It’s over 20 years ago now that I arrived in this amazing country, landing in Dubai from the UK with my young family, bold and excited about what challenges might lay ahead for us.
I was (I’ll come back to the ‘was’ in a minute) stoically British and determined that I could follow in the footsteps of other great UK expatriates in this region. I had heard all the intrepid stories - not least from my own father who served with the Trucial Scouts prior to the Federation of UAE (he would be 102 years old if still with us today) - of the Brits who helped shape this nation, along with our generous Emirati hosts.
I said ‘was’. I actually still am, but my younger self is shouting at me to up the anti again. I speak about myself but I share the sentiment with a large number of fellow Brits in the region, of maybe feeling, or at least acting, as if we are a bit disaffected from all the GREAT that is Britain. It’s so easy to moan about the seemingly continuous doom and gloom of current political difficulties back home, when what we should be doing is steering away from that and proving we are the best of the best.
Our beloved BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates - from its humble and enthusiastic beginnings back at Humphreys Bar at the former Hilton World Trade Centre back in 1987 - was the pioneer, ensuring British business here got a fair crack of the whip, and working collectively to make that succeed. We have continued to pioneer this since then and our latest operating model is seeing really encouraging green shoots of recovery. Both membership numbers and event attendance figures continue to increase month on month. But we need more hands on deck…
There are, I believe, more than 6,000 UK companies operating here in Dubai & the Northern Emirates. Every one of us knows at least a couple of them that would add and receive real value to/from membership of our Group. A quick chat, a quick call, that’s all it takes...
Let’s make a collective win here. Rally round and let’s invite our peers and colleagues to join us and, as a collective, become even more valuable.
Yes, this is a rallying cry - to myself more than you - to make our collective voice the voice of authority in business. It can only lead to opportunity for us all…
So, are you up for it?
Check out BBGDubai.org for our current schedule of events, invitations and promotions, and please do engage with the business team directly on 04 3970303 should you have any innovative and fresh ideas for events or learning programmes.
Catch up soon
Thu, 20 Jun, 2019
View from the Chair - AGM Observations
There’s nothing like an AGM to focus the mind! A time for reflection and to understand where we are, where we have been and where we are going. With the greatest of thanks to our members, sponsors, annual partners and of course our dedicated members of the board, we are in a position of great opportunity and I’d like to share my own observations of our 31st BBG AGM!
A very warm welcome to the British Business Group!
We are a not-for-profit business group open to companies or individuals from the UK with business interests here in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Our aim is to provide our members with early access to relevant opportunities and regional market intelligence. We also host an average of 60 networking and thought leadership events every year.
We welcome all companies and individuals from the UK with business interests in Dubai and Northern Emirates to join us.
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.