News

Head of Middle East Retail Giant confirmed

HEAD OF RETAIL GIANT SPINNEYS CONFIRMED FOR DUBLIN CONFERENCE

Spinneys has grown from seven to 70 stores in the Middle East and Gulf region under CEO Johannes Holtzhausen  (picture attached)

Holtzhausen to address Irish business leaders on opportunities in the Gulf region at the Arab Irish Business Forum in October

Gulf region dependent on food imports for 90% of supply; Irish exports valued at almost €400million

 

20th September 2018: The CEO of one of the Middle East’s largest retail chains, Spinneys has been announced for the forthcoming 2018 Arab-Irish Business Forum taking place in Dublin next month.

The countdown is on to the biggest conference of its type for Irish companies looking for new opportunities beyond the EU and the US, and one of the foremost names in retail globally, Johannes Holtzhausen will address delegates from all business sectors on October 3rd at the Mansion House.

Johannes Holtzhausen, who has worked in retail since 1972 joined Spinneys as CEO in 2002 and under his stewardship, the company has grown from seven to 70 stores across the Gulf region.  Michael Hussey, Bord Bia’s manager for the Middle East said that Mr Holtzhausen’s 46 years of insight and experience would prove invaluable to Irish companies looking to grow and diversify into new markets, and that his presentation would be a highlight of the 2018 conference.

The veteran retailer is driving the company’s extensive plans for expansion, innovation and digital product development, with growth of 40% forecast by 2020. He will speak about the opportunities in the Gulf region for Irish businesses, particularly in the food and drink sector.

 “This conference is a unique opportunity to hear from an expert who can open doors and who has a wealth of knowledge about retail and consumer trends,” said Michael Hussey of Bord Bia.

Agri-food exports from Ireland to the Middle East, Asia and Africa rose by 5% in 2017 and food and drink exports are valued at more than €391 million. The Gulf region is dependent on imports to supply 90% of its food and drink needs so there are huge opportunities right across the region.  Saudi Arabia, which is one of Ireland’s biggest trading partners, accounts for around one third of all food and drink exports to the Gulf region and with a growing population, demand is set to increase significantly over the next five years.

“Those operating in the food and drink sector in Ireland are concerned that they may be disproportionately impacted by Brexit, so now more than ever companies are looking for new market opportunities.  The east presents a viable and potentially lucrative option and is very much open to doing business with Ireland.  Irish companies are very well regarded in the Gulf region and I urge anyone looking to expand their business interests to attend the conference and hear from those who are already operating successfully in the Gulf, or those from the region who will offer a different perspective,” said Michael Hussey.

The Arab-Irish Business Forum is being jointly organised by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, Bord Bia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Emirates Airline and Enterprise Ireland for companies looking to grow and expand their businesses. The event will feature speakers from the Arab states in addition to business leaders from Ireland who are already doing business there.  

Registration is now open at www.arabirishbusinessforum.ie   and delegates will have an opportunity to win tickets to Dubai with the Emirates, which carries 50 tonnes of cargo out of Dublin, eastbound, every day.

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Rachel Sherry – 087 6622111

Female Business Leaders Centre Stage

FEMALE BUSINESS LEADERS TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT ARAB-IRISH BUSINESS FORUM IN DUBLIN

Arab Business Woman of the Year to address conference

Being a woman was my first challenge, says Arab business leader

28.08.2018: The first tranche of speakers for the 2018 Arab-Irish Business Forum has been announced, which will include Arab Business Woman of the Year, Souad Al Hosani and Penelope Shihab, who says that the biggest challenge she faced in business was being a woman.

Souad Al Hosani, President of the Nexus Group will address delegates on the opportunities for Irish businesses in the UAE.  She will speak to Irish business leaders interested in expanding into eastern markets about issues such as registering your company overseas, local laws and legalities, logistics and staffing.

Just six years after she founded Nexus, which provides a range of services to companies wishing to establish or relocate their business to the UAE, Souad was awarded the Best Female Business Service Provider in the UAE in 2015.  Two years later she received the prestigious Arab Business Woman of the Year Award while still in her 20s and is actively growing the company and expanding into new areas, achieving 20% year-on-year growth.

Being a woman was my first business challenge

Penelope Shihab admits that she had to overcome two major barriers before setting up her business: being a woman and securing finance.  But she was a highly-motivated individual having narrowly escaped death on three occasions during times of heightened political unrest in her home town of Palestine.  She moved away from Palestine to pursue her natural aptitude for maths and science, and studied in London and Jordan.  Combining her academic background with her business acumen, Penelope overcame a number of challenges and established the first innovative biotech company in Jordan and the Arab World, Monojo, which uses research to create a variety of products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

She will be speaking to delegates about the challenges she faced in business; being a female entrepreneur and business leader in the Arab World and how she has since gone on to expand the company into the US.  

Risk in the Arab World

Allison Wood of Control Risks spent four years in Dubai providing political and business risk analysis for companies operating in the MENA region.  Now operating from London, she is involved in stakeholder mapping, tracking political and security developments in MENA and assessing their implications for commercial activities for companies looking to do business there.    

Ahmad Younis, CEO of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce said; “We are extremely fortunate to have secured such a strong line-up of speakers for the conference in October and I think that the experiences and insight that our female speakers will offer will prove invaluable to delegates.   

“Whilst this isn’t something that we should feel the need to talk about, I think it’s important to acknowledge that in the past, women faced more barriers to men when doing business in the Arab World.  However, we have come a long way and our speakers are testament to the fact that these barriers can and have been overcome.  The Forum’s speakers will provide real insight into the challenges that they faced but more importantly, address Irish business leaders on the huge range of opportunities that exist across the Arab states.  

“This conference is not about gender.  It is about exploiting business prospects and providing senior executives in Ireland with access to unique information and insights they might not otherwise get.”

Other speakers include David Mulville of DataFlow International, Paul Kenny of AYM Commerce and Ramsey Khoury of The Khoury Group.

Unique insight

The third Arab-Irish Business Forum will provide expert analysis, insight and advice on looking beyond Europe and the US for new business opportunities.  In addition to speakers from the Arab World, there will be a number of presentations and panel discussions from Irish companies already doing business there.

With more than 450 companies already trading with the Arab World, Irish exports to the region are valued at €4.3 billion and forecast to reach €9 billion over the next two decades.

The event is being jointly organised by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, Bord Bia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Emirates Airline and Enterprise Ireland.

Registration is now open at www.arabirishbusinessforum.ie   and delegates will have an opportunity to win tickets to Dubai with the award-winning Emirates.

For more information: Rachel Sherry of Sherry Communications on 087 6622111

Registration Open

IRISH COMPANIES ENCOURAGED TO LOOK EAST FOR BUSINESS GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITIES

As uncertainty over Brexit prevails, conference to highlight the opportunities for Irish businesses in the Arab states

9th August 2018:  

Details of one of the leading business events to take place in Ireland for companies looking to grow and expand their businesses into new markets were announced today.  The 2018 Arab-Irish Business Forum will feature speakers from the Arab states in addition to business leaders from Ireland who are already doing business there.  The event will take place in the Mansion House in Dublin on October 3rd with hundreds of delegates expected to attend the third of what is now one of the most important events in the calendar for business leaders in Ireland.

Irish exports to Arab markets were valued at €4.3 billion in 2016 and are set to grow year-on-year across a multitude of industries including food & drink, pharma, fintech, aviation, electronics and many more.  An economic report commissioned by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce forecasts that Irish exports to the Arab markets will reach €9 billion over the next two decades, highlighting the fantastic opportunities available to Irish businesses willing to look east for trade growth.    

Speakers at this year’s Arab-Irish Business Forum will provide expert analysis, insight and advice on looking beyond Europe for extensive business opportunities, particularly in the wake of the uncertainty that prevails around Brexit.   There will be an examination of the latest developments affecting the business environment in the Arab states; a discussion on the countries that offer the greatest advantage to Irish businesses; first-hand advice on how to break into these new markets; a look at new, emerging markets such as Morocco, Egypt and Jordan and practical presentations from Irish companies already doing business in the Arab world.  

Middle East Entrepreneur of the Year, EY Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, serial entrepreneur and Galway man Paul Kenny, who is recognised as one of the most important people in technology in the region has been invited to talk about the many enterprises he has successfully launched, sold and managed. Paul is currently managing director of AYM Commerce, a company specialising in breakthrough digital technologies and online businesses in the MENA region.  

Paul Kenny will be joined by an illustrious line-up of speakers from organisations such as Nexus Group, Neom, Monojo Biotech, the Transguard Group, Dataflow, Nestbox Egg Company together with senior Irish political figures.

Ahmad Younis, CEO of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce said, “This is a must-attend event for any Irish business looking to gain real insight from speakers who have expanded their operations and who have first-hand experience of eastern markets, including how they may have overcome failures or challenges when starting off. The Arab-Irish Business Forum is essential for anyone doing business or looking to do business in the region and is a unique networking opportunity for senior executives from both Ireland and the Arab countries.”

The event is being jointly organised by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, Bord Bia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Emirates Airline and Enterprise Ireland.

Registration is now open at www.arabirishbusinessforum.ie   and delegates will have an opportunity to win tickets to Dubai with the award-winning Emirates.

Twitter updates on #ArabIrishForum

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For information: Rachel.sherry@grayling.com │087 6622111