New clipper malware steals $400,000 in cryptocurrencies via fake Tor Browser

Kaspersky researchers have discovered an ongoing disruptive cryptocurrency theft campaign affecting more than 15,000 users across 52 countries. Distributed under the guise of Tor Browser, the malware operates by replacing a portion of the entered clipboard contents with the cybercriminal’s own wallet address once it detects a wallet address in the clipboard. It is estimated that – so far in 2023 – cybercriminals have been able to steal approximately US$400,000 using this malware.While this technique has been around for more than a decade and was originally used by banking trojans to replace bank account numbers, with the rise of cryptocurrency, this new type of malware is now actively targeting crypto owners and traders.One recent malware development involves the use of Tor Browser, a tool used to access the deeper web. The target user downloads a trojanized version of the Tor Browser from a third-party resource containing a password protected RAR archive. The purpose of the password is to prevent detection by security solutions. Once the file is dropped inside the user’s system, it registers itself in the system’s auto-start and is masqueraded with an icon of a popular application, such as uTorrent.Kaspersky technologies have detected more than 15,000 attacks using clipboard injector malware targeting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Monero. These attacks have spread to at least 52 countries, with the majority of detections in Russia due to users downloading the infected Tor Browser from third-party websites as this browser is officially blocked in the country. The top 10 affected countries also include the United States, Germany, Uzbekistan, Belarus, China, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. This means the actual number of infections may be much higher than reported.Based on the analysis of existing samples, the estimated loss for users is at least US$400,000, but the actual amount stolen could be much greater, as this research focuses only on Tor Browser abuse. Other campaigns may use different software and malware delivery methods, as well as other types of wallets.“Despite the fake Tor Browser attack’s fundamental simplicity, it poses a greater danger than it seems. Not only does it create irreversible money transfers, but it is also passive and hard to detect for a regular user. Most malware requires a communication channel between the malware operator and the victim’s system. On the contrary, clipboard injectors can remain silent for years, with no network activity or other signs of presence until the day they replace a crypto wallet address,” comments Vitaly Kamluk, Head of APAC Unit, Global Research & Analysis Team.Learn more about the new Clipper malware on keep cryptocurrency safe, Kaspersky experts also advise users:Only download software from trusted sources: avoid downloading software from third-party websites, and use official sources whenever possible. Always verify the authenticity of the software before downloading it.Keep your software updated: Ensure your operating system, browser, and other software are up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. This helps to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited.Use security solutions: a reliable security solution will protect your devices from various types of threats. Kaspersky Premium prevents all known and unknown cryptocurrency malware.Be cautious with email links and attachments: Do not click on links or download attachments from suspicious or unknown sources, as these may contain malware.Check for digital signatures: Before downloading any software, check for digital signatures to ensure that the software is authentic and has not been tampered with.

1oT and Workz team up to target US IoT growth

Chicago and Dubai: IoT connectivity provider, 1oT, has partnered with eSIM producer, Workz, to serve what it has identified as a gap in the US enterprise market. The partnership guarantees the security and rapid implementation of 1oT’s M2M global connectivity solutions with Workz’s GSMA-certified eSIMs and data generation services.Launched last August, 1oT’s remote SIM provisioning platform, eSIM Core, is designed to simplify and reduce the cost of connecting IoT devices for businesses. Certified by the GSMA in October, the system currently manages over 1.4 million connected devices in 173 countries in sectors such as micromobility, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, agricultural appliances, and air monitoring.eSIM provides remote management of devices over a cellular network and plays a key role in the Internet of Things (IoT). The GSMA states that adoption of the technology is currently low relative compared to its long-term potential and estimates over 37 billion connections will use eSIM by 2030 with approximately two-thirds of these coming from the enterprise sector.Established in Estonia, 1oT has recently expanded its offices to the USA to further serve the growing need of North American businesses that require fast and cost-effective IoT connectivity by combining multiple pre-negotiated carrier deals. The US opening is intended to benefit 1oT’s existing customers by providing faster on-the-ground support and SIM order fulfilment on shorter notice.Workz CEO, Tor Malmros said, “Our goal is to make it easier and cheaper for telcos to deploy connectivity. Whilst the SIM form factor has evolved over the decades, the process for generating their data has remained the same and is generally perceived as time-consuming. Workz’s Data Generation as a Service cuts SIM development time and cost allowing telcos to activate connections and revenue far quicker.”  Märt Kroodo, Co-Founder & CEO of 1oT said, “We see Workz as the perfect fit for 1oT to allow us to deliver faster connectivity to our clients. Their certified SIMs and supporting technical services give us a full flush of GSMA-certified products as well as the agility to scale up or down as needed, without some of the industry’s usual heavy commitments required or competitive restrictions.”

McLaren Dubai delivers the first Artura in the Middle East

Dubai: McLaren Dubai, the official Retail Partner of McLaren Automotive, announces the delivery of the first Artura, its next-generation supercar, in the UAE. Marking its debut on the roads of the Middle East, this hybrid supercar is built on an all-new design and architecture that delivers incredible performance.Celebrating the occasion, Mazen Al Nashar, General Manager at McLaren Dubai said, “We are thrilled to deliver the Artura for the first time in the Middle East. We are now all set to fulfill the demand of our customers who have been patiently waiting for this exceptional vehicle. The response has been overwhelming, and we look forward to watching our customers experience the electrifying power and innovative features of this brand-new hybrid supercar.”The revolutionary supercar inherits every attribute of a McLaren. With a trademark McLaren cockpit and advanced driver focus, the Artura offers unparalleled driving dynamics, lower emissions, faster throttle response, and the ability to run in pure EV mode.Artura is a plug-in hybrid and an ultra-light supercar that transitions between petrol and electric power in a seamless and programmed way to make the absolute best of both. When the power of petrol and electricity are combined, Artura produces a stunning 680PS – with the E-Motor adding up to 95PS and 225 Nm of torque, on demand.“It is a great time for us to begin deliveries in the UAE as the market continues to see an accelerated demand for supercars and hybrid vehicles. The governments in the region have been instrumental in promoting EVs and investing in the infrastructure, enabling customers to opt for a balance between efficiency and performance – a blend that the Artura offers,” added Al Nashar.The car is built with an advanced new McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) at its core and has a V6 twin-turbocharged hybrid petrol engine along with an eight-speed transmission and a compact e-motor. Weighing in at 50kg less than a V8, it produces the highest PS/litre per KG of any V6 on the market. The Artura’s top speed is electronically limited to 330km/h with 0-100km/h achieved in just 3.0 seconds* and 0-200 km/h in 8.3 seconds*.The first owner to take delivery in the region is UAE-based entrepreneur and car enthusiast Aliev Kiril, who received a stunning Volcano Yellow Artura.The McLaren Artura is available to order and comes with a standard three-year service plan, five-year vehicle warranty and six-year battery warranty. Customers can visit the McLaren Pop Up Showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road to view the car or call 800 SENNA to book a test drive.

Dubai First partners with cricket legend and Mastercard ambassador Wasim Akram

Dubai: Dubai First, which offers consumer services under First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), is proud to announce its exciting partnership with Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistani cricketer and Mastercard’s global brand ambassador. The collaboration will offer customers exclusive benefits, world-class financial solutions, and unique experiences.Dubai First is known for its forward-thinking approach and its range of first-to-market products and services. The partnership with Mastercard’s global ambassador is set to inspire even more customers to adopt the brand's mobile-first credit cards, which provide efficiency, transparency, and instant gratification.This collaboration brings together the best of both worlds, with Mastercard's global acceptance, unparalleled security features, and exciting offers and Wasim Akram's reputation as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket. Customers can look forward to exclusive benefits and experiences and the opportunity to engage with Wasim Akram.Gina Petersen, VP and Country Business Development Lead for the UAE & Oman, Mastercard, said: “The Mastercard Priceless platform offers a wealth of experiences that connect people to their passions, including sports. Our Global Brand Ambassador Wasim Akram, a great sportsman and role model, continues to inspire Mastercard card holders to pursue excellence in their chosen fields. We are delighted to provide the customers of Dubai First with an opportunity to engage with him.”Haroon Durrani, Head of Dubai First Cards & Digital, FAB, said: "We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard and have Wasim Akram as our brand ambassador. With his reputation as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket, and his credibility as a Mastercard ambassador, we are eager to collaborate with Wasim Akram and to bring exciting benefits to a wider audience and a new generation of customers."Wasim Akram shared: “I am always happy to come back to the UAE – a place that holds fond memories of many cricket wins for me and the home of many of my dear friends. Over the past few years, it has been a pleasure to raise awareness about Mastercard’s Priceless campaign, which is very close to my heart. I look forward to collaborating with Dubai First and giving its customers a few Priceless surprises as we bring people closer to their passions.”Dubai First offers a wide range of credit cards that cater to different needs and preferences, including cashback cards, travel cards, and rewards cards. With competitive rates and exclusive offers, Dubai First is committed to providing its customers with the best possible financial solutions.?

TWSC announces the findings of its Earned Effect study

DUBAI – The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC), the world’s leading earned-first network, announced the findings of its Earned Effect study, conducted in partnership with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), that explored the impact of campaigns that earn coverage and conversation on business performance. The research was conducted by a team of experts from across The Weber Shandwick Collective, led by Nigel Rahimpour, Head of Strategy Germany, and Consultant Peter Field at the IPA. The study evaluated global case studies over a 10-year period across brands and categories. ?The Earned Effect study, which analysed data from culturally salient* and non-culturally salient* campaigns, reinforces the need for brands to make a cultural and emotional connection with their audience in order to create sustainable value and short-term impact.Findings show:53% of campaigns that earn coverage and conversation are more likely to drive very large business effects and 2.6 times more likely to achieve very large profit growth. Culturally salient campaigns outperform other campaigns with 57%?driving very large sales gains and 40% driving very large market share gains.Brands worthy of earning attention and activating – not simply reaching – communities see a 42% uplift in ROI and outperform peers in every brand health metric.Campaigns that earn coverage and conversation are also 75% more likely to create halo effects across other products in the franchise.Gen Kobayashi, Chief Strategy Officer, EMEA, said, “The Weber Shandwick Collective believes brands that will thrive in the future understand that to earn value, they must contribute meaningful value. We call this the “earned-first mindset” and it’s how we approach work with all our clients. We don’t just believe in the power of earned-first thinking, we can see its tangible impact in this breakthrough study. The Earned Effect underlines our belief that it pays to be earned first.”The study, which was conducted globally, analysed over 340 case studies in both B2B and B2C sectors, across 60 different product categories from the IPA’s Databank.“As opportunities for brand communications expand in social and experiential, understanding the impact of earned and owned channel strategies is becoming ever more interesting. This report marks an important next step in IPA Databank learning beyond paid media and we hope it will encourage IPA Effectiveness award entries which are more holistic in looking at brand-building potential,” said Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA.The Weber Shandwick Collective combines Weber Shandwick’s earned, creative and data analytics capabilities with deep specialist expertise in digital and social solutions through its agencies Flipside and That Lot.

Editor-in-chief appointed to lead Arabian Gulf Business Insight

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Arabian Gulf Business Insight (AGBI), a next-generation business news platform, today announced the appointment of its first Editor-in-Chief. James Drummond, a seasoned financial journalist and experienced regional markets analyst, will steer the development of the digital resource as it informs decision-makers on events and issues that are shaping the region’s economy. Drummond takes the helm of AGBI in good company – with a leadership team from respected publishing organisations ranging from Arabian Business and Gulf Business to The Times, the Financial Times (FT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The platform will provide intelligence and analysis around the Middle East’s commercial opportunities and challenges. An Arabic speaker, the 56-year-old British national’s wide experience in the region includes roles as a former hedge fund correspondent and news editor in the Gulf for the Financial Times, as well as FT correspondent in Cairo and Baghdad, where he covered the aftermath of the US-led invasion. Oxford-educated Drummond is a qualified chartered accountant and anti-money laundering specialist, and has also led geopolitical risk analysis for a number of global banking and corporate institutions. Headquartered in London with a newsroom in Dubai, AGBI began publishing at last year as a focused resource for the local, regional and international business community and since its launch has grown rapidly, recording 100,000 visits in February. Through deep-dive reporting and thoroughly researched insight, AGBI aims to develop into an essential tool for anyone with an interest in doing business in the Middle East – from ambitious entrepreneurs and curious investors to established private and public-sector leaders from around the world.

GROHE appoints Alexey Bykov as new leader for the Middle East region

Jeddah, KSA: GROHE, one of the global leaders in complete bathroom and kitchen fittings, has announced the appointment of Alexey Bykov as the new Leader of the Middle East region at LIXIL EMENA. The appointment came as a testimony of GROHE ‘s continued focus on growth, innovation, and customer success across the globe.With over 20 years of experience in the construction and sanitary ware industry, Bykov will now spearhead GROHE‘s operations across the Middle East as he has previously held leadership positions in various renowned organizations and has a proven track record of driving growth, innovation and digital transformation.In his new role, Bykov will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to drive regional business growth and profitability. He will also focus on expanding the customer base, building partnerships and driving innovation to contribute to the company's overall success, in addition to overseeing the company's operations in MENA.Bykov extensive experience and passion for driving growth through innovation make him ideally suited for this role, as his leadership and GROHE‘s team of experts in the region will provide customers with the best products and services.Bykov previously served as Leader, Grohe Russia, Central Asia and Caucasus, where he helped establish a strong brand presence in the region. He has also held leadership positions at several other multinational companies in the building materials and fast-moving consumer goods industries.

Kibsons announces partnership with Marks & Spencer

Dubai: Kibsons, the award-winning family run UAE based company, continues its mission to provide residents with premium quality and delicious food, as it announces its partnership with leading British brand,Marks & Spencer, operated by Al-Futtaim Group. Consumers will be able to shop from an extensive range of premium M&S Food items, and have them delivered to their doorstep, alongside their weekly food shop at the click of a button.Kibsons has spent the past few months working closely with Marks & Spencer to bring the new food partnership to consumers’ shopping baskets. Customers of Kibsons will soon be able to shop 1,000+M&S Food items spanning store cupboard essentials such as pasta sauces, breakfast cereals, hand cooked crisps and coffee, or take their pick from convenient ready meals, delicious sourdough loaves, crumpets, cookies, and not forgetting the iconic Colin the Caterpillar sweets and mini-bite tubs! Halima Jumani, CEO of Kibsons said: “M&S Food is synonymous with both high quality and innovative food. We are thrilled to be partnering with this iconic brand and offer our customers a further enhanced shopping experience. Variety of choice, quality and innovation are key to our customers’ happiness and we are extremely excited to launch an initial 1,000 products, with more to follow in the near future from M&S, giving our shoppers a wider choice and convenience than ever.”Providing customers with a range of high quality, healthy and wholesome food, the Kibsons andMarks & Spencer partnership brings not only a convenient addition to the customers’ weekly shopping needs, but cements Kibson’s position as the go to grocery delivery company for the UAE.

VOX Cinemas launches new THEATRE menu to elevate the in-cinema dining experience

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: VOX Cinemas, the dedicated cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim, is excited to announce the launch of a new menu at THEATRE, its luxury cinema concept which combines fine food and film. Now available at all THEATRE locations in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, the new menu has been specially curated by our master chefs to elevate the in-cinema dining experience and is the result of an extensive customer research and trial-based study which focused on food variety and convenience. Featuring more than 20 mouth-watering dishes, highlights on the contemporary menu include Dynamite Shrimps; freshly-picked Falafel Salad; oven-baked Roasted Fig & Goat’s Cheese Flat Bread; irresistible Pepper Beef Skewers; vegetarian-friendly Impossible Meat Sliders; and chicken-stuffed Theatre Tacos. along with a variety of handcrafted desserts and a bubbling selection of signature mocktails. The new THEATRE menu also caters for vegetarians and vegans.Joe Teixeira, Managing Director - F&B, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, said, “We are thrilled to usher in a fresh new chapter in the ever-evolving world of fine dining and film as moviegoers become increasingly discerning with their choice of cinema F&B. At VOX Cinemas, we are committed to exceeding our guests’ expectations and continuously enhancing the unparalleled eatertainment experience only VOX Cinemas can deliver.”Since launching in 2015, VOX Cinemas’ in-cinema dining concept THEATRE has been redefining the luxury moviegoing experience. THEATRE combines the emotional power of film with the gastronomic pleasure of fine food. Guests can choose to dine in the exclusive lounge or enjoy meals delivered straight to their seat through the unique in-theatre waiter service. THEATRE boasts reclining leather seats, plush blankets and pillows, as well as cutting-edge audiovisual technology in a stylish and intimate setting.For more information, visit or download the VOX Cinemas app.About Majid Al FuttaimFounded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and entertainment pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 16 international markets, employing more than 46,000 people., and obtaining the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately held corporates in the region.Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities including Tilal Al Ghaf, Al Zahia, Al Mouj and more. The shopping mall portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, Mall of Oman, City Centre malls, My City Centre neighbourhood centres, and five joint venture community malls with the Government of Sharjah. The Company also operates its own health and beauty concept brand, myli, and is the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets, with a portfolio of 460 outlets including City+, the region’s first checkout-free store, and an online store.Majid Al Futtaim operates more than 600 VOX Cinemas screens as well as a portfolio of world-class entertainment experiences across the region including Ski Dubai, Snow Oman, Dreamscape, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and iFLY Dubai. The Company is also parent to a lifestyle business representing international brands such as SHISEIDO, Poltrona Frau, CB2, Crate and Barrel, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, AllSaints, lululemon athletica, LEGO and THAT, a Majid Al Futtaim Lifestyle concept store and app. In addition, Enova, a facility and energy management company, is part of the portfolio through a joint venture operation with Veolia.

Bupa Arabia among the most valuable brands in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah: For the third year in a row, Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance ranked 10th on the list of the strongest Saudi brands and 16th on the list of the most valuable Saudi brands. This was revealed in a new report by Brand Finance, a London-based consulting company specializing in brand valuation and strategic consulting.The company has also claimed the top spot as the Middle East’s most valuable insurance brand for the third time as well. Moreover, Tal Nazer, CEO of Bupa Arabia, has been named among the top 30 CEOs in the Middle East.Nazer said that the latest rankings placing Bupa Arabia in the list of the of the strongest and most valuable Saudi brands confirm the company's growing leadership in the Saudi market as one of the most prominent and innovative insurance companies.“Bupa Arabia topped the list of the most valuable insurance companies in the Middle East, and it has also won a number of awards and ratings, both locally and regionally. This is testimony to the pioneering role of Bupa Arabia in developing the insurance industry, providing quality healthcare services and distinguished insurance products to millions of its customers, besides its ongoing awareness campaigns in the Kingdom and beyond,” he added.Nazer said that Bupa Arabia has been a game-changer in the insurance sector, and has made a major difference in the field of healthcare, improving the lives of customers, with the help of the strategy it adopted, in line with Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program and the Health Sector Transformation Program.The Bupa Arabia CEO expressed his appreciation for the commitment and efforts exerted by the company's 1,800-strong workforce and their contributions to Bupa Arabia’s advancing position in the Brand Finance rankings. “Bupa Arabia is distinguished by a work environment that stimulates creativity and increases productivity,” he said.Brand Finance aims to bridge the gap between marketing and financing through its annual reports and ratings, as it has helped many companies and institutions since its inception in 1996 in evaluating and classifying their brands.It enjoys high credibility that qualifies it to conduct more than 5,000 brand valuations and publish nearly 100 reports that rank brands across various sectors and countries.

Bahar continues to set new standards; wins ‘Top Omani Brand’ award

Muscat: A flagship brand of National Detergent Company (NDC), Bahar has been a popular household name in the local market. Attesting to its popularity, the brand was recognised with the prestigious Alam Al Iktisaad 'Top Omani Brand' award in the category of ‘FMCG Homecare’ in a ceremony held in Al Bustan, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on March 15, 2023. The high-profile event was conducted under the auspices of HH Sayyid Muhammad Salim Al Said and was hosted by HE Shaikh Salim bin Mustahail Al Mashani. The event witnessed the presence of more than 100 key officials, delegates, and market experts from a cross-section of industries.The winners were declared after a detailed survey with stringent parameters conducted by Alam Al-Iktisaad in partnership with Arabian Research Bureau. Dedicated to acknowledging, applauding, and encouraging the concerted efforts of organisations that demonstrate the highest brand recall value in the local market while establishing their position as the trusted choice amongst consumers, these awards are one of the most coveted in the industry.Commenting on the Bahar’s latest achievement, Murali Sundar, CEO said, “With this award, Bahar has once again reaffirmed its strong foothold in the Omani market. This recognition also further cements our unfaltering commitment to quality and our keen focus on the evolving needs of our prized consumers. Apart from leveraging our inherent product knowledge to deliver the promise of hygienic cleaning, Bahar has also been mindful of the environment, taking quantifiable efforts to develop products that are sustainable. Our ongoing community engagement campaigns have also played an instrumental role in helping us strengthen our bond with our customers and better understand what matters most to them. To be able to earn the trust of individuals is the biggest reward for any brand, and Bahar would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to all its customers for their unending loyalty.”Bahar has an extensive range of detergents, dishwashing liquids, disinfectants, antiseptics, fabric softeners, and other multipurpose cleaning agents. The brand focuses on continuing to remain relevant and affordable while catering to the various cleaning preferences of its diverse base of customers. Taking a holistic approach, Bahar has been taking consistent endeavours to enhance the entire customer experience through high-quality products, ease of availability, and various packaging options.Its parent company, NDC is the first ISO-certified soap and detergent company in the region. Apart from Oman, the company also has a strong market share in other GCC countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. With over four decades of experience in the industry, NDC and Bahar have received innumerable awards that pay tribute to their unique stance on maintaining excellence.??

Annual Investment Meeting tackles global market challenges

Abu Dhabi: The 12th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM Global 2023), which is supported by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, will feature a number of local and international events, forums, and conferences from May 8 to 10 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and discuss the latest investment trends, challenges, and opportunities to further boost the sustainable growth of the global economy.Its lineup of activities comprises a series of dialogue sessions, keynote speeches, and interactive workshops that facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices, foster dialogue and cooperation, and encourage collective efforts towards achieving a more sustainable and equitable financial future for all.It will focus on two main tracks, Investment and Innovation & Technology, which will highlight several topics that cover 10 key different sectors – Agriculture, Energy, Technology, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Tourism & Hospitality, Transportation & Logistics, Finance, Healthcare, and Education.Least Developed Countries ForumOrganized in cooperation with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the Least Developed Countries Forum aims to shed light on the key challenges confronting investment promotion agencies globally, such as market analysis mechanisms, investment trends, and sustainable approaches to addressing them, with a particular emphasis on investment promotion agencies in the least developed countries.?smail Er?ahin, WAIPA Executive Director and CEO, lauded the long-term partnership between the association and the Annual Investment Meeting, the world’s leading platform that offers an excellent opportunity for investment experts, private sector representatives and international organizations to network and exchange ideas. “This year we are pleased to be partnering on a conference for Least Developed Countries, where we will dedicate an entire day to discussing the crucial issues facing investment promotion agencies representing LDCs globally and to presenting them with the tools and knowledge needed to address their challenges in a productive and sustainable manner. We are also looking forward to hosting a workshop on attracting institutional capital, an increasingly urgent task for IPAs which WAIPA is supporting through our training programs,” Er?ahin said.Future Finance ForumThe Future Finance Forum, in partnership with the Union of Arab Banks under the theme “Leveraging Innovative Technologies for Financial Inclusion and Sustainability,” will bring together experts and practitioners to explore the role of cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, Web3, and digital currencies, in promoting financial access, stability, and sustainability. The Forum’s attendees will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in implementing these technologies in the finance sector so they can collaborate on concrete solutions for a more inclusive and sustainable financial future in the Arab world.Commenting on the collaboration, Secretary General of Union of Arab Banks Dr. Wissam Fattouh said: “In light of the global economic and climate risks, the Arab region is witnessing deep economic and financial transformations, which will shape its landscape for the upcoming decades. The Union of Arab Banks, in partnership with AIM, aims to shed light on the emerging challenges facing our region, and how to transform them into opportunities, in order to achieve a green, sustainable, and digital Arab economy.”The local and global side events at the AIM Global 2023 also include “Make it in the Emirates”; “Invest in Abu Dhabi”; “Road to the World Investment Forum” in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; “Entrepreneurs Investment Summit” with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); “Bloomberg New Energy Finance Forum”; “Future Finance Forum” with the Union of Arab Banks; “World Local Production Forum” with the World Health Organization; “Tourism Investment Forum” with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); “Least Developed Countries Forum” in partnership with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies; “Finoverse Forum”; “Distressed and Alternative Investment Forum” with the DDC Financial Group; and “Advanced Manufacturing Investment Forum” to be hosted by UNIDO.AIM Global 2023 will revolve around the theme “The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities To Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity and Prosperity.” Throughout its previous editions, the conference has established itself as the world’s largest investment platform, attracting extensive international participation from decision-makers, senior officials, businesspeople, experts, and academics. It has excelled at providing a premier venue for knowledge dissemination and exchange, staying updated on the latest developments in foreign direct investment and related matters, sharing experiences, exploring business prospects, and forging cooperation and partnership agreements.

Carrefour ramps up Emiratisation commitment with launch of Masarat Programme

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Carrefour, which is owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE, has launched its Masarat Programme: a bespoke growth initiative for Emirati frontliners, future team leaders, department heads and store managers. This comes alongside an announcement that the leading retailer has recruited over 1000 UAE Nationals since 2021 and is on target to achieve its goal of 3000 by 2026.Facilitated by Carrefour’s Retail Business School, successful Emirati applicants will receive skills-based training and mentoring from Majid Al Futtaim Retail’s world-class learning partners. The new initiative is fully aligned with the UAE government’s high-profile NAFIS programme, which aims to support UAE nationals who choose to pursue a career in the private sector as part of the federal Projects of the 50 series.Commenting on the initiative, Bernardo Perloiro, Chief Operating Officer – GCC at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “Masarat will offer a direct route to success for thousands of talented and ambitious Emiratis, including development, training and upskilling opportunities. In partnership with NAFIS, our Masarat Programme is an exciting and supportive stepping stone from which 3,000 new national colleagues will be able to launch and pursue successful careers within retail by 2026. We remain committed to supporting the growth of all Carrefour colleagues, recognising that our people remain our greatest asset.”The Masarat programme will be split into five key stages, beginning with frontline roles and moving through to district management level to enhance cross-functional expertise. As well as critical skills development specific to each role, participants will be rewarded with financial incentives and opportunities to advance their career. This demonstrates Majid Al Futtaim Retail’s increasing prominence as a global talent and innovation magnet – having launched its business school four years ago.Since the launch of the NAFIS programme in September 2021, Carrefour has onboarded more than 1000 Emirati employees across its operations – with UAE nationals currently representing more than 6 percent of its total domestic workforce.Majid Al Futtaim’s efforts and long-term commitment to Emirati representation in the private sector has already been recognised by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 2021. Looking forwards, the Masarat Programme is one of several initiatives focused on the professional advancement of local talents in the UAE workplace.

MARAKEZ complements Mall of Arabia

Cairo: MARAKEZ welcomes a wide variety of new partners to its wide range of tenants at Mall of Arabia. Complementing Mall of Arabia's favoured technology and sports retail offerings; XPRS - the leading Apple Reseller in the region, along with Dropkick and Sun & Sands Sports – two of the Middle East’s largest sports retailers, have opened their doors to shoppers. New F&B outlets have greeted Mall of Arabia's dinners, coffee and sweet lovers, and healthy eaters as well including; Sizzler, Mori Sushi, Butcher’s Burger, Chicken ‘N’ Ribs, Krispy Kreme, Bar N Jar and Imtenan. Last but not least, Seoudi Supermarket has recently inaugurated its newest branch in West Cairo at Mall of Arabia.Ashraf Maklad, Chief Commercial Officer of MARAKEZ stated, “Strong partnerships are essential to guarantee a solid and sustainable market position. We are pleased to be collaborating with leading brands in our mission to provide our customers with exceptional experiences that surpass their expectations.”Located near gate 11 of Mall of Arabia, Seoudi Supermarket - West Cairo’s first in-mall Seoudi, is offering one lucky customer the chance to take home a luxurious SUV. The promotion is running from the 9th March till the 15th April 2023. Shoppers who spend EGP 1,500 or more at the Seoudi Mall of Arabia supermarket can receive a coupon that grants them entry into the draw. Customers can collect several coupons for every EGP 1,500 spent, increasing their chances of winning. The prize of the draw is a Cherry TIGGO, which will be announced on April 15th at 10 PM.

UAE participates in education technology exhibition in London

United Arab Emirates: The UAE took part in the education technology exhibition and conference – the British Educational Training and Technology Show – (Bett) held in London from 29 to 31 March. The UAE team highlighted the country’s technological programmes and initiatives aimed at boosting the educational system and reviewed the latest cutting-edge educational technology (EdTech) solutions.His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, headed the UAE’s delegation to Bett, which included His Excellency Dr. Hassan Hassan Al-Muhairi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Curriculum Sector, along with senior officials in the education sector. The UAE pavilion included a number of the Ministry of Education's partners, namely the United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, University of Birmingham Dubai, Sharjah Private Education Authority, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Educational Publishing, the Mohamed bin Zayed Award for Best Teacher, Emirates Airlines, Emirates ICT Innovation Center, and Emirates Schools Establishment.His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi emphasised the significance of the event as a global platform to explore the future of EdTech and ways to benefit from its applications. “The Ministry of Education was keen to participate in this global event to get acquainted with the best pioneering global experiences in the field of education. We also aimed to highlight the UAE’s efforts to elevate the education system and its leadership in the fields of technology and innovation. The UAE keeps pace with the latest technologies to prepare today’s generation to lead tomorrow’s development process to achieve the aspirations of the country and our wise leadership to attain sustainable development and build a knowledge-based economy.”The Ministry of Education organised two panel discussions during Bett 2023; the first focused on the “Skills of Future in the UAE Curriculum” in light of the vision of the UAE Centennial 2071 and the need to nurture students’ skills to consolidate the country’s path to economic and social prosperity for decades to come. The second panel discussion, titled “The UAE as a Global Partner and a Regional Education Hub”, deliberated the outstanding development achieved by the country in the educational field by establishing schools and universities that align with international standards. This is in addition to launching initiatives that attract international academic expertise to improve the integrated educational model that combines quality education, sponsorship of research and encouragement of innovation. All of which enabled the UAE to become a prominent global partner and regional educational hub.On the sidelines of Bett 2023, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi held bilateral meetings with education experts and officials in the UK, and he visited key British educational institutions to discuss ways of enhancing cooperation in the educational field. His Excellency also met with a number of Emirati students enrolled in doctoral programmes and praised their efforts to obtain the knowledge necessary to pursue the country’s development process and to convey the cultural image of the UAE to the world.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy discusses future of ai and software development

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, hosted the 10th session of its regular digital industry workshops, focusing this time on software development and artificial intelligence (AI) industry.The workshop brought together top executives, business leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.Commenting on the event, His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said: “The UAE is committed to unlocking the full potential of digital economy, which has grown two and a half times faster than global GDP over the past two decades. The UAE is involving all relevant parties in building a clear roadmap to stimulate digital industries, and ensure that current government policies, initiatives and strategies promote innovation and business friendliness for all sectors.”As Dubai aims to become a preferred destination for international digital investment and global tech talent, it is attracting a growing number of software development professionals. This is in line with the UAE’s plans to provide 100,000 golden visas to the best computer programming talent both in the UAE and across the globe.The UAE is targeting to position itself as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031, with several priority sectors, including Resources & Energy, Logistics & Transport, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Cybersecurity. The ‘UAE Digital Economy Strategy’ aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP) to 19.4 per cent within 10 years.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is committed to achieving the UAE’s ambitious goals and further establishing Dubai as a leading hub for software development and artificial intelligence.

Bybit launches optimized ETH Staking ahead of Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade

DUBAI: Bybit, the world's third most visited crypto exchange, launched its new Web3 Staking Pool today, enabling users to take advantage of the exchange's uncomplicated ETH staking options in time for Ethereum network's much anticipated Shanghai upgrade.The staking pool drastically simplifies the process of adding liquidity to premier decentralized finance protocol Curve Finance from 11 steps to just three and saves transaction fees, too. The added benefits could lead to an ETH staking APR of up to 6.5%. And Bybit users don't even need to buy ETH as the product can be accessed using BTC, USDT and USDC balances.According to Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit, "By introducing our Web3 Staking Pool via a dedicated landing page, we are making it easier for users to interact with decentralized finance and gain more rewards for their assets. Essentially, we are offering single-sided staking, which boosts the APR of ETH.""The highly liquid and trading-integrated ETH staking options we will be rolling out around the time of Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade will open up many new opportunities for our users," Zhou added. "By offering convenience and transparency, our users will gain more control over how they manage their funds and grow their wealth in the Web3 era."Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade is also the theme of two special trading events hosted by Bybit. Both events kick off on April 4th at 10:00 am (UTC) and run until April 21 and 25, respectively.Firstly, the ETH Shanghai Upgrade Trading Bash opens the door for Bybit users trading any ETH-related derivatives (perpetuals, inverse or futures contracts) to share in a total prize pool of 450,000 USDC. Secondly, by entering Bybit's Supreme Scorer 2023, users have the chance to predict the price movement of eight different ETH-related trading pairs and share in the 80,000 USDT bonus pool.Bybit is proud to offer Web3 integrations that create a simple, streamlined user experience and bring next level opportunities and products to institutions, crypto-natives and newcomers alike.

Deliveroo launches first editions site in Abu Dhabi

Dubai: Editions Abu Dhabi will support restaurants in serving new and existing customers after the platform's consistent success across multiple locations in Dubai The new site hosts loved UAE brands including Cali-Poke, Go! Greek, Go! Healthy, The Lighthouse, as well as Simple Burger. Other brands like Nourish, Bowlful and Fuchsia Urban Thai are set to launch in the coming months. The expansion marks a major milestone for the company which was amongst the first to launch off-site kitchens in the UAE in 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE: Deliveroo UAE has announced the launch of its first Editions site in Abu Dhabi. The new site located in the capital is set to open up a whole new range of neighbourhoods for restaurants to expand their delivery radius. In addition to the variety of restaurants extending their reach through Editions, Deliveroo is transporting some loved Dubai brands to the capital for the very first time. Deliveroo Editions is the company’s revolutionary platform for the food and beverage industry that brings a wide range of cuisine options to customers across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Launched in 2017, Deliveroo Editions was one of the first concepts of its kind to be introduced to the UAE market. Throughout the years, Deliveroo has continued to grow and set trends in the delivery-only kitchen industry. Following the success of the Editions sites in Dubai, the Abu Dhabi expansion marks an important milestone for Deliveroo, which has continued to perfect its Editions model over the last 6 years. Equipped with 10 super kitchens, the new Editions site will host a range of restaurant partners as well as an evolving rotation of virtual brands to offer a unique curation of dining choices to residents of the capital. Abu Dhabi foodies now have access to an expansive selection of food and can place orders from some of their favourite brands on Deliveroo. The first Editions site in the capital delivers to a range of areas including Al Reem Island, Al Maryah Island, Al Etihad, Al Hosn, Al Bateen, all the way to Al Mushrif, Al Seef Village, Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi Hills, and Zayed Sports City to name a few. The new Editions site in Abu Dhabi will house a variety of sought-after homegrown brands and international concepts that continue to thrive in the dynamic F&B landscape of the UAE. Restaurant concepts which are now operational at the site include The Lighthouse as well as Cali-Poke and Simple Burger which are venturing into the Abu Dhabi dining scene for the first time. Joining them are virtual concepts Go! Greek and Go! Healthy. Other loved brands set to enter the diverse F&B scene of the capital through Editions include Nourish, Bowlful and Fuchsia Urban Thai which will be going live in the coming months. Strategically located in the heart of the capital, the first Editions site in Abu Dhabi is set to reach the growing number of residential and corporate locations within the catchment area. Alongside bringing a wider variety of dining choices to customers, the expansion is also designed to benefit restaurants as well as riders. RestaurantsBy design, the Editions concept is a delivery-focused model which facilitates the expansion of restaurants into a new zone without having to invest in a brick and mortar location. Just as they do in their brick and mortar venues, restaurants use their own expert and highly professional chefs with the help of Deliveroo’s state-of-the-art kitchen infrastructure and rider network to bring the same restaurant quality items to more customers. RidersWith the launch of a new Editions site in Abu Dhabi, more work will be created for riders, who will be able to accept orders while staying within a restricted area. By design, the Editions sites are optimized for delivery, increasing efficiency and improving delivery times. A larger number of deliveries leads to a higher income for riders which showcases the opportunity that Deliveroo’s latest launch brings to the UAE economy. All of Deliveroo’s Edition sites are also hubs for agency riders to take a break and refill their water bottles. Ziad Zein, Commercial and Growth Director at Deliveroo said, “The launch of our first Editions site in Abu Dhabi marks an exciting milestone for Deliveroo in the UAE, and we are proud to be bringing some of the country’s most-loved brands to more people in the capital. Deliveroo Editions is an innovative platform that has proven to be hugely successful in Dubai since its launch in 2017. We’ve come a long way since then, and feel we are ready to introduce the platform to the capital which is an exciting market on its own.”The operations team which operates throughout the sites works closely with restaurant partners to ensure all deliveries dispatched from the locations are up to Deliveroo and partner standards. With an entire infrastructure in place dedicated to delivery, they ensure quick dispatch and delivery times with minimal chance for error which overall adds to customer experience and eventually loyalty.

Evometa: A new player in the business tech scene of the UAE’s metaverse

Dubai: Evometa, a new player in metaverse creation space for business, has recently entered the flourishing tech industry in UAE. The company’s innovative solutions are aimed at helping businesses evolve while also supporting the United Arab Emirates’ ambition to establish itself as a prominent player in the metaverse industry.According to, the Dubai metaverse economy will be worth some $4 billion a year by 2030. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said that the Dubai Metaverse Strategy is the “next revolution in the technological and economic field that will affect all aspects of life over the next two decades.” The attention given to the metaverse is directly related to the benefits this new technology brings to businesses.Companies are implementing personal metaverses and virtual spaces as additional grabbing tools to increase sales, engagement, and brand awareness. They are actively exploring the possibilities that metaverses offer. For example, notable entities in the UAE, such as Burj Khalifa, Commercial Bank International, Dubai Airport, and others, are utilizing metaverse technology to enhance the integration of real and digital worlds. This integration will eventually include online purchases, encourage people to visit real-world stores, and allow for the brand’s product placement.Denis Skomarovskiy, Co-Founder of Evometa, comments: “Forward-thinking companies are already leveraging the metaverse and virtual spaces to increase sales, as it has been known that virtual reality triggers dopamine and emotions that drive the desire to make purchases. For instance, according to Amazon, the use of virtual reality leads to a 46% increase in car sales conversion rates. We believe this is just the beginning and see tremendous potential for this industry. At Evometa, we help businesses evolve in virtual spaces by focusing on business metrics, offering unique art direction, high-end technology, and accessibility.”Evometa provides a fast and easy way to create effective metaverses or virtual experiences for businesses. Among the most popular industries that Evometa works with are:— Real estate: Properties can be shown remotely, and buying confidence can be boosted with an immersive showroom;— Automotive: Vehicles are showcased realistically, and sales are improved through stunning interactive configurators;— Industrial: Productivity, efficiency, and safety in complex processes can be optimized with comprehensive 3D training and collaboration tools;— Event: Virtual events and conferences can be easily hosted, which leads to an increase in attendance and engagement;— Art & fashion: Users can remotely experience exhibits and fashion shows through dynamic and immersive 3D virtual spaces.Evometa prioritizes the success of businesses when creating a metaverse. It is achieved through a combination of a unique approach to working with clients, a highly professional team, and exclusive technical solutions.Evometa operates on a subscription model and focuses on providing value and positive ROI for its clients. Evometa’s team helps develop metaverse ideas and gamification scenarios while keeping business metrics in mind. The development process is divided into steps, including video previews and full product development. Clients of Evometa are not required to have a deep understanding of metaverse technologies, as the company’s experts will explain everything in detail. The company employs experienced senior professionals who have already worked on well-known metaverse projects around the world for several years.What sets Evometa apart is its latest versions of graphics on Unreal Engine 5, which offers an outstanding visual experience, including real-time weather changes. The Pixel Streaming solution enables seamless interaction and unrestricted online access from any device, for which only a browser and the Internet at speeds from 20 Mbps are needed.At present, Evometa is actively developing metaverse spaces for exhibition centers, as well as virtual car configurators and interactive training programs. The company is also open to collaborating with other businesses and provides complimentary consultations to interested parties.

Volkswagen focus on lead generation and customer satisfaction

Muscat, Oman : Volkswagen Oman, represented by Premium Motors, has announced its strategic target goals for 2023, with a focus on lead generation and customer satisfaction.Under the guidance of General Manager Christian Nehme and Sales Manager Antoine Jbeily, Volkswagen Oman is aiming to achieve higher targets for both new and used car deliveries in 2023. The company recognizes the importance of lead generation and customer satisfaction in achieving long-term business success and will be prioritizing these areas moving forward."We are excited to announce our ambitious goals for 2023," said Christian Nehme, General Manager of Premium Motors. "Lead generation and customer satisfaction are key areas of focus for us, and we are committed to providing the best possible service to our customers."In addition to these strategic goals, Volkswagen Oman is also proud to be part of a larger group of automotive brands in Oman that prioritize customer satisfaction. Audi Oman, also represented by Premium Motors, recently took first place for customer satisfaction in the region and fourth place for lead generation."We are proud to be part of a group of automotive brands that prioritize customer satisfaction," added Antoine Jbeily, Sales Manager of Volkswagen Oman. "We are committed to building lasting relationships with our customers and providing them with the best possible experience."Volkswagen Oman and Premium Motors look forward to the support of Volkswagen Middle East as they work towards achieving their goals for 2023 and beyond.

AI-powered integrated platform Sterve enters OmanAI-powered integrated platform

Dubai: The full stack commerce and embedded finance platform is expanding its territory after witnessing a huge traction in it’s homeland. Sterve is the first ever AI-powered integrated platform in the Middle East & Africa region for MSMEs to manage their commerce and finance through one app. The app empowers the MSMEs by providing them the tools such as setting up their website at zero cost, provides real time personalized marketing recommendations, advance analytics of their customers etc. which can easily boost MSME’s sales upto 40 percent. The cofounders Jaicky Kumar & Deepak Mishra said, “Sterve is the simplest one-stop solution for the entire business needs of MSMEs such as setting up the e-commerce website, marketing, accounting, invoicing, payments etc. The platform is so simple that anyone can use it and can setup their store in less than 15 minutes. Sterve is committed to digitize the MSMEs with its offerings which will revolutionize the businesses in Oman along with the other parts of Middle East & Africa”. Currently more than 4,000 businesses are emboldened to stand alongside the bigger players in the market and they have recorded more than $8 million worth of transactions over the platform. The company is also working on new products which it wants to rollout by the third quarter of this year.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East strengthens senior leadership

Dubai: Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East (MBCME) has announced various appointments in top management following a strategic corporate realignment, effective March 2023. As the brand undergoes strategic transformation to lead in electric driving, vehicle software and digitalization, with an increased focus on sustainable luxury, the new appointments will see integration in the Sales and Customer Services business functions – for improved collaboration and coordination.Martin Schulz, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East said: “Mercedes-Benz is driving the change – not only in terms of products and services but also within our company structure, with collaborative and inclusive working. As we transition to an exciting future with emerging mobility trends, we have a clear strategy that places our customers at the centre of everything we do. And achieving success requires a collaborative effort. The new appointments also highlight the company’s commitment to fostering internal talent and providing opportunities for growth within the organisation."Heiko Guenther, former Director of Customer Services for the Middle East and Africa, assumes a new role with broader responsibilities as Director of Sales, Customer Services and Business Transformation for all Mercedes-Benz General Distributor (MBGD) organisations present in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Heiko started his career with DaimlerChrysler in 1999 and since then has held various positions within the Service & Parts business and Market Management. In 2012, he was appointed General Manager for the After-Sales Marketing and Central Parts Department in Thailand, followed by the appointment as Director of Customer Services at Mercedes-Benz Cars in Vietnam in 2016 – leading the Mercedes-Benz business to best-ever achievements in Customer Services and Customer Satisfaction.Commenting on his new appointment, Heiko Guenther, said: “With our Mercedes-EQ range we're a driving force in our sector and clearly intend to continue to lead the transformation into an electric future with intelligent and cutting-edge products and tailored services. I’m excited about this role and look forward to helping to maximise the brand's value to our customers and taking decisive steps towards carbon-neutrality”.Selvin Govender, former Director of Marketing and Sales Operations at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, joins as Director of Market Management Middle East and Africa for Sales and Customer Services. Selvin’s tenure at Mercedes-Benz South Africa began in 2000 and since then he has held various appointments, including Manager of Certified Pre-Owned and Remarketing operations, National Sales Manager and Marketing Director for Mercedes-Benz Cars. In 2021, he was appointed Vice-President of Marketing and Sales – where he successfully led the migration to a data-driven marketing and sales ecosystem.Selvin Govender said: “As the automotive industry faces continuous disruptions on various fronts, I look forward to bringing my diverse experience and expertise to actively contribute towards supporting our General Distributor partners while driving our transformation.”Natalie Thompson takes over from Alexander Elsas as the new Head of Marketing and Communications, effective from August 2022. She now fully assumes her position in 2023, following her maternity leave. Natalie joined Mercedes-Benz in the UK in 2014 with the product management team. After two years, she joined Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East (MBCME) – holding several senior roles across product management and marketing & communications. She also played an integral role in the brand’s sharpened strategy to grow sales of Mercedes-Benz's Top-End Vehicles, aiming to be the world’s most valuable luxury car brand.Natalie Thompson added: “I’m honoured to take on this position. The Middle East is an important market that welcomes luxury and innovation, and I look forward to steering the brand's marketing and communications at such a crucial time.”

DMS partners with e-sports, gaming marketplace DIVISION

Dubai: Digital Media Services (DMS), the digital arm of Choueiri Group, has recently announced an exclusive partnership with "DIVISION", the region's first Esports and Gaming marketplace. This partnership is aimed at leveraging the strengths of both entities to benefit brands from gaming as a growing advertising medium, with vast potential to reach captive audiences.DMS has been appointed as the exclusive advertising sales representative for DIVISION, giving it the exclusive rights to all advertising sales generated on the gaming talent marketplace. With decades of experience in ensuring digital performance via data analytics and growing platforms from media sales, DMS will support DIVISION’s growth as the platform drives towards further innovation and success.The partnership will be focused on achieving growth in the number of gamers registered on the gaming talent marketplace, along with delivering the most efficient and meaningful user experience to both regional gamers and advertisers. DIVISION was launched in September 2022 with an aim of connecting brands with gamers at scale for content collaboration opportunities.The “Marketplace” (An end-to-end platform that allows brands, and their agencies to identify, plan and execute campaigns with gamers and content creators at scale) was built with customers in mind and today hosts over 800 content creators in the gaming industry across 48 countries, with the majority of the database focused on the MENA region (primarily across the UAE, KSA, Egypt and Morocco). This system also provides a full range of analytical reports through a 3rd party partnership and delivers value through its ability to deploy activations at scale. The platform already has the potential and ability to reach approximately 10 million people around the MENA region.Gaming and Esports are gaining momentum as the next frontiers for brands, enabling them to have the opportunity to reach truly captive audiences who regularly consume gaming content and streams from their favorite gamers and content creators. DIVISION aims to assist brands in deploying truly native content, which is integrated into gamers' live streams.Speaking about the latest development, Dan Moore, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Division stated: “When building the gaming talent marketplace, we always talked about making sure we have a scalable solution for agencies and brands to easily reach the audience that enjoy gaming content. This partnership will enable us to accelerate our development and innovation pipeline that will further contribute to our growth as a business.”Nabil Moutran, Co-Founder & CEO, added that "Our platform serves as a scalable solution for brands to deploy content activations in a way that hasn't been seen before. DMS has a track record of identifying modern and innovative channels for brands to utilize. We believe that gaming is the next frontier for brands and the partnership with DMS further confirms that belief and the potential of the market going forward."DMS' Chief Operating Officer, Ziad Khammar, elaborated on the new partnership and stated that "We are delighted to have DIVISION as a part of the DMS portfolio and excited about growing the number of gamers and content creators on the platform. When we look at the region, there are approximately 65,000,000 gamers in the MENA region, which ensures that not only are our targets achievable, but there's a huge opportunity here for brands to connect with them."

Funds for Emirates Red Crescent: McDonald’s UAE unveils ramadan programme

DUBAI: This Ramadan, McDonald's UAE is bringing the spirit of the Holy Month to life across its annual Ramadan program with Emirates Red Crescent by launching The Cards for Good – a deck of playing cards designed to bring families and friends closer. For AED 5, you can purchase the playing cards in McDonald’s UAE restaurants or via delivery and one hundred per cent of the funds from the sale of the cards will be donated to Emirates Red Crescent’s Ramadan programs.The inspiration for The Cards for Good comes from McDonald's 'Live the Child Within' campaign, which encourages adults to draw inspiration from children and connect with their inner child during Ramadan. The campaign focuses on children's innate kindness, actions, and experiences, inspiring adults to perform light-hearted acts of kindness that promote the giving spirit of the Holy Month.McDonald’s UAE has been an established partner of Emirates Red Crescent for over 5 years now, collectively raising more than AED 1.5 million. In 2022 alone, the Quick Service Restaurant raised more than AED 310,000 through the sale of books for Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts, an initiative by Emirates Red Crescent.Commenting on the program, Walid Fakih, CEO at McDonald’s UAE, said, "One of our proudest achievements is our community work through partnerships such as Emirates Red Crescent. Our annual Ramadan program collects funds each year to assist those in need within the UAE, and it receives full support from our customers. We are confident that this year our customers will once again show their unwavering support and we look forward to seeing families come together to make a difference this Ramadan.”His Excellency Rashid Mubarak Al Mansouri, Deputy Secretary-General for Local Affairs at Emirates Red Crescent, praised McDonald's UAE's humanitarian initiatives and social involvement, stating “McDonald’s UAE plays a crucial role in promoting social responsibility, by providing continuous support for humanitarian causes, charity events and activations.” He added, “We at Emirates Red Crescent, are excited about the prospect of growing our humanitarian partnership with the company in the future."The cards will be available to purchase for AED 5 from the restaurant front counter, drive-thru and delivery. For more information please visit:

ASDA’A BCW wins ‘Middle East Consultancy of the Year’ at 2023 EMEA SABRE Awards

Duba: ASDA’A BCW, the region’s leading communications consultancy, has been named ‘Middle East Consultancy of the Year’ at the prestigious 2023 EMEA SABRE Awards, the world’s largest PR awards programme. This is the fourth agency of the year recognition for ASDA’A BCW in recent months, after it was named ‘Media Company of the Year’ at the Arabian Business Achievements Awards in January, and ‘Best Agency – UAE’ and ‘Best PR/Communications Agency’ at the Campaign Agency of the Year Awards in December 2022. At the SABREs this year, the annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey also won the EMEA Innovation SABRE Gold for Best Agency Thought Leadership initiative, for the second consecutive year. PRovoke Media wrote: “ASDA’A BCW has always been a regional industry pioneer and continues to change the way PR is seen in the Middle East. From day one, it disrupted the industry model by targeting a market that had never used PR before: local governments, family businesses and emerging regional brands with global ambitions. ASDA’A BCW also continued to innovate in 2022 by becoming the first communications consultancy in MENA to launch a dedicated ESG advisory, OnePoint5, to meet the growing requirement for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) services in the region.”Sunil John, President – MENA of BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, said: “All awards are special, but the EMEA SABREs are arguably in a league of their own. The fact that ASDA’A BCW came out on top this year is a ringing endorsement of the work we deliver for our clients. Passion and commitment are truly a winning combination. This recognition reinforces our standing in the region as a talent-led and innovation-driven integrated consultancy creating exceptional value for our clients.”Rami Halwani, Executive Vice President for Client Services at ASDA’A BCW, received the SABRE honours from Paul Holmes, Founder of PRovoke Media, at a ceremony held in Frankfurt. With a strong presence in the corporate domain – including corporate reputation, consumer communications, public affairs, healthcare, finance, enterprise and technology, crisis management and employee relations, ASDA’A BCW further expanded its digital and data expertise in 2022. Last year, the Agency achieved record revenue growth in its history. This was led by near 100 per cent client retention and record new business wins. Serving more than 100 clients in the region, ASDA’A BCW ranked high in the 2021 BCW Global Client Satisfaction Survey, where 68% of respondents rated its overall performance at ‘8 or higher’ on a 10-point scale, and 83% said they are more likely to recommend the firm. The ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey demonstrates the value that the PR industry brings to governments, businesses, and civil society by providing evidence-based insights on the hopes, attitudes, and aspirations of MENA’s largest demographic, its over 200 million youth. The 2022 edition was launched with strong global/regional impact, reaching over 500 million people within the first week of its launch in September 2022.

Neville Nagesh joins Sennheiser Middle East as Business Development Manager

Dubai: Sennheiser Middle East is pleased to announce the appointment of Neville Nagesh as Business Development Manager for Business Communications in the Professional Audio division starting March 20, 2023. This division caters to the audio needs of businesses for conferences and meetings, presentations, assistive listening, and visitor guidance.With over 11 years of experience in Sales, Pre Sales & Engineering, Neville brings a wealth of experience in the audio & video segment to his new role. Prior to joining Sennheiser, he was working for Darwish Holding, where he provided audio, video, and lighting solutions to government agencies, private entities & conglomerates. Neville has a strong understanding of Sennheiser products, having worked with them previously.As Business Development Manager, Neville will report directly to Mig Cardamone, Director of Sales at Sennheiser Middle East. Neville is excited to leverage his experience to grow Sennheiser’s rapidly growing Middle East market for the Business Communications division. ‘Sennheiser’s innovative product range has enormous potential, and I am eager to tap into it”. He says..Mig Cardamone commented on the appointment, saying, “Neville has the right profile for the position. His wealth of knowledge of the market, associations, and relations will serve Sennheiser Middle East well. We wish him all the best in his new career with us.” Sennheiser Middle East looks forward to the contributions Neville will make to the organization.

Dole sunshine company aims to show how families can eat healthier this Ramadan

Dubai: Ramadan is a time for giving and reflection, when families around the world connect and practice shared values, spiritual wellness and cherished traditions.In line with the values and teachings of Ramadan, Dole Sunshine Company, Food & Beverage Division ME has partnered with three families in the UAE to share their favourite memories and traditions for Ramadan. In addition to sharing their fondest Ramadan moments, the families advise for good nutritional eating habits designed to help you stay healthy and happy during the holy month – all the while helping reduce your food waste, too. Dole Sunshine Company – known for their delicious packaged fruits, juices and fruit bowls – has recruited Dubai One TV presenter Dina Butti, Abu Dhabi-based mother-and-daughter bakery owners Samia Madani and Mira Sleiman – best known as Yummy Bakes – and Pakistani social media star Wassay Mughal to help spread the word on how adding fruity goodness to Iftar and Suhoor meals can increase nourishment, hydration and help those fasting feel fuller for longer.The trio and their families appear in a series of videos launched on @DoleMiddleEast social media channels sharing intergenerational advice on how simple, delicious ingredient swaps and additions can have a significant impact on keeping people energised throughout Ramadan – without having to compromise on traditional or favourite foods.As well as some tasty recipes, the three families also share what they have learned about nutrition and wellness from their parents and elders as part of the Ramadan Moments series, which also aims to help minimise food waste over the holy month by highlighting opportunities to incorporate excess ingredients in different, creative ways.The initiative comes as Dole Sunshine Company seeks to take a leading role in highlighting the benefits of nutritional meal choices in helping you feel refreshed, hydrated and satiated during Ramadan, with ingredients like fruit being able to play a major role in that.Alpaslan Uzmez, Vice President & Regional General Manager of Food & Beverage Division at Dole Sunshine Company, Middle East, said: “Ramadan is a truly special time of the year, when we come together as families in a month full of faith, reflection and kindness.“This year, we’re helping remind those fasting on how we can make every day brighter for ourselves and for those around us, through the food we consume during the holy month. Good nutrition is a fundamental human right, and at Dole, we believe it should be like sunshine – available to all. “We wanted to be authentic in delivering the message of this year's Ramadan campaign, so we leaned into the fact that older generations tend to pass on advice and wisdom to younger generations – and vice versa. So, throughout Ramadan, we will share tips so everyone can get involved and feel the sunshine, with three different families leading that charge.”Research suggests that almost a quarter of food purchased goes to waste[1], placing additional strain on the environment. At the heart of Dole’s campaign is a selection of recipes rich in nourishment, helping reduce the need for excess food.TV star Dina Butti, who appears in the campaign alongside husband Omar, sons Faris (7) and Amir (5), and parents Mohamed El-Gamal and Amina Hedaiat, said: “What Dole is trying to encourage with their Ramadan Moments campaign struck a chord with my family. For as long as I can remember, my parents have always ensured that we understood and appreciated the importance of eating a well-balanced diet during Ramadan, and minimizing food waste, from a perspective of faith and well-being.“Those are the same lessons Omar and I now share with Faris and Amir, along with new learnings and traditions we've picked up, so to bring that advice to a wider audience with Dole is something I’m really excited about.”As one of the world’s largest fruit producers, Dole Sunshine Company is driven by the purpose of bettering the world through nutrition and delivering safe, high-quality food that is good for the people, the planet, and shared prosperity. To follow Dole’s Ramadan Moments this Ramadan and learn brighter eating tips, tasty recipes and clever ways to minimize food wastage, follow @DoleMiddleEast on Instagram.

Eric Black named Edgio’s CTO/General Manager of Media

Dubai:  Edgio, Inc., the platform of choice for speed, security and simplicity at the edge, announced it has appointed Eric Black as CTO/General Manager, Media. Having been at the forefront of digital video and live event streaming with NBC Universal for more than twenty years, Black joins Edgio to lead the company’s growth in delivering the highest quality linear, live and on-demand video experiences, to every device worldwide.Prior to joining Edgio, Black led NBC Universal’s media technology strategy across a host of digital properties during pivotal moments in the evolution of live streaming. He managed the first-ever live stream of a Super Bowl in 2010, delivered six Olympic Games (including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the largest digital event in history at the time), 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Presidential debates. He also guided the team that launched NBC Universal’s Peacock in 2020. The systems built by Black have focused on both high concurrent traffic and scale, and now deliver more than 20,000 events per year, resulting in billions of consumed minutes.His enormous contribution to the success of live event streaming has been recognized with nine Emmy awards. He is also a two-time winner of the IOC Gold Ring for Best Olympic Digital Service for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for 9/11 coverage in 2004. In addition, he was honored with the 2013-2014 technology and engineering Emmy Award for Pioneering Delivery of Pay TV Linear Video to Consumer Owned and Managed Devices Over an IP Connection.“The appointment of such a well-regarded industry leader as Eric underscores the strength of Edgio’s standing today,” said Bob Lyons, CEO at Edgio. “We are extremely proud of our achievements in building digital video solutions that deliver successful business strategies for leading media and technology companies. Eric’s experience of the biggest live events is unparalleled, and he is the perfect fit for us as we enter the next phase of streaming at scale.”At Edgio, Black will be responsible for the management and growth of Edgio’s Media Platform, which includes Edgio Delivery, its global CDN network, and Uplynk, its streaming platform. Uplynk reduces the complexity of delivering live events, broadcast/OTT, and free ad-supported TV (FAST) syndication, and scales operations with minimal resources enabling customers to reach more viewers. Its advanced advertising solutions include server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and performance monitoring to help customers refine and perfect their revenue strategies. Powered by a secure global edge network designed for the unique demands of media, Uplynk ensures the best-viewing experiences regardless of where audiences are in the world.Edgio’s media solutions operate in a field in which Black has rich expertise, enabling him to hit the ground running and further propel the company’s growth. Edgio has handled hundreds of thousands of live events, including the world’s biggest sports events, such as the FIFA World Cup and Super Bowl. Its Uplynk solution generated 2.4 billion event views, 3.3 billion hours of streamed video, and more than 220 million hours of advertising in 2022 alone. With Black at the helm, Edgio is well-positioned to lead technology and business innovation in the next era of streaming, which will see concurrent viewing numbers surge even further.“I’m incredibly excited to work with the talented team at Edgio that has been at the cutting edge of streaming for over a decade now,” said Eric Black, CTO/GM Media at Edgio. “Customers trust Edgio as a valued partner – a trust that has been forged over a number of years by consistently solving the complexities of digital video in the most simple and scalable way. I’m looking forward to the future and the groundbreaking opportunities that Edgio brings to our customers.”Edgio was formed as the result of Limelight's acquisition of Edgecast in June 2022.

Recruiters have worst reputation in the UAE: Insight Discovery report

Dubai: Recruiters are the most infuriating and unreliable people in the UAE to deal with professionally, beating telemarketers and credit card firms in a race to the bottom, a new report from Insight Discovery (ID) shows.More than half (52%) UAE residents picked recruiters when asked about industries delivering the worst customer service, followed by telemarketers or call centre operatives at 33% and credit card issuers at 31%, according to ID’s ‘2023 Worst Reputation’ survey, their fifth annual study, which aims to highlight opportunities for companies to improve public perceptions and win new business. Recruitment firms have now had the dubious honour of topping ID’s ranking for three years in a row, with internal recruiters (20%) and executive search firms (11%) contributing to dissatisfaction with the industry. Real estate agents fared little better at 25%, where they were joined for the first time by a new category: social media influencers.Elsewhere, independent financial advisers (IFAs) vied with bank-employed advisers at 17%, marking a relative improvement for IFAs, who scored worse than their bank peers in previous surveys.Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery, said: “It’s disappointing to see recruiters called out yet again for having the lowest professional reputation in the country. This matters because demand for talent is growing exponentially as more and more companies set up or expand in the UAE. Hiring managers and job seekers need efficient, trustworthy recruiters, and we all need them to succeed to keep the economy moving forwards.”“For those good recruiters out there, this is their time to shine and to gain advantage over those that are causing so much dissatisfaction. Simple steps, like being responsive and giving clear guidance to individuals who are looking for a new job, can make a big reputational difference quite quickly.”For this year’s study, ID allowed survey participants to select multiple industry sectors. Western expats seem to be the most dissatisfied, ticking more boxes than any other group. Arab expats, on the other hand, reported themselves to be the least dissatisfied, closely followed by UAE Nationals. When looking at the data in age brackets, people aged 25-44 were the most dissatisfied with recruiters, while those 18-24 and those over 45 were most dissatisfied with telemarketers and call centre operatives.Commenting on the arrival of social media influencers in the ‘‘Worst Reputation’ study, Sillitoe said: “I’m not surprised to see a quarter of UAE residents citing social media influencers as having the worst reputation. It isn’t always clear when influencers are being paid to promote products and this lack of transparency leads to a lack of trust. We should be especially concerned about the rise of so-called ‘finfluencers’ who post about financial products and who give financial advice. Often these influencers post about unregulated schemes, including cryptocurrency schemes, which can be highly risky or even outright illegal.”“For IFA firms the results from this year’s study will be encouraging,” Sillitoe added. “With so many new advisory firms setting up in the UAE, particularly in the DIFC and ADGM, our survey is well timed. As for why their reputation has improved it’s probably due to a number of factors, including greater transparency and tighter regulations”

UAE witnesses cross-industry partnership as Team Red Dot joins hands with WebEng

Riyad/Dubai: WebEngage, a leading full-stack Retention Operating System, has announced its partnership with Dubai-based full-funnel marketing consultancy Team Red Dot. The partnership will enable Team Red Dot to provide its clientele with retention-marketing services by leveraging WebEngage’s full-stack solutions suite, which has garnered a reputation for best-in-class customer engagement, data analysis, and personalization across the GCC region and beyond. “Studies suggest that a mere 5% rise in customer retention rates can increase profits by 25–95%. Our partnership with WebEngage gives our clients access to a comprehensive acquisition and retention stack that facilitates meaningful interactions with customers throughout their journey, using real-time data, insights, and campaign activation. This capability is a valuable addition to our growing full-service offerings. The strategic partnership with WebEngage is a testament to our ascendency in media and advertising,” said Prashant Lodaya, General Manager, Team Red Dot.Team Red Dot’s core offerings, including integrated media planning & buying offering, performance media, lead generation & programmatic advertising, will benefit tremendously through the interplay with WebEngage’s Retention Operating System. WebEngage helps identify high-priority customer segments with RFM modelling or create on-demand segments based on customer personas and behaviours in real-time. Add to it, Team Red Dot’s capabilities in using actionable data insights to run targeted & personalised marketing campaigns is a win-win for marketers. Marketers looking to onboard new customers, or looking to reactivate silent customers can simply automate campaigns across their customers’ lifecycle with WebEngage’s marketing automation. All this is made simple using the journey builder using drag and drop triggers, actions and conditions to create custom journeys & activate campaigns. Previously, customer engagement strategies aimed at increasing retention rates were largely supported by third-party data. Lately, digital-forward brands are enriching their first-party data to optimize customer engagement. As the cost of customer acquisition continues to rise in the digital age, digital-first businesses must prioritize customer lifetime value by improving engagement programs and leveraging behavioural first-party data to target customers directly, reducing dependency on third-party cookies. WebEngage specializes in harnessing first-party behavioural data, developing insights, and driving personalized engagement — all adding to retention & therefore higher customer lifetime value. “The partnership with Team Red Dot is part of our ambitious goal to be synonymous with marketing technology across sectors. Team Red Dot’s clients will soon attest to the feasibility of retention-led growth. Likewise, irrespective of sector, customer retention is becoming the holy-grail for marketers to pursue. However, it requires cutting-edge data and automation platforms, personalization engines, and omnichannel campaign orchestration systems, which we are proud to offer under a single, full-stack model,” explained Luis Kashyap, Global Director of Partnerships,WebEngage. Over 800 brands across the globe swear by the full-stack solution’s ability to optimize engagement strategies and retain customers. Since its entry into MENA, WebEngage has added over 60 new clients across sectors each quarter, making a compelling case for supremacy in the regional “MarTech” domain. WebEngage’s association with Team Red Dot also exemplifies the growing cross-industry partnerships aimed at synergistic value creation in Dubai/Saudi Arabia.

Guruprasad Bangle on what made SolutionBuggy foray into the UAE

SolutionBuggy, which provides consulting and project management in manufacturing for the MSME segment, has forayed into the UAE market with its base in Abu Dhabi. The consultancy is currently executing a key soil-to-silk manufacturing unit in Abu Dhabi and is also in talks with a few projects in the organic fertilizers and pipes sector. In this interview Guruprasad Bangle, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, SolutionBuggy, tells BF Firos, Associate Editor, Adgully, about the reason for the UAE foray, challenges in its previous international projects, ensuring quality and transparency of services, the industries and types of projects SolutionBuggy is interested in, collaborations with trade bodies, etc. Excerpts:What inspired SolutionBuggy to expand into the Middle East market, and why did the company choose Abu Dhabi as its location for the new office?SolutionBuggy is India’s largest platform for consulting and project management in manufacturing for the MSME segment. Over the last six years, we have completed more than 3500 projects across India, and we have been well-recognised in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal from where we are working on a few projects.The gradual shift of middle east Asia’s economy from an oil-based economy to a sustainable-focussed one has given rise to immense opportunities for SMEs and manufacturing in all sectors is booming. This means there is a huge demand for experts and consultants across sectors. This prompted us to expand our digital presence initially in the middle east sector. We are currently executing a key soil-to-silk manufacturing unit in Abu Dhabi and are also in talks with a few projects in the organic fertilizers and pipes sector. All this means we have to look for a physical presence in the UAE and hence we feel Abu Dhabi to be meeting all the criteria to have a presence in this market. The ADIO is also offering good incentives for Indian startups focussing on technology and scaling. The IT sector is also offering a global tech ecosystem as part of its Hub71 programme which will be beneficial for startups like us.Could you describe some of the challenges that SolutionBuggy has faced in its previous international projects, and how the company has overcome them as you enter the UAE market?Manufacturing consulting has traditionally been a forte only for the Big4 consulting firms. But due to the nature of engagement and the cost structure, Big4 consulting is not feasible for the MSMEs across India and the rest of the world. Most of the prior international assignments that SolutionBuggy has taken up before have been in the realm of international market entry, feasibility study and new market tech transfer projects. But when it comes to the setup of industries in the new countries, there are a host of issues to be dealt with. This includes handling local govt authorities, different paperwork procedures, cultural differences and finally showcasing that an Indian firm is equally competitive with its technical expertise and offers the best prices as compared to the other countries.Some of the key things that worked well in the UAE were: the cultural difference more or less disappeared as we were able to build trust instantly when we showcased our technology expertise. There was some mistrust created by some Chinese companies and we were able to immediately address these issues and this helped a lot in creating trust in us. Next, since there is not much of a cultural difference between India and the middle east, it was much easier to understand the working differences and the expectations were addressed in the initial days of the engagement. To help us with the local govt authorities, we had an Emirati firm handle this as a subcontractor to us. So overall we believe except for a few glitches here and there, the UAE market has been very warm and we are very eager to work with more such firms who are looking to set up plants in sectors such as food and beverage, aerospace and defence, drones, EVs, chemicals, pharmaceutical, renewable energy esp in biogas, bio CNG, biodiesel and ethanol units.How does SolutionBuggy ensure the quality and transparency of its services when working with clients in different countries and cultures?SolutionBuggy provides clients with access to more than 12000+ experts in all sectors of manufacturing. The model of PMC is very transparent as there are experts across different price points and due to the inherent structure of working, the right expert is hired based on the quantum and quality of work required. This remains the same irrespective of the country of operation as SolutionBuggy follows an approach of offshoring most of the deliverables and only for key aspects such as plant layout preparation or machinery installation etc the expert onsite. This allows flexibility to the client to reduce costs. The dashboard also allows the client to track project progress on a real-time basis and also gives payment schedules in a detailed manner, which allows proper planning for all the stakeholders.What industries and types of projects is SolutionBuggy most interested in pursuing in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa?Currently, SolutionBuggy is working on projects in silk manufacturing, hose pipe manufacturing, chemicals, and renewable energy in the middle east. In Africa we are bidding for a few projects in process improvement for a bamboo paper manufacturing, ethanol plant, cornstarch and corn flour making, Isopropyl alcohol and PCB manufacturing unit. In Southeast Asia we are working with a local firm to bid for an edible oil and essential oil extraction unit, a rubber pre-processing unit and a fish and prawn feed manufacturing unit.Could you talk more about SolutionBuggy's collaborations with trade bodies and consults in Denmark, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, and France, and how these partnerships benefit both SolutionBuggy and the businesses involved?We are working with quite a few trade bodies and consulates in India to help companies from these countries set up their units in India, search for a local partner for a JV, help them to sell their technology through tech transfer initiatives or in some cases even look for companies in India to acquire companies in these countries.In the case of the Israeli consulate, we are working closely in helping many Israeli companies with renewable energy, drones for agricultural and defence purposes, food technology, biodegradable packaging and biofuels to set up a joint venture partner in India.In the case of Danish firms, they are very keen to work with waste-to-energy management and have efficient technologies that can be implemented across the world. We are in discussion with the company from Nepal for a technology transfer agreement.With respect to the German trade body in India, we are in discussion to get a partner for a few MSMEs in Germany to expand their presence with a joint venture with similar companies in India and Malaysia. We are also getting some experts from Germany for an oil and gas project based in the middle east which has been facilitated through the trade body.

IBM Report: Ransomware persisted despite improved detection in 2022

Cairo, Egypt:  IBM Security released its annual X-Force Threat Intelligence Index finding that although ransomware’s share of incidents in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) held steady at 18%, globally defenders were more successful detecting and preventing ransomware. Despite this, attackers continued to innovate, with the report showing that globally the average time to complete a ransomware attack dropped from two months down to less than 4 days. According to the 2023 report, the deployment of backdoors, which allow remote access to systems, emerged as the top action by attackers in the MEA region last year. Backdoor deployments were detected in 27% of the cases X-Force responded to in this region in 2022. Ransomware and worms tied for the second-most common attack type in the region at 18% each. The uptick in backdoor deployments can be partially attributed to their high market value. X-Force observed threat actors selling existing backdoor access for as much as $10,000, compare this to stolen credit card data, which sells for less than $10 per card today.As organizations across the MEA region try to address the ever-evolving cyber threats landscape, Marwa Abbas, General Manager at IBM Egypt, added: “Our X-Force Threat Intelligence Index findings showed that attackers always find new ways to evade detection, with finance and insurance being the most targeted industry for cyberattacks in the Middle East and Africa region. As such, it is essential for enterprises to prioritize threat intelligence and strengthen defenses through a proactive security strategy in order to break free from cyber threats. IBM’s integrated portfolio of security products and services, infused with dynamic AI and automation capabilities, enables organizations to predict threats, protect data as it moves, and respond with speed and precision without holding back business innovation.”The IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index tracks new and existing trends and attack patterns – pulling from billions of datapoints from network and endpoint devices, incident response engagements and other sources. Some of the key findings in the 2023 report include:Extortion: Threat Actors Go-to Method. The most common impact from cyberattacks in 2022 was extortion, which was primarily achieved through ransomware or business email compromise attacks. Extortion and financial loss each accounted for half of identified impacts in incidents across the MEA region in 2021. Manufacturing was the most extorted industry globally in 2022, and it was again the most attacked industry for the second consecutive year. Manufacturing organizations are an attractive target for extortion, given the extremely low tolerance for down time.Cybercriminals Weaponize Email Conversations. Thread hijacking saw a significant rise in 2022, with attackers using compromised email accounts to reply within ongoing conversations posing as the original participant. X-Force observed the rate of monthly attempts increase by 100% globally compared to 2021 data. Over the year, X-Force found that attackers used this tactic to deliver Emotet, Qakbot, and IcedID, malicious software that often results in ransomware infections.Legacy Exploits Still Doing the Job. The proportion of known exploits relative to vulnerabilities declined 10 percentage points globally from 2018 to 2022, due to the fact that the number of vulnerabilities hit another all-time high. The findings indicate that legacy exploits enabled older malware infections such as WannaCry and Conficker to continue to exist and spread.Phishers “Give Up” on Credit Card Data. The number of cybercriminals targeting credit card information in phishing kits dropped 52% globally in one year, indicating that attackers are prioritizing personally identifiable information such as names, emails, and home addresses, which can be sold for a higher price on the dark web or used to conduct further operations.Finance and Insurance Remain Prime Targets for Cyberattacks in MEA: In the Middle East and Africa, Finance and insurance was the most-targeted industry in 2022, accounting for 44% of incidents and down slightly from 2021 at 48%. Professional, business and consumer services accounted for 22% of attacks, with manufacturing and energy tying for third place at 11%.The report features data IBM collected globally in 2022 to deliver insightful information about the global threat landscape and inform the security community about the threats most relevant to their organizations.

Bentley Blower to return to racing

Middle East: The first car of Bentley’s Blower Continuation Series – known as Car Zero – is set to invoke the history of its ancestor by racing at a series of events across 2023. Completing its purpose of engineering validation while honouring its genealogy, Blower Car Zero will take to tracks in the UK, France and Belgium in a set of races that will test its performance and endurance.The Blower Continuation Series – the first pre-war continuation series ever created - has been built by hand using a combination of modern laser-scanned data and original drawings. Both the blueprints and the 3D data were taken from the 1929 4½-litre supercharged Team Car #2 – the most famous Bentley in the world, and one of the icons of the Bentley Heritage Collection. 93 years after that car competed at Le Mans (and elsewhere), Car Zero will assume the original Blower’s mantle and race to win – including at the Circuit de la Sarthe, in what will be the first Bentley works car to race at Le Mans since the Speed 8’s victory in 2003.Modifications to allow Blower Car Zero to go racing have been minor, and safety-related. They include the installation of a rain light, wing mirrors, towing points, a fire extinguisher and a battery isolation switch. The car also now holds an Historic Technical Passport (HTP), the certifies the car as eligible to compete in FIA-sanctioned events for historic vehicles.Blower Car Zero will compete at three tracks in 2023:Donington Park, UK, 29-30 AprilLe Mans, France, 29 June – 3 JulySpa, Belgium, 28-30 SeptemberAfter Car Zero, 12 further Blower Continuation Series cars have been commissioned through Mulliner – Bentley’s bespoke and personalisation division - with eight delivered and four still in-build. Some of these customer cars will compete alongside Car Zero at Le Mans in the summer, together with original Bentley Team cars from the 1920s.Paul Williams, Mulliner’s Chief Technical Officer, comments:“By going racing with Blower Car Zero, we will prove the performance, authenticity and durability of our Continuation Series by taking on the original competition, and give our customers confidence that they too can take their continuation cars to the track. We’ve already proved the quality of the engineering within the car by completing a tough test of several hours at race pace around Goodwood, and it’s now time for the car to be unleashed for real racing. We’ll take the learnings from this race programme and apply them to the upcoming Speed Six Continuation Series, for which the first engineering car is in build now.”To prepare for its racing debut, Car Zero recently completed a six-hour endurance test at full race pace, at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Driven by Stuart Morley (GB), the car performed flawlessly throughout the test, covering 380 miles and averaging 83 miles per hour.Drivers for the race programme will be confirmed shortly, and will feature a mix of experienced motoring journalists with racing credentials alongside professional racing drivers.

Amazon and Eta’am partner to donate and deliver Iftar meals across Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: Amazon Saudi Arabia today announced the launch of ‘Iftar on Wheels,’ a meal donation program that will support thousands of families at Ramadan community iftars, leveraging the company’s delivery network across both central and remote locations within Saudi Arabia. Amazon will utilize its scale, logistics and technology to reach people in need across the entire country, from Makkah in the west to Dammam in the east, and from Abha to Al Qassim, to spread the joy of the season among local communities.In partnership with the Saudi Food Bank (Eta’am), the ‘Iftar on Wheels’ program continues Amazon’s tradition of helping underprivileged families through a combination of monetary donations, delivery services and volunteer support. Hundreds of Amazon employees across Saudi Arabia will engage in event organization, packing and delivering food and sharing in the iftar events.Faisal Al Shoshan, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Food Bank (Eta’am), said, “We are pleased to partner with Amazon once again to make the Holy Month just a little easier and spread the spirit of giving to thousands of families in need. Leveraging the power of Amazon’s technology, people and the company’s vast delivery network, ‘Iftar on Wheels’ will help us reach even more families not just in central but also in remote locations across the country. Amazon’s operations and delivery support are invaluable in delivering meals directly to those in need.”Since its launch in the region four years ago, Amazon has delivered millions of meals to underserved communities in the Middle East and North Africa region, laddering up to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 to achieve ‘Zero Hunger.’Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said, “Amazon is committed to finding practical solutions to immediate community needs, such as hunger and natural disasters. This commitment takes on even greater significance during the Holy Month of Ramadan. As we continue to serve customers during this busy season, we are also leveraging our scale as a force for good. ‘Iftar on Wheels’ will utilize our logistics, delivery and people networks to deliver meals to families who need them the most. We continue to invest in programs that nurture a meaningful work environment where our teams have the opportunity to give back to the communities where they live and work.”‘Iftar on Wheels’ is a part of Amazon’s global community engagement pillar, ‘Right Now Needs,’ that seeks to eliminate the impossible choices posed by poverty, homelessness, hunger, and natural disasters. This pillar is one of many in Amazon’s community engagement program.Mohammad Badokhon, Operations Supervisor at Amazon Saudi Arabia, said, “Ramadan is a very important time of the year for me, and I do my best to embody its values of generosity, sharing and giving. This year, the ‘Iftar on Wheels’ program gives me yet another opportunity to give back to my community.”Amazon’s operations network in Saudi Arabia is powered by a combination of innovative technology, optimised transportation services, dedicated employees, and partners. Amazon’s transportation network consists of over twenty-five owned and third-party delivery stations across Saudi Arabia. The company continues to invest in scaling its network in the country and enhancing the customer experience, while focusing on the safety, well-being, and career advancement of the people across the operations network who make it all possible.

Apparel Group, Tommy Hilfiger celebrate partnership with NFTree

Apparel Group, the leading retail conglomerate, and premium lifestyle company, Tommy Hilfiger, celebrated their 17 years of successful partnership on March 13th, 2023. The partnership, which commenced in 2006, has grown significantly with 53 stores across the GCC and six e-commerce sites. Sima Ganwani Ved, Apparel Group Founder & Chairwoman, and Nilesh Ved, AppCorp Global Founder & Chairman, hosted an exclusive intimate lunch for Mr. Tommy Hilfiger to commemorate the successful long-term partnership and their shared values of sustainability and innovation. The intimate event hosted key business leaders, consul generals, media, and top-tier influencers & celebrities.Tommy Hilfiger has an ambitious sustainability vision to “Waste Nothing and Welcome All,” and the company continues to invest in innovation that drives the industry forward. As a gesture honoring the partnership and the companies’ shared commitment to environmental conservation, Apparel Group Global gifted 100 guests with a unique NFTree featuring the iconic TOMMY HILFIGER monogram that was projected on the Burj Khalifa in October 2022. For each NFT distributed, Apparel Group will plant a real tree in the Caspa region of Spain. Together, these 100 trees will help absorb 25,000 kgs of CO2 every year, and the recipients of these NFTrees will receive carbon tokens which they can trade or use to compensate for their emissions for the next 20 years."We express our heartfelt gratitude to Tommy Hilfiger for gracing us with his presence and making this event truly memorable. As a company committed to sustainability, Apparel Group has introduced NFTree as a token of appreciation for our guests, with a promise to plant a tree for each NFTree distributed. Let us all enjoy the TOMMY HILFIGER collection and make a positive impact on the environment together," said Sima Ganwani Ved, Founder & Chairwoman of Apparel Group.The celebration of the successful partnership between Apparel Group and Tommy Hilfiger marks another milestone in the journey of the two brands, as sustainability and innovation continue to be at the forefront of their strategies. The unique NFTree initiative is a testament to that commitment.

Dubai Airports wins accolades in LinkedIn MENA Talent Awards

Dubai: Dubai Airports has been recognised as one of the Best Employer Brands in this year’s LinkedIn MENA Talent Awards under LinkedIn for companies above 1,000 employees.The Award recognises entities that focus on building a strong employer brand to engage with their audiences in a meaningful manner, with Dubai Airports being awarded for displaying the organisation’s culture and values across the platform, and engaging with its following of over 814,600 users.Dubai Airports’ second-place win is also a testament to the organisation’s presence on LinkedIn in regularly sharing content that helps to support its employees and its local community, while also creating compelling, real-life stories that humanise the brand and empower employees to become brand ambassadors and advocates.Meshari Al Bannai, Executive Vice President of Human Resources Development at Dubai Airports, said: “We truly believe that empowering our people throughout their careers is key to our success. LinkedIn is a powerful platform, and implementing a strategy that allows us to connect with our employees through engaging, human and emotive content helps us foster talent throughout the organisation”.“We utilise the platform to showcase our company culture, whilst sharing industry knowledge and expertise, helping us to inspire people of Dubai Airports. Recognition in this year’s LinkedIn MENA Talent Awards reflects our commitment to building communities across the business that empowers people to become the game changers of tomorrow”, he added.The winners were selected based on performance, results and impact of organisations leveraging their LinkedIn Talent Solutions. The criteria for selection included companies that have built a strong employer brand and engage with their audience in a meaningful way, company page views on the platform, percentage of follower growth on the platform and, the way talent engages with the company’s content via likes, comments and shares.LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 530 Million members, celebrates the success of companies around the world that are innovating and leading the future of work.éant-announces-two-new-openings

Géant announces two new openings

Dubai: Géant, part of GMG, is reiterating its commitment to being the community’s preferred choice across the UAE with 2 strategic and timely new openings.Expanding swiftly across the UAE, the brand has opened its second Géant Supermarket in the Kalba Waterfront Mall, the largest retail and the first inclusive waterfront destination in the city of Kalba in Sharjah.Offering customers who live and work in the vicinity the great value and variety that Géant is synonymous with, highlights of the supermarket experience include an extended local fresh produce range, a large fresh food section and a live grilled fishery section serving cooked food for order and pick up. There’s also a special emphasis on catering to the primarily local audience with a product mix that reflects their specific needs and wants.From weekly promotions to a discount market with special deal on non-food items (AED 30 or less), convenience and cost-effectiveness is what customers can expect across this exciting new space that is conveniently-located, offers free parking and can easily be accessed from the mall entrance.Port de le Mer also gets its first Géant Express store, promising convenience, value and choice to residents of this exciting waterfront development in the heart of Jumeirah 1.From freshly prepared food to go, imported and local fresh produce, to quality meats, cheese and cold cuts, global foods and bakery products, customers can now find it all in their neighbourhood.Home delivery will also be available in the vicinity of both stores via local delivery platforms straight to your doorstep.“Our stores, be it supermarkets, hypermarkets or the more compact Express concept, continue to thrive and act as true hubs of the community. We make a conscious effort to understand the specific needs of the distinct audiences we serve to create a convenient shopping experience, tailored to the communities, ” said Marc Laurent, President, Retail Everyday Goods at GMG.Géant is also known regionally for its strong commitment to environmental sustainability and promoting a positive and cohesive community lifestyle, aligned with GMG's positioning as a global well-being company. All Géant Express stores and supermarkets, therefore, embrace and support UAE’s single-use plastic-free agenda with paper bags a norm. They also house local fresh produce and have a large organic and healthy food offering too.

Team Red Dot joins hands with MarTech leader WebEngage

Saudi / Dubai: WebEngage, a leading full-stack Retention Operating System, today announced its partnership with Dubai-based full-funnel marketing consultancy Team Red Dot. The partnership will enable Team Red Dot to provide its clientele with retention-marketing services by leveraging WebEngage’s full-stack solutions suite, which has garnered a reputation for best-in-class customer engagement, data analysis, and personalization across the GCC region and beyond. “Studies suggest that a mere 5% rise in customer retention rates can increase profits by 25–95%. Our partnership with WebEngage gives our clients access to a comprehensive acquisition and retention stack that facilitates meaningful interactions with customers throughout their journey, using real-time data, insights, and campaign activation. This capability is a valuable addition to our growing full-service offerings. The strategic partnership with WebEngage is a testament to our ascendency in media and advertising,” said Prashant Lodaya, General Manager, Team Red Dot.Team Red Dot’s core offerings, including integrated media planning & buying offering, performance media, lead generation & programmatic advertising, will benefit tremendously through the interplay with WebEngage’s Retention Operating System. WebEngage helps identify high-priority customer segments with RFM modelling or create on-demand segments based on customer personas and behaviours in real-time. Add to it, Team Red Dot’s capabilities in using actionable data insights to run targeted & personalised marketing campaigns is a win-win for marketers. Marketers looking to onboard new customers, or looking to reactivate silent customers can simply automate campaigns across their customers’ lifecycle with WebEngage’s marketing automation. All this is made simple using the journey builder using drag and drop triggers, actions and conditions to create custom journeys & activate campaigns.Previously, customer engagement strategies aimed at increasing retention rates were largely supported by third-party data. Lately, digital-forward brands are enriching their first-party data to optimize customer engagement. As the cost of customer acquisition continues to rise in the digital age, digital-first businesses must prioritize customer lifetime value by improving engagement programs and leveraging behavioural first-party data to target customers directly, reducing dependency on third-party cookies. WebEngage specializes in harnessing first-party behavioural data, developing insights, and driving personalized engagement — all adding to retention & therefore higher customer lifetime value. “The partnership with Team Red Dot is part of our ambitious goal to be synonymous with marketing technology across sectors. Team Red Dot’s clients will soon attest to the feasibility of retention-led growth. Likewise, irrespective of sector, customer retention is becoming the holy-grail for marketers to pursue. However, it requires cutting-edge data and automation platforms, personalization engines, and omnichannel campaign orchestration systems, which we are proud to offer under a single, full-stack model,” explained Luis Kashyap, Global Director of Partnerships,WebEngage. Over 800 brands across the globe swear by the full-stack solution’s ability to optimize engagement strategies and retain customers. Since its entry into MENA, WebEngage has added over 60 new clients across sectors each quarter, making a compelling case for supremacy in the regional “MarTech” domain. WebEngage’s association with Team Red Dot also exemplifies the growing cross-industry partnerships aimed at synergistic value creation in Dubai/Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia leads MENA region in growth of fintech sector

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi fintech market is witnessing unprecedented growth and in recent years begun to rival neighboring economies Egypt and the U.A.E. in startup investments, according to a report by the U.S.-Saudi Business Council.Saudi Arabia has one of the MENA region’s most developed and well-capitalized financial service sectors encompassing new technologies, which improve or automate financial services such as payments, lending, insurance, data management, and capital market services.Through August 2022, the Kingdom witnessed a 79 percent YoY increase in the number of operating fintech firms. Of the 147 active fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia, only 10 were operating in 2018. This rapid expansion is due to liberalized business regulations, an active investment environment, and well-developed technology infrastructure.While the fintech private sector continues to grow, 2022 marked another record level of investment for Saudi fintech companies. Between September 2021 and August 2022, the fintech sector in the Kingdom saw SAR1.5 billion ($402.2 million) in total investments. Meanwhile, venture capital funding in Saudi Arabia surged more than threefold to SAR2.2 billion ($584 million) in H1 2022, surpassing the full-year total for 2021 as the Kingdom continues to invest in technology and digital transformation. Consequently, Saudi Arabia was ranked ninth globally for venture capital availability in IMD’s Global Competitiveness 2022 report, rising from 12th in the previous year.“In the first half of 2022, fintech accounted for the highest number of total investment deals. Fintech companies attracted investments from leading domestic and international firms such as Sequoia, 500 Global, and Mastercard. Well-developed technology infrastructure such as widely accessible 5G and cloud services, a high domestic demand for financial services, and continued government support have all supported ongoing growth” said Albara’a Alwazir, Director of Economic Research at the U.S.-Saudi Business Council.Saudi Arabia is aiming to reach a SAR13.3 billion ($3.6 billion) direct GDP contribution by 2030, up from SAR1.2 billion ($317 million) in 2021. The fintech sector will account for 18,200 direct jobs and reach 525 active fintech companies by 2030. Fintech is a key pillar of not only the financial services industry’s future, but as a cross-cutting enabler of numerous Vision 2030 initiatives such as raising private sector GDP, boosting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), attracting foreign investment, developing the digital economy, and enhancing the ease of doing business.By 2025, Saudi Arabia aims to meet several benchmarks that include raising the number of active fintech players to at least 230 companies, reaching 70 percent non-cash transactions, and boosting fintech’s GDP contribution to SAR4.5 billion ($1.2 billion).In addition to record rises in licensed fintech companies, the Saudi Cabinet approved the licensing of three local digital banks. The first involves the conversion of STC Pay into a digital bank with SAR2.5 billion ($667 million) in capital. The second involves Abdul Rahman bin Saad Al-Rashed and Sons Company, which established Saudi Digital Bank with SAR1.5 billion ($400 million) in capitalization. Most recently, D360 bank was licensed and became the third digital bank operating in Saudi Arabia. The PIF joined key investors in backing D360 Bank. These developments will introduce advantages that will provide payments services, consumer microfinance, and insurance brokerage services without requiring a physical business. The recent slate of digital bank licensing in Saudi Arabia brings the total number of licensed banks to 35 which includes 11 Saudi traditional banks, three Saudi digital banks, and 21 foreign banks. SAMA’s new Open Banking Policy is also expected to further boost competitiveness in the Saudi fintech sector as new financial products and business models may be developed as a result of open accessibility to consumer financial data.Demand for a variety of financial services among Saudi residents is particularly high, including banking, insurance, investment, asset management, and shariah-compliant financing. The high level of smartphone penetration and banked youth population enabled a relatively rapid transition to a burgeoning digital economy. Use of card and electronic payments in Saudi Arabia have surged in recent years, rising steadily since 2016 with a further acceleration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi consumer habits have also adapted quickly to the digital economic transition. A 2022 Mastercard report found that 89 percent of people in Saudi Arabia have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year. announces Big Ramadan Sale with up to 75% off

Cairo, Egypt:, the Middle East’s leading online shopping destination, announces its biggest sale of 2023, the Big Ramadan Sale, live from the 26th of March until midnight on the 4th of April. The mega event is packed with up to 75% off hundreds of thousands of items, exciting bank offers, and split payment solutions.Get up to 80% off fashion brands like American Eagle, DeFacto, LC Waikiki, Nike, and Adidas with prices starting from 16 EGP, and up to 70% off the latest eyewear and watches from brands like Casio, Fossil, Michael Kors, and Rayban. Shoppers can also get special Ramadan offers encompassing a collection of essentials like abayas and prayer clothes, prayer mats, and prayer beads starting from just 9 EGP. They can also use valU to get 15% off Ramadan boxes.This Big Ramadan Sale, shoppers can get up to 50% off hair treatments and masks from Garnier, L'Oreal Paris, Olaplex, and Raw African. Beauty and fragrance purchases from leading brands like Maybelline, Garnier, and Jaguar are discounted by up to 70%, starting at just 17 EGP, as well as 70 EGP off Maybelline purchases worth 300 EGP.Customers can save even more money by using noon's Buy Now Pay Later option with valU. Additionally, shoppers can take advantage of our bank partnerships with NBE, CIB and Emirates NBD which offer up to 12 months of interest-free installments.Emirates NBD cardholders can save 20% on purchases of up to 200 EGP, while Banque Misr MasterCard credit card holders can save 40% on purchases of up to 400 EGP.Shoppers can save up to 55% on smartphones from brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Infinix, as well as enjoy up to 70% off electronics ranging from TVs, laptops, and home appliances from prominent brands like Samsung, Black & Decker, LG, Fresh, and Toshiba. Home essentials and kitchen must-haves will also be heavily discounted by up to 70% from brands like Nouval, Grandi, Bosch, and Mintra, with prices as low as 4 EGP. In addition to discount codes of 40% on TrueVal, Energizer, Bosch, and Zinox.Baby brands like Molfix, Penduline, Philips Avent, and Petit Bebe are up to 70% off with a starting price of 16 EGP, alongside a Buy 4 Get 1 Free deal on Fine Baby products. Toys from brands like Bestway, Intex, Hamleys, and Jilong will be discounted by up to 75%.Customers can also stock up on their grocery essentials with up to 70% off from brands like Abu Auf, Crystal, Papia, and Italiano with prices as low as 3 EGP, as well as get 20 EGP off Lipton purchases worth 100 EGP.noon Minutes is also offering massive discounts of up to 70% off. Various products are on offer from brands like L'Oreal, TBS, Suhagy, and Olio, with speedy delivery in as little as 15 minutes.noon’s Big Ramadan Sale is live from March 26th until midnight on April 4th, with super-speedy delivery and thousands of amazing deals across fashion, beauty, home, electronics, appliances, and toys ready to wow customers.

Pre-dawn smartphone usage affects download speeds in Ramadan

Jeddah: A recent technical report confirmed that the activity of Internet users’ changes during the month of Ramadan in Muslim-majority countries, as activity peaks between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. before suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and dawn prayers (Fajr), and slows down before Iftar time after 12 noon till 3 p.m.According to the Opensignal report, Saudi Arabia was found with the most significant variation in the average download speed of data on 4G Internet networks during Ramadan, as the pre-dawn activity of internet users increased, which resulted in a 25% decrease in data download speed over the previous month. (read the full report here: conducted an analysis to determine the impact of changes in people's behaviour during Ramadan on mobile Internet experiences in five Muslim-majority countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia.When comparing the difference in network experiences between Ramadan and the month before it, the company discovered that these countries experienced more changes during Ramadan than other countries, as data download speed decreased by more than 15% during the pre-dawn period due to increased network congestion.Pre-dawn Internet usage grew in Muslim-majority Saudi Arabia (93%) and Pakistan (96%), which led to a decrease in the average download speed of data by 25% and 21.3% respectively, compared to the previous month, the report indicated.Owing to their last meal before the start of fasting, a large number of people remain awake increasing network traffic, which slows down the download speed.The report revealed a similar change in data download in Egypt with a 90% Muslim population and Indonesia (87%) where it decreased by 18.5% and 16.7% respectively. Even in Malaysia with 64% of the population, the speed was found to have decreased by 15.7% from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.The report concludes that during Ramadan, the lifestyles of many people change dramatically, and changes in the mobile experience in Muslim-majority countries indicate that a large percentage of people change their daily routine during this month, as Muslims prefer to spend Ramadan in Worship and carry out his religious responsibilities.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy appoints Saeed Al Gergawi as VP

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has announced the appointment of Saeed Al Gergawi as its Vice President. Al Gergawi will steer the chamber towards its goals of building the world’s best digital infrastructure for Dubai, transform the emirate into an international technology hub, support the interests of technology companies; and strengthen the role of the digital economy in the emirate. His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, emphasized the importance of young national cadres in fulfilling the development objectives set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for building a brighter future for the city. Al Olama has highlighted that the development of the digital economy in Dubai necessitates empowering the young and talented individuals with the requisite qualifications and experiences to solve future challenges, utilizing cutting-edge tools and approaches to expedite the implementation of initiatives and enhance the competitiveness of sectors that prioritize innovation and technology. This will contribute to the realization of plans that bolster the UAE and Dubai's aspirations to establish themselves as leaders in the global digital economy, thereby benefiting society at large. Al Gergawi was previously the Director of Dubai Future Academy, an initiative under Dubai Future Foundation. He also led projects for the foundation such as the Global Coders Initiative, the 1 Million Arab Coders project as well as the foundation’s upskilling program. Additionally, he has considerable experience at the MBR Space Center as Mission Strategist for the Emirates Mars Mission and Program Director for the Mars 2117 Programme. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy supports the growth of Dubai’s digital economy by ensuring a conducive environment for digital companies to thrive, boost creativity and access new business opportunities. It works to create a global framework to build the economy of the future and offer world-class digital infrastructure to support the dynamic start-up ecosystem and create new opportunities for investors.SHAR

Machine customers represent one of the biggest new growth opportunities: Gartner

DUBAI: Machine customers represent one of the biggest new growth opportunities of the decade, and business leaders must act now to create a path to entry to a business megatrend that will eventually be more significant than the arrival of digital commerce, according to Gartner, Inc.A machine customer is a non-human economic actor who obtains goods and/or services in exchange for payment.In the new Gartner book, When Machines Become Customers, authors Don Scheibenreif, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner and leader of Gartner’s research on customer experience, and Mark Raskino, distinguished VP analyst, Gartner Fellow and leader of Gartner’s CEO research, explain that machine customers will be involved in a wide range of consumer and business purchases. In the book, they anticipate and unpack key challenges and opportunities for organizations, and how these organizations should tackle them.“The machine customer era has already begun,” said Scheibenreif. “There are more machines with the potential to act as buyers than humans on the planet. Today, there are more than 9.7 billion installed IoT devices, including equipment monitoring, surveillance cameras, connected cars, smart lighting, tablets, smartwatches, smart speaker and connected printers. Each of these has a steadily improving ability to analyze information and make decisions. Every IoT enabled product could become a customer. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2027 50% of people in advanced economies will have AI personal assistants working for them every day.”Executives across the enterprise must collaborate to prepare for machine customers. This ranges from legal officers (general counsel) who will need to dig into definitions and start framing what risk-managed ways the company can engage commercially, to CIOs who must lead the construction of the platforms capable of serving machine customer markets, to marketing officers who must reconceptualize what a customer is and how to understand machine customer needs. HR officers, supply chain officers and revenue officers, like the head of sales, will also need to consider how machine customers will impact their organizations.Machine Customer Evolution in Three PhasesToday, is the first phase of the machine customers’ evolution, which can be seen in services such as HP Instant Ink, Amazon Dash Replenishment and Tesla’s automobiles. These are examples of automatically performing limited functions as “co-customers” on the owner’s behalf. People set the rules, and the machine executes them within a specific and prescribed ecosystem. These machines are therefore “bound customers”, and they represent the first in a three-phase evolution (see Figure 1).

Dubai turbo-charges the creative entrepreneur’s journey

Dubai: The road to market success for creatives is as much about finding the right ecosystem as it is about unleashing their inner muse. Artists, designers and performers with ambitious dreams are increasingly seeking to relocate to places that provide the supportive environment needed to turn their sparks of inspiration into agile enterprises. Dubai is emerging as a new destination for creatives from around the world looking for fresh pastures to unlock the business potential of their big ideas. The city has rolled out the red carpet and pruned all vestiges of red tape to help creatives speed up the journey to realising their dreams.Under the framework of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, the emirate has created an entire architecture of support services, incentives and business and legislative enablers to ease the journey of creatives across various stages of the creative value chain – from ideation to production, through to marketing and distribution.The launch pad of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy is the Al Quoz Creative Zone, an integrated creative community being developed by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) in cooperation with various government entities in the emirate that seeks to transform the creative cluster that has been organically developing in the Al Quoz area over the past few years into a comprehensive industry ecosystem.These initiatives are catalysing the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy’s aim to more than double the number of Dubai-based creative companies from 8,300 in 2020 to 15,000 by 2026, and increase creative jobs in the emirate, from 70,000 to 140,000 by 2026. Ultimately, the Strategy seeks to raise the contribution of creative industries to Dubai’s GDP from 2.6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent by 2026, in the process turning the emirate into the capital of the global creative economy.“Dubai’s vision to position itself as the nucleus of the world’s creative industry is being made reality by building an ecosystem that supports creative entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to market,” said Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Member of the Dubai Council. “One of the primary objectives of Dubai’s Creative Economy Strategy is to make it faster, simpler and easier for people in the sector to set up and run their ventures in Dubai. We have rendered it possible for creators to go online and obtain a creative licence in seven minutes. The industry is already contributing more to Dubai’s economy than the global average, and over the next few years, we foresee an even bigger entrepreneurial surge in the sector. Ultimately, we seek to create a global hub for cultural and creative activity in Dubai where people in the industry can come together to expand the boundaries of artistic expression and entrepreneurship.”

Binance reveals the most loved features in the Middle East

Dubai - Binance, the global blockchain ecosystem behind the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, hosted the first-ever virtual super meet-up in the MENA region with the Global CEO, Changpeng Zhao. As part of the session, Binance revealed the most loved features in the Middle East including earn, savings, and spot. The three features allow users to trade and save crypto, where with earn you can deposit and earn daily rewards either for flexible-term or locked-terms. Spot trading offers a simple way to invest and trade, which users enjoy.The session also hosted other speakers from Binance’s Leadership team including Richard Teng, Regional Head of Europe and MENA, Gleb Kostarev, Regional Head of Asia, and Mayur Kamat, Head of Product.During the session, it was announced that Binance is always introducing new innovations and features to the Binance ecosystem. This means that people can expect to see a variety of upcoming features soon. Mayur Kamat, Head of Product said: “ The first quarter of the year was a busy one for Binance with hundreds of small tweaks and introductions of new features launched. We've introduced features like Binance Tax and User Feedback Tool, along with small improvements that make day-to-day use easier for users. These tools give people a new way to suggest new features that we should continue building for our community.”As part of the product discussion at the super-meet-up, Mayur introduced ‘strategy trading’ as coming soon to the MENA region. Additionally, he reminded people that Binance has launched a new tool for users to share their feedback. Binance has received hundreds of feedback pieces since the launch. The next phase of this project has just been released which sees product managers leaving replies to the feedback they’ve been given on the platform.Among the products that have been particularly popular on through the region is Binance Pay, which has seen a 2-4 times growth since it launched. Binance Pay recently upgraded the Send Cash function where you can now easily access Binance P2P via Binance Pay's Send Cash function to trade digital assets with other counterparties and receive cash in your bank account or e-wallet. Using the balance in your Spot or Funding Wallet, you can now directly send cash to your family and friends. The Send Cash function on Binance Pay lets you use crypto to send fiat currency to your recipient via bank or e-wallet transfer. Using your crypto assets, you can now send cash directly to your friends and family. The new Send Cash function on Binance Pay lets you send from your crypto balance and the recipient will receive fiat currency in their bank account.Giving back through charity and community support are commitments that resonate greatly with Binance’s values. From March 22 to April 4, Binance is running different activities, rewards, and community initiatives every day for 14 days. On one of those days, Binance will ask its users across the globe to donate crypto to those in need via one of their Binance Charity initiatives. In keeping with the spirit of giving, there will be a total of more than $500,000 in rewards to be shared by their community. This Ramadan is dedicated to #ExchangeWithKindness.

Du brings UAE residents together during Ramadan

Dubai: du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has unveiled a brand-new community-focused campaign that celebrates the principles and spirit of Ramadan. Under the theme #KindnessConnectsUs, du is emphasising the value of sharing and the universal language of kindness throughout the holy month.du is encouraging all families in the UAE through its campaign video to demonstrate the #KindnessConnectsUs. By contributing to the local community, families can strengthen their bonds while also making a positive impact on society.Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO at du, said: “The spirit of compassion and goodwill is a cornerstone of Ramadan and serves as a reminder to all of us to be kinder and more empathetic towards one another. Overall, du's commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction is evident in our focus on commercial offers that enhance the experience of both individuals and businesses. As a result, du is poised to make a positive impact on the community, inspire others to do the same and contribute to the spirit of generosity during the holy month. We believe that by working together, we can create a better world for everyone, and our Ramadan campaign is just one way we are doing that.”This Ramadan, du aims to exemplify the virtue of unity bestowed by the UAE's leaders by igniting a sense of charity within the nation's social fabric by engaging with multiple organozations in the country such as Al Jalila Foundation. It has launched several initiatives and community events that aim to bring people together and encourage them to contribute to the betterment of society – helping to foster a culture of kindness and compassion among the UAE's residents. As part of its CSR initiatives, du will be supporting other entities in their initatives such as the One Billion Meals campaign as well as continuing their collaboration with Community Development Authority.In accordance with its longstanding commitment to delighting customers, du is introducing new offers that will bring families and friends closer together. The new offers include discounted rates on plans for mobile and home services. du customers can enjoy discounted prices on selected devices and avail discounts on Video On Demand (VOD) titles.

Project Agora partners with leading publishers in the UAE

Dubai: Project Agora, one of the leading media technology firms in the EMEA region, has announced new strategic alliances with numerous renowned UAE news organisations, including Al Khaleej, Gulf News, and Khaleej Times.For Project Agora, the Middle East has always represented a considerable investment. By giving marketers access to a larger, more upscale, and brand-safe environment, this new generation of collaborations elevates the presence in the region.Elie Chammas, Regional Director of Project Agora, said: “The breadth and depth of the reach in the UAE through these partnerships, will allow advertisers to efficiently target consumers on the Open Web where they spent more than a quarter of their online time. This provides the foundation for us to further accelerate the growth of our long-standing relations with media agencies and brands.”Farhan Khan, Head Of Sales, Al Khaleej, said: “A deciding factor for us to partner with Project Agora was their strong local team, who are working to generate local premium demand for our website, right here in the UAE.”

Metaverse builder LandVault announces funding round from Web3 VCs

Dubai: LandVault, the largest metaverse construction company, has announced its strategic funding round with several web3 firms, including The Sandbox, a leading metaverse platform backed by Animoca Brands and Softbank, the Gemini Frontier Fund, HodlCo, and Kingsway Capital, a $3B hedge fund and a large shareholder in Animoca Brands. This comes after LandVault raised a total of $37m, the last round being a $25m Series B in November 2021 at the time when the company was focused on in-game advertising. Since then, LandVault has pivoted into building metaverse infrastructures, and has completed over 100 million square feet in building experiences for brands including Mastercard, Heineken, Hershey’s, Standard Chartered and L’Oreal. With this round, LandVault is adding web3 investors and partners to its cap table.Having recently announced its expansion, the capital will be used to grow commercial operations across their hubs in Dubai, Europe, US, and Asia, and will further invest in technology, notably AI-powered tools to accelerate creation and monetization of metaverse content. The round is a good credibility boost at a time when the hype surrounding the metaverse is said to be down, valuations are discounted, and many projects have yet to pan out. The investor demand for metaverse infrastructure is still high, and paying testament to this is LandVault’s 9-figure valuation from last year. The global metaverse market size was valued at USD 100.27 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to USD 1,527.55 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 47.6%. “In addition, the rising investment in retail and e-commerce and the surge in the adoption of platforms looking to showcase products in a virtual environment continue to bolster market growth.”“Like us, our new investors see the metaverse as the future of the internet, a more immersive platform to share experiences. Getting there will be a long road, and it is great to bring together investors and partners that are also committed to this vision” says CEO of LandVault, Sam Huber.Initially, LandVault grew as a development company within The Sandbox. Over time, the company scaled teams to build on other platforms, including photorealistic work on Unity and Unreal. Today the company counts over 130 full time builders, creating projects for the world largest organisations, and has used these experiences to take their data and monetization products to market, to help clients drive ROI in the metaverse.“LandVault has established itself in just a year as one of the most active metaverse builders" said Sebastien BORGET, COO & Co-Founder of The Sandbox. "We're pleased to support them further on this journey, as they continue to develop their activities and technology to inspire many other creators of the Metaverse".“Our vision has always been to accelerate the economy of the metaverse, and the latest progress in AI technology is helping us fast track our roadmap, " explains Huber. The metaverse needs a ‘Wordpress moment’ for anyone to build in the metaverse as easily as building a website, and we are investing heavily in R&D to build these tools”.