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ARAB-BRITISH BUSINESS E-BULLETIN ISSUE 2 NEW SERIES | September 2023 Forum on COP28 & Sustainable Development A preview to discussions at ABES2023
page 14 ISSN 2977-1684

For Disasters in Morocco and Libya

The world watched in total shock as two devastating disasters struck the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Libya in recent days leaving thousands of their people dead, injured and missing. Entire cities in both countries have been destroyed with thousands of families left homeless and traumatised.

Local emergency services assisted by friendly nations around the world are presently engaged in rescue operations to save lives and provide essential urgent relief.

The earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco with an epicentre in the High Atlas Mountains, some 70km south of Marrakesh, on Friday evening, leaving many remote rural villages devastated making rescue operations difficult.

Libya, meanwhile, is just starting to count the cost of the weekend’s flooding which led to the bursting of two dams in the eastern city of Derna, leaving thousands drowned and an estimated 10 thousand more still missing.

The Arab British Chamber of Commerce extends its deepest heartfelt sympathies to the Libyan and Moroccan people, to all the families who have lost loved ones and to all who have been affected by these unprecedented disasters.

The people of Morocco and Libya remain uppermost in all our thoughts as they struggle to recover from these

unimaginable disasters, and we will stand in solidarity with them as they embark on the long process of rebuilding their communities.

To Donate to Emergency Appeals

Appeals have been opened to enable individuals to make donations to the disaster relief efforts and support the victims.


For those wishing to donate to help Morocco’s earthquake victims, there is a special emergency fund opened by the Moroccan central bank, BANK AL-MAGHRIB:

IBAN: MA64001810007800020110620318



To make donations to the Libyan disaster relief, you can give to the UNICEF Appeal, Red Cross/Red Crescent:

Contents Arab British Economic Summit (ABES2023) 02 Speakers 09 Programme 10 KEZAD, AD Ports ABCC Activities 11 Forum on the Evolution of Banking, Finance & Insurance 12 ETA Launch for Qataris 13 Saudia VIP Event in Birmingham 14 Introductory Forum on COP28 & Sustainable Development 18 ABCC New Members Business News Reports 22 Kuwait & the UK Partnership 25 Baghdad Airport 26 Arab Legal News 28 Food Security 30 Global Water Organisation 31 Saudi Megaprojects 33 UAE Space Sector ABCC Member Profiles 34 Markaz 35 Rakaz 36 Montenegro Properties 37 Zef Concepts General Enquiries Arab-British Chamber of Commerce 43 Upper Grosvenor Street London W1K 2NJ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7235 4363 Web: Media No. 1841 Published September 2023 ©WPL Contract Publishing Ltd ABCC Editorial Team Abdeslam El-Idrissi Editor in Chief David Morgan Editor Email: Publisher Waltons Publications Ltd. 46 Heneage Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire DN32 9ES Tel: 01472 359036 Email: Web: Disclaimer Arab British Business E-Bulletin is published for ABCC and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Arab British Business E-Bulletin are not necessarily those of the ABCC. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. ©2023 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material in this journal, WPL Contract Publishing Ltd and its agents can except no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. WPL Contract Publishing and the ABCC cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. ARAB-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE | 01 CONTENTS 28 26 14 11 31 30 To ensure you are seen in the next issue contact one of our Business Managers... Wendy Chapman: Chris Heaton: The ABCC is dedicated to serving businesses whether they are located in the UK or operating from any Arab country. With decades of experience, the chamber offers expert advice on how to do business in the Arab markets. WHY JOIN THE ABCC? Artist’s impression of the project. Pic:
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Roshn Group.
Mr Michael Bishop Mr Sulaiman Alamro

Sustaining an Emerging Vision

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2023 (08:30 - 18:00 ) (GMT+0 )

Hilton London Metropole, London

The ABCC is proud to launch ABES2023, the third such Summit that follows on from the successes of previous years. We anticipate that around 1,000 delegates will attend the event this year when it assembles on 20th November. We will be hosting leading figures from government and the private sector plus experts from the UK and all over the Arab world.

ABES2023 is the only show in town where you will be able to meet such a distinguished gathering of leading business figures, thought leaders and policy experts representing the UK and Arab communities. More speakers are to be announced. Watch this space.

Early bird ticket discount now applies. Special rates for ABCC members. tickets.html#tickets

Sponsorship opportunities

The Arab British Chamber of Commerce has long been the platform of choice for

both British and Arab businesses and is strategically placed to help firms meet and expand their networks.

As a trusted champion of the Arab-British partnership and an influential voice for business within the UK and the Arab World, the ABCC is the organiser of ABES 2023.


ABES 2023, the ABCC’s flagship event of 2023, will bring together senior government officials, ministers, diplomats, executives, investors and decision makers in the business sector. We anticipate upwards of 800 delegates and participants.

Branding Awareness

Maximise your company’s brand recognition

Confirmed speakers:

with our packages designed to provide exposure and awareness. ABES 2023 will provide your brand with targeted visibility in the months leading up to the event, during as well as afterwards.


Choosing to become a sponsor or an exhibitor will allow you to take advantage of the extensive publicity campaign in the British and Arab media carried out during the run up to ABES 2023, along with exposure for your business on the day of the Summit. Sign up early for maximum advantage. sponsorship-packages.html#sponsorshippackages

H E Ahmed Aboul Gheit has been Secretary General of the Arab League since March 2016 and he was reconfirmed in the post in March 2021. He was Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2011. Previously, from 1999 to 2004, His Excellency served as Permanent Representative of Egypt at UN headquarters in New York. He joined the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1965 where he held various positions. From 1992 to 1996 H E Ahmed Aboul Gheit served as Egypt’s Ambassador to Italy, Macedonia and San Marino.

His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit Secretary General The League of Arab States and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt

Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE was appointed Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade on 7 February 2023.

He was previously Minister of State (Minister for Investment) in the Department for International Trade between 24 November 2022 and 7 February 2023.

He was Minister of State jointly in the Department for International Trade and the Cabinet Office between 2 October 2022 and 28 October 2022. He has spent over 25 years in financial services, beginning his career at Robert Fleming in 1995, before moving to Hong Kong to work for Jardine Fleming and then in 2002, after a series of dot com start ups, heading the marketing for Lloyd George Asset Management - an emerging markets specialist firm.

In 2007 he co-founded Somerset Capital Management LLP as an employee-owned democratic partnership, focussing on pension fund management in developing countries.

Between 09 November 2022 and 02 October 2022 Dominic was a non-executive board member of the Department for International Trade. He was Chair of the department’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Between 2017 and 2019 he was vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.


His Excellency Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi Secretary General at The Cooperation Council

His Excellency Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi commenced his duties as Secretary General of the GCC on 1st February 2023.

His Excellency has a distinguished diplomatic career serving as Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United States from 2022 to 2023, Head of Mission of Kuwait to the European Union, 2017 to 2022, Head of Mission of Kuwait to NATO, 2016 to 2022, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Belgium, 2016 to 2022, Kuwait’s Ambassador to South Korea, 2013 to 2016, Deputy Director, Department of the Undersecretary of the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012 to 2013, among his various other posts.

Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed is the Chief Executive Officer of Khalifa Economic Zones Abu DhabiKEZAD Group, the integrated trade, logistics and industrial hub that falls under the Economic Cities & Free Zones portfolio of AD Ports Group.

As CEO, Al Khadar oversees the development and operations of KEZAD Group, and is directly responsible for planning, developing, managing and promoting 12 Economic Zones with a total area of 550km 2 including 100km 2 designated as FreeZones, in addition it has more than 578,000m 2 of prebuilt facilities and more than 40 staff accommodation complexes with a capacity of over 450,000 beds (Located in Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain City and Al Dhafra Region). KEZAD Group hosts more than 1,850 investors in 17 industrial & economic sectors, catering to a range of key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, metals, automotive, polymers, building materials Recycling, Food & Agtech , lastics & Polymers, Retail & Logistics, Hi Tech& Green Energy, Life Sciences, Oil & Gas, Specialty Chemicals. Prior to his role in KEZAD Group, Al Khadar was Chief Executive Officer of ZonesCorp , one of the largest operators of purpose built economic zones in the Middle East & Africa. Under his leadership, ZonesCorp advanced several milestone projects and developments to enhance Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness and its attractiveness for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). With a breadth of government and private sector knowledge and experience in aviation, investment, ports, urban planning, and municipalities spanning over 20 years, Al Khadar is an expert in driving and executing proven projects development and business strategies that have powered economic expansion, development projects, and infrastructure. Prior to joining ZonesCorp, Al Khadar held executive positions in several government organisations, including Executive Director of Strategic Affairs Sector with the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), as well Executive Director of the Urban Development Sector with Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC). In 2020, while serving as a General Coordinator, Al Khadar successfully organised , launched, and managed the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF10) in partnership between DMT and UN Habitat the first ever to be hosted in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Arab World. He also played an instrumental role in implementing Abu Dhabi’s Development Acceleration Programme Ghadan 21).

Al Khadar holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Sciences from Metropolitan University of Denver (Colorado, USA) and Executive MBA from the American University of Sharjah (UAE). He holds an Executive Education in Leadership from INSEAD (Abu Dhabi), Executive Education in Governance from Harvard University (USA) and Executive Education in Competitive Strategy from INSEAD France).

The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean is a senior Labour member of the House of Lords and a business leader. Formerly Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Symons was a Minister in the UK Government from 1997 until stepping down in 2005. Among her government posts she was Minister for the Middle East, Minister for International Trade and Minister for Defence Procurement, and the Prime Minister’s envoy to the Gulf.

Previously a trade union general secretary, she was an Equal Opportunities Commissioner and a governor of the London Business School. As well as working closely with DLA Piper, Baroness Symons is now involved with a number of other commercial organisations, including roles as a non-executive director of British Airways, and as an advisor to other companies, including those with strong Middle East links, and with a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the International Red Cross.

Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CB Minister of State (Minister for Investment) at Department for Business and Trade The Rt. Hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Chairwoman at ABCC Excellency Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi Secretary General at The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) Mr. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed Chief Executive Officer at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi - KEZAD Group

Ayman is the Group Managing Director of The Corporate Group. He is in charge of subsidiaries responsible for delivering one-stop-shop of professional services related to business setup solutions and enabling both FDIs and foreign companies to do business in UAE and the GCC. He has attracted businesses across all sizes and industries such as but not limited to education, healthcare, technology, energy, and professional services. Some of these businesses are listed in global stock market while others are start-ups offering disruptive technologies/ideas. Furthermore, his experience includes advising companies for corporate structuring and merge & acquisition transactions along, developing operational framework that delivers unique customer engagement with clients and stakeholders, along with association with both private and government sectors. Ayman devotes his time as a mentor and coach for start-ups and SMEs in the UAE.


Dr Khaled Hanafy is the “Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers” and Professor of Economics and International Business. He held several Governmental, academic, business and consultancy positions, most recent of “Minister of Supply and Internal Trade in Egypt”, “Chairman of Internal Trade Development Authority” and “Dean of College of International Transport & Logistics” in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport.

Mr Bandar Ali Reda joined the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, on 1st March 2019, as Secretary General and CEO, becoming the fourth person to lead the Chamber since its foundation almost five decades ago. As CEO, Mr Reda contributes his expertise by drawing on his wealth of experience as a diplomat and extensive time spent in the private sector to ensure the Chamber moves to the next level.

Mr Reda has a distinguished professional career of more than a decade in banking and corporate industry at SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia, prior to senior positions in the diplomatic service of his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he served as Commercial Attaché in the UK & Europe, based in London, and in Italy and as part of the Saudi delegation to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris.

Mr Reda holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Orlando, USA. He has been an Executive Member of the Saudi-Italian Business Council, the Council of Saudi Chambers; a Member of the Business Youth Committee, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce; a Member of the Saudi Economy Association; and a Member of the Saudi Arabian legal accountants. Mr Reda has demonstrated his experience and abilities in his roles in both public and private sectors.

Since taking up his post, Mr Reda has successfully steered the Chamber throughout the difficult months of the pandemic and lockdown, a period which presented unprecedented challenges for international trade and the business community. Under Mr Bandar Reda’s guidance and leadership, the Chamber not only continued all its activities uninterrupted but extended its services during this period and has reinforced its reputation as the leading strategic business services organisation in the UK dedicated to strengthening Arab-British trade and building closer business co-operation.

Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi is proud to have served the best part of over 36 years with the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, serving both as Director of Trade Services, Acting General Manager and now his present position as Deputy CEO and Secretary General. During this time, he has cultivated strong relationships with British Chambers, Government bodies, educational institutions, NGOs across both the Arab world and the UK regions, as well as the UK-Arab business communities as a whole.

To this end, Mr El-Idrissi is in much demand across the regions as a keynote speaker and as one of the UK’s leading experts on UK-Arab trade relations.

He is also a key member of the Institute of Export where in the past he has held the position of Vice Chair of the Institute of Export, London Branch fo.r a period of 7 years

Dr. Khaled Hanafy Secretary General at Union Of Arab Chambers H.E Dr. Khaled Hanafy Secretary General at Union Of Arab Chambers

Lord Udny-Lister has been UK Co-Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council since 2020. Prior to this he was Chief Strategic Advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Gulf Region.

Lord Udny-Lister has had a lengthy career in Local Government, including as Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning at City Hall, the seat of London’s Government, and Leader of Wandsworth Council. He served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of London from 2011-16. He has a considerable background in facilitating large-scale urban regeneration schemes and coordinating major public and private sector partnerships. He also served as Chairman of London and Partners, as a Non-Executive Director at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and as Chairman of Homes England.

In 2021 Lord Udny-Lister was appointed Privy Councillor to HM The Queen. He is also currently a Senior Adviser to HSBC, a Director at Covent Garden Market and a Governor at the Museum of London.

Andrew is a hard-wired technology expert who has helped hundreds of clients create seamless, trusted applications for the fintech, commercial and advertising sectors.

Understanding the power of agile development and secure, highly performant software, his company, Arishi delivers solutions that are practical, imaginative and robust, with the flexibility to adapt to changing regulatory conditions.

Combining enthusiasm, experience and humour, Andrew is an inspiring speaker on technology. He has written for magazines and spoken at conferences, on how startups should use technology, mobile payments and the sometimes awkward union between technology and business.

Andrew has delivered ground-breaking technology across a variety of areas within financial services and artificial intelligence that others couldn’t, wouldn’t (or just plain didn’t) develop, often years ahead of the competition.

Arishi has become highly regarded in industries across the globe, where split second improvements in performance, usability and visual appeal are becoming increasingly important – government, health, finance, fintech, advertising, and international business, to name a few. Arishi has delivered exceptionally performant digital projects for major clients in the Middle East and has now established an office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

When he’s not immersed in the virtual world, or pursuing his passion for retro computers, Andrew enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family, who all enjoy exploring the GCC region.

Khalid Al Marzooqi is a seasoned business development professional with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Since 2007, Khalid has been leading the international business development for Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi KEZAD Group. He is also responsible for creating and developing sales channels, strengthening the presence of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in KEZAD, managing mega industrial projects and enhancing relations with government agencies.

From 2013 - 2018, Khalid was a senior sales manager at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), responsible for the Asia Pacific region, where he managed six overseas JAFZA offices.

During his time with JAFZA, Khalid attracted a number of companies to the free zone, including several Global Fortune 500 companies. Khalid also held the position of acting head of the business development department at DP World, where he managed KPIs, the budget and was the regional manager for Europe and America.

Khalid holds a Master of International Business from Wollongong University in Dubai and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah.

Richard Burge

CEO, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Richard Burge joined the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) as Chief Executive in February 2020. Prior to this, Richard was an independent advisor on international affairs focusing on trade, conflict, and development with a portfolio of advisory and consultancy work. Richard’s varied career has seen him lead four multi-million pound organisations as Chief Executive over a total of 18 years.

Rabih is a pioneering figure in sustainability, with over 25 years of experience. He anchors ZefLab’s business direction and is the CEO & Co-Founder of Phyla Earth. Through his company, Zef Concepts, he’s shaped sustainable solutions across the built environment. His expertise spans low-energy designs, low-carbon initiatives, and comprehensive environmental frameworks. Rabih’s projects span Europe, the Middle East, USA, and Africa, marked by ethical considerations and adaptability. Notably, he’s been instrumental since 2014 in conceiving the Great Green Wall of Africa, showcasing his enduring commitment to transformative ecological projects.

Lord Edward Udny-Lister Co-Chair at UAE-UK Business Council Mr Khalid Al Marzooqi Vice President International business development at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi KEZAD Group Richard Burge CEO of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rabih El Fadel CEO of ZEF Concepts, CEO & Co-Founder of Phyla Earth Andrew Elia Managing Partner at Arishi

Graduating from LSE with a degree in Geography, Marco was initially involved in a Parliamentary role within the Department of Environment & Urban Affairs. Marco took his experience and moved into the education sector helping transform the non-statutory funded provision at Canterbury College including apprenticeships and training programmes.

In 2008 Marco was appointed as CEO at the International Visual Communication Association, where he established the Association as a key partner for UK government leading trade missions to UAE, Qatar, China, Germany, and India. His next role was as Chief Executive at the British Antiques Dealers’ Association, representing world leading art and antiques dealers. He led the association through legal and regulatory changes and navigated the transition to online.

Marco’s combined knowledge of imports/exports together with his experience in education led Marco to the Institute of Export & International Trade, where he was appointed Director General in January 2020. The Institute has grown from a team of twelve to now over 160 international trade and customs experts, with membership growing from 2,000 to 7,000. IOE&IT is now a trusted partner for governments, international agencies, global businesses and MSMEs on every continent. In 2022 IOE&IT opened its first international office in Kenya with plans to further invest in support of AfCFTA and the global trade agenda.

Fatima Mohammed Al Hammadi is the Chief Commercial Officer at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi - KEZAD Group, AD Ports Group’s integrated trade, logistics and industrial hub that falls under its Economic Cities & Free Zones portfolio.

Fatima’s aim is to position Abu Dhabi and KEZAD Group as the primary investment destination for international businesses to set up gold standard projects. Her mission is to create a global network of investors, strategic partners and stakeholders across industries that align with the UAE’s Industrial Strategy and the National Agenda.

Prior to KEZAD, Fatima was the Vice-President of Commercial & Business Development at ZonesCorp, where she built deep relationships with investors by understanding their challenges and ensuring their business sustainability through matchmaking initiatives with governmental and semigovernmental entities.

In 2020, she drove ZonesCorp to achieve significant revenue by developing sector-focused sales strategies to offset the global effects of the pandemic. She also guided the development of new commercial and industrial ventures contributing to the growth of this sector.

Prior to ZonesCorp, she was the Director of Customer Services & Sales Support at global telecom player Etisalat, where she developed and enhanced customer service strategies and programmes for projects across the UAE.

Fatima holds a bachelor’s in Information Management from Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE as well as a Higher Diploma in Information Administration and an Executive Education in Leadership Certificate from Harvard University, USA. She has also successfully completed several courses such as the National Programme for Leadership, Advanced Project Management, Strategy Formulation & Execution, Trade Facilitation & Insertion into Global Value Chains (WTO), Balance Scorecard - Palladium Norton Kaplan Camp and EFQM Excellence Model.

Shevaun became Director General of BCC at the end of April 2021. She joined BCC from the Cabinet Office where she led Business Partnerships. She joined the Government in 2016 and also ran the Inclusive Economy Partnership for HMG.

Shevaun started her career in consultancy in London and New York. She then moved to the Walt Disney Company in strategic planning before joining Disneyland Paris, opening the second theme park. Shevaun then joined the agency world, running global accounts for Millward Brown, Mindshare and WPP.

Following this, she became a partner in a start-up digital innovation agency and venture builder, Independents United, where she also became an Advisor for the Danson Foundation.

Most recently, Shevaun was the New Ventures Director for Avado, building new businesses in Edtech and founding the Academy of Digital Business Leaders.

Shevaun has a passion for business as a force for good. She is a social impact investor, sits on the Ventures Advisory Board of UnLtd, and is Trustee of Barefoot College International as well as a board member of Women of the World Foundation.

A former international haulage industry representative during 2018’s Brexit negotiations, John Lucy is now the LCR Freeport director and the UK representative of the World Free Zones Organisation. With a career in international transport spanning 30 years, John is now leading the Liverpool Freeport Zone project, which is capitalising on the port becoming the UK gateway to transatlantic trade.

As the LCR Freeport enters its delivery phase, the Freeport Zone will facilitate the largest regional regeneration project in decades and will be at the forefront of innovative zero-carbon energy and transport strategies.

Fatima Hammadi Chief Commercial Officer at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi - KEZAD Group Marco Forgione Director General Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) Shevaun Haviland Director General British Chambers of Commerce
John Lucy Director of Liverpool City Region Freeport

Based in the UAE, Rebecca is a dynamic event host, TV anchor, business and live news correspondent.

She has shone on the global stage for more than 23 years, having broadcast for leading U.S, European and Middle Eastern television networks, including Bloomberg, CNBC, Euronews and Dubai One.

Rebecca has interviewed hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, ministers and heads of state over the years, and has regularly contributed to publications from The National newspaper and Wall Street Journal to Vogue Magazine and the South China Morning Post.

She constantly moderates and hosts high-profile economic, business, political and cultural events, forums and summits around the world and is a sought-after executive media trainer.

Rebecca is also the lead English-language media/public speaking coach for the Sky News Arabia Academy in Abu Dhabi.

Rebecca is globetrotting Irish national whose family has proudly called the Middle East home for more than 25 years. She is a university graduate of the London School of Economics & Political Science.

Jed Mrabet has been an Attorney at law at the Bar of Tunis since 2005 and a managing partner of Mrabet Avocats, a law firm founded in 1973 by the late attorney Kamel Mrabet. In 2018 he became Attorney before the Tunisian Supreme Court. Mr. Jed holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Sciences from University of Toulouse - France and a Master’s degree in Legal Sciences from the Carthage University: “Faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales de Tunis” – Tunisia.

He is responsible in Tunisia as well as throughout the MENA region for expanding the law firm as he has a dual training in French and Tunisian Law. In addition, he has been a counsel for numerous major companies such as in litigation, arbitration, M&A’s operations, banking, aviation, media, IT and franchising matters.

Besides his distinguished professional career, Mr. Mrabet is the President of the TunisianBritish Chamber of Commerce. He is also an active member of multiple business Chambers, such as the Tunisian-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tunisian-French Chamber of Commerce.

Lolade is the Home Office Future Borders and Immigration Systems Programme Director and head of the ETA project, with a focus on leading the transformation of the UK border processes into one that is digital, data driven and person centric.

Lolade has spent several years leading transformation programmes across a number of government departments including the Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Social Care, Cabinet Office and NHS England.

Mr Sameer Abdulla Nass is the current Chairman of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC) assuming the position in September 2022 when the chairmanship of the UAB officially passed from the UAE to Bahrain.

Mr Nass has been Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) since 2018. He has a strong belief in the role of the Chamber as the true voice of the business community and leads the BCCI in its efforts to contribute towards developing the national economy of Bahrain.

Mr Nass is the Chairman of the Nass Group, a leading Bahrain business corporation which is an integrated construction solutions provider with operations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Mr Sameer Abdulla Nass is a member of the Board of Directors of the ABCC. He is a former member of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the National Initiative for Agricultural Development and the US-Bahrain Business Council.

Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham TV Anchor, Moderator & CEO RME Media of Euronews Television Jed Mrabet President at Tunisian British Chamber of Commerce Lolade Onabolu Senior Programme Director of Home Office H.E Sameer Abdulla Nass President at Union of Arab Chamber

Simon was appointed to develop and lead Gemcorp Middle East operations in July 2023 having spent most of hi s career in banking across emerging markets. Prior to this, Simon represented the UK Government as His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and His Majesty’s Consul General to Dubai. During his tenure, Simon successfully led several multibillion-dollar investment programmes between the UK and various GCC states, initiated talks for the UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement and saw bilateral trade grow to all-time highs. Simon has spent more than two decades in the banking sector with extensive experience leading corporate and investment banking groups across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. His previous roles in the Middle East include:

Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at First Gulf Bank (UAE)

Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and Africa with the Royal Bank of Scotland

Simon was also CEO for ABN AMRO Bank in South Africa. Before this, he worked in consulting at PwC and in project finance within the construction industry. Simon holds a MBA with distinction from Nottingham University and a First Class degree from Reading University.

Andrew has been Director of Private Care at Moorfields Eye Hospital for the past three and a half years. Andrew has spent the majority of his career managing private hospitals, working for companies such as the Priory Group (mental health), St Martin’s Healthcare (neuro-rehabilitation), BMI Healthcare and Ramsey Healthcare. He was also Chief Executive of King Edward V11’s Hospital in central London for four years before joining Moorfields Eye Hospital as their Director of Private Care. Andrew is responsible for the generation and growth of the private patient business for the Trust. As all profits from private patients go back into the treatment of patients, the research and education at this world-leading eye hospital, the success of Moorfields Private is clearly very important. Building relationships with the International Health Offices in London as well as establishing links to hospitals and medical teams in other countries is an important part of the work of Moorfields Private. Many international patients, particularly from the Middle East, have benefitted from the expertise of internationally recognised and respected consultants. Many of these consultants are involved in the development of the latest treatments and techniques in ophthalmology. Moorfields Private has private patient facilities at the main hospital in Old Street as well as a recently opened and refurbished centre at 50-52 New Cavendish Street, in the heart of London’s medical district. Both locations are unique in that they offer the widest range of eye care in London. Andrew is passionate about both quality of care and the service provided to each patient. He firmly believes that if patients receive the very best treatment, delivered by staff who are kind and caring, then the business will be in a good place.

Executive Chairman & Founder of MadfooatCom company with more than 25 years of experience in IT, banking and consultancy. Prior to MadfooatCom, Nasser was a Consulting CIO to the Director General of ISTD – DAI Jordan Fiscal Reform II USAID project.

Nasser worked on managing the e-Channels and ePayments at AlRajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia. Nasser also worked as a Senior Consultant at Accenture, KSA and as a Senior Test Engineer at Microsoft – USA.

His diversified experienced in the financial industry gave him deep insight’ into the Fintech sector; its challenges and its criteria for success allowing him to develop the MadfooatCom company’s vision which became the national operator and manager for the electronic bill presentment and payments in Jordan “eFawateerCom” for the Central Bank of Jordan .

Nasser was awarded King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein Medal of Excellence in 2017 for establishing MadfooatCom/eFawateerCom and won Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed best service company award in the Arab world in Dubai. Nasser was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2014, a member of the American Entrepreneurs’’ Organization (EO) in Jordan, won EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award for 2013 and he was awarded Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Award in 2012. Nasser holds a B.Sc. In Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan.

Marc is the Managing Partner at Al Akeel & Partners and is a US-trained legal consultant with over 19 years of experience in providing advisory services on a wide range of legal matters in both the corporate and commercial spheres. Marc’s career spanned practices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and USA. Marc was recommended as a corporate legal consultant of note by prominent publication “Corporate Law Experts” in 2019.

Marc has advised a variety of clients, including local and international entities/conglomerates, family-owned businesses, high net worth individuals, government organizations, and small and medium sized enterprises, on transactions involving joint ventures, M&A, initial public offerings, rights issues, real estate development, agency and distribution, franchises, intellectual property, corporate formations, employment, and company restructuring. Marc’s experience includes the drafting of advice on a wide variety of Saudi laws and regulations, as well as the drafting of appropriate legal documentation associated with the types of transactions listed above.

Marc’s clients most appreciate that he is constantly available when needed, is regularly responsive, and is humble in character. Marc’s colleagues most appreciate that he has an open-door policy and is constantly giving of his time to offer any advice or feedback sought.

Marc obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana and his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University. Marc is fluent in speaking English, Arabic, and French.

Andrew Robertson Director of Private Care at Moorfields Private Eye Hospital Simon Penney Head of Middle East at Gemcorp Capital Nasser Saleh Executive Chairman and Founder of MadfooatCom for ePayments P.S.C. Marc Saroufim Managing Partner Al Akeel & Partners

Agenda for the Day

Opening Session


H E Mr Ahmed Aboul Gheit

His Excellency Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Mr Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, The Rt Hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Mr Bandar Reda, and Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE

Session 1:

Securing the Future of Water, Food & Health

Speakers include – H E Dr Khaled Hanafy, Richard Burge, Fatima Hammadi, John Lucy and Andrew Robertson

Countries across the MENA region are intensifying their efforts towards food security, improved management of scarce water resources and healthcare for their citizens, leading to increased innovation in these key sectors vital for human life, wellbeing, sustainability as well as economic development. To mitigate disruptions to fragile global supply chains and learning the lessons of the pandemic and the impact of a protracted war in Europe, agricultural self-sufficiency, water security and people’s health are increasingly adopted as strategic priorities. There is a growing recognition of the potential solutions offered by tech and innovation in these vital interlinked areas, with new opportunities emerging in areas like med tech, agri-tech and vertical farming. The session will address the potential for building cooperation between companies that boast the relevant technical expertise and the role of innovative startups working in partnership with government.

Agri-tech – vertical farming - green energy –water use and reuse – healthcare and med tech finance and investment for future sustainability

Session 2: The Evolution of Banking, Finance and Insurance (sponsored by Markaz)

Speakers include -Shevaun Haviland, Jed Mrabet, Marc Saroufim and Simon Penney

As banks, non-bank financial institutions and the financial services industry continue to respond

Patricia Yates is the CEO of VisitBritain/VisitEngland, the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body of the UK Government. The agency raises Britain’s profile worldwide, increasing the volume and value of tourism exports and developing England and Britain’s visitor economy. Patricia oversees the day-to-day operations of VisitBritain/VisitEngland in London and overseas, leading strategies for growing the visitor economy, from marketing Britain internationally to supporting the industry, working in partnership with stakeholders. Alongside the Chairman, she also ensures that tourism is high on the political and economic agenda.

Patricia had been with the VisitBritain/VisitEngland since 2005, becoming CEO in 2022 and previously as the agency’s Strategy & Communications Director.

Patricia started her career as a journalist working on research and technical publications. She followed this with a long period editing Holiday Which? where she scoped the strategy for and led on all Which?’s research, campaigning and public affairs work in tourism, travel and transport. She also launched and edited the Which? Guide to Hotels for many years. Patricia chairs the Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) group, which coordinates tourism industry messaging at times of crisis and is a Fellow of the Tourism Society. She is a member of the Tourism Industry Council (TIC), chaired by the Tourism Minister, which brings senior visitor economy stakeholders together to discuss policy issues.

Patricia also chair’s TIC’s Sustainability Working Group, collating industry expertise on policy to support the move to NetZero. She is an observer on the Tourism Alliance Board for VisitBritain/VisitEngland.

to rising consumer expectations and new technologies such as cloud and AI, banks are harnessing the potential of digital to improve service delivery and achieve competitive edge. Evaluating the scope for greater Arab-British cooperation, speakers will consider the key trends that are transforming the industry and the evolving relationship of institutions with their customers including the rise of non-bank institutions as sources of credit, insurance products, the Fintech sector and investment firms. The session will look at the regulatory frameworks, legal measures and best practice to ensure data protection and minimize risk.

Session 3: Growth of E-Commerce, AI and UK-GCC trade agreement

Speakers include - Andrew Elia, Marco Forgione and Nasser Saleh

The session will look at how the MENA countries and GCC in particular have become some of the most exciting e-commerce markets in the world. The Gulf countries are global leaders in addressing the challenges posed by the rise of Artificial Intelligence and they are adopting key strategies to deal with the opportunities that AI presents with ambitions to adapt AI techniques and integrate them across economic sectors from health, education, transport, communications and energy.

E-commerce is growing in sophistication with the technology aware younger population driving forward demand for more innovative products. The forthcoming UK-GCC free trade agreement should create much more potential for partnership across the AI and e-commerce space offering new opportunities for trailblazing British E-commerce innovators many of which are fast growing SMEs. Why MENA is now one of the world’s most exciting e-commerce markets – Opportunities for British innovation in E-commerce and AI – Growth of AI and future market trends –untapped potential for sharing expertise and partnership – AI and the UK-GCC free trade agreement.

Session 4: COP28 & Sustainable Development

This session will examine how the Arab World today stands right at the centre of global efforts to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Following on from COP27 held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022, COP28 is set to open in Expo City Dubai, on 30 November 2023, where bold, practical and ambitious solutions will be reviewed and agreed to reduce emissions, meet international obligations and secure sustainable development for the region and world. Continued advances across the Arab countries are guided by a core vision of sustainable development opening up investment in ambitious new projects that offer new vital revenue streams and job creation in areas such as new technologies, transport, infrastructure, hospitality, leisure, education and training and environmental protection. Speakers will address how the COP28 agenda and the sustainable economic development priorities go hand in hand. UK tourism, in seeking to drive visitor growth from across the Arab World and in particular from the Gulf, is closely focused on building a sustainable, innovative and accessible destination.

Session 5: Entrepreneurs of the Future

Speakers include - Lord Edward Udny-Lister, Ayman Al Awadhi and Lolade Onabolu

This session will discuss how entrepreneurs contribute to national prosperity through cutting edge innovation. Speakers will look at policy priorities of Arab countries to build a culture of entrepreneurship and the factors that shape success. The session will also consider how closer partnership between education institutions and business can develop the skillsets required to achieve market success, how entrepreneurs inspire others, successful leadership, opportunities from franchising and the impact of digital technology.

For regular updates see the link, agenda.html#agenda

Speakers include - Khalid Al Marzooqi, Rabih El Fadel and Patricia Yates Patricia Yates CEO VisitBritain

AD Ports Group’s economic cities, free zones and digital cluster enhances customer experience

AD Ports Group, a leading facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry, has completed a series of initiatives under “The Abu Dhabi Programme for Effortless Customer Experience,” a pioneering new model that enables effortless customer experiences across the Abu Dhabi Government.

Spearheaded by the Group’s Economic Cities and Free Zones, and Digital, clusters, the initiatives aimed at enhancing the omnichannel experience for clients at KEZAD.

From improved service level agreements for walk-ins and contact centre enquiries to the launch of a digitalised Free Zone License application service through the Advanced Trade and Logistics Platform (ATLP), the initiatives included innovative approaches to making the flow of information more user-friendly while enabling centralised access through KEZAD Cloud for investor-related documents to all key government stakeholders and partners, for quick turnaround.

Another key service improvement, the Customs Registration Number integration, provides the investor with an importer code immediately with the issuance of a license.

The new service operating procedures also allow investors to avail the licence application service through the UAE Pass application.

All initiatives aligned with the Effortless Customer Experience Programme model’s four dimensions of direction, design, development and delivery, spanning from digitising services and systems integration to mapping stakeholder delegations for several relevant government entities, regular customer communication and comprehensive training for customer support functions.

The customer-focused approach resulted in completely transforming the investor registration process, cutting down the number of touchpoints required, offering

a Single Window for free zone licence application and post-licencing services for KEZAD; in addition to building a stateof-the-art investor dashboard that unifies information from all relevant entities, facilitating Foreign Direct Investment through overseas registrations on ATLP.

Dr. Ali Hussain Makki, Executive Director – Logistics and Trade Facilitation Sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), highlighted ADDED’s commitment to bolstering trade and logistics sectors for economic growth. He praised AD Ports Group’s efforts in improving customer experiences, streamlining procedures, and integrating government services to enhance trade facilitation solutions.

Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO of Economic Cities and Free Zones at AD Ports Group, emphasised the significance of initiatives like KEZAD Connect, Josoor, and Tawasul in maintaining open channels with customers. He underlined AD Ports Group’s dedication to providing exceptional experiences through both inperson and digital interactions.

Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Digital Cluster and CEO of Maqta Gateway, discussed the innovative approach of the Digital Cluster in revolutionising trade and logistics. She highlighted the design thinking methodology, incorporating

feedback from various stakeholders to minimise obstacles.

ATLP, developed and operated by Maqta Gateway under the supervision of the ADDED, serves as Abu Dhabi’s Single Window for trade and offers 700+ services to the trade community in Abu Dhabi and beyond. With the recent launch of digitalised Free Zone Application service through ATLP, customers can easily lease land, warehouse, showrooms and flexi-desk space at KEZAD remotely.

The Abu Dhabi Programme for Effortless Customer Experience model addresses the entire customer experience holistically, is benchmarked against international standards and will see major investment in human capital through a government-wide effortless customer experience training programme.

KEZAD Group, part of A D Ports Group, is the headline partner for ABES2023.

Khalifa Economic Zones Abu DhabiKEZAD Group - is the UAE’s largest provider operator of fully integrated economic zones, and value-added business services, staff accommodation and industrial real estate solutions. Committed to creating competitive business ecosystems that encourage unprecedented growth, KEZAD Group is a key strategic element enabler of Abu Dhabi’s vision for the diversification of its economy.

For more on KEZAD Group’s services and activities, see the website:

Headline Partner of ABES 10 | ARAB-BRITISH

Forum on the Evolution of Banking, Finance & Insurance

12 JULY 2023

A panel of leading banking executives were welcomed to the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon, 12 July, for a high powered discussion on The Evolution of Banking, Finance and Insurance, which was the latest of our ABES2023 introductory forums.

The packed auditorium made up of business executives, ABCC members and guests heard our four expert speakers share their considered insights into trends in the banking and financial services industry across both the UK and the Arab world during a time when the incredible speed of transformation was being driven by AI technologies, digitalisation and innovation.

The discussion set the scene for a key session to be held at the Arab British Economic Summit, when it opens on 20 November, stated Mr Abdeslam El Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, who anticipated that the forthcoming event

would exceed the 700-800 footfall achieved in 2022.

The distinguished speakers were Naim Hakim, CFA, executive banker prominent in Lebanon and the Gulf region, Mr Michael Bishop, Head of Wealth Management, WH Ireland, formerly with UBS, Steve Herbert, Wellbeing & Benefits Director, Partners& and Mr James Redfern, Sales Director, Diligencia.

Each of the speakers offered solutions to the new challenges and risks emerging with the post-pandemic growth in digital transactions, the rise in cyber threats and the immense reputational and financial costs of data theft. More sophisticated regulation, greater transparency in the management of wealth, closer cooperation between companies and improving the financial literacy of customers were just some of the remedies raised by the panellists and in their wide ranging exchanges with delegates.

ABCC Activities
Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi opening the forum Mr James Redfern Mr Michael Bishop
Mr Naim Hakim, speaking, alongside Mr Michael Bishop, Mr James Redfern and Mr Steve Herbert

ETA Launch for Qatari Nationals

17 JULY 2023

In partnership with the Home Office, the ABCC on 17 July hosted a briefing to introduce the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation Scheme.

The event at our Mayfair premises was held in cooperation with the Home Office who delivered the main presentation to the audience of mainly Qatari nationals.

Earlier this year, the UK government announced its plans to introduce the ETA scheme as part of a digitisation of the UK border by 2025, to further enhance border security and customer experience. An ETA is a digital permission to travel for those visiting or transiting through the UK who do not need a visa for short stays, or who do not currently hold another UK visa.

The briefing explained how the scheme is set to “go live” for Qatari nationals in October 2023, followed by citizens of the rest of the GCC states and Jordan in February 2024, ahead of a worldwide expansion to be rolled out throughout 2024.

The main speakers at this event were key Home Office officials from the Future Borders and Immigration Systems Programme.

Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC Secretary General & CEO, welcomed the guests and attendees and was accompanied by Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, who also participated in the roundtable discussions.

Lolade Onabolu, the Home Office Future Borders and Immigration Systems Programme Director and head of the ETA project, gave the main briefing. Her work is focused on leading the transformation of the UK border processes into one that is digital, data driven and person centric.

Ms Onabolu has spent several years leading transformation programmes across a number of UK government departments including the Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Social Care, the Cabinet Office and NHS England.

She was joined by Cara Aikman who leads on the design and delivery of the technology that will underpin the ETA process. This includes the application process, the caseworking process and elements of the customer contact solution.

Ms Aikman led a research trip to UAE and Qatar earlier in the year and using insights from the trip combined with wider research to direct the development teams at the Home Office who are working on the ETA project.

His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Ahmed Al Thani, who is a Board Member of both the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and of the ABCC, was present at the briefing. H E Sheikh Hamad Bin Ahmed Al Thani (centre), flanked by Mr Bandar Reda and Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi. From left behind: Lolade Onabolu, Cara Aikman and Home Office colleagues. Lolade Onabolu speaking in the ABCC boardroom with Cara Aikman (centre).

Saudia VIP Event in Birmingham

ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, was delighted to attend a private VIP lunch with Saudia airlines and Birmingham Airport on 2nd July to mark the formal launching of a new thrice-weekly flight service from Saudia departing from Birmingham Airport BHX to Jeddah JED.

Various distinguished guests attended the launch, including Ms Manal Alsheheri, VP Passenger Sales for Saudia, Hesham Bindkhail, Europe Manager for Saudia, Nick Barton, BHX chief executive, Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden & vice chair of the Conservative Party

for Business and Simon Evans, BHX Head of Corporate Affairs & Marketing.

The new service should encourage the development of trade and leisure opportunities between companies in Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi (front right) at the launch event for Saudia’s new services from Birmingham.
ABCC Activities

Introductory Forum on COP28 & Sustainable Development

Upwards of 100 delegates representing companies across the energy, technology, services and green finance sectors joined our COP28 & Sustainable Development introductory forum on the afternoon of 12 September where the ABCC hosted a panel of distinguished industry experts from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and the UK.

Delegates gathered at the Chamber’s Mayfair premises were greeted by ABCC Secretary General & CEO, Mr Bandar Reda, who highlighted the positive role of the Chamber in assisting businesses in building closer relations to strengthen cooperation between Arab and British companies.

Chairing the discussion, Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, began by remarking on the recent devastating earthquake that had struck the region of Marrakesh in Morocco and the flooding in Libya, urging people to support the relief efforts and donate to the appeals that had been launched.

Mr El-Idrissi described the introductory forum as a preliminary to the session of the same title that will feature at the ArabBritish Economic Forum (ABES2023) when it meets in London on 20 November.

The ABCC was delighted to welcome a delegation from Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Waste Management (MWAN), whose Director of Sector Planning, Mr Sulaiman Alamro, delivered a detailed presentation at the forum on the Kingdom’s ambitions to transform its waste collection and recycling industry in line with Vision 2030. MWAN’s mandate resembled that of UK’s DEFRA and the Environment Agency, Mr Alamro said,

indicating that its aim was to eliminate the use of landfill and maximise recycling.

The extensive plans for the sector were a necessary response to the major transformation taking place inside the country with new city developments, population growth and major infrastructure leading to the demand for more waste collection and recycling facilities, the MWAN executive stated. Saudi Arabia’s plans in this sector were opening up major opportunities for investors and the purpose of MWAN’s visit to the UK was to learn from British experience and hold discussions with key officials from industry and government.

ABCC Activities 14 | ARAB-BRITISH

The introductory forum attracted seven partners and supporting organisations with headline partner, KEZAD Group providing one of the keynote speakers. The ABCC also partnered with the UK Department for Business & Trade (DBT) via its “Great” campaign and Kantor Advisory Partners to deliver the event which proved to be extremely successful. The other event supporters were Sustain:able, Floras and ZEF Concepts & Phyla Earth.

Channel Management, KEZAD Group, shed much light on the vast number of opportunities for investors, SMEs and startups in areas like green science and technology in KEZAD’s strategic hub. She urged companies interested in availing themselves of these opportunities to make direct contact with KEZAD which operated a one-stop shop service where enquirers would be guided to the best options to suit their requirements. Ms Taymour stated that she looked forward to meeting delegates in London at ABES2023 and said that KEZAD was pleased to be the Summit’s lead partner.

The panel of speakers was completed by sustainability experts from companies drawn from the ABCC’s membership base, including new Platinum member, Zef Concepts Ltd & Phyla Earth Ltd, whose CEO & Co-founder, Rabih El Fadel, described his projects to regenerate degraded industrial landscapes across Africa. Mr El Fadel has had an extensive career working alongside UN agencies and governments in Africa and Asia to create sustainable community based projects to assist with food production and environmental regeneration.

The final two speakers were Dr Rachel Gavey, Director, Sustain:able, who spoke of how her company supports firms seeking to align their activities closely with the UN Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and Stephen Humphreys, CCO, Floras, which had devised an innovative loyalty scheme allowing consumers to claim points on their sustainable transactions.

The discussions concluded with a Q&A session and the event ended with a networking reception.

Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General Mr Sulaiman Alamro, Director of Sector Planning, Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Waste Management (MWAN) Ms Khulood Taymour, Senior Manager, Channel Management, KEZAD Group From left: Dr Rachel Gavey, Director & ESG Advisor, Sustain:able, Mr Stephen Humphreys, CCO, Floras, Mr Rabih El Fadel, CEO & Co-founder, Zef Concepts Ltd & Phyla Earth Ltd, and Mr Sulaiman Alamro, MWAN

New ABCC Member Companies

Old House Group



Zef Concepts Ltd & Phyla Earth Ltd

Morgan Stanley


Montenegro Properties Ltd

Direct Trading Technologies

Audere International Limited

Halal Food Direct

Faith Hope Mid East Consultant DMCC

Infocus Opticians

MKSN Limited

Air Liban

Oxford Frontier Capital

Bristokit Technologies Ltd



Eroga Die Co Ltd

MDS Healthcare Ltd


Kuwait and the UK Sign New Investment Partnership

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah returned to Kuwait after attending the 70th anniversary celebration marking the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office in London.

During the H H the Crown Prince’s visit to the UK at the end of August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) signed a memorandum of understanding in the run up to celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Kuwait-UK partnership in 2024.

The deal was inked by Kuwait Deputy Foreign Minister Sheikh Jarrah Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and UK Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE at Lancaster House, on 29 August in the presence of Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber AlSabah.

New Investment Partnership

The UK and Kuwait signed an investment partnership after H H the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Sabah met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at No 10 Downing Street.

The PM “welcomed the historic and strong friendship between the UK and Kuwait, which has endured for 125 years”, a representative of Mr Sunak said.

“The leaders witnessed the signing of a new UK-Kuwait Investment Partnership which will drive significant new investment into UK industries and support

Kuwait’s changing economy,” Downing St added.

The PM’s official spokesman described the Gulf nation as an “important partner for the UK and vice versa”.

The partnership will facilitate the Kuwait Investment Authority – one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world – to invest directly into mutually beneficial sectors in the UK, including education, renewables, life sciences, and technology.

The accord was signed by Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston, the UK’s minister for investment, and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Saad Al Barrak in Downing Street, in the presence of the Crown Prince and Mr Sunak.

Lord Johnson welcoming the new investment partnership, commenting, “70 years on since establishing the Kuwait Investment Office in London, today marks a new chapter of this longstanding friendship with the signing of the Investment Partnership. This means new jobs and opportunities across UK life sciences, renewables, education and tech.”

Cybersecurity Deal

In a further development, Kuwait and the UK also signed a declaration of intent on establishing Kuwait National Centre

for Cybersecurity. The document was inked by head of the centre Muhammad Buarki and Juliet Wilcox, the Cyber Security Ambassador for UK Defence and Security Exports at the Department for Business & Trade. The declaration enables the British side to provide the necessary support to establish the centre and provide it with the capabilities that a country needs to protect itself from cyber threats, Ms Wilcox said.

She described the signing of the declaration as the product of work between the two sides that began in 2015. Kuwait has developed its strategy and plans to reach the issuance of the Amiri decree in 2022 to establish the National Centre for Cybersecurity. “The establishment of the centre means that Kuwait has a solid foundation for building the necessary cadres and capabilities, and therefore, we signed this declaration to ensure joint work to think about the future to reach the best ideas with partners in Kuwait,” Ms Wilcox added.

Ms Wilcox believed that the goal of enhancing cybersecurity was not limited to protecting the country from cyber threats but encompassed developing awareness, skills, and professionalism in the field. She pointed out that the GCC countries are working hard to develop cybersecurity as individual states and collectively as a group, adding that the United Kingdom supports these efforts.

Kuwait & the UK Partnership 22 | ARAB-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The agreements were timed to coincide with the celebrations marking the 70 years since the establishment of the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) in London. The anniversary was described as a representing a “unique” partnership with the UK, and a reflection of the Kuwait leadership’s success in creating the KIO with the express purpose of generating “huge returns to help the economy”, a senior British government official said.

“The leadership of Kuwait had so successfully created this fund, which generated huge returns to help the economy,” the Minister Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston added, indicating that he was “personally, very proud to have the chance to meet your Crown Prince” who was a “wonderful, thoughtful leader”.

Lord Johnson said he had met with senior officials accompanying H H the Crown Prince including Deputy Premier, Minister of Oil and Acting Finance Minister Dr Saad Al-Barrak, Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem AlAbdullah Al-Sabah and Managing Director of Kuwait Investment Authority Ghanem Al-Ghunaiman, and he was “very proud to showcase the opportunities in the UK at the same time”.

“I think if I look at the future, what I’m optimistic about is the relationship we have is, developing from simply being a property play. I think if you go about 50 years or to the origination of the chaos activities in London, they tended to be focused more on physical property and then over the last few years you’ve seen a proliferation,” he said.

“Investments into infrastructure are very interesting and going forward into science and technology and into clean energy,” said the Minister.

Asked about investment in artificial intelligence with the UK planning to host an AI summit towards end of the year, Lord Johnson said the British government was keen to attract input from Kuwait and other nations. “We have a number of companies that are looking to participate. We want the best minds to come here. We want the best capital to come here to develop our opportunities and future working with countries like Kuwait”.

The Minister believed that investing in the AI sector was becoming more rewarding than oil.

Sources: PM’s Office, KUNA, The National

Kuwait & the UK Partnership ARAB-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE | 23
H H the Crown Prince of Kuwait accompanied by Kuwaiti officials meeting with Prime Minister Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP at Downing Street. Pic: UK Government

ABCC Chairman welcomes Kuwait Crown Prince’s visit and ‘a friendship founded on far more than investment and trading’

The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement on behalf of the ABCC, to coincide with the Crown Prince’s visit.

Baroness Symons warmly welcomed the visit of His Highness Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah to the UK and joined in the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) in London.

The ABCC Chairman’s statement read:

“The Kuwait Investment Office’s seven decade presence in the UK represents one of the greatest achievements of the enduring partnership of our two countries.

The Kuwait Investment Board, as then named, was originally founded with the express purpose of reducing the country’s reliance on one single resource, namely oil, and, in subsequent years, it has achieved remarkable success in diversifying the country’s investment portfolio within the UK and internationally. As the Kuwait sovereign fund, it was the world’s first sovereign wealth and now worth around $853 billion.

Kuwait is one of the single largest investors in the UK economy with around £100 billion in official funds invested through the City of London with the KIO playing its key role. Over the decades, Kuwait has invested in sectors vital to UK prosperity such as real estate and infrastructure.

Both our countries are today keen to further diversify our collaboration into the new emerging dynamic industries. In particular, UK ministers are seeking to attract more Kuwait investment into innovative technology where the UK offers worldclass expertise.

We currently see a sharp rise in bilateral trade as well as investment. Latest data from the UK Department for Business & Trade shows that total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between our two countries reached £5.7 billion in the four quarters to the end of the first quarter (Q1) 2023, an increase of 118.3% or £3.1 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022.

Strong progress in the UK-GCC free trade negotiations since talks began

in June 2022 will bring increased benefits for exporters and investors when the trade deal is agreed.

Our longstanding friendship is founded on far more than investment and trading. It is our human contacts that are ultimately at the heart of this relationship and that are in focus as we welcome His Highness the Crown Prince.

Official state visits like this reaffirm our closeness as nations, as do the frequent visits by ordinary citizens. Indeed, regular travel to the UK by Kuwaiti individuals, families and students brings considerable tangible benefits to tourism, retail and education. The UK decision to allow Kuwaiti nationals visa-free travel to the UK under the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme from February 2024 should further strengthen these links.

As Chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, I most warmly welcome His Highness the Crown Prince to the UK, and it is without hesitation that we join in the celebrations of the indispensable contribution that the KIO has been making towards the British economy. Its presence is an important expression of confidence in the UK and this anniversary is a true landmark in UK-Kuwait relations.

We look forward to the intensification of our cooperation in the years ahead as we work to assist businesses and investors to avail themselves of the many new opportunities that are opening up. The ABCC is proud to play its part in building these vital relations between Britain and Kuwait.”

Source: ABCC

Kuwait & the UK Partnership 24 | ARAB-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE, UK Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade. Pic: DBT

PPP Agreement to Modernise Baghdad Airport Signals New Era of Public-Private Cooperation

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a flagship agreement on 3 September with the Iraqi government that will harness private sector capital and expertise to develop the country’s main airport.

This is expected to open the door for more private sector investment and establishes a competitive model for other critical infrastructure projects in Iraq.

Under the agreement, the International Finance Corporation or IFC will act as lead transaction advisor for a public-private partnership (PPP) to rehabilitate, expand, finance, operate and maintain Baghdad International Airport – the country’s largest international airport – and bring its facilities, safety, and services in line with international standards.

This will be Iraq’s first airport PPP project as well as IFC’s first PPP mandate in Iraq. IFC will carry out detailed due diligence and recommend a suitable transaction structure for the project, building on a pre-feasibility study undertaken by the institution in 2019. Upon the government’s approval, the project will move to tender stage to attract private investors and operators.

Iraq is in urgent need of infrastructure rehabilitation and enhancement.

Strengthening private sector participation in the economy will be critical and this PPP will help lay the foundations for future projects to tap into private financing and expertise.

The project is also aligned with Iraq’s 2030 Vision for Sustainable Development and government agenda, which both aim to introduce private sector participation for key infrastructure assets in priority sectors to create a more diversified Iraqi economy less dependent on oil revenues.

“This agreement marks the start of a series of partnerships with the private sector for critical infrastructure development across the country, as part of our 2030 economic vision for sustainable growth,” said Iraq’s Prime Minister Eng. Muhammad Shia’ alSudani. “The Baghdad International Airport serves as a cultural symbol representing Iraq and its people. This initiative is an integral component of our comprehensive vision, which will encompass all airports to enhance transportation diversity and improve global connectivity.”

“This agreement marks a new era in Iraqi history, allowing the country to leverage its unique geographical position, supporting trade, creating jobs, and fostering diversification,” said Khawaja Aftab Ahmed, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. “PPPs help governments harness the private sector’s expertise and efficiency, raise capital to

build modern, sustainable infrastructure, and spur development. Attracting private sector participation will help manifest the government’s vision and assist in meeting Iraq’s huge developmental and financing needs.”

Track Record

Since 2005, IFC has committed over $1.2 billion to support Iraq’s private sector, with its current committed portfolio standing at about $188 million in sectors such as energy, telecoms, and banking.

The IFC describes itself as the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

The organisation has an impressive track record in PPPs with over $46 billion facilitated globally since 2004, improving access to infrastructure for more than 150 million people. IFC’s PPPs in the Middle East include the groundbreaking Queen Alia Airport and the Tafila wind farm in Jordan, and the Madinah Airport and healthcare PPPs in Saudi Arabia.

Source: IFC

Baghdad Airport

DIFC Proposes Amendments to Select Legislation

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has proposed the enactment of amendments to the Employment Law, Trust Law, Foundations Law and Operating Law. The proposed legislative changes seek to ensure that DIFC Laws remain in line with international best practice and OECD requirements. In addition, proposed amendments to the Operating Regulations seek to enhance the Registrar of Companies’ (RoC) powers to regulate entities that operate outside of standard business hours.

The move is in line with DIFC’s commitment to maintaining its position as a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

Amendments to the Employment Law

DIFC proposes to make amendments to Part 10 of the existing Employment Law to place an obligation on DIFC employers of eligible GCC nationals to make “top-up” payments into a Qualifying Scheme, in addition to the GPSSA contributions. Effectively, this will require DIFC employers to pay the positive difference into a Qualifying Scheme where there is a shortfall between what would have been payable into a scheme if the individual had not been a GCC national, and what is paid under the GPSSA. Monthly payments are subject to a de minimis threshold of AED1000. In addition, further amendments to the Employment Law

deal with situations where a Qualifying Scheme is prohibited from accepting contributions from an Employer, or in respect of an Employee, as a result of sanctions prohibitions.

Amendments to the Trust Law and Foundations Law

A series of proposed changes to the Trust Law and Foundations Law relate to the DIFC Courts rights of jurisdiction over the administration of DIFC Trusts, to the exclusion of foreign courts. These changes align these laws with international best practice. In addition, proposed changes to the Foundations Law expand the role of Registered Agents, allowing them to enter into an arrangement with the RoC to provide certain compliance functionality on behalf of a Foundation (as already permitted for corporate service providers under the Prescribed Company and Family Office regimes).

Amendments to the Operating Law and Operating Regulations

Proposed changes to the Operating Law relate to OECD requirements regarding record retention following the winding up of an entity and an update to the definition of “Privileged Communication”. Amendments are also proposed to the Operating Regulations to provide the ROC with specific powers to deal with

Bars and Restaurants that operate at late hours and that may disturb other DIFC tenants through noise or other anti-social behaviour.

DIFC is often described as the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Commenting on the changes, Jacques Visser, Chief Legal Officer at DIFC, said: “DIFC’s world-class legal and regulatory framework is based on international standards and principles of common law. The proposed amendments will ensure the Centre’s laws continue to meet global best practice while catering to the unique needs of the region. At DIFC, we are committed to providing an optimal regulatory environment for financial services and related industries to grow and develop, and will continue to maintain a transparent framework in line with international standards.”

The proposed regulations have been posted for a 30-day public consultation period with the deadline for providing comments ending on 29 September 2023.

The proposed amendments reflect DIFC’s commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

Source: DIFC, 31 August 2023


Shaping the Future of InnovationEgypt’s New Authority for Intellectual Property

On 6 August 2023, Egypt underwent a transformative shift in its approach to IP regulation as the law establishing the Egyptian Authority for Intellectual Property (EAIP) came into effect. This landmark development marks the beginning of a new chapter, with the EAIP taking on a comprehensive mandate over all aspects of intellectual property within the North African nation.

Sami Hashem, head of the Egyptian Parliament’s Education Committee, said the new legislation will unify all authorities and institutions currently responsible for regulating intellectual property rights in Egypt into one agency in order to be able to protect these rights effectively in line with the most up-to-date international standards.

“The agency will also make sure that intellectual property rights are regulated to mainly serve the country’s socioeconomic development plans and achieve the knowledge economy,” he said. “The knowledge economy is a system of consumption and production that is based on intellectual capital.

“In particular, this economy refers to the ability to capitalize on scientific discoveries and applied research and we hope that the new legislation will help achieve this objective in Egypt,” added Hashem, as quoted by the Egypt State Information Service.

A Unified Vision for Intellectual Property in Egypt

This pivotal moment follows the unveiling of the National Intellectual Property Strategy that laid the groundwork for a holistic reformation of Egypt’s intellectual property landscape, as reported last November. The strategic blueprint set the stage for the establishment of the EAIP, designed to centralize and harmonize all matters related to intellectual property within a single authoritative body.

Under the newly enacted Law 163 of 2023, the EAIP is vested with a

multifaceted role encompassing the full spectrum of intellectual property. This includes overseeing the registration and granting of intellectual property rights, developing, and updating the national intellectual property strategy, collaborating with relevant ministries and authorities to institute implementing regulations, and safeguarding intellectual property in alignment with international conventions and standards.

The law also outlines the expansive responsibilities of the EAIP, casting it as a driving force behind technological innovation, human creativity, scientific research, and cultural advancement. This broadened mandate places the entity at the forefront of Egypt’s mission to cultivate a knowledge-based economy, wherein intellectual capital fuels sustainable development and economic prosperity.

Key Provisions

The legislative framework framing the EAIP’s operations introduces several pivotal provisions:

Supervisory Authority: Endowed with an exclusive mandate over all forms of intellectual property within Egypt, the EAIP stands as the primary authority responsible for ensuring that intellectual property practices resonate with national interests and economic aspirations.

Strategic Imperative: The entity is entrusted with formulating a comprehensive national intellectual property strategy in collaboration with relevant ministries and authorities. This strategic roadmap aims to foster an

environment conducive to innovation and global competitiveness.

Organizational Framework: The legislation stipulates the establishment of a governing board charged with shaping the entity’s organizational structure, internal regulations, and strategic objectives. This governance mechanism aims to ensure efficient operations and optimal performance.

Financial Independence: To ensure selfsufficiency, the EAIP’s financial stability will be maintained through foreign grants, donations, and service-related fees. This financial autonomy ensures the entity’s capacity to fulfil its mission effectively.

A Promising Trajectory for Egyptian Intellectual Property

With the Egyptian Authority for Intellectual Property now at the helm, Egypt enters a new era of intellectual property oversight. The entity’s comprehensive mandate, strategic vision, and financial autonomy uniquely position it to drive innovation, creativity, and economic growth through the effective utilization of intellectual capital.

As Egypt focuses on enhancing intellectual property protection and cultivating a knowledge-driven economy, the EAIP sets the stage for a promising future in intellectual property rights and innovation.



Countries around the Arab region are taking new initiatives to achieve greater food security in response to recent global challenges and longer term climate issues. Food security is one of the topics that will feature on the agenda of the ABCC’s forthcoming Arab British Economic Summit (ABES2023).

Food Security Rising Up the Agenda


Saudi Arabia Achieves Self-Sufficiency in Key Food Items

Saudi Arabia is seeing success in its plans to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.

The Kingdom recorded surpluses in its top three food products during the past year as a result of the intensive efforts undertaken by the government to achieve self-sufficiency in food commodities, reports the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Dates lead the way with a remarkable 124% increase, followed by dairy products at 118%, and table eggs at 117%.

At the beginning of 2023, the Kingdom took the decision to transform the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) into the General Food Security Authority (GFSA), a move aimed at improving performance indicators and achieving national objectives in the development and growth of the sector.

The move underscored the Kingdom’s determination to attain self-sufficiency in all food items and products.

According to an agricultural statistics report issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) on 31 August, the self-sufficiency rate for potato crops in the past year reached 80%, while poultry meat stood at 68%, and tomatoes at 67%.

Red meat followed at 60%, carrots at 50%, fish at 48%, and onions at 44%.

Citrus fruits, on the other hand, ranked at

the lowest end of the spectrum, with a selfsufficiency rate of 15%.

Commenting on these latest developments in the sector, Ibrahim Al-Turki, the head of the National Agriculture Committee at the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, stated that the two wings of the Kingdom’s national transformation plan, Vision 2030, are working in harmony: namely the public sector and the private sector.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Turki pointed out that the efforts of relevant agencies to facilitate local companies and farmers have borne fruit in achieving the targeted food security goals in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Turki emphasized the importance of food security, especially in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, affirming that the high level of selfsufficiency in strategic food commodities such as dairy, eggs, dates, and potatoes had also positively influenced prices, making them competitive and accessible to all.

Ibrahim Al-Turki further explained that the surplus in certain products has a positive impact on the local market and consumers. Find out more about the General Food Security Authority from the GFSA website:


Oman to boost wheat production as part of a new food security push

Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has signed 40 usufructs to carry out food security and wheat production

projects in the Governorate of Dhofar. The agreements will support the agricultural sector in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.

The agreements include 37 contracts for wheat cultivation in Al Najd agricultural district in Dhofar Governorate, on an area of 28 million sqm to the tune of OMR5.5 million. This is in addition to 3 contracts covering tissue culture and plant nurseries in the wilayats of Salalah and Barka.

So far in 2023, a total of 30 usufruct contracts worth about OMR1,050,000 have been signed for investment in farming lands affiliated to the Office of Al Najd Agricultural Area Development. They deal with a total area of about 1,260,000 sqm.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning signed 6 usufruct contracts to establish agricultural projects in four Omani governorates. The contracts had a total value of more than OMR32 million and the projects cover an area of more than 3 million sqm.

In South Al Batinah Governorate, a contract was signed to establish a honey bee museum in the Wilayat of Barka on an area of more than 12,000 sqm.

Another contract was signed for soil enrichment in Barka, with a total value of OMR180,000. The project, which covers an area of more than 40,000 sqm, seeks to provide a solution to the problem of environmental pollution, mainly by collecting harmful palm waste and utilizing it to make products that compete with similar imports.

Food Security

In the Buraimi Governorate, a contract was signed to plant 50,000 palm trees of different varieties on an area of more than 2 million sqm aimed at enhancing food security.

To improve the quality of agricultural produce, a contract was signed in the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah for an organic agriculture project, specifically to produce pomegranates in the Wilayat of Al Jabal Al Akhdar.

In the North Al Batinah Governorate, a contract was signed to produce and market banana crop in the Wilayat of A’Suwaiq. The project covers an area of about 267,000 sqm and is aimed at supplying the local and foreign markets with the finest types of bananas. It constitutes a step forward to enhance the food chain and to grow bananas using modern agricultural techniques.

These agreements show Oman’s keenness to diversify its sources of food security, realize optimal investment in land and raise efficiency of land use all in line with the Sultanate’s Vision 2040.

Source: Times of Oman


Farm in Ras Al Khaimah now produces figs all year round

Al Kharran Farm in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, has turned fig cultivation into a resounding success with new techniques.

The farm’s greenhouse facility has been designed to create the ideal environment for figs to thrive, Khaleej Times reports.

One side of the greenhouse is equipped with powerful fans that whisk away the excess heat, creating a cool oasis inside. On the other side, a clever mesh system releases tiny water new breeding techniques droplets that evaporate in the warm air, naturally cooling down the surroundings.

The system not only cools down the surroundings but provides moisture to the fruits and plants.

The farm mastered the art of quick figgrowing enabling with its smart strategy that ensures a steady supply of a variety of fresh figs all year round.

The harvested figs at the farm are sold in the local market, catering to the growing demand for locally grown and fresh produce.

Source: Khaleej Times


New deal to bring innovative technologies to Libyan farmers

The Dimitra agritech company has signed an agreement with state AIAssa Agriculture Project to introduce innovative technologies to Libyan farmers, according to Libya Herald. The AI-Assa Project as one of the agricultural and animal development projects established by Libya’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The project consists of 520 farms, each with approximately 10 hectares of land and multiple crops. The project had stopped operating since 2014 but earlier this year the government reactivated it.

The agreement entails using Dimitra technology to increase farmers’ yields and profits, reduce costs, and mitigate risks. The plan aims to reduce the use of water and fertilizers needed to produce crops grown in the Al-Assa Project.

The crops grown are wheat, barley, other fodder cereals for animal feed,

grapes, palm trees, pine trees and olive trees.

Dimitra explained that farmers growing specifically olive and palm trees often face challenges from pests and seasonal diseases. But by using Dimitra’s Connected Farm App, farmers have access to satellite technology as well as Dimitra’s pest and disease management solution to help combat the challenges, Libya Herald explained.

Similarly, Dimitra’s satellite imagery and remote sensing tools allow farmers to gather valuable information about their farms and make informed decisions about irrigation, fertilizers, and other farming operations.

The technology provides detailed insights utilizing artificial intelligence, sensors, and satellite imagery to allow farmers to adjust their irrigation schedules, apply fertilizers when needed, or implement pest control measures.

By utilizing these technologies and tools, farmers reduce unnecessary resources, such as water and fertilizers, leading to cost savings and more sustainable farming practices. Detecting pests and diseases early on can help prevent or minimize crop losses. As a result, this leads to increased yields and improved overall productivity.

The system uses data collected from AI, weather, pH levels, time since fertilization, and soil conductivity measurements to predict how much nitrogen the soil has. It can also indicate how much there will be in the next few weeks.

Source: Libya Herald


Saudi Arabia establishes Global Water Organisation

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched a new Global Water Organisation to address the key common issues confronting the global water sector.

The new organisation will seek to integrate and enhance efforts made by governments and organisations to secure global water sustainability.

The new initiative was announced by Crown Prince and Prime Minister, H R H Mohammed bin Salman, on Monday 4 September.

The organisation, which will have its headquarters in Riyadh, plans to exchange expertise, advance technology, foster innovation, and share research and development experiences.

Moreover, it will promote the establishment and funding of high-priority projects, ensuring the sustainability of water resources and their accessibility for everyone.

By initiating the organisation, the Kingdom indicates its commitment to addressing global water supply challenges. The initiative is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s dedication to environmental sustainability, according to a report from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Over the years, Saudi Arabia has showcased numerous notable achievements in water production, transportation, and distribution, leveraging locally developed innovative solutions. These achievements have been internationally recognised.

Saudi Arabia is on track to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to the country’s Deputy Minister for Water.

Speaking earlier in the year, the minister, Dr Abdulaziz al-Shaibani – who headed the Kingdom’s delegation to the UN 2023 Water Conference held in New York between 22-24 March 2023 – said the Kingdom will achieve its goals thanks to the restructuring of the water sector and the development of the National Water Strategy, which comes in line with Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia plays a key role in ensuring that global water issues remain a top priority on the international agenda. This role is further demonstrated by the Kingdom’s developmental funding, with over $6 billion allocations to various water and sanitation projects across four continents, the SPA reported.

The new water organisation aims to collaborate with countries facing waterrelated challenges and those prioritising such projects as part of their national agendas.

The collaboration will also involve countries with significant expertise and contributions to water solutions. Such cooperation is becoming ever more vital as global water demand is projected to double by 2050, in the light of the anticipated growth of the world population to 9.8 billion, the SPA said.

Saudi Arabia, along with relevant organisations in other member countries, will contribute towards achieving water security-related sustainable development goals, creating an integrated and long-lasting impact by bringing the international community together to ensure global water sustainability for humanity.

Commenting on the development, Sattam Al-Mojil, assistant professor of environmental engineering at King Saud University, was quoted by Arab News as saying: “Water sustainability is considered one of the key drivers for economic and social growth across all sectors and activities. Challenges facing the water sector and its natural resources have increased in recent decades, resulting in numerous problems for many inhabitants of the globe. These problems include food scarcity, diseases arising from the use of contaminated water, poverty, and hunger, in addition to contributing to various geopolitical issues due to water scarcity.”

Meanwhile, Faisal Al-Fadl, secretarygeneral and founder of the Saudi Green Building Forum, said that the announcement signified the culmination of the Kingdom’s commitment to Vision 2030, building upon its previous efforts. The official said that the new organisation can positively influence outcomes by addressing climate change challenges and preventing the exacerbation of water crises.

Sources: SPA, Arab News

Global Water Organisation 30 | ARAB-BRITISH CHAMBER

Saudi Arabia plans 11km Jeddah canal megaproject

One of the latest megaprojects launched in Saudi Arabia is a mixed-use project north of Jeddah that will include an 11km canal.

Roshn Group – Saudi Arabia’s biggest developer, owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – has announced plans to develop the Marafy project designed to accommodate more than 130,000 residents once completed.

A 100m-wide navigable canal, the first to be built in Saudi Arabia, will be flanked by promenades and a number of residential and commercial districts, officials said.

The canal will create a waterfront of comparable size to London, Chicago

and Hamburg, Roshn Group said. It will provide a direct canal link via water taxis to King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The horseshoe-shaped waterway will be connected to Obhur Creek, which flows to the Red Sea, and is located close to the under-construction Jeddah Tower. The cost of the project and the expected completion date have not so far been revealed.

David Grover, Roshn Group chief executive, described Marafy as “a

game-changer in the real estate development sector” and “one of the iconic projects that will put Jeddah on the map of a world-class destination in all aspects.”

Roshn was established to make longterm investments across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by developing residential communities including housing projects in Riyadh, Makkah, the Eastern Region, Asir and Al Kharj.

Source: The National

Saudi Megaprojects
Artist’s impression of the project. Pic: Roshn Group.

Ancient Saudi City of Al Ula on the Path to Prosperity

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has launched the ‘Path to Prosperity’ master plan for the urban development of the central and southern regions of this ancient Saudi city Al Ula. This is the second master plan that has been unveiled, following on from the successful launch of ‘The Journey Through Time’ masterplan and forms part of the ambitious AlUla Development Programme.

The plan marks a new chapter in the legacy of the historic region of AlUla, which is described as the world’s largest living museum, reported Trade Arabia quoting a statement from the RCU.

The RCU has published details of the AlUla Central and South Masterplan 2 on its website.

The “Path to Prosperity” masterplan is a blueprint for comprehensive development focused on enhancing quality of life for the residents of AlUla, and it aims to sustainably regenerate the urban core of the county.

Broad in its scope, the masterplan incorporates wide-ranging infrastructure development for increased land usage for housing, new municipal services, entertainment, leisure, and cultural facilities in purpose-built neighbourhoods designed to meet the needs of AlUla’s rapidly expanding population.

“Path to Prosperity” has been launched with a clear focus – to elevate and enhance our community’s quality of life in AlUla Central and South.

“Path to Prosperity” will boost economic opportunities, train and upskill our community, and provide quality education, healthcare services, and transport services.

Directing the next stage of AlUla’s regeneration, “Path to Prosperity” will see the creation of a network of new, vibrant city centres, each with a convenient and expansive collection of amenities, services, and green spaces.

The new masterplan will establish public spaces to enrich the lives of our community combined with innovative multi-modal mobility solutions allowing residents greater connectivity across AlUla while encouraging physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

“Path to Prosperity’s” urban progression will be integrated with AlUla’s wadi, providing our community with a deep and tangible connection with the natural environment and AlUla’s rich cultural landscape, further empowering AlUla’s ongoing regeneration as a dynamic and appealing destination to live and work.

AlUla’s unique cultural heritage will be preserved and promoted through the creation of new and reimagined community spaces, including unique district and community parks.

A blueprint for long-term, sustainable, and inclusive growth, “Path to Prosperity” is the next stage in AlUla’s comprehensive and community-led regeneration.

For further details of the Royal Commission for AlUla and its projects, see:


UAE space sector enhances global competitiveness

There are currently 57 companies and space entities operating in the UAE’s growing space sector.

The UAE has achieved continuous accomplishments in the space economy sector, which enhances its global competitiveness and contributes to diversifying its economy.

The country’s investment in the space sector has already surpassed the AED22 billion mark, encompassing satellite communications systems, Earth and space exploration, data transmission services, satellite broadcasting, and mobile satellite communications, among others.

For the UAE, space economy is a pivotal pillar in its ambitious journey towards the next fifty years, laying the foundations for a diversified economy and bolstering its competitiveness.

The global space sector is expected to soar beyond the trillion-dollar mark by 2040, representing a monumental leap in the new space economy.

The UAE has emerged as a regional hub

for space services, events, and specialised educational programmes in the space domain.

The commitment to investing in cuttingedge sciences, advanced technologies, and space technology propelled commercial spending on the space economy to AED10.9 billion by the end of 2020, a remarkable increase over the past seven years.

Additionally, the contractual agreements for space services and applications increased by 40 percent in 2020, according to the UAE Space Agency.

Investment Potential

The UAE’s space economy spans ten sectors, offering significant investment potential, including space mining, space stations, space companies, sustainability and recycling in space, settlements, space tourism, manufacturing and space academies.

The UAE’s space economy exhibits

promising growth prospects, with 57 companies and space entities currently operating. Public and private sector support for the UAE space programme has exceeded $5.4 billion.

On 3rd September, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced the successful undocking of Crew-6, including astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, from the International Space Station (ISS). This marks the beginning of the crew’s return journey after the 6-month-long space mission.

The Dragon Endeavour spacecraft carrying onboard Sultan AlNeyadi along with his Crew-6 crewmates, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev autonomously undocked from the ISS at 3:05 pm (UAE time), following which a series of departure burns were executed to distance itself from the orbiting laboratory.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE Space Sector

Markaz market maker portfolio sees 50% growth since Q4 2022

Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) supports companies in its capacity as a market maker by delivering liquidity and depth, effectively contributing to the overall confidence of market participants, and help to maintain healthy, continuous and robust securities market in Kuwait.

Markaz has recently seen the expansion of its market maker portfolio following the successful addition of three companies taking the total to 15 registered securities, a 50% increase since Q4, 2022.

The new companies represent different industries, including telecommunication, petrochemical and financial, namely Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPCC), Coast Investment & Development Co (Coast), and Kuwait Telecommunications Company (STC).

Market maker is one of several Asset Management services offered by Markaz, including funds and portfolio management, to provide clients with the best opportunities for sustainable wealth creation. It is a tool that aims to create a balance between supply and demand, bridge the gap between buying and selling prices, enabling investors to buy and sell the shares of these companies quickly and at a fair price.

The service supports the overall development of the Kuwaiti economy by creating a reliable and resilient market, which is essential in encouraging companies to list their shares on the national stock exchange.

“As market maker on some of the country’s leading publicly listed firms, Markaz plays an important role in

enabling trade activity, increasing investor interest, and contributing to the development of a robust securities market in Kuwait. Markaz was among the first financial institutions to obtain a Market Maker license from Kuwait’s Capital Market Authority (CMA). We are proud of our portfolio of companies and thank them for their continued trust,” said Azzam B Al-Otaibi, Manager, Market Maker, Mena Equities at Markaz.

Today, Markaz operates as an equities market maker for key players across banking, real estate, food distribution, and more. They include Boursa Kuwait Securities Company, Al-Eid Food Co, Kuwait Real Estate Co, Combined Group Contracting Co, Rasiyat Holding Company, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Arzan Financial Group for Financing and Investment, Kuwait International Bank, Ajial Real Estate Entertainment Company, Dalqan Real Estate Co, Kuwait Investment Company and Egypt Kuwait Holding Co.

Boubyan Petrochemical Company was the first private company to invest in Kuwait’s petrochemical industry following its public listing on the country’s stock exchange in 1997. In addition, Coast Investment & Development Co. is one of the leading financial institutions in Kuwait and the region and has been listed on the country’s stock exchange since 1989.

Established in 1974, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) is one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the MENA region. Since inception, Markaz has attracted and retained a client base of government and private institutions, as well as family offices and high net worth individuals. The Company caters to its client base through the following products and services:

• Asset Management

This includes Equity Mutual Funds, Fixed Income Mutual Funds, Real Estate Mutual Funds, Private Equity Funds, Portfolio Management, Market Maker

• Investment Banking

This includes Mergers and Acquisitions, Advisory, Equity and Debt Capital Markets, Listings and Restructuring.

• Real Estate services covering the Middle East and North Africa as well as international.

Finally, Economic and Policy Research and Consulting Services.

MARKAZ is a member of the ABCC and a sponsor of ABES2023.

For more on MARKAZ see the website,



ABCC member, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), has reported a remarkable surge in the registration of holding companies since introducing this company structure in 2020. The consistent rise in registrations highlights the growing appeal of this innovative investment vehicle, as the total number of holding companies rose by 35% to 329 in the first eight months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

RAKEZ Group CEO, Ramy Jallad, commented: “The significant growth in holding company registrations within RAKEZ reflects the confidence and strategic interest of international investors in the country. As one of the safest and most appealing investment destinations in the region, the UAE boasts a wealth of opportunities, both existing and on the horizon. Ras Al Khaimah stands out by offering an array of prospects that global investors can capitalise on, and leveraging the emirate’s strategic position and business-friendly environment.”

When it comes to establishing a holding company in the UAE, RAKEZ offers a pathway to several advantages that make it an attractive option for investors. First, holding companies can benefit from the UAE’s favourable tax environment, a key factor that boosts the appeal for global investors. Second, this structure offers enhanced protection against potential risks and legal claims, an essential feature in today’s complex business landscape.

Third and most notably, holding companies provide the flexibility to invest in various industries and sectors through their subsidiaries. This strategy not only spreads the investment risk but also maximises returns, allowing businesses to navigate the market’s fluctuations with agility and confidence. The combination of these benefits, offered through RAKEZ’s innovative holding structure, underscores Ras Al Khaimah’s commitment to fostering a diverse and robust investment environment.

The economic zone continues to actively engage with global investors and local businesses, constantly innovating its offerings to provide an attractive and supportive business environment.

RAKEZ is a powerhouse business and industrial hub established by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates and currently hosts over 18,000 companies coming from over 100+ countries operating in more than 50 industries.

RAKEZ offers entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and manufacturers a wide-range of solutions, including free zone and non-free zone licences, customisable facilities, and first-class services provided in a one-stop shop. Furthermore, RAKEZ has specialised zones that are tailored to specific needs of investors: Al Nakheel and Al Hamra Business Zones for commercial and service companies; Al Ghail, Al Hamra and Al Hulaila Industrial Zones for manufacturers and industrialists; and an Academic Zone for educational providers.

A leading economic zone, RAKEZ aims to continue attracting diversified investment opportunities that will contribute to the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.

Apart from being a member company of the ABCC, RAKEZ is also one of the sponsors of ABES2023.

For more about RAKEZ and its services, see the website:


Montenegro Properties

Montenegro Properties offers a wide selection of luxury property for sale and large scale development sites, comprising land, ruins, stone houses, luxury homes and apartments for sale in different parts of Montenegro (such as Budva, Kotor, Tivat, Bar, Herceg Novi, you name it).

This also includes exciting new projects such as Porto Montenegro, Lustica Bay, Portonovi, Dukley Gardens.

Company message:

“Real estate in Montenegro is our passion, and properties for sale have been our daily business since 2006. “We offer a premium and friendly advice on finding, buying, marketing, selling and investing in residential or commercial property in Montenegro of every description – from apartments, houses, luxury villas, and modern new builds to plots of land, farms and ruins.

“We aim to understand our clients and their needs before introducing

them to the selected properties to fit their criteria. With access to the entire property market of Montenegro, finding the suitable property is only the first step of our service.

“We monitor every aspect of your purchase, defining all the relevant details of the purchase and its implications.

“When you are happy to go ahead, we will negotiate on your behalf, we then continue to monitor each next step to a successful signing of contract, working closely with your lawyer (we can introduce you to a reputable licensed lawyer in Montenegro). We aim to negotiate the best possible terms for you and to carry out full due diligence.

“Our team knows the opportunities and the obstacles. We will be happy to guide you through the process, using our experience to make sure that you get the best results with the minimum of pressure.

“Whether you hope to maximize the value of a property that you are selling, or purchase property in the most efficient and friendly way, we can help, please feel free to contact us.

“We selectively source new investment opportunities in Montenegro for our clients, giving them straightforward, commercially sound and objective advice. Our team is ideally placed to provide a source of expertise to anyone active or interested in the property investment world.”

The latest properties available are fully detailed on the company’s website.


Real estate agency founded in 2006, participated in numerous real estate high-profile events together with the Government of Montenegro to support investments in Montenegro.

Zef Concepts Ltd & Phyla Earth Ltd

ZEF Concepts is a Sustainability and Green Technologies consultancy based in the UK and Lebanon; and associated with companies in Prague, Czech Republic and Dubai, UAE.

The company’s message runs as follows:

Our mission is to bridge the gap between architects and engineers and quantify the non-tangibles.

We work within a Sustainability Framework certified by BREEAM, and CSH (Code for Sustainable Homes) assessors.

We are specialised in the design and delivery of sustainable and low energy solutions for the built environment (Mechanical, Electrical, Public Health engineers). From a single low energy building to a major sustainable Masterplan, our goal is to seek solutions that find an optimum balance between environmental impact, social benefit and financial return for the client and the community.

Sustainable Design is economically feasible, socially and environmentally imperative. ZEF endeavours to find the solution that provides the best value to the client in terms of life cycle, capital costs and potential revenue.

ZEF provides the following individual and incorporated services:

Sustainability Consultation Low Energy Engineering Building Services Engineering Energy Audit & Energy Savings BREEAM & CSH Assessment

The holistic approach and the detailed knowledge of our teams allow ZEF to seed and develop real and practical sustainable projects.

Company CEO

Rabih El Fadel, CEO, is a pioneering figure in sustainability, with over 25 years of experience. He anchors ZefLab’s business direction and is the CEO & CoFounder of Phyla Earth. Through his company, Zef Concepts, he has shaped sustainable solutions across the built environment. His expertise spans low-energy designs, low-carbon initiatives, and comprehensive environmental frameworks. Rabih’s projects span Europe, the Middle East, USA, and Africa, marked by ethical considerations and adaptability. Notably, he has been instrumental since 2014 in conceiving the Great Green Wall of Africa, showcasing his enduring commitment to transformative ecological projects.


ABCC Translation Services

For all your translations from English to Arabic or Arabic to English.

With over 40 years’ experience in technical translation, the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce specialises in Arabic/English and English/Arabic translation and has excellent facilities and top quality translators.

Our translators are officially qualified and trained to handle customer requirements accurately and professionally in both languages. Our experience lies in first class commercial, financial, legal and technical translation of the highest standard.

The Chamber’s translation service is officially recognised by all the Arab embassies in London and by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

However, we strongly advise clients that the FCDO should authenticate all official documentation translated from Arabic to English if it is to be used in the UK. Translation of official documents from English to Arabic, for use in the Arab world, must be authenticated by both the FCO and the Arab embassy of the country where the document is to be used.

The ABCC translation service covers all types of documents, including:

Birth/marriage/baptism/divorce/death certificates

Certificates of academic qualification

Certificates of Origin

Commercial invoices

Company/personal financial documents

Divorce documents from the Shar’i Mazun or from a court of law

Memorandum & Articles of Association

Passport details.


Your guaranteed road

Surrounding the uncertainty of Brexit, the Arab-British Certificate of Origin remains the certain method to trade with the Arab world. There will be no changes to the certificate, and the ABCC’s services will suffer no interruption irrespective of Brexit’s outcome.

The Arab-British Certificate of Origin remains the only certain, secure and reliable means of export documentation for companies trading with the Arab world. There have been no changes to the certificate, and, likewise, the ABCC’s range of trade services remain entirely unaltered in the post-Brexit trading environment.

We at the ABCC remain available to support your exporting and wider business needs.

We at the ABCC remain available to support your exporting and wider business needs.
DELIVERED BY The main aim of the publications is to foster closer relations between Britain and the Arab World, which equally embraces all the Arab states, a unique selling point, although the larger economies in the Gulf and elsewhere inevitably receive more attention. The extensive international distribution network of the publications, via its combined online presence and printed edition, ensures that your company’s message will reach a broad spectrum of influencers and decision-makers who share your interests in doing business in the MENA region. WENDY CHAPMAN +44 (0) 1472 599903 ABCC ECONOMIC FOCUS dedicated to promoting bilateral trade and investment between Britain and the Arab countries. ABES 2023 DISTRIBUTION ACT NOW! To ensure you are seen in the next issue of Economic Focus. The next issue will be distributed at the Arab British Economic Summit please contact one of our Business Managers... CHRIS HEATON +44 (0) 1472 599910 ECONOMIC FOCUS ISSUE 1 NEW SERIES | July 2023 20th November 2023 EARLYBIRDREGISTERNOW Pay£100insteadof£200 MAGAZNE OF THE ARAB BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Sustaining an Emerging Vision

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