Dubai: A Dubai-based lawyer has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014 for her outstanding contributions to the community and strengthening relations between the UK and the UAE.
Jennifer Rachel Bibbings, a partner at Trowers and Hamlin, and Honorary Legal Adviser at the British Embassy Dubai, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to British business interests and to the community in Dubai. The list was made public on Friday.
The honour is bestowed on British nationals who contribute ‘valuable service’ to the UK and its people be it in the arts and sciences, public services outside the civil service, or charitable work.
Edward Hobart, Her Majesty’s Consul-General to Dubai and the northern emirates, lauded Bibbings for her great contributions to the UK-UAE relations and Dubai’s growing British community.
“Since she arrived in Dubai over 20 years ago, she has made contributions well beyond the legal scene, supporting our economic relationship as a long-standing member and former chair of the British Business Group in Dubai and the northern emirates, as a driving force behind the British University in Dubai (BUID), and as the embassy’s Honorary Legal Adviser,” Hobart told Gulf News in a statement.
“Jennifer is a dedicated member of our community in Dubai and I congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition,” he added.
On hearing news of the honour, Bibbings said it was unbelievable.
“I was completely blown away because it’s something I never thought would come my way,” Bibbings told Gulf News. “It’s extraordinary; it’s very humbling.”
Bibbings has been rendering her legal services pro bono to the British Consul-General in Dubai since 1994 during the term of Christopher Wilton. She first came to Dubai in January 1993 and has since considered it one of her many homes.
“I chose to come here with my company. Obviously, I’ve enjoyed it very much or I wouldn’t have stayed here for 21 years,” Bibbings said.
Bibbings specialises in the hospitality sector, representing top global brands not only in the UAE but also in the region. She is among legal experts acknowledged in the Chambers & Partners’ Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Legal 500 Guide to Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the corporate and commercial fields.
Outside her day-to-day job, she served the community by being the first female committee member of the British Business Group of Dubai and the northern emirates, which she later headed as its first female chair between 2003 and 2006.
She helped set up the British University in Dubai in 2004. She also serves as governor of one of Dubai’s oldest schools, Jebel Ali Primary School.
“I’m always willing to help if I know that I can make a valuable contribution,” the mother-of-two said. “It’s not about just doing your job. It’s about doing more than that and about contributing beyond the norm.”