DAMAC Mall Grand Opening: Unveiling Unmatched Luxury and Integrated Services

DAMAC Group, the leading UAE-based business conglomerate, has announced the opening of DAMAC Mall, adding a new retail and leisure destination to Dubai's luxury landscape. The mall was officially inaugurated on 1 September 2023 by Amira Sajwani, Managing Director, Sales & Development, DAMAC Properties.DAMAC Mall presents an expansive 110,000-square-foot space that seamlessly integrates retail, hospitality, leisure, and entertainment offerings. The Mall is envisioned as a hub for unique shopping experiences. The mall located within DAMAC Hills features major international and local brands across various categories, including 30 retail stores and 10 F&B outlets.Commenting on the opening, Amira Sajwani, Managing Director, Sales & Development, DAMAC Properties, said: “DAMAC Mall is part of DAMAC’s growing presence in the retail sector. It underlines our keenness to provide residents seamless connectivity and easy accessibility to community and retail amenities. We are confident that the mall’s carefully curated tenant mix perfectly aligns with the preferences of our local community. DAMAC is committed to consistently improving the quality of life for our residents and transforming our communities into dynamic spaces that offer unmatched convenience and satisfaction.”The mall highlights a fusion of contemporary architecture and luxury finishes, and the individual retail outlets conform to the latest global standards of fit-out design and fittings. The ample natural lighting from the skylights gives the facility a vibrant ambience.The inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by the opening of a sprawling 28,000-square-foot Spinneys supermarket in addition to the grand opening of Starbucks, Papa John's, Vietnamese Foodies, American Wax, Al Jaber Opticals, Al Ain Pharmacy and Lingo Play Area for children.A 9,000 square feet Fitness First gym and a dedicated 8,000 square feet MEDCARE medical facility are slated to open soon.With its unique retail mix across diverse categories that meet the requirements of a community mall, DAMAC Mall expects an annual footfall of around 1.3 million visitors. In addition to the spacious interiors, the mall has a large parking area capable of accommodating 360 vehicles.The mall's future expansion plans are currently in the design stage. The expansion is in line with the demand from retailers and the tenant mix curated and created by DAMAC, keeping in mind the needs of residents of the DAMAC Hills community and visitors.It is worth mentioning that DAMAC's portfolio encompasses several communities, each offering distinctive living experiences. Among these is DAMAC Hills, its first master community in the UAE. The well-established, self-contained community symbolises luxurious living in every sense of the word. Featuring wide-ranging amenities, including modern apartments, villas, townhouses, and luxury residences in association with world-class brands, it includes nearly four million square feet of parkland with various themed areas for relaxation and sports. Many essential everyday services are available, including food trucks, Carrefour supermarket, Jebel Ali School, and a shuttle service to the Mall of the Emirates.

Roya TV launches live news channel on mobile app, website

Roya Media Group (RMG) launched a 24-hour live news channel, currently in an experimental phase. This comes as part of its strategy to consolidate its position at the forefront of media networks on a regional and global level and to diversify broadcasting media according to the needs of its target audience.This step also comes as part of the RMG's development programs and its commitment to providing unique media experiences to its viewers and followers.The channel provides live field reporting from all governorates of Jordan. It also transmits breaking news and the latest events of the country and the rest of the world through its live reports, correspondent contributions and coverage from international news agencies.It also broadcasts Palestine’s news brief at 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm, to shed light on the events of the occupied homeland and the concerns of the Palestinian people.Viewers can keep up with the latest political, intellectual and economic seminars, as well as educational documentaries, from the RMG's archives and productions.All these in addition to the daily news bulletins, which covers the top local and Arab news including political content as well as social, economic and sports, as well as international news. The news bulletin also brings the voice of the people directly from the field.The live news channel also broadcasts a diverse package of prominent news programs such as “Akhbar Al-Sabe’a,” (News at Seven) and the daily news bulletin at 7:30 pm.Viewers can tune in to talk shows including political, social and economic programs such as “Nabd Al-Balad,” (The Country’s Pulse); a socio-political program that tackles local, regional and international issues and hosts experts.Also in its running order, “Min Huna Nabdaa,” (This is Where We Begin), which sheds light on people’s daily challenges and complaints in search of solutions and digs deep into local issues exploring different aspects. It reaches out to the relevant officials in order to find solutions to problems.The channel also covers “Haki Siyasi,” (Political Talk); a daring political chat show that tackles bold topics and pushes the limits in relation to politics and youth issues.The channel launch represents an important turning point for RMG in terms of diversifying its lines of communication with its audience and responding to their needs and priorities in keeping up with the latest news and current affairs with ease.Roya sees this launch as a turning point within its strategy to cement its rapport with viewers and audiences by fulfilling their aspirations in following events and news with ease. The live news channel is accessible through Roya TV’s website and mobile application, starting Sunday, August 13. Here, viewers enjoy a variety of programs and exclusive news around the clock.Roya TV hopes that this launch will be the start of a new phase of media interaction and effective communication with its audience, keen on gaining access to unique content that meets their expectations.

IGCF 2023 Report: Pioneering 'Human Capital Management in a Crisis-Ridden World'

The upcoming 12th edition of the International Government Communication Forum, organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, will mark the debut of a report titled 'Human Capital Management in a Crisis-Ridden World: Strategies for Preserving and Advancing Wealth Amid Global Economic Challenges'. The report, developed in partnership with Trends Research and Advisory, is set to unveil its findings during the event, held under the theme 'Today's Resources, Tomorrow's Wealth', scheduled for September 13th and 14th at Expo Centre SharjahThe report explores how wealth can be preserved and developed against the backdrop of global economic challenges and learning from international experiences. Segmented into five sections, it starts off with the definition of human capital and its importance in the modern-day economy and concludes with key findings and recommendations. It also provides insights into major challenges facing human capital amidst global economic crises and how to address them through effective and sustainable methods, highlighting the UAE’s achievements in human capital management.Gov. Talks: 10 thought-provoking sessions and inspiring talksThe report's launch comes as part of the IGCF's ‘Gov. Talks Stage’ that plays host to ten panel discussions and Inspiring talks focused on health awareness, media, family, environment, and innovation. The diverse activities are held in partnership with Trends Research and Advisory, the United Arab Emirates University, the Health Education Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Sharjah Press Club, Sharjah Media City (Shams), Family Development Department in Sharjah, Districts and Villages Affairs Department in Sharjah, and the Training Department at SGMB.The platform will be grounds for discussions on digital health media, the evolution of media from traditional to new, and the power of artificial intelligence in enhancing communication in the digital age. It will also host deliberations on media among young participants to share their impressions on the present and future of media, especially digital media. The platform will have a specialised session discussing the role of district councils in promoting social cohesion.Inspiring Talk: Mahmoud SaadSharjah Press Club will host eminent TV anchor and presenter Mahmoud Saad in an inspiring talk titled ‘From Traditional Media to New... A Speech for a Media Journey’. He will share his decades-long professional journey and highlight his pivotal roles as an anchor and presenter, along with invaluable advice on agileness in a fast-paced and constantly evolving media sector. Sharjah Press Club will also organise a session titled ‘Tomorrow's Media - from the Perspective of Future Generations,’ where graduates of the Ithmaar Media Training Program for children and youth will discuss the future of media in general, and digital media in particular. Health Media… where technology meets healthcareThe ‘Health Media’ session organised by the Health Education Department of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs provides an opportunity for healthcare sector workers to understand the role of digital media in raising public awareness about the importance of health, accessing reliable trusted information and services, and how to develop qualified professionals in this field.Artificial IntelligenceIn the inspiring talk organised by Sharjah Media City (Shams) ‘The power of Artificial Intelligence and the enhancement of communication in the digital era,’ Abdulla Alsharhan, Director of Creativity and Corporate Identity at Sharjah Media City (Shams), speaks about the potential of artificial intelligence and its role in transforming government communication. He will share his experience launching the ‘Create with Shams’ platform, which uses artificial intelligence to generate creative and innovative content.The role of media and education in sustainabilityAs part of the UAE's Year of Sustainability, the Gov. Talk Stage will host a panel discussion titled ‘The Role of Media and Education in Sustainability,’ in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). Speakers will discuss best practices to strengthen the role of educational and media institutions in achieving the national vision.The 'Sustainable Communication, Change Strategy’ session will explore advanced tools for safeguarding and preserving the environment and addressing the consequences of climate change. It will educate participants on the concept of sustainability, its pillars, applications, and the tools to realise its goals, leveraging community and environmental initiatives.New Media and Community SustainabilityLed by the Training Department of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, the ‘New Media and Community Sustainability’ workshop will shed light on different media forms, with a particular focus on new media and its integral role in addressing detrimental trends affecting society. Accept the ChallengeSharjah’s Family Development Department and Branches will host Dr. Eng. Abdul Latif Al-Azzazi, CEO of the Center for Excellence in Training, Administrative Consulting, and Development, in a talk titled ‘Accept the Challenge,’ that will discuss the dynamic role of youth within family units, as well as their influence on society and the environment.Districts Councils...the Link Between Government and SocietyThe session ‘Districts Councils...the Link Between Government and Society,’ organised by the Districts and Villages Affairs Department in Sharjah, will centre around the role of districts’ councils in developing public services and identifying citizens’ needs, towards fostering greater social cohesion and cultural diversity.

Exeed Motors forays into the UAE with RX SUV

Exeed Motors, a Chinese car manufacturer, has launched the RX SUV in the UAE. The new SUV marks the brand’s foray into the UAE market represented by AG Auto in the UAE under Al Ghurair Investment. Exeed Motors, with its reputation for elegant design and reliable performance, will redefine the premium automotive segment in the region with the EXEED RX. Exeed will open its showrooms in Dubai and Abu Dhabi sometime in the first week of September 2023.The launch event introduced the RX model along with EXEED’s other premium vehicles, including the VX, TXL, and LX car models. This diverse lineup keeps up with the brand’s commitment to innovation and quality. The RX model, in particular, sets new standards in this segment by offering a blend of performance and finesse.  Michael Montgomery, CEO, Ventures at Al Ghurair Investment, stated, “The EXEED RX redefines the premium automotive segment, highlighting our commitment to excellence. Collaboration with top European designers, engineers, and suppliers has allowed us to set a new benchmark for engineering and innovation.” He added, “Every detail of the EXEED RX is meticulously designed to offer an unparalleled driving experience. Our partnerships with industry leaders like Intel, Bosch, and Magna further ensure the implementation of cutting-edge technologies that enhance the driving experience.”  Mohammed Maktari, General Manager, AG Auto, also shared his enthusiasm for introducing EXEED’s premium cars to the region. The launch also confirms AG Auto’s dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail, in line with its goal of providing customers with unparalleled driving experiences.  The UAE’s premium vehicle segment is flourishing due to factors like an increasing number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, robust economy, top-tier infrastructure, lenient car ownership regulations, and a focus on luxury and tourism. These factors have allowed flagship Chinese vehicles to gain traction in the market.

How CTV is solving marketers’ advertising challenges?

Written By: Gagan Uppal, Country Head – MENA, Xapads Media              Today’s digital world is a vast pool of innovation wherein, technological infrastructure is coming up with something new every day. And these days, CTV has become a hot topic among advertisers because its offerings and targeting options greatly impact the digital ecosystem. Since marketers can reach the right audience and maximize their brand reach thus, the potential of CTV Advertising and ad spending in MENA has gained 97% YoY from H120 to H121 (source: IAB MENA). Users dive deeper into its premium content in various lingos and on bigger screens; this is why, CTV advertising is aiding marketers with ample opportunities to make a difference in their brand presence and ROAS. However, due to device fragmentation, the user gets multiple video content distribution platforms like media players, standalone streaming gadgets etc which becomes a little daunting for media planners to manage various ad campaigns in different environments. Moreover, gathering consumers’ insights also becomes technically complex for them especially when it comes to conversions and ROI. Alongside this, a few other challenges are Lack of Common Identifiers, Multitude of Measurement Methodologies & Capabilities, Media Planning Efficiency, Ad Inventory Quality & Scalability, Cross-Media Measurement, and Ad Fraud; wherein, CTV acts as a saviour. Since it uses accurate methods for audience measurement and unique standards for actionable results & reporting on the showcased campaigns while maintaining brand safety with consistency in campaign performance.So, here are my thoughts on how CTV curbs marketers’ advertising challenges with the help of Artificial Intelligence to sustain the digital ecosystem.One of the common challenges that marketers find difficult to drive the effectiveness in ad campaign performance is Audience Identification. Since different platforms have their own audience demographics and insights wherein, CTV helps marketers to reach a unified audience. It provides them with data algorithms that drive accuracy in audience measurement. Moreover, CTV with a blend of AI segments the cohorts and showcases the content they prefer to consume on respective platforms. As a result, it leads to consistency in campaign performance with better brand safety and transparency. In fact, with the identification of the audience, the other challenge of Ad Fatigue becomes a concerning component for advertisers as it hampers user experience & interaction with the brand and drains the advertising budget. CTV facilitates marketers with Frequency Capping and Competitive Separation which enables brand owners to maintain a frequency and time difference while serving ads to specific viewers. Whereas, competitive separation ensures that ads familiar or similar to the competitive brands are not shown and are played one after the other. This helps in boosting brand recall value with efficiency in campaign performance.However, with effectiveness in brand recognition and recall, another challenge that marketers often face while advertising digitally is Audience Measurement and undoubtedly, CTV is solving it like a pro. Its authentication enables marketers to tap into the niche yet the right audience, its attribution showcases them the path to identify the connection between ad exposure and engagement. This is why, CTV is maturing the digital marketing ecosystem thus, its global revenue is also projected to reach 42.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2028. Since marketers can easily attribute the source generating original traffic and measure the audience conversions as well (source: Statista).This is why, CTV also solves the concerns of users’ Ad Responsiveness as marketers expect quality returns behind each invested penny. This, with the help of AI models, assists advertisers with real-time data maths for precise targeting at user-personalized and device levels. Hence, advertisers can use first-party data via CTV such as users’ activeness on bigger screens, type of content consumption, audience demographics, geos and much more. This further assists them to make informed business decisions by discovering and targeting the audience interested in viewing specific video content. As a result, this drives better ad responsiveness and builds the brand image.So, Connected TV has emerged as a game-changer for marketers, addressing some of the key challenges they face in the digital advertising landscape and revolutionizing the way brands connect with consumers in the digital age. Its ad-supported subscriptions make a favourable environment for brands to advertise better and edge the digital marketing efforts via its targeted ads such as L-Banners, Zoom Ads, Bumpers, Mastheads, Spot Frames etc. Further Artificial Intelligence redefines the streaming entertainment of CTV and helps marketers with predictive algorithms to cope with marketing challenges and save their advertising budget. Owing to this, CTV is revolutionising the AdTech vertical and will better enhance the audience, inventory and opportunity for marketers to lean into its promising performance.

Smart TVs shine bright in energy efficiency study

A new study from Accedo has found a high variation of energy consumption between various streaming devices, with TVs alone being the most efficient. The study, which looked at the energy usage of various streaming devices and a number of popular streaming applications, also found that autoplay content dramatically increases energy consumption.Accedo tested various scenarios at application level, implementing changes around bitrate, resolution and dark mode versus light mode, to evaluate subsequent energy variations. The team also explored UI and UX techniques that can contribute to improved energy efficiency. This includes the recommendation of better UX guidelines to avoid unnecessary playback. The study found that set-top-boxes only use a small amount of energy (Amazon Fire ~1.5W, Sky Puck ~3W, Youview ~10W), while gaming consoles use around 70 watts of energy. As both these types of devices need to be paired with a screen for playback, the overall energy consumption is higher than using a Smart TV alone. Smart TVs were found to use around 51W with energy saving enabled and screen backlight set to 20%. With default backlight settings at 80%, LG WebOS TV would use around 120W and Tizen 2016 would use around 130W during playback. Switching energy saving off increased these further to around 170W for LG TV and around 200W for Tizen.Accedo also tested a number of the most popular streaming applications. In general, the variation among apps across different devices was minimal. On Smart TVs with lower screen brightness settings, the average power consumption across all tested apps was around 52W. Notably, Amazon Prime's home view had lower idle power consumption than the other apps, with approximately 50% less power used compared to Netflix at default brightness settings. This is likely due to the lack of autoplaying content and the use of darker colors on the home screen.Accedo has highlighted a number of recommendations from its findings, including prompting consumers to switch devices and/or adjust backlight settings, as well as suggesting video providers consider using darker aesthetics, implement energy saving features such as “skip Intro” or “are you still watching” and a reduction in animated content. François Polarczyk, Sustainability Director, Accedo, commented: “At Accedo, we are committed to helping reduce the carbon footprint of video streaming and contributing to a more sustainable future. Our research has identified several impactful changes that, when implemented during development, could reduce the energy consumption of video streaming devices without sacrificing performance or user experience. However, there is still more work to be done and we are actively looking at further investigations in this area, particularly from a user acceptance perspective.” Accedo indicated that further research could focus on UX changes or improvements that will help with the sustainability of the application or device, or working with device manufacturers to create more energy-efficient hardware. The full report is available here. The company’s latest ESG report has also just been released and can be accessed via the website. Accedo will be exhibiting at IBC from 15th to 19th September on booth 5.F40. For more information or to book a meeting, visit here.

Changing the game for brands to win is our motto: Rohan Sawant

UN MENAT (UM), a creative media agency, believes that better science and better art deliver better outcomes to clients in the media campaigns that matter most. The company, with its 14 offices within the MENAT region and over 400 creative minds in its HQ in Dubai, delivers some of the most ‘out-of-the-box’ media campaigns. In an exclusive talk with Adgully, Rohan Sawant, Digital Lead, UM MENAT, the man behind the company’s digital campaigns success, shares more about himself, the company, and the future of the digital market scenario in the MENA region. Excerpts:Can you provide an overview of your career journey and how you've gained experience on both the advertiser and publisher sides of the digital advertising industry?My career commenced in 2009 as a management trainee for Logicserve Digital, responsible for SEM campaigns for SME businesses based out of the UK. While at Logicserve, I was also exposed to Affiliate Marketing and was involved in managing coupon code websites. I moved to Komli Media as Key Account Manager for SEM and Social campaigns for clients based out of India. Komli Media was an official reseller in India for several digital media and ad tech platforms like Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Adobe Adlens, etc. This exposure helped me develop meaningful relationships with Advertisers. The video OTT space in India had just started booming when I had the opportunity to join Disney Hotstar to manage Ad Operations on VOD and Live Sports content. Towards the fag end of my stint at Disney Hotstar, we were venturing into Programmatic. This exposure took me to Times Internet, where I consulted Advertiser campaigns, direct and programmatic, across the comprehensive inventory and audience coverage across Times network. I had an opportunity to join MCN / IPG group and move to the UAE in 2018 to manage MENA-based clients. Since then, I have been working on the agency side at UM MENAT.   Could you share a specific challenge you've faced and successfully overcome in your career?A gap in understanding the client's business, a crack in team skill or a lack of process or process non-compliance are the biggest challenges I had to face, and these are, of course, universal in the broader realm. The solutions to these may seem straightforward. However, it may take a while to get it right. For instance, to really understand the client's business, you should have no assumptions. Spend enough time with the client, ask questions, document what you uncover from your interactions and have recurring debrief sessions with your wider team. Walk in their shoes. Likewise, to cover the skill gap, most team members need to have a "let's figure it out" attitude. In today's internet age, with the likes of Chat GPT and Google, it is highly improbable not to find the correct answer or solution to a problem.Given your familiarity with terms like Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and Supply Side Platforms (SSPs), how do these platforms contribute to the programmatic buying process, and what benefits do they offer to advertisers and publishers?Programmatic advertising has stood the test of time and emerged to be a strong, effective, and efficient media channel. The entire ecosystem has evolved, involving inventory partners, verification partners, data partners, viewability and attention partners to allow a robust channel for Advertisers. The benefits extend to publishers as well, with their ad inventory being monetized. DSPs and SSPs, which are two sides of the same coin, play a pivotal role in Programmatic Advertising. With DSPs, the advertiser has access to a platform that allows exploring inventory, researching audience segments, discovering creative formats, and running ad campaigns. SSPs are an ally for publishers, allowing them to integrate their ad inventory across multiple ad exchanges and generate ad revenue.Data plays a crucial role in today's digital advertising landscape. How do Data Management Platforms enhance campaign targeting and effectiveness, and what role do they play in optimizing advertising strategies in the MENA region?Digital advertising is heavily reliant on data for targeting accuracy and user engagement. This data capture is possible via cookies. Cookies are either first party (own data of Advertiser or publisher) or third party (accessed data by exposure to 1st party cookies). Data Management Platforms allow an Advertiser to harness its own data from multiple sources in an organized manner. In addition, DMPs have access to thir party cookies, which the advertiser can leverage to reach potential audiences with high affinity to his own data. DMP had a robust data utility and thus became popular in the GCC region. However, due to rising privacy concerns big players like Apple and Google have decided to phase out support for 3rd party cookies by early 2024. This is a huge setback for DMP as its overall utility is severely affected. DMPs can still be used to organize 1st party data and make it accessible for targeting in media platforms and personalization, however, licensing costs are an essential consideration factor for the Advertiser to gauge the viability of continuing with DMP. Advertisers in the MENA region are now focusing on increasing their 1st party data volume and moving to CRM platforms for data collection.How do you approach the management of digital advertising campaigns that span across different mediums such as display & video advertising, SEM, social media, and remarketing?To start with, a multi-channel approach is the RIGHT approach. As an advertiser, you wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity of engagement with your target audience. Broadly speaking, for mid and lower-funnel activations we ought to focus on effectiveness, whereas for the upper funnel we ought to focus on efficiency. To elaborate, for a campaign focused on reach and virality, it is necessary to be visible across multiple channels; however, the investment allocation across channels needs to be fine-tuned for maximum efficiency. At UM, we regularly use our best-in-class internal tools to identify audience overlap between channels to plan our activations with optimum budget allocation. On the other hand, channels such as Google Ads and Amazon Sponsored Ads need their own practices to deliver best results.As someone who has managed campaigns both as an individual contributor and as a team manager, what skills and qualities do you believe are essential for fostering a successful and collaborative advertising team?I believe discipline and the ability to figure problems out are most important for a team to function at its peak. Discipline is guaranteed to achieve standardization, which can stem from process compliance, ensuring the operational aspects are as streamlined as possible. The ability to figure out is an underappreciated skill. As an individual, being open to seeking answers from any source is inspirational for peers and superiors. More importantly, knowledge sharing is crucial for a team’s success.Digital advertising is constantly evolving. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry?I think staying up-to-date is a good challenge. There are a host of resources I depend on, such as platform specific updates and published case studies. At UM, we have a vast network or resources spanning the globe. While working for global brands, we can also access activations carried out in other markets. Lastly, I really enjoy finding insights and articles on LinkedIn, which can also be a good source of relevant industry information.Where do you see the future of digital advertising heading, and what emerging trends do you think professionals in this field should be prepared for?I see retail media growing well in the coming years in the MENA region, specifically in KSA, the UAE and Egypt. With all platforms integrating AI, the efficiency of optimization should improve. As professionals, we should be aware of the extraordinary work being done in the region, take inspiration from it and continue 'changing the game for brands to win', our motto at UM MENAT.

Gateway to Abu Dhabi: Fostering Abu Dhabi-India relationship

In a ground-breaking collaboration, the Abu Dhabi Residents Office (ADRO), the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development’s (ADDED) arm to support the emirate's thriving community and to strengthen its position as a top destination for talent, presented “Gateway to Abu Dhabi”, at DISCOVER Collection Club New Delhi. This event endeavoured to foster a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem while cultivating robust relationships between India and Abu Dhabi.The Gateway to Abu Dhabi event stood as an exceptional platform, dedicated to nurturing engagement, interaction, and exploration of promising collaborative prospects. This event aimed to create strategic connections among key stakeholders from both regions, facilitating the growth of a symbiotic relationship. One of the primary objectives of this event was to provide a conduit for collaboration between influential figures from both the UAE and India leading to the cultivation of strategic business alliances. An additional focal point was identifying potential candidates for participation in the esteemed Abu Dhabi Golden Visa programme.A diverse array of leading personalities attended this extraordinary event. The guest list spanned High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs), government officials, ambassadors, G20 members, C-suite executives, family offices, representatives from the banking and finance sector, business leaders, investors, technology start-ups, as well as prominent figures from the domains of arts, culture, weddings, and entertainment.Distinguished Speakers and Representatives: Esteemed speakers and representatives from renowned entities such as the Abu Dhabi Residents Office (ADRO), the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) graced the occasion. Their insights and expertise shed light on investment prospects and avenues for entrepreneurship, fostering a deeper understanding of the opportunities that lie ahead. His Excellency Hareb Al Mheiri, Executive Director of ADRO, said, “Abu Dhabi continues to attract and retain the best talent from across the world through ADRO in order to affirm the unique qualities that the emirate enjoys and to contribute to the dynamic environment that Abu Dhabi abounds in. The emirate's status as one of the remarkable preferred destinations for top talent, investors, entrepreneurs and their families is continuously strengthened by its global presence. Gateway to Abu Dhabi provides a distinctive platform that is also consistent with showcasing the emirate as a leading destination for top professionals through a programme of briefings, presentations, and a demonstration of an Abu Dhabi resident's journey and experience highlighting Abu Dhabi's exceptional quality of life”.Meraj Khan, Chairman - Gravity Global Group said, “ADRO, part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, is pivotal in attracting, empowering, and retaining international talent. I take immense pride in acknowledging the visionary leadership of Gravity Global, and their efforts are not only bridging gaps but also putting India on the global map in a way that fills us all with pride.”

Next World Forum drives substantial business growth in gaming and esports

Next World Forum, a major global industry gathering created to shape the future of the rapidly evolving gaming and esports sector, has substantially helped drive business growth, organizers said on Thursday as the two-day conference concluded.Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center, the Next World Forum brought the global gaming and esports community together to discuss the development of this vibrant, economically flourishing, and collaborative ecosystem. Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, more than 2,500 delegates, including CEOs, government ministers, investors, gamers, developers, publishers, broadcasters, and leaders from gaming, entertainment, technology, and sports, were in attendance. An agreement between the six GCC countries to establish the GCC Esports Federation and elevate athletes through annual eLeague tournaments was one of 14 MOUs signed across Wednesday and Thursday at the Next World Forum. Numerous other business deals were also agreed at the forum’s second edition, which has substantially built on the success of last year’s inaugural event. Turki Alfawzan, CEO of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The Next World Forum has provided the worldwide industry of gaming and esports an extensive platform for business growth and progression that further our aims of Saudi Arabia becoming a global hub for gaming and esports. Being part of the Next World Forum platform has proved a win for everyone. In our exceptionally rapid industry that is changing dramatically on a seemingly constant basis, the chance to converge in Riyadh instigates big ideas, meaningful discussions, and exceptional business opportunities. “As we all reflect on two days of inspiration and action, our message from the conclusion of this year’s Next World Forum is very much that this is just the beginning.” Signing sessions at the Next World Forum were also conducted by Saudi Esports Federation and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business & Entrepreneurship (MBSC); Saudi Esports Federation and Ministry of Education; Saudi Esports Federation and Kuwait Esports Federation; Saudi Esports Federation and Bahrain Esports Federation; Saudi Esports Federation and Qatar Esports Federation; Saudi Esports Federation and Kentucky Fried Chicken; Saudi Development Bank; STC play and LG; STC play and Geekay Esports; and the Saudi Tourism Authority. After opening day panel sessions that included discussions with Gareth Bale, the former star footballer and esports investor and enthusiast, and Michael Bay, the producer and director of films including Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers film series, day two proved just as intriguing. Day two panel sessions at the Next World Forum included: ‘The Players Deserve Better: The Future of Gaming and Esports Facilities’; ‘Power Play Chat: A Conversation between Changemakers’; ‘Virtual Realities, Real World Consequences: The Impact of Politics in Gaming’; ‘Breaking the Code: The Challenges for Women in Gaming Leadership’; ‘The Next Level: A New Chapter for the Saudi Esports Federation’; ‘AI-pocalypse Now – Where Do We Draw the Line?’; ‘Press the Pause Button:Analyzing Esports Players’ Mental and Physical Health; ‘Better Digital Governance in the Metaverse and the Blockchain’; ‘Gaming Localization: Speaking to Gamers in their Language’; and ‘Stronger Together: The ESL FACEIT Group Story’. Reaam Alkhudairi, Program Manager for the Next World Forum, and Corporate Communications & PR Team Lead at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “Encapsulating creativity, innovation and diversity, we are immensely proud that the Next World Forum panels embraced the full spectrum of gaming and esports and its associated industries.Featuring eminent leaders and expert speakers, the forum attracted more than 2,500 delegates this year from all corners of the world, fully reflecting the global appeal of gaming. “The Next World Forum this year set out seeking to ask the tough questions of gaming and esports – after much discussion over the past two days, one thing every delegate will absolutely agree upon is that the forum has helped significantly shape the future of our industry.”Next World Forum also brought the curtain down on Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the biggest gaming and esports festival worldwide, which began on July 6 at Boulevard Riyadh City featuring 16 elite tournaments from 13 top titles. The eight-week long entertainment extravaganza also featured more than 30 live concert performances from global, regional, and local stars, and thousands of activities and attractions.

AstroLabs to be “community partner” for LBS MENA Startup Competition 2023

Dubai: London Business School’s MENA Startup Competition has secured the support of AstroLabs for this year’s event, with the AstroLabs Campus facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, offered as a venue for this year’s event. Additionally, AstroLabs is offering a broader, long-term community partnership role for the work that LBS undertakes to promote, teach and support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem within the region.With ambitions to become one of the most acclaimed startup competitions in MENA, aiming to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with VCs and investors across the region, the inaugural LBS MENA Startup Competition in 2022 attracted strong, talented competition, with leading tech startup, Ollang, crowned the winner.AstroLabs, an ecosystem builder in MENA since 2013, operates as the region’s trusted partner in solving innovation challenges, building self-sustaining ecosystems, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy by driving impactful large-scale programmes, and fast-tracking regional and global businesses‘ scaling strategies into MENA.With a mission to build competitive local markets, helping to elevate local enterprises to global standards and enabling international companies to thrive in local landscapes, AstroLabs recognises the importance of the role that LBS plays in the region and the growing prominence of the MENA Startup Competition.Ramzi Qannati along with Ihab Tabbara, Co-Presidents of the London Business School Entrepreneurship Club, are both managing and providing mentorship for this year’s event, working with a talented body of LBS students from around the world.Mr Qannati, himself an LBS alumnus (EMBA 2019), said it is rewarding to learn that London Business School, through its work undertaken at the School’s Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC), has become so very well known for its international leadership and educative role in inspiring entrepreneurs and private capital investors.“Collaborative partnerships play a pivotal role in fostering successful entrepreneurship ecosystems. The presence of aligned partners who not only embrace our vision of generating value for both founders and investors but also bolster our endeavors, magnifies our capacity to drive concrete outcomes. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to welcome AstroLabs as our Community Partner for this year's LBS MENA Startup Competition. By empowering the broader business ecosystem with essential tools, expertise, and profound insights necessary for catalyzing growth, we hold a strong belief that AstroLabs will significantly enrich this journey as a valuable contributor,” says Mr Qannati.Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs and an LBS alumnus (EMBA 2010), said, ”We've been actively supporting this ecosystem for a solid decade now, and there's a noticeable rise in the competitive capacity of regional startups and SMEs on the global level. Partnering with the LBS MENA Startup Competition is another way for us to continue honoring our commitment to enabling the entrepreneurial landscape."Daher added, "This year's competition is particularly interesting for us. Aligned with the business school's broader objectives, we're excited to be part of this initiative and support building a stronger connection between LBS and the wider entrepreneurial community. Our partnership aims to facilitate the integration of a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs into our regional framework and provide a boost to their scaling strategies."Also to be included in the package of support for this year’s competition by AstroLabs will be access to mentorship for the finalists and a platform of valuable support for this year’s winner, including discount membership of AstroLabs itself.Speaking about the association with AstroLabs, Mr Qannati added: “I am an ardent believer in the abilities of young people within the MENA region who are driving the country’s growing enterprise sector. When I see relationships such the one forged between AstroLabs and this exciting new LBS startup competition I don’t just see a connection being made, but rather an entire ecosystem growing and flourishing”.

Jawaher Al Qasimi appoints VC of Sharjah WS & CEO of Al Jawaher Reception center

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohamed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports, issued two resolutions designating H.E. Hanan Al Mahmoud as Vice Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports, and Wafa Taymour, as the New Chief Executive Officer of Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, effective 1st September 2023.Bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in sports management, Hanan Al Mahmoud's distinguished career speaks volumes. Her journey is marked by a remarkable track record in leadership roles and initiatives that have catalyzed the growth of sports and community development.HE Hanan Al Mahmoud's achievements span strategic positions that highlight her dedication. In 2016, and for 4 years, she served as a Board Member for the Sharjah Sports Council, heading the Investment Committee, where she contributed to driving strategies that supported sports development in the region. Her prowess further shone in 2020 when she served as a High Organizing Committee Member for The Arab Women’s Sports Tournament, after being a member and head of its Marketing and Events Committee for two previous editions. From 2017 to 2022, Hanan showcased her commitment to nurturing sportsmanship and community engagement as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Sharjah Sports Family Award that highlighted deserving sports talent across various domains. Her dedication to excellence in sports ascends as she currently serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi’s Award for Sports Excellence. In this position, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the award’s strategy in its first edition, and in recognizing and supporting exceptional achievements, igniting the quest for excellence. She also supervises the Marketing and Sponsorship committee of the award given her expertise in the area.She was recently appointed as a Board Member of the UAE National Olympic Committee in August 2023. In this role, her experience in the field will be shaping the development of national sports, underscoring her unwavering commitment to fostering sports advancement. Her appointment also signifies a significant stride towards gender equality, as she joins the ranks of women contributing to the committee's decisions, further establishing a balanced presence of both genders within the board and the committee’s activities.Hanan's active engagement as a Member of the Sharjah Women’s Sports Establishment Executive Committee since 2021 exemplifies her commitment to empowerment and paving pathways for success in sports.Furthermore, Hanan holds the esteemed role as a member of the Board of Trustees at Rubu’ Qarn since 2021, spearheading initiatives to empower and elevate the Foundation's affiliated organizations. Her leadership spotlights upgraded curricula, advanced training, and innovative activities that nurture life skills and potential in children and youth.As the former Chief Executive Officer at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, Hanan has overseen the project since the start and has propelled the centre’s excellence and set industry benchmarks for over a decade.Continuing a decade-long of successful journey with Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, Wafa's career started 16 years back, as she commenced as a Business Analyst at Emirates Airline, where she showcased exceptional prowess in project management, client relations, and vendor management. Before joining JRCC, she also made significant contributions to the Dubai World Trade Centre, where she served as a Senior Business Analyst. During her tenure, she was instrumental in creating budgeting and forecasting documents and analysing revenue and financial statements. She also managed multiple projects within the Events and Hospitality department, further bolstering her reputation as a capable and driven professional, applying her market research and forecasting skills.Impressed by her capabilities, JRCC welcomed Wafa as the Total Quality Manager, where she spearheaded crucial hygiene and safety initiatives, managed the customer service unit, and conducted comprehensive departmental evaluations that positively developed the centre’s operations. Recognizing her exceptional performance, Wafa earned a well-deserved promotion to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer. As DCEO for the past five years, she has consistently displayed outstanding leadership skills, crafting business strategies grounded in market needs and benchmarking practices.Wafa Taymour has been an integral part of the JRCC family for over seven years, serving in various key roles that have significantly contributed to the organization's growth and success. As a progressive leader with expertise in overseeing operations, driving business strategy, and transforming distribution networks, her extensive experience in business development and strategic planning is set to propel JRCC to new heights.

Arabian Automobiles and Tabby join hands to transform after-sales experience

Arabian Automobiles Company (AAC), the flagship company of the AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan, INFINITI and Renault in Dubai, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates, is excited to announce its strategic partnership with Tabby, the MENA region’s leading payments and shopping app. This collaboration aims to revolutionize the after-sales services experience for customers, offering enhanced convenience and flexibility when it comes to vehicle maintenance and repair cost.By integrating Tabby’s platform into the AAC process, customers will have the opportunity to manage their vehicle maintenance and repair expenses towards purchase of service contracts, insurance products and further added value offers. They will have the option to split their payments into four interest-free instalments for greater ease and be able to manage their budgets without straining their wallets.Commenting on the partnership, Salah Yamout, COO at Arabian Automobiles, said "As a customer-centric organization, AAC has always been committed to delivering exceptional services throughout the entire vehicle ownership journey. Through its collaboration with Tabby, AAC is taking another significant stride in enhancing customer fulfillment and assurance by enabling fee-free payment processing, ensuring a seamless experience for its customers.”Zain Khan, Director of Business at Tabby, added: ”We are delighted to combine the flexibility of our offering with the reliability of Arabian Automobiles. This partnership marks the start of a whole new level of convenience and affordability in the auto servicing sector, empowering every driver to navigate their financial journey with confidence.”Arabian Automobiles and Tabby are confident that this partnership represents a significant milestone in the continued growth of both organizations, setting new industry standards and enhancing overall customer satisfaction. Customers can visit any of the service centre facilities across Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates for further details.

Bitay announces strategic expansion into the UAE's burgeoning crypto market

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has an impressive 99% internet penetration rate according to a McKinsey study, welcomes Bitay, a cryptocurrency platform from Turkey. This move aligns with the UAE’s growing stature as a global digital hub and its emphasis on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.Kickstarted by a government research grant, Bitay has been operational in Turkey since 2018 and expanded its services globally in 2021. The platform is licensed as a Money Services Business (MSB) in 16 US states and offers services in multiple countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.Niyazi Y?lmaz, General Manager of Bitay Technology, stated, “The UAE provides a stable regulatory environment for crypto exchanges. It will serve as more than just a market for Bitay; it will be our technology base, central to our global blockchain strategy.”The AEDD coin offers a competitive edgeBitay offers a diverse portfolio with over 350 crypto assets. Unique to Bitay is AEDD, a stable coin pegged to the AED. It aims to provide a competitive edge by offering a low bid/ask price difference. Y?lmaz added, “AEDD is not just a stable coin, but a testament to the investment and trust we place in the UAE's digital future.”Bitay prioritizes user satisfaction, key differentiator in a competitive market. Its Bitay+ loyalty programme offers users benefits such as low commission rates, personalized campaigns, and even crypto staking with APR rates that adjust based on the user’s level.Launch campaign features 25% off Bitay CoinThe platform also plans to launch an “Advantageous 2nd Sales Period” campaign to mark its entry into the UAE and celebrate the first anniversary of Bitay Coin. This limited-time offer features up to 25% off the current Bitay Coin price and up to 30% bonus earnings on USDT investments, highlighting Bitay’s ambition to be a dominant player in the region.Bitay Coin, the native asset of Bitay’s ecosystem, has recorded a 330% gain in its first year, outperforming notable assets like Bitcoin, gold, and even shares of global brands like Apple and Tesla.Bitay’s entry into the UAE amplifies the region’s robust digital and crypto landscape. As the UAE continues to attract young, tech-savvy populations and major players in the crypto sector, it solidifies its role as a focal point for financial innovation.

The Marketing Society welcomes leaders of Al Masood, VW, Red Bull

The Marketing Society has once again expanded their regional board with new marketing leaders from Volkswagen, Red Bull and Al Masaood companies with the aim of attracting the top talented leaders and a world-class community of marketers. The Marketing Society is a global community of marketing leaders, founded in England in 1959. In the UAE it now has 400 marketing leaders. The Society's new board brings together impressive industry leaders with a wealth of experience running many local and global brands and agencies. The addition of the leaders like Marwa Kaabour (Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Al Masaood), Anja Petrovski ( Marketing and PR Director, Volkswagen, Middle East) and Aly Tawfik (Area Marketing Director, Middle East, Red Bull) is sure to lead The Marketing Society to achieve newer heights. Marwa Kaabour is a CMO-level executive with more than 25 years’ experience in establishing and leading strategic marketing communications for global and regional brands in the Middle East. Among her achievements is establishing marketing and communication functions from scratch for companies and government entities. Marwa started her career with award-winning international agencies like Leo Burnett and Impact BBDO. Marwa was named Campaign’s Middle East 2021 Marketing Game Changer and was selected as one of LinkedIn’s Most Engaged Marketers in 2014. Anja Petrovski is a seasoned marketer with over 17 years of experience in the advertising industry. Her expertise lies in digital marketing, content marketing, social media, and advertising. Anja has made history as the first female Marketing Director of Volkswagen Middle East, where she was responsible for developing and executing the brand’s marketing strategy. She is dedicated to ensuring that Volkswagen’s brand message resonates with the target customer segment in the region.Aly Tawfik has over 20 years of experience in marketing, representing companies such as Henkel, Mars Inc., and The Coca-Cola Company. He currently looks after marketing for Red Bull and its media business covering the Middle East, Africa, West Asia, CIS, India, and Turkey. Overlooking teams in 21 markets, he puts emphasis on shaping the organisation as a learning community. Before this role, Aly led the Red Bull Egypt as the General Manager. Aly holds an Executive MBA from IE Business School in Madrid. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo. The Marketing Society also expressed its gratitude to outgoing board members whose terms have come to an end. Acknowledging their contributions, the Society bade farewell to Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre & CEO KAON International, Asmaa Quorrich, Chief Marketing Officer, Saudi Tourism Authority and Mike Fairburn, Managing Director, SRMG X.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi offers free tickets on mystery flight to unknown destination

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the ultra-low-fare national airline of the UAE, today launches the return of the hugely anticipated and popular ‘#GetLostwithWizz’ competition for adventurous travellers in the UAE. This unforgettable experience encourages spontaneous travellers to live life to the fullest and create lifelong memories in an unknown destination in the ever-expanding Wizz Air Abu Dhabi network.A special Wizz Air plane full of excitement will take flight to an undisclosed destination, where lucky competition winners will spend the weekend ‘getting lost’ in a rich culture, exploring the very best of the natural and diverse beauty of a Wizz Air destination. The flight will depart from Abu Dhabi on Thursday 21 September in the evening and return on Sunday 24 September 2023.The highly in-demand competition to win a seat opens today, and to be in for the chance of winning, applicants must have their profile public and follow @WizzAir on Instagram, share a post on Instagram of their most memorable travel moment, and tag @WizzAir with the hashtag #GetLostwithWizz by midnight on 10 September 2023.Hopeful participants must share creative, adventurous, exciting, or humorous pictures, with the standout posts with the highest engagement standing the best chance of winning a ticket. Winners will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embark on the thrill of the unknown together with one travel partner, with both travellers receiving free flight tickets, two nights’ accommodation, and travel insurance.The competition starts at 18:00 GST on 30 August and closes at 23:59 GST on 10 September. In order to be eligible, entrants must have a public profile and follow @WizzAir on Instagram. Johan Eidhagen, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said: “We are committed to providing exciting, adventurous and unique travel opportunities and the ‘#GetLostwithWizz’ competition shares our love of spontaneous travel. We are very excited to launch the competition for places for this special flight to an unmissable, yet unknown destination for a packed weekend full of incredible travel experiences. The ever-expanding Wizz Air Abu Dhabi network includes vibrant cities and natural paradises throughout Europe, Africa and Central Asia with a plethora of exotic, culturally rich, and diverse destinations. We look forward to welcoming the adventure seekers on board soon for a weekend that will live long in the memory.”Passengers can book tickets with confidence, thanks to WIZZ Flex. With WIZZ Flex, passengers can change their flight up to three hours before departure without any fee and receive 100% of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit.Strategically located in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi provides ultra-low-fares and efficient travel options to Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan), Ankara (Turkey), Aqaba (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Belgrade (Serbia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Cairo (Egypt) and Dammam (Saudi Arabia). As well as routes to Kuwait City (Kuwait), Kutaisi (Georgia), Larnaca (Cyprus), Manama (Bahrain), Male (Maldives), Madinah (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), Salalah (Oman), Santorini (Greece), Samarkand (Uzbekistan), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sohag (Egypt), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Tirana (Albania) and Yerevan (Armenia) among others.

Stalliongates Capital executes 7 venture capital deals with women led startups

With their recent focus on women led startups and businesses, Stalliongates Capital partnered with 7 women Founders at pre-seed and seed stage earlier this year in UAE and USA. The investment firm with its marketing arm Brandbeat Global, handheld these companies from ideation to scale, exceeding the aggregated valuation beyond USD 500 million for these recently acquired businesses.“Our investment portfolio currently boasts a robust representation of 34% women-led enterprises and targeting 50% by 2025. We understand the gap in the startup eco-system where practical entrepreneurial education has been the missing piece across incubators and accelerators. Our portfolio company Brandbeat Global launched a workshop during 2022 to shortlist dynamic Founders and impart practical education delivered by serial entrepreneurs, business leaders and C-suite executives. We trained Founders, partnered with them through capital injection, developed brands and executed Go-To-Market strategy to help them scale globally. Today all 7 startups are revenue positive due to our focus on profitability and exponential growth”, said Amna Razzaq, Managing Partner & COO at Brandbeat Global.Global venture funding in Q2 2023 fell 18% quarter over quarter to $65 billion, Crunchbase data shows. That’s down 49% compared to the second quarter of 2022, when startup investors spent $127 billion. The first half of 2023 is down by similar proportions.In H1 2023, global funding reached $144 billion, marking a 51% decline from the $293 billion invested in H1 2022 and a 10% decline from the second half of 2022. Despite, the slowdown, Stalliongates Capital has continued to grow its portfolio with a focus on businesses that offer superior ROI to its investors which makes this firm one of the top 30% VCs who have successfully returned profits to their investors.The recent equity acquisitions of women led businesses by Stalliongates Capital includes Harnet Developments, Go-Insuretech, Veha Holdings, Zadasi, Brainstorm AI, IBIDIA and Quick Skills. It’s a diversified portfolio representing real estate development, insure-tech, ed-tech, generative AI, social community apps, health-tech and beauty industry. The only common denominator is women founders.“We bring a unique value proposition for startup founders and business owners by addressing two most important needs; investment, and marketing. It’s a three-step process. We fix the business ideation and modeling, achieve market validation through creative monetization architecture and scale aggressively through our creative brand marketing strategy. Getting the marketing formula right is as important as getting the core business idea right”, highlighted Shafaat Hashmi, Chairman Stalliongates Capital and CEO Brandbeat Global.Shafaat and Amna, leveraging their dynamic synergy, have not only raised investments and managed portfolios across various sectors and asset classes, but have also provided comprehensive business consulting, investment advisories, and transformative brand marketing to a global clientele spanning over 14 years.With a resolute vision, their firms have served over 300 clients with offices in 12 countries during the last 14 years. Stalliongates Capital and Brandbeat Global are strategically positioning themselves globally to expand their asset portfolio across education, healthcare, real estate, online gaming, e-commerce businesses, clean energy, and the ever-growing creators' economy.“Our trajectory envisions a robust portfolio exceeding 100 high-performing startups which are leveraged by technology having a distinct competitive edge and offers a demand driven growth multiple to scale globally” remarked Mr. Hashmi. He further adds, “Dubai has been an ideal destination for our headquarters over the last decade providing us global access to opportunities and international talent which has contributed to our growth.”“The future is generative AI and e-commerce, fast-mover advantage matters more than the first-mover advantage. Our lifestyle and businesses will be completely revolutionized by 2030 and now is the time to adopt by staying ahead of the curve”, remarked Amna.Stalliongates Capital is an investment firm operating from three countries managing a portfolio of multiple asset classes with expertise in investment advisory, asset management, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, fund raising and pre-IPO strategy. Brandbeat Global is a subsidiary of Stalliongates Capital with 14 global offices offering business consulting, brand marketing, UI/UX design, tech stack development, advertising and media, operating as a full-service agency with cutting edge business acumen.

Apparel Group amplifies GCC presence with Steve Madden's store opening at Riyad

 Apparel Group, the renowned retail powerhouse, proudly announces the grand opening of Steve Madden’s 10th store in Saudi Arabia. Located in Riyadh Park, this latest expansion brings the brand’s strong GCC presence to 29 stores, underscoring its unwavering commitment to offering fashion-forward products to its Middle Eastern customers.The store's inauguration on August 25th was marked with anticipation. The first 100 fashion enthusiasts who visited the store on the launch date were delighted to receive an exclusive Steve Madden gift.Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, said, "This expansion is more than just a new store. It's a reflection of our unyielding dedication to our customers and our promise to bring them the forefront of fashion. As we celebrate this momentous occasion, we reaffirm our commitment to innovation, quality, and trendsetting for years to come."Steve Madden, Founder, Creative & Design Chief, said, “We're excited about our growing presence in Saudi Arabia. Witnessing our 10th store opening is a testament to Steve Madden’s shared journey in this dynamic region. This expansion is a reflection of our dedication to innovation, quality, and being on the pulse of key trends. I am thrilled to continue our growth in the heart of Riyadh.”On August 26th, Riyadh Park's Steve Madden location transformed into an epicenter of style and allure. The pinnacle of the evening was the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, a symbolic gesture that united the brand's visionary team with the esteemed leadership of Apparel Group and Riyadh Park Management. This gesture held significance beyond a mere inauguration; it stood as a beacon of achievement, signifying yet another remarkable juncture in the prosperous journey of both Steve Madden and Apparel Group within the GCC.Following the official inauguration, an official influencer event was held graced by top-tier influencers and media personalities, painting the perfect picture of glam and luxury. The guests enjoyed the latest tunes played by the DJ, setting the perfect backdrop for a night of fashion, fun, and networking.Guests were treated to a taste of New York, with an exquisite array of New York-style canapés, perfectly complemented by refreshing mojitos, offering a hint of tropical zest to the evening.Apparel Group and Steve Madden continue their commitment to excellence, innovation, and style. The new Riyadh Park store is a testament to the brand's dedication to its patrons, offering the latest in fashion footwear trends. As Steve Madden takes another step forward, fashion enthusiasts across the region can look forward to many more years of unparalleled style and quality.

TDeFi to offer $100,000 to selected Web3 startups at DMCC Crypto Centre

 DMCC – the world’s flagship free zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – and TDeFi – the global Web3 incubator and consultancy company – have entered the final phase of registrations for the second cohort of a Web3 startup incubator at the DMCC Crypto Centre.All applicants will receive priority guidance and services from DMCC to formally set up in the DMCC Crypto Centre, with a handful of successful businesses set to receive USD 100,000 in liquidity from TDeFi, subject to meeting the criteria. Applications close on 1st September 2023.The five-week programme is focused on enhancing expertise including refining business strategies, ensuring Web3 compliance, and marketing. The accelerator will culminate in a VC-focused fundraising event, ultimately bringing a new wave of innovative Web3 businesses to Dubai.Ahmad Hamza, Executive Director – Free Zone, DMCC, said: “Providing a platform for success is an intrinsic trait of DMCC, and the Web3 space is no different. Through our Crypto Centre we are proud to be bringing this exciting accelerator opportunity to a new wave of innovative Web3 businesses to Dubai, particularly as the emirate grows as a competitive knowledge-based economy. With the mentoring services and liquidity on offer through TDeFi, there has never been a better time to establish a crypto business in the emirate.”Gaurav Dubey, CEO TDeFi, said: “From ideation to developing business scaling strategies, our extensive accelerator programme is designed to prepare nascent Web3 businesses for VC funding rounds and operating efficiently in the real-world. We are excited to partner with DMCC for this second cohort, developing these startups into thriving businesses.”The second cohort follows on from the successful first round in March, in which 15 Web3 businesses successfully graduated from the accelerator programme.With an impressive lineup of over 20 mentorship sessions led by senior leaders from the Web3 industry, such as Coinbase Singapore, StepN, Footprint Analytics, Hacken, Enjin, and more, participants will gain insights spanning from compliance practices to the intricacies of Token Engineering and Markets Management. This comprehensive journey is poised to attract a fresh influx of Web3 enterprises to Dubai and guide nascent concepts toward thriving businesses under expert tutelage.The DMCC Crypto Centre is a comprehensive ecosystem for companies that develop web3 and blockchain technologies, and associated value-added services, providing everything that crypto businesses and entrepreneurs need to set up and scale their operations.TDeFi to offer $100,000 to selected Web3 startups as part of the accelerator at DMCC Crypto CentreTDeFi to offer $100,000 to selected Web3 startups as part of the accelerator at DMCC Crypto CentreTDeFi to offer $100,000 to selected Web3 startups as part of the accelerator at DMCC Crypto Centre

Communicate hosts ‘Communicate A.I. Conference’

Communicate, renowned as the foremost industry mediator committed to community-driven initiatives, takes immense pride in presenting the Communicate A.I. Conference. This highly anticipated event is set to take place on 7 September at the renowned Theatre of Digital Art in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai and is the region’s first event focusing on the renaissance of artificial intelligence and what it means for the Middle East’s marketing, communication & advertising industry.As the Middle East and North Africa region witnesses an exponential growth in the A.I. market, this conference is poised to offer unparalleled insights into the transformative potential of A.I. for the marketing, advertising, and communication industry.In an era dominated by buzzwords like chatbots, ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, and Novel AI, grasping their genuine impact can be a perplexing challenge. The 'Communicate A.I. Conference' emerges as the beacon of clarity amidst the A.I. confusion. With the A.I. market in the Middle East and North Africa projected to burgeon from $500 million in 2020 to a staggering $8.4 billion by 2026, businesses must harness this technological revolution to ensure their continued relevance and survival. This half-day event will consist of 100+ marketers, advertisers, ad agency executives, chief marketing officers, digital executives and anyone interested in the latest developments of AI communication in the fields of marketing, communications, production, and tech.Distinguished speakers at the conference include:Jennifer Fischer - Chief Innovation & Growth Officer - Publicis GroupeYoussef Hallal - Head of Data Strategy - Media.MonksIrem Limnili Angun - Regional E2E Strategy Lead - EssenceMediaComBhaskar Bateja - Head of Strategy, UAE - Memac OgilvyFabio Medeiros - Head of Strategy MENA - VMLYRAmr Younis - Editorial Director - SocializeHiba Hassan - Head of Graphic Design - SAE InstituteAli Cheikhali - Creative Strategy Lead – GoogleAlfred Manasseh - Co-Founder & Chief Metaverse Officer – ShaffraUrszula Bieganska - Head of Marketing - LEGO Middle EastStephen King - Senior Lecturer in Media - Middlesex University DubaiAsiya Ali - Founder and Managing Director - MKV DigitalThajudeen Abdul Kadhar - Head of Marketing & Strategy - Nasr eSportsTyler Yeom - Group Director, Integrated Campaign - CheilNadeem Ibrahim - Head of Digital - UM KSAAhmed Chatila - Director of Brand & Communication - HungerStationDebbie Botha - Women in AI Global Chief Partnership Officer, Managing Director at Dalebrook Media Middle EastNeamat El Gayar - Director of Artificial Intelligence MSc Program - Heriot-Watt UniversityHussein Dajani - Partner and CMO - Acne Deloitte DigitalErshad Pettiwala - Commercial Director - Virgin MobileMikhail Goldgaber - Founder and Chief Creative Officer - Greybeard ArtsZeinab El Amrawy - Head of Marketing – Subwayand more..Key Highlights: Dive into the workings of A.I., its limitations, and how human intelligence differs.Explore how A.I. is changing the game from driving insights from strategic communications, pushing the limit in creative campaigns to personalizing digital advertising.Witness a compelling clash of viewpoints as industry professionals debate the role of AI in marketing and advertising.Special feature: An interactive session showing Runway AI’s "text-to-video" feature to re-envision the most famous monologue from a science film.Get inspired by industry case-studies whose experiences you can leverage in your own business.Why should you attend?A.I. is transforming the way businesses communicate with their audiences, and this event will provide attendees with valuable insights into the latest trends, strategies, and best practices in A.I.-powered communications. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from top experts in the field, network with peers, and gain a competitive advantage in their industries.Join us on 7 September at the Theatre of Digital Art in Madinat Jumeirah for an immersive journey into the future of communication. Together, let's unlock the potential of A.I. and shape the way we connect, engage, and thrive.

yes selects Synamedia for distribution watermarking on streaming services

 Leading video software provider Synamedia today announced that yes, the pay-TV subsidiary of telco Bezeq (TASE: BEZQ) and largest IPTV service provider in Israel, has deployed Synamedia’s ContentArmor distribution watermarking solution to enhance protection of its streaming services. ContentArmor allows yes to effectively target its anti-piracy efforts with affiliates and business partners by giving it visibility of any compromised broadcast platforms. This new distribution watermarking solution is part of Synamedia’s ContentArmor forensic video watermarking family that protects content investments, identifies malicious users, and prevents piracy.  Synamedia was the solution of choice as it met yes’ requirements: easy to deploy, encoder agnostic, and able to support yes’ disaster recovery environment. As ContentArmor distribution watermarking was tailored for this application, yes was able to go live with ContentArmor in less than a week in July 2023. Itzhak Elyakim, VP of Engineering and CTO at yes, commented, “We first started looking at head-end watermarking to meet security standards set by the national regulator and main national broadcasters here in Israel. As we investigated further, we could see that a distribution watermarking solution would be more suited to our needs, giving us the security insight we need, as well as meeting compliance. As a long-standing user of Synamedia’s security on our traditional satellite broadcast services, we knew we could trust Synamedia’s technology and teams to meet our streaming anti-piracy strategies.” Alain Durand, Senior Director of Business Development at Synamedia, said, “As operators invest in premium content for their streaming services, it’s important to be able to quickly identify any leaks and take action to disrupt those pirate streams. Our ContentArmor distribution watermarking system makes this process easy and affordable, adding a new layer of security that helps operators stay one step ahead of the pirates.”

Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar to headline Vibe Martech Fest in Dubai

“When Classical Physics failed, Quantum Physics came in,” says Raja Rajamannar, Global Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President, Healthcare Business at Mastercard. Similarly, when traditional marketing fails or has rather started to, quantum marketing will be the way to go. Author of the bestseller Quantum Marketing, Rajamannar is a global leader, whose cutting-edge strategies built on emerging technologies, latest scientific advancements, advanced data analytics and a deep understanding of cultural nuances, propelled Mastercard to become one of the fastest growing brands, now ranked amongst the top 10 brands in the world.Rajamannar says the world of marketing has evolved, and witnessed numerous paradigms, of which, while the first two paradigms typically were impacted by two technologies, the next two paradigms in the current scenario are looking at two dozen technologies coming their way. In his book, he covers how marketers can reinvent the craft to survive and thrive in this future paradigm.Rajamannar will open the day at Vibe Martech Fest, UAE by shedding light on his presented concept of quantum marketing, which he terms is a transformational way of doing marketing to unleash success.In this evolving consumer landscape, quantum marketing speaks about concepts that elevates conventional marketing strategies in the sense that it works in parallel with a multitude of technologies. At the summit, Rajamannar will take the audience through his proposed playbook to run a successful marketing strategy in the post-pandemic world, covering the disruptive technologies that have taken over the world of marketing and their scope for the diverse arena of businesses.His book offers four primary takeaways to the reader:The quantum marketers needs to be multidimensionalTraditional advertising is deadBrand exclusivity is an unreal aspirationEthics are a must Raja has been recognised by Forbes as one of the top 5 CMOs in the world, listed amongst Business Insider's Most Innovative CMOs in the world, Advertising Week’s Most Tech Savvy CMOs and Billboard’s Top Branding Power Player. Raja also received numerous awards, including Ad Age’s Brand Genius Award and Grand Brand Genius Award, and serves as the President of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).Raja was also featured on major television networks, including programs on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business and NPR, and his work has been featured in esteemed publications including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes, Economic Times, The Drum, Advertising Age, Ad Week, Marketing Week and Campaign. A stellar line-upVineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, Rodger Werkhoven, Speaker and Independent Creative Director, Generative AI & Creativity at OpenAI, and David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, are also keynote speakers at Vibe Martech Fest, UAE.Rise Up, a first-of-its-kind summit for practitioners and aspiring CMOs looking to make their mark in the world of martech, will be co-located with Vibe Martech Fest, UAE. Frans Riemersma, Founder of MartechTribe, Odd Morten Sørensen, Growth Hacker & Martech Evangelist at Learning Martech, and Michel Lambert, Founder & CEO at eComInterim will headline the event.HCL Software, MoEngage, SiteCore and Clevertap come onboard as Gold sponsors, AppsFlyer, Emplifi, mParticle, Braze, Zoho and Bloomreach are Silver sponsors for Vibe Martech Fest.

Du announces powerhouse line-up of partners driving sustainabilit at ICT event

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC), today announced key sponsors and partners for its first exclusive ICT event, Envision, under the theme Enabling Future Makers for a Better World. In line with the "We the UAE 2031" vision and the Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, Envision will delve into the transformative potential of emerging technologies, facilitating accelerated digitalisation and transformation across industries.Envision has garnered the support and sponsorship of industry-leading companies who are dedicated to empowering future makers for a better world. As the strategic sponsor, Huawei, will contribute its cutting-edge solutions to shape a transformative future and bring its expertise and innovation to the forefront of the event. Additionally, HPE & Alphadata are the Gold sponsors. Dell & MDS, Fortinet, IBM & Ingram Micro, Nokia and ZainTech are distinguished silver sponsors. With their support, Envision is poised to drive innovation and foster collaboration across industries.Jasim Al Awadi, Acting CICTO at du said: "We, at du, are excited to announce an exceptional lineup of partners dedicated to driving innovation and sustainability. These industry-leading organizations, united by a shared vision, are poised to harness advanced technologies to create a more sustainable future. With their collective expertise, Envision will serve as a catalyst for transformative change. By providing a platform for exchanging ideas, forging collaborations, and exploring emerging technologies, Envision is pushing boundaries and propelling the UAE towards a connected and sustainable world."Liu Jiawei, CEO at Huawei UAE said: "As a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei is committed to empowering industry leaders and innovators with cutting-edge solutions. Huawei is honoured to be a strategic sponsor of Envision, an event dedicated to enabling a better and more sustainable future. Through our partnership with du for Envision, we aim to help unleash the power of advanced technologies, including 5G, Cloud and AI, to keep acting as a solid foundation for the continuous digitalization and sustainable development of the UAE. "Harnessing Technology for a Sustainable and Connected FutureEnvision will showcase the pivotal role that advanced technologies play in enabling a more sustainable and safe future in business environments. Its key partners and sponsors are at the forefront of change, leveraging the power of technology to shape a better tomorrow. Through their collective efforts, envision will serve as a vital platform for exchanging ideas, forging meaningful collaborations, and propelling the UAE towards a brighter and more sustainable future.With the support of its key sponsors and partners, Envision will serve as a platform for the entire ICT ecosystem, bringing together a variety of key players including industry experts from a diverse range of domains, telos, hyperscale’s, system integrators, and the analyst community. By providing insightful discussions, expert-led panels, and captivating use case demonstrations, the event will provide unparalleled opportunities for participants to explore the transformative potential of emerging technologies such as 5G, edge computing, and AI aligning with the UAE's aspirations to accelerate growth and prosperity within the industrial system.

Elizabeth Sen to lead Dubai office of Flint Culture

Flint Culture, an international communications consultancy, has appointed Elizabeth Sen as its new Managing Director for MENA.A public relations and communications firm, Flint Culture specialises in developing cultural and creative industries. With offices in Istanbul, Dubai, and Delhi, the firm also delivers engagements across the UAE as well as Asia.With her appointment, Elizabeth Sen will be leading the Dubai office. She has joined the firm from APCO Worldwide, where she worked for more than 12 years as Executive Director. Sen has been successful on account of her people-first approach. She has spent more than two decades in PR leadership across the Middle East, including with companies like APCO, Weber Shandwick, and BPG Group, MS&L, to name a few. Digby Halsby, Co-Founder and Director, Flint Culture, said: “With her extensive experience in the MENA region, Elizabeth adds depth and specialised expertise and will help join up the Middle East operations to the rest of the world.”Wol Balston, Co-Founder and Director, Flint Culture, shared his excitement on the joining of Sen. He said: “With Liz’s appointment, we are branching out to support public organisations, businesses, and government agencies in the MENA region with Flint’s novel way of fostering meaningful engagements through culture-centric campaigns and initiatives.”

Emrill appoints head of technical to enhance technology standards

UAE-based facilities management (FM) services provider, Emrill, has appointed David Kaleta as head of technical. Kaleta will develop and implement strategies to optimise the efficiency of maintenance services, ensure Emrill’s compliance with industry standards and best practices, and enhance health, safety and quality across the organisation. In his new role, Kaleta will be instrumental in further enhancing customer experience and streamlining Emrill’s operations.With over 30 years’ FM experience, Kaleta is a qualified maintenance engineer and has worked extensively within operations, health and safety, and technology roles. As a strong communicator with vast technical knowledge, Kaleta will manage partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and enhance the technical expertise of Emrill’s employees. He will apply his strategic thinking and leadership skills to motivate teams, ensure the organisation’s compliance with industry regulations and promote the delivery of world-class FM services and standards for Emrill’s clients. As the head of technical at Emrill, Kaleta will be responsible for implementing a comprehensive strategy comprising innovative, technologically driven initiatives to bolster operations and customer satisfaction.Regarding his recent appointment, Kaleta said: “I am excited for this opportunity to work with an organisation that understands the importance and benefits of technological advancement and processes in the FM industry. Emrill promotes innovation, nurtures creativity, and focuses on delivering quality services to its clients while continuously investing in the development of its people. I aim to create and implement a solid technical strategy to optimise the strengths of Emrill’s workforce and enable data-led decision-making that will positively impact our FM processes, service delivery and client relationships.”Emrill’s CEO, Stuart Harrison, commented on Kaleta’s recent position: “David’s strong technical expertise makes him the ideal candidate to drive our service delivery forward. His extensive knowledge of and experience in managing teams, strong problem-solving capabilities and communication skills will help us implement innovative solutions to boost our operational excellence within the built environment.”Harrison also explained that compliance with industry best practices will help Emrill achieve greater efficiencies and continue to expand its high-quality service offering. He said: “With David’s vast experience in strengthening FM operations from a technical standpoint and his focus on leading global industry services, we will continue to enhance our client experience, elevate our service standards and build on our value partnerships with clients.”Kaleta is a member of the British Institution of Facilities Management and holds City & Guilds mechanical engineering certification (1&2) from Bangor Technical College, Ireland. His other professional qualifications include a construction industry training board apprenticeship in mechanical engineering, heating, plumbing and ventilation, and a City & Guilds advanced craft higher national diploma from Newtownards Technical College, Ireland. Kaleta is also a recipient of awards in ‘Quality implementation in the workforce’ and ‘Investors in people’ for his work as an internal facilitator at Jordanstown University, Ireland.

SecondGear unveils a convenient and sustainable online marketplace for baby gear

SecondGear introduces an innovative online marketplace catering to parents and parents-to-be, offering a seamless, convenient and eco-conscious way to buy and sell quality, preloved baby and toddler items.SecondGear fosters a secure and trustworthy trading environment, ensuring that parents can confidently engage in transactions involving items for their newborns and toddlers. This eliminates the common uncertainties associated with traditional online exchanges.All items are carefully inspected for functionality, cleaned and photographed before being listed on the SecondGear marketplace. Buyers can purchase items online and have them delivered to their door, with sellers receiving payouts directly to their bank account.Nadia Fourie, co-founder of SecondGear, explains, “Babies and toddlers require a lot of gear, most of which they outgrow very quickly. As parents ourselves we realised how time consuming it could be to shop for preloved items. Our re-commerce model takes the hassle out of both sides of the exchange, saving time and money for busy parents across the UAE.”SecondGear empowers parents to make economical and astute choices, providing access to premium preloved items without compromising quality.

Jeep brand announces sale of five millionth Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep brand today announced the sale of the five millionth Jeep Wrangler, a 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th anniversary Edition in Earl exterior paint, which was bought by a customer in Camden, New Jersey. The owner will receive $5,000 worth of Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) by Mopar and lifetime Jeep Wave customer care benefits.This milestone achievement for the brand coincides with the introduction of the new 2024 Jeep Wrangler, which will be sold in markets around the world.The Jeep Wrangler is the icon of the brand and one of the most recognizable nameplates in the industry and has been since its unveiling at the 1986 Chicago Auto Show as a 1987 model, replacing the Jeep CJ and continuing the legacy established by the original 1941 Willys MB“With five million Wranglers sold, the Jeep brand continues to grow fueled by the unwavering passion of the Jeep global community,” said Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America. “With legendary 4x4 capability, open-air-freedom and a timeless design, the Wrangler embodies the spirit and the soul of the Jeep brand.”“Over 80 percent of the five million Wranglers sold since 1986 are still on the road, having fun out there and showcasing the amazing staying power of the vehicle. Our new 2024 Wrangler raises the bar once again as the most capable Wrangler yet, with more technology, safety features and refinement,” he added.FIVE GENERATIONS OF A GLOBAL ICONThe very first Jeep Wrangler, with the model code YJ, entered into production line 37 years ago at the American Motors Corporation factory. The YJ went on to sell 630,000 units between 1987 and 1995.It was followed by the TJ in 1996, the JK in 2006 and the JL in 2017, each new generation building on a legendary history through an unmatched combination of off-road capability and authentic Jeep design.Since the Wrangler YJ’s introduction as a single two-door model with two engine options – a 2.5-liter four cylinder and a 4.2-liter inline six cylinder – each subsequent iteration of Wrangler has been designed to be even more refined and comfortable for daily use, while providing customers with the world’s most off-road capable and most iconic SUV.Today, the all-new 2024 Jeep Wrangler offers more capability, more advanced technology features and more refinement than ever before, with a lineup that includes Sport, Sport S, Sahara, Willys, Rubicon, new Rubicon X, High Altitude and Rubicon 392. (INSERT LOCAL SPECS)From the 49 MPGe electrified 4xe plug-in hybrid to the V-8-powered 470-horsepower Rubicon 392, the new 2024 Jeep Wrangler offers the most diverse powertrain options in the off-road segment, giving Wrangler customers the ability to choose the propulsion system that best suits their lifestyle. (INSERT LOCAL SPECS)The 2024 Jeep Wrangler arrives in North American dealerships this quarter.Jeep Wrangler The iconic Jeep Wrangler, the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world, delivers unmatched off-road capability and is produced with more than 80 years of 4x4 engineering excellence. New for the 2024 model year, the Wrangler adds even more capability with its first full-float Dana rear axle, available factory-installed 8,000-pound-capacity Warn winch and increased 5,000-pound tow capability. Inside, the new 2024 Wrangler offers more comfort and safety features with available 12-way power adjustable front seats, standard 12.3-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen radio and standard side curtain airbags in the first and second rows. Powertrain options include a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, a 6.4-liter V-8 and the electrified Wrangler 4xe, which uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine, two electric motors and a high-voltage battery pack to deliver 21 miles of all-electric range and 49 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe).  Jeep BrandBuilt on more than 80 years of legendary heritage, Jeep® is the authentic SUV brand that delivers legendary off-road capability, interior refinement, high-tech features and versatility to people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a broad portfolio of vehicles that continues to provide owners with a sense of safety and security to handle any journey with confidence. Jeep Wave, a premium owner loyalty and customer care program that is available to the entire Jeep 4x4 lineup, is filled with benefits and exclusive perks to deliver Jeep brand owners the utmost care and dedicated 24/7 support. The legendary Jeep brand's off-road capability is enhanced by a global electrification initiative that is transforming 4xe into the new 4x4 in pursuit of the brand’s vision of accomplishing Zero Emission Freedom and added 4x4 capability. All Jeep brand vehicles will offer an electrified variant by 2025.

Kuwait News Agency launches AI-powered newsroom

Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) has introduced the KUNA Smart Oasis, an AI-powered newsroom, incorporating advanced artificial intelligence technology to stay at the forefront of modern media advancements.KUNA Director-General Fatma Al-Salem said that "KUNA Smart Oasis" will surely contribute to revamping the media content quality, production speed and information accuracy. According to her, it will be a significant tool to fulfill the readers' expectations and ambitions in the light of wide-scale AI media transformation. AI technology will also make it easier for the agency's departments to work together by means of sharing files and information, Al-Salem pointed out. In May, KUNA launched its metaverse-based platform, in addition to its virtual anchor (avatar) as the first Gulf and Arab news agency to use this technology. The project is mainly meant to improve performance and efficiency and encourage innovation and investment in research and development in the artificial intelligence space.

CNN Worldwide appoints Mark Thompson as Chairman and CEO

Mark Thompson is stepping into the role of Chairman and CEO at CNN Worldwide, with his official start date in October. He will be reporting to David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery. Thompson's responsibilities encompass overseeing CNN's strategic direction, operations, and various business units across broadcast, streaming, and digital platforms. This includes managing CNN's extensive global network portfolio, channels, programming, and its approximately 4,000 employees worldwide. Additionally, Thompson will assume the position of editor-in-chief, bearing ultimate responsibility for all content produced by CNN.David Zaslav expressed his enthusiasm for Thompson's appointment, highlighting his extensive experience, reputation, and capabilities within the news industry. Zaslav noted Thompson's transformative leadership and fervent dedication to news, making him a powerful asset for both CNN and journalism during this critical period.Thompson himself expressed his excitement about joining CNN after years of observing and even competing with the network. He recognized the growing need for accurate and reliable news worldwide, emphasizing the multitude of opportunities presented by the evolving media landscape. Thompson is eager to collaborate with his new colleagues and contribute to CNN's successful future.With over 40 years of experience in the news sector, Thompson is widely recognized for his prowess as a programmer, editorial leader, and innovative business figure. During his tenure as President and CEO of The New York Times from 2012 to 2020, he played a pivotal role in the newspaper's digital transformation, significantly increasing digital subscriptions and revenues. His leadership also led to notable advancements in podcasting and lifestyle content. Thompson's earlier role as the Director-General of the BBC from 2004 to 2012 involved overseeing extensive global digital news assets and numerous television and radio services. He was instrumental in pioneering the BBC iPlayer, the world's first major broadcaster streaming service. His accomplishments span various significant events and developments in the news industry, from the global financial crisis to the London 2012 Olympics.Thompson's remarkable contributions to the media industry earned him a knighthood for his services to Media in the King’s Birthday Honours in June 2023.While Thompson takes the helm at CNN, the interim leadership team, consisting of Amy Entelis, David Leavy, Virginia Moseley, and Eric Sherling, will continue to operate in their respective roles. They will report to Thompson as he assumes his new position.

VOX Cinemas unveils revamped 20-screen destination in Bahrain

VOX Cinemas, in collaboration with Majid Al Futtaim, has announced the grand reopening of the VOX Cineco multiplex with 20 dazzling screens, situated within the iconic City Centre Bahrain, a premier retail and leisure destination in the region.Film enthusiasts in Bahrain are in for an unparalleled cinematic adventure as the Kingdom welcomes the enhanced and modernized VOX Cineco City Centre. This state-of-the-art cinematic hub has been meticulously designed to elevate the movie-watching experience, offering a seamlessly optimized journey for every visitor.Boasting an impressive array of features, VOX Cineco presents 20 state-of-the-art screens, including premium auditoriums fitted with luxurious leather seats, ensuring utmost comfort. The crown jewel of the cinema experience lies in its colossal 18-meter wide and 10-meter high screen, coupled with dual projectors for truly mesmerizing visuals. The auditory realm is equally enthralling, thanks to a world-class sound system that promises heart-pounding audio.VOX Cinemas has revolutionized the concept of entertainment, catering to both film aficionados and food connoisseurs. The fusion of cinematic magic with gastronomic delight awaits patrons, who can indulge in fine dining within the exclusive lounge or savor delectable dishes delivered right to their seats via the innovative in-theatre waiter service.A tantalizing addition to the experience is the newly inaugurated Candy Bar, nestled within the revamped cinema foyer. This delightful haven offers an array of culinary pleasures, including popcorn, burgers, hotdogs, pizzas, and nachos, all designed to enhance the movie experience.Anmar AlQurashi, Managing Director - Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, said: "The reopening of VOX Cinemas City Centre Bahrain reaffirms our commitment to elevating the movie-going experience." Join us on this remarkable journey of cinematic excellence, as VOX Cinemas redefines entertainment in Bahrain.

Stephen Worsley appointed as Regional MD at Horizon Holdings

Horizon Holdings has appointed Stephen Worsley as Regional Managing Director of Golin MENA. With over 26 years of experience, Stephen is a senior communication professional and has worked in a variety of roles in the region. He is an expert in delivering strong communication strategies and campaigns representing multinational companies, government agencies and regional business groups. Earlier as a vice president at ASDA’A BCW, he was responsible for growth and innovation, in which he built a wide portfolio of regional and international clients. He also initiated a new advisory for integrating ESG and communications best practices. He has also worked with Masdar as senior manager and also as a communications adviser at TotalEnergies. He has reached this position on account of his hard work and by excellent communication strategies.  Mazen Jawad, CEO of Horizon Holdings, shared that he found Stephen to be the perfect fit for their growing PR team with the right experience and motivation to lead GolinMENA towards new horizons. Stephen Worsley also shared his excitement to join Horizon Holdings and support GolinMENA in its next phase of growth.

LEGO Group appoints Kristian Imhof as General Manager for the ME and Africa

The LEGO Group appointed Kristian Imhof as the new General Manager for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Imhof brings a wealth of experience in corporate leadership, with a proven track record in both established and emerging markets.Imhof takes over the role from Jeroen Bejier who established the LEGO Group’s presence in the Middle East and spearheaded operations in MEA over the past 4 years. Since joining The LEGO Group in 2012, Imhof has played a pivotal role in driving the company's growth. Starting in the Munich office in Germany, he has led innovative initiatives in Austria, Switzerland, and beyond.In 2017, he moved to Johannesburg to become the General manager of South Africa and Sub Saharan region. Imhof's approach led to the transformation of the route-to-market strategy and established the first LEGO certified stores in Africa, along with a robust eCommerce platform. Imhof's visionary leadership expanded wholesale channels in Southern Africa and fostered distributor relationships in both West and East Africa. After an impressive track record, Imhof returned to Europe Central in 2021 and later assumed the role of Acting General Manager. Now, he takes on the exciting challenge of leading the dynamic MEA region."I believe in the transformative power of learning through play, and I am determined to make the LEGO brand and experience accessible to more children as well as adults throughout the MEA region. The collective efforts of the LEGO Group in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and skill development among young minds in this region is evident. I am committed to continue building on the impressive foundation laid by the team here. " said Imhof.The LEGO Group has been actively engaging consumers in the region, becoming an integral part of the play culture. Imhof plans to build upon this and expand the brand's footprint through various distribution and communication channels. His expertise in diverse markets will enable him to create tailored strategies that resonate with the unique cultures and preferences of the MEA region. Additionally, he envisions geographical expansion to ensure the LEGO experience reaches more corners of the region.Imhof holds a Master's degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing & Logistics from the University of Applied Sciences in Dresden.

Gokaldas Exports to acquire UAE-based Atraco

Gokaldas Exports Ltd (GEL), a leading readymade garment manufacturer and exporter, has entered into an agreement through its wholly owned subsidiaries to acquire Atraco Group for $55 million. Altraco, headquartered in Dubai, is an apparel manufacturer which operates with a network of four manufacturing units in Kenya and one in Ethiopia producing about 40 million garments annually. The equity value of the transaction is $55 million (around Rs 455 crore), which involves acquisition of shares and assets, subject to regulatory approvals. The deal s expected to be completed by Q3 FY24 (October–December 2023).Atraco Group’s revenue is approximately $107 million, with a profit after tax of $7.2 million for the calendar year 2022. It has more than 13,000 workers spread across multiple locations in Kenya, Ethiopia, and the UAE.GEL vice chairman and MD Sivaramakrishnan Ganapathi said: “The acquisition of Atraco is an important step in the direction as it is strategically relevant, possesses a good complementary customer base, is operationally strong, and above all, a leader in its own sphere. With this acquisition, we will gain access to low-cost duty-free locations for manufacturing. Together, we can deliver a wider choice and value proposition to our global customers. We look forward to welcoming over 13,000 new members (employees of Atraco) into the GEL family.”Currently, GEL exports to more than 50 countries where its customers include prominent international brands in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asian countries. The company has over 20 manufacturing facilities, complemented by five integrated ancillary units.

Sharjah Media City signs MoU with South Korean Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation

 In a milestone step towards international cooperation and advancement of the media industry, Sharjah Media City (Shams) has signed an MOU with Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), the largest television and radio broadcasting company in the Republic of South Korea.His Excellency Rashid Abdullah Al Obed, Managing Director of Sharjah Media City, and Mr. Hyoung-Mun Choi, Director of Business Centre and Head of projects at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), signed the terms of the agreement, in a ceremony held in Shams Business Centre on August 30, 2023. The agreement was signed in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City “Shams”, and Ahmed Khalfan Al Fandi, Founder and CEO of Alpha Narmo Holding.This pioneering partnership aims to strengthen ties of cooperation between Shams and MBC Korea, through enhanced media content business development, benefiting from the expertise and exchange of knowledge between both parties. The partnership serves to accomplish common goals and advance media content in both countries, in accordance with regulations and legislation.His Excellency Rashid Abdullah Al Obed expressed his happiness with the bilateral cooperation, stressing Shams’ eagerness to continue building a network of cooperation and partnership with various international media companies for the future of the media sector and to establish a sustainable model of professional international cooperation. His Excellency stressed that the strategic partnership with MBC Korea is in line with the company’s vision of improving media output quality and nurturing and promoting creative talents, adding value to Shams’ efforts to expand media services throughout the Emirate of Sharjah and enhance its presence at the local and international level.Mr. Hyoung-Mun Choi, Director of Business Centre and Head of all MBC projects at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, expressed that the signing of the MOU with Shams was an influential step forward, owing to Shams’ long history and good standing in the media industry. MBC Korea strives to strengthen the frameworks of joint media cooperation to bilaterally enrich media and achieve globalization.Mr. Choi expressed that the agreement between MBC Korea and Shams will contribute to consolidating an impactful friendship between the two countries, advance innovation, and creativity, and create a lasting impact on the global media scene. Mr. Choi continued by praising the comprehensive renaissance witnessed by the UAE in all fields, particularly the media sector.

MDLBEAST inaugurates its headquarters in JAX District, Diriyah

 MDLBEAST, the leading Saudi music and entertainment company, has established its headquarters in JAX District of Diriyah, Riyadh. The inauguration event announced the results of a comprehensive research study, highlighting the company’s socio-economic impact in Saudi Arabia over the course of 2022Operating from its new base, MDLBEAST supports the music industry as an enabler to the Saudi creative economy. It will foster local talent, aid local businesses, enhance the quality of life, and elevate the global ranking of the Saudi cities. Ramadan Alharatani, CEO of MDLBEAST, commented, "Our headquarters’ location at the heart of the Saudi cultural heritage and creativity positions us at the epicenter of the cultural, social, and economic developments happening in Riyadh. As a Saudi company, our contribution to creativity and music makes the Saudi people feel proud. It also cements our leadership in the music sector and our capacity to interact with the local and global talents, introducing the Saudi music to the world. Moreover, this new locale will bolster MDLBEAST's presence at the crucial regional events."MDLBEAST shared with attendees a detailed study of its social and economic impacts. The study underscored MDLBEAST's increasing economic impact, with 63% of its spending dedicated to support the Saudi businesses, artists, and employees. MDLBEAST provided direct and indirect 18,000 job opportunities in 2022. The study also confirmed that MDLBEAST supplies 100% of its partners with promising business prospects.The study also provided insights into MDLBEAST's societal impact in the Kingdom, revealing that 83% of participants now see a career in music and entertainment as a viable choice. Moreover, 85% of respondents identified these activities as a source of diverse job positions, making the Kingdom an attractive job market. Remarkably, 82% of participants noted the role of these activities in prompting broader women's participation in the workforce.Alharatani added, "This study emphasizes MDLBEAST's broad, positive impact extending beyond the music industry economically and socially, presenting sustainable development and growth opportunities. Our ability to generate such a positive impact within and beyond the Kingdom reaffirms our fundamental aim to address a pressing demand within the Saudi audience, successfully establishing a steadily increasing customer and partner base."According to the study, MDLBEAST's impact extends globally. In addition to a wide base of visitors from neighboring countries, MDLBEAST events attracted 10,000 tourists, with around 35% from Europe and 30% from the Americas. Strikingly, 77% of these attendees consider MDLBEAST festivals instrumental in reinforcing Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination.MDLBEAST collaborates actively with the relevant Saudi entities to support the Kingdom's music sector through education, production, performance, distribution, support, licensing, and intellectual property rights protections. Interestingly, MDLBEAST has experienced remarkable success in its short lifespan, hosting musical events in tandem with major Saudi occasions, such as Formula 1 and Formula E. Specific events, like the Soundstorm Festival, saw massive attendance exceeding 750,000, featuring over 200 local and international music stars.

The MediaVantage partners with Reuters to enhance Middle East brand visibility

The MediaVantage, a regional media representation company, has entered into a strategic alliance with Reuters. This partnership enables The MediaVantage to serve as the exclusive Middle East representative for Reuters, empowering Middle Eastern brands with tailor-made advertising and marketing solutions.By forging this collaboration, The MediaVantage empowers local brands with direct access to Reuters' extensive array of advertising and marketing solutions. This avenue enables brands to enhance their visibility and expand their global influence effectively.Dan Qayyum, General Manager Media & Sales, The MediaVantage, said that brands and advertisers across the Middle East can now leverage Reuter's legacy of excellence and unparalleled reach.“We are excited to facilitate a seamless connection between our clients and Reuters advertising and marketing solutions, its content studios, and its engaged global audience of more than 52 million on and 54 million on social media," he said Preya Shah, Head of Digital Sales EMEA & APAC, Reuters, said: “The Middle East is an important market for Reuters, and we’re excited to work with MediaVantage to offer innovative ways to reach an influential audience that delivers real impact. Our award-winning journalism provides the ideal environment for marketers in the region to share their message, connecting them with senior professionals all over the world.”The MediaVantage is an international media representative in the Middle East. Prior to this, the agency had signed a partnership with TIME.

Elon Musk's X introduces 'XHiring' feature for simplified recruitment

XHiring, the groundbreaking addition by X, a social media firm owned by Elon Musk, has been unveiled. Formerly known as Twitter, the platform now allows Verified Organizations to directly post job openings through their dedicated handles, marking a significant advancement.In a strategic move to compete with professional platforms like LinkedIn, X has entered the realm of professional networking by launching a beta version of this recruitment feature.In response to a tweet by a user named Ian Zelbo, who expressed dissatisfaction with LinkedIn, Elon Musk responded on X, stating, "At times, people send me LinkedIn links, but the level of awkwardness is so high that I can't bring myself to use it. I prefer requesting resumes or bios via email. We're dedicated to ensuring that X's LinkedIn competitor radiates a cool atmosphere."Meanwhile, back in May, Elon Musk subtly hinted at the upcoming launch of the job-hiring feature. Responding to a user's suggestion that Twitter should offer dating services, Musk pondered, "Interesting idea, maybe jobs as well." This aligns with Musk's vision of transforming the platform into an all-encompassing app, as he previously expressed.

Jaganathan Chelliah on Western Digital’s vision and strategies in ME

Jaganathan Chelliah, Senior Director, Marketing, India, Middle East, and TIA, Western Digital, delves into the company’s vision and highlights the innovative marketing strategy adopted to reach varied audience groups. In this interview with Adgully, he highlights how an ingredient brand like Western Digital has successfully landed campaigns that highlight the significance of data storage in today's technological era. Excerpts:Is the Middle East similar to the Indian market or is it way advanced? How do you see that market panning out there?The Middle East market possesses distinctive characteristics that set it apart. Firstly, it boasts a significant retail orientation, featuring a substantial retail presence. This stands in contrast to India, where there's a prevalence of small, family-owned stores alongside organized retail.Secondly, the consumer experience is closely intertwined with hands-on engagement at retail counters. This tactile aspect strongly influences the buying process.Thirdly, infrastructure investments primarily hinge on governmental initiatives. Notably, countries like Saudi Arabia are presently undergoing substantial government-driven infrastructure developments, presenting a noteworthy opportunity.These trends play a pivotal role in shaping our strategic approach to these markets. Additionally, within specific industry sectors, the level of technology adoption is notably higher than in other markets. For instance, the Portable SSD market demonstrates greater capacity preferences, with consumers being more inclined to purchase two and four-terabyte options compared to the typical one and two-terabyte choices in other regions.Furthermore, a significant divergence from other markets lies in the sizable online presence. This aspect is experiencing rapid growth, paralleling trends seen elsewhere.Our approach to the Middle East market closely mirrors our strategies in other markets. We meticulously analyze distinct customer segments and tailor solutions that align with the specific needs of these markets.How has the need for data storage evolution evolved for businesses in India and Middle East markets?The Middle East market boasts a robust consumer-oriented landscape, particularly in terms of premium storage solutions. These solutions cater to a diverse consumer segment, including gamers, content creators, and individuals seeking heightened productivity and personal use. This region's market is notably characterized by a strong emphasis on premium offerings.Furthermore, a significant growth driver for this market is the prevalence of infrastructure projects, particularly prominent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. These projects generate substantial demand for our enterprise storage solutions and surveillance storage solutions. Remarkably, it's rare to come across locations in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia that lack CCTV solutions. This underscores the high level of adoption for these solutions, which in turn fuels the demand for storage options in these markets.What is the roadmap for future growth for Western Digital in India and the Middle East?The Middle East region holds immense significance as a market for us. We recognize a substantial opportunity to empower both consumers in the retail sector and enterprises. At Western Digital, we are actively exploring every avenue to identify emerging needs and develop precise storage solutions to cater to the Middle East market's demands.

General Motors Africa & Middel East announces strategic executive appointments

General Motors Africa and Middle East (GM AMEO) continues its commitment to accelerated transformation towards heightened electrified mobility and connectivity, with the announcement of executive appointment moves. Driving forward the company's ambidextrous regional business strategy, Rohan Fernandes, Sajed Sbeih, Omar Elkhishin, and Chad Wellman will be taking on new roles within the company.Showcasing GM’s dedication to fostering, recognizing, and nurturing homegrown talent, Rohan, Sajed, and Omar will build on the foundation set forward by their predecessors, effective 1 September 2023. The newly appointed executives bring a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of local culture and ethos to the company’s regional activity. With their GM Middle Eastern backgrounds and expertise, they are uniquely positioned to drive the company’s growth and innovation in alignment with the region’s needs and aspirations.Rohan Fernandes, currently Director of Customer Care and Aftersales for GM AMEO, has been appointed Managing Director Commercial Operations for GM AMEO.Sajed Sbeih, currently Vice President – Strategy, Product & Operations for GM Europe, is set to repatriate to the Middle East as Director of Customer Care and Aftersales for GM AMEO.Omar Elkhishin, previously Director of Sales for Middle East, is named the Managing Director of Cadillac Middle East and International.From the global stage, Chad Wellman steps into the region bringing an international perspective and a wealth of transformative experience to GM AMEO, starting 1 September 2023. His presence amplifies the company’s reach, creating synergies between wider markets and regional operations.Chad Wellman, currently Chief Financial Officer Digital, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer for General Motors Africa and Middle East.Expressing his enthusiasm about the executive reshuffles, Jack Uppal, President and Managing Director, GM Africa and Middle East said: “We are excited to welcome Rohan, Sajed, Omar, and Chad, to their new roles. Through a carefully orchestrated alignment of leadership talent, which includes deeply rooted regional understanding alongside seasoned global expertise, we are ushering our regional operations into new realms of opportunity. Their rich history within General Motors has been nothing short of impressive, and we look forward to witnessing their continued growth as they take on these key leadership roles.”“Moreover, I take this opportunity to genuinely thank the team who laid the foundation through their valuable contributions to the Africa and Middle East teams and thank Albert Nazarian, Kristian Aquilina and Ajai Shankar for their outstanding work and wishing them all the best in their next assignments,” said Jack Uppal in his closing remarks.The GM Africa and Middle East team will also be welcoming Marc Ebolo as Director of Sales Middle East operations and Sanjay Keswani as Chief Information Officer for the African and Middle Eastern operations.Underpinned by a new era of mobility, the executive and leadership teams will spearhead GM AMEO’s electrified future, guided by the company’s global vision of a world with Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion.

Mensa continues to redefine digital commerce: Unveiling UAE Market expansion

Mensa Brands, the pioneering digital House of Brands from India, continues its journey of innovation and expansion with a remarkable foray into the vibrant UAE e-commerce landscape. With the introduction of its iconic brands—Villain, Pebble, and Folkulture—on Amazon and Noon, and the launch of MyFitness peanut butter, which falls under Mensa’s FMCG portfolio, on Talabat and Noon Minutes, Mensa Brands is poised to redefine the digital shopping experience in the UAE.Villain, celebrated for its exceptional range of men's lifestyle essentials, has officially marked its presence on Amazon. This strategic move brings a diverse collection of perfumes, personal care products, and lifestyle accessories to the fingertips of the UAE audience. With its blend of style, sophistication, and utility, Villain caters to the modern man's desire for elegance and individuality. Pebble, renowned for its avant-garde electronics and cutting-edge technology, and Folkulture, a celebration of cultural heritage and craftsmanship, find their niche in the UAE market.MyFitness peanut butter, recently launched on Talabat, provides health-conscious consumers with a seamless way to enjoy its nutritious offerings. Scheduled for an exciting debut on Noon Minutes this week, it promises to deliver an enhanced shopping experience.Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Mensa Brands, shared his excitement for these strategic moves, stating, "Expanding our footprint to the UAE is more than just a geographical move; it's about sharing the essence of our brands with the world. Villain, Pebble, Folkulture, and MyFitness are pioneers in their respective domains, and we're excited to see them flourish in this new digital landscape. Looking ahead, we're setting our sights on introducing our fashion brands to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia across all platforms, embracing new horizons and extending our connection with audiences in diverse markets."Mensa Brands' entry into the UAE market underscores its dedication to shaping the digital commerce landscape, engaging diverse markets, and offering consumers unparalleled experiences. With a focus on excellence and customer satisfaction, Mensa Brands is set to leave an indelible mark on the UAE's e-commerce ecosystem.

Qarar & Biz2X partner to launch the first cloud-based SME lending platform in SA

Riyadh: Qarar, a wholly owned subsidiary of SIMAH and the Middle East’s prominent data analytics and credit decisioning company, and Biz2X, a global fintech technology and financing provider with an established presence in the USA, India and Australia and over $10 billion USD funded through its Biz2X digital lending platform, today announced a strategic joint venture that aims to revolutionize the landscape of SME lending in Saudi Arabia.The primary objective of the partnership agreement is to bridge the financing gap faced by SMEs. Qarar and Biz2X are creating the largest SME lending platform in Saudi Arabia with a streamlined digital experience that empowers SME borrowers and lenders to transact seamlessly. Lenders will also have the ability through the platform to create their own lending marketplaces, further enhancing their financial offerings to the SME sector. The companies invite lenders to contact them for early access to the platform.The joint venture will be a major contributor to the Saudi Vision 2030 and is aligned to the Kingdom’s goal to significantly expand the SME sector to 22% of GDP, a substantial increase from its current contribution of 9% of GDP. Historically, up to 57% of SME financing requests were declined annually by commercial banks, which have been reluctant to issue loans to SMEs at scale.Leveraging the award-winning Biz2X technology, the new platform will transform the SME lending process to fix this financing gap. Biz2X equips lenders with the necessary tools and resources to offer tailored and competitive SME loan solutions, resulting in faster and easier access to finance. The Qarar-Biz2X partnership enhances the overall efficiency of the SME lending market, benefiting both borrowers and lenders alike.Zaid Kamhawi, CEO of Qarar, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, "We are excited to partner with Biz2X to support the development of the SME sector in Saudi Arabia. This partnership knits together our combined technical expertise, established international success, and on-the-ground market presence. Together, we are offering a powerful and proven platform that will help transform the SME lending market in Saudi Arabia. We applaud the Saudi Vision 2030 and are delighted to be contributing to the ambitious fintech initiatives throughout the Kingdom."Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2X, added, "Our partnership with Qarar reflects the financing expertise and advanced technology that the Biz2X® platform delivers. By bringing our technology and expertise to lenders in Saudi Arabia we are fulfilling our mission to make SME lending more accessible and efficient for businesses everywhere, fostering economic growth and prosperity."The companies will showcase the Biz2X platform exclusively at Seamless Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from 4 – 5 September 2023. We invite lenders to visit the SIMAH stand S30 to experience the technology firsthand.

Viewers facing content discovery challenges: Nielsen

Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data, and analytics, today released its 2023 State of Play report outlining new findings on the fast-evolving streaming video landscape highlighting data and insights from Gracenote, Nielsen’s content solutions business unit. The new report illuminates the surging number of program titles and streaming video services, as well as the resulting challenges for viewers who now spend 10.5 minutes per session deciding what to watch. Content creators, distributors, streaming services and aggregators will benefit from a clear picture of the current streaming landscape presented in the report and actionable recommendations on how to differentiate their offerings under the existing market conditions. According to Gracenote data analysis, there were 1.9 million video titles available to viewers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Germany in July 2021. This number had swelled to 2.7 million titles by June 2023. Of the total count, a whopping 86.7% were available on streaming services. Compounding complexity, many popular shows appear in multiple streaming catalogs, highlighting an industry pivot away from content exclusivity to broader distribution in search of better monetization. The Gracenote analysis also found that audiences now have nearly 40,000 individual FAST channels, streaming providers and aggregators to choose from. Adding more context, new Nielsen data from The Gauge revealed that streaming accounted for 38.7% of total TV usage in July, a new record high. Concurrently, traditional TV viewing across broadcast and cable dropped below 50% for the first time.But the wealth of available content and the proliferation of streaming choices has led to difficulties for viewers. When consumers could not find something compelling to watch, the report notes that one in five abandoned the viewing session and turned to another activity.  As all industry players seek to position themselves for success in the evolving streaming marketplace, the keys to audience engagement are increased personalization and better user experience. Those that leverage content metadata and connected IDs to present the most compelling programming and relevant advertising to the right viewers through merchandising, curation and data science can gain a competitive edge.“As it was during the age of broadcast television, content is the lifeblood of the digital, streaming-first media ecosystem,” said Filiz Bahmanpour, VP of Product at Gracenote. “So a clear understanding of content – where it’s available, what it’s about and whom it’s attracting – is more critical than ever.”Gracenote is the content solutions business unit of Nielsen providing entertainment metadata, content IDs and related offerings to the world’s leading creators, distributors and platforms. Gracenote technology enables advanced content navigation and discovery capabilities helping individuals to easily connect to the TV shows, movies, music and sports they love while delivering powerful content analytics making complex business decisions simpler.

Emirati women: Driving UAE's satellite communications and space success

Abu Dhabi: Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, the UAE’s flagship satellite solutions provider, has celebrated the achievements of its Emirati women workforce in a company townhall, under the 2023 Emirati Women’s Day theme of ‘We Collaborate for Tomorrow.’Emirati women are crucial to the UAE national workforce across the Group, with Yahsat dedicated to further increasing their participation given their notable contributions in both technical and non-technical roles. Talented UAE women have repeatedly proven that they are vital to both ensuring the success of the company. Yahsat has paved the way for Emirati women to not only excel in technology sectors traditionally dominated by men, but also assume key leadership positions. Senior management roles at Yahsat occupied by women have steadily increased, with active plans to find more Emirati women to take up senior positions.Ali Al Hashemi, Yahsat Group CEO, said: “The UAE’s achievements in the satellite and space segments over the past 50 years has been nothing short of extraordinary and Emirati women have been at the backbone of this country’s development and success in line with the leadership’s vision to empower women and achieve gender balance. This is especially true for Yahsat: I am proud of our Emirati women workforce who have proven that their skills, bold decision-making, and leadership qualities have made a positive impact in the satellite communications and space industry.”Yahsat’s townhall recognized its Emirati Women’s remarkable accomplishments including that of Athari Almansoori, a Senior Engineer of Programme Engineering at Yahsat’s government arm, Yahsat Government Solutions, who has been tasked with leading the demanding and critical operations role of overseeing the Group’s multiple international projects. Other notable Yahsat women achievers include Aida Al Yaaqoubi, a Senior Engineer of Spacecraft Analysis and President of Yahsat’s Youth Council, Nada Obaid, a Senior Systems Engineer and a key member of Yahsat’s ongoing Thuraya 4-NGS satellite programme and Maryam Saeed Alsereidi, Vice President of Information Technology, who is leading the digital transformation of the Group.

Etisalat by e& completes groundbreaking 5G-advanced network speed trials

Abu Dhabi: etisalat by e& today announced a monumental breakthrough in its pursuit of cutting-edge technologies to elevate customer experiences with the successful completion of the “5G-Advanced” trial project under the leadership of Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).etisalat by e& has achieved 10Gbps throughput on the 6GHz band, a significant milestone that positions the UAE at the forefront of 5G-Advanced network capabilities. The achievement marks a remarkable advancement in data transfer speeds, solidifying the company’s commitment to revolutionising the telecommunications landscape. The trial focused on unlocking the full potential of the 6GHz frequency range and utilising the 400 MHz bandwidth to achieve the unparalleled 10Gbps speed while enhancing the user experience.The collaboration between etisalat by e& and TDRA resulted in the ground-breaking achievement of 10Gbps on the 6GHz band, which stands as the highest ever achieved on this frequency worldwide. The accomplishment has profound implications for ushering in the digital transformation era, not only within the UAE but also across the globe.Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO), Etisalat UAE, said: “etisalat by e& is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of technological innovation to provide transformative solutions to our customers. Our recent achievement of 5G-Advanced speeds reaffirms our commitment to delivering high-quality and fast connectivity. The collaboration with TDRA emphasises our joint commitment to enhance the UAE's technological leadership and global recognition.“This advancement paves the way for a seamless and integrated digital world, enabling the growth of IoT applications and metaverse technologies. The increased speeds support complex applications such as remote healthcare diagnostics, autonomous vehicle projects, and advanced industrial installations, contributing to a more innovative, interconnected society.”The implementation of the "5G-Advanced" trial initiative reflects etisalat by e&'s commitment to fortifying these efforts in line with the UAE government's "Year of Sustainability" initiatives in 2023. It also aligns with the company's mission to enhance sector efficiency and solidify the UAE's leadership in technological innovation, thus establishing the nation as a hub for innovation, connectivity, and digital progress.

GoDaddy and du join forces to help SMEs digitize in the UAE

Dubai: GoDaddy Inc., has announced its collaboration with du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC). This new partnership and collaboration aims to empower entrepreneurs, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by providing them with essential connectivity solutions and enabling their online presence.In today's digital age, connectivity and a strong online presence are crucial for businesses to thrive. Recognizing this need, GoDaddy and du have joined forces to offer a suite of services specifically tailored to meet the requirements of, startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs and solopreneurs. With this partnership, businesses in the UAE can now access a range of connectivity and digital tools to kickstart their online journey.The heart of this partnership lies in the powerful Ecommerce Starter Kit provided by GoDaddy. All SMEs subscribing to du's broadband plans will receive Godaddy’s starter kit, free of charge for one year, unlocking a world of potential opportunities. For businesses looking to take their digital presence to the next level, du offers premium 5G and fiber internet plans that provides the small businesses with their connectivity needs By leveraging the power of the GoDaddy Digital Starter Kit and du’s broadband plans, businesses can unlock their full potential and tap into the countless opportunities offered by the digital landscape.The E-commerce Starter Kit includes essential components such as: .com domain registration*a professional Microsoft email accountan E-store builder tool that includes hosting services with unlimited pages, and seamless social media integration.The impact of an online presence cannot be underestimated. According to GoDaddy’s MENA Small Business Survey, nearly 50% of businesses in the UAE that utilize online channels earn up to 20% of their annual revenue through these platforms. Furthermore, in the UAE businesses acquired more than 70% of their customers through online channels compared to other markets.Karim Benkirane, Chief Commercial Officer at du said :"In today's fast-paced digital landscape, where connectivity and a strong online presence are paramount, the partnership between GoDaddy and du is a game-changer for SMEs in the UAE. The collaboration not only addresses the connectivity needs of SMEs but also ensures they have the essential digital tools to thrive in a competitive market, harness the countless opportunities offered by the ever-evolving digital landscape and position themselves for long-term success. Our partnership goes beyond empowering SMEs to succeed, it showcases our commitment to the future of entrepreneurship in the UAE.”Selina Bieber, Vice President for International Markets at GoDaddy, expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "We are excited to team up with du to further GoDaddy’s support for the digitalization of SMEs in the UAE. With our combined expertise, we hope to empower businesses with the tools they need to succeed online and help SMEs grow their online business. GoDaddy and du's partnership aims to bridge the digital divide for SMEs in the UAE, providing them with the necessary tools and connectivity to establish a strong online presence.”

Visa partners with Lahunna Oman to shape young women leaders in Oman

Visa, the world’s leader in digital payment, partnered with Lahunna Oman to shape young women leaders and strengthen financial literacy through a local initiative with Sidrah, a Youth Leadership Program for Omani women.The Sidrah Leadership Program supports young women through mentorship and leadership training for personal and professional development. It is a holistic learning experience that focuses on nurturing leadership qualities, personal and professional development and encourages young women to envision themselves as future leaders and change makers. From workshops to outward-bound experiential learning and networking opportunities, the program equips young women with the skills and knowledge needed to face their future with confidence.Taking the initiative to a broader audience, another initiative was introduced called Rialy; which included workshops and a gamified online competition for more than 1,000 students across various educational institutions across the Sultanate of Oman. Students were exposed to essential financial concepts while enjoying a fun and engaging learning experience which fostered motivation among learners as top performers were also rewarded with prizes."The positive impact of the Sidrah program is evident in the growth and achievements of our participants. Visa’s support has made it possible to reach a wide audience, ensuring that Sidrah has a far-reaching impact. By partnering with Lahunna Oman, Visa continues to focus on upskilling women and nurturing growth in the workforce," said Carl Manlan, Visa’s Head of Inclusive Impact & Sustainability for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region. "We are confident that the skills acquired will inspire them to embrace opportunities, break barriers, and make a significant difference in their lives and their communities."As a testament to the success of the Sidrah Leadership Program, the young women cited several opportunities that resulted from taking part in the program, including internships, job opportunities, scholarships, public speaking opportunities and presenting projects to Oman Vision 2040.Shatha Al Maskiry, Founder of Lahunna Oman said, “Visa is a strong ally and by leveraging their extensive knowledge base, we were able to conduct an array of workshops and interactive sessions to equip youth with fundamental financial literacy acumen to allow them to confidently navigate their financial future.”Amal Al Mazroei, an engineering graduate that participated in the Sidrah program said,” I am proud to participate in one of the greatest programs, SIDRAH 2.0, which guarantees positive change and growth for Omani Women! I am more confident than ever that I have so much to give back to myself, my community and my beloved Oman.”By inspiring young women to pursue leadership roles, Visa continues to drive positive change by supporting women leaders for the next generation.

Faris Shibai bids adieu to Mindshare MENA for new role in Shanghai

Faris Sibai, who became the Chief Growth Officer at Mindshare MENA in January of this year, has decided to depart from the MENA region. He shared in a LinkedIn post on August 28 that the time has come for him to bid adieu to the wonderful UAE market.Faris Sibai in his post writes: “As I near my final month in Dubai, I cannot help but reflect on how lucky I have been to call this great nation my home for the past 17 years. I found my soulmate, started our family, bought our first home, all while watching the amazing transformation that Dubai & The UAE has undergone over the past 17 years. Today this city stands firm as one of the most competitive and progressive economies in the world, and a massive kudos goes to it visionary leadership.”On leaving MENA, he writes: “I am leaving Mindshare MENA, a place that I have called home for the past 7 years. Mindshare really is the place where you do the greatest work of your career, and I’m eternally grateful to all the Purple People, both past and present, that have been part of my journey. “Though Sibai is planning to depart from the Mindshare MENA and the region, he will still be part of GroupM and is preparing to assume a fresh position in APAC, specifically in Shanghai. "Even as I move on from this region, I will continue to be a part of the GroupM family, embarking on a new journey in APAC, stationed in Shanghai," he says.

Major leadership developments at Jummar Public Relations

Jummar Public Relations and Communications, a Saudi PR company, has appointed Tarek Lasheen as Senior Client Service Director.The agency has also promoted Rakan Al-Owais as Operations Director, expanding his responsibilities to include directing media relations, client relations, and executing PR campaigns. Based in Riyadh, the company is known for providing communication consultancy for organizations, entities, and companies. It is driven by a deep understanding of the local culture and clear insights into social and economic contexts in Saudi Arabia.Tarek Lasheen in his new role will work with Jummar team to expand the client portfolio as well as to develop and implement communications and PR strategies. Before joining Jummar, Lasheen was the Head of PR at Memac Ogilvy, overseeing the media campaigns. He also led the PR campaign of launching the New Suez Canal in Egypt. He also served as the Head of Communications at Pegasus for Operational Excellence. Lasheen has graduated from the American University in Cairo (AUC), where he held a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor degree in Economics.Al-Owais holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Media from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) and possesses more than nine years of experience. He started his professional journey as a student with Alshaya Group. Al-Owais joined Jummar after graduating from the College of Media and Communication at IMSIU.