News Details

News from Abu Dhabi

Sun, December 17, 2017


The British Business Group Abu Dhabi will now be keeping us updated with a roundup of news and events, to help you keep your finger on the pulse across the whole UAE So what’s been happening in Abu Dhabi…

The BBG Abu Dhabi team

There has been a significant change in the BBG leadership in Abu Dhabi. Following a number of resignations and retirements from its Committee the BBG has a new look team to help it manage its busy agenda of activities.  Top of the list is the new Chairman, Nick Cochrane-Dyet, MBE, who grew up in the UAE and has become a leading light in Abu Dhabi as senior adviser for BP.  Nick has been Deputy Chairman of the Group for a number of years, and he has replaced Richard Oliver after his 5 years at the helm. Richard has not left the Committee, however, and is now the Group’s treasurer. 

Other new faces include Nick Carter, Lisa Philipps, Graeme Mullin and Richard Draycott. Nick is another long-established high profile personality in Abu Dhabi, and is Middle East Director of Baringa Partners LLP, a London-based management consultancy. He joined the water and electricity market reform team for Abu Dhabi in 1998 as an advisor and became Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company for water and electricity. From 2001 – 2015 he served as Director General of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB).

Lisa is a chartered accountant by background and has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2014.  She moved to Abu Dhabi with her husband and two children and joined the Trade team at the British Embassy where she led the Energy sector, focusing particularly on the Nuclear bilateral relationship.  She now works for Myriad Global Media.

Richard is known to many in the BBG in Dubai, having lived here prior to moving to Abu Dhabi last year.  He is Managing Director and co-founder of Brightstone Middle East. Prior to co-founding Brightstone, he was in real estate private equity as Managing Director of Goodman Group responsible for the GCC.

Graeme Mullin is the International Director for the University of Salford in the Middle East and North Africa, based in the University’s Regional Office in Abu Dhabi. He has spent the past 10 years in the Emirates, mostly with the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi covering the energy sector for the UK Government. 

Capital Letter

The spring issue of Capital Letter, BBG Abu Dhabi’s magazine, is just out.  It was Nick Cochrane-Dyet’s first as Chairman and in his introductory message he drew attention to the UAE’s “Year of Giving” in 2017 with its three major themes: strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, promoting a spirit of volunteerism, and strengthening the concept of serving the nation in the new generations.

Reflecting this theme, he drew attention to an article about INJAZ UAE, which brings awareness of business and financial responsibility to UAE national students through a programme of courses and activities delivered by volunteers. INJAZ are looking for more volunteers to keep up their good work – perhaps something Dubai based BBG members might be able to support.

Capital Letter has a regular feature based on the British Ambassador’s quarterly business briefing, and the one in this issue gives a typically candid look at UK-UAE relations from the coalface. The front-page feature article in the current issue is on a theme of Future Cities.  The UAE is one of three top destinations worldwide for smart thinking in urban infrastructure, according to Future Cities Catapult chair Keith Clarke, CBE. This country sees technology as a service to improve quality of life, and UK planning experience and British business skills are making their mark.

Download the spring issue and any past editions of Capital Letter here:

Event highlights

It’s been a hectic start to the year in Abu Dhabi.  The Group’s ever-popular breakfast at the Club in Abu Dhabi had its first outing of the year earlier this quarter. Sundowners and Business After Hours are their most popular networking events which promise a friendly welcoming platform to meet new people and enjoy some of the ambience of the many new venues appearing in Abu Dhabi.  An evening hosted by HH Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Honorary BBG member and  Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in the UAE, focused on Cultural Diplomacy, which of course chimes in with the UK-UAE Year of Creative Collaboration led by the British Council, which is now under way. Next week, the team in Abu Dhabi will also have a Tax Advisory Forum by Deloitte focusing on plans by the UAE Government to introduce VAT next year.  

BBG Dubai members are of course very welcome to join us in BBG Abu Dhabi upcoming events, so take a look at what’s in the diary in the capital: