Benelux business council Abu Dhabi

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  • 18 Oct 2020 16:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    • A Consortium of BESIX and Jan De Nul Group has been awarded part of the expansion plans of the Port of Fujairah, in the eponymous emirate of the UAE.
    • The design-and-build Dibba Bulk Handling Terminal Project includes dredging and constructing breakwaters, a quay wall and port infrastructure.
    • It was awarded by the Port of Fujairah (PoF), the world's second largest bunkering hub, to expand and upgrade its bulk-handling capacity.

    BESIX and Jan De Nul Group are helping to deliver the expansion of the port of Fujairah in Dibba, the second largest city of the emirate of Fujairah in the UAE, located along the Gulf of Oman. The works for the Dibba Bulk Handling Terminal Project were awarded to the consortium of Six Construct, BESIX’s entity in the Middle East, and Jan De Nul Group by the Port of Fujairah (PoF), one of the world’s key oil storage centres and the second-largest ship-bunkering hub in the world.

    The design-and-build contract consists of dredging the navigation channel and port basin, reclamation and shore protection, as well as constructing breakwaters, a 765 m long quay wall, foundations for ship loader rails, port infrastructure and creating utilities and aids to navigation. The fishing harbour will be relocated in the process.

    The expansion plans are part of PoF’s strategy to increase the port’s bulk handling capacity and operational efficiency, as well as improve the quality of its service, which is considered among the best in the world.

    The consortium’s approach to optimise the design by providing ‘value engineering’, along with the newly-established Central Marine Support department, presented a strong, competitive solution to the client.

    Yasser Laroussi Ben Asker, Operations Manager Marine Works Middle East at Six Construct: “Six Construct is very pleased and honoured to partner with the Port of Fujairah, as part of our decades-long history in the Emirate. The history of Six Construct and the port of Fujairah are very connected. BESIX’s entity in the Middle East helped on several occasions to extend the port infrastructure. We share the same values in aspiring to create long-term partnerships to support the Emirate’s development goals, and we are investing in a long and prosperous relationship.”
    Stefan Moens, Area Manager Middle East at Jan De Nul Group:We build on many years of experience in the U.A.E. and this award confirms the Port of Fujairah’s satisfaction with our previous port expansion projects executed in the region. We are very proud to be appointed as a trusted partner for the delivery of these works, moreover, in consortium with BESIX, another company with Belgian roots.”

    The contract is valued at 371 million AED (90.4 million EUR). Works will be carried out over 19 months.

    About BESIX Group

    Six Construct is part of BESIX Group, a Belgian based multidisciplinary company with a leading position in construction, property development and concessions. The group excels in creating sustainable solutions for a better world in 25 countries and on 5 continents. Famous for iconic projects such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, BESIX Group also specializes in the construction of marine facilities, such as breakwaters, jetties, quay walls, shore protection, canals, locks and flood barriers. More info on

    About Jan De Nul Group

    Design. Build. Connect. Jan De Nul Group shapes water and land. Worldwide. From complex services to the offshore energy and energy transition sector, over large dredging and defence works on the edge of water and land, to challenging civil and environmental works. Well integrated competences and investments lead to creative, sustainable and innovative solutions. In this way Jan De Nul Group delivers results that produce satisfied customers. Today, but also tomorrow. –

  • 17 Sep 2020 08:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Abu Dhabi, 14 Sept 2020: Skyne, the Dutch-founded international branding and design consultancy, has expanded its company to open an office in Abu Dhabi’s media hub, twofour54.
    Skyne’s Abu Dhabi office will be the fourth in the company’s portfolio, following the opening of hubs in Netherlands, Dubai and Saudia Arabia. Skyne’s head office opened in Dubai in 2008 and the company has since established a solid roster of local and international clients.

    Dennis de Rond, Founder of Skyne, said of the company’s expansion: “We strongly believe that Abu Dhabi is going through massive transformation and growth plans for the future. Skyne sees plenty of opportunities to partner with twofour54 and Abu Dhabi-based companies on their exciting projects that are born out of creative visions with a human-centric focus and spirit of innovation. Skyne definitely aspires to be part of this journey across various
    sectors. "We’re proud to be continuing our expansion during this globally challenging time and hope that our announcement sends a message of hope, optimism and resilience to business owners in the UAE and around the world.”

    Katrina Anderson, Director of Commercial Services at twofour54, said: “We are consistently seeing that Abu Dhabi is an ideal base for companies looking to expand further across the Middle East and North Africa. For media firms, there are huge opportunities in the region thanks to its innovative and pioneering new companies. We are delighted that Skyne has chosen twofour54 as its next hub and they join some of the region’s most dynamic creative leaders who value our collaborative ecosystem and industry-leading facilities and services.”

    Skyne opened their new branch with support from the Dutch Embassy. H.E. Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE, said: “Over the years, Skyne has established itself as one of the strategic
    branding and design agencies in Dubai. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE is delighted to experience the opening of the Skyne office at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Skyne stands for creativity, innovation, pragmatism and resilience - Dutch traits we are happy to bring to the table. We look forward to supporting the agency’s ambitions and appreciate its contribution to the strong UAE-Netherlands friendship.”

    Skyne has advised more than 150 companies in the MENA region including Abu Dhabi Terminals, Shurooq, Sharjah Media City, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and industry, Deloitte and many more.

  • 16 Sep 2020 17:51 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Benelux Business Council, the Netherlands Business Council UAE, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands would like to share with you the results of our second COVID-19 survey.

  • 16 Jul 2020 12:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Luxembourg has just released a new version of the brochure "How to set up a business in Luxembourg".

    The guide provides practical information for international company executives on business permits, legal forms, immigration, financing, taxation and social security as well as on settling down and education in Luxembourg.

    Follow this link in order to view the new guide: "How to set up a business in Luxembourg: 8 Simple Steps"

  • 16 Jul 2020 08:51 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Discover exclusive dining experiences and unwind by the beach at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal.

    Chef's Lunch at Giorgnotte

    Discover the Ritz' cosmopolitan Chef's Lunch prepared à la minute by their world-class Chefs and enjoy gourmet dining from all over the world.

    • Fridays, 1 PM - 4 PM
    • Giornotte Restaurant
    • Packages start from AED 299 net per person

    Meat Flights at the Forge

    • Silver Boarding pass AED 189
      • 300 gr - Brazil Tenderloin, New Zealand Tenderloin, US Tenderloin
    • Gold Boarding pass AED 289
      • 400gr - US Wagyu Tenderloin, Australian Golden Angus Sirloin, Brazil Tenderloin
    • Platinum Boarding Surf & Turf pass AED 450
      • 400gr - US Wagyu Tenderloin, Australian Wagyu Tenderloin, Maine Lobster Tail, Gulf King Prawn
    • Sunday - Friday, 6 PM - 11 PM
    • The Forge Restaurant

    Beach Day Pass

    Head over to the beachside and sip on your favourite beverage. Enjoy light far at Al Fresco with your dining credit.

    • Weekday - AED 150 | AED 100 on F&B credit
    • Weekend - AED 250 | AED 200 on F&B credit
    Children below the age of 6 are free of charge - 1 child per adult. Children below the age of 12 will receive 50% discount on the Beach Day Pass and receive AED 50 of F&B credit.

    For reservation call at +971 2 818 8282 or email

  • 15 Jul 2020 16:47 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel has launched an exclusive promotion starting from AED 450 on single/double occupancy per room per night including breakfast and subject to Taxes, Service Charge and Other Fees.

    Located on Sheikh Zayed Street, overlooking the stunning Mangroves National Park, the hotel is combining business and pleasure, offering guests a luxury escape from the bustle of the city.

    Book and stay until 20 December 2020 and enjoy 30% savings on food and beverages, a complimentary room upgrade to the next room category and late check-out until 4:00 PM (subject to availability, excluding suites).

    Experience kayaking amongst the mangroves as you enjoy scenic views and wildlife


    AED 160 double seater rental and AED 110 single seater rental

    AED 160 per adult, 2 hours guided tour and AED 130 per child (age 3 - 10), 2 hours guided tour

    Daily from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Advance booking is required.

    For further information or bookings, please contact Mr Carlo Lazzarini at 054 305 7449 or email at

  • 15 Jul 2020 15:54 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa have launched a staycation package perfect for golfers. With their Stay & Play package, you can play at the championship course of Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, or Yas Links Golf Club.

    Starting from AED 390 per golfer, enrich your stay with a package offering daily breakfast, one round of golf, 40% off all restaurant & bar, and more.

    See the flyer below on how to make a reservation, or to contact The Westin for more information.

  • 15 Jul 2020 14:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Get away from it all with the exclusive Stay & Refresh staycation package at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa.

    Starting from AED 610 per room, the package offers daily breakfast and AED 150 credit to spend in any hotel restaurant & bar and more.

    Staycation package includes:

    • One-night stay including breakfast
    • Complimentary dining up to 2 kids per room
    • AED 150 credit to spend in any hotel & bar
    • 35% discount on food and beverages
    • Late check out

    For more information or to reserve, click here.

  • 14 Jul 2020 12:47 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Go-Lokal A new online platform to empower and support UAE businesses;

    Skyne has launched, a new online platform to empower and support local UAE businesses. Go-Lokal, an independent online platform, is a Skyne initiative created to help UAE-based companies. Through the platform, consumers will be able to find and support local companies and entrepreneurs directly.

    With over 175 local brands already registered, Go-Lokal is looking to become the central portal for UAE brands looking to connect with locally focused consumers. All brands are conveniently organized in different categories, covering for instance Food & Beverage, Fashion, Arts & Crafts, Health and Personal care and many more.

    Go-Lokal is also looking to raise the profile of hidden gem destinations across the UAE that residents and tourists can visit such as; Emirates Bio Farm, the largest private organic farm in the UAE, Hatta Honey, local specialist in honey production or Dibba Bay Oysters, the first home-grown oyster farm, and the bespoke Al Suwaidi Pearls Farm in RAK.

    Helping the local economy

    "Over the last six months, across the world, brands have struggled to adapt to their changing environment. We wanted to find a way to help companies in the UAE through this difficult period by connecting them with their local communities and potential customers.

    Increasingly, consumers want to support local over international brands. These past few months have really underscored that people are wanting to make sure that local business and entrepreneurs survive."

    "Our team has been in the UAE for many years, and together we felt the need to do something to help the local economy. Many great companies exist in the UAE, that deserve more attention. We are convinced that the community loves to discover the amazing range of local products and services UAE-based companies have to offer."

    Dennis de Rond, founder of Skyne.

    The UAE has a very rich culture and heritage and continues to embrace innovation year on year. As a hub for local entrepreneurship, Go-Lokal, will be the platform connecting the local community with the local economy, showing everyone all the hidden gems in the UAE.

  • 14 Jul 2020 11:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After weeks of hard work and preparations, we were a week away from the Global Forum for Agricultural Innovation (GFIA), an agricultural trade fair that takes place annually in Abu Dhabi. We had been building momentum towards this event, planning a large incoming horticulture mission from the Netherlands, energized by a previous visit during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) in Jan 2020. Unfortunately, we had to hit the brakes just a week before the planned event and incoming trade mission. As many can probably relate, it’s rather odd to lay blame solely on a virus, but it was true. COVID-19 had officially began disrupting our 2020 plans.

    Like dominoes, we witnessed one exhibition, conference, event and meeting being postponed or cancelled after the next. Perhaps the biggest wrench thrown into our 2020 plans was the postponement of Expo 2020 by one year. No doubt, it was a wise and balanced decision, but a challenge nonetheless.

    Faced with so much uncertainty, how do we continue the valuable work we do? How do we evolve diplomacy, be it economic, public or otherwise?

    Diplomacy, at the heart of it, is the crisscrossing paper-cup-phones that we often played with as children. It is about maintaining channels of communication, strengthening relationships, and increasing cooperation towards common objectives and goals. While diplomacy is unquestionably made easier with the shake of a hand, sharing a cup of coffee, or breaking bread together - COVID-19 has certainly awoken us to the opportunities of “digital diplomacy”.

    But perhaps we need to take a step back and ask some important questions first:

    1. What is "digital diplomacy"?
    2. Is it something that's even new?
    3. Is it always a good thing?

    In a nutshell, digital diplomacy is the digitization of the various activities performed under the diplomacy umbrella, including political diplomacy, public diplomacy, economic diplomacy along with a whole range of other “diplomacies”.

    The digitization of diplomacy has in fact been taking place for quite some time now, evolving alongside social media. This is especially true for political and public diplomacy, while digitization in economic diplomacy is only just now beginning to take off.

    With public diplomacy, communication, which was once one-directional and through limited channels, has now evolved significantly and become more online. Through social media, governments, via their representatives, institutions, embassies etc. began communicating directly with the public, reaching a much broader audience than before. This is undoubtedly a positive development.  The digital shift has allowed for greater transparency, accountability, and access - with citizens being able to reach out to their representatives and vice-versa. Looking at COVID-19, the ability of government institutions to pass on useful information and updates to the public on new rules and regulations, testing, repatriation etc. highlights the benefits of having greater engagement.

    The digitization of political diplomacy on the other hand, may have taken a darker turn. While foreign policy positions have become more transparent than ever, it might not necessarily be a good thing. Moving conversations that usually took place behind closed doors to the public social media arena has in many cases eroded the meaningful and constructive dialogue within and between nations. “Twitter diplomacy” is a good example of this, whereby statements are sensationalized for public appeal, and bilateral relations are reduced to a game of individual ego and machoism.

    This finally brings us to economic diplomacy, which has experienced the most lag when it comes to digitization – up until now that is. While many digital tools have emerged over the past 20 years that can facilitate trade and business, it remained largely traditional, with bilateral trade meetings having continued to take place in person and trade missions rooted in physical conferences and exhibitions. The majority of government instruments that support business development, internationalization and export remained physical in nature – just like the GFIA exhibition we were working towards. However, like many other areas in today’s world, economic diplomacy was also ripe for disruption, and nothing could have been more disruptive than COVID-19.

    So how do we evolve economic diplomacy? Especially in these turbulent times when people, businesses, and the whole world is looking to their governments for leadership and guidance. It is a difficult question to answer, especially from the microcosm of a single Embassy. Nevertheless, I do believe that we’re on the right track. As businesses and organizations globally adjust, re-evaluate their business models and prepare for a post-corona world, we too are having our moment of introspection.

    It would be wrong to suggest that every human interaction can be reduced to a digital equivalent, especially in diplomacy. Moreover, digital fatigue is a serious issue that many of us are facing. Still, what we’ve been able to accomplish to date is truly impressive. We’ve continued to maintain our core services and are even challenging ourselves to push beyond.

    Though we are still experimenting based on our own experience and emerging best practices, below is a snapshot of what we’ve accomplished so far:

    1. Enhancing our economic bilateral cooperation

    • Development of Joint Economic Committee between the Netherlands and the UAE
    • Held multiple video calls with ministries and ministers on areas of strategic cooperation such as food security, culture and education

    2. Maintaining and expanding our local network

    • Reaching out to local companies and organizations that can partner with Dutch businesses and knowledge institutes
    • Partnering with other organizations where possible to improve our services and reduce redundancy (i.e. partnerships with the Netherlands Business Council and BeNeLux Business Council in the UAE)

    3. Checking up on Dutch companies in the country

    • Carrying out calls, video calls and virtual roundtables to see how companies are doing, understand their concerns/priorities, and support them where possible
    • Sharing information on economic stimulus measures in the Netherlands and Gulf countries

    4. Supporting small and medium sizes enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands

    • Raising awareness on market opportunities in the Gulf region through a series of webinars on: food security, water technology, clean energy, logistics, health care and beyond
    • Organizing virtual match-making sessions between Dutch SMEs, Dutch industry associations and local stakeholders
    • Developing an energy technology portal showcasing Dutch innovations to be used for export promotion

    Our colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) in the Hague, are continuously collecting best practices and cooking up new ideas and tools for enhancing our economic diplomacy. Like the Kickstarter voucher developed by RVO to support Dutch SMEs whose international activities have been impacted by the Corona crisis.

    While some of these measures are temporary due to COVID-19, the vast majority are not. The world is undoubtedly in a period of transition, including how we do business and facilitate it. However, one thing is certain, digital economic diplomacy is here to stay.

    Do you have any ideas on how to expand and further develop digital diplomacy? Please let us know, and share your suggestions!

    Author: Omar Saif, Regional Advisor on Water-Energy-Food Nexus Gulf Region - in collaboration with the Economic Departments in Abu Dhabi & Dubai

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