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Bahrain BD2 | KSA SR20 | Kuwait KD1.75 | Oman RO2 | Qatar QR20 | UAE DHS20

The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

Gulf Insider speaks to some of the leading businesswomen in Bahrain

March 2020 | ISSUE 181

Complimentary Copy

Women in Business 2020


Gulf Financial Insider

Contents March 2020 Issue 181

12 52

12 15 25 28 30 32 42

Coronet - Lifestyle Fine Jewelry Women in Business 2020 Choosing to be Different A Racing Season The Merchant House is a Year Old Dubai’s Real Estate Dilemma Keypoint: Reclaiming Bahrain’s Real Estate Sector

Car News & Reviews

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

46 50 52

Rolls-Royce - The Ultimate Luxury Sports Car? Audi - A Weekend in Dubai Audi RS Q3 Sportsback - In Arvidsjaur, Sweden

… and much, much more!

Knowledge is power

Publisher & Editor in Chief

Nicholas C. Cooksey



Aswini Vijayakumar

Editorial Contributors

Hugh Haskell-Thomas 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

For editorial contact

Charlie Cooksey +973 3652 0004 charlie@gulf-insider.com

Aswini Vijayakumar +973 1700 4575 editorial@gulf-insider.com

Annam Elizabeth M. +973 3612 8111 sales1@gulf-insider.com

Published by:

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

Bahrain Bd2 | KSA sr20 | Kuwait Kd1.75 | Oman ro2 | Qatar Qr20 | UAE dHs20

The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

Women in Business 2020

Photo by SK Sahabaj Ahmed

35,694 People Reached 1,751 Reactions, Comments & Shares

Complimentary Copy

Gulf Insider speaks to some of the leading businesswomen in Bahrain


MArch 2020 | ISSUE 181

Bahrain Bd2 | KSA sr20 | Kuwait Kd1.75 | Oman ro2 | Qatar Qr20 | UAE dHs20

Benefit from Cashless Payments FEBrUAry 2020 | ISSUE 180


Bahrain Bd2 | KSA sr20 | Kuwait Kd1.75 | Oman ro2 | Qatar Qr20 | UAE dHs20

The multi-award winning Arabian Magazine

The multi-award winning Arabian magazine

Send us your own photo – it could be featured next! JAnUAry 2020 | ISSUE 179



Ithmaar Bank

The region’s first biometric bank Interview with Mr. Ahmed Abdul Rahim, CEO DEcEmBEr 2019 | ISSUE 178

Complimentary Copy


of the Bahrain Award for entrepreneurship Fourth edition - 2019



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Day & Night Middle East Refining Technologies Conference

Woman and the 4th Industrial Revolution

When: March 2nd – March 4th 2020 Where: Ritz Carlton

When: 31st March 2020 Where: Gulf Hotel

The Middle East Refining Technologies Conference (MERTC) is a regional event bringing together the region’s downstream community to collaborate and learn about the latest technological developments and strategies that will drive and shape the industry in 2020.

This is the third biennial event by the Royal University for Women(RUW) that aims to highlight how the accelerating pace of technological change affects the roles of women in the economy, politics, and society.

For more information: mertc.wraconferences.com

For more information: womenandsociety.com/3wsc

Bahrain International Technology Exhibition 2020 (BITEX) When: 24th – 26th March 2020 Where: Gulf Hotel BITEX is a technology exhibition held alongside with the MEET ICT Conference which will bring all ICT companies under one roof to display the latest trends in their field. It will also bring together the ICT community for business building as well as researching for more powerful solutions in the sector.

For more information: bitex.bh

Bahrain International Design Week (Bidw) When: 1st March– 7th March 2020 Where: Al Aali Mal Bahrain International Design Week is dedicated to gathering artists, creators and designers, offering the latest in unique style and design covering personal, architecture/interiors, and services design. The exhibition is a OneStop-Shop for visitors who are looking for new and unique designs or to learn and pursue design careers.

For more information: http://bidw.co/


Gulf Insider March 2020

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.

For a FREE evaluation of your businesses digital marketing needs. call +973 36 188 100 | 1700 4575

The Old Bahrain 1930s




The Bahrain Hotel, from 1930 to 2019

To view more immemorial images of Bahrain follow ‘The Old Bahrain’ The Old Bahrain @theoldbahrain 10

Gulf Insider March 2020



Applicable on ALL online Bookings 10% Golf Shop Voucher issued per paid Green Fee Vouchers can be accumulated between 1st January–31st March 2020


Go to www.theroyalgolfclub.com or Scan the QR code


Coronet The Worldwide Patented Collection from Lifestyle Fine Jewelry. Miss Switzerland Kerstin Cook


ince 1997, Lifestyle Fine Jewelry has traded in the GCC, specialising in fine diamond jewellery and watches. The company embarked on a project in 2006 to expand and position itself in the medium-to-high end market. For this, the product base was changed and all retail outlets renovated. The corporate identity has also been revamped for the project. Lifestyle Fine Jewelry is positioned to continue its policy of future expansion and is scheduled to have 40 outlets in the UAE and Bahrain by the end of 2020. 12

Gulf Insider March 2020

Coronet® is a signature Swiss brand of Aaron Shum Jewelry, parent company of Lifestyle Fine Jewelry. With its inspirational jewellery ideas, technical excellence and innovative craftsmanship, Coronet® has achieved ten Guinness World Record titles for its diamond creations at Baselworld in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Its patented design, with each piece of Coronet® made from seven highcalibre diamonds set with no prongs holding the centre diamond, along with precision of cut, symmetry and polish, contributes to the best fit proportion to conceiving a luminous solitaire diamond effect at exceptionally competitive value. This patented Coronet® technique stands out among other similar products on the market. Throughout the years, Coronet® has successfully established a global reach of more than 1,000 points of sales.

Visit lifetsylegcc.com for the full range of elegant diamond jewellery and branded watches at affordable prices.

Elite Hospitality The Perfect

Pitstop in Bahrain

Single Deluxe Suite starts @ BD 40 net Twin Deluxe Suite starts @ BD 43 net 3 Hotels and 1 serviced apartment

All Suites Hotel with Single, Twin Suites, One two and three bedrooms suite

Room rates includes all taxes, service charge Breakfast Buffet and WIFI Applicable for Formula 1 guest Call: +973 3681 6000


E-mail: cro@elitegrouphotels.com



Women in Business 2020 Gulf Insider speaks to some of the leading businesswomen in Bahrain

Women in Business 2020

Ms. Nahla Al Mahmood, founder of LalaBella Events & Flowers, immensely believes in the ‘right time’ for everything.

She says...


alabella was a complete coincidence. The company I was working in shut down unexpectedly and that was really devastating for me. Being a workaholic, finding myself unemployed wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I always wanted to have leadership positions and leave an impact where I worked. But all of a sudden, my dreams were paused and gone with the wind. I was depressed for 3 months. But I guess life had other plans for me. I used to do weddings and functions for family and friends. It was one of those weddings that changed my life.


Gulf Insider March 2020

It worked really well especially for an inexperienced wedding planner like me and everybody loved it. So once I lost my job, I had these people contacting me to do events for them. But for some or the other reason, I kept rejecting all of them, and in fact shutting all doors. That’s when my husband sat down and spoke to me. He told me this is something I could do until I find a job. But I didn’t want to do anything for the sake of it. So the very next day, I went to the commercial registration office and registered my company. Even the name Lalabella was chosen out of the blue. It was just to prove to my husband that I could do it. Yes, the Lalabella you

see today started this way - after being challenged and with absolutely nothing in my bank account! The UNIDO entrepreneurship program that I had taken during my last year of university actually helped a lot in shaping my entrepreneurial skills, along with other International women dedicated entrepreneurship programs in the United States. Apart from that. I didn’t have any knowledge in the event planning business. I had to read a lot and take courses to be prepared enough to conduct events. There were lots of challenges from managing finances to finding the right employees. In the beginning, we even had to put

Women in Business 2020

The Lalabella you see today started this way - after being challenged and with absolutely nothing in my bank account!

in extra investments so that we could create a good profile. Nobody’s going to approach you when you have got nothing to show. Finding the right people to help you run and grow the business is very important. I had quite a tough time finding florists with whom I could communicate well enough. I remember, there was this time when Lalabella was almost on the verge of shutting down - we didn’t have cash, we couldn’t pay the bills or the suppliers and we didn’t know what the issue was. Later, when we found out the reason, it made me realize the issues of not having a proper system to handle my accounts. I had to learn it the hard way. We had to invest more to get all the systems right and I fired all the employees and started hiring again. It was a big decision, but I knew I had to start right. I have got a couple of both personal and professional influences in business. My family and friends are my personal consultants and there are

other professionals in the same field who have helped me a lot. Lalabella is not a commercial wedding planning company. We work to have personal relationships with our brides and all our corporate clients and create designs to their requirements. Before I take up any project, I want them to trust us. Once they do, I make sure that they get the value of the money they are investing in. That is why we affirm that this event planning company is all about passion and providing a memorable experience. I started a business with no business plan or without studying the market or the business. But looking back, I can say It was one of the most amazing decisions I have ever taken. Those three months of depression turned out to be a new beginning for me. I think that is the beauty of being a risk-taker - it brings out your real personality and since then, I have been my own boss!

Gulf Insider March 2020


Women in Business 2020

Ms. Esmahan Bokhowa, Managing Director of Saar Mall and

Financial Director of Bokhowa Group, advices to face your challenges with perseverance and resilience. She says...


started my career in 1994 as an Accounts Executive in Bokhowa Group WLL. This early experience helped me learn a lot along the way. Today I manage dual positions in business - as the Finance Director at Bokhowa Group WLL and the General Manager of Saar Mall. The valuable skills and experiences I have gained from my previous role have helped me throughout my professional development. The biggest influence in my life is and will always be my father. He has been running a construction business


Gulf Insider March 2020

The biggest influence in my life is and will always be my father. He has been running a construction business for over 40 years.

for over 40 years. When I was a child he would take me to visit our construction sites and I truly believe these visits have contributed a lot in building my passion, commitment, discipline, and dedication to work and life. Talking about my business, Saar Mall is a stylish and contemporary mall which was opened in 2013 with the main aim of offering something for everyone. It has mid-market brands, restaurants, cafĂŠs, a Carrefour supermarket, banks, an indoor play area, Big Game Zone, and a Mini-Cinema for kids. While working, I have always been a multi-tasker and a

Women in Business 2020

When it comes to empowering women, I believe that women in Bahrain are really blessed to have opportunities on par with their male counterparts in both the private and public sectors.

morning person. I normally start my day very early as I believe that the morning is the time when one’s energy levels are at their peak. So, I mostly prefer to have my meetings and tasks be completed in the first half of the day. As the General Manager for Saar Mall, we are constantly planning numerous social and cultural events for various occasions such as Labor Day, the Eid Festivals, Think Pink, National day, farmers market and many more. Businesses go through many challenges. There are numerous incidents and minor crises that we have experienced on a regular basis. When that happens, me and my brothers, we sit together and calmly talk through the issue with our father. This is how we deal with any crisis we face. The unwavering support of my father and siblings is essential to me. For me, this open consultation and brainstorming with family and colleagues paves the

way for solutions at my work. When it comes to empowering women, I believe that women in Bahrain are really blessed to have opportunities on par with their male counterparts in both the private and public sectors. If I had anything to say to budding women professionals and entrepreneurs, it would be to strive for perseverance and resilience in the face of setbacks. Selfdiscipline, an undying passion for what you do and the self-confidence to sell your idea through persistent marketing will take you where you want to be. A lot of Bahraini businesses inspire me when it comes to this, and I am really impressed by the way they present, manage and market their products. The ones that inspire me the most are the start-ups that work so hard to establish and scale their businesses. Lastly, I’d say others to try and harness that competitive streak, to beat your opponents and win the game! Gulf Insider March 2020


Women in Business 2020

She says...

I Ms. Susan Hunter CEO of APM Terminals, Bahrain, says that you don’t have to be perfect to get it right.

Say yes to challenges and then work something out. We are constantly trying to make everything perfect – don’t do that.


Gulf Insider March 2020

started working when I was 12. My first job was stuffing shelves in the local grocery shop and it led to a sequence of part time jobs. I gradually took up work at a contact center where I quickly got into a role leading a team of of 12 people. Once I had my children, I took on a part-time job where a situation came up when an executive was on leave and the business really didn’t know what they were doing without him. I just couldn’t watch this happen and spoke to the leader, who eventually handed me the role itself. That was a big turning point in my career, and I’m grateful to her for recognizing my capability because I wouldn’t ever have applied for that job otherwise. Work-life balance for me is a decision that I choose to make every day as there are new challenges at home and work. I always say, never under prioritize your life. I believe it is better to support your team to be healthy and holistic rather than allowing them to work until the breaking point. On the other hand, as a parent, I’ve had to learn to let go of guilt and accept that my kids don’t need me all the time. Quality time and connection with children is what matters – whether you’re a stay-at home parent or a working one. As a leader all decisions you make impact people’s lives. Earlier, I used to find that tough but I’ve learned to be better by facing the truth of what my decision means – for my team, my employees or my shareholders. I believe that, at the end of the day, it comes down to making a conscious decision about what kind of leader you want to be. My advice to young women would be - say yes to challenges and then work something out. We are constantly trying to make everything perfect – don’t do that. It might look impossible on paper, but the answers are almost always right there. Many young women know what they want and are ambitious but they’re embarrassed to say it. Say it out loud and start working towards it.

Women in Business 2020

She says...


Ms. Rebecca Arnold Deputy CEO of Dilmunia Mall, advices to explore and find out who you really are.

In life, it is important to stand up, be heard and to follow your dreams – be it creative, sporting or academic.

arrived in Dubai more than 20 years ago where I worked for the South Australian Government Office in Dubai assisting with business development between UAE and South Australia. It was in 2003 when I was approached by a shopping mall developer to work as the Marketing Manager for Mercato shopping mall and that is how I started my career in the field of shopping Mall Management. The skills that I learnt at university and my experience working in the field of Psychology in Australia helped me a lot as it provided me with good management experience and valuable transferable skills. Being part of the The Mercato Shopping Mall, the first themed shopping mall of its kind in the Middle East region is one of my biggest professional accomplishments till date. The dynamic, creative and challenging nature of business has also given me opportunities to teach others from my experience which is quite rewarding for me. My profession has taught me to remain humble and grounded, and grateful for the opportunities that are provided. It also made me realize that diligence, patience and perseverance is important and not all results can be achieved over night. For me, operating a large mall is more like steering a big ship, small shifts in direction can change the course in time. However, achieving work life balance has been a real challenge for me, particularly working on large projects with pressing time lines that may involve frequent travel. But I always make sure to maintain a balance by spending time with family and friends and through activities like sports and fitness, diet and nutrition. In life, it is important to stand up, be heard and to follow your dreams – be it creative, sporting or academic. You have to identify what you like to do and if you are not sure, you should at least try something. It will make more confident and you will learn more about yourself - your likes and dislikes, and strengths and abilities. I have seen many women who have turned their hobby into successful businesses because they simply made a decision to do something about it. Gulf Insider March 2020


Women in Business 2020

She says...


Ms. Batool Dadabhai Founder of Affinity by Batool, believes that nothing should stop you when it comes to passion.

Its always better to be an employee before being an employer as it is a learning path that no one should deprive themselves from.


Gulf Insider March 2020

ashion always remained my true passion. Even after I joined a corporate division of Dadabhai Group, you could find me designing and participating in fashion exhibitions. Working at Arabian Neon was more of a learning process for me. It made me understand the corporate side of business and that has helped a lot in managing Affinity by Batool. If you ask me who is my greatest influence in business, I would say it’s my dad. He is the one who saw that my passion lied elsewhere from the corporate world and encouraged me to pursue it and believed in my abilities. Three years ago, when I thought of starting Affinity by Batool, it wasn’t easy. The economy was declining and perhaps it was not the right time for anyone to start a new venture, but I knew it was NOW or NEVER. I had to take the leap and it all happened because of the enormous support I had from my dad and my family. With them at my sides, I knew that nothing could stop me! That’s how Affinity by Batool became a reality. We are a Bahraini fashion house – a multi designer store and production unit all under one roof, focusing on being creative and unique. For me, teamwork is the most important criteria for any business because no one person has all the solutions. I always look for bringing in more creative minds to add value to my team. My perspective in life is that making a mistake is not the end of the road; it is a beginning as a new lesson is learned. The growth of a woman in workplace depends on both the male and female factors around her. If they are supportive and open minded, then nothing can stop her from reaching her true potential. To everyone who is looking forward to start a business, I would always advice you to first understand the positives and negatives before jumping into it. Its always better to be an employee before being an employer as it is a learning path that no one should deprive themselves from.

Women in Business 2020

Ms. Wafa AlObaidat, CEO of Obai and Hill and Founder of Women Power Summit, says to live the best life you can have and never settle for anything less.

Sheikha Latifa Al Khalifa, Co-founder of CleverPlay, believes more visibility can empower women to achieve their dreams.

She says...

She says...

he idea for Sketchbook was born out of a desire to build a platform to support emerging artists and designers. During the initial days, I had to spend a good 5-6 hours a day emailing illustrators, designers, and writers to get them to contribute their work to the magazine. When I started out with Obai and Hill in Bahrain, as a creative person, I lacked discipline, mismanaged funds that I earned through services and even mixed them up with my personal accounts. Back then, I wish I had known that without any business or accounting experience, my first hire should have been an accountant! One of the toughest decisions I had to take was prioritizing the company needs before my own and for the first couple of years, I did not pay myself. Business has taught me to become that person I wish had mentored me when I was younger. I have been turned down by people and I wouldn’t wish that for anyone else. We are raised in a culture where people are always ready to tell you that your ideas are not realistic, but I think you NEED to be unrealistic to pursue what you want.

he inspiration behind Cleverplay goes to my nephews. We wanted to have a place where we could give them space to fail and try to do new things. Though it started with them, now after 2 years into it, we have served over 15,000 children. I don’t have an education or business background. So at CleverPlay, there were lots that I had to catch up. But with a learning mindset, you will know that you can adapt and this way, the process was fun for me. I got to know myself better. Though I consider work as a part of my life, I do take mini-vacations every now and then to regain my momentum. While doing business, I’d say character is what we look for in our team and we need people who will go out of their way to make things happen. My one piece of advice to women is to be brave enough to be imperfect. Embrace your uniqueness and start before you’re ready.



Gulf Insider March 2020


Women in Business 2020

Yasmin Salahuddin, Founder of YAZI, focuses on being unique with her creativity and art.

Noof Al Shekar, Founder of NS by Noof, encourages you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams till the end.

She says...

She says...

ahraini women are the inspiration for YAZI for whom I wanted to create something different. It was a challenging opportunity for me while being one among the first Bahraini women to create both scarves and handbag designs. Since I studied in London, I was influenced by the fashion that played an important role in everyday life and that’s one of the things that encouraged me to expose my fashion sense. But starting a business wasn’t easy, especially one in fashion. I had to struggle and go through obstacles to build YAZI as a global brand. My brand focuses on being unique and my products are completely a result of creativity and art. This is why I always define my collection as “modern, abstract and different.” In business, I think leading with a clear vision and plan helps a lot. Love and passion are what drives me to become better and regardless of gender, I believe that if you are determined, focused and have passion for your work, you will surely be able to achieve prominent roles at your workplace – be it your business or an organization.

y grandfather was the inspiration for my interest in business. He opened the first suit tailoring house in Bahrain and seeing him being different, inspired me to follow my passion. This led me to be the first handbag designer on the island. My interest in fashion and architecture helped along the way as I could incorporate both fields in my designs. One of the challenges I faced and still go through is juggling between roles as a businesswoman and a responsible mom of 4. Thankfully, I think I’m blessed to have a big and amazing family who are always there to support me. Each handbag at NS by Noof is handmade with care. I personally chose the best materials for each collection. I can ensure that this brand has highest quality handbags with the most unique designs. To women starting out their careers or business, don’t ever give up. There will be moments where you will want to quit, go home and do nothing but the more you rise gracefully after falling, the further you will reach.



Gulf Insider March 2020


People & Culture

Choosing to be Different This Women’s Day, Gulf Insider meets Bahraini women who have opted for unique career choices. After all, the sky is the limit when it comes to passion!

Sarah Nabil, first Urban Music Producer and composer in Bahrain

“There are very few women around the world, let alone in the Middle East, who are music producers and sound engineers. This combined with my passion for music made me want to change that and help open doors for women in music and audio in the region. What I believe is that you should never let anyone tell you there is no place for you at the table! Depending on the field you’re in or want to pursue, you might face people who will try convincing you that it’s not for you. Go for it anyways, it’ll be worth it.”

Manal Fakhrawi, first female Bahraini Jockey “The beauty and power of a horse is what attracted me to equestrianism. I dedicated my childhood to horses, spent my days training and always aiming for the next level. Horse riding is a very special sport that lets you connect with animals and earn their respect. Once that is accomplished, nothing can stop you. It is important for women who want to take up horse riding as a hobby, sport, or even profession to be well educated about the field. Never let anyone take advantage of your weakness or even intimidate you. Speak your mind and most importantly speak up when something doesn’t seem right. Give it your all, persevere and you can be a champion one day.”

Gulf Insider March 2020


People & Culture

Leila Sohrab, first DJ in the Arab region “Since childhood, I have always loved music and dance. I would always listen and collect different music from different languages and styles and spend my days recording my own mixtapes on cassettes. This path has drawn me to it in a very beautiful flow. To everyone out there, know that even if your path and passion is against the currents, in order to make it, you need yourself before anyone else. So stay persistent, patient and be courageous. The harder the times, the better you will become. Never feel sorry for yourself and always keep boosting yourself. Always remember why you started in the first place. “

Reem Khalifa AlMealla, Bahraini Scientist specialised

in Marine Biology

“I remember reading a phrase – ‘Anyone who loves to ask questions and seeks the truth through finding evidence is considered a scientist’. I knew that day that I was a scientist. Coming from an island, the shores were my childhood playground and that saw my passion grow for the deep blue ocean. When I first heard about climate change and its impact on the planet in 2007, I knew then that I would honour this lifetime by being one that serves nature thereby improving human livelihood. I have to say that sometimes you will have to to question tradition, cultural perception and unspoken rules. You are a gift to this world as you encompass so much that this world needs. Others may laugh now but one day soon they will recognize your power and the value you add to their life. So, be patient and trust your journey. Don’t let others plant seeds of doubt in your heart for I promise you that one day your dreams will be your reality.”

Hend Sameer Alawadhi, first Aircraft Engineer “My love for airplanes & fixing things since childhood led me to aircraft engineering, making me one of Bahrain’s first female aircraft engineers. This passion led me to my new responsibility as the Senior Airworthiness Inspector at Bahrain’s Civil Aviation. I always say others that it won’t be easy but it will be all worth it in the end. It’s your life, it’s your choice, choose wisely”.


Gulf Insider March 2020

People & Culture

Yasmeen Fraidoon, first female pilot at Gulf Air “Growing up I was always mesmerized by aircrafts, take-offs and landings, and being in the sky. I took the first chance I had to become a pilot myself. Now I wake up every day thankful that my passion for flying is my job. I believe that you should never miss out on opportunities or give yourself excuses to stay in your comfort zone. Just work hard and go for it!”

Dana Zubari, Athlete “My love for sports started when I was 11 and it was something that has always come naturally to me. I loved challenging myself and my passion for sports led me to start Tru Active, my own active wear brand in partnership with my sister. I have started two community initiatives - Cycling Bees, co-founded by Hala Zubari and Lettuce Run co-founded by Mariam Turki. These were mainly to encourage women to get into sports. My advice for young ladies is to set realistic goals for yourself and try to achieve them. Don’t create obstacles for yourself and don’t make excuses. Prioritize your goals because there will always be a reason to not train. “

Banah, Singer and Songwriter “I was a part of many industries. I have worked as a banker, PR Consultant, personal fitness trainer and even owned my own advertising agency. At the age of 30, after having my first child, I realized that I wanted to inspire her to make her dreams come true. That’s how I decided to pursue my passion for singing. If you have a passion or a goal, take baby steps to make it come true. Treat your dream like a business - start by writing a document that lays out your goals, timelines, strengths, weaknesses, threats, milestones as well as budgets for the next 1 to 3 years or maybe even 5 years. Don’t worry if nothing happens right away, it will definitely take longer than you think. And finally, it’s never too late to change where you are in order to achieve happiness - listen to the cues and follow through.”

Gulf Insider March 2020


People & Culture

A Racing Season In March 2020, Elite Hospitality Group is ready to welcome visitors for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.


lite Grande Hotel will offer guests a special 4-day and 3-night package for BD 120 during the F1. Early check-ins, late check-outs, breakfast buffet will be free along with Wi-Fi internet and VIP amenities. There will also be a 20 percent discount for guests during Weekend Vibes on Thursdays and Fridays with unlimited grills at BD 8 net. Happy Hours at the H2O poolside everyday will be from 1 pm till 8 pm with a ‘Buy Two Get One free’ drink offer. Elite Resort and Spa in Muharraq offers a F1 travel package for a 1-night stay at BD 40 net for a deluxe one bed room suite. The package will include breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi and airport pickup and drop. Shift 7 sports lounge bar will offer ‘Buy One Get One Drink free’ on Selected Beverages along with special 30% Discount on Food & Beverage


Gulf Insider March 2020

Experience Elite hospitality and win a free stay with a mega raffle to be held at the end of March 2020. from 03.00 PM to 02.00 AM. On Mondays, ladies can enjoy limited free drinks from 07.00 PM to 11.00 PM. Al Naseem poolside restaurant will also have –’Buy One Get One Drink’ offer on selected beverages. In addition to that, there will be Pizza Delight every day from 11.00 AM to 11.00PM. ‘Cocktail of the Day’ will be priced at BD 3 Net. Elite Resort & Spa has reopened

the Al Noor Tent, offering traditional settings and privacy for events at a price that suits the budget. The tent can comfortably host up to 500 guests. Elite Seef Residence & Hotel will have business lunch at Mario’s restaurant from Sunday to Thursday. The lunch will be from 12 pm to 3 pm and is priced at BD 5 net per person. Al Waha Restaurant at Elite Seef Residence Hotel offers a traditional night with fresh grills and live entertainment at the pool side from 7pm to 12 am at BD 10 net. Ladies night on every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will have 3 coupons on selected cocktails and house wines. Experience Elite hospitality and win a free stay with a mega raffle to be held at the end of March 2020.

To view more on Elite Hospitality Group, please visit: www.elitegrouphotels.com

News Roundup

Swarms of Locusts Spreads Out in Bahrain Swarms of desert locusts that have been reaping havoc across Saudi Arabia have spread to Bahrain. Citizens and residents were astonished seeing hordes of locusts descending upon them from the sky in several parts of the Kingdom. The swarms, however, were mild and not as critical as reported in Saudi Arabia, where it had spread throughout the central, eastern and western regions including Riyadh, Japan, Mecca, Qassim and more. Experts say strong winds from Saudi Arabia might have brought these insects into the Kingdom. Mobile footages of the swarms were posted by many on social media platforms. Ministry of Works, municipalities and urban planning immediately send teams of experts to contain the situation before spiralling out of hands. The Agriculture and Marine Resources Department at the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning said it is following the spread in some regions of Bahrain and teams from the Plant Protection and Quarantine section are spraying the affected areas. It is explained that the locust outbreak was caused by an atmospheric depression from the southern side that ends in Manama, causing wind speed to reach 30 kilometres per hour, which contributed to transporting large locust swarms from Yemen and Oman to Dammam, Al-Ahsa and Buqayq in Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is not within the locust itinerary, and that some locust numbers reach it from time to time, stressing that it is often not dangerous.

Bahrain: Around 800 People Injured in Worksites Last Year Statistics show that close to 800 people were injured in worksite accidents in the third quarter of 2019. According to official figures, as many as 789 people were injured in worksite accidents. The statistics were revealed by the Social Insurance Organisation (SIO). The SIO revealed that the majority of the cases were from the private sector. Slip or fall was the most common reason for worksite accidents. Collision with machinery, injury caused by falling objects and cuts from tools are also listed as top reasons behind worksite injuries. The report which compiled data from both private and public sectors showed that a total of 583 cases of worksite injuries were reported in the second quarter of the year. The public sector saw 113 worksite injures 97 in the second quarter. The private sector saw 470 cases of worksite injuries. In the second quarter, the injuries were mostly from various accidents such as colliding with mobile devices, slipping and falling, carrying heavy objects, cuts by sharp objects, cuts by mechanical issues and sharp objects piercing the body. Over a thousand people were injured in worksite accidents in 2018. However, the Kingdom is on the right track when it comes to curbing the number of serious worksite accidents as the number of accidents that led to serious injuries or fatalities has reduced by more than 30 percent in recent years, the SIO observed.

Bahrain: Proposal for Underground Garbage Containers In the context of efforts made by the Northern Municipal Council to design plans and development programs towards future projects, a proposal was submitted to the Chairman of the Council Ahmed Al-Kooheji to activate the project of underground garbage containers. The Chairman of the Council stated that the proposal aims to improve the environmental situation, and concern for human health and the environment, especially in light of the Kingdom’s urban growth, as well as the plans towards the urban interface of the areas and villages of the northern municipality.

Gulf Insider March 2020


Money & Business

The Merchant House is a year old

Boutique hotelier, Gordon Campbell Gray, speaks to Gulf Insider on his one-year experience of doing business in Bahrain.


s the saying goes, “time flies”. It doesn’t seem so long ago when I first met up with Gordon Campbell Gray, the hotelier and entrepreneur behind The Merchant House and the founder of Campbell Gray Hotels, who currently also operate hotels in Scotland, Zurich, Beirut as well as Campbell Gray residences in Amman, Jordan. The Merchant House certainly has its


Gulf Insider March 2020

His vision for the hotel? His reply is instant; “to be full.” niche, a small and highly personalized luxury hotel in the heart of Manama. We sit down in relaxed style in the library area on the hotel’s mezzanine floor, Gordon laid back on a soft sofa

and me in a comfy armchair. Our conversation is equally relaxed. Gordon tells me of his love for the beautiful nature of Scotland, which is his home. But also about his love of travel, whether to London, Bahrain, or many other places that his work takes him. We get on to his business in Bahrain, namely The Merchant House. This is his 46 roomed luxury boutique hotel in downtown Manama. Converted from a large warehouse and retaining the harsh

Money & Business

“It only takes 40 customers for us to be happy”.

stone pillars that surprisingly add to the beauty of the property, its doors have been open to the public for a full year, and business is good. The typical reply when asking business leaders who are their competition is that they claim they have none. Of course this is rarely the case. Gordon has a very different reply when I ask him this – he says “everyone”. He tells me that one of the biggest challenges in the service industry is finding good staff, and how happy he is to have the team he has working at the hotel. He added that he has actually exceeded his legal quota for hiring Bahraini staff. He also speaks highly of the support he has received from the Bahrain government in setting up, and

we’re about seventy percent there”, is his reply, adding; “I might be in the restaurant and the atmosphere is wonderful. Then I notice an empty table and think there are people who still don’t know about this great property and if they did they’d be here also having a great time”. He tells me he is always listening in to guest comments and gets immense pleasure from overhearing people discuss his properties and say good things about them. Looking at the big picture of Bahrain’s tourism sector, he shares his concerns that there are many new hotels opening up while demand isn’t growing to match. Fortunately, he points out, The

the good custom he has received from many people who enjoy and regularly visit the hotel. So what is his vision for the hotel? His reply is instant; “to be full.” He elaborates, explaining that he wants more people to know about the hotel. “I’m not here to gouge the business to make lots of money, but to enjoy” he says. So is he achieving his vision? “I’d say

Merchant House is a niche hotel and unlike the big hotels that need large numbers of guests to justify themselves, “it only takes 40 customers for us to be happy”.

For more information visit, www.campbellgrayhotels.com/ merchant-house-bahrain/ Tel: 1667 1000

Gulf Insider March 2020


Money & Business

Dubai’s Real Estate Dilemma The days of booming property prices in Dubai are long gone. So what happens next?


prawling for miles in every direction from the dueling skyscrapers on the coast, villa communities have sprung up across the sandy interior, bringing with them schools, hospitals and shopping malls. Where the dunes once spilled into the Gulf, an eight-lane highway now connects the new developments with the established


Gulf Insider March 2020

neighborhoods. But five years into Dubai’s property funk, the emirate’s leadership is drawing the line. Work on a mega-airport, designed to be one of the world’s biggest, was put on hold. And in the most dramatic U-turn yet, Dubai’s ruler has created a committee, headed by his son, to balance out supply and demand in

the property market and ensure that state-owned developers don’t crowd out private builders. Some developers are already holding off on planned projects. Two of Dubai’s homegrown billionaires are now calling for a pause to new development. Khalaf Al Habtoor, who once added 1,600 hotel rooms to the city through one project, said the market is saturated.

Money & Business

“If this oversupply continues it will be a disaster,” Hussain Sajwani, chairman of Damac Properties PJSC, said in an interview. “The banking system will get affected and that’s something we can’t afford.” Much of the property glut is of the government’s own making, since it controls some of the emirate’s biggest developers. The state-linked firms, created to speed up construction, used cheap and often free land to compete for buyers. Some paid upfront without waiting for homes to be completed by depositing only 5% of the value. And excessively optimistic projections

The developers would benefit from cutting back on the supply because that would raise the prices in the long term.

of growth in Dubai’s population, which consists largely of foreigners, only fed the building boom. “The developers would benefit from cutting back on the supply because that would raise the prices in the long term,” Craig Plumb, head of Middle East research at broker JLL said. “So far they’ve chosen short-term interest by maintaining the cash flows even at the cost of lower prices.” Unsettled by chronic oversupply, property prices are down around 30% in the last five years. In 2018, Dubai’s economy had its weakest expansion in almost a decade.

The downturn is playing out in the market. Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index dropped more than any major gauge in the Middle East and North Africa on Tuesday. Emaar Properties PJSC was the biggest drag, falling 1.9% and trimming its gain for the year to less than 1%. With banks threatened by falling home prices and non-performing loans, Fitch Ratings estimates a “significant portion” of $23 billion in loans made to Dubai government-related companies maturing at the end of 2021 may need to be restructured.

Gulf Insider March 2020


Money & Business

The harder truth is that a solution for Dubai may be to look beyond real estate to fix what really ails its economy. Policy makers have already implemented reforms to residency laws to attract skilled workers and cut some fees to reduce costs for businesses.


Gulf Insider March 2020

Last month, the central bank of the United Arab Emirates proposed measures to keep lenders from what it called excessive exposure to real estate. Its governor told reporters the property supply needs to be controlled. For now, Dubai is counting on next year’s World Expo to boost its economy. But it’s less clear how the newly built infrastructure will be used once the sixmonth showcase is over. More than 30,000 homes will be completed this year alone, about double the annual demand, according to JLL. Meanwhile, retail and tourism -- equally vital to the lifeblood of Dubai’s economy -- are going through struggles of their own. “Real estate projects need to control their pace to bring added value to the national economy, to avoid becoming a burden and a source of imbalance in our economic journey,” Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said in an open letter in September. The question is if going in reverse gear is the right remedy. Land sales remain an important source of state revenue. And besides having to navigate competing interests among the city’s largest developers, authorities also risk wrong-footing firms unaccustomed to interference. Even as the real-estate planning

body recently held its first meeting with property executives and Land Department officials, doubts are only growing about its ability to dent the supply. “A limit can be set through tougher rules on development as a precondition to issuing permits, but direct interference sends the wrong message to investors,” said Ali Taqi, the head of equities at Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. in Dubai. The harder truth is that a solution for Dubai may be to look beyond real estate to fix what really ails its economy. Policy makers have already implemented reforms to residency laws to attract skilled workers and cut some fees to reduce costs for businesses. Lower property prices could also help the competitiveness of Dubai, one of the most expensive cities for expatriates. “Even if they slowed the construction, you have an excess of empty apartments and buildings,” said Garbis Iradian, chief economist for the Middle East, North Africa region at the Washington-based Institute of International Finance. “They should come up with new forces of growth such as innovation, technology, improving the human capital and attracting more qualified expats to come up with light manufacturing.”

News Roundup

Bahrain: Busaiteen Beach Walkway Inaugurated Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Development and Infrastructure Projects, has emphasised keenness on providing an infrastructure guaranteeing a secure and healthy environment for citizens and encouraging them to take up sports as a lifestyle. The Deputy Premier was speaking as he yesterday inaugurated Busaiteen Beach Walkway in conjunction with the Kingdom’s celebration of Bahrain Sports Day. He stressed the great importance accorded by the leadership to this sector, pointing out that the Cabinet’s decision to allocate a half workday on February 11 to enable public sector employees to take part in various sporting activities underlines keenness to boost the role of sport as a culture. It also reflects the government’s commitment to providing services and programmes aimed at promoting people’s health. The walkway, inaugurated by the Deputy Prime Minister, is considered as one of the strategic projects carried out by the Ministry of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning. The BD 2 million project extends over an area of 2 km and will include a public square, green spaces, family outlets, restaurants and other facilities, including a car park with 400-car capacity. Once it becomes fully operational, the project will contribute to promoting internal tourism and providing a new outlet for Bahraini families.

UAE: School Students Locked Up for Not Paying Fees Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is currently investigating an incident in a school where a number of students were reportedly locked up for not paying fees. The pupils were allegedly held in the gym of an international curriculum school on February 11, 2020. Dubai Police officials were called in but it remained unclear what exactly prompted the police action. An informed source said school authorities called the cops following aggressive behaviour displayed by parents on the campus. Authorities said they have gathered information from the students, parents and school administrators for further legal procedures.

Gulf Hotels Group B.S.C. financial results. The Gulf Hotels Group B.S.C. (GHG) announced its twelve-month financial results. The gross profit from hotel operations achieved in the year is BD 17.191 Million, compared to BD 15.048 Million last year, with an increase of 14.24%. With regards to YTD revenue, the company achieved revenue of BD 38.570 Million, compared to BD 35.111 Million last year, an increase of 9.9%. The Chairman, Mr. Farouk Almoayyed, announced that the board of directors have recommend 25% cash dividend to the shareholder annual general meeting. Mr. Almoayyed commented that the newly added business with initial years’ load, had affected the Group bottom line; nevertheless, those businesses will mature and make a positive contribution in the future. Mr. Almoayyed shed the light on numerous challenges impacting the hospitality industry in Bahrain and the region, which continues to face declining room rates from an oversupply of rooms. The full set of financial statements and the press release are available on Bahrain Bourse’s website under trading code (GHG).

Gulf Insider March 2020


People & Culture

When a Friend Becomes

an Enemy

Dr Maimoona Liaqat, Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant talks about the risks of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) during pregnancy.


roup B Streptococcus (GBS) is friendly bacteria that normally lives in our body and causes no harm. But there are chances of it being harmful to the newborn and needs to be treated if found. The Middle East colonisation rate is approximately 22% and in Bahrain, screening for GBS is not routinely offered to all pregnant women. GBS rarely causes serious infection for your baby, if your newborn develops signs of this infection, they should be treated with antibiotics straight away.


Gulf Insider March 2020

What is Group B streptococcus? Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacteria (bug) which is found in the vagina and rectum of 2 to 4 in 10 women (20–40%) in the UK. It is harmless and is not a sexually transmitted disease. Women who are GBS carriers usually do not develop any symptoms and the carrier status may also change over time.

of your pregnancy. The screening for GBS status is not 100 percent accurate.

What could GBS mean for your baby? Many babies come into contact with GBS during labour or around birth. Though most babies do not get infected, there is still a small chance that your baby will develop GBS infection which can even lead to death.

How is GBS detected?

What are the side effects of antibiotics?

GBS can be detected in swabs taken from the genital region at 35-37 weeks

There might be allergic reactions to some and only in rare cases the reaction

People & Culture

The launch of medical.bh - Bahrain's largest online medical appointments platform at The Gulf Hotel

Dr Maimoona Liaqat might be severe. Common side effects include nausea or diarrhea.

Would GBS carrier status affect future pregnancies? GBS carrier status may change over time. This means that GBS in your current pregnancy may not affect your future pregnancy. However, if your baby has been affected by GBS, prophylactic antibiotics should be given to you during labour for your subsequent pregnancies.

What are complications of maternal GBS colonisation on babies who undergo vaginal delivery? Preterm babies are the most affected. GBS infection occurs mostly in the form of pneumonia (infection of the lung), or meningitis (infection of the lining of spinal cord). In a small number of cases, GBS infection can be severe and life-threatening.

What happens if GBS is detected in your current pregnancy? If you are found to carry GBS, treating you with antibiotics before your labour does not reduce the chance of your baby developing GBS infection. You do not need antibiotic treatment until labour starts and these antibiotics reduce the risk of your baby developing a GBS infection in their first week of life.

Can you still breastfeed if found to be a carrier of GBS? Yes, you can. There is no evidence to show an increased risk of GBS transmission to babies via breastfeeding.

For more information, visit www.mehospital.com or call +973 1736 2233 Gulf Insider March 2020



Transforming Education in the GCC and MENA D3 Consultants partners with the New Nordic School to make a positive difference in the learning journey of students.


3 Consultants based in Bahrain and operating in GCC and MENA has partnered up with The New Nordic School, based in Finland, to fortify their vision of transforming education in the GCC and MENA region. The partnership event was attended by Ms. Rima Al Kaissi, Managing Partner of D3 Consultants, Mr. Mohanned AlAnni, Managing Director and CEO at D3 Consultants, Pia Jormalainen, CEO and Co-Founder of New Nordic School, and Stephen Cox, Chief Education Officer of New Nordic School. This partnership is geared to providing existing K-12 schools and early childhood kindergartens as well as new schools with the best practices of the Finnish educational system through the Nordic Baccalaureate curriculum, professional development, and improvement of quality standards of all services provided by schools. “This agreement strengthens the position of Bahrain in educational reforms and it shows how Bahrain is leading the effective academic development among GCC,” said Mohanned AlAnni, Managing Director and CEO at D3 Consultants. “We aim to motivate students of all ages to benefit from extraordinary learning, driven by curiosity and challenge, inspiring passion and confidence,” said Rima Kaissi, Managing Partner at D3 Consultants. Mrs. Pia Jormalainen, CEO and Co-founder of New Nordic School, expressed her happiness with this partnership, which in turn aims to transfer the successful and distinguished reputation of the Finnish educational system to have a global impact. 38

Gulf Insider March 2020

Ms. Rima Al Kaissi, Managing Partner of D3 Consultants, Honorable Ms. Marianne Nissilä, Finnish Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, and Stephen Cox, Chief Education Officer of New Nordic School at the partnership ceremony in Dubai.

“This agreement strengthens the position of Bahrain in educational reforms and it shows how Bahrain is leading the effective academic development among GCC,”

Mr. Stephen Cox, Chief Education Officer at New Nordic School added, “We understand the challenges associated with improving the quality of the education in the region and we recognize the need to establish strong local partnerships with those who have presence on the ground.” The partnership aims at providing schools who are using different curricula across the GCC and MENA region with the necessary support to build capacity and sustain improvements through effective implementation services that develop collaboration, trust, and continuous improvement.

For more information, visit website www.d3consultants.net or call +973 17 551 662.

News Roundup

Fifth Edition of Bahrain Food Festival Launched As part of its efforts to launch an exciting calendar of events to further develop the Kingdom of Bahrain’s tourism sector, highlighting the milestone title of Manama as the “Capital of Arab Tourism 2020”, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) launched the 5th edition of Bahrain Food Festival on 20 February 2020. The Festival will be held over two periods, with the first taking place until February 29th, and the second from March 5th to March 14th at Bahrain Bay. With more than 200 participating food vendors split across two periods, the festival will offer a variety of F&B options, and feature a creative and diverse selection of vendors, ranging from healthy and organic food to street food and gastronomic delicacies; and will also include fun activities and entertainment suitable for the whole family. This year’s edition is especially distinguished since it will be held in an even large space which will be divided into several sections. The food festival, which will take place every Sunday to Wednesday from 4 pm to 11 pm and Thursday to Saturday from 4 pm to 12 am; will also feature a long line of entertainment, including a children’s educational play area, Candy Land, a traditional village which will offer local food and live cooking stations, fun competitions, musical performances totaling to more than 150 live acts on stage throughout the duration of the festival.

The final round of 2020 Race to Augusta Golf Tournament held at The Royal Golf Club

Gulf Insider March 2020



Reclaiming Bahrain’s real estate sector


s Bahrain presses ahead with economic diversification, one key nonoil sector of the economy is the real estate sector. You don’t need to have been here for very long to be aware of the momentous development in Bahrain’s real estate sector, from signature commercial developments like the iconic Bahrain World Trade Center to the significant and ongoing investment in residential developments like Durrat al Bahrain to the south of the island and Amwaj to the north-east. The establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) back in 2018 was an important sign of the government’s intention to professionalise the sector, align it with international leading practice and increase transparency. With an aim of delivering effective and fair regulation across the real estate sector and


Gulf Insider March 2020

RERA’s vision is - according to its website – to make Bahrain “the premier destination for real estate investment both regionally and globally”. promoting investment and economic growth in the kingdom, RERA’s vision is - according to its website – to make Bahrain “the premier destination for real estate investment both regionally and globally”. RERA’s success is in everybody’s

interest – because almost all of us have some kind of a stake in real estate – whether as homeowners or apartment renters, investors or developers, property managers or engineers, lawyers or building contractors. What is happening in the sector has a direct impact on quality of life, investor confidence and ongoing investment. Dubai’s real estate model - carve out a space in the desert or reclaim land from the sea; build bigger, better, more luxurious residences; offer top-class amenities; and sit back as wealthy expatriates snap them up – no longer seems to be working as well as it did and that may have given some stakeholders here pause. Bahrain’s real estate market has its own strengths and weaknesses. A well-developed banking and financial sector, offering high-paying jobs to both nationals and expatriates, has helped establish an organic market for


real estate, on top of ongoing demand from Saudi citizens and residents keen to have a weekend property that offers access to a more liberal social environment. Ongoing support – both financial and otherwise - from other GCC states is helping to fund infrastructure developments, including Bahrain’s light rail system and a second causeway to Saudi Arabia. RERA’s introduction, in tandem with the new development law and the use of escrow accounts, is improving the regulatory

A well-developed banking and financial sector, offering highpaying jobs to both nationals and expatriates, has helped establish an organic market for real estate

infrastructure and aligning Bahrain with global leading practice. Nevertheless, there are issues in certain areas. Certain sectors such as offices and residential apartments are currently oversupplied with extra capacity continuing to come online despite high vacancy rates and low rents. Some high-profile projects have failed. Higher utility bills are impacting rental markets. Threats - including an extended slowdown in construction, potential labour shortages, the postponement of real estate projects and volatility in the oil price – could further hamper efforts to grow the sector. However, these issues are clearly understood by regulators and the market. There is little value in simply sticking your head in the (reclaimed) sand. Infrastructure developments – not least the opportunities offered by

the new airport terminal (with a soft opening now promised for March) and the second causeway – should positively impact demand for both commercial and residential property. Ongoing changes in Saudi Arabia, the source of much of the demand for Bahrain real estate, are aimed at growing Saudi’s private sector. Bahrain has the social infrastructure, not just hotels and restaurants but also high-profile schools, hospitals and universities – that an emerging middle-class aspires to. Bahrain also offers a level of financial sophistication – including conventional and Islamic real estate investment trusts (REITs) – that savvy investors increasingly expect. RERA-licenced propriety management, valuation, owner association management and real estate brokerage services are boosting levels of trust. As stakeholders across the real estate market – including professional firms like Basic Lines but also RERA and other government bodies as well as local and regional companies, financial institutions and high networth individuals – proactively work together, indications are that increased professionalism and transparency are going to make investing in Bahrain’s real estate sector an increasingly sensible choice.

Wajdi Al Jallad is the managing director of Basic Lines, a real estate advisory transactions firm established by Keypoint. RERA-licensed, Basic Lines offers a range of real estate services, including owners’ association management services, valuations, highest and best use studies and feasibility studies. All views expressed in this article are his own. For more, please visit basiclines.com or connect with us on LinkedIn Gulf Insider March 2020


News Roundup

Bahrain’s Renowned “Kuwaiti Building” is No More The renowned “Kuwaiti Building” in the center of Manama was demolished after a judicial dispute for more than 10 years between the Ministry of Municipalities and the owners. Details indicate that the head of the Capital Municipality Council, Saleh Tarada, noted that the demolition decision came as the court issued a ruling in favour of the municipalities to compel the owner to demolish the building, and the Capital Secretariat subsequently issued a tender for technical advice to determine the most appropriate demolition mechanism for the building, and documents were prepared to offer a demolition tender. The cost of demolition was estimated at around BD24,000 and the budgetary provision will be followed up by the Ministry of Municipalities, while a claim will be filed to collect all amounts of demolition and removal process from the owner after the completion of the work according to the approved legal procedures.

Bahrain: Telecom Firm Accused of “Identity Theft” A leading telecom firm in the Kingdom is accused of violating the privacy of customers as it is allegedly offering ring back tone advertisements replacing standard acoustic signal. Many customers have urged the telecom regulator in the Kingdom to look into this violation of norms. The customers claim that the firm is invading their private space and that also “without their consent”. A customer said he is not against the ring back tone service advertisements but it should be offered only after obtaining his consent. “I am an Indian national who hails from the state of Tamil Nadu. And they are offering options to set Tamil songs as ring back tones to those who call me. This means they have probed into my identity without my consent, which is nothing but identity theft.”

Bahrain: 300 Expats to be Terminated from Government It is learnt that no expatriates have been hired by the Ministry of Education in the past two years. According to ministry sources, the ministry stopped the recruitment of expatriates to increase the recruitment of Bahrainis. “The ministry has terminated the contracts of 370 expatriates in recent years while 900 Bahrainis have been employed in the same period,” a ministry official said. Meanwhile, the official also confirmed that 300 foreign employees from various government entities will not have their contract renewed and will be free to leave while Bahrainis will be chosen to take their posts. More than a year ago, a document circulated online sparked controversy after it showed that the Ministry of Education was recruiting 40 teachers from Egypt. The matter stirred a debate on local social media networks, as Education Ministry repeatedly announced in the past few years that it strives to Bahrainise jobs in public educational institutions and reduce the numbers of unemployed Bahraini teachers.


Gulf Insider March 2020

News Roundup

Nurse Followed and Brutally Attacked in Bahrain

Bahraini Compensated BD5004 for Being Terminated A private company was ordered to pay over BD5,000 to a Bahraini employee who was arbitrarily sacked from his job by the company. This was announced by the Labour Court, which issued its verdict in the case after the employee lodged a complaint last year claiming that he was fired from his job for no valid reason. The details of the case showed that the plaintiff had joined the company as a salesman in September 2018. It was also proven that the company had repeatedly requested extra services, which were not mentioned in the work contract, from the employee. The lawyer said the company gave the employee only a notice of 10 days to leave, and she added that the termination decision came a few days after he requested to be compensated for the extra work he did. The lawyer demanded the company in the court to pay her client a compensation of BD5,400, but the judges ordered for compensation worth BD5,004 after deliberating the case for a couple of weeks.

A video of a nurse being tackled and mugged went viral on 19th February prompting cause for major concern in Bahrain. Making its round on WhatsApp and Facebook, the video showed a hospital nurse walking and being followed by a man who strangled her and pushed her to the ground. The woman was brutally punched, picked up and thrown to the ground again. The attacker ran away when people started noticing. The incident is said to have happened near the St Mary’s Indian Orthodox Cathedral in Salmaniya. The incident was recorded on a CCTV camera. The Criminal Investigation Police, in cooperation with the Capital Police Directorate, managed to arrest the attacker, who is a 29-year-old expat. According to sources, reasons for the dispute were financial as the attacker lent the nurse an amount of money and she avoided him for a long time. Concerned authorities assured that necessary legal procedures have been taken and that the case has been referred to the Public Prosecution.

Significant Decrease in Bahrain’s Value of Imports Bahrain’s value of imports decreased by 11 percent, reaching BD4.984 billion ($13.22 billion) during 2019, compared to BD5.594 billion ($14.841 billion) for the previous year, said data from Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA). The top 10 countries accounted for 68 per cent of the value of imports, with the remaining countries accounting for just 32 per cent, said the foreign trade report by iGA for the year 2019, encompassing data on the balance of trade, imports, exports (national origin), and re-exports. According to the report, China ranked first when it came to imports to Bahrain, with a total of BD777 million ($2.061 billion), Australia was second with BD352 million ($933.8 million), and the UAE was third with BD349 million ($925.9 million). Non-agglomerated iron ores and concentrates emerged as the top product imported into Bahrain with a total value of BD380 million ($1.008 billion), while aluminium oxide was second with BD340 million ($902.06 million), and four-wheel drive cars third with BD206 million ($546.5 million). Gulf Insider March 2020


News Roundup

Bahrain: New Airport Terminal Opens in March “The new passengers’ terminal at the Bahrain International Airport (BIA) will be opened according to its scheduled date which is this March,” officials revealed. The officials who preferred not to be named assured that there would be no delays on the date set for opening it and concerned authorities are currently determining the requirements for starting the operation phase scheduled during the first quarter of this year. The sources confirmed that the trial period had started after the announcement, last December, to coordinate between all the concerned authorities represented in the national committee to prepare for the operation of the new passenger terminal. The national committee, they noted, includes all strategic partners at the Bahrain International Airport and representatives of the public and private sectors.

Rape Attempt – GCC National Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison The High Criminal Court has sentenced an 18-year-old GCC national to 15 years in prison after he attempted to rape an Asian woman which led to her death. It’s said that the woman tried to escape from the man’s grip by jumping from the building in which she was living. Details of the case reveal that the defendant harassed the woman on many occasions, but he, on the day of the incident, decided to rape her after getting drunk. It’s said that he harassed her and threatened her with a hammer to go to her room in a bid to have sex with her. However, she tried to run away and she headed to the roof of the building. She attempted to jump to the next building, but she fell down from a huge height and was declared dead on the spot, according to Prosecutors. The High Criminal Court stated in its ruling that the defendant was given a light sentence considering his young age. He has already admitted to committing the crime.


Gulf Insider March 2020

Bahrain: Expat Sentenced Over “BD4 Dispute” The Supreme Criminal Court of Appeal has upheld the three-month imprisonment sentence issued against an expat who joined another convict in assaulting a man and causing a five percent permanent disability to him over an unpaid BD4 transportation fee. The man appealed against the verdict issued against him by the First High Criminal Court in October, pleading not guilty. However, the court had ordered to permanently deport the defendant after he serves his sentence. As reported earlier, the incident took place on April 25, 2017, when the pair agreed to transport their victim from his home in Manama to his workplace in Muharraq and vice versa in return of BD4. They apparently demanded him to double the amount without pre-agreement and when he rejected, they attacked him and broke his nose. According to court files, an ear and nose specialist revealed in the medical report after examining the victim that he suffered deviated septum and inflation in the nostrils, stating that his disability is permanent and is estimated at five percent. “Once I told them I am not going to pay you extra money, they immediately attacked me. They punched me in the face and then escaped, leaving bleeding on the road,” the victim told prosecutors earlier. Last October, the First High Court sentenced the first defendant in absentia to five years imprisonment for assault and his accomplice, the appellant, received a three months imprisonment sentence for assisting the first defendant in the crime.

Car News & Reviews

Rolls Royce Wraith

Audi RS Q3 Sportback

Audi Weekend in Dubai

Ferrari Club Challenge

Car Bahrain

The Ultimate Luxury

Sports Car?

Gulf Insider drives Rolls-Royce’s most powerful car


he Wraith is the most powerful car ever to be built by Rolls Royce, and is the closest thing to a sports car that the company has ever

produced. Its power comes from a big 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12, which produces 590lb ft and 624bhp. Rolls-Royce refuse to disclose any of their vehicles performance figures. Instead they traditionally describe a car’s


Gulf Insider March 2020

performance as being “adequate”. That said, the Wraith is sufficiently powerful to propel itself from zero to 100 kph in just 4.4 seconds – which is similar to an Audi RS4 - despite a massive kerb weight of 2435kg. Inside, beautiful wood paneling runs throughout and looks no different to that you’d find in a superyacht. The car’s other instruments further conform to a nautical style. In addition to lots of wood, there’s lots of leathers, and

the leathers used in a Rolls-Royce are reputed as being the softest that money can buy – and they are. The lambswool carpet mats are the most pleasing on the feet as is possible to be. If you ever get into any Rolls Royce, take off your shoes and feel this for yourself. The rear-hinged ‘coach’ doors feel surprisingly light as you swing them open, and can be closed by the press of a button.

Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain Bay

Car Bahrain

Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

The Wraith is sufficiently powerful to propel itself from zero to 100 kph in just 4.4 seconds

But, don’t be misled by this car’s traditional and luxurious style; all the best and latest technology is used, and often either hidden or ‘enhanced’. For example, a 10.3in high-definition multimedia display is hidden behind a sliding wood panel, and the iDrivestyle rotary controller is enhanced by being made from crystal cut glass and decorated with a tribute to the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. The voice control system can be used to control the navigation, telephone and audio systems. Seldom do you need to repeat a command. All luxury cars built today are to some degree works of art, focusing on form as much as function. The more expensive they are, the more this is the case. Therefore, you shouldn’t be

Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

surprised to know that Rolls Royce’s are the motoring equivalent of driving an exclusive art gallery. Having this car for a few hours to drive around Bahrain was an amazing experience. Its power is awesome and yet so very smooth. Its ride is amazingly comfortable. The particular colour for this Wraith was haunting. It was supposedly some shade of blue, but in the light appeared often to be blends of either purple or mauve. Driving the Wraith certainly got me noticed, and when I visited a hotel the valets acted around me as if I were royalty.

For more information on the Rolls Royce Wraith, visit euromotors.com.bh, or call +973 17 754 754

Gulf Insider March 2020


Bahrain Car News Bahrain: Car Parking Cause Road Blocks The phenomenon of blocking inner roads and tight neighborhoods by cars in residential areas is spreading and has become a bad habit. Pictures taken from various areas in Bahrain show narrow paths in residential neighborhoods blocked by cars. Asking about the reasons for that quickspreading phenomenon, residents of the area said that it varied between the scarcity of parking, the increase of urban areas, population density, and laziness. They explained that some were lazy enough to park in spacious car parking available in the same area but a bit far away from the residential buildings. They added that most residents prefer to park near their buildings even in the wrong way out of laziness. One resident said that many residents avoid filing complaints against violators to the concerned authorities in order to prevent rivalry and fights. Therefore, he noted, there must be traffic patrols in residential areas to control and solve this phenomenon and to preserve the right of citizens and residents to use the public street, Citizen Abdullah Al-Shomali told that this chaos existed because of the absence of supervision and the refusal of residents to submit file complaints to concerned authorities. He encouraged all to file complaints describing that as required to preserve the general right and to prevent the spread of the chaos.

Bahrain: Massive Decrease in Traffic Violations High awareness of road users about wrong traffic behaviour led to a 60% decrease in traffic violations,” stated Head of Traffic Awareness Division at the General Directorate of Traffic, Captain Abdullah Khalid Al-Moaili. Al-Moaili assured that this percentage was concluded after comparing statistics of the previous two years. He confirmed that statistics showed a decrease in traffic violations in general and in exceeding the speed limits in particular. Al-Moalil also stressed the importance of not taking pictures of accidents nor the injured in accidents. He explained that these wrongdoings were punishable by the law and might lead to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months and a fine not exceeding BD50.

Bahrain: New Cameras in AmwajDiyar Al Muharraq Highway “Two speed control cameras will be installed soon on Street 65, known as Amwaj-Diyar Al-Muharraq highway,” Brigadier Shaikh Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, the Director-General of the General Directorate of Traffic said. This came in his reply to Muharraq Municipal Council’s request to install speed cameras along Street 65, from the intersection of Amwaj Islands to Diyar Al-Muharraq. Brigadier Shaikh Abdulrahman Al Khalifa noted that the two cameras will be dedicated to controlling violations of exceeding the speed limits or the red light in the mentioned area. The General Directorate of Traffic assured that traffic patrols will be provided to visit the site at intervals, in addition to working to monitor traffic violations on the violating vehicles.


Gulf Insider March 2020

Car Bahrain

Bahrain: Proposal to Increase Penalty for Parking Violations Member of Parliament, Masooma Abdulrahim and MP Ahmed Al-Ansari submitted a proposal by law to amend Article 45 of Decree Law No. 23 of 2014 regarding the traffic law. The proposed law includes increasing the penalty on violating handicapped “parking” from 20 dinars to a fine that starts from 400 dinars, and not exceeding 500 dinars. Article 1 of the proposal by law stipulates that condition No. 23 be removed and a final paragraph be added to Article 45 of Decree Law No. 23 of 2014 regarding the traffic law stating the following: “In the event of violating handicapped designated parking by others, violators shall be punished with a fine of not less than 400 dinars and not more than 500 dinars.

Kuwait: Expat Students & Nurses Prohibited from Driving To solve traffic congestion problems in Kuwait, the Ministry of Interior, the Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic and Operations Affairs Major-General Jamal Al-Sayegh issued a decision prohibiting the issuance of driving license to expat students and nurses. This decision came as part of several steps of the General Traffic Department to reduce traffic congestion, which has become a problem that affects anyone driving a car in Kuwait, pointing out that the renewal of licenses for expat students is ongoing and has not been modified. Al-Sayegh explained that expat students who received the driver’s form and did not complete the procedures for issuing the driver’s license, are not covered by the prohibition decision, as long as he/ she receives the driver’s form. As for Bedouins, issuing or renewing the driver’s license is related to the validity of the security card.

Bahrain to Have “Mobile Fuel Stations” This Year “The authority is working to raise the number of fuel stations operating in Bahrain from about 48 to about 80 within the next three years,” said Mr Jassim Al-Shirawi, the Acting Executive Vice President of Production and Petroleum Industries at the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA). He added that NOGA had a program to develop existing fuel stations to keep pace with developments to include rebuilding old stations. Al-Shirawi expected that “mobile fuel stations” will be delivered and activated in the middle of this year. He noted that “mobile fuel stations” will bridge the shortage if stations are closed for maintenance. Al-Shirawi’s statements came on the sidelines of the official opening of the Al-Sayah Refueling Station in Busaiteen which was patronized by the CEO of NOGA, Nasser Sultan AlSuwaidi. NOGA CEO assured that opening new fuel stations came in accordance with the NOGA’s strategy to increase the number of fuel stations in all governorates in order to develop and improve oil services in the Kingdom. Gulf Insider March 2020


Car Bahrain

A weekend in Dubai

with Audi

Gulf Insider visits the Dubai 24 Hour Race, only for it to be rained off!


ast month we were invited to Dubai by Audi Middle East for a weekend of racing, namely to experience the Dubai 24 hour race - a sports and touring car endurance competition held annually at the Dubai Autodrome, and that happens to be the world’s longest endurance racing series. Unfortunately, though it rarely rains in Dubai, when it does rain it pours. Seven hours into the race the event had to be called off because the rains were just too heavy, making things dangerous for the race drivers. In fact it was some


Gulf Insider March 2020

of the heaviest rain I’d ever seen in the region, which is such bad luck. After months of wonderful Dubai winter weather, the first day of the race we are hit with extreme heavy rain which eventually turned into flooding! This was a pity, but it didn’t totally spoil the weekend. It may have been raining too much to race on the circuit, but it was still just about okay to drive on the roads. So, Audi had some of their very latest model range available for us motoring journos to drive and experience. Therefore, we were all able to enjoy

a fairly informal weekend, based from our hotel at Park Inn Motor City, being able to pick up the keys for one of Audi’s beautiful new cars, take it for as long a spin as we felt liked, and then return it and swap the keys for another vehicle. In total I drove four cars whilst I was in Dubai…

Audi RS5 Sportback I flew down to Dubai a few days prior to the event as I had some business and errands in town. This meant I got 2 full

Car Bahrain

Audi RS5 Sportback Starting Price: BD 36,000

Audi Q3 Starting Price: BD16,000

Audi Q8 Starting Price: BD 33,000

Audi S8 Starting Price: BD 60,000

solid days blasting this rapid car around town. It never ceases to amaze me quite how much the RS/Dynamic driver mode of the RS cars transforms the car into such a sporty machine. Under the hood is a 2.9 litre V6 biturbo engine kicking out 450 horsepower.

Audi Q3 I had the Q3 in turbo blue, a colour that gets good attention. It’s a compact SUV with superb everyday utility and plenty of comfort. It looks sporty and has a stylish modern interior. The entry-

level comes with a 1.4 TFSI engine with 110 kW (150 hp) and 250 Nm(184.4 lb-ft) of torque.

Audi Q8 It was great to get behind the wheel of the standard Q8 again after recently testing the RS Q8 in Tenerife. Whilst it doesn’t have the RS badge and performance, it still packs a 3.0 TFSI quattro engine. The Audi Q8 combines the best of two worlds – the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe and the convenient versatility of a large SUV.

Audi S8 The car I was the most impressed with over the weekend. I’d best describe the new S8 as a missile when it comes to performance combined with total and ultimate luxury and elegance inside the car. Under the bonnet is a monster 4.0 TFSI biturbo V8 highperformance engine that does 0-100kph in 3.8, with a top speed of 250km/h.

For more information, visit www.audi-bahrain.com or call 1745 9933

Gulf Insider March 2020


Car Bahrain

Audi RS Q3 Sportback in Arvidsjaur, Sweden

Charlie Cooksey flies to the Arctic to test the new Audi RS Q3 Sportback on a frozen lake!


o really test a cars’ capability, handling and power – it’s vital to have a great location and roads to drive it. In early February I trekked to a very foreign environment to test a new car; the arctic. I was invited by Audi Middle East for the international launch and drive of the all new Audi RS Q3 Sportback in Arvidsjaur, Sweden… aka Narnia! It’s the land of the northern


Gulf Insider March 2020

lights, elks, reindeer and of course the land of innovative automotive testing. After an overnight stay in Stockholm we took a chartered flight way up into the north of Sweden, it was fascinating watching out of the plane window the terrain change from greenery to a blanket of white within 90 minutes. It was so picturesque and quite a shock to the system to step out into -15 degrees Celsius.

Not long after checking into our comfortable abode for the night and a quick briefing, it was out into the ice world to pick our ride for the day. Of course, I fought my way to get my hands on the Kyalami Green RS Q3 Sportback. Without hanging around, I set off for an adventure into Arvidsjaur. I was immediately impressed with how responsive the car is, and how well it handled in the snowy terrain. I’d never

Car Bahrain

Audi RS Q3 Sportback is equipped with the multi award-winning 5 cylinder engine that produces a whopping 400 horsepower.

driven in conditions like it, so I began a little cautious (and nervous), but it didn’t take long to get a feel for how the car and the quattro system handles. My confidence grew, and I started to have some fun.

So why go for the RS badged Q3 rather than the standard Q3? For starters, there’s no lack of power in the RS Q3 Sportback, for a small sporty compact SUV it’s bursting at the seams with power and technology. It’s equipped with the multi awardwinning 5 cylinder engine that produces a whopping 400 horsepower (which is 60 extra horses compared to its predecessor and 26kg lighter engine) and it does 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 280kph. How about them apples?! Audi are setting new standards when it comes to sporty design in their RS range. The new RS Q3 Sportback an aggressive front and sits 10mm lower than the normal Q3, has the mean-looking gloss black honeycomb structure grill, RS bumper with large side air inlets with striking boomerangshaped blades which are exclusively designed for the RS Q3 Sportback. At the rear, there’s big improvements from the first-ever RS Q3 Sportback from 2013 in exterior design. I struggle to take sporty SUV’s seriously if they have just one exhaust – which was the case with the first generation, but the new generation comes with a dualbranch RS exhaust system with chunky oval tailpipes on both sides. It sounds great too. The interior of the car mirrors the athletic look of the exterior. It has the RS sport seats with the honeycomb Gulf Insider March 2020


Car Bahrain

What’s more, you learn so much about the car and in this case – the quattro technology. It was incredible to feel how the car handles with the traction switched off. It took several laps of practicing and some laps with one of the Audi driving experts who taught me a few tricks in handling on ice and before I knew it I’d really gotten the hang of it. I did get a bit too big for my boots on two occasions and landed into a heap of snow (see image). Whilst it’s packed with performance, the new RS Q3 Sportback is a fully fledged five-seater that offers everyday usability. When the car is in its ‘comfort’ mode, it drives smooth and effortlessly. And for its size, it would be a sound SUV for either a small family or an individual.

For more information, visit www.audi-bahrain.com or call +973 17 459 933

Alternative options: BMW X4M

pattern, RS sport leather steering wheel with shift paddles and a large userfriendly MMI touch display which is tilted toward the driver. There’s been no compromise on comfort or space and my body gripped well to the seats at high speeds and sharp corners. The second day of driving was even better than the first as we took the cars on a frozen lake. This is where the real fun was at. In fact, this was the most excitement I’d ever had testing a car, even more so than on a track. 54

Gulf Insider March 2020

Whilst it’s packed with performance, the new RS Q3 Sportback is a fully fledged five-seater that offers everyday usability.

Starting Price BD 39,350

Range Rover Evoque Starting Price BD 23,000 Porsche Macan S Starting Price BD 29,300

Car Society

Motorcity Launches the New SsangYong Korando

Euro Motors hosts the launch of the first ever BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe at Euro Motors Showroom, Sitra

Motorcity has launched the all-new Korando, the 4th generation SUV that comes with an overall new look and latest safety and tech features. The new Korando comes with a distinctive new grille and headlight treatment at the front. It is also longer, wider and lower than its predecessor and is available in a 1.5 litre turbo engine for the Bahrain market with the company announcing plans for an electrified version next year. Starting at BD 7,700, Motorcity is having an offer on registration, insurance and window tinting, along with 3 years service package and a 10-year warranty. The Korando and the rest of the SsangYong range are now available at the Motorcity showroom in Sanad.

For more information, visit the website Motorcity.com.bh, or call the showroom on +973 17621162.

The Bahrain based lifestyle and luxury magazine for both Arab and Expats. Online edition at www.Bahrain-Confidential.com

207 The Best in Bahrain



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Gulf Insider March 2020

The Best in Bahrain

Looking to buy a new car in Bahrain? AUDI A8 Audi e-tron


Jeep Wrangler

BMW 8 Series

Jeep Grand Cherokee

BMW X3 and X4 M

Camp Jeep

BMW M4 CS Lamborghini Huracan Evo Chevrolet Silverado

Lamborghini Urus

Dodge Challenger

Mercedes Benz A – Class

Audi Q8 Audi’s new RS 6 Avant Audi Q7

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan 2020

Bentley Bentayga V8

Mercedes AMG GLE 43

Bentley Continental GT

Mercedes GLE 450

Bentley Flying Spur 2020

Ferrari 488 GTB Ferrari Portofino Ferrari F8 Tributo

BMW 3 Series BMW 7 Series

Renault Duster Rolls-Royce Cullinan Rolls Royce Cullinan Subaru WRX STI Subaru XV

MG HS and RX8 2020 MINI Countryman Cooper S ALL4

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Genesis G70

Volvo S90 Volvo S60 R

Nissan Maxima SR

Universo Ferrari Event

BMW X3 and X4 M BMW X2 M Sport

Ram 1500

Ferrari 812 Superfast Ferrari GTC4 Lusso

BMW 5 Series

Porsche 911

Porsche Macan

Hyundai Sonata

Porsche Cayenne

Hyundai Palisade

Porsche Panamera GTS

Volvo XC 40 Volvo V40 Cross Country Volvo XC90

Read our Bahrain Test Reviews Online (Scan the QR Code for the Reviews) Gulf Insider March 2020


Car Bahrain

Photo of the Month RED HOT

The 2020 Subaru WRX STI pictured outside Bushido in Seef area. Read our review of this 341 horsepower rocket in our April issue. Got some cool car photos we can feature? Send them our way! Editorial@gulf-insider.com

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Gulf Insider March 2020


Car Bahrain

The New Volvo XC90 With 7 seats With its amazing attention to detail, the Volvo XC90 has redefined the luxury SUV with cutting-edge technology and effortless Scandinavian design. Discover the perfect blend of driving pleasure and performance at the Motorcity showroom. 10 YEARS/UNLIMITED KMS WARRANTY

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