BUSINESS Contents Gulf
Beginner’s guide To inTegraTion, mergers and aCquisiTions By mike orlov
mazin khoury exclusive interview with american express middle east Ceo
50 iT’s vaCaTion Time! This season’s ultimate holiday guide 4
56 negoTiaTion: Ways Women Can Win
By dr. Clare Beckett-mcinroy
Talking Business Behind the Wheel of a Bentley
BUSINESS Contents Gulf
At A glAnCE
COver StOry 44
AEME CEO MAzin khOury On the Changing Consumer Spending Habits in the GCC
mohamed mahmood founder of interior design firm, Beckett interiors
MEriEM kAdiA Founder of AJK Consultancy
kingslEy dOdwEll Founder of Film Production Company, GoPeep
PrOf. MukhtAr Al-hAshiMi International Investment Formula for economic Growth
EMAn Bu-rAshid the new World of Public relations
68 70 sTyle file
The Classiest fashion Pieces
The Coolest lifestyle items
fAshiOn bold statements
gAdgEts the latest in electronics
hOtEl listings All they have to offer
QuOtEd What the vIPs said
With the mercury rising and holiday season drawing closer, it’s time to get your travel plans in order. We’ve got the ultimate vacation guide to help you choose which destination to tick off of your bucket list next. As our cover story for this issue, we had the chance to interview American Express Middle East & North Africa CEO, Mazin Khoury. In our interesting interview with him, we gain a little insight into future consumer spending habits in the GCC. This is no doubt pretty useful information for any aspiring entrepreneurs out there looking to capitalize on growing market Parth Vaya trends. We also have our regular set of interviews with Deputy Editor a number of entrepreneurs based in Bahrain. These 6
include outstanding personalities such as Kingsley Dodwell of GoPeep, a film production company, and Fehmina Alam, who started her own organic skincare and make-up line, Organicare. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to interview Hublot’s Regional Director in the Middle East, Marco Tedeschi. Lastly, we have a number of interesting pieces from our contributors to keep us updated with the latest developments in their respective fields. To anyone hoping to get their story heard, drop us an email at email@example.com. Also follow us on Instagram @ BusinessInGulf, Facebook: Business In Gulf or visit businessingulf.co. As always,
Have a good read!
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Amount that Bahrain needs to complete its stalled development projects.
Total no. of Bahraini citizens supported by Tamkeenâ€™s programmes during 2015.
80 million Barrels of oil imported from Saudia Arabia in 2015.
$329 million Total bi-lateral trade between Bahrain and Turkey up till 2015.
31,500 No. of people employed in Bahrainâ€™s tourism industry.
77 Average life expectancy at birth.
ALGERIA, BAHRAIN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, COLOMBIA, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, DJIBOUTI, EGYPT, GABON, GHANA, INDONESIA, JORDAN, KENYA, KUWAIT, MALAYSIA,MEXICO,MONGOLIA,MOROCCO,MYANMAR,NIGERIA,OMAN,PAPUANEWGUINEA,PANAMA,PERU,QATAR,SAUDIARABIA,SOUTHAFRICA, SRI LANKA, THAILAND, THE PHILIPPINES, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, UAE: ABU DHABI, UAE: DUBAI, UAE: RAS AL KHAIMAH, VIETNAM
Your market, in your pocket The Report: Bahrain, the latest economic report on the country, can now be read on your iPad as well as online and in print, so you can read our original, on-the-ground research on the economy wherever you are. Be among the first to find out Bahrain’s real opportunities on the Global Trade markets. Order your 2016 report today. THE INSIDE EDGE www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org @OBGinsights
Batelco introduces smart transport solution
BAHRAIN: Batelco has launched a cutting edge IoT (Internet of Things) Connected Vehicle Solution to support the requirements of the education and transportation sectors. The solution is aimed at equipping vehicles, such as school buses, with cameras, sensors, GPS tracker, sound level detector and object count. Furthermore,
the solution is self-powered through the use of solar panels. The new Batelco Connected Vehicle Solution has been designed and developed to address growing market needs, particularly from the education sector, to support safety issues for school children and university students.
ritz-carlton introduces new spa treatment concept BAHRAIN: A new concept for The Ritz-Carlton Spa is being implemented around the world beginning with 20 hotels and resorts that include New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Amelia Island, Moscow, Vienna and Budapest. The tailored experiences will be anchored in local culture, employing
big -tionary Business terminology
natural and organic solutions. Treatments at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, are steeped in Middle Eastern traditions. Arabian ingredients such as Argan, Rose and Dead Sea salts will be used to create a selection of Arabian rituals that hark back to ancient beauty rituals and natural methods.
6 screen cineplex opens in riffa BAHRAIN: The Bahrain Cinema Company opened its new 6 screen Cineplex in Wadi Al Sail Mall in Riffa to the public in April. The new Cineplex cost approximately BD 2 million to build and has a total capacity of 724 seats, including 89 VIP seats. Plans have also been set to open a new branch of the Rendezvous restaurant next to the cinema, which would make it the third branch in the Kingdom. Established in 1968, Cineco operations include the management of a large number of cinemas and restaurants within the G.C.C.
Bahrainâ€™s arcapita acquires $100m logistics park BAHRAIN: Global investment management firm Arcapita has acquired a logistics park in Dubai for a total transaction value of approximately $100 million. The investment comprises nine freehold plots of land in the Al Quoz Industrial area covering an area of approximately 630,000 square feet, located next to Al Khail Road. The site will consist of 10 completed warehousing facilities that will be under a long term master lease with a reputable UAE conglomerate.
A charge paid for carriage or transportation of goods by air, land, or sea.Goods may be transported on freight-prepaid or freight-collect basis.
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maxmedia puBlications now availaBle on Gulf air fliGhts BAHRAIN: Publications produced by MaxMedia Publishing Company will now be available on all Gulf Air flights and lounges. The Bahraini publishing house’s award-winning magazines include Business In Gulf, Arabian Homes, Coeds and Arabia Motors. The deal is a part of MaxMedia’s efforts to further expand their presence outside of Bahrain and attain a more diversified readership.
alBa executive among top in middle east
new Gas dehydration facility opened
BAHRAIN: Alba’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ali Al Baqali has been named in the top 50 of the “Who’s Who in Middle Eastern Finance 2016” list announced by the well-known global finance magazine. Ali Al Baqali who is amongst the five CFOs
in Bahrain featured in this list, was appointed as Alba’s CFO in June 2013. He is a Professional member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), UK and a Board member of Tenmou, the first Bahraini business angels company.
BAHRAIN: Petroleum company, Tatweer, opened their new 500 MMSCFD Gas Dehydration Facility this month. As part of the company’s ongoing development of Bahrain Oil Field, Tatweer signed a $100 million agreement with Britain’s Petrofac to construct the new gas dehydration facility. Petrofac is a multi-national company that provides oilfield services to the international oil and gas industry. The facility will include production from five existing Khuff gas wells as well as three new wells.
big -tionary Business terminology
Market situation in which one customer is served by many suppliers, and there is no prospect of finding any more. Opposite of monopoly.
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Bdi appoints new director UAE: The GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) has appointed Jane Valls as executive director to lead the nonprofit organisation in developing high-performance boards in the GCC region. Ms Valls is the former chief executive of the Mauritius Institute of Directors, one of the fastest growing institutes in the world according to the World Bank. BDI is a GCC not-for-profit organisation that guides board directors of organisations, from state-owned enterprises and family-owned businesses to listed companies, to acquire the necessary skills to reach and sustain effective governance.
warner Bros theme park to open in aBu dhaBi in 2018 UAE: UAE firm Miral and global entertainment giant Warner Bros recently announced that its $1 billion themed destination is set to open in Abu Dhabi in 2018. Situated on Yas Island, the development will include the only Warner Bros branded hotel alongside a theme
park. Construction of the project is already underway. Located alongside Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and the Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi will help Yas Island is expected to increase its annual visitor tally from 25 million in 2015, to 30 million in 2018.
Jane Valls, newly-appointed BDI Director
saudi araBia plans to Build 1,000 km-lonG artificial canal KSA: Saudi Arabia plans to build a 1,000km canal linking the Arabian Gulf with the Arabian Sea aimed at transporting oil and generating electricity using nuclear power. Dubbed ‘the project of the century’ and ‘the Kingdom’s second renaissance’, the canal will start from the Arabian Sea and will pass through Omani and Yemeni border before reaching Rub Al-Khali or the Empty Quarter in the Kingdom. The project of building a 1,000 km-long artificial canal was first proposed seven years ago and is currently being studied by the Saudi Electricity Company.
big -tionary Business terminology
cOnSpirAcy Agreement between two or more parties to commission and carry out an offense, such as to commit murder or inflict injury, or to defraud, rob, or steal. In many jurisdictions the conspiracy agreement itself is considered a crime, whether or not the intended offense was carried out.
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Best laid plans
Tamkeen reveals budget plans for the year in round-table discussion
BAHRAIN: In a round-table discussion held in May, Tamkeen revealed plans to spend around BD 50 million on its projects this year. Budget for projects in 2016’s first quarter includes BD 2.4 million for training and employment, BD 4 million for business support and 4.6 million for unemployment insurance. Here is an overview of the main schemes that Tamkeen will continue to support during the year. Professional CertifiCation suPPort sCheme The Tamkeen Professional Certifications Scheme will support eligible candidates
in attaining professional qualifications. Applicants can choose from a list of certifications accredited by the most reputable awarding bodies in the world. Customised emPloyment sCheme This scheme provides customised training to citizens to serve private enterprises to created value added product services. Since its inception in 2008, the scheme has contributed to employing 8,000 Bahrainis in various sectors. enterPrise suPPort Programme The main activities supported under the
programme are the purchase of machinery & equipment, marketing and branding, ICT, exhibition participation, business consultation and quality improvement & certifications. finanCe sCheme Under this scheme, Tamkeen, in partnership with financial institutions offers existing enterprises as well as startups easy access to the capital needed through financial packages that comply with Islamic Sharia’h. In 2015, the programme financed more than 884 enterprises with the total amount financing adding up to BD 77 million.
Tamkeen’s Chairman and Chief Executive in a roundtable discussion with the media
big -tionary Business terminology
cOnStructiviSM teaching philosophy based on the concept that learning (cognition) is the result of ‘mental construction’ students constructs their own understanding by reflecting on their personal experiences, and by relating the new knowledge with what they already know.
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Why did Hublot make a special edition watch for Bahrain? We’ve already made limited edition watches for Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai. After the positive response at our last launch here in February, we decided it was time to make a special edition for Bahrain as well. Hublot has a small but loyal customer base here in Bahrain, and we wanted to give a little something back to them by making this watch.
Tell me a little bit about the design of this watch.
Students and Faculty from Al Noor International School
The watch’s design was inspired by the Bahraini flag. The red alligator leather strap with white stitching, as well as the dial and hands, are meant to correspond with the flag’s colours. Also, we can see a “The Island” logo printed on the glass case at the back.
How many pieces were made? What has the response been to the watch so far? Marco Tedeschi, Hublot Regional Director, Middle East & Africa
33 watches were made as a reference to the fact that Bahrain is an archipelago made up of 33 islands. The
response to the watches has been tremendous as all of them were sold within days of announcing their release on our social media.
Is the watch automatic or battery-operated?
The watch is automatic, with a self-winding movement that utilizes the movement of the wearer’s hand. Fully wound, the watch can run up to 42 hours.
Any other new watches being launched in the country anytime soon?
We’re always working to develop our product line and we do have plans in place, but can’t reveal much at this point. But don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know when we launch our next product here!
What are Hublot’s expansion plans for the Middle East?
We have plans to open new outlets in Dubai and Doha soon. Our long-term goal is to have a point of sale in every major city in the GCC.
Hublot Launches “The Island” Special Edition Watch for Bahrain At a full day event in Bahrain, Swiss watchmakers Hublot revealed their latest creation. The limited edition Classic Fusion “The Island” is a collaboration between Hublot and its partners, Bahrain Jewellery Centre. BIG had a few words with Hublot’s Regional Director in the Middle East and Africa, Marco Tedeschi, to find out more about this exquisite timepiece.
June JUNE 2016
shapIng The FuTure
BaHraIn CHapTEr of GLoBaL SHapErS nETWork LaunCHEd
he new Manama Hub consists of 15 Global Shapers between the ages of 20 to 30 from diverse backgrounds, who are experts in their respective fields. During the launch, the members presented Khibra, a joint project between the Manama Hub and Tamkeen. An online platform, Khibra will provide mentoring and coaching to entrepreneurs and career professionals, as well as internship and volunteering opportunities. The Global Shapers network is an initiative of the World Economic Forum with over 400 hubs in cities worldwide.
Members of Manama Hub Global Shapers Network
double VIsIon HuaWEI LaunCHES nEW pHonE WITH duaL-LEnS CamEra
t an exclusive launch event at Dubai Design District – d3, Huawei Consumer Business Group launched the new Huawei P9 and P9 Plus across the region. The smartphone was created in collaboration with global camera brand Leica, and features a dual-lens camera. The event included presentations from some of the Group’s key executives as well as a number of workshops to test the phone’s advanced camera features.
President of Huawei CBG in the Middle East, Gene Jiao introduces the P9 in the region
gasTronomIc delIghT TEaTro opEnS aT doWToWn roTana
aving achieved notable success in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, awardwinning restaurant, Teatro Downtown, has now been introduced to Bahrain. Located at the newly-opened Downtown Rotana hotel, the restaurant’s menu features a mix of Eastern and Western cuisine.
Founder Khaled Almoayyed (second from left) with the ACA team
ExCITInG nEW CrEaTIvE STudIo opEnEd In BaHraIn
lmoayyed Creative Agency unveiled its studio and production facilities in an official launch of its new creative space in May. Located in Sanad, the studio is designed in a trendy New York loft style and features one of the country’s largest cyclorama walls and green screens. The company’s future plans include the launch of ACA Academy, which will host workshops for aspiring creatives to hone their craft.
June JUNE 2016
Refined Tones Mohamed Mahmood talks about Turning his Love for Design into a Means of Living 24
june 2016 may 2016
EntrEprEnEur hen architecture student Mohamed Mahmood neared the end of his degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, he was at a cross roads. Rather than take the usual route of finding a job and spending a lifetime working for someone else, he chose the road less taken. Putting his design expertise to use, he started Beckett Interiors – a furniture showroom that provides a range of interior design solutions.
What inspired you to start Beckett Interiors? I would say that the main reason I started Beckett Interiors is because I had done some freelance designing in Bahrain while I was still at university and found it extremely difficult to find specific things. The market seemed to be saturated with too much of the same products. Our aim was to bring something completely different and unique to the market, not just in terms of a product but also in terms of the service and the experience we provide to our clients.
Where did the name come from?
This stems back to me living in Leeds for several years and also having lived in the UK as a kid. I have always had a passion for everything British. Beckett Park is actually an area in Leeds and my university’s campus was based around that area. Seeing as though the idea started there and I studied there, it seemed fitting to adapt that name.
Did you start the company by yourself or do you have any business partners?
We are a very small team, literally two people. Jamie Robson – who is my showroom manager – and myself. I tend to focus on the interior design jobs and the bespoke furniture. I also take care of our trade clients. While Jamie focuses on developing and maintaining the showroom, he also takes care of the rest of our clients.
What products does Beckett Interiors sell?
I think the main thing that we are promoting is a lifestyle. This lifestyle starts from the major furnishings such as sofas, chairs, consoles and coffee tables which are bespoke and handmade pieces made specifically to our client’s requirements. It extends all the way to the soft furnishings such as the cushions and accessories that go on the shelves. It’s really about how you live your life in your home rather than just a specific product that we sell. Everything that we have on offer is sourced from very high-end companies such as Sanderson, Zoffany and Calico, to name a few. We are also the only Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist in Bahrain.
Where do you get the products from?
Most of our fabrics and wallpapers are manufactured in the UK apart from two design studios that we work with that are based in New York and they do everything in-house. Our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is manufactured in Oxford, UK as well. As for the bespoke furniture, we manufacture that locally in Bahrain. We work with a carefully selected set of suppliers which enables us to produce furniture of the highest quality available, something that will truly last. We also have access to furniture suppliers across the UK.
“Our aim was to bring something completely different and unique to the market.”
Beckett Interiors’ gorgeous studio
Does Beckett Interiors also provide workshops for any interior design enthusiasts? We do, actually. The idea of Beckett Interiors started as an interior design studio and then stemmed into everything else we do. Being an Annie Sloan Stockist it is vital for us to offer workshops for our clients, or in this case students, to teach them about everything that they can achieve using this fabulous paint. Currently we are running two regular workshops but hopefully will be adding more in the near future.
What are some of your personal favourite colour combinations for walls and furniture when designing a residential space? I cannot really say that I have a specific colour or material that is a favourite of mine. I am very experimental so I am always on the lookout for new textures and new materials, something that could form a part of a future project. I have to say though recently concrete, brass and walnut have been at the forefront of my designs.
What type of furniture do you prefer: modern looking furniture such as IKEA, or antique furniture with cast-iron and oak wood?
Personally, my taste is rather contemporary but I do believe that each room needs a combination of both; modern and old. I think the right balance of those two combined with the right materials is key to a successful design.
You were recently nominated for an international award. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
The nomination came as a shock to us really. The awarding body is the Luxury Lifestyle Awards and it’s a London based award. We have been nominated for the Luxury Interior Design Studio category for Bahrain and are against some of the design giants in Bahrain. We are hoping to know the results by the end of this month at the gala ceremony that will be taking place in Dubai.
What advice do you have for any aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
I would just say be yourself. I think that is the best thing to do. It’s what makes each one of us unique and truly different, and that is vital for a successful business.
What are your future plans for Beckett Interiors?
Well there are a quite a few plans that I have for the company. Obviously, exploring markets other than Bahrain is one of them. But I also intend to create something that would give back to the community in some way or form. I haven’t really figured that part out yet but it’s a work in progress. To find out more about Beckett Interiors, follow them on Instagram@ beckett_bh, or visit their Facebook page, ‘Beckett Interiors’.
Meriem Kadia talks about Delivering Value to the Business Community by Starting her own Consultancy 26
june 2016 may 2016
ith over 15 years of experience in the field of International Banking, Meriem Kadia is no stranger to the world of business. Using her vast experience, she formed AJK Consultancy; a company that offers specialized help to businesses in the form of workshops. She talks to us about the inspiration behind her unique concept and her future plans for the company.
Tell us a little bit about your career before starting AJK Consultancy?
Prior to starting AJK, I worked at Credit Suisse in Zurich, Banque de France in Paris, and SOFGEN in Switzerland. I have two Masters Degrees: a Master’s in Information Systems from I.N.S.A Engineering University in Lyon, France & an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, UK. I am planning to start my PhD on Strategy and Leadership soon. Prior to starting AJK, I worked at Credit Suisse in Zurich, Banque de France in Paris, and SOFGEN in Switzerland.
What does AJK stand for?
AJK stands for Adam Jade Kadia, my son’s name.
We had the pleasure of attending one of your interesting workshops on ‘Empowering Employees to Improve a Business’. How do you decide on a topic for each workshop, and where do you find the speakers? With my business partners, we choose any topic which we feel is important and critical
One of AJK Consultancy’s interesting workshops
for any successful organization in today’s world. For instance, the workshop after the one mentioned dealt with the importance of cyber security for a large business. We had a leading expert in the field flown in from the USA to give a presentation on the topic. Most of these speakers are business associates or colleagues that I have known for a very long time.
How often are the workshops held?
The idea is to organize a workshop twice per month. Together with our business partners, we decide on a friendly and welcoming place to hold each event. The duration of each workshop is 2 hours, with each workshop on a different topic.
“I always believe when you offer value, quality and loyalty in your work, people will trust and love working with you.” The idea of this business is quite unique. How did you come up with it?
Who attends these workshops? Do they have to pay to attend?
While working in Switzerland, I was invited to many business networking events and workshops and found that I quite enjoyed them. I remember thinking how I’d like to organize something similar myself eventually. That time has finally come! Through our workshops, we show our audience and the local market our value and what we can offer them. Bahrain is a very friendly place, where people like sharing their ideas, making it the ideal environment for such a project.
How do you hope to make money off of these workshops in the long run? What is the business model?
Do you work alone or do you have anyone running AJK Consultancy with you?
Most of the attendees should be senior executive (C-Level), decision makers. The workshops are free. We invite a maximum of 20 attendees - we look for quality over quantity.
Organizations always need to perform and improve their business, they need experts and professionalism to help and support them. That’s where we come in. If any of the audience members are then interested in using the experts’ services for their own company, AJK receives a consultation fee. I always believe when you offer value, quality and loyalty in your work, people will trust and love working with you.
It is my concept but I work with many different business partners both locally and globally. I always believe that when we have an idea, it is better to share it. Together we can go far with any new ideas to develop the market and make it successful. The speakers have more than 20 years’ experience, and know the needs of the market very well. They share their experience, their know-how, their excellence, their respect
for others, and their ability to make people happy in order to make the company happy and successful.
Where do you see this business five years from now?
I believe in focusing on the present. If the concept works now, it will work in the future too with a new strategy. Organizations always need to improve their knowledge and keep an eye on any latest change/innovation. Our objective and vision it is to extend this business globally; we already have some upcoming workshops in Oman and Qatar.
Quitting your career in order to start you own enterprise is never an easy feat. What advice do you have for someone with an idea hoping to start their own business? You’re right, it certainly isn’t easy! You need to build trust with people. My advice for anyone is to have a good amount of relevant experience, know the market’s needs and most importantly: network. Good business networking skills are invaluable to a company’s growth.
PeeP Into the CIty Go Peep Founder Kingsley Dodwell on Sharing his Love for Bahrain Through Film 28
June 2016 may 2016
EntrEprEnEur resident of Bahrain since the age of 13, New Zealand native Kingsley Dodwell decided to make a career out of what he loves to do most: informing people about how wonderful and unique this little island is. Currently the owner of MegaCards, a business that provides free information to the public in the form of pocketsized guides, we talk about his latest exciting business venture, Go Peep, which specializes in film production.
What inspired you to start Go Peep?
The idea came about through a conversation with my friend and Go Peep co-founder, Christiaan Faberij de Jonge, who also happens to be an accomplished filmmaker. We realized that there was a sizeable gap in the market for an online film directory in Bahrain. The reason for this is that video production is notoriously expensive and most companies will avoid having promotional films made as a result. Our aim was to overcome this through a unique filmmaking style to change people’s perception of video advertising.
What services does Go Peep provide for its clients? What makes it unique?
Our products range from 15-second films made specifically for Social Media promotion to 2-Minute Blockbusters, perfect for cinemas and TV. We also recently launched our Event Film products and “Boost & Boom” Social Media Management. What sets us apart from our well-established competitors is the unique nature of our films. They are purely visual (therefore universally understood), simple, emotionally engaging, affordable and quick to make. Once the film is complete, we will deliver a HD copy of the film to the client and also screen it on our website free of charge.
What are some of your major highlights since starting Go Peep?
I think the highlight for us so far has been covering DHL’s role in the Bahrain International Airshow earlier this year. I still get goose bumps when I watch that film and realize how far we have come! Other large-scale events that we have covered include Trib-Fest 2015 and 2016, and the IGN Convention. We also take pride in our recognition of the importance of giving back to the community both in terms of Bahrain’s charities and its cultural sites. We are therefore extremely proud of the films we have made, at no charge, for Al Sanabel Orphan Care Society, Tony the Dogfather, Feed The Need, A’Ali Pottery and most recently Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre. Cultural site film shoot at A’ali Pottery
‘Feed the Need’ charity film shoot
What are some of the challenges you faced when trying to set it up?
Bahrain is a tough industry. The first major challenge was having to deal with all of the red tape that comes with running any business here. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had to hire professionals to deal with this aspect as it’s very time consuming and we all know that time is money! Aside from this, it was, and still is, difficult to penetrate the market and crack through the mindset that a film will cost a fortune. As soon as we say the words “we make films” we are often turned away. We keep pushing though, and whilst it can take some convincing to get clients to meet with us, once they do they don’t regret it and often contact us for more films!
Are there any future trends that you can foresee in the world of film/video production?
There has no doubt been an explosion in online video marketing, mobile advertising and social media. People watch videos on their smartphones and are also making videos themselves through social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. This increasing demand for online video content is changing everything. We also recognized that many companies understood the need for social media marketing but did not have the time or resources to figure out how! We took this off their hands via our “Boost & Boom” product range. We are continuously researching the market and adapting our products accordingly.
Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies?
I am extremely passionate about health and fitness. Through my own research, I was able to completely transform my physique whilst curing my asthma, which I had suffered with since a very young age. I see so many people around me on a daily basis suffering because they have been led to believe that conventional medicine is the only cure out there. One day I would love to be able to help them, and possibly see this passion of mine develop into a business division of its own. Aside from that, what little free time I have is enjoyed with my partner, chilling in the garden with our dog, or going boating with friends and family.
What future plans do you have for Go Peep?
Right now we are focusing on increasing our event film portfolio along with the launch of Go Celebrate! The idea for Go Celebrate! is to make personalized videos to create lasting memories for people about a special event in their lives. All too often we capture hours of footage on our smartphones or video cameras of a wedding or party or graduation and have no idea what to do with the footage. We take care of the whole process so that our client can just enjoy their special day knowing that we are capturing all of those amazing memories for them. Using their favourite song, we will create a wonderful, lasting memory of their special day that can be shared with friends and family. To Find out more about Go Peep, follow them on Instagram@ GoPeepbh, Facebook: ‘Go Peep:Bahrain’, or visit their website: www.gopeep.me
Organic nutritiOn Health-Conscious entrepreneur Fehmina Alam Shares her Passion for all Things Organic 30
june 2016 may 2016
EntrEprEnEur fter a rude awakening due to a personal health scare, former teacher Fehmina Alam began to rethink some of her consumer choices. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, she started Organicare, a skincare and make-up brand that uses completely organic ingredients. Four years, later she’s come a long way. She tells us a little more about her business, the challenges of being a working mother, and her plans for the future.
What inspired you to start Organicare?
A couple of years ago, I had fallen ill due to mercury poisoning. I found out later that it was from a root canal procedure I’d had a little while previously. The fillings I’d gotten were slowly poisoning me. That incident really got me thinking – how many products that we use on a daily basis are doing the same? At the time, I was pregnant with my daughter and my primary concern was for her. I did some research and found out that almost all the baby products that we used such as pampers and wet wipes were just filled with harmful chemicals. After I gave birth, I decided to start Organicare, originally to create organic baby products. I’ve branched out quite a bit since then.
So what products do you sell today?
Today, I make a whole range of skincare and beauty products – creams, lipstick, foundations, sunscreen and eyeliner. The only thing I haven’t managed to make yet is mascara. It’s proven to be a bit tricky, but I’m working on it! The idea behind these products is not only to protect your skin from sunburn or cover up blemishes, but also nourish your skin at the same time. A lot of women worry about going to sleep with their make up on, as it might ruin their skin. With Organicare, they never have to worry about that again!
So all these products are just for women then?
Well the make-up obviously is, but the skincare products are meant for both men and women. I even have a range of options for people with different skin complexions since different coloured skins have different needs.
What natural herbs/ raw ingredients do you use when making your products? Where do you source them from? It would take fairly long to name them all! I use a whole bunch of oils, butters, herbs and mineral colours. The most important ingredient in all of the products is aloe. I get the ingredients delivered here from organic farmers and suppliers in the USA.
Where did you learn to make these products?
I consulted a few people who had similar interests, but mainly learnt it all by myself. There are a number of forums on the internet with recipes for such products. However, when making new product, it takes a couple of tries before I get it right. So a lot of the learning happens through trial and error.
Marketing and branding of the products have a huge role to play in any business. Have you done all of that work yourself, or have you outsourced it to someone else? What are some of the marketing techniques you’ve used so far?
Marketing the products has been a full-time job! I had no idea it was going to be this much work when starting out. I’ve done most of the marketing myself, although the logo that you can see on the bottles and boxes was designed by a friend who works for a local branding agency. I have a friend who helps me out with some of the marketing, but I’m thinking of hiring someone fulltime. I’ve used Facebook ads, Instagram, and advertised in Mums in Bahrain’s magazine to market
Some items from Organicare’s product range the products so far. There’s also the website. However, most people still hear about me through word of mouth.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced when trying to set the business up so far?
Aside from marketing and sourcing the ingredients, the biggest challenge is getting people to use a brand that they’ve never heard of before. Most people are content with using a well-known international brand without first having read the label properly to find out what’s in their products. I try to be as honest as possible, and encourage people to find out what’s in my products to understand exactly what makes them better. Being organic, there are no harmful chemicals, and the only adverse effects from using them would be from a possible allergy to some of the ingredients used – which can happen from any product bought from the store.
I understand that your products are ‘organic’ when compared to the synthesized products you get elsewhere, but what is it that really makes yours better to use?
There are a number of brands that advertise their products as being ‘natural’ but they’re not organic. The difference is that the natural ingredients used, such as any herbs for instance, have been grown with the help of pesticides. Apart from that, the few brands that do sell completely organic material simply don’t have as wide a product range as Organicare does.
“A lot of women worry about going to sleep with their make up on, as it might ruin their skin. With Organicare, they never have to worry about that again!” I understand that you’re a mother as well. How do you juggle the busy schedule of being a full-time mom and running a business at the same time?
It’s definitely a challenge. There have been a few days when I think of simply quitting, but all it takes is a few days’ rest until I’m back at it. I think the main thing that keeps me going is my passion for what I do. I try to treat it as any normal job, and work the normal office hours. However, it does get difficult taking care of the kids and working at the same time, but that’s just something I’ve learnt to work around.
What future plans do you have for Organicare?
At the moment, I still make all the products and distribute them from home, but I plan to go into production in about a year’s time. Hopefully, you’ll see Organicare on the shelves soon! To find out more about Organicare, follow on Instagram @ organicare_ bahrain, Facebook: Organicare Bahrain, or visit: organicare.me
Breed What Separates Billionaires From Everyday Entrepreneurs? By Jonha Richman,
Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer
There are 1,826 billionaires on the planet today. If my math is correct, that’s only 2.6 percent of the Earth’s population. Believe it or not, billionaires are normal beings too as most of them still drive their old cars, still wear non-branded suits, and fly on business trips with economy class. What separates these people from the entrepreneurial crowd is not the way they live, but actually their mindsets. What do billionaires know that normal people don’t? These are things that can help the entrepreneurial crowd get to their level: 32
Billionaires are creatures of habit.
Many wealthy people are creatures of habit and maintain to-do lists. In The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, we learn that Warren Buffett likes eating the same thing over and over again. John Paul DeJoria shared with Business Insider that he spends the first five minutes of every day in bed to reflect and “just be” in the present. Research by Tom Corley reveals
that 44 percent of wealthy people wake up three hours before they go to work; a study by Rich Habits reports that 88 percent of wealthy people read 30 minutes or more each day.
Billionaires know that the world is easy to influence.
As Steve Jobs once said, “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change
it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s life lesson is about not letting anyone tell your story. Even if there are people as smart as you or smarter than you in your team, he says, “Don’t be intimidated working with them.”
Billionaires are not happy with just one big idea. Instead of going for
Billionaires live within their means, no matter how much money they have.
They don’t want to spend millions of dollars, they want to own it. A normal person is more likely to spend all of his take-home money and struggle to pay off mounting debts from credit cards, cars, and mortgages. A good example of a billionaire who lives within his means is the world’s richest man, Bill Gates. When asked to name his luxuries, he listed books, DVDs, and fast-food burgers—none of the fancy things that typical one-day millionaires might have.
Billionaires are not just passionate, they are obsessed.
There’s a kind of passion you will sense when billionaires speak, but sometimes it’s more than just passion. It’s an “obsession,” as described by Justine Musk, the ex-wife of billionaire inventor Elon Musk. In a piece on Quora, Justine writes that great billionaires like Elon, Richard
Branson, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs don’t think the way other people think.
Billionaires thrive on criticism.
Billionaires don’t get weighed down by criticism easily. Henry Ford was once called “ignorant” by a publishing house. Optimistic by nature, Ford as well as other billionaires know that part of being a billionaire is accepting criticism. According to Larry Ellison of Oracle, “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.”
There’s a kind of passion you will sense when billionaires speak, but sometimes it’s more than just passion. It’s an “obsession,”.
Billionaires learn quickly from their mistakes.
Just like every other human, billionaires make mistakes too. As Steve Jobs said, mistakes are part of innovation. Instead of bowing their heads in defeat, they quickly acknowledge their flaws and get on with improving other innovations. Most of us have really great ideas that we hope will eventually make billions. However, it’s not just the ideas that make the billionaires wealthy—it’s the drive, hard work, and discipline to live a simple life and give up on things that get in their way to making more money. Billionaires know that the only way for them to make more money is to strip themselves of habits that keep normal people… well, normal.
one big business idea, top entrepreneurs are willing to pursue multiple opportunities. Richard Branson’s first stab at entrepreneurship was selling Christmas trees and parakeets as a kid. After those businesses failed, he launched a student magazine and started selling mail order records. Over time, Branson sold additional items, including vacation packages, personal finance services, and even wedding dresses. JUNE 2016
Reviewing activity of key people through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity suggests senior individuals in companies, and their traditional M&A advisors, are significantly better at spotting value, than actually translating sources of this value into achievable goals. Tougher still is actually achieving these integrative goals.
A Starterâ€™s Guide to Integration, Mergers and Acquisitions By Mike Orlov
“Creation of a new culture and a new company ‘language’, or new signs and symbols embracing both organizations, will considerably aid integration.” The M&A Process
Mergers and acquisitions are changes in control of companies, involving the combined operations of multiple entities into a single enterprise. Understanding the theoretical benefits which flow from two companies coming together is the first step of M&A activity. Outlining revenuesynergies, exploring cost-saving efficiencies and planning opportunities are vital elements of M&A processes. But creating more effective coordination, creating alignment and synergy from people in disparate cultures demanding a ‘how-to’ approach, means putting employees at the centre of these activities. The M&A process goes through many months of strategic-planning, analysis, screening, and negotiation. Integration is affected both by errors made in earlier stages and by the organizational, financial, and changemanagement skills of executives from both companies and their chosen serviceproviders. Those who integrate more effectively will deliver a higher return-oninvestment to shareholders.
creATing A roAdMAP
Just prior to launching the integration stage, the acquirer will know a lot more about the company being acquired than it did through the due-diligence stage. This new knowledge ought to create a shift in planning, demanding the acquirer revisits (several times) possible valuecreation in the planning stage. Putting together detailed specific, measureable, agreeable and realistic, milestone-driven plans demands a hands-on approach to communicating with and motivating employees from very different cultures. The key to successful M&A activity is driven by integrative implementation through reflective strategy execution following the completion of broad goals-setting. Before finally agreeing and setting detailed implementation performance objectives, the management team will have to outline actions to 36
achieve them. These actions will have to update expectations on synergies after the due-diligence phase, by looking more broadly at capital productivity, revenue enhancement, and cost efficiency. Transformational demands to motivate employees through the M&A integrationprocess will also have to be looked at. There will always be many dilemmas for fully effective integrative–implementation of M&A activity. There will be tough decisions to make and difficult trade-offs to negotiate, demanding clarity, with transparent tracking procedures over agreed timeframes. Most owners, board members, leaders and managers find this integrative-implementation approach in M&A processes very challenging. The value-creation process requires setting a gritty and realistic road-map through the mess and chaos of acquiring or merging companies and working in the trenches to ensure value is increased, not wasted. High-performing acquirers understand the complexity and importance of successful integration-aspects of M&A activity. Companies that apply and implement customized best-practice objectives have the best chance of delivering on the full potential of any acquisition.
inTegrATion of The Workforce
There is often a sense of the integrationconcepts being delivered from on high; conceived in an ivory tower, materials produced, meetings held to tell staff what to do, with sound-bites doing little to catch the rich nature of the concept of integration. When first devising integration strategy, leaders need to explicitly recognize there will be negative reactions against the concept as individuals struggle with an understanding of what it all means to them. There will be resistance to ideas. Integrating companies requires a high degree of effort and coordination from across the newly combined organization;
In a merger, the parties agree to combine their operations into a single entity:
Why Merge? u
The combined entity would be larger, and have more resources for marketing, product expansion, and financing
Could merge similar operations to reduce costs
Might have less competition in the marketplace, increasing share
Might have synergy in operations
In an acquisition, one entity purchases another, and has the right to sell off operations, merge them into similar groups, or close facilities or cancel products altogether: Why Acquire? u
To obtain a specific product. It can be less expensive to purchase a company offering a product rather than building it
A company might acquire other companies to increase its size. A larger company may have more visibility in the marketplace, and also better access to credit and other resources
A company might acquire another to obtain control over a critical resource
this cannot be solely a top-down ‘they will do as they are told’ approach. People need to be treated as individuals through integration following an M&A. Each member of different groups within each company involved in the M&A has a different biography. Each member of these different groups takes part in the group activity stimulated by the introduction of integrative material. Each individual has drivers that are their own; these drivers do not belong to ‘the group’ and what is being seen by leaders and managers is not herd-like normative behaviour. Any attempt at describing this as cohesiveness must be recognised as too simplified. In practice, there will be no herd-like normative reactions; ambiguities and variety always plays too rich a part in the dialogue stimulated through integration, making cohesive action even more difficult for those driving the merger or acquisition. Integration of people, processes and cultures are big risks to consider when framing the M&A. Given that human capital, social capital and organizational capital are such risks, it is important to ensure an understanding of cultural issues in the pre-combination integration phase of M&A activity, actioned with as much zeal and scrutiny as financial and accounting due-diligence.
A neW Work culTure Creation of a new culture and a new company ‘language’, or new signs and symbols embracing both organizations, will considerably aid integration. One of the most successful integrative approaches is based around the metaphor of a play: an inter-active play, directed in such a way that the actors are employees and
are given a great deal of freedom in their interpretation of the script, or plan. The author of the play cannot know who will be in the audience each night therefore should not dictate too much to the actors. However without the authored text there is no play, but without the freedom for the actors to interpret there can be no creativity thus less connection with the audience; in essence, the better the integration, the greater the return on investment. For successful M&A activity, due-diligence reviews of the financial, legal and operational risks/opportunities remain incomplete without an understanding of organizational culture, social processes and the individual employees of both organizations. How can we know what resources to dedicate to workforce integration, alignment and synergy? Statistics show 50 percent of M&A activity fails, with some reports as high as 80 percent; and it is failure of organizational integration due to cultural aspects which is invariably blamed for most failures. An early start on an integrative focus and approach will facilitate and stimulate active and transformative individuals within both companies. Employees who are engaged with and encouraged to develop new approaches for both acquirer and acquired, will unlock more value from effective integration of a merger or acquisition.
Tips for smooth mergers and acquisitions: u
Prepare for change; it is hard and emotional
Some mergers or acquisitions require new behaviours and ways of doing things. Adapt accordingly
Minimize resistance and speed up commitment
Effective implementation will be less painful and add more value
Have a detailed change management plan in place. Execute effectively
Increase ability to achieve success through people
Everyone deals with integration differently. Ensuring people make commitments to changes is not a one size fits all, off the shelf solution
In order to effectively merge two cultures, you need to create a new one – a new ‘language’
Mike Orlov Partner, SteppingStone Global Before joining ‘SteppingStone Global’, Mike has spent 35 years in industry, publishing magazines at Haymarket, Turret and Reed Elsevier, working in newspapers and on digital channels in the UK and the GCC, having been a director at Northern and Shell and on the board of the London Evening Standard. Launching media brands in Dubai for ENG, Mike was also Chief Performance Officer for News Group International, before taking the Chief Executive role at Primedia International, with offices across the GCC and headquartered in Bahrain. Mike has completed an executive MBA, achieving a distinction.
The Year of the Entrepreneur The Bahrain Start-up Scene’s Biggest Supporting Organizations By Anita Menon 38
If you have decided to be an entrepreneur recently, you couldn’t have chosen a better time. There is social acceptance and allaround support from the government and the private sector to this budding class of future business owners. Hawkeyed angel funds and VCs are constantly on the lookout for the best ideas that can reap them a bumper harvest in the shortest possible time. All in all, the entrepreneur support mechanism is growing stronger with numerous incubation centers and advisory support cropping up. A staggering number of government and private entrepreneurship awards exist to boost the entrepreneur’s morale. But before anything, we need to understand: who or what makes an entrepreneur?
According to Chris Oakley, the Chairman of the leading web design company, Chapter Eight, “An entrepreneur sees an opportunity which others do not fully recognize, to meet an unsatisfied demand or to radically improve the performance of an existing business. They have unquenchable self-belief that this opportunity can be made real through hard work, commitment and the adaptability to learn the lessons of the market along the way.” The key words to note are “opportunity”, “unsatisfied demand”, “self-belief”, “commitment” and “adaptability”. When all of these remarkable words come together, they tend to make an entrepreneur rise in the face of competition and other external circumstances. If we look at Bahrain in recent times, the entrepreneurship scene hwsas been evolving rapidly. The government, media, publishing houses, and private groups are actively tuned into the entrepreneurial scene in the country. Bahrain is a wonderful place to kick-start pilot projects and to test the market. By the principle of extrapolation, this testing ground becomes a great start point to move into the other markets in the GCC. If you are a budding entrepreneur, here are few sources that you can look at for support and guidance –
The semi-government entity established in 2006 has been the epicenter of all things SME and start-up. This unique funding mechanism was established to rejuvenate the sagging economy. Influx of funds from Tamkeen to sick industries and smaller businesses is said to have played a crucial role in bolstering the confidence of the investor in Bahrain. Tamkeen acts in the advisory capacity as well, hand-holding budding entrepreneurs
to start-off and expand eventually. Tamkeen works via the application procedure, and the applicant can apply for funding for their marketing, expansion, business process improvement, machinery and other specific business expense. (www.tamkeen.bh)
Established in 2011, Tenmou is Bahrain’s first “Business Angel’s” Organization. This organization provides mentorship and capital to high potential business ideas. Primarily set up to support Bahraini entrepreneurs, the organization comprises high net worth individuals and business houses that provide the needed funding. (www.tenmou.me)
3. Bahrain Development Bank (BDB)
The BDB has several entrepreneur support facilities in their own kitty and are
one of the key partners to several other private and government entrepreneurial programs. BDB’s own Bahrain Entrepreneur Support Program (ROWAD) and Entrepreneurship Orientation program have all forms of support by the way of mentorship, training and coaching, incubation, funding etc. (www.bdb-bh.com)
“The government, media, publishing houses, and private groups are actively tuned into the entrepreneurial scene in the country.”
4. Economic Development Board (EDB)
The main mandate of the EDB is to attract global, regional and local investment into the country. The EDB supports and creates an environment that is conducive for investment and a viable business idea is right up their alley. The EDB supports directly or via partnerships, various entrepreneurshiprelated activities, summits and award programs. (www.bahrainedb.com)
5. Riyadat Mall
The Bahrain Women’s Competence Development Center is established at Riyadat Mall which is a special incubation center for Bahraini women entrepreneurs. Developed from the collaboration between The Supreme Council of Women
and the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), the Riyadat Mall houses tenants who receive all the benefits of incubation for three years. (www.riyadat.com.bh) If you have been waiting for the right time to launch a business, 2016 might just be your year. The economy is desperately trying to revive itself through different measures. The entrepreneurs who flag off in this year will have the opportunity to play conservatively. New entrepreneurs will have to take measured steps, seek guidance and grow at a slower pace. A sluggish economy requires creative thinking and out-of-the-box solutions, and the players who survive the difficult years, are bound to succeed in the long run.
Anita Menon is the founder of the digital marketing firm The Butterfly Effect. She converges her business consulting skills with her passion for social media to create digital marketing solutions for enterprises and individuals. www. thebutterflyeffect.co
Growth of a country InternatIonal Investment Formula For economIc Growth By: Professor Mukhtar AL-Hashimi
Economic growth has been a major challenge for many countries. How do they meet this challenge? For rapid economic gain, most countries respond with an effort to attract direct or indirect investments from other countries, otherwise known as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) respectively. In this article, we examine how each one impacts the economic growth of a country.
DI vs fII
To best understand the difference between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FII), let us look at an example of each. Assume that there is a company based and operating in the U.S. and this U.S. firm desires to invest in Bahrain. This company has two options to invest, either through FDI or FII. In the case of FDI, a company is owned in the U.S. and performs all its business activities such as manufacturing, producing and selling its products in the U.S. The company wants to invest in Bahrain, so they make a direct investment by opening a subsidiary company in Bahrain. The subsidiary has a limited operation, producing, manufacturing and selling its products in Bahrain. This positively contributes directly to the host company since it creates jobs, builds infrastructure, transfers technology and develops the innovative skills of the local workforce. This makes an FDI a long-term investment and partnership. In the case of the second option, an FII involves individual investors who want to invest in the debt or liquidity market of the other country. For example, assume that there is an investor who wants to invest his money in Bahrain by purchasing equity of a Bahraini company or granting a loan to a company in Bahrain. An FII is therefore a short-term or long-term investment because it is created through either the share or debt market. To highlight the major difference between FDI and FII, FDI leads to increased productivity, has a direct impact on the GDP of the country, focuses on the long-term investment, creates jobs and influences both transfer of knowledge and development of more managerial skills for the local workforce. This, in turn, moves the workforce up in the economic value chain and adds value to the people. In contrast, FII leads to increase in capital in the country, but has no effect on GDP. It could be either a short-term or long-term investment but it does not create jobs. To sum it up, FDI refers to investments made in a country by or to individuals or businesses which reside outside of that country. Usually these investments
range from forming, buying or expanding business operations of a company that is based elsewhere. In contrast, FII includes buying the shares or bonds of local firms by those who reside in a different country. FDI provides significant economic gain, skilled labour and market segments. Recognizing this phenomenon, many countries develop long-term and short-term strategies in order to attract FDIs to allow them to create a diversified economy that will have a positive impact on their economy and the welfare of the people.
assessment crIterIa for Investment One of the major assessment tools foreign investors use during their decision making process is the respective countryâ€™s rating in the Annual Index of Economic Freedom issued by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal. The report mainly covers two-part scoring areas, the first of which includes the size of the government, the legal system and property rights, sound money, and freedom of international trade. The second scoring part covers credit market regulations, labour market regulations and business regulations. On a practical level, to attract foreign direct investments, many countries have developed promotional strategies that underline their readiness and unique positioning among other countries. Among these strategies is the dissemination of information through multiple marketing and advertising channels focusing on branding the country. This is achieved through positive image building activities and listing ideas for investments within different sectors aligned with their national strategy. Many of these sectors are supported with the information related to the required infrastructure. However, in a free economy, firms are always looking to maximize their profits and gain market shares. When it comes to foreign direct investments, elements such as market size and potential for growth need to be considered. Another element considered by potential investors is the infrastructure of the host environment in terms of capability, standards and quality. The infrastructure includes activities to support business services, raw material availability, and very importantly, human skills and employability. A well-educated population will always attract substantial FDI investors with high economic impact on the host country. Generally, countries with poor infrastructure will not be able to competitively attract FDI. Incentive and liberalization of the economy is another major factor that FDI investors explore during their decision making process. The emphasis here is
communication of relevant information including current reforms, policies and business infrastructure profile to potential parties through different promotion campaigns. Another important practice Bahrain has adopted is building a positive image and branding as a favourable country with the right environment for international investments. This is supported by compiling potential investment activities and interests across different business, industrial and services sectors. In addition, Bahrain, as part of its promotion strategy to attract foreign investments, has outlined its economic, social and educational strengths and opportunities for new demands across different business sectors. All this is supported by the incentives that the government is providing to the international investors once they choose Bahrain.
BahraIn’s Key strenGths
more toward policies and incentives the host environment is offering to the investors such as free tax, government subsidies, flexibility in compliance toward international external regulatory concern such as environment issues, occupational safety and labour issues. In addition, FDI investors always consider political stability since it is one of the most important factors in attracting external investment flow.
BahraIn anD InternatIonal Investment
Bahrain is always on the move to create a friendly business environment and infrastructure to attract regional and foreign investments. From the early 1970’s, the government has initiated several infrastructure projects to position Bahrain as a favourable location for international investments. This effort is supported by
the development of a skilful labour force, a friendly business environment and the liberalization of the procedure and policies to meet international standards. All these efforts have positioned Bahrain to be attractive for international investments. The country has scored among the top 10 countries on the economic freedom index. Importantly, the Bahrain Vision of 2030, established by the government, focuses on strengthening its economy through diversification and attractive international investments. To implement the 2030 Vision, the government has initiated a massive number of projects that are well-planned while monitoring their performance and embracing educational, social and economic reforms that will contribute primarily to the Bahrain 2030 Vision and continue to attract more international investors. Bahrain has recognized the importance of adopting a promotional strategy to attract foreign direct investment through different practices. Among these are the
Currently, Bahrain is home to many multinational companies contributing to the gross domestic product and employment. Bahrain’s unique geographic location and friendly environment, strong financial centre and international trade relationships, all contribute to the selection of Bahrain by international investors. With respect to these elements, Bahrain has met FDI expectations, and the government is continuously improving its infrastructure to maintain its competitive edge. Openness is another unique strength of Bahrain. Openness reflects how well the country is integrated with the global system in terms of freedom of capital flow and freedom of trade locally, regionally, and internationally. When it comes to openness, Bahrain has a strong relationship with regional countries as well as globally through different trade agreements. In addition, Bahrain maintains excellent standards on openness, especially capital flow. Bahrain, like many other countries, has embedded within its 2030 Vision all the critical elements to attract FDI opportunities and Bahrain continues to actively implement the Vision, hence positioning itself to have a diversified and strong economy.
Professor Mukhtar Al-Hashimi Ahlia University, Bahrain Email malhashimi@ ahlia.edu.bh Instagram “Prof_Mukhtar” Mobile +973- 39664117
Cov e r S t or y
Mazin Khoury ExclusivE intErviEw with AmEricAn ExprEss mEnA cEO On thE FuturE OF cOnsumEr spEnDinG hABits in thE Gcc GETTING TO KNOW ThE CUSTOMER: ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS MENA’S LATEST CONSUMER RESEARCh
AmEricAn ExprEss rEcEntly unDErtOOk A survEy tO DiG A littlE DEEpEr intO thE cOnsumErs’ psychE within thE Gcc. hErE tO GivE us An AnAlysis On thE rEsults is mAzin khOury, thE mAn in chArGE OF thE FinAnciAl GiAnt’s OpErAtiOns in thE mEnA rEGiOn.
hat were the main demographics of the people you surveyed, and how large was the survey sample?
We undertook 430 face to face interviews in UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait & Oman. We spoke to people who are actively involved in deciding how household income is spent. The male/female split was approximately 55% and 45% respectively, and all were aged over 18. They were either nationals or expat residents living in-country for at least a year. Annual income had to be at least USD 75,000.
What would you say in your opinion was the most interesting thing you discovered in your findings?
Despite the changing economic circumstances, only 39% cut back their spending although they’ve switched the type of things they spend their money on. Our research also found that despite this shift in spending, Bahrain residents still have room for luxury spending with around 6% - equivalent to around $730 – of monthly household income devoted to the good things in life.
What is the main difference between Bahrain’s consumers’ spending habits when compared to the other GCC countries? One area our research explored was whether consumers had spent more or less than planned in the last 12 months. In all five countries where we conducted the research, consumers spent less than planned but this trend was most prevalent in Bahrain. Here, 39% spent less than planned compared to the regional average of 20%.
In your opinion does education play a role in spending habits?
The research showed that the winds of economic change are impacting spending habits, rather than educational attainment. Consumers are being smarter with their money as they seek rewards and value for their spending – a trend we’ve seen as people switch from cash to cards.
Assuming all things equal (job, age, status etc), based on the data, who spends more women or men?
We researched a lot of things but that wasn’t one of the things we looked at since we focused on how households spent their income.
How about locals versus expatriate residents?
Again, we didn’t look at absolute spend between nationals and expatriates although there are some interesting differences in spending habits between the two.
Do you think the increase in cost of living had a major impact on your survey?
We saw that people have had to spend more on the basic necessities. While the research did not look at this question specifically, I think it’s fair to say that the rising cost of living in the Gulf has impacted the way people spend their money.
What is the number one thing that your consumer uses your cards to pay for?
There is no one thing that our Cardmembers use their cards for! Over the years, we’ve seen our people buy limited edition cars, houses, yachts as well as their milk, bread and coffee.
Has there been an increase in delinquent payments from previous years?
That’s not something we’ve noticed. Of course, we’re keeping an eye on that. Responsible lending has always been at the heart of our operations. We believe that offering financial services in a safe, trusted and responsible manner forms the basis of all our interactions with Cardmembers. We adopt responsible lending practices which are benchmarked against competitors through assigning credit limits that are proportionate to the Cardmembers’ income levels and their ability to make repayments.
From the three similar surveys done by AEME so far, for which sectors in Bahrain have consumer spending remained largely the same, and which areas have been the hardest hit? Over the four years we’ve undertaken these surveys, we’ve chosen to look at different aspects of spending. That means that we can’t always compare year on year. However, we have seen that spending on holidays remains very buoyant in Bahrain.
“cOnsumErs ArE BEinG smArtEr with thEir mOnEy As thEy sEEk rEwArDs AnD vAluE FOr thEir spEnDinG” JUNE 2016
Bahrain is home to many entrepreneurs and SMEs. What does AEME do to support them? Bahrain is indeed one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the region, helped by an extremely pro-business framework put in place by the government. We don’t have specific products for entrepreneurs or SMEs but we do provide bespoke Corporate Payment Solutions. These are powerful yet flexible tools that put companies in control of their expenditure, delivering significant savings in key expense categories such as utilities, travel and entertainment.
As an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a business in Bahrain, based on the research, which sectors of the market would be most lucrative?
Residents of Bahrain continue to spend on travel so if you took only the results of our survey, I’d say that would definitely be an area to look at. However, Bahrain has a very vibrant economy, with its residents enjoying many pursuits from dining out to sport. My feeling is that as long as you have a good idea and you’re prepared to work hard, you can make any business idea a success in this country.
According to the data, the biggest chunk of experiential spending for residents in Bahrain is holidays. Do you think that’s partially because Bahrain is small and thus less places to go versus say the UAE? I don’t think that’s the case at all. Dating back to the time of the Dilmun civilization, there is a long and proud trading tradition which saw our ancestors travel thousands of miles. The same is still true today and residents of Bahrain enjoy travelling. It’s no surprise to me that a major portion of disposable income is dedicated towards experiencing new cultures and countries.
Does American Express have any travel partners? How does American Express help its members with their travel plans and value? For businesses that work with us, we have a number of products which help make their travel bookings smoother. Most notable of these is the Business Travel Account (BTA) – an easy-to-use and effective tool that allows companies to manage their corporate travel expenses with their Travel Management Company (TMC). Our Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers also have access 24/7 to a team of Travel and Lifestyle experts. These experts are incredibly knowledgeable about destinations all over the world and help thousands of our Cardmembers with their travel plans. We also have partnerships with well-known hotels chains and major airlines, including Gulf Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and British Airways.
“wE hAvE sEEn thAt spEnDinG On hOliDAys rEmAins vEry BuOyAnt in BAhrAin” 48
Another interesting find was that, aside from holidays, consumers across the region are also spending more on clothing and footwear. What in your opinion can be the reason for this?
In all of the surveys we’ve commissioned which look at spending habits in the region, we’ve seen a very high propensity to spend on fashion. Our findings are mirrored by those from other companies such as Bain & Company which show that the Middle East is among the world’s top ten markets for luxury fashion items. These statistics are backed by the actions of the world’s finest clothing and footwear brands which continue to invest in the region. You only have to take a stroll around the malls in the GCC to know how many luxury brands have a presence here.
What are you doing to strengthen your company from any possible mistakes in e-security such as identity theft and fraud?
American Express Middle East takes the security and protection of its Cardmembers very seriously. Our employees are regularly and appropriately trained, and our state-of-the-art fraud detection systems help us keep Cardmembers informed when suspicious activity takes place. We have invested heavily in our security infrastructure which helps keep data safe as well as protecting customers’ online transactions through our “Safekey” technology. Safe Key is a new layer of security against theft and fraud when shopping online. It helps prevent unauthorised online Card use before it happens by asking the Cardmembers to enter a password every time they shop online at participating SafeKey merchants.
What are the different cards that AMEX offers to the Middle East consumer?
We offer both credit and charge cards billed in local currency or US Dollars with a wide range of features and benefits depending on our customer’s needs and financial situation. They vary from the iconic American Express Green Card through to the invitation-only Centurion Card for those seeking a unique level of personalized service. For our business customers, we offer a one-stop business solution for all their business expense needs through the American Express Corporate Card and Business Travel Account.
What is your growth strategy in the GCC region for 2016? American Express is the world’s largest card issuer by purchase volume. There are 117 million American Express Cards in force which are accepted at millions of locations across the globe. We plan to continue our growth in the foreseeable future by attracting both new Cardmembers and increased spend among our existing customer base. This is driven by our continued focus on relationship management and 24/7 customer service. After more than 50 years in this region we know what our Cardmembers have come to expect from us.
What future consumer spending trends in the GCC can we expect to see in 2016/17?
I think much of that will depend on what happens to the economies of the region and a fair amount of that depends on oil prices. As economies in the region acclimatise to lower oil prices, we can expect to see people redistribute their spending towards the necessities of life. However, as this becomes the ‘new normal’ we’ll see people resume the spending habits we’ve seen over the last 10-15 years.
Here are some multi-day holiday packages, with the prices inclusive of accommodation. We’ve included some must-know facts about each country to help you make your choice.
United ArAb emirAtes
Where in UAE: Dubai How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 70/person What UAE is known for: It’s cultural diversity, sand dunes, the tallest building and the largest mall in the world. Very similar to Bahrain, except for the fact that everything’s just bigger. Watch out for: Quite expensive. Make sure you set aside a significant amount of money for your spending in order to have a good time. Trivia: Before gaining independence from the British in the 1970s, the UAE was collectively known as the ‘Trucial States’.
KAR Travels Presents: The Ultimate Holiday Destination Guide
s holiday season approaches, it’s time to get your vacation plans in order. Check out our holiday package deals* and get ready to have the time of your life.
Where in Turkey: Istanbul, Bursa How Long: 6 Days, 5 Nights How Much: BD 160/person What Turkey is known for: The Blue Mosque, Turkish delight, Rumi, and strikingly good-looking soap actors. Watch out for: Crazy taxi drivers, hustling vendors, pickpockets in crowded areas and almost no non-smoking areas. Trivia: Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, “Veni, Vid, Vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) in Turkey.
Where in Australia: Gold Coast, Cairns, Sydney How Long: 7 Days, 6 Nights How Much: BD 210/person What Australia is known for: Surfing, Kangaroos, Ayres Rock, Sydney Opera House. Watch out for: Everything not human trying to kill you. Trivia: 9 of the 10 most venomous types of snakes in the world are found in Australia.
Where in UK: London, Edinburgh, Wales How Long: 7 Days, 6 Nights How Much: BD 245/person What UK is known for: The Beatles, Queen, The Queen, her house (Buckingham Palace), Mr. Bean, David Beckham’s right foot, and angry Scotsmen. Watch out for: Football hooligans, the many English accents that don’t sound like English at all, and Haggis (food). Seriously, never try it. Trivia: ‘Big Ben’ doesn’t refer to the famous clock at London’s Houses of Parliament, but to the bell inside. The building itself is called the Elizabeth Tower.
5 thAilAnd Where in Thailand: Phuket, Chiang Mai, Bangkok How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 145/person What Thailand is known for: Beautiful beaches, temples, Thai food, inexpensive shopping. Watch out for: Bangkok can be quite a dangerous city. Watch out for crime of any sort. And drug-dealing monkeys. Trivia: Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant and the longest single-span suspension bridge.
Where in Indonesia: Bali How Long: 7 Days, 6 Nights How Much: BD 185/person What Indonesia is known for: White sand beaches, cheap shopping, nightlife and nasi goreng (fried rice). The ‘love’ in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Watch out for: Heat stroke, crazy roads, unpredictable tides. Trivia: Indonesia is the fourth-most populous country (238 million as of 2010), only after the People’s Republic of China, India, and the United States.
FrAnce, GermAny & itAly
Where: Paris, Munich, Venice How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 245/person What each place is known for: Paris: museums, Eiffel tower, French pastry. Venice: gondolas, Munich: beautiful architecture, Oktoberfest. Watch out for: The French may refuse to speak any language other than their mother tongue – even if they know how to speak it. Paris may also prove to be a little pricey. Other than that, all three places are quite safe, apart from a few rough neighbourhoods in Paris and Munich. Trivia: France and its overseas territories cover 12 different time zones, the most of any country in the world. Gummy bears were invented by a German.
Where in Greece: All around How Long: 6 Days, 5 Nights How Much: BD 299/person What Greece is known for: The Parthenon, Cycladic Islands, Greek mythology, ruining our childhoods through the discovery of many mathematical theorems. Watch out for: Overly friendly people, ill-tempered donkeys. Trivia: Greece has more than 2,000 islands, of which only 170 are populated.
Where in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 160/person What Malaysia is known for: Truly Asia. Beautiful beaches with crystal blue water, amazing wildlife and nightlife. Also, check out the Petronas Towers, and the world-class f1 track. Watch out for: Pickpockets, travel scams Trivia: Malaysia has 65,877 km of highway. This is more than the Earth’s circumference of 40,075 km.
spAin & portUGAl
Where: Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 290/person What each place is known for: Spain: flamenco, bullfighting, fantastic football teams. Portugal: Jeronimos Monastery, beautiful beaches, Cristiano Ronaldo. Watch out for: Do not play football with any of the local kids. They will embarrass you. Trivia: Portugal has the world’s largest Solar Energy plant. When you think of olive oil, you probably think of Italy. In reality, Spain produces 45% of all olive oil in the world.
escorted grouP tours
For people with a little more sense of adventure, we got some tailored group tours to guarantee an experience you’ll never forget.
spAnish FiestA How long: 12 Days Where: Spain & Portugal How Much: BD 580/person
london – london How Long: 8 Days Where: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland & France How Much: BD 560/person
rome – london How long: 11 Days Where: Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France & England How Much: BD 725/person
best oF eUrope
How long: 16 Days Where: Holland, Germany, Switzerland, France & Italy How Much: BD 935/person
How long: 6 Days Where: Spain & Portugal How Much: BD 345/person
eAst & West UsA
How long: 19 Days Where: New York to San Francisco How Much: BD 1061/person
How long: 13 Days Where: Vancouver to Vancouver How Much: BD 665/person
neW york, niAGArA FAlls, WAshinGton dc How long: 8 Days Where: New York to San Francisco How Much: BD 565/person
How long: 17 Days Where: Toronto to Vancouver How Much: BD 911/person
mSC – prezioSa Star CruiSeS – SuperStar Gemini Where: Singapore & Malaysia How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 200/person
Where: Italy, Malta, Spain & France How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 305/person
CoSta CruiSeS – DelizioSa Where: Italy & Greece How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 200/person
prinCeSS CruiSeS – royal prinCeSS Where: Spain, France & Italy How Long: 8 Days, 7 Nights How Much: BD 200/person
For people who want to enjoy their journey as much as their destination, we’ve got some cruise packages to help you travel in style. royal Caribbean – allure of tHe SeaS (largest cruise ship in the world!) Where: Florida, Haiti, Jamaica & Mexico How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 200/person
royal Caribbean – oaSiS of tHe SeaS Where: Florida, Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 200/person
royal Caribbean – Harmony of tHe SeaS
nCl – norweGian epiC
Where: Italy, Greece & Croatia How Long: 4 Days, 3 Nights How Much: BD 569/person
Where: Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Italy How Long: 12 Days, 11 Nights How Much: BD 320/person
*All given rates are tentative and do not have f lights included. Rates and availability will be subject to change without prior notice and Offers are not valid during peak seasons, major exhibitions and events. 54
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Closing the Gender Gap
Negotiation: Ways Women can Win
By: Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy
The Chartered Management Institute estimates women are underpaid by 100 minutes every day in comparison to their male colleagues. Over the course of a year this adds up to a staggering 57 days, which equates to an average 22% of annual salary. Ann Francke, the Institute’s Chief Executive, has also suggested that the bonuses men receive can be twice those of their female counterparts. This has been attributed to: firstly, their bosses and secondly, to the fact that gender salary gaps have widened especially in the over 40s.
One arguable reasOn fOr the abOve is that, perhaps uncOnsciOusly, women want to avoid confrontation where men actually look forward to the challenge of winning what they feel they deserve. The argument for women standing up for their rights is that companies which embrace more progressive policies benefit economically, including through higher productivity. The key to achieving true equality in the workplace is negotiation. Negotiating is an essential skill in the changing world of work as we are changing jobs more and more frequently. We negotiate more than ever before for salaries, bonuses, promotions, working conditions, responsibilities and job titles. These soft skills have been included in many workshops, presentations and articles. We are told to listen carefully and listen before speaking, respect views of others, go with solutions not problems and remain composed. 56
“The argument for women standing up for their rights is that companies which embrace more progressive policies benefit economically, including through higher productivity.”
If you find negotiation uncomfortable, and win-win as unimaginable (not only in work but in family life and other areas of your life), the following advice will help you personally, professionally, organisationally and financially. These ideas are based on the ideas of Kathleen O’Connor who writes for Harvard Business Review.
Nurture your networks
We all have networks. They come from family, friends, societies, online and off line. Colleagues and acquaintances enable you to draw upon a wide range of people and this network is often overlooked and underutilized. O’Connor suggests spending time, “… thinking about how you can better use existing networks to get what you want. LinkedIn and Facebook provide easy ways to strengthen links and extend your reach. Do you know someone who can make the introduction you need? If you feel uncomfortable asking someone for something then think what you can do that they need, get in touch and make an offer of help.”
If you are preparing for a big negotiation, you may well know someone who is aware of the ways the other person ‘ticks’, what they like and what they hate as this is invaluable armour for you. Also remember to reciprocate to keep relationships alive too.
Ask not what your company can do for you but what you can do for your company
Can what you want be framed as part of a wider, commonly beneficial project? Research indicates that - rightly or wrongly – women are more likely to be effective in negotiations when they show how their ‘demands’ will profit the business as a whole rather themselves personally. Presenting a communal and commercial goal rather than a self-interested approach is often more effective. Interestingly, men would be more likely to use their testosterone and see their wishes as demands, where women would see them as requests. Also ensure you have very clear intentions of
what you want, what you need and what you can drop if necessary. O’Connor warns,“…don’t be too self-effacing and end up eradicating yourself and your contributions from the picture. Never assume that all your skills and achievements have been noticed. Demonstrate what you’ve done that’s earned your company success. Speak up. Now is the time to blow your own trumpet.”
Asking is for free
Asking IS free. If you’re told ‘no’, think how you might be able change that ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ by putting forward your request in a different way. Make sure that what you’re asking for is clear and precise, especially when speaking to a busy male boss. O’Connor insists that women should, “Avoid apologizing (unless you’ve been rude, of course) as it immediately weakens your position and can pre-empt a negative
reception. Have the courage of your opinions and state them clearly without using hedging words that make you appear unsure. Use clean language too. “Replace ‘It seems to me…’ with ‘It is…’ and ‘I think we should…’ with ‘We should…’ In this way you will come across – and feel – more confident. And if you’re still hesitant at the thought of launching yourself into negotiating a better deal at work just, remember those 100 minutes.” This has impact. Picture your male colleagues leaving the office each day a full hour and forty minutes before you! Dr Clare Beckett-McInroy is a Researcher on Arab Women, Education and Employability as well as HRD and Leadership globally. She is CEO of BMC, Author of ‘Networking Know How’ and other books as well as a Certified Master Executive, Team and Leadership Coach. Visit www.beckett-mcinroy. com for further details.
Getting the Word Out The New World of Public Relations In this noisy and media saturated world we live in today, it is more important than ever to communicate with customers and other stakeholders to help them understand our story. Public relations is one of the best ways to get recognized, build loyalty and encourage advocacy.
By Eman Bu-Rashid
You must be familiar with the dictator-like approach to public relations. It is the approach of “we speak, you listen.” Companies broadcast instead of communicate or participate. Don’t you agree that the whole essence of public relations is about relationships and people? Like most forms of communication, the Internet has changed how we get information, who we have access to, and who controls what is said. Nowadays anyone and everyone is a potential publisher. Traditional media outlets are still important, but their importance has been diluted, to some degree, by the flow of information that reaches directly to the end user. 58
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A lot of things have changed in communications and public relations in recent years. From mass press releases to customized email management tools to reach our target; from Excel sheets to Customer Relation Management Systems (CRMs); from communications specifically for journalists to the inclusion of bloggers and influencers. All of these changes stem from the evolution of an industry that never stays still, where information is available to everybody, anywhere, at any time. And if you’re not there to take part, you’ll miss out.
PR and Communications drive a substantial amount of content creation from developing messaging strategy to content for newsrooms. PR content that can be optimized, socialized and publicized include: blog posts, press releases, case studies, social media content, newsletters, contributed articles, white papers, events (online and off). Whether it is text, image, audio or video, most PR activities involve content creation on a regular basis. Understanding the role that content plays in achieving both brand awareness and customer acquisition goals, the opportunities for integration between digital marketing and PR has become of great importance.
PR has changed massively; it isn’t just about media relations any longer. Digital PR is all about combining traditional PR with content marketing, social media and search: transforming static news into conversations and bypassing media to speak directly to your target audience online.
News can be spread further, faster, and more directly to a specific target audience than ever before in history.
News can be spread further, faster, and more directly to a specific target audience than ever before in history. It allows us to maximize news like never before. Instead of being satisfied with a single placement, your news can be shared exponentially. So now that we’ve established just what PR can bring to the digital marketing table, what are the best ways for businesses to put the methodology of public relations to use in the online arena?
here are 8 Best Pr Practices
Offline and online activity complement each other Content creation is one of the key struggles for businesses branching out into the world of digital. However, by ensuring that offline and online activities complement one another, brands can ensure they have plenty to talk about via both channels.
Bolster your media relations PR has long been about quality over quantity. Businesses should attempt to emulate PR practices with a view to building long-term relationships with offline and online publications, bloggers, and journalists that can provide valuable sources of coverage.
Repurposing One way to incorporate content marketing into your mix is to repurpose content you already have (press releases) into fresh content. A single press release can be re-purposed into a Slideshare presentation, a blog post, a guest blog post, a Pinterest infographic, a LinkedIn news update, a post on a relevant trade publications, Facebook page, an editorial opinion article for the local newspaper’s website and more. Share, re-purpose, share again – and repeat the same process a few more times! One piece of content can flow out to multiple sources. Instead of simply putting your press release in the press, turn it into a blog post that connects the news to an engaging viewpoint; use it as the launch-pad to discuss a related issue and educate. Find ways to take an offline PR campaign to social, and vice versa. When you re-purpose, don’t simply rewrite the piece. Go one step further to transform your news into content that provides VALUE.
Search Engine Optimization Once you have your content underway – take it even further with the second major piece of digital PR: SEO. This particular function should not belong to the IT specialist, or the web programmer – it’s a marketing function that should cross into all PR activity. Integrate search keywords to expose your news to those who are searching for similar content. Use your keyword research to drive trends, press releases and blog posts, and learn how to correctly integrate keywords into each piece of writing for maximum impact. By using your site as a hub for quality content relevant to your industry and offering insightful comment on pressing issues, you have the potential to attract social shares, online coverage, and guest-posting opportunities on relevant sites, which will generate more of those precious inbound links for SEO purposes. PR itself can also have a direct impact on traffic to your site. Companies can see a spike in website traffic following an intensive campaign.
Social Media Everyone knows that social media is a serious piece of “creating relationships with the public”, which is the core definition of public relations. For the last five years, social media has impacted brand visibility with a force. Take advantage of it to share your content. Not only that, but we can now use social media, blogs, reviews and content to not just share news, but also create dialogue.
Quality over quantity Promoting your quality on-site content can get you noticed by the people who matter, leading to the possibility of print coverage and participation in real-world interviews, editorials, and events— not to mention the prospect of new business from parties you’ve attracted through blogs, whitepapers, videos, and the like.
Join relevant industry communities and discussions Platforms such as LinkedIn and Google+ are among the best tools for finding and developing relevant communities; they also offer you a chance to showcase your expertise to those looking for advice or guidance.
Be curious… knowledge is a competitive advantage! Learn, learn, and learn. It has never been more important to ALWAYS continue learning – fresh skills are critical to your success. Whether you are a seasoned business owner or brand new to the industry – challenge yourself to constantly learn and apply new skills/technology to what you are doing, and adapt processes to fit your environment. It is critical to invest in YOU.
the BOttOM line
As with any sustained marketing effort it takes hard work, collaboration, and regular review to realize a successful PR campaign.
Eman Bu-Rashid is a marketing strategist. She is a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant based in Bahrain, the only certified consultant of this network in the region, and the founder of Keynotes Consultants and OnePointSix. She has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and SMEs, specializing in creating simple, effective marketing and business growth strategies. To get more tips and advice on marketing, send her an email email@example.com or visit her website: www.keynotesbh.com
The Most Revealing Questions Be sure you know to Ask During an Interview how to identify great talent during the interview process. 62
By: NANXI LIU - CEO, Enplug
ll entrepreneurs have given soliloquies about how finding great talent is our priority. Yet, we rarely take the time to craft the best recruiting process. At Enplug, a tech company that builds digital display software for businesses, weâ€™ve been able to instantly improve our candidates by asking better interview questions.
A major part of our team’s culture is our obsession with developing impactful and useful technology. A standard in our product development is to constantly improve existing features, which often means imagining new designs to test. We need candidates who don’t hesitate to share audacious ideas. For candidates who give a weak first answer to the “unlimited” question, we ask them to think about something grander to build. If their second answer is excellent, we still add points, because they were able to adjust quickly based on our feedback.
Some of our other favorite offbeat questions are:
Name a company in our industry that you believe is building a useful product. We ask this question instead of “Do you like tech?” Enplug has built the leading open software for digital displays in businesses, a hardcore tech product. So naturally, we are partial to interviewees who answer “Braintree,” instead of “Nike.” We encourage candidates to take a few seconds to name a company to avoid defaulting to Apple or Google. I want the candidate to give me an answer that my grandfather in China couldn’t give as well. What tech leader do you admire? This is a difficult question to answer on the spot, so when candidates do give firm responses, we reward bonus points. There’s no right or wrong answer. We value how they answer. For example, “I like Bill Gates because he’s built a great company and has a great cause now” is not as strong as “I like John Legere (T-Mobile’s CEO) because he’s unapologetically rebellious and outspoken. He has openly criticized other mobile carriers on social media.” What are a few of your proudest accomplishments? Please brag! We want to be surprised. For the majority of our sales candidates, we’ve seen resumes that have listed “consistently beat quotas” or “top sales rep.” However, it’s the candidates who then tell us that they started an art gallery and run it on the weekend that catch our attention.
The veracity of answers from traditional questions like “What are your biggest strengths?” or “Do you like tech?” are hard to confirm in a short interview session. We’ve opted to ask questions that are more likely to reveal truths.
Our #1 question is: If you had unlimited capital and human resources, what would you build? We immediately discuss the answer to this question when reviewing each candidate. Did the candidate think big? What does the candidate care about? Are they creative?
The less promising answers that we’ve heard include: A care package service to send to friends A food magazine An app to track productivity And the answers that impressed us: A machine that turns any water into clean water A handheld device that instantly measures personal health (red blood count, cholesterol, disease, etc.) Batteries that last forever and don’t need to be recharged
We think it takes more guts for a seasoned executive to answer that they’d build a solar-powered jetpack than any new app. Leveraging this question as a tie-breaker between leading candidates has worked out for us. May your next new teammate be only one quirky question away. Nanxi Liu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Enplug, a technology company that builds the leading open software to manage and distribute content on digital displays in offices, restaurants, retail stores, and more.
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t a e s t o in the h With
D E Y Y A O M L A L A JAM INUES! T N O C S IE R E S Y E L T N E B OUR ONGOING H IT W T A H C A E V A H E W , THIS TIME AROUND UNDER AND MANAGING ED, FO Y Y A O M L A IM Y. H N A A R P B M E O L C N IO JAMA T C U R T S N ED CO DIRECTOR OF ALMOAYY
June 2016 june
"I FEEL LIkE MY WORk IS APPRECIATED, PARTICULARLY WHEN I BUILD A FAMILY RESIDENCE FOR SOMEONE I kNOW PERSONALLY."
June 2016 june
Where did you go to university and what did you study?
I studied Architecture at Helwan University in Cairo, graduating in 1981.
Did you always envision yourself working in construction or did you have any other aspirations when you were younger?
I dreamed of becoming a film director or producer, but I changed my mind when I got to Cairo. I enjoy my work and feel a great sense of pride when I see a finished project. I feel like my work is appreciated, particularly when I build a family residence for someone I know personally.
When did you start Almoayyed Construction, and what were you doing before that?
I started this company under a different name in 1990, and then we rebranded as Almoayyed Construction in 1995. Before that I worked for the government, at the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Works. I was responsible for the construction of several schools, post offices, and health centres in the Southern Governorate.
What kind of projects does Almoayyed Construction work on and what other ancillary services does the company provide?
We are a contracting company and we deal primarily with consultants. We have only ever done about 80 jobs for private clients, usually residences of people we know personally.
Last year, a Chinese company successfully built a five-storey apartment block in less than a week using 3-D printing. How long do you think it’ll be before we see that kind of technology in Bahrain? We could have that technology here
tomorrow if someone wanted it and was willing to pay for it, but I believe there are other factors at play. For one, not many clients here have enough cash flow to pay for an entire building’s construction in one week flat. They need to phase it out over the several months that the construction itself takes. Second, I believe people here would be skeptical about the quality of the building produced. They might have to see one constructed and still standing 20 years later before they have enough confidence to try it for themselves.
With the Bahrain Bay and Marassi projects being green-lighted, the drop in oil prices doesn't seem to have slowed down construction in Bahrain. Why do you suppose this is?
The decline in oil prices shouldn’t affect Bahrain much at all, because oil doesn’t form a major part of our income—we only refine it. Our neighbours are much more affected because their economies are more oil-based, and also because the scale of their construction projects is so much bigger than ours, making them much more vulnerable.
What projects is Almoayyed Construction currently working on?
We are currently working on a project in Durrat Marina, a 6-storey building in Salmabad, the Bayan School extension (Science laboratory), a warehouse in Hidd, and villas in Saar and Riffa.
And now, for the part we've been waiting for! What did you think of the Bentley?
The car was just fantastic. I took a Flying Spur for the weekend, and was simply blown away. I loved the car's design, the luxurious interiors, and its powerful engine. But I was perhaps most impressed by the advanced technology in the car. It amazed me how Bentley managed to add so many astonishing features to the car while still making it seem elegant. I almost didn't want to give the car back!
Statement pieceS to make a laSting impreSSion Business people, be bold. BIGâ€™s picks from global fashion powerhouses GuCCi
MAde to MeAsure eAu de toilette
Gucciâ€™s Made to Measure fragrance is intensely masculine, sophisticated and specially created for the modern man. It contains top notes of calabrian bergamot, french lavender and anis seed, and heart notes of sri lankan nutmeg and juniper berry. Gucci, Moda Mall BD 27
Inspired by the classic single-seater racing cars from the 1970s, Chopard created the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Automatic in titanium and steel fitted with a metal bracelet. It is a timepiece at once technical and streamlined, beating with a movement that is chronometer-certified by the COSC. Bahrain Jewellery Centre, Moda Mall BD 2500
Charles and Keith structured city bAG
This dynamic purse has just enough edge to make you stand out, yet fit into any elegant environment. The bold lines, and gold accents against the black leather make this a versatile statement bag. Charles and Keith, Seef Mall BD 28
Glitter FAbric sAndAls
These gold hued strap sandals are crafted from metallic chain-mail effect lurex. The wrap-around straps and buckle fastening are both flattering and feel secure. Karen Millen, City Centre BD 60
The T-Kris Cufflinks by BOSS feature shiny brass and pure crystal. The square cufflinks add sparkling accents, thanks to the elegant cut of the crystal. An exquisite accessory to perfect classy outfits. Hugo Boss, City Centre BD 79
cAt eye sunGlAsses
An oversized cat-eye silhouette looks so glamorous on these Italian-made sunglasses from Gucci. Goldtone logos add a gleaming highlight at the temples. Gucci, Moda Mall BD 124
To add more power To a high-flying lifesTyle
DJI Phantom 2 VIsIon QuaDCoPter
The Phantom 2 VISION is a compact Quadcopter that is extremely easy to operate. Its intelligent flight control system allows anyone without RC experience to fly the Phantom. Built-in high performance camera, with live view to a smartphone, gives fantastic aerial video and photo results from a whole new perspective. A compact and highly integrated design also makes it easy for you to carry around in your backpack.
Virgin Megastore, Dubai Mall BD 410
JBL Charge 2+
The renewed JBL Charge 2+ is an ultra-powerful, ultra-bigbattery portable Bluetooth speaker with high-quality stereo sound. Revamped with fresh styles and a splashproof design, the Charge 2+ takes the party everywhere â€“ be it poolside or dancing in the rain â€“ and amplifies the excitement with JBL Bass Radiators. The speaker is powered by a 6000mAh battery that provides an incredible 12 hours of playtime and can charge all your devices, like your smartphone or tablet, via USB.
Radioshack, Seef Mall BD 57
osIm uCaress 3D
The uCaress 3D is powerpacked with warmth, ergonomically designed 3D massage nodes and a suite of lifestyle massage programs. It delivers a protruding and intense massage for deep tissue relief, loosening stiff and aching muscles in your neck, shoulders and back. With the controller in your hand, you can easily personalize your massage just the way you like it with the touch of a button.
Osim, Seef Mall BD 99
PeBBLe steeL smart WatCh
Pebble connects to Android and iPhone smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. The watch is compatible with select Apple and Android devices allowing you to easily view text messages and other notifications, accept or decline incoming calls, control your music and more. Downloadable watch faces and apps let you personalize your watch. The E-paper display ensures a clear view even when youâ€™re outdoors, and the waterproof design enables use while swimming or washing dishes.
Virgin Megastore, City Centre BD 41
FreePLay assIst soLar raDIo
Designed specifically for humanitarian purposes, this solar-powered FM/ AM/SW radio has a built-in flashlight, siren and emergency mobile phone charging capabilities. Its compact and durable design ensures that no distance is too great and no environment is too tough to overcome.
Radio Shack, Seef Mall BD 30
hotel guide Your guide to the Kingdom’s hotel outlets
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq thalaSSa Sea & Spa Dining
Fiamma: Italian Restaurant
Designed with an indoor and an outdoor seating area, this outlet will serve authentic Italian food. Opening Hours: Thursday - Saturday 12:30pm to 3:00 pm, Every night except, Sunday: 8:00pm to 11:00pm (Fiamma is closed on Sundays)
Saraya: All Day Dining / International
Exquisite buffets with flavors from across the world. Available is breakfast, lunch and dinner and also a la carte and live cooking station. Opening Times: Daily 6:30am to 10:30am, (11am on weekends) Lunch: 12:30pm to 3:30pm, Dinner: 7:00pm to 10:30pm
Wok: South East Asian Restaurant
The perfect combination of stones and wood in the décor to reflect an Asian feeling is defiantly there. Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday: 7:00pm to 11:00pm (Wok is closed on Tuesdays)
It services a wide range of exciting tapas, and the best cocktails on the island. Tapas bar has a truly vibrant and lively atmosphere with its Cuban band. Opening Hours: Daily: 11:30am to Midnight
La Mer: Seafood Restaurant
Sheraton hotel Bahrain
It is the signature restaurant of the hotel, guests will enjoy the freshest seafood and catch of the day cooked at the live cooking station with a French savoir-faire to please all tastes.
Al Safir Restaurant
Opening Hours: Daily: 9am to 9pm
Opening Hours: Daily: 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Pashawat: Arabic Restaurant
Gastronomical buffets for breakfast lunch and dinner as well as superb á la carte options. Opening Hours: Breakfast 6:30am - 10:30am Lunch 12:30pm – 3.30pm, Dinner 7:30pm – 11:30pm
Soie Chinese Restaurant
Alhilal Bookshop: +973 17 531 665
Spa & Salon
Image Spa & Leisure
Relax in the dramatic ambience with dark wood floors, oriental ornaments and lanterns.
Opening Hours: Daily: 6am to 10pm
Opening Hours: 7:00pm – 11:30pm (Closed on Saturdays)
Opening Hours: Daily: 7am to 10pm
Sheraton Health Club Sheraton Fitness
Discovery of traditional Iranian dishes with freshly oven-baked breads served at the table.
Opening Hours: Daily: 9am to 8:30pm
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday Lunch 12:30pm – 2:45pm, Dinner 7:30pm – 11:30pm Friday: Lunch 12:30pm – 3:45pm, Dinner 7:30pm – 11:30pm (Closed on Sundays)
Image Spa & Leisure: +973 17 524 570 Sheraton Fitness: +973 17 524 570 Sheraton Health Club: +973 17 533 533
It is open in the evenings and offers a delightful Lebanese cuisine. Guests will enjoy large varieties of Mezzah as well as delicious charcoal grilled specialties. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00pm to 1:30am (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Spa & Salon
(Call for Appointment)
Opening Hours: Daily: 6pm to 2am
Lagoon Pool Bar
Opening Hours: Daily: 8am to 8pm
An Nada Lounge
Lobby Lounge Bar
Opening Hours: Daily: 7:00am – 10:00pm
Opening Hours: Happy Hour: 1:00pm to 7:00pm Daily 1:00pm – 1:00am
Opening Hours: Daily: 8am to Midnight
For Information & Reservations
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:30am to Midnight
A perfect place to meet and enjoy a cup of espresso, refreshing beverages and light snacks.
Al Safir: +973 17533533 ext 259 Soie Chinese Restaurant: +973 17 533 533 ext. 497 Golestan Restaurant: +973 17 533 533 ext. 375 Espressamente Illy: +973 17 533 533 ext. 1790
An Nada Lounge: +973 17 533 533 ext. 293
Tapas BAR For Information & Reservations
Hotel: +973 1763 6363 - Concierge: +973 39349659
Gulf hotel Dining Al Waha
Dinners are spoilt for choice with an extensive array of buffet fare featuring local and international dishes, as well as an impressive variety of Bahraini hummus. Opening Hours: Breakfast 6:00am – 10:30am Lunch 12:00pm – 3:30pm, Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm Friday Brunch: 12:30pm - 4:00pm
The restaurant, which is designed in a modern oriental style, offers a varied selection of food influenced by distinct Chinese regions creating Cantonese, Szechuan and Peking specialties. Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday Lunch 12:00pm to 3:00pm, Dinner 7:00pm to 11:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
It is favored by Japanese Embassy staff who are said to love its peaceful Zen-like surroundings and exquisite features, including teppanyaki rooms and an authentic robatayaki grill and a Sushi bar with a smoking section. Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Taking inspiration from Persia’s royal palace of Takht Jamsheed, the Gulf Hotel’s chic restaurant offers a fine dining experience fit for a king. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm, Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
The menu boasts an extensive selection of hot and cold mezze, grilled meat and regional Lebanese fare, such as beautifully presented shish kebab served in a golden box atop warm Arabic bread and burning coals.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, Weekdays: 7:00pm – 1:00am, Weekends: 7:00pm – 2:00am Saturday Lunch 12:00pm -3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 2:00am
Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 6pm – 12am (Closed on Saturday)
Fusions is a contemporary and stylish rooftop restaurant boasting unrivalled views over the hotel’s tropical gardens and Manama skyline.
Renowned for being one of Bahrain’s oldest Italian eateries, the intimate restaurant offers a fantastic Mediterranean ambience with a vaulted roof and striking wall murals depicting scenes of ancient Rome. Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm
All dishes, including tortillas and guacamole, are freshly prepared at guests’ tables to guarantee that the menu and fine dining experience are as authentic as possible. Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 6:00pm – 12:00am (Closed on Saturdays)
The restaurant is situated in a grand pagoda in the grounds of the hotel’s tropical gardens and provides scenic views overlooking the turquoise waters of the outdoor swimming pool. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm, Dinner 7:00pm – 11:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Al Waha: +973 1774 6425/26 China Garden: +973 1774 6423/24 - Fusions: +973 1771 3000 La Pergola: +973 1774 6419/20 Margarita Mexicana: +973 1774 6462 Royal Thai: +973 1774 6421/22 - Sato: +973 1774 6429/30 Takht Jamsheed: +973 1774 6431/32 Zahle: +973 1774 6417/18
Sherlock Holmes Opening Hours: Daily: 12:00pm – 2:00am
Typhoon Bar and Lounge Opening Hours: Daily: 5:00pm – 1:00am Happy Hour: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Vintage Wine Bar Opening Hours: Daily: 5:00pm – 1:00am For Reservations
Sherlock Holmes: +973 1771 2450 Typhoon Bar and Lounge: +973 17 746 395 Vintage Wine Bar: +973 1774 6461
the DoMain Bahrain hotel Dining
A playful and vibrant venue crowning the top floor of The Domain Hotel and Spa. Opening hours: Daily 4:00pm – 2:00am
Cosmopolitan Japanese restaurant and lounge Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 6:00pm – 12:00 am Sunday Closed
French Steakhouse , open grill kitchen Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6:00pm – 12:00 am Monday Closed
Fresh, light and passionate cuisine from the south of France. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6:00pm – 12:00 am Monday Closed
Figs & Olives
A casual duet eatery of both classic Italian and Lebanese comfort foods. Opening hours: Daily 6:30 am – 10:00 pm
The Cigar Lounge
Refined and masculine social space with walk in humidor. Opening hours: Daily 6:00 pm – 12:00 am For Information & Reservations Hotel: +973 16000 400, 16000 200, 16000 222, 16000 333.
al Safir hotel Dining
In place of Savoy Café, Yalla Yalla offers lunch and dinner bufftets as well as an ala carte menu. Opening Hours: Daily: 6:30am - Midnight
Enjoy tasty food and spirited conversation. Opening Hours: Daily: 6am - 2am
The place where Italian Food is served with style & passion.
Marriott eXeCutive apartMentS Dining
Find this contemporary yet cozy café, one of our favorite Bahrain restaurants, on the ground floor. Enjoy international cuisine, and even keep connected with free Wireless Internet access available onsite. Opening hours: daily, for breakfast, lunch and dinner For Reservations +973 17 363999
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6:00am - 1:00am
Spa & Salon
Ann Beauty Salon
Come in and relax to soothing music as our therapists provide the perfect treatment. For Information & Reservations Al Safir Hotel & Tower: +973 1782 7999 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bennigan’s: +973 1781 3750 Website: bennigans.com.bh Cucina Italiana: +973 1700 1317 Website: cucinaitaliana.com.bh
raMee GranD hotel & Spa Dining
Featuring a dynamic menu, the Lemon Tree is the place to enjoy our signature casual dining, delicious breakfasts, Friday family brunches, scrumptious dinners and those all-day quick nibbles. Enjoy a Cheers to Labor Day breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet on 1st May. Opening Hours: Breakfast: 6.30am – 10.30pm Lunch: 12.00 pm – 3.30pm, Dinner: 7.00pm – 11.30pm For Reservations
Lemon Tree: +973 17111999
novotel al Dana reSort Dining
Enjoy a delicious range of culinary specialties with an extensive selection of appetizers, salads and desserts to complement your choices Seafood and fishes. Opening hours: Daily: 7:00pm - 12:00am
Mediterranean Grill buffet restaurant serving a variety of Mediterranean and international foods. Opening hours: Daily: 6:30am - 11:00pm
Ruka aims to present itself as the region’s most luxurious Japanese restaurant/lounge. With breathtaking views of the Bahrain from the 24th floor, the vast azure Arabic Gulf & the infinite cerulean skyline, Ruka’s connotation to its name certainly holds true to its very core. All you can eat sushi for BD 12, everyday from 12pm - 3 pm. Special DJ performance every Thursday & Friday from 7pm-2am. Bottomless cocktails with 2 sushi rolls on Mondays for BD 19, 6pm-2am. Opening Hours: Daily: 12.30pm – 3.00pm and 6.00pm -11:30pm
feet of pure serenity. Inspired by wellness techniques from around the globe, our spa features 13 treatment rooms with a unique selection of facials, massages & treatments designed specifically for women, men & couples. Opening hours: 10.00am – 11.00pm 7 days a week Health Club: 6.00am - 11.00pm Pool Bar: 10.00am – 6.00pm For Information
Reborn: +973 17 111980
Ramee Grand’s very own club and steak-house is the heart of Bahrain’s biggest nightlife entertainment and has steadily become the perfect venue for the after-work crowd to unwind or for weekend revelers to dance the night away, while sipping on specialty drinks prepared by our expert mixologist. LMFAO Live Performance on 28th May, BD 20 pre-sale, and BD 30 at the door. Free drinks for ladies upon buying pre-sale tickets. Tuesday Open Mic Night from 9pm - 12am. Opening Hours: Club: 8.00pm – 2.00am Restaurant: 7.00pm - 11.30pm For Information Ibrida: +973 17 111972
Ruka: +973 17111971
A relaxed yet elegant bar offering one of the most stunning views of the sea and city skyline. Light live music in the evenings. Opening hours: Daily: 4:00pm - 2:00am
Pool bar is open on weekends during DecemberFebruary and every day from March 1 until November. (Closed during Ramadan). Opening hours: Daily: 9:00am -8:00pm For Reservations
Hotel: +973 1729 8008
Rasoi takes you on a culinary journey with its extensive buffet display, open exhibition kitchen and live cooking areas. Soothing music from a live ghazal band while you dine creates the perfect atmosphere for our guests to relish the sophisticated blend of flavors, which celebrate the vibrancy, of Indian cuisine. Sing & Savour Karaoke Night on 29th April, from 7pm - 11pm. Opening Hours: Daily: 12.30p.m - 3.00p.m and 6.30p.m - 11.00p.m For Reservations
Rasoi: +973 17111973
Spa & Salon
The Spa at the Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa is 5,000 square
iBiS Seef ManaMa
MerCure GranD hotel Seef
Enjoy a wide range of succulent dishes from around the globe in a casual and tranquil setting. The a la carte menu is available throughout the day and our chef’s special is freshly prepared daily. Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite or to have a more relaxed sumptuous meal, the restaurant is the perfect choice to satisfy those yearnings. Opening Hours: 4 AM to 11 PM daily, 7 days a week Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast timings: Intercontinental breakfast is from 4:30 AM – 6:30 AM Breakfast Buffet is from: 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM Intercontinental breakfast is from: 10:30 AM – 12 PM Lunch: 12 - 3:30 PM Dinner: 7 – 11 PM Come try out our special Combo offer for lunch & dinner! Revel in one of our culinary delights for your main course from the menu. Add BD 1 for a delicious salad and soft drink.
The ideal place to meet with family and friends and enjoy a delightful array of cold and hot beverages, mocktails, light snacks, and sweets, while watching your favorite sports team play on our big screen TV. Opening Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week For information & reservations:
+973 17386020 or e-mail H6303-RE@accor.com
Specializing in flavors from Europe with hints of Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, Neyran’s menu presents a reflection of striking aromas and essences. Guests can start or end their day with a meal from our extensive deluxe buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst our a la carte menu provides limitless choices anytime of the day in general surroundings brightened with natural sunshine. Opening hours: 06:30 - 23:00, every day
CASA BAR & TERRACE
Shades of Oak and yellow surroundings, brightened with natural sunshine, Casa Bar provides that chic and stylish setting with stylish décor and the comfiest furnishings all in a Moroccan style. Casa Bar’s cigar collection epitomizes graciousness with a menu that has been created to complement the tastes of aficionados who will find the humidor stocked with some of the finest premium cigars. Don’t miss out on Casa Terrace, on the mezzanine level, where you can enjoy the finest open-air hospitality with a beautiful view of Manama and the Seef skyline. Unwind with live entertainment, a wide variety of shishas, light meals and sandwiches...with your favorite drink! Opening hours: 14:00 - 02:00, every day.
SAMA POOL & BAR
Marvel at the panoramic city and the sea views, the endless skyline framed against the beautiful sunsets from Bahrain’s highest roof top at Sama Pool Bar. This urban oasis is an unmatched visual feast and the perfect place to enjoy an evening of barbecued grill or gather with a group of friends over light snacks and beverages. The ‘sky’ high experience is completed as you dive into the clear blue water of the pool, with the open-air pool deck a refreshing relief from the city’s buzz throughout the day. The Sama Pool Bar is also a coveted venue for pool parties, family barbecues, farewell gatherings, weekend treats, corporate events, anniversaries or for that special event to celebrate with your friends and family. Opening hours: 10:30 - 19:00, every day.
the DraGon hotel anD reSort Dining
MUJU RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
MUJU’s contemporary style and timeless sophistication blends with a warm and inviting ambiance that combine to make the ideal venue for lunch, dinner or cocktails. MUJU’s exquisite international menu has a wide variety of delicacies for even the most discerning of palates. Whether for lunch or dinner, its timeless classics and seasonal specials are a treat to the taste buds. With its warm ambiance, breath-taking sea views and culinary masterpieces, MUJU restaurant and lounge is an indulgence to your senses. Laze away an afternoon or watch the sunset, sipping cocktails while enjoying an appetizing selection of treats from the lounge menu. Opening hours: Everyday 12pm till 5am
YAMIN JANA MEDITERRANEAN SEAFRONT
RESTAURANT Treat yourself to a refreshingly different dining experience at Yamin Jana, a Mediterranean-Style seafront lounge with an Arabic twist. Allow yourself to be transported all over the Mediterranean when sampling tapas in true Spanish style, as well as authentic Lebanese mezze. The beverage selection is as vast as the Mediterranean, with great beverages and an amazing variety of different shisha flavors. Yamin Jana seats 140 guests on a beautiful al fresco wooden deck. Watch the evening come alive when the whole of Amwaj and all its lights breathe life into the lagoon in front of the Dragon Hotel & Resort. Opening hours: 11am to 2 am every day.
+973 17 58 44 00 H5685@accor.com/H5685-RE@accor.com
Corners is the first pub to open in Amwaj Islands. A place to socialize and unwind whilst enjoying the latest in live sports, bands and DJs including resident DJ. With a diverse selection of food, including traditional pub grub as well as International classics to treat the taste buds, Corners is your ultimate Gastropub. Opening hours: 2pm to 2am For Reservations
+973 1603 1111/ +973 1603 3833 email@example.com
al areen palaCe & Spa Dining
Rimal offers all-day dining in a light and airy setting that provides a spectacular view of the resort. Catering to Middle Eastern and global tastes, guests can indulge in a sumptuous breakfast buffet or select from an extensive a la carte menu. Opening hours: daily Breakfast served daily: 6:30am - 10:30 am Last Order: 11:00 pm
Resplendent in majestic shades of gold and maroon, with a beautiful high ceiling, traditional Middle Eastern accents and a spectacular view of the resort’s grand outdoor pool, this signature dining venue introduces a new menu inspired by modern Bahraini dishes, combining elements of enticing European and Khaleeji fusion. Opening hours: daily For lunch: 11:30 am-3:00 pm For dinner: 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Keizo offers guests surprising signature dishes from traditional Far East cuisines contemporarily prepared and elegantly presented. Highly experienced chef and multi-talented sushi chef all make up this exceptional dining venue. Opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday For lunch: 11:30 am-3:00 pm Open daily for dinner: 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm Closed on Sunday
Indulge in delicious pastries, freshly baked cakes and our special selection of tea and coffee. Senses Lounge is the perfect place to relax and re-charge your senses. Opening hours: From 9:00 am - 10:00 pm For Reservations
+973 17 84 50 00/+973 17 84 50 01 firstname.lastname@example.org
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