhibited alongside eminent international jewellery and watch brands, many of whom used the exhibition as a platform to introduce exclusive collections and limited edition pieces to the Middle East collectors’ market. A selection of the Middle East’s finest retailers and manufacturers, including a strong contingent from Bahrain, complimented this line up. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) also conducted special seminars on the sidelines of the exhibition.

december / JANUARY 2014


Arabian Exhibition Management’s Director of Sales and Marketing Fawzi Al Shehabi expressed delight at the turnout that Jewellery Arabia witnessed this year. The rise in number of exhibitors at Jewellery Arabia 2013 was matched by a healthy 5% increase in the number of visitors. Jewellery Arabia 2013 was attended by a total of 48,470 quality jewellery trade buyers and private collectors from 35 countries. International visitors to the exhibition also grew in 2013. Significantly, visitors from the region’s single largest jewellery market, Saudi Arabia, increased by 4% yielding a total visitor share of 29%. AN extravagant BD9.5 million diamond encrusted necklace was one of the most stunning pieces on display at this year ’s Jewellery Arabia exhibition. The Mouawad creation features a 25.271 carats oval Burmese Ruby set in 212.78 carats diamonds and a companion ring.


december / JANUARY 2014

Mayyan Jaffer of Asia Jewellery told BIG that she was excited to be part of Jewellery Arabia 2013, and that this year had a bigger and better collection than the previous years. Asia Jewellery also introduced French brand Repossi during this year’s event. “We are very happy to be partnering with such high-end brands, bringing them to Bahrain for the very first time.” Asia Jewellery also had a launch event for Gant, Escada and Aigner Watches. The Chopard stand attracted quite a crowd with their unique collections, including the white diamond set. The set included a necklace, earrings and a watch, which were made with large white diamonds of flawless to VVS clarity. All eyes were on Al Zain’s Jewellery’s model, who was wearing a spectacular fancy yellow diamond set. At 58.23 carats, the fancy vivid yellow diamonds were quite a sight.

Devji’s stand was among the most elegant at the exhibition ad they too registered a large number of customers during the event. International watch brand, Gaga Milano, also showcased their latest collection at the Jewellery Arabia 2013. The designers stated that they had a great time interacting with customers at the event. The next edition of Jewellery Arabia is set to take place from 18 – 22 November 2014 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

december / JANUARY 2014


A Market Like No Other Bahrain’s very Own Pop Up Souq

Al Riwaq Art Gallery recently organized their annual bazaar, Market 338 at Adliya. As one of the country’s most refreshing events, Market 338 gives budding local entrepreneurs in cultural, artistic, musical and even culinary businesses a chance to introduce themselves to the public. Moreover many entrepreneurs launch their start-ups in the market itself!


december / JANUARY 2014

Trendy Threads



or Bahrain’s entrepreneurs, Market 338 is a blessing.They get to sell thier products and meet customers in a fun and lively environment. This year’s bazaar saw some exciting new products hitting the market. Several entrepreneurs showed a great interest in incorporating their Bahraini heritage in their work. Additionally many of them expressed the importance of reviving the music of famous Arabian singers like Fairuz and Um Kulthum as well as poets like Khalil Jibran and Mahmood Darwish. One participant even had a unique concept of infusing the hippy culture with Bahraini in clothes and accessories! Al Riwaq Art Gallery Bayan Kanoo expressed her pride in being able to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs. “A lot of entrepreneurs have used Market 338 as their launch pad. They are comfortable being here: testing the waters and getting a feel of how to run a business. The first step is always the most difficult, and we are glad we can be associated with so many young and vibrant Bahraini brands.” According to her, there are multiple factors, which make it an exciting learning experience for the participants. “One thing is that it is located in the heart of Adliya. And these talented youngsters get to showcase their wares, among big names. The atmosphere here is relaxed, and you are among friends, so it makes it easier on them.”

“A lot of entrepreneurs have used Market 338 as their launch pad. They are testing the waters and getting a feel of how to run a business.”


Bayan Kanoo, Director, Al Riwaq Art Gallery

december / JANUARY 2014



Jaffar Al Alawy founder of Makan commented, “We’ve only just launched Makan in this year’s market. We hope that it will give our business the push it needs as a recent start up.” They also had a VVIP visitor who took them by surprise. “HRH The Crown Prince was here, and he bought one of my pieces. It is truly an honour.” There were a number of participants who were regulars at Market 338. Eliane Ghosn is at Market 338 this year for the third time. “Being here is always a positive experience. We get to showcase the best of our products, and we get to learn from other entrepreneurs as well.”

Lotus Jewellery


december / JANUARY 2014

Arab Architects

Glitzern Photography


“We launched Dandelion in last year’s market and the feedback was great. Over the last year, we’ve prospered and have just began shipping world wide!” said Latifa Al Aamer, founder of Dandelion Boutique, a Bahraini online store. Khatoon Taher from Annatuna feels that this year has definitely been bigger and better than last year. Through her brand, she aims to infuse Arab culture into western casual wear. Alaa AlBalkhy, the founder of Fyunka said “Market 338 is very unique with so many innovative entrepreneurs. It also gives us the opportunity to interact face to face with many of our clients, who we have only known through our online and social media interaction.”


“Market 338 is very unique with so many innovative entrepreneurs.”

The Bow Project

Bossy Kitchen

Day N Age

Aysha AlAraifi, founder of Bossy Kitchen commented, “We have had an great time here. Most of our baked goodies was sold out in a matter of hours. Our participation in last year ’s market gave us the opportunity to meet the owner of Villa Mama’s who was so impressed with one of our products that she asked us to serve it at her restaurant!” All visitors were extremely impressed with the market and showed their profound support for the potential of local talent. december / JANUARY 2014


Global Entrepreneurship Week

Program Kick Off

US Embassy Organises Reception

U.S. Ambassador Thomas Krajeski and Mrs. Bonnie Krajeski hosted a reception to celebrate the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week at their residence in Saar. The kick-off event featured Bahraini Reggae Band “The Legendz.”


he U.S. Embassy hosted a week-long slate of programs, which aimed to expand the robust U.S.-Bahrain economic relationship and enhance the longstanding friendship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America. The U.S. Embassy organized a variety of activities and events for the week, in cooperation with local partners such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Tamkeen, the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Society, and the American Chamber of Commerce Bahrain (AmCham). Government officials, alumni of entrepreneurship programs, small business “bootcamp” enrollees, FTA negotiators, BCCI members, leading businesspersons, and economic reporters attended the kick-off event.


december / JANUARY 2014

World Islamic Banking conference Held

Industry Transformation to Improve Global Competitiveness in Islamic Finance


ore than 1,300 industry leaders from over 50 countries joined over 100 international speakers in Bahrain at the 20th anniversary special edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013). Themed “Industry Transformation to Improve Global Competitiveness in Islamic Finance”, the three day event was organized at the Gulf Hotel under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al

Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain and wass supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The main WIBC 2013 conference was inaugurated by Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. It featured an impressive line-up of speakers in the conference’s 20 years of history including a special guest address on the future of banking regulation and its implications for Islamic financial institutions.

december / JANUARY 2014


DISCOVER EO EO Bahrain’s Annual Recruitment Event The Entrepreneur Organizations (EO)’s Bahrain Chapter organized the Discover EO event at the Bahrain Stock Exchange.


he purpose of the event was to recruit new members. Presentations were made to explain the aims and objectives of EO, its history and membership benefits including local, regional and international learning activities. It was attended by dignitaries including EO President Mahmood al Yousif, Past President Basim Al Saie, and other Board Members.


december / JANUARY 2014

Pandora’s B ox

Jewellery Brand Opens Their First Outlet in Bahrain PANDORA celebrated the opening of its first concept store in Bahrain in an event attended by key media representatives in Bahrain.


hey hosted a launch event for the media at Bushido Restaurant & Lounge. The event introduced the brand’s unique universe of highquality, affordable jewellery. The store opening was combined with the launch

of Pandora’s latest Winter and Christmas collection that carries hand-finished silver and gold jewellery celebrating feminine beauty with a touch of raw elegance. Mrs. Suhair Al Awadhi, Managing Director or Pandora Bahrain said:

“We are very excited to introduce the wonderful world of Pandora to the local and expat communities in Bahrain with it’s unique concept and hopefully build on the brand’s high level of international recognition.”

december / JANUARY 2014 2013


Meet ICT Organized BITEX Held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre The MEET ICT 2013 conference was inaugurated by the Minister of Transportation and Acting CEO of the Economic Development Board (EDB) Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed.


he three-day event was held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. An integral part of this exhibition was the Bahrain International Technology Exhibition (BITEX). The minister said that the ICT sector has reached a stage of development with a core focus on excellence. Attaining the excellence, he added, can only be done by supporting initiatives to develop knowledge, essentials – based society supplemented by modern communication networks and qualified workforce, in addition to exchange of expertise. The minister added that such conferences are a facet of the private sector’s major role in the development process. He called for public and private sector participation to ensure the transition from an information society to a knowledge-based society.


december / JANUARY 2014

at Showcasing Entrepreneurs the Amwaj Market

Talents E

The Amwaj Market which was held recently converted the Lagoon into a pop up bazaar. It gave an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services.

ntrepreneurs set up stalls to sell numerous items including food items, jewellery, accessories, artwork and more. The market succeeded in giving these young talents a taste of how it will be run their own business.

december / JANUARY 2014


LinkedIn Lessons for Personal and Organizational Success’ Global Accounts Director for LinkedIn Exlpains BECKETT MCINROY CONSULTANCY with Social Media Club, ServCorp and Bizladies hosted Mr. Guillaume LarrondeLarrechte, Global Accounts Director for LinkedIn at The Domain Hotel, Diplomatic Area.


he event was attended by over 40 female and male professionals where they were educated about ‘LinkedIn Lessons for Personal and Organisational Success’. Mr. Larronde-Larrechte who has worked for LinkedIn for 4 years holds a position that enables global and local enterprises in MENA to develop their employer brand and deploy effective and innovative ways of recruiting the best talents.


december / JANUARY 2014

Viva Media cook off V Tantalizing TasteBuds at the Royal Golf Club iva Bahrain organized a unique media challenge to show their appreciation for their constant support. The Viva Media Cook off challenge was held at the Royal Golf Club. Representatives from almost all the leading media brands in the Kingdom participated. The Cook off Challenge was divided included a cooking challenge, where participants ha to whip a delicious dish with the ingredients provided, and the Pizza challenged which required participants to make a pizza from scratch. Chefs od the Royal Golf Club judged the dishes and winners were presented with gift vouchers.

december / JANUARY 2014


Truffle Festival

at Ritz Calton Bahrain


n the occasion of the visit of guest chef Vittorio Beltramelli, the Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel& Spa organized a media lunch. It marked the launch of their truffle festival.

Food Fiesta For Charity

A Unique Opportunity For entrepreneurs


he New Dawn Society’s Food Festival was held at Al Aali Mall. Young entrepreneur in Bahrain’s Food Industry got a unique opportunity to sell their products and, at the same time, raise money for charity.


december / JANUARY 2014

Putting Bahrain

on The Design Map BIDW Organized

More than 60 designers and organizations participated in the inaugural Bahrain International Design Week (BIDW). The event was held under the patronage of Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fahkro.


ll in One Services managing director, BIDW founder and organiser Ali Hamad Abul said the exhibition will put Bahrain on the design map, as well as support designers locally and regionally. Fashion, jewellery, accessories, architecture and interior design were featured. BIDW consisted of four days of panel discussions and a three-day exhibition at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

december / JANUARY 2014


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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 Saturdays

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 Sundays

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

December / january 2014

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


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

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

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


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. 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

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.

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


Basque sky lounge serves little plates of pintxos (tapas). Opening Hours: Daily: 16:00-2:00


Japanese restaurant, bar, and lounge. Opening Hours: Daily: 18:00-2:00

Le Sauvage

French steakhouse, open grill restaurant. Opening Hours: Daily: 6:30-00:00

Le Domain [34]

South of France cuisine Opening Hours: Daily: 6:30-00:00

Figs & Olives

A casual duet eatery of both classic Italian and Lebanese comfort foods. Opening Hours: Daily: 12:00-00:00

The Cigar Lounge

Refined space for enjoying a quality cigar. Opening Hours: Daily: 18:00-00:00

The Deli

Café-takeaway place to grab a quick bite. Opening Hours: Daily: 8:00-21:00 For Information & Reservations Hotel: +973 16000 400, 16000 200, 16000 222, 16000 333.

December / january 2014


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.


December / january 2014

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

December / january 2014


Quoted “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” Ryan Freitas

“Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.”

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”

Jeffrey Zeldman

Josh James

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” Tony Hsieh

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”

“Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.”

“Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.”

Howard Schultz

Joel Spolsky

David Karp

88 104

february December 2012 / january 2014

“A as goi th a thi

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Business in Gulf - December 2013  
Business in Gulf - December 2013  

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