More than 180 expert speakers and delegates from the UK, Iraq, UAE and abroad gathered in Dubai at The Address Dubai Marina on Sunday 18 December for the Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) Autumn Conference.
Usually held in London, the well-attended conference marked the first time the IBBC has held an event in the UAE, a hub for global and regional companies that operate in the Middle East.
The decision to move the Autumn Conference to Dubai has certainly proven to be a good one, with the new location attracting a new audience of business leaders and decision makers based in the region.
A record number of delegates from non-member companies registered for the event, including representatives from Mitsubishi, Serco, Rolls-Royce, Capital Bank of Jordan and LUKOIL.
They were joined by representatives from IBBC member companies, such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Siemens, GE, Amec Foster Wheeler, GardaWorld, Restrata, Eversheds and more.
The conference was supported by H.E. Mr Kadhim Finjan Al-Hamami, Iraq’s Minister of Transport, and Mr Frank Baker OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, who jointly opened the event with IBBC President Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne.
The theme of the conference was ‘Doing Business in Iraq’. Delegates heard from Ariel Flores, General Manager of BP (Rumaila Operating Organisation), on operating Rumaila in a $50-barrel world during the first session, ‘The Iraq Oil and Gas Sector in 2016’. He focused particularly on how investing in technology, training and safety is key to Rumaila’s operations.
Meanwhile, Marwa Al Nasaa, the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative for Iraq delivered an overview of the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), economic developments under the SBA and a forecast of what’s to come.
Other headlining speakers included Dennis Flannery of Citibank, Dr Jafar Dhia Jafar of URUK Engineering and Contracting Company LLC., Zeeshan Sheikh of the International Finance Corporation, Salem Jawad Chalabi of Stephenson Horwood Middle East LLP and Jorge Vila of Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation (IMMDF), who addressed the audience from Paris via a Skype link-up.
IBBC members also joined panel discussions. Asrar Abdulhussein Mohammed of International Islamic Bank participated in the finance session, while Iain Rawlinson of Gulftainer and Peter Turner of SKA International shared their insights on opportunities in Iraq for investment and partnership within the transport and logistics sectors.
Amar Shubar of Management Partners, Gavin Rennie of EY, Afif Masri of PwC and Vikas Handa of Beas LLC (formerly of Weir Group) chaired the panels on finance, power, opportunities in the private sector and O&G respectively.
he IBBC Autumn Conference was generously sponsored by the Islamic International Bank, Gulftainer, Weir Group, SKA International and the IMMDF.
The IBBC’s next conference will take place at Mansion House, London, on Monday 3 April 2017. More information will be available in due course.
For information on the IBBC Autumn Conference, membership or conference sponsorship opportunities, contact the IBBC London team at [email protected] or +44 20 7222 7100 or our UAE Representative Samer Al-Omari at [email protected]iraq.org or +971552088000.