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Thursday, February 25, 2010


This supplement to USA TODAY was produced by United World Ltd.: Suite 131 - 388 Second Avenue - New York, NY 10010 - Tel: 212 286 8117 - Email: [email protected] -

Partner in change

Vast oil reserves fuel the nation's economy, but economic diversification plans will make this key U.S. ally a regional center for finance and trade

Kuwait is one of the world's top oil producers, currently exporting some 3.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. Its economy is heavily dependent on oil export revenues, which account for around 90-95% of total export earnings. Estimates suggest that the state contains 106.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (including its part of the Neutral Zone, an area Kuwait shares with its neighbor Saudi Arabia), or roughly 8% of the world's total oil reserves ­ enough to last 100 years, according to the Energy Information Agency. The government is nevertheless wary of relying so massively on just its oil resources. The State of Kuwait is determined to advance its plans to transform the nation into a regional center for finance and trade. Executive steps taken by the government in its continuous drive for economic reform include numerous commercial visits to several countries by Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Kuwait has also hosted various high-level visits from foreign dignitaries, which resulted in the signing of commercial, financial and economic agreements. Its strategic location at the entrance of the Gulf is a huge advantage for import and export-based companies. Furthermore, the state has continued its policy of economic openness toward the outside world by removing various impediments to foreign investment, reducing monopolies and diversifying Kuwait's imports. Other recent private-sector developments include the establishment of two civil aviation companies, Al-Jazeera Airways and Al-Wataniya Airways, and


Quality control speaks volumes

Wataniya Telecom broke the state's monopoly on the telecoms sector and raises the bar for quality service

President Barack Obama welcomes the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the Oval Office last August

the launch of a third telecom company, VIVA Telecom. Last year, the government reaffirmed its dedication to promoting the investment opportunities available here, both locally and internationally, through exhibitions and conferences, as well as the establishment and development of free trade zones and the stimulation of internal tourism; Kuwaiti media has reported that more and more locals and expatriates are choosing to spend their vacations in Kuwait rather than abroad. With regard to the media, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones says the reliability and freedom of the nation's press is

commendable. In fact Kuwait is the highest placed Middle Eastern country in the 2009 Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Kuwait and the U.S. have long enjoyed strong bilateral relations. Last August, President Obama welcomed the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to the Oval Office to discuss strengthening ties between the two countries. The President said that Kuwait had been an outstanding host for the United States Armed Forces during operations in Iraq. He not only emphasized the gratitude felt in the U.S. for the support Kuwait had shown, but also the

ongoing commitment of the U.S. to Kuwait's security. President Obama also affirmed that the ongoing work between the two nations would strengthen not only Kuwaiti-U.S. relationships, but also to create a more stable region of peace and security in the Gulf.


This report is available at

Commercially launched in December 1999 and the first privately owned mobile operator in Kuwait, Wataniya Telecom celebrated its tenth anniversary last year under the banner `Just Getting Started' Also . known as the National Mobile Telecommunications Company, Wataniya Telecom has grown rapidly over the past decade through various acquisitions in the MENA region and Asia. In addition to Kuwait, the company now has operations that include the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. In March 2007, Qatari state-owned telecoms provider Qatar Telecom (Qtel) acquired 51% of Wataniya Telecom shares from Kuwait Projects Company Holding KSC (KIPCO) group for $3.8 billion. "As part of Qtel's group, we are always looking for opportunities to expand. We have a strong balance sheet, so we have the capacity and appetite to eye acquisitions. There are numerous opportunities but financially they have to make sense," says Scott Gegenheimer, general manager and CEO of Wataniya Telecom. A customer-driven company, Wataniya aims to provide product and service excellence that produces real customer value. The company has been a driving force in increasing mobile market penetration in Kuwait and influential in shaping the telecom industry in Kuwait. "Generally speaking, the arrival of new entrants intensifies competition and leads to a significant increase in penetration rates. New competition leads to lower


SCOTT GEGENHEIMER General Manager and CEO of Wataniya Telecom

prices, makes more products and services available, and generally improves the quality of services. This is exactly what happened when we launched as the second operator in Kuwait," says Gegenheimer. The operator strives to be the first to introduce the latest and most innovative services. Quality is a cornerstone of the company. "We continuously conduct focus groups with our customers; we sit with them to understand what they want and need, and then we work on delivering the product and services that match their requirements," says the CEO. "We also conduct mystery shopping and monitor the feedback in our call center in order to improve the quality of our services. We use mystery shopping to check our services and benchmark ourselves against our competition.

Continued on page 7


Making every moment count

Bayt Abdullah is the region's premier children's hospice and the first of its kind in the GCC, offering palliative care that improves quality of life

Hospitals can be daunting places for children. Moved from their comfortable homes, family and friends, many children are not prepared for going into hospital and find it an overwhelming and distressing experience. Modern medicine now widely accepts that the emotional well-

being of patients directly affects their responses to treatment and the speed of their recovery. Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice has been created by the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH) to provide the best in children's palliative care and to

help children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families. It offers a fully comprehensive round-theclock paediatric palliative care service free of charge for all Kuwaitis, which gives children and their families the flexibility of receiving the highest levels of

care at the place of their choice: at home with the support of the PACCH (Palliative Care for Children at Home) team; at Bayt Abdullah's day-care center; as an in-patient in one of the care suites; or in one of the family respite chalets for temporary support for the whole family.

The hospice is the realization of the vision of Margaret Al-Sayer and her husband Dr. Hilal AlSayer, Kuwait's health minister, to establish a specialized children's care center ­ the first such facility of its kind in the GCC region ­ to provide key medical care and psycho-social support.

DR. HILAL AL-SAYER Minister of Health

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Thursday, February 25, 2010



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Digging deeper to release potential

Kuwait Drilling Company is the nation's premier oil and gas drilling company and puts safety first

More than four decades of experience in drilling and maintaining oil and gas wells under a wide variety of conditions have earned the Kuwait Drilling Company (KDC) a reputation for highly efficient, reliable, and safe operations. "We are one of the oldest companies in Kuwait. Our vision is to be the preferred provider for oil sector companies here and to be the leading player in our field," says Abdul Azeez R. Al-Rashed, chairman of KDC. "While the majority of our business is inside Kuwait, we also operate in the Neutral Zone and the Middle East. Our main market remains Kuwait but our strategy was to achieve an international standard that would allow us to work abroad." At KDC, accidents are avoided by choice, not by chance. "We have invested heavily in developing our standards to international levels, whether in health, safety and the environment (HSE), maintenance or training. Our strategy is to be prepared," says Al-Rashed. Reflecting the company's desire to send everyone home without injury or illness to make it possible. "In our industry, this is not simply a theoretical safety or `feel-good' kind of effort. It is the most important factor. Our customers constantly tell us that the number one priority on which they base their decisions is HSE. It is more than a luxury; it is survival. It is a fact. If you are in the drilling business and you do not have a good HSE record, you will not work," says the chairman. Since 1965, KDC has drilled more than 1,400 wells on behalf of Kuwait Oil Company, the state-owned enterprise that oversees all exploration and extraction activities in Kuwait, and Joint Operations, the Kuwait-Saudi entity that controls all oil and gas activities in the Neutral Zone. KDC's expertise covers drilling for exploration, development and workover purposes, and includes mobile rig operations, deep-test drilling for natural gas, and offshore jack-up rigs. "We have provided a very critical and vital service to our country. During the war in 2003, we were one of only two oil companies here who were actually maintaining the oil wells of Kuwait," says Al-Rashed. "We are on a journey to build a national company but at an international standard," the chairman adds. "KDC actually started as a joint venture between local Kuwaiti businessmen and a U.S. company back in 1963, which has since evolved. Our whole existence began with a joint venture and that is embedded within our culture. We deal with companies ranging from Australia to the U.S. We are always looking for opportunities to cooperate whether in Kuwait or in the Gulf."

The latest technology gives advanced sealing solutions

Al-Fares and U.S. partners Garlock are bringing high quality gaskets to new markets

ABDUL AZEEZ R. AL-RASHED Chairman of Kuwait Drilling Company

Al-Fares Petro Ser$10-million installation vices is at the cutting will be the first in the edge of gasket manuregion to be equipped facturing in the GCC. with high-tech, enviActing as the exclusive ronmentally friendly agent for American laser technology, and partners Garlock Sealwill produce a compreing Technologies, who hensive range of highare renowned for their quality metallic and innovation and new non-metallic gaskets technologies, the perfect for sealing even ABDULAZIZ AL-FARES company's products FAISAL AL-FARES the toughest process Administration Manager of fluids in the most dehave proven to be Chairman of Al-Fares Petro Services highly effective and Al-Fares Petro Services manding applications. sought-after not just Faisal Al-Fares, chairin oil and gas, but also in a multitude of sec- man of Al-Fares Petro Services, says, "Gartors due to their effectiveness and durability, lock is successful because they have the highest including marine, aerospace, food produc- quality products. They like Al-Fares because tion, paper manufacturing, nuclear, and phar- we offer the best; we focus on quality." maceutical industries. By working together, Al-Fares has opened Later this year, Al-Fares will open one of the up the opportunity of introducing Garlock's GCC's most advanced industrial gasket man- products to markets that span the Middle ufacturing plants at Dubai's Techno Park. The East, Europe, North Africa and India.

HSE efforts, in January KDC's Rig 17 achieved seven years of being LTI-free, a world-class achievement taking into consideration that Rig 17 drilled a total of 347 wells in the Wafra Joint Operation/Chevron field during this period. The company affirms that this type of milestone cannot be achieved without the dedication of the workers and 100% management commitment. It takes a strong HSE focus, a healthy culture of safety in the workplace, and the


Accelerated growth for the region's top gas manufacturer

From compressed to liquid form, Gulf Cyro dominates the region's gas market

KDC's solid reputation is due in part to its uncompromising HSE standards

Gulf Cryo Holding Company is the When the economic crisis began, largest manufacturer of industrial, some of the multinationals' plans medical and specialty gases in the to enter the region were delayed. Middle East. The group's team of Nevertheless, this gave us the opover 600 professionals delivers a portunity to go faster, so when the complete line of gases from more crisis is over, we will have already than 20 manufacturing plants and consolidated our leading position product supply units across the in countries such as Qatar, Bahrain, GCC region through a dedicated Saudi Arabia and Oman." distribution network of pipelines, inEstablished in 1953 as the Kuwait termediate bulk containers and Oxygen Company, the group's prodAMER HUNEIDI tanker truck fleets. ucts are manufactured locally. "They Over the past year, the group has Chairman of Gulf Cryo are quite difficult to export because been increasing its capital base to Holding Company of certain limitations inherent to the further expand its operations and gases. The product itself has to be accelerate its growth. It has also been invest- localized. So, there should be manufacturing in ing in a smooth consolidation and rebranding every country," Huneidi says. "As boundaries process that has brought all the brand names are opening up in the region, it is more feasible of the group under one umbrella, namely Gulf for us to be everywhere. Our goal in the next Cryo. Amer Huneidi, chairman of Gulf Cryo, five years is to consolidate further and strengthsays, "We decided to expand because it was en our presence in the region. Then in the foltime for us to do so. We wanted to accelerate lowing five to ten years, we would like to expand our expansion in order to be in the frontline. throughout the Middle East," Huneidi says.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Kuwait Petroleum Corporation: Fueling the world

Kuwait holds the fourth largest reserves of oil in the world

According to the latest figures from OPEC's Annual Statistical Bulletin and BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, Kuwait has some 101.5 billion barrels of oil under its sands, not including an additional 5 billion barrels in Kuwait's section of the Neutral Zone, an oil-rich region shared with Saudi Arabia. Only Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have greater oil reserves. Petroleum not only fuels the world economy, it is also undoubtedly the number one sector in Kuwait, accounting for nearly half of the nation's GDP, 95% of its export revenues, and 80% of government income. Founded in 1980, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) is the state-owned parent company that oversees the government's activities in the petroleum sector. It provides both upstream and downstream services through its ten subsidiaries, ranging from onshore and offshore exploration and production services through to refining, petrochemicals, marketing, retailing and marine transport. Headquartered in Kuwait City, KPC is well respected and has offices around the world to represent the group's expanding global interests and help it reach future key markets. KPC plans to invest $77 billion over the next five years to upgrade its production and refinery capacity. The spending boost is aimed at raising Kuwait's output capacity from its current 3.2 million bpd to 4 million bpd by 2020. "Observers and specialists might be wondering what will happen if Kuwait produces more, if we will deplete our reserves. But we have a one-toone policy: if we produce one barrel, we should discover or ex-

An integrated portfolio of subsidiaries

Kuwait Oil Co. (KOC) Responsible for the exploration, drilling and production of hydrocarbon reservoirs in Kuwait, KOC is also involved in the storage of crude oil and its delivery to refineries or to tankers at Mina Al-Ahmadi. Kuwait National Petro leum Co. (KNPC) Established in 1960, KNPC manages and operates oil refineries at Mina Al-Ahmadi, Mina Abdulla and Shuaiba. Pipelines carry gasoline to the two depots in Sabhan and Al-Ahmadi, naphtha and sulphur to PIC, jet fuel to KAFCO, LPG to the gas filling plant, and fuel oils to the country's power generating plants. Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) PIC manages three liquid ammonia plants, three urea plants, and a polypropylene plant. It also established Equate Petrochemical Co., which operates a state-of-the-art petrochemical complex. Equate is a joint venture with Union Carbide Corp., a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, as well as with Boubyan Petrovhemical Co. and the Qurain Petrochemical Industries Co. Kuwait Oil Tanker Co. S.A.K. (KOTC) KOTC owns and operates one of the largest fleets in the world, which comprises petroleum product tankers, crude oil tankers, liquefied gas tankers, bunker barges and tugboats. It manages the Marine Agency Branch that provides services for foreign oil tankers calling at Kuwait's ports, and the gas filling plant for the production of domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders. Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd. (KPI) KPI is the international arm of KPC and is involved in the refining, researching and marketing of petroleum products. Its network of Q8 service stations extends across Europe, and its International Diesel Service (IDS) network of fully automated 24hour outlets ensures Europe-wide distribution of the company's diesel products. KPI also supplies jet fuel to airlines in airports from Hong Kong and Thailand to major European airports through Q8 Aviation. Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. K.S.C. (KUFPEC) KUFPEC is involved in the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas outside Kuwait. The company conducts continuous onshore and offshore exploration and production programs across the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, Australia, and Southeast Asia. KUFPEC has made various oil and gas discoveries in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and Yemen. It has also made gas sale agreements in Australia, China, Indonesia and Pakistan. Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. (KGOC) Established in 2002, KGOC controls and manages Kuwait's share of natural resources in the Divided Zone, which is shared by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. KGOC is responsible for oil and gas exploration, production and development, as well as transport, export and storage operations. Kuwait Aviation Fueling Co. (KAFCO) KPC's jet fueling service is a supplier of Jet A-1 fuel, known as Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), at Kuwait International Airport. The fuel is produced by KNPC's refineries and is of the highest international standard. Oil Development Co. (ODC) ODC assumes the execution of the Operational Services Contract (Kuwait Project) with the qualified consortium of international oil companies to develop the northern oil fields of Kuwait: Rawdatain, Sabriyah, Ratqa and Abdali. Oil Sector Services Co. (OSSC) Established in 2005, OSSC is responsible for the safety and security of the employees and other assets of KPC and its subsidiaries. It also provides medical services to oil sector employees and their families, as well as residences for Ahmadi workers.

Universally recognized as one of today's top ten oil energy conglomerates, KPC oversees a fully integrated industry with operations spanning six continents

plore at least another one," says Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, Minister of Oil, Minister of Information, and chairman of KPC. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Kuwait channels around 10% of its oil revenues into the Future Generations Fund for when oil income runs out. The bulk of this reserve is generally invested in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Oil prices have started to recover and demand is gradually rising. In January, with oil around $82 a barrel, Sheikh Ahmad said that he expected demand to pick up this year as the global economy continued its recovery and crude inventories declined. Fel-

low OPEC member Saudi Arabia has also said a price of around $80 a barrel was fair for both producers and consumers. KPC is encouraging greater participation with international oil companies. Last year it signed a joint venture with China's Sinopec to build an oil refinery and petrochemicals complex on Donghai Island near the port of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province. The project will cost an estimated $9 billion and will include a 15 million ton/year refinery as well as a 1 million ton/year cracker. The complex is planned to come on stream by the end of 2015 and the refinery is an integral part of Kuwait's goal to export 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil to China by 2015.


Refining ambition toward future growth

KNPC plans to invest almost $27 billion in two mega projects to grow its refining capacity to around 1.4m bpd


A diamond in the desert for oil exploration, drilling and production

KOC rounds off its diamond jubilee year with the discovery of a new oil and gas field

First established in 1934, as a joint venture between the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP) and Gulf Oil (now Chevron), Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is now one of the largest oil companies in the world. The company has been state-owned since 1975 and manages the production and exportation of oil and gas from more than 12 oilfields spread across Kuwait.

In December, chairman and managing director of KOC Sami Al-Rushaid announced the discovery of a new oil and gas field with an estimated initial daily output capacity of 80,000 barrels of light crude and 110 million cubic feet of gas, which will help reduce Kuwait's reliance on gas imports. According to Al-Rushaid, Kuwait currently produces 140 mil-

lion cubic feet of gas per day and plans to produce one billion cubic feet per day by 2015. KOC's workforce today comprises almost 78% Kuwaiti nationals and is a role model of successful Kuwaitization. Also the KOC Professional Women's Society actively encourages female employees to climb the company's managerial ladder.

In November of last year, deputy chairman of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) Asaad alSaad confirmed the company's intention to pursue their ambition to become a leader in the refining industry in efficiency and value added and maintaining excellent operations, in addition to growing shareholder value, investing for the long term, and growing capacity. Speaking at a conference of oil sector contractors, alSaad, who is also deputy managing director of the Al-Ahmadi refinery, said that KNPC is pursuing two mega projects with a total cost of almost $27 billion. KNPC, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation's refining and distribution branch, is planning to build a grassroot refinery with 615,000 bpd capacity. Such a refinery will provide clean fuel to Kuwait's power stations, with minimum sulfur content. This refinery will be constructed at Al-Zour. The second major pro-

A huge new refinery at Al-Zour will have a capacity of 615,000 bpd and provide clean fuel for power stations

ject is to implement the "Clean Fuel Project", which entails large-scale upgrades of existing refineries in Kuwait to enable them to produce cleaner petroleum products that meet future fuel specifications. By implementing these two projects, KNPC will grow its refining capacity to almost 1.4 million bpd, while ensuring that local and international products specifications in terms of quality and quantity are being met.


`IOCs will provide services, which we will pay for'

Chairman of KPC Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad AlSabah is also the nation's Minister for Oil and Information.

A member of Kuwait's ruling family, Sheikh Ahmad has well served his country, having spent ten years with the central bank, 12 years in commercial banking, and now has experience of four state ministries. Previously, when oil prices were approaching $147 per barrel, oil producing nations were perceived to be profiting at the expense of other countries. How do you view the difficult but important responsibility and balance necessary in order to ensure a safe and reliable supply of oil to fuel the world's economic engine? Nobody expected this kind of recession to hit the world's economy. Kuwait, as part of the international community, has certainly felt the effects. We do not want to be selfish or greedy in terms of pushing for higher oil prices oil by further cutting production. At OPEC meetings last year I opposed any further production cuts, as such steps would only fuel the recession and worsen the situation for the entire world. I believe the economy is picking up, and proof of that is that

several U.S. banks have started paying off their debts to the government as they now have the liquidity. I try to have as much information as possible on such matters. I want to be informed, as we have to look at two different markets in two very different time zones: the Asian and the American. The State of Kuwait did not take advantage of the economic situation. It is very simple: we have a product to sell, a product that is limited, and has a market-determined price. It is not a greedy country; one good example of that is the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which was created to help countries less blessed than ours. This fund implements and develops projects around the world. Since our independence, we have been aware of our international role, and the state has always continued to help countries that need it even when oil prices were not so favorable. I recall a time when the price of oil went down to $7 per barrel and yet we continued to help other nations, but this story is not told. There is also a global lack of understanding in terms of the amount of expenses involved in

scale projects in collaboration with international universities like Harvard and MIT. We have a lot of potential for developing renewable energies, in addition to the solar power we could also develop eolic energy as we have a lot of strong shimal winds coming from the north. An increase in renewable energy sources will benefit everyone. Can you please elaborate on KPC's environmental policies? I am currently heading the department that oversees all of our environmental policies. We have $3 billion to spend on addressing environmental issues and I decided to lead this area personally and make sure that we progress on this issue. During the Iraqi invasion, 700 oil wells were destroyed so one of our main objectives is to resolve the pollution problems in the desert. I am a true believer in environmental protection. My whole family is involved in this advocacy and I try implementing it on a daily basis in my personal life. In Ahmadi, where most of the plants are, we are managing the level of pollution; gas emissions have dropped from 17% to 4%. There is strong environmental

awareness at KPC. Our aim within two years is to reduce it to 1%. How do you see future collaborations with international oil companies (IOCs)? We have had a democracy since the 1960s and it is incumbent upon everybody to respect the constitution. How are we going to work with IOCs under this umbrella? Through services. IOCs will provide services, which we will need to pay for, as simple as that. In a related matter, we also have the Privatization Law currently under consideration, which I hope will be part of the government's program to attract more foreign investors. What drives your personal dedication to Kuwait? My experiences in both the government and private sectors have given me a competitive edge. If you work for the government from the beginning to the end, you become attached to certain routines, while the private sector is more dynamic. You have to work hard to get such experiences. I do not believe in words, I believe in deeds. I do not want statements, I want numbers.

SHEIKH AHMAD ABDULLAH AL-AHMAD AL-SABAH Chairman of KPC, Minister of Oil and Minister of Information

maintaining and developing high quality oil infrastructure benefiting everyone. What impact do you feel a significant increase in renewable energy will have on the oil sector? The State of Kuwait is also keen on investing in renewable energies; we have started small-

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


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Half a century of success

Bukhamseen Holding is arguably one of the nation's most diversified groups of companies

Bukhamseen Group Holding Company began in 1957 and since then it has continually diversified and steadily expanded to become one of the country's largest and most diverse institutions. Here, the group's founder and chairman Jawad Ahmed Bukhamseen speaks about the company's successful diversification strategy and the prospects in Kuwait. Over the years, the people of Kuwait have shown a special ability of turning challenges into opportunities . What opportunities do you see here? Kuwait is at the junction of three major countries ­ Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. In the past, Kuwait was a regional trading center, situated at the crossroad of commercial exchange between Iraq, the Gulf countries and India. In 1946, the first Kuwaiti oil shipment left Mina Alahmadi (Ahmadi Port) heralding an era of wealth and prosperity for the country. With the advent of oil, Kuwait's leadership focused on making all nationals benefit from the countr y 's wealth. By drawing on its oil resources, Kuwait was able to institute generous and extensive welfare programs. Accordingly, jobs were secured for all Kuwaitis. Solid education of nationals was granted special consideration. Health care, municipal services, public utilities, and a host of other services were also high on the development list, and were extended, almost free, to nationals and residents alike. Today, Kuwait is a nation of educated people able to successfully handle their country's economic and political affairs. Democracy, too, remains a major consideration for the Kuwaiti leadership. On that front, Kuwait is at the vanguard of its regional peers. Furthermore, in addition to its membership in all UN organizations, Kuwait is a member of most international bodies addressing matters of global concern, such as economic and social development, welfare and education, etc. Kuwait has always extended a helping hand to other Arab nations. In 1982, we witnessed the Souk AI-Manakh stock market crisis. At the time, the Kuwaiti government was grappling with many problems, such as the Iraq-Iran War, and terrorist acts. Then, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. The damage caused by the invasion was enormous, especially the burning of the oil wells. After liberation in 1991, Kuwait drew on its sovereign wealth to rebuild the country. In the 1990s, Kuwaitis tried to bring back what they had before the invasion. They focused on addressing problems and rebuilding the nation. The havoc wreaked on the nation during the invasion affected all sectors of the economy. Therefore, we focused our energy on rebuilding the country's economy, education and health care, and reinforcing democracy, in order to bring back the state's glorious era. What happened during the invasion, and the rebuilding efforts in the aftermath, took a toll on the community. However, throughout those years, the only thing that did not change was people's loyalty to their country, and their respect of the law. We have strong laws, justice and freedom of speech, in addition to the support the government gives to the community. The Kuwaiti government has always been people oriented. Currently, more than 150 nationalities live in Kuwait; in fact about 7,000 to 8,000 people from various countries around the world are working with our group now. Five to ten years from now things will be even better, especially with the policy of the Obama administration to address the problems in the region. Since 2000, Kuwaitis have always been interested in what is happening around them, as such events have an impact on whatever they are doing. The Iran-Iraq War led to the transformation of Dubai into a trade center; this is the transformation we want here in the State of Kuwait. Bukhamseen Group Holding is arguably one of the most diversified business groups in Kuwait, from ABC Water to Uni Steel, Wataniya Airlines and Kuwait International Bank. Please share with us your underlying philosophy on the importance of diversification. How are you implementing this strategy today? It is very simple: every five years I add one more sector. I then focus on excelling in this sector, one at a time. I started working in the 1950s when I was just 17. I started in four sectors. Every five years I work on a certain sector. The first was from 1958 to 1964 when I was ingineering, insurance, banking and steel. What is your view of the global economic situation? The current crisis in the market started in July 2008 when America announced huge losses in the real estate sector due to the sub-prime crisis. We never expected that events taking place in the U.S. would affect the whole world so quickly. Kuwait was affected by the crisis but is relatively more resilient than other countries, as its economy rests on five main pillars: wise leadership, productive people, an efficient legal system, well-established businesses, and sufficient capital. We are still waiting to see the final results of the crash, and we remain cautious about the future. I believe that Europe, America, the Far East and also our region are living early signs of a recovery. With what we may call `the five-year strategy ', you have succeeded in virtually ever y sector of the economy. What opportunities do you see in the Kuwaiti market today? The Kuwaiti government has put together a new system to boost the economy for the next five years. I have to say that the government made an excellent decision by appointing a dynamic young man at the head of the economic development process ­ Sheikh Ahmad Fahad. He is a strong man with a very positive outlook. This is the right time for serious investors to make vast profits in Kuwait. Basically, there is a lot of liquidity going around, combined with a business-minded population and an efficient government that has established strong rules. Law and order is strictly enforced here compared to other countries. We have democracy and freedom of the press here, unlike in some other countries. Whatever border and compensation problems we have with Iraq will soon subside. We are pleased as Kuwait will become the economic gateway to Iraq. There are some minor differences when it comes to UN resolutions on the demarcation of borders between Iraq and Kuwait and the compensation for damages caused by the Iraqi invasion, but these differences also present opportunities for strengthening relations between the two nations. Also, we are sure that when Kuwaiti firms start expanding their operations to Iraq, more and more businesses will follow suit as we can easily travel there, even by car, in less than an hour for a round trip. Furthermore, Kuwait is a country with borders guaranteed by the UN so we have no fear about our territorial integrity, as the country is a member of all UN organizations. This provides a good foundation for a strong economic relationship with Iraq. We have three borders, the largest is with Saudi Arabia, which is stable and ver y strong, and with whom we have brotherly ties. We also maintain friendly relations with Iran. As you have stated in the past, Kuwait is a fertile land for business. This is Kuwait. We have both the money and patience. Kuwait is the place to invest because it has strong laws and legal support for investors, with free cross-border capital movement for international companies and business-minded people with an open friendly attitude; whoever wants to enter the GCC market should come to Kuwait. The country is ready to welcome any foreign investors' initiatives, whether in the industrial sector, the oil and gas sector, and/or the building of new cities and infrastructure. The Emir of Kuwait is keen on realizing his vision to transform Kuwait into an international and regional economic and financial center in the GCC. Kuwait will become a transit point and re-export center for all the GCC countries, serving as a gateway to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. We are at the center, as if we were holding hands with them. Kuwait has a population of 3 million, but has actually a market of more than 140 million. We are strong politically and geographically. What are your plans for the future? Our group has recently presented an idea to the leadership to create an offshore zone in Kuwait for all foreign banks and international companies to operate here. This is for the economic recovery of Kuwait and this is the start of the next 30 years. This is the beginning of a new cycle of growth here. Kuwait offers lucrative opportunities and now is the time for Kuwait to shine. We expect a substantial economic boom over the next five years as everything opens up here. Whoever wants to have a secure investment should come to Kuwait.

JAWAD AHMED BUKHAMSEEN, founder and chairman of Bukhamseen Group Holding Co.

Bukhamseen Group has left its fingerprint on Kuwait and helped build up the country

to real estate and trading. In 1969 I started a shareholding company and traded in the stock market. In 1975, I started a hotel and restaurant business. I was also among the first in Kuwait to own travel agencies and airlines. I opened the route from Kuwait to Spain, working with leading figures in the Spanish tourism sector. From 1976 to 1977 I established companies in the GCC and some countries in the MENA region. From 1964 until today I have built almost 400 buildings, including one of the first hotels in Kuwait, and also expanded into the GCC and MENA regions. I enjoyed many successful experiences in many different sectors, always learning from those we are working with. In the 1980s, after establishing myself in the hotels business, I went into banking.

I established the First Gulf Bank, and insurance companies in the Emirates. In 1982, I slowed down somewhat due to the AI-Manakh crisis but we maintained what we had. How did the group recover from the invasion by Iraq in 1991? We managed to survive the crash created by the invasion, which was felt not only in Kuwait but also in the other GCC nations. After the attack, we worked hard in the private sector to rebuild everything we had. We reshuffled our investments in the region and restructured the whole group. After 2000, we focused on the internal operations of our group. We created the holding company and focused on its expansion. We expanded the hotel business, and then ventured into en-

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Thursday, February 25, 2010



Multinational joint ventures are best held in safe hands

Fusing both elements of the age-old adage of it being not just what you know but who you know, Alsagar has gained a reputation for successful alliances

Building solid long-term part- Kuwait was producing 270,000 nerships with major U.S. com- barrels per day from those panies has led A. H. Alsagar & fields. Major international oil Bros. to become known as the companies like ExxonMobil, partners of choice for interna- Chevron, BP, Shell, Total, and tional oil companies seeking others, were invited to invest to strike up business deals in in the area to increase oil proKuwait. The group has em- duction from 270,000 bpd to barked on a variety of multi- about 900,000 or 1 million bpd. business ventures, and Just imagine how much the narepresents some of the largest tion would have gained from international companies in a production increase of Kuwait, including 600,000 bpd when Chevron Texaco, prices were over Microsoft, Honey$100 per barrel. well, Ansaldo Unfortunately, polS.P.A., Siemens itics interfered and A.G., ABB Lumus Kuwait, as a counCrest Inc. and try and its people, Hyundai Engineerlost billions of doling and Construclars of potential tion, among others. revenue that could "Kuwait is a rich have been used for country. The gov- WAEL J. ALSAGAR the development of ernment is spend- Managing Director of the country ­ ining a great deal of A.H. Alsagar & Bros. frastructure, new money and effort cities, housing proto increase oil production from jects for future generations, 3.2 million barrels per day and even finding other sources (bpd) to 4 million bpd by 2020. of income to complement." In order to reach this target, Alsagar knows, however, Kuwait is investing heavily in that those opportunities still developing the oil and gas in- exist, and that the best way forfrastructure," says Wael J. Al- ward is tapping into overseas sagar, managing director of expertise. A.H. Alsagar & Bros. A.H. Alsagar & Bros is in"Kuwait might have lost an volved in diversified activities opportunity due to the sus- in the power, oil and gas, and pension of the northern oil petrochemical industries, as fields, but this will not last for- well as in trading, transportaever. Discussions on this ma- tion and engineering sectors. jor oil development project "International oil companies started in 1993. At the time, have the technology that the

country needs," says Alsagar. The family-owned company is also part of the alliance behind the Petroleum Coke Industries Company (PCIC), which includes U.S.-based Oxbow, a global producer and marketer of calcined petroleum coke. Alsagar says, "The government published an announcement in the official gazette and newspapers inviting bids for the [calcined petroleum coke] project auction. So we formed a consortium with U.S. and Indian companies to participate and posted the highest price, with a difference of $30 million between the second highest bidder and us." Alsagar feels PCIC is a prime example of international investors and Kuwaiti companies successfully working together. He says, "Honeywell is heavily involved in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries here. I am the chairman of Honeywell Kuwait and we have been with them for 30 years. Alsagar Group has had ventures with many foreign companies. We have the by-products, while U.S. companies have the technology, so we can produce excellent partnerships. With our capital, products and liquid stocks, we can build a fantastic industry. It is an exportoriented industry and I see very good prospects."


Completing the partnership

`The Gulf enjoys solid macroeconomic conditions with high GDP growth, making it one of the richest regions per capita'

What was your main vision and tion is the partnership between mission in creating NOC? the Australian College of We established the National Kuwait (ACK), Boeing CorpoOffset Company, NOC, to facil- ration and Lockheed Martin. itate creating partThey have intronerships between duced technologies the offset contracfor aviation and tors and local commaritime training. panies. We provide Some of the gradusupport for foreign ates are employed contractors to easiin private or public ly integrate into varorganizations as ious market sectors ACK has given and to expand or dethem advanced velop various areas training. This is a and technologies DR. ADEL ASEM good opportunity within the Kuwaiti Chairman of the Board for Kuwaitis to beneconomy and later National Offset Company efit from the offset to the greater reprogram. gional market. Are there projects by foreign Can you give a prime example investors approved by NOC? Yes, we have approved severof the success of this model? A very successful applica- al concept papers submitted by

foreign obligors since inception of Kuwait Offset Program back in 1992. In 2008 alone, we received 37 concept papers ­ 29 from the local private sector and eight from foreign obligors. Do offset projects and funds support small and medium enterprises (SMEs)? Yes. It is part of the mandate of NOC to support the development of SMEs in Kuwait given the importance of this sector for job creation and businessidea generation. In particular offset funds have played a role through [contributing to] funds like the Kuwait Investment Opportunities Fund established by NBK Capital. We also have an energy fund and an education fund to support SMEs in their respective sectors.


Private sector security

Kuwait's National Offset Company is establishing viable business ventures between foreign offset obligors and domestic investors, offering major growth potential

Kuwait's National Offset Com- nurturing service culture, repany (NOC) is part of the coun- flected in an array of quality sertry's overall strategy to establish vices extended to its broad client solid relationships and cutting- base that is comprised of both edge projects between local and trans-national corporations and international busilocal private enterness leaders. This prises, while mainplatform grants taining close mutual benefits to cooperation and full both parties while coordination with fostering sustainvarious governable economic mental entities. growth in Kuwait General managand the region. er Mazen Madooh NOC is poised to explains that the help the country success of these efachieve its national MAZEN MADOOH forts will enhance d e v e l o p m e n t a l General Manager of NOC the company's goals, strengthen proactive role to the Kuwaiti private sector, and manage the Kuwait Offset Prosupport economic sectors with gram within a changing global high value added. Since its in- environment that affects the offception in September 2006, set industry, among other secNOC has been committed to tors. "Our resolve for the coming

years is to become an effective facilitator for encouraging the establishment of sustainable investment partnerships to improve our stated objectives in achieving technology transfer, creation of jobs, and educational and training opportunities for Kuwaiti nationals," Madooh explains. Programs like NOC's are a common and a growing feature of worldwide government procurement contracts to both civilian and military organizations. The offset concept has started to become widely applicable in first-world countries, which accounted for a majority of the value of the global offset contracts, but thanks to the efforts of companies like NOC, it has been extended to developing countries and economies in transition.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Distributed by USA TODAY

Accommodation and business facilities par excellence

Crowne Plaza Kuwait is fast becoming the country's leading business venue and leisure center

An imposing sense of arrival awaits visitors at the award-winning Crowne Plaza Kuwait. Facilities at the recently refurbished five-star hotel have been designed to ensure the highest levels of comfort, convenience, and wellbeing. Guest rooms have been fully refurbished with a contemporary design that adds substantial personal space and elegance to each room. Extensive leisure facilities now occupy a total area of 10,000m2 and provide a comprehensive range of services offering guests 24-hour relaxation, health and fitness facilities. A Franck Provost hair and beauty salon invites guests to enjoy an individualized service and the very latest in hair and beauty trends. A new convention center is due to open this year that will increase the hotel's existing meeting and banquet facilities from 3,000m2 to 8,000m2. State-ofthe-art meeting rooms equipped with the very latest in technology offer video-conferencing and Wi-Fi internet connection facilities. "Crowne Plaza is the place to meet," says Hani Kafafi, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Kuwait and director of operations in the northern Gulf for InterContinental Hotels Group. "We believe in MICE and we dominate this market in Kuwait. In 2008 we invested almost $3 million to develop 12 brand new meeting rooms. The response has been very powerful. We enlarged the parking space four times to accommodate almost 800 cars, which is much appreciated by our guests. We have taken the first step and the feedback has been very positive." The opening of the convention center will make this hotel the biggest meeting events and conference center in the country. The convention center will hold 28 meeting rooms, each with a capacity of 25 people, and a large conference room of 1,700 square meters, as well as a magnificent 1,500-square-meter open atrium. "When this facility opens in the second quarter of 2010, we will rename the hotel as the Crowne Plaza Kuwait Convention Center," says Kafafi. "This, along with the 10,000m2 leisure facility, will make this hotel among the world's best in conference venues. The extension will add 220 rooms to the hotel, making 520 rooms in total. We can then accommodate large groups. It will put the State of Kuwait on the map in competing to host large conferences."

The opening of a new convention center later this year will make the hotel the biggest meeting events and conference center in the country


`We take consistent steps to improve security'

General Manager Hani Kafafi speaks about the Crowne Plaza Kuwait's attributes that make it U.S. visitors' number one choice

What made has made the Crowne Plaza the hotel of choice for U.S. visitors? The number one factor is our staff: their knowledge, attitude and helpfulness to guests. The second factor is the security of the hotel. We take security very seriously and we take consistent steps to improve it. The third factor is the hotel's extensive facilities, such as the large pool, the health club, the spa, and good food. Finally,

the hotel's location: it is close to shopping malls, military installations, and Kuwait Airport.

Could you please elaborate on the training programs your staff undergo to make them rise above the rest? We have one of the most effective training tools in the hotel industry. This unique IHG [InterContinental Hotels Group] tool is called, `I' tools. It is an application of a certain methodology that guarantees the perfect delivery of service at all times. This is applicable in essential guest services such as cleaning hotel rooms and public areas, reception check-in efficiency and timing, luggage collection upon check out, among others. We have a system in place to recognize top per-

formers and we reward staff who go the extra mile to satisfy hotel guests. What role can the tourism and hospitality sector play in turning Kuwait into an international financial and commercial center? Kuwait has taken a large step in the past couple of years to promote traffic to the city through the introduction of two new airlines, Al-Jazeera and Wataniya. Both airlines have different positions in the market and both have added substantial value. With low fares, we expect a surge of visitors and this will branch off into other businesses.

Our role with the existing infrastructure is to develop the platform for leisure and business trips. That means businessmen can bring their families to stay here to experience luxury that may not be available in their countries. Families can come and enjoy an unparalleled experience by taking full advantage of the hotel's variety of specialty food, spa, pool and health club, where we have packages for wellness, slimming or anti-aging. This will encourage Kuwaiti families to stay in Kuwait during the weekends or public holidays instead of traveling to other countries.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Livestock trade and transport


Paint the town Blu with stylish rooms and unique restaurants

Outstanding service and inimitable style set the Radisson Blu Hotel apart

KLTT is one of the region's leading companies in live sheep transportation and trade

Kuwait's Livestock Transport and Trading Company K.S.C. (KLTT) specializes in producing, trading and transporting meat and livestock both within Kuwait and abroad. One of the major pioneering companies in live sheep transportation, KLTT brings fresh Australian lamb and beef to the Arabian Gulf. The main vessels in its fleet include the Al Kuwait, Al Messilah, Al Khaleej and Al Shuwaikh. "KLTT was established in 1970 as a trading and transportation company. The company has been in business with these two units for the past 40 years. Since we always face our challenges head on, we are now well positioned and going strong. Our business involves animals so we also have to consider the industrial areas in which we have to meet certain standards. Sometimes, we encounter sheep-related problems that may cost millions of dollars," says Bader S. Al-Jarallah, chairman and managing director of KLTT. "Amongst many of the countries in the Middle East, has a dedicated quality assurance department to maintain high standards. "Competitors increase, however they do not have the same standard requirements as we do. Some competitors' shepherds do not treat the animals carefully and they are held in inappropriate environments," says Al-Jarallah. "In December 2006, I went to Mongolia in North China. Meat from Mongolia is even better than that of Australia, and it cooks twice as fast as any other. When we brought it to Kuwait, people liked it but we did not pursue it due to the high mortality rate of the sheep. "We have acquired a 94,000-square-meter area in Al-Rai, where we will have plants, areas for the animals and the new headquarters for KLTT. We have to get familiar with the farms. We are asking three of the biggest specialized companies in the world from Germany, Denmark and Norway to help us transform the new complex into our headquarters and a haven of safety for animals." KLTT's varied activities also include the sale of fodder, leather and fertilizers. It produces organic fertilizer (Bioganic) using the latest state-of-the-art technology, in keeping with its belief in producing environmentally friendly products. Additionally, the company produces a range of frozen ready meals (Jahez), which offers 24 products of Arabic and international flavors, along with various frozen meat products, such as hamburgers and sausages, and processed meat products, including frankfurters and salami.

"Somebody once asked me, `What is Eilertsen. "Since we opened in 1980, the best thing about coming to Kuwait?' the property has always been under I told them it is the Kuwaitis. They are development. The biggest change very open-minded and friendly. They was when we built the world's biggest will invite you to dinner and they want wooden dhow [the Al Hashemi-II], you to feel comfortable here and be a which is now a landmark and in the Guinness Book of World Records. part of the community. We have transThat is unique. Also the other dhow lated some of this into the hotel, but we have as a restaurant, Al Boom, is of course with our company's philosone-of-a-kind." ophy, which is `Yes, I can.' This is the The hotel is an exceptional city rebackbone of our company," says Jan sort, complete with standout beach Petter Eilertsen, general manager of JAN PETTER EILERTSEN facilities. Fine dining from its five Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait. "It is all General Manager of restaurants offering a variety of culiabout attitude and how you treat your Radisson Blu Hotel nary delights adds to the hotel's rich guests, employees and colleagues. It is very basic and it's not rocket science. This is a ser- character. The resort offers 200 well-appointed vice element that you will meet in any point of con- rooms, including 12 suites, six apartments and tact when staying at a Radisson Blu Hotel, and 49 superior rooms, all featuring high-quality yes, it works. When you focus and put in the ex- amenities in three distinct design styles: Superitra effort, we can immediately see the end result." or, Scandinavian and Oriental. Furthermore, Eilertsen says renovation plans Radisson Blu Hotel in Kuwait City is widely held as one of the top five-star hotels in the capital. for the hotel include a business sky lounge on the "The strategy for the future is to maintain and roof, which will feature both indoor and outdoor further strengthen this perception and continue facilities and provide stunning views over the to position ourselves as a unique property," says Arab Gulf that "will be absolutely unbelievable."



The best value in hotels

Action Hotels around the world deliver `five-star quality at a three-star price'

very few people notice Kuwait as an ideal environment. However, last year a minister from Australia came to Kuwait and he observed that compared to other countries he has visited, our farms here are among the largest," says Al-Jarallah. KLTT currently owns a 4 million square meter shaded farm with space for 150,000 sheep to be housed under cover. Quality forms an integral part of the company's day-today business practices and it

Visitors have discovered an excellent alternative to pricey accommodation in the Middle East. Thanks to the vision of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, hotel mastermind and chairman of Qurain Petrochemicals, Kuwait, along with several other GEC countries, has an affordable offer of hotels. Action Hotels develops properties in partnership with brands such as Ibis, Novotel and Holiday Inn. To date, Sheikh Mubarak has opened two hotels in Kuwait: the Ibis Salmiya and the Ibis Sharq. In addition, the company has properties in Jordan,

SHEIKH MUBARAK A.M. AL-SABAH Founder and Chairman of Action Hotels

Bahrain, Oman, UAE and Australia. What all Action Hotels share in common is their exceptional value. "We offer five-star quality at a threestar price," says Sheikh Mubarak. This class of hotel has filled an enormous gap. Before the Action Hotels broke onto the scene, visitors to the Middle East found their choices limited to five star hotels or nothing. GM of the chain, Alain Debare, claims that "by the end of next year, we will be the largest mid-market hotel owner in the Mid-East." Next step? Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Libya, Irak...

KLTT is a major livestock transporter connecting Australia with the Gulf



Producing high-caliber graduates

The Sabah Al-Salem University Center will hail in a new era of higher education in Kuwait

Quality control speaks volumes

Continued from page 1

Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed AlK.U. has grown significantly over the Jaber Al-Sabah has a vision of transpast four decades, and is now a leadforming the State of Kuwait into an ing center for higher education in the advanced business center, attractive region. K.U. President, Professor Abto investors on both a regional and dullah S. Al Fuhaid, explains that gradinternational level. In line with this, uates have "gone on to become experts Kuwait University (K.U.) is building and consultants for government agena mega-campus that will produce cies and the private sector" and "students , the highest caliber of graduates well and professors are often enlisted to conprepared to serve Kuwait's private duct important research." The univerand public sectors, and help turn the sity is able to recruit some of the top ABDULLAH S. AL FUHAID Amir's vision into reality. faculty in the world, thanks to the genDubbed the Sabah Al-Salem Uni- President of erous salaries and numerous benefits versity Center after the late Amir who Kuwait University it can afford to offer. Furthermore, the inaugurated the opening of K.U. in U.S. Academic Board has accredited 1966, this University City in Shadadiya will be one several of the university's departments, including of the largest in the world, capable of hosting 40,000 the schools of dentistry and medicine, and the colstudents. The main campus, with an initial in- leges of engineering and business. vestment of half a billion dollars, is due to be comCurrently scattered across various campuses, pleted by 2014. Here, there will be a medical K.U. will benefit greatly from the new unified campus with a teaching hospital and nurses' dor- center in Shadadiya. "The University City will mitory. Design for the later phases will be sent to have all the facilities to provide the right envithe Central Tenders Committee to request bids. ronment for learning," says Prof. Al Fuhaid.

"In addition, we have very good network quality. Overall, if we look at the dropped call rates, call set-up rates and match them against the rest of the region and the world, our rates are world class. Our dropped call rates are less than 0.7%, while our call set-up rates are over 99%. Although things are good, we constantly strive for improvement. We are increasing the number of 3G sites and are now focusing more on broadband data services. We are not just looking at building the network, but also quality services." The company also looks at what it can effectively contribute to the nation and is

proud of its corporate social responsibility record. Gegenheimer says, "We look for areas where we can help to give back to society and demonstrate that we are an active part of the Kuwaiti community. Our customers have also expressed their willingness to support us in this aspect, and when we auctioned off a royal number a lot of people bid, not just to have a royal number but because it was for a good cause. With this money we supported the Kuwait Autism Center. It is not always about giving money per se, as many of our employees actively seek to help out and so we also try to organize groups who want to donate their time as well."

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