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Vol 1 2017

TAWASOL AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Newsletter ‘Connecting’ U.S. & U.A.E. Business

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Cleveland Clinic, ranked as the #1 heart hospital in the US for 21 consecutive years, is now available in Abu Dhabi. The Heart & Vascular Institute specializes in cardiology, vascular medicine and cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery.

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ABOUT AMCHAM ABU DHABI AmCham Abu Dhabi, the trademark of the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi, is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce. AmCham Abu Dhabi’s vision is to be an innovative organization creating trusted commercial partnerships that broaden U.S. - U.A.E. relationships. The mission is to promote commerce, investment and goodwill between the United States of America, the membership, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

CONTENT AmCham Abu Dhabi Board of Directors.....................................................


Features Member Focus: Interview with Platinum Member Wesley Covell........................................................................................................


Highlights Happy New Year 2017 from AmCham Abu Dhabi and Thank You for Your Support!.........................................................................................................


AmCham Abu Dhabi holds 8th Annual Roundtable Summit with Addresses by U.S. and U.A.E Government Officials and Industry Leaders.....................................................................................................................


AmCham Abu Dhabi is an independent, notfor-profit association comprised of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium size companies and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. AmCham provides a uniquely situated platform through which executives pursue and discuss issues impacting business operations between the U.S. and U.A.E.

AmCham Abu Dhabi hosts ADIPEC Kick-off Breakfast featuring the COO of Dolphin Energy......................................................................................


A Post U.S. Election Analysis by AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Lobby Firm Williams & Jensen...........................................................................................................


A Legal Update by John P. McGowan Jr., Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi Legal Affairs Committee.................................................................................


AmCham Abu Dhabi Launches Mobile Application for its Membership........................................................................................................................


The Board of Directors is elected annually by members and includes four officers and 11 members at large. The Chairman of the Board is the spokesperson for the membership. AmCham Abu Dhabi is managed by an Executive Director and professional staff.



New Platinum and Corporate Members........................................................


New Individual Members.....................................................................................


Events Events Gallery..........................................................................................................


Upcoming Events and Sponsorship Opportunities...................................


Theresa F. Weber Executive Director Christina Struller Membership and Events Director Christina Villaluz Accounting and Membership Manager Muhammed Ali Office Administrator Zenaida Carpio Events Coordinator Karim Damerje Communications Coordinator Rose Ann Laurel Administrative Coordinator TAWASOL - VOL 1 2017

TAWASOL - VOL 1 2017 Newsletter Editor Communications Coordinator - Karim Damerje Editorial Submissions: AmCham Abu Dhabi Trademark of the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi P.O. Box 43710, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. T: +971 2 631 3604 F: +971 2 633 0489 E: W: Copyright 2017 - AmCham Abu Dhabi





Sharief Fahmy

Christopher Davis

Peter Rafferty


Vice Chairman,

Treasurer, AmCham Abu Dhabi


AmCham Abu Dhabi

AmCham Abu Dhabi

Senior Fund Manager

AmCham Abu Dhabi

Chief Executive Officer

Country Leader and President

Abu Dhabi Investment

Legal Counsel and Founder

Middle East General Enterprises

Raytheon International Inc., U.A.E.

Authority (ADIA)

JPM Legal Advisors Worldwide Ltd.

John P. McGowan Jr.


Khuloud Al Nuwais

Nasser Al Osaiba

Sana Bagersh

Peter Christensen

Chief Sustainability Officer

Managing Partner, Abu Dhabi

CEO and Managing Director

Associate Vice Chancellor,

Emirates Foundation

Global Advocacy and


Legal Counsel

Wesley Covell

Robert S. Harward,

Tomislav Mihaljevic

Vice President and

Chief Executive, U.A.E.

Chief Executive Officer

Managing Director

Managing Director

Lockheed Martin Global Inc.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Government Affairs and Policy

Harris Corporation


Finance & Planning and CFO New York University Abu Dhabi

Timothy J. Richards

General Electric

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Dareen Zoughbi

Elias Sayah

Maurice Wingo


Director Marketing &

Founder and CEO

Sayah Engineering MENA


Nadereen Consultancy

Dolphin Energy as Occidental Petroleum Senior Representative


Dao M. Le

Theresa F. Weber

Regional Senior Commercial Officer

Executive Director

for the Gulf and Counselor for

AmCham Abu Dhabi

Commercial Affairs U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi


Honorable Barbara A. Leaf

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H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba

Ambassador of the

Ambassador of the

United States of America to the

United Arab Emirates to the

United Arab Emirates

United States of America





Vice President and Managing Director Harris Corporation Board Member AmCham Abu Dhabi By Karim Damerje

Q. Harris Corporation is a leading global technology innovator, can you tell us about Harris and its history in the U.A.E.? A. Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports customers in about 100 countries and has approximately $7.5 billion in annual revenue and 21,000 employees worldwide. Harris has operations across the Middle East, where it has provided products and services for more than 50 years. The Harris office in Abu Dhabi houses the regional headquarters of Harris’ Communication Systems and Electronic Systems businesses, as well as the offices of Harris Atlas Systems, LLC, a joint venture between Harris Corp. and Atlas Telecom, a U.A.E.-based technology leader. Our partnership with Atlas Telecom, and its Chairman, Ahmed Seddiq Al Mutawaa, spans almost 30 years, and demonstrates our enduring commitment to Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E., and the Middle East region.

Q. What project of Harris Corporation in the U.A.E. are you most proud of? A. Recently, Harris was selected to deliver a battle management system that will provide military customers a cutting-edge platform for situational awareness and staff functions. Through a combination of sophisticated technology and high-value systems integration services, the system will provide our customers with the capability to effectively track hostile and blue forces, develop and execute tactical operations, and integrate personnel, intelligence, and other data into battlefield operations.

Q. What has been your career path at Harris Corporation? A. I recently celebrated my 26th anniversary with Harris Corporation. I joined Harris in 1990 as a systems engineer, and have held a wide variety of positions, including Division Vice President of Engineering, Vice President of Strategy and Chief Growth Officer, and President of Defense Programs. Almost four years ago, I was assigned to Abu Dhabi as the Vice President of Middle East Operations, and this has been the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding assignment of my long career with Harris.


Q. What advice would you give to other organizations or individuals that are establishing a business and would like to enjoy longevity in the U.A.E.? A. I would suggest that there are four key ingredients to success: partnership, presence, persistence, and patience. The first order of business is to establish a trusted relationship with a strong local partner, as well as organizations such as AmCham Abu Dhabi. Second, one must commit resources to establish a highly capable local presence. Although it is essential to have strong support from the home office in the U.S., you will be evaluated by the strength of your local team and their ability to respond to customers’ requirements. Third, you have to be persistent; one cannot expect they will have one meeting with a potential customer and walk away with a deal. You must invest the time and energy to develop trust and to demonstrate commitment, which are essential elements to any business relationship in the region. Finally, you must have patience, a lot of patience. Whether it is the hours spent waiting to be called in for a five minute meeting or the months waiting for the tender to be released or the years waiting for that big award, you have to remain patiently focused and committed on the long, complex, amazing journey to success.

Q. How do you see the importance of American business in the region? How does that influence Harris’ vision? A. The importance of American business is apparent almost everywhere you go in the region. Whether it is education, healthcare, aerospace and defense, entertainment, oil and gas or consumer goods, American fingerprints are everywhere. As the region races to achieve strategic visions and diversify economies, we are uniquely positioned to enable this transformation. Our products and capabilities are the best in the world; we are fierce competitors; we conduct business with the highest standards of business conduct and integrity while delivering unrivaled performance and value.

Q. What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why? A. For Harris Corporation, there is very strong strategic

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alignment between our vision and the region’s vision. Our mission is to be the best-in-class global provider of mission-critical products, systems and services to both government and commercial customers, combining advanced technology and application knowledge to offer a superior value proposition. We believe this mission, coupled with our values of integrity, excellence, passion for customers, focus on results, innovation, and inclusion position us for continued growth in the region. We proudly serve our customers in the region, and look forward to serving them for many decades to come.

Q. As Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Membership Committee, why would you recommend individuals and companies to become a member? A. AmCham is the hub of the American business community in Abu Dhabi. Membership affords access to a broad range of products and services that are essential to establishing and growing successful businesses in Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E., and the Middle East region. AmCham is by far the best value in Abu Dhabi, and the return on investment can be extraordinary if you are willing to commit a bit of your personal time and energy in addition to the membership fee. The AmCham team is truly world class, and they work tirelessly to provide events and services that consistently exceed expectations. Doing business in Abu Dhabi is complex, dynamic, and dependent on strong relationships and business connections. Membership in AmCham provides the tools to understand and adapt to the challenges of doing business in Abu Dhabi, provides opportunities to influence constructive change, and is the premier place to establish enduring business relationships.

Q. As the Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Defense & Aerospace Committee, what important role do you think the committee plays for AmCham Abu Dhabi’s membership and U.A.E. leadership? A. The Defense & Aerospace Committee’s purpose is to promote closer association among resident U.S. defense and aerospace companies. The Committee enhances U.S. defense and aerospace business by improving government-to-industry relationships and industry-toindustry partnerships, increasing understanding of U.S. and the U.A.E.’s security priorities and regulations, and increasing the U.S. defense industry’s ability to capture U.A.E. business. Additionally, we receive exceptional support from the U.S. Embassy’s U.S. Liaison Office (USLO) team, as well as local U.A.E. defense and aerospace companies.

Dhabi, but I still try to find time for a workout at the gym each morning and to enjoy an occasional Friday Brunch. My wife and I also love to travel, and we enjoy getaways to places like the Maldives, the Seychelles, Oman, and of course, Dubai.

Q. What is the best part of being a Platinum member of AmCham Abu Dhabi? How does the AmCham Abu Dhabi Membership help your business? A. There are many benefits of being a Platinum member, but access to exclusive AmCham Platinum member and VIP-only events is arguably the most valuable benefit. The events are always of the highest quality, and the networking opportunities are invaluable. Perhaps more importantly, Platinum membership allows Harris to demonstrate our commitment to the Abu Dhabi community and to further the business interests of the American business community at large.

Q. You are very active in the local business community, serving as Chairman of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). Tell us why that organization is important to businesses? A. OSAC is a unique organization, created to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. Although the U.A.E. is among the safest countries in the world, we must always be diligent. As a Public/Private Partnership, OSAC develops an effective security communications network, and provides a forum for sharing best practices and provides the tools to cope with our ever-changing security environment. Businesses have a duty of care responsibility to their employees and their families, and OSAC provides many essential tools to fulfill these obligations.

Call for submissions: Do you have something you would like to share with AmCham Abu Dhabi members? We accept submission of articles from members. Inclusion in the newsletter is not guaranteed. Submit information to:

Q. With such a busy work and volunteer life, what do you do to relax? Do you have any particular hobbies or interests? A. I have to admit that my work life balance has been heavily weighted in favor of work during my time in Abu

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Happy New Year 2017 from AmCham Abu Dhabi and Thank You for Your Support! AmCham Abu Dhabi wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017! As we kick off the New Year, which has been declared the “Year of Giving” by U.A.E. President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we look forward to your continued support of our community initiatives in the year ahead. AmCham members – both companies and individuals - have a long history of contributing to the local community through corporate social responsibility and by volunteering their time. We are grateful for your support and want to take the opportunity to thank you for your support of our community initiatives over the past year. Excellence Awards Gala - January 2016 Thank you for buying tickets to last year’s Gala and participating in the live and silent auctions at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Through the generosity of AmCham Abu Dhabi members and sponsors, funds were raised for the Emirates Red Crescent, in support of local U.A.E. programs and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in support of ongoing efforts to bring comfort and hope to children with life-threatening medical conditions. In addition, scholarship awards were given to students attending the American Community School of Abu Dhabi and St. Joseph’s School. Generous sponsors included: Al Noor Hospitals Group; Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; Etihad Airways; IMG Worlds of Adventure; Tiffany & Co.; Lockheed Martin Global Inc.; Nirvana Travel & Tourism LLC; Cadillac; AV Concepts; Boeing; Northrop Grumman; Sultan International Holding; Fragomen Worldwide; Harris Corporation; Oshkosh Defense; Occidental Petroleum Corporation; Sayah Engineering MENA; The Coca-Cola Company; International New York Times; Uber; Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Spinneys Abu Dhabi.

event of the year. We celebrated with guests from the U.S., U.A.E. and many other countries. H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, U.A.E. Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, remarked during his speech, “Thank you for asking me to celebrate with you both Independence Day and Memorial Day, events as inseparable as the friendship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. American residents in the U.A.E. contribute to this special relationship. You daily strengthen the business, cultural, scientific, healthcare and energy sectors of our country. Your knowledge, talent and energy have profoundly affected our worldview.”

Interns and Volunteers from ACS, NYIT and NYU Thank you for volunteering at events and in the AmCham Abu Dhabi office. Students from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), the New York Institute of Technology Abu Dhabi (NYIT) and the American Community School of Abu Dhabi (ACS) as well as recent college graduates provided much needed assistance to our membership, events and communications departments. Your hard work and dedication is very much appreciated! Board Members and Committee Chairpersons Thank you for volunteering your time and expertise to make sure AmCham Abu Dhabi is the leading international chamber of commerce in the U.A.E. AmCham’s 9 board committees and 10 industry roundtable committees provide unique insights not only into U.S.-U.A.E. business relations but also to giving back to the community.

Thanksgiving Initiative - November 2016 Thank you for hosting U.S. service-members during the Thanksgiving holiday. As part of AmCham Abu Dhabi’s annual Thanksgiving tradition, representatives from member companies opened their homes and hotels and shared Thanksgiving celebrations with U.S. service-members. This year’s participants included Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, CH2M, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, General Electric and Raytheon. American Independence Day Celebration - May 2016 Thank you for attending our American Independence and Memorial Day celebration, our largest community


Falcon Club & Platinum Members A special thank you to our Falcon Club & Platinum Members in 2016. Your generous support enabled AmCham Abu Dhabi to thrive and give back to the community. Very truly yours,

Theresa F. Weber Executive Director AmCham Abu Dhabi

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AmCham Abu Dhabi holds 8th Annual Roundtable Summit with Addresses by U.S. and U.A.E Government Officials and Industry Leaders

AmCham Abu Dhabi held its 8th Annual Roundtable Summit at the Yas Viceroy on October 19, 2016. Over 200 leading business executives, entrepreneurs, academics and government officials participated in this prestigious event and discussed business opportunities and challenges in Abu Dhabi. The Summit, hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman Sharief Fahmy, featured addresses by U.A.E. government officials H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy; Helal Mohamed Al Hameli, Deputy Director General, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and U.S. government officials including the Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. and Christian Reed, Executive Director, Middle East and Africa, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. During his keynote address H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy highlighted areas of cooperation between the U.A.E. and U.S. and the U.A.E.’s Vision 2021. “The U.A.E.-U.S. relationship has its foundation in a shared commitment to promote peace and security in the Gulf, and strengthen our commercial ties,” said H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh. “The partnership has become stronger through the years with exponential growth in bilateral trade and economic cooperation and cultural partnerships.”


H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh noted “The U.A.E. is currently focusing on a number of sectors towards shaping itself into a diversified, knowledge based economy. The U.A.E. Vision 2021 puts sectors like technology, renewable energy, industry and SMEs high on its development agenda. All these sectors offer immense opportunities for cooperation.” H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh specifically highlighted the aeronautics, defense, healthcare and venture capital sectors noting the important contributions of American companies and organizations including NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In his address, Helal Mohamed Al Hameli, Deputy Director General, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said “Driven by the exceptional leadership capabilities in both the private and public sectors, this Summit has become known as the platform for promoting and expanding investment opportunities in new and promising industries. The Summit aims at promoting cooperation and identifying attractive investment opportunities to forcefully drive forward the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 for a more diversified market-type economy.” He added “I sincerely hope this Summit will be the platform for showcasing profitable investment opportunities in these sectors to have American private sector companies as genuine partners in our aspirations and ambitions to be an increasingly important player in the global supplychain given our abundance of capital resources and a truly business-friendly environment.”

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The Summit was opened by AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman Sharief Fahmy. “For eight years AmCham Abu Dhabi has been conducting this important and influential business event for top executives and government representatives,” said Sharief Fahmy. “We are honored to have senior U.A.E. and U.S. government participants in our Summit. We are confident that the dialogue will strengthen the U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relationship, and help the U.A.E. achieve its 2021 Vision.” Following remarks by Sharief Fahmy, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. Barbara Leaf addressed the crowd and discussed the important role that AmCham Abu Dhabi plays in the U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relationship. “The American business community continues to play a prominent role in the U.A.E.’s economic growth and development. AmCham Abu Dhabi is the face of U.S. innovation and an important partner in the U.S. Mission U.A.E. Moreover, you are tremendous sources of insight and knowledge for my team and me in our shared work to shape and expand the U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relationship.” She added “With over $25 billion in two-way trade, the U.A.E. is America’s largest export market in the Middle East, and our second largest trading partner in the Arab World, and the 16th largest globally. At $27.4 billion in foreign stock investment, the U.A.E. is America’s seventh-fastest growing source of FDI, and the largest source from the Middle East.” Other highlights of the Summit included remarks by Christian Reed, Executive Director, Middle East and Africa, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C.; Dr. Tarek Oliveira Shayya, Board Director, Expo 2020 Dubai; and Timothy J. Richards, AmCham Abu Dhabi Roundtable Summit Committee Chairman and Managing Director of Government Affairs and Policy, MENAT Region, General Electric. Christian Reed highlighted key areas that the U.S. Department of Commerce is working on in the U.A.E. and G.C.C. He noted that October is Discover America Month in the G.C.C., underscored FDI opportunities in the U.S. for Emirati investors and emphasized important standards work in the G.C.C. for automotive standards and green building codes. “This week, ASTM International will be holding a series of events and meetings in the U.A.E. on a range of building and standards issues,” said Christian Reed, Executive Director, Middle East and Africa, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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This year’s Summit included a special session with U.S. Department of Commerce Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C.) Representatives. Delegates had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with six visiting G.C.C. Commercial Officers from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, including the Export Control and Intellectual Property Attachés for the Middle East and North Africa from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The 10 roundtable breakout sessions, led by top industry executives, met to discuss the challenges to trade and investment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, propose potential solutions, and identify the key stakeholders necessary to implement them. The following sectors were covered at the Summit: 1) Banking and Finance; 2) Cyber Innovation; 3) Defense, Aerospace and Security; 4) Education and Professional Training; 5) Energy, Water, Oil and Gas; 6) Engineering, Construction and Project Management; 7) Fast-Moving Consumer Goods 8) Healthcare and Insurance; 9) Hospitality and Tourism; and 10) Media, Arts and Culture. The issues and recommendations identified in each of the 10 industry sectors will be compiled into a Roundtable Report that will be presented to U.S. and U.A.E. policymakers and government officials. The feedback seeks to strengthen competitiveness in Abu Dhabi and increase trade and investment between the U.S. and U.A.E. AmCham Abu Dhabi, which has been conducting Roundtable sessions since 2003, is a pioneer in the field promoting dialogues that impact U.S. business and trade in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Top corporate sponsors of the event were: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Cadillac, General Electric, Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel, Oshkosh Defense, Sultan International Holding, Berkeley Middle East Holding, Middle East General Enterprises and Parsons.





SPONSORS Gold Sponsor

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AmCham Abu Dhabi hosts ADIPEC Kick-off Breakfast featuring the COO of Dolphin Energy

AmCham Abu Dhabi kicked off the 2016 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) with a breakfast event on November 7, 2016 at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. Top business executives, distinguished Emirati guests, and U.S. government officials participated in the event including The Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. The highlight of the industry focused event was the keynote address by Ali Al Rahbi, Chief Operating Officer, Dolphin Energy, Qatar. AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman Sharief Fahmy officially opened the kick-off breakfast noting “The U.S. Pavilion is bigger than last year with over 105 companies. Thank you to all American companies for being here and supporting ADIPEC this year.” He highlighted the work of Tom Kallman, President and CEO of Kallman Worldwide Inc., the organizer of the U.S. Pavilion. During her address, Ambassador Leaf discussed the ability of oil and gas companies to innovate and diversify in a changing industry. She highlighted Dolphin Energy as one of the largest energy related ventures undertaken in the region and commended its significant contribution to the energy security of the U.A.E., Qatar and Oman. “ADIPEC is a critical platform for American companies seeking new opportunities in the GCC oil and gas sector. This annual kick-off breakfast is yet another example of the U.S. Embassy and AmCham Abu Dhabi working together to help U.S. companies expand in this region and make the most of their trade show investment,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. Barbara A. Leaf.


Featured keynote speaker, Ali Al Rahbi, COO of Dolphin Energy, Qatar, began his presentation with an informative video of Dolphin Energy, a joint venture between Mubadala, Occidental Petroleum and Total. Spanning three countries, the Dolphin project is a regional success. Providing insight into business continuity and resilient organizations in the oil and gas industry, Ali Al Rahbi, highlighted Dolphin Energy’s business continuity management model and its strategy in responding to and recovering from short and long term threats. He also discussed the need for management systems that have the capability and readiness to cope effectively with disastrous events that have the potential to cause a major impact on the business. An interactive Q&A session followed Ali Al Rahbi’s keynote address, where a variety of topics in the oil and gas industry were discussed. ADIPEC is one of the world’s largest oil and gas shows. Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, ADIPEC 2016 is projected to attract 2,500 exhibiting companies and 95,000 attendees across the four days of the show, creating a platform for petroleum professions worldwide to drive and support innovation and bilateral trade within the industry. The high-level ADIPEC Kick-off event was made possible thanks to sponsors Berkeley Middle East Holding and Sultan International Holding with support from Kallman Worldwide Inc.

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A Post U.S. Election Analysis by AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Lobby Firm Williams & Jensen

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 2017 will be a year of unpredictability after this year’s U.S. Presidential election. With the world waiting to see what policies and actions President-elect Trump’s Administration will actually take, here are a few important points of note that U.S. expats should keep an eye on in the coming year.

Comprehensive Tax Reform Congressional Republicans continue efforts on comprehensive tax reform and have indicated they are working with the incoming Trump Administration on a proposal. The House is expected to move a proposal by early spring 2017, although the timing of Senate action is less clear.   On international tax reform, the House Republican Blueprint calls for a territorial tax for U.S. corporations, meaning that distributions from foreign subsidiaries and income earned through foreign branches would be exempt from U.S. tax and foreign tax credits would be disallowed. The Blueprint calls for streamlining the controlled foreign corporation anti-deferral rules so they would only apply to passive income, and the subpart F rules for “foreign base company income” would no longer apply. President-elect Trump’s proposal would end tax deferrals on corporate income earned abroad but does not call for shifting to a territorial system. The proposals from both House Republicans and President-elect Trump directly or implicitly (respectively) suggest moving to border adjustability, which would tax products based on the location of consumption (where the goods are sold or the services are performed) instead of the location of production. The proposal would essentially exempt exports from U.S. taxes and apply corporate taxes to imports.   While the Americans Abroad Caucus has called for shifting personal income taxes to a territorial system, it is unlikely it will be in the initial draft of comprehensive tax reform in 2017. The Blueprint is silent on a territorial tax system for individual taxes. Previous Republican tax reform efforts, including legislation sponsored by former Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), have not included a territorial tax system for individuals, and the forthcoming House Republican proposal is likely to follow suit. The 2014 “Camp draft” also limited the IRC Section 911 exclusion by subjecting it to the surtax. The House Blueprint does not include this surtax and it is unclear how the proposal may address Section 911.


Whether a territorial system for individuals will be included in a final version of the package will depend on whether Congress decides to add to the legislation as the process unfolds and if they have heard from constituents living abroad. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) The House Freedom Caucus, which represents the Tea Party Republicans, included the repeal of FATCA in its “First 100 Days: Rules, Regulations, and Executive Orders to Examine, Revoke, and Issue” report. The report lists “over 200 rules and regulations, many of which have been implemented by the Obama administration, that have been devastating for working families, businesses, and taxpayers – including the overtime rule, fiduciary regulations, and heavy environmental restrictions.” The incoming Trump Administration has not included FATCA in its priorities of regulations to repeal or overturn. Americans Abroad Champion Nominated to Cabinet Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who served as the co-chairman of the Americans Abroad Caucus, was nominated to serve as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. For more information about AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Lobby Firm Williams & Jensen, visit: www.

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A Legal Update by John P. McGowan Jr., Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi Legal Affairs Committee Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred The law is a watershed legal development in the U.A.E. and a powerful endorsement of the country’s commitment to practicing and promoting tolerance by combating bigotry. The law prohibits virtually all forms of discrimination and hate speech. Discrimination is defined as: “Any distinction, restriction, exclusion or preference among individuals or groups based on the ground of religion, creed, doctrine, sect, caste, race, color or ethnic origin.” Hate Speech is defined as: “Any speech or conduct which may incite sedition, prejudicial action or discrimination among individuals or groups.” Discrimination and hate speech are banned regardless of how expressed or the means transmitted. Punishment for violations is imprisonment for 5 years and/or a fine between AED 500,000 and AED 1 million. Although “religion” is a protected class, the protection is afforded to only three (3) religions, namely, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The law also does not apply to the benefits afforded U.A.E. nationals under other U.A.E. laws. It is important to note that a general manager of a company - and the company itself - can be held liable under the law for the discrimination and hate speech perpetrated by a company employee, if the general manager is aware of the prohibited conduct. It remains an open question whether the law affords employees and prospective employees the right to lodge a complaint against a general manager or company for favoring one person over another (e.g., hiring decision or designated salary) based on national origin, race or creed. Federal Law No. 7 of 2016 amending the Penal Code

Federal Decree Law No. 9 of 2016 on Bankruptcy The new U.A.E. bankruptcy law has come into effect on December 29, 2016. The law, which aims to modernize bankruptcy procedures, has been welcomed by the U.A.E. business community and investors worldwide. There are three processes under the law: • • •

Potentially, if the creditors have not been paid at least 20% of the monies owed, the directors and/or general managers can be held personally liable for some or all of the debts, if they are found to have caused the bankruptcy by wrongdoing or mismanagement. The law falls short of some international best practices. For example, secured creditors are not bound by the protective composition process, and there is not an automatic “stay” on enforcement of security. U.A.E. Ministry of Labour Decrees 764, 765 & 766 of 2015 These decrees represent important changes to the U.A.E. Labor law. Some key points are: •

There have been significant and largely positive changes to the U.A.E. penal code including: • • •

Getting rid of imprisonment for minor offenses and replacing it with community service Tougher penalties for crimes committed during a state of war or for acts of terror Tougher penalties for certain crimes like gambling, prostitution, trespassing, and insulting U.A.E. icons

One change is disturbing. Article 257 calls for arbitrators to be imprisoned, if found not to be acting impartially or fairly. This could have a chilling effect on arbitration in the U.A.E. Arbitrators may be reluctant to take on cases, where there is a risk they may need to defend themselves against a criminal complaint alleging lack of impartiality. Federal Law No. 12 of 2016 amending law on Combating Information Technology Crime This law sparked a kerfuffle, as one of the amendments took aim at use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) in the U.A.E. Not to worry, VPNs are not prohibited for use by companies, institutions and banks to gain access to internal networks via the internet. The law targets only those who misuse VPNs and does not affect any legitimate activity consistent with U.A.E. laws.

When offering employment to foreign nationals, as part of the visa and work permit application process, employers are required to submit an offer letter signed by the employee. If the employee does not speak Arabic or English, the offer letter needs to be in their native language in addition to Arabic and English. A copy of the template is online. The maximum duration of limited contracts is two years (previously four years). The decree affords the employee a degree of “due process” - notice cannot be less than a month.

Ministerial Decree No. 272 (29.04.16) Clarifying Commercial Companies Law, 2015 (“CCL”) Article 104 of the CCL says the provisions that apply to joint stock companies (“JSC”) also apply to limited liability companies (“LLC”), unless otherwise stated. The provision caused a lot of confusion and so the Ministry issued Decree No. 272 to clarify: • •

JSC provisions that do apply to LLCs JSC provisions that do not apply to LLCs

The decree also adds new provisions that apply to LLCs: • • • • •

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Protective Composition Insolvency with Restructuring Insolvency with Liquidation. Composition or Restructuring Schemes must be approved by both: 1) A simple majority of the number of unsecured creditors 2) Creditors holding in the aggregate 2/3 of the value of the unsecured debt

General Managers may be held liable to LLC for acts/ omissions that are deemed management errors Auditors can be appointed up to a maximum of 3 years; audit reports must be filed at DED LLC may afford financial assistance to a shareholder for purchase of interest in LLC Special resolution is required for sale of 51% or more of the LLC’s assets Special resolution is required for payment of charitable contributions




AmCham Abu Dhabi Launches Mobile Application for its Membership AmCham Abu Dhabi is the first trade association in the U.A.E. to launch a mobile application as part of its member benefits, making it easier to access members, events and our popular discount program. The AmCham Abu Dhabi App is now available on both IOS and Android devices and can easily be downloaded by searching “AmCham Abu Dhabi” in the App Store and on Google Play. We have taken three major services of AmCham Abu Dhabi and simplified it for the executive on the go. • • •

Members page: Members get instant access to the AmCham Abu Dhabi database. Connecting with AmCham Abu Dhabi Members has never been easier. Events page: We have created a platform to allow members to stay updated on all AmCham Abu Dhabi events. Members can view event details, date, location (with GPS directions), and can also register their interest in attending an event. Discounts page: Members can stay up to date and take advantage of our exclusive discount program. Members can also easily present their membership card to the vendor, as it is included on the app and each vendor is listed with GPS coordinates, so members will always know what’s nearby. In addition, users will also receive pop up notifications once a new discount is added.

Say Hello to the AmCham Abu Dhabi App Your Personal Link to AmCham Abu Dhabi


My Profile

Get Instant Access to AmCham Abu Dhabi Database

View Your Profile and Membership Card

Contact Us


Stay in Touch with AmCham Abu Dhabi

Stay Updated on All AmCham Abu Dhabi Events

Social Media

Member Discounts

Get the Latest Updates on AmCham Abu Dhabi Social Media Channels

Take Advantage of Exclusive Member Discounts

Download the App on Search for “AmCham Abu Dhabi” An AmCham Abu Dhabi Member Benefit


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Eman Al Shorafa

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Protocol Officer

Mathieu van Alphen

Lisbeth Beneski

General Manager

Director of Marketing and Communications

George Khalil

Noushad Yoosef

General Manager

Sales Manager

David Ross

Glenda Garcia Del Rosario

Regional President Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa

Operations Manager - Abu Dhabi

Tania de Swart

Roberta Wertman

Legal Adviser

Senior Associate

Omar Kadrie

Giorgio Cingolani


General Manager

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi

Majd Abu Zant Chief Operating Officer

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director



Hanan Sayed Worrell

Richard Armstrong

Senior Representative


Mohamed Salahieh

Tarek Al Hassen

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

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AFFILIATE CORPORATE MEMBERS James Cordahi Senior Director, Government Affairs

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Abdulla Al Nuaimi

Michelle Sandajan

CEO & Managing Director

Sales & Marketing Executive

Henning A. Fries

Catherine McNabb


Head of Commercial

James Fox

Sarah Khalifa

Legal Director

Senior Associate

Mohammad Al Fahim

Ahmed Yasin

SVP - Corporate Development

Director - Corporate Strategy

Inas Kayyali

Rose Riyadh

Center Manager

Marketing Executive

Marie O’Neill

Sarah March

Head of Business Operations


James Bogle

Lindsay Guthrie

Board Member

General Manager

Dr. Gerhard Schwab

Jawad Jamil

Chief Executive Officer

Head of Finance




Dr. Thomas Kunt

Farah Al Alami

Chief Medical Officer

Chief Communications Officer

Dr. Igor Kozak

Mohamed Khomsi

Consultant Ophthalmology

Head of Business Development

Dr. Ashraf Allam

Margarida Faustino

Vice President

HR Director

Saeed Al Salkhadi

Jesse Akister

Managing Director

Admin Manager

Gary Cohen

Katica Kiss

Associate Dean, Office of Executive Programs & Clinical Professor

Director of Executive Programs, Middle East

Annie Catherine Monnier

Candice Barwell

Hotel Manager

Director of Sales & Marketing

Frank Nuttebaum

Alexandre Rolland

VP International Sales and Market Development

Technical Sales Specialist

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Shelley L. Abu-Sukheila

Eric Canal Forgues Alter

Chairman & CEO

Chief Operating Officer

Head of Law

Aspen Consultancy & Development

Aspen Consultancy & Development

Economics and Management Department Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

Steven Downey

Tareq Dreiza

Fahd Gul

Asset Manager



Holborn Assets

KPMG Lower Gulf Limited

International Strategic Partnerships Boeing International Corporation

Maggie Hammid

Eric Hilgendorf

Galen Huss

Senior Program Manager

Associate Dean

Assistant Army Attaché


New York University Abu Dhabi

US Embassy, Abu Dhabi

Ogechi Ibe

Calin Lewis

Nafeh M. Masood

Senior Engineer

Senior Project Manager

Director of Financial Operations


Atkins Faithful Gould

New York University Abu Dhabi

Preston McIntyre

Donald Moore

Michael Naroz

Logistics Liaison



Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL)

Reed Smith LLP

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Dianna Nixon

Fatima Rihani

Dean Sackett



Chief Operating Officer

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)

Integrated Aerospace Alliance

ADNH Compass

Michelle Volk Consultant


Kawther Abdullah

Eyad Abu AlFateh

Vice President

Project Manager

Government Affairs Director

Bank of Montreal


Abbvie Biopharmaceutical

Farah Al Alami

Nevine Albert

Salem Al Matrooshi

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Founder and CEO

United Eastern Medical Services

Millennium Corniche Hotel

Tasleeh Limited

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Iyad Al Touma

Munaa Ali AlFazea

Ammar Azmat

Boutique Manager

General Manager

Head of E-Commerce

Tiffany & Co.

Q8-Link Business Corporation

Europcar - Universal Rent A Car

Bernard Bouillaud

Rafika Ben Guirat

Milos Cerovic

META Strategy Director


Resident Manager

Rockwell Collins

American University in UAE

Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Shahrukh Thehmurasp Dumasia

Marnie Evans

Michael Gani


Contract Superintendent

Chief Financial Officer



United Eastern Medical Services

Jaafar Borhan Jaafar

Suad Khawaja

Erik Koornneef

Channels Partner Manager

Vice President

Senior Director

RAK Free Trade Zone


Truven Health Analytics

Farzana Masood

Abdul Rahman Mokayed

Dr. Martina Stevikova

Sales Executive

Strategic Business Development Manager

Specialist IVF – HealthPlus Fertility Center

Europcar - Universal Rent A Car

GE Healthcare

HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers

Andy Syms

Amro Talaat

Su Tan

Regional Sales Director, MENAI

Director of Sales

HR Manager


Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children

Annik Tastenoy

Fredericos Tsaparas

Anne Wencelius

AVP Human Resources Gulf

Deputy General Manager

Group Marketing Manager


Roberto’s Restaurant & Club Ltd.

Roberto’s Restaurant & Club Ltd./ Skelmore



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AMCHAM ABU DHABI EVENTS AmCham Abu Dhabi Defense Committee Special Meeting with Team Building Activity at the Tasleeh Soft Air Battle Zone - September 5, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Healthcare Committee Event - September 6, 2016

Supported Event: 4th MICE Middle East Forum 2016 in Dubai - September 21, 2016


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AmCham Abu Dhabi Arts & Culture Committee Supported Event: The Green Sheikh: HH Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi - September 21, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee Event: “REACH Executive Mentoring Program” for WOMEN ACHIEVE Ambassadors - September 21, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee Event on Employment Law Rights in U.A.E. Session 2 - September 25, 2016

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AmCham Abu Dhabi Welcome Back Strictly Social at Li Jiang Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal - October 5, 2016

Joint Event: Young Executives Evening, co-hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi, AusBG, BeNeLux, BBG, CBC, FBG and PBC - October 18, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Reception in honor of the Mayor of Denver, Colorado - October 24, 2016


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Joint Event: U.S. Pre-Election Party with CNN, co-hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi and BrandMoxie - November 8, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Falcon Club and Platinum Member Event: Cocktail Reception at Bab Al Qasr Hotel Abu Dhabi - November 16, 2016

Joint Event: Election Watch 2016, co-hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi and the U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi - November 9, 2016

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AmCham Abu Dhabi Reception in honor of the Governor of the State of Missouri - November 20, 2016

Supported Event: The 3rd Annual Arab Women in Leadership Summit - November 21 - 22, 2016

AmCham Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee Webinar Event: Women on Boards: Start your Journey to the Boardroom - November 28, 2016


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Joint Event: Holiday Season Cheese and Grape evening, co-hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi, Australian Business Group Abu Dhabi and French Business Group Abu Dhabi - December 6, 2016

Supported Event: The International Franchise Exhibition and Conference 2016 - December 14 - 15, 2016

Supported Events:

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UPCOMING EVENTS 2017 February 7

AmCham Abu Dhabi Morning Briefing with Platinum Member Reed Smith LLP on Strategies that Work for Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Top Talent

February 8

AmCham Abu Dhabi U.S. Expat Tax Seminar for Americans Living Abroad presented by PwC

February 13

AmCham Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee Event: Feel Your Way to a Lighter You, Physically and Emotionally

February 15

Joint Event: Cyber-Security Event, Securing the Cyber Realm, co-hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi, BBG, CBC, FBG and Reed Exhibitions

February 19

AmCham Abu Dhabi IDEX Kick-Off Breakfast

March 1

AmCham Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee Event: Celebrating the 4th Anniversary of WOMEN ACHIEVE: Mentorship and its Ties to Professional Success

March 15-16

AmCham MENA Council Conference, supported by nine AmChams (Abu Dhabi-U.A.E, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia) in Bahrain

March 29

AmCham Abu Dhabi Strictly Social at Glo Lounge, Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi

May 24

AmCham Abu Dhabi Meet the Candidates Strictly Social

June 7

AmCham Abu Dhabi Annual General Meeting

July 7

AmCham Abu Dhabi 4th of July American Independence Day Celebration


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VISION To be an innovative organization creating trusted commercial partnerships that broaden U.S. - U.A.E. relationships.

MISSION To promote commerce, investment and goodwill between the United States of America, the membership, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.


AmCham Abu Dhabi P.O. Box 43710, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 2 631 3604, Fax: +971 2 633 0489 Email: Website:


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Profile for Karim Damerji

Tawasol Vol 1 2017  

AmCham Abu Dhabi Tawasol Newsletter - Vol 1 2017

Tawasol Vol 1 2017  

AmCham Abu Dhabi Tawasol Newsletter - Vol 1 2017