Deputy Mayor Meets With Sheik Alireza In NY

October 26, 2013

Donal Smith BermudaThe City of Hamilton’s Deputy Mayor Donal Smith and City Manager Edward Benevides met with H.E. Sheik Abdullah Alireza, a Saudi businessman who formerly served as Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy.

The meeting took place in New York, and they discussed ways in which they might strengthen Bermuda’s business and cultural relationship with Saudi Arabia and with the vital financial markets of the Gulf States.

Deputy Mayor Smith said he was delighted to be able to issue an invitation to Sheik Alireza to come to Bermuda to attend a special luncheon and series of meetings hosted by the Corporation.

“We want him to join us and to experience the City’s and our Islands expertise for himself and to discuss the ways in which we might enhance Bermuda’s role within the Middle East in general and in Saudi Arabia in particular,” said Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith said that the City of Hamilton is home to a number of firms who already do business with the Middle East and doubtless, to many who would like to do business in this vital part of the world.

“It is the right time, we believe, to have the Corporation of Hamilton play a more proactive role in joining the government to improve Bermuda’s connections to world markets like the Middle East and for the remainder of this year and certainly next year we intend to reach out vigorously to world business leaders like Sheik Alireza and to have them know first hand the many opportunities the City and the Island affords,” said Mr. Smith.

He said that Bermuda has always been a logical conduit between the U.S. and the Middle East markets.

Mr Smith continued, “We certainly have much in common with the market of the Gulf States in terms of our organizational structure and as a leading international financial centre able to anticipate and complete an array of financial and insurance related business .

“The City is home to such world wise talent and we have so much to offer them from our financial services and, of course, we can provide world class opportunities in our hospitality sector. But we must be more vigorous in the ways in which we promote these opportunities. Hence our meeting in New York with Sheikh Abdullah Aliresa.

“We are delighted to learn the Premier Cannonier will be in London to attend an Islamic financial conference and we look forward to joining with him and the Minister of Finance in sharing ways to creating a greater awareness of the many opportunities that Bermuda affords Islamic and so many other world investors.”

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  1. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    If Donal Smith thinks courting Arabs is going to do anything,he’s dreaming!

  2. Family Man says:

    Uggh I’m going to puke reading that drivel.

    I’m sure he remembers you fondly Donal. After all, you met for all of 12 seconds.

  3. Jay Kempe says:

    The Saudis are powerful, comfortable and secure because they have been able to extract valuable resources from their lands.

    Isn’t it ironic that we (City and Government) are now pursuing them while we consider closing off our own opportunities to do the same from our land (our EEZ)?

    • Chris Famous says:


      • chilli peppa says:

        jay & Chris I was thinking the same. Shame really. All you need to do it mention the words going green, save the world and people jump on board.

    • DeliverUs says:

      the environmental impact by drilling in some middle eastern desert is zero. the impact on Bermuda if a disaster a la BP in the Gulf were to happen would be the end of Bermuda.

  4. Soooooooo says:

    This is the same corporation that cannot (or will it ) fix the roads in the city. But. Can travel on the tax payers dime and spend money on re-doing city hall’s front yard

  5. The Kid says:

    These guys have lost the plot really.. can you believe them galavanting around New York fleetingly meeting some obscure Saudi Prince on whim. They are unreal

    Stay hom and fix our city, REPAIR THE ROADS, make our city beautiful again, Work out your finances, try aiming for a balanced budget, stay home and do something PLEASE

  6. Buzz says:

    This Guy is a Great business Man traveling around the World,
    making deals even with the Arabs,Wow he should be The Mayor !

  7. Verbal Kint says:

    It bothers me deeply to think that the Deputy Mayor of Hamilton is conducting meetings with potential business partners/investors, essentially on the part of all Bermudians. Is he representing Hamilton or all of Bermuda. Is Government on board with this? Are Donal and government on the same page? This is crazy.

    • Victor says:

      I imagine they had more pressing issues than economics to deal with – like Gay rights in Saudi Arabia; the role of Women there; and how when you have as much money and oil as they do, nobody much cares how you treat Gays and Women. Do we really need this tainted money here?

    • I concur, and this is insane! Who / what the hell does this bie’ think he is doing? Can this be true? He is representing all of Bermuda when in reality he’s only Deputy Mayor and not Bermudas Premier nor the Governor so where is it he gets the audacity to throw his hat into the international ring? (Those shoe are far too large for your feet Donal Smith!)

  8. Serious though says:

    2 government’s in Bermuda !

  9. HeyBye says:

    He will scare away any potential investors in Bda.
    Not the person you want representing us all.

  10. 32n64w says:

    The Deputy Mayor must be over the moon with the Saudi’s stellar human rights record. No wonder he’s so fond of the possibilities of a partnership.

    • Family Man says:

      You’re right. I think he has a lot in common with the hypocritical, misogynous homophobic religious fanatics in Saudi.

      The rest of us would rather see the back of both of them.

  11. Sandy Bottom says:

    What authority does this turkey have to speak for Bermuda?

  12. Y-Gurl says:

    Censorship prevents my comment from being written in full, but this clown is so full of self importance he needs to be concentrating on the matters in hand which includes his job!

  13. Rights says:

    What does this guy think of gay or lesbian couples?

    • chilli peppa says:

      Yes Donal – I am a lesbian trapped in a mans body myself. What do you think of me.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      I think he no likes, then again he doesn’t like a lot of socially accepted things

  14. melonbda says:

    How much is Smith and city paying NY PR firm to arrange meetings like this and that stock market jaunt? Now we know where the 800k is going/gone

  15. Lefty says:

    Mayor Outerbridge,does your deputy represent you and your thoughts?

  16. Bully bug says:

    Sooooo much hate in my beautiful country.
    It’s so sad…….

  17. Second says:

    Please leave the future of Bermuda to our Government of the day. OBA vs Corporation of Hamilton.
    I feel much better knowing we are in their hands!

  18. Scoalsy says:

    Who is paying for this trip? I am sure they are not out of their own pockets!!!
    How come the PTP (PLP) are not making a lot of noise about it !!!!!!!!
    A bunch of show off with the public’s money, here we go again :( :(

  19. Aware says:

    The deputy mayor recently spoke out about his dislike of international business but is now representing Bermuda.

    Its seems his views and his role are at odds.

  20. Kim Smith says:

    Are these business discussions part of the Corporation of Hamilton’s remit? I would have thought not, in which case, are they personally footing the bill?

  21. San Geoge says:

    We must lower the cost of credit and get asset values growing.
    Bermuda is in a depression.
    The business and political leaders must address monetary and fiscal policy in order to stop the decline.

  22. Prayerful says:

    I really would like to see/hear the Mayor’s comments!

  23. Watcher55 says:

    His day will come, he has no authority to talk on the behalf of Bermuda or anything else for that matter

  24. Watcher55 says:

    This is disgusting and smacks of a recent time gone bye, what right does this guy have to meet and speak on behalf of Bermuda (or the PLP)he needs to drop the self importance