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Newsletter 05/2017

Chairman's Message | Ramadan Kareem from our new Chairman



The Islamic calendar may just be 10 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, however it always feels like the holy month is upon us much earlier each year. Being my first message as Chairman of the Australian Business Council and albeit a tough market out there at the moment, my message is that of opportunity.   

In recent weeks/months I have heard the same quote from members and clients, “holding my breath”.   When looking at traditional economics factors, one would see summer and Ramadan periods to be quieter on the commercial front due to leave obligations, shorter hours and a general slowdown of investment movement.  Great minds alike will tell you the bulk of opportunities will come from September onwards so wouldn’t it just be sensible to hold your breath?  The answer is “no”.

If you are looking to have a successful Q3 & Q4 the key is to use summer as a time to prepare.  There is no better time to organise your organisation, solidify your commercial relationships and take aim for the opportunities later in the year.

Whilst Dubai is a vibrant multicultural city with arguably one of the most diverse populations found anywhere in the world, the secret to success for many in Dubai is to ensure you balance the life and cultures from home with the local culture of Dubai.

All too often we can reach the end of the holy month of Ramadan to realise we did not engage in the local culture and customs and really experience what it had to offer.  In order to achieve the right balance it is as simple as attending an Iftar like the ABCD one on 13 July or visiting the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. I also encourage using the month to visit the Jumeirah Mosque or even the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi to really take in its grandeur and significance.

I would also promote taking the opportunity to engage with your clients/suppliers/agents in the spirit of the holy month by suggesting a catch up for coffee around the fasting periods to respect and engage with local customs.  Either way I hope our entire membership enjoys the upcoming festivities for Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr alike.  For anyone heading back home over summer, have a safe and enjoyable trip. 

Last but not least I must extend a thank you to the entire Board of the ABCD, I am honoured to be working alongside them and thank all the team for their efforts.  I am excited for our journey ahead.

Ramadan Kareem.

Carl Dowling

Chairman, Australian Business Council Dubai

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