DMCC unveils new brand for JLT

The world’s flagship free zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has unveiled ‘a neighbourhood full of soul’ as the new brand for its vibrant Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), reflecting the district’s growth into Dubai’s leading mixed-use community.The new brand is underpinned by the central proposition that JLT has become an eclectic neighbourhood full of soul. The community’s identity brings together authenticity, ambition, balance, and collaboration. It has become a place where anyone can belong, and everyone can thrive.The brand also draws inspiration from being located in one of the world’s fastest growing free zones. DMCC is best known for connecting markets, removing barriers to trade, and unlocking a vast array of opportunities for its member companies. Home to over 21,000 companies from every industry and sector, JLT has become a leading global business district that acts as a launchpad for significant economic activity, and the brand visuals reflect this unique position.Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Since its first tower was built in 2006, JLT has grown and matured into a truly diverse destination that serves all of its residents, helps businesses grow, and creates unique experiences for visitors. JLT looks to continue this growth in the years to come, enriching the lives of new and old generations alike. Unveiling this new brand is the latest step in JLT’s journey, allowing us to accurately reflect the world-class community that it has become.”Central to JLT’s appeal for residents and visitors is its diverse offering of leisure, hospitality, dining, and recreation facilities. From F&B pop-ups to five-star dining, and community markets to high-end retail, JLT offers something for everyone and is known as one of Dubai’s go-to foodie and cultural destinations. DMCC has also bolstered the range of sports and recreation facilities in recent years, with parks, football pitches, basketball courts, tennis courts, and fitness hubs installed across the community. This status as one of Dubai’s most popular community hubs has soared in recent years on the back of local and global recognition, including winning prominent awards like the Financial Times’ Excellence Award for Infrastructure Development in 2022 and the People’s Choice Family Friendly Location of the Year 2017.The new brand reflects JLT’s status as a destination where positive change is embraced and encouraged. Creating environmental and social impact is central to JLT’s identity, with an ESG strategy spanning areas that target maximum impact for residents, businesses, and visitors. This includes the deployment of cutting-edge energy and water saving technologies, reducing waste and single plastic usage, and ensuring inclusive facilities and spaces across the community.JLT is one of the region’s leading mixed-use developments, with over 100,000 people spread across the 2 million sqm community and its 87 residential and commercial towers.

Four products of advanced digital currencies will be launched by next year

 Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) in the UAE said that the UAE leadership is closely following technological development in all sectors, especially space, as well as the latest developments in all sectors.During his participation at the Abu Dhabi Space Debate, Faisal Al Bannai, added: “The initiatives and programmes related to technological and technical development, enhances the capacity building and acceleration and consolidates the international partnerships to serve the local and global communities.”Al Bannai said: "The UAE is currently living in an advanced era in the field of advanced technology, thanks to its advanced infrastructure, great interest in research and development and international partnerships to reach the country goals required to promote technological development in all fields, especially the space sector."He added that the Research Council focuses on attracting the best international talents, supporting UAE national competencies, focusing on solving the challenges that individuals may face in the field of technology, in addition to promoting the knowledge-based economy in the UAE.He said that the establishment of the Council came in order to provide an economic environment through international partnerships that accelerate business programs, in addition to developing the local work environment system to support and develop damaged research.He noted that there are 6 main research areas in the Council, including health, food, transportation and space sector.He added that during two years 6 months, the Council has established several research centres specialised in energy and communication, along with other systems.He said: “During the past period, the Council supported 700 researchers from various countries around the world and 140 researchers from the UAE, in developing their skills in the field of space technology.”He pointed out that the Council, has granted licenses to two products, pointing out that during the next year 2023, 4 products of advanced digital currencies will be launched, in addition to providing innovative solutions in space."The Council is cooperating with more than 35 research centres around the world to fund various programs related to environmental systems," Al Bannai added, noting that there are more than 135 research papers submitted by the Council based on modern technology.He stressed that the Council is one of three centres established to support and develop space capabilities and talents in cooperation with space agencies and strategic partners, pointing out that the current focus is on space navigation, space sensor systems and all technologies needed by the space sector in future space missions.

256 Network signs an MoU with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

The 256 Network, a leading invite-only network group bringing together global decision-makers investing in private markets, signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Global Market, the international financial centre of the UAE's capital Emirate, on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Finance Week. The week-long event served as a platform for in-depth conversations around the MENA region's thriving financial sector, industry trends, developments and innovation involving financial markets and global banking.The signing ceremony was attended by Dhruv Sehra - Founder and CEO of 256 Network, Pankaj Gupta, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Gulf Islamic Investments and Founding Board Member of 256 Network GCC Chapter & Prashanth Prakash, Founding Board Member of 256 Network and Founding Partner of Accel Partners, Rajan Navani (virtually), Founding Board Member of the 256 Network, VC & MD, Jetline Group (JetSynthesys) as well as Rajiv Sehgal, Chief Strategy Officer of ADGM, Dhaher bin Dhaher, CEO of Registration Authority of ADGM, Hamad Al Mazrouei, COO of ADGM and Saeed Al Khoori, Director of Sovereign and Strategic Partnerships of ADGM and other senior members from both entities. Part of the visit was to launch their offices in Abu Dhabi in line with their expansion plans.As per the MoU, 256 Network and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will jointly collaborate on developing the startup ecosystems of India and UAE and catalyze cross border innovation and collaboration.The Group also launched their Emerging Fund Manager Fellowship where 256 Network will facilitate access, fund them and help first and second time fund managers from across the world in launching their funds. The program is designed for fund managers working on investment vehicles in venture capital and private equity. They will be able to leverage ADGM's expertise and access to gain a competitive edge while launching their funds.To know more and apply for the 256 Network Emerging Fund Manager Fellowship, please visit their website - Abu Dhabi Finance Week, 256 Network invited 250 of their global members for a retreat that included different activities, one of which was visiting the Hindu Mandir temple, the first traditional Hindu Temple in the Middle East.The visit was accompanied by Dr. Sultan Karmostaji, Deputy Director General Education Training Development at Ministry of Interior Abu Dhabi, Founder and Chairman of UAE Angels Capital Investment, and His Holiness Brahmavihari Swami, as well as 256 Network founding board members, Pankaj Gupta, and Prashanth Prakash.Dhruv Sehra, Founder & CEO of 256 Network, said: "The MoU signifies a vital milestone in international cooperation between the two entities. It will facilitate mutual assistance to strengthen the supervision of cross-border operations of financial institutions under their purview. As we cross the threshold into our expansion, we are keen to fortify our footprint in Abu Dhabi, as the group will spare no effort in consolidating the prominence of the UAE's thriving market and aspiration to continue inviting investors and leveraging its full-scale capacity."Rajan Navani, Founding Board Member, 256 Network and VC & MD, Jetline Group, said: "The MoU with ADGM has resulted into the creation of a sizeable international partnership that will help both the organisations groom upcoming fund managers by providing guidance and support like no other - one with synergy and great experience. This is also a significant step towards ensuring greater ease of investing and doing business in the MENA region which is full of untapped potential. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the coming future."Prashanth Prakash, Founding Board Member, 256 Network and Founding Partner of Accel Partners. said: "Both of our regions have had long standing business relationships spanning decades and this expansion marks a new association which will catalyse synergies between both our business and start-up communities. I am excited to see the ensuing innovation and startups that get built as a result of our collaboration. Both our startup communities are amongst the fastest growing in the world and this partnership will not only create more jobs but also generate cultural and financial capital which will compound both our economies in this decade."Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Markets of ADGM, said: "We are pleased to partner with 256 Network through the signing of this MoU. This step is especially important as we witness the continuous growth and expansion of the financial market in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Strengthening ties with international industry leaders is at the forefront of our strategy and we are looking forward to working with our partners in India to create more investment opportunities and develop a robust business ecosystem.We will continue to work with our strategic partners, locally and internationally, to further Abu Dhabi and the UAE's economic development plans and achieve greater investor trust, accessibility and ease of doing business in Abu Dhabi and beyond."

Emirates NBD partners with Buna to enhance cross-border transactions

Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Arab payment system Buna to facilitate payments and transfers within the Arab region. Buna is operated by the Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization “ARPCSO,” a subsidiary of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).The landmark tie-up with Buna will provide Emirates NBD’s clients with a more rapid, efficient and safe way to make payments and transfers within the Arab region, reinforcing Emirate’s NBD’s position as one of the most innovative banks in the region. Buna’s cross-border payment platform provides seamless clearing and settlement services in multiple currencies across the Arab region and is aimed at encouraging greater economic integration through increased trade and investment opportunities.Commenting on the announcement, Ahmed Al Qassim, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head, Corporate and Institutional Banking at Emirates NBD, said: “Emirates NBD’s partnership with Buna reflects our commitment to provide best-in-class products and services that will allow our clients to meet their goals at an accelerated pace in a rapidly evolving digital environment. The alliance with Buna further strengthens our payments strategy, offering our clients a real-time, seamless, secure and cost-effective digital experience in the payment domain. We look forward to fully leveraging the capabilities of the platform and to take advantage of opportunities that the collaboration between Buna, the Central Bank of the UAE and Emirates NBD will create as the regional payment system is transformed.”Mehdi Manaa, Chief Executive Officer of Buna, added: "Buna is pleased to have Emirates NBD join our growing network of participants. This collaboration furthers our commitment to enhance cross-border payments and unlocks new opportunities to empower Arab economies and enrich trade relations. We look forward to cooperating with Emirates NBD to provide a compliant, efficient and safe payment infrastructure and facilitate the use of multiple currencies in the Arab region and beyond."

Founder of Cloudera & Ex-VP at Google & Yahoo joins Lucidya’s Board of Directors

The customer experience analytics company "Lucidya" announced the appointment of Dr. Amr Awadallah to the company's board of directors. This expresses the company's ambition to develop an expansion strategy to compete with the leading global technology companies in the world, by attracting international minds to be on the company's board of directors.The founder and CEO, Mr. Abdullah Asiri, expressed his views by saying,"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Amr Awadallah to the Lucidya Board. I believe Amr’s extensive experience in scaling high-technology global businesses will be invaluable to Lucidya as we grow our business and drive our omni-channel CXM platform to greater heights to fulfill our purpose of helping clients improve their customer experience".On joining the company Dr. Awadallah stated, “I frequently get approached by many companies in the Middle East to join their board of directors. I was super excited when I got the call from the team at Lucidya. They have an amazing team, they are solving a very important problem, and they are truly leveraging artificial intelligence in a way that allows their customers to be super heroes in terms of extracting actionable insights from the mountains of user interaction data they are collecting. Furthermore, Lucidya is one of the few companies in the world that can do that accurately for the many Arabic dialects we have across the Middle East. I could not be more proud to be joining them through this amazing journey”.This announcement comes 12 months after closing the company's last investment round, which reflects the company's commitment towards its strategic goals and its advancement towards being one of the leading technology companies in the region. It is worth noting that Lucidya is the most accurate AI engine when analyzing the Arabic language, in the world, the accuracy rate is almost 92% according to recent experiments, which makes it superior in the field of data analysis and customer experience management in the MENA region.Background on Amr AwadallahDr. Awadallah is the founder and CEO of Vectara, a neural search software-as-a-service company, based in Silicon Valley, US. Prior to this he was the Vice President of Developer Relations at Google Cloud. Before his tenure as VP at Google Cloud he was the co-founder and CTO at Cloudera, a global software company which provides enterprise data management systems to customers worldwide. He was also VP Engineering for Product intelligence at Yahoo, where he worked for 8 years starting from the year 2000 after they acquired his first startup (Aptivia).Mr. Awadallah got his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Kelvin strengthens executive leadership team to serve its customers better

Kelvin, the leading collaborative control software company delivering industrial intelligence, has bolstered its executive leadership team with strategic hires and internal promotion. The company is delighted to announce that Suhail Jiwani has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer; Sheena Chandra has been appointed Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer; and Citalouise Geiggar has been appointed Vice President of Marketing. The strategic appointments represent a key element of Kevin's strategy to capitalize on the momentum to serve and broaden its customer base.The senior appointments aim to advance Kelvin’s position in the market and enable it to continue partnering with global enterprises to solve unique industrial customer challenges by allowing companies to connect, create, and scale control applications across their operations, with market-leading solutions including Kelvin Carbon Maps and Kelvin Copilots.“The right talent is vital to Kelvin’s success, so it gives me great pleasure to welcome Suhail, Sheena, and Citalouise to Kelvin’s executive leadership team. With their years of extensive experience and vast achievements in prior roles, they are well-proven appointments that give us the ability to build further on the impressive momentum we’ve built with Kelvin over the last few years. Together, the expansion of our team boasts diverse and strong expertise that will thrust Kelvin into the next phase of its global growth,” said Peter Harding, Founder & CEO of Kelvin.“We look forward to working with global enterprises and delivering industrial intelligence via our market-leading collaborative control solutions. Our solutions have proven themselves across energy and manufacturing sectors, empowering businesses to achieve their net-zero goals, find and fix issues across their entire production process, with automation and closed-loop control."In his new role, Suhail serves as the executive technology leader for Kelvin's engineering and product division. With deep industry and technology expertise, and over 16 years of experience, Suhail is driving the acceleration of technological innovation in Kelvin's next growth stage to best serve our customers needs. He oversees all product and solutions development requirements phases, including system design, implementation, and continuing engineering. Suhail’s vision is to deliver innovative, first-class technology that helps industrial organizations reach their net zero goals. Before joining Kelvin, he was Chief Product Officer at Honeywell, managing their software portfolio for Connected Industrials. With a BTech in Electronics Engineering and specialization in Machine Learning from Stanford University, Suhail is a subject matter expert and a leader in their digital transformation journey.Sheena joins Kelvin from AWS to take the executive role of Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer. She has over 20 years of experience developing strategic partnerships, business development, and go-to-market motion from her background with Microsoft, AWS, and Databricks. Sheena will be responsible for driving the company’s growth globally including leading strategic planning and initiatives, expanding Kelvin’s footprint in the market, and building key partnerships. She holds a BS in Microbiology and Chemistry and an MBA.With over 18 years of experience, Citalouise is the executive marketing leader responsible for overseeing Kelvin's global marketing strategy, which includes strengthening the company's market position, and leading the company’s brand and integrated communication functions including internal and external communications. Prior to her role at Kelvin, she was Head of Global Alliances Marketing at AVEVA, leading strategic partners and exponential growth. Citalouise holds an MBA and a B.A. in Business Communications.“Across all industries, organizations are accelerating their progress on their pathways to achieving sustainability goals. Leaders in the Energy, Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas industries seeking to hit net zero will benefit from solution providers that take the initiative to ensure they meet growing needs to serve new and existing clients effectively while also addressing new challenges. Kelvin is signaling industry growth by expanding its leadership team to enable its organization to optimally serve customers during this period of rapid growth," said Peter Manos, ARC Analyst.“At Kelvin, we take great pride in our selection process to ensure there’s a perfect fit. Our recruitment process is intensive, but we’re confident in our choices and look forward to seeing them thrive in their respective roles. I personally look forward to working with each of them as we embark on Kelvin’s next phase of global growth," said Miguel Madeira, Global Head of People Operations.

New Ogilvy report reveals 6 key influencer trends that will define 2023

As the value of Influencer marketing increases globally from $1.7BN in 2016 to $16.4BN in 2022, a new report by Ogilvy reveals the influencer marketing trends that will allow brands to build awareness, improve engagement, and drive revenue in 2023. Each of the six trends identified will enable brands to access the burgeoning Influence economy in distinct ways. The full report is available for download here: of the key trends is iCommerce, the Influence economy. TikTok has become the third largest social platform and the most potent cultural and commercial force for today’s consumer, and not just Gen Z and Gen Alpha, 36% of users are over 30 years old. TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has 29.3 billion views and is driving iCommerce by testing out live shops which provide brands with unprecedented insight into campaigns from end-to-end. 49% of TikTok users have already reported making a purchase via the platform.Rahul Titus, Global Head of Influence for Ogilvy PR and lead Author of the report, said: “Influencer marketing works because people trust people more than brands. Influence allows brands to connect with audiences in a way no other marketing can – with authenticity. As we head into economic uncertainty, it is imperative that brands are efficient and effective with their spend. Some of these influencer trends like grassroots influence, harnessing the power of hyperlocal, allows brands to circumvent mass-market sale models, and pinpoint their target audience in authentic ways to deliver a more streamlined and less fragile value exchange.”Other trends explored are subscription services and artificial humans. Platforms including OnlyFans and Patreon, are becoming mainstream, this business model will define 2023, unlocking new revenue stream for creators that go beyond paid advertising. Even artificial humans – in the form of AI – are becoming more real. Other trends to watch includes the rise of Health Influence. 40% of people said information found on social media affects how they coped with a chronic condition, their view of diet and exercise, and their selection of a physician — so influencer selection is critical“Influence doesn’t just have a seat at the table, it sits at the head of the table. In an age when consumers are overwhelmed with content through multiple devices, Influence is the new ever-evolving frontier of marketing. For consumers, authentic credibility has overtaken hard sales when it comes to increasing trust and growth. Those brands who get this right are poised to reap the benefits of an ever-growing creator economy. The future of Influence is around real people with real stories driving real impact. Own your conversation, or someone else will,” Titus added.Since 2017, Rahul has worked with Ogilvy’s Influence team to establish the network’s unparalleled leadership and authority around the Influence economy. Ogilvy has continually redefined the industry through their industry-leading thought leadership, launching the network’s inclusive influence initiative and unveiling the agency’s recent commitment to combat the misuse of beauty and body editing across Influencer content. Ogilvy’s Influence expertise has set industry standards and has becoming the most-awarded agency by the Influencer Marketing Awards for the 4th year in a row.

Signing of 3 partnership agreements by DFL

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, witnessed the signing of three partnership agreements by Dubai Future Labs (DFL), an initiative of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), with Emirates Airline, DP World, and dnata. The trio of agreements aim to deploy advanced future technologies across aviation and logistics – two vital non-oil sectors for Dubai and the UAE.These national partnerships aim to activate the Dubai Robotics and Automation Program that was launched last September to boost the development, testing and adoption of robotics and automation (R&A) and accelerate its deployment in key economic sectors. The Program focuses on advancing research and development (R&D) in five main areas in the sector – Production and Manufacturing; Consumer Services and Tourism; Healthcare and Connected Mobility; and Logistics. The Program aims to transform Dubai into one of the top 10 global cities for robotics and automation by adopting and developing robotics technologies, empowering national talent and creating new solutions, products and services to drive the sector’s growth.The agreements were signed in the presence of His Excellency Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; His Excellency Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World; Adel Ahmed Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates Airline; Steve Allen. Group CEO of dnata Group; and His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation.His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama said: “These three partnerships will contribute to strengthening Dubai and the UAE’s position as a living laboratory for advanced technologies and innovations. These agreements will further advance the leadership’s vision to make our nation a global destination for partnerships, R&D, and innovation that can shape the future.”His Excellency added: "Deploying robotics, automation and future technologies in key sectors enhances economic diversification and raises Dubai’s long-term competitiveness and attractiveness as a platform for launching and growing businesses and enabling international trade with cutting-edge logistical services."Dubai Future Labs’ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DP World includes several phases and projects. The main project to be undertaken as part of the MoU is aimed at developing smart, autonomous electric vehicles (E-CAVs) for terminal operations that can serve as a more sustainable, reliable, efficient and safer alternative. The MoU also focuses on promoting R&D in built-for-purpose systems and commercialising it to increase the safety and efficiency of DP World’s global operations, in addition to supporting the group’s carbon reduction and sustainability objectives.Under the MoU, Dubai Future Labs, will facilitate the research, testing and implementation of new technologies for logistics operations, and develop future technologies that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, data analysis and blockchain. The solutions planned to be developed include automated and smart systems for transporting, handling, and storing goods across port operations.His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World said: "This MoU is of strategic importance to us and comes at a time when it is critical to enhance supply chain efficiencies. DP World and Dubai Future Foundation will explore the potential for achieving breakthroughs in various fields by integrating with smart government system and spurring development and innovation to transform the UAE into an advanced digital and smart economy. As a leading trade enabler, we are at the forefront of developing and adopting disruptive technologies. Our goal is to cement Dubai’s position as a digitally advanced global trade hub. With our next-generation technologies and solutions including hyperloop and automated warehouse stacking as well as initiatives like Dubai Trade, Cargoes, Searates and Digital Freight Alliance, we are indeed reshaping the future of trade and logistics. Keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technology, we are also exploring the deployment of metaverse solutions across our operations to solve real-world supply chain bottlenecks."Bin Sulayem added: “Our teams are constantly conducting research and development to digitise manual and traditional methods in our logistics operations. One example is the Electrical Terminal Trucks project that enhances our existing assets by using advanced technologies to reduce supply chain disruptions and ensure efficient flow of trade around the world.”Under the MoU with Emirates Airline, Dubai Future Labs will facilitate various innovative pilot projects including a robot check-in agent that leverages facial recognition and interacts with passengers as well as a robot waiter serving in airport lounges. The introduction of these unique services will enhance customer satisfaction by making the passenger’s airport experience more seamless.Emirates is also redoubling efforts to overhaul its warehouse management system by deploying automated solutions. Working with DFL across R&D and R&A projects, Emirates will test and implement initiatives to increase the efficiency of internal processes and advance its sustainability and environmental goals. The airline will work with DFL to develop autonomous baggage transport and autonomous pallets for cargo warehousing, helping to make operations safer, and more efficient and reliable.Adel Al Redha, Emirates' Chief Operating Officer, said, "We are delighted to further expand our partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation to deploy innovative robotics solutions, and use advanced technologies and artificial intelligence across our business areas in Emirates Engineering, Dubai International Airport and ramp operations. This will give Emirates the opportunity to gain from DFF’s pool of experts and programmers, who will work with practical use cases and knowledge from the airline to enhance day to day operations, improve efficiency, as well as deliver further seamless experiences to our customers.”DFF’s Dubai Future Labs will work alongside dnata to research, develop and trial innovations to further improve safety, efficiency and sustainability across the company’s ground handling and cargo operations at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) airports.According to the MoU signed between the two organisations, Dubai Future Labs will support dnata in automating and converting its fleet into electric ground support equipment (GSE) and deploying robots to maximise operational and environmental efficiency. The partnership will also support dnata in achieving its strategic objectives and reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030.Steve Allen, CEO of dnata Group, said: "Our partnership with Dubai Future Foundation will accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge technologies across our operations. It will help us further improve productivity and sustainability, and consistently deliver world-class services for our partners, including Dubai Airports and our airline customers. We will continue our investment and efforts to play our part in the next stage of development of Dubai as a leading global transport and cargo hub.” Khalfan Belhoul, confirmed that Dubai Future Labs, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, two years ago, provides an advanced open and applied R&D lab for testing technologies, and smart automation solutions for storage, handling, transportation and logistics services, designs for self-driving vehicles powered by zero-emission renewable energy, and other innovations that employ programming, machine learning, the Internet of things, robots, big data management and analysis.Driven by the vision of becoming the core engine of Dubai’s innovation ecosystem, Dubai Future Labs runs state-of-the-art robotics and AI applied research projects that have the potential to have a global impact and raise Dubai’s future readiness. Through its scientists, engineers and industry experts, Dubai Future Labs acts a consultant to the government, advising on technological challenges that various sectors could face in the future.

Markeing in the New World: Tejarah Talks tackles next marketing frontiers

Taking a fresh look at new trends, customer behaviour and technologies that are transforming the marketing industry at top speed, the final Tejarah Talks of 2022 has been designed specifically to provide CMOs and other senior marketing leaders with the insights they need to build strategies, grow revenue and drive customer engagement.‘Marketing in the New World’, 7:30pm Wednesday 14 December, Zain Auditorium, Omantel’s Headquarters in Airports Heights, will bring together ?a carefully curated group of thought-provoking leaders from Oman’s marketing, media and advertising community to share experiences and perspectives on the issues shaping the future of marketing.Organized by Oman Business Forum in association with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Youth, HSBC, SOHAR Port & Freezone, Omantel and Oman FM, ‘Marketing in the New World’ will be moderated by His Highness Sayyid Dr. Adham Al Said, Managing Partner, The Firm, while the panel includes Luma Al Saleh, Partner & Chief Transformation Officer, Identity; Paul Ross, Senior Consultant, former CMO, Mindberry; Maria Saif, Head of Marketing & Digital, Wealth & Personal Banking, HSBC; and Ahmed Sharkawy, Marketing Manager, Diamond Developers.Speaking ahead of the event, MoCIIP’s Oman Business Forum & P³ Director, Maymuna Al Adawi said: “Marketing has been around for as long as trade and commerce have existed. The nature, form and content may have altered over the years, but the objective has remained unchanged - promote and sell a service or product. This is becoming ever more complex in today’s crowded marketing space, and it is clear that exceptional execution is going to be required for businesses to stand out. Captivating audiences and the stories Omani companies are going to have to tell across multiple platforms is very much going to be at the heart of this edition of Tejajarh Talks as our panellists look at how brand awareness will be created and all-important sales generated in the years to come.”Agreeing with Al Adawi and setting the scene for the evenings conversation, Tejarah Talks panellist, Paul Ross added, “If I can share one lesson with Omani companies on how to tell their story, it is to think about their narrative as both an origin and a destination story, true to who you are and where you are going. Creating and articulating a bold story is critical to success. Products are part of contributing to that story. And, if you are clear about your foundational narrative you do narrative-led strategy. Strategy is led by your story – not the other way around. Follow the narrative arc of your story and don’t get distracted. But it is also important to demonstrate the other side of visionary storytelling - consistently demonstrating progress against that compelling story.”  With its informed and insightful panels, Tejarah Talks 2022 has enjoyed considerable success attracting capacity audiences with online participants joining from around the world. The live events complimented by a series of publications and podcasts.Commenting on the Tejarah Talks season, Al Adawi shared: “We could not be more proud of the number of people that have attended Tejarah Talks, the quality of the program and calibre of panellists. It has been a fantastic platform that has allowed us to showcase the dynamism and vibrancy of Oman’s business landscape and investment environment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the past 12 months and made Tejarah Talks the grand success it is, in particular our supporters HSBC and SOHAR Port & Freezone.”Tejarah Talks is free-of-charge and open to everyone. To reserve your seat at ‘Marketing in the New World’ email your name and mobile number to:

UAE, Japan to sign MoU on establishing joint business council

The Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and Japan External Trade Organisation in Dubai (JETRO Dubai) have agreed on establishing a UAE-Japan business council to promote cooperation and visits between the business communities in both countries.The formation of the council is aimed at developing joint projects and exchange expertise. The two sides agreed on signing an MoU for setting up the proposed bilateral business council by Q1 2023.This came during a meeting that brought together Humaid Mohammed bin Salem, Secretary General of FCCI, and Masami Ando, Managing Director of JETRO Dubai, in the presence of officials from both sides.Bin Salem welcomed Japanese companies to invest in the UAE and take advantage of government incentives, as well as the favourable investment climate and legislation, calling on Emirati and Japanese businesses to explore business opportunities in the two countries and develop active partnerships to boost trade exchange.

Retail Congress MENA to converge regional retailers and shopping centres

The region’s largest retail & shopping centre event, the Retail Congress MENA will be celebrating its 28th Anniversary in the region. The conference, exhibition, networking, dealmaking and celebration of the best-of-the-best in MENA Shopping Centres & Retailers will take place from the 5th to the 6th of December 2022 at Ritz Carlton Hotel in DIFC Dubai.The Retail Congress will address how we can build back better for the future as the year 2022 presents the retailers, mall owners and service providers opportunity to pave the way for the next evolution - the Retail Reborn.RECON MENA will enable attendees to learn new insights, strategies and exciting innovation opportunities that is set to make the world of shopping and retail keep going and emerging.Together with the greatest minds in the industry and thought leaders, come, listen, and learn from our Keynote Speakers namely Ted Souder, Stephen M.R. Covey and Howard Saunders, all have a great track record in the retail industry. They will take you on a deep dive to what you need to know now, and in the future of retail, to operate successful businesses.Organized by The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and Retailers (MECS+R), Dubai Chamber and Dubai Association Centre, RECON MENA, offers retailers and shopping centres the largest platform to connect, meet and learn with industry professionals and solution providers within the retail industry all under one roof for two days of industry leaders’ speeches, education, networking and deal-making and establish lucrative business relationships while sharing important views and experiences with key- players in the retail industry.Retail Congress MENA Exhibitors include Retransform (Annet Technologies Middle East FZE), Saudi Bonyan, Danah Real Estate | Al Rashid Mall, WovVTech, Vindico, ASI Design Solutions, Giftify, Tilal Village, TheLeisureWay, V?Count, V?Global, Blachere Illumination, LPFlex Base Industry LLC, MK Illumination, Footprint, Arabian Centres, Hamat Holding, Diriyah Gate Development Authority | Diriyah Square, Yardi Systems, Azad Properties | Souq 7, The Clock Towers Shopping Center, Ezdihar Real Estate Development, Dalma Mall, Al Hokair Group, OPM By Olaat Real Estate, Damac Properties, Vemco Group, Sensormatic Solutions, Trafiki Digital Marketing, Coniq, Unifynd Technologies, Aldrees Petroleum & Transport Services Company, Yango Deli Tech and The C Mall.RETAIL CONGRESS MENA PROUD SPONSORS & PARTNERS:PLATINUM SPONSORS: Arabian Centres Company, Hamat Holding, Red Sea Mall, Diriyah Gate Development Authority | Diriyah SquareGOLD SPONSORS: Yardi Systems, Azad Properties | Souq7, The Clock Towers Shopping Center, Ezdihar Real Estate Development, Kinan International Real Estate Development Co., Dalma Mall, Al Hokair GroupSILVER SPONSORS: OPM by Olaat Real Estate, Damac Properties, Vemco Group, Sensormatic Solutions, Trafiki Digital MarketingBRONZE SPONSORS: Coniq, Unifynd Technologies, Aldrees Petroleum & Transport Services Company, Yango Deli Tech, The C MallSUPPORT PARTNERS:Official Airline Partner - Emirates Airlines Official Signage Partner - Champion Digital Official Exhibition Contractor - Footprint

Shape your future success in LEAP 2023 in Saudi Arabia

The information and communications technology (ICT) market in Saudi Arabia is the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a market value of more than $32.1 billion. Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to become a technology service and cloud hub, with access to global connectivity via the Red Sea and the Gulf, and the potential to serve European, Asian, and African markets.LEAP is Saudi Arabia's global tech event focused on bringing together the world's greatest minds; from leading tech corporations to inspiring pioneers from the next generation of start-ups and venture capitalists to make it all happen. It is a great platform for business and collaboration that will bring business innovative ideas, remarkable innovations, and emerging developments in technology, all under one roof.This will be the second edition of the technology conference which has been launched with the theme of ‘Into New Worlds’. Many of the world's most innovative technology professionals are expected to attend LEAP 2023 – held from the 6th to the 9th of February 2023 in Riyadh Front Expo Centre, Saudi Arabia.The first edition of the conference was held in February 2022 attracted more than 100,000 visitors and was a resounding success. The expo will provide an edge for tech innovators and industry professionals from all over the world to discuss the latest technological developments and trends.WorkSmart for Events Management together with the Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH) will be facilitating Bahraini companies’ participation at the LEAP. The conference will draw international participation and is a unique expo that introduces future technologies.BTECH called on all Bahraini professionals, investors, decision makers, and tech workers to get in touch in order to organize their attendance in discovering business opportunities in Saudi Arabia.BTECH Chairman, Tareq Fakhro, noted that “LEAP is the largest technology conference in the region and provides expert insights and cutting-edge content concerning key tech topics that will help boost the IT industry. The expo represents a new opportunity for IT companies from Bahrain to meet leading tech companies and policy makers who will attend from around the world. The expo will provide a unique opportunity for insights into the very latest technological transformations.” Stated Mr. Fakhro.WorkSmart’s CEO, Ahmed Alhujairy, concluded that “WorkSmart will provide everything necessary for Bahraini companies attending the LEAP next year, ensuring that they can get the very most out of their participation. Bahraini attendees will be able to gain knowledge from the exhibitors, which will help them contribute to the development of the IT sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Geidea partnering with ACT to foster e-payment solutions

Geidea, a leading fintech company in the region, Advanced Computer Technology (ACT) the leading system integrator in the hospitality sector has forged a new strategic partnership to power the transformation of payments in the hotels and restaurants market in Egypt. The deal was signed on the sidelines of HACE- Hotel Expo, the leading exhibition for hotels and restaurants equipment in Egypt.The partnership, which will see Geidea digital payment solutions plugged into ACT customers' existing technologies, will provide hospitality businesses with improved operational efficiencies by eliminating human errors that occur during the customer payment process on point-of-sale (POS) machines. With more than 34 years of experience in the hospitality sector, the agreement will allow ACT to empower nearly all high-end hotels and restaurants in Egypt with the ability to deliver a seamless payment experience to their guests.Ahmed Nader, Country General Manager, Geidea Egypt said: "Geidea's new partnership with ACT represents an important step forward for us, as we set out to widen access to the benefits of the digital economy. Our solution will support hotels and restaurants by providing them with scope to optimize their revenue streams, simplify their operations and better serve their guests."Sameh Elmallah, CEO, ACT said: "ACT is the digital transformation enabler for the hospitality sector. Now, through our partnership with Geidea, we are well-placed to transform the country's hospitality sector by providing seamless and incredibly cost-effective payment experiences. Through robust integration of Geidea's payment technology solutions, we can remove friction at the payment touchpoint so that thousands of hotels and restaurants across the country can focus on delivering a high-quality guest experience. In doing so, we are helping to unleash the power of digital solutions and build empowered cashless communities."Ahmed Magdy, Commercial Senior Director & VP, Geidea Egypt added: "We are delighted to team up with Advanced Computer Technology (ACT) to advance the hotel guest experience through our innovative digital payment solutions that will improve hotel operations and increase their efficiency while reducing human errors in all payment transactions."Mohamed Tawfik, ACT Hospitality Group CEO, we continue to grow and diversify our solution portfolio to cater to our customers' business demands. Partnering with Geidea, a leading fintech provider, is a major milestone in complementing ACT Hospitality's portfolio offerings to our clients in the Hotels and restaurants industry. We continue to deliver on our promise to enable our customers with the right and advanced technologies that keep them at the forefront of their guests.ACT, which employs more than 450 professionals, is a one-stop-shop that serves more than 1000 hospitality customers worldwide, driving the digital economy through fully-fledged technology products, implementation services, and specialized solutions.Geidea is a leading fintech and fully licensed payment service provider offering digital banking technologies, smart payment terminals, and business management solutions for both financial institutions and small businesses in retail and digital commerce across the region.

Saudi Arabia submits bid for AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026™

Marking a key moment in sporting history for Saudi Arabia, today the Kingdom has submitted its bid to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026™.A football nation, with a deep-rooted passion for the game, Saudi Arabia’s move to bid for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ builds on its expression of interest earlier this year and exemplifies the nation’s efforts to unlock untapped potential and opportunities for women and girls across Asia. In the event of a successful bid to host the competition, Saudi Arabia will play a vital role in advancing women’s leadership in sport at home and abroad.The AFC representatives welcomed the SAFF delegation commissioned to deliver the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026 bidding documents today at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was represented by Dona Rajab, the first assistant coach of the Saudi Arabian women’s national football team, Raghad Helmi, a professional player and a member of the Saudi Arabian national team and Al Shabab Club, and Marya Baghaffar, the youngest of the delegates at 14 years of age is a youth player training at the Regional Training Center. The regional training centers are considered one of SAFF’s important channels to develop talented youth and promote women’s participation.Mr. Yasser Almisehal, President of SAFF, commented: "The future of women's football in Saudi Arabia is bright and we are committed to growing the game here and throughout Asia. More and more young girls are playing football in this country and we want to inspire them further. Hosting the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2026TM would be a great occasion for our players and would be made memorable by the passion of our fans."Monika Staab, manager of the Saudi Arabian women’s national team, added: “This is an opportunity to bring the tournament to life, inspire a generation, and turbo-charge the continued growth of women’s football. We see this as a chance to improve technical performance and show the world our homegrown talent.”Saudi Arabia has embraced transformation at pace, and growing women’s leadership in sport is a crucial element. In the last three years, there has been significant investment in grassroots player development, competitions, coaching and more, including establishing the first women’s national team last year, followed by the inaugural women’s football league and girls’ school league.As an emerging women’s football market, the Kingdom is set to experience an outsized impact in developing the game through bidding to host the event. Extending an invitation to the region and the world to witness its development, experience its welcoming society, culture and heritage, creates a platform to bring the best female footballers from Asia, showcase their skills, and inspire women and girls to become the next generation of players.

etisalat by e& unveils Hello Business Pitch for start-ups, ideators

Etisalat UAE, branded etisalat by e&, is inviting ideators and start-ups to pitch their next big business idea at the third edition of the ‘Hello Business Pitch’ competition, providing an innovative platform to support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.After two successful series of the Hello Business Pitch competition, this year’s edition is open to aspiring start-ups (up to 3 years in operation) and innovators who have novel disruptive ideas and require the capital to kickstart the business.Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB Sales & Marketing,, etisalat by e&, said: “We’ve always believed in supporting entrepreneurs and SMBs as they make a difference in our society through their pioneering and innovative business ideas. Over the years, the competition has become the bridge that enables their growth to the next level while we stay committed to the aspirations of the UAE leadership to be a leading sustainable knowledge-based and innovative hub globally.“This year, the competition comes with an exciting twist as we open the doors for a wider community of ideators and entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative ideas. We look forward to receiving submissions, enabling the space for pathbreaking ideas to come to fruition and implementation,” said.Last year, the competition received an overwhelming response with hundreds of submissions from aspiring startups in UAE, with YallaGive winning first place, Key2enable Assistive Technology and App4Legal taking the second and third position. This year, a total of 6 winners will be announced, whereby 3 disruptive ideators and 3 ambitious startups will walk away with cash prizes worth AED 350,000.The registration for entries has already begun and it is open for a limited period only. Interested participants can register at and they will be notified if they got shortlisted by a jury panel of subject matter experts who are joining the competition from various industries and verticals.Etisalat Group has changed its brand identity to e&, effective on February 2022. Its strategy aims to accelerate growth through the creation of a resilient business model represented by Group’s main business pillars.The telecoms business currently continues to be led by etisalat by e& in the Group’s home market and e& international markets, upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the strong telecoms network and maximising value for the Group’s various customer segments.Ramping up the digital services for individuals to elevate their digital-driven lifestyle, e& life brings next-generation technologies through smart platforms in entertainment, retail and financial technology. e& enterprise focuses on maximising value through its end-to-end solutions in cybersecurity, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as deploying mega projects, in order to enable the digital transformation of governments, large-scale enterprises and corporates. e& capital allows the Group to focus its efforts on driving new mergers and acquisitions while maximising shareholder value and strengthening the Group’s global presence.

Microsoft Egypt and ITIDA sign an agreement to expand ICT exports and offshoring

Microsoft Egypt and the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) sign a new incentive agreement in virtue of which the ICT exports and offshoring services of Microsoft Customer Experience and Support in Egypt will be promoted and expanded. This agreement is signed in light of Digital Egypt Strategy for Offshoring Industry 2022-2026 which paves the way boost the growth of the ICT sector in Egypt through encouraging exports and offshoring, increasing employment opportunities for youth and attracting investments.Through the investment incentives that this agreement provides, Microsoft will continue to support the development of young talents and IT professionals in Egypt and enhance their access to the job market and employability. It will also contribute to Egypt’s positioning as an offshoring and talent hub for the region.The agreement was signed by Microsoft Egypt General Manager, Mirna Arif and ITIDA CEO, Dr. Amr Mahfouz and witnessed by H.E. Dr. Moustafa Madbouly, the Prime Minister of Egypt and H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology endorsed the agreement inked with Microsoft which comes amongst several agreements with 29 multinational companies, creating over 34 thousand jobs directed towards exports through 35 global delivery centers with export value worth USD 1 billion annually. “These agreements reflect “Egypt’s conducive business environment and multinationals’ confidence in our qualified local talent” Talaat commented. H.E. Talaat underlined Egypt’s potential as the next big hub for digital and high-end services, thanks to the constant efforts made to boost Egypt’s competitiveness in the offshoring industry. “With its unique central location at the crossroads between 3 continents, Egypt delivers a resilient high-quality digital infrastructure, and provides a supportive legislative framework catching up with the global rapid growth,” he continued. “Our plentiful supply of tech talent is all set and ready at a competitive cost, with proven experience in business services delivery for global firms to more than 100 countries with 20 different languages” Talaat affirmed. Amr Mahfouz, CEO of ITIDA, said: “We're thrilled to reach an agreement with Microsoft, helping ITIDA achieve its strategic goals of the ambitious Digital Egypt strategy for the offshoring industry (2022-2026), that aims at multiplying the exports revenues from the offshoring sector, while creating more domestic jobs for our skilled pool of talent”. “ITIDA is working diligently to leverage the current geopolitical situation that led to major challenges across key delivery locations, while simultaneously monitoring the global shortage of talents. We invest heavily in building the digital and soft skills of our large talent pool, with a strategic focus on developing the country’s capabilities in the high-value services, including engineering, research & development (ER&D), embedded software, and electronic design” Mahfouz added. The diverse IT & digital services, abundance of talent cost competitiveness, resilient business operations, and the government support, are among Egypt’s unique advantages that encourage global enterprises to launch and expand their global operations reinforcing the country’s reputation as a favorable, reliable IT offshoring destination and business services’ hub. On this occasion, Mirna Arif reiterated, “Microsoft Egypt remains committed to support the Government of Egypt to boost the growth of the ICT sector and to create job opportunities for youth in Egypt through increasing ICT exports and expanding offshoring activities. The signature of this agreement is a manifestation of the strategic partnership between Microsoft and MCIT to support Egypt’s digital transformation journey and digital economy”.  Microsoft is the partner of choice for the government with 65 digital transformation projects, all in line with the Digital Egypt Strategy and Egypt Vision 2030.

Gartner forecasts Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Growth to Decline 3.6% in 2023

Global semiconductor revenue is projected to decline 3.6% in 2023, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. In 2022, the market is on pace to grow 4% and total $618 billion.“The short-term outlook for semiconductor revenue has worsened,” said Richard Gordon, Practice Vice President at Gartner. “Rapid deterioration in the global economy and weakening consumer demand will negatively impact the semiconductor market in 2023.”Global semiconductor revenue is forecast to total $596 billion in 2023, down from the previous forecast of $623 billion (see Table 1).Table 1. Semiconductor Revenue Forecast, Worldwide, 2021-2023 (Billions of U.S. Dollars) 202120222023Revenue595618596Growth (%)26.34.0-3.6Source: Gartner (November 2022)Currently, the semiconductor market is polarized between the consumer-driven markets and enterprise-driven markets. Weakness in the consumer-driven markets is being driven largely by the decline in disposable income caused by rising inflation and interest rates, but also by the reprioritization of consumer discretionary spending to other areas such as travel, leisure and entertainment, which are having a negative knock-on effect on technology purchases.On the other hand, the enterprise-driven markets, such as enterprise networking, enterprise compute, industrial, medical and commercial transportation, have, so far, been relatively resilient despite looming macro-economic slowdown and geopolitical concerns.“The relative strength in the enterprise-driven markets comes from strategic investments by corporations that are looking to strengthen their infrastructure to continue supporting their work from home workforce, business expansion plans and ongoing digitalization strategies,” said Gordon.Memory Revenue to Decline 16% in 2023For the remainder of 2022, the memory market is witnessing faltering demand, swollen inventories and customers pressing for considerably lower prices. As a result, the memory market will remain flat in 2022 and is forecast to decline 16.2% in revenue in 2023.The worsening economic outlook is negatively impacting smartphone, PC and consumer electronics production which is positioning the DRAM market for oversupply for the remainder of 2022 and the first three quarters of 2023. Gartner analysts foresee DRAM revenue to decrease 2.6% to reach $90.5 billion in 2022 and will further decline 18% in 2023, to total $74.2 billion.The NAND fab outage which occurred in the first quarter of 2022 increased prices and masked the rapidly deteriorating demand environment, resulting in excess inventory in the third quarter of 2022 which is expected to carry into the first half of 2023. NAND revenue is projected to increase 4.4% to $68.8 billion in 2022, but it is on pace to decline 13.7% in 2023 to $59.4 billion.“While the deterioration in the macroeconomic environment will weaken consumer demand, we expect relatively better semiconductor consumption from business investments. Consequently, markets such as industrial, telecom infrastructure and data center will be less impacted by consumer sentiment and spending in the short term,” said Gordon.Gartner clients can read more in “Forecast Analysis: Semiconductors and Electronics, Worldwide.”

Aaron Kaupp appointed Regional Vice President Jumeirah Group and General Manager

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and member of Dubai Holding, has named Aaron Kaupp as Regional Vice President Jumeirah Group and General Manager of Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab, its latest iconic destination that is set to be another incredible addition to the Dubai shore, located next to Jumeirah Beach Hotel.In his new role, Kaupp will oversee all aspects of the new lifestyle resort, which includes an avantgarde hotel, exclusive residences, a superyacht marina and a wealth of unique dining and lifestyle experiences.His appointment will build on a rich background in luxury hospitality and three-year experience within the Group as Regional Vice President Northern Europe and General Manager of The Carlton Tower Jumeirah. During his time at the flagship London hotel, located in the heart of the fashionable Knightsbridge, he spearheaded its successful re-opening and repositioning as an iconic landmark and beacon of modern classic luxury, following the most extensive renovation in the hotel’s 60-year history. Taking place during the height of the pandemic, the 17-story building was entirely transformed to offer larger accommodations, a new state-of-the-art The Peak Fitness Club and Spa with London’s largest naturally lit swimming pool, Al Mare – a destination Italian restaurant, a signature lobby bar and lounge and beautiful event facilities with natural daylight overlooking the Cadogan gardens.With an exceptional reputation in the industry, Kaupp has been recognised on numerous occasions for his incredible service delivery and expertise and holds several prestigious accolades including the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards’ “Best General Manager of a Luxury Hotel / Resort Worldwide”. He is also a member of the European Hotel Managers Association.“Jumeirah Group is delighted to welcome Aaron Kaupp as Regional Vice President Northern Europe and General Manager of Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab. In his new role, he will lead the team in delivering truly exceptional service and impeccable operations in what will mark a new era of luxury hospitality for the Group,” said Thomas B. Meier, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Jumeirah Group. “Aaron’s true passion for hospitality, stellar reputation and invaluable experience at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, where he was instrumental in delivering a new standard in hyper-personalised experiences, will push the boundaries of innovation at Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab, to craft uniquely memorable moments for a new generation of guests and residents.” he added. Nestled at the tip of a peninsula at the heart of Dubai’s most exclusive private beach, Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab will complete the Group’s oceanic hotel trilogy, which includes the wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel and sailboat-inspired Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The new resort, which includes a hotel inspired by a futuristic superyacht that features 387 rooms and suites with four Penthouse suites, also offers 99 private residences, set amid lush, landscaped gardens. With all hotel rooms offering a panoramic vista of the sparking Arabian Sea, the statement destination will also include a superyacht marina with 82 berths as well as signature culinary and leisure experiences.Commenting on his new role, Kaupp added: “I am delighted to lead the team at Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab and feel privileged to be part of such a significant new chapter for the Group. The iconic destination will not only mark a new era for Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts but will further establish the brand across the globe. I look forward to embarking on this exciting journey and to delivering truly unforgettable guest experiences.”Kaupp brings a wealth of experience from his previous senior leadership positions at top luxury hotels across Europe, joining The Carlton Tower Jumeirah from Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, where he served as General Manager since 2016. Prior to that, he was General Manager at Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence and worked closely with Giorgio Armani to successfully open and manage the Armani Hotel Milano.For more information about Jumeirah Group, please visit

SFA underlines the importance of Saudi community sports

The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has underlined its commitment to advancing sports diplomacy and leveraging the unifying power of sports to create a brighter future for all. Representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Peace and Sport International Forum 2022 in Monaco — an event launched to generate concrete solutions and forge impactful partnerships that make the most of sport as a lever for peace — the Federation took another important step towards accomplishing its goal of empowering more people and communities to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.Joining some of the world’s foremost experts, leaders, and sports stars to address pressing global challenges, SFA — acting as an ambassador for the Kingdom and flagbearer of regional sports excellence — showcased its work to transform Saudi Arabia into a world-class sports hub. The Federation called on the international community to come together through the development of an inclusive and united global sports culture to effect lasting change and innovate sustainable solutions to persistent issues.A unique platform for meaningful dialogue, the exchange of ideas and the promotion of good practices, the Peace and Sport International Forum provides a timely opportunity for changemakers from around the world to explore how they can safeguard the future.This year’s event — which took place from 30 November to 1 December — marked a major milestone for SFA, with the Federation signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peace and Sport at the forum. The agreement aims to enhance cooperation between the two parties in supporting community sports initiatives and empowering Saudi people in the sports sector.The MoU was signed by SFA President HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud and the President and Founder of Peace and Sport, Joël Bouzou. It will help to enhance SFA's drive — with the support of the Ministry of Sport and the Quality of Life Program — to build a healthy and active society through joint programs and bilateral campaigns.As part of the agreement, SFA will collaborate with Peace and Sport — a neutral and independent worldwide organization that uses sport and its values as an instrument for peace — to host a diversity of sports programs in the Kingdom. Together, they will create a range of initiatives that support the ongoing growth and development of the Saudi sports community, while promoting global peace and cooperation.The MoU forms part of the initiatives that SFA is pioneering to achieve the Vision 2030 and Quality of Life Program objectives of increasing physical activity levels in the Kingdom by 2030. In line with this commitment, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, and SFA Managing Director, Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, attended a range of meetings to facilitate productive long-term collaborations between SFA and Peace and Sport. This included an audience with H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as sit-downs with Peace and Sport President and Founder Joël Bouzou and CEO Jean-Jérôme Perrin-Mortier.Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, the SFA MD, was also speaker at the forum, taking part in a session entitled “Sport as a vector for gender equality”. During the talk, she emphasized the importance of increasing women’s participation in sport-based programs, sport competitions and sport-related occupations, reiterating that empowering girls and women is instrumental to social development and building inclusive societies.  SFA President, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, said: “This agreement reflects our common goals and values?? to use sport as a major tool to promote peace. Sport is the most vital tool in enhancing communications between nations and people. Based on this vision, we look forward to cooperating with Peace and Sport to launch successful community sports initiatives and build the local capacity across different fields related to community sports and contribute to an active healthy nation.”Joël Bouzou, President and Founder, of Peace and Sport, said: “We are pleased to be working with SFA to bolster Saudi Arabia’s sports infrastructure and enhance its already thriving sports culture. This cooperation will help launch several new and innovative sports programs: first-of-their-kind offerings that will transform communities and change lives for the better. SFA has already proven its ability to host many large events that have gained wide popularity in the Kingdom and around the world. We look forward to helping SFA achieve even more game-changing feats, empowering people to build more inclusive and peaceful societies.”As the main body responsible for developing community sports and raising physical activity levels in Saudi Arabia, SFA proactively engages in and promotes international dialogue to enhance sports in the Kingdom. Over the course of the past year, the Federation has participated and played a leading role in events and gatherings such as 9th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress in Abu Dhabi, the 2022 Misk Global Forum, Sports Industry Forum Abu Dhabi 2022, and the 27th TAFISA World Congress.

Analysis of FQ3 earnings calls shows GCC businesses not immune to challenges

The overall management sentiment for earnings calls hosted by GCC companies between 1 October and 17 November 2022 has decreased, according to a new AI-powered analysis by Iridium Advisors. The company found that its GCC Earnings Call Sentiment Index dropped 8% quarter-on-quarter to its lowest level since the first fiscal quarter of 2021.The trend in sentiment continues to broadly track corporate profitability and the MSCI GCC Index, which also declined over the last quarter and coincides with a decrease in the number of companies that have "beaten" analyst estimates in FQ3 2022. Iridium Advisors found that the percentage of companies that missed analysts' earnings estimates this quarter grew to 50%, up from 34% in FQ2 2022.Oliver Schutzmann, CEO, Iridium Advisors, said, "This is the first quarter in over a year that we have seen a marked decline in management sentiment. While equity markets in the region have performed better than those in the US and Europe, we can't discount the fact that regional equity markets are not immune to larger global market contractions, rising interest rates, inflationary pressures, oil price volatility, and fears of recession." Interestingly, the research shows somewhat mixed trends across GCC countries. While Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were the only two countries that showed a slight increase in sentiment by management teams, the negative trend was most pronounced in Oman and Bahrain and, to a lesser extent, in Saudi Arabia. Across industries, real estate was the only sector wherein management teams showed a slight increase in positive sentiment. On the other hand, Materials and Communication Services saw the largest declines in sentiment."Although management sentiment declined during FQ3 2022, their 'confidence' — a measure of how strong or weak the language used during earnings calls is — increased. As confidence is often a leading indicator of sentiment, it will be interesting to see if management sentiment will rise again in upcoming reporting cycles or continue its downward trajectory," concluded Schutzmann.Methodology:Iridium Quant Lens NLP algorithms automate earnings call analysis by quantifying language at a scale and speed that is impossible to replicate by the human brain. To date, the company has processed over 6.7 million words from 1,300+ earnings call transcripts of listed companies across eight stock exchanges in the GCC region since 2015. The NLP algorithms generate unbiased insights from the sentiment expressed by management, analysts and investors, the language complexity used, as well as the number of financial metrics conferred during earnings calls, and cross-correlate the results to earnings data.

Agthia completes acquisition of majority stake in Auf Group

Agthia Group PJSC, one of the region’s leading food and beverage companies, today announced the completion of its acquisition of a 60% stake in Auf Group, a specialised healthy snacks and coffee manufacturer and retailer in Egypt.The acquisition enhances Agthia’s footprint in the attractive Egyptian snacking market, which is forecast to grow from around AED 8.7 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2020 to around AED 11.2 billion ($3.05 billion) by the end of 2024, according to Euromonitor. It also strengthens Agthia’s position as a leading regional consumer packaged goods (CPG) company, building on last year’s acquisitions of BMB Group (a leading manufacturer of healthy snacks), Al Foah (the world’s largest dates receiving and processing business), Al Faysal Bakery and Sweets (a leading industrial bakery in Kuwait), Nabil Foods (a Jordan-based leading regional processed meat producer), and Atyab (an Egyptian processed meat producer).Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Agthia Group, said: “The acquisition of Auf Group aligns with our 2025 growth strategy to acquire, integrate and grow attractive businesses in value-add categories. Egypt remains a strategic target for Agthia, as one of the MENA region’s fastest-growing consumer markets. We continue to identify opportunities to grow our presence there while strengthening our F&B leadership in the Middle East and beyond.”  Alan Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Agthia Group, said: “This is an important acquisition for Agthia that further expands our footprint in the snacking and healthy food verticals. We look forward to integrating Auf Group as part of Agthia while monetizing synergies and growth opportunities. We are also excited to expand our presence in Egypt and look forward to working closely with the Auf Group team to bolster their strengths and capabilities.”Agthia has acquired 60% of Auf Group, with Auf Group’s founders retaining a 30% stake and continuing to actively lead the company with the support of Agthia’s regional footprint and operational expertise. Tanmiya Capital Ventures, an Egyptian private equity firm that invested in Auf Group in 2019, remains a shareholder of the remaining 10% stake.Ahmed Auf, Chief Executive Officer of Auf Group, said: “This transaction represents a significant milestone in Auf Group’s history, and we look forward to working alongside the Agthia team to build on our success to date. Our focus remains on maintaining our unique position in the Egyptian snacking market while expanding our reach and footprint.”Established in 2010, Auf Group processes, manufactures, retails and distributes a broad portfolio of products across Egypt including coffee, nuts, healthy snacks and other confectionery products sold under the Abu Auf master brand. The company has plans to expand its footprint across the UAE, and beyond, having recently opened four new stores in key retail locations - including a flagship store in the newly opened Dubai Hills Mall.Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as international legal counsel, and Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy as Egyptian counsel, to Agthia. CI Capital acted as financial advisor to Agthia.

Kyndryl discusses the role of technology in accelerating digitization

Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, today expressed its unwavering commitment to help accelerate the pace of digital transformation, in alignment with Digital Egypt Strategy, during Cairo ICT 2022.“Over the past few years, Egypt has made significant strides, innovating to compete in the digital economy; and it’s continuing to gain momentum,” said Andreas Beck, Managing Director, Kyndryl Middle East and Africa. “Through our global and industry expertise, Kyndryl is well positioned to support Egyptian customers of all sizes and advance the government's efforts to accelerate the country's digitization.”Drawing on the technologies of best-in-class partners — including Microsoft, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, VMWare, Nokia, Cloudera, and others — Kyndryl’s experts design, deploy and operate customized IT estates tailored to the customer’s mission. Kyndryl’s solutions give business leaders confidence that their critical operations will be resilient and secure.Today, Kyndryl serves thousands of enterprise customers in more than 60 countries including Egypt, such as Etihad Airways, TAQA Arabia, Honda, Mitsubishi, Schneider Electric, Deutsche Bank, Dow, RSA Insurance, BMW Group and more.Kyndryl has six global practices organized around the way customers consume services: Cloud Services; Core Enterprise and zCloud; Applications, Data and AI; Digital Workplace; Security and Resiliency; and Network and Edge.In recent weeks, the Company has announced several new innovations to enhance its services capabilities:Kyndryl Bridge – The Company recently launched Kyndryl Bridge, an open integration platform that gives business leaders control over customizing mission-critical operations and real-time insight into their complex IT estates. The platform integrates existing tools, intellectual property, processes and partnerships to maximize the benefit of multi-cloud capabilities and deliver an ‘as-a-service’ operating environment. Kyndryl Bridge is designed to be a digital collaboration environment that will continue to expand and grow over time, connecting Kyndryl’s advanced technology, market innovation and industry expertise across the global economy.Kyndryl Vital – Kyndryl announced Kyndryl Vital, a co-creation experience where Kyndryl professional designers and technical experts work side-by-side with customers and partners to solve complex IT challenges.Kyndryl Consult – Kyndryl has branded and amplified its advisory & implementation services activities as Kyndryl Consult, reflecting the continued evolution of the Company’s services and the value its advisory services can create for customers. “We see tremendous potential in Egypt, and we are excited to bring these new capabilities to our local customers to modernize their IT systems for a digitally-enabled future,” Beck concludes.

Saudi Ministry of Tourism signed MoUs with Oman, Indonesia and Barbados

The leaders of the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) have described Saudi Arabia’s ambition to become one of the top 5 destinations in the world in the next decade as “unparalleled” in the history of tourism and travel. Opening the 22nd edition of the Summit, Arnold Donald, Chair, WTTC & Vice Chair of the Board, Carnival Corporation, welcomed the nearly 3000 participants to what will be the biggest ever meeting of global tourism and travel industry leaders.Praising the goals set by the Kingdom to welcome 100 million international and domestic travelers a year by 2030, Mr. Arnold said: “These are ambitions that are unparalleled in the history of our sector. Over the past three years it has been a great privilege to see the progress made here with our own eyes.”Summit host, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb welcomed the leaders of the tourism world to Riyadh said: “We have the power to shape the sector, bridge cultures, and transform communities. We are fortunate to be in the position to effect change. We must not let this opportunity pass by us. Let us ensure that here in Riyadh, we really do deliver a better future for travel.”WTTC CEO Julia Simpson focused on the vital importance of nature to the long-term prosperity and sustainability of the sector. She said: “The WTTC Positive Travel and Tourism Report shows tourism from nature generates over $600 bn which provides opportunities for some of the world’s poorest countries to protect biodiversity and their communities.”In a day packed full of debate, dialogue and the sharing of innovative ideas from around the world, leaders of the global tourism industry participated in panel discussions and keynote speakers.The Summit has attracted the leaders of the world’s biggest hotel groups and Christopher J Nassetta President & CEO, Hilton Worldwide, told the audience:  “We are in a new golden age of travel. Travel and Tourism is an unstoppable force for good. People want to see places they want to interact with people. My advice to everybody is to believe in the power of travel.” Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon was in discussion about the sustainable future of travel. He declared: “Tourism has made a substantial contribution to humanity’s social and economic progress. Whether you belong to Saudi Arabia, China, United States or South Korea – there are no boundaries.“We need to become global citizens. We have so many problems – health issues, political issues, environmental issues – but with global citizenship we can solve them. Let’s work as global citizens to make this world more sustainable, to transform this world and pass it on to the next generations in a better way than we found it.”Speaker after speaker focused on a number of key developmental areas to ensure the successful future of tourism. Stephen Scherr, CEO, The Hertz Corporation explained:  “You need infrastructure in the various markets and countries. Whether it's an airport that can handle the kind of traffic that you will have or in our business, you need to build infrastructure that is accommodating and inviting for the people you want to be traveling around.”Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia H.E. Sandiaga says that when you consider Indonesia and Bali that means sustainable tourism and it means a change in mindset. He said: “The new trend of tourism is more personalized, localized and customized, and smaller in size also means better revenue. This year we are creating three times more revenue from tourism than we had expected with only a quarter of previous numbers of foreign tourists arriving.”Creating a truly local and unique welcome for visitors was also a powerful topic of debate as international destinations work to ensure they offer visitors a unique taste of local culture, customs and heritage.Bahrain Minister of Tourism H.E. Fatima Al Sairafi, Minister of Tourism, said: “We have noticed in Bahrain that whenever we get tourists visiting our country, one of the main things that they leave with is the authenticity of the experience they have enjoyed. We have successfully incorporated that in our tourism experiences that we offer in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Those authentic experiences are delivered by Bahrainis.”Hashil Al Mahrouqi, Chief Executive Officer, OMRAN added: “Today, everyone is talking about sustainability. Everyone is saying protect nature, everyone is saying protect this planet. But I think in Oman we have been prepared for it. What we need to do now in Oman is capitalize on what we already have there and I think we are on the right track doing it.”The Summit has also seen a number of major announcements and signing of MOUs on the sidelines of the main Summit debates. These have seen Saudi Arabia sign MOUs with Oman, Indonesia and Barbados and Wizz Air appoint Arjaa Travel and Tourism Company as the exclusive agent for Wizz Air in Saudi Arabia. The Summit is the largest ever staged to date and has nearly 3000 participants taking part from 140 countries. The enormous global interest in the Summit was shown by one million livestreams of sessions on the metaverse on the first day.

IT more responsible for business innovation in the UAE than before: ManageEngine

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, today announced results from its IT at work: 2022 and beyond study. This newly released data, involving IT decision makers (ITDMs) and business decision makers (BDMs), examines the democratisation of IT and the ability of IT teams to influence business decisions in large and enterprise-sized organisations in the UAE.According to the study, there is increased collaboration between IT and other teams within organisations, which may have contributed to non-IT employees possessing more knowledge about IT now than they did before 2020. IT structures within organisations are being increasingly decentralised, and non-IT departments now enjoy autonomy when it comes to technology decisions.However, any concerns over the role of IT teams being diminished are dispelled as the study found that they are pivotal in building tomorrow's enterprises. Around 76% of ITDMs expect IT to play a greater role in setting the organisation’s overall strategy in the next 5 years. This is 11% higher than the global average.The success of the IT team in playing its role has a significant bearing on the organisation’s success, with over 91% of all respondents pointing to a direct correlation between both. Furthermore, IT professionals are increasingly expected to be innovators, with more than nine in ten (91%) respondents agreeing that IT is more responsible for business innovation than ever before."Professionals are keen to gain new perspectives from industry peers in order to stay updated and advance in their career. Through this study, we hope to facilitate the sharing of knowledge among stakeholders in the UAE. These insights also help ManageEngine in its constant endeavour of evolving as a comprehensive and effective IT management platform," said Rajesh Ganesan, president at ManageEngine.Key findings from the study1. Increased collaboration leading to tech autonomy for non-IT teams.The vast majority (90%) of respondents report that collaboration between IT teams and other departments has increased during the past two years.More than four-fifths (84%) of respondents agree that non-IT employees in their organisation are more knowledgeable about IT now than they were before 2020.Around 44% of organisations have already decentralised their IT structure, with another 49% currently attempting to do so.Nearly all (98%) BDMs say their department has autonomy when it comes to making technology decisions. This autonomy relates to not only purchasing software (64%), and devices (47%), but also to hiring tech talent (62%).2. Leveraging AI and machine learning (ML) against cyberattacks.Around 91% of all respondents say AI and ML technologies will play a significant role in strengthening their organisation's IT security framework.Nearly all (95%) BDMs say that their organisation has invested in AI and ML technologies and are doing so for more than one use case, on average. A notable proportion of BDMs report that they are using AI to prevent cyberattacks (52%).IT and security teams are held responsible when it comes to defending against cyberattacks. Around 73% of decision makers (both ITDMs and BDMs) say it is the responsibility of IT and security teams to protect organisations.3. Development of skills and talent retention.Two-fifths (41%) of ITDMs in the UAE say they are actively looking for a new job, while pretty much the same number (45%) say they feel less loyal to their current employers than than they were two years ago.When it comes to what ITDMs want from their role in the next five years, these were cited as most important: the potential to learn new skills (55%), the ability to step into a more senior role (49%), and the ability to guide change within the organisation (48%).Around half of ITDMs say that they would be driven away from their organisation if their pay did not at least stay current with inflation (54%), if there were no potential for advancement/promotion (52%), or a flexible work model (50%), or any of several other existing benefits cited, were taken away.ManageEngine commissioned independent market research agency Vanson Bourne to survey 200 decision-makers across IT and other key business functions from a range of private-sector organisations in the UAE. Visit ManageEngine's website for access to the IT at work: 2022 and beyond report at

Hire-as-you-go hotel marketing platform launches in the GCC region

In a landscape of ever-growing digital complexity and talent shortage, hotels have trouble getting the marketing expertise they genuinely need when needed, hence missing out on business opportunities. Newly launched Hotel Marketing Space has created a hire-as-you-go platform giving hotels in the GCC region access to a flexible team of world-class experts.The platform's services cover three main areas: digital marketing, social media, and photography/ videography. From a website SEO assessment to Instagram Reels to lifestyle photography, hotels can easily hire the specific marketing talent required per their business needs.In the words of the founder, Miret Padovani: "Hotels often face skill gaps due to temporary vacancies or the need for specialized skills that in-house marketing teams do not possess. With no agency fees or lengthy hiring processes, Hotel Marketing Space offers a quick, cost-efficient solution to fill these gaps."The company also provides luxury hotels with public relations representation in the US and nine European countries. The member agencies have decades of experience working with leading travel brands."When looking for PR representation abroad, hotels face the challenge of the agencies being too far away and rarely visiting the properties," says Padovani. "We get to know the hotels personally thanks to a local representative in Dubai and Riyadh - a huge plus. It also solves the headache of dealing with different time zones and up to 12 hours of time difference!"In addition to its core marketing and PR services, Hotel Marketing Space aims to contribute to the development of local talent by offering leadership and personal development training sessions."The growth of the hotel industry in the GCC region will only be possible if we develop strong marketing and communications leaders," says Padovani.To learn more about Hotel Marketing Space, visit

CEER to establish electric vehicle brand site at KAEC

Ceer, Saudi Arabia’s first electric vehicle brand, has signed a land purchase agreement worth 359 million Saudi Riyals with Emaar, the Economic City, for land at King Abdullah Economic City (“KAEC”) that will be used to develop Ceer’s manufacturing facility for electric vehicles. The site, located in Industrial Valley (IV) in close proximity to King Abdullah Port in KAEC, will cover over 1 million square meters. Once complete, Ceer’s manufacturing facility will create thousands of direct and indirect high-skilled jobs, the majority of which will be filled by Saudi nationals. Construction at the site will begin early 2023.The company, which is a joint venture between the Public Investment Fund (“PIF”) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (“Foxconn”), will manufacture a portfolio of technologically advanced sedans and sports utility vehicles at the factory in KAEC. Ceer vehicles are scheduled to be available from 2025 onwards. The factory will be state-of-the-art, featuring the latest technologies to ensure manufacturing efficiency whilst minimizing energy and water usage. Ceer will work towards making the factory a zero waste to landfill site. Ceer’s Chief Executive Officer, James DeLuca, said: “We have found a place that meets all our needs. KAEC offers us a great location with world-class logistics, effective access for our global and Saudi-based suppliers, and an ideal location to base and develop our future workforce. KAEC will become our manufacturing hub as we work towards creating the first electric vehicle brand for Saudi Arabia and the wider region and, in doing so, contribute in a meaningful way to Saudi Vision 2030.”The establishment of Ceer comes in line with the PIF strategy to focus on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors in Saudi Arabia, including the automotive sector, as well as creating opportunities for the growth and diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy.“We are delighted to welcome Ceer to KAEC and to help make history by building the first automotive manufacturing hub in Saudi Arabia and the wider region,” said Cyril Piaia, CEO of Emaar, The Economic City, the master developer of KAEC. “KAEC is aiming at integrating into Vision 2030 initiatives with the vision to be a global manufacturing center, and we are spearheading the creation of an electric vehicle automotive industry that will be both innovation-focused and have sustainability at its heart. We cannot wait to see the cars of thefirst Saudi electric vehicle brand coming out of Ceer’s factory at KAEC in a couple of years’ time, and we are proud to be able to contribute to a project that supports so many facets of Saudi Vision 2030. This agreement is in line with KAEC’s new strategy to welcome third-party anchor investors, developers,and operators to realize their projects and ambitions in the city and accelerate its development.”

Dubai to roll out world-class live entertainment, cultural and lifestyle events

Dubai Calendar, the official listing platform for events in the city, has curated a range of the best live entertainment, cultural, lifestyle and sporting events that will take place in Dubai during December 2022. The epic line up of events includes the BudX FIFA Fan Festival, Emirates Airline Dubai 7s, Dubai Shopping Festival and the Christmas Concert at Dubai Opera, and much more.GRIPPING SPORTING ACTIONAs the sporting season moves into top gear with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, Dubai is pulling out all the stops to add to the excitement with a host of football-themed fan zones, sports lounges, and family-friendly destinations to welcome sports enthusiasts. These destinations include the BudX FIFA Fan Festival at Dubai Harbour which will be one of only six international flagship FIFA Fan Festivals worldwide. Additionally, there will be fan-zones dotted throughout the city, from the football-themed Fan City at Expo City Dubai, Fanzone by McGettigan’s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Press Play at Precision Football and many more.Emirates Dubai 7s is one of the largest sports and entertainment festivals in the Middle East. This year is set to be bigger and better than ever before, with international music headliners such as Gorgon City and Craig David making for an epic celebration of music and the best international men's and women's rugby teams from 1st - 3rd December.Get ready to see the region’s most skilled horses and talented jockeys go head to head for a grand prize at the Racing at Meydan. The action continues this winter with races scheduled from 4th November to 19th February with the first race starting at 6pm.Feel patriotic and full of life at the Skechers Performance UAE National Day Run 2022 National Day race at The Track Meydan Golf. The community focused fitness challenge takes place on 2nd December, where runners from all ages are encouraged to take part.The 22ft Traditional Dhow Sailing Race is a gripping series taking place at Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC)'s for the winter water sports season. The event kicked off on 18th September and extends to 17th December, perfect for local and international sporting enthusiasts.Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek, Alexander Zverev, Elena Rybakina and Sania Mirza are a handful of the 18 world-class tennis stars that will be heading to Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena for the World Tennis League from 19th-24th December. Get ready for gripping sporting action in the day, followed by a musical extravaganza at night featuring globally-renowned DJs like Tiesto and Deadmau5 and rap stars such as NE-YO and Wizkid.ENJOY DUBAI’S DIVERSE CULTURAL, ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE OFFERINGGet involved with an immersive game like no other with a world-famous Murder Mystery Dubai experience taking place in the historic Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai from 3rd December – 12th February. The 90-minute experience is steeped in entertaining games and activities, drawing out your inner detective.The football action continues with ?four of Europe's leading clubs will be playing in the city for the Dubai Super Cup. Sports fans can have a chance to see Liverpool FC, Arsenal, AC Milan and Lyon (Olympique Lyonnais) battle it out for trophy, with matches taking place from 8th-16th December at the Al Maktoum Stadium.Connect with the region’s and the world’s coolest lifestyle and street-culture pioneers as the city’s leading urban festival, Sole DXB returns to the Dubai Design District from 9th-11th December.Culture buffs can enjoy film screenings, interactive workshops for big and small kids, panel talks, international performances and educational activities at Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert, taking place from 9th-11th December at Al Marmoom Conservation Reserve.Dubai Opera’s will be hosting a captivating showcase, transporting guests back to a golden age of Egyptian history with King Farouk a celebration of Middle Eastern music, taking place on 12th December.This festive period, enjoy The Snow Queen show, a magical and dramatic production based on Hans Christian Andersen's 1844 fairy tale. Taking place at QE2 from 16th-26th December guests can enjoy this special holiday showcase with a captivating story around best friends Gerda and Kai and showcases the struggle between good and evil.Watch the magic of The Nutcracker brought to life at Dubai Opera from 16th-17th December by the acclaimed Moscow-based ballet La Classique.Everyone’s favourite fully grown ELF will be live at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates from 17th-24th December with one of the most popular Christmas musicals in the world, produced by Olivier Award-winning producer Paul Taylor-Mills, makes its way to Dubai.Make merry this year The Dubai Opera Big Band makes its way back to the stage for a musical huge celebration. This will be an unforgettable seasonal event with classic festive tunes at Dubai Opera from 21st-22nd December.PERFORMANCES FROM GLOBAL ARTISTSEida Al Menhali and Dalia Mubarak live will be a mesmerising performance by famed Arabic musicians. The stars will captivate audiences as they take to the stage at the magical Al Wasl Plaza, Expo City Dubai for an exciting concert to mark 51 glorious years of the UAE on 2nd December.One of the superstars of 90s pop music, Lucky Ali will be flying into Dubai for a live showcase as a part of the Winter Music Fest, which will bring together widely loved Bollywood's musicians to the city. Fans can prepare to see the exceptionally talented artist to the stage at The Agenda on 3rd December.The Lebanese-Armenian, Guy Manoukian, will once again captivate audiences and light up the stage as he returns to Dubai Opera on 9th December.Often dubbed the Queen of Qawwali, Abida Parveen makes her way back to Dubai for a highly-anticipated showcase on 9th December at the Coca-Cola Arena. The iconic performer is one of the most celebrated Sufi singers in the world, so get your tickets soon before they sell out.Hooverphonic fans can prepare for the Belgian pop group to fly in for their first-ever performance in Dubai. Music fanatics can welcome Alex Callier, Raymond Geerts and Geike Arnaert to the stage at the Dubai Opera on 10th December.Prepare for a magical night as Bi-2 take to the Coca-Cola arena stage for their first-ever Dubai performance. The famed Belarusian alt-rock band, who were the opening headliners of the PaRus Music Fest in Dubai last year, are returning for another enthralling showcase on 10th December.Following a sold-out tour across the globe, Palestinian brothers Samir, Wissam and Adnan, collectively known as Le Trio Joubran, are heading to Dubai Opera for their debut concert. Music fans can prepare for an evening of melodious oud tunes on 11th December.Kadim Al Sahir, one of the most successful Arab singers in history, is gearing up to enthrall you with mesmerising live acts on 23rd and 24th December. Get ready for a show-stopping performances by the pop icon at the Dubai Opera.The stage is set for Sufi sensation Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as he returns to at the Coca-Cola Arena on 29th December for the fifth time for the Up Close & Personal show. The hitmaker is known for his impressive repertoire of heartfelt hits including classic qawwalis, soulful ghazals and Bollywood tracks.Head to the Coca-Cola Arena to watch Dutch DJ Martin Garrix live, one of the world's biggest dance music sensations, for a spectacular showcase with an expected audience of over 10,000 fans, on 30th December.Dubai Calendar allows residents and tourists to discover upcoming events and purchase tickets quickly and securely through Dubai Calendar’s website and the mobile application’s purchasing platform. For more information about all events taking place across Dubai, please visit:

Jindal Shadeed Oman and Wieden+Kennedy India collaborate

‘The Steel Of Oman’ campaign by W+K India is a true ode to Omani strength and resilience during the world’s biggest sporting event.  Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel, is the largest privately owned integrated steel producer in the Persian Gulf Region (Gulf Cooperation Council) committed to the acceleration of Oman’s industrialization and modernization. Being the undisputed market leader and a prestigious business partner for Oman, Jindal Shadeed aims to convey its commitment to Oman by celebrating the spirit of its people and its unique culture which the world knows little about. Wieden+Kennedy, an independent creative agency known worldwide for its groundbreaking work on shaping cultures via key brand partnerships, joins hands with Jindal Shadeed to bring to life a creative platform that celebrates Omani strength and resilience through its love for football. #YOUTUBE_mBTcU-zkMpg#W+K, India came up with the brand proposition, ‘The Steel Of Oman’ which celebrates Omani culture, sportsmanship and the growth of the nation. It is an ode to the country’s love for football, its traditions and customs while embracing its vivid future. It was a multiple agency pitch which W+K India won against some giant networksThis 360-degree campaign spreads across national television, theatres, digital, social, print, outdoors for a period of 4 to 5 weeks.W+K India collaborated with ace director Sanju Ayappa from Early Man Films and celebrated Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj from The Third Line Gallery for Print/Outdoor imagery. The 3 min plus long film showcases the Omani culture with football as the backdrop, as the stunning visual montage travels from the beautiful landscapes of Oman, to people across age groups, gender and juxtaposes them with energy driven football shots. The music track composed by Danish musician Sofyann Ben Youssef focuses on the local folk vocals, further energized with a thumping beat continuously building towards a crescendo. Hassan Hajjaj has captured more than 20 powerful portraits in his unique style of photography right from some Omani achievers, iconic celebrities to common people who truly symbolize ‘The Steel of Oman’ Jindal’s tie-up with National football team players Ali Al Habsi, Al Hosni and Imad also strengthens the credibility of the campaign and makes it a matter of national pride.“The whole Jindal Shadeed team and especially Mr. Venkatesh Jindal (Chairman) had massive faith in us and gave us full creative freedom to get this narrative right. This piece isn’t about selling more steel or chest thumping about being a market leader. Instead, Jindal Shadeed wanted to honestly celebrate the real steel of the nation i.e. the people, culture, their spirit and passion for the game.There was a conscious decision to pitch the film into beautiful arty non-ady-space, as we all were very clear we didn’t want another ad in the midst of celeb centric football clutter during this FIFA World Cup. We wanted this to be as authentic as it could get. It was a challenge to work with real people, non actors, and a stunning yet daunting Omani terrain but thanks to Ayappa and gang, we went above and beyond to bring that alive.” Santosh Padhi (PADDY) Chief Creative Officer, W+K IndiaThe brief was inspiring and the client's faith in our ability to do something truly authentic pushed us for something truly special. The creative team came up with a simple yet powerful narrative that also enabled us to find interesting production partners who could help bring our ideas to life and we found them in Ayappa and Hassan Hajjaj who are known for their stellar craft. We are extremely proud that this work symbolizes the true values of what Wieden + Kennedy is known for worldwide. Ruchika Khanna, Director Digital + Business Head, W+K India “Football has been a much-loved sport that has brought the country together. While our new campaign has football at its heart, our film is also a journey through the authentic traditions of the country, its rich culture, and its strong values. Most importantly, it celebrates the people of Oman. Through this campaign, Jindal Shadeed seeks to further weave itself into the social fabric of Oman. At Jindal Shadeed, we will continue to deepen our relationship with the Sultanate through initiatives that drive meaningful impact in society” Harssha Shetty, CEO, Jindal Shadeed Iron and Steel

Corporate & Investment banking to face a new perfect storm: Arthur D. Little

Dubai, UAE: Arthur D. Little (ADL) has published a new Viewpoint, “Pursuing Excellence in Corporate Banking” exploring challenges and opportunities that illustrate the lasting and even increasing importance of the corporate segment for banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Viewpoint reviews the impacts of recent disruptions and expected, and explores options for banks to strengthen and grow their corporate and investment banking (CIB) business.CIB in the UAE represents close to $635 Bn. assets and $15 Bn. revenue. CIB assets are around 5 times the ones of retail banking. According to the report, regional banks however focus their external communication primarily on the consumer segment, whether it is fintech, strategy, digital transformation, products, or applications. Further, corporate banking is often perceived as a specialist area and, as a result, innovation is frequently thought to be focused in the retail banking sector. The report outlines an increasingly competitive, fast-evolving, and complex environment for CIB businesses, which includes a variety of challenges caused by structural trends, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine.ADL Viewpoint calls for the primary focus to return to corporate banking for a few important reasons – an inflationary storm is ahead and CIB will be critically exposed to it and CIB is heavily impacted by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts. While the retail segment is more competitive, CIB still benefits from several growth drivers. Clients are facing increasingly complex issues that require new solutions from banks. In addition, the SME segment remains underpenetrated. The potential of digital optimization remains mostly untapped as well, and sizable innovation opportunities exist in the space of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.Philippe DeBacker, Managing Partner and Global Head of Financial Services, Arthur D. Little, said:“The region offers a positive and transformational environment for corporate and investment banking, which accounts for about 70% of assets in the GCC amid high hopes for the economy and enormous private and public sector spending. As highlighted in the Viewpoint, banks should anticipate further sector consolidation due to shrinking margins and high regulatory requirements. To accelerate their journey to becoming banks of the future, banks need to redesign their business models to maximize revenue per customer, protect capital and ensure risk resilience by optimizing the use of financial technology.”Stephane Ulcakar, Associate Director and Head of Corporate and Government Financial Services, Arthur D. Little, said:“ The digital transformation trend has caused widespread disintermediation and the need for scale across industries. As a result, banks must transform in much the same way that car manufacturers — and many other industries — did during the 20th century. This means moving away from an integrated model and outsourcing most value steps except a few strategic ones, such as design, assembly, and control. In response to these disruptive forces, however, banks have an unprecedented chance to broaden their business, reduce costs, and become more reactive. However, as was true with car manufacturing, this can lead to additional challenges.”Developing a Sustainable Business Model According to the report, there are four common imperatives for banks to be aware of:Banks must rebalance their portfolios based on diversification, return, and risk targets, and monitor those at client level. They must also anticipate balance sheet cleanup, impact on tier-one capital, develop treasury and liquidity management capabilitiesBanks must maximize revenue per customer by spotting all opportunities for (re)activation and retention, cross/upselling, and pricing realization. They must also consider variable rates and facility nonusage penalties to reflect the upward rate trends.Banks should engage clients beyond credit, with distressed M&As, debt capital market (DCM), or ESG transformation financing. They must be ready to increase their nonperforming loan and restructuring management. Sectorial specialization will be required to properly assess needs and risk level.Banks should work on simplifying their organizations, their products and the activities they carry out. Reducing their share of fixed costs requires the use of digital tools to optimize, automatize, and/or outsource part of the value chain, either to suppliers or to shared utilities.At the same time, successful CIB strategies must leverage the bank’s core assets and capabilities to create a differentiated and viable positioning.Anticipating a new paradign for CIB in the GCCThe digital transformation trend has caused widespread disintermediation and the need for scale across industries. In response to these disruptive forces, however, banks have an unprecedented chance to broaden their business, reduce costs, and become more reactive.As explored in the Viewpoint, with the strong hindsight of local regulators, the multiplication of banking accelerators for start-ups, and the rapid development of the fintech ecosystem, it is clear that the UAE CIB sector is poised to quickly integrate these new trends and successfully adapt them to the specifics of the local markets.

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh names Guenter Gebhard as Regional VP

Riyadh: Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center, the most iconic hotel in Riyadh, is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Guenter Gebhard as Regional Vice President and General Manager.A veteran hospitality executive, Gebhard joined Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh in 2019 as General Manager, following an extensive 35-year international career, taking him from Europe to the United States, Asia to Australia and more recent years in the GCC and Middle East. During his tenure, he has been overseeing all operational and commercial aspects of the Hotel including a substantial hundred million dollar renovation of the property. He also has been a main drive in attracting local talent onto the team. In his latest role as Senior General Manager, he had been supporting ongoing strategic expansion efforts of Four Seasons within the Kingdom.“Guenter is a creative Hotelier with a strong track record of delivering results. In his new role, he will continue to oversee Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and will lead regional responsibility for all operational aspects of our nascent growth in the Kingdom,” says Simon Casson, President- Hotel Operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. “Saudi Arabia is the most active destination for our region from a growth perspective with currently 10 new projects at different stages of development. We are fortunate to have a leader who shares the aspirational vision for the future of the Kingdom.”Ideally situated in the heart of Riyadh, one of the most vibrant destinations in the Kingdom, Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, with its newly renovated rooms and suites, is an appealing combination of modern luxury interiors combined with Saudi heritage touches. The Hotel is tucked inside the iconic Kingdom Tower, a familiar sight on the skyline and one of the most popular attractions in the city for tourists and locals alike.“I feel honored and privileged to take on this regional role with Four Seasons,” says Guenter Gebhard, Regional Vice President and General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. “There is a rich legacy to draw upon as we chart our course for an exciting future ahead. With Saudi Arabia turning into a dynamic destination full of art, culture and entertainment, I look forward to working with the team and the local community to further establish the Kingdom on the international stage."Born and raised in Nuremberg, Germany, Gebhard was always encouraged by his parents to travel and see the world. After attending the Hotel & Tourism Academy in Munich, Germany, he studied Finance and Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Gebhard’s prior experience in the Kingdom, other GCC countries and global work exposure are strong attributes that will support Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts growth in Saudi Arabia.

Captain Razak Uppattil of Kerala completed the 1 billionth ride for Careem!

Dubai, UAE: Careem, the region's leading multi-service platform, celebrates 1 billion ride hailing trips across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.The 1 billionth trip was completed in Qatar by Captain Razak Uppattil from Kerala, India, who has been driving with Careem for four years and has completed over 10,500 trips on the platform. To celebrate this milestone, Careem gifted Captain Razak a trip to his home town in Kerala.The 1 billionth passenger was Genera Tesoro, a Careem customer from the Philippines who works as a receptionist at Padel In Aspire Zone in Doha. Genera completes more than 50 trips per month and says she chooses Careem because it is a more affordable option. Careem gifted Genera rides-hailing trips for one year* as a token of appreciation.Mudassir Sheikha, CEO & Co-founder of Careem, said: “Reaching the incredible milestone of 1 billion rides is thanks to the hard work of our Captains and colleagues as well as the trust that our customers have placed in us. We feel blessed to have made it easier for people to move around and to have created earning opportunities for more than 2.5 million people. The opportunity ahead is large and humbling - our region is full of untapped potential and there’s so much more we must do to simplify and improve life for people in the region.”Captain Razak Uppattil, the Captain who completed the 1 billionth ride, commented: “I thank God to have completed the 1 billionth trip. I have been at Careem for about four years and have so many favourite moments. It’s the people that I get to meet from all over the world that I really enjoy. I have three children back home in Kerala, India, and I am so excited to see them soon.”Careem Captains have driven over 9 billion kilometres across more than 80 cities over ten years. The countries with the highest number of rides recorded are Pakistan (299 million), Saudi Arabia (242 million), and Egypt (230 million). The longest single ride covered 1,113 kilometres, from Riyadh to Jazan in Saudi Arabia in 2020. The shortest single ride was a 200 metre trip in Lahore.Careem’s first ride took place in the UAE in September 2012 and was booked manually before the first line of code was written from Pakistan a few months later. Careem expanded in popularity across the region as the first ride-hailing platform to offer cash payments. The percentage of Careem rides paid for digitally has grown from 31% in 2016 to 44% in 2022.Careem has more than 50 million registered customers, and 2.5 million registered Captains who have collectively earned over $4 billion in earnings to date. The highest number of trips recorded by a Careem Captain is 35,139 trips by a Captain in Jordan. The highest number of rides booked by a Careem customer is over 9,500 rides by a customer in Saudi Arabia.Today Careem offers over a dozen services including ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, payments, and partner services including home cleaning, car rental, event bookings, and on-demand laundry services.

Bureau appoints Preekshit Gupta as Regional Vice President of the APAC & MEA reg

Bureau, the leading full-stack identity decisioning platform for financial institutions and fintech companies, today announced the appointment of Preekshit Gupta as Regional Vice President for APAC and MEA. With his appointment, Bureau aims to strengthen its presence in India and expand its reach across international markets. Preekshit brings over 20 years of experience in the identity, fraud, and compliance space across various organisations. Before Bureau, Preekshit was responsible for leading Product and Go-to-market strategy for fraud, identity, and digital onboarding vertical at Transunion CIBIL. Previously, Preekshit has served in regional leadership positions at FIS, RSA Security, and Smokescreen Technologies.Speaking on his appointment, Bureau’s Founder and CEO Ranjan R Reddy said, “Preekshit’s deep industry experience, and impressive track record, will help Bureau solve the identity verification and fraud challenges that are surging in India and other emerging markets today. He shares a common vision to make cyberspace more secure and equitable by effectively enabling trusted online verifications and transactions.”Preekshit Gupta, Regional Vice President of APAC & MEA region, said, “I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this ambitious team at Bureau. At a time when consumers and businesses are increasingly transacting in a digital environment, a reliable basis for online trust has never been in greater demand. With Bureau’s impressive business momentum and innovative solutions, we are well poised to accelerate digital transformation and deliver growth without fear of risk for our customers.”Bureau provides enterprise-grade digital identity verification and fraud prevention solutions to digital and regulated institutions.

WAM participates in Egypt Media Forum

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) has participated in the first Egypt Media Forum (EMF), which got underway here, with the participation of more than 1,200 Egyptian, Arab and international journalists and media professionals and more than 150 experts and trainers.Abdullah Abdul Karim, Acting Executive Director for News Content at WAM, who represented the UAE official news agency at the event, underlined the importance of the forum in view of the nature of the issues and topics it discusses.He said that the new media industry goes beyond institutions to the audience who has become involved in the content and may become the creator of the content alone.He praised the idea of engaging audience in leading the discussions of the forum because it is the goal and target of any media message.He noted the prominent presence of students of media faculties and young content professionals at the forum which provided them withopportunities to develop their professional capacities and skills and interact with participating media experts.Over two days, the Egypt Media Forum discussed an array of topics related to media and journalism, most notably the digital content industry, the ethics of crime reporting, TikTok journalism, artificial intelligence techniques in detecting fake images, and how to detect misleading information.The Egypt Media Forum is an annual and independent international platform for media development, based in Cairo. The EMF aims to advance the know-how and development of media culture and policies, and to support capacity building and qualified bodies.

Experts to explore US$69.27B opportunities during Saudi Theme Parks & Ent Confx

Spending in leisure, amusement and theme parks in the Middle East and Africa was expected to reach US$609 million (Dh2.23 billion) in 2023, according to a report issued by International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the global industry association, as more than 250 industry experts, CEOs, COOs, MDs Head of the Leisure and Entertainment department from 75 participating companies from Theme parks, Water parks, Resorts, Family Entertainment Centres plan to attend he first Saudi Theme Parks & Entertainment Confex, scheduled to take place at the Raddison Blu, Riyadh on March 06, 2023.The day-long convention takes place at a time when the leisure industry has started to grow at an exponential rate following the COVID-19 pandemic and boosted by the Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup Football in Qatar that kicks off in a few days’ time.The event announcement comes just a few days after Abu Dhabi's Miral Asset Management had launched a new group identity to streamline the delivery of Dh13 billion (US$3.5 billion) worth of leisure and cultural projects across the emirate.“Trade, tourism and retail are key economic growth drivers that will push the economies of the GCC countries in the years to come. These sectors are playing a pivotal role in diversifying the economy of the Gulf countries and will play even greater role in the economy,” Nizam Deen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CS Events – organiser of the UAE Corporate Tax Forum, says.“Recently the UAE Government has announced that it plans to attract 40 million tourists to the country every year by 2040 with investment to the tune of Dh100 billion that will further diversify the country’s economy and reduce its dependence on oil. Therefore, the countries in the GCC region will now sharpen their focus in developing leisure tourism facilities to attract more visitors. “The event will highlight the upcoming leisure projects that will help the industry grow further. The first Saudi Theme Parks & Entertainment Confex will bring the industry stakeholders closer to each other and they would then benefit immensely from the deliberations and the huge opportunities coming their way.”Along with direct and indirect contribution, the Middle East’s Travel and Tourism industry generates US$237 billion (Dh870 billion) worth of economic activity, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). In the Middle East, Travel and Tourism represents 8.7 percent of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supports 5.4 million jobs. In North Africa, Travel and Tourism represents 11.2 percent of the region’s GDP, and supports 5.6 million or 10.4 percent of all jobs, WTTC research shows. The report projects attendance to increase at a 12.2 percent compound annual rate to 13.0 million in 2023 from 7.3 million in 2018. It expects overall theme and amusement park spending to grow at an 18.1 percent compound annual rate to $605 million in 2023 from $263 million in 2018.This conference will create massive business opportunities that are going to keep suppliers and manufacturers busy and help boost the leisure entertainment and attractions industry. Organised by CS Events Management, the Saudi Theme Parks & Entertainment Confex 2023, will bring together decision makers from Tourism Authorities, Entertainment Sector, Family Entertainment Centres, Resorts & Attractions, F & B, Developers etc. to discuss and evaluate the latest of Saudi Arabia's development in "Theme parks, Entertainment and Leisure" market, while showcasing cutting edge technology and solutions to real buyer. The global amusement parks market grew from $42.68 billion in 2021 to $69.27 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.3 percent, according to research reports. The amusement parks market is expected to grow to $140.5 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 19.3 percent.The entertainment industry of Saudi Arabia is growing massively. Saudi Arabia has been putting its best effort to build a unique and world-class entertainment hub that includes innovative rides, cultural or historical attraction, and mega sporting events. It will also have accommodation facilities and merchandise in amusement parks that are gaining popularity among visitors of all age groups. Its entertainment sector offers an enormous opportunity for companies operating in this space. According to Renub Research, the Saudi Arabia Entertainment & Amusement market will reach US$1.17 billion by the end of the year 2030.Industry experts will address the key issues, challenges and trends in the industry through presentations and panel discussions on this forum. Speakers from 20 countries, including countries from North America, Europe, Asia and Middle East will discuss challenges and opportunities and vendors and solution providers will get a chance to showcase the latest innovations in front of hundreds of industry leaders. The Leisure and Attractions Industry is a great contributor to the tourism sector and our regional economies, industry experts said at the conference. The Saudi government has played a central role in supporting the growth of the entertainment sector by implementing the General Authority for Entertainment (GAE) established under the umbrella of the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Saudi Arabia is creating a host of attractions and giga-projects as part of Vision 2030, including the first water park in Saudi Arabia at Qiddiya. The company has awarded a contract worth 2.8 billion Saudi riyals ($750 million) for the construction of the kingdom’s first and the region’s largest water theme park.Qiddiya, which is being built in the outskirts of the Riyadh, is one of several mega-projects being developed in the kingdom as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme, the overarching blueprint to overhaul the kingdom’s economy and reduce its dependence on hydrocarbon revenue.Saudi Arabia’s Al Hokair Group has partnered with Hasbro to launch a unique family entertainment centre (FEC) concept called Playocity across the kingdom. Additional developments include the kingdom’s $500 billion city of the future Neom and the Red Sea Project.Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from global oil and gas contractors for a $5bn ‘oil rig theme park’ called The Rig. The Rig will be an offshore ‘extreme park’ in the Persian Gulf. Covering an area of more than 150,000 square metres, the attraction will be situated on repurposed oil platforms.The region’s theme parks are currently getting busier with a growing number of visitors and investing heavily in technology to create fully immersive and connected guest experiences they cannot get anywhere else. Experts will discuss on the digitalization of Theme Parks as well. The various experience upgrades that the industry in the Middle East are investing in include the deployment in digital ticketing, cloud-base solutions, digital payment, augmented and virtual reality, experiential attractions etc. The Saudi Theme Parks & Entertainment Confex conference will highlight the massive business opportunities in the the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, where government and the private sector investors are injecting billions of dollars to build new theme parks, amusement parks, large cinema complexes, shopping malls with family entertainment centres – that will help the suppliers and manufacturers of leisure products to expand their businesses.

Arab Bank tops Euromoney cash management survey 2022

Arab Bank ranked first as the “Best Service Bank” in Bahrain as voted by Corporates according to the global Euromoney Cash Management Survey 2022, a reference survey for the global cash management industry.The Cash Management survey examines customer feedback around financial services provided by banks to evaluate best cash management service providers and rank them based on the survey results across financial and banking markets.The survey collects data from multiple qualitative and quantitative sources, including institutions and customers to build an objective assessment. The magazine’s team of editors then evaluate the data based on specific criteria and ranking across multiple categories and markets as a global benchmark for leading providers of cash management products and services across the banking and financial industry. This year, the survey collected responses from over 21,000 customers across different markets around the world, including Bahrain.  This ranking complements Arab Bank’s significant success record and recognizes the bank’s cash management offering in light of the digital transformation era. The ranking also reflects Arab Bank’s constant efforts in deploying the latest banking services and solutions in the industry for the corporate sector. Commenting on this achievement, Nadya Talhouni, Country Manager at Arab Bank – Bahrain, said: “This global recognition reaffirms Arab Bank’s constant efforts in providing the latest banking services to its customers across the corporate sector and others in Bahrain.” Talhouni added: “Arab Bank will continue to provide the most advanced banking solutions and services that meet the needs of its customers and provide them with an innovative banking experience in line with the latest technologies in the banking industry.”Arab Bank is one of the leading financial institutions locally and regionally in providing the latest banking solution for its customers across the different sectors. The bank recently received several international recognitions, most notably the “Best Bank in the Middle East 2022” award from New York-based Global Finance magazine for the seventh consecutive year.

Dyson brings haircare products to life in first ever 3D billboard

Dubai, UAE – Dyson has brought to life its pioneering haircare technologies via an interactive 3D billboard located in Downtown Dubai, for the first time globally.Specially designed to show the intricate and pioneering technologies within Dyson’s revolutionary haircare innovations, the digital display in Dubai will be the first 3D billboard from Dyson globally, showing the importance of the UAE market for the brand.Located above CZN Burak Restaurant on the Boulevard next to the Dubai Mall, the 3D advert will be on display until 30th November allowing for customers to experience Dyson’s haircare product ranges in virtual reality. Some of the products on display include the industry-leading Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler, SupersonicTM hair dryer, and Corrale™ straightener, all in the limited edition Vinca Blue & Rosé colourway.The 3D billboard comes as Dyson has recently committed to investing half a billion GBP to expand and accelerate its research and technology development across its beauty portfolio, announcing plans to launch 20 new beauty products in the next four years.

Saudi Sports for All Federation signs MoU with Arab Open University

The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arab Open University (AOU) in Riyadh to cooperate on implementing sports programs and promoting a sports culture with the common objective of building a healthy and active society. The MoU will further see the two entities work together to promote community sports and build a healthy lifestyle among university students.The MoU was signed in the presence of HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Sports for All Federation, and Dr.Ali bin Mohammed Al-Shahrani, Rector of the Arab Open University.Under the MoU, the Saudi Sports for All Federation will use AOU's sports facilities to launch initiatives, implement sports capacity development initiatives and sports groups, organize community sports events, and motivate students to participate in events organized by the SFA.Commenting on the collaboration, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Sports for All Federation, said: "The signing of the MoU forms part of our strategy to launch partnerships with several relevant entities, most notably the Arab Open University, where we will work together to promote a sports culture among students by organizing sports events and activities."He added: "Through this agreement, we will work together to organize community sports events and programs at the Arab Open University. We will also cooperate with the university in the fields of research, studies, data, and statistics to enhance our objective of attracting a large number of university students to participate in sports and physical activities. This will help achieve our strategic objectives."Dr. Ali Al-Shahrani, Rector of the Arab Open University in the Kingdom, said: "We are pleased to sign this MoU with the Saudi Sports for All Federation, through which we seek to provide an integrated educational environment for our male and female students by launching initiatives, sports events, and community programs within the university's facilities. This agreement will help promote a sports culture among our students."Al-Shahrani added: "Through this memorandum, we aim to provide multiple opportunities for people to participate in sports and physical activity in order to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases."SFA is the main body responsible for promoting a healthy lifestyle in the Kingdom by providing opportunities for Saudi society members to participate in sports activities. The Federation will continue partnering with government entities, sports executives, sports federations, and the wider public and private sectors to achieve its objectives of promoting a healthy lifestyle.SFA focuses on four strategic priorities to increase physical activity rates: education, community, and volunteering, fitness and health, campaigns, and promotions. This strategy has been designed for women, men, youth, the elderly, and people with special needs across the Kingdom. The Federation also adopts a dynamic international networking program to introduce the brand to the sports community.The Arab Open University is a regional university located in nine Arab countries. It was founded in 1996 by HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as a non-profit institution and a non-traditional education academic entity. The institution focused on scientific, social, and cultural fields. In 2002, the academic institution partnered with the Open University in the United Kingdom and transformed into an integrated university.

Inspirational women leaders to call for a better tomorrow at 22nd WTTC GS

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced details of the many inspirational women in philanthropy, business and government who will take the stage for its upcoming Global Summit in Saudi Arabia from 28 November to 1 December.Women dominate tourism employment worldwide and the presence of such inspirational leaders in Riyadh will stimulate debate on the need for them to play a greater role in decision making and leadership in the travel and tourism sector.Today the tourism industry employs 54 per cent of women in the sector but only one in 5 of Tourism Ministers worldwide are women and they are under-represented in senior roles in many hospitality and travel companies.Among the many women leaders present at the Summit are Former British Prime Minister Theresa May.Patricia Espinosa, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Desiree Bollier Chairwoman & Chief Merchant, Value Retail, and European Union Parliament member Elena Kountoura will join them along with the Founder and Chief Executive Office of Healing Hotels, Anne Biging, and Global CEO of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, Gilda Perez Alvarado.HH Princess Haifa Al Saud, the Saudi Vice Minister of Tourism, said: “Tourism is one of the few global industries where women are the majority of the workforce. And our young women and men are not just tomorrow’s travellers, they are the chefs, entrepreneurs, inventors and leaders of tomorrow. I have no doubt that this prestigious group of women speakers will help in inspiring our youth here in the Kingdom and around the world as a key to the future of tourism.“I believe there is no other industry like tourism that has the same power to offer opportunity to young people and Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in training to ensure those opportunities become reality.”These leading women will address the world’s tourism industry leaders as they join with key government representatives to align their efforts to support the sector’s recovery and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable Travel & Tourism sector.

Dubai Chambers unveils plans to expand roles of business councils in Dubai

Dubai Chambers has unveiled new plans to establish new country-specific business councils operating in Dubai and expand their roles to support ongoing efforts to boost Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade and create new channels of economic cooperation between business communities in the emirate and promising markets around the world.The announcement was made by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, who addressed more than 150 ambassadors, consul generals and commercial attachés at the Diplomatic Circle Dinner 2022.The event was held at the Bulgari Hotel & Resort in Dubai in the presence of H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Sector - UAE Ministry of Economy; Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers; and Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).H.E. Al Ghurair called on ambassadors and members of the diplomatic community in the UAE to offer their support in establishing several new business councils that would provide the right platforms for businesses in the UAE and abroad to connect, collaborate and build mutually beneficial partnerships.“We are putting a new comprehensive framework into place that will restructure and expand the role of business councils in Dubai to boost its foreign trade and promote cross-border business opportunities for member companies. These councils will cover markets of strategic importance to Dubai and support us as we further expand our presence across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and attract more companies and investment from these regions,” said HE Al Ghurair.H.E. Al Ghurair encouraged existing business councils to leverage Dubai International Chamber’s vast network of international offices to their benefit, operate more effectively and provide their members access to attractive growth opportunities in the UAE and abroad.He revealed that Dubai Chambers would organise a special forum in 2023 to engage members of business councils, as well as representatives from embassies, consulates and foreign trade and commercial offices operating in the UAE and invited participants to attend the event.He informed participants about important economic developments and several new initiatives and functions introduced by Dubai Chambers aligned with its new strategic priorities that aim to enhance the business environment and economic competitiveness in Dubai.In addition, he thanked members of the diplomatic community for their vital support in assisting Dubai Chambers’ events, trade delegations and other activities in 2022, including its participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, which he says significantly contributed to the organisation’s success and achievements.During his special remarks, H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Sector - UAE Ministry of Economy, elaborated on the UAE’s strategic plans to enhance the regulatory environment, open new export markets, adopt advanced technologies and ensure an ideal ecosystem for talent and entrepreneursHe stated that the UAE is building a modern economy as a global hub for trade and foreign investment in line with the government target of doubling the size of the economy from AED 1.4 trillion to AED 3 trillion by 2030. He highlighted the importance of bilateral trade deals and comprehensive economic partnership agreements signed between the UAE and leading economies in accelerating trade, strengthening supply chains, creating investment opportunities and boosting innovation.“The UAE is ready - more than ever - to do business with the world and form mutually beneficial partnerships that promise brighter, better future for all,” Al Kait said as he called on business communities from around the world to capitalise on market opportunities emerging in the country.The UAE is also attracting a new generation of foreign direct investment to accelerate our industrial innovation ambitions. We are welcoming all forms of capital – technological and financial, H.E. Al Kait said, identifying healthcare, education, agritech, food production, fintech, financial services and advanced technologies as key target sectors for FDI. He added that new residency rules applicable to golden visas and green visas, as well as upgraded laws related to commercial companies, employment and family-owned businesses will help ensure the UAE’s sustainable economic growth.The Diplomatic Circle Dinner 2022 featured a panel discussion joined by H.E. Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers; H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Sector - UAE Ministry of Economy; Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers and Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).During the discussion, the panellists shared their valuable insights and views on a wide variety of important matters, including cost of doing business in Dubai, the role of comprehensive economic partnership agreements in driving trade and existing support for local and international companies, in addition to new plans to streamline government services for companies in the UAE and abroad that aim to enhance ease of doing business.

Ex-Colgate executive joins insect farming startup FlyFeed as advisor

Ahmed Hassan joins FlyFeed and will be in charge of product development, customer relations and growth strategy to help offer pet food producers insect protein products that best meet their needs and requirements.FlyFeed, an international insect farming tech startup, announces the newest addition to its advisory board: Ahmed Hassan. The former General Manager of several subsidiaries at Colgate-Palmolive joined the company in a personal capacity to help optimize product development to the needs of feed producers, including pet food companies, as well as build the customer network in this market and assist with company-wide scaling.FlyFeed is actively expanding to the pet food market with plans to start supplying pet food companies with commercial products by 2023.Ahmed has more than 30 years of experience in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), including working as general manager on several continents for Colgate-Palmolive and leading Hills Pet Nutrition’s regional division for six years. He also holds senior advisory and board roles advising startups, SMEs and established companies on strategy, brand positioning, marketing, organization, supply chain and expansion.“I believe in the importance of innovation, sustainability and high-value nutrition for pets’ well-being. FlyFeed scores extremely high on these factors, which makes it exciting to partner with a company whose vision and values match my own. The 115 billion-dollar pet food market has huge potential for insect farming companies. With a targeted approach, I believe FlyFeed has all the prerequisites to become a market leader within several years,” says Ahmed Hassan.Ahmed will be responsible for overseeing product development and building customer relations with pet food producing companies. He will also advise on the company's strategy and key hires to speed up and enhance the overall scaling process.“One of FlyFeed's main priorities is to be close to our clients, learning together with them and deeply understanding their real needs. Having run a large-scale pet food business, Ahmed has unmatched market knowledge and insight into our clients' businesses. Together, we'll bring FlyFeed's relations with the pet food industry to a new level, unleashing the potential of insect products for the benefit of pets' health,” says Arseniy Olkhovskiy, CEO & Founder of FlyFeed.World compound feed production is estimated at over one billion tonnes annually. Global commercial feed manufacturing generates an estimated annual turnover of more than $400 billion. The global pet food market is projected to grow from $115.50 billion in 2022 to $163.70 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.11%. With Ahmed’s participation, FlyFeed is planning to revolutionize the pet food industry by offering the most affordable and nutritious insect protein to all major pet food producers.

Bahrain’s real estate transaction volumes & economic growth projections improve

 With Bahrain experiencing its fastest GDP growth rate in over a decade, real estate transaction volumes have improved in Q3 reaching a total of 5,482. This was underpinned by 2,431 recorded transactions in August, making it Bahrain’s second most successful month since 2018.Looking at Bahrain’s office sector, the flight to quality has continued, with the Kingdom’s landmark and newer office buildings recording the highest occupancy rates of those tracked by CBRE in Q3 2022. Leading Grade A buildings are providing competitive rates and flexible solutions to attract tenants. In addition, we have witnessed occupier space requirements decreasing by an average of 11% in 2022 compared to 2019. Nevertheless, we have observed a rebound in occupier demand, with a 27% increase in the number of enquiries in Q3 2022 compared to Q3 2021.In the residential sector, both quoted average apartment sales and rental rates witnessed only marginal changes from Q2 to Q3 2022, with sales rates increasing by 1.3% and rental rates falling by -1.6%. The biggest variation, at -5.9%, was seen in apartment rents in the Capital Governorate, with growing supply likely placing downward pressure on rental rates. In terms of villas, Q3 saw a slight decrease in average quoted sales rates at -0.3%. Conversely, quoted rental rates increased by 4.1%. This can mostly be attributed to increases in the Muharraq and Capital Governorates, with rates regulating after witnessing a slump in Q2.Preferences on residence location have seen a shift over the past year. Heather Longden, Director - Advisory & Transactions, at CBRE in Bahrain comments: “A CBRE poll on consumer preferences found that 60% of people in Bahrain now prefer to live near work, compared to 40% preferring to live near leisure destinations. This contrasts with last year’s overwhelming majority of 80% of people preferring to live near lifestyle-related facilities. This shift appears to corresponds with organisational directives pushing for employees to return to the office, rather than working from home, as well as the traffic issues experienced across the country during rush hours.’’Within the hospitality sector, data found that international arrivals, inbound tourism flows, and total overnight stays all sit higher than the same period in 2019, with inbound tourism receipts totalling 46% more than pre-pandemic figures. The pandemic also led to an increase in residents considering staycations. Our Bahrain poll found that 71% of respondents prefer affordable hotels when planning a staycation. In terms of Hospitality KPIs, STR data for the end of Q3 shows that hotel occupancy in Manama is up six percentage points compared to year end 2021, and three percentage points compared to Q2. Similarly, compared to 2021, RevPAR has increased by 37.1% and ADR by 22.0%, with the latter reaching the highest rate since 2016.In the retail sector, we have observed a relatively even split between demand for larger destination malls offering more retail variety, and smaller community and neighbourhood retail that require shorter travel time. When considering convenience, however, we have also found that the majority of consumers in Bahrain prefer drive-thru over dine-in F&B options, at 60% and 40% respectively. This is demonstrated by the growing number of drive-thru units being constructed by investors and developers, and the continued expansion of fast food and coffee shop operators. In terms of footfall, data shows that retail and recreation visitation in September 2022 increased by 1.3% compared to its pre-Covid baseline. However, visitation for the whole of Q3 was -0.6% below the baseline, which can likely be attributed to a large portion of the Bahrain population travelling during the summer months.

UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX celebrates 10 years of digital ecosystem

DE-CIX, the world’s leading Internet Exchange (IX) operator and du/datamena celebrate this week the 10th anniversary of the first and foremost data centre and carrier-neutral IX in the Middle East, UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX in Dubai. Established in 2012, the Exchange has experienced consistent double-digit annual growth, and in 2022 alone has enjoyed more than 30% growth in data traffic and 50% growth in connected capacity, bringing the platform to 3 terabits. It now interconnects close to 100 customers, comprising a mix of global enterprises, carriers, cloud, content providers, and emerging technology platforms, alongside banking and financial services companies, making it home to the largest data center and carrier-neutral interconnection ecosystem in the Middle East. In addition, the initiative to create a Union of Internet Exchanges in the UAE, led by the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), has recently been completed. Interconnecting UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX with Etisalat by e&’s SmartHub IX, this initiative breaks new ground as the first collaboration of its kind ever to be undertaken in the Middle East, creating the best-ever connectivity reach in the region. The digital pearl of the GCC“The ecosystem around the UAE-IX which has been created in Dubai and the UAE over the past 10 years is a unique and marvelous real-life example of how a global Internet hub can be established, and how, in turn, it can begin a cycle of success that will benefit the surrounding countries, economies, and users. This approach to development sets the stage for undreamt-of investments and quality improvements for Internet experience and digital services for both businesses and consumers. The UAE-IX today stands as a global Internet hub, bringing together the network operators, content, applications, and cloud services to serve the entire GCC region with resilient and low latency connectivity,” commented Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX during the celebrations yesterday. “I would like to thank our partner du/datamena and the TDRA for the excellent collaboration over the past decade in bringing the UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX to life as the heart of an international Internet hub, and look forward to a bright future working together for the next decade of digital development. Beyond that, I am delighted that we are now able to offer UAE-IX customers the opportunity to connect in a cost-effective and low latency way with customers on SmartHub IX. This agreement will revolutionize connectivity in the Middle Eastern region and lead the way in creating a more integrated connectivity landscape, solidifying Dubai’s standing as the digital pearl of the GCC.” Over the last decade, Dubai has become recognized as an international Internet hub. With high-quality digital infrastructure, stable and cost-effective power, and a stable regulatory environment, the UAE has been able to attract more networks than anywhere else in the GCC. While in 2012, 90% of data traffic that should have been exchanged locally needed to leave the GCC region to be exchanged in Europe, ten years later, the reverse is the case: in 2022, 90% of local data is exchanged locally, resulting in a vast improvement in the latency (response time) of connections and the performance of applications. Together with the UAE’s 50-year plan, Dubai’s ambitions to transform into a smart city, and Abu Dhabi’s Ghadan 21 program striving towards a knowledge-based economy, this has resulted in the UAE ranked 12th on the IMD World Competitive Ranking, and Dubai becoming a center of attraction for international investment and global corporations. Extending reach to new communities Furthermore, the UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX and Etisalat by e&’s SmartHub IX, in an initiative led by the TDRA, have just implemented a trailblazing collaboration to connect the two leading interconnection platforms in the United Arab Emirates to create a Union of Internet Exchanges. The initiative involves DE-CIX, with its partner du/datamena, and Etisalat by e&, along with the support of the regulator in the UAE, the TDRA. The interconnection of the two platforms enables all connected customers, regardless of provider, the opportunity to interconnect with each other cost-effectively – this is the first collaboration of its kind in the entire Middle East. Services available include peering, and enterprise interconnection services like DE-CIX Cloud Exchange and direct interconnection with the Microsoft 365 software as a service clouds (MAPS – Microsoft Azure Peering Service), as well as access to the DE-CIX global ecosystem via DE-CIX Marseille. Commenting on this step, H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TDRA Director General, said: “Our national journey, since the union in 1971, has reflected the meanings of integration and unity of efforts to achieve major goals. Today, we celebrate an achievement that bears these meanings and puts them in their rightful place within the process of future shaping. This initiative is an embodiment of the wise leadership directives towards enhancing interconnection and integration to serve the objectives of attracting investments, providing the best customer experience while maintaining data security and improving response time. All this will lead to advancing the process of transformation towards a comprehensive and integrated digital lifestyle.”E. Al Mesmar added: “We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the achievement of the initiative “Unition of Internet Exchanges”, particularly Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (Etisalat by e&), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), and all other parties involved in this project. We appreciate their cooperation to overcome challenges and achieve this goal, which will make the UAE a hub for interconnection at the regional level. The parties worked together for a long time before reaching this result, and today we are reaping the fruits of this effort, which reflects the correctness of our bet on the ICT sector to create a prosperous future in light of the major digital transformations.”  On the occasion of the 10th anniversary celebrations and the announcement of the Union of Internet Exchanges, Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO of EITC, said: “We congratulate DE-CIX on the past 10 years of operations of the UAE-IX. Seamless and reliable communication is an essential pillar for modern organizations that seek to keep pace with the requirements of the digital future. Therefore, providing enhanced communication capabilities supported by an interconnection ecosystem that meets the requirements of organizations is the main driver of our new partnership with DE-CIX and Etisalat. As part of this partnership, we will harness the world-class capabilities of our datamena center to create and design hybrid environments for ICT systems. Our interconnection services and solutions that we will provide under this partnership will enhance the capabilities and quality of modern communication technologies, enabling our partners and all stakeholders to establish direct and secure communications and link their operations across multiple sites, as well as achieve savings in time and costs.” Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India said, “The steady growth of UAE-IX reflects the opportunities in the interconnection ecosystem. I would congratulate the team of UAE-IX for achieving the milestone and building world-class infrastructure to address the evolving requirements of enterprises.” Accelerating growth of international digital hubUAE-IX powered by DE-CIX is the first carrier and data center neutral Internet Exchange for the Middle East. It has experienced in excess of 30% growth in 2022 and more than 180% since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, reflecting the platform’s criticality for the digital economy and digital welfare of the region. As an example of this criticality, in 2020, UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX was able to provide seamless support for the government’s 400% upgrade of their connectivity to Microsoft to support the migration of all 1.1 million pupils in the UAE to home-schooling in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UAE-IX’s cutting-edge technical set-up, based on the multi-award-winning DE-CIX Apollon platform, enables hyper-scalability and Cloud Exchange features alongside its global peering services. Connected customers can reach 50+ cloud providers, from specialist niche providers to global hyperscalers.To know more visit