News Details

News from Abu Dhabi

Wed, March 21, 2018


Every quarter our BBG counterpart in Abu Dhabi sends us a roundup of events and commentary to give you the opportunity to follow and engage in the capital.


This was a hot topic during the recent hustings in Dubai for the election of Chairman for the coming year. Interestingly, differing views about the appropriateness of BBG outreach to UK organisations were aired. In Abu Dhabi, the BBG Committee has agreed that such efforts, aimed to help grow UK exports (especially given the upcoming Brexit process), is essential. As a result, the BBG is in touch with Scottish Development International who will be staging an event for exporters in Glasgow in late June. It is likely that a BBG Abu Dhabi Committee member will attend and make a presentation about the BBG in Abu Dhabi and ways that we can assist potential market entrants.

A visit to the Western region (now known as Al Dhafra) is planned for BBG members in December.  A similar visit took place some two years ago with the help of the Department for International Trade (or UKTI as it was known then) which generated significant interest and participation and it is hoped that a similar response will be stimulated this time.  This is of course something for members of both BBG’s, and anyone interested in taking part should let the BBG office in Abu Dhabi know, either directly or through the BBG office in Dubai. Current tentative dates for the trip are 4-5 December, to avoid public holidays, ADIPEC, and the F1 in November.


In April we were treated to a detailed account of a military expedition by a group of UAE military volunteers who have almost no previous mountaineering experience, detailing how they managed to put more men on top of Everest at one time than any other military expedition – ever.  The panel included His Highness Sheikh Theyab Bin Khalifa Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, himself one of the climbers, and the British training team. This was a truly remarkable achievement when described by those who actually did it. The training process for the gruelling mission, the challenges that arose and were overcome, and the reasons behind its ultimate success were lessons for us all, including those of us who are never likely to consider climbing a mountain. It was a great example of excellent teamwork between the UK and UAE, which underlines the deep relationship we have in so many ways. But it also gave us some superb business learnings – in project management, long term planning, budget control, flexibility, determination, discipline, time management, sharing learnings, and of course celebrating success. Three of the sixteen-strong team were graduates from the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre Lympstone, and one of the team had only recently arrived back in the UAE having spent the last nine months in the UK receiving treatment for his frostbite injuries. This is the sort of extreme trial the expedition presented.

Turning to the BBG Abu Dhabi’s upcoming events calendar, summer is the time for departures and new arrivals, so we aim to reflect this change in the social dynamic. After Ramadan, our Summer Social evening on 12th July will attract members and their guests across all sectors and business functions. Often the best new interactions are those that are least likely, so networking outside of our usual sector is something we advocate.

We also have ‘Business After Hours’ on 26th July at Tamba, in the World Trade Centre ‘Hub’. This will be a relaxed and casual affair. Those who have not yet been to the ‘Hub’ will find it most certainly worth the visit.  

BCB comes to town

In parallel with its change of ownership, British Centres for Business is now able to provide the same incubation set-up and soft-landing service in Abu Dhabi as it does in Dubai. From its very beginning, the intention was always for BCB to have a presence in Abu Dhabi, but taking on trade services from DIT sooner than anticipated delayed its implementation.

BCB has decided to develop its Abu Dhabi offering through an established Abu Dhabi partner, rather than going it alone. BBG members Pro Partner Group (PPG) were selected for this after an extensive tender process, and are supporting the BCB capability on the ground in Abu Dhabi. The BCB Abu Dhabi offer is ostensibly the same as for Dubai. AED 90,000 per year secures the establishment of a foreign branch company, for up to 24 months. 

Since publicising this to their UK contacts and database at the end of April, BCB have had more than a dozen expressions of interest and are confident that it will be a success and lead to more UK companies being attracted to set up in the capital.