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Arab-Irish Business Forum 2018

Opportunities in a Changing Landscape

Event Partners




Moderator:   Marc Coleman, Head of International Business Development, Ibec

Registration and Networking - 8am to 9am


Opening Remarks:  Government Minister (tbc)

Keynote Address

Doing Business in the Arab States

Jannie Holtzhausen, CEO of Spinneys retail chain, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UAE focussed on the high end grocery market, will provide an essential overview for any business currently trading with or looking to do business in the Middle East.

Session One:

The Changing Landscape and Business Outlook for the Arab Region

Speakers will include Allison Wood of Control Risks, a provider of expert political and business risk analysis for companies operating in the ME and North Africa.


Session Two:


A Focus on Saudi Arabia, the Largest Arab Market for Irish businesses

This panel Q&A session will feature Saudi-based experts who will provide a unique perspective and insight into current and future opportunities for Irish businesses.  Speakers will include Anthony Gavin, President of the Riyadh Irish Business Network, Suleiman Olayan, Founder/CEO, Olayan Company,  and Jeff Gorman, Former Head of Strategic Business Development, Saudi Bin Laden.  

Session Three:

The UAE: Outlook and Opportunities

As the second largest market in the Arab world for Irish trade, the Forum will examine the outlook and opportunities presented by the UAE. Speakers will include Ms Souad M Al Hosani, President of Nexus Business Services, a leader in the area of assisting companies seeking to establish a commercial presence in the UAE. 


Session Four:

The Role of E-Commerce: Maximising Opportunities

Galway man, ME Entrepreneur or the Year and widely regarded as one of the most important figures in technology in the Middle East, Paul Kenny will talk about the expanding role of E-commerce in the region.


Session Five:

Setting up Business: First Steps

How to go about setting up a business in the Middle East will be one of the Forum’s hot topics and will be addressed by Penelope Shihab, CEO and founder of Monojo Biotech, one of the region’s leading biotechnology organisations.

Session Six:

Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Success: The Inside Track

A dynamic panel discussion will feature Irish business leaders who have successfully broken into Arab markets and who will share the secrets of their success, along with the challenges they overcame. Hear from Brian Eivers of Nestbox Egg Company, David Mulville of Dataflow, and William Moroney, Vice Chairman, Arab Irish Business Network, Dubai and former Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Transguard Group.


Session Seven:

Tomorrow’s World: Future Markets

Jordan - Gateway to Iraq

Ramsey Khoury is Chairman of  the Khoury Group - a multi-million holding company started in 1952 in Jordan with activities throughout the Arab region, in distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies, food etc.  Mr Khoury is also the Irish Honorary Consul in Jordan. 

Egypt - Business Opportunities

Dr Alaa Ezz, Secretary General of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) will discuss business opportunities in Egypt.


Mr Khoury and Dr Ezz will be joined by panellists who will look at the prospects in the region’s future markets for Irish companies including Mustapha Amhal, Chairman & CEO SOFINAM and Chairman of the Moroccan Chambers of Commerce, Service and Industry.

The Forum will conclude at 3.00 pm following a final panel discussion and Q & A Session