Sri Lanka Business Council Board for Dubai & Northern Emirates members. From left: Kethiswaram Singaravel, Suren Swaminathan, Hashini Kannangara, Muhammed Riza, Kapila Karunaratne, Tariq Quresgi, Ranil De Silva. Absent Ravi Varma, Dunstan Rozairo and Ram Pillai


The Sri Lankan Business Council (SLBC) for Dubai & Northern Emirates, one of the oldest business councils in Dubai has announced the successful completion of its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on 16 May at the Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre Hotel.

The event served as a dynamic platform for members to engage in inspiring discussions, foster collaboration, and shape the way forward for the council in the future.

The AGM proved to be a resounding success, exceeding expectations and solidifying the Business Council’s position as the pioneer in the business and professional community to facilitate trade and commerce between UAE and Sri Lanka while safeguarding the commercial interests of all stakeholders.

“Back to business” is the mood throughout as we are all back in business after some challenging times,” said SLBC Chairman Muhammed Riza.

The Chairman, further in his annual address expressed optimism with the way Dubai has progressed following the recent pandemic and in mentioning as to how Dubai wanted to place itself among the globe’s top five markets in many respects within a decade from now as part of the D33 initiative, which is an aspirational statement of intent by Dubai’s leadership towards the future. He also emphasised that this is an excellent opportunity to our young and dynamic entrepreneurs to take advantage of what this region could offer as we have seen an exponential growth of Sri Lankans coming into the region during the past year.

Members of the Business Councils and special invites were treated to a number of interesting presentations showcasing an array of activities, insightful discussions, and inspiring ideas.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to UAE Udaya Indraratne in his address explained his vision and reiterated that the Business Council is one of the organisations that is perfectly positioned to support it. He further said, he is fully committed to serving the community and open to new ways of doing things for the benefit of the community.

Sri Lanka’s acting Consul General for Dubai & Northern Emirates Dinithi Weerasena in her address said, “We value the support from the Business Council to us and the community and they are a great strength to us.”

SLBC Director Events Kethiswaram Singaravel presented a summary of the activities conducted so far and highlighted the plans for the future to ensure that the community continues to engage and network with all the stakeholders to promote trade and commerce. Attendees were impressed by the way the presentations were made using the latest technology.

At the AGM, engaging discussions brought together business leaders, ambassadors, and experts to address critical topics surrounding development of bilateral trade in this competitive landscape.

New members were welcomed and introduced by SLBC Director Public Relations Kapila Karunaratne.

Director Finance Ranil De Silva presented the financials for year 2022, which was approved by the members present.

The AGM fostered a vibrant networking environment, connecting attendees from diverse backgrounds. Member communities had the opportunity to forge meaningful connections, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations. It was also noted that the upcoming business connect initiative on the 2 June in Dubai will provide the wider audience a greater opportunity to engage with the members and the business community.

SLBC Director, Board Secretary Hashini Kannagara presided over the proceedings of the AGM while Director, Business Development Tariq Qureshi delivered the vote of thanks.

The overwhelming success of the Annual General Meeting underlines the commitment from the Business Council members to collaborate in order to create the synergy amongst us for greater benefits. “It was overwhelming to see the diverse background as well as business interests amongst those who participated,” said Suren Swaminathan, veteran in the business community as well the immediate past Chairman.

SLBC expresses its gratitude to all the attendees’ speakers and partners who contributed towards the AGM’s success. Their enthusiasm, expertise, and engagement played a pivotal role in making the event a truly enriching experience.