Constitution


Contents

  1. Establishment and Name

    1. There shall be established in Doha a group to be known as The Qatar British Business Forum ("The Forum").
    2. The Forum shall be a non-profit making organisation under the patronage of the British Embassy.
  2. Objectives

    1. The objectives of the Forum shall be to:
      1. Promote Qatari-British relations and to display to the local community and others the interest of British business to Qatar;
      2. Provide the opportunity for its members to meet on a regular basis and to act as a forum for the exchange of information related to current and expected business opportunities in Qatar;
      3. Liaise with the British Embassy in Qatar on matters of interest to the Forum;
      4. Assist the British Embassy by providing contacts and support to delegations, prominent business people and officials visiting Qatar from the United Kingdom with a view to promoting bilateral economic relations;
      5. Provide a link with organisations in the United Kingdom dedicated to the development of Middle East/UK trade;
      6. Assist the British Embassy in providing support to British companies and business people establishing or contemplating the establishment of trading links with, or a trading base in, Qatar;
      7. Liaise with similar business groups in furtherance of the above objectives.
    2. The Forum shall not engage in any activity of a political nature.
  3. Membership

    1. There shall be four categories of membership, Single, Corporate, Associate and Honorary.
    2. Those eligible for Single membership are:
      1. Any British citizen holding a professional or managerial appointment living and working in the State of Qatar and who has a valid residence permit; or
      2. Any person of Qatari or other nationality holding a senior appointment who lives in the State of Qatar and works for a British company or any Qatar registered company or business which represents British goods and/or services ("Corporate member").
    3. Those eligible for Corporate membership are:
      1. Any British company or any Qatar registered company or business which represents British goods and or services.
      2. A Corporate member cannot be a member of any class other than that of Corporate member and each Corporate member shall be entitled to nominate in writing not more than (five) (5) persons whom it wishes to attend meetings of the Forum.
    4. Those eligible for Associate membership are:
      1. Persons who for reasons of non-residence in the State of Qatar or otherwise are not eligible for Single membership, but who are able to demonstrate their support for the objectives of the Forum and for the development of business relations between the United Kingdom and Qatar.
      2. Associate members shall pay an annual membership fee at a level set by the committee of the Forum (the "Committee"), and shall be entitled to attend meetings (subject to the provisions of clauses 7.7 and 8.2), but shall not be entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting or become a member of the Committee.
    5. Those eligible for Honorary membership are:
      1. H.E. The British Ambassador to the State of Qatar who shall be, ex officio, an Honorary member of the Forum; and
      2. Any distinguished person of the State of Qatar, the United Kingdom, or any other country who, in the sole opinion of the Committee, demonstrates a proven commitment to the development of the Forum or Qatar-British business ties. The Committee shall have the right to revoke or not renew such membership in the event that, in the absolute discretion of the Committee, any of the conditions set forth in this Constitution cease to apply to the Single concerned.
    6. There shall be no restriction on the number of members in the Forum.
    7. Every prospective member, whether Single, Corporate Associate or Honorary, shall be proposed and seconded by existing Single or Corporate members in good standing.
    8. The Committee will review every application for membership and every form of nomination submitted by a Corporate member and decide whether such application and/or any such nomination is to be accepted. The Committee shall have absolute discretion in determining whether or not to accept an application by any prospective member and/or nomination by a Corporate member or to renew membership as the case may be and will not be obliged to give any reasons for its decisions.
    9. Honorary Members shall pay no fees and have no vote.
    10. A Corporate member shall pay a fee equal to four times that of the annual membership fee determined for Single members as fixed from time to time by the Committee.
  4. Committee

    1. The affairs of the Forum will be administered by the Committee of not more than (9) Single members or nominees of a Corporate member plus the First Secretary (Commercial) of the British Embassy in Qatar who shall be, ex officio, a member of the Committee and entitled to appoint a substitute to attend any meeting in his stead.
    2. The Committee shall:
      1. Subject to the provisions of Clause 5 designate the officers of the Forum which shall include but not necessarily be limited to the officer responsible for events the officer responsible for membership, and the officer responsible for Special Interest Groups (as defined in Clause 4.3.1 below);
      2. Elect the officers from among those members appointed to the Committee from time to time;
      3. Be responsible for planning future policy, programs, speakers and events;
      4. Be responsible for accepting or rejecting applications for membership or renewal thereof;
      5. Open and operate a bank account, and signatories on the bank account shall be such of the Committee members as the Committee shall from time to time designate, provided always that any single cheque which is drawn on the Forum bank account for the sum in excess of Qatari Riyals Five Thousand (5,000.00) shall be approved in writing by two (2) members of the Committee;
      6. Establish its own rules for the conduct of its business and may vary such rules; and
      7. Not borrow for any purpose whatsoever.
    3. The Committee may:
      1. Appoint sub-committees and invite any member of the Forum either to assist the Committee or to serve on a sub-committee In particular the Committee may establish sub-committees pertaining to specific sectors of business to be known as Special Interest Groups. All sub-committees shall exercise their activities in accordance with the objectives of the Forum and with all and any directions of the Committee;
      2. Engage staff and obtain office and other facilities as considered necessary, the costs of which shall be paid out of membership fees.
    4. All members of the Committee are required to attend at least two-thirds of the monthly meetings in any Membership Year (as defined in Clause 6.1).
  5. Election of Committee

    1. Volunteers for membership of the Committee will be invited from members of the Forum when giving notice of the Annual General Meeting.
    2. Any eligible member who wishes to stand for election to the Committee must notify the Secretary in writing not less than four (4) weeks before the date of the Annual General Meeting.
    3. The Committee will circulate the list of candidates to members not less than two (2) weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
    4. The offices of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer of the Forum and Legal Adviser ("the Officers") will be filled by election from amongst the paid up Single members and nominees of a Corporate member of the Forum together with such others of the volunteers as the members shall determine at the first meeting to be held each calendar year ("the Annual General Meeting").
    5. Election will be by a simple majority of the members voting and proxy votes will be permitted upon such terms as the Committee may establish.
    6. The Committee and the Officers will serve for one period of (2) calendar years and members of the Committee and the Officers may be re-elected.
    7. If for any reason an Officer or a member of the Committee is unable to serve a full year, the vacancy may be filled by the Committee from amongst its other members or by co-opting onto the Committee another member of the Forum.
  6. Fees

    1. Every member shall pay an annual membership fee. The annual membership fee payable for Associate members shall be fixed at a level lower than that applicable to Single members. The fee for Corporate members shall be as stated in Clause 3.10. The annual membership fee shall be due in respect of the Gregorian year ("the Membership Year").
    2. The membership fee will be fixed by the Committee and will be applied towards administrative and other costs, as the Committee shall from time to time determine. The Committee shall have the right to levy additional fees if membership fees are inadequate to cover administrative costs of the Forum.
    3. No reduction in the annual membership fee will be made if a member joins during the first six (6) months of the Membership Year. If a member joins during the second six (6) months of the Membership Year, the membership fee will be reduced by fifty (50) per cent. and in the case of a Corporate member the membership will be so reduced for each person which it has nominated to attend meetings of the Forum. No refund will be made if a member resigns during the course of the Membership Year.
    4. The annual membership fee will be payable on a date set by the Committee and will be in respect of the Membership Year.
    5. Membership will be deemed to have lapsed if the annual membership fee is not paid within the time prescribed by the Committee.
  7. Meetings

    1. The Committee will arrange meetings not less frequently than monthly. The date and time of all meetings and the program for the meeting will be notified to members in advance.
    2. Without prejudice to the foregoing, all other meetings at which official business of the Forum is to be discussed and a vote taken will be called by the Committee giving not less than fourteen (14) days notice to members.
      1. In addition to the foregoing meetings (but without limitation) the Committee may arrange meetings open to non-members including Qatari and other nationalities; and
      2. Meetings at which attendance is restricted to certain categories of members, e.g. by reference to the nature of business of particular members.
    3. Members will be encouraged to suggest to the Committee topics for discussion and prospective speakers (who may be either visitors or local residents).
    4. Members will be expected to pay a commercial rate for food or refreshment for themselves and for their guests at all meetings.
    5. The quorum at any meeting shall be the members present. However, if the number is below twenty (20), the members present may resolve to adjourn the meeting to another date to be fixed by the Chairman of the Forum.
    6. Associate members shall not be entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting, but may attend a maximum of four (4) other meetings in any Membership Year.
    7. Each Meeting shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Forum or, in his absence, by the Vice-Chairman, and failing him, by another member of the Committee.
  8. Annual General Meeting

    1. Business at the Annual General Meeting shall include (but not be limited to) a Report of the Committee, the Auditor's Report, election of new Officers, a new Committee and an Auditor and a Legal Adviser from amongst its members in good standing who shall act in such capacity unpaid.
      The Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Committee giving not less than six (6) weeks notice to members. Each Single member of the Forum shall be entitled to attend and vote at such a meeting. A Corporate member shall have one vote and shall be entitled to nominate one representative to attend and vote at such meeting save that no Single member who is employed by a Corporate member shall be entitled to vote at any meeting.
    2. The written nomination of the representative must be signed by or on behalf (other than by the representative so nominated) of the Corporate member and deposited at the offices of the Forum from time to time or at such other place as is specified in the notice of Annual General Meeting not less than 48 hours before the time for holding the meeting. Each nomination takes effect from and including the Annual General Meeting. If no nomination of a representative is submitted by a Corporate member in accordance with this Clause 8.2 prior to the Annual General Meeting that Corporate member shall not have a representative for the purpose of the Constitution unless and until a written nomination of a representative signed as aforesaid is deposited at the offices of the Forum. Any nomination of a representative shall be effective only up to (but not including) the next following Annual General Meeting. A Corporate member shall be entitled from time to time by written nomination completed and deposited in accordance with this Clause 8.2 to appoint a person to be a representative in place of its original or previous representative and in a similar manner to remove a representative so appointed provided that as regards the ability to attend and vote at any General Meetings of the Forum any such appointment and/or removal shall only be effective as regards any General Meetings convened for not less than 48 hours after the time at which such nomination is deposited in accordance with this Article.
    3. The nomination of a representative shall be in writing executed by or on behalf of the Corporate member and shall be in the following form (or in a form as near thereto as circumstances allow or in any other form which is usual or which the Committee may approve):

      "We of [ ] being a Corporate member of the Qatar British Business Forum hereby [remove and] appoint [ ] as our representative.

      Signed

      On behalf of

      Dated"

      Voting will be by a simple majority and proxy votes will be permitted on such terms as the Committee may establish. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote
  9. Guests of Members

    1. Members are encouraged to bring professional people or representatives of British companies to open meetings and to other meetings as appropriate. The names of all guests shall be notified to the Secretary in advance and the number of guests may be restricted by the Committee. Any British resident of Qatar who is eligible for membership may be brought as a guest to a meeting, but no such person shall be a guest more than twice during a calendar year.
  10. Information

    1. The Committee will maintain an up-to-date list of all members and their business interests. The Committee will cause to be published a directory of members once in each calendar year on such terms as the Committee shall in its sole discretion determine and each member in good standing shall have the right to request the inclusion of the information relating to him or her in the directory and on the Forum's web site. This information will be available to all members on application to the Committee.
    2. The Committee will, at its discretion, distribute circulars to members containing information or news considered to be of interest to members.
  11. Use of the QBBF Name or Logo

    1. No member of any category or employee thereof shall have any rights in respect of any trade names or trade marks used by the Forum or of the goodwill associated therewith and each member acknowledges (as an ongoing condition of membership) that it shall not acquire any rights in respect thereof and that all such rights and goodwill are and shall remain vested in the Forum. No member shall, without the prior written approval of the Committee, use the Forum's trade marks or trade names, as to be likely (in the opinion of the Committee, acting reasonably) to cause confusion or perceived endorsement from the Forum. It is hereby confirmed that the Forum holds all intellectual property rights (including copyright and trademark rights) in its name, logos, acronyms and related goodwill. The trade names Qatar British Business Forum and QBBF are intellectual property rights of the Forum.
  12. Forum Data

    1. It is an ongoing condition of membership of the Forum that no member shall use data relating to other members of the Forum which is contained in, or available through, any database, website, publication or directory issued or operated in respect of the Forum, for the purposes of unsolicited bulk marketing. For these purposes unsolicited bulk marketing shall mean the sending of a message if: (1) the recipient's personal identity and address details are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other addressees; and (2) the recipient has not verifiably granted explicit permission for it to be sent. For the avoidance of doubt, membership of the Forum does not constitute permission from or by any member to be sent messages from any other member. The purpose of this rule is not to prevent the use of the membership data for networking and direct contact purposes in the furtherance of business, but to prevent mass-mailings and other unsolicited marketing tactics which target all or a section of the membership with information and/or offers and promotions for which the recipient has expressed no interest directly and which have not been endorsed by the Forum. Should any member be in any doubt regarding whether a proposed use of the membership data is in breach of this rule, clarification from the Forum must be sought in writing.

      Breach of either or both of the above rules shall entitle the Committee to expel the relevant member and/or its representatives.
  13. Audits and Financial Information

    1. The financial year of the Forum shall commence on 1 January and end on 31 December each year.
    2. The Committee will arrange for the accounts of the Forum to be audited at the end of each financial year and for a report from the Honorary Auditor to be presented to members at the Annual General Meeting of the following year.
  14. Amendments of the Constitution

    1. An amendment of the Constitution may be proposed and seconded by members in good standing. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Committee and the Committee will circulate the proposed amendments with the notice convening the next meeting. An amendment of the Constitution will be adopted if approved by a two-thirds majority of the members voting at the meeting.

      Proxy votes addressed to the Chairman, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairman, or the Committee Member acting as Chairman, will be accepted. In the event of a tie, the Chairman for that meeting shall have a casting vote. To be eligible for inclusion for voting purposes, proxies must be in the hands of the appropriate Officer prior to the start of the meeting.

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