Platinum Guild India unveils 'Men of Platinum' in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Platinum Guild India brings ‘Men of Platinum’ – its unparalleled luxury jewellery collection for men, to the UAE. Unveiling Men of Platinum in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this marks the debut of the brand in the region and is set to elevate the standard of style. The Men of Platinum collection brings classic elegance to the forefront, celebrating the naturally white radiance and exceptional rarity of one of the world’s most precious metals - platinum. Designed for discerning lovers of fine jewellery, exquisite craftsmanship and striking design, the Men of Platinum range is sleek, distinctive, and quite unlike any other.Thirty times rarer than gold, and born white, platinum retains its true white through time, and it’ enduring legacy has long been celebrated by royal families and revered by luxury jewellers globally.Crafted from 95% pure platinum and inspired by the metal's intrinsic strength and stature, the Men of Platinum collection pays homage to men of unwavering character. Each exquisite piece in this collection captures the spirit of individuals who lead with unwavering values, honouring self-belief, resilience, compassion, and courage. Just as platinum stands untarnished through the passage of time, these statement pieces are destined to be treasured for generations to come.The Men of Platinum jewellery range spans a collectible array of platinum chains, wristwear and rings. From engraved patterns to symbolic motifs, every piece is woven around the narrative of character, resilience, courage, compassion, and inclusivity – making it more than just a statement of style, but a powerful expression of identity and purpose.Platinum’s story of origin is as unique as the men that favour it. Born of the stars, platinum came into existence due to a meteorite crash billions of years ago. Even today reserves of platinum are limited making it a truly rare and precious metal. Connoisseurs of taste choose this celestial white metal, as a mark of status and a true symbol of success. Its designs are innovative and reflective of international trends. Solid, yet aerodynamic forms marked with statement textures and indestructible links, come together to create a range that displays versatility, strength, and poise. Defined by sleek contours and understated matt lustres, this bold dynamic collection is the perfect complement to those men who are able to hold their own amidst a crowd. These designs effortlessly transition from business settings to a Saturday brunch and are apt to mark personal milestones.Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director – PGI, India, said: “We are excited to unveil the Men of Platinum branded collection in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The brand promises contemporary pieces, designed to cater to the refined taste of the fashion-conscious individuals of the UAE, and we hope that it captures the hearts of our customers, offering them the perfect additions to their wardrobes.”

Green glamour: A peek into sustainable brands in the Middle East

The Middle East is renowned for numerous attractions, but what truly sets it apart from other nations is its exceptional appeal as a shopping destination. The proverb ‘Shop till you drop’ fits well for the city of Dubai in the Middle East. Its reputation as a shopper’s paradise is well-supported by the towering malls that dominate the cityscape, showcasing the city’s flourishing retail industry. It's fascinating to see how the Middle East’s shopping scene has evolved, not only with its global brands but also with the rise of homegrown brands, each carving its own niche. The growing emphasis on sustainability among local brands adds an additional layer of significance to the Middle East’s shopping landscape.In this article, Adgully Middle East aims to spotlight some of the homegrown brands that have embraced sustainability. Although we have the limitation of space to cover all such brands, we seek to provide readers with a glimpse of the diversity and sustainability initiatives prevalent among local brands in the Middle East.• Bambah Boutique: Bambah, a Dubai-based fashion line and boutique founded by Egyptian entrepreneur Maha Abdul Rasheed in 2010, is now celebrating its 12th year. The brand has been successful in capturing the hearts of its customers since its inception. Bambah is known for exuding femininity, elegance, and bold signature shapes in its designs. The brand reflects a modern and refined aesthetic that resonates with today's woman. The combination of these elements has contributed to Bambah's popularity and appeal in the fashion industry. Bambah Boutique emphasizes sustainable practices in its production processes, including the use of eco-friendly fabrics and ethical manufacturing.<img src='\7b9a60fedaa0951c88fff5930c259254.png' class='content_image'>• Eurthlin: Situated in Dubai, Eurthlin places a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices. The commitment to using vegan materials and adopting environmentally friendly processes is pivotal in addressing the fashion industry's environmental impact. Opting for faux leather instead of animal leather and integrating GOTS-certified organic cotton for linings, Eurthlin not only advocates for cruelty-free luxury but also actively contributes to fostering a more sustainable and eco-friendly fashion landscape.• Earthly: Earthly, based on its commitment to eco-friendly materials and the creation of effortlessly stylish clothing and accessories, strives not only to enhance the wearer's experience but also to contribute to the conservation of our planet's resources. This ethos aligns seamlessly with the growing awareness and demand for sustainable and ethical fashion. The brand meticulously selects fabrics that excel in eco-friendliness, considering factors such as water consumption, biodiversity, soil enrichment, and waste reduction. In a remarkable initiative, Earthly plants a tree for every product sold through a partnership with One Tree Planted, further emphasizing its dedication to environmental conservation. Founded by Esha, a growth strategist, and Palak, a designer and creative director, both with 14 years of combined experience in corporate settings, the brand channels their expertise into creating a label that champions slow fashion, small batch sizes, and the use of sustainable materials.• The Camel Soap Factory: The Camel Soap Factory stands out by offering a distinctive range of skincare products that spotlight natural ingredients, with camel milk as a central component. The brand is unwavering in its commitment to sustainability, opting for minimal packaging and steering clear of harmful chemicals in its products.The brand's origin story traces back to Stevi Lowmass, the Founder & CEO, who, during her time in Dubai at the turn of the 21st century, noticed a dearth of authentic, locally crafted souvenirs. Disappointed by the prevalence of items manufactured in countries like India or China in gift shops, she recognized a gap in representing the true essence of the region. This realization sparked Stevi's determination to create souvenirs that genuinely reflected the unique culture and heritage of the UAE. Stevi's initial exploration into cold process soap making, driven by a desire to offer an alternative to mass-produced, non-local items commonly found in gift shops, eventually led to the establishment of The Camel Soap Factory. Today, the brand not only provides skincare products but also serves as a testament to the authenticity and rich heritage of the UAE.<img src='\ee9147f14c1df2e37f25cfcde24a54eb.png' class='content_image'>• Bil Arabi: Launched in 2006, Bil Arabi stands as a modern jewelry brand that transcends traditional norms by imbuing its designs with introspective messages and profound meanings. The brand seamlessly blends traditional Arabic calligraphy with contemporary design elements, utilizing recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones in the process. Bil Arabi caters to expressive generations, offering distinctive and visually striking jewelry that carries layers of significance. The brand's hallmark lies in the versatility of its creations, each piece representing true craftsmanship that celebrates individualism. What sets Bil Arabi apart is its ability to overcome geographical boundaries, positioning itself as one of the most captivating brands to emerge from the Middle East. Embracing novelty, Bil Arabi consistently introduces fresh perspectives, ensuring its continued prominence at the forefront of the jewelry scene.• THRYVE: IFFCO Group has introduced its first 100% plant-based meat, "THRYVE," to the Saudi market. Positioned as the region's leading venture in providing nourishing, sustainable, and healthy local plant-based meat products, THRYVE™ draws inspiration from the unique flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. This recent launch is in active alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and the Kingdom's Sustainability Vision 2030, both of which prioritize enhancing sustainable food security and fostering innovation.Rizwan Ahmed, Executive Director of IFFCO Group, expressed excitement about the launch and the introduction of THRYVE™ plant-based products in the Saudi market. He emphasized the active support for Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, citing the transformative nature of this plant-based product in promoting healthier and more sustainable eating habits in the Middle East. Ahmed further highlighted that this initiative contributes to the development of a local, regenerative, and eco-friendly food value operation. The venture aligns with IFFCO Group's overarching vision of "Investing in the Future," aiming to provide a resilient and sustainable food chain continually.<img src='\619a7ea44e84da4f9800c3971fc67b66.png' class='content_image'>• Kibsons: In an era where sustainability is a paramount consideration in business, Kibsons' unwavering commitment to sustainable growing and shopping aligns seamlessly with the global movement towards more eco-friendly practices. This dedication not only benefits the environment but also exemplifies a responsible and forward-thinking approach to business practices. By championing smarter thinking for a kinder and healthier planet, Kibsons not only meets the immediate needs of today's consumers but also actively contributes to building a positive and sustainable future. The role played by Kibsons in encouraging a shift towards sustainable practices in the food industry, both locally and through online food delivery services, is essential for fostering a more responsible and conscious community.One notable practice is Kibsons' collection of delivery boxes from customers' homes, which are then sanitized at the facility and reused, effectively preventing packaging wastage. This demonstrates Kibsons' commitment to reshaping the way people shop and encouraging a more thoughtful and sustainable approach to consumption, thereby promoting a kinder and healthier planet.• Switch Foods: It is a delicious plant-based meat brand that not only prioritizes individual health but also celebrates local cuisine while facilitating a smooth transition from conventional meat. This vision is aligned with sustainability goals and encourages conscious food choices. It aims to lead the MENA region’s transition to a sustainable future by inspiring and enabling people to make conscious food choices that have a positive impact on their health, that of their loved ones, and the planet at large.• Toyshare: ToyShare stands as an innovative online platform rooted in the principles of the sharing economy, providing a sustainable solution to the environmental repercussions of discarded toys and books. At its core, the platform is driven by a mission to save the planet from unnecessary waste, specifically addressing the issue of outgrown toys that frequently find their way into landfills or oceans.The unique approach of ToyShare involves a blend of environmental sustainability, community engagement, and educational enrichment. By facilitating the sharing of toys and books, ToyShare aspires to make a positive impact not only on the planet by reducing waste but also on the lives of children. Through this platform, the emphasis is not just on the exchange of items but on creating a community-driven initiative that promotes responsible consumption and contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.• Up-fuse: Up-fuse's commendable effort to use recycled materials, particularly plastic, in crafting a diverse range of products such as handbags, streetwear, shoes, and back-to-school items represents a significant stride in reducing environmental impact. The accomplishment of recycling over one million plastic bags, 400,000 bottles, and 400 tires is a noteworthy contribution to the reduction of plastic pollution and waste. The brand's commitment to manufacturing all products using ecological and recycled materials underscores its dedication to environmentally friendly practices. Up-fuse's approach aligns seamlessly with the principles of the circular economy, wherein materials are repurposed and reused to extend their lifespan, thereby reducing the demand for new resources. This not only addresses pressing environmental concerns but also plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Up-fuse stands as a commendable example of how conscious choices in material selection and production processes can lead to positive environmental outcomes.We will keep on coming up with such listicles to update our readers about the latest developments in the middle-east market. Stay tuned for more!

Savola Foods teams up with Egyptian Food Bank to extend support for Gaza's food

 Savola Foods - Egypt announced its active participation in the Gaza Relief Campaign initiated by the Egyptian Food Bank. The primary aim of this campaign is to stand in solidarity with Gaza residents by providing essential food support to address their substantial challenges in securing necessary nutritional needs.In a first step towards this cause, the company has contributed to providing support, by signifying a preliminary action among several forthcoming initiatives directed at aiding the affected families in Gaza. This commitment aligns with Savola Foods - Egypt’s dedication to supporting societal and humanitarian causes."Savola Foods’ collaboration through its Egyptian subsidiaries, and the Egyptian Food Bank reflects our collective effort to stand alongside the people of Gaza,” Sameh Hassan, CEO of Savola Foods, stated. “We firmly believe this partnership represents an indispensable humanitarian duty, where the provision of essential sustenance remains a vital mission that we continuously uphold. Furthermore, our cooperation with the Egyptian Food Bank comes in recognition of its leading role in the relief campaign for Gaza."Hassan further added: "We hope that these contributions will provide the necessary support and aid needed by the people in the Gaza Strip. We urge everyone to join hands in this humanitarian endeavor, striving to ease the burdens faced by those in dire need. We strongly believe in the significance of forging communication bridges and enhancing cooperation between the private sector and civil institutions to alleviate the crisis in Gaza.”In the same context, the CEO of the Egyptian Food Bank, Mr. Mohsen Sarhan, expressed his pleasure with the collaborative efforts between Savola Foods - Egypt and his organization, saying: “The situation in Gaza is extremely difficult, and the civil society, represented by the National Alliance and the Food Bank, is working to deliver vital humanitarian support to the people of Gaza. This partnership has resulted in the provision of a number of aids to the Gaza Strip, which will greatly contribute to easing the ongoing hardships experienced by the population in Gaza.”Mr. Karim Baraka, General Manager of Savola Foods - Egypt, added, “Savola Foods - Egypt’s involvement in these efforts comes as part of the "Masafat Al-Sikka" relief campaign launched by Egypt, operating under the Egyptian National Alliance for Civil Development Work to assist the people of Gaza. This participation exemplifies the human values cherished by the company and its enduring commitment to continuous societal support.”Savola Foods acknowledges the importance of the private sector’s effective societal role, recognizing its profound impact on the development and progress of all countries in which it operates, including Egypt. The company's specialized departments are actively engaged in fulfilling this role professionally. Moreover, the establishment of the "Savola World Foundation," an initiative that operates systematically to ensure effective impact, stands as a testament to the company's deep-rooted commitment to its societal responsibilities.

GCC luxury re-commerce market to grow 10-15% by 2026

Chalhoub Group today published its comprehensive circularity report, entitled ‘Circular Fashion Potential in the GCC’. The report is the first of its kind in the region and delves into the evolving landscape of circular fashion while highlighting consumer behaviours as well as the potential and growing trends within the luxury re-commerce sector in the GCC.The report is part of Chalhoub Group’s efforts to integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into its business model and target to achieve Net Zero by 2040. The research reveals key regional insights while highlighting the transformative shift in the convergence of sustainability with luxury, leading to the evolvement of consumer choices and industry norms.Estimated at USD480-500 million in 2022, the GCC luxury re-commerce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% to 15%, reaching USD 760-780 million by 2026. The largest luxury segment in value is watches (accounting for about 50% of the market size), followed by jewellery (16%), handbags (13%), apparel (12%), and footwear (10%).Consumers show a significant shift towards circularity along all price levels, with one-third of GCC consumers having already purchased pre-loved items, and another third planning to do so. The most sought-after categories that consumers purchased in the past 12 months, include bags (20%), watches (18%), and jewellery (16%). The driving factors behind these purchases lead with affordability (43%), followed by investment potential (42%), and access to limited editions (40%). Additionally, 70% of consumers stated having resold items in the past year, mainly to make money (42%) and finance new purchases (41%).In terms of purchasing channels, online and offline prove to be almost equally important, with 58% mainly online purchasers. For clothes, shoes, and bags, peer-to peer platforms are amongst the top channels of choice, while specialist retailers are chosen for watches. When it comes to non-purchasers, concerns about authenticity (39%) and item conditions (39%) represent the top two key barriers to buying pre-loved items. Furthermore, GCC consumers seem more inclined to re-sell than to purchase pre-loved items (31%). Three out of four respondents revealed that they have re-sold fashion items in the last year, and a similar number, 73%, consider the re-sale value before purchasing a luxury item.Patrick Chalhoub, Group President at Chalhoub Group said: “Sustainability remains at the heart of our operations and our Circularity Report is more than an analysis; it reflects our ongoing commitments to embracing more sustainable business models as we aim for our Net Zero target by 2040. We will continue to stress the importance of alignment among policy makers, regulators, brands, retailers, and customers as we keep our focus at the initiative level driven by interested brands and consumer affinity.”Florence Bulte, Chief Sustainability Officer commented: “Our comprehensive research spanning the entire GCC region underscores the importance of circularity in the fashion sector, an industry which accounts for approximately 10% of global CO2 emissions. By embracing sustainable business models and focusing on circular initiatives, we are responding to the increasing consumer demand, paving the way to Net Zero and actively embedding sustainability into the core of our business.”Andrea Fetzer, Strategy Director commented: “The report highlights the dynamics of the GCC re-commerce luxury market, valued at USD480-500 million in 2022 and projected to grow ~15% annually. This growth reflects evolving consumer behavior and an increasing adoption of circular business models by luxury brands and retailers globally. This is the first report of this kind done in the Middle East, leveraging desk research and data from publicly available sources, but also 15 interviews with key players in the ecosystem, along with a proprietary survey of 1,300 consumers across the GCC. At Chalhoub, we will leverage these insights to make informed business decisions, particularly in our experimentation with new business models for our brands, and to fortify our investment strategy.”

AWS announces Amazon Q to reimagine the future of work

At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced Amazon Q, a new type of generative artificial intelligence-(AI) powered assistant that is specifically for work and can be tailored to a customer’s business. Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions—all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems.Providing information and advice to employees to streamline tasks, Amazon Q can accelerate decision making and problem solving, and help spark creativity and innovation at work. Designed to meet enterprise customers’ stringent requirements, Amazon Q can personalize its interactions to each individual user based on an organization’s existing identities, roles, and permissions. Additionally, Amazon Q never uses business customers’ content to train its underlying models.“Generative AI has the potential to spur a technological shift that will reshape how people do everything from searching for information and exploring new ideas to writing and building applications,” said Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Data and Artificial Intelligence. “AWS is helping customers harness generative AI with solutions at all three layers of the stack, including purpose-built infrastructure, tools, and applications. Amazon Q builds on AWS’s history of taking complex, expensive technologies and making them accessible to customers of all sizes and technical abilities, with a data first approach and enterprise-grade security and privacy built-in from the start.Generative AI chat applications have captured the public’s imagination and helped people understand what is possible, but there are still barriers that prevent people from using these solutions at work. Specifically, these chat applications do not know an organization’s business, data, customers, operations, or employees—the work they do, who they interact with, what information they use, and what they can access.Trained on 17 years of AWS knowledge and experience, Amazon Q transforms the way developers and IT professionals build, deploy, and operate applications and workloads on AWS. Customers can access Amazon Q through a conversational interface from the AWS Management Console, documentation pages, their IDE, and over Slack or other third-party chat apps.Amazon Q is an expert on patterns in the AWS Well-Architected Framework, best practices, documentation, and solution implementations, making it easier for customers to explore new services and capabilities, get started faster, learn unfamiliar technologies, architect solutions, troubleshoot, upgrade applications, and more.Amazon Q is an expert on a customer’s businessOrganizations are sitting on vast amounts of information spread across multiple documents, systems, and applications. From finance and human resources to marketing and sales, employees across every organization collectively spend hours every week searching internal sources for information, piecing together analyses, writing reports, building presentations, or adapting content for different customers or audiences. Generative AI can help solve these challenges, but the general-purpose solutions available today are not connected to internal resources and do not understand a company’s existing identities, roles, and permissions to determine which resources an employee should have access to for their work.Above all, Amazon Q provides answers and insights that are accurate and faithful to the source material and knowledge a customer provides it, and customers can use additional administrative controls to block entire topics and filter both questions and finalized answers using keywords. Administrators can also limit certain responses to specific employees or data sources.Amazon Q provides generative AI-powered assistance across Amazon QuickSight, Amazon Connect, and AWS Supply ChainWhile many use cases and industries will benefit from the transformative potential of generative AI, the solutions available today are often generic and do not have the specific context needed to carry out domain-specific tasks.Amazon Q is available to customers in preview, with Amazon Q in Connect generally available and Amazon Q in AWS Supply Chain coming soon. To learn more about Amazon Q, visit commences KSA operations to meet growing travel demands, the UAE’s leading travel management company, takes a significant step forward by officially launching its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, aligning with the transformative goals of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The office was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani and Sachin Gadoya, Founders of, in the presence of eminent guests from the travel's entry into the Saudi Arabian market strategically targets corporate clients, contributing to the Kingdom's burgeoning tourism and corporate travel sector. The organization aims to deliver tailored travel solutions, seamless booking experiences, and dedicated support to meet the unique needs of businesses in Saudi Arabia.Commenting on this strategic move, Sheikh Al Thani said, 'Saudi Arabia has experienced an extraordinary surge in tourism revenue, surpassing 37 billion Saudi riyals in the first quarter of 2023. This exemplifies the Kingdom's commitment to diversify its economy beyond oil. Aligned with this momentum, our new corporate office in KSA is an integral part of our regional expansion strategy, poised to meet the escalating travel demand of our discerning customers. Since our inception in 2007, has consistently grown, and this new office propels us toward long-term success."The new office premises is centrally and strategically located in Aknaz Center, Tahliah Street, Al Olaya in Riyadh and includes a state-of-the-art, multilingual contact centre, which will offer’s customers dedicated 24 X 7 support.Sachin Gadoya expressed enthusiasm, stating, "Our entry into Riyadh indicates a significant milestone for With an unwavering commitment to our corporate clientele, we are eager to contribute to the growth and efficiency of travel management for businesses in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the leisure sector will soon benefit from musafir’s innovative offerings.”As part of's growth strategy, the company recently unveiled a new logo, symbolizing a fresh phase of innovation and customer-centric travel services. The redesigned logo underscores's commitment to staying at the forefront of the ever-evolving travel industry.

Sunset Hospitality Group opens SUSHISAMBA in Abu Dhabi

Sunset Hospitality Group (SHG) announces yet another major milestone with the opening of a new SUSHISAMBA restaurant, in collaboration with Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.Founded 12 years ago and with presence in 16 countries, SHG owns and operates more than 50 venues through its diversified hospitality lifestyle brands; including hotels & resorts, restaurants, beach clubs, and more. Bringing the acclaimed hotspot to Abu Dhabi is a natural expansion for SHG, signifying the Group’s rapidly expanding portfolio and culinary innovation.Inspired by the cultures and cuisines of Japan, Brazil and Peru, SUSHISAMBA has already built up a legion of fans across the world, including London, Las Vegas and Dubai. In 2021, SHG brought SUSHISAMBA to the Palm Tower, Dubai, for its UAE debut, and after successful operations, SUSHISAMBA Abu Dhabi is set to arrive onto the capital's culinary scene by April 2024.Celebrating Japan, Brazil, and Peru, SUSHISAMBA is born from the unique energy and bold spirit of these three distinct and fascinating cultures. Built on an enticing mix of history and pure imagination, SUSHISAMBA honours the stories of the Japanese travelers who emigrated to Peru and Brazil in the early 20th century.Found on the Podium 1 of Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, SUSHISAMBA Abu Dhabi is designed by Lazaro Rosa Violan, a Spain based design studio. The venue will span across two floors. On the first floor, guests will find a restaurant and a terrace, while a second floor will house a private dining room, bar, an infamous SAMBAROOM and a terrace offering a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea. The interior will be welcoming and intriguing while combining Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian influencers together.Encouraging guests to unwind, enjoy life and celebrate with friends and loved ones, the contemporary dishes are presented with artistic flair and a touch of tasteful theatrics. Led by Culinary Director Kyung Soo Moon, SUSHISAMBA’s eclectic menu is crafted with impeccable skill and premium ingredients, with many products sourced directly from Japan and Latin America. Spanning everything from traditional Japanese tempura and sushi, to Peruvian anticuchos and seviche, each delicate yet satisfying dish is meant to be shared and appreciated with loved ones. Packed with incredible spices, wonderful aromas and creative contrasting flavours, food connoisseurs are treated to signature dishes such as most popular Chilean Seabass anticuchos made with white miso and chives, Asevichado roll, Ultimate sushi and sashimi platter featuring signature rolls, everyone’s favourite Black Cod, Sea Bream Seviche with green chilli, coriander and cancha corn, and Japanese doughnuts just to mention a few.The ideal place for guests to let their hair down, celebrate special occasions or simply gather and catch up with friends, the magnificent beverage menu spans bespoke concoctions such as SAMBA Negroni, SAMBA Melon Sour, Signature Caipirinha, all crafted by the team of expert mixologists. A fully immersive, 360-degree experience, SUSHISAMBA’s upbeat vibe is maintained throughout the week with show stopping live entertainment from incredible samba dancers, DJs and musicians."We take immense pride in the announcement of SUSHISAMBA's opening in Abu Dhabi, which symbolizes a remarkable achievement in the ongoing growth and expansion journey of Sunset Hospitality Group. The opening of SUSHISAMBA Abu Dhabi is a testament to our dedication to delivering extraordinary experiences and innovative culinary offerings to our global audience." - Antonio Gonzalez, Chairman and Group CEO of Sunset Hospitality Group.

Renault unveils a series of new models in the Saudi Market

Wallan Trading Company, the Renault Group’s official distributor in the Kingdom, unveiled its newest models during its participation in the Riyadh Motor Show, held at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on December 5 - 9, 2023.The two new models which will be introduced to the Saudi market for the first time, Renault Arkana and Renault Taliant, are distinguished through their unique designs, high-end equipment, and advanced technologies, which align with customers’ needs and aspirations in the Kingdom. Fahad Al-Wallan, Chairman of Wallan Trading Company, said:” We are excited to announce our participation in the Riyadh Motor Show alongside our new partner Renault. This collaboration marks a significant step towards expanding our business in Saudi Arabia and diversifying our offerings in the market. The innovative models we have unveiled today for Renault are tailored to meet our Saudi customers' evolving needs and desires, providing them with world-class vehicles from Renault”.Jerome Pannaud, Managing Director of Renault operations in Africa-Middle East and the Asia Pacific, commented: “We are thrilled to announce that our customers in Saudi Arabia can now enjoy Renault models that cater to their needs. The Saudi Arabian market holds great significance for Renault Group, and our partnership with Wallan Group will undoubtedly lead us to a successful journey in showcasing Renault's innovative line-up”.Visitors to the Riyadh Motor Show can see the distinguished lineup of Renault models for 2024, which suit several social categories and budgets.Renault ArkanaThe Renault Arkana model belongs to the compact multi-use coupe category, distinguished by its elegant, sporty exterior design and bold front grille bearing the new Renault logo. It is 4,568 mm long, 1,821 mm wide, 1,571 mm high, and has a wheelbase of 2,720 mm, which places it in the C-SUV category. Its spacious cabin and elegance also distinguish it. The Renault Arkana offers the consumer the following options: Evolution, Techno, and Esprit Alpine.The Techno class provides superior standard interior design, including Renault's Easy Link multimedia system, which connects wirelessly to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a 9,3-inch high-resolution screen. Esprit Alpine's highest grade has an exterior body with a prominent color gradient, an aerodynamic wing matching the color of the car’s body, and sports wheels.Renault Arkana has a 1.3-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that generates 155 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. The car can accelerate from rest to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds, and its maximum speed reaches 205 km/h.  Renault TaliantRenault Taliant is built on the CMF-B platform of the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi alliance. It is characterized by its spaciousness compared to competing cars in its class, with a length of 4396 mm, a width of 1848 mm, a height of 1501 mm, and a wheelbase of 2649 mm. Its back trunk has a capacity of 528 liters.Renault Taliant has two options, Evolution and Techno, that include a front-wheel drive system. It has an economical 1-liter turbo, 3-cylinder engine, 100 horsepower, and a torque of up to 160 Newton meters, a 6-speed manual transmission, a maximum torque of 142 Newton meters, and CVT variable speed transmission.Depending on its class, the Renault Taliant has a multimedia center with an 8-inch touch control screen, Apple CarPlay and Android, automatic climate control, cruise control, and light and rain sensors.As for safety and security specifications, the Renault Taliant includes a non-lock braking system (ABS), an electronic braking force distribution system (EBD), an electronic stability system (ESP), a hill start assist system (HSA), and a traction control system, in addition to a wide range of features, including four airbags, rear camera, front and rear sensors, cruise control, front and rear sensors and Bluetooth.Renault Megane E-TechAlthough the Megane E-Tech electric is not amongst the new model launches in the Saudi market, it is a demonstration of Renault’s expertise in the EV world. Renault applied a new : “sensual tech” design language.” It has an innovative, compact design on the outside and a unique, ample spaciousness inside. Its dimensions combine the specifications of crossover hatchbacks. , Megane E-Tech electric has hidden door handles and 20-inch wheels. The Megane E-Tech electrics length is 4,200 mm, its width is 1,860 mm, its wheelbase is 2,685 mm, and its height is 1,505 mm.It is built on the fully electric AmpeR Medium platform (previously CMF-EV), which offers the opportunity to increase an electric vehicle's energy efficiency and range while reducing charge time. It also ensures a great interior space and dynamism on the road through its direct and precise steering.Megane e-tech reaches a new level of sustainability with it's zero-emission engine range and upholstery made of recycled materials. Additionally, some of the lower parts of the dashboard are made of recycled plastic, which has also been used in several dashboard components. 95% of the car will be recyclable.Renault Megane E-Tech is equipped with an electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) that weighs only 145 kg, generating 220 horsepower and 300 Nm. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7,4 seconds.Megane E-TECH Electric offers a choice of two battery capacities: 40 kWh for a range of 300 km (WLTP cycle) and 60 kWh for a range up to 470 km (WLTP cycle, depending on each version), depending on the version.In Europe, It is equipped with intelligent driver assistance systems, such as the Active Driver Assistant system, which combines “proactive, adaptive cruise control” with “stop and go” designs and a “lane keeping assistant.” This was provided by an intelligent speed limiter system, collision avoidance system, and off-road driving system that Includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Sports Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Emergency Lane Keeping Assist (ELKA), and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking (Rear AEB).

BingX appoints Vivien Lin as Chief Product Officer to elevate user experience

BingX, a global leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced the appointment of Vivien Lin as its Chief Product Officer. This strategic decision underscores BingX's commitment to empowering crypto traders with continuous breakthroughs in its products and services. Vivien Lin will also take the role of Global Spokesperson of BingX, fostering transparent communication and strengthening its connection with global crypto communities. Vivien's background in trading, product management, and market development spans nearly a decade, with a focus on forex and equity derivative products, through key roles at reputable institutions such as Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Bank. Additionally, Vivien has years of experience in well-known crypto exchanges as leaders of financial products, risk management, and new product development, along with a deep understanding of product life cycle and go-to-market strategy. As Chief Product Officer, Vivien Lin will play a pivotal role in steering BingX's product development strategy over futures, spots, and assets management. Meanwhile, she will represent BingX at prime industry events and regional meetups where she will share her and BingX's distinctive insights on relevant topics. Vivien adeptly employs her comprehensive understanding of the company's operations to facilitate communication among users and partners, fostering potential connections and collaborations. The Board and Executive Team commented on Vivien's appointment: "As we welcome Vivien Lin into her dual roles, we celebrate not just the addition of an accomplished professional but a visionary leader. Vivien's extensive experience coupled with her profound understanding of global markets makes her the best fit to embody BingX's values and vision in global forums. Under her leadership, we anticipate reaching new heights in delivering cutting-edge products and enhancing our user experience with the broader community."Vivien Lin conveyed her excitement, stating, "I am thrilled to assume the roles of CPO and Global Spokesperson at BingX, which enables me to fortify the connection between our innovative offerings and our valued user community. My belief in the philosophy of clarity and simplicity, both in product development and communication, drives my commitment to breaking down complexities into accessible terms for everyone. I am poised to ensure that BingX's vision for excellence and user-centric innovation resonates effectively with our global audience."Vivien's appointment marks another big move towards further bridging the gap between blockchain and traditional finance, ensuring that BingX users continue to benefit from the dynamic merger. BingX looks forward to a future that is not only marked by technological innovation but also by a deep understanding of user needs, setting the stage for a transformative journey ahead.

Booth Club ME launches in the UAE, bringing globally renowned Megabooth

The spotlight is now on the UAE as Booth Club ME, the much-anticipated regional extension of the iconic European photobooth innovator Megabooth, announces its grand launch in the heart of the United Arab Emirates. Founded by Lee Hoppen, the visionary mind behind Megabooth, Booth Club ME aims to revolutionise events across the region with its unparalleled and quirky photo experiences. Born in England by a ragtag group of creative minds, Megabooth is already well known for its innovative take on events and now Booth Club ME will be replicating this ingenuity in the UAE.  Megabooth has carved its name in the industry, working seamlessly with acclaimed brands such as Disney, Netflix, adidas, Lamborghini, Spotify, Dior, YouTube, and more across Europe. It has also partnered with a series of renowned events such as the BAFTAs and BRITs and the company’s booths have hosted celebrities like King Charles, Gordon Ramsey, Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, and Jonathan Ross. The success story of Megabooth is one fuelled by a relentless pursuit of innovation and creating immersive experiences that captivate audiences. Now setting its sights firmly on the UAE market, Booth Club ME is here with a range of three distinctive product lines, each designed to elevate events to unforgettable levels. Each experience is unique, but still boasts the same quality and thrills that people have grown to love. Featuring different options to suit a variety of occasions, everyone will be sure to find the booth that perfectly suit their needs.   First up is the Classic Booth, which has been crafted for semi-permanent installations, retail campaigns, and experiential tours. Boasting a sleek wooden structure and a clean interior that evokes intimacy and nostalgia, and featuring the latest iPad functionality for sharp and clear photos plus a touchscreen display for previews, editing, and enhancements, this booth leaves no stone unturned for creating unrivalled memories.  Next in line is the Digital Booth, designed to transform simple movements into hilarious sequences of photos processed in lightning-fast time. Offering the option to share sequences as short movies in various formats, including the popular Boomerang feature, with data capture and a real-time digital gallery, this is the booth for those seeking to up their photo capturing game.  Finally, the Photo Pod is ideal for private events, product launches, office parties, award ceremonies, and weddings. Quick to set up with photo, gif, and video capabilities, studio-quality lighting, and instant printing and email sharing, this is your ticket to a truly unforgettable occasion.   To add to the incredible line-up available, Booth Club ME proudly introduces AI-enhanced photobooths, pioneering real-time photo and video enhancement and editing—a first in the region. These photobooths harness the most recent innovations in AI technology to help users have a completely immersive experience that goes beyond the ordinary.  Lee Hoppen, Founder and CEO of Megabooth, expressed his excitement about Booth Club ME's launch in the UAE, stating, "The UAE is among the most dynamic event markets globally, and we're thrilled to bring Megabooth's innovative experiences here. Our goal is to transform ordinary events into extraordinary memories, and we're confident that Booth Club ME will set new standards in event entertainment and engagement." Lee Hoppen's journey as an entrepreneur and innovator began with a passion for events, leading him to create pioneering ventures that revolutionised event photography and experiences. From humble beginnings capturing moments in nightclubs to securing investments on BBC's Dragons' Den, Lee's vision has been to create immersive, unforgettable experiences. With its base in Dubai, Booth Club ME is set to disrupt the market by offering cutting-edge, bespoke photo experiences that elevate marketing activations, brands, and events. As Lee looks to the future, he envisions further expansion across the wider GCC region and beyond, making every event an unforgettable experience. Booth Club ME is ready to mesmerise the UAE with the magic of Megabooth. For businesses, brands, and event planners seeking to add a touch of innovation and creativity to their events, Booth Club ME invites you to be part of this extraordinary journey. For more information check out Booth Club ME on Instagram and for more information on Megabooth check out its Instagram @megabooth or website at

Meteora Developers joins forces with World Tennis League as Title Sponsor

The World Tennis League (WTL) has today announced prominent luxury real-estate developer, Meteora Developers as title sponsor of the tournament’s second edition, taking place in Abu Dhabi this December.The strategic partnership will see Meteora Developers support and enhance the growth of World Tennis League across the UAE as the event moves to its new home at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena.Running from 21st to 24th December, season two of the event will feature the world’s top tennis stars, including current WTA World Number One, Iga Swiatek.Founded and led by real-estate and financial visionary Praveen K. Sharma, along with experienced construction magnate, Omar Al Omour, Meteora Developers has established a reputation for excellence across the real estate development sector for its highly sophisticated planning and superior quality construction. Its portfolio includes more than 1,000 under-construction units across five projects in Jumeirah Village Circle and other premier locations across the Emirate.Praveen Sharma, founder and CEO of Meteora Developers, said: “We are thrilled to serve as the title sponsor for the World Tennis League, where excellence meets the spirit of competition. Just as in real estate, success in tennis is about strategy, precision, and a commitment to delivering unmatched experiences. This partnership aligns perfectly with our ethos built around providing 'Elevated Privileges', and we look forward to a smashing collaboration on and off the court.”Rahul Saxena, Chief Operating Officer of World Tennis League, said: “We are delighted to welcome Meteora Developers as the official title sponsor of the World Tennis League for our second season.“Across their 15-year history, they have become one of the leading luxury real-estate developers in the UAE, bringing excellence to the industry and we look forward to collaborating with our new title sponsor to deliver what promises to be an unforgettable event – both on and off the court in a few weeks’ time.”Organisers have confirmed a stellar line-up of tennis stars and musical artists for the unique sporting and entertainment event, taking place between 21st to 24th December at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena. The 16-player line-up includes Women’s World No.1 Iga Swiatek, World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, as well as World No.4 Elena Rybakina. Men’s World No.3 Daniil Medvedev headlines the field, which also includes Andrey Rublev and Stefano Tsitsipas.Following the tennis action, fans can look forward to witnessing some incredible music acts on stage, with award-winning music icons including 50 Cent, Akon, Ne-Yo, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Trojan Sound System and The Original Wailers featuring Al Anderson set to perform at this year’s event.Tickets are now on sale via the Etihad Arena website as well as Platinum List and Virgin Megastores. With tickets selling fast, fans can find more details on

Ooredoo, Zain, TASC Towers create $2.2bn tower company

Mobile voice and data services operator Zain has disclosed the finalization of definitive agreements involving Ooredoo Group, Zain Group, and TASC Towers Holding, establishing the most extensive tower company in the MENA region through a cash and share transaction.The expanded tower company, comprising around 30,000 towers, possesses an estimated combined current enterprise value of $2.2 billion (€2bn). In the newly restructured entity, Ooredoo and Zain will maintain an equal substantial stake of 49.3% each, achieved through an asset and cash equalization process. The founders of TASC will retain the remaining shareholding through Digital Infrastructure Assets and continue to oversee the business operations.Anticipated to generate run-rate revenues close to $500 million annually, the tower entity is expected to achieve an EBITDAaL (after leases) of over $200 million annually upon the completion of closures in various countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and Tunisia.This transaction signing represents a significant milestone in realizing crucial aspects of both Ooredoo and Zain's strategies, emphasizing the evolution into smart telcos and the creation of a value-focused portfolio.Functioning as an independent tower company and harnessing the collective assets of Ooredoo and Zain, TASC will provide Passive Infrastructure as a Service (PIaaS) through a partnership model. This offers mobile network operators a capital-efficient alternative for building, owning, and managing their passive infrastructure in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner. The partnership model is designed to meet the needs of other mobile network operators aiming to cut costs, reduce carbon emissions, and address the rising demand for sites driven by double-digit growth in mobile data consumption across the region.Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, MD and Group CEO, Ooredoo; Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman & Group CEO; and Iyad Mazhar, Founder & CEO of TASC, said in a joint statement: “This pioneering deal embarks us on an exciting journey together as it results in the establishment of the region’s largest independent Tower company, placing the MENA region on the world telecom tower map. It also positions the region as an advanced player in the global telecoms landscape, and we anticipate wide-ranging positive implications for the region – from economic growth and upgraded connectivity to technological improvements and increased global relevance.”“This strategic transaction will unlock significant shareholder value through higher earnings multiples, as well as ensure capital efficiency, optimising balance sheets for our respective companies and creating new possibilities for investors. The deal also demonstrates our joint dedication to supporting the reduction of the region’s carbon footprint, contributing to our vision of reshaping the telecommunications sector by building a more sustainable ecosystem and ensuring a better-connected future for our communities across the region,” the CEOs said.Ooredoo and Zain will retain their respective active infrastructure, encompassing wireless communication antennas, intelligent software, and intellectual property related to managing their telecom networks.The expected timeline for completing this transaction envisions initial market closings in 2024. The phased implementation, tailored for each market and conforming to regulatory environments, is contingent on regulatory approvals, with Ooredoo's tower network in Oman undergoing a standalone process.

Riyadh hosts GSMA M360 MENA: 5G boosts regional GDP

GSMA M360 MENA commenced today at the Fairmont Riyadh, marking the beginning of two full days of keynotes, summits and networking focused around shaping the digital ecosystem in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). The annual event, supported by host sponsor stc, convenes leaders from across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries to explore the strategies, collaboration and policies that will accelerate the MENA region's digital-first future. Key themes that will be discussed at this year's event include the transformative power of AI, IoT and edge computing, cybersecurity threats and approaches, digital inclusion and future opportunities for 5G.Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, said: "We are delighted to be here in Riyadh for M360 MENA and to witness some of the amazing innovation taking place in the city. Indeed, Vision 2030 is taking off across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the beauty is that connectivity lies at the heart of it all. M360 MENA is our chance to champion these achievements in mobile connectivity and celebrate the ambitious vision for the digital economy in the entire region."The Mobile Economy MENA Report 2023At M360 MENA, the GSMA launched the Mobile Economy MENA 2023 Report which revealed 5G's GDP contribution is expected to reach $60bn in 2030, representing 13% of the overall annual economic impact of mobile in the region.The report spotlights the latest trends shaping the mobile ecosystem in MENA, the mobile industry's regional impact, and priorities that will fuel the industry's future growth in the region.Other key findings include:5G will account for half of total mobile connections in MENA by 20305G is gaining momentum in MENA, driven by the launch of new networks and the rapid expansion of existing networks. However, 4G will remain the dominant technology in the region in the medium term, accounting for more than 50% of total connections until 2026.Continued MENA mobile growth through to the end of the decadeThere are currently 415 million unique mobile subscribers in MENA, which will rise to 550 million by 2030. Mobile internet users will grow from 330 million today to 425 million in 2030.Commercial 5G deployments in MENA have been varied At the end of November 2023, 23 mobile operators in nine markets across MENA had launched commercial 5G services. Despite growing momentum behind 5G in North Africa, commercial 5G remains absent in the region, reflecting the challenging situation with spectrum which has not yet been assigned in any North African country.5G SA and 5G-Advanced will be at the heart of 5G's next phaseBy June 2023, six operators in MENA had already rolled out 5G SA networks, contributing to 15% of the global total. Operators in MENA have also begun planning for 5G-Advanced.The shift to circularity is gathering momentumIn response to escalating concerns regarding the generation of e-waste and the unsustainable depletion of natural resources, the concept of circularity has surged to the forefront of the agendas for policymakers and industry stakeholders. This amplified focus on sustainability is particularly evident in view of the region's role as the host for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.Presented by the GSMA, M360 is a series of global events that unify the regional mobile ecosystem. The events aim to discover, develop, and deliver innovation that serves as the foundation for positive business environments and societal change. The events facilitate inspirational keynotes, thought-provoking panel discussions and insightful case studies across mobile technology and adjacent industry verticals.M360 MENA follows a full year of the GSMA's M360 event series in 2023, which this year has included M360 Eurasia, M360 LATAM, M360 UK and M360 APAC.For the full M360 agenda, click here. To download the Mobile Economy MENA Report, please click here.

Infoline LLC clinches top honor as customer experience leader at OER Awards

 Infoline, the Sultanate of Oman’s premier tech-innovation company, is thrilled to announce its recent accolade as the Customer Experience Leader of the Year at the prestigious OER Corporate Excellence Awards. With a robust legacy spanning over two decades, Infoline has consistently been at the forefront of Oman's business landscape, embodying a commitment to innovation and excellence that has propelled it to the summit of the industry.The OER Corporate Excellence Awards organized by Oman Economic Review magazine, stands as a testament to the pinnacle of industry recognition. The prestigious awards highlighted organizations and individuals who have demonstrated exemplary performance, innovation, and commitment to excellence. Infoline's triumph at this distinguished award show not only underscores its position as a leader in its industry but also affirms its dedication to elevating the standards of customer experience and overall business excellence in the region.Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Muadh Al-Omairi, Vice President- Commercial,Infoline, stated, "We are honored to receive this award, which underscores our firm commitment to delivering transformative experiences. This accolade not only reaffirms our dedication to excellence but also reflects the collective hard work of the entire Infoline team. We sincerely thank our valued clients and partners for their trust and collaborative spirit, which have been integral to our shared success. As we celebrate this achievement, we are energized to persist in our journey of innovation and pushing boundaries. This award is more than just recognition; it is a testament to our relentless pursuit of unparalleled customer experiences and our commitment to continually raising the bar of excellence in every facet of our operations."Infoline's triumph is anchored in a diverse array of business process management services, spanning contact center outsourcing, digital customer care, IT solutions, enterprise solutions, analytics, technology consulting, and dashboards. Bolstered by a well-established footprint in the Sultanate, Infoline consistently pioneers cutting-edge tech innovations, providing a comprehensive range of high-quality Knowledge Process Outsourcing solutions tailored to the dynamic requirements of the Omani market. These strategic workshops represent an investment in its workforce, harnessing the momentum generated by the company's ongoing operations in Oman to propel it into the next phase of growth and expansion.

UAE business executives emphasize customer retention at EngageMint Dubai

Forward-thinking businesses worldwide, particularly in highly digitalized economies like the UAE, are subscribing to retention-led growth. It’s a digital-first approach that emphasizes retaining customers with the same determination as acquiring new ones by harnessing data, deriving insights, personalizing customer engagement, driving repeat purchases, and fostering loyalty. The recently concluded EngageMint Dubai saw CXOs, CMOs, marketers, and executives of leading organizations discuss customer retention and bring varied, nuanced, sector-specific perspectives. Mohamed Sayed Abd Elsalam, Group Head of CRM, Loyalty, Partnerships and Customer Analytics at MAGRABi, an eyewear retail chain, said: “MAGRABi streamlines retail operations by syncing in-store profiles with online signups, thus achieving a seamless visibility of offline purchases online.” Elsalam belongs to a growing base of executives who are devising experience-oriented omnichannel retail strategies with marketing technologies (MarTech) as the centrepiece. WebEngage, a leading marketing automation company and the host of EngageMint, said that brands integrating offline and online channels are geared toward optimizing their marketing efforts and tailoring them to the unique expectations of each customer. Several studies have established that such personalized engagement often translates to a good customer experience, which, in turn, helps achieve higher retention. In light of growing acquisition costs globally and dwindling revenues, retention is being viewed as a sustainable route to profitability. Under the overarching theme ‘Unlock New Horizons in Retention’, WebEngage provided a platform for retention-first thinkers to share their thoughts. Acquisition Vs retention“Acquisition can be easy, but retention is quite complex. As often as not, certain audiences engage with your brand for, say, a year and then make lifestyle changes. If the brand cannot align with the customer’s evolved expectations, it creates room for churn,” said Omar Al Ashi, Founder and CEO of Urent, a peer-to-peer vehicle-sharing platform. Shyam Sunder, VP - Marketing & Executive Committee Member,, a travel distribution platform, noted that acquisition and retention cannot be in silos, underscoring the need for an integrated approach with both online and offline capabilities.The integrated approach to retention marketing, characterized by the use of AI analytics, journey designers, and campaign orchestration tools, is a speciality of WebEngage. Its Retention Operating System offers all those capabilities in a single stack, providing businesses with a convenient and cost-effective means to harness data, analyze it, derive insights, orchestrate automated campaigns, and measure outcomes. Marketing automation, WebEngage said, is an essential tool for companies hoping to orchestrate personalized campaigns at scale. Executives of organizations that cater to a multitude of customers agree. Marketing automation is synonymous with efficiencyAhmed Atta, Head of Ecommerce at StoreUs, an online retailer, said that automation should be prioritized over manual operations. “Enhance your marketing strategy by leveraging a pricing tool rather than comparing with rival brands daily/monthly. Address fulfilment issues like out-of-stock items with consignment modules, positively impacting customer retention,” Ahmed added. “I’d try to understand customer personas from a marketing POV, using analytics to learn the right way to approach each persona. And then automate the marketing campaigns,” opined Mohamed Sayed Abd Elsalam of MAGRABi.  Sayed also revealed that repeat customers drive more revenue, making it vital to understand the reasons why customers return and apply the findings to other segments. Ahmed Atta added that retention, not just acquisition, should be the brands’ focus from day one. Such affirming views on retention by leading customer-facing brands reflect the general direction that the regional business ecosystem is taking. As retention essentially requires brands to become customer-centric and experience-led, its uptake in the UAE is a welcome development — one that complements the government’s vision of a knowledge-based economy.By providing such key takeaways and bringing unique perspectives from brands harnessing marketing technologies for growth, EngageMint ended its final edition of 2023 on a high note. Encouraged by the overwhelming response, WebEngage is set to reprise the edition in Dubai next year, when the government’s continued business-friendly initiatives are expected to create more favourable conditions for brands to unlock greater value and engage customers meaningfully.

Mindware announces strategic partnership with Vectra AI in ME and Africa

Mindware, a leading value-added distributor (VAD) in the Middle East and Africa, has announced its new strategic partnership with Vectra AI, the leader in AI-driven cyber threat detection and response.Kicking-off the alliance, Mindware will be furnishing sales and pre-sales skilled resources to ensure the correct positioning of the Vectra AI platform. Moreover, the distributor will offer professional services to ensure the successful implementation, integration, and value-delivery of the Vectra AI platform at customer premises.Nicholas Argyrides, Vice President - Gulf at Mindware, comments: “We are excited to add Vectra AI to Mindware’s rapidly-expanding cybersecurity portfolio and provide our partners with yet another market-leading technology vendor. Their advanced threat detection and response capabilities not only enhance our security offerings but also significantly empower our channel partners to proactively mitigate cyber threats. With Vectra AI on board, we've taken a giant leap forward in our commitment to safeguarding our clients' digital assets and ensuring a secure business environment.”Mindware is constructing a state-of-the-art lab facility, equipped with the latest Vectra technologies for real-world simulations and hands-on customer experiences. It is also channelling resources into rigorous training programs, ensuring that the team earn Vectra-specific certifications, making them well-equipped to consult, implement, and support these solutions.Vectra AI is the front-runner when it comes to AI-driven threat detection and response for hybrid and multi-cloud enterprises and it continues to experience exponential growth in the Middle East and Africa region, primarily attributed to its strong value proposition. The increasing interest among CISOs and security buyers has attracted a high number of leading system integrators and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) to seek “Resell” and/or “MSSP” partnerships with Vectra AI.“Vectra AI is a channel-centric company. The selection of a value-added distributor is a critical decision, not only to our own success, but also to that of our partners and ultimately end customers. An ideal Vectra AI VAD should not only be able to knit together and manage more channel partnerships to drive reach, but should also be able to drive sustainable growth by engaging channel partners and ensuring Vectra’s platform relevance in their propositions and services,” says Taj El-Khayat, Area VP - South EMEA for Vectra AI.“Mindware’s wide-reach, strong and deep ties with the channel ecosystem in the region, coupled with its clear human-centric investment approach, make the company a great partner for Vectra AI. Mindware is clearly capable of not only bridging, but also driving Vectra AI platform’s value to the region’s partners, as well as end customers,” Taj concluded.

WAM enhances global confidence at World Media Summit with credibility

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) has participated in the fifth edition of the World Media Summit (WMS) in the city of Guangzhou, China, with the participation of more than 450 media outlets.Themed "Boosting Global Confidence, Promoting Media Development," the 5th WMS is co-hosted by Xinhua News Agency and the provincial governments of Guangdong and Yunnan.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), affirmed the summit's significance as a crucial international platform for high-level exchanges and collaboration in the media field.During his participation in a seminar about enhancing global trust in media, Al Rayssi emphasised that establishing global trust for any media outlet requires a commitment to credibility in reporting facts and producing journalistic content. This commitment also involves adhering to objectivity in editing diverse media materials and disseminating them among various audiences and demographics.Al Rayssi added that the development of media institutions is linked to the rapid changes in the communication and media sector. It is also related to developing the capabilities and skills of professionals in this vital sector, especially in light of the multiple abilities provided by digital media platforms and artificial intelligence.He highlighted that WAM broadcasts its news in 19 languages and utilises social media platforms to engage with audiences. Additionally, the agency uses the "WAM News System" as an innovative internal system to manage and monitor daily media operations. Al Rayssi also mentioned ongoing developmental projects within the agency that employ algorithms and artificial intelligence for news production and digital content creation.Speaking on the significance of Global Media Congress, Al Rayssi shed light on the significance of promoting media joint action, sustaining coordination and unifying efforts in delivering media messages aimed at meeting the needs of various media institutions, developing societies, and achieving the happiness of peoples.Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the Global Media Congress was launched from the United Arab Emirates to the world in 2022 under the theme “Shaping the Future of the Media Industry".He explained that the second edition of the Congress 2023 focused on sustainability, innovation and the latest technologies in media, sports media, as well as youth, education and the future of media. It achieved qualitative accomplishments with the participation of 160 prominent speakers in the media industry, attracting 23,924 visitors from various countries, representing a 76.5% increase compared to the first edition last year.A total of 172 countries participated in the event, including 31 countries participating for the first time, and the actual space reserved by institutions and companies reached 32,000 square meters.

FlyNow Aviation pioneers CO2 neutral mobility solutions at COP28 Summit in Dubai

FlyNow Aviation, a trailblazer in sustainable mobility solutions, proudly announces its participation in the upcoming COP28 Summit in Dubai. The company is honored to be participating as one of the sustainable startups in the Green Zone at COP28 to showcase its revolutionary CO2 neutral Mobility Air Vehicle and its mission towards environmental responsibility.FlyNow Aviation seeks to redefine city mobility by prioritizing CO2 neutrality. With a keen focus on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market, FlyNow aims to contribute to the ambitious goals of UAE to cut emissions by 40% by 2030, positioning itself as a key player in the global effort to combat climate change. According to Jurgen Greil, CEO, FlyNow Aviation, "We take pride in being a sustainable startup contributing to the environmental cause. Traditional transportation modes like cars, trucks, buses, and even air conditioning units contribute significantly to CO2 emissions. While the shift to electric vehicles is considered a solution, it comes with limitations such as traffic congestion and resource-intensive production. At FlyNow Aviation, we aim to make a lasting impact by relieving car traffic globally. FlyNow Air Vehicles offer a comprehensive solution, reducing environmental footprints, addressing traffic challenges, and providing a safer alternative to the traditional mobility.”FlyNow Aviation competently positions itself as a game-changer in the mass manufacturing segment of the global mobility sector. The introduction of FlyNow Air Vehicles, featuring a coaxial rotor system, holds the promise of significantly reducing car traffic, noise pollution, CO2 emissions, and traffic jams worldwide. FlyNow’s innovative approach allows for higher load capacity with less power consumption.With its already secured certifications, it is setting an example for others navigating the certification process. FlyNow stands out as a leader in the industry.“Economics, as the study of positive trade-offs, is key to bringing vital solutions and technologies to market. At FlyNow, we go beyond tackling traffic and emissions; we provide a one-stop solution to increase efficiency, reduce noise pollution, and save valuable resources, including wealth." Greil added.Amid escalating environmental concerns, FlyNow Aviation aims to demonstrate its dedication to a holistic CO2-neutral ecosystem.

E-commerce enabler Flextock bolsters Saudi presence

Flextock, a leading e-commerce enabler in the Middle East, is solidifying its presence in the region. Co-founded by CEO, Mohamed Mossaad and COO, Enas Siam, the start-up launched in January 2021 and witnessed remarkable results shortly after expanding into Saudi Arabia. This enabled the tech-centric company to 10x its Year-over-Year (YoY) net revenues last year while also more than doubling its gross profit margin by leveraging technology and scale.KSA is one of the world's 10 fastest-growing e-commerce markets[1]. Witnessing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.01%, it is projected to grow from a market size of $11.83 billion in 2023 to $23.80 billion by 2028[2]. The strength of this market, and its promising potential moving forward, has accelerated Flextock’s growth. In one year, the company has successfully acquired hundreds of merchants and currently dispatches thousands of orders daily.A play on words combining flexibility and stock, Flextock started by addressing inefficiencies within warehouses before evolving to be a complete enabler for e-commerce merchant growth. The company leverages the power of technology to provide a three-in-one service which entails solutions related to logistics, sales, and fintech. While several companies offer one or two of these services, Flextock is a market first as it provides all three of these solutions to propel merchants into a realm of unparalleled empowerment.From a logistics standpoint, Flextock can be easily integrated into existing stores to efficiently manage the entire order fulfilment cycle, process inbound inventory, and provide the most effective last-mile experience; the company prioritizes accuracy and cost-effectiveness in storing inventory, ensuring clients can effortlessly scale their operations and track orders at the simple tap of a button. Regarding sales growth, Flextock offers merchants access to various channels to effectively grow while reducing reliance on traditional social media advertising.Mohamed Mossaad commented: “Our comprehensive approach underscores a commitment to providing efficient and reliable services for seamless e-commerce operations while enabling all parties to profit. In a geographic area grappling with challenges in these operational landscapes, our overarching goal was to offer a targeted solution that would comprehensively support the region’s ongoing shift from traditional retail to e-commerce; we have achieved this vision by recognizing a regional lag, jumping on the opportunity to propel this transition, and prioritizing the success of businesses and merchants before our own. Our mission is to be a solution-oriented platform, prioritizing our merchants above all else - because we believe that as we help merchants grow their sales, our business will also flourish, and the industry as a whole will benefit. It’s a win-win-win situation that is dependent on merchants thriving and we are proudly leading the charge.”Flextock is a hub for a diverse range of users, accommodating micro-brands and large-scale retailers. The company’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in the customization of its services and products to meet the needs of e-commerce merchants. The platform strategically spans more than 10 industries with an emphasized focus on cosmetics, home accessories, fashion, and electronics. Amidst its ongoing regional expansion, Flextock's cutting-edge technology and strong presence in KSA and Egypt solidify its position as a solution-oriented leader in the dynamic e-commerce landscape across the region.

Wallan Trading Company celebrates partnership with Renault

Riyadh: Wallan Trading Company a leading player in the Saudi automotive sector has signed a strategic partnership with Renault Group. The partnership will see Wallan Trading Company serve as the official distributor of Renault Group’s world-class products and services in the Kingdom.The agreement was announced at a special ceremony hosted in Riyadh on 4 December 2023, with the engagement bringing French and Saudi dignitaries and representatives of both entities together to mark the launch of the new partnership. Notable attendees and guests included Jerome Pannaud, Managing Director of operations in the Africa-Middle East and Asia Pacific region, Renault; and Fahd bin Saad Al-Wallan, Chairman of Wallan Trading Company. During the ceremony, the Wallan Trading Company presented its plans for the future, which include opening 6 showrooms and 10 maintenance centers in different cities by the end of 2024 that will offer sales and spare parts services.Jerome Pannaud, Managing Director of Operations in the Africa-Middle East and Asia Pacific region, Renault, said: “Saudi Arabia is home to a sophisticated auto industry, with Saudi consumers being some of the most discerning auto enthusiasts in the world.A leading market with a growing presence on the global stage, Saudi Arabia is of the utmost importance to us. We are pleased to have partnered with Wallan Trading Company, a leading proponent of Saudi auto excellence. Wallan’s proud history, vast resources, and expansive network make the company the perfect partner for us a partner that enables us to serve our customers better in the Kingdom and wider region.” He added: “Our strategic partnership will increase our sales in the Saudi market by introducing leading-edge offerings, including our latest models, uniquely designed to meet the needs, preferences, and demands of our customers. We will also work closely with Wallan Trading Company to support and empower employees with greater access to advanced technologies and value-added services to deliver an enhanced customer experience.”Fahad Al-Wallan, Chairman of Wallan Trading Company, said: “We are delighted to have established a strategic partnership with the Renault Group, whose cars are renowned for their advanced designs and innovative technologies. This alliance between our companies will enable us to offer the best products and services to the automotive market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.He added: “We are excited to explore the opportunities ahead. We plan to expand our reach during the coming period by opening more advanced centers in several regions so that Renault can remain close to its customers and provide greater access to the most innovative products, services, and spare parts”.

Ted Sarandos unveils Netflix's expansion strategy and $600 bn market opportunity

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos unveiled the streaming giant's transformative journey and outlined a strategic vision for global expansion, backed by a massive $600 billion market opportunity. Sarandos's address at the 2023 UBS Global TMT Conference zeroed in on Netflix's pivotal role in the rapidly evolving entertainment landscape, with a spotlight on the company's ambitious plans to capture a substantial share of the lucrative market across pay TV, film, games, and branded advertising.Netflix's futureLooking forward, Sarandos outlined Netflix's strategic plan:Diversifying content offerings with a focus on non-English language content, games, sports programming, and live events. Strengthening connections with fans through innovative experiences like "The Bridgerton Ball" and "The Squid Game Trials."Exploring new revenue streams through advertising while maintaining competitive pricing. Sarandos positioned Netflix to seize a significant share of the $600 billion market opportunity, highlighting the company's current underrepresentation:Sarandos highlighted the dynamic nature of the entertainment industry, identifying streaming as the linchpin for modern entertainment and emphasizing its role in shaping consumer choices and industry growth. The transformative impact of streaming resonated throughout Sarandos's address, showcasing not only the fulfillment of consumer demands but the unprecedented global opportunities it has unlocked:A surge in TV and film production, contributing to job creation and an expansive content library. Empowered creators globally, enabling their stories to transcend cultural boundaries. Successful penetration of local narratives into global markets, exemplified by hits like "Wednesday" and "Squid Game."Transformative journeySarandos acknowledged Netflix's challenging shifts—from DVD to streaming, from a US-centric approach to global expansion, and from second-run titles to original content. These strategic moves, however, have yielded significant returns.Since the global launch in 2016:Substantial investment in content, with annual content amortization tripling to $14.5 billion. A fivefold increase in operating margins, soaring from 4% to 20%. A remarkable turnaround in free cash flow, from negative $3.3 billion in 2019 to an estimated $6.5 billion in 2023. The business of streaming: Sarandos emphasized the robustness of the streaming business model, evident in Netflix's consistent growth and financial success.Consumer-centric approach : In his closing remarks, Sarandos underscored the enduring importance of a consumer-centric approach. Member satisfaction, he emphasized, remains the linchpin for sustained growth, revenue generation, and brand strength in the highly competitive streaming landscape.

Turkish Airlines and Riyadh Air sign strategic cooperation MoU

Turkish Airlines (TK) and Riyadh Air (RX) have agreed a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding to offer a comprehensive range of benefits for guests traveling between the Kingdom, Türkiye and points beyond their Riyadh and Istanbul hubs, as well as lay the ground for deeper future collaborations. Guest of both airlines will be able to take full advantage of each carrier’s worldwide network through a comprehensive interline and codeshare agreement that will allow customers to seamlessly connect between and combine sectors operated by either Riyadh Air or Turkish Airlines.Turkish Airlines Chief Investment & Technology Officer Levent Konukcu and Riyadh Air CEO, Tony Douglas, signed the agreement at a ceremony on the sidelines of the ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN 2023) held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The intention of both carriers is that benefits will be made available to guests as soon as possible after Riyadh Air launches operations in mid-2025 and is subject to regulatory approvals by relevant authorities.The close cooperation will allow members of each carrier’s loyalty program to earn points or credits when traveling on codeshare services operated by the other, with both airlines also exploring opportunities to develop a broader loyalty agreement covering both global networks. In addition to offering a comprehensive range of guest benefits, the MoU also commits Riyadh Air and Turkish Airlines to work together to explore and implement broader synergies and efficiencies across the value chain, touching areas such as aviation related services, cargo and digital development.Turkish Airlines Chief Investment & Technology Officer, Levent Konukcu stated: “We are happy to start our relationship with Riyadh Air, a promising new player in the aviation industry. This Memorandum of Understanding is more than a collaboration; it’s a bridge between Türkiye and Saudi Arabia, further strengthening our ties. It's also an opportunity to expand our reach and offer our guests more choices and convenience. We believe this partnership will not only benefit our customers but also contribute significantly to the tourism and business sectors of both countries.”Riyadh Air CEO, Tony Douglas said: “This agreement is another very significant step in the evolution of Riyadh Air as we partner with the world’s largest global airline by destinations served. Our close relationship will open up seamless connectivity via the global-leading hub at Istanbul Airport to some 130 destinations worldwide, especially within Türkiye, Europe and the Americas and accelerate our network footprint through the market-leading, guest-centric, digitally focused and like-minded global airline brand that is Turkish Airlines.”Douglas added, “Bilateral agreements with established network airlines are extremely important to Riyadh Air and there are significant benefits to this partnership, our passengers can enjoy greater connectivity to the world and deeper access to Türkiye, while an increased flow in volumes of tourism, religious and business travel into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is anticipated. Turkish Airlines is a world class aviation brand, and we are proud that they wish to play a part in the Riyadh Air story.”The establishment of Riyadh Air is in line with PIF’s mandate to unlock the capabilities of key sectors locally to drive the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy. The airline will also support the Saudi Aviation Strategy's broader vision, and enable the National Tourism Strategy, unlocking Saudi Arabia's cultural and natural attractions to international tourists and creating new jobs.

Abu Dhabi T10 begins it’s journey into the blockchain

Abu Dhabi T10 has already revolutionized cricket with the introduction of the fastest format – and now they begin their journey into the blockchain. T10 Global has partnered with Snowball Money, a platform aimed to make it easier for people toenter the exciting world of Cryptocurrency and Web3. The Go-to-Market strategy begins with gifting the 1 billion+ Cricket fans worldwide with physical and digital rewards. All it takes is a quick scan of the QR code conveniently showcased on screens during TV and digital broadcasts of tournament matches, as well as on the official Abu Dhabi T10 social media platforms. Upon joining, every fan will receive an exciting digital reward, and even a chance to meet players, acquire autographed jerseys, own game-used bats and earn additional physical awards. To seize this opportunity, visit and apply to join the waitlist.The blockchain serves as a secure and transparent platform to unite fans, promising a revolution in how they interact with the sport of cricket. Through the digital rewards system, fans can earn rewards, engage in decision-making processes, and participate in sports-themed fan games. Registration into the Abu Dhabi T10 blockchain via the QR code is free of charge, ensuring that the guaranteed rewards can be utilized by fans in various ways. This marks the introduction of a groundbreaking Sports and Entertainment Digital Rewards Programme, providing fans with unprecedented benefits.Speaking on this partnership, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman, T10 Sports Management, added: “It has been our constant endeavor to innovate in cricket. Our journey began with the introduction of the fastest format of the game, which has now proven to be one of the most entertaining and exciting formats in cricket. Fans world over have embraced it and love it and we have made it truly global. The next phase of transformation for us now lies in blockchain that can enable our T10 fans to be involved in an extensive sports and entertainment rewards programme and we are pleased with our partnership with Snowball Money that can enable this for us. We urge every fan to scan the QR code so they can avail these exciting rewards and be part of the sport and entertainment revolution with us.”Further detailing the partnership with T10 Global, Snowball Money CEO Mr Parul Gujral said, “We allow people to become their own bank and get exposure to and also earn a variety of different cryptocurrencies. We have moved from the old internet world to the new internet world called Web3. The whole idea of Web3 is that every single participant that is bringing value to the ecosystem gets rewarded and gets to become an owner of the system. We believe in the power of cricket to bring people together, and with blockchain, we're building bridges in the digital world. The initial QR code is just the first phase and there are several exciting things to come."Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be broadcast on CricLife3 available on Etisalat, Elife IPTV, Switch TV, and Starzplay in UAE-MENA. It will also be aired in Pakistan on channel A Sports and live streamed on TapMad. Indian fans can watch the season on Viacom Sports 18 2 (Hindi) and on Jio Cinema app. The tournament this season, will also air on Supreme TV in Sri Lanka, on BT Sport in the United Kingdom, on ESPN in the Caribbean, on Willow TV in North America, on T Sports in Bangladesh, and Fox Sports in Australia. Cricket fans in UAE can buy the Abu Dhabi Season 7 Tickets online for just AED 10 via:

Reputation House launches MENA headquarters in Dubai

Reputation House, a global leader in Online Reputation Management (ORM), celebrated the official inauguration of its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Headquarters based in Dubai, marking a pivotal moment in the company's expansion strategy. The launch underscored Reputation House's deep-seated commitment to the MENA region.The company launch also introduced ‘Check Reputation’, a revolutionary product designed to transform the landscape of online reputation management.Check Reputation Data MiningBy collecting millions of gigabytes of data from diverse online sources, Check Reputation guarantees a thorough examination, leaving no crucial information overlooked. Utilizing an in-house AI service, the collected data undergoes meticulous analysis. The results are then presented in a clear and accessible format, offering valuable research insights. Beyond mere reporting, Check Reputation takes a proactive approach, crafting targeted strategies to actively enhance and improve the online reputation of individuals and organizations.Dima Raketa, CEO, Reputation House, expressed enthusiasm about the MENA Headquarters launch, saying, "Our journey in the region is a testament to our dedication to empowering individuals and organizations to shape their digital narrative positively. Choosing Dubai as MENA base to leverage city’s advanced digital infrastructure.”Providing insights into Reputation House's vision for the region and the substantial investment, Dima Raketa said, "Revolutionary product ‘Check Reputation’ allows access to gathered data about the object, making reputation management easier for the audience. Online reputation stands as the most critical aspect, where a brand’s exceptional products may go unnoticed, and the virtual image can diverge from reality. Reputation, rather than being elusive or beyond control, serves as a canvas for individuals and entities to vividly showcase what they bring to the table.”He added, “In the digital era, everyone possesses the ability to mold their online presence, bridging the gap between the real and virtual realms. At Reputation House, we believe in demystifying reputation and empowering clients to authentically shape their digital narrative."With a firm focus on becoming an industry leader in the MENA region, Reputation House's suite of products, including ORM, Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM), and the Reputation House App, empowers clients to take control of their online narrative.Looking ahead, Reputation House announced its next strategic move – an expansion into Saudi Arabia in 2024. This decision aligns seamlessly with the company's strategy to cater to the growing demand for reputation management services in the region.

More than 100 climate tech startups to showcase at COP28 UAE

More than 100 climate tech startups will showcase their work at COP28 UAE’s Start Up Village in the Green Zone.Operating in diverse sectors such as sustainable transport and agriculture, solar energy, and several others, these startups offer innovative solutions that can contribute to a low-carbon future.The participation of these startups demonstrates the wide range of solutions being explored and positions COP28 as a key platform for advancing sustainable technologies.The COP28 Presidency emphasizes the important role that the private sector and technology can play in delivering climate action on the required scale.Climate technologies could at least double their contribution to global growth, while removing up to 25 billion tons of carbon emissions annually.Recognizing the importance for breakthrough technologies to achieve deeper decarbonization, the COP28 Presidency has been highlighting that research and development is urgently required to bring down costs for existing and emerging technologies.To further the involvement of the private sector startups, COP28 is hosting a dedicated Technology and Innovation Hub. This platform provides the private sector with an invaluable opportunity to share best practices and showcase their contributions in addressing the climate crisis.Here are some of the startups with their amazing products to tackle climate change, which will be on display at their kiosks at the Startup Village.Mazi Mobility: Pioneering Sustainable TransportMazi Mobility, a Kenyan-based mobility company, is dedicated to promoting sustainable transport as a tool to advance the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. With a focus on showcasing the transformative potential of e-mobility solutions, the company aims to reduce emissions and foster sustainable living.In a significant partnership, Mazi Mobility and the Zayed Sustainability Prize have joined forces to launch an electric bike journey from Nairobi to Dubai. Spanning an impressive distance of 7,500 km, this journey will cover two continents and five countries, symbolizing a commitment to sustainable practices on a global scale.SolarSpace: Transforming Solar EnergyArizona-based startup, SolarSpace, is showcasing its advanced solar energy technology at COP28, featuring the M8 solar tracker. Weighing 1,500 kg and measuring 660 cm x 335 cm x 460 cm, this stationary exhibit minimizes solar reflections.Large mirrors focus sunlight onto a small focal point reaching 1,000°C in less than 8 seconds. This heat is converted into sound waves, and sound waves into electric power or cooling.The system is based on freeze dry (sublimation) methods. Sublimation is when a solid (ice) changes directly to a vapor, skipping liquid (water) phase. The system freezes the water, puts it under vacuum and introduces heat. At about -5°C ice is fully evaporated without reaching a boiling point and condensed, while all solids are left dry in a powder form.The system is solar powered, modular, grid-independent, deployable system that can be deployed at any remote location and can be used for brackish groundwater or seawater. The technology has no filters to replace or chemicals to add, making its operation simple, durable and cost effective, reducing cost.RedSea: Sustainable Agriculture for Global Food SecurityRedSea products and technology significantly reduce fresh-water and energy usage, enabling profitable agriculture in arid conditions and high-temperature environments. This innovation extends the growing season in regions that traditionally experienced only seasonal farming, ultimately increasing yield.The mission of RedSea is clear: to Feed the World Sustainably. This commitment is fulfilled by substantially reducing crop inputs in commercial farming, making it feasible to cultivate previously unsustainable regions like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC. The technology is already delivering benefits to farming communities in these areas.RedSea's impact goes beyond agriculture—it contributes to saving water, addressing food security, reducing emissions, and enhancing the profitability of mid to low-tech farming operations.FlyNow Aviation GmbH: Revolutionizing Urban MobilityFlyNow Aviation GmbH focuses on social, economic, and ecological sustainability through its lightweight and efficient electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).An eVTOL aircraft utilizes electrical power for vertical hovering, take-off, and landing. These vehicles are optimized for electrical propulsion with battery-powered systems, offering a greener, safer, faster, quieter, and more efficient alternative to helicopters or traditional automobile taxis.Designed for urban mobility, the personal air vehicle provides eco-friendly transport for both cargo and passengers over short distances. Visitors can immerse themselves in virtual flights at the event, showcasing the company's dedication to innovation and sustainability.PLATFARM: Transforming Agritech in the MENA RegionPLATFARM, a UAE-based agritech company, is improving agribusiness in the MENA region with its data platform. Leveraging AI and satellite imagery, PLATFARM facilitates daily data-driven decisions, optimizing irrigation, and reducing the reliance on fertilizers and pesticides. Committed to sustainability, the platform provides real-time insights, improving crop management and resource conservation for a more sustainable agricultural future.GARBALISER: Improving Agriculture and Clean Energy in the UAE and LebanonGARBALISER employs innovative technology to transform biowaste into liquid natural fertilizer and renewable water. This advancement helps sustainable practices, addresses environmental challenges, and contributes to eco-friendly agriculture and water resource management.ECOLOO: Pioneering Sustainable Sanitation TechnologyAt COP28, ECOLOO showcases its cutting-edge biological sanitation tech. Their enclosed, waterless system prevents pollution and contamination while converting waste into odor-free liquid fertilizer for organic farming. It uses special formulated bacterial culture to treat and vanish human waste and transform urine into natural liquid fertilizer that is odor free, pathogen free and full of nutrients.ECOLOO says it not only saves gallons of water but also eliminates sewage costs. The company is set to unveil a new net-zero approach for commercial and residential buildings and factories during the event.The Startup Village is located in the Green Zone that will be open to the public from 3 -12 December. The Green Zone will serve as the central hub for action and will welcome all attendees. It will be open to the public, private sectors, media, youth, NGOs, as well as delegates and guests of the UNFCCC-managed Blue Zone for two weeks. Entry to the Green Zone from 1 - 3 December is by invitation only.

Digital asset tokenisation: Transforming financial infrastructure

Authored By Manhar Garegrat, Country Head, India & Global Partnerships, Liminal - Custody Solutions The transformative power of digital technologies is reshaping how we perceive and manage assets. At the forefront of this revolution is asset tokenization, a concept poised to revolutionize issuance, ownership, transfer, and management of tokenized assets. This innovative approach involves representing real-world assets, from real estate to intellectual property, as digital tokens on a blockchain network. These tokens act as digital proof of ownership, enabling secure and efficient transactions within the global financial ecosystem. Critical to the success of this transformation are the underlying infrastructure of smart contract, digital asset custody and wallet infrastructure platforms. These platforms provide the foundational infrastructure for the secure storage and transfer of these valuable tokens, ensuring the integrity of the tokenization process. The Promise of Secure Storage & TransferDigital asset custody is the safekeeping and management of digital assets, employing robust security measures like multi-signature wallets and advanced encryption techniques. This fortification protects assets from unauthorized access and loss, instilling confidence among investors and promoting wider adoption of digital asset tokenization. Efficient transfer of digital assets is a crucial aspect of tokenization, enabling seamless transactions across borders and platforms. Custody platforms leverage blockchain technology for real-time asset transfers, eliminating intermediaries and reducing transaction costs. This not only accelerates settlement times but also enhances liquidity for investors. Real-Time settlements, clearing & custody/storageDigital asset tokenisation introduces real-time settlements, a departure from traditional systems with lengthy clearing processes. Blockchain enables instantaneous transactions, eliminating intermediaries and reducing counterparty risks. This capability revolutionizes finance, offering unprecedented speed and efficiency. Clearing, the verification and finalization of transactions, benefits from blockchain's immutable record, ensuring transparency and reducing errors. This automated clearing process streamlines tokenization, appealing to both institutional and retail investors. Custodial storage safeguards digital assets, ensuring their security. Custody platforms provide secure solutions, including advanced encryption and multi-signature wallets. This commitment to security fosters trust among investors, encouraging participation in the tokenisation ecosystem. Growing adoption of tokenisation in money markets and treasuriesThe trend of tokenisation is gaining momentum in money markets and treasuries, particularly among asset managers and issuers. This growing adoption underscores tokenisation's ability to streamline asset management, enhance yield generation, and improve overall market liquidity. As more financial entities recognise the benefits, the broader financial ecosystem stands to gain from increased efficiency and transparency. Real-Time settlement and clearing: A transformative impactTokenisation's impact on settlement and clearing processes is transformative. Leveraging blockchain technology enables real-time transaction execution, eliminating the need for intermediaries. This not only significantly reduces settlement times but also lowers associated costs. The efficiency gains translate into a more agile and responsive financial system, benefiting both investors and market participants. Emerging role of digital asset custody platformsIn the realm of tokenized assets, digital asset custody platforms like Liminal play a crucial role in safeguarding and managing assets. These platforms provide secure storage solutions, employing advanced security protocols and multi-signature wallets to protect assets from unauthorized access and loss. As custodians of trust, these platforms contribute to the broader adoption of tokenisation by ensuring the security and integrity of digital assets. Collaboration between traditional banks and Web3 playersThe collaboration potential between traditional banks and web3-focused players is substantial in driving further innovation and adoption of tokenization. Traditional banks bring stability, regulatory expertise, and access to institutional investors. On the other hand, web3 players contribute technological agility, community engagement, and a profound understanding of decentralized finance (DeFi) principles. While several major banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, BNY Mellon, UBS, and Standard Chartered, are venturing into this space, highlighting the growing demand for digital asset solutions and the commitment of traditional banks to financial innovation; there is a strong need for collaborative efforts to create a synergistic ecosystem that combines regulatory compliance with technological innovation. Key themes emerging in tokenisation and real-world asset spaceSeveral key themes are shaping the tokenization and real-world asset (RWA) landscape: ?     Growing Focus on Professionally-Managed Products: The industry is witnessing a shift towards professionally-managed tokenized products, indicating a maturation in the market. ?     Increasing Adoption of Digital Asset Mechanics: The embrace of digital asset mechanics is becoming more pronounced, reflecting a broader acceptance of the digitisation of financial instruments. ?     Exploration of Alternative Product Strategies: Innovations such as Hamilton Lane's digitally-native private equity share classes showcase the industry's exploration of alternative product strategies, offering new avenues for investment and liquidity. Digital asset trends in 2023: A glimpse into the financial futureThroughout 2023, there was a sustained presence of significant trends in the digital asset space across both retail and institutional sectors. The year maintained the momentum seen in 2022 concerning investment banking activities, as major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, UBS, HSBC, and ABN AMRO, actively engaged in the issuance of digital bonds. Illustratively, Goldman Sachs, after hinting at a $104 million European Investment Bank (EIB) pilot, formally introduced the Goldman Sachs Digital Asset Platform (GS DAP) in January 2023, following HSBC's launch of the Orion platform two months prior. GS DAP took the lead in orchestrating the issuance of a $102 million digital Green Bond in collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Anticipations are high for additional issuances involving actively participating banks like Societe Generale, EIB, Santander, and Union Investment. Noteworthy is Union Investment's acquisition of 15 additional basis points ($156,000) as the primary buyer of Goldman's inaugural EIB issuance. This trajectory is projected to gain momentum with larger-scale issuances and the comprehensive implementation of end-to-end digital processes, including onboarding, servicing, and management. ConclusionDigital asset tokenisation is set to revolutionize asset ownership, transfer, and management. As traditional banks and new-age web3-focused players converge, their collaboration will create a thriving tokenisation ecosystem. Traditional banks provide stability and regulatory expertise, while web3-focused players bring innovation and a deep understanding of decentralization. By collaborating effectively, these two groups can build a vibrant tokenisation landscape that benefits all stakeholders. With growing adoption in money markets and treasuries, real-time settlement efficiencies, and the emerging role of digital asset custody platforms, the trajectory of tokenisation is set for continued growth and impact on the financial landscape.

Viola Outdoors’s progressive digital transformation launches on National Day 23

Viola Outdoor, a division of Viola Communications and the leading provider of out-of-home cross-platform media solutions in Abu Dhabi, is utilizing space on its digital media assets, from bridge-banners and taxi-tops to the brand new digital totems and digital hoardings introduced across the city this week, to provide a city-wide platform of celebration for the United Arab Emirates as it marks its 52nd National Day on December 2nd.Ammar Sharaf, founder and CEO of Viola Communications, expressed his pride in the company’s policy of community engagement, joining in as the whole country celebrates National Day, saying, “I am thrilled to announce this initiative, which comes in line with our commitment to reinforcing a spirit of unity. As an Abu Dhabi home-grown organization, Viola Communications has always believed in the power of creativity to inspire and bring people together in a reflection of the UAE leadership’s guidance, and by presenting the UAE flag as the first introduction to our new digital assets, alongside our existing bridge-banners digital network and exclusive digital taxi-tops, we are amplifying the true essence of our nation’s citizens, supporting their wish to express appreciation for the UAE’s leadership and celebrate the diverse aspects of the UAE’s heritage and cultural richness. We understand that National Day is a significant milestone that binds us together as a nation, and we wanted to contribute in a meaningful way. By launching the capital’s digital transformation mega project on this special occasion, we strengthen the sense of pride and unity among citizens, a value that we share at Viola, and by focusing our content on this National Day, we are honouring our nation.”Viola’s digital out-of-home assets are highly visible examples of the company’s digitalization process across the capital and this week sees a leap in the expansion of DOOH, as Viola Outdoors’s assets now include digital hoardings and unique free-standing totem road-side displays, all of which are located in prominent areas across the capital.

Comma signs a strategic partnership agreement with ALTER in Saudi Arabia

 "Comma," one of the top Saudi public relations and event management agencies, and ALTER, a prominent creative and innovative communications agency based in the United Kingdom, have signed a strategic partnership agreement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As per the terms of the agreement, which was concluded on the sidelines of the 37th America's Cup AC37 that recently wrapped up in the city of Jeddah on the shores of the Red Sea, Comma, through its branches in the Saudi capital Riyadh and Jeddah, implements, executes, coordinates and offers local support for ALTER's businesses as well as the needs of its clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to that, Comma collaborates in managing major sporting events, conferences, and other events that take place in the Kingdom.The CEO of ALTER, Mr. Richard Moore, stated: "Comma was selected due to its established history of providing excellent services to clients across multiple industries and its prominence in public relations. Mr. Moore concluded his remarks by praising Comma's successful collaboration in carrying out the public relations plan for the 37th America’s Cup in Jeddah. He also noted that this partnership fully aided in the plan's implementation and emphasized the tremendous work done by the Saudi Sailing Federation and the Saudi Ministry of Sport to organize this international event, which led to the formation of this strategic partnership. We are optimistic that ALTER and Comma will continue to collaborate in the future as they develop inventive and creative public relations strategies for our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Mr. Fadi Faisal Majzoub, CEO of Comma, welcomed the strategic partnership with ALTER and stated, "The partnership with Alter is an important step in Comma's track record of accomplishments, and we will collaborate as a specialized team to achieve more successes for our clients in the future stage”. Mr. Majzoub also stressed that partnering with an experienced leading London based agency in the field of public relations and communications to expand its activities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly contribute to the execution of successful and distinctive marketing campaigns and keeping pace with the most significant advancements in the Kingdom’s social and economic trajectories, as well as taking part in the vital role played by the private sector in bolstering the country's economy in accordance with goals of Vision 2030.Towards the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Majzoub expressed his gratitude for the success of the America's Cup PR campaign, which is the oldest sporting event in the history of international competition, dating back to 1851. He further added that this demonstrates Comma’s capacity to plan outstanding projects for local, regional and international events held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Samsung partners with actress Emma Myers and Team Galaxy to open up ‘Epic Worlds

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today unveiled the complete final cut of “Epic Worlds,” a unique cinematic project filmed entirely with a Galaxy S23 Ultra, capturing the essence of several distinct film genres and redefining the possibilities of mobile content creation. Almost entirely crowdsourced before being edited together for today’s compilation release, “Epic Worlds” is a testament to the power of open collaboration.At the heart of this new storytelling approach is a short centerpiece film, starring Emma Myers (known for her role in Netflix’s “Wednesday”) on a journey that transitions through the genres of film noir, science fiction, western, fantasy and action thriller. Myers plays the protagonist, but the hero of the piece is the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Nightography. With an unparalleled ability to capture low-light scenes, Nightography enables clarity and detail that is truly cinematic.What’s more, this central narrative has inspired complementary content. All around the globe, local influencers from Team Galaxy shot their own scenes in reaction. These diverse pieces, all filmed with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, have been woven together with the centerpiece to create the cohesive spectacle that is the complete “Epic Worlds.”“I am so excited that Samsung invited me to be a part of Team Galaxy. Using a smartphone to bring such an incredible short film to life was really amazing, and I totally loved the results and the entire process,” said Myers. “I am drawn to unique projects, so working with Samsung provided me the opportunity to use that creativity more and to encourage others to do the same by creating their own short films. I cannot wait for everyone to see the compilation cut of ‘Epic Worlds’ — it’s a next-level collaboration.”“It’s honestly blown me away,” said Zee Ntuli, director of the “Epic Worlds” centerpiece. “I’ve been incredibly impressed with what this Galaxy device is capable of. What’s really amazed me is how the phone performs in low light. Nightography is just a remarkable feature.”The project follows the success of previous Filmed #withGalaxy campaigns, in which Samsung joined hands with high-profile filmmakers to demonstrate Galaxy’s power to create cinema-worthy content. “Epic Worlds” builds on that legacy with a bold statement that great content creation goes beyond power and image quality — it is also about creativity, community and the collaborative spirit, all of which Galaxy fosters.“Epic Worlds” is an invitation for content creators to harness the power of Galaxy and bring their most imaginative ideas to life. With Galaxy, professional-caliber content creation is available to everyone, everywhere.The final compilation cut of “Epic Worlds” is out now and can be watched here. The centerpiece short film starring Emma Myers can be viewed on YouTube.

Dubai TV premieres “Shark Tank Dubai”

MEMS which serves from within Choueiri Group as the Exclusive Media Representative for Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), recently announced that DMI’s flagship Satellite TV Channel Dubai TV will become the new home of the global reality-TV hit series “Shark Tank”.The original Shark Tank premiered in 2009 as the American franchise of the international format “Dragons' Den”, a Japanese TV series. It focused on entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of five venture capitalists (investors in start-ups) called "sharks", who decide whether to invest in their companies or not. The series has been a massive ratings success across the globe, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program four times (2014–2017) in the first four years of that category's existence. In 2012–13, it won Outstanding Reality Program.“Shark Tank Dubai” follows in the series’ acclaimed tradition, presenting a business-oriented reality television series where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their innovative business concepts to a panel of highly successful and influential business titans - “sharks” from the UAE. The show provides a platform for local entrepreneurs to secure investments and form partnerships with the sharks, gaining invaluable resources and guidance to take their ventures to new heights.Speaking on the development, Sarah Al Jarman, Head of TV Channel and Radio - DMI stated that: “Aligned with our ongoing commitment to programming excellence and building a better tomorrow for generations to come, Shark Tank Dubai will deliver the pinnacle of entertainment, inspiration and insights to the budding entrepreneurial spirit which has become synonymous with Dubai and the UAE”.Upcoming on the new season of the show, the featured sharks will include Faisal Juma Belhoul, Founder and Chairman of Ithmar Capital Partners, Amira Sajwani, Founder and CEO of Prypco, Elie Khoury, CEO and Chairman at Vivium Holding, Noor Sweid, CEO at Global Ventures and Yousef Hamad, Managing Partner at BECO Capital – All mainstays of the UAE’s venture capital and business landscape.Also expressing his excitement for the upcoming season, Jean Pierre Tannous, Chief Operating Officer of MEMS stated that “As Dubai TV races forward on its journey of becoming a leading provider of impactful entertainment offerings in today’s digital age, we are very excited about the upcoming season of Shark Tank Dubai, which will not only provide healthy doses of meaningful audience engagement and interaction, but also showcase Dubai and UAE as visionary platforms for entrepreneurs”.

M42 partners with Siemens to enhance energy efficiency across UAE health sector

M42, a global tech-enabled health company headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has partnered with Siemens to boost energy efficiency across the UAE healthcare sector by auditing health facilities for energy efficiency and exploring digitalisation of infrastructure.Decarbonising infrastructure is part of M42's two-fold approach to reduce its carbon footprint. It also includes using preventative tech-enabled health solutions to reduce the number of patients required to visit energy-intensive facilities.The project’s initial phase involves a comprehensive energy efficiency audit of the healthcare facilities operated by M42 across the UAE. These audits are designed to identify opportunities for substantial energy savings and examine means for carbon emission reductions.Siemens and M42 have further committed to discussing and developing a roadmap that will lead to the digitalisation of M42's infrastructure. This digital transformation aims to enhance operational efficiency and improve the comfort of patients, healthcare professionals, and staff at M42's facilities.The partnership will leverage the Siemens Xcelerator platform, setting a standard for healthcare sustainability. By integrating innovative technologies, M42 and Siemens are determined to make a positive environmental and societal impact.The first audit, completed in November 2023, found that one of M42’s healthcare facilities could achieve significant savings in energy costs through heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) retrofits, and through the integration of space management systems via Siemens Enlighted portfolio that centralises energy management into a building management system. Implementing these energy-saving solutions across M42’s portfolio of hospitals and clinics, the largest network in the Middle East, could produce substantial reductions in carbon emissions and increase operational efficiency.According to the international non-governmental organisation Health Care Without Harm, emissions from healthcare facilities make up 17 per cent of the sector’s worldwide footprint. Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam, cooling and heating comprise another 12 per cent.Mark McGourty, Group Chief Operating Officer of M42, said: “M42 is at the forefront of tech-enabled healthcare; we're leveraging cutting-edge tools like AI and genomics to treat people, not just patients and focus on health, not just healthcare. Harnessing technology is only part of our strategy. We're also committed to decarbonising our facilities to ensure we can sustainably continue to provide world-class care to those in need. Our collaboration with Siemens demonstrates our dedication to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.“The healthcare sector's carbon footprint is immense, if it were a country, it would rank as the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. This partnership marks just the beginning. I call upon other healthcare facilities to join us in this critical endeavor of decarbonising their operations, paving the way towards a more sustainable future for the industry and the planet,”Helmut von Struve, the Chief Executive Officer of Siemens in the Middle East said: “We are proud to partner with M42 and are confident that we can develop a roadmap that will improve asset performance and enhance the comfort of patients and healthcare workers in their facilities. This partnership isn’t just about energy savings, it’s about setting a new standard in the healthcare industry for sustainability and operational excellence.”Siemens collaborates with healthcare providers globally to create highly efficient hospitals with smart, optimised processes. Building systems, automation software, and hardware that are part of Siemens Xcelerator, an open digital business platform designed to accelerate digital transformation on a larger scale, allow operators to centralise control of thousands of data points like energy supply, fire protection, HVAC, lighting and access controls, optimising patient comfort, facility safety, and sustainability.

Chalhoub, LVMH, Emaar, Majid Al Futtaim, Aldar unite for sustainability

Chalhoub Group, LVMH, EMAAR Malls Management (L.L.C), Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC, and Aldar Properties PJSC join forces to create “Unity For Change ” (pronounced UFQ in Arabic, meaning horizon and symbolizing the future), a pionneering partnership among prominent retailers and real estate developers in the Emirates. This alliance is dedicated to defining and achieving sustainability targets.The first partnership of its kind in the Middle East retail sector, between the five leading industry players, focuses on energy efficiency, clean energy, eco-design, water, and waste management, demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and achieving each of the parties’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.This initiative reflects how to reduce the carbon and biodiversity footprints of the retail sector, with all entities intending to negotiate and execute a formal agreement within the next year.The cooperation specifically aims to enhance understanding and management of energy consumption across the entities’ properties, tenant stores, and landlords’ common areas, while also developing a comprehensive eco-design checklist, polling resources for clean energy purchases to optimize energy consumption, cooperating in chilled water management and air conditioning to enhance efficiency, as well as other initiatives. Additionally, there will be concerted efforts to research green concrete usage to achieve recycling objectives.Patrick Chalhoub, Group President at Chalhoub Group, commented: “In 2022, the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) validated our short-term carbon reduction goals. Achieving these targets requires collaborative efforts and I firmly believe in the power of collective action towards a common goal. We are pleased to collaborate with our partners to enhance our sustainability impact, setting clear objectives for both malls and retail operations. This first of its kind agreement marks the beginning of future partnerships aimed at ensuring a sustainable and resilient future for all.”Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image & Environment, said: “Our 5,600 stores around the world create experiences for our customers that we strive to make as exceptional and as unforgettable as possible. The excellence of our stores extends to their environmental performance. To do so, we need to collaborate with landlords. After having signed a first partnership with Hang Lung in China in 2022, LVMH is proud to sign this second agreement with local partners in the United Arab Emirates. In the context of COP28, this agreement highlights our strong commitment to fighting climate change.”An Emaar Malls Management spokesperson said: "Our participation in this sustainability taskforce further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility in the retail sector. We are focusing on fostering sustainable practices, emphasising the importance of energy efficiency, eco-responsible design, and responsible use of resources. This collaboration is another component of our strategic plan to seamlessly integrate sustainable solutions into our business operations, demonstrating our commitment to cultivating a sustainable future for our communities and stakeholders."Ahmed El Shamy, Chief Executive Officer Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “This partnership enhances and accelerates our existing efforts to reach our ambitious target to produce more energy and water than we consume, reaching Net Positive by 2040. We are proud to be a part of this shared commitment, aiming to set a new global standard in sustainable practices and achievements as it relates to retail landlord and tenant collaboration.”Faisal Falaknaz, Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer at Aldar, said: “A key part of Aldar’s science-aligned net zero plan is to decarbonize our retail spaces and other commercial assets. This involves us actively engaging our supply chain and tenants to support their own transition to net zero. The partnership we have announced today provides a framework for Aldar to work closely with an important group of fellow industry leaders who share our commitment to creating environmentally friendly retail spaces that benefit developers, tenants, and our customers.”The joint sectoral partnership between the five parties highlights their commitment to working as a collective unit towards their ambitious goals, and marks a testament to each of their commitments to enhancing their sustainable practices and set a new standard for environmental stewardship in the Middle East’s retail sector.

Katch International launches department in partnership with Blurred

Katch International, a PR agency that has done things its own way since its creation in 2011, is proud to launch its new department focused on sustainability and responsible operations. Katch cares about its impact on wider society and this new development highlights the company's commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, along with giving back to the community and the planet. Through some innovative initiatives, workshops, programs, and strategic partnerships, Katch aims to inspire positive change and make a lasting impact.Katch International Launches Dedicated Department Focused on Sustainability and Brand Strategy in Partnership with BlurredKatch has a history of doing good in society, working with an array of clients on groundbreaking campaigns over its 13-year history. Noteworthy campaigns include Rove Hotels introduction of Winnow technology to reduce food waste by 40% and its efforts to plant 28,000 trees leading up to COP28, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island's zero waste dinner titled "Looped In", The H Dubai's receiving of The Green Key Certification for its sustainability efforts, Address Hotels & Resorts multiple sustainability initiatives like utilising recyclable amenities and reducing plastic use, and Gree's launch of their net zero, solar-powered appliances, amongst others.The UAE has a long history of being at the forefront of climate action and this new philosophy embodies the same ideals, as Katch showcases its dedication to corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices. The UAE's hosting of COP28 further demonstrates the country's focus on sustainability and it is an opportunity for the government and companies to collaborate to establish new zero-carbon emissions in diverse sectors.Katch's Partnership with Blurred: Pioneering Sustainable ChangeIn a significant step towards fulfilling their goals, Katch has strategically partnered with Blurred, a UK-based firm that blurs the lines between sustainability, management and communications consultancy, which already operates across the UK, Europe, and the United States. Blurred has a unique ability to help clients create lasting impact for their business, their customers, and the world at large. Their services include world-class communications, consultancy, and creative solutions.Through this partnership, Katch will offer clients a range of services designed to address critical environmental issues by helping clients evaluate strategies, policies, and actions to create greater impact. Once that impact is delivered, they will reshape the client narrative, and communicate a company story that breaks through to customers, employees, and stakeholders. Katch and Blurred have come together to help clients take action on climate and biodiversity risk and then communicate their positive impact to the world.Blurred is driven by a profound purpose: to deliver work with depth that drives impact for their clients, people, and the planet. Their approach is grounded in sustainable principles, aiming to reduce negative impacts while maximising positive contributions. Blurred's values include a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which align perfectly with Katch's ethos. Georgie Woollams, Founder and CEO of Katch International, commented on the partnership, "We are seeing more that the UAE and wider GCC region is at the forefront of sustainability efforts. When we met Blurred, we were very encouraged by their ethos and reputation, along with the award-winning communication strategies they have achieved. With Katch's Middle East expertise and past work in sustainability, alongside Blurred's new approach and vision, we are very excited about this strategic partnership and the sustainability journey we have embarked on."Nik Govier, CEO + Founder at Blurred commented on the partnership, "The Middle East region is acutely exposed to risks associated with climate change (such as extreme heat and increasing water stress) and a wide range of biodiversity issues. We're delighted to be partnering with Katch to work collectively to support businesses in the region in terms of dealing with these increased threats, but also the opportunity for betterment. Katch has unrivalled local market expertise and a proven track record in creative and communications that delivers real impact. We can't wait to see what we can achieve together."Katch's Commitment to Sustainability and CommunityIn-house, Katch has already implemented a comprehensive sustainability strategy, including eliminating single use paper and plastics, along with several new improvement initiatives. Katch has also recently taken steps to engage in corporate social responsibility activities, uniting their team in a shared mission to care for one another and the broader community.

Shell Egypt appoints Dalia El Gabry as new VP and Country Chair

Shell plc has appointed Dalia El Gabry as the new Vice President and Country Chair for Shell Egypt N.V. (Shell Egypt), effective 1st December, 2023. El Gabry will be replacing Khaled Kacem, who has been leading the Shell business in Egypt for the past four and a half years.In her most recent role as Commercial General Manager for Shell Egypt, Dalia El Gabry contributed to the design of Shell Egypt's growth strategy, driving integration across businesses, and enhancing stakeholder management. Dalia led commercial negotiations of several business development opportunities and nurtured deep trust with partners and stakeholders. Dalia is also an avid champion of diversity, equity and inclusivity in the workplace.El Gabry has 28 years of experience at Shell across Integrated Gas & Upstream, Downstream, and Projects & Technology. El Gabry has held several international assignments with Shell in Norway, Morocco, The Netherlands, South Africa and Qatar. She also previously held senior leadership roles in Finance, as the Managing Director of former Shell joint venture, Bapetco.El Gabry said: “I am honored to be taking on the role of Vice President and Country Chair of Shell Egypt at such an exciting and crucial time as we accelerate our business activities to achieve the desired growth aspirations. I am deeply committed to steering Shell’s efforts to support Egypt’s vision and ongoing initiatives to unlock the full potential of the energy sector as an engine for national growth and sustainable development. I would also like to thank Khaled Kacem for his leadership, commitment, passion and care for people.”Khaled Kacem leaves behind a proud legacy. Under his stewardship, Shell Egypt significantly expanded its activities, paving the way for a solid growth trajectory. During his tenure, Shell Egypt optimised production from existing assets, sanctioned further development phases, increased its offshore exploration footprint, launched an ambitious deep-water exploration programme in the Nile Delta and initiated several business development activities.

Vodafone Oman becomes the official sponsor of Al Seeb Club’s first football team

Vodafone Oman has signed a first-of-its-kind long-term partnership with Al Seeb club as the ‘Official Sponsor’ of its first football team. The coming together of the two powerhouse-brands will aim to leverage the inherent synergies between football and telecom to generate even greater value for the much-loved game, creating stronger community connections, impactful initiatives, and opportunities for skills-development.Following the signing, Eng. Bader Al Zidi said, "Vodafone and Al Seeb Club are united by a shared love for football, echoing a passion that resonates across the country. This sponsorship isn't just about supporting a club; it's about doing things differently and breaking new ground. We're pioneers, the first private company to back a football club in Oman, setting a trail for others to follow, changing the game in the process.”Youssef Al Wahaibi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directorsof Al Seeb Football Club expressed the appreciation of the Club for Vodafone’s commitment and trust. He said, “This agreement does not only serve Al Seeb Club, but also has the best interest of Al Seeb community at heart. In addition to sponsoring the first football team, we are looking forward to what it will provide our Seebawi fans and will work alongside our partners to ensure a positive impact on Oman’s sports and football.”Known as the ‘Emperor’ amongst fans, Al Seeb FC is a beacon of football excellence holding to its name several Sultan Qaboos Cup and Omani League championship winnings, in addition to being the first club in Oman to bring home the AFC Cup in 2022.As the official sponsor, Vodafone will work hand-in-hand with Al Seeb Club management to deepen the connection with ‘Seebawi’ fans through a variety of exclusive fan engagement initiatives. From meet-and-greets to digital activations, these initiatives will enhance the overall fan experience and further solidify the partnership's impact.Beyond immediate benefits for the club, the players and fans, Vodafone's strategic sponsorship will contribute significantly to the growth of Al Seeb Club and football in Oman. On the horizon are player and coaching development activations, training facility upgrades as well as international exposure support for the club and Oman.The partnership Al Seeb Football Club is the one of several impactful social initiatives on the company’s horizon. In collaboration with its strategic partners, Vodafone aims to harness technology to bring together individuals, organisations and entities as one, enabling growth and development beyond the telecom industry in Oman.

Alliance Networks and SALAM collaborate

Alliance Networks, a regional digital infrastructure service provider, and SALAM, a leading provider of telecommunications services in Saudi Arabia, are proud to announce their partnership aimed at providing seamless high-capacity connectivity to customers in the region.The partnership between Alliance Networks and SALAM leverages the strengths of both companies to deliver advanced connectivity solutions to businesses in the GCC region and beyond. Integrating SALAM's robust network infrastructure, including data centres and international cables, with Alliance Networks' regional presence and commercial partnerships, this collaboration enables the provision of high-capacity connectivity services that cater to the growing demands of customers in the region.Eng. Ahmed AL Anqari, CEO Salam said: “We are thrilled collaborate with Alliance Networks to provide exceptional connectivity solutions to customers in the region. This collaboration enables us to leverage our respective strengths and deliver advanced digital services to businesses, driving innovation and growth across the region.Mr. Adel Al Daylami, CEO of Alliance Networks, expressed their delight about the partnership, saying, "We are delighted to collaborate with SALAM to deploy and expand our Network in the region. By combining our resources and expertise, we will provide high-capacity connectivity services that meet the growing demands of customers and enable the delivery of advanced digital services across the region."The collaboration between Alliance Networks and SALAM embodies a shared vision to provide exceptional connectivity services to customers in the region. With a focus on fostering innovation and driving economic growth, this partnership will create new opportunities for businesses, governments, and international.

13am Store in Dubai: A global celebration of creative talent

The upcoming launch of 13am Store in Dubai heralds the introduction of 13am Crowd, a global creative brand celebrating talent worldwide while being rooted in Dubai. Its diverse phases, encompassing apparel, music, and events, will kick off with 13am Studio on December 5th. Founder George Ripton's vision emphasizes providing a platform for often overlooked yet exceptionally talented creatives.Featuring a range of artists spanning graphic and motion designers, graffiti and traditional artists, photographers, and typographers, 13am creates a rich tapestry of creativity. The focus on showcasing diverse nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds within the 13am community adds a unique flavor.The concept of artists crafting exclusive pieces or series for 13am, available for purchase through an online store, fosters a connection between art enthusiasts and their favorite creatives. Future plans, including exhibitions, stores, and the introduction of NFTs, showcase a forward-thinking approach. The addition of 13am Apparel and 13am Records in subsequent phases expands 13am into a comprehensive brand beyond art prints.The commitment to fine art Gicle?e printing, using high-quality inks and papers, underscores dedication to maintaining the artistic integrity of the pieces available online. The evolution of 13am Studio with new artists and ventures into events and the digital space, along with the incorporation of NFTs, aligns with current art trends.In summary, 13am Crowd's initiative is a promising venture supporting artists and aspiring to be a go-to destination for wall decor enthusiasts. Best wishes for a successful launch and future endeavors to 13am Crowd and 13am StudioPhoto for representation purpose only

Zain KSA expands 5G network reach to 64 cities

After launching the first zero-emission 5G network worldwide, Zain KSA announced the expansion of its 5G services to cover ten additional cities, including Al-Aflaj, Al-Lith, Al Qunfudhah, Al Badayea, Samtah, Shaqra, Al Khobar, Duba, Al Bukayriyah, and Rabigh. These cities now enjoy high-speed 5G digital services.The network expansion is a testament to Zain KSA’s commitment to delivering the latest digital services across the Kingdom and ensuring the best user experience while enhancing Saudi Arabia’s digital competitiveness. It also supports Zain KSA’s strategic goal of accelerating the nationwide digital transformation and improving the quality of life for more communities by providing high-speed digital services that unlock new prospects for service integration and innovation.Zain KSA Engineering Executive General Manager, Eng. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Najidi stated, “In addition to growing our network and expanding our services, at Zain KSA, we are committed to enhancing access to the best and most innovative digital services for everyone in the Kingdom, including individuals and enterprises. We aim to deliver highly reliable connectivity that reinforces Saudi Arabia's digital transformation, helps narrow the digital divide, and improves the quality of life, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives. In our commitment to harnessing technology for sustainable development, we have been accelerating green technology collaborations as part of Zain KSA’s overarching ESG strategy. Through a flagship partnership with Red Sea Global, Zain KSA will build the world’s first zero-emission 5G network at the Six Senses Desert Dunes resort in the Red Sea. The solar-powered network utilizes 100% renewable energy from over 750,000 solar panels with purpose-designed towers and state-of-the-art 3D printing technology to deliver three main objectives: environmental protection, reducing emissions through clean energy, and minimizing visual distortion. The project will contribute to localizing the ICT industry and reducing its carbon footprint by more than 278 million tons annually by 2030, and achieving Net Zero by 2060.” The 5G network expansion complements Zain KSA's growing portfolio of bespoke 5G applications and pioneering solutions in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing services, and other emerging technologies.

SME sector role in UAE’s economic growth receives top recognition at CF2SGFA

Dubai, UAE: In line with its contribution to the thriving landscape of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Century Financial, a renowned investment specialist in the region, has bestowed prestigious honors upon the finalists of the SME Golden Frame Awards.Part of the Gulf Business Awards, the special segment of Century Financial SME Golden Frame Awards, stands as a testament to the integral role played by UAE-based SMEs in bolstering the economic performance and growth of the country and the wider GCC region. The SME Golden Frame Awards represent a strategic, multi-faceted effort aimed at providing extended support to foster visionary leadership, creativity, responsibility, and ambition. The auspicious recognition was conferred on SMEs that are pioneers and leaders in innovation, business strategy, product delivery, sustainability, and customer service, among other crucial factors.Launched in November 2022, the initiative attracted an overwhelming response from homegrown SMEs, receiving over 50 expertly and creatively crafted award entries across categories. Seven outstanding winners stood out from this pool of entries after weeks of careful evaluation by a seasoned judging panel comprising regional industry leaders.The ShowstoppersRetail Company of the Year - GMGDisruptive SME of the year - Polynome EventsSocial Innovation Excellence Award - Butterfly Social TechnologiesAgriBusiness Leader of the year - Export Trading GroupInnovative SME of the year - Petrafos Energy & Downtown Reality Real Estate BrokerageSustainable SME of the year - Healthy Pop foodsPresenting the awards, Bal Krishen, Chairman and CEO of Century Financial, expressed, “The Golden Frame Awards is a timely initiative that seeks to not just motivate and inspire homegrown businesses but to encourage them to continue developing people-driven solutions that ultimately make a difference. Our overall objective is to help the regional SME sector to scale up sustainably by recognizing these creative breakthrough innovators who are making disruptive moves in their respective fields.”Sharad V K the Marketing Director of Century Financial, added, “As a pioneering investment services company in the UAE, Century Financial has always cherished the values of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. The SME Golden Frame Awards is a unique celebration spotlighting the promising SMEs that drive our nation's growth and prosperity. We introduced the Golden Frame Awards for SMEs in partnership with Gulf Business in 2022. It was a resounding success, setting the stage for this year's equally triumphant 2nd edition.”SME landscapeThe Golden Frame Awards comes on the back of a burgeoning SME industry as the UAE targets to increase the number of SMES from 557,000 as at the end of 2022 to one million by the end of 2030. This, according to the Ministry of Economy, is part of the UAE’s strategy to boost the contribution of SMEs to the economy.As the regional SME sector continues to demonstrate significant growth and impact over the last few years and further accounting for more than 94 percent of companies operating in the country, the Golden Frame Awards will serve as a boost to the UAE’s start-up ecosystem. This, according to Krishen, has risen in tandem with the increase in digitisation in key sectors such as retail, services, e-commerce, and government.

MENA shoppers spent 40% more during White Friday week

The last White Friday special offers are still hanging on the websites of many marketplaces and online stores while brands are ready to summarize the results of the most important sale of the year. According to the Admitad affiliate network estimates, this year MENA customers spent 40% more during White Friday compared to a “quiet” period. Customers were most active in buying clothes and footwear, electronics, household goods, toys and beauty products.While searching for trends, Admitad analyzed over 153 million online orders of more than 2800 brands worldwide and over 5,6 million online orders in MENA.The sale was successful but quietOnline sales during White Friday hit records again this year, but it's clear that the pendulum of excitement around the sale is slowing down every year. According to Admitad, the global increase in sales during the week of White Friday compared to last year was only 8% in the number of sales and 9% in the sum of sales. The MENA market is in perfect sync with global dynamics.At the same time, the importance of White Friday itself for MENA users is gradually decreasing. Last year, the jump in the number of sales compared to the "quiet period" amounted to 35%. This year, shoppers increased their activity by only 40% despite the overall active growth of Ecommerce sector YoY. It seems that their attention was diverted by the Single’s Day sale and Cyber Monday following the Friday.Also, shoppers are more likely to say that White Friday discounts are not as tempting as they used to be. The constant stream of sales has taught customers to scrupulously study the offers from brands, check discounts for truthfulness, juggle with coupons and promo codes and not to give in to the first temptation, but to wait for a really profitable purchase.What types of goods were in high demand?Marketplaces, which accounted for more than 60% of purchases worldwide last year, only strengthened their dominance this year, with more than 67% of all online orders made from them during White Friday week. In MENA, they have the same level of dominance and attracted about 69% of purchases during the sale week.These product categories, according to Admitad's calculations, attracted the largest share of sales:Electronics - 24%Fashion - 17,2%Home & Garden - 13%Toys & Hobbies - 7%Beauty & Health - 6,7%Tools - 6,5%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories - 6,3%Sports & Entertainment - 4,5%Home Renovation - 4%Others - 10,8%If we compare these stats with the results of last year's sale, the orders of fashion, toys and home goods sagged significantly, while electronics and tools gained in popularity. There is also a new leader in the top - “Hope Renovation” category.These major product categories showed the most significant growth compared to “quiet” period:Tools +105%Toys & Hobbies +65%Electronics +59%Sports & Entertainment +55%Home & Garden +45%Automobiles, Parts & Accessories +41%Best sources of customersThe impact of cashback services on MENA customers' purchases remains very significant - shoppers applied cashback to more than 20% of their online purchases again this year. The possibility to get cashback from a purchase for many users becomes a determining factor when choosing a store or even a particular product.Content platforms and online media ones again appeared to be one of the main sources of White Friday orders this year and attracted more than 19% of all orders. They are followed by contextual and targeted ads (17%), social media (12,5%), coupon services (9%), browsers (5%) and mobile apps (4%). Affiliate marketing has also shown its growing popularity, with 20% more brands building it into their marketing strategy than last year. Companies find it convenient to use a tool that allows them to cover all possible sources of traffic and pay only for results. The results of affiliate partners who attract orders for remuneration also improved this year - their profits jumped by 43% compared to earnings during a “quiet” period.New Year sales are right around the corner. It is important for brands to consider the results of Single's Day and White Friday in preparation for them.

58% of companies in Saudi Arabia plan to outsource cybersecurity

Company bosses are boosting their cybersecurity following an alarming increase in cyberattacks, a new study commissioned by Kaspersky has found. The data shows that 71% of companies in Saudi Arabia suffered at least one cyber incident over the last two years. One of the main reasons cited was the shortage of qualified IT security staff (34%). Among measures to strengthen cybersecurity, overall up to 58% of respondents claimed that their companies plan to invest in different forms of outsourcing cybersecurity in the next 12 to 18 months.Kaspersky conducted a study to learn the opinions of IT security professionals working for SMEs and corporations worldwide regarding the impact people have on cybersecurity in a company. The survey gathered information about various groups of people who influence cybersecurity, looking at both internal staff, and external actors. It also analyzed levels and types of online safety company bosses believed warranted investment.In Saudi Arabia, more than three quarters (71%) of respondents reported that their company had experienced cybersecurity incidents within the last two years, with 75% of these judged as ‘serious’. Some said the main reasons for cyber incidents occurring in their company were a lack of necessary tools for threat detection (22%) and a shortage of internal IT security staff (34%).The respondents indicated that a variety of measures would be appropriate to address the gaps in cybersecurity. Specifically, 10% said they would like to see more external specialists brought in. One quarter of organizations (24%) plan to invest in third-party professional services, and as many as 42% of respondents are aiming to outsource their cybersecurity to MSP/MSSP (Managed Service Providers/Managed Security Service Provider). The most likely industries to invest in third-party services in the near future are critical infrastructure, energy and oil & gas companies.At the same time, many organizations plan to invest in automating their cybersecurity processes. In the next 12 months almost half of businesses globally (53%) have concrete plans to implement software that automatically manages their cybersecurity, while 13% are discussing the subject. “The automation and outsourcing of cybersecurity tasks are major areas that organizations struggling because of a lack of experts and alert fatigue can focus on. Turning to external experts, — whether it’s outsourcing, to manage the whole cybersecurity system, or adopting expert-level services to assist the IT Security department — is the optimal solution for many. Cybersecurity vendors, Managed Service Providers, Managed Security Service Providers are the companies that have relevant expertise, all the necessary tools, and can manage cybersecurity effectively for customers of any size. Additionally, they can provide the customer with various options, such as Managed Detection and Response services, where SOC experts continuously carry out monitoring, or assistance in case of emergency like investigating a particular incident. Automation tools provided by cybersecurity vendors is another way an organization can strengthen its cybersecurity. For example, our XDR and MDR has out-of-the-box automation through investigation and response playbooks and embedded AI, enabling clients and partners to significantly automate their information security processes. With all possible options provided by experts, each company can determine the scope of services that are needed, based on cybersecurity gaps or desired development trajectory,” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate Products at Kaspersky.To cope with a shortage of tools or IT Security employees in-house, Kaspersky recommends:Make use of the expertise offered by managed security providers offerings. For example, Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response raises the overall protection level of an organization by monitoring of telemetry coming from the company's IT network 24/7, and helps with the development of in-house processes and best practices while following the incident response guidelines provided by Kaspersky experts. Additionally, the AI assistant in MDR automatically handles about half of all security alerts to ensure maximum protection.Implementing Kaspersky Professional Services optimizes the workload of a struggling IT department. Kaspersky experts assess the state of your current IT security, then deploy and configure Kaspersky software quickly and properly to ensure hassle-free ongoing performance. And Kaspersky Premium Support speeds up and boosts the efficiency of any Kaspersky-based IT security infrastructure.For SMBs that lack the budget to purchase some cybersecurity products and hire dedicated IT security professionals, just one IT administrator (even part time or outsourced) is enough to easily manage Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud through a console with numerous automated scripts.Invest in cybersecurity trainings so your current IT security specialists’ skills are always up-to-date and equipped to handle anything the cyber threat landscape throws at your organization. Kaspersky Cybersecurity for IT Online training helps build up simple yet effective IT security best practices and simple incident response scenarios for general IT administrators. And Kaspersky Expert Training equips your security team with the latest knowledge and skills to manage and mitigate threats, protecting your organization from even the most sophisticated attacks.The full report and more insights on the human impact on cybersecurity in business are available via the link.

Vivek Mansingh takes on as Chairman of Advisory Board at iAccel Gulf Business

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: iAccel Gulf Business Incubator (iAccel GBI), a catalyst in UAE’s dynamic startup ecosystem announces the appointment of Dr. Vivek Mansingh, a Stanford alumnus and global leader as the new Chairman of the Advisory Board. The recent appointment bestows iAccel Gulf Business Incubator with a significant edge, marking a revolutionary move that prioritizes innovation and governance, thereby enhancing its strategic approach.Founded in UAE in 2023 under the Hamdan Incubation Program, iAccel Gulf Business plans to expand its footprint to Saudi Arabia in the next 18 to 24 months. Under Dr. Mansingh’s visionary advisory, the Dubai SME-certified company is looking forward to shaping and refining its long-term vision, providing insight into industry trends, global expansion, and investment strategies, while ambitiously meeting its short-term goals.Having spent almost 4 decades immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Silicon Valley and India serving as an innovation evangelist, Dr. Mansingh is one of the few global leaders who has worked with Steve Jobs, David Packard, Bill Hewlett, Michael Dell, and John Chambers among other distinguished world-class leaders. With a talent of this caliber on the roster, iAccel GBI is anticipated to bring about a groundbreaking transformation as it works on strengthening the emirate's role as a vibrant talent hub in the startup ecosystem and solidifying its position as one of the leading global cities, aligning with the goals outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.Commenting on the momentous development, iAccel GBI Founder, Deepak Ahuja said, “Dr. Mansingh's wealth of experience and strategic insights will undoubtedly propel iAccel GBI to new heights, fostering substantial growth in our journey towards enhancing UAE's dynamic startup ecosystem. His leadership will be instrumental in shaping iAccel GBI into a global innovation powerhouse. I am grateful to Dr. Mansingh for coming on board as Chairman to the Advisory Board and sharing in our vision to make an impact as we solidify iAccel GBI’s position as a leader in the world of entrepreneurship.”Dr. Vivek Mansingh, Chairman of the Advisory Board at iAccel Gulf Business Incubator said, " It brings me great joy to formally collaborate with iAccel GBI. With over four decades immersed in the entrepreneurial realm, I eagerly anticipate sharing strategic insights to navigate the UAE business landscape. Our primary goal is to articulate a roadmap, outlining iAGBI's vision, and foster a vibrant, enduring environment while we focus on network expansion and enhanced financial governance for flourishing businesses and driving sustainable growth, leveraging the UAE's immense potential.”Together with the new role Dr. Mansingh also launched his book “Achieving Meaningful Success” in Dubai, which has been praised by Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Sadhguru, John Chambers, Dr Devi Shetty, Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, Vinita Bali, Vani Kola, and more. These distinguished people have achieved amazing success by passionately pursuing their goal-based journeys and have underlined the ideas shared in the book.Aiming to be one of UAE’s leading ecosystem players, iAccel Gulf Business Incubator offers a plethora of opportunities for startups from across the world. The company has a network of close to 300 angel investors, with five venture capital firms and 12 HNIs and family offices working with them.iAccel GBI collaborates extensively with academia to foster an entrepreneurial and innovative culture among students in leading UAE universities.Dedicated to fostering gender diversity in entrepreneurship, iAccel GBI will be introducing iThrive, a platform to offer 360-degree solutions to women-led startups. The objective is to empower visionary women to thrive in the business landscape, driving innovation, and contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic startup ecosystem. In addition, iAccel GBI is actively drawing in interest from UAE national talent, providing incubation and fostering initiatives to nurture their entrepreneurial potential.

Dubai to host landmark event, with 300+ attendees & international investors

The Region’s first Freedom Business Summit will unite over 300 International Investors, Government Officials, Future Thinkers, and Global Citizenship Experts in the UAE to unveil Indonesia's prosperous investment opportunities and explore Financial Sovereignty by building economic empowerment across borders.DUBAI: The Freedom Business Summit, the UAE's premier one-day event dedicated to Global Citizenship and Business Freedom, is scheduled to take place on December 7th at Dubai Knowledge Park.The highly sought-after event is a must-attend for those seeking the best options in second citizenship, residency programs, international island investments, legal offshore strategies, sovereignty, Plan B, and a location-independent lifestyle.Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to connect with a select network of distinguished individuals, including renowned citizenship industry experts, global expats, international investors, government representatives, real estate developers, high-net-worth individuals, as well as top executives (C-Level) and prominent crypto investors.The event features an exclusive lineup of esteemed speakers, including Kristin Surak, a highly acclaimed author and professor at the London School of Economics, Paul Bryson, the accomplished Managing Director of Virtuozone, Pandu Biasramadhan, a Senior Consulting Manager at Incorp ID, Indonesia, and Alex Chehade, the esteemed General Manager of Binance, to name just a few.This year, the Freedom Business Summit places a special focus on Investment Opportunities in Indonesia and the Golden Visa Launch.Explore the unique investment potential of Indonesian islands, including Bali real estate investments, and gain exclusive insights into Indonesia's recently launched Golden Visa program, offering attendees a pathway to residency through strategic investments.In fact, visitors will have the unique opportunity to gain insights from Indonesian government officials and policymakers on the latest regulations, incentives, and opportunities.The Freedom Business Summit offers keynote presentations and panel discussions that delve into topics often overlooked by mainstream media, including:International Investments: Uncover offshore investment strategies, high ROI portfolios, overseas investment opportunities, and real estate prospects in Bali and Indonesia.Global Citizenship: Explore optimal pathways to a second passport, citizenship through investment programs, and residency opportunities in desirable locations.Sovereign Lifestyle: Learn to create a Plan B, safeguard your assets through offshore banking, select the best incorporation jurisdictions, fine-tune tax planning, and implement geo-arbitrage strategies.These sessions will be complemented by in-depth explorations of:Global Mobility for MillionairesExploring Second Passport OptionsInvestment Opportunities in IndonesiaBali as a Real Estate Investment Haven"We're thrilled to pioneer a groundbreaking gathering, uniting global investors, experts, and visionaries for an unprecedented exploration of international investments and second citizenship options. With a special focus on Indonesia's thriving opportunities and Bali real estate investments, we're set to deliver an incredible experience designed to help attendees forge a path toward a more empowered and secure financial future." Adds, Denys Dovgal the Founder of the Freedom Business Summit. The Freedom Business Summit is Co-organized with Alex Villas. Alex Villas is the industry-leading real estate company in Bali with a mission to bring affordable luxury living to the masses.

Kris Fade becomes newest brand ambassador in LG’s "Life's Good" campaign

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:– LG Electronics (LG) is thrilled to announce its partnership with radio personality, Netflix star, and entrepreneur Kris Fade, who joins the esteemed roster of global Brave Optimist brand ambassadors in LG's groundbreaking "Life's Good" campaign.The one-year collaboration sees Fade standing shoulder to shoulder with other global superstars, with LG planning to release meaningful collaboration content on its social media channels from various influencers, through which the company aims to amplify the message, that together we can foster inspiration and hope among customers globally by embracing a “Life’s Good” notion.Crucially, the collection of influencers that LG has partnered with all embody the spirit of "brave optimists": including Jenny Park, a Nigerian-Korean fashion model who carves her own path, with confidence in herself and the future; Australian national swimmer and singer-songwriter Cody Simpson; and Willow Smith, a highly-respected performer in her own right, and the daughter of renowned singer and Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Will Smith.Fade's journey to success has been marked by overcoming adversity and rejection, shaping his own path with unwavering optimism and determination, and finding love and joy in everyday moments with a “Life’s Good” outlook.He said: "I'm incredibly proud to join hands with LG and be part of the 'Life's Good' campaign, an initiative that fosters inspiration and hope, not just in the UAE but globally. Through my personal story, I hope to encourage others to embrace optimism and resilience in their lives."As part of his role as an LG Brave Optimist brand ambassador, Fade will share an intimate story from a pivotal time in his life that helped shape his spirit and success. The video capturing this powerful narrative is set to be released later this year, promising a heartfelt and inspiring journey.LG's "Life's Good" campaign, introduced in August, is an integral part of the company's vision to transform into a "smart life solution company", with the Brave Optimist initiative shining a light on the value of uniting together during this critical time. This campaign represents LG's commitment to evolving with the changing needs of customers by providing innovative and engaging customer experiences.“Life's Good” activations have been steadily rolling out – aligning with LG's dynamic and youthful brand identity unveiled earlier in the year – including the "LG Finger Heart Filter" and "Life's Good Sticker Package" designed for major social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.Sa Nyong Kim, President of LG Electronics Gulf, said: “LG's commitment to enhancing customer communication, by sharing core values and the message of ‘Life's Good’, is an exercise in optimism. Our partnership with the renowned, empathetic, and resilient Kris Fade, whose message will be delivered to our customers worldwide, underscores LG's dedication to spreading positivity and inspiration, demonstrating that, together, life truly can be good, and optimism is the key to unlocking boundless potential.”

Microsoft unveils path to accelerating sustainability with AI in the Middle East

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Microsoft has released a whitepaper titled "Accelerating Sustainability with AI: A Playbook" ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), taking place at Expo City in Dubai from November 30th to December 12th. The playbook outlines a comprehensive strategy for governments, businesses, and civil society organizations to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in propelling the transition to a net-zero, climate-resilient, and nature-positive future.Commenting on the release of the paper, Samer Abu-Ltaif, CVP and President of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA) at Microsoft said, “Climate change is the defining issue of our generation, impacting our communities and natural environment like never before. We are at a critical moment for environmental sustainability, and it is vital that government leaders, businesses, and civil society work hand in hand and use every tool available to us, including AI. In line with our commitment to share our learnings, innovations, and best practices with decision-makers, researchers, data scientists, developers, and others, we hope this will serve as an important resource and a catalyst for how to unlock the full potential of AI for a sustainable future."The playbook highlights the three unique, and most crucial abilities, that AI possesses for overcoming bottlenecks that exist on the path to net zero. This includes the ability to discern patterns, predict outcomes, and optimize performances in complex systems; the ability to accelerate the discovery and development of solutions like low-carbon materials, and climate-resilient crops; and finally the ability empower the sustainability workforce of the future.Juan M. Lavista Ferres, Vice President and Chief Data Scientist of the AI for Good Lab at Microsoft – and one of the authors of “Accelerating Sustainability with AI: A Playbook,” - noted that while AI is already contributing to sustainability-related discoveries, its true transformative potential is only just beginning to be realized. “The challenge now is to prime the global technology, energy, and policy landscape to encourage AI innovation. This will enable the deployment of solutions that accelerate decarbonization, which will enable the development of even more sustainable AI operations, and in turn, can enable AI to scale the deployment of more sustainability solutions. It is a continuous cycle of innovation and progress.”Microsoft’s playbook offers a five-point approach to help achieve this continuous cycle which includes: investing in AI to accelerate sustainability solutions; developing digital and data infrastructure for the inclusive use of AI for sustainability; minimizing resource use in AI operations; advancing AI policy principles and governance for sustainability; and building workforce capacity to use AI for sustainability.Microsoft will showcase the playbook at COP28, where the company is participating as a Climate Supporter and Climate Innovator partner in a dedicated booth, along with 20 of its global partners. The company will showcase how its Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability suite is building AI into many of its products and solutions to help customers make more impactful decisions toward net-zero goals. It will also unveil how its AI for Earth and AI for Good programs are helping to place the latest AI technologies into the hands of changemakers globally, who are developing innovative solutions to address many environmental challenges.Discover Microsoft's latest sustainability innovations at Booth #70 in Hall 1 at the Technology and Innovation Hub in the Green Zone. To learn more about the insights in Microsoft’s AI playbook, click here.

Lulu Group and SirajPower forge a green alliance

Manama, Bahrain - Lulu Group, a leading GCC retail chain, is excited to announce the expansion of its partnership with SirajPower, the GCC’s leading distributed solar energy provider in the region, further strengthening its commitment to environmental sustainability and green initiatives.Following their successful partnership in the UAE, Lulu Group has entered into a long-term solar lease agreement with SirajPower, facilitating the installation of cutting-edge 10MWp solar rooftop systems across six prominent locations of Lulu Hypermarkets in Bahrain.The comprehensive solar capacity will be distributed among strategic locations, including Lulu Hypermarkets in Riffa and Hidd, the Ramli Mall at A’ali, the Lulu Dana Mall in Sanabis, and the Lulu Logistic warehouses in Sitra. Al Namal Group, a leading local partner in Construction and contracting, real estate, property development and management, health, and hospitality divisions, will provide valuable expertise and services for the installation of these solar systems. These cutting-edge solar panels will generate about 17GWh of clean energy annually, reducing approximately 12,078 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. This will help Lulu Group achieve its sustainability goals and support the Kingdom of Bahrain’s clean energy vision.The partnership was commemorated during a signing ceremony at Lulu Group’s headquarters in Bahrain, graced by the presence of Lulu Group Director Mr. Juzer Rupawala; Laurent Longuet, Chief Executive of SirajPower; David Auriau, Director and Board Member of SirajPower; Jeeben Varghese Kurian, Executive Director of Al Namal Group and other senior officials from both entities.Juzer Rupawala, Lulu Group Director, commenting on the partnership: “Lulu has always been at the forefront of adopting sustainable options, and our partnership with SirajPower to bring solar energy into our power mix is a conscious choice to align ourselves with the Kingdom’s ambitious environmental goals to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030,“This strategic step is part of a series of affirmative actions that we firmly believe will not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the well-being of our planet,” Rupawala added.Laurent Longuet, CEO of SirajPower said: ‘’We are thrilled to announce our expanding collaboration with Lulu Group as we venture into a remarkable 10MWp solar project in Bahrain. Lulu Group has been an integral partner for SirajPower, and our initial collaboration resulted in the successful completion of the solar carport installation at Lulu Group's Dubai Silicon Central Hypermarket, UAE which continues to produce sustainable energy to this day.” “Our most recent solar project in Bahrain represents a significant milestone in our partnership with Lulu Group and showcases our commitment to developing and delivering clean energy solutions that will support the Kingdom’s ambitious goal of generating 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2035. Together with Al Namal Group, we expect to create a more sustainable future for Bahrain, and look forward to making a lasting impact," Laurent added. Jeeben Varghese Kurian, Executive Director of Al Namal Group commented: “We are thrilled to be part of this remarkable project. We as a group have always been keen in the renewable energy sector and were one of the very first to be approved as solar contractors here in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It has always been our goal as a group to contribute to the Kingdom's future vision and we are happy to play a part in its sustainable energy goals.”With this groundbreaking accord, Lulu Group sets an inspiring example for other regional retailers, showcasing its proactive approach towards environmental responsibility and embracing renewable energy solutions to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The partnership with SirajPower underscores Lulu's unwavering commitment to fostering a more sustainable and greener future for Bahrain, in line with the nation's environmental objectives.és-grand-debut-in-dubai-hills-mall

Iconic culinary experience: The Big Chill Café's grand debut in Dubai Hills mall

Dubai, UAE: – The Big Chill Café, an iconic name in the culinary world, proudly announces the grand opening of its fifteenth restaurant, marking its inaugural international venture in the vibrant Dubai Hills Mall. Founded 23 years ago and celebrated for its soul-satisfying, Trattoria-style cuisine, the Big Chill Café has become a household name, and its newest endeavor is set to deliver the same heartwarming experience to Dubai.Nestled within the lively Dubai Hills Mall, The Big Chill Café welcomes patrons with its signature warm interiors. Adorned with rustic brick-clad walls showcasing vintage movie posters from the owners' private collection, the restaurant exudes a cool and trendy vibe. The spacious venue creates a perfect backdrop for friends and families to enjoy their extensive menu, offering an array of delectable dishes. The Big Chill Café's cuisine takes center stage, presenting an expansive range of food items that caters to all tastes. From the much-celebrated Pasta, Risotto, and Pizza to an exquisite range of handcrafted desserts and artisanal ice creams, every dish is a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and flavor. Patrons can gorge on the irresistible Viennese Chocolate Cake, the refreshing Summer Fruit Bavarian, or the decadent Mississippi Mud Pie.Kickstart the day at The Big Chill Café by diving into the classic charm of the Full English breakfast or embark on a flavorful journey with their exotic Breakfast Pizza. Moreover, patrons can also indulge in the magic of homemade ice cream, carefully crafted with the finest ingredients. From the luxurious Coffee Toffee Crunch to the irresistible Ferrero Rocher, the rich flavors cater to every sweet craving. Paired with sensational Milkshakes and sinful Sundaes, Big Chill café offers a dessert experience like no other.Looking back on the incredible journey of The Big Chill Café, the founders express their enthusiasm for introducing their café to Dubai. “Bringing 23 years of culinary love to Dubai Hills Mall is a dream come true for us. The Big Chill Café isn't just a restaurant; it's a continuation of our passion, a celebration of gourmet dishes, and an embrace of warm hospitality. Join us in creating new memories and savoring the flavors that have defined our legacy.”  Indulge in a culinary journey at The Big Chill café that originated as a dessert haven in 2000. Dive into the rich flavors of the Mississippi Mud Pie, and explore the innovative Brotchen Pizza Rolls, a delightful blend of bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, jalapenos, and cheese. Savour the exotic Peri Peri Prawns, featuring chargrilled prawns bathed in a spicy and tangy Portuguese sauce. The menu also includes other classics like several pasta options and the Angus Steak Sandwich, a symphony of Australian Angus beef, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and mustard, all nestled in toasted ciabatta bread. The Big Chill Cafe promises a great gourmet adventure where every dish is crafted to perfection. As The Big Chill Café puts down its roots in Dubai, it invites food enthusiasts to embark on a gastronomic journey and promises to be an experience that captivates the senses. Explore new and delectable delights at The Big Chill Café, now open at Dubai Hills Mall.

Third edition of the Saudi Media forum opens next February

The CEO of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority and Chairman of the Saudi Media Forum, Mohammed bin Fahd Al-Harthy, has announced the commencement date of the "Saudi Media Forum 2024" for its third edition. The forum, organized by the Saudi Broadcasting Authority in collaboration with the Saudi Journalists Association, is scheduled to take place from February 19 to 21, 2024. The announcement of the forum coincided with a ceremony hosted by the Saudi Broadcasting Authority in celebration of the World Television Day. The Saudi Media Forum, in its third edition, builds on the success witnessed in its previous first and second editions. It reaffirms the forum's significance and its active role in achieving a positive impact extending throughout the media sphere. This underscores the forum's commitment to advancing the Saudi media industry, exploring its latest technologies in the face of a rapidly changing world across all sectors, including the media. The forum aims to create a vibrant and dynamic community for investment opportunities and the exchange of local and international experiences in the media field. Additionally, it seeks to enhance the Kingdom's media standing through an influential media platform that attracts global attention, shedding light on prominent local and international media experiences. The CEO of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority emphasized the importance of the Saudi media keeping pace with the journey towards achieving the ambitious national vision. This journey, closely tied to media roles, includes hosting forums and media events of this magnitude. Such initiatives affirm the cultural progress in the Kingdom, reflected in intellectual growth and cultural depth. The Kingdom, with its openness to others, is moving forward in realizing the principles of acceptance, coexistence, and experience exchange through a global media forum. Al-Harthy underscored the significance of building and strengthening communication bridges with all local and international media institutions, aiming to achieve a positive impact. He highlighted that hosting specialized media events like this forum will contribute to enhancing the quality of the media industry, propelling it to stay current with the ever-evolving technologies in the field. Al-Harthy explained that the forum will feature the "FOMEX" Future of Media Exhibition as part of its events, under the theme "Future of Media," taking place from February 19 to 21. FOMEX stands as a unique artistic, technical, and media exhibition, the largest of its kind in the Middle East. It showcases modern experiences in the media industry, activates modern television and radio production, and stay current with the rapid pace of media transformations, by attracting leading companies and experiences in global production. The exhibition serves as an opportunity for media enthusiasts, offering various specialized and high-quality workshops presented by experts, academics, and practitioners with experience and expertise in various media fields. Al-Harthy emphasized that the Saudi Broadcasting Authority ensured the inclusivity of the target audience of the forum and its accompanying exhibition. This reflects their belief that modern media is no longer limited to traditional media institutions, as it was in the past. Instead, anyone possessing a means of communication can convey their media message. The forum concludes by awarding the winners of the "Saudi Media Forum Award" for its third edition. This award is presented with each forum edition, reflecting the belief of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority in the importance of honoring contributors to local and regional media work. It aims to foster fair competition among creators in the media field, motivating individuals and groups with media expertise to present outstanding works. This contributes to showcasing pioneering Saudi experiences in media and communication, recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to the media journey, enhancing their presence locally and regionally. The award encompasses six categories: Journalism, Visual and Auditory Production, Scientific Production in the Media Field, Digital Media, Innovation and Leadership in the Media Field, and Media Excellence Award. The diverse categories provide an opportunity for a broader range of participants interested in nominating themselves for the award, ensuring inclusivity across various media approaches.

E& becomes UAE’s first tech company to pilot a four-day workweek

e& has piloted a four-day workweek for employees across three departments in the UAE, becoming the first technology company to embrace a global call for workplace flexibility.Recognising that employee engagement and well-being are directly linked to productivity and innovation, e& launched this pilot to continue to be at the forefront of future workplace policies and models.By fostering an environment where employees feel valued, have opportunities for growth, and are empowered to balance their work and personal lives, e& aims to lead the way on workplace innovations not only in the technology sector, but also in the wider business landscape of the region.Dena Almansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer at e&, said: “We are thrilled to pilot this initiative. Just as we continuously innovate in our products and services, we also recognise the need to modernise workplace strategies. What may have worked in the past may not be suitable for the future.“Therefore, it is crucial to challenge norms, learn through experimentation, and adapt our work policies to create a more efficient, productive, and fulfilling environment for our teams and businesses to thrive.”e& employees who opt-in to the pilot will be entitled to a three-day weekend from Friday to Sunday. The company already operates a hybrid workplace with employees working remotely a couple of days a week. One of those days being Fridays, or as the e& team calls it “Green Fridays” to focus on sustainability by reducing energy consumption in offices and carbon emissions through transportation. Based on research published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the new workweek model has proven to improve employee well-being, increase productivity and significantly contribute to the environment by reducing commuting time and the associated carbon emissions.Almansoori added: “We believe that by putting the well-being of our employees first, we are laying the foundations for a more sustainable future. Also, by reducing travel times and minimising resource consumption, we are reflecting the UAE's ambition to well-being and sustainability, while supporting e&’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions in scope 1 and 2 by 2030.”The introduction of the pilot is in line with the UAE Federal Government's recent announcement encouraging a four-day workweek for government employees. It reflects the successful results seen in Sharjah, which reported a 90 per cent increase in job performance, happiness and mental health following the introduction of the four-day workweek in Sharjah in 2022.It is employee-centric initiatives such as this that have helped e& win accolades including the ‘Best Employer Brand’ in MENA region and ‘Employer of the Year’ in Private/Public Sector’ by Global Brand Awards and GCC Gov HR, respectively. These awards are a true testament to e&’s efforts in creating a work environment where everyone can thrive.çois-inducted-at-aaf-advertisinghalloffame

Stellantis Global CMO Olivier François inducted at AAF Advertising Hall of Fame

The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the “Unifying Voice for Advertising,” announced the inductees into the 2024 AAF Advertising Hall of Fame (AHOF). Olivier François, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Stellantis, is one of six industry luminaries joining this prestigious group. The announcement was celebrated during the closing bell ceremony on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).This year’s honorees were chosen following a rigorous review overseen by a Council of Judges comprised of an esteemed group of industry leaders and fellow members of the Hall of Fame. In addition to Francois, the inductees include (in alphabetical order): Jerri DeVard, CEO and Founder, Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA); Jeff Goodby, Co-Chairman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners; Bill Imada, Co-Founder, Chairman & Chief Connectivity Officer, IW Group; Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G; and Donna Weinheim, Former Partner, Executive Creative Director, BBDO; Cliff Freeman & Partners.François has always sought to go beyond the status-quo, with a remarkable talent for pairing the commercial with a genuine sensibility for socially responsible causes and environmental ethics. He has somehow reached remarkable sales figures and global brand recognition by enlisting distinguished world leaders, cultural icons from across the film, television and music industries, and world-renowned environmentalists. As François has said, “The greatest Brand value I can deliver is to show that our Brands have values.”  “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude receiving this recognition,” said François. “It simply would not have possible without a house of now 14 iconic American, French, German and Italian brands that together compose a symphony. A CMO can play one brand beautifully, but with the accompaniment of many distinguished brands, along with the great number of extraordinarily talented, relentless, and fearless people on our Stellantis teams and the incredible agency rosters across the world, who together have lifted our brands to the highest heights of success, we can have a bit of fun."  Added François, “While these achievements often come at the end of one’s career, in my case, I like to think that after 15 years at the helm of our Group's marketing team, I’m just getting started.” In his boldest move yet, François who also holds the dual roles of CEO of FIAT Automobile and DS Automobiles, is using his role as FIAT CEO role to make the all-new Fiat 500e all-electric (and only electric): For François, passion for an ethical approach runs deeper than marketing, it actually affects vehicle production. During a lunch with Leonardo DiCaprio, he convinced the elusive environmentalist to stand alongside him in Europe as he strives to convert the most popular mass-market city car to all-electric to shape the future of urban mobility worldwide.Beyond marketing, François has extensive work experience in business operations, and sales through his leadership roles over the last three decades. He assumed leadership roles at Citroën before joining FIAT in 2005. He was the lead executive for Lancia S.p.A. and then Chrysler brand (2009) after the Chrysler Group and FIAT merger, and CEO of FIAT Automobiles since 2011. Concurrently, François has held the CMO role since 2008, retaining this position over two decades and three mergers. Although the company has evolved and reformed three times – from the Chrysler Group, to FCA to now Stellantis (in 2021), a group of 14 brands – François' role as CMO has been a constant.François was recently named to Forbes CMO Hall of Fame (2022), after appearing on Forbes “World’s Most Influential CMO” list multiple times since 2014. He has twice been named the "Grand Brand Genius" by Adweek; named “Branding Power Player” by Billboard Magazine (2016) and Advertising Age named the Chrysler Group under’ leadership, as the "Marketer of the Year" (2012).  François and his team garnered a Primetime Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Commercial” for the “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl campaign in 2012 and was nominated again for a Primetime Emmy® Award in the “Outstanding Commercial” category in 2012 for “Halftime in America” and in 2020 for the “Groundhog Day” Super Bowl commercial starring Bill Murray. “The AAF Advertising Hall of Fame brings together the nation’s top leaders in American advertising, marketing, media, and tech and is another example of how AAF serves as the ‘Unifying Voice for Advertising,’” commented Steve Pacheco, President and CEO, American Advertising Federation.

Churn charm! Magid's survey unveils the silver lining for streamers

In the fast-paced realm of streaming services, where the battle for subscribers is fierce, the term "churn" has often been deemed en ememy. However, a groundbreaking research from Magid suggests that churn is not bad after all. Just as there is good and bad cholesterol, there is bad churn and strategic churn, with the latter proving to be a catalyst for long-term health and growth in the streaming industry."Churn" has long been synonymous with subscriber losses and headaches for service providers. Magid's research challenges this narrative, introducing the idea of strategic churn.According to Magid's Subscription Science practice, not all churn is detrimental. In fact, certain high-value subscribers, even those prone to eventual departure, play a crucial role in shaping the success of a streaming service. Enter SubScape, Magid's innovative analytics tool, revealing distinct subscriber segments and shedding light on the strategic importance of appealing to specific audiences.One such segment, termed "Hypers," represents a goldmine for streaming services. These subscribers not only return for new and attractive programming but actively engage in word-of-mouth promotion on social media, creating valuable buzz. Characterized by their high-income status and a penchant for subscribing to multiple services, Hypers emerge as a strategic asset for streaming platforms.On the flip side, Magid identifies another group—freeloaders—who engage in temporary subscriptions, often relying on borrowed passwords and quickly dropping services after free trial periods. While they may contribute to subscriber numbers, their fleeting loyalty and spending habits on digital platforms like YouTube and TikTok make them less valuable for long-term growth.In a landscape where streaming services experience a delicate equilibrium of gains and losses, Magid challenges the conventional focus on churn rates, advocating for a shift toward the metric of total subscribed months. By enticing high-churn subscribers to return sooner and stay longer, services stand to unlock substantial revenue streams.The key, according to Magid, lies in consistently delivering culturally relevant content. It's not always the big-budget series that capture the elusive Hypers; rather, programmes like the World Cup, The Flash, Euphoria, and Ted Lasso have proven to be powerful magnets for this valuable segment. In the ongoing streaming war, understanding and leveraging the dynamics of strategic churn may well be the key to long-term success.