Saudi Tourism Authority expands collaboration with Huawei Mobile Services

Riyadh: The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) expands its strategic collaboration with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Petal Ads, the advertising arm of HMS, to enhance tourists' travel experience and boost Chinese tourism to Saudi by creating a smarter and more immersive travel experience for tourists visiting Saudi. The partnership aims to revolutionize the way tourists explore the country through increased digitization of travel services, with a special focus on attracting Chinese tourists to the Kingdom.Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Saudi Tourism Authority have signed an MOU during the Approved Destination Status (ADS) launch ceremony held in Beijing. Mr Fahd M. Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, was the signatory of the MOU along with Mr. Walter Ji Rengui, President of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service Global Ecosystem Development & Operations. The signing reflects both parties' ongoing collaboration and continued shared commitment to promote Saudi as a unique and dynamic destination to Chinese audiences.Choon Yang Quek, Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Tourism Authority said, "The partnership with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Petal Ads is part of Saudi’s wider novel approach to marketing tourism and travel experiences that transform the visitor experience. Huawei has a deep connection with its consumers, which combined with Saudi’s dedication to visitor experiences, we are now able to reach new audiences more effectively via established Huawei channels and tap into new insights on Chinese travelers to better tailor their journey in Saudi.”Alhasan Aldabbagh, President of APAC Markets at Saudi Tourism Authority said, “We are thrilled to partner with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Petal Ads to enhance the travel experience of tourists visiting Saudi. By making Huawei’s cutting-edge technology an integral part of the travel experience, we can tap into established channels to reach a much wider audience and develop a deeper understanding of potential visitors. Through this partnership, we are reaffirming our commitments set out under Vision 2030 and are delivering tailored and custom experiences for Chinese travelers.”Mr. Walter Ji Rengui, President, Consumer BG, Global Ecosystem Development and Operations Department, said, "We are delighted to partner with the Saudi Tourism Authority in this exciting collaboration. By integrating our advanced technology solutions, we aim to provide tourists visiting Saudi with an enhanced and seamless travel experience. This partnership reflects our commitment to innovation and our dedication to transforming the tourism industry for the better."By integrating Huawei Mobile Services’ advanced technology solutions, tourists visiting Saudi Arabia will enjoy a smarter travel experience and will have access to a range of innovative tools and applications that simplify their travel journey. From seamless navigation and language translation services to augmented reality-guided tours, this collaboration aims to ensure that tourists can make the most of their time while traveling.Through this groundbreaking collaboration, the Saudi Tourism Authority seeks to leverage cutting-edge technology to offer tourists an unparalleled experience while showcasing the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that Saudi has to offer. It further represents Saudi’s commitment to deliver tailored and seamless experiences for Chinese visitors with accessible support available throughout the duration of the visitor journey.In partnership with Petal Ads, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) is making substantial efforts to welcome an increasing number of Chinese tourists to explore the beauty and wonder of Saudi. The collaboration includes targeted marketing campaigns across various platforms to raise awareness about the diverse tourist attractions and unique experiences the country has to offer to the Chinese audience.In addition, and in an endeavor to strengthen ties with China and promote Saudi as a premier tourist destination, VIP guests from the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) participated in the VIP panel discussion at the HDC ‘Together 2023 in China’. The panel discussion aimed to highlight the mutual benefits of tourism collaboration between the two nations and explore new avenues for cross-cultural exchange.

Six Senses Southern Dunes appoints Yasser Al-Dhaheri as Director of HR

Saudi Arabia: Six Senses Southern Dunes, the first property set to open in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, which will open its doors in late 2023, is thrilled to announce the promotion of Yasser Al-Dhaheri to the role of Director of Human Resources.Yasser has been an integral part of the team, leading the Human Resources department with diligence and expertise throughout the pre-opening phase and beyond. His exceptional dedication and remarkable results have made him a standout talent within the Six Senses family.Yasser's educational background in Engineering and his experience in the Finance Department have provided him with a solid foundation to excel in his role. His previous experience in leading international five-star hotels in various locations has given him a deep understanding of the labor market's demands and how to succeed in the field of human resources.Since joining, Yasser has implemented protocols that have enhanced the efficiency of the Human Resources Department, played a crucial role in developing HR strategies, and fostered a culture of teamwork and excellence. His ability to build relationships and lead with empathy has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and superiors.One of Yasser's proudest moments was obtaining an Executive master’s degree in international Hotel Management from Les Roches Marbella, Spain. He was selected and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism as one of the top local leaders in the hospitality sector, showcasing his commitment to personal and professional growth.Outside of work, Yasser finds joy as a loving father to his newborn son Saleh and takes pride in his role as a supportive husband to his wife Amal, who has been his partner throughout his journey to success. Cars have been a significant part of Yasser's lifestyle, from his previous Mustang adventures on the highways to his newfound passion for exploring untouched and magnificent off-road attractions with his custom-modified Wrangler Rubicon monster.

Deloitte hosts inaugural financial crime symposium in Riyadh, KSA

Riyadh:– Deloitte hosted its first Financial Crime Symposium in Riyadh, KSA, bringing together key stakeholders and representatives from across different sectors within the Anti-Financial Crime ecosystem.This symposium served as a platform for industry experts to actively participate in panel discussions, where they explored the most recent regulatory changes and emerging trends shaping the financial crime landscape. These discussions included topics such as the strategies and regional challenges related to Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and fraud, the adaptation of AML/CFT and fraud practices to suit the digital economy, and the advancement of innovation through technology."As highlighted during our Financial Crime Symposium in Riyadh, the pursuit of financial crime compliance is not merely a legal obligation; it is a moral and strategic imperative. We need to embrace technology, stay vigilant to the ever-changing risks in the region, and develop innovative solutions to address them, all while managing the risks of the digital economy. Together, we can ensure a prosperous, secure, and compliant financial landscape that will not only serve the interests of Saudi Arabia but also contribute positively to the global economy," said Muzzi Ebrahim, Partner and Leader of Financial Crime and Data Analytics at Deloitte Middle East.The symposium brought to the forefront the critical role of technology in addressing AML/CFT and Fraud typologies. Regulatory mandates now require the implementation of monitoring systems to detect financial crimes. Successfully deploying these systems involves a customized approach that takes into account the organization’s unique characteristics and risk factors. With SAMA actively promoting open banking initiatives throughout the Kingdom, a wealth of data points becomes accessible, allowing for the creation of robust customer risk profiles. The symposium discussions highlighted the importance of such profiles in identifying instances of financial crime.Rana Shashaa, Partner and Forensic Leader at Deloitte Middle East commented, "In a rapidly evolving regulatory and innovative environment, the Financial Crime Symposium shed light on how leveraging technology, analytics and collaboration optimize detection, prevention, and monitoring processes. This approach not only provides a transparent and efficient platform, but also contributes to supporting the Kingdom’s undeniable growth and emerging position as a global leading economy."

From social to virtual: The influencer marketing revolution in the Middle East

In the realm of modern marketing, influencer marketing has emerged as a dominant force. Major brands are increasingly forming partnerships with influencers to drive their marketing strategies. These "Social Influencers" are everyday individuals like us, but possess the exceptional ability to wield influence over large audiences through their active presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more.This article aims to explore the landscape of influencer marketing in the Middle East, highlighting its significant impact on prominent brands in the region. Additionally, we'll delve into the rising phenomenon of virtual influencers, a trend that is gradually eclipsing traditional social influencers.A strategic approachInfluencer marketing is a strategic approach that involves collaborating with individuals, often referred to as 'influencers,' who boast a substantial and engaged social media following. These influencers are tapped to endorse and promote products or services. In light of its ever-increasing popularity, brands are now going a step further by compensating influencers for their role in promoting their products.Influencer campaigns have indeed surged in popularity, wielding significant potential for brand success, points out Karolina Slowikowska, Director of Communications, amana.“Collaborating with trusted influencers who possess a deep understanding of the financial world can be a powerful strategy. These influencers can play a vital role in educating and guiding audiences on complex topics like investing, ensuring that individuals make well-informed decisions regarding their financial future,” says Karolina.<img src='\50e6aa89cd492d34a6b3a21da0a0518d.png' class='content_image'>Influencer boom in the Middle EastThe recently unveiled report, "The State of Influencer Marketing in UAE 2023," a joint effort between prominent marketer YAAP and Khaleej Times, provides a comprehensive overview of the latest trends and market dynamics within the realm of social influencers. This report offers a profound insight into the evolving landscape of influencer marketing in the UAE.According to the report's findings, the influencer marketing industry in the Middle East is on track to achieve a significant market valuation of $1.3 billion by 2023. The report highlights the various supporting trends, technologies, and favorable market conditions contributing to this growth.YAAP’s research methodology included attaining sector-wide perspectives of CMOs, marketing heads, and digital marketers from leading brands in the region. A few findings reinforce the UAE’s competitive edge globally in influencer marketing and the absorption of supporting technologies. According to 76.9% of marketers, influencer marketing was a top priority for their brands whereas 76.5% of marketers said that they’ve shifted their budgets from TV, print and outdoor to influencer marketing. These figures underscore the growing significance of influencer marketing in the UAE.Dubai as the hubDubai is undeniably the Middle East's top tourist destination, boasting cutting-edge infrastructure, a luxurious lifestyle characterized by a high disposable income, and a vibrant city atmosphere. It's not just a tourist hotspot but also the global epicenter of influencer culture, drawing both established and up-and-coming social media figures seeking to seize remarkable opportunities.As per Global Media Insights, a staggering 98.98% of the population in the UAE actively engages with social media. Furthermore, the 11th annual Arab Youth Survey revealed that 9 out of 10 young individuals regularly use at least one social media platform on a daily basis, primarily through mobile devices.Moreover, a recent survey by revealed that 75% of UAE residents follow some form of social media influencer. A few years ago, a survey of 1,000 UAE residents conducted by the Dubai PR agency BPG Cohn & Wolfe indicated that 71% of residents between the ages of 18 and 40 consider influencer recommendations before making a purchase. The sectors of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, food, latest technology, and entertainment are not only attractive to social influencers but also hold the attention of consumers.Ibrahim Hamieh, Account Director - Social Lead at Dentsu Creative MENA, feels that the UAE serves as the epicenter of technology, futurism, and the digital realm within the region.“It's widely recognized that the government's visionary approach aligns seamlessly with this trajectory, offering substantial support to businesses moving in this direction. Amidst this, a plethora of social media influencers has emerged, playing a pivotal role in amplifying the country's vision and championing the inevitable avant-garde spirit of the UAE. Moreover, the nation's unique character consistently highlights and rewards its diverse pool of talents.”<img src='\29c27e2cb6368336a31eae76d36120b1.png' class='content_image'>Anastasiya Golovatenko, PR Director, Sherpa Communications, commenting on the same, says: “The emergence of various social media personalities in the UAE is a testament to the nation's diverse and digitally savvy population, which is quite unique in comparison to any other market. These influencers represent a range of cultures, interests, and narratives, which makes the digital dialogue so special. Their growing presence also provides brands with unique opportunities to engage with varied audiences at the same time making the UAE a truly unique place.” Building partnerships between brands and influencersEvery brand aims to establish an authentic and culturally resonant voice among consumers. For this, they are now tapping social influencers as they are the prominent voices that people listen to. Therefore, having strong networks of influencers allow brands to market consistently, build effective affiliate programmes, test concepts with their target demographics and create a resilient revenue stream driven by social commerce.Ibrahim Hamieh comments: “It is unquestionable that influencer marketing has become indispensable for nearly all businesses. Both agencies and clients have strategically incorporated it into their plans, particularly those seeking robust and sustainable growth. However, the primary focal point should always be the audience, which has grown more discerning, informed, and diligent in fact-checking. Consequently, the foundation of partnerships between agencies and influencer firms, as well as the selection of activated influencers, should revolve not only around relevance and authenticity but also around aligning with this increasingly discerning audience.”Anastasiya Golovatenko says that in recent years, the Middle East market has indeed witnessed a surge in efforts to foster authentic partnerships between brands and influencers.She believe this shift signifies a deeper understanding of audience expectations.“Today's consumers seek genuine content, and they can differentiate between organic endorsements and forced promotions. Authenticity not only enhances credibility but also resonates more profoundly with audiences, driving stronger engagement and loyalty. As a PR agency, we always advocate for genuine brand-influencer alignments because they yield more sustainable and impactful results in the long run,” she adds.<img src='\829a936c985e4be8f3235f6a1f01f906.png' class='content_image'>Women’s roleAccording to data released by Statista in 2022, a majority of social media influencers, specifically 82%, are female.Women are the trailblazers, the dynamic force making social media platforms so compelling.Ibrahim Hamieh adds that while this may have been the case primarily in the early stages, industries like beauty, fashion, and skincare provided a strong initial platform for influencers, and for good reason. However, he adds, in recent times, we've witnessed a significant rise in male influencers.“Sectors such as gaming, sports, travel, and food have contributed to a more gender-inclusive landscape, reshaping dynamics. What's even more intriguing is that industries are no longer confined to a specific gender; women can engage in discussions about gaming, and men can delve into skincare, breaking down traditional boundaries,” he says.Brands partnering with social influencersInfluencer marketing is steadily gaining popularity, as brands increasingly collaborate with influencers and content creators to endorse their products and services. Influencers possess substantial followings on social media platforms, making them instrumental in assisting brands to expand their reach and enhance engagement with their target audience.Commenting on this, Anastasiya Golovatenko says: “For B2C brands, influencer partnerships can significantly drive traffic and expedite the sales cycle. To truly capitalize, brands should ensure alignment with influencers who genuinely resonate with their ethos. If everything is done correctly, such collaborations can offer immense value.”According toIbrahim Hamieh, several factors come into play when considering these partnerships.First and foremost, he points out, defining the objective is paramount.He says that brands must ask themselves what they aim to achieve through these collaborations. “Once this objective is established, along with a deep understanding of the target audience, various metrics can be leveraged to benefit the brands. These metrics include but are not limited to exposure, increased Share of Voice (SOV), engagement, shareability, fostering brand affinity, and building brand loyalty. Tangible outcomes can be observed in terms of sales, foot traffic, product trials, and more. In summary, partnering with the right influencers, after clarifying objectives, can greatly benefit brands,” says IbrahimProfit ratio for influencersSocial influencers are becoming more deeply involved in collaborating with brands. What advantages do they gain from this partnership?In the UAE, says Hamieh, many individuals have made the choice to leave their corporate jobs behind in favour of pursuing careers as influencers.“It often begins as a hobby, evolves into a 'side hustle,' and can eventually become a full-time endeavor that demands a significant amount of time and effort. The financial rewards, particularly for those who maintain relevance and authenticity, can be substantial. The influencer industry operates on a principle of reciprocity: the more you invest in it, the more it rewards you in return,” he adds.On the contrary, Anastasiya Golovatenko, feels that social influencers in the UAE can't solely rely on luck for campaign success. While many brands are still figuring out campaign management, influencers should lead by setting benchmarks and ensuring quality checks. They hold a responsibility to optimize partnerships, rather than delivering semi-cooked campaigns.”Flip side of influencer marketing Undoubtedly, influencer marketing has brought about significant social changes, especially among younger generations. However, we must also consider its negative aspects.While influencers can be a source of inspiration and motivation, there's a flip side that we must address, points out Anastasiya Golovatenko.“The influencer-driven culture has a huge impact on young people, leading them to question their looks, skills or existence in general. This effect is being increasingly highlighted in media, with movies like 'Barbie' addressing these concerns as well. As professionals in the PR sector, it's essential we advocate for responsible awareness campaigns, ensuring that the content shared promotes positive values and doesn't harm or influence our social values,” she says. Entry of virtual influencersA notable shift in the realm of brand marketing strategies is the emergence of virtual influencers. With the boundary between reality and virtuality becoming increasingly blurred, brands are leveraging the influence of virtual personas to craft campaigns and tap into the surging trend of digital escapism.Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters who possess their own personalities, lifestyles and online personas but are created and controlled by a team of artists and developers. These virtual influencers are gaining popularity on social media platforms, captivating audiences with their unique aesthetics, storytelling, and engagement. A perfect example is Lil Miquela, a virtual influencer with 2.8m Instagram followers and major brand deals with Prada, CK and Pascum.Furthermore, notable brands such as Burberry, Gucci, and Maybelline have also engaged in partnerships with virtual influencers for their marketing campaigns.<img src='\9183cfd889251c8d7624bbfcb2d0759a.png' class='content_image'>Virtual influencers and AI-driven avatars remain a fresh addition to the marketing and advertising realm in the Middle East, says Barbara Soltysinska, Co-founder & CEO of indaHash.She feels that there is still potential for growth in the region.“Currently, virtual influencers in the UAE serve more as intriguing entities rather than dominant influencers, particularly when considering their follower count, engagement rates, and overall activity. For instance, the most recognizable Meta Kira boasts under 4k followers. Compared to globally recognized computer-generated influencers, there's substantial room for growth in the Middle East,” she says.According to her, whatever brands select, whether social or virtual influencers, it's crucial to exercise caution.“Trust and reliability are paramount, as influencers bear a substantial responsibility when discussing topics like investments, where sometimes people's life-savings are at stake. To conclude, we can take an advise from Warren Buffett, a renowned American business magnate and investor, who said: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things different,” she concludes.

Dubai Chambers reveals four key pillars shaping agenda at Dubai Business Forum

Dubai: Dubai Chambers has announced details of the Dubai Business Forum’s key thematic pillars ahead of the eagerly anticipated event, which will bring the global business community together at Madinat Jumeirah from 1-2 November for two days of insightful discussions, networking, and dealmaking.Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the forum will be held under the theme ‘Shifting Economic Power: Dubai and the Future of Global Trade.’Dubai Chambers has identified four key pillars that will form the basis of the event’s far-reaching agenda: Globalisation, Foreign Direct Investment, Digital Transformation, and Emerging Markets. Each of the forum’s sessions will be categorised under these verticals, ensuring participants are able to easily identify and attend the sessions that are most relevant to their individual areas of interest and expertise.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “Our carefully curated agenda is designed to ensure participants maximise their time together by focusing on topics that will play a fundamental role in transforming business for the future. This innovative event will unite key public and private sector stakeholders from across the globe to engage in networking opportunities, explore new partnerships, and forge significant deals.”Lootah added: “The forum is envisioned as a unique platform to explore pressing global issues in depth, enabling the business community to take proactive steps to shape a future where business can thrive in an ever-evolving economic landscape.”No international business forum would be complete without addressing Globalisation, which has reshaped the business environment to create both opportunities and challenges. Businesses that effectively navigate the complexities of global markets can expand their reach, boost profitability, and access valuable resources. However, these advantages come with a need to address the unique challenges that come with operating on a global scale, all of which will be placed under the spotlight during the Dubai Business Forum.While Dubai continues to attract record-breaking amounts of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), ongoing geopolitical issues, rising food and energy prices, and other economic pressures are impacting levels of FDI on a global scale. These trends require concerted efforts if they are to be addressed effectively. This is particularly true in the case of developing nations, with emerging markets poised to play a vital role in driving investments in priority sectors. The Dubai Business Forum creates a unique opportunity for participants to hear more about what the future holds for FDI from heads of state, policymakers, and leading financial experts.The crucial topic of Digital Transformation will also be examined during the forum. Advanced digital technologies are contributing to the growth of business, trade, and investments by automating processes, reducing waste, and optimising supply chain management. The forum’s Digital Transformation pillar will bring together thought leaders, innovators, and policymakers for a deep dive into the implications of emerging technologies and their impact on the global business community.It is widely predicted that Emerging Markets will represent six of the world’s seven largest economies by 2050. As these important markets further enhance their capabilities, they will grow to form an integral part of the global economy. The Dubai Business Forum will explore effective strategies to embrace this shifting world order and do business with emerging markets.The inaugural edition of the Dubai Business Forum builds on the success of Dubai Chambers’ series of ‘Global Business Forum’ events and is set to play a key role in contributing to the ambitious targets outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which seeks to double the size of the emirate’s economy over the coming decade.The event creates a unique platform for influential international figures from the public and private sectors to gather, identify emerging trends, and shape a better future for business, further cementing Dubai’s position at the heart of the global economy. Featuring two days of high-level plenary sessions, speeches, talks, workshops, and networking opportunities, the forum will serve as a catalyst to transform business and shape the future of global trade.The Dubai Business Forum will be hosted at Madinat Jumeirah from 1-2 November.

Dubai Watch Week appoints Houbara Communications as PR partner

Dubai: Dubai Watch Week, the leading global non-commercial horology platform, has appointed Houbara Communications as its PR partner for its upcoming sixth edition set to take place from November 16 to 20, 2023, at The Gate, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).Houbara will work alongside Dubai Watch Week to raise awareness of Dubai Watch Week’s largest iteration yet with the highest participation to date, featuring over 55 brands, tapping into community, tradition, and innovation.Houbara will support Dubai Watch Week in its communication efforts locally, including strategies to reflect its position as a key cultural and lifestyle event on Dubai's calendar, playing a central role in positioning the city as a leading global cultural, retail, and luxury hub. Loretta Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Houbara Communications added: “Having worked with the Seddiqi Holding group for six years, we are well versed in the realm of horology, have an in-depth understanding of their brands and the sector. We look forward to creating award-winning work with them in their biggest season to date.”

Experience Abu Dhabi welcomes visitors to enjoy a Diwali getaway

Abu Dhabi: Experience Abu Dhabi, the destination brand of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced package deals, offers, and a full calendar of events for residents and tourists to enjoy this holiday season.Visitors can enjoy special experiences in dining, adventure, and retail on offer this Diwali. The World Trade Centre Mall will spice up the retail experience with a Diwali shopping festival and traditional Punjabi masti, Rajasthani dances, Bhangra and Bollywood dancing. Adventure seekers can get their adrenaline pumping with Circuit X adventure parks offering 50 percent off entry across its Skate, Splash, Ropes and BMX parks. Visitors can then unwind with a Diwali dinner hosted by the Olive Tree Restaurant, Aloft Al Ain Hotel, and Ramsa restaurant in Erth Hotel. Travellers spending their Diwali holiday in Abu Dhabi can enjoy exclusive packages and offers. EaseMyTrip’s Limited Edition offer with three nights includes a half-day city tour and a desert safari experience. Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel offer a buy-one-get-one-free package on a four-night stay in Abu Dhabi and on tickets to various attractions. Aaryan Leisure offers a package for a seven-night stay in Abu Dhabi covering hotel accommodations and attractions.Arijit Singh, King of Bollywood Playback, will provide the perfect end to the Diwali holiday season with a live performance at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island on 18 November. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a food connoisseur, an adrenaline seeker, or a music lover, there is something for everyone to do in Abu Dhabi.

Al-Futtaim IKEA's 'Bring on the Mess' campaign embraces the beauty of chaos

Al-Futtaim IKEA, the franchisee operating IKEA stores in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman, in alliance with FP7 McCann, has launched its latest campaign ‘Bring on the Mess’.The new promotional ad wants people to change their mindset about being messy. It encourages them to get messy as well as be happy with mess around them. FP7 Mc Cann, which recently acquired IKEA’s global ad account, has executed both the video as well as print campaign for Al-Futtaim IKEA. The campaign has been launched in video and print across the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman.The ad film encourages everyone to get messy, be it a kid playing with toys or a husband making a romantic dinner for his wife. It supports the idea that ‘mess is freedom’ and ‘mess is your happy place’ and finally ends with the slogan that ‘IKEA’s got your back’.The advertisement illustrates how IKEA's storage solutions can effectively organize and manage clutter. This video campaign is complemented by a print campaign featuring everyday individuals in their regular living spaces, demonstrating the transformative effect of these solutions on their clutter.Carla Klumpenaar, General Manager – Marketing, Communication, HF and Retail Design in UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman at Al-Futtaim IKEA, shares: “Our campaign is the story of mess throughout life. But let’s remember, mess isn’t just about things and stuff. It’s about life’s surprises, the things that make it unpredictable and uniquely special. It’s that feeling when we don’t know what’s coming next, when we’re not in control for a moment. It’s exciting, emotional, and always changing. And with every mess, there’s a new possibility to make life better. It’s one of the things that makes life extraordinary.”The campaign aims to share the message that people’s space is a canvas and to fill it with their life is to fill it with their mess and embrace it.Federico Fanti, Chief Creative Officer, FP7 McCann, said: “Bring On The Mess is an ode to the beautiful messes of our lives that give character to every corner of our homes, making them unique, unexpected, and endearingly us.”

Amazon's $20.6 Billion Media Account in Global Pitch

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is putting its massive media account up for pitch after spending $20.6 billion on advertising and promotional costs in 2022. This figure marked a significant increase from the previous year's $16.9 billion. Procter & Gamble, once considered the world's biggest advertising spender, has fallen behind with advertising costs of $8 billion in 2023, compared to $7.9 billion in 2022 and $8.2 billion in 2021, according to its financial filings.IPG Mediabrands has held Amazon's media buying account since 2017, but the company has decided to review its options. Amazon stated, "We routinely review existing business relationships with third-party vendors and partners, and based on those reviews, may decide to solicit proposals from vendors interested in working with us." The retail giant uses a variety of advertising channels, including sponsored search, social and online advertising, third-party customer referrals, and television advertising, to attract buyers to its platforms. Amazon is also a significant player in the ad space, ranking as the world's third-largest digital advertising platform, behind Google and Meta. In the June quarter, its advertising services grew by 22% to reach $10.68 billion.

Najm partners up with iot squared to advance insurance services

 Najm for Insurance Services has signed an agreement with iot squared, a leading company in providing Internet of Things (iot) solutions for smart logistics and cities, to advance insurance services in the Kingdom. The agreement was signed by the Acting CEO of Najm, Mohammad Al-Shehri, and the CEO of iot Squared, Osman Al-Dahsh.The agreement aims to enhance ways of cooperation between the two parties and provide the latest electronic services through an integrated platform that enables insurance companies to keep pace with technological developments and benefit from them. This agreement will also develop and improve insurance services, as well as positively impact the interests of all stakeholders and partners within the insurance sector. This step aligns closely with and acts as an enabler of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the Quality-of-Life Program.Through this agreement, Najm seeks to keep up with the latest technologies and innovations and provide modern solutions that meet the insurance sector’s needs and contribute effectively towards increasing the demand for the sector’s services.iot Squared is a joint entity between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and STC Group. It provides leading iot solutions in the logistics service field, offering real-time insights in the Kingdom, with an aim of enhancing the adoption of iot technologies in the region.Najm for Insurance Services is a closed, unlisted joint stock company established in 2007 as a result of a cooperation between the Insurance companies, Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the General Department of Traffic. It aims to promote the vehicle insurance sector and achieve road traffic safety in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Najm offers a diverse range of solutions and services for citizens, residents, and visitors in the Kingdom, and serves 40 Saudi cities through a skilled Saudi workforce specialized in reviewing accidents and providing relevant insurance-related services. Headquartered in Riyadh, Najm operates according to the regulations set by the law of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

Franklin Templeton announces leadership appointments in Global Distribution

Franklin Templeton is delighted to announces key leadership appointments within Global Distribution, effective October 2, 2023. These appointments will support the rapid and continued expansion of the USD 1.4 trillion global asset manager and will further position the firm to benefit from future distribution opportunities.Adam Spector, EVP and Head of Global Distribution, Franklin Templeton commented, “Over the last several years, we have been purposefully transforming and strategically expanding our firm. In crucial markets including UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC), we have made significant strides in growing our distribution channels. Building on this momentum, it is important for us to evolve our leadership talent as we focus on delivering long-term value to our clients.”Matt Harrison has been appointed as Head of Europe & UK Distribution. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing the company’s distribution strategy and further expanding our business in this important region. The distribution leaders in Europe and UK will report to him with immediate effect. Harrison will relocate to London over the next few months and will report to Spector.Harrison was previously Co-Head of APAC at Franklin Templeton, based in Sydney.  Prior to joining the firm in 2018, he held senior roles at various firms including Colonial First State, Commonwealth Bank and ING. He has over 25 years of experience within the industry and has developed client relationships across multiple markets including Asia Pacific, Australia, India, Japan and UK.As a result of Harrison’s new role overseeing Europe and the UK, Tariq Ahmad’s responsibilities have been expanded and he has been named sole Head of APAC Distribution reporting to Spector. Going forward, Ahmad will have ownership and accountability of APAC strategy to best serve the firm’s clients in a region that is critical to the global growth strategy of Franklin Templeton. Singapore-based Ahmad was previously Co-Head of APAC Distribution and has over 20 years of experience in the asset management industry.Dubai-based Sandeep Singh has been appointed Head of CEEMEA & India Distribution, also reporting to Spector. Singh was previously Head of CEEMEA Distribution overseeing the leadership and development of the firm’s retail and institutional business in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA). In his new role, Singh will expand his responsibilities to oversee the Indian market. Singh held several leadership roles within the firm previously in India and Malaysia and has over 25 years of experience within the asset management industry.  Both Harrison and Singh take over the distribution responsibilities held by former Head of EMEA distribution Julian Ide, who has been appointed Vice Chair, EMEA reporting to President and CEO Jenny Johnson.  In his new role, Ide will engage with senior decision makers at the largest global financial institutions in EMEA to cultivate mutually beneficial long-term partnerships.  Spector added: “Harrison, Singh and Ahmad are seasoned and proven leaders and I am thrilled to work closely with them to further expand our distribution footprint at this exciting time. In addition, I would like to thank Julian for his efforts and dedication as Head of EMEA distribution and look forward to partnering with him in his new role as Vice Chair EMEA.”

Triterras welcomes Vinay Kapoor as Executive Vice President

Triterras, Inc. (“Triterras” or the “Company,”) a leading fintech company focused on trade and trade finance, today announced the appointment of Vinay Kapoor to the role of Executive Vice President. Mr. Kapoor joins the C-suite to lead the Company’s global corporate development efforts.Mr. Kapoor will directly oversee several strategic initiatives for Triterras. He will be in pursuit of external collaborations and other expansion efforts that will continue to advance cross-border trade opportunities. Mr. Kapoor will also have global oversight over potential opportunities that will expand the Company’s presence into new business areas that reach into and out of emerging markets.Prior to joining Triterras, Mr. Kapoor held roles as Managing Director at Bank of Singapore, Managing Director at Citigroup, and Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch. Mr. Kapoor was also a Board level Advisor for one of the largest Canadian alternative Asset Management firms, as well as Vice Chairman for a NASDAQ-listed entity.Organizations under Mr. Kapoor’s administration have been awarded for outstanding achievement as top-performing overseas subsidiaries. From early level startups to the most successful subsidiaries on a global scale, Mr. Kapoor has a proven track record with the creation and successful exit of numerous complex, structured financial vehicles.“Vinay is an extremely well-respected and trusted industry leader with great stature in the business community,” said Srinivas Koneru, Chairman & CEO at Triterras. “Vinay’s extensive experience in capital and financial markets makes him eminently qualified to lead our efforts. Triterras is on an exciting and pivotal journey as we deliver on our promise to expand access to trade and shape global development. Vinay will be a great complement to our executive team.”Vinay Kapoor stated, “I’m honored to join Triterras and be a part of the endeavor to meet the growing demand for financial and business services in the Middle East. The MENA region has always been a cornerstone of the global trade landscape and is in the midst of experiencing a moment of unprecedented growth. I’m very excited to be working with such talented and deeply engaged leadership.”Aside from being well-known as a seasoned banking professional, Mr. Kapoor has been an investor and board member on various economic empowerment projects, which includes the launch of Barclays “Smart Start” education program, a community investment initiative that builds financial capability within local communities. Mr. Kapoor had also implemented a program that specifically focuses on reaching individuals in the prison system. Since then, he has continued to support underserved groups by offering training and guidance on basic financial acumen.Mr. Kapoor holds a Bachelor of Science, along with a Master of Science in Finance from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Bombay. He will remain based out of Dubai, UAE.

Dyson expands retail presence in UAE with City Centre Mirdif store

 Dyson has announced the grand opening of its latest demo store in the popular City Centre Mirdif mall in Dubai. The new immersive store is a hub of innovation and commitment to technology, displaying the company's full portfolio of products and helping customers discover and better understand how Dyson technology works.The City Centre Mirdif Dyson demo store provides an immersive experience with its unique styling room. This is a private space where customers can feel comfortable trying any of Dyson’s haircare technology, such as the Dyson Corrale™ cordless hair straightener, the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer, and the Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler. Technology lovers can seek advice from the Dyson experts on hand and explore the brand’s iconic haircare collection with ease.Visitors can shop Dyson’s innovations across all main product ranges – Floor Care, Environmental Care, Hair Care, and Wearables with the new audio range featuring the Dyson Zone™. The store allows for interactive demonstrations that bring to life the science at the core of Dyson technology. The store features a space to test Dyson’s high-performing cordless vacuums and its range of intelligent, connected air purifiers, offering customers the ultimate ‘try-before-you-buy’ retail experience.By buying directly from the Dyson store, shoppers have the chance to personalise the case of their haircare products, as well as giftwrap their purchases with exclusive Dyson-branded wrapping paper free of charge.The City Centre Mirdif demo store, located on the first floor in the home appliance area of the mall, joins Dyson’s Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall demo stores, as well as several Dyson demo zones in the UAE. These include The Galleria, Yas Mall, and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, and City Centre Al Zahia in Sharjah.

Starbucks' Canvas of Pride campaign celebrates Saudi heritage

Starbucks has recently launched a new campaign known as 'Canvas of Pride,' which was a grand tribute to Saudi National Day throughout the entire month of September. The brand showcased Saudi national heritage on their cups, thanks to the remarkable artistic talents of local artists, with the winning design created by Saudi artist Joud Yahya Al Sultan, selected through a competition jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture and Starbucks.The design, showcasing Saudi landscapes and heritage, adorned Starbucks cups throughout Saudi Arabia during the previous month. A heartfelt video featuring Joud Yahya Al Sultan sharing the story and significance behind her artwork accompanied the cup's unveiling.Starbucks partnered with Saudi artists, providing dedicated spaces in select stores for them to express their interpretations of national pride through various art forms like visual art, poetry, writing, and music. These expressions of Saudi pride resonated not only within Saudi Arabia but also reverberated across neighboring Gulf countries, thanks to Starbucks' online platforms.In the spirit of continuing this creative initiative, a new competition has been launched with the theme of 'Arabic Poetry,' and the winning design will be featured on Starbucks cups in the upcoming national day celebration.As a brand that fosters community, this endeavor offers a platform for Saudi nationals to express their profound connection to their country, inviting them to celebrate National Day in their unique ways, using the coffee brand as a medium.Starbucks partnered with the Ministry of Culture, and Socialize Agency to develop this innovative concept.Olena Lemeshko, Marketing Director – Starbucks at Alshaya Group, said that it is for the first time Starbucks has let the iconic cup be a canvas to celebrate national pride of Saudi Arabia. “This campaign speaks to what we strive to do within the communities we serve, which is to give local youth a platform where they can express themselves and celebrate culture. We are truly proud of this campaign which goes beyond a cup of coffee, Joud’s story has touched hearts, inspired others, and moved the nation,” said Olena.

Netflix to release New Saudi Voices' short films

Netflix is launching the second volume of short films of its “New Saudi Voices ” collection, as part of its efforts to support the flourishing film industry in Saudi Arabia. The collection features 13 short films by Saudi talent, spanning a vast selection of genres including feel-good movies, drama, fantasy, romance, and more. The films are crafted with unique storylines and highlight cultural nuances within the Saudi community, showcasing the artistic minds of the creators.The films in this year’s collection were picked from the Red Sea International Film Festival. Two of them, ‘When Red Blooms’ by Tala Alharbi and ‘The Child in His Closet’ by Khaled Zeidan, were winners in the festival’s 48-hour Filmmaking Challenge. ‘VHS Tape Replaced’ by Maha Saati, and ‘Yallah, Yallah Beenah’ by Mohammed Hammad were also supported by the festival’s Red Sea Fund. The collection includes the works of award-winning writer Faisal Buhaishi, whose film ‘Last Chance to Fal in Love’ follows the touching story of an old man reuniting with his first love after 50 years. Fictional dramas such as ‘Old Phone Number’ by Ali Saeed and ‘Zabarjad’ by Hussain Almutliq, explore the themes of character growth while holding on to parts of one’s past life. Movies from the fantasy genre include ‘A Swing’ by Raneem and Dana Almohandes follows the journey of a 10-year-old girl trekking through the woods to find a magical swing her father used to tell her about. Nora Abu Shusha highlights the untold struggles of married life with ‘Lucky you’re mine’, while Mohammed Baqer uses ‘Tea Leaf’ to artistically articulate the pain and regret that comes with failed relationships. ‘Requiem for Silence’ by Majed Z. Samman, ‘Forward’ by Fahad Alotaibi, and ‘Othman’ by Khaled Zeidan, see storylines filled with drama, changing each respective character’s life trajectory.  Nuha el Tayeb, Director, Content, Middle East, Africfa and Turkey, Netflix notes: “The second volume is not just a collection of short films; it is a celebration of untold stories, and a testament to the creative prowess of the emerging filmmakers. As these captivating tales find their home on Netflix, they transcend borders and allow viewers  to experience the beauty and dynamism of Saudi culture. We believe great stories can come from anywhere and be loved by anyone.”The entertainment landscape in the Kingdom is rapidly evolving and Netflix continues to amplify Saudi voices by launching Netflix originals such as ‘Al Khallat +’, ‘Masameer County’, ‘Whispers’, and more recently, ‘Ras B Ras’. The New Saudi Voices 2 films will be available on Netflix on October 6, 2023.

Trademark Dispute Erupts as X Corp Faces Lawsuit from X Social Media

X Corp, formerly known as Twitter, is facing a federal lawsuit in Florida from X Social Media, a legal-marketing company, which alleges that the social media giant's new name infringes upon its trademark incorporating the letter "X."X Social Media's lawsuit claims that the rebranding of X Corp to X by owner Elon Musk in July is likely to create consumer confusion. This legal action marks the initial in what could become a series of trademark disputes involving Musk's company and the letter "X," which is frequently used in tech branding.The letter "X" is part of hundreds of federal trademarks owned by various companies, including Microsoft and Meta Platforms. X Corp recently applied for its own US trademarks related to the letter.X Corp has not yet responded to the complaint, while X Social Media has chosen not to comment on the matter.X Social Media, based in Windermere, Florida, specializes in mass-tort litigation advertising. Established in 2015 by Jacob and Roseanna Malherbe, the agency aimed to connect Florida panhandle residents with attorneys following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The agency has been using the name "X Social Media" since 2016 and holds a federal trademark for it. According to the lawsuit, the company has invested over $400 million in Facebook advertising to reach potential clients.The legal action alleges that Twitter's rebranding has already led to customer confusion and a decline in revenue for X Social Media. It seeks a court order to compel Musk's company to cease using the "X" name and requests unspecified monetary damages.

RAKEZ and Amazon UAE collaborate to empower SMEs to grow online

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and Amazon UAE have entered into a strategic collaboration to enable businesses registered within the hub to sell their products to millions of customers across the UAE on The initiative is aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to scale their businesses online, by enabling them to leverage Amazon’s capabilities, tools, services, programs and people to navigate the digital economy.The collaboration was cemented through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between RAKEZ Group CEO Ramy Jallad and Amazon Seller Success Director in MENA Jasmin Frick.As part of the collaboration, members of the RAKEZ business community will have access to a suite of Amazon’s services including tools for seamless seller registration and onboarding; seller education through on-site training, in-person workshops and live webinars; and support teams to ensure a smooth digital journey.RAKEZ Group CEO Ramy Jallad said, “With the UAE’s e-commerce industry expected to reach USD 9.2 billion in 2026, SMEs operating in the online space have a huge potential to unlock greater success. In this light, we are thrilled to collaborate with Amazon, to provide the SMEs in our community the opportunity to gain access to Amazon’s array of capabilities to reach new heights.”RAKEZ is home to over 18,000 companies, with a significant number of SME businesses focused on product sales. Jallad added, “By providing SMEs with the tools to scale up, we anticipate a surge in online sales, innovations, and the strengthening of the UAE’s online retail landscape. This aligns with our ongoing mission to support the SME sector in Ras Al Khaimah and underscores our commitment to bolstering the UAE’s overall non-oil economic diversification.”Jasmin Frick, Director of Seller Success at Amazon MENA, said, “At Amazon, SMEs are core to our customer-centric mission. Our sellers play a pivotal role in enriching our customers’ experience, offering a wider selection of products and competitive prices. Selling on offers sellers an opportunity to expand their footprint as they tap into our business model to better serve the millions of customers that visit Amazon every day across the UAE. This is closely aligned with our goal of hosting products from 100,000 businesses, including local SMBs, on by 2026, in alignment with Dubai's Economic Agenda D33.”

Ananth Narayanan: Charting the course for Mensa Brands in the UAE and beyond

Mensa Brands, a company known for partnering with digital brands to help them grow significantly, has recently made its entry into the UAE market. In this move, they have introduced some of their brands on various digital platforms within the country. Mensa Brands has launched three brands – Villain, Pebble, and Folkulture – on platforms like Amazon and the Saudi e-commerce platform Noon. Additionally, they have introduced MyFitness peanut butter, which is part of their Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) portfolio, on quick commerce platforms Talabat and Noon Minutes.In an exclusive interview with Ananth Narayanan, the Founder and CEO of Mensa Brands, Adgully delves into the company's future plans in the UAE. Narayanan, who previously served as the CEO of Myntra, discusses the motivation behind digitally launching these brands in the UAE, his future goals, and how the UAE market differs from the Indian market. Excerpts:Mensa Brands has recently entered the UAE market. What are your goals and aspirations for the Middle East?The UAE's strategic location as a crossroads connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa positions it as an ideal entry point. This geographical advantage enables us to efficiently reach not only the local market but also extend our products to the broader Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, the cosmopolitan population in the UAE aligns perfectly with Mensa Brands' commitment to delivering premium products to a discerning consumer base. The market appreciates quality, which aligns with our brand values. The substantial expatriate community in the UAE is another asset. Leveraging this multicultural community offers us a remarkable opportunity for paving the way for comprehensive regional expansion plans.What prompted MENSA to launch its brands like Pebble, Villain and Folkulture on Amazon UAE? What can you predict about their success?Our decision to launch brands like Pebble, Villain, and Folkulture on Amazon UAE is underpinned by a strategic rationale. This choice derives from Amazon's robust logistical capabilities, a widespread marketplace presence with access to a diverse consumer base, the wealth of market research and insights it offers and the potential to enhance brand visibility and credibility. Our research and analysis support the success of these brands on Amazon UAE, as they align well with local preferences.You've introduced MyFitness peanut butter on Talabat. What are your expectations and goals for it?With a population which has a preference for healthier alternatives, and substantial purchasing power, the UAE market presents an exceptional opportunity for MyFitness. Talabat's commitment to operational excellence and their expansion into Q Commerce and dark stores across the UAE make them an ideal partner.You are the man behind the success and international expansion of Mensa. What are the strategies and campaigns that have been initiated for the UAE market?We aim to expand our product offerings to cater to a wider range of customer preferences. Building customer loyalty is crucial in the competitive e-commerce landscape, and we plan to initiate targeted activations, such as partnerships with local influencers, to boost engagement and raise brand awareness in the UAE market. Additionally, we plan to collaborate with top-tier marketing agencies to execute data-driven, culturally relevant campaigns that resonate deeply with the UAE market, aligning our messaging with local values and trends.What are your views about the UAE market? How is it different from India?The UAE market, though smaller in population compared to India, offers unique advantages. Its higher per capita income and significant purchasing power set it apart. This concentrated consumer base allows businesses to tap into a financially capable and receptive audience, offering opportunities for growth and profitability that may be harder to attain in larger but less affluent markets.Will you be employing any social influencers in the UAE for establishing Mensa the country?We plan to implement an influencer activation strategy by collaborating with renowned UAE-based lifestyle and fitness influencers. Through these partnerships, we aim to promote our brand, products, and values to the target audience, enhancing brand recognition and establishing a genuine connection with consumers who resonate with these influencers.What are your strategic plans for Mensa in the Middle East in the coming years? Where do you envision the company in five years?Our vision for the next five years is centred around several key initiatives. We are committed to introducing our other brands in the Middle East. Local collaborations with celebrities and influencers will not only enhance our brand's cultural relevance but also strengthen community engagement. Furthermore, we intend to capitalise on opportunities such as the 'Yellow Friday Sale,' 'Black Friday Sale,' and other noteworthy events to establish deeper connections with our target demographic. We are also exploring opportunities to establish manufacturing capabilities within the UAE to streamline operations.

ALDO recognized with Superbrand status at Superbrands Awards

In a spectacular celebration of branding excellence, – Apparel Group’s Leading global fashion footwear and accessories brand, ALDO, is proud to winning the illustrious Superbrands status. Along with other 9 brands, Aldo received this recognition at a grand ceremony held on 28th September at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. The Superbrands organization, renowned globally as an independent authority and arbiter of branding brilliance, is dedicated to honoring exceptional brands and fostering the discipline of branding. The accolade is a testament to the relentless pursuit of quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction that each of the winning brands epitomizes. Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, shared his strategic perspective on the recognition, stating, “Receiving this prestigious Award is both an honor and a valuable affirmation of our strategic commitment to excellence and innovation. This recognition underscores our relentless pursuit of delivering unparalleled quality and value, reflecting the strength and resilience of our brand portfolio. I am immensely proud of our dedicated team, whose consistent efforts enhance our brand’ s reputation and strategically position us for continued growth and success in the competitive global market.”This award bear witness to Aldo’s exceptional ability to grow and exceed in the competitive market, reinforcing its status as a leading brand in the global fashion and lifestyle industry. The award demonstrates Aldo’s unique ability to resonate with consumers, offering products and experiences that stand out in the marketplace. This recognition capitlises Apparel Group’s exceptional ability to nurture and grow brands in the competitive market, further solidifying their position in the global market.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts appoints Konstantinos Michail as COO

Dubai: Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA are thrilled to announce the appointment of Konstantinos Michail as the Chief Commercial Officer, leading the brand's commercial growth across the Middle East & Africa region.With an extensive career spanning over twenty-five years, Konstantinos Michail brings a wealth of invaluable experience to his new role. His remarkable journey in the industry includes diverse exposure across UAE and Europe, where he has consistently demonstrated excellence in marketing, sales, business transformation, and project development.Konstantinos' appointment marks a pivotal moment for Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA as he takes the reins to guide the group into an exciting new phase of growth and development. His impressive track record will undoubtedly contribute to furthering the brand's prominence within the region's competitive hospitality landscape.Prior to joining Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA, Konstantinos held senior positions with several prominent organizations, including the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, Meydan Group, Meraas Holding, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Samsung, Royal Numico. His diverse background and strategic expertise have uniquely positioned him to lead the brand's commercial efforts."We are delighted to welcome Konstantinos as our new Chief Commercial Officer," said Fahad Kazim, CEO of Millennium Hotels & Resorts. "His extensive experience and visionary approach align perfectly with our company's goals. We are confident his leadership will further elevate our brand and contribute to our ongoing success." Upon his appointment, Konstantinos expressed his gratitude: "Being named Chief Commercial Officer of Millennium Hotels & Resorts, MEA, is a true honour. I have closely observed the brand's journey to becoming a key contender in the regional hospitality industry. I'm eagerly anticipating the opportunity to bolster the brand's commercialization strategy, emphasizing revenue generation, operational efficiency, third-party collaborations, industry best practices, vertical synergy, stakeholder alignment, and strategic KPI definition in alignment with our overarching objectives." Konstantinos Michail's insights and commitment underscore Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA's dedication to delivering exceptional experiences and driving innovation in the ever-evolving hospitality landscape.

Balancing quality & sustainability in the eco-friendly beauty industry

Nablus: In a rapidly growing cosmetics industry, quality and sustainability have become paramount considerations for consumers. As this industry continues to expand, consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of these products on their health and the planet's environment.Quality in cosmetics means that a product meets safety and efficacy standards, including the safety of its ingredients and the preservation of its properties throughout its shelf life. Sustainability, in this context, implies that cosmetics are environmentally friendly, both in their production methods and the ingredients used in their manufacture.According to specialized studies, the global market value of eco-friendly cosmetics and skincare products is expected to reach $22.5 billion by 2028. This growth is driven by the increasing awareness of sustainability among consumers, with 73% of them believing that companies should be socially and ethically responsible.In a statement regarding this topic, Nagham Zalabia, the entrepreneur and influencer in the field of beauty and owner of the renowned brand "Nagham Pro" stated, "Quality and sustainability are indispensable elements in the cosmetics industry. They have become some of the most sought-after factors by consumers in cosmetic products. Many cosmetics companies are now incorporating environmentally friendly materials in their makeup production, contributing to sustainable economic development."She added, "The recent growth in the makeup and cosmetics industry over the past few years has coincided with a heightened awareness of sustainability, environmentally friendly materials, and their effects on consumers. This has been further accelerated by advancements in technology, leading to the emergence and utilization of new materials and products in this industry, along with the increasing use of social media, and the growth of e-commerce. These impacts are evident in the Arab region, with a rising demand for high-quality, eco-friendly cosmetics."The GCC is one of the primary markets for eco-friendly cosmetics, with 50% of consumers in the region willing to pay more for sustainably produced products. It is expected that the eco-friendly cosmetics and skincare market in the region will reach $2.6 billion by 2028, with Saudi Arabia expected to exceed $1 billion, UAE at $750 million, Qatar at $500 million, Kuwait at $200 million, and Bahrain and Oman each at $200 million.Nagham Pro's products rely on environmentally friendly materials and are developed in collaboration with the leading Italian laboratories of Unifarco. They offer a wide range of diverse products, including over 100 items in skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrances, and accessories. The leading brand aims to expand its presence in the GCC countries, with a particular focus on the Saudi Arabian and UAE markets.

Mirakl & Havas Announce Global Partnership

Paris & Boston: Today, Mirakl – the pioneering and leading SaaS solution to empower businesses in their digital transformation through platform innovation – and Havas – one of the world's largest global communications networks – announced a unique global partnership to accelerate eCommerce and retail media growth. Harnessing the synergies of both organizations' clients and partners, this partnership will create the most powerful independent retail media network for brands and retailers, leveraging Mirakl's unique AI-powered advertising technology optimized for marketplaces and eCommerce. This partnership will also make Mirakl's suite of solutions seamlessly available to Havas clients to sell on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces and position Mirakl as a strategic partner to help Havas clients launch and grow their marketplace.Retail media allows retailers to monetize the 97% of website visitors that do not convert to sales – unlocking a new source of revenue and profitability that is expected to reach a value of over $160 billion globally by 2027. This global partnership gives Mirakl and Havas clients the tools to take advantage of this highly profitable opportunity by uniting Mirakl's award-winning technology suite of solutions with the expertise of Havas' full-service eCommerce offering, Havas Market. Mirakl Ads is the only retail-first, marketplace-ready ads solution also optimized for eCommerce. It brings together unique AI-powered technology with a powerful international network of fully integrated clients and sellers, representing nearly 1.3 billion monthly website visits across Mirakl's top 200 clients alone.The new brand-agnostic platform will allow retailers to easily monetize their audiences, and will empower brands to optimize their digital advertising spend on eCommerce websites without compromising their data. By natively embedding this new solution in the Mirakl suite, 400+ companies around the world will have access to Mirakl Ads in all formats – from banners to sponsored search – that have been designed to create engaging, enhanced experiences for customers.In addition, brands supported by Havas Market will have seamless and dedicated access to the 400+ marketplaces powered by Mirakl through Mirakl Connect. The suite of flexible onboarding solutions and the tools developed by Mirakl Connect will help these brands to easily manage and accelerate their eCommerce strategy on multiple Mirakl-powered marketplaces.In turn, Mirakl will be a partner of choice for Havas in helping to launch and grow marketplaces among its network of clients through a joint offer.Since 2012, Mirakl has been powering the platforms of more than 400 of the most trusted B2B & B2C companies, generating over $6bn in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in 2022. With an ecosystem of 65,000 third-party sellers selected for their quality and performance, Mirakl supports market leaders across all sectors, including Leroy Merlin, B&Q, Auchan, Catch, Decathlon, Macy's, Madewell, NBCUniversal and Galeries Lafayette, to launch, operate and grow their platforms in more than 40 countries.Since launching in 2020, Havas Market, a strategic full-service eCommerce offering, has grown to over 200 eCommerce consultants and 500+ retail media experts servicing a vast range of industries across more than 23 countries. The offering saw triple-digit growth in new business in the first half of 2023, with new appointments and projects for 80+ brands, entering new markets including Brazil, Argentina, Poland, Sweden, and Hong Kong."With Havas Market we're committed to taking a holistic, customer-centric view of our clients' businesses to find the best solutions to create meaningful shopping experiences for consumers and drive incremental revenue for brands across all sales channels. Enabling our clients' retail transformation requires partnering with the leading providers in the industry, and with Mirakl we're building a truly synergistic offering that will deliver growth for both our clients and our organizations," shared Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO of Havas."B2B and B2C companies have no other choice but to further digitize their activities. Platform models such as marketplaces and dropship as well as Retail Media are among the strongest levers to generate new sources of growth and profitability. By joining forces with Havas, we will together accelerate the adoption of the platform models at a global scale for the benefits of Consumers, Operators and Third-party sellers. The strength of the network and the expertise of Havas and Mirakl combined will create a global leader in Retail Media extending the value creation for our common customers," said Philippe Corrot, co-CEO & cofounder of Mirakl.

Sheikh Mohammed warns against improper use of emirate's emblem

The improper use of the emblem of the emirate of Dubai may lead to penalties and punishment, announced His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai. He issued Law No. (17) of 2023 on the emblem of Dubai.  The punishment may include imprisonment for a period not less than three months and not exceeding five years, and a fine ranging from AED100,000 to AED500,000, or one of the two penalties as specified in the Law.The Law stipulates that Dubai must possess its distinct emblem, one that mirrors its values and principles. This emblem is considered the property of the emirate of Dubai, safeguarded by this Law and its regulations.In accordance with the Law, the emblem can be utilised across various government facilities, documents, websites, and during government events. Private entities may also utilise it, provided they obtain prior approval from the Dubai Ruler or his representative.The Law also specifies that individuals, with the exception of government entities or entities granted permission to use the emblem, who use the emblem when this Law becomes effective must completely discontinue its use within 30 days unless they have obtained prior approval.The Chairman of Dubai's Ruler Court shall issue the necessary decisions to implement the provisions of this Law. This Law annuls any other legislation that may contradict with it and is effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Ericsson to ‘Imagine Possible' at GITEX GLOBAL 2023

Ericsson is participating in GITEX GLOBAL 2023 between the 16th to the 20th of October in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under the theme ‘Imagine Possible’. At this year’s GITEX GLOBAL, Ericsson will demonstrate the power of limitless connectivity and how high-performing networks can help realizing a digital Net Zero future and empower new experiences for consumers and enterprises.Visitors will be able to engage with subject matter experts at the Ericsson stand and discover demos of cutting-edge 5G technologies, like eXtended Reality (XR).The June edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 5G subscriptions will reach over 70 million by 2028, accounting for 86 percent of total subscriptions at the end of the period. The GCC countries are frontrunners in global 5G network deployments and service offerings, such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). Through technology, collaboration and fostering fruitful conversations with industry professionals, Ericsson strives to propel the digital future of the region and inspire the next generations of leaders to join the region’s technological revolution.GITEX GLOBAL presents an opportunity to network and connect with leaders, industry influencers, and key government stakeholders. The Ericsson stand will be located at Hall 21.

Meta Mulls Paid Ad-Free Facebook, Instagram for EU Users

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly considering introducing ad-free paid versions of its social media platforms for users in the European Union. Under this proposed plan, users could pay around 10 euros (approximately US$10.46) per month for an ad-free experience on Facebook or Instagram on desktop, with an additional charge of about 6 euros for each linked account. On mobile devices, the cost for a single account would increase to around 13 euros due to fees from Apple's and Google's app stores.This move comes in response to evolving regulatory requirements in the EU, as Meta seeks to address concerns about user data and advertising practices. Earlier this year, the company was fined 390 million euros by Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner and was instructed not to use the "contract" legal basis for delivering personalized ads based on users' online activities.Meta has informed European regulators of its intention to launch this ad-free subscription plan, referred to as Subscription No Ads (SNA), in the coming months. While the company emphasizes its commitment to providing free services supported by personalized ads, it is exploring these options to ensure compliance with evolving regulations.Both Meta and relevant regulatory bodies, including Ireland's Data Protection Commission and the European Commission, have not provided additional comments on this matter as of now. The New York Times initially reported Meta's consideration of paid ad-free versions for EU users, though pricing details were not disclosed.This potential shift underscores Meta's efforts to adapt to changing privacy and data protection regulations in the EU and provide users with more choices regarding their online experience.

Middle East Consumer Brands Achieve 7.7X Higher Email Conversion

In a time when many brands are tightening their marketing budgets due to economic uncertainties, email marketing remains a resilient and cost-effective channel. It continues to deliver high returns on investment (ROI), facilitates personalized communication, and offers immediate, measurable outcomes.However, with the increasing reliance on email marketing, consumers are inundated with hundreds of emails daily, prompting brands to find ways to make their messages stand out. While click-bait tactics may have worked in the past, today's consumers expect transparency and authenticity from brands.This is where email personalization becomes a game-changer. Personalized emails allow brands to tailor their messages to individual consumers, addressing their specific interests and needs. Studies, like one conducted by MoEngage, demonstrate the remarkable effectiveness of email personalization. It can lead to conversion rate increases of up to 7.7 times, a 10.9 times boost in click-to-open rates (CTOR), and an impressive reduction of up to 88% in unsubscribe rates.These benefits extend across various industries, from retail and e-commerce to banking and fintech, travel and hospitality, media, and entertainment. Moreover, customer journey-based personalization can elevate CTOR by approximately 10.9 times and open rates by 7.2 times.Traditional personalization methods, such as demographic or first-name-based approaches, are no longer as impactful. Behavior-based personalization and stage-of-buyer-journey personalization have proven to be more effective.Implementing these advanced personalization strategies requires a deep understanding of customers and access to a reliable customer engagement tool. According to Raviteja Dodda, CEO of MoEngage, such tools enable brands to create authentic and human connections with customers, fostering meaningful relationships and driving business growth.

Saudia gets new brand identity

Saudia Arabian airlines (Saudia), the country's flagship airline, has unveiled its new brand identity and aircraft livery under its transformation journey. The announcement was made at a significant event in Jeddah, attended by prominent leaders, correspondents, and aviation experts.The rebrand “marks the beginning of a new era” for the airline. The launch of the new identity marked the announcement of a series of initiatives within the digital transformation project framework. The new brand colour identity, comprised of green, blue, and sand, represents Saudia’s aim to expand its fleet and destinations, connecting the world to Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the Kingdom’s authenticity and deep-rooted values.The new identity will aim to showcase the country’s “welcoming spirit” and hopes to promote a “deeper appreciation” of Saudi culture for both nationals and visitors.The airline has introduced a unique “Saudia” virtual assistant, allowing guests to streamline booking and flight procedures using advanced technology.The rebrand also encompasses new uniforms for cabin crew and ground staff. Saudia Group Director General Engineer Ibrahim bin Abdul Rahman Al-Omar said in a press release: “We are experiencing a new era and a very exciting time for Saudia. Our airline has evolved from a Douglas DC-3 aircraft in 1945, to a 140-aircraft modern fleet serving over 100 destinations, becoming one of the largest airline in the region. The name and logo of Saudia are integral parts of the Kingdom’s aviation history and development, and our people share a special emotional connection with the brand. We have incorporated this rich heritage into our new identity, adding elements that reflect our visionary approach, poised to captivate the world.”

Edelman appoints Marie-Claire Maalouf as CCO for UAE and KSA

Edelman, a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. It has more than 6,000 people in over 60 offices to deliver communications strategies that give clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders.  Marie-Claire Maalouf will provide her expertise to build creative capabilities across the region, and will also be working across EMEA as part of the wider creative team. Maalouf will be joining the EMEA creative team that develops communication strategies, for clients, consisting of content strategists, creatives, and producers who work across all teams and practices within the business.  Edelman has seen significant growth within its creative community in recent years with senior creative hires in France, Spain, Germany and the UK, with Emma De La Fosse joining as Chief Creative Officer of the UK Edelman office. Maalouf had helped winning more than 85 awards, including the only D&AD Yellow Pencil won by MENA this year; one of the two Cannes Lions Grand Prix; and the only Grand Lia in Health for MENA, last year.  Stefan Ronge, Chief Creative Officer at Edelman EMEA, said: “We are helping brands earn trust and business growth through actions. And I can think of no better creative leader than Marie- Claire to bring this mission to life with us in the Middle East.” Omar Qirem, CEO at Edelman Middle East, said: “Marie-Claire is a first-class operator who has led some of the most recent standout creative work in the region. She shares the same ambition we have about creating creative campaigns that have real impact. This hire is the first of a wider strategic play and we will be adding further creative capabilities to the team over the coming months.” Edelman Middle East operates three offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh, and has a network of affiliates across the region.

KPMG and Microsoft Collaborate on Innovative ESG Education Platform

KPMG, in collaboration with Microsoft and several prominent universities and institutions, has unveiled the KPMG ESG Academy, a scalable and adaptable learning platform designed to foster education and understanding of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. This academy leverages the KPMG Learning Enablement and Analytics Platform, supported by Microsoft 365, Azure, Teams, and Microsoft Viva Learning, to deliver ESG-focused learning experiences within the workflow. The academy offers customizable content developed in collaboration with globally renowned ESG specialists from leading academic institutions and KPMG sustainability experts. It caters to various learning levels, from basic to advanced, enabling organizations to support their ESG initiatives effectively.The KPMG ESG Academy is a result of the extended global partnership between KPMG and Microsoft, aimed at accelerating digital solutions addressing ESG challenges. The platform is intended to help business leaders enhance their comprehension of ESG and navigate its evolving regulatory landscape for informed decision-making. With a strong commitment to innovation and sustainability, KPMG and Microsoft aim to consolidate ESG insights and information into a single platform to empower decision-makers.This initiative represents one of several digital solutions introduced by KPMG and Microsoft to assist businesses in their ESG journey. Earlier, the partnership introduced the KPMG Circularity Tracker, a solution facilitating a deeper understanding of ESG, automated data collection, and model-based calculations for circularity performance. The KPMG ESG Academy seeks to support decision-makers in Kuwait and beyond as they navigate the complexities of ESG and work towards building more sustainable and responsible businesses.

Apple's Search Engine Ambitions Could Disrupt Google's Monopoly

Apple could be gearing up to develop its own search engine, potentially ending its long-standing reliance on Google as the default search engine for its devices. According to various credible media reports, Apple has all the necessary elements in place to create a competitive search engine. While the move is seen as a "long shot," Apple has been quietly working on its search technology, codenamed Pegasus, which offers more accurate search results. This speculation comes amid ongoing antitrust concerns regarding Google's dominance in online search and ad sales. Apple's potential search engine could generate advertising revenue comparable to its Apple Watch market.

NEOM, Maysalward launches NEOM Game Dev Challenge

Riyadh: NEOM, the global development taking shape in northwest Saudi Arabia, has joined forces with Maysalward, the pioneering mobile game studio from the Middle East, in an exciting collaboration to launch the NEOM Game Dev Challenge. The pilot program has just begun with the goal of empowering the next generation of game developers in the Kingdom, starting in Riyadh.The initiative has been designed to harness the burgeoning talent pool of youth within Saudi Arabia, targeting students aged between 15 and 17. The NEOM Game Dev Challenge offers a unique platform for students to embark on a journey of learning, designing, developing, and ultimately launching their own mobile games, and supports Saudi Arabia’s progress as a regional game development hub in line with Vision 2030's economic diversification goals.Maysalward, a mobile game studio founded in 2003, has consistently led the charge in mobile gaming innovation, boasting a portfolio of captivating games and a legacy of nurturing young talent. The studio was named among the Top 30 developers and publishers in the MENA region by Pocket Gamer in 2022, while its founder scooped the award for ‘Mobile Game Legend’ in 2023.Nour Khrais, Founder of Maysalward, said: "Partnering with NEOM for this transformative initiative is a significant step. Our shared vision is to empower the next generation of game developers in Saudi Arabia. With the rapid growth of mobile phone ownership among the youth, now is the opportune moment to harness and nurture their potential. I'm personally thrilled to be a part of kickstarting this groundbreaking project in Saudi Arabia."The vision of building a future-focused community in NEOM harmonizes with Maysalward's commitment to education and innovation. The NEOM Game Dev Challenge will offer students a blend of hands-on experience and academic enrichment, to transfer knowledge and accelerate Saudi Arabia's mobile gaming landscape.Wayne Borg, Managing Director of Media Industries, Entertainment, and Culture at NEOM, said: "Our partnership with Maysalward highlights NEOM's commitment to nurturing youth and fostering digital innovation in Saudi Arabia. The NEOM Game Dev Challenge aims to spark transformation, fueling the creativity of the Kingdom’s young talents and driving our mission to become an elite global media hub for game development."Students will have the unique opportunity to benefit from mentorship by the Maysalward team, ensuring they receive technical guidance and invaluable insights into the global gaming market. The program will conclude with an award ceremony for the students and their parents, set to take place in Riyadh in December. The winning team’s school will be awarded a NEOM Gaming Mini-Lab featuring a combination of hardware and software for students to work on game projects, further encouraging innovation and growth within the mobile game development industry in Saudi Arabia.

Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor city hosts India's leading comedian Kapil Sharma

 Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City is ecstatic to have hosted India's renowned comedian and actor, Kapil Sharma, for an unforgettable weekend filled with luxury and entertainment. Kapil Sharma, celebrated for his wit and humor, experienced the best-in-class hospitality offered by the prestigious collection of hotels over the recently concluded weekend. Kapil Sharma is known for his hit television show "The Kapil Sharma Show" and an abundance of successful comedy performances. He enjoyed a truly extravagant experience during his stay at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. From a delectable spread of culinary delights to a lavish space to relax and unwind, Kapil Sharma was treated to an unforgettable experience.Saeid Heidari, General Manager of Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, expressed his gratitude of hosting Kapil Sharma, saying, "We were thrilled to host Kapil Sharma at our hotel. It was an honor to have him experience the finest hospitality and luxury that Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City has to offer. We aim to provide our guests with extraordinary experiences, and hosting Kapil Sharma was a momentous occasion for us."Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City is a part of the Al Habtoor City Collection that consists of another two landmark luxury hotels – V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton and Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels & Resorts. Each of these hotels offers a unique blend of opulence, world-class dining, and unrivalled entertainment options, making them the preferred choice for travelers seeking luxury and sophistication in Dubai.

Ghawali from house of Chalhoub Group launches its new fragrance

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

UAE's brightest minds to enter Bybit's crypto hackathon in UAE

Dubai: African Media Agency(AMA)/- Bybit, the world's third most visited crypto exchange, is partnering with American University of Sharjah (AUS) to create an inter-college hackathon, empowering young people to develop new AI and crypto models. Dubbed the "CryptoAI BUILDER Challenge," this initiative represents a milestone in the partnership between AUS and Bybit, aimed at fostering the growth of Web3. Bybit believes that young people will play a vital role in creating crypto adoption and so it is the lead contributor to the AED 80,000 prize pool. The CryptoAI BUILDER Challenge is part of Bybit's commitment to be the world's Crypto Ark, offering a safe journey to the promise of a decentralized financial system, which is not controlled by any central power. During this event, numerous teams will compete to devise innovative technical solutions across various challenges encompassing artificial intelligence, gaming, and blockchain security. The registration period will begin on Sept. 29 and continue until Oct. 8. Interested students are encouraged to visit the official event website to sign up and secure their spot in this groundbreaking competition. From Oct. 9-13, expert judges will shortlist the most promising proposals. The culmination of the hackathon will be a live event, scheduled to take place from Nov. 3 to 5 at AUS. During these intense days of live coding and collaboration, participants will have the opportunity to refine their projects and present their final prototypes to a distinguished panel of judges. To enrich the participants' experience and provide valuable insights, a series of side workshops will also be organized throughout the hackathon. These workshops will cover various topics related to artificial intelligence and its applications in the crypto industry, delivered by Bybit experts and industry thought leaders. "The AUS-Bybit Hackathon is a strategic investment in the innovators of tomorrow," said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit. "We're eager to see how the brilliant minds of today will leverage AI to push the boundaries of the crypto sector. Events like this are vital for nurturing the ideas that will shape blockchain's role in advancing financial technology." "We're excited to collaborate with Bybit for the CryptoAI BUILDER Challenge, offering UAE university students a unique opportunity to explore cutting-edge technology." said Dr. Imran Zualkernan, professor and head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at AUS. "By uniting top talent from across the nation, we aim to create an environment for exploring the synergy between AI and crypto, unleashing innovative potential. With support from Bybit, a leading name in the crypto space, participants will have access to valuable resources to shape the future of AI and crypto."

Schneider Electric to showcase software-centric industrial automation system

Dubai: Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, will showcase its world-class digital energy, industrial automation, and sustainability solutions, many for the first time in the Middle East region, at ADIPEC 2023, October 2-5, Abu Dhabi, UAE.Schneider Electric will exhibit 21 solutions, products, and demonstrations to ADIPEC visitors, including the company’s flagship EcoStruxure Automation Expert. This technology is the latest version of the world's first software-centric universal automation system and will be officially debuted in the Middle East at ADIPEC.EcoStruxure Automation Expert is a cybersecure solution that enables digital-first industrial enterprises and factories, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and manufacturing plants to be more energy-efficient and future-proof. This solution presents a new approach to designing, building, operating, and maintaining industrial automation systems by enabling the separation of automation software from the hardware. The technology also automates low-value and repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up engineers to innovate and focus on other high-value work.Ahmed Khashan, President for Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric, said: “Our latest suite of innovative solutions, including the launch of our flagship EcoStruxure Automation Expert and a dedicated cybersecurity portfolio across the region at the event underscores our commitment to delivering more energy-efficient technologies that will transform the Middle East energy landscape.”He added: “Our goal is not only to help companies become more energy-efficient but also to support them in reducing energy and operational costs, with the goal of accelerating the energy transition."Schneider Electric’s recently launched Managed Security Services (MSS) offering will also be displayed. The new offering is a smart cybersecurity solution designed to support customers in operational technology (OT) environments and to address the rise of cyber-attacks post-COVID, which increased fivefold from 12% to 60%, according to a recent report by Deloitte. A spike attributed, according to the report, to the rise in remote working. This has heightened the need for innovative cybersecurity solutions to help minimize downtime, loss of intellectual property and other disruptions caused by system vulnerabilities.Through forging strategic local collaborations and introducing innovative solutions to the Middle East market, Schneider Electric is setting the stage for a more sustainable and resilient energy landscape. As a member of the Global Councils on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the company is actively driving climate action initiatives in the UAE, in line with the country's vision for sustainability.

Wasalt secures license from ‘Infath’

Saudi Arabia: Wasalt, a revolutionary real-estate online platform specialising in connecting buyers with sellers (brokers and landlords), today announced that it has acquired a license from the Entrustment and Liquidation Center (Infath) to organise and manage electronic and hybrid auctions. This collaboration further underscores the company's commitment to providing best-in-class digital services to enhance transparency and improve offerings in the Saudi real estate market.Licensed by REGA, the General Real Estate Authority in the Kingdom, Wasalt is a dynamic platform that provides a comprehensive range of online real estate services to ensure that users can benefit from convenient and unique experiences while advertising and searching for properties to buy, sell, or rent.Under the new collaboration, the sales agents at Infath will now be able to list their auctions on the Wasalt platform and seamlessly carry out asset liquidation operations. This involves facilitating the process of selling fixed assets, in addition to holding auctions, engaging in marketing, and advertising as required by the sales process. Commenting on the accomplishment, Ziad El Chaar, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Wasalt, said: “Wasalt is more than just an ordinary platform. It is managed by a group of pioneers in the technology sector who are committed to continuous innovation at every stage of our growth. The idea is to remain at the forefront of the real estate auction sector with leading technology solutions that provide customers with the best possible experience. Today, with this accreditation from Infath, Wasalt has further reaffirmed its leadership position, in offering seamless and specialised services, which ultimately results in a dynamic and distinctive auction experience." The platform provides real-time bidding services, enabling immediate and direct decision-making regarding asset awarding, thereby creating a unique auction experience. It also offers a smooth process for charging the electronic wallet in a safe manner and paying the deposit to participate in each auction. Users can also benefit from specialised support including guidance and counsel through every stage of the purchasing journey.In addition to real estate auctions, Wasalt features an exclusive range of properties for sale or rent across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All offers that are listed by licensed owners and real estate brokers on the platform are subject to monitoring by a team of distinguished experts who verify their quality and reliability before approval. Wasalt enjoys a strong reputation in the real estate market. It is well known as a comprehensive and integrated platform that provides a wide range of innovative services such as listing, searching, purchasing, renting, and marketing properties. Besides helping property seekers or investors find their dream properties from brokers or developers, it also provides customers with various digital solutions to assist them in their daily activities.

ABC Conclave unites Web3 leaders, innovators in Dubai's blockchain scene

Taking place on October 7-8, 2023, at the prestigious Dubai World Trade Centre, ABC Conclave welcomes blockchain enthusiasts, industry leaders, and innovators driving change in the blockchain space. The event offers a modern platform where the members of the vibrant 20,000+ Web3 community members can collaborate, learn, gain insights from industry experts, and explore the latest trends in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DeFi, and Web3.The largest Web3 conference also aims to highlight the growing role of communications in the technology sector. This year, Mary Pedler, the Founder of INPUT — a communications agency elevating tech and VC brands — will join ABC Conclave as one of the panel moderators.The event boasts an impressive lineup of speakers, including Ahmed Elmetwally, CEO and General Manager at Private Office of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Ahmed Bin Hamadan Al Nahyan; Dr. Zayed Al Hemairy, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & ICO Expert at Bitcoin Inc.; Alex Chehade, Executive Director and General Manager at Binance; Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi, Co-founder at Islamic Coin; Igor Bershadsky, Director of Business Development & Partnerships, Hacken, and others.Apart from the speaker presentations, ABC Conclave will offer interactive workshops, a hackathon, and insightful panel discussions to promote knowledge-sharing and strategic partnerships.“I believe that the most exciting progress happens when creative minds come together. With the diverse and talented lineup at ABC Conclave 2023, I'm confident that many great ideas will take root right here,” Pedler comments. As the moderator of the “Forging a Blockchain Oasis; Unveiling the Latest Trends in the Blockchain Landscape” panel, Mary will help the panelists explore how the landscape of blockchain education is evolving to cater to the needs of a rapidly expanding and dynamic industry.The event organizers also invite participants to explore the fusion of Web2 and Web3 gaming through esports tournaments, visit the exclusive FOMO lounge for valuable networking, attend the ABC Awards ceremony honoring trailblazers in the field, and join other engaging side activities, such as the music festival and cosplay events.“Web3 is more than a technology; it's a revolution. At ABC Conclave, we're not just hosting an event but creating a platform for this revolution to grow and thrive. We're bringing together the brightest minds in blockchain, digital assets, and fintech from across the globe for a two-day immersive experience in the heart of Dubai,” says Kirubakaran Reddy, Alphablockz Founder & CEO.

Saudi Awwal Bank receives "Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises"

Riyadh: Saudi Awwal Bank has received the "Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Kingdom" award, issued by the international magazine Euromoney. The award comes as a recognition of the bank's steadfast commitment to empowering and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia.The commitment of “SAB” to the SME sector is evident through its support for the Financial Sector Program of Saudi Vision 2030, specifically tailored to SMEs."SAB" has taken significant steps in digital transformation and the adoption of innovative digital banking services for SMEs. This includes launching various digital services with multiple features, such as user management without the need for direct communication with the bank and advanced security features. It has also introduced a digital banking account opening service for SMEs, which received the "Outstanding Initiative for Opening and Managing SME Accounts" award at the 2023 SME Banking Innovation Awards. The bank also provides innovative financing programs tailored to SME requirements.Yasser Al-Barrak, Chief Corporate and Institutional Banking Officer, commented: "This award reflects our continuous efforts to provide the best services to SMEs in the Kingdom. Our investment in people, technology, and innovation not only demonstrates our commitment to growth and development but also our determination to meet the evolving needs of SMEs during this crucial period of their development. With each achievement, we always look forward to providing innovative banking solutions that meet the aspirations of small and medium-sized enterprises. As we continue to evolve to support them in expanding their business, our goal is not only to be the preferred partner but also to be the driving force behind their success.""SAB" is considered a partner to many SMEs, as it strengthens its collaboration with relevant entities to support these enterprises, such Monsha'at, Small and Medium Enterprises Bank, Kafalah Program, the Real Estate Development Fund, the National Information Technology Development Program, the Tourism Development Fund, the Industrial Development Fund, and many other entities.The bank also collaborates with the London Stock Exchange to provide a range of training and awareness sessions as part of the "SAB Academy" program for SMEs, which are offered through virtual seminars, regardless of whether the SMEs are clients of the bank. The academy aims to empower these enterprises with financial planning and financial education on the key elements of success.

Deliveroo UAE joins forces with female Emirati artist to transform editions site

Deliveroo UAE has joined forces with Emirati artist Aysha Al Hamrani to reimagine the facade of Editions sites across the UAE. Through this unique collaboration, Aysha has provided Editions sites with a new visual identity that celebrates the profound connection between art and food by weaving in elements of the city’s distinct landmarks. The artwork for the Deliveroo Editions facade, designed by Aysha Al Hamrani, beautifully encapsulates the essence of Dubai, reflecting key cultural elements that resonate among residents. The vibrant and dynamic artwork features the journey of food from restaurant to customers, including riders in motion, chefs crafting culinary delights, joyful customers savouring their meals, and symbolic sites from the Emirati culture. Aysha’s artistry adds a playful and relatable dimension to the overall visual narrative, making it more engaging for the community. These elements artfully converge to represent vital pillars of Deliveroo’s marketplace including dedicated riders, great food, and connecting customers with their favourite cuisine. Aysha Al Hamrani, Emirati Artist said “Art has the power to transcend barriers and connect people on a profound level. Dubai’s art scene is flourishing and it’s an honour to collaborate with Deliveroo UAE to bring art to the forefront of everyday life. My artwork aims to celebrate the cultural diversity and culinary richness of Dubai while emphasizing the integral role food plays in our lives. Together with Deliveroo, I’m inviting residents on an urban journey to celebrate and appreciate the beauty in everyday moments in Dubai’s urban life, like the simple act of ordering food.” Taghrid Oraibi, Head of Communications at Deliveroo Middle East said, “At Deliveroo, we are on a mission to connect businesses and communities through a shared love of food. Dubai is a melting pot of cultures and flavours, and Deliveroo Editions is at the heart of this cultural exchange alongside our restaurant partners. Aysha’s artwork beautifully encapsulates the spirit of our Editions kitchens and the connection with our customers.” The collaboration between Deliveroo UAE and Aysha Al Hamrani is set to bring a burst of creativity and cultural celebration to the streets of Dubai. It exemplifies the company’s dedication to both the art of food and connecting communities, creating a visually enticing experience for all. Deliveroo Editions is a revolutionary delivery-only platform which transformed the culinary landscape for customers and restaurants throughout the UAE. Launched in 2017, Deliveroo Editions was one of the first concepts of its kind to be introduced to the market. Throughout the years, it has steadily expanded, consistently charting new directions and setting industry standards within the delivery-only kitchen sector. The platform serves as a testament to Deliveroo’s commitment to providing an unparalleled dining experience in the comfort of one’s home.

The Ritz-Carlton celebrates transformational travel with ‘Leave Better’ Campaign

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., has announced the launch of a new international marketing campaign, in regard to the continued evolution of the brand. Created in collaboration with longtime agency partner Team One, the ‘Leave Better campaign’ invites guests to embark on a powerful journey of self-discovery through thoughtfully tailored experiences and the genuine comfort and care offered by a stay at The Ritz-Carlton. With the promise of a transformational experience, guests will check out of The Ritz-Carlton greater than when they arrived.  Marking a fresh new direction for The Ritz-Carlton, the multi-million dollar marketing campaign captures how travel across the brand's hotels and resorts can become a catalyst for personal evolution. Leave Better illustrates that travel not only results in enriching memories but also has the power to evolve ones' sense of self.The Leave Better campaign will roll out in several languages across international markets, including the United States, Japan, China, Germany, the UAE and Saudi Arabia through a special partnership with Condé Nast network, truly tapping into a global audience. It will be seen across digital video, print, digital display and paid social. <img src='\292ff3ae55651f682e7d3699ef944b20.png' class='content_image'>"We are thrilled to introduce the Leave Better Campaign, which reflects our commitment to not only honoring our heritage as a luxury hospitality icon, but embracing the desires of our discerning guests," said Jamie Kerr, Senior Director Global Marketing, The Ritz-Carlton. "Through Leave Better, we invite travelers to journey with The Ritz-Carlton to places, moments and spaces that are marked by genuine care only we can deliver, and will encourage self-growth and discovery, staying with them long after they depart."The campaign's central question, "How will a stay leave you?", inspires consumers to envision the lasting impact of an experience at The Ritz-Carlton.It encourages guests to consider the memories they'll create, the connections they'll forge, the inspiration they'll draw, and the level of revitalization they'll experience that can only result through genuine comfort and care.Whether through enriching classes, cultural programming, hands-on culinary experiences, or more, there are endless opportunities for guests to tap into moments of exploration and discovery. Through a series of visually captivating advertisements across print and digital content, the campaign captures the brand's commitment to providing unforgettable and transcendent journeys.Leave Better is the latest phase in the brand's thoughtful evolution, which has seen The Ritz-Carlton expand into exciting global destinations such as Mexico City, Melbourne and Fukuoka, buzzing neighborhoods including NoMad in Manhattan, and the industry redefining launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The new debuts have rolled-out alongside a collection of comprehensive renovations, signaling The Ritz-Carlton's ongoing transformation as it welcomes travelers across generations and geographies. The evolution has also seen the unveiling of a new website for the brand, introducing an elevated digital experience that speaks to the future of The Ritz-Carlton.

Cannes Lions success: UAE's official representatives commemorate winners

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