The 2015 GREAT Business Award

Gulf entrepreneurs and business owners win exclusive opportunities to bring their retail operations to the UK.

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2015 GREAT Business Award video

The 2015 GREAT Business Award offered nationals and residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman unique access to the UK market to build their retail businesses. It has been developed by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the British Embassy in Dubai.

The Award sought out candidates who benefit from a bespoke, 3 day programme of meetings with UKTI specialist business advisors and internationally recognised figures from the prestigious UK retail sector.

Finalists were shortlisted, and the winner flown business-class on British Airways to London. Accommodation is included at the stylish 5-Star Athenaeum Hotel Apartments in Mayfair.

Entries were judged by a panel of highly respected UK diplomats and business leaders with extensive experience of business and investment in the Gulf and the UK.

GREAT Business Award

Who could enter

  • The 2015 GREAT Business Award was open to individuals who are the main shareholders in their company
  • entrants had to be nationals or residents of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman or Qatar
  • your company had to be registered in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state and established for at least 2 years

The prize

The Award is made up of 4 elements:

  • one round-trip business-class ticket on British Airways from any of the Gulf countries to London
  • two nights’ accommodation in a luxury serviced apartment at the 5-star Athenaeum hotel in Mayfair, London
  • a customised business development programme in London, including a mentorship session with a respected UK retail leader
  • a consultancy session with accountants and lawyers on setting up your business in the UK, work visas and tax

Judging criteria

Applicants were judged on the following criteria (numbers in brackets indicate the total number of points available towards your overall score):

  • the quality of information on your business in the Gulf (20)
  • the quality of your analysis of why you think your business will succeed in the UK (20)
  • the ambition you have for scaling your business in the UK (20)
  • the overall quality of your business plan (20)
  • optional submission of a video (5 points will be added to the total if submitted)


  • the closing date for entry was 23.59 GST (GMT+4) on 31 March 2015.
  • finalists were contacted during April 2015
  • the final winner was announced in May 2015

Look out for the 2016 GREAT Business Award by following UKTI on Twitter.

Judges panel

Judges panel

  • HMA Philip Parham - British Ambassador to the UAE

Philip Parham

  • Gary Rhodes OBE - British chef and restaurateur

Gary Rhodes

  • Elizabetta Camilleri - SalesGossip CEO and co-founder

Elizabetta Camilleri

  • Mark Handley - CFO The Toystore

Mark Handley


Visit Britain

British Airways

Athenaeum Hotel

Taylor Wessing


For questions about the 2015 GREAT Business Award please contact

To discuss investment opportunities in the UK, please contact:

UAE: +971 4 3043767

Qatar: +974 44192741

Kuwait: +965 22275651

Saudi Arabia: +966 12 6104410

United Kingdom: +44 1159 053325

Follow us on Twitter: @UKTI

LinkedIn: UK Trade & Investment

Facebook: BusinessisGREATBritain

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Published 13 January 2015
Last updated 13 July 2015 + show all updates
  1. Updated with video detailing the award finalists

  2. First published.