MARCH 2024

MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY 20 MARCH 2024 at 18:00
WATERFRONT SUITE

 

PRESENT:
Ali Kaddas, Chairman
Katherine Pace, Vice Chairman Operations
Suzanne Kelleher, Secretary
Sheikh Ahmed, Treasurer
Ryan McPherson, Membership Liaison
Furat Al Samaraie, Sports Member
Richard Ormonde, House Member
Jess Macdonald, Entertainments Member
Jonathan Pilling, Premises Member
Thisath Ramanayake, Membership Secretary

IN ATTENDANCE:
Kyle Wykes, General Manager


1. WELCOME

The Chairman welcomed the Committee to March’s meeting.

2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

It was noted that the title of section 4.4 of the February minutes was headed as Entrance Fees, the figures pertained to New Members joining fees. It was agreed that the Financial Reports will be amended going forward to “joining fees”. The Committee approved the minutes, which was proposed by Sheikh Ahmed and seconded by Jonathan Pilling.

3. MATTERS ARISING

3.1 Membership of the National Club Association (NCA)

The GM raised the option of becoming a member of the National Clubs Association, an organisation that advocates for Private Clubs. This is to be further investigated to determine costs and what benefits will be gained.

3.2 Honorary Membership Enquiry

A Member has re-visited the question of Honorary Membership being awarded based on 30 years consecutive Membership. The Member would like Bye-Law 2.9.1 amended to show the 30 years Membership to be cumulative. The Committee regretfully declined the request and will meet with the Member.

3.3 Committee Vacancy – Vice Chair (Admin)

The resignation of the previous Vice Chair (Admin) has left a vacancy on the Committee.

Bye-Law 6.2 states

Once elected by the Membership, Committee Members may be moved from one designated position to another, as approved by a majority of the Committee.

The current Membership Liaison Member expressed an interest in fulfilling this role. This was then voted on and passed unanimously by the Committee.

This consequently creates a vacancy for the Membership Liaison role. This will be advertised as per the Constitution and Bye-Laws prior to the AGM in April.

4. Secretary’s Report

4.1 Mission Statement, Vision and Values

The draft Mission Statement, Vision and Values were reviewed and discussed. It was suggested that the draft is reviewed in line with the discussion and this will then be presented to Members for comment at the AGM and for Membership input and involvement.

4.2 AGM preparation Sub-Committee

It was proposed that a Main Committee Handbook is compiled and introduced to act as a resource for existing Committee Members where processes and finer details are recorded but that do not warrant inclusion within The Club’s Constitution and Bye-Laws to avoid the document becoming large and unwieldy. This document will also aid succession and the onboarding of new Committee Members.

5. Treasurer’s Report – February 2024

5.1 Financial Statements February 2024

The Financial Statements for February 2024 show an operational deficit of AED 269,939 against the budgeted Profit of AED 36,660.

Total Income for February 2024 was AED 272,899 – below budget.

Total Expenditure before depreciation was AED 38,651 – above budget and depreciation costs AED 4,950 – below budget.

The main variances from the budget for February 2024 which was largely impacted by the adverse weather are as follows:

  • F&B revenue was AED 349,562 – below budget and Surplus AED 212,711 – below budget.
  • Entrance Fee Income of AED 13,875 – above budget.
  • Subscription Full Members Income of AED 65,597 – below budget.
  • Salon Income of AED 13,352 – below budget.
  • Retail Income of AED 4,155 – below budget.
  • Other Income of AED 13,918 – above budget.
  • Tennis & Activities combined Income of AED 1,567 – above budget.
  • Gymnasium Income of AED 10,951 – below budget.
  • Management Expenses AED 6,296 – above budget.
  • Staff Expenses AED 3,850 – below budget.
  • Coach Expenses AED 1,350 – below budget.
  • Water & Power Expenses of AED 1,984 – below budget.
  • Linen, Cutleries & Crockeries AED 10,480 – above budget.
  • Non-Consumable Expenses of AED 4,498 – below budget.
  • Repairs & Maintenance Expenses above the budget by AED 1,895.
  • Motor & Taxi Expenses of AED 1,993 – above budget.
  • Printing & Stationery Expenses of AED 2,540 – below budget.
  • Communication Expenses of AED 1,493 – above budget.
  • Sundries Expenses of AED 2,002 – below budget.
  • Insurance Expenses of AED 2,899 – below budget.
  • Entertainment Expenses of AED 3,600 – above budget.
  • Accumulator Expenses of AED 2,407 – below budget.
  • Club Magazine Revenue Generated by AED 3,500 – against budget of AED 6,000.
  • Club License Fee of AED 1,000 – not budgeted.
  • Sundry Equipment Expenses of AED 4,047 – above budget.
  • Training Expenses of AED 2,550 – not budgeted.
  • Marketing Expenses of AED 15,771 – above budget.

The major variations in the Income and Expenditure are explained as below:

5.2 Income

5.2.1 F&B Sales:

Total F&B revenue in February is AED 1,873,438 against the budget of AED 2,223,000.

Outlet sales in total AED 215,273 – below budget, and functions & outside catering AED 134,288 – below budget.

  • Main Bar and Al Sarab had combined revenue was AED 30,059 – below budget.
  • The Family hub revenue was AED 15,078 – below budget.
  • Pool Bar revenue was AED 18,130 – below budget.
  • Sports Bar revenue was AED 23,145 – below budget.
  • The Vista revenue was AED 26,019 – below budget.
  • The Wharf revenue was AED 27,835 – below budget.
  • Three 60 revenue was AED 24,092 – below budget.
  • Functions and Outside Caterings were AED 134,288 – below budget.
  • Accumulator revenue was AED 4,619 – below budget.
  • Beach Bar revenue was AED 45,073 – below budget.
  • Zest revenue was AED 19,847 – below budget.
  • Waves revenue was AED 14,961 – above budget.
  • The Shore & Slipway combined revenue was AED 3,663 – above budget.

The individual outlet sales are listed below:

5.3 Gross Profit

Gross profit margin for beverage was 65.07% and food was 38.4% against the budget of 67% and 40% respectively.

5.4 Joining Fees

41 Adults and 27 Juniors joined The Club in February 2024 against the budget of 70 Adults and 25 Juniors. There were 14 Adults who joined under the upfront payment scheme. This is against the budgeted number of 15. There were 25 Adults who joined under Direct Debit Plans against budget of 40.

Membership Level at the end of February was 2,116 Adults and 931 Juniors. This was against the budgeted levels of 2,209 Adults and 960 Juniors.

5.5 Guests Fees

Total revenue of AED 66,378 against the budget of AED 67,000 and is from:

Day guests AED 28,470

Dining guests AED 37,908

5.6 Salon Revenue

Total revenue of AED 41,648 against the budget of AED 55,000 and is from:

  • Beauty Salon AED 5,384
  • Hair Salon AED 3,717
  • Nail Salon AED 11,680
  • Massage AED 15,244
  • Salon Products AED 5,623

5.7 Staff & Management Bonuses

As requested at the February Committee Meeting, revised proposal was circulated to the Committee by the Treasurer on the 1st March, by email. A request was made that Committee Members respond to the proposal by email in order that if passed, swift action could be taken both for the benefit of staff and to meet financial dead-lines. The amended proposal was approved.

5.8 Financial Audit

The Committee were informed of a delay in producing the final audited accounts on behalf of The Club, due to operational reasons at the auditing company. The final accounts will be issued on the 27th March. The delay in this date means that regretfully, the planned AGM date must be changed to the 30th April in order that it complies with the Constitution.

6. Membership Secretary’s Report

6.1 Membership Figures

The Membership strength at the end of February 2024 was as follows:

6.2 Membership Renewal

Membership renewals were at 91% against a budget of 93%.

6.3 Members Comments/Suggestions

Various Members’ comments and suggestions were received and passed to the appropriate teams for action.

7. Membership Liaison MATTERS

7.1 Members Incident – outside Family Hub

An incident occurred on 24th February where a Member had parked in the space reserved for Emergency Vehicles and both he and his wife had been requested by staff to remove the vehicle over a period of hours. The Duty Manager repeated the request for the vehicle to be moved after several hours of being parked in that location.

A report from the Duty Manager and subsequent complaint from the Member were received by the General Manager in relation to the discussion that transpired. Following the incident, the Member and their Guest then proceeded to circulate emails with their narrative of the incident to third parties within their social and professional networks, potentially bringing both The Club and the Duty Managers’ reputations into disrepute.

Whilst the original incident was considered to be an operational matter and was in the process of being fully investigated by Club Management, the subsequent emails and behaviour escalated this matter to the Committee, both from a governance perspective and for safeguarding of The Club’s reputation. The Committee discussed the incident and, due to the serious nature of the Members actions, they agreed that the Member’s Membership be discontinued.

7.2 Members Incident – Main Bar

An incident occurred on 20th December 2023 where a Member assaulted another Member. The incident was witnessed by staff. This was the second incident that this Member was involved with within a 3-month period and a letter reminding them of the expected conduct had already been placed on their file. Taking account of this and the serious nature of the current incident, a decision was made to terminate their Membership with immediate effect at the time of the incident.

7.3 Members Incident – Children’s Pool

A minor incident occurred on 14th January at the Children’s Pool between two children. The complaint was made by the parent of one child about the actions of the other. The complainant was not present at the time and their child was not being supervised. A letter will be sent to the complainant reminding them that they are required to supervise their children at all times.

7.4 Members Incident – Al Sarab

An incident occurred in Al Sarab on 17th February where a Member caused offence to another Member and a complaint was raised to the management. This behaviour was then repeated 10 days later on 27th February to a third party who also complained. The individual already had a letter reminding them of their expected conduct on file from January 2023 for an incident of a similar nature. The Committee discussed this matter and agreed that a 3-month suspension from The Club is an appropriate sanction as the offences had been repeated in a short period of time.

8. Premises Member’s Report

8.1 PA System

The Emergency PA System (legally required) had some parts identified as needing replacing at the last scheduled PPM inspection. The repairs are being carried out at a cost of AED 7k plus installation fees.

8.2 Exterior Wall Finish

There are a number of areas around The Club in need of repair, and quotes have been requested for 3 areas;

  • The Family Hub Courtyard
  • The Main Building (once repaired)
  • Exterior Club Wall (road facing)

8.3 Slipway Bar

The Slipway Bar tiles covering the exterior of the walls, original since the building was constructed in 2010 are starting to come away from the building. A quote has been sourced to render and paint the exterior of the building in a stone finish line the other Club buildings. The cost for the work will be AED 9k. This spend was approved by Committee.

8.4 Badminton Court Wall Repairs

As reported in the February minutes the badminton court has suffered cracks along walls. Investigation showed the cracks to be where windows used to be situated that have worsened over time. While structurally there is no HSE risk, they are unsightly and detract from the facility. As the work is non-essential, this will be placed on hold and reviewed in the summer.

8.5 The Family Hub Upstairs Area

Works are in progress in this area with a view to re-opening in early April.

8.6 Tennis Court Branding from Roadside

In January 2024 the Committee approved a spend for The Club branding to be placed on the exterior of the tennis court fence. Regretfully, having had the structure inspected by two third party companies, the wind load on the structure would cause an HSE concern on the integrity of the fencing.

9. House Member’s Report

All compliments, complaints and suggestions have been received and have been processed by the F&B Team.

9.1 Iftar Guest Dining Fee

A request was received from a Member that the Guest Dining Fee be reduced to AED 20 for the whole of the Holy month of Ramadan. Regretfully, this was declined due to the precedent that this would set.

9.2 Main Bar – Dress Code

It was suggested that the dress code for the Main Bar is amended from being Smart Casual to Casual. This will be trialled for a period of 3 months and reviewed after that time. Members feedback during the trial period will be taken into consideration.

10. Sports Member’s Report

10.1 Sailing / Rowing

As advised by the Rowing Section, the trailer issue is almost resolved between the two, and they are finalising an agreement to share use/responsibility for the trailer.

10.2 Dragonboat

There has been a request for additional dragon-boat outings on a Wednesday which is still awaiting clarification.

10.3 Pickleball

Further to the minutes of the February Meeting quotes have been sourced for lines to be marked on a tennis court. The Tennis Section has not raised any objections to expanding the use of the court in this way. The Sports Member also recommends carefully reviewing the space available: while 2 pickleball courts on one tennis court is possible in theory, this may not be practical on The Club’s court. The badminton court could also be adapted and marked up to provide an indoor alternative.

10.4 Golf

A Member has suggested the addition of a golf simulator, to provide yet another activity for members. Management will investigate costs with ROI forecast and report back to Committee.

10.5 Padel

The Management and Sports Member discussed a number of scenarios, and at the moment it is not possible to proceed with any projects.

11. Entertainments Member’s Report

11.1 Events & Ticket Sales

The table below details the ticket sales with uptake for February and March.

11.2 Changes to Live Entertainment

There are a number of changes to the live entertainment planned in order to have a variety of acts entertaining the Members. These will be seen at The Vista and The Shore.

11.3 Events

The Entertainments Member shared with the Committee the upcoming events, including Wim Hoste, Self Drive Laughter Factory, Spring Pub Golf, Blue Fever, Karaoke Night, as well as events for Juniors and the Sri Lankan New Year.

12. General Manager’s Report

12.1 Staffing

The Club has seen five departures from The Club employment year to date. The reason for their departure as follows:

  • Offered a higher position locally. (1)
  • Offered higher salary locally. (1)
  • Relocate to home country. (2)
  • Relocated to another country. (1)

12.1.2 Staffing – Salon Manager

The Club are delighted to announce that a new Salon Manager will join us, with a provisional starting date of 8th April 2024.

12.2 WIBIT Sports Park Replacement

The previous WIBIT Sports Park had to be retired from use in December 2023 as it was at life end and unable to continue to be repaired and maintained. Bought and installed in September 2017, it served The Club incredibly well and much further than its initial 3 years expected life-span.

The WIBIT Sports Park is a popular feature and facility for both Junior and Adult Members. The Management Team suggest replacement of this facility. They are recommending that we stay with WIBIT due to proven durability, on-site inspections being provided, and the reassurance that comes with the brand.

Three different configurations were provided to the Committee for review. It was agreed by Committee that replacement of the WIBIT would be popular, however Committee requested the GM to see if any companies would be interested in sponsoring such a facility at The Club. GM to revert back to Committee on this.

12.3 Yalla Digital Marketing Campaign

The Club has received a competitive offer for a digital feature in the Yalla Digital collaterals which The Club are proceeding with, featuring the spring / Easter offerings.

12.4 PaceSetter Technology

The General Manager shared a presentation on PaceSetter Technology software with the Committee. This is an app which will allow Members to access The Club using a digital Membership Card, as well as a platform to keep Members informed of all The Club happenings, with the additional benefit of making bookings electronically. The Committee requested further information on data security, as well as further references from clubs who are currently using this software. The GM to revert back to Committee on this.

12.5 Iftar – Ramadan Bookings

The F&B Team reports indicate a healthy uptake to Iftar, largely supported by The Club’s pursuit of corporate bookings. In 2023 the total bookings achieved 1,241 covers. In 2024, as of the 9th day of Ramadan the total covers and bookings is sitting at a healthy 1,063 covers.

12.6 Taste of The Club

38 new Members joined (out of 67 registered and 347 invites) the Taste of The Club, on the 18th March. This included 13 pre-registered Guests (with 1 prospective Member), 1 Club Associate and 1 prospective Member from a March 2024 tour.

12.7 Big Day of Fun

The day was well received by Members.

12.8 The Club’s Work Exposure Programme (TCWEP)

The Club has launched its work exposure programme that is developed to attract UAE national candidates to join The Club’s workforce. Employees enrolled in this programme will gain exposure working in several departments at The Club, providing experience, knowledge, and understanding of a private member club operations and governance.

12.9 Consultation from Third Parties

The costs have been received for the consultative services from industry leaders, who are in the region in May, as raised at the February Committee Meeting. Regretfully the costs are higher than anticipated. It was agreed that this is to be revisited at a future date.

12.10 Membership Company Directory

The Club will be composing a Membership Company Directory where Members can opt-in to showcase their companies to other Members. A marketing campaign will take place in April to advertise this opportunity, and to encourage Members to participate.

The Club hopes this provides value to Membership in terms of an opportunity to promote their companies to fellow Members through our website as well as the chance for Members to source services and companies from fellow Club Members within our community.

12.11 The Club Cats

A Member, who is a qualified vet involved with Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi (AWAD), would like to be involved in helping The Club look after the cat’s welfare. This would be one of three projects AWAD have, as they want to drive awareness programmes in Abu Dhabi. The Members’ expertise in this area would be a great help in building a sustainable cat programme that does not rely on individuals.

12.12 Staff Welfare – Midday Gym Usage

The Recreation Team have presented a proposal to offer The Club staff access to the gym at off-peak times, namely 11 am-3 pm, Monday – Thursday.

A traffic light system is suggested as a means of control, limiting the maximum number of staff in the gym at any one time to 5 staff. With additional control, should there be an influx of Members, this number can be reduced.

The GM suggested implementing this on a trial basis, post Ramadan, through until September 2024. The Club staff will greatly benefit from this facility when the heat increases and exercise outdoors becomes intolerable. The Committee agreed to this proposal.

13. Any Other Business

13.1 Corporate Social Responsibility

An article is being published in the next edition of TCM advising Members that the CSR committee is asking for Members to get involved and volunteer their time.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting was set for Wednesday 17th April, 2024.

The meeting was closed at 22:15.

 

Suzanne Kelleher

Secretary