GELLIFY Middle East launches 'Luxury Tech CX Observatory' in Dubai

Dubai: GELLIFY, the multinational B2B innovation platform, sets its sights on revolutionizing the luxury industry with the unveiling of its groundbreaking initiative, the” Luxury Tech CX Observatory”. As the region's luxury market continues to soar at an exponential rate, GELLIFY's visionary observatory aims to reshape the luxury customer experience by driving technological advancements, providing trend analysis, and exploring future industry shifts.The newly launched observatory will serve as a dynamic collaborative environment, empowering luxury brands to access invaluable resources, learn from industry experts, and engage with innovative startups. This strategic initiative mirrors GELLIFY's unwavering mission to guide brands on their digital transformation journeys, enhancing their competitiveness in the ever-evolving luxury sector.Additionally, the launch of the new initiative also marks the unveiling of GELLIFY’s latest report on luxury market, “The Digital Revolution: Disrupting the Landscape of Luxury’s Future”, offering valuable insights into the complex and ever evolving landscape of luxury market. From the growing importance of sustainability and conscious consumption to the impact of social media on purchase decisions, the report identifies key trends changing the consumer behaviors. The report delves deep into Leadership Culture, Digital Preparedness, Luxury Innovation Factories, Geo-proximity for Customer Insights amongst many other interesting topics,Customer Data Mastery alongside emerging market trends to state-of-the-art technologies, featuring insights from over 100 leading luxury companies worldwide, the report offers an all-encompassing perspective on the luxury landscape,Massimo Cannizzo, CEO and Co-founder of GELLIFY Middle East, expressed his excitement about the groundbreaking venture: "At GELLIFY, in a fast-changing luxury customer expectations, we are devoted to driving innovation and reshaping the customer experience by harnessing the potential of advanced technology. Drawing from our rich heritage in Milan, Italy the global epicenter of fashion and luxury, we are extending our deep-rooted expertise to Dubai, a burgeoning hub for luxury brands. This is more than just embracing the latest trends; it's about scripting a transformative narrative for luxury in the digital age. Dubai, with its growing reputation as a luxury hub, presents the ideal setting for this exciting venture."The 'Luxury Tech CX Observatory' offers a window into the latest trends and advancements shaping the customer experience, establishing itself as a knowledge hub for luxury brands. Emphasizing its role as a key support pillar in luxury brands' digital transformation journey, GELLIFY will provide in-depth research, insights, and knowledge-sharing opportunities. Furthermore, the observatory will identify promising startups offering innovative solutions, fostering collaboration to explore advanced approaches that elevate the luxury customer experience to unparalleled heights.As the luxury market in the UAE propels towards phenomenal growth, projected to reach USD 5.12 billion by 2028, Dubai's magnetic allure for new tech makes it an ideal location for GELLIFY's transformative initiative.By leveraging the capabilities of personalized eCommerce, augmented shopping, Cognitive AI, and other innovative technologies, luxury brands can create extraordinary experiences that deeply resonate with the discerning preferences of their evolved clientele. These cutting-edge advancements in technology enable brands to offer tailored and immersive shopping journeys, enhancing customer satisfaction and elevating the overall luxury shopping experience to new heights.The observatory launches with a vision to redefine the essence of luxury, infusing it with cutting-edge technology, and elevating the luxury customer experience to new heights. As a trailblazer in luxury tech innovation, GELLIFY Middle East reinforces its position as a transformational partner for luxury brands, dedicated to driving their success and innovation in the digital era.

Enjinstarter MENA leads Web3 into the future in UAE

DUBAI: Enjinstarter MENA, Web3 launchpad and advisory company, was a key player in a successful first half of 2023 for Web3 in the UAE. All told, the industry now has more than 1,800 organisations operating in the country, and announcements such as Abu Dhabi’s $2 billion fund for Web3 startups and a national digital currency strategy have demonstrated the government’s firm commitment to adopting and investing in new technologies.Enjinstarter MENA’s journey in the region began with the appointment of Vasseh Ahmed as its Managing Director in December 2022. Since then, it has focused much of its attention on obtaining the necessary licences for operation.Regulation is a critical step for Web3 companies entering MENA. The region’s regulators, in turn, have strived to provide clear and coherent regulations for companies to follow. In April, Enjistarter received initial approval from VARA, the Dubai virtual assets regulator, as a first step towards obtaining a full licence to operate in the emirate.“Dubai continues to be a global hub of Web3 activity. Its commitment to regulatory clarity and funding support have attracted some of the biggest names in the industry,” said Vasseh. “Continuing with our licence application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond.”LaunchpadAs a Web3 project launchpad, Enjinstarter was recognised by industry-leading ranking service, Cryptorank, as consistently being a top-3 Initial Decentralised Exchange Offering (IDO) provider in 2023 in terms of ROI. The strong performance this year can be attributed to the Enjinstarter team quickly adapting to the trend of artificial intelligence (AI) by shifting its focus to bringing a carefully curated selection of AI projects to the launchpad.In the first half of this year, Enjinstarter helped 11 projects raise $1.35 million in funding. Some of those portfolio companies include:ChainGPT - Infrastructure enabling the future of Web3 innovation with AIDexCheck - A UAE-based crypto trading startup powered by AISophiaVerse - An advanced artificial general intelligence initiative revolutionising the world of AI and gamingOther portfolio companies include:OneRare - A UAE based startup creating the first food metaverseSidus Heroes - An award-winning Web3 gameFrnzy - A Web3-powered e-commerce platformPartnershipsEnjinstarter has also gone about forming partnerships with some of the key Web3 players in the region and beyond:Masary Capital - Enable select crypto- and blockchain-based organisations to travel the path to success within the MENA region. (Website)LandVault - LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web. (Website)Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3™) - A collaboration of Web3 metaverse platform creators, OMA3’s goal is to ensure virtual land, digital assets, ideas, and services are highly interoperable between platforms and transparent to all communities. (Website)Crypto Oasis - A Middle East-focused blockchain ecosystem supported by initiators of Crypto Valley Switzerland.  (Website)Enya Labs - A suite of hybrid blockchain solutions that helps businesses overcome the scalability problem and allow them to expand their offerings and features by accessing and integrating real-world data in real-time. (Website)ImpactFrom an impact perspective, Enjinstarter made it a core part of its mission to find ways to leverage Web3 in the global fight against climate change. To that end, the company has undertaken a number of climate initiatives:Launched the Unsinkable campaign to raise awareness of rising sea levelsHosted climate roundtable event in Dubai with Web3 streaming service, myco, in February and MaySigned a partnership with UAE-based The Storey Group, a change maker that creates and delivers programmes that make our planet a better and more prosperous place.Developing an expansive storytelling AI NFT game based on an advanced earth concept where factions are embarking on quests and battles throughout the Enjinstarter ecosystem to gather resources and earn rewards.Looking forward to the second half of 2023, all eyes are on COP 28 in Dubai in December. In the leadup to the event, Enjinstarter is planning the global launch of its climate-focused Web3 launchpad. The platform will allow the company to connect impact investors with promising Web3 projects making demonstrable impact on the climate.“Climate change is the biggest problem of our time. All of us have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight it. The UAE has already set a leading example by planning to invest $54 billion over the next 7 years as part of its net-zero ambitions. It’s on us to do our part, ” added Vasseh. “Web3 is uniquely designed to meet this challenge head on, so we have made it a core part of our mission to find ways in which Web3 can make a demonstrable impact on climate change. Aside from our upcoming climate launchpad, we’re also working towards climate asset tokenisation, micro green bonds, and utility-driven NFT trading card games.”

Globale Media appoints Ahmed El Gebaly as Regional Head of MENA

AI-driven mobile and web advertising platform, Globale Media, has appointed Ahmed El Gebaly as the regional head of the MENA region. At Globale Media, he will be pivotal in making critical decisions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market. With digital penetration skyrocketing in the Middle East and North Africa, newer horizons will lead to more exciting opportunities in digital marketing. Ahmed has more than 7 years of experience in the Finance and Digital Marketing industries and has previously worked with some well-known international organisations. Bhavesh Talreja, Founder and CEO, of Globale Media, said, “We are super excited to continue our growth in MENA. With Ahmed El Gebaly’s appointment as the regional head, we mark an important milestone in our journey to bolster our global vision. Ahmed holds extensive experience working within rapidly scaling organizations and digital marketing and advertising technology.” Ahmed said, “The MENA region is full of opportunities to explore especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area where it has the highest purchasing power parity all over the globe, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). I’m looking forward to making Globale Media one of the leading and biggest networks in the region that can be trustworthy amongst all the digital marketers and clients too.”  -x-

McDonald’s UAE opens first restaurant with all-female workforce

Dubai: McDonald’s UAE has unveiled its 197th operating restaurant in the Emirates, located in Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai which is operated entirely by an all-female workforce. The milestone launch was made even more memorable as the restaurant is also partially solar powered, continuing McDonald’s UAE’s ongoing mission to have a greener future.The new venue will serve up the nation’s favourite meals and McCafé offerings 24 hours a day through the seamless efforts of its female led team – a concept that is the first of its kind for the brand in the UAE. Playing a growing role in prioritising gender diversity within the QSR sector, the Umm Suqeim restaurant follows on from the launch of the McDonald’s UAE Women Leadership Network in 2020. The WLN is dedicated to supporting inhouse female team members.Walid Fakih, CEO at McDonald’s UAE, commented on the launch, "Our people and our planet are at the heart of McDonald’s UAE operations, and the newest restaurant in Umm Suqeim brings innovation, sustainability and inclusivity all together. We take immense pride in empowering women and providing equal opportunities in every aspect of the business. The new restaurant forms part of our commitment to uplift our female talent, showcasing their drive and enthusiasm while also contributing to a greener planet.”The all-female workforce is complemented by a partially solar paneled power source and electric car charging ports. McDonald’s UAE has long cemented its commitment to offsetting its carbon footprint over the years, as evidenced by the BioDiesel program which has been running since 2011, converting used cooking oil into BioDiesel for McDonald’s trucks.The latest McDonald’s UAE venue is situated in Umm Suqeim, Dubai and promotes another first, as the branch has also introduced curbside ordering, allowing customers to place orders digitally from designated parking spaces for increased convenience. The restaurant is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for orders, be it for customers placing these in person, via the McDonald’s UAE App, as well as the Drive Thru.???????

Twofour54 unveils fully-fledged film production destination in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi : twofour54 Abu Dhabi, part of ADNEC Group, has unveiled their plans to build a major film studio – ‘twofour54 Studios’ – reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s standing as a global epicenter for filmmaking. Set to span over 100 acres, twofour54 Studios will be a future-proof, virtual production-ready, metaverse-enabled and fully-fledged production destination, addressing high demand in the regional and global production landscape.Spanning 400,000 sqm (4,400,000 sqft), twofour54 Studios will boast an impressive range of features including 11 best-in-class soundstages, a 3,000 sqm (32,000 sqft) exterior water tank and six versatile standing sets offering filmmakers ample opportunities for inventive storytelling. Complementing this lot will be 7,000 sqm (over 75,000 sqft) of office space and an array of other production facilities, encompassing post-production, permanent tenancies and screening rooms. At twofour54 Studios, every aspect has been carefully designed to foster an environment that nurtures creativity and ensures a seamless and efficient production process.twofour54 Studios’ commitment to community and collaborative spirit extends beyond its production facilities as they can also house permanent tenants and companies that cater to the production industry, providing a holistic destination for everyone involved - a true creative ecosystem for the Middle-East.  Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Board Member, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “The creative industries have been identified as one of Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors given the important economic and social value they create. We are proud to drive Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a leading global destination for content creation through twofour54 Studios. It will take film and TV production to the next level, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy following its completion in 2025.”“twofour54 has facilitated thousands of productions over the last 15 years, establishing a compelling track record and building a deep expertise of the global film industry’s demands. Leveraging this invaluable experience, twofour54 identified an opportunity in the MENA region – the demand for an integrated, future-ready production destination. We remain steadfast in our mission to foster creativity, nurture talent and provide a world-class platform where visionaries can bring their cinematic dreams to life,” said Mark Whitehead, CEO of twofour54.Since its inception, twofour54 has been instrumental in bringing some of the most popular blockbusters to the big screen, including Hollywood franchises such as Mission: Impossible, Dune, Star Wars and Fast and Furious, as well as Bollywood hits such as Bharat and Tiger Zinda Hai, alongside many regional productions. By providing a grand destination year-round for film professionals and enthusiasts alike, twofour54 Studios seek to pave the way for groundbreaking projects that inspire audiences worldwidetwofour54’s latest destination for the creative industries complements the company’s flagship campus at Yas Creative Hub and its diverse set of production facilities across the emirate. Through its bespoke destinations, twofour54 makes any type of content production an unforgettable experience in Abu Dhabi.

Citi appoints Omar Amireh as the new CEO for its business in Kuwait

Kuwait: Citi recently announced the appointment of Omar Amireh as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for its business in Kuwait. As CEO, Omar will assume overall responsibility for driving Citi’s business in the country, and will report to Ebru Pakcan, Head of Citi’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) cluster.Omar will concurrently continue to serve as Corporate Banking Head, a position he has held since 2018, when he moved to Kuwait. Since starting his career in Jordan in 2005, Omar has held a variety of EMEA-wide roles across Citi’s businesses, having worked in Jordan, Kuwait, and the UK.“Citi has a remarkable history in the region and has been serving clients in Kuwait for more than 70 years. I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the team, drive business and help our clients succeed” said Omar.Ebru Pakcan, Middle East & Africa Cluster Head said: “Omar’s extensive international experience and his in-depth knowledge of Kuwait will be of great value to our clients in this fast-growing market.”

Apparel shopping dominates Gen Z, millennials: Snap Inc.-Havas study

Snap Inc., in collaboration with Havas Media Network, conducted a comprehensive study to explore the preferences and behaviors of Gen Z and millennial consumers in the social commerce space. The study, which involved a diverse sample of 13–34-year-olds across seven countries, aimed to identify key strategies that brands can implement to create meaningful shopping experiences for the Next Gen consumers.The study, conducted in partnership with Dynata, surveyed 28,500 participants in France, Germany, India, Mexico, the UAE, UK, and the US. Havas Media Network distilled the findings into six overarching principles that brands can leverage to connect effectively with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce arena: Pursue Personalization, Action Authenticity, Utilize Ubiquity, Tackle Trust, Emphasize Entertainment, and Chase Convenience.Social commerce has witnessed remarkable growth worldwide, with nearly half of social media users having made direct product purchases from social media apps or websites in the past year. The survey revealed interesting insights specific to the United Arab Emirates, where 49% of social media users involved their friends in the online shopping process by sharing pictures and discussing potential purchases. Moreover, social media played a significant role in product discovery (54%) and accessing product reviews and recommendations (50%).Apparel shopping emerged as the most prevalent type of online shopping among Gen Z and Millennials. In the UAE, a staggering 93% of social media users reported having made an apparel purchase via social media. Additionally, 61% of shoppers used social media to share their opinions about products with others. Notably, 78% of UAE apparel purchasers emphasized the importance of virtual try-on features, which significantly aided their purchase decisions.Seema Patel, Global Managing Director, Mx Intelligence, Havas Media Network, shared her insights on the research, saying, "Our research found that 64% of Gen Z and Millennials have made a purchase through social media in the past year – these younger audiences embrace social commerce, and with this report we sought their input on how we can create a more meaningful and engaging social commerce journey."Snap Inc.'s Manager of Global Agency Development, Nadav Geft, added, "Social commerce has transformed the way we shop, and on Snap, we've seen firsthand how friends and family influence buying decisions. With more than half of daily Snap Inc. and Havas Media Network Unveil Findings on Social Commerce Strategies for Gen Z and MillennialsSnap Inc., in collaboration with Havas Media Network, conducted a comprehensive study to explore the preferences and behaviors of Gen Z and millennial consumers in the social commerce space. The study, which involved a diverse sample of 13–34-year-olds across seven countries, aimed to identify key strategies that brands can implement to create meaningful shopping experiences for the Next Gen consumers.The study, conducted in partnership with Dynata, surveyed 28,500 participants in France, Germany, India, Mexico, the UAE, UK, and the US. Havas Media Network distilled the findings into six overarching principles that brands can leverage to connect effectively with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce arena: Pursue Personalization, Action Authenticity, Utilize Ubiquity, Tackle Trust, Emphasize Entertainment, and Chase Convenience.Social commerce has witnessed remarkable growth worldwide, with nearly half of social media users having made direct product purchases from social media apps or websites in the past year. The survey revealed interesting insights specific to the United Arab Emirates, where 49% of social media users involved their friends in the online shopping process by sharing pictures and discussing potential purchases. Moreover, social media played a significant role in product discovery (54%) and accessing product reviews and recommendations (50%).Apparel shopping emerged as the most prevalent type of online shopping among Gen Z and Millennials. In the UAE, a staggering 93% of social media users reported having made an apparel purchase via social media. Additionally, 61% of shoppers used social media to share their opinions about products with others. Notably, 78% of UAE apparel purchasers emphasized the importance of virtual try-on features, which significantly aided their purchase decisions.Seema Patel, Global Managing Director, Mx Intelligence, Havas Media Network, shared her insights on the research, saying, "Our research found that 64% of Gen Z and Millennials have made a purchase through social media in the past year – these younger audiences embrace social commerce, and with this report we sought their input on how we can create a more meaningful and engaging social commerce journey."Snap Inc.'s Manager of Global Agency Development, Nadav Geft, added, "Social commerce has transformed the way we shop, and on Snap, we've seen firsthand how friends and family influence buying decisions. With more than half of daily Snapchatters sending product messages and pictures to friends during their shopping journey, there's a massive opportunity for brands to tap into the experiences that are resonating most with the next generation, underscoring the importance of real relationships ultimately driving real influence."Luxury shopping also experienced a significant impact from social media, with 45% of luxury shoppers using social media during the discovery phase and 84% making purchases through these platforms. Across all verticals, including luxury, the integration of Augmented Reality (AR) in the shopping experience proved crucial, with 70% of social media users acknowledging its importance. For UAE luxury purchasers, 81% reported that a virtual try-on feature was key to their purchase decision.The personal care sector also benefited from social commerce, with 79% of personal care shoppers in the UAE highlighting the importance of virtual try-on features in driving purchases. Impressively, 89% of personal care shoppers in the UAE made purchases on or via social media. Additionally, 60% of personal care shoppers shared their opinions on purchases through social media.These findings provide invaluable insights for brands seeking to maximize their engagement with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce space. By adopting the six principles identified in the study, brands can create authentic, personalized, and entertaining shopping experiences that resonate with the Next Gen consumers.

Miral partners with Creative Lab, Aldar for Yas Design Contest

Miral has partnered with the Creative Media Authority’s Creative Lab and Aldar to host the Yas Design Contest, where students across the UAE were invited to showcase their creativity by submitting unique designs for a pop-up installation. The competition challenged creative university students to submit designs for environmentally-friendly public art installations to be built and installed on Yas Island. After a thorough evaluation process and public vote, the dynamic trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai; and Radwa Elkasas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy; have been revealed as the winners.More than 26 entries were received from students across the UAE, with each submission fulfilling the key criteria including being a piece of public art, acting as a backdrop for photo taking, telling a story about the UAE and being partly or entirely made using environment friendly materials. In addition to the design submission, participants also shared a technical submission with a detailed write-up, sketch of their design, a visual mood board and a materials list.Taghrid Alsaeed, Executive Director – Group Communications and Destination Marketing at Miral, and one of the judges on the panel, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with Aldar and Creative Lab for this remarkable competition, which not only engaged and empowered the younger community but also provided a platform for creative talent across the UAE. This is testament of our commitment to producing a positive impact on the communities and cultures we serve, a key pillar of our Miral brand. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated. Your creativity, skill and hard work have truly shone through your designs, and we are thrilled to see the incredible talent and ingenuity displayed across all the submissions.”After being reviewed by a panel of four esteemed judges from Miral, Aldar Properties, Creative Lab, as well as influencer Maitha Mohamed based on creativity, storytelling and concept design, as well as material planning; five submissions were shortlisted and taken to a public vote. These included Majeda Mohammed from University of Sharjah’s Fort To Future; Haia Ali from University of Sharjah’s The UAE Pearl; Radwa ElKassas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy’s Evolving; Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai’s Habat Al-Lulu; and Raghad Yehya and Itemat Sauria from Ajman University’s A Touch of Emirates.The trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar and Radwa Elkasas were selected as the winners based on their submissions Habat Al-Lulu, inspired by UAE’s rich history of pearl diving; and Evolving, a photo booth with three panels depicting the nation’s past, present and future. The winners will be awarded an AED5,000 cash prize and see their designs built and placed in select spots on Yas Island for residents and tourists to enjoy a backdrop for photo taking.Rashed Al Omaira, Chief Commercial Officer at Aldar Development, said: “As expected, the entries received for the Yas Design Contest were excellent - we were particularly impressed by the thinking behind the submissions as well as the quality of the creative proposals. There is no doubt that the UAE’s cultural and creative industries will continue to thrive given the passion our young people show for design, art and visual storytelling. We very much look forward to seeing the winning designs come to life on Yas Island, where thousands of residents and visitors will enjoy the installations.” Khalid Khouri, Director of Talent Development at Creative Media Authority, said: “We were overwhelmed to see so many creative and inspiring submissions for the Yas Design Competition – it’s great to see that we have such incredible talent in the UAE. Creative Lab was honoured to partner with Miral and Aldar properties on this amazing initiative which underline our mission to support the youth of Abu Dhabi to explore their creative potential. We’d like to congratulate the very worth winners and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their creative talent in the future.” Miral continues to strive to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, as well as offering employment opportunities while attracting and developing young talent as part of Abu Dhabi’s drive to accelerate the culture and creative industries.

PromoMedia Selected as Exclusive TikTok Representative in Iraq

PromoMedia, a prominent tech media company affiliated with JGroup, a leading Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising provider in the MENA region and Africa, has announced its exclusive representation as the media partner for TikTok in Iraq. This strategic collaboration empowers PMENAromomedia to deliver distinctive advertising strategies for brands and enterprises aiming to connect with TikTok's expanding user base in the country.Being the sole media representative for TikTok in Iraq, PromoMedia gains access to the platform's cutting-edge advertising tools and capabilities, enabling the company to offer more targeted and successful advertising solutions to its clientele. With TikTok's surging popularity in Iraq, this partnership presents a significant prospect for brands to engage with young, dynamic audiences through one of today's most innovative and captivating platforms.Patrick Haber, Managing Director of PromoMedia and Vice President of JGroup, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "We are excited to collaborate with TikTok in Iraq, and we firmly believe that our advertising expertise in Iraq and the region, coupled with TikTok's pioneering technology, will yield unparalleled results for our clients. This partnership reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch advertising solutions to brands and businesses across the MENA region and beyond."Shadi Kandil, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, and Eastern Europe - TikTok, stated, "We are pleased to appoint PromoMedia as the official TikTok reseller in Iraq, especially as our local community in Iraq continues to grow and thrive. With this appointment, advertisers in Iraq gain access to unique digital advertising formats that no other platform can provide, along with faster turnaround times and local service capabilities."The partnership with TikTok, which came into effect in May, marks another significant milestone in PromoMedia's journey to deliver the finest advertising solutions to its clients.

Abu Dhabi Retail brings summer of style with spectacular Summer Shopping Season

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Get ready for an unforgettable summer of shopping in Abu Dhabi! From 23 June to 10 September, over 25 malls across the emirate will be offering elevated shopping experiences and tempting deals as part of 2023 Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season from Abu Dhabi Retail, the retail arm of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Here's why you don't want to miss the 2023 Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season: Irresistible DealsWith more than 3,500 participating retailers across 25+ malls throughout the emirate, including renowned destinations like Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahda Mall, and Reem Mall, you can expect fabulous deals on your favorite brands. Look out for 24-hour super sales, special discounts during Eid Al Adha (29 June – 2 July), and back-to-school offers (7 August – 10 September). Fashion Partnerships The Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season proudly unveils its visionary collaboration with Savoir Flair, a renowned magazine synonymous with cutting-edge fashion and cultural exploration in the Middle East. This esteemed partnership aims to immerse shoppers in a captivating realm of style, providing an unrivalled source of inspiration for their shopping experience. Special Events A collection of exclusive events will be meticulously crafted and hosted by esteemed publications Cosmo ME, Grazia, and Esquire Middle East. These specially curated gatherings aim to take the shopping experience to new heights, delivering expert insights and unparalleled opportunities for attendees to delve into the realms of beauty, styling, grooming, and beyond. Fascinating Masterclasses Look out for a series of extraordinary events and masterclasses throughout the summer. From transformative beauty tutorials to innovative styling workshops, these curated events will leave attendees equipped with an array of practical skills and fresh perspectives. With so much on offer throughout the Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season, the initiative is another reason why ‘One Summer Isn’t Enough’ in Abu Dhabi – as shown in Experience Abu Dhabi’s new destination campaign, which highlights the many exciting, inspiring and restorative experiences available across the emirate. Download the Summer Guide and stay up to date with programming announcements by visiting more information about Abu Dhabi Summer Shopping Season, please contact

How AI and blockchain technologies are shaping financial markets in the GCC

Dubai: It didn’t take long for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain technologies to impact companies, as their rise is gradually shaping new business models, optimizing performance and boosting efficiency across the entire economic spectrum. Among the many sectors affected by this digital transformation, are financial markets in the GCC and beyond.On one hand, the integration of AI helps to improve data analysis and enables the swift processing of vast financial data, leading to better decision-making and risk assessment. Automated trading algorithms execute trades rapidly based on market trends and patterns, while AI assists in risk management by identifying and mitigating potential risks through data analysis.On the other hand, Blockchain technology enhances security in financial markets, guaranteeing safe and transparent transactions, which helps reduce fraud and enhances trust in regional financial markets. It also streamlines financial processes, such as settlements and record-keeping, driving efficiency and lowering costs. In Saudi Arabia, for example, Blockchain technology is being used to create a new and simple way to finance small and medium enterprises. As for Dubai, the city has been at the forefront of Blockchain adoption, with ambitious plans to become the Blockchain capital of the world, as the Emirati leadership strives to fully digitize the government by utilizing Blockchain for all government documents, which demonstrates a firm commitment to embracing this technology for various sectors.According to Ritu Singh, Regional Director of Stone X Group Inc., the combination of AI and Blockchain technologies is expected to have a profound impact on financial markets in the Middle East. Singh says: “While the specific investment capital dedicated to AI and Blockchain in this part of the world is not clear yet, their projected impact and the region's advancements indicate a growing interest and investment in such transformative technologies, which contributes to reshaping the financial landscape.”A recent PwC report has highlighted the potential for AI to disrupt markets and foster the creation of innovative services and business models in the Middle East. The report projects that the region will gain 2% of the total global benefits of AI by 2030, with the UAE experiencing the largest impact, amounting to approximately 14% of its 2030 GDP. The report further estimates that the potential impact of AI in the Middle East could reach US$320 billion, with Saudi Arabia anticipated to be one of the economies that will benefit the most from AI advancements.According to The International Data Corporation, it is estimated that the Middle East will be spending $3 billion on AI in 2023 with that amount more than doubling to $6.4 billion by 2026. The region is expected to see annual growth in spending of almost 30% in this technology over the next three years, which is the fastest growth rate worldwide over the coming years. Furthermore, more than 80% of CEOs in the Middle East believe that AI is critical to the future of their businesses, and over 70% of them are investing in such technologies.For, a leading trading company which has its office in Dubai and part of StoneX Group Inc., investing in AI technologies has already started. The company offers customers an AI-based Performance Analytics tool, in addition to giving them access to advanced Risk Management Performance Analytics solutions.In this line, Singh confirms: “At, our commitment lies in delivering the finest cutting-edge tools and market access to our esteemed customers. We firmly believe that AI will revolutionize every aspect of trading, spanning from markets to trading technology, and we are at the forefront of this transformation by offering our customers AI-based tools, such as Performance Analytics. We’ve also introduced an AI index for trading, The BITA Artificial Intelligence Giants UST Index, and other exciting offerings are currently under development.”Recently, a growing number of companies has started using The BITA Artificial Intelligence Giants UST Index, which aims at providing exposure to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector through a selection of companies that are publicly listed in the US with revenue in the AI ecosystem. This includes areas such as microprocessors, data center platforms, machine learning and autonomous artificial intelligence development, among others. Index constituents are weighted by free-float market capitalization and rebalanced semi-annually, while index values are disseminated on an intraday and end-of-day basis. The base currency of the index is USD. However, index values may be published in other currencies when applicable.

Samsung launches Galaxy Open Market pop-up at Dubai Mall

DUbai, UAE : Samsung Gulf Electronics has launched an interactive Galaxy Open Market pop-up at the Dubai Mall to showcase its latest Galaxy devices following the July 26 Galaxy Unpacked event, which took place in South Korea. Under the theme ‘Join the Flip Side’, the new launches include the Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Z Flip5, Galaxy Tab S9 Series and the Galaxy Watch6 Series.The pop-up store at the world’s largest mall is now open until August 28th, allowing visitors and fans to experience the newly unveiled devices. The interactive pop-up features numerous activities divided into various themed experiential zones to highlight key features of the latest Samsung devices.At the FlexCam Selfie experiential zone, visitors can explore diverse selfie angles with the Galaxy Z Flip5, while at the gaming station, visitors can experience powerful gaming performance through various Z Fold5 and Tab S9 Ultra gaming kits, including a Mini Arcade and a Z Fold5 + Controller. The wellness zone will provide an experience around the Galaxy Watch6 Sleep Mode, including a sleep analysis and coaching guide to improve sleeping habits.Lastly, a Galaxy Z Flip5 Customization zone will let the visitors customize the new Flex Window using their own selfies. They will be able to experience a variety of custom elements from the display and create a unique Flex Window themselves.Visitors will have the opportunity to earn points for visiting each of the different experience zones, which they can redeem for gifts on exit,. To keep the engagement factor intact, Samsung will also be hosting a series of competitions, photography masterclasses as well as daily workshops during the course of the pop-up.

Largest Metaverse tech firm reveals ‘Landvault 2.0’

Dubai: Landvault, a leading metaverse tech company, marks its one-year anniversary, and reveals ‘Landvault 2.0’, a two-pillar approach to pioneer the next evolution of the internet. Landvault embarked on a transformative journey after recognizing existing restrictions and sentiment shifts. Following extensive market research, including feedback from over 500 potential clients, paired with invaluable lessons from the 2023 metaverse winter, the company has honed its focus on providing a richer, fairer internet through the concept of the "3D internet."Landvault experienced significant growth in 2022 as the metaverse rapidly evolved. Selling virtual worlds to Fortune 500 brands and having completed more than 200 projects for the world's largest companies, from Mastercard to Standard Chartered, and governments, Landvault has developed over 100 million square feet of experiences across platforms including The Sandbox and Decentraland.However, the subsequent metaverse winter caused a shift in market dynamics. Many brands treated their presence in the metaverse as an experiment, withdrawing once the initial buzz wore off. This situation compelled Landvault to reconsider the metaverse's value proposition and identify new customer needs. Building on the 'next-best to reality' vision, Landvault aims to pioneer the metaverse into the next evolution of media platforms - a 3-Dimensional internet. In response to this vision, Landvault’s research revealed three key requirements for the metaverse's success:High-fidelity content that users can relate to and connect with. Accessibility from all devices. For greater adoption, metaverse experiences must be easily discoverable and accessible.Positive return on investment (ROI) to attract long-term engagement and business interest.The company intends to lead the metaverse revolution in the MENA region by focusing on two key pillars:The first pillar entails constructing a robust technology stack that accelerates the creation and monetization of metaverse experiences. Landvault is creating proprietary tools that enable creators and brands to easily create high-fidelity content while ensuring seamless monetization opportunities.The second pillar focuses on bringing cutting-edge technology to the MENA region, where it will lead the charge in the metaverse industry. Landvault intends to introduce the concept of the 3D internet by establishing a strong presence in the region, offering a utility-driven approach beyond the metaverse hype. The company is already working with brands in the region and aims to further equip businesses and governments in connecting with the next generation of internet users while offering an output that matches the region's vision.As part of this transformative journey, Landvault has rebranded and launched a new website to reflect its renewed vision. While the metaverse builder, Landvault Studio, will remain an integral part of the company, it will now be powered by the innovative tech stack to provide an unparalleled user experience.Landvault CEO, Samuel Huber expressed his enthusiasm for this new direction, saying, "Our journey through the metaverse winter was a defining moment for Landvault." It compelled us to reconsider and reimagine our role in shaping the internet's future. We are on a mission to unleash the true potential of the 3D internet - defined by utility, and are ready to lead the change in the next era."As part of its expansion to strengthen its presence and drive 3D internet adoption, Landvault is actively seeking to appoint sales and business development professionals in the MENA region.Landvault is the largest metaverse builder with over 100 million square feet of virtual real estate, more than 120 full-time creators, and nearly 300 completed projects. We’ve been helping brands build and grow in gaming environments since 2017 and the metaverse since 2021. Landvault’s platform-agnostic proprietary technology and creative powerhouse builds and delivers tailored, data-driven, and optimized business solutions and insights. We help clients launch, optimize, and monetize metaverse experiences. Landvault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web. Landvault is actively using such a protocol, Matera, to make this happen. Connecting to Unity and Unreal via SDK, Matera enables creators to publish the content on the web (accessibility) seamlessly, index it on-chain, and tokenize it.

Hisense announces substantial growth in first half of 2023

Dubai, UAE : Global consumer electronics leader Hisense has announced its financial results for the first half of 2023 across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in its TV, Air Conditioning, and White Goods category; confirming substantial growth and major expansion plans within the region.Hisense TV sales saw a positive surge despite the slow market growth. The Laser TV category was seen to be the key category driving growth, recording a sales increase of 23 per cent and 125 per cent year-to-date over 2022 and 2021, respectively. Jason Ou, President of Hisense Middle East & Africa said: “The concept of home cinema is well perceived by the end-users, while Laser TVs’ lower energy consumption and eye friendly features also make our products particularly attractive. Another reason is the increased availability of cinematic content on OTT platforms, which cater to interest levels of a wider population.” Moreover, regional white goods revenue grew by 10.33 per cent wherein air conditioning displayed a subsequent increase of 20 per cent in 2023 as compared to 2022 YTD.  Per Hisense’s new brand strategy, the company is paving its way into the premium segment, owing to its next generation of entertainment and home appliances. To achieve this, Hisense has been increasing its flagship store footprints by creating a wholistic approach, giving the end-users the experience of superior quality, high-performance, and efficiency. While flagship stores can already be found in the UAE, Qatar, and Iraq, Hisense now plans to establish stores in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and other GCC countries. Ou said new Laser TV and Mini-LED technologies will maintain their growth trajectory in the region’s TV segment, reaching audiences demanding premium products and significantly boosting the brand’s position as both high-quality and aspirational. “In terms of the TV sector, we believe increasing disposable income throughout the region is driving the demand for premium products.”Keeping in mind the industry trends, Hisense has launched a 98-inch Mini-LED TV in Q4 2022 to cater to the premium segment of the market. To date, the response and acceptance of this model is extremely encouraging, and Hisense is looking forward to expanding its market penetration across the region to cater to the growing demand for extra large screens within the LED market segment, Ou added.“Understanding the consumer purchase behaviour, the plan is to soon introduce the region to our next-gen ULED X technology, which promises to make a major breakthrough in the premium TV segment. This will be followed by the launch of the new smart and AI supportive 5S home appliance series with an anticipation that this will stimulate huge category growth in the second half of the year.”There is also a major thrust in expanding the after-sales service department throughout the region in response to its increasing sales and to better service its growing consumer base. The exclusive Hisense Care Hub in UAE and Qatar will soon extend into the rest of the GCC, as well as Iraq and Algeria. For Hisense, the company’s solid MEA performance closes a successful 12-month period that has seen the manufacturer secure a slew of high-profile product awards, including the prestigious CES 2023 Innovation Award and EISA Award for ‘Best Product of the Year’ for its premium 4K Mini-LED ULED TV 65U8HQ, and the Tom's Guide Award 2023 for its 4K UST Triple-Laser Trichroma Projector 100L9H.

Al-Futtaim Automotive appoints Katib Belkhodja as Director of Customer Centricit

Al-Futtaim Automotive has enlisted Katib Belkhodja as the trailblazing Director of Customer Centricity for their automotive group.This position has been designed to adopt an innovative, customer-centric approach to the business, setting a new standard in the industry.Taking on this pivotal role, Belkhodja will directly report to the President of Al-Futtaim Automotive and be entrusted with crafting customer-focused business strategies. These visionary plans will revolve around enhancing the brand's power, elevating the customer experience, and driving digital sales to new heights.In addition to this, Belkhodja will spearhead the implementation of Al-Futtaim Automotive's marketing, PR communications, and digital transformation initiatives.Embracing his position as Customer Centricity Director, Belkhodja will skillfully oversee the creation of captivating brand content and storytelling, and leverage the power of data science across the diverse range of products and services offered by the company.Taking charge of the digital revolution, Belkhodja will pioneer the integration of cutting-edge technologies within showrooms and establish revolutionary processes to gather invaluable customer feedback at every stage, from call centers to digital bookings, right through to the final sale.On his appointment, Belkhodja shared his excitement: "I am thrilled to lead the new Customer Centricity department, an organic extension of our customer-driven business approach. Al-Futtaim Automotive remains steadfast in our dedication to putting customers first. In today's fiercely competitive landscape, where personalized and curated customer experiences are paramount to brand success, we eagerly embrace this responsibility."He further said: "My mission is to redefine the brand experience by seamlessly blending digital innovations with a deep understanding of our esteemed customers. Armed with a wealth of customer insights from diverse touchpoints, we are relentlessly working towards delivering a truly 'connected customer experience' – from the initial interaction through our compelling marketing campaigns to engaging showroom or e-commerce experiences, culminating in the unforgettable moment when they drive away with their dream vehicle."Drawing from his extensive 15-year background in the automotive industry, encompassing roles with OEMs, major dealerships, and automotive digital platforms, Belkhodja has previously served as the Marketing Director of Al-Futtaim Automotive, further solidifying his qualifications for this prestigious role as the Customer Centricity Director.

Hub71 and WIO Bank join forces to enhance banking for tech startups

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and Wio Bank PJSC, the region’s first platform bank, have launched a strategic partnership to transform the banking experience for startup founders in the capital. Designed to enhance bank account processes for SMEs, Wio becomes the official banking partner of Hub71, enabling startup founders to benefit from expert mentorship and commercialisation opportunities that foster innovative new products and services in Abu Dhabi.By streamlining the banking process, Hub71 and Wio are making it easier for startups in Abu Dhabi to access funding and essential banking products that support the growth and development of early-stage innovative tech businesses.Wio Bank was set up with the core mission of contributing to the future readiness of the SME segment in the UAE. As an official banking partner, Wio will streamline the bank account opening process when startups join Hub71. The digital bank will also participate in Hub71 events and initiatives that align with its growth strategy.Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, said: “Our partnership with Wio Bank further solidifies our commitment to making Abu Dhabi an attractive destination for startups to do business. By collaborating with an Abu Dhabi based digital platform that is leading the future of business banking, we are opening the door to robust banking and commercial opportunities for our startup community. This partnership is a prime example of a powerful combination within Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem that fosters startup growth in the UAE’s capital.”Jamal Al Awadhi, Chief Operating and Experience Officer, Wio, commented: "We are thrilled to announce our partnership as the first official banking partner of Hub71, and embark on a shared mission to empower startups in the region. We recognise the significant impact made by the global startup community and firmly believe that by simplifying access to funding and essential banking products, we have a unique opportunity to nurture their growth and facilitate their paths to new achievements. Through our collaboration with Hub71, we are committed to delivering meaningful banking solutions that truly make a difference, enabling startup owners to thrive and succeed on their entrepreneurial journey."Hub71 startups will also have access to Wio’s network of subject matter experts to receive mentorship and strategic advice to support business growth and development. With access to expert guidance and insights, founders can better navigate unique challenges, make more informed decisions, and unlock new opportunities for the economic growth of Abu Dhabi.

Pet care brand Rory's Apawthecary partners with Waitrose, Spinneys

Dubai: Apawthecary, a homegrown success story in the UAE's pet care industry, has announced its partnership with two prominent retailers, Waitrose and Spinneys, a collaboration set to elevate the accessibility of organic and ethical dog care products in the UAE market.As of July 2023, Spinneys and Waitrose customers can conveniently access Rory's Apawthecary premium organic dog grooming products, including dog shampoo, dog conditioner, ear cleanser, aromatherapy spray, and a delightful assortment of high-quality pet accessories to be rolled out into the retailers this fall, including dog snoods, towels, and blankets. These retail partnerships mark a significant milestone for the local brand, which was recently awarded a place in the 2022 Spinneys Local Business Incubator Program. The esteemed program supports local startups by fast-tracking market entry for innovative ventures such as Rory's Apawthecary. Following the success of this partnership, Rory's Apawthecary plans to introduce new product lines to these retailers later this year. Additionally, the brand is set to expand into Spinneys and Waitrose stores across Oman. Since its inception in 2020, Rory's Apawthecary has swiftly gained recognition for its unwavering commitment to being non-toxic, providing premium pet wellness solutions, and emphasizing natural and holistic approaches. With a strong focus on sustainable and ethical practices, the brand has resonated and formed a deep connection with pet owners across the UAE. Rory's Apawthecary also supports local animal welfare and rescue organizations and actively advocates for fostering and adoption.The brand was established by Abu Dhabi native Robyn Fok, a passionate animal lover and dog owner. While searching for pet products at local pet shops and vets, Fok recognized a significant void in the market; the available options were either foreign brands or products laden with harmful toxic ingredients, posing risks rather than benefits to pets. Determined to make a difference, she named the brand after her beloved late Cocker Spaniel, Rory, and set out to create a line of natural dog wellbeing products, aiming to revolutionize an industry saturated with chemical-infused goods."I am thrilled to be a part of the Spinneys Local Business Incubator Program and to have established this partnership with Waitrose and Spinneys. These are two esteemed retailers known for their high-quality offerings," said Fok, Founder and CEO of Rory's Apawthecary. "This collaboration allows Rory’s Apawthecary to reach a wider audience, ensuring more pet parents and furry companions have access to our premium dog care products.”Now stocked at Spinneys and Waitrose stores nationwide, Rory's Apawthecary products are also available for purchase via the store's online shop, as well as at premium pet lifestyle stores and vets, both online and in stores, across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including The Pet Shop/ Dubai Pet Food, and in all branches of Modern Veterinary Clinic.

Keel Comms hires human-like AI host for its podcast SustAInability

Duba: Dubai-based ‘Purpose Relations’ agency Keel Comms has hired a bilingual, human-like AI host for its newly launched podcast named SustAInability.The podcast aims to explore ways in which AI can either foster or suppress sustainable development, making it a crucial discussion platform for the future of technology and sustainability.SustAInability is a bite-sized, interview-style audio-visual podcast designed to engage audiences interested in the potential of AI to create positive change. As AI continues to revolutionize written content, Keel Comms anticipates a shift towards greater receptivity for video content, hence the creation of a "tech for good" podcast. With an AI-powered host leading the conversation, the podcast offers a unique perspective on the topic at hand.Since its launch, SustAInability has featured guests from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. These thought leaders bring diverse perspectives and insights into how AI can contribute to or hinder progress in various industries, including energy, agriculture, and transportation.Keel Comms was established with sustainability at the core of its operations, making it the only purpose-driven PR & communications, social media, and content agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The company's commitment to promoting sustainable practices and initiatives is evident in its choice to use an AI host for its SustAInability podcast—a move that underscores the importance of embracing technology to drive meaningful change.Baha Hamadi, Founder & Managing Director of Keel Comms, expressed his excitement about the new podcast and its AI host, saying: "At Keel Comms, we're always looking for ways to push the boundaries of what's possible in our industry. With SustAInability, we're not only exploring the potential of AI to drive sustainable development but also demonstrating its capabilities firsthand by using an AI host. We believe this unique approach will captivate audiences and spark important conversations about the future of technology and sustainability."As the world continues to grapple with the urgent need for sustainable growth, the SustAInability podcast offers a timely and essential platform for discussing the role of AI in shaping humanity’s collective future. Through thought-provoking interviews and insightful discussions, the podcast aims to inspire listeners to consider how AI can be harnessed to create a better, more sustainable world for all.

Meta Shapers Web3 & AI Summit to focus on Web3.0 and AI

Dubai: Web3.0 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are set to come under the spotlight at the upcoming Meta Shapers Web3 & AI Summit later this year, according to Dubai-based technology specialist, Sharad Agarwal.Agarwal, the founder and CEO of Cyber Gear, a leading tech enabler since 1996, confirmed that a global cast of authoritative voice speakers and panellists are secured for the online event on October 4, 2023.“The speaker line-up is plucked from the centre of the metaverse conversation. Each of the 25 presenters and panellists are known to bring real experience, knowledge, thoughts, and concerns to the room.“We will cover a myriad of topics deemed essential to business, economics, and lifestyle from the current headline-grabber, Artificial Intelligence, through to the positive impact of Web3 to enable a just and inclusive future,” he said.Agarwal is considered a leading Web3 commentator having spoken at more than 100 subject-related events, on-line and in-person, over the past 18 months. He is the creator of the Summit. Meanwhile, global business & communications specialist, Susan Furness is onboard as the Summit’s content curator and co-host.Alongside Agarwal, Furness is an active voice in the Web3 conversation facilitating more than 30 panel discussions since early 2022, from gaming, to brand building, through to community building, and economics.Furness confirmed that at least a dozen, critical, headline topics will be tabled throughout the six-hour Summit agenda in addition to two expert panels. She promised a ‘jargon-free dialogue’.Referencing the virtual, global community of more than 2,000 Meta Shapers gathered over the past 18 months, Furness observed: “Meta-Shapers are known to bring a big dose of reality into the immersive conversation.“The Summit’s vibrant Meta Shaper cast is poised to unpick the identified pros, the perceived cons, as well as the real sense of the unknown that seems to be keeping economists, strategists, and Metapreneurs busy,” she said.Furness, the founder of emerging market advisory, Strategic Solutions and an associate at Edgewalkers International added an online audience of more than 1,500 from five continents is expected to attend.“Meta Shapers is a global community of impact entrepreneurs and industry leaders who are shaping the narrative around the metaverse, and early summit registrations are already beating our expectations,” she concluded.

Gartner says worldwide IaaS public cloud services revenue grew 30% in 2022

Dubai: The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 29.7% in 2022, to total $120.3 billion, up from $92.8 billion in 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Amazon retained the No. 1 position in the IaaS market in 2022, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei.“Cloud has been elevated from a technology disruptor to a business disruptor,” said Sid Nag, VP Analyst at Gartner. “IaaS is driving software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) growth as buyers to continue to add more applications to the cloud and modernize existing ones.”“IaaS growth in 2022 was stronger than expected, despite a slight softening in the fourth quarter as customers focused on using their previously committed capacity to its fullest potential,” added Nag. “This is expected to continue until mid-2023 and is a natural outcome of the market’s maturity. We expect an acceleration in 2024, as there is still room for plenty of additional future growth.”In 2022, the top five IaaS providers accounted for over 80% of the market. Amazon continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with revenue of $48.1 billion and 40% market share Microsoft followed in the No. 2 position with 21.5% share, reaching over $25 billion in IaaS public cloud revenue in 2022. Microsoft’s software-first strategy continued to support its IaaS growth as customers required more cloud capacity to support automation, advanced analytics and digital workplace capabilities.Alibaba Group again held the No. 3 position with 7.7% market share, although with modest 2.4% year over year growth. While Alibaba continued to lead the IaaS market in China, its limited potential for expansion across global markets has slowed growth, driving its recent decision to spin off its Alibaba Cloud business into a separate entity.Google saw the highest growth rate of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 41% in 2022 to reach over $9 billion in revenue. Google’s increased investment in sovereign cloud and expanded sales and marketing partner programs helped to broaden its customer base and drive additional IaaS revenue.Huawei rounded out the top five IaaS vendors with 4.4% market share and $5.2 billion in revenue for 2022. Since its 2020 pivot to an increased focus on cloud, Huawei has been steadily growing its IaaS revenue in China and emerging markets.“Generative AI will continue to drive the cloud market forward, particularly as hyperscalers look to support offerings beyond the existing, democratized generative AI solutions,” said Nag. “As enterprises integrate generative AI into their technology portfolio, new markets and opportunities for cloud hyperscalers will emerge related to sovereignty, ethics, privacy and sustainability.”Gartner clients can read more in “Market Share: IT Services, Worldwide, 2022.”Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on cloud strategies and infrastructure and operations trends at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conferences taking place November 20-21 in London, December 6-8 in Las Vegas and December 12-13 in Tokyo. Follow news and updates from these conferences on Twitter using #GartnerIO.

JAGGAER names Eva Skidmore as its new Chief Marketing Officer

Duba: JAGGAER, the global leader in Autonomous Commerce, today announces the appointment of Eva Skidmore as Chief Marketing Officer. Skidmore will oversee global marketing for the organisation and focus on driving customer demand as the company enters a new phase of growth.Eva joins JAGGAER from Salesforce, where she served as CMO Public Sector and Vice President of Field Marketing for Public Sector, Education and Nonprofit – sectors in which JAGGAER also excels. She was responsible for creating growth marketing plans, driving brand awareness, and leading demand generation globally. Prior to her time at Salesforce, she held marketing and channel roles at Socrata, Oracle (RightNow) and Microsoft. JAGGAER CEO Andy Hovancik, said: “We’re thrilled that Eva has taken on this important role as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Her track record of shaping and driving growth-oriented marketing strategies while building and retaining high-performing teams will be invaluable as we expand JAGGAER’s leadership position in the procurement software market.”“I am excited to join this incredible team and to support JAGGAER’s vision of Autonomous Commerce to address critical issues in procurement and supply chain management,” said Skidmore.“I’m also looking forward to working alongside Andy and the team as we gear up for the REV2023 global conference in Barcelona this fall,” she concluded.Skidmore holds a degree in International Relations from Tufts University and a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Deloitte Digital, Salesforce partner to unleash the power of trusted AI

DubaI:  Salesforce and Deloitte Digital announced a collaboration to provide businesses around the world with the accelerators and strategies they need to deploy trusted AI for CRM. Deloitte Digital will offer its AI services, industry experience, and deep knowledge of data protection regulations to help organizations implement and scale AI Cloud. Together, Salesforce and Deloitte Digital will help clients harness the power of AI for CRM to deliver tailored customer experiences, supercharge company productivity, and safeguard their data. Why it matters: Deploying AI for CRM requires trust and data security. New Salesforce research reveals that 73% of employees perceive generative AI as introducing new security risks, and almost 60% of those intending to use the technology lack knowledge regarding data security measures.  Driving the news: In this collaboration, customers will have access to: Strategies Ready to Deploy AI for CRM: Quantitative, research-backed trust framework to prepare customers to deploy AI for CRM in a way that addresses security, privacy, and compliance requirements from customers and leads to loyalty and brand equity.Industry-Specific AI Use Cases: Deloitte Digital AI readiness labs with dedicated industry-specific immersive experiences to explore the potential of generative AI and accelerate the adoption of the AI Cloud across various sectors, including technology, healthcare, and financial services.Upskilling in AI for CRM Success: The Deloitte AI Academy’s commitment to upskill 10,000 professionals across the globe will include training programs to develop and enhance generative AI for CRM skills, fostering the next generation of talent within the Salesforce ecosystem.Trusted AI for CRM: AI Cloud is built for CRM – supercharging customer experiences and company productivity by bringing together AI, data, analytics, and automation to provide trusted, open, real-time generative AI that is enterprise ready. AI Cloud will enable: Sales reps to quickly auto-generate personalized emails tailored to their customer’s needs.Service teams to auto-generate personalized agent chat replies and case summaries.Marketers to auto-generate personalized content to engage customers and prospects across email, mobile, web, and advertising.Commerce teams to auto-generate insights and recommendations to deliver customized commerce experiences at every step of the buyer’s journey. Developers to auto-generate code, predict potential bugs in code, and suggest fixes.Soundbites: “Today every organization must become an AI-first company to compete, and that can only be done by adopting technologies rooted in trust and transparency. Salesforce’s work with Deloitte Digital will help ensure organizations have the strategies and technologies they need to confidently adopt and deploy AI for CRM, driving personalized customer experiences and immediate business outcomes.” – Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce AI“For many years, Deloitte has been leading the industry in AI capabilities anchored in trust. With our extended focus and collaboration with Salesforce, we are able to offer our clients the technical experience and industry-specific knowledge to help them design, develop, and deploy AI solutions that optimize CRM processes, enable personalized customer interactions, and generate actionable insights for strategic decision-making.” – Jim Rowan, principal and U.S. leader for Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Analytics business

Benefit provides innovative advertising solutions for businesses

Manama: BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, has announced a partnership with MediaZone, a subsidiary of Gulf Media International Bahrain (GMI), the digital marketing specialist in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to provide marketing and advertising agency services. MediaZone will serve as an intermediary between Benefit and third parties seeking to market their products and services on BENEFIT’s mobile application, BenefitPay.MediaZone was chosen for this initiative as a result of their proven expertise in offering marketing solutions, as well as their ability to ensure the seamless integration of advertisements within the app. The agreement will present innovative advertising spaces for those looking to market their products and/or services through the BenefitPay application. This partnership allows BENEFIT to leverage the full potential of their application and strengthen its overall impact.The collaboration is set to generate fresh opportunities for businesses; allowing them to reach their target audiences in Bahrain and aiding their marketing efforts . With BenefitPay’s increasing popularity and usage, it is an ideal platform to advertise on for companies wanting to boost their visibility and engagement in the Bahraini market. Third parties that join forces with BENEFIT through MediaZone will enjoy smooth, noninvasive integration into the user experience, as well as mass reach and impressions, giving them a competitive edge and increasing brand engagement    .Nezar Maroof, AGM Marketing & Communications at BENEFIT, commented, “We are excited to announce our partnership with MediaZone to broaden BenefitPay's features and bring innovative and impactful advertising solutions to the platform. By leveraging their expertise, this opportunity empowers us to further increase our brand's visibility and reach, while also providing our users with tailored and engaging content. We look forward to this engagement and the prospects it will provide.”Ribal Jureidini, Director of Operation & Sales at MediaZone one, commented, “We are thrilled to be part of this transformative partnership with BENEFIT. This collaboration aligns with our core mission to advance the digital advertising landscape in the Kingdom and enables us to provide strategic advertising spaces on the widely used BenefitPay app. Through this we are empowering Bahraini businesses while also enhancing the user experience with contextually relevant promotions. We are dedicated to the shared vision of digital innovation and this is definitely a significant step towards that goal.” It is worth mentioning that this engagement is part of BENEFIT's ongoing effort to further develop and improve its services in order to offer its users the best possible experience. BenefitPay remains a pioneer in terms of usage with 40 million access monthly and with more than 10 million Fawri transactions, more than 240 million Fawri+ and 468 thousand Fawateer transactions in 2022, beside other services such as petrol station payments, remittance and balance inquiry transactions.

e& launches ‘e& universe’, the first metaverse in the region

Abu Dhabi: e& today announced the launch of ‘e& universe’, the first metaverse in the region that is set to captivate audiences with phenomenal experiences, taking visitors on a virtual journey exploring with unique avatars and exclusive zones, bringing a new reality to connecting and interacting in the metaverse.This extraordinary platform, which aims to give users an exceptional digital experience, made its debut at GITEX last year. This was conceptualised and launched in line with the UAE's Metaverse strategy to position itself as a pioneer in shaping the future of emerging technologies on a global scale.e& universe will host the first Unpacked event in the metaverse for the new Samsung Galaxy series on 26th July at 15:00, where users will be able to pre-order their favourite Galaxy devices in the metaverse and take advantage of the exciting pre-order offers Samsung is rolling out for the new devices, bringing users one step closer to global technology updates and becoming the virtual hub for entertainment and live events.Users can interact, socialise and explore the limitless possibilities of the metaverse thanks to the various zones inside the e& universe, which open up a world of opportunities.Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, etisalat by e&, said: “We are thrilled to bring our revolutionary metaverse, a virtual realm that transcends imagination and brings together various zones of boundless possibilities. This groundbreaking launch will reshape the way we interact, explore and create, offering all our users a truly immersive experience. We want to welcome all our customers to a future of interconnected realities and are pushing the boundaries of digital innovation empowering them to create unforgettable experiences in an ever-evolving metaverse.”Hosted virtually in Arcadia Planitia, a place on Mars considered to be the most suitable for future life, e& universe is a strategic and ambitious tribute to the UAE’s national space strategy and the success of the Hope Probe mission, the first mission led by an Arab country.Developed in partnership with HTC, e& universe serves as the central hub, seamlessly connecting users and providing them with easy navigation throughout the metaverse.Joseph Lin, GM, VIVERSE, said: “e& universe, powered by HTC’s VIVERSE technology, is revolutionising immersive social experiences, taking them to unprecedented heights. These remarkable new features we’ve developed for e& underscore its unwavering commitment to pioneering innovative ways for people to relish content and forge meaningful connections with one another.” e& universe invites users into a vibrant and dynamic digital realm, offering a multitude of exciting areas to explore and enjoy including e& universe Virtual Home, e& universe Shop and e& universe Arena & StadiumWithin the e& universe Virtual Home, users have the opportunity to create and personalise their personal virtual space. It enables users to express their individuality and showcase their distinct identity by decorating their virtual homes with NFTs or digital assets. By adorning it with bespoke decorations that reflect who they are, inviting friends to join them, and engaging in voice and text chats, users can relish shared experiences and nurture social connections in an immersive setting.Users can dive into a captivating atmosphere akin to real-world events at the e& universe Arena & Stadium, with the Arena being the vibrant hub of entertainment while the Stadium is the hub for sporting events. With artist or team/player decorations setting the stage, the lobby creates a festive ambiance. Guests can connect with one another in the VIP box, engaging in voice and text chats while enthusiastically cheering for their favourite stars. The excitement can be instantly captured and shared with friends and family, creating lasting memories of the virtual event.With virtual concerts and live performances, the Arena Zone provides users with an exhilarating and captivating experience that is ideal for enjoying with friends and family. It allows users to indulge in the dynamic music and entertainment world within a stunning setting.Meanwhile, the Stadium Zone provides sports enthusiasts with an interactive and immersive experience. Users can enjoy their favourite sports matches with loved ones, capturing the thrill and energy of the game in a virtual environment.The e& universe opens up exciting possibilities for businesses to host a diverse range of events. From industry conferences that bring together professionals from various sectors to real estate exhibitions featuring the latest development, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase innovative offerings. The e& universe offers a dynamic platform for businesses to engage with their audience and create immersive experiences that transcend physical boundaries.The e& universe shop offers a variety of eye-catching images and exquisite paintings to unique art pieces and home décor that can be converted into NFTs. It is a treasure trove of digital assets and collectibles, allowing users to enhance their virtual experiences within theAdditionally, users can purchase event passes for exclusive concerts and other special events. The NFTs can be used to customise virtual homes and provide access to paid events, adding an exclusive touch to the metaverse experience.e& continues to shape the future of the metaverse, unlocking creativity, enabling social connections, and redefining the possibilities of technology

Telr and FlapKap Partner for Quick Merchant Loans Access

Dubai: Today, Telr, the award-winning online payment gateway, has announced a new collaboration with FlapKap, the leading revenue-based financing platform in the MENA region. The two innovative leaders in the fintech industry have teamed up to introduce a game-changing financing solution for Telr Merchants in UAE. This partnership aims to unlock the growth potential of businesses by providing rapid and efficient funding through the combined power of Telr's secure payment gateway and FlapKap's Revenue-Based Financing program.The collaboration between Telr and FlapKap brings a wide array of benefits to Telr merchants, who, with this collaboration, can expect fast approvals and funds in just 48 hours, ensuring quick access to growth funds without obtaining any equity while being Shariaa compliant. Further, the revenue-based payback structure eliminates the need for collateral, providing flexibility and peace of mind. And, through an insightful provided dashboard, businesses gain valuable tools to manage their funds and track their performance effectively. In addition to these benefits, Merchants will gain exclusive access to a team of experts with international experience to guide them through their journey.Khalil Alami, Founder & CEO of Telr, said: "By joining forces with FlapKap, we are providing a new financing program for our merchants, revolutionizing the way they access financing" Alami added: " SMEs are widely recognized as the driving force behind economic growth in countries worldwide. When we first launched the Telr Finance program during the challenging times of the pandemic, we understood that sufficient funding is key to helping enterprises to thrive. Since then, we have continuously committed to offering merchants diverse funding options, empowering SMEs to overcome financial limitations, enabling them to unlock their true potential and contribute even more significantly to their respective economies."Ahmad Coucha, Founder and CEO FlapKap, said: "UAE is at the heart of SME growth and a key market for FlapKap. We are excited to partner with Telr to bring our innovative fast, flexible, and insightful funding options to all Telr merchants starting today. We are on a mission to empower digitally native businesses to unlock value through effective working capital funding options".Telr goes above and beyond payment processing with its comprehensive one-stop-shop approach. In addition to seamless payment solutions, and financial funds, Telr offers a wide range of business services specifically designed to support e-commerce businesses, which makes it a reliable and efficient partner that online businesses can count on.

Etisalat by e& launches tailored business solutions for startups

Abu Dhabi: etisalat by e& today announced the launch of its new tailored business solutions for startup and micro businesses. The innovative solutions have been specifically designed to provide comprehensive services and support for small businesses based on their unique by e&'s tailored solution packages offer the best solutions that meet the specific needs of various business categories, with customers having the flexibility to customise their plans by adding additional services and add-ons based on their business requirements.The new solution packages currently feature categories: "Starters," "Micro Retailers," "Café & Kiosks," and "Services/Consultancy," each tailored to specific business types and encompassing a range of industries, with a plan to introduce more.As part of the company's commitment to continuous improvement, there are plans to expand the range of solution categories in the future. The expansion will ensure that businesses from diverse industries have access to tailored support and guidance, further enhancing their chances of success in an ever-evolving marketplace.The main plan includes 4G/5G Internet with unlimited data, a 4G/5G router, a UCaaS voice line, and 100 flexi minutes bundled. Additionally, customers can select from a range of add-ons, such as Microsoft 365, a domain name, an eStore, website design and support, two cameras and a network video recorder (hardware only), payments essential, managed signage, payments premium, VAT registration, and filing, among others.Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small & Medium Business, etisalat by e&, said: “At etisalat by e&, our mission is to empower, uplift, and support small and micro businesses by providing a bundle of essential services that cater to their unique needs. Through our carefully crafted packages, we strive to significantly impact the SMB community, becoming the driving force behind their growth and profitability.“Our goal is to become the preferred partner for all business solutions, leading the way in digital transformation, where small businesses can expect more than just connectivity; we provide a comprehensive suite of digital tools and services that enable them to grow, achieve success, and excel.”The tailored solutions for small businesses differ significantly from the existing plans and services offered to SMB customers. These solutions combine the primary services required to start and run a business, providing a convenient and holistic package.Mahmoud added: “Each solution package caters to the specific needs of the different business categories. For example, micro retailers require Internet connectivity, landline communication, payment solutions, and an eStore. They also have the option to choose between CCTV payments or web design and support. Moreover, we offer various mobile packages specifically designed for micro retailers to ensure seamless communication on the go.”etisalat by e& remains committed to supporting small businesses, enabling their growth and success by launching tailored propositions that empower business owners with the tools and services they need to thrive in today's competitive market.

Report reveals game-changing potential of industrial metaverse

Dubai: Arthur D. Little (ADL), the world's first management consulting firm, launched its highly anticipated Industrial Metaverse report under the Blue Shift banner. Titled “The Industrial Metaverse: Making the invisible visible to drive sustainable growth”, the report provides valuable insights into the developing concept of the Industrial Metaverse, its potential impact on various sectors, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.ADL predicts that the Industrial Metaverse could lead to double-digit percentage improvements in areas such as supply chain, utilization, and operational costs as well as driving growth and managing sustainability impacts. ADL forecasts an acceleration of the Industrial Metaverse market, with an estimated size of $100-150 billion expected to rise to $400 billion by 2030, potentially exceeding $1 trillion."Despite the current setbacks, the Industrial Metaverse has the potential to transform the way executives leverage digital technologies, elevating them from the operating level to the strategic level," said Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner of Arthur D. Little Middle East. "Many businesses in GCC are already some way along the digitalization journey - leveraging the power of digital twins, artificial intelligence, connectivity, and collaboration technologies. Businesses need to make sure they don't miss out on the additional potential that the Industrial Metaverse offers for better-informed strategic decision making for growth, profitability, and especially ensuring safety and sustainability."Unlocking the Potential of the Industrial MetaverseDespite the current sense of disillusionment with the Metaverse, new research by ADL reveals that businesses would be wrong to write it off. The continuing convergence of developing technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, complex systems simulation, data visualization, and connectivity (IoT), have the potential to enable executives to extend the use of digital twins beyond factory level towards strategy simulation for an entire global enterprise.Strategic decision making is increasingly difficult due to increasing complexity, uncertainty, and the challenges of managing sustainability across global supply chains. Through creating connected digital twins of whole industrial systems and supply chains, businesses can rapidly conduct "what-if" simulations for strategic decision-making.Unlike the Consumer Metaverse, progress on the Industrial Metaverse is much less dependent on full immersivity and interoperability, two of the biggest current barriers towards Metaverse adoption.Navigating the Industrial MetaverseIndustry 4.0 technologies have proven to bring significant benefits to companies that have successfully implemented them. According to data from Arthur D. Little's Operational Excellence Database, these benefits are substantial, including reductions in operational capital deployed and supply chain costs ranging from 15% to 30%. Additionally, companies have seen a 30% increase in production capacity utilization and maintenance costs reductions of 10% to 40%. Nevertheless, there are some common challenges towards digitalization, including high upfront investment, difficulties in coordinating the required cross-functional transformation, challenges in data security and management, lack of available skills, and limitations imposed by legacy IT systems.ADL's report sets out a clear model for what the Industrial Metaverse really means in terms of key technologies and functionalities. It provides an extensive overview of current and future applications and use cases and their benefits, from operational optimization and training to technical tools and strategic management solutions. It also provides clear guidance on how companies can overcome the challenges towards full implementation. Key steps include reviewing their digitalization strategy, identifying value-adding opportunities, implementing pilots, and building a partner ecosystem for success."Conventional strategic decision-making is no longer sufficient," emphasized Dr. Albert Meige, Director of Blue Shift at Arthur D. Little. "Companies must harness the potential of the Industrial Metaverse to drive performance improvements, optimize operations, and achieve net-zero growth. Unlike the consumer Metaverse, the Industrial Metaverse does not depend on full immersivity and interoperability, so these barriers are less significant going forward."

Atos and Dynatrace expand partnership to Middle East

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Dynatrace, the leader in unified observability and security, to deliver advanced digital performance management solutions to customers in the Middle East (ME) region. Combining strengths in digital transformation, innovation and sustainability, both companies aim to create customer value by providing capabilities that deliver autonomous operations for digital experiences as the region accelerates its economic diversification agenda.Atos is a trusted advisor in vertical markets for managed infrastructure services, digital workplace and professional services. Cementing its market leadership, recently the company was positioned as a Leader by Gartner in its 2023 Magic Quadrant for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services (ODWS) for the seventh consecutive year.In addition, Atos holds Dynatrace partner certifications covering AIOps, Intelligent Observability, and ITSM/ITOM, easing the process to develop integrated digital applications that prioritize performance, round-the-clock availability, and customer-employee experience. Focusing on the partnership with Dynatrace, Atos’ deep knowledge in cloud computing, provision of decarbonization solutions, and a strong network can be aptly leveraged to meet end-to-end customers' demands in the ME region and maximize joint customer outreach.Emphasizing on the value this partnership brings to the region, Marc Veelenturf , CEO for Middle East and Turkiye at Atos said “We believe technology should be purpose-built and our extensive partnership with Dynatrace has put these words into action globally. We want to replicate our global success within the Middle East region. This region has the promise and potential of being at the forefront of propelling digitization to new heights. Dynatrace’s AI-powered observability capabilities can empower organizations to digitize their end-to-end IT landscape, right from applications and infrastructure to their customer journeys. Our partnership with Dynatrace bridges regional customer needs with the right solutions for desired outcomes through easy accessibility, so that milestone developments can be achieved effortlessly.”Extending the longstanding partnership between Atos and Dynatrace creates an opportunity for organizations to invest in solutions that can build and sustain market and customer relevance. The comprehensiveness of the Dynatrace® Platform can simplify IT complexities and create an agile environment that increases operational competency, ultimately elevating contribution to their respective national digitization agendas and meeting evolving customer needs.Hani Hannoun, Regional Director, at Dynatrace said, “We are excited for the next chapter in our partnership with Atos and are looking forward to being instrumental in shaping the business landscape of the Middle East  region together. We have a strong presence in the region, and now is the right time to grow stronger and demonstrate our capabilities and expertise as a trusted advisor to our customers as they advance in their digitization efforts.”

Astra Tech partners with Lifeform to empower Web3 digital identity solutions

Dubai, UAE – Astra Tech (Astra), MENA’s leading consumer technology holding group based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced its partnership with Lifeform, the leading Web3 decentralized digital identity solution provider, to integrate Lifeform Cartoon into Botim as a mini program. This collaboration aims to redefine and personalize communication, empowering users with effortless control over their digital identities.Building on this success, Astra Tech and Lifeform have plans to elevate their partnership even further. In the future, the Lifeform Cartoon will be integrated into Botim, allowing users to create, mint, and collect unique AI-generated Lifeform avatar NFTs. These avatars will transcend their role as personalized identifiers, introducing an exciting new realm of investment and collectibles. Powered by NFT technology, each avatar will possess an unparalleled level of irreplaceability and uniqueness, making every user's digital identity truly one-of-a-kind.Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, said:"We are thrilled to join forces with Lifeform. Together, we are poised to transform communication and digital identity management, empowering our users like never before. This partnership signifies our commitment to innovation and delivering exceptional value to our community. As Astra Tech and Lifeform embark on this exciting journey, the future of communication and digital identity is set to be redefinedBrian Hirsh, CEOat Lifeform said:“Visual DID (Decentralised Identifier) is not only the hub of Web3, but also an effective path for Web2 to Web3, which will enable users to easily enjoy various applications in Web3. Lifeform and Astra Tech believe that this cooperation can quickly expand the Web3 user group and promote the development of the multi-metaverse by making full use of the portfolio of crypto assets and combining the advantages of BOTIM as the main entrance to the Web3 world.”By harnessing the power of AI and blockchain technology, Astra Tech and Lifeform are confident that this collaboration will not only deliver a novel and personalized communication platform, but also establish a profound connection between users' digital identities and their virtual personas. This integration promises to provide a richer and more engaging communication experience, captivating the community and unlocking unprecedented value for users.

Anton Sizemin appointed as Commercial Director of WEE Marketplace in the UAE

Dubai: WEE Marketplace, the fastest non-grocery marketplace in UAE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Anton Sizemin as its new Commercial Director. In his new role, Anton will oversee vendor and supplier interactions at WEE and be responsible for attracting sellers to the marketplace and fostering their business growth within the platform.Anton brings a wealth of experience to WEE, having previously held the Head of Customer Acquisition and Development position at SberMegaMarket (one of the biggest marketplaces in Russia), where he developed and successfully implemented the company's B2B growth strategy. Under Anton's leadership, the active seller base demonstrated consistent exponential growth, attracting major national companies and establishing SberMegaMarket as one of the e-commerce leaders in Russia.Before his assignment at SberMegaMarket, Anton was the Executive Director at Darix LLC, responsible for launching new products and expanding the brand into international markets. He has also held positions at Home Credit and Finance Bank and Sun InBev.

Blue Apple Advertising to lead Snow Abu Dhabi launch campaign

Abu Dhabi: Blue Apple Advertising, a renowned marketing agency, has secured the prestigious creative communication project for the highly anticipated launch of Snow Abu Dhabi, an indoor snow park located in Reem Mall, Abu Dhabi.In this endeavor, Blue Apple will assume the responsibility of introducing and promoting the brand through a comprehensive digital, social media, radio, outdoor, and other strategic branding touchpoints.The success of winning this launch project can be attributed to an extensive multi-agency pitch process.Philippa Kevan, the Marketing Head of Snow Abu Dhabi, expressed her delight in welcoming Blue Apple Advertising as their creative partner for the brand launch. She emphasized the park's mission to revolutionize family entertainment by offering unparalleled and distinctive experiences.Leveraging Blue Apple's robust creative and strategic capabilities, the aim is to establish Snow Abu Dhabi as the preferred entertainment destination in the city, captivating the hearts of all enthusiastic entertainment seekers.Vishhal JN Anand, the Founder & CEO of Blue Apple Advertising, expressed excitement about partnering with Snow Abu Dhabi, an esteemed member of the Majid Al Futtaim Group operating in a captivating domain.Their objective is to position Snow Abu Dhabi as an entirely novel and exclusive experience, setting it apart from any other offerings in the capital.Drawing on Blue Apple's extensive experience in storytelling, the goal is to craft unique and differentiated marketing campaigns that truly distinguish the brand.Snow Abu Dhabi, the latest addition to Majid Al Futtaim's portfolio of winter-themed parks, will embody an Enchanted Forest theme, creating an enchanting frost-covered world where storytelling is seamlessly integrated into the design.Visitors will be enthralled by captivating attractions such as the Polar Express Train, Flight of the Snowy Owl, Crystal Carousel, Snowflake Garden, and Enchanted Tree, among others.Notably, Snow Abu Dhabi will offer year-round activities like sledging, carousels, zorbing, and zip-lining, ensuring a continuous flow of entertainment for all ages.To cater to visitors' needs, the park will feature three enticing food and beverage outlets, as well as a souvenir store offering Snow Abu Dhabi memorabilia, allowing guests to cherish their unforgettable experiences at the park.

Porsche extends Formula E commitment

Riyadh, Dubai, Stuttgart, London:– Porsche and Formula E yesterday announced the sports car manufacturer has extended its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship through Season 12 in 2025/2026.Porsche entered Formula E in 2019 with an initial five-year commitment until the end of the forthcoming Season 10 which will conclude in July 2024.The announcement confirms TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will continue to compete in the premier all-electric motorsport world championship through the GEN3 era racing the Porsche 99X Electric car. The GEN3 is the third generation of Formula E race car which debuted this season and is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built.Porsche also confirmed it will continue to play an active role in shaping the successful future of Formula E and is already involved in the design of the fourth generation of race car which will enter the championship from Season 13.This season has been the most successful for TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team since it entered Formula E. Pascal Wehrlein and António Félix da Costa have won four of the 14 races to date – three and one victory respectively.For the first time this season, Porsche is supporting a customer team, Avalanche Andretti Formula E, with driver Jake Dennis currently leading the Drivers’ World Championship going into the final two races in London this Saturday and Sunday. Britain’s Dennis has secured two wins and nine podiums to date in the Porsche 99X Electric and starts as the favourite for the title in his home races. Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development, Porsche AG, said:"With our entry into Formula E, we have opened a new chapter in all-electric motorsport. We remain convinced that our presence and successes in Formula E will lay the foundation for future mobility solutions. It provides the most competitive environment to accelerate the development of high-performance vehicles with a focus on environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. We look forward to playing an active role in shaping the successful future of Formula E and thereby giving electric mobility even more impetus on a global scale."Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, said:"We want to bring innovative technologies and more sustainability to motorsport and be at the forefront of new developments. Formula E plays a major role in this. The competition in this series is at an exceptionally high level and enables us to provide important impetus for future production models. With high-class and exciting races, it inspires people around the globe for electromobility. We will be happy to continue to contribute to this in the future."Alejandro Agag, Founder and Chairman, Formula E, said:“Porsche has been a valued and influential team since joining Formula E and we are excited that this will continue. The championship is enabling Porsche to accelerate development of the innovative EV technologies we see in their road cars, while the team is an active member of the group driving development of the next generation of Formula E car to arrive in Season 13.”Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, said:“Porsche’s commitment to racing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will undoubtedly maintain the quality of sporting competition and entertainment at the highest level in the coming seasons. Porsche’s presence on the grid racing against other iconic racing automakers is what makes Formula E the most competitive grid in motorsport.”The 2023 Hankook London E-Prix double-header this Saturday and Sunday is the climax of Season 9 in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.Jake Dennis, driving for Porsche customer team, Avalanche Andretti Formula E team, has a 24-point advantage over Nick Cassidy (Envision Racing) going into the season finale on home soil and a circuit where he has won twice.Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) is 44 points back in third, while TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver Pascal Wehrlein is 49 points behind Dennis. However, as the two previous races in Rome proved, anything can happen in Formula E and all four drivers at the top will be competing for the world title and a place on the podium.

Audio advertising top priority for advertisers, agencies: Survey

A significant 66 per cent of buyers have intentions to increase their investments in audio within the next year, says a the Europe Digital Audio Advertising Report 2023, unveiled by GroupM Nexus, the media investment group of WPP, in partnership with IAB Europe.The study involved 549 advertisers, agencies, and publishers across 29 European markets, with data collected through a survey conducted by GroupM Nexus, utilizing the national IAB network, between May and June 2023.An impressive 47 per cent of the surveyed advertisers and agencies rated audio advertising their top choice. Three main drivers for audio ad spend were identified by buyers: the channel's capacity to enhance broader media plans (65 per cent), increase brand awareness (55 per cent), and target specific audiences (48 per cent). The report also found diversification in investment across various audio channels and ad formats. The majority of buyers directed their spending towards streaming (59 per cent), podcasts (59 per cent), or online radio (57 per cent).Marketers have a positive outlook on digital audio advertising. Specifically, 66 per cent of buyers plan to invest more in this sector over the next 12 months, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) expecting an increase of between 11 per cent and 30 per cent in their spend. These forecasts indicate a high level of confidence in digital audio as an effective channel for reaching target audiences.Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe, highlights that digital audio has outpaced all other advertising channels in Europe from 2018 to 2022 in terms of compound annual growth rate. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for digital audio's growth, especially for podcasts, due to increased consumption. Furthermore, enhancements like improved measurement, simplified buying, and automation have contributed to the advancement of the market. The focus of the advertising industry on attention, quality of reach, and brand safety positions digital audio as an attractive investment channel for advertisers and a powerful platform for publishers to exploit context. The projection is that the European digital audio market, which reached €772 million in ad spend in 2022, will surpass €1 billion by 2025.Surveyed marketers ranked incremental reach (46 per cent), innovative activation like dynamic creative ads optimization (DCO) (43 per cent), and targeting efficiencies (42 per cent) as the top three drivers for digital audio spend. These factors are expected to play a significant role in attracting further investment in the next 18-24 months. Interestingly, 76 per cent of advertisers and agencies plan to increase their audio ad spend during this time period. Smart speaker interactive ads are considered the most significant opportunity for increasing digital audio budgets in the future, followed by dynamic audio ads. Cross-channel insights and activation technology, along with advanced contextual targeting, are also seen as significant opportunities to unlock digital audio growth. The capabilities to capture audience attention, drive consumer action, and execute informed cross-channel campaigns are vital for securing higher ad spend.Audio ads are expected to connect with audiences primarily on mobile devices, according to seven in ten marketers surveyed, followed by desktops and laptops (48 per cent), and tablets (44 per cent). Mobile's prevalence as a key audio device presents a valuable opportunity for marketers to engage with audiences throughout the day. The survey respondents also believe that audio ads can reach audiences via Connected TV, game consoles, and standalone radio devices, highlighting the extensive reach of audio.Harry Harcus, GroupM Nexus EMEA, emphasized the tremendous potential in the audio channel, with buyers and publishers anticipating notable growth in the near future. Audio, being a medium that reaches highly engaged audiences at moments when visual counterparts may not, can complement broader plans for buyers and enhance media offerings for publishers. Advancing the technologies that enable audio advertising can unlock cross-channel optimization and performance, making audio inventory even more appealing and driving revenue for publishers.

LG Electronics and DMCC collaborate for Almas Tower video wall digitalization

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – LG Electronics (LG) recently completed the installation of its state-of-the-art video walls at the Almas Tower in Dubai. The milestone collaboration between LG and DMCC is a testament towards LG's commitment to transforming the digital signage landscape while enhancing visitor experience at the skyscraper.The video walls installed at Almas Tower boast LG's industry-leading 55'' 500 nits FHD 0.44mm Even Bezel Video Wall and the 49'' 500 nits FHD Slim Bezel Video Wall, both which deliver stunning picture quality, vibrant colors, and exceptional contrast ratios. Both models come with razor-thin bezels and a seamless design, offering visitors an uninterrupted and captivating viewing experience which enable it to be the right platform for displaying information and videos all-day.The displays come with both high and wide viewing angles, while also offering high performance and scalability for all-round viewing. The larger 55” model comes with smart calibration options and a non-glare panel with an intuitive menu structure. The 49” model on the other hand, comes with easy color and white balance adjustments and an intuitive interface for a better user experience."LG is excited to collaborate with DMCC and to contribute to its growing reputation as a local hub for innovation and sophistication. Our video walls will create new visual experience to users and visitors alike, further driving the evolution of Almas Tower’s digital signage for a more lasting visual impression," said Jinyong Jang, Team Leader – Information Display, LG Gulf. "Our solutions are more than just standard displays, they are attuned with our smart software, which remove any limitations during and post installation, making it a must-have addition for offices and buildings that require similar services."Located on its own artificial island in the centre of the Jumeirah Lake Towers Free Zone, Almas Towers is one of the tallest skyscraper constructed Taisei Corporation of Japan and Arabian Construction Co. (ACC) also marking it as one of the tallest skyscrapers in Dubai. The tower is also home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the developer of the tower who was the first to move in.For more information about LG's advanced display solutions and its collaboration with DMCC, please visit:

Minor Hotels announces Sarah Hammond as director of sales & marketing

Dubai: Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 530 hotels and resorts in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Indian Ocean, announces the appointment of Sarah Hammond as Director of Sales & Marketing at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort beginning July 2023.Sarah brings more than two decades of experience working with luxury hotels in the UAE, Indian Ocean, and properties around the world. She is a highly motivated and skilled leader with a proven track record in driving results through strategy, dedication, and communication at the highest level of the hospitality industry.A British national, Sarah began her career with Kuoni Travel Group in 1998 before being recruited as a Sales Manager for Sandals & Beaches Resorts in 2000. She joined the Kerzner International in 2002 and, after gaining experience as a successful Sales Manager with One & Only Resorts and Four Seasons, Sarah was appointed Director of Sales FIT at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. She moved to Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts as Associate Director of Leisure Sales in 2018 and, in 2020, was appointed Director of Sales & Marketing for Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives. She joins Minor Hotels after two years as Director of Sales at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai.As Director of Sales & Marketing for Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, which is scheduled to launch in Q4 this year, Sarah will bring her extensive experience, expertise, and natural flair for sales and marketing to ensure the success of the new resort which will bring Maldivian-style overwater villas and tranquil elegance to the coast of the Arabian Gulf.David Garner, Vice President Commercial, Middle East, and Africa commented, “We are delighted to welcome a director of Sarah Hammond’s undoubted calibre and well-deserved reputation to our team at Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort. This new property is set to redefine eco-luxury in Ras Al Khaimah and Sarah will be an integral member of the team which will help generate and maintain its industry-leading success.”Sarah adds, “I am thrilled to be joining the pre-opening team at Anantara Mina al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, it is such an exciting time to be opening a new luxury property, particularly in the stunning surroundings of Mina Al Arab. This much-anticipated resort will bring a wonderful new aspect to the destination and I am really looking forward to sharing updates with our key partners very soon.”Sarah will be responsible for creating, driving, and overseeing all sales and marketing strategies to promote and position Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort as a leading luxury resort within the region. She will lead a dedicated team to build successful relationships and an exceptional brand image with customers and partners, while creating outstanding awareness of the resort in key global markets.

Mindshare strengthens MENA operations with key leadership appointments in KSA

Mindshare, the global media agency network that is part of WPP, has appointed two industry veterans to regional leadership positions in MENA.Darine El Kaissi has been appointed as the Managing Director for Mindshare Saudi Arabia and Donnacha Kinsella has been appointed to the agency’s client leadership team to bring senior international client management capabilities to the Kingdom.The appointments are part of the agency’s aim to strengthen its KSA operations.Darine El Kaissi brings more than 19 years of advertising industry experience to the Mindshare team, including roles at regional creative agencies and C-level relationships with private and public-sector companies in the Kingdom as well as global and regional brands in telecom, government, FMCG and the financial sector.She has worked with brands and media such as The Red Sea Project, the Public Investment Fund, NEOM, Zain, Mobily, Asharq News and Asharq Business.Donnacha Kinsella brings global experience from Ireland and the United States in addition to seven years working in MENA to his new role.His experience spans diverse client verticals including CPG, automotive and tech, most recently with programmatic digital advertising leader Teads as CPG Industry Lead for the MEA.Mark Heap, Mindshare EMEA CEO, said: “These appointments underline Mindshare’s commitment to the region and our belief in the excellent opportunities for growth in the Kingdom.The depth and breadth of expertise and insight that Darine and Donnacha add will ensure we have dedicated, globally experienced leaders to work continuously with our clients and our own teams in Riyadh and around the world to help elevate our clients relationship and output to truly world class levels.”Earlier this year, Mindshare made several C-level appointments including the appointment of Lamiya Boumlaki as the CEO of Mindshare MENA and Faris Sibai as the Chief Growth Officer MENA.

Six Senses Southern Dunes appoints Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing

 Six Senses Southern Dunes, the first property set to open in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, will open its doors in late 2023 with Sherif Marei as Director of Sales & Marketing.With a career spanning 17 years in the luxury hospitality sector, Marei’s career started with the Accor Group, working at a number of renowned properties including Fairmont Heliopolis and Fairmont Nile City. His extensive expertise in luxury hotel inaugurations includes high-profile launches such as The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, and most recently the Banyan Tree AlUla. His notable honors include the globally recognized Director of Sales of the Year and Fairmont Masters, in addition to the Fairmont President Circle Awards, the brand’s top accolade in sales.Expressing his enthusiasm for his new role, Marei said, “I am thrilled to join the Six Senses Southern Dunes team. The company’s ethos and values align perfectly with my own. As pioneers in sustainability and wellness, we define our brand by these principles. It isn’t simply what we do, it embodies who we are. The unique location and distinctive holistic approach to every element and experience offered to our guests at Six Senses Southern Dunes make my role in promoting the resort a true privilege.”Located along the historic incense trade route against the backdrop of desert plains and the Hijaz Mountains, Six Senses Southern Dunes, will set new standards in sustainability and desert hospitality as it takes guests on a journey into seldom-experienced nature, wildlife, and culture. The resort will be open all year round welcoming both adventure-seekers looking to experience the uniqueness of the Saudi Arabian desert and pleasure-seekers who want to relax in the tranquility and serenity of the Alnesai dunes.

Marthesh Nagendra promoted to Director of Sales, NETGEAR India

NETGEAR, a leading global provider of networking products and solutions, has promoted Marthesh Nagendra to the position of Sales Director for India, MENA, and SAARC Region. This promotion comes as recognition of Nagendra's exceptional leadership and remarkable contributions to the company over the past years. With vast experience in the IT-Networking Industry, he has exceptional leadership skills and a proven track record that will drive NETGEAR's growth trajectory in his new role.  Marthesh joined NETGEAR in 2006, embarking on a transformative journey with the company. Through his unwavering dedication and visionary approach, he played a pivotal role in propelling NETGEAR into one of the region's leading brands, achieving unprecedented growth. His commitment to excellence and unparalleled expertise in the channel domain has consistently earned him recognition placing him among the top Channel Leaders by prestigious IT publications.  In his new role as the Sales Director, Marthesh Nagendra will lead a pivotal role in driving the company's success through a comprehensive range of strategies. Leveraging his extensive experience and expertise, he will be responsible for leading the team in conducting meticulous market research and analysis to identify emerging trends and opportunities in the MENA region. By defining target audiences and buyer personas, Nagendra has the ability to ensure precise product positioning and tailored marketing approaches. Among other key responsibilities in this new role, Nagendra will also endeavour in formulating competitive pricing strategies to maximise revenue without compromising customer value. The constant pursuit of improvement is ingrained in his approach as he encourages testing and iteration to optimise strategies continually. Understanding the significance of exceptional customer support and service, he would ensure customer satisfaction is prioritised. Besides this, Nagendra will be diligently monitoring and measuring the performance of the geography to achieve exceptional business outcomes. Marthesh Nagendra, Sales Director, NETGEAR India, MENA & SAARC, said "I am deeply honoured and excited to take on the new role of Sales Director for NETGEAR in India, MENA, and SAARC. Throughout my journey with NETGEAR, I have witnessed the remarkable potential of our products and solutions, and I am committed to driving further growth and success in these dynamic regions. I look forward to working closely with our talented team and valued partners to continue delivering innovative networking solutions that empower businesses and individuals".As a dynamic and visionary leader, Marthesh Nagendra has consistently built and nurtured ‘High-Performance Teams’ that have consistently surpassed their business objectives year after year. His ability to mentor and empower his team members has been a driving force behind NETGEAR's continued success. Furthermore, Nagendra's global outlook and his regular interactions with senior executives from diverse cultures have allowed him to bring a unique perspective to the company's operations and strategic initiatives.

Prakash Jain appointed as Group CFO for Buzzworks, Innovations Group

Buzzworks, India and Innovations Group, UAE have announced the appointment of Prakash Jain as their Group Chief Financial Officer. Both the organisations are prominent leaders in human resource and recruitment services and with this strategic appointment, Prakash will play a pivotal role in driving the financial excellence and growth across the organisations.Prakash brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in Investor Relations, Corporate Development, and Financial Transformation. Prior to joining the brands, he served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ekincare and has also held key positions at organizations such as BlackBuck, Brillio Technologies & SLK Group. With over two decades of professional experience, Prakash sets out to be a catalyst for driving business transformation.As the brand takes the next big leap in its positioning in India and globally, Prakash will spearhead the company's financial planning and investment strategies. Additionally, he will be instrumental in fostering synergies between both the organizations. V C Karthic, Founder of Buzzworks, India, said: “Buzzworks and Innovations group are glad to welcome Prakash Jain as the  group CFO. Both organizations are at an inflection point of growth, profitability and expansion across verticals and geographies. Prakash brings not just a wealth of experience to the table, but also the competence, commitment and clarity to elevate finance to the function of a driver of business, from being an enabler.”Ravi Jethwani, Innovations Group CEO, commented: “We are happy to onboard Prakash Jain as the joint Group CFO and with his appointment, we’re one step closer to setting up the strategic team that will propel both organizations towards a winning partnership. Prakash will be instrumental in driving synergies between both organisations and executing strategic opportunities identified by the business “An alumnus of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Prakash also holds a Bachelor's degree with Honors in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.Commenting on his appointment Prakash Jain said, “Both the companies have a strong track record of excellence and innovation, and I am excited to be part of this growth journey. I will be leveraging my expertise to drive financial strategies that will support their continued growth and success in the industry."The leadership at Buzzworks and Innovations Group welcomes Prakash  and is confident that his appointment as the Group Chief Financial Officer will significantly contribute to the strategic financial management and elevate the companies to even greater heights.

W7Worldwide report: PR key to sustainability and ease climate impact

Jeddah: Amid the growing threat of climate change, W7Worldwide — Saudi Arabia’s leading homegrown marketing consulting agency — recently published an insight report titled “The PR Role in Climate Crisis” to press home the urgency of the situation.According the report, the world is grappling with an imminent crisis of climate change. “We are already witnessing increased floods, droughts, intense rains, and a visible surge in frequent and severe heat waves,” it says.The consequences are colossal and the climate change crisis stands as one of the most threatening and severe challenges plaguing the planetSeverity of the CrisisData and statistics concerning the consequences of climate change highlight the severity of the situation and emphasize the importance of collective action.The W7Worldwide report observed that 90% of natural disasters are connected to weather and climate conditions. This is beside the global economy, which is projected to incur approximately $178 trillion in losses in the next five decades due to climate change.Moreover, climate change is pushing 26 million individuals worldwide into poverty and placing 41 million people on the brink of starvation. Additionally, estimates from international banks suggest that around 140 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia will be compelled to migrate within their own regions by 2050 as a result of climate change.Communicating messages is essentialThe current situation and alarming facts have emphasized the importance of effective communication like never before. Whether it is for business or environmental conservation, communicating messages has become crucial.British naturalist David Attenborough said, "Saving the planet now requires effective communication," emphasizing the essential role of communications specialists and public relations companies in this crisis.The United Nations made it a salient point in its Sustainable Development Goals, urging the people to take the lead in climate change communication urgently and address its impacts.Climate change is occurring at a faster pace than anticipated, with the average global temperature rising by approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1880. While this increase may seem insignificant, it has the potential to disrupt the world's climate patterns.SurveyThe report cites a survey conducted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) in 2022, the findings of which revealed the increasing importance of PR in addressing climate change.The survey indicated that 81% of respondents anticipated a rise in the significance of climate change in their work over the next two years.Additionally, 90% of those surveyed believed that the responsibility of tackling climate change falls on the PR profession. PR professionals also expressed that managing clients in climate action represents a major obligation for them.IPRA views these survey results as a call to affirm the role of public relations in making a global impact during this crisis. The situation necessitates the development of a range of intricate and adaptable skills among communication practitioners to effectively communicate sustainability messages, bridge the expanding skill gap in the public relations industry, and impart these skills to others.Raising AwarenessRising to the occasion, W7worldwide has often linked effective communication to educating and inspiring the public to reduce the crisis. In 2022, it developed a comprehensive communication guide, "7 Communication Strategies for Recovery from Covid-19 in the post-COP26 climate change conference" guide assists companies in formulating communication strategies that prioritize environmental concerns within their social responsibility frameworks.

UM MENAT empowers female-owned SME businesses on global Impact Day

Dubai: – On Thursday, UM, a global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, launched its sixth global Impact Day, “Building a Better Future.” Together, employees across 50+ countries, 100+ markets and 120+ offices united and gave back to their local communities.In the spirit of creating meaningful change and driving economic growth, the UM MENAT team organized an initiative close to their hearts, focusing on empowering SMEs and supporting female entrepreneurs. This initiative is part of UM MENAT's broader, long-term commitment to elevating the potential of the regional business community, particularly female entrepreneurs.UM partnered with Female Fusion, the UAE’s largest professional network for women looking to build, grow and scale their businesses, to connect with female-owned companies who require marketing support which otherwise would not be possible due to budget constraints of SMEs. Over 90 UMers split into teams and took up an exciting challenge: developing seven marketing strategies for seven businesses in just 90 minutes. The team demonstrated their excellence across various industries by offering new thinking and marketing approaches to companies including a swim school, dental practice, production house, events company, natural honey retailer and an interior design brand. Each team presented their strategies to a jury and the best work was awarded recognition for going over and beyond the requirements of a detailed marketing framework. To end the day, the teams gave their strategies and marketing plans with the seven entrepreneurs to take on board and execute at will. These strategies will serve as valuable roadmaps, guiding the entrepreneurs towards success and growth in their respective industries.“Female start-ups in MENA receive a mere 1.2% of all VC funding. We are very grateful to be able support a network like Female Fusion to truly give value and impact others on Impact,” commented Maria Poulton, MD at UM UAE. “Female empowerment is close to my heart and at UM we are very passionate about sharing our knowledge with those who may not be able to access the expertise of a large media and advertising organization. We continuously investigate ways we can be more of a support function for the local community of business owners, especially women and elevating them to their full potential.”UM MENAT extends its appreciation to the Female Fusion Network for their collaboration and TikTok for sharing invaluable insights with female entrepreneurs on leveraging the digital platform for their businesses.UM Global created this annual day of service in 2016 under UM’s corporate social responsibility unit, Better World, which demonstrates the agency’s commitment to its core values of community and care. Andrea Suarez, Global CEO of UM, commented on the global efforts of the agency, “From picking up litter on beaches and parks in the US to providing essentials for those with disabilities in South Korea to feeding unhoused people in Greece, our community’s micro-actions will drive macro results that build a better tomorrow, today.”Through initiatives like these, UM MENAT not only fosters a culture of giving back but also reinforces its commitment to supporting SMEs, empowering female entrepreneurs, and creating a more inclusive and prosperous business ecosystem.

Motivate Media launches multi-media production facility

Dubai: Motivate Media Group has launched Motivate Studio, the cutting-edge multi-media production facility offering podcasting, photography, and filming resources, all under one roof. The new studio, aimed at empowering and backing creators across diverse media formats, has opened for business at the prestigious Media One Tower in Media City. The podcast studio boasts state-of-the-art technology, complementing Motivate’s second studio that provides a comprehensive 360-degree suite of services. In today's world, podcasting has emerged as a powerful means of storytelling, knowledge dissemination, and global audience engagement. Motivate podcast studio enables podcasters to capture and deliver their compelling stories, interviews, and discussions.The all-inclusive studios cater to every facet of modern content production, covering photography, videography, podcasting, and broadcasting. With a focus on pushing boundaries and revolutionizing media content creation, Motivate Studio aspires to become a thriving hub for creative expression.Acknowledging the potential technical challenges podcasters may encounter, Motivate has assembled a team of friendly and knowledgeable studio assistants. They'll be on hand to guide you through setup, troubleshoot any issues, and share valuable tips to enhance your recording experience.The production service includes both final polished cuts and raw content, upon request. From skillfully editing out any hesitations to perfecting sound balance, the studio ensures your podcast episodes sound nothing less than professional.Motivate Studio aims to foster a collaborative environment where creators can connect, exchange ideas, and support one another. Alongside the studios, you'll find comfortable and inspiring communal areas, designed to facilitate interaction with fellow podcasters and build a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals.

Saudi consumers conscious of cyber risks: Cisco survey

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — Cisco’s latest Broadband Survey has revealed that internet users in Saudi Arabia are conscious of cyber risks, with only 3% of respondents not taking any measure to protect the security of their home connection.The survey of more than 21,000 people in 12 countries, including 2,000 respondents from KSA, looked at how consumers use their broadband connectivity.In Saudi Arabia, 91% of total survey respondents ranked broadband as critical national infrastructure; while 68% of respondents rely on their home Internet to work from home or run a business.Security is a Priority as More Move Online The emergence of hybrid work and the ever-increasing blur between the professional and personal lives of employees brings new risks into the home. Despite most consumers using their broadband for tasks like banking and work, passwords are still the most popular way (52%) for survey respondents in KSA to protect home networks and devices, while only 28% have switched on their router’s firewall.Commenting on the findings of the survey, Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, said: “Our survey has confirmed that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly prioritizing cybersecurity when using their broadband service, and this is aligned with the results of our previous study that revealed that 73% of consumers in KSA worry about cybercriminals hacking their devices. Today, with the prevalence of hybrid work models and the evolution and complexity of cyber-attacks, usage of sophisticated means for protection like multi-factor authentication (MFA), is more important than ever.”While speed is still the main priority among those planning to upgrade their broadband in the next year (selected by 40%), security is now a close second, ranked by 38% of consumers as a top priority when choosing their broadband package. The survey has shown that consumers in KSA feel secure while using the cloud, with more than three-quarters (76%) of internet users believing that using the cloud is secure and only 6% stating that they do not feel the cloud is secure.Last month, Cisco announced plans to establish a data centre for cloud-delivered security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help customers protect their users, infrastructure, and investments against threat actors. The announcement is part of Cisco’s continued effort to empower organizations locally and in the region with flexible security services and data protection for devices, remote users, and distributed locations.

Mitgo launches Mitgame gaming partner network with MENA expansion

Mitgo, a global IT/MarTech company, launches Mitgame, a specialised one-stop partner network and user acquisition platform for games and online gaming services that has MENA in its sights for expansion. The first six months of 2023 saw Mitgame partners help gaming projects in MENA increase their purchase GMV by 86% YoY.Released as a stand-alone business in 2023, Mitgame grew out of the online gaming segment of performance network Admitad, a Mitgo company.In the last 12 months, online gaming revenues across Admitad’s partner network grew by more than 50%, with the US, MENA and Germany as the most significant markets. Seeing rapid growth, it was decided to launch Mitgame as a separate business entity with a separate business model focussing exclusively on the online gaming market.Primarily targeting client, browser and console games, the network already has more than 200,000 publishers, 100+ game brands as clients, and has attracted more than 500,000 active players for its partners in the first half of 2023 alone. Current Mitgame partnerships include Epic Games, Perfect World, Plarium, MY.GAMES, Wargaming, Gaijin, Nexters, Innogames, Upjers and other top-notch brands. The company also has a track record of successful cooperation with such industry leaders as PlayStation, Xbox and Riot Games.Publishers working with Mitgame, as well as Admitad partners, can take advantage of accelerated payouts via Instant Payout Pro. Thanks to this, they are able to withdraw rewards just one day after the target action made by their audience (install, purchase or registration in the game).Expansion plans in the already lucrative MENA marketMENA will be one of the key markets for this new business. In the first half of 2023, the number of player acquisitions and purchases generated for browser games in MENA increased by 64%. During the same period, the number of MENA publishers looking to attract new players to console games rose by 24%. These two segments will be among the main targets for Mitgame’s future growth, along with the fast-growing mobile games market.Affiliate marketing not only helps to attract players and increase downloads and installs - it also helps to increase the amount of purchases of both the game itself and in-game content.In a year’s time, Mitgame plans to have built partnerships with a further 400 gaming brands, 20% of which will be from MENA. It also plans to start collaborating with more than 5,000 new publishers, 30% of which will be from MENA.“Mitgame has evolved into a very gaming-focussed business. Being part of Mitgo will allow Mitgame to benefit from all the services and partner networking opportunities the company offers. This is part of our core strategy - to broaden and diversify the business into successful, global market segments.” - Alexander Bachmann, CEO and Founder, Mitgo.Mitgo plans to invest more than $9 million USD into the further development of Mitgame by 2025, with plans for Mitgame to become a global market leader.