BBG Chennai undertook a modest trade mission of 8 delegates into Dubai, between 25/28 January 2014 (two members were from BBG Goa and BBG Bangalore respectively). Whilst the visit clashed with annual January Shopping Festival and Arab Health Week, our delegates undertook their business contact work whilst joining the program organised by David Burns, Deputy Chairman & COO of BBG Dubai and Claire Boosey at BBG Offices.
On 28th January, we were joined by David Burns and very well received at the Dubai Chamber in a formal meeting with their Senior Director, Atiq Juma Faraj Nasib and Madhi Al Mazim, Director – Member Relations. Atiq Nasib opened the proceedings, speaking of the Chamber’s long and close relations with BBG Dubai and his own experiences on visiting Chennai for an eye operation. He had also visited our website and seen our activities. Madhi Al Mazim then related all the functions and sectors of the Chamber and offered all help to delegates in making trade contacts.
Christie Cherian was able to present BBG Chennai and introduce the delegates. He explained the activities of BBG and the initiatives being undertaken from other Chennai trade missions, including “Bristol” forests around Chennai and apprentice-ship schemes for skilling-up young technicians in few Chennai industries, as also of our charity work.
The Chamber has an elegant building and from 12th floor Conference Room, overlooking the scenic Dubai Creek and the old areas Burdubai / Jumeriah. The Chamber has a vast membership data-base of over 153,000. BBG Chennai will be sending across the details of the delegates and the Dubai Chamber has offered to make connections with their relevant members. On hearing of Annual BBG conferences in India, Atiq Nasib offered to support BBG Dubai in holding an International BBG Meet in 2015. In appreciation of the meeting, Christie presented Atiq Nasib with our 2012 Conference folder and in turn Atiq Nasib presented him with the Chamber’s memento.
In the evening, BBG Dubai Committee hosted the delegates over drinks at Rodent’s Return, the club at the British Embassy, where we met Focus group Heads, UKTI’s Ian Gibbons and Karen Williams amongst others including Joe Hepworth, the newly appointed CEO of Brit Biz Centre UAE.
On 28th January, the delegation attended the BBG Dubai monthly breakfast meeting at Al Murooj Rotana and networked with 60 members. Chairman Jonathan Davidson opened the meeting, introducing Christie Cherian and invited him to say a few words on the trade mission. Christie introduced his delegates and briefly spoke of BBG Chennai and other BBGs in India. He then spoke about the British PM’s initiative since end-2012 and meetings in January 2013 which got the ball rolling to established the British Business Centres in India and 20 other locations around the world. The Gurgaon-Delhi BBCentre and smaller satellite BBCentre at Connaught Circus, Delhi opened in Sept 2013. Christie was happy to hear of new BBCentre in Dubai and wished it success.
Jonathan Hepworth then spoke about his appointment as CEO of Brit Biz Centre and it’s role and functions / relations with BBG Dubai and expressed how lucky they have been to have ready-made premises in Deira at Dubai’s own Business Incubation Centre, thanks to the co-operation extended by UAE Government’s Department of Economic Development. David Burns closed the meeting with a presentation to the Chairman. Formal meeting was followed by networking, when contacts were made with members in telecom/ energy / facilities / law / metals & scrap trading / digital media. We did also re-connect with Barry Clarke of Invest NI, covering India-ME Africa.
A brief wrap-up with follow-on actions closed the mission – altogether a very eventful trade mission.