Past Presidents


2011-2012 - John Podgore

2010 -  John Boehm

- William J (Bill) Ryan

2008 - Anne Jafery

2006-2007 - Lou Scotto

2005 - Anis Nassar

2003-2004 - Phil Garrison

2002-2003 - Paul DeBenedictis

1999-2002 - T.B. (Mac) McClelland, Jr.

1998 - Hamdi Osman

1996-1997 - David Stockwell

1995 - John Morris

1993-1994 - John Hunter

1989-1992 - Jack Greenwald

1985-1988 - Ted Old


On the afternoon of November 17, 1985 at the Galadari Galleria in Dubai, a group of enterprising individuals with unique perspectives met with one shared vision: the creation of a viable American business community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Ted Old, together with Karen Cragnolin, envisioned the establishment of a dynamic forum where American business interests would be promoted and a spirit of cooperation between the American Business community and the UAE Business community would be fostered.

In Mr. Old's words, his vision was "to raise the commercial profile of the American Community in the Emirates; to encourage UAE and the American Communities to move closer together in the sense of becoming more active together; and to promote a productive review of selected commercial issues in Washington to improve American commercial performance in the region."

Thus, the American Business Council was created. A constitution was adopted; by-laws were established; office space was leased, and membership dues were collected.

As the years have passed and the council has grown in membership, in involvement in the broader professional population, and in the number and variety of events, the ABC continues to evolve into a stronger, more vital component of the UAE business community.

Rings of Friendship

Inspired by the 25th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, the "Rings of Friendship" was presented as a symbol to the people of the UAE from the American Community of the strong bonds forged.

The Rings, each 16 feet (4.9m) in diameter, 27 inches (69.6cm) wide and 9 inches (22.9cm) deep, weigh 6 tons and are constructed of the highest grade American 316L stainless steel, polished to a mirror finish. They rest on two curved pedestals of Vermont granite, which weigh more than 11 tons.

The Rings are illuminated by seven lights, representing the seven Emirates, with twenty five pathway lights leading to a raised sight. These lights commemorate the twenty-five years of friendship and positive relations between the UAE and the United States of America.

The Rings of Friendship are prominently situated in the Creekside Park, along the Dubai Creek, a site generously provided by the Dubai Municipality. The "Rings of Friendship" was received by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defense, at a presentation ceremony on November 15th, 1997.

Reach Your Goals

As a non-profit organization, the ABC actively seeks to promote our members through various sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorship methods vary from annual sponsorship of specific items or equipment, providing services such as PR, or most commonly, event sponsorship.

Many types and levels of sponsorship are available. If you are interested in raising awareness in your business’ profile to our high caliber membership, contact us and let us know that you’re considering sponsorship. We can then discuss your target audience and determine the most effective sponsorship package.

Sponsorship for events will provide outstanding opportunities to promote you company’s visibility, services and products to a large, high level, Western-minded business audience. Packages can vary from a few thousand dirhams to 100,000 dhs depending on the speaker, the event and the type of sponsorship. General sponsorship benefits include, access to speaker, VIP reception, VIP seats at the event, logo/branding on outgoing event collateral, tickets, menus and exhibition/ promotion opportunities at the event.

We would be open and pleased to talk through the packages available as well as any other ideas you may have. For questions concerning sponsorship please contact the ABC on +971 4 340 7566 or email