Anantara, The Palm Dubai Resort appoints Aseel Elagib as social media specialist

Dubai: Anantara, The Palm Dubai Resort has welcomed Aseel Elagib to the position of Social Media Specialist. Aseel is a Sudanese-Canadian graduate of the German University of Technology in Oman who is joining the hospitality industry for the first time after excelling in social media, marketing, and content creation positions in the UAE for over two years.Beginning her career in planning, architectural design, and project management, Aseel demonstrated an aptitude for strategy, creativity, and implementation. She took her first digital marketing position at Harbor Real Estate in April 2021 and, after demonstrating her talent for the creation and optimisation of content to develop and boost engagement across digital and social channels, was recruited for a marketing project at Cityscape Dubai with Exalogic Consulting. Aseel joins Anantara with a proven record of success and a clear passion for the role. She is bilingual with excellent written and verbal communication skills in both English and Arabic.Aseel will be responsible for all social media accounts, including LinkedIn, for Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort and Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort plus all food and beverage outlets across both hotels. Through the execution of compelling photo and video creation, Aseel will communicate the key selling points and lifestyle of the brand, its Dubai resorts, and its exquisite restaurants and bars. She will engage with guests and generate leads through direct messaging and enquiry response while informing and shaping strategy through diligent analysis to drive exceptional results. By generating and maintaining beneficial relationships with industry partners and social influencers, and through consistent and impactful digital ad campaigns, Aseel will identify and maximise every opportunity to expand and enhance brand awareness and reputation.“We are delighted to welcome Aseel to our team. She brings an excellent reputation for content creation and digital engagement, and we are excited to see the impact she makes on social media strategies across all our resorts and outlets. We believe communication with our customers is key to providing the outstanding hospitality they expect and deserve. Social media helps us to keep every guest clearly informed and allows all stakeholders to enjoy the benefits of continuous conversation,” Jeremie Lannoy, Cluster Director Marketing and Communications, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort and Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort.

The Authority of Social Contribution encourages CSR efforts in Abu Dhabi

The Authority of Social Contribution - Ma’an has refined its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) model, further enabling businesses across Abu Dhabi to utilise the authority’s initiatives and programmes as a channel to maximise CSR budgets and actively give back to the local community.The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an provides an unparalleled opportunity for corporates across Abu Dhabi to simplify and achieve their social goals associated with their responsibility contribution and Sustainability Development Goals (SDG)s, allowing more budget and time to be dedicated directly to the social programmes, which increases the social impact made by the corporation.Ma’an’s key role is to facilitate these projects and deploy funds as necessary to ensure a successful outcome. 100% of the contributions received by Ma’an go towards the social programmes and initiatives as agreed by the contributor, disclosing the impact to involved beneficiaries. More than 700,000 individuals in Abu Dhabi have benefited from Ma’an’s programmes and initiatives, which demonstrates its widespread social impact on the emirate.Focused on addressing critical social priorities across sectors including health, education, environment, social and infrastructure, Ma’an serves the evolving needs of the community and promotes social responsibility both among individuals and corporations. Corporates can choose from a range of 30 programmes and initiatives, tailored to benefit a key social priority in Abu DhabiHer Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “Corporates can play a critical role in maximising the breadth of our impact by channelling their CSR budgets to support social priorities that are in line with their organisational values. It is imperative for them to understand their role in the collective and the effect their actions can have on the development of an active and socially inclusive society.“Ensuring the success of our programmes and bringing long-term positive impact to communities also requires deployment of resources, which is why partnerships are at the heart of the work we do. Every individual effort can make an important contribution to amplify the development of an engaged and collaborative community.”Ma’an lays strong emphasis on recognising and showcasing corporates and individuals for their CSR contributions. This year, the authority launched the Abu Dhabi Social Responsibility Label, a government recognition that acknowledges the key role played by the corporate contributors in supporting social priorities in Abu Dhabi.Corporates can choose from a range of 30 programmes and initiatives, tailored to benefit a key social priority in Abu Dhabi, including Social - these projects aim at creating an inclusive and cohesive society in Abu Dhabi, building integrated communities and ensuring a decent standard of living for all community members.Other programmes include Health initiatives including facilitating therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitative care to ensure the required healthcare for all community members by stimulating growth in medical services and equipment is provided. Education programmes are designed to provide distinctive and appropriate opportunities for all learners to access education services and support developing the education sector in Abu Dhabi, in addition to promoting a culture of creativity, sustainability and excellence.Environment initiatives support protecting the environment through innovative and impact-oriented environmental projects, in collaboration with success partners and the community.Finally, Infrastructure initiatives help in creating an ideal living environment for Abu Dhabi citizen and residents with all facilities and services aiming to provide a high quality of life.In order to efficiently facilitate the process of accepting and directing the contributions received, Ma’an has launched an application that will allow public and private sector and individuals to assign their contributions to a programme of initiative of their choice without paying any administrative fees to the authority.Committed to actualising its programmes with trust and transparency, Ma’an issues an impact report annually on its website that highlights all the programmes and initiatives launched in the year and underlines the significant impact it has made on the beneficiaries as well as its continued efforts to empower the growth and development of the Third Sector.Over the past three years, Ma’an has raised nearly AED517 million from various institutions and individuals, ensuring long-term positive impact across the multicultural society of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Al Dhafra regions. As more companies realise the impact of social progress on organisational success, Ma’an’s human-centred approach to transform the Abu Dhabi community into a cohesive, sustainable, and productive society has gained vital momentum. Last year, the value of financial allocations provided by Ma’an to social institutions, projects, and entrepreneurs exceeded AED78.1 million.

Arsenal and Emirates extend partnership to 2028

Arsenal and Emirates are delighted to announce the extension of their partnership, the longest-running front-of-shirt sponsorship in Premier League history. Arsenal's partnership with the UAE’s leading flag carrier began in July 2006, and will now run until at least 2028, taking the collaboration to a minimum of 22 years. The agreement comes ahead of the Emirates Cup clash against AS Monaco providing the perfect backdrop to celebrate the record-breaking partnership at Emirates Stadium.  After 17 years of incredible moments and working together to bring global communities closer together, Emirates is woven into the fabric of Arsenal. Emirates has been ever present on the front of Arsenal's men’s, women’s, and academy team shirts, and its home in north London has featured the Emirates name since it opened in 2006.  The globally renowned airline has also taken Arsenal on many pre-season tours, helping to connect it with supporters around the world. Most recently, alongside Emirates, Arsenal launched the ‘Global Gooners’ campaign bringing friends and families together from all over the world at Emirates Stadium.  To mark this announcement, it has released a film that shines a light on those stand-out memories at Emirates Stadium that embody the strength of Arsenal and Emirates’ unity andteamwork.  Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer, Arsenal, said: “We are incredibly proud to make history by extending our partnership with Emirates until 2028. The longevity of our special relationship is a sign of our enduring shared values, our ambition to bring our global communities together, and our commitment to building on the numerous achievements that have marked our 17-year journey to date. As we take our partnership to a minimum of 22 years together, we’re excited to move forward and we’re focused on celebrating more incredible moments with our supporters around the world.”Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: “I’m proud of the journey that Emirates and Arsenal have shared over the past 17 years. Together, we’ve celebrated triumphs and stood strong against challenges. Our partnership has been built on a shared vision of excellence and a dedication to enriching the experiences of fans around the world. Emirates is very pleased to extend and reaffirm our partnership with Arsenal. We look forward to creating even more magical moments with Arsenal; and together, unite, inspire, and make a meaningful impact on communities around the world through the beautiful game.”

Fahad Al Hammadi strikes gold as UAE continues winning streak at MMAF YWC

ABU DHABI: The UAE National Team continued its winning streak at the ongoing IMMAF Youth World Championships, securing one more gold on Friday, bringing its overall medal count to 12, including 4 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze.The competitions for the Youth A, 16-17 years old, took place at the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City, where, in a thrilling match, Fahad Al Hammadi defeated Italy’s Damiano Grillo to secure the first place in the 70.3 KG division.The championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, is organized by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation. The championship is set to continue until tomorrow, Saturday.Mohammed Al Hosani, a member of the MMA Committee of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, lauded the National Team for their exceptional performance and attributed it to the generous support and guidance of the wise leadership, as well as the tireless efforts of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation.He said, “The evaluation and selection process for the UAE national team players spanned a full year between the 3rd and 4th editions of the IMMAF Youth World Championships. During this time, five MMA local tournaments were organized, with one of the primary goals being evaluation and selection. Subsequently, a rigorous preparation and a preparatory training camp were conducted for a month prior to the championship to enhance the players focus. We are delighted to see that the meticulous preparation, selection, and training processes have borne the desired results.”Al Hosani also congratulated Fahad Al Hammadi for securing the gold medal. “The whole nation is proud of him. His remarkable achievement brings pride to usand serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes in the country. Such successes showcase the talent and dedication of the athletes and highlight the promising future of MMA in the UAE, in the region, and beyond.”Davron Juraev, President of Tajikistan MMA Federation, noted that the championship has been improving each year. “Tajikistan is participating here in Abu Dhabi for the second year, and we have around 30 athletes. The level of competition, organization, and the athletes this year are significantly different. Everyone has become much stronger, and I’m thrilled that we have more countries participating than the previous year, making the competition even more robust and exciting,” he said.“The championship overall is truly amazing. As the famous phrase goes, ‘sports unite.’ Indeed, it works here because the atmosphere of the competition arena in Abu Dhabi is grandiose. We can see more than 45 countries participating, making it an international and huge event. It’s very pleasing to see the support from the sport authorities and the government of Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Global Education Provider Dibber partners with Noon Toys

Dibber, the leading global education provider and #1 Scandinavian and Nordic education expert, has partnered with noon, the renowned e- commerce marketplace. This collaboration aims to provide families in the UAE with an extraordinary opportunity to indulge their little ones in a summer of fun and learning, while enjoying discounts on a diverse range of noon toys.The hot summer deal, available for a limited time, will enable children and parents to access a wide range of educational and entertaining toys through the noon online platform. With this special promotion, Dibber and noon seek to enhance the learning experience for children during the summer break.By leveraging noon's extensive reach and reputation as a trusted brand in the region, Dibber aims to create a positive impact on young minds, fostering a lifelong love for learning."We are thrilled to partner with noon and provide families with a summer deal on an exciting assortment of toys," said Nahi Rahal, Regional Managing Director (MENATP) at Dibber. "At Dibber, we believe that play is an essential component of a child's development, and this collaboration allows us to further enrich their learning journey through engaging and educational toys. We are confident that this partnership will inspire children, boost their creativity, and contribute to their holistic growth." Rahal added.With this new collaboration, Dibber reinforces its commitment to expand its footprint in the UAE. This partnership with noon reflects Dibber's dedication to nurturing a comprehensive learning experience that extends beyond the classroom.

BeanBurds launches award-winning Barisieur in the UAE

Dubai: The Barisieur alarm clock is a coffee or tea brewing alarm clock. To use the device, users simply set their alarm as normal, and decide whether they would like their brew to be ready five minutes before the alarm, as the alarm goes off, or up to 15 minutes after the alarm sounds.Dubai, United Arab Emirates: BeanBurds, the UAE's premier online platform for coffee enthusiasts, proudly announces the exclusive debut of the internationally acclaimed and top-selling product, the Barisieur by Joy Resolve in the Middle East.Salem Ahmed, Founder and CEO of BeanBurds, said, "At BeanBurds, our mission has always been to serve the coffee community in the UAE with the finest coffee-related products and experiences. The Barisieur aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing coffee enthusiasts with top-notch, innovative products that enhance their coffee journey. We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing this award-winning device to the region and to contribute to the growth of the UAE’s coffee culture."The Barisieur is a premium alarm clock that eases you into your morning with the soothing sounds of bubbling water and the smell of the freshly brewed coffee or loose leaf tea. This product is available exclusively through BeanBurds in the Middle East, starting with the UAE.The Barisieur is inspired by a combination of the modern ritual of filter coffee with the iconic vinyl record player, encouraging a nostalgic experience with the user. It was born with a digital detox in mind, where the design language is a balance between simplicity and mystified alchemy. Watch how the water magically transports from one vessel to another, showering over the coffee at an engineered temperature of 94C - perfect for brewing coffee.The simple housing holds sophisticated technology. An induction coil is used to boil the water efficiently and safely in the vessel above. It has a milk vessel centralised in the base that’s cooled at 3 °C due to the integrated Peltier cooler, which detects if milk is present due to an infrared sensor. A retro digital display to simply tell the time and set the alarm, which dims in low lit environments due to the integrated diode. There is a sealed drawer to store for coffee or tea which conveniently holds a stainless-steel spoon which sits in the stainless-steel lid.Form follows function with all aspects of this design; the scientific borosilicate glassware sits on a charming walnut or rubber-wood timber tray, coming together to create distinctive new forms. The tray effortlessly lifts off the mid-century styled black or white base to aid transportation of accessories.The mix of Scandinavian and timeless design makes the Barisieur feel at home whether it’s displayed in the kitchen, living room or bedroom.Founder of Joy Resolve, Josh Renouf said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with BeanBurds to introduce the 'Barisieur' to the Middle East. This product has been a labour of love, driven by our passion for innovation and creating cherished experiences for coffee lovers worldwide. Our product vision encourages interaction, sentimentality and accessibility. Good design is at the core of every offering, each product adhering to our own strict guidelines on sustainability and functionality.”

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi to take place in the emirate

Abu Dhabi: Paramount and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced that the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi will return to the city on Saturday 16 September celebrating fan favourites from across the worlds of film, television, music, sports and more.Taking place at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena, early bird tickets to the Nickelodeon awards are available now via the success of the inaugural event in 2019, this year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi will be packed with family fun, unexpected moments, and more surprises than ever.First-time nominees include the Palestinian-Chilean singer-songwriter and composer Elyanna, Egyptian actress Huda El Mufti, Moroccan pop singer Rym, content creators Saudi Reporters, and Syrian comedy creator Amro Maskoun among others. The awards show will also celebrate multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, young actress and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, singer-songwriter Anne-Marie and global pop phenomenon Justin Bieber.Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi 2023 will continue to put the fans in control and beginning August 4th, will roll out a voting mechanism, leading up to the show on Saturday 16 September, when the winners will be revealed.Fans can vote across 16 categories on Nickelodeon’s digital site and on Instagram using the hashtag of their favourite nominee.The show will premiere on Nickelodeon MENA and will be aired on Nickelodeon channels worldwide.2023 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi is a Paramount production in partnership with Blink Experience and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.Performers and presenters will be announced later.Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi 2023 nominees are for the Favourite Artist – Manal, Issam Alnajjar, Elyanna and WEGZ, Favourite Content Creator - Raghda Kouyoumdjian, Omar Farooq, Wessam Q and Noor stars, Favourite Team - Fozi Mozi, Anasala Family, Aljoud sisters and Saudi Reporters, Favourite Influencer - Life as Sara, Bessan Ismail, Ghaith Marwan and Ahmad Aburob, Favourite Female Newcomer - Noel Kharman, Sandra Sahi, Lea Makhoul and Rym.The other nominees include Favourite Gamer – BanderitaX, AboFlah, MJRMGames and Kloode, Favourite Male Newcomer, A5rass, Anthony Touma, Ali Loka and Siilawy, Favourite Actress - Andria Tayeh, Huda El Mufti, Mayan El Sayed and Noor Taher, Favourite Actor - Ahmed Dash, Ahmed Malek, Ibrahim Al Hajjaj and Taha Desouky, Favourite Nickelodeon Character - Spongebob /Spongebob Square Pants, Lincoln Loud/The Loud House, Chase/Paw Patrol and Captain Man/Danger Force, Favourite Comedy Creator - Amro Maskoun, Lorans Almansi, Hadeel Marei and Islam Afro, Favourite Pet in Nickelodeon series - Gary the Snail - Spongebob Square Pants, Boots - Dora the Explorer, Blue - Blue's Clues & You and Kiko - Santiago of the Seas, Favourite International Artist - Olivia Rodrigo, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie, Favourite International Influencer - Charlie D'Amelio, Halle Bailey, Jenna Ortega and Addison Rae, Favourite International Content Creator - Mr Beast, Kids Diana Show, Ryan's World and KSI.

Sunny Side Up expands into Saudi with a new GM

Saudi Arabia: Creative agency Sunny Side Up (SSUP) has unveiled its strategic expansion into Saudi Arabia, underpinned by its aspiration to cater meticulously to the needs of both local and global clienteles situated within the Kingdom.SSUP Founder-CEO Najib Sabbagh said that the "The extended reach of SSUP into Saudi Arabia fills me with enthusiasm. This expansion seamlessly harmonizes with our visionary pursuit of spearheading the creative domain. I harbor unshakeable faith in Ismail Abualsamh's prowess to navigate our triumph within the Saudi market landscape."The Saudi Arabian wing of SSUP, christened SSUP KSA, shall be under the astute leadership of the recently inducted General Manager, Ismail Abualsamh. Endowed with a rich tapestry of experience within the industry, coupled with an intimate comprehension of the Saudi market dynamics, Abualsamh stands poised to lead with distinction.Ismail Abualsamh expresses his sentiment as he steps into the role of General Manager for KSA, affirming: "Assuming the mantle of GM for KSA at SSUP is a distinction I embrace with humility. I ardently look forward to steering our adept cadre in dispensing unparalleled solutions in the realms of creativity and marketing to our Saudi clientele. Collectively, we shall establish pioneering benchmarks within the Kingdom's landscape."The venture of SSUP into KSA arises as a direct reaction to the surging desire for inventive services and the essential requirement to furnish region-specific assistance to the Kingdom's clienteles. Under the banner of SSUP KSA, the Saudi Arabian arm of this creative powerhouse, an all-encompassing spectrum of services will be on offer. These services span the gamut from creativity and marketing acumen to social and production services. This comprehensive suite will be orchestrated by a band of adept creative professionals, galvanized and led by Abualsamh, synergizing their efforts towards the realization of client objectives.Notably, the agency has also made significant strategic appointments within its UAE division, in a bid to fortify its presence. Recent times have witnessed the announcement of Ralph Nader as the accomplished General Manager and Farah El Kadi as the visionary Creative Director for SSUP UAE.

PRCA MENA teams up with MCG Talent for PR agency talent acquisition

Dubai: PRCA MENA, the leading professional association for public relations and communications in the Middle East and North Africa, is pleased to announce their new partnership with renowned recruitment agency MCG Talent. This collaboration comes as a response to the ever-expanding PR market in the Gulf region where PR agencies constantly seek the most exceptional talents to fuel their growth and success. MCG Talent, with a well-established presence in the MENA region since 2010, has a proven track record of supporting PRCA MENA activities in the past. The partnership agreement enhances their commitment to promoting excellence in the PR industry by providing the association’s members a 5% discount on the first contract fees charged by MCG Talent, empowering agencies to find and secure the perfect fit for their teams. Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, expressed her delight at the newly forged alliance, stating, "MCG Talent is an invaluable asset to our members. With the Gulf region witnessing unprecedented growth, the demand for top-tier PR professionals has never been greater. Their expertise in talent acquisition will undoubtedly empower our members to thrive in the competitive industry landscape.”Commenting on the partnership, Justin McGuire, the visionary founder of MCG Talent, said, "We are delighted to take our collaboration with PRCA MENA to new heights with this strategic partnership. As an agency that understands the unique challenges and opportunities in the MENA PR market, we are perfectly positioned to complement PRCA MENA's efforts in nurturing talent and elevating the industry as a whole. We look forward to providing our expertise to PRCA MENA members and helping them find the right talent to drive their agencies' success."

Dubai Shopping Malls Group kickstarts exciting back to school bonanza

Dubai: The residents of the UAE can prepare for an unforgettable Back-to-School extravaganza as Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) presents its sensational 2023 edition with AED 100,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.Embracing the spirit of new beginnings and the joy of learning, DSMG's captivating Back-to-School campaign is set to sweep residents off their feet from 7th August to 3rd September 2023, wherein 20 lucky customers to win AED 5,000 from the grand AED 100,000 cash prize pool. All they need to do is simply spend AED 200 at any of the participating malls, and they'll be automatically entered into the thrilling draws. On August 27 and September 3, the drums of excitement will roll as twenty fortunate winners will be randomly named winners.Majid Al Ghurair, the visionary Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, expressed his excitement about the campaign, stating, "This is a great opportunity for families to get everything they need for the new school year, and we hope they will take advantage of the savings and excitement that the campaign has to offer. At DSMG, we believe in fostering a spirit of community and creating cherished memories through shopping experiences. As we embark on this Back-to-School journey, we envision a seamless blend of shopping, winning, and delight for all our valued shoppers."With a lineup of participating malls that reads like a who's who of retail heaven, shoppers can indulge in their favourite retail therapy at renowned destinations such as Al Bustan Centre, Arabian Center, Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai Outlet Mall, Lulu Silicon Central, Mudon Community Center, Shorooq Community Center, Bay Avenue, Villanova Community Center, Al Khail Gate Community Center, Serena Market Place, Times Square Center, Al Warqa City Mall, Etihad Mall, AL Barsha Mall, Al Barsha South Mall, Nad Al Hamar, and Dubai Festival Plaza.

UM MENAT, Teads forge partnership for sustainable advertising in MENAT

UM MENAT is actively taking a proactive stride towards promoting environmental sustainability. This endeavor involves partnering with Teads, leveraging their tool to evaluate and tackle the carbon emissions associated with the media agency's advertising endeavors.Having achieved favorable outcomes during the initial launch in Saudi Arabia, UM and Teads are poised to extend this environmentally conscious initiative throughout the entire MENAT region.Contemporary conscientious consumers exhibit a growing inclination towards enterprises that emphasize sustainability and possess a clearly defined mission.According to Scope 3 assessments, the impact of 1 million digital ad impressions on the environment is comparable to that of a flight between Paris and New York.In response to this concern, Teads announced a global collaboration with IMPACT+, a prominent third-party solution focused on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions within the digital advertising sector.By collaborating, Teads and IMPACT+ are firmly dedicated to addressing ecological apprehensions within the digital advertising sphere, aligning seamlessly with the principles cherished by environmentally-aware modern consumers.Within this framework, UM will orchestrate campaigns for clients, subject to evaluation by Teads via their supply chain, utilizing an innovative carbon measurement and reduction scheme available exclusively through Teads Ad Manager.By assimilating this data into the planning and execution stages, UM and Teads can craft a more environmentally efficient resolution.Teads is committed to diminishing the use of resource-intensive creatives, mitigating wasted impressions resulting from inefficiencies in visibility, engagement, and targeting. This also involves eliminating the technological hurdles linked with excessive volume across diverse platforms.Through furnishing an uninterrupted end-to-end omnichannel platform and cultivating direct collaborations with esteemed publishers, Teads possesses the capacity to supervise numerous facets of the media supply chain.An extensive scrutiny of various domains, seamlessly integrated with Teads, showcased an impressive 99 percent reduction in emissions attributed to ad selection, juxtaposed with conventional programmatic purchasing practices.These endeavors were executed without compromising media potency, as evidenced by a noteworthy view-through rate of 75.7 percent and a robust visibility rate of 74.96 percent. This strategic alliance represents a significant milestone in the media industry's dedication to combating climate change and nurturing sustainability. The image credit goes to UM MENAT."Starting from April this year, our journey towards diminishing carbon emissions, following an all-encompassing approach, has made remarkable headway. Our commitment at UM to this cause is resolute."Our endeavors in Saudi Arabia have not only contributed to mitigating the ecological footprint of our sector but have also yielded positive outcomes in terms of media efficiency and efficacy.We eagerly anticipate further progress in this realm over the forthcoming years, closely collaborating with Teads and extending the solution across the MENAT region," affirmed Nadeem Ibrahim, Head of Digital at UM KSA."By harnessing Teads' direct inventory through its ad manager and embracing a conscious approach to media planning in partnership with UM, this collaboration is poised to make a substantial influence."It signifies a mutual dedication to constructing a better world through ingenuity, accountability, and environmental guardianship. Together, they aspire to inspire the industry and set novel benchmarks for sustainable advertising practices," commented Wael Zeidan, Deputy Managing Director at Teads KSA.

WPP & Spotify announce first-of-its-kind global partnership

Spotify will be the first audio platform to be integrated directly into WPP’s products and solutions. WPP and Spotify today announced a new global strategic partnership that will enable WPP to offer its clients early access to Spotify’s innovative ad products, first-party intelligence and creative ways to reach engaged audiences at scale.  As part of the partnership, Spotify will become the first digital audio platform to be integrated directly into WPP’s products and solutions. This includes an exploration in connection with Choreograph’s insights platform. In a first-of-its-kind partnership, WPP will look to use Spotify to develop integrations that provide Spotify’s first-party occasions insights to help clients understand aggregated listening patterns in order to inform more creative and effective digital audio advertising strategies. WPP will work with Spotify to deliver market-leading thought leadership and scaled training programmes for its employees and clients that focus on digital audio creativity and Spotify's innovative ad products. WPP’s teams and clients will also benefit from early access to Spotify’s neuro-insights research focused on audience trends and insights. One of the first outputs of the partnership is a WPP client-specific version of Spotify’s Sonic Science insights study, conducted with WPP agency Mindshare, that details the connection between Spotify, digital audio ads and listeners. Working with research firm Neuro-Insight, Spotify recreated its Sonic Science Volume 1 study using audio ads from WPP clients to explore how their ads trigger engagement, emotional intensity, memory, and more. Notable findings include: Immersed Audience: Spotify consistently drives higher levels of engagement vs. other media formats like visual media (+24%), other audio media (+27%) and social media (+38%), with an increase in numbers from Spotify’s 2021 study1. Increased Ad Engagement: We found that listeners were more engaged with the ads from WPP clients in this study than in the 2021 study, with a 17% increase on ad engagement transference when listeners went from listening to music or podcasts to a real WPP client’s audio ad. Strong engagement in both podcast and music environments: The study showed that ad engagement remains high with listeners no matter if they were listening to music (+29%) or podcasts (+36%)2. Sonic Science Volume 1, Neuro-Insight and Spotify, June 2021IbidStephan Pretorius, Chief Technology Officer of WPP, said: “In the fast-evolving media and entertainment landscape, audio streaming has become an integral part of everyday life. At WPP, we recognise the power of audio as a critical component of marketing. The intent of this first-of-its-kind partnership is to integrate Spotify’s insights with the Choreograph platform to create more innovative and relevant ways to connect our clients with their customers.” Brian Berner, Global Head of Advertising Sales, Spotify, said: “We’ve long partnered with WPP to enable agency planners and buyers to make more informed decisions when planning for digital audio. With our new global partnership, we’re helping WPP clients modernise their strategy and planning. More than 550 million people across 184 markets come to Spotify every month to be entertained, to learn and to discover for nearly 2.5 hours each day. As we continue to drive innovation in audio and the advertising industry at large, partners like WPP are critical to delivering for advertisers, creators and audiences wherever they are.” Additional insights from the Sonic Science study, as well as tips for advertisers on how to get started with digital audio can be found here: WPP Sonic Science study.

Make music from words! Meta unveils AI tool AudioCraft

Meta has unveiled AudioCraft, the revolutionary AI tool that brings high-quality audio and music generation right to your fingertips. AudioCraft empowers users to effortlessly create captivating audio and music from simple text prompts, opening up a realm of possibilities for musicians, content creators, and sound enthusiasts like never before.With AudioCraft, users can explore new musical compositions without needing to play a single note on an instrument. Picture yourself easily enhancing your video ads on platforms like Instagram with mesmerizing soundtracks. This cutting-edge technology makes AI-generated audio and music accessible to you, putting the power of creativity in your hands.Unleash your imagination with AudioCraft's three powerful models: MusicGen, AudioGen, and EnCodec. Simply provide text prompts, and MusicGen, trained on specially licensed music, will generate exceptional melodies for you. Meanwhile, AudioGen, trained on public sound effects, delivers lifelike audio from your textual inputs. Excitingly, Meta is introducing an enhanced version of its EnCodec decoder, ensuring higher-quality music generation with minimal artifacts. Meta is making its pre-trained AudioGen models available, allowing you to create various environmental sounds and effects, from barking dogs to honking cars and footsteps on different surfaces. Meta is also sharing the entire AudioCraft model weights and code, giving you access to these models for research purposes through open-source.AI-generated audio has been a relatively untapped domain compared to images, videos, and text. That's why AudioCraft was designed to overcome these challenges, providing you with easy-to-use models capable of producing high-quality audio consistently. Meta has simplified the design of generative audio models, so you can make the most of our years of research and development while also encouraging you to experiment and create your own groundbreaking audio experiences.AudioCraft users have the freedom to explore various audio tasks, from generating music to crafting sound effects and compression algorithms—all within the same code base. Meta says it believes in fostering a collaborative community, and that's why it is open-sourcing AudioCraft, empowering users to innovate and redefine how we produce and enjoy audio content.With AudioCraft, users hold not just a tool but a platform to shape the future of AI-generated audio. MusicGen could become a new type of instrument, transforming the way music is composed, just like the impact synthesizers had when they first emerged.

Museum of the Future achieves WELL Health-Safety Ranking

Dubai: The Museum of the Future, a global platform to study, conceive and design the future, has received the prestigious WELL Health-Safety Ranking for Facility Operations and Management. Achieved alongside parent organisation Dubai Future Foundation, the WELL Health-Safety Ranking was awarded to the Museum of the Future by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in June 2023 and recognises the Museum of the Future’s commitment to prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of the museum’s visitors, workforce, partners and stakeholders. The Museum of the Future has committed to renewing the WELL Health-Safety certification annually as part of its drive to develop a culture of wellbeing and its long-term commitment to prioritising the health and safety of all those who work in and visit the museum.  The WELL Health-Safety Rating has been developed with a ‘people first’ framework in mind by the International WELL Building Institute, a global organisation focused on advancing human-centric health and safety within public buildings and offices. IWBI collaborated with more than 6,000 scientists and expert practitioners to develop the WELL Health-Safety Rating. As a third-party verified rating that focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols and stakeholder engagement, the ranking was achieved following close consultancy between the Museum of the Future, Dubai Future Foundation and IWBI. The Museum of the Future worked closely with IWBI to design a roadmap to drive deeper resilience within the heart of museum operations and further prioritise the health, safety and well-being of both workers and visitors.Majed Al Mansoori, Deputy Executive Director at Museum of the Future, said: “The WELL Health-Safety Rating reinforces the museum's commitment to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our most valuable assets - our talented team of employees, esteemed visitors and valued partners and stakeholders. We are proud to have achieved the Well Health-Safety Rating, a ranking that validates and guides our efforts to create a healthier and safer space. Visitors to the Museum of the Future will be able to see the WELL Health-Safety Seal displayed prominently outside its doors and enter the museum safe in the knowledge that we are committed to putting people’s wellbeing first."As a global lab for designing future-focused cities, concepts and lifestyles, the Museum of the Future seeks to develop innovative solutions that support the vision of a better tomorrow. Adopting frameworks such as the Health-Safety Rating play an essential role in creating a better, safer and healthier future for generations to come," Al Mansoori added.The WELL Health-Safety certification aligns with the Museum of the Future’s commitment to supporting UAE Centennial 2071, the long-term vision announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the UAE during the next five decades into a diversified, knowledge-based economy, offering a brighter future for generations to come, as well as the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.In addition to the achieving the WELL Health-Safety seal, the Museum of the Future is the first museum in the Middle East to obtain a Platinum certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) the highest rating for green buildings in the world. The Museum of the Future also received a Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award, also known as an ‘Edgie’, from the Association of Science and Technology Centres, a global award recognising its commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity, reflecting its vision for a brighter future that is designed with everyone in mind.

Club Apparel rewards its customers with five times Club Apparel points

Apparel Group’s participation in Dubai Summer Surprise comes in association with Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment. Club Apparel will reward existing and new members with five times Club Apparel points on all their purchases across Apparel group stores in Dubai. This dream campaign will feature a whopping 35+ brands offering the ideal summer shopping experience for Club Apparel members.This campaign is a celebration of the incredible milestone of the 5 million Club Apparel members. Customers will have will be able to shop all this season’s essentials from fashion, footwear, accessories and travel essentials as well. The 3 days campaign will reward Club Apparel members with a staggering number of points during this campaign. The event will take place in across all the participating stores in Dubai as part of this initiative.Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, said “Dubai is turning the table around through countless initiatives to support and elevate tourism and retail sectors. Dubai Summer Surprises is a prime factor in enhancing the tourism and retails sectors. At Apparel Group, we pride ourselves in providing the best retail experience by offering globally renowned brands to our valuable customers. Participating in such important initiative, Dubai Summer Surprises, is not new for Apparel Group as have been key players in numerous initiatives and campaigns locally and globally. Providing the best and most astonishing offers across all our renowned brands will allow our customers access to the best and most rewarding shopping experience.”Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment said: “Dubai Summer Surprises has played a pivotal role in supporting the Emirate’s retail sector over the years, and has become an integral part of city's identity, economy, and global appeal. This year, our focus is on enhancing quality of life for residents and offering visitors something new and innovative. This wouldn’t be possible without our trusted partners such as Club Apparel, Apparel Group’s loyalty programme, which contributes to elevating our retail offering by providing shoppers with unique and memorable shopping experiences. We are proud to be part of Club Apparel’s celebration of 5 million members and look forward to a fruitful partnership this edition”.The Dubai Summer Surprises plays a pivotal role in UAE’s plans to solidify its place as the world best shopping destination. In addition, this initiative will increase the tourism momentum and grant Dubai residents the joy of getting exclusive and special rewards and offers.

Strategic Gears experts explore metaverse development in Saudi Arabia

Saudi: Strategic Gears’ latest thought leadership publication explores the development of the global metaverse industry and its integration into real-world business, including its uptake/adoption in Saudi Arabia and the rise of the Saudi metaverse market.The report also examines global benchmarks in the metaverse industry in the US, China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Barbados, South Korea and Japan in terms of their industry size, their national strategies for the metaverse and industries or areas where the metaverse is used/adopted.Strategic Gears experts also conducted interviews with two metaverse players in Saudi Arabia – Dolf Technologies and FalconViz -- on where the growth opportunities are and the challenges to overcome them in the global and Saudi context.The report concludes with Strategic Gears expert recommendations on maximising metaverse adoption in terms of overall metaverse development, transforming challenges into enablers, Saudi Arabia's metaverse growth, as well as recommendations based on lessons learned from the country benchmarks and interviews. Key conclusions and recommendations include:Given the expanding number of initiatives and creative ideas by both the government and Saudi businesses, increasing expenditures in the sector and more participation from the private sector are crucial, as well as continuously monitoring and evaluating the amount of money spent on metaverse projects versus the return on investment.Factors that could support metaverse development in Saudi Arabia include the integration of intermediaries such as banks and brokers into various metaverse platforms, the creation and implementation of appropriate governance structures, greater branding and awareness of the metaverse’s socioeconomic benefits for the Kingdom, coupled with more events and partnership opportunities domestically and with international stakeholders to bring in best practices, knowledge transfer and expertise.Early adoption and a clearly defined adoption strategy are required, starting with the identification of use cases that offer real value before beginning to plug in data sources and ultimately integrating with the business.Solutions need to be tailormade for the Saudi market, and sectors that stand to benefit the most from metaverse adoption are education, healthcare, industrial, entertainment and tourism.There is misinformation and hype around the metaverse which can distract from real practical applications. New hardware and software infrastructure will also be needed to support the metaverse.The metaverse will grow into a diverse and thriving digital economy with room for a wide range of businesses to operate and fairly compete. The goal is to create an open metaverse that is marked by collaborations that can lower access barriers.The “Metaverse Development in Saudi Arabia” report is available to download

E& money launches prepaid card with cash rewards

Dubai:  e& money, the fintech arm of e& group, today announced the launch of the e& money card, a digital first card for the UAE market promoting financial inclusivity and advancing the vision of fostering a cashless economy.e& money card enables every resident in the UAE to obtain a card within 10 seconds by simply logging into the e& money app. Every customer is instantly issued a 16-digit Mastercard branded e& money card, ready to be used for seamless payments and ATM access. There are more than 180,000 digital cards issued until now since the launch in March.e& money is set to transform the way UAE residents manage their finances, empowering them to make secure transactions worldwide. It ensures an exceptional user experience by effortlessly integrating the e& money card with Apple Pay, Samsung and Google Wallet offering customers the convenience and speed of contactless payments. Furthermore, customers can also request the physical version of their cards for free during the launch period, which will be delivered to their doorstep within just a few days.The e& money card offers the most rewarding prepaid card loyalty programme in the UAE, providing customers with one per cent cash rewards on all card spends during the launch period until the end of 2023. This reward is unique for a prepaid card, as it is typically associated with credit cards. Moreover, customers can conveniently access cash rewards through the app, either by transferring them to the main wallet account as real cash or redeeming them in the unique e& money loyalty catalogue with the best deals including gaming and entertainment vouchers and many more.Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer, e& life, said: “The launch of the e& money card marks a significant milestone in our mission to reshape the future of financial services in the UAE. By combining cutting-edge technology, seamless user experiences, and attractive benefits, such as instant digital issuance and cash rewards, we are redefining the way people access and manage their finances. Our aim is to empower individuals from all walks of life, fostering financial inclusion and enabling them to embrace the advantages of a cashless society.”e& money's commitment to customer satisfaction goes beyond its existing offerings. The company has plans to introduce new card products in the near future, catering to customers' diverse payment needs and ensuring a great payment experience for their daily transactions.“With the launch of the e& money card, we are reshaping the future of financial services in the UAE,” said Melike Kara, CEO of e& money. “Our goal is to empower all individuals, regardless they are banked or not, by providing instant access to a rewarding prepaid card that offers cash benefits. As e& money, we are proud to launch this digital first card as the first telco-backed issuer in the UAE. The e& money card portfolio is set to revolutionise the payment landscape and digital experience of consumers.”As e& money continues to innovate and expand its offerings, it remains dedicated to delivering customer-centric solutions and ensuring the utmost satisfaction of its users.

Purple Brain partners with 24/7 Sports for cutting-edge sports content

Riyadh: Saudi based Purple Brain and 24/7 Sports have formed a strategic alliance to offer cutting-edge content services across various entertainment sectors in Saudi Arabia, with a special focus on the sports industry.Purple Brain, renowned for its expertise in storytelling and digital production, crafts immersive digital experiences. 24/7 Sports excels in generating compelling content for athletes and sports organisations.The primary objective of this partnership is to empower football players in Saudi Arabia by providing them with top-notch content creation and execution services. These services will showcase the players' exceptional talents and personal journeys, establishing a unique connection with their fans.Otbah Rayess, Executive Producer at Purple Brain, said that the aim is to revolutionize the way football players interact with their fan base and create unforgettable content experiences.Saudi Arabia's football culture has seen significant growth, particularly after the impressive performance of the national team at the FIFA World Cup, where they defeated Argentina. The country's already vibrant football culture has been further fortified.World-renowned players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Karim Benzema have been offered lucrative deals to play in the Saudi Pro League. Ronaldo and Benzema have already embraced these opportunities and joined Saudi football clubs.Mario Padilla, Executive Producer at 24/7 Sports, acknowledged Saudi Arabia's passionate football culture and expressed excitement about bringing their expertise and innovative content solutions to the market. He emphasized their commitment to empowering football players by amplifying their personal brands and deepening their connections with fans.As part of their joint venture, Purple Brain and 24/7 Sports will collaborate closely with local football clubs, athletes, and sports organisations to produce compelling content campaigns for Saudi Arabian football players. The initiatives will encompass various content formats, such as social media content, behind-the-scenes videos, player documentaries, and interactive fan experiences. The ultimate goal is to elevate the entire Saudi sports industry and provide unparalleled services to the football community.

Samsung announces Guaranteed Buy Back Program for the latest Galaxy Z Series

Dubai: Samsung Gulf Electronics has announced the launch of an exclusive Guaranteed Buy Back Program for the newly launched Galaxy Z Fold5 and Galaxy Z Flip5 in the UAE. The Program offers the opportunity for customers to experience the revolutionary foldable series for 21 days with zero commitment.The process is simple and straightforward, interested users can pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold5 or Galaxy Z Flip5 on; register for the Buy Back Program; enjoy the Galaxy Z Series for 21 days from the date of delivery and finally, decide whether to keep it or return the device for a full refund.The new devices offer unique experiences with sleek and compact designs, countless customization options, and powerful performance. Furthermore, with an optimized battery powered by the latest processor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Series transforms what is possible with a smartphone – open or closed.The unique Buy Back opportunity is available until August 10. It is applicable to Galaxy Fold5 (512GB) and Galaxy Flip5 (512GB) models.

Rotana appoints Eddy Tannous as new Chief Operating Officer

Abu Dhabi:  Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with over 100 properties in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Türkiye, announced today the appointment of Eddy Tannous as the new Chief Operating Officer.Commenting on the announcement, Guy Hutchinson, President, and CEO of Rotana, said: “It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome Eddy to the team as we work to expand our footprint regionally and globally. With his extensive background in successfully managing hotel operations across large hotel groups, we are confident Eddy will bring his expertise and vision to build on the robust development pipeline of upcoming projects across key markets.”“In his new role Eddy will assist me in driving the growth and expansion of Rotana and his responsibilities will include the successful opening of our new properties across the MENA Region and the creation of a synergy among our hotels in all aspects of our operations”, continued Hutchinson.With over 20 years of experience in hospitality across the Middle East, Tannous has held senior roles with global brands, and most recently, he served as Senior Vice President, Operations overseeing the operational performance across Fairmont’s Middle East and Asian properties. Tannous brings with him a proven track record of delivering success across various facets of hospitality including operations, customer satisfaction, strategic expansion, marketing and more. “I am proud to be joining the renowned, and award-winning Rotana group - a brand truly committed to providing guests with the highest levels of quality and comfort. As a homegrown brand, Rotana is synonymous with Middle Eastern hospitality and the group continues to cement its position as one of the leading players in the region. I look forward to collaborating with the team to help expand global operations and ensure the consistent delivery of Treasured Times across the world.” – added Tannous.Rotana currently operates 72 hotels in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Türkiye, serving more than six million guests per year, including an impressive 10,159 keys across 36 hotels in the UAE alone.

HSBC Bahrain appoints Joseph Ghorayeb as CEO

Manama: HSBC has announced the appointment of Joseph Ghorayeb as its new Chief Executive Officer in Bahrain, effective 1 September 2023. Joseph succeeds Chris Russell, who is retiring after 18 years in HSBC of which the last 3 years have been in Bahrain.Joseph is a career HSBC banker who joined the Group in Canada in 2006. Joseph relocated to the Middle East in 2012 and has held leadership positions with HSBC in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain – most recently as Head of Wholesale Banking, Bahrain, a role to which he was appointed in 2022.Stephen Moss, Chief Executive Officer, MENAT, HSBC Group, said: “I look forward to working with and supporting Joseph to deliver the next phase of growth of HSBC Bahrain and to build on its position as an important network market in a region where our ambitious growth agenda is delivering results. Joseph will build on firm foundations laid by Chris Russell, who has delivered exceptional results for clients in Bahrain over the last three years.”Commenting on his appointment Joseph said: “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to serve as CEO of HSBC in Bahrain and to serve our clients in this market. HSBC’s origins in Bahrain extend back almost 80 years and I look forward to building on this strong foundation with the support of my very experienced team as we work to further enhance HSBC’s position as the leading international bank in the region.”HSBC, which traces its origins in Bahrain back to 1944, offers a full suite of personal and wholesale banking services and products, including a market leading securities and custody service, trade financing and global payment systems.

Sharjah Government Communication Award: Mirroring UAE's communication vision

Sharjah: In 2012 the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) launched the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), marking a foundational milestone in the quest to enhance communication practices in the region. The Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) soon followed, distinguishing the emirate as the first in the region to unveil such a prestigious initiative.A powerful start for a prestigious awardLaunched in 2014, SGCA swiftly evolved into a distinguished platform showcasing groundbreaking models of exceptional communication campaigns, strategies, and programmes that have profoundly impacted their respective communities.Since its inception, the award has received more than 2,800 submissions from government, semi-government, and private entities in the UAE, the Arab world and from across the globe, with more than 690 international submissions since their expansion. Notably, Sharjah represented more than 600 entries while submissions from other emirates have surpassed 1,500 to date. This impressive level of engagement showcases the award's exceptional adaptability and their ability to remain current and highly relevant.From Sharjah and UAE to the worldHE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, said, “Establishing the global communication standards calls for embracing noble practices and inspiring models, in order to create innovative pathways for advancing the communication industry. As a driving force in the progression of development, it is crucial to propel the communication industry's contribution to meet the goals and needs of our country and society as a whole. Sharjah Government Communication Award serves as a global platform, translating the vision of Sharjah and the UAE to amplify communication's role in fulfilling global development ambitions, as well as underlining the need for investment in its tools and strategies across all levels.”The Director General added, “Over the past decade, SGCA has amassed knowledge, facilitated the exchange of experience, and honoured inspirational models, which, in turn, played a pivotal role in the award's development. Today, after nine successful editions, it has become a unique model and accolade. Tangible proof of its impact lies in the exceptional quality of the annual award submissions, coupled with its dynamic approach that allowed for a gradual expansion of its scope, starting from local participation, extending to the Gulf and the Arab world, and eventually evolving into an internationally renowned award.”A holistic vision for communicationIn its inaugural edition, SGCA centred primarily on media as the dominant communication channel. The succeeding edition broadened its focus to encompass comprehensive communication practices across institutions beyond the media sector. It recognised remarkable campaigns and strategies from numerous ministries and authorities, as well as prominent figures in the public domain, highlighting the fact that government communication went beyond traditional media practices and underscoring the need to deploy relevant communication tools across sectors and institutions tied to public affairs.Expansion across the Arab worldInitially confined to UAE's government communication departments, SGCA's sphere of influence soon covered the Arab world, attracting communication experts, content creators, and departments throughout the region, all drawn to the high standards and criteria it had established.Honouring local media leadershipThe third edition of SGCA took place after Sharjah was recognised as the ‘Capital of Arab Press’ in 2016, further bolstering its commitment to promoting Emirati and Arab media. In this edition, the Dar Al Khaleej Printing & Publishing (publishers of Al Khaleej and Gulf Today newspapers) was honoured for their significant contribution to transforming government discourse into tangible outcomes, as reflected in economic growth rates, heightened social awareness, and successful navigation through various cultural and developmental challenges. The honour was previously claimed by influential media institutions such as the Sharjah Media Corporation, Dubai Media Corporation, and the MBC Group.Inspirational models for regional development aspirationsDuring a transformative and challenging period in the Arab world, the award recognised the importance of showcasing practices and figures that had contributed significantly to the advancement and stability of their respective countries. HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs, was lauded for his leading role in the national government communication system and his substantial contributions to shaping the UAE's foreign policy. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation also received recognition for its exemplary communication through social media platforms.SGCA continued its journey by embracing technological advancements and incorporating digital communication tools, establishing specific standards for government communication through digital channels and social media networks, as well as creating a new award category dedicated to GCC countries.Going beyond the practical outcomes, SGCA recognised the theoretical and scientific aspects of government communication and played a pioneering role at the academic level. It aimed to elevate communication cadres and pave the way for government communication's intellectual, practical, and scientific development.An exemplary effort in this direction was publishing a book titled, ‘Government Communication: Theory and Practice’ as it extended the scope to the wider Arab region during the 2019 edition. It profiled communication practices from winners of previous editions while summarising the award's extensive experiences. This rich content provided a valuable resource for specialists and experts in this sector and a trove of practical solutions for the region.2020-2022 - global outreachSince 2020, SGCA has witnessed one of its most noteworthy transformations, taking its hitherto national and Arab scope to global heights. This transformation was brought forth by a new strategy to feature more diverse presentation mechanisms, and welcome participation from international communication professionals through six additional categories. Strategic partnerships were forged with renowned names such as National Geographic, the UAE's National Media Council, the UAE Federal Youth Foundation, the Arab Youth Center and the UAE University, further solidifying the award's international prominence.Despite the formidable challenges posed by the recent pandemic and its widespread repercussions, SGCA maintained its adaptability and relevance. The 2021 edition centred on campaigns related to overcoming these challenges and the indispensable role of communication in mitigating their effects. In the subsequent year, the award's focus shifted to sustainability issues, emphasising the vital role of communication in raising awareness surrounding the significance of preserving resources, safeguarding the environment, and addressing other pressing developmental concerns.

Airalo, world's largest eSim marketplace, raises $60mln in Series B financing

Airalo, the pioneering eSIM marketplace revolutionizing global connectivity, announced today the successful completion of its Series B financing round, raising an impressive $60 million. Led by e& capital, the investment arm of e&, the global technology group, this brings Airalo's total funding to $67.3 million. Antler Elevate, Liberty Global, Orange, T.Capital, Rakuten Capital, Singtel Innov8, Telefónica Ventures, Sequoia Capital India and SEA's (now known as Peak XV Partners) Surge, KPN Ventures, and I2BF Global Ventures were among the prestigious group of investors who also participated. This diverse consortium of investors reflects the industry-wide recognition of Airalo's transformative work in making global connectivity accessible and affordable for travelers worldwide.This significant capital injection will propel Airalo's growth plans, including expanding its vibrant community of millions of users, amplifying its global team, and introducing Airalo Partners—an innovative connectivity solution tailored to businesses and organizations across the globe. By combining cutting-edge technology and a user-centric approach, Airalo continues to empower travelers with seamless access to mobile networks, transforming their journeys into unforgettable experiences.Co-founders Abraham Burak and Bahadir Ozdemir expressed their gratitude for the company's progress and the ongoing support of its growing investor network, stating, "Over the past years, Airalo has alleviated the pain points and improved the experience of millions of travelers by providing very affordable and accessible connectivity all around the world. This new consortium of investors will further enable us on our quest to build the gateway to instant connectivity worldwide."Since its establishment in 2019, Airalo has remained steadfast in its mission to democratize global connectivity, making it both accessible and affordable for travelers worldwide. The Airalo marketplace, renowned as the world's largest eSIM platform, empowers users with convenient access to eSIM (digital SIM) packages, allowing them to seamlessly connect to mobile networks in hundreds of destinations across the globe.With coverage spanning over 200 countries and regions, Airalo's exceptional services have garnered the trust of millions of users worldwide. The company's remote-first approach has fostered a diverse and talented team of over 250 professionals hailing from 44 countries and six continents. This dedicated team includes a global partnerships squad, which nurtures strong collaborations with businesses and organizations worldwide. Testament to its global appeal, the Airalo website and app are available in 22 languages, with an expansion plan to offer support in 53 languages in the near future. The Airalo app currently boasts a remarkable rating of 4.7 stars on the App Store and 4.6 stars on the Google Play Store, while being the #1 travel app in mobile app stores in multiple countries, further affirming its user satisfaction.In light of the successful funding round, e& capital shared its enthusiasm for joining forces with Airalo. “We are pleased to lead the Series B financing round for Airalo, a company that has come a long way over the past 18 months with a focus on providing exceptional customer experience. We have complete confidence in Airalo’s ability to expand its user community, strengthen its diverse team, and introduce its latest product Airalo Partners, a groundbreaking connectivity solution for global businesses and organizations. We believe that Airalo has the potential to become a travel essential and are excited to support their journey towards becoming the definitive gateway to instant connectivity worlsaid Kushal Shah, Managing Director, e& capital.Airalo's remarkable growth trajectory and unwavering commitment to transforming the travel experience have positioned it as a trailblazer and travel essential. With the infusion of new capital and strategic partnerships, Airalo is poised to accelerate its expansion, ensuring that travelers around the world can stay seamlessly connected, no matter their destinati

Bigo Live unveils exciting summer vibe campaign in the MENA region

Dubai:  Bigo Live, the leading global live streaming platform, is all set to beat the heat and bring cool vibes to its vibrant MENA community with its newest 'Summer Vibe Campaign.' Embracing the spirit of summer, the campaign provides an exciting experience filled with summer-themed events and interactive sessions, fostering a lively and engaging community.Bigo Live's 'Summer Vibe Campaign' comes as a refreshing breeze, inviting users to embark on a virtual journey of unforgettable experiences, regardless of their travel plans. As international tourism in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East is expected to soar by 36 percent[1] between June – August compared to last year, Bigo Live aims to create a dynamic platform that resonates with the summer wanderlust and celebrates the vibrant essence of this season. The campaign has been introduced with an aim to deliver thrilling entertainment, engaging content, and inspiring interactions, bringing together users from across the region.The Summer Vibe Campaign began during from the middle of July and will be active until the end of August 2023 on Bigo Live featuring several exciting activities including:Fashion Trends with SuperSisters:Joining hands with the renowned influencers, SuperSisters (Leen Mohd and Lana Mohd), Bigo Live will showcase this year's hottest summer fashion trends. The dynamic duo will share their valuable insights on fashion styles and provide expert tips related to health and diet for the summer season. It's time to stay fashionable and healthy during these sizzling months!Share Your Summer Travel Story:Bigo Live invites its enthusiastic broadcasters to embark on virtual journeys, transporting their viewers to breathtaking vacation spots and memorable escapades. Through livestreaming, broadcasters and viewers can weave their unique travel tales, share travel tips, and explore the beauty of summer destinations, creating a strong sense of community and engagement.Join Model Roz for Summer Highlights:In a major highlight of the campaign, Bigo Live has teamed up with Saudi Arabia's top female model, Model_Roz. With a staggering reach of over 10 million, Model Roz is set to take her audience on a mesmerizing visual tour of European landscapes and share insights on seasonal topics that are sure to spark excitement and inspiration.Commenting on the campaign, a spokesperson from Bigo Live, said, "We are excited to launch the Summer Vibe Campaign and create an electrifying atmosphere for our users in the MENA region. With the region's rich cultural heritage and love for summertime celebrations, we aim to bring our community together through engaging activities and experiences that truly embody the essence of summer. The campaign epitomizes Bigo Live’s unwavering commitment to building a community where creativity flourishes, connections thrive, and experiences are boundless. We believe that the magic of summer is not confined to physical locations; it's about the vibrant connections we forge, the memories we create, and the joy we share. It's time to soak in the sun and enjoy a vibrant season on Bigo Live!"As the MENA region embraces the vibrant energy of summer, Bigo Live's Summer Vibe Campaign is set to be a game-changer, offering users an interactive and engaging platform to celebrate the spirit of the season. Whether it's sharing their travel tales or embracing fashion trends, users on the platform can now embark on an immersive summer experience like never before. With the Summer Vibe Campaign, Bigo Live upholds its vision of empowering individuals to express themselves, celebrate diversity, and embrace the moments that define us. As we observe the summer months on this exciting journey, the platform invites users across the MENA region to join hands and be part of an unforgettable summer celebration that showcases the true essence of Bigo Live's global family.

Emirates News Agency and Abu Dhabi Chamber sign MoU

Abu Dhabi:  Emirates News Agency (WAM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI). The agency is set to become a media partner for the 21st cycle of the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award and the Public-Private Partnership Conference. These events seek to highlight the achievements of the business community and private sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, while also promoting the Emirate’s investment landscape and diverse sectors.The MoU was signed during an official ceremony, which was held in the presence of His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber; Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the WAM; His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Chamber, and a number of officials and heads of departments from both sides.The MoU comes in line with Abu Dhabi Chamber’s efforts to realise the objectives of its 2023-2025 strategy, by leveraging partnerships with local and federal authorities to achieve prosperity throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Chamber is committed to meeting the requirements of the private sector, while showcasing Abu Dhabi’s thriving economic and investment environment, which plays a pivotal role in attracting and incubating businesses. Through this MoU, WAM will play a crucial role in disseminating positive messages about the Emirate's dynamic economic landscape and development journey.His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), said: “The MoU aligns with the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s strategic objectives, which centre on providing all forms of support to the private sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Chamber ensures unleashing the sector’s potential and leveraging investment and economic opportunities to drive economic growth. Through our strategic partnership with WAM, we strive to showcase and promote the integrated economic system through a leading national media platform, which delivers trusted and insightful content about the business community in the emirate.”Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the WAM, said: "We are proud of this strategic partnership, focused on showcasing the qualitative achievements of the private sector and the flourishing investment landscape of Abu Dhabi. WAM will cover a number of the most prominent economic events and activities organized by Abu Dhabi Chamber”.“As part of this MOU, WAM is poised to become a media partner for the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award, now in its 21st cycle. This award has earned a prestigious reputation over the years, with its emphasis on high standards, innovation and competitiveness. It has also contributed to strengthening the business environment in Abu Dhabi.” He added.Al Rayssi pointed out that the agreement also includes media partnership for the Public-Private Partnership Conference, which provides an opportunity to highlight the thriving economic model in the UAE and the prospects for cooperation between various sectors, in a way that enhances the country's growth in various vital sectors.Al Rayssi further emphasized that the various partnerships forged by WAM with various institutions serve as an effective means to bolster reliable economic content. Thus, they play a pivotal role in keeping pace with the most important economic events, underlying the media’s influence as a driving force for economic growth and development. These collaborations enable WAM to highlight pioneering economic experiences and available investment opportunities.Al Rayssi affirmed WAM’s commitment to providing accurate and comprehensive coverage that reflects the economic success of the UAE and supports th

MG Motor introduces the New 2024 MG ZS EV

ABU Dubai: MG Modesigned 'Phantom' LED tail lamps exude style and sophistication.The interior offers ample room for passengers and cargo, and the foldable rear seat expands the load capacity. In the front, a 10.1" floating touchscreen control panel provides easy access to various features, and the all-digital 7" virtual cluster displays essential information. The 6-speaker sound system creates an immersive 3D sound effect, and multiple USB ports and a wireless phone charger cater to the charging needs of all passengers while on the move.As with all MG cars, the new model is equipped with some of the latest technological features. The Park Assist feature, equipped with 360° cameras, ensures worry-free parking. The vehicle is also equipped with MG Pilot, an advanced suite of partially automated driver-assistance technologies, enhancing driving safety and providing drivers with added confidence on the road.Prioritising occupant safety, the New MG ZS EV comes with Electronic Stability Program as standard, including eight safety functions, with ABS, EBD, CBC, TCS, VDC, HAZ, HHC, BDW enhancing driving stability in extreme road conditions or in situations involving aggressive driving to ensure driving safety.The New 2024 MG ZS EV is available in COM or LUX options, with highly competitive pricing to be announced shortly according to the market. The new model also benefits from the brand’s acclaimed 8 years/200,000 km battery warranty.Tom Lee, Managing Director of MG Motor Middle East and North Africa commented: "MG Motor has long been at the forefront of new energy developments in the car industry, and the launch of the New MG ZS EV reinforces our commitment in this field. We are determined to meet the varied needs of our customers around the region, while taking into account the specific requirements in individual local markets, so offering this new model is indicative of this focus."With the introduction of the New MG ZS EV, MG is re-emphasizing its credentials as a leader in offering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions across the MENA region and globally.

Delphine Cravotto appointed Hotel Manager of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

Dubai:  Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai's most iconic hotel and a global symbol of Arabian luxury, has appointed Delphine Cravotto as Hotel Manager.The move comes as Jumeirah Group ramps up its mission to become a global leader by 2030, with a focus on recruiting exceptional talent with the right expertise and skill sets to help drive forward a new era for the brand. Responsible for managing all aspects of the hotel operations, Cravotto will work alongside General Manager and Regional Vice President, Giovanni Beretta, to innovate and craft distinctive experiences that will further set the iconic hotel apart.Commenting on Cravotto’s appointment, Beretta said: “Delphine possesses excellent business acumen and has extensive experience in delivering flawless guest experiences. Equally, she is an enthusiastic, hands-on team player who channels our pioneering spirit and excels at coaching others to grow and develop. We believe that her results-driven approach and genuine passion for the industry will be a real asset to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and will support us in our mission to ensure this iconic property continues to deliver a unique experience and level of service, matched by no other.”Prior to joining Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Cravotto spent much of her career working at Paris’ Park Hyatt Vendôme, a hotel which holds the prestigious "Palace Label". Starting out in conferences and events, her leadership skills and commercial intuition soon saw her progress into operational roles, from Duty Manager through to Director of Rooms, then as Hotel Manager all within the same property. Cravotto’s tenure has been punctuated with multiple key achievements, including securing ‘Hotel of the Year’ and that prestigious ‘Palace Label’ for the property.Cravotto added: "I am honoured to join the team at this distinguished hotel that captivates the world, especially at such an exciting time for the brand. My focus will be on continuing to elevate the guest experience at this legendary property, curate new brand experiences, and further bring to life its ethos of exceptional luxury.”An icon of Dubai for more than 20 years, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah was once again named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World's Best Awards this month. It was also recognised for its culinary prowess earlier in the year, with signature dining destination Al Muntaha, located on the 27th floor with incredible views of Arabian Gulf, retaining its Michelin star in the second edition of the Dubai Guide. Ristorante L’Olivo, an outpost of the two Michelin Star restaurant from Capri Palace Jumeirah in Italy, was also featured. The flagship property was also lauded in the second edition of the prestigious Gault&Millau UAE 2023 guide, with three of its much-loved restaurants featured for their culinary excellence. Al Muntaha received a rating of 17 with the first-ever award of 4 toques, Ristorante L’Olivo received a rating of 15 and 3 toques and mirrored beach club restaurant SAL gained a rating of 12. Its exceptional talent was also celebrated, with Tom Coll named Pastry Chef of the Year and Samuel Lacroix recognised as Sommelier of the Year.

New In Riyadh: Pottery Barn & West Elm Stores open at Granada Mall

Riyadh: Renowned global interiors brands, Pottery Barn and West Elm, welcome the launch of their new stores at one of the largest and most luxurious shopping destination in Riyadh, Granada Mall. Pottery Barn is renowned for its synonymous quality and craftsmanship, while West Elm furniture offers modern furniture and home decor featuring inspiring designs and colors, expand their footprint in the Kingdom, offering Riyadh residents a world-class shopping experience and an exquisite selection of home décor choices from both brands.Located in Riyadh, the ground floor at the Granada Mall serves as the unique location for Pottery Barn and West Elm stores in the city. Spanning over 757 sq. metres and 852 sq. metres respectively, both stores showcase a curated collection of furnishings and accessories that embody timeless elegance and modern design. With their classic yet contemporary aesthetic, both brands inspire customers to create beautiful living spaces that reflect their own unique style and personality.The new Pottery Barn store showcases furniture collections that blend classic style with heirloom quality and character perfectly alongside exclusive décor collections, aiming to enhance the shopping experience for all customers. With its curated selection and timeless design aesthetic, the store inspiration for every room - from living and dining to bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and outdoor spaces.The grand opening of the store promises an immersive shopping experience like no other. Visitors will be captivated by the store's inviting ambiance, meticulously designed displays, and a wide array of premium products. From luxurious furniture to exquisite bedding, lighting, rugs, and decorative accessories, Pottery Barn offers everything needed to transform a house into a dream home.The new West Elm store displays a carefully curated selection of modern and stylish home furnishings that reflect the brand's commitment to modern aesthetics and craftsmanship. With their thoughtfully designed displays and inspiring atmosphere, West Elm invites customers to explore an array of furniture, lighting, textiles, and accessories that effortlessly blend form and function.With a focus on modern design and versatility, West Elm caters to diverse design tastes and lifestyles. From sleek and contemporary to mid-century modern and bohemian chic, West Elm offers an extensive collection that caters to every aesthetic preference. Customers can explore a wide range of products designed for every room in the home, including living areas, dining spaces, bedrooms, home offices, and outdoor areas.Visitors can expect to find the latest seasonal collections, timeless favourites, and a range of styles to suit all tastes and interior needs.Pottery Barn and West Elm offer complimentary design services, that allow customers to further personalize their shopping experience with the assistance of their specially trained Design Crew team. Virtually, in-store, or at home, the design experts will help customers add an increased personalized touch as they embark on their new shopping journey.The Pottery Barn store and West Elm stores at Granada Mall are now open, inviting the residents of Riyadh to experience the art of creating beautiful, functional, and inviting spaces. Don't miss this opportunity to discover the perfect pieces that will transform your home into a sanctuary of style.

Study: 73% of marketers using addressable TV

Dubai: There is a marked growth in the industry’s adoption and usage of the addressable TV advertising medium, with nearly three in four marketers currently including addressable TV in their media plans, a 16% increase versus a year ago. This is one of the findings of a new study by Go Addressable, an industry initiative to advance addressable advertising, and Advertiser Perceptions.  The findings capture the latest growth, adoption, usage and trajectory for this medium. Presently, 73% (or nearly three in four marketers) are using addressable TV, compared to 63% (or nearly two in three marketers) when the study was fielded this same time last year. This is a 16% increase. “The big story behind these findings is growth,” said Dan Rosenfeld, SVP, Data Analytics & Insights, DIRECTV Advertising. “Two years into Go Addressable’s launch, we are excited to see that the needle behind adoption, usage and awareness of this medium has continued to move consistently. We take these findings to heart and remain committed to finding ways to further enhance, innovate and pioneer addressable advertising’s future.” The study revealed positive momentum in other key areas:   • Among those polled, nearly half (49%) had a combined linear and digital team planning addressable TV strategies for marketers.   • The percentage of respondents citing “better measurement/proof of ROI” as a factor to consider when increasing or initiating addressable TV investments dropped from 50% to 43% in this latest study, suggesting that there has been more industry-wide education and awareness of how the medium works and its benefits over the past year. The findings also yielded important insights when it comes to areas that need more improvement or focus. One example is the industry’s perception versus what is currently being done around attribution. Respondents, in particular, noted that they felt there is currently “inadequate attribution to prove the ROI of addressable TV advertising.” (Contrast that with the fact that Go Addressable currently works with the top 20 attribution vendors in market.) “Addressable advertising has evolved tremendously in recent years, and clients find that using this method adds immediate value to their media plans,” said Jen Soch, Executive Director, Channel Solutions, GroupM. “Our clients need to know they can reach and engage with consumers in a targeted and personalized way while in a premium advertising environment, and addressable advertising delivers in a way that not only reaches audiences, but resonates with them.” The study is part of an ongoing research initiative between both parties.

Emirates Premium Economy shines in first year of full service

After setting new industry benchmarks in Premium Economy travel, Emirates is celebrating a banner first year of full-service operations with the highly popular cabin class. Over 160,000 customers have traded up to fly in Emirates Premium Economy since it was introduced in August 2022, with strong demand momentum forecasted in the coming months.The airline is providing travellers more opportunities to experience its highly-acclaimed Premium Economy product which is currently available on flights to 11 cities, with the list growing to 13 cities by the end of the year, as more retrofitted aircraft with refreshed cabins roll into scheduled service.Since Emirates debuted its Premium Economy Class, customer response has been overwhelmingly positive with demand exceeding expectations and bookings growing month on month, demonstrating its appeal to a broad range of traveller segments who want to try out its understated luxury and meticulously elevated experience at great value. Nearly half of customers flying in Emirates Premium Economy are solo travellers venturing off for holidays, while couples and families constitute the other half. More than 60% of customers who booked to fly in Premium Economy in the last year were also loyal Emirates Skywards members and regular customers of the airline. Emirates currently flies its A380s with the latest Premium Economy cabins to London Heathrow, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Houston, San Francisco and Dubai, with flights regularly registering full seat loads in Premium Economy. The airline plans to make Premium Economy available to customers flying to/from Mumbai and Bengaluru from 29 October, and additional cities will be announced soon. Emirates currently operates 20 aircraft fitted with Premium Economy, 14 of which were retrofitted in-house by the Emirates Engineering team in Dubai over the course of the last nine months.Since August 2022, the airline has operated close to 4,500 flights with Premium Economy, traversing more than 36 million kilometres around the globe. On those flights, over 192,000 meals from its carefully curated menus which include the finest ingredients were served to customers who enjoyed regionally inspired, generously portioned dishes.Unique touches include indulgent desserts garnished with edible gold leaf, among other signature offerings. Premium Economy menus are updated every month to ensure a diversity of flavours and dishes, especially for well-travelled customers. Over 126,000 pieces of chocolates were served to round off meals for Premium Economy customers.Emirates also served 6,700 kilograms of mixed nuts and 8,650 litres of complimentary fresh lemon and mint juices in Premium Economy. The airline’s robust beverage selection in Premium Economy includes a global exclusive for Emirates customers, Australian sparkling wine, Chandon Vintage Brut 2016, alongside a choice of a unique white and red wine.The airline’s philosophy to constantly innovate and redefine service excellence through the introduction of Premium Economy has earned it numerous top placings and accolades in the cabin category at the 2023 Skytrax Awards, Business Traveller awards, Airline Ratings Excellence Awards, and 2022 Business Traveller Middle East awards.In May, Emirates launched a global campaign with Academy Award winning actor and philanthropist Penelope Cruz, which also featured her enjoying the spacious seats in Premium Economy. The airline has also provided a glimpse of its Premium Economy offering through guided tours of the new cabin class to media and influencers, trade partners, airport, tourism and government officials across cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Singapore, New York JFK and San Francisco.The Premium Economy roll-out is a core component of the airline’s multi-billion-dollar retrofit programme which will see the interior upgrade on 67 Emirates A380 cabins, as well as 53 Boeing 777 cabins. By the end of the programme, over 4,000 Premium Economy seats will be installed, along with over 700 First Class suites and 5,000 Business Class seats refurbished with the latest interiors.Tickets in Premium Economy can be booked on, the Emirates App, or via both online and offline travel agents.

E& reports consolidated revenues of AED 26.6bln for H1 2023, up 1.1 per cent

Abu Dhabi, UAE: e& today announced its consolidated financial results for H1 2023 and that it has signed a binding agreement with PPF Group (“PPF”) to acquire a controlling stake (50% + 1 share economic stake) in PPF Telecom Group’s (“PPF Telecom”) assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia. PPF Telecom is the telecommunications division of PPF.e&'s consolidated revenues during the H1 2023 reached AED 26.6 billion a YoY increase of 1.1 per cent. Consolidated net profit recorded AED 4.7 billion while consolidated EBITDA reached AED 12.8 billion, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 48 per cent.In the UAE, etisalat by e& recorded 13.9 million subscribers an increase of 5.1 per cent compared to the same period of last year, The Group’s aggregate subscribers reached 165 million, a YoY increase of 3.1 per cent.H.E. Jassem Mohamed Obaid Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman, e&, said: “e&'s performance during the first half of the year reinforces the resilience of our business model despite the challenging global macroeconomic environment. This was also the result of our teams' relentless efforts to remain committed to our vision and drive sustainable growth, making a positive change in the societies we serve while adding value to our shareholders.Today we are also delighted to announce e&'s strategic expansion into the European market. With this move, we join forces with PPF to build and expand our international footprint in the attractive Central and Eastern Europe region and beyond. It is the next step of our transformation into a global technology group, offering e& multiple avenues to roll-out its leading suite of B2B and B2C digital products in the CEE with significant synergies.The acquisition aligns with e&’s strategic ambition to accelerate international growth and diversify geographically. This represents an unparalleled opportunity to establish a strong presence and foster development within the dynamic CEE region. The PPF Telecom portfolio, spanning four countries, exhibits a well-balanced structure, underpinned by robust macroeconomic fundamentals and stable currencies. The countries of its operations are characterised by regulatory stability, healthy competition, and highly attractive returns, positioning them among the most promising in Europe. e& will consolidate more than 10 million subscribers from this acquisition post-closing.We achieved remarkable progress in our strategic focus areas, supported by strong performance in our core telecom business, increased demand for our innovative digital services and solutions, and a commitment to deliver cutting-edge solutions that accelerate digital transformation in the communities we serve. During the period, we also made strategic investments and fostered partnerships that will drive our growth in the coming years, pushing us to seize new opportunities in the fast-evolving digital landscape. In line with the UAE leadership's vision, we are committed to continuing progress and development and enhancing our confidence in the added value e& provides. We are resolute in our commitment to spare no effort in delivering cutting-edge technologies and world-class services that will not only shape the digital future but also turn the vision of sustainable socio-economic growth into a tangible reality. With the utmost dedication, we aim to play an instrumental role in fostering a knowledge-based economy, cementing our position as a driving force for innovation and progress.”Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, said: “Over the past six months, we have demonstrated a strong sense of resilience and adaptability. Our relentless focus on excellence and innovation has allowed us to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the telecommunications and technology sectors, maintaining our growth momentum.Our consolidated revenues during the first half of the year reached AED 26.6 billion, with a year-over-year increase of 1.1 per cent. Consolidated net profit recorded AED 4.7 billion while consolidated EBITDA reached AED 12.8 billion, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 48 per cent. This positive performance has been driven by our core businesses and our new business verticals, which have seen an increase in demand domestically and internationally.This growth was also fueled by harnessing the power of our technological prowess, leveraging our expertise to forge new paths, disrupt industries, and transform the way we do business on a global scale. Our commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing change has positioned us as a true trailblazer in the digital era.Our success has been driven by the combination of our innovative, customer-centric strategies and the unwavering dedication of our teams, along with our investment in world-leading infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies that consistently serve as the foundation of our achievements.I would like to express my gratitude to our dedicated employees, whose relentless efforts and innovative spirit remain the driving force behind our progression. Similarly, we thank our loyal customers and stakeholders for their continued faith in our vision. Looking ahead, I remain confident that our commitment to connecting people, businesses, and communities through technology will enable us to provide continuous growth and value for our customers and stakeholders in the years to come.”Key highlights and developments for H1 2023 e& to expand into Central and Eastern Europe through investment in majority stake in PPF Telecom The perimeter will comprise of the Yettel Bulgaria, Yettel Hungary, Yettel Serbia, and O2 Slovakia operations, with more than 10 million subscribers and leading positions in their respective markets, as well as the CETIN and O2 Networks infrastructure businesses in these countries.The upfront consideration for the acquisition is €2,150 million. The transaction is also subject to up to €350 million in earn-out payments to PPF if the PPF Telecom assets exceed certain financial targets within the three-year period after closing and is subject to a claw back if such financial targets are not achieved.The PPF Telecom’s infrastructure businesses in each of these four countries are fully carved out and managed independently of the service companies. Through the investment, e& will own a 50% + 1 share economic stake in both the service and infrastructure companies.e& and PPF aim to realise significant scope for synergies between the two groups, with sizeable opex and capex savings and multiple opportunities for the roll-out of the leading suite of e&’s B2B and B2C digital products in CEE. The partners will retain current PPF Telecom CEO Balesh Sharma and ensure continuity of operations while drawing on the broad expertise of PPF Telecom’s teams in their markets.The acquisition will be under e& international, the telecom vertical of e& in global markets. The acquisition will deliver on three key pillars of the e& international strategy: expanding the geographic footprint, promoting e& digital services, and increasing the scale and scope of synergies across e& operating companies.

GELLIFY Middle East launches 'Luxury Tech CX Observatory' in Dubai

Dubai: GELLIFY, the multinational B2B innovation platform, sets its sights on revolutionizing the luxury industry with the unveiling of its groundbreaking initiative, the” Luxury Tech CX Observatory”. As the region's luxury market continues to soar at an exponential rate, GELLIFY's visionary observatory aims to reshape the luxury customer experience by driving technological advancements, providing trend analysis, and exploring future industry shifts.The newly launched observatory will serve as a dynamic collaborative environment, empowering luxury brands to access invaluable resources, learn from industry experts, and engage with innovative startups. This strategic initiative mirrors GELLIFY's unwavering mission to guide brands on their digital transformation journeys, enhancing their competitiveness in the ever-evolving luxury sector.Additionally, the launch of the new initiative also marks the unveiling of GELLIFY’s latest report on luxury market, “The Digital Revolution: Disrupting the Landscape of Luxury’s Future”, offering valuable insights into the complex and ever evolving landscape of luxury market. From the growing importance of sustainability and conscious consumption to the impact of social media on purchase decisions, the report identifies key trends changing the consumer behaviors. The report delves deep into Leadership Culture, Digital Preparedness, Luxury Innovation Factories, Geo-proximity for Customer Insights amongst many other interesting topics,Customer Data Mastery alongside emerging market trends to state-of-the-art technologies, featuring insights from over 100 leading luxury companies worldwide, the report offers an all-encompassing perspective on the luxury landscape,Massimo Cannizzo, CEO and Co-founder of GELLIFY Middle East, expressed his excitement about the groundbreaking venture: "At GELLIFY, in a fast-changing luxury customer expectations, we are devoted to driving innovation and reshaping the customer experience by harnessing the potential of advanced technology. Drawing from our rich heritage in Milan, Italy the global epicenter of fashion and luxury, we are extending our deep-rooted expertise to Dubai, a burgeoning hub for luxury brands. This is more than just embracing the latest trends; it's about scripting a transformative narrative for luxury in the digital age. Dubai, with its growing reputation as a luxury hub, presents the ideal setting for this exciting venture."The 'Luxury Tech CX Observatory' offers a window into the latest trends and advancements shaping the customer experience, establishing itself as a knowledge hub for luxury brands. Emphasizing its role as a key support pillar in luxury brands' digital transformation journey, GELLIFY will provide in-depth research, insights, and knowledge-sharing opportunities. Furthermore, the observatory will identify promising startups offering innovative solutions, fostering collaboration to explore advanced approaches that elevate the luxury customer experience to unparalleled heights.As the luxury market in the UAE propels towards phenomenal growth, projected to reach USD 5.12 billion by 2028, Dubai's magnetic allure for new tech makes it an ideal location for GELLIFY's transformative initiative.By leveraging the capabilities of personalized eCommerce, augmented shopping, Cognitive AI, and other innovative technologies, luxury brands can create extraordinary experiences that deeply resonate with the discerning preferences of their evolved clientele. These cutting-edge advancements in technology enable brands to offer tailored and immersive shopping journeys, enhancing customer satisfaction and elevating the overall luxury shopping experience to new heights.The observatory launches with a vision to redefine the essence of luxury, infusing it with cutting-edge technology, and elevating the luxury customer experience to new heights. As a trailblazer in luxury tech innovation, GELLIFY Middle East reinforces its position as a transformational partner for luxury brands, dedicated to driving their success and innovation in the digital era.

Enjinstarter MENA leads Web3 into the future in UAE

DUBAI: Enjinstarter MENA, Web3 launchpad and advisory company, was a key player in a successful first half of 2023 for Web3 in the UAE. All told, the industry now has more than 1,800 organisations operating in the country, and announcements such as Abu Dhabi’s $2 billion fund for Web3 startups and a national digital currency strategy have demonstrated the government’s firm commitment to adopting and investing in new technologies.Enjinstarter MENA’s journey in the region began with the appointment of Vasseh Ahmed as its Managing Director in December 2022. Since then, it has focused much of its attention on obtaining the necessary licences for operation.Regulation is a critical step for Web3 companies entering MENA. The region’s regulators, in turn, have strived to provide clear and coherent regulations for companies to follow. In April, Enjistarter received initial approval from VARA, the Dubai virtual assets regulator, as a first step towards obtaining a full licence to operate in the emirate.“Dubai continues to be a global hub of Web3 activity. Its commitment to regulatory clarity and funding support have attracted some of the biggest names in the industry,” said Vasseh. “Continuing with our licence application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond.”LaunchpadAs a Web3 project launchpad, Enjinstarter was recognised by industry-leading ranking service, Cryptorank, as consistently being a top-3 Initial Decentralised Exchange Offering (IDO) provider in 2023 in terms of ROI. The strong performance this year can be attributed to the Enjinstarter team quickly adapting to the trend of artificial intelligence (AI) by shifting its focus to bringing a carefully curated selection of AI projects to the launchpad.In the first half of this year, Enjinstarter helped 11 projects raise $1.35 million in funding. Some of those portfolio companies include:ChainGPT - Infrastructure enabling the future of Web3 innovation with AIDexCheck - A UAE-based crypto trading startup powered by AISophiaVerse - An advanced artificial general intelligence initiative revolutionising the world of AI and gamingOther portfolio companies include:OneRare - A UAE based startup creating the first food metaverseSidus Heroes - An award-winning Web3 gameFrnzy - A Web3-powered e-commerce platformPartnershipsEnjinstarter has also gone about forming partnerships with some of the key Web3 players in the region and beyond:Masary Capital - Enable select crypto- and blockchain-based organisations to travel the path to success within the MENA region. (Website)LandVault - LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web. (Website)Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3™) - A collaboration of Web3 metaverse platform creators, OMA3’s goal is to ensure virtual land, digital assets, ideas, and services are highly interoperable between platforms and transparent to all communities. (Website)Crypto Oasis - A Middle East-focused blockchain ecosystem supported by initiators of Crypto Valley Switzerland.  (Website)Enya Labs - A suite of hybrid blockchain solutions that helps businesses overcome the scalability problem and allow them to expand their offerings and features by accessing and integrating real-world data in real-time. (Website)ImpactFrom an impact perspective, Enjinstarter made it a core part of its mission to find ways to leverage Web3 in the global fight against climate change. To that end, the company has undertaken a number of climate initiatives:Launched the Unsinkable campaign to raise awareness of rising sea levelsHosted climate roundtable event in Dubai with Web3 streaming service, myco, in February and MaySigned a partnership with UAE-based The Storey Group, a change maker that creates and delivers programmes that make our planet a better and more prosperous place.Developing an expansive storytelling AI NFT game based on an advanced earth concept where factions are embarking on quests and battles throughout the Enjinstarter ecosystem to gather resources and earn rewards.Looking forward to the second half of 2023, all eyes are on COP 28 in Dubai in December. In the leadup to the event, Enjinstarter is planning the global launch of its climate-focused Web3 launchpad. The platform will allow the company to connect impact investors with promising Web3 projects making demonstrable impact on the climate.“Climate change is the biggest problem of our time. All of us have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight it. The UAE has already set a leading example by planning to invest $54 billion over the next 7 years as part of its net-zero ambitions. It’s on us to do our part, ” added Vasseh. “Web3 is uniquely designed to meet this challenge head on, so we have made it a core part of our mission to find ways in which Web3 can make a demonstrable impact on climate change. Aside from our upcoming climate launchpad, we’re also working towards climate asset tokenisation, micro green bonds, and utility-driven NFT trading card games.”

Globale Media appoints Ahmed El Gebaly as Regional Head of MENA

AI-driven mobile and web advertising platform, Globale Media, has appointed Ahmed El Gebaly as the regional head of the MENA region. At Globale Media, he will be pivotal in making critical decisions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market. With digital penetration skyrocketing in the Middle East and North Africa, newer horizons will lead to more exciting opportunities in digital marketing. Ahmed has more than 7 years of experience in the Finance and Digital Marketing industries and has previously worked with some well-known international organisations. Bhavesh Talreja, Founder and CEO, of Globale Media, said, “We are super excited to continue our growth in MENA. With Ahmed El Gebaly’s appointment as the regional head, we mark an important milestone in our journey to bolster our global vision. Ahmed holds extensive experience working within rapidly scaling organizations and digital marketing and advertising technology.” Ahmed said, “The MENA region is full of opportunities to explore especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area where it has the highest purchasing power parity all over the globe, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). I’m looking forward to making Globale Media one of the leading and biggest networks in the region that can be trustworthy amongst all the digital marketers and clients too.”  -x-

McDonald’s UAE opens first restaurant with all-female workforce

Dubai: McDonald’s UAE has unveiled its 197th operating restaurant in the Emirates, located in Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai which is operated entirely by an all-female workforce. The milestone launch was made even more memorable as the restaurant is also partially solar powered, continuing McDonald’s UAE’s ongoing mission to have a greener future.The new venue will serve up the nation’s favourite meals and McCafé offerings 24 hours a day through the seamless efforts of its female led team – a concept that is the first of its kind for the brand in the UAE. Playing a growing role in prioritising gender diversity within the QSR sector, the Umm Suqeim restaurant follows on from the launch of the McDonald’s UAE Women Leadership Network in 2020. The WLN is dedicated to supporting inhouse female team members.Walid Fakih, CEO at McDonald’s UAE, commented on the launch, "Our people and our planet are at the heart of McDonald’s UAE operations, and the newest restaurant in Umm Suqeim brings innovation, sustainability and inclusivity all together. We take immense pride in empowering women and providing equal opportunities in every aspect of the business. The new restaurant forms part of our commitment to uplift our female talent, showcasing their drive and enthusiasm while also contributing to a greener planet.”The all-female workforce is complemented by a partially solar paneled power source and electric car charging ports. McDonald’s UAE has long cemented its commitment to offsetting its carbon footprint over the years, as evidenced by the BioDiesel program which has been running since 2011, converting used cooking oil into BioDiesel for McDonald’s trucks.The latest McDonald’s UAE venue is situated in Umm Suqeim, Dubai and promotes another first, as the branch has also introduced curbside ordering, allowing customers to place orders digitally from designated parking spaces for increased convenience. The restaurant is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for orders, be it for customers placing these in person, via the McDonald’s UAE App, as well as the Drive Thru.???????

Twofour54 unveils fully-fledged film production destination in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi : twofour54 Abu Dhabi, part of ADNEC Group, has unveiled their plans to build a major film studio – ‘twofour54 Studios’ – reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s standing as a global epicenter for filmmaking. Set to span over 100 acres, twofour54 Studios will be a future-proof, virtual production-ready, metaverse-enabled and fully-fledged production destination, addressing high demand in the regional and global production landscape.Spanning 400,000 sqm (4,400,000 sqft), twofour54 Studios will boast an impressive range of features including 11 best-in-class soundstages, a 3,000 sqm (32,000 sqft) exterior water tank and six versatile standing sets offering filmmakers ample opportunities for inventive storytelling. Complementing this lot will be 7,000 sqm (over 75,000 sqft) of office space and an array of other production facilities, encompassing post-production, permanent tenancies and screening rooms. At twofour54 Studios, every aspect has been carefully designed to foster an environment that nurtures creativity and ensures a seamless and efficient production process.twofour54 Studios’ commitment to community and collaborative spirit extends beyond its production facilities as they can also house permanent tenants and companies that cater to the production industry, providing a holistic destination for everyone involved - a true creative ecosystem for the Middle-East.  Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Board Member, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “The creative industries have been identified as one of Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors given the important economic and social value they create. We are proud to drive Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a leading global destination for content creation through twofour54 Studios. It will take film and TV production to the next level, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy following its completion in 2025.”“twofour54 has facilitated thousands of productions over the last 15 years, establishing a compelling track record and building a deep expertise of the global film industry’s demands. Leveraging this invaluable experience, twofour54 identified an opportunity in the MENA region – the demand for an integrated, future-ready production destination. We remain steadfast in our mission to foster creativity, nurture talent and provide a world-class platform where visionaries can bring their cinematic dreams to life,” said Mark Whitehead, CEO of twofour54.Since its inception, twofour54 has been instrumental in bringing some of the most popular blockbusters to the big screen, including Hollywood franchises such as Mission: Impossible, Dune, Star Wars and Fast and Furious, as well as Bollywood hits such as Bharat and Tiger Zinda Hai, alongside many regional productions. By providing a grand destination year-round for film professionals and enthusiasts alike, twofour54 Studios seek to pave the way for groundbreaking projects that inspire audiences worldwidetwofour54’s latest destination for the creative industries complements the company’s flagship campus at Yas Creative Hub and its diverse set of production facilities across the emirate. Through its bespoke destinations, twofour54 makes any type of content production an unforgettable experience in Abu Dhabi.

Citi appoints Omar Amireh as the new CEO for its business in Kuwait

Kuwait: Citi recently announced the appointment of Omar Amireh as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for its business in Kuwait. As CEO, Omar will assume overall responsibility for driving Citi’s business in the country, and will report to Ebru Pakcan, Head of Citi’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) cluster.Omar will concurrently continue to serve as Corporate Banking Head, a position he has held since 2018, when he moved to Kuwait. Since starting his career in Jordan in 2005, Omar has held a variety of EMEA-wide roles across Citi’s businesses, having worked in Jordan, Kuwait, and the UK.“Citi has a remarkable history in the region and has been serving clients in Kuwait for more than 70 years. I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the team, drive business and help our clients succeed” said Omar.Ebru Pakcan, Middle East & Africa Cluster Head said: “Omar’s extensive international experience and his in-depth knowledge of Kuwait will be of great value to our clients in this fast-growing market.”

Apparel shopping dominates Gen Z, millennials: Snap Inc.-Havas study

Snap Inc., in collaboration with Havas Media Network, conducted a comprehensive study to explore the preferences and behaviors of Gen Z and millennial consumers in the social commerce space. The study, which involved a diverse sample of 13–34-year-olds across seven countries, aimed to identify key strategies that brands can implement to create meaningful shopping experiences for the Next Gen consumers.The study, conducted in partnership with Dynata, surveyed 28,500 participants in France, Germany, India, Mexico, the UAE, UK, and the US. Havas Media Network distilled the findings into six overarching principles that brands can leverage to connect effectively with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce arena: Pursue Personalization, Action Authenticity, Utilize Ubiquity, Tackle Trust, Emphasize Entertainment, and Chase Convenience.Social commerce has witnessed remarkable growth worldwide, with nearly half of social media users having made direct product purchases from social media apps or websites in the past year. The survey revealed interesting insights specific to the United Arab Emirates, where 49% of social media users involved their friends in the online shopping process by sharing pictures and discussing potential purchases. Moreover, social media played a significant role in product discovery (54%) and accessing product reviews and recommendations (50%).Apparel shopping emerged as the most prevalent type of online shopping among Gen Z and Millennials. In the UAE, a staggering 93% of social media users reported having made an apparel purchase via social media. Additionally, 61% of shoppers used social media to share their opinions about products with others. Notably, 78% of UAE apparel purchasers emphasized the importance of virtual try-on features, which significantly aided their purchase decisions.Seema Patel, Global Managing Director, Mx Intelligence, Havas Media Network, shared her insights on the research, saying, "Our research found that 64% of Gen Z and Millennials have made a purchase through social media in the past year – these younger audiences embrace social commerce, and with this report we sought their input on how we can create a more meaningful and engaging social commerce journey."Snap Inc.'s Manager of Global Agency Development, Nadav Geft, added, "Social commerce has transformed the way we shop, and on Snap, we've seen firsthand how friends and family influence buying decisions. With more than half of daily Snap Inc. and Havas Media Network Unveil Findings on Social Commerce Strategies for Gen Z and MillennialsSnap Inc., in collaboration with Havas Media Network, conducted a comprehensive study to explore the preferences and behaviors of Gen Z and millennial consumers in the social commerce space. The study, which involved a diverse sample of 13–34-year-olds across seven countries, aimed to identify key strategies that brands can implement to create meaningful shopping experiences for the Next Gen consumers.The study, conducted in partnership with Dynata, surveyed 28,500 participants in France, Germany, India, Mexico, the UAE, UK, and the US. Havas Media Network distilled the findings into six overarching principles that brands can leverage to connect effectively with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce arena: Pursue Personalization, Action Authenticity, Utilize Ubiquity, Tackle Trust, Emphasize Entertainment, and Chase Convenience.Social commerce has witnessed remarkable growth worldwide, with nearly half of social media users having made direct product purchases from social media apps or websites in the past year. The survey revealed interesting insights specific to the United Arab Emirates, where 49% of social media users involved their friends in the online shopping process by sharing pictures and discussing potential purchases. Moreover, social media played a significant role in product discovery (54%) and accessing product reviews and recommendations (50%).Apparel shopping emerged as the most prevalent type of online shopping among Gen Z and Millennials. In the UAE, a staggering 93% of social media users reported having made an apparel purchase via social media. Additionally, 61% of shoppers used social media to share their opinions about products with others. Notably, 78% of UAE apparel purchasers emphasized the importance of virtual try-on features, which significantly aided their purchase decisions.Seema Patel, Global Managing Director, Mx Intelligence, Havas Media Network, shared her insights on the research, saying, "Our research found that 64% of Gen Z and Millennials have made a purchase through social media in the past year – these younger audiences embrace social commerce, and with this report we sought their input on how we can create a more meaningful and engaging social commerce journey."Snap Inc.'s Manager of Global Agency Development, Nadav Geft, added, "Social commerce has transformed the way we shop, and on Snap, we've seen firsthand how friends and family influence buying decisions. With more than half of daily Snapchatters sending product messages and pictures to friends during their shopping journey, there's a massive opportunity for brands to tap into the experiences that are resonating most with the next generation, underscoring the importance of real relationships ultimately driving real influence."Luxury shopping also experienced a significant impact from social media, with 45% of luxury shoppers using social media during the discovery phase and 84% making purchases through these platforms. Across all verticals, including luxury, the integration of Augmented Reality (AR) in the shopping experience proved crucial, with 70% of social media users acknowledging its importance. For UAE luxury purchasers, 81% reported that a virtual try-on feature was key to their purchase decision.The personal care sector also benefited from social commerce, with 79% of personal care shoppers in the UAE highlighting the importance of virtual try-on features in driving purchases. Impressively, 89% of personal care shoppers in the UAE made purchases on or via social media. Additionally, 60% of personal care shoppers shared their opinions on purchases through social media.These findings provide invaluable insights for brands seeking to maximize their engagement with Gen Z and Millennials in the social commerce space. By adopting the six principles identified in the study, brands can create authentic, personalized, and entertaining shopping experiences that resonate with the Next Gen consumers.

Miral partners with Creative Lab, Aldar for Yas Design Contest

Miral has partnered with the Creative Media Authority’s Creative Lab and Aldar to host the Yas Design Contest, where students across the UAE were invited to showcase their creativity by submitting unique designs for a pop-up installation. The competition challenged creative university students to submit designs for environmentally-friendly public art installations to be built and installed on Yas Island. After a thorough evaluation process and public vote, the dynamic trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai; and Radwa Elkasas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy; have been revealed as the winners.More than 26 entries were received from students across the UAE, with each submission fulfilling the key criteria including being a piece of public art, acting as a backdrop for photo taking, telling a story about the UAE and being partly or entirely made using environment friendly materials. In addition to the design submission, participants also shared a technical submission with a detailed write-up, sketch of their design, a visual mood board and a materials list.Taghrid Alsaeed, Executive Director – Group Communications and Destination Marketing at Miral, and one of the judges on the panel, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with Aldar and Creative Lab for this remarkable competition, which not only engaged and empowered the younger community but also provided a platform for creative talent across the UAE. This is testament of our commitment to producing a positive impact on the communities and cultures we serve, a key pillar of our Miral brand. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated. Your creativity, skill and hard work have truly shone through your designs, and we are thrilled to see the incredible talent and ingenuity displayed across all the submissions.”After being reviewed by a panel of four esteemed judges from Miral, Aldar Properties, Creative Lab, as well as influencer Maitha Mohamed based on creativity, storytelling and concept design, as well as material planning; five submissions were shortlisted and taken to a public vote. These included Majeda Mohammed from University of Sharjah’s Fort To Future; Haia Ali from University of Sharjah’s The UAE Pearl; Radwa ElKassas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy’s Evolving; Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai’s Habat Al-Lulu; and Raghad Yehya and Itemat Sauria from Ajman University’s A Touch of Emirates.The trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar and Radwa Elkasas were selected as the winners based on their submissions Habat Al-Lulu, inspired by UAE’s rich history of pearl diving; and Evolving, a photo booth with three panels depicting the nation’s past, present and future. The winners will be awarded an AED5,000 cash prize and see their designs built and placed in select spots on Yas Island for residents and tourists to enjoy a backdrop for photo taking.Rashed Al Omaira, Chief Commercial Officer at Aldar Development, said: “As expected, the entries received for the Yas Design Contest were excellent - we were particularly impressed by the thinking behind the submissions as well as the quality of the creative proposals. There is no doubt that the UAE’s cultural and creative industries will continue to thrive given the passion our young people show for design, art and visual storytelling. We very much look forward to seeing the winning designs come to life on Yas Island, where thousands of residents and visitors will enjoy the installations.” Khalid Khouri, Director of Talent Development at Creative Media Authority, said: “We were overwhelmed to see so many creative and inspiring submissions for the Yas Design Competition – it’s great to see that we have such incredible talent in the UAE. Creative Lab was honoured to partner with Miral and Aldar properties on this amazing initiative which underline our mission to support the youth of Abu Dhabi to explore their creative potential. We’d like to congratulate the very worth winners and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their creative talent in the future.” Miral continues to strive to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, as well as offering employment opportunities while attracting and developing young talent as part of Abu Dhabi’s drive to accelerate the culture and creative industries.

PromoMedia Selected as Exclusive TikTok Representative in Iraq

PromoMedia, a prominent tech media company affiliated with JGroup, a leading Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising provider in the MENA region and Africa, has announced its exclusive representation as the media partner for TikTok in Iraq. This strategic collaboration empowers PMENAromomedia to deliver distinctive advertising strategies for brands and enterprises aiming to connect with TikTok's expanding user base in the country.Being the sole media representative for TikTok in Iraq, PromoMedia gains access to the platform's cutting-edge advertising tools and capabilities, enabling the company to offer more targeted and successful advertising solutions to its clientele. With TikTok's surging popularity in Iraq, this partnership presents a significant prospect for brands to engage with young, dynamic audiences through one of today's most innovative and captivating platforms.Patrick Haber, Managing Director of PromoMedia and Vice President of JGroup, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "We are excited to collaborate with TikTok in Iraq, and we firmly believe that our advertising expertise in Iraq and the region, coupled with TikTok's pioneering technology, will yield unparalleled results for our clients. This partnership reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch advertising solutions to brands and businesses across the MENA region and beyond."Shadi Kandil, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, and Eastern Europe - TikTok, stated, "We are pleased to appoint PromoMedia as the official TikTok reseller in Iraq, especially as our local community in Iraq continues to grow and thrive. With this appointment, advertisers in Iraq gain access to unique digital advertising formats that no other platform can provide, along with faster turnaround times and local service capabilities."The partnership with TikTok, which came into effect in May, marks another significant milestone in PromoMedia's journey to deliver the finest advertising solutions to its clients.