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Fire Engineering in the Middle East

Since our last Branch update there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes bringing us closer to fully rolling out the Branch across the region. March is always a busy month for the IFE internationally with the examinations being a key focus for our members. This year we again held our GCC UAE examination centre at the Tyco Training Centre in Dubai and many thanks must go out to Tyco for their continued support. This year we had 22 registered candidates sitting a total of 47 papers and following on from this success we are planning to provide an examination centre in October 2017 giving our members local support and a better opportunity for planning their studying and expanding their qualifications.

Membership in the region is currently broken down as follows:

  • UAE – 52 members
  • Oman – 7 members
  • Qatar – 18 members
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 4 members

Note: Members who have not paid their 2017 subscriptions are now deemed as lapsed and this has highlighted that there are a number of members in the region who have not renewed for 2017, especially in Qatar. It remains the case that some members working in the region maintain their home country as their preferred address and are not included in the above figures.

I am pleased to report and offer sincere congratulations to the following members having being awarded the grade of Fellow of the IFE, namely;

  • Mark Edward Woodward FIFireE, Manager Aerodrome Section, General Civil Aviation Authority, Abu Dhabi.
  • Rajagopal Kannan FIFireE, Section Head, Abu Dhabi Gas Development.
  • Susanta Mukhopadhyay FIFireE, Field Safety Engineer, Qatar Fertiliser Company.

In our last update I focused on the Business Plan which the Founding Committee of the Branch have developed and with this update I’d like to expand explain further on our local licence issued through the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) and the strong relationship we are developing with DAC. It is important to understand that the development of strong relationships in the region will be a key to our on-going success.

On 9th May 2017 I was pleased to attend a roundtable discussion at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce chaired by the Dubai Association Centre. This meeting was to provide an update on the expanding network of associations in the region of which the IFE are the fourth to be licensed out of a current total of 38 with 4 currently being processed. Following the meeting I was presented with our renewed trade licence (Number 0004).

By way of background, in 2014 Dubai took yet another step forward in cementing its reputation as the region’s leading commercial hub with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch the Dubai Association Centre (DAC).

Under the agreement, DAC offers assistance for the establishment of international non-profit, professional associations and trade bodies in Dubai. Once established, the associations have access to the UAE and GCC markets, as well those in the wider Middle East, Africa and Asia.

A decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in November 2012, empowered Dubai Chamber to support non-profit and non-governmental authorities, business associations, societies and organisations seeking to open offices in Dubai and to expand their activities into the region using the Emirate as a base. One of the objectives of DAC is to attract international expertise into the region under the umbrella of DAC.

The Dubai Association Centre (DAC) is a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DTWC).

As Dubai’s international profile grows and looks forward to the World Expo 2020, a number of international organisations and associations have come together in the Emirate to meet, exchange knowledge and network.

The Dubai Association Centre allows for a formal environment where associations can form a membership-based community or open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and beyond.

Dubai today is an international centre for hosting major global events, exhibitions and conferences and is the world’s next door neighbour at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Dubai offers easy access to many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. The associations benefit from economies of scale, experience in the association marketplace, flexibility and adaptability, increased buying power and centralised facilities at the centre.

It is DAC’s aim to ensure that doing business in Dubai is made as easy as possible and to grow Dubai into an international hub for associations. DAC has promised to offer a professional and supportive environment in which worldwide associations can base their headquarters or local representation. DAC will foster the development of scientific knowledge and professional education in the Emirate a goal which clearly aligns with the IFE’s core objectives.

Establishing an association within DAC provides an array of benefits and enables access to a relatively untapped market for international associations. A DAC licence has enabled the IFE and other associations to establish an office at the DWTC’s Sheikh Rashid Tower and enjoy use of the complex’s numerous facilities.

Also, associations established within DAC are entitled to apply for residency visas for their employees; can open a local bank account; and will be able to offer services and products to the constantly developing regional market. We will also have opportunities to attend networking events and will have access to key government stakeholders through the three founding organisations.

Hopefully this background to the establishment of the IFE Branch in the region through the DAC licencing process will give confidence in our ability to grow a strong and effective operational base for future expansion and I look forward to meeting local members over the coming months as we introduce local meetings and events.

For more information, go to www.ife.org.uk/branches/GCC-UAE

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<p>Branch President, GCC Branch – The Institution of Fire Engineers.</p>

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