BizBahrain Magazine (May-June 2019)


May-June 2019


CONTENTS May - June 2019

10 | Exploring Disruption for Next-Generation


Digital transformation has a vital role to play in the future of the

region’s economy - whether that is creating new roles such as

data analysts or new types of companies in areas such as IoT and

cloud computing.


12 | Huawei Rewriting the Rules of Innovation

Interview with Ian Li

President-HUAWEI Consumer Business Group Middle East Multi-Countries

18 | 20 Years of Dynamic Growth and Service

Interview with Yousif Ali Mirza

CE, CrediMax

22 | Creating an Infrastructure of Virtual Support Systems

for Businesses

Interview with Raj Sablok

President, ManageEngine and

26 | Building the Startup Ecosystem

Interview with Mohamed Isa

Speaker & Author

2 May-June 2019


May - June 2019

28 | Bahrain’s Only Tri-Service International Defence Exhibition

Spotlight | BIDEC 2019

30 | Bahrain in Pole Position

Economic Strategy | Kingdom of Bahrain

32 | Bahrain Real Estate Market Trends

Property Finder | Real Estate Analysis

36 | What you need to know about Bahrain’s Fiscal Overhaul

Business Report | OBG

38 | What is Robotic Process Automation?

Expert Opinion | Information Technology

40 | 2 Factor Authentication: Activate it Everywhere

Cybersecurity Solution I CTM360

May-June 2019




42 | Government:

2 iGA 2018 Foreign Investment Survey

2 Bahrain records 4.6% Economic growth in 4Q 2018

2 Bahrain and France sign $2 billion worth of agreements

2 First Proptech concept Estater

2 Registeration for VAT workshops

2 Export Bahrain launch new “Trade Map” online platform

46 | Banking & Finance:

2 CBB issue draft Rules on Insurance Aggregators

2 BBK enters new Phase of Innovation with Tailored Service

2 NBB Personal Loan Promotion

2 Bahrain’s first Digital Payroll System

2 BDB and CrediMax POS Assignment on Card Receivables

2 Ithmaar Bank instant Debit Cards issuance

70 | Biz Dashboard

50 | Telecom:

2 Online Registration launch for Domain Names .bh

2 5G to Transform the Digital Lives of People across Bahrain

2 Smart Home WiFi Solution

2 Batelco launch Manama-IX

2 VIVA introduce Jawwy TV HOME in Bahrain

2 Khameesna Zain

54 | Real Estate:

2 Era Projects to start new developments at Diyar Al Muharraq

2 Boutique Retail and Restaurant complex, Ain 520

2 Bin Faqeeh signs first Staybridge Suites Hotel in Bahrain

2 Entertainment Concepts that will bring Families together

2 Manara start construction of Wadi Al Riffa

2 Golden Gate project embodiment of uniqueness

58 | Technology:

2 Wonder News launch ITS Regional HQ in Bahrain

2 SADAD launch ‘Gift Vouchers’ and ‘Save Your Card’ features

2 YKA partner with Samsung

2 Intelligence-driven 24/7 security operations centre in Bahrain

2 TechoSmart to provide HR Solutions in Bahrain

2 Huawei P30 series

72 | Tender Board Bahrain

62 | Automotive:

2 Ferrari F8 Tributo

2 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé

2 Porsche Macan

2 Jaguar I-PACE

2 McLaren Bahrain Tower

2 The All-New RAV4

66 | Other Business:

2 A.I Academy launch at Bahrain Polytechnic

2 Special Discounts on Cargo Exports

2 Alba Expands Production & Sales Volume

2 ‘Startup Factory’ to guide and support local Startups


2 Shakespeare & Co. opens in Bahrain

4 May-June 2019

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May-June 2019



It is that time of the year again. The month when we looked deeper within and

the collective mood of spirituality and oneness encourage a state of mind that

transcends the distinctions and demarcations that otherwise divide us. Whether

it is within our family and social circles or around our business activities, the

Ramadan effect is truly an elevating one.

We have many interesting articles and interviews in this issue, with a special

focus on an international icon of business and industry that has in recent years

become an important part of Bahrain’s business story. We are indeed honoured to

feature on our cover story a profile of the fast growing and exciting new kid on the

block, Huawei, and to interview Ian Li, President - HUAWEI Consumer Business

Group Middle East Multi-Countries.

In another fascinating interview, Raj Sabhlok, President of Silicon Valley based

ManageEngine and talked to us on a recent visit to Bahrain about IT

management software and its power to change the fortunes of a business when

implemented effectively.

We also feature a Bahrain veteran of banking industry, Yousif Ali Mirza

CE of Credimax talking about the 20 years of history of dynamic growth and service

for the Bahrain market.

Ramadan is all about sharing. It is the month of generosity and charity, as

fasting allows us to realize how much we have and how grateful we ought to be. It

helps us understand the suffering and the pains of others and gives us a greater

sense of responsibility towards our fellowmen.

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


We wish you a blessed Ramadan!

Adel Al Safar


Write to the Publisher:

6 May-June 2019





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Publishing House

Group Editor

Production &

Circulation Manager

Business Development


Senior Designer

Social Media

Editorial Contributors

Production and Layout

Printed at

In Association with

Reena Abraham

Sameer Asif Butt

Mohamed Farhan

Ashjad Azeez

Mariam Elgilani

+973 3383 6777 bizbahrain

Mohamed Isa, Dr. Jassim Haji, Heather Longden,

Arafat Tehsin, J. Tate, Dr. Alex R. Suchy von Weissenfeld,

Jose Paul Martin, Ali Al Aradi

Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej, Kingdom of Bahrain

Read more on:

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.

8 May-June 2019

Main Feature | ICT Sector



by Reena Abraham

Digital transformation has a

vital role to play in the future

of the region’s economy -

whether that is creating new

roles such as data analysts or new types

of companies in areas such as IoT and

cloud computing. The transformation to

a digital economy will have a positive

influence as it creates more opportunities

by enabling entrepreneurship and

innovation to disrupt all current

industries as well as creating new sectors

like industry 4.0 and FinTech, ”said Dr

Simon Galpin, Managing Director, of

the Bahrain Economic Development

Board (EDB) during one of last year’s

big events in Bahrain Tech - a unique

and diverse programme of high-profile

events hosted by some of the world’s

foremost technology experts. More than

6,600 people participated in the weeklong

series of events, a 47% increase on

the inaugural event in 2017, to explore

tech-driven disruption across different

industries and sectors.

Just last month a delegation led by

H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive

of the Bahrain Economic Development

Board (EDB), on the side-lines of His

Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s

visit to France, signed a joint cooperation

agreement with French FinTech

incubator, Le Swave, to increase support

for and foster the growth of global

FinTech. This agreement was part of the

Kingdom’s economic diversification plan

to expand the non-oil sector through

the development of the financial sector,

particularly FinTech. It also aims to

promote the adoption of international

best practices in this field. The incubator

provides technical and material support

to emerging FinTech businesses, offering

them easy access to relevant entities

to assist in their business development

while also allowing them to test their

services and apply new models to their

clients in the financial sector.

In the last couple of years, Bahrain

has seen a significant shift in the

prominence of tech-driven industries,

with the growth of the Bahrain FinTech

ecosystem, the establishment of a $100m

Fund of Funds to help fund start-ups

across the Middle East; and a growing

number of companies using the Central

Bank of Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox

to develop new products and services.

These advances were reflected in

the Global Startup Ecosystem Report

released late last year, by the Global

Entrepreneurship Network and Startup

Genome, which featured Bahrain as

the only Arab country in their global

‘ecosystems to watch’ in both fintech and


As one of the leading FinTech hubs

in the Middle East and Africa, Bahrain is

fast becoming a focal point for innovation

in the GCC and the region and a direct

result is that it is attracting ideas and

companies engaged in innovation and

encouraging the growth of a supportive

and pioneering environment. Recent

laws issued encourage innovation,

allowing Bahrain to become the

preferred destination for next-generation

technology companies.

Not surprisingly, the Kingdom of

Bahrain ranks first in global ICT indices,

being ranked first in the Arab region in

10 May-June 2019

Main Feature | ICT Sector

the UN ITU’s ICT Development Index

(IDI), and ranked 4th globally in the UN’s

Telecommunications Infrastructure

Index (TII) of the E-Government

Development Index (EGDI) in 2018.

Reports also show that it’s not only

better in Bahrain for ICT businesses, but

also cheaper - ICT businesses enjoy a 15%

to 20% cost advantage in terms of annual

operating costs when compared to other

GCC countries. There are a number of

important factors at play - primarily, cost

and talent. Startups with international

aspirations find significant savings and

a deep pool of talent by basing their

operations in Bahrain as opposed to

neighbouring countries. Commercial

office space rentals are nearly half

the average for the Gulf region, and

businesses in Bahrain benefit from the

lowest operating costs and the second

lowest cost of living in the region.

Accommodation costs, utilities and

transportation costs consistently rank

among the lowest in the region.

Leading Emerging Markets

Internet investor, Rise Capital, recently

discussed its confidence in the GCC

entrepreneurship scene and its goal

to invest in early stage technology

businesses here, through its newlyannounced

global fund. Rise Capital

cites Bahrain as an example of a market

where the entrepreneurial ecosystem

has the potential to flourish far faster

than expected. Nazar Yasin, Founder

& Managing Partner at Rise Capital

and a 15-year veteran of emerging

markets technology investing points

to the fact that Bahrain has already

attracted large global technology

companies to establish a presence in

the market. “Huawei already has over

1,000 employees in Bahrain and Amazon

Web Services has already sponsored an

accelerator here. Now that the region

has started to see large exits like Uber’s

acquisition of Careem and Amazon’s

acquisition of Souq, we will only see the

entrepreneurial talent pool accelerate.”

Ready for 5G Capabilities

H.E. the Minister of Transportation

and Telecommunications in Bahrain,

Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed

announced that preparations for the

rollout of 5G networks in the Kingdom

of Bahrain are complete, anticipating

that Bahrain will be one of the first

countries globally to provide commercial

5G services to consumers by June

2019, pending availability of consumer


Preparations for the

rollout of 5G networks

in the Kingdom of

Bahrain are complete,

anticipating that

Bahrain will be one

of the first countries

globally to provide

commercial 5G services

to consumers by

June 2019, pending

availability of consumer


This announcement positions

Bahrain as one of the world’s leading

5G-ready countries, increasing its

appeal as a destination for companies

trialing next-generation technologies

such as autonomous vehicles and

virtual/augmented reality goods,

as the Kingdom continues to

encourage investment in world-class

telecommunications infrastructure and

services. These products and services

will also be ably supported by the

National Broadband Network (NBN),

Mobile penetration rate, 2013-18 (%)







which will offer ubiquitous high-speed

fibre-based products to operators and

consumers throughout the Kingdom.

Successful commercial trials for 5G

technology in the Kingdom of Bahrain

were held in June 2018 and all licensed

operators are preparing to provide

commercial 5G services which will be

ready to go when consumer handsets

become available. The products and

services will be in line with the 3GPP

standards issued in 2018 and will

predominantly utilise bandwidth in

the C-Band spectrum (3GHz) and will

allow Bahraini companies to tap into

the global 5G services market, which is

anticipated to grow from an estimated

60 billion USD in 2020 to an estimated

125 billion USD in 2025.

One major benefit of 5G technology

is enabling higher volume of data

transmission at higher speeds (lower

latencies). This in turn enables the

development and implementation

of technologies such as autonomous

driving vehicles, which can require up

to 100Gb of data per second to operate.

Research and development into other

technologies such as AI open up a

massive potential market for Bahrain.

Furthermore, 5G can potentially support

interactive technologies like virtual

reality which need high bandwidth to

send and receive large amounts of data

with very low latency, helping enable

the growth of some IoT applications and

delivering improved video streaming

and high-end gaming.

0 50 100 150 200 250

Source: TRA

May-June 2019


Interview | Huawei

Ian Li

President-HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

Middle East Multi-Countries

12 May-June 2019





When Huawei announced its business results

for the first quarter of 2019, notching up

CNY179.7 billion (USD 26.81 billion) generated

revenue and an astounding 39 per cent

increase in its first quarter revenue, it was no surprise to

anyone who has been watching the meteoric rise of the

Chinese powerhouse. In the past eight years, Huawei Consumer

BG has pushed ahead with its "consumer-centric"

approach, taking the lead in a number of the industry's

most popular, innovative, and competitive technological

fi e l d s , s u c h a s p h o t o g r a p h y, b a t t e r y l i f e , c o m m u n i c a t i o n ,

and AI. In the global smartphone market, Huawei has gone

from being dismissed as a statistical "Other" to ranking

among the top 2 players in the world. Again, not a surprise

when it was recently announced in the first quarter of 2019,

that Huawei became the world's second largest smartphone

manufacturer, with a 17% global market share with

50% growth year-on-year. HUAWEI reached its highest level

of market share in Q1 2019, according to the recent report by

International Data Corporation (IDC).

May-June 2019


Interview | Huawei

Showing its growing confidence

in the region and globally, Huawei

Consumer Business Group (CBG)

unveiled the much-anticipated HUAWEI

P30 Series to consumers in the Middle

East and Africa region during a launch

event that took place in Burj Park,

Dubai where the audience was treated a

mesmerizing animation and lightshow

projection on the Burj Khalifa. This

came after an equally spectacular global

launch in Paris a week earlier.

Continuing to maintain its focus on

ICT infrastructure and smart devices,

Huawei has continued to boost the

efficiency and quality of its operations,

which has helped contribute to its solid

performance in Q1 2019. The company

says that 2019 will be a year of largescale

deployment of 5G around the

world, denoting that it is preparing for

unprecedented opportunities for growth.

By the end of March 2019, Huawei had

signed 40 commercial contracts for

5G with leading global carriers and

had shipped more than 70,000 5G base

stations to markets around the world.

Huawei's Enterprise Business Group also

deployed the world's first 5G-enabled

Wi-Fi 6 access point. At of the end of Q1

2019, Huawei had shipped more Wi-Fi

6 products than any other company


Also, in Q1 2019, Huawei's Enterprise

Business Group launched its Digital

Platform and its new "Huawei Inside"

strategy, committing to building the

foundations of a digital China and the

core of a digital world by delivering the

Digital Platform along with ubiquitous

connectivity and pervasive intelligence.

Ian Li, President of Huawei’s

Consumer Business Group for Middle

East Multi-Countries talked to Reena

Abraham in an exclusive interview

during a recent visit to the company’s

headquarters in the Kingdom.

Tell us how the breakthrough in

digital camera technology that Huawei

has achieved with the launch of the

HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro, is

going to impact the next generation of


Through our many years of

dedication to research, innovation and

development, I believe we have made a

huge breakthrough in the area of smart

phone photography. Starting from our

P series, we began collaboration with

one of the best camera brands, Leica,

bringing them into the digital world. The

HUAWEI P30 series has rewritten the

rules of photography with innovative

features like the SuperSpectrum

Sensor and SuperZoom Lens, and we

were able to reshape the perception of

consumers by delivering pioneering

technologies that will not only offer new

photography experiences, but will also

take smartphone videography to another


We have introduced the SuperZoom

Lens which takes smartphone zooming

capabilities to much higher levels than

the human eye and a never-before seen

50x digital zoom, bringing the farthest

objects closer to the user’s eyes. We

have found through our consumer

interactions that you can literally use

your Huawei phone to shoot even as far

as the moon, and this without support of

any extra equipment.

We also have for the first time in

the industry introduced RYYB 9(Red,

Yellow, Yellow, Blue) sensors, a change

from the RGGB (Red, Green, Green, Blue)

used for the last 40 years. This allows

more light to come into your sensor

and gives you brighter colours. So the

phone now allows you to shoot in even

very dark environments with very little

light. For example, imagine yourself in

a scenario where you are celebrating a

birthday, where the background is dark

and the only light is from the candles.

With the Huawei P30 Pro there is no

need for extra lights and its internal

processes enable an exposure of 3-8

seconds to produce the most stunning

images in low-light settings. The “night

vision” capability lets the HUAWEI P30

Pro capture videos even in the poorest of

lighting conditions.

We are still investing in this

smartphone camera domain and we

will push the boundary even further,

rewriting the rules of photography.

It was recently

announced in the

first quarter of 2019,

that Huawei became

the world's second

largest smartphone

manufacturer, with a 17%

global market share.

Would you say that the camera is one

of the most important features that

consumers look for in a smart phone


I think so. Photography has become

a hobby and a passion and people like

14 May-June 2019

Interview | Huawei

to share their

photos and

selfies with

their friends

and family.

There are

also many


like Snapchat

and Instagram,

which is based

on photos and

images, so we

are looking

at a customer

base that is


looking for the perfect picture. From

the very beginning of designing this

phone, we have worked in collaboration

with Snapchat to provide an optimised


What are some of the new features in

this line that a user would most enjoy

and find useful?

The HUAWEI P30 has a Dual

View video feature with 4 cameras,

which allows you to take a video, with

simultaneously a close view and a

distant view making it easier to edit.

While shooting, the screen splits into

two halves: the lower half shows the

wide-angle capture, while the half

that’s closer to the front camera shows

a close-up shot. This mode, with its

capability to capture dual perspectives,

lends itself to capturing large-scale

events such as sporting matches

and concerts where users can adjust

magnification levels as well. Basically

we are talking about one video that

gives you two different views. So later

when you try to combine your footage

you have better choices.

The HUAWEI P30 Pro also houses

a new and improved In-Screen

Fingerprint sensor. Fingerprint

recognition is improved by taking

advantage of the ultra-wide 3p lens and

a large aperture, which works in tandem

to the pixel photosensitivity enhancing

the Micro-lens. Unlock speed is also

improved by 30 percent thanks to the

industry-leading multithreaded dualmatching

algorithm, which also uses

a fluid unlock animation and hover

sensing to improve user experience.

What is the essential difference between

the P and Mate series?

For the P series we have a focus on

the stylish, fashion design aspects along

with the colours options. The innovation

on the cameras is another important

thing. When we talk about new colours,

for our last generation P 20 PRO series

we were the industry first to introduce

the gradient colour. On the P30 PRO we

have the Breathing Crystal, the world’s

first. It’s very difficult to achieve that

finish and behind it is the world’s first

7-nanometre technology (the Kirin 980).

The Mate series is basically for

businessmen. It is a balance between

all the specifications and the long

lasting battery technology that we have.

However, we will keep adding features,

and we are constantly innovating and

changing because expectations are

constantly changing.

Starting from our

P series, we began

collaboration with one

of the best camera

brands, Leica, bringing

them into the digital

world. The HUAWEI P30

series has rewritten the

rules of photography.

Tell us about the design and aesthetics

of the new Huawei products? How

important is this in your R&D process?

As a leading technology company,

Huawei invests a significant amount of

its annual sales revenue to research and

development efforts, and has established

14 research centers around the world.

Among these facilities is the Huawei

Aesthetics Research Center in Paris.

Huawei’s newest R&D center is the

Max Berek Innovation Lab in Wetzler,

Germany, where Huawei and Leica

are jointly researching technologies

to improve mobile device camera and

image quality.

For the P30 PRO we introduced an

inspired gradient in colours. In fact the

colours that we offered this time are

quite unique. The very special Breathing

Crystal is in huge demand in the market

and we have nearly gone out of stock! It

also features the in-screen fingerprint

sensor, which gives more space, on

both, the front and the back. We also

have a double curved glass screen with

both sides curved, which makes it very

comfortable to hold in your hand.

Do you think that the new Huawei

products can take on the iPhone and

Samsung - your two closest competitors

- in the design aspect?

Yes, I think we are on the way to be

Number 1 in the smartphone market. It

doesn’t matter whether it’s the iPhone or

some other competitor - the brand that

is going to keep innovating and offering

what the consumer expects is the one

that is going to be on top. If you look

back at the figures through the year 2011,

when we started the smartphone series,

by series I mean not the ODM (original

design manufacturer) or OEM (original

equipment manufacturer) brands for the

operators, but Huawei as its own brand.

Our sales figures have seen continuous

growth. Last year alone we have shipped

206 million units of smartphones and

our market share globally shifted from

number three to the world’s number two

during Q1 2019, while the gap between

Huawei and next player is very little.

This year in Q1 we have shipped 59

million units already.

The most important figures I want to

share are the latest figures for the first

quarter of this year - we have shipped

59 million units smartphones. If you

simply multiply by 4, you will see there

is going to be an increase of more than

40 percent. That is the fact that if you

compare with Q1 from last year, by

shipment we have increased by more

than 40 percent. It is a very promising

year for us. We think it’s a match point.

Also in the high-end smartphone

segment, and by high-end we mean

pricing is more than 600USD, by

December 2018 our market share globally

was 14.7%. And with the launch of P30

we already have a huge increase to 17%.

So overall facts show that globally

the consumer is welcoming Huawei

and they have liked what we have been

dedicating on R&D and innovation and

they are willing to invest on a Huawei

phone. Of course from our side we have

May-June 2019


Interview | Huawei

been dedicating ourselves for R&D for

the past 30 years, and we are committed

to continue investing in it.

Can you tell us a little about the idea

and strategy employed by the company

to create a perfect synergy between

hardware and software?

You know Huawei comes from a

background where we started out as a

telecommunication company that in

the past serviced the communication

infrastructures for nearly all the

operators in the world. So far Huawei is

operating in more than 170 countries and

regions all around the world. We know

very well how telecommunication is

important to our consumers and through

the network, through cloud and the

device we can provide a better synergy

than anyone else in the industry.

I think there is no doubt that we

have been proving ourselves. In terms

of hardware-software synergies we

have taken steps such as fintechlevel

security delivered through with

the leading mobile security platform

solution, Hi Security Executive

Environment (HiSEE), which is offered

on Kirin chips. As for the operational

software used by the company, the EMUI

system fully complies with Google's

security framework, building on native

Android capabilities to further enhance

the security of the system, data, and


Explain Huawei's approach as

consumer-centric innovator and how has

this worked to create products that touch

a nerve with your customer base?

It’s a very good question because this

is what we do. We like to hear the voice

of consumers. Before we design the

products or after we sell the products we

are always open to listen to the voice of

our consumers. Also we know very well

our competitors. We look at what is the

point that the consumer is not satisfied

with in our competitor’s phones, and

every time we are keen to provide a

solution or at least a better option for our

consumers. This is how we designed the

camera technologies and also the faster

charging battery technologies as well as

the reverse charging. Basically you need

to keep your ears open. Always listen to

the consumers at any stage. It doesn’t

matter if you are at the starting point

in this industry or if you have attained

a certain position already, you need to

keep listening.

We talked about this earlier, but to focus

on it a little more, what is your market

share in the mobile phone space in the


Globally we are number two and

in GCC we are doing even better. When

you talk about the global market, you

have the US market and some of the US

related countries. We are not selling in

those countries, which means we have

to do better in other countries. Here

in the GCC, our market status is much

better than in the global. In our territory

we are doing especially well in KSA, UAE

and Kuwait.

As a leading technology

company, Huawei

invests a significant

amount of its annual

sales revenue

to research and

development efforts,

and has established 14

research centers around

the world.

You have also been going on a pretty

aggressive marketing strategy in the

region. Is your marketing approach


Yes. So basically today we have

solved the issue of brand awareness.

Our brand awareness around the globe

is at 86. Our focus now is to make people

know that our products can be found

at any place. That is why we have the

aggressive marketing.

What about other markets like India and

Far East Asia?

We are doing very well in the Far

East and we are number one in some of

those countries. India is a very different

market and has a different market

structure, and it also has strong local

brands as well. But we believe that

as long as we are providing the best

products to the people who want it, we

are going to be successful and we are

going to get everywhere.

What are your plans for Bahrain and the

ME region in the next years?

In Bahrain specifically we are very

confident. Our market share in Bahrain

has been consistently increasing for the

past 18 months at a non-stop upward

pace. This year we are going to be more

aggressive. Basically we want our

consumers to find our products, so we

want to increase further the availability

of our products to our consumers. We

are going to open our first brand store

in Manama Centre. It will be the first

brand store for Huawei in Bahrain, and

after that we are planning to open 3-5

more such brand stores in the coming

year. These are dedicated Huawei stores

with all our products, smartphones,

accessories, tablets, PCs, and even the

IOT products.

Cyber security has become an important

area of concern in the Gulf region as

elsewhere. How is Huawei addressing

this and what are the steps being taken

to ensure that data protection and

security are effectively managed?

Cyber security is a top priority for

Huawei. We are operating in more than

170 countries in the world, and so far

there have been no security issues that

have been found, which only means

that we are putting a lot of focus on it. I

think the strictest cyber security laws

are those set by the EU GDPR (European

Union General Data Protection

Regulation), and all of our products have

successfully passed its requirements.

From the design level, or supplier

level, or our partner level in different

countries, it is integrated into the system

itself in every layer.

How has the P30 PRO been received in

the market here?

It is out of stock everywhere! The

Breathing Crystal is out of stock. It is

around double of what we had on the

P20 series. The P20 is doing quite well

and sold 17 million units in its life. P30

is nearly double that in Europe! In East

Asia, and in nearly all countries we have

long queues on first sales days. What

you used to see at Apple stores in the

16 May-June 2019

Interview | Huawei

US is now seen in Malaysia and Eastern

countries and the GCC with Huawei!

What was the reason for your launch in

Paris? Why did you pick Paris for the

launch of the P30?

Good question. Really because

the design element fitted with Paris,

so famous for its style and design.

This P30 PRO is a stylish phone with

a great fashion design. The Amber

sunrise colour that we have introduced

matched with the quality of the phone

and the city.

Always listen to the

consumers at any stage.

It doesn’t matter if you

are at the starting point

in this industry or if you

have attained a certain

position already, you

need to keep listening.

Yes, it was a spectacular launch. What

is the next big thing that we can look

forward to?

A lot of exciting things are going

to happen in the coming months. First

one is going to be the 5G phones. As

you know that Huawei is one of the best

5G-network supplier. That will depend

on the 5G status in different countries

because the operator needs to build the

network first before the 5G phones can

be compatible on this network.

Also something to look out for is

our first foldable phone, which we have

already showcased in the FWC this year.

It is being commercialised in the second

half of this year. And then look out also

in Q4 this year for the upcoming Mate

series launch.

So a lot of things to look forward to!

Yes, a lot of things to celebrate!

May-June 2019


Interview | CrediMax



When it started out in April of 1999, as

a separate, independent subsidiary

of BBK, no one but its founders

anticipated that in twenty years

CrediMax would transform from a simple card

operator to become one of Bahrain’s foremost

indigenous brands and market leaders. A no-frills

card unit within BBK issuing the first Credit Card

in July, 1991, it has ever since been marked by

a focused leadership and a carefully planned

business strategy that saw the implementation

of a series of wide-sweeping efforts including

organizational restructuring, implementation of

various control and risk policies and tools and

improvement of card operational knowledge

and skills development as well as recruitment

of human resources - all of which has resulted

in a phenomenal growth of the business, both in

strength and stature.

In an exclusive interview with bizbahrain,

Yousif Ali Mirza, Chief Executive of CrediMax

talks about the twenty years of achievement that

CrediMax celebrates this year, its plans and its

continued endeavor to stay at the top. “CrediMax

is passionate about its customers and providing

service excellence will always be our key


Can you tell us some of the high points of the 20-

year journey?

CrediMax continuously aims to develop its

strength through offering best-in-class card

payment products and services and protect its

Merchant card acceptance business. We listen

to our customers’ needs and develop and launch

a range of innovative products and features

and present a strong drive to deliver superior

customer service. Looking at the business

in totality and over the years, CrediMax has

gradually transformed itself from a simple card

operations center to a robust “indigenous” credit

card brand poised to be the leader in its market.

This transformation has entailed organizational

restructuring, implementation of various control

18 May-June 2019

Yousif Ali Mirza

CE, CrediMax

May-June 2019


Interview | CrediMax

and credit risk policies, improvement of

card operational skills and development

and recruitment of resources to manage a

fast growing card business.

Looking at the business

in totality and over the

years, CrediMax has

gradually transformed

itself from a simple card

operations center to

a robust “indigenous”

credit card brand poised

to be the leader in its


Last September you launched your new

loyalty program - Thameen Reward

Program - How is it doing and what

has been the experience with this new


Providing quality products and

services and excellent customer care

distinguishes CrediMax in the market.

When creating any product or service,

CrediMax ensures the optimization of

the highest international standards

of measures and security. By enabling

customers to take control of their rewards

program & have a real say & choice

has always been one of our key factors

to make CrediMax’s Card Products &

Services the “preferred Card of Choice”.

The introduction of Thameen reward

program comes In line with the shift of

technology and customer engagement on

the digital platform as cardholders have

the ability to engage and immediately

redeem their points as seen suitable

to their needs. This increased our user

engagement as they are able to perform

requests with real time results. They

can control the point’s utilization and

redeem them partially or fully for the

reward they like and pay the balance by

card. We provide incentives and rewards

to make our customers get used to and

opt for making secured card payments

over cash payments. “Thameen” reward

program is available for Infinite, World

Elite, Signature, World, Platinum, Gold

and Classic cardholders with a variety of

reward that includes:

• Cash back

• Gift cards

• Prepaid Mobile TopUp

• Points Exchange

• Gulf Air Miles

• British Airways Miles

• Turkish Airlines Miles

• Etihad Airline Miles

• Malaysian Airlines

• Ethiopian Airlines

• Jet Airways

• Shukran Points

• Accor Hotels points

• Carlson Hotel Points

• Rotana Hotels Points

• Travel

• Air Tickets

• Hotel Bookings

• Car Rental

Tell us about your 2019 Grand campaign.

Who is it targeted towards and what are

the benefits that one can expect?

Our 2019 grand marketing campaign

titled ‘Win the Max with CrediMax’ gives

our cardholders the opportunity to win

luxurious prizes - 4 BMW X2 model 2019

and a total of $60,000 cash. The campaign

which began on 1st of January 2019

will run until the 31st of December 2019,

introducing new valuable rewards where

cardholders will have the opportunity to

win monthly $ 5,000 and quarterly a BMW

X2 model 2019. To be eligible to enter the

raffle draw, our cardholders are required

to utilize an accumulated amount of

BD100 monthly to enter one and can

double their chances when the same

accumulated amount is used abroad. This

is just one of the many campaigns we

will be offering our valuable customers

throughout the year. CrediMax has

built a strong relationship with its

customers over the years and is always

committed to offering them differentiated

innovative and truly tangible rewards

with significantly enhanced added value

products & services.

In the 20 years since CrediMax was

formed, what has changed in terms of

outlook and focus?

The velocity of change we have been

witnessing in the payment industry,

going digital and transforming the

way we pay, is regarded by many as

the biggest opportunity since the

introduction of plastic cards many

years ago. More payments are shifting

from cash to electronic due to greater

connectivity, availability of multiple

channels and devices providing

opportunities for digital convergence

helping customers and merchants

experience enhanced simplicity and

security in payments. We pride ourselves

in being the leaders in the market, in

providing high-end products and services

to our loyal customers and creating

memorable payment experience.

What can your customers look forward

to in 2019?

We are currently working on several

innovative projects, both product and

service, that we will be announcing

in due time. We firmly believe that

these new additions to CrediMax

portfolio will enrich our cardholders

shopping experience every time they

use our cards. We will also be launching

seasonal campaigns giving the

cardholders the chance to win valuable


What are the short-term and long-term

plans for the next decade?

As the payment landscape is

continuously transforming and new

players entering the market, CrediMax

is focused on digital transformation and

is committed to introduce innovative

cashless mobile payment options to

match the lifestyles of our cardholders.

With the excessive usage of smart

phones and shift towards the digital era,

it is essential that we stay ahead of the

curve in adding cutting-edge technology,

such as our digital wallet - MaxWallet,

Mobile App and more to follow, making

credit card e-service experience easy,

enjoyable and memorable moments for

all our customers.

I would also like to sincerely thank

our Board for their continuous support

and all of CrediMax staff for their

dedication and commitment towards

building and maintaining CrediMax’s

brand, underpinning our mission to

provide convenient secure cashless

means of payment. We are also grateful

to our business partners and customers

for their trust, loyalty and support

and look forward to continue creating

innovative appealing product with

unique features and benefits.

20 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Interview | Zoho Corp

Raj Sablok

President, ManageEngine and

22 May-June 2019






Raj Sabhlok considers himself

fortunate positioned as he is

in a ringside seat where he can

watch and also work closely

with some of the most innovative technology

companies in the world. Living

in Silicon Valley, the mecca of all things

high-tech as he calls it, he has for over

20 years been an integral part of the enterprise

software industry in a number

of roles across the spectrum.

“These days as the President of ManageEngine

and, divisions of

Zoho Corp, enterprise software genuinely

excites and intrigues me because

when implemented effectively, it can

change the fortunes of a business. We

offer business apps to help our customers

succeed and enable IT organizations

to deploy and manage the latest technologies

to make their companies more


Raj Sabhlok was speaking to Reena

Abraham on a recent visit to Bahrain.

President of ManageEngine and Zoho.

com, both divisions of Zoho Corp, he has

particular interest in IT management

software and its power to change the fortunes

of a business when implemented


For the uninitiated, a quick introduction:

ManageEngine is the enterprise IT

management division of US-based Zoho

Corporation. Established and emerging

enterprises - including more than 60

percent of the Fortune 500 - rely on its

real-time IT management tools to ensure

optimal performance of their IT infrastructure,

including networks, servers,

applications, desktops and more. With

offices worldwide, including the United

States, the Netherlands, India, Singapore,

Japan, China, and Australia as well

as a network of 200+ global partners, the

company is well positioned to help organizations

tightly align their businesses

and IT.

“It is interesting because business

today from our perspective is synonymous

with technology. Most businesses

are leveraging technology or building a

business based on technology, so it is

exciting times for us as well. Many of

our historical customers within the organisation

have been IT, but they have

also been elevated to be in the business,

and are part of boardroom discussions.

Technology is an absolutely critical part

of growing our business. So these traditional

CIOs and IT Executives are now

becoming well versed in business as


Also from a growth perspective

many organisations are leveraging technology

to grow new business models but

there is also the cautionary side as it relates

to things like security. And that is

also a boardroom discussion.”

May-June 2019


Interview | Zoho Corp

Shall we go back to how it all started?

Tell us about ManageEngine and how

you became a part of it?

It’s a great story. We started in ’96,

so we’ve been around for a while. Many

people look at us, they look at our logo,

specially the ZOHO logo and they will

think, ‘Oh, start-up type company!’ But

we are probably the oldest start-up in

the world at this point. We originally

started the business out of Silicon

Valley and at that point in time we

were focussed on developing what we

call IoT solutions. Basically, we had

a set of technologies that companies

would use, usually telecommunication

technologies used by the largest

telecommunication companies like

AT&T, Sony Ericsson, NTT. They would

license our technology and they would

use it to instrument their products and

services for monitoring.

We would provide something called

a Network Element Management

System, for example. They would

implement agents’ technology - let’s call

it a router or a modem or something like

that – for a user, who you can now think

about as a consumer - if you have a

high-speed broadband network at home,

you usually have a modem or some

device that comes into the home. When

those go down as they do sometimes,

you have to call the company and

they will resolve that through agent


And that was our original business,

providing that technology, very, very

early on. Today that business still

exists and it’s called WEB NMS and it is

another division of ours and it really is

positioned today as our IoT offering. A

lot of the government and commercial

entities throughout the GCC are in fact

leveraging that technology to develop

their smart city strategies where they

can instrument things, like lights,

throughout the city to ensure that they

are working. Light brightness delivered

at the right time, ATM instrumentation

and so on - things like that.

So that’s how we started the

company in ‘96. Around 2000 - 2002, we

said we want to expand our business

like most businesses and we looked

at our core competencies and we said,

we really understand management.

How do you manage different devices

and elements in your network, we

understood that. And, so the very

logical extension for us was to take

that core technology and start building

management tools, IT management

tools, that we would sell directly to the

IT organisation. And that was the start

of ManageEngine.

We started out with a networkmonitoring

tool because that is

fundamental for every organisation. If

you don’t have a network, you don’t have

access to the Internet, you don’t have

access to your applications. Companies

had to make sure that their networks

were up and running and they were

performing well, and we gave them the

software solution to do that.

We are probably the

oldest start-up in the

world at this point. We

originally started the

business out of Silicon

Valley and at that

point in time we were

focussed on developing

what we call IoT


At this time were you primarily

servicing the American market?

Yes we were. Though it has

changed more recently, technology was

historically adopted in the US first, and

then it would go to Europe and then

some of the other regions would start

picking it up. So yes, US was definitely

a big market for us, and then, Europe.

These days it is the emerging markets

that are really exciting. The Middle

East, for example, is a huge market for

us these days. We came here early - we

have been selling in Bahrain since 2005

- because we saw the opportunity for

companies that had limited technology

that needed to get to a point that is

world class.

Today, what I think is exciting

about the Middle East is that they have

bypassed a lot of the mistakes and old

technology and went straight to fresh

technology. In many cases Dubai is

a great example of really leveraging

technology, of being leading edge. They

are going to be probably one of the first

country, or city-states that is going to

have 5G technology. So all that is pretty


So we started with network

monitoring, then we came out with

what ManageEngine is best known

for - our ServiceDesk help desk, which

is the main communication hub for

IT organisations. Many projects are

managed through the ServiceDesk.

What it does is track all the incidents

that are happening in IT and also

communicates to the end-users. So if

you have a problem with your phone or

your laptop, you talk to the IT helpdesk,

either through email or chat or voice –

and that is all logged in the ServiceDesk

and in many cases, certainly here in the

Middle East, at ServiceDesk Plus from


Can you tell us about the Zoho’s

integration with ManageEngine? What

was the idea behind it?

From ServiceDesk, it just kept on

growing. We started in around the 2001

timeframe when there were really big

competitors, like IBM, HP, BMC software

and CA (Computer Associates). Today

all of those are pretty much gone, and

we are really one of those companies

that emerged as a leader in this space.

We have got the broadest product

portfolio, the deepest product portfolio.

We have also democratised the software

in terms of reducing the complexity

of how difficult it is to deploy and

take advantage of it, but also make

it affordable. So another reason why

emerging markets are really drawn

to ManageEngine! They think it is a

great option for them; it is fresh new

affordable technology that they can

leverage very quickly.

Did your history then also inspire and

propel you in different directions?

As we were growing as a company -

the first hundred people, next hundred,

next hundred, we noticed that a lot

of this software - the ManageEngine

kind of software, the ZOHO Business

applications, these were all very cost

prohibitive for companies of our size.

And we questioned why does it have to

24 May-June 2019

Interview | Zoho Corp

be that way? So every time we saw the

situation we said that we can do it and

we can do it in a better way and we can

make it much more affordable. So that

has always been the inspiration for us

to continue to build these products.

And now we probably compete with

certainly every IT management

software company.

The ultimate investment

will be a data centre. We

don’t have a schedule

for it yet, but we are

working towards that.

We know that most

countries are sensitive

to where their data lies

and who has access to

it and the Middle East is

no different.

Can you tell us a little more about the

ZOHO side of the business?

The ZOHO side of the business

is selling to the other part of

the organisation, which is sales

organisation, the marketing

organisation, finance, HR. These are

all software that they use to run their

functional areas. And again the same

type of concept kicked in where as

we were growing we had about 3-4

hundred people and we had to license

Microsoft Exchange for email. It was

really expensive for all the inboxes that

you needed - for a few hundred people

came to tens of thousands of dollars a

year. We said it doesn’t have to be that

expensive. And so we came out with our

own email, our own office suite that is

every bit is good if not better and it is


Salesforce was another thing that

we were using, the CRM, but it was 150

dollars all the way up to 300 dollars per

user per month. And we said for our size

company, and we are going to grow, that

is just too much. So then we build our

own CRM and we started to sell that at

a third the cost, and today it is probably

one of the most popular in the world.

We are much past our early days. Now

we have close to 7000 people in our

company. We are global. We are very

healthy and profitable. But we continue

to follow that same model

A good part of your operations are based

in Chennai. Is India an integral part of

the company’s future?

ManageEngine has a workforce of

over 2,500 members in Chennai (India)

and offices in the US, Europe, China and

Japan. We also opened an R&D centre

near Chennai recently with about 500

engineers. A lot of our software is in the

cloud as well and we run our own data

centres. There are eight of them around

the world serving 45 million users

How do you think the operation can

support SMEs

It has been a game-changer for

SMEs. They can appear much larger if

they leverage technology. Fortunately,

with companies like ManageEngine,

the price points are at a place that

SMEs can also enjoy the benefits of

its sophisticated software. What is

interesting about SMEs is that they

have been a major beneficiary of the

whole positive tidal wave of technology.

It has created more opportunities for

them to absorb technology much easier.

As technology is a great equalizer,

leveraging technology allows them

to compete with bigger competitors,

expand their market.

Tell us about some of your newest


We recently introduced Zia, Zoho's

AI assistant and virtual IT support

agent, supported by the cloud version

of ServiceDesk Plus, our flagship IT

service management solution. Zia can

answer simple questions, perform

service desk operations, and interact

with third-party apps, reducing

response times and boosting technician

efficiency. End users and technicians

can chat with Zia in a conversational

interface, or converse with Zia Voice to

access more than a dozen out-of-thebox

Zia actions, as well as any custom

Zia actions created by service desk


Apart from the out-of-the-box Zia

actions available, service desk teams

can script custom Zia actions to answer

questions, perform activities in external

tools that integrate with ServiceDesk

Plus, and more. The serverless Zia

developer console offers development

and production modes, making it easier

for service desk teams to script and

save custom Zia actions for immediate

use in ServiceDesk Plus. Each custom

Zia action can be built with multiple

conversations, and IT staff can add

provisions for Zia to collect appropriate

inputs at every stage of an interaction.

We started with network

monitoring, then we

came out with what

ManageEngine is

best known for - our

ServiceDesk help desk,

which is the main

communication hub for

IT organisations.

How do you see yourself becoming a

part of and contributing to the Middle

East ecosystem?

The demand for technology at

the moment is huge and any time

technology is deployed, ManageEngine

is going to be deployed to support that

effort. We achieved a 35pc growth in

Bahrain last year, which for a company

in business for 20 years is very

significant. I think we can grow even

faster. That’s the kind of environment

we are in right now. We anticipate major,

double-digit growth in these markets

partly because of the fact that we got

into this region, including Dubai early

and we have big partners. It’s easy to

do business from India in Dubai and we

got an early start on that too and still

growing well.

The ultimate investment will be a

data centre. We don’t have a schedule

for it yet, but we are working towards

that. We know that most countries are

sensitive to where their data lies and

who has access to it and the Middle East

is no different.

May-June 2019


Interview | Mohamed Isa




Bahrain built an admirable

Startups Ecosystem”, says

Mohamed Isa. “The Economic

Development Board, Tamkeen,

Bahrain Development Bank are putting

their full weight behind Bahraini

startups. I have been working with

startups since 2015, and it is such a joy

to see startups flourish. They bring

innovation, create jobs and attract

investments. This book is a gift from us

to all the promising startups in Bahrain

and beyond.”

bizbahrain met with the Award-

Winning Bahraini Speaker & Bestselling

Author, to talk about his latest writing

venture - On Startups, uniquely

positioned as a platform to support and

encourage more initiatives and start ups.

What is the story of the book?

It all started with a phone call on 29

October 2018. Before then, I did not know

Raoof Hujairi. He called me. Introduced

himself and said: “We should meet to

explore mutual opportunities.” I retorted:

“Why not! I’m open for business.” On 4

November 2018, we met over coffee, and

the book idea was born. We were on fire

to publish the first collaborative book on

startups in the MENA region. We expect

to release it in early May 2019.

Why another book on this subject -


I agree that there are hundreds of

books on this subject. However, I believe

our book is different in several ways.

One distinct feature of our book is that it

provides readers with a local perspective.

For example, we have a veteran legal

advisor who wrote a chapter titled:

“Avoiding the 10 Common Legal Pitfalls

in Startups.” His advice can save startup

founders time, money & hassle!

Furthermore, 70% of the

contributing authors are Bahraini. This

makes it easier for readers to reach

out to the authors to meet with them

to discuss their insights shared in

the book and to consult with them in

person rather than on email or video

conferencing. Just reach out!

Why is the book planned to be issued at

this time?

Bahrain built an admirable Startups

Ecosystem. The Economic Development

Board, Tamkeen, Bahrain Development

Bank are putting their full weight

behind Bahraini startups. I have been

working with startups since 2015, and

it is such a joy to see startups flourish.

They bring innovation, create jobs and

attract investments. This book is a gift

from us to all the promising startups in

Bahrain and beyond.

How did you secure all these

professionals to write this collaborative


We have 42 contributing authors in

the book from four continents: Europe,

Africa, Asia & Australia. Ten authors

worked with me before in another

book - The DNA of Development. As for

the rest, we had a recruitment drive

between me and Raoof. That involved

a social media campaign, networking

in events and direct headhunting for

specific subject matter experts. For

example, a friend of mine posted on his

LinkedIn account that he conducted a

workshop on Accounting & Finance for

Startups. I immediately invited him to

turn his talk to a chapter in our book.

This is a critical area, yet neglected by

many startups!

How can


use this book?

Our book is

massive. We have

40 chapters, and

our word count is

more than 80,000

words. That’s

an equivalent

of four MBA’s


Startup founders

could either

read the book

from cover to

cover or engage

in selective

reading. For

example, if you

are a new startup,

I would highly


reading the “Top

20 Common

Mistakes of


and “The Psychological Mindset

of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Or if

you are an established startup and

seeking to raise capital, you could read

“Crowdfunding for Startups: Power

in Numbers” or “10 Tips for Creating a

Persuasive Pitch for Potential Investors!”

Are you going to make a series of

books similar to this that will help


We are on a roll. Our motto is: “It’s

more than a book.” We view our book as a

platform for more future initiatives. We

already held a successful Meet-Up and

Startup Simulation Game. We will soon

have our own Startups Summit Series.

26 May-June 2019

Mohamed Isa

Speaker & Author

And to answer your question, yes we plan

to publish more books in the domain of

startups. I already started working on

a new book called: Startups Express.

The book will give the readers 365 quick

bites on startups to inspire them to

accomplish more with their businesses.

Describe your experience to us being the


It is always an honor and privilege

overseeing collaborative books projects.

It is a joy to bring different minds

together in one book. I learn a lot from

each contributing author. My ultimate

reward is seeing the sense of pride and

accomplishment of the contributing

authors when the books are published.

Recently, I announced the “1000

Authors Mission.” I want to graduate

1000 authors. It is a humongous task.

This means I should publish 28 more

collaborative books with an average of

36 contributing authors. To facilitate

this, I created an exclusive LinkedIn

Group for past and current authors

where I will share insights on the art

of writing, editing and publishing. The

Group will serve as a great professional

networking platform too.

Do you think this book will sell well on


We plan to make this a Bestselling

Book on Amazon. To accomplish that,

we will create a solid marketing plan

to ensure this dream becomes a reality.

We will put Bahrain on the World Map

with this achievement. This is where the

power of numbers comes in handy. With

42 authors promoting the book on their

social media network and engaging in

direct email campaigns, we will make it a

Bestseller Inshallah!

What is next for Mohamed Isa?

I am working on a very ambitious

and audacious online portal for startups.

I already chose the name of it, booked

its website domains and social media

accounts. I am in the process of creating

its logo and branding. It will be the place

to be for startups. It will add significant

value to startups in Bahrain and beyond!

May-June 2019


Spotlight | BIDEC 2019

BIDEC 2019






Preparations have begun for BIDEC 2019, one of the region’s key International defence

exhibitions with key partners confirming participation.

28 May-June 2019

Spotlight | BIDEC 2019

Following the



of the first

Bahrain International

Defence Exhibition &

Conference (BIDEC)

in 2017, keen interest

for the next edition

scheduled for 28-30

October 2019 has

begun to build as

major international

defence and security

organisations join

forces to support what

has been hailed as one

of the most strategic

events of its kind in

the region.

Held under the

patronage of His

Majesty King Hamad

bin Isa Al Khalifa,

HH Brigadier Shaikh

Nasser bin Hamad Al

Khalifa, Commander

of Bahrain Royal

Guard and Chairman

of BIDEC 2019 has

been the force

behind the success

of the event. Fully

supported by Bahrain

Defence Force,

BIDEC 2019 will have

continued government support from

all functions, including specially

selected committees within the BDF,

Naval Force, Air Force, Royal Guard,

National Guard and other government


Lockheed Martin, the well-known

global aerospace, defense, security and

advanced technologies company, have

confirmed their participation as Gold

Sponsor for the show, indicating their

continued support to the Kingdom of


His Highness Shaikh Nasser

expressed his support and enthusiasm

saying, "We are proud to host one of

the most comprehensive defence

exhibitions in the region. We are

especially proud that Lockheed Martin

continue to demonstrate their support

to the Kingdom of Bahrain by becoming

a main sponsor of the event. A global

HH Brigadier Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa

Commander of Bahrain Royal Guard and Chairman of BIDEC

event of this stature is not easy to pull

together but we look forward to not

just replicating the success of 2017

but taking it several steps further to

make it an un-missable event. We also

look forward to initiating important

partnerships and the transfer of ideas,

technology and developments in this

vital area at BIDEC 2019."

“Lockheed Martin is very proud of

more than 40 years of partnership with

the Kingdom of Bahrain, which began

with the delivery of the L-1011 TriStar

commercial airliner,” said Robert S.

Harward, Chief Executive for Lockheed

Martin in the Middle East.

“BIDEC provides the perfect platform

for us to engage with both our Bahraini

and regional partners to discuss ways

we can strengthen regional security

and build a stronger relationship for

decades to come,” he added.

BIDEC 2019 will

once again be organised

by Clarion Events, the

largest organiser of

defence and security

events in the world

and Faalyat, a Bahrainbased

events agency.

BIDEC 2019 offers

exhibiting companies

the opportunity to

demonstrate hardware

and equipment, and

to be seen on a high

profile, international

stage. The high level

conference on the

sidelines of BIDEC

has proven to be a

powerful platform

to hear key decision

makers from the

government, military

and defence sectors,

giving unprecedented

opportunities to

discuss innovations,

solutions and areas of


Thomas Gaunt

of Clarion Defence

& Security said, “We

are extremely happy

to be organizing this

important exhibition in

the Kingdom of Bahrain

once again. The last experience we had

with BIDEC 2017 was a fabulous one,

and we are confident that we will be

building on that experience to bring

an even better show this time. We have

in place some great partners who have

displayed understanding of what is

required. Visitors can look forward to

many new exhibiting companies and

watch some spectacular displays in the

off-site activities throughout Bahrain.”

Over 200 exhibiting companies are

expected to attend in the 2019 show and

over 10,000 guests are expected to visit

over the course of the three-day event.

Off-Site Activities are planned across

Bahrain, including Shooting Displays,

Military Vehicle Demonstrations,

Parachute Demonstrations and

Warship Displays. All will be available

to attend via shuttle buses from the

exhibition centre.

May-June 2019


Economic Strategy | Kingdom of Bahrain


It’s obvious that our beloved nation

is undergoing an unprecedented

phase of development. Thanks to

tremendous efforts made by our

leadership, we are starting to notice

massive infrastructure and strategic

economic progress that is beginning to

reshape the Kingdom’s position in the

region in many aspects. In this piece,

we will be looking at how development

in certain sectors of a country can

make a massive impact on it’s standing

as a formidable force regionally and

globally. These sectors covered are my

personal favorite: real estate, tourism

and transportation.

Let’s begin with the last sector

listed; transportation. I believe

we are all aware by now how

transformational the expansion of

the Bahrain International Airport will

be after witnessing first hand what

our visionary Crown Prince His Royal

Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad

Al Khalifa has presented to us all how

the progress is looking on this colossal


As it nears its completion date,

we all can’t help but wonder how our

experience will be like when we travel

to and from our favorite touristic

destination. But can you imagine

reversing this equation and asking

yourself what will happen with our

country after the airport expansion

is ready? We are increasing travel to

Bahrain to 14 million passengers a year.

That’s over a million potential guests a

month. It will also be a formidable hub

for transit action which generates more

income for the country overall.

Concurrently, with the numbers of

vehicles crossing at the King Fahad

Causeway growing to a stunning 25

million last year, we are now looking

at over 37 million visitors (well over

100,000 tourists a day). This is way

higher than a destination like Venice

has in terms of tourists annually. What’s

also peculiar is the fact that these

figures are over 20 times larger than

the population of the country. And this

is all happening before the King Fahad

Causeway completes its one-point

procedure system, which is expected

to drastically increase the number of

passengers to and from the Kingdom.

With my eagerness to unveil all

these record breaking stats, it’s pretty

clear that we have hastily dove into the

second sector we are covering in this

paper; Tourism. A dreamy and almost

fairytale-like mandate to develop

attractions and host an unprecedented

level of events making Bahrain the

center of focus in this part of the world.

Just imagine how much impact our

small island nation will have if (or I

should say, when) the vision of our

30 May-June 2019

Economic Strategy | Kingdom of Bahrain

leadership has in defining the Kingdom

of Bahrain as the premium destination

for weddings in the region. Multiple

international weddings have already

been successfully hosted which have

each lasted for days and took up most

major 5 star hotel accommodation and

banqueting services. Some of which

achieved these hotels’ annual revenue

targets during a single wedding.

This success story is accredited

to His Excellency Shaikh Khaled Bin

Humood Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain

Tourism and Exhibitions Authority

(BTEA). In a recent interview with

Oxford Business Review, His Excellence

Shaikh Khaled stressed on the

strategy he has designed called the

“Four As”: accessibility, attractions,

accommodation and awareness. So

basically, transportation is accessibility.

And the plans set forth to expand the

Bahrain International Airport along

with the King Fahad Causeway are

exactly what are needed to accomplish

such a feat. The attraction is focusing

on what type of event we are looking

to focus our attention on “such as the

wedding arena”.

The next “A” takes us to the

final focal point of this paper;

accommodation or in a more macromanner,

Real Estate. We have never

seen these many cranes visible in our

Kingdom’s skyline. This is due to a

combination of factors present today

in Bahrain. One of which is clearly

known as the vision of our leadership

coming to reality. What is making all

this possible is the presence of a long

Bilaj Al Jazayer

era in security, economic prosperity,

and bilateral relations, under the wise

leadership of His Majesty, our beloved

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His

Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin

Salman Al Khalifa, and His Royal

Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad

Al Khalifa, Deputy King, Crown Prince,

First Deputy Prime Minister of the

Kingdom of Bahrain and deputy

Supreme Commander of the Bahrain

Defence Force.

And so we see major infrastructure

projects and master developments

being constructing with fast turnover.

Bringing to the stage tremendous

opportunity for the Kingdom to host

tourists and guests from all over

the world. One main player in this

mammoth undertaking is Bahrain’s

Real Estate Investment arm; Edamah.

Striving to transform the Kingdom’s


diverse and dynamic property sector,

Edamah’s portfolio includes projects

in the leisure and entertainment and

industrial sectors. As it has already

announced plans to deliver mega

projects such as Sa’ada (a project that

will bring Muharraq back to the sea)

and the breathtaking and historic Bilaj

Al Jazayer, Edamah is a major player in

Bahrain future.

This is all but a drop in the

Kingdom’s ocean of plans to make

Bahrain an oasis of wonder to the

lucky citizens and to the pleasure of

the outside world to come and witness

our beloved nation take its rightful

place in “Pole Position” as the number

1 destination in the world to live and

work according to expats surveyed for a

study analysing the top destinations for

quality of life.

Ahmed Khalifa Khalfan is a published

Fulbright Scholar holding an MBA from

Seattle G. University, Washington, USA as

well as a Bachelor of Science in Information

Systems Management from University of


He previously worked with Batelco, Kuwait

Finance House, Al Safar Group Holding and

most recently with Bin Faqeeh Real Estate

Investment Company.

May-June 2019


Property Finder | Real Estate Analysis



by Property Finder

Property Trends

The real estate market has

witnessed a number of changes in 2018

in Bahrain. With more and more

development projects taking

shape, the implementation of RERA

and regulation in the market, as well

as the changing geopolitical nature

of the region, there has been a shift in

prices. However, the market has seen

increased activity, and a number of

transactions continue to take place.

While new and emerging areas are

starting to gain more popularity in

Bahrain, the top searched areas in the

country remain somewhat unchanged,

with Al Juffair being the top searched

area when it comes to apartment

rentals. Saar remains the number one

area for villas for rent. Al Juffair once

again, topped the list for top searched

areas for apartments for sale, while

Amwaj Islands tops the list as the

number one searched area for villas for


Prices recorded across all four

Governorates show some fluctuations,

with some more drastic than others in

the various segments of the market.

Prices for apartments for rent in the

Northern Governorate showed the most

stability, with only a 0.8% drop in prices

recorded when comparing January

- June 2018 and July-December 2018.

The highest difference in price was

recorded for apartment rentals in the

Southern Governorate, at 12.7% during

the same time frame.

The sale market, however,

witnessed major price variations

across all four Governorates, with the

Southern Governorate once again,

recording an 4% change in price

between January-June 2018 and

July-December 2018 for apartments

for sale. Villas for sale in the Capital

Governorate also experienced steep

price changes, increasing 6.8% during

the same period.

The general trend for prices in both

the Bahrain rental and sale markets

have seen an overall decline across

all four main governorates, with the

exception of the Capital Governorate,

which recorded an increase in the villa

sale market only.

32 May-June 2019

Property Finder | Real Estate Analysis



When it comes to apartment rentals,

prices in all four Governorates have

declined, with Al Muharraq

Governorate and the Southern

Governorate affected the most, at 2.4%

and 12.7% respectively, when comparing

January-June 2018 and July-December

2018, as affordable units become more

appealing to tenants.


Demand for affordable properties

is on the rise, and prices for villas for

rent across all four Governorates have

continued to decline, with the most

significant drop taking place in the

Capital Governorate, at 4.2%. Prices in the

Southern Governorate remained the most

stable, with only a 0.5% change, when

comparing January-June 2018 and July-

December 2018.


There has been increased interest in

areas within the Capital Governorate when

it comes to finding villas

for sale, with locations such as Reef

Island and Seef offering a number of

high end homes for sale. And with the

exception of the Capital Governorate,

which recorded a price increase of 6.8%

for villas for sale between January-June

2018 and July-December, the three other

Governorates recorded a decrease in price,

with the Northern Governorate decreasing

3.2% in price, which is the most significant

drop in price for that time period.



Once again, we can see a declining price trajectory recorded for the

four Governorates, with the most significant decrease recorded in the

Southern Governorate at 4%, when comparing January-June 2018 and

July-December 2018. The Capital, Muharraq and Northern Governorates all

recorded minor decreases which are under 2% for the same time period, as

prices remain on the same trend. This is a good start for price regulation

and transparency in the market, which RERA will be implementing.

Bahrain Bay is credited with rejuvenating the sale market in Bahrain,

as it is offering a number of luxurious high-end properties in one of the

countries newest freehold areas, which has prompted both local and

regional investment. Bahrain Bay was one of the few areas to record an

increase in average price per square metre during that period, with prices

increasing from BHD 1,312 to BHD 1,377 which is mainly due to the high

number of development projects that are nearing completion in the area.

May-June 2019


Property Finder | Real Estate Analysis




Al Juffair

Amwaj Islands




Reef Island


Al Hidd

Al Busaiteen

Dilmunia Island































% Total Leads

% Total Listings

% Searches

Al Juffair

Amwaj Islands


Reef Island


Al Hidd

Dilmunia Island


Bahrain Bay

Al Busaiteen































% Total Leads

% Total Listings

% Searches




Amwaj Islands

Al Janabiya

Al Juffair

Al Hamala

Al Riffa

Al Jasra

AL Hidd

































% Total Leads

% Total Listings

% Searches

Amwaj Islands


Al Riffa

Al Muharraq

Al Janabiya

Al Hamala

Durrat Al Bahrain

Bu Quwah


Hamad Town































% Total Leads

% Total Listings

% Searches



Top 10 most affordable areas for residential apartment rentals in Bahrain:


Top 5 most affordable areas for residential villa

rentals in Bahrain:

West Riffa Riffa Al

North Riffa Tubli


Diyar Al West Riffa Salmaniya

1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3




Average price:

BHD 306

Average price:

BHD 315

Average price:

BHD 328

Average price:

BHD 384

Average price:

BHD 391

Average price:

BHD 756

Average price:

BHD 762

Average price:

BHD 775














Wahat Al



North Riffa

Average price:

BHD 392

Average price:

BHD 400

Average price:

BHD 420

Average price:

BHD 450

Average price:

BHD 450

Average price:

BHD 800

Average price:

BHD 885

34 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Business Report | OBG

What you need to know about

Bahrain’s Fiscal Overhaul


mixture of spending cuts,

revenue-raising measures and

financial support from regional

neighbours will form the core of

Bahrain’s newly unveiled programme

designed to reduce its deficit and

return to surplus by 2022.

On February 25 the Cabinet

approved a draft budget for the

next two years, outlining spending

of BD3.25bn ($8.6bn) for this year

and BD3.28bn ($8.7bn) for 2020, and

foreseeing revenue shortfalls of

BD708m ($1.9bn) and BD613m ($1.6bn),


This represents a significant

reduction on last year’s fiscal deficit

of BD1.2bn ($3.2bn), as outlined in the

2018 draft budget, which was made

up of projected revenue of BD2.3bn

($6.1bn) and outlays of BD3.5bn


According to IMF data issued in

March, Bahrain narrowed its budget

deficit from 14.2% of GDP in 2017 to 11.7%

last year.

One area of spending that was

maintained over the two-year budgetary

cycle was outlays for investment

projects, designed to support economic

36 May-June 2019

Business Report | OBG

save some BD800m ($2.1bn) annually

through a variety of initiatives,

including tightening public

spending, streamlining subsidies and

implementing a voluntary retirement

scheme for state employees.

Following the ratification of the

draft budget, Rasheed Mohammed Al

Maraj, the governor of the central bank,

said significant progress had been

made in curbing the deficit, and that

efforts to address debt and the revenue

gap would continue.

“I think we have come a long way

now with the FBP,” he said. “It has put

out a clear plan to the market about

how we are going to deal with our

budget deficit and public debt.”

The IMF also referenced continued

progress in reducing the deficit in a

report issued on March 5.

The fund said the FBP, underpinned

by the 2019 and 2020 budgets, had

provided a framework to halt the

decline in fiscal and external buffers

that have worsened since 2014.

While the measures under the FBP

are expected to further reduce the

fiscal deficit over the medium term,

the IMF also sounded a note of caution,

warning that already high public debt

levels - which increased from 87% of

GDP in June last year to 93% at year’s

end - are expected to rise further.

As a result, additional reform

efforts, anchored in a more transparent

medium-term agenda, will be needed to

ensure fiscal sustainability, the report


investment-grade, and both Moody’s

and Standard & Poor’s take a similar


The Fitch assessment said that

while increased savings, further gains

from the voluntary retirement scheme

and revenue from the newly introduced

VAT would contribute to narrowing the

deficit, Bahrain’s continued success

will depend in part on a favourable oil

pricing environment moving forward.

How energy prices could affect


A fall in energy prices or output,

as occurred last year, could renew

pressure on Bahrain’s budget and slow

the progress of the FBP, potentially

pushing back the 2022 target for

delivering a surplus.

By contrast, continued success in

reining in the deficit and sustaining

fiscal reforms should support investor

confidence in the economy.

On February 19 Al Maraj said the

support fund established by Gulf states

last year had led to an improvement in

investor sentiment towards Bahrain,

helping to bring down borrowing costs.

“The FBP has had a tremendous

impact on the level of confidence and

it has sent a very positive signal to

the markets,” he told local media. “Our

bond prices [have] tightened 50 to 60

basis points.”

growth, with allocations set at $1.8bn for

both 2019 and 2020.

The ability to maintain this

spending will be supported by the new

5% value-added tax (VAT), which came

into effect on January 1.

Regional fund and spending cuts

support fiscal outlook

Efforts to close the budgetary gap

have been boosted by neighbours Saudi

Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, which

in October pledged a $10bn fund to

support Bahraini spending.

In return for the funding, Bahrain

committed to a Fiscal Balance

Programme (FBP), which aims to

Ratings agencies foresee stable outlook

Ratings agency Fitch noted that

much of Bahrain’s progress in scaling

back its deficit was the result of

higher oil prices across the first three

quarters of 2018, which the agency says

accounted for 75% of last year’s budget

deficit reduction.

In a statement issued on February

28, Fitch said the country was making

progress in reforming its economy and

closing the budget deficit, with the gap

forecast to narrow to 6.1% of GDP this

year and 5.3% next.

The agency affirmed Bahrain’s

“BB-” credit rating while maintaining

its outlook as stable. Despite this, the

kingdom’s sovereign rating is below

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,

in-depth analysis on the issues that matter

for tens of thousands of subscribers

worldwide. OBG has been in Bahrain for

13 years and has recently published The

Report: Bahrain 2019.

For more information, visit

or call us in Bahrain

at 1715 1582.

May-June 2019


Expert Opinion | Information Technology

one server, then read and consolidate

the needed information for the store’s

closing reports.

What is Robotic Process


by Dr. Jassim Haji

Robotic Process Automation is the

technology that allows anyone today

to configure computer software, or a

“robot” to emulate and integrate the actions

of a human interacting within digital

systems to execute a business process.

RPA robots utilize the user interface to

capture data and manipulate applications

just like humans do. They interpret,

trigger responses and communicate

with other systems in order to perform

on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only

substantially better: an RPA software robot

never sleeps, makes zero mistakes and

costs a lot less than an employee.

How is RPA different from other

enterprise automation tools?

In contrast to other, traditional IT

solutions, RPA allows organizations to

automate at a fraction of the cost and

time previously encountered. RPA is also

non-intrusive in nature and leverages the

existing infrastructure without causing

disruption to underlying systems, which

would be difficult and costly to replace.

With RPA, cost efficiency and compliance

are no longer an operating cost but a

byproduct of the automation.

How does Robotic Process Automation


RPA robots are capable of mimicking

many-if not most-human user actions.

They log into applications, move files

and folders, copy and paste data, fill in

forms, extract structured and semistructured

data from documents, scrape

browsers, and more.

Implement fast, achieve ROI fast

An HR service provider from

Europe was processing 2,500 sick leave

certificates per month with an average

handling time of four minutes per item.

Within three weeks they implemented

an RPA solution and achieved 90%

process automation. The RPA robot

extracts data from a transaction in

SAP, inserts the information into the

customer’s systems, and prints it. The

HR service provider achieved a returnon-investment

within six months, with

error rates reduced to 0%, manual effort

reduced to 5%, and processing time

reduced by 80%.

Reduce effort in the back office

A global retailer was using its store

closing reports to validate closing

information for each of its registers

across hundreds of stores. The store’s

employees used a manual and sluggish

process to pull up these reports. By

automating the process the store freed

up its employees to now focus on more

customer-centric activities. The RPA

robots now move the closing reports to

Improve customer service in the front


A trade credit insurance company

with over 50,000 clients worldwide

automated the credit limit request

underwriting process. Underwriters

were previously gathering information

manually, from internal (Risk & Policy)

to external (Customer Site, Google

News) sources. With RPA, they saved

2,440 hours of human work a month.

Employees now use that time to work

directly with customers.

What are the business benefits of RPA?

Robots are here to stay. The

faster you harvest their potential, the

faster you create a competitive edge

for your business. Robotic Process

Automation delivers direct profitability

while improving accuracy across

organizations and industries. Enabling

RPA to handle any processes will not

only transform and streamline your

organization’s workflow. It will allow for

superior scalability and flexibility within

the enterprise, doubled by fast, tailored

response to specific needs. Software

robots are easy to train and they

integrate seamlessly into any system.

Multiply them, and instantly deploy

more as you go. They constantly report

on their progress so you can go even

bigger and better by using operational

and business predictability, while

improving strategically.

By 2021, Forrester estimates there

will be more than 4 million robots doing

office and administrative work as well

as sales and related tasks. If adoption

continues at this pace, how soon do you

think RPA will achieve near-universal

adoption? Time to act is now.

Dr. Jassim Haji

Technology Executive &


38 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Cybersecurity Solution | CTM360

2 Factor Authentication:

Activate it Everywhere

Most services nowadays require

signup and login procedures

that are based on usernames

and passwords. Unfortunately, singlefactor

authentication is not enough to

protect accounts especially at the rate

at which technologies are evolving, as

hackers become more sophisticated

and are able to compromise accounts

in a matter of seconds. To top it all off,

every year billions of usernames and

passwords are stolen and sold on dark

web markets, and as a result, many users

become victims to identity theft and

data loss.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

requires the user to enter a password

and then another verification code

before he is given access to the account.

This method keeps the account safe

even after the first password has been

obtained by an unauthorized person.

Once an account is compromised,

attackers can cause a lot of damage,

especially to accounts used in the

workplace. This is why we strongly

suggest that all accounts that support

2FA should have it enabled as soon as


Worrying facts about traditional security


• 90% of passwords can be cracked

within 6 hours.

• 63% of people are using the same

password for multiple accounts

• Billions of passwords are tested

every second by hackers.

There has been a recent surge in

Whatsapp account hijacking in the

region. In most cases, this occurs

through social engineering where the

victim receives a Whatsapp or IMO

call and is asked to provide an SMS

code which they received in order to

claim a prize. The code in the SMS is a

WhatsApp phone number verification

code. When acquired, this gives the

hijacker control of the account.

How organizations and individuals can

protect themselves

Using multi-factor authentication

(MFA) mechanisms, organizations,

as well as individuals, are able to

get better security and protect their

environments, providing defense

from 80% of stolen credential security


This can be accomplished by

using technical controls (enforcing

two-factor authentication wherever

centralized management is possible),

as well as via administrative controls

(by creating and enforcing a policy for

accounts created using business email


Enabling 2FA on popular accounts:

To enable two-factor authentication

on your accounts, you can follow the

steps listed below, which are for the

main platforms that are commonly used

and targeted. We recommend that you

enable 2FA on all of your accounts so

that you can enhance your personal and

professional account security.

1 - WhatsApp - Settings - Account -

Two - Step Verification

2 - Twitter - Profile and Settings -

Account - Security - Set up Login


3 - Facebook - Settings - Security -

Login Approvals

4 - Google - Google Account -

My Account - Sign-In & Security -

Signing in to Google - 2-Step


5 - Instagram - Account - Settings -

Privacy and Security - Two-Factor


6 - Microsoft - Security Settings Page -

Overview - Security Info - Set Up

Two-Step Verification

7 - LinkedIn - Account - Login and

Security - Add a Phone Number

CTM360® a leading Cyber Security

startup headquartered in Bahrain,

specializes in offensive defense to

identify and manage cyber blind spots

outside your network(surface, deep &

dark web)

40 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Highlights | Government

iGA 2018 Foreign



The Information and

eGovernment Authority

(iGA) released last month the

initial Foreign Investment

Survey results for the

financial year 2018 conducted

in collaboration with the

Central Bank of Bahrain

(CBB) and the Economic

Development Board (EDB).

The survey measured

the volume of the foreign

investment of key entities in

various economic sectors to

provide updated statistical

data of the volume and

flows of these investments

in an initiative that aims at

assisting decision-makers

to set appropriate policies

to attract more investments

Bahrain records

4.6% Economic

growth in 4Q 2018

Bahrain economy records

a real growth of 4.6%

and 6.5% in current prices

compared to the same period

of 2017, as per the report of the

national accounts provisional

results for the fourth quarter

of 2018, issued by Information

and eGovernment Authority


According to the report,

the GCC Development

Programme has been

significantly reflected

to contribute in advancing

development wheel witnessed

by Bahrain.

Initial statistics indicated

an increase of 5.5 per cent in

the volume of direct foreign

investment in Bahrain during

2018 in comparison to 2017

with a value exceeding BD

11 billion during the end of

2018. The growth reflects

Bahrain’s efforts in attracting

more foreign investment

and increasing in the capital


The report indicated

that the volume of the direct

foreign investment flow to

Bahrain in 2018’s financial

year reaches nearly BD 570

million in the top two sectors

which are banking and


Direct investments from

Kuwait accounted for the

highest rate of BD3.1 billion,

followed by Saudi Arabia

which came in second with

a value that reached BD 2.8

billion. Libyan Arab Republic

positioned as the third with

approximately BD 1.3 billion

during 2018, raising GCC

investments by 65 per cent

from the total direct foreign


in Bahrain’s economic

infrastructure projects,

with initial estimates of the

economy during the fourth

quarter of 2018, recording a

real growth of 4.6/5 and 6.5% in

current prices compared to the

same period of the previous

year. It contributed to the

expansion of the construction

sector, the increasing

performance of which has not

only strengthened itself but

has also given a motivation to

other non-oil activities such

as real-estates, financial and

trade sectors.

The non-oil sector

registered a real growth of 3.2%

when compared to the same

quarter of the previous year

and the oil sector growing at a

rate of 11.3% in real terms due

to increase in the quantities


According to the issued

report, the growing results -

compared to the fourth quarter

of 2017 rates in the oil sector

have increased by nearly 24.7%

at current prices and 11.3% at

constant prices.

The non-oil GDP grew by

3.2% in real terms and had a

comparable growth rate of 4%,

at current prices. Meanwhile,

the financial corporations

witnessed an increase of

nearly 2.7% in constant prices

and 2.1% in current prices.

The manufacturing

industry has grown by 1%

at constant prices and 1% in

current prices. Construction

sector grew by 4% at constant

prices and 8.5% at current


Real-estate and business

activities grew by 1.5% at

constant prices and by 2.8% at

current prices.

The transportation and

communications sector

increased by 0.3% at constant

prices and by 2.2% at current


Social and personal

services decreased by 0.7% at

constant prices and had grown

by 0.2% at current prices.

Electricity and water

activities grew by 5.2% at

constant prices and 5.8% at

current prices.

Private educational

services rose by 4% at constant

prices and 5% at current


Health private services

increased by 2.5% at constant

prices and 4.8% at current


When comparing the 4th

quarter with the 3rd of 2018,

the economic growth seems

to be slightly grown which

resulted from the relative

decline in the oil produced

quantities accompanied by

reduction in crude oil prices

that has resulted in also

reducing the oil GDP by 3.4%

and 11.3% at constant and

current prices, respectively.

The real non-oil GDP

recorded a positive growth by

2.3% while achieving a growth

of 2.5% in current prices.

The financial corporations

witnessed a slight increase of

nearly 0.7% in constant prices

and 0.4% in current prices.

The construction sector

grew by 0.8% at constant

prices and 2.5% at current

prices; real-estate and

business service sectors

demonstrated that these

sectors had improved by

0.4% at constant prices and

decreased by 0.02% at current


Results display

transportation and

communication sectors to

have slightly increased by 0.2%

growth in constant prices and

0.1% in current prices.

Manufacturing industry

achieved growth of 0.2% in

constant prices and decreased

by 0.7% in current prices.

Government services

increased by 12.7% at constant

prices and 16% at current


Other social and personal

services increased by 0.3% at

constant prices and 0.6% at

current prices.

Electricity and water

activities witnessed a decrease

of 5.4% in constant prices and

5.3% in current prices, the

report said.

42 May-June 2019


Bahrain and

France sign $2

billion worth of


As part of His Majesty King

Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's

visit to the French Republic, the

Bahraini business delegation

accompanying HM the King

signed twelve agreements and

memorandam of understanding

with French companies and

institutions worth $2 billion,

with the aim of strengthening

bilateral economic relations

between the two countries

and increasing investment

cooperation in various fields.

This brings the total value of

the agreements with France up

to $4.63 billion.

The agreements signed

by the Bahraini business

delegation include:

• An agreement signed

between Tatweer

petroleum and TOTAL S.A.

around cooperation for the

new oil field exploration.

First Proptech

concept Estater

Bahrain has marked a new

milestone with the entry

of its first property technology

(proptech) company, Estater.

A revolutionary real

estate technology concept,

the Estater app offers an

intuitive platform for listing,

sharing, finding or managing

a property. The app operates

as an extension to Estater’s

real estate advisory offering,

utilising sophisticated GIS

• Five agreements signed

by Gulf Air with EPCOR,

Thales Inc., Michelin, CFM

and SAFRAN Landing


• Two agreements

were signed by Osool

with Amundi Asset

Management and

Tikehau. The first

agreement is linked to

the capital market, while

the second one targets

alternative investments.

• An agreement was

signed by Yousef Bin

Ahmed Kanoo with AXA

Insurance Company

around the construction

of AXA’s headquarters in


• Three agreements signed

by Bahrain Airport

Company with Thales,

who will be implementing

an ICT package under the

Airport Modernisation

Programme. An

agreement was also

signed with ADPI which

will provide the design

mapping to provide market

intelligence for developers,

investors and financiers.

Owing to its extensive

regional database, the

company boasts a 20% market

share in Kuwait and Bahrain,

in addition to its flagship

operations in India.

Estater’s launch in

Bahrain demonstrates the

growing opportunity for

real estate investment in

the country. In 2018 alone,

Bahrain received a record of

12 million visitors, according

to BTEA, contributing

indirectly to growth in

the real estate demand. In

addition, Bahrain offers the

region’s lowest operating

costs, at up to 30% less than

other GCC markets, while

also guaranteeing 100%

ownership in real estate

and supervision of

the Bahrain Airport


Programme. Finally, an

agreement was signed

with JCDecaux around

a ten-year advertising


Bahraini-French economic

and trade relations have

witnessed remarkable

development in recent years.

The most important stemmed

from the visit of HM the King

to France in 2015, which

resulted in the signing of

several landmark agreements,

including a framework

agreement and three MoUs

between both countries.

Non-oil trade between

Bahrain and France reached

$507 million in 2018, which

is a 105% increase over 2015.

Bahrain is home to prominent

French companies and banks,

including BNP Paribas, AXA

Insurance, Fives Group, Thales,

Veolia and the French Chamber

of Commerce and Industry.

for GCC nationals and a

large number of mixed-use

free-hold developments

offering opportunities to

foreign investors. The launch

of Bahrain’s Real Estate

Regulatory Authority (RERA)

in 2018 has also brought

greater transparency and

stability to the sector.

On the technology front,

companies such as Estater

benefit from Bahrain’s vibrant

startup ecosystem of over

90 companies, supported by

a network of government

agencies dedicated to helping

businesses succeed, including

the Bahrain Economic

Development Board (EDB),

StartUp Bahrain, Tamkeen,

and others.

The global proptech

industry is witnessing rapid

expansion. Notably, funding

Registeration for

VAT workshops

The National Bureau for

Revenue (NBR) recently

introduced a new electronic

service to allow VAT payers to

register their interest to attend

upcoming VAT workshops

by submitting a simple form



The workshops will

introduce attendees to key

VAT concepts, including

invoicing and filing, as well

as providing them with

the opportunity to visit the

interactive demo-center. The

registration feature builds on

Bahrain’s intensive efforts

to increase all VAT payers’

solid understanding of key

VAT concepts in addition

to ensuring the smooth

registration of companies

with annual supplies between

BHD 500,000 and BHD

5,000,000 by June.

For further information,

please contact the VAT Call

Center on 80008001 or vat@ in addition to

leveraging the information

available on NBR’s website

(, Instagram

and Twitter (@bahrainNBR).

into the sector grew by a

CAGR of 63% from 2012 to

2017, according to Venture

Scanner. In addition, a 2018

KPMG global survey of the

real estate industry reveals

that 93% of respondents

feel traditional real estate

organisations must engage

with proptech companies in

order to adapt to the changing

global environment.

May-June 2019



Export Bahrain

launch new

“Trade Map”

online platform

Export Bahrain, in

partnership with

the International Trade

Centre, recently announced

the launch of its new

interactive online platform

“Trade Map” at the Global

Entrepreneurship Congress


The platform is accessible

via Export Bahrain’s website and will provide

Bahraini exporters with trade

and market intelligence

of over 220 countries and

territories and 5,300 products

in a relevant and efficient

manner. The purpose of

this is to allow Bahraini

exporters to identify and

capture international

trade opportunities based

on indicators on export

performance, international

demand, alternative markets

and the role of competitors

from both a product and

country perspective.

The platform stems

from Export Bahrain’s

aim to support and grow

local exports, encourage

international exporting

and ensure that Bahraini

companies keep pace with

the international market’s

products and services. The

“Trade Map” platform aims

to provide a comprehensive

market data overview for

exporters by providing

monthly, quarterly and yearly

trade statistics and figures,

value of product units and

competition in target markets

amongst other features.

Export Bahrain works

with a variety of local and

international partners to

provide exporters with

promising opportunities

in international trade and

actively reduce barriers to

access world markets. Export

Bahrain is one of the most

prominent projects launched

in November of 2018 that

supports the private sector.

Export Bahrain aims to

promote Bahraini exports

and support the Kingdom’s

position as a global trading

partner by providing

value-add services for the

development of the exports





Relations in


Bahrain Bourse and the

Middle East Investor

Relations Association

(MEIRA) has launched a new

chapter in Bahrain, to further

develop and enhance best

practices in Investor Relations

(IR) across the Kingdom of


The MEIRA Bahrain

Chapter was formally

inaugurated at the signing

ceremony of founding

members who have

recognised their commitment

to develop the IR function

in the local market. The

founding members include

ALBA, Bank ABC, Batelco,

Ithmaar Holding, National

Bank of Bahrain and SICO.

Bahrain Bourse will also lead

the Chapter represented by

MEIRA Bahrain Chapter Head,

Marwa AlMaskati.

Shaikh Khalifa Bin

Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO of

Bahrain Bourse said, “The

establishment of the Bahrain

MEIRA Chapter sets the

ground for establishing a solid

network of IR professionals

in Bahrain, and will certainly

help in advancing the IR

function and promoting

international best practices

among listed companies in

the capital market.”

“Bahrain Bourse will play

a major role in this initiative

to promote best practices in

IR. Further, the roll-out of the

chapter will also signal to

the international investment

community our commitment

and enhance possibility

of inclusion in emerging

markets indices,” he added.

Andrew Tarbuck, MEIRA

Chairman said, “Since MEIRA

signed the MOU with Bahrain

Bourse in November, we have

been working very closely

with the exchange to develop

a dynamic and committed

Chapter in the Kingdom. This

is a great milestone for MEIRA

and the Bahraini capital

markets and represents a

unique opportunity to raise

awareness of the importance

of IR in the Kingdom. We look

forward to collaborating with

our Chapter Members and

with Bahrain Bourse as the

Chapter Head to increase the

effectiveness and quality of

the IR function among the

organisations in the Kingdom

through our wide range

of activities and training


Members of the MEIRA

Bahrain Chapter will now

have access to a wealth of

IR knowledge from global

leaders in the form of specific

educational initiatives and

will be able to benefit from

engaging local events aimed

at uniting and advancing the

IR community.



to implement



for registering


The General Directorate

of Traffic last month

offered companies a tender

to implement the Blockchain

project for the registration of

vehicles in Bahrain. It calls

concerned companies to offer

their bids before the end of

May 2019.

Interested companies can

get more details about the

tender through the website

of the Tender Board www.

The Director-General

of Traffic, Col. Shaikh

Abdulrahman bin

Abdulwahab Al Khalifa

asserted the new registration

project would reduce the

cost, especially in protecting

the primary data of vehicles,

enhance the efficiency of

information management

and achieve a higher level of

transparency in registering


He said that the

Blockchain project was part

of the government approach

to offer high-quality services

and the utilisation of global

technology in regulating

the registration of vehicles.

The project is part of plans

to benefit from modern

technology in enhancing

services and reinforce the role

of the private sector.

44 May-June 2019






معرض ومؤتمر البحرين الدولي للدفاع

Bahrain International Defence

Exhibition & Conference

bahrain’s premier international

tri-service defence show

28 - 30 October 2019

Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre

Gold Sponsor

Officially Supported by

Bahrain Defence Force Royal Bahrain Air Force Royal Guard Royal Bahrain Naval Force National Guard Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Information Affairs

Media Partner

In Conjunction with

Knowledge Partner

Organised by

Middle East Military

Alliances & Coalitions

Highlights | Banking & Finance

CBB issue

draft Rules

on Insurance


Abdul Rahman Mohammed

Al Baker

Executive Director of Financial

Institutions Supervision, CBB

The Central Bank

of Bahrain (CBB)

issued the draft rules on

“insurance aggregators”.

Insurance aggregators are

intermediaries with an

insurance broker’s license

who operate an online

platform, whether hosted

on an Internet website or

available as a smart device

application (app) which

provides price comparisons

and facilitates the purchase

of insurance policies from

several insurance licensees.

With the introduction

of insurance aggregators, a

customer is able to find and

choose insurance quotes

from several insurance

companies under a single

electronic platform or mobile

device application, instead of

obtaining quotes individually

and purchase insurance

online from a single

insurance company.

Mr. Abdul Rahman Al

Baker, Executive Director

of Financial Institutions

Supervision said, “the

introduction of insurance

aggregator rules is a first

step for the CBB towards

“Insuretech”, a technology

led transformation of the

insurance sector which is

rapidly gathering momentum

globally, especially due to

demands from millennials.

The CBB is one of few central

banks to have introduced

rules relating to insurance

aggregators helping Bahrain

to be a leading financial hub

in the MENA region.”

BBK enters

new Phase of

Innovation with

Tailored Service

to Preserve and

Sustain Wealth

BBK is writing the next

chapter in its history of

constant innovation with the

launch of BBK Privé, a tailored

service for our most affluent


BBK Privé is a private

banking and wealth

management initiative that

offers a comprehensive range

of banking and lifestyle

solutions. Its birth marks

the latest evolution of BBK’s

commitment to customer

service, a hallmark of our

bank since its foundation in

1971. Our customers, having

built their wealth through

decades of hard work, now

require a service to preserve

and sustain that wealth for

generations to come.

BBK Privé’s activities are

not limited to Bahrain but

extend to customers across

the Gulf region, modelled on

European private banking

and the highest international


BBK Chief Executive

Reyadh Yousif Sater said,

“BBK Privé expresses the core

values of BBK in a new and

exciting way. BBK has become

a world-class bank that uses

next-generation technology to

uphold and refine a tradition

of service. Our goal is to go

NBB Personal

Loan promotion

National Bank of Bahrain

(NBB) exciting promotion

for customers of the Bank’s

personal loan facility, which

aims to give customers’

greater financial flexibility

and resources starting from

April 2019 until the end of the


The campaign provides

several unique benefits and

incentives for new loan

customers or those wishing

to increase their borrowings

with the Bank. These features


• Three lucky customers

will win back their loan

amount subject to a

maximum of BD15,000

• All customers will have

that extra mile, and that

means customer service

of the highest quality, as

well as tailored financial

products and services that

meet the long-term needs

of individuals and families

- growing, managing and

protecting your money.”

BBK Privé will give clients

an integrated banking service

that covers assets, liabilities,

investment products and

other features that suit their

banking needs and lifestyle,

the option to defer the

first installment for up to

four months

• All customers will

enjoy a 25% discount on

processing charges

Mahmood Al Aali, Acting

Chief Executive - Retail,

Commercial, and SMEs at NBB

said, “Ensuring our customers

have access to resources that

help them meet their financial

needs and aspirations

remains at the heart of what

NBB does. We’re pleased

to announce this year’s

promotion for our personal

loan customers, rewarding

them for continuing to select

NBB as their bank of choice.

It’s these rewards and our

commitment to providing

customers with one of the

best products, services and

incentives that continues to

make NBB Bahrain’s leading

retail bank and lender

year after year, and we are

especially happy to be able to

continue in extending these

offers through the year.”

such as personalised advice

on financial products as well

as investments and portfolio

management. BBK Privé will

also incorporate the specialist

knowledge of Aegila-our

London-based investment

and advisory associate that

is focused on real estate

opportunities in the UK

and Europe - and share this

expertise with clients in

creating personal property


“BBK Privé will

differentiate itself by

providing an evolving

range of products that

respond to the needs of our

wealthiest clients, delivering

an exceptional calibre of

service to meet their lifestyle

expectations,” Mr Sater added.

46 May-June 2019

Banking & Finance

Bahrain’s first

Digital Payroll


Al Salam Bank-Bahrain

(ASBB) and Arab Financial

Services (AFS) officially

launched the first digital

payroll solution in Bahrain ‘Al

Rateb’, enabling employers to

pay wages digitally to those

of their employees who do not

have a bank account, in line

with the recent Shura Council

endorsement on the proposed

law that mandates companies

to pay workers through secure

wage protection solutions.

The service allows

employers to securely upload

wages and benefits onto payroll

cards through an online portal

which is configured with

their own payroll system.

Cardholders can withdraw

funds at any ATM and can also

use Point of Sale terminals

locally or abroad. Cardholders

can also access financial

services including statements,

interactive dashboards, 24/7

Ithmaar Bank

instant Debit

Cards issuance

Customers at Ithmaar Bank,

can now instantly collect

their debit cards from all 16

branches in the Bank’s retail


The service further

reinforces Ithmaar Bank’s

position as an innovative

Islamic retail bank, is available

to all customers including new

customers when they open

customer care and multilingual

customer support.

Employers will save

significant time and money

as Al Rateb helps to improve

employers’ internal efficiencies

and operations via innovative

technology integrations that

further streamline payroll

calculation, administration

and disbursement processes,

making it easier, faster and

more accurate. Additionally,

cardholders can use their

cards in all ASBB ATMs for

free, and use their cards for

cash withdrawal through the

dedicated Al Rateb mobile ATM

van which regularly moves

between various locations

or through the Benefit ATM

network in the Kingdom.

Al Rateb cards also offer

a remittance solution at

competitive FOREX rates to

many destinations including

but not limited to India,

Pakistan, Philippines, Nepal,

Bangladesh, Egypt and Sri


Thousands of workers

already have their wages paid

through Al Rateb and corporate

enrolment in the solution is

steadily increasing. With the

new Decree every employer in

Bahrain must now pay their

workforce digitally and Al

Rateb solution is available to all

employers, regardless of their

workforce size.

a new account and request

a Debit Card as well to those

requesting card replacements.

Customers can

immediately collect their new

Debit Card, with their name

already printed, directly from

the branch upon opening

their accounts. They will then

instantly receive their Personal

Identification Number (PIN)

by SMS on their registered

mobile number. Customers

will be required to change this

PIN through any Ithmaar Bank

ATM in order to start using

BDB and

CrediMax POS

Assignment on

card receivables

Bahrain Development

Bank (BDB) in a process

to further support startup

and SMEs in Bahrain, has

launched ‘Point of Sale

(POS) Assignment on card

receivables’ in collaboration

with CrediMax.

The POS Assignment can

be used by retailers and service

providers, who accept debit

and credit cards as a mode of

payment, to enhance security

package that is required for

raising finance by simply

assigning their point of sale

proceeds to BDB. This would

provide credit moderation

and facilitate requirements

of financing to SMEs who are

unable to provide other forms

of security.

The sales collected from a

debit and credit card machine

will be deposited in the

company’s account with BDB

for the financing period.

Sanjeev Paul, CEO of BDB

mentioned that all the parties

involved in the transaction

Ahmed Abdul Rahim

CEO, Ithmaar Bank

their new card. They will also

be able to receive instant PIN

reissuance for their Debit Card

from the branch.

Ithmaar Bank Chief

Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul

Rahim said, “We recognised, for

example, the inconvenience of

wins, with the launch of this

POS assignment. “We are

proud of our collaboration

with CrediMax, which will

benefit the startup and SME

ecosystem of Bahrain. BDB

supports the startup and

SME industry, the customer

receives the required funding,

and CrediMax increases their

client base.”

Yousif Ali Mirza, Chief

Executive of CrediMax said,

“We are proud to play an

active role in allowing our

mutual clients to have the

best financial solutions for

their business and support

the kingdom’s continuous

drive towards development of

the SMEs and its important

role in the economy of

Bahrain. This collaboration

comes in line with CrediMax’s

strategy to develop innovative

financial tools for its clients

while providing superior

customer service.”

opening a new account then

having to wait a few days or

even, for that matter, a single

day for the debit card. We

addressed this by bringing the

process of physically issuing

Debit Cards directly into


Ithmaar Bank allows round

the clock access to banking

services both on the Bank’s

network of 45 ATMs, the Benefit

network in the Kingdom of

Bahrain, the GCCNet network

in the Gulf Cooperative

Council (GCC) region and

internationally through

the Mastercard network. In

addition, to advanced, state of

the art eBanking services.

May-June 2019


Banking & Finance

Citi continues to

invest in Bahrain

Citi launched its next

generation Citi Mobile®

App for Citi’s credit card

customers and two new credit

cards Citi® Premier and Citi®

Rewards in Bahrain to enhance

the banking experience.

Usman Ahmed, Head of

Citi for Bahrain, Kuwait and

Qatar said, “Bahrain is a key

market for Citi and we continue

to invest in our consumer

and institutional banking

services to offer the best to our


The new Citi Mobile® App

The new Citi Mobile® App

will significantly change the

way credit card customers

manage their finances as

Citi introduces a new and

comprehensive set of mobile

app features and experiences.

It promises a new look and feel,

more intuitive navigation and

smart functionalities.

Two new cards: Citi® Premier

and Citi® Rewards

This is the first category of

Citi credit cards offered under

the Mastercard platform in


The new card products

offer a wide range of benefits

to meet customers’ travel and

lifestyle needs and provide

the freedom to redeem points

through an enhanced loyalty

program - Citi ThankYou®

Rewards to which customers

are automatically enrolled.

Citi® Premier is one of the

most flexible travel cards in

the market, offering customers

the ability to transfer their

points to a choice of 13 airline

partners including Gulf Air,

Etihad. Customers can also use

their points to directly book

fl i g h t s o r h o t e l s f r o m C i t i ’s

travel portal with no blackout

dates and will benefit from

unlimited complimentary

lounge access to over 1,000+

airport lounges worldwide as

well as complimentary travel

inconvenience and medical

insurance. Citi Premier

customers can also enjoy 24/7

access to a dedicated concierge

desk for enhanced lifestyle

experience from planning

AUB launch


Chatbot service

on WhatsApp

In its efforts to ensure that

the clients are served with

the latest banking services,

Ahli United Bank (AUB) launch

their Artificial Intelligence (AI)

supported Chatbot service via

WhatsApp for Businesses.

Being the first bank in

Bahrain to integrate its system

with an AI supported chatting

service via WhatsApp, AUB’s

current and prospective clients

will be able to complete many

of their banking inquiries

through the chatting service.

Banking inquiry topics include

MyHassad program prize

winner list, information about

Current Accounts, Savings

Accounts, Personal Loans,

Car Loans, Money Transfers,

Branches and many other

banking services.

This service is considered

friendly, and secure with 24/7

availability. Anyone can access

travel to exclusive event


Citi® Rewards is a card for

shopping and lifestyle benefits

where customers can redeem

their points for shopping

vouchers across various brands

such as Marks & Spencer and

Sharaf DG, or for merchandise

from fashion to electronics

via Citi’s ThankYou® points

online platform. Customers

can also benefit from Citi World

Privileges portal providing

discounts for dining and

entertainment both locally

and internationally across 95


the chatting service by simply

adding the bank’s number

34221999 to their Phone’s

Contact List and then opening

a chat with the saved contact,

just like chatting with a friend

on WhatsApp.

Samih Abutaleb, Group

Head Digital Transformation for

AUB commented, “Following

the successful launch of the

fi r s t p h a s e f o r t h e c h a t s o l u t i o n

via WhatsApp Business

solution, we look forward to

the upgrade and growth of

the WhatsApp based chatting

services in order to deliver

a consolidated and unified

digital client experience. Our

integration with the WhatsApp

Business solution builds on

our commitment to further

enhancing and facilitating

AUB’s banking services.

WhatsApp, being widely-used,

is a simple, reliable and private

way to converse with anyone

in the world, which offers AUB

clients with further simplicity

and comfort.

We are working on rapidly

expanding the service to

further enable continuous and

interactive conversations with

our clients, as all messages

sent via a WhatsApp business

account are secure and

encrypted in a safe and secure

manner,” he added.


enables GCC

Nationals to

open an account

remotely in


Kuwait Finance House -

Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain)

mobile application ‘KFH

Jazeel Banking’ is the first

Fintech banking platform that

enables GCC residents to open

saving accounts from their

own countries remotely and

conveniently in Bahrain, thus

eliminating the need to travel.

The latest update allows

GCC customers to conduct

banking transactions and

access financial services

within Bahrain, in addition

to opening and managing

savings accounts, opening

Wakala Investment accounts,

issuing Credit Cards,

alongside various other

banking services. A primary

feature of the platform is the

eKYC (Electronic Know Your

Customer) capability, which

verifies individual customer

information through an

embedded video conferencing

system fully integrated

with the Bank's call center,

eliminating the need to visit

any of the branches in person.

Abdulhakeem AlKhayyat,

the Managing Director and

CEO said, "We are committed

to continuously develop the

KFH Jazeel Banking platform

by offering unique services

and following through on our

new concept of sustainable

community banking.”

48 May-June 2019

Highlights | Telecom



launch for

domain names

البحرين.‏ & .bh

Sh. Nasser Bin Mohamed Al


Acting General Director, TRA

In an effort to promoting the

Arabic electronic content,

the Telecommunications

Regulatory Authority (TRA), in

cooperation with the Internet

Corporation for Assigned

Names and Numbers (ICANN),

has worked to obtain the

necessary permissions to

manage the Internationalized

Domain Name ‏.البحرين which

5G to transform

the digital lives

of people across


Batelco signed milestone

deal with Ericsson

to commercially deploy

5G to enhance the digital

lives of people, enterprises

and industries across

Bahrain. The nationwide 5G

deployment will commence in

phases in key locations across

the Kingdom, based on the 5G

technology and eco-system,

aligned with global 5G trends,

over the next three years.

The deal, the latest

in a long and successful

partnership between the

companies, will see Ericsson

commercial 5G equipmentincluding

5G New Radio

is the Arabic equivalent to the

existing English domain (.bh).

“The Arabic language

is the fastest growing on

the Internet in terms of

content. Arabic is also the

fifth language in the world

in terms of the number

of speakers which is very

important and reflects

TRA’s keenness to provide a

national domain promoting

the development of websites

with Arabic content.” Said

TRA Acting General Director

Sh. Nasser Bin Mohamed Al


“This initiative is

the result of Ministerial

Resolution No. 11 of 2018

which was published in the

Official Gazette on the 18th

of October 2018, stating that

TRA is the official authority

responsible for managing

domain name operations in

the Kingdom, and also the

recently issued Royal Decree

No. 33 of 2019 stating that TRA

is the government authority

responsible for registering

domain names and levying

collectible fees.” Sh. Nasser


The use of the national

domain name also ensures

the preservation of

intellectual and commercial

property rights for wellknown

trade makers locally

and internationally. In order

to diversify distribution

channels and spread domain

names of the Kingdom of

Bahrain, TRA has adopted

the (registry /registrar)

model which will result

in competition between

authorized registrars to

provide the best services

including smart applications

and electronic registration.

Consumers will also

be able to register domain

names (.bh & ‏(البحرين.‏ through

several local and global online

channels by Q3 2019 providing

consumer choice and

competition in the domain

name market place.

(NR), mobile transport, and

core - being deployed in

Batelco’s network. Ericsson’s

high-speed and low-latency

5G technology will help

Batelco meet growing data

traffic demands and deliver

high-quality enhanced mobile

broadband and fixed wireless

access experiences.

The shift to 5G will

bring enhanced mobile

broadband to data-hungry

subscribers across Bahrain

with huge speed and lowlatency

changes in mobile

user experiences such as

streaming, downloading,

gaming, infotainment, and

interactivity. 5G will also

enable Batelco to help

open-up opportunities in the

Internet of Things (IoT) and

Industry 4.0 on a global scale

to enterprises and industries

in Bahrain.

Batelco is focused

on driving network

leadership in Bahrain and

providing customers with

next-generation mobile

technologies. It recently

achieved Bahrain’s first

3GPP-compliant 5G data call

on a mobile network using

a 5G pocket router. The call,

which took place at Batelco’s

Headquarters in Bahrain,

used Ericsson Radio System

solutions and 5G Cloud

Packet Core.

Batelco Chairman Shaikh

Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa

and Ericsson President & CEO

Börje Ekholm have signed

a milestone partnership to

launch 5G in the Kingdom of


Batelco’s Chairman

Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa

Al Khalifa said that he was

delighted to sign the new

agreement with Batelco’s

long-time partner, Ericsson, to

take forward the Company’s

5G plans, designed to meet

Bahrain’s growing data

traffic demands and delivery

of superior services for all

sectors across the Kingdom of


Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of

Market Area Middle East &

Africa at Ericsson said that

5G promises to accelerate

the digitization of industries,

offering service providers

with new opportunities and

enabling them to launch the

most advanced technologies

while improving the end-user

experience with higher data

speeds and lower latency.

Ericsson recently

enhanced its 5G Platform

with portfolio additions

across core, radio access and

transport areas, as well as

service orchestration. The

add-ons make the platform

more dynamic and flexible,

enabling service providers

to smoothly evolve their

networks and deploy 5G at


Providing the latest


technology in the Kingdom

of Bahrain is Batelco’s top

priority and one of the

key pillars in enhancing

the telecom sector in line

with the Kingdom’s plans

in improving the National

telecom infrastructure and

supporting the growth of

the digital economy and the

required ecosystem.

50 May-June 2019


Smart Home

WiFi solution

Batelco has launched a

high quality managed

WiFi solution for home users.

This new service provide

reliable, strong and secure

Wi-Fi coverage and is the ideal

solution for those who demand

high quality Wi-Fi in every

corner of their home. The new

service boasts many features

that includes but is not limited

to, support for up to 500Mbps

WiFi speeds, simple plug &

play zero touch provisioning

and parental control security


Batelco’s Smart Home WiFi

solution is based on mesh

WiFi technology, which means

customers will no longer need

to have multiple WiFi networks

to enjoy strong WiFi coverage

at home. The solution will

extend WiFi coverage to the

whole house with only one

WiFi network. Subscribers

will enjoy uninterrupted

connectivity in all areas of

their home.

Moreover, subscribers to

Batelco’s Smart Home WiFi

service will have access to

the Batelco Smart Home WiFi

mobile application giving them

the facility to manage and

control their WiFi networks

while at home or on the

go. The mobile application

includes various features

including viewing network

status, website & device

blocking, time based access

control, configuring guest WiFi

networks and running selfdiagnostics

connectivity tests.

The service comes with

24/7 support from Batelco’s

Contact Centre that has a full

view of the customer’s home

WiFi network and can run

connectivity diagnosis and also

push connectivity fixes.

Batelco General Manager

Consumer Division Maha

Abdulrahman said that the

new service is a strong boost

to its portfolio of consumer

services and supports Batelco’s

efforts to deliver high quality

and in-demand services for its


“Batelco believes in the

importance of promoting

the growth of the technology

sector, with a particular

focus on its contribution

to the development of

digitisation to support the

changing requirements in

the Kingdom of Bahrain. We

continuously strive to offer

the latest solutions to provide

exceptional experience and

elevate the level of service we

provide for all users across the

Kingdom,” she added.

VIVA introduce


in Bahrain

VIVA Bahrain launched

their state-of-the-art Set

top box, Jawwy TV HOME in

collaboration with Intigral.

Jawwy TV HOME, started

from this March offer exclusive

content Premium Live TV

including OSN along with

the latest Arabic, English and

Turkish Movies and TV Series

to VIVA’s customers obtaining

the new Wireless Fiber

Broadband service for their


Jawwy TV HOME is

the MENA region powerful

entertainment platform that

Batelco launch


Adel Al-Daylami

Chief Global Business Officer,


Batelco launched Manama-

IX (Manama Internet

Exchange) in partnership

with AMS-IX, the world’s

leading Internet Exchange.

Manama-IX (mn-ix) will

serve as a neutral internet

traffic exchange platform

interconnecting global

networks within the region.

delivers high quality video

content to VIVA customers.

Jawwy TV HOME comes as

a complimentary product

with every new VIVA Wireless

Fiber Broadband subscription

starting from BD14 per month

on a promotional basis and

offers access to the best

selection of free and premium

encrypted TV Channels in HD,

inclusive of OSN in addition

to a great library of exclusive

content of Movies and TV

series covering the latest

Arabic, Western and Turkish

channel groups including FOX,

Starzplay, MBC and Rotana.

On top of that, Jawwy TV

Home offers unlimited video

streaming without consuming

the Broadband Wireless Fiber

plan’s data allowance. Jawwy

TV Home is an all in one, easy

“plug-and-play” device offering

advanced features including

rewind, TV program guide

(EPG) in addition parental

control and much more.

This partnership

introduces AMS-IX expertise

to support the operation

of Manama-IX as it serves

network operators and

content providers from a

comprehensive integrated

platform located in Global

Zone, the neutral transit zone.

Manama-IX will contribute

toward the development and

enhancement of internet

services across the region,

interconnecting regional

internet providers and

operators, localizing and

retaining regional traffic and

ultimately enhancing user

experience. Manama-IX can

serve the GCC countries and

beyond through Batelco’s

Global Network.

Batelco Chief Global

Business Officer Adel Al-

Daylami said that as part

of its comprehensive plans,

Batelco is continuously

building on its national and

international infrastructure.

Our goal is to develop

Manama-IX into a leading

internet hub in the MENA

region and this can be

achieved through our

partnership with a global

experienced partner like

AMS-IX, who will accelerate

the delivery of our objective

by deploying a scalable,

managed Internet Exchange

operated by them.

CEO Peter van Burgel

from AMS-IX mentioned that

the AMS-IX will set-up and

technically manage Manama

Internet Exchange in Bahrain

on behalf of Batelco to further

improve internet connectivity

throughout the region.

Batelco continues

to support the

telecommunications sector

through the introduction of

the latest technologies and

expertise, which aims to

boost the digital economy

in line with the vision of the


May-June 2019



VIVA Bahrain


a simpler



Karim Tabbouche

Chief Commercial Officer, VIVA


Gemalto has partnered

with VIVA Bahrain, to

supply them with a remote

subscription management

platform that enables

customers to instantly

activate a mobile connection

for devices fitted with an

eSIM. They will then be

able to manage their mobile

subscription throughout the

product lifecycle, without ever

needing to physically change

a SIM card.

In contrast to a

conventional removable

SIM, an eSIM is embedded

in the device during

manufacturing. As a result, it

saves space, reduces weight,

and makes it far easier

for OEMs to supply users

with innovative connected

devices wherever they are.

In particular, eSIM adoption

is helping to fuel dramatic

growth in the IoT (Internet

of Things), supporting the

development of exciting

consumer products such as

smartwatches, connected PCs

and compelling concepts that

include the connected car and

smart home. In the wearables

market alone, Frost and

Sullivan predicts shipments

in the Middle East and North

Africa will reach 200 million

units in 2020, up from 90

million in 2016.

Gemalto’s eSIM

management platform

provides VIVA Bahrain

with seamless access to a

cloud-based on-demand

connectivity service that

is fully compliant with the

latest GSMA specifications.

Customers will enjoy the

best possible connected

experience with eSIM-enabled

devices, from the moment

they are switched on for the

first time.

Karim Tabbouche, Chief

Commercial Officer for VIVA

Bahrain said, “We continue

to adopt innovative and

latest trends in technology

to enhance our customers

experiences. The adoption

of Gemalto’s eSIM remote

subscription management

platform represents the

latest stage of this ongoing

strategy, and builds

on our already successful


Sherry Zameer, SVP for

IoT in CISMEA at Gemalto

mentioned, “With billions

of machines and people

now requiring round-theclock

connectivity, remote

subscription management

is key to an enhanced

user experience. With the

deployment of Gemalto’s

proven solution, Viva Bahrain

is reinforcing its position at

the forefront of the industrial

and consumer IoT market.”

Khameesna Zain

Zain Bahrain, a leading


provider in the Kingdom, has

confirmed its commitment

to Bahrain's entrepreneurial

sector with the continuation

of its "Khameesna Zain"

initiative. Since its first

edition, "Khameesna Zain"

has provided a solid platform

for small businesses to

increase their customer

reach by providing them with

opportunities to showcase their

products to new audiences.

Through "Khameesna

Zain", small businesses are

invited to participate in events

at Zain Bahrain's headquarters

in Seef, where members

of the public are invited

to experience the various

offerings of the Kingdom's

enterprising entrepreneurs.

Zain Bahrain also promotes

the event through its social

media channels, @zainbahrain

on Twitter, zainbahrain on

Batelco Group signs SPA with Kuwait

Telecommunications to sell 90% shares of QualityNet

Batelco, the regional


group with operations across

14 countries, announced it

has signed a Share Purchase

Agreement (SPA) with

Kuwait Telecommunications

Company (VIVA) to sell its 90%

Abdulla Al Khalifa

Director, Communication

& Investor Relations, Zain


shareholding of its Kuwait

subsidiary, QualityNet General

Trading and Contracting

Company W.L.L (QualityNet).

The price consideration

will be determined upon

completion of the full transfer

of shares and fulfillment of

Instagram, and www.facebook.

com/ZainBahrain, providing

participating businesses

with further exposure to its

substantial online following.

The initiative falls in

line with Zain Bahrain's

commitment to supporting

local businesses and meets

the company's ambitions

towards the realisation of the

United Nation Development

Programme's Sustainable

Development Goals -

particularly Goal 8, which

promotes decent work and

economic growth.

Abdulla Al Khalifa,

Director, Communication

& Investor Relations, Zain

Bahrain said, "We are part

of the fabric of the Bahraini

community, and we want to

provide opportunities that

enable success for businesses

of all sizes. Small enterprises

have a large role to play in the

economic development and

growth of the Kingdom, and we

are committed to supporting

them in meaningful ways

that will help them to grow.

"Khameesna Zain" is just one

way in which we can provide

small businesses with a boost,

and we are pleased to continue

this successful platform to help

more entrepreneurial ventures."

To find out more about

"Khameesna Zain", including

upcoming events and how

to participate, follow Zain

Bahrain's social media


the terms, conditions and

covenants agreed between the

parties in the SPA.

Moreover, QualityNet’s

shares will be transferred

to VIVA after obtaining the

necessary regulatory approvals

in the State of Kuwait.

52 May-June 2019

Highlights | Real Estate

Era Projects

to start new


at Diyar Al


ERA Projects will acquire a

parcel of land to develop

a residential community

with Diyar Al Muharraq. The

residential community will

comprise of luxury units in

line with Diyar Al Muharraq’s

distinctive offerings. The

freeholder properties will be

launched in the second half of

2019 for potential customers

who are looking to explore

a modern lifestyle in an

integrated city.

Dr. Maher al Shaer

commented, “We are pleased

to enter this partnership with

Boutique Retail

and Restaurant

complex, Ain 520

CBRE Bahrain have

announced a new

boutique retail, F&B and

leisure development on

Budaiya Highway which

is set to become one of the

country’s most popular lifestyle

destinations. The global

real estate firm have been

appointed to lease and manage

the property, which will offer

over 5,000 sq.m across 14

stand-alone units.

This previously residential

compound with generous

gardens and common areas,

is currently undergoing

one of the most prominent

real estate developers in

the Kingdom, who will

uplift Diyar Al Muharraq by

adding a vibrant residential

community. We look forward

to adding a luxury project

under Diyar Al Muharraq’s

umbrella, and look forward to

this fruitful partnership.”

Abdulhussain Khudhur

said, “Diyar Al Muharraq

is one of the largest

developments in the Kingdom

of Bahrain with attractive

residential, touristic and

leisure elements and we are

pleased to announce our

partnership, which allows

us to develop freehold units

within the largest urban

housing development in the


A unique master planned

city for the people of Bahrain,

Diyar Al Muharraq offers a

range of housing options and

quality lifestyle. Offering a

cohesive mix of residential

and commercial properties,

Diyar Al Muharraq has a

strong lineup of projects

aimed at creating a long term

and sophisticated township.

conversion works to become

Ain 520, a retail, F&B and

leisure concept that offers an

appealing, green environment

for customers - inspired by art

and nature.

The property, which is well

located on Budaiya Highway,

near the Sar Avenue junction,

provides good visibility and

access, ample parking with

over 200 spaces and attractive,

colourful landscaping designed

to ensure the project offers a

unique experience for visitors.

The project is currently preleasing

and the first operators

are expected to open later this

year. Ain 520 provides space

for dine in restaurants with

outdoor seating, convenience

focused drive throughs,

Bin Faqeeh signs

first Staybridge

Suites Hotel in


Bin Faqeeh Real Estate

Investment Company

S.P.C. signed the first

StayBridge® Suites Hotel

in Bahrain in partnership

with InterContinental Hotels

Group (IHG).

Located in the heart of

the capital, Staybridge®

Suites Manama Al Seef will

benefit from its proximity to

the popular shopping and

commercial destination, the

Seef District. Guests can also

enjoy home-like surroundings

and amenities throughout

the hotel with a feeling of

community including a fully

equipped kitchen, spacious

suites, large workspaces,

complimentary WiFi, a

business centre and fitness


retailers, and health and beauty

centres amongst others.

Richard Botham, CBRE’s

Senior Director and General

Manager, said: “We are very

pleased to have been appointed

to consult on, lease and

manage Ain 520 - a project

that we believe will stand out

as a F&B destination, themed

by local art and culture while

providing a great platform for

new trends. Local residents

and other visitors will find Ain

520 offers something for the

whole family, day and night,

with a varied mix of operators

targeted to take up space in the


Faisal Faqeeh, Chairman

of Bin Faqeeh Real Estate

Investment Company S.P.C.

said, “The fantastic location

combined with the unique

offering of Staybridge Suites

Manama Al Seef, makes it

the ideal choice for travelers

looking for a home away from

home experience.”

Pascal Gauvin, Managing

Director, India, Middle East &

Africa, IHG said, “The tourism

industry in Bahrain is gaining

momentum with an increase in

leisure and business travelers,

especially from the GCC

countries, that is resulting in

a rising demand for long stay

accommodation. Seef District

is the commercial hub of

Bahrain and boasts of some of

the best shopping destinations

in the city, which is why it

makes perfect sense to develop

the Kingdom of Bahrain’s first

Staybridge Suites here.

‘’Staybridge Suites Manama

Al Seef marks our third hotel in

the country, positioning us to

cater to a wider-range of guest

profiles, and we look forward

to welcoming our guests to

this newest addition to our

portfolio, in 2020’’.

Bin Faqeeh has a large

portfolio of projects offering

a wide range of real estate

options that meets different

needs and expectations of

any investor. It aims to be the

benchmark for generating

innovative investment

opportunities, merging

global best practice and local

expertise to deliver value

adding projects.

Staybridge® Suites is IHG’s

extended-stay brand known

for its warm welcome and

well-designed, spacious suites,

that put guests at ease from

the start of their stay. There

are currently five Staybridge

Suites® hotels open across

the Middle East, with a further

eight due to open in in the next

three to five years.

54 May-June 2019

Real Estate

Entertainment concepts that will

bring Families together

Located on the island of

Dilmunia in Muharraq,

Mall of Dilmunia aims to

differentiate itself from

traditional malls, by offering

entertainment concepts that

will bring families together.

The philosophy behind Mall of

Dilmunia is that all members

of the family can enjoy

themselves with everything it

has to offer, emphasizing the

inclusivity factor.

Funscape World, the

new Bahraini entertainment

company, has been awarded

the responsibility to manage

the exciting entertainment

centre at Mall of Dilmunia.

Funscape World will consist of

four different zones, Funscape

Play, Funscape Adventure,

Funscape Sport and Funscape

Ice, providing visitors with an

array of choices to enjoy the

amenities and facilities that

the mall will offer. Funscape

World will be open to the

public later this year.

The first zone, Funscape

Play, will consist of engaging

activities for children such as

bumper cars, wheel rides and a

soft play for toddlers, allowing

both parents and children

to enjoy their day together.

The second zone, Funscape

Adventure, will thrill seekers,

with a range of activities such

as ziplining, a four-storey rock

climbing, video games and

more that welcomes all age

groups and physical abilities.

Funscape Sports zone will

offer visitors an indoor sports

experience, with two football

pitches, robo-keeper and a

number of table sport games

for a variety of athletic games,

catering to the preferences

of every individual. The last

zone, Funscape Ice, will allow

visitors to demonstrate their

ice skating skills, alternatively

one will be able to learn how

to skate and enjoy a cool

environment in the perfect

square 26m ² ice rink, the

biggest in Bahrain.

That’s not all, Mall of

Dilmunia will also boast the

fi r s t a n d l a r g e s t c y l i n d r i c a l

aquarium spanning 7 meters

in width by 16 meters high,

covering all floors of the

mall. Visitors will be able to

marvel at the array of sea

life in this unique aquatic

habitat. Visitors with diving

certificates will be able to dive

inside the aquarium and there

will be a petting zoo where

children can actually feed

the fish. The aquarium will

also become an immersive

educational experience that

will allow students from

schools across the country to

visit, explore and learn more

about the different species

and sea-life the aquarium will

inhibit, through a first-hand

encounter with them. Each

level of the aquarium will

exhibit different species of

sea-life based on the depths of

their ecosystem.

Mall of Dilmunia sets

the scene for an enjoyable,

relaxing and fun-filled day

out for families across the

Kingdom. Filled with luxurious

facilities and amenities, cafes

and restaurants overlooking

the 1.62 km canal, creating the

ideal dining and overall mall

experience. The tenant mix

will showcase an exciting mix

of regional and international

retailers that are unique to the

market and the region.

Manara start

construction of

Wadi Al Riffa

Manara Developments has

started the construction

works for one of its most

recent projects, namely ‘Wadi

Al Riffa’, a project aimed to

bringing brilliance of design

and quality of construction

to Bahraini Families settling

in safe and sustainable

communities. The project’s

construction works are

expected to carry on for 10

months and scheduled for

delivery of units early 2020.

Managing Director of

Manara, Dr. Hasan Al Bastaki

noted that the Company is

on a continuous pursuit to

refine its knowledge and

understanding towards

meeting the most recent

developments in the

residential real estate market

with a particular focus on

modern Bahraini Families as

to match their requirements

with the latest construction

sector developments within

affordable price ranges.

Phase one - currently

reaching the end of the land

levelling and landfill stage -

consists of 29 attached villas

each occupying a plot ranges

between 180 square meters

and 233 square meters, and

a built-up area of 235 square

meters. Each unit consist of

3 master bedrooms, Majlis,

living room, dining area,

external kitchen, a Maid room

with a toilet, a laundry room

and a garage accommodates

2 cars. Each unit is carefully

designed to fulfil modern

Bahraini families’ needs. It

also includes a shopping

complex, a mosque, and a

public park for residents.

Insha Contracting WLL

has been appointed as the

main contractor for the

development works of the


Tender for the

infrastructure works of the

entire development project

has recently been issued

to member of specialized

contractors with the aim

to receive and undergo

evaluation of the bids and

appoint a contractor by April.

The infrastructure works

scope will entail the internal

road network and lighting

lampposts, electricity and

water networks in addition to

underground sewage network.

Total cost of the

development of the entire

projects including the

infrastructure works valued

at approximately BHD 17.6

million (USD 47 million). Dr.

Al Bastaki confirmed.

May-June 2019


Real Estate

Edamah sign an

agreement with


to finance

its "Sa’ada"


Bahrain Real Estate

Investment Company

(Edamah) the real-estate arm

of the sovereign wealth fund

of the Kingdom of Bahrain,

has signed an agreement with

KFH–Bahrain, as a strategic

partner to finance Edamah’s

"Sa’ada" Project.

The unique waterfront

development is the first of

its kind in the Kingdom;

designed to cater to the needs

of a diverse base of locals and

tourists, as well as serving the

requirements from an investor

and business perspective,

providing the tenants with a

differentiated project.

Sa’ada will feature a variety

of public facilities, including

restaurants, kiosks, and a

promenade, alongside various

other services, enabling the

development to emerge as a

value-adding project for the

community at large.

Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat,

Managing Director and Chief

Executive Officer (CEO) of

KFH–Bahrain, revealed, "We

are delighted to have been

appointed as the official

fi n a n c i n g p a r t n e r o f t h e

waterfront development

project. Through this initiative,

we seek positively contribute to

further diversify the economy,

in line with the Economic

Vision 2030. "

Amin Alarrayed, CEO

of Edamah, revealed, “The

development phase of the

“Sa’ada” project is expected to

be completed during the year,

whereas operational phase of

the project will be completed

in early 2020, in collaboration

with a number of companies,

retailers, restaurants, cafes and

waterfront activities."

The “Sa’ada” comes in

line with Edamah’s long-term

strategy focused on developing

new projects and renovating

existing ones in a sustainable

manner, managing them all in

accordance to international

standards and utilizing best


Gate project

embodiment of

uniqueness and

an architectural


Golden Gate, the 140,000

square meter project,

located in the heart of Bahrain

Bay, consists of 746 apartments

spread over two residential

towers of 53 floors and 45

fl o o r s . T h e p r o p e r t y i s f u r t h e r

equipped with 7 floors of

parking to accommodate 999

parking spaces.

Vice President of Golden

Gate Marketing and Sales,

Eman Al Mannai mentioned

that the Golden Gate project is

being implemented by a global

partnership between India's

Ajmera Mayfair Realty Group

with Kooheji Golden Gate

Property Bahrain.

“We have been very

satisfied with the interest of

local and foreign investors in

acquiring the opportunity to

own one or more apartments

in this project for the purpose

of housing, leasing or resale,”

she said.

The Real Estate Regulatory

Authority (RERA) has had a

great impact in supporting the

real estate sector by restoring

industry practices while

seeking to meet the market

needs thereby contributing

value to the entire community

in a holistic manner.

Since the commencement

of construction works, which

began on 3rd July 2018, the

construction of all buildings,

structures, and electrical and

mechanical works are in the

development phase, seven twostory

buildings are currently at

50% completion, and the project

in its entirety is scheduled

for full completion in the last

quarter of 2019.

Eman Al Mannai

Vice President, Golden Gate

Marketing and Sales

confidence to investors. Issuing

the Golden Gate project, a

license approved by RERA has

helped in giving reassurance

and trust for investors towards

the owners and the project. Ms.

Al Mannai also thanked the

Government of the Kingdom

of Bahrain for its continuous

efforts in decreeing laws

and regulations that would

create a healthy investment


“Our team has also

effectively introduced visitors

to the Kingdom to freehold

projects which allow various

nationalities to obtain

residence in Bahrain when

investing in the project,” added

Ms. Al Mannai.

“The Golden Gate project is

the embodiment of uniqueness

and is an architectural

masterpiece, drawing

inspiration from Bahrain with

its sails and gold, and Indian

jewels at the top and bottom of

the towers,” she concluded.

Savills to

manage BWTC

and Moda Mall

Global real estate advisor,

Savills take over the

property management,

leasing, facilities

management and marketing,

covering the entire retail

and commercial portfolio of

Bahrain’s premier landmark

property, which includes

Bahrain World Trade Center

(BWTC) office towers and

MODA Mall, Bahrain’s only

luxury shopping and dining


Located prominently next

to the King Faisal Highway,

Bahrain World Trade Center

is Bahrain’s iconic business

and commercial property

address, including MODA

Mall, location of many of the

worlds most famous fashion

and retail brands, providing a

unique customer experience

all year round. The new

partnership is announced at

a time when international

occupiers are increasingly

looking for iconic buildings

within the Central Business

District of Bahrain.

Paul Nathan, Head of

Real Estate Management

for Bahrain World Trade

Center and MODA Mall said,

“Savills has an experienced

regional team backed up

by global specialists. It’s

important for us to work with

a global market leader who

can guide us on how to best

position the asset to the latest

international standards.”

Savills’ Head of Northern

Gulf, Harry Goodson-Wickes

said, “Bahrain World Trade

Center is one of the best

commercial and retail spaces

in the Middle East and we look

forward to providing our best in

class property services to local

and international occupiers of

BWTC and MODA Mall.’

56 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Highlights | Technology

Wonder News

launch ITS

regional HQ in


Chinese technology group

WonderNews launched

its regional headquarters in

Bahrain which will offer its

services to its GCC clients in

the e-commerce and fintech

solutions. WonderNews will

invest USD50 million and it

will offer 500 employment

opportunities in the Kingdom

over the next three years.

WonderNews was

established in 2015 by Fujian

Wangle Technology Co., Ltd.,

a Chinese company which

is committed to creating

value-added solutions and

applications on content

platforms, e-commerce,

games for its 100 million

users globally. The company

is headquartered in Fuzhou,

China and has offices, UAE,

Morocco, Egypt and Saudi

Arabia among others.

WonderNews CEO, Mr.

Ou Zhenxing, stated that the

company has over 10 years of

experience in the operation of

Middle East Internet products.

“We have a highly-qualified

research and development

team and advanced

technology which has led to

the successful development

and operation of numerous

applications with over 100

million users,” explained Mr.


He expressed his gratitude

and appreciation for the

EDB in the establishment

of Wonder News in Bahrain

“Our strategic cooperation

with EDB have assisted us

in seamlessly establishing a

presence in Bahrain and using

the Kingdom as a regional hub

to cover the Middle East,” he


John Kilmartin, the

Executive Director of ICT at

the EDB said: “Wondernews’

decision to establish its

regional HQ in Bahrain is

a testament to Bahrain’s

growing tech ecosystem.

Bahrain’s legal framework, low

cost operating environment

and talent pool offers an

attractive location that

supports and encourages

investors to use Bahrain as

a hub to reach the GCC and

MENA markets.”

SADAD launch

‘Gift Vouchers’

and ‘Save Your

Card’ features

SADAD, the Kingdom’s

most trusted payment

platform, recognized as an

innovator in the FinTech

Industry introduces another

revolutionary features to their

mobile application.

Gift Vouchers

SADAD Bahrain becomes

the first company in the

Middle East region to

launch Gift Vouchers on

Blockchain. A distributed

ledger technology is used to

issue, transact and share Gift

vouchers within SADAD’s

private Blockchain network.

Using this revolutionary

technology, customers can

purchase Gift Vouchers via

both SADAD Mobile app

and SADAD payment kiosk

and then share it with their

family and friends. This

innovation is believed to bring

a dynamic versatility towards

the un-banked or underbanked

consumers of the

Kingdom. This development

has positively impacted

each step of the transaction

pipeline: faster processing

and settlement times, lower

transaction costs, and perhaps

most importantly, less fraud.

Blockchain along

with Distributed Ledger

Technology is recognized

worldwide as a standard for

recording electronic financial

transactions to ensure security

and trust. All recorded data is

securely signed by standard

cryptography algorithms and

distributed over different


Save Your Bank Cards

The new feature is

accomplished by tokenization,

which is considered the

safest way for storing

fi n a n c i a l c a r d i n f o r m a t i o n .

SADAD has recently attained

the latest version of the

Payment Card Industry Data

Security Standards (PCI-DSS)

certification, and with this

certification, SADAD ensures

that all confidential data is

secure and is only shared

towards payment processors

with the consent of the


This feature will allow

customers to pay bills and

make various transactions but

only having to save their card

details once. Aligned with the

PCI-DSS compliance, SADAD’s

in-house R&D and RTD team

have created a secure and

advanced payment platform

to ensure ultimate security of

customer’s card details while

allowing them to automate

and control their bills and

maintain complete visibility.

In order to ensure security

measures, customers will have

to enter their PIN number to

make a transaction.

Credit card tokenization

is used as a norm and techsavvy

customers are aware of

it. In addition to that, SADAD

Bahrain for the first time

in the history of payments

introduced the option to save

debit cards.

YKA partner

with Samsung


.K. Almoayyed & Sons

(YKA) parterned with

Samsung Gulf Electronics

to offer Samsung TV and

AV portfolio in all four of its

Electronic & Home Appliances

showrooms - situated in

Manama, Gudaibiya, Sehla

and Sitra in the Kingdom of


Through the partnership,

YKA will be distributing

Samsung’s QLED TV Series

and Large Size TVs as well

as a comprehensive range of

audio products. With stores

located throughout Bahrain,

customers will be assured

convenient and direct access

to Samsung’s cutting edge


“Our strategic alliance

with Samsung will strengthen

and elevate the position of

both brands. As the demand

for larger screen TVs is on

the rise, adding pioneering

brands such as Samsung to

our portfolio of products will

enhance our leadership and

offerings in the electronics

market,” said Alok Gupta, CEO

at Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons.

Pushing the boundaries

to bring the most engaging

viewing experience, Samsung’s

fl a g s h i p Q L E D T V r a n g e

combines legendary picture

quality and awe-inspiring style

to deliver the most spectacular

viewing experience.

58 May-June 2019


Intelligence-driven 24/7 security

operations centre in Bahrain

An international company

that specializes in

preventing cyberattacks, and

NGN International, a Bahrainbased

systems Integration

company, opened the first 24/7

intelligence-driven security

operation center (SOC) in

Bahrain. The new NGN SOC

powered by Group-IB enables

the local government, private

companies and financial

organizations to get expert

assistance in proactive

monitoring, detection

and prevention of any

cyberattacks at early stages

for better defense of their

internal networks.

Yaqoob Al Awadhi,

CEO of NGN International

said, “The opening of NGN

SOC powered by Group-IB

comes at a time when we

are witnessing an increased

threat actors’ activity in the

region and frequent data leaks

and compromise of personal

fi n a n c i a l i n f o r m a t i o n .”

One of the primary

benefits of working with the

new SOC is that it is fueled by

Group-IB’s intelligence-driven

products, such as Threat

Detection System (TDS), which

does not require complex

integration and at the same

time allows to prevent

incidents using network

traffic monitoring and

analysis of files (e.g. emails)

in an isolated environment.

On top of this, the new SOC’s

clients will be regularly

receiving notifications about

those who are preparing

attacks on them and about

advanced threat actors’

activity in the region, along

with recommendations on

how to protect against most

advanced threat actors.

While traditional SOCs

use signature-based detection

methods, which allow to only

deal with known threats, the

new intelligence-driven NGN

SOC powered by Group-IB

allows to know what to expect

and makes it possible to

prepare for attacks in advance

thanks to actionable threat


“The lack of knowledge

about evolving cyber

threats, shortage of qualified

cybersecurity analysts and

lack of cyber hygiene are

one of the major risks for the

Kingdom’s rapid economic

growth,” says Nicholas

Palmer, Vice President of

International Business at

Group-IB. “Jointly with

NGN Training center we

are planning to organize a

number of cybersecurity

trainings and workshops in

order to build a cyber-savvy

workforce in Bahrain which

would drive the country’s

digital transformation."


to provide HR

solutions in


TechoSmart for IT Services

and MenaITech, the

MENA Region’s largest and

most advanced Human

Capital Information Systems

(HCIS) provider, are to explore

deeper co-operation with

developing HCIS and HR

management solutions to

corporate and public-sector

clients across Bahrain.

This agreement serves

“The National Employment

Programme” by supporting

organizations participating

in this programme to make

smarter decisions about

their human capital by

offering them end-to-end

human capital information

technology solutions and


Mohamed Al Hujairi,

Managing Director of

TechoSmart, pointed out that

MenaITech solutions are

offered to private and public

sectors’ HR departments to

help them best utilize their

human capital with smart

technology that empowers

employees and managers to

ultimately drive growth and


“This deal complements

national efforts and

programmes aimed at

raising national calibers’

productivity, as well as

coping with labor market’s

changes following the

adoption of early retirement

programme. It also supports

private-sector institutions to

develop its HR departments

thus to qualify and integrate

early retirees.”

Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh,

Founder and CEO of

MenaTech mentioned,

“through this partnership,

Menaitech will further

enhance capabilities to

provide innovative solutions

to business development

challenges. Delivering

advanced and integrated

ICT solutions aimed at

cutting operating costs

while increasing revenues

by increasing productivity,

introducing technology into

business and establishing

a sustainable information

infrastructure for various

public and private sector


Dr. Hawamdeh further

pointed out that for over 15

years, MenaITech has led the

way in developing HCIS and

HR management solutions

to organizations of all sizes.

MenaITech’s comprehensive

suite of solutions and

services are covering every

aspect of HR including

payroll, recruitment,

training and developments,

succession planning with

smart technology that

empowers employees and

managers to ultimately drive

growth and efficiency.

May-June 2019



Huawei P30


HUAWEI P30 Series are the

company’s most advanced

camera smartphones to

date: Innovations such as

the HUAWEI SuperSpectrum

Sensor and SuperZoom

Lens allow Huawei to push

the envelope of not just

photography, but videography

as well.

Huawei also announced

that it has worked to optimize

the Huawei P30 series camera

for Snapchat, bringing more

camera innovation to users,

aiming for Snapchatters to

soon be able to enjoy more

experience using the Huawei

P30 camera.


Taking mobile

photography to a brandnew

level, HUAWEI P30 Pro

carries a new Leica Quad

Camera on the back of the

device, including a massive

40MP main camera with

a revolutionary 1/1.7-inch

SuperSpectrum sensor, a 20MP

ultra-wide angle lens, 8MP

telephoto camera and HUAWEI

Time of Flight (ToF) Camera

to unleash the imagination.

Unique to the HUAWEI P30 Pro,

HUAWEI ToF Camera captures

depth-of-field information

to deliver accurate image

segmentation and uses precise

distance measurement to

allow for the simulation of

multiple levels of bokeh. A

32MP selfie camera mounts

the device front and produces

AI-beautified pictures.

The SuperZoom Lens

takes smartphone zooming

capabilities to unprecedented

territories. The innovative

periscope design enables

Huawei to incorporate the

telephoto camera into an

extremely slim device. The

periscope design uses a prism

element to bend light at a

90-degree angle. By doing so,

the sensor can be fitted in the

chassis and support 5x optical

zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and a

never-before seen 50x digital

zoom, bringing the farthest

objects closer to the user’s eyes.

HUAWEI Dual-View

Video¹ uses multiple cameras

simultaneously to capture

videos. While shooting, the

screen splits into two halves:

the lower half shows the

wide-angle capture, while the

half that’s closer to the front

camera shows a close-up shot.

This mode, with its capability

to capture dual perspectives,

lends itself to capturing largescale

events such as sporting

matches and concerts where

users can adjust magnification

levels as well.

The HUAWEI P30 Pro also

houses a large, high-density

4,200mAh battery, and supports

40W HUAWEI SuperCharge,

which gives the device 70

percent charge in 30 minutes.

Moreover, HUAWEI P30 Pro

supports 15W HUAWEI Wireless

Quick Charge, and Wireless

Reverse Charge, which enables

the device to work as a power

bank for selected electronic

devices supporting wireless


The HUAWEI P30 Pro

supports a newly-introduced

Super Night Mode in shooting

videos. HUAWEI P30 Pro

retains great vision at low light

and every frame taken across

the long exposure is better with

superior colors, dynamic range

and clarity. Combined, these

processes enable an exposure

of 3-8 seconds and produce

the most stunning images

in low-light settings. The

“night vision” capability lets

the HUAWEI P30 Pro capture

videos even in the poorest of

lighting conditions.

Huawei P30 Lite

Combining exquisite

design and innovation,

HUAWEI P30 Lite smartphone

comes armed with a

32MP 3D Selfie Superstar

camera integrated with AI

Beautification which works

like a professional team to

enhance users’ beauty. The

rear of the device features

a 24MP AI ultra-wide triple

camera comprising of 24MP

main camera with a f/1.8 wide

aperture lens, 8MP camera for

ultra-wide angle shots and

2MP lens. In order to deliver

a seamless user experience,

the smartphone is launched

with the EMUI 9.0.1 installed

and offers 4GB of RAM and

128GB of internal storage. The

device also features a 6.15-inch

Dewdrop display and achieves

a massive screen to body ratio

of 84.1 percent. HUAWEI P30

Lite continues excellence in

design and features a slim

3D curved glass exterior

that provides a modern feel

that smoothly merges with

Huawei’s core innovations to

deliver a premium and sleek

user experience.


Huawei also launched the


Edition and Elegant Edition.

The outdoor smart watches

feature up to two and oneweek

ultra-long battery life

respectively, industry-leading

fitness and wellness tracking

capabilities, multi-sport modes

and classic watch look with

modern sensibility. The Active

Edition features the same

46mm watch face and will be

available in Black Stainless

Steel, Stainless Steel.

Wego application


on Samsung


Wego, the largest online

travel marketplace in

the Middle East and North

Africa (MENA), has partnered

with Samsung Electronics,

to incorporate their travel

application into Samsung


Samsung smartphones

will come pre-installed with

Wego application, giving users

seamless access to the world of

hotel and flight booking.

Wego compares a

wide range of flight and

accommodation options

available in the marketplace

and provides the best rates

across thousands of global and

local travel agencies, airlines

and hotel direct websites

and other accommodation


Mamoun Hmedan,

Managing Director, MENA and

India, said: “We have seen an

increase in the percentage

of travelers from the MENA

region who use smartphones

to book their holidays and this

move addresses this growth

and aims to simplify the users’

experience. By partnering with

Samsung, we are making it

easier and more convenient

for travelers to get immediate

access to the largest online

marketplace in the region on

their mobile device.”

Starting 1 April 2019,

Wego app will be available on

Samsung smartphones across

the stores in the GCC, Jordan

and Egypt.

The pre-installed Wego

app will be available in 22

languages and 59 currencies

and will give Samsung users

instant access to its wide array

of flights and hotels, exclusive

offers, 24/7 customer service

and much more.

60 May-June 2019


Highlights | Automotive

Ferrari F8


The F8 Tributo is the new

mid-rear-engined sports

car that represents the highest

expression of the Prancing

Horse’s classic two-seater

berlinetta. It is a car with

unique characteristics and, as

its name implies, is an homage

to the most powerful V8 in

Ferrari history.

The F8 Tributo sets

the market benchmark for

performance, driving pleasure

and ease of handling. It makes

the exhilarating performance of

the best 8-cylinder in the world

accessible to all drivers, with

unprecedented handling and

superior ride comfort.

The F8 Tributo replaces

the 488 GTB and, in the range,

is the model with the highest

performance matched by the

greatest driver involvement.

There are significant

improvements across the board

aimed at providing even better

control on the limit along with

greater on-board comfort.

In the automotive world,

Ferrari’s V8 engine is seen as

the very epitome of sportiness

and driving pleasure. This is

particularly the case when

it is mid-rear-mounted in a

two-seater. Ferrari has been

honing the scope of abilities of

this architecture, which creates

an optimal weight balance,

and thus delivers unparalleled

thrillingly sporty driving,

to perfection for over four


Designed by the Ferrari

Styling Centre, the F8 Tributo

is essentially a bridge to a

new design language that

will continue to emphasise

Ferrari’s key characteristics of

high performance and extreme

aerodynamic efficiency. In

fact, the F8 Tributo is the most

aerodynamically efficient

series-production mid-rearengined

berlinetta ever


The F8 Tributo features

state-of-the-art aerodynamics,

integrating innovations and

expertise developed thanks to

the company’s involvement

in the GT and Challenge

championships. The solutions

have been honed to create a

series-production mid-rearengined

berlinetta with the

highest level of performance


It was only through close

synergy with the Ferrari

Styling Centre that the strict

aerodynamic constraints could

be so flawlessly interpreted and

integrated into the car’s design.

A good example is the S-Duct

at the front and the redesigned

blown spoiler system at the rear


GLC Coupé

The next generation of the

successful model skilfully

and intricately combines the

sportiness of a coupé with the

functionality of an SUV. The

GLC Coupé impresses with

its distinctive appearance,

innovative driving assistance

systems, a new engine line-up

and the latest generation of the

MBUX Mercedes-Benz User

Experience multimedia system

with its wide range of control


The GLC Coupé is

characterised by its dynamic

appearance and elegant lines.

Hallmark off-road features

which are underscored by the

car’s clean yet decisive lines.

The cockpit retains the

classic, driver-oriented look

typical of Ferrari’s midrear-engined


Every element of the dash,

door panels and tunnel has

been completely redesigned

specifically for the car. The

F8 Tributo also boasts a new

generation steering wheel

and steering wheel-mounted

controls as well as new styling

on the standard seats.

Overall performance levels

are significantly higher than

those of the 488 GTB, thanks to

the increase in power, weight

reduction and improved

aerodynamic coefficient.

That performance is also now

accessible to a larger number

of drivers thanks to vehicle

dynamics systems that make

driving on the limit an easier

and more confidence-inspiring


include the dominant front end,

powerful forms and standard-fit

chrome details like the front

and rear underride guards. Its

coupé character shines through

in the squat silhouette with the

dropping roof line and rounded

rear window. Highlights at

the front end include the

powerfully contoured diamond

radiator grille with integrated

star and single louvre typical of

a coupé, complemented by the

distinctive air intakes and the

new contours of the standardfi

t L E D H i g h P e r f o r m a n c e


Flawless luxury and userfriendly

controls abound in the

Coupé's interior. The focus is on

the dashboard and the flowing

lines of the centre console. The

large, one-piece console panel

sweeps elegantly from the

centre air vents to the armrest.

It has a premium feel and a

build quality of exceptionally

high calibre. The interior colour

magma grey is completely

new. The completely revised

multifunction steering wheel

is available in two versions. Its

operation of Active Distance

Assist DISTRONIC and the

Touch Control buttons for

controlling the instrument

cluster and the infotainment

system as well as the acoustic

input feedback set new


The multifunctional

touchpad on the centre

console improves operating

convenience even further, and

replaces the rotary pushbutton,

while the infotainment system

has larger touchscreen displays

with optionally 12.3 inches in

the instrument cluster plus

the free-standing multimedia

display in the centre is

available in two sizes: 7 inches

with a resolution of 960 x 540

pixels and 10.25 inches with

1920 x 720 pixels. In addition

to this, the latest generation of

the MBUX Mercedes-Benz User

Experience multimedia system

boasts intuitive logic and a

wide range of control options.

As an alternative to the

standard sports suspension

with adaptive damping,


infinitely adjustable dampers

for the steel springs on the

front and rear axle is available

as an option. Depending on

the driving situation, speed

and condition of the road,

the damping is controlled

individually for each wheel in

interaction with the engine,

transmission and steering


Distance Assist DISTRONIC

provide even more comfortable

support to help the driver to

keep a safe distance. The speed

is adjusted automatically ahead

of bends or junctions.

The GLC Coupé will

be equipped with the next

generation of four-cylinder

petrol engines with increased

output at significantly lower

fuel consumption.

62 May-June 2019


Porsche Macan

Fone of Porsche’s most

popular models, the Macan

with performance credentials

that underline the model’s

position as the true sports car

in its segment. The brand’s

compact SUV has evolved in

terms of comfort and driving

dynamics, with two engine

versions, the Macan and the

more powerful Macan S.

The Macan comes to the

starting line with an enhanced

2.0-litre turbocharged fourcylinder

engine, producing

252 hp and delivering a

maximum torque of 370 Nm.

It accelerates from zero to 100

km/h in 6.5 seconds (when

equipped with the optional

Sport Chrono Package) and

reaches a top speed of 227

km/h. The Macan S is powered

by a new V6 engine, which

was first introduced in the new

generations of the Panamera

and Cayenne. The high-tech

power unit produces 354 hp

(an increase of 14 hp compared

to its predecessor) and a torque

output of 480 Nm. As a result,

acceleration to 100 km/h is just

5.1 seconds with the optional

Sport Chrono Package; its top

speed is 254 km/h.

The vehicle dynamics of

the Macan remain a principle

feature. The revamped chassis

increases driving pleasure,

offering stability and improved

comfort thanks to newly

developed mixed-size tyres,

enhanced brakes and the

intelligent all-wheel drive

Porsche Traction Management

(PTM) system. All combined

the Macan feels even more like

a sports car than ever before.

The range of standard

equipment has been further

enhanced, thus increasing

the attractiveness of the

new model. Customers can

now enjoy features, such

as a panoramic sunroof,

automatically dimming

mirrors and ParkAssist in

front and rear with reversing

camera, at no extra costs.

A further evolved design

language is visible in the new

Macan, giving it an even more

distinctive and confident

appearance. The front end

of the Macan has been

comprehensively revamped

and now appears wider.

Redesigned main headlights

feature LED technology as

standard, whilst a threedimensional

LED light panel

on the rear of the vehicle is

also incorporated in the new

range. Drivers have more scope

to express their personality

too with the addition of four

exterior colours-Mamba Green

Metallic, Dolomite Silver

Metallic, Miami Blue and


Inside, the new Macan

offers high-quality equipment

as standard. The seat surfaces

are covered with Alcantara®

and the steering wheel,

selector lever and armrests

are finished in leather with

additional full-leather interiors

also optionally available.

Porsche’s sports car DNA can

be found throughout. The

optional GT sports steering

wheel echoes the Porsche

911, whilst a mode switch

integrated into the steering

wheel - including Sport

Response button - is part of

the optional Sport Chrono

Package and was originally

used in the Porsche 918 Spyder

super sports car. Enhanced

functionality comes via the

new Porsche Communication

Management (PCM) system,

including a 10.9-inch

touchscreen (increased from

7.2 inches) as standard.

The new Porsche are now

available at Porsche Centre

Bahrain. Basic retail prices

(VAT inclusive) for Macan

BHD 22,242 and Macan S BHD


Jaguar I-PACE

Jaguar Bahrain unveiled

its first-ever all-electric

model, the Jaguar I-PACE,

dubbed as the world’s

smartest five-seater sports

car, offers outstanding

driving experience that

reflects its dynamic design.

A sophisticated, all-electric

powertrain provides

high performance with

zero tailpipe emissions.

Jaguar I-TYPE Formula E

racing car and I-PACE both

use Permanent Magnet

Synchronous Electric Motors

and Lithium-ion pouch

battery cell technology. These

motors are small, compact and

efficient, which significantly

help to optimise performance

and range.

From the pronounced

front wheel arches to the

rear diffuser, every supercarinspired

styling element

allows I-PACE to slice cleanly

through the air for maximum

range and stability.

The I-PACE seamlessly

integrates technology

and abundant space. The

Interior design is clean and

uncluttered, with tactile

features and sweeping lines.

The nature of the electric

powertrains offers additional

space, providing more

freedom to maximise the

comfort provided by I-PACE’s


The I-PACE is underpinned

by an advance Electric

Vehicle architecture created

specifically for this car that

delivers excellent driving

dynamics while minimizing

weight. These foundations

are paired with a suspension

proven on an F-PACE, XE and

XF. The double wishbone

suspension at the front and

Integral Link suspension at

the rear have been tuned to

allow the driver to attain the

perfect balance of dynamic

handling and refinement

while in the I-PACE

McLaren Bahrain


The McLaren Bahrain

Tower is situated by

the entrance to the Bahrain

International Circuit and with

a floor area of approximately

8,000 sqm across eight floors,

it is set to become the brand’s

third largest global facility

after McLaren Technology

Centre (MTC) and McLaren

Production Centre (MPC).

Phase I of the development is

scheduled to complete by the

end of the year and will see a

relocation of a regional office

for McLaren Automotive’

s Middle East, Africa and

Latin America division. Once

finalised, the development

will strengthen the brand’s

presence in the Middle East

and serve as its new regional

headquarter with potential to

accommodate future business

requirements in line with

growth plans outlined in the

Track25 business plan.

McLaren Automotive’s

Middle East, Africa and Latin

American region comprises 13

retail locations in 11 markets.

May-June 2019



The All-New


Bringing a new era of

improved performance,

capability, and safety, the fifth

generation RAV4, the compact

SUV trend-setter, is poised to,

once again, change the game.

The all-new RAV4 is

bringing more sport and

more utility back while

further enhancing the agile

handling, everyday comfort

and exemplary fuel efficiency.

It is designed to tackle urban,

suburban, and great outdoor

adventures with equal finesse.

The look is tougher, and

there’s greater capability with

a new all-wheel-drive system,

yet the ride is smoother and

quieter, with new comfort

touches inside.

One of two major

additions to the all-new

RAV4 is the hybrid electric

model, which combines two

power sources consisting

of a petrol engine and two

electric motors. The classleading

model, which offers

the lowest fuel consumption

value of 22.2km/L, enables

customers to contribute to a

more sustainable future while

enjoying increased driving

satisfaction and engagement

provided by its advanced

technologies and cabin


The second addition to

the RAV4 is the Adventure

model. It is distinguished by

a more aggressive bumper,

grille design and fog light

surrounds, larger overfenders,

high-rise roof rails

and a retuned suspension.

The RAV4’s distinct

personality is completed by

its expansive and comfortable

cabin, is accentuated with a

range of advanced features,

including Multi-terrain Select

(MTS), dual-zone automatic

air conditioning system with

Smart-flow (S-FLOW) control

to provide air conditioning to

only occupied seats, achieving

comfort and enhanced fuel

efficiency, 7-inch color multiinformation

display (MID)

in the cluster gauge, 8-inch

multimedia infotainment

display, ambient illumination,

six-speaker sound system,

multi-adjustable power driver

seat and 60:40 split-folding rear


Complementing the allnew

RAV4’s daring looks is

a thrilling drive personality

infused by two powertrain

options. A new 2.5-litre

four-cylinder Dynamic Force

engine with D-4S fuel injection

system, which produces 203

hp and is mated to a new eightspeed

Direct-Shift automatic

transmission (8AT), resulting

in a quicker and smoother

acceleration. On the other

hand, a new electrified hybrid

system combines two power

sources consisting of a petrol

engine and two electric motors

producing 176 hp and 118 hp,

respectively, with a combined

power of 218 hp. It is also mated

to a Direct Shift Continuously

Variable Transmission (CVT)

that provides the lowest fuel

consumption value of 22.2km/L

while delivering a new level of

driving pleasure.

Available in nine

distinctive exterior colors,

including four new colors, Cyan

ME, Dark Blue MC, Attitude

Black MC, and the newlydeveloped

Urban Khaki, further

express sophistication and

strength. On the other hand,

the interior is available in a

total of three colors, such as

Light Gray, Beige and Black.

Toyota Hiace

Keeping up with its heritage

of transporting people

and goods with peace of

mind, Ebrahim K. Kanoo has

revealed a new-generation

Hiace van and minibus

range with advanced safety

features, powerful new engines,

increased ride comfort, and a

host of new specifications.

Featuring a semi-bonnet

design that enhances

reliability, toughness, and

functional beauty, and offering

a wider choice of body sizes

and wheelbase lengths.

This shift has enabled the

development team at Toyota

to implement significant

changes, which include a

stiffer frame, stronger straightline

performance, greater

stability and manoeuvrability,

and more flexible suspension.

Complementing the all-new

vehicle’s enhanced reliability,

toughness, and functional

beauty is a dynamic driving

experience powered by two

new engines - a 2.8-litre

four-cylinder diesel engine

and a 3.5-litre V6 naturallyaspirated

petrol engine, with

both being offered with a

six-speed manual or automatic


The all-new vehicle’s

spacious cabin space is built

for maximized storage, with

added features like noticeably

bigger legroom, providing an

enhanced riding experience

enabled by wider doorsteps,

strategically-positioned assist

grips, and illuminated entry


The comprehensive array

of safety features in the vehicle

also include driver and front

passenger SRS airbags, and a

passenger airbag with a miniclamshell

design to protect

centre seat passenger.

Nissan KICKS in

dual color tones

Nissan has made the

award-winning Nissan

KICKS even more distinctive

for Middle East customers

and enthusiasts, with the

introduction of three new

Dual Tone options.

Customers now have

the freedom to choose the

colours for their favourite

Nissan KICKS that match

their expectations and define

their individuality. There are

three bold colour options to

choose from: grey with orange

roof; orange with black roof;

or white with orange roof -

all assured to stand out and

add to the personality and

personal preferences of the


Apart from the choice

of the dual tone options,

Nissan KICKS assures

economic fuel consumption

with its advanced 1.6 litre

engine and lightweight

platform. Furthermore, the

Nissan Intelligent Mobility

(NIM) enhances its safety

features and transforms

it from just a car into a

driver’s responsive partner.

With versatile interiors,

easier rear cargo access, a

tire pressure monitoring

system, and several stand-out

elements, Nissan KICKS sets

benchmarks in the compact

crossover segment.

64 May-June 2019

Available on

May-June 2019


Highlights | Other Business

A.I Academy

launch at Bahrain


The Labour Fund

“Tamkeen”, in cooperation

with Bahrain Polytechnic

and Microsoft, has recently

announced the inauguration

of the Artificial Intelligence

Academy in Bahrain

Polytechnic, with the aim

of providing a platform to

enhance innovation and

creativity capabilities of the

youth in the field of artificial


The inauguration of

the Academy follows the

directives of His Highness

Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad

Al Khalifa, First Deputy

President of the Supreme

Council for Youth and

Sports and Chairman

of Bahrain Olympic

Committee, instructing

to accelerate including

academic specialisations

that are related to artificial

intelligence in the educational

system of the Kingdom of

Bahrain, especially after the

remarkable participation

of the youth in the annual

“Khalid Bin Hamad Contest

for Innovation in Artificial

Intelligence”, a demonstration

of Bahrain’s youth’s

willingness to engage in the

A.I. field.

The Academy will aim to

train and qualify 60 trainee

students from Bahrain’s

schools and universities

as well as their teachers

using an integrated syllabus

incorporating artificial

intelligence, data analysis,

data science and machine


The programme is

considered to be a key

strategic step that serves

strengthening the leading

regional position of the

Kingdom of Bahrain

in the field of artificial

intelligence technology,

and to qualify a pioneering

class by establishing a

specialised base of Bahraini

competencies and cadres in

the region.

The specialised training

programme will take place

over the course of one year,

wherein trainees must

pass 10 stations and solve

a real-world problem using

knowledge and expertise

gained to complete the


Alba expands

Production &

Sales volume

Tim Murray

Chief Executive Officer, Alba

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.

(Alba), on the go to be

transformed into the largest

smelter in the world, expands

its overall sales volume

Special discounts on Cargo exports

Export Bahrain signed an

exclusive partnership

with Gulf Air’s Falcon Cargo

to provide SMEs in Bahrain,

exporting their goods to the

tune of 100 kilograms or above,

with special discount of up to

40% on their cargo exports.

Highlighting the

importance of this initiative,

Export Bahrain’s Chief

Executive, Dr. Nasser Qaedi

said, “Export Bahrain is

and throughput for the first

quarter of 2019 despite the

downward pressure on LME


The sales’ volume topped

257,113 metric tonnes (mt) in

this quarter, up by 2% Yearover-Year

(YoY) while the

production jumped to 272,707

mt, up by 5% YoY. Alba closed

this quarter with Value-Added

(VA) Sales averaging 52% of

total shipments versus 58%

for the same period in 2018.

Commenting on Alba’s

Sales’ volume and Production

for Q1 2019, Alba’s Chief

Executive Officer, Tim Murray

said, “We are very pleased to

have kicked-off 2019 strong

despite market volatility.

As we get closer to fully

ramp-up Line 6 within Q3

2019, Alba will be positioned

to further improve its

operational performance and

build upon the progress we

made since we started Line 6

Expansion Project.”

looking to build a repertoire

of different types of solutions

and offerings like this one

to enable exporters to make

that journey into the area of

exporting their products and

services much easier. We are

pleased to have the national

carrier support us in this

direction and we are sure

that SMEs will benefit from

not just the fast connections

from its Bahrain hub but

also to actively participate

in promoting the national

objectives of economic

development with this

promising opportunity.”

Gulf Air’s Chief Executive

Officer, Mr. Krešimir Kučko

said, “Our most important

strategy pillar is to contribute

to the economy of the

Kingdom of Bahrain and as

we signed the partnership

with Export Bahrain, we are

facilitating export services

for SMEs in Bahrain at

preferential rates. We want

to support the small and

medium-sized enterprises

to export their goods to the

outer world and show pride in

the Kingdom’s manufactured

products. This is the start of

a good potential for Gulf Air,

Export Bahrain and SMEs in


SMEs can have their

application registered and

processed through Export

Bahrain office located in Bait

Al Tijjar building, to avail the

discount and process their


66 May-June 2019

Other Business

‘Startup Factory’

to guide and

support local


The Startup Factory,

founded by Hamed Fakhro

and located in Seef (Orchid

Building) launched last month

under the patronage of Shaikh

Hisham bin Abdulrahman

Al Khalifa, Governor of the


The Startup Factory is

an incubator targeting local

startups that need guidance

and support. Utilizing a vast

network of specialist mentors,

companies, and Government

City Centre

Bahrain further

diversifies Retail

City Centre Bahrain

continues to expand its

competitive retail offering

with the opening of twentytwo

shopping and dining

concepts in the first half of

2019. The range of unique

fashion, jewellery, and

dining options complement

twenty new units added

in 2018 and underscores

the mall’s commitment to

continuously enhance the

experience of its visitors.

Looking forward in

2019, shoppers can expect

the introduction of several

fashion brands that

will be exclusive to City

Centre Bahrain, including

internationally renowned

The North Face for all

activewear and outdoor

sports gear accessories, the

traditional ethnic women’s

relationships, Fakhro will

guide and assist them as

a mentor and show how to

start and maintain their


The incubator will

offer services like financial

planning, cash flow

management, product

development, marketing

training, team building,

funding, mentorship.

Fakhro who

enthusiastically supports

Bahrain Vision 2030 said,

“The Startup Factory is

playing a role identifying

and promoting our local

talent, and our ultimate goal

is to help create and nurture

Bahraini companies that

can export their goods and

services to the rest of the

world. I’ve already seen great

potential and can’t wait to see

how they perform”.

fashion brand Khaadi,

upcoming fashion retailer

R&B, streetwear brand CCC,

trendy fine leather footwear

brand Verona Shoes, and the

fashionable streetwear brand

Converse. Customers will

soon be able to indulge in

the scents of the East at Oud

Elite, renowned hair dressing

brand Toni & Guy, ancient

Eastern beauty traditions

at Rituals. Lifestyle brands

Tommy Hilfiger and

Aldo have relocated into

pominent locations. New

fashion stores including

American upscale brands

Kate Spade and Cole Haan,

German fashion brand for

young women Orsay and the

modest women’s clothing

line at Leem. Luxurious

Italian clothing, shoes, and

accessories for men and

women Emporio Armani.

Aspirational and unique

jewelry can be found at

Jawhara Jewellery, while for

watch enthusiasts Rado &

Tissot and Charriol for handcrafted

timepieces, fine

jewellery and accessories.

City Centre Bahrain’s

diverse dining scene has

expanded in 2018 with a

variety of new F&B outlets

including Tortilla, Californiastyle

burritos and tacos.

Cicolatti Italiani, the first

Italian restaurant format

completely dedicated to the

world of chocolate. Jamal

Showaiter Sweets located

in the Souq area for a taste

of traditional Bahraini


For parents seeking

birthday gifts or family

treats ItsImagical or treat

your little girl to a special

doll from American Girl.

Shop at iSTYLE and explore

the world of electronics and

accessories. Opened earlier

this year to meet all the

health and wellness needs

of customers is Dr. Nutrition

and opening soon in 2019 for

all eyecare requirements is

Eye Zone.

City Centre Bahrain

continues to cater to interior

design shoppers with the

debut of The Home Store

and recently renovated

Home Centre, providing a

wide selection of fine and

affordable furniture and

décor items. Brimming

with thoughtfully designed

lifestyle, health, beauty and

home décor accessories is

the recently opened Yoyoso.

Shoppers looking for the

perfect pillow or mattress

can find everything they

need for a perfect night’s rest

at Tempur.



Factory launch

latest Thermal


Bahrain Polystyrene

Factory (BPF) launched

the latest product in thermal

insulation. BPF located at

BIIP, produce expanded

(EPS) and Extruded (XPS)

polystyrene using the state of

art Technology.

The new product will be

one of the finest products

manufactured in the GCC

with the latest technology

delivering a fire-retardant

composition for both

residential and commercial


“Bahrain Polystyrene

factory, aims to meet the

growing demand for thermal

insulation products in

Bahrain. Our Extruded

Polystyrene factory looks

to support this for thermal

insulation of roof and walls

to provide savings on energy

costs and protect from

climate change.” Said Mohd

Jassim Zayani, Managing


Bahrain Polystyrene

Factory is the first of its kind

in the kingdom of Bahrain to

produce expanded (EPS) and

Extruded (XPS) polystyrene

using the state of art


Insulation of buildings

is essential for consumers.

Extruded polystyrene for

roof and wall insulation is

essential when considering

higher thermal conductivity.”

adds Jassim Zayani.

May-June 2019


Other Business



gave life to the innovative

“made in Italy” bar and

restaurant service format

completely dedicated to the

cult of chocolate.

Founded by Ferrieri family,

with the first flagship store

on Via De Amicis in Milan,


has 37 locations, between

company owned and master

franchising, of which 23

are in Italy (Milano, Arese,

Brescia, Como, Varese,

Vimercate, Cesenatico…) and

14 in international locations

(Riyadh, Kuwait City, Doha,

Muscat, Bahrain,Tirana,


In less than ten years,


succeeded in creating a new

brand of Italian excellence

with a modern approach to

deal with a market that looks

confidently beyond Italian

borders through growth and

steady expansion in key

international markets.


chosen Cacao “Fino de Aroma”,

one of the finest chocolate

varieties in the world, as key

ingredient for all preparations.

Fino de Aroma is a precious

variety made by crossing the

Criollo and Trinitario varieties,

and represents only 8% of the

world’s cocoa.

Through long, researched

travels across remote regions,


selected not only the rarest

and precious beans, but also

ensures sustainable farming


The goal of


ambassador of “Chocology,” or

the art of mixing chocolatestarting

from excellent raw

material and expressing all of

its marvelous qualities, which

render it unique time after

time, in a cup of coffee, an

artisanal gelato, a cake or an

exceptional dish.

The chocolate

fountains, invented first by


icon of indulgence and the

unprecedented novelty of

“on tap,” which has become

a distinctive signature of



launched its first outlet in

Bahrain through its master

franchisee , Deli Gulf , located

at the Bahrain City Center

opposite the cinema , with

plans for further locations, the

brand is set to define a new

height for the art of chocolate

and Gelato in Bahrain.


& Co. opens in


Shakespeare & Co officialy

opened its first branch

in Zallaq Springs, Bahrain.

Immensely popular in the

region, Shakespeare & Co. is

known for its great quality

of food, friendly and efficient

service in a warm atmosphere,

and exquisite Victorian era

inspired décor that creates

an inimitable ambiance in its

outlets. While every restaurant

is distinctly Shakespearean,

each outlet is unique in terms

of colours, décor and layout.

Shakespeare & Co., a UAE

based franchise with more

than 50 branches in the MENA

region and United States, is

brought to the kingdom by

Bahrain-based Rahim Holdings


Ali Isa Abdulrahim, Rahim

Holdings Managing Director

said, “We’re pleased to open

our first Shakespeare & Co. in

Bahrain. Shakespeare & Co.’s

unique concept is reflected in

the scrumptious cuisine, as

well as the venue itself. It’s

stylish yet comfortable, classic

and chic. We’re delighted with

the positive response from

Bahrain’s customers and we’re

committed to ongoing quality,

wholehearted hospitality and

excellent value for money. We

look forward to expanding

further with the opening of a

second Shakespeare & Co. at

the Wharf Project in Bahrain

Bay later this year.”

Shakespeare & Co.’s first

Bahrain location is set in

picturesque, flamingo-laden

Zallaq Springs, where guests

can choose to take a turn in

the gardens and relax by the

lake before enjoying their

meal inside the beautiful

restaurant-café. In addition

to the magnificent décor and

views, Bahrain’s diners can

expect a refined and eclectic

range of international culinary

favourites, from classic

comfort-food appetizers and

Mediterranean-style sharers,

to sophisticated European

entrées, and hand-crafted

desserts, pastries and

chocolates, accompanied by a

fl a v o u r s o m e s e l e c t i o n o f h o t

and cold beverages. There’s

always something delectable

to look forward to on the menu,

be it breakfast, lunch, afternoon

tea, or dinner.

Furthermore, traditional

French style patisserie with

an impressive selection

of pastries, vienoisserie,

petit fours, macaroons and

marshmallows are available for

purchase from Shakespeare &

Co.’s pastry counters. Artisanal

home-made chocolates made

with quality ingredients and

individually hand wrapped

in distinctive Shakespeare

packaging are also on offer.

Inspired by 18th century

Europe, Shakespeare & Co.’s

distinctive décor is designed

and exquisitely crafted by

the company’s own artisans

to embody a by-gone era of

classicism, grandeur and

luxury. With careful attention

to detail, delicate elements

come together to create an

extraordinary, transportive

space that sparks the

imagination and gives way

to great conversation. From

plush upholstery encased with

antique frames, to intricate

chandeliers and vintage

centrepieces, the restaurant

is a classically majestic, awe

inspiring union of colours,

fabrics and textures that

create a truly extraordinary


68 May-June 2019

May-June 2019


Biz Dashboard


Average Price Per Square Meter (BHD) for Office Rentals in Bahrain



Um Al Hasam








Market Share for PR Coverage

Banking 38% 20% 16% 13% 8% 5%


Telecom 30% 26% 21% 14%


Batelco VIVA TRA Zain Kalaam

70 May-June 2019

Seef and Manama, as Bahrain’s most central business districts continue to be the highest priced

areas when it comes to office rentals. Areas like Mahooz, Sanabis and Um Al Hasam, which are

also considered to be central commercial locations, also fall in the highest priced areas. Hoora

and Zinj, known to offer warehouses and considered to be more of ans industrial area,s remain to

offer moderately priced offices for rent.


3.1 Mahooz



5.8 Sanabis




Source: Property Finder

Real Estate 52% 17% 14% 9% 5% 3%

Others Dilmunia Diyar Al Muharraq Golden Gate

Manara Bin Faqeeh

Other Business 40% 18% 14% 12% 10%



E.K. Kanoo - Web Portal Overview as on April 2019 Total Articles (18,898) Total Views (4,157,402)

May-June Total 2019

Visitors (820,289) 71

Listing | Tender Board Bahrain

Company Name

Tender Subject Tender No. Tender Type Closing Date

Labour Market

Regulatory Authority

Outsourcing Call Center Services

for LMRA

RFP20199706210835 Public 29/05/2019

Gulf Air Appointment of Creative Agency RFP20193927212382 Public 29/05/2019

Bahrain Airport


Supply of Tissue Paper Products

and Consumables at Bahrain

International Airport (BIA)

BAC/284/2019 Public 29/05/2019

Bahrain Airport


Developer and Designer for

Bahrain Airport Company and New

Passengers Terminal Website

BAC/286/2019 Public 29/05/2019

Bahrain Petroleum

Company (Bapco)

Three (3) Years Purchase

Agreement for Supply of Desktop

and Laptop Computers

RFQ/Bapco/2019-392 Public 29/05/2019

Ministry of Interior

Design and Implement a Vehicle

Registry for the General Directorate

of Traffic Using Blockchain


RFP/MOI/2019/50 Public 29/05/2019

Bahrain Tourism &

Exhibition Authority


Traffic Impact Assessment -

Manama Souq

RFP/BTEA/113/2019 Public 29/05/2019


Regulatory Authority

Quality of Service Measurements of

Mobile and Fixed Service

TRA/RFP/2019/56 Public 26/05/2019

National Audit Office

Medical Insurance for the

Employees of National Audit Office

RFP/NAO/6/2019 Public 22/05/2019

Eskan Bank

Appointment of Quantity Surveyor-

Bandar Al Sayah and Danaat Al

Sayah Reclamation Projects

EB-2019-E-16 Public 22/05/2019


72 May-June 2019

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