Fawry and Tamatem Plus join forces to enhance e-payment experience for Egyptian

Cairo: Fawry, Egypt's premier e-payment solutions provider, has entered into a strategic partnership with Tamatem Plus, a leading online store catering to gamers’ needs worldwide. This collaboration aims to offer Egyptian gamers easy and seamless access to the market through enhanced e-payment solutions without having to rely on banking services or going to unsecure foreign websites.Under this partnership, Tamatem Plus users will have access to two of Fawry Accept flagship services: card payment and Fawry Pay reference code. With a network of over 310,000 Fawry retail outlets and 230 FawryPlus branches, users can conveniently make payments using their preferred method.Fawry Accept payment gateway services, including card payments and Fawry Pay reference code, will enable Tamatem Plus users to make secure and hassle-free transactions. Users can pay with their cards (Mastercard, Visa, and Meeza) directly on the Tamatem Plus platform. Alternatively, they can visit the nearest Fawry retail network and pay in cash using the Fawry Pay reference code.Upon placing an order on the Tamatem Plus platform, users will receive a 48-hour valid reference code through a pop-up message, email, and SMS, which will serve as a unique identifier for the transaction"We are very pleased with our partnership with Tamatem Plus, the online platform that provides a convenient way for users to top up their accounts and enjoy in-app purchases often without having access to a bank account," said Bassem Lotfy, Head of Acceptance - E-Commerce at Fawry.Faisal Bitar, Managing Director of Tamatem Plus, added, "We are excited to collaborate with Fawry and bring their secure and widely accepted payment solutions to our platform. This integration aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing a seamless gaming experience for our users in Egypt."

Dulsco Group appoints Martin Brogan as Director of HSE

DUBAI: UAE-based Dulsco Group, a leader in People Solutions, Environmental Solutions, Talent Solutions and Energy Recruitment Solutions, has appointed Martin Brogan as Director of Health, Safety and Environment as the company calls for unified, nationwide standard to improve HSE practices and culture.Martin brings more than 20 years’ expertise to the company, with extensive HSE experience in the UK and UAE in the oil and gas, aviation, food manufacturing and FMCG sectors. He has a degree in Health and Safety, is a certified ISO 45001 Lead Auditor and a graduate of the UK’s National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).At Dulsco, Martin is responsible for all HSE operations at a corporate and client level. Internally, he is working closely with all departments within the four portfolios to further enhance Dulsco’s already robust HSE policies and procedures. Martin also acts as the lead HSE advisor to Dulsco’s customers, many of whom want on-the-ground HSE support from the Dulsco team in their day-to-day operations.Martin’s appointment comes as Dulsco calls for unified HSE standards across all seven emirates.David Stockton, Chief Executive Officer, Dulsco Group, said: “Health and safety is the most important division of any business, and Dulsco is proud to have robust policies in place that go above and beyond to ensure our people remain safe. With Martin now on board, we will take HSE to new levels both internally and for our clients in the UAE and, as part of our global expansion strategy. His expertise and experience are of great value to Dulsco, and I am delighted to welcome him to our company.“Government directives and industry initiatives have resulted in great strides in HSE, which is now taken much more seriously at most organisations and is seeing year-on-year improvements in the sector’s skill set. However, enhancements are still needed, starting with consistency in rules, policies and procedures and enforcement, which currently differ in organizations and geographies, as well as more measures to make health and safety an integral part of company culture.”Martin’s role covers all divisions of the Dulsco Group: Dulsco People, Dulsco Environment, Parisima and Advance Global Recruitment businesses. He also plans to expand his expert HSE team in line with the company’s growth.

The Work Crowd reveals solutions to business growth amid war on talent

Dubai: A panel of experts convened by global talent community, The Work Crowd, has revealed how the increasing use of freelancers and advisors is enabling businesses to accelerate their growth in the GCC. Government measures to attract international expertise, coupled with a boom in ‘solopreneurship’ have driven the shift to decentralised workforces, which are critical to plugging specific skill gaps and providing mentorship for local talent, to help overcome barriers to scaling in the region.Moderated by Nivine Afiouni, Geopolitics, Global Public Affairs & Media Advisor, the conversation drew on insights from international specialists in strategic planning and talent management, including Felice Hurst, GCC advisor to The Work Crowd and MD of Hanson Search MENA; Imad Lahad, MD at APCO Worldwide; Latifah RahmDel, VP of Mawja; and Tom Morf, CEO and Co-Founder of Aramedes Ltd. The panel also discussed the impact of artificial intelligence in the workforce and the future skills needed to harness the technology.Opening the debate, Nivine highlighted the difficulties that businesses have been facing with finding and retaining talent in recent years, with the panellists sharing their own strategies in overcoming these challenges. Discussing the approach to recruitment and retention in his start-up, Tom spoke about the need for passion and personality, over specific academic and industry experience, and revealed how offering shareholding opportunities can provide an added incentive in a small business environment.  Reflecting on the issues specific to the GCC, Felice went on to discuss the challenges around time-bound visas and the dynamic nature of business decision-making, which have previously inhibited talent acquisition and retention. Highlighting the opportunities linked to new visa options and the easing of access to global talent, Felice said, “One of the positives that came out of the pandemic is the flexibility of work, enabling businesses to access talent on-demand, rather than having a full workforce. It enables companies to grow fast, and specifically find that dedicated talent that maybe isn’t in the permanent workforce. I think we’re going to see an enormous rise in using global talent to fill specific skills gaps.”Sharing her own experience of tapping into the freelancer market, Latifa discussed how bringing in external talent helps to build a more coherent team of people, who share a dedication to the project while remaining flexible to manage their own time. Explaining how freelancers represent a better use of resources in her business, Latifa said, “It wouldn’t make sense for me to build a dedicated events arm, I always prefer using the best freelancers. They have a passion for what they do; you give them the brief and they become part of the team.”Providing insights into talent management within a multi-national company, Imad discussed how APCO operates as a global workforce, where employees are not necessarily tied to their specific office or geography but are available to tap into across different markets. He also revealed how the company retains relationships with APCO alumni who have gone on to develop their expertise in different roles and may be drawn upon to provide expertise in specific subject areas in the future.The panel went on to discuss the important impact of Government policy in building a vibrant freelance community in the region, including the UAE’s green visa, which allows foreign nationals who are self-employed, skilled workers, entrepreneurs, or investors to live and work in the country. The increasing focus on work-life balance was also cited among the drivers for the growth in freelancing, as workers prioritise their mental and physical wellbeing in light of incidences of employee burnout. Concluding the session, the experts explored the much-debated topic of artificial intelligence and the need to promote its ethical usage and build a talent pool that can learn, unlearn, and relearn such technologies at a fast pace.The panel discussion was convened as The Work Crowd accelerates its own expansion in the MENA region, including the recent opening of an office in Abu Dhabi. Speaking about the expansion, Founder and CEO of The Work Crowd and Hanson Search, Alice Weightman said, “We are delighted to extend our presence in the MENA region to connect the thriving business ecosystem to some of the world’s best brains. In this booming economy, demand for business critical and new evolving skills is at an all-time high, and that is where The Work Crowd community can help plug the gap. The UAE has established itself as a global pioneer in enabling digital nomads, and freelance working is a fast-growing market across the GCC. The Work Crowd aims to help businesses find the flexible talent they need, while empowering freelancers to upskill and re-skill to meet future industry needs.”With over 4,500 pre-vetted advisors, freelancers and mentors on its platform, The Work Crowd is helping companies find the right talent across multi-regional markets to support their business growth. The commitment to the GCC reflects a dramatic increase in both supply and demand for dedicated expertise in the region.

Standard Chartered partners with DIFC Innovation Hub to empower UAE women

Dubai: Standard Chartered, in partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub, announced today the launch of the fifth cohort of the Women in Tech accelerator programme. This transformative initiative is designed to drive sustainable growth and empower women entrepreneurs in the UAE's technology sector, fostering innovation, diversity, and economic development.Standard Chartered's Women in Tech accelerator programme offers women entrepreneurs a unique platform to unleash their potential, overcome barriers, and accelerate their business ventures. As part of a global Women in Tech initiative, the programme operates successfully in nine countries, creating a powerful global network of empowered women in the tech space. In collaboration with the renowned DIFC Innovation Hub, the programme provides unparalleled support, mentorship, and access to seed capital to propel the success of women-led start-ups.Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered UAE, said: “We are thrilled to launch the fifth round of this signature accelerator programme in the UAE, in partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub. This programme is a testament to our shared commitment with the UAE to champion women empowerment and support technological innovation. Through targeted support, mentorship, and access to seed capital, we aim to empower women in technology, enabling them to overcome barriers, seize opportunities, and drive transformative change. By joining forces with DIFC Innovation Hub, we are taking significant strides towards building a more inclusive and thriving tech ecosystem that supports women-led start-ups and harnesses the diverse talents and perspectives of women, ultimately shaping a brighter future for all.”Mohammad AlBlooshi, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Innovation Hub, added: “DIFC Innovation Hub is dedicated to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in the UAE, fostering an environment that nurtures innovation and drives economic growth. The Women in Tech programme empowers female entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and make a lasting impact. We are proud to collaborate with Standard Chartered on this initiative as we drive the future of finance together.”The programme commences with an application period, welcoming ambitious start-ups to submit their proposals until the end of July. From the pool of applicants, ten start-ups will be meticulously selected to participate in the programme. These selected entrepreneurs will embark on a transformative journey, benefitting from a comprehensive curriculum featuring tailored training, immersive workshops, and invaluable mentorship opportunities designed to address their specific needs.The Women in Tech accelerator programme will conclude with the highly anticipated Demo Day in October. During this prestigious event, ten female-led entrepreneurial teams will showcase their innovative business models to a distinguished panel of potential investors, industry experts, and thought leaders. In addition to the invaluable exposure, the top three winners will be awarded a total of USD 100,000 in equity-free seed capital, providing a substantial boost to their ventures.The Women in Tech programme is geared towards empowering female entrepreneurs to confront the challenges of uncertain times as they grow their impact-driven businesses across the region. To date, Standard Chartered UAE has accelerated four cohorts, comprising of more than 20 start-ups, who have collectively raised over USD5 million from various venture capitalists to expand their businesses within and outside of the UAE.

Rami Younes announced as the new General Manager for Swisslog Middle East

Dubai: Swisslog, leaders in data-driven & robotic solutions for logistics automation, announced the appointment of Rami Younes as the new General Manager and Head of Sales for Swisslog Middle East.In his new position, Rami will be responsible for leading Swisslog's business in the Middle East, with a primary focus on warehouse logistics. Working closely with Swisslog's local and global senior management teams, he will identify and pursue new growth opportunities, while also delivering industry-specific automation solutions to companies in the region to help improve their operational efficiencies.Based in the UAE, Rami brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in the automation field. Prior to joining Swisslog Middle East, Rami was the Chief Operating Officer at ALS Logistic Solutions and also successfully led a 4PL Logistics start-up, Integrated Logistics Services in Saudi Arabia. Rami’s leadership skills in supply chain, logistics, and high-tech industrial products have consistently driven success for international teams.Commenting on Rami’s appointment, Jens Schmale, CEO, Swisslog EMEA said, “Rami brings a strong customer-driven focus to his role and a deep understanding of the warehouse automation industry. We are leaning on a wealth of experience within the automated industry and a track record of delivering added value to customers in highly competitive markets, to take the company through its next phase of growth.”Rami Younes, General Manager at Swisslog Middle East, said “I am delighted to be appointed as the new General Manager at Swisslog Middle East. I look forward to working closely with the team to expand our portfolio of integrated automation solutions, catering to the specific needs of customers in the Middle East. We will work together to execute our vision of establishing Swisslog as the frontrunner in data-driven robotic intralogistics automation.”The Middle East is experiencing substantial growth in the logistics automation sector, with initiatives such as Saudi's Vision 2030 and the Dubai 10X driving innovation and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies to diversify the economy and increase efficiency.

Dulsco Group appoints Martin Brogan as Director of HSE

DUBAI:  UAE-based Dulsco Group, a leader in People Solutions, Environmental Solutions, Talent Solutions and Energy Recruitment Solutions, has appointed Martin Brogan as Director of Health, Safety and Environment as the company calls for unified, nationwide standard to improve HSE practices and culture.Martin brings more than 20 years’ expertise to the company, with extensive HSE experience in the UK and UAE in the oil and gas, aviation, food manufacturing and FMCG sectors. He has a degree in Health and Safety, is a certified ISO 45001 Lead Auditor and a graduate of the UK’s National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).At Dulsco, Martin is responsible for all HSE operations at a corporate and client level. Internally, he is working closely with all departments within the four portfolios to further enhance Dulsco’s already robust HSE policies and procedures. Martin also acts as the lead HSE advisor to Dulsco’s customers, many of whom want on-the-ground HSE support from the Dulsco team in their day-to-day operations.Martin’s appointment comes as Dulsco calls for unified HSE standards across all seven emirates.David Stockton, Chief Executive Officer, Dulsco Group, said: “Health and safety is the most important division of any business, and Dulsco is proud to have robust policies in place that go above and beyond to ensure our people remain safe. With Martin now on board, we will take HSE to new levels both internally and for our clients in the UAE and, as part of our global expansion strategy. His expertise and experience are of great value to Dulsco, and I am delighted to welcome him to our company.“Government directives and industry initiatives have resulted in great strides in HSE, which is now taken much more seriously at most organisations and is seeing year-on-year improvements in the sector’s skill set. However, enhancements are still needed, starting with consistency in rules, policies and procedures and enforcement, which currently differ in organizations and geographies, as well as more measures to make health and safety an integral part of company culture.”Martin’s role covers all divisions of the Dulsco Group: Dulsco People, Dulsco Environment, Parisima and Advance Global Recruitment businesses. He also plans to expand his expert HSE team in line with the company’s growth.

DEWA employees explore Generative AI in Google Cloud workshop

Dubai: As part of its efforts to adopt the disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and provide its employees with the latest programmes and tools, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) organised a workshop on generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in collaboration with Google Cloud. The workshop, which saw the participation of many employees from all divisions, aimed to raise their awareness of generative AI and provide them with the necessary resources and tools to keep up with the latest developments in this field.“DEWA contributes to achieving the wise leadership’s vision to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This is achieved by adopting the latest disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including AI, to enrich the experiences of customers, employees, and other stakeholders. AI and digital solutions are the foundation for smart, secure and sustainable future cities. In this regard, we are keen to instil a culture of continuous learning and build the capabilities of our employees through workshops and training courses in collaboration with our leading global partners. These efforts align with the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy to create productive, creative, and innovative environments by investing in and using AI technologies and tools. DEWA started its AI journey in 2017, and we are currently enriching our services with generative AI technologies to enhance performance and improve service quality,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.The workshop featured various topics related to deep learning and neural networks for AI. The speakers gave an overview of generative AI use cases across DEWA’s work areas. This includes improving productivity, enhancing efficiency, supporting decision-making procedures, enriching administrative operations, and providing innovative and advanced services that meet the needs of stakeholders, anytime and anywhere. The workshop also showcased generative AI models and trained participants to use the Qwiklabs and AI Vertex platforms. The workshop concluded with a brainstorming session on the anticipated use cases of this technology in DEWA.

Disprz raises $30mln in Series C funding to expand presence in the Middle East

Disprz, an AI-powered learning and skilling suite, has raised $30 Million in its Series C funding round led by Lumos Capital and 360 ONE Asset (IIFL), with participation from Kae Capital, KOIS, & Dallas Venture Capital. The funds raised in the round will be utilized for global market expansion and product development using new-age technologies like Generative AI in emerging markets such as the Middle East, and India, & expanding to the US. The company serves industry leaders like Sharaf DG, Jumbo Electronics, NEOM, Saudi Research & others.Since its inception in 2015, Disprz has witnessed remarkable growth & is one of few HR tech startups in the Series C segment. “The company’s consistent revenue growth, during and after the peak of the pandemic, shows that people's advancement is recession-proof problem statement within HR tech- it is a core problem of humanity,” stated Kuljit Chadha, Co-Founder & COO, of Disprz.Subbu Viswanathan, Co-founder & CEO of Disprz, said, "Disprz is at the forefront of innovation in the learning and skilling space. We are on a mission to equip the workforce for the rapidly changing world, and we solve this mission using a B2B SaaS approach." Karan Ahuja, Fund Manager of 360 ONE Asset (IIFL) said, "Upskilling and re-training workforces is a top priority for human capital leaders globally, and Disprz’s product offerings stand out in a learning & development market that’s undergoing transition."Disprz has established its presence in every continent, serving over 350 organizations & boasting an impressive roster of renowned household brands & industry leaders. The fundraise will enable Disprz to expand its global team, hire data scientists, skilling scientists, and engineers to complement its product capabilities & accelerate its success through bigger and local go-to-market teams.The company also plans to form strategic partnerships and make strategic acquisitions, partnering with the broader learning ecosystem, including HCM players, people reward platforms, learning content players, and assessment players.Looking ahead, Disprz envisions itself as a people intelligence suite on a global scale, extending beyond employee skilling to back every stage in an employee's lifecycle. The company aims to empower organizations worldwide to advance their workforce potential through skills, data & personalization.

‘Meta’ the social metaverse, joins Manama-IX

Batelco, part of the Beyon Group, has announced that Meta has now joined Manama-IX, the Bahrain based Internet peering service provider. Meta, the social metaverse company and among the world’s leading content providers, owns and operates a number of social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.Social media has revolutionized how people socialize, do business, shop, and get news. According to statistics from Mckinsey, since July 2022, new users are joining social-media platforms at an average global rate of seven users per second. With the high demands for social media usage and to ensure the best customer experience, Batelco is keen to provide high performance internet-based services.One way to improve internet efficiency is to establish direct connections with big content providers, and by having Meta on Manama-IX, members will have access to an immense data pool which will help reduce latency and improve connectivity quality, thus delivering a better customer experience when accessing Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.Hani Askar, Chief Global Business Officer at Batelco, said, “We are delighted that Meta joined Manama-IX and that now we are able to provide our customers with direct peering access to major Content Delivery Network (CDNs) such as Meta, as well as AWS, Google, and Microsoft who are already on Manama-IX.”“Having Meta on Manama-IX is a very exciting milestone as we always aim to enhance the customer experience and add value to our peers, by attracting more content players to the region, and supporting the connectivity community,” he added.“Batelco’s vision behind Manama-IX is to be the leading IX in the MENA region and to contribute towards the development of Internet services across the region, in line with Bahrain’s vision of becoming a leading digital economy in the region.” Mr. Askar concluded.Manama-IX is the Bahrain-based Internet exchange platform that interconnects global carriers, local and international operators, and both content and cloud providers.To learn more about Manama-IX, please visit

Sharjah Summer Promotions 2023 spreads joy with grand draws and offers

The 20th edition of "Sharjah Summer Promotions 2023," organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) under the theme "Ya Hala Bsaifna in Sharjah (Welcome Summer in Sharjah)," continues to sprinkle joy across the emirate. On Saturday evening, a vibrant event at the Sahara Centre saw 20 fortunate participants walking away with purchase vouchers and travel tickets.Prizes included five vouchers worth AED5,000 each, ten vouchers valued at AED 2,500, and five tourist tickets. Eager shoppers can anticipate more exciting surprises in the upcoming period, including a plethora of shopping vouchers, travel and hotel packages, and a grand draw to win the Nissan Patrol 2023. The promotion also boasts hefty discounts, an array of entertainment offers, and standout marketing activities.Beyond the evident excitement and happiness permeating Sharjah, the promotions have bolstered the retail sector and invigorated commercial activities. Participating malls, markets, and shops reported sales exceeding AED 200 million, according to the Sharjah Summer Promotions’ draw committee. This was based on the number of draw vouchers issued a month after the promotion's launch.Jamal Bouzanjal, Director of the Corporate Communication Department at SCCI, extended congratulations to all the first draw winners, encouraging shoppers to maximize their participation in the upcoming weeks by exploring shopping centers across the emirate to avail of the numerous offers and surprises.Bouzanjal emphasized that fostering community happiness is a core objective that the Sharjah Chamber seeks to achieve through Sharjah Summer Promotions, which are brought to life by the series of events and activities staged by shopping centers in celebration of these special offers.The current edition, set to run until September 3rd, has witnessed participation from numerous malls and retail stores throughout Sharjah. Shoppers can still benefit from promotional discounts reaching up to 75% on a diverse range of products.

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

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

The Authority of Social Contribution encourages CSR efforts in Abu Dhabi

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

Arsenal and Emirates extend partnership to 2028

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

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

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

Global Education Provider Dibber partners with Noon Toys

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

BeanBurds launches award-winning Barisieur in the UAE

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

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

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

Sunny Side Up expands into Saudi with a new GM

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

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

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

Dubai Shopping Malls Group kickstarts exciting back to school bonanza

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

UM MENAT, Teads forge partnership for sustainable advertising in MENAT

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

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

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

Make music from words! Meta unveils AI tool AudioCraft

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

Museum of the Future achieves WELL Health-Safety Ranking

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

Club Apparel rewards its customers with five times Club Apparel points

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

Strategic Gears experts explore metaverse development in Saudi Arabia

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

E& money launches prepaid card with cash rewards

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

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

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

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

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

Rotana appoints Eddy Tannous as new Chief Operating Officer

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

HSBC Bahrain appoints Joseph Ghorayeb as CEO

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

Sharjah Government Communication Award: Mirroring UAE's communication vision

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

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

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

Bigo Live unveils exciting summer vibe campaign in the MENA region

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

Emirates News Agency and Abu Dhabi Chamber sign MoU

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

MG Motor introduces the New 2024 MG ZS EV

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

Delphine Cravotto appointed Hotel Manager of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

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

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

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

Study: 73% of marketers using addressable TV

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

Emirates Premium Economy shines in first year of full service

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