All’s well that ends well….

All’s well that ends well….

Date: Tue, 05 Feb, 2019

All’s well that ends well….

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 'tempus fugit' in this town! Where did that year go?

At our final event of the year – our Christmas Jumper Inter-Business Council Networking – I’m delighted to announce that one of our members, Stuart Porter, won the prize for ugliest jumper!

Does this mean we have the members with the worst taste?!


Only a few days before, we held our Great British Christmas Ball - this year in the gardens of the newly refurbished Jumeirah Beach Hotel – and it was a resounding success.

Our members and guests were treated to top-notch hospitality in a stunning venue under the stars, and enjoyed entertainment late into the night under the gaze of the iconic Burj Al Arab.

Thank you to the many of you who have kindly written to say that this event surpassed all expectations. It certainly did mine…



More photos here
Click here to watch our recap video 

On a more serious note, these social celebrations and the end of the Gregorian calendar year mark the end of Q3 for us at BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates.

At the AGM in May I made it very clear to the assembled members that we had a tough year ahead - we needed substantive change to remain the regions go-to business group, and to introduce a new fit-for-purpose operating model. An operating model was launched, with clear roles and responsibilities matching the four key tenets of our ongoing strategy (Value Proposition, Operational Excellence, Collaboration and Membership Engagement), which enables our members to succeed in business

We completed a full ‘drains up’ of BBG Dubai activities and efforts during the summer and I am delighted to report the following:

  • There has been a slowdown of member attrition that has dogged the group over the past three years
  • We’ve refined our events calendar ensuring all events match member aspirations and provide a balance of both social and business. Less is more, and this has shown through the growing attendance
  • A robust programme of early stage access to opportunities through our key partners, the Department of International Trade, has been built
  • We’ve compiled and disseminated appropriate market intelligence
  • We’ve been collaborating with key partners and the other business councils across Dubai to increase the reach and variety of event audiences
  • Annual funding partners have been attracted with a clear Return on Investment – to enable more member benefits and value

There is still more hard work to be done, but a personal area of delight for me has been the return of former members to our fold who, for one reason or another, had become disenfranchised – I welcome you back!

I must, at this stage, again thank our strategy partner, Barclays, who have lent us so much valuable resource over the past year and even connected us with a departing member of staff, Farah Flisher.

Many of you will have met Farah who has been instrumental in driving our change and the adoption of our new strategic plan. Farah remains with us until next month at which time I look forward to introducing the individual who will hold the newly created position of General Manager for BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates.

Thank you, Farah, for keeping us on track. Your support will be a legacy for our great group to enjoy for some time into the future, I’m sure.

No one is more aware than me, my colleagues on the Administrative Board and in the Business Team, and the Focus Chairs, that this has not been an easy year for business here.

Businesses have had to tighten their belts and, in some cases, brace for change. Here at the BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates we’ve had to do exactly the same; and it is the unfailing support of you, the membership, that keeps us honest.

From me and my family, to you and yours - have a wonderful festive season! Travel safely if you are travelling, and let's look forward to more new and exciting developments for our group in 2019!

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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