Tinder launches new creative ads, ahead of ‘Dating Sunday’

Tinder, the popular dating app, is strategically capitalizing on the surge in dating activity that typically occurs at the beginning of the year, often referred to as "Dating Sunday." The company is leveraging this trend by launching a new round of creative content for its "It Starts With A Swipe" campaign. The campaign aims to dispel some of the stereotypes associated with Tinder as just a hookup app and instead focuses on the potential for meaningful connections.The creative content includes colorful advertisements that tell stories highlighting various aspects of relationships formed through Tinder. These stories range from couples finding shared interests and building a life together to the diversity of Gen Z relationships. The ads also showcase the platform's ability to facilitate connections beyond initial physical attraction.Tinder's efforts to diversify its advertising may be aimed at forming a stronger connection with the younger demographic, reflecting the fluid and diverse nature of relationships among Gen Z. Stephanie Danzi, the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Tinder, emphasizes that the work reflects the diversity of Gen Z relationships, reinforcing Tinder's commitment to providing meaningful connections for all.In addition to its focus on positive relationship stories, Tinder has engaged in other creative endeavors, including partnerships to raise awareness about toxic behavior and online financial scams. These initiatives demonstrate the platform's commitment to addressing broader issues in the online dating landscape.By actively participating in cultural events like World Romance Scam Prevention Day and collaborating with figures like Jonathan Bennett from "Mean Girls," Tinder aims to stay relevant and promote a positive image of online dating while addressing potential challenges and concerns within the industry.

Saudi minister lauds Cabinet for designating 2024 as ‘Year of the Camel’

Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah appreciated the Council of Ministers’ decision to designate the year 2024 as the “Year of the Camel” to celebrate the unique cultural value that camels represent in the lives of the people of the Arabian Peninsula.It consolidates their solid position, and enhances their presence locally and internationally, as an authentic cultural heritage and an essential component in building civilization.Prince Badr thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for the generous care and unlimited support that culture and cultural figures receive, saying that this gives Saudi culture its right of pride and celebration with its solid roots, values and authentic cultural elements, and presenting them to the world.The ministry will supervise the Year of the Camel 2024 celebrations and will work through it to highlight the value of camels and their connection to the Saudi identity. This will be through various initiatives and programs, implemented by the ministry in cooperation with its partners, to enhance national efforts to develop the camel sector and increase the level of its contribution to national development.

TikTok, Peloton join hands to launch #TikTokfitness Peloton hub

Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON), the leading connected fitness platform, and TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile video, today announced an exclusive partnership to bring Peloton's world-class workout content to the TikTok community. Together the two brands will merge culture and creativity to inspire a new generation of fitness content and creators.This will result in a new fitness hub on TikTok – #TikTokFitness – on which Peloton will have a dedicated, co-branded hub that houses custom Peloton content: #TikTokFitness Powered by Peloton. This marks the first time Peloton will produce bespoke social content for a partner outside of Peloton-owned channels. Content will include select live Peloton classes with and without equipment required, original Instructor series, ongoing creator partnerships, Peloton class clips, and celebrity collaborations, all accessible via the #TikTokFitness hashtag, curated on the Peloton hub."Peloton and TikTok both move at the speed of culture to better serve our respective audiences," said Oli Snoddy, Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Peloton. "We collectively recognize the way people engage with fitness is constantly changing. Our team is excited to complement TikTok's already burgeoning fitness content by introducing the magic of Peloton to new audiences, and in completely new ways." With 1 billion active TikTok users globally, #TikTokFitness has the potential to deeply inspire and positively impact content in the wellbeing space in a new and creative way. Peloton's recent Anyone. Anytime. Anywhere. brand evolution – which will prominently ground the look and feel of the Peloton hub – will be authentically integrated into the curated content hub, reinforcing the brand's commitment to making fitness more accessible. "Culture, communities and conversations live on TikTok and this offers brands an opportunity to deeply connect with their audiences. When it comes to the fitness category, we have thousands of communities coming together to connect on everything from #thefitnessjourney to bonding as #runnersoftiktok," said Sofia Hernandez, Global Head of Business Marketing at TikTok. "We're thrilled that this partnership will bring inspirational fitness content and entertain Peloton users who come to TikTok to learn, connect with instructors, share fitness journeys, and find community."

TikTok unveils content planning guide for marketers

TikTok has recently released its 2024 Content Planning Guide, providing marketers with a comprehensive resource featuring essential dates, insightful pointers, and notes to facilitate timely execution of their campaign strategies. Unlike traditional content calendar templates, this guide adopts a unique approach by emphasizing the optimization of specific events.According to TikTok, the aim is to equip marketers with the most pertinent tools and easily applicable advice, enabling them to prioritize key moments in their 2024 marketing strategy. In pursuit of this goal, TikTok has crafted bespoke calendars tailored to major regions across North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Additionally, the guide incorporates valuable tips for maximizing TikTok's potential throughout the entire year.The guide not only outlines key dates but also provides additional guidance on utilizing TikTok's diverse ad tools and functions. Each date period offers an overview of significant events, supplemented by pointers on leveraging various TikTok marketing elements.Furthermore, the guide includes a campaign planner template towards the end, complete with links to relevant tools. This feature is designed to streamline efforts and enhance campaign effectiveness. In essence, the guide deviates from conventional calendar listings, offering a more focused approach to spotlight specific tools and processes that can steer your campaigns in the right direction.

The New York Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft for copyright infringement

The New York Times (NYT) has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging the unauthorized use of its content for the training of generative artificial intelligence and large-language model systems.Last year, a group of US writers sued OpenAI accusing it of copyright infringement.The latest suit by NYT, filed in a Manhattan federal court, seeks damages that could amount to billions of dollars.NYT contends that while OpenAI and Microsoft amassed information from various sources to develop their AI systems, they placed "particular emphasis" on New York Times content. The complaint asserts that the companies aim to benefit from the Times's substantial investment in journalism without permission or compensation, posing a significant threat to the newspaper's ability to provide its essential services.Highlighting the importance of independent journalism to democracy, the lawsuit emphasizes the "vital" role of The Times's reporting in society and deems it "increasingly rare and valuable." The legal action further stresses the alleged "unlawful use" of the paper's copyrighted materials, including news articles, investigations, opinion pieces, reviews, and more, in the creation of AI products.The lawsuit addresses concerns about AI models generating inaccurate information, commonly referred to as "hallucinations."The Times alleges that Microsoft's Bing Chat misidentified content as originating from The Times, citing examples such as search results for "the 15 most heart-healthy foods."The lawsuit does not specify a monetary claim. However, it holds OpenAI accountable for "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages."Additionally, the lawsuit urges the companies to destroy any chatbot models and training data using copyrighted material from The Times.

Remembering Disney Legend Glynis Johns

Disney Legend Glynis Johns passed away from natural causes on Thursday, January 4, in Los Angeles, her manager confirmed. She was 100 years old.Perhaps best known to Disney fans as feminist Winifred Banks in the Academy Award®-winning Mary Poppins (1964), Johns became everyone’s favorite sister suffragette. Walt Disney himself personally selected her to play the career-defining role, having been drawn, like many a moviegoer, by her sparkling screen persona. His choice of casting was spot on, as film critic Leonard Maltin pointed out in his book The Disney Films: “She lights up the screen the minute she appears [in Mary Poppins],” he wrote. “She makes every minute count, and her amusing suffragette song is most enjoyable.”Inducted as a Disney Legend in 1998, Johns was born to Welsh parents on October 5, 1923, in Pretoria, South Africa. She made history when she received a degree to teach dance by age 10. By 12, she won 25 gold medals for dance in England and, by 13, appeared in her first film, South Riding (1938). Her first adult role came in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 49th Parallel (1941), released in America as The Invaders and starring Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, and Raymond Massey. By 19, she became the youngest actress to play the lead role in the theatrical production of Peter Pan.She became associated with The Walt Disney Studios in the early 1950s, when it began to produce live-action films in England.She starred as the capricious Mary Tudor in 1953’s The Sword and the Rose, co-starring Richard Todd. As Helen Mary MacGregor in Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1953), she played the spirited wife of a Scottish freedom fighter. A decade later, in 1964, she returned to Disney to star in Mary Poppins. The hit musical amassed 13 Academy Award® nominations and garnered five Oscars®.Johns also starred in such television shows as General Electric Theatre and The Cavanaughs, as well as her own series, Glynis. She appeared in other series including Batman, Cheers, and Murder She Wrote, starring another Disney Legend, the late Angela Lansbury.In 1960, Johns won an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs. Firth in The Sundowners, starring Robert Mitchum. Later, she received a Tony Award® in 1973 for her stunning stage performance as Desiree Armfeldt in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. About Johns, Sondheim once said that her rendition of “Send in the Clowns” remained his favorite.In all, she performed in more than two dozen theatrical productions and more than 50 feature films, including Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (1947) starring Paulette Goddard and Dear Brigitte (1965) starring James Stewart. She also appeared in a children’s TV anthology version of The Secret Garden alongside Derek Jacobi, for ABC.In 1994, Johns returned to The Walt Disney Studios to co-star in the Touchstone comedy The Ref. The next year she appeared in Hollywood Pictures’ smash hit While You Were Sleeping, starring Sandra Bullock. Johns was also featured in archival footage in the documentary Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of ‘Mary Poppins’ (2004) from Buena Vista Home Entertainment and the HBO documentary Six by Sondheim (2013).

Optimism pervades the ad industry in 2024: Mediaocean

 Mediaocean, the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising, has released its 2024 Advertising Outlook Report, with all signs pointing to a prevailing focus on innovation and creativity in the new year. Overall, the findings show that despite macroeconomic headwinds holding over from 2023, optimism pervades the advertising industry. Omnichannel marketers, in particular, anticipate an active year, affirming their intent to maintain or increase spending in nearly every channel.Examining key trends in media and advertising, the survey revealed that certain platforms stand to grow most significantly in 2024. For example, the report shows that not unsurprisingly, social media, digital display/video, and connected TV (CTV) are the frontrunners heading into the year, based on a sustained, surging investment that naturally mirrors consumer engagement and time spent. Specifically, 69% of survey-takers report that in 2024 they will increase social media spending, 65% for digital display/video, and 56% for CTV in 2024. At the same time, the number of marketers maintaining their investments in these channels is 28%, 30%, and 36%, respectively.“There is a lot to dissect in this year’s survey with regard to the marketing funnel and the consumer journey. For instance, even though direct-response campaign performance remains a top priority for marketers tasked with delivering tangible ROI, brand advertising is gaining momentum,” said Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer at Mediaocean. “Companies are taking a longer-view approach to driving customer loyalty and lifetime value. Even so, marketers are very aware that a prevalent gap remains between creative and media execution. If not addressed, this gap negatively impacts team workflow, messaging relevance, and market intelligence. So, resolving this gap and embracing the tools and systems required for doing so absolutely will be the largest growth opportunity for brands this coming year. ”Overall, the highly-anticipated report highlights the forces driving the advertising economy as seen by industry leaders, including the macroeconomic spending trends of 2023. This is the fifth installment of bi-annual market reports produced by Mediaocean and features the largest base of respondents, nearly 1,100 total, delving into key media and technology trends as well as channel-specific 2024 projected advertising investments. Mediaocean primarily surveyed marketers and agencies but also included perspectives from media companies, measurement firms, tech platforms, and other industry cohorts. "2024 will be a most consequential year and deliver unprecedented innovation in the advertising industry," said Bill Wise, Chief Executive Officer at Mediaocean. "As we navigate the challenges of data deprecation, antitrust regulation, and privacy protection, there is a massive opportunity for brands to reduce their reliance on Big Tech and leverage independent technology for everything from media buying to ad serving to omnichannel measurement. Embracing the scaled tools and systems required for this alignment will be the key to driving customer loyalty and lifetime value." In addition to illuminating overall optimism and positive spend trends across channels, the survey underscored a rising focus on AI and waning interest in the Metaverse. The report highlights that Generative AI has not only captured everyone’s attention but has also led to a shift in focus and resource allocation. The analysis suggests that 2024 promises to be the year that AI moves from speculative use cases to practical, day-to-day applications, particularly in the areas of data analysis and market research. Respondents indicated that AI will become an increasingly integral part of daily workflows and serve functionals well beyond content generation. For a full review of all key takeaways, please visit to download the complete Mediaocean 2024 Advertising Outlook Report. Additionally, Mediaocean will present the research during a webinar on January 18 with Joanna O’Connell, EVP Innovation at R3, and agency executives from dentsu, Initiative, and Jellyfish sharing their assessments of the imperatives for marketers. Please visit to register.

Forbes Middle East unveils the Middle East’s top 100 CEOs 2023

Forbes Middle East has released its third annual list of the Top 100 CEOs in the Middle East, spotlighting the business heads that are running the region’s biggest and most influential homegrown companies. Combined, the 100 CEOs managed revenues of over $1 trillion in 2022. Their firms are collectively worth more than $5 trillion.Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO of the world’s largest crude oil producer Saudi Aramco, topped the ranking. ADNOC Group’s Sultan Al Jaber and Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group rounded up the top three spots. These three executives have retained their ranking for the third consecutive year.The 2023 cohort represents leaders from 22 nationalities. Emiratis dominated with 23 entries, followed by Egyptians with 19 and Saudis with 18. These three groups comprise 60% of the ranking, signaling positive momentum for localization. With 17 CEOs, the banking sector claimed the most entries, followed closely by real estate and construction with 14 and telecommunications with nine. Among the top 10 alone, six different industries are represented, illustrating the sector diversity in top leadership.Against the recurring priority of sustainability this year, the leaders on this ranking have accelerated their corporate sustainability measures to align with global commitments. Majid Al Futtaim – Holding’s Ahmed Galal Ismail led the group to achieve an 82% reduction in single-use plastic consumption in the first half of 2023. At the COP28 held in Dubai, ADNOC Group’s Sultan Al Jaber served as the president-designate of this year’s climate change conference for global transformative climate action. Meanwhile, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer intends to increase its water desalination capacity to 730 million imperial gallons per day by 2030, up from 490 million in 2023.To construct this ranking, Forbes Middle East assessed the CEOs using various metrics, including the individual's accomplishments and implemented innovations over the past year, size of their company, and their impact on their firm and the wider industry. Only CEOs of companies headquartered in MENA were considered.Top 10 CEOs In The Middle East 2023Amin H. NasserNationality: SaudiPresident & CEO, Saudi AramcoSultan Al JaberNationality: EmiratiGroup CEO & Managing Director, ADNOC GroupAhmed bin Saeed Al MaktoumNationality: EmiratiChairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & GroupSaad Sherida Al-KaabiNationality: QatariDeputy Chairman, President & CEO, QatarEnergyIsam Jasem Al-SagerNationality: KuwaitiVice Chairman & Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK Group)Nawaf S. Al-SabahNationality: KuwaitiDeputy Chairman & CEO, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)Sultan Ahmed Bin SulayemNationality: EmiratiGroup Chairman & CEO, DP World Olayan AlwetaidNationality: SaudiGroup CEO, stc GroupSyed Basar ShuebNationality: EmiratiCEO & Managing Director, International Holding Company (IHC)Hatem DowidarNationality: EgyptianGroup CEO, e&

Average 1,700 posts with corporate data surface on the dark web monthly

Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence team has over the past two years uncovered almost 40,000 dark web posts about the sale of internal corporate information. These posts – created by cybercriminals – are used to buy, sell, or distribute data stolen from various companies through cyberattacks. The number of posts offering access to corporate infrastructure has seen a 16% increase compared to the previous year. Worldwide, every third company was referenced in dark web posts associated with the sales of data or access.Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence experts observed an average of 1,731 dark web messages per month about the sale, purchase and distribution of internal corporate databases and documents, totaling almost 40,000 messages between January 2022 and November 2023. The monitored resources encompassed dark web forums, blogs, and also shadow Telegram channels.Another category of data available on the dark web is access to corporate infrastructures allowing cybercriminals to purchase pre-existing access to a company, enabling attackers to streamline their efforts. According to Kaspersky’s research, more than 6,000 dark web messages have been advertising such offers in January 2022-November 2023. Currently, cybercriminals are increasingly offering access, with the average number of corresponding monthly messages witnessing a 16% rise from 246 in 2022 to 286 in 2023. While the number of messages may not seem high, it doesn’t diminish the potential magnitude of the issue. With the looming threat of supply chain attacks in the coming year, even breaches targeting smaller companies could escalate to impact numerous individuals and businesses globally.“Not every message on the dark web contains new and unique information. Some offers can be repetitive; for instance, when a malicious actor aims to quickly sell data, they may post it on different underground forums to reach a larger audience of potential criminal buyers. Moreover, certain databases might be combined and presented as new. For instance, there are ‘combolists’ - databases that aggregate information from various previously leaked databases, such as passwords for a specific email address,” explains Anna Pavlovskaya, expert at Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence.To further enhance security of businesses worldwide, Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence experts tracked mentions of 700 random companies related to corporate data being compromised in 2022, providing information about cyberthreats originating from the dark web.The findings revealed that 233 organizations – one-in-three companies – were mentioned in dark web posts related to the illicit exchange of data. These references specifically involved topics such as data breaches, stolen access to infrastructure, or compromised accounts.More statistics about dark web discussions are presented on Securelist, while the Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence website provides a comprehensive incident response playbook for handling leak-related incidents. To avoid threats related to data breaches, it is worth implementing the following security measures:Swift identification and response to data breaches is essential. Those facing a crisis should start by verifying the source of the breach, cross-referencing internal data, and assessing the information’s credibility. Essentially, a company must gather evidence to confirm the attack occurred and that data has been compromised.Continuously monitoring the dark web allows for the detection of both fake and real breach-related posts, as well as the tracking of spikes in malicious activity. Given the resource-intensive nature of dark web monitoring, external experts often take on this responsibility.It's beneficial to prepare a communications plan in advance to interact with clients, journalists, and government agencies.Developing comprehensive incident response plans that include designated teams, communication channels, and protocols allows for the prompt and effective handling of such incidents when they occur.

Win AED 1mln at Majid Al Futtaim malls this DSF

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, is offering one lucky shopper the spectacular opportunity to become part of the millionaires’ club during the ongoing Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).Customers can enter the draw in the most fun way possible – by indulging in a shopping spree at Mall of the Emirates or City Centre malls in Dubai.The millionaire campaign runs until 14 January to coincide with DSF. Shoppers at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem and City Centre Shindagha are eligible to enter.To enter this draw, visitors who spend Dh300 or more during the campaign period need to scan their receipts on the SHARE Rewards app. This automatically enters them into the draw to win the grand prize of AED 1 million. One e-coupon will be granted for every receipt worth AED 300 and above – whether single or cumulative – made at any of the participating stores at the mentioned malls.The grand prize winner will be announced at the end of Dubai Shopping festival through a draw. This marks the first time that Majid Al Futtaim malls is rewarding winners in cash instead of SHARE Reward points.

HOP welcomes Tahir Kheshgi as Digital Director, Mohamed Ballout SM Head

Home of Performance (HOP) has welcomed Tahir Kheshgi as Digital Director and Mohamed Ballout as Head of Social Media. The appointment reflects the agency's commitment to enhancing its digital capabilities and social media presence. Both Kheshgi and Ballout bring valuable experience and skills to the agency. Tahir Kheshgi's background as the former Head of Digital at Americana showcases his expertise in leading digital transformation initiatives. His successful track record in driving digital innovation and growth aligns with Home of Performance's plans to expand its digital offerings. Kheshgi is expected to play a crucial role in strengthening the senior leadership team alongside Managing Director John von Hofsten and Strategy Director Warren LaRey.Mohamed Ballout, who previously worked at AKQA, has established himself as a social media leader. His knowledge of the social landscape and proficiency in crafting engaging campaigns position him well to lead and accelerate Home of Performance's social media growth. As Head of Social Media, Ballout will leverage his creative vision and strategic thinking to enhance the impact and reach of the agency.John von Hofsten, the Managing Director at Home of Performance, expressed enthusiasm about the new additions to the team. He highlighted their exceptional talent, proven track records, and passion for excellence, emphasizing how Kheshgi's strategic leadership and digital expertise, along with Ballout's creative spark and social media know-how, will contribute significantly to the agency's growth and innovation. The management is confident that both Kheshgi and Ballout will play pivotal roles in propelling Home of Performance to greater heights.

Phishing scammers lure victims with fake giveaways: Kaspersky

“The most wonderful time of the year” is known for its generous sales, holiday cheer, and the notion of miracles around the corner. Unfortunately, it’s also a hot time for scammers, who steal personal data and money, precisely when everyone is having fun and letting their guard down.At this time of year, Kaspersky experts identified cases of phishing built around the Christmas and New Year season of giving: scammers are disguising the theft of personal data and funds as holiday giveaways.Phishing scams targeting personal accountsSome phishing sites aim to obtain data by infiltrating users' personal social media and messenger accounts under various guises. They request information and once it is submitted, it is transmitted directly into the hands of the scammers.One of these phishing incidents was recently reported in Singapore. Scammers created a sophisticated phishing site targeting individuals with the promise of payments in the new year purportedly from Singapore's Ministry of Finance. This deceptive site was designed to mimic the ministry's branding, giving it an air of credibility. To receive the payout, visitors were prompted to enter their Telegram account details.Once the user enters the Telegram account details, fraudsters can then gain full access to the account, potentially leading to the digital identity theft, access to private conversations, and the ability to impersonate the victim for further malicious activity.Phishing sites mimicking banks for the New Year giveawaysAnother phishing technique designed to trap those who believe in miracles is a lottery featuring banks. As New Year's Eve is a time of lucrative offers and gifts, fraudsters have created phishing sites that invite users to participate in giveaways aimed at obtaining victims' bank details to steal from them.  One instance of the New Year's scam was specifically targeted at Filipino citizens. In this scheme, individuals were lured to a website where they were enticed to spin a wheel for a chance to win a sum of money. After the spin, users were shown their supposed winnings and asked to select between various banks where the alleged funds could be deposited. After they made the selection, users found themselves on phishing sites designed to mimic legitimate online banking interfaces. This deceptive tactic was the final move in the scam, aiming to swindle the victims by gaining access to their banking credentials and ultimately their funds.Fake New Year's crypto gift-boxes with no Pokémon  The stakes in the cryptocurrency market are very high. Stealing a wallet with even a few tenths of a bitcoin already brings scammers significant profit, so they put a lot of effort into creating believable phishing emails and sites, thus making it harder for the user to notice something wrong.The fraudsters in one such case created a phishing page copying the official offer of, a website that allows users to convert physical collectibles into tokens. The original site invited users to register and purchase a New Year's Eve box containing a Pokémon card. So, scammers created a phishing page with the same offer, however, to receive the surprise box, visitors had to connect a crypto wallet, resulting in the theft of their funds. “Scammers are inventive and cunning. In response we need to double check all those special offers that come through from unknown emails. Luckily, we can have a reliable ally here – a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that will protect personal data and money, and prevent malicious actors from stealing our holiday” Comments Olga Svistunova, Senior Web Content analyst at Kaspersky.To avoid scams connected to the season of giving, Kaspersky experts share some simple tips:Verify the source. Before engaging with any special offer, verify the legitimacy of the source. If it's from a known brand or organization, check their official website or social media channels to confirm the giveaway campaigns.Type the URL into the address bar.  Don’t open the link from the email: it could be a phishing link. Whenever there is a need to open a web site, it is always better to type its URL into the address bar avoiding any links in email.Look for the red flags in the offer. Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true, like winning a large sum of money or expensive prizes with little to no effort. This is especially tricky when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions: scammers will do their best to make an offer look valid.Do not share personal information. Legitimate giveaways rarely ask for sensitive personal information upfront. Be cautious of any request for details like your bank account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers.

UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar lead Middle East's Quantum computing drive

The rapid advancement of quantum computing has ignited a fierce race for the next era of computing innovation globally and across the Middle East, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan. While the United States and China hold the top positions in quantum computing and cryptography development, the growing prominence of quantum computing in the Middle East region will be discussed in detail at Intersec 2024, which takes place from 16-18 January 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionise cybersecurity by improving secure communication with advanced encryption. Yet, it also challenges current encryption methods, so preparing for this quantum era is vital to protect data from new risks.Although quantum computing is still in its early stages, it will likely impact fields like scientific research, cryptography, finance, supply chains, logistics, and drug discovery as it develops further.Speaking ahead of the Cyber Security Conference at Intersec 2024, Rajarshi Dhar, Principal Consultant, Security, Frost & Sullivan, said: “Quantum computing represents a revolutionary leap in computational power, promising to transform industries. While still nascent, this technology holds immense potential for solving complex problems faster and more efficiently than classical computers. As we continue to advance our understanding and capabilities in quantum computing, it is clear that this field will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of science, technology, and society at large.”Frost & Sullivan's analysis predicts a significant surge in the quantum cryptography market over the next five years, with more than half of the revenue expected to come from businesses, followed by the government and defence sectors.“This growth is propelled by the imminent threat posed by the commercialisation of quantum computers, making current security and cryptography outdated. Upgrading security systems is crucial, requiring future-proof cryptography capable of withstanding both quantum and sophisticated attacks,” Dhar added.Although the United States holds the top position in quantum computing and cryptography development, China is following closely behind and is anticipated to impact technological advancement significantly in the future.Meanwhile, the UAE has also been in a race for quantum computing and quantum cryptography development with its own Quantum Research Centre and UAE’s institutes working towards productisation. In September 2023, the Technology Innovation Institute developed cryptography estimators that evaluate the security of Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) schemes.Similarly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are making substantial steps in the quantum computing space with a US$ 10 million investment from the Qatari government towards the Qatar Centre for Quantum Computing. Saudi Arabia recognises the need to establish the Quantum Computing Council for Saudi Arabia.The implications of quantum computing will be discussed in detail at the two-day Intersec 2024 Cyber Security Conference, which will gather experts, thought leaders, practitioners, and innovators as they collectively chart the course for cyber security excellence in the years to come.Other notable regional and international speakers include His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government; Fadhel Al Marri, Security Systems Officer, Dubai Electronic Security Center; Craig Jones, Director – Cybercrime, Interpol, Singapore; and Sergi Marcen, Secretary of Telecommunications & Digital Transformation, Government of Catalonia, Spain.Grant Tuchten, Portfolio Director at Intersec organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: "The Cyber Security Conference allows the industry to deepen its understanding of cyber security risks and enhance cooperation among stakeholders to counter these risks effectively. Intersec will also host world-leading cyber security exhibitors within the in{:cyber} Pavilion, including Fortinet, Moro Hub, Alpha Data, and ManageEngine."The Intersec 2024 in{:cyber} Pavilion features the Hack Arena, a three-day challenge for Middle East cybersecurity experts hosted by Malcrove Participants demonstrate skills in web exploitation, digital forensics, cryptography, exploit development, and reverse engineering. Also, the Intersec Innovators Arena (IIA), powered by Unipreneur Inc, offers startups a platform to showcase products to potential investors.Workshops within the pavilion include the ITU-led Scenario Based Exercise, analysing attack scenarios, and the Table Top Exercise, simulating cyber-attacks on financial institutions.Intersec's 25th edition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, marks a quarter-century of innovation in security tech. With 1,000 exhibitors from 60 nations and 45,000 trade visitors, the event is a global hub for security, safety, and fire protection industries.

Penguin Media inks MoU with SkyBlue Media

Penguin Media -a subsidiary of 9Yards Communications- a premier outdoor advertising specialist offering innovative brand visibility solutions in Abu Dhabi, has today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SkyBlue Media Group, a Malaysian company specializing in digital out-of-home (OOH) marketing services, with the intent of redefining the future of outdoor media advertising across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.Under the agreement, Penguin and SkyBlue will collaborate to manage several key advertising locations, with this being SkyBlue’s first move into the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain markets. This follows an agreement between the Malaysian outdoor advertising company with the Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai. Under the partnership contract with RTA, SkyBlue has the exclusive advertising and naming rights for RTA’s 1,400 buses, 886 bus shelters, 523 mupis, and 22 bus stations.Commenting on the MoU, Hussam Al Mulhem, Founder and CEO of Penguin Media, said: “We are delighted to formalize this strategic partnership with SkyBlue Media, a truly pioneering company with over 15 years of experience in Malaysia’s outdoor advertising sector, and one that continues to be at the vanguard of its industry – transforming the OOH market by integrating new technology such as AI.”“This collaboration marks a pivotal moment in Penguin Media’s journey, combining the power of traditional outdoor advertising with cutting-edge technology. This synergy exemplifies our commitment to being pioneering industry leaders, delivering unparalleled value to our clients and a seamless integration of outdoor advertising experiences – for both advertisers and consumers alike,” Al Mulhem added.Also commenting on the partnership, Dato Manikandamurthy Velayoudam, Group Chairman & Managing Director of SkyBlue Media Group, said: "The synergy between SkyBlue Media's OOH expertise and Penguin Media's robust local presence is poised to revolutionize outdoor advertising in Abu Dhabi. Together, our unique strengths will seamlessly blend, adding unparalleled value to the industry and transforming the advertising landscape for a truly extraordinary experience."Committed to client success and guaranteeing wide brand exposure, Penguin Media -subsidiary of 9Yards Communications- has since its inception, continued to push boundaries and employ cutting-edge technology into its service offering. It also provides a highly skilled team who are committed to transforming the vision of a company’s advertising needs into compelling visual reality.

AudioSwim partners with EMPIRE Distribution

AudioSwim, Dubai-based avant-garde music management agency, has partnered with EMPIRE Distribution, a global force in independent music distribution. This strategic collaboration is set to redefine talent management, providing artists with unparalleled freedom, fair opportunities, and a transparent journey.In a bold move towards global impact and cultural fusion, AudioSwim has created a unique platform for artists to shape the future sound. With a focus on non-exclusive management, strategic marketing, brand development, and personalized support, AudioSwim is poised to lead a new era in the music industry.Key Features of the partnership:Non-exclusive management deals: AudioSwim's commitment to artist freedom is highlighted by its non-exclusive management deals, enabling artists to explore and innovate without constraints.Strategic marketing and brand development: AudioSwim will provide artists with expert services in strategic marketing and brand development, ensuring enhanced visibility and a lasting impact.Strategic negotiation: AudioSwim, leveraging its extensive industry network, will engage in strategic negotiations to secure advantageous deals for artists,   opening doors to collaborations and opportunities beyond the ordinary.Personalized support and consultation: Artists partnering with AudioSwim can expect personalized support and consultation, creating an environment where artistic vision meets strategic advancement."We at AudioSwim are thrilled to embark on this transformative journey with EMPIRE Distribution. This partnership signifies a new era for artist empowerment and the global impact of music. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, and we are particularly proud to introduce a diverse array of talented artists under our wing, including Sandra Hussien coming from the emerging musical hub of Denmark, Laaawwd hailing from the vibrant music scene of Texas, Flashy OTR representing the dynamic energy of New York, and Kir bringing his unique sound from the streets of Philadelphia. We are committed to crafting success stories, redefining talent management, and shaping the future sound. The fusion of cultures and musical styles from around the world is something we are eager to explore and amplify. This collaboration is a testament to our dedication to providing artists with freedom, fair opportunities, and a transparent journey. We believe in the power of music to connect people globally, and we look forward to creating a rich tapestry of opportunities and resources for our artists to thrive creatively and commercially," said Albert M. Carter, CEO, AudioSwim.

Massive Media launches as the first online pr agency in the Middle East

 Massive Media was launched today as the first fully-fledged online Public Relations (PR) agency in the Middle East region, committed to delivering essential PR services tailored for startups and SMBs.With a mission to empower entrepreneurs and drive business growth, Massive Media introduces affordable, accessible, and reliable PR services tailored to the unique needs of emerging businesses.The entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East, especially the UAE, experiences unprecedented growth, Massive Media emerges as a strategic ally for startups and SMBs, offering comprehensive PR solutions designed to enhance brand visibility, establish credibility, foster growth, and attract new customers and investors."At Massive Media, we support and understand the dynamic nature of the startup ecosystem in the Middle East. We believe that every startup is founded by an entrepreneur with a unique vision and the determination to bring about change. Our aim is to amplify their voices, ensuring that their stories and innovations receive the attention and recognition they deserve," said Mohammad Shaban, Founder and Managing Director of Massive Media.Massive Media aims to introduce intrapreneurs to the transformative power of PR, helping them navigate the competitive business environment. To this end, the agency offers free press release distribution, editing, and monitoring services, ensuring that emerging businesses have the tools and resources to effectively get their initial press releases published.Massive Media also provides a diverse range of PR services, focusing primarily on strategic communications, reputation management, media training, social media management, and digital services. Each service is chosen to address the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by startups in the Middle East, enabling them to navigate the complex business landscape with confidence and agility.The strength of Massive Media lies in its exceptional team of PR executives, strategists, copywriters, translators, and designers who collectively possess over two decades of experience within international agencies in the UAE, KSA, and Qatar. Their deep insights and nuanced understanding of the social, cultural, and economic intricacies of the Arab world enable Massive Media to offer strategic PR solutions that resonate with the diverse audiences of the region."Our team's profound understanding of the Middle East complexities positions Massive Media as a trusted partner for startups and SMBs seeking to establish a compelling brand presence. We leverage our expertise to craft tailored PR strategies that drive tangible results and foster sustainable growth”, said Samer Mohamed, Operations Manager, Massive Media.Startups and SMBs across the region are invited to explore the comprehensive range of PR services offered by Massive Media. By leveraging the agency's expertise and resources, emerging businesses can unlock their full potential, establish a compelling brand presence, and seize new opportunities in the vibrant regional market.

Stuart Brazier appointed CEO of Advanced Inhalation Rituals

Stuart Brazier began his new appointment as CEO of Advanced Inhalation Rituals (“AIR”), the global leader in shisha and heat-not-burn products, yesterday. He succeeds Reinhard Mieck, who has been CEO since 2021, who assumes the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors for AIR.Since 2021 AIR has grown from the global leader in shisha molasses, built around a single brand, Al Fakher, to a consumer-centric, lifestyle company built around a portfolio of leading brands and platforms. In a market which is demonstrating strong growth, AIR has considerably grown its capabilities, extended its brand leadership and international footprint, and successfully launched OOKA, the charcoal free heat-not-burn shisha device which is revolutionizing shisha markets. AIR has transformed into a company with an exciting brand portfolio and an expanding D2C business to complement and supplement its existing go-to-market models.Stuart Brazier has been with the business as CFO since 2019 and is ideally suited to take on the CEO role. Stuart has been instrumental in shaping and growing the business into the company it is today: the Group supplies over 100 countries with high quality branded shisha molasses and enjoys almost 50% share of the shisha category in the markets in which it operates. With a net turnover of over USD 400mn and an EBITDA of circa. USD 150mn, the Group consistently delivers double digit top line growth per annum and continues to invest significant amounts in developing next generation products for the category.Previously, Stuart spent 22 years with BAT in various general management and finance roles and finally as Head of Finance for BAT’s Europe and North Africa division, a circa. £6.0 billion net turnover business unit that delivered annual profits of circa £2.3bn to the Group.Bassem Lotfy will succeed Stuart and is appointed CFO. Bassem joined AIR in July 2020 after a long and successful career at British American Tobacco, where he last held the role of Finance Director, Central Europe North, the second biggest revenue and profit generator for the BAT Group. The AIR Group operates in a $15-20bn market which is forecast to grow at 7-10% CAGR driven by social and cultural trends. AIR’s brands include global market leader Al Fakher, Shisha Kartel, the fastest growing brand in Europe, the tobacco free Zodiac brand of shisha molasses as well as the category redefining charcoal free OOKA system. AIR is larger than its next 4 competitors combined.

Dubai Duty Free leverages Alipay+ solutions

Dubai Duty Free, one of the world’s largest travel retail operators, today announced its partnership with Alipay+ to power a seamless travel and checkout experience for international visitors.Consumers from South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia, Italy as well as Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao are now able to access promotions and pay with their home digital apps at duty-free stores at Dubai and Al Maktoum International airports.Dubai Duty Free is among the latest retailers and tourism facilities that leverage Alipay+ cross-border payment technology and marketing solutions to boost convenience and efficiency for international visitors.Through simple integration, Alipay+ e-wallet and bank partners that are accepted across the UAE include Alipay, AlipayHK, MPay (Macao SAR, China), GCash from the Philippines, Kakao Pay?Naver Pay and Toss Pay from South Korea, OCBC from Singapore, TrueMoney from Thailand, Hipay from Mongolia and Tinaba from Italy.In Dubai, the vast majority of international tourists are now able to pay for their taxi fares, and shop cashless at big malls in downtown and at airports with their home e-wallets and banking apps, in home currencies. Upon scanning the QR code at merchants’ end or pulling out their individual QR code to be scanned, the purchase would be completed within seconds, with transaction details displayed at their home digital app in real time.The partnership also comes as Dubai Duty Free celebrates its 40th Anniversary in December by unveiling a series of promotions and pre-Christmas deals for major categories including perfumes, cosmetics, liquor, watches, jewelry, confectionery, and leather goods.Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin commented: “"At Dubai Duty Free, we strive to provide a convenient and excellent shopping experience for our customers. We are therefore very excited about this partnership with Alipay+ to provide a seamless travel and checkout experience for them. For key travelers from Asia and Europe, it is of great advantage to be able to use their choice of payment, which they already use at home, without any exchange of cash.”Guoming Cheng, general manager of Ant Group in Europe and Middle East“We are thrilled to launch Alipay+ cross-border payment technology and marketing solutions at fast-growing global retailers like Dubai Duty Free to support convenient digital payment options so that international passengers can enjoy a seamless experience just the same way they do at home. From Dubai taxis to Dubai Duty Free and more tourism facilities, we are looking forward to upgrading the checkout experience across the region and support the growth of smart travel.”

Mastering the digital wave: Injeel Moti unveils Catch Communications' blueprint

In the 21st century, marked by unprecedented technological advancements, every sector is under the influence of digital transformation. Public Relations, in particular, must seamlessly integrate with social media and adapt to the ever-evolving tech landscape. In today's interview, we sat down with Injeel Moti, the Founder & Managing Director at Catch Communications & Catch Academy, to gain insights into how her brand is making strides in the year 2024. Moti sheds light on the crucial synergy between Public Relations and social media, emphasizing the brand's adeptness in embracing new digital innovations for continued success. Excerpts:With the growing importance of digital channels and social media, how is your PR agency planning to leverage new communication technologies and platforms by 2024?We are big on learning / training and staying on top of what’s happening around us not just regionally but internationally too. Also employing a young team who are adept and stay on top of new digital innovations comes in very handy. We typically kick off the year with a series of training sessions that are carried out by seasoned professionals, which allows the team to absorb, learn and incorporate creativity and innovation in campaigns.What strategies are in place to enhance client visibility and reputation management in the evolving digital landscape of 2024?As a business we have continually evolved with the changing needs of the market and will keep that up in 2024 too. Any successful communication campaign today is a multi-platform blend of different tactics and we ensure all our client campaigns encompass a variety of marketing tactics that help penetrate their target customers segments in the most effective way possible.With the rise of influencer marketing, how is your PR agency incorporating influencer partnerships into your communication strategies by 2024? What metrics do you prioritize to measure the impact of influencer collaborations on brand perception and audience engagement in 2024?Influencer partnerships have been an active part of our campaigns for clients for several years now. The influencer landscape, however, has evolved tremendously; we have gone from looking at following count to engagement and perceptions, the shift of mega influencers to micro, nano and non-traditional influencers has switched up things drastically. A lot of our campaigns today focus on non-traditional influencers who may not fit into a conventional mold, but are gaining popularity and reshaping the future of influencer marketing. Nontraditional influencers are individuals who possess a following and have the ability to influence their followers’ behaviors. Unlike traditional influencers, they may not have millions of followers, but they possess a dedicated and engaged audience that trusts their opinions.Having said that, each brand is unique and therefore must associate with faces that represent them in the best manner possible, which is where we come in.

R/GA Global CSO Tom Morton resigns after eight years

Tom Morton has left his role as the Global Chief Strategy Officer at R/GA and is embarking on a new chapter in his career. He joined R/GA in 2016, initially serving as the US head of strategy before climbing the ranks to become the Chief Strategy Officer, US, and eventually the Global Chief Strategy Officer.In his LinkedIn post, he writes: “After eight remarkable years, I'm moving on from R/GA. R/GA's purpose is to design businesses and brands for a more human future. And I think we lived up to it.We made a success of radical collaboration between different forms of strategy: brand, consulting, data, media, research, social, user experience. Our brand consulting work always led to interface and innovation. User behavior, search and data signals changed our campaign work. The insights really did come from the intersections.”He further mentioned about his achievements, writing: “We developed strategy for more technology clients than any other company: Airbnb, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Samsung, Twitter, Uber, Verizon. We invested in a better future, backing ventures programs for startups in data privacy and women's sports, bringing social responsibility to media buys, successfully campaigning to reform criminal records laws that hurt millions of New Yorkers.”Morton further expressed his future plans, which include writing, consulting, and helping others build better future for businesses and brands. His career in the United States began in 2011 when he joined Havas as the chief strategy officer. Subsequently, he held roles at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and co:collective. Before making the move to the US, Morton worked in London at TBWA\Worldwide and later at Publicis London, both times as the chief strategy officer.Reflecting on his time at R/GA, Morton expressed gratitude to key figures at R/GA, including founder Bob Greenberg, former Global Chief Strategy Officer Barry Wacksman, former Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law, and former R/GA president, US, Sean Lyons, for providing him with a "career-defining opportunity."

Amr Diab joins OPPO as MEA brand ambassador

Global technology brand OPPO has announced renowned recording artist Amr Diab as the brand ambassador for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. This partnership between OPPO and Amr Diab is aimed at reinforcing the connection between innovation and creativity. The focus will be on highlighting OPPO's portrait-centric smartphone, the Reno series.OPPO's portrait photography technology, recognized as "The Portrait Expert," has achieved notable success, with over 100 million devices sold since its introduction in 2019. The collaboration with Amr Diab aims to marry technological expertise with the emotional depth of music, underlining the brand's dedication to offering inspiring and elegant experiences for its users.Chi Zhou, President of OPPO MEA, explained that Amr Diab was a natural choice as the MEA Brand Ambassador due to his groundbreaking and visionary contributions to the music industry. The collaboration signifies the amalgamation of innovation, passion, and a commitment to creating meaningful experiences.Amr Diab stated: "I am honored to collaborate with OPPO, a brand that resonates with my commitment to breaking barriers and pursuing excellence. Together, we aim to create meaningful experiences for users, blending the worlds of art and innovation."The collaboration goes beyond the initial announcement, with a series of projects planned throughout the year. These projects include exclusive events, digital engagements, and a dynamic blend of technology, photography, and music. The overarching goal is to craft a memorable and inspiring journey for OPPO users, enriching their overall experience with the brand.

Geely Auto appoints Quill as strategic and creative partner

Geely Auto Middle East has announced the appointment of Quill, an integrated marketing communication agency, as its strategic and creative partner. This collaboration aims not only to develop comprehensive regional creative and communication campaigns but also to manage high-quality social media content, enhancing Geely Auto Middle East's digital presence.Cook Xue, representing Geely Auto Middle East, underscores the commitment to crafting a mobility experience resonating with the local culture. This signals a dedication to understanding the unique fabric of the Middle East and ensuring Geely's creative ethos reflects the region's spirit and aspirations.Maan Bou Dargham, CEO of Quill, expresses the agency's honor in being entrusted with Geely Auto Middle East's creative and strategic ambitions. Quill's recent expansion with new offices in Beirut, Riyadh, and Jeddah positions them well to provide an integrated communication approach for Geely Auto.Leveraging Quill's extensive expertise across departments and aiming to drive Geely Auto's brand growth indicates a holistic partnership. The emphasis on a bespoke, strategic framework and the application of Quill's IQ model (Insights, Imagination, Integration) highlights their commitment to delivering innovative solutions for Geely Auto.The Geely Bidding Committee's comprehensive and competitive evaluation process led to Quill's selection. Tony Saade, CSO at Quill, outlines the agency's approach focused on creating engaging customer experiences and enhancing Geely Auto's brand presence across all channels.This partnership signifies a substantial expansion of Quill's client portfolio, marking a new phase for both Quill and Geely Auto Middle East in terms of strategic communication and creative endeavors

Invest Qatar launches Ai.SHA, an Azure Open AI GPT-powered chatbot

The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (Invest Qatar) has partnered with Microsoft to develop Ai.SHA, an innovative AI-powered assistant harnessing GPT capabilities through the Azure OpenAI service. This groundbreaking initiative positions Invest Qatar as one of the first investment promotion agencies (IPA) in the world to adopt advanced technology, paving the way for transformative changes in professional interactions between investors and businesses in Qatar.The introduction of Ai.SHA underscores Invest Qatar’s commitment to advance its cutting-edge digital offering, by harnessing the potential of innovative technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to create a unique experience for investors. Ai.SHA serves as a comprehensive resource for informed decision-making in business endeavours. It addresses inquiries on Qatar's business opportunities, investment ecosystem, business setup and expansion amongst much more. It also leverages data from partner entities, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Financial Centre, Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Free Zones Authority.This initiative builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Invest Qatar and Microsoft last year. The MoU shares the common goal of fostering innovation within Qatar's digital sector and advancing a knowledge-based economy in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030).Hamad Rashid Al-Naimi, Strategy Manager at Invest Qatar, said: "We are confident that Ai.SHA will open new avenues for interested investors and streamline the decision-making process, enhancing its accessibility and efficiency. We are always interested in bringing new ways to innovate the investment landscape and Ai.SHA is a testament to Invest Qatar's unwavering commitment to creating a supportive and conducive environment for investors.”Amr Samir, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Qatar, said: "We are thrilled to collaborate with Invest Qatar to launch their first AI-powered assistant, an unprecedented leap into transformative opportunities for Qatar's investment scene. This collaboration showcases the game-changing impact of generative AI, redefining how investors and entrepreneurs engage with opportunities and strengthening Qatar’s position as a global investment hub."The launch of Ai.SHA was also supported by Information & Communication Technology W.L.L. (ICT), a Microsoft partner, and Applab, a Qatari company specialising in online platform development. ICT was responsible for designing and implementing the chatbot's foundational framework, including complex natural language processing algorithms, conversation flows and data integration. Applab enhanced the chatbot's user interface and integration with the website, while Invest Qatar conducted in-depth research and data verification to create Ai.SHA's distinctive visual identity.The introduction of Ai.SHA marks a significant milestone in Invest Qatar's expanding digital investment relations offering. The Agency recently unveiled the "Invest Qatar Gateway," a pioneering digital platform tailored for investors in Qatar. This free online resource serves foreign investors and companies by streamlining the search for new business partnerships, uncovering opportunities in both public and private sectors and providing essential resources to foster the development of businesses in Qatar.Through the platform, investors gain access to a comprehensive database of current tenders, enabling them to connect with fellow platform members and engage directly with the Invest Qatar Investor Relations team. This direct line of communication ensures tailored support for establishing or expanding their business ventures across various sectors.

Unveiling tomorrow: Natasha Hatherall-Shawe on TishTash's 2024 vision

In an era dominated by digital channels and social media, the role of public relations has evolved significantly. In this interview with Adgully Middle East, Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, the Founder and CEO of TishTash Communications, shares insights into the agency's journey and strategies for embracing new communication technologies by 2024. As the founder of TishTash Communications, Natasha Hatherall-Shawe has been a trailblazer in recognizing the evolving landscape of communications. With a keen eye on the future, Natasha discusses the agency's digital prowess, its foray into new territories, and the strategies in place to navigate the dynamic digital landscape of 2024. Excerpts:With the growing importance of digital channels and social media, how is your PR agency planning to leverage new communication technologies and platforms by 2024?In my opinion, no agency can solely focus on public relations in this current era. Eight years ago, my agency, TishTash Communications, began diversifying its service offerings within the communications space. This strategic decision was driven by a clear understanding of the industry's trajectory and future direction. Today we’re a fully integrated communications agency offering traditional PR, influencer engagement, events, digital marketing, social media and content creation and design/branding under one roof. We pride ourselves on innovating; we’ve won a lot of awards which we’re proud of, and I believe our agency, TishTash Communications, stands out as one of the most robust and comprehensive integrated service providers in the region.Our agency boasts a high level of proficiency in digital and social platforms. Even within the realm of traditional PR, we've formulated a robust digital PR strategy. Constantly, we emphasize the significance of a strong digital footprint to our clients, actively educating them on maximizing these opportunities.In the contemporary landscape, more than 80% of the PR coverage we secure for our clients is online. This strategic shift aligns with the belief that bolstering online presence is paramount. Unlike print coverage, online features tend to endure over time, contributing significantly to a sustained and lasting impact.Next year I’m focusing on creating a strong affiliate offering for our agency, as this goes hand in hand with digital marketing and influencer marketing and our market is very behind compared to other global markets. I’m determined to be at the forefront as our region plays catch up. I’ve hired some brilliant talent from the UK, and we’re working on some pilots as we speak for key brands in the e-commerce space.Also, as traditional media outlets dwindle, we will see more brands and companies launch their own media outlets and content platforms so they can choose to become their own distributors. This is an area we are working on ourselves with the launch of and one we plan to drive forward in 2024.What strategies are in place to enhance client visibility and reputation management in the evolving digital landscape of 2024?Transparency and authenticity are the backbone of all our communication strategies. Social proof is everything, and earned media opportunities are key in reputation management. Proactive reputation management is about clear and consistent storytelling, news and commentary that cement a brands credibility with the public. We advocate this and a strong digital and digital PR strategy with every client we work with to drive positive results. This will come from a blend of communication tactics, including traditional PR, owned social channels and content including LinkedIn and Wikipedia, third party collaborations and also a supporting paid for strategy.With the rise of influencer marketing, how is your PR agency incorporating influencer partnerships into your communication strategies by 2024?Influencer marketing is no longer new as it’s been a part of our ecosystem for a while now, gaining in appeal after the launch of Instagram in 2010. Whilst we’ve seen its popularity explode, for our agency I’d say it’s accounted for 60% of the work we do for clients for the last 7 years. If anything, I’d say there is some movement away from influencers now after a bumpy few years with trust and ethics in this sector and I am interested to see what the next 2-3 years has in store in this area as I expect a lot of changes globally and regionally.How and what brands use influencers for is definitely changing and it will continue to evolve. As ‘influencer fatigue’ sets in, genuine customer content (User Generated Content – UGC) is a vital preponement and endorsement for social media campaigns with consumers wanting and demanding authenticity. I expect to see a lot of development and interest in this area, as I’m already having a lot more conversation about this with clients.What metrics do you prioritize to measure the impact of influencer collaborations on brand perception and audience engagement in 2024?Measurement and impact of influencer campaigns (and PR/comms as a whole being honest) is always a hot topic and one of much debate. The lack of agreed reporting and ability to assess ROI has always been one of the biggest sticking points our industry has faced and the metrics our clients required varied greatly and were largely dependent on whether a paid or barter campaign.Finally clients are looking at and listening to advice over and above follower numbers alone. We have tools and the degree of insight we are able to provide clients with today is significant and we find more want this degree of detail and want to look at engagement levels, audience insights and more.We’ve believed in the power of the micro and nano influencer for a long time and we truly are getting the best results from those with 3,000 – 30,000 followers. When it comes to the large macro influencers not only are they expensive to work with, but there is a lot of wastage in their audience in terms of hitting your target audience and their engagement levels are typically lower than that we see with the highly bought in audiences micro and nano influencers have.For many clients now it’s not about numbers at all. Unique content is what they need as it costs a lot of money to create content for them to utilize across their channels, as well as to support their messaging being out there with their target audience, and working with influencers can be a cheap way to create content. Hence, this explains the rise in User-Generated Content (UGC) we’re seeing and will continue to in the year ahead. Aligning with those who create content that represents a brand in the way it wishes to be seen is extremely important.

Doha Festival City unveils the magical “Miraculous Show” for Shop Qatar 2024

Doha Festival City, Qatar's ultimate destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment, is delighted to announce hosting the “Miraculous Show” at The Village, as part of its participation in Shop Qatar 2024.Created to enchant audiences of all ages, the Miraculous Show offers a delightful experience inspired by the iconic animated series "Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir." It is a widely acclaimed animated television series, chronicling the escapades of two teenagers who morph into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir to safeguard the city from menacing supervillains. The "Miraculous" brand has garnered popularity all over the world, cultivating a fervent fanbase and evolving into a comprehensive franchise with a diverse range of merchandise such as toys, clothing, accessories, and more.Robert Hall, General Manager of Doha Festival City, said: "Being part of Shop Qatar 2024 is a unique celebration, and I am delighted that Doha Festival City is at the heart of it. The Miraculous Show reflects our commitment to delivering unparalleled and memorable experiences at The Village, which has become a prominent expansion to Doha Festival City.”Guests have the thrilling opportunity to meet Ladybug and Cat Noir, enjoy live performances and interactive activities, all while capturing fantastic photo opportunities. To enhance the overall visitor experience and align with the festival's philosophy of 'Shop more… Play more,' visitors can gain access to the kids' activity area by simply spending 100 QAR and receiving a stamped receipt from the designated areas.On weekends, the mall will burst with energy, featuring dynamic roaming performances and lively entertainment. Moreover, over 500 stores at Doha Festival City will be promoting special offers and discounts under the tagline 'Shop more... Save more!,'.Under the theme ‘Shop more … Win more!” and during Shop Qatar 2024, shoppers who spend 200 QAR or more will be eligible to redeem receipts at the redemption booths located in the Entertainment Node and Cup of Joe. The receipts will be stamped allowing their holders to participate in engaging games at the booth and receive a coupon for weekly raffles to win a Land Rover Defender and cash prizes.The final Mega Raffle Draw will be the highlight of Shop Qatar 2024 closing ceremony, which will take place on the January 27th at The Village. The event will feature special guest hosts and captivating entertainment. For the raffle, the prizes are nothing short of extraordinary, with the luxurious Land Rover Defender 90 Coupe being the grand prize, the car will be on display throughout the month in the Luxury Area at the mall. The raffle will also see three lucky winners go home with 10,000 QAR, two winners get 20,000 QAR, and one fortunate winner snatching a 50,000 QAR cash prize.

MBZUAI concludes the 4th edition of Executive Program

Forty-two leaders from organisations in the UAE have become the fourth cohort to graduate from Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) Executive Program (MEP). The executives spent 12 weeks with world-leading AI instructors immersed in the potential of AI to transform society, with an emphasis on enhancing sustainability.The programme’s fourth edition consisted of leaders from diverse organisations, including the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, the Supreme Council for National Security, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, to name just a few.The culmination of the programme delivered a set of capstone projects where participants applied their learnings to enhance sustainability, supporting the UAE’s Year of Sustainability. These include the development of an AI-powered observatory to help secure the UAE’s food and water security; a system for the prevention of online child exploitation; platforms for the screening, early detection, and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and other chronic diseases; a system to ensure the sustainability and resilience of critical supply chains; and an initiative to boost productivity, efficiency and informed decision-making through certified training in AI.Timothy Baldwin, MBZUAI Acting Provost and Professor of Natural Language Processing, who gave the keynote address at the graduation, said: “The fourth cohort of leaders to graduate from the MEP represents a new generation of pioneers and advocates for the ethical and responsible use of AI, a transformational tool that has the potential to become one of humanity’s greatest achievements.“Your decision to investigate and embrace the opportunities AI offers in the context of sustainability attests to your desire to become leaders in an innovative and ambitious country built on the belief that the future holds even greater opportunity than the past. You are the UAE’s next generation of ambassadors for ethical innovation, and the architects of a future where technology and sustainability work in harmony.”The MEP teams presented their capstone projects at the graduation ceremony. The judging panel chose the winner for proposals aimed at helping the UAE take a proactive approach to tackling food security and supporting the nation’s 2051 Food Security Strategy. The team pitched the idea of a National Food and Water Security Observatory to use AI to provide real-time insights and proactive decision-making around all key aspects of food security, from weather patterns and their impact on harvests through to supply chain issues, population growth and extreme weather events.The judges were similarly impressed with the other five projects, including two health-related solutions: Team GovSync proposed Omniya, an ecosystem that uses AI to check and collate data for the early detection and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. While team Hayaati proposed an AI solution to assist the healthcare sector proactively detect non-communicable diseases by overcoming current inefficiencies and inadequacies in data collection.As part of the AI community engagement and the strengthening of the network of the ambassadors of the MBZUAI Community, participants visited the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA), Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) in addition to engaging in classroom-based learning and developing their capstone projects.More than 166 executives have graduated since the programme’s launch in 2021.

UM MENAT appoints John Tippins as Regional Director – Strategy

UM has announced the appointment of John Tippins as Regional Director – Strategy, as the network continues its journey as a transformative growth partner to brands.Tippins will be responsible for driving the agency’s strategy, product, and capabilities. He will actively explore opportunities, identify new and innovative storytelling strategies, and play a pivotal role in crafting industry-first propositions to deliver solutions for clients’ businesses while maintaining a balance between short-term and long-term growth.With over 15 years of experience in brand and communication strategy, Tippins has primarily worked in London, with notable stints in New York and Los Angeles. His professional background spans diverse categories, including banking, FMCG, retail, telcos, government, tourism, and technology.Tippin’s most significant contributions have been across Publicis, Omnicom, and WPP agencies, most recently at Wavemaker UK. He has also gained valuable client-side experience during his time in the US. “I am delighted to join UM at an exciting time as we enter 2024. The prospect of being part of such a dynamic agency with an impressive client portfolio, talented individuals, and ambitious growth plans is truly exciting. I look forward to contributing to the agency’s continued growth, enhancing our overall offerings, and building on the robust strategic foundation we are establishing across the region for our clients,” said Tippins. Tippins will be based in Dubai, the headquarters of the UM MENAT hub, reporting to James Dutton, Regional Director & Head of Product. With MENAT playing a pivotal role within the UM global network in terms of product offering, digital leadership, and media innovation, Tippins will lead UM MENAT’s strategy team, identifying and embracing new thinking that will drive momentum and foster growth for all regional and local clients of UM MENAT. “We are excited to welcome John at a time when we are witnessing significant transformations in the media industry, and our agency continues to deliver game-changing growth for our clients. Looking ahead and building off the momentum from recent regional client wins, we foresee John’s deep strategic experience becoming a substantial asset for both our business and our clients,” said Dutton.

Ericsson appoints Majda Lahlou Kassi VP, Head of West Africa & Morocco

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) announces the appointment of Majda Lahlou Kassi as Ericsson's Vice President and Head of Ericsson West Africa and Morocco effective, 1 January 2024. Having spent close to 25 years at Ericsson, Majda will play a pivotal role in leading the strategic direction and operational excellence of Ericsson’s business within this geography, supporting Ericsson's customers with the latest advanced and innovative technologies that will advance the connectivity and ultimately societies in the West African region. Bringing over two decades of experience, Majda has held several senior leadership roles in technology, sales, strategy, operations, and customer project delivery. She has extensive knowledge regarding telecoms and Information Technology. Prior to her current role, Majda was Head of Networks Solutions leading a team driving customers’ network evolutions across 13 countries in Ericsson West Africa and Morocco.  Commenting on her new role, Majda Lahlou Kassi says: " I am excited to take on this new role, collaborating closely with our partners and customers to unlock the vast potential of digital transformation in West Africa. My focus is to support our customers, enabling their success while leveraging on our technology and services to drive Ericsson's growth in the region."Having always believed that diverse, inclusive teams drive performance and innovation to create greater business value, Majda's appointment solidifies Ericsson's commitment to these principles.

Anviz to Launch AI-boosted security products at Intersec Expo, Dubai

Anviz, a leading provider of professional security solutions, is set to the forthcoming Intersec Expo. From 16th to 18th January 2024, visit Booth SA-F33 at the Dubai World Trade Centre—to see their latest products revealed.The Middle Eastern market has seen a rise in need for reliable security systems recently. Most of this need comes from medium-to-large sized businesses. However, the market lies a sea of cheap but poor-quality security products, resulting from low entry barriers and technical standards. These separate systems often create compatibility problems, making them difficult to use and maintain. On the other hand, high-quality security products exist but often come with high price tags, deterring many budget-minded enterprises."Anviz will deploy a local delivery and service center in the Middle East. The 'rat race' of the physical security industry has just begun, our comprehensive security management platform meeting the requirements of enterprise users," said Peter, Global Integration Business Unit Director.Meet Anviz OneAnviz One is designed for midsize companies seeking a complete platform to handle workplace security, without breaking the bank. This all-in-one package includes hardware, software, and services unlike other single-category, complex security systems. It only needs an edge server to smoothly combine four self-developed Anviz product lines: access control, time attendance, surveillance, smart lock, and alarm system, addressing all office situations while ensuring unified branding design, protocol, and systematic management.Design Philosophy and BenefitsAnviz One's Edge AI-equipped devices change traditional post-incident verification and manual decision-making into thorough monitoring and intelligent decision-making.Anviz One includes security cameras and access control devices equipped with deep learning algorithms. For instance, upon identifying a lingering person, it starts analyzing their behavior patterns such as body language, dwell time, and facial features. If the person's behavior seems suspicious, an alarm is activated, notifying the security staff to react accordingly.Previously, achieving a balance between security and user convenience was challenging. Anviz One addresses this using biometric recognition, local storage, and bank-level communication encryption technologies, ensuring physical security, data protection, and user experience at once. Its edge server architecture enhances compatibility with existing enterprise systems while reducing system maintenance efforts and costs.

Salam takes the lead in Saudi Arabia's fixed broadband race

Opensignal, the global provider of independent insights into the connectivity experiences and decisions of consumers, has released its latest report on the fixed broadband experience in Saudi Arabia. The report reveals that Salam leads the pack across all five key metrics of user experience, delivering the fastest downloads, smoothest streaming, and most consistent quality for internet users across the Kingdom.In its latest study, Opensignal has delved deep into the real-world fixed broadband landscape in Saudi Arabia, offering a comprehensive look at user experiences across the nation, including major cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and Mecca. Evaluating five crucial metrics, Opensignal provides valuable insights into the performance of leading broadband providers in the region.Salam has truly emerged as the undisputed leader in Saudi Arabia, offering an unparalleled broadband experience across all metrics. With a standout 'Good' score in Broadband Video Experience, Salam users enjoy the fastest download and upload speeds, sharing the top spot in Broadband Consistent Quality with STC. In a detailed analysis of major cities, Salam dominates in 13 out of 19 comparisons, establishing itself as the go-to provider.Salam delivers unparalleled performance in Dammam, claiming the top spot in Broadband Consistent Quality, Mobile Video Experience, Download Speed, and Upload Speed. This comprehensive dominance guarantees a superior broadband experience for residents. In Jeddah, Mobily leads in Broadband Consistent Quality and Upload Speed, while STC takes the lead in Mecca for Broadband Consistent Quality. Salam's commitment to providing an exceptional broadband experience is making waves nationwide, setting new standards for connectivity and user satisfaction.Unlocking the secrets of broadband, Opensignal captures the heartbeat of user experiences across a diverse array of network architectures, spanning fiber, xDSL, cable, fixed wireless access via 4G and 5G, and even satellite. This unique approach paints a panoramic picture of user satisfaction, covering the full spectrum of broadband technologies. Focusing on major players ensures our readers get a comprehensive snapshot of the broadband landscape, analyzing tariff characteristics and plan variations with real-world authenticity. It's more than just data; it's the narrative of how people navigate the internet in the dynamic world of broadband, and we're here to share that story—unbiased and upfront.Experience broadband redefined, where performance metrics illuminate a spectrum of excellence. The Broadband Consistent Quality metric, evaluated through user experience alignment with common application demands, guarantees unwavering reliability and seamless service. For discerning mobile video viewers, the Broadband Video Experience metric, meticulously measured by the Mean Opinion Score, unveils the nuanced delivery of visual content.Optimizing efficiency, the Broadband Download Speed metric sets the benchmark for everyday online tasks, while the Broadband Peak Download Speed metric showcases the community's pinnacle performance. Completing the comprehensive picture, the Broadband Upload Speed metric spotlights the network's responsiveness in data transmission. This robust framework of metrics empowers informed decision-making, enabling users to select the broadband connection that aligns perfectly with their diverse needs.In the November 2023 Fixed Broadband Experience Report by Opensignal, Salam's continued reign as the champion in providing top-notch broadband experiences for users in Saudi Arabia is underscored. The in-depth analysis emphasizes Salam's exceptional performance across crucial metrics, firmly establishing its leadership in the Saudi Arabian fixed broadband market.

Deliveroo attains full population coverage across Kuwait

Deliveroo, the leading food delivery platform, proudly announced that it now provides delivery services to all permanent population centers. This remarkable milestone marks a significant step forward for Deliveroo's continuous growth and commitment to delivering exceptional convenience and delightful dining experiences to its valued customers.With over four prosperous years in the local market, Deliveroo has accomplished a significant expansion of its delivery services to the southernmost regions of Kuwait. This now includes coverage of permanent population areas, such as Sabah Al Ahmad, Ali Sabah Al Salem, Khairan, Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City, Wafra, Julaia, Bnaider, Dubaeeiya, and beyond. Customers can now relish the convenience of ordering their beloved choices from restaurants, grocers, coffee shops, pharmacies, flower shops, and more, all delivered directly to their doorsteps.The decision to extend delivery coverage to these new areas reflects Deliveroo's devotion to catering to the diverse palates and preferences of residents in every corner of Kuwait. By expanding its reach, Deliveroo ensures that local residents have access to an extensive range of cuisines bursting with flavor, from highly sought-after local delicacies to globally acclaimed international favorites. No matter where customers are located, they can now effortlessly indulge in their preferred culinary delights through Deliveroo's impeccable service.Seham AlHusaini, General Manager of Deliveroo Kuwait & Qatar, said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to serve our customers no matter what area of the country they’re in. Whether you are craving your favorite burger from Kuwait City or a quick cup of coffee at the chalet on the weekend, Deliveroo is here to deliver.”To download the Deliveroo app and start taking advantage of the most convenient way to order, customers can visit the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.

Dubai gets ready for media takeover

Dubai's is launching an ambitious strategy to double the industry's economic impact, attract global talent, and become a major media hub. Buckle up for innovative content, booming creativity, and a flourishing UAE workforce in the spotlight.Dubai aims to double its media GDP, attract FDIs, and nurture local talent with its newly approved media strategy. The plan prioritizes intellectual property protection, skills development, and encouraging more UAE nationals into the industry. Expect legislative updates, content reviews, and even e-games!Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's visionary leader, has greenlit a bold new strategy to propel the city's media sector. Doubling the GDP contribution, creating a global media hub, and attracting top talent are key priorities. The future of Dubai's media looks bright!Dubai's media industry is gearing up for major growth: a new strategy aims to double its economic impact, attract global talent, and solidify Dubai as a major media hub. Expect more diverse content, stronger intellectual property protection, and a focus on local talent development.Mona Al Marri, driving Dubai's media ambitions: The Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council spearheads the implementation of the city's game-changing new media strategy. Doubling the industry's economic contribution, fostering innovation, and attracting FDIs are just some of the goals.

Smart Salem kicks off new year with Samsung partnership to promote wellness

Smart Salem, the UAE's leading one-stop shop and high-tech medical fitness and wellness provider today announced a partnership with Samsung Gulf Electronics to help enable UAE residents in achieving their health and wellness goals for 2024.This partnership plays a key role in Smart Salem’s recently introduced campaign, “New Year, New Me”. Aligned with the widely popular resolution people make to enhance their health and wellness at the beginning of the year, Smart Salem is offering UAE residents exclusive discounts of up to AED 200 on the Samsung Galaxy Watch6.Smart Salem advocates for the community's health and wellness and offers executive wellness services as part of its diversification strategy this year, emphasizing the importance of community-wide wellness awareness. Customers can upgrade medical fitness appointments to include comprehensive wellness screening or book separately, from Vitamin Profiles to vital organ profiling, with premium packages offering a consultation with a doctor.UAE residents can take advantage of the Smart Salem services and Samsung discounts by booking a Medical Fitness test or Premium Wellness package online and visiting one of Smart Salem’s flagship centers: Dubai Knowledge Park, Index Tower, or City Walk, throughout January. Walk-in appointments also qualify for the discount.The use of wearable health devices, including fitness trackers, Smartwatches, Smart bracelets and even Smart rings, have grown popular in recent years, with approximately 45 percent of GCC residents claiming wearable tech is an effective way to monitor their personal health. The devices, which enable people to track their daily steps, set goals, track their activity, track their sleep, and monitor vital health, are also popular for motivation for users to achieve their health and fitness goals.Amanda Gravitis, CEO of Smart Salem, commented: “We are delighted to be kicking off 2024 by celebrating yet another key milestone in our journey towards improving health and wellness in the UAE. We are proud of this partnership with Samsung Gulf Electronics and we hope it will help the community to become more aware of their overall wellness and equip them to achieve their goals.”Smart Salem combines a luxury experience with the convenience of a one-stop shop by guaranteeing medical fitness testing completion results in 30 minutes six days.

Advanced Media, Gulf Education team up for media lab project - Act Fast!"

Gulf Education with the support of Advanced Media Trading LLC, the leading distributor of professional broadcast and production equipment in MENA, is thrilled to announce the successful completion of the Media Lab Project at the Technology and Career Center (TCC) at Emirates National School. This accomplishment stands as a testament to Advanced Media Trading's and Gulf Educations commitment to nurturing the next generation of media professionals and aligns with the aspirations of TCC whose mission extends beyond conventional academics.TCC serves as a hub where students refine their skills through practical applications, essential for their future careers. Advanced Media provided TCC with every necessary step to successfully complete the project from consulting on the initial idea to providing guidance through the implementation phase, all the way to offering extensive training. This project serves as an exceptional opportunity for students to understand the workflow of a TV station and enables them to explore the world of audio storytelling, create and record podcasts, and interact within an immersive environment simulating various backgrounds and settings.Abdelrahman Elalfy, Corporate Sales Manager at Advanced Media Trading, remarked that “Advanced Media is dedicated to complimenting sales and training with practical experiences that empower our clients, especially students who are the future of the dynamic world of media. This project with TCC was an obvious and exciting choice for us. We are very pleased with the results and look forward to expanding this partnership.”Despite being established in 2018, Gulf Education holds over 70 years of collective experience in education and recruitment. With its main offices in Abu Dhabi and a global network of representatives, Gulf Education excels in finding teachers for various educational levels across the UAE, Middle East, and South-East Asia. Most importantly, Gulf Education played a pivotal role in activating and supporting this project successfully. “Through the successful completion of the Media Lab Project at the TCC, our collaboration with Advanced Media Trading embodies our shared commitment to empower the next generation of media professionals. Together, we are paving the way for innovative and captivating content creation, nurturing talents that will shape the future of media across all channels,” commented Eoin Bolger, Managing Director of Gulf Education.The collaborative efforts of Advanced Media and Gulf Education are directed towards the encouragement and betterment of the future generation and creation of innovative and captivating content across all media channels.

New Year, New Flights as Etihad welcomes 2024 with more destination to India

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has kicked off 2024 by introducing two new services. Daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode (CCJ) and Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) in the Kerala region of India commenced on New Year’s Day.These non-stop services to each destination bring the total number of Indian gateways served by Etihad to 10, underscoring the airline’s commitment to providing easy access to its expanding global network for guests travelling to and from the Subcontinent.Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad, said: “We have established a fantastic group of non-stop routes between India and Abu Dhabi, providing customers with easier access to our growing network without transiting through one of the main Indian hub airports."Seamless and practical connections at Abu Dhabi ensure that our guests can easily access destinations across the GCC, Europe - including our four daily services to London - and North America. Moreover, they have the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic stopover in Abu Dhabi as an integral part of their journey.”The introduction of this service enhances accessibility to the picturesque countryside and beaches that Kerala is renowned for, creating increased inbound tourism to the region. Additionally, it streamlines travel for professionals visiting the burgeoning business hubs in the area.In 2023, the airline reintroduced services to Kolkata, a vital Indian gateway connecting Eastern India to global destinations. Furthermore, the airline has increased the frequencies of flights to Mumbai and Delhi, two of its most popular routes, from two per day to an impressive four flights per day.For 2024 Etihad has already announced new flights to Boston, USA starting on 31 March, to Nairobi, Kenya on 01 May, and its exciting summer schedule includes an inaugural non-stop service to Nice, France and direct flights to the Greek isles of Mykonos and Santorini.<img src='\50dded923afc802348b9f2317f0180a7.png' class='content_image'>

Impact46 announces refreshed logo and branding

 Impact46, a leading venture capital firm in Saudi Arabia, announced today its new logo and branding. The company’s new logo reiterates the company's focus and commitment to the market and marks the launch of even more community initiatives that support the entrepreneurial ecosystem."We are thrilled to unveil our new logo and branding, which showcases our drive, energy and commitment to evolve in the fast-paced financial industry," said Abdulaziz AlOmran, Founding Partner and CEO of Impact46. "Our new logo reflects the growth and development we've experienced, while also signaling our ambitious vision for the future."Looking toward the future, Impact46 is poised to continue capitalizing on its successful track record as an industry leader while exploring new opportunities aligning with its strategic objectives. “We remain committed to nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and supporting groundbreaking ideas that drive positive change in various sectors,” commented Basmah AlSinaidi, Managing Partner at Impact46.The new logo features a triangle element represented in the "i" letter of the company’s name. The triangle, pointing upwards and to the right, symbolizes growth, moving forward, and positive advancement. The dark green color represents the roots of the company, symbolizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a nutshell, this logo perfectly captures the values and mission of the company, and shows its commitment to success and innovation.

KPMG: AI, Digital Shifts to Reshape Qatar Banking

KPMG in Qatar proudly presents its highly anticipated 'Qatar Banking Perspectives Report - 2023'. This seminal report illuminates the dynamic landscape of Qatar's banking sector, spotlighting emergent trends that redefine the industry.This yearly issue is meticulously curated to empower decision-makers in assessing prevailing trends and analyzing factors that will shape the future of Qatar's banking industry. The past year witnessed unprecedented transformation in the sector, marked by the introduction of regulatory enablers designed to usher in new digital fintech players while supporting traditional incumbents in their digitization.Despite challenges such as surging interest rates, margin pressures, geopolitical uncertainties, and a complex credit environment, Qatar's banks have showcased remarkable agility. Steered by effective cost management, embracing digital transformation, and an unwavering risk-centric approach, banks have not just endured but thrived, preserving robust profitability levels.The 2023 report delves into pivotal themes shaping Qatar's banking sector and rippling effects across the region. Our domain experts unravel profound insights on diverse topics, encompassing data analytics and cloud technology, fraud, evolving regulatory terrains, sustainable finance, implications of the global minimum tax, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) strategies, M&A dynamics, and the reverberations of Basel 3 reforms."We trust that this report will not only provide you with valuable insights but also inspire strategic initiatives as we navigate the evolving banking landscape in 2024 and beyond," commented Omar Mahmoud – Partner, Head of Financial Services, KPMG in Qatar.

Al Meera unveils cutting-edge smart shopping carts for the first time in the ME

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company (Q.P.S.C), partnering with Veeve, a Seattle-based tech company, is set to revolutionize the retail technology landscape by introducing smart carts for the first time in the region.The initial soft launch of smart carts will be introduced at Al Meera's Wakrah South branch, followed by Leabaib 1 branch. Customers are invited to experience this new and innovative way to shop starting 1st January 2024, marking the beginning of a revolutionary era in the retail industry in Qatar.Striving to provide an exceptional shopping experience, the retailer's latest smart carts come equipped with a touch screen, barcode reader, and cameras. Customers can log in, scan items, and add them to the cart, eliminating the need for traditional checkout lines. Moreover, the screen will showcase the best nearby deals and promotions, seamlessly connected to Meera Rewards, enabling customers to shop and save simultaneously.On this occasion, Al Meera stated: "Al Meera customers consistently relish an exceptional experience across all its stores, as we continue our journey of rapid expansion, from the inception of the first fully autonomous and checkout-free Smart store in Qatar to partnering with high-tech global organizations. For the first time in Qatar and the Middle East, smart shopping carts will be introduced as an alternative to traditional carts, an additional step in Al Meera's comprehensive digital transformation journey.”He added: "The introduction of the smart cart marks the initial phase of its rollout, with plans for a gradual expansion across more branches in the near future after meticulous customer testing.”Veeve, a Seattle-based company, implements its technology in major retail brands globally, with Al Meera being one of the latest additions in the Middle East.Al Meera not only upholds its rich legacy of years of experience and excellence in the retail sector, but also contributes to the Qatar National Vision 2030 by strategically adopting state-of-the-art technological solutions through recent partnerships.These alliances ensure advanced cloud solutions and play a crucial role in implementing expansion plans that align with Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Simultaneously, they enhance the overall experience for customers and employees across its extensive network of 60+ branches.

Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy expands 7.7% in Q3 and 8.6% in first 9 months of 23

The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) has reported a substantial 7.7 per cent growth in the real non-oil GDP of Abu Dhabi during the third quarter of 2023, in comparison to the same period in 2022.The growth is attributed to the success of Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive strategy aimed at fortifying its standing as a prominent economic powerhouse.Preliminary estimates released by SCAD reveal that most of non-oil activities have sustained growth rates, contributing 52.8 per cent to the overall economy. Despite fluctuations in the oil and gas global markets, the Abu Dhabi' economy continues to exhibit promising prospects.Marking a significant milestone, the emirate's economy reached its highest quarterly value at AED290.5 billion, posing a positive growth of one per cent in real gross domestic product during Q3 2023 compared to the same quarter the previous year, despite the decline in oil prices.The statistical results indicate a 2.8 per cent growth in real GDP over the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period last year and a robust 8.6 per cent expansion in non-oil activities during the same timeframe.His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “The consistent stellar growth of Abu Dhabi’s economy is a solid proof of its resilience and the effectiveness of our approach to turn headwinds into tailwinds during this challenging time as the global economy is witnessing major shifts that impact different markets and industries around the world”.“These results, with a 2.8 per cent growth in real total GDP and an impressive 8.6 per cent rise of non-oil GDP during the first 9 months of 2023, reaffirm our strong foundation and robust frameworks, paving the way to the Falcon Economy to soar further and farther. Backed by ongoing diversification strategic programmes, growing engagement of the private sector, and initiatives to attract more quality FDIs and DDIs, Abu Dhabi is cementing its status as preferred destination for talents, investments, and businesses. We remain committed to continuously and proactively enhance our vibrant, globally competitive and entrepreneurial ecosystem to generate lasting opportunities for all, enabling them to reach their full potential, while placing human development and sustainability at the heart of our socio-economic strategies.”His Excellency Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi said: “SCAD is committed to enhancing the quality and accessibility of reliable analyses crucial for both local and international investors in their decision-making processes. SCAD offers a range of statistical indicators that aid decision-makers and specialists in determining investment priorities and monitoring the performance of various sectors according to the international best practices for statistical production and analyses.“The third-quarter statistical indicators reflect the economic resilience of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and showcase a consistent growth since the second quarter of 2021. This growth is attributed to the expanding non-oil activities, mitigating the impact of the global slowdown in oil-related activities. The statistical figures affirm the emirate's proactive efforts to diversify the economy and promote the growth of non-oil sectors.”Manufacturing activities, which is a leading non-oil activity, reached a value of AED26.3 billion, contributing over 17 per cent to the non-oil GDP and 9 per cent to the overall GDP in the third quarter of 2023. This underscores the continued success of diversification initiatives, including the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS) aiming to strengthen the emirate’s position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub and the rapid growth of non-oil activities.In a parallel development, construction activity maintains a positive momentum, achieving a growth rate of 14.3 per cent during the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The value of construction activity reached AED25 billion, contributing more than 16.3 per cent to the non-oil GDP and 8.6 per cent to the total economy during the third quarter of 2023.Statistical estimates released by the SCAD highlight growth across most non-oil sectors, including the transport and storage sector, achieving a remarkable growth rate of 20 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 year-on-year, surpassing growth rates in previous quarters. This surge can be attributed to the substantial expansion of the shipping container market and the increased volume of flights and passengers.In the same context, financial and insurance activities experienced a growth of 14.4 per cent during the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. This growth elevated the value of the sector to AED18.7 billion, contributing 6.4 per cent to the emirate’s gross domestic product during this period.The robust economic growth experienced by Abu Dhabi had a notable impact on foreign investment which witnessed a significant 9.7 per cent increase in total foreign investments throughout 2022, surpassing an impressive value of AED831 billion.Amidst varying economic performances across the Middle East and North Africa region during this period, Abu Dhabi emerged as one of fastest growing economies in 2022 and first nine month of 2023. This outcome underscores the emirate's distinguished position, affirming its competitiveness and its attractive investment climate while maintaining a resilience and proactive approach to fostering a thriving economic landscape.

Yalla!Hub empowers over 105 brands as it conquers new markets

Yalla!Hub, the leading quick-commerce as a service (QAAS) platform, today announced a series of groundbreaking initiatives to propel the e-commerce revolution in the MENA, which is set to grow by 24 percent between 2020 and 2024 to reach $20 billion. Several services and marketplaces, such as Amazon, Noon, and NowNow, have already integrated the features the company has to offer, such as SEO optimization and professional design of item cards to attract more customers and increase brand awareness. Over the past year, Yalla!Hub has played a pivotal role in enabling over 105 brands to expand their reach into the UAE, Saudi Arabia and beyond. The brands include VkusVill, Ingresso Roasters, Narzan water, Elfbar, Bite Beauty, Minimalist Jewelry, Merries, Bio Cera, mi&ko, Daigo, Rada Russkikh, Romanovamakeup, Pusy Beauty, among others. These brands, spanning diverse industries from groceries and vitamins to housekeeping, baby products, and electronics, have leveraged Yalla!Hub's robust infrastructure and expertise to seamlessly navigate the complexities of the MENA e-commerce market. Furthermore, some of these brands have become favorites in the market and shown rapid growth since their launch. This includes Romanovamakeup with a sales growth of 10560%, Merries with 2790%, Legend of Baikal with 1063%, Chikalab with 650%, and Lotos LLC (Chiedocover) with 469%, among others.The company's ambitious expansion plans and unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and partnerships position Yalla!Hub is at the forefront of shaping the region's digital retail future. In 2024, Yalla!Hub is poised to revolutionize the fashion segment, leveraging the explosive growth of TikTok and the burgeoning social e-commerce landscape. In fact, global social media advertising spending is projected to more than double and exceed an all-time high of $262 billion by 2028. With fashion becoming the epicenter of social commerce in the Middle East, the company empowers fashion brands to capitalize on this trend and connect directly with their target audience in the UAE and Saudi Arabia."We are witnessing the meteoric rise of TikTok and its transformative impact on social commerce," remarked Leo Dovbenko, CEO of Yalla!Hub. "Fashion, with its inherent visual appeal and social influence, is the ideal industry to harness this paradigm shift. Yalla!Hub is at the forefront of this disruption, empowering fashion brands to engage with their audience, showcase their products, and drive sales through the power of social media."Beyond fashion, Yalla!Hub is rapidly expanding its reach into new markets, setting its sights on conquering Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In summer 2023, the company secured a seed investment round of $6 million to fuel this expansion. These funds will be instrumental in refining the IT platform for order aggregation, expanding the network of partner marketplaces, and accelerating the company's growth in these new territories.With its innovative spirit, unwavering commitment to partnerships, and strategic expansion plans, Yalla!Hub is poised to become the driving force behind the MENA e-commerce sector, which is estimated to reach a market volume of $50 billion by 2025, according to a recent Deloitte study. The company's vision is to revolutionize how brands operate and consumers shop, creating a dynamic and interconnected e-commerce ecosystem that caters to the region's diverse needs."Yalla!Hub is not just another e-commerce platform; it's a catalyst for change," affirmed Dovbenko. "We are empowering brands to reach new heights, expanding consumer choices, and shaping the future of e-commerce in the MENA region. With our innovative approach, strategic partnerships, and unwavering commitment to growth, Yalla!Hub analyzes trends and offers its clients the most profitable ways to promote themselves on the market."

Talabat Mart unveils 2023’s biggest grocery orders and popular products

Talabat Mart, one of the most popular grocery sites, has revealed its 2023's biggest grocery orders, most popular products and categories. It's fascinating to see how online grocery shopping has transformed the way people acquire their everyday essentials. Talabat Mart sheds light on some intriguing trends in the online grocery shopping landscape in the UAE:Record-Breaking Order:Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023.A monumental order of 438 items was placed in a single transaction, marking it as the biggest order of the year. This order not only reflects the convenience of online grocery shopping but also elevates the customer to the talabat Mart Hall of Fame.Loyal Shopper Recognition:Remarkable Customer: A single customer demonstrated exceptional loyalty by placing a staggering total of 595 individual orders in the year 2023. This showcases the platform's ability to retain and satisfy dedicated customers.Most Loved Brands:Leading Brands: Mai Dubai, Al Ain, and Almarai emerged as the preferred brands among consumers. This data provides insights into the brands that have gained popularity and trust among online shoppers.Popular Product Categories:Consumer Preferences: Fruits and vegetables stand out as the indisputable favorites, with over 12 million units sold. This trend highlights a growing inclination towards healthier choices among individuals, reflecting a broader health-conscious lifestyle. Peak Order Time:Busiest Hour: The peak order time for talabat Mart is at 7 pm. This information is valuable for both consumers, helping them plan their orders efficiently, and for the platform to manage resources during peak hours.Efficient Picking Time:Picking Efficiency: talabat Mart showcases impressive efficiency in order picking, with an average picking time of under 2 minutes for the UAE. This rapid turnaround time is a testament to the platform's streamlined operations and quick service.The data provided not only highlights the convenience and efficiency of online grocery shopping but also reveals interesting insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and the operational efficiency of the talabat Mart platform in the UAE.

How to build successful affiliate marketing programs in 2024

According to Admitad’s report on White Friday 2023 in MENA, affiliate marketing has shown its growing popularity, with 20% more brands building it into their marketing strategy than last year. Companies find it convenient to use a tool that allows them to cover all possible sources of traffic and pay only for results.Vadim Mennanov, Head of Marketing at ,Tapfiliate an affiliate program building tool, talks about the most effective methods of attracting the right publishers to your affiliate program, as well as offering advice on some of the common pitfalls you should avoid in your 2024 marketing strategy.A low-cost, budget-efficient way to reach new audiencesAffiliate marketing is an advertising strategy whose popularity is growing daily. At its very core, it involves the cooperation between a company or brand (the advertiser) who wishes to promote a product or service and a publisher (the affiliate) who agrees to help spread the company’s marketing message to their own audience.Anyone with an audience can be a publisher. They could be someone with their own communications network, group of listeners or readers, and they might publish across platforms such as websites, blogs, social media, podcasts, email newsletters or YouTube channels. In return for the cooperation, publishers receive a commission for each successful conversion that results from their promotional efforts.Affiliate marketing can be a low cost and efficient marketing strategy for any business to generate new sales and increase profits, but the key element is to skilfully and authentically connect a product or service with the right target audiences, thus the right publishers.How to attract the right publishers to your affiliate programThe key to developing a robust promotions network that can significantly increase your brand's reach and revenue is to be proactive in inviting publishers to join your affiliate program.Rather than simply waiting for publishers to stumble upon your program on their own, it's worth taking the initiative, doing your own research and reaching out to those affiliates who could really benefit your business.Here are 7 factors for building successful affiliate partnerships:1. Competitive commissions - Offering attractive commission rates is a simple way to get the attention of high-quality affiliates. It’s also something that will make them more likely to choose working with you over your competitors. Providing competitive commissions and incentives also helps keep affiliates engaged in promoting your business over the long-term.2. High-quality products or services - Publishers are more likely to promote products that they genuinely feel are valuable and worthy of recommendation to their followers. Because of this, ensure that the products or services you wish them to promote are of the highest possible quality. Remember, affiliate relationships are built upon the trust that you can deliver the quality your affiliates have promised. The affiliates have their reputations to protect.3. Effective communication - Maintaining successful, long-term relationships with publishers is all about communication. Affiliates need to feel valued and supported, as well informed about all on-going and up-coming promotional activities. Keeping them constantly in the loop builds loyalty, keeps them engaged and encourages extra effort.4. The right affiliate network - There are many affiliate networks to choose from but a good affiliate platform should provide accuracy in tracking publisher activity, transparency in reporting and ease of use. Using such an affiliate platform makes program management more efficient and comfortable for both you and your affiliates.5. Marketing materials - Affiliates need access to branded marketing materials to effectively promote your products or services. These can include ready-made banners, promotional content and affiliate links. Providing an extensive library of materials can help affiliates to create compelling, brand-consistent and effective content, which in turn increases the reach of your affiliate program and its impact on the market.6. Relationship building - Building lasting relationships with affiliates is key to the success of an affiliate program. By continually communicating, hosting industry events and providing development opportunities, you create a healthy and collaborative environment. This in turn translates into better program performance and long-term benefits.7. Affiliate referral program - An affiliate referral program can encourage people who are already working with you to actively promote your program to their circle of friends, driving increased reach.Maintaining long-term partnerships with your affiliatesThese 7 factors will help you to get your fledgling affiliate program off the ground, attract high-value publishers, set the ground-rules for effective communication and put your business on the path to building mutually-beneficial affiliate marketing relationships built on trust.But, running and managing a successful affiliate program is an on-going process. Here are some more tricks for long-term success and some things you should definitely avoid doing.Be clear about your goals - Make sure you have a clear strategy for your affiliate program before you start. What exactly do you want to achieve? How? What marketing materials can you offer to support your campaigns? Keep your goals simple, transparent and easy to communicate to publishers. If the goals of your program are unclear, you risk attracting the wrong publishers to your affiliate program.Choose your partners wisely - When starting any affiliate relationship, you need to set clear ground-rules for what is and what isn’t acceptable to you. This can mean ruling out any and all unethical practices such as false advertising and promotional spam that could lead to irreparable damage for your brand image.Keep lines of communication open - It’s key to build relationships with your publishers that are built on openness. Make sure to value (and take full advantage of) any suggestions or contributions they make. Keeping ahead of changing market trends can be a significant factor in your affiliate program’s success, and your publishers can help you achieve this.Use tools to monitor, manage and optimise - There are plenty of powerful marketing tools out there. Choose a user-friendly platform that offers tools to accurately track commissions and conversions without overwhelming partners with complexity. Using sub-par tools and systems, especially in terms of tracking activities and handling payments, can cause big problems down the line.Be transparent with your payouts - Avoid ambiguity about the commissions you pay. This includes hidden clauses and inconsistencies in payouts. Most importantly, always pay your publishers on time.Affiliate marketing represents an extremely beneficial opportunity for companies across all industries to promote themselves. Take these tips, tricks and guidelines onboard and good luck on your affiliate marketing journey.

2024 forecast: Gracy Chen unveils six market catalysts for crypto boom

Authored By Gracy Chen, Managing Director at Bitget, the world’s largest crypto copy trading platformIn 2023, Bitcoin surged over 130% from its 2022 lows, surpassing a $700 billion market cap. Bitget mirrored this momentum with an 82% increase in spot trading volume in November 2023. The global market cap declined in July and August and rose in September with the news of spot Bitcoin ETFs. Bitget and Bybit saw the highest market share growth in September. Highlighting the significant events and advancements of the crypto/blockchain industry in this year.The trends will change, the upcoming shifts in the market situation, and perhaps key events. In 2024, there will be six market catalysts for positive developments. It is expected that the Bitcoin ETF will receive SEC approval in January 2024. The market is currently optimistic, and following this, approval for an Ethereum ETF is anticipated. Institutions are considering using Bitcoin to achieve diversified asset allocation. The Ethereum Cancun upgrade is scheduled for the first quarter, during which Ethereum and L2 ecosystems will further unleash their potential. ZK L2 projects are expected to experience a token issuance boom. The issuer of the stablecoin USDC, Circle, is preparing for its initial public offering (IPO), potentially in the first half of 2024. Bitcoin will undergo a halving in 155 days, increasing the scarcity of Bitcoin. The FTX case is gradually entering its later stages, facing restructuring. As regulatory clarity emerges, it is expected to attract new retail funds. The US interest rate hiking cycle is reaching its end, and the market anticipates the first rate cut as early as May 2024.It is anticipated that next year, after the liquidation of the Bitcoin overhang from Mt.Gox and the US government's Silk Road seizure, a true bull market will emerge, accompanied by widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and new innovations. We strongly believe that regulations worldwide have been extremely progressive with a focus on fostering innovation while safeguarding against risks. Regulatory frameworks are continuously evolving, with the possibility of changing crypto's landscape throughout the globe.

Almarai Bakery Factory in Hail wins the Basma Award

The Almarai Bakery Factory in Hail won the award of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Hail Region “Basma”, in its main branch as the best project that motivates and supports the process of sustainable development in the Hail region, which contributes to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.During the sixth annual Basma ceremony on December 28, 2023, Prince Abdulaziz presented the award to Abdullah Al-Otaibi, Head of Corporate Communication and Public Relations.Al-Otaibi expressed profound gratitude to Prince Abdulaziz, stating that the award reflects Almarai's steadfast commitment to investing in sustainable development in Hail. He emphasized the company's strategic role in realizing Vision 2030, particularly in enhancing food security in the Kingdom.It is worth noting that Almarai Company launched expanded investments of approximately 6.6 billion SR. in the past year in the Hail and Al-Jouf regions to expand food production in the Kingdom. This aligns with the company's investment plan for this vital sector, aiming to strengthen vital sector vitality across various geographic locations in Saudi Arabia and contribute to economic development in different regions of the Kingdom.

Talabat Mart unveils 2023’s biggest grocery orders and popular products

Talabat Mart, one of the most popular grocery sites, has revealed its 2023's biggest grocery orders, most popular products and categories. It's fascinating to see how online grocery shopping has transformed the way people acquire their everyday essentials. Talabat Mart sheds light on some intriguing trends in the online grocery shopping landscape in the UAE:Record-Breaking Order:Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023.A monumental order of 438 items was placed in a single transaction, marking it as the biggest order of the year. This order not only reflects the convenience of online grocery shopping but also elevates the customer to the talabat Mart Hall of Fame.Loyal Shopper Recognition:Remarkable Customer: A single customer demonstrated exceptional loyalty by placing a staggering total of 595 individual orders in the year 2023. This showcases the platform's ability to retain and satisfy dedicated customers.Most Loved Brands:Leading Brands: Mai Dubai, Al Ain, and Almarai emerged as the preferred brands among consumers. This data provides insights into the brands that have gained popularity and trust among online shoppers.Popular Product Categories:Consumer Preferences: Fruits and vegetables stand out as the indisputable favorites, with over 12 million units sold. This trend highlights a growing inclination towards healthier choices among individuals, reflecting a broader health-conscious lifestyle. Peak Order Time:Busiest Hour: The peak order time for talabat Mart is at 7 pm. This information is valuable for both consumers, helping them plan their orders efficiently, and for the platform to manage resources during peak hours.Efficient Picking Time:Picking Efficiency: talabat Mart showcases impressive efficiency in order picking, with an average picking time of under 2 minutes for the UAE. This rapid turnaround time is a testament to the platform's streamlined operations and quick service.The data provided not only highlights the convenience and efficiency of online grocery shopping but also reveals interesting insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and the operational efficiency of the talabat Mart platform in the UAE.

Mohammed bin Rashid cements UAE's global digital content status at summit

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, stressed that media plays a vital role in the success of development strategies, as it is a key partner in any government and institutional work, and a renewable sector that provides a vast space for investment in its fields to be an important economic tributary.Media is also a major contributor to creating an intellectual and cultural movement in society through its ability to develop targeted content that is in line with the orientations and interests of various social and age groups, His Highness added.This came on the occasion of the UAE's hosting of the second edition of the "1 Billion Followers Summit" on 10th and 11th January 2024, the world's premier gathering for content creation and creators, themed "Get Connected".His Highness said that the “1 Billion Followers Summit” consolidates the UAE's position as a global platform for digital content creation, and represents a qualitative leap in the development and advancement of this promising sector, in a way that enhances the UAE's global stature and positive impact on the wider media scene.For his part, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, welcomed the top influencers and content creators who are participating in the “1 Billion Followers Summit”, affirming that the UAE has been and remains the best environment to keep pace with the development of the media and digital content creation sectors.The “1 Billion Followers Summit”, organised by the New Media Academy at the Emirates Towers and the Museum of the Future in Dubai, brings together 7,000 participants, including more than 3,000 content creators, influencers, and creatives with more than 1.6 billion followers. The summit will also feature 200 media content production companies, 100 digital production agencies, 100 CEOs, and 190 speakers from the world's most famous digital content creators, who will present more than 100 diverse events, including 15 inspiring speeches, 20 workshops, 25 panel discussions, 15 fireside chats, 4 debates, and 20 on-ground activations through the summit.The summit introduces four distinct tracks tackling the most prominent aspects of content creation: Get Creative, Get Ahead, Get Paid, and Get Together.The “1 Billion Followers Summit” provides a platform for content creators, representatives of social media platforms, and creative content production institutions to exchange experiences and expertise, with the aim of achieving further cooperation and joint work that enhances the impact of digital content and the new media in stimulating the positive energy of societies, multiplying the size of the creative economy market, and increasing its contribution to accelerating the pace and plans for comprehensive and sustainable development in the region and the world.

No one-size-fits-all approach in PR: Anastasiya Golovatenko

As we continue with our ‘crystal-gazing into 2024’ series, today, Anastasiya Golovatenko, PR Director at Sherpa Communications, shares her insights on the pivotal role of social media and digital marketing in PR companies. She says that Sherpa is strategically embracing the digital landscape by adopting a digital-first mindset for campaigns, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to provide comprehensive 360° strategies. The agency employs a dual approach, customizing strategies for both B2C and B2B sectors. Excerpts:With the growing importance of digital channels and social media, how is your PR agency planning to leverage new communication technologies and platforms by 2024?The integration of digital and social media has become essential, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it should now be standard for PR agencies. We plan and execute all campaigns with a digital-first mindset, ensuring that clients benefit from comprehensive 360° campaigns that cover offline, online, and social media tactics. The adoption and utilisation of cutting-edge technologies play a pivotal role, offering valuable insights to brands on their market position, assessing the competitive landscape, and enabling real-time campaign adjustments to optimise impact and reach within the industry.What strategies are in place to enhance client visibility and reputation management in the evolving digital landscape of 2024?There are numerous tactics available in PR, and there is no one-size-fits-all or 'shopping list' approach. Each campaign should be carefully tailored to align with a business's objectives, priorities, and challenges. For example, integrating SEO tactics into PR is a powerful technique (57% of B2B marketers rate this approach as the best for lead generation) that can enhance a brand's strategic online visibility and its presence in search results among their target audience.Reputation management is also crucial. Unfortunately, many business leaders still don't recognise it as a strategic function, but their public profiles, whether strong or weak, directly impact their businesses and their reputation in the market. Strong individual and corporate profiles help attract investors, foster business growth, and facilitate new partnerships.With the rise of influencer marketing, how is your PR agency incorporating influencer partnerships into your communication strategies by 2024?Recognising the effectiveness of influencer marketing, especially in B2C campaigns, we engage influencers after detailed planning, ensuring they align perfectly with the brand’s message and values. We are also adapting to the rising trend of collaborating with micro-influencers, who often have a deeper connection with their audience, which is particularly beneficial for targeted, niche marketing efforts.Influencer marketing is equally effective in the B2B sector, however, the strategy differs significantly. We focus on engaging with influential decision-makers and thought leaders in the business world, customising our campaigns to resonate with a professional and industry-specific audience. This dual approach allows us to effectively utilise influencer partnerships in diverse market sectors, ensuring our clients' messages reach the right audience through the most influential voices.What metrics do you prioritize to measure the impact of influencer collaborations on brand perception and audience engagement in 2024?We prioritise a mix of qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure the impact of these collaborations on brand perception and audience engagement. Examples of metrics include:• Engagement rates, including likes, comments, and shares, are key indicators of how well the audience resonates with the influencer’s content.• Content reach and impressions: to assess the breadth of the influencer's content spread and visibility.• Click-through rates (CTR) on influencer-shared links are crucial for tracking their effectiveness in driving traffic to the client’s website or campaign landing page.• Return on Investment (ROI) analysis is pivotal to compare the overall campaign costs against the objectives set, to ascertain the financial viability and effectiveness of the influencer partnership.By analysing these metrics, we can effectively gauge the success of our influencer collaborations and continually refine strategies to maximise impact.

Canon Launches "Make Your Mark" Campaign to Empower Middle East Content Creators

Canon Middle East, a global innovator in photography and imaging, has announced the second edition of the "Make Your Mark" campaign, an initiative that empowers content creators with the tools they need to unlock their full creative potential and stand out in the dynamic world of vlogging. The success and immense public interest of the inaugural 2022 edition have inspired even greater collaboration between Canon and the regional creative community, including adding more creators and a more comprehensive range of products this year.The launch event at SEVA Experience Dubai on June coincided with the introduction of the brand-new PowerShot V10, a game-changing addition to Canon's lineup of vlogging cameras. During the occasion, content creators from the region got firsthand experience with the Canon PowerShot V10, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III and the EOS R50, cameras explicitly designed to cater to the needs of vloggers and content creators.The PowerShot V10 is a vlogger's dream come true. Weighing just 211g, it's perfect for on-the-go content creation and boasts an impressive 4K UHD Video capability. Equipped with a Stereo Mic, built-in stand, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, this camera is poised to be the ultimate companion for vloggers. Users can record smooth, stable footage – even when walking – with Enhanced Image Stabilisation while allowing live streaming on YouTube and Facebook via the Canon Camera Connect smartphone app.The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is ideal for vloggers, bloggers, live streaming, video conferences and anyone posting content online. Its superb 4K video, large 1.0-type sensor, and 20.1-megapixel photos is delivered via a portable design that users can take anywhere.The Canon EOS R50 mirrorless camera creates thumb-stopping content, from sharp stills to 4K films and live streams. Built for creators, the compact design, lightweight (375g) and natural grip make it easy to shoot, while the flexibility of the vari-angle touchscreen lets users work all the angles, from high, low or flipped to face the user.Bengü Topçu, B2C Regional Marketing Director Middle East and Turkey, said, "Canon remains committed to supporting the ever-evolving world of vlogging and content creation. With Make Your Mark, we invite content creators to explore the possibilities, express their unique creativity, and continue making their mark in the digital landscape. The launch of our second edition reaffirms our commitment to nurturing even more talent while exposing regional creators to Canon's cutting-edge photography technologies."Inspiring creatives to be moreThe Make Your Mark campaign challenges content creators to shoot videos across three genres. Artists will demonstrate their creative differences using the PowershotV10 creators kit, G7x Mark III vlogging kit and EOS R50 vlogging kit across three genres (food, travel and fashion) to showcase and express their ingenuity.Three food vloggers, including Chef Eddy Diab "@chef.eddy.diab", Suad "@ladyspatula", and Harry Heal "@1thehealchef", will demonstrate how to make lasagna using Canon kits in their distinctive content styles. Through a 30-second cooking video, the vloggers will take viewers through the process of making the perfect lasagna, with a final reveal showing the layered composition of this all-time favorite. Moreover, three travel vloggers, Zayed "@zayed_alhaddar", Bekzat Juman "@shisubekii" and Iman Naghavi "@faithguy", will trek through Deira, Dubai, armed with Canon cameras to capture the essence of old Dubai, including the spice market, abra ride, and the famous old souk. These travel vloggers will be challenged to create impactful content on a day trip to this historic neighborhood, each making a 30-second video in their unique signature style.Meanwhile, three fashion vloggers, Amar "@amarsibai", Sophia "@wiz_khalifeh" and Abanoub Ramsis "@abanoubramsis" will demonstrate three ways to wear the same denim jacket. With their distinctive content and art styles, these fashionistas will capture key moments as part of their films, from pairing them with other items to accessorizing and finalizing the fit.Canon recognizes that even the best camera in the world is secondary to a creator's unique style and voice. However, it's no secret that a high-quality camera can eliminate limitations and supercharge creativity, enabling content creators in the region to elevate their craft to new heights.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce enhances local business community’s cyber resilience

 Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under the Dubai Chambers umbrella, recently organised a virtual workshop on cybersecurity in collaboration with Mastercard to enhance the Dubai business community’s ability to face cyberthreats.Titled ‘Building Cyber Resilience in a Complex and Interconnected Digital World’, the workshop was attended by 50 participants from various companies operating in Dubai. It featured interactive discussions and constructive dialogues, providing participants with vital information and valuable insights, along with guidelines and real-world data in the digital field.Cyber resilience is a proactive strategy that enhances an organisation’s ability to ensure business continuity amid growing technological threats by pre-emptively setting up security provisions, analysing weaknesses in digital systems, and working to protect against potential digital challenges.The workshop is the second in a series of sessions to be held under a new initiative, launched by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce in July 2023 in collaboration with Mastercard. The initiative includes a year-long programme to help companies evaluate and improve their cybersecurity capabilities.His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “The digital world is constantly evolving as we grow increasingly reliant on modern and smart technologies in all areas of life. But the pace of cyberattacks is also growing in parallel, with expanding scopes and fast-changing methods. This exposes institutions and business sectors to imminent risks that must be systematically and continually addressed, which makes it more important than ever to keep pace with cybersecurity developments, exploring best practices, advanced systems, and tools to ensure the protection of digital systems.”“This workshop aligns with our efforts to provide support, knowledge, and guidance to the local business community in all practical and digital domains,” H.E. Lootah added. “The session aims to develop Dubai-based companies’ capabilities and potential, in addition to offering top-quality services with added value, which is integral to our strategy to elevate Dubai’s business environment and boost the private sector’s competitiveness.”Participants in the workshop were introduced to critical aspects of cybersecurity, including identifying sources and reasons for cyberattacks that target companies, as well as assessing the level of risk facing technological programmes. Discussions also covered best practices for ensuring the security of institutions and the latest tools for mitigating cybersecurity risks.

Oman's premier cybersecurity entity partners with Risk Associates Bahrain

In a significant move towards fortifying the cybersecurity landscape, Risk Associates Bahrain announces a strategic partnership with Omani cybersecurity entity, National Security Services Group (NSSG). As the first local company to offer PCI DSS Audit compliance services, NSSG is set to revolutionize cybersecurity in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector.Leveraging the combined expertise of NSSG and Risk Associates Bahrain, this partnership opens doors to cutting-edge solutions and advanced strategies, addressing the ever-evolving cyber threats faced by businesses in Oman. Notably, the collaboration aligns seamlessly with the regulatory standards set by the Central Bank of Oman, ensuring robust cybersecurity compliance.Stay ahead of the curve with NSSGs & Risk Associates PCI DSS Audit compliance services, designed to meet the latest standards and the stringent regulations of the Central Bank of Oman. Our comprehensive approach includes heightened security controls, improved compliance activities, updated password requirements, and rigorous testing procedures."We are thrilled to join hands with NSSG in this strategic partnership. In an era where cybersecurity challenges are ever-evolving, collaboration is key. Together, we are better equipped to address the dynamic cybersecurity landscape, offering our clients the highest standards of protection and resilience," remarked Mr. Redha Radhi, General Manager at Risk Associates Bahrain"This historic collaboration establishes NSSG as Oman's pioneer in providing PCI DSS Audit compliance services, in line with the Central Bank's regulations. We look forward to unlocking new opportunities and contributing to Oman's cybersecurity resilience," says NSSG spokesperson.Join NSSG and Risk Associates Bahrain in advancing cybersecurity awareness and resilience in Oman's BFSI sector. This strategic partnership aims to set industry benchmarks, providing unparalleled value and protection to businesses while adhering to the regulatory oversight of the Central Bank of Oman.