Nick Cochrane-Dyet MBE
Nick is Special Advisor for BP; his responsibilities include advising on matters relating to the geopolitics of the region to localization, Who’s Who, to being a good corporate citizen, as well helping understand the magical UK-UAE relationship. A Sandhurst graduate, he spent six years in the Brigade of Gurkhas. A long-term UAE resident, his father was an officer in the Trucial Oman Scouts, prior to the UAE’s formation. Nick has two daughters, enjoys travelling and languages, and is particularly interested in Middle Eastern photography. Nick was elected Chairman of BBG Abu Dhabi in January 2017.
Nancy is an events specialist with over 25 years’ international experience, 12 years of which have been based in the UAE. She originally came to Abu Dhabi to launch GIBTM (Gulf Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition) with Reed Exhibitions, subsequently managed the PCO division of a local UAE company and then joined BSL Middle East as a founding member in 2010. Since then, she has been responsible for developing BSL Middle East, a British-born global marketing, sponsorship and events management agency into a successful and respected dynamic events solution in the region. She is expert at multi-tasking, and on a daily basis is constantly juggling priorities for business while trying to find time to spend with her young son. She loves travelling and dancing – however with a hectic lifestyle often dreams that she could simply put her feet up on a sun lounger and enjoy the UAE weather!
Khalid Al Quabaisi
Khalid is a founder of and a partner in various companies based in UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. Over the past twenty years he has devoted 90 percent of his efforts towards helping businesses from the United Kingdom, Denmark and Netherlands get established in UAE. Additionally, Khalid holds a governmental position as an Aviation Consultant. Needless to say Khalid has extensive experience in business development, with a deep knowledge of market needs across energy, engineering, manufacturing and aviation sectors.
His recent activities have included setting up businesses supplying valves and static measurement devices, and developing aircraft part manufacturing facilities within Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Ross is a corporate partner in the Abu Dhabi office of Clyde & Co with over 13 years’ experience – first in the UK and since 2008 in the Gulf Region. In addition to advising both foreign corporations and local companies on a mix of corporate advisory, M&A and private equity, Ross regularly advises his clients on corporate re-organisations, commercial, corporate governance and joint venture work. Ross has significant experience of advising clients in the education sector and leads the MENA and Global education teams. He also regularly advises in the oil & gas, defence, media and food & beverage sectors.
Kristina Williams is Co-Founder of Eco Rascals, a children’s ethical tableware company. Her previous role was at Gulf Finance Corporation as Head of Finance, where she raised an AED 500m syndicated loan from local and international banks, and ran several business transformation projects. With over ten years’ of experience within the financial services sector, over this tim she has led Finance Control, Financial Planning & Analysis and Treasury teams in the UK and UAE.
Kristina is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Dominic studied History at Newcastle University before joining HSBC in 2006. He worked in a variety of roles including: Commercial Banking, Private Banking and Asset Management. After 13 years of working for HSBC he joined the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as Prosperity Officer. He recently moved to the Department for International Trade (DIT), where he took on a role as Senior Trade Policy and Market Access Officer.
He is responsible for enabling increased UK trade in to the UAE, encouraging investment in the UK and resolving market access issues across a number of sectors
Dominic is delighted to work closely with the BBG especially at such a critical moment in the UK’s history, as it seeks to forge ahead as an independent trading nation.
David is Senior Business Advisor-Legal and Corporate Affairs, previously General Manager, of Alnasr Technical Trading Agencies LLC (ATTA) and Crescent Oilfield Supplies LLC (COS). He came to the Gulf in 1969, with Whinney Murray & Co. (now Ernst & Young) working initially in Kuwait and Bahrain. In 1973 he joined the Jashanmal family business, one of the oldest Gulf retail and distribution organisations, as their first Group Financial Manager/Adviser and set up their original Group Management entity. Between 1982 and 1986 he travelled extensively through the Gulf and Middle East countries representing and marketing consumer product companies, from bases in Dubai initially and subsequently Bahrain. Since 1986 he has lived in Abu Dhabi, working in the general management of oilfield supplies and services companies. He is married with two sons and enjoys cricket, golf, tennis and bridge. David is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Tim is the Chief Executive Officer of Houbara Defence & Security LLC, a joint venture between QinetiQ plc and Middle East General Enterprises (MGE). QinetiQ plc is a leading international supplier of defence and security technical expertise. Houbara was established in Abu Dhabi in 2018 to provide local access for Emirati customer to QinetiQ’s portfolio of innovative services and products.
Tim has focused on the Middle East region throughout both his earlier military career and latterly within the defence industry. During 31 years of service with the British Army he gained operational command experience in Northern Ireland, Oman, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Tim left the British Army in 2010 to join Cubic Defense Applications, before moving on to QinetiQ plc in 2013 as the company’s MENA Regional Director. Whilst his current portfolio extends across multiple domains, Tim retains a special interest in the potential of technology to enhance military training and operational performance.
Cris is Managing Director at Myrcator Marine & Cargo Solutions FZE (MMCS), a company he founded in 2020 to provide specialist independent inspection and consultancy services to marine and project cargo clients. Prior to setting up MMCS, Cris was Regional Director for London Offshore Consultants Middle East (LOCME).
After a sea-going career that started in 1982, he served on a variety of vessel types and sailed in the rank of Master of ocean-going cargo vessels, subsequently attaining a MSc in Marine Operations.
Cris is a Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. He has been appointed as lead investigator on a number of high-profile major marine accident investigations for P&I Clubs, international law firms and flag state authorities. He has also been called as an expert witness for LMAA proceedings, and has authored a number of publications and regularly presents at international conferences on marine-related matters.
Stewart Highett is a senior energy sector professional with over 30 years of experience in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industries – both onshore and offshore. He is currently Commercial Director at Emirates Electrical & Instrumentation Company LLC, part of Juman Energy Group. Prior to this Stewart was the Senior Vice President for Aker Solutions, based in Abu Dhabi.
Originating from a delivery role within electrical and instrumentation engineering in UK on shore refineries, and subsequently engaged at Shell Offshore North Sea installations, Stewart has gone on to develop a career in International Marketing and Business Development focused on projects, mainly in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Stewart has conducted many small and large global contractual and commercial negotiations, and supported the coordination of resources for new projects. Focused on safety, cost and schedule, in line with company and client’s goals, Stewart typically supports a project in a mentoring role for key individuals within the project team, to ensure success.
Joe has spent his 30 year career to date in various senior leadership positions across various geographical areas ranging from Africa, Europe, the UK and, most recently, the UAE. Joe joined Mediclinic Middle East in 2016 and spent four years as Hospital Director at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital before becoming Chief Operating Officer for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in 2021.
Before joining Mediclinic, Joe fulfilled various senior leadership roles, mainly in the healthcare sector where he achieved great success with various large healthcare transformational business initiatives. Joe holds an MBA and Diploma in Management (Open University) and certificates in Managing Healthcare Delivery and Strategy Execution (Harvard Business School). He has also received Director Training (Institute of Directors), and Leadership Training as a former officer in the British Army (Sandhurst). Joe also holds a Diploma in Agriculture (Plymouth University, UK).
Ali Al Janabi
Ali Al Janabi is the Chairman of Shell UAE, and is also Vice President for Shell’s Upstream business in Abu Dhabi. In this capacity, he is accountable for providing governance and support for joint ventures which have been formed between Shell and UAE partners. Ali also represents the Royal Dutch Shell Group to the government of Abu Dhabi. His experience in Shell includes project development of LNG Plants and Regas Terminals, New Market Entry, GTL, Pipelines, Country Master-plans, and Integrated Upstream and Petrochemicals projects. His experience also includes mergers & acquisitions, LNG supply and trading, investment banking, as well as project construction and engineering.
Ali started his career with Taylor Wood and has worked for Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, and now Shell. He is a graduate of Imperial College London where he obtained a Masters of Engineering degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering in 1996, and in 2000 he earned a master’s degree in Strategy & Finance from Kingston Business School. Ali also holds a Financial Services Authority Qualification in Financial Regulation & Derivatives. Ali is British with Iraqi origin.
Lee is the Regional Sales Director for NES Global Talent, a World leading solutions company, looking after sales across the Middle East based from Abu Dhabi. NES GT has over 60 offices in 33 countries. Across the Middle East this includes offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar providing recruitment, visa and payroll solutions. Having worked in recruitment for over twenty years, with the last fifteen in the energy space across Europe and the Middle East, Lee has provided complete solutions for most major global clients.
Lee joined NES GT in June 2018 relocating into the UAE from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He consults with clients who are looking to improve or develop their recruitment capabilities across the Middle East, finding them cost-effective compliant solutions.
Lee likes to spend his spare time with his family exploring the islands off the UAE, making full use of his captain’s license, and new exploration is leading to desert camping – making the most of the fantastic diverse landscape that the UAE has to offer.
Tom Shorrock is an Operations Manager for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award based in Abu Dhabi and oversees the development of the Award in the UAE. After obtaining a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, Tom worked in Industry for six years in the UK & France. Alongside his work, he was also a member of the local Army Reserve unit.
Tom developed his love for the outdoors and non-formal education by taking part in various courses as well as being involved with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). His activities with the RSC, allowed him to develop teaching and learning beyond the classroom, and create community outreach activities with the help of his local section. Work with the Society has continued throughout his career and was subsequently been recognised with a Fellowship.
It was thorough his involvement with the Army Cadet Force and RSC, that he made the decision to become a teacher and trained through the Graduate Teacher Training Programme. Having taught in the UK, Tom went on to teach Chemistry, Science and French at various schools in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. He retains a strong interest in Education, but in particular Non-Formal Education and how the latter is important for young people throughout school and later in for the world of work. In his spare time, Tom loves exploring the outdoors through off-roading, hiking, kayaking and recently completing a Half-Ironman Triathlon.
Tariq is a Partner at International Strategic Alliances LLC, serving the full energy industry spectrum as well as serving the defence and infrastructure sectors from inception to commissioning with a robust chain infrastructure. Tariq was formerly the Managing Director of MAK Trading Abu Dhabi. With a measurable history in the oil and gas industry building strategic partnerships across national and international markets, Tariq’s areas of expertise include strategic business planning, investment management, pre and upgrading qualifications and adding value In Country Value programs with NOCs & governmental Organisations. Previously, Tariq was a lead in EPCI projects focusing on procurement and supply chain management, and spent many years in London amongst other things in manufacturing, leading business re- processing teams to re-align and grow more efficient companies.
David Spearing MBE
David came to Abu Dhabi in 1968 to manage a consultancy practice in the construction industry on three major projects for the Crown Prince. He subsequently established his own practice in 1973 in the UAE with varied works including hospitals, hotels, high-rise buildings, stadiums, and industrial projects. Over the past 53 years David has been very involved in outside-work activities including as past Chairman of The Club, the St George’s Society, the Institution of Civil Engineers and as the Founder and Honorary Life President of the Oxford and Cambridge Society UAE Branch. He was appointed one of the first Wardens of the British Embassy and received an MBE in 2012 for his services to British Business and the British Community in Abu Dhabi. David is also a tennis enthusiast, and is the longest-ever serving Honorary Steward at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships having started in 1974.
Chris is a chartered financial planner and has lived in the UAE for over 10 years. He works for The Fry Group; a 123-year-old tax, estates, and financial planning company, headquartered in the UK. Starting his career in 2008, Chris worked for Lloyds TSB looking after high net worth clients in Cheshire, England. After moving to UAE in 2011, he has worked for both Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC before joining The Fry Group upon their arrival to the region in December 2018. Chris holds qualifications from The London Institute of Banking and Finance, he is also a qualified UK pension transfer specialist.
Chris firmly believes that building strong relationships is key to sustaining long term business for British companies in the region; he has strong opinions on the state and reputation of the financial services sector in the region. Through the BBG he is looking to attract top tier banks, advisors, asset managers, and fin-tech experts whilst increasing the awareness of Abu Dhabi as a financial hub in the region. He is also keen to promote personal finance education for BBG members and the wider community alike.
Will Blair – Co-Opted
Will is an experienced corporate communications professional, specialising in corporate affairs strategy, reputation management, ESG and sustainability communications, media relations, content writing and editorial management. He has advised a range of global firms in the UK and UAE, including ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Airports, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid and Abbott Laboratories.
Prior to moving to the UAE, he was Vice President Corporate Communications at Barclays Bank PLC for four and a half years, working on ESG and Sustainability communications and corporate PR campaigns.
He is a serving reservist Media Officer with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, as well as Club Secretary at The Club, Abu Dhabi. He also volunteers as Communications Secretary for The Lighthouse Club Abu Dhabi.