Qatar Airways Brings the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM

In celebration of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, Qatar Airways is bringing the excitement of the much-anticipated tournament to football fans in Mumbai via the Interactive Pop-Up, on 1st and 2nd October.The pop-up will be available at Jio World Garden and will feature an interactive experience, including the opportunity for fans to test their skills against the world-class Brazilian football player, Neymar Jr., and simultaneously learn more about the history of Qatar and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.Fans will also have the opportunity to share their Pop-up experience on social media for a chance to win FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM travel packages, and match tickets.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: "As Qatar gears up for the FIFA World Cup TM, we as the Official Airline Partner continue to build up the enthusiasm of football fans around the world in different ways. We eagerly look forward to welcoming all visitors planning to attend the event between November and December, and the Interactive City Pop-Up in Mumbai will allow even more fans to feel the incredible energy and passion before it starts."For those looking to secure their seats now, Qatar Airways invites fans to purchase an official Qatar airways travel package, which includes return flights, match tickets and accommodation, to cheer on their favourite team, as tickets are selling out fast. Fans can book their travel packages with a few easy steps to allow at's Official Airline Partner since 2017, Qatar Airways has sponsored events including the 2019 and 120 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, and the FIFA Arab Cup, all of which were hosted in Qatar.The airline is eagerly anticipating the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - the first in the Middle East and offering a seamless journey from more than 150 destinations across the globe to fans attending this world-class event. Its goal to bring communities together through sport, the World's Best Airline has an extensive global orts partnership portfolio that includes football-governing bodies such as FIFA, CONCACAF and ONMEBOL. The airline also sponsors some of the world's most renowned sporting teams and disciplines including, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Bayern München, Al Sadd SC, equestrianism, kitesurfing, padel, and nis, amongst others. In its goal to bring communities together through sport, the World's Best Airline has extensive global sports partnership portfolio that includes football-governing bodies such as FIFA, NCACAF and CONMEBOL The airline also sponsors some of the world's biggest football clubs including Al Sadd SC, FC Bayern München, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Ragheb Alama and Saad Lamjarred loin forces in the metaverse

The concert is an impressive and unique experience not to be missed, marking a major step for masses of users into the metaverse. MetaBoundless has partnered with the Algorand Foundation for this concert to mint NFTs for each concert-goer, serving as their digital ticket into the show. MetaBoundless has also partnered with Apparel group, the retail industry leader in the region, as the platinum sponsor and the leading eCommerce platform as the official merchandise partner of this first concert of the future in the Arab world. Fans are to expect unique web3/ NFT fashion that will further push the uniqueness of the first "Concert of the Future"- A Step into the metaverse.In a unique Arab-led virtual concert starring Ragheb Alama and Saad Lamjarred, ticket sales went live on September 15th, 2022. This historical release is the first step towards accessing the exciting world of Web3, Metaverse, NFTS and DAOs. The concert of the future- A step into the metaverse is the first time Arabic music legends and superstars will unite in a dynamic series of virtual worlds to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience to fans. The virtual concert will be released live to fans on October 20th, 2022, starring Ragheb Alama, Saad Lamjarred, and Michel Fadel, composing new and old hits from these superstars. The tickets can be purchased online at However, these are not just any tickets. These tickets give you NFT rewards through the MetaBoundless claims portal, and these NFTs have unique benefits to be revealed over time.MetaBoundless aims to simplify and utilize Web3 tools to create a bridge between superstars, content creators and influencers. For The Concert of the Future – A Step into the Metaverse, MetaBoundless has partnered with Algorand, a leading blockchain network known for its environmental friendliness, hyper-low fees, and user-friendly ecosystem of applications. Shamir Ozery, Head of Web3 at the Algorand Foundation, commented: "We're excited to be part of the Middle East's first-ever metaverse concert! The artist avatar NFTs will serve not only as a commemorative token of a user's participation in this first-of-its-kind experience but also to build a community among attendees and demonstrate utility, serving as each guest's ticket into the virtual experience. It is a great opportunity for music fans to experience firsthand some of the creative use cases for digital assets beyond cryptocurrencies." "Superstar" Ragheb Alama talks about his partnership with MetaBoundless and this experience: "This is the first time my avatar will be revealed to the virtual world. Fans all over the world will see me in a new way and be able to access memorabilia from this event as NFT rewards for purchasing tickets. Everything in this concert is unique, this is the way to go for concerts in the future, and I am keen to keep up with the future and popular trends.""LM3ALLEM" Saad Lamjarred describes his participation in this concert: "I witnessed similar global experiences for futuristic concerts, and I am sure that this concert will be something very unique for our beloved fans. I am excited for the fans to see me and my unique digital avatar in the virtual concert."Music composer Michel Fadel stated: "The changes in the market and the music industry always require us to keep up with new trends. I am excited to partner with MetaBoundless to deliver these trends to a larger audience and help use some of these innovative tools to give more power to the fans."Dharmin Ved, CEO of, the merchandising partner of the first "Concert of the Future '' in the Arab world, stated: "As, we are all about setting trends for the future generations. As a first experience with a celebrity-led Avatar & NFT concert, we want to create a similar experience for the fans and ticket holders when it comes to the merchandise by Creating fashion items that will also be inspired and linked to the web3 space and NFTs."Adi K. Mishra, CEO and Founder of MetaBoundless, commented, "Our objective is to be able to connect celebrities with their fans using tools from the Web3 world. We are also looking forward to building our partnership with the Apparel group, the retail conglomerate in the GCC and in order to deliver exciting merchandise options in order to link the real world and the virtual world for a community-led experience. We believe the world of media and entertainment will be transformed over the next decade, and MetaBoundless aims to be at the forefront of this change. The company is presently in discussions with other leading artists to bring onboard as well."

Eternal Robotics launches Smart Eyes, an AI surveillance and inspection service

Eternal Robotics, a tech company focused on automation through innovation, has released a new AI-driven solution designed to streamline multiple business operations, including quality inspection, surveillance and action recognition systems. The pioneering company is part of the UAE-based Mojay Global Holding, which seeks out disruptive technology for investment and growth opportunities.Aptly named Smart Eyes, Eternal Robotics’ SaaS solution can monitor employee uniform and grooming compliance, a critical operational function in specialised industries, such as airlines, luxury mobility, hospitality, construction and the manufacturing industry. It offers companies a transparent, digitised and automated alternative to human inspection services, which can be inconsistent and costly.With uniform inspections, Smart Eyes detects any deviation, no matter how minor, such as an incorrectly knotted tie, lack of safety standards and protective equipment, unauthorised use of mobiles, and more depending on the scenario. Compatible with existing camera surveillance systems, the application utilises AI to identify, track and monitor employees and workers across different industries like mobility, hospitality, retail, facility management, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, life sciences and automotive services. Smart Eyes monitors multiple criteria such as people, uniforms, grooming, operational efficiency, product standards, and action recognition, which are three of the system’s main functions.In addition, the system is easy to implement, requiring only two to four weeks to become fully functional. Customers can choose and customise the solution for the most critical aspects of the business to be monitored and reported on through comprehensive insightful dashboards.Luxury chauffeur service PREIMO Urban Mobility recently adopted Smart Eyes to inspect the drivers’ uniforms. The application’s AI identified instances where uniforms did not meet company regulations and helped management streamline surveillance, attendance and conformity of the drivers. PREIMO also gained valuable automated insights into its operations and real-time updates regarding employee compliance (which were not subjective as it can be when outsourced). Overall, the company reported a 70% decrease in quality inspection costs, saving a significant amount in operational expenses. The company also experienced increased compliance of staff with the standards, which brought notable improvement in consistency and customer satisfaction.Raul Silva, CEO of Mojay Global Holdings commented on the efficiency of Smart Eyes, saying, “Mojay is a pioneering company that is disrupting the industry with new AI-driven solutions. The new automation system is a unique solution for streamlining business operations, including inspection, surveillance and action recognition systems. Eternal Robotics has impressively proven itself to be at the forefront of AI within the region and I am looking forward to seeing it grow within the region and on a global scale.”Srikar Reddy, Founder & Director of Eternal Robotics, remarked, “Our Vision stack is highly accurate, and we are adding multiple libraries constantly to serve the expanding needs of our clients. We specialise in delivering AI software which runs on existing camera infrastructure which removes ROI burdens. Our expertise with hardware engineering also allows us to integrate fully customised AI Vision stations depending on our client requirements.”Mojay Global Holding Limited’s other technology ventures include the award-winning MYRO, the world’s first smart construction wall painting robot to be launched commercially. The company welcomes innovative projects, business opportunities, and resourceful entrepreneurs who dare to challenge the current status quo and supports cutting-edge technology incorporating new and higher standards in various, diverse industries.

Partment, Proptech platform for co-owned properties raises US$ 1.5mln

Partment, a proptech startup that offers co-owned second homes, announced today that the company closed its pre-seed round at US$1.5million to enhance the infrastructure of the platform, and deploy its MVP starting in Egypt.The round was led by Nclude, a leading venture capital platform focused on investing in fintech and fintech-enabled start-ups in Egypt, Middle East and Africa,  and Plus Venture Capital (+VC), a MENA focused venture capital firm investing in pre-seed and seed tech startups. The round also included a diverse group of angel investors including leading tech executives and real estate industry veterans.Partment offers a hassle-free solution for second home co-ownership. Through the digital platform and smart booking system, Partment enables users to co-own second homes at a fraction of the price, while providing an end-to-end property management service, optimising property utilisation. Users can sign up, schedule a call with an expert to receive details on available properties, and get full assistance to purchase a share in their preferred unit.Commenting on the announcement Nadim Nagui, Chief Executive Officer at Partment: “Partment is a new concept in Egypt, and we believe it will change how people buy and use real estate in the local and international market.We are very proud to be backed by leading investors who understand and support our vision. Aside from the financial support and expert advice, their trust in our business model will help us achieve our short-term and long-term goals and scale our business to the next level in Egypt and across the region.”Eslam Darwish, Founding General Partner of the Nclude Venture Capital, commented: “We are dedicated to accelerating Fintech Innovation and driving Financial Inclusion by backing global-mindset founders, and are delighted to have led Partment’s latest funding round. We are also privileged to back the team on their exciting journey to disrupt the real estate sector with a locally relevant and globally scalable solution delivered through a unique customer experience.”Also commenting on the announcement, Hasan Haider, Managing Partner at Plus Venture Capital +VC: “We are always focused on investing in exceptional and talented founders and are excited to support the Partment team. We believe that their innovative new concept of second home co-ownership will bolster the demand and attract many homebuyers and disrupt the real estate industry in Egypt and beyond. We look forward to a great future for the company.”Partment was founded in 2022 by Nadim Nagui - Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Raggal - Chief Operations Officer, and Chinmaya Das - Chief Technical Officer, in efforts to disrupt the real estate market.Through Partment, users can explore different listings of curated and end-to-end managed homes in their favourite destination(s), co-own the property and get 40+ nights per year to use the property. Eventually, they can exit the investment by seamlessly selling their portion independently while enjoying the potential capital gains.

Sporting Events to Boost Middle East Tourism up to 30 percent Reveals, a leading online travel agency headquartered in the UAE, has revealed in its bi-annual travel trend report that sporting events will augment the tourism and hospitality economy up to 30 % in The Middle East is becoming the world’s fastest-growing sports tourism destination valued at an estimated USD 600bn, according to the World Trade Organisation. Major events such as FIFA World Cup Qatar, Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, etc. will give Gulf tourism a boost in the last quarter of the year. Amongst the GCC countries, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will see the majority arrival of travellers mainly from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the UK. The UAE topped the list as the preferred destination by travellers due to its proximity to major sporting events as well as family-oriented activities, personal safety and societal security, room availability, varied retail experiences, adventure sports and leisure, and seamless connectivity. Due to seamless connectivity, the UAE can expect inbound flights to soar up to 20% as compared to same time last year. Apart from attending sporting events, fans will want to explore ‘thrill-seeking’ activities as an add-on for a comprehensive travel experience encapsulating all that the country has to offer. Camping and outdoor activities will also see an increase in Q4 of 2022 due to the pleasant weather. Sachin Gadoya, CEO and Co-founder, and Musafir Business said, “Sports events act as a catalyst and can have a tremendous impact on the economy - as we will see millions of fans gather to not only watch their favourite sport but also to have an unforgettable experience during their stay in the region. We are anticipating an exponential growth in the tourism sector, due to the increasing number of tourists in Q4 of 2022 - as arrivals and occupancy will be even more than pre-pandemic times, which is a much-needed boost for the travel and hospitality sector.” Findings show that due to hotels in Qatar being booked to full capacity during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, hotels in the UAE will see up to 40% rise in demand for accommodation and price inflation. In the lead-up to the event, has seen approximately 80% growth in advance booking between Dubai and Doha. This number will significantly increase even further by the end of 2022. The report also reveals an average spend by travellers would be approximately USD 5000 for a hotel stay, transport, shopping and to explore the city. The report also highlights that most of the hotel occupancy in the UAE will touch 100% during Q4 2022 with tourists looking for 5-star and 4-star hotels. Recently, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman announced a multiple-entry tourist visa for fans attending the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to holders of ‘Hayya’ card - facilitating easy entry and exit for tourists.

Bikeera to offer Binance Pay in the UAE

Dubai, UAE: UAE-based Bikeera is teaming up with Binance to accept virtual asset payments for the purchase of Bicycles, Scooters, Electric Mobility vehicles, Gears and Services on their website or in their Store in Dubai.The alliance makes Bikeera one of the first companies in the UAE to accept virtual asset payments through Binance Pay, and the first cycling/mobilty company to offer customers the choice of paying in cryptocurrencies.Binance Pay is a contactless and borderless gateway on the Binance App that allows users and merchants around the world to use cryptocurrencies without incurring special handling fees.Set to boost sustainable mobility in the GCC in view of COP28 in the UAE, Bikeera says the move aims to help reduce GHG emissions, Carbon footprint and improve the health and lifestyle of GCC residents.Settlements will be facilitated by Binance, and the crypto-to-crypto gateway will support various crypto assets such as BNB, Bitcoin and Ethereum.With this development, Bikeera follows the steps of Majid Al Futtaim, Virtuzone, Palazzo Versace, EasyPay and others as pioneering companies in MENA to have integrated Binance Pay in their systems.“Bikeera aims to provide sustainable mobility alternatives that promote a healthy lifestyle and a better planet. By partnering up with Binance, we are giving more flexibility to customers in terms of payment methods. We are proud to have been selected as one of the first companies in this program, and would like to congratulate Binance on their recent announcement about receiving the MVP license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This most recent license is an acknowledgement of the compliance and safety processes behind the Binance ecosystem” said Anthony Boukather, CEO of Bikeera.“Binance is committed to supporting innovative and impact driven businesses such as Bikeera. As a leader in this space, Bikeera’s decision to accept virtual assets payments via Binance Pay empowers the sports community in the UAE and helps with the adoption of more efficient payment methods” said Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Binance.

Dubai reinforces position as a global destination for food tourism

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has launched the inaugural Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report, a comprehensive study of the city’s gastronomy scene, further reinforcing Dubai’s position as a much sought-after global destination for food tourism.The special report was unveiled at the first gastronomy industry briefing hosted by DET at the W Dubai Mina Seyahi, and was attended by more than 100 restaurateurs, culinary specialists and key stakeholders from the food and beverage sector, to share seasonal highlights in relation to the ever-expanding gastronomy sector, and reveal industry insights from the city’s inaugural gastronomy report.The event was hosted as part of Dubai’s efforts to build upon the destination’s year-round programme of key foodie events, gourmet showcases and culinary platforms, to further strengthen the city’s dynamic ecosystem of around 13,000 restaurants and cafés. During the briefing, opportunities in the gastronomy sector and forthcoming calendar highlights were shared with partners to get their support to further enhance the city’s reputation as a year-round global gastronomy hub.Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) revealed key findings from the newly commissioned annual industry report during the event, showcasing the gastronomy activities and initiatives which continue to be a driving force behind the steady growth in both domestic and international tourists, in line with the visionary leadership’s goal to make Dubai the world’s best city in the world to live in, work and visit. This insightful research has reaffirmed Dubai’s standing as an international hub for gastronomy, and a beacon for visionary restaurateurs, chefs, discerning foodies, epicurean travellers and culinary aficionados.The inaugural ‘Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report’ highlights that Dubai’s vibrant and stimulating food scene is a direct reflection of the city itself, with the city being one of the most culturally diverse destinations around the world and a melting pot of more than 200 nationalities. This diversity, alongside the city’s enabling framework and dynamic ecosystem has fuelled Dubai’s acceleration into a unique international culinary hub.Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) commented: “We are proud that Dubai’s ever expanding gastronomy industry continues to have a positive impact on the growth of food tourism globally, as inspired by the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to further enhance Dubai’s position as a global liveability hub. Dubai’s unique and diverse gastronomy scene is comprised of a plethora of home-grown eateries, fine dining institutions, MICHELIN starred restaurants and neighbourhood favourites, which together represent Dubai’s dynamic epicurean scene.Dubai brings together the culture and heritage of more than 200 different nationalities at tables and within restaurants across the city and we are pleased that the emirate is gaining further recognition as a globally renowned epicurean destination transforming food tourism, as revealed in our report that we have just launched. It is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive study that provides significant insights and information related to the city’s growing gastronomy sector. Its continued success is evident in the findings set out in the report including high satisfaction scores across key aspects of the gastronomy offering, in addition to a marked improvement in food choices and the overall restaurant experience for residents and visitors.”The Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report highlights DET’s efforts to cement the city’s position as an international epicentre of gastronomic innovation and inspiration via a programme of year-round events and showcases.The report is based on the feedback and findings of various research carried out by DET including the Global Brand Tracker, Dubai International Visitor Surveys and a local research survey, in addition to thousands of independent reviews posted on food and travel websites. A survey of a number of residents to evaluate their perception of Dubai as an international foodie destination showed that over 55% of respondents ranked Dubai as the No.1 global gastronomy hub followed by London and New York. The survey also highlighted that 52% of residents in the city dine out up to three times per week. The city also, impressively, ranks second in categories such as world-class chefs, fine dining and service at restaurants, ahead of New York, London, Singapore and Istanbul. The report also points out that 72.2 per cent of international visitors said they are happy with the overall quality of food they ate in Dubai and the restaurants they dined in.DET also recently launched the ‘Gastronomy Always on Campaign’ (GAON), aiming to support the F&B industry and lead on a calendar of culinary events. This campaign has drawn attention to the core pillars which empower Dubai as a global gastronomy hub with quality cuisine and experiences available for all; diversity, authenticity, value for money and experiential offerings. The GAON campaign has also championed Dubai Food Festival (@dubaieats), which is a celebration of Dubai’s rich food culture and an expression of the city’s central gastronomy pillars. The festival and its popular year-round social media channels are a leading source of information and recognition for Dubai’s energetic food scene. The report is also a review of the campaign’s initiatives, events and its unparalleled efforts to position Dubai as a leading gastronomy destination.The report, which will be released annually, will chart the evolving elements of Dubai’s dynamic food scene and create a platform for insights into Dubai’s culinary sector to be shared with restaurateurs, chefs, potential collaborators and stakeholders locally and globally, whilst also providing an overview of initiatives to further elevate Dubai’s profile as a leading gourmet destination.During the briefing, DET also announced that the 10th anniversary edition of the much-awaited Dubai Food Festival (DFF) will take place from 28 April -7 May 2023. DFF 2023 will showcase the depth, diversity and creativity of Dubai’s gastronomy offering through an expanded programme of events and activities, drawing upon and celebrating home-grown concepts, Emirati and international cuisine, as well as global trends and Chefs that have inspired Dubai.In addition, the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) and DET will introduce a new initiative in 2022, focused on stimulating inclusivity, by creating opportunities for People of Determination to enter and succeed and thrive in the hospitality and F&B industry. This will be delivered via various activities including creating opportunities for People of Determination to undertake workplace training and internships, collaborating with restaurants and chefs, in addition to encouraging restaurants to communicate their inclusivity plans through their platforms.Dubai has grown to become one of the world’s most sought after epicurean destinations, and its gastronomy scene has diversified and progressed in line with the expansion and development of the city, and remains a key driver of growth for the tourism sector. Dubai welcomed 7.12 million international overnight visitors during the first half of 2022. The city was recognised as the No.1 global destination and the fourth leading destination for ‘Food Lovers’ in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022, demonstrating the depth of the culinary scene and the diversity of culinary offerings.Testament to Dubai’s standing as a foodie hub, the city has welcomed a raft of new initiatives and inaugural dining guides which have further elevated the destination’s reputation as a world-class destination for epicures. The launch of the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Dubai in summer 2022 saw 69 culinary institutions across the city included within the guide, as well as individual awards for, a Green Star, Young Chef, Sommelier and a restaurant award for Best Welcome and Service, whilst the city also welcomed the culinary critic brand Gault&Millau in spring 2022, featuring expert reviews. 16 of Dubai’s homegrown cafés, chef-helmed gourmet restaurants and fine dining institutions and chefs were also recognised in the inaugural edition of the Middle East and North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants list that was unveiled earlier this year.åkan-cervell-as-vice-president-and-head-of-customer-unit-stc

Ericsson appoints Håkan Cervell as Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc,

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) announced the appointment of Håkan Cervell as Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt - effective 26 September 2022.Håkan brings more than 30 years of experience in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry where he has held several product development, sales, delivery and business development roles in markets across Asia and Europe.Prior to his appointment as Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Håkan was the Customer Unit Head of Korea. Over the last 19 years, he has been working in Malaysia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong and South Korea holding various positions such as Sales, Delivery, Marketing and Communications.Prior to his tenure in Asia, Håkan worked for 13 years in Ericsson Headquarter in Sweden in areas of Research & Development (R&D), Project management and Product management. In a market that has one of the highest concentrations of 5G subscribers in the world, Håkan has supported Communication Service Providers (CSPs) in Korea to meet the ever-increasing market demands, pushing the limit in terms of both new use cases and technology advancement.Commenting on his new role, Håkan says: “It is an honor to be appointed the Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of technological innovations, fast-growing with a wide range of opportunities and promising ventures on the road to realize KSA Vision 2030. Egypt’s technology sector is setting the stone for a bright future as the country is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution led by Egypt’s Vision 2030. I foresee a bright and prosperous future and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with our customers and lead Ericsson’s journey and contributions in both countries. “Håkan will be based with his family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

‘Make it in the Emirates’ draws interest from American companies

A high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presented the UAE’s national industrial strategy to over 200 international delegates that convened at the first US edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS America) from September 28-29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the aim of exploring new areas of growth and global cooperation, the UAE’s delegation presented the country’s business environment and many competitive advantages and incentives that will attract foreign investors, manufacturers, innovators, and SMEs. Emirati experts called for enhanced cross-border collaboration to advance sustainable industrial development, enable the clean energy transition, and drive global economic growth.As co-chair of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), appealed to the international community to come together and collaborate on ways to make the industry more resilient against global market volatility and enhance productivity while boosting efforts to accelerate the global energy transition. Emirati industry experts and leaders from the UAE delegation highlighted the country’s competitive manufacturing business landscape while sharing their knowledge on ways to enhance sustainable manufacturing practices through advanced technology adoption.On day one, H.E. Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, delivered a keynote address on the UAE’s industrial opportunities and competitive advantages.H.E. Suwaidi addressed the international audience, saying: “There has never been a better time to invest in the UAE’s robust industrial base. The rapid pace with which our ambitious industrial strategy is being executed, is generating significant demand for local goods and services, as well as opening new international market access. As part of this strategy, we launched the Make it in the Emirates campaign to help supercharge industrial priority sectors and attract investments. We continue to build successful partnerships with international players who are eager to capitalize on the significant benefits and potential of establishing an industrial presence in the UAE.”On the first day of the conference, MoIAT hosted an interactive panel discussion which presented the country’s national strategy for industry and advanced technology. The panel explored how the UAE’s Make it in the Emirates initiative is inviting global industrialists, investors, innovators and developers to be part of the country’s industrial growth, while benefitting from incentives and support mechanisms aimed at increasing the national industrial sector's contribution to the UAE’s GDP from AED133 billion to AED300 billion by 2031. During the MoIAT-hosted panel, the session featured key UAE industrial champions and enablers, who shared their plans for sustainable manufacturing, as well as key growth opportunities for investors.H.E. Humaid Mohamed Ben Salem, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) pointed out that the UAE provides several incentives for international organisations to set based in the country. The UAE’s Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry acts as a bridge between the government and the private sector. The FCCI also supports bringing companies to the UAE and ensuring they are made aware of the incentives they can benefit from by doing business. H.E. Salem also highlighted how the UAE’s response and recovery from COVID-19 is a testament to the nation’s credibility in enabling a sustainable business environment that will allow international businesses to thrive. Highlighting the UAE’s unique value proposition, H.E. Salem spotlighted the country’s distinct geographical location that allows for enhanced connectivity across the world, and the many free trade agreements that the UAE shares with other nations, providing another opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations.Mansoor Janahi, CEO, Sanad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company and a champion of industrial services, emphasized the importance of the US market for Sanad, given that the country represents its largest client base. Janahi went on to highlight how the UAE is generally known as an importer of industrial services, however, Sanad has been leading the export of industrial services for the last 35 years. Janahi took the opportunity to highlight how the UAE’s strategic geographic location and world-class logistics have allowed for easy access to people and talent, highlighting how it was central to enabling Sanad to double its business in the last five years.He said: “Partnership is a key part of our DNA. If you look at Sanad today, we work with every major engine OEM and there is really four in the world which are GE, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and CFM International. From an aerospace perspective, there is still a lot of growth and demand for maintenance requirements in the region.He continued: “Secondly, in the course of the last few years, we have grown our efforts to expand outside the aerospace business including offering finance solutions and engineering excellence to new sectors such as medical equipment, airports, renewable energy, and waste management. This means there are going to be more opportunities for partnerships. At the end of the day, we look at strong partners who would like to grow with us.”Joining them on the panel, Saud Abu Al-Shawareb?, Managing Director? of Dubai Industrial City, showcased the many benefits offered to businesses operating from the zone. Al-Shawareb highlighted that Dubai Industrial City is working with 708 business partners to develop an enabling ecosystem which delivers a holistic supply chain. Furthermore, Al-Shawareb highlighted the critical focus of decarbonizing the industrial sector, with Dubai Industrial City generating more than 40 MW of power from renewable energy, and having brick and mortar operations including recycling facilities that ensure waste generated is recycled within the same zone. Dubai Industrial City is one of the enablers that helps international businesses to expand operations in the UAE, advancing the country’s national industrial strategy.Ahmed Awadi, Vice President of Program Management & Business Performance at Strata, showcased some of the collaboration opportunities that are available in the UAE. Awadi made the point that in the past year, Strata has focused on building capabilities and credibility which allowed it to realign its strategy to focus on disruptive advanced manufacturing across a number of verticals including advanced materials, automation, and raw materials such as composite. Furthermore, there are several other verticals that are in focus in biopharma, medical equipment, automation, food security and water security, in line with the UAE’s industrial strategy.Ibtisam Al Saadi, Industrial Development Department Director of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development highlighted some of the value propositions of being in Abu Dhabi. Al Saadi highlighted Abu Dhabi’s recent announcement of investing AED10 billion in the industrial sector (equivalent to USD 2.7 billion) in the coming five years. Sectors in focus include chemical, pharma, transportation, electronic and machinery. Furthermore, some of the budgets will be focused on offering incentive programs, including FDI programs. Abu Dhabi DED is also working with anchor companies to identify and invite SMEs to set up businesses in the country with a guarantee of demand and supply for manufacturers. Abu Dhabi also offers incentives for electricity and gas. H.E. Mohamed Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced yesterday that Abu Dhabi has reduced rent and land prices to just 1.3 USD per square meter.Discussions on Day 1 of GMIS America covered a broad spectrum of topics including the circular economy, shift to sustainability, and the energy transition. Taking place in Pittsburgh, home of the fourth industrial revolution, automation, and robotics, the MoIAT panel also explored the possible opportunities for US businesses in the automation sector. EXPLORING PARTNERSHIPSSeveral high-level conversations between MoIAT and US-based companies took place on the sidelines of the event. HE Omar Al Suwaidi and Diane Farrell, US Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, discussed common industries and ways to grow bilateral trade and further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries. Emerson explored how the firm can expand manufacturing in the UAE and join the country’s Champions Network. Triumph signed an MoU with Sanad to create a Centre of Excellency in Abu Dhabi for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of V2500 engines. Supplement manufacturer Thorne discussed with MoIAT how it can start manufacturing in the UAE. Elliot Group expressed a desire to identify a location for its equipment in the UAE to serve petrochemical and refining plants. MoIAT extended its support to OnePointOne to connect the company with stakeholders in the UAE’s biopharma sector. Kennametal was introduced the UAE industrial sector and key players in aerospace as well as oil and gas.The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology hosted a networking luncheon on Day 2 of GMIS America, to bring government and business leaders from the USA and the UAE together to share their knowledge on how to deepen cross-border partnerships and accelerate industrial transformations through digitalization and advanced technology adoption.Commenting on the UAE’s participation at GMIS America, Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the GMIS Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to host such a strong and committed delegation from the UAE at GMIS America. The UAE has so much to offer international businesses through the ‘Make It in The Emirates’ campaign, and the nation’s unique value proposition. I’m glad that they were able to highlight these opportunities at GMIS America.“Enhancing global dialogue is a crucial part of our mission – it helps drive cross-border, cross-sector collaboration between like-minded industrial professionals and experts who are eager to come together to shape a more sustainable manufacturing sector powered by advanced technologies.”Hosted by the Honorable Thomas Wolf, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, GMIS America will be an annual USA roadshow by the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), the world’s most high-profile manufacturing and advanced technology conference. Under the theme ‘advancing global industrialization and net zero’, GMIS America will feature keynotes, fireside chats, and panel sessions to accelerate the simultaneous advancement of the green and digital agendas.GMIS America will offer policymakers, businesses, and international bodies an opportunity to design integrated policies, frameworks, applications and business models for a net zero, circular future. The program agenda will discuss the application of 4IR technologies such as AI, edge computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and nanotechnology towards advancing the global energy transition and industrialization.

The latest Spotify report examines how UAE’s Gen Zs are shaping culture

The UAE version of Spotify’s yearly report on worldwide trends in culture, Culture Next, has been made available by Spotify.The second time the UAE has been featured in the report’s fourth edition, Generation Z, Spotify’s largest audience section is examined in more detail, along with how they differ from Generation Y, also known as the millennial generation (26 to 40).According to the report, Gen Zs streamed music globally more in 2021 than they did any other form of media (including videos, games, and television), shared greater number of Spotify playlists, and participated in more group listening sessions.Young people aged 18 to 24 played more music on Spotify in the first quarter of 2022 than any other demographic and almost 16 billion more minutes than millennials, or people aged 25 to 34, globally.The head of music for Spotify in the Middle East and North Africa, Mark Abou Jaoude, said that audio has always been a part of our lives.“Streaming is increasingly being recognised as a major force behind discovery and the emergence of a worldwide community that connects through audio. It’s a form of screenless self-expression,” he said.Short-form videos like those on TikTok and Instagram’s Reels have helped increase the appeal of video as a genre recently.But Jaoude emphasises the value of audio, especially for Gen Zers. He said: “For instance, a video without audio is difficult to understand, but an audio-only piece is not. He argued that audio enhances storytelling.”According to the survey, Gen Z has transitioned from being a “emerging” generation to taking centre stage in society, which underlines important disparities between them and millennials.First of all, while both groups experience stress, Gen Zs do it more. Jaoude remarked: “Millennials were reared in a boom, while Generation Z was in a recession. They went through serious downturns related to the 2008 recession and later COVID-19, which they primarily went through as adults.”They are turning to audio in this setting as a refuge. 59 percent of UAE youth aged 18 to 24 informed about using podcasts to find solutions to personal or difficult problems before approaching their families, and according to 66 percent, they use podcasts to prepare for interactions with peers.Additionally, 68 percent of Gen Zers in the UAE claimed that audio helps them better understand themselves, and 80 percent said that it allows them to explore different facets of their personalities.All of this indicates that audio has always been a part of Gen Zs’ life, and they use it for a variety of purposes, including creativity and self-expression as well as identifying characteristics of their own personalitiesAccording to Jaoude, the second characteristic that distinguishes Gen Z from other generations is that they are “the most culturally and radically diverse generation, demanding this diversity be reflected through their lifestyle, the brands they engage with, the audio and social media they consume.”The primary values of this age are self-expression and creativity, hence they turn to artists, music, podcasts, For example, 82 percent of people in the United Arab Emirates stated they had discovered something about themselves by reflecting on their listening patterns, and 74 percent think that their listening patterns reveal something about who they are.

Dubai cements its status as a Metaverse catalyst

Dubai Metaverse Assembly, organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), ended today after demonstrating the UAE’s potential to become a global partner in building digital worlds for the future.At the close of the event, DFF announced that the Dubai Metaverse Assembly would return on the 11th and 12th of October 2023 in a bigger and more immersive experience after achieving outstanding success in its first year.It comes after the flagship event welcomed over 600 experts from the tech industry, witnessed 25 main and side sessions and hosted 30 speakers and 40 tech companies. Additionally, 40,000 tuned in virtually through online streaming and the metaverse technology, offering individuals and government entities a unique immersive experience. Over two days, more than 15 initiatives and strategies were launched during the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, which took place at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, Emirates Tower.On the second day, His Excellency Gabriel Abed, Ambassador of Barbados to the United Arab Emirates, announced that the island-nation was entering the metaverse with a new virtual embassy. “Our metaverse embassy will create diplomatic parity for Barbados,” he said. “It will empower developing nations to gain diplomatic representation at the same level as larger nations, without vast budgets or infrastructure.”Sandeep Nailwal Co-Founder of Dubai-based cryptocurrency platform Polygon, valued at USD 25 billion, announced plans to help decentralized technology firms go green and offer energy-efficient – even carbon-neutral – experiences in the metaverse. With most of the company’s senior management now headquartered in Dubai, Nailwal promised to “drive the industry forward toward sustainability.”Ziad Traboulsi, Global Director, Business Engineering, Reality Labs, Meta, revealed the California-headquartered technology company believed its family of apps, Facebook and Instagram, would be a “bridge” for people to enter immersive worlds.The state’s role in governing virtual worlds was keenly debated on the second day’s first panel. Participants included Christian Kunz, Head of Senior Vice President – Strategy, Dubai International Financial Center; Alexander Chehade, Executive Director and General Manager, Binance Dubai; Keith Jordan, VP of Innovation, Mastercard; Vinit Shah, Senior Advisor, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority; and Catherine Zhou, Group Head of Ventures, Digital Partnerships, and Innovation, HSBC. Whether through the launch of NFTs or by offering new immersive experiences, Emirates will allow millions of people to enjoy its in-flight hospitality virtually, the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, said. He also revealed the carrier planned to hire 4,000 cabin crew by mid-2023 and train them in the metaverse.A panel session on the metaverse’s real-world impact drew the participation of Yusuf Bahadir, Chief Technology Officer, GoArt; Vishal Gondal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GOQii; David Clark-Joseph, Vice President of Investments, Pixelynx; and Bradford Bird, Head of Partnerships and Collaborations, The Fabricant.Homegrown Emirati companies testing new experiences for the metaverse joined a panel to shed light on how local entrepreneurs were building new digital worlds. The panelists included Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Bedu; Abdulla Mohamed Al Dhaheri, Deputy Managing Director and Partner, Chaintech Labs; Haya Al Gussain, Founder & CEO, Evolve Network Club; and Abdel Rahman Al Suweidi, CEO, MetaCon Global. Highlighting how blockchain and web 3.0 technologies can spark an evolution in gaming, Sarah Buxton, Chief Operating Officer of Gala Games, said: “We are still at the beginning of our journey, and you know this when the biggest use cases for blockchain are from the banking and the professional services sector.”Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) gaming has become ubiquitous in entertainment, providing gamers with close to real-life experiences, but Ahmed Tehemar Gamefi, BNB Chain, suggested there would be winners and losers. “We now have a lot of metaverses popping up in the gaming industry; in the future we will understand which ones will go on to host the most users,” he said.In a pre-recorded address, Sebastian Borget, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, The Sandbox, said gaming on decentralized platforms would allow players to create their own personal, immersive experiences.The second day of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly concluded with a series of side sessions related to the metaverse and its technologies hosted by companies including Verse Estate, Mastercard, MetaCon, CryptoOasis, EVERDOME, and MetaDecrypt.

Saudi Arabia's Savvy Games Group invests $37.8bln in video games industry

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Board of Savvy Games Group, today unveiled the Group’s strategy, which is aimed to invest SAR142 billion (US$37.8 billion) across four programmes each with specific objectives.An amount of SAR50 billion has been earmarked for the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner. SAR70 billion to make a series of minority stake investments in key companies that support Savvy’s game development agenda, in addition to SAR2 billion invested in diversified investments in industry disruptors to grow early-stage games and esports companies, and SAR20 billion in industry partners who add value and expertise to Savvy’s portfolio, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Alisa Bowen Named President Of Disney+

Alisa Bowen has been named President of Disney+, effective immediately. In this role, Bowen will build on the flagship streaming service’s reputation as a global destination for premium content. Bowen has led global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+, since its launch in 2019. In that time, Disney+ has expanded rapidly, growing its reach to 154 markets worldwide with 152.1 million total subscriptions as of the end of the third quarter in fiscal year 2022. Bowen will work closely with key leaders across The Walt Disney Company to drive continued focus on innovation, including the forthcoming launch of the advertising-supported tier, as well as multi-channel promotional support for Disney+ and its robust content slate. Regional leaders for Disney+ in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific, and Latin America will report jointly to Bowen and regional leadership. Bowen will continue to report to Michael Paull, President, Direct to Consumer, Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution.“Alisa has been an indispensable member of our leadership team since the inception of Disney+,” said Paull. “She possesses a rare and valuable combination of deep institutional knowledge, forward-thinking innovation, and global vision rooted in a strong focus on our consumer, that is perfectly suited for this critical role, and I am confident that she will have an immediate and positive impact on the business.”“Disney+ is a phenomenal growth story and has delighted fans around the world at tremendous scale. We have a best-in-class team behind this success and I'm excited to partner with them in this new role, as we drive the next phase of Disney+ growth," added Bowen. "Our upcoming content is incredibly exciting, and we are committed to innovation to give our fans and subscribers the best possible experience, including more choice on how they can enjoy Disney+"Bowen is a seasoned media executive with decades of experience in product, technical, and operational leadership roles in several global media organizations. She most recently served as EVP of Global Business Operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing global content and business operations for the Company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Star+. This included cross-functional leadership of the global Disney+ rollout in 154 markets worldwide.She joined Disney in 2017 as SVP, Digital Media and CTO of the Company’s international operations where she led a transformation of Disney’s channel broadcast technology, content operations, and digital publishing across EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.Prior to Disney, Bowen served as CTO of News Corp Australia where she was responsible for the digital transformation strategy, including the pivot to digital subscription business models and the launch of new digital advertising offerings. She has also held product, business operations, and general management leadership positions at major media organizations.Bowen holds a Masters of Business Administration from the London Business School and will continue to be based in Los Angeles, California.

BBC World Service outlines move to digital-first service

The BBC World Service has outlined plans to accelerate its digital offering and increase impact with audiences around the globe. This supports the BBC’s strategy, announced earlier this year, to create a modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation that drives the most value from the licence fee and delivers more for audiences.Changing audience needs around the world - with more people accessing news digitally - go alongside a challenging financial climate. High inflation, soaring costs, and a cash-flat Licence Fee settlement have led to tough choices across the BBC, and the BBC’s international services need to make a saving of £28.5m, as part of the wider £500m of annual savings and reinvestment to make the BBC digital-led.Today’s proposals entail a net total of around 382 post closures.The proposals will see seven more language services moving to digital only, modelling the success of others which are already offering purely digital services and performing well with audiences. This means that nearly half of all 41 language services will be digital only.The BBC World Service will continue to operate in all the languages and countries where it is currently present, including the new languages added during its expansion in 2016. No language services will close.Some TV and radio programmes will stop under the new plans. BBC Arabic radio and BBC Persian radio will also cease.The World Service will continue to serve audiences during moments of jeopardy and will ensure audiences in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan have access to vital news services, using appropriate broadcast and distribution platforms.World Service English will continue to operate as 24 hour broadcast radio, available around the world. Some new scheduling, programmes and podcasts will be set out in due course.The World Service has already achieved record levels of growth on digital platforms, currently reaching 148m people in an average week. The digital share of World Service Languages reach has more than doubled, from 19 percent to 43 percent since 2018.Director of BBC World Service Liliane Landor says: “The role of the BBC has never been more crucial worldwide. The BBC is trusted by hundreds of millions of people for fair and impartial news, especially in countries where this is in short supply. We help people in times of crisis. We will continue to bring the best journalism to audiences in English and more than 40 languages, as well as increasing the impact and influence of our journalism by making our stories go further.“There is a compelling case for expanding our digital services across the World Service in order to better serve and connect with our audiences. The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing.”The proposed changes to the World Service include:Focusing on our own platforms and presence in markets, and reducing the volume of syndicated TV and radio content on partners’ platforms in some territories. A focus on impact, rather than reach, means we need more audiences to come to our platforms. This is where audiences most closely associate with the BBC and where we can build long-term engagement.Creating a new centralised digital-first Commissioning and Newsgathering Content Production Hub to create high-impact content for distribution across all non-English language services.Moving some production out of London and closer to audiences to drive engagement, for example moving the Thai service from London to Bangkok, the Korean service to Seoul, the Bangla service to Dhaka and the Focus On Africa TV bulletin to broadcast from Nairobi.Bringing together long-form content activity such as investigations and documentaries made by Africa Eye, the Investigations Unit and BBC Arabic documentaries to ensure a more collaborative approach across our platforms and services to enable stories to travel further across the world, as well as in the UK.Creating a new China Global Unit based in London to tell the global story of China to the world.Creating a dynamic Africa content hub that commissions and delivers original, distinctive and impactful digital first content for all 12 African language services, digital, TV/Radio, plus coverage of the continent for the rest of the BBC.Continuing linear TV broadcasting for both Arabic and Persian languages and investing in building audio and other digital capability in Arabic and Persian to replace radio.Closing some radio services, for example Arabic, Bangla, Persian and some TV programming on local broadcasters across Africa and Asia.World Service English making changes to its content and schedules which will allow investment in new initiatives, including a new podcast for younger audiences globally, and developing the podcast offer more broadly. The station also plans to launch a new hour-long science strand from the new science unit in Cardiff, as well as adding more live news and sports programming to the schedule.These proposals are now subject to consultation with staff and trade unions.

UAE ranked 31st on Global Innovation Index

 The UAE has ranked 31st globally on the Global Innovation Index (GII) in 2022, which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), climbing two spots from 2021, while remaining at the top among Arab nations for the seventh consecutive year.Meanwhile, the UAE ranked 18th globally on the GII's Innovation Input Sub-Index, five ranks higher than 2021, reflecting the country's growing ability to transform investments in innovation-supporting inputs into tangible results that drive its development and global economic competitiveness.In the indicators that fall under Innovation Input Sub-Index, the UAE came in 6th globally in the Institutions indicator, as compared to 24th last year, 7th in the Infrastructure indicator, as compared to 14th in 2021, and 17th in the Human Capital and Research indicator. In Market Sophistication, it ranked 23rd, climbing three spots from last year, while ranking 26th in Business Sophistication.In GII sub-indicators, the UAE topped world countries in 'Cost of Redundancy Dismissal', 'Business Environment', 'Entrepreneurship Policies and Culture', 'Tertiary Education', and 'Tertiary Inbound Mobility', and ranked second in 'Research Talent Percentage in Businesses'. It also ranked third globally the 'ICT Access' sub-indicator, 4th in 'General Infrastructure', 5th in both 'GERD Financed by Business' and 'State of Cluster Development and Depth', 6th in 'Policies for Doing Business', and 8th in 'Electricity Output (GWh/mn pop)'.The Global Innovation Index (GII) is published by WIPO, in partnership with the Portulans Institute, to track the current state of innovation globally and rank the innovative performance of countries.

Bedu partners with Dubai Future Foundation

Dubai-based Bedu, UAE’s pioneer in Metaverse and Web3 technologies, has partnered with the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) to reinforce the metaverse ecosystem at the Dubai Metaverse Assembly (DMA) which will take place from September 28 to 29, 2022.The assembly will be held at the Museum of the Future, building on the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, the Dubai Metaverse Assembly is announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.By investments in promising economic opportunities, implementing metaverse technologies, and creating a digital infrastructure that supports global transformation and the digital economy, the DMA aims to establish Dubai as a globally leading digital city. By bringing together regional and international experts to discuss the future of the metaverse, uncover new opportunities, and fulfil potential applications within this space, the event explores how revolutionary technology can be applied across important sectors to create a better future and quality of life for humanity.Amin Al Zarouni, CEO of Bedu, will participate in three panel discussions titled, The Reality Gradient, UAE Metaverse Contributors, and Building the Metaverse: Create Real Value in the Virtual World, while Misha Hanin, Co-Founder & Futurist, Bedu, leads the panel discussion of Interoperability. Accompanying the engaging sessions, the company will showcase its recently launched Metaverse Project 2117. Project 2117 aims to become a 100-million-user metaverse environment in the next ten years by focusing on developing every aspect of the virtual world around the community, user needs, and the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Furthermore, Bedu will issue non-transferable NFTs as tickets to the assembly, which will only be used by guests to attend the assembly each year and will be eligible for future benefits.“The nation’s leaders have been exemplary in focusing their efforts on incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to provide its citizens with the most immersive experience in the metaverse,” said Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Bedu. “It is an absolute pleasure to partner with the DFF on a platform such as the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, helping the UAE harness the power of Metaverse innovations that have the potential to impact every community, individual, and society as a whole through new digital environments.”Bedu’s Metaverse Project 2117 aligns with the DMA’s objectives of understanding the impact of the metaverse on humanity, discussing the potential of humanising its applications, and identifying the best ways to leverage opportunities across strategic sectors of countries, governments, and organisations.The assembly will host more than 300 global experts, policymakers, thought leaders, and decision-makers from over 40 organisations, as well as facilitate sessions and workshops.

CRA issues a telecommunications license to Starlink Satellite Qatar

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) issued today an Individual License for the Provision of Public Satellite Telecommunications Networks and Services to Starlink Satellite Qatar W.L.L.. This follows the decision of His Excellency Mohammed bin Ali Al-Mannai, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.Starlink Satellite Qatar has recently been established in Qatar by the leading international company SpaceX. This License authorizes Starlink Satellite Qatar to provide satellite broadband Internet services to individuals and enterprises in the State of Qatar via the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation of SpaceX, which provides comprehensive global Internet service coverage. The main services that Starlink Satellite Qatar intends to provide in the country include direct-to-consumer satellite Internet service and “Starlink Premium” service which is designed specifically for businesses and high-demand users and allows download speeds of 150-500 Megabits per second (Mbps) and latency of 20-40 milliseconds (ms), in addition to other services that may benefit the local mobile operators.The License granted to Starlink Satellite Qatar contributes to enhancing the availability of telecommunications services in remote locations away from the mainland, especially in areas where the services of the current licensed companies are not fully available (such as oil and gas platforms at sea, ships, yachts, and aircrafts), provide complementary and alternative telecommunications services for individuals and enterprises consumers, and provide back-up communications throughout the State of Qatar in the event of a major outage in telecommunications networks.The grant of this License is consistent with international trends in the field. It contributes to the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and encourages more foreign investments in the country, therefore diversifying the national economy, which supports Qatar National Vision 2030.The grant of this Individual License followed consultation with the stakeholders and relevant government entities.

Dubai’s latest campaign welcomes K-Pop Star Suho!

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) launched the latest leg of the ongoing global campaign ‘Dubai Presents’ featuring K-pop sensation Suho.Suho of the world-famous K-pop group EXO is now the newest face of Dubai’s cinematic campaign. In this campaign video, Suho visits Dubai’s Old Souk on an Abra, a traditional wooden boat that takes him back in time, to discover the city’s past. He also embarks on a futuristic journey at the Museum of the Future, which opened in February this year. Later, he is seen at Sky Views Dubai, Deep Dive Dubai, Aura Skypool and The View at the Palm; some of Dubai’s newly opened attractions during the pandemic. The campaign highlights Dubai’s past and future, showcasing the many experiences and activities that the emirate has to offer. The campaign aims to engage travellers across the globe and invites them to spend a leisurely and safe time in the metropolis.Talking about his experience in Dubai, Suho said, “Every time I come to Dubai, I find new things. Dubai is a place full of vitality and youthful vibes. This time, I also discovered that there are many attractions in Dubai that were newly opened during the pandemic, so I want to come back next time and enjoy it with EXO members”. Suho had recently performed his latest single ‘Hurdle’ as part of a free concert at the Dubai Festival City in May earlier this year. His song ‘Grey Suit’ continues to be played during the Imagine laser and light display for fans at the Festival City Mall as an ode to his visit. Dubai was ranked as the No.1 global destination in TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022 owing to the diversity of Dubai’s destination proposition, as well as its position as one of the world’s safest cities. During his trip to Dubai, Suho immersed himself in a series of fun activities covering his passion for adventure sports, visited Dubai’s Al Fahidi district for a taste of culture and the world’s highest 360 infinity pool. Issam Kazim, CEO, Department of Dubai Economy, and Tourism added, “Our campaigns always focus on authentic and relatable ways to showcase the diversity of experiences and destinations on offer across the city; and ‘Dubai Presents’ is a testament to that thought process. Owing to our leadership’s strong vision and strategic guidance, we are well on our way to rebounding from the pandemic and will continue to do our part in reviving global tourism. We welcome travellers from across the world to spend a safe and memorable time with family and friends, in Dubai.” The DET campaign video in which Suho participated can be found on the Visit Dubai official YouTube channel, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

Dubai Metaverse Assembly’s side sessions unpick metaverse’s questions

The first of a two-day series of specialized side sessions and startup pitches took place on the sidelines of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly today, which included the participation of leading global technology experts and senior executives from prominent organizations. The side sessions aim to galvanize stakeholders and facilitate contributions towards shaping the metaverse and its potential applications.Value Creation in the MetaverseThe Assembly’s first day witnessed seven side sessions included a group meeting by World Economic Forum on value creation in the metaverse, which outlined the parameters of an economically viable, inclusive and safe metaverse, focusing on two core areas: governance, and economic and social value creation.Taking place at Coders HQ, a side session organized by Accenture titled ‘Accelerating Value Creation in the Metaverse’ looked at metaverse and web 3.0 applications for enterprises. The session outlined use cases and explored delivering excellent employee experience as well as harnessing virtual worlds to unlock new models of customer experience.Aviation in the MetaverseAdel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer at Emirates Airline, delivered a keynote as part of the ‘Aviation in the Metaverse’ side session held by Emirates Airline. His speech was followed by panel discussions on interoperability and reality gradient. Themes included realism of avatars, AR and VR, regulation, and the role of standards.Road to MetaverseAnother side session titled ‘Road to the Metaverse: Innovating Governance’ was held by META and Economist Impact at the Government Accelerators to explore the impact of the metaverse on governments and public service delivery.In addition, Outlier Ventures organized a side session on ‘Taking the Leap from Web2 into the Metaverse’ at Coders HQ, which witnessed a panel of diverse founders, operators, and investors who shared perspectives on the best ways to succeed in the metaverse.Live DemosThe first day of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly also included live demonstrations in web 3.0 and the metaverse introduced by SIAPartners, which provided the attendees with an immersive experience and use cases showing the huge potential of the metaverse and it’s applications.The Dubai Metaverse Assembly is taking place on 28-29 September, gathering over 500 delegates and more than 40 metaverse and artificial intelligence organizations at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, Emirates Towers.

Dubai metaverse assembly showcases the potential of metaverse

Dubai Metaverse Assembly, organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), kicked off today under the patronage of Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation.More than 500 delegates including government ministers, business leaders, global corporations, key decisionmakers and the metaverse community joined the first-of-its-kind assembly that aimed to deeply understand the metaverse and unlock its potential.Participants included His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World; His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of DFF, as well as leaders from World Economic Forum, Microsoft, Meta, Accenture, PwC, and Binance, Majid Al Futtaim, DAMAC, Digital Dubai, among others.His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq announced the launch of the Ministry of Economy’s metaverse office during the first panel session, in line with the UAE’s vision to become a global leader in the digital economy.“The UAE has the potential to become one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies and a global center for the metaverse community,” he said. “We are setting up a third office – this time in the metaverse – to complement our physical locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The metaverse is a new economic equalizer and under the vision of our leaders, we will continue to pave the way for a new era of opportunities that accelerate our knowledge-driven economy,” he added.In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, revealed for the first time that five pillars will underpin the new Dubai Metaverse Strategy – tourism, real estate, education, retail and government services.“Dubai is serious about discovering the potential of the metaverse and sowing the seeds to ensure we reap the economic rewards in the future,” he said. “Our population in the metaverse is already the same size as those in India and China, despite our smaller geographic size. This shows that we continue to punch above our weight as a nation. And as we aim to become a top 10 metaverse economy, we will create a digital twin of Dubai to simulate our plans for tourism, real estate, education, retail and government services in the virtual world.”His Excellency Sultan bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World, took part in a fireside chat on the importance of building a backbone for web 3.0 technologies that will allow people and trade to flow seamlessly across the virtual world.“We are exploring how to deploy the metaverse across our services, including simulations of warehousing and terminal operations, container and vessel repair inspections, safety training, and other commercial uses,” he said. “Our customers will now be able to see and understand the whole supply chain from end to end with full visibility and take corrective action in case of logistics bottlenecks. We hope that using this technology, we will be able to keep trade flowing, increase visibility and minimize disruption to build trade networks fit for the future,” said HE Sultan bin Sulayem.His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, delivered the opening address at the forum. He said: “Technology has become ubiquitous, revolutionizing our daily lives and playing an existential part in vital sectors including education, finance, energy and even healthcare. By applying new technologies and tools, we can see improvement in living standards. The metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over USD 1 trillion in annual revenues. Under the UAE’s leadership, Dubai can become as a testbed to build a network of technology leaders and create collaborations to build a metaverse ecosystem that will allow us to seamlessly connect between real and virtual worlds.”Ihab Foudeh, Public Sector General Manager, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft, delivered a keynote speech on the future of the metaverse. He highlighted new opportunities for governments, corporates, and societies, and addressed why investors are placing big bets on the metaverse.Foudeh’s speech was followed a discussion on real estate in the virtual world. The panel included: Joe Abi Akel, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Group; Ali Sajwani, General Manager, Damac Properties; Guy Parsonage, Partner and Experience Consulting Lead, PwC; and Samuel Hamilton Creative Director, Decentraland Foundation. It explored the virtual real estate sector, the opportunities to engage new customers and the types of activity we can expect to see.Another panel on how to maximize the metaverse’s potential examined its various building blocks, including decentralized technologies, platforms, and applications included: Cathy Li, Head of Media, Entertainment and Sport Platform, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum; Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni, Founder, Strategic Advisor, Dubai Digital; and James Hairston, Director of Reality Labs Policy, Meta, Balsam Danhach, Chief Executive Officer, FTX MENA.Asma Shabab, Senior Director of Innovation Advisory at Accenture, and Ann Griblin, Director of Accenture Labs, emphasized the importance of enhancing trust and neutralizing concerns over privacy, bias, fairness and human influence. They also spoke about how to manage the blurring line between the physical and digital lives of people.Jaid Meskel from Magic Leap Company presented a session on metaverse applications and the role of augmented reality in developing vital sectors and successfully applying new and innovative practices to advance healthcare, manufacturing and automotives.Accenture, the World Economic Forum, Meta, The Economist, Asiarath and Outlier Ventures held closed side-sessions during the first day of the Assembly, in addition to nine immersive experiencers for delegates to explore the metaverse.Over two days, the Dubai Metaverse Assembly will witness more than 25 sessions, meetings and side sessions. Discussions will cover the latest developments in metaverse technologies and explore strategic partnerships to develop digital infrastructure and anticipate how it can be used to create future applications for government services, finance, communications, and other industries.The Dubai Metaverse Assembly is the first event of its kind since His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Dubai Metaverse Strategy in July. The strategy aims to add USD 4 billion to Dubai’s GDP, support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and attract 1,000 companies specializing in blockchain and metaverse technologies to turn Dubai's into one of the world's top 10 metaverse economies. The strategy further aims to boost Dubai’s economy and support the UAE’s vision to increase blockchain and metaverse companies by 5 folds in the upcoming 5 years.

IGCF 2022: ‘Make technology work for you, not dominate your life’

With the rapid developments in technology and its steadily expanding influence in almost every aspect of human life, the 11th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) held an interactive workshop titled ‘Brave Conversations’ to highlight the growing impact of technology on people’s lives.Through a series of workshops held on the opening day, ‘Brave Conversations’ explored how people should live with technology and how to make it work for them instead of allowing technology to dominate lives.“A lot of people feel that technology is just something we use mindlessly,” said Leanne Fry, Chief Innovation Officer, AUSTRAC, and co-creator of ‘Brave Conversations’. “By focusing on how people interact with it and teaching them to be mindful about the way they use it is important to determine the place of technology in one’s life.”People with technological and non-tech backgrounds were brought together at the IGCF workshop to create a platform for open conversations on the impact of technology.Anni Rowland-Campbell, co-creator of the workshop and Director, Intersticia, told participants: “It is not the developers of technology who decide on the impact of what they are creating; it is felt by the users and the people on the street.”Through interactive exercises, participants were made better aware of how to take control of technology and use it in accordance with their needs and to their benefit and advantage.As part of the workshop series, participants also attended the session titled ‘Future World Challenges’ that showcased the challenges of navigating potential future scenarios via technology. During the session, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, who chairs the Artificial Intelligence Council in the UK, shared her valuable insights on the World Wide Web and the internet.“Our goal is to make people more aware of technology and the impact it has had on them,” Rowland-Campbell explained. “We want to empower them and make them feel that just because a particular app or platform is widely used or popular, it does not mean that you have to feel compelled to be on it. There are other better ways of doing things.”“The realisation of what participants can do to change their growing dependence on technology has empowered them to make behavioural shifts in their daily habits and talk about what they can change, and how they can influence the world,” Fry further explained.The two-day IGCF, organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC) - an initiative of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), is currently underway at Expo Centre Sharjah, under the theme ‘Challenges and Solutions’. The programme has a packed agenda that includes seven main discussion sessions, 10 inspiring speeches, six workshops, 13 interactive platforms and 40 side activities. It is being attended by 160 senior public officials, thought leaders and experts, highlighting the role of government communication in overcoming local and global governance challenges, and social and economic crises while highlighting opportunities arising from them.

Netflix short-film collection celebrates Saudi filmmakers

Netflix has released a specially curated collection of 11 short films titled “New Saudi Voices”, to celebrate the originality and creativity of emerging Saudi filmmakers.The collection spans a rich subset of genres - from horror and fantasy to family adventure, animation, sci-fi, and non-fiction, with the content showcasing the breadth and depth of Saudi’s emerging talent. The 11 films are part of the New Saudi / New Cinema Shorts showcased at the Red Sea Film Festival last year, and encapsulate the work of some of the most promising new voices in the Kingdom. Stories will span across decades, from the past of the 1960s, to modern day, and into an imagined future of the 2090s. The red thread across all of them is the chance to experience a distinctly Saudi perspective. For example, Mohamed Basalamah's ‘Hallucinated’ follows a deliveryman who suffers from insomnia and worsens until his reality and hallucinations become indistinguishable. Other fictional plots like ‘The Day I Lost Myself’ by Rami Alzayer explore how a young man with anxiety finds himself stuck in an elevator on his way to an interview. Documentaries like ‘Arufea’ by Abbas Alshuwayfie offer a peek into an old Saudi neighborhood, and Omar Al Omirat's ‘Covida the 19th’ explores lifestyle changes post-pandemic. The collection also includes an animated short called ‘Whisper down the lane’ by Raghad Albarqi, ‘The Jakar’ by Abdulaziz Saleh, ‘The Palm Witch’ by Hala Alhaid, ‘Hide and Seek’ by Mohammad Helal, ‘Red Circle’ by Abdulaziz Sarhan, and ‘Little Bird’ by Khalid Fahad. Nuha el Tayeb, Director Content Acquisitions, Netflix, MENA and Turkey, said: “We’re very excited to amplify the voices of up-and-coming filmmakers in Saudi Arabia through this collection. There's incredible talent in the Kingdom, and they have unique stories to tell. We hope that as people tune into the films, they learn more about these creators, and catch a glimpse of their passion, originality, and creativity, as we have”.We already had great success with Saudi shows and films on Netflix like Masameer, Six Windows in the Desert, Takki, and Whispers spearheaded by Saudi creators and talent, and are excited to bring this expressive collection of films to our members around the world. The films will be available on Netflix on September 29, 2022.

G7 CR Technologies appoints Rajkumar Solomons as CEO

G7 CR Technologies - one of the leading cloud service providers based out of Bangalore, today announced the appointment of Mr. Rajkumar Solomons as its CEO to manage its Telecom Cloud division in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Mr. Solomons will lead the business in the MEA region and will focus on the company’s strategic growth strengthening the local team, partnerships, and innovation in the region. Prior to joining G7 CR Technologies, Mr. Solomons was Director – Partner Marketing and Business Development at Microsoft. In his stint with Microsoft for over a decade, he has been instrumental in landing the global blueprint for the largest Cloud Channel. He has built strategic partnerships for Microsoft across Telcos, GSIs & MSPs to accelerate business transformation for customers. Prior to Microsoft, he has worked at KPMG, building IT Strategy and Cloud Consulting Practice amongst various other things. Mr. Solomons is a seasoned professional with over 22 years of experience in IT/ITeS, Telecom, BFSI, Education, Travel & Transportation Domain, he has a proven track record in Business Leadership, Digital Transformation & Acceleration, Consulting Practice Development, Digital Marketing and Cloud Channel Development. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Christopher Richard, MD & Chief Cloud Architect, G7 CR Technologies India Pvt Ltd, said, “It is an honour to have Solomons on board. He is a seasoned veteran in the industry with vast experience and insights in various domains including Cloud Practice Development, Cloud Channel Development, IT Strategy, Consulting etc. He will play an instrumental role in new business development, client management, strategic partnerships and assisting the company with its next growth phase in the MEA region. We are extremely proud to be associated with Solomons and look forward to working with him closely.” Talking about taking up the new role, Mr. Rajkumar Solomons, said, “I’m grateful to Dr. Christopher Richard for entrusting me with this opportunity for both G7 CR Technologies and myself. This is such a pivotal time and leading the MEA region which is constantly evolving and creating a niche in the region is going to be exciting as well as a challenging role as it will push me to put in all my expertise to achieve new milestones. I look forward to contributing towards the phenomenal growth of our company.” Key factors that are driving Telecom Cloud Market in the region include rapid digital transformation between industries increased significant data consumption, and increased internet & mobile device penetration. The Telecom Cloud Division of G7 CR Technologies has been offering its services to top telecom companies and is expected to grow more with the global telecom cloud market expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9% from 2022 to 2030. G7 CR Technologies which focuses on small and medium businesses, startups and the Independent Software Vendors has an annual turnover to the tune of $6,00,00,000/-. It is an Expert Azure Managed Services Partner driving cloud transformation across India and MEA region. The company provides cloud hosting services packaged with all related support services. The company has been recognised globally for its technical capabilities driving cloud success journeys for businesses from industry verticals such as Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing, Healthcare, PSUs, Education, Retail and IT.

DMCC looks to grow $23 billion UAE-US trade corridor

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has successfully concluded Made For Trade Live events in Miami and New York as it seeks to attract more companies from the US to the UAE.DMCC sees significant opportunities for growth in the UAE–US trade corridor, which was worth US$23 billion in 2021, not least because of the recently signed codeshare agreement between Emirates and United Airlines. DMCC is home to more than a third of the approximately 1,500 US businesses in the UAE.The two Made For Trade Live events were hosted in partnership with AmCham Dubai, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Versailles Ventures. They saw 120 business leaders from Miami and New York briefed on the commercial appeal of Dubai and the ease of doing business with DMCC, the fastest growing and most interconnected free zone in the world. With Dubai firmly positioned as a global hub for financial services, crypto and commodities trade, DMCC executives also highlighted the opportunities in Dubai for US businesses in these key areas.Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, "With its truly world-leading trade infrastructure, pro-business regulations and policies, as well as its drive to be a global hub in critical areas such as crypto and commodities trade, Dubai is the perfect place for US businesses to expand their operations. These trade roadshows allow DMCC to highlight the Dubai and wider UAE opportunity, and reflect on our mandate of facilitating trade, removing barriers to entry and unlocking new business opportunities. We were thrilled to be on the ground in the United States maintaining and forging new relationships that will unlock a host of exciting new commercial opportunities and, ultimately, strengthen global trade."Cara Nazari, Managing Director, AmCham Dubai, added, "Time and again, we have seen Dubai’s remarkable ability to act as a catalyst for the international growth of American businesses. DMCC’s work in highlighting this opportunity to key markets in New York and Miami aligns perfectly with our mission, which is why we are proud to support their outreach through these important roadshows."Randy Peers, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said, "Providing new channels for the growth of Brooklyn’s businesses drives everything we do. It is clear that through DMCC and Dubai, any American business has the ability to target some of the world’s fastest-growing markets. We look forward to working with DMCC on further events like this in the future."Following the success of the two events in the US, DMCC’s executive management team will be continuing the tour and travelling to South America to engage with the business communities in Brazil over the coming weeks.DMCC has played a significant role in enhancing the UAE-US trade and business relations and is currently home to over 634 leading American businesses, which use the free zone as a hub for doing business with countries around the world.DMCC’s Made for Trade Live series plays a key role in promoting Dubai as a prime destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). DMCC attracted a record-breaking 2,485 new companies to the free zone in 2021 and 1,469 new companies in the first half of 2022, bringing the total number to over 21,000 member businesses, from large multinationals through to SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Chalhoub Group acquires majority stake in Threads Styling

Chalhoub Group  today announced its successful acquisition of a majority stake in Threads Styling, the London based digital luxury retailer and personal shopping platform. Chalhoub Group acquired all shares of Threads Styling, with the exception of shares owned by its Founder and CEO, Sophie Hill.Threads Styling goes above and beyond traditional retail to offer a unique social-first personal shopping service through social platforms and chat-based commerce. Threads creates market leading style content to inspire Millennial and Gen Z clients across its channels including Instagram, Snap and TikTok where Threads successfully positions itself as an authentic voice in fashion.This partnership reinforces Chalhoub Group’s digital acceleration drive and investment in digital platforms, expands its existing online ecosystem, and brings new capabilities and opportunities for customer engagement and personalization. Chalhoub Group’s deep customer and market knowledge combined with Threads Styling’s high-touch customer experience and online presence will provide outstanding experience to consumers and brand partners and offer exciting developments ahead. Commenting on the acquisition, Sharmila Murat, Chief Investment Officer at Chalhoub Group said: “This partnership is a key milestone in our strategy to expand our digital presence and global reach, while staying focused on delivering exceptional experiences for our luxury consumers, and inspiring and influencing a global audience through innovative and engaging digital content.”Sophie Hill, Founder and CEO of Threads Styling, said: “We are excited to partner with Chalhoub Group to further strengthen our proposition within the GCC. We have such a loyal customer base in the region and with Chalhoub Group’s presence in the market we have a unique opportunity to enhance our capabilities and continue Threads Styling’s journey alongside a strategic partner”.Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as legal counsel to Chalhoub Group. Broadgate Advisors acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins as legal counsel to Threads Styling. Threads Styling will continue to operate as an independent entity under Sophie Hill’s leadership.

Global ‘idol’ talent show in Saudi version announced

In a collaboration between MBC Group and the Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority, a Saudi version of a franchise of the international ‘idol’ talent show was disclosed on Saturday. Turki Al – Sheikh, the GEA chairman, wrote in a tweet that the MBC and the GEA got involved in a partnership in order to inaugurate and launch the first season of ‘Saudi idol’ stated to start in December. The programme will comprise of a four-member jury, including Asala (Syriam), popular Arab singer, Aseel Abu Bakr, a Saudi singer, Ahlam, Emirati actress and singer, Majed Al Mohandis, Iraqi-Saudi singer and composer. The filming is scheduled to start from October and the talent programme is aiming to find local talent, majorly in Riyadh. MBC tweeted: “You carry a beautiful voice and would want to sing? Do you prefer competition and enter the world of fame and limelight? Don’t miss the chance. Participate in the largest singing program, Register now.”

Anghami partners with EA Sports to celebrate launch of ‘FIFA 23’ video game

Streaming platform Anghami has partnered with EA Sports, a division of Electronic Arts that develops and publishes sports video games, to produce and release a special track and music video to mark the launch of the “FIFA 23” video game in the region.The hip-hop track “Merengue” featuring Saudi-based rapper and hip-hop artist Lil Eazy has been produced by Outlaw Productions and the music video by Anghami’s production arm Anghami Studios.Ramy Al-Kadhi, head of Anghami Studios, said: “As Anghami’s production arm, we are delighted to be part of this project together with EA Sports to celebrate with all the video gamers’ generations the 30th edition of the world’s most popular football simulation video game, ‘FIFA.’#YOUTUBE_vIYMr5lEn7Y#“This occasion will be one to remember as we have put all our efforts to produce a track that illustrates it best.”The track celebrates the latest edition of the video game, developed by EA Sports, and scheduled for global release on Sept. 30.Anghami will also air a three-episode live radio show hosted by Big Hass. The platform launched the feature in May, allowing users to talk while any audio is being played in real-time.Over the course of the three shows, Big Hass will invite guests to discuss the entertainment and sports scene in Saudi Arabia, with conversations focusing on gaming and women’s football in the Kingdom.Arbie Artinian, director of brand marketing and franchise development at EA Sports, said: “Gaming, music, and football are intrinsically linked, and we are excited to partner with Anghami in this space.”

20th Century Studios’ ‘Avatar’ re-release earns $30.5 million worldwide

In its opening weekend, 20th Century Studios’ Avatar assumed the No. 1 position at the global box office 13 years after its original release in 2009—earning $30.5 million ($10 million domestically and $20.5 million internationally), according to Comscore. Re-released around most of the world, Avatar is reminding audiences of the amazing and immersive 3D world of Pandora leading into December’s long-anticipated release of Avatar: The Way of Water. The blockbuster first film in the franchise also added to its worldwide box office record as the highest-grossing film of all time.Internationally, the opening weekend earnings ($20.5 million) were higher than the entire run of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s re-release in 2022, and ahead of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace’s 3D re-release in 2012.Written and directed by James Cameron, Avatar stars Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri, Stephen Lang as Col. Miles Quaritch, Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy Chacón, and Sigourney Weaver as Dr Grace Augustine. The film was produced by Cameron and Jon Landau. Nominated for nine Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film won three Oscars®: Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects.Avatar will play in theatres for a two-week limited engagement.

Mona Kattan refuses to be part of The Real Housewives of Dubai

Businesswoman-superstar Mona Kattan turned down the opportunity to feature in The Real Housewives of Dubai season, claim media reports.A member of the billion-dollar Kattan cosmetics enterprise, Kattan has 2.7 million Instagram followers.She received an offer to play the series' main character in the OSN+ network.Mona Kattan recently declined the opportunity to be the main character and star of Netflix's soon-to-be-aired Dubai Bling series, despite being cast in the role.However, Kattan left the show after they couldn't agree on the storyline Netflix had in mind for her. As a result, the global streaming giant changed the show's plot and cast.The new 10 characters that Netflix had to settle with after Kattan left the show were made public by Netflix last week. They consist of DJ Bliss, Kris Fade, and other influential locals.For the producers, securing Kattan would have been a major victory. She co-founded Huda Beauty, Kayali Fragrance, was president of HB Investments, and co-starred in the show Huda Boss in addition to having a significant social media following.

Dubai Land Department, Dubai Chambers cooperate

In line with its commitment to achieving the strategic objectives of Dubai Government for the real estate sector and enhancing the sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy, Dubai Land Department (DLD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Chambers to enhance the investment environment and transparency in Dubai’s rental market. In the presence of HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, the MoU was signed by HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, and Hassan Al Hashemi, Acting President & CEO of Dubai Chambers. The agreement will see the two entities align efforts with the aim of enhancing customer happiness and ensuring the best results from all relevant services in accordance with the best practices and international standards adopted in this regard. The memorandum of understanding will allow business councils and groups under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers to own and rent real estate and offices in the emirate to provide an ideal work environment for the business community.HE Al Ghurair said the agreement establishes a strategic partnership that complements Dubai Chambers’ 2022-2024 strategy and ongoing efforts to boost confidence in the real estate sector, which remains a key pillar of the emirate’s economy. He stressed the importance of constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors to support and drive Dubai’s sustainable economic growth and development.He added that the agreement is the latest of many efforts and initiatives Dubai Chambers is launching to ensure a favourable business environment in Dubai and cater to the changing needs of companies in the emirate and its attractiveness among foreign investors.Keeping up with the latest developmentsHis Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren said: “Dubai Land Department’s efforts align with the directives of the wise leadership to establish a global-best economy that keeps abreast of the most prominent current and future global developments and practices, particularly regarding the real estate sector. The MoU with Dubai Chambers comes in line with our keenness to improve the experience of customers and investors while also providing a safe and attractive real estate environment.”Bin Mejren added: “This cooperation with Dubai Chambers aligns with both our visions, and we look forward to achieving the desired results and aspirations, which in turn will enhance the emirate’s global leadership in real estate investment, as well as empowering the real estate community through seamless services and integrated data.

Sharjah Chamber enhances cooperation with European Women Association

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) received today a high-level delegation from the European Women Association, represented by a trade mission from Belgium, Britain, and Romania.The delegation comprised prominent businesswomen in the commercial services, healthcare, information technology, financial technology, education, and legal services industries.During the meeting, Raghda Hamad Omran, Board Member of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the delegates that the chamber is keen on holding regular meetings with the European Women Association to develop a platform that offers women and business owners in Sharjah all types of support throughout their entrepreneurial journeys as well as to advance their active role in the national economy through the exchange of views and experiences.For her part, Yulia Stark, President of the European Women Association, said that the trade mission’s visit to the Sharjah Chamber aimed to explore new avenues of cooperation and motivate women and entrepreneurs to start their own businesses to support various economic sectors in their countries.

UAE, Germany sign new energy agreement

The United Arab Emirates and the Federal Republic of Germany have explored paths to advance cooperation to new heights in the energy, sustainability and investment sectors.This came at a roundtable meeting held today on the sidelines of the working visit of the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and his accompanying delegation to the UAE.Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, led the UAE's delegation to the roundtable meeting, while the German side was headed by Dr Franziska Brantner, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Mohammad Ali Al Shurafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, attended the meeting along with officials from both sides.Al Zeyoudi underscored during the meeting the promising opportunities up for grabs to further consolidate cooperation between the two nations, noting that UAE is determined to establish a diversified knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, an area where, he said, Germany has come a long way in over the years.For her part, the German minister said that UAE has always been a strategic partner for her country, and that there are prospects for consolidating cooperation between the two nations in multiple sectors, including clean energy, sustainability and climate action, among others.

Extreme E signs deal with STARZPLAY Arabia

As it prepares for its very first event in Chile this weekend (24/25 September), pioneering electric off-road racing series Extreme E is pleased to announce its latest broadcast agreement with premium streaming service, STARZPLAY Arabia, ranked consistently among the region’s top 3 subscription video on demand services.STARZPLAY will stream Extreme E’s live races in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), as well as highlights, magazine, preview and review show in English, on its platform.STARZPLAY Arabia allows viewers easy access to an extensive library of blockbuster movies as well as a wide-ranging catalogue of premium shows, without the need for a cable or satellite subscription. In addition, the paltform’s incredible line-up can all be conveniently viewed via the app on a phone, tablet or Smart TV and Connected TV devices across multiple platforms, including Android TV, Apple TV, Samsung, and LG.STARZPLAY is home to premium titles, such as original hit shows like Baghdad Central, Power, Vikings, Walker, The Flash, Your Honor, My Hero Academia, and much-loved classic shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Office, plus the biggest Hollywood blockbusters and the freshest Arabic content. With thousands of hours of premium content including the best western content, Arabic shows, Turkish favourites, anime, and live sports, STARZPLAY is today the number one streaming platform in the MENA region. The service is available in 19 countries across the Middle East, North?Africa?and Pakistan for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device.Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “Extreme E is delighted to be joining STARZPLAY’s wide-ranging programme line up in MENA, a vital and burgeoning region for our sport for purpose championship.“Extreme E’s mission to ‘race without trace’ whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues means it is vital that our series reaches as many audiences on as many platforms as possible throughout the world.“Working with STARZPLAY will not only provide viewers with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship, but also convey the message that we all need to play our part in looking after our planet.”Andy Warkman, Head of Sport at STARZPLAY, said: “We are excited to welcome Extreme E to our growing portfolio of sports and are looking forward to streaming the Copper X Prix live from Chile this weekend. Not only does Extreme E bring high action racing in extreme environments, like NEOM in Saudi Arabia, it simultaneously raises awareness of climate issues, so it is important for us to be working with Extreme E on their mission to ‘race without trace’”.Not only does Extreme E feature sharp, exciting, wheel-to-wheel racing, there is a wider purpose to the championship around the environment which is under threat.Extreme E aims to shine a spotlight on climate issues through its sustainable motorsport, which utilises a variety of methods to reduce its carbon footprint, from racing electric SUVs to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell charging.By focussing on the environment through racing Extreme E encourages consumers to make small changes to reduce their own carbon footprint and help tackle the climate emergency.The series visits remote locations which have all been affected by environmental issues such as desertification, deforestation, melting ice caps, plastic pollution, and rising carbon emissions. It’s latest location is the Atacama Desert in Chile, for the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix on 24/25 September 2022. Find out where you can watch the action here.BACK

beIN Media Group to incorporate sign language for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

beIN MEDIA GROUP, the global sports, entertainment, and media group, announced today that it will be incorporating Arabic Sign Language interpretation during the news coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.The announcement comes in the leadup to the International Day of Sign Languages, celebrated annually on 23 September. To mark the occasion, beIN has revealed that kicking off on 20 November 2022, it's evening round-up news bulletin, taking place daily at 20:00 MECCA on its Arabic news channel beIN SPORTS NEWS, will feature an Arabic Sign Language interpreter. Additionally, Arabic Sign Language will be an added feature to beIN SPORTS’ daily digital sports news wrap-up show, News in 90 Seconds, published on beIN SPORTS NEWS’ Twitter account @beINSPORTSNews as well as beIN SPORTS’ official Instagram account @beINSPORTS.Commenting on this, Mohammed Al-Bader, Managing Director of beIN Channels – MENA, said: “We are committed to providing an unparalleled viewing experience to our millions of viewers and subscribers. In celebration of the International Day of Sign Languages, beIN is keen to raise awareness and ensure the inclusion of its audiences’ needs by providing a daily live sign language interpretation of the evening news bulletin and digital news wrap-up show. We look forward to continuing to deliver exceptional broadcast services during this exciting time, as we gear up to bring the world’s most prestigious football tournament to life, as the official broadcaster of the historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM”.

Abu Dhabi to showcase more than 100 innovative digital initiatives

The Abu Dhabi Government is set to participate for the 11th time in the 42nd edition of “GITEX Global 2022”, which will be held for 5 days between 10 and 14 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.More than 30 government and academic entities will be participating under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Government pavilion during this global tech event.In preparation for the event, the Department of Government Support - Abu Dhabi, represented by the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority – the government entity that leads the digital future of the Abu Dhabi government, held a preparatory online meeting with officials from the participating government entities to coordinate efforts and finalize the preparations for the five-day event, ensuring effective participation that strengthens the position of Abu Dhabi as a leader in digital transformation by enhancing cooperation and coordination between the various stakeholders in the emirate.At GITEX Global 2022, the Abu Dhabi Government will showcase more than 100 initiatives and innovative digital projects in its pavilion that aim to create a unique experience for visitors by introducing a unified platform that features all government entities.This participation comes under the supervision of the Higher Committee of Digital Government in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is in line with its efforts to implement a governance framework across the Abu Dhabi government and make a fundamental change in the concept of government services, moving towards digital future.Ali Rashid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Department of Government Support - Abu Dhabi, said: “GITEX Global 2022 is one of the biggest technology events to showcase the latest innovations and technology. It is an important platform to showcase the achievements of the government’s digital transformation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which comes as a manifestation of the vision of the UAE leadership, which places innovation and digital transformation at the forefront of its priorities to meet the needs of society.“By participating at GITEX Global 2022, the Abu Dhabi Government aims to bolster strategic public-private partnerships, explore new areas of collaboration, and leverage the capabilities of major technology companies to support the emirate’s digital agenda.” Al Ketbi added.His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamid Al Askar, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, said: "We are excited about organising the eleventh participation of the Abu Dhabi government in GITEX Global 2022, which attracts thousands of specialists and savvy tech people from around the world.“GITEX Global 2022 provides an opportunity for the Abu Dhabi government to showcase more than 100 innovative initiatives and projects in the fields of Government Services, Digital Government Solutions, Data and AI, cybersecurity, and Digital ecosystem Enablement, all of which have been carefully developed to further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s digital capabilities, enabling, supporting and delivering a digital government that is proactive, personalized, collaborative and secure.”The Abu Dhabi Government participation focuses on five key pillars: “Government Services”, providing a smooth and seamless experience designed to meet the needs of customers through digital channels; “Government Solutions”, promoting cooperation and supporting joint initiatives across various governmental entities and institutions to maximize the value of the initiatives’ outputs; “Data & Artificial Intelligence”, taking advantage of the safe and effective sharing of data in order to support the decision-making process and enhance government pro-activeness; “Cybersecurity”, providing world-class cyber-security and intelligence to protect digital infrastructure, systems and data towards a resilient digital society, and “Digital Enablement”, driving socio-economic growth by accelerating integration with digital systems, applications, stakeholders, customers, and business partners.The Abu Dhabi government’s participation in this year’s edition of GITEX Global 2022 complements its participation last year when the Abu Dhabi government pavilion attracted more than 12,685 visitors and witnessed the signing of 12 agreements and memoranda of understanding, in addition to showcasing 100 innovative initiatives and projects in digital transformation.-Ends-

8th cohort of Dubai Business associates programme kicks off

Dubai Business Associates (DBA), a world-class graduate management programme run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has welcomed its eighth and highly diverse cohort to Dubai, with 30 graduates from 17 countries embarking on a transformative nine-month journey.The 30 graduates from Austria, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, the UAE, the UK, the USA, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam were selected from over 2,300 applicants and will be immersed in the fully-funded programme which employs an experiential and project-based learning approach. Drawing on hard and soft skills, the Programme helps propel careers and future preparedness through comprehensive training on strategy, business, and leadership coupled with a multidimensional curriculum delivered in collaboration with the DBA’s learning partners; PwC’s Academy Middle East, CAPADEV and Bon Education.The Programme concludes in June 2023 with the delivery of a consulting project that addresses a real-life business challenge to several placement partners including Dnata, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai Holding, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DP World, Emirates, Jumeirah and the Museum of the Future.James Maughan, Director, Dubai Business Associates Programme said: ‘‘Dubai has proven itself as a global talent and innovation hub over the years. In a post pandemic world, the emirate is continuously propelling towards the future by attracting and developing talent from all corners of the globe. The Programme exemplifies this with a strong network that includes 200+ alumni in 50 cities and major business hubs, including Dubai. This year we are excited to be working with 30 of the best and brightest minds on ground-breaking projects with our longstanding partners. We are also thrilled to welcome three Emirati graduates who, for the first time, will be attending the full duration of the programme as secondees from across the public and private sector, continuing to support Dubai’s future competitiveness while propelling the graduates’ career trajectories and personal development.’’Christian Kunz, Head of Group Strategy, and Innovation at DIFC added: ‘‘DIFC is excited to collaborate with this year’s Dubai Business Associates Programme cohort as in all previous editions building on its nine years of experience in skills and talent development. The Programme represents a win-win for all partners and stakeholders involved, with associates applying their collective experiences and training on unpacking organisational challenges and creating sustainable value. It is also an extension of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s commitment to foster innovation and develop youth skills and capabilities in a highly dynamic and diverse environment.’’The Dubai Business Associates Programme officially kicked off at an opening ceremony held at ICD Brookfield Place earlier today, which was attended by key partners and senior executives from across Dubai and the UAE, including the Al Jalila Foundation, the Emirates Literature Foundation and FlyDubai.