About Australian Business Council

Welcome message from Chairman


G’Day and welcome to the Australian Business Council (ABC).

I wanted to personally thank you for taking an interest in the ABC and the Australian business community in Dubai. The ABC is over 30 years old and over that time has held an integral position in the development of Australian businesses in Dubai, the UAE and the wider region. 

We are an active and dedicated group of like-minded people who conduct business in the UAE and celebrate key Australian events. We love being part of a community and continue to enjoy our unique Australian culture and heritage.

I look forward to meeting you at one of a great networking or community events that we regularly organise in Dubai.

Naim Maadad



Profile of the Australian Business Council

The Australian Business Council, Dubai (ABC) is a non-profit organisation with an objective to build connections within and to the Australian Community, in Dubai and across the UAE. 

The remit is to provide a platform that inspires community, develops business activities, promotes trade and enhances beneficial relationships between Australia and the region. Together, we continue to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of all members and attendees at ABC organised events. 

Equality is a core value for the Australian Business Council Dubai, and we welcome people of all genders, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds as we strive to create an environment that reflects the communities we serve. We believe that the combination of different backgrounds, skills and experiences creates a stronger organisation. Our commitment to celebrating and giving a voice to a diverse range of individuals, businesses and government representatives fuels not only stronger ties between Australia and the Gulf region but connects you more closely with your customers and their communities.

Membership is open to local branches of Australian companies, agents of Australian companies, companies or individuals who have business relationships with Australia, Australian citizens working in the Gulf, Alumni of Australian Universities in Dubai and Emirati companies.



History of The Australian Business Council


Australian Business in the Gulf (ABIG), was the was original name of the ABC and was originally conceived in 1993 by the then Australian Consul General and senior Trade Commissioner, Robert Sheppard, as an outcome of gathering together various Australian businessmen at informal lunches and networking events.

In1994, Robert’s successor, Peter Deacon, received overwhelming support to create a formal organization (based on the structure of AustCham in HK) in Dubai. Volunteers for the first Board were called for and the inaugural meeting took place on 31st August 1994.

The US and UK had similar organisations but there was no legislation to allow foreign 'Chambers'. Peter met with the then head of Dubai Chamber and the deputy head of the Dubai Economic Department to seek a 'work around'. It became an unofficial group until legislation was introduced several years later.

In June of 2007 ABIG took the decision to change the name of the association to the Australian Business Council Dubai, a move designed to raise the profile of the group and to focus more upon the networking outcomes of the members. A further amendment to the constitution in February of 2019 changed the name to the Australian Business Council and facilitated the inclusion of Australian Community organisations to further support not just Australian businesses and businesspeople but also their families and the wider Australian community living and working in Dubai and surrounding regions.




The Australian Business Council Board

Naim Maadad


Arpana Sharma


Grant Bateman


Carl Dowling

Board Member - Membership

Lisa Meli

Board Member - Partnership

Justine Cullen

Board Member - MarComms

Omid Honari

Board Member - MarComms

James Wilton

Board Member - MarComms

Ryan Perkins

Board Member - Government

Erin Collins

Board Member - Events

Our Staff

Joanne Crowther

General Manager

Tara O'Reilly

Event Manager

Elissa Turrini

Membership Manager