Maher Koubaa appointed as Amadeus Executive Vice President Travel unit and MD

In this newly formed and expanded role, Maher Koubaa will make use of his more than 20 years of travel industry experience to lead the implementation of Amadeus’ strategic vision in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.Having successfully grown Amadeus’ business in EMEA during his five-year tenure as Head of airlines in the region, Maher’s expanded role will see him taking a similarly customer-centric approach with travel sellers in addition to airline customers.“This evolution of our organization in EMEA is a unique opportunity to share and learn best practices and drive success. Maher is a trusted leader with exceptional relationship skills and a profound knowledge of the region and the industry who will ensure that we continue delivering the best experience to our customers. He is also an enthusiastic people leader that will maintain Amadeus’ position as a key employer in EMEA,” said Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus.“Travel continues to grow and strengthen in EMEA. The industry is at a pivotal moment with exciting opportunities in this fast-paced, highly competitive region. I believe that Amadeus is well positioned to help our customers and partners benefit from this momentum, and I’m honored to lead a regionally diverse team with the common goal of getting closer to our customers and helping both airlines and travel sellers achieve their ambitions”, commented Maher Koubaa, EVP Travel unit and Managing Director, EMEA, Amadeus.Maher holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Centrale Supélec, Université Paris-Saclay and is currently based in Dubai.

Zahra Abdulamir Saied appointed as OAB’s Acting Chief Risk Officer

Oman Arab Bank (OAB) has announced the appointment of Zahra Abdulamir Saied as its Acting Chief Risk Officer, effective from 1 February 2024. The bank’s dedication to nurturing and promoting talent, particularly women, is evident in her rise, fostering a pipeline of female leaders within the organization. OAB focuses on developing local talents and providing better career development opportunities for its employees.A promotion from Zahra’s previous role with OAB as AGM – Head of Credit Review, a post that she had held since November last year. In that role, she demonstrated exceptional skills in overseeing and ensuring the quality of proposals for existing and new credit facilities, identifying and communicating credit risks, as well as managing elements in her department such as workforce planning, hiring and training. Her new role will allow her to further utilize her expertise and experience to lead the risk management team and drive the department’s success.Essam Al Busaidi, Head of Human Resources Division of Oman Arab Bank, said: “Zahra’s appointment is a testament to our commitment to nurturing and promoting talent internally. We are proud to have a strong representation of leaders in vital roles across our departments, and we believe that diversity and inclusivity are key to our success. Zahra’s extensive experience and expertise in risk management will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow and evolve as a bank. We congratulate Zahra on her appointment and look forward to working with her in this new role.”Zahra has been appointed to take over the responsibilities of Amith Singh, who has served as the bank’s Chief Risk Officer for almost 2 years. Amith's tenure has left an indelible mark on the organization. OAB extends its gratitude for his dedication and contribution towards the bank.As the first Omani woman to be certified in Financial Risk Management (FRM) from GARP, Zahra brings her expert knowledge in the field to her new role. Prior to joining OAB, Zahra gained more than 12 years of experience in the field of risk management. Holding various roles in risk management including Head of Risk Analytics.OAB is committed to investing in the development of its employees to their full potential within the bank, based on performance, ability, and equal opportunities for advancement.

Al Ramz Corporation PJSC appoints Yazan Abdeen as CE of Asset Management

Al Ramz Corporation PJSC (ALRAMZ:UH), a leading financial services provider in the UAE, announced today the appointment of Yazan Abdeen as chief executive of its asset management business.Yazan will spearhead Al Ramz's distinguished asset management division, a foundational component of the Group. This boasts an impressive track record and manages a robust portfolio of assets under management. With a comprehensive value proposition that includes fund management, discretionary portfolio management, and tailored family business services, Al Ramz continues to solidify its leadership position in the industry, catering to a growing clientele.Yazan boasts an extensive track record in asset management, having accumulated over twenty years of expertise in the MENA capital markets. He has served in key roles such as CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment Management, Head of MENA Capital Markets at SEDCO Capital, and Fund Manager at ING Investment Management Middle East. Notably, Yazan was instrumental in launching and managing the first MENA equities long/short hedge fund in the Middle East. Yazan has been recognized for his contributions and awarded prestigious titles, including Saudi Asset Manager of the Year, Top-Performing MENA Fund, and Best MENA Fund Launch. He has also been listed multiple times on the MENAFM Power 50 Fund Managers.Bottom of FormMohamad Al Mortada Al Dandashi, Group Managing Director at Al Ramz, stated: "As Al Ramz progresses in its growth trajectory, we are pleased to welcome Yazan Abdeen to our team. Yazan’s experience and strategic insight support our growth goals. We believe that under his leadership, we can address the challenges and opportunities as we continue our development and expansion."Yazan Abdeen, Chief Executive of Asset Management at Al Ramz said: "As I take on the role of chief executive of Al Ramz Asset Management, I recognize the importance of our strategic direction. We aim to partner for growth, invest for value, lead through innovation, succeed through discipline and grow with trust. Our vision includes embracing innovation and intelligence into our business including quantitative offering and digital solutions through the use of advanced technologies as well as expanding our track record to capitalize on market opportunities.Al Ramz Corporation PJSC's appointment of Yazan as the CEO of Asset Management reflects its dedication to enhancing its asset management capabilities and serving its clients effectively. This decision aligns with the Group’s vision for growth in the evolving financial sector.

Olfa Messaoudi appointed as new Chief Digital and Marketing Officer of L’Oréal

Olfa Messaoudi has been appointed as the Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for L’Oréal Middle East. This marks a significant milestone for the company. With a remarkable 20-year career in digital and marketing transformation, Messaoudi brings a wealth of experience from her work with renowned brands and agencies across different regions.In her current position, Messaoudi is tasked with leading L’Oréal’s marketing initiatives in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This includes overseeing various aspects of the business strategy such as digital, media, e-commerce, platforms, services, market intelligence, and consumer insights. Her role is pivotal in reinforcing L’Oréal Middle East's position as a global leader in the beauty industry.Messaoudi's journey with L’Oréal began in 2010 when she joined as the Global Digital Manager for Lancôme. During her tenure, she played a crucial role in orchestrating Lancôme's digital transformation, encompassing 360 activations, e-commerce strategies, and customer relationship management. In 2014, she relocated to Dubai to take on the role of Regional Head of Digital for L’Oréal Middle East Luxe Division. Here, she played a key role in advancing e-commerce in the region and spearheading the luxury transformation.Returning to Paris in 2017, Messaoudi assumed the position of Global Vice President of Digital, E-commerce, and Customer Relationship Management for YSL Beauty. In this capacity, she played a vital role in driving the brand's e-commerce growth and enhancing the online-to-offline consumer experience through the rollout of services and beauty tech. Before her current role, Messaoudi joined the SAPMENA Luxe Management Committee in 2021, based in Singapore, as the Chief Consumer Experience Officer. Here, she continued to contribute significantly to the online-to-offline consumer journey and laid the foundation for customer relationship management transformation. Additionally, she implemented new frameworks to ensure a seamless consumer experience across media and the e-boutique.Overall, Olfa Messaoudi's extensive experience and innovative approach are expected to play a crucial role in furthering L’Oréal Middle East’s digital and marketing initiatives, solidifying its position as a leader in the beauty industry.

Smart Salem appoints new CEO and unveils expansion plans across MENA

Smart Salem, the UAE's leading high-tech visa medical testing provider, today announced the appointment of Amanda Gravitis as its new Chief Executive Officer. Amanda will replace Sanjay Verma, who will move into a new role with Visiomed Group, the parent company of Smart Salem, as the Regional Manager for the MENA region.Amanda is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Smart Salem and, over the last 18 months, has played a pivotal role in structuring and expanding the company. Amanda will begin as Smart Salem CEO effective immediately. She will lead the diversification and further growth of the three premium visa medical and wellness centers in Dubai – located in Index Tower DIFC, City Walk and Dubai Knowledge Park.Prior to joining Smart Salem, Amanda held senior positions at PwC and Government entities across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. She has an excellent track record for strategy development and execution and organisational transformation.Sanjay took over the Chief Executive role at Smart Salem in early 2022. Since then, Smart Salem has tripled its physical footprint to three prestigious centers around Dubai and has seen impressive and steady growth: from approximately 300 daily visits in early 2022 to over 570 in October 2023, +41% revenue growth in H1-2023 versus H1-2022, and a strong diversification of its services towards wellness and prevention.Sanjay’s new appointment highlights Visiomed Group’s expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and follows the incorporation of a new joint venture, called Smart Health, between Visiomed Group, Abrar Communications and Al Ghazzawy Group, with the support of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Investment (MISA), as part of a national project to deploy digital diagnostic centres.Thomas Picquette, CEO of Visiomed Group, commented: “The appointments of Sanjay and Amanda underpin one of the most exciting chapters of the Smart Salem journey yet. This year has seen us hit milestone after milestone, and we are set up to meet our future ambitions for 2024 and beyond, including the expansion of our services and physical presence across the MENA region. Both individuals have excellent, proven strategic capabilities, and we, the board, are more than confident that the company will reach new heights of success under their esteemed leadership.”Sanjay Verma, Regional Manager of Visiomed Group in MENA, commented: "In just a few years, Smart Salem has been established as one of the most vibrant and technologically advanced health and wellness providers in the UAE, reflecting the remarkable progress we've made in a short time. I have had the privilege of leading the business during this exciting phase, and I am delighted to be passing it over to Amanda, who has been instrumental in the success of our strategy so far."I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated team and loyal clientele, whose unwavering trust and support have been instrumental in my journey with the firm. In my new role, I look forward to driving further the impressive global footprint of Visiomed Group as we remain steadfast in our mission to redefine the standards of wellness and healthcare services across MENA.”Amanda Gravitis, CEO of Smart Salem, said: “I am delighted with my appointment to CEO of Smart Salem. During my time as COO, I have had the pleasure of scaling our business by delivering state-of-the-art facilities, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovations, building a talented team, and ensuring our purpose – improving the health and wellness of the community – is central to everything we do. I look forward to this next challenge of steering our business and its growth, and ultimately to continue pushing boundaries to deliver world-class health and wellness services.”Smart Salem offers express visa services, providing customers with a premium experience, the convenience of one-stop shop visa residency services, and preventative, general wellness testing. Visa medical results are the fastest in the market, with results guaranteed within just 30 minutes. Smart Salem is conveniently open for extended hours six days per week, with three easily accessible locations across the city.

BizAway appoints Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui as Regional Sales Director

BizAway, a leader in the corporate travel and technology sector, has announced the arrival of Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui as the Regional Sales Director for the UAE region. This new hire represents a significant step in BizAway's expansion into the Middle Eastern market and is based on an impressive career and a unique set of skills.Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui brings with him over 20 years of professional experience, particularly in launching and developing new businesses and territories, as well as identifying growth opportunities from scratch. His expertise spans from designing Go-To-Market strategies to establishing local teams and discovering new revenue opportunities. His ability to innovate and implement solutions for sustainable growth across various marketing and sales strategies is an invaluable asset to BizAway.Shiraz has excelled in complex environments, having worked with successful startups like Fetchr and Holidayme in the Middle East region since 2014.Furthermore, Shiraz has a deep wealth of experience in various sectors, including location-based startups, e-commerce companies, and businesses that have achieved success through funding rounds, including his initial company's IPO in 2019. He has demonstrated his ability to manage large teams and has held key roles in revenue generation.His decision to join BizAway was driven by his passion for technology and the corporate travel industry, as well as his belief that BizAway is solving the day-to-day challenges of business travel in an innovative and compelling way. Shiraz sees significant potential in the solutions offered by BizAway and perceives no significant barriers to their adoption in the market."Shiraz Ahmad Farooqui's extensive experience in innovation and startup management, combined with his strong professional commitment, provide a solid foundation for a successful collaboration," says Luca Carlucci, CEO of BizAway. "We are excited to welcome him to our team and are confident that he will make a significant contribution to the future of BizAway in the UAE region."

Nike welcomes Nicole Habbard as CMO

Nike has appointed Nicole Hubbard Graham as its new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), welcoming her back to the company where she previously served as vice president of global categories and consumer direct brand marketing. Graham will succeed Dirk-Jan van Hameren, who is retiring after more than 30 years with Nike.Graham will be reporting to Heidi O’Neill,Nike’s president of consumer, product, and brand. Graham started her career at Nike as the director of women's marketing for North America. In her prior role as vice president, she supervised global marketing teams and was responsible for Nike's global category brands, digital, retail, and editorial strategies. Her involvement extended to consumer-facing campaigns across various sports and categories such as basketball, football, running, women's, sportswear, training, skate, tennis, and kids.This leadership transition coincides with other changes at Nike, including the creation of a new role for chief innovation officer, filled by John Hoke, who is leaving the design team, with Martin Lotti taking his place. Additionally, Muge Erdirik Dogan, Amazon's chief technology officer, is set to join Nike.Nicole Hubbard Graham's appointment aligns with Nike's strategic shift away from promotions for the current fiscal year. Heidi O’Neill expressed confidence in the leadership changes, emphasizing the company's commitment to innovation, design, and storytelling as the driving forces behind Nike's success. O’Neill thanked Dirk-Jan van Hameren for his 31 years of dedication and leadership, noting his contributions to making Nike a global leader in the industry.

Publicis Groupe makes key appointments and shifts in hierarchy

Publicis Groupe has announced significant changes in its leadership, including key appointments and shifts in hierarchy. Loris Nold, previously the EMEA Chief Executive, has been promoted to the position of Global Chief Financial Officer (CFO), succeeding Michel-Alain Proch.Demet Ikiler, formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EMEA, will assume the role of CEO of EMEA, filling the vacancy left by Loris Nold's promotion. Meanwhile, Michel-Alain Proch, the outgoing CFO, will be departing Publicis Groupe for a new role after three years in the position.Effective February 2024, the UK, which previously reported financial numbers to Nold during his EMEA tenure, will now report directly to Arthur Sadoun, the Global Chief Executive. This change aligns with the existing reporting structure for the US and will extend to France as well.Notably, under Proch's leadership over the past three years, Publicis Groupe has been the top performer among the big six global agency groups in terms of organic growth and profit margin, particularly in France and the UK. Proch, with no prior advertising industry experience before joining Publicis in November 2020, will be succeeded by Nold, who boasts over two decades of experience within the company, including roles in APAC and the US, along with a background in investment banking.The appointment of Nold as Global CFO is viewed as a strategic decision to enhance the financial function of the group, leveraging his comprehensive expertise in finance, operations, and understanding client needs. Simultaneously, as the new CEO of EMEA, Ikiler will focus on capabilities, fostering connectivity within the group, and building strong client relationships.These leadership changes represent a strategic realignment within Publicis Groupe, positioning key executives to drive the company's continued growth and excellence across different regions.

Gulf Capital’s ART Fertility Clinics appoints David Jimenes to Board of Director

ART Fertility Clinics, the leading provider of Fertility Services in the Middle East and India, announces the strategic appointment of David Jimenez to its Board of Directors. A portfolio company of Gulf Capital, ART Fertility Clinics is renowned for its high success rates, proprietary research and innovations, and a commitment to providing the highest quality of care.Since its inception, ART Fertility Clinics has been at the forefront of Fertility and Reproductive Health, offering advanced treatments and personalised care under the leadership of CEO Mr. Suresh Soni and Group Medical Director Professor Dr Human Fatemi. The clinics have seen a swift expansion from their GCC roots into the Indian subcontinent, with plans to extend services further around the globe. With a team of highly skilled physicians utilising state-of-the-art technology, ART Fertility Clinics is dedicated to providing the highest level of compassionate and individualised care.David Jimenez is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the healthcare industry, including a decade-long tenure as CEO of Igenomix, a global leader in Advanced Molecular Diagnostics in the field of Reproductive Medicine. With his strategic acumen, deep industry expertise and vast international experience, David’s presence in the Board will be invaluable in ART Fertility Clinics' ambitious expansion across multiple geographies and new services.As the former CEO of Igenomix, David oversaw the company’s meteoric rise from a single lab in Spain to a global entity with 26 laboratories worldwide. Under his guidance, Igenomix, which originated as a spin-off from IVI, flourished to become a leading provider of genetic testing services in Reproductive Medicine. Starting from the spin-off from IVI in 2011, David steered the company through three significant transactions including its acquisition by Charme Capital partners in 2016, a subsequent sale of a majority stake to EQT, the global private equity investor, and finally culminating in its sale to Vitrolife in 2021 for US$1.5 billion.Having earned a degree in Business Science and an MBA from ESADE Business School, David has over 30 years of extensive international experience in both consumer goods and healthcare industries and has demonstrated his leadership abilities across Europe and the Americas, including the Middle East, Switzerland, USA, Mexico, and Spain. Prior to his time at Igenomix, David served as Managing Director of Corporacion Dermoestética, a leading provider of Cosmetic Surgery and other medical treatments in Spain and Portugal from 2008 to 2011. He also held a series of senior positions at Philip Morris International, including Marlboro Brand Manager for Spain and Mexico and Business Development and Planning Manager for the Latin America Region.David Jiminez said: “Joining the ART Fertility Clinics' Board of Directors is a privilege and an opportunity to contribute to a field that has a profound impact on people's lives. The clinic's dedication to excellence and its patient-first approach resonates deeply with my professional philosophy. I am eager to help ART continue its journey as a global leader in fertility care.”Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital and Chairman of Art Fertility, added: "David Jimenez's vision and leadership have been transformational in the healthcare sector. His experience in building Igenomix into a world leader in its field is invaluable. We look forward to welcoming him to the Art Fertility Board where he can bring a wealth of experience and help us accelerate the growth of our platform.” "We value Mr Jimenez’s leadership and international perspective. His deep understanding of the healthcare landscape will be a significant asset as ART Fertility Clinics continues to expand globally," said Suresh Soni, the Global Chief Executive Officer, ART Fertility Clinics. "We are thrilled to have such a visionary joining our ranks."Professor Dr Human Fatemi, Group Medical Director, also said: "David Jimenez joining our board is a testament to ART Fertility Clinics' commitment to excellence. His profound insights into healthcare advancements will undoubtedly enrich our clinics' capabilities and help us set new benchmarks in fertility care."Hazem Abu Khalaf, Managing Director at Gulf Capital, added, "We are delighted to have David join us on the board of ART Fertility. His addition underlines ART’s commitment to building a best-in-class organisation. Both Gulf Capital and ART’s management will benefit from his insights and his extensive international experience to accelerate ART Fertiltiy’s growth trajectory and further cement its position as the leading fertility treatment provider in the region."

Satish Rajan appointed Group CMO by buzzworks & Innovation Group, UAE

buzzworks, India and Innovation Group, UAE, a recognized name in the staffing and recruitment industry, have announced the appointment of Satish Rajan as Chief Marketing Officer. This strategic leadership addition is poised to catalyze the company's continued growth and expand its influence within India's dynamic human resources sector and expand its global footprint.With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Satish Rajan brings a wealth of experience to his role, acquired through his tenure in esteemed organizations prior to joining Buzzworks. He has served as the Vice President of Marketing at Teamlease and held significant positions in companies such as Aryaka Networks, Columbus A/S, Kronos, SAP, and Magnasoft. Satish's diverse background and deep industry knowledge position him as a strategic asset for driving growth and success in his new role. In his current capacity as Group Chief Marketing Officer, Satish will spearhead national and global marketing strategies, injecting fresh potential and innovation into the brand's endeavours. He will own the business impact of marketing by strengthening the B2B (business), B2C (customers), and B2E (employees) brand image. He will also direct buzzworks towards the broader amplification and demand generation effort by harnessing the ideal mix of online and offline levers. Additionally, Satish aims to set up the optimal marketing engine with the right-fit people, processes, and tools for strategic depth, operational efficiency, and speed of execution. Commenting on this significant appointment, V C Karthic, Founder, buzzworks India stated, "Celebrating growth and innovation has always been at the heart of buzzworks. With the addition of Satish Rajan to our team, we are taking another momentous stride towards advancing human capital. Satish's extensive experience and strategic vision align seamlessly with our mission to redefine excellence in HR services. We're thrilled to welcome him aboard and eagerly anticipate achieving new heights together." Satish Rajan holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and an MBA degree from Symbiosis Institute of International Business. On his appointment, Satish Rajan, Group Chief Marketing Officer expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "I am excited to be part of this journey and look forward to showcasing how we have been adding value to our customers, associates and employees for the past 2 decades. Entering a company that boasts a 23-year legacy in this industry offers a tremendous opportunity. I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter at buzzworks with great enthusiasm. Together, we can redefine excellence and build a brighter future for our clients and partners, elevating our presence on a global scale." This appointment signifies a pivotal step forward for buzzworks and Innovations Group as it strives to achieve its highest aspirations in the years ahead. The leadership team at buzzworks and Innovation Group believes that Satish’s presence will not only elevate the brand's presence but also enhance its commitment to delivering exceptional HR solutions to clients and partners.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts appoints William Harley Fleming as Sr VP Operation

Millennium Hotels and Resorts has welcomed William Harley-Fleming as the newly appointed Senior Vice President Operations, bringing a wealth of international experience to steer operational excellence in the Middle East and Africa Region.A dynamic and results-oriented hospitality professional, William has dedicated over twenty-seven years to the industry, showcasing his expertise across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. His most recent journey to the region began with JA Resorts & Hotels in 2007 as the Corporate Food and Beverage Concept Director, and through his unwavering passion and determination, he ascended the ranks, achieving his first General Manager's role in 2009, and later becoming Vice President of Operations for the group.William's career trajectory includes holding various senior management roles with Starwood, Rezidor, and more recently with JA Resorts & Hotels, overseeing key properties such as the luxury JA Manafaru in the Maldives, the JA cluster of properties in Dubai Marina, and JA The Resort, where he played a pivotal role in managing the entire operation of the expansive resort, earning accolades for sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. In his last role with JA Resorts & Hotels he was overseeing a diverse range of operations from hotels & resorts, food & beverage venues, and leisure & entertainment facilities, as Corporate Vice President of Operations.In addition to his impressive career achievements, William holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Diploma in Food Hygiene and Safety from The Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene UK.William said: "Assuming the position of Senior Vice President of Operations at Millennium Hotels and Resorts is an honor. The brand's commitment to driving excellence aligns with my own values, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success and growth of the organization."Fahad Kazim, CEO of Millennium Hotels & Resorts said: "We are delighted to welcome William Harley-Fleming to our leadership team as the Senior Vice President of Operations. His extensive experience and dedication to excellence align perfectly with our vision for operational success. We are confident that his strategic insights will contribute significantly to our continued growth and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences."William Harley-Fleming's insightful leadership and wealth of experience will undoubtedly contribute to Millennium Hotels and Resorts' ongoing commitment to operational excellence.

Aviation industry unites in Dubai to pay tribute to Captain Hamish Harding

Action Aviation paid tribute to its Founder and former Chairman, Captain Hamish Harding, at an Aviation Industry event to coincide with Dubai Airshow. Taking place at Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, the event brought together colleagues, partners, and friends to mark the extraordinary life of the UAE based businessman and explorer. The company, which Harding founded in Dubai in 2004, will remain dedicated to his vision, goals and aspirations under the leadership of new CEO, Mark Butler and Managing Director, Frederic Dubant. Butler worked alongside Harding for 16 years, helping to take Action Aviation from entrepreneurial start-up to globally recognised and respected aircraft dealership and Butler will ensure the company continues to thrive in Harding’s legacy. Butler has over 20-years’ experience in aircraft and helicopter sales and has held a private pilot license since 2001; Dubant has worked in aviation for more than two decades for Labinal, Airbus and Comlux where he was EVP of Commercial, Business Jets before joining Action Aviation in 2021. Mark Butler, CEO of Action Aviation, said: “Hamish was never afraid to try anything in aviation and he achieved so much in his life, both with his business and his explorations. It was only fitting that to coincide with Dubai Airshow we mark his incredible accomplishments and a life well lived in the country he loved and called home. Over the last 19 years, Action Aviation has become one of the world leaders in aircraft dealership, driven by Hamish’s commitment to building trust, operating with integrity, and respecting everyone we do business with. We will continue, in his legacy, to take the business forward with the same passion and ambition.”In addition to founding Action Aviation, Harding had a huge appetite for exploration, scientific discovery and conservation. His accomplishments include holding the record for the fastest flight in a light jet SJ30 from the US to Dubai, setting up two air ambulance operations in the Middle East, introducing the first regular business jet services to the Antarctic and accompanying astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the South Pole – making Buzz the oldest person to reach the southernmost point on earth age 86 along with Harding’s son Giles who became the youngest at age 12. In July 2019, 50 years after the first man walked on the moon, in his famed One More Orbit Mission, Harding broke the round-the-world record for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER ultra long-range business jet. The attempt pushed the boundaries of human ingenuity - just like the Apollo 11 mission half a century ago.Harding became Chair for the Middle East Chapter of the Explorer’s Club and continued with his explorations, traversing the deepest depths of the ocean with Victor Vescovo at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench breaking two more world records; flying to space as part of the suborbital Blue Origin NS-21 mission and supplying a customised Boeing 747-400 aircraft to transport eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India to reintroduce the cheetah into India. Action Aviation is attending Dubai Airshow from 13th – 17th November, showcasing the company’s Boeing Business Jet.

Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road appoints Mihir Patel as director of sales

 Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road is pleased to announce the appointment of Mihir Patel as the new Director of Sales. With over 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mihir brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his newly appointed position.  In his most recent placement as Director of Sales at Dusit Thani Dubai, Mihir demonstrated exceptional leadership, driving significant revenue growth and achieving remarkable milestones. He successfully led the Sales and Revenue team, focusing on various market segments whilst generating significant achievements. His earlier roles at prominent hotel chains such as Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., showcased his ability to exceed sales goals, manage complex sales processes, and contribute significantly to revenue growth. His dedication to client relationships and proactive sales techniques have consistently yielded positive results.  "I am truly honored to join Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road as the Director of Sales," expressed Mihir Patel. "I am eager to leverage my years of experience in the hospitality industry to enhance the hotel's sales strategies and contribute to its ongoing success. Fairmont Dubai's reputation for excellence is unparalleled, and I am excited to be a part of this esteemed team, driving forward our commitment to exceptional guest experiences and sustainable revenue growth”.  Mihir Patel's appointment reflects Fairmont Dubai's commitment to maintaining its position as a leading luxury hotel in the region. His experience and industry knowledge will undoubtedly contribute to the hotel's continued success and growth. The property’s focus lies in creating unforgettable experiences for all guests, delivering what is called the 'New Fairmont Feeling'. Living by the ethos of the ‘Luxury of being yourself’ – a mindset shared by the guests and employees which creates a lifelong sense of belonging and emotional connections.

Jose Manuel Aisa Mancho joins VFS Global as CFO and member of the Executive Boar

 VFS Global, the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions appointed Jose Manuel Aisa Mancho as its Chief Financial Officer effective 1 November 2023. He reports to Zubin Karkaria, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and is based in Dubai, UAE, the organisation’s global headquarters.Jose joins VFS Global from Cellnex Telecom. He has over two decades of experience across the suite of finance sub-functions, including mergers & acquisitions, financial planning, investor relations, management control, treasury, and tax. He has previously worked in organisations that include Abertis Infrastructures, CriteriaCaixa and Cellnex. He was also a Non-Executive Officer in infrastructure companies such as Hispasat, Sanef or TBI Limited.Jose will be responsible for the overall Finance function at VFS Global, and will also be responsible for Legal, Data Privacy and Corporate Risk functions. Jose will leverage his rich experience in strengthening VFS Global’s finance function and developing strategies to support further growth and development of the company. As a member of the company’s Executive Board, he will also play a pivotal role in the overall strategic decision-making at VFS Global.Jose holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Esade (Barcelona, Spain), a CEMS Masters in International Management from the London School of Economics (London, UK) and has completed Stanford’s Executive Programme (Palo Alto, California).

Liz Wilson appointed as Group Chief Integration Officer at Landor & Fitch

Liz Wilson has been appointed as the Group Chief Integration Officer at Landor & Fitch, a specialized brand and design consultancy. Prior to this role, Wilson served as the Managing Director, Growth and Integration for Accenture Song Europe. She also held the position of Chief Operating Officer across Karmarama's diverse capabilities, overseeing integration into Accenture after the agency's acquisition in 2016.With over 25 years of expertise in advertising, branding, digital, and customer experience, Wilson specializes in integrating these disciplines to drive growth. In her new role, she will bring together Landor & Fitch's growing group of brand and design specialist agencies to create unique integrated client solutions. Wilson will report to Jane Geraghty, the Global CEO of Landor & Fitch.As part of the company's ongoing strategy to expand its offerings to meet evolving client needs, Landor & Fitch has brought in new capabilities, including ManvsMachine (motion design), Fitch (experience design), bdg (workspace design), and most recently, amp (sonic branding). This move aims to offer comprehensive, multi-faceted brand-led design solutions.Jane Geraghty expressed her excitement about Wilson joining the team, highlighting her unique qualifications to strengthen the company's offer for clients. Geraghty emphasized Wilson's extensive experience and track record of transforming and growing creative businesses, making her the ideal candidate to lead integration and growth efforts.In response to her appointment, Wilson shared her enthusiasm for the new role, expressing her excitement about leveraging her experience in creative and professional service businesses to contribute to the rapid growth already initiated by Landor & Fitch. She looks forward to collaborating with the talented team to create innovative solutions capable of transforming clients' brands and businesses. The appointment reflects the company's commitment to bringing in strong, inclusive female leaders into its leadership team.

KIPCO appoints Samer Abbouchi as Group Senior Vice President – Investments

KIPCO – Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – has announced the appointment of Mr Samer Abbouchi as Group Senior Vice President – Investments. With two decades of experience in finance and investment banking, Mr Abbouchi will make an important contribution to the development of KIPCO’s investments in the financial and real estate sectors.Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, KIPCO’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said:“We are delighted that Samer is joining our investment team at KIPCO. He brings with him a wealth of experience in investment banking in the local and regional markets, which will add great value to the executive team.”On his part, Mr Abbouchi said:“I am very pleased to be joining KIPCO and have the opportunity to work with the Group CEO and the executive team to implement the company’s strategy.”Prior to joining KIPCO, Mr Abbouchi was Deputy GM - Investment Banking at Gulf Bank. He started his career with Ernst & Young, then joined Global Investment House where his last position was Senior Vice President – Investment Banking. Mr Abbouchi holds a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut, an MBA from London Business School and is a CFA Charter holder.

Starcom Middle East appoints Stuart Mackay as Business Lead

Starcom Middle East, a leading media agency and part of Publicis Groupe Middle East has appointed Stuart Mackay as Business Lead. In this position, Stuart will oversee multi-market portfolios and guide the strategic direction of the business, while also leading media and digital strategies for key clients. “With Stuart, we have a unique and powerful combination of deep expertise and extensive experience in media, technology and data coupled with an excellent track record in delivering innovative solutions. This appointment is yet another positive step forward in our continued drive to increase our digital offering and help clients maximize benefits”, said Tony Wazen, CEO of Publicis Media ME. Stuart has joined Starcom Middle East from Reprise Digital, where he served as the Managing Director, overseeing the impressive transformation of the business into one of the Middle East's foremost marketing transformation agencies. Prior to his time at Reprise, he held the key role of Chief Technology Officer at TAG, London's leading travel and event management company, defining the company’s IT strategy and future state application architecture. With over 18 years of experience in Digital, Technology, and Media transformation, Stuart has consistently played key roles in renowned organisations such as Hewlett Packard, Vodafone, and Travis Perkins, driving their transformative agendas. Commenting upon his appointment, Stuart said “It is an exciting time in the industry and region that requires media agencies to offer much more than just a traditional agency product. I am looking forward to working with the Starcom Middle East leadership team and our clients to enhance our media offering further with the integration of performance, data, and technology solutions from the wider Publicis Groupe portfolio.”

entourage appoints Jill Jiao as Account Director

entourage, the leading live communications agency recognized for creating exceptional bespoke experiences and campaigns using the power of storytelling, has announced the appointment of Jill Jiao as Account Director. In her capacity in entourage, Jill will be leading the Aramco account.Jill brings over 17 years of experience in event management, communications, and client servicing, garnered while working across Asia, USA, Europe, and the Middle East. Her experience has shaped her into an excellent project manager and an even better team leader. In her role at entourage, Jill will be leading on servicing Aramco & its departments including Ithra and working closely with the team of Dammam office to ensure smooth operations internally and externally. “Our foremost priority is to develop and nurture talent, which in turn allows us to serve our clients better. Jill is a force to be reckoned with. Her expertise and tenacity make her an adept leader and a champion in client management. We’re thrilled to welcome her to our team and look forward to creating exceptional work together”, commented Shereen Khoury, People & Culture Manager, entourage. Over her tenure in the Middle East, Jill has consulted on multiple prestige clients including government entities, experiential & sports events, live/virtual exhibitions & conferences, creating high impact and consistently delivering value to her clients. Jill said: “I am always looking for powerful prospects that will contribute to my professional growth. entourage has been growing from strength to strength with an impressive portfolio of clients under its belt and it is a great opportunity to become a part of the growth story of the agency. I am eager to build some exemplary work with this spectacular team.”

LIGHTBLUE Agency Appoints Andrew Gibbons as Group Account Director

LIGHTBLUE Creative Experience Agency has appointed Andrew Gibbons as Group Account Director.Andrew brings 18 years’ marketing experience from across the UAE and UK, including three years’ experience at LIGHTBLUE as an Account Director between 2014 -2017, and his new appointment marks a welcome comeback to the agency.Bringing a wealth of experience and cross-market perspective, Andrew will lead LIGHTBLUE’s Client Service team, and be responsible for the delivery of Brand Experience projects across accounts including Porsche, Dyson, Boss, Mashreq, Julius Baer, ArtsDao and Cenomi, as well as new business.Andrew began his career in Leeds at Savvy Marketing, where he worked across clients such as Shell, Britvic, and Domino’s Pizza across a number of roles as he was promoted through the agency between 2006 – 2014. He then spent four years as Head of Sponsorship at Sky Gaming & Betting developing sponsorship strategies. He joins LIGHTBLUE from The Jockey Club where he was Head of Bookmaker Partnerships, developing short- and long-term marketing strategy for brand partners.Andrew will lead the team, and report directly to LIGHTBLUE’s Business Director, Lizzie Howitt. In line with this appointment, LIGHTBLUE is proud to highlight the ongoing strengthening of its leadership team, underscoring its commitment to providing first-class services and pioneering solutions to clients. This move reflects the agency's dedication to remaining at the forefront of creativity, further solidifying its position as a trailblazer in the industry.Commenting on his new appointment, Andrew said: “Joining LIGHTBLUE as Group Account Director at a time when the agency is winning inspiring new business and expanding into new markets, is a very exciting step in my career. My new role brings opportunities for bold and innovative work, both with new clients, and those who have trusted LIGHTBLUE for more than 10 years. The team is exceptionally talented, and I am looking forward to together creating memorable and impactful solutions for our clients.”Founded 16 years ago in Dubai, LIGHTBLUE is one of the UAE’s leading creative marketing agencies, delivering strategic consultation, immersive installations, content, and stunts across UAE. The agency has been the trusted partner to deliver unforgettable experiences to some of the world’s best-known brands across a broad spectrum of fashion, fragrance, and luxury, to gaming, banking, and leisure.

CARMA appoints Amjad Fakhouri as the Commercial Director SA

CARMA, the leading global media intelligence company has appointed Amjad Fakhouri as the Commercial Country Director of KSA as it looks to expand its presence in the Kingdom. In his new role, Fakhouri will lead a team of diverse talents based in Saudi Arabia and continue to cement the leading intelligence provider as the key player in this market. A seasoned professional with over 22 years of experience in business management, Fakhouri joins CARMA from his previous role as Business Director at ITP Media Group in KSA. With extensive expertise in media, public relations, media sales and business strategy, along with a proven track record of successfully expanding businesses, this is a key appointment for the business. CARMA's newly established office in Saudi Arabia's capital city, Riyadh, further solidifies its presence in the region. The new office space is strategically positioned to streamline operations, extend their reach and enhance the quality of services and products offered to the local clientele. Commenting on his new role, Amjad Fakhouri said, “As the Kingdom has evolved, so has communications. We have witnessed a significant shift in our clients' approach to media intelligence, with a strong preference for genuine reputation analysis over traditional AVE measurement.” Fakhouri continued, “CARMA is already regarded as a trusted partner for media intelligence, strategic communications, integrated research and business management by numerous international, regional and local clients. In light of this reputation, it is imperative that we actively guide our clients towards our comprehensive services, which surpass those of our competitors in the region. Our expansion plans in the Kingdom include reaching several cities by 2024, supported by a dedicated team committed to serving our clients.” Mazen Nahawi, Global CEO of CARMA, expressed his enthusiasm for the appointment, saying, “Amjad Fakhouri's wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise in leadership makes him a natural fit to lead our efforts in Saudi Arabia and deliver value to the market. This strategic move aligns perfectly with our vision to provide high-level media intelligence services and to continue our growth in the Saudi market.”

NOW Money announces new investment round and appoints new CEO

Leading payroll and remittance platform, NOW Money has closed a new financing round led by Dubai-based entrepreneurs Mark Nutter and Nicolas Andine. Nutter founded the Seven Group in Dubai in 2018 which is dedicated to improving Human Resources and Employee Benefits across the GCC. Its Seven Insurance Brokers division advises corporates on their Employees’ medical policies, while EmiratesHR provides corporates with a complete Human Resources Management System, handling payroll and employee benefits across the region.As part of the investment round, Nutter has become the Chairman of NOW Money and Andine has been appointed as CEO to grow the business, expand its product offerings and improve its operational excellence. Dubai based French national Andine has 10 years of experience in scaling technology startups and is currently CEO of EmiratesHR and will continue in this role whilst undertaking the CEO role at the inclusive banking platform, bringing with him his vast local and international contacts.Andine comments: "We were attracted by the unique proposition of NOW Money, combining the strong social mission of bringing banking access to the underserved 1.7million population of the UAE combined with a solid and scalable business model. “We believe the business is perfectly aligned with the initiatives of the government and its value proposition offers a unique path for socially responsible employers to support the financial wellbeing and ultimately mental and physical health of their workers."NOW Money has recently announced it is the first FinTech in the region to offer the UPI remittance option, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, which offers an instant, cost-effective option for money transfers to India. It also offers easy access payroll and banking to the wider underserved and underbanked immigrant population in the UAE by working with employers to provide a unique service with low remittance and banking fees to multiple countries which are below the United Nations’ industry recommended standard. The company is also launching a new banking subscription service which is the first of its kind for migrant workers in the region. The model will simplify the NOW Money offering, making it easier for the end user to navigate, budget and stay in control of their finances whilst getting greater value from their subscription. The ethical FinTech also provides in person financial literacy and education training in the end user’s native language, demonstrating the company’s clear commitment to financial inclusion and social mobility for all.

Citi appoints Maria Ivanova as Citi Country Officer for the UAE

 Citi announced the recent appointment of Maria Ivanova as Citi Country Officer (CCO) for the United Arab Emirates. Maria will also assume the role of the Senior Executive Officer for Citibank NA DIFC, Citibank NA ADGM and Citigroup Global Markets Limited, DIFC branch.As CCO UAE, Maria will oversee all Citi’s businesses and operations across all the legal entities based in the UAE. She will work closely with the UAE management team and with Shamsa Al-Falasi, CEO of Citibank, N.A. UAE Onshore Branch to drive a client-centric growth strategy in the market while maintaining a robust control environment.Maria joined Citi in 1996 as a Corporate Banking Relationship Manager. Throughout her career, she has held various leadership roles including in Trade Finance and the Global Subsidiaries Group. Prior to assuming this current role, Maria was the Chief Operating Officer in Citi Russia and has served up till recently as Citi Country Officer for Russia.Commenting on her new role, Maria said: "I am delighted to lead our bank in the UAE and work together with our seasoned team of bankers on the ground to drive growth and success. With a full suite of banking and wealth management services, UAE is one of the flagship franchises for Citi globally, and I am looking forward to furthering our growth strategy and delivering the highest standards of products and services to our clients."In this new role, Maria’s remit extends to working closely with the Middle East & Africa (MEA) cluster leadership team to continue to develop and grow the businesses operating in the UAE, serving the rest of the MEA cluster. Ebru Pakcan, Cluster and Banking Head for the Middle East & Africa said, "We are pleased that Maria has assumed the responsibility of driving our business in the UAE. Maria has a strong track record of developing and implementing business strategy, consistent delivery of financial performance and a client-centric mindset. Her wealth of experience will be fully leveraged to tap growth opportunities in the UAE.”The UAE serves as the regional hub for Citi’s Middle East & Africa Cluster covering 29 markets. Citi UAE offers a full spectrum of financial services including Corporate & Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Sales & Trading, Transactions Services, Private Banking and Commercial Banking. In addition, it serves as one of Citi’s four global Wealth Management centers and continues to be a major player in local consumer services. appoints Pavlina Zinonos as Senior Customer Support Manager, the global FinTech and financial services provider, has today announced appointing Ms. Pavlina Zinonos as Senior Customer Support Manager, which demonstrates the global multi-asset broker’s commitment to providing excellent assistance to its clients and partners.Pavlina Zinonos is a seasoned professional known for her consistent performance throughout her career. With more than 15 years of industry experience, she brings her wealth of expertise to this vital role.Her deep industry knowledge and proven track record make her the ideal choice to lead the customer support operations at multi-award winning broker.Pavlina is excited about her role at and has stated her commitment to adding value to the company."I'm thrilled to be a part of the XS Group, an organization that shares my values of transparency and excellence in customer support. I see a strong alignment between my personal values and's mission to provide exceptional service and support to our clients. I look forward to working closely with the team and contributing to the company's commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences."As the newly appointed Senior Customer Support Manager, Pavlina will lead and manage a team of dedicated professionals responsible for providing top-notch customer support.Her collaborative approach will strengthen relationships between various departments, ensuring that clients enjoy seamless interactions and top-tier service. Under her leadership, is well positioned to continue its success, achieving new milestones in client satisfaction and support.Mr. Wael Hammad, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at, expressed his excitement about the appointment of Pavlina Zinonos."We are proud to appoint Pavlina Zinonos as our Senior Customer Support Manager. With her extensive industry knowledge and an impressive career history, we are confident that Pavlina will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our customer support operations. We eagerly anticipate working closely with her to elevate our service quality and ensure our clients receive the best support possible."In this appointment, reinforces its unwavering commitment to enhancing the client experience and strengthening the company's dedication to transparency and excellence in customer support. As Pavlina Zinonos takes the helm as the Senior Customer Support Manager, the future promises a continued focus on delivering exceptional value to clients and achieving even greater levels of customer satisfaction. looks forward to the positive impact Pavlina will bring to the team and the outstanding support she will provide to clients worldwide.

Dentsu names André Andrade CEO EMEA

Dentsu announced the appointment of André Andrade as CEO, dentsu EMEA overseeing the integrated growth strategy and business execution for dentsu within the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. Andrade joins the community of Regional CEOs overseen by Giulio Malegori, recently appointed Group Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Group Inc.Andrade has been part of dentsu for nearly 20 years demonstrating a proven ability to drive growth and scale client relationships across EMEA markets. Since 2004 he has served as CEO, dentsu Portugal, CEO of dentsu Spain & Portugal and further assumed the responsibility CEO Iberia & Sub-Saharan Africa (IBSSA) in 2013.In this most recent role, Andrade significantly grew revenue and performance in the IBSSA cluster and delivered a successful acquisition plan that integrated ten operations across media, creative, content and data bringing new capabilities and talent to dentsu teams, delivering on a true one dentsu market offering. Andrade also overseas dentsu’s Client & Solutions Hub for EMEA, in charge of driving client-centric strategy for integrated growth solutions across the region.“André has shown passion and commitment to bringing together the best of dentsu and spearheaded innovation to deliver integrated solutions at scale,” said Hiroshi Igarashi, President and CEO, Dentsu Group Inc. “I am looking forward to working in close collaboration as we continue to focus on putting our clients at the center, and delivering a seamless, integrated experience, driving growth and competitive advantage.”“Having worked with André for many years, I have witnessed first-hand his commitment to leading teams, transforming businesses, and driving client growth,” said Giulio Malegori, Group Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Group Inc.. “He has extensive understanding of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region which means he is well positioned to understand the diverse needs of our people, clients and consumers.”“It’s an exciting time to be part of dentsu given our uniqueness in the marketplace, sitting at the intersection of marketing, consulting and technology. We are committed to embracing client-centricity at the core of everything we do and the decisions we make,” said Andrade. “I am ready to take on this next opportunity with dentsu and look forward to working together with our 16,000 people across EMEA in delivering innovation and people-centred transformation for clients.”Dentsu will announce Andrade’s successor over the coming weeks.

HALA appoints ex-Revolut CTO Saleem Arshad to drive ambitious global vision

Saudi Arabia's burgeoning fintech powerhouse is signaling its unwavering commitment to revolutionize its field’s landscape. Its latest activity on this trajectory is appointing Saleem Arshad as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Saleem, who brings over two decades of technology and innovation experience, will be pivotal in driving HALA's global expansion efforts, focusing on the UK and European markets.The day, marked a significant milestone for HALA as it welcomed Saleem Arshad into its leadership fold. With a distinguished career that spans the fintech spectrum, Saleem is poised to guide HALA into a new era of technological innovation and global prominence.HALA has set its sights on expanding its fintech footprint beyond Saudi Arabia. This decision to tap into international markets aligns with the company's vision of becoming a global financial force. Under Saleem's expert stewardship, HALA aims to strengthen its infrastructure and technology capabilities, ensuring it remains at the forefront of industry trends and customer expectations.Saleem Arshad's impressive career path is a testament to his dedication to innovation and growth within the fintech sector. Notably, he served as the Chief Technology Officer at Revolut, a UK-based super-app, where he played a crucial role in spearheading the company's expansion into the Indian market. Before this, he successfully built and launched the greenfield fintech venture W1TTY, demonstrating his penchant for groundbreaking projects. Saleem has also lent his expertise to established institutions such as HSBC, Barclays, and British Petroleum.The newly appointed CTO of HALA shared his excitement about joining the organization, stating, "I am looking forward to working closely with the senior management team to strengthen the business's technology capabilities further. Together, we will redefine industry standards and position HALA as the go-to financial institution for SMEs globally."In an era of technological disruption and evolving customer expectations, HALA's hiring of Saleem Arshad as CTO underscores its determined commitment to reshaping the fintech landscape. As HALA embarks on its journey to conquer international markets, Saleem's expertise and vision are set to play a pivotal role in making this ambitious global expansion a resounding success. With Saleem at the helm of HALA's technological innovation, this fintech trailblazer's future looks exceptionally bright as it endeavours to deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers worldwide.

Mazen Mroueh joins Publicis Media Middle East as Head of Performance Product

Publicis Media Middle East, the media vertical of Publicis Groupe Middle East, has appointed Mazen Mroueh as Head of Performance Product and Operations. Mazen’s role will be pivotal in fostering innovation, driving operational transformation, and elevating the Groupe’s media offering to new heights in line with the refreshed approach to performance. Mazen will report to Elie Milan, who was recently appointed Chief Performance Officer for Publicis Media Middle East. Mazen is a digital native who brings close to 15 years of experience in leadership roles overseeing performance marketing, digital media planning, adtech/martech, product marketing, measurement, and transformation for both agency and client-side across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. His early career started with Publicis Media more than a decade ago with a focus on performance marketing, and he is re-joining from his last role with Techcombank, a leading financial institution in Vietnam, where he served as an Advisor on integrated marketing, measurement and digital transformation. “I’m thrilled to welcome Mazen back to Publicis Media Middle East at this crucial stage of growth and innovation. His addition to the team will accelerate the Groupe’s digital leadership agenda, rooted in helping clients address their business challenges and transformation ambitions”, said Tony Wazen, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Media Middle East. Commenting on the appointment Elie Milan, Chief Performance Officer, Publicis Media Middle East said “As a true performance media heavyweight, his global experience and intricate knowledge of every aspect of our industry will serve as a driving force, propelling our business and our talent to surpass the ordinary and set new growth benchmarks for our clients and partners across the region”. Mazen boasts an impressive list of accolades, in 2015, he was recognised as one of the top 10 most engaged marketers in the UAE, and in 2020, he earned a place on the ‘Future 50 Drum’s List’ as one of the top 50 global marketers. He has served as a jury member for prestigious media and advertising awards including WARC, MMA Smarties and Campaign Asia, and he has been an active member of industry committees globally including Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).“I am overjoyed to return to Publicis Media Middle East and the wider Groupe. It’s a homecoming that fills me with deep personal satisfaction and professional excitement. What sets Publicis Groupe Middle East apart is its unwavering commitment to innovation, a culture that fosters creativity and adaptability, and a bold vision under the dynamic leadership of Bassel Kakish. I am thrilled to work alongside Elie Milan, Tony Wazen and the talented team here, helping shape the next chapter in this agency’s remarkable story,” said Mazen Mroueh.

Holiday Inn and Staybridge Dubai Business Bay welcome a new executive team

IHG Hotels & Resorts is excited to announce the imminent arrival of the Holiday Inn Hotel, set to open its doors this December in the vibrant Business Bay district. Leading the way is General Manager Bruno Hivon, at the helm of a dedicated young and dynamic team fully committed to bringing their vision to life—transforming this hotel into a thriving establishment nestled in the heart of the city.Bruno Hivon, General ManagerBoasting over 29 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Hivon has taken on the role of Cluster General Manager for the Holiday Inn & Staybridge Suite Dubai Business Bay in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to overseeing all operations and implementing strategic commercial plans to enhance its market position, Hivon is spearheading the launch of a cluster of hotels comprising over 400 rooms and four enticing food and beverage outlets in the vibrant heart of Dubai.Hivon's vision includes the integration of various sustainable initiatives, such as the installation of solar panels to harness renewable energy, the implementation of a desalination plant to provide in-house drinking water, and the utilisation of recycled paper for all in-house collaterals. Moreover, he has taken significant steps to reduce the hotel's carbon footprint by introducing energy-saving lighting solutions.His journey started in Dubai with Habtoor Hospitality, where he spent nearly five years holding pivotal roles as General Manager and Executive Assistant Manager. During this period, Bruno played a crucial role in the successful openings and management of various properties, establishing a strong foundation for his future endeavours. Subsequently, he joined Emirates Holidays, where he dedicated years to shaping the travel and tourism landscape in the city.Hivon then ventured to Qatar, where he assumed the roles of General Manager for Crowne Plaza Doha the Business Park and Holiday Inn Doha the Business Park, from February 2018 to February 2020. These properties, offering a combined total of 685 rooms, unique dining concepts, and extensive event space, thrived under his leadership.Commenting on his appointment, Hivon said, “I am honoured to be taking on the role of Cluster General Manager of Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay and Staybridge Suites Dubai Business Bay. I am extremely excited to be a part of this dedicated team and look forward to providing our guests with elevated experiences and unrivalled service right in the heart of the city. As we embark on this journey, we remain dedicated to sustainability and to upholding environmentally friendly practices, in line with our larger vision of responsible tourism.”Hivon's unwavering dedication to hospitality excellence and strategic leadership throughout his career, along with his consideration for his team’s well-being, has not only solidified his esteemed reputation in the industry but also embodied his commitment to maintaining a collaborative and supportive work environment.Shadab Amin, Director of Sales and MarketingWorking alongside Bruno Hivon as Director of Sales and Marketing is Shadab Amin. Throughout his extensive career, Amin has demonstrated exceptional expertise in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry. Currently serving in his role at Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay, he is responsible for leading the commercial team with a smart approach, aiming to achieve goals such as managing budgets, as well as developing and executing strategic sales and marketing plans to optimise revenue. Additionally, he is dedicated to efficiently allocating resources towards the hotel’s pre-opening budget Shadab’s keen market insight allows him to adjust strategies in response to changing market conditions and maintain strong relationships with industry influencers and partners. His role also involves overseeing advertising and promotional activities while upholding IHG Brand standards. His career has encompassed various roles, including Director of Sales, Assistant Director of Sales, and Senior Business Development Manager at prominent hotels and resorts in locations like Singapore, the Maldives, and Oman, demonstrating his versatile and accomplished career track record.Arjun Singh, Executive ChefWith over a decade of experience, Arjun Singh is a profoundly creative and self-motivated chef who possesses exceptional expertise in hotel operations, demonstrating strong management, leadership, and communication skills. From roles as a Senior Sous Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, Jr. Sous Chef at Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, and Chef de partie at various renowned establishments, Singh has consistently delivered high-quality dishes, managed kitchen operations, and resolved challenges efficiently. His career journey reflects an unwavering commitment to culinary excellence, innovative problem-solving, and effective leadership in the dynamic realm of hospitality and hotel operations. Arjun’s expertise also extends to cooking techniques with open fire, where he masterfully harnesses the flames to create exceptional dishes. Arjun will oversee day-to-day activities and implement dynamic F&B strategies to maximise revenue, while ensuring that an exceptional level of guest service is always maintained. Arjun specializes in American and Mexican cuisine, offering modern interpretations. His core strengths include skills such as kitchen and restaurant design, menu engineering and implementation, people development and performance management, planning and budgeting, the development of new F&B concepts, environmentally friendly and sustainable menus, and product feasibility studies and market research.With over 15 years of experience in F&B operations and hotel management, Matthew Wakeford is a seasoned hospitality professional known for his expertise in creating diverse menus, crafting innovative cocktails, and optimising beverage operations. He has an impressive track record of successful pre-openings, including the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai. Currently serving as the F&B Manager at Holiday Inn Dubai Business Bay Hotel, Wakeford leads the food and beverage operations, contributing his extensive experience to enhance the hotel's dining offerings and guest experiences. His role encompasses menu development, training and supervising staff and fostering a culture of exceptional service. Matthew's leadership plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the hotel's F&B department thrives and aligns with the brand's standards of excellence.The hotel’s vision will also be overseen by key team members to ensure smooth and successful property operations. With over 21 years of experience in the industry, Ziad Khuzouz serves as the Director of Finance & Business Support. In this role, he is responsible for implementing strategic plans and budget programmes, as well as maximising profits and cash management, among other responsibilities. Shirley M will be leading all things human resources as Director of Human Resources, including talent acquisition, budgeting, staff accommodation, and internal communications. When it comes to Room Division, Mira Maher will oversee all operations as Room Division Manager. In her role, she leads various hotel departments, creates a welcoming environment, and manages day-to-day functions. Finally, Perla Carreon will serve as Housekeeping Manager, where she will head housekeeping and laundry facilities, ensuring a secure and pleasant environment for all guests.

Victoria Webb appointed as new Managing Director of Incubeta MENA

Victoria Webb has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Incubeta, MENA region. Backed by over 18 years of experience in both traditional and digital media marketing, Victoria’s elevation to this leadership role is testament to her skill, dedication, and outstanding contributions to the agency since she joined in 2017.Having started as the Client Services Director for the SSA region, Victoria had an immediate impact on the company and swiftly climbed the ranks, most recently holding the title of Regional Growth and Innovation Director at Incubeta MENA since 2022. Her tenure at the company boasts several notable achievements, such as spearheading growth in the SSA market while retaining tier 1 clients, driving regional expansion by leading winning pitches across the MENA region, and solidifying our key regional partnerships including with TikTok and Google.In her new role as Managing Director, Victoria is committed to enhancing Incubeta’s position as the leading digital solutions partner in the MENA region, with a focus on delivering tangible business benefits to clients and partners through seamlessly integrated marketing strategies. This will be accomplished by increasing investment in four critical areas: innovation, talent, client relationships, and partnerships. Incubeta’s strategy also involves diversifying its current service offerings to align with market demand and emerging technologies, with a particular focus on leveraging Incubeta’s Cloud solution.“I’m deeply honored to be stepping into the role of Managing Director for Incubeta MENA,” commented Victoria Webb, Managing Director, Incubeta MENA. “Over the years, I’ve been privileged to witness and contribute to our dynamic growth and evolution, and I am incredibly excited to be leading our team as we strive to further innovation, nurture new talent and foster stronger, long-lasting client relationships that will shape the digital landscape of the MENA region.”Neal Patel, the outgoing MD, has been Managing Director and Partner of Bruce Clay since 2017 and saw it through its acquisition by Incubeta in 2022. Under his leadership the company grew exponentially, with the workforce expanding from 5 to over 120 members of staff, and attracted some of the most well-known brands in the world including Johnson and Johnson, McDonald’s and Saudi based destination, AlUla. He will be leaving to focus on other entrepreneurial ventures in the fields of AI, Edtech, Cloud based marketing and creative technology.“We’ve already seen a great deal of success in the MENA region, and I am certain that this will continue and grow under Victoria’s leadership,” added Lars Lehne, Global CEO, Incubeta. “She has had a significant impact on the company ever since she joined and was the perfect candidate for this position. I am also incredibly grateful to Neal for his hard work, passion and commitment to the business, and I’m pleased that he will stay close to the business in a senior advisory capacity”

Memac Ogilvy welcomes new Executive Creative Director

Memac Ogilvy has bolstered its strategic creative offering with the appointment of Steve de Lange as its new Executive Creative Director in the UAE. De Lange joins the global network with a mandate of evolving and accelerating its creative vision and output across the UAE.“The Memac Ogilvy legacy in the region has been built upon bold ideas delivered through modern, integrated solutions. With two decades of outstanding work behind him, we know Steve will bring his people-first, big-idea approach to help us continue growing that legacy,” said Ghassan Maraqa, MENA CEO, Memac Ogilvy. “Under Steve’s leadership, we will continue uniting our diverse businesses under one consolidated creative vision to maximize our effectiveness for clients—helping to deliver modern solutions to modern business problems,” Maraqa added. De Lange has spent 15 years of his career in the MENA region, working at renowned agencies and winning countless global awards. He has collaborated with some of the biggest domestic and international entities, including Saudi Tourism Authority, Unilever, Spotify, Coca-Cola, among others. He joins Memac Ogilvy as the company continues its leadership transition, working under newly appointed MENA CEO, Ghassan Maraqa, who will be joined by new MENA Group President, Jon Marchant, with a focus on delivering big, bold, culture-shifting ideas for the biggest brands in the region."It’s a huge honor to join the Memac Ogilvy team, an agency whose storied history is a testament to its commitment to big ideas, innovation and craft,” said Steve de Lange. “I very much look forward to building on their proud tradition of creative excellence as we work alongside our clients and partners to write what promises to be an epic new chapter.”

Yandex Ads appoints Mohamed Mahmoud as Head of Client Partnerships and Data

Yandex Ads, a prominent global digital advertising company, has announced the appointment of Mohamed Mahmoud as the Head of Client Partnerships & Data for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). This strategic move underscores the company's commitment to expanding its presence in international markets.Yandex Ads is the digital advertising division of the renowned Russian search engine and web portal, Yandex.Mohamed Mahmoud brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles at companies like Microsoft, Huawei, Publicis, Dentsu, ConnectAds, and Petal Ads, where he played a pivotal role as the Head of Client Partnerships and Data for the MEA region. In this capacity, he formulated the organization's go-to-market strategy, cultivated the partnership team, and elevated the brand's visibility through innovative events, educational programs, workshops, and collaborative efforts. Furthermore, as the Data Management Lead at Choueiri Group, he significantly contributed to the enhancement of data product collection and categorization for various media teams across industries.Evgenii Pavlov, General Manager at Yandex Ads MEA, expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, stating: "We are delighted to welcome Mohamed to the Yandex Ads team. His extensive international experience and proven track record in the MEA region make him a valuable addition as we continue our global expansion. Mohamed's leadership and strategic vision align perfectly with our commitment to delivering cutting-edge advertising solutions. We look forward to leveraging his expertise to strengthen our client partnerships and data initiatives, driving innovation in the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape."Mohamed Mahmoud expressed gratitude and said: "I am honored to join Yandex Ads, a company renowned for setting global standards in digital advertising excellence. I am excited to apply my expertise in data-driven strategies to fuel innovation as we embark on our international expansion journey."

Deutsche Bank appoints Waldemar Rotfuss as General Manager of Abu Dhabi Branch

Deutsche Bank today announced the appointment of Waldemar Rotfuss as General Manager of Deutsche Bank AG Abu Dhabi Branch, approved by the UAE Central Bank.Based in Abu Dhabi, he will join Deutsche Bank’s UAE Executive Council.As General Manager of Abu Dhabi Branch, Mr.Rotfuss will have oversight over all activities regulated by the UAE Central Bank. He will work closely with divisional and infrastructure business heads to ensure a seamless delivery of the Bank’s products and services to clients whilst ensuring strict compliance with local regulatory requirements. In addition to his new responsibility as General Manager, Mr.Rotfuss will continue his current responsibilities as Head of Distribution for Middle East & Africa (MEA) where he is responsible for the de-risking and hedging of Deutsche Bank's Corporate Bank credit and market exposure in the Primary and Secondary Markets by working with the Middle East & Africa Investor base.Starting in the work-study Deutsche Bank program in Germany, Mr.Rotfuss has been with the Bank for over 13 years and managed various roles across the Trade Finance, Lending and Cash Management product suite based at various locations in Germany, Asia and United Kingdom. In his previous role, he was part of the Trade Finance & Lending COO team where he was instrumental for the successful execution of various strategic and regulatory projects and initiatives across the Trade Finance & Lending vertical.

SEE Holding strengthens executive leadership team with CFO appointment

Following the recent announcement of the consolidation of SEE Holding Ltd, UAE’s first sustainably focused global holding company, the Group today announced the appointment of Christine O'Brien as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which strengthens the company's leadership team and brings top international top financial expertise to the management of the holding group.Christine O'Brien joins SEE Holding from Elliott Investment Management - a global investment firm. There, she served as Head of Investment Stewardship from 2017 to 2023, successfully and effectively integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the firm’s investment process. Ms. O'Brien has extensive experience in investment management in addition to her former audit experience in the banking practice at KPMG. She has served on multiple boards and industry advisory councils. Ms. O'Brien holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Accounting from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University and is licensed in New York State as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. Ms. O'Brien's wealth of experience brings a unique perspective to SEE Holding's financial strategy, ensuring a well-rounded approach to growth and sustainability.Commenting on the appointment, Eng. Faris Saeed, Chairman & CEO of SEE Holding, said: " The appointment of Christine is an important milestone in SEE Holding’s journey, as her leadership will be instrumental in driving the company’s mission and accelerating SEE Holding’s next stage of growth in the region and internationally . I look forward to working closely with Christine to drive sustainable social, environmental, and economic impact and create value across our integrated network of subsidiaries and business units.”Christine O'Brien, Chief Financial Officer of SEE Holding, said: "With my experience and passion for integrating ESG into the investment process, joining SEE Holding is an exciting opportunity for me. Primarily because of the group’s two decades of experience and its very forward-thinking approach to creating an integrated ecosystem to promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability and, most importantly, its tremendous growth potential to achieve global impact. I look forward to working closely with the Chairman and CEO and the rest of the teams to drive the Holding Group’s investment, financial and governance practises and to realise the Holding Group’s vision to lead a zero-emissions future”. Christine’s appointment follows the addition of F. Jacob Cherian to the SEE Holding’s Executive Leadership team earlier this year, which he joined as Chief Operations Officer (COO). With an established background in U.S. capital markets, IPOs, mergers & acquisitions, and international management consulting, Mr. Cherian brings a wealth of managerial experience to SEE Holding, spanning over two decades of serving as CEO of three NASDAQ-listed corporations. Jacob's professional background includes positions at prominent institutions such as JP Morgan, KPMG, and Computer Sciences Corp., as well as significant contributions to academia. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at St. John's University's Tobin College of Business MBA Programme. Mr. Cherian's experience overseeing operational strategies will contribute to the company's success in navigating complex market dynamics and expanding its global presence.

P2P payment App Kem appoints Tamara executive to board $1mln investment

Kem, Kuwait's first peer-to-peer payment (P2P) app, has announced the appointment of Faris Al Obaid, Chief Executive Officer of Tamara Bahrain, to its board of directors. The move, along with a recent investment round of over $1 million, is the latest step in Kem’s mission to revolutionize digital payments in Kuwait and the GCC region, where the addressable payments market is worth $400 billion. The start-up has tripled its account volume and overseen a 350% rise in transaction volume over the last month.Faris Al Obaid brings unique experience to Kem's board in his roles as a Tamara leader and Conference founder, as well as Chairman for the Kuwait Vision 2035. His expertise goes beyond his leadership at Tarama, Saudi Arabia’s leading buy now, pay later fintech, and extends into the political and diplomatic spheres of the Gulf region, helping Kem cement its status as a leading fintech in the GCC.Speaking about the importance of Kem's QR code-based payment app, Mr. Al Obaid stated, "Kem is offering a solution that has been long awaited in the region. Until now, instant P2P and QR code payments on par with those in Europe, the US, and China haven’t emerged here, but Kem is set to change that. Their critical financial infrastructure empowers not only individuals but also SMEs that are unbanked and underserved. Many have tried, and most have failed, and I joined Kem because they have an excellent team that knows how to execute a project like this.” Kem’s innovative spirit, which recently helped them secure a $1 million investment round, is embodied in its CEO Seth Sedeq. As a young Kuwaiti-American, he saw what fintech had achieved in the United States and wanted to bring it to his homeland. The appointment of Mr. Al-Obaid is a key step in doing that."Having someone on board like Faris is exactly what we need,” says Mr. Sedeq. “ Not only does he have experience leading a regional fintech giant, but his reach in the political realm makes for a rare recipe. Faris has helped us accelerate our growth and become recognized as a financial services leader.”As the first P2P payment app in Kuwait, Kem aims to use this blend of know-how and youthful vigor to trigger a digital payments revolution among young people. “50% of the GCC population is under the age of 25 and this generation is looking for stuff like Kem,” states Mr. Sedeq, who is in his twenties and in touch with what this demographic needs. “They don't want old tech, they want stuff that works for them and answers their financial needs in today’s economic climate. Kem is the first P2P payment app in Kuwait, and we now see a shift where people can access these essential services."Kem's latest developments mark the start of its next expansion phase, which includes launching in other GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia and adding thousands of new users to its growing customer base.

Entourage appoints seasoned French designer Vincent Drevet as Head of Creative

 entourage, one of the region's leading live communications agencies, with offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, and Cairo, announced the joining of Vincent Drevet as Head of Creative. A seasoned designer hailing from France, Vincent brings with him over two decades of experience spanning diverse disciplines of the creative realm including branding & advertising, digital communications, game design, TV production, and sound design.Vincent joins the entourage leadership team as part of the agency’s expansion strategy. Capitalizing on the market growth in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, entourage implemented its 5-year growth plan at the beginning of 2023 and announced 35 new positions for the year. Thus far, 23 of these positions have been successfully filled. The recruitment drive includes the strategic appointment of department heads with extensive industry experience, reinforcing the agency's structural integrity and facilitating seamless collaboration across its various verticals in addition to many other positions across all departments strengthening the commitment to craft unique experiences, and exceptional storytelling to elevate brands.Meet the Leadership Team:Vincent Drevet - Head of Creative: The newest addition to the team, Vincent comes with a diverse background in advertising, digital communications, game design, television production, and sound design.Ziad Faour - Head of Strategy: With over two decades of experience in the marketing sector, Ziad has been leading the strategy division at entourage since 2019, consistently guiding the team to victory in numerous projects.Ali Hamade - Head of Events & Technology: Ali's journey at entourage began over a decade ago as an event executive, and he has since risen to lead the department through his built expertise in event planning, management, and cutting-edge technology knowledge.Shereen Khoury - People & Culture Manager: Shereen, a seasoned Human Resource professional with over 12 years of experience, plays a pivotal role in driving entourage's diversity and inclusion policies across all its offices.Manasvini Rizvi - Head of Marcom: Manasvini joined entourage as the Head of Marcoms, bringing over 15 years of expertise in the field, having worked across various renowned brands in brand and communication strategyMohammed Idries - Head of Finance: With a tenure of more than five years at entourage, Mohammed has successfully managed and streamlined all financial procedures within the agency.Commenting on the agency’s expansion plans and future ambitions, the entourage founder and CEO Mohammed Tayem noted, “In the beginning of this year, we laid out an ambitious 5-year growth strategy that would allow us to expand our client portfolio across verticals, and strengthening our teams is the cornerstone to realizing this growth. The idea is to create a robust structure that allows us to meet the current demands and is flexible to expand and accommodate all future requirements. We want to continue offering specialized, tailored, and innovative immersive experiences to the global, regional & local clients whom we are honored to serve every day.”entourage looks forward to an exciting journey of growth and innovation as it continues to serve the region's marketing and event needs.

Aloft Muscat appoints Ramy Hamdoun as new General Manager

Aloft Muscat, a vibrant and stylish hotel in the heart of Muscat, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mr. Ramy Hamdoun as its new General Manager. With an extensive background in the hospitality industry and a proven track record of excellence, Mr. Hamdoun brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to the Aloft Muscat team.Ramy Hamdoun joins Aloft Muscat with a distinguished career spanning over 16 years in the hospitality sector. His appointment as General Manager at Aloft Muscat marks a significant milestone in his career, and the hotel is excited to have him lead the way in achieving new heights of success.Before assuming his current position, Mr. Hamdoun held key roles in the industry, including Executive Assistant Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing at Wyndham Garden, Muscat, as well as Director of Sales and Marketing at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Bahrain. He also served as Director of Sales-Corporate at InterContinental Hotels Group. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, a passion for guest satisfaction, and a commitment to delivering memorable experiences.Aloft Muscat is excited for the new era that Mr. Ramy Hamdoun's leadership will usher in, and looks forward to scaling new heights under his guidance.

Savvy Games Group appoints Majed Al-Muhanna as Chief Human Resources Officer

Savvy Games Group (“Savvy”), the games and esports company founded to drive the long-term growth and development of the games and esports industry worldwide, announced today the appointment of Majed Al-Muhanna as Chief Human Resources Officer.In his new role, Majed will lead the development and implementation of Savvy’s human resources strategy, including overseeing talent development and attraction of both local and international games specialists. As a member of Savvy’s leadership team, he will also drive progress towards Savvy’s strategic objectives, and contribute to Savvy’s work in support of Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy.Majed brings wide-ranging experience of human resources leadership roles at major financial and consumer-facing organisations across the investment banking, retail, and manufacturing sectors. He was previously Chief Human Capital Officer of SNB Capital, where he was a member of the organisation’s leadership team and drove its human capital strategy.In addition to his role at Savvy, Majed currently serves as Chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Capital Market Institutions Committee, which supports the development of the capital market sector in Saudi Arabia. He will report to Savvy’s CEO, Brian Ward.Commenting on the appointment, Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, said, “We are excited to welcome Majed Al-Muhanna to Savvy’s executive leadership team as Chief Human Resources Officer. Majed’s expertise in nurturing talent pipelines and implementing wider organisational human resources strategies will enable Savvy’s continued growth and the success of our team. Majed joins Savvy at an exciting time for our business and the wider gaming and esports industry – we are delighted to have in on board.”

FP7McCann appoints Tarek Ali Ahmad as Managing Director

FP7McCann is pleased to announce the appointment of Tarek Ali Ahmad as the Managing Director for its Dubai branch, effective immediately. Tarek will succeed Jon Marchant, who will leave the agency on November 30th after an impressive 15 years with McCann, six of which he served with FP7McCann in Dubai, to pursue a new role at Memac Ogilvy.  Tarek Ali Ahmad's remarkable journey in the advertising industry began as a rising star at J. Walter Thompson in 2000. His professional journey led him to FP7McCann Dubai in 2006, where he was enlisted to spearhead the Coca-Cola account, overseeing multiple brands across the Middle East and North Africa. During his 14-year tenure at FP7McCann, Tarek has remained focused on setting new industry standards in the creative world and leading a team of innovative thinkers who have won impressive accounts, awards, and recognition for the agency in Dubai and beyond.  Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7McCann MENAT, said, "Tarek Ali Ahmad has been marked for this role over three years ago when he was promoted to General Manager and Head of Business Leadership. In the three years, he has been actively and intimately involved in the operation on all levels, allowing for a smooth and natural transition and evolution. He is no stranger to the industry, and he is no stranger to our talent, clients and partners. I have the utmost faith in Tarek's ability to take the agency to unprecedented heights."  Tarek Ali Ahmad commented, "It's a great honor to step into the role of Managing Director at FP7/McCann Dubai. Having spent over a decade with the agency, this reflects my deep respect and loyalty to our talented team and valued partners. I'm immensely grateful for Tarek Miknas' trust in my abilities, and I'm excited to continue the journey of success at FP7/McCann Dubai. I look forward to building on our legacy of creativity and innovation and further strengthening our relationships with our partners as we embark on this new chapter together".

MENA Fintech Association establishes Digital Assets Working Group

 The MENA Fintech Association, the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa, is excited to announce the establishment of its Digital Assets Working Group, Miriam Kiwan, and Mo Ali Yusuf (mentioned in above picture)have been appointed as the Co-Chairs of said working group, which aims to champion for a transparent regulatory framework while also propelling the adoption and extensive use of digital assets across MENA.Founded in 2018, the MENA Fintech Association has earned recognition as one of the top 4 fintech bodies globally. With a strong presence in the Middle East and Africa, the association has been at the forefront of driving innovation and fostering collaboration in the fintech industry.The newly established Digital Assets Working Group takes on a pivotal role as the leading advocate and catalyst for the advancement of clear, progressive, and sustainable regulations governing digital assets across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This dynamic group will spearhead endeavors aimed at shaping and enhancing a comprehensive regulatory framework, cultivating an ecosystem conducive to digital asset innovation, all while upholding stability and security as paramount priorities. This dynamic working group aims to:Propel the adoption and extensive use of digital assets across MENA.Champion for a transparent regulatory framework.Enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing among top-tier industry participants.Set forth the gold standards to safeguard the security and integrity of digital assets.Illuminate and educate stakeholders about the multifaceted nature of digital assets.Accelerate tech talent evolution and knowledge dissemination, fortifying the broader ecosystem.Nameer Khan, Chairman – MENA Fintech Association, expressed his enthusiastic support for the establishment of the Digital Assets Working Group, stating, “In our journey toward shaping the future of finance, we believe that clear and innovative digital asset regulation is the cornerstone. This group will be instrumental in fostering a dynamic and secure digital asset ecosystem across MENA. We are committed to embracing technological advancements while safeguarding the integrity of our financial landscape, and the Digital Assets Working Group is a vital step in that direction.”Miriam Kiwan, Vice President of Middle East and Africa at Circle and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets Working Group, emphasized the group's mission by stating, 'Our vision is to drive innovation with responsibility, and our commitment to building a regulatory framework that supports the dynamic digital asset landscape is unwavering. As we take the lead in shaping the future of digital assets across MENA, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation, ensures compliance, and promotes trust within this transformative ecosystem.'Miriam stands as a visionary executive boasting an extensive career spanning more than two decades, with a remarkable footprint in Europe and the Middle East. Her profound expertise encompasses the realms of Web 3 and the nurturing of tech entrepreneurship ecosystems, strategic partnership cultivation, strategic marketing endeavors, and the art of fostering business development opportunities. Miriam's professional journey has seen her excel across diverse sectors, ranging from financial services and Web 3 / digital assets to technology, higher education, and entrepreneurship. Her forward-thinking approach and multifaceted skill set have consistently driven innovation and growth, making her a prominent figure in these dynamic industries with a global impact.Mo Ali Yusuf, CEO of Fuze and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets Working Group, underscored the group's mission, stating, “We believe that digital assets represent the future of finance, and our goal is to facilitate their responsible growth and adoption. The Digital Assets Working Group is dedicated to developing robust regulations that foster innovation, security, and transparency. Together, we aim to shape MENA's digital asset landscape into a trusted and flourishing ecosystem, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike.”Mo is a globally recognized business leader with a strong commitment to fueling the growth of fintech, eCommerce, and cryptocurrency. His expertise lies in navigating complex regulatory frameworks, forming strategic partnerships, and maintaining operational excellence. Mo's career is marked by a track record of securing licenses, fostering key collaborations, and ensuring top-tier operational efficiency. He stands as a visionary at the forefront of innovation in these dynamic industries, shaping their future on a global scale.Ronit Ghose is a distinguished figure in the tech and venture capital landscape, serving as an Advisory Board member for various prominent firms and a leading university in diverse global hubs such as Dubai, London, and Cape Town. His illustrious career includes a background in policy work, even having served as a bag carrier for a former UK Prime Minister, reflecting his deep involvement in the political sphere. Ronit's expertise and influence extend into the realm of fintech, where he will play an integral role as a member of the MENA Fintech Association Digital Assets Working Group, further contributing to the evolution of this dynamic sector.The MENA Fintech Association has partnered up with various companies such as Fuze, Circle, Binance, Meta, Circle, ADGM, DIFC, and other trailblazers across the spectrum of regulators, innovators, academia, legal firms, and venture capitalists.

Qatar Museums appoints Kirstin Mearns as new CEO of its commercial arm, IN-Q

Qatar Museums today announced the appointment of Kirstin Mearns to serve as Chief Executive Officer of IN-Q Enterprises WLL (IN-Q), the commercial arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Museums within the retail, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors. IN-Q creates commercial opportunities for artists, designers, and entrepreneurs while also presenting curated experiences that demonstrate the hospitality for which Qatar is well known.Ali Bouzarif, Vice Chairman of IN-Q, said, “Kirstin Mearns is a champion of artists with a keen mind for enterprise. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from both the non-profit and business sectors, making her the ideal leader to create entrepreneurial opportunities for Qatar’s emerging creatives both on site and through digital engagement.”Mearns will oversee IN-Q’s expanding portfolio of restaurants, stores, retail and dining experiences, and online platforms, which include IDAM by Alain Ducasse at the Museum of Islamic Art, Jiwan Restaurant and Café 875 at the National Museum of Qatar, Café #999 at the Fire Station, Naua at 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, Profiles Café at M7, Ralph’s Coffee at Place Vendome, IN-Q Online, QM museum gift shops, Cass Art Qatar Shop, exhibition pop-ups at M7, QM Galleries, and the Fire Station, and more.Kirstin Mearns said, “‘It is with great pride in what M+ is, and what I know it will become, that I now embrace my new position of CEO of IN-Q enterprises. The Qatar Cultural Vision for 2030 is one built on Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s foresight and fortitude, and it is an honour to be part of that vision leading the IN-Q team. Cultural commerce has the potential to bridge the gap as a familiar context in a new and evolving Qatari cultural experience. I look forward to working with the Qatar Museums and IN-Q teams to become a global leader in cultural commerce.”Mearns most recently served as Head of Commerce and Visitor Services at M+ in Hong Kong where she oversaw a large department that was responsible for visitor service, trademark and licensing, merchandising, membership and sponsorship strategies, placemaking, retail and commercial development, and generating new revenue streams.

Timothy M. Kelly is appointed president of Atlantis

Atlantis Dubai proudly announces the appointment of Timothy M. Kelly as the President of Atlantis, Kerzner International. This is a testament to Timothy’s outstanding contributions and achievements during his six-year tenure at Atlantis Dubai. In this brand-new role, Timothy will be responsible for leading and representing the entire Atlantis brand globally. He will continue his responsibilities overseeing the teams in Atlantis, The Palm and Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, and will begin overseeing the team in Atlantis Sanya in China. Timothy will also officially join Kerzner International's esteemed Executive Team, ensuring the delivery of the entire organisation's strategy across its multi-award-winning portfolio. Timothy’s innate ability to lead and inspire his team has ensured that Atlantis, The Palm outperforms year on year. The illustrious Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal in January this year set the pace for a stream of awards, including the recent announcement that the newly opened property had been ranked in The World’s 50 Best Hotels list – the only hotel in the Middle East to be featured. From the record-breaking expansion of Atlantis Aquaventure, to the star-studded food and beverage offerings across both properties as well as the roll-out of multiple award-winning sustainability projects including the Atlantis Atlas Project, the achievements under Timothy’s leadership continue to propel the brand forward as a destination that reveals a new and extraordinary experience at every turn. In his new role, Timothy will also ensure resort operations, design planning, brand alignment, sales and marketing, and people initiatives at all Atlantis properties are carried out to the highest level. Additionally, he will be responsible for representing Kerzner International, while providing mentorship to all General Managers and Executive Leaders under the Atlantis brand. "Timothy’s appointment acknowledges his inspiring and dedicated leadership, and the incredible successes he has overseen at Atlantis, The Palm, which continues to achieve record growth, and Atlantis, The Royal, which opened to worldwide acclaim and excitement earlier this year, and is already collecting global awards and recognition," said Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International. "I am delighted to welcome him to the Executive Team, and confident that under his stewardship, Atlantis will continue to innovate and excite, boldly redefining the luxury resort and entertainment experience for guests around the world." Commenting on his appointment, Timothy Kelly, President of Atlantis, said, "I am truly honoured that Kerzner International has placed their trust in me to embark on this exciting chapter ahead. The past six years have been incredible, and there's been nothing more rewarding than witnessing our brand's successful growth trajectory. I look forward to an exciting future filled with endless possibilities and continuing to work with our amazing colleagues throughout Kerzner International.” Before joining Atlantis Dubai, Timothy served in a variety of senior leadership positions, most recently as Senior Vice President of Resort Operations at Wynn Palace, Cotai and Wynn, Macau (SAR). Prior to this, Timothy held the prestigious role of Vice President of Hotel Operations at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was here that Timothy’s emphasis on guest experience, through the implementation of personalised service strategies, and the introduction of a new brand concept “Skylofts at MGM Grand”, led to MGM Resorts International achieving their first “Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award” in the history of the company. Timothy's leadership excellence afforded him to be the first representative of Forbes Travel Guide Service Advisory Committee, representing the Asia-Pacific Region, on Five-Star luxury service and maintenance standards. He was also appointed to the Nevada Hotel Lodging Association Board of Directors for six years, lobbying the state legislature supporting the integrated resort industry.