AppsFlyer releases its State of Gaming App Marketing for 2023 report

AppsFlyer today released its State of Gaming App Marketing for 2023, an in-depth report on key gaming trends for app developers, marketers and game studios to utilize as they navigate through a year of challenging macro trends, including the new age of data privacy. As the post-Covid era unfolds, a digital slowdown, or return to pre-Covid conditions, is taking place. While the effects are becoming increasingly apparent in metrics like overall app installs by consumers, the gaming app economy still showed resilience with nearly $27 billion invested in ad spend by gaming marketers and developers worldwide in 2022 to acquire new users. Overall, Android game app installs rose slightly, by 8% compared to 2021, whereas iOS game app installs showed a small decline, with a 5% drop. Based on advertising investment, the United States remains the largest target market for gaming app marketers by a significant margin, followed by Japan, South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.“If 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was the golden age of gaming, the second half of 2022 and especially 2023 will be a time that marketers, developers and studios will need to overcome challenges to adopt highly-focused, efficient strategies for attracting and inspiring loyal, valuable players,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Director of Market Insights at AppsFlyer. “Evolving marketing budgets coupled with drops in consumer spending across some genres mean game businesses are compelled to prioritize profits over growing the sheer size of their numbers of players. Despite the hurdles, however, mobile gaming remains a lucrative powerhouse nearing three billion players globally. Marketers will continue to succeed by putting more focus on modern measurement capabilities, utilizing techniques that deliver an engaging experience while respecting user privacy, and leveraging remarketing and owned media channels further in order to offset increases in their cost-per-installs (CPI). Additionally, they will need to dive deep into the complex yet promising SKAN 4.0 from Apple, and invest more in campaigns outside of the United States, as gaming is truly a global phenomenon.”As for gaming app revenues, the State of Gaming report reveals that consumers spent the most on in-app purchases (IAP) in role playing and social casino (not real money) games. Purchases in these game categories declined mostly in the second half of 2022, leading to an overall drop in IAP revenues by 7% compared to the first half of the year. The economic downturn appears to have impacted consumer behavior in high IAP genres of role playing and social casino more than other categories like match or puzzle games, which rely more on micropayments. In-app advertising (IAA) remained the strongest driver of revenues for hypercasual, match and simulation games, though IAA revenues also declined across most genres towards the second half of 2022.Key Insights from the 2023 State of Gaming App Marketing:$26.7 Billion total gaming app install ad spend worldwide in 2022. The US commands nearly half at $12.2B thanks to its high-volume and high-cost media landscape; Japan is a distant second with nearly $2B in spend.Worldwide, Android game app installs rose slightly in 2022, iOS game app installs showed a small decline. There was an 8% YoY growth in total app installs of Android games. A -5% YoY install drop on iOS reflects the continued challenges iOS app marketers are facing following Apple’s privacy changes (despite the improvement vs. the previous 2022-2021 YoY figure of -13%). In the US, still considered the most important market for gaming app marketers, 2022 saw a 19% growth in Android app installs and -1% decline in installs of iOS gaming apps when compared to 2021.The second half of 2022 in particular was a struggle for in-game purchases with the economic uncertainty in the market. There was a -7% overall drop in in-app purchase (IAP) revenue in H2 2022 compared to H1 2022, with iOS down -13% and Android down -6%. Overall, in-app purchases on Android gaming apps were down -14% year-over year (YoY), while iOS was down -1% YoY. This was driven largely by a decline in Role Playing and Casino game genres that typically have high rates of in-app purchases, and where the economic downturn appears to have impacted consumer spend.Categories that saw largest growth in 2022 vs. 2021: 48% growth rate for Android casino games, 3x more than second-place Hypercasual and 5x higher compared to the growth rate in puzzle and Role Playing games (RPG). Casino games led growth on the flagging iOS side, clocking an impressive 17%.Cost-per-installs on iOS continue to climb: 88% is the increase in CPI on iOS from Q1 2021 to Q4 2022, shooting up $3.75 per install as iOS marketers continue to accept high prices to acquire valuable Apple users. YoY rates show a 35% jump.Marketers increasingly leveraging owned media channels: As marketers look to get more value out of their budgets, the use of owned media strategies such as push notifications, in-app messages and cross promotion is seeing a sustained rise. This has led to a significant YoY increase in the number of owned media conversions, with a 16% growth on iOS and a 34% surge on Android.“As gaming marketers continue to navigate their way through a shifting economic landscape along with privacy changes, particularly on iOS, they face fresh challenges and opportunities in regards to their app marketing efforts,” said Adam Smart, Director of Product, Gaming. “Privacy restrictions on iOS limit the ability of marketers to leverage user-level data, which was previously the cornerstone of their ability to connect campaign performance to attracting new users. Yet despite a significant rise in media costs and measurement challenges, gaming apps are still investing heavily in capturing high-quality players on iOS, and are not shifting those resources to Android even if the approach results in attracting fewer users overall. This gives greater importance to the use of privacy-enhancing tech and data clean rooms in 2023 and beyond, and will also provide advantages to those able to leverage accurate and comprehensive data for making the timeliest decisions on where, when and how to optimally invest budgets in ways that attract and retain the most valuable players.”MethodologyAppsFlyer’s State of Gaming App Marketing, 2023 Edition is an anonymous aggregate of proprietary global data from 38 billion app installs from 18.6 thousand apps measured with 10 thousand quarterly installs and $13.9 billion in total ad spend measured from January 2021 to December 2022.T

Volkswagen Oman partners with Oman French Association to host Corporate Games

Volkswagen Oman represented by Premium Motors, the exclusive dealership of the brand in the Sultanate partnered with Oman French Association (OFA) to host Corporate Games 2023 at the French International School. OFA is a non-profit organisation registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and supported by the French Embassy.The series of sports activities organised by Omani French Friendship Association included 5-Aside football, 3 x 3 basketball, basketball three-point contest, tug of war and relay.Volkswagen has established itself as a family brand through various campaigns and initiatives. One of its recent campaigns was the "We Drive Football" programme, which aimed to bring families, communities and fans together through the love of soccer.Christian Nehme, General Manager of Premium Motors Oman, said: “Volkswagen's commitment to promoting family values through sports is just one example of how the company has positioned itself as a family brand, emphasizing the importance of spending time with loved ones and enjoying shared experiences like we did this event in Oman. It was fantastic that two groups that symbolize vitality, enterprise and excellence joined hands to organise this event. We were delighted to partner with OFA to bring out a fun and engaging event. Our colleagues were excited to participate in this sports and wellness programme which aimed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.”A representative for OFA said, “Our group aims to provide a platform that promotes friendship, understanding and matters of mutual interest between French and Omani businesses and keep social communities active in Oman. We are delighted to have associated with Premium Motors and present an engaging event that saw community participate and connect with each other.”Located at Alfardan Heights at Ghala, Premium Motors is spread across three floors and designed in accordance with global standards and corporate identity.

Volkswagen Abu Dhabi and Al Ain launch Ramadan offers across all showrooms

Abu Dhabi And Al Ain – Volkswagen Abu Dhabi and Al Ain launch Ramadan offers ahead of the holy month across all showrooms. Available across a range of models, customers can expect to enjoy a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, five-year free service plan, five-year Roadside Assistance and free registration and insurance for the first year. Models on offer include the Golf GTI, Tiguan and 7-seater Teramont. Monthly price points start as low as AED2,490 for the Golf GTI, AED1,755 for the Tiguan and AED2,430 for the Teramont.Models on offer include:Golf GTI: the iconic hot hatch in its eighth-generation boasts thrilling power with more sport, sophisticated design and digital innovation. The enhanced reactivity and handling promises driving pleasure.Golf R: the most powerful Golf R to ever launch with 235kW / 320HP and capable of accelerating to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds, the all-new Golf R delivers an adrenaline packed experience with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and sports-tuned suspension.Teramont: a firm best-seller, the 7-seater offers ample space, ultimate comfort, functionality and connectivity for the whole family. 2,741 litres of boot space enables countless adventures with 3-zone climate control and easy 3rd row access. Tiguan: the dynamic SUV with progressive design is equipped with intelligent technology for a comfortable drive and uncompromised functionality and connectivity.

Clover Infotech appoints Ashish Dass as Managing Partner - EMEA

 Clover Infotech has appointed Ashish Dass as the Managing Partner - EMEA effective 1st March 2023. He will be driving new business opportunities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with a keen focus on Oracle Applications. Clover Infotech is one of the premium Oracle partners in EMEA and India across Applications and the underlying Technology stack.Ashish brings more than two decades of leadership experience in enterprise software and services across companies such as Oracle, Finastra, Infor, and 3i Infotech. He has been featured in the Forbes Middle East ‘Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World 2015’.Commenting on the development, Ashish Dass, Managing Partner – EMEA, Clover Infotech said, “I am glad to be onboard Clover Infotech. Clover Infotech’s strong partnership with Oracle over the years across geographies makes it well poised to deliver excellent value to customers in the region. The company is one of the first implementers of ERP Cloud products in the EMEA and comes with extensive implementation and support expertise across the Apps and Technology layer through its managed services offerings. I look forward to working with its strong base of more than 4000 skilled and certified consultants to enable companies in EMEA to modernize and digitally transform their businesses.”Commenting on the appointment, Javed Tapia, Chairman, Clover Infotech said, “I would like to welcome Ashish onboard Clover Infotech. Ashish brings diverse experience across products and services companies in the EMEA. His deep understanding and connects across the region coupled with Clover Infotech’s enterprise application expertise will enable companies in the region to deploy best-in-class solutions to accelerate business and enhance operational seamlessness.”

Entrepreneurship event offers women-led businesses valuable insights & strategy

 Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), in collaboration with Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) and Female Fusion, organised an event to celebrate International Women's Day.As part of the ‘Sheraa Community Talks’ initiative, the event which took place at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, featured insightful speakers, interactive discussions, and networking opportunities aimed at helping women entrepreneurs build meaningful connections with other business owners.The event entitled "Her Story: Celebrating Women Who Inspire" attracted women entrepreneurs from around the nation and gave attendees the opportunity to gain new insights and strategies for success as well as to celebrate the incredible achievements of women in business.After a networking session where attendees had the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow businesswomen, Iman Ben Chaibah, Maryam Bin Al Shaikh and Jen Blandos, representing Sheraa, SBWC, and Female Fusion respectively, then introduced their organisations and welcomed the attendees.The founders' one-minute spotlight was a unique segment of the event where nine entrepreneurs spoke about their newly found businesses and what they needed help with from the audience to support them. The session was facilitated by the three organisations who have also been instrumental in nurturing these nine founders and their emerging companies, and helped attendees understand the challenges faced by fellow entrepreneurs and how they could lend their support.The highlight of the Women’s Day event was the panel discussion which featured two speakers from Sheraa, SBWC, and two from Female Fusion who were all dynamic entrepreneurs from diverse industries. Yasmine El Mouallem, founder of Maternally, passionately highlighted the crucial importance of maternal mental health and self-care material, and how her business seeks to fill the gaps in maternal mental health care, offering more focused support than generic social media and text groups. Dr. Muna Aldhabbah, founder of Halajary, shared her innovative vision of connecting people together and empowering women while fostering meaningful real-life relationships and supporting small businesses in local neighbourhoods.The discussion was further enlivened by Yara Bin Shakar, owner of Yara Bin Shakar Label and cofounder of House of 45, sharing her experience as a fashion designer committed to creating sustainable clothing, offering valuable tips for starting a business, and highlighting the importance of communicating one-on-one with the market. Aya Assaf, co-founder of Koala Picks, captured the audience's attention with her innovative approach to providing healthier snacks for children, stressing the need to think outside the box and to adapt to changing market demands.Pamela Lilburne, CEO and founder of Linen Obsession, which supplies department stores with top brands and has recently launched their first flagship store, expressed a strategic and analytical mindset advising the audience to focus on solving problems and build lasting relationships with clients. Finally, Ferakh Lakhany, co-founder of Arabee, showcased her passion for education and data-driven strategy, sharing her experience creating an interactive learning platform for learning Arabic and collaborating with the UAE’s Ministry of Education to improve the standard of Arabic in schools. Her customer-focused approach, design thinking, and remarkable growth over the past 5 years to 50,000+ children demonstrated how her planning had paid off.During the discussion the speakers shared their personal experiences, insights, lessons learned from their journey as entrepreneurs and explained how important it was to have organisations like Sheraa, SBWC and Female Fusion to guide and nurture them through developing a successful business. The collaboration between these three organisations showcased the power of unity and collaboration in supporting women entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, showing them that they are not alone and that there is a supportive community out there to help them succeed. announces the ‘Ramadan sale’ today announced its annual Ramadan Sale event, kicking off at midnight on March 11th exclusively for Prime members, and on March 12th for all customers, running until March 21st. This year’s Ramadan Sale event includes saving benefits of up to 50% to support customers as they prepare for Ramadan, all while giving back to families and communities in need. customers will benefit from the thousands of deals across every product category, including groceries, home appliances, kitchen essentials, fashion, electronics, and more, across top local, regional, and international brands including Samsung, Panasonic, Grohe, Nescafe, and more.To truly enjoy Amazon in the best way possible, Amazon Prime members in Egypt get 24-hour early access to the Ramadan Sale on to begin saving before the full sale starts, and get additional savings with Prime Exclusive Deals during the sale only for Prime members, with fast and free shipping. Amazon Prime membership also gives you access to award-winning TV and movies with Prime Video, and free games and in-game content with Prime Gaming. Everyone can sign up to Amazon Prime for a free 30-day trial on, then EGP 29 per month after the trial. In the spirit of giving, is providing customers once again with the Ramadan Box, full of the day-to-day necessities during this holy month at an exclusive price of EGP249. Customers can buy and have the Ramadan Box delivered anywhere across Egypt or choose to send to the charity organization or needy family of their choice before Ramadan. The Ramadan Box includes essential grocery items such as 2 kilograms of rice, 800 grams of pasta, 1 kilogram of sugar, 700 grams of ghee, in addition to beans, oil, lentils, and tea from brands including Rehana, Lipton, Knorr, Lametna, Morgana, and Sindbad.Omar Elsahy, Amazon Egypt Country Manager, said: “Ramadan is truly one of the most exciting and meaningful times of the year in the region. We are looking forward to showing up once again as we help customers get ready for this season, alleviating budget and economic pressures. During such an important month of giving, we are thankful to be able to give customers various ways to support our communities during the Holy month as they shop with us.”Ways to Save this RamadanShop with CIB: customers who are also CIB credit card holders can pay in installments with 0% interest up to 6 months during the sales event, while Prime members can enjoy 10% extra discount up to EGP 150.Vodafone Cash: and Vodafone are offering customers an extra 20% discount up to EGP 40 on their order when they pay EGP 100 or more using Vodafone Cash as a payment method.Shop with Banque Misr: customers who are also Banque Misr credit card holders can pay in installments with 0% interest up to 12 months during the sales event.For valU Customers: customers who are also valU customers enjoy 0% interest on installments up to 6 months. Ramadan Sale DeliveriesThe increased demand through the deals season is met by Amazon’s world-class last-mile operations and delivery station technologies. The company’s advanced capacity management systems, enhanced tracking, and global routing solutions will ensure a faster, more reliable, and more convenient customer experience. Today, the Amazon network across Egypt includes 22 delivery stations across cities like Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Ismailia, and Assiut, and several established corporate and customer service offices.Customers can make their shopping experience even easier by downloading the Amazon app to browse and shop the best Ramadan sale deals or shop directly on the website on All deliveries can be paid through online payment options including credit and debit cards.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce launches Six Real Estate Sector-Specific Business Grp

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has unveiled the establishment of six real estate sector-specific business groups.The new groups focus on companies operating within the real estate sector, including real estate developers, real estate valuation, real estate leasing, facility management, interior decoration / interior design services and engineering consultants. The Business Groups are platforms for constructive dialogue between stakeholders in the private and public sectors, helping companies within the real estate field tap into new opportunities, tackle industry-level challenges and address policy matters that impact this thriving market.  Commenting on the launch of the new real estate business groups, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “The real estate sector continues to be one of the vital levers for Dubai’s economy and a major contributor to Dubai's GDP, with a share of more than 9% in the first nine months of 2022 and a year-on-year growth rate of 2.5% in the same period." “With the emirate's positive economic outlook for 2023, we know the real estate sector will remain strong due to substantial end-user demand and investor confidence in Dubai's property market. In addition, by leveraging Dubai's Economic Agenda 'D33', we anticipate enormous opportunities for residential and infrastructure construction to continue to support the emirate's economy while investment and spending for office, industrial, tourism and retail properties will grow even more; especially that Dubai’s population is expected to reach 5.8 million by 2040. Our new Business Groups representing six important real estate sectors are created to maximize growth and diversification in this vital market," he added.  The Dubai Land Department assisted in the formation of the new business groups and in identifying their economic activities in collaboration with Dubai Chamber of Commerce. "We welcome the formation of real estate business groups that will work under the governance framework of Dubai Chamber of Commerce. The launch of the business groups is aligned with our role of spreading real estate knowledge and promoting the culture of conducting sound business to the highest internationally recognized standards. Real estate business groups will provide new avenues for constructive debate as well as educational and networking forums for members to engage with key stakeholders, including the Land Department, to influence policymaking and ensure a bright real estate future," said H.E. Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of the Dubai Land Department. The rent and sales rates for real estate segments such as hospitality, residential, retail, commercial office space and industrial space all saw a significant increase in 2022. According to CBRE, occupancy rates in Dubai's office properties until Q4 2022 reached 88%, a 10% increase on the previous year's results.Lootah affirmed that Dubai Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting the interests of its members and advocating on their behalf to maintain and enhance Dubai's favourable business environment as well as the competitiveness of the emirate's economy. "With this in mind, the launch of the six new real estate business groups is a significant initiative that will provide an open space for meaningful discussions amongst our member companies working in real estate, other industry leaders and key government stakeholders to achieve optimum results for a thriving real estate ecosystem,” he added.The launch of the six real estate business groups comes as part of Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s plan to establish a 100 sector-specific business groups by March 2023 to develop the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development and boost the business community’s competitiveness within Dubai’s economy and further afield.

Almost all Gen Z & millennials in Saudi Arabia will be frequent AR users by 2025

Snap Inc. has reemphasized the integral role of Augmented Reality (AR) within the shopping and retail industry at this year’s 9th Retail Leaders Circle MENA. Kickstarting conversations around the importance of immersive shopping to the modern-day Saudi consumer, Snap Inc. in partnership with PwC Middle East and Retail Leaders Circle (RLC) announced the launch of their latest white paper titled, ‘The shift towards immersive shopping: New opportunities for retailers in KSA.’The study focuses on the evolution of the Saudi digital shopper and the growing desire for brands to integrate immersive technologies that elevate the shopping experience. To build and maintain competitive advantage in the new era, retailers need to look at digital not as an add-on to their traditional business model, but as the backbone to new, hyper-responsive ways of working to attract and win the loyalty of customers that today have more choice than ever before.This is largely defined by evolving preferences as shopper behavior becomes more complex, further adding nuances to the digital footprint within KSA. Today, Saudi shoppers are demanding more convenience in digital and physical shopping, without the demand of spending too much of their free time. There is an increasing need for new modes of personalization and privacy, especially with Saudi shoppers who prefer having a transparent data security policy. Another aspect found to play an instrumental role in shaping the future of commerce is the more linear shopping journey, increasingly driven by sophistication. Artificial intelligence (AI) enables hyper-personalization, which includes leveraging real-time behavioral data and advanced analytics to offer the right promotions and tailored messages in real time.Abdulla Alhammadi, Regional Business Lead for KSA Market, Snap Inc. said: “Over the years, we have seen AR evolve from being just a mode of entertainment and self-expression, to delivering true value for both consumers and businesses. AR is already transforming the industry and is slated to metamorphosize every shopper’s journey in the near future. Today, as we ponder upon the future of retail, it's time to be agile and adapt wholeheartedly to the latest in commerce. We at Snap Inc. believe in unlocking previously unimaginable creative possibilities, helping to make the consumer journey even more personal, accessible and convenient. Together with our partners, we have seen great results among our communities and we look forward to widening the circle for AR as a tool that leads brand engagement, with a larger scope for personalization within a safe space for consumers.”Roy Hintze, Partner, Deals Strategy & Operations at PwC Middle East said: “Our latest paper shows that consumers’ shopping journeys are becoming more drawn out as they look for promotions and reduced prices. However, they are willing to a great extent to pay more for local products to support their local economies and to get convenient and more bespoke services.”Norma Taki, PwC Middle East’s Consumer Markets Leader, added: “While retailers are dealing with higher costs and supply chain issues, their challenge is to retain the loyalty of digitally savvy shoppers who are seeking the convenience of buying online with the confidence of buying in-store, they need to meet the evolving needs of this new generation of hybrid consumers who easily switch channels and blur the lines between online and offline into phygital.”Panos Linardos, Chairman of the Retail Leaders Circle said: “At the Retail Leaders Circle, we examine regionally-significant emerging trends to drive positive industry change. We see retailers exploring new ways to bridge the physical and digital divide to meet changing customer preferences. We hope this white paper will inspire more businesses to design customer journeys around digital integration, including AR, as part of the retail planning process.”According to the white paper, there is a major gap between how AR is perceived by consumers and how it is perceived by brands. Based on the Snap Inc. and IPSOS Augmentality Shift report, while 94% of brands consider AR to be primarily for fun, only 53% of consumers in KSA see it this way. Seven out of ten consumers now identify shopping as their main reason for using AR, while 84% of consumers are interested in using AR to interact with a product before buying.Emphasizing a world where online shopping is focused more on the people, not the product; Snap Inc.’s findings administer a future of retail that’s driven by self-expression that is open to different sizes and cultures. Secure AR shopping has also been found to be a fun, inclusive, and convenient way to discover, try and buy fashion and beautify. AR can showcase products, push creative boundaries, drive real sales and help reduce returns. AR try-on technology is the next evolution to transform the industry - giving anyone the opportunity to access fashion, no matter who they are or where they are. 250 million people already engage with AR on Snapchat every day and Snapchatters now play with AR more than 6 billion times a day on average.

FalconViz announces its first metaverse lab in KSA

Before digital twins and even drone-based photogrammetry were known by the public, FalconViz has been developing the tools of the future. To that extent, at the BIM and Digital Twins Exhibition 2023 in Riyadh, the company announced the launch of the FalconViz Metaverse which aims to launch the company into the new age of digitization.The Metaverse is largely considered the next era of the internet. Whilst it is difficult to single out one standard definition for the Metaverse, it is considered an immersive, interoperable, and synchronous virtual world. This new age of the internet will most certainly disrupt and transform the current social and economic structures and bring about a whole new wave of opportunity across many different sectors. The company defines the Metaverse as a 3D real-time social medium where people can create and engage in shared experiences across many modalities of converged digital and real worlds.Commenting on this huge announcement Dr. Neil Smith, FalconViz's Chief Information Officer, and Co-founder said: “At the heart of this is digital twins which we have been creating using drones and high definition laser scanning for years. Digital twinning is an industry which is projected to reach over $125 billion by 2030. Now, however, within the Metaverse, we can finally allow stakeholders to view their critical assets as they are in real life enabling an embodied immersive experience. It also allows stakeholders to simulate spaces, objects, and processes.”.The Metaverse opens new possibilities in how FalconViz interacts with the data in the future, which allows them to go from viewing data as placeable AR models to jumping into our data at 1:1 scale, with full immersion. The company can connect critical information captured in structural reports such as cracks and damage to a building and immediately jump to those locations to examine the area and gain a spatial awareness of the surroundings, and the procedures that would need to be taken to make immediate repairs. There is no limit to how they can explore the data to gain insight that is not possible from 2D plans.FalconViz is excited to announce the FalconViz Metaverse Lab in Saudi Arabia, these tools can be applied to any BIM project, and allow it to handle giga projects and deliver mixed-reality experiences. The company sees this as just the beginning, looking forward to the FalconViz Metaverse Lab contributing to achieving the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.

StartUp Bahrain officially relaunches on its 10th year anniversary

StartUp Bahrain, a leading platform in the Kingdom’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, now powered by The Labour Fund, “Tamkeen”, has announced and celebrated its relaunch on its 10th year anniversary.Tamkeen and StartUp Bahrain established this partnership as part of their commitment to supporting startups and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. As part of their relaunch, StartUp Bahrain announced that they will work on strengthening and empowering the startup ecosystem in the Kingdom of Bahrain through a new team, enhanced vision, and exciting activities, initiatives, and events for the years to come. The platform will continue to offer incredible perks like AWS Activate, free credits with FACEKI and free workshops with HyperGrowth, all to help startups grow and scale overseas.On this occasion, Her Excellency, Ms. Maha Mofeez, Chief Executive of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) stated: “Tamkeen is committed to nurturing a thriving startup ecosystem in Bahrain. By supporting StartUp Bahrain, we are ensuring that local talent and their innovative ideas have access to a wide range of opportunities to succeed and thrive, while also positioning Bahrain as a leading entrepreneurship hub in the region, thus driving economic growth and prosperity.”She added: “Since establishment Tamkeen focused on empowering entrepreneurship and has supported during the past years more than 19,000 entrepreneurs to launch their new business ventures, while also partnering with several financial institutions to facilitate financing solutions which supported more than 7,000 small and micro enterprises.”Since its inception, StartUp Bahrain has played a pivotal role in nurturing the startup ecosystem in Bahrain with programs, workshops and events, and this relaunch on its 10th anniversary symbolizes a new beginning in its journey, with more exciting and beneficial perks aimed at supporting startups. Moreover, StartUp Bahrain aims to further accelerate the growth of startups through this revamped platform, thus making a valuable contribution towards boosting Bahrain's economy and fostering entrepreneurship in the region.Bader Kamal from StartUp Bahrain, expressed his excitement about the relaunch, stating: "We are thrilled to have StartUp Bahrain enter its 10th year with an entity as dedicated and eager to empower the startup scene as Tamkeen. The ecosystem has grown tremendously in the past decade, and we are committed to fostering the growth and support towards the next generation of entrepreneurs in Bahrain by connecting them to stakeholders through a unified platform.”Entrepreneurs in Bahrain will be able to reap the benefits of this partnership between Tamkeen and StartUp Bahrain through a variety of programs available on the platform, with more yet to be announced throughout the year. With this relaunch, StartUp Bahrain aims to play a leading role in driving innovation and economic growth in Bahrain for years to come.StartUp Bahrain is one element of a comprehensive network of support available to startups in Bahrain and the wider region, which includes Tamkeen, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and accelerators such as Flat6Labs and Brinc, Bahrain’s first Angel Investors Company Tenmou and the biggest FinTech incubator in the region, Bahrain FinTech Bay.

Ooredoo in the spotlight at Mobile World Congress 2023

 Following a report published by industry expert GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) analysing the phenomenal telecommunications success of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Ooredoo Qatar was hosted by Mobile World Live at their studios in Barcelona in an exclusive webinar during Mobile World Congress 2023.With FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ spanning 64 matches across 8 stadiums, the report described the tournament as the ultimate opportunity to truly test the power and potential of 5G, setting new benchmarks that will shape future 5G-enabled events.Top of the Table: How the 2022 world Cup set a new peak in mobile data traffic webinar was held on Day 2 of MWC, with Thani Al Malki, Chief Business Officer at Ooredoo Qatar, representing the telco leader, alongside Tim Hatt – Head of Research and Consulting at GSMAi – and Jean Lawrence, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia.Thani Al Malki said: “We were excited to join this webinar and share insights into our experience at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. For us, the event itself was a showcase of how powerful the network is, of the power of 5G, and for what it can bring for consumers; and the webinar was an opportunity for us to look at how we’re going to apply what we’ve learnt from this experience in future events, and share our learnings with the industry.”The webinar participants discussed the phenomenal data traffic witnessed at the tournament, and examined the role of 5G in managing this traffic to ensure a seamless experience for fans.Tim Hatt said: “This event was a really interesting case study for what 5G can do, with the highest grossing data traffic of all time for sports. This was the first World Cup where 5G was installed to be the baseline communications infrastructure; it was a key test for how 5G would perform, and 5G absolutely passed that and then some. The building blocks were there, but this World Cup took it to a whole new level. Ooredoo and Nokia have shown a really good template of how to do such an event on a really big scale.”With the report documenting the phenomenal network performance seen at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Jean Lawrence highlighted the role Nokia’s partnership with Ooredoo played in the event. She said: “We worked with Ooredoo for years in advance to lay the groundwork with our cloud-native core, and tested it extensively. Under extreme strain, the network performed very well; we saw page load times of under two seconds, video start times of under two seconConsumer behaviour and perception was also a topic on the table. With Tim Hatt noting that a majority of consumers around the world still see 5G as merely a speed upgrade, and not yet as a driver of fundamental new possibilities, the panellists discussed how the World Cup acted as an ideal example of just what is possible with 5G, and what will be possible in the future; a factor all agreed was a crucial element in increasing uptake of the technology. Examples noted in the GSMAi report include super-high-definition video and AR-type applications in live sporting venues, and fans accessing apps for real-time analytics and player information.Looking to the future, the webinar panellists were in agreement that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ has indeed set a benchmark for future 5G-enabled events, and that possibilities at such events will be endless: tickets with holograms; all kinds of futuristic video and audio technologies; vastly enhanced connected stadiums; augmented reality enhancing key moments such as penalty shoot-outs.Thani Al Malki concluded: “As we move towards the next World Cup in 2026 in the USA, I think we will see a lot more technology involved, and in a very experiential way. We might even predict, using analytics and AI, the outcomes of the games before match day!”

IT leaders call generative AI a ‘game changer’ but seek progress on ethics

A new survey of more than 500 senior IT leaders reveals that a majority (67%) are prioritizing generative AI for their business within the next 18 months, with one-third (33%) naming it as a top priority.Despite the interest, most IT leaders have technical and ethical concerns with the technology that could impact its adoption in the coming year.The data highlights the potential of generative AI, and shows what IT leaders will need to prime their tech infrastructure, data strategy, security and ethical guidelines, and employee skills necessary for the massive opportunities ahead.Many senior IT leaders see generative AI as a ‘game changer’ and a tool to better serve customersThe majority of senior IT leaders (57%) believe generative AI is a ‘game changer.’ They believe the technology has the potential to help them better serve their customers, take advantage of data, and operate more efficiently. This outlook is echoed even among the skeptics — 80% of those who say the technology is ‘over-hyped’ agree that generative AI will help them better serve their customers.Ethical, operational concerns draw skepticism Thirty-three percent of those surveyed feel that generative AI is ‘over-hyped,’ with concerns that the technology brings the potential for security risks (79%) and bias (73%).Concerns extend beyond just those who feel the technology is ‘over-hyped’ — a majority of the 515 IT leaders surveyed are skeptical about the ethical implications of generative AI. Almost six in 10 (59%) believe generative AI outputs are inaccurate and almost two-thirds (63%) agree there is bias in generative AI outputs (e.g. misinformation and hate speech). In addition, 71% agree generative AI would increase their carbon footprint through increased IT energy use.Security risks, integration, and siloed data are top barriers to generative AI implementationBusinesses aren’t yet prepared for successful implementation: 65% of senior IT leaders can’t justify the implementation of generative AI at the moment. Surveyed leaders report major barriers to using generative AI successfully within their organization, and security barriers are particularly top of mind among those currently using the technology.Because of these barriers, nearly all respondents (99%) believe their business must take measures to equip themselves to successfully leverage the technology.Collaboration can address generative AI’s technical and ethical concernsEthical use must underpin the use of generative AI. But despite raising ethical and security concerns, leaders aren’t yet sure how to put ethics into practice — about one-third (30%) of businesses believe they must have ethical use guidelines to successfully implement generative AI within their business.The responsibility is on businesses to work together and knowledge-share to make generative AI a reality across the enterprise. Leaders see collaboration as a key tool to ensure the technology is functional and used in an ethical way.The majority (81%) of senior IT leaders believe generative AI should combine public and private data sources.Most (82%) senior IT leaders think businesses should work together to improve the functionality of generative AI technology.Over 8 in 10 (83%) senior IT leaders think businesses must work together to ensure generative AI is used ethically.“Generative AI represents a step change in how organizations across industries will analyze data, automate processes, and empower sales, service, marketing, and commerce professionals to grow customer relationships — but it comes with new risks and challenges,” said Clara Shih, CEO of Service Cloud, Salesforce.

Shaping the future of learning: BIBF Bahrain's educational institute on the meta

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) recently announced the launch of its campus on the metaverse. This digital platform will provide a comprehensive and immersive learning experience for students and professionals in the financial and business sectors. Additionally, it will serve as a "holistic platform" where students, faculty, and alumni can collaborate, generate new ideas, and foster innovation. This initiative was fully designed and developed by Bahraini talents, making the BIBF the first educational institute in Bahrain to launch its campus on the metaverse.The launch of the BIBF Metaverse will occur in two phases, with the first phase – currently implemented - focusing on establishing the BIBF infrastructure along with certain facilities, whereas the second phase will launch the auditorium and classrooms where live sessions will be conducted.The BIBF Metaverse is a virtual representation of the BIBF building that allows users to interact with each other in a simulated environment. Users can attend events, collaborate on projects, and participate in interactive learning activities, including videos and tutorials. The metaverse offers immersive learning spaces, AR capabilities, and digital media labs for students of different degrees and certificates. It is also a networking and professional development tool that allows users to connect with peers and industry experts, attend virtual conferences and events, and acquire skills for success in the banking and finance industry.On this occasion, the BIBF’s Director, Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh, stated that the launch of the BIBF Metaverse reflects the institute's commitment to innovation and excellence in education. “By leveraging the latest technology, the BIBF is providing students and professionals with a cutting-edge learning experience that will prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the future.” He added.Dr. Al Shaikh also mentioned, “Learning through technology is a key part of the BIBF’s vision, with a clear focus on using both VR and the metaverse to strengthen and diversify education and training through relational and immersive experiences. The technology will engage students in a new and unique form, providing an opportunity to access live, virtual classrooms with other students from across the world.”On his part, the BIBF’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Ahmed Naeemi stated, "The launch of the BIBF Metaverse is a significant milestone for the business sector in Bahrain. We believe that this innovative platform will revolutionise the way we teach and learn in the business industry, particularly in the banking and finance fields."“I strongly believe that interaction plays a vital role in the learning process. The way you engage with fellow students can greatly enhance your learning outcomes. While video conferencing tools may provide a 2D screen experience, leveraging virtual reality can create a more immersive sense of presence, making it feel as though you are physically present.” Mr. Naeemi concluded.

Collaboration, integration dominate debate at retail leaders circle MENA summit

The Ninth Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit has concluded two days of open debate around how the sector can best meet the evolving needs of the region’s consumers and develop for the future.Saudi Payments and Cenomi Group were strategic partners for the event. TikTok, Chahoub Group and Channels by stc were platinum partners.The tone for the event was set by opening keynote speaker, H.E. Eng. Ammar Nagadi Vice Minister of Economy & Planning who laid out the Ministry’s strategic priorities for the sector. Laying out the Ministry’s plan for growth, modernization and optimization, the Vice Minister said, “Our aim is to lead in the sector. To help shape the future of retail by harnessing the enormous potential of merging technologies and the retail metaverse. To transform Saudi into a regional hub for e-commerce, delivering on the promise of the digital ecosystem through state-of-the-art logistics.”Conversations on the first day focused on how the retail sector can best integrate technologies, including immersive capabilities like augmented reality, into their business models. Panels also considered the role of retail in other growth areas of the economy, including tourism, entertainment and new lifestyle destinations.The closing session was an unprecedented roundtable involving the leaders of some of the region’s largest retail groups.Patrick Chalhoub, Group President of the Chalhoub Group; John Hadden, CEO of the Alshaya Group; Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman of the Landmark Group and Mohamad Mourad, managing director and CEO of Cenomi Group came together to discuss how the sector might collaborate internally and with government to drive positive change.The second day turned to the impact on retail of other sectors such as tourism and emerging lifestyle destinations. Speakers also addressed the changing dynamics and increasing capabilities of the payments markets, as cash transactions fall below 50 percent of total retail spend. Also on the agenda was the growing Saudi fashion sector and the emergence of exciting home-grown brands.The event included an interactive hybrid hall where partners including Cenomi Group, Saud Payments, Visa, TikTok, Snap and the 100 Saudi Brands Initiative, among others showcased their latest technologies and plans for the region.“The Ninth Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit has been an enormous success, bringing together the sector leaders and industry pioneers and emphasizing the centrality of the Saudi Arabian market to the regional retail ecosystem,” said Panos Linardos, Chairman of the Retail Leaders Circle. “The level of attendance and the quality of the conversation was extraordinary. The Retail Leaders Circle remains passionate about facilitating ongoing engagement and strategic collaboration to drive positive change in this vital sector.”

OSN expands multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for MENA

OSN, the regional entertainment company for premium content, announced that it has extended and expanded its partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery with multiple components, including an exclusive licensing agreement with HBO, cementing OSN as the only home for HBO programming across the MENA region.The multi-year licensing deal extends OSN’s rights to broadcast and stream content from HBO exclusively on OSNtv and OSN+, strengthening its market leading position with its unbeatable range of programming and best-in-class entertainment. As part of the deal, OSN will continue to release HBO series in the MENA region at the same time as US premieres and secures its rights for new seasons of ongoing series for the duration of the term.“OSN is, and will continue to be the only place for HBO content in the region and we are excited to expand on this long-term partnership with the studio and Warner Bros Discovery.” said Joe Kawkabani, CEO at OSN. “On the back of successes such as House of the Dragon and The Last of Us, alongside a range of other exclusive and premium series, it is clear that HBO is a leader in first-class experiences, and we look forward to delivering these and other content pieces that have secured OSN as a leading choice of platform in the region.”    The partnership also includes the extension of the distribution of Discovery Channels: Discovery, TLC, ID and Discovery Science and signifies renewed ties with Warner Bros Studios, giving OSN access to recent hits such as The Batman, Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, The Suicide Squad and more. In addition to OSN Showcase, its existing channel for brand new HBO content, OSNtv will launch a new channel dedicated to classic HBO series, including The Wire, The Sopranos and Sex And The City, showcasing the full breadth of library that the studio has to offer. Furthermore, the channels will carry the much-loved American sitcom, FRIENDS and Big Bang Theory, in addition to CNN International. In 2024, OSN will expand its kids offering with the addition of Cartoon Network channels and programming across its platforms.Jamie Cooke, GM CEE, Middle East & Turkey of Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “We’re excited to expand our partnership with our highly valued partner OSN. As Warner Bros. Discovery, we have a wide variety of content to offer and we’re delighted that we can now offer OSN’s viewers the possibility to enjoy even more of their favourite shows. No matter if it’s the newest season of Succession, their favourite episode of FRIENDS, the hit movie Dune or the newest season of Gold Rush, there is something for everyone to watch, whenever they want.”

FinaMaze appoints Industry Leader Grant Niven as New Board Advisor

 FinaMaze has announced the appointment of Grant Niven to its Advisory Board, effective February 2023.The ADGM-based innovative digital wealth management firm made the announcement in pursuant to progress in its growth and sustainability, as it continues to provide cutting-edge financial investment services within the Fintech space. Originally from Scotland, UK, Grant has worked in several executive roles over the last 24 years spanning the technology, consulting and financial services industry, in both Europe and the Middle East. Prior to recently founding Mingzulu, a strategy & venture funding advisory, focused on the Financial Sector, (including Fintechs), Grant held a role as Head of Group Digital at Banque Saudi Fransi, (BSF), HQ in Riyadh, KSA; where he was accountable for defining and executing the Bank-wide digital vision and strategic initiatives across the organisation.Among other significant roles, he previously held a partner position within EY Middle East & North Africa (MENA)  where he led the Technology Advisory practice for the financial services sector across the region.Grant is a regular public speaker and prominent voice at leading events across the region on the topics of digital banking and ventures, Fintech, Open Finance and adoption of disruptive technologies in the financial services sector.With his rich experience, he is clearly a great addition and good fit for the FinaMaze Advisory Board; as the firm has carved a niche for itself since 2020 as an innovative digital wealth management establishment working to push beyond the limits of what has traditionally been known to be ‘possible’ in Personalised Asset Management.Speaking on his latest role at FinaMaze, Grant said: “Delighted to support the next chapter of growth for FinaMaze leadership, shareholders and end customers. Mehdi Fichtali (CEO) and the wider board's vision and ambition to transform wealth management has really caught my attention and impressed myself and fellow Mingzulu team with what has been achieved to date. We are really looking forward to supporting the next chapter of innovation in the Wealth & Asset Management sector and honored to work in partnership with Mehdi and his team to accelerate their strategy & growth plans. The industry is ripe for disruption and FinaMaze has the smarts, people with deep wealth advisory expertise, combined with leading technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make not only a huge regional impact - but internationally on a global stage ”.Mehdi Fichtali is the CEO of FinaMaze, and this is what he has to say about Grant’s appointment to the Advisory Board:“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Grant to our Advisory Board! With his extensive experience spanning over two decades at the forefront of the intersection between technology and banking, Grant brings an unparalleled wealth of knowledge to our team. As an ex-partner at one of the top four consulting firms and a former Head of Digital at a major Saudi banking group, Grant is not only a strategic thinker but also an execution guru in the digital banking space. We are confident that his expertise will prove invaluable in guiding us through the ever-evolving landscape of the financial industry, particularly in the Wealth and Asset Management space for banks in the region. We can't wait to see the amazing things we'll achieve together with Grant on board!”In his market projection for 2023 made during the last episode of “Light in the Markets Maze” – a webinar hosted by FinaMaze; Mehdi mentioned it likely being an eventful year for investing looking at the emerging trends that favour personalised asset management rather than an overall passive investment.FinaMaze has over the years introduced and actively managed both long and short personalised Smartfolios that have offered various protection options.It is expected that the firm will make a number of key appointments in line with its vision, and these would be announced within the course of the year.

Du appoints Hanan Ahmad as its first Emirati woman CXO

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC), announced today the appointment of it first Emirati woman CXO on the sidelines of International Women’s Day. Hanan Ahmad will now serve as the company’s new Chief Regulatory Affairs and Risk Officer. Hanan is a long serving du executive with a rich experience in the technology sector, as well strong corporate knowledge in the public sector. Her new role signifies du’s dedication to developing Emirati human capital, in line with its commitment to contributing to the UAE's goal for a knowledge-based economy.Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO, du said: “As we look ahead to broaden our impact on the UAE's ICT sector, it’s critical that our leadership strategy enables our Emiratisation agenda. Hanan has earned her reputation as one of du’s leading team members and we are thrilled to have her as Chief Regulatory Affairs and Risk Officer. With her extensive experience and expertise, we are confident that she will be instrumental in driving our regulatory and risk management efforts, while also supporting our commitment to increasing the participation of UAE nationals in the ICT industry.”In celebration of International Women’s Day, du embraces equity and continues to support talent by assisting in their development and growth as part of its leadership strategy. du is focused on developing and offering jobs for UAE National women. This can be seen in du’s Fujairah Call Centre, where du is the first telco to have a call centre managed by 100% Emirati women. Today, Emirati employees form 40.3% of the total workforce, with 50% being Emirati women across the organisation. The digital-first telco continues to invest in empowering the next wave of women leaders as they continue on the journey to becoming the employer of choice for emerging national talent.

Shammas Kalladath bags 'marketer award' at Asia Fame Awards Dubai

 Vybinex Marketing Services, a leading digital marketing agency based in Dubai, is proud to announce that its founder, Mr. Shammas Kalladath, has won the prestigious "Leading Marketer Award" at Asia Fame Awards 2022 in Dubai. The award is a testament to Mr. Shammas's dedication to excellence and his exceptional contribution to the industry. Mr. Shammas's achievement is a result of his agency's success in creating 100 successful campaigns for clients. Vybinex's team of experts excels in various areas of digital marketing, including social media advertising, SEO, Google Ads, influencer marketing, commercial videography, and commercial photography. The agency uses the best tools available to audit and deliver beyond client expectations, providing high ROI and ROAS.Vybinex's expertise in digital marketing is evident in the success it has achieved for its clients. One such example is the ecommerce client that approached Vybinex for help in improving their site traffic. The agency made strategic changes in the client's digital marketing strategy, using display ads, strategically constructed blogs, and search campaigns. As a result, the ecommerce client's website saw a 23% increase in organic traffic and an ROI of over 400%.Vybinex Marketing Services is committed to delivering innovative and effective digital marketing solutions that help clients achieve their business goals. The agency's team of experts is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to ensure that clients receive the best possible results.In response to winning the "Leading Marketer Award," Mr. Kalladath said, "I am humbled and honored to receive this award. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team at Vybinex. We will continue to strive for excellence and provide our clients with the best possible digital marketing solutions."Vybinex Marketing Services has established itself as a trusted partner for businesses in Dubai and beyond. With its exceptional track record of delivering results, the agency is poised for continued success in the years ahead.

Network International announces Dounia Saidi as Group Chief Marketing Officer

Network International (Network), the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, has announced the appointment of Dounia Saidi as Group Chief Marketing Officer to strengthen its marketing wing. In her new role at Network, Dounia will be responsible for driving the marketing strategy for the group with a focus on brand management and the group product marketing strategy. She will lead the management and optimization of the group’s branding, public relations, communications, and events.Dounia brings over 24 years’ experience including leadership roles in business development, relationship management, and product development across leading financial services and payment solutions providers. Previously serving as Network’s Acting General Manager – Vice President for GCC and taking on various key customer-facing roles since joining Network, Dounia steps into her new leadership role with invaluable insight into the needs of banks, fintechs, and merchants across the MEA region.Nandan Mer, Group Chief Executive Officer at Network International, commented, “Dounia brings with her a wealth of proven expertise ranging from brand development to revenue generation, playing a pivotal role in positioning Network as a leading payments enabler. We are certain she will have an instrumental role in achieving the group’s ambition to become the largest, fastest growing, and most innovative payments enabler in the Middle East and Africa.”Dounia Saidi, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Network International, added, “I am excited to be stepping into the next phase of my journey with the MEA region’s most prominent payments enabler, and absolutely thrilled to be spearheading Marketing strategy for the group. With our best-in-class services, our aim is to position Network as a transformational payments powerhouse with the capacity to leverage immense opportunity across the digital payments space in growing and emerging markets.”

This Ramadan reconnect with your customers through retention marketing

Authored by: Gagan Uppal, Country Head - MENA, Xapads MediaEvery brand wants to hold onto consumers to win their trust and loyalty to develop a connection with it since the competition in the marketplaces intensifies brand owners because of increasing pressure to attract and retain customers. And there is no doubt in saying that, many brands also focus much on acquiring new customers but, I believe that the key to long-term success lies in retaining existing customers. Moreover, this is a constant concern for every advertiser because nobody would like his consumer to be a brand switcher wherein, Retention Marketing comes into the picture. A powerful retention strategy in place can really make a difference both in the brand presence and ROAS since it concentrates on engaging and nurturing long-term relationships with existing customers.Retention is one of the most critical aspects for the growth of any business since it's actually a blend of user satisfaction with the offerings of a brand which turns into user loyalty. Though brands focus on acquisition, I would like to say that they must simultaneously focus on retention as well in the early stages of campaign execution because doing so will reduce the chances of churn. This is because, if a user feels satisfied, valuable and gets catered with a better experience while trying and testing the goods/services of any brand, the possibility of returning to it get higher. Reports also say that loyal users are 5x as likely to repurchase as they become pretty aware of the brand’s offerings and USPs and often return to it to know what more it has in store (source: Microsoft). Therefore, in my opinion, holding onto the already existing user base is better as they are a huge asset for any brand and in fact, as Ramadan is around the corner, Retention Marketing can be a compelling factor for the brand’s growth and better ROAS as well. Let’s discuss the importance of retention in depth and how it does wonders for businesses. In my opinion, a customer's purchase or desired action doesn't mark the end of a sale. Instead, it's beneficial to offer related additional products through timely upselling or cross-selling based on the customer's past behaviors with the brand. By doing so, the brand can create effective recall and notify customers of suitable offerings during the upcoming festive season. Upselling, cross-selling and following up with users not only retain them but also enhance the value of their current purchase.However, sometimes a user stops using the app, resulting in churn which isn’t good for any business and to avoid this, Retention Marketing comes as a saviour. To prevent churn and grip the users’ interest in your brand, personalization coupled with automated product recommendations can do wonders for brand presence and recognition. When a user is catered with personalized offerings, he rarely switches brands in search of products that meet his expectations.I'd also like to point out that Retention complements Engagement because they have a direct and positive relationship. They both go hand in hand since user retention leads to repurchases and frequent repetitions of desired actions result in increasing user engagement rates. When a user gets the best of his needs and wants, he starts trusting the brand that drives quality engagement and often seeks to know more. This also helps marketers in analyzing their likes and dislikes and improvises user journey for a better experience and more tremendous impact. Retention Marketing not only enhances the existing and loyal user base, but also keeps them engaged by frequently executing storytelling campaigns that incorporate innovative tactics such as Rich Media Ads, Gamification, Rewards, Exclusive Deals and Discounts, and much more. Such aspects when incorporated into a campaign execution encourage users to spend some time on it even if they have been lapsed or inactive too. When existing users and inactive users also return to the brand, the user base starts enhancing which helps brands outperform their competitors and enable users to choose your brand over others. It is accurate to state that retention marketing plays a vital role in establishing long-term relationships with customers, boosting customer lifetime value, and facilitating the growth of a sustainable business.

We have 50% of leadership team driven by women; it’s a big example to many

Harsha Oberoi, Associate Director - Digital Marketing, Pivotroots.  speaks to BF FIROS, Associate Editor, AdgullyThe key to becoming a unicorn talent in the digital marketing industry is to be knowledgeable, adaptable, and always willing to learn and grow, says Harsha As the world celebrates Women's Day today, Harsha speaks to about the challenges as a woman leader, important digital marketing skills, the future of digital marketing, the challenging project she has worked on, the way she stays up-to-date with the latest trends, and gender-based stereotypes. In today's digital age, says Harsha, the demand for full-stack digital marketers is on the rise. “With businesses competing in a highly saturated market, finding individuals who can wear multiple hats and possess a diverse set of skills has become crucial for success. To stand out in the industry, it is important to do your research, stay informed on industry news, and continuously develop your skills,” she adds. Excerpts from the interview:As a successful woman in the digital marketing industry, what advice do you have for aspiring women in the UAE looking to advance in their careers?In today's digital age, the demand for full-stack digital marketers is on the rise. With businesses competing in a highly saturated market, finding individuals who can wear multiple hats and possess a diverse set of skills has become crucial for success. To stand out in the industry, it is important to do your research, stay informed on industry news, and continuously develop your skills.One way to stay ahead of the curve is by investing in your learning curve, continuously developing your skills can give you a competitive edge in the job market. Additionally, taking the initiative to be proactive can also set you apart from other candidates. This can mean taking on side projects or seeking out new opportunities for growth and development.All in all, the key to becoming a unicorn talent in the digital marketing industry is to be knowledgeable, adaptable, and always willing to learn and grow. By staying on top of industry trends and continuously developing your skills, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to any business.Can you share with us a challenging project you worked on, and how you overcame obstacles, if any, you faced during the process?Sure. Although each business comes with its own challenges, one of the cases to remember was with a well-known global credit card player in the market. The key challenge was to reach the right audience for their range of cards offered and reduce the overlaps between these audiences while increasing credit card purchases in the region.We initiated our go-to-market strategy with market penetration and growth opportunities; we tapped into the audience understanding and micro-segmentation for each product offered within the target market.Prioritization of the market and audience was the first step. This was further enhanced with competition analysis and seasonality uplift at the granular level. The change in audience mix based on trends and seasonality was the highlight, and the communication was also tailored to increase sales.To avoid any potential spillage, the planning details were meticulous. The results were astounding, with a 60% increase in brand SOV and a 50% increase in conversions. We followed a comprehensive and continuous research-insight-plan approach with a full-stack team structure as a process, but we were also ready for the agility to bring in the effectiveness from trends.How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in the digital marketing landscape, and how do you incorporate these insights into your work?Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and industry landscape is the key to growth in the ever-evolving digital marketing industry. Being a regular at reading industry news, use cases and knowing the beta products of the marketing industry with their possible outcomes across the globe definitely gives you an upper hand.A good strategy is to thoroughly understand the company and its objectives before developing strategic business development plans that incorporate the most relevant industry trends, leading to result-driven campaigns. Not every new trend would be a good match and you will have to make hard choices at times.I strongly recommend a B-I-T-E approach for most of my clients. BITE stands for laying down your core Business KPIs to build Insight-driven strategy further bringing in well-researched Trend-fits and finally driving Effective Planning. At the same time, regular discussions and brainstorming with your marketing and data teams are equally important and helpful in checking on any blind spots. Regularly check-in your brand uplifts, audience mix change, and media landscape change for positive outcomes.What do you believe are some of the most important skills for a digital marketer to have, and how have you developed and honed these skills over your career?Honestly, as a digital marketer, you play many roles and each of them are actually markedly different from one another. While the list is long, personally, I believe in five key skills:  a. staying on top of your campaign's data and insights,b. paying close attention to details,c. having a firm grasp of the business, market, and competitors,d. being open to seeking input from others to identify any blind spotse. striving for growth and learning.In my career, I have shouldered different responsibilities for different businesses, and it was in my early years that I started picking up these skills. Thanks to the diverse clientele base and the exposure that PivotRoots has been able to provide, I have grown and am able to function strongly with these skill-sets to deliver a difference and bring positive growth to the businesses I have worked with.Adapt, unlearn, learn, and grow is the mantra!How do you ensure that your team remains motivated and engaged in their work, and what steps do you take to foster a positive and collaborative team culture?To be honest, it is equally essential to work as a team player while being a leader. This helps motivate your team by bringing in the feeling of belongingness and being heard. Providing them with the opportunity to speak up, share their opinions, and work in a team environment where there is collaboration is essential.As an effective step, I have always encouraged giving co-workers and team members room to work. Appreciations and healthy discussions boost their engagements in their day-to-day work. Besides, a healthy encouragement to push them for a balanced work-life has their heart in what they do. As a good leader though, one must have their decisions backed by clear logic while delivering thoughtful criticism when necessary, and being open-minded is very important.What do you see as the future of digital marketing, especially in the UAE, and how do you believe marketers can prepare for and adapt to these changes?Digital marketing as an industry is growing exponentially across the globe, and the UAE is no different. It is a visionary acceleration that all marketers are witnessing today in the industry within the country. The pandemic has strongly accelerated the growth of the digital ecosystem, and the industry is set to mark new records with digital investments taking about 70% of the share by 2026, with total marketing spends and growth CAGR of about 30% in the next five years.Mobile will account for roughly 90% of SOV, with audience expectations constantly changing. Marketers will need to up their game as they are now competing with the last best experience their user has had and not just another business or a product or service. Tech innovations will drive effective results and planning, and marketers must be able to apply and scale innovations to boost their business growth.Have you faced any challenges as a woman leader in an otherwise male-dominated domain? If so, how have you overcome these challenges?Honestly, it has always been comparatively harder for women to gain their seat at the table. It truly depends on the organisation, and there are still a few stereotypical companies out there, staffed by women but the leadership is always led by men at the top management positions. However, the times are changing, and we are seeing more women in positions of power. The change is visible, especially in young and dynamic companies.Luckily, as part of PivotRoots, a highly dynamic and young company that truly believes in women's growth and leadership and values their experience, thoughts, and capabilities, workplace stereotypes are something that I haven't come across. We have 50% of our leadership team driven by women, and I believe this in itself is a big example to many companies out there!Despite all the hype about gender-neutrality, gender-based stereotypes are deeply ingrained in societies transcending geographical boundaries. How pervasive such stereotypes are in the media industry? How do you think such stereotypes can be dealt with?Well, there are still gender stereotypes at play in many workplaces, primarily promoting men's growth in taking the lead while women are only allowed to take care of the team and remain a team player. This puts women in a difficult position.Moreover, men generally don’t get the struggle that women go through at times in order to be successful in business and life. Companies need to staff capable and prepared women and have faith in their talent. Offering equal pay and benefits and growth opportunities is surely weaving the way for organisational growth in the coming days. While professional women need to have each other’s backs, be cognizant of our interactions with each other, and allow our greatness to shine. After all – Together We Are Stronger.

Abu Dhabi Cycling Club gives a boost to sports tourism in the Emirate

The Abu Dhabi Cycling Club recently announced the launch of an initiative to attract sports tourists, particularly cyclists and their families from all over the world. The aim is to strengthen the position of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global tourism destination for bicycles, especially after obtaining the title “Bike City” label from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).The Abu Dhabi Cycling Club signed a memorandum of understanding with Wilver, a leading European company in the field of sports tourism, specializing in the field of bicycles, to provide tour packages and programs to attract athletes and world champions from different countries of the world to the UAE. This is in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision of introducing advanced sports tracks and facilities, as well as tourist, entertainment and hospitality places, and consolidates the club’s efforts to encourage sports tourism.His Excellency Matar Suhail Al-Yabhouni, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, said that sport has turned into industry and commerce and entered the world of the economy. Sports events and tournaments have become festivals and events in which there is entertainment and fun that attracts fans. The concept of “sports tourism” is a real wealth in many countries that have invested in sports and enabled their economy to attract visitors to their stadiums, tournaments and recreational sports events.He added that the agreement stems from the keenness of the club and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to attract athletes and fans of cycling and their families, thus contributing to stimulating tourism, as well as introducing the aesthetics of the cities that host these events.Al-Nakhira Al-Khaili, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, added: “Our wise leadership is aware of the importance of sport and its pivotal role in public health and bringing people together. This is the culmination of a clear strategy for the position we aspire to reach.“Today, we are proud of the sports facilities and landmarks that were built according to the highest international standards, for example, the paths and tracks, whether flat or mountainous, which are among the best in the world in terms of their conformity with all specifications of security and safety, in addition to passing through different tourist sites and areas. It contributes to introducing cyclists to the urban development that the country has reached.”Talal Al Hashemi, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, appreciated the interest of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and the Wilver company in signing the memorandum, which will contribute to the development and strengthening of efforts to support the sports tourism fields in the country, stressing that he is the confident that the two parties will harness all their capabilities.He said: “The Abu Dhabi Cycling Club is a national sports institution that aims to support the needs of national development and encourages all members of society to practice sports for its important role in promoting community health.”Wilfer World Cycling are delighted to partner with Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and offer their members world class cycling holidays in Europe and beyond. Wilfer has been a reputation as one of the worlds leading cycling tour operators. They offer a wide range of safe cycling experiences from the elite to the beginner. They are also looking forward to creating handcrafted cycling tours in the UAE to inspire cyclist from all around the world to experience the best of the UAE.CEO Wilfer Clive Marshall: ‘I have been travelling to the UAE for over decade, in this time I have seen the growth and passion for cycling increase year on year. Abu Dhabi Cycling Club is at the very heart of this development. I have long admired it’s vision and leadership. It is a honour for us to partner with the club and I know it’s members will benefit from our staffs expertise and attention to detail’.‘The world is a big place and in today’s society we are all so busy. Time is precious. Holiday time has never been more needed as has the importance of staying active. Cycling holidays designed perfectly give you a balance of being active, exploring a country and also recharging the batteries’.‘Abu Dhabi and the UAE ARE world class cycling destinations. The quality of the roads are without equal, the weather fabulous and hospitality and cuisine superb. We are excited to create cycling experiences for our clients in the UAE. The real essence of any country not least the UAE is best discovered on two wheels’.

Jumia appoints Hisham ElGabry new CEO for Jumia Egypt

Cairo, Egypt: Jumia, the leading ecommerce platform in Egypt and Africa, has announced the appointment of Hisham ElGabry as the company’s new CEO in Egypt to take charge of the company’s business leadership in the country.ElGabry has been leading the company’s commercial team as Jumia Egypt’s Chief Commercial Office (CCO) since 2022.“I am proud to lead Jumia’s team in the Egyptian market through the upcoming stage. And I am honored to be part of Jumia’s continued success in the Egyptian market. E-commerce is growing very fast and Jumia Egypt will continue focusing on its unique strength points, most notably: striving for customer satisfaction, providing easy and safe payment methods, a strong partnership with local and international brands, banking services providers, as well as logistics partners. Most importantly, I am proud to be working with the Jumia Egypt talented team, in whom I have infinite confidence that we will together achieve our goals for the coming period” said, Hisham ElGabry, after his appointment as Jumia Egypt’s CEO.ElGabry carries 17 years of experience in the ecommerce and communication fields. Before joining Jumia, he was part of Amazon EU where he held several leadership positions including leading the UK fashion marketplace. Prior to that, Hisham has also worked with Vodafone Group, managing global relationships with Apple and Samsung across 17 countries.Jumia Egypt - The leading ecommerce platform - was ranked as one of the top 10 influential brands and the number one retail e-commerce platform in Egypt by Ipsos in 2021 and 2022. More than 1,000 employees are part of Jumia Egypt, and the online marketplace connects hundreds of thousands customers to more than 7,000 local vendors.

KSA leads groundbreaking autonomous vehicle innovation, says Arthur D. Little

Autonomous mobility led the new transport hype in the last decade, but it appears to have suffered from both internal limitations and external issues in recent years. The lasting global semiconductor chip shortage and greater supply crisis have also shifted automaker attention towards the installation of more critical functions in their vehicles. While the technology exists and has proven to be functional both in testing grounds and in real life conditions, the lack of suitable infrastructure and unoptimized cost structures, seem to have deterred innovation-driven use cases. Arthur D. Little (ADL), the leading management consultancy firm with the longest-standing presence in the Middle East region, elaborates on this and many other findings in their new Autonomous Mobility Journal, the series’ fourth edition. The journal comprises exclusive coverage of the latest autonomous mobility developments in the world, including KSA, shedding light on industry dynamics, prominent use cases, and the importance for smart mobility solution providers and governments to meet sustainability goals by 2030.“Following a lot of anticipation over the potential of autonomous vehicles over the last decade, promising silver linings are starting to appear. While autonomous mobility is still not accessible or even available to most users on the roads globally, companies operating in this space have continued their work in the background to advance the technology. Additionally, the growth of other mobility-related technologies and use cases are expected to pave the way and facilitate the uptake of autonomous mobility,” said Antonio Semeraro, Senior Principal at Arthur D. Little Middle East.According to the International Energy Agency, electric vehicle sales reached two million units in the first quarter of 2022, representing a 75% increase compared to the same period in 2021. Compared to traditional internal combustion engines , electric vehicle hardware and software are significantly more suited to accommodate for autonomous driving features, and autonomous driving technology is more prevalent across electric vehicles than internal combustion vehicles.Developed in line with research conducted regionally and internationally, the publication details the latest innovation-led projects across the urban landscape. Examining the situation from KSA's stance, the Transport General Authority (TGA) plays a leading role in ensuring that KSA's transport sector adheres to stringent safety and quality levels, while also promoting investment and sustainable development through the strategic use of data and technology. By aligning with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 socio-economic goals, TGA is at the core of a modern and efficient transportation ecosystem that is poised for long-term success. The latter was underlined in the ‘Interview of the semester’ segment by Prof. Omaimah Bamasag, Deputy of Transport Enablement at the Transport General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).Prof. Omaimah Bamasag said: “Over a decade after its inception, the regulatory position of TGA in the Kingdom makes its role essential to the Kingdom’s vision. Saudi Arabia’s goals for autonomous vehicle transport are very ambitious and can be seen from the giant projects based on autonomy, such as NEOM and the Red Sea projects. These smart cities are designed to be sustainable across new transport systems for passengers and goods based entirely on autonomous mobility, such as autonomous aerial vehicles, autonomous pods and robo-taxis.”TGA is working on two tracks. The first entails promoting and adopting new transportation modes through testing and piloting, R&D, and partnering with governmental and private entities, universities, and research bodies to formulate an enabling regulatory framework for these technologies. In the second track, TGA prepares economic, social, and environmental feasibility studies through which it determines the stages of imposing certain regulations on operators and providers of public transport services and goods transport.In a nutshell, while TGA has the ability to swiftly implement regulations, it is crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of any possible effects that may arise from their implementation. This proactive approach ensures that any regulations align with the Kingdom's Vision, and ensures positive outcomes for the transport industry and society as a whole. TGA is also collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence to elevate the underlying communication infrastructure’s readiness, including 5G, data privacy and security. In parallel, TGA’s Investment and Competitiveness unit looks to create investment opportunities for the private sector and to pave the way for new horizons in the local market for autonomous vehicles.Autonomous Mobility Journal details the strategic elements critical to the project, providing recommendations on how transport authorities can streamline their operational launch efforts.

The future of work is female: KSA survey respondents envision women at the helm

61% reveal their current organization has diversity, equity, and inclusion targets, however, only 15% of those claim that these have been publicly announced. Riyadh, KSA – Half of Saudi residents recently surveyed by leading management consulting firm, Kearney, see the future leader of their current organization to be a woman, with 54% highlighting that more women in leadership roles will positively impact the business. The study conducted ahead of International Women’s Day 2023 explored the sentiment around women in leadership positions, the path to progress and the challenges faced, highlighting that while there have been positive strides towards a more equitable work environment, leaders in the private sector still have work to do to pave the way for female talent.In the past five years, the Kingdom has introduced and implemented several policies and initiatives that support inclusivity and diversity aimed at facilitating women’s entry into the labor market. In 2022, female labor participation reached 37% , up from 17% in 2016, highlighting significant progress in this area. The recent study by Kearney reveals that women’s ambitions are high, with 76% stating that the opportunity to progress to top leadership positions is key for them. While 71% of the women surveyed feel they have opportunities to lead at their workplace, 81% claim it’s difficult for them to get the support they need to take on such roles. “Vision 2030 places an emphasis on the growing role of women in the national economy. The unparalleled spike in female participation in the workforce is driven by the legislations and host of national initiatives,” commented Wiam Hasanain, Director at Kearney Middle East & Africa. “The research revealed business leaders harbor unconscious biases, that affect hiring, promotion, and retainment of women. Organizations have a responsibility to rid their HR systems of such biases, enabling a competent and diverse set of leaders at the table in the future.”When questioned on how their organization supports their career development, only a quarter (25%) claimed that they receive regular training and development and 24% said they are offered opportunities for regular career reviews and/or promotions. When asked about the challenges faced, a third (33%) of women stated their workplace goals are too ambitious, 21% felt the organizational culture at their current workplace does not encourage them to lead, and 19% stated they face discrimination by their coworkers. Having a leadership team that is genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion was flagged as a key priority for 74% of respondents (both men and women), emphasizing the important role that current business leaders play in accelerating the achievement of a more diverse and equitable workplace. 61% reveal their current organization has diversity, equity, and inclusion targets, including having more women at the board level. However, only 15% of those claim that these have been publicly announced. A quarter (24%) believe the organization does not have such targets. “Currently, it is not mandated for private sector companies to publicly state their targets around having a more inclusive workforce, however, it is an important step towards instilling accountability. This will ensure that the leadership team proactively works towards hiring and nurturing female talent to provide them with the skills, tools and opportunities needed to progress, ultimately contributing to the development of the local economy in support of Vision 2030, as well as the realization the UN SDG Goal 5 of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls,” concluded Norah Alajaji, Manager at Kearney Middle East.

Online banking threat: More than a quarter of users in Saudi Arabia lost money

According to the Kaspersky Digital Payment survey, 26% of respondents from Saudi Arabia experienced financial losses associated with threats when using online banking and mobile wallet services. The majority of users (88%) lost up to USD $1,000 as a result of these incidents, while (12%) of the respondents reported a loss of more than USD $1,000.According to Kaspersky Security Network, more than 1.8 million financial threats were blocked in the Middle East by the company, 540,224 of them in Saudi Arabia. These attacks were aimed at stealing financial information such as credit card numbers and login credentials and usually rely on social engineering tactics to lure victimsHowever, the impact of a cyber threat targeting digital payments does not just impose a financial burden on consumers, but also affects them psychologically. For example, 53% of respondents said that they lost sleep and were very anxious about getting their money back. More than half (58%) of users reported that their trust in digital payment providers have become lesser. While 56% also stated that they became more vigilant after experiencing a cyber incident, 69% installed security solutions like an antivirus on their infected devices.A spokesperson from Lulu Exchange’s IT team, said, “Digital payments are the backbone of modern commerce, and have come to become a prime target for cyber threats. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders, including various service providers and customers, to remain vigilant and take proactive measures against security threats. From an organizational perspective, building a strong cyber governance framework is one of the surest ways to operate securely, responsibly, and ethically while safeguarding the trust of customers and stakeholders."“Since the beginning of the pandemic 64% of users in Saudi Arabia faced at least one incident when using digital payments. That’s why it’s increasingly important to know how to interact securely with any emerging technologies, including online banking and mobile wallet services. And all stakeholders, like government, digital payment providers, users and even cybersecurity companies need to come together to create a sustainable and secure payment ecosystem”, said Emad Haffar, Head of technical experts at Kaspersky.To help users in Saudi Arabia embrace digital payment technologies securely, Kaspersky experts suggest the following:Do not share your PIN, password or any other financial information with anyone online or offline.Avoid using the public Wi-Fi to make any online transactions.Use a separate credit or debit card to make online transactions. Set a spending limit on the card which can help keep a track of financial transactions.Shop from trusted and official websitesUse reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Premium on all your devices which are used for financial transactions. It helps to detect fraudulent or suspicious activity and check the security of visited websites.For developers, banks and companies involved in providing digital payment services, Kaspersky recommends:Invest in holistic cybersecurity solutions that can help detect fraud across multiple levels of online payment processes and consumer touchpoint.Complex attacks by APT groups on financial institutions are also on a rise. In-depth visibility and threat intelligence are a necessity to keep customers protected and to ensure business continuity. Using the Kaspersky Threat Intelligence service is helpful to support your IT teams in analysing and mitigating threats.Conduct cyber awareness training for employees continuously. This will help employees know the red flags to look for when an organization is under attack and to understand their role in protecting the organization.MethodologyThe Kaspersky Digital Payment survey studies our interactions with online payments. It also examines our attitudes towards them, which hold the key to understanding the factors that will further drive or stem the adoption of this technology.The study was conducted by research agency Toluna across the Middle East, Turkiye, South Africa, and Nigeria. Survey responses were gathered in 2022 with a total of 2,004 respondents surveyed across the stated countries.

Yas Island Abu Dhabi announces two exciting offers to enjoy Guns N’ Roses’ live

 Yas Island Abu Dhabi sets to delight Rock and Roll fans with a daycation and staycation package to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses makes history at Etihad Arena on June 1. With the iconic band kick-starting their world tour live from the heart of Abu Dhabi, Yas Island is offering fans the chance to avail a daycation package which comprises a ‘Dine and Event’ bundle starting AED 1,450, and a staycation package starting AED 1,590 which includes a hotel stay at one of Yas Island’s leading hotels from May 31 to June 4, both valid for booking on Yas Island’s website until May 31, subject to availability. The packages count with a Floor Standing Ticket and young spirits under the age of 12 are excluded within the ticket category. Yas Island Abu Dhabi will be entertaining Rock and Roll fans with an unforgettable experience as Guns N’ Roses return to rock the stage at Etihad Arena in their first performance in the UAE since 2018.

Dubai International Chamber launches New Horizons Trade Mission to Central Asia

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three Chambers operating under Dubai Chamber, launched today “New Horizons”, a new initiative to drive international expansion of its members to new markets.'New Horizons' allows companies to join roadshows to gain first-hand knowledge of how to establish and do business in various select countries and priority markets.The first in a series of ‘New Horizons’ events will see a large delegation of Dubai business leaders heading to Central Asia between 14 – 21 March, 2023, to better understand and explore business opportunities in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.The delegation, headed by Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, will feature 26 Dubai-based companies representing 16 sectors. The delegates gathered today at Dubai Chambers headquarters for a pre-Trade Mission briefing, during which details of the trip, and further information on the economic outlook of the three nations was revealed.New Horizons builds on the ‘In Focus’ scheme. Both initiatives aim to assist in driving members’ international expansion while supporting Dubai’s plan toincrease the emirate’s foreign trade to AED2 trillion by 2026. One of the Chamber's key objectives is to support 100 businesses to expand globally within the next two years.'In Focus' events, held in Dubai, aim to connect Dubai businesses with public and private sector leaders of select countries to drive their interest in those regions as potential destinations for international business expansion and guide them through every stage of their international growth journey. The first In Focus event was held in December 2022 and put Central Asia market under the spotlight.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: "The In Focus and New Horizon initiatives reflect our ongoing efforts to connect our members to new opportunities for business growth in priority markets worldwide. Through the events in Dubai and in the market or country in focus, we aim to encourage domestic businesses to build an international presence, while promoting Dubai as a thriving global investment hub and encouraging FDI and new partnerships from the markets we visit."Lootah added that the upcoming Trade Mission will provide the participating business leaders from Dubai with insight, information, and guidance on exporting to or investing in Central Asia. “We will soon embark on this exciting Trade Mission which includes local expert talks, pre-arranged business matching activities, networking meetings and site visits to industrial and economic zones, alongside cultural and engagement activities. New Horizons to Central Asia will enable us all to engage in focused and meaningful discussions with decision makers from the government and private sectors in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan,” he added.In the three nations, the largest contributors to GDP include manufacturing, trade, transport, agriculture and construction. UAE exports to these Central Asian nations include electronics, vehicles, machinery and tobacco. Central Asia is already an important market for Dubai: in 2021, Dubai’s non-oil trade with the three countries reached US$2.4 billion.The trip offers the chance for companies in a variety of sectors to seek out trading partners and develop new bilateral trade agreements. Several opportunities exist for Dubai-based businesses in areas including agriculture, metallurgy, tourism and construction.The Trade Mission is a golden opportunity to engage with both public and private sector leaders to promote cross-border partnerships and drive mutual business growth. The eight-day roadshow takes in four cities: Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.Dubai Chambers is committed to supporting its members to globally expand into strategic markets across the world as well as attract foreign investments and international companies – including those from Central Asia - to the emirate and enhance Dubai’s reputation as a global business and trade hub.

UAE, Saudi Arabia to lead IPO MENA markets: EFG Hermes

EFG Hermes Holding announced that it expects the UAE and Saudi Arabia to lead the Initial Public Offering (IPO) markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2023.‘’The IPO markets in MENA have seen strong momentum last year led by GCC countries, especially UAE and Saudi Arabia,'' stated Karim Awad, Group Chief Executive Officer of EFG Hermes Holding, on the sidelines of the 17th EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference in Dubai today, attended by senior government officials, high-profile regional business leaders, investors, and listed companies.He said that his group is working on five diverse sectoral IPOs in the GCC market which will be launched between the second and fourth quarters of the year.Headlined “Outplaying Challenges,” the conference hosted thousands of one-on-one meetings between executives representing some of the region’s most compelling prospects and regional and global institutional investors, allowing them to gain insights into key trends impacting frontier and emerging markets today to explore value-accretive investment prospects.This year’s conference, which will run until 9th March, will witness 179 companies in numerous key sectors across 29 countries hold direct meetings with over 561 institutional investors and fund managers representing 247 international institutions.Karim Awad, Group Chief Executive Officer of EFG Hermes Holding, commented, “The conference continues to act as a growth catalyst for capital market investment across FEM, opening direct communication channels between investors and the most promising listed companies. Leveraging decades of on-the-ground expertise in these markets, we provide investors with the tools, unique insights, and unfettered access they need to maximise returns — maintaining our position as a financial enabler of corporate success."He said, "This year, the UAE is also preparing to host COP 28, making it an optimal time for companies to inform the conversation on how investors can play a role in the journey toward net-zero by weaving responsible investment practices and frameworks into their financial considerations to secure a better future that guarantees sustainable development for societies, economies, and the planet.”"2022 was a year rife with macroeconomic volatility due to persistently high inflation rates, a challenging interest environment driven by Fed-supersised rate hikes, and soaring commodity prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis that dampened global capital market activity and investor sentiment.“Meanwhile, the first quarter of 2023 saw a slight reversal, with a slowdown in commodity price jumps as alternative supplies came on stream and China’s reversal of economically stifling zero-COVID policies spurring investors to pour into emerging market securities at a near-record rate. The GCC in particular has demonstrated resilience against global turbulence, driven by a solid crude oil market and government initiatives that have collectively deepened the region’s capital markets,” he noted.Mohamed Ebeid, Co-CEO of the Investment Bank at EFG Hermes Holding, stated, “Since the start of the year, the MSCI EM equities index has been trading at 20 percent or more above last year’s low as emerging economies look set to grow faster than advanced ones this year, with EM GDPs expected to expand by 1.4 percentage points more than the rate in advanced economies. The GCC has, in recent months, proven to be a key investment hub for regional and global investors — a transformation we’ve been incredibly successful in capitalising on by capturing a large share of ECM and M&A deals, particularly in the UAE. As we look ahead, we are confident we can continue ramping up our equity, debt, and M&A transaction pipeline and unlock unmatched prospects for clients and investors alike."

UAE Journalists Association to organise ‘Arabic Thought and Culture Forum’

The UAE Journalists Association (UAEJA) is organising the 11th edition of the Arabic Thought and Culture Forum on 9th March, 2023, in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Secretariat-General of the Alliance of Arab Thought and Culture Centres, and in coordination with the Office of the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.The announcement was made during a press conference held at the headquarters of the UAEJA in Abu Dhabi, which was attended by Mohamed Al Hammadi, President of the UAEJA, Assistant President of the Federation of Arab Journalists and Chairman of the Forum’s Organising Committee, and Fawaz Ahmed Suleiman, Member of the Board of Trustees and Secretary-General of the Alliance of Arab Thought and Culture Centres.The event is held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, under the them ''Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence''.Al Hammadi said that the event was organised to promote the values of tolerance, coexistence and human fraternity, which is a social responsibility, adding that the media is a key partner in promoting this culture in Arab communities.The three-session event will include several pillars that comprise the values of coexistence and tolerance in the Arab region and their impact on the future of Arab countries, the role of Arab governments in promoting tolerance and coexistence, and the impact of promoting the culture of tolerance on social and economic development.Suleiman said that the forum’s current edition would highlight the importance of the principles of human fraternity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence in building and advancing societies.The forum was held twice in the UAE and Morocco, three times in Bahrain, and once in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, he added.

EDUBA & ChatGPT partner to revolutionize AI-powered education technology in Iraq

Eduba, a leading EdTech startup with a focus on enhancing the learning journey, announced a potential integration with ChatGPT, a state-of-the-art AI language model. This integration aims to provide students with personalized support and guidance in real-time, ultimately enhancing the overall learning experience through improved engagement, performance, and time-saving benefits.The integration would allow students to interact with a ChatGPT-powered chatbot that provides tailored recommendations based on their learning history, preferences, and needs. With natural language processing capabilities, students can ask questions and receive immediate responses in a natural language format, making the learning experience more intuitive and engaging. Additionally, ChatGPT's advanced AI technology can improve students' performance, increase engagement, and make some tasks easier for teachers, such as automated grading. Founder and CEO of Eduba, Azad Hassan, expressed excitement about this potential integration, stating that it will allow Eduba to take its mission of enriching the learning journey to the next level.This integration will also benefit educators by providing them with more accurate insights into student learning and progress through ChatGPT's natural language processing capabilities, which can analyze and interpret student responses, providing real-time feedback and insights to improve teaching effectiveness. It is important to note that the potential integration is still in the planning stages and has not been confirmed. The expected completion date for the integration is October 2023, and additional details will be provided as they become available. announces partnership with The Entertainer and Credimax, the fast growing online shopping platform, is pleased to announce its latest partnership with The Entertainer and Credimax, two well-known names in the discount and payment industries, respectively. The partnerships will allow to offer even more savings and benefits to its customers.The first partnership is with The Entertainer, a popular discount network that provides exclusive offers to its customers across a wide range of categories, including dining, leisure, and entertainment. Through this collaboration, customers who are also members of The Entertainer will now be able to enjoy a 25% discount on all purchases made on the platform."We are thrilled to partner with The Entertainer and offer our customers even more opportunities to save on their purchases," said Mr. Meliksah Topbas, founder of "This collaboration will not only benefit our customers, but also help us reach a wider audience through The Entertainer's vast network."The second partnership is with Credimax, a leading payment solution provider in the region. Under this collaboration, customers will be able to enjoy an additional 15% deduction at the check-out on top of other general discounts that the website is offering under various sale programs."We are excited to partner with Credimax to offer our customers even more value for their money," added Mr. Topbas. "This collaboration will not only enhance the shopping experience for our customers, but also streamline the payment process, making it more convenient and secure." is committed to providing its customers with the best deals and discounts in the market. The partnerships with The Entertainer and Credimax are just the latest examples of this commitment.

Kaspersky blocks 500 million phishing attempts globally

Kaspersky’s anti-phishing system prevented more than 500 million attempts at accessing fraudulent websites globally in 2022. This is twice more compared to 2021 figures. In the Middle East, 7.2% of individuals and corporate users faced phishing attempts, according to Kaspersky’s Spam and Phishing in 2022 report.CountryShare of usersQatar9.5%Bahrain9%Jordan8.5%Kuwait7.8%UAE7.5%KSA7.3%Oman6.9%Egypt6.9%Although spam and phishing attacks are not necessarily complex from a technological standpoint, they rely on sophisticated social engineering tactics, making them highly dangerous to those who are not aware of them. Fraudsters are skilled at creating phishing web pages identical to the original websites that collect private user data or encourage the transfer of money to fraudsters targeting both individuals and organizations. Kaspersky experts discovered that throughout 2022 cybercriminals increasingly turned to phishing. The company’s anti-phishing system successfully blocked 507,851,735 attempts to access fraudulent content globally in 2022, twice the number of attacks thwarted in 2021.The sphere most frequently targeted with phishing attacks was delivery services. Fraudsters send fake emails pretending to be from well-known delivery companies and claim there is an issue with a delivery. The email includes a link to a fake website, which asks for personal information or financial details. If the victim falls for the scam, they could lose their identity and banking information, which may be sold to websites on the dark web.Kaspersky experts have also highlighted a global trend in the phishing landscape of 2022: an increase in the distribution of attacks through messengers, with the majority of blocked attempts coming from WhatsApp, followed by Telegram and Viber.There is also growing demand among cybercriminals for social media credentials, with criminals exploiting people's curiosity and desire for privacy by offering fake updates and verified account status on social media platforms.An example of phishing page mimicking a social media alertMoreover, the experts found that cryptocurrency scams and the ongoing pandemic are still being used by phishing attackers to steal sensitive information from people who are afraid and worried. These scammers are taking advantage of people's fears and concerns to steal their sensitive information."Phishing is one of the most prevalent and pernicious threats in the cybersecurity landscape. Being the gateway to many of the worst cyber threats, phishing pages are the first step in a long chain of events that can result in identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage for both individual consumers and businesses. It's crucial for everyone to understand the threat and take action to protect themselves," comments Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky.In order to avoid becoming a victim of spam or phishing-based scams, Kaspersky experts advise the following:Only open emails and click links if you are sure you can trust the senderWhen a sender is legitimate but the content of the message seems strange it is worth checking with the sender via an alternative communication channelCheck the spelling of a website’s URL if you suspect that you are faced with a phishing page. If you are, the URL may contain mistakes that are hard to spot at first glance, such as a 1 instead of I or 0 instead of OUse a proven security solution when surfing the web. Thanks to access to international threat intelligence sources, these solutions are capable of spotting and blocking spam and phishing campaigns.

Presight AI announces intention to list on ADX via Initial Public Offering

Presight AI Holding, a G42 company and a big data analytics company powered by artificial intelligence (AI), today announced its intention to carry out an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and subsequently list its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s (ADX) first market.On 3rd March 2023, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority approved the Company’s application for the IPO.Presight, a public company limited by shares, incorporated in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, supports public services and commercial businesses of all magnitudes by unlocking positive societal impact with omni analytics and AI to deliver insight-driven decision-making across every sector at scale.The Company’s solutions are deployed across three core sectors with significant potential for impact and innovative market growth; public services, finance, and sports. Presight continues accelerating into priority sectors, channelling advanced data analytics to predict environmental impact, enable efficient infrastructure use, and transform educational outcomes.The Company’s proprietary Transformative Analytics Quotient (TAQ) platform has enabled Presight to deliver unmatched digital transformation for its customers across the globe.TAQ integrates all-source data into adaptive AI algorithms to deliver actionable insights across the sectors in which Presight operates. The platform enables clients to understand historical performance effectively, forecast more accurately, and make timely decisions in the best interests of customers and the public at large.Presight has entered into a cornerstone investment agreement with International Holding Company (IHC), through which IHC has committed to invest in the planned IPO. This cornerstone investment agreement demonstrates the confidence IHC has in Presight’s growth trajectory and paves the way for further collaboration and growth opportunities regionally and globally.Mansoor Al Mansoori, Chairman of Presight, said, “Presight was initially conceived in 2020 to deliver analytics-driven, cloud-first AI-enabled solutions for public and private businesses in the Middle Eastern ecosystem. Presight’s journey has evolved rapidly since its inception. It is now positioned as the region’s leading big data analytics company powered by AI, trusted with country-level strategic mandates to drive digital transformation and innovation."Through our proprietary Transformative Analytics Quotient platform, Presight enables insight-driven decision-making to unlock positive societal impact with omni-analytics and AI.”Since its establishment, Presight has demonstrated an exceptional track record in combining big data, analytics and AI expertise to deliver solutions. The Company has successfully delivered numerous high-impact projects with business and societal value creation at the core. Presight was integral to managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE and to welcoming 24 million visitors safely to Expo 2020 Dubai.Thomas Pramotedham, CEO of Presight, said, “We have delivered a strong track record of profitability, with the highest net margins amongst leading AI and cloud organizations with similar digital products and services. We are complemented by a sophisticated leadership team with deep sector expertise and highly predictable revenue streams. Through our long-term committed contracts, we are well positioned to deliver strong returns to shareholders and stakeholders throughout the business.”With TAQ at the core, powering 10 flagship solutions and more than 100 AI models, Presight supports its clients and partners to unlock positive societal change through insight-driven decision marking.

Tagger Media strikes exclusive partnership with YAAP

YAAP, a Dubai-based specialized influencer marketing company, today announced an exclusive partnership with data-driven social intelligence platform Tagger Media. The landmark partnership marks the US-based company’s official entry into the Middle East. Tagger’s platform combined with YAAP’s market expertise is set to usher in a new era of excellence in data-driven influencer marketing. Tagger’s foray into the Middle Eastern influencer marketing ecosystem further expands its global presence which spans six continents and 17 global offices. YAAP, with its extensive operational experience and a large network of clients in the Middle East, complements Tagger’s best-in-class technologies and platform, creating an outstanding synergy that brands and individual entities in the Middle East have longed for. “Global innovation meets local excellence in the partnership between Tagger Media and YAAP. The data-driven approach embodied by Tagger’s one-stop platform and the market knowledge of YAAP are poised to revolutionize influencer marketing in the Middle East. This market possesses a sizeable appetite for social intelligence and insight-led influencer marketing, and we will soon be catering to this demand,” said Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP. An award-winning entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience working with global brands, Atul is the driving force behind YAAP’s success. The company has posted an impressive top-line growth of 97% and a 5X jump in profitability in FY21-22. Its client portfolio includes Bayut, Visit Dubai, Apparel Group, Fitbit, Kaya Skin Clinic, RuPay, American Express, Disney, Amazon, and Square Enix, among other leading brands in the Middle East & India.Tagger Media, for its part, boasts a client roster that includes Omnicom, Bose, Tinder, HBO Max, and Pepsico. Over the years, Tagger has emerged as the market leader in end-to-end influencer marketing services by leveraging real-time data and helping clients build campaigns for maximized ROI and impact. Its easy-to-use platform provides access to data points of over 15 billion high-quality social posts and over 278,000 brands worldwide. “Tagger Media was built on the promise of data. Over the years, we have augmented the platform with customization, workflow integration, linguistic, multi-currency payments and CRM capabilities. Today, our database is unparalleled in the influencer marketing ecosystem, giving our clients the edge in an ever-competitive market. I believe we have timed our entry into the Middle East well, taking into account the exemplary digitalization and burgeoning influencer culture in this growth market,” said Dave Dickman, CEO of Tagger Media. In a YouGov survey, 94% of in-house marketers in the UAE said they believe that social media influencer marketing plays a major role in the success of their brands. However, brands often find it challenging to reconcile the influencer marketing budget with the expected ROI due to a lack of insights, and challenges in accurate forecasting and business intelligence visualization. Tagger’s integrated platform, which offers a full suite of services while ensuring the highest-level security standards and utmost compliance with GDPR, CCPA and the like, has thus found takers across global markets. Incidentally, it is the creation of full-suite services that recently led YAAP to fully acquire Crayons Communications, a reputable advertising agency in the Middle East. Following the acquisition, YAAP also launched a first-of-its-kind Metaverse Grant, offering up to a million dirhams for UAE-based companies to fast-track their metaverse and Web 3.0 adoption. The exclusive partnership with an organization of Tagger Media’s calibre is yet another testament to YAAP’s purpose-driven growth strategy.

Rakuten Symphony and Zain KSA announce MoU

Rakuten Symphony and Zain KSA announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable strategic collaboration in building next-generation telecommunications networks based on open standards and network infrastructure provided by Rakuten Symphony.Rakuten Symphony assists telcos worldwide with the deployment of fully cloud-native network services based on open standards and advanced automation and orchestration, enabling companies to easily build secure and open mobile networks at high speed and low cost. The signing of the MoU was announced at MWC23, held in Barcelona from February 27 until March 2.Under the terms of the MoU, Rakuten Symphony and Zain KSA will collaborate to accelerate the delivery of mobile network services through the use of open technology that will facilitate and revolutionize wireless infrastructure, with the potential to deliver cost-effective solutions in a quick and efficient manner. Rakuten will work with Zain KSA on a blueprint for a cloud-native, fully virtualized, new-generation radio access solution architecture, which will be Open RAN 4G and 5G-based with advanced automation capabilities.Zain KSA Chief Technology Officer, Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda, said: “We are delighted to work closely with Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony to drive innovation and deliver top-class services that meet and anticipate the ever-growing demand for reliable, secure, and ultramodern network experiences from our individual and enterprise customers. This collaboration will leverage and maximize the strengths of Zain KSA and Rakuten to accelerate innovation and drive the Saudi ICT sector toward achieving Saudi Vision 2030’s goals to transform the Kingdom into a digital hub that fosters a digital economy and hyper-connected society.”“We are very excited to collaborate with Zain KSA and share our expertise in building next-generation telecommunication networks,” said Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony. “We believe that Rakuten Symphony’s network automation and orchestration solutions for cost-effective network transformation and timely deployment of next-generation network services will help Zain KSA deliver a superior experience to their customers.”The signing of this MoU is in alignment with Zain KSA’s digital-first strategy and its goal of accelerating the inclusive digital transformation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while driving business growth and scaling up user experiences through a wide range of applications across sectors.

BeIN SPORTS to broadcast a host of season-defining European football competition

This month promises a host of season-defining European ties and beIN MEDIA GROUP (“beIN”) will broadcast them all live, exclusive, and with multilingual coverage across the MENA region. Starting on 7 March, beIN SPORTS will show all eight second leg ties from the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, later that same week, the Europa League and Europa Conference League enter the last-16 stage with a variety of mouth-watering first-leg matches.Matches to look out for include:Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund (7 March)Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal in the Premier League continued in the UEFA Champions League as the Blues fell 1-0 to a young Borussia Dortmund side in the first leg, despite having more than 20 attempts at goal. Graham Potter’s side now need to score if they are to progress, and they will have to do so without the suspended Mason Mount. Having suffered a London derby day defeat to Tottenham at the weekend, big-spending Chelsea must bounce back at Stamford Bridge or the pressure on Potter will ramp up further. Dortmund, meanwhile, without the suspended Julian Ryerson, know they just need to keep a fourth clean sheet in five matches to book their place in the last eight.Live studio coverage before the Chelsea versus Borussia Dortmund match kicks-off at 22:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1 and beIN 4K, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading right up to the opening whistle at 23:00 MECCA.Bayern Munich vs PSG (8 March)As PSG prepare to face Bayern Munich, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi as he looks to take the Parisian club a step closer towards its first European Cup. Fresh from being awarded FIFA’s Best Men’s Player for 2022 after his heroics at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, all eyes will be on the Argentine in what promises to be PSG’s most-important match of the season so far. Trailing 1-0 after losing in front of the Parc de Princes faithful, Christophe Galtier’s side will face a tough trip to Munich against a Bayern side that has conceded just twice in seven Champions League games so far this campaign.Live studio coverage before the PSG vs Bayern Munich match starts at 22:00 MECCA on beIN SPORTS Premium 1 and beIN 4K in Arabic, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading right up to match kick-off at 23:00 MECCA.Sporting CP v Arsenal (9 March)High-flying Arsenal sit top of the English Premier League and coach Mikel Arteta will need to make some difficult decisions ahead of his side’s trip to Lisbon in the Europa League Round of 16. Giving key players sufficient rest is crucial to maintain a title charge, yet against a Sporting side that dropped into the competition from the Champions League – despite beating Arsenal’s London rivals Tottenham – they must be especially careful. Sporting eased past Midtjylland 5-1 on aggregate in their playoff tie and in Marcus Edwards, they have a dynamic English player who will be desperate to knock out the league leaders of his home country.You can watch the live studio coverage before the Sporting CP vs Arsenal match starts at 20:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading right up to match kick-off at 20:45 MECCA.The second leg will also be broadcast live on 16 March with an English and Arabic studio leading up to the match kick-off at 23:00 MECCA. Tune in to the live studio coverage at 22:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1.RSC Anderlecht v Villarreal CF (9 March)Champions League semi-finalists last year, Villarreal find themselves this season not only contesting the Europa Conference League, but doing so with a different head coach having replaced Unai Emery with Quique Setien. The Yellow Submarine travel to Anderlecht’s Lotto Park for the first-leg of their Round of 16 tie, with many tipping a goal fest after Villarreal’s six group games featured 23 goals. Anderlecht meanwhile only just squeezed through their playoff, requiring penalties to beat Ludogorets over two legs, and are currently languishing ninth in the Belgian league – closer to the bottom than the top. On paper, it would appear the outcome is a given, yet Villarreal have lost five of their past seven games so nothing is guaranteed.You can watch the first leg of the Anderlecht vs Villarreal match with Arabic and English commentary on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 2 at 20:45 MECCA and the second leg on 16 March at 23:00 MECCA.Manchester United v Real Betis (9 March)Fresh from eliminating Barcelona in their two-legged Europa League playoff and then securing the first trophy of coach Erik Ten Hag’s Old Trafford tenure, Manchester United now face Spain’s Real Betis for a place in the Europa last eight. Playing the first leg away, the Spanish side will be without influential midfielder Nabil Fekir, who looks set to miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury, so the creative responsibility will fall largely on Sergio Canales. For United, Marcus Rashford meanwhile, helped by an in-form Bruno Fernandes, has scored 14 goals in 16 games – a better goal ratio than any other player in Europe.Tune in to watch the live studio coverage before the Manchester United vs Real Betis match starts at 22:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading right up to the opening whistle at 23:00 MECCA.The second leg will also be broadcast live on 16 March. Watch the live studio coverage at 20:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading up to the match kick-off at 20:45 MECCAManchester City vs RB Leipzig (14 March)Manchester City were first-leg favourites at RB Leipzig, but Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol’s second-half equaliser cancelled out Riyad Mahrez's opener and the two teams meet at the Etihad Arena on 15 March with the tie finely poised. The perceived success of Pep Guardiola’s time at City appears to be directly aligned to the club’s performance in the Champions League as they search for that elusive first European Cup. The Spanish coach will be determined to progress to the quarterfinals against a side City beat 6-3 at home in the Group Stages last year.You can watch the live studio coverage before the Manchester City vs RB Leipzig match at 22:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1 and beIN 4K, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1 leading right up to match kick-off at 23:00 MECCA.Real Madrid vs Liverpool (15 March)In what was a re-run of last year’s Champions League final, Real Madrid delivered a historic defeat to Liverpool in February’s first-leg at Anfield. Liverpool had raced into an early two-goal lead, but the 14-times European champions bounced back to become the first side to put five past Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League as they cruised to a 5-2 win. At the Santiago Bernabeu on 16 March, Liverpool will need to attack from the first whistle and while it would take a minor miracle to overcome a three-goal deficit in Madrid, if there is one club that will believe they can do it, it is Liverpool – a club with a history of turning up when seemingly down and out. Tune in to the live studio coverage before the Real Madrid vs Liverpool match starts at 22:00 MECCA in Arabic on beIN SPORTS Premium 1 and beIN 4K, and in English on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 1, leading right up to the opening whistle at 23:00 MECCA.Napoli vs Eintracht Frankfurt (15 March)Napoli have been in scintillating form domestically this season and star men Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be looking to continue their stellar form in the Champions League when Eintracht Frankfurt visit on 16 March. The runaway leaders of Serie A are yet to lose in regular time at home this season and look almost certain to win their first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona. Taking a 2-0 lead into the second leg, Luciano Spalletti’s high-scoring side are slowly establishing themselves as a potential winner of this year’s Champions League – a possibility that would have been derisively dismissed just 12 months ago.Watch Napoli take on Eintracht Frankfurt at 23:00 MECCA with Arabic commentary on beIN SPORTS Premium 2, and with English commentary on beIN SPORTS ENGLISH 2.

Geniee of Japan buys AdPushup operator Zelto for $70 million

The Japanese marketing technology company Geniee, a member of the SoftBank Group, paid about $70 million in cash to acquire the revenue optimization platform Zelto (previously known as AdPushup), providing investors in the startup that started out in India with a 40 times return.Zelto, a 10-year-old company that gives web publishers and content creators tools to increase revenue by utilising dozens of advertising exchanges, has twice experienced near-death experiences. The acquisition represents a remarkable turnaround for the company. The startup nearly ran out of money in 2014. Ankit Oberoi, founder and CEO of Zelto, told TechCrunch that after its flagship service struggled to gain traction, the company rushed with its product offerings.Although the deal's terms were not made public, the two companies confirmed it on Thursday. Oberoi of Zelto, which has been financially successful for some time and had less than $2.5 million in outside capital throughout its beginning phase, declined to provide the specifics of the agreement. According to the company's website, some of the clients of AdPushup, Zelto's flagship product include Elle, NDTV, CNET, PCMag, Mashable, and GSMArena

BackLite Media announces further OOH expansion plans in Abu Dhabi

BackLite Media has announced its further expansion into the out-of-home media market in Abu Dhabi. In 2023, the company will launch a range of new digital billboards at Al Qana, the city’s latest waterfront destination. Its new range includes a curved screen, which will be the first Forced Perspective 3D billboard in Abu Dhabi. The FP3D billboard will offer viewers a unique and immersive experience.BackLite Media CEO James Bicknell comments: “We are deeply honored that Al Qana has partnered with us to showcase just how special their new development is. We have worked together to develop a first-class digital advertising product to enhance the unique Al Qana destination. We look forward to welcoming our first clients soon.”Spanning over 146,000 sqm, Al Qana offers a unique collection of attractions. These attractions include waterfront restaurants, cinema experiences, the Middle East’s largest aquarium, a marina, a unique fitness and wellness facility, retail boutiques, a virtual reality and e-sports arena, as well as landscaped communal areas to encourage social interaction.The project primarily targets an affluent audience of locals and high-net-worth individuals from Abu Dhabi City, with 90% of visitors currently consisting of local Emirati citizens. Our 3D screen, The Curve @ Al Qana, will feature as part of the project. The screen will be the first 3D billboard in Abu Dhabi, with visuals on a 15-second loop every 120 seconds. The Curve @ Al Qana will be fully operational starting March 21st, visible on Khaleej Al Arabi, a major highway in Abu Dhabi that is also the main road used when leaving the airport.“As well as The Curve @Al Qana, we will launch a range of advertising boards at this venue. Launching our digital billboards at Al Qana is an exciting step for BackLite Media. We are proud to be the first company to offer this technology in Abu Dhabi. We look forward to providing our clients with the best out-of-home advertising solutions. Our team is committed to providing our clients with the highest quality of service, and we are confident that our new destination will be a great success,” he added.

Investopia 2023 explores rebound of global luxury brands

The rise of ecommerce, prospects of growth and investment for the future was explored in a session titled Global Luxury Brands: Key Trends and New Governance at Investopia Conference 2023.The session hosted industry leaders Mr. Patrick Chalhoub, Group President, Chalhoub Group and Mr. Matteo Lunelli, Chairman, Altagamma.Patrick Chalhoub opened up a discussion on how quickly the fashion and beauty industry has been advancing across continents - prior to even pandemic-times with figures rising over 300 billion worldwide. He noted that customers' desires within this industry are changing rapidly; they're more focused now than ever on finding brands that are values led and engage more in purposeful purchasing habits and lean more into brands with sustainability initiatives.He continued to explain the new generation is committed to the focus on sustainability and reaffirmed his Group’s commitment towards real sustainability initiatives. He added that the whole value and supply chain has shifted. Seeing more younger customers who are extremely committed to the sustainability drive. However, even industry leaders are taking on more onus to reach net zero through the circular economy, second life and others.Mr. Matteo confirms that brands have to follow the movement, while finding a way to be relevant by understanding how the customers are evolving. He explains the industry, luxury goods, rebounded sharply after covid. The recovery is much stronger than anyone expected – globally reaching 1.3 trillion euros. The growth has been tremendous, 21% growth in 2022.He ascribes the trend of the industry and sales being driven by growing digital sales - luxury sales doubled during covid. He notes a global index his group references estimates has a market size of about 400 million people, and are expected to jump to be 500 million by 2030. It's an industry evolving rapidly he notes heavily impacted by movement towards digital and sustainably. The understanding of Luxury is changing, it's becoming more inclusive, linked to the intrinsic quality of a brand’s creations. He explains nowadays more and more people choose a brand because it represents a value in which they believe in, so it's more purpose driven decision. He added also that clients today are asking ‘us to be excellent in everything we do’- In terms of service, quality and sustainability. The company’s worldwide monitor tracking luxury goods estimates is 400 million reaching 500 million by 2030.Investopia conference 2023 focuses on the theme “Envisioning Opportunities in Times of Change” and three sub-themes: Envisioning Opportunities in Today’s Economy, The Future of the Wealth of Nations, and Growth Opportunities in Times of Decarbonization. The conference this year includes 35 sessions and roundtables, and brings together more than 2000 participants like investors, government officials, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, from more than 40 countries.

Roland Berger, Inacta Group co-operate for digital assets and Web3

Inacta Group, a leading Swiss IT solution provider with a venture building arm focused on blockchain enabled business models, and Roland Berger, a global strategy consulting firm, have disclosed that they are working on joint Web3 projects and intend to closely cooperate on many more in the future. One of the projects is for the German utility giant E.On which was announced in December 2022, another is for a pharma- and consumer goods giant based in Switzerland. Inacta is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, in the heart of Crypto Valley, and has delivered many Digital Assets and Web3 projects for clients like AXA, InCore Bank, Swiss Post, Raiffeisen Bank and Visa. Additionally, Inacta has been one of the initiators of the fastest growing blockchain ecosystem in the world, MENA focused Crypto Oasis.Crypto Oasis has been the facilitator for this deal by connecting the stakeholders through their expert knowledge of the global Web3 network. "Many such deals, connecting global players, have been orchestrated by Crypto Oasis as we build on the strong infrastructure of the Middle East and the talent and capital migration into the region", says Saqr Ereiqat, Co-Founder of Crypto Oasis.Roland Berger has been at the forefront of advising blue-chip companies, investment funds and governments on Digital Assets, Web3 and Metaverse strategies and use cases."Inacta is a reputable company in the Web3 ecosystem. With this new partnership, we extend our offering further towards the implementation of Web3 ventures, while still maintaining the necessary objectivity to be protocol- and vendor agnostic, a key value for us when advising clients", says Pierre Samaties, Partner and Global Head of Roland Berger’s Digital Asset, Web3 and Metaverse practice."Roland Berger is a thought leader among the top strategy consulting firms in the Digital Assets and Web3 space. With our strategic partnership, we can combine strong strategy consulting skills with Web3 implementation power for our clients. We leverage this experience out of Crypto Valley and the growth in Crypto Oasis to bring more Web3 and Digital Asset solutions into the corporate world. For us, it is not about trading of crypto currencies, it is about building infrastructure for Tokenisation, Provenance and Digital Identities in several areas", says Ralf Glabischnig, Managing Partner and founder of Inacta.

Investopia 2023 annual conference hosts a session about Dubai D33

Abu Dhabi, United Arab of Emirates: Investopia 2023 Conference hosted as a session about “D33: A New Economy", in which H.E Helal Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, talked about Dubai D33.Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has unveiled its strategic vision for the next decade, known as D33. His Excellency, Helal Al Marri, Director-General of DTCM, outlined the vision, which considers various initiatives and strategies to create a clear path for the future.Al Marri stressed the importance of forging partnerships between the public and private sectors in key areas, such as talent and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), as well as important sectors like finance, technology, and manufacturing. When asked about the significance of digital currencies in the strategy, Al Marri emphasized that crypto and digital currencies were just one of several new sectors Dubai was exploring. He added that web3.0 and blockchain technologies were having a significant impact on financial institutions, logistics, and other sectors.Al Marri also addressed the impact of regulations, noting that suitable regulations can accelerate growth in industries. He highlighted that the recent regulation in February has given confidence in the regulatory framework.During the conference, Al Marri also touched on the IPO pipeline for Dubai in 2023, stating that there has been a regional shift towards thinking about IPOs rather than strong pipelines. He emphasized the importance of getting governance in place to bring confidence to the market, as the UAE remains resilient to inflationary and recessionary pressures.The strategic vision of D33 has been designed to create a clear roadmap for Dubai's future growth and development. The focus on partnerships, key sectors, and suitable regulations, as well as the resilience of the UAE to economic pressures, bodes well for the future of Dubai's economy.Investopia conference 2023 focuses on the theme “Envisioning Opportunities in Times of Change” and three sub-themes: Envisioning Opportunities in Today’s Economy, The Future of the Wealth of Nations, and Growth Opportunities in Times of Decarbonization. The conference this year includes 35 sessions and roundtables, and brings together more than 2000 participants like investors, government officials, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, from more than 40 countries.

Embed partners with AWS

Transforming the business of fun since 2001, Embed, the ultimate cashless solutions provider for the amusement, entertainment, and leisure industries, will showcase their latest groundbreaking tech innovation at the DEAL SHOW in Dubai from March 14 – 16.The Tech of TransformationIn its commitment to technology innovation, Embed makes history every year – launching industry-firsts and breakthrough innovations for more than 20 years to enable, empower, and ease the business of fun. Since launching the Mobile Wallet virtual game card in 2019, it’s still the only non-banking, non-finance, and non-loyalty brand to sit in customers’ Apple Wallet or Google Pay.This year, Embed is adding to its tech innovation legacy in the industry with its Tech of Transformation – a roster of integrated hardware and software solutions developed with only the biggest names in the tech sector.“It’s our continuous pursuit to develop tech solutions that will propel businesses to become FECs of the Future. In line with this goal, we partnered with the largest and most respected tech brand in America, Amazon, to create a software solution that will transform FECs’ operations, revenue landscape, and consumer journey,” says Renee Welsh, CEO at Embed.To introduce this new line of solutions, Embed is kicking off with STATS, a brainchild development with none other than Amazon Web Services (AWS).STATS is the game-changing business intelligence dashboard that will make business insights work hard for operators - so they won’t have to. This Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is a response to an ever-growing challenge that FEC operators face in the industry’s transition from coins to cashless; from traditional to digital:“Even now, a lot of businesses find data analysis daunting. Operators need these collated and analysed instantly to make informed business decisions immediately. STATS was designed specifically to produce customisable, tailor-fit, real-time reports in a snackable, easy-to-access format according to specific business needs – minus the tech intimidation and data overload,” shares Renee Welsh.“Given that FECs come in single or multiple locations, we worked closely with both small-medium and large FEC customers to understand their needs; the deep data insights they wanted from their Embed system. We combed through their data sets, and created ones that will suit the needs of any organisation. Out of these efforts, demos, and trials came a dashboard so flexible and versatile that it won’t matter what size of FEC is using it – they can maximise it,” shares Andy Welsh, CTO at Embed.Embed’s current data reports solution REPORTS, an analytics platform, allows operators to access 150 different reports. “While REPORTS is already a smart data powerhouse in itself, STATS is a step towards more in-depth, dynamic data reporting. Our customers who use this are heavily reliant on REPORTS to address challenges with inventory management, loss prevention, and revenue management,” explains Renee Welsh. “Research shows that staff who are assigned data analytics work spend 90% of the work week on nitty-gritty data-related tasks – and this does not include the analysis required to gain actual insights that drive business decisions. The STATS dashboard is our commitment to being part of the solution; developing this automated dashboard with flexible widgets will help eliminate the counterproductive data work operators struggle doing,” she continues. Embed worked with AWS, the world’s leading provider of cloud platforms, to develop STATS’ backend on QuickSight, enabling FECs to access these ready-made dashboards. This cloud-based solution does not need to run on any server that can cause downtimes and lags. Cloud connectivity also ensures accessible and secure data.“We are excited about this partnership collaboration because it gives both AWS and Embed the opportunity to help an entire industry go digital. A non-technical person should not be weighed down with software data extraction to arrive at data-driven business decisions. STATS will handle the numbers; operators can focus on growing their business,” says Conor McNamara, ASEAN Managing Director at Amazon Web Services.Savvy, Simple, and in a SnapGet smart, near-real-time reports in a state-of-the-art viewer that you can access easily – data anytime, anywhere, across single or multiple business locations, attractions, and various consumer touchpoints.Track and YieldFind business strength in numbers. Track game and guest activities and get deep insights on:Games performance and revenueGuest activity, average dwell time, and spending habitsManpower managementInventory managementA Cloud for Your JudgmentMake data-driven business decisions stat! Keep reports handy and secure with this cloud-based solution, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) QuickSight.Tactical PlanningWith its intuitive analysis, use STATS for reports on operational planning and forecasting game revenue and sales based on retro data. Learn more about the business as it grows.Stacks on StacksIncrease profitability as STATS gives a free hand to customise a business dashboard with interactive widgets called STACKS. This way, data becomes bite-sized and easy-to-interpret to identify key revenue management areas with tangible ROI.Additional Innovations: eShop & Staff MerchandiseJoining STATS in Embed’s Tech of Transformation roster are two new innovations that will ease operations:eShop is an online shopping portal where Embed customers can conveniently purchase hardware, parts, and accessories anytime, anywhere in just a few clicks. The only one of its kind against competitors, this one-stop shop features 24/7 service to enable customers to customise and maximise their existing Embed solutions, as needed, with brackets, adapters, server parts, scanners, and even product kits and bundles.As a response to an issue FECs are facing on missing staff passes and essentials, Embed is also introducing Staff Merchandise, a series of customisable wristbands, key fobs, and lanyards to match an FEC’s theme - giving the manpower a makeover with a consistent look that stands out.Visit booth #3-C24 OF DEAL SHOW AT DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE and catch free demos of these latest releases from the Embed Mavericks, along with the rest of the breakthrough innovations like the KIOSK+, the award-winning Mobile Wallet, the integrated cloud-based software solution TOOLKIT, the smartTOUCH arcade debit game card reader, and a full range of wearables and game cards from Embed’s famous Bling Bar!

Zain KSA and Huawei sign MoU to build a global 5.5G pioneer network "5.5G City"

 During MWC23 in Barcelona, Huawei and leading Saudi Arabian telecommunications operator Zain KSA signed a strategic cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for "5.5G City" joint innovation project. The MoU was signed during MWC23 held in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2.Under the MoU, both parties will work together to promote technological innovation for 5.5G evolution and expand scalable offerings to individual, enterprise, and government customers. Additionally, they will strengthen the digital infrastructure and build a global 5.5G evolution pioneer network, providing a strong engine to achieve the national digitalization goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.Zain KSA and Huawei will collaborate to enhance technological innovation, improve user experience, and develop new use cases. The collaboration will involve providing a seamless gigabit experience in both indoor and outdoor scenarios through the large-scale deployment of MetaAAU and 5G carrier aggregation, as well as LampSite digital indoor solutions. Additionally, initiatives will be taken to enhance the performance of Massive MIMO networks and to develop end-to-end autonomous network operation and optimization capabilities. Both parties will also work together to develop new use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT) and private network solutions. Finally, the partnership will explore innovative cooperation in areas such as ultra-compact site and green energy solutions, among others.Zain KSA's Chief Technology Officer, Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda, commented: "Our commitment to driving digital transformation in the Kingdom has been made possible by combining innovative technology investments with pioneering digital solutions across multiple fields, including cloud computing, fintech, business support, and drone technologies. Zain KSA is on a mission to empower a digital society and support the transition towards a digital economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom's digital transformation strategy. By partnering with global ICT leaders, including Huawei, we are committed to enhancing Zain KSA's end-to-end network through our joint innovation on 5G-Advanced technology and by incubating a range of vertical services for industry digitalization."Ritchie Peng, President of Huawei's 5G Product Line, said, "We are committed to providing leading products and solutions for operators and helping them build high-quality mobile networks through continuous technical innovations. We are excited to work with Zain KSA on this 5.5G City project and hope that this cooperation will allow our innovative products and solutions to create business and social value. Our vision is to help Zain KSA build better 5G networks and more importantly, leading digital infrastructure."MWC Barcelona 2023 ran from February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei showcased its products and solutions at stand 1H50 in Fira Gran Via Hall 1. Together with global operators, industry professionals, and opinion leaders, Huawei delved into topics such as 5G business success, 5.5G opportunities, green development, digital transformation, and our vision of using the GUIDE business blueprint to lay the foundation for 5.5G and build on the success of 5G for even greater prosperity. For more information, please

Samsung and du ink agreement to meet UAE customers’ demands in 2023

Samsung Gulf Electronics and du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their existing partnership and grow the market for Samsung products through the du retail network. Currently, Samsung is the strategic smart device vendor for du, a relationship that has greatly benefited du customers while addressing all their device needs.The agreement was signed by Karim Benkirane, Chief Commercial Officer of du and Doohee Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics. The MoU will make du shops a one-stop-shop for the entire Samsung range of consumer and business smart devices and solutions. In addition, it will extend Samsung’s exclusive products and offerings to more than 40 categories to include the entire consumer and business portfolio, such as smart home solutions, enterprise solutions, accessories, and more.Doohee Lee, President, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “We never stop innovating, not just in the technology and design of our products, but through the whole customer journey. We are therefore aligned with du in putting the customer experience first. Working together, we can offer our customers more value and a elevated customer experience.”         Karim Benkirane, du, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Our partnership with Samsung provides a framework for our customers to benefit from more options and a better customer experience. Customers can purchase a variety of Samsung devices from the shops throughout the rest of the year, and the staff is well-trained to handle any requests for customer service. Samsung has always been known for its quality products and the durability of its devices, so its customers can rest assured that the products they buy are high-quality and reliable. Through our collaboration, we will provide our customers with access to a wider range of products and services, as well as increased customer service options.”Under the terms of the comprehensive agreement, du will elevate Samsung as its Preferred Partner, For 2G project. On its part, Samsung will extend all the necessary support, from stock allocations, sales support, and other requirements, to make du its leading UAE partner. In parallel to scaling up sales in Samsung’s smartphone brands, the two parties will also collaborate in product portfolio expansion, leveraging Samsung’s wide product range, du expects to avail the full Samsung ecosystem experience, including tablets, watches, and portable projectors, in its shops by Q1.

Netflix Launches Creative Producer Training Program in Saudi Arabia

Netflix has launched a Creative Producer Training program that will help upskill 15 professional Saudi television creative producers. The seven  week program will be available exclusively through the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)  and will take participants through the process of creating, forming, and executing a TV pitch, pilot script, and writer’s room and is led by SCA alumni and award winning film/television writer & producer, Jason Shuman.Netflix worked with USC to design the program, which aims to develop the talent pipeline in the Kingdom, and generate a qualified network of talent for the regional and global film industry. The training will provide the necessary skills and opportunities to Saudi producers to break new ground and advance their career in film and television.The program kicked off with an intensive 3-day, in-person training in Riyadh covering the full range of skills required to develop quality TV shows. Participants deep-dived into the qualitiesof a good writer and producer, the development process for different formats, going from pitch to script and script to series, and finally, producing the pilot and series. A series of online workshops are currently underway, covering the development and production process, followed by pitches and a hands on writer’s room experience.Speaking of the launch, SCA alumni and award winning film/television writer & producer, Jason Shuman, said, “The entire program was beautifully put together. I was thoroughly impressed with the passion and professionalism of both the Netflix and SCA team. The students in attendance may have been born and raised far from Hollywood, but their love and appreciation for the arts, especially in the medium of television, was as genuine as I’ve ever seen. I am excited for the future of storytelling in Saudi Arabia.”  Nuha El Tayeb is the Content Director Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at Netflix, “The booming entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia presents an incredible opportunity for aspiring creatives to grow, learn, and advance their careers. Knowledge transfer is critical to building this thriving creative community, and partnerships like the one with USC, allow us to expose promising talent to the tools and industry insight needed to create best in class content. Some of the producers participating in this training program have worked on shows and films currently streaming on Netflix, and we hope that through continued industry collaboration and initiatives such as this will help amplify their work further and create more avenues for Arab talent to shine on the global stage.”Through training programs, Netflix is committed to adding value to creative communities in the Arab world, regularly working with industry partners to catalyze skills advancement and provide creators with the tools they need to tell the best version of their stories. In October 2022, Netflix signed a partnership with SPT in Saudi Arabia to help train and upskill 15 young talents in Saudi through on set training and workshops focused on art department and production roles.

Sarah Maina joins Appsflyer as partner development manager

Sarah Maina has been appointed as Appsflyer’s Middle East partner development manager.As part of her new role, Maina will be responsible for developing the company’s agency and media partner ecosystem, growing AppsFlyer’s partnerships in the region, and unlocking opportunities for its partners.In most organisations’ multi-channel marketing mix, mobile apps have become a cornerstone. Many marketers, however, struggle to accurately correlate marketing spend and app engagement with revenue. Maina’s collaboration with key regional partners, like Meta, Google and TikTok, will empower the company’s customers with the solutions they need to accurately calculate ROI across the marketing journey as they maximize their own media channels.Maina will be based in Dubai. She has more than 12 years of experience in the AdTech industry. Having held leadership roles at prominent organisations such as Millennial Media, AOL, Tempr, and Singular, she has extensive experience developing and managing partnership ecosystems.

3rd annual MENA Conversational AI summit 2023

Conversational AI encompasses a multitude of technologies that work cohesively to encourage efficient, automated communication via text, speech, or other mediums in order to decipher consumer intent, decipher language context, and respond using humane mannerisms. It has been successfully used in marketing, retail, and even banking in order to enhance the customer experience.With this momentum, Verve Management is proud to present the 3rd Annual Conversational AI Summit on the 14th and 15th of March, at the Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai, UAE. The summit will be a gathering of digital strategy and consumer experience professionals, with the event featuring a diverse line-up of speakers who will delve into the latest challenges, developments, and opportunities the world of Conversational AI has to offer.The 3rd Annual Conversational AI Summit will bring together top industry, leaders, experts, and innovators to share their insights and experiences on the current state of Conversational AI and its expected future trajectory. Attendees will have the chance to hear from keynote speakers, and participate in networking with the leading professionals of the industry and other like-minded individuals.The event will range in a variety of topics, including Conversational AI and its impact and collaboration with the Metaverse, the reach of AI into the arena of banking and automated consumer experiences, with the inclusion of Conversational AI and blockchain technologies and its impact on the consumer experience. The concept of Conversational AI’s reach today in improving our consumer interaction, problem-solving, and service delivery is also a focus of what the summit has to offer. Immerse yourself into the world of Conversational AI and learn more about its role in shaping the world, and how it can be leveraged into pioneering a positive shift in society.A brief mention of only some of the speakers set to speak at the summit, to lead worldly discussions of our new reality are:Srinivasan Sampath - Acting Chief Technology Officer, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)Sachin Gadoya - Co-founder & CEO, & Musafir BusinessWael Khaleel AbuRizq - AI & Advanced Analytics Advisor, Abu Dhabi Digital AuthorityRob Beswick - Managing Director, Virgin Mobile UAELubna Salah Zaitouni - Senior Specialist - Economics, Ministry of Economy“As we accelerate into the future of banking, we need to leverage the latest innovations to underpin our ongoing digital transformation efforts to meet our customers’ increasing digital needs,” said Srinivasan Sampath - Acting Chief Technology Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank. This showcases our objective for this event: a world where Conversational AI is recognized, utilized and innovated for the seamless integration and provision of the most refined consumer experience in the dynamic arena of consumer satisfaction.Join us for the 3rd Annual Conversational AI Summit and delve deeper into the minds of some of the leading professionals of today and absorb what they, and the discussions yet to come, have to offer.

DMCC Crypto Centre and DWF Labs collaborate to attract a new stream

DMCC – the world’s flagship free zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has partnered with DWF Labs, a global digital asset market maker and multi-stage web3 investment firm, to offer a new USD 5 million growth platform for web3 and blockchain businesses at the DMCC Crypto Centre.As a new ecosystem partner, DWF Labs will establish the DWF Ventures Studio, which will support nascent web3 and blockchain businesses using the DMCC Crypto Centre and Dubai as a hub from which they can scale their operations locally, regionally and globally. The partnership was announced during the “Sunset Meet and Greet” event organised by DWF Labs on 24 February 2023 in Dubai.Building on the Crypto Centre’s wide offering, the DWF Venture Studio will provide multiple benefits for early-stage startups based in DMCC, including consultancy services, increased connection to global venture capital, market making services on tier one and two exchanges, a range of workshops and direct capital investments.DWF aims to invest in 50 startups operating in the web3 space, with multiple additional investments for best performing companies, and a USD 500,000 investment for the cohort’s most prominent business.Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Dubai’s leading position as a hub for web3 technologies is known the world over. The DMCC Crypto Centre has been a fundamental part of the emirate’s successful crypto journey, housing the largest concentration of web3 and blockchain businesses in the region. Partnering with one of the top names in the global industry further exemplifies the maturity of the crypto business community that we have built, as well as the significant commercial opportunities that Dubai presents.”DWF Labs is part of the broader Digital Wave Finance (DWF) platform, which is one of the world’s largest high-frequency cryptocurrency trading entities. By trading volume, DWF is one of the top five trading entities that trade on the top 40 exchanges, trading over 2000 different types of the digital asset.Andrei Grachev, Managing Partner, DWF Labs, added: “DWF Labs’ core goal is to invest in and support innovative entrepreneurs within the web3 space. For this reason, partnering with DMCC and its Crypto Centre is the right step as we expand our footprint both in Dubai and globally. The ecosystem that DMCC has built offers a strong pool of crypto talent that we are looking forward to being part of, building upon, and ultimately further facilitating its success.”The DMCC Crypto Centre is a comprehensive ecosystem for companies that develop web3 and blockchain technologies, and associated value-added services, providing everything that crypto businesses and entrepreneurs need to set up and scale their operations. Home to over 550 businesses operating in the web3 and blockchain space, the DMCC Crypto Centre represents the highest concentration of crypto firms in the region.

SME conference hosts final round of Entrepreneurship World Cup

Biban, Saudi Arabia’s largest start-up, SME, and entrepreneurship conference, takes place between March 9 and March 13, 2023, at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center.Biban held its first edition in 2017, and is organized by Monsha’at, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.This year, international audiences will benefit from more highlights than ever before, with the forum strongly positioned to foster tangible opportunities.Biban 2023 will host the Global Finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), one of the biggest and most diverse start-up pitch competitions and support programs of its kind. Since its inception, over 400,000 entrepreneurs from 200 countries have registered. This year, the finalists will compete for up to $1 million in cash prizes.At Biban 2023, international guests can network and collaborate with government authorities, entrepreneurs, and investors - from the Kingdom and beyond. Additionally, the forum provides access to growing markets, including E-Commerce, FinTech, F&B, and others.Attendees can also learn about the support - financial and other kinds - that are available to foreigners starting a business in Saudi Arabia.Making up the engaging themed areas at the forum are nine “Doors”, which include:Start-up Door: Featuring incubators, business accelerators and start-upsEnablement Door: Hosting agencies that enable entrepreneurial business ownersFunding Door: Providing start-ups and SMEs with information on where to secure funding and how to overcome financial challengesGrowth Door: Educating SME owners on areas that help grow their businesses - marketing, strategy, innovation, and much moreBiban 2023 also welcomes a roster of over 350 speakers from the Kingdom and across the world, which include:HE Lee Young: Minister of SMEs and Start-ups, Republic of KoreaSteve Chen: CTO and Co-Founder of YouTubeJeff Hoffman: Chairman of the Board, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN)Chris Barton: Founder and Creator of ShazamSaudi Arabia is emerging as a key player in the global start-up scene. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2022 National Entrepreneurship Context Index reported that the Kingdom is now the second-best economy in the world to start a business, reflecting a rapidly advancing start-up ecosystem, and a wealth of business opportunities for local and international entrepreneurs.

ADIB appoints Bushra Al Shehhi as Chief Human Resources Officer

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading financial institution, announced today the appointment of Bushra Al-Shehhi as the new Chief Human Resources Officer. Bushra will now oversee the management of human resources affairs, operations, and related strategies for the entire Group, including branches and institutions outside the country that support the bank's business plan and strategic directions for the next phase of ADIB’s growth plan 2025.Commenting on the appointment, Nasser Al Awadhi, Group CEO of ADIB, said: "We are pleased to appoint Bushra to this important role. Her vast experience in the field of human resources makes her the ideal person to lead our team and support the continued growth and success of our bank. Her appointment is a testament to our commitment to promoting Emirati leadership and women, and we hope that Bushra's appointment will inspire others to pursue leadership roles and contribute to the success of their organizations."Bushra is a seasoned professional and a master’s degree holder in human resources management. Having worked in the Human Resources field for over 20 years working in both the public and private sectors, and during her tenure at ADIB, she has contributed significantly to creating a positive and productive work environment for the bank's employees by launching various initiatives. She helped advance the bank’s Emiratisation efforts, providing UAE nationals with the tools and skills to flourish within the financial services industry.Commenting on her new role, Bushra Al Shehhi, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, said: “I am deeply honoured to lead the human resources team at ADIB and excited to work alongside such a talented group of individuals. My goal is to build upon the already impressive work that has been accomplished, and to make ADIB an exceptional workplace for all employees. A strong human resources function is integral to the success of any organization, and I am committed to facilitating employee learning and development, improving hiring practices, and promoting a thriving company culture. I am thrilled to be a part of ADIB's ongoing achievements."ADIB is dedicated to fostering local talents within the UAE, with approximately 45% of its workforce comprised of Emirati nationals. In line with the National Employability Agenda, ADIB’s leadership development programs, Tamkeen and Qiyadat, serve to further develop ADIB’s diverse talent pool.