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The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

February 2021 | ISSUE 188


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Gulf Financial Insider

Contents February 2021 Issue 188

08 28 Simply unparalleled online presence that connects region’s most inspired communities.

08 14 16 18 26 28 30

The World After Covid - Julius Baer An Elite February Teamwork Makes the Dream Work Out of this World - UAE Mars Mission 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat 2021 VW Tiguan Review Performance Driven - Adamas Motors

Knowledge is power

Publisher & Editor in Chief

Nicholas C. Cooksey



Angela Acosta Elyzabeth Ramirez

Editorial Contributors

Nicholas Cortes Bill Daly

Sales & Business Development

Charlie Cooksey

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Layout Designs

Dhanraj S

Admin & Finance

Nikesh Pola

Here's last month’s most 'Liked' #BestInBahrain picture posted to our social media.


Angelo Jose A

Distribution Mohammed Yousif Aramex Al Ayam For advertising contact Charlie Cooksey +973 3652 0004 charlie@gulf-insider.com

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P.O. Box 26810, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel: +973 1700 4575 Fax: +973 1772 1722 Printed at Awal Press, Kingdom of Bahrain. Registered with Ministry of Information approval no. TFI-431©. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. All Rights Reserved. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Bahrain Bd2 | KSA sr20 | Kuwait Kd1.75 | Oman ro2 | Qatar Qr20 | UAE dHs20

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The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

The multi-award winning Arabian magazine

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Gulf Insider speaks to Manfred Bräunl, CEO of Porsche, Middle East and Africa FZE


49th National Day SpeCial eDitioN DEcEmBEr 2020 | ISSUE 186

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Celebrating Bahrain’s

Drive Defines Us JAnUAry 2021 | ISSUE 187


Photo by @anton_astrey (Bahrain seen from space) Bahrain Bd2 | KSA sr20 | Kuwait Kd1.75 | Oman ro2 | Qatar Qr20 | UAE dHs20

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The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

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Cover Image: Under Armour

A Tribute to One of the World’s Longest Serving Prime Ministers OctOBEr - NOvEmBEr 2020 | ISSUE 185

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Remembering HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa www.Gulf-InsIder.com

Social Media is changing business


Most businesses in Bahrain lack advanced digital and social media marketing skills to expertly manage a successful digital strategy, so missing major opportunities they don’t even realize. The good news is we can inexpensively create an effective digital strategy for your business, and manage it for you, for less than the salary of an employee - freeing you to run your business. We also build beautiful websites optimized to generate income for businesses, and provide online services including SEO, design, e-commerce, photography and video production.

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Money & Business

The world after Covid Gulf Insider talks to industry leading experts at Swiss Wealth Manager, Julius Baer.


Gulf Insider February 2021

Money & Business

Dr. Damien NG, Thematic Analyst

The crisis put healthcare at the forefront. How has coronavirus accelerated this trend?

Norbert Ruecker, Head of Economics and Next Generation Research

We remain convinced that the coronavirus crisis will only accelerate existing structural trends rather than creating new ones. Let’s take a look at healthcare. The biggest issue is that costs have been rising rapidly for years. Between 1980 and 2019, the share of healthcare costs of global GDP has risen from around 5% to 9%. Put differently, people spend more and more money on healthcare which they cannot spend on other things anymore. However, we believe that thanks to technological progress we are at a point where we can make the system more robust and more efficient while at the same time providing high-quality care.

Will the Corona crisis change the role of governments?

... thanks to technological progress we are at a point where we can make the system more robust and more efficient while at the same time providing high-quality care. We believe that due to the extent of this epidemiological outbreak, governments and major medical-care stakeholders will be prompted to further reinforce the resilience of their healthcare systems. In fact, the pandemic has demonstrated the willingness of many nations to turn to innovative solutions to alleviate strain on their healthcare systems while ensuring that patients continue to receive quality medical care during the public health emergency. In particular, the implementation of lockdown measures across the world has led to an increase in online medical consultations and adoption of mobile health technologies among authorities, medical professionals, and patients to curb the further spread of the coronavirus. Global support for the greater use of digital data in healthcare is primarily driven by the younger cohort of medical professionals and consumers, which bodes well for the future resilience of the system. Younger people are also more likely to view the further digitalisation of healthcare as a means to improve patients’ health out-comes and experiences. This development is fostered by favourable political tailwinds, momentous demographic forces, the rise of chronic diseases associated with ageing, the growing financial burden of medical care, as well as shifting preferences for convenience and greater digital uptake led by the next generation of younger professionals.

One of the important aspects this pandemic has taught us is that: governance matters, governance that fits the nuances of cultural differences. We have seen that countries with solid governance ratings, from a so-called ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) perspective, tended to weather the crisis well. Harsh lockdowns were the consequence of unpreparedness and uncertainty. The crisis also accelerated authoritarian tendencies, and in that sense made the world less democratic. However, the multipolar world is thriving and will remain a source of surprise this decade, not least as China regained economic strength exceptionally fast.

Are we looking at an accelerated revolution in electric cars? Energy transition as an example of a structural trend that is positively impacted by the crisis, in particular, the shift towards plug-in cars away from combustion engines. Various countries pledged to aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or 2060, with China being the most surprising new joiner. The crisis offered an opportunity to tilt policy support towards environmental goals. The crisis fast-forwarded the shift towards plug-in cars thanks to stimulus measures including dedicated support to cleaner mobility, most notably in Europe and China. Plug-ins now account for more than 20% of new cars in Europe, and 10% in China. The developments so far this year confirm our view that the era of electric mobility is about to take off this decade. In consequence, with mobility representing the lion’s share of oil demand, we also see a peak in global oil demand as very likely around 2030.

Gulf Insider February 2021


Money & Business

Sophie Altermatt, Economist

Alexander Ruchti, Thematic Analyst

What will globalization look like after the coronavirus? The corona crisis has put the risks of international dependence and the vulnerability of global value chains back into focus. It has highlighted many of the risks of protectionism and supply chain disruptions, as factories had to temporarily shut down, international transports were halted, ports had to close, and some countries ordered to stop all exports of critical supplies such as personal protective equipment, medicines and ventilators. The pandemic has elicited calls for policies to reduce reliance on overseas suppliers and to encourage reshoring of strategic businesses. It adds to existing challenges for global supply chain systems arising from the new industrial revolution, rising populism, and growing economic nationalism in many countries of the world. Overall, a variety of factors hint towards more reshoring in the future rather than less. However, the corona crisis will likely only provide a limited and temporary boost to reshoring efforts, and they will probably be overshadowed by political and technological impact factors. The growing digitalisation of production should turn out to be the biggest game changer, leading to a reorientation of global production and trade back to developed economies. At the end of the day, what is getting reshored and to what extent will be decided on an individual company level after rigorous cost/benefits analyses.

Carsten Menke

Head of Next Generation Research

How will our cities look post crisis? The corona crisis has temporarily turned our cities into sleeping giants, prompting some to raise the question if our city-centric world has reached a tipping point. Seemingly supportive of this, there are reports of people fleeing from cities. However, taking a closer look, these reports rather refer to a shift from the world’s biggest cities into smaller ones. While some will doubt life in the city because of the current crisis, we do not find any evidence that the density of cities raises the risk of being infected with the coronavirus. This becomes most obvious by looking at the persistently low infection numbers in some of Asia’s megacities. Instead, the past months have shown that the infection risk is first and foremost about our own behaviour. The crisis will however leave an impact on society. It is very interesting to see how some cities are trying to keep what they established during the crisis; more room for pedestrians and cyclists for ex-ample, and the greater relevance of small-scale neighbourhood societies. Hopefully, these elements will remain as they have the potential to make our cities more liveable. When it comes to the way we work, we reiterate our view that working from home will be more common, but it will not be the new normal. It provides greater flexibility but has the disadvantage that the interaction with our colleagues is suffering. Not to mention the fact that it deprives the day of structure, which is a problem for many. With that in mind, we expect the world’s cities to bounce back, as they did after every crisis, and remain the growth engines of the global economy.


Gulf Insider February 2021

Susan Joho, Economist

Is sustainable investing gaining traction? The sustainable investment wave continued to gain momentum over the course of 2020, as the corona crisis raised awareness of severe market shocks. While the hardship of the crisis itself also brought a temporary demotion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to many stressed companies this year, investor interest nevertheless kept rising, according to the most recent Edelman Trust Barometer. Surveyed institutional investors expect the focus on ESG issues to return with the economic recovery and become a must-have for any successful company’s strategy, even with executive pay becoming linked to responsible conduct demonstrated by strong ESG standards. Next to growing product opportunities, sustainable equities and their respective benchmark indices continued to outperform. Industries with a link to sustainability like healthcare, education or renewable energy are seen as growth drivers of the future, there-by attracting more and more inflows. Moreover, research has shown that companies with a strong ESG background are more resilient and successful in the long run.

Julius Baer is a leading Swiss wealth management group which focuses on providing personal advice to private clients around the world, powered by high-end services and expertise. www.juliusbaer.com

News Roundup

Bahrain to launch major development on Al Fateh Highway An ambitious enterprise to develop Al Fateh Highway and ease heavy traffic will be launched in April, Minister of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning, Esam bin Abdullah Khalaf, said. The works, extending from Shaikh Hamad Causeway in the north to the Mina Salman intersection in the south, will also provide alternative options for the Juffair area. The main works will include expanding Al Fateh Highway into four lanes in each direction with the construction of a three-lane tunnel each way at the intersection of Al Fateh Highway with Awal Road (The Gulf Hotel intersection) and the provision of a ground intersection controlled by traffic lights. They will also feature the construction of an overpass with two lanes for traffic going from the north of Manama on Al Fateh Highway to Prince Saud Al Faisal Road in Juffair while the current intersection of Al Fateh Highway with Shaikh Duaij Road will be closed. An upper bridge with two lanes of U-turns near the entrance to Al Fateh Corniche for traffic heading north will be constructed.

AstraZeneca to begin vaccine trials on children Hundreds of children are being recruited to trial the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as it continues its roll-out to adults worldwide. This is not the first COVID vaccine to be tested on children; Pfizer began trials on those aged between 12 and 16 in October, while Moderna did the same in December. “It is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination,” said chief Oxford trial researcher Andrew Pollard, who also noted children are least likely to experience severe effects of the disease. “For most children, for themselves, COVID is really not a big problem. However, it is certainly possible that wider use to try and curb the progress of the pandemic might be considered in the future, so here we’re just trying to establish the data that would support that if indeed policymakers wanted to go in that direction.” 

UK scientists develop urine test to detect womb cancer British scientists announced they had developed a test to detect womb cancer using urine samples, explaining the method could replace the current painful and invasive procedure. The findings, published in the Journal of Nature Communications, showed analysis of the samples correctly diagnosed 91.7% of women with womb cancer. The proportion of women without womb cancer who tested negative with the new tool was 88.9%, the study showed.   Gulf Insider February 2021


News Roundup

Bahrain: Civil Defence asks shop owners to instal CCTVs

NPRA urges public to use electronic platforms The Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) said that the number of visitors in the service centers in Muharraq and Isa Town would be reduced in order to preserve the safety of everyone based on the recommendations of the National Medical Team. NPRA called on the public to use the available electronic platforms to provide services in order to avoid crowding and to quicken the completion of transactions. It stressed that centers should be visited only in cases that cannot be completed electronically, taking into account the precautionary measures such as not to bring with them children or companions and to wait in the vehicle when arriving before the appointment. NPRA added that it is possible to submit visa applications (issuance, transfer, extend, cancel, and renew), and to renew the Bahraini passport through the e-government portal bahrain.bh. Residency services (renew/cancel/issuance) as well as Bahraini passport issuance (for the first time/issuance of a lost/damaged passport/traffic ticket) applications can be submitted via the administration’s website www.npra.gov.bh. NPRA said it was obligatory to book an appointment ahead of visiting the centers in the very necessary cases via the skiplino application, and in the event of any inquiry, suggestion or complaint, it is possible to contact the call center on 17399764, or via www.bahrain. bh/tawasul. 

Bahrain intensifies COVID-19 inspection campaigns Assistant Chief of Public Security for Operations and Training Affairs, Brig. Dr. Sh. Hamad bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, has highlighted the continuation and intensification of the concerned directorates of the Interior Ministry to monitor commitment to precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19. Security directorates will continue to take legal proceedings against violators per the decision of the government and the instructions of the medical team. He called upon the public to stay at home and leave only for the necessities, wear masks, keep the social distancing and avoid family gatherings.


Gulf Insider February 2021

Shops in the Kingdom should instal security CCTV surveillance cameras and operate them 24/7, announces Protection and Safety Department of the General Administration of Civil Defence during an inspection campaign. An Interior Ministry decision reported earlier obliges organisations to instal security cameras while issuing or renewing commercial registration. Officials say, most of the shops here are adhering to safety standards, “but some of them are not.” “Shop owners must instal, maintain and update surveillance devices periodically to ensure their effectiveness.” “For this, there should be a control room and storage memory of not less than 120 days.” Shops should also identify the points of placing the CCTV cameras. The department called on violating stores to correct them soon. The department will conduct a review in about two weeks from the date of examination. The law forbids installing cameras in bedrooms, physiotherapy rooms, toilets, changing rooms and places reserved for women. The law also prohibits transferring, storing, sending or publishing any of the recordings by the owners or any other entity, without prior approval. The General Directorate of Civil Defence and Chief of Public Security, or his representative, or deputy are the approving authorities.

News Roundup

Saudi Arabia enhances road network efficiency The Saudi Ministry of Transport adopted a new advanced technology system to manage the road network and enhance its efficiency. The system will collect and analyze data about roads and reschedule the required maintenance and repairs.  

Saudi Arabia launches 24/7 instant transfer between banks The Saudi Central Bank (SCB) announced the launch of the instant payments system effective from February 21, and this is after the successful launch of the first phase of trial to activate the system with a number of Saudi local banks. The launch of the system will enable financial institutions, companies and individuals to complete instant transfers among various banks within 24 hours, and throughout all days of the week. The SCB statement emphasized that the system works seamlessly between Saudi banks and financial technology companies, and contributes to reducing operational costs and providing innovative solutions to the financial sector. Once activated, it will allow beneficiaries to benefit from it in the implementation of financial transfers between accounts in local banks immediately, with fees less than the fee charged in the current system of transfers between banks.

Saudi Arabia launches instant payments system The Saudi Central Bank (SCB) announced the launch of the instant payments system, effective from February 21. The launch of the system will enable financial institutions, companies and individuals to complete instant transfers among various banks within 24 hours, and throughout all days of the week.  

Saudi: Jawazat launches Tawasul service for expats The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) announced the launch of the Tawasul service through the Muqeem portal, which will enable beneficiaries to get services and procedures done in the event of their nonimplementation even after making the request. The new service will be made available without the need to personally contact the Jawazat offices. The Jawazat stated that the new service aims to enhance electronic transactions and communicate with the concerned officials at Jawazat offices as well as to reduce time and effort, in addition to raise the quality of services and speed of completion. The Jawazat said that the launching of the Tawasul service is also part of the efforts to further strengthening its drive to deliver benefits of advanced technology while serving its customers. Gulf Insider February 2021


People & Culture

An Elite February Refresh your days with Elite Hospitality Group’s great and affordable staycation packages!


Gulf Insider February 2021

People & Culture


lite Salamatik ensures that every guest will have a safe stay with their family and friends. The hotels have taken various steps to protect their guests and their employees, to ensure that each stay is safe.

Elite Resort & Spa Enjoy Elite Resort & Spa’s breathtaking sea view suites while taking advantage of discounts on room service and restaurants. This February,

Elite Grande Hotel has an ongoing winter promotion on one-bedroom suites for only BD30 per room per night.

they have a rate of BD33 net per room per night which includes breakfasts, free late checkout and VIP amenities. During the weekend, the hotel has a special menu at Al Naseem pool side for BD10 per person inclusive of soft beverages.

Elite Seef Residence & Hotel If you’re a corporate or long term visitor, check out Elite Seef Residence Hotel’s spacious suites of either one or two bedrooms. The suites are fitted with fully equipped kitchenette along with living room and dining area which creates an ideal accommodation for short or long term stay guests. All rooms have Wi-Fi, breakfast buffet and an additional 20% discount on room

services and laundry. Special promotion will be offered on all suite types till end of April 2021. If you want something different, relax under the stars at Captain Jack’s outdoor area by the pool from 8PM to 2AM. The hotel also has a promotion for ladies every Wednesday to Friday which includes 3 free drink coupons!

Elite Grande Hotel Elite Grande Hotel has an ongoing winter promotion on one-bedroom suites for only BD30 per room per night.

The rate already includes a breakfast meal for two people as well as VIP amenities and free late checkout. Moreover, the city view hotel offers a special promotion on room service menu with 25% discount on every order from 12 PM till 12 AM. If you’re looking for something fun, H20 pool side restaurant offers Happy Hours every night from 1 PM till 8 PM. They also have a “Fabulous Night” promotion every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 PM till 12 AM with a variety of selected cocktails.

To view more on the hotels, please visit: www.elitegrouphotels.com

Gulf Insider February 2021


Money & Business

Teamwork makes the

dream work

Batelco has been ranked as the number 1 great workplace in the telecommunication sector across the Middle East in 2020 by Great Place to Work® Institute Middle East.

Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa


Gulf Insider February 2021

Money & Business

T Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures.

he ranking reflects Batelco’s continuous workplace development, in creating a great work environment, which has had a positive impact on employees’ and their performance. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, highperformance workplace cultures. The institute relies on specific criteria to evaluate the work environment. Every company is evaluated by a Trust Index – a questionnaire based on five principles to establish an employee’s definition of an ideal working environment. Successful working environments are characterized by an employee-centric approach that fosters high levels of pride and trust amongst team members and strong relationships, in addition to service excellence. Such organizations work to put their employees first and are committed to providing a work culture that focusses on employees’ wellbeing. Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “Batelco places importance on supporting team members and the corporate culture. By promoting a strong team spirit at

Batelco, we work towards enhancing performance levels within the organisation and encouraging our staff to challenge themselves to yield the best possible results.” Dr. Michael Burchell, Great Place to Work CEO, said: “From over 10,000 applicants across 60 countries, Batelco has demonstrated a commitment to creating a great workplace for its people. And consumers can take pride knowing that they will receive outstanding service from employees that work in a great workplace.”

Gulf Insider February 2021


Money & Business

Out of this world The Hope Probe is the first planetary science mission led by an Arab-Islamic country.


Gulf Insider February 2021

Money & Business


he UAE made history on the evening of 9th February 2021 as the Hope Probe successfully entered Mars’ orbit, after a seven-month long journey in space and after six years since its inception. This coincided with the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE. The space craft called “Al Amal”, which means “Hope”, first blasted off from Tanegashima Island on July 19th 2020, in the midst of a pandemic and with almost no live spectators. The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, was lit up throughout the event and displayed the faces of the engineers who worked on the mission over the past six years. A projection of the Hope

potential of life for humans on Mars. The probe will also study what drove oxygen and hydrogen — the building blocks of water — out of Mars’ atmosphere. Understanding what caused this could help researchers understand how the Martian atmosphere has evolved over time. The probe is expected to collect more than 1,000 GB of new data. The UAE will share the data with more than 200 academic and scientific institutions around the world for free.

Plans for the future It is likely that the information gathered during the mission will inform the UAE’s plans to build a habitable

UAE Mars mission: First image of red planet received

The Hope Probe will spend one Martian year (about two Earth years) collecting scientific data.

probe was also shown on its façade, as well as images of the Red Planet.

The UAE Mars Mission’s Aim The Hope Probe will spend one Martian year (about two Earth years) collecting scientific data, with a possibility to get an optional two-year extension, meaning it will possibly be in space until 2025. Data on Mars’ meteorological layers will be collected to study how the upper and lower layers interact with one another. The spacecraft will search for connections between current and past Martian climate, giving scientists a deeper insight into the past and future of our own planet as well as the

settlement on Mars by 2,117. “Mars 2,117 is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Twitter following the announcement in 2017. In preparation, the UAE is constructing a complex of buildings called Mars Scientific City. This facility will include a laboratory that will stimulate the planet’s terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation. A team of scientists and astronauts will live in this simulated environment for one year to assess the living conditions on Mars. Gulf Insider February 2021


News Roundup

Dubai requires 10-day quarantine for COVID-19 close contacts The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has urged all Covid-19 close contacts to complete at least 10 days of quarantine to help prevent the spread of the disease. A close contact is any individual who has spent more than 15 minutes with a confirmed Covid-19 case without maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres. The quarantine period is 10 days from the last meeting with the confirmed case.

Saudi: University launches first clinical trials for local COVID vaccine Saudi Arabia’s Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University started the first phase of clinical trials for a local coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine has proven its efficacy against COVID-19 in laboratory trials, and the Ministry of Education supports the move to first phase clinical trials, the report added. The university has previously worked with other companies such as AstraZeneca in the production of vaccines and medicines, particularly ensuring sufficient quantities for use in the first phase of clinical trials.

Saudi: Plane catches fire after Houthis attacks Abha airport A passenger plane caught fire at the Abha International Airport in a terrorist attack launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing a statement from the Arab Coalition. In the statement, the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said that the fire was under control. Calling the attack on the airport a war crime, the coalition vowed to thwart such attacks. “We are taking all necessary measures to protect civilians from the threats of the Houthis,” the statement read.


Gulf Insider February 2021

Saudi launches ‘Coral Bloom’ Red Sea project Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, launched a Red Sea luxury resort project. The “Coral Bloom” development has been designed by Foster + Partners. It will be built on Shurayrah Island, the main island of the Red Sea Project, off the Kingdom’s west coast. It is home to the world’s fourth largest barrier reef system, untouched corals and a significant number of endangered species. The design includes 11 hotels and new beaches along with a new lagoon.  

Money & Business

New gears for 70 years Gulf Air welcomed its new Airbus A321neoLR which landed in the new terminal of Bahrain International Airport on 5th February 2021.


he aircraft is designed with the special 70th anniversary Golden Falcon livery which showcases the airline’s iconic and vintage design from the last century with a revamped look. Following its delivery from Hamburg, Germany, the aircraft will operate long-haul European routes as well as a selection of GCC destinations. The aircraft is the second of the 17 A321neo aircraft order which includes 8 that are equipped with flat-bed seats. Gulf Air was the first airline in the Middle East to introduce fully flat-beds on this aircraft type. H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors said: “This addition will strengthen our position in the medium to long-haul

Gulf Air was the first airline in the Middle East to introduce fully flat-beds on this aircraft type. markets”. The new aircraft premieres 16 new flat-bed Falcon Gold seats and 150 economy class seats. All seats are equipped with latest in-flight entertainment technology and in-seat comfort features that are practical and user-friendly for every passenger. The aircraft boasts the essence

of the overall boutique experience with the opportunity to provide more personalized service, cosier cabin and faster process of boarding and disembarking. The new aircraft will also be equipped with wireless internet connection (WiFi) as the airline continues to offer the best in class service to passengers flying on its young fleet. Gulf Air’s A321neoLR is powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines and it is the largest and most advanced A320 family aircraft. Featuring the widest single aisle cabin in the market, the A321neoLR is also more eco-friendly than other types of the same size and it delivers up to 20% fuel burn reduction per seat, up to 14% lower cash operating costs per seat and 50% noise reduction. Gulf Insider February 2021


News Roundup

Bahrain: Foreignowned online companies must invest at least BD50,000

Bahrain authorizes emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine The Kingdom of Bahrain approved the emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine, produced by the Jamalaya National Center for Epidemiological and Microbiology Research of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The decision to authorize the Sputnik V vaccine was based on data provided by the manufacturing company, results of an expanded study, and a process of review and evaluation of effectiveness of data conducted by the Kingdom’s National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA). The Sputnik V vaccine becomes the fourth emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine approved in Bahrain, following the approval of vaccines from Sinopharm, Pfizer/Biontech, and Oxford-AstraZeneca, with citizens and residents free to choose which vaccine they wish to receive, free of charge. The Health Ministry also announced that citizens and residents can register for the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccination through the website or via the “BeAware” app. After completing the online registration process, individuals will be contacted via SMS to receive appointment details for their first vaccination dose. 22

Gulf Insider February 2021

HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa issued an edict regulating the activities of online companies with foreign capital in the Kingdom. Accordingly, companies that are wholly or partly owned by non-Bahraini partners are allowed to engage in online selling, provided the invested capital is not less than BD50,000 in the first year. 

Bahrain: Mahmoud, Kingdom’s first athlete to qualify for Shot Put at Olympics Twenty-year-old Bahraini, Abdel Rahman Mahmoud, is the Kingdom’s first-ever athlete to qualify for the men’s shot put competition at the Summer Olympic Games, confirmed by the Bahrain Athletics Association (BAA). This is the country’s first qualification to any of athletics’ throwing events at the Olympics. Mahmoud secured his place at the Tokyo Olympics after achieving the qualifying standard of 21.10 metres. He earned the shot put gold medal at the Belarus Athletics Indoor Cup.

Money & Business

iGA launches updated version of


eMeeting was launched to accommodate the needs of meeting attendees of all levels, including executives, nonexecutives, senior management, employees, and executive secretaries.


he Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) launched an updated version of its interactive conferencing system, eMeeting, which has been revamped to include several performance-enhancing features. eMeeting was launched to accommodate the needs of meeting attendees of all levels, including executives, non-executives, senior management, employees, and executive secretaries. The first digital system of

its kind in the Kingdom for initiating and managing online meetings, it has resulted in direct and indirect cost savings for its public and private sector users. The updated version of eMeeting Includes features for attending video conferences, while using the application browsing the meeting agenda and the other features can be by a split-screen feature. The update also includes Microsoft One-Drive features, allowing users

to access services via the cloud, and giving them more storage space for shared files, which are accessible safely from anywhere in the world. The system, available in Arabic and English, also allows users to view meeting materials, retrieve documents through a preferred type of display, communicate via instant messages, take notes, and send private and public comments to all participants. In addition, it offers offline access to files. Gulf Insider February 2021


News Roundup

UAE announces citizenship for specific categories The UAE announced major changes to the citizenship law, to allow for the naturalisation of foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists and talented people and their families. The decision to give people with exceptional talents and their families the Emirati citizenship aims to embrace them as members of part of the UAE society, ensure the social stability of these people in the country and boost the overall national development process. The decision specified the categories of the people who can be granted the citizenship, under certain conditions. In addition to granting the citizenship to the families- the spouse and children of this specialised and skilled segment, the law allows for them to also keep their current citizenship, which is a major change to the previous rule that doesn’t allow for dual citizenship.  

Oman: Mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine for visitors The Sultanate of Oman announced a mandatory institutional quarantine for all visitors arriving at its airports, effective February 15. The procedures have been implemented at all Oman Airports from today and the passengers will have to book the hotels once they land in the airports. The ministry has earmarked six hotels in Muscat governorate which have been identified as Swiss-Belinn Muscat, Ibis, Secure Inn, Sheraton, Tulip Inn and Somerset Panorama Muscat. In Musandam governorate, listed are the Dibba Beach Hotel and the Khasab Hotel. In Dhofar governorate, the Alpha Hotel Salalah has been identified. In Buraimi the Arena Hotel, in Al Dakhliyah the Al Diyar Hotel, in North Al Sharqiyah the Golden Rays Hotel, in South Al Sharqiyah the Sur Beach Hotel, and in North Al Batinah the Mercure Hotel Sohar have been chosen.

Saudi: Ministry calls for flexible work hours, remote meetings The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD) called on all employees in the public, private and non-profit sectors to have flexible work hours and avail of remote work and virtual meetings as much as possible. In a statement, the ministry underlined the need to strictly comply with preventive protocols and apply health directives in order to ensure the safety of employees and those visiting offices and other facilities to remain in a healthy and safe environment. The ministry underscored the need to hold digital meetings using visual communication methods instead of in-person meetings and to activate work remotely as much as possible. The ministry also highlighted the importance of applying a policy of flexible working hours and ensuring the use of electronic channels for obtaining services. The ministry statement emphasized the need to take the necessary measures to prevent social gatherings, apply physical distancing, always wear masks and avoid shaking hands, besides making available of hand sanitizers at workplaces. 24

Gulf Insider February 2021

News Roundup

UAE: Vaccine centers to prioritize elderly, those with chronic conditions

Bahrain: Tamkeen to support restaurants, cafes

Vaccination centers across the UAE will prioritize vaccinating the elderly and people with chronic conditions as part of a temporary measure amid the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, for the coming four to six weeks. During this period, other segments of society may get vaccinated after prior appointment with inoculation centers available across the nation.

Bahrain’s Labour Fund Tamkeen will support restaurants and cafes affected by the pandemic for a month, starting February. According to the report, this decision is a part of Tamkeen’s “Business Continuity Support” programme. It is aimed to support affected enterprises for one month by covering their operating expenses. The support will be for restaurants and cafes registered in the first phase of the programme. 

Bahrain: The Muharraq Grand Park is ready to open The Muharraq Grand Park is ready to reopen after two years of renovations costing about BD 3.2 million. According to Muharraq Municipal Council member, Basem Al Mujadami, the park had been neglected for nearly 12 years.

Saudi opens a new museum dedicated to the Prophet The International Exhibition and Museum of the Life of the Prophet and Islamic Civilization opening ceremony took place on 2nd February. The museum is dedicated to the history of the Islamic world and the life of Prophet Muhammad. The museum was launched under the supervision of the Muslim World League and is the first in a series of Islamic museums scheduled to be constructed around the world under the organization’s umbrella. The museum is located next to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and is open 24 hours a day.

Gulf Insider February 2021


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2021 Dodge 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat – The wait is almost over!


he new 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat production has started at the 3 million-square-foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit. “Like welcoming a new member to the family, today’s launch of the Durango SRT Hellcat celebrates the newest addition to the Brotherhood of Muscle,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand and Interim Chrysler Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “The Dodge Durango Hellcat joins Charger and Challenger at the pinnacle of performance, and today’s start of


Gulf Insider February 2021

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The Durango SRT Hellcat is the most powerful SUV ever, delivering 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque from the proven supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine.

production in Detroit deserves a spot on every enthusiast’s calendar.” The Durango SRT Hellcat is the most powerful SUV ever, delivering 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque from the proven supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine paired with the quick-shifting TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission. The Durango SRT Hellcat has a 0-60 mileper-hour (mph) time of 3.5 seconds, a quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.5 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and a top speed of 180 mph. The Durango has best-in-class towing capacity across its lineup. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8, legendary 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 and classic 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with

the Tow N Go Package outhaul every full-size, three-row SUV on the road, with a towing capability of 8,700 lbs. The award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine has a towing capability of 6,200 lbs. Dodge is the official sponsor of the Bondurant High Performance Driving School in Chandler, Arizona, where guests get behind the wheels of the fastest street-legal cars in the world with professional instruction and time on the track. Customers who buy a new SRT model, including the new Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, receive one full-day session as part of the Dodge// SRT Package and have the opportunity to learn how to get the optimum performance from their new vehicles in a controlled environment. Gulf Insider February 2021


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VW Tiguan 2021 Review The Tiguan goes upmarket to take on rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.


Gulf Insider February 2021

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acceleration. The interior cabin was quite at speed (well, the legal speed limit of 120 kph). It feels like its very well made – almost a luxury car in the style of German luxury minimalism with everything being of good quality, practical, and in the right place. Its turbo charged 4-cylinder engine enables 132kW and 180 bhp. AWD is available on most engines. In fact, driving the Tiguan reminds me a bit of driving a Golf – which it’s closely associated to.

Perhaps the biggest difference for many people with this compact SUV is that there is now more space inside.


his is Volkswagen’s secondgeneration Tiguan, and on first looks it’s noticeably sleeker and better looking than the earlier model it

replaces. Perhaps the biggest difference for many people with this compact SUV is that there is now more space inside. There’s also a seven-seater option for families needing those two extra seats. Though this is not a big SUV by any means, this has its own advantages when it comes to parking in tight spaces or driving in busy traffic. Its competent both on road and off road – I drove over some ‘desert’ and various pot holed dirt roads and it was a pleasure as it soaked up unevenness with ease. Meanwhile, driving it on the highway it handed just like you would expect any quality well-made car would with good

To arrange your own test drive call Volkswagen Center Bahrain on +973 1745 9977

Alternative options: Land Rover Discovery Starting Price BD 19,000

Range Rover Evoque Starting Price BD 18,000 Kia Sportage Starting Price BD 7,500

Gulf Insider February 2021


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Performance Driven Adamas Motors to Launch Showroom in April 2021.


damas Motors has opened a state-of-the-art Service Centre ahead of the launch of its showroom in Moda Mall scheduled for April 2021, to coincide with the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Adamas Motors enters the Kingdom with three iconic British marques, Aston Martin, Lotus Cars, and Morgan Motors, with a fourth to follow shortly after. Adamas Motors, based in the UAE, was established by CEO Mr. Karl Hamer in 2017. Here is a quick overview of the cars to look forward to:

Aston Martin A British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz teamed up with Aston Martin allowing access to new cutting-edge powertrain and software technologies, including next generation hybrid and electric drive systems. 30

Gulf Insider February 2021

Adamas Motors enters the Kingdom with three iconic British marques, Aston Martin, Lotus Cars, and Morgan Motors.

Lotus Cars A British manufacturer of sports and racing cars, known for their light-weight and fine handling features. Lotus has won the Formula 1 World Championship seven times.

Morgan Motor Company A British manufacturer of cars widely known for their unique and traditional style.

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Adamas Motors Operations Director, Chris Buxton and Country Manager, George Duncan deliver their roles to further the company’s success in the country. The Moda Mall showroom will offer a special motor show feel and retail experience featuring a coffee shop, boutique, perfumery and Majlis for Adamas VIP customers and guests. Adamas Motors CEO Karl Hamer said: “We are very proud to open this

facility and invest in Bahrain. We are proud and honoured with the welcome we have been given in the Kingdom and I am grateful for the hard work and support our team have shown to date”. The cars offered will range from BD19,000 to BD752,000

Gulf Insider February 2021


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Photo of the Month

Photo by: @shift_mootark ©️ Owner: @bu_3arif Got some cool car photos we can feature? Send them our way! editorial@gulf-insider.com

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