Ghawali from house of Chalhoub Group launches its new fragrance

Ghawali, a Chalhoub Group brand focusing on developing oriental niche scents, launched its new fragrance “9PM in Saudi” at its flagship store in Riyadh. Launched ahead of KSA National Day and in line with the brand’s efforts to support and empower local talent, 9PM in Saudi was launched in partnership with numerous local photographers, designers, and artists, with the latest scent celebrating Saudi Arabia’s dynamic culture and the local community during their busiest time of day.To empower local talent, Ghawali collaborated with numerous young Saudis including local photographer, Designless, who shot the overall 9PM in Saudi fragrance campaign, Saudi designer, PROUD Angeles, who created the fragrance’s capsule collection, and Saudi 4D artist, Amr Khaled, who did an original Instagram Reel for Saudi National Day.Forat Al Haider, Head of Beauty Innovation at Chalhoub Group, said: “We are proud to launch Ghawali’s new fragrance, 9PM in Saudi, which is a sensorial ode and celebration of Saudi culture and testament to the brand’s unwavering dedication to empowering local Saudi talent. This collaborative initiative epitomises a community-driven endeavour where we have created a platform for local creatives to showcase their work while paying homage to the Kingdom’s ambiance. The scent, a sensorial innovation, starts with sophisticated lychee as a top note, sitting above an umbrella of incense which contains two high-end versions of oud. Ghawali’s 9PM in Saudi fragrance encapsulates the soul, vibe and mood of Saudi Arabia while proudly fostering the growth and prominence of homegrown talents.”The launch of Ghawali’s latest 9PM in Saudi fragrance took place across an exclusive two-day event with VIPs, key customers, and leading media invited to discover the new scent and meet the capsule collection designer. Attendees also had the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with the brand’s creative director who delved into the capitvating story behind the perfume and its carefully selected ingredients.

Cannes Lions success: UAE's official representatives commemorate winners

The official representatives of the UAE at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan, hosted an awards ceremony on September 12 to honor the Cannes winners from the UAE. During the ceremony, Ian Fairservice, the Managing Partner and Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Group, and Avinash Udeshi, the Chief Operating Officer of Motivate Val Morgan, presented the Cannes Lions awards to the winning agencies in the UAE.Among the attendees at the award ceremony were Havas Middle East, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, FP7 McCann, and Impact BBDO.The 2023 Cannes Lions held particular significance for the Middle East region, as Ali Rez, the Chief Creative Officer of Impact BBDO, served as the first-ever Jury President from the MENA region. Impact BBDO was also honored as the MENA Network of the Year for the fifth consecutive year. They received several awards, including 1 Grand Prix for Print & Publishing, 1 Gold for Glass: The Lion for Change, and 1 Bronze for Creative Strategy.The UAE boasted the largest group of 18 Jury members overseeing the festival. This year's competition saw a substantial increase in entries, with 640 submissions from 22 UAE agencies, compared to 358 the previous year. Of these entries, 81 were shortlisted, and 21 received Lions, including 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, 6 Silver, and 13 Bronze awards. This accomplishment solidified the UAE's position as one of the top nations to receive numerous awards at the festival.Notably, the UAE also received awards for the first time in categories such as Glass: The Lion for Change, Entertainment for Music, and Creative Data. FP7 McCann secured the highest number of Lions, with 2 Silvers in Creative Data and Outdoor, along with 7 Bronze awards in various categories, including Brand Experience & Activation, Direct, Entertainment for Music, Industry Craft, Media, Outdoor, and Radio. The Us agency also achieved recognition with 3 Lions, comprising 1 Silver in Health and Wellness and 2 Bronze in Design. Havas Middle East was awarded a Bronze Lion in the PR category.In addition, Saatchi & Saatchi, a part of Publicis Groupe, received double Bronze awards in Health & Wellness and Creative Commerce, while Leo Burnett, another sister agency, earned double Silver awards for Creative Commerce and Creative Strategy.Notably, Jonathan Cruz from And Us, a member of the Young Lions Digital Competition UAE team alongside Saymon Medeiros, and Chloe Salloum from the American University in Dubai, who represented the UAE at the Roger Hatchuel Academy student programme, were also present at the event.

Uterra to invest USD 20 million in Ras Al Khaimah's organic fertiliser project

Uterra Middle East Agro Industries is investing USD 20 million in the next three years for the construction and development of Ras Al Khaimah’s first organic soil fertiliser project, which aims to revolutionalise agriculture, address environmental challenges and promote sustainability. A part of a multi-national UniPax Investment Group, Uterra has acquired a land plot of approximately 33,000 m2 in Al Ghail Industrial Zone to build a sustainable biosphere cluster. At the new facility, the company will produce high-efficiency micro-biological organic fertiliser for agriculture and carry out research and scientific work on the creation of unique methods of cultivating plants, medicinal and valuable fungi. The company will also be farming fruits, vegetables and berries, both indoors and outdoors, and conduct organic animal husbandry. The Uterra project implementation in the UAE aims to address several key objectives. First, it aims to produce and implement highly efficient and profitable organic fertilisers in both the UAE and the global markets. Second, the project aims to ensure that the residents of the region have access to sufficient quantities of high-quality, environment-friendly products. The ‘uTerra’ branded products will be developed without the use of pesticides. Additionally, they will have zero amount of harmful chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), promoting natural and healthy food sources. This will not only positively affect people’s health, but also reduce depletion of valuable soil resources. According to UniPax Owner and Uterra Founder Dr Anatoli Unitsky, the decision to establish his company’s operations in Ras Al Khaimah was influenced by several factors. “I am greatly impressed with Ras Al Khaimah’s vision for turning the emirate into a regional leader of socio-economic development. As for the location, the emirate offers convenient logistical solutions and the launch of Etihad Rail will also open up new possibilities. Additionally, the RAKEZ team has provided excellent support with all procedures of our new set-up, from the acquisition of our facility space to assistance in bank account opening.” RAKEZ Group CEO Ramy Jallad said, “We are thrilled to welcome Uterra into our diverse business ecosystem. We, at RAKEZ, are big supporters of innovation and sustainability in all aspects of business and Uterra’s plans align perfectly. By developing organic soil fertilisers, Uterra is not only providing a solution for environmental challenges, but also fostering a more sustainable agriculture sector in Ras Al Khaimah. This resonates with our commitment to the Year of Sustainability, facilitating more and more businesses that contribute towards a greener future. It’s not only about economic growth, but also about growing responsibly.”

Freshworks report reveals massive opportunity for IT leaders leveraging AI

Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH) today released the findings of its second annual “State of Workplace Technology” report, which found a 71% increase in the number of software applications on IT team’s work computers over the last year(1). To manage this spiraling complexity, the report found that IT pros - especially senior leaders and younger generations - are embracing AI to automate workflows and boost efficiency with 86% of IT pros reporting that their organizations are already using AI.AI is poised to save companies time and moneyWhile IT departments are expected to grow this year(2), it doesn’t mean they need to spend more. Freshworks found that companies in the U.S. could save $15,603 per IT employee each year using AI to eliminate time wasted on repetitive tasks. This means that an enterprise-sized company with at least 5,000 employees and an average of 200 IT professionals on staff could save a minimum of $3.1 million annually using AI. The survey also revealed: IT professionals are managing more software than ever and see an opportunity to simplify. The number of software applications on IT team’s work computers increased 71% over the last year. Despite this, IT professionals only use one third of the applications available to them daily (just eight out of 24), compared to half in 2022.IT teams put efficiency first. They rank ease of use and efficiency as top attributes of business software, ahead of feature suite, reliability and cost-effectiveness.AI eliminates repetitive tasks. IT pros agree AI frees up time otherwise spent on repetitive tasks (49%) and allows them to do more complex, meaningful work (45%). Moreover, IT pros estimate they could save more than five hours per week by using AI to complete repetitive tasks. “I’ve had a front-row seat to the mobile and cloud revolutions, and witnessed how both delivered powerful efficiencies that enabled IT teams to improve performance—without expanding costs,” said Dennis Woodside, Freshworks President. “We’re already seeing customers like Smartsheet and Sony Music Entertainment who plan to harness AI to substantially improve employee service, while saving on costs from legacy software accrued over time.” Senior IT leaders are bought into AIDirectors and above reporting higher use and organizational support for AI. Notable findings include: AI use is generally encouraged at work. Seven in ten (70%) IT directors and above say that use of AI is actively encouraged by their company, compared to 44% of team leads/managers and 21% of individual contributors.IT leaders are leading the way to adopt AI. More than nine in ten (91%) IT directors and above currently use AI to support their workload, compared to 66% of team leads/managers and 33% of individual contributors.There’s a youth AI movement. Newer generations are playing a pivotal role in AI adoption. Eight in ten (81%) of Millennial and 75% of Gen Z IT pros currently use AI to support their workload, compared to 57% of Gen X and 27% of Boomers. “Business leaders adopt software for good reasons—to improve operations—but over time may face an unintended consequence of accruing more applications than they need,” said Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO at Freshworks. “Smart, simplified technology, paired with the power of AI, will do more to drive productivity and efficiency than legacy software has done in decades. IT leaders who embrace automation and technological agility to reduce complexity will be the ones whose teams come out ahead.”

Nissan delights customers partners with the ENTERTAINER business at Seamless KSA

Nissan KSA and the ENTERTAINER business, a leading global loyalty, and rewards solutions provider headquartered in Dubai, have come together to introduce a loyalty program to reward Nissan customers through enticing incentives. The announcement was made at the Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023 conference, a dynamic two-day event held in Riyadh that focused on global innovations in fintech, retail, and e-commerce. The ENTERTAINER app provides percentage discounts and buy-one-get-one-free offers at various restaurants, activities, and attractions in many cities worldwide.The partnership will empower Nissan to leverage the app’s broader reach, enhancing customer engagement, brand loyalty, and recurring business across different services, and more. All facilitated through app usage.The core objective of the loyalty program is to provide an appealing value proposition to Nissan's customer base, seamlessly integrating them into the Nissan ecosystem while incentivizing desired behaviours.Adib Takieddine, Managing Director, Nissan Saudi Arabia, said, "This partnership stands as a testament to our shared commitment to delivering customer experiences that ‘defy ordinary’. With Nissan's vast network of dealerships and service centres, combined with the ENTERTAINER business’s widespread reach, we aim to provide our customers with added value by simplifying their access to tailor-made deals that cater to their daily needs."Users can choose from a wide range of reward categories, track savings, and digitize their offers within the app.The move exemplifies Nissan’s innovative approach to business in the fast-changing digital landscape and emerging trends.Abdulilah Wazni, Director of Product, Marketing, and Customer Experience, Nissan Middle East and Saudi Arabia, said, “Today, digital tools are progressively becoming integral to every facet of life and business. Our collaboration with the ENTERTAINER business embodies this vision. Nissan wants to turbocharge convenience for customers with faster and more efficient processes. And by constantly evolving, we aim to exceed client expectations and deliver unrivalled value."Julian Morbidelli, General Manager - KSA, the ENTERTAINER business, added, “We are thrilled to implement a loyalty and rewards program in partnership with Nissan, a leading player in the Saudi Arabian automotive industry. We immerse ourselves in our consumers' lifestyle journeys to provide them with exceptional experiences, which helps enhance customer retention. Today, having a digital partner to streamline processes for seamless growth is essential. This is where the ENTERTAINER business comes in; we are dedicated to supporting Nissan’s success within the evolving tech ecosystem for better deals and increased growth.”With the app, users can have access to a range of helpful features that can make their driving experience safer and more convenient. These include the ability to add emergency contacts, around-the-clock roadside assistance, tracking of vehicle maintenance records, hassle-free servicing, and a document wallet for storing important documents. In addition, users can book appointments to test drive new Nissan vehicles and take advantage of Nissan's provided rewards to showcase their wheels at the best places for less.

Boutique Group signs MoU with Sommet Education

Boutique Group, a hospitality company fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, merging the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's culture and heritage with contemporary elegance to develop historic and cultural places into ultra-luxury boutique hotels, has signed an MoU with Sommet Education, a leading international network of hospitality management and culinary arts schools. Sommet Education encompasses prestigious institutions such as Swiss originated hospitality business schools Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches, together with culinary and pastry arts school École Ducasse.Boutique Group is a one-of-a-kind hospitality company developed to deliver a unique ultra-luxury Saudi experience that contributes to the local economy and enhances the Kingdom’s position as a leading cultural tourism destination in line with the Vision 2030. The collaboration between Boutique Group and Sommet Education will focus on three main areas: training programs, recruitment, and internships.Sommet Education will support Boutique Group through customized and bespoke training pathways, enabling Boutique Group employees to benefit from Sommet Education's vast experience in crafting hospitality programs, tailored to the talent development of the company’s employees.As Boutique Group continues to recruit talent, locally and internationally, Sommet Education has the opportunity to play a significant role through its established network to ensure that the unique talents from its Hospitality schools join the Boutique Group’s team.Boutique Group will offer internship programs for students, providing them with invaluable hands-on training and experience. In turn this will help to establish a talent network, ensuring a flow of passionate individuals who are familiar with the company's ethos and standards.CEO of Boutique Group Mark De Cocinis, and CEO of Sommet Education Benoît-Etienne Domenget met in Abu Dhabi at the Future Hospitality Summit and Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference 2023, to sign the MoU on September 26th, 2023. Boutique Group is a platinum sponsor of FHS & AHIC 2023, an international platform where the world’s most influential hospitality investment decision makers connect, exchange knowledge and explore new partnerships, making the venue a fitting place to solidify the agreement.Mark De Cocinis, CEO, Boutique Group, said: “Partnering with Sommet Education was a natural next step for us. Their commitment to delivering top-tier hospitality management and culinary arts schooling directly aligns with our goals of cultivating industry professionals and fuels my enthusiasm for fostering Saudi talents. Through innovative training, we aim to nurture possibility and inspire the visionaries who will drive our industry forward.”Sommet Education is a leading international network of hospitality management and culinary arts schools offering the highest quality of education and training, aligning with industry best practices and standards. It is the only education group with two in the Top 5 globally-ranked institutions for hospitality education and by employer reputation (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).Benoît-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education, said: "We are excited about our collaboration with novel pioneers, Boutique Group, as it enhances our potential to revolutionize how hospitality professionals are developed. We spark new heights of greatness for generations of leaders via collaborative programs that combine our recognized expertise.”Signing the MoU confirms the expansion of an already fruitful partnership. Boutique Group previously engaged the educational institution to deliver Medh’Yaf – a hospitality immersion program that focused on the luxury hospitality landscape, techniques to develop and bring to life cultural heritage, and how to deliver the ultra-luxury experience, to more than 70 of their employees.

WILD signs MoU with UN Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia

WILD (Women in Leadership Deliver) the GCC-based female networking platform, has signed a significant MoU that forms a new partnership with the United Nations Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia to drive forward SDG5 gender equality in the Kingdom, aligning with the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.Since its launch in KSA in 2022, WILD has made a positive impact across the female leadership space in the Kingdom. Establishing its foundation in the UAE in 2018, WILD has cemented itself as a credible and popular platform for female leadership, across industries. Through this groundbreaking new alliance, WILD and the UNGC, KSA are joining forces to amplify the voices of women leaders, drive transformative change, and champion the advancement of women across the region. The partnership aims to create a powerful platform where women can connect, inspire, and support each other on their leadership journeys.As part of the partnership, WILD will actively contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to gender equality and women's empowerment. Through targeted programs and initiatives, WILD and the UNGC, KSA will work hand in hand to ensure that women have equal opportunities to thrive in leadership positions, contribute to decision-making processes, and shape the future.Saudi Arabia has made tremendous progress in empowering its working women. As the nation diversifies its economy, gender equality is a core component of this diversification and huge trajectory of the growth anticipated.Women in KSA are leading the way across multiple sectors. The technology industry has a higher female participation rate than other regions globally. Saudi women over ranked European women standing at 28% compared to 17.5% in Europe. Entrepreneurship is of huge interest to those looking to start up their own ventures and KSA is ranked the 3rd highest of women holding entrepreneurship roles globally."We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the United Nations Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia," said Emma Burdett, Founder and CEO of WILD. "This collaboration represents a bold step forward in our mission to empower women leaders worldwide. Together, we will break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all."The WILD vision and mission is set to influence many lives over the coming years through its female leadership community, leadership programs, events and initiatives. WILD will be utilizing Saudi talent in alignment with the vision requirements and to be relevant to local needs. "As a Saudi female leader, I appreciate the direction and the realization efforts of Saudi Vision 2030 to empower Saudi women. Moreover, I understand that the journey isn’t easy; and it doesn’t begin/stop at landing a senior role, but it's a combination of little and major steps with so many conversations in between that women need to realize and be prepared for. For that, I’m glad to announce the partnership between UN Global Compact Saudi Arabia and WILD to deliver a range of organizational programs that will help businesses identify the gap of female leadership, create the right governance and culture for growing female leadership, and bridge local and global networks to share success stories and best practices.” said Maryam Telmesani, Board Chair of Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia.

Adware and banking risks most prevalent in MENA region: Kaspersky

Kaspersky released a new report on mobile cyberthreat dynamics in Q2 2023, which indicates that threats for mobile devices are growing. While users increasingly rely on their mobile devices to share personal data and connect to corporate networks, the number of mobile threats detects particularly in the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa region increased by 5% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022. All these threats were blocked by Kaspersky mobile solutions.Threat statistics in the report come from Kaspersky solutions running on Android devices. This mobile OS holds a dominant market share in the Middle East, Africa and Turkiye. Apple devices are not immune to cyberthreats (with the Triangulation attack uncovered by Kaspersky as the most recent example), but are difficult to monitor due to OS specifics.Among the most prevalent mobile threats that were detected in the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa region are adware and mobile banking threats. In Q2 there was a significant rise in adware detects in the region compared to Q2 2022: 94% in Nigeria, 49% in Turkiye, 27% in South Africa, 39% in Kenya, 6% in the Middle East. Banking trojans, which are used to hunt for data related to online banking and e-payment systems, are another concerning threat for mobile users. Specifically, Turkiye saw twofold increase (102%) in Trojan-Banker detects in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.For a more detailed analysis of these threats read the report by Kaspersky.“With the growing adoption of smartphones and mobile banking in the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa region, cybercriminals are likely to further increase their targeting of mobile devices. We can expect a surge in phishing attacks, mobile malware, and malicious apps disguised as legitimate financial services. Cybercriminals will continue to exploit social engineering tactics, such as SMS phishing and voice phishing, to trick mobile users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious content. Individuals and organizations in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa should prioritize mobile cybersecurity measures, including robust antivirus software, regular updates, user education, and vigilance against social engineering tactics to safeguard their mobile devices and sensitive data,” comments Anton Kivva, Malware Analyst Team Lead at Kaspersky.To protect yourself from mobile threats, Kaspersky recommends:Download apps only from official stores like Apple AppStore, Google Play or Amazon Appstore. Apps from these markets are not 100% failsafe, but at least they get checked by the moderators and there is some filtration system — not every app can get onto these stores. It’s worth looking through user reviews of an apps to see if there is any negative feedback on its functionality.Check the permissions of apps that you use and think carefully before permitting an app, especially when it comes to high-risk permissions such as Accessibility Services.A reliable mobile security solution like Kaspersky Premium can help you to detect malicious apps and adware before they start behaving badly on your device.Update your operating system and important apps as updates become available. Many safety issues can be solved by installing updated versions of software.Kaspersky calls on the mobile industry to enhance cyber protection at all levels, including security for users, by providing tailored cybersecurity services. Kaspersky Consumer Business Alliances enable companies to offer their customers complete cybersecurity portfolios by backing them with Kaspersky's global support and expertise.

New Balance partners with Amy Roko as ambassador

The renowned global sportswear brand New Balance announces its collaboration with the Saudi cultural icon, Amy Roko, as its new brand ambassador. In joining New Balance, Amy will work closely with New Balance to foster the engagement of women and empower them through various initiatives.New Balance recognizes Amy Roko as a prominent figure leading change in the region as she fearlessly challenges societal rules and norms. Through her influential presence on various digital platforms, she has initiated thought-provoking conversations on important topics, such as gender equality, self-expression, and breaking stereotypes.With her unique sense of humor, authenticity, and relatability, Amy has connected with women from all backgrounds, empowering them to embrace their individuality and break societal expectations. By freely discussing sensitive issues and advocating for inclusivity, she has created a safe space for dialogue and has become a role model for countless women seeking inspiration and the confidence to pursue their dreams. Through her visionary outlook and determination, Amy will represent the region's consumers who crave change and embrace a futuristic perspective as she perfectly aligns with New Balance's ethos of fearless independence. She embodies the brand's spirit and will serve as a compelling ambassador, encouraging women to express themselves authentically and confidently.In her role as New Balance's ambassador, Amy will be the face of various local campaigns, with a particular focus on showcasing some of the brand's classic kicks such as the 550 and 530. Through these campaigns, Amy aims to amplify New Balance's message of self-expression, encouraging women to break barriers, redefine standards, and embrace their unique style.The partnership between New Balance and Amy Roko represents a powerful union that seeks to revolutionize the sportswear industry by challenging the norms and inspiring women to embrace their potential. Together, they aim to create a future where women are celebrated, empowered, and given the platform to drive change.

Interbrand promotes Hector Saracho as Executive Director Strategy

Interbrand, a leading brand consultancy, has announced the promotion of Héctor Saracho to the position of Executive Director Strategy. He has been serving as Head of Strategy for six years. With his promotion, Saracho will assume strategic leadership responsibilities for Interbrand across Iberia, the Middle East, and Latin America. He will report directly to Nancy Villanueva, the CEO of Interbrand, for these regions.Nancy Villanueva, the CEO, stated: “Interbrand is currently at an exciting strategic juncture. The practice of branding is undergoing a redefinition due to a highly volatile landscape, which demands that brands adopt new approaches to management. This compels us to strengthen our service offerings to provide a comprehensive response to our clients’ evolving needs, and Héctor is an indispensable part of this mission. In his new role, Héctor will be responsible for enhancing our renewed strategic methodology, known as Interbrand Thinking, which assists brands in addressing consumer needs by liberating them from industry constraints and expanding into new realms and sources of growth.”Héctor Saracho, the newly appointed Executive Director Strategy, remarked: “It is an honor to continue growing within Interbrand and to contribute to the vision of a globally expanding strategic consultancy. From my new position, I will continue to champion innovation in branding, something that has always been a hallmark of this company, while simultaneously supporting the growth of our clients. “Throughout his professional journey, Saracho has strategically worked with major brands spanning various sectors. His extensive career has unfolded within different organisations with a global presence, initially based in London at UBS Investment Bank and Millward Brown (WPP), and later in Madrid at Young & Rubicam (WPP) and What If. Prior to joining Interbrand in 2017, he held the position of Head of Strategy and New Business at the digital consultancy Genetsis.

Ali Rez to lead SWANA Chair in the International ANDY Awards

The ANDY Awards, renowned for recognizing exceptional campaigns that push creative boundaries to achieve groundbreaking work, has announced that Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer at IMPACT BBDO, will assume the role of SWANA Chair for the 2023-2024 Regional Competition.This competition is unique in its approach, as it eliminates rigid categories, allowing ideas to transcend boundaries from all corners of the globe.Ali Rez stands as the most awarded creative leader in the Middle East. He currently oversees creative output for the IMPACT BBDO Group across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan. In a historic achievement, he became the first jury president from the Middle East at the Cannes Lions and, in 2023, secured the Middle East's first Best-in-Show for Bravery at the ANDY Awards.Ali Rez shares his thoughts on the honour, stating: "It's an honor to serve as the SWANA chair alongside an incredible panel of jurors, all dedicated to recognizing the paramount principle in our industry: the big idea."The Regional Chairs for all areas have been announced and include:  AFRICA: Steve Babaeko, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, X3M Ideas  APAC: Tara Ford, Chief Creative Officer, The Monkeys  EUROPE: Richard Brim, Chief Creative Officer, adamandeveDDB  GREATER CHINA: Alice Chou, Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu Creative Taiwan  LATAM: Joaco Cubria, Partner & Chief Creative Officer, GUT  SWANA: Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer of IMPACT BBDOTiffany Rolfe, Global Chair and Global Chief Creative Officer of RGA, will lead the Global Jury for her second year as Chair.The ANDY Awards Regional Competition serves as the crucial first step in a two-part vetting process. Initially, entries are reviewed free of charge by a jury representing creative leaders from the region. These jurors delve into the cultural context to assess whether the work has the potential to make a big impact and be shortlisted. Shortlisted works then have the opportunity to compete in the Global Competition in the new year.

VMLY&R Commerce makes new appointments for expanding digital commerce

VMLY&R Commerce, a global end-to-end “Creative Commerce Company”, has appointed Toseef Butt as Regional Commerce Director and Head of CaaS and Leanne Bird as Global Program Partnerships Lead.The company is known for serving demand from clients for data-driven e-commerce and performance services, talent and technology, in support of business sales growth and brand building through commerce. The agency is taking inspiration around Commerce as a Service (CaaS) to strategically package its bespoke digital commerce offerings and end-to-end managed-services across DTC, retail media, Amazon & marketplaces, digital-shelf, content and commerce advisory.  For this it has appointed Toseef Butt as Regional Commerce Director and Head of CaaS for MENA region. A seasoned digital commerce and retail media specialist with a 14-year track record in both the UK and Dubai. Butt will be accountable for growing the digital commerce sales across all channels. He is known for his expertise in data-led, consumer-centric strategies, and has a depth of knowledge across the region’s retail media providers, and focus on the delivery of precision, efficacy of measurement and optimisation to grow client’s businesses.Among his recent accolades, Butt architected the successful local D2C performance media launch for renowned brands like H&M, Mothercare, Victoria’s Secret, and Huawei. The second appointment is of Leanne Bird as Global Program Partnerships Lead. She has more than 15 years experience on the tech and agency side in delivering operational excellence across a range of clients to create integrated functional effectiveness and orchestrate business development through a team of agency and partner experts. As a highly commercial and operationally focused professional, she is responsible for setting up and structuring the ‘Commerce as a Service’ global team. Leanne Bird will bridge the gap between VMLY&R Commerce and key agency partners like Amazon, Stripe, Google, Meta to develop drive training, accreditation across the agency’s talent, and to continue the co-creation of class leading and value adding innovations with key WPP partners. She will be based in Sea Containers in London.

ABC elevates its shopping experience with launch of new 'shop-in-shop' concept

On September 22nd, 2023, ABC unveiled its brand new 'Shop-in-Shop' concept, promising a dynamic and immersive retail experience for all fashion enthusiasts. The unveiling of the concept store took place in the presence of prominent fashion influencers, local media outlets, as well as our valued ABC customers! The event was a roaring hit, packed with trend-setters and tastemakers, drumming up excitement for the upcoming Fall/Winter collection launch. At the newly renovated women’s department store at ABC Dbayeh L2, a new fashion destination has been curated where all your favourite brands can be found, grouped together seamlessly in one place. Each renowned brand will take over a space within the ‘Shop-in-Shop’, offering shoppers an intimate and engaging environment that captures the unique essence of any individual. Customers can freely explore brands like Pinko, Liu jo, Patrizia Pepe, Chiara Ferragni, Versace Jeans Couture, and Just Cavalli in a fresh new space designed exclusively for style-seekers to delight in the latest fashion trends and looks.Amidst this exciting debut, the ABC Department Store also presented an exclusive preview of the highly anticipated NOW Fall/Winter Collection! This line embodies the spirit of the present moment, celebrating life, vibrancy, and individuality. The NOW collection exudes boldness, brightness, and a daring palette of colours that radiate energy. These captivating pieces combine attitude with elegance, whereby customers make a striking statement while remaining sophisticatedly chic.

Facebook's makeover: Subtle changes that are hard to spot

Recently, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, decided to give Facebook a makeover by changing its logo’s color The social media giant claims that this transformation is all about giving Facebook's iconic blue color a more confident expression.Meta has incorporated a more confident expression of Facebook's core blue color to make it more visually accessible in the Facebook app and provide a stronger contrast for the "f" to stand apart. The brand has also redesigned the wordmark and logo to create a consistent treatment using Facebook Sans, their custom typeface.In addition to the logo, Facebook has also revealed a new color palette. Blue remains the foundation color, but the brand has added a range of secondary blues to create a stronger distinction for Facebook. However, if you’re expecting a brand-new look for Facebook, you’ll be highly disappointed. The new design and logo have made people confused, everyone is discussing the design details, color palettes, and contrast ratios, as they are not as such noticeable.  To sum it up, Meta's logo changes are far more than a surface-level makeover. They reflect a strategic approach to branding and marketing. In a blog post, Meta also hinted that Facebook's design will continue to evolve in the future to meet people's needs and make it easier to explore and connect around audiences' interests.

Al-Futtaim IKEA drops prices of over 2500+ of its products

Al-Futtaim IKEA has dropped prices on over 30% of its most beloved products without compromising on the quality or design, setting IKEA apart from competition, said a company release. This includes products from different home furnishing categories such as the iconic STRANDMON wing chair for your cosy corner, TROFAST for your child’s toy storage and KALLAX shelving unit to display your favourites to mention a few. This is available across the UAE, Oman, and Qatar.As a brand deeply dedicated to its customers and their way of life, Al-Futtaim IKEA aspires to enhance affordability, ensuring that those previously unable to access IKEA can now afford the wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products.Al-Futtaim IKEA recognises the pressing need to provide relief and elevate the quality of life at home with affordable alternatives as the cost of essential items and commodities continues to rise throughout the region. As customers adapt their lifestyles and shopping behaviours to suit the new market conditions, the Swedish retailer aims to extend its affordability initiative. It firmly believes that creating a functional home should not be considered a luxury for anyone. By dropping its prices, Al-Futtaim IKEA aspires to enable more individuals to access the tools they need to transform their living spaces into comfortable homes.Vinod Jayan, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim IKEA UAE, Egypt, Qatar, and Oman, commented, "Al-Futtaim IKEA has always been committed to enhancing lives at home. Given the prevailing economic circumstances, we remain firm in our mission and are intensifying our efforts to ensure that we contribute to creating a better everyday life for the many people at affordable prices. To support our vision, we have dropped the prices of over 2500+ products across the UAE, Qatar and Oman maintaining our commitment to affordability and quality. As a family-owned business, we recognise our significant role in ensuring that more people can access the products and services they require. We aim to offer a seamless IKEA experience, making our products available to customers at affordable prices.’’Elevating Everyday Living with Our Diverse Home SolutionsAt Al-Futtaim IKEA, customers can find solutions designed to enhance every aspect of home living. From innovative storage and organisation solutions to cosy living room seating, bedroom furniture that promotes relaxation, efficient office storage to boost productivity, and a vast selection of kitchen accessories to elevate culinary experiences. Customers can also discover an extensive range of children's storage solutions that combine functionality with playfulness. With a wide selection spanning these categories and more, Al-Futtaim IKEA is dedicated to making homes not only functional but also inspiring and a delightful place to live in.Customers can discover these and numerous other inspiring solutions by exploring IKEA's latest inspirational handbook, accessible both in-store and digitally via the IKEA website. This handbook is filled with an extensive range of inspiring products, innovative approaches, creative ideas, and practical tips, all designed to assist you in decluttering, reorganising and taking charge of your living space and lifestyle.

Neom taps Jellyfish as its media partner

Jellyfish, a marketing performance company for the platform world, has announced its partnership with Neom, the new urban area planned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Neom, the upcoming urban estate, is designed as a cutting-edge industrial powerhouse and innovation in urban living, with numerous regions and centres including ‘linear smart city- The Line’. The project has been funded by USD 500 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi. Jellyfish has been appointed to drive its performance marketing, including PPC, paid social and programmatic display.As the new advertising company, Jellyfish will help promote the new urban area, which is being built in Saudi’s north-western Tabuk province.This mega project, with a planned area of 26,500km, lies to the north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt and south of Jordan. Neon project, with the deadline of 2025 for its first phase, will include a floating industrial complex, a global trade hub, tourist resorts and homes for more than nine million people. The project has been opened to global, regional and local investors or partners.Shanil Jagatia, MD MENA at Jellyfish, said that he was delighted to win NEOM as an esteemed client following a competitive tendering process and multi-agency pitch.    He said: “As a new breed of marketing performance company we know that success demands a creative, multi-platform mindset and we are here to help progressive, innovative brands thrive by navigating, connecting and harnessing the platforms that drive growth. It would be hard to name a more exciting, ambitious project to be working on.”Eyad Zarea, Global Digital Lead at NEOM, said: “We were impressed with Jellyfish’s agile, collaborative and future-facing approach. It felt like the perfect fit for NEOM, as a place for all people from across the globe to make their mark in creative and innovative ways.” Jellyfish works with a number of clients in the MENA region, such as L’Oréal, Sony, Coty, Emirates, and Majid Al Futtaim.

Tribal Credit reveals strategic expansion in Saudi Arabia

 Tribal Credit, a Silicon Valley fintech company dedicated to empowering emerging markets’ SMEs, announced its strategic expansion in Saudi Arabia, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030 to promote financial access, SME competitiveness, and GDP growth and diversification.The company sees Saudi Arabia as central to its global success and it would be using this milestone to accelerate growth globally. Additionally, Tribal aims to enhance mutual benefit from the current developments and advancements in the Kingdom to create more jobs and investment opportunities. Working with several industry-leading investors like SoftBank, QED Investors, BECO Capital, Endure Capital, Stellar Development Foundation, and Coinbase Ventures, Tribal Credit provides innovative financial solutions to companies at various stages of their development.Tribal Credit has affirmed its commitment to contribute to the achievement of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, led by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The company seeks to contribute to the enhancement of the Kingdom's position as a leading destination in fintech by providing comprehensive financial solutions for companies in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This is aimed at bridging the financing gap for small and medium-sized enterprises. Tribal Credit designs specialized financing solutions for these companies, enabling them to achieve market excellence in both the domestic and global markets, thereby creating more job opportunities in the Kingdom.Saudi Arabia, A Central Player in Tribal Credit’s Global Strategy"We're not just expanding to Saudi; it's at the heart of our global success," said Amr Shady, CEO of Tribal Credit. "We are harnessing the momentum of Saudi Vision 2030, the thriving IPO market and our internal readiness to strengthen our presence in the Kingdom and use it as a springboard for global expansion. We plan to IPO in the Kingdom in the next 3 years to accelerate our growth globally.Duane Good, COO of Tribal Credit, said "Saudi Arabia is pivotal to Tribal Credit's global success and growth strategy. Saudi Arabia is a market with immense potential. It has a robust economy, and its Vision 2030 is perfectly aligned with our mission to empower SMEs."Synergizing with Saudi Vision 2030Tribal Credit's expansion into Saudi Arabia will bolster this vision by addressing the financial needs of SMEs, a sector crucial for economic growth and diversification. Tribal Credit offers financial solutions which are specially designed to fulfill the needs of such companies and enable them to excel locally and globally. Through supporting SMEs to receive the required financing, Tribal Credit will contribute to the increase of working opportunities in the Kingdom.Financial Access EnablerEmerging market SMEs face a staggering $1.5 trillion financing gap and a $300 billion cross-border payments market, limiting their access to quality financial services. Tribal Credit aims to bridge this financing gap by providing tailored financial solutions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, thereby expanding access to funding for SMEs and aligning with Vision 2030's financial initiatives.Competitiveness BoosterTribal Credit will equip Saudi SMEs with advanced tools and insights, enabling them to excel in both local and international markets. This move reflects the objectives of Vision 2030 by fostering competitiveness and innovation in the SME sector.Diversification ChampionBy focusing on key industries, Tribal Credit will bolster economic diversification, reducing reliance on oil and resonating with Vision 2030's diversification goals. This contribution will lead to a more resilient and sustainable economy in the Kingdom.Harnessing International ExperienceTribal Credit brings its global track record, winning formula, and technology to Saudi Arabia as a springboard for innovation and expansion. This international experience will catalyze innovation and propel SME growth in the Kingdom and across the globe.

MG Motor with Havas Middle East set to redefine the automotive experience in KSA

Launching its latest Out of Home (OOH) campaign, MG Motors, along with Havas Middle East, aims to bridge the gap between its consumers and management and reinforce its brand presence in the KSA region.MG Motor, a renowned British automotive brand is set to revolutionise the Saudi market, aiming to provide an unparalleled 360-degree customer service experience. The brand can easily boast of having more than 100,000 vehicles on the streets of Saudi Arabia. In a bold move, the Managing Director of MG Motor- Middle East, Tom Lee, took to social media to publicly address the concerns of customers in the Kingdom and shared his direct contact number, in an effort to have the public reach out to him directly.This hands-on approach provided a platform for customers to voice their concerns and instilled confidence that every situation, feedback, and query for the brand, received personal attention with immediate solutions provided directly by MG Motor’s senior management. The initiative was complemented by an out-of-home takeover where the WhatsApp number was prominently advertised across three major cities in the Kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. Critical cases that emerged through the MD's WhatsApp channel were promptly identified and resolved with immediate effect. The team assisted individual car owners, addressing concerns promptly and directly, demonstrating a high level of dedication to customer satisfaction.Tom Lee, during the PR launch, said: “Customer satisfaction remains at the forefront of our business. With a deep understanding of our Saudi customers, their preferences, and aspirations, we are driven by a passion for excellence, as we embark on this journey further to refine our services and products in the Kingdom.”The initiative also involved the introduction of new Social Media handles and the creation of market-specific content, designed to resonate with local tastes and preferences. Under the slogan "Driven by your passion", and a renewed focus on customer-centricity, MG Motor is poised to redefine the automotive experience in Saudi Arabia.<div class="video-container"><iframe src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> sees $10mln in Transactions

Procural, the B2B tendering platform in Bahrain, has surpassed $10 million worth of closed and awarded business transactions. This milestone is being hailed as a noteworthy accomplishment for Procural and reflects the platform's commitment to revolutionising the procurement sector in Bahrain while also playing a pivotal role in the Kingdom's digital is an algorithmic and AI-driven B2B procurement platform that connects vendors to buyers in an efficient, data-driven way. The innovative platform has facilitated successful business transactions, and ensured the procurement of the best value suppliers.It is noteworthy that several prominent businesses have adopted the platform exclusively for all their procurement activities, cementing Procural as the go to platform in the Kingdom.CEO and co-founder of Procural, Uzair Usman, expressed his enthusiasm on this achievement. "Crossing the $10 million mark in closed transactions is a testament to our commitment to fostering innovation in the procurement industry, and validation of our business model. Buyers utilizing Procural have realized substantial savings and have optimized their procurement processes. By leveraging the platform's extensive supplier network and innovative sourcing capabilities, buyers have gained access to competitive suppliers, facilitating more favourable pricing and contract terms. We are proud to have been at the forefront of Bahrain's digital transformation in procurement. This strategic advantage has translated into remarkable cost savings, providing businesses with a significant competitive edge. Our platform has not only facilitated valuable business connections but also fueled economic growth."Procural has made significant strides in transforming the procurement landscape in Bahrain by addressing the challenges faced by businesses and suppliers alike. The platform's user-friendly interface and advanced features have made it easier for buyers to connect with suppliers, streamlining the procurement process and ensuring the selection of the most suitable suppliers for each project. This, in turn, has allowed suppliers to expand their business opportunities and reach a broader audience.Bahrain's adoption of digital technologies has been nothing short of remarkable, and Procural has made parallel strides to offer a digital experience in the B2B space. The platform's success is a testament to its ability to bring buyers and suppliers together, creating a win-win situation for both parties. It has also been instrumental in promoting transparency, efficiency, and competitiveness in the procurement process.This achievement is seen as having a significant impact on Bahrain's business ecosystem, particularly benefiting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and startups. This is in line with Bahrain’s Vision 2030 objectives to support entrepreneurship, innovation and improving the market for SMEs. By enabling these businesses to access a wide range of procurement opportunities, the platform has levelled the playing field in the competitive business landscape.

Pelham Communications inaugurates office in Dubai with Rania Habib as Head

Pelham Communications, a UK and US-based communications firm, is reinforcing its Middle East presence by opening a new office in Dubai, following nearly two decades of working with clients in the region.Jasmin Pelham, based in London, will oversee the new office, while Rania Habib has been appointed as Head of the Middle East office. Based in Dubai, Habib brings over 20 years of experience to the role, gained mainly in the journalism and the arts sector. She previously was Assistant Editor of Canvas, a magazine for visual art from the Arab world, and worked for Alserkal, an arts and culture enterprise based in Dubai.Founded in 2004 in London, Pelham Communications is a communications consultancy and agency dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors. The firm works for clients including museums, not-for-profit foundations, galleries, fairs, cultural festivals, and more.Pelham Communications has already worked with a range of clients in the UAE and the wider region. Jasmin Pelham, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pelham Communications, said: “We are excited to establish our presence at the heart of a dynamic and inspiring region which is spearheading ambitious and thoughtful cultural Projects for its communities, whilst also increasing international understanding of culture from the region.” In the last two decades, Pelham Communications has worked with dozens of organisations, like Dubai’s Ayyam Gallery and Tabari Artspace, Misk Art Institute and Edge of Arabia in Saudi Arabia, Contemporary Istanbul, the 2009 Golden Gates: Contemporary Art from the Middle East exhibition in Paris, and the Iraq and Tunisia pavilions at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and 2017.The firm has also worked on the launch of galleries, including Marfa’ Projects and Letitia Gallery in Beirut and Volte Art Projects in Dubai.Current clients on its roster include Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and the Royal Commission of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, and Efie Gallery in Dubai, among others.

Al Fardan Exchange partners with AML Analytics

Al Fardan Exchange, the leading money transfer and currency exchange firm, has partnered with AML Analytics, the global leader in the testing and validation of sanction screening and transaction monitoring systems.The partnership signifies a notable milestone in Al Fardan Exchange's commitment to ensuring that sanctions systems are functioning as intended, thereby elevating anti-financial crime standards in the market. Al Fardan Exchange seeks to fortify its already robust ethical and sustainable business practices, by implementing comprehensive compliance measures for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).Al Fardan Exchange's adoption of AML Analytics testing is a critical step towards ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of their sanction and PEP screening systems. AML Analytics Regulatory Technology (RegTech) solutions enhance the screening and monitoring systems, which will assist Al Fardan Exchange in complying with regulatory requirements. This will help to minimise the risk of financial crime, Targeted Financial Sanctions and ensure that strong detection systems are in place.“Through this strategic alliance, Al Fardan Exchange is set to invest substantially in state-of-the-art technology and expertise, elevating its operations and services to unprecedented levels of excellence”. Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, stated, "Our partnership with AML Analytics marks a significant milestone in reaffirming our unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of compliance both regionally and globally."“AML Analytics are delighted to have been asked to partner with Al Fardan Exchange to assist with their continued proactive approach to their AML/CFT work. I’m thoroughly looking forward to working closely with Hasan Fardan Al Fardan and his team to help them further the development of their vision and future goals.” Tim Holder, Managing Director Middle East and Africa, AML Analytics.AML Analytics collaborates with regulators, supervisors, and central banks globally, delivering technical expertise and advanced Supervisory Technology (SupTech) to test and validate regulated entities' AML/CFT systems as part of Thematic Reviews. AML Analytics has worked with over 40 regulatory authorities across the globe.

Kapture CX appoints Chandrakanth PS as AVP Sales-Middle East

 Kapture CX, the SaaS-based Customer Experience platform, has appointed Chandrakanth PS as AVP Sales-Middle East. Chandrakanth brings with him an impressive wealth of experience, totaling an outstanding 10 years in international sales leadership. With over a decade of experience as an international sales leader, Chandrakanth has honed a formidable skill set that includes in-depth knowledge of local business norms, etiquette, and laws—a vital asset for navigating international markets effectively. Throughout his illustrious career, Chandrakanth has demonstrated his prowess in managing the entire sales cycle, utilizing tools such as SalesForce, and providing invaluable coaching and mentoring to sales teams. He has made remarkable strides in B2B sales, solution selling, and strategic account development. Chandrakanth has not only contributed significantly to SAAS sales but has also excelled in account management and portfolio expansion. His exceptional skills in business planning, reporting, and customer relationship management have earned him recognition as an award-winning sales professional.Commenting on his appointment, Sheshgiri Kamath, CEO & Co-founder, Kapture CX, said, “Vikas and I are excited to welcome Chandrakanth to the Kapture team. We've been growing well in the Middle east market and bringing Chandra on board will accelerate this journey significantly for us. He's a rockstar and has built out some great relationships over the course of his career. His expertise building and accelerating new geography expansion is a step in the right direction as we look to scale our solutions globally. We truly believe Chandra can help us drive leadership market share amongst enterprises in customer experience across the Middle east market.”Chandrakanth holds an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Kaplan University in Singapore. Before joining the Kapture CX, Chandrakanth made significant contributions as the Associate Director of Sales at Locus, where he played a pivotal role in achieving their goals.Commenting on the same, Chandrakanth PS, AVP Sales-Middle East, said, "I am focussed in the Middle East region, including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Kenya. The Middle East is a vibrant and dynamic business landscape, with a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer service. Kapture CX's track record of helping over 1000+ businesses globally, coupled with their proven ability to drive significant improvements in team productivity, overall customer satisfaction, and operational cost reduction, makes them an ideal partner for businesses in the Middle East seeking to elevate their customer experience.By joining forces with Kapture CX, I am confident that we can support businesses in the Middle East to establish a strong foothold in the market and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

Google and TikTok explore partnership to enhance search traffic, discovery

Google and TikTok are considering a new partnership that would involve incorporating Google search features, and potentially even search results, into TikTok's search functionality. This potential collaboration comes in response to TikTok's growing popularity among younger users, positioning it as a favoured search engine. For Google, this partnership represents an opportunity to expand its market share.Google has faced scrutiny regarding its dominance in web search, primarily through distribution agreements with companies like Apple and Samsung. TikTok, on the other hand, could benefit from improved content discovery, as Google indexes more of its content and displays more TikTok-related results in search. This could also impact Google's short-video platform, YouTube Shorts, but given TikTok's immense popularity, it could be a win-win for both platforms.It's important to note that these are speculations until an official agreement is reached and announced. Nevertheless, this partnership holds intrigue for digital marketers, particularly with TikTok's emergence as a search companion.A video posted by app researcher Radu Oncescu reveals that some TikTok users are now seeing a new prompt in their search results within the app. This prompt encourages users to expand their search on Google. While it resembles a custom advertising unit, TikTok clarified that it is not an advertisement.According to a Business Insider report, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed that the company is experimenting with third-party integrations within the TikTok app, including a trial with Google. This feature is being tested globally in various markets and is not an advertising unit. Google, however, did not provide further details or comment on any financial arrangements between the two companies as part of this partnership.In summary, this custom integration with Google is designed to enhance user experience by providing more context and enabling greater discovery within the TikTok app.

Advanced Media to launch Arabic edition of CINESeason in Riyadh

Advanced Media has announced the launch of the Arabic edition of CINESeason in Riyadh. This two-day event, designed to empower aspiring filmmakers and content creators, will take place on October 6th and 7th, 2023, setting the stage for an immersive learning experience in cinematic filmmaking and digital cinema technology.In 2020, Advanced Media Trading introduced CINE, a biannual digital cinema community event that quickly became a focal point for filmmakers, enthusiasts, and industry experts in the GCC and beyond. CINE has since been an invaluable space for professionals and cinephiles to come together, discuss the latest technologies, trends, and solutions in digital cinema, and showcase their skills and creations.Building on its reputation as the leading distributor of video, photo, broadcast, and cinema equipment, Advanced Media is furthering its commitment to the development and education of the media and film community. The launch of the Arabic edition of CINESeason underscores the company's dedication to organizing training workshops, seminars, and community events that inform and familiarize consumers with new equipment and cutting-edge technological advances.CINESeason, set to be held at a prestigious venue in Riyadh, is a comprehensive two-day event that brings together the best and brightest in the world of digital cinema. Participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with industry experts, share their knowledge, and explore the latest developments in digital cinema, broadcast, and video. This event will serve as a prelude to the 4th edition of the Riyadh Season, making it an essential part of the city's cultural calendar.The event's workshops are carefully curated to cater to a wide range of interests and skill levels. Covering topics such as video acquisition, lighting for film and TV drama, workflow, and post-production, the workshops offer a hands-on and interactive learning experience. Participants will have access to top-of-the-line equipment from renowned brands like RED, Sony Professional Solutions, Zeiss, Angenieux, Astera light, DJI, Tokina, and more, all within specially designed sets that enhance the learning experience.Workshop highlights include:  "Video Acquisition for Cinema" and "Understanding Your Optics: Shooting in 8K and Beyond" conducted by Mr. Fouad Aoun, a cinematography expert with over a decade of experience.  "Workflow and Post," taught by Mr. Mostafa Salah, a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in media and editing.  "Lighting for Film & TV Drama" by the renowned Egyptian Director of Photography, Ayman Abou el Makarem, offering invaluable insights into creating cinematic visuals, enhancing storytelling, and staying versatile and adaptable.Ultimately, all four workshops will provide participants with a platform to showcase their creativity. Collaborating on projects guided by experienced instructors, attendees will have the chance to put their newfound skills into practice, create compelling content, and present their work to their peers and industry professionals.Advanced Media's CINESeason workshops aim to empower participants to excel in their craft and take their filmmaking skills to new heights. By offering a comprehensive program that covers various aspects of cinematic filmmaking, providing hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment, and fostering a collaborative and supportive environment, CINESeason is set to be an event like no other in the world of digital cinema.

Namshi and Adidas commence #YouthOfTheFuture campaign for Saudi National Day

Namshi, an online retailer and Adidas, have launched a new campaign, “#YouthOfTheFuture,” to celebrate Saudi National Day, which was on 23 September. This digital campaign encourages Saudi youth to share a photo or video of adidas in Saudi Arabia on any social media platform for a chance to win SR1,000 Namshi credits, which can be spent on adidas products only.The photos or videos can be of any adidas product shot in the region. Namshi is a homegrown brand with deep roots in the kingdom. Areej Al-Babtain, Project Manager at Namshi, shared: “We’re proud to partner with adidas to celebrate local style, honoring the rich culture, heritage and unique identity that define Saudi Arabia this National Day.”Participants must tag @namshi, @adidas and #youthofthefuture in their posts, which will be reposted by Namshi on its social media channels.

TikTok introduces measurement solution for advertisers

TikTok has launched Attribution Analytics, a new tool to help advertisers better understand campaign performance and user insight. It is a first-party measurement solution that analyses the full customer journey on the social platform, from awareness to action, providing insights into how users make purchases.TikTok has confirmed that it is planning to release a number of additional features for Attribution Analytics in the coming months, and support other campaign types to give advertisers transparency into their ad impact. The first feature that is announced as part of the initial launch is the Performance Comparison. This is a measurement tool that shows conversions over different timeframes, helping advertisers find the right attribution strategy for their business. Performance Comparison data will show the number of conversions that happen after seeing or clicking an ad, and how long it takes for these conversions to happen.In its blog post announcing the new tool, TikTok highlights the unconventional customer journey on the platform . It mentions, “The immersive nature of TikTok content means users often see and take inspiration from ads but don’t want to disrupt their browsing experience. Instead, they continue their browsing on TikTok and resume their purchase journey later."It also revealed that according to a post-purchase survey, 79 per cent of conversions that users credited to TikTok were missing from last-click models data.

Rupert Murdoch steps down, Lachlan to lead Fox, News Corp

Rupert Murdoch will step down from his roles as chairman of both Fox and News Corp, paving the way for his son, Lachlan Murdoch, to assume leadership at both companies. In a staff memo, the 92-year-old Murdoch cited the opportune moment for him to embrace "different roles" in the organisations. Murdoch will transition to the position of Chairman Emeritus for both firms in mid-November, after having launched Fox News in 1996. Today, Fox is the most-watched TV news channel in the US.  The transition is significant as it comes a year ahead of the US presidential election, in which the right-wing Fox News wields major influence. The network will be hosting multiple debates featuring Republican contenders for the 2024 White House candidacy.Lachlan Murdoch, aged 52, is Rupert Murdoch's son from his second marriage to Anna Maria dePeyster. The veteran media tycoon has been married four times, fathering six children, with the question of succession mainly revolving around his second, third, and fourth children: Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James. Lachlan, who in the past had emerged as the heir apparent in the late 1990's, had to leave the business in 2005 after differences of opinion with Fox News ex boss Roger Ailes. Lachlan returned to the News Corp board in 2014, holding important positions since then.James Murdoch, known for his more progressive viewpoints, left the media empire three years ago, citing what he called some disagreements "over certain editorial content" and other concerns about the company's direction. Elisabeth, aged 55, occupied different high-ranking roles within the business, but started her own TV company, Shine, responsible for producing popular shows such as The Biggest Loser, MasterChef, etc.The leadership transition arrives amid a turbulent year for Fox, marked by a significant settlement of $787.5 million with Dominion, a voting machine company, over its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

YouTube unveils AI-powered tools for enhanced creative expression in MENA

YouTube has unveiled a suite of upcoming AI-powered capabilities that will help both new and established creators and artists globally including across the Middle East and North Africa to create, edit, and share content in bold new ways. These AI-powered tools, introduced at Made On YouTube, will help unlock powerful new forms of creative expression, take the friction out of the creative process, and allow YouTube creators to reach more viewers.Showcasing the limitless potential AI can bring to creators, artists and the creative industry, today’s key announcements include:  The introduction of Dream Screen, a new generative AI feature to unlock creative expression on Shorts: YouTube will introduce Dream Screen, a new experimental feature that allows creators to add AI-generated video or image backgrounds to their Shorts simply by typing an idea into a prompt for creators. With Dream Screen, creators will be able to generate new, fantastic settings for their Shorts that are only limited by bounds of their imagination.    Since launching Shorts in 2020, Shorts has now climbed to over 70B daily views globally from over 2B logged-in users every month.  YouTube is bringing Aloud, an AI-powered dubbing tool, into YouTube so creators easily reach audiences well beyond their primary language.    Available to select creators, the feature is currently being tested in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.  Next year, YouTube Studio will tap generative AI to spark video ideas and draft outlines to help creators brainstorm. These insights are personalized for each channel and based on what audiences are already watching and interested in.    YouTube has been testing early versions of AI-powered tools in YouTube Studio with creators, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said it’s helped them develop and test ideas for videos.Tarek Amin, Director of YouTube in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We’re committed to helping creators across the region to thrive on YouTube by helping them to take their creativity to new levels through these AI powered tools which were designed with content creators and their needs in mind”.YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said: “At YouTube, we want to make it easier for everyone to create. Building on our long track record of innovation and our strong expertise in AI, we believe these updates will enable creators to push the boundaries of creative expression -- by making the difficult things simple and impossible dreams possible. Today’s announcements are part of YouTube’s continued commitment to putting the creative power into the hands of billions of people. This is the start of a new era of creativity, and we can’t wait to see what our incredible community of creators and artists do next.”

Arsenal and Sobha Realty announce new partnership

Arsenal has announced a new global partnership with Dubai-based luxury real estate developer, Sobha Realty, during a signing ceremony that took place at the Sobha Hartland Events Hall in Dubai.Ravi Menon, Co-chairman of Sobha Realty, Francis Alfred, Managing Director of Sobha Realty and Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer of Arsenal F.C, were joined by Arsenal legend Sol Campbell to sign the multi-year agreement that will see Sobha Realty become the club’s Official Global Real Estate Partner.As part of this partnership, Sobha Realty’s presence will be at all men’s and women’s domestic games played at Emirates Stadium. It will also see Arsenal and Sobha Realty collaborate on initiatives to develop the sport industry in Dubai and beyond. This includes hosting football experiences, including youth football clinics, tournaments, and seminars.The luxury developer will also gain naming rights to The WM Club – a premium match-day hospitality suite at Emirates Stadium – which will now be known as ‘The WM Club, Presented by Sobha Realty.’Arsenal and Sobha Realty look forward to collaborating on projects to demonstrate their collective pursuit of progress over the coming years.Juliet Slot said, “I am delighted to be in Dubai to sign this agreement and officially announce our new partnership with Sobha Realty. It is important that our partners share our vision, and Sobha Realty’s strong heritage in the region and its unwavering commitment to always moving forward match our own ambitions as a club."This is our first Official Global Real Estate Partner, a further sign of our commercial strength, and ability to continue attracting new partners from a diverse field of industries and backgrounds. We look forward to working with Sobha Realty in the years ahead and supporting its growth as a brand across the world.” Ravi Menon stated, "Sobha Realty is delighted to be embarking on this exciting journey as Arsenal Official Global Real Estate Partner. Our collaboration with the globally recognised football institution is a coming together of shared values of both organizations as the‘ art of the detail’ meets the ‘art of football’."It demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the highest standards, driving sustainable economic growth, and access to international markets and talent. Having reached a significant milestone with this collaboration, we look forward to a successful and lasting future with Arsenal.”Francis Alfred said, “It is a momentous occasion for Sobha Realty to join hands with The Arsenal as their Official Global Real Estate Partner. Our collaboration is a crucial step towards promoting excellence and growth in both, real estate and sport."We have seen a heightened interest in Dubai Real Estate from UK consumers and with this partnership with Arsenal, we look forward to strengthening our brand in the UK & surrounding markets. We are very excited for this partnership and we hope to reach new heights and present a promising opportunity for Dubai's talented football community.”To celebrate the partnership, a 1000-strong drone show will light up the sky above Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai this evening (Friday, September 15). The 15-minute performance will showcase the rich heritage of Arsenal and both brands’ shared values.

TrailRunner International hires Seth Hand as Managing Director and Head of ME

The global strategic communications advisory firm TrailRunner International today announced the appointment of Seth Hand as a Managing Director and head of the firm’s Middle East business. Hand brings more than 20 years’ experience, including 15 years in the Gulf region. He joins TrailRunner from Edelman Middle East, where he served as Managing Director for the Middle East and led the regional corporate reputation practice. “We are excited to have a leader of Seth’s experience, caliber, and character coming on board as we grow our business internationally, in the Gulf, and in the broader Middle East North Africa region,” TrailRunner International CEO Jim Hughes said. “Our focus at TrailRunner is on delivering for our clients and on creating great career opportunities for ambitious, hard-working communications professionals. We are pleased to have found in Seth a leader who sees the world the same way we do and who will help us find the best ways for TrailRunner to contribute to the broader success of this incredibly dynamic and critically important part of the world.” “When TrailRunner International approached me to lead their market entry into the Middle East, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Hand. “With offices across the U.S. and in China, TrailRunner has established a strong reputation as a high-impact firm with an unusual commitment to client service and to its incredibly tight-knit team. I believe TrailRunner’s approach to delivering best-in-class strategic communications counsel will be welcomed by clients across the region and I look forward to the work ahead as we build and grow here.” Headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, TrailRunner International was founded in 2016 and today has offices in New York, Nashville, Shanghai, and Truckee, Calif. To date, it has supported clients in the region with teams drawn from its U.S. and China offices. Before Edelman, Hand held other senior leadership roles in the Gulf region, including at Finsbury, where he was regional managing director for the Middle East, Grayling, where he served as director for new market development, and H+K Strategies, where he was an account director. A native of Scotland, Hand graduated from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in corporate communication.

W7Worldwide's inspiring tribute to Saudi Arabia's journey on National Day

In commemoration of the 93rd Saudi National Day, which is celebrated annually on September 23rd, W7Worldwide, an independent marketing communications consultancy agency in Saudi, has unveiled a captivating 1.05-minute video titled "What Leadership Looks Like in Saudi Arabia?" The video serves as a tribute to the Kingdom's outstanding accomplishments in 2023, achieved through the determination of its people and the visionary leadership that envisions a future marked by progress, development, and prosperity. Saudi Arabia, under the banner of Vision 2030, has solidified its position as a key player on both regional and international stages, undergoing remarkable transformations across various domains - from economic and technological advancements to sports and societal changes.Space ExplorationThe video commences by highlighting Saudi Arabia's historic achievements in space exploration. It follows the extraordinary journey of Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni to the International Space Station, culminating in the successful landing of their spacecraft in the Atlantic Ocean. Their mission, which encompassed 14 research projects on microgravity, promises significant benefits for humanity and positions the Kingdom at the forefront of space exploration. Notably, Rayyanah Barnawi made history as the first Arab woman to orbit the Earth.International AwardsThe video shines a spotlight on Saudi Arabia's young talents who participated in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competition in the United States. An impressive 35 students from the Saudi Science and Engineering Team made the journey, returning with an impressive tally of 22 international awards. This achievement underscores the Kingdom's commitment to fostering excellence in education and scientific innovation.Sport ExcellenceSaudi Arabia's dedication to sports excellence is another highlight in the video. As part of the Vision 2030 initiative, the Saudi Pro League has attracted top international football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar da Silva, and Karim Benzema, making it a premier destination for talented players. The Roshn League has captivated football fans worldwide, being broadcast in over 100 countries by 40 channels. Additionally, Saudi Arabia's investment in major golf events reflects its ambition to promote and popularize the sport on a global scale.Communication AchievementsThe video showcases Saudi Arabia's strides in the communication and technology sector, ranking 2nd among G20 members and 4th globally in Digital Systems Preparedness. This achievement is attributed to the nation's commitment to building a sustainable regulatory framework and embracing digital collaborative regulation to empower the digital economy. These efforts have bolstered the performance and productivity of various vital sectors.Ambitions and AccomplishmentsEmphasizing Saudi Arabia's pursuit of global leadership, the video conveys the message that the country aspires to elevate its name proudly across various domains, including the economy, politics, society, sports, technology, and legislation. It also highlights the empowerment of Saudi women and the encouragement of youth to take leadership roles in shaping the nation's future.The Saudis' DeterminationThe video concludes with a profound quote from His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: "The Saudis' strength is like that of Mount Tuwaiq, unbreakable unless this mountain is leveled and equaled to the ground." This quote symbolizes the unwavering determination of the Saudi people and the unbreakable bond between wise leadership and its citizens, with Mount Tuwaiq serving as an enduring testament to resilience and strength.W7Worldwide's video is a tribute to Saudi Arabia's remarkable journey and its unyielding commitment to progress, unity, and prosperity as it celebrates its 93rd National Day under the theme of "We Dream and Achieve."

Riyadh's Mazadak partners with MoEngage to expand services

Mazadak, a Riyadh-based auction application known for its exceptional service to both sellers and buyers, has announced its strategic partnership with MoEngage, a renowned marketing automation and customer engagement platform.Currently, the social commerce brand caters to an audience inclined towards luxury items like cars, watches, jewelry, and even jets. Moving forward, Mazadak will branch out into more categories like NFTs and real estate to address different segments. MoEngage aims to help Mazadak in engaging with both segments.Ayman Alkhalili, the Marketing Director at Mazadak, expressed his optimism about the partnership, saying, "While we have been serving a specific segment of individuals and B2B clients, our vision is to broaden our horizons and provide diverse options for all. We are committed to addressing key challenges such as personalized communication and delivering the right message to the right audience based on their preferences. This is where we believe MoEngage can play a pivotal role."MoEngage will also help Mazadak in tracking the behavior of the customer. By gaining insights from different customers, the auction app will be able to create accurate segments, leading to better engagement and higher conversions.Following the integration phase, Mazadak is gearing up to implement the RFM method and other data analytics techniques to gain deeper insights into customer preferences.Regarding the seamless integration, Ayman Alkhalili, Marketing Director at Mazadak, remarked, "The transition to MoEngage has proceeded smoothly and systematically. We are well on track to complete the onboarding process by September."“We are stoked to be the proud partners of Mazadak. The brand has always kept a customer-centric approach and with the help of our partnership, we further plan to strengthen it”, said Sweta Duseja, Director of Customer Success at MoEngage.Mazadak joins the growing list of 1200+ global companies across 35 countries, such as Azadea Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Azadea, Jazeera Airways, Alsaif Gallery, Apparel Group, Airtel, Ola, Oyo, and Mashreq, that trust MoEngage to deliver a consistent experience across multiple devices and touchpoints.

Snap to organise its global lens fest for AR developers

Snap has announced its Lens Fest Awards for AR developers. The event, to be live-streamed on November 9, 2023, will bring together creators, developers, and partners to celebrate augmented reality technology.This fest is an opportunity to bring together the vibrant Snap AR community of visionaries, innovators, and dreamers that are collaborating to push boundaries, redefine what’s possible with augmented reality, and build businesses along the way. The virtual sessions and networking will allow the global creator community to connect, learn and acknowledge best-in-class AR. Creatives can submit their lenses to compete with the world’s top AR creators at the Lens Fest Awards.The voting process will include judges from the Snap team who will bring their expert perspectives to select their favorite AR experiences this year.The categories include Breakthrough lens of the year, Snapchat lens of the year, Best of camera kit, and moonshot.

Celebrate afternoon movie fun with Roxy Cinemas’ ‘After School Club’

Afternoons just got more fun! Roxy Cinemas invites young movie buffs to the new After School Club – an exciting after-school experience dedicated to kids and teens.  Playing the latest and greatest family, animation, and adventure movies, specially curated for kids of all ages, movie fans and their parents can watch their favorite characters come to life while enjoying UNLIMITED popcorn and a regular juice or soda for just AED 59.The After School Club starts right after school from Monday to Friday. For parents who prefer not to join in on the movie fun, can conveniently drop off their little ones at the ultimate after-school hangout spot.Available in Silver and Gold experience, the After School Club at Roxy Cinemas in Dubai Hills Mall, City Walk, The Beach, and Al Khawaneej Walk locations from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.Hop on board for an epic after-school adventure at Roxy Cinemas. It's non-stop fun, excitement and unlimited popcorn.This week’s line-up includes Gran Turismo, The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2 and Cats in the Museum. Visit or via the Roxy Cinemas app to check out the latest movies playing.Follow the Roxy Cinema’s social media channels for the latest updates:Instagram: @TheROXYCinemasFacebook: @TheROXYCinemasBottom of FormTerms & ConditionsThe offer is valid from Mondays to Fridays onlyThe offer is valid for select movies from 3.30 to 5.30pmThe same price applies to the guardian – and yes, they are also eligible to get unlimited popcornNot available at Roxy Cinemas in BoxparkPopcorn can be refilled at the concession counters

Fashion and lifestyle conference Hia Hub returns for its third edition

The highly anticipated Hia Hub is back for its third edition from 3-7 November 2023, in Riyadh’s JAX District. Hia Hub is set to bring together some of the world’s most celebrated industry pioneers, artists, experts, and brands, all converging to showcase the latest trends in fashion, beauty, art, design, and luxury. As the region’s largest fashion and lifestyle conference, Hia Hub aims to inspire the upcoming generation of fashion and beauty entrepreneurs through engaging discussions, masterclasses, workshops, interactive exhibitions, and live performances. Building on the notable success of Hia’s inaugural event in 2021, Hia Hub’s second edition came in 2022 as a flagship conference in the region. It featured a lineup of 13 talks and panels along with three masterclasses led by renowned leaders in fashion and beauty such as Image Architect Law Roach, Celebrity Makeup Artist Mary Phillips, Supermodel and Actress Amber Valetta, Fashion Designer Zac Posen, and Entrepreneur and Digital Influencer Karen Wazen. In addition, the event boasted nine workshops, four exhibits, and forged 34 partnerships with major international brands like Piaget, Richard Mille, Michael Kors, Threads, Shiseido, Swarovski, and Tanagra. Bigger and bolder, the third edition of Hia Hub will pay tribute to the contributions the Arab community has made to the world of fashion, art, and design. Alongside the planned interactive exhibitions, retail opportunities and entertainment, including live musical performances, Hia Hub is joining forces with the Saudi Fashion Commission’s annual event, Fashion Futures, to expand the conferences programming and deepen collaboration. Established in 2019, Fashion Futures is a leading platform for learning, facilitating discussions and fostering global exchange within Saudi Arabia’s fast-growing fashion ecosystem. In 2022, the event gathered fashion enthusiasts to engage in insightful conversations on entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, diversity and culture. This year, Fashion Futures programme will focus on three main themes, including owning your story, revolutionizing the industry, and fusing purpose with creativity. It will also host additional retail activations by local Saudi brands and feature pop-up events around Riyadh. More details to come in the upcoming months. Mike Fairburn, Managing Director of SRMGx, the creators and organizers of Hia Hub and the experiential arm of SRMG, said: “Hia Hub is back for its third edition. It’s bigger and bolder this year, bringing together some of the regional and global fashion industry’s most accomplished business leaders, designers, celebrities, and icons, alongside leading fashion houses and brands. It is a truly unique 5-day event – a dynamic programme of seminars, talks, workshops, masterclasses, and live performances – that blends the latest trends and perspectives in fashion, art, design, music and contemporary culture. At SRMGx, our mission is to foster deeper connections with audiences and cultures by creating impactful and cutting-edge live experiences. We connect brands with new audiences through the creation of unique live and experiential formats, such as Hia Hub - an original conference designed and programmed around our iconic brand, Hia Magazine.”Burak Çakmak, CEO of the Fashion Commission, said: “With the return of Fashion Futures, we are taking another step towards driving the development of Saudi’s fast-emerging fashion industry, unlocking opportunities and supporting our most promising creative talents. We look forward to welcoming some of the best and brightest minds to join us at Hia Hub this November.”Guests can register at to apply for early bird tickets and be the first to learn about workshops, masterclasses, and panels.This year, Hia Hub will introduce a range of tailored ticketing options, including an all-access VIP ticket, which will provide guests with exclusive backstage access and priority admission to all masterclasses, as well as general admission tickets and individual day passes.

Anchanto unveils growth plans to sustain Middle East's e-commerce appetite

 E-commerce and logistics SaaS company Anchanto confirmed its successful expansion in the Middle East with the successive signing of local retail and logistics leaders Jeebly, Between, and Digitalstores. With this, Anchanto is set to become one of the leading providers of e-commerce and logistics solutions in the region, less than 18 months after its launch.Vaibhav Dabhade, Co-Founder and CEO of Anchanto, said: “The Middle East’s e-commerce journey is at a turning point. On the logistics side, we are witnessing a wave of traditional logistics companies and last mile carriers turning towards e-commerce fulfilment services. On the retail front, consumers are showing a strong appetite for offline and online shopping, leading distributors to implement strong Omnichannel strategies." He added that "both situations require businesses to accelerate the digitization of their operations by implementing purpose-built solutions that are agile, scalable, and stable enough to fuel their growth. This is where Anchanto comes in and finds success”.Anchanto’s expansion relies on three important pillars that the company plans on strengthening. First, with the hiring and growth of a local team, the SaaS company benefits from a unique proximity with its customers and can offer them close post-sales support and local expertise, two essential advantages considering the strategic importance of its clients’ projects. Second, the development of local alliances. After collaborating with local consulting companies and associations, Anchanto will be launching new strategic partnerships. Finally, investing into the connectivity of its products to the local sales channels and carriers, a key component and differentiator of Anchanto’s offering.Abdalla Alshamsi, CEO at Digitalstores said "Anchanto's seamless and swift integrations with our current systems, along with their established carrier and channel connections, played a pivotal role in our decision-making process. As our company, Digitalstores, experiences rapid growth and evolving requirements, the international experience, flexibility, and regional UAE presence of Anchanto's teams also offer us the assurance to advance our operations effectively.”Anchanto's future expansion plans include growing the Dubai team and expanding to neighboring countries in the Middle East including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.According to Abhimanyu Kashikar, Anchanto COO & Co-Founder, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the obvious next step of our expansion into the Middle East. Word of the successful signing and onboarding of household names in the UAE travelled to the KSA and allowed us to fast-track the signing of our first clients there. Every third contract we sign in the region, is from KSA. We are now doubling down our product development and hiring efforts to better serve this market and accompany its spectacular e-commerce growth”.

Truecaller Reveals New Brand Identity and Enhanced AI Fraud Prevention Features

Truecaller today announced a corporate rebranding and launch of a brand new app icon that will be instantly recognisable on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The timing of the new brand identity aligns with a significant transformation taking place in the digital space. At the heart of this rebranding is Truecaller’s renewed sense of purpose, energy, and enthusiasm.Commenting on the announcement, Alan Mamedi, Co-founder and CEO, Truecaller said, “We are excited to unveil our new brand identity and logo. It signifies our continued commitment to our users and our focus to constantly evolve and improve, every day.”“Our mission, to protect communication for all, is what guides us to develop new anti-fraud solutions like Search Context and engineer improvements to improve user privacy. ”He added.As part of this refreshed identity, Truecaller users also get a powerful new anti-fraud feature called Search Context, as a part of the Truecaller AI Identity engine. While looking at the search results for any number, Truecaller users will be instantly notified if the name for the number has been recently changed or is being changed frequently. The app also classifies this contextual message into three colour categories: blue, for a neutral change, yellow, which could be potentially suspicious if the name has changed more than 3 times in the past 7 days and finally red, indicating multiple and frequent name changes which are highly indicative of fraudulent and scammer activity. This message will be shown to all Truecaller users on all search results across Android, iPhone and Truecaller web.Truecaller introduces new Anti Fraud Feature – Search ContextThe new branding identity is orchestrated by leading global brand consultancy, Interbrand and it will be rolled out in Egypt over the coming weeks. To see the new app icon and changes, users need to update to app version 13.34 or newer on Android and version 12.58 or newer on iOS. Editor’s note: Over the past 14 years, Truecaller has cemented its status as the market leader in call identification solutions. There is a global community of trust that enriches communication for a staggering 356 million users across the globe. This growth reflects the increasing recognition of Truecaller’s initiatives and hardwork in addressing the most pressing issues when it comes to proliferation in global scam and frauds of all kinds.

Toby’s Estate Unveils MENA Region’s 1st Fully Digital Contactless Coffee Shop

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee concept from Australia that is operated by the Pinnacle Group in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), announced the inauguration of its first fully digitized and contactless coffee shop, making it the first such specialty coffee shop in the Middle East and North Africa region.Located where Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters first started in the GCC in 2016, specifically in the Mubarak Al Kabeer Street in the Sharq area of Kuwait City, the contactless shop enables flexible customization whereby customers easily choose their preferred coffee drink, add-ons and food items, while baristas work behind the scenes to prepare the order, ensuring the brand’s commitment to exceptional quality before delivering through a dedicated window a few moments later. Customers can place their orders through the newly launched Toby’s Estate mobile app which allows them to conveniently pre-order and pick up from their order at the contactless shop or any closest Toby’s Estate location, or by simply using the virtual screen at the contactless shop.Speaking of the new concept, Tareq Alshaikh, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Group, said: “Today, we’re digitizing the coffee experience as part of our commitment to making your highest quality, made-to-order coffee convenient, all thanks to our proprietary mobile app and the strategically located contactless shop at the intersection of the financial district. Thousands of employees working nearby can now enjoy their coffee break on a typical fast-paced day. We look forward to expanding this new concept within Kuwait and the GCC as well.“Toby’s Estate has, without a doubt, become synonymous with an authentic specialty coffee experience with a unique design flair in the GCC area. Offering something to suit every taste bud while providing a holistic quality experience: from bean sourcing, packaging and shipping to the cup and beyond.”The shop was redesigned to complement the purpose of the new service model and with the architectural design that Toby’s Estate has come to be known for. The brand’s architectural style features a harmonious and cohesive aesthetic, using natural materials in neutral colors, while incorporating greenery and specific touches that speak to the local community and culture. In addition to a fast, contactless service, customers can also enjoy their coffee outdoors during the cooler months.Since the Kuwait-based Pinnacle Group signed the franchise agreement with Toby’s Estate, the Group has opened 12 locations in Kuwait in addition to operating two cloud kitchens and a coffee truck for catering, and has expanded its reach to two other shops in Dubai, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar.Founded by three visionary entrepreneurs hailing from Kuwait, the Group maintains the same forward-thinking vision in growing the brand by staying true to its commitment to product excellence, ethical sourcing, and operational finesse. The brand believes in its responsibility to ensure that its trade has a positive impact on everyone involved, from the producer to the customer.Toby’s Estate makes available its selection of specialty coffee, brewing equipment, merchandise and more, for customers to shop and enjoy the unique flavors and ambiance of the brand in the comfort of their own homes.??????

Aseel Al-Hammad joins Panel of Judges in Women’s World Car of the Year

The Women’s World Car of the Year has welcomed Aseel Al-Hamad to its global panel of judges. Aseel serves as Saudi Arabia’s representative at the FIA Women in Motorsports Commission and is a board member at the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation.The award distinguishes itself as the sole global car awards programme that highlights the role of women in the world of car and chooses the best cars of the year. Founded by New Zealand motoring journalist Sandy Myhre in 2019, the award exclusively consists of female motoring journalists. With Al-Hamad’s recent inclusion, the panel now boasts 74 judges from 50 nations.On her appointment, Al-Hamad said: “I am incredibly proud of my new role supporting Women’s World Car of the Year, as we are aligned in our mission to enhance female empowerment in the automotive and motorsport industry. This has traditionally been perceived as a male dominant world, and through our work, we are dedicated to correct the balance.”As a prominent figure in the industry, she regularly addresses and guides the Saudi workforce, and frequently appears in the media to advocate for women’s empowerment, serving as an inspiring symbol of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 for leadership and constructive transformation. Al-Hamad is also a strong supporter of motorsports. She acquired the skill of driving in Dubai long before women were permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia. Her journey in racing began as early as 2000 when she tested her abilities in amateur competitions, establishing herself as a notable female figure in the automotive world.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr welcomes new Sales Director: Ms. Dilara Atay

Rixos Bab Al Bahr, the distinguished family beach resort on Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Dilara Atay as their new Sales Director. With an impressive career spanning over 13 years in hospitality across the UAE and Azerbaijan, Ms. Atay brings to the Rixos Bab Al Bahr team a reservoir of expertise, strategic wisdom, and dynamic leadership talents.As Sales Director at Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Ms Atay will be at the helm of the resort's sales endeavours. Her mandate extends to the planning and execution of innovative business strategies, with the overarching goal of driving growth, amplifying revenue streams and securing new markets.Her immediate priorities encompass a comprehensive analysis of market segments to formulate and implement sales strategies that will maximise revenues and lead to a broader customer base and heightened engagement. With an unwavering focus on attracting new business, she aims to position Rixos Bab Al Bahr as the standout property in a highly competitive hospitality realm. Ms. Atay's strategic prowess will further be leveraged to ensure the hotel's consistent performance above budgeted goals.Ahmed Elnawawy, General Manager at Rixos Bab Al Bahr, commented, "We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Dilara Atay as our newly appointed Sales Director. Her exceptional track record in the hospitality industry renders her an invaluable asset to Rixos Bab Al Bahr. Ms. Atay's unique amalgamation of skills and experience will undoubtedly elevate the resort's standing in the market."Before her role as Sales Director, Ms Atay demonstrated exemplary leadership as the Complex Director of Sales for Le Meridien Hotel Dubai at Marriott International, steering numerous successful initiatives. Her dynamic career journey also includes her Cluster Director of Sales role at ABSHERON Hotel Group, where her proactive management strategies consistently maintained high customer satisfaction ratings.This appointment marks a significant leap for Rixos Bab Al Bahr, leveraging Ms. Atay's well-established industry prowess, unwavering dedication to excellence, and visionary perspective for the resort's future. Ms. Atay's journey through various sales and marketing roles, spanning the UAE and beyond, echoes a vibrant profile consistently yielding customer-centric outcomes. Given the remarkable boom in Ras Al Khaimah's tourism sector in recent years, her appointment is timely and strategic.With her expansive involvement in the hospitality domain, and successful international ventures, Ms Atay stands as a virtuous spearhead at Rixos Bab Al Bahr.

Wunderman Thompson takes AI help to evaluate emotional responses to ads

Wunderman Thompson has developed a technology that enables the analysis of consumers' emotional responses to advertisements. This technology also identifies the specific elements within a video that capture their attention. This valuable insight allows clients to make adjustments to their advertising campaigns in order to achieve the desired emotional response from their audience.Reveal, the new technology, combines traditional creative testing techniques with proprietary and licensed technology. Clients select a group of consumers, provided by panel providers, which match their target audience. This panel will then opt to have their faces recorded “for a couple of minutes” as they watch the client’s video ad — similar to how ‘measurement providers measure audience attention levels’. Wunderman Thompson’s machine learning model then analyses the recording for seven micro expressions: anger, disgust, fear, happy, neutral, sad and surprise. The agency has also licensed technology that tracks consumers’ eyes as they focus on specific objects within a video.Face tracking is combined with feedback from a consumer survey. This process can take a weak; after the analysis, the video recordings are deleted.It took about eight months to create the tool. The company decided to develop a proprietary emotions detection model because existing models, such as those within Google’s Cloud Vision API, were limited to macro expressions.Lucile Ripa, Head, Analytics and Data Science, Wunderman Thompson, said: “Our promise is that we are faster and quicker [than other creative testing] because we’ve got all this automation, so it will not take months and months to build a big report full of KPIs, we want to be much more agile and dynamic to be able to test our clients’ creative at multiple points — not only when it’s completely final.”The agency believes this will result in more effective ads as well as a better consumer experience.David Lloyd, EMEA Managing Director, Wunderman Thompson-Data shares: “Essentially, we’re just trying to measure positive emotions so that ultimately we get more positive emotions from consumers seeing the ads.”According to Wunderman Thompson, it has lined up trials of the solution with some of its “major” clients, including one in travel and leisure, over the coming weeks and months.Lloyd added: “We know we’re not going to be able to compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft in terms of their investment in data science and technology. So we have a lot of focus around what we do and what we don’t do.”

Sustainable Broadband a priority for 92% of KSA respondents: Cisco Survey

The latest Cisco Broadband Survey1 – which included 2,000 respondents from Saudi Arabia – has found that evolving consumer expectations will reshape the needs and economics of the Internet.Consumers in Saudi Arabia are rethinking what they rely on the Internet for, balancing anticipated demands for speed and reliability, with the intensifying needs of rising eco-consciousness, and the consumerization of the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting our devices, from smart cars to home appliances. This has led to 91% of respondents in KSA to regard broadband as ‘critical national infrastructure’, like access to water and electricity – surpassing EMEA results.Sustainability: A Key Driver of Consumer Choices in KSAThe carbon-cost of broadband connectivity is a top priority for consumers. Cisco’s Broadband Survey revealed that 65% of consumers in Saudi Arabia are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%). In addition, 92% of overall respondents in the Kingdom would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%.“Our survey has confirmed that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly aware of the carbon footprints of technology. This is in line with KSA efforts towards a more flourishing and sustainable society and a novel approach to promoting sustainability in the country,” said Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia.He added: “In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly crucial for digital transformation to work in harmony with sustainability. At Cisco, we believe that the tech industry has a unique opportunity to lead the twin transition to a digital and green future. Hence, we focus on our own practices, including the use of renewable energy sources and circular economy, and build new energy-saving solutions, while setting near- and long-term, science-based targets to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for all scopes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.”  Connection to Increase as Consumers Expand Their Digital LivesAs the number of IoT devices online grows from billions to trillions, so does the demand for bandwidth and processing power to analyze all of the data produced. According to the Cisco Broadband Survey, there is no sign of this slowing down.In Saudi Arabia, more than half of Internet users primarily go online to use social media (58%), stream videos and/or play video games (57%), and to browse, read, or shop (53%). Of those planning to upgrade their service in the next year, 44% will do so on the promise of even faster broadband.Consumers in the Kingdom are also beginning to embrace the shift toward a ‘smarter’ digital life. From smart lights (29%) to home appliances (30%), respondents in Saudi Arabia are increasingly syncing up a range of connected devices to run via their home Internet service, including more than half (54%) currently connecting their home entertainment devices.

Google Lens is coming to Bard in Arabic

Google launched today new features for Bard to make it more accessible and helpful in Arabic and other languages around the world. Arabic speaking users can now upload images with Google Lens, get Search images in responses, and modify Bard’s responses. Bard is powered by Google’s most capable language model yet, ‘PaLM2’, which has been further developed based on users’ feedback to become more intuitive, and respond with greater quality and accuracy in all languages. With the updated model, Bard is now making its existing English language features available to more than 40 new languages, as well as launching new capabilities in English, and soon to other languages. The list of features include: Use images in prompts: Bringing the capabilities of Google Lens, a Google’s product that recognizes and analyzes objects, texts & images, into Bard so people can use images in prompts  Modify responses: Changing the tone and style of Bard's responses to five options including simple, long, short, professional or casual Get images in responses: Bringing images from Google Search into Bard’s responses so people can benefit from relevant visualsContinue conversations with Bard: Building on others’ conversations with Bard, whether to ask Bard additional questions about the topic or use it as a starting point for new ideas. This feature is available if the user has a public link to another Bard chat Connect to Google apps & services: Launching Bard Extensions in English only, which connects Bard to Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube, Google Flights and Google Hotels, for a more helpful experience. By using Workspace extensions, content from such apps will not be seen or used by human reviewers or to train the model (available in English only)“We are delighted by the positive feedback we have received from Arabic speakers using Bard. We are committed to continuously improving Bard and bringing more capabilities to Arabic speakers in the future.” -- a quote generated by Bard. Bard is Google’s generative AI experiment, launched in English last March. Bard has then been expanded to 40+ languages including Arabic earlier in July. Bard is designed to enable people to use their creative potential by developing new ideas, learn about the world by exploring topics from different perspectives, and boost productivity by simplifying dense content.

Google faces biggest anti-trust trial in the US

A major landmark antitrust trial is set to begin in the US, targeting Google. The case was filed in December 2020 by the Justice Department and eleven states, accusing Google of maintaining its stranglehold on the search market through deals with smartphone manufacturers and Internet browser creators. This, says the Justice Department, has made Google the default search engine almost everywhere. These deals often include provisions preventing partners from installing rival search engines. Google's legal troubles poin to a major shift in the regulatory approach towards tech giants. For years, major tech companies went on an expansion spree without much constraint, but now they face multiple antitrust investigations. The outcome of the Google case will have far-reaching implications extending beyond online advertising and search engines, particularly in the realm of AI technologies.Google's huge market share—nearly ninety percent of US general search queries—led the US government to label it a "gatekeeper for the internet." The US government argues that Google's monopoly profits allow it to perpetuate its dominance through these deals, leading to a cycle of control and profit.Google defends saying that its market dominance is the result of offering a superior product. The company argues that users have a choice and so they choose Google. Unlike the Microsoft case in 1998, where most users preferred Netscape, Google claims that consumers genuinely prefer its search engine. Google also says that it's easy for users to switch to alternative search engines if they desire, such as Bing or DuckDuckGo.AI-based search sites like Neeva, which seek to challenge Google's dominance with AI-powered search, faced difficulties attracting users due to Google's dominance. The verdict in the Google case could determine the future of online search and the emerging AI-driven search technologies.The Google antitrust case is reminiscent of the Microsoft case in 1998, when the software giant faced an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice and twenty states. Microsoft was accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices in both the computer operating systems and Internet browser markets.

Saudi-China Entrepreneurs Association & Hong Kong Trade Council Ink MoU

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("HKTDC") to promote trade and business between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. The MoU was signed during the eighth Belt and Road Summit on 13th September 2023, which was jointly organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the HKTDC. Under the theme of "Ten Years of Cooperation for Mutual Benefit," the summit spanned two days and attracted nearly 6,000 government officials, business leaders, and entrepreneurs from almost 70 countries and regions. Over 100 delegations from overseas and Mainland China participated in various summit activities.This year's summit explored opportunities in emerging markets along the Belt and Road Initiative, particularly the Middle East markets and the South East Asia markets. In his opening speech, Mr. John Lee, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, expressed his belief in the potential of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Middle East regions. Since the full implementation of customs clearance this year, he has led business and professional delegations to visit these two regions twice, resulting in fruitful outcomes. Li cited his visit to the Middle East in February as an example, highlighting substantial achievements such as Hong Kong companies providing hydrogen-powered cars and refueling stations, offering energy-saving and environmental services, and planning cooperative ventures in the hotel industry. These accomplishments reflect the diverse business opportunities in the Middle East.The Middle Eastern countries are key partners of the Belt and Road Initiative, providing extensive cooperation opportunities and potential for economic, trade, and infrastructure development with China. Focusing on the new opportunities, developments, and collaborations that the Middle East market offers under the Belt and Road Initiative, this year's summit boasts the largest number of Middle Eastern guests in its history. Among them are notable figures such as Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Abdulla Bin Touq AlMarri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, along with several Middle Eastern enterprises.During the roundtable discussion at the Middle East session, Jerry Li, Founding Partner of eWTP Arabia Capital and Director-General of the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association, remarked, "The Middle East and Hong Kong are full of potential for cooperation and mutual benefit in the fields of finance, new energy, and digital technology. The Middle East has set numerous development goals to achieve its 2030 vision, while Hong Kong possesses world-class financial and technological talents, as well as industry clusters. Collaboration between the two parties will not only diversify the Middle East's economy but also enhance Hong Kong's international influence and reshape its position as a global financial center."During the Belt and Road Summit, Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA), a non-profit organisation initiated by eWTP Arabia Capital to boost cooperation between the private sectors in Saudi Arabia and China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the HKTDC. The MoU aims to strengthen the commercial and economic ties between Hong Kong and the Middle East regions, particularly start-ups and service providers looking to expand beyond their countries of origin.Since its establishment, Saudi-China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA) has been committed to becoming a vital bridge between Hong Kong and the Middle East. In February this year, Chief Executive Mr. John Lee visited the Middle East and expressed his support towards the establishment of the SCEA in Saudi Arabia. In July, the SCEA officially announced the establishment of its first Asian office in Hong Kong and signed a MOU to cooperate with 11 Mainland China and Hong Kong companies and facilitate their entry in the Saudi market. Additionally, the SCEA assisted in facilitating the visit of His Excellency Engineer Abdullah Al-Swaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, to Hong Kong in July, further enhancing cooperation between the two parties.Operated by SCEA, eWTP Arabia Capital has established deep partnerships with the Hong Kong government, major financial institutions, industrial companies, and technological innovation platforms in Hong Kong since Chief Executive Mr. John Lee's visit to the Middle East in February. Supported by the HKTDC, eWTP Arabia Capital has hosted more than 100 partners from various industries in Hong Kong, including real estate, finance, trade, technology innovation, and healthcare. Currently, eWTP Arabia Capital is actively facilitating the establishment of these institutions and companies' presence in Saudi Arabia.eWTP Arabia Capital has invited a Saudi business delegation to attend the Belt and Road Summit and showcase their products during the pitch sessions in a bid to facilitate connections with investors in Hong Kong. The delegation comprises COFE, a Kuwait-originated company that offers an online marketplace for coffee enthusiasts, Advanced Communications & Electronic Systems Company (ACES), a Saudi Arabia-based digital infrastructure company, and Navigator Consulting, a Saudi Arabia-based strategic consulting company. They were represented by Ali Al Ebrahim, Founder and CEO of COFE, Akram Aburas, CEO and Founder of ACES, and Alfred Wang, CEO of Navigator Consulting.

Kaspersky inaugurates Transparency Center in Riyadh

The “Kaspersky Transparency Center”, first of its kind in the Middle East was inaugurated today by His Excellency the Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Engineer Haitham bin Abdul Rahman Al-Ohali, in the presence of officials from the Ministry, the company, and a number of specialists from the technology industry. The launch is an essential part of Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative, a flagship program committed to building trust and assuring the integrity of the company’s solutions and processes.Kaspersky selected Riyadh as the venue for its first Transparency Center in the Middle East to closely align with the goals of “Saudi Vision 2030”. The vision aims to promote the Kingdom’s position as the hub for technology and innovation, and has transformed the country into a destination to attracts international companies to establish their regional headquarters in Riyadh.Visitors to the Transparency Center in Riyadh can review the source code of all of Kaspersky on-premise solutions. The whole review process depends on the level of sophistication and follows “piste” skiing classification color codes – “blue”, “red”, and “black”. “Blue piste” offers a general overview of the security development processes of Kaspersky products and services, as well as data management procedures. “Red piste” allows a review of the most critical aspects of source code, assisted by the company’s specialists, and provides a targeted analysis of a particular functionality. “Black piste” enables visitors to conduct the most comprehensive source code review, with the help of Kaspersky’s experts.Commenting on the company’s further developments in the region, Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of Kaspersky, noted:“This year we celebrate the five-year anniversary of our Global Transparency Initiative. As true pioneers in advancing digital trust, we are pleased to celebrate the arrival of this initiative in the Middle East region, which is witnessing rapid digital transformation. In order to enhance our partners’ confidence in the services we provide to them, we are pleased to welcome them to the newly opened Transparency Center in Riyadh to answer any questions about the nature of our work and our solutions.”

Codeless AI infra company Pixis secures $85 million in series C1 funding

Pixis, a leading codeless AI infrastructure company focused on enabling brands to enhance performance marketing, has raised $85 million in its series C1 funding round. The round was led by Touring Capital and brings the company’s capital raised to $209 million. The new and existing investors who participated in the funding round include Grupo Carso, General Atlantic, Celesta Capital and Chiratae Ventures. The funding will be used to deepen Pixis’ AI capabilities, accelerate global expansion, invest in R&D to refine and launch a generative AI-powered creative studio, and build strategic product and business partnerships.Pixis develops accessible AI technology for growth marketing and has a rich product suite that includes targeting, in-flight performance optimization and generative AI capabilities. Since launch, Pixis has demonstrated a tremendous growth trajectory, with its platform leveraged by more than 200 global brands including names like DHL, Carsome, JOE & THE JUICE, Kavak, HDFC Bank, to name a few.<img src='\fff5f8f2e69473b2e2c3675157f925de.png' class='content_image'>Nagraj Kashyap, co-founder and General Partner at Touring Capital said, “We passionately believe in the power of generative AI to transform enterprise software use cases. We see Pixis as a pioneer in this category and have been thoroughly impressed by the platform’s powerful technical capabilities translating into rapid customer adoption. We are excited to partner with Pixis, having had a years-long relationship with the team.”Creative StudioPixis recently launched its creative studio, with breakthrough AI capabilities that enable brands to instantly generate photorealistic creative assets – both 3D images and videos – through simple text prompts. The creative studio is deeply integrated into Pixis’ marketing campaign optimization capabilities, embedding contextual campaign data into the creative asset generation process.Expansion and Roadmap“This is shaping up to be an exciting year for Pixis as we welcome Touring Capital as investors; the Touring team have been important thought partners over the years and we are delighted to announce our new partnership. With this capital raised, we will continue to concentrate on strategic channel partnerships with renewed vigour, and invest heavily in our R&D efforts,” said Shubham A. Mishra, co-founder and CEO, Pixis.This year also saw a significant expansion of Pixis’ AI infrastructure with the company having achieved its goal of building 200 AI models. Along with having successfully beta-tested their generative AI-powered creative studio, they have also released products for cross-platform growth marketing that are proving to be game-changers in the market. Additionally, the company has also begun live deployments of its AI-powered solutions for B2B companies.

Clubhouse re-invents itself with ‘Chats’

Clubhouse, a social audio platform, is evolving itself, with its new voice-only group messaging called ‘Chats’. Clubhouse had lost its appeal among users after a meteoric rise during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the launch of ‘Chats, they are looking to make a comeback, trying to be "more of a messaging app". With this feature, Clubhouse aims to make it 100x easier for users to be with friends throughout the day, bump into friends unexpectedly, and get to know new friends through your existing friend groups – even if they don’t have many friends on Clubhouse or so much time to spare.According to the company, a Chat is a voice-only group chat with your favourite people. In their blog post the company says: “It’s like a Clubhouse room, but it takes place asynchronously, so you can drop by and chime in on your own time. With Chats, you can push to talk, listen at 2x, tap to skip, swipe to the next Chat, and slide into your friends’ VMS to chat privately. They’re designed to be fast, fun and personal.”Although live audio rooms will continue to exist on Clubhouse, chats may encourage users to check in more frequently to hear from their friends rather than whoever is hosting a live conversation at the time.Unlike iMessage, Clubhouse transcribes these voice messages. Chats can be set as friends only, or friends of friends. The platform is available now on iOS and Android. It aims to be like a messaging app and be more social than other messaging apps. Chats are much faster than text, where groups can share more stories and more off-the-record stuff that they would never spend the time to type up.

Louis Vuitton the world’s most popular luxury brand: New study

A new study reveals that Louis Vuitton is the world’s most popular luxury brand. Research by Cross-Border Shopping Platform Ubuy analysed five different metrics including global searches, global website visits, social media following and engagement and revenue, to determine out of 100 of the most well-renowned and revered brands, which is the most popular.   1 – Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton is a renowned luxury fashion brand that epitomizes elegance, sophistication, and timeless style. Founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton, the French company has since become synonymous with high-end fashion and accessories. Louis Vuitton has the most global monthly searches (8,330,000) and website visits (15,500,000). In 2022 Luis Vuitton alone did over £15 billion in sales. With a massive online following as well, Louis Vuitton cements itself as the most well-known and popular luxury brand globally. ?Popularity score: 32.75   2 – Dior Dior has become an icon in the fashion industry. Beyond its signature haute couture creations, the brand offers a wide range of products, including ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, fragrance, and cosmetics. Because of Dior’s broad range of products the company recorded the highest revenue of any of the luxury fashion brands making over £60 billion. Dior also has one of the highest monthly website visits (12,600,000) and has a huge online following with over 40,000,000 followers. ?Popularity score: 31.73   3 – Gucci Established in Florence, Italy, in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the brand has become a global symbol of elegance and sophistication. With its signature double G logo and bold, innovative designs, Gucci continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts around the world, setting trends and pushing boundaries in the industry. Gucci has the second-highest search volume (4,690,000 monthly searches), and over 9 million website visits every month. ?Popularity score: 23.39   4 – Chanel Chanel is a renowned French fashion and luxury brand Founded by Coco Chanel in 1910. The brand quickly became synonymous with high fashion, introducing innovative designs and revolutionizing women's clothing with its signature tweed suits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. Chanel also has over 9 million website visits every month as well as the largest social media following with over 56 million followers. Chanel's broad range of products also means the brand's revenue streams are multiplied making them one of the most profitable with a revenue of over £12 billion.  Popularity score: 22.15   5 – Rolex Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis, Rolex has consistently pushed the boundaries of watchmaking, setting the industry standards for quality, reliability, and innovation. The brand's iconic models, such as the Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust, have become synonymous with luxury and success. Rolex has been a popular brand for many years setting the standards for luxury watches. Rolex receives over 6 million monthly visits to its website and made over £7 billion in revenue in 2022. Rolex does have a slightly smaller online following with 14 million followers however has a better engagement rate than many brands with 0.50% ?Popularity score: 14.48   6 – Versace Versace is an Italian luxury fashion brand known for its glamorous and opulent designs. Founded by Gianni Versace in 1978, the brand quickly gained global recognition thanks to its bold prints, vibrant colours, and daring styles. Versace's creations often feature intricate detailing, Medusa head motifs, and a fusion of classical and modern influences. Versace is searched globally over 2 million times every month. Boasting just over 29 million followers, Versace also has strong engagement with 0.71%. The brands popularity is also shown through its sales with over £1 billion in revenue in 2022. ?Popularity score: 14.32   7 – Michael Kors Michael Kors is a renowned American fashion designer who has made a significant impact on the global fashion industry. Known for his luxurious and sophisticated designs, Kors has built a brand that exudes timeless elegance and modern style. Michael Kors is searched 2.8 million times every month and has over 9.8 million monthly website visits, while the brand’s revenue also exceeded £3 billion in 2022 establishing itself as a top 10 global brand. Popularity score: 13.83   8 – Ralph Lauren Born in 1939, Lauren founded his eponymous brand, Ralph Lauren Corporation, in 1967. Ralph Lauren's designs often blend classic elegance with a touch of American heritage, showcasing his love for timeless aesthetics and the pursuit of luxury. Ralph Lauren receives 10 million monthly visitors to its website and the brand made over £4 billion in 2022. Popularity score: 12.85   9 – Prada Prada was established in 1913 by Mario Prada, and the company initially focused on producing leather goods and accessories. However, it has since expanded its offerings to include clothing, footwear, eyewear, and fragrances. Prada gets 2 million searches and 5.6 million website visits every month, and boasts a big online following of 32 million and in 2022 made 2.9 billion in revenue. Popularity score: 12.67  10 – Coach With a rich heritage dating back to 1941, Coach has become a symbol of American luxury and style. The brand offers a wide range of products, including handbags, accessories, footwear, and ready-to-wear clothing. Coach gets 9 million website visits every month and made over 5 billion in revenue in 2022 making them a global powerhouse of luxury fashion. ?Popularity score: 12.29   A spokesperson from commented: “The popularity of luxury fashion stems from a combination of factors that make it highly desirable. It represents exclusivity and craftsmanship, offering meticulously designed and impeccably crafted garments and accessories. The allure of luxury brands lies in their rich heritage, timeless elegance, and association with status and prestige.  Celebrities, influencers, and high-profile individuals often showcase luxury fashion, creating a desire for consumers to emulate their style and sophistication. Furthermore, the rise of social media has significantly contributed to the popularity of luxury fashion, as it allows brands to reach a global audience and create a sense of aspiration among fashion-conscious consumers.”

Saudi Arabia to launch new channel 'Saudia Alaan'

Saudi Arabia is set to launch a new channel called 'Saudia Alaan' (Saudia Now) to coincide with the celebration of the 93rd National Day on September 23rd. Salman Al-Dosari, the Minister of Media and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority (SBA), made the announcement, stating that the channel will serve as the official platform for broadcasting all official events, entertainment activities, and programs in Saudi Arabia.The primary objective of 'Saudia Alaan' is to showcase the significant growth and rapid development occurring in the Kingdom, along with the extensive array of events being organized as part of its ambitious Vision 2030 initiative. These events encompass a wide range of local, regional, and international activities and conferences, spanning political, economic, educational, and entertainment domains.Al-Dosari emphasized the importance of the media in keeping pace with this development, highlighting that it serves as an indicator of the Kingdom's progress through the coverage of events, activities, occasions, and conferences. He also noted that media plays a crucial role in reflecting the national image and is aligned with Saudi Arabia's soft power approach to present itself to the global community. Al-Dosari described this initiative as a small part of the broader efforts undertaken by SBA to boost local content and achieve transformation goals.Mohammed Al-Harthi, CEO of SBA, confirmed that all preparations for the new channel's launch have been completed. He explained that 'Saudia Alaan' will focus on covering events, occasions, and activities within the Kingdom, aligning with SBA's mission to contribute to the development of all sectors and collaborate with partner entities. The channel will allocate dedicated time slots for live event coverage and integrate with social media platforms to reach a broader audience and foster public interaction.Al-Harthi also noted that SBA has formed partnerships with various organizations to enhance the channel's content and provide high-quality services. The decision to launch the channel comes in response to the growing demand for coverage of events, exhibitions, and conferences across the Kingdom, with a remarkable 367 percent increase in event licenses issued in 2022 compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the channel is expected to support the strategies of companies and institutions seeking to engage with a diverse segment of the Saudi public.