Dubai is set to roll out a new programme for the gaming sector that will generate tens of thousands of new jobs and add around $1 billion to the economy by 2033.On Thursday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), approved the launch of ‘Dubai Program for Gaming 2033’.The initiative seeks to position the emirate among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry and generate 30,000 new jobs in the gaming sector.The programme also seeks to boost the sector’s contribution to the growth of Dubai’s digital economy and increase the GDP by approximately $1 billion by 2033, according to a statement.“Dubai will persist in aligning with global trends as it shapes and builds its digital economy, harnessing advanced technology and evaluating both current and forthcoming disruptions,” Sheikh Hamdan said.“This is in accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to ensure that Dubai stands among the most future-ready cities globally.”Under the programme, the emirate will establish an “incubating environment” for developers and attract leading technology companies from around the world. Among the targeted businesses are those specialising in digital content and experiences.“The programme will offer support to developers, designers, programmers, as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups in the creative industries,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
RemotePass, the UAE’s leading platform for onboarding, paying, and managing global remote workers, has announced a strategic partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy (DCDE), one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers. This collaboration aims to bolster the UAE startup and business ecosystem, by providing a seamless avenue for global businesses to both access the UAE's skilled workforce and relocate global talent, all without the necessity of establishing a local entity. Additionally, the partnership will offer invaluable support to local firms and will enable them to effortlessly hire top talent from around the world, whether as contractors or full-time employees.In pursuit of the DCDE's strategic goal to attract 300 digital startups to Dubai, RemotePass will play a pivotal role in ensuring the HR success of these ventures. With its global infrastructure, RemotePass provides businesses with the essential tools for seamless onboarding, management, and retention of an exceptional pool of both local and international remote talent. RemotePass handles everything from local and international compliance to automated contracts, and global payroll, and facilitates access for workers to top-tier benefits and financial services. This comprehensive support empowers businesses to build remarkable teams and achieve unparalleled success. This initiative is part of DCDE's "Business in Dubai'' programme, which serves as a business-matching service designed to connect companies with suitable partners, investors, and customers. It also offers a wide array of institutional services delivered in collaboration with the chamber's strategic partners. RemotePass joins this prestigious roster that includes Dubai World Trade Center, etisalat, Dubai Islamic Bank, and many more. The Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy over the next decade, and this partnership with RemotePass plays a key role by equipping companies to attract, hire, retain, and motivate the best talent locally and from around the world. Out of 557,000 SMEs in the UAE, RemotePass was selected by the DCDE as one of the innovative partners to support this mission. This partnership cements RemotePass’ position as a pivotal entity in the global workforce management landscape, underscoring its commitment to simplifying remote talent management for businesses while ensuring compliance. The biggest positive impact will be RemotePass's contribution to uplifting the UAE's startup ecosystem, fostering enhanced collaboration, and deploying its expertise in streamlining international and local employment processes, benefiting companies looking to hire globally or locally. Eligible businesses can access RemotePass’ services with an exclusive discount through the incentives offered under the Business in Dubai initiative. Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, commented: “We are pleased to welcome RemotePass as the newest service provider on the chamber’s innovative ‘Business in Dubai’ platform, which enables convenient access to a range of integrated services and solutions for digital companies looking to set up or expand their business in Dubai. Our platform plays a key role in attracting leading digital companies and specialised talent to Dubai, as well as providing comprehensive assistance to local startups and established companies. We remain committed to building the world’s best digital infrastructure and consolidating Dubai’s position as the global capital of the digital economy.” Wesley Hattingh, UAE Country Manager, RemotePass commented: "Dubai is the ideal home for entrepreneurs, which is why more than 30,000 new businesses opened in Dubai during the first half of 2023. We’re thrilled about this partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, which aligns perfectly with our mission to simplify cross-border workforce management for the city’s thriving startup ecosystem. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to advancing innovation in Dubai — for companies looking to hire locally and internationally."
Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) celebrated the “Flag Day” event as an embodiment of the values of unity and cohesion and a renewal of loyalty and belonging to the homeland and wise leadership. The flag was raised in the Ajman Chamber arena by H.E. Eng Abdullah Al Muwaiji, the Chairman of the ACCI, in the presence of members of the Board of Directors of the ACCI and H. E Salem Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ACCI and ACCI's employees and customers.H.E Abdullah Al Muwaiji said on this national occasion: "Flag Day is a national occasion that we cherish and are proud of. The flag is a symbol of our identity, our pride, our renaissance, our past, our present, and our future. On Flag Day, we remember the efforts of the founding fathers and the journey of our country and its progress in all fields. On Flag Day, we renew our commitment to our country and our loyalty to our wise leadership, and we pledge to continue working diligently and hardly for the sake of the advancement and leadership of our beloved country. "H. E Salem Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ACCI, stated: "Celebrating Flag Day is a national embodiment of the values of unity, pride in national identity, and popular cohesion. Under the flag, loyalty and belonging are renewed. Under the flag, we are proud of the global status the UAE has achieved. Under the flag, enthusiasm is sharpened to continue the journey of work and giving to our nation."
Abu Dhabi: PureHealth has partnered with Dell Technologies to utilise generative artificial intelligence (AI) across healthcare services including in early disease detection, medical data analysis and personalised treatment plans, further enhancing the health ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. The collaboration will harness the collective resources and technologies of both companies to improve health outcomes by ensuring access to leading medical solutions and services and accelerating long-term preparedness and agility.With Dell's innovative solutions, PureHeath aims to positively impact the wellbeing of communities by offering better patient experiences through intelligent healthcare decision-making and advancing health research.GenAI brings with it a multitude of advantages in healthcare, ranging from early disease detection by analysing extensive medical data, to personalised treatment plans based on individual patient profiles. GenAI can also improve medical imaging accuracy, aid in predictive analytics for disease outbreaks and expedite drug discovery, contributing to a more efficient and patient-centred healthcare landscape.The collaboration was signed by Junaid Khan, Chief Technology Officer at PureHealth, and Walid Yehia, the UAE’s General Manager of Dell Technologies. Michael Dell, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies and Farhan Malik, Founder, Managing Director, and CEO of PureHealth, witnessed the signing of the collaboration between both organisations. Junaid Khan, Chief Technology Officer at PureHealth, said: “As we embark on this transformative journey with Dell, we are thrilled to pioneer a new era in healthcare. This collaboration signifies our unwavering commitment to advancing the future of healthcare by harnessing the rapidly increasing computing power and normalising GenAI-based outcomes. By integrating GenAI, we are poised to revolutionise the industry, improve health outcomes, and fortify our healthcare system's readiness for the future. Our efforts align seamlessly with our vision of extending human health span. GenAI is a powerful tool and will be incorporated in our digital transformation where we aim to take healthcare to the cloud.”Walid Yehia, General Manager, UAE at Dell Technologies, said: “GenAI continues to drive meaningful conversations and propel tangible progress across industries. We are using our position as the world’s broadest GenAI infrastructure portfolio provider to help PureHealth deliver critical services to citizens.”The collaboration further solidifies PureHealth's position as a global healthcare provider following the recent milestone acquisitions of Ardent Health Services, the US’s fourth largest private healthcare group and Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest private healthcare group. This growth path underscores Abu Dhabi vision to bolster its position as a leading global destination for healthcare and life sciences.According to Statista, the global AI healthcare market was valued at AED40.4 billion in 2021 and is projected to expand to have a market size of AED686.8 billion market size by 2030. This increase will drive considerable changes in how medical providers, hospitals, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies operate.PureHealth is actively reshaping the future of healthcare through a strategic fusion of technology and data, while also pioneering innovative GenAI-driven solutions. With a robust and expansive network encompassing hospitals, clinics, numerous diagnostic centers, insurance solutions, pharmacies, health tech and procurement services, PureHealth maintains its position as a trailblazer in the pursuit of longevity science and the transformation of healthcare systems.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Microsoft Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella visited the UAE today to experience first-hand how the latest advancements in cloud and AI are supporting UAE organizations across every industry. While speaking at the Microsoft ‘AI, a New Era’ event, Nadella met with local business leaders, government officials and developers and emphasized the role of AI in unlocking new opportunities to accelerate the UAE's digital economy and transforming the lives of its people.“This new age of AI will drive innovation and has the potential to expand opportunity and growth around the world – including in the UAE,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “It’s inspiring to see so many developers and businesses in the Emirates already applying AI to address business and societal challenges.”Microsoft has had a presence in the UAE for more than 30 years and chose the country as the location for its first data centres in the Middle East. Microsoft’s cloud regions are considered a key driver behind the country’s digital transformation, serving as foundations for the deployment of modern technologies, including AI. A PwC report has predicted a US$320 billion AI industry in the Middle East by 2030 and singled out the UAE as likely to have the largest percentage share for AI in its economy out of any nation in the region: close to 14% of 2030 GDP.During his keynote, Nadella announced the upcoming availability of Azure OpenAI Service from the company’s UAE cloud datacentres. The service, which will be available later this month, provides access to a suite of powerful AI models, including GPT-4, Codex, and DALL-E 2, which can be used to develop innovative AI applications such as virtual assistants, content generation, code generation, image editing tools, and more.He highlighted some of the ways UAE organizations are leading AI transformation and innovation in key industries: The UAE Ministry of Education is partnering with local start-up ASI, founded by 20-year-old Quddus Pativada, to develop a personalised AI tutor which will act as an Arabic and English study companion for UAE students to help them improve their learning beyond the classroom. The tutor will be rolled out across the UAE’s schools. The partnership aligns with the ministry’s drive to incorporate AI into the educational system, announced during the World Government Summit (WGS) 2023.The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi is developing a unified, digital experience for patients, which will allow them to provide holistic, on demand healthcare services in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An AI powered patient assistant, running on Azure, will provide instant access to unified medical records and make searching for a doctor and scheduling appointments effortless.G42 released a Large Language Arabic Model, Jais, which will be available through Azure Services and will boost the ability to create original Arabic content for close to 100 million underserviced Arabic language internet users.DeepOpinion, co-founded by Dr. Ahmed Al-Ali, is embedding AI models in existing automation workflows running on Microsoft Azure and integrating with Microsoft Power Platform, allowing organisations to reduce repetitive tasks and reduce workplace accidents caused by human error.
British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) apologised after posting a picture from its Christmas advert showing red and green paper hats in a burning fireplace that were compared to a Palestinian flag.The company, one of the best-known names in British business, apologised for "any unintentional hurt caused" after sharing the image on Instagram.Marks & Spencer, which started life in 1884 when Jewish immigrant Michael Marks came to the north of England, faced some criticism on social media over claims it was making a political statement.The retailer deleted the Instagram post, posting a statement on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: "Today we shared an outtake image from our Christmas clothing and home advert, which was recorded in August, before the conflict broke out between Israel and Hamas." "It showed traditional, festive coloured red, green and silver Christmas paper party hats in a fire grate.""While the intent was to playfully show that some people just don't enjoy wearing paper Christmas hats over the festive season, we have removed the post following feedback and we apologise for any unintentional hurt caused."Global companies are trying to avoid getting entangled in conflict between Israel and Hamas as the fighting has prompted a rise in religious hate crimes.McDonald's franchises in some Muslim countries distanced themselves from a move by the company's Israeli restaurants last month to give free meals to the Israeli military.
Doritos has introduced 'Doritos Silent,' a groundbreaking 'crunch-cancellation' technology that lets PC gamers enjoy their favorite chips without distracting other players. Though new research shows 85 percent of gamers consistently choose Doritos as their snack of choice, the study also revealed a strong demand across the globe for an innovative solution that eliminates crunching sounds while gaming. In the UK, 46 percent of gamers dislike the sound of other people eating.In Portugal and Spain, 68 and 64 percent of gamers respectively rank crisps or chips first when asked which food items create the worst noise while they're gaming and the other person is eating.In the US, 30 percent say that other people crunching distracts them from playing well or impacts their performance. The crunch is a key reason consumers love Doritos. With this new 'crunch-cancellation technology,' Doritos gives gamers the ability to continue enjoying the crunch without disrupting their fellow players' performance."The connection between Doritos fans and the gaming community is undeniable," said Fernando Kahane, Global Marketing Head at PepsiCo. "Both boldly and unapologetically embrace their individual flavors. 'Doritos Silent' recognizes this bond and demonstrates the brand's continued commitment to innovation and elevating the experience for gamers who choose Doritos."Designed in partnership with Smooth Technology, a leader in electronic and interactive design, the groundbreaking new 'crunch cancellation' technology took six months to develop and involved the technical analysis of more than 5,000 different crunch sounds."Working with Doritos to create this cutting-edge technology has been an incredible journey," said Dylan Fashbaugh, the lead developer at Smooth Technology. "We all know that gamers love Doritos, but that unmistakable crunch can often disrupt those intense gaming moments. With 'Doritos Silent,' we've worked to ensure gamers can enjoy the crunch of Doritos without disturbing their fellow players, making for a better gaming experience."By expanding this new technology to all PC gamers, Doritos hopes its silence can benefit the 80 percent of millennials and Gen Z who classify themselves as gamers1.Doritos teased the idea of "making Doritos silent" with social media and out-of-home advertisements that featured Doritos chips in-place of noise-cancelling headphones in the UK, US, Spain, Poland, Brazil and Portugal promising that "you won't hear it coming."
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom set to take place from 13–16 November 2023 at the Hotel Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC, will feature a special Athar Awards gala dinner to conclude the four-day festival.The inaugural edition will take place on November 16 and feature the Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade and Athar Special Awards, in addition to recognising the winners of the 24-hour hack competition, part of the Young Talent Academies.The gala dinner is set to be attended by creative directors, chief creative officers, CMOs, CEOs and other senior decision makers from all sectors of the creative communications landscape including creative, media and communications agencies, event agencies, advertisers, media houses, brands, platforms, government agencies, publishers, tech platforms, young talent, and start-ups.The Legacy Awards will be presented to agencies and brands verified by the Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions international festivals of creativity based on points gained over the last decade by Saudi-based campaigns or agencies. Categories include Media Network of the Decade, Brand of the Decade, Agency of the Decade and Network of the Decade.The Special Awards will recognise outstanding individuals, market leaders and other stellar organisations who have positively contributed to the advancement of the local creative industry. It includes the Empowerment and Marketer categories for individuals and three other categories, Disruptors, Excellence and Gamechangers, celebrating organisations for their achievement.The award ceremony will also acknowledge outstanding participants from this year’s Athar Young Talent Academies; a set of six academies designed for young professionals and students to explore creative marketing topics from public relations, copywriting, innovation, branding & design, planning, and social communications.Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, stated: “With Saudi Arabia’s reception of the first-ever Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year, the local creative industry is in an era of continual progression. Through the Legacy Awards which are verified by both Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions, we are able to commemorate agencies and brands that have consistently set high standards and embodied excellence through their work. As we approach the start of this year’s festival, we are very excited to close the event on a very festive note, giving peers a chance to celebrate one another’s achievements.”“Saudi creativity is in a remarkable period of growth, proven by the innovative ideas that have been brought to life across various industries,” commented Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS. “Athar Festival’s Special Awards and each of the award categories has been tailored to recognize the brilliance and versatility shown by both individuals and organisations in the Kingdom’s creative landscape. As the Kingdom advances forward guided by the framework of Vision 2030, we are proud to reward exceptionalism and congratulate the Kingdom’s diverse creative communities.”Organised by Motivate Media Group and TRACCS, the festival promises to be an inspiring occasion celebrating marketing excellence and affirming the value of creativity in the world of business. The four-day festival programme will include a two-day festival and two days of training for young talent, underlining the enduring role of creativity as an enabler of growth and development.With an extensive line-up of 100+ international and celebrity speakers, Athar Festival’s landmark edition is expected to welcome 1,500 industry professionals and young talent to attend the festival and its academies, celebrating innovation and exceptionalism within Saudi Arabia’s creative ecosystem.
L’Occitane en Provence, a French beauty brand, has introduced an engaging virtual store just in time for the holiday season. Interactive virtual stores have gained popularity, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they enable brands to connect with customers in a distinctive way while observing social distancing guidelines. L'Occitane has embraced an Alpine chalet theme and introduced limited edition holiday collections, creating a festive ambiance that suits the holiday season perfectly.This virtual store has been developed by the retail technology company Emperia and is designed to resemble an Alpine chalet. It offers limited edition holiday product ranges and provides personalization options along with gamified entertainment.Visitors to the virtual store will come across various gift wrapping elements scattered throughout the space. They can use these elements to assemble their own customized gift box. Upon completing this mini-game, an animation will unveil the personalized box, along with a "special L’Occitane holiday reward."The store categorizes products into five distinct areas: advent calendar, holiday limited edition collection, gift sets, fragrances, and Santa’s wish list, all organized based on budget. The holiday collection's designs have been created in collaboration with UK-based artist Steven Wilson, known for his work with brands like Nike, The Oscars, Virgin, and MTV.Beyond the chalet's confines, visitors can illuminate an olive tree and craft their personalized postcard containing their carefully curated product wishlist. Mariana Rodrigues, Marketing Director at L’Occitane Middle East, emphasized the significance of the olive tree, a symbol of tradition in Provence, saying, "Our vision was to bring back those traditions to our customers."This marks Emperia's second collaboration with L'Occitane. Earlier this year, the platform developed an immersive experience to showcase the brand's retail world, highlighting ingredients and best-selling products. Visitors could take a virtual bicycle ride through the lavender fields of Provence and soar over Corsica in a hot air balloon.Olga Dogadkina, co-founder and CEO of Emperia, noted that today's online retail users expect a more personalized and interactive shopping experience that aligns with the brand's values and enhances their overall shopping experience, catering to their individual needs, desires, and preferences.
BBC Studios has announced a series of appointments for Key Markets, EMEA as part of its continuing plan to build its commercial business in the region.Based in Amsterdam and reporting into Arran Tindall, Chief Commercial Officer, EVP, EMEA Key Markets, Bram Husken has been appointed to the newly created role of Vice President, Benelux. Bram will be responsible for the P&L across Benelux. He will lead on commercial strategy and delivery of best value and commercial returns from the BBC-branded services and content sales opportunities in these markets.Bram brings a wealth of experience to the role as a seasoned senior executive with over two decades of experience in the media industry, most recently in the position as VP, Content Distribution & Management Benelux, Nordics & RCIS at Paramount Global where he was responsible for overseeing the strategic partnerships for content distribution as well as contributing to setting up a joint-venture to launch the SkyShowtime streaming service in several European territories. During his time at Paramount/Viacom, Bram held several senior positions including General Counsel Northern Europe. Prior to this he worked as a private practice lawyer focused on Intellectual Property.Commenting on his new role, Bram said, “It’s an exciting time to be joining BBC Studios in Amsterdam, it is an iconic brand that has an impressive track record for great content, creativity and business within the creative industries here, so I’m delighted to contribute to the brands further growth across the Benelux.”Also based in Amsterdam, Hale Mouritz has been promoted to the newly created position of Director of Programming, Western Europe for services in Benelux and Nordics. Hale will lead the Benelux and Nordics Programming teams, leading on the editorial and content strategy and scheduling initiatives for BBC-branded services in the regions, as well as spearheading the brand and awareness growth of BBC Studios local presence.Hale joined BBC Studios in Amsterdam in June 2021 as Head of Programming, Western Europe where she was and continues to be responsible for the performance of both linear and related VOD services. Under this tenure, she oversaw the successful re-brand of BBC Studios’ Nordic channels, successfully launching new services BBC Nordic and BBC Nordic+. Under Hale, BBC First in the Netherlands also became the #10 most watched channel in the country in March 2023.“Our audiences are at the heart of everything we do here at BBC Studios and in this new role I’m excited to develop and enhance the audience experience even further across the Benelux and Nordics regions through our curated and outstanding branded services.”Andrea Raman has been promoted to Business Development Director, Nordic, MENA, Turkey in which she will be responsible for the distribution partnerships of BBC Studios branded services within these regions. Based in London, Andrea will also lead on the development of new business and commercial strategic partnerships, curating packages of BBC brands and content with third party partnerships.Andrea joined BBC Studios earlier this year and has brought a wealth of commercial experience within the broadcast industry having worked with international brands such as ESPN Star Sports, MGM, CNBC and A+E networks.Commenting on the promotion, Andrea Raman said, “At BBC Studios I’ve forged fantastic partnerships across MENA and Turkey and I’m delighted that under this new role I’ll be able to add Nordics to this portfolio as well as strengthen, explore and develop new opportunities for our extensive branded services.”Responsibilities held previously by Simon Cottle, VP Affiliate Sales Western Europe, who is set to retire this year, will be split regionally between Bram and Andrea within their new roles.On announcing the appointments, Arran Tindall, Chief Commercial Officer, EVP, EMEA Key Markets said, “Bram Husken is a strategic and talented leader who brings local expertise in the Benelux, I’m pleased that he is going to be leading our efforts in the region as we look to develop the BBC Studios brands and future portfolio in Benelux. Bram’s appointment alongside the well-deserved promotions of Hale Mouritz and Andrea Raman are vital for the EMEA business as we look to maximise value from our branded services and grow our major customer relationships in the territories across all our lines of business. Harnessing their expertise will enable us to unlock new business opportunities and achieve our growth ambitions in the regions.”
HUAWEI MatePad PaperMatte Editions were unveiled at the Dubai Calligraphy Biennale, featuring a Calligraphy Workshop known as "Created by Huawei MatePad." This workshop played a significant role during the closing weekend of the month-long Dubai Calligraphy Biennale event, which was organized by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.The "Created by Huawei MatePad" platform is celebrated for its dedication to nurturing digital artistry while preserving traditional art forms in the digital age. This initiative showcases Huawei's unwavering commitment to innovation in the artistic medium.The workshop brought together 20 talented students from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority's Salama Magazine readership, all between the ages of 12 and 14, and filled with enthusiasm for art and drawing. They were guided by experienced Arabic calligraphy artists Narjes Noureddine and Bassem Zbeeb on a journey into the world of digital calligraphy. Equipped with the new and advanced HUAWEI MatePad PaperMatte and HUAWEI 2nd-gen M-Pencils, these young artists explored a wide range of artistic possibilities. Narjes Noureddine, with her expertise and mentorship, enriched their experience, while Bassem Zbeeb shared captivating stories that intertwined Arabic and Chinese culture.Narjes Noureddine is renowned for her mastery of Arabic calligraphy and brought her international acclaim and unwavering passion for art to the workshop. Her artistic journey goes beyond traditional calligraphy and encompasses classical plates, contemporary paintings, murals, and sculptures.The workshop also marked the highly anticipated launch of the all-new HUAWEI MatePad 11-inch and MatePad 11.5-inch PaperMatte Editions in the UAE. These remarkable devices introduce consumers to the HUAWEI PaperMatte Display, a breakthrough technology that minimizes reflections and glare, enhancing the viewing experience.
The Immortal Award, an annual competition that celebrates creativity and production excellence in the advertising and marketing industry of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, was held in Dubai, where creative and production leaders gathered to assess and honour outstanding work in the field. With the support from Big Kahuna Films, the jurors voted on a shortlist of 25 projects, which had scored highest in the online round of judging prior to the in-person sessionThe six projects will now stand a chance of winning an Immortal Award or picking up a Commendation at the global jury day on Thursday, December 7th. They will be joined by the 7 European Finalists, as well as the forthcoming Finalists from the North America, LATAM, Asia and ANZ jury sessions. This year’s MEA jury was composed of: Yasmina Boustani, Creative Director at Leo Burnett Dubai; Pierre Carnet, Managing Director at MassiveMusic Dubai; Rola Ghotmeh, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Creative 9; Marie Claire Maalouf, Chief Creative Officer of Edelman UAE; Raphael Nassoura, Executive Creative Director and GM of Momentum UAE; Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer MENAP at Impact BBDO Group; Eddy Rizk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BIG KAHUNA FILMS; Aliza Siddiqi, Senior Copywriter at FP7McCann Dubai; and Thomas Young, Creative Director at MullenLowe MENA.Pierre Carnet, Managing Director, MassiveMusic Dubai shared: “It was a great pleasure and honour to be a part of the jury panel for the Immortal Awards MEA 2023. Seeing the fantastic work coming out of our region was very inspiring, demonstrating the ambition of local brands and marketers, but also a clear trend towards value-driven marketing and using brand platforms to help implement change.”He continued, “The six projects we have shortlisted as a jury are to me a representation of the burgeoning creativity we find in the Middle East and Africa, where the sky is the limit in terms of what can be achieved. Whether this means pushing new technologies in never seen before ways, creating new product-driven concepts, using marketing to influence policy and culture, or just having good old fun with a brand - year after year the region continues to impress and improve. I cannot wait to see what next year has in store.”Thomas Young, Creative Director at MullenLowe MENA went on to share what surprised him about the work this year. He said, “I was really surprised at the consistent level of quality work coming out of UAE and KSA. You start to now think if the so-called ‘gap’ even exists between West and East in terms of standard of work. Such is the rise in the level of thinking. It gets better every year. Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer at Impact BBDO Group MENAP shared his thoughts: “The Middle East continues to produce some of the most incredibly creative work – the six projects we picked are not only the best from the region, but some of the best we saw this year coming from anywhere in the world. The jury had very interesting discussions around regional relevancy, bravery in creativity, and the impact the work had on the brand, given the objectives of the campaign.”Finally, Eddy Rizk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BIG KAHUNA FILMS commented: “This year's jury displayed a commendable balance, having been presented with some truly outstanding pieces to evaluate. I'm hopeful to see an increase in contributions from the region, and that's what we should aim for in the upcoming years.”
Dubai: LG Electronics Inc. (LG) today announced third-quarter 2023 consolidated revenue of KRW 20.7 trillion and operating profit of KRW 996.7 billion, both the second highest third-quarter figures in the company’s history. The noteworthy performance was driven by both the company’s core home appliance business and vehicle solutions, one of its future growth engines. Home appliances more than doubled its operating profit year-over-year while vehicle solutions recorded an all-time high operating profit.The strong performance reflects the company’s smooth progress in the execution of its future vision for 2030, leading to solid revenue and profits despite a prolonged economic slowdown. The fundamentals of LG’s 2030 vision, announced last July, is to focus on B2B expansion, non-hardware business model innovation as well as the development and acquisition of new growth engines with the aim to go beyond a home appliance company to truly become a Smart Life Solutions company capable of connecting and expanding diverse spaces and experiences.The revenue growth was greatly bolstered by expansion in B2B, including automotive parts and HVAC systems – a key factor behind the second highest third-quarter figure in the company’s history. Revenue in B2B grew significantly to account for approximately 35 percent of overall revenue this year.B2B segments are less influenced by economic conditions compared to B2C, and stable revenue and profits can be expected once the business is properly set up. Another merit is the lock-in effect that can help promote the development of a strong long-term relationship with clients and customers. LG plans to develop additional growth opportunities in the area by going beyond merely supplying B2B products to expand into providing high added-value business solutions in connection to the supplied products. The goal will be to boost B2B revenue to over KRW 40 trillion by 2030.Third-quarter operating profit increased by more than 30 percent both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. A key contributor to the high profitability was the company’s business model innovation – combining non-hardware solutions such as content and subscription services with traditional hardware products such as home appliances and TVs. In the past, a one-off revenue was recorded when a product was sold. This has now transformed into generating recurring revenue from the use of solutions on platforms installed in the millions of products used by consumers of LG devices.In developing and acquiring new growth engines, LG aims to focus on investing in promising businesses that not only show high potential but can also create synergy with existing businesses. Investment into electric vehicle charging is a prime illustration of such strategy. The company has plans for global expansion beginning next year in collaboration with diverse partners.The seamless operation and solid progress of the company’s 2030 vision’s three pillars – leading growth of company (B2B), generating profit (non-hardware) and boosting enterprise value (new growth engines) – is a strong demonstration of LG’s advancement toward achieving Triple 7 (average growth rate and operating profit of 7 percent or more and enterprise value to EBITDA ratio of 7 or more).LG will continue to focus on accelerating its business portfolio transformation efforts into the fourth quarter, seeking to maintain high-growth in B2B with vehicle component solutions taking the lead, while at the same time growing sales of key product lineups as the end-of-year peak season approaches. Simultaneously, the company plans to optimize efficiencies through enhanced demand forecasting to support stable profitability going forward.The LG Home Appliance & Air Solution Company generated third-quarter revenue of KRW 7.46 trillion and an operating profit of KRW 504.5 billion. The operating profit more than doubled year-over-year, attributable to strong competitiveness in overall business operations including manufacturing, procurement and logistics. Revenue maintained strong versus last year’s third quarter, aided by strategic repositioning of product lineups in response to softened demand as well as expansion of B2B lineups including HVAC, parts and built-in appliances. LG plans to leverage the electrification and decarbonization trend in HVAC systems to accelerate its B2B growth momentum. For example, in the United States, the company recently committed to a series of actions supporting California’s goal to install six million electric heat pumps by 2030. LG is also actively expanding its HVAC portfolio with new Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems. In the fourth quarter, the company will seek to spearhead a paradigm shift in home appliances with the LG ThinQ UP 2.0 expanding business into services and subscriptions. Four upgraded features for the ThinQ UP have already been released in North America, accelerating the speed of customer experience innovation.The LG Vehicle component Solutions Company’s third-quarter revenue was KRW 2.5 trillion and operating profit KRW 134.9 billion – the highest among all third-quarter revenue and operating profit. The company is accelerating its pace of growth based on stable management of its supply chain and an order backlog that is expected to reach KRW 100 trillion by the end of the year. The business unit is expected to exceed KRW 10 trillion in annual revenue for the first time this year, setting the stage to become a key driving force in LG’s overall growth. Growth is still expected to be high due to the accelerating transition to electric vehicles and soaring demand for high added-value parts, despite some concerns of a temporary slowdown of demand in the automotive parts industry. In light of such developments, LG plans to maintain its growth momentum by focusing on high added-value projects and acceleration of regional production at the LG Magna plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.The LG Home Entertainment Company recorded third-quarter revenue of KRW 3.57 trillion and an operating profit of KRW 110.7 billion. The company maintained its profitable growth by effectively managing marketing expenses despite increased LCD panel prices, while also diversifying profit sources based on the growth of content and services business built on its smart TV platform. The company is accelerating its transition from a product-based business to a platform-based media and entertainment business as the content and services market continues to grow. To this end, in addition to expanding collaboration with various content providers, the company is upgrading TV operating systems to expand the content experience of customers. The number of TVs powered by webOS, the foundation of LG’s content and services business, is expected to reach 300 million units by 2026.The LG Business Solutions Company’s third-quarter revenue was KRW 1.33 trillion with an operating loss of KRW 20.5 billion. Both revenue and profitability weakened due to the softening of demand for IT products. As challenging business conditions persist, the company continues to innovate customer experiences with premium IT lineups such as commercial displays and foldable laptops that provide customized solutions, while also making progress in fostering the electric vehicle charger business, one of LG’s new growth engines.Earnings Conference and Conference CallLG Electronics will hold a Korean / English conference call on October 27, 2023, at 16:00 Korea Standard Time (07:00 GMT/UTC). Conference call participants are instructed to pre-register online to receive a private PIN. To participate in the conference call, dial +82 31 810 3130, enter passcode 6418# and then the PIN. The corresponding presentation file will be available for download at the LG Electronics website before the call.
Dubai, UAE:– oktopi Edutech Ltd, owner of the oktopi workspace solution for education, and ITWorx, a full-service global technology provider, have announced a new partnership to provide an innovative tutoring marketplace aimed at providing much-needed support for students in the UAE.The new premium private tutoring platform, “Nadwa”, based on the oktopi Marketplace-as-a-Service platform, is integrating more than 25,000 licensed UAE educators who will offer sessions and craft immersive learning experiences. With a clear goal, Nadwa will provide a consolidated platform to connect UAE students and parents with highly skilled licensed teachers to help them with their academic progression."Introducing Nadwa is a key milestone for our platform, which is recognised and used by top education providers," said Emilie Thomas, co-founder and co-CEO of oktopi. "With over 50,000 global tutors, our expansion into the UAE signals strategic growth, anticipating vast opportunities in the Gulf and MENA region.""Our collaboration with oktopi on Nadwa emphasizes our commitment to pushing the boundaries in education” said Ali Jaber AlYafei, CEO of United Technology Holding, parent company of ITWorx. “ITWorx believes in the variety of learning channels, therefore it's crucial to provide students with all the support they need to excel in their academic success. This alliance not only complements our existing offerings but opens doors for our regional network to a vast reservoir of international tutors."“Nadwa's platform aligns with our commitment to innovating the educational landscape," shared Fadi Abbas, cofounder and co-CEO at oktopi. “In partnership with ITWorx, our vision goes beyond mere expansion, it's about infusing a blend of global insights and expertise into the heart of our educational approach."Parents and students are encouraged to explore Nadwa’s potential, discovering and booking sessions with expert tutors for top-tier, tailored learning experiences. Through a variety of exclusive offers, it provides the opportunity to experience a tutor's capabilities before committing to longer engagements, ensuring students feel aligned with the individual approach of the tutor to further enrich their learning.In a testament to their commitment to advancing education, ITWorx and oktopi will spotlight Nadwa at the upcoming GESS Dubai education event, officially backed by the UAE Ministry of Education.
Doha, Qatar – beIN MEDIA GROUP (beIN), the leading sports and entertainment broadcaster, is offering subscribers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) a trio of fantastic early bird deals this November to allow them to catch all the action from January’s AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023TM and the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023TM, as well as June’s UEFA EURO 2024TM.Subscribers to any of beIN’s three new “UNLOCK the ULTIMATE PLAYS” promotions will get a 25 per cent discount on beIN’s ULTIMATE package, which provides access to 93 sports and entertainment channels, including beIN SPORTS 4 AFC, beIN SPORTS 5 AFC, beIN SPORTS 6 AFC, as well as beIN SPORTS MAX 1, beIN SPORTS MAX 2, beIN SPORTS MAX 3, and beIN SPORTS MAX 4 in Arabic, English. French coverage will also be able available for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023TM, and the UEFA EURO 2024TM.The “Dual Events Offer” is a four-month subscription that covers both the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 and TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023, which kick-off on 12 and 13 January respectively and each run for a month. Meanwhile beIN’s nine-month “Triple Events Offer” also includes EURO 2024, which runs from 14 June to 14 July. Lastly, the year-long “Advantage Offer” is for fans who want to follow all the action from the three international football competitions as well as next season’s top European leagues, which will restart in August.Early bird subscribers to any of the November packages will also be able to access the beIN 4K channel, plus use the beIN CONNECT App to watch their favourite beIN channels, including the beIN SPORTS MAX channels on-the-go. Additionally, subscribers will qualify for a US$20 credit each month to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters on beIN ON DEMAND and beIN BOX OFFICE.To unlock a world of sports and entertainment, visit bein.com/bein25 and use the promo code bein25. Terms and conditions apply.
Ilya Sutskever, the co-founder and chief scientist of OpenAI, envisions a future where humans could merge with machines, and where machines might attain human-like intelligence. These are some of the intriguing possibilities in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI).In an exclusive interview with MIT Technology Review, Ilya Sutskever shares his profound insights and perspectives on the AI, providing a rare glimpse into the mind of one of the leading figures in the field.Ilya Sutskever, renowned for his contributions to AI research, has been a key figure in the development of transformative AI technologies such as the GPT models and DALL-E. However, in this candid conversation, Sutskever reveals that his focus has now shifted towards ensuring the responsible development and control of AI, particularly superintelligent systems.Sutskever's new priority is addressing the hypothetical scenario of artificial superintelligence going rogue, a topic of paramount concern for the AI community and the world at large. He believes that discussions about the future of AI are vital, as they help raise awareness about the unprecedented power AI holds.Sutskever touches on various aspects of AI, including the intriguing notion that ChatGPT, OpenAI's chatbot, might exhibit signs of consciousness. He emphasizes the need for society to grasp the potential of AI and even speculates that some humans might choose to merge with machines in the future.OpenAI, under the leadership of CEO Sam Altman, has been at the forefront of the AI revolution, and its recent success with ChatGPT has drawn global attention. OpenAI's endeavors have captured the imagination of world leaders and ignited discussions about the trajectory of AI development.Despite the immense interest in OpenAI's work, Sutskever is known for his modest and contemplative nature. He leads a simple life and devotes his energies to understanding and shaping the future of AI, particularly with a focus on the monumental leap to artificial general intelligence (AGI) that he considers inevitable.Sutskever's journey in AI, from his early days with Geoffrey Hinton in Toronto to his time at Google and ultimately co-founding OpenAI, has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence. He played a pivotal role in the development of neural networks and deep learning, and his contributions to AI research have had a profound impact on the field.The interview delves into the unexpected success of ChatGPT, which not only exceeded internal expectations but also reshaped the AI landscape. ChatGPT provided people with an accessible interface to the power of AI, fundamentally changing the way society views AGI.He predicts Artificial General Intelligence or AGI as the iteration of AI “AGI is not meant to be a scientific term. It’s meant to be a useful threshold, a point of reference,” he says. “It is the idea. It’s the point at which AI is so smart that if a person can do some task, then AI can do it too. At that point you can say you have AGI.”As AI discussions have evolved over the past year, AGI has transitioned from being a distant concept to a subject of active discourse. Sutskever believes that ChatGPT played a pivotal role in shifting this perspective, enabling machine-learning researchers to dream bigger and pushing governments and the public to take AGI more seriously.Sutskever expresses his vision for AGI, describing it as a technology capable of achieving extraordinary feats, such as revolutionizing healthcare, addressing climate change, and solving global challenges. While AGI remains a controversial and speculative idea, Sutskever's unwavering commitment to its realization has been a driving force throughout his career.In a surprising revelation, Sutskever reflects on the potential consciousness of large neural networks, a topic that has sparked debates in the AI community. He likens these networks to Boltzmann brains, suggesting that there may be more to their operation than meets the eye.Sutskever's anticipation extends beyond AGI; he envisions a future where machines possess artificial superintelligence, surpassing human capabilities in various domains. He points to AlphaGo's game-changing move in the world of Go as an example of narrow superintelligence, highlighting the potential for AI to outperform human reasoning.With his focus now squarely on superalignment, Sutskever, along with Jan Leike and OpenAI, is committed to solving the challenges associated with ensuring that superintelligent AI systems align with human values and goals. OpenAI has dedicated significant resources to this endeavor, emphasizing the need to address both the opportunities and risks posed by advanced AI models.“One possibility—something that may be crazy by today’s standards but will not be so crazy by future standards—is that many people will choose to become part AI. At first, only the most daring, adventurous people will try to do it. Maybe others will follow. Or not,” says Sutskever.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates : Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today shared its sector survey report, “The State of Ransomware in Healthcare 2023,” which revealed that, among those organizations surveyed, cybercriminals successfully encrypted data in nearly 75% of ransomware attacks. This is the highest rate of encryption in the past three years and a significant increase from the 61% of healthcare organizations that reported having their data encrypted last year.In addition, only 24% of healthcare organizations were able to disrupt a ransomware attack before the attackers encrypted their data—down from 34% in 2022; this is the lowest rate of disruption reported by the sector over the past three years.“To me, the percentage of organizations that successfully stop an attack before encryption is a strong indicator of security maturity. For the healthcare sector, however, this number is quite low—only 24%. What’s more, this number is declining, which suggests the sector is actively losing ground against cyberattackers and is increasingly unable to detect and stop an attack in progress.“Part of the problem is that ransomware attacks continue to grow in sophistication, and the attackers are speeding up their attack timelines. In the latest Active Adversary Report for Tech Leaders, we found that the median time from the start of a ransomware attack to detection was only five days. We also found that 90% of ransomware attacks took place after regular business hours. The ransomware threat has simply become too complex for most companies to go at it alone. All organizations, especially those in healthcare, need to modernize their defensive approach to cybercrime, moving from being solely preventative to actively monitoring and investigating alerts 24/7 and securing outside help in the form of services like managed detection and response (MDR),” said Chester Wisniewski, director, field CTO, Sophos.Additional key findings from the report include:In 37% of ransomware attacks where data was successfully encrypted, data was also stolen, suggesting a rise in the “double dip” methodHealthcare organizations are now taking longer to recover, with 47% recovering in a week, compared to 54% last yearThe overall number of ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations surveyed declined from 66% in 2022 to 60% this yearCompromised credentials were the number one root cause of ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations, followed by exploitsThe number of healthcare organizations surveyed that paid ransom payments declined from 61% last year to 42% this year. This is lower than the cross-sector average of 46%“In 2016, the Red Cross Hospital of Córdoba in Spain suffered a ransomware attack that reached servers and encrypted hundreds of files, medical records and other important patient information. It was a major disruption to our operations and interfered with our ability to care for our patients. The stakes are high in ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations—and attackers know that—meaning we’ll always be a target. After this ransomware attack, we worked hard with Tekpyme to bolster our defenses, and now we have reduced our incident response time by 80%. I think the industry as a whole is making improvements, but there is still work to do, because of the constantly changing nature of cybercrime. Hopefully healthcare organizations can leverage the help that is available from security vendors such as Sophos to prevent a very real ‘threat to life’ if systems go offline due to a ransomware attack,” said José Antonio Alcaraz Pérez, head of information systems and communications at Cruz Red Andalusia in Spain.“Cyberspace today is ripe with technically sophisticated actors looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. What all this translates to is a multidimensional cyberthreat of actors who have the tools to paralyze entire hospitals. Partnering with the private sector is critical to our mission. The information [they] share has real-world impacts and can save real businesses and real lives,” said Christopher Wray, FBI Director.Sophos recommends the following best practices to help defend against ransomware and other cyberattacks:Strengthen defensive shields with:Security tools that defend against the most common attack vectors, including endpoint protection with strong anti-ransomware and anti-exploit capabilitiesZero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to thwart the abuse of compromised credentialsAdaptive technologies that respond automatically to attacks, disrupting adversaries and buying defenders time to respond24/7 threat detection, investigation and response, whether delivered in-house or by a specialized Managed Detection and Response (MDR) providerOptimize attack preparation, including regularly backing up, practicing recovering data from backups and maintaining an up-to-date incident response planMaintain security hygiene, including timely patching and regularly reviewing security tool configurationsTo learn more about the State of Ransomware in Healthcare 2023, download the full report from Sophos.com.The State of Ransomware 2023 survey polled 3,000 IT/cybersecurity leaders in organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees, including 233 from the healthcare sector, across 14 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
Dubai: Izmir Token, breathing fresh life into the fan token concept familiar to the crypto community and featuring its debut as the world’s first city token, has secured its initial round of funding from businessman Sedat Ocakc?. Sedat Ocakc?, Chairman of Izmir-based Ocakc? Holding, a trailblazer in the production and R&D of cutting-edge technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotics under the Metay?ld?z and TPR Bili?im brands, has invested 10 million TL into the Izmir Token initiative.Speaking about his investment, Sedat Ocakc? remarked, “The crypto arena has been a hotbed for innovation. It’s truly exhilarating to see the city token concept, a world-first, springing from Izmir, Türkiye’s crown jewel. Our large 10 million TL investment shows our enthusiasm and unwavering faith in the project’s potential.”Elaborating on his dual role as both entrepreneur and investor, the Turkish magnate added, “I’m confident that my investment in the Izmir Token will yield substantial returns. I foresee its valuation skyrocketing. Hence, I’m keen on continuing to invest and personally championing this project to the network of influential local and international investors I’m connected with.”The digital pulse of social life in IzmirCrafted by Batufi Soft on the ERC-20 blockchain network and spearheaded by Izmir’s own entrepreneur and digital communication expert, Bar?? Turgut, the Izmir Token is envisioned as the digital pulse of social life in Izmir, a bustling metropolis on Türkiye’s Aegean coast. Bar?? Turgut commented, “Izmir’s intrinsic beauty and its inherent embrace of innovation drove us to pioneer the world’s first city token right here. Through Izmir’s tokenization, our ambition is to seamlessly weave the city into the fabric of cutting-edge technologies like software, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.The backing of Sedat Ocakc?, Chairman of Ocakc? Holding – a vanguard in championing Türkiye’s technological prowess in areas like drones and augmented reality on the global stage – is both a testament to our vision and a source of motivation. We’re earmarking this initial investment to bolster our marketing and R&D efforts, ensuring the Izmir Token resonates widely and is embraced by the masses.”To go on sale on the 100th birthday of the Republic of TürkiyeHighlighting the noticeable gap in having fan tokens without a dedicated city cryptocurrency, Bar?? Turgut observed, “We pioneered the world’s first city token, seamlessly integrating the vast potential of the blockchain with urban life to take advantage of this gap in the market. Envisioned as the digital heartbeat of Izmir’s social scene, the Izmir Token stands to benefit both investors and the city itself.Set for a value-driven pre-sale on Türkiye’s cryptocurrency exchange, Bzetmex, on 29 October – a date that marks the centennial celebration of the Republic of Türkiye – it holds great promise. We’re actively engaging with investors based in Dubai, Germany, and Qatar for subsequent investment rounds, targeting a range of 1 to 5 million dollars. We anticipate the Izmir Token to swiftly gain traction, carving out its distinct value and making waves on the global cryptocurrency stage.”Five-year vision plan that will transform Izmir into a crypto cityAfter its pre-sale, the value of Izmir Token will be determined by investors, influenced by the balance of supply and demand in conjunction with the evolving dynamics of the cryptocurrency world. This digital currency promises to extend a slew of unique benefits to its holders, enriching their experiences within Izmir.Emphasizing the token’s role in fostering a deep sense of belonging among Izmir locals, expatriates, and aficionados of the city, Bar?? Turgut articulated: “Izmir Token is being crafted more as a utility token than a mere investment asset. Our ambitious five-year blueprint encompasses aspirations like catalysing citywide economic collaborations, invigorating Izmir’s social tapestry, bolstering support for the city’s student and alumni communities, and propelling Izmir to the pinnacle of global crypto metropolises. Having demonstrated the project’s effectiveness in Izmir, we’re positioned to replicate this success in iconic tourist hubs like Çe?me and Bodrum, and eventually in global powerhouses like Istanbul and Rome.”
Established in 2020, ISHRAQ Communications is a boutique communications agency based in Dubai specializing in PR service with a strong experience in creating a positive connection between the client and the public. With its aims to define the real concept of public relations by creating impactful campaigns that deliver guaranteed results, this agency has been making great strides in the PR industry.In an exclusive Interview with Adgully Middle East, Osama Tinbakji, Founder of ISHRAQ Communications, shares the importance of PR in today’s fast-paced business world. He also describes his successful journey from working at PR Houses to running a PR and communication agency. He also talks about his long clientele list and appreciation he has received so far. A few excerpts:Please share your professional journey with us.Throughout my professional journey, I have consistently immersed myself in the dynamic fields of Public Relations and marketing. From the onset of my career, I have been actively engaged in leveraging my expertise and skills to excel in these domains, as I had been handling the PR and marketing for a furnished serviced apartments’ hotel, shipping company, and curtains manufacturing company in Damascus-Syria before I decided to leave Syria and start my journey in UAE in 2009.My proficiency in developing comprehensive Public Relations strategies and delivering captivating content for PR and marketing initiatives has facilitated my work with IHG, a renowned chain of luxury 5-star hotels. During my work with IHG I was keen to secure the utmost exposure to the hotels and the golf club through very successful campaigns and building the best relations with all types of media in GCC and the MENA region. Afterwards I worked with three public relations agencies, where I gained extensive experience in PR and communications covering all of the sectors including government, corporate, advanced technologies, IT, tourism and hospitality, and diplomatic accounts in Abudhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah.Then I found myself capable of starting my own business and launched Ishraq Communications LLC as a boutique communications consultancy in Dubai specializing in PR and social media services aiming to create a positive connection between the client and the public, as I believe in the importance of consistent communications approach for all entities and sectors in order to maintain reliable public relations with the communities based on a clear, creative, and effective strategic plans.What inspired you to start ISHRAQ Communications? What does it mean in Arabic?ISHRAQ in Arabic means the sunrise or the emergence of brilliant ideas. As Yakov Zel’dovich said: “Without publicity there is no prosperity”, and as Bill Gates said: “If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!”The importance of public relations lies in doing multiple tasks of building and maintaining reputation, effective communication, relationship building, crisis management, media relations, influencer engagement, managing public perception, supporting marketing efforts, stakeholder engagement, and enhancing organisational growth.Based on my passion for PR and communications and my belief in this field I decided to launch my own consultancy benefiting from my solid experience and taking inspiration from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who says: “We all take risks in life, but the greatest danger is not to take risks at all”, “When you do what you like, you won’t feel like you are doing work.”How is the organisation faring in the Middle East? What sets ISHRAQ apart from its competitors?With the grace of the Almighty, everything has been going well at ISHRAQ Communications since I launched the consultancy. We have a strong presence in GCC and the Middle East; we have been taking clients on retainer and projects basis to provide the PR and social media services mostly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Our tailored and holistic approach to PR ensures that our clients are involved at every step of the way. Through our expertise and in-depth knowledge of the domestic and regional PR, we offer our clients top-quality, innovative and integrated communications solutions.We believe that PR is the art of shaping business prospects into stories that journalists demand. At Ishraq Communications we make effective use of both traditional media platforms and the digital channels to build strategic relationships with the key media on behalf of the clients to set up interviews, distribute press releases, opinion pieces and editorials and to organise press events. I am proud of our team who can produce high-quality Arabic and English content for all PR tools and social media materials. We are the journalists’ favorite agency when it comes to professional Arabic and English content writing for their articles and stories. We strive to build the best relations with all media channels and platforms in the region so they reach to us for our clients input to add in their articles and they welcome us when we contact them to pitch for new releases.We work in vast array of sectors with focus on government sectors, tourism boards, hospitality companies, IT and technology, real estate, retails, architecture and development management services companies, art galleries, events and exhibitions, and media research groups.What can you say about your major clients? What strategies have you adopted in the last couple of years?We are proud to work with reputed companies in the region; MDMS in Saudi Arabia has chosen us as their preferred PR agency, and SRMG has appointed us to handle their media relations in the region. We are also proud of our strong relation with Brill Collective as we have achieved successful PR projects together. We also handle PR projects for the largest hotels and resorts chain companies in the world, and we also manage the PR and social media mandate for largest events and art galleries in the UAE.Our primary work strategy is centered on delivering exceptional service to all our clients, irrespective of the budget they allocate. Unlike prevalent practices in the market, we do not prioritize accumulating a large client base only to neglect their needs and compromise on service quality. Our commitment lies in providing consistent, high-quality service to each and every client we serve.Share some unforgettable professional experience that brought you lot of gratification.Throughout my professional career, I have consistently striven to deliver exceptional results to the client. While the breadth of my accomplishments would require numerous pages to fully articulate, I can highlight a few notable achievements.One such achievement was the recognition I received from His Excellency, the former Irish ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Aidan Cronin. He praised the efforts I put in to ensure that the Irish pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai received the highest level of exposure and effectively showcased its activities. This recognition is a testament to my dedication and expertise in delivering outstanding outcomes.I am also immensely proud of the media coverage and strategic opportunities, I secured for esteemed organisations such as IHG, Aldar Retails, Tourism Ireland, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Soneva Resorts, Ascott Hotels. By leveraging my skills and industry knowledge, I effectively positioned these companies to maximize their visibility and capitalize on promising prospects.Furthermore, I am honoured to acknowledge the recent recognition bestowed upon Ishraq Communications by SRMG, the largest integrated media group in the MENA region. This recognition was in appreciation of the exceptional exposure we achieved for their newly launched channels and media platforms.These accomplishments are just a glimpse into the extensive track record of success I have cultivated throughout my career.Any advice to young PR personnel with the zest to make it big!My advice for young PR professionals is to approach the market with a professional attitude. It is crucial to establish strong relationships with the media based on honesty and respect. To gain experience, I recommend working with clients from various sectors. This will provide exposure to a wide range of campaigns and projects, allowing them to build a diverse portfolio of experience and strategic plans. Additionally, it is important for PR personnel to practice writing about different fields. This will enhance their content-creation abilities, which play a vital role in public relations and communications.Effective communication is essential, whether it is with colleagues or clients. Without proper internal communication, it is impossible to deliver the best communication services. Furthermore, I advise adhering to the highest work ethics and avoiding toxic work environments characterized by cliques, gossip, and harmful conspiracies.
Rob Pierre, the founder of Jellyfish, has stepped down from his role as Jellyfish's non-executive Chair. He made this decision several months after completing the sale of the digital marketing agency to the Brandtech Group.Pierre co-founded Jellyfish in 2005 and expanded the business to employ more than 2,000 individuals in 38 countries, servicing clients such as Google and Netflix. In 2019, Pierre sold the business to the French group Fimalac, and in June 2023, it was acquired by the Brandtech Group. Nick Emery was appointed as Jellyfish CEO at the time of the acquisition.Upon stepping down, Pierre expressed, "A wonderful extended summer break gave me precious time with my family and also the breathing space to reflect. I co-founded Jellyfish 18 years ago, and I'm immensely proud of everything we've achieved in that time. Now that the business has come of age, I believe it's the right time for me to step away and focus on other ambitions, including projects that have the potential for wider societal impact. This is obviously hard when you think of a company as 'your baby,' but with Brandtech's track record and historic success, I'm excited to watch Jellyfish develop and grow as part of the world's number-one digital marketing group."A spokesperson for Brandtech confirmed that Pierre remains a shareholder in the group.Pierre was recognized for his achievements at Jellyfish, including a global training initiative for people on furlough during the pandemic, the agency's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and its strong business results, by being voted Media Week's Media Leader of the Year in 2021.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the ultra-low-fare national airline of the UAE and the second largest airline in Abu Dhabi by seat capacity, has today operated its first flight from the new Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal A. The airline is one of the first national carriers to fully move operations to the new world class facility. The new terminal will support the national carrier’s growth plans in ramping up operations and offering a seamless journey to meet its ambitious growth plans and high demand.Terminal A will offer a seamless passenger journey, fostering connectivity and facilitating business, trade and tourism. This will be a major step-forward in enhancing the local aviation ecosystem and will enable it to grow its regional and global visitors to explore the incredible art, culture, tradition and hospitality across the emirate.Wizz Air Abu Dhabi celebrated the move to the new terminal with the inauguration of its first flight from Abu Dhabi to Sphinx International Airport in Cairo. The new route provides affordable, hassle-free, point-to-point travel for tourists and residents in the UAE, Egypt and across the region. The flights from Cairo and Abu Dhabi will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Tickets already on sale at wizzair.com and the WIZZ mobile app with fares starting from 199 AED.*Johan Eidhagen, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said: “We are delighted to be one of the first airlines to commence operations from the new-state-of-the-art Terminal A. The move to the new terminal and launching our new route to Sphinx, Cairo is a milestone moment in our phenomenal recent growth as it strengthens our position in playing a key role in the growth of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi and accelerating the emirate’s position as a global gateway and aviation hub. We will continue building on our ambitious expansion plans and expand our network with a plethora of incredible destinations. Together, we will ensure greater connectivity from Abu Dhabi to the world.”Elena Sorlini, Managing Director & Interim CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is an integral part of our family of national carriers, that continues its exponential growth in passenger uptake as they rapidly expand with more aircraft coming online. With the launch of operations from Terminal A, we are providing the aviation infrastructure for our national carriers to flourish and achieve their growth requirements as well as Abu Dhabi’s strategic visitation plans.” Wizz Air currently flies to a total of more than 39 destinations in 27 different countries from Abu Dhabi and is ready to accelerate and expand operations further in 2024, providing cost-effective, unique experiences for travel lovers looking to explore. The new Terminal will strengthen Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a destination of choice and a global hub for trade and business, transforming the local aviation ecosystem.Passengers can book tickets with confidence, thanks to WIZZ Flex. With WIZZ Flex, passengers can cancel their flight up to three hours before departure without any fee and receive 100% of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit.Strategically located in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi provides cost-effective and efficient travel options to Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan), Ankara (Turkey), Aqaba (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Belgrade (Serbia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Cairo (Egypt) and Dammam (Saudi Arabia). As well as routes to Erbil (Iraq) Kuwait City (Kuwait), Kutaisi (Georgia), Larnaca (Cyprus), Manama (Bahrain), Male (Maldives), Madinah (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), Salalah (Oman), Santorini (Greece), Samarkand (Uzbekistan), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sohag (Egypt), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Tirana (Albania) and Yerevan (Armenia) among others.
More than 5,000 businessmen and women from the Middle East, including 1,000 from the UAE, are set to head to Frankfurt for Ambiente – the world’s largest product sourcing event for the hospitality and retail sectors – amid continued growth in the region’s tourism sector.Ambiente, taking place 26-30 January 2024, is anticipated to welcome 60 per cent more regional visitors than pre-pandemic, underscoring the Middle East’s sustained demand for products, design and fit out for hotels, restaurants, resorts, shops and workspaces.The UAE is Ambiente’s biggest Middle East source market, followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait. The event will host 170 participating nations, more 4,500 exhibitors and over 150,000 visitors – including investors, designers, procurement specialists and entrepreneurs – in total.Exhibitors from the region include RAK Ceramics, the world’s largest ceramics brand; interiors and dining experience creators BelVida Home; and tabletop glassware manufacturer EMID IGT LLC.Speaking in Dubai, Philipp Ferger, Vice President Consumer Goods Fair Messe Frankfurt Exhibition, said: “Ambiente proudly operates as the world’s biggest event of its kind, with the 2024 edition set to surpass all previous editions in terms of visitors, floor space, products and features. The Middle East’s expanding presence at Ambiente underscores the region’s growing demand for the very latest in design, innovation and products for existing and upcoming projects, as well as an increasing appetite to join world-leading suppliers and industry peers for discussion, networking and idea-sharing.”Julia Uherek, Vice President Consumer Goods Fair Messe Frankfurt Exhibition, added:“As Ambiente gears up to shape the future of the HORECA sector, we look forward to welcoming our Middle East visitors for five days of dealmaking, debate and learning.Ambiente will feature a special focus on ESG, with an entire section dedicated to sustainable sourcing, eco-friendly design, recycling initiatives and the latest green trends through Ambiente’s Ethical Style programme, where participants can showcase sustainable products, materials and ideas.The show also boasts an impressive speaker line up, five academies and some of the world’s most famous designers, including Elena Salmistraro, the Ambiente Designer 2024.Ambiente is operated by Messe Frankfurt, which is headquartered in Germany. Its Dubai-based Middle East business operates a growing number of high-profile trade fairs in the region, including Beautyworld, Paperworld, Automechanika and Intersec.
The penultimate round of the inaugural Mashreq Padel Tour produced two days of pulse-raising padel action in Sharjah in what turned out to be a successful celebration of the world’s fastest-growing sport. Organised by the UAE Padel Association (UAEPA), the governing body for the sport in the country, the amateur event garnered unprecedented participation, further showcasing padel’s burgeoning popularity within the Emirates.The tournament was held at the World Padel Academy (WPA) in Sharjah from October 27 to 29, featuring intense competitions across two categories: UAEPA 100 – Open and UAEPA U16 – Boys. The UAEPA-100 Open event concluded with a thrilling final matchup, where Claudio bru casaseca and Javi Puerto emerged as champions, securing a commanding 2-1 victory over Sebastiao Mendonca and Ali Dawani. The winning duo walked away with a prize purse of Dh12,000, while second-place received Dh6,000.The UAEPA’s General Secretary Saeed Almarri, expressed his delight as the event successfully concluded. “The overwhelming participation and remarkable display of skill at the Mashreq Padel Tour have once again underscored the growing passion for padel in the UAE,” he said. “This event is a testament to the dedication of our players and the unwavering support from the wider padel community, not just here in Sharjah but across the Emirates.”Meanwhile, in the UAEPA U16 category, juniors showed a great performance until the final where Maktoom Alketbi and Hamad Alkokhardi claimed the win against Yousef Alhammadi and Abdulla AlAqili with 2-0 score.Saeed Almarri continued: “The success of the country’s first dedicated community tournament series for amateurs marks a significant milestone in the journey of padel in the UAE. In June 2019, the UAE Sports Ministry officially recognised padel as a sport with full government support, and Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum was entrusted with the role of being the first President of the UAE Padel Association. The official recognition and support have played a pivotal role in the growth and development of padel in the country, and events like the Mashreq Padel Tour are a testament to the sport’s rising prominence and the fact that noble efforts of the UAEPA are bearing the desired results.”The Mashreq Padel Tour will now move to the final leg of the season, scheduled to be held at Dubai’s NAS Sports Complex from December 8 to 10. The championship will feature three categories: UAEPA 10, UAEPA 100 Open, and Under 16 Boys. To find out more about the Mashreq Padel Tour 2023 or to enter a tournament, visit: www.uaepa.ae.
Telecom providers lead the 2023 ranking of the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Emirati & Saudi Brands. Saudi brand STC holds on to its number one position overall for the third year with a brand value of $13.7 billion. Etisalat by e& is the most valuable Emirati brand, worth $9.5 billion. Both brands have been laser-focused on their journeys towards becoming diverse technology platforms, with a strong purpose to improve society through their actions.Collectively, the top 30 Kantar BrandZ Emirati and Saudi brands are worth more than$94.2 billion, equivalent to 5.8% of the two countries’ combined GDPs. They have retained more of their value over the last year than their peers, in the face of the worldwide economic slowdown, with a decrease of 11% compared with 2022. This is a smaller drop than the top 30 brands in China, Italy and the UK.Stability is also in evidence, with 29 of last year’s 30 ranked Saudi and Emirati brands returning once again in 2023. The sole newcomer is retailer Nahdi, a leading pharmacy retailer which made a big entrance at No.7 in the Saudi ranking with a brand value of $2 billion. With a mission to transform access to healthcare services, Nahdi offers an innovative omnihealth experience. Over the last year it has opened more large-format ‘pharmacies of the future’, while expanding its private label, e-pharmacist, and home delivery services.Two categories predominate in the rankings: Financial Services and Telecom Providers, which together are responsible for nearly three quarters of the total brand value. The Financial Services category has the highest representation, with 13 brands, and is the most valuable category, contributing 44% of the overall value. Five categories have grown, four in double digits: Food and Beverages (7%), Energy (14%), Real Estate (16%), Retail (30%) and Travel Services (69%).All three real estate players have grown: Dar Al Arkan (+34%), Emaar Properties (+16%), and Aldar (+5%). These brands have looked beyond realising short-term gains tied to higher property prices, with the goal to build long-term brand equity by transforming how, and where, people live. Emaar Properties is known for its high quality and innovative developments, from 2010’s Burj Khalifa tower, to its forthcoming Ramhan Island eco-development.Most Valuable Emirati BrandsEtisalat by e& has been at the forefront of bringing 5G technology to the market. The brand pushes the boundaries of innovation, for example by using AI to improve network management and customer service. Its new brand identity highlights its expansion into a wider range of services – including iZone, a system of Wi-Fi hotspots in locations such as shopping malls, restaurants, and sheesha cafes.The top riser is airline Emirates (No.3; $5.4bn), with a year-on-year brand value increase of 69%. Consumers view Emirates as the most differentiated brand in the Emirati Top 10 ranking. It remains a symbol of status and aspiration, setting new standards not only for luxury, but also sustainability.Most Valuable Saudi BrandsNumber one brand, STC, has launched products and services across multiple digital platforms to meet people’s evolving needs, including personal payment solutions and entertainment. This has helped it to build an emotional affinity with consumers, beyond meeting their functional expectations. The brand’s multi-dimensional sustainability activities include investing in education and health, expanding telecom access to remote areas, and facilitating instant payments.Two Saudi brands have grown their value by 34%. Real estate brand Dar Al Arkan (No.17; $573m) is known for being an innovation hub. Recently, it constructed the world’s tallest 3D-printed building in Riyadh. Saudia Dairy (No.20; $547m) has rebranded to reflect Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy. Its innovative marketing campaign, My Saudia Kitchen, aims to enhance the daily cooking experience with easy to implement creative concepts, expert tips, and professional guidance.Amol Ghate, Kantar’s Managing Director, MENAP Insights Division, says: “Saudi and UAE are the biggest economies in the Middle East, and the mood is optimistic for future growth. As the markets continue to implement large-scale economic development plans, huge opportunities abound for brands: in fact, brand building is a key pillar of both countries’ strategies. Brands must devote significant effort to understanding how Saudi and Emirati consumers’ mindsets and spending habits are evolving, as many of the parameters of their lives change.”Other key highlights from the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Emirati & Saudi Brands report include:The Top 30’s three-year growth is more than twice that of the Global Top 30. Between 2020 and 2023 the brands in the combined rankings have grown their total value by 87%, compared with 40% for the Global Top 30.Three quarters of the Emirati and Saudi Top 30 score high on Pricing Power. The strongest brands have the ability to justify charging a premium by being seen as ‘worth it’; being Meaningful and Different are by far the most important drivers of a consumer’s willingness to pay more for a brand.Sustainability contributes 8% of the overall brand equity for the Emirati and Saudi Top 30. However, seven of the most valuable Emirati and Saudi brands lack strong sustainability credentials, showing that there are opportunities for those that invest in making improvements in this area.The Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Emirati and Saudi Brands ranking, report and extensive analysis are available now at www.kantar.com/campaigns/brandz/uae-ksa For an overarching view of brand performance, Kantar has launched a new, free interactive tool powered by BrandZ’s wealth of data and Meaningful Different Salient framework.?Kantar BrandSnapshot delivers?intelligence on 10,000 brands in 40+ markets, offering a quick read on a brand’s performance in a category. Explore for free on Kantar Marketplace today.
After three days of voting by visitors at the 27th edition of Beautyworld Middle East – the region’s largest international trade fair for beauty, hair, fragrance and wellbeing, Jean-François Thizon, Perfumer at Parfex has been revealed as the award winning ‘Signature Scent’ that best captures the essence of the show for his creation Golden Light.As one of the most influential and visited trade shows in the world, the growth in the fragrance sector globally is recognised with unique exhibition features at Beautyworld Middle East 2023, which showcases the newest innovations and developments available alongside the recognition of sector experts.Signature Scent saw 15 of the top international fragrance houses create their own interpretation of a signature scent for the international trade show. Visitors were able to test the competing blends in a blind sampling using the latest technology from AirParfum.Beating off stiff competition from participating international houses CFF, Cosmo International Fragrances, CPL Aromas, Iberchem, EMSA, Eurofragrance, Luzi, Parfessence, Keva, IPRA, SFA Neroli, Parfex, Ravetllatt Aromatics, Golden Light by Jean-François Thizon, Perfumer at Parfex claimed the coveted award due to its remarkable ability to capture the very essence of the event, boasting captivating notes including top notes of mandarin and lily of the valley, middle ingredients including patchouli and musk plus bottom notes such as sandalwood and vanilla. Thizon was presented with his award by Benoit Vittet, Head of Perfumery at Jean Niel Sas, the winner of the 2022 edition of the competition.Thizon said, “I am so proud to be honoured with the award of ‘Signature Scent’ for Beautyworld Middle East. This is my first perfumery award and I am very grateful for the recognition”. On his signature scent creation, he continued: “When I think of Dubai I think of Golden Light, and this is the definition of this fragrance. It illustrates what ‘ Golden Light’ is to me in the Middle East, and that is the mixture of musk, amber and white flowers. I created a personal and intimate balance of the three of those scents, adding vanilla to make a delicious, long lasting fragrance”Flyn Roberts, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organisers of Beautyworld Middle East 2023 said: “Fragrance is enjoying a current boom period globally as consumers rediscover niche scents and premium fragrance choices. International fragrance houses are at the heart of innovation and leading trends. Signature Scent puts their skills to the ultimate test – with the noses of the industry and the wider Beautyworld audience voting for their winner. Our fragrance categories are the fastest growing sectors at Beautyworld Middle East, and I am sure that this will continue into next year's edition with the help of such talented perfumers”With the MENA fragrance market growing at a CAGR of 11% during the forecast period (2023-2027) from McKinsey & Co recent analysis, and the UAE and KSA leading the market share followed by Qatar and Oman, global demand is also showing no slowdown this year. On the back of double-digit sales internationally, the global fragrance market value forecast is set to reach $100 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 7% according to the report.The fragrance sector of Beautyworld Middle East has been 25% larger than the 2022 edition, with Finished Fragrance sector exhibitors including UAE based brands such as Nabeel Perfumes, Swiss Arabian Perfumes, Rasasi, Armaf, My Perfumes, Afnan Perfumes, Ajmal Perfumes, and Al Haramain Perfumes. International brands represented include Desire Fragrances from Italy, Surrati Perfumes from Saudi Arabia and Atyab Al Marshoud from Kuwait.Europe was well represented in the Fragrance Compounds category with participation from Symrise (Germany), CPL Aromas (UK), Mane (France), Moellhausen (Italy), Iberchem (Spain), Seluz (Turkey), Firmenich and Givaudan, (Switzerland) among many others.Beautyworld Middle East 2023 also featured Quintessence – the art of perfume, an exclusive platform devoted to niche fragrance, with the 2023 edition the largest yet. Some of the world’s most unique brands and creators have showcased their creations in this bespoke and luxurious environment.
Agthia Group PJSC, one of the region’s leading food and beverage companies, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft UAE, offering scope to revolutionise everything from customer service to production, procurement, and employee engagement, and marking a significant milestone in Agthia's journey to become a regional digital leader in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry. The MoU focusses on:Revolutionizing Customer Experience with AI: One of the key initiatives under the MOU is the early adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the UAE, the implementation of which into Agthia’s Water Home Delivery Contact Center is already improving our services to and interactions with customers.Establishing Smart Retail Stores: Agthia will also aim to leverage MS Dynamics Retail and POS solutions to establish smart and best-in-class digital stores, starting with our healthy snacks and coffee brand Abu Auf prior to scaling across the group.Enhancing Employee Engagement and Learning: Agthia has commenced the deployment of Microsoft Viva to improve employee experience, engagement, and continuous learning, helping to further strengthen the Group’s reputation as an innovative and engaging workplace.Alan Smith, Group Chief Executive Officer of Agthia commented, "Our work with Microsoft will play a pivotal role in Agthia’s ongoing digital transformation, utilizing new tools to navigate the digital landscape and identify opportunities for market expansion, operational excellence and commercial success, while accelerating innovation and responsible, sustainable business practices throughout the FMCG value chain”.Vanderlei Santos, Chief Digital Officer of Agthia added, "We are delighted to embark on this transformative journey with Microsoft that enables us to offer our customers a truly personalized experience, and we look forward to providing unparalleled value to our customers and employees, leveraging Microsoft’s experience and comprehensive suite of technologies. Consistent with our five-year growth strategy, this underlines our commitment to becoming a consumer data-driven organization through accelerating our digital agenda.”
Americana Restaurants International PLC (“Americana Restaurants” or the “Company”) (ADX symbol: AMR/ ISIN: AEE01135A222) (Saudi Stock Exchange symbol: 6015), the largest out-of-home dining and quick service restaurant operator in the Middle East & North Africa (“MENA”) and Kazakhstan, today announced its financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2023.Year-on-Year PerformanceAmericana Restaurants’ reported revenues of $1,897.0 million and adjusted EBITDA of $446.5 million for first nine months of 2023, thus delivering 7.1% and 10.4% growth respectively vs. the same period in 2022. Revenue growth was supported by continuing like-for-like revenue growth and growing restaurants portfolio across countries of operation in the Middle East, North Africa and Kazakhstan.The Company reported 6.0% increase in like-for-like revenues for the nine months ended 30 September 2023 in comparison to 2022. This increase in revenues was driven by a robust performance of the Company’s three power brands - KFC, Pizza Hut, and Hardee’s.The adjusted EBITDA margins improved by 0.7% to $446.5 million in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the corresponding period in 2022, supported by decreasing commodity inflation and continued focus on operational efficiencies.Americana Restaurants’ nine months 2023 net profit (attributable to shareholders of the Parent Company) increased by 15.8% to reach $226.7 million. Net Profit growth has been driven by business growth and improved operational efficiency as well as the impact of one-off tax claim charges in Egypt of $24.9 million during the same period in 2022. Growth in net income despite higher depreciation charges related to accelerated new store openings of $6.5 million compared to same period last year and negative impact of hyperinflationary accounting for the Lebanon business and currency devaluation in Egypt of around $10.0 million compared to same period last year.In Q3 2023, the Company reported $655.5 million in revenues with a solid growth of 5.9% vs same period last year.Net profit (attributable to shareholders of the Parent Company) for the quarter increased to $81.9 million, a growth of 9.9% over same period last year. This growth is on account of revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies, with the support of normalizing commodity inflation. Net Profit increased by 21.5%, after adjusting for the negative impact of hyperinflationary accounting for the Lebanon business and currency devaluation in Egypt of around $8.7 million during Q3 2023 compared to Q3 2022 last year.The Company continued its restaurant expansion plans during the first nine months and added 184 gross new restaurants. Americana Restaurants’ portfolio stood at 2,338 restaurants as of 30 September 2023, with 92 new restaurants under construction and in line with the full year guidance of opening 250-260 net new restaurants for 2023.Balance Sheet & CashflowThe Company has continued to maintain a healthy balance sheet and a strong overall financial position. With adjusted free cash flow of $195.0 million for the period ended 30 September 2023, and a cash conversion ratio of 66.3%, the Company is well positioned to cover capex requirements as well as to support its dividend policy.Management OutlookThe Company expects to continue its expansion plan and add 250-260 net new restaurants during 2023, across its markets of operations with particular focus on Saudi Arabia. The Company also looks to expand profit margins on account of improved operational efficiencies and normalizing commodity prices. While recent geopolitical developments may have some impact on short term performance, the Company remains positive about the general business environment and its outlook for long term performance.
Sterling Perfumes Industries and Lush Handmade Cosmetics were the standout winners at the 2023 edition of the Beautyworld Middle East Awards. The awards capped the second day of the region's largest international trade fair for beauty, hair, fragrance and wellbeing - Beautyworld Middle East, held from October 30th - November 1st at Dubai World Trade Centre.The Beautyworld Middle East Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the beauty industry, from exceptional products, people and innovations to sustainability, marketing, and more.With a record 540 entries, shortlisted down to finalists in 16 categories including Hair Product of the Year, Conscious Brand of the Year, and Niche Fragrance of the Year, an expert panel of judges assessed entries to award the star-studded winners at the gala celebration held at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai on October 31st and hosted by UAE TV personality, Katie Overy.Local brilliance shone brightly as The Homegrown Brand of the Year was awarded to Magically Holistic, seeing off other brands that embody the essence of regional entrepreneurship and innovation.The much-contested Influencer of the Year category saw Erim Kaur walk away with the prize, recognising the power of influencers and user generated content and reviews as critical to a beauty brand's success.Fragrance categories dominated the evening, as a reflection of the region's market growth and enthusiasm. In the Perfumer of the Year category, Dominique Moellhausen of Italian fragrance house Moellhausen was awarded as her olfactory artistry left an indelible mark on the judging panel. Song of Oud by Ajmal Perfumes was awarded Popular Fragrance of the Year, with KAYALI Yum Pistachio Gelato | 33 by Huda Beauty awarded the Media Campaign of the Year accolade on the night. Niche Fragrance of the Year was won by Maison Rebatchi for Myrrhe & Musc.Other notable award winners from the fragrance industry included Sterling Perfumes Industries who took away two awards on the evening - winning Luxury Packaging of the Year for their OROS The Inventor product and their own outlet Perfume Palace being named Independent Retailer of the Year. ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award’ crowned a successful evening for the UAE based fragrance business whose Founder and Chairman Ali Fakhruddin was recognised for his 40 year commitment and success within the industryIn synergy with the Clean + Conscious segment at Beautyworld Middle East, the Conscious Brand of the Year category was awarded to industry pioneers Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, who proudly showcased their credentials, and also won the award for Popular Retailer of the YearFlyn Roberts, Portfolio Director at event organisers Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “It’s so important to acknowledge the achievements and innovations within the booming Middle Eastern beauty industry. The Beautyworld Middle East Awards are a way to showcase the work being done by established brands but also recognise the emerging players and entrepreneurs.”Celebrating innovation and fresh faces, the Newcomer Brand of the Year was awarded to Australian indie beauty brand Aceology, whilst The Innovative Packaging of the Year award was won by DAPY Paris for their Shangri La Advent Calendar. Technology Innovation of the Year was won by HaloGlam for their professional must-have HaloGlam Lamp.2023’s Hair Product of the Year award went to Brazilian Secrets Hair for their Hair Toxx Kryotherapy and the ultimate Beauty Product of the Year award recognised Mine Ellipse from Mine in Beauty.The full list of winners can be seen on the Beautyworld Middle East website. The 27th edition of Beautyworld Middle East runs until November 1st at Dubai World Trade Centre and has welcomed over 1,750 exhibitors from around 57 countries, across various sectors including Supply Chain & Services, Fragrance, Cosmetics & Skincare, Beauty Tech, Personal Care & Hygiene, Hair, Nails and Salon Supplies and Clean + Conscious. For more information, please visit the Beautyworld Middle East website - https://beautyworld-middle-east.ae.messefrankfurt.com/dubai/en.html
The 6th Edition of META Cinema Forum, the largest and most influential cinema convention in emerging markets, is back for its highly anticipated 6th edition on November 7-8, 2023, at the prestigious Grand Hyatt in Dubai.Over the years, the META Cinema Forum has evolved into a pivotal gathering for cinema industry leaders, expanding its reach to encompass more regions, projects, and partnerships. It stands as the premier platform for the exchange of ideas, strategies, and innovations that are shaping the cinema sector in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the CIS region.The Forum will have a convention and tradeshow, conference sessions, product presentations, special screenings and premieres, workshops, masterclasses, Black Tie Awards Ceremony, networking reception, meetings areas, content and cinema construction breakout sessions.Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, Great Mind Events Management said, "As we celebrate the 6th edition of the META Cinema Forum, I am proud it has evolved into something truly remarkable. This year’s META Cinema Forum reiterates Dubai’s position as a global entertainment hub as the forum started as a regional gathering and evolved into becoming the heartbeat of the global cinema sector. We are thrilled to welcome a diverse array of cinema stakeholders from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the CIS region, along with studios and solution providers from around the world.”“The META Cinema Forum is not just a convention; it's a dynamic platform where connections are forged, ideas are sparked, and the future of cinema unfolds. It's a testament to the growing importance of emerging markets in the cinematic landscape. We look forward to another exciting edition and to seeing you there, “she added.The theme for the 2023 edition is "Growing the region’s cinema Share," reflecting a commitment to foster growth and innovation in the industry and offer industry insights and growth strategies. Discussions, presentations and workshops will revolve around the industry’s challenges, solutions and the current market situation.Sanjay Patney, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, said, “As a long-standing supporter of the regional cinema industry, VOX Cinemas is proud to sponsor the META Cinema Forum once again. Events such as this provide a dynamic platform for industry stakeholders to come together, be inspired and exchange ideas, which is essential for the continued growth and innovation of the cinema industry.”Topics covered include Regional Content Production and International Collaboration, Cinemas of the Future and an in-depth look at emerging cinema trends and technologies with key cinema statistics and case studies on Rewarding Patrons and Effective Pricing Strategies.On day two, there will be a panel discussion on successful movie marketing for the region and a panel discussion on ‘Elevating the Experiential Elements of Cinemas’. Leaders in cinema design, technology, and hospitality will discuss strategies for enhancing the cinema-going experience.The META Cinema Awards and Gala Reception will be a night of celebration recognizing outstanding achievements in the cinema industry. Organised by GM Events, the META Cinema Forum guarantees a two-day immersion in priceless knowledge, networking prospects, and a sneak peek into the future of cinema.Organised by Great Minds Event Management, the forum is poised to establish Dubai as a thriving hub for filmmakers and creatives to convene, exchange insights, and showcase their own and fellow artists' works.
TBWA\RAAD is pleased to announce the appointment of Frederico Roberto and Santiago Cuesta as Executive Creative Directors. With their wealth of experience, they will play a pivotal role in shaping the agency's vision of creating holistic brand experiences that drive progress through Disruption®.Walid Kanaan, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\RAAD, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "I am thrilled to welcome Frederico and Santiago to our team. Their diverse and extensive expertise perfectly aligns with our dedication to delivering groundbreaking work that propels brands forward. I am confident they will be instrumental in generating disruptive and transformative ideas."In his new role, Frederico Roberto will lead the creative direction for several brands, with a primary focus on inspiring and maximizing the potential of the creative team.Commenting on his appointment, Frederico said: "TBWA has a remarkable track record of producing exceptional creative work for esteemed brands. In the Middle East, TBWA\RAAD stands at the forefront of this mindset, poised for tremendous success with its impressive roster of international, diverse talent. I aim to follow in those footsteps and make an impact with the work we'll produce for our partners, creating work that sparks societal-level transformation. Championing ideas that can revolutionize how businesses present themselves, how people live, and how the industry can embrace a positive, can-do attitude, is truly my passion."With a degree in Advertising and Communications, Frederico embarked on his career as a copywriter. Over his 24-year journey in advertising, he has served as a juror in numerous global festivals and earned several international accolades that includes the New York Festivals, Cannes Lions, the UK Campaign Big Awards, DADI Awards, BIMAs and Lovies as well as the WINA and El Ojo Ibero American, amongst others. His regional and global projects have always been guided by a shared goal: delivering work that sparks meaningful conversations. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Frederico's interests span music, gaming, cinema, literature, science, and medicine.As for Santiago Cuesta, his role involves instilling courage and determination in the creative teams he oversees, emphasizing the belief that anything is possible, ultimately enhancing the collective's global creative reputation.Reflecting on his new position, Santiago stated: “I've closely followed TBWA\RAAD since 2016. The agency has the potential not only to become the best in the region, but also one of the best in the world. My ambitions within the agency are threefold: create exceptional work, enjoy the process, and empower others to shine.”In addition to his role as an instructor at "Miami Ad School" for the past two years, Santiago has delivered talks at various academic institutions and industry conferences. With 15 years of experience in creative leadership roles, he has worked with distinguished agencies such as Alma Miami, DDB Chicago, and VMLY&R Kansas City. Furthermore, he has led talented teams across different countries and markets, managing regional and global responsibilities for the most prominent brands. His work has garnered recognition in international festivals such as Cannes Lions, Clio, The One Show, ADC, ANDY, Webby, LIA, NY Festivals, and Effie. Earlier this year, he earned the top spot as the number one Executive Creative Director globally in the Gaming Category at ADC. Beyond his professional achievements, Santiago is a former vocalist and guitarist of the dance-punk band Nicer Dicers an experience that allowed him to share the stage with well-known artists like "30 Seconds to Mars".
Proofpoint Inc., a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tessian, a leader in the use of advanced AI to automatically detect and guard against both accidental data loss and evolving email threats. The acquisition is expected to close in late 2023 to early 2024, subject to customary closing conditions, including any required regulatory approvals.Proofpoint protects organizations against social engineering attacks by applying award-winning AI and large language models (LLMs) to block threats and provide real-time threat insights. AI-based detection has proven to be notably effective in identifying threats targeting people, such as email fraud and supplier-based attacks, and preventing data loss due to negligent or malicious actions. With the acquisition of Tessian, Proofpoint will enhance its threat and information protection platforms by adding powerful layers of AI-powered defense that address risky user behaviors, including misdirected email and data exfiltration.Misdirected emails (sending emails to the wrong recipient) and mis-attached files continue to be a leading cause of compliance violations and accidental data loss for organizations according to Ponemon research: in 2022 alone, 65% of all data loss incidents occurred via email, and nearly two-thirds of organizations experienced data loss or exfiltration due to an employee mistake on email. As a result, it takes security teams 48 hours, on average, to detect and remediate a data loss and exfiltration incident caused by employee negligence.“Far too often, human errors with email lead to organizations putting their own and their customer’s data at risk, breaching industry and data protection regulations and losing mission-critical intellectual property,” said Darren Lee, executive vice president and general manager, Security Products and Services Group, Proofpoint. “By combining Proofpoint’s best-in-industry data, detection stack, and efficacy with Tessian’s advanced behavioral and dynamic detection platform, we can provide our customers with world-class defense and instant protection. Proofpoint channel partners can quickly bring value to their customers with these new, easy-to-deploy solutions that integrate natively with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.”“Our long-standing vision to secure the human layer has been the driving force behind our innovative platform offering inbound email security, as well as outbound data loss prevention,” said Tim Sadler, chief executive officer, Tessian. “By joining forces with Proofpoint, we can empower organizations to further improve their email security posture, reduce the risk of data breaches, and lighten the workload on their security teams.”More than nine in 10 organizations have dealt with a data breach caused by an end-user error on email. Using behavioral understanding and machine learning, Tessian's AI-powered email security platform will enhance Proofpoint’s email data loss prevention (DLP) offering by addressing accidental data loss and malicious insiders through its seamless Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace deployment. Tessian solutions include:Tessian Guardian: Protects sensitive data, helps customers meet regulatory compliance and confidentiality agreements, and eliminates the risk of reputational damage by preventing misdirected emails and mis-attached files.Tessian Enforcer: Automatically protects against data exfiltration and safeguards intellectual property without predefined rules or deny-lists.Tessian Defender: Context-aware, AI-based email defense that detects and prevents the full spectrum of email attacks, while providing end users with in-the-moment contextual warning banners to help them decide whether an email is safe.Tessian’s solutions are expected to become part of Proofpoint’s offering upon the closing of the acquisition.
FORM Hotel Dubai, member of the Design Hotels and part of Marriott Bonvoy, is proud to announce that it has been awarded the ‘Luxury Art Boutique Hotel’ under the Regional category at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards Ceremony.This remarkable achievement signifies a streak of excellence in the domain of global travel and tourism. The great milestone reaffirms FORM Hotel's commitment to providing unparalleled luxury and hospitality experiences to its valued guests. The award for the Luxury Art Boutique Hotel was presented to Josephine Monton-Mseis, the revenue manager of FORM Hotel during the extravagant gala ceremony held at Grand Hyatt in Athens, Greece, on October 28th, followed by a lavish dinner where members and hoteliers across the globe enjoyed the opportunity to network while celebrating the successes of the night.‘’We are deeply honoured to receive the World Luxury Hotel Awards. This esteemed recognition highlights our dedication to setting new standards of excellence in the hospitality industry,” said the General Manager, Houssam Mansour. “Attaining the award for the Luxury Art Boutique Hotel in the regional category is a significant milestone and an impactful endorsement that can drive more traffic and bookings to our property. We are committed to continuing our tradition of ensuring memorable experiences for all who choose to stay with us.”FORM Hotel stands out as the first and only hotel in the Middle East certified by the Design Hotels group, featuring timeless design and elements such as custom-designed furniture by contemporary artists. The cosy and lush rooms are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and premium toiletries that elevate the guest experience. In addition, visitors can indulge in a delightful complimentary breakfast during their stay that guarantees the perfect start to their day and a memorable moment thereafter.Showcasing a variety of amenities, the hotel features a fitness centre, a rooftop area, three distinctive restaurants, and well-equipped meeting facilities. Looking to cool down? Ascend to the rooftop terrace to enjoy a temperature-controlled pool and soak in the stunning panoramic view of Dubai Creek. As if these options weren’t sufficient, visitors can also take advantage of a 25% discount to access the excellent tennis facilities at CF Tennis Academy for lessons or programs.Established in 2006, the ‘World Luxury Hotel Awards’ is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry, offering international recognition based on votes by guests, travellers and industry players alike. This award recognizes and rewards excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries. FORM Hotel emerged as the undisputed champion in its category this year, and the accolade further solidifies the hotel's position as the ultimate destination for adventurous travellers seeking a fusion of comfort and authenticity.Having been recently recognised with the ‘Luxury World Hotel Award’ for the second time, FORM Hotel remains committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence, sustainability, and unmatched customer service, ensuring that guests leave with lasting memories.
Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC), the region’s largest pop culture festival, has announced its first comic creator for 2024, Filipino artist Stephen Segovia, known for his comic illustrations for Marvel, Batman, Star Wars, X-Men, Moon Knight, and more, will be joining next year’s convention for all three days.Stephen Segovia broke into the comic book industry at the young age of 16, with his work with DC Comics on the likes of Superman and Redhood and the Outlaws establishing him as one of the industry's hot new talents. Stephen is currently working with Todd McFarlane on an ongoing team book called The Scorched, which assembles some of the most well-known characters of the Spawn comics.VIP tickets on saleFor those who want the best Middle East Film & Comic Con experience, VIP tickets are now on sale for the 2024 edition, which will be held from 9 – 11 February 2024 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). VIP passes are divided into three tiers, namely Ultimate VIP, Super VIP, and VIP.As the name suggests, the Ultimate VIP ticket offers the ultimate MEFCC experience, giving you three-day VIP access with 10 Autograph or Photograph vouchers, a 30-minute encounter with your favourite celebrities, a dedicated fast track lane to Meet the Stars and many more privileges, clocking in at AED 5,350.The Super VIP ticket gives you three-day VIP access with 4 Autograph or Photograph vouchers, a Super VIP swag bag with exclusive merch, priority queues at Meet the Stars and front-row seating at the Cine Club, and many more exciting privileges at AED 2,500.Meanwhile, the VIP Pass gives you three-day VIP access with 1 Autograph or Photograph voucher, priority queues to purchase additional Meet the Stars vouchers, early access on Day 1, and many more privileges, all for AED 800.All tickets will go live shortly, so you can also opt for a general admission ticket at AED 145 for a one day pass and AED 330 for a 3 day pass. Whichever pass you choose, you can expect an epic three days with your favourite stars and the community!
Launched by the Tyre Division of Ebrahim K. Kanoo, BahrainTyres.com offers a convenient, hassle-free way to purchase genuine tyres online. Operations Manager, Girish Kumar reveals how the platform was designed to overcome logistical challenges and open an exciting new chapter in tyre retails for Bahrain’s market.What sets Bahrain Tyres apart in terms of convenience?The world is becoming increasingly digitized, particularly in terms of services. Convenience and accessibility for customers are at the centre of these rapid changes. Bahrain Tyres stands out in this regard due to its round-the-clock availability, vast tyre range, personalized consultation, easy online payment, quick delivery, professional installation, and the option for fitting at preferred locations or doorstep delivery and fitment. All these aspects collectively make it a go-to platform for a hassle-free and convenient tyre shopping experience.What is the range of tyres available on the platform?The website boasts a wide range of tyres from renowned brands such as Michelin, BF Goodrich, Maxxis, Tigar, Nitto, CEAT, Goodride, and Devanti. These Tyres cater to various budgets and preferences, with options from different countries of origin including European countries, the US, Japan, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Bahrain Tyres stocks genuine tyres, each coming with a manufacturer's warranty to ensure customers’ peace of mind.How does Bahrain Tyres ensure customers make the right choice?The platform makes it easy for customers to find the perfect tyres. Over 90% of tyre sizes are available at any given time, ensuring a comprehensive selection. In addition, there's a dedicated contact number for consultation if you need assistance before making an online purchase. This personalized assistance helps customers make informed decisions.What can customers expect in terms of delivery and installation?Tyre purchases from Bahrain Tyres are available for customers all over the Kingdom. Once you've placed an order, free delivery and fitment are offered to your doorstep or the nearest TYREPLUS outlet. Free fitting is available at TYREPLUS outlets, ensuring your tyres are professionally installed. There's also the option of fitting at a location of your choice through the TYREPLUS mobile service van.Does Bahrain Tyres offer additional services?Besides tyres, the platform’s services extend to Michelin-certified TYREPLUS service stations. These stations provide comprehensive tyre and car maintenance services. Additionally, they offer a range of high-quality products like lubricants, batteries, suspension, air conditioning, and brake systems for a wide variety of vehicles. TYREPLUS has a wide network, spanning six service centres located strategically at Salmabad, Tubli, Hidd, Saar, Sitra, and Muharraq.How can customers make payments on the platform?The platform offers hassle-free and highly secure online payment transactions. The platform accepts all major debit/credit cards. Customers can also make their payments through BenefitPay or cash on delivery. With the latest retail safety systems in place, customers' banking and personal data are thoroughly protected.
Mazaji FM 94.6, a well-known radio station, and ELAN Media, the foremost media company in Qatar, have entered into an exclusive partnership, marking a significant collaboration in the media landscape.Under the partnership agreement, ELAN Media will now offer advertising slots, sponsorship packages and live content segments to clients across Qatar with a wide choice of prime and drive time airing opportunities.“Mazaji FM is one of the most popular Arabic language radio services in Qatar with a particularly strong listenership on conventional and online radio among Qatari youth. This deal represents the coming together of two of Qatar’s most forward-thinking organizations and opens new business opportunities for an expansive client base across the consumer and events segments,” commented Jaber Al Ansari, ELAN Group CEO. “In just over a year, Mazaji FM has captured a strong following and we are confident of further growing its listener base and bring great opportunities for corporates and brands to reach their clients and build meaningful connections with the local community.”“Mazaji FM is a cost-effective reach medium with strong local appeal, with a listenership that has strong emotional connections with the station, which reflects positively on advertisers,” explained Hamad Aljabri, General Director, Mazaji FM “It provides information as it reaches consumers closest to their time of purchase, when they are driving to or from work, or even during a lunch break. The station has come a long way in a short time, and we believe our partnership can further build its already significant listener reach.”Mazaji FM advertisers include some of the biggest corporates and event names in Qatar. “Our advertisers and sponsors reach a listenership primarily comprising middle-and-upper income group Arabs aged 15-35 years, both Qatari nationals, who make up the lion’s share, and other Arab residents,” explained Hamad Aljabri, General Director, Mazaji FM. “We are confident that with ELAN Media’s robust and creative advertising capabilities we can soon be the major radio force in the nation.”
Yazle, a global digital media company specializing in innovative and creative digital advertising, partnered with Dentsu to work on Mastercard’s Gamers8 campaign that not only pushed the boundaries of performance but also supported sustainability efforts. Yazle adopted groundbreaking adaptive streaming technology from SeenThis. Using SeenThis's adaptive streaming, to the campaign saw a reduction in data transferred to devices during this year’s edition of the event by an astonishing 23% compared to running creatives of corresponding quality using conventional technology. This reduction is not just a statistic; it is a meaningful contribution to sustainability. By avoiding the release of 399 kilograms of CO2e emissions into the atmosphere, which translates to 7% in creative delivery emissions, Mastercard achieved a notable 6.88% reduction in its carbon footprint. This is equivalent to curbing 6,871 KM driven by a passenger car or 109,756 fully charged phones. This impressive environmental impact demonstrates how Yazle’s expertise in digital advertising, along with SeenThis's adaptive streaming technology, supports Mastercard’s commitment to sustainability. “At Mastercard, we are passionate about building a sustainable world that works for everyone. Recently, we pushed forward our deadline to achieve net-zero emissions across our operations from 2050 to 2040 in line with our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint. We believe in the power of technology to influence a greener tomorrow for ourselves, our partners, and the markets we serve. Through our work with Yazle and Dentsu, we are ensuring that we conduct our business in a responsible and sustainable way,” said Mustapha Kassem, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East, and North Africa, Mastercard. Through the utilization of adaptive streaming technology, brands can efficiently deliver captivating content while simultaneously lessening the environmental impact, compared to running creatives of corresponding quality using conventional technology. This innovative streaming technology provides advertisers with the means to curtail data consumption without sacrificing video quality, leading to a substantial decrease in carbon footprint. This aligns seamlessly with the UAE's Year of Sustainability initiative, highlighting commitment to eco-friendly practices and responsible content delivery.“At Yazle, we are empowering brands to forge a sustainable path forward, where innovation and responsibility converge. Together, we are redefining success, where achieving sustainability goals is not just a choice but a strategic imperative. In this journey, we do not just follow trends; we set them. We measure impact, reduce carbon footprints, and engage consumers in meaningful ways. With our unwavering commitment to a greener future, we are not just helping brands reach their sustainability goals; we are propelling them towards a brighter, more responsible tomorrow. The Mastercard campaign is a perfect example of this,” said Jamie Atherton, Managing Director at Yazle. “Reducing emissions associated within the media supply chain has become an imperative for our industry, and achieving this requires close collaboration across the entire media ecosystem. Mastercard has been a leader in supplier sustainability, and it is really encouraging to see the tangible impact of taking an eco-conscious approach to advertising in this campaign. Having partners like Yazle helps us to not only support our clients on their climate action commitments, but also our own efforts to decarbonize media and achieve our science-based-targets on the journey to net-zero,” said aid Mr. Ramzy Abouchacra from Dentsu.Overall, the campaign also achieved remarkable results, with a total of 1,847,464 impressions. Notably, it boasted a robust video start rate of 90.9% and an impressive video completion rate of 64.1%, underscoring the engaging nature of the content. Among the various ad placements, the 300x600 unit emerged as the star performer, delivering the highest completion rates, demonstrating the campaign's ability to captivate and retain audience attention. This successful collaboration between Yazle and Dentsu sets a commendable example for the advertising industry, displaying the potential to achieve business objectives while prioritizing sustainability. Yazle is dedicated to pioneering innovative approaches that benefit both consumers and the environment.
Swisslog, the global leader in robotic, data-driven and flexible automated solutions has announced its participation at Gulfood Manufacturing 2023, scheduled to take place from November 7 to 9. The event is the region’s definitive destination to see the future of food production from advanced technologies to integrated supply chain solutions and breakthrough developments driving the industry forward. Swisslog Middle East will shed light on how advanced technological solutions, such as automation, can assist companies in adapting to the dynamic landscape of food supply chain challenges, enabling them to navigate changes in production, distribution, and retailing while transforming the food supply chain. Swisslog will captivate attendees with a live demonstration of its digitalised robotic storage and order processing solution, AutoStore, with its local partners Technica and KUKA, showcasing the complete end-to-end food value chain, from production and robotics to distribution and e-grocery. Moreover, as the demand for e-grocery continues to surge among digital consumers, and more players enter the field, the UAE's sector is poised to up its penetration rates from 5.5% in 2016 to 13% by 2026. This underscores the imperative for organisations to automate and elevate their operations to effortlessly meet the surging demand for rapid and reliable order fulfilment. Swisslog's assortment of data-focused, versatile, and robotic material handling solutions not only enhances productivity and reduces order cycle times but also enables rapid responses to changes. These very characteristics, driven by an engineering dedication to sustainability, lead to a variety of environmental benefits that resonate with the UAE's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, Swisslog strives to improve supply chain sustainability through energy efficiency and food safety. Manual processes cannot provide the scalability and profitability needed by food manufacturers. With the increasing demand for own-brand labels, prepared foods, and e-grocery, food & beverage warehouses must adapt to efficiently handle numerous SKUs within limited space, accommodating various outbound order types. Rami Younes, General Manager and Head of Sales, Swisslog Middle East, commented, “With the global population set to grow by 3 billion by 2050, the F&B industry must scale production without magnifying the existing climate, water scarcity, and quality issues. Swisslog has a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to address these challenges. We have worked with global F&B leaders like Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Pepsi, successfully executing over 350 projects across 35 countries. At Gulfood Manufacturing, we will showcase the complete spectrum of the food value chain, highlighting our unique capability to provide full-scale solutions.”Gulfood Manufacturing is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 7th to 9th November 2023 and Swisslog representatives will be available at Hall 4, Stand C4-3.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has issued directives to rename Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new official name, Zayed International Airport, will take effect from 9 February, 2024, coinciding with the official opening ceremony of the new Terminal A.
media platform X is gearing up to introduce a news distribution service named XWire, with the intention of competing against established platforms like Cision's PR Newswire.To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Musk's takeover and transformation of Twitter into X, the company held a meeting. During this gathering, company executives expressed their vision of YouTube and LinkedIn as potential future competitors. This suggests that X is considering venturing into the realms of video streaming and recruitment.In fact, the company is already actively working on the latter. In July, a beta version of this service was launched through the account @XHiring. Verified organizations can utilize this service to showcase critical job openings on their profiles, effectively reaching millions of suitable candidates, as stated in the account's description.Furthermore, Musk has recently implemented changes to how news story links are presented on X. He has restricted the display of headlines in previews of third-party links, so that only the link's domain and the main image from the destination page are visible in tweets. This change eliminates additional context from the previews.
The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) announced today its new partnership agreement with Real Madrid CF. This collaboration aims to introduce unique customer experiences to the bank’s customers.At the official signing ceremony, SAIB emphasized that this agreement would allow it to connect with Real Madrid fans in Saudi Arabia and enable SAIB customers to have access to unique experiences.The partnership is part of SAIB’s commitment to be a leader in clients’ rewards.About SAIBThe Saudi Investment Bank, a Saudi joint-stock company, has been established pursuant to the Royal Decree No. M/31 dated 23 June 1976 (corresponding to 25 Jumada Al-Thani 1396H.) and started its business on 16 March 1977 (corresponding to 25 Rabie Awwal 1397H.) SAIB has also established successful joint-ventures and subsidiaries to cater to the needs for investment banking, share trading, asset management, leasing, mortgages, insurance and credit cards.The shareholders of SAIB, a publicly listed company, include the General Organisation for Social Insurance, the Public Pension Agency, other Saudi public and private institutions as well as Saudi Individuals.About Real Madrid Football ClubReal Madrid C.F. is a sport entity with 121 years of history. It is the club with the most European Cups of both football (14) and basketball (11) and was awarded by FIFA as the Best Club of the twentieth century. Real Madrid has millions of fans in all corners of the world, with more than 500 million followers on social media, and is for the fourth year in a row the most valuable football club in Europe according to The European Elite 2022 report. Real Madrid is the most valuable football brand in the world for Brand Finance for the fourth year in a row. More information about Real Madrid C.F. is available at www.realmadrid.com, the most visited football club website for the sixth consecutive year.
Leading payroll and remittance platform, NOW Money has closed a new financing round led by Dubai-based entrepreneurs Mark Nutter and Nicolas Andine. Nutter founded the Seven Group in Dubai in 2018 which is dedicated to improving Human Resources and Employee Benefits across the GCC. Its Seven Insurance Brokers division advises corporates on their Employees’ medical policies, while EmiratesHR provides corporates with a complete Human Resources Management System, handling payroll and employee benefits across the region.As part of the investment round, Nutter has become the Chairman of NOW Money and Andine has been appointed as CEO to grow the business, expand its product offerings and improve its operational excellence. Dubai based French national Andine has 10 years of experience in scaling technology startups and is currently CEO of EmiratesHR and will continue in this role whilst undertaking the CEO role at the inclusive banking platform, bringing with him his vast local and international contacts.Andine comments: "We were attracted by the unique proposition of NOW Money, combining the strong social mission of bringing banking access to the underserved 1.7million population of the UAE combined with a solid and scalable business model. “We believe the business is perfectly aligned with the initiatives of the government and its value proposition offers a unique path for socially responsible employers to support the financial wellbeing and ultimately mental and physical health of their workers."NOW Money has recently announced it is the first FinTech in the region to offer the UPI remittance option, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, which offers an instant, cost-effective option for money transfers to India. It also offers easy access payroll and banking to the wider underserved and underbanked immigrant population in the UAE by working with employers to provide a unique service with low remittance and banking fees to multiple countries which are below the United Nations’ industry recommended standard. The company is also launching a new banking subscription service which is the first of its kind for migrant workers in the region. The model will simplify the NOW Money offering, making it easier for the end user to navigate, budget and stay in control of their finances whilst getting greater value from their subscription. The ethical FinTech also provides in person financial literacy and education training in the end user’s native language, demonstrating the company’s clear commitment to financial inclusion and social mobility for all.
Dubai: Invesco today released the findings of its eighth annual Invesco Global Systematic Investing Study. The Invesco Global Systematic Investing Study is an evolution of the Invesco Global Factor Investing Study, published annually since 2016. The reposition this year reflects the changes within the quantitative investing world, and the use of quantitative methods beyond just factors. The study, which is based on the views of 130 institutional and wholesale investors that collectively manage $22.5 trillion in assets, also finds a growing consensus that the systematic toolkit can help investors navigate key challenges, such as volatile markets and imperfect data.Read the full report here.