Archive for November, 2010

A week in Bahrain – 18th October to 26th October 2010

November 20, 2010

Well, it’s that time again. As you know, I visit Bahrain three times every year to meet new and current clients and gather information on their current jobs in Bahrain and forthcoming vacancies. With our new and innovative low cost recruitment service, this trip was always going to be a bit special. I was not mistaken.

Monday 18th October

Following a BA flight from Manchester via Heathrow, I landed in Bahrain and into heat, humidity and solace. For the first time in my life, my case was the first onto the carousel and therefore I was the first out into Bahrain. After purchasing 8BHD worth of Zain credit I was hoping Martin, my driver, was waiting to meet me. Unfortunately he got his times wrong so I had a wait. Firstly outside but after the humidity began to hit (after 5 minutes) I belonged to the God of aircon. It was great to see Martin, not only because I was tired but because he is a great guy and really looks after me.

I arrived at my hotel, The Gulf Hotel Bahrain and after a speedy check in, I was in my apartment. My home for the week. It may cost a bit more but for ease, hospitality and comfort, I would not stay anywhere else. Oh yes, they are also a client and reciprocal business is never a bad thing.

A pint in Sherlocks and then bed.

Tuesday 19th October

2 meetings today followed by the Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) networking lunch. I attend every time I am in Bahrain, it is nice to walk into a venue and be recognised and welcomed. As well as meeting regular faces, I always come away with new contacts which (I hope) will turn into clients. It was mentioned again about honorary membership, I hope this becomes a reality.

The previous meetings were in Manama with one of the major hotel groups and then down to the circuit where I have just placed their new Commercial Director. The hotel is undergoing a major refurb and it was fascinating to see the work and I look forward to see the end result. Bahrain International Circuit, the home of the Bahrain F1 grand prix, is always a pleasure to visit. Being a fan, meetings in Sakhir tower always fill me with pride and I can’t wait for the race in March as I have been given tickets to attend. I feel very proud to receive these and a testament to my hard work. The meeting went well, agreed a new contract and presented a gift to the HR Director as a token of my esteem. I was then provided with transport back into town which I was extremely grateful for.

After the BBBF lunch, I has sufficient time to catch up with events in the UK office before attending ‘Gulf Night Out’ at the Gulf Hotel. I was the guest of the GM and also GM of Gulf Brands International, I was not prepared for the sight in the hotel garden, over 400 people enjoying the fantastic food serves by each of the hotel’s many restaurants and some light hearted entertainment. To round off my first full day, eating excellent food in excellent company, outside in a t-shirt (bear in mind October in the UK is not particularly warm!!) was a delight. After stuffing my face I retired, well aware that I had 7 meetings the following day.

Wednesday 20th October

Yes, you heard right. 7 meetings. Well, the trip is not a holiday. I plan on developing clients in Tahiti by the way…..

First meeting was with an existing client, pitched our online recruitment advertising service (did I mention it is unique to the Middle East?) and it went down very well. I was given some senior vacancies, discussed family and left invigorated and it set the scene for the day. Coming from a cold, rainy climate, it helps when I get the opportunity to work in sunshine and warmth.

Second meeting was new business, a referral which ended with a gift by the CEO and a lift back to my hotel by him also. So, it went pretty well.

After this was lunch at the rather excellent Thai restaurant at the Gulf Hotel, with a client who had organised most of my extracurricular activities in Bahrain. (Cheers Ron.) This was followed by a meeting with the HR Director of the hotel, again, good to put a face to the name, after all, I have placed candidates with him and then some brief chill out time before a do at the British Embassy.

This was the SIG event organised by the BBBF and it was a great event for networking in great surroundings, although it was incredibly humid! Again, the more times I can show my face, the more credible I become. Hence the interview in October’s GFI and agreement of a 12 month contract with Arabian Magazines, courtesy of my good friend, Nick Cooksey.

To round the day off, drinks with the new Commercial Director of Bahrain International Circuit and the new F&B Manager at the Capital Club (both recruited by me). If anyone wants cheetahs at their wedding, ask me. Jamal, sorry!

Thursday 21st October

Final day before the weekend. (For those not in the know, weekends in Bahrain are Friday & Saturday). 5 meetings followed by dinner with a very important client. Already looking forward to my first ever weekend in Bahrain but I have work to do first!

Our unique low cost recruitment service really came into its fore today. ‘Entrepreneurial’, ‘innovative’ and ‘a breath of fresh air’ are just some of the comments made today. I even got a call from the GM of a hotel in Bahrain who had seen my video about the trip, so all in all, a good day.

My first meeting was a referral and I had to sell and maintain credibility in the face of adversity. I came out with an order (not the first of the trip by the way!) and new found respect for recruiters. Why oh why are there companies in my industry that ruin it for the rest of us????

The second, third and fourth were with existing clients, both very very important to me and both general trading families. They appreciated the portfolio that I can put together, all the press cuttings, awards and recognition received for our Middle East work went down really well. If I am not going to shout about our success, who else is? To be fair, I did show our portfolio / brag file in every meeting and it always received the response I was hoping for. It is always nice when clients ask how they can help me in a meeting, it really shows that we have mutual respect.

The final meeting was back at the hotel, relaxed, informal but still productive. I really seem to come into my own when I work in this region, I am not being boastful but my passion is obvious.

Dinner was at Al Arisha, a Lebanese restaurant in Umm Al-Hassan. I have had Lebanese food before but not like this. The atmosphere was relaxed, the food and service was excellent and the company equally as good. I will certainly go there again. If I can find it.

Weekend – hurrah!!!

Friday 22nd October

Now this is a novelty. Being away on business and getting a lie in. After the five hour meal the night before and a rather hectic couple of days, it was needed.

A client and fast becoming a good friend, had arranged for us to go to brunch at the Movenpick, near the airport. To say that I was most looking forward to it was an understatement. Having never been to a brunch before, I was not sure what to expect. I have heard the stories and did not want to become one of them. I was very pleasantly surprised and more to the point were my hosts. If you have never been, then go. They even have Babybel in the cheese room!!!

After bumping into some friends back at the hotel and wondering why there was no football on – it was a bit weird having a weekend on a Friday, it was off to get ready for another do, this time, Wine & Dine at the Gulf Hotel, again as a guest. The star of the evening was Franco Tommasi, Italian vineyard owner and producer of some exquisite wines, located near Verona. Along with him was the Italian Ambassador and his wife and I was privileged to be seated on their table. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed great wine and great food, the only worry was that bestowed by my belt. A nice end to my first full weekend day in Bahrain.

Saturday 23rd October

Nothing to do today! Now that is a bizarre feeling. So I went to the souk and behaved like a tourist. For the first time since I have been working in Bahrain I have actually been able to properly chill out. It was a great feeling and I was going to take full advantage. The souk is excellent, I really like experiencing the original culture of a place, I cannot get over the fact the people in my industry recruit into a region / country / kingdom and base their knowledge on Google. Well, I suppose this is why we have the clients we have and have won the awards that we have.

A nice day, then a meeting with a client over some drinks, pitched our recruitment advertising service and again, went down well. Back to work tomorrow. On a Sunday. Still feels weird.

Sunday 24th October

Only four meetings today and then dinner with client / friends. However, all the meetings today are new business so I had to make sure that I was firing on all cylinders.

I was thankful for (kind of) having two days off, at least I could recharge. The meetings ranged from full on grillings to a chat, it is the chatty meetings that worry me as you can never gauge how well they have gone. But after three years of recruiting in Bahrain, I would like to think that I am beginning to get a handle on things.

Even when I sat at the wrong table believing the guy was my contact, it was laughed off when in other cultures this would have been a massive faux pas and would have ruined the day.

The meetings went well, generated business through our low cost recruitment service as well as receiving traditional assignments. It seems as if the last three years are beginning to pay off.

Oh and dinner was great. Copper Chimney in Bahrain is great for curry, huge portions and great value for money, I wish I was on commission!!

Monday 25th October

Last day. Boo. Has it been productive? Yes. Final 5 meetings, lunch at the Capital Club and dinner at Sato.

First was with a current client, again I pitched our new service, went down well and our innovation was appreciated. The second meeting was back at the hotel and then the third was across the road from where I had just been. I suspect that my journey planning was not as good as I thought. However, the third meeting was in the most exclusive private club in Bahrain, who are a client. The views are spectacular and I love the whole atmosphere. The new F&B Manager was recruited by me and he treated me to lunch, beautiful venison burgers coupled with that view, an excellent combination. It was a shame that I had to cancel my next meeting due to time, Shariq, my apologies once more.

The last two meetings were with the same client, quite fitting as they had really looked after me during my visit. I was presented with a gift and the opportunity to see how much I knew about their team, talk about being on the spot! Thankfully I guessed right, much to my delight / amazement / relief!

So, all that was left now was to check out. Not quite.

I had recently placed the new Assistant Bar Manager at the Margarita Mexicana and I had to go and say hello before I left. He treated me to some potent but tasty cocktails before I headed to Sato for a farewell dinner. Now I have had Teppanyaki in the UK but this was something else. A fitting send off.

After my final sumptuous meal of a busy week, it was to the airport where I discovered that copies of the October issue of GFI were in the Dilmun Lounge. So, I proceeded to open some of the copies to the page which had my full page article, including photo, just to see if I got any acknowledgement from my fellow would be passengers. I didn’t by the way.


Well, that’s it.

The guys in Sherlocks think I am a regular. There are now 2 books on Wakefield sitting on coffee tables in Bahrain and our profile continues to grow.

Another week done, next trip Jan, then March, then October etc etc etc. Long may the adventure continue.


Advertise Job Vacancies – I found the blog below, worth a read.

November 16, 2010

Advertise Job Vacancies |


November 12, 2010

Up to £600 per week
UK Wide
CVs to

We are working on behalf of one of the UK’s largest driving instructor company’s RED Driving School

To train as a Driving Instructor no previous experience is required.

The demand for professionally trained Driving Instructors is growing

As a Driving Instructor you can choose when, where and how you work.

By working as a Driving Instructor you will meet new people and teach them a skill for life.

Become a Driving Instructor with the UK’s largest instructor training network, RED Driving School.


The driving instruction industry is at a most exciting time. With the number of lessons taken by each learner to pass the driving test increasing year on year, the demand for professionally trained Driving Instructors is growing. The driving test itself is becoming ever more complex and demanding and as road conditions become busier, new instructors will witness a growing demand in the number of driving lessons required by their students.

As a Driving Instructor you can choose the hours that you work, you are your own boss, you could earn up to £600 p/w and no previous experience is necessary.


We are the UK’s largest trainer of instructors and we offer a high level of flexibility in our training approach. You can qualify at your own pace and fit your training around your existing job and lifestyle commitments.

Once you’ve qualified we can provide you with career advice, whether you want join a national or local driving school or if you want to start out on your own.

We provide the complete package required to make a success of your career change

m2r is working on behalf of this organisation (the Client) and acting as their CV filtering service. Your application, if deemed appropriate, will be forwarded directly to the client. By applying for this role, you authorise us to submit your details.

Call us for vacancies in Bahrain!

November 9, 2010

Great advertising sales job in the Middle East!

November 3, 2010

We are working on behalf of this well-established GCC-based organisation requiring a professional General Manager to head up their regional office in the Middle East.

Reporting directly to the CEO, you will have full responsibility for driving the business to achieve strict revenue and growth targets. You are an individual who has had full profit & loss accountability as well as in-depth exposure to sales, marketing, business development and client retention strategies.

Successful experience in online / offline advertising is essential, as is a demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and the passion and initiative to handle 360 degree business demands.

Beyond internal organizational leadership, you will be responsible for handling key relationships with business partners, suppliers and stakeholders therefore a high degree of diplomacy, tact and maturity is fundamental.

You have a minimum of 8 years print and on-line publishing experience working in a fast paced environment; you will be able to demonstrate revenue and budget achievement, be an excellent team player and have strong communication skills. You must have worked as a GM or in similar capacity within this environment and have a stable career. Written and spoken Arabic fluency is preferred.

The role provides an excellent executive package which will be discussed with the client upon successful candidacy.

m2r is working on behalf of this organisation (the Client) and acting as their CV filtering service. Your application, if deemed appropriate, will be forwarded directly to the client. By applying for this role, you authorise us to submit your details.