News Details

News from BBG Abu Dhabi

Sun, December 17, 2017


New BCB Partner in Abu Dhabi
As you might have heard, the British Centres for Business in Dubai have chosen a partner in Abu Dhabi to support them in their work to support new UK market entrants in the UAE. 

With the PRO Partner Group BCB is now able to provide the same incubation setup and soft-landing service in Abu Dhabi as they do in Dubai. From the BCB’s inception, it was always the intention to have a presence in Abu Dhabi, but with BCB taking on trade services from DIT sooner than anticipated this got a bit delayed.

BBG members PRO Partner Group (PPG) were initially selected for the role in April after an extensive tender process, and the partnership agreement was formally announced in late May. They have just the sort of extensive local network and knowledge that BCB needed to make this work commercially, as well as the strong company structures and oversight that were essential for us to be corporately aligned.

Upcoming Events
July and August have been one of our busier summer networking periods with joint Business Group social evenings at Roberto’s at Galleria Mall and Tamba at The Hub, as well as an informative breakfast briefing on business opportunities at Expo 2020 with a presentation by Dominic Beales, Trade and Investment Advisor at the Department for International Trade, British Government. At the end of August we have a joint Business Group Speed Networking event and based on previous years we expect some 100 attendees from across 6 business groups.

On 6th September, we give our members the chance to reconnect with the Abu Dhabi business community after the summer break with a ‘Welcome Back Networking’ event at one of the city’s newest venues – Cho Gao, Marina Walk at The InterContinental. The following week, on September 12th Dr. Steve Griffiths of Khalifa University of Science and Technology & Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will be the guest speaker for the BBG Energy Focus Group on the Energy System Evolution where renewable energy, digitalization and the convergence of digitalization within the energy sector will be discussed.

On 18th September, BBG members will be encouraged to ‘Make the Most Your Membership’ by attending a networking evening with a difference.  We are again organizing a shop window event for brands offering exclusive discounts and benefits to BBG members upon presentation of their membership cards. This will be at Bab Al Qasr. And at the end of the month, golfers from both BBGs will once again go head to head in our annual golf tournament, this time on home soil at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. There are as always a range of opportunities to be involved either through entering individually or with a corporate team, or being a hole sponsor or sponsoring other prizes or player shirts. This is always a friendly – though competitive - competition and a great networking opportunity, and one not to be missed by any golf enthusiast.

Committee News
We should also introduce our newest Committee member.  After over 20 years – several of which as our one but last Chairman – Peter Michelmore retired as senior partner in Abu Dhabi for Reed Smith at the end of April.  Peter has been BBG Abu Dhabi’s Legal Advisor for many years, and he has been replaced in that capacity by Ross Barfoot, a corporate partner with Clyde & Co in Abu Dhabi. Ross has over 13 years legal experience – initially in the UK and since 2008 in the Gulf. In addition to advising both foreign corporations and local companies on a mix of corporate advisory, M&A and private equity matters, he has significant experience of advising clients in the education sector and leads Clyde & Co’s  MENA and Global education teams.

UAE-UK Business Council update
Mike Welch who has been Director of Programmes and Communications for the Secretariat of the UAE UK Business Council (and Associate Committee Member) for the past 3 years has now rejoined the FCO.  His successor is Rachel Elks, who has 15 years of experience in management roles in the UK Civil Service, both in operations and corporate service. Her last role before coming to Abu Dhabi with her husband was Deputy Director in the Home Office.

A Contribution to the Year of Culture
One last thing.  Earlier in the year the BBG hosted its annual member’s dinner with HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. His Highness generously donated the proceeds of the dinner to the BBG for us to use in an appropriate way. We have agreed that given Sheikh Nahyan’s government role, nothing would be more appropriate for these funds to be used for than the current UAE-UK Year of Year of Creative Collaboration. We have agreed with the British Council to sponsor a Cultural Excellence Fellowship workshop, organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, at Creative Lab in TwoFour54, Abu Dhabi in October.