View from the Chair - In the family way…

View from the Chair - In the family way…

Date: Mon, 22 Oct, 2018

View from the Chair - In the family way…

Over the years – particularly from a social perspective – I have often heard the British Business Group Dubai & Northern Emirates being described as a ‘family’. In the context of human society, a family (from the Latin: familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognised birth), affinity (by marriage or other relationship), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word ‘family’).

The co-residence description is interesting as the one thing we all have in common as BBG Dubai members – other than our gracious Emirati hosts – is that we are all visitors in this vibrant work and social environment. Some of us are fortunate to have our consanguinity actually present with us in the UAE, but many are not. I thought this worthy of a mention this week to encourage us all to spare a thought for all those within our community who are absent from their family and loved ones this summer. Our situation as expats here in the UAE heightens the importance of a solid, diverse and sustainable group that is welcoming of all. If you are left on your lonesome this summer, check out some of our upcoming group social and networking events at – and meet a great bunch of people who can help you develop a genuine, professional, effective and friendly network here!

But all work and no play makes John a very dull boy indeed… 

My own situation is one of unplanned circumstances. Not the production and raising of children and grandchildren here in Dubai as the title of this post may suggest, but as the pleasant recipient of the so-called ‘boomerang expatriate generation’. This is a phenomena I share with many of my peers, whereby my own children were schooled here, completed tertiary education elsewhere, worked in the ‘real world’ and then returned with life partners/spouses to start their own families back here in Dubai! What a delightful situation this has become. My two children, their spouses and a combined total of three grandchildren living just down the road from my wife and I is a moment in time to be treasured. Nothing lasts forever.

All that sounds very self-indulgent but I mention these circumstances again in the vein of encouraging all of us to extend a welcoming hand to those who find themselves alone or away from those they love.

Last year we hosted our first real community event for family and friends of our members – the Great British Day Out - in celebration of our 30th anniversary. As a result of the popularity of this event, and your overwhelmingly positive feedback, I am delighted to announce that we will be making this an annual event, and will be hosting this year’s event on Friday 2nd November on the lawns of the British Embassy in Dubai. We’re still confirming the details (if you’re interested in getting involved, there’s still time, so please do let us know!) but save the date here, check out the videos of last year’s inaugural event here and be sure to join us for a fun-filled afternoon and evening of everything Great and British for our families – consanguine and adopted!



Catch up soon



Thu, 16 May, 2019

Ramadan Mubarak!

This year marks my 21st Ramadan as a resident of Dubai. At whatever the time of year this holiest of months falls, it strikes me how friends, family and colleagues of all denominations find time to catch up, chat, compliment each other and generally reflect on the blessings we are all bestowed with.

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Wed, 03 Apr, 2019

That weather conversation

One thing we Brits are GREAT at is icebreaking every meeting and interaction with a bit of weather chat.

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Sun, 10 Mar, 2019

The tanker turns….

In between usual monthly blog posts I wanted to share some great news with you as we head towards the end of the ‘18/’19 financial year for BBG.

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Wed, 20 Feb, 2019

View from the Chair - Racing into 2019….

It’s been a busy start to the year! Members and friends of BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates have already enjoyed some cracking events for 2019!

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Tue, 05 Feb, 2019

View from the Chair - Every Second Counts...

It’s been a busy month for the BBG team! On October 1st, as promised, your administrative board, along with focus chairs Terry Willis and Caroline Rowe, met to review and launch our Group’s new operating model.

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