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100 Leaders in Bahrain - Part 2
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100 Leaders in Bahrain - Part 2 16
June 2013 more inside...
Dubai Police Supercars
Examining Iranâ€™s Role
The Ritz-Carlton, Jumeirah
Turkeyâ€™s difficult choice
Home of Ferrari
The Pain of Bangladesh
Motorsport Excitement at BIC
Land Rover Expedition
The World of Canon
47. Techpicks Smart Phones
Expression Across Media
Publishers Nicholas & Rebecca Cooksey
Editor in Chief Nicholas Cooksey
Emotions have tremendous influence over human behavior. And when they kick in, they skew our judgment and cause us to do things that can only be characterized as irrational. In the world of economics and finance, they call this ‘sentiment’. Consumer confidence, business confidence, investor confidence... It’s all about how people feel. It seems crazy, but it’s true. Right now, for example, ‘sentiment’ is telling us that the euro crisis is over. And, after taking five years to reach pre-crash levels, it’s telling us that international stock markets are once again safe for the average investor. Yet the numbers tell a completely different story. The US debt level this year will hit the danger zone that Greece was in just a few years ago when the European debt crisis kicked off in earnest. In Europe, the situation is so bad that even the government figures are dismal. Italy is officially in a deep recession. Spain is posting a public deficit over 10% of GDP. The Greek economy shrank (officially) nearly 6% last year. Bottom line, the numbers don’t match up with sentiment at all. And this makes for precarious investment conditions. In January, retail investors poured a record $77.4 billion into the US stock market. To put this in perspective, the prior record, set in February 2000, was $23.7 billion. You can probably guess how that turned out. This whoosh of money into stocks happened mere months before the crash. It certainly seems strange when you stack it all together: on one hand, record high deficits, record high debts, record low labor force participation. On the other hand, record high stock market, record high mutual fund inflows. Something just doesn’t add up.
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“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” - Lao Tzu
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100 Leaders in Bahrain - Part 2
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Pain or Gain?
It was nice to see Gulf Insider’s 100th Issue. The feature on leaders in Bahrain was also good to read. The kingdom has developed over the years, in so many ways and is making its mark in the global arena too. It is the effort of a few who work behind the scenes and try to excel in their respective fields which ultimately puts Bahrain in the limelight. It’s a good initiative by your magazine to honour these people. Look forward to your next issue. Ali, Budaiya
I’ve watched the movie based on Margaret Thatcher’s life. She is my hero not just for what she achieved as a leader but also because of her personality. I admire people who are assertive and know how to get things done; these are two important qualities of a good leader. Another thing I like about Thatcher is how she didn’t mind being hated and took it as part of the business of governing. Many a time leaders succumb to pressure as they don’t want to loose popular votes. What is important is doing the bigger good and not just catering to a select few to maintain your image. Salah
Supporting Local Efforts
Congratulations on publishing your 100th issue! Your article ‘Tamkeen’s Investment In The Private Sector’ was interesting. Of course, we all know the initiatives that this organisation is taking, that have turned a new page for businesses in Bahrain. The figures though were pleasantly surprising; low interest finance of BD1 million to over 690 enterprises, for instance; simply commendable! We should have many more such government organisations that support local efforts as this will boost the economy of Bahrain as a whole. Sadek
Bahrain’s Telecom Sector & 4G
I really liked how your May ’13 issue brought us the latest views of telecoms’ heads in the kingdom, on 4G and the sector in general; interesting and informative articles to read! The telecoms sector in the kingdom has changed so much over the years; technology has changed drastically too. From a layman point of view though, I believe that 4G is not necessary because the benefits that 3G provides are more than sufficient – you don’t really need an internet connection that works beyond a certain speed, for instance. Though, that’s just my view. Reader
The Top Six Brands
Bahrain Real Estate Review
Volkswagen Ice Drive Arvidsjaur, Sweden 44
HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE’s Minister of State
3rd Year Anniversary
ENTERPRISE MOVES TO SECOND YEAR OF OPERATIONS... Interview with Mr Nezar Banabeela, Chief Wholesale & Enterprise Officer, VIVA Bahrain. Bahrain BD2
Gulf Insider June 2013
Would you like to be a PUBLISHED Photographer? If your photos of Bahrain and the region are good enough, they could be published in Gulf Insider/Areej/Bahrain Confidential magazines. Each month we publish the most impressive images we receive and give full credit to the photographer. Images must be at least 1mb and can be e-mailed to submissions@ArabianMagazines.com with the subject ‘PHOTO’.
Gulf Round-up Citibank & Etihad Airways: Premier Miles Credit Card Partners Citibank, N.A. has partnered with Etihad Airways to offer an Etihad Guest Miles redemption option on Citibank’s Premier Miles Credit Card. This makes it the only bank in Bahrain to offer rewards on all the four leading regional airlines. Customers can spend on their credit card and earn Citi Miles that can be redeemed across multiple airline partners. Etihad Airways is the third major airline to partner with Citibank on the Premier Miles Card. Under the new agreement with Etihad Airways, Premier Miles Credit Card customers are now able to transfer their Citi Miles directly to an Etihad Guest account. Premier Miles Credit Card customers will not only benefit from the opportunity to earn miles when they fly with Etihad Airways, but also accumulate additional Etihad Guest Miles by transferring Citi Miles earned every time they use their Premier Miles Credit Card. As an introductory offer, Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card customers can benefit from a 20% bonus Etihad Guest Miles offer when transferring their Citi Miles to their Etihad Guest account. The offer is available on transfers made through June 30, 2013. Members can also enjoy accruing miles with the airline’s global partners, ranging from hotel accommodation and car rental to retail and financial products. These can be redeemed against a selection of flights on more than 2,000 routes and more than 6,000 non-flight rewards from over 250 partners on the Etihad Guest online Reward Shop.
BMI Reports Q1 Profit Bahraini retail and commercial banking institution, BMI Bank reported a net profit of BD 0.34 million for the first quarter of the year ended 31 March 2013, an increase of 125% as compared to a net profit of BD 0.15 million recorded over the corresponding period in 2012. This was attributed mainly to improved recoveries against impaired loans. The total income for the quarter was BD 5.7 million representing an increase of 5.6% as compared last year, primarily driven by a 15% increase in net interest income which grew during the quarter. Customer deposits grew at an annualized growth rate of 15%. Jamal Al-Hazeem, Chief Executive Officer, BMI expressed that during the quarter we strengthened our network through the inauguration of our 10thfull service branch at Salmabad helping us to effectively reach out to our customers across all key districts of Bahrai. He added that through all the various customercentric initiatives including Ayadi Savings Scheme and Prestige premier service BMI Bank is now well placed to solidify its position as a leading retail bank in Bahrain. Chief Executive Officer, Jamal Al-Hazeem 8
Gulf Insider June 2013
Chief Executive, Mr Tim Murray
Alba Reports Q1 Results Alba’s sales for the first quarter of 2013 reached BD 187.1 million, an increase from BD 186.4 million in Q1 2012 due to strong physical premiums and favourable management performance. The company has registered a Net Income of BD 40.5 million. In March 2013, Alba paid BD 19.8 million as the final dividend for 2012. Alba’s priorities for this year are continuous focus on safety improvement, maintaining valueadded sales and leverage second half premium negotiations, increase creep capacity with minimal capital investment and Line 6 expansion project. Chief Executive, Mr Tim Murray expressed that Alba was able to deliver a solid quarterly financial performance despite tough LME (London Metal Exchange) market conditions and were able to capitalise on a significant increase in product premiums on the back of a strong operational performance. Chairman of Alba’s Board of Directors, Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji added that the company’s focus on strengthening its competitive edge through operational improvement has led to a big jump in production which contributed directly to the bottom line.
Honda Participates at F1 World Championship Honda Motor Co. Ltd. announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UKbased F1 corporation. Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda. From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in F1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Olivier Briand, GM, Fraser Suites Bahrain (left) and Ms Juliana Mateva, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fraser Suites Bahrain (right)
Fraser Suites: Bahrain’s Leading Serviced Apartments Fraser Suites Seef Bahrain has been named Bahrain’s Leading Serviced Apartments by the World Travel Awards 2013 for its gold-standard serviced excellence in the country’s extended stay market. The World Travel Awards is the largest and most prestigious awards in the travel industry that is voted by travel and tourism professionals worldwide. The brand’s commitment to excellence and continuing endeavours to improve its products and services were recognised. Frasers Hospitality Pte Ltd’s current portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 77 properties in 41 key gateway cities, and more than 13,000 apartments worldwide.
MENA region to see increased projects activity in the next three years The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will become a hotbed for projects as major contracts amounting to more than $2 trillion are awarded in the next three years. Saudi Arabia has some over $119 billion of construction projects to be awarded before 2016. In the UAE, there are some $75 billion worth of construction projects planned in Abu Dhabi in the next three years, along with numerous project opportunities in the Western Region, Al Ain and Dubai. Qatar, boosted by its ongoing plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, continues its ambitious infrastructure development programme with an estimated total of $600 billion being invested on developing infrastructure over the next decade. Projects in rail, roads, hotels and sports stadia will all provide exciting opportunities for the industry over the coming years. Meanwhile, project opportunities in emerging markets include Iraq’s real estate and transport infrastructure spending projected at $356 Billion, Libya’s revival of stalled projects worth over $120 billion and Egypt’s construction opportunities worth $15.8 billion.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Saudi Arabia to relax visa rules in tourism push Saudi Arabia will relax visa rules to allow foreigners to visit certain Islamic and historical sites as tourists, the country’s most senior tourism official said. Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, said that from this year Saudi would issue ‘Umrah-Plus’ visas, which would permit supervised tours of other sites to those visiting the country on Islamic pilgrimages. The conservative Gulf kingdom, which is home to Islam’s two holiest mosques, currently does not issue tourist visas to travellers. “The month long visa can also be used for tourism,” Prince Sultan said on the sidelines of an event in Dubai. “What changed is that we’re now moving to Islamic history sites to revive those to make them more presentable and to create museums and experiences.” Saudi Arabia is spending billions on developing new and existing transport infrastructure. Work is currently being undertaken on 27 airports across the country to increase their capacity to 82m passengers within the next three years, Prince Sultan said. – ARABIAN TRAVEL NEWS
Mid Easterners pay most for UK hotels ME guests paid on average £172 per room per night in 2012 despite paying 3% less in 2011. This was well ahead of Brazil, the nation in second place in the survey, which spent an average of £138. The average paid by international visitors at UK hotels across the board was £100. – ARABIAN TRAVEL NEWS
Burj Al Arab introduces 24-carat gold iPads The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai has introduced 24-carat gold iPads designed specifically for the luxury property and engraved with the hotel’s logo for its in-house guests, Travel Weekly has reported. The iPads can be used as a ‘virtual concierge,’ while information about the hotel’s services will also be available alongside descriptions of restaurant and spa options and menus. – ARABIAN TRAVEL NEWS
Saudi’s housing ministry may seize empty plots Saudi Arabia’s ministry of housing has indicated to landowners that they either need to build on vacant plots of land they own, or sell them on to someone else who will to avoid plots being confiscated. Local media reports in saudi Arabia say that the ministry is considering taking action in order to progress King Abdullah’s plan to deliver 500,000 new homes to Saudi citizens by 2015 - a pledge made by the King in 2011. According to Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s housing minister Shuwaish Al-Dhuwaihi said on a local TV station: “The expropriation of properties for the public interest is done around the world. We might do it in a limited way.” He added that the fact that 70% of land in cities is vacant “threatens the social stability”. Introducing a tax or a levy on empty plots is also being considered if they remain undeveloped. – CONSTRUCTION WEEK 10
Gulf Insider June 2013
Qatar to invest $200bn on infrastructure projects
Qatar plans to invest $200bn in infrastructure development over the next 10 years, according to the managing director of Qatar Financial Centre. “Infrastructure is vitally important. We plan to invest $140bn over the next five years in projects such as a new airport, a new seaport and a rail and metro system. Total infrastructure investment, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will be about $200bn over the next 10 years… Qatar’s investment benefits the whole region, not just Qatar itself,” said Abdulrahman Al Shaibi, speaking at the 2nd Bloomberg Doha Conference. Al Shaibi highlighted Qatar’s economic achievements including receiving the same Standard & Poor’s Sovereign rating (AA+), as the United States. Qatar is now seeking to raise its credit rating to AAA. The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report 2012-2013 ranked Qatar as the world 11th most business-friendly country, which is the highest ranking in the Middle East and three places up from last year. “We have highest proportions of high net worth individuals and highest percentages of millionaire households,” Al Shaibi added. According to Qatar Financial Centre Authority MENA Asset Management Barometer, Qatar’s nominal GDP doubled in the last four years, from $98bn in 2009 to $193bn last year, and the country economy is expected to reach a 5.2 percent annual growth rate until 2017. – CONSTRUCTION WEEK
MENA hotels report world’s highest price increases The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has led the world in hotel price increases, according to HotelsCombined’s latest Hotel Price Trends Report released on April 3. The year-over-year report compared rates from December, January and February 2011/2012 to December, January and February 2012/2013 and found that hotels in the Middle East and North Africa increased in price by eight per cent. Overall, hotel prices worldwide increased four per cent. While as a region MENA led hotel price increases globally, the top individual locations for price rises were: Alanya and Marmaris, Turkey; Sousse, Tunisia; Bintan, Indonesia; and Vilamoura, Portugal. Menorca, Spain; Minsk, Belarus; Kiev, Ukraine; Beirut, Lebanon; and Rimini, Italy experienced the most drastic price falls.– HOTELIER MIDDLE EAST
Travel industry calls for abolishment of passenger duty taxes Speakers at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Abu Dhabi have called for the abolition of passenger duty taxes and a greater understanding from governments of the positive long term economic impacts of international air traffic growth. International Airlines Group chief executive officer Willie Walsh said: “Not a single penny raised through passenger duty goes to the industry or environmental issues. As a vehicle to trigger economic growth, we need a fundamental change in attitude from governments in Europe. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report shows that if you scrap the tax, you actually boost the economy and see a positive effect.” Walsh also spoke of the importance of partnerships to today’s airlines business model, but with consolidation not an option in certain markets, airline alliances are acting as a “poor substitute for proper consolidation.” “We have to accept that if you didn’t have restrictions on ownership or control, you would be seeing more consolidation. But we are an industry that’s always changing; five years from now you will see a very different industry, and 20 years from now it will be unrecognisable,” added Walsh.- ARABIAN TRAVEL NEWS
Qatar’s construction boom may peak in three years Construction activity related to Qatar’s World Cup could peak within three years, according to a new Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report. It states that building could peak during the 2015-16 financial year, and adds that although the country’s population is likely to grow as a result, much of this will be temporarly due to short-term labour contracts, the lack of a residency path and a sponsorship system that “could pose headwinds post-World Cup”. The report also added that “there is some reason to believe Qatar is overinvesting and that the model would eventually have to transition toward building institutional capabilities”. BofA Merrill Lynch had said that Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee is already in talks with Fifa about reducing the number of stadiums it will build to deliver the 2022 World Cup. A report looking at the prospect for Qatar’s equity markets published by HSBC yesterday, stated that the country’s economy “continues to hum along well”. It is forecasting a GDP growth rate of 6.5% for the country in 2015, spurred on by accelerating growth in the non-energy sector. “While infrastructure spending related to the 2022 World Cup has been slow to gain pace, it is starting to step up now and this trend should continue through 2013,” it said. – GULF CONSTRUCTION Gulf Insider June 2013
Bahrain Iran’s Role
REAL BELLY ACHE, OR Just Bellicose? Iran’s Role in Bahrain’s Unrest By Nicholas Cortes
n 1996, the actor Tom Cruise, starred with Cuba Gooding Jr, in a rather forgettable little flick called Jerry Maguire. It was about a sports agent who was full of balderdash, ballyhoo and bravura, but the movie did have one phrase which nestled comfortably into the movie lexicon of ‘unforgettable lines.’ Ahhh, I can see you smiling as you are already ahead of me! “Show me the money!” When all the cockamamie and hype, the promise and bombast, is put to one side, “Show me the money!” Show me the proof – claims alone are not good enough. And so it goes for Bahrain’s relationship with Iran.
Gulf Insider June 2013
For their part, Iran is a braggart and bogeyman, long a claimant that Bahrain is their Fourteenth Province. Indeed in the past they have engaged in a fair measure of hostility and brinksmanship yet in 1971 Iran claimed to have given up any territorial claim to Bahrain when an overwhelming majority of the people here opted for independence rather than any form of unity or association with Iran. But that has apparently, not stopped Iran giving tangential support to opposition elements in Bahrain through their assistance to the Lebanese Hezbollah, which allegedly helped to train Bahrainis for an unsuccessful coup attempt in the 1980s and the spread of the Islamic Revolution into the 1990’s.
And, according to claimants, that form of assistance continues, particularly after the disturbances in 2011. So Iran has ‘form.’ In 2009, the Iranian Speaker of the Parliament again referred in a newspaper to Bahrain as the Fourteenth Province, and following Gulf protests, subsequently led to an apology to Bahrain by the Iranian Foreign Minister. And during the socalled Arab Spring ‘uprising’ in Bahrain, Ayatollah Khamenei voiced support for all ‘anti-despotic movements’ and stated firmly that Iran was a “source of reliance” to all Shia people. President Ahmadinejad made similar disparaging statements about “support for the people holding the rulers to account” while a key legislator said Iran would “investigate
Iran’s Role Bahrain
the massacre of the Bahraini people by the Saudi and Bahraini regimes.” But in so many of these assertions, the Iranians have hardly spoken with one authorative voice. People of varying ranks and authority have made often outlandish statements or malevolent claims against Bahrain. Hardly the acts of a supposedly friendly neighbour, even if a few days later, there is usually a formal announcement hosing down the hostility. A Bahraini registered yacht, seized in international waters although claimed by the Iranians to be in their territorial waters, was towed to an Iranian port but after a short while, the crew were released and returned to Bahrain. The same, earlier this year, with a Bahraini fishing boat although two crew members were shot and their possessions plundered before they were allowed to return home. Low grade stuff – a poor decision by field commanders perhaps, nothing to worry about? Or all part of a plan to minimally maximize irritation? A ‘cage rattling’ tactic designed, undoubtedly, to keep Bahrain “off balance.” Like football team supporters shouting at an opposition team’s supporters, riling and taunting, bellicosity with balloons and always ready to claim that none of these low grade hostilities reflect official policy. Iran has often claimed that it wants peace with its neighbours, oh and by the way, they will add, the source for the tensions is not only the internal treatment of the Shia, but also the existence of U.S. military facilities in the Gulf – particularly as they exist together in Bahrain! Sanctimonious and decidedly unctuous! So there are no attempts to shut down the hostile daily diatribes, the 24 hour plethora of news and television broadcasts in Arabic, into households in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Gulf. Instead, always the Iranian claim that as a religious guardian and projector of the gains of the Islamic revolution, Iran has a moral obligation to spread the word to its Shia adherents. And you only need to go into many Shia villages in Bahrain to see the posters of Ayatollahs and clerics and hear the non-stop broadcasts, to see that
the message is falling on fertile ground. But is it more than this? Is it material and financial support or merely words, a low-cost, almost no-cost, option to annoy and cause a ripple of fear that just across the Gulf is the potentially nuclear armed Iran? And the beauty of the strategy is that while some local hounds can gnash and bay, they are referred to in the international media as “elements of the Republican Guard,” or “individual parliamentarians.” At any time, the Supreme Leader, Government leader, Ministers, or even senior bureaucrats, can simply say, “Oh that was an individual action. It doesn’t reflect official policy!” A sort of devilishly clever Hokey Cokey dance where you have your right foot in at the same time as you have your right foot out, while at all times, you shake
US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates said there was “evidence that the Iranians are trying to exploit the situation in Bahrain.” it all about. It sets more than mere hares running! The point is that Iran is like an international Lex Lothar or Moriarty, a super-villain seldom seen to be up to any good. As slippery as a Sidewinder (The snake not the missile!), as dark as Darth Vader, and as murky as octopus ink! They readily fit the bogeyman bill and while that may not endear them to neighbours, it serves the purpose of making it much easier to fear them. Within this scenario, Iran provides spiritual leadership for all Shia and in Bahrain the oppositionists, drawn largely as they are from the ranks of the Shia sect, are both overtly and covertly involved with Iran for “advice and guidance.” Whether that guidance is spiritual or material, or both, are the key issues for many states in the Gulf for there have been plenty of incidences of both forms
of succour in the fighting in Syria, and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon (In April, 2013, Hezbollah was named as a “Terrorist organization” and banned by Bahrain). So for many in Bahrain, Iran is popularly accused of fomenting all ails, real or imagined. And that can be a good thing in uniting views against a perceived protagonist, but it can be a bad as well if it means deflecting or avoiding dealing real domestic issues which may in fact contribute to the root causes of local attitudes. Yes, there have been cases in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia where ‘spies and plotters’ with Iranian connections have been involved in dastardly deeds, but in all cases Iran has officially denied complicity (The Mandy Rice-Davies defence; “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they!”) There have however, been official accusations by Bahrain and its GCC partners of Iranian interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs. Last month the UK Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt said that while there was no clear evidence of Iranian involvement in the 2011 disturbances, “there are concerns about Iran supporting radical opposition figures,” and that Iran was “known to exploit things.” In 2011, former US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates said there was “evidence that the Iranians are trying to exploit the situation in Bahrain.” AsWiki-leaks shows, much of diplomacy is like an iceberg, cocktail parties and flag-waving above the surface, gathering sigint (signals intelligence) and humint (Human intelligence through contacts), below. Perhaps in view of the delicacy of discussions with Iran on matters nuclear, it is judged by the intelligence gatherers as prudent to not release or ‘strategically leak,’ incriminating material in the interests of the grand strategy, and merely keep shadow-boxing. And indeed those arrayed against Iran with an ability to harvest intel may be sending back-channel messages of the sort that, “we know, that you know, that we know, so keep the tension at a low level and we will all learn to live with it, but ratchet it up, and we will expose you.” And that could mean showing their Gulf Insider June 2013
Bahrain Iran’s Role
hand to the wider public in order to bring them along. Like the US showing the world the Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1963, the Gulf of Tonkin incident (Ultimately a fabrication), which escalated the US war effort in Vietnam in 1964 or the false WMD revelations that provided a ‘rationale’ for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Show me the money,” and the people saw the bills. Talk to many Bahrainis and they will tell you that the young rioters and Molotov throwers, “are being paid by Iran.” They may well be but again, “Show me the money” or in this case, the money trail, because like most modern economies, Bahrain particularly as an eminent banking centre, has computer software programs which vet all incoming and outgoing transactions, large and small, and identifies transaction patterns. Maybe the money arrives in cash, but so far as we know, the only million dollar briefcase –in small bills only, please - was recently brought in by the Americans, supposedly for Base wages (rather than ‘base wages!’) It is therefore an easy vehicle to blame Iran for the woes and continuing violence, rather than the opposition delegates for not condemning it or for not being transparent in the manner in which they have allegedly engaged an ‘outside power’ to help with their 14
Gulf Insider June 2013
decision making for apparently they will not agree to signing off on any National Consensus Dialogue outcomes, without some sanction from abroad. And the claim of their opponents is that the party being consulted is in Iran But if the outside bogeyman prevents Bahrainis looking inwardly at some of
Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” the real village level reform issues that supposedly concern members of the Shia sect, such as non-Shia job reservation and a lack of job opportunities, what they feel is inferior healthcare, education and to some extent, social housing benefits, and the disparities that they feel of wealth, the authorities are missing an opportunity to isolate those radical elements calling for an Islamist state – something that very few Bahrainis want. Yes, Iran is involved in ‘upsetting’ the Government and many people in Bahrain, largely through allowing ceaseless
nastiness and propaganda broadcasts and allowing these things to happen by the omission of policy application, which in normal circumstances should be focused on promoting friendly relations. In a country as tightly controlled by the security apparatus as Iran, ‘everyone knows’ they could stop the nastiness and be a good regional citizen if they wished to. But apparently, they don’t. Maybe it is part of their siege mentality that in feeling as though everyone is kicking them, it is occasionally good to kick back, even if it is only “Little Bahrain,” a place that once long ago was ‘theirs,’ and which therefore sees Iranian cage-rattling with a greater quotient of seriousness than others might. It is an opportunistic act. But if indeed, it is more insidious than mere name calling, and is being done at the behest of Iranian policy makers, and the hard evidence is available, it is time for citizens to call for their governments and their allied governments, to “Show me the money” and determine how deeply Iran is actually involved in destabilization. As the humourist Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” Getting governments to “show you the money” and hence the basis of their policy outcome, means that at worst, one will at least be better misinformed! GFI
Tamkeen: Empowering Bahrain’s Private Sector
amkeen is an initiative tasked with developing Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driver of economic development. Established in August 2006, Tamkeen is one of the cornerstones of Bahrain’s national reform initiatives. Tamkeen has two primary objectives: Firstly, fostering the creation and development of enterprises, and secondly, providing support to enhance the productivity and growth of enterprises and individuals. Under each of those objectives, certain mechanisms and innovative support initiatives have been put in place by Tamkeen to address current and future gaps for individuals and enterprises in the private sector that have been identified by thorough studies of the labour market landscape. For Bahrainis, Tamkeen’s programmes
range from developing the skills and capabilities of Bahrain’s human capital, to promoting sound workplace ethics among youth, and providing leadership and management training, among others. For enterprises, Tamkeen provides programmes which offer enterprises with subsidised business support services, facilitate access to financing to bridge the enterprise financing gap, and enable entrepreneurship, to name a few. As of end of 2012, Tamkeen had allocated more than BD 246 million to these programmes, which have served 77,000 Bahrainis and enterprises in the private sector to date. In total, more than 150,000 beneficiaries are expected to benefit from Tamkeen’s current and planned programmes. In parallel, Tamkeen’s programmes have played a key role in institutionalising
new concepts within Bahrain’s private sector, including SME and microfinancing, entrepreneurship as a viable career path, women empowerment, modern accounting and auditing systems within SMEs, and many other paradigms needed for a vibrant sustainable private sector. Thanks to these achievements, Tamkeen won Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders as the “Best Initiative Supporting SMEs in Arab Countries” in 2012. GFI
For more information, call on Tel. +973 1738 3333 or email email@example.com You can visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram (TamkeenBahrain)
Gulf Insider June 2013
100 Leaders in Bahrain Part - 2
To celebrate reaching our milestone 100th issue we ran a very special feature last month – 100 Bahrain based leaders across 10 professional sectors. To give each adequate space we ran the feature in two parts. This month we bring you Part-II, the next 50 leaders. Once again, we don’t pretend this is a definitive list as there are numerous outstanding people we could include. Thank you to those who got back to us to consider being included in the second part of this feature.
HH Shaikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa CEO - inJaz Bahrain
H Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa attributes her success to a good education. Through inJAz Bahrain, she aims to prepare young Bahrainis to succeed in the global economy. A student of the London School of Economics and Political Science, she has a Masters degree in Social Policy and Planning and has specialised in Islam and Social Policy. After starting her career with the Supreme Council for Women, she was made a permanent member by HM The King, in 2004. In 2005 she founded inJAz Bahrain through which she has taken many initiatives for the youth in the Kingdom including developing the skills of young women. HH has been invited to be a part of many global events including the General Meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2005 which was held in Bahrain and the Young Arab Leaders Chapter in 2007. She was one of the key note speakers at the recently held Bahrain Corporate Social Responsibility Conference and Exhibition.
“Professionalism in the practice and application of social responsibility is one of the biggest challenges.”
Gulf Insider June 2013
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa Chief Executive Officer Bahrain International Circuit
graduate in Applied Management from the National American University in Denver- Colarado, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa is the Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain International Circuit. He has also played a big role in the Civil Service Bureau and Government Organisation of Youth and Sports (GOYS). BIC, the first home for Formula One in the Middle East has definitely put Bahrain on the map. This is a huge area of growth as Bahrain’s Formula One has generated USD1.3 billion since it was first hosted in the island nine years ago. This will help the Bahrain economy to move in the right direction. He emphasises that Formula One is a huge contributor to the tourism sector of Bahrain. This three day event brings together various sectors that help the economy grow- from food, hospitality, travel to transport, retail, entertainment and others.
Chief Executive Officer Bahrain Airport Services
ver the past 23 years, George Saounatsos has held a number of senior managerial, operational and engineering positions worldwide with aviation industry leaders and landmark projects and has published numerous articles in aviation journals. He holds an MSc in Air Transport Management, an MBA specialized in Transport & Logistics, a BSc in Aerospace Engineering and a Commercial Pilot license. He describes effective leadership as the synthesis of many abilities: listening and understanding your people, establishing a climate of integrity, fairness and mutual respect, building a vision and driving a change embraced by your people, setting up a constructive strategy and walking along with your people towards its implementation, being able to see the global picture but at the same time possess the solid knowhow to zoom-in on specific matters and support your people in identifying creative solutions. Regarding his organisation, he says:
“We are working systematically on transforming the DNA of the company and converting BAS into a competitive business with a performance-based and customer-centric culture. We give emphasis to the training and development of our Bahraini staff while modifying the shape of key business units to achieve a more efficient and leaner management structure. We are redefining our operational concept and streamlining our procedures through a top-down process re-engineering, while optimising the use of our resources”.
Abdulla M Juma
Chairman - Bin Juma Holding Co
n electrical engineer by profession, Abdulla M Juma is also a part of many other associations and clubs in Bahrain. He was the Minister of Electricity and Water for four years from 1995. He believes that Bahrain has a free environment that helps new startups and businesses to flourish. Faster clearances are an advantage and also there are no ownership restrictions. He attributes privatisation and a democratic set up attract many foreign investors which boosts the economy of the country. Abdulla commends the new landlaws in Bahrain and believes that they are at par with international laws. He emphasises that the Kingdom follows the path of growth with sustainability, competitiveness and fairness.
Dr Clare Beckett-McInroy CEO - Beckett McInroy Consultancy
r Clare Beckett-McInroy is a Certified Organisational and Executive Coach, trainer and President of BizLadies, GCC. An extensive traveller, she is sensitive to her clients’ cultural needs. She follows a facilitator approach at her firm which enables her team to increase individual and organisational learning, turning it into action. Dr Clare Beckett-Mclnroy aims to achieve an international reputation for her firm. Talking of her achievements, Clare shares that she increased the BizLadies membership-base from 300 to over 2000 in only 12 months. On her personal front she cherishes her presentation at Harvard University. “Tamkeen is a great supporter of women, SMEs and talent management,” she says and adds that its initiatives are a great benefit to Bahraini companies and individuals.
“Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down.” - Grace Hopper
Gulf Insider June 2013
Mohammed Isa Bin Hindi
General Manager – Kia Sales AA Bin Hindi
ohammed Isa Bin Hindi started his career in Bahrain with Orbit Satellite. Today, in addition to heading the Kia Sales Division, he is the Head – PR & Marketing for AA Bin Hindi Group. An advocate of delegation, Mohammed believes that a good leader should surround himself/herself with the best talent and that human resource is the most important asset for any organisation. “It is important that a leader makes unbiased decisions and always has the best interests of his subordinates at heart.” He also thinks that customers and colleagues need to be treated just as one would want himself/herself to be treated. Mohammed admires Lido Anthony Iacocca, better known as Lee Iacocca – the father of Ford Mustang & the man who turned around Chrysler Corporation in the late 70’s. Sharing his proudest moment he talks about how AA Bin Hindi won the ‘Global Platinum Dealership Award’ in 2010. Commending the government’s efforts to boost businesses in Bahrain he shares that the company has tie-ups with Tamkeen for a lot of workshops and exhibitions.
Business Nasser Mohammed Al Arayedh
Chairman Al Arayedh Group Holding WLL
Hamid Rashid Al Zayani
Chairman Al Zayani Investments
aving over three decades of experience across business sectors including industrial and manufacturing projects, hotels, hospitals, automotive retailing and properties, Hamid Rashid Al Zayani has lead Al Zayani investments to achieve not just for the group but the country as a whole. Al Zayani Investments works closely with the government and public sector and also provides employment opportunities to a large number of Bahrainis – the ratio of Bahraini nationals working for the group surpasses the Bahrainisation targets set by the government. He believes that Bahrain has a business friendly environment where entrepreneurs are supported and facilitated well in terms of easy licensing and approvals. Speaking of Bahrain on the global canvas, he says that Bahrain has a beautiful history and heritage in addition to rich resources which can make it a renowned world destination. 18
Gulf Insider June 2013
asser Mohammed Al Arayedh is the Chairman of Al Arayedh Group Holding WLL. The company prides itself as one of the prominent and largest family owned business groups in the Kingdom of Bahrain. A highly educated man, Nasser Al Arayedh holds a BA in Business Administration from the United Kingdom. The company takes pride in its accomplishments in the real estate sector in the last five years. A good leader always values his subordinates. The organisation remains committed to the initiative the Bahrain government has started like Economic Vision 2030. This helps create a more open market for Bahrain. It also ensures a basic healthcare and education for all of Bahrain’s citizens. This will help build a stronger and more prosperous nation.
Adel Abdulla Fakhro
Group Managing Director Abdulla Yousif Fakhro & Sons BSC
ith a Bachelor in Science from the American University of Beirut, Adel Abdulla Fakhro is the Group Managing Director of Abdulla Yousif Fakhro & Sons BSC. This Group is one the oldest and distinguished family businesses in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It currently operates in Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi and is working to expand to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He stays optimistic about the future of the kingdom. Bahrain has been in the forefront of liberalization and globalisation of the economy. The initiatives started by the Bahrain government will ensure that the kingdom becomes more business friendly, generate more job opportunities for nationals and make t h e m responsible and competitive through training and development.
Director - Al Riwaq Art Space
pened in 1998, Al Riwaq Art Space is one of Bahrain’s oldest art galleries. Under the leadership of Bayan Kanoo, this gallery has organised many exhibitions, art and music workshops and discussions, literacy events, and art courses with an intention of promoting art and encouraging creativity in the kingdom. This space primarily exhibits the work budding artists in Bahrain, thus providing a platform for new and young talent.
“My intent is to be an active member of the art scene, encouraging the collaboration of various industries across Bahrain to participate in encouraging young Bahraini artists to flourish. Through Al Riwaq Art Space we are able to create much needed awareness to the public about the art and artists who are available in Bahrain. These artists need to see that there is support, appreciation, local understanding and the facility for international promotion of their work.”
Ali Yousuf Abdulrahman Engineer
Executive Chairman Yousuf Abdul Rahman Engineer Group
ousuf Abdul Rahman Engineer Group had humble beginnings. The founder late Yousuf Abdul Rahman Engineer began with water-drilling, in the early 1930s. Over time, his trade expanded to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Sultanate of Oman. The transportation sector was launched a little later, leveraging his business relationship with oil companies. Today National Transport (NTE) is synonymous to private transportation in the Kingdom. The group is managed by his sons and Ali Yousuf Abdulrahman Engineer is the Executive Chairman. Yousuf Abdul Rahman Engineer Group has many operations under its umbrella – construction, commercial and tyre services. The company recently launched MegaChips, a snack under its business unit - Foosco. NTE provides buses to public and private schools, universities, government organisations including BAPCO and ASRY, and also other organisations.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Mohamed Hussain Yateem Director - A.M. Yateem Bros. W.L.L
he Director of the well known family- owned business A.M Yateem Bros, the Central Bank of Bahrain and many others, Mohammed Hussain Yateem has provided tremendous value and support to the company. Under his guidance, the organisation has performed extremely well in terms of attaining their predetermined goal as well as in showing their continued support to the customers. Bahrain is such a business friendly and people friendly island with a rich culture and heritage. One of the oldest tourist destination- The Manama Souq represents Bahrain’s rich history. Development of tourism will help Bahrain in a number of ways. He believes that the Bahrain government has been very optimistic in creating a new course for the ingdom to make it a hi-tech productivity oriented economy driven by the private sector.
Executive Director - Jashanmal Group
ashanmal; the company that started off with one general store in Iraq, today is a corporation of multi-channel activities in the GCC and India with its headquarters in the UAE. Evolving over three generations of family members, Jashanmal has been going strong since 1919. Tony Jashanmal, the Executive Director, has seen the company blossom into what it is today. He feels that Bahrain’s regulations for business are extremely convenient and organised. Being brought up with the knowledge of providing service and value, Tony Jashanmal along with his other family members have always been encouraged to attain more knowledge. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Gulf Insider June 2013
Ali Hasan Kutty Kunhalil Chairman & Managing Director Aliventure Group
hardworker, Ali Hasan Kutty Kunhalil is a well established businessman in the Kingdom of Bahrain for more than 44 years. With an interest in various sectors such as supermarkets, construction, real estate, building materials, trading, HVAC & marine division, healthcare and education, Alivnenture Group has been successful and is spread across several countries such as Qatar, UAE and India. A strong believer in education, he believes that “Education is about building the future. Learning is a lifelong process that has to be made enjoyable so that the students will regard the assimilation of knowledge as a lifelong process.” Bahrain government’s initiatives of investing in Bahraini nationals through training and development will help pave the way for a better standard of living. The goal of the government is to create a new generation of skilled citizens who will take a lead in facing the challenges of the future.
Business - Luxury
Dr. Abul Qassim Abbas Shirazi
President, Managing Director MSCEB
Founder and Managing Director Bahrain Jewellery Centre WLL
r Abul Qassim Abbas Shirazi is the Founder and Managing Director of Bahrain Jewellery Centre. Established in 1978, Bahrain Jewellery Centre(BJC) has grown from a once small unit in the Souq to the exclusive dealer for the world’s well known Swiss watches, Italian jewellery, leather goods and fashion items. It is the centre for jewellery and watch retail in the Middle East. Under his leadership, BJC has been actively participating in the Jewellery Arabia Exhibition, since its birth in 1992. He has been a strong pillar and a motivational leader that has led BJC to great heights. The Bahrain government has a goal to achieve a high level of competitiveness in a global economy. Continuous efforts towards productivity and increased employment opportunities will help in improving the quality of life in Bahrain.
ohamed Salahuddin started living his architectural dream at a very young age. After completing his education from the United Kingdom, he started to work in architectural and design field under the influence of his father who himself has created several of Bahrain’s earlier landmarks including one of the icon of Bahrain tourism- Bab Al Bahrain. With his hard work and dedication, he has received several prestigious awards including the Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Award for his outstanding contribution to the National Trade & Economy in 2001. “A world class business environment enabled by an indigenous workforce with sophisticated business and technical skills is the goal.” The government has well thought action plans to help the people of Bahrain have a better quality of life and create the ideal environment for foreign investments.
Banking & Finance Banking & Finance
Fahad Al- Rajaan
Chief Executive Officer Bahrain Association of Banks
Chairman - Ahli United Bank
hairman of Ahli United Bank, Fahad Al Rajaan holds a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Washington DC. Ahli United Bank is a major commercial and investment banking corporation that provides wealth management, retail, corporate, treasury, offshore and private banking services. A man of various roles and achievements, Fahad Al- Rajaan is also the Chairman of Wafra Investment Advisory Group (New York), a Board Member at National Industries Group (Kuwait, Director General of the Public Institution for Social Security (Kuwait) and Chairman, Ahli United Bank (Egypt). Under his leadership, Ahli United Bank has seen immense growth and improved net profits. He emphasises that the re-affirmation of the bank’s credit ratings testifies to the bank’s strong business fundamentals and effective control framework.
obert Ainey, the Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Association of Banks brings with him over 30 years of experience in the banking sector for the Gulf and United States. He initially started his career as a systems engineer with several IT firms. With the strong mindset of contributing to the development of Bahrain, his home for the past several years, Robert Ainey joined Bahrain Association of banks in January 2008.
“The Kingdom should be commended on its initiatives for a better and brighter future. One of the objectives of Bahrain Association of Banks is to improve the professional development amongst the members. By training them and improving their skills, Bahrain citizens can have a more rewarding career. This will in turn make Bahrain an attractive destination for new businesses. “
Gulf Insider June 2013
Banking & Finance
Adnan Ahmed Yousif President & Chief Executive Al Baraka Banking Group
dnan Ahmed Yousif began his career working for Habib Bank in 1973. He has also worked with names like American Express, Arab Banking Corporation and is currently on the board for Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG). He continuously works towards improving the skill-set of his team especially the locals. He emphasises that Bahrain is an excellent destination for new and existing businesses because of government support in terms of capital, liberal policies on ownership and the like. Under Adnan’s leadership, ABG has always been keen on using the most up to date and innovative Islamic banking products to enhance its operations and serve its customers not just in Bahrain but globally, through over 400 branches.
“It is our goal to strive for increased producitivity and innovation.”
General Manager – Bahrain &Kuwait InterContinental Regency
ichael Koth believes that the sky is the limit and follows two advices; be sincere and humble and be yourself. An admirer of Kofi Anan, Koth cherishes meeting his favourite leader and commends his courage and strategy at tackling global issues and diffusing international conflicts. He believes that a hotel needs to reach a certain level of greatness for it to be loved by guests and this is possible through a solid foundation and collective alignment. Speaking of an achievement that he is most proud of, Koth shares how honoured he felt when he was chosen to run at the Summer Olympic Torchy Relay in Athens, in 2004. He thinks that Government schemes through Tamkeen are a great opportunity for enterprises in Bahrain and touristcentric events like Formula and Gulf Cup boost the Hospitality industry.
“A good leader is like a three star Gault et Millau Chef. He uses the best ingredients, seeks improvement with every dish, is inspired by competition and new trends and is able to manage resources and processes to plate quality dishes at the right time. A keen listener he learns from his mistakes and allows his guests, not his ego to judge his performance.” 22
Gulf Insider June 2013
Banking & Finance
Mohammed A. Rahman Bucheerei Chief Executive officer Ithmaar Bank
ohammed A. Rahman Bucheerei is the Chief Executive Officer of Ithmaar bank, formerly known as Shamil Bank. Ithmaar Bank has played a very important role in the development of Islamic banking and finance in Bahrain. He has with him, 40 years of extensive experience in accounting, commercial and offshore banking. He stresses on the importance of education. Education has the potential to be a key growth area for Bahrain. Creating a high value system for Bahrain that embraces the Kingdom’s culture and heritage is a key focus. The Economic Vision 2030 is a highly strategic plan that aims at achieving the Kingdom’s aspirations. Having Bahrain named as “The Best Financial Centre of 2010” is proof of the Kingdom’s business friendly approach.
Professor Abdulla Y. Al Hawaj
Ahmed Al Noaimi
Managing Partner Ibtikar Group
President - Ahlia University
he University of Bahrain is one of the Kingdom’s older educational institutions and has been providing the youth of the country with quality education since 1986. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi ensures that as Bahrain’s national university, UOB is a place where high-performing students meet competent and skilled faculty for a rigorous academic experience. He says that the course structure and pedagogy are built to make students unleash their power of thought. Ebrahim believes that it’s critical that those involved in higher education improve the quality of graduates to respond to changes in the labor market and economy. He insists that UOB faculty and students adopt a determined entrepreneurial approach to advanced research and strategic partnerships and as a result create solutions that improve individuals’ lives, local communities in the Kingdom and the world.
qualified Chartered Management Accountant from the UK and an MSc in Management Science from MIT Boston, Ahmed Al Noaimi is one of the two founders and managing partner of Ibtikar Group since his retirement from Alba in 2009. With his leadership, the group has seen changes and has set an example for other companies to follow. He agrees that the Kingdom of Bahrain is 100 percent business friendly. The nature and hospitality of the people in Bahrain and the culture of the island is the primary reason for foreign investments in Bahrain. The well established rules and regulations and first class treatments make it easy for investors to settle in the Kingdom. The government has brought together an initiative where each and every individual representing the nation works together to establish a common goal- development of the Bahrain economy.
Food & Beverage
Ebrahim Mohamed Ali Zainal
Dr Mazin MA Jumaah President Royal University for Women
n author of over 100 publications and books in the area of digital control in education and the recipient of numerous awards in the field of education, Dr Mazin MA Jumaah believes that good leaders have a vision and they raise the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas. Dr Mazin’s role model is his father and he admires his ability to perfectly balance professional and personal matters. He aspires to put Royal University for Women on the list of top 500 universities in the world. He shares that his proudest achievements have been earning his PhD degree and being presented with the ‘Socrates International Award’ from the Europe Business Assembly in Ireland. This award recognises contributions to the national economy and integration processes. Dr Mazin commends the efforts of the Higher Education Council and the Quality Assurance Authority in the private education in Bahrain.
Chairman - Trafco
hairman of Trafco, Ebrahim Mohamed Ali Zainal, is a hard worker and an inspirational leader. Trafco Group which was incorporated in 1977 is part of an initiative to revolutionise and rejuvenate the food industry in the Kingdom. This company was formed with the main objective to enhance the taste and health of Bahrain’s population. Ebrahim Mohamed Ali Zainal believes that the Bahrain government is paving a new path which will transform the Kingdom of Bahrain into a developed and more mature economy. This can be done combining both the government and private efforts. Tamkeen is playing a major role in bringing out the best in the citizens. It is fast becoming the backbone of Bahrain business. Bahrain being a beautiful tourist destination in the Middle East has a long culture and heritage attached to it. The island is attracting tourists from around the world who are interested in sports, leisure, adventure and culture.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Khalid Mohammed Abdul Rahim Chairman - Cebarco, KAR Group
hairman of KAR Group’s construction arm, Khalid Mohammed Abdul Rahim has received the Kings medal for services to Bahrain and was elected as Bahrain Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2007, by Ernst and Young. He is a patron of Glasgow Caledonian University and supports several local and international charities. He associates the ability to listen and positively influence with good leadership.
“One can’t be an expert in all areas and so it’s important to hire individuals who are good in their respective fields. Khalid admires Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for developing Dubai and making it known throughout the world as a destination of choice and is passionate about horses and horse racing. He takes pride in being a world leader in the construction of Formula 1 racing circuits - having delivered two projects on time despite many obstacles. He commends government initiatives in infrastructural investment, freeing-up the labour market, and training and grants through Tamkeen.”
Mohammed Farouk Almoayyed
Vice Chairman& MD Almoayyed International Group
orn into one of Bahrain’s leading family businesses –Y.K Almoayyed, Mohammed Farouk Almoayyed is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of ALMOAYYED International Group. A determined entrepreneur, Mohammed Almoayyed holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from George Washington University, USA. With the aim of delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction, he has brought in several changes in the group by decentralising authority and grooming every individual in the firm to be responsible and accountable.
“Bahrain has always been business friendly. Bahrain Government has a target to make Bahrain a globally competitive economy and provide a better future for all citizens by providing opportunities to all. By opening up new paths for growth of the market, Bahrain will be able to position itself as ‘The Next Major Business Hub’. “ 24
Gulf Insider June 2013
DR SAI GIRIDHAR Chief Executive Officer Al Hilal Hospital
r Sai Giridhar began his career as a dental surgeon, in India, in 2001. After practising for five years and earning a degree in hospital administration, he joined Al Hilal Hosptial, a multi-specialty hospital in Bahrain, in 2007. Many corporate social responsibility projects have been undertaken by the hospital under the leadership of Dr Giridhar who designed medical care service processes, community health programmes and public health initiatives to suit Bahrain’s requirements. A new Al Hilal MultiSpeciality Medical Centre will soon be inaugurated in Riffa and he believes that the government’s business friendly approach and inclusive growth initiatives will help in a big way. Dr Giridhar aims to provide people in Bahrain with high quality health care at affordable prices. He believes that a good leader is one who leads by example and assures that he will continue to implement plans and work towards realising goals for the medical sector in the Kingdom. “Keep walking!”
Chief Executive Officer Reef- Real Estate Finance Company
Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa
ith over 26 years of strategic management, consultancy and business development experience, Mahmood Alkoofi became one of the youngest Bahraini CEOs for a financial services company in 1995. He has held various leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. A highly qualified individual, Mahmood has set Reef in motion for huge success. The goals that the Bahrain government has set will increase Bahrainisation in the private sector and enhance the efficiency and skills of nationals through effective training by Tamkeen. This will help Bahrain achieve an outstanding growth as a regional investment and business hub. At the same time, this will ensure increased productivity and competitiveness of the economy.
Chairman King Hamad University Hospital
nder the guidance of Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) has been providing those in the Kingdom, especially the Muharraq Governorate with top-class medical services and facilities since its establishment in 2010. KHUH seeks to provide the best therapeutic services and the most advanced health care in accordance with the best standards in this field by adopting and applying standards of quality and excellence and by benefiting from leading global experiences in quality and risk management.
“Our vision aims at ensuring a healthy life for citizens and residents by providing advanced and safe health services. In addition, preventive methods are considered one of the most important objectives which KHUH seeks to achieve by spreading awareness among citizens and residents.”
Jassim Al Jowder Chief Executive Officer Durrat Al-Bahrain
ith two decades of experience in Financial System and MIS and Human Resource Management field, Jassim Al Jowder is the Chief Executive Officer of Durrat Al-Bahrain. Durrat Al-Bahrain is one of the Kingdom’s largest planned luxury residential, commercial and tourist resort development. It has presented itself as a tourist destination and a landmark of Bahrain mainly because of its uniqueness. The ongoing growth of business in Bahrain shows the world the friendly business environment the Kingdom offers. Durrat Al-Bahrain has achieved an outstanding reputation through implementing its model as a modern city without letting go of Bahrain’s culture and heritage. Every step taken by the government is aimed to diversify Bahrain’s economy which is the key to the island’s growth and long term success.
“Every Bahraini citizen has the opportunity to develop their talent and in turn benefit Bahrain’s economy for the better. The government initiatives provide internships and training to young Bahrainis. Each day is a brand new day where creativity is always entertained. “
Gulf Insider June 2013
Banking & Finance
Yousuf Ali MA
Managing Director Lulu Group
CEO - State Bank of India
ohan Ganeshan joined State Bank of India as Probationary Officer and has worked across verticals including credit, forex, branch management, planning and human resources. Before coming to Bahrain he was the Regional Manager for Goa in India.
“I strongly believe that Bahrain offers immense potential for financing in the trade, manufacturing, services and hospitality sectors. The banking sector in Bahrain is very well regulated and even though there is a slew, of international and local banks operating in the Kingdom of Bahrain, there is enough opportunity for business for all the banks. The economic scenario is also looking up with the GDP slated for an over 5% growth. The government of Bahrain’s announcement of plans for spending on the rapid growth of the housing sector and other infrastructure projects bodes well for the overall growth of the economy. With its strategic location, Bahrain also holds promise of becoming a destination for medical tourism and a hub for education in the Middle East.”
usuffali M.A. ranks among top business personalities in the region today. Under his dynamic leadership, Lulu Group has achieved significant growth and diversified into various business lines. In recognition of his remarkable achievements in business & industry and his distinguished services in the field of social work, he was conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Hon’ble President of India in the year 2008. He was the first Non-resident Indian from the Gulf and the Middle East countries to be honored with this coveted award by the Government of India. The crowning glory in his career came when the business community in Abu Dhabi elected him as the Director Board member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry which is one of the world’s most prosperous and wealthy business regulatory authorities. He is the first and only Indian from the Middle East elected to such a prestigious business regulatory authority.
Sports Banking & Finance
Yusuf Saad Kamel
HE Rasheed Al Maraj Governor Central Bank of Bahrain
overnor of Central Bank of Bahrain since January 2005, HE Rasheed Al Maraj has contributed towards the financial stability in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Central Bank of Bahrain is always looking to improve and apply the best practice for the betterment of the Kingdom. They play an active role in boosting corporate governance standards. A man with an ample amount of experience in the various fields like finance, engineering and management, he has held senior positions with the Government and has also shared his expertise and knowledge in the private sector. He has previously served as Chairman of Batelco, was a member of the Consultation Council of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain.
Gulf Insider June 2013
usuf Saad Kamel, born in Kenya, has been representing Bahrain after his switch from Kenya. He specialises in 1500 metres and 800 metres. Inspired by his father, Billy Konchellah, who is the former double World 800 metres champion; Kamel is a hard worker with a dream. He has not stopped working towards his dream. Representing Bahrain, Yusuf Saad Kamel became the world champion for 1500 metres and bronze in the 800 metres at the 2009 World Athletics Championships that was held in Berlin. One should always try to be better than oneself. Like how William Faulkner rightly said;
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
Dr. Ravi Pillai
Chairman and Managing Director R.P Group of Companies
ne amongst the 50 Richest Indians in the GCC, Dr. Ravi Pillai is best known for his relentless growth and success. With over 70,000 employees, RP Group of Companies is a multibillion-dollar operation. RP Group of Companies is into the construction, healthcare, education, travel and tourism and retail sectors. Most prominent is the Naser S. Al Hajri Corporation (NSH), one of the largest industrial contractors and fabricators in the Middle East, and The Millennium School in Bahrain which is an example of one his successful accomplishments. Ravi Pillai is also an accomplished scholar and a humanitarian providing much needed guidance and support to charities, disaster reliefs etc. Bahrain has a worldwide reputation for providing a friendly business environment. He strongly feels that the government with its latest initiative, the Economic Vision 2030 will lead Bahrain to further growth and prosperity for the generations to come.
CEO - Charles Russell LLP
live Hopewell has been with international law firm Charles Russell for almost two decades now. He has been based in Bahrain for almost 5 years heading up its Middle East practice. Clive was recently voted to the firms Executive Board, so whilst he will be spending more time in London he will still remain a regular presence in Bahrain. He says that Charles Russell has its Middle East headquarters in Bahrain primarily because of its strong relationships with Government organisations going back over a decade. The country has been a trading and financial hub in the region for many years and is very welcoming to international business and British families feel comfortable here. . He emphasises how Bahrain has so much to offer as a tourist destination, and can be promoted as a cultural centre in the region, he commends Shaika Mai for the great strides she has taken in developing the cultural infrastructure in Bahrain. He believes that Bahrain could improve its beaches and arrange for clean and basic facilities at beaches around the island for families. He also expresses how he appreciates government support towards new business ventures and commends the Kingdomâ€™s decision to diversify its investments and projects and not just depend on oil.
member of the Bahrain Writers Society, author Fawzia Rashid published her first major novel Al-Hisar in 1983. She has worked as a news paper journalist for many publications in the region and also written numerous articles for the Arab press. In 1994, two of her collections of short stories, Maraya al-Zil wa-l-Farah (Mirrors of Shadow and Joy) and Kayfa Sara al-Akhdaru Hajaran (How the Green turned into Stone) were published in one volume entitled Ghaba fi-lAraâ€™ (A Forest in the Wilderness). Her short stories have been translated into English, German, Japanese and Danish. At present Rashid is living and working in Cairo.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Ismail H. Akbar
Executive General Manager of Sales - Ebrahim K Kanoo B.S.C
smail H. Akbar has worked with EK Kanoo for almost four decades. He has handled various positions including that of an accountant, service advisor, and sales executive before attaining his current senior position. He is humbled by the trust that the company and its owners have placed in him and his leadership style and decisions. He shares that EK Kanoo is more like a family to him and that he admires Mohammed Kanoo and Fuad Kanoo for everything that he has learned from them during his work stint, here. Talking of a leader that he admires, in general, he tells us that it is the royal leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He makes a special mention about the Prime Minister of Bahrain, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Ismail says that every leader contributes to make a difference and emphasizes that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has brought about so many changes for the country. Drawing parallels between Bahrain, in the yesteryears and today he highlights how so many hotels are coming up and that there is development of roads and the like; the government is spending on development of infrastructure and other facilities. Exhibiting perfect humility, Ismail says how one should not praise oneself but the people should praise the one. He holds the respect that he gets from people very close to his heart and believes that it is this bond that he has forged with them that is his greatest achievement.
Ali Hasan Mahmood
Imran Al Aradi
Chairman Hasan & Habib Sons of Mahmood Group of Companies
li Hasan Mahmood, the Chairman of Hasan & Habib Sons of Mahmood Group of Companies, has worked in most of the group’s divisions. Since its inception in 1975, The Group has expanded greatly and is currently one of the largest companies in Bahrain with over 26 companies and divisions and employing over 700 personnel. Under the leadership of Ali Hasan Mahmood, The Group has grown and has always stayed on top despite difficult situations. The Economic Vision 2030 helps to make the Kingdom’s economy more vibrant so that every citizen can enjoy a better standard of living. Tamkeen also helps in training citizens to be able to work in a more capable and professional environment. Bahrain must work on appealing more to tourists in order to make the Kingdom of Bahrain a global destination for business.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Radio Jockey/ Comedian
common house hold name on the island, Imran Al Aradi is a voice that motivates so many in Bahrain with cheerful talk and songs. He was of the most sought-after compères in Bahrain at only 24 years of age and shortly after joined Radio Bahrain 96.5 FM as a resident Radio Jockey. Today he has listeners from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. Imran’s comedy career took off in 2008 and he is the first Bahraini to turn comedy into a full-time career. An admirer of Larry Bird, NBA basketball player because of how he led his team, Imran believes that a good leader is someone who has the ability to motivate under difficult circumstances and to lead by example. He uses every bad experience as an opportunity to learn and is proud of being able to sustain a living as an entertainer, especially in a country where ‘real jobs’ just aren’t born from hobbies “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life,” he says.
Banking & Finance
Atif A Abdulmalik
Chief Executive Officer Arcapita
tif A Abdulmalik co-founded Arcapita in 1997. It is a global investment firm that specialises in private equity and real estate and is compliant with the Sharia law. He has led the company through rapid and consistent growth and broadened the reputation of the organisation to be able to undertake innovate transactions in various Real Estate, Private Equity, Infrastructure, etc. A knowledgeable man in the field of Banking & Finance, he was named Islamic Banker of the Year in 2005. He is Certified Public Accountant from the State of Maryland and has a BBA in Accounting, Finance and Management from Saint Edward’s University, Texas. Under Atif A Abdulmalik’s leadership, Arcapita has completed investment transactions exceeding $28 billion in 2008. In 2007, he was awarded the Proficiency Medal First Class by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, acknowledging his excellent contribution to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
CEO - Bahrain Financial Harbour
tephen Rothel has rich experience spanning over 25 years with leading international real estate and infrastructure firms such as Grocon Construction Pty Ltd, Jones Lang LaSalle and CB Richard Ellis. At Groco Construction Pty Ltd, he was responsible for the entire value cycle from identifying and securing new major property developments to delivering them to their successful conclusions. He has also been associated with some of Australia’s key landmark projects including Queen Victoria and Eureka Tower. He joined Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) in 2006 and aims to make it a destination for renowned names in the technological and financial sector; both international as well as regional financial institutions and service providers. Stephen is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Valuers & Land Economists and an Associate of Real Estate Institute of Victoria. He is also a member of the Property Council of Australia, on the Committee for Development Review.
Chief Executive Officer Bahrain Bay
obert Lee has been in the real-estate industry for the past 25 years, ranging from development to valuation, investment, operations and restructuring. Bahrain Bay comprises 43ha of reclaimed land just north of the Diplomatic Area, the current central business district (CBD). There will be 3.3km of canals and waterfront for public benefit. Bahrain Bay as a development has benefited from its downtown core location. In fact, it was always thought of as a natural extension to the CBD, which is suffering from traffic congestion, lack of parking and old, inefficient buildings.
“While some building appears iconic, many are built on sound principles of efficient structural engineering. Some of our speculative residential towers have the same look and feel as you will see in any other metropolitan cities.”
Director - Amin Law Firm & Business Consultancy
min Law Firm and Business Consultancy is a dynamic law firm in Bahrain. The firm acts for a number of institutional clients in large multi-jurisdictional transactions, as well as for governments, corporate, professional firms and high net worth individuals. Owner Sana Amin says that the firm positions itself as a top tier provider of legal and consultancy services in Bahrain. The range of legal services include corporate, commercial, housing projects, funds, banking & finance, real estate, labour & employment, contracts, mergers, commercial and residential property, marine law, restructuring, litigation, Arbitration and dispute resolution. Having over 15 years of experience in the legal sector, Sana has worked with renowned names of the likes of Batelco and ASRY.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Banking & Finance Government
Dr Fatima Al Balooshi Minister of Social Development
believer of equality between genders, Dr Fatima Al Balooshi is Bahrain’s second female cabinet Minister. Prior to being appointed as the Minister of Social Development in 2005 and she worked as a high school teacher for a while. She then went on to obtain a doctorate in education from Columbia University in New York, specialising in instructional technology and media. Dr Al Balooshi has also worked at the Ministry of Education and has served as the Dean of University of Bahrain. In late 2011, she was made Acting Minister of Health for a short while and the Ministry was renamed Ministry of Human Affairs and Social Development. Towards the second half of 2012, she reverted back to her earlier post as Minister for Social Development. Dr Al Balooshi has received numerous awards and recognitions through the course of her career for exhibiting excellence in her work and influencing the lifestyles of both Bahrainis and expats in the Kingdom.
Managing Director Environment Arabia Consultancy Services
fter attaining her MSc in Environmental Impact Assessment and Auditing, from the University of East Anglia, Halel Engineer started Environment Arabia Consultancy Services in 2002. She also has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth. Environment Arabia Consultancy Services is an environmental consultancy that addresses all environmental concerns that organisations might have. An environmental conscious entrepreneur, she set up yet another business venture known as Reef Arabia in 2012. Reef Arabia comprises of local and internationally based marine biologists who provide real solutions in mitigating environmental impacts. The company is one of the largest authorized suppliers in the GCC of a wide range of artificial reef units including both licensed Reef Ball units and locally designed structures.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Talal Al Zain
Regional Chief Executive OfficerMENA and Turkey PineBridge Investments
he Regional Chief Executive Officer (MENA and Turkey) of PineBridge Investments, Talal Al Zain has 29 years of experience. PineBridge is an independent asset manager that offers innovative and specialised solutions across asset locations, equities, hedge funds and private equities. They cater to investors, insurance companies, corporations, non-profit organisations, government entities etc. Having prior experience with Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co., Investcorp, The Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank; Talal Al Zain has attained valuable insight into international finance.
“The Bahrain government made crucial and bold choices for a better future of Bahrain. The Economic Vision 2030 is aimed to diversify Bahrain’s economy, attain a high level of competitiveness in the global economy, and also further i m p r o v e the living standards of every Bahrain citizen.“
Anwar Mohammed Abdulrahman
Chairman - Akhbar Al Khaleej & Gulf Daily News
nwar Mohammed Abdulrahman launched Al Hilal Corporation in 1973. He is the Chairman of two of Bahrain’s oldest daily news papers, Akhbar Al Khaleej which is the Arabic publication and Gulf Daily News which is the English daily. Al Hilal also specialises in trade publications. He commends the government’s decision to move away from excessive dependence on petroleum and gas revenues and rather focus on a knowledge-based economy. “There is a need for a social and educational revolution, to create more individuals that are assets to the nation,” he says and adds that there is a set of educated human resource in Bahrain which is a big asset. He applauds the countries tolerance towards different cultures and religions emphasising how Bahrainis have welcomed churches and temples with open arms for a very long time. Speaking of the island’s tourism potential, he shares that Bahrain has a strong financial market and tourism spots that exhibit the country’s rich culture.
Founder - Mums In Bahrain
hada Salem moved to Bahrain five years ago. She leveraged her 15 years of experience in online business to create Mums In Bahrain, a first of its kind and the only parenting group in Bahrain. Mums In Bahrain facilitates a healthy multicultural environment for kids on the island through its various programmes and events. Parents in Bahrain also benefit a lot from this association through information about child-care, second hand products for kids and medical-care for kids. Ghada believes that there are lots of opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Bahrain and great infrastructure to support them. She talks about her association, Mums in Business Bahrain which has many members who have successful business set-ups in the Kingdom.
A Quick Glimpse! 100 Leaders in Bahrain: Part I HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim
Al Khalifa - Government HE Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa - Government HE Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa - Government HE Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa - Government HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa - Government Mohammed Zainalabedin Telecommunication Brian Tsoi - Travel DJ Flanders - Hospitality Serhan Asay - Travel Professor James Finucane - Education Mohamed Najeeb Abdulla Automotive Rashid Abdulla - Telecommunication Amal Almoayyed - Business Abdulkarim Ahmed Bucheery Banking & Finance Zayed R. Al Zayani - Automotive Dr George Cheriyan - Medical Peter Green - Automotive Puneet Singh - Hospitality
Shahnaz Pakravan - Hospitality Aaref Hejres - Real Estate Morgan Sunderland - Automotive Dr Adel Hamad Abdulrahman Hamad Industry Olivier Briand - Hospitality Mona Yousif Almoayyed - Business Abdulla Ahmed Nass - Industry Ulaiyan Al Wetaid Telecommunication Samy Boukhaled - Hospitality Khalid Almoayed - Business Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji Government A Rahman Mohammed Al Jasmi Banking & Finance Afnan Rashid Al Zayani - Business Abdulhakeem Yaqoob Alkhayyat Banking & Finance Abdul Majid Al Gassab - Association Dr Essam Abdulla Fakhro - Association Dr Mona Rashed Al Zayani - Education Maryam Yusuf Jamal - Sports Mohammed Dadabhai - Business Khamis Al-Muqla - Marketing & Communications
Fuad Nonoo - Business Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi -
Education Amy Morgan - Media Sabah Almoayyed - Banking
& Finance Patrick de Groot - Hospitality Sunny Kulathakal - Media &
Communications Abdul Razak Jawahery -
Telecommunication Khalid Abdulla Al Quod - Association John W Scott - Education Akram Miknas - Media
& Communications Dr Lulwa Al Mutlaq - Training
& Development Acknowledgement: This is to acknowledge that the names of Mona Almoayyed and Amal Almoayyed were spelt incorrectly in Gulf Insider’s May’13 issue and the title for BAS CEO was printed incorrectly; it should have read Ex-CEO BAS. We trust that you appreciate that putting a 100-leader feature together in a short span of time is a challenging task. Nevertheless, we apologise for the same.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Turkey’s Difficult Choice in Palestine, Israel By Ramzy Baroud
n Israeli-Turkish rapprochement is unmistakably underway, but unlike the heyday of their political alignment of the1990’s, the revamped relationship is likely to be more guarded and will pose a greater challenge to Turkey rather than to Israel. Israeli media referenced a report by Turkish newspaper Radikal with much interest, regarding secret talks between Turkey and Israel that could yield an Israeli apology for its army’s raid against the Turkish aid flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, which was on its way to Gaza in May 2010. The assault resulted in the death of 9 Turkish activists, including a US citizen. The attack wrought a crisis unseen since the rise of the Turkish-Israeli alliance starting in 1984, followed by a full blown strategic partnership in 1996. But that crisis didn’t necessarily start at the Mavi Marmara deadly attack, or previous Israeli insults of Turkey. Nor did it begin with the Israeli so-called Operation Cast Lead against besieged Gaza in Dec 2008, which resulted in the death and wounding of thousands of Palestinians, mostly civilians. According to the Radikal report (published in Feb 20 and cited by Israeli Haaretz two days later), Israel is willing to meet two of Turkey’s conditions for the resumption of full ties: an apology, and compensation to the families of the victims. “Turkey has also demanded Israel lift the siege,” on Gaza, Haaretz reported, citing Radikal, “but is prepared to drop that demand.” 32
Gulf Insider June 2013
The reports of secret talks are not new. Similar reports had surfaced of talks in Geneva and Cairo. TurkishIsraeli reconciliation has, at least for a while, been an important item on the US foreign policy agenda in the Middle East, until few months ago when the US elections pushed everything else to the backseat. But despite fiery rhetoric, the signs of a thawing conflict are obvious. Writing in Al-Ahram Weekly on Jan. 16, Galal Nassar attributed that Tel Aviv is working “its idiosyncratic ways to patch up what it regarded as a passing storm cloud in its relations with its friend, and perhaps strategic ally.” Turkey, responded in kind, in its decision “to lift its veto against Israeli participation in non-military activities in NATO.” Leaked news of a political settlement are not the only headlines related to this topic. There is also the matter of military and economic cooperation, which are even more common. According to FlightGlobal.com, reporting on Feb. 21, the Israeli government has agreed to the delivery of electronic support measures (ESM) equipment “to be installed on the Turkish air force’s new Boeing 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft.” Meanwhile, a large Turkish conglomerate Zorlu Group “has been working in recent months to convince the Israeli government and the Leviathan gas field partners to approve energy exports to Turkey,” TheMarker has learned, as reported in Haaretz on Feb 14. This is only the tip of the iceberg. If these reports are even partially credible,
Turkish-Israeli relations are being carefully, but decidedly repaired. This stands in contrast with declared Turkish foreign policy and the many passionate statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leading Turkish politicians. Following a Nov 16 Friday prayer, The New York Times reported from Istanbul that Erdogan denied any talks between his country and Israel regarding resolving a crisis instigated by another Israeli assault on Gaza. He went even further, “We do not have any connections in terms of dialogue with Israel,” he reportedly said. At a parliamentary meeting few days later, he described Israel’s conduct in Gaza as “ethnic cleansing.” On Nov 20, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Gaza on a solidarity visit, along with an Arab
Secret talks between Turkey and Israel that could yield an Israeli apology for its army’s raid against the Turkish aid flotilla. League delegation in an unprecedented show of solidarity. In a strange contrast with the spirit of his mission, however, “Davutoglu suggested to reporters that back-channel discussions had been opened with Israeli authorities,” according to the Times. But why the contradictions, the apparent Turkish turnabout and if full rapprochement is in fact achieved, will the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) be able to sustain its still successful brand in the Middle East that was largely achieved as a result of its pro-Palestinian policies?
Here, we must get something straight; the strong and growing pro-Palestinian sentiment in Turkey is not the outcome of self-serving political agenda, neither of the AKP nor of any other. The support for Palestinians was most apparent in the June 2011 elections, which was convincingly won by the Erdogan party. “Turks voted on two ‘p’s’ -- their pocketbooks and Palestine,” Steven A. Cook wrote in the Atlantic on Jan 28. “Erdogan, who plans to be Turkey’s president one day and who believes that the AKP will be dominant for at least another decade, is unlikely to be receptive
to a substantial improvement in Ankara’s ties with Jerusalem.” If the centrality of Palestine is so essential to Turkish political awareness, then no ambitious politician – for example, Erdogan, Davutoglu or President Abdullah Gül - are likely to gamble with a major departure from their current policies. That might be entirely true if one discounts the Syria factor, which along with the so-called Arab Spring has complicated Turkey’s regional standing that until two years ago was predicated on reaching out to Iran, Syria, Libya and other Middle Eastern partners. For years prior to the current turmoil, Turkey had cautiously yet cogently adopted a new foreign policy that aimed at balancing out its near total reliance on NATO and the West in general. It mended its ties with its immediate neighbors in the
Gulf Insider June 2013
East, including Iran, but polarization created by the Syria civil war has ended Turkey’s balancing act, at least for the time being. Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot missile batteries along its border with Syria, its role in supporting the Syria National Council and its attempt at coaxing various Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria are all proving consistent with old Turkish policies. Indeed, Davutoglu’s zero-problems with neighbors doctrine is but a historical footnote. The Syrian war has placed Turkey back within a Western camp, although not with the same decisiveness of the past, when Turkey’s generals discounted all other alliances in favor of NATO’s. This is representing an opening for Israel, which with the support of US President Barack Obama’s new administration is likely to translate to some measures of normalization. The degree of that normalization will depend largely on which direction the Syrian civil war is heading and the degree of receptiveness on Turkish streets in seeing Israel once more paraded as Turkey’s strategic partner. Some commentators suggest that 34
Gulf Insider June 2013
Leaked news of a political settlement are not the only headlines related to this topic. There is also the matter of military and economic cooperation, which are even more common. Egypt’s own foreign policy towards Israel – Egypt currently being the main country in the Middle East with the ‘leverage’ of talking to both Israel and the Palestinians – is depriving Turkey from a strong bargaining position within NATO. By having no open contacts with Israel, some suggest Turkey is losing favor with the US and other western partners. Interestingly, Israel’s planned apology, according to Radikal, is supposedly timed with Obama’s visit to Israel in March. Neither Turkey and Israel, nor the US and NATO are able to sustain the status quo – the rift between Israel and Turkey – for much longer. But returning to an old paradigm, where Turkey is no longer an advocate of Palestinian rights and a champion of Arab and Muslim causes, could prove even more costly. There
can be no easy answers, especially as the region seems to be changing partly through unpredictable dynamics. Erdogan and his party may eventually concoct an answer. This could include Israel and a new set of balances that would allow them access to both East and West. But that answer would no longer be the upright, high-minding politics Erdogan constantly advocates, but instead good old self-serving policies and nothing else. GFI
Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle. com. His latest book is: My Father was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press).
KFH Bahrain’s Libshara Savings Account KFH - Bahrain launched its new Libshara Savings Account campaign. The Account was named ‘Libshara’ - an Arabic vernacular which means ‘announcement of unexpected great news’.
uwait Finance House - Bahrain (KFHB) is a leading provider of Islamic commercial and investment banking services. Established in 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House Kuwait – an industry leader for more than 30 years. KFH - Bahrain specialises in developing and bringing to market the highest quality of Islamic compliant banking and investment products, all of which are delivered by experienced and dedicated professionals with a deep understanding of the market and the clients we serve. KFH - Bahrain has recently launched its
new Libshara Savings Account campaign. The account was named ‘Libshara’ because it is an Arabic vernacular which means ‘announcement of unexpected great news’ and this continues to be the aim of the Grand Prizes in the new campaign. Libshara is an investment Savings Account that is compliant with the Islamic Shari’a principles and offers over 55 cash prizes monthly. For every BD50 saved with KFH - Bahrain’s Libshara Savings Account clients are entitled to a raffle entry. Over 55 lucky winners will win instant cash prizes every month, up to $80,000. In addition, eligible clients for entry into the Grand Prize Draws will
get the opportunity to win one of four plots of land, each totaling 5,380 sq.ft. as well as $60,000 in cash prizes in each draw. Recently, KFH - Bahrain announced the winner of the Libshara Savings Account Grand Prize Draw. Dr. Mohammed Hasan Al Jishi won a luxury villa at Diyar Homes, Diyar Al Muharraq. Mr. Khalid Rafea, Executive Manager at KFH Bahrain presented the prize to the winner in a symbolic key handover ceremony. “We are pleased to extend our sincere congratulations to Dr. Mohammed Hasan Al Jishi, said Mr. Khalid, “the launch of this new campaign reflects the continuous efforts of the Bank to reward our clients with something unique. We thank our clients who have been investing money through the Libshara Savings Account and are expecting an even greater demand in the future.” The Libshara Savings Account is available to all prospective clients of all nationalities and an account can be opened at any of KFH - Bahrain branches. GFI Gulf Insider June 2013
The Pain of Bangladesh:
T-shirts Made with Blood and Tears By Ramzy Baroud
s they spoke to a BBC correspondent in their rundown room which they call home in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a man sobbed as his 12-year-old daughter sat close to him. His face, wrinkled before its time, was a picture of utter anguish. It could only be understood by a parent whose child was dying under giant slabs of concrete where nothing could be done. “If she is dead,” he said, “I just want to bury her with my own hands, so at least in my mind I know that I have finally found my daughter.” Then the despairing man succumbed to his uncontrollable tears. His daughter Hamida had been working
Gulf Insider June 2013
right along his other young daughter who had miraculously escaped the collapse of several factories in the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka on April 24. Hundreds of dead bodies were retrieved, most of whom were women and young girls who made a living working under the harshest of conditions in the country’s many sweatshops. Hundreds more were still trapped and presumed dead. Many of those who were freed had to sacrifice a limb as it was the only way to freedom. Images of the devastation dominated the news for days after the eight-storey building collapsed on top of nearly 3,000 cheap laborers who were already trapped in another sense - in the endless poverty
and exploitation of factory owners. Over 3.5 million people work in the country’s estimated 4,000 factories, generating about 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s total exports. Some estimates put the monthly salary of a garment worker in Bangladesh at $70 to $100. Other estimates are lower, considering that the country’s monthly minimum wage hovers above $38. The story of Bangladesh’s pain is dotted with tragedy, government corruption and unmitigated greed. It also involves many companies and garment distributors in Western countries, China, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Abusive business owners often lock and bolt exit doors to ensure that workers can’t go out. They build without permits and authorities turn a blind eye to their many illegal practices.
(AP Photo/A.M.Ahad) Moreover, it would not be an exaggeration to say that in some way, our constant hankering for cheap prices, untamable desire for “good deals” and lust after brand names is happening at the expense of the sweat, blood, tears and in some cases, the crushed bones of cheap laborers like 13-year-old Hamida. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building was not the first of such disasters and is unlikely to be last, especially since government action has been so lacking, to say the least. Abusive business owners often lock and bolt exit doors to ensure that workers can’t go out. They build without permits and authorities turn a blind eye to their many
illegal practices. According to Human Rights Watch, the government has a workforce of 18 inspectors who are supposed to oversee and prevent illegal practices in thousands of factories in the Shaka district, which is the heart of the garment industry. Workers’ rights activists contend that officials are paid handsomely for their silence. Human Rights Watch said that “factory owners - a powerful force in Bangladesh, with ties to government officials - are usually given advanced notice before an inspection.” Just five months ago, 112 workers died in a Tazreen Fashions garment factory near Dhaka.
Some workers jumped to their death from high windows to escape the fire because the doors were bolted. Considering the rampant corruption and Bangladeshi’s dire need for foreign funds which are partly secured through the $20 billion per year industry, expectations are low that the government will do much to right this ongoing injustice. Writing in Spiegel International online, German journalist Hasnain Kazim and others wrote that “the disaster … created sights and sounds that many will find hard to forget. Rezaul, for example, vividly remembers a woman with disheveled hair and a blood-encrusted face whose right leg was pinned down by a concrete pillar. ‘She begged me to saw off her leg and free her,’ he says. ‘I just happened to be there’.” The main photo of the article was that of a head barely rising above a heap of concrete, while the entire body, apart from an arm was submerged. It was of a handsome young man’s face, with eyes so peacefully closed, and his barely free left arm, resting gently over the debris. The most painful part of this tragedy is that it was completely preventable. GFI
Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud. net) is the editor of PalestineChronicle. com. His latest book is: My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press). Gulf Insider June 2013
Dubai Police Cars
Dubai police supercars Lamborghini Aventador
Dubai police claim their new Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Bentley patrol cars are to catch speeding drivers.
peeding motorists won’t be shouting ‘catch me if you can’ at Dubai’s police force anymore after its officers started driving around in a fleet of 350 kph super cars. Officers are now cruising around in a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley and Mercedes. They have even kitted out a £1.6 million Aston Martin One-77 with lights and stripes. Making up the extraordinary fleet of patrol cars are the force’s Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Charger - with all of the performance vehicles decked out in full police livery. Khalifa Abdullah Mohammad, 25. has been driving around Dubai in a 350 kph Lamborghini Aventador police car for the past six weeks. He said: ‘I have issued about 30 tickets to drivers blocking the traffic and parking in prohibited places. GFI 38
Gulf Insider June 2013
Aston Martin One-77
Land Rover Expedition Cars
BAHRAiN TO FAR EAST LAND ROVER EXPEDITION By Bill Daly
here was a time when many students in their gap-years or amateur expeditionists seeking adventurous sabbaticals from their dreary office jobs would set out in an old Land Rover and embark on a once in a lifetime drive from London to Capetown. Or Expatriates in the Gulf on their final trip back to Europe , would drive their cherished, tax-free, pride and joy, 4 wheel drives back to, say, London. How the world of travel has changed in the last twenty years or so, catalysed in many ways by the gruesome September 11 attacks in America. The tourist roads from Bahrain to Europe are effectively cut off by events in Iraq and more recently in Syria. And no longer is it safe to travel through many Central African countries due to civil unrest, banditry and hostage-taking. So, when I and my co-driver, Tim Holder, decided to fulfill a lifetimes dream and commit to an overland expedition in my 1991 Land Rover Defender 110,the question arose as to where could we go? Pouring over my National Geographic wall map, there was really only one choice….Go EAST. And how far east could we go?.....Beijing. The fact that Tim’s girlfriend had recently taken up a new posting in Beijing sealed the matter. We drive to Beijing (pending approvals). The expedition had now taken on a dual
role….firstly to drive through and see all the wonderful countries between Bahrain and China and secondly , to get Tim safely to see his girlfriend in Beijing! They say that the planning of an expedition is as difficult if not more so than the expedition itself and having laboriously completed most of the planning, I hope it’s true. The first task was the preparation of the expedition Land Rover. There was never any question that we would consider a vehicle other than my trusty Defender. A full overhaul was required which included engine. clutch,brakes,fuel tank and pump,cooling system,vital electrical parts,new shock absorbers and the addition of extra storage areas to name but a few of the jobs. Many thanks to Euromotors for their professional support and Jassim, my mechanical expert. The next vital issue was the tyres. A vehicle is only as good as its tyres and selecting the best was crucial for such a long journey. Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrains were my tyre of choice and these were generously provided by my tyre supplier, Mr Ahmed Kuwaiti of Pirelli Tyres to whom I am very grateful. A full set plus two spares should see us through the trip with tread to spare. It is tempting to bolt on all kinds of expedition accessories to the Land Rover such as roof racks,ladders and roof-top tents but for our trip ,I am sticking to
the mantra that “less is more”. Less weight means better fuel consumption and less strain on the vehicle. So, apart from the shirts on our backs, credit cards and a week’s supply of clothing, our equipment consists of tent, sleeping bags, drinks cooler, cooking equipment, jack, foot pump, water containers , tool box and a selection of essential spares for the vehicle. My Haynes Land Rover Service and Repair Manual is safely stored online. We shall forage for food on the way. Obtaining the paper work for an overland expedition is a tedious affair but necessary. Central to this is a vehicle “Passport” known as a Carnet de Passage issued by the Bahrain Motor Federation which hopefully will enable a troublefree exit/entry between countries. Also mandatory for the trip is an International Driving Licence. Both documents are easily obtained by Bahrain Residents. So, with paperwork hopefully complete and a smooth running Land Rover, I think we’re good to go. We ship the car to Mumbai, turn left and then head North to Nepal. By the time you read this we should be well on our way. I’ll let you know how we get on on the Indian leg of the journey. GFI
WATCH THIS SPACE - Gulf Insider will provide monthly updates of Bill Daly’s progress. Gulf Insider June 2013
The World of Canon Gulf Insider reviews Canon’s latest cameras and printers.
ast month, Canon Middle East launched its Spring Collection 2013 themed ‘Power to Your Next Step’ reflecting the brands commitment to empower you to take your next step in your creative journey. Capture your favourite moments with these beautiful DSLR cams, DSCs and DVCs; whether you’re a beginner or a professional, there’s one for everyone!
Light-weight & easy to carry Excellent shutter speed Easy picture editing EOS 6D is the first EOS model coming with WiFi connectivity enabling easy picture sharing
DSCs & DVCs
Compact & Stylish Great picture quality User friendly technology WiFi connectivity enables
Gulf Insider June 2013
Compact design apt for home and office Easy to use technology Sharp Image Quality Offers direct access to online pictures
Mini Hotel Review Feature
The Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah – Dubai
A rather beautiful hotel to stay at while visiting Dubai is the Ritz Carlton, Jumeirah. Gulf Insider shares its experience.
hough this property is currently undergoing renovations to one side of the hotel, it doesn’t spoil the guests’ experience. All the rooms have balconies that look across the gardens, the beach and out to sea. It was a pleasure getting up early in the morning and walking through the gardens and along the beach, in our Ritz Carlton dressing gowns. Other than the occasional jogger the only other person
up was the very smartly dressed hotel security guard. Politely, he ensured that only guests used the gardens. We left our flip flops with him while we walked along the shore and had a 6am swim in the beautiful warm sea. Looking back we noticed the many high rises of Jumeirah Beach Residence towering behind the low level colonial styled structure of the Ritz-Carlton that reminded me of the type of views you see in places such as
Hong Kong or Singapore. We returned for breakfast and again the dining area had that colonial feel to it. Relaxing on the patio under a soothing ceiling fan and watching the birds jump around on some of the tables, looking for crumbs was heavenly. All in all, we’d say that it was a luxurious and calming experience. GFI
For further details and reservations contact: 00 971 4 399 4000
ONLINE SHOPPING AND FASHION RETAILERS DRIVE GLOBAL LOGISTICS DEMAND
okyo is the world’s most expensive prime logistics market as multichannel retailers seeking new facilities and requir¬ing larger spaces drive demand in the world’s leading cities, according to new research from global property advisor CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE). CBRE’s quarterly survey, which tracks the top 10 most expensive prime global logistics markets, reveals that rents were stable during the fourth quarter of 2012 (Q4 2012). Leasing activity was predominantly driven by e-commerce retailers and third party logistic operators building interna¬tional capacity. Despite weakening consumer sentiment, the industrial market remains stable as low levels of development has counterbalanced subdued demand.
This trend, combined with occupiers’ preferences for prime logistic facility space, has maintained prime rent levels in most global markets. Tokyo is firmly established at the top of the rankings with demand from online retailers and third-party logistics operators driving demand. Rents grew by 1.9% during Q4 2012 as the market witnessed an increasing number of cases in which landlords succeeded in raising renewal rents of existing tenants, though the rental increases remain small. Similar to many Asia Pacific markets, London (and Stockholm) has experienced cautious tenant demand amid an environment of uncertainty, weak shortterm economic outlooks and low levels of consumer/corporate spending and capital investment. Despite this, limited availabilities for prime space bolstered
prime rent levels in Q4 2012. Singapore also anticipates a strong develop¬ment pipeline in 2013, with demand stemming primarily from technology, pharmaceuticals, chemi¬cal and energy sectors. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong most projects are scheduled for completion in 2014; as a result, Hong Kong’s rents remain firm, growing by a slight 1.8% in Q4 2012 driven by cautious but steady de¬mand from logistics and data centre operators willing and able to pay high rents for prime space. Occupier demand in Sydney also remains cautious; however, a strong preference still exists for good quality, well-placed logistics space. With vacancy levels low for such stock, precommitment activity has been prevalent, helping to boost prime rents slightly during Q4 2012. GFI Gulf Insider June 2013
not just a car but a dream Nick Cooksey visits the home of Ferrari to discover what makes the brand so special.
errari is more than just a company that manufactures amazing sports cars; it’s without doubt one of the world’s most recognized and coveted luxury brands. Yes the company has made some of the most successful racing cars in history, but as Enzo Ferrari famously said; “Ferrari doesn’t sell cars, Ferrari sells dreams”. I had the pleasure to fly to Maranello in northern Italy, last month to learn more about the company and to attend a major international press conference by Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, a man famed for his sprezzatura,* - a wonderful Italian word (see above box for definition) as he addressed the international media about his plans. And what was his big plan? It was that Ferrari will build LESS cars in future! So anyone hoping for an announcement
Sprezzatura* - An Italian word
that means making whatever one does or says appear effortless, to display ease in difficult actions. Also defined as “studied carelessness”. Sprezzatura is closely related to grace.
that the company was about to diversify to include an SUV, or maybe a smaller entry-level car, was left disappointed. In 2012, Ferrari sold 7,318 cars. For 2013, it wants to sell fewer than 7,000. But while decreasing sales the company plans to be increasing profits with greater vehicle personalization. Luca di Montezemolo told the assembled media; “I want Ferrari to remain exclusive, a Ferrari is like a beautiful woman, she must be worth
waiting for and desired. I base my ideas on what I learned from Enzo Ferrari, if we produce less cars, we will not flood the market and it makes our used cars more desirable too.” Di Montezemolo also announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013, during which time revenues went up 8% to €551 million and net profit up 36.5% to €54.7 million, and he announced 250 new jobs for later in the year plus €100million to be invested from now until 2015 to improve the working environment for staff. Marinello would be a small nondescript Italian town without the illustrious brand having its home there. Ferrari dominates, and all the restaurants we visited, for example, proudly displayed photos and painting associated with Ferrari, whether winning F1 Grand Prixs, or team drivers,
Gulf Insider June 2013
A rare Ferrari 250GTO, valued at US$30 Million, being restored after the owner drove it into a tree
Image Source: www.swns.com
or models of cars old and new. On visiting the factory I was impressed by its uber- state of the art and spotlessly clean layout and design. There are also many large and small garden areas both inside and outside of the factory that give the whole place a calming atmosphere. I understand in total there’s 165,000 square meters of interior and exterior trees and flowers. Ferrari are proud of the fact that the factory uses the latest in green technology and despite increasing its total energy consumption by 10%, has managed to reduce total CO2 emissions by 41% over four years. During our tour we were introduced to many senior executives and department heads, everyone of them dressed immaculately in perfectly cut Italian suits,and all passionate about Ferrari. Interestingly, the word I heard all of them repeatedly use was “innovation”. I also couldn’t help notice that all factory workers seem to drive, if not Ferraris, then at least Italian cars. The car parks seemed to be exclusively full of Fiats, Alfa Romeos and Lancias. I was shown around the restoration section where any Ferrari can be brought back to “as new” condition – at a price
of course. Amongst the cars currently being worked on, dating from the 1950s to 1990s, was a 250GTO from the early 1960s. Only 39 of these were ever built and buyers had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself to have had the honour to buy one. The one I saw was being repaired after its current owner had crashed it into a tree while racing it. The approximately USD250,000 cost of restoration almost paled into insignificance when compared to its current market value of USD30 million!!!. I felt a tinge of admiration for the rich but clumsy owner for at least enjoying this wonderful car instead of just seeing it as an investment and so keeping it safely hermetically sealed away somewhere as I’m sure most of the other 38 models probably are. I’m sure the aim of this event was to make those attending it leave with not just a greater understanding of Ferrari, but also greater respect and interest in the iconic brand. In my own case, if that was in fact the aim, it worked. GFI
For more details and information about Ferrari in Bahrain visit manama.ferraridealers.com or phone Euro Motors on 17 750 750
Founder Enzo Ferrari famously said; “Ferrari doesn’t sell cars, Ferrari sells dreams”. Quotes from Enzo Ferrari: I want to build a car that’s faster than all of them… The demands of mass production are contrary to my temperament… I should like to put something new into my cars every morning – an inclination that terrifies my staff. [After serving in World War I] No money, no experience, limited education. All I had was a passion to get somewhere. [On which Ferrari model he liked the most] The car which I have not yet created. My cars must be beautiful. I am convinced, that when a man tells a woman he loves her, he only means that he desires her; and that the only total love in this world is that of a father for his son. All the innovations learnt from racing experience can find practical application in the normal production models… If I am unable to see the defects in the machines I create myself, how can I see properly into myself?
2013 Ferrari model range Ferrari 458 Spider
Ferrari 458 Italia
Gulf Insider June 2013
Prepping-up for Ramadan Al Noor tent, at Elite Resort & Spa invites you to celebrate the soon to come Holy Month of Ramadan.
roviding you the comfort of your own home, Al Noor tent at Elite Resort and spa offers a delightful treat this Ramadan. The largest of its kind in Bahrain and having a seating-capacity of up to 600, it has a luxurious interior and is set against the stunning backdrop of the sun setting over the Muharraq Bay. Oud music sets the mood, and large screen TVs ensure you donâ€™t miss your favourite shows.
For reservations please call on Tel. +973 1731 3333
Iftar Buffet: Timings: From Sunset until 8pm Price: BD6.9++ net for adults, BD2.9++ net for children. Enjoy a wide selection of salads, Lebanese mezzes, and authentic Bahraini dishes. A live grill and shawarma station is also available. Complete your meal with a delectable selection of desserts.
Ghabga: Timings: 8.30pm until 12.30am Price: BD12.9++ Enjoy live entertainment, games and sheesha. Diners also stand a chance to win exciting prizes in a raffle conducted every day. Family and corporate events welcome at competitive prices.
Sohour: Timings: 1am until morning prayer Price: BD3.9++
Gulf Insider June 2013
Motorsport Excitement at BIC
IC is gearing up for some of the region’s top-tier motorsport events and activities. These include the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, the Auto X championships, Drag championships, 2,000CC Challenge Championship and Drag and Drift Night. The popular Open Track Day which gives motorsport fans the opportunity to take a ride on one of the world’s most famous driving tracks using their own cars and motorbikes. A full day’s participation costs BD85 and the activity is held in two sessions that last three hours apiece. Participation in just a half-day session costs just BD60. Guests can also enjoy a fun ride around the track in an ultra-light 160bhp Caterham race car driven by one of BIC’s skilled professional drivers. The Caterham passenger ride is priced at BD12 per person. Another great option is to enjoy a thrilling drive in the Land Rover LR4. The 4x4 Passenger Ride gives visitors the chance to enjoy a taste of rugged adventure as they are taken across BIC’s world-renowned 5.3-kilometre off-road course. Featuring 30 grueling obstacles spread over some of Sakhir’s most challenging terrain, the ride lasts for about half-an-hour and costs BD12. You could also get behind the wheel and take on the course for yourself. This activity costs BD65. GFI
For further inquiries call on Tel. +973 17 450 000 46
Gulf Insider June 2013
Feature Gadgets Technology
Nokia Lumia 920 Available in bold color choices like matte cyan, high-gloss red and yellow, the Nokia Lumia 920 features Imaging PureView Technology – the 8.7 megapixel snapper takes in five times more light giving you high-quality images and videos (without flash!) even at night. It is also the first phone to have physical Optical Image Stabilisation which helps click blur-free images even with an unsteady hand. Thanks to the Smart-shoot option, you can flip through images and choose the best shot as the cam always clicks a sequence of images. Unwanted objects can also be removed from the photo. The phone has a 4.5-inch curved glass display and comes with an internal storage capacity of 32GB.
Tech picKs Make a ‘smart’ choice! HTC One The HTC One looks great with its sleek aluminum body and offers nice features too. One of its best features is the Blink Feed which brings you the best of all worlds by streaming all of your favourite content onto one screen. Its frontal speakers are fitted with really good amplifiers that promise to make your music sound better than it is with lesser distortion and higher detail! The camera captures 300 percent more light ensuring good picture quality; the HTC Zoe allows you to capture 20 photos and a 3-second video at a touch giving you a picture that is live.
Samsung Galaxy S4 One glance at the S4 and you’d notice that it doesn’t look too different from its predecessor, the S3; though of course the S4 has a slightly larger display, 4.99-inches. Try scrolling the two, together and you’d notice that the S4 is faster and smoother. Samsung’s latest smart phone has quite a few new features; for instance, you can use the front and rear cameras together; also both the snappers are upgraded – 2MP and 13MP. Another additional feature (associated with the S Health application) is that the S Band bracelet, body scale and heart rate monitor are compatible with the S4 and can be synced by Bluetooth to give a greater overview of progress. Having a better battery capacity, and featuring a 4.2 Android OS and an 8-core processor, the S4 guarantees the best in technology for its users.
HTC One is yet to be released in Bahrain.
iPhone 5 Sleek and light, the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display which is larger than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. That said you can still have the leisure of scrolling with one hand because Apple has maintained the width of the instrument. Fitted with the latest wireless technology you are assured of fast internet speed. The iPhone 5 features the powerful A6 chip which enhances graphic speed and CPU performance while offering outstanding battery life. Good quality images are guaranteed thanks to the 8MP camera.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Expression Across Media
one are the days when art was just about some colour on canvas. It has evolved into expression of thought and emotion through various types of media. This month we bring you three artists who showcase what’s on their mind through interesting media.
Zena Assi from Beirut gives the common man’s perspective on the Arab Uprising. While for the rest of the world it’s all about debates, news and statistics the layman’s reality remains intact; unwarned, unprepared and sometimes unwilling he is shoved into an unrehearsed, unimaginable condition; he is transformed into a soldier, a sniper, a killer and a victim. Anachar Basbous was born in Lebanon and played with magnetic boards as a child. As he grew up, his love for building-up grew too and his latest work clearly brings this out. “I like to start from simple, pure shapes; a square, a rectangle, a disc or a lens,” he says. Basbous’s work is driven by his fascination for shapes and the relationships between his sculptures and sunlight.
Gulf Insider June 2013
Wael Darwish is from Cairo and his work exhibits his concern for the changing perceptions in Egypt and continuous social metamorphosis that the state has witnessed in the last three decades. Through the studied and experimental use of collage, he combines colour, calligraphy, textile and various textural media to explore issues of space and passage of time. GFI
The artists exhibited their work at Art Sawa, Dubai
Gulf Insider June 2013
It’s Official: US Debt Will Never Be Paid By Mark Hendrickson
America’s debt problem is essentially a spending problem, and the crux of the spending problem is entitlements.
he US national debt is approaching $17 trillion. That is the official total. However, that figure greatly understates the problem by not counting unfunded liabilities. During the previous two fiscal years, the US government added $2.6 trillion to the nominal national debt, but using GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) the actual tally was over $10 trillion of new debt. Estimates of total federal indebtedness vary according to the time frame one adopts and various assumptions about the future, but whether the actual figure is nearer $75 trillion of $221 trillion
Gulf Insider June 2013
(economist Laurence Kotlikoff’s tally) the true federal debt is multiples of US GNPan incomprehensibly high figure that can never be paid in full. America’s debt problem is essentially a spending problem, and the crux of the spending problem is entitlements. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the national debt totaled over $2.4 trillion versus total federal revenue of $2.3 trillion. To add insult to injury, absurd spending programs abound—everything from a $750,970 grant to a successful brewery, to $150 million to study lesbian obesity. The USA get into this mess thanks to the perverse incentives of democracy, which impel politicians to gain popularity by conferring benefits while avoiding the negative backlash that results from raising taxes. Eventually, democratic pressures cause politicians to shift the burden of their grandiose spending plans onto those who are in no position to penalize them at the ballot box—Americans who
aren’t yet voters, either by being too young or not yet having been born. The massive federal debt never will be paid. One reason is the simple economics of debt: The more debt there is in a society, the more current income is needed to service the debt rather than to produce new wealth. The marginal productivity of debt (that is, the amount of new wealth produced per dollar of new debt added) has been declining in the U.S. for half a century. During the 2008-9 financial crisis, it fell below zero. The practice of spending today while asking future generations to pay for it was deemed immoral by earlier generations of Americans. Jefferson spoke for the majority when he described federal debt as “swindling futurity” and a mortal threat to liberty. If generations could shift the burden of their debts to future generations, said Jefferson, “then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation.” GFI
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