In Picture: UAE Brits List 2014

The second edition of the Arabian Business Brits List throws the spotlight on the most influential British expatriates currently living and working in the UAE
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1. Sir Tim Clark\nPresident\nEmirates Airline\nTransport\nTwo weeks ago, Emirates Airline reported another astonishing set of figures, with profits up by 42.5 percent to $887m in the last financial year. So it’s no surprise to see Tim Clark, who was knighted at the beginning of 2014 by the Queen for “services to British prosperity and the aviation industry”, retain his top place in this year’s Brit List. Sir Tim has been an ever-present member of the Emirates management team since the airline was founded in 1985 and is an able assistant to Emirates Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Having previously worked at British Caledonian and Bahrain’s Gulf Air, Sir Tim leveraged his experience in conjunction with Dubai’s strategic location, and oversaw Emirates’ expansion into the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic on the back of one the strongest international networks of any carrier. During his tenure, the carrier has been involved in some of the largest plane orders of all time, including a mammoth $99bn order for Boeing and Airbus aircraft at the Dubai Airshow last year. \nThe London University economics graduate became president of the carrier in 2003 after spending 18 years helping build an aviation empire. Clark is the chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation, a non-profit charity that he helped found, which provides humanitarian, philanthropic aid and services for children in need around the world. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
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2. Alex Thursby\nCEO\nNational Bank of Abu Dhabi\nBanking and Finance\nOur highest new entry this year is the man running the UAE’s biggest bank. Alex Thursby became the group CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on 1 July 2013. He joined NBAD from ANZ Bank where he was CEO of its International and Institutional Banking arm. During his six-year career at ANZ, he also served as the CEO of Asia Pacific and America, and as the head of Corporate and Institution in Wholesale Banking NE. He was the architect of ANZ’s international expansion. Before ANZ, Thursby served for 21 years at Standard Chartered Bank; working in various functions such as corporate and institutions, wholesale banking, derivatives, and lease finance; and managed Standard Chartered’s business in diverse geographical areas that included Africa, Americas, Asia and Pacific. During his career, he has worked in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE and the UK. \nRight now, Thursby is concentrating on building up NBAD’s retail and commercial banking operations as the lender pursues an aggressive expansion strategy both in the UAE and abroad.
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3. Paul Griffiths\nCEO\nDubai Airports\nTransport\nPaul Griffiths runs the world’s largest airport in terms of international traffic. If that were not enough, he’s also masterminding the rollout of what is likely to become the world’s biggest airport full stop (with an estimated 200 million passengers a year) over the course of the next decade or so. Griffiths became CEO of Dubai Airports in 2007, and he has overseen the operations and development of one of the busiest airports in the world. He managed the airport’s successful launch of Terminal 3 in 2008 and is currently overseeing Dubai International’s $7.8bn redevelopment plan. Griffiths was previously managing director of London’s Gatwick Airport, the second largest airport in the UK. Before joining airport operator BAA in 2004, he spent 14 years with the Virgin Group, working closely with Sir Richard Branson as a board director of the Virgin Travel Group, looking over commercial activities of both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains. In the 1980s, he spent four years in Hong Kong developing the marketing, commercial planning and technology functions for the then start-up airline Dragonair.
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4. Sam Barnett\nCEO\nMBC Group\nMedia\nAfter nine years as chief operating officer, Sam Barnett, once an NGO worker, became CEO of MBC Group in 2011 which operates under chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim. Barnett, an INSEAD graduate, joined the group in 2002 after his former employer Arthur Andersen imploded during the Enron scandal. He supported the chairman in restructuring the commercial flow of the company into the largest media and entertainment group in the Middle East and North Africa region, with 11 channels including the Al Arabiya news outlet and two radio stations and three online platforms under its umbrella. MBC was the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab world after its launch in London in 1991. Barnett has overseen the launch of several new channels and the enforcement of commercial and financial disciplines on all operations.
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5. John Antoniades\nCEO\nStarcom MediaVest Group\nMedia\nJohn Antoniades heads the Middle East and North Africa operations of global media agency network Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). He boasts over twenty years of experience in the media industry – working in key markets across both domestic and multi-national assignments. Antoniades began his professional career as a civil engineer; in 1995, he made his first foray into the realm of communications, joining Mediacentre UK (later MediaVest) as a media planner. He worked in Italy and then back in the UK, where he earned a place on both the London board and SMG’s global management group. \nAntoniades was elevated to CEO of SMG MENA in September 2012. His responsibilities include growing SMG MENA organically; extending market leadership in the region through new business opportunities; and, driving the reputation and product leadership regionally and on a global stage. With operations in eight markets employing more than 300 multi-discipline specialists in the Arab world, Starcom MediaVest Group MENA is one of the largest brand communications groups and the biggest media agency in the region. Beyond growing double-digits since its launch in 2001, the network is one of the most awarded in the Middle East, having won multiple honours both regionally and internationally. \nIn effect, SMG MENA has been named Media Agency of the year at the Dubai Lynx four times; in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. This year, the Group also garnered a Media Agency of the Year award at the 2014 MENA Cristal Festival.
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6. Clare Woodcraft-Scott\nCEO\nEmirates Foundation for Youth Development\nCulture and Society\nA new entry at number six, Clare Woodcraft-Scott is also our highest-placed female this year. She is the CEO of Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, the national foundation of the UAE, and is responsible for driving its vision of supporting youth development in the country. The foundation aims to deliver a positive and permanent impact on the lives of young people through the model of venture philanthropy which calls for a shift from short-term grant making to long-term, measureable and financially viable social investment. \nWoodcraft-Scott brings over 20 years of experience working in the field of sustainable development in the Middle East and Africa as a development practitioner, a journalist and a corporate executive specialising in sustainability, social investment and reputation management.
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7. Giselle Pettyfer\nVice Chairman\nFalcon & Associates\nAdvisory\nAs vice chairman of Falcon & Associates, which was established in 2009 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Giselle Pettyfer has a wide mandate to craft, shape and influence the image of Dubai. The company played a key role in Dubai’s successful bid to host the World Expo in 2020. Falcon & Associates attempts to positively influence views in Dubai in both emerging markets and more established economies. The University of Cambridge graduate was previously the head of communications for the International Olympic Committee and head of corporate communications for Jordan Grand Prix.
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8. Lucy Bruce\nDirector of Harmony House and Director of Insignia\nCulture and Society\nResiding in the United Arab Emirates since 1999, Lucy Bruce holds a BA (Honours) in Education. In 2003, she co-founded Insignia along with her husband Gaurav Sinha. Today, Insignia is the region’s leading brand marketing firm in the luxury, travel and hospitality sectors and offers its services to over 60 hotels and resorts across 18 countries. \nOver the past years, Lucy has become increasingly devoted to charity work and in 2009 she established Harmony House, a day-shelter for destitute children in India. The charity is registered in the UK as well as India and provides food, shelter, education and medical care for slum children as well as giving social support and vocational training to under-privileged mothers and young women. In July 2013 Harmony House opened its second centre allowing for the number of children enrolled to be increased from 200 to 450.
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9. Tony Douglas\nCEO\nAbu Dhabi Airports Company\nTransport\nTony Douglas, formerly CEO at Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), is leading the transformation of Abu Dhabi’s international gateway through one of the most ambitious multi-billion-dollar airport expansion schemes in the world. The airport is building up to a capacity of 40 million passengers a year and will be a critical element in Abu Dhabi’s vision to become a global commercial hub and thriving destination for international tourism. \nDouglas’ track record of achievements includes delivering Heathrow Airport’s award-winning Terminal 5 on time and on budget, as well as leading the programme management team in the build-up to the widely acclaimed London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. At ADPC, he was responsible for the on-time, on-budget delivery of Khalifa Port and its associated industrial zone, Kizad. Douglas was previously with airport operator BAA.
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10. Nicholas Maclean\nManaging Director\nCBRE Middle East\nProperty\nAfter joining real estate firm St Quintin as a graduate in 1987, Nicholas Maclean was appointed head of the firm’s professional services department in 1995, becoming partner in 1996. Following St Quintin’s merger with Insignia Richard Ellis — which created CBRE — he became head of the rating and taxation department and a member of the city business team management board. In 2001, Maclean left the CBRE London office to take up an international role within the firm, concentrating on the development and expansion of cross-border European valuation advisory services. In 2004, he was appointed managing director of CBRE Middle East and he currently is leading the firm’s initiative to grow operations in the Middle East. Maclean is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and of the Institute of Rating, Revenue and Valuation (IRRV). Headquartered in the US, CBRE is widely considered to be the world’s biggest real estate services firm, offering asset services, brokerage and projects advice to its global portfolio of clients.
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12. Alan Robertson\nCEO\nJLL (MENA)\nProperty\nAlan Robertson has been in the top job for JLL in the MENA region since June 2011. He is responsible for the firm’s operations across the Middle East and North Africa, comprising over 110 professionals in five offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Before relocating to the Middle East, he was the managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Turkey, a position he held from 2008. Prior to this he worked in the commercial property markets in the UK from 1983 to 2008 and was head of Scotland for Jones Lang LaSalle as of 2005. He was made a partner in Jones Lang Wootton (now Jones Lang LaSalle) in 1989. Educated at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Robertson has a post graduate Diploma in Land Economy (Dip LE) and an honours degree in Science (BSc Hons). He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS).
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13. Jonathon Davidson\nChairman\nBritish Business Group\nLaw\nFor much of the last year, Jonathon Davidson has been helping to set up a business centre in Dubai to help support British SMEs trying to set up base in the city. And he’s been doing it for free too — despite the fact he already has enough on his plate by running his own busy legal practice. Davidson is a dispute resolution lawyer and managing partner at Davidson & Co. He has acted in all manner of disputes for institutions, developers, investors and public and private companies and individuals. Davidson previously worked for Clyde & Co, the international law firm, based at its Dubai offices and, more latterly, associate legal director of Sama Dubai, the international real estate arm of Dubai Holding. He has litigation experience in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and the Dubai World Tribunal (DWT) and acted as counsel for the claimants in the ground-breaking case of Diamond Developers & Ors versus Nakheel PJSC & Jumeirah Village LLC. Davidson is also chairman of the British Business Group of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, co-chairman of the Joint Committee of the British Business Groups of the UAE and is an official observer to the UK-UAE CEO Forum, a think tank established jointly by the UK and UAE governments to promote bilateral trade and commerce.
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14. Paul Rayner\nSpecial Advisor to Khalaf Al Habtoor\nAdvisory\nPaul Rayner came out of retirement to assume his present role as special advisor to the chairman of the Al Habtoor Group two years ago. Rayner has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, dealing with ultra-high net worth clients for more than 30 years and has an in-depth understanding of the region. The former vice chairman of Credit Suisse UK left the world of banking in 2007, having amassed a wealth of banking experience through having worked in the industry for nearly 40 years. Prior to his vice chairman role at Credit Suisse he was senior advisor and head of offshore private banking with the bank. He previously held positions at Barclays Private Bank Ltd, with his last position being regional director, Middle and Far East. Rayner is involved in several British charities — particularly Help for Heroes, a British charity to help provide better facilities for wounded servicemen and women. He is also an active member of several British establishments including Guards Polo Club, National Farmers Union and Greenfields Shooting Club.
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15. Mark Beer\nRegistrar\nDIFC Courts\nLaw\nAnother Briton to be honoured by the Queen recently, Mark Beer was made Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours list. As the registrar of the DIFC Courts, Beer is the senior administrative officer of the judicial authority of the DIFC, and is responsible for the overall administration and management of the DIFC Courts. He also has various judicial functions such as handling urgent applications and ensuring the delivery of efficient justice by actively managing the progress of cases. Prior to joining the DIFC Courts, Beer, a University of Oxford graduate, spent five years with MasterCard Worldwide in Dubai where he served as the company’s regional legal counsel for South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA), handling legal and regulatory matters across the region, and later as vice president, heading the company’s government relations and corporate services initiatives across SAMEA. Previously, Beer worked in the corporate finance team of Man Investments in Switzerland, and prior to that worked for Clyde & Co and Edge & Ellison.
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16. Robert Swade\nChief Development Officer and General Counsel\nJumeirah Group\nHospitality\nRobert Swade joined Jumeirah Group in October 2005 as general counsel. He was promoted to the position of group chief development officer and general counsel in December 2012. \nHe is responsible for the group’s strategic expansion plan and for securing new hotel opportunities and overseeing and managing the Group’s development, design and technical services process. In addition he provides legal advice and guidance to the board of directors and to the senior management of Jumeirah Group. In particular, Robert has extensive experience of advising in relation to the development, management and operation of hotels. \nAfter qualifying as a solicitor at a City of London law firm, he moved to Dubai to work for an international law firm. After four years, he moved in-house, initially to a Middle East telecommunications company as director of legal affairs and then in October 2005 to Jumeirah Group.
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17. John Brash\nOwner\nBrash Brands\nMedia\nWhen John Brash is not in a boardroom, he’s likely in the air. Since its inception in the UAE in 2007, his eponymous branding agency has expanded so fast that today he’s asked to advise the C-suite of major corporations all over the world. \nA native Scot who left for London in 1988 and never looked back, John put in almost 20 years in major London-based branding agencies, including four years taking Landor Associates into the Middle East. Here, he realised the enormous branding opportunities in emerging markets. A key early Brash project was branding Downtown Dubai — including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa — which helped raise the emirate’s profile to become a global destination. Other mega-projects include Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, the rebranding of dnata for the Emirates Group, Etihad Rail and First Gulf Bank (FGB). Each involves a delicate balancing of commercial and political interests. Brash’s boundless energy, enthusiasm and natural curiosity ensure that the people at the top feel genuine personal engagement.
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18. Isobel Abulhoul\nFounder\nMagrudy’s\nRetail\nAlong-term resident of Dubai, Isobel Abulhoul began her career in the emirate as a primary school teacher, before founding Al Ittihad School with her husband. Not satisfied with that achievement, she went on to launch Magrudy’s, one of Dubai’s biggest bookstore chains. Her love of books did not end there; Abulhoul was also the driving force behind the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature — now the biggest event of its type in the region. Abulhoul, who is also founder of Jerboa book publishers, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her years of service to education and British literature in the UAE. Abulhoul was also presented in 2011 with the Cultural Personality Award by HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
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19. Safi Qurashi\nChairman\nQ Group\nProperty\nBritish property developer Safi Qurashi won his freedom two years ago after being found not guilty of cheque fraud charges, and was released from jail after serving a two-and-half-year sentence. Qurashi went on hunger strike for seven weeks before being released from jail, and used the verdict to call on UAE authorities to amend regulations regarding bounced cheques. He now heads up Q Group of Companies, a new Dubai real estate holding company, which plans a series of new development projects and investment vehicles worth around $200m.
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20. Tom Hudson\nFounder\nBritish Polo Day\nLaw\nTom Hudson is an international corporate lawyer who first moved to Dubai in 2006 to work for Linklaters, advising on some of the region’s biggest deals, including the DP World IPO, where he now works as legal counsel. \nHowever, it is not so much for his legal work with which he has gained influence within the British and wider community here. It was in Dubai in 2009 that he conceived of the “British Polo Day”, which has hosted approximately 10,000 high-profile guests to date. British Polo Day Dubai not only celebrates the history and tradition of the sport of polo, but also acts as a cultural bridge between Britain and Dubai and a conduit for British businesses to access the local market. The British Polo Day Dubai has been used as a platform to launch the Hackett and Mulberry stores in Dubai, and also as a vehicle for Land Rover and Virgin Atlantic and over 20 other quintessentially British brands and institutions such as Eton, Harrow, Oxford, Cambridge and the British Army to narrate their heritage to the local market in this unique event.
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21.Imelda Dunlop\nExecutive Director\nThe Pearl Initiative\nAdvisory\nBased in Dubai since 2002, Imelda Dunlop  has created and managed a number of entrepreneurial ventures. She has also worked as a consultant, project manager and trainer specialising in regional strategy and corporate responsibility. In addition, she has represented the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and led their programmes in the Middle East. She researched and authored the IBLF regional publication Business and Youth in the Arab World — a sourcebook of good practices for business engagement in youth employment, skills development and entrepreneurship.\nShe is a former director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked with business executives to progress issues of social importance and business relevance with government, civil society and academia. During this time she designed, launched and directed successful partnership programmes and built networks in areas of health, trade, consumer issues and corporate responsibility.\nShe  spent a significant portion of her career at Monitor Company, a leading global corporate strategy consulting firm, advising clients mainly in UK, Germany, France and South Africa. She also worked early on in her career at Unilever as an engineer and project manager. During that time, she managed health, safety and environmental control projects for manufacturing sites around the world.
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23. Tanaz Dizadji\nSenor Director and Board Member\nSTART\nCulture and Society\nAfter a couple of years in the financial field as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tanaz Dizadji chose to move into philanthropy, managing large-scale projects in both London and the UAE. Before moving to Dubai in 2010, to become director of START, a non-profit organisation founded by Art Dubai and the Al Madad Foundation, Dizadji was head of arts and education for the Elephant Parade London and ambassador to Pratham, India’s largest educational NGO. Alongside her charity interests, Dizadji consults for multinational companies on marketing and corporate social responsibility programmes. An entrepreneur at heart, Dizadji has spent the last seven years honing her unique combination of marketing, communication and financial management skills.
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24. Alison Hubbard\nPartner\nPinsent Masons\nLaw\nAlison Hubbard is a Partner of international law firm Pinsent Masons, leading the Corporate Group in the Gulf.\nHaving spent the early part of her career practising Law in the UK, Hubbard arrived in Dubai in 2006.  Hubbard leads a team focusing predominantly on M&A, private equity, joint ventures and structuring and restructuring for international clients, including many of those listed on the world’s key bourses. Hubbard’s experience includes advising on, and project managing, a series of multi-million-dollar acquisitions, and subsequent restructuring of the acquired business, in the wider MENA region.  Her other clients have included listed companies seeking to enter the MENA region, or to consolidate their existing positions within the region, either through acquisition or green-field start up.   Appreciated by clients for a pragmatic and commercial approach, Hubbard is a trusted advisor to a number of global companies operating in the region, working with them to help manage risk, while maximising the commercial opportunities, in the potentially challenging environments of the region.\nAn active member of British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, Hubbard Chairs the Legal Focus Group, running sessions for members on issues directly impacting their day-today activities.
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25. John Martin St Valery\nFounding Partner\nLinks Group\nAdvisory\nHaving founded Links Group, the company formation specialists in 2002, he has spearheaded the growth of a partnership into the corporate structure that now exists. More than sixteen years living and working in the UAE and Qatar has given St Valery a unique and unrivalled insight into the commercial opportunities in this rapidly developing region. \nAn entrepreneur who also has been recognised as a corporate governance specialist, he has been involved in the establishment and ongoing local partner services of over 250 companies ensuring that the interests and assets of the foreign party are always fully protected whilst maintaining a strict duty of care for local partners involved. \nPrevious senior management roles with Citibank and Kodak were preceded by an eight-year period with the Metropolitan Police in London.
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26. Richard Oliver\nVice Chairman\nHSBC Abu Dhabi\nBanking and Finance\nRichard Oliver is managing director and head of global for HSBC in Abu Dhabi, and a board member of a number of HSBC subsidiaries and affiliates. He has lived in the UAE since 2002, prior to which he lived in Dubai. Married since 1991, Oliver and his wife Jenny have three children. His main interests outside family and HSBC are history, economics and rugby. \nOn the board, Oliver holds the post of honourary treasurer, and he is the convener of the finance and premises Committee. He is also head of the British Business Group in Abu Dhabi.
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27. Ian Fairservice\nManaging Partner\nMotivate Publishing\nMedia\nBack in 1979, Ian Fairservice was a 22-year-old former assistant manager at Dubai hotel, who quit his job for a career in publishing. His firm, Motivate Publishing, was established the same year with the launch of What’s On, the Gulf region’s first English-language magazine. Besides a wide range of magazines, the company now publishes books on topics related to the heritage of the Gulf, as well as travel and city guides and children’s titles. It also operates a cinema advertising company, Motivate Val Morgan, and co-stages the annual Dubai Lynx International Advertising Festival and awards, in a joint venture with the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
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28. Ziad Makhzoumi\nCEO\nFakih IVF\nHealthcare\nZiad Makhzoumi started his career in 1981 with Booz & Co before becoming CFO of a Luxembourg-based private holding company operating in North America, Europe, and the MENA region where he was involved in strategic consultancy, private equity buyouts and restructuring activities in Europe, the Middle East and North America. In 2008 he was appointed CFO of Arabtec Holding PJSC, the largest listed construction company in the GCC, where he was involved in financial restructuring activities in Europe, the Middle East and North America until 2012 when he left to join Fakih IVF Group, a leader in fertility treatment in the GCC and the MENA region, as its CEO.
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30. Mark Lobel\nMiddle East Correspondent\nBBC\nMedia\nMark is currently the BBC’s Middle East Business Correspondent, based in Dubai.. In his first few months in his new post, Lobel has hit the ground running, covering stories from Lebanon and Kuwait, reporting on Saudi Arabian affairs and Gulf diplomacy, interviewing many of the Gulf’s top CEOs and meeting many of the key players in the region. Lobel, who reports, films and edits for TV, records and edits for radio and writes for online news, has worked on some of Britain’s best and most well known TV and radio programmes, including Newsnight, Our World, The Six O’Clock News, Radio 4’s news and current affairs programmes and the Daily Politics, as well as BBC Online, producing award winning presenters and reporters including Jeremy Paxman, Allan Little and Lyse Doucet. His own reportage for Newsnight includes stories on Nigeria’s extremists Boko Haram, and UK health issues, in relation to which he also appeared on The Today Programme.
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31. Tom Urquhart\nRadio and Television Personality\nMedia\nTom Urquhart is a television and radio presenter who formerly worked for a daily broadsheet newspaper in London. He is on air three times a week as presenter on Dubai Eye 103.8’s sport show, is a prominent part of the latest Emirates Airline campaign and is co-presenter of two Dubai One shows, Ask One and World of Sports. After studying English at university in the UK, Urquhart worked on several British newspapers, followed by a brief stint in public relations. He then worked as deputy editor of What’s On for Motivate Publishing and was editor at large for the launch of Hello Middle East. Urquhart has worked extensively on the small screen in the last decade. He was chosen as host for City 7s Good Morning Dubai show, the first live English language breakfast show in the UAE. He has also been featured in a Discovery Channel feature on ‘Dubai, A Place in the Sun’ from the UK. Most recently, he garnered plaudits for his role as presenter on The Entrepreneur, a reality show based in Dubai.
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32. John Davis\nRegional CEO\nColliers International\nProperty\nJohn Davis has well over a quarter of a century of property-related experience and is presently regional CEO for Colliers International, which now operates four regional offices. Davis joined Colliers International in 1994 from one of South Africa’s leading financial institutions as general manager — finance for the company’s Property Management Division. Davis was instrumental in Colliers International entering into the facilities management arena across Southern Africa and in 1998 a new division of the company was formed with him assuming responsibility for both divisions as the property and facilities management director, prior to his appointment as the company’s managing director in 2000. In 2001 he transferred with Colliers to the UAE to drive the growth of the firm’s business across the Middle East region.
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33. Camilla and Lucy D’Abo\nManaging Partners\nDabo & Co\nMedia\nSisters Camilla and Lucy set up Dabo & Co, a public relations and event management firm in 2004. It services clients in banking and finance, real estate, hospitality and retail. Clients currently include more than 40 leading brands such as HSBC, Julius Baer, Cisco, Jumeirah Restaurants, Art Dubai, BMW and Hilton, among others. Dabo & Co operates in 15 countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. \nThe company does corporate communications, financial communications, brand market entry, crisis management, and media training. Lucy has a background in events management; she has managed events as diverse as IMF meetings to the Cartier Polo in Dubai. Camilla has a background in finance, and more than 12 years’ regional experience in PR. Their father, Philip D’Abo, is a director at Albwardy Investments.
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34. Chris Bell\nOwner\nFace to Face\nMedia\nChris Bell started his career at McCann Erickson in London when they were the biggest agency in the world. He worked at Coca-Cola and Gillette and then moved on to work for JWT London, who then transferred him to Dubai where he headed up the Unilever (Beverage) business across the region as group account director. He joined Face to Face in 2004 and with his partner bought out the previous owners. He has grown it into the biggest privately owned and independent ad agency in the region.
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37. Jason Myers\nGeneral Manager, Group Food & Beverage\nJumeirah Group\nHospitality\nJason Myers joined the Jumeirah Group in May 2012 as operations director of Jumeirah Restaurants, and took over as general manager of Jumeirah R&B after its launch. He was recognised for the significant changes he has made in the hotel chain’s F&B operations. \nIn the last year, Jumeirah has moved towards supporting ‘independent’ restaurants, and stand-alone venues — hence the launch of Jumeirah R&B, which will take the company in a new direction with its F&B offering. In addition to his role as GM of Jumeirah R&B, he is also managing director of Jumeirah Restaurants, the group’s dedicated restaurant small business unit. This is made up of its managed and international franchise restaurants, comprising: Caprice Holdings (including The Ivy, Rivington Bar and Grill, Scott’s at Etihad Towers); The Noodle House.
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38. Francis Matthew\nEditor at Large\nGulf News\nMedia\nA University of Exeter graduate, Matthew is a regular commentator on the region on TV and radio, and has contributed to a variety of international conferences on Gulf affairs. Fluent in Arabic, he has played a large part in the development of Gulf News, the Gulf’s biggest-selling English-language daily. Matthew has worked in the Middle East as a journalist for 30 years, with occasional spells in Europe. He previously worked as managing editor of Al Nisr Media and spent time in London, Dublin and Brussels, with Lafferty Group, EMAP, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Matthew is the co-editor of two pictorial histories of the UAE, Building a Nation and The Rise of a Nation.
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39. Antonia Carver\nFair Director\nArt Dubai\nCulture and Society\nAntonia Carver became fair director of Art Dubai in August 2010. Based in the UAE for the past decade, she has written extensively on Middle Eastern art and film, as a correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Screen International, among other publications, and edited books and journals. She joined Bidoun as an editor in 2004 and later became director of the Middle Eastern arts organisation’s projects division, co-curating educational workshops, film and video series, and overseeing the touring Bidoun Library, artists’ commissions and talks, among other projects. Carver is on the Arab film programming committee for the Dubai International Film Festival. Before moving to Dubai in 2001, she was based in London and worked at Phaidon, the Institute of International Visual Arts and G+B Arts International.
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41. Sir Maurice Flanagan\nFormer Executive Vice Chairman\nEmirates Group\nTransport\nLegendary Emirates vice chairman Sir Maurice Flanagan helped found the airline 28 years ago. He was a key architect in the phenomenal growth of Emirates Airline and Group, having overseen dnata’s operations and subsequently every stage in the airline’s remarkable rise from regional carrier with two aircraft to global giant with a fleet of more than 170 aircraft. \nFlanagan first arrived in Dubai in 1978 when he was appointed director and general manager of dnata. Six years later, he led the ten-man team that hatched the plan to launch an airline in five months on a budget of just $10m. He was the managing director for the inaugural Emirates flight in 1985 and his pivotal role in the company’s development was recognised in 1990 when he was appointed group managing director of Emirates Group. Flanagan retired in April last year.
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42. Karl Hamer\nManaging Director\nAl Habtoor Motors\nAutomotive\nAs managing director of Al Habtoor Motors, Karl Hamer oversees the import and distribution operation of one of the most prestigious car dealerships in the UAE and an icon of the prominent Al Habtoor merchant family. Hamer directs the business agenda of the company, which employs about 1,400 people and has been growing market share for brands like Bentley, Bugatti, McLaren and Mitsubishi. Prior to joining Al Habtoor Motors in 2008, Hamer was at Casey Motor Group. Hamer has 35 years of industry experience and started his career on the showroom floor.
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43. Graham Gill\nManaging Director MENA\nSweett Group\nConstruction\nGraham Gill is managing director of Sweett Group’s regional operations. Gill has broad experience in project and development management internationally. He has a track record in projects in UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, many of which have had a multi-billion-dollar value. Gill has been involved from planning and developing virtual new cities to the construction of hi-tech fabrication plants and nuclear power stations. He has also become increasingly involved in green initiatives as the Middle East develops its future resources and power consumption plans. Prior to his present role, the Imperial College graduate held senior positions with Sama Dubai, Al Habtoor Group and MWB/Manhattan Loft at Canary Wharf in the UK.
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44. Ayman Asfari\nChairman\nPetrofac\nEnergy\nThe boss of oil services giant Petrofac, Syrian-born Ayman Asfari sits at the helm of one of the fastest growing FTSE 100 businesses. By any measure, Asfari is a success story. He took his first role in construction in Oman in his early 20s in a bid to fund an MBA at Wharton. It turned out to be unnecessary; less than a decade later, he was a millionaire with his own firm. Since buying out Petrofac in 2001, Asfari has turned it into one of the leading players in the oil market. It listed in 2005 and today employs more than 17,000 people worldwide, with bases spanning the UK, Sharjah, India and Malaysia. In 2006, Asfari launched his eponymous foundation, which funds education for young people. In 2011, Asfari won the UK category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
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45. Graham Martins\nManaging director\nPKF\nBanking and Finance\nGraham Martins is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is the managing partner of the UAE practice of PKF, a firm of accountants, auditors and business advisers. PKF is a member firm of the PKF International Ltd network of legally independent firms comprising of over 200 member firms in 120 countries. Now based in Dubai, he has been with the UAE firm since 1992. Prior to that, he was with PKF London, in their corporate finance department, having joined the firm from university in 1981. Martins is directly responsible for the day-to-day operation of the firm, setting direction, policy and strategy in consultation with the other partners. He also acts as international liaison with PKF International. As a partner, Martins has direct responsibility for the management consulting division and corporate finance activities. Engagements undertaken include project feasibility studies, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, intangible asset identification and valuation, goodwill impairment reviews, due diligence and corporate structuring in a wide range of industries and service sectors.
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47. Robert Jones\nManaging Director\nCoffee Planet\nRetail\nIt’s been a time of huge growth for Robert Jones. In September last year, Coffee Planet, the UAE’s home-grown coffee brand, signed its first agreement to supply a major retailer outside of the UAE. The company has announced the launch of its coffee bags in Holland in partnership with Dutch supermarket giant Jumbo. The new range of UTZ certified coffee blends went on sale in 340 stores throughout the country. As the first agreement with a major retailer outside of the UAE, the partnership with Jumbo Supermarkets reflects the strategic vision of UAE originated Coffee Planet to export its brand to key markets around the globe.
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49. Sarah Appleton\nFounder\nMini Exchange\nRetail\nAs any parent will tell you, children grow out of clothes at an alarming rate.\nIn the UAE, that often means that children grow out of designer clothes at an alarming rate, leaving potentially thousands upon thousands of high-end kidswear items tucked away in wardrobes, or — worse — consigned to the rubbish heap.\nOn the other side of the coin, there are large numbers of mothers and fathers who look to dress their children in fashionable threads, only to be put off by the high prices.\nIdentifying these two issues, British entrepreneur Sarah Appleton devised a way to satisfy both sets of parents, launching internet business Mini Exchange at the start of 2014. The website allows users to create accounts, through which they can sell their unwanted items, leaving customers to pick up quality clothing at bargain prices, and thus solving the perennial problem of growth spurts, excess attire, and expensive shopping trips.\nAccepting garments from designer labels such as Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as high street brands such as Gap, Mamas & Papas, and United Colors of Benetton, Mini Exchange has already experienced a huge uptake in its services, attracting about 200 sellers within the first four months.