News Details

The View from the Chair - The Power of the Pen

Wed, February 21, 2018


As event season gets into full swing in Dubai & the Northern Emirates, and with the next few weeks particularly focussed on all things literary, it's only right that we, as the region's foremost business-to-business forum, embrace the power of the pen (or keyboard, come to that)!
The Sharjah International Book Fair - a stalwart fixture on the wider regional literary circuit - opened on Wednesday and runs till 11th November, with the UK as the designated Country of Honour, as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration. As the largest book fair in the region, and the fourth largest in the world, it's well worth paying a visit. And if you, don't forget to swing by DIT's stand and check out the programme of contemporary British writing events organised by The British Council.

The scale of this event, and others such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, hosted in March by our Platinum Sponsor, Emirates Airline, which now in its ninth year, attracted more than 40,000 visitors, with more than 25,000 students benefiting from the education programme.

Talking of the Festival of Literature, and in recognition of National Author's Day this week, we have to extend our congratulations to one of our members, Karen Osman, who won the Montegrappa Writing Prize at last year's festival, going on to get a three-book deal, the first of which was just published last month to rave reviews. Karen has been a key supporter of the BBG, running as Focus Chair for Travel & Tourism and being nominated most engaged focus chair at last year's AGM. Congratulations again to Karen, we can't wait to get our hands on a copy of The Good Mother

At a group level, and as a feature of our #member4member campaign, it is great that our very own Samantha Dancy, who is also responsible for the BBG's social media communications, gives us all an insight into the art - and resultant business benefits - of blogging, whether as an individual or an organisation. There's still time to register for the 'Blog your way to the top' event on Tuesday morning, you can find all the details here: Meanwhile, I promise my next blog is going to be so much better..!
Which reminds me - again as a result of the #member4member engagement project - significant work and effort is underway to drastically improve the web and digital communications capability of the group. Thank you to our Director of Communications, Lara Khouri, along with volunteer member, Hadley Newman, who are heading this vitally important project. You can expect some innovative enhancements pretty soon!
There are many more BBG members with great expertise in the field of relevant prose, showcasing Great British business in the region. We would urge you to look to fellow members for support in your own business. Our operations team are more than happy to connect you with specific contacts if this would be useful for you, alternatively just log into to access fellow member company details. Whether your requirement is for creative writing, marketing or technical assistance - use your own community to buy the best of British.
I'm tapping away on this very amateur blog (keep watching for improvements in the coming weeks!) on my way to Heathrow Airport, having had 24 hours in London to renew that most precious of all books, Her Majesty's UK passport... How fortunate are we....?