MContent appoints Brandon Fong as the new Chief of Streaming

MContent, the world’s first fully decentralized content ecosystem is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Fong as their new chief of streaming business. The hiring of the well respected industry veteran shows the commitment of the MContent board to strengthen its streaming business ambitions and commitment to its community and stakeholders  as the company moves towards a rebranding and relaunch of its content platform.  As part of his new role, Fong will oversee MContent’s consumer facing streaming platform with responsibility for all revenue growth, marketing operations, product development, and user acquisition initiatives. He will also lead new business development and strategic partnerships that integrate MContent’s suite of web3 assets across SVOD, AVOD, FAST and transactional marketplaces. “I am thrilled to join MContent and work with the talented leadership team to create unique streaming experiences for their consumers, content partners and advertisers. MContent’s slate of high quality content, engaged user community and dynamic, blockchain enabled rewards platform provide a strong foundation for continued success and growth.”  In his previous roles, Fong was Senior Vice President at Curiosity Stream and has held senior leadership positions at STX Entertainment, Time Inc., Starz Entertainment and Aol. He has executed content partnerships with FuboTV, Yahoo, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Snap and LG while driving strategic relationships with Facebook, Amazon and Jukin Media. He holds a bachelors degree from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  “Given Brandon’s impressive track record as a transformative business leader and his strong relationships in the global content and streaming business, as well as his drive to create resilient teams and culture, I am confident that he will build on MContent’s incredible success story and lead the business to new levels of sustainable and accelerated growth across the world for our customers, stakeholders & investors”, said Umair Masoom , Founder & Managing Partner MContent.

Mickey Mouse, explores magical spots around Abu Dhabi

With just a few days remaining before the launch of the all new edition of Disney On Ice presents Mickey and Friends to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena, Disney icon, Mickey Mouse, explores the UAE’s capital. Taking place from 12th to 16th October, families, friends and Disney fanatics are set to enjoy the all new interpretation of this magical show.This beloved character has been spotted throughout Abu Dhabi at iconic destinations including the Louvre, Etihad Arena and Breakwater, as he prepares himself for the launch of this new, glittering performance. Mickey’s thrilling journey throughout the city has delighted fans as they see their favorite character in unlikely locations and building buzz and anticipation for the upcoming show.Following his adventures throughout the city, Mickey will now be preparing for this exciting take on Disney On Ice, and he will be joined by Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy on a journey to discover his favorite memory of all time. Using Mickey’s “Mouse Pad,” show hosts encourage fans to be part of the action and help the gang venture though Disney stories, sharing memorable moments from treasured tales. Along the way, families sail away with Moana as she displays courage to save her island on a high-seas adventure with the demigod, Maui. Families will continue the journey to the wintry world of Arendelle as royal sisters Anna and Elsa discover true love is the most powerful magic of all and experience the mysterious magic of Fantasia as a Sorcerer’s Apprentice makes brooms come to life. “Live Your Story” alongside Disney Princesses as they use perseverance, determination and hard work to inspire Mickey and children around the world to share their favorite Disney memories.

Xebia Appoints New Global CEO

Xebia’s current CEO, Anand Sahay, has been promoted to a global position to drive the growth of the leading Dutch IT consultancy, now headquartered in the US, with 19 offices worldwide, including Dubai.  Sahay joined Xebia in 2014 as CEO to take the company beyond the Netherlands and co-founded Xebia Global Services. He was responsible for extending Xebia’s business into the Middle East and Africa, the US, UK, APAC and ANZ regions. As a leading entrepreneur, Sahay combines the latest technology with unique service offerings to create innovative service-line products to tap into potential markets and, by collaborating with business leaders, solves critical problems. He has had exposure to a diverse range of organisations, functional groups and work cultures. Under Sahay’s stewardship, Xebia developed software engineering prowess to cater to the growing demands of global customers for quality software technology. Building on the architecture, engineering and software craftsmanship learned over the years in the Netherlands, he has brought a unique and refreshing blend of quality and scale. Sahay has made Xebia distinctive in the world and helped it stand out from the other software firms globally. Commenting on his appointment, Sahay said, “It is an honour to be promoted to Global CEO. With our strength of cutting-edge technology and a family of highly skilled individuals and our dedicated workforce, we will be able to build a unique firm of futurists who bring the latest technology to our customers while scaling up the engineering team to bring new technology implementations to life.” Xebia has over 5,000 employees worldwide, including over 3,000 people across five centres in India. Xebia’s software covers every critical capability required to bring successful digital transformation programs to customers worldwide. As an electronics engineer, Sahay started his career as a software programmer at TCS. He later completed his MBA and undertook various leadership roles. An avid reader and philanthropist, Sahay is committed to giving back to society and enabling people and the environment. Anand is actively involved with The Nudge Foundation, an association that alleviates poverty sustainably, collaboratively and by scalability. It has three impact streams to tackle the complex issue of poverty, including the Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (CSDE), the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) and the Centre for Rural Development (CRD).

American Express Saudi Arabia appoints Fahad bin Mubarak Al Guthami as CEO

American Express Saudi Arabia (AESA) today announced that Mr. Fahad bin Mubarak Al Guthami has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer to lead the next phase of the company’s growth in the Kingdom.As AESA’s new CEO, Mr. Al Guthami is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for further expanding the company’s presence in Saudi Arabia by building on its strong position in commercial payments and the premium consumer segment. In addition to providing strategic leadership and oversight for the company’s day-to-day operations, he is also at the helm of AESA’s ongoing efforts to drive product innovation and digitization.Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Fahad bin Mubarak Al Guthami, Chief Executive Officer of American Express Saudi Arabia, said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to the role of CEO at American Express Saudi Arabia; a company that has a strong brand, standout values and brilliant people. I look forward to continuing to work with the team to continue to deliver value and innovative products for our customers, as well as drive growth for our business.”Mr. Al Guthami has led a distinguished career at American Express Saudi Arabia for more than 16 years. He has held several strategic positions with progressing responsibilities including Chief Operating Officer. As CEO of AESA, Mr. Al Guthami will leverage partnerships to strengthen the position of AESA in the Saudi marketplace.Prior to joining AESA, Mr. Al Guthami served as CEO of several companies in Saudi Arabia, and Executive Advisor to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies listed on the Saudi stock market.

Dubai unveils its latest winter campaign with Kommune india

Dubai has historically been a destination of choice for family travel. With the latest campaign ‘Are you Ready’, Dubai positions itself as a young and vibrant destination that is ideal for other popular segments, friends, solo travellers and couples. The short ad film captures inspiring experiences for the young and restless that celebrate friendships and encourage travellers to create memories and bonds.Through this campaign Dubai encourages travellers to plan their perfect winter vacation and discover new experiences. From trying out group activities like Top Golf, Edge Walk, Ski Dubai to experiencing high-octane adrenaline activities such as Sky Diving, Dune Bashing and more, Dubai has a wide motley of experiences to offer the new generation of travellers.The film featuring notable digital influencers Prajakta Kohli (@MostlySane ) Rytasha Rathore, Rajiv Singh, Arjun Kanungo (@Arjun Kanungo ), Ayesha Adlakha and Shreya Dhanwanthary sees the group experience moments like never before as they discover themselves and share the love in a city that tells a story.The campaign is set to run through October 2022 to January 2023.

Simplilearn expands its global team with key senior leadership appointments

Simplilearn, the world’s #1 online Bootcamp for digital economy skills, today announced the appointment of two key senior leaders: Asem Rostom as the Country Manager – the Middle East and Vishal Shah as the Senior Director of Enterprise Sales in the United States. The appointments are a part of Simplilearn’s larger goal of expanding and strengthening its teams globally in order to continue delivering the highest-quality upskilling. Mr. Asem Rostom joined Simplilearn as Country Manager, Middle East. He comes with a demonstrated history of working in the education management and assessment industry. An alumnus of Altinbas University, Istanbul, Asem is a visionary senior sales and management executive with a successful leadership background in spearheading cross-functional sales and operational teams. He has previously worked with Cambridge University Press as a MENA IELTS Manager and at Pearson VUE as the META Manager. Mr. Rostom is skilled in business planning, sales, customer relationship management, sales management, curriculum addition, workforce skill gap analysis, and team building. Mr. Vishal Shah, appointed as Simplilearn’s Senior Director of Enterprise Sales in the United States, will be based in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be managing the Southeast Region of the United States along with select named accounts across the U.S. Mr. Shah comes with over 15 years of enterprise sales experience and has previously worked with Udemy as the Enterprise Account Executive for the Southeast region. An alumnus of Kennesaw State University, Vishal has been a highly confident consultant with over 20 years of documented success in healthcare/biotechnology and SaaS. He has previously worked with Coca-Cola, Global Payments, NCR, and Equifax. Speaking on the new appointments, Mr. Kashyap Dalal, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Simplilearn, said, “I am delighted to welcome Mr. Asem Rostom and Mr. Vishal Shah at directorial positions for our the Middle East and the U.S. teams, respectively. Their extensive experience in the education and sales domain will prove extremely beneficial to Simplilearn. We are confident that through their addition, we will continue to provide outstanding results to our consumers. We look forward to further strengthening Simplilearn’s global footprint with their efforts and expertise.” Mr. Asem Rostom, Country Manager, Middle East, Simplilearn, said, “It is a privilege to join the Simplilearn team as their Country Manager, Middle East region. The Edtech domain is growing at an exponential rate and is facilitating easy and accessible education to learners across the globe. While I hope to bring my own knowledge and expertise to the table, I also look forward to working and learning from the larger team of Simplilearn and facilitating the best outcomes for our consumers.” Mr. Vishal Shah, Senior Director, Enterprise Sales, Simplilearn, said, “I am thrilled to be a part of the Simplilearn team, which has always been committed to the larger goal of delivering industry-relevant, high-quality skills to its learners. I believe that together as a team, we will be able to contribute towards reducing the skills gap globally. I look forward to new learnings and hope to build a deep, long-lasting collaboration that will benefit both our internal and external stakeholders.”  Simplilearn conducts more than 3,000 live classes per month, with an average of 70,000 learners who together spend more than 500,000 hours each month on the platform. Programs offered by Simplilearn give learners the opportunity to upskill and get certified in popular domains.

A new reality show “Dare to take Risks” is about to launch

The six-episode series will follow the three companions as they leave for a journey across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, participating in activities such as mountain climbing and diving.“This unique project is a landmark moment within our long-standing partnership with Intigral,” said Francesco Perta, vice-president of business development and distribution for MENA and Turkey at Warner Bros. Discovery.“We are excited for viewers to be inspired by this new generation of Arab women, with their extraordinary creativity, zest and humor.”The show was recorded in the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hegra in Saudi and Aswan in Egypt, as well as at the Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest building, in Dubai.“It will also enhance the Kingdom’s position as a production powerhouse and a hub for the latest digital entertainment productions.” “Dare to take Risks” will be streaming on Jawwy TV from October 17. New episodes will be released every week.

Data and dialogue key drivers of philanthropic impact across MENA

To meet the growing demand for more cohesive philanthropic communities in the MENA region, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and the Pearl Initiative, convened experts for a series of panel discussions at a joint event titled "Private Philanthropy for Development in the MENA". The discussions focused on building effective philanthropic communities across the region, drawing opinion from philanthropists and experts from the non-profit sector to promote improved data and dialogue.The opening session titled 'Building philanthropic communities in the MENA region' featured H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Founder of Pearl Initiative, and Hana Shahin, Executive Director of King Hussein Foundation. The discussion highlighted the importance of collaboration through sharing experiences and co-financing initiatives based on mutual objectives and the growing demand for transparency, accountability, and measurability in philanthropic giving across the region.In an engaging discussion on the need for philanthropic impact to be supported by data, Badr Jafar said, "It is estimated that more than $5 trillion of wealth in the top 30 growing economies which are all in growth markets like the Middle East will be passed from one generation to the next within the next decade. There will inevitably be a significant increase in philanthropic activities in these societies, which underlines the need for enhanced mechanisms and means to give to boost impact.” Acknowledging the philanthropic behavioural shifts in the Middle East, with next-gen donors demanding more transparency and wanting to feel more connected to their giving, Badr Jafar was optimistic that this natural trend would continue to increase throughout the region. He commented, "There is no shortage of new philanthropists eager to make a social impact with their capital in the region. By working together as individual philanthropists, corporate and institutional donors, we can remain focused on the strategic deployment of philanthropic capital to deliver lasting results for all. “Alongside the panel discussions, a roundtable explored the strategies adopted by various foundations to provide stakeholders with additional knowledge banks and resources to draw upon. Learning included examining the efforts of some philanthropists in the region in order to benefit from the coordination of data and dialogue to achieve more impactful philanthropy.Badr Jafar called on all stakeholders to undertake transparent, innovative, and impactful philanthropic initiatives to benefit the region, emphasising, "We have a long history of charitable giving in the MENA region and the broader Islamic world. Today, anywhere between $400 billion to $1 trillion is disbursed annually between Zakat and Sadaqa, which is triple the global annual humanitarian and development aid budgets. With all the challenges being faced, we really need to to ensure we maximise our giving impact by effectively building a closer community of philanthropic donors to share knowledge, experience and purpose."The two-day event in Ras Al Khaimah is a collaboration between, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, OECD netFWD and the Pearl Initiative, to support worldwide demand for more and improved data and analysis on global philanthropy for development. Through in-depth research and state-of-the-art analysis, the initiative will support the UAE's 2030 Agenda and help philanthropists achieve a positive impact despite worldwide challenges.

Paris not to show Qatar World Cup games on TV

World Cup matches on big screens in public fan zones will not be broadcast in Paris amid concerns over the violation of rights of the migrant workers, and the impact on environment of the tournament in Qatar.According to Pierre Rabadan, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of sports, due to the conditions of the organisation of this World Cup, both on the societal and environmental level, the decision against the public broadcasting of matches is taken. In an interview with France Blue Paris, he mentioned that what is to be questioned is air-conditioned stadiums and the conditions under which these facilities have been built. Rabadan puts an emphasis on the fact that the soccer tournament is not boycotted by Paris, thereby explaining that the model of Qatar of staging big events is against what the host of Olympics, 2024 wants to organize. The move is a contradiction to the fact that Paris Saint-German, the city’s football club being owned by Qatar Sports Investments. Rabadan said: “Though we have very constructive relations with the club and its entourage, however it does not prevent us when we disagree.” A large number of French cities are rejecting to build screens broadcasting World Cup matches in order to stage a protest against Qatar’s human rights record.Jeanne Barseghian mentioned in a statement: “It is not possible by us to neglect the warnings of exploitation and abuse of the migrant workers by non-governmental organizations, we cannot disregard these abuses and turn a blind eye when there is a violation of human rights and an impact on the environment.” She said: “Organising a soccer tournament in the desert disobeys common sense, amounting to an ecological disaster.”

Netflix announces exciting lineup of Arabic content from the MENA region

Saudi Arabia, Riyadh: This week, Netflix announced an exciting line-up of upcoming content from the Arab world, including shows and films from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, and Egypt. The projects are part of Netflix's push into Arabic content as it invests in more Arab storytellers to tell stories that can be loved globally. So far, Netflix has had an exciting journey in the region, working with new and established voices to tell more authentic stories that carry broad appeal, and taking big creative swings with several formats, new in the Arab world.Netflix previewed a diverse range of best-in-class Arabic content from a melodramatic unscripted show to an animated comedy series, a youth-centered film, a psychological thriller, and a historical drama through exclusive promo reels and first-look images. These include:Dubai Bling (UAE): An 8-episode Arabic docu-soap set to launch globally on the 27th of October this year. Meet the successful, sumptuous, and splendid social circle of 10 self-made wealthy individuals living their wildest dream in the Bling City. Expect gossip, drama, and a whole a lot of sassy clapbacks from famous faces such as radio host Kris Fade and his wife Brianna Ramirez, Saudi TV host and actress Lojain Omran, Emirati DJ Marwan Al Awady and his wife Danya Mohammed, AKA Diva Dee, as well as influencers, socialites, and businessmen who are at the top of their fields including Zeina Khoury, Safa Siddiqui, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Farhana Bodi, and Loujain Adadah.The Exchange (Kuwait): Bringing beloved faces from Kuwait to screens around the world, The Exchange is a high-profile series from Kuwait starring Rawan Mahdi, Mona Hussain, Hussain alMahdi, Mohamed Mansour, Faisal alAmiri, Jasem alNabhan, Maryam Salih, Asmahan Tawfiq, Abdullah Bahman and more. The Exchange follows a unique story about two trailblazing women who disrupt the corrupt boys club of Kuwait’s banking industry in the late 1980s. The workplace drama is created and written by Nadia Ahmad, Anne Sobel and Adam Sobel and directed by Karim Elshenawy & Jasem AlMuhanna and will launch in early 2023.Alkhallat+ (KSA): A satirical suspense film based on Telfaz11’s hit digital show Alkhallat, which first released in 2017 and received more than 1.5 billion views across YouTube and social media. The film will feature four exciting comeback stories of social deception and trickery in four unlikely places, bringing the best of this beloved Saudi show to life. The film is directed by Fahad Alammari, and stars Aziz Alshehri, Mohamed Aldokhie, Ibraheem Alkhairallah, Ibraheem Alhajjaj, Fahad Albutairi, Suhaib Godus, Ziyad Alamri, and Ismail Alhassan. The film is expected to launch next year. More coming soon on this! The Matchmaker (KSA): A psychological thriller film with a supernatural slant set in Al Ula, covering universal themes like disloyalty and morality. The film will launch in early2023 and stars Hussam Alharthy, Reem AlHabib, Nour Alkhadra and is directed by Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan.Masameer County Season 2 (KSA): The youth-centered show features 8 episodes and continues its chronicling of a changing Saudi with its quintessential wit & unique brand of humor. The highly anticipated animation will return as a sequel in 2023. More details will be shared closer to the launch date. Netflix also announced a slew of exciting global productions, including a new season of Emily in Paris and fantasy adventure film Slumberland, starring Jason Momoa. In addition, Netflix also talked about the outstanding local talent such as Khaled Abdulla, Ahmed Malek, and Kinda Alloush starring Netflix’s global productions like The Crown and The Swimmers.This follows Netflix’s successful journey in the Arab world. Hana Al Omair’s Whispers, the first multi-faceted psychological Saudi thriller directed by a female filmmaker created a ripple by bucking conventional expectations of storytelling. Fan-favorites Al Rawabi School for Girls and Finding Ola are now being renewed for a new season, having amplified Arab voices on the global stage and forefronting more female creative voices. From Saudi Arabia, Netflix brought some truly authentic and entertaining content including Masameer County, Masameer the Film, Six Windows in the Desert, and youth sensation, Takki. There was also Netflix’s first Arabic unscripted reality show The Fastest, and archaeological documentary, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb which was viewed by 22 million households in its first week of launch. Apart from Netflix productions, there have also been some iconic films from different parts of the Arab world that have been given a home on Netflix through collections like Celebrating Arab Cinema, Palestinian Stories, Because She Created, and New Saudi Voices.Through all these titles, Netflix has been investing in authentic storytelling from the Arab world and giving more people a chance to see their lives reflected on screen. Netflix will continue to expand its investment in the region, bringing authentic stories and talent from the Arab world to the forefront of the global entertainment industry.

Emirates announces new appointments to its commercial team

Emirates has announced new appointments to its commercial team in the Middle East, Far East, West Asia and Europe, to support the airline’s efforts in rebuilding its global network amidst the increase in travel demand and the easing of restrictions.This latest move will see 11 seasoned UAE Nationals positioned in vital markets where they will lead the airline’s commercial operations and bring their skills and experience to drive growth and develop new strategies. In addition, they will be responsible for strengthening Emirates’ partnerships and footprint in their assigned markets.Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates commented: “As we accelerate our operations recovery and channel our collective energies towards rebuilding the aviation ecosystem, it’s imperative that we create opportunities for our talented managers to utilise their capabilities, experiences and leadership skills to the fullest. The commercial outstation program is in line with the strategy advocated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, that reaffirms our commitment to nurturing Emiratis by providing them opportunities to advance their careers and eventually become future leaders. I’m proud of our UAE Nationals who support our business and represent the airline in some of its most strategic markets, and look forward to seeing the new team create innovative prospects into their new roles.”Effective 1st November, the following changes will occur in the Emirates Commercial team:Thani Al Ansari: currently Manager Kuwait and Iraq, will become Manager IrelandKhalid Al Zarooni: currently Manager Greece and Albania, will become Manager Kuwait and IraqIbrahim Ghanim: currently Manager Egypt and Libya, will become Manager Greece and AlbaniaAbdalla Al Zamani: currently Manager Indonesia, will become Manager Egypt and LibyaMohammad Al Attar: currently Manager Malaysia, will become Manager IndonesiaSaeed Mubarak: currently Manager Tunis, will become Manager MalaysiaAlmurr Al Marri: currently Commercial Support Manager in India, will become Manager TunisMohammed Alwahedi: currently Manager Vietnam, will become Manager ThailandMarwan Al Marri: currently District Manager Riyadh, will become Manager VietnamWahid Albalooshi: currently Regional Manager Pakistan, will become District Manager RiyadhSalem Al Mana: currently Commercial Support Manager in Indonesia, will become Regional Manager PakistanVikram Arora: currently Country Manager in Afghanistan, will become Commercial Business Analysis Manager, based in DubaiThrough the commercial outstation programme, UAE nationals are able to gain broader exposure and expand their network connections. The programme grooms Emiratis to become accomplished leaders, and is underpinned by role rotations that provide them the opportunity to sharpen their skills.

Investopia partners discuss investment opportunities in ME region

The partners of the global investment platform “Investopia” discussed investment opportunities and challenges in the Middle East region, and the role of Investopia to support investments in the new economy.The discussions took place during a business session held in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and witnessed the announcement of Investopia next annual conference on 1 and 2 March 2023 in Abu Dhabi. The session was attended by Investopia partners, such as, BlackRock, IFC, and Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah).HE Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED stated, “Investopia is a strong addition to the UAE’s focused conventions scene, which seeks to identify untapped opportunities for FDI inflows and outflows. Side by side with our partners at the Ministry of Economy, our main over-arching objective is to boost the performance of the macro-economy and the financial sector, via ongoing diversification initiatives. Investopia is a crucial platform that invites the private sector to be more involved in the economic vision, and we are delighted to be hosting such a prestigious event in Abu Dhabi during Q1 2023, as we bring together the private and government sector onto one platform”.“The UAE, as an active and thriving trade and investment center, continues to do what it does best, bringing global leaders, experts and businesses together in pursuit of better prospects, and for the betterment of our markets and economies, ultimately and positively impacting institutions, individuals and households,” HE added.Mohamed Naser Al Zaabi, CEO of Investopia, said “These dialogues organized by Investopia, and its partners, are very important as they discuss the latest global and regional economic developments, and the necessary solutions to enhance investments in the new economy sectors.”Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), said: “The inaugural edition of the summit in March, held alongside EXPO Dubai 2020, was extremely successful in offering us a platform to showcase both existing and emerging prospects in Sharjah. We believe that the conference’s second edition in March next year will continue to enhance Sharjah’s efforts to attract qualitative investments, particularly in sectors of greentech, advanced manufacturing, human capital & innovation, agri-food tech, mobility and logistics, health & wellbeing, and culture & tourism – which are full with opportunities for attracting qualitative investments until 2027 and are shaping the future of sustainable investments in Sharjah”.“We look forward to participating in the new dialogues on the future of emerging markets and world economies at Investopia 2023, to highlight the types of investments and the resultant economic growth we really want to focus on with the global community of investors in the next decade,” he added. Stuart Isted, General Manager, Middle East and Africa at said, “We are deeply committed to assisting the expansion of the digital ecosystem here in the UAE and supporting the Government and various regulators on their mission to securely integrate blockchain technology into everyday life. We see the region helping lead the forefront of this transition globally, so becoming a founding partner of Investopia was important to us as we share similar visions of how cryptocurrency will transform the global and local economy.”Paschalis Bouchoris, Country Head for BlackRock in Dubai, said: “Investopia is a conference to discuss structural changes and long-term investment trends requiring the public and private sectors to come together to address challenges and unlock exponential growth opportunities.”“With a growing population, a strategic location, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial scene, the Middle East is ripe for investment. I am delighted to see how the United Arab Emirates is showcasing this potential to an international audience. At IFC, we believe foreign investment in this region can create jobs, improve infrastructure, and address a host of other development needs,” said Sufyan Al Issa, the head of IFC’s office in the United Arab Emirates.  Investopia’s first annual conference, held on 28 March 2022 in Dubai with the aim to channel global investments towards new economy sectors and sustain the growth of the global economy, successfully initiated business dialogues across 12 economic sectors, like education, renewable energy, supply chain, logistics, space, agri-tech, and healthcare. Investopia comes as one of the major strategic initiatives under the ‘Projects of the 50’ launched by the UAE Government in September 2021.

''Metaverse will help enhance the storytelling experience''

With the emergence of the metaverse, there is a growing need to understand how businesses can leverage the power of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Extended Reality (XR) to create new value for content, consumers, and brands, a leading immersive strategist said on Day 2 of the milestone 20th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF 2022).In a session titled ‘Arab Media and the Journey Towards Metaverse’, Adipat Virdi, a renowned metaverse strategist, discussed how the emerging technology will impact journalism.Virdi said the Arab world has always been at the forefront of embracing new technologies, which makes the adoption of metaverse technologies easy. The metaverse is the next big thing, he said, adding it will help media organisations enhance the quality and efficiency of their work.The metaverse represents a virtual world that mimics aspects of the physical world using immersive technologies, AI, social media and digital currency. The technology will further enhance storytelling by promoting a better understanding from different perspectives, Virdi added.A place where the physical and digital worlds meet, the metaverse creates an ecosystem that customers can discover together. Customers can collaborate and aspire to be better versions of themselves, where transactions will become a byproduct of people’s affinity for, and advocacy towards the brand, he explained.The immersive specialist and former Global Creative Product Lead (VR) for Facebook, also discussed how the metaverse is helping other industries. He cited the example of MetAmazonia, a next-gen, photorealistic 3D metaverse, which uses blockchain and the metaverse to help fight against climate change, poverty and deforestation, and aims to positively impact the lives of millions of people.

Spotify Continues to Ramp Up Platform Safety Efforts with Acquisition of Kinzen

Today, Spotify is excited to share that we have acquired Dublin, Ireland-based Kinzen, a global leader in protecting online communities from harmful content. Kinzen’s advanced technology and deep expertise will help us more effectively deliver a safe, enjoyable experience on our platform around the world. Spotify’s current partnership with Kinzen, which began in 2020, has been critical to enhancing our approach to platform safety. The company’s unique technology is particularly suited for podcasting and audio formats, making its value to Spotify clear and unmatched. The technology the Kinzen team brings to Spotify combines machine learning and human expertise—backed by analysis from leading local academics and journalists—to analyze potential harmful content and hate speech in multiple languages and countries. “We’ve long had an impactful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team. Now, working together as one, we’ll be able to even further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers local context,” said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s Global Head of Public Affairs. “This investment expands Spotify’s approach to platform safety, and underscores how seriously we take our commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for creators and users.”Given the complexity of analyzing audio content in hundreds of languages and dialects, and the challenges in effectively evaluating the nuance and intent of that content, the acquisition of Kinzen will help Spotify better understand the abuse landscape and identify emerging threats on the platform.“The combination of tools and expert insights is Kinzen’s unique strength that we see as essential to identifying emerging abuse trends in markets and moderating potentially dangerous content at scale,” said Sarah Hoyle, Spotify’s Head of Trust and Safety. “This expansion of our team, combined with the launch of our Safety Advisory Council, demonstrates the proactive approach we’re taking in this important space.”

Integrity, content quality critical for digital media growth

 Integrity, quality of content and commitment to professional values are vital to the growth and survival of digital platforms in a rapidly changing environment, prominent media industry leaders and journalists said at the 20th Arab Media Forum (AMF 2022), which concluded in Dubai today.Speaking at a session titled 'Future of Digital Platforms', Akram El Kassas, Editor-in-Chief, Youm7 newspaper, said regardless of the digital platform used to distribute the news, integrity should always come first. “We should use technology, instead of technology using us,” he remarked. Khadeeja Al Marzooqi, Editor-in-Chief, Dubai Post, said content credibility and quality, and ethical codes should be of paramount importance for digital media.Panellists at the ‘Future of Digital Platforms’ session, which also featured Kawther Zantour, Editor-in-Chief, Acharaa Al Magharib, said the early development of new media was led by journalists with a strong background in traditional media. However, the new generation of journalists have largely only been exposed to social media platforms. Zantour said gaining mastery in visualising content is another element that digital media should focus on to grow and reach a wider audience.Decision makers, writers, opinion-makers, renowned media personalities, and senior executives of leading Arab and international media organisations converged on Dubai for the milestone 20th edition of the largest media event in the region held from 4th-5th October.The second day of AMF 2022 also featured a session titled ‘The Future of Work in the Media Industry’, led by Zhang Li, Executive Manager, China Media Group. Zhang Li shared her insights on the emergence of new technologies in news media and the importance of ensuring media content is tailored for today’s audiences that rely heavily on smartphones to obtain news and information.News media, she said, will evolve as new technologies emerge. Despite advanced technologies such as AI being deployed to produce and edit news, the human element and creativity remain crucial, she stressed.During a panel discussion titled ‘Lebanese Media: The Golden Age and Beyond’, featuring Lebanese TV media personalities including Tony Baroud, Jessica Azar, and Zaven Kouyoumdjian, panelists discussed the journey of Lebanon’s TV media sector. The session was moderated by TV host Joyce Akiki.A session titled ‘Digital Disruption in the Arab Media’, moderated by Nyla Janahi, Bahrain TV anchor, discussed the declining popularity of traditional media amid the proliferation of new social media platforms. The session featured Adhwan Al Ahmari, Editor-in-Chief of Independent Arabia, who spoke about how information posted on social media is often unreliable.Al Ahmari said news media continue to play an important tole despite the emergence of new technologies. They will continue to add value by providing analysis and commentary, offering properly contextualised information and offering a thoughtful perspective of events, he added.In another panel discussion titled ‘New Game-plans in Sports Media’, speakers discussed the future of sports media at a time when digital platforms focused on sports are gaining in popularity. Moderated by Sandrine Jabra, a sports anchor at, the session featured Yaqoob Al Saadi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Sports Channel; Ahmed Shobier, ON TV anchor; and Waleed Al Farraj, anchor at MBC Action.A session focused on ‘The Rising Popularity of TV Drama’ discussed the state of television drama in the Arab world and its prospects in an entertainment landscape where on-demand video streaming platforms are challenging the legacy of traditional television. The session, moderated by anchor and media coaching expert Neshan Der Haroutiounian, featured Sadek Sabbah, CEO of Cedars Art Production; actress Cyrine Abdelnour; actor Abed Fahed; and Sarah Al Jarman, Director of General Channels, Dubai Media Incorporated.

Nitu Chandra launches her production house in Abu Dhabi

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Hollywood actor, Nitu Chandra Srivastava launches her film production house, Champaran Talkies Studios FZ LLC in Abu Dhabi. The initiative is a tribute not only to Gandhiji who began his Satyagraha, a non-violent form of resistance, in Champaran but also to Nitu’s native Indian roots that have played a major role in establishing herself as a successful actor and producer.   Having come from a middle-class family with no film background, Nitu fought her way through different Indian film industries to make her mark as an actor. Champaran Talkies was Nitu’s way of giving back to the film industry and the people of India whom she had won over with her acting. Nitu launched Champaran Talkies in Mumbai, India, in 2010 along with her brother Mr. Nitin Chandra, a National Awarded Writer and Director, with a vision to bring quality cinema to the Indian audience. Together, they wanted to change the negative image of movies that came from Bihar, Nitu’s hometown. This vision became a reality when Champaran Talkies became the first production house to get the one and only National Award in the language of Maithili in India. Since then, Champaran Talkies has produced several documentaries and fiction movies.Champaran Talkies Studios FZ LLC in Abu Dhabi is an extension of the production house in Mumbai. The sole aim of the studio in Abu Dhabi is to produce international movies that appeal to a global audience. To achieve this, Nitu plans to set up an all-women team of above-the-line talented technicians who can be instrumental in producing quality content and pave the way for women in a male-dominated industry.“Empowering women and recognizing their value is the best thing we can do to uplift society. With this all-women team at Champaran Talkies Studios, I aim to provide better access for women in the field of movie making and production. I believe that I can find the right talent from different ethnicities for my projects owing to UAE’s international integration and presence of 200+ nationalities in one space. I am grateful to the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Mr. Abhitanshu Khare, my attorney from London, as well as Mr. Abdulhamid Al Balooshi from A. Albalooshi Advocates and Legal Consultants, who have been instrumental in establishing my studios here in UAE,” says Nitu Chandra Srivastava, Director, Champaran Talkies Studios FZ LLC.Speaking of this association, Mr. Hans Fraikin, Abu Dhabi Film & TV Commissioner says, “We are delighted to welcome Hollywood Actor and award-winning producer Nitu Chandra Srivastava to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Champaran talkies Studios is a one-of-a-kind all-women production house that plans to create ground-breaking and inspiring international productions, and we are extremely happy to support Nitu in this unique venture. It is also befitting that we are announcing this association on the momentous occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. We believe that this partnership will create international opportunities for women globally in Abu Dhabi.”The announcement of the launch of the studios is just the beginning of a beautiful story that the team aims to convey through their artistic talents. Champaran Talkies Studios is already in talks with scriptwriters from different parts of the world and will soon be finalizing the projects.

CKBG appoints LVMH veteran Leslie Serrero to lead global expansion

CKBG has appointed luxury brand leader Leslie Serrero as International Managing Director, based in Paris. Serrero joins the CKBG leadership team after 10 years with the executive suite at LVMH, having leadership roles most recently at Fendi and Dior. This announcement coincides with the closure of CKBG’s latest round of financing, securing $15 million in additional funding and on the heels of a strategic minority investment by Spirit of Gallo in CKBG’s flagship brand, and the news that CKBG will be leading commercial operations of Superbird, its line of canned cocktails.Serrero brings more than 25 years of luxury brand leadership experience to the role, including leadership positions within the LVMH Group where she was the SVP of Global Marketing with Christian Dior Couture, and most recently served as the Managing Director of Fendi France and Monaco. In the newly created role of International Managing Director with CKBG, Serrero will oversee international markets, leading brand and commercial strategy, and accelerating the expansion of the entire portfolio.This latest round of funding will fuel CKBG’s rapid international growth, as well as new products slated to launch in the US and abroad in 2023. The group’s innovative approach to one of the fastest growing segments in the spirits industry has landed Komos on shelves nationwide and in 13 countries within its first year of operations.“We are deeply honored to have Leslie join the leadership team,” expressed Richard Betts, Co-Founder and CEO of CKBG. “Given her global background and talent, we are confident she is the perfect leader to further the growth of the portfolio. The addition of Leslie coupled with this latest round of funding will allow us to continue to craft amazing products that make life more enjoyable, and scale them globally.”“I am thrilled to join CKBG at this exciting time and contribute to the group’s continued success and worldwide expansion,” said CKBG International Managing Director Leslie Serrero. “I see tremendous opportunity for CKBG’s portfolio beyond the Americas and look forward to building and executing the strategic approach to do so.”

Nutanix promotes Mohammad Abulhouf to Regional Head for EMEA emerging markets

Nutanix, a leader in hybrid multicloud computing, today announced the appointment of Mohammad Abulhouf to Senior Director & GM, Emerging Markets. Based in Saudi, Abulhouf will focus on developing the company’s regional client base and driving hypergrowth for Nutanix, in light of the wave of digital transformation taking place across the region.Abulhouf is an IT veteran with over 16 years of experience in the industry, working in various sales leadership roles in reputed companies like Oracle, EMC, HP and Sun Microsystems. He joined Nutanix in 2018 as a Sales Director for Saudi and Bahrain where he was instrumental in building a strong team and spearheading several major customer project wins that helped consolidate Nutanix’s position as a leader in the cloud space. Abulhouf holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from University of Jordan.Commenting on the appointment, Sammy Zoghlami, SVP EMEA at Nutanix says, “Emerging markets is a strategic growth region for our company. The ongoing pandemic has created several challenges for organizations that have been forced to transform and modernize their operations and infrastructure in order to stay relevant and competitive. Nutanix technology addresses these challenges by helping enable a remote workforce, accelerate the pace of digitalization programs, reinforce security posture against cyberattacks and provide enterprises with a platform for innovation. Our value proposition has been resonating very strongly, as evidenced by the strong uptake of our technology by regional enterprises.”“Appointing Abulhouf to lead our Emerging Markets organization is a very natural evolution for him and for Nutanix teams in the region. His track record is significant in terms of business development as well as people development. His leadership philosophy fits perfectly with our vision that we should focus our energy on solving problems for our customers in a multicloud world, not on selling products. Last but not least, his ability to build and develop key partnerships and bring strong solutions to market is key,” he continues.“I am truly honoured to lead Nutanix’s regional team in the Emerging Markets, at an exciting time when most enterprises have digital transformation initiatives underway. According to the 2022 Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) report, multicloud is currently the most commonly used deployment model and the report predicts that adoption will jump to 64% in the next three years. However, complexity issues of interoperability, security, cost and data integration remains a major challenge for enterprises. That’s where Nutanix’s value proposition lies. Our platform blurs the line between public, private, and edge clouds to deliver one, invisible multi-cloud experience. From application automation and mobility to cloud governance and native disaster recovery, we give enterprises the foundational IT environment to thrive in a multi-cloud world. I’m looking forward to progressing the great work that’s already happening and excited to advance Nutanix’s business across the region,” concludes Mohammad Abulhouf.

CoreStack names Sri Chandrashekar Chief Digital Officer

CoreStack, a global multi-cloud governance provider, today announced that Sridhar (Sri) Chandrashekar will be joining the CoreStack leadership team as Chief Digital Officer (CDO). A highly accomplished leader with a proven track record of innovation, Chandrashekar is the former CEO of Optio3, which was acquired by CoreStack earlier this month. As CDO, he will be driving the acceleration of the product roadmap and enhancing the platform for CoreStack. The goal is to expand and scale the product portfolio while creating innovative differentiation.Chandrashekar was the Co-founder and CEO of Optio3, an AI-powered operations management company based in Seattle, WA. Prior to his time at Optio3, Chandrashekar was the founding General Manager and VP of the IT Operations Management (ITOM) business unit at ServiceNow, growing revenue from zero to an amount in excess of $100MM business in less than four years. Chandrashekar joined ServiceNow after 18 years at Microsoft. He has been awarded 24 patents for his work at Microsoft and ServiceNow.Chandrashekar has already worked with CoreStack team, driving the integration of Optio3’s technology into CoreStack’s NextGen Cloud Governance platform. “We’ve been leveraging Optio3’s technology in our platform for a while now and have had tremendous success with it,” said Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan, CoreStack Founder and CEO. “We now have the opportunity to bring the Optio3 team’s expertise in-house and can further tailor the technology to support our enterprise customers’ needs. Having Sri join the CoreStack leadership team as Chief Digital Officer is just icing on the cake. As we work to bring NextGen Cloud Governance to the world, Sri’s leadership, experience, and command of the industry will give us a huge advantage.”“CoreStack is at an inflection point in its growth curve with a phenomenal pipeline of Fortune 5000 customers,” said Sri Chandrashekar, the new CDO. “The Optio3 team is highly specialized in delivering high-scale platforms and SaaS solutions to those enterprise customers. I’m excited that we’re working together to achieve CoreStack’s ambitious vision and product roadmap for NextGen Cloud Governance, and I’m looking forward to uncovering new digital opportunities in my role as CDO.”CoreStack helps enterprises unleash the power of cloud on their terms by providing a NextGen multi-cloud governance platform that is Continuous, Holistic, Autonomous, Integrated, and Nimble (CHAIN). This NextGen governance solution enables proactive multi-cloud governance and 360-degree visibility across financial management (FinOps), security operations (SecOps), and cloud operations (CloudOps) in a unified dashboard.

NKN Media announces Exclusive Ad Sales Partnership with NDTV for UAE

NDTV, India's leading English news channel has most recently joined hands with NKN Media FZC as an Exclusive A sales partner in the UAE region. This partnership offers advertisers & brands in the region an opportunity to partner with one of the most viewed news channels for the astute South Asian Diaspora in the region.The channel is available on Etisalat Ch No.551 and Du Ch No. 86, both the local networks in UAE.Since its inception NDTV has been leading the viewership charts in performance and TRPs in UAE’s Indian TV market segment. This strategic partnership is a significant step in that direction, as the channel is striving to strengthen its footprint further. This again affirms the channels dedication towards the advertisers and brands using this as a unique Ad Innovation Platform, additionally creating local content for the South Asian Diaspora in the region.??Abdul Majid Khan, Chief Executive Officer - NKN Media said,” We are optimistic that this partnership is going to yield the desired outcome commercially for both entities. The partnerships that we have engaged with in the past has led to a phenomenal growth for NKN Media over the last few years. We are confident that our expertise in this media arena as well as our experience will benefit this partnership hugely making it a profitable venture.Also, the brand awareness of NDTV will be a big plus, making this partnership an exciting journey ahead”, he further added.Pankaj Chandra, Senior Vice President – NDTV is very confident that this partnership will be fruitful, enhancing the channels presence in UAE and neighbouring GCC markets.

Qatar Airways Brings the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM

In celebration of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, Qatar Airways is bringing the excitement of the much-anticipated tournament to football fans in Mumbai via the Interactive Pop-Up, on 1st and 2nd October.The pop-up will be available at Jio World Garden and will feature an interactive experience, including the opportunity for fans to test their skills against the world-class Brazilian football player, Neymar Jr., and simultaneously learn more about the history of Qatar and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.Fans will also have the opportunity to share their Pop-up experience on social media for a chance to win FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM travel packages, and match tickets.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: "As Qatar gears up for the FIFA World Cup TM, we as the Official Airline Partner continue to build up the enthusiasm of football fans around the world in different ways. We eagerly look forward to welcoming all visitors planning to attend the event between November and December, and the Interactive City Pop-Up in Mumbai will allow even more fans to feel the incredible energy and passion before it starts."For those looking to secure their seats now, Qatar Airways invites fans to purchase an official Qatar airways travel package, which includes return flights, match tickets and accommodation, to cheer on their favourite team, as tickets are selling out fast. Fans can book their travel packages with a few easy steps to allow at's Official Airline Partner since 2017, Qatar Airways has sponsored events including the 2019 and 120 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, and the FIFA Arab Cup, all of which were hosted in Qatar.The airline is eagerly anticipating the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - the first in the Middle East and offering a seamless journey from more than 150 destinations across the globe to fans attending this world-class event. Its goal to bring communities together through sport, the World's Best Airline has an extensive global orts partnership portfolio that includes football-governing bodies such as FIFA, CONCACAF and ONMEBOL. The airline also sponsors some of the world's most renowned sporting teams and disciplines including, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Bayern München, Al Sadd SC, equestrianism, kitesurfing, padel, and nis, amongst others. In its goal to bring communities together through sport, the World's Best Airline has extensive global sports partnership portfolio that includes football-governing bodies such as FIFA, NCACAF and CONMEBOL The airline also sponsors some of the world's biggest football clubs including Al Sadd SC, FC Bayern München, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Ragheb Alama and Saad Lamjarred loin forces in the metaverse

The concert is an impressive and unique experience not to be missed, marking a major step for masses of users into the metaverse. MetaBoundless has partnered with the Algorand Foundation for this concert to mint NFTs for each concert-goer, serving as their digital ticket into the show. MetaBoundless has also partnered with Apparel group, the retail industry leader in the region, as the platinum sponsor and the leading eCommerce platform as the official merchandise partner of this first concert of the future in the Arab world. Fans are to expect unique web3/ NFT fashion that will further push the uniqueness of the first "Concert of the Future"- A Step into the metaverse.In a unique Arab-led virtual concert starring Ragheb Alama and Saad Lamjarred, ticket sales went live on September 15th, 2022. This historical release is the first step towards accessing the exciting world of Web3, Metaverse, NFTS and DAOs. The concert of the future- A step into the metaverse is the first time Arabic music legends and superstars will unite in a dynamic series of virtual worlds to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience to fans. The virtual concert will be released live to fans on October 20th, 2022, starring Ragheb Alama, Saad Lamjarred, and Michel Fadel, composing new and old hits from these superstars. The tickets can be purchased online at However, these are not just any tickets. These tickets give you NFT rewards through the MetaBoundless claims portal, and these NFTs have unique benefits to be revealed over time.MetaBoundless aims to simplify and utilize Web3 tools to create a bridge between superstars, content creators and influencers. For The Concert of the Future – A Step into the Metaverse, MetaBoundless has partnered with Algorand, a leading blockchain network known for its environmental friendliness, hyper-low fees, and user-friendly ecosystem of applications. Shamir Ozery, Head of Web3 at the Algorand Foundation, commented: "We're excited to be part of the Middle East's first-ever metaverse concert! The artist avatar NFTs will serve not only as a commemorative token of a user's participation in this first-of-its-kind experience but also to build a community among attendees and demonstrate utility, serving as each guest's ticket into the virtual experience. It is a great opportunity for music fans to experience firsthand some of the creative use cases for digital assets beyond cryptocurrencies." "Superstar" Ragheb Alama talks about his partnership with MetaBoundless and this experience: "This is the first time my avatar will be revealed to the virtual world. Fans all over the world will see me in a new way and be able to access memorabilia from this event as NFT rewards for purchasing tickets. Everything in this concert is unique, this is the way to go for concerts in the future, and I am keen to keep up with the future and popular trends.""LM3ALLEM" Saad Lamjarred describes his participation in this concert: "I witnessed similar global experiences for futuristic concerts, and I am sure that this concert will be something very unique for our beloved fans. I am excited for the fans to see me and my unique digital avatar in the virtual concert."Music composer Michel Fadel stated: "The changes in the market and the music industry always require us to keep up with new trends. I am excited to partner with MetaBoundless to deliver these trends to a larger audience and help use some of these innovative tools to give more power to the fans."Dharmin Ved, CEO of, the merchandising partner of the first "Concert of the Future '' in the Arab world, stated: "As, we are all about setting trends for the future generations. As a first experience with a celebrity-led Avatar & NFT concert, we want to create a similar experience for the fans and ticket holders when it comes to the merchandise by Creating fashion items that will also be inspired and linked to the web3 space and NFTs."Adi K. Mishra, CEO and Founder of MetaBoundless, commented, "Our objective is to be able to connect celebrities with their fans using tools from the Web3 world. We are also looking forward to building our partnership with the Apparel group, the retail conglomerate in the GCC and in order to deliver exciting merchandise options in order to link the real world and the virtual world for a community-led experience. We believe the world of media and entertainment will be transformed over the next decade, and MetaBoundless aims to be at the forefront of this change. The company is presently in discussions with other leading artists to bring onboard as well."

Eternal Robotics launches Smart Eyes, an AI surveillance and inspection service

Eternal Robotics, a tech company focused on automation through innovation, has released a new AI-driven solution designed to streamline multiple business operations, including quality inspection, surveillance and action recognition systems. The pioneering company is part of the UAE-based Mojay Global Holding, which seeks out disruptive technology for investment and growth opportunities.Aptly named Smart Eyes, Eternal Robotics’ SaaS solution can monitor employee uniform and grooming compliance, a critical operational function in specialised industries, such as airlines, luxury mobility, hospitality, construction and the manufacturing industry. It offers companies a transparent, digitised and automated alternative to human inspection services, which can be inconsistent and costly.With uniform inspections, Smart Eyes detects any deviation, no matter how minor, such as an incorrectly knotted tie, lack of safety standards and protective equipment, unauthorised use of mobiles, and more depending on the scenario. Compatible with existing camera surveillance systems, the application utilises AI to identify, track and monitor employees and workers across different industries like mobility, hospitality, retail, facility management, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, life sciences and automotive services. Smart Eyes monitors multiple criteria such as people, uniforms, grooming, operational efficiency, product standards, and action recognition, which are three of the system’s main functions.In addition, the system is easy to implement, requiring only two to four weeks to become fully functional. Customers can choose and customise the solution for the most critical aspects of the business to be monitored and reported on through comprehensive insightful dashboards.Luxury chauffeur service PREIMO Urban Mobility recently adopted Smart Eyes to inspect the drivers’ uniforms. The application’s AI identified instances where uniforms did not meet company regulations and helped management streamline surveillance, attendance and conformity of the drivers. PREIMO also gained valuable automated insights into its operations and real-time updates regarding employee compliance (which were not subjective as it can be when outsourced). Overall, the company reported a 70% decrease in quality inspection costs, saving a significant amount in operational expenses. The company also experienced increased compliance of staff with the standards, which brought notable improvement in consistency and customer satisfaction.Raul Silva, CEO of Mojay Global Holdings commented on the efficiency of Smart Eyes, saying, “Mojay is a pioneering company that is disrupting the industry with new AI-driven solutions. The new automation system is a unique solution for streamlining business operations, including inspection, surveillance and action recognition systems. Eternal Robotics has impressively proven itself to be at the forefront of AI within the region and I am looking forward to seeing it grow within the region and on a global scale.”Srikar Reddy, Founder & Director of Eternal Robotics, remarked, “Our Vision stack is highly accurate, and we are adding multiple libraries constantly to serve the expanding needs of our clients. We specialise in delivering AI software which runs on existing camera infrastructure which removes ROI burdens. Our expertise with hardware engineering also allows us to integrate fully customised AI Vision stations depending on our client requirements.”Mojay Global Holding Limited’s other technology ventures include the award-winning MYRO, the world’s first smart construction wall painting robot to be launched commercially. The company welcomes innovative projects, business opportunities, and resourceful entrepreneurs who dare to challenge the current status quo and supports cutting-edge technology incorporating new and higher standards in various, diverse industries.

Partment, Proptech platform for co-owned properties raises US$ 1.5mln

Partment, a proptech startup that offers co-owned second homes, announced today that the company closed its pre-seed round at US$1.5million to enhance the infrastructure of the platform, and deploy its MVP starting in Egypt.The round was led by Nclude, a leading venture capital platform focused on investing in fintech and fintech-enabled start-ups in Egypt, Middle East and Africa,  and Plus Venture Capital (+VC), a MENA focused venture capital firm investing in pre-seed and seed tech startups. The round also included a diverse group of angel investors including leading tech executives and real estate industry veterans.Partment offers a hassle-free solution for second home co-ownership. Through the digital platform and smart booking system, Partment enables users to co-own second homes at a fraction of the price, while providing an end-to-end property management service, optimising property utilisation. Users can sign up, schedule a call with an expert to receive details on available properties, and get full assistance to purchase a share in their preferred unit.Commenting on the announcement Nadim Nagui, Chief Executive Officer at Partment: “Partment is a new concept in Egypt, and we believe it will change how people buy and use real estate in the local and international market.We are very proud to be backed by leading investors who understand and support our vision. Aside from the financial support and expert advice, their trust in our business model will help us achieve our short-term and long-term goals and scale our business to the next level in Egypt and across the region.”Eslam Darwish, Founding General Partner of the Nclude Venture Capital, commented: “We are dedicated to accelerating Fintech Innovation and driving Financial Inclusion by backing global-mindset founders, and are delighted to have led Partment’s latest funding round. We are also privileged to back the team on their exciting journey to disrupt the real estate sector with a locally relevant and globally scalable solution delivered through a unique customer experience.”Also commenting on the announcement, Hasan Haider, Managing Partner at Plus Venture Capital +VC: “We are always focused on investing in exceptional and talented founders and are excited to support the Partment team. We believe that their innovative new concept of second home co-ownership will bolster the demand and attract many homebuyers and disrupt the real estate industry in Egypt and beyond. We look forward to a great future for the company.”Partment was founded in 2022 by Nadim Nagui - Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Raggal - Chief Operations Officer, and Chinmaya Das - Chief Technical Officer, in efforts to disrupt the real estate market.Through Partment, users can explore different listings of curated and end-to-end managed homes in their favourite destination(s), co-own the property and get 40+ nights per year to use the property. Eventually, they can exit the investment by seamlessly selling their portion independently while enjoying the potential capital gains.

Sporting Events to Boost Middle East Tourism up to 30 percent Reveals, a leading online travel agency headquartered in the UAE, has revealed in its bi-annual travel trend report that sporting events will augment the tourism and hospitality economy up to 30 % in The Middle East is becoming the world’s fastest-growing sports tourism destination valued at an estimated USD 600bn, according to the World Trade Organisation. Major events such as FIFA World Cup Qatar, Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, etc. will give Gulf tourism a boost in the last quarter of the year. Amongst the GCC countries, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will see the majority arrival of travellers mainly from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the UK. The UAE topped the list as the preferred destination by travellers due to its proximity to major sporting events as well as family-oriented activities, personal safety and societal security, room availability, varied retail experiences, adventure sports and leisure, and seamless connectivity. Due to seamless connectivity, the UAE can expect inbound flights to soar up to 20% as compared to same time last year. Apart from attending sporting events, fans will want to explore ‘thrill-seeking’ activities as an add-on for a comprehensive travel experience encapsulating all that the country has to offer. Camping and outdoor activities will also see an increase in Q4 of 2022 due to the pleasant weather. Sachin Gadoya, CEO and Co-founder, and Musafir Business said, “Sports events act as a catalyst and can have a tremendous impact on the economy - as we will see millions of fans gather to not only watch their favourite sport but also to have an unforgettable experience during their stay in the region. We are anticipating an exponential growth in the tourism sector, due to the increasing number of tourists in Q4 of 2022 - as arrivals and occupancy will be even more than pre-pandemic times, which is a much-needed boost for the travel and hospitality sector.” Findings show that due to hotels in Qatar being booked to full capacity during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, hotels in the UAE will see up to 40% rise in demand for accommodation and price inflation. In the lead-up to the event, has seen approximately 80% growth in advance booking between Dubai and Doha. This number will significantly increase even further by the end of 2022. The report also reveals an average spend by travellers would be approximately USD 5000 for a hotel stay, transport, shopping and to explore the city. The report also highlights that most of the hotel occupancy in the UAE will touch 100% during Q4 2022 with tourists looking for 5-star and 4-star hotels. Recently, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman announced a multiple-entry tourist visa for fans attending the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to holders of ‘Hayya’ card - facilitating easy entry and exit for tourists.

Bikeera to offer Binance Pay in the UAE

Dubai, UAE: UAE-based Bikeera is teaming up with Binance to accept virtual asset payments for the purchase of Bicycles, Scooters, Electric Mobility vehicles, Gears and Services on their website or in their Store in Dubai.The alliance makes Bikeera one of the first companies in the UAE to accept virtual asset payments through Binance Pay, and the first cycling/mobilty company to offer customers the choice of paying in cryptocurrencies.Binance Pay is a contactless and borderless gateway on the Binance App that allows users and merchants around the world to use cryptocurrencies without incurring special handling fees.Set to boost sustainable mobility in the GCC in view of COP28 in the UAE, Bikeera says the move aims to help reduce GHG emissions, Carbon footprint and improve the health and lifestyle of GCC residents.Settlements will be facilitated by Binance, and the crypto-to-crypto gateway will support various crypto assets such as BNB, Bitcoin and Ethereum.With this development, Bikeera follows the steps of Majid Al Futtaim, Virtuzone, Palazzo Versace, EasyPay and others as pioneering companies in MENA to have integrated Binance Pay in their systems.“Bikeera aims to provide sustainable mobility alternatives that promote a healthy lifestyle and a better planet. By partnering up with Binance, we are giving more flexibility to customers in terms of payment methods. We are proud to have been selected as one of the first companies in this program, and would like to congratulate Binance on their recent announcement about receiving the MVP license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This most recent license is an acknowledgement of the compliance and safety processes behind the Binance ecosystem” said Anthony Boukather, CEO of Bikeera.“Binance is committed to supporting innovative and impact driven businesses such as Bikeera. As a leader in this space, Bikeera’s decision to accept virtual assets payments via Binance Pay empowers the sports community in the UAE and helps with the adoption of more efficient payment methods” said Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Binance.

Dubai reinforces position as a global destination for food tourism

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has launched the inaugural Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report, a comprehensive study of the city’s gastronomy scene, further reinforcing Dubai’s position as a much sought-after global destination for food tourism.The special report was unveiled at the first gastronomy industry briefing hosted by DET at the W Dubai Mina Seyahi, and was attended by more than 100 restaurateurs, culinary specialists and key stakeholders from the food and beverage sector, to share seasonal highlights in relation to the ever-expanding gastronomy sector, and reveal industry insights from the city’s inaugural gastronomy report.The event was hosted as part of Dubai’s efforts to build upon the destination’s year-round programme of key foodie events, gourmet showcases and culinary platforms, to further strengthen the city’s dynamic ecosystem of around 13,000 restaurants and cafés. During the briefing, opportunities in the gastronomy sector and forthcoming calendar highlights were shared with partners to get their support to further enhance the city’s reputation as a year-round global gastronomy hub.Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) revealed key findings from the newly commissioned annual industry report during the event, showcasing the gastronomy activities and initiatives which continue to be a driving force behind the steady growth in both domestic and international tourists, in line with the visionary leadership’s goal to make Dubai the world’s best city in the world to live in, work and visit. This insightful research has reaffirmed Dubai’s standing as an international hub for gastronomy, and a beacon for visionary restaurateurs, chefs, discerning foodies, epicurean travellers and culinary aficionados.The inaugural ‘Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report’ highlights that Dubai’s vibrant and stimulating food scene is a direct reflection of the city itself, with the city being one of the most culturally diverse destinations around the world and a melting pot of more than 200 nationalities. This diversity, alongside the city’s enabling framework and dynamic ecosystem has fuelled Dubai’s acceleration into a unique international culinary hub.Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) commented: “We are proud that Dubai’s ever expanding gastronomy industry continues to have a positive impact on the growth of food tourism globally, as inspired by the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to further enhance Dubai’s position as a global liveability hub. Dubai’s unique and diverse gastronomy scene is comprised of a plethora of home-grown eateries, fine dining institutions, MICHELIN starred restaurants and neighbourhood favourites, which together represent Dubai’s dynamic epicurean scene.Dubai brings together the culture and heritage of more than 200 different nationalities at tables and within restaurants across the city and we are pleased that the emirate is gaining further recognition as a globally renowned epicurean destination transforming food tourism, as revealed in our report that we have just launched. It is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive study that provides significant insights and information related to the city’s growing gastronomy sector. Its continued success is evident in the findings set out in the report including high satisfaction scores across key aspects of the gastronomy offering, in addition to a marked improvement in food choices and the overall restaurant experience for residents and visitors.”The Dubai Gastronomy Industry Report highlights DET’s efforts to cement the city’s position as an international epicentre of gastronomic innovation and inspiration via a programme of year-round events and showcases.The report is based on the feedback and findings of various research carried out by DET including the Global Brand Tracker, Dubai International Visitor Surveys and a local research survey, in addition to thousands of independent reviews posted on food and travel websites. A survey of a number of residents to evaluate their perception of Dubai as an international foodie destination showed that over 55% of respondents ranked Dubai as the No.1 global gastronomy hub followed by London and New York. The survey also highlighted that 52% of residents in the city dine out up to three times per week. The city also, impressively, ranks second in categories such as world-class chefs, fine dining and service at restaurants, ahead of New York, London, Singapore and Istanbul. The report also points out that 72.2 per cent of international visitors said they are happy with the overall quality of food they ate in Dubai and the restaurants they dined in.DET also recently launched the ‘Gastronomy Always on Campaign’ (GAON), aiming to support the F&B industry and lead on a calendar of culinary events. This campaign has drawn attention to the core pillars which empower Dubai as a global gastronomy hub with quality cuisine and experiences available for all; diversity, authenticity, value for money and experiential offerings. The GAON campaign has also championed Dubai Food Festival (@dubaieats), which is a celebration of Dubai’s rich food culture and an expression of the city’s central gastronomy pillars. The festival and its popular year-round social media channels are a leading source of information and recognition for Dubai’s energetic food scene. The report is also a review of the campaign’s initiatives, events and its unparalleled efforts to position Dubai as a leading gastronomy destination.The report, which will be released annually, will chart the evolving elements of Dubai’s dynamic food scene and create a platform for insights into Dubai’s culinary sector to be shared with restaurateurs, chefs, potential collaborators and stakeholders locally and globally, whilst also providing an overview of initiatives to further elevate Dubai’s profile as a leading gourmet destination.During the briefing, DET also announced that the 10th anniversary edition of the much-awaited Dubai Food Festival (DFF) will take place from 28 April -7 May 2023. DFF 2023 will showcase the depth, diversity and creativity of Dubai’s gastronomy offering through an expanded programme of events and activities, drawing upon and celebrating home-grown concepts, Emirati and international cuisine, as well as global trends and Chefs that have inspired Dubai.In addition, the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) and DET will introduce a new initiative in 2022, focused on stimulating inclusivity, by creating opportunities for People of Determination to enter and succeed and thrive in the hospitality and F&B industry. This will be delivered via various activities including creating opportunities for People of Determination to undertake workplace training and internships, collaborating with restaurants and chefs, in addition to encouraging restaurants to communicate their inclusivity plans through their platforms.Dubai has grown to become one of the world’s most sought after epicurean destinations, and its gastronomy scene has diversified and progressed in line with the expansion and development of the city, and remains a key driver of growth for the tourism sector. Dubai welcomed 7.12 million international overnight visitors during the first half of 2022. The city was recognised as the No.1 global destination and the fourth leading destination for ‘Food Lovers’ in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022, demonstrating the depth of the culinary scene and the diversity of culinary offerings.Testament to Dubai’s standing as a foodie hub, the city has welcomed a raft of new initiatives and inaugural dining guides which have further elevated the destination’s reputation as a world-class destination for epicures. The launch of the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Dubai in summer 2022 saw 69 culinary institutions across the city included within the guide, as well as individual awards for, a Green Star, Young Chef, Sommelier and a restaurant award for Best Welcome and Service, whilst the city also welcomed the culinary critic brand Gault&Millau in spring 2022, featuring expert reviews. 16 of Dubai’s homegrown cafés, chef-helmed gourmet restaurants and fine dining institutions and chefs were also recognised in the inaugural edition of the Middle East and North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants list that was unveiled earlier this year.åkan-cervell-as-vice-president-and-head-of-customer-unit-stc

Ericsson appoints Håkan Cervell as Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc,

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) announced the appointment of Håkan Cervell as Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt - effective 26 September 2022.Håkan brings more than 30 years of experience in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry where he has held several product development, sales, delivery and business development roles in markets across Asia and Europe.Prior to his appointment as Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Håkan was the Customer Unit Head of Korea. Over the last 19 years, he has been working in Malaysia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong and South Korea holding various positions such as Sales, Delivery, Marketing and Communications.Prior to his tenure in Asia, Håkan worked for 13 years in Ericsson Headquarter in Sweden in areas of Research & Development (R&D), Project management and Product management. In a market that has one of the highest concentrations of 5G subscribers in the world, Håkan has supported Communication Service Providers (CSPs) in Korea to meet the ever-increasing market demands, pushing the limit in terms of both new use cases and technology advancement.Commenting on his new role, Håkan says: “It is an honor to be appointed the Vice President and Head of Customer Unit stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of technological innovations, fast-growing with a wide range of opportunities and promising ventures on the road to realize KSA Vision 2030. Egypt’s technology sector is setting the stone for a bright future as the country is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution led by Egypt’s Vision 2030. I foresee a bright and prosperous future and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with our customers and lead Ericsson’s journey and contributions in both countries. “Håkan will be based with his family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

‘Make it in the Emirates’ draws interest from American companies

A high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presented the UAE’s national industrial strategy to over 200 international delegates that convened at the first US edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS America) from September 28-29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the aim of exploring new areas of growth and global cooperation, the UAE’s delegation presented the country’s business environment and many competitive advantages and incentives that will attract foreign investors, manufacturers, innovators, and SMEs. Emirati experts called for enhanced cross-border collaboration to advance sustainable industrial development, enable the clean energy transition, and drive global economic growth.As co-chair of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), appealed to the international community to come together and collaborate on ways to make the industry more resilient against global market volatility and enhance productivity while boosting efforts to accelerate the global energy transition. Emirati industry experts and leaders from the UAE delegation highlighted the country’s competitive manufacturing business landscape while sharing their knowledge on ways to enhance sustainable manufacturing practices through advanced technology adoption.On day one, H.E. Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, delivered a keynote address on the UAE’s industrial opportunities and competitive advantages.H.E. Suwaidi addressed the international audience, saying: “There has never been a better time to invest in the UAE’s robust industrial base. The rapid pace with which our ambitious industrial strategy is being executed, is generating significant demand for local goods and services, as well as opening new international market access. As part of this strategy, we launched the Make it in the Emirates campaign to help supercharge industrial priority sectors and attract investments. We continue to build successful partnerships with international players who are eager to capitalize on the significant benefits and potential of establishing an industrial presence in the UAE.”On the first day of the conference, MoIAT hosted an interactive panel discussion which presented the country’s national strategy for industry and advanced technology. The panel explored how the UAE’s Make it in the Emirates initiative is inviting global industrialists, investors, innovators and developers to be part of the country’s industrial growth, while benefitting from incentives and support mechanisms aimed at increasing the national industrial sector's contribution to the UAE’s GDP from AED133 billion to AED300 billion by 2031. During the MoIAT-hosted panel, the session featured key UAE industrial champions and enablers, who shared their plans for sustainable manufacturing, as well as key growth opportunities for investors.H.E. Humaid Mohamed Ben Salem, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) pointed out that the UAE provides several incentives for international organisations to set based in the country. The UAE’s Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry acts as a bridge between the government and the private sector. The FCCI also supports bringing companies to the UAE and ensuring they are made aware of the incentives they can benefit from by doing business. H.E. Salem also highlighted how the UAE’s response and recovery from COVID-19 is a testament to the nation’s credibility in enabling a sustainable business environment that will allow international businesses to thrive. Highlighting the UAE’s unique value proposition, H.E. Salem spotlighted the country’s distinct geographical location that allows for enhanced connectivity across the world, and the many free trade agreements that the UAE shares with other nations, providing another opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations.Mansoor Janahi, CEO, Sanad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company and a champion of industrial services, emphasized the importance of the US market for Sanad, given that the country represents its largest client base. Janahi went on to highlight how the UAE is generally known as an importer of industrial services, however, Sanad has been leading the export of industrial services for the last 35 years. Janahi took the opportunity to highlight how the UAE’s strategic geographic location and world-class logistics have allowed for easy access to people and talent, highlighting how it was central to enabling Sanad to double its business in the last five years.He said: “Partnership is a key part of our DNA. If you look at Sanad today, we work with every major engine OEM and there is really four in the world which are GE, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and CFM International. From an aerospace perspective, there is still a lot of growth and demand for maintenance requirements in the region.He continued: “Secondly, in the course of the last few years, we have grown our efforts to expand outside the aerospace business including offering finance solutions and engineering excellence to new sectors such as medical equipment, airports, renewable energy, and waste management. This means there are going to be more opportunities for partnerships. At the end of the day, we look at strong partners who would like to grow with us.”Joining them on the panel, Saud Abu Al-Shawareb?, Managing Director? of Dubai Industrial City, showcased the many benefits offered to businesses operating from the zone. Al-Shawareb highlighted that Dubai Industrial City is working with 708 business partners to develop an enabling ecosystem which delivers a holistic supply chain. Furthermore, Al-Shawareb highlighted the critical focus of decarbonizing the industrial sector, with Dubai Industrial City generating more than 40 MW of power from renewable energy, and having brick and mortar operations including recycling facilities that ensure waste generated is recycled within the same zone. Dubai Industrial City is one of the enablers that helps international businesses to expand operations in the UAE, advancing the country’s national industrial strategy.Ahmed Awadi, Vice President of Program Management & Business Performance at Strata, showcased some of the collaboration opportunities that are available in the UAE. Awadi made the point that in the past year, Strata has focused on building capabilities and credibility which allowed it to realign its strategy to focus on disruptive advanced manufacturing across a number of verticals including advanced materials, automation, and raw materials such as composite. Furthermore, there are several other verticals that are in focus in biopharma, medical equipment, automation, food security and water security, in line with the UAE’s industrial strategy.Ibtisam Al Saadi, Industrial Development Department Director of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development highlighted some of the value propositions of being in Abu Dhabi. Al Saadi highlighted Abu Dhabi’s recent announcement of investing AED10 billion in the industrial sector (equivalent to USD 2.7 billion) in the coming five years. Sectors in focus include chemical, pharma, transportation, electronic and machinery. Furthermore, some of the budgets will be focused on offering incentive programs, including FDI programs. Abu Dhabi DED is also working with anchor companies to identify and invite SMEs to set up businesses in the country with a guarantee of demand and supply for manufacturers. Abu Dhabi also offers incentives for electricity and gas. H.E. Mohamed Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced yesterday that Abu Dhabi has reduced rent and land prices to just 1.3 USD per square meter.Discussions on Day 1 of GMIS America covered a broad spectrum of topics including the circular economy, shift to sustainability, and the energy transition. Taking place in Pittsburgh, home of the fourth industrial revolution, automation, and robotics, the MoIAT panel also explored the possible opportunities for US businesses in the automation sector. EXPLORING PARTNERSHIPSSeveral high-level conversations between MoIAT and US-based companies took place on the sidelines of the event. HE Omar Al Suwaidi and Diane Farrell, US Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, discussed common industries and ways to grow bilateral trade and further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries. Emerson explored how the firm can expand manufacturing in the UAE and join the country’s Champions Network. Triumph signed an MoU with Sanad to create a Centre of Excellency in Abu Dhabi for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of V2500 engines. Supplement manufacturer Thorne discussed with MoIAT how it can start manufacturing in the UAE. Elliot Group expressed a desire to identify a location for its equipment in the UAE to serve petrochemical and refining plants. MoIAT extended its support to OnePointOne to connect the company with stakeholders in the UAE’s biopharma sector. Kennametal was introduced the UAE industrial sector and key players in aerospace as well as oil and gas.The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology hosted a networking luncheon on Day 2 of GMIS America, to bring government and business leaders from the USA and the UAE together to share their knowledge on how to deepen cross-border partnerships and accelerate industrial transformations through digitalization and advanced technology adoption.Commenting on the UAE’s participation at GMIS America, Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the GMIS Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to host such a strong and committed delegation from the UAE at GMIS America. The UAE has so much to offer international businesses through the ‘Make It in The Emirates’ campaign, and the nation’s unique value proposition. I’m glad that they were able to highlight these opportunities at GMIS America.“Enhancing global dialogue is a crucial part of our mission – it helps drive cross-border, cross-sector collaboration between like-minded industrial professionals and experts who are eager to come together to shape a more sustainable manufacturing sector powered by advanced technologies.”Hosted by the Honorable Thomas Wolf, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, GMIS America will be an annual USA roadshow by the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), the world’s most high-profile manufacturing and advanced technology conference. Under the theme ‘advancing global industrialization and net zero’, GMIS America will feature keynotes, fireside chats, and panel sessions to accelerate the simultaneous advancement of the green and digital agendas.GMIS America will offer policymakers, businesses, and international bodies an opportunity to design integrated policies, frameworks, applications and business models for a net zero, circular future. The program agenda will discuss the application of 4IR technologies such as AI, edge computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and nanotechnology towards advancing the global energy transition and industrialization.

The latest Spotify report examines how UAE’s Gen Zs are shaping culture

The UAE version of Spotify’s yearly report on worldwide trends in culture, Culture Next, has been made available by Spotify.The second time the UAE has been featured in the report’s fourth edition, Generation Z, Spotify’s largest audience section is examined in more detail, along with how they differ from Generation Y, also known as the millennial generation (26 to 40).According to the report, Gen Zs streamed music globally more in 2021 than they did any other form of media (including videos, games, and television), shared greater number of Spotify playlists, and participated in more group listening sessions.Young people aged 18 to 24 played more music on Spotify in the first quarter of 2022 than any other demographic and almost 16 billion more minutes than millennials, or people aged 25 to 34, globally.The head of music for Spotify in the Middle East and North Africa, Mark Abou Jaoude, said that audio has always been a part of our lives.“Streaming is increasingly being recognised as a major force behind discovery and the emergence of a worldwide community that connects through audio. It’s a form of screenless self-expression,” he said.Short-form videos like those on TikTok and Instagram’s Reels have helped increase the appeal of video as a genre recently.But Jaoude emphasises the value of audio, especially for Gen Zers. He said: “For instance, a video without audio is difficult to understand, but an audio-only piece is not. He argued that audio enhances storytelling.”According to the survey, Gen Z has transitioned from being a “emerging” generation to taking centre stage in society, which underlines important disparities between them and millennials.First of all, while both groups experience stress, Gen Zs do it more. Jaoude remarked: “Millennials were reared in a boom, while Generation Z was in a recession. They went through serious downturns related to the 2008 recession and later COVID-19, which they primarily went through as adults.”They are turning to audio in this setting as a refuge. 59 percent of UAE youth aged 18 to 24 informed about using podcasts to find solutions to personal or difficult problems before approaching their families, and according to 66 percent, they use podcasts to prepare for interactions with peers.Additionally, 68 percent of Gen Zers in the UAE claimed that audio helps them better understand themselves, and 80 percent said that it allows them to explore different facets of their personalities.All of this indicates that audio has always been a part of Gen Zs’ life, and they use it for a variety of purposes, including creativity and self-expression as well as identifying characteristics of their own personalitiesAccording to Jaoude, the second characteristic that distinguishes Gen Z from other generations is that they are “the most culturally and radically diverse generation, demanding this diversity be reflected through their lifestyle, the brands they engage with, the audio and social media they consume.”The primary values of this age are self-expression and creativity, hence they turn to artists, music, podcasts, For example, 82 percent of people in the United Arab Emirates stated they had discovered something about themselves by reflecting on their listening patterns, and 74 percent think that their listening patterns reveal something about who they are.

Dubai cements its status as a Metaverse catalyst

Dubai Metaverse Assembly, organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), ended today after demonstrating the UAE’s potential to become a global partner in building digital worlds for the future.At the close of the event, DFF announced that the Dubai Metaverse Assembly would return on the 11th and 12th of October 2023 in a bigger and more immersive experience after achieving outstanding success in its first year.It comes after the flagship event welcomed over 600 experts from the tech industry, witnessed 25 main and side sessions and hosted 30 speakers and 40 tech companies. Additionally, 40,000 tuned in virtually through online streaming and the metaverse technology, offering individuals and government entities a unique immersive experience. Over two days, more than 15 initiatives and strategies were launched during the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, which took place at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, Emirates Tower.On the second day, His Excellency Gabriel Abed, Ambassador of Barbados to the United Arab Emirates, announced that the island-nation was entering the metaverse with a new virtual embassy. “Our metaverse embassy will create diplomatic parity for Barbados,” he said. “It will empower developing nations to gain diplomatic representation at the same level as larger nations, without vast budgets or infrastructure.”Sandeep Nailwal Co-Founder of Dubai-based cryptocurrency platform Polygon, valued at USD 25 billion, announced plans to help decentralized technology firms go green and offer energy-efficient – even carbon-neutral – experiences in the metaverse. With most of the company’s senior management now headquartered in Dubai, Nailwal promised to “drive the industry forward toward sustainability.”Ziad Traboulsi, Global Director, Business Engineering, Reality Labs, Meta, revealed the California-headquartered technology company believed its family of apps, Facebook and Instagram, would be a “bridge” for people to enter immersive worlds.The state’s role in governing virtual worlds was keenly debated on the second day’s first panel. Participants included Christian Kunz, Head of Senior Vice President – Strategy, Dubai International Financial Center; Alexander Chehade, Executive Director and General Manager, Binance Dubai; Keith Jordan, VP of Innovation, Mastercard; Vinit Shah, Senior Advisor, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority; and Catherine Zhou, Group Head of Ventures, Digital Partnerships, and Innovation, HSBC. Whether through the launch of NFTs or by offering new immersive experiences, Emirates will allow millions of people to enjoy its in-flight hospitality virtually, the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, said. He also revealed the carrier planned to hire 4,000 cabin crew by mid-2023 and train them in the metaverse.A panel session on the metaverse’s real-world impact drew the participation of Yusuf Bahadir, Chief Technology Officer, GoArt; Vishal Gondal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GOQii; David Clark-Joseph, Vice President of Investments, Pixelynx; and Bradford Bird, Head of Partnerships and Collaborations, The Fabricant.Homegrown Emirati companies testing new experiences for the metaverse joined a panel to shed light on how local entrepreneurs were building new digital worlds. The panelists included Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Bedu; Abdulla Mohamed Al Dhaheri, Deputy Managing Director and Partner, Chaintech Labs; Haya Al Gussain, Founder & CEO, Evolve Network Club; and Abdel Rahman Al Suweidi, CEO, MetaCon Global. Highlighting how blockchain and web 3.0 technologies can spark an evolution in gaming, Sarah Buxton, Chief Operating Officer of Gala Games, said: “We are still at the beginning of our journey, and you know this when the biggest use cases for blockchain are from the banking and the professional services sector.”Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) gaming has become ubiquitous in entertainment, providing gamers with close to real-life experiences, but Ahmed Tehemar Gamefi, BNB Chain, suggested there would be winners and losers. “We now have a lot of metaverses popping up in the gaming industry; in the future we will understand which ones will go on to host the most users,” he said.In a pre-recorded address, Sebastian Borget, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, The Sandbox, said gaming on decentralized platforms would allow players to create their own personal, immersive experiences.The second day of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly concluded with a series of side sessions related to the metaverse and its technologies hosted by companies including Verse Estate, Mastercard, MetaCon, CryptoOasis, EVERDOME, and MetaDecrypt.

Saudi Arabia's Savvy Games Group invests $37.8bln in video games industry

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Board of Savvy Games Group, today unveiled the Group’s strategy, which is aimed to invest SAR142 billion (US$37.8 billion) across four programmes each with specific objectives.An amount of SAR50 billion has been earmarked for the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner. SAR70 billion to make a series of minority stake investments in key companies that support Savvy’s game development agenda, in addition to SAR2 billion invested in diversified investments in industry disruptors to grow early-stage games and esports companies, and SAR20 billion in industry partners who add value and expertise to Savvy’s portfolio, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Alisa Bowen Named President Of Disney+

Alisa Bowen has been named President of Disney+, effective immediately. In this role, Bowen will build on the flagship streaming service’s reputation as a global destination for premium content. Bowen has led global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+, since its launch in 2019. In that time, Disney+ has expanded rapidly, growing its reach to 154 markets worldwide with 152.1 million total subscriptions as of the end of the third quarter in fiscal year 2022. Bowen will work closely with key leaders across The Walt Disney Company to drive continued focus on innovation, including the forthcoming launch of the advertising-supported tier, as well as multi-channel promotional support for Disney+ and its robust content slate. Regional leaders for Disney+ in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific, and Latin America will report jointly to Bowen and regional leadership. Bowen will continue to report to Michael Paull, President, Direct to Consumer, Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution.“Alisa has been an indispensable member of our leadership team since the inception of Disney+,” said Paull. “She possesses a rare and valuable combination of deep institutional knowledge, forward-thinking innovation, and global vision rooted in a strong focus on our consumer, that is perfectly suited for this critical role, and I am confident that she will have an immediate and positive impact on the business.”“Disney+ is a phenomenal growth story and has delighted fans around the world at tremendous scale. We have a best-in-class team behind this success and I'm excited to partner with them in this new role, as we drive the next phase of Disney+ growth," added Bowen. "Our upcoming content is incredibly exciting, and we are committed to innovation to give our fans and subscribers the best possible experience, including more choice on how they can enjoy Disney+"Bowen is a seasoned media executive with decades of experience in product, technical, and operational leadership roles in several global media organizations. She most recently served as EVP of Global Business Operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing global content and business operations for the Company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Star+. This included cross-functional leadership of the global Disney+ rollout in 154 markets worldwide.She joined Disney in 2017 as SVP, Digital Media and CTO of the Company’s international operations where she led a transformation of Disney’s channel broadcast technology, content operations, and digital publishing across EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.Prior to Disney, Bowen served as CTO of News Corp Australia where she was responsible for the digital transformation strategy, including the pivot to digital subscription business models and the launch of new digital advertising offerings. She has also held product, business operations, and general management leadership positions at major media organizations.Bowen holds a Masters of Business Administration from the London Business School and will continue to be based in Los Angeles, California.

BBC World Service outlines move to digital-first service

The BBC World Service has outlined plans to accelerate its digital offering and increase impact with audiences around the globe. This supports the BBC’s strategy, announced earlier this year, to create a modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation that drives the most value from the licence fee and delivers more for audiences.Changing audience needs around the world - with more people accessing news digitally - go alongside a challenging financial climate. High inflation, soaring costs, and a cash-flat Licence Fee settlement have led to tough choices across the BBC, and the BBC’s international services need to make a saving of £28.5m, as part of the wider £500m of annual savings and reinvestment to make the BBC digital-led.Today’s proposals entail a net total of around 382 post closures.The proposals will see seven more language services moving to digital only, modelling the success of others which are already offering purely digital services and performing well with audiences. This means that nearly half of all 41 language services will be digital only.The BBC World Service will continue to operate in all the languages and countries where it is currently present, including the new languages added during its expansion in 2016. No language services will close.Some TV and radio programmes will stop under the new plans. BBC Arabic radio and BBC Persian radio will also cease.The World Service will continue to serve audiences during moments of jeopardy and will ensure audiences in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan have access to vital news services, using appropriate broadcast and distribution platforms.World Service English will continue to operate as 24 hour broadcast radio, available around the world. Some new scheduling, programmes and podcasts will be set out in due course.The World Service has already achieved record levels of growth on digital platforms, currently reaching 148m people in an average week. The digital share of World Service Languages reach has more than doubled, from 19 percent to 43 percent since 2018.Director of BBC World Service Liliane Landor says: “The role of the BBC has never been more crucial worldwide. The BBC is trusted by hundreds of millions of people for fair and impartial news, especially in countries where this is in short supply. We help people in times of crisis. We will continue to bring the best journalism to audiences in English and more than 40 languages, as well as increasing the impact and influence of our journalism by making our stories go further.“There is a compelling case for expanding our digital services across the World Service in order to better serve and connect with our audiences. The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing.”The proposed changes to the World Service include:Focusing on our own platforms and presence in markets, and reducing the volume of syndicated TV and radio content on partners’ platforms in some territories. A focus on impact, rather than reach, means we need more audiences to come to our platforms. This is where audiences most closely associate with the BBC and where we can build long-term engagement.Creating a new centralised digital-first Commissioning and Newsgathering Content Production Hub to create high-impact content for distribution across all non-English language services.Moving some production out of London and closer to audiences to drive engagement, for example moving the Thai service from London to Bangkok, the Korean service to Seoul, the Bangla service to Dhaka and the Focus On Africa TV bulletin to broadcast from Nairobi.Bringing together long-form content activity such as investigations and documentaries made by Africa Eye, the Investigations Unit and BBC Arabic documentaries to ensure a more collaborative approach across our platforms and services to enable stories to travel further across the world, as well as in the UK.Creating a new China Global Unit based in London to tell the global story of China to the world.Creating a dynamic Africa content hub that commissions and delivers original, distinctive and impactful digital first content for all 12 African language services, digital, TV/Radio, plus coverage of the continent for the rest of the BBC.Continuing linear TV broadcasting for both Arabic and Persian languages and investing in building audio and other digital capability in Arabic and Persian to replace radio.Closing some radio services, for example Arabic, Bangla, Persian and some TV programming on local broadcasters across Africa and Asia.World Service English making changes to its content and schedules which will allow investment in new initiatives, including a new podcast for younger audiences globally, and developing the podcast offer more broadly. The station also plans to launch a new hour-long science strand from the new science unit in Cardiff, as well as adding more live news and sports programming to the schedule.These proposals are now subject to consultation with staff and trade unions.

UAE ranked 31st on Global Innovation Index

 The UAE has ranked 31st globally on the Global Innovation Index (GII) in 2022, which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), climbing two spots from 2021, while remaining at the top among Arab nations for the seventh consecutive year.Meanwhile, the UAE ranked 18th globally on the GII's Innovation Input Sub-Index, five ranks higher than 2021, reflecting the country's growing ability to transform investments in innovation-supporting inputs into tangible results that drive its development and global economic competitiveness.In the indicators that fall under Innovation Input Sub-Index, the UAE came in 6th globally in the Institutions indicator, as compared to 24th last year, 7th in the Infrastructure indicator, as compared to 14th in 2021, and 17th in the Human Capital and Research indicator. In Market Sophistication, it ranked 23rd, climbing three spots from last year, while ranking 26th in Business Sophistication.In GII sub-indicators, the UAE topped world countries in 'Cost of Redundancy Dismissal', 'Business Environment', 'Entrepreneurship Policies and Culture', 'Tertiary Education', and 'Tertiary Inbound Mobility', and ranked second in 'Research Talent Percentage in Businesses'. It also ranked third globally the 'ICT Access' sub-indicator, 4th in 'General Infrastructure', 5th in both 'GERD Financed by Business' and 'State of Cluster Development and Depth', 6th in 'Policies for Doing Business', and 8th in 'Electricity Output (GWh/mn pop)'.The Global Innovation Index (GII) is published by WIPO, in partnership with the Portulans Institute, to track the current state of innovation globally and rank the innovative performance of countries.

Bedu partners with Dubai Future Foundation

Dubai-based Bedu, UAE’s pioneer in Metaverse and Web3 technologies, has partnered with the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) to reinforce the metaverse ecosystem at the Dubai Metaverse Assembly (DMA) which will take place from September 28 to 29, 2022.The assembly will be held at the Museum of the Future, building on the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, the Dubai Metaverse Assembly is announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.By investments in promising economic opportunities, implementing metaverse technologies, and creating a digital infrastructure that supports global transformation and the digital economy, the DMA aims to establish Dubai as a globally leading digital city. By bringing together regional and international experts to discuss the future of the metaverse, uncover new opportunities, and fulfil potential applications within this space, the event explores how revolutionary technology can be applied across important sectors to create a better future and quality of life for humanity.Amin Al Zarouni, CEO of Bedu, will participate in three panel discussions titled, The Reality Gradient, UAE Metaverse Contributors, and Building the Metaverse: Create Real Value in the Virtual World, while Misha Hanin, Co-Founder & Futurist, Bedu, leads the panel discussion of Interoperability. Accompanying the engaging sessions, the company will showcase its recently launched Metaverse Project 2117. Project 2117 aims to become a 100-million-user metaverse environment in the next ten years by focusing on developing every aspect of the virtual world around the community, user needs, and the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Furthermore, Bedu will issue non-transferable NFTs as tickets to the assembly, which will only be used by guests to attend the assembly each year and will be eligible for future benefits.“The nation’s leaders have been exemplary in focusing their efforts on incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to provide its citizens with the most immersive experience in the metaverse,” said Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Bedu. “It is an absolute pleasure to partner with the DFF on a platform such as the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, helping the UAE harness the power of Metaverse innovations that have the potential to impact every community, individual, and society as a whole through new digital environments.”Bedu’s Metaverse Project 2117 aligns with the DMA’s objectives of understanding the impact of the metaverse on humanity, discussing the potential of humanising its applications, and identifying the best ways to leverage opportunities across strategic sectors of countries, governments, and organisations.The assembly will host more than 300 global experts, policymakers, thought leaders, and decision-makers from over 40 organisations, as well as facilitate sessions and workshops.

CRA issues a telecommunications license to Starlink Satellite Qatar

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) issued today an Individual License for the Provision of Public Satellite Telecommunications Networks and Services to Starlink Satellite Qatar W.L.L.. This follows the decision of His Excellency Mohammed bin Ali Al-Mannai, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.Starlink Satellite Qatar has recently been established in Qatar by the leading international company SpaceX. This License authorizes Starlink Satellite Qatar to provide satellite broadband Internet services to individuals and enterprises in the State of Qatar via the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation of SpaceX, which provides comprehensive global Internet service coverage. The main services that Starlink Satellite Qatar intends to provide in the country include direct-to-consumer satellite Internet service and “Starlink Premium” service which is designed specifically for businesses and high-demand users and allows download speeds of 150-500 Megabits per second (Mbps) and latency of 20-40 milliseconds (ms), in addition to other services that may benefit the local mobile operators.The License granted to Starlink Satellite Qatar contributes to enhancing the availability of telecommunications services in remote locations away from the mainland, especially in areas where the services of the current licensed companies are not fully available (such as oil and gas platforms at sea, ships, yachts, and aircrafts), provide complementary and alternative telecommunications services for individuals and enterprises consumers, and provide back-up communications throughout the State of Qatar in the event of a major outage in telecommunications networks.The grant of this License is consistent with international trends in the field. It contributes to the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and encourages more foreign investments in the country, therefore diversifying the national economy, which supports Qatar National Vision 2030.The grant of this Individual License followed consultation with the stakeholders and relevant government entities.

Dubai’s latest campaign welcomes K-Pop Star Suho!

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) launched the latest leg of the ongoing global campaign ‘Dubai Presents’ featuring K-pop sensation Suho.Suho of the world-famous K-pop group EXO is now the newest face of Dubai’s cinematic campaign. In this campaign video, Suho visits Dubai’s Old Souk on an Abra, a traditional wooden boat that takes him back in time, to discover the city’s past. He also embarks on a futuristic journey at the Museum of the Future, which opened in February this year. Later, he is seen at Sky Views Dubai, Deep Dive Dubai, Aura Skypool and The View at the Palm; some of Dubai’s newly opened attractions during the pandemic. The campaign highlights Dubai’s past and future, showcasing the many experiences and activities that the emirate has to offer. The campaign aims to engage travellers across the globe and invites them to spend a leisurely and safe time in the metropolis.Talking about his experience in Dubai, Suho said, “Every time I come to Dubai, I find new things. Dubai is a place full of vitality and youthful vibes. This time, I also discovered that there are many attractions in Dubai that were newly opened during the pandemic, so I want to come back next time and enjoy it with EXO members”. Suho had recently performed his latest single ‘Hurdle’ as part of a free concert at the Dubai Festival City in May earlier this year. His song ‘Grey Suit’ continues to be played during the Imagine laser and light display for fans at the Festival City Mall as an ode to his visit. Dubai was ranked as the No.1 global destination in TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022 owing to the diversity of Dubai’s destination proposition, as well as its position as one of the world’s safest cities. During his trip to Dubai, Suho immersed himself in a series of fun activities covering his passion for adventure sports, visited Dubai’s Al Fahidi district for a taste of culture and the world’s highest 360 infinity pool. Issam Kazim, CEO, Department of Dubai Economy, and Tourism added, “Our campaigns always focus on authentic and relatable ways to showcase the diversity of experiences and destinations on offer across the city; and ‘Dubai Presents’ is a testament to that thought process. Owing to our leadership’s strong vision and strategic guidance, we are well on our way to rebounding from the pandemic and will continue to do our part in reviving global tourism. We welcome travellers from across the world to spend a safe and memorable time with family and friends, in Dubai.” The DET campaign video in which Suho participated can be found on the Visit Dubai official YouTube channel, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.