BizBahrain May-June 2017


May-June 2017





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May-June 2017


CONTENTS May-June 2017

10 | Transforming Information Technology Through Digitization

Interview with Dr. Jassim Haji

Director Information Technology, Gulf Air

16 | Security Services in the Contemporary World

Interview with Atanu Sanyal

Managing Director, G4S

20 | Cyber Security - Operating Beyond the Perimeter

Interview with Mirza Asrar Baig

Founder & CEO, CTM360

24 | Business Centres - A Sign of the Times

Interview with Sherif Kamel

President - RMEA (Russia, Middle East and Africa) Alliance Business Centers

28 | An Insight into the Heart of a Courier Company

Interview with Henry Fares

Vice President of Human Resources in Bahrain, DHL Express

32 | Creating Digital Finance Ecosystems

Interview with Andrew Sims

CEO, NEC Payments

36 | Turning Dreams into Reality

Interview with Tasneem Yousif

Engineer and Scientific Inventor

4 May-June 2017


May-June 2017

40 | OBG | Business Report

Bahrain Checking in for Tourism Growth

42 | CBRE | Real Estate Analysis

Reta il Market Outlook Kingdom of Bahrain

46 | ASAR | Corporate Law Analysis

Innovation and Bankruptcy Laws

48 | Opinion | Business Strategy

CSR - Imposed or Duty?

50 | Specialist | Public Speaking

Your S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G Checklist

52 | Expert Viewpoint | Investor Behaviour

The Ultimate Crowdfunding Guide Series (Part 1)

52 | Spirit of Ramadan

Lavish Ramadan Spreads

May-June 2017




60 | Government:

2 Saudi Government to nance Projects in Bahrain

2 Bahrain rst in GCC to Integrate Legal System Laws

2 Investment Limited Partnership Law supports Financial Sector

2 Hotel Revenues increase during Bahrain GP

2 Migration of Government Emails to the National Private Cloud

2 iGA migrates 10 Government Websites to the Cloud

64 | Banking & Finance:

2 Financial Digital Transformation in Bahrain

2 KHCB launches Personal KFinance campaign

2 KFH-Bahrain enhances Reward Offerings for new Credit Card Clients

2 TAKAUD partners with Mubasher

2 GFH acquire US Virginia data center

2 Mastercard inaugurates of ce in Bahrain

68 | Telecom:

2 World Class Internet Services for Bahrain

2 Batelco Partners with Amlak

2 First Technology Hardware Accelerator Launched in ME

2 Brand ZAIN valued at US$2.34 billion

2 VIVA Offers Unlimited Access to Government Websites

2 TRA’s Electronic Approval System for Telecom Related Imports

58 | Auto Focus

88 | Biz Dashboard

90 | Tender Board Bahrain

72 | Real Estate:

2 Bin Faqeeh opens of ce in Khobar

2 Al Sidra Project unveiled at Gulf Property Show 2017

2 Handover of Phase 2 of Diyar Homes Begins

2 The new Address Residences Unveiled

2 Mall of Dilmunia development in Bahrain Announced

2 Lamar at Dilmunia

76 | Technology:

2 Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: Smartphones Without Limits

2 Microsoft urges upskilling for cloud specialists

2 Samsung Launches SGalaxy Tab S3 in Bahrain

2 IFLIX launches in the Middle East

2 AI and LG’s Robotic Technologies making drastic changes

2 Document Digitization in FBahrain

92 | Twitter

80 | Automotive:

2 Second-gen McLaren Super Series commences

2 Euro Motors launch All- New Discovery

2 Porsche Centre is Exclusive Flagship Dealer

2 New INFINITI Q60 Sports Coupe

2 Hyundai Introduces new- Generation Azera

2 Nissan Altima scoops Sedan Award

84 | Other Business:

2 US$515 million Syndicated Financing facility

2 Mueller ME introduces rst Copper Tube Manufacturing facility

2 GARMCO’s new Remelt Facility on track

2 APM Terminals Bahrain initiates Digitization

2 BAC, Chinese of cials discuss Business opportunities

2 Gulf Air Selects Recaro to Supply Economy Class Seats

6 May-June 2017

May-June 2017




The rhythm of Ramadan is different to any other month of the year.

It brings with it spirituality, contemplation and, transcends the distinctions and

divisions of society. We have talked about the “Ramadan effect” in previous issues

of bizbahrain, about the positive emotions that it encourages, including in business.

The social and spiritual component encourages people to spend more time with

their families, participate in community gatherings, and contribute to charities.

This issue we have a packed magazine with many icons of business and industry

featured. We were indeed honoured to feature as our cover story, Dr Jassim Haji, Gulf

Air’s celebrated IT Director. As a researcher and innovator Dr. Haji’s achievements

are many; not least amongst them is his work in building up a sophisticated hybrid

cloud infrastructure to power his mobility projects.

In another fascinating interview, Sherif Kamel, President of Alliance Business

Centers for the RMEA region, talks to us about the shared office movement and

its revolutionary effect on how businesses function. Mirza Asrar Baig, founder

of CTM360, discusses gaps in cyber security and how to manage it. Atanu Sanyal,

Managing Director of G4S, one of the world’s biggest security companies talks about

the need to create safer and better environments for people to live and work in.

We also have significant insights into the payments industry with Andrew Sims,

CEO of NEC Payments. Henry Fares, Vice President of Human Resources in Bahrain

for DHL Express talks about the company’s vision to not only be a first choice

logistics provider but also as the best logistics employer for employees all over the

world. Last but not least, we discover Bahraini Scientist and enterprising young

inventor, Tasneem Yousif who earned glory for the nation.

Ramadan is all about sharing. In a few weeks, more than a billion people will

take part in a ritual that is powerful demonstration of brotherhood. Take a

moment to consider the hardship of others, whether the struggling family in the

neighbourhood or people struggling for life in places of conflict.

Tell us what you think, and let us know what you want to see in bizbahrain and on

We wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Ahmed Khalifa Khalfan


8 May-June 2017

Write to the Publisher:

May-June 2017



Adel Al Safar


Publishing House

General Manager

Group Editor

Production &

Circulation Manager

Senior Designer


Development Manager

Sales Manager

Digital Media Manager

Editorial Contributors

Video Augmentation

Printed at

In Association With

Ahmed Khalifa Khalfan


Naser Shahrour

Reena Abraham

Sameer Asif Butt

Ashjad Azeez

Rosemarie Gala

Fahad Malik

Jeba Sherin Shyju

+973 6666 0064 bizbahrain

Dr. Jassim Haji, Steve Mayes, Heather Longden,

Dr. Alex R. Suchy von Weissenfeld, Simone Del Nevo,

Ali Al Aradi, Mohamed Isa, Sultan Sharabati,

Jose Paul Martin

Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej, Kingdom of Bahrain

Farouk Almoayyed

Honorary Chairman

Ahmed Sabah Al-Saloom

Chairman of the Society

bizbahrain is also digital

The opinions and views contained in this publication by the journalists, writers and the interviewee are not necessarily those of the publishers. All efforts have been

made to ensure accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However bizbahrain cannot accept legal responsibility for any error or omission.

10 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Interview | Dr. Jassim Haji


Information Technology

Through Digitization

The emergence of Softwareas-a-Service

(SaaS) as an

effective software-delivery

mechanism has created an opportunity

for Information-Technology (IT)

departments to change their focus

from deploying and supporting

applications to managing the services

that those applications provide. So

what exactly is SaaS?

Writer, researcher, serial award

winner and celebrated Bahraini

technology expert and Director of IT at

Gulf Air, Dr. Jassim Haji explains SaaS,

IoT and a whole lot more to bizbahrain

Group Editor, Reena Abraham.

What is SaaS and what is the

excitement all about?

In today's digital world, Softwareas-a-Service

(SaaS) generally refers

to a new and alternative way of

accessing software, as opposed to

more traditional methods of access.

Whereas in the past software would

generally be purchased outright and

loaded onto a device, SaaS normally

refers to a subscription-based model

where the software is hosted in the

cloud and accessed via the internet or

12 May-June 2017

Dr. Jassim Haji

Director Information Technology,

Gulf Air

a dedicated link between an enterprise

and its service provider. Software

as a Service (SaaS) has the potential

to transform the way Information-

Technology (IT) departments relate

to and even think about their role as

providers of computing services to the

rest of the enterprise.

In order for organizations to ensure

their prosperity and competitive

advantage, it is crucial that they

adopt digital transformation in

every aspect of their operations to

automate business processes and

eliminate paper by re-engineering

May-June 2017


Interview | Dr. Jassim Haji

business functions and building

scalable backend solutions through the

innovation of the internal resources

and expertise, which has proven to

reduce costs substantially.

Can you tell us about how airlines are

enabling SaaS concept over Hybrid

cloud and how it works?

The nature of aviation industry

companies and specially airlines

requires geographical availability for

their applications where you can see

many airlines are delivering these

solutions through their Hybrid cloud

to provision services in an equivalent

manner to Software as a Service

(SaaS). which enables them to extend

seamlessly to reach all airports and

offices distributed in all the countries,

enabling users and passengers to

perform their tasks through unified

services, eliminating duplicable

work previously required in different

systems. In the King of Bahrain, Gulf

Air was the first airline in the region

to unify different disparate systems

in one cohesive service through the

Hybrid cloud.

This pioneering concept enables

airlines with the internal development

and implementation of several critical

and complex projects, such as the

digitalization of different services

provided to the passengers in every

step of their journey along with

backend functions performed by airline

staff either in their headquarters or

outstations. The end-to-end solution is

delivered via the Hybrid Cloud to host

and deliver unified services, such as

the Loyalty Programme, and Big Data

to analyze and understand customers’

perception, and Business Intelligence

(BI) to optimize and automate the

decision making process.

Tell us how this digitization initiative

empowers stakeholders in any airline


The implementation of mobility by

this digitization initiative empowers

employees and passengers alike

with self-service features that can

be performed on smart devices and

tablets. Pilots were provided electronic

flight bags on tablets to replace the

heavy manual papers, cabin crew were

provided with tablets to conduct preflight

and post-flight reports and to

provide unique personalized services

to the passengers, and different

ground staff like check-in agents and

technical agents. Moreover, tablets can

be provided to aid them in performing

their duties on the go and in the field

without the need for papers, physical

forms or to use heavy manuals.

How can an enterprise’s Security

Framework be secured?

Information Security, unfortunately,

is usually taken for granted. However,

when any compromises or breaches

happen, they can break a company

and cause indefinite losses. Hence, the

primary goal of having an Enterprise

Security Framework is to secure the

corporate users, communication,

transactions, and also the compliance

requirements without compromising

on application functionality and user

experience. Another goal is to protect

the brand by monitoring the social


The business impact and security

needed measures and controls should

regularly be presented to a specialized

information security committee

formed in the organization to highlight

the requirements of the project and

risk involved. Another committee can

be formed to focus on the technical

and architectural aspects of projects

and solutions to identify and present a

solution for meeting the requirements.

Such solutions ensure to bring

efficiency and effectiveness and will

make the available services more

secure, scalable and resilient.

Generally, an enterprise can

implement ISO 27001 (Information

Security Management) security

framework to safeguard business

Information, identify and manage

Information security risks and threats.

Please explain the potential benefits of

implementing Internet of Things (IoT)

in the aviation field.

The aviation industry is wide,

very complicated, and still depends

on legacy setups despite the new

technological trends being adopted.

However, IoT has the potential to

revolutionize the operations of

aircrafts and passengers’ journey,

touching directly on airports and

airlines. IoT has empowered the

use of cutting-edge technologies

like augmented reality, drones and

wearable devices.

High-level examples of the use

of augmented reality are guiding

passengers from the self-service

check-in kiosk to customs to the

boarding gate, and all the required

intermediary steps. Smart airports

will be able to offer personalized offers

to passengers in the Duty Free shops

and passengers can find their seats

on the aircrafts or empty overhead

storage areas by means of wearing

smart glasses. Operating an aircraft

is also empowered by IoT, augmented

windshields on aircrafts can guide

pilots to the assigned taxiways, or

showing the weather ahead even if the

visibility is very poor. Crew can benefit

tremendously of IoT with the use of

augment lenses, they can use facial

recognition of passengers to provide

personalized service, identify potential

problem-causing or unruly passengers

based on behavioral analytics,

determine overhead storage occupancy

with a glance or which seats are not

upright or seatbelts are not worn, and

provide assistance when performing

medical care in case of emergencies.

Further, augmented reality aids

are used in performing aircraft

maintenance through the visualization

of aircraft equipment and parts, using

drones to deliver spare parts from

remote stores to engineers and scan

aircraft structural integrity, and using

smart trolleys on aircrafts that monitor

food temperature and keeps track of

the items and their quantities. Airports

can enhance the passenger experience

with smart baggage setup to identify

and track the location of each baggage

and prevent any mishandled baggage,

and using beacons to provide geo

location services depending on the

exact location of the passenger.

What are some of the challenges that

may be faced in implementing IoT?

in the aviation industry, Huge

investment is required to implement

the infrastructure that can handle

such new technology, revamping

14 May-June 2017

Interview | Dr. Jassim Haji

explained below. The access to the

big data solution is also secured using

advanced access controls.

How do airlines deal with all this data?

Airlines can gather all this data

for each flight and consequently

implement analysis models on those

data to measure critical performance

factors. First factor is wear and tear

impact on engines, wheels, etc. By

measuring impact pressure and speed

while landing the impact on the

wheels and engine can be measured

and results are reviewed by technical

engineers to determine if it’s above the

recommended limit. The length of taxiout

to take-off to lift-off is measured

along with the speed and engine thrust

power, this determines how much load

is placed on the engine which reduces

its life and increase maintenance

costs. The analysis of those factors

are incorporated in future flight plans

which will inform the pilot of the ideal

speed, distance and manner to take-off

in order to minimize the impact.

Receiving CIO100 award presented from Alibaba Cloud MEA

the existing processes and systems

accordingly, the connectivity required

to remote locations to obtain the data

from the sensors and the processing/

storage capacity to handle this data.

In some cases where hacking into

drones or aircrafts were simulated

in laboratories, which show that this

new technology can be vulnerable and

it is important to set up mitigation

measures that should be applied to

secure the entire setup of IoT.

IoT is also instrumental in tracking

and controlling aircrafts, the most

expensive asset with highest costs that

all airlines have (average aircraft costs

more than $100 million, industrial

average operating cost of aircrafts 40-

50% of total airline costs).

Recent aircraft models are

fully electronic and contain a host

of advanced sensors that record

all aspects of the aircraft and the

flight. These sensors are configured

to log, monitor and report several

environmental (temperature, altitude,

pressure) and aircraft parameters

(like tyre pressure, engine ratings,

electronics). These sensors are

monitored as per the internal aviation

regulations and these sensors generate

huge amount of data that provides

deep insights that can be utilized to

improve operations, reduce costs and

improve safety.

Once the data is received from

the aircraft, they can be loaded

in a Big Data solution which can

handle the huge size of the data.

Moreover, on top of Big Data, Business

Intelligence model can be built to

transform the data into relevant

information. Different dimensions

can be created on the data to enable

reporting from different aspects, like

based on destinations, aircraft fleet

type, flight paths. Further, statistical

model can also be created in order to

analyse the data and spot correlation

from numerous aspects as will be

Software as a Service

(SaaS) has the potential

to transform the way


(IT) departments relate

to and even think about

their role as providers of

computing services to

the rest of the enterprise.

What are the other critical factors?

Another critical factor is fuel

efficiency. The speed, degrees of

climbing/descending and weather

conditions (pressure, temperature)

greatly affect fuel-burning rate. The

data is analysed and correlated with

the actual fuel-burning rate for each

flight, and then the ideal manner

(which speed, which degree) for each

weather condition is recommended

that reduce fuel-burning rate.

Measures of flight speed, altitude

and weather conditions during the

flight gives insights as well regarding

which combinations provide reduced

fuel-burning. Practices of taxi-in and

May-June 2017


Interview | Dr. Jassim Haji

out (e.g. single engine) or the usage of

Auxiliary Power Unit are measured and

taken in consideration. All of the above

are analysed and recommendations

for best manner on how to fly are

incorporated as well in the flight plans.

Tell us about Big Data and Arabic

Sentiment Analysis.

Big Data provides an unprecedented

mechanism to mine into the vast and

wide data in the Internet especially the

social media. Big Data solutions have

been introduced to the world, but all

of them are addressing social posts in

English. Arabic was something new

in Big Data world and never existed.

There is hardly any service provider

in the region that can deliver Arabic

sentiment analysis especially covering

regional dialects.

It is important for organisations

to monitor what’s being said about

them in social media in order to know

the public perception and customer

feedback/opinion, and to take quick

decisions and remedies based on the


How can any organisation implement

the Big Data and Arabic Sentiment


Big data provides sentimental

analysis of the feelings of social

participants, and this can be

implemented by using an open source

which can be integrated with other

business solutions. There are several

open source platforms available in the

market, such as Cloudera. The solution

must be customised to be able to

retrieve posts based specific keywords

in Arabic and English. Additionally,

Arabic sentiment analysis logic must

be defined to include different regional

dialects, formal and informal Arabic

words, slang words and different

spelling variations/mistakes.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has been

pioneer in the Arab world to be the

first in the world to develop a Big

Data solution with Arabic Sentiment

Analysis. This was achieved by the

national carrier, and it was based on an

open source solution and implemented

entirely in-house using in house

Bahraini resources to perform Arabic

sentiment analysis of the social media.

This can be in the future done in

other languages to do the sentiment

analysis in different region.

The challenges with this amount

of data seem enormous. How can

it be filtered and arrive at accurate


For any establishment, the

challenges that may face are the

complexity of Arabic sentiment

analysis, and processing human

languages to obtain sentiment and

feelings is very difficult, especially

with a complex language like Arabic.

In order to achieve good accuracy, “test

and learn” approach can be adopted,

which is to test the results of the logic

and review the inaccuracies, and

then they can learn from the results,

enhance the logic and build language

exception rules, and then test the

16 May-June 2017

Interview | Dr. Jassim Haji

new logic again. 100% accuracy is not

possible, but organisations can manage

to achieve a high accuracy level with

this approach.

Big Data solution can be installed

on an existing cloud infrastructure,

and it can be integrated with existing

Business Intelligence solutions for

reporting, analysis and dissemination.

The ROI from this implementation

is the reduction of manual work,

instead of going over thousands of

posts, all are processed in minutes and

results are free from human errors,

and obtaining public perception and

market response to our services which

aids our Corporate Communication and

Commercial in their strategies.

The Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

initiative can radically improve airline

efficiency and increase mobility. How

to go about the implementation?

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is

the latest technological trend in

the aviation sector that came into

existence to improve operations and

efficiency of flights by replacing

heavy paper-based manuals/material

(time-consuming and costly to update/

maintain) with electronic format.

Several airlines have realize those

benefits, and decided to implement

EFB to reduce costs of paper-based

materials, reduce weight on aircrafts

(fuel saving), optimize payloads and

reduce engine wear and tear.

In addition to the above, EFB can

integrate with the backend flight

planning systems. This will display

the flight plans for each flights to the

pilots as they are preparing for the

flight, and the pilots will rely on the

tablets during the flight to measure the

progress of their plans and what other

measures they have to follow in order

to optimize fuel burning.

The solution can be furthered

expanded to provide an offline mode

for tablets in order to minimize the

dependencies on Internet connection

which is difficult to achieve in

different airports/stations around

the world, and procedures must be

established to regularly monitor and

update tablets to ensure they always

have the latest version of materials,

and to restrict access in the tablet to

prevent personal usage and abuse.

These procedures should cover

thorough health check and monitoring

of the devices around the clock, in case

of any breach or loss an alert is raised

immediately to flight operators.

What about Cabin Crew Tablets?

In addition, airlines can empower

their cabin crew with tablets to enable

them to offer personalized services

to the passengers and automate their

work, like what the national carrier,

Gulf Air, has done. All the traditional

manual work can be replaced with

providing electronic version of those

manuals and procedures on the iPads

through Mobile Device Management

tools. This eliminates the need for

printing documents and it is easier

and more convenient for crew to obtain

the updated versions, which is simply

by downloading them when having an

Internet connection.

These sensors are

monitored as per

the internal aviation

regulations and these

sensors generate huge

amount of data that

provides deep insights

that can be utilized to

improve operations,

reduce costs and improve


Other critical documents like galley

diagrams of the aircrafts and internal

cabin design and configuration can

be shared through the tablet easily for

each flight. This makes the preparation

for a flight easier and quicker for

the cabin crew. Even cabin crew

notices and alerts are pushed into

those devices automatically which

guarantees the crew having the most

updated information for their flights.

Further, the crew management

system can be extended on the tablet

in order to empower the crew to check

their roster remotely, have flights

alerts and reminders, and to enable

them to apply for roster change, swap

request with other crew and many

other features part of crew operations

As per the global civil aviation

regulations, for each flights crew

must be briefed about their position

of the aircraft, which cabin they will

be handling First Class, Business

or Economy. This can be automated

through a development of a a mobile

application on crew tablets. Crew can

view this information ahead of the

flight to prepare themselves.

Other critical information can be

provided to the crew on the tablet to

empower them to provide personalized

and unique passenger services.

Information about meals loaded into

the aircrafts, special meal requests by

passengers including which passenger

(name and seat position) requested

which special meal, and all other

special requests for the flights, for

example the need for wheelchairs,

elderly passengers who require help

to board the aircraft, unaccompanied

minors who need supervision, etc.

And the tablets can be used to

enable the crew to fill in electronically

the required forms (as mandated by the

civil aviation authorities) which can

be filled even in an offline mode by the

tablets and then submitted whenever

a connection is available (e.g. security

and safety forms).

These tablets can be configured as

well to enable the crew to conduct their

training courses (as required by the

civil aviation authorities) through an

e-Learning Management System.

Can you tell us what are your thoughts

or ideas for the future? What’s next in

the airlines’ radar?

Passenger experience plays a

critical role in ensuring loyalty and

repeating business, and the new

technologies are helping to achieve

this, either with mobile services, geolocation

services through beacons.

Further, a full self-service of the

passengers’ journey in the airport,

from check in, bag drop, to customs

clearance and self-boarding. And

having fast travel security practices

that speed up security screening and

ensuring safety and protection from


May-June 2017


Interview | G4S

While becoming an increasingly

important aspect of modern

life, security service agencies

often walk the tight rope balancing

client expectations of safety and

security with personal freedoms and

civil liberties. Theirs has to remain a

finely-balanced operation that is not

an overt presence and goes largely

unnoticed, with the understanding that

a breach in security can mean losing the

very things they were called to protectthe

governance of our institutions and

the right to carry on with our daily lives

without disruption.

G4S, well-known as one of the

world’s biggest security companies

works in different parts of the world to

safeguard this very balance and create

safer and better environments for people

to live and work in. A joint venture

between the parent company and

Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa,

G4S Bahrain has been operational since

1993 with a work force of 500. The scope

of the security services provided by the

teams is wide ranging with activities

as diverse as cash solutions, manned

security services, electronic security

systems, emergency response and

security consultancy services.

“We are planning to expand our

business Operations in the coming

years as there is a demand for our

services in the market,” says Atanu

Sanyal, Managing Director of G4S

Bahrain and a veteran of the industry.

“We are very positive about revenue

growth in the coming years due to

increased demand for security solutions





which will allow stronger players like us

to really make an impact. Regionally - in

UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -

each of these countries has more than

10,000 people working for G4S. The

business regulations and requirements

in Bahrain for security companies here

in Bahrain are restricted to 500 guards

limit. However, we have talked to the

authorities and they have been very

understanding. They know the need for

the kind of services we provide, so we

are hopeful we will reach a solution.”

The challenges are many but Sanyal

has been in the business for more than

a decade. His rise to the top has been

meteoric, having joined the company

in its India operations and then moving

through the ranks first in Qatar and

then in Bahrain where he heads the

company. This is very much the style

of working that G4S employs Sanyal

says. “People join us and they stay on

for years. It is important for us to have

staff that understand what it takes and

who become an integral part of the

system. We like to promote our own,

we encourage them to grow and reward


In a freewheeling discussion

with Reena Abraham, Group Editor of

bizbahrain, Atanu Sanyal talks about the

path that led him to his current position

at G4S and the challenges that lie ahead.

18 May-June 2017

Atanu Sanyal

Managing Director, G4S

Please give our readers a brief idea

about what G4S offers clients.

G4S is the world's leading

global, integrated security company

specialising in the delivery of security

and related services to customers across

six continents with 585,000 employees.

We work to safeguard the welfare

and prosperity of millions of people

worldwide - helping to create safer and

better environments in which people

live and work.

We offer our clients secure Risk

services and consultancy, Security

systems, Monitoring and response,

Secure facilities services, Cash Services

and Manned security services.

Our enduring strategic

aim is to demonstrate the

values and performance

that make G4S the

company of choice for

customers, employees

and shareholders.

With such a large workforce, what forms

the basis of your global strategy and

which areas of this corporate strategy

are implemented in Bahrain?

Our strategy addresses the positive,

global demand outlook for security

services and our enduring strategic

aim is to demonstrate the values

and performance that make G4S the

company of choice for customers,

employees and shareholders. We aim

to do this by designing innovative

solutions, by delivering outstanding

service to our customers, by providing

engaging and rewarding work

for employees and by generating

sustainable growth in returns for

our shareholders. These aims are

underpinned by the key programmes in

our strategic plan:

• People and Values

• Growth and Innovation

May-June 2017


Interview | G4S

• Customer Service Excellence

• Productivity and Operational


• Financial and Commercial


• Globally as well as in Bahrain we

follow the same principle.

Do you agree that the security services

business is one that will not be affected

by the downturns in the economy?

It is very tough to predict at this

point of time. The slowdown in the

economies in Gulf countries may

or may not have any impact on our

business. We deliver services to a very

niche market where quality works

over quantity and price. We take care

of our staff to the highest standards.

In Bahrain we provide excellent

accommodation in an upscale area, such

as Juffair, we provide life insurance

policies, medical insurance policy and

the best lifestyle and facilities we can

afford. However, in our business we

cannot cut down on costs because we

need to employ the best. Unfortunately

in the times we live in, a lot of

companies are seeking services such as

ours, but have budget constraints.

The financial results of G4S in 2016

is much better than in 2015. The Group

revenue for 2016 stands at GBP 6.8

billion, which is 6.3% higher than the

year 2015. PBITA (Profit) for the group up

by 9.2% and reached to GBP 454 Million.

The earnings and operating cash flow is

up by 16.6% and 61.5%.

The teams are currently

extremely matured…

They understand the

requirements of the job

very well.

Do you have a strong tier of managers

and administration personnel who

monitor your staff and the work?

Yes. We have the team ready at

all times. The teams are currently

extremely matured, all having more than

five years’ experience in the company.

They understand the requirements of

the job very well.

G4S Bahrain has shown good growth

in business for the year 2015 and 2016

due to the fact that we have a very

strong team of managers, supervisors

and administrative personnel. The

technology introduction in the manned

security business is one of the best way

to handle and monitor staff and we are

good at it. We involved technology to

our manned security business in such

a way that very less involvement of

supervisors / managers are required

to monitor the staff and on the other

hand the introduction of technology will

reduce the spending of the customers.

What about Bahrainisation levels? How

are you setting the pace?

G4S’ highest priority is to train and

employ Bahraini nationals to provide

premium security to our Clients. In

addition to a predominantly Bahraini

workforce, G4S employ a significant

number of expatriate employees

and Nepalese ex-Gurkha soldiers

predominantly employed for diplomatic

assignments. Recruitment of Locals is

a continuous process and to maintain

the required Bahrainisation level we

regularly conduct interviews through

Ministry of Labour, participate in

local Job fairs organized by various

Ministries and monthly advertisement

in local Arabic newspapers and Social

media. In addition we have lots of local

employees working with us for more

than 5 years which helps us to maintain

the Bahrainisation level. Th e local

employees have a huge contribution

to our growth last year. Our revenue

growth last year is approximately

6.2% and profit growth stands at 9.7%

higher compared to 2015. With a strong

local and expatriate workforce we are

expecting a double digit growth in the

year 2017 based upon our year to date


Tell us about the training and

indoctrination the staff goes through

before they begin?

In case of guards and supervisors

we have 7 days internal G4S security

induction training program. It’s a

really intense training program. The

supervisors and guards also go through

other training programs like health and

safety, first Aid training, Onsite training,

Refresher Training and ministry of

interior training. The guards goes

through evaluation test before they are

introduced to operations for further

deployment to the work site. It is very

common for all guards and supervisors.

Also every employee of G4S goes

through UK Anti Bribery act, Business

Ethics policy among others. Apart

from that if any employee wanted a

special training on any specific subject/

course, we generally sponsor / support

the employees to complete the course.

For the Senior Managers and Middle

Managers we have got leadership and

Management Programs which they

can avail once in a year. Apart from

that the group has a lot of Learning

and Training materials in the hub.

Employees can go through learning and

training programme on Finance, HR,

Operations, Sales or any other relevant

topic through HUB.

Ours is a business where

we cannot cut down on

costs because we need to

employ the best. We take

care of our staff to the

highest standards.

What are some of the major security

risks that you address in Bahrain?

Bahrain is building up a strong

economy with a very positive business

and people friendly approach. This

means we can expect a greater influx

of people from all over the world,

especially tourists, which means more

events, more hotels, more entertainment

sites and more need for security,

surveillance and monitoring.

Having said that, Bahrain is a

relatively stable and secure country

and crime rates are generally low. We

work closely with different companies

and Government bodies to address and

mitigate the security risks. The security

risks vary from customer to customer

and we provided the best possible

security solutions options keeping

in mind the budget of the customer.

Security solutions are the future and we

produce a bundle of solutions to customer

anticipating that future needs are taken

care of from one window of G4S.

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May-June 2017


Interview | CTM360

Mirza Asrar Baig

Founder & CEO, CTM360

22 May-June 2017





Cyber security has definitely been

centre stage in the last year.

From election poll drama to

boardroom takeovers, last year underlined

the magnitude of top-class cyber security

for businesses and organizations across

the board. As the Internet of Things

dominates conversation and technology

continues to take giant strides, our

world has become more connected and

automated than it ever was before. In the

labyrinth, cyber security stands to become

even more paramount in protecting

confidential information and in ensuring

businesses remain undisrupted. To keep

up with this spike in demand, companies

are already making massive investments

to enhance their cyber security systems -

and the impact of these investments can

be seen in the industry’s growth.

It was while recognizing gaps in

how cyber threats and incidents are

managed before it became such a global

conversation, that Mirza Asrar Baig

founded CTM360 in 2014. The company

has rapidly become a global front-runner

in Cyber Threat Management since then.

“This core service is strengthened

by cyber footprint management and

real-time situational awareness.

Innovation and Collaboration are our

key strategies that have enabled Team

CTM360 to effectively detect and manage

cyber attacks targeting our member

community,” says Mirza Asrar Baig in an

interview with bizbahrain.

Tell us about what your vision was for

CTM360 when you first established the

company in Bahrain.

CTM360's mission is to enhance

members’ cyber resilience, with

the strategy of identifying and

managing attacks at an early stage.

Our comprehensive Cyber Threat

Management services cover all aspects

of Prediction, Prevention, Detection,

Response and Knowledge-sharing.

We provide ‘Dependable Security as a

Service’ via a collaborative cloud-based

platform, which enables members to

tackle evolving cyber threats on a realtime


The company has successfully filled a

gap in the GCC by keeping a steady finger

on the pulse of cyber threats seen in the

region. We have developed technologies

in-house according to real and present

needs with a fully equipped and dedicated

team that identifies cyber threats relevant

to our subscribed members.

Is the 'Visionary CEO of the Year' Catalyst

Award that you won earlier this year,

recognition of your work, and your

foresight in entering this field 30 years

ago when cyber threats were barely


Yes, the award was a huge honour and

recognition. I was not really understood

or recognised in that manner in the past.

The whole region grew in these years

and maturity has come in, but even in

the global sense there is a lack of a plan

on how we should be addressing the

cyber security world even today. Even the

definition of cyber security is not well

defined. There is a lot of contradiction and

people debate on the difference between

cyber security and information security.

That is where we come in because we

have a refined definition of cyber security.

We see it in that sense as a vision of the

future where there will be completely

separate teams that handle cyber security,

information security and IT security as

parts of one whole.

We don't have that many

organisations in the region developing

technologies on this aspect of cyber

May-June 2017


Interview | CTM360

security. So that was the big difference

that we are out here in this part of

the world having a 24 x 7 x 365 cyber

security unit with our own technology

reaching out to the world and managing

threats and attacks which could be

residing anywhere in the globe. There are

no other companies like that in this part

of the world.

Why in your opinion are people not ready

to increase their investment in IT security

despite the rising frequency in cyberattacks?

No, that is not so. There is lot of

money moving in to cyber security.

Organisations are investing. The tendency

normally, across the world, and especially

in this part of the world, is to be reactive.

So when the pains happen, people go out

spending money on it, and right now there

is a lot of pain happening and therefore,

investment. In many large organisations

this is even an agenda that is being

discussed at the board level. There may be

areas where their organisations may try

to budget and reduce spend, but cyber and

information security are areas where they

don't really compromise, not anymore.

Cyber security needs to

be considered like the

Intelligence Agency,

Information security is

your Ministry of Defence,

and IT security is the

Ministry of Interior.

What are the most common sources of

cyber-security threats?

Now it has to be understood that any

cyber threat or a cyber attack is made up

of a number of pieces. So when you say…

‘What is the source?’… but yet cant really

pinpoint such a source because it could be

coming from anywhere in the world. What

you can look for is the real motivation

behind the attacks because the source

could be from anywhere and everywhere.

The attacks could be residing anywhere.

In finding the motive behind the

attack, you see what is more visible. In

fact what you really see, is when there is

the money trail - the financial criminals.

What you don't see is the espionage, when

they are there just to listen in and look.

They don't change anything; they don’t

leave any clues so you don't feel their


What risk does a company run by not

having a dedicated IT governance, risk

and compliance function?

It's a huge risk if you don't do that,

especially for large organisations. You

don't have a ready framework and you will

always be reactive and because of that

you may have issues with the solutions,

and you will end up spending too much in

areas where you didn't even need to do so.

So with the framework what happens is,

to begin with, you understand your own

risk and you are able to rate it and you

are able to know where you really need to

spend the money. You don't do an over kill

in any area. Without the framework it's all

knee jerk reactions, it is chaos.

CTM360 promises ‘Dependable Security

as a Service’ via a secure cloud-based

platform. Can you explain how this


For that the first thing is that you got

to be clear about what we say is cyber

security, because when we provide cyber

security, we are outside the perimeter. We

do not enter the organisation. What we

are saying is that we are not information

security, we are not IT security, or the

police or military. We are the Intelligence

Agency that works outside the borders,

outside the perimeter. When you are

outside the perimeter do you need

somebody who you can reach at any

time who will be there, who has the

ability and the tools to do analysis for

any kind of attack components, which

are residing on the Internet and also is

able to take action on it? And only so,

they should be really capable of even

analysing and taking action on attacks

which nobody even knows as of today.

As and when something comes we ought

to have our research team capable of

identifying those kind of new attacks

and mitigating those attacks. We have

developed the whole team in that sense

that we have all the tiers and that's why

we say it's dependable. Like I said before,

we provide ‘Dependable Security as a

Service’ via a collaborative cloud-based

platform, which enables members to

tackle evolving cyber threats on a realtime


Tell us about the strategic alliances that

make CTM 360 a complete service.

We have a number of strategic

alliances. Actually we have two different

companies: CTM360 here in Bahrain

and IT Matrix in KSA, which does a lot

of other things, such as working inside

the firewall. We deploy a lot of different

technologies but at CTM360 we only

work in cyber security and offer it as a

subscription service. Our alliances are

with organisations, which are hosts or

cyber threat intelligence providers on

the Internet. There are communities,

which provide a collaborative platform

for different type of attacks. We have

alliances across the world in that

sense and have established working

relationships with them which enable

us to tackle targeted attacks out of the

hosted services onto the targets and any

players elsewhere in the world. Over

time, we have formed thousands of such

alliances and partnerships because we

need to know every host anywhere and

wherever we see something residing on

their services.

We are the Intelligence

Agency that works

outside the borders,

outside the perimeter.

How can a company predict a cyberattack

and take action before it happens?

Is there any way to know before it


Cyber-attacks have a number of

pieces. It starts with reconnaissance,

and then weaponization and delivery

and so on till they actually get into your

organisation, which may take a year or

one and half years. When people start

doing this, there is a complete ecosystem

there. Somebody may be collecting a

lot of information across organisations

and selling it to entities with unethical

intentions to resell, with this cycle being

repeated consistently. When something

like that is happening, if we are able

to identify it and make it difficult for

people to go up this Kill chain, then we

can neutralize an attack even without

knowing what it really is for in the very

early stage.

For example, somebody registers

a domain name that looks like an

24 May-June 2017

Interview | CTM360

organisation. Now he has just registered

a domain name, we don't know what he

would actually use it for. It may only be

visible after a couple of months when he

has already constructed all the pieces of

his attack. What we do is to find out if we

can take action on that domain, at that

point in time, without knowing anything.

And so many times we are successful

in doing so. That is called taking out the

domain. So we are able to reach out to the

registrar and tell them that the registrant,

the one who registered, is a bogus or

fraudulent person. If we have been able

to retrieve some evidence on that, then

the registrar will actually take action on

it. That's one way that you are able to

prevent something before it even went


But this is just one part. There

are many cases where we are able to

accurately predict an attack. We see an

attack happening anywhere in the world

or right here with one organisation, and

we understand patterns, then we know

where and what next will happen and

which organisations will be targeted. So

pre-emptively we can guide them, which

we do regularly.

Within CTM360 there is something

called situational awareness in which we

issue alerts, advisories, research reports

to alert the customer prior to any attack

happening so they can take certain

mitigation actions, and are able to restrict

the attack from achieving any kind of


We have envisioned

Bahrain as a cyber

security hub.

So what should an ordinary individual

watch out for?

There's a lot, and it's a very

challenging area. At the end of the day,

it really is that individual who is on

the front line. You can put in as much

technology and you can lock down

something with a million-dollar lock but

if the individual somehow gives away the

key himself to the attackers, what good

is that lock. So for the individuals on the

front line, the first rule to remember is:

'There are no free lunches'. Anything that

sounds too good to be true IS too good to

be true.

People somehow don't understand

that. That's the start of them falling

victim to something which may grow.

Cyber security needs to be considered

like the Intelligence Agency, Information

security is your Ministry of Defence, and

IT security is the Ministry of Interior.

All the three have different missions.

Ministry of Interior's mission is give a

more secure experience to the individual

but the mission of Defence is to secure

the assets of the country. The mission of

cyber security is to identify and do covert

operations. Till that is understood and

implemented, I don't believe we can really

manage this growing menace of cyberattacks.

What trends lie ahead for cyber security

and for CTM360 in 2017?

Globally everybody is still struggling.

We can easily say that the struggle will

keep on in this manner because if you

look at past, the gap between the attacks

and whatever we have been able to

manage is growing, which simply means

the losses are growing. They are now

predicting that by 2019, yearly losses

of US$ 2 trillion are expected. Now that

means something is extremely wrong in

the way companies like us are guiding

or implementing security. We need to

change something. We need to say, You

know what? Something is wrong.

We need to change the way we are

doing things today. And that's what we

are bringing in as CTM360.

What has been your experience doing

business in Bahrain, and how is it

different from other places?

Bahrain for me is the hub for doing

any business in the Arab world. Look at

any reports; Bahrain is THE place. It is

business friendly, and the ease of doing

business out of Bahrain makes it perfect

for expats to be living here. Plus, they are

very welcoming here. The people, hands

down are the best people here according

to me. I came here and this is my country

now, that's it. I don't want to go anywhere.

The government and especially the EDB

have been talking a great deal about

promoting Bahrain as an IT hub. Your


We have envisioned Bahrain as a

cyber security hub. So I am saying now,

why don't we make Bahrain the real

cyber security hub for the Arab world?

We have started working with the local

university right now and they will launch

a bachelor's degree program that will try

to encourage others. We put together a

cyber-security group here encouraging all

the security managers to come together

and start working on it. We need to do a

lot more and Inshallah we are hoping we

can get Bahrain to become in the cyber

security hub of the Arab world.

May-June 2017


Interview | Alliance Business Centers




Sherif Kamel

President - RMEA (Russia, Middle East and Africa)

26 Alliance Business May-June Centers


Interview | Alliance Business Centers

One of the hottest trends globally

among startups, freelancers

and creative types seeking

community and collaboration with

like-minded entrepreneurs, today, the

shared office movement, which has

been building momentum for years, is

skyrocketing. It’s revolutionizing how,

when and where people work.

Some like ABCN with its global

reach have set the bar high. With

locations spanning the globe, Alliance

Business Centers is one of the largest

global network of serviced offices

in the world, with more than 650

locations in 45 countries, and counting.

With customizable support tools and a

dedicated team to help you take care of

business, Alliance provides solutions

to mobile workers, entrepreneurs,

small businesses and corporates.

President of ABCN RMEA (Russia,

Middle East, and Africa), Sherif

Kamel is a veteran of the industry.

Starting his career in banking, he

was appointed ABCN CEO for the UAE

in 2008, a role that soon expanded

to the Middle East region and Africa

continent, and then on the same

upward trajectory to the position he

holds today.

bizbahrain Group Editor, Reena

Abraham talks to the dynamic, gogetting

Sherif Kamel.

The sharing economy

is an ecosystem that

boosts the sharing of

human, physical, and

thoughtful resources to

create more efficient and

collaborative systems.

“Armed with 20 years of experience

and a track record of proven

performance in the banking and

finance industries, the knowledge I

gained became my stepping stone to

enter the entrepreneurial world with

ABCN. After my graduation, I worked

in the banking sector for many years.

I first started with Chase Manhattan

bank (which became Commercial

International Bank later on) for 4 years

and a half. I decided to come in the

GCC to pursue my career in banking so

I join National Bank of Umm Al Quwain

and after 4 years of experience I joined

Standard Chartered for 10 years.”

How has your experience in financial

institutions and banking helped you in

your current role?

The banking industry helped

me a lot in many areas that are

fundamentals to run a business. First

it helped me to manage the pressure

and the stress that you can get from

the outside environment. It also helped

me to be proactive and implement a

new strategy when necessary and take

the appropriate actions with any third

parties. I understood the expectations

of the Middle Eastern work market,

how to approach and deal with many

different cultures. Also, in banking,

you need to follow a lot of procedures

to get things done, it thought me how

to keep a discipline in everything I

do. If you want to get results you need

to stick to your strategy and come

up with an action plan that you must

follow step by step until your mission

is successfully completed.

What have been the main strategies

employed to expand and grow ABCN

after you took over?

It is thanks to my experience

in different countries along with

my network that I could reached

out to the people I was looking for.

I was able to identify the audience

I wanted to target and elaborate an

adequate advertisement strategy. In

this Industry communication is key,

you must propose your services in the

proper way and make sure everyone

knows about you. Second really

important element, you must make

sure that the quality of your services

is better every day. There is always

room for self-improvement and happy

clients are the best advertisement

you can have, your reputation in

this industry is really important and

word of mouth works really well in

this part of the world. The last but

not least, is to constantly stay up to

date with the global economy and

monitor the emerging markets where

doing business is becoming a serious


What are some of challenges being

faced in the GCC economy and how

are you working to overcome those


The main challenge in the GCC

economy is to face market uncertainty

the best way possible. Even though

the market has been quite stable for a

while now, a lot of changes can happen

suddenly especially after the decrease

in oil prices. From one year to the

next, the conditions and expectations

of the market can change quickly, so

you must be flexible and adapt quickly

to the wave you are surfing on. This

means changing your strategy within a

very small amount of time and always

having new ideas to implement.

At ABCN we step into

our customers’ situation

every day and we try

to experience things

from their side… We

step through the

customer touch points

in our business and

consciously think about

them and this is how we

provide the best service


Having worked in many countries in the

Middle East and the region do you find

major differences in work culture and

business processes in each country?

What makes Bahrain different in your


The work culture in the GCC is

different from any other country in the

Middle East but similar to Bahrain due to

a higher number of expats, so the work

flow is more eclectic and sustained. The

Bahrain Market is geographically more

interesting as it is surrounded by top

player economies in the Middle East like

Saudi, Qatar and the GCC so it makes

it a central platform to meet up with

investors. Another important advantage

is that the government makes it easier

for any International company to set

up their business in Bahrain, thanks

to adequate rules and regulations. This

makes it different.

May-June 2017


With Bahrain’s property sector

booming and various large scale

infrastructure projects underway,

what is your outlook for the future

development of the serviced office


It is a good sign for any business

actually. When real estate sector is

booming, it translates into a more

prosperous economy and this should

have a positive impact on everyone. It

has actually been really beneficial for

us as it attracted many investors; it

helped us providing serviced office for

anyone who preferred to first evaluate

the market before any final move. We

opened 2 centres in the top prestigious

locations in 2016 and have planned for

a 3rd one by the end of 2017.

The Bahrain Market is

geographically more

interesting as it is

surrounded by top player

economies in the Middle

East like Saudi, Qatar and

the GCC so it makes it a

central platform to meet

up with investors.

Do you think the new sharing economy

is changing how business is conducted,

including the commercial real estate


Yes definitely, the sharing

economy is an ecosystem that boosts

the sharing of human, physical, and

thoughtful resources to create more

efficient and collaborative systems.

Traditionally companies would have

a long-term lease to own their private

space and resources that are only for

their employees. We offer the best

alternative solution for 2 scenarios:

One, the company is downsizing

and therefore needs a smaller office

or two, for an entrepreneur, a SME

or Corporate business which needs

to start a new business with a low

budget. The sharing model provides

on-demand space that is shared by an

ever-changing group of companies that

have access to common resources.

What are some of the benefits that one

can find in shared offices?

The services we propose are cost

effective; our prices are designed to

definitely add value to our clients. We

propose a full set of packages; from

the reception until the payment of any

types of bills. Everything is managed,

paid and fully included without any

hidden costs. That makes it easier for

everyone as they can decide to rent

an office with us and start working

the same day without any hassle

or without going through all the

governmental procedures, approvals,

papers and signatures legally required.

Each and every one of our clients has

personalized telephone answering,

receptionists but also conference

rooms, Business Lounge, pantries,

Cybercafés and so on.

Do you see business centres and

shared offices as a growing trend or

just a phenomenon that ensued from

the present market situation?

Please allow me to tell you about

our milestones for the past 10 years.

In 2007, we opened our first centre in

Dubai; by the end of 2016 we already

had 6 running business centres,

so within 9 years we succeeded in

achieving all this hard work. By 2020

we will have 10 running business

centres in the whole RMEA region.

When I compare, and see all our

footsteps back then until today I really

do believe that it is a growing trend.

Just look at the number of business

centres that have been opening lately.

Everyone prefers this option, as it

does not oblige you to commit on the

long run. It is the best option for any

starting business, entrepreneurs as

they usually look into starting quickly

and hassle free.

What are some of the new features that

your business centres offer?

ABCN is not your typical business

center we are a 7-star service provider;

we introduce to our clients a luxurious

relaxed working atmosphere. We offer

extraordinary features for a stressfree

environment. We are the 1st

business centre in the region which

offers VIP business lounge in all our

facilities and we have an international

concierge team that can provide any

type of support in all our locations

worldwide (over 650 locations in more

than 45 countries and within 85 cities)

from flowers bouquet, hotel booking

to private jet booking, legal advisers

and more. Recently we created

entertainment suites for our clients

that can be used during their free time.

How does the company maintain a

competitive edge over others?

At ABCN we step into our

customers’ situation every day and

we try to experience things from their

side. Also thanks to our international

network we receive regular updates on

the economy worldwide. This helps us

to create an on time tailored solution

to their expectations, the more you are

aware about a situation, the more you

can respond appropriately. Therefore,

we aim to be really flexible with our

clients in term of prices, benefits or

any kind of help if needed.

We step through the customer

touch points in our business and

consciously think about them and this

is how we provide the best service


At ABCN we step into

our customers’ situation

every day and we try to

experience things from

their side.

Is there any other information that you

would like to share with our readers?

I would like to promise to all of your

readers that from now until 2020, we

will cover the entire GCC area along

with more locations in the Middle East

and Africa. I also promise that ABCN

will be number 1 in term of services

with the best quality price ratio on the


28 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Interview | DHL Express



into the

Heart of

a Courier


The need for express logistics

has become a necessity for

the emerging markets of the

Middle East especially seeing how

the region is on a path to becoming a

significant logistics hub. DHL Express’

pioneering training philosophy and

corporate culture has enhanced its

market leadership position in the

Middle East logistics industry as proven

recently when DHL Middle East won

the esteemed Top Employer Global

2016 certificate awarded by the Top

Employers Institute to organizations

that achieve the highest standards of

Henry Fares

Vice President of Human Resources

in Bahrain, DHL Express

excellence in employee conditions.

That they won this honor for the

second straight year stands testament

to the exceptional human resource

management programs deployed across

all DHL Express offices. Henry Fares,

Head of Human Resources - MENA at

DHL Express tells bizbahrain why DHL

is so widely recognized globally as a top


30 May-June 2017

Interview | DHL Express

How has DHL Express worked its way

up to the position it occupies as global

leader in the business?

DHL Express has a vision that

stresses on not only being a logistics

provider people turn to as their first

choice for shipping goods but also as a

logistics employer for employees all over

the world. With this vision in mind DHL

Express has found itself as one of the

leading employers in the region, with

a fantastic rate of ensuring employee

engagement - that’s over 5,000 happy

employees in the MENA region!

At DHL, we understand the value

of recognizing and celebrating our

employees’ dedication to the Company.

Our appreciation program is key driver

to engagement and our annual Employee

Opinion Survey (EOS) makes sure that

we honor our commitment to making

DHL a great place to work. The EOS

indicates how satisfied our employees

are within their role, and with their

manager and DPDHL in general. It helps

highlight how we can improve the

way we work, so we continue to be the

Employer of Choice. In a nutshell the

Voice of Employees straight to the top

contributes in building the positive work


Our HR department is the custodian

of the people agenda; however, all

managers and employees are committed

to executing this agenda and to making

DHL a better place.

The recipe for our

success is quite simple

and drills down to three

main things, which

are having motivated

people, listening

to our customers

and enhancing our


What factors have helped to improve

your operational efficiency in the Middle


Growth in DHL is due to the

continuous improvement culture that

we embrace every day and our strategy

is simple and is built on 4 main pillars

which are - Motivated People, Great

Service Quality, Profitable Network and

Loyal Customers.

Each pillar adopts several initiatives

and projects that make sure the

naming of the pillar is achieved, for

example under motivated people you

would see initiatives such as employee

engagement and recognition, training

and career progression, etc. Similarly

Great Service Quality would have things

like getting things done the right time

the first time, listening to our customers,

improving transit time, etc.

DHL’s goal has been to be the provider,

employer and investment of choice in

the industry. How successful have you


DHL’s heritage in the MENA region

goes back 40 years, when we became the

first express logistics provider to enter

the region and ever since we have been

mirroring the growth of the Middle East.

The recipe for our success is quite

simple and drills down to three main

things, which are having motivated

people, listening to our customers and

enhancing our capabilities. Our people

are the backbone of our company and

when they are motivated and engaged

they deliver great service quality to

our customers, which in turn makes

them loyal to DHL and we become more

profitable. This then enables us to invest

more in our capabilities to enhance

our service such as the recent SAR100

million state of the art Jeddah air and

ground operations facility that we

launched last October.

We also make sure that we are

close to our customers and constantly

listen in to their feedback through

our Net Promoter Approach platform,

which helps us understand which

areas we need to work on and how

we can enhance our service for our

customers. It’s all about the continuous

improvement culture that we embrace

here at DHL

How important are the employees as a

stakeholder group?

Employees and employee

engagement is crucial for the success of

any organization. “Here is my secret. It is

very simple. It is only with the heart that

one can see rightly; What is essential is

invisible to the eye.” - The Little Prince.

Employee engagement is based on

two factors: rational and emotional. The

rational aspect of commitment is based

on elements, such as salary, monetary

benefits, and job growth potential and

development. The emotional aspect on

the other hand is based on the worker’s

ethics, beliefs, and satisfaction in

regard to his/her job choice. My humble

thoughts on this one, on the long run the

heart (emotional engagement) always

take the upper hand.

Employees and employee

engagement is crucial

for the success of any


“Here is my secret. It is

very simple. It is only

with the heart that one

can see rightly; What

is essential is invisible

to the eye.” - The Little


What part do innovation and technology

play for the company?

Business is a combination of both

science and art. As technology develops

and the “science” offers even greater

tools for management, companies

will continue to deliver better results

across all their metrics. But I would

argue that many of these improvements

will be subject to a diminishing

marginal utility of returns, as more

and more businesses are able to take

advantage of them. While “science”

will continue to dictate appraisals of

an executive’s performance, it is the

“art” of management that will drive the

successful businesses of the future. And

engagement, however you measure it,

will define the very best.

DHL Express invests more than half

a billion Euros per year in maintaining

its global infrastructure. We have a large

asset base, including cargo aircraft,

delivery vehicles, warehouses, and

sorting systems. Like most businesses,

we employ modern technologies and

sophisticated IT systems to track and

manage our processes. But as a service

company, we still depend on people to

deliver the customer experience, and all

May-June 2017


Interview | DHL Express

these investments would be rendered

meaningless if our people were not

motivated to provide great service. This

underscores the importance of HR to a

business like ours, and it has shifted the

responsibility of HR from a traditional

“back office” function to that of an


For any service business today,

whatever the level of automation you

have been able to achieve, it is still

more than likely that your customers’

perception of the service you provide is

significantly influenced by interaction

with your staff. And given that most

service businesses have numerous

interaction points, there is a strong

chance that much of that interaction

is not just with your sales or customer

service team. From delivery drivers

or engineers to credit controllers,

even right down to the people that are

interviewing candidates for a job, you

are creating a lasting impression that

could drive (or deter) a future purchase

decision and determine customer

loyalty. As HR professionals, we are in

a better position to influence this than

many might think.

How do you foresee the logistics

industry in this region developing in the

near future?

With regards to the MENA region,

we expect the logistics industry to

expand and grow, thanks to the various

government initiatives and futuristic

economic vision to support businesses

and the country’s overall economy.

The new challenges are more or less

the same as the old ones. The questions

we ask are the same but the answers

have changed, matured and evolved

accordingly to the new circumstances.

The challenges of some are

opportunities for others "One ship sails

east, one ship sails west, regardless of

the wind that blows. It is the set of the

sail, not the gale that determines where

we go“. We like to approach challenges

as a learning opportunities. We train for

certainty and educate for uncertainty

At the human capital level the

trending concern today is around

the generation Y, Millennials. As

Generation Y enters the workforce and

Baby Boomers begin to retire, HR and

Managers will need to work with a new

mind-set; address new employment

preferences hence adopt a new

leadership style and adjust employee

value propositions.

As Generation Y enters

the workforce and Baby

Boomers begin to retire,

HR and Managers will

need to work with a new

mind-set; address new

employment preferences

hence adopt a new

leadership style and

adjust employee value


Of course, there are still lots

uncertainties and myths around the new

workforce. Gen Y demands excessive

salary and compensation and Gen Y

does value social responsibility over

other job attributes.

From observation and practice

Generation Y’s salary and compensation

expectations do not differ from other

generations. Generation Y emphasizes

on development opportunities in the

EVP. On the other hand an overemphasis

on social responsibility will not

attract and retain Generation Y; in

case other EVPs are not met. The new

generation value Informal Environment

and Camaraderie and like previous

generations they welcome learning

through application. Employees across

generations Gen Y, Gen X and previously

the Baby Boomers all prefer learning-bydoing.

In DHL we use the 70, 20, 10

development framework. People

typically learn best through a

combination of formal training, direct

feedback and on the job experience as

summarized in the below:

10% FORMAL TRAINING: Classroom

Courses, DHL programs, Online Courses


feedback & coaching from the line

manager, Feedback from peer managers,

Mentoring, Buddying

70% on the Job Experience:

Enlarging the current role, Gaining

different perspectives, through

exposure to different cultures/business

environments, Leading or getting

involved in projects and start-ups,

Analysis of difficult change scenario,

Job shadowing.

32 May-June 2017

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May-June 2017


Interview | NEC Payments

Creating Digital

Finance Ecosystems

Cash displacement, financial

inclusion and the rate of migration

towards electronic payments will

continue to be major factors affecting

the Middle East payments industry

throughout 2017. The overriding market

opportunity in the region for issuers,

merchant service providers, and

FinTechs is to target these cash-based

flows with new digital products and

services rather than competing over

market share in the already well serviced

middle and affluent demographic tiers.

No one can doubt that the payments

industry is changing: the choice

of payment methods that are now

available to consumers and businesses

is gaining momentum at what seems

like an ever increasing pace. 2016 saw

the roll-out of an immediate payment

network in Bahrain; the Electronic Funds

Transfer System or ETFS is operated

by The Benefit Company on behalf of

Central Bank of Bahrain. EFTS provides

Bahrain consumers and businesses

with the ability to instantly transfer

funds between bank accounts and to

settle bill payments using an Electronic

Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP)

system. This highly advanced domestic

payment system puts Bahrain ahead of

many of its regional and international

counterparts and has been embraced by

the market with a surge in transaction


Bahrain- based NEC Payments

supports these demands and growth in

the region with products that provide

access to a range of services, including

multi-currency and virtual online

spending accounts, e-wallets, contactless

payments, and on-mobile and online

payment acceptance. Andrew Sims,

Director and CEO of NEC Payments,

discusses with bizbahrain Group Editor

Reena Abraham how the payments

industry has evolved and what will be

the long term effects.

The banks and

businesses that we

work with find that

our innovative and

proprietary solutions

drive security,

performance, cost

savings, and revenue


Can you tell us more about NEC? What

strategic advantage does NEC offer its


NEC Payments is a Payments

Technology company formed in Bahrain

in 2014. We are licensed and regulated

by Central Bank of Bahrain, certified by

MasterCard for payment processing, and

are compliant with major international

security and business control standards.

We develop payment processing and

associated technologies, and provide

them as product and service solutions

that help banks, businesses, and

individuals find new and efficient ways

to make payments. The banks and

businesses that we work with find that

our innovative and proprietary solutions

drive security, performance, cost savings,

and revenue generation.

Andrew Sims

CEO, NEC Payments

How would you say the payments

industry has evolved and what are the

long-term effects for economies and for

the way business is conducted?

The payments industry evolved

slowly but steadily over a 40 year period

with only a few major developments in

that whole time. However, over the last

10 years, there has been a huge change

in the range of payments services,

technologies and security techniques

available in the market. This rapid period

of development and change has been

driven by the rise and ever increasing

growth in technology that has impacted

all areas of our lives: whether that be our

personal lives; the way we do business;

the way we view the media, or use new

social channels to communicate.

34 May-June 2017

The pace of innovation in the

financial services is continuing unabated

and we expect that this will only

increase with even more rapid change

in the future. In established and mature

markets, this change is being manifested

by the growth in new digital commerce

channels; more choice for consumers

from a broader range of financial services

institutions rather than a limited number

of major banks; and an increase in

technology being used to sell, distribute

and access financial services products.

In emerging markets, the most dramatic

changes are being experienced by the

numbers of new consumers that are

becoming financially literate and moving

out of the un-banked cash economy and

into the realms of financial inclusion.

In the Middle East & Africa region,

this factor is expected to bring about

a profound change to the social and

economic conditions for individuals,

and at the macro-economic level for

countries, governments and the region as

a whole.

What are some payment-related

challenges for cross border commerce?

How is NEC uniquely positioned to assist

businesses grow their cross-border


Cross border commerce is restrained

by the mechanics of moving money

between currencies, and between banks

and financial institutions. International

trade has long been subject to the

sometimes severe limitations of letters

of credit, guarantees, and bank transfer

payments that can be slow, costly and

unreliable because of compliancerelated

complications. NEC Payments

have built technologies that use the

MasterCard network to remove these

obstacles and deliver a mechanism to

make immediate, guaranteed payments

internationally at low-cost and with a

high degree of security and reliability.

Our immediate virtual payments solution

enables businesses, governments, and

individuals to increase transparency and

security in B2B and digital commerce

payments, and to settle those payments

much faster and at a lower cost that bank


Additionally, for business users our

technologies enable the automation of

May-June 2017


Interview | NEC Payments

payment flows, and the direct integration

of virtual payments with business,

finance, or CRM applications such as

Microsoft Dynamics.

What regions/countries are the fastest

adopters of mobile payments, and why?

Interestingly, the fastest adopters

of mobile payments have been new

consumers in emerging markets, where

in some cases entire generations of

payments products and technologies

have been skipped in favour of new

and innovative mobile-based payment

methods. This early adoption has been

driven largely by the lack of legacy

investment in payments infrastructure

and technologies, and so it made

economic and practical sense to use

the most widely available distribution

channel to reach consumers and

merchants. Even in countries where

financial services are not widespread,

a large majority of the population has

access to mobile telephones, and there

is broad mobile network coverage. This

explains why early mobile payments

products like Mpesa in Kenya quite

literally boomed onto the market and

achieved huge take-up rates.

How are payments changing during

multi-channel retailing, and what role

does NEC play in impacting the shopper

experience? S-commerce (commerce

via social media) is anticipated to grow

in the future. How can payment service

providers support this growth?

One of the challenges of multichannel

retailing is ensuring that the

customer experience is consistent across

all channels, and that can be difficult

when it comes to accepting payments.

NEC Payments technologies can be

used by retailers and micro-merchants

that are operating across social media

channels to help increase the security of

the payments that they accept digitally,

and can help to reduce administration

and reconciliation workload by

consolidating payments from multiple

channels and customer interfaces into a

single payments system.

What does payments look like for

retailers in the next 10 years?

Given the pace of development that

we see currently, it is very difficult to

forecast accurately what the future

might hold; however, we expect that

the technology advancements in

retail management systems such as

cloud-based POS solutions and the

continued growth in mobile POS (MPOS)

acceptance will help to drive electronic

payments acceptance for lower value

transactions in convenience stores,

small retailers, delivery services and

transportation. At the higher-end of

the retail industry, we expect that a

move toward omni-channel retail and

payment systems will enable merchants

to gather added-value through increased

efficiency, business information,

and consolidation of payment flows;

and from the support for new social,

mobile and online sales, marketing

and distribution channels. The current

strong growth trend in e-commerce and

m-commerce amongst millennials and

new consumers is expected to increase

exponentially in line with the advent

and promotion of these new channels.

NEC Payments

technologies can be

used by retailers and

micro-merchants that are

operating across social

media channels to help

increase the security

of the payments that

they accept digitally,

and can help to reduce

administration and

reconciliation workload

by consolidating

payments from multiple

channels and customer

interfaces into a single

payments system.

Are the security standards on devices

enough to handle payments and credit

card information?

Security has to be at the front and

centre of any technological development

in the financial services and particularly

retail payments space. At NEC

Payments we have focused on the use of

tokenization technologies - the process

of replacing secure data such as card

details with non-secure data ‘tokens’ - in

order to enable secure processes to be

initiated in environments and devices

that may not be completely trusted.

These technologies also have many

applications outside of the payments

space, for example by providing ways

of managing storage of sensitive data

records - such as personal identifiable

information, medical and government

records - in highly secure centralized

data warehouses where they can be

better protected than if they were stored

in multiple other remote systems or


What do you think is next for cashless


In this region, the next critical

factor in the evolution of cashless

payments will be the wide roll-out

of contactless payment acceptance

at retail outlets and other merchant

locations. While there has been some

movement towards contactless mobile

payments, much of this has been done

using closed-loop technologies that are

not compatible, or not connected, to the

international payment schemes, and

because of this, take up has been slow.

The roll-out of contactless terminals

will be quickly followed by contactless

mobile payments apps that enable

credit, debit and prepaid cards to be

stored and transacted upon via mobile

devices. Many of these apps use the

same advanced tokenization techniques

that NEC Payments have built our

technologies on.

What's are some of the new technologies

we're going to see in the payments world

in 2017?

To give a ‘top three’ answer we would

say: growth in the number and take up

of contactless mobile payments apps;

virtual payments becoming broadly

accepted for B2B supplier payments

and for digital commerce transactions

by individuals; and the start of a

shift towards digital channels using

distributed ledger technologies such as

blockchain for remittance, electronic

Know Your Customer (eKYC), and trade

finance use cases.

36 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Interview | Tasneem Yousif


Dreams into


Bahraini Scientist and enterprising young

inventor, Tasneem Yousif earned glory for

the nation when she won a silver medal

for Excellence in Scientific Inventions at the 9th

International Invention Fair, Middle East held in

Kuwait early this year. Her invention, Smart Gas

System (SGS) was also recognized by the Kuwait

Science Club.

When Tasneem Yousif was selected by the

Ministry of Youth and Sport (GOYS) as one of top

Five inventors in Bahrain to represent the country

at the event, she was excited and hopeful. When the

award was announced during the event held under

the Patronage of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the

Jomira hotel in Kuwait City, her joy knew bounds.

The event was organized in collaboration with the

International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva and

is widely regarded as one of the largest specialized

invention exhibitions in the world. Talking to

bizbahrain she recounts the experience, reflecting

on what the future holds.

You have recently won an award at the

International Invention Fair, Middle East. What was

your invention? Please explain the concept and

whom it is intended for.

The Smart Gas System(SGS) invention is

an intelligent system, for the detection of toxic

gases remotely from far distances, using mobile

application or web-based system through

nanotechnology. This smart system is highly

efficient in detecting explosive gases, remotely

38 May-June 2017

Tasneem Yousif

Engineer and Scientific Inventor

Interview | Tasneem Yousif

replacing the hand-held sensors or

fixed sensors by using nanotechnology.

This smart system is handled by a robot

who you can control remotely using the

smart mobile application or website.

As this invention was my graduation

project in the Department of Computer

Engineering, it won numerous local and

global awards. I have developed many

of the characteristics and features of

the invention positioning it to compete

with other global inventions and it has

received a patent recently.

Currently, it can detect 12 explosive

gases and thus reduces the cost,

increases the efficiency and safety and

prevents accident, disasters and death.

This product is well designed for oil and

gas companies to increase their health

and safety measures, as these companies

have critical work, and workers and

inspectors deserve a highly safe


The targeted customers for the

SGS are in three different categories.

The government sector- especially the

Ministry of Interior and the Ministry

of Water and Electricity. Corporate

factories - including Petroleum and

Gas Companies. Small business and

individuals - for homes, hotels, etc. The

targeted customers for the product are

the ones that are concerned not only

for the safety of the equipment they use

and the property that they own, but also

for the people that are involved with the

business and the people who are at risk.

Youth and Sport, His Excellency, Hisham

Al-Jowder. Then, after the final round

I was awarded to be one of the top five

inventors in Bahrain. I got a trophy and

certificate by His Excellency, Hisham


I participated and represented

Bahrain in The 9th International

Inventions Exhibition under the

patronage of His Highness Sheikh

Sabah Al Ahmed AlJaber AlSabah,

where the theme was “Where Inventors

meet Investors”. 36 countries and 245

inventions participated in the event.

I won the silver medal under the

Electronics and Smart Systems category,

with a special Excellence Award in

Scientific Inventions category by the

Kuwait Scientific Club.

“A dream doesn’t

become reality through

magic, it takes sweat,

determination and hard


At the closing ceremony of the

exhibition winners from all over the

world were crowned. The final ceremony

took place on January 19, 2017 which

was attended by the Chairman of the

Higher Organizing Committee of the

exhibition, Talal Jassim Al-Kharafi, and a

representative of the Kuwait Foundation

for advancement of science, Dr. Salam

Alaplani and jury president David Farooqi

of the International Organization WIPO.

This international invention

exhibition is the second biggest

international inventions exhibition after

the international exhibition in Geneva.

Many inventors are willing to participate

in order to represent their inventions and

tie up with investors in attendance.

How has this award helped to take your

invention and career forward?

It is a great support for me and I feel

so proud to have received two awards

at the 9th International Inventions Fair

among more than 245 inventions from

36 countries. This motivates me to work

harder and improve the invention and

start selling it soon. I also got many offers

to adopt my inventions or to be a partner

and manufacture the product outside

Bahrain. But, I insist that we do it here in

Bahrain to get it recognition as the first

Bahraini robot in the world.

When did you first discover your

aptitude for science and what was the

path you took?

Since I was kid, I always had the

passion for technology and electronics.

The day to day diverse advances in

technology, from artificially intelligent

robots to 3D printers, motivated me to

major in Computer Engineering at the

University of Bahrain. My studies help

me a lot to improve my skills in creativity,

inventions and innovations. When I was

Tell us a little about the International

Invention Fair and how you entered the


My selection to represent Bahrain at

the international event happened through

a national competition consisting of fourphases;

scientific research, initial judging

/jury, designing and manufacturing and

the final judging. I qualified and was

selected with 5 other teams to participate

in the International Invention Fair. The

national competition was run by the

Ministry for Youth and Sport at the Youth

Innovation Center (YIC).

I was required to present the

proposed idea; provide research and proof

of the originality of the idea; produce a

prototype and conduct a workshop on the

specifications of the project and finally,

present the final idea to the Minister of

May-June 2017


Interview | Tasneem Yousif

studying engineering, we usually have

a project at the end of the course. I often

asked myself how these valuable projects

could be improved and developed as real

products so that they could benefit many

people and our community in different


I intended that my senior project will

not be only a project to get an A grade but

I wanted it to be my future invention and

create a career and business.

Do you think there is a developing

scientific community amongst the

youth of Bahrain and is there scope for

inventions and new discoveries coming

out of Bahrain?

I believe in this quote, “A dream

doesn’t become reality through magic,

it takes sweat, determination and hard

work“. If one believes in an idea, he/

she will reach the top irrespective of the

circumstances. However, I do wish that

there will be more awareness and support

especially in the inventions sectors and

as this will increase the effectiveness of

the work of young people and increase

the number of inventors in Bahrain.

Thankfully, there are many organizations

that support youth in entrepreneurship,

but I wish that there would be more

support for hardware/ electronics

projects, such as having a hardware

incubator with facilities to help these


Because of all the hard work,

I won several awards locally and

internationally. I would like to thank all

the people who helped me during my

journey especially the Ministry of Youth

and Sports for their support and their

faith that facilitated ideas into becoming

real inventions and encouraged me to

compete against others at the world level.

There are many others like my Professors

and my family who have supported and

helped me at every stage.

Do you think your award and such

competitions will inspire more


Yes, these competitions and awards

are a great support and motivation to

keep you going further and help a lot

in networking with other investors and

mentors. It also helps to get the feedback

and opinions about the invention from

people from different backgrounds.

These opinions can be used to improve

the product and they also help in

marketing and sales. So definitely,

these competitions and awards are

inspiring and it gives a positive energy

to keep going towards your dreams and

encourages you to improve it more.

Many inventors or

scientists point to

mistakes as being their

best teacher.

How is the Bahrain government helping

youth in that direction?

I believe that currently Bahrain

and many other Arab countries started

focusing more on the youth. These

days, I have noticed that the number

of organizations that support youth

in entrepreneurship, innovations and

inventions has increased, such as

Tamkeen and Tenmou, Injaz Bahrain a,

BDB and so on.

What’s next for you?

I have short-term plans and longterm

plans! My short-term plan is that

I am going to represent Bahrain as an

inventor at Geneva International Fair

this May.

Also, I am going to improve some

features of the invention, such as

increase the number of explosive gases

it can detect. Further, I am also going

to work on making the controls via

voice commands. Then, I plan to finalize

my scientific journal to be published

at IEEE transaction under IoT and

intelligent system track, after which I

will start manufacturing the robot. As

for my long-term plan, I plan to set up

operations as the first robotics company

in Bahrain soon.

Do you have any thoughts or words for

aspiring scientists and youth of Bahrain?

Believe in yourself. As Henry Ford

famously said, “Whether you think you

can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll

find ways through different obstacles. If

you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.

Learn from mistakes. Many inventors

or scientists point to mistakes as being

their best teacher. When you learn

from your mistakes, you move closer to

success - even though you initially failed.

Don’t ever give up. If you’re an

inventor and have an idea, be an inventor.

Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you fail

with one idea, start another. You’re an

inventor no matter what, whether up or

down, success or failure, you’re always an

inventor. Remember that.

Manage your time, try as much as you

can to manage your time and give priority

to your invention. Time is a resource like

any other. If you aren’t treating it like the

investment it should be, start to think

about budgeting your time in the same

way you budget your cash.

40 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


OBG | Business Report

Bahrain Checking in

for Tourism Growth

Oxford Business Group (OBG)


rising tide of investments and

solid increases in arrivals are

supporting high levels of growth

in Bahrain’s tourism industry, with

projections that expansion will be

sustained to the end of the decade and


Tourism has become one of

the main draws for foreign direct

investment (FDI) in the Bahraini

economy, attracting 75% of the $281m of

inbound investments recorded last year,

according to data issued by the Bahrain

Economic Development Board (EDB) in


By contrast, the manufacturing and

logistics sectors drew a combined 14.3%

of the total, while financial services -

traditionally one of Bahrain’s strongest

industries - made up 9.3%.

Total FDI inflows for 2016 were

almost double the $142m posted the

previous year, with 40 companies

making investments throughout the

year, up on 22 firms in 2015.

Tourism investment is set to

rise further this year, with the EDB

forecasting total FDI to the sector will

exceed $300m, rising to $500m or more

in the next few years.

The EDB has identified tourism,

along with manufacturing, ICT,

financial services and logistics,

as being the five sectors that will

underpin growth and development in

the coming years, as well as being the

most likely to attract FDI.

Earnings, footfall set to jump

Some investments in the

tourism sector are flowing into the

accommodation segment, with several

new top-line hotels set to open over

the course of 2017, adding to the 111

registered hotels currently in operation.

42 May-June 2017

OBG | Business Report

These projects include the 263-

room, five-star Wyndham Grand

Manama in Bahrain Bay, which is due

to open in the second half of this year,

and a One&Only Resort, which will

add 150 rooms, along with villas and

estates, to the Seef neighbourhood. The

latter development will also feature a

1-ha manmade lagoon and is set to be

delivered by Bahamas-based luxury

resort developer Kerzner International

and domestic real estate and hospitality

firm Sevens Holding.

While new openings will expand

room stock, forward estimates of

sustained growth in the hospitality

segment, supported by continued

increases in visitor traffic, should

ensure demand continues to balance


“Looking forward, Bahrain is likely

to continue benefitting from significant

inflows of regional tourists, helped by

an improving product offering and an

increasingly stable or even positive

regional outlook,” Sheikh Salman bin Isa

Al Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain

International Circuit, told OBG.

Last year Bahrain attracted 12.3m

overseas visitors, a 6% increase on

the previous year, with state agencies

forecasting an even sharper rate of

growth in the years to come.

“The country is well on track to

achieve its target of boosting visitor

numbers to 15.2m and total tourism

spending to BD1.9bn ($5bn) by 2018,”

Sheikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa,

CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and

Exhibition Authority (BTEA), told OBG.

According to Sheikh Khaled, the

leisure segment’s contribution to the

national economy will also increase

significantly, rising from 4.6% in 2015 to

7% of non-oil GDP by 2018.

The industry and authorities are

working to boost not only the number of

visitors, but also the length of their stay.

Currently, just 10% of tourists stay two

nights or more, though with improved

product offerings, along with reduced

travel times and greater convenience,

Bahraini officials aim to have up to 20%

of visitors stay for multiple nights.

Infrastructure investments

Bahrain’s capacity to handle

the expected increased flow of

overseas visitors will be supported by

investments in a series of infrastructure


Foremost among these is the $1.1bn

expansion of Bahrain International

Airport, set for completion by 2020.

The increase in passenger-handling

facilities should see the airport’s

capacity double to 14m, with a new

terminal, landing slots and service

buildings being constructed.

Another infrastructure development

in the pipeline is the proposed second

causeway linking Bahrain with Saudi

Arabia, known as the King Hamad


Bahrain and Saudi Arabia recently

completed a feasibility study for the

proposed transport link. As well as

comprising four lanes for vehicles, the

causeway is set to accommodate a rail

line for freight and passenger trains,

eventually connecting Bahrain with

the wider GCC railway project via Saudi


The existing causeway is a major

gateway for Bahrain’s tourism industry,

with some two-thirds of foreign arrivals,

or 10.2m visitors, crossing from Saudi

Arabia via the 25-km road and bridge


The potential for faster overland

travel times is expected to increase

inbound tourism still further, while a

new rail connection should improve

access for visitors from Saudi Arabia,

who must currently terminate at the rail

station in Dammam before crossing the

causeway by other means.

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is

a global publishing, research and

consultancy firm which publishes

economic intelligence on the

markets of the Middle East, Africa,

Asia and Latin America. In print

and online, the critically acclaimed

economic and business reports

have become the leading source of

business intelligence on developing

countries in the regions they

cover. OBG's monthly economic

updates provide up-to-date, indepth

analysis on the issues that

matter for tens of thousands of

subscribers worldwide. OBG has

been in Bahrain for 12 years and is

currently working on The Report:

Bahrain 2017 which is scheduled

to be released in the first quarter

of 2017. For more information, visit or

call us in Bahrain at 1715 1582.

May-June 2017


CBRE | Real Estate Analysis



Development in the Bahrain retail sector continues with

large scale projects set to change the landscape.

66% increase in regional size mall

GLA in pipeline.

Current regional mall GLA of over

600,000m2 with an additional 400,000m2

to be released over the next 5 years.

Bahrain Community Mall GLA of

250,000m2 is also set to increase with

shifting focus to lifestyle enhancement,

rather pure services, including for

example entertainment and casual


Bahrain has seen an encouraging

number of new mall projects launched in

2016, including the third Oasis Centre in

Juffair and the Marassi Galleria project,

that will itself release 120,000 square

metres of GLA.

Retail Mall Gross Floor & Leasable Areas Bahrain 2017

Source: CBRE Research

Consumer Spending rose to BD 4.7

billion in 2015.

Spending has continued to grow over

from BD 2.51 billion in 2007 to nearly

double in 8 years

Consumer spending witnessed rapid

growth from 2007 to 2010, growth rates

and spending continued to rise even

throughout slowing markets, due to the

fall in oil price.

In the long-term, the Bahrain

Consumer Spending is projected to trend

around BD 5.5 billion in 2020.

Bahrain Consumer Spending BD Billion, 2007 - 2015

Consumer Spending ( BD Billion )

Source: Ministry of Finance, TE, CBRE Research

44 May-June 2017

CBRE | Real Estate Analysis

Strong projected future growth

of shopping malls demonstrates


Growth in shopping mall supply Annual and cumulative

Bahrain has seen growth in shopping

mall supply accelerated considerably

since 2007 with average year on year

increases of up to 50% for some periods.

It is anticipated that the period of

2018/19 will see the largest amount of

GLA being introduced to the market year

on year, the most ever experienced. A

total of three projects are scheduled to be

delivered, providing an additional 171,000

square metres of space which represents

an increase of 26% for the overall market

from predicted 2017 figures.

The location of growth is spread

around the kingdom, from CBD, local

areas and those inhabited by a majority of


Number of New Shopping Malls

Annual New Supply

GLA ( ‘000’ m²)

Cumulative Supply Growth

New retail projects centered around entertainment.

Focusing on families and the Saudi market, nearly all

new malls have cinemas or other entertainment activities.

The number of cinema screens in Bahrain has

increased from approximately 46 to 86 since 2014 with a

further 60 screens in the development pipeline.

Interest for cinema development has come from

companies already established in Bahrain and new

groups, looking to take advantage of cinema goers from

local Bahraini, Bahrain expatriates, the Indian community

and a large number from Saudi Arabia.

Opportunity in quality F&B and lifestyle brands.

Mixed offerings.

Bahrain is driven by high social standards, a large

expatriate population, global trends and boosted by

regular Saudi visitors.

For the expatriates who live in Bahrain it is an

affordable and frequent option, for the local population to

spend their leisure time, shopping and dining out.

Continued demand for restaurants and other F&B units

has been growth in all areas of the kingdom, most of all

in the leisure zone block 338 where 118 units can be found

within an approximate area of 100,000m2.

Opportunity for one stop destinations e.g. Marassi, that

offer hospitality, shopping and entertainment.

Bahrain has seen rental rates steadily

rise since 2012, that have now

stabilised over the past 2 years.

Rental Rates and Growth in Retail Malls

Average monthly rent and YoY Growth

Avg Rent

YoY Growth

Bahrain has seen the average rental

price for inline mall units rise from BD

11.5 per square metre to a stable BD 15.5 per

square metre from 2015 onwards across

the sub sectors within this asset class.

Year on year growth has seen to be

promising, from 2012 to 2013 of 4% to 13%

and 15% in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Monthly Rent (BD/m²)

Year on Year Growth (%)

Source: CBRE Research

May-June 2017


CBRE | Real Estate Analysis

Bahrain retail, looking ahead.

IKEA BD 47 million invested by Swedish Furniture Giant

IKEA has broken ground on their latest store in the region, with

a plot of 80,000m2 and 37,000m2 facility it will also be the largest

in the region.

The store will create 600 new jobs and expected visitor numbers

are to be more than 1.2 million per year.

For FY 2016, IKEA Group total sales amounted to $37.6 billion

(BD 14 billion)

Total sales increased by 7.9% and sales in comparable stores

grew by 4.8%

IKEA have had a presence in the region since 2008, with the

closest to Bahrain being in the Eastern Province.

This positive move to create a store in Bahrain is in line with

the groups expansion and development plan, which saw 12 new

stores open in 2016.

The store will be part of the first Middle East distribution

network with the launch of a new Distribution Centre in Dubai.

Family Entertainment

In order to entice and capture

more market share, retail, food and

beverage as well as mixed use, including

entertainment, that play to Bahrain’s

climate (with great indoor options as well

as outdoor for the winter time).

There is much more that can be

provided in this area that will have a

social as well as economic benefit for the


Sophisticated F&B

The global and now the Bahrain

population are moving towards enjoying

dining as a leisure activity that is an

‘experience’ more than the food and drink


Attractive surroundings,

entertainment, and an ambience that

encourages social interaction in areas

such as Block 338, that build in culture,

with local markets & food festivals, have

added and continue to add dynamism to

the Kingdom’s offerings.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) to open office in Manama

New office in Bahrain opening to build an ecosystem to Jumpstart

Cloud Capabilities.

A subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon has announced plans

to set up an office in Bahrain to support local businesses, as they

transition to Cloud services.

One of the goals of the office is to expand AWS Cloud training

and global certification programmes, and upskill citizens on the

opportunity that AWS technology brings

Amazon said it will continue its investment in, and expansion,

across Europe, the Middle East and Africa following its creation of

more than 10,000 new jobs in the region last year.

Amazon Web Services public cloud subsidiary generated $926

million in operating income on $3.53 billion in revenue in the fourth

quarter of 2016. That revenue figure is up 47 percent year on year.

Festival Waterfront

Master plan developments that provide

freehold ownership and encourage FDI

that are reclaimed sea front, allow a reat

number of waterfront retail and F&B as

well as entertainment and mixed use

projects that offer ‘aspiratinoal lifestyle


A good amount of developed prime land

is ripe for investment and development,

that has the potential to further lift

Bahrain’s regional position.

New neighbourhood shopping centres and bespoke

food & beverage complexes, as well as destination

malls, are being driven forward.

46 May-June 2017

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May-June 2017


ASAR | Corporate Law Analysis

Innovation and Bankruptcy Laws

by Simone Del Nevo

Bankruptcy codes constitute

one of the most powerful tools

available to legislators for the

purposes of fostering innovation and

entrepreneurship. The correlation

between bankruptcy laws and innovation,

in particular, has been the object of

empirical research which has shown

that debtor-friendly bankruptcy codes

positively affect innovation in an


Bahraini institutions, similarly to

many GCC jurisdiction, are rolling out an

ambitious plan of regulatory reform to

promote technology and entrepreneurship

as key drivers for economic growth. As

part of this commendable policy for the

Kingdom, the reform of insolvency laws

is one of the most important components.

The value of such reform has spurred

change elsewhere in the region: for

example, the United Arab Emirates

launched, at the end of 2016, a new

bankruptcy code aimed at modernizing

and streamlining the bankruptcy

procedures available onshore for UAE

companies in line with international best


Currently, Bahraini insolvencies

are regulated by the Bankruptcy and

Composition Law enacted with Legislative

Decree no. 11 of 1987 and, as far as entities

operating under a license issued by the

Central Bank of Bahrain are concerned, by

Part X of the Central Bank of Bahrain Law

enacted with Decree no. 64 of 2006. The

Bankruptcy and Composition Law is an

antiquated piece of legislation which has

been hardly tested in the practice of courts

for sophisticated bankruptcies and which

fails to provide a modern framework

for the regulation of financial crisis and

insolvency. We also believe it is preferable

for the Bahraini legislator to go above and

beyond the reform enacted by the United

Arab Emirates in order to create the most

advanced bankruptcy framework available

in region.

In particular, we believe that the new

Bahraini bankruptcy law should embrace

a new approach to business failure and

insolvency. The existing approach, which

also prevails in other jurisdictions in

the region, is centered on liquidation of

assets and payment of debts; there is little

to no legal and practical viability to use

bankruptcy proceedings to restructure

and revive an insolvent business.

Bankruptcy proceedings can therefore be

seen as execution proceedings involving

the totality of the assets of the bankrupt

company (as opposed to ordinary

execution proceedings involving limited

assets only) which even hinder the ability

to purchase the insolvent business as a

whole. A new and more modern approach

should focus on enabling the efficient

restructuring of viable enterprises in

financial difficulty. This could be done

by providing a formal structure for

reorganization of viable businesses

facing financial difficulties modeled after

Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code on

the restructuring of ailing businesses. The

importance of Chapter 11 in making the US

a leading nation in the field of innovation

and technology has been outlined by

many commentators. It has been argued

“The wider lesson is not to stigmatise

failure but to tolerate it and learn from

it: Europe’s inability to create a rival to

Silicon Valley owes much to its tougher

bankruptcy laws.” (Lessons from Apple,

The Economist, June 7, 2007).

A reorganization procedure modeled

after Chapter 11 would be aimed at

giving protection to the ailing business

in order to allow its reorganization and

continuous viability. While this certainly

limits creditors’ rights, it is ultimately

48 May-June 2017

ASAR | Corporate Law Analysis

beneficial to all stakeholders (including

the creditors) as it retains in the business

a going-concern value rather than

constricting its value to the auction price

of its piecemeal assets, noting that the

value of a going concern is normally

more (and in technology-intensive

industries much more) than the sum of

its assets. Features that we would expect

to be included in a formal reorganization

procedure include: (i) an easy access

to the procedure by the ailing business

(even at an early stage of its financial

difficulties); (ii) ensuring that day-to-day

operation of the business remains with

the management of the company and

is not bestowed upon a court-appointed

official or a third party (though it might

be made, on a case by case basis, subject

to a certain degree of supervision); (iii) an

automatic stay of enforcement actions

(including from secured creditors) for

a limited period of time to allow the

company the necessary breathing

space to prepare and implement its

reorganization plan; (iv) clear provisions

on contents of restructuring plans and

on classification and division of creditors

into different classes whose interests

are not necessarily aligned; and (v) clear

conditions for creditor and court approval.

Another key goal of a successful

reorganization regime is to encourage

new financing in respect of ailing

businesses. This could be achieved, for

example, by ensuring that financing

granted in the framework of courtapproved

reorganization plans (whether

pre or post-insolvency) is not subject to

avoidance or claw-back provisions which

would otherwise apply to acts committed

during the so-called “suspect period”

before the adjudication in bankruptcy. In

some extreme instances, it may even be

warranted to give super-priority to the

financing granted to ailing businesses

within court approved reorganization

plans so that the new financiers’ claims

outrank existing ones; even those of

secured creditors. This would greatly

increase the palatability of financing

of distressed companies thereby

ensuring that a company with a viable

business model may continue to operate

notwithstanding a situation of financial


Another principle which should

inspire a new bankruptcy code would

be the giving of a second chance

to honest entrepreneurs. Business

failure is not necessarily caused by

fraudulent or irresponsible behavior of

the entrepreneur. Particularly in hightech

or innovative industries, economic

statistics show that most of the business

undertakings which end in failure

reach that point due to the intrinsic

riskiness of such businesses and not

from malfeasance or negligence of the

entrepreneur. The legal stigmatization

of failing entrepreneurs has the effect of

discouraging persons from engaging in

potential risky business activities. One

example of these penalties associated

with business failure is the existing

Article 33 of the Bankruptcy and

Composition Law which deprives the

bankrupt person of a number of rights

in the civil and in the commercial field.

A modern bankruptcy code should

ensure a full rehabilitation of the honest

entrepreneur facing bankruptcy: a civil

rehabilitation by abrogating any personal

sanction affecting bankrupt persons

(or managers of a bankrupt legal entity)

in the absence of the commission of

crimes (such as the crime of fraudulent

bankruptcy) ascertained by the criminal

courts of the Kingdom.

As important as a full civil

rehabilitation is an economic

rehabilitation via a final discharge of debt

at the end of the insolvency proceeding

(whether through a reorganization

proceeding or a liquidation proceeding)

to give entrepreneurs a second chance

which would be otherwise impossible

if they had to carry the burden of debts

which remain unpaid at the end of the

insolvency proceedings. It goes without

saying that debt discharge should be

available based on pre-defined conditions

and such conditions would need to be

drafted by the legislator with a view to

not unduly punishing the entrepreneur

who operated the business with integrity

and who cooperated in good faith within

the insolvency procedures.

Last but not least, we would like to

advocate for the necessity to narrow

down the powers of the insolvency officer

or receiver appointed within insolvency

procedures to set aside or claw-back

transactions entered into before the

adjudication in bankruptcy. The wider the

powers of claw-back bestowed upon the

insolvency officer or receiver, the greater

is the legal uncertainty surrounding the

activity of any company doing business

in Bahrain (even those that are not in

financial distress) and this uncertainty

normally translates into a higher

cost of doing business. This could be

achieved by: (i) shortening any “suspect

period” within which transactions

may be set aside (e.g. to a maximum

of 6 months before the adjudication

in bankruptcy); (ii) exempting certain

types of transactions from claw-back

altogether; and (iii) clearly indentifying

the conditions that must subsist for the

exercise by an insolvency receiver of

a claw-back action, which conditions

should preferably be associated with a

fraudulent intent shared between the

bankrupt company and the counterparty

and not with a subjective concept such

as the damage to the general body of

creditors generated by a transaction.

All in all, the enactment of a

new bankruptcy code represents a

tremendous opportunity to enhance

the competitiveness of the Bahraini

business environment to foster

growth and innovation. This calls

for embracing a new and different

approach to the regulation of business

failures, balancing the interests of

creditors vis-à-vis an aim, on the one

hand, to preserving viable businesses

facing financial difficulties and, on

the other hand, to providing honest

entrepreneurs with a second chance

to conduct entrepreneurial activities

despite the business failure incurred.

The legislator should also consider

the possibility of forming, within the

judiciary, specialized bankruptcy courts

to handle insolvency matters. The new

bankruptcy code could be a key building

block within the ambitious reforms that

are being embraced for the purpose of

promoting investments in innovation and

technology in the Kingdom. The entire

business community is looking forward

to it with high expectations.

Simone Del Nevo

Senior Associate at

ASAR-Al Ruwayeh &


May-June 2017


Opinion | Business Strategy

CSR - Imposed or Duty?

by Ali Al-Aradi

Generally speaking the prior

responsibility of any business is

towards the society and in spite

of this priority it has been found that

many business has failed to wield their

economic power for public purpose.

Unethical business practices are far

too common in the business circles.

Various punitive measures, codes of

ethics, codes of conduct, and codes of

practice have been applied to control

the menace but still the continuing

gap between social expectation for the

organisational conduct and the actual

social conduct of large organisation

has found to be increasing day by day.

Because of failure of conventional

corporate social responsibility (CSR) a

number of problems have arisen such as

environmentally destructive.

Corporate social responsibility

involves the conduct of a business so

that it is economically profitable, law

abiding, ethical and socially supportive.

To be socially responsible then means

that profitability and obedience to the

law are foremost conditions when

discussing the firm’s ethics and the

extent to which it supports the society

in which it exists with contributions

of money, time and talent.” Not even

the commitment to CSR stops large

corporations in the industrialized world

from violating price competition laws

which in return affects their customers.

It is mistake of corporate leaders to

ignore these issues, if these issues

continue to increase then at some point

the downfall of business will start which

in future will be tough to control.

These social issues should be dealt

in an effective manner rather than

by meeting the metrics of a scholarly

definition of CSR. It would be miserable

to society of free- riders where everyone

is busy to find out their own way to win

their own races without being concerned

how many people they are affecting on

their way and yet this is exactly what

has happened in larger economic arena.

According to expectancy theory

there should be someone who should

understand the probabilities and

expected outcome of actions of these

free riders of business, in order to be

motivated to do something. Since this is

lacking hence there is no motivation to

change and thereby our system is failed.

Corporate orientation must

be validated in terms of tangible

contributions to the society as a whole.

For this purpose it requires plenty

of benign organizational practices

and acts toward the well-being of

customers, employees, environment,

and the planet likewise. In fact, I think

after accomplishing societal duties we

achieve the genuine view of effective

workplace at the organisational level. In

effect, companies have the opportunity

to do good by employing their

capabilities and knowledge in order to

serve the humankind instead of being

served by the human beings.

The difficult task is that there is

no much authentic model specifically

to measure effectiveness in the

organisations. Exposure influenced

life stories and wise tales is always a

good thing but reproduction is neither

possible nor desirable. We expect this

process of implementing effectiveness

to workplace or CSR to take time, but

I believe that if individual agents are

given a voice they will aspire to do

something more than material wealth

and are capable of more than caring for

the egotistic self. No doubt leaders have

a role to play, but the task falls on each

one of us and we should not run from

these responsibility.

Ali Al-Aradi

HRD Lecturer & Writer

50 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Specialist | Public Speaking




by Mohamed Isa


Speaking Checklist is great tool

to help you in becoming a more

effective speaker. It helps you in

remembering what to-do and not-to-do

when you speak. Here is one checklist

that I recommend you use for your

upcoming speeches.

Start with a story. Stories are great

because they help you connect with the

audience. They also provoke the different

emotions of the audience whether it is

happiness, sadness, anger, joy, fear or

excitement. When you start with a story,

you are bound to establish an emotional

connection with the audience. This is

very important. If you do not get their

attention at the start of your speech, you

are not likely to get it later on.

Personalize the content. One time,

I delivered a training course in Kuwait

for young graduate trainees. As usual,

I personalized my content for them.

Unlike most university textbooks that

use generic names like XYZ or ABC to

illustrate various concepts. I did not use

XYZ to illustrate my points, instead I

used Volume Café which is very popular

among the youth of Kuwait. We had fun

and the concepts resonated in the minds

of the trainees. Generic contents are

ineffective in speaking. Avoid them at

any cost.

Excite and entertain. When you are

excited about your topic, the audience

will be excited about it too. Enthusiasm

is contagious. When it comes to

entertainment, you do not have to be

a professional comedian to be able to

entertain your audience. Think about the

stories or anecdotes that always made

your family members and friends laugh.

Try relevant stories in your speeches.

If they work, keep them. If they do not,

leave them out.

Activate their senses. I wish you

were with me when I visited the Tropical

Fruits Garden in Penang Island in

Malaysia. There were hundreds of trees

but there was one that stood out for me.

The local guide told me: “Go ahead, smell

this tree.” I smelled it and I smiled. It was

the cinnamon tree. Did you just smell

cinnamon or did you just see a cinnamon

roll. This is sense activation in action.

Keep them engaged. Getting the

attention of your audience throughout

your speech is key to inspiring them to

take the desired action you are pushing

for. Your greatest tool to accomplish

this is your voice. Try to vary your pitch,

speed, volume and tone throughout your

speech. If this sounds difficult, try telling

more stories in your speeches. Bring the

characters to life in your speeches by

giving them a voice, let the audience see

different ways each character speaks.

Ignite their imagination. Try this

magical word: Imagine. The moment

you say it, the audience will follow you

wherever you go. They will be waiting for

your directions. I just took you with me

to Malaysia without you even realizing

it. Remember when you smelled the

cinnamon? Although I did not use the

word, imagine, I made you travel with

me by using descriptive words and

vivid imageries. You can ignite the

imagination of the audience by taking

them to places, to the past or even to the


Never close with Q & A. Imagine

this. You are giving the speech of your

life. The audience was engaged. They

laughed throughout your speech. And

you received a standing ovation with

a rapturous applause when you closed

your speech. You are on top of the moon.

Then, you start the Q & A session and

when you’re about to end it, you receive a

lousy question. What will your audience

remember, your great speech or the lousy


Give actionable ideas. One time,

a business leader talked about his

successful career journey. He shared

with us many anecdotes. He made us

laugh and think. He had the audience

in his palms. However, when he closed

his speech, he did not inspire the

audience to take the first step to become

successful in their respective careers.

Because of this, one person asked him:

“Now, what should I do to be successful

like you?” Don’t leave you audience

confused or guessing, leave them

inspired into action.

When you follow this checklist, you

will come across as an effective speaker

who can design and deliver speeches

that engage the mind, touch the heart

and tickle the funny bone. If you liked

this checklist, please send me some dark

chocolate. Thanks in advance!

Mohamed Isa is an

Executive Speech Coach &

a Bestselling Author. He is

the author of the upcoming

book on customer service:

Chai Karak. Reach him at

52 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Expert Viewpoint | Investor Behaviour

The Ultimate


Guide Series

(Part 1)

by Jose Paul Martin


. hat’s the greatest thing

since sliced bread?

Probably the Internet, every

imaginable part of our life is being

taken over, including funding. In

this multi-part series, we’re going to

be diving into crowdfunding as an

alternative source for funding.


A start-up waiting to be funded. A

businessman aiming to expand his small

business. A movie maker trying to get his

film out. A group of would-be musicians

determined to release their album. An

artist seeking to get his project exhibited.

A bunch of teenagers dreaming of a

world tour. Researchers striving to fuel

their research.

There are limitless options waiting to

be realized. The canopy of crowdfunding

seems to be spreading at a greater rate

than ever. If you are quite determined

on achieving those dreams, and you

have the ability to reach out to likeminded

people, funding should not be a


The mantra seems to be “Don’t be

deterred from aiming at the skies and

achieving your dreams for want of

funding”. The financial world is ready -

you just need to step in and share your


Millions of people out there with

similar views might be ready to shell out

their money and fund you. All you need

to do is to convince them to give a small

donation each of $10, $50, $100, or more.

As the number of donors increase, you

will have a sizeable fund.

Crowdfunding refers to raising funds

for projects in small amounts from a

large number of people, typically via the


Crowdfunding extends support to

people’s funding problems, helping them

turn their ideas into realities. It amplifies

their chances of getting funded by

widening the set of potential investors

beyond the traditional circle of family,

friends, banks and venture capitalists.

With support from policymakers

and institutional investors, and with

increasing influence of social media,

crowdfunding is going mainstream as

an alternative to traditional fundraising


Raising funds via crowdfunding is

simpler when compared to most other

financing options such as bank loans,

angel investors or venture capital

funding. You post the project / product

/ business idea as a “campaign” onto a

crowdfunding website, with a detailed


You need to set a monetary goal and a

timeframe to achieve this goal. If people

want to support or back your campaign,

they can donate via the crowdfunding

platform to help you achieve your goal.

You can start with known acquaintances

from your connections, including family

and friends. This creates some traction

and the necessary impetus to kickstart

the campaign.

What Types Of Crowdfunding Are


There are four main types of


1) Donation Crowdfunding: This is

the most basic and oldest form of

crowdfunding. It refers to raising funds

from people who are personally or

socially motivated to do so for supporting

a cause, without expecting a tangible

return. The donors benefit by the “feelgood”

factor or an acknowledgement.

This type of campaign suits charities and

social organisations most, are often 1-3

months in duration, and are perfect for

amounts under USD 10,000. For example;

DonorsChoose, is a crowdfunding

platform that empowers school teachers

to request much needed materials in

their classrooms. Two applications of

donation crowdfunding are:

54 May-June 2017

Expert Viewpoint | Investor Behaviour

• Charity: You can crowdfund to

support your cause, be it charitable,

personal or social, or raise funds

to support a homeless family, war

victims, refugees etc.

• Non-profits: Many non-profits are

realizing the power of crowdfunding,

and have started using crowdfunding

platforms. In addition to the funds

raised through crowdfunding, they

also gain publicity, which helps grow

their network further.

2) Rewards Crowdfunding: Rewards

crowdfunding, similar to donation

crowdfunding, offers tangible or intangible

return and is open to all, with few

regulations. This type of crowdfunding

involves setting varying levels of rewards

based on the amount donated. The

third generation version for the Pebble

SmartWatch, called The Pebble Time,

was one of the highest backed projects

on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform.

People could use this to raise money for


• New Product: This is especially

helpful to those minds brimming

with ideas to create new products.

You can find funds via crowdfunding

for the same purpose.

• Music/Arts: Artistshare brought

in the concept of crowdfunding in

a professional manner with their

launch in 2003. Now many musicians

& bands use this for funding

their tours, albums, exhibitions,

performances, etc.

• Films: Filmmakers have started

relying on crowdfunding, which

offers better creative space with

minimal interferences. They can

make use of different crowdfunding

platforms for funding the production

of films, short films, videos, etc.

• Education: Universities, students,

and research scholars are using

crowdfunding to support the

educational initiatives of both

students and the faculty.

3) Equity Crowdfunding: Raising funds

from the crowd, in return for a stake in

the equity of the project or business,

is known as equity crowdfunding. If

the venture succeeds, the share value

increases and the investors stand to

gain; they lose if it is the other way

around. You can set investor caps,

minimum pledge amounts, and so on.

Equity crowdfunding was accessible

only to accredited investors till the JOBS

Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act)

was passed. According to SEC regulations,

accredited investors are those investors

who have a net worth of at least USD 1

million individually or earn an annual

income of at least USD 200,000 or USD

300,000 combined with their spouse.

With the JOBS Act, investors are able

to invest irrespective of their annual

income or net worth, thus making equity

crowdfunding all the more accessible.

Equity campaigns usually extend up to

many months in duration and are perfect

for start-ups seeking USD 100,000 or more

in funding. Let’s have a look at you can

make use of this:

Start-ups: Start-ups are now benefitting

in a large way with the passing of the

JOBS Act, allowing startups to solicit

investments from both accredited and

non-accredited investors in exchange for

equity. The expectation of investors is the

financial pay-off as a percentage of profit,

once the startup is sold.

• Small Businesses: Small businesses

may offer a part of their equity to

the crowd in exchange of funds. The

risk in crowdfunding is less than

that of a bank loan. However, as the

business grows, so will be the size

of the investor's investment in your


• Business Expansion: Equity

crowdfunding can also be undertaken

by established businesses for

expanding their product line or


• Real Estate: The opportunity for

crowdfunding real estate is making

big waves, with each funding

platform taking a different approach.

It is an opportunity for investors to

invest money in quality institutional

properties. The top players in

this arena are RealtyMogul and


4) Debt Crowdfunding: When you raise

funds from the crowd in the form of

loans to be repaid with interest, it is

called debt crowdfunding or Peer-To-

Peer (P2P) lending. This lending may be

secured, usually against property/asset,

or unsecured. The financial returns, in

the case of debt funding, are in the form

of interest. Default risk is inherent in this

type of funding.

Every site has their own policy on

default, and investors need to have a

clear understanding of these policies

in order to protect themselves. These

campaigns typically need a shorter time

span of around five weeks and fit those

entrepreneurs who are not ready to give

up equity in their start-up.

Debt crowdfunding is suited for

individuals and larger companies who

are not ready to share equity ownership,

and who do not mind resorting to multiple

rounds of funding and may again be

broken into four categories:

Unsecured Peer-to-Peer (P2P)

Lending: Individuals lending to

individuals without any security is known

as unsecured peer to peer lending. It is

widely used for small amounts but is the

most risky form of P2P lending, as the

lender is at the risk, in case of default

by the borrower. To tackle this, some

platforms now insist on a kind of safety

fund to pay back in case of a default.

• Unsecured Peer-to-Business (P2B)

Lending: In this type of lending,

individuals lend only to businesses

without any security, thereby

assuming a business risk.

• Peer-to-Business (P2B) Secured: Here

the individuals lend to businesses,

but the loans are secured, mostly

against property or bills receivables.

• Business-to-Business (B2B) Secured:

Small companies who lend money to

other businesses, with security, come

under this category.

In short, crowdfunding is an evolving

concept, and so there are no hard and fast

rules to which type will succeed or not.

You need to select the type based on your

requirement, product, risk tolerance and

legal compliance. Stay tuned for the next

part, as we dive deeper into the world of


Jose Paul Martin is a private

equity investor & advisor

currently focused on IT &

Healthcare sectors in the

Middle East, US & Asia. He

is also MD of Eqoris Group &

Author of The Pitch Process


May-June 2017


Spirit of Ramadan


Ramadan, the month of giving and sharing, presents a

unique experience in Bahrain every year due to the

Kingdom's rich traditions of hospitality and culture.

During this month, all hotels and resorts in the Kingdom put

together a selection of dishes varying only in ingredients

and presentation. All uniformly promise a rare gastronomic

experience. Iftar and Ghabgha evenings are special

occasions and the hotels in the Kingdom outdo themselves in

creating extraordinary experiences and ambience.

The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Ritz-Carlton Hotel,

Sofitel Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, Gulf Hotel, Downtown Rotana and

Al Areen Palace Hotel are among the major properties gearing

up to welcome families and friends not only from Bahrain but

from neighbouring GCC countries. Here we present a round up

of some the best Iftar and Ghabga spreads.








Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay has orchestrated

many memorable Ramadan occasions for guests to

enjoy with the special people in their lives. The Hotel

offerings are also extended to business guests and private

individuals seeking the perfect venue to host Ramadan

events and gatherings.

Explore the gracious surrounds and offerings presented

at the Arabesque-chic inspired Ramadan Tent at Al Bahrain

Ballroom. The Hotel’s team of culinary professionals has

made sure guests will be spoiled for choice. Select from

generous buffet setups and dedicated live cooking stations.

Executive Chef Stefano Andreoli and Pastry Chef Imad

Boukli have invested their combined years of gastronomic

knowledge to ensure every Ramadan meal is nothing short

of spectacular.

Attendees can break their fast with traditional bateel

khidri dates and a diverse array of Ramadan juices and

inviting soup selections. Discover hot and cold mezze

offerings, an extensive sushi station and an enticing salad

bar. Everyone’s appetite will be more than satisfied when

choosing from both international and traditional dishes

from the rotisserie oven or char grill, a Moroccan tagine

island or the homemade pasta station and dessert buffet is

featuring a chocolate fountain, homemade ice cream bar,

waffle station, and many more surprises.

For reservations, call 00973 17115000.

Fully embrace Ramadan traditions this season by

sharing unique experiences with family and friends

at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain’s VIVA Ramadan tent - Al

Khayma - whilst enjoying the return of the talented Lebanese

singer, Margo Kassar.

Begin a culinary journey with a newly tailored menu by

Executive Chef Christian Knerr, that offers a large spread

buffet featuring international cuisines, including Eastern

Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican and European with live

cooking stations. Two visiting Chefs who will be flown in to

join the culinary team will handcraft an authentic Turkish

and Egyptian culinary experience.

For dessert, guests will be able to indulge in the return

of the famous chocolate room, featuring a theme around

the legendary tree of life with scrumptious chocolate

confections, and cocoa bean concoctions. The Iftar buffet will

also present the Turkish Ice Cream - Dondurma.

An indoor and outdoor smoking section offers a selection

of traditional as well as special-flavors of shisha. Guests

will also have the option of a dedicated service of their own

private pergola for Iftar and Ghabgha with a silverware and

refined service.

For more information and to book your Ramadan

experience, please contact +973 1758 6499 or



May-June 2017




The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa invites you to

experience their ever popular Ramadan tent, Khaimat Al

Khaleej serving Iftar and Ghabga daily.

The new Khaimat Al Khaleej tent will feature traditional

ambiance with ornate décor, and will showcase sophisticated

contemporary design intertwined with artistic elements of

authentic local culture and heritage.

The Iftar Buffet is priced at BD 19++ per person in Takht

Jasmsheed and at Khaimat Al Khaleej until 8pm. Offerings

include a selection of exquisite dates, refreshing juices, as well

as hot and cold mezzeh with an enticing selection of salads,

home-baked breads, shawarma and falafel. Add to this a wide

variety of traditional Arabic dishes including Arabic quzi,

thireed, harees and a delectable array of Arabic desserts such as

Um Ali, kunafa and mahalabiya.

Several options are also available for both Ghabgah and Iftar

packages with special rates for Corporate Groups and Prestige

Club members.

For further information or for bookings, please call The Gulf

Hotel on (+973) 1771 3000, or visit



Iftar at Awali Ballroom

Gorgeous ambience in a twin tent setting using traditional

Arabic décor. Traditional Arabic ifar dishes, international menu

options, mezzah and starters, a dates corner, crepe station and

exciting desserts. Iftar buffet is served from sunset to 8:30 PM.

Iftar buffet for adults BD16.000++ from Sunday to Wednesday

Iftar buffet for adults BD17.000++ from Thursday to Saturday

Children from 4 to 12 years old is charged at BHD8.500++

Below 4 years old, dine for FREE

Ghabga at Al Safir Restaurant

Daily ghabga at from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Ghabga is priced at BD12.900++ for adults.

Call +973 17533533 for reservations and more information or

book online at

Call +973 17533533 for reservations and more information or


May-June 2017






Al Areen Palace & Spa welcomes you to Al Qasr the

Ramadan Tent, which is to be themed around the 1001

Arabian Nights. Immerse yourself into the beauty of

Arabian culture and Middle Eastern traditions.

With cultural festivities and live cooking stations featuring

the best flavorful Arabic and international cuisines and

sweet dishes Al Qasr is a culinary cultural destination for

all. A special traditional Bahraini cuisine section will be

displayed as a proud of representation of the local culture.

The festivities will have an Arabic atrium setting, offering

a medley of spaces for families, and guests. A buffet of

Arabic and International cuisine with live cooking and BBQ


Live Entertainment

Daily - from 10:00PM to 1:00AM

Iftar Buffet

Weekdays BD 12 ++

Weekends BD 14 ++ (Thursday and Friday)

Daily - from Sundown to 9:00PM

Ghabga Buffet

Weekdays BD 12 ++

Weekends BD 14 ++ (Thursday and Friday)

Daily - from 9:30PM to 2:00AM and to

3:00AM on weekends


Group of 50-100 BD 14 ++

Group of 101-200 BD 13.5 ++

Group of 200 and above BD 13 ++

Weekends BD 16 ++

(Thursday and Friday)

Downtown Rotana, welcomes guests with a host of

spectacular options at Al Maha Tent which holds up to

250 guests.

Families, friends and colleagues can enjoy the daily

lavish Iftar or Ghabga buffet that is filled with Oriental

delicacies, International dishes, desserts and refreshing

drinks. A white and blue Arabesque haven with decorative

archways, large ornamental lanterns, and unique geometric

designs or enjoy the long terrace on the 8th floor with views

of the city or next to the pool on the 9th floor.

Iftar and Ghabga buffet offers refreshing Kamer Al Din

Apricot juice, Jalab made of the date blossom and Tamarind

to the sweet ending such as the Halawa Souk featuring the

most famous Arabic delights in addition to the delicious

pastries, cakes, chocolates and fruits. The buffet has

different sections presenting Oriental mezzah, cold and hot

appetizers, and an array of delicious food. The live cooking

stations bring a lively atmosphere to the venue and offer

exciting options such as the Lamb Shawarma.

Iftar buffet starts at Al Maha Tent from sunset until 8.30

pm and Ghabga buffet starts from 9 pm until midnight. The

daily iftar or Ghabga are BD 13++. Free parking is available for

all hotel guests.

For reservations and more information,

please call +973 1311 9999 or email

For reservations and more information,

Please call: +973 17845 000 |


May-June 2017





very unique Layali Al Zallaq Tent by the sea under the

night sky with a ceiling of bright stars. Starting at

sunset with Iftar, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea

& Spa invites you with family and friends to relish traditional

Iftar and Ghabga buffet. Break your fast with some delicious

dates, traditional drinks and juices and indulge in some lovely

Ramadan delicacies Choose from an array of sweets from the

Sweet Station that features mainly oriental delicacies, and

plenty of your favorite tasty desserts.

Relax and enjoy the traditional music, smoke shisha by the

beach and relish the ambiance. Your little ones are especially

taken care of this season as they get to enjoy their very own

camp at the Kids’ Villa.

For reservations, please call +973-17636363 and book your

table at the Layali Al Zallaq tent at Sofitel Bahrain now.

Iftar Buffet at Layali Al Zallaq Tent; sunset till 1:30am

(weekdays) | sunset till 02:00am (weekends)

BD 19.000++ per person

Timings from Sunset for 2 hours (till 8:30pm)

Inclusive of Ramadan juices and water

Ghabga Buffet at Layali Al Zallaq Tent

BD 19.000++ per person (Food only)

Weekdays: 10:30pm - 1:30am

Weekends: 10:30pm - 2:30am

Carte Privilege Member -

Special price for Iftar/Ghabga

BD 17.000 ++ per person

May Allah’s blessings shine always upon

you and your loved ones.”

May-June 2017


Auto Focus



The All-New Discovery redefines the large SUV.

Land Rover’s design and engineering teams

have revolutionised the Discovery DNA to

create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and

hugely capable premium SUV.

The vehicle’s exterior design is a revolutionary

re-imagining of Discovery for the next generation.

All-New Discovery is beautifully proportioned for a

full-size SUV, with sleek, wrap-around headlights

and tail lights combining with short front and rear

overhangs to reduce visual length.

All petrol and diesel engines in All-New

Discovery are paired with the advanced

electronically controlled 8-speed Automatic

Transmission, which has been tuned by Land Rover

engineers to combine silky smooth shifting with

exceptionally rapid response. Before any vehicle

can carry the Land Rover badge, it must complete a

series of rigorous tests to establish the very highest

levels of luxury, performance and capability.

Dealers in Bahrain: Euro Motors

60 Call: +973 17 460 677, May-June or Visit 2017 -


Sportiness at its best. Progressiveness at

its purest. Thats the new Audi S5 Coupé.

From the distinctive bumpers and special

radiator grille with double slats, through to the

aerodynamically optimised aluminium-look

exterior mirrors and the new S5 badge on the

side trim, every detail has been sharpened.

The standard LED headlights and 18-inch cast

aluminium wheels lend the car an unmistakeable

presence - and are just two of the many

highlights that radiate exceptional dynamism.

The TFSI and TDI engines in the Audi A5

Coupé. Experience unique performance and

lower emissions. And with the optional quattro

all-wheel drive, power is delivered even more

effectively to the road. For more dynamism, more

traction, more agility and fewer compromises.

A wealth of functions in view and within

reach: thanks to the optional Audi MMI

navigation plus with MMI touch, 3D map

display and Audi connect. The innovative Audi

voice control system literally hangs on the

driver’s every word. And if you want, the Audi

smartphone interface can bring the familiar

worlds of Apple and Google into your Audi, or the

3D sound of the optional Bang & Olufsen Sound


The fully digital instrument cluster is

as versatile as it is innovative. Navigation,

telephone, music, Audi connect services and

information from assistance systems - the large

12.3-inch LCD display presents everything in

razor-sharp definition.

The A5 design line allows you to create elegant accents that

reflect your personality. Make an exceptional vehicle even more

exceptional. And do so in style with the Audi design selection, which

offers an attractive range of special materials and colours for the

interior. Choose your preferred combination of selected inlays and

exquisite leather seats with attractive contrasting stitching.

Dealers in Bahrain: Behbehani Brothers

Call: +973 17 45 99 33, or Visit -

May-June 2017


Highlights | Government

Saudi Government to

finance projects in Bahrain

The Saudi and Bahrain governments

signed an agreement whereby the

Saudi Fund for Deevleopment will grant

$489 million to finance four major projects

in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al

Khalifa, Minister of Finance, and Yousif

bin Ebrahim Al Bassam, Vice President

and Board Member of the Saudi Fund

signed the agreement in the presence of

the Ministers of Electricity & Water, Works,

Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning,

and Housing.

The financial assistance is primarily to

Bahrain first in GCC to

integrate Legal system laws

Bahrain’s latest three financial laws

will be the focus of an outreach

programme introduced by the Economic

Development Board (EDB) in partnership

with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

The programme aims to explain the

importance of the "Trusts Law", the

"Investment Limited Partnership" and

the “Protected Cells Companies” to

financial institutions and banks in the

Kingdom, while also promote discussion

to support in further enhancing the

sector’s performance.

These new laws offer innovative

forms of structures and financing that

complement the range of existing

structures available in the Kingdom.

They work together to enhance Bahrain’s

competitiveness in financial services

and make it easier to raise finance,

conventional and Islamic, for investment


The outreach programme will

facilitate an ongoing dialogue with

industry to discuss opportunities of

further boosting Bahrain’s position as a

financial hub, said Mr. Abdulrahman Al

Baker, Executive Director of Financial

fund four major projects: the $ 70-million

housing project to construct 582 housing

units in Wadi Al Sail and Galali; the

$284-million road project to construct four

roads; the $91-million electricity and water

projects; and King Abdulla Medical City

infrastructure works worth $ 44 million.

The signing marks the launch of

(Phase III) of the $2.5 billion Saudi grant

within the Gulf Development Programme

and is an expression of the strong and

historical bonds that unite the two

countries, said Shaikh Ahmed bin

Mohammed Al Khalifa.

He highlighted the advantages of

the projects to be financed, such as

improving the quality of housing services,

reducing traffic congestion, enhancing

the efficiency of road network, and a

significant development of infrastructure.

The signing was also attended by

Aref S. Khamis, MOF Undersecretary and

several MOF and Saudi Fund officials as

well as the Saudi Ambassador to Bahrain,

Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmalik Al-Shaik.

Abdulrahman Al Baker

Executive Director, Financial Institutions

Supervision at the CBB

Institutions Supervision at the CBB.

Bahrain has become the first country

in the GCC region to integrate this type

of laws into its legal system nationwide.

Other jurisdictions have issued such

limited partnership laws through free

zones only.

The laws enhance the sector

competitiveness and create new funding

mechanisms. The Limited Partnership

Law is expected to provide a strong

boost to the sector, supporting growth in

real estate funds, private equity funds,

venture capital and technology funds,

startups, and Shariah compliant funds,

as well as captive insurance.

The introduction of the Trusts Law

aims to regulate the creation of a trust

and its liabilities, as well as allowing

establishment of a trust for charitable

and non-charitable purposes.

Investment Limited

Partnership Law supports

Financial sector


ahrain has become the first country

in the GCC region to introduce an

Investment Limited Partnership Law

and integrate it in the country’s legal

system. The new move allows investors to

establish limited partnerships nationwide,

as opposed to only in identified free zones.

The law offers new financing

structures that complement the existing

opportunities available in the Kingdom. It

is expected to provide a strong boost to the

financial sector, supporting growth in real

estate funds, private equity funds, venture

capital and technology funds, start-ups,

and Shariah compliant funds, as well as

captive insurance.

The ILP will have its own legal

personality while allowing investors

to contribute to the investment fund

without taking an active management

role, which will be mostly filed by banks

and investment firms with a Category 1 or

2 license. The new legislation will allow

new ILPs to be incorporated and permits

existing partnerships to convert to an ILP.

Activities within the newly introduced

law include collective investment

undertakings, private investment

undertakings, securitisation and

insurance captives. The flexibility to

develop tailored investment terms is

expected to be welcomed by investors as

a more cost effective option than in other

GCC economies, which currently only offer

it through ‘free zones.’

The new law joins two others, the

Trusts Law and Protected Cells Companies

Law, to be highlighted in an outreach

programme by the EDB and the CBB that

focuses on the importance of recent

changes to the regulatory environment in


The new law provides an extra degree

of flexibility for companies structuring

investment in different areas in Bahrain.

62 May-June 2017


Hotel Revenues increase

during Bahrain GP

Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa


Under the leadership of Bahrain

Tourism and Exhibitions Authority

(BTEA), CEO, H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin

Humood Al Khalifa, the BTEA revealed

that hotel revenues reached BD3.7 Million

during the Formula One weekend, with

12,000 hotel rooms booked during the

event and total occupancy rate of five star

hotels reaching up to 89%.

Migration of Government

Emails to the national private


Mohammed Ali AlQaed


Information & eGovernment Authority

(iGA) Chief Executive Mr. Mohammed

Ali AlQaed announced the launch of the

National Private Cloud (NPC) that aims

at migrating government emails to the

national cloud. The project, in partnership

with Microsoft Bahrain, develops an

online platform that encompasses

every government entity under a unified

umbrella and infrastructure.

The announcement was made

during a press conference that included

the attendance of Microsoft Bahrain

and Oman General Manager Mr.

Sherif Tawfik, iGA General Manager of

Information Technology Shaikh Salman

“We are pleased with the positive

results achieved by the tourism sector

during the Formula One season. We hope

that the coming F1 season brings further

success; reflecting the Kingdom’s positive

image internationally and contributing

to the development of the local economy,"

commented Shaikh Khaled.

BTEA also invited more than 25

members from its representative offices

located across the world in further to

learn about the Kingdom, its thriving

tourism industry and to further promote

the importance of the Bahrain Grand Prix

in attracting enthusiasts to this exciting

sporting event held at the Bahrain

International Circuit.

On the sidelines of the event, BTEA

organized ‘Hurafuna’ Handicrafts Festival

held at Bab Al Bahrain. The festival offered

residents and visitors an opportunity

to learn about the handicrafts of the

Kingdom giving the local craftsmen a

platform to sell their distinctive products

and present them to the public.

bin Mohammed AlKhalifa, Microsoft

Public Sector Business Development

Manager Hamad AlSaie, together

with representatives from over 30

governmental entities.

AlQaed explained that this project is

considered as one of the most prominent

national projects which have been

developed in response to the directives

of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin

Mubarak AlKhalifa, Deputy Prime Minister

and Chairman of the Supreme Committee

for Information and Communication

Technology (SCICT). The directives stress

the reformulating of government policies

related to hosting government services

and aligning them with new emerging

global trends in cloud computing which

have proven in reducing expenditures

and budgets of the IT sector as a result

of economy challenges and the rise

in IT costs. The CE also added that the

migration of government emails to the

NPC is expected to reduce the IT budget

30%-50% of the budget allocated annually

in the public organizations for this project

at the very least and moreover, strengthen

the efficiency of the ICT sector’s

infrastructure. The implementation of

iGA’s private cloud services was partially

carried-out by Microsoft’s local partner

AlMoayyed Computers.

iGA migrates 10 Government

Websites to the Cloud

Considered the first-of-its-kind project

in the country, the Information &

eGovernment Authority (iGA) will begin

the migration of ten government websites

as a trial of Cloud Computing - developed

by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The

trial phase is intended to complete the

process of full migration during one

year. This came about following the

signing agreement with the technology

investment firm C5 Capital.

The websites comprise the Ministry

of Justice & Islamic Affairs; Ministry

of Health; Central Bank of Bahrain;

National Oil & Gas Authority; Survey &

Land Registration Bureau; Ministry of

Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban

Planning; Ministry of Transportations &

Telecommunication; Public Prosecution;

Capital Governorate and the Northern

Area Municipality.

The process of migrating to cloud

computing considered the latest and

fastest technologies in storing and

protecting information. This facilitates the

obtaining of the information conveniently,

with ease, effectiveness, flexibility and

ability to expand and store big data

contrary to allowing the government IT

sector to develop its infrastructure and

continue to supervise data; ensuring its

protection via the cloud computing system

- such aspect is what large companies like

AWS as well as Apple currently work by.

The Information & eGovernment

Authority, in collaboration with C5 Capital,

will work on starting the migration

process of the 10 websites to the cloud

platform as a pilot stage by assigning

a working team to carry-out such task

under the direct supervision of the

authority. Furthermore, completing all

the preparations in the first phase while

ensuring the maintenance of all data

and information during the transporting


May-June 2017



Tamkeen launches

Rewards program - Taqdeer

Tamkeen launched its new program

Taqdeer aimed at rewarding

enterprises that exceed their targeted

number of Bahraini employees, as

a part of Tamkeen’s ongoing efforts

in supporting Bahraini employment,

and to encourage more Bahraini


H.E Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi,

Chief Executive of Tamkeen mentioned

that a major goal for Tamkeen is making

the Bahraini citizen the employment

of choice. Therefore, Tamkeen works

continuously on developing its

programs and initiatives in order to

provide Bahrainis with the necessary

tools and skills, making them the

employee of choice to business owners.

The program’s idea aims on stimulating

enterprises to employ more citizens

Dr. Jahani said that being the first

initiative of its kind, eligible enterprises

will receive a financial grant which can

be used in paying expenses related to

municipality services fees (violations

or similar charges are not included),

electricity bills related to the CR,

SIO fees, Bahraini employees’ health

insurance as well as their training and

development plans.

Since Tamkeen’s establishment

in 2006, it provided support to almost

31% of the workforce in the Kingdom,

through training and development

initiatives that aim to refine Bahraini

citizens’ skills and provide them

with opportunities that improve their

abilities in shaping their future. Also,

Tamkeen has helped in creating more

than 8,000 job opportunities through the

employment support programs.

Tamkeen has helped in supporting

more than 100,0000 Bahraini citizens

through its various initiatives targeting

individuals which exceeds 120

initiatives. It also took part in training

and qualifying about 13,000 Bahrainis in

various fields through the Professional

Certificates program, which includes

more than 370 certificates in 40

specialization, spending more than BD

13.3 million as a part of its investment

in this program.

BCCI & Tamkeen

establish fund for stalled


In a bid to revive stalled businesses

and ensure their re-integration in

the market, the Bahrain Chamber of

Commerce and Industry (BCCI) signed

an agreement with Tamkeen on

establishing a fund -worth 300 thousand

Bahraini Dinars- to support and revive

stalled businesses. The agreement was

signed yesterday by BCCI treasurer Mr.

Isa Al Refaei and CEO of Tamkeen, Dr.

Ebrahim Janahi. Present at the signing

ceremony BCCI’s CEO Dr. Khalid Al

Ruwaihi, and other officials from both


In this regard, Mr. Al Refaei said

“According to the agreement, a special

committee will be formed to review

applications and award support

according to predetermined terms and

conditions”. He added “We are proud

of our cooperation with Tamkeen,

which has yielded fruitful results

over the years”. Similarly, Dr. Janahi

expressed pride in the initiative

and in Tamkeen’s cooperation with

BCCI. He stressed on the importance

of reviving stalled businesses and

supporting business owners, which

will contribute to enhancing the vigor

and competitiveness of the national


BDB with Tamkeen increase

Tamweel portfolio

In continuation of the strategic

partnership between the Tamkeen

and the Bahrain Development Bank

and in line with their joint objectives,

Tamweel portfolio has been increased

by more than BD 21 million to reach

more than BD 240 million, depending

on the agreement held between the two

parties to provide Islamic financing for

small and medium-sized enterprises

and the emerging private sector.

This increase was a spontaneous

result of the steady increase in the

number of requests and the high

demand this program witnessed.

Both parties seek to meet private

sector institutions’ needs by adding

more comprehensive support to

Bahraini entrepreneurs. This funding

program focuses on industrial, service,

innovative projects which have

economic feasibility an added value

that targets to diversify and develop the

national economy.

On the other hand, this increase

in the size of the portfolio of this

funding program is to achieve the

full absorption of desires of all

members of society without exception.

Financing around 6,000 funding clearly

demonstrates the effectiveness of

this program and the importance of

continuing work on its development to

meet the various aspirations.

64 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Highlights | Banking & Finance

Financial Digital

Transformation in Bahrain

Rasheed M. Al-Maraj

Governor of the Central Bank

As part of The Central Bank of

Bahrain’s (CBB) initiative to push

Financial Technology in the Kingdom,

the CBB welcomed a team from BNP

Paribas Bank at its headquarters, for a

seminar on “Digital Transformation”,

presented by BNP’s top officials.

Mr. Rasheed M. Al-Maraj, Governor

of the Central Bank, welcomed the BNP

team led by Mr. Jacques Michel, Head

of Middle East & Africa and stated, “The

CBB is committed to achieve a digital

transformation and new technologies

in the financial sector in Bahrain,” The

Governor highlighted, “CBB managed

over the past two years to introduce

new products for the Retail Banking

sector, making sure they do not restrain

implementation of new technologies

in Bahrain by having the right mix of


On that note, he added, “CBB issued

last week, a white paper for consultation

on a Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech

in which new companies can test their

Fintech solutions and later by the end

of next month it will issue draft rules

for consultation on crowd-funding

platforms for both conventional and

sharia’a compliant services.”

“Bahrain has had a long history

of proactive adoption of development

in the technology field and The CBB is

all for embracing innovation and new

technology; the challenge is to develop

the digital financial products in a riskfree

way, nevertheless CBB is committed

to promote digital transformation in

Bahrain and determined to do it quickly

and efficiently,’ said Mr. Al Maraj.

The one-day workshop continued

with presentations by BNP Paribas’

banking officials.

KHCB launches Personal

Finance campaign

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB),

one of the leading Islamic banks in

the Kingdom of Bahrain, launched its

Personal Finance campaign for 2017 with

many unique features. The promotional

campaign came as part of the Bank's

strategy to continue enhancing its

banking products and services and to

offer the best Shari’a compliant banking


On this occasion, Mr. Khalil Ismail

Al Meer, CEO of KHCB said, "We are

committed to continuously developing our

banking products in accordance with the

KFH-Bahrain enhances

Reward offerings for new

Credit Card clients

Khalid Rafea

Executive Manager & Head of Retail Banking

Group, KFH

Khalil Ismaeel Al Meer


rulings and principles of Islamic Shari’a.

We are therefore keen to launch this new

financing program with a great range of

special offers.

Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH)

launched an attractive reward scheme for

new credit card applicants.

Starting from April 2017, all new

applicants for KFH Credit Cards have a

chance to win a complimentary vacation

to some of the world’s most exotic and

sought-after destinations including

London (United Kingdom), Barcelona

(Spain), Bali (Indonesia), Vienna (Austria),

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Paris (France),

Seychelles and Singapore. Every new

credit card issued during this month,

whether Signature, Gold or Classic, grants

clients an opportunity to enjoy a dream

holiday package for two.

Mr. Khalid Rafea, Executive Manager

& Head of Retail Banking Group at KFH

This promotion is as an extension

of the success achieved by last year's

campaign, which was widely popular with

our customers, because of its innovative

features and offers. Thus we we’re happy

to re-launch the campaign this year with

more benefits. The Bank provides the

promotional personal finance offer for a

limited time period that includes offering

competitive profit rates, in addition to

the possibility of attaining a 120-day

grace period and a credit card without

fees. The bank also offers customers free

travel tickets to different international

destinations until the quantity runs out.

All of this is subject to the terms and

conditions of this promotion."

Bahrain stated, “At KFH-Bahrain we are

continuously looking for innovative ways

to strengthen our market share in the

credit card segment. This new promotion

aims to incentivize new-comers to join

the KFH–Bahrain Credit Card family and

provide them with suitable rewards that

will leave a lasting imprint in their minds,

travel being at the top of the ‘wish list’ as

shown by our market research”.

“At KFH-Bahrain we offer benefits

to our customers through our Sharia’a

compliant credit cards, which include

among others, Gulf Air Falcon Flyer

Miles, access to over 650 airport lounges

worldwide, free supplementary cards,

free concierge service and free travel


66 May-June 2017

Banking & Finance

TAKAUD partners with


TAKAUD, specialist provider of

savings, investment and pension

solutions for the MENA region,

announced its partnership with

Mubasher Financial Services B.S.C.(c).

Under the terms of an Agreement

signed recently at TAKAUD’s Manama

offices, Mubasher will make TAKAUD’s

conventional and Sharia compliant

Conservative and other Investment

Strategies available to Mubasher clients

online, through Mubasher’s awardwinning

trading platform.

Mubasher’s technology will now

enable broad public access to TAKAUD’s

carefully constructed strategies, under

the Mubasher name. In 2016, all of

TAKAUD’s own investment strategies

showed growth, with the Global Growth

Investment Strategy achieving a marketleading

gain of 11.58%. The Mubasher

Investment Strategies are based on the

same sound investment principles.

In addition, Mubasher intends to

offer mutual funds to their customers

upon obtaining the relevant regulatory

GFH acquire US Virginia

data center

Luay Ahmadi

Senior Executive Officer, GFH Capital

GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain

based GFH Financial Group,

announced the signing for a new

approvals. TAKAUD will share its

investment expertise to identify a

range of high quality mutual funds to be


The offering will be rolled out over

the coming months. Mubasher intends

to provide the following, subject to the

necessary approvals:

Conservative Investment Strategies

• Short-term investments with

high rates of return, providing

accessibility at short notice.

• Designed for clients looking for a

competitive return on their money

between trades.

Global, Regional and Sharia-Compliant

Investment Strategies

• 9 strategies developed to meet the

needs of prudent, balanced and

growth-oriented investors.

• For the infrequent trader, the

Investment Strategies provide

a managed investment solution

comprising a diversified range of

mutual funds that are continually

monitored and reviewed.

• Designed to appeal to investors who

do not have the time to regularly

oversee their holdings.

Core Funds

• A range of carefully screened

mutual funds covering different

asset classes and sectors.

• Will appeal to investors looking

for diversified exposure to certain

markets or who wish to take

advantage of market trends.

investment in a US Virginia-based Data

Center with market value exceeding

US$100 million.

The investment is being undertaken

in partnership with Corporate Office

Properties Trust (COPT), a US$5 billion

NYSE-listed REIT and one of the leading

data center operators in the US. COPT,

in addition to managing the assets,

have also made a 20% investment in the

portfolio, which is expected to provide

investors with attractive semi-annual

cash distributions at an annual rate

averaging 9.5% over the investment

period and an IRR of 12%.

The portfolio consists of two stateof-the-art,

built-to-suit data center

facilities located in high technology

business parks in the US state of


Mastercard inaugurates

office in Bahrain

Mastercard, a leading technology

company in the global payments

industry, has inaugurated its first

dedicated office in the Kingdom of

Bahrain. To mark the occasion, Mastercard

organized an exclusive event for its key

stakeholders in Bahrain, where senior

Mastercard executives including Raghu

Malhotra, President, Middle East and

Africa and Khalid Elgibali, Division

President, Middle East and North

Africa, hosted Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi,

Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic

Development Board (EDB), among other

local customer banks and officials.

“Mastercard has a long and rich

history with the Kingdom, and the

opening of our first dedicated office further

cements our footprint in the market as we

get ever closer to our local partners. We

look forward to leveraging our global and

local expertise and innovation capabilities

to roll out world-class payments

technologies in this market alongside our

partners,” said Raghu Malhotra, President,

Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

“As a prominent financial center

in the region, Bahrain is making great

strides towards becoming a fintech hub,

and through our tailored products and

payments solutions, we are excited to

play an active role in the future growth

and development of the payments sector

in the Kingdom,” added Khalid Elgibali,

Division President, Middle East and

North Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard’s decision to open its

Bahrain office and follow through with

it was influenced by EDB’s catalytic role

throughout the registration process and

the access gained to important local

industry players. The office will operate

under the name: Mastercard Singapore

Holding Pte Ltd - Bahrain Representative


May-June 2017


Banking & Finance

CrediMax’s Portfolio


In line with its growth strategy and

ensuring that it offers tailor-made

and innovative products to its valued

customers, CrediMax repositions itself

as the market leader introducing the

latest addition to its portfolio, the

Visa “Signature” card and MasterCard

“World” card.

The cardholders will enjoy exclusive

privileges including access to airport

lounges all around the world, concierge

service, access to luxury hotel collections,

personal travel insurance, discounts and

special offers on dining and premium

retailers from jewelry to apparels and

electronics, discounts and privileges at

world’s best-known car rental brands

with a truly global footprint.

“We are very pleased to be working

with Visa and MasterCard to offer

exclusive benefits for our cardholders.

The latest addition is the result of our

strategy to offer innovative services to

our customers positioning CrediMax as

a leader in the industry,” commented

Chief Executive of CrediMax, Mr Yousif

Ali Mirza.

The Visa Signature card was created

to recognize the status of high-achieving

consumers providing them unique and

exclusive packages. The product focuses

on providing added-value based on four

key areas of the cardholder’s life: travel,

dining, shopping and lifestyle such as,

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, exclusive

dining and shopping offers and Global

Concierge Service.

MasterCard World gives cardholders

access to a range of unforgettable lifestyle

privileges and unique memorable

services that includes exclusive offers on

flights, hotels & resorts complimentary

nights, discounts on chauffeur rides,

dining and much more.

Mumtalakat invests in

FAI Aviation Group

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding

Company (Mumtalakat), announced

its investment in a significant minority

stake in Axtmann Aviation Holding GmbH

that operates FAI Aviation Group (FAI), a

leading global provider of mission critical

aviation services, offering fixed-wing air

ambulance, special missions, charter and

aircraft management, as well as full MRO


Founded in 1986, FAI operates from

its base in Albrecht Dürer International

airport in Nuremberg, Germany. With

over 30 years of experience in business

aviation, FAI is one of the largest private

aviation operators in Europe. A market

KuveytTurk relocates

Gulf operations to Bahrain

Khalid Al Rumaihi

Chief Executive, EDB

Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank

Inc (KuveytTurk), Kuwait Finance

House’s leading subsidiary in Turkey,

Mahmood H.Alkooheji

Chief Executive Officer, Mumtalakat

leader in intercontinental air ambulance

patient transport, FAI offers continuous

worldwide air ambulance services staffed

with qualified medical personnel and state

of the art medical technology. Its aircrafts

fly an average 12,000 flight hours annually

and its customers include international

insurance providers, the United Nations,

International SOS, the World Food

has announced relocation of its Gulf

operations and staff to Bahrain. Following

the move, KuveytTurk Bank will

centralize its regional Treasury activities

out of Bahrain under its existing

wholesale banking license.

KuveytTurk, with the support of

Kuwait Finance House’s advanced

network and experience in interest-free

banking, has acted as a bridge for Turkish

investors looking to grow internationally,

especially within the Gulf Region. At the

end of 2016, KuveytTurk Bank had paid

up Capital of TRY 2,787,322,000 and an

equity of approximately $1.2 Billion (4.2

billion TRY), and is looking to expand

its services in the GCC region over the

next three years. In 2015 KuveytTurk also

Programme and prominent health

authorities in the wider GCC region.

Commenting on this latest

investment by the sovereign wealth fund,

Mahmood H.Alkooheji, Mumtalakat’s Chief

Executive Officer, said, “It has perhaps

never been as important as it is today to

support rapid aviation response to crisis

situations. Over the last 30 years, FAI has

significantly grown its capabilities and

service offerings, establishing stable and

lasting relationships across a diverse set

of customers, helping critical aid services

reach people across the world. Aviation is

a key component of our portfolio and we

aim to leverage our sector knowledge and

expertise to add value to the company and

support its potential expansion into the

wider GCC region.”

set up the first and only Islamic Bank in

Germany named as KT Bank AG Germany.

KT Bank AG have also started to play

an important role for the trade business

between Germany and GCC Countries.

KuveytTurk joins a number of other

leading Turkish companies operating

in Bahrain, including several prominent

Turkish banks.

Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief

Executive of the Bahrain EDB said, “The

economic change we are seeing across

the GCC is helping to create exciting

opportunities for international investors

and the expertise and scale of Turkish

companies mean they are well placed to

play an important role in the region in the

years to come.”

68 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Highlights | Telecom

World Class Internet

services for Bahrain

Batelco, has been recognised by world

leading statistical data organisations

for its delivery of the fastest mobile

internet speeds and high customer

satisfaction rates.

In November 2016, Batelco was

recognised by Speedtest by OOKLA

for its outstanding performance as

Bahrain’s Fastest Mobile Internet provider.

Speedtest by OOKLA is the global leader

in broadband and mobile speed testing

and web-based network diagnostic

applications. The company's software and

methodologies set the industry standards

for accuracy, popularity, ease of use and

Batelco partners with


Batelco, the Kingdom’s leading digital

services provider has signed a

partnership agreement with Amlak, the

real estate investment arm and whollyowned

subsidiary of the Social Insurance

Organization (SIO), to provide data

solutions to the company’s projects.

The agreement was signed by Batelco

Bahrain Chief Executive Officer Eng. Muna

Al Hashemi and Amlak Chief Executive

Officer Mohamed Abdulelah Al Kooheji, at

Batelco’s headquarters in Hamala.

Under the agreement, Batelco will

provide cutting-edge ICT solutions along

with the internal network infrastructure of

the residential project ‘The Sixty Six’, a sixstory

residential building located in Umm

Al Hassam aimed for completion by mid-

2018. The project includes fully-furnished

apartments and a luxury recreational floor

with a swimming pool, gymnasium and

multipurpose room.

Batelco will also provide broadband

and infrastructure for ‘ENJAZ’, a nineteen-

the subsequent development of statistical

data. is one of the most

popular web sites on the Internet.

Batelco also came out ahead of its

competitors in the recent IPSOS survey

carried out in Bahrain to rates customers’

satisfaction with their telecoms provider.

Batelco scored 8.5 out of a possible 10, and

was the only player in Bahrain to exceed

the global telecom satisfaction norm

which is 8/10.

As a result of the continuous

investment and efforts by various

organisations to grow ICT in Bahrain,

the country continues to hold first place

among Arab states and internationally is

in 29th place, according to the ITU’s 2016

ICT Development Index. These are very

impressive statistics.

Additionally, in the World Economic

Forum’s most recent ‘Global Network

Readiness’ report, Bahrain was ranked

28th out of 139 countries in terms of

overall network readiness in 2016. With

92.7 per cent of its 1,378,904 population

having an internet connection, Bahrain

is the most connected country in the

Middle East according to the highly

reputable report.

Batelco CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi (right) and

Amlak CEO Mohamed Abdulelah Al Kooheji

story residential building located in

Juffair, including 106 fully-furnished

one and two-bedroom apartments, in

addition to a recreational facility including

gymnasium, multipurpose room and two

swimming pools.

On this occasion, Eng. Muna Al

Hashemi commented: “The real estate

sector in the Kingdom is witnessing high

growth rates. This agreement is in line

with Batelco’s interest in supporting the

development of this sector by assisting

various projects and upgrading the

telecommunications services.”

Mr. Al Kooheji commented: “We are

confident of Batelco’s ability to meet the

needs of the projects due to its advanced

network and technology."

First Technology

Hardware Accelerator

launched in ME

Batelco Bahrain CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi

(left) and Brinc Chief Development Officer and

Head of Brinc MENA, Yasin Aboudaoud

Batelco, has teamed up with Brinc, an

ultra-hands-on Internet of Things

(IoT) hardware accelerator, to launch its

new operation in the Middle East, the

Brinc-Batelco IOT Hub.

Brinc MENA’s Middle East operation

will be located in the Kingdom of

Bahrain and will offer programmes

and services tailored for IoT hardware

start-ups and entrepreneurs looking for

speed, access and the know-how to build

successful companies.

The deal to establish the Brinc-

Batelco IOT Hub was formalised during

a signing ceremony held at Batelco’s

headquarters recently, with Batelco

Bahrain CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi and

Brinc Chief Development Officer and

head of Brinc MENA, Yasin Aboudaoud

signing the agreement.

Brinc MENA is planning to provide

an unprecedented opportunity for startups

in the region to access mentorship,

product design and development

guidance, manufacturing and exposure

to regional and global investors and

markets, all in one programme. Onsite

business, manufacturing and

distribution experience will also be


Chief Development Officer and head

of Brinc MENA, Yasin Aboudaoud said,

“By joining forces with an innovative

solution provider like Batelco, our goal

is to eventually extend our offering

of comprehensive programmes and

services tailored for hardware start-ups

as well as expertise and know-how of

manufacturing in China to the growing

numbers of hardware founders in the

Middle East."

70 May-June 2017


Brand Zain valued at

US$2.34 billion

Every year, leading valuation and

strategy consultancy Brand Finance

based in London, values the brands

of thousands of the world’s biggest

companies. The Middle East’s 50 most

valuable brands, classified by both their

industry and their nation, are featured in

the Brand Finance Middle East 50 ranking.

As part of its overall assessment

of brand value, Brand Finance based in

London, values the brands of thousands of

the world’s biggest companies, looking at

two key factors. The first is revenues (both

historic and forecasted) and second is the

strength and familiarity of each brand.

Excluding financial indicators, Zain

was ranked the second most powerful

home-grown brand in the region behind

Emirates, the UAE based airliner. The

valuation of Zain’s brand for 2017 was

calculated at US$2.34 billion, a 9% increase

on its 2016 valuation.

Zain has been a recipient of numerous

regional and global awards since the

introduction of its inspiring brand in

2007. Additionally, Zain’s Corporate

Sustainability programs and eye-catching

marketing and widespread social media

campaigns have captured the imagination

of the whole region.

The company’s marketing campaigns

across the region on various media

channels have captured the hearts and

minds of millions of people across the

Arab World and further afield. Zain’s

Ramadan 2016 TVC had a remarkable

12.5 million views on YouTube, with the

company’s Ramadan EID 2016 TVC also

attaining 22 million views to date, both

relevant and indicative factors of the

brand power of Zain!

VIVA offers unlimited

access to Government


Allowing businesses to utilize Bahrain’s

spectrum of government websites,

VIVA introduced new business broadband

plans which provide free access to all the

information, forms and services available

on LMRA ( as well as Information

and e-Government Authority (

and without the need to

consume from their data plan’s allowance.

VIVA’s seven new business broadband

plans cater to Bahrain’s business’ growing

data demands that offer a range of benefits

led by high data allowances and unlimited

data on government websites. Business

registrations, legal permits, business

tenders, employee licensing, eVisa, service

renewals are among the many services

now accessible free-of-charge by VIVA

Business Broadband customers.

The new broadband plans have

been introduced in consideration of

the increasing demands for superfast

broadband speeds and high data

TRA’s Electronic approval

system for Telecom related


The Telecommunications Regulatory

Authority (TRA) issued statistics

on telecommunications equipment

imported from February 2016 to February

2017. The total number of imported units

reached about 1.8 million units imported

into the Kingdom after satisfying the

minimum set of technical and safety

requirements of TRA’s regulatory


TRA’s recent electronic approval

system, adopted in early 2016, has

made processing telecoms equipment

allowances to access government

websites on a daily basis where

businesses would receive a wide variety

of benefits under the new broadband plan

by providing convenient online access to

useful resources which help them perform

more efficiently in today’s fast-moving life.

The new plans also ensured

transparent and fixed tariffs, without

any unexpected charges. On consuming

the relevant data usage, VIVA business

customers wouldill continue to benefit

from a high throttle speed of minimum,

giving them the advantage of the new

broadband plans on the most reliable and

fastest 4G LTE network in the Kingdom.

imports more efficient with overall

requests taking less than 2 days on

average, compared to just over 4 days

when the process was done manually,

a difference of more than 50%. Data

showed that the volume of importing

terminal equipment (cell phones,

smartphones, fax machines, printers,

scanners, tablets) reached 1,173,985

units (65%). Passive Equipment (wires,

fiber optics) reached 215,797 units (12%).

The statistics also indicated the

importation of 128,773 units (7%) of

network equipment (base stations,

switches, base station controllers). The

number of phone spare parts imported

amounted to 286,155 units (16%).

TRA’s regulatory process on

importing telecommunications

equipment into the Kingdom of Bahrain

is aimed at controlling the importation

of telecommunications equipment into

the Kingdom through the necessity of

acquiring a prior approval on importing

telecommunications equipment from

TRA and the concerned entities. This

will lead to ensuring safer public


May-June 2017



Roadmap for IPv6

deployment in Bahrain

Paul Rendek

Director of External Relations, RIPE NCC

The Bahrain Telecommunications

Regulatory Authority (TRA) in

coordination with the RIPE NCC held a

meeting with Internet service providers

and telecom operators in the country at

its headquarters to discuss plans and

key issues regarding the deployment

of IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).

International efforts are underway to

shift from the current IPv4 to the new

iteration IPv6 to manage the growth of


The meeting was organised by

the RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP European -

Network Coordination Center) and TRA

Bahrain, bringing together the Bahraini

telecommunications providers to

discuss the need for a roadmap or plan

for Bahrain’s deployment strategy

of IPv6. They identified some key

issues such as interconnectivity and

the possibility of implementing IPv6

locally among operators to keep traffic

within the country.

The meeting included a discussion

about granting enterprise network

requests for IPv6 connectivity and

identified the key technical obstacles

that hinder the rollout of the service.

Participants resolved to recommend

solutions to the issue in a separate

one-on-one meeting to be held in mid-


Paul Rendek, Director of External

Relations, RIPE NCC said, “Internet

connectivity has become an integral

aspect of sustainable development

in all countries and has now become

part of the development agendas of

almost all nations. This meeting aims

to provide a platform for stakeholders

to discuss the current challenges

and opportunities to expedite

telecommunications development in

Bahrain, particularly the best ways to

implement IPv6 in the country.”

Steps to future-proof

Telecom networks

Planning for the next technology shift

or solution set that helps you optimize

you network and your applications will

lead to improved and modernized service

offerings and new customers. This, in

turn, can spark a boost in revenue.

It’s imperative for service providers

in Bahrain to always look several steps


Start Now

Service providers now face

their biggest challenges when it

comes to service diversification and

differentiation - what are you doing

that the others are not? And while it’s

a hurdle, it’s also a great opportunity to

take charge and pull ahead of the pack.

The ability to seamlessly update

your networks to prepare for the shift

to 5G, the evolving cyber security threat

landscape, the massive number of

Internet of Things (IoT) devices that will

soon connect and the transition to IPv6

will put you out front.

Now more than ever, customers want

instant gratification. If a service suffers

even the smallest of hiccups or falls

behind the curve, that’s a blemish that

may never clear.

Scalability, high-performance and

availability aren’t nice to haves, they’re

must haves. And your customers will tell

you so - often and with their wallets.


So what can you do as a service

provider to future-proof your network

and prepare for what’s next? Here are

four steps:

Get ready for 5G: The transition to 5G is

coming. Soon. Along with the promise

of reduced network latency and much

higher data rates, such as the ability to

download an entire movie in seconds

versus minutes, 5G brings with it a

massive influx of connected IoT devices

that can pose serious security threats.

Start planning for the transition to 5G

now to ensure your network is up to


Preserve IPv4 addresses: As you prepare

for IPv4 exhaustion and migration to

IPv6, you must have a plan in place.

Service providers need solutions that

not only preserve your pool of IPv4

addresses, but also provide a seamless

migration path to IPv6. By extending the

service life of your IPv4 infrastructure,

you’ll buy yourself time to plan for

IPv6 while reducing costs by avoiding

disruptions to business operations.

Focus on scale: Increase the availability

and operational efficiency of your

applications by implementing solutions

that auto-scale as services demand

increases. Nothing will hurt you

more than service disruption due to

popularity. Don’t let your success be your

failure. Scale will also be a factor when

more devices start connecting to your

network when 5G comes fully online.

Think security first: Can you afford

downtime or disruption due to a DDoS

attack? Remember, a security breach

not only costs you downtime, but also

reputation damage and customer churn.

Ensure you have the proper security in

place to protect against volumetric DDoS

attacks. In this era of massive, multivector

attacks, service providers should

find solutions that scale to defend

against attacks that exceed 1 Tbps.

72 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Highlights | Real Estate

Bin Faqeeh opens office

in Khobar

Bin Faqeeh, Bahrain-based privatelyowned

real estate investment,

announced that it has opened its first

office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

strengthening its presence in the region.

Bin Faqeeh is considered to be one of

the first companies in the region to take

advantage of the recent positive changes

in the real estate regulations in GCC and

it opened a number of offices in various

markets including Saudi Arabia.

The company held a launching

event at Kempinski Al Othman Hotel,

Al Khobar was attended by a number of

real estate agents and key dignitaries

Al Sidra Project unveiled

at Gulf Property Show 2017

Bahrain’s premier real estate

investment company Bin Faqeeh

showcased Al Sidra project, a first of its

kind luxury gated community in Bahrain

at Gulf Property Show 2017.

Bin Faqeeh Chairman, Faisal Faqeeh

commented, “Gulf Property Show is

Bahrain’s largest dedicated showcase for

the real estate and property development

sector, this is our preferred platform to

connect with potential investors in our

projects. “

along with the company Chairman,

General Manager and Country Manager

of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Bin Faqeeh announced that it has

completed 30% of the construction

works in "Water Bay" project, which

is a 3 residential towers project

built in Bahrain Bay and consists of

196 apartments each, a total of 588

apartments. The same applies to “Hidd

Heights", which is a 13 floors residential

tower built next to Prince Khalifa bin

Salman Park and includes furnished

apartments of different sizes.

In addition to that, the construction

work in ‘Alsidra’ project has already

commenced. This project is an

impressive luxury villa community with

an astonishing 465 villas of varying

designs and capacities located at Diyar

Al Muharraq. Also work is already in

progress in the ‘Layan’ Project.

Bin Faqeeh is implementing its

“Limited 5” plan, which entails the

launch of an exclusive limited edition

luxury project each year for five years.

These properties will reward its tenants

with luxurious lifestyle experiences

unlike any in the entire GCC.

“Alsidra welcomes a change in

lifestyle within Bahrain. The project’s

various facilities; strategic location,

prestige and affordability combine to

promote a regionally unique property

development that caters to expatriates

and locals alike.” added Mr. Faqeeh.

Alsidra is an impressive luxury

villa community with over 400 villas of

varying designs- modern or a modern

version of traditional designs, and

capacities. It provides 2, 3, 4 and 5

BR villas that draw the perfect home

for families of all sizes. Bin Faqeeh

continues to mesmerize with its

harmonious balance of regional-meetsmodernistic

design themes. The villas

are either modern or a modern version of

traditional designs that offer a plethora

of choice to interested buyers opting for

a villa design closer to their vision of

their dream home.

Bin Faqeeh’s other developments

known as Waterbay, Layan and Hidd

Heights were also be showcased at Gulf

Property Show 2017.

Handover of Phase 2 of

Diyar Homes begins

The maiden handover ceremony of

Phase 2 of Diyar Homes in Diyar

Al Muharraq, was held at the Diyar

Sales Office in the attendance of the

Chairman of Diyar Al Muharraq, Mr.

Abdul Hakeem Al Khayyat, CEO, Dr.

Maher Al Shaer, and the Deputy CEO. of

Projects & Developments, Mr. Hisham

Al Moayyed, along with other members

of management and staff.

Phase 2 of Diyar Homes consists of

196 residential units that are diversely

designed to reflect the cultural history

of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its

proud traditional heritage. The villas

follow six different interior themes; El

Joory, El Sheraa, El Matar, El Yasmeen,

El Gomar, and El Semah.

On this occasion, Dr. Maher

Al Shaer said: “I would like to

congratulate the owners of the first

batch for receiving their residential

units in Phase 2 of Diyar Homes as

they now join the privileged residents

of Phase 1.”

“The Diyar Homes neighborhood is

conveniently located off the Eastern

coast of Muharraq and is envisioned

to become a fully integrated city

containing all modern facilities,

taking into account its suitability

for traditional Bahraini families and

architectural designs inspired by the

timeless heritage of the Kingdom. The

project represents an important part

of Diyar Al Muharraq’s residential

offerings, and adds to the progress of

the real estate development process in

the Kingdom,” he added.

74 May-June 2017

Real Estate

The new Address

Residences unveiled

Eagle Hills Bahrain, developers of the

urban waterfront project Marassi Al

Bahrain, launched serviced apartments

at the new-to-market hospitality

development, The Address Residences

Marassi Al Bahrain. The Address Hotels

& Resorts is renowned for offering a

premium lifestyle experience, and Bahrain

has been chosen as the first location

outside of the UAE for this signaturestyle

hotel and serviced residences. The

Address Hotels & Resorts are operated

by Emaar Hospitality Group, with five

extremely successful properties in Dubai,

and another to open soon in Fujairah.

Upon completion, The Address

Mall of Dilmunia

development in Bahrain


The Mall of Dilmunia is a unique

mall concept located in the heart of

Dilmunia Island, within the Muharraq

Governorate. It is the first of its kind

in the Kingdom of Bahrain and it is

believed that it will be a destination

travelers will destine. The total built up

area (with a spacious underground Car

Park) is 125,000 sqm upon a land size of

26,753.6 sqm. The Gross Leasable Area

is 47,300 sqm and has received interest

from retailers and renowned F&B outlets

across the MENA region.

It is a balanced representation of

modernistic and futuristic architecture,

and promotes an exciting family oriented

ambience within it. The mall promises

to include a variety of retailers that are

yet to enter the Bahraini market and

to develop a quality entertainment,

leisure and retail destination, which

adds value to the mall's tenants and

guests. The vision for this development

is to promote a comprehensive family

destination that caters to all age groups

and genders. It allows children and

Residences Marassi Al Bahrain will be

offering 155 fully-furnished and serviced

1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom,

4-bedroom, and penthouse apartments

with 199 parking spaces. All units will be

freehold and available to all nationalities.

The lifestyle destination, with full

amenities, will be in the signature Address

style that has led to the huge success of

the brand in the UAE, and will include

fine-dining and cafes, spa, fitness center,

landscaped terraces, pool, ballrooms and

access to a private beach.

The Address Residences Marassi

Al Bahrain will also be connected to the

development’s 180,000sqm shopping

and entertainment destination, Marassi

Galleria, and will feature private

residential facilities with direct access

to a private beach and to a world-class

waterfront boardwalk promenade.

The project is being brought to life in

partnership with renowned international

consultants Perkins & Will - P+W is

appointed as Architect and HOK as

interior design consultants.

young adults to engage in fun and

educational entertainment facilities

and activities with rooftop cafes,

delicious food and beverage outlets

and two atriums to engage with for

events. The mall overlooks a beautiful

canal view and a lush green landscape

that is also complimented by greenery

within the mall. One of the main

family entertainment features include

a spectacular 16m high cylindrical

aquarium with aquatic life that will

mesmerize visitors from each level of the

mall and a state-of- the-art large indoor

Ice Rink built on the first floor, and three

more concepts yet to be revealed.

The main contractor for the project

is Cyprus Cybarco Tabet JV W.L.L. and

the international architectural design is

by DP Architects. The contractors have

begun mobilizing resources on site. The

target opening date is October 2019.

Lamar at Dilmunia

Ithmaar Development Company

Limited, the Master Developer of

Dilmunia at Bahrain, signed a sale and

development agreement with Apex Real

Estate Development Company, for a new

project named Lamar at Dilmunia.

The agreement for the USD 7 million

boutique project is to be developed on

a 1,800 sqm land plot, and is expected

to entail 45 penthouse style, seaview

apartments. The agreement was signed

between Mr. Jean-Claude Bejjani, Project

Manager at Ithmaar Development

Company and Mr. Ammar Al-Samahiji,

General Manager Apex Real Estate at the

Gulf Property Show.

Lamar at Dilmunia is Apex

Development Company’s fourth project.

Apex intends to sell a portion of the

units within the Lamar and to retain

others keeping with the company policy

of long term investment within all of its

development projects.

Ithmaar Development had

announced the start of the second stage

of the infrastructure works in 2016,

which is due to be completed by the

end of 2017, which means providing

infrastructure services for a cumulative

70% of the project Dilmunia.

Dilmunia is located in close

proximity to the Bahrain International

Airport, with easy access to Saudi Arabia

via the King Fahad Causeway. Dilmunia

at Bahrain is a resort-style health

island, where balance is restored and

life is enhanced, it includes world-class

health facilities, luxury hotels and spas,

lifestyle attractions, environmental

interaction and residential luxury.

Dilmunia is focused on holistic wellbeing

- a way to live differently, to live

better. Composed, integrated, friendly

and culturally aware. Dilmunia is a great

prospect for today and a valuable legacy

for tomorrow.

May-June 2017


Real Estate

Manara handover of

“Kenaz Al Bahrain” units

Bahrain Marina

Development Company

unveils master plan

BIPEX 2017 to

highlight the continuing

growth of RE market

Manara Developments Company

started handing over residential

units to their owners from its latest

project “Kenaz Al Bahrain” shortly after

the completion of construction works

and connection to municipal services

and electrical facilities.

The project comprises of 64

apartments spread over 8 modern

design buildings. Each building

consists of 4 floors homing two

residential apartments alongside a

group of facilities designed to achieve

economic and social sustainability of

which are crucial in modern residential


On this occasion, the company’s

Managing Director Dr. Hasan Al

Bastaki expressed his gratitude to have

completed this major project within

the specified time schedule and to the

highest of quality standards as was

achieved in all Manara’s projects. He

stated: “we are proud of our partnership

with the Ministry of Housing, and Al

Eskan Bank in this project of which is

aimed first and foremost at providing

Bahraini’s with adequate housing at a

reasonable cost”.

The “Kenaz Al Bahrain” project flows

in line with the general trend to provide

housing that is suitable to the needs of

the modern families in vertical buildings

and designed in accordance to the latest

construction and design standards.

Each “Kenaz Al Bahrain” apartment

measures on average 157 square meters

and consists of three bedrooms, a

spacious kitchen, in addition to an open

living room, three bathrooms and a

maids room, in addition to car parking

facilities, of which were carefully

designed to fulfill the needs of modern

Bahraini families.


ahrain Marina Development

Company, a wholly-owned

subsidiary of the Social Insurance

Organization (SIO), unveiled its

masterplan for the first time.

Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain

Marina Development company,

Engineer Yazan Haddad said, “Bahrain

Marina features modern designs as

well as residential and recreational

facilities developed to the highest

standards. The project will also

contribute to the creation of new jobs

and attract investments that will

benefit the local economy.”

The lead designer of the project is

Benoy, an international architectural

firm with vast experience in working

alongside largescale projects in the


Aimed for completion by 2020,

Bahrain Marina will include a fivestar

hotel, serviced hotel apartments,

seafront hotel villas, and a residential

tower with freehold apartments. The

project will also a leisure area with

a unique sea front, retail and dining

areas, a marina and a yacht club for

yachts and boats of various sizes.

Bahrain Marina Development

Company earlier announced the

appointment of Al Hassanain

Contracting Company to implement

the first phase of the project, which

includes all the enabling and marinerelated

works, earthworks, shore

protection, quay walls and culvert

crossings along with including shore

development using environmentalfriendly

materials and techniques in

order to achieve project sustainability

and ensure the safety of the marine


The Bahrain International Property

Exhibition announced the launch

of its 10th edition to be held on

October 26th-28th, 2017 at the Bahrain

International Exhibition & Convention

Centre in Manama. The three-day event

is being held under the patronage of H.E

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa,

Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom

of Bahrain.

BIPEX 2017 returns to underscore the

critical role of the Kingdom’s economic

diversification by highlighting its major

achievements in infrastructure, real

estate, leisure projects and the pipeline

of competitively valued and attractive

offerings. This year’s edition will strive

to shed light on development in the

Kingdom and promoting new investment

opportunities that are available.

For several years, BIPEX has become

an unmissable business platform for

local and regional exhibitors in the

real estate sector to showcase their

projects for both visitors and investors.

In addition, the Bipex forums serve as

a platform bringing together experts to

exchange views and experiences in the

real estate field.

BIPEX announced plans for an

innovative marketing and public

relations campaign for its 2017

exhibition valued at approx. One

millions US dollars. The campaign

includes traditional print and outdoor

advertising, but also leverages social

media platforms, web-based ads and for

the first time uses TV advertising. Bipex

announced a partnership with OSN

(Orbit-Showtime Network) for its 2017

exhibition that will target real-estate

investors and purchasers across the GCC

and the region.

76 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Highlights | Technology

Samsung Galaxy S8 and

S8+: Smartphones without


Samsung Gulf Electronics - launched

the much anticipated Galaxy S8 and

S8+ in Bahrain. The latest smartphone

pushes the boundaries of traditional

smartphones with its seamless screen

hardware design and a variety of new

service offerings. With the launch of

multiple services and apps, as well as a

stunning Infinity Display for immersive

viewing experiences, the Galaxy S8 and

S8+ bring a new level of functionality

and convenience, opening up a galaxy of


Those who purchase the Galaxy

S8 and S8+ will be able to explore the

world in style and enjoy 30% off in

Economy and Business Class with Etihad

Airways**. Furthermore, customers

will be able to save up to 40% on hotel

bookings worldwide and enjoy an extra

12% off coupon in partnership with hotels.

com**. This offer is exclusively available

to customers in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain,

Oman and Kuwait.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are equipped

with an advanced 8MP F1.7 Smart

autofocus front camera and 12MP F1.7

Dual Pixel rear camera for the best

low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos

with enhanced image processing. As

the world's first mobile device certified

by the UHD Alliance as MOBILE HDR

PREMIUMTM, Galaxy S8 and S8+ let

you see the same vibrant colors and

contrasts that filmmakers intended

while watching your favorite shows. In

addition, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offer

next-level gaming experiences with

vivid and superior graphic technology,

and come pre-loaded with a Game Pack,

featuring top game titles, including select

titles supported by the Vulkan API.

Microsoft urges

upskilling for cloud specialists

Microsoft called for IT professionals

across the Kingdom of Bahrain

and the wider Middle East to prepare

themselves for a cloud future by

sharpening their skills in Microsoft Azure,

through the company’s cloud trainings

and certifications .

Azure trainings and certifications run

as a blend of scheduled and on-demand

online courses, covering generalised and

niche, cloud-focused subject areas for

getting up to speed with Azure. IT Pros can

choose to learn in Massively Open Online

Courses (MOOCs) with labs, or study

for a test and take a certification exam.

Completing any MOOC includes a digital

certificate of completion, and passing

a certification exam earns IT Pros the

Samsung launches

Galaxy Tab S3 in Bahrain

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, a stylish tablet

with advanced computing technology

offering a premium mobile experience

was launched in Bahrain. Digital content

enthusiasts experienced the Galaxy

Tab S3’s superior video and gaming

capabilities along with versatile usage as

a productivity tool. The tablet delivers on

Samsung’s legacy of innovative Galaxy

technology including a 13-megapixel rear

camera which includes auto focus and

a 5-megapixel front camera for highrelated

certification and its digital badges.

A recent worldwide survey conducted

by Microsoft showed a marked increase

in the salaries of cloud professionals,

as companies recruit for their digital

transformation journeys. The survey

also noted that 37% of respondents in the

Middle East and Africa region cited a skills

gap as the main barrier to cloud adoption.

“In the GCC, governments have

initiated bold economic-development

visions centred on technology,” said

Ozyucel. “Much of the activity in the

private and public sectors around these

quality photos. The tablet also includes

expandable storage** and more power

efficiency with fast-charge capabilities,

supporting up to 12 hours of video

playback, as well as Pogo keyboards with

no separate charging or pairing required.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is

optimized for entertainment, while

offering versatile usage and taking the

mobile experience the next level. It offers

a cinema-like experience with 4K video

playback and a stunning Super AMOLED

display. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S3

is the first Samsung tablet to feature

quad-stereo speakers tuned by AKG

programmes - especially given the

emerging constraints of the petrochemical

price dip - is about doing more with less.

In the context of digital transformation,

that means cloud, so the surge in demand

for cloud specialists is to be expected.”

But it is not just infrastructure that

can be transformed in the Azure cloud.

With their newfound skill base, Azure

professionals will be able to show their

organisations and customers how to build

transformative solutions from Microsoft’s

tried and tested AI platforms. Business

intelligence and analytics solutions

can reinvent customer engagement

strategies. Natural-language processing

modules can automate and streamline

customer service through chat-bots;

and communications tools can ensure

that organisations keep their employees

connected and collaborating, wherever

they may be in the world.

by HARMAN for premium visual and

listening experiences.

Optimized for gaming, the Galaxy

Tab S3 includes Vulkan API for

superior graphics and Game Launcher

for an enhanced user interface and

personalized gaming experience.

78 May-June 2017


IFLIX launches in the

Middle East

iflix, the world’s leading Subscription

Video on Demand (SVoD) service

for emerging markets, announced the

launch of its revolutionary service

in eight territories including Saudi

Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain,

Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan. A 30-day

free trial, gives them unlimited access

to iflix’s vast library, with no credit

card required.

The announcement follows just

one month after the Company’s launch

in Myanmar, its tenth market in Asia,

solidifying iflix’s dominance over the

region with over 6 billion minutes

streamed across ten countries since

first launching in Malaysia and the

Philippines in mid-2015. With its MENA

launch, iflix has established itself as

the only international SVoD service

with full-scale localized operations in

each of its territories and a total global

headcount of 700 staff across 24 offices

worldwide, including new regional

headquarters for MENA based in Dubai,


Each iflix subscription includes:

• Unlimited access to iflix’s vast

library of original productions,

first-run exclusive shows, awardwinning

TV series, blockbuster

movies, popular local and regional

Arabic and Asian content,

children’s programs and much


• Access to iflix on up to 5 devices

at once

• The ability to download TV shows

and movies to any device to bingewatch


• The ability to share the iflix

subscription with family or friends

and watch shows on two different

devices at the same time.

iflix offers consumers, a vast

library of top Hollywood, Asian

regional, and local TV shows and

movies including original productions,

first run exclusives and award-winning

programs, each subscription allows

users to access the service on up to

five devices, including phones, laptops,

tablets, and television sets, for viewing

wherever, whenever.

AI and LG’s Robotic

Technologies making drastic


With GCC cities aiming to become

smarter and more connected, LG

has been at the forefront of developing

robotic technologies that incorporate

deep learning for the smart city and

home, ensuring usability is at its best

and that the consumer continues to be


LG’s Hub Robot addresses concerns

of smart homes by tying the entire

smart home together under a singleuser

friendly interface. Amazon

Alexa’s voice recognition technology

easily allows the robot to connect

to other smart LG home appliances,

uniting them into a single streamlined


In addition, the Hub Robot keeps

the family in sync by keeping track

of all the activities occurring inside

the home while simultaneously

personalizing itself to each individual

member of the household.

Bringing the benefits of smart

home technology to users with

intuitive voice operation, the Hub

Robot is able to fulfill the imagined

role of robotic assistant despite its

unorthodox shape and lack of mobility.

Because the LG Hub Robot is stationary,

it is compatible with the Hub Robot


These smaller robots interact with

the primary Hub Robot to expand the

power of IoT to the entire house. In

addition to instinctive voice control

and seamless ecosystem integration,

the Hub Robot utilizes advanced facial

recognition software to provide a

customized experience to each user.

Responding to individual settings can

provoke a variety a reactions from

Hub Robot, and it is even capable of

providing basic childcare.

Robots and the future airport

LG’s Airport Guide Robot applies

advanced technology to the problem

of air travel to eliminate stress with

its friendly design and convenient

features. The robot steps right into the

role of a human airport worker, albeit

one that never tires and never loses its

amiable demeanor.

The Airport Guide Robot is able to

scan ticket barcodes to provide flight

and gate information, as well as the

time and weather of the traveler's

destination. The robot can also speak

four different languages (English,

Korean, Chinese and Japanese) and is

equipped with potent voice recognition

technology. LG’s Airport Guide

Robot reduces the hassle of flying

by providing travelers with all the

information they need to get to their


May-June 2017



Document Digitization in


For many companies in Bahrain, the

biggest challenge when establishing

a digital transformation strategy is to

determine, when and how to digitise paper

documents. The decision-making process

needs to factor in the requirement to

scan legacy files, as well as put processes

in place to capture all newly created

or acquired information quickly and


The latest scanning technologies and

solutions simply, efficiently and securely

integrate hard copy data directly into

electronic processes, independent of the

application or available hardware.

Capture methods can be defined in three


Early centralised capture

In most medium- and large-sized

companies, centralised capture has been

the norm. Paper documents typically land

in a central inbox usually within the mail

room, where they are scanned, classified

and routed directly to the relevant

business process.

Late centralised capture

Late capture means that paper

documents are initially physically present

in the company and part of the processing

of business transactions. Only after

completion of said transactions, are these

documents digitised in a central scanning

location and archived.

Decentralised transaction-based capture

In a distributed capture environment,

documents are captured at the point

they enter the organisation, and it is

knowledge workers involved in current

business transactions, who are charged

with converting paper documents into

digital format.

This method speeds up business

processes, miminises the risk that

information gets lost or overlooked, and

ensures it is immediately available for

further processing, all of which delivers

an improved customer experience.

Web-based and wireless capture - true

game changers for business

Modern wireless and networked

desktop scanners are mobile app ready

to support BYOD and mobility in the

workplace. Individuals can use the

mobile app to send documents from

the scanner to their mobile devices

for portability and easy access when


Given the challenges of today’s

business environment, it is web-based

capture, often referred to as cloud

capture or thin client capture, that offers

significant opportunities for gamechanging

growth. Web-based capture

enables documents to be digitised

anytime, anywhere and across all

devices. It allows employees to focus on

clients rather than paperwork, leading

to increased customer satisfaction and

increased loyalty, and is the way forward

for organisations on the road to digital


48 percent of GCC residents

prefer to shop online but

payment Security

is still a concern

recent survey commissioned by

A Seamless Middle East 2017-the

region’s most extensive technology and

solution exhibition for the payments,

e-commerce and retail industry-reveals

that 48 percent of GCC residents prefer

to shop online, with 33 percent of

respondents stating that online shopping

is just as safe as offline shopping.

The Arab Federation for e-Commerce

(AFEC) revealed last month that the

region’s current share of the e-commerce

market only represents one percent of the

global market; however, the survey results

highlight the increasing opportunity for

e-commerce in the region.

“The existing appetite for online

shopping in the Middle East poses a

promising opportunity for international

and regional investors in the e-commerce

sector. The Arab Federation of

e-commerce will play a central role in

supporting and advising the public and

private sectors in the Arab states to

ensure continuous growth and further

development of e-commerce in the region,

as we strive to capture a fair share of the

global digital industry,” commented His

Excellency Dr. Eng. Ali Al Khouri, First

Deputy Chairman of the Arab E-commerce

Union, and Chairman for the Supreme


Despite the willingness of GCC

residents to fully embrace e-commerce,

34 percent of survey respondents claimed

that a lack of confidence in payment

security deters them from shopping

online. 34 percent of Bahrain respondents

still feel that offline shopping is more

secure, with only 30 percent considering

online shopping equally as safe.

The survey was conducted by YouGov

in March 2017, with over 2,700 participants

from across the GCC including the United

Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,

Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

80 May-June 2017

May-June 2017


Highlights | Automotive

Second-Gen McLaren

Super Series commences

McLaren Automotive is celebrating

the beginning of full production

of the new 720S supercar, with the

completion of the ‘Job#1’ car. Finished

in Glacier White, the car is ready to

leave the McLaren Production Centre

in Woking, Surrey, England, having

been hand-assembled by McLaren’s

craftsmen and craftswomen.

The move to full production marks

the beginning of a new chapter in

the McLaren Automotive story, as the

second generation of the Super Series

- codenamed ‘P14’ - replaces the first

generation, ‘P11’ model family that

encompassed the original McLaren 12C

and subsequent derivatives, as well as

the McLaren 650S and 675LT.

The first of 15 new McLaren models

confirmed for introduction by the

end of 2022 under the company’s

Track22 business plan, the new 720S

personifies the blend of extreme

performance, crafted luxury and

unparalleled driver involvement for

which the brand is renowned. Lighter,

faster and even more dynamically

capable than the McLaren 650S, it

replaces the new 720S is powered

by a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged

engine that produces 720 horsepower.

The result in performance terms is

astonishing, with acceleration from

0-60mph achieved in just 2.8 seconds

and 0-124mph (200km/h) taking 7.8

seconds. The maximum speed of

McLaren’s new supercar is 212mph


Available to order now from

McLaren Bahrain, the new McLaren

720S can be explored in full and

configured at a dedicated online


Euro Motors launch All-

New Discovery

Euro Motors celebrated the debut of

Land Rover’s highly anticipated All-

New Discovery, introducing the vehicle

to an enthusiastic audience during an

exclusive event held at Bahrain Bay.

The event welcomed over 500 guests

who were able to witness the spectacular

new Discovery with all its features and

performing thrilling live acts. Guests

were also given the opportunity to

interact with the premium SUV while

admiring and appreciating its versatile

interior and sleek, aesthetic exterior.

The extremely versatile SUV, available

in 5 or 7 seat options, starts from a base

price of BD29,950 and includes 5 years

free warranty, a free 5-year service

package, free 24/7 road assistance

services for 5 years and free registration.

Trademark design features include

the stepped roofline and customary

stadium seating configuration ensuring

every seat is the best seat in the house,

the statement said.

Porsche Centre is

exclusive Flagship Dealer

Porsche Centre Bahrain, Behbehani

Brothers w.l.l., celebrated its status

as an authorised Porsche Exclusive

Flagship Dealer with a special event

attended by brand enthusiasts, the

media and Porsche representatives.

Taking place at the Sitra showroom, a

variety of uniquely customised vehicles

were on display, demonstrating the

endless individualisation possibilities.

Renowned for its craftsmanship,

the Stuttgart-based manufacturer has

offered high-end, factory-installed

vehicle personalisation under the

Porsche Exclusive programme for more

than 30 years. The brand’s ability to give

customers an almost infinite number of

Unique features like Dynamic

Stability Control and Electronic Power

Assisted Steering (EPAS) ensure that

on-road capabilities and ride quality are

enhanced. Along with its performance

on tarmac, the vehicle’s all-terrain

capabilities, wading ability amongst

other features ensure that the vehicle

performs impeccably and consistently

on even the harshest of terrains. Land

Rover’s multi-mode Terrain Response

2 system optimizes a range of settings,

from throttle sensitivity to gearchange

characteristics, to suit the driving

conditions at the turn of a rotary

controller. The high performance SUV is

powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s efficient

range of six cylinder engines, all paired

with a smooth and responsive ZF eightspeed

automatic gearbox.

individualisation choices, so long as the

car’s safety is not compromised, is what

sets its sports cars apart.

The Porsche Exclusive Flagship

Dealer programme provides specialist

training to consultants, who then

help customers create a unique car,

in the same manner as the Stuttgart-

Zuffenhausen or Leipzig Customer

Centres. With a dedicated customisation

expert onsite, Porsche Centre Bahrain

is now able to offer a unique purchase

experience to those who want to

personalise their Porsche at the ordering

stage. Utilising a dedicated Fitting

Lounge that features material samples,

demonstration vehicles that bring to life

tailoring options and insightful advice,

the process of individualising a sports

car becomes even more interactive for

the prospective owner.

During the special event, a range

of uniquely customised models,

including a Cayenne S, 718 Cayman,

911 and Panamera 4S, were on display

for attendees to see up close. A

demonstration session was also held to

highlight how customers can express

themselves through their Porsche


82 May-June 2017



Sports Coupe

The INFINITI Q60 is a premium sports

coupe that combines a completely

all-new design with exhilarating

performance and dynamics. The taut,

muscular lines of the exterior underline

the Q60’s considerable performance

potential - reinforced by an advanced

all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine.

The high performance 3.0-liter V6

twin-turbo engine from the new and

exclusive ‘VR’ powertrain family is born

out of the brand’s extensive in-house

experience in six-cylinder powertrain

Hyundai Introduces newgeneration


Hyundai’s All-New Azera is set to

be a game-changer and will set

new standards in a highly competitive

segment. It is the sixth generation for

the model, also called the Grandeur in

Korea, since its launch in 1986 as the

Hyundai brand’s original premium car.

In April, the All-new Azera won a

prestigious Red Dot award for ‘high

design quality’. The Red Dot awards

recognize excellence in product design

across a wide range of industries,

with the Azera one of two Hyundai

models achieving recognition in the

transportation design category in 2017,

alongside the i30.

development. The new engine available

with 400hp in the Q60 Red Sport 400

- has been designed to offer increased

power and torque while maintaining

high levels of efficiency.

A four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine,

turbocharged to produce 208 hp, is

also available. As standard, power is

channeled through the Q60’s rear wheels

for immediate dynamic responses.

The Q60 is characterized by flowing

sculptural lines and strong, muscular

proportions. Its sinewy athleticism

confidently projects a sense of motion

and power, coupled with an effortless,

almost weightless stance.

Unifying features such as the doublearch

grille and the crescent-cut C-pillars

- which arc forward and emphasize the

car’s dynamic quality - ensure that the

sports coupe is instantly recognizable as

an INFINITI. LED headlights, employing

‘light guide technology’ to spread light

evenly on the road ahead, are designed

to emulate the shape of the human eye,

providing an alluring ‘face’ to the car.

Advanced technologies in the Allnew

Azera include wireless charging

for mobile devices, power trunk, and

premium Nappa leather seats. A

seven-inch display houses the Around

View Monitor and fronts an audio

system loaded with Android Auto and

Apple Car Play. Additionally, with a

memory seat and a panoramic sunroof

it also boasts Hyundai Smart Sense,

a comprehensive Advanced Driver

Assistance System tuned for driver

safety, which includes Autonomous

Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping

Assist, Active Blind Spot Detection,

Driver Attention Alert, Advanced

Smart Cruise Control and Around View


All of this will be matched to

a powerful engine, ensuring the

performance to match its exceptional

design. For the Middle East, Hyundai

will offer a 3.5 liter V6 producing


The New-generation Hyundai

Azera will have deliveries to selected

markets following soon after its Middle

East launch in May,

Nissan Altima scoops

Sedan Award

The 2017 Nissan Altima was

crowned “Best Mid-Size Sedan”

at this year’s Middle East Car of the

Year Awards (MECOTY). The Altima

faced stiff competition but a jury of

senior automotive editors from across

the region decided that it was the

outstanding choice for the award.

“The 2017 Nissan Altima embodies

what a modern, practical and reliable

car should be while also being

comfortable, well designed and have

the right balance of power and control

to truly deliver innovation that excites,”

said Fadi Ghosn, Chief Marketing

Officer at Nissan Middle East. “This

year’s ‘Best Mid-Size Sedan’ winner

offers a fantastic blend of styling

comfort and performance which

regional customers can experience

for themselves at Nissan showrooms

across the region.”

The 2017 Altima impressed the

judges on a number of fronts, including

styling which saw the car adopting

Nissan’s latest design language. The

‘Energetic Flow’ exterior included the

V-Motion grille and boomerang lamp

signatures while the ‘Gliding Wing’

interior displayed a level of opulence

that’s reminiscent of the premium

segment. An unabashed driver’s car,

the driver-centric cockpit was as

ergonomic as it was intuitive.

Altima is proof that a sedan can

be engaging and inspiring to drive.

Whether it’s the 182 hp 2.5-litre

4-cylinder engine, or its 3.5-litre,

270 hp V6 sibling, there’s plenty of

performance on tap and with Active

Understeer Control and a rear multilink

suspension, cornering with

confidence comes as standard.

May-June 2017



Honda Civic wins “Best

Compact Sedan” of the year

Honda Civic won ‘Best Compact Sedan’

of the year adjudged by Middle East

Car of the Year (MECOTY) 2017 held at

ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the

MECOTY, the Civic has won ‘Best Small

Car’ in the MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice

Awards, Saudi Auto ‘Car of the Year’ award

as well as ‘North American Car of the

Year’ award. The 10th generation Honda

Civic was introduced in April 2016 with a

1.5L Turbo and a 2.0L Engine. Due to the

success of the new model and to provide

our customers with a wider variety, a 1.6L

Engine grade was introduced in December

2016 as an entry-level grade option. The

Civic offers a 5-grade line up with three

engine sizes and a whole host of new and

standard features depicting it as more

modern, functional as well as an efficient

sedan. Following the launch, regional sales

of the Honda Civic rose by 93% this year.

MECOTY being in its fourth year in

this region is fast becoming one of the

most prestigious awards adjudged by 15

renowned automotive journalists across

the Middle East.

Commenting on the win, Mr. Hiroaki

Shibata, Director of Honda Motor Company

(Africa and Middle East Office) said, “We

are pleased to know that the Civic won

the Car of the Year in the Compact Sedan

segment. The new Civic was introduced

last year to meet the demands of a sporty

yet advanced car and we truly believe we

have created joy for the customer in the

segment. We hope to continue to meet

customer expectations and create joy in

the future as well.”

JAC announces bold new

Branding strategy

Chinese auto giant, JAC reaffirmed its

plan to build a strong global brand

by launching and implementing a new

brand upgrade strategy which will be

focused on three key areas: technological

innovation on products upgrade, exports,

and enhanced collaboration within the

auto industry. An Jin, JAC Chairman,

said, “A breakthrough is not necessarily

a business expansion. It can be a brand

upgrade. JAC’s breakthroughs are only

made when JAC brands compete with

Sino-foreign joint-venture brands.”

JAC’s product portfolio is in line with

the philosophy of ‘Enhancing Energy

Efficiency, Green Technology, and Safety

with Intelligent Design.’ By investing

in R&D, JAC has mastered three key

technologies in batteries, electric motors

and electric controls. JAC has sold over

35,000 units of new energy vehicles, with

an accumulative driving mileage of more

than 600 million kilometers.

JAC’s line of high-end products

include the A60, N series light-duty

trucks, and BEST coaches. In 2017,

JAC plans to develop more high-end

products, including the passenger

vehicle masterpiece S7 SUV, along with

the MPV M6 and K7 utility truck for

commercial use.

By sticking to a sales strategy

that focuses on strategic markets, key

demographics and consumer needs, JAC

now has the 5th largest export volume

in the auto industry. To seek more

collaborations within the industry, JAC

signed an agreement with NEXTEV in

April 2016, in addition to a memorandum

of cooperation with Volkswagen China.

Euro Motors Jaguar

Land Rover launches

an exclusive E-Payment


Euro Motors, launch an exclusive

e-payment portal that allows

customers to make instant payments at

any time and any place.

The simple and easy-to-use payment

portal provides customers with a highly

secure solution that processes realtime

transactions whilst providing an

online experience that is synonymous

with Euro Motors Jaguar Land Rover.

With the portal directly connected to

the customer’s bank account, they will

be able to gain complete control over

their payment of the bills. Boasting a

wide range of advanced features, the

payment portal has been programmed

to accept all major credit and debit cards

including VISA, MasterCard, American

Express and JCB. Being an exclusive

payment service, the e-payment portal

is available for customers who invest

in any brand that comes under the

umbrella of Euro Motors including BMW,

Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and MINI

as well as Jaguar and Land Rover.

Customers who wish to benefit

from this service can easily access

the e-payment portal by visiting www. or by visiting

the Euro Motors official website. Once

a transaction has been processed,

customers will immediately be sent an

e-invoice confirming the transaction via

SMS or e-mail.

84 May-June 2017

M: +973 3992 3321

May-June 2017


Highlights | Other Business

US$515 million

Syndicated Financing facility


Bahrain National Gas Expansion

Company S.P.C (TAWSEAH), which

owns and operates one of the two

associated gas processing facilities

in Bahrain, announced the successful

signing of US$ 515 million, 8 year

syndicated financing facility. The facility

was raised to part finance the expansion

of the Company’s gas processing

facilities which include: (1) a central gas

processing (CGP) train with a capacity of

350 million standard cubic feet per day

(MMSCFD); and (2) pipeline and storage

facilities at Sitra Wharf to cater for the

enhanced capacity

GIB Capital acted as the sole

financial advisor to the Company on the


The gas processing plants are

of strategic importance to Bahrain’s

economy and are an integral part of

national energy infrastructure. The gas

processing plants extract Natural Gas

Liquids (NGLs) that are exported on

one hand and on the other; the residue

dry gas supplements the natural gas

supply to power plants and other major

industrial end users. The new plant will

also play an important role in supporting

Tatweer’s Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)


JGC Corporation and JGC Gulf

International were appointed as

the engineering, procurement and

construction contractors (“EPC”) for the

Project. The construction work of the

Project is expected to be completed in 34

months from the signing date of the CGP

III EPC with commissioning expected by

Q4 2018.

Mueller ME introduces

first Copper Tube

Manufacturing facility

Mueller Middle East announced the

commencement of construction

of the first copper tube manufacturing

facility in the Middle East region, which

will address the increasing demand for

quality copper tubes in the GCC market,

create over 200 jobs, and have a positive

impact on the local economy in the

Kingdom of Bahrain.

The announcement follows a groundbreaking

ceremony which was held at the

Bahrain International Investment Park

(BIIP) where the facility is currently under


Mueller Middle East B.S.C. (c) was

established in January 2016 as a Joint

Venture between Bahrain Mumtalakat

Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the

investment arm of the Kingdom of

Bahrain; Mueller Industries Inc. (Mueller),

a leading manufacturer and distributor

of flow control and industrial products

listed on the NYSE; and Cayan Industrial

Projects WLL (Cayan), a GCC-based

industrial projects developer and investor.

The facility will produce commercial

copper tubes to serve regional air

conditioning and refrigeration original

equipment manufacturers. It is the latest

international company to sign a lease

to establish a production facility in the

Bahrain International Investment Park

(BIIP). When it commences production

in January 2018 it will be one of over 80

companies serving GCC and international

markets from this strategic location.

Bank ABC is the funding partner for the

Joint Venture.

As part of the Joint Venture, Mueller

Industries is localizing the technology

and know-how of the production facility.

Welcoming the investment H.E. Zayed R.

Alzayani, Minister for Industry, Commerce

and Tourism said, “This important

investment, supported by Mumtalakat,

represents a vote of confidence in Bahrain

and BIIP as a highly competitive location

from which to service regional and

international markets.”

GARMCO’s new Remelt

facility on track

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding

Company (Mumtalakat) CEO,

Mahmood Alkooheji, has paid a site visit

to GARMCO’s, a Mumtalakat portfolio

company, recently-announced US$ 55

million new state of the art recycling

and cast house facility. The construction

of the new facility, a re-melt operation

is designed to develop GARMCO’s metal

recycling capability, which will increase

GARMCO’s production capacity by 150%

to 200,000 tonnes of aluminium slabs per


During the site inspection, Mr.

Mahmood Hashim Alkooheji commented,

“We are pleased with the progress of

this project which will further develop

the Kingdom’s downstream aluminium

industry. The manufacturing sector

accounts for 20% of Bahrain’s GDP and

such projects will boost the Kingdom’s

exports. The aluminium industry is a key

area of focus for Mumtalakat.” He further

explained, “We aim to leverage our sector

expertise and extensive regional and

international networks to help GARMCO

meet its growth objectives.”

This expansion comes as part of a

three-year programme aimed at lowering

the cost of metal.

Mahmood H.Alkooheji

Chief Executive Officer, Mumtalakat

“We see this as a major step

forward in the next stage of GARMCO’s

development and the progression of the

aluminium industry in Bahrain. It will also

contribute to the development of recycling

programmes in the region. ” added

GARMCO’s Acting CEO, Mr. Mohamed Essa.

86 May-June 2017

Other Business

APM Terminals Bahrain

initiates Digitization

BAC, Chinese officials

discuss Business


Gulf Air selects Recaro to

supply Economy class seats

APM Terminals Bahrain, the operator

of Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP), is

embarking on digital transformation of the

port with a new General Cargo Terminal

Operating System (GC-TOS) to optimize

operational efficiency and customer

experience. The new system, which

will initially focus on digitizing KBSP’s

maritime services followed by General

Cargo and Billing, will be key to driving

greater transparency and turnaround

times, resulting in faster and efficient

cargo flow at the Kingdom’s world-class

commercial port.

The implementation of the GS TOS

is a critical first step by APM Terminals

towards digital transformation to improve

the management data between the port,

cargo owners, shipping lines and other

stakeholders. With this, the planning

capabilities of the port will get enhanced

through a centralized information portal

including cargo booking and movement,

documentation, pre-arrival notifications

to name a few. This will further facilitate

immediate improvements in terminal

productivity and customer service.

According to Mark Hardiman,

CEO/Managing Director of APM

Terminals Bahrain, “The rapidly

changing maritime landscape calls

for continuous investments and

transformations in port operations and

logistical solutions, to satisfy customer

requirements and growing general cargo

volumes. Integrating digital solutions

into our transshipment operations

will help catalyze the collaboration

and coordination among the many

stakeholders and help us to manage

activities at the quay, yard and gate.”

“Most importantly, it will maximize

efficiencies for the entire supply chain

providing stakeholders real-time data

and insights, transparency and reliability;

creating business value for them.

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), held

a series of meetings with its Chinese

counterparts and targeted airlines in

China to present business opportunities

and explore the possibilities of furthering

cooperation between the two countries in

the field of aviation.

BAC Chief Commercial Officer, Ayman

Zainal, and Head of Route Development,

Nawal Al Majed, represented BAC at the

meetings, which were also attended by

Bahrain EDB representatives.

Ayman Zainal said, “Bahrain enjoys

a strategic location with access to the

lucrative Saudi Arabian market, which is

the largest market in the GCC region, and

our airport has positional advantages that

could be leveraged to tap into the Saudi

market. We offer key advantages for

Chinese airlines, such as easy and liberal

visa policies that give 67 countries visas

upon arrival, and 114 countries access to

e-visas. This makes us prime candidates

for working with Chinese airline markets.

We hope these meetings will produce

more cooperated efforts between the two

countries in the near future.”

The meetings come as part of a

broader initiative to elevate aviation and

tourism in the Kingdom, with more than

$30 billion in investment expected for

infrastructure development. The number

of Chinese arrivals at BIA has also been

steadily increasing in recent years,

rising by more than 60%, from 22,682

passengers in 2014 to 36,478 in 2016.

Bahrain has traditionally had strong

economic ties with China, with the

two countries signing a bilateral trade

agreement in 2000. Currently, nearly 960

Non-Resident Chinese employees and

investors are registered in Bahrain, with

44% working in real estate, renting, and

business activities, and 38% in wholesale

and retail.


ulf Air has appointed German

aircraft manufacturer Recaro

Aircraft Seating to supply Recaro CL3710

economy class aircraft seats for the

airline’s 10 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft

and 29 Airbus 320/321neo aircraft. The

contract, which is valued at over 35

million euros, was signed at this year’s

Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

“Gulf Air guests rightly expect an

exceptional level of service and quality

on board our aircraft - and as we expand

and modernise our fleet, Recaro’s

economy class seats fit perfectly into

our new cabin concept, guaranteeing

a pleasant travel experience for our

passengers and standardising our

product across our short and longhaul

fleet,” said Mr. Maher Salman Al

Musallam, Gulf Air Chief Executive


Since 2009, Gulf Air has deployed

Recaro seats on the airline’s short-haul

routes in both economy and business /

Falcon Gold class. Gulf Air’s incoming

fleet is composed of Boeing 787-9

Dreamliners, Airbus A321neo and Airbus

A320neo aircraft, and the airline is

committed to ongoing investment in its

product and service offering. Reliability,

design and comfort played an important

role in Gulf Air once again opting for

Recaro as seat supplier.

The CL3710 stands for quality,

exceptional design and comfort on longhaul

flights. The multi-award-winning

“made by Recaro” economy class

seat uniquely features a flexible and

individually adjustable headrest, stateof-the-art

IFE systems and extra legroom

for passengers. Its modular lightweight

construction also offers a great variety

of options to aircraft manufacturers and


May-June 2017


Other Business

Boeing 787-9

Dreamliner to enhance fleet

Maher Salman Al Musallam

CEO, Gulf Air

National carrier Gulf Air is gearing

up for the arrival of the airline’s

first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft

which will be delivered to Gulf Air in

April 2018 and will operate the airline’s

long haul routes, gradually replacing its

Airbus A330s. A total of 5 Boeing 787-9

Dreamliner aircraft will have entered Gulf

Air’s fleet by end-2018 with an additional 2

aircraft arriving by end-2019 and 3 arriving

by end-2020.

Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

will offer 282 seats in a two-class

configuration, with 26 Falcon Gold Class

seats and 256 Economy Class seats.

The industry-leading technology of the

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner boasts superior

fuel efficiency with 20 to 25 percent less

fuel, environmentally friendly operations

(20 to 25 percent fewer emissions than

the airplanes they replace) and range

flexibility that will facilitate Gulf Air’s

planned network expansion and fleet

optimisation at a lower operating cost.

Passengers enjoy many improvements

with the 787 family such as the largest

windows of any jet; air that is cleaner,

more humid and at a higher pressure for

greater comfort; large overhead bins with

room for everyone’s bag; soothing LED

lighting; and technology that senses and

counters turbulence for a smoother ride.

Gulf Air’s highly anticipated Boeing

787-9 Dreamliner orders will ensure it

maintains one of the youngest fleets in

the region while building upon its awardwinning

reliability, on time performance

and product and service standards.

Uber launch ‘Driver

Verification’ feature

As part of its commitment to improve

safety for both driver-partners and

riders, Uber has announced the launch

of “Driver Verification” in Bahrain. The

innovative technology feature is designed

to provide additional protection for both

driver-partners and riders while on the

road. The technology works by prompting

driver-partners to share a selfie from time

to time before going online, to ensure the

driver using the app matches the account

profile Uber has on file. Not only will the

new app protects drivers’ accounts from

being compromised and prevent fraud,

it will also protect riders by building

another layer of accountability into the

app, ensuring the right person is behind

the wheel.

Uber is consistently developing and

testing new solutions, to prevent and

reduce risk, as well as enhancing the

potential of its features to anticipate

issues before they even happen. Driver

Verification is the latest safety feature to

be rolled out by Uber, following a trial in

the US last year, where the technology was

successful in verifying more than 99% of

driver-partners in the pilot programme.

Designed using Microsoft Cognitive

Services, the new safety feature is

currently being rolled out to international

markets including the UAE, Saudi Arabia,

Egypt and other countries. To ensure a

successful launch, Driver Verification will

be a phased roll out and not all driverpartners

will see the option right away.

How does it work?

• From time to time, driver-partners

are asked to take a selfie in the Uber

app before they accept rides.

• We then use Microsoft’s Cognitive

Services to instantly compare this

photo to the one corresponding with

the account on file.

• If the two photos don’t match, the

account is temporarily blocked while

we look into the situation.

BAS appoints new CEO

Salman Saleh Al-Mahmeed


Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) has

announced the appointment of

Mr. Salman Saleh Al-Mahmeed as the

company’s Chief Executive officer, the

second Bahraini to hold this key position

in the company.

Mr. Salman Al-Mahmeed has 15 years

experience in the aviation industry and

airport management, with 9 years as

Deputy CEO of Bahrain Airport Services.

Mr Salman Al Mahmeed also served as

a General Manager of Human Resources

and Support Services of BAS facility

giving him an in-depth knowledge of

the company. He also has significant

Executive proficiency through his active

membership in various companies as

Director and Board member. In addition

to his practical skills, He holds Master's

degree in Business Administration and

Hotel Management and has participated

in a number of specialized courses and

programs that have effectively contributed

to the improvement of his Executive skills.

Over the past years, Mr. Salman Al-

Mahmeed has made a clear mark on the

company’s record through its outstanding

efforts to raise national cadres through

the adoption of “Bahrainization" project,

which aims to increase the proportion

of Bahraini employees in the company,

especially in senior management

positions. Mr. Salman Al-Mahmeed

has also supported the development of

Information and Technology Systems and

Information Security.

88 May-June 2017


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Readers can experience a diverse collection of extra content including movie trailers, linked

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Khaleej Live - Augmented Reality @khaleej_live @khaleej_live

May-June 2017


Biz Dashboard






United Kingdom







United Arab Emirates













United Arab Emirates





United Kingdom





Korea Rep.










United States


Networked Readiness Index 2016:

Indicator focus

Networked Readiness Index 2016:

Indicator focus

Source: World Economic Forum 2016

*Government efficacy in promoting information and communication

technologies and providing online services to the population

2016 rank out of 139 economies.

Source: World Economic Forum 2016

2014-2015 weighted average. Rank out of 139 economies

Market Share for PR Coverage

























90 May-June 2017

Telecom Sector Revenues (in BD Million)















406 409 423













2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


Source: TRA analysis based on operators data.

Real Estate

Other Business














Masassi Al Bahrain



Gulf Air

E.K. Kanoo

Bin Faqeeh

Diyar Al Muharraq



Euro Motors

YKA - Web Portal Overview as on April 2017 Total Articles (10,610) Total Views (2,251,604) May-June Total 2017

Visitors (274,493) 91

Listing | Tender Board Bahrain

Company Name

Tender Subject Tender No. Tender Type Closing Date

Gulf Air

Provisioning of Internal

Audit Seconded Staff

17-04-1664-BTB Public 14/06/2017

Purchase Visual Design and Web

Bahrain Polytechnic

Media Audio visual Equipment’s

BP/002/2017 Public 21/06/2017

Electricity & Water


Supply of Skilled Manpower

for the Maintenance of Power

& Water Stations-Two Years



Public 14/06/2017

Electricity & Water


Supply of Unskilled Local

Manpower for the Maintenance of

Power & Water Stations-TwoYears



Public 14/06/2017

Gulf Air

Purchase of Condiment packs for

inflight: Salt, Pepper, Sugar and


17-03-1658-BTB Public 07/06/2017

Ministry of Works,

Municipalities Affairs

Supply of Liquid Chlorine for

Tubli WPCC Project

Id: Ses-16-31-501

SES-16/0030 Public 31/05/2017

Ministry of

Information Affairs

Supply and Installation of MIA

Sports Studio Technical


INFO/4/2017 Public 31/05/2017

Providing uniforms for Ministry of

Ministry of Education education employees - periodic for M/52/2016 Public 31/05/2017

three years

Bahrain Petroleum

Company (Bapco)

Provision of Three Year Contract

for Exhibition Stands

T170054 (49) Public 31/05/2017

Bahrain Airport


Airfield Maintenance Term

Contract at Bahrain International

Airport(Ministry of Works Grade

AA Road contractors only)

BAC/198/2017 Public 31/05/2017

The Ministy of Youth &

Sports Affairs

Renovation Works of BasketBall

Hall at Um Al Hassam Complex

RFPMYS/8/2017 Public 31/05/2017


92 May-June 2017

May-June 2017




Total Tweets


Tweet Impressions


Profile Visits


Followers Stats as on May 2017

94 May-June 2017



Ramadan… A holy month filled with beautiful blessings and meaningful experiences.

A time to catch up and come together. Discover our Ramadan Tent,

inspired by modern Arabesque-chic, perfect for Iftar and Ghabga gatherings. A Ramadan

Kids Club keeps our younger guests as happy as their parents. Spend welcoming evenings at our

Shisha Lounge – presenting live entertainment. Host your unique Private or Corporate Ramadan

events in our grand ballrooms. Explore alluring promotions at The Spa.

Join us this Ramadan.

Reservations (973) 1711 5500

May-June 2017


96 May-June 2017

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