Nordic Sundowner September

Members and guests from all four Nordic business councils gathered at the the funky Zabeel House hotel for the first Nordic Sundowner of the season. The evening took a great start with a talk by Dr Sami Mahroum - Director Research&Strategy , Dubai Future Foundation, and was followed by drinks and mingle at the Lah Lah bar. Thank you to everyone who came and to our sponsor of the evening - Clever Travel Consulting!

Finncham Workshop in Helsinki

On August the 23rd representatives from eleven different Business Councils/Finnish Chambers of Commerce met in Helsinki to share experiences and learn from each other. One big topic discussed was how the Finncham network could be promoted to companies in Finland looking to internationalize. The Finnish Business Council representatives from UAE informed others about Dubai Expo202 and business opportunities in the UAE. It was suggested that the Finncham network would have regional meetings annually and Skype meetings quarterly.

FBC Chairman Katja Boutou and Honorary Chairman Jaana Räsänen-Pentti attended the workshop from FBC.

FBC Iftar 28th of May

Once again FBC board and members gathered for Iftar to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan during the holy month. The Bacchanal restaurant at Ceasers Palace made the perfect venue, as it gave most of us the chance to finally visit the new hotel in Bluewaters Dubai. This year we made the Iftar into a family event and were happy to see so many members participating with their children.

Annual General Meeting 24th of April

On the 24th of April the Finnish Business Council held it's Annual General Meeting at My Office in Dubai Marina Plaza. 17 people attended the meeting.

FBC Chairman Katja Boutou presented the annual activity report for 2018 and concluded that FBC currently has 20 corporate members, 6 non-resident corporate members and 24 individual members. This is an increase in both corporate and individual members since 2017.

She then presented the Annual Financial Report for 2018, Program of activities for 2019 as well as the budget and membership fees.

The meeting selected following persons to FBC Administrative Committee for 2019 activity year: Petra Turkama, Juha Kaljunen, Tommi Henriksson, Markku Jarvinen, Tomi Saikkonen, Katia Al-Kaisi, Tiina-Maija Bergman, Katja Boutou, Seppo Keranen (Business Finland representative), Minna Herranen, Kimmo Kytösaari, Maria Sillanpää, Riikka Kytösaari. Jaana Tapanainen was elected as FBC Ambassador in Finland and Jaana Räsänen-Pentti (Honorary Chairman, Honorary Member Category representative).

As per the Articles of Association Ambassador of Finland to UAE is Honorary Chairman. The position was hold by Riitta Swan until end of May when the new Ambassador, Marjaana Nissila took over.

Ms. Boutou thanked 2018 Administrative Committee for the cooperation and project coordinator Erika Daintry for her contribution.


In Country Value (ICV) Seminar 27th of May

ICV “In Country Value Seminar on 27th May in Dubai Taj Hotel hosted by Mayur Batra Group for Business Councils.

ADNOC has introduced an In-Country Value (ICV) program for its suppliers. This procurement-let initiative aims to boost ADNOC’s ICV contribution by focusing on local supplier selection, development of UAE Nationals, and the localization of critical functionalities in the oil & gas industry.

Announcement of this program was made late 2017, implementation was started early 2018 and later that year it has been revised. Now it is fully implemented in ADNOC and all of its 14 subsidiary companies. Note that each country in the region will have their own similar program, which are all currently in Oil&Gas sector, but later looking to expand nation wide.

How can you get your company ICV certified?
ADNOC has appointed Mayur Batra Group as an independent certification body to support suppliers with certification of their ICV scores. Their team can evaluate your organization/s ICV score and provide innovative solutions to help improve your score. This scoring is based on goods manufactured within UAE, third party spend, revenue, local investments, Emiratization, expatriate contribution.
The certification process will take approximately 10 months and is valid 18 months, exception of improvement plan.

Document can be seen here to understand more closely of calculation method of ICV score etc. To asses your companies ICV value it is recommended to contact an independent certification body, like Mayur Batra Group .

Greetings from the Finnish Ambassador in Riyadh!

I was happy to meet so many Finnish Business Council members in Dubai on 15th of April. Saudi-Arabia is by far the largest economy and market in the Middle East. The country is going through profound transition in developing the economy to become less dependent on oil and petrochemical production. All this creates a lot of promising business opportunities also for Finnish companies. At the same time, the economy of the country – and in fact, much of the whole region - is still very much tied to the oil price. At least in the short run the oil market price looks rather good. In addition to Saudi Arabia the Embassy in Riyadh also covers Oman and Kuwait. The Embassy, in cooperation with the Business Finland office in Riyadh, is ready to support also Dubai based Finnish companies in their efforts to do business in these countries.  


Antti Rytövuori, Ambassador of Finland in Saudi-Arabia, Oman and Kuwait

Finnish Way of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future in Expo 2020

Finland, together with over 100 Finnish companies, is participating in the World Expo 2020 in Dubai with her own pavilion "Snow Cape". Participation in the Expo is strengthening Finland's visibility in the Gulf region.

The benefits of participating in the World Expo are significant not only for Finland, but also for Finnish companies and clusters. For many industries, e.g. high technology industries, education and health technology, the Gulf countries are a growing market and participation in Expo will strengthen the existing relationships and build new connections between Finland and Finnish companies with UAE and Gulf area. It will also boost the Finland’s brand image not only in Gulf area, but also wider in Africa and South Asia and eventually globally. Finland will be promoted as a trade partner, investment target and destination for travel.

Expo participation consists of number of activities. We are building the actual Pavilion building and designing the exhibition. Furthermore we are preparing the operations and programming for the 173 Expo days. During the process we also wish to spread information about Finland and our sustainable innovations. Presently we are heavily concentrating on the Pavilion construction, but all activities have been initiated and will be intensified as the opening day approaches.

The design concept of the Finland pavilion “Snow Cape”

“Snow Cape” is the name of Finnish pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Simple, but refined Finnish design combined with an entrance resembling an Arabic tent brings together the country’s icy landscapes with the culture of Expo 2020’s host nation, the United Arab Emirates.

 Inspired by the white blanket of snow, which covers the Finnish landscape from autumn onwards, the Finland Pavilion resembles a white snow covered tent. The simple, elegant design reflects the fascinating tradition of Finnish architecture. The Finnish pavilion is a meeting space, a tent where connections between Finnish and Arabic minds can be fostered.

 The Finland Pavilion takes its inspiration from Finnish nature, design and innovation

 Finland has a unique and long heritage in design and architecture. The pavilion can also be seen as a design object telling a story about this heritage. From outside, the shape is simple but refined; inside a dynamic, open “gorge” is carved into the building. The pavilion aims to stand out from the complex visual noise of its surroundings.

Finland is one of the leading countries in terms of innovation and technological know-how in the entire world. Finnish innovation is highly respected globally.  Innovation often requires thinking “out of the box”, including an element of surprise. In the pavilion, the surprise is the wooden heart and exhibitions inside. Waiting to be discovered, the pavilion offers a cool shaded refuge for Expo visitors. Best innovations are simple but intelligent, this is also the approach of the architectural concept.

 Connecting Minds, Creating the Future

 The main theme of Dubai Expo 2020 ”Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” signals our global need to work together to inspire future generations and to develop partnerships across sectors, organisations and geographies to address multitude of needs of our rapidly changing world.

 The theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future is structured around the three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. These subthemes represent three critical drivers of global progress. In these respective areas, Finnish companies have a lot to offer.

 Exhibition sharing Sustainable Finnish innovations

 Construction work on Finland pavilion will start in May and exhibition design in June. On the ground level of the Finnish Pavilion, exhibition will showcase the country’s competences and expertise across various business sectors. Finland will be presented as a destination for business, partnerships, investment opportunities and travel. The latest innovations reside primarily in the corporate world; consequently, technological innovations of Finnish globally operating companies are a strong element in the exhibition.

 Sustainability is at the core of all Finnish public and private activity. Sustainable innovations is a concept embraced by Finnish industry at large. Opportunities of connecting minds globally in order to find solutions to human challenges is also inherent to exhibits in the pavilion. Finland’s key strengths – Education & Know-How, Functionality & Wellbeing and Nature & Sustainable Development - are all incorporated into the comprehensive exhibition of Finland.

 Finnish Majlis – a platform for deeper connections

 The second level, VIP and Conference area or “Finnish Majlis” is bringing the meeting of minds to a deeper level. In this multifunction area business partners, decision makers, politicians, administrations and all other invited groups can meet face to face in the cool shaded refuge inside the Finnish-Arabic tent. During most of the 173 days of Expo different interest groups are invited to meet their Finnish partners and to make new connections with the hosts.

 Programming and operations

 Planning work for operations and events during the Expo are still at a very early stage. Programming will follow the major events taking place in UAE and the theme weeks of Expo that are being developed. Joint activities with Expo, other National pavilions and especially with our Nordic and Baltic neighbours are being examined.

 Communications programme

 The entire Expo participation is a communications exercise. Consequently, we are strongly investing in communications activities already during the time before Expo. Press visit to Finland and thematic press events in Dubai are already taking place and more is in the pipeline. The activities are increasing as the opening of Expo approaches and the highlight will be the Finnish National day on November 20th, just a month after the opening of Expo.

 Pirkko Autio

Communications Director, Business Finland,

finnish pavillion expo.png

The ultimate speed networking event was a success!

On the 27th of February the first in a series of ultimate speed networking events took place at Movenpick Hotel. This was an event organised in co-operation with eight other councils and 60 companies within construction, fit out and design sector met. Keep your eyes out not to miss the next opportunity!

FBC organised gathering for families of Finnish Athletes in the Special Olympics

On Sunday 17th of March, FBC met with some of the families who have traveled from Finland to the UAE to take part in the Special Olympics World Games. Everyone had a great time socializing at the Loop Bar in Bab Al Qasr Hotel in Abu Dhabi!