reveals Amazon Prime day deals and savings

CAIRO: is planning to launch hundreds of thousands of deals exclusively for Amazon Prime members this Amazon Prime Day in Egypt on July 11 and 12. Kicking off at midnight on July 11th and running until July 12th, the sale event will offer members of Amazon Prime across Egypt with exclusive deals across all product categories with savings benefits of up to 70% on fashion, 40% on electronics and accessories, 20% on TVs, and 50% on beauty and perfumes. Anyone can join Prime and become a member through a free 30-day trial, followed by a membership fee of EGP 29/month or EGP 249/year, at to participate in Amazon Prime Day. This membership will give access to unlimited fast and free shipping benefits, and enjoy entertainment with Prime Video and Prime Gaming. Amazon Prime Day 2023 will feature incredible savings to Amazon Prime members across top international brands including Samsung, Panasonic, Adidas, and Guess, and tens of thousands of deals from selling partners including Nabtah, Healthy Spread, Shana, and Verde, with a continuous release of new deals across various product categories throughout July 11 and 12. Amazon Prime members on using MasterCard debit or credit cards for Amazon Prime Day orders can enjoy an additional discount of 15% off, with a maximum discount up to EGP 200. Banque Misr MasterCard debit or credit cards will enjoy a discount of 15% off, with a maximum discount up to EGP 300. This is in addition to installment plans with 0% interest with CIB for a period of six months and 0% interest with Banque Misr for a period of 12 months. Omar Elsahy, Amazon Egypt General Manager, said: “Amazon Prime Day is the most exciting time of the year for Amazon Prime members around the world. Last year when we launched the Prime program, we wanted to make sure we provide our Amazon Prime members with greater saving benefits and a premier shopping experience. From deals across every category available on, to additional discounts from select banks, and benefits including unlimited free and fast shipping, Amazon Prime Day serves as a testament to our continued commitment to make Prime members’ lives in Egypt easier, more convenient, and fun.” Amazon Prime members across Egypt can make their shopping experience even easier by downloading the Amazon App to browse, shop, and ensure they never miss a deal or by shopping directly on the website on  Amazon Prime members can rely on Amazon for fast, free delivery on hundreds of thousands of eligible items to make their lives easier. Amazon Prime Day orders are made possible thanks to Amazon’s world-class last-mile operations and delivery station technologies. Amazon’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.  Amazon Prime Day deals include:  ElectronicsSave up to 40% discount on JBL, BOSE, and Anker accessories Save up to 20% on Samsung & LG TVsSave up to 15% on Samsung phonesSave up to 20% on Dell laptops Home and Kitchen AppliancesSave up to 10% on Samsung appliances including refrigerators and washing machines Save up to 15% on ElAraby, Fresh, and Panasonic appliancesFashionSave up to 60% off Adidas and AndoraSave up to 40% off Levi’s, Ravin and PumaSave up to 25% off all New Balance and Cottonil.Save more with Buy 1, Get 1 Free on fashion items from select brands including Adidas, Andora, Ravin, and mantra.Save more with Buy 1, Get 1 with 50% discount off from select brands including Levi’s and Skechers Beauty, Health, and Self-CareSave up to 50% off on select perfumes from Guess, Jaguar, Euphoria, Yves Saint Lauren, Armani, and Dior  BabySave up to 50% off baby products from Sanosan and Johnson.Get EGP 60 off when you buy a worth of EGP 600 or more from Pampers and extra 20% off Huggies products.Get EGP 50 off when you buy a worth of EGP 500 from Molfix

Dubai Esports and Games Festival 2023: A Showcase of Innovation and Esports

Dubai: Dubai has marked the conclusion of the Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF 2023) and is celebrating record visitor numbers, with more than 26,000 people visiting the five day festival. The Vox Gaming Theatre engaged gamers during the Play Beyond tournament featuring beloved influencers in a Regional Team, composed of four influential gamers from the Middle East and including the charismatic team captain AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) and an International Team, consisting of four renowned influencers from different corners of the world and captained by MiniMinter (Instagram: @MiniMinter). Families, friends and gamers, also enjoyed a diverse range of events at the region's biggest ever and most exciting esports and games festival, held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City, Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEF 2023 was designed to cater to every gaming passion and had something for all visitors with casual gamers, esports enthusiasts, and seasoned industry professionals immersing themselves in the world of gaming. Gamers transformed the development of the gaming technology landscape with over 75,000 of the best local and global gamers participating in a variety of esports tournaments and games at the event. The dynamic line up of events included pulse-pounding tournaments and mind-bending virtual reality experiences. A focal point for the convergence of innovation in the gaming and esports sectors, DEF 2023 celebrated and empowered gaming talent, fostering the growth of esports communities in the UAE and throughout the world. Held from June 21 to 25 June this year, the incredibly popular DEF 2023 featured the GameExpo Summit, GameExpo, Regional Tournaments and the new Play Beyond tournament with the South Halls of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, filled to capacity and transformed into a gamer's paradise. The festival and summit brought players of all ages together to enjoy incredible experiences and some of the latest and biggest games in the world.  DEF 2023 kicked off with the GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects (PG), with more than 1,800 high profile attendees enjoying over 50 engaging sessions, panels, and talks by over 100 industry thought leaders and government agencies. Cementing its reputation as the region's premium games industry and B2B knowledge platform, over 2,000 meetings were held using the ‘MeetToMatch' system, with 38 investors and developers meeting on Investor Connector to elevate the gametech sector in the UAE. Dubai's biggest gaming weekend happened at GameExpo with an unmissable line-up of 14 esports competitions including high-octane Play Beyond Tournaments, all-time gaming classics at the Retro Zone, cutting-edge gaming products and the latest games, including 11 newly released games. Eager gaming fans, families and the public played 57 unmissable games with attendees immersing themselves in the world of virtual reality, with gaming enthusiasts connecting in the Dubai Police Esports Arena and more than 40 exhibitors, including industry giants such as Xbox, Ubisoft and Capcom. Official leading UAE-based sponsors included Du, Emirates NBD, KitKat, Emirates, VOX Cinemas, Rove Hotels, Alienware and Virgin Radio Dubai with Ubisoft, Capcom and Teleios displaying their latest games in the du Gamers District. In addition, more than 3,200 students attended the exclusive ‘schools only' days aimed at promoting careers in gaming and driving a passion for esports at the grassroots. The exhilarating second edition of DEF 2023 transformed Dubai into the epicenter of the esports and gaming industry, cementing its position as a global destination for enthusiasts worldwide. The festival catered to gamers, families, friends, industry professionals and esports experts with the aim of uniting and developing the gaming and esports communities in Dubai and the region with next year's dates confirmed for 1 to 5 May 2024.

Emirates unveils global campaign on CNN, targeting business travelers

Dubai: CNN International Commercial and Emirates Airlines have collaborated for a new advertising and sponsorship campaign for the airline company. The new campaign on CNN will connect the airline with target audiences of global business decision-makers, investors, tech enthusiasts, etc.CNN International Commercial has ingeniously crafted a comprehensive cross-platform campaign, strategically aligning Emirates' brand with top-tier business and market-focused content across the network.Central to this campaign is Emirates' exclusive sponsorship of a brand-new weekday business segment, reaching a global audience through CNN International's flagship shows.The Emirates Business Briefing segment, featured within CNN Newsroom, will provide essential insights for both present and future business trailblazers, covering market updates, M&A activity, and the latest advancements in technology and cryptocurrency.Additionally, Emirates has secured exclusive sponsorship of CNN's Markets section, including the engaging Emirates Business Briefing content. Alongside this, targeted spot and display advertising will be deployed across TV and digital platforms, expertly tailored to reach our desired audience actively involved in business travel.Each segment will culminate with succinct advertisements featuring Emirates’ brand ambassador Penelope Cruz. Cathy Ibal, Senior Vice President, CNN International Commercial, said: “With highly relevant and engaging business content across all platforms, and as the number one news brand in reaching elite traveller segments, CNN is the ideal partner for brands such as Emirates to connect and resonate with high end business audiences.”Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, said: “Time is precious, especially for the C-suite and premium business audience that we’re targeting through CNN, and we believe the Emirates Business Briefing will add value to their lives.”“We are highly confident that this collaboration perfectly merges our brand's essence, our exceptional product narratives, the esteemed global news brand of CNN, and our premium target audience," added Boutros.Based on the Global Business Influencers survey of 2022, CNN possesses the highest percentage of brand reach among news brands, specifically among those who frequently travel via first class, business class, or private jets, spend over $10,000 on vacations, and conduct business trips to the Americas.

SRC signs a 3-year sponsorship deal with Saudi football club Al Ittihad

Riyadh: The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed a sponsorship deal with the Saudi football club Al Ittihad for the upcoming three years. The sponsorship deal includes commercial and marketing rights, benefitting both parties. Majeed Fahad. Alabduljabbar, Deputy CEO of SRC, said: “The sponsorship is part of SRC’s support for the development of the Kingdom’s thriving sports sector and the key objectives of Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life Program” to promote sporting activity”. “SRC's commitment to this agreement stems from its desire to contribute to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030's objectives and to enhance its social responsibility towards the overall sports landscape. Sports and entertainment have become increasingly prominent to the Saudi economy and play a crucial role in the country's future development, making it an attractive destination across various industries. We take great pride in being part of the Kingdom's sports sector development.” Abdulwahab Abed, CEO of Al-Ittihad expressed his delight in signing the agreement following an exceptional sports season, saying: “This partnership with SRC would foster the club's expansion and provide support for its domestic and international endeavors moving forward”.SRC was established in 2017 with the aim of helping transform the local housing market. SRC obtained a license from the Saudi Central Bank to operate in real estate refinancing through the secondary market.

OPPO appoints Chi Zhou as President, Bolstering MEA Leadership

Dubai: OPPO announces the appointment of Chi Zhou as the global technology brand’s news President for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. In this pivotal role, Chi will be responsible for spearheading OPPO’s sales, product, and market development strategies to ensure the brand’s continued success and growth in the region.With over a decade of experience in the technology and telecommunications industry, Chi brings a wealth of expertise to his role. He has held various positions within OPPO since 2019 and was previously the Head of Overseas Reno GTM. Under his leadership, the Reno series achieved remarkable market share and profitability in international markets through an effective sales strategy. Chi's exemplary leadership abilities and deep understanding of OPPO's core values make him the perfect candidate to drive the brand's growth and prosperity in the Middle East and Africa.Discussing his new role, Chi Zhou, President of OPPO MEA said, "I am honored to take on the position as the new President of OPPO MEA and embark on this exciting journey with a company that prioritizes innovation and excellence. Working alongside our dedicated team, we will tirelessly strive to deliver cutting-edge products that captivate our customers and reinforce OPPO's position as a leading technology brand in the region."Throughout his career, Chi Zhou has consistently demonstrated unwavering passion for innovation, propelling him to the forefront of his field. His exceptional leadership skills and adaptability have enabled him to navigate the ever-evolving corporate landscape, positioning him as a valuable asset to OPPO's ongoing success.

Dubai Esports & Games Festival 2023: Embracing Innovation, Entertainment, Esport

Dubai: Dubai has marked the conclusion of the Dubai Esports and Games Festival (DEF 2023) and is celebrating record visitor numbers, with more than 26,000 people visiting the five day festival. The Vox Gaming Theatre engaged gamers during the Play Beyond tournament featuring beloved influencers in a Regional Team, composed of four influential gamers from the Middle East and including the charismatic team captain AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) and an International Team, consisting of four renowned influencers from different corners of the world and captained by MiniMinter (Instagram: @MiniMinter). Families, friends and gamers, also enjoyed a diverse range of events at the region's biggest ever and most exciting esports and games festival, held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City, Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEF 2023 was designed to cater to every gaming passion and had something for all visitors with casual gamers, esports enthusiasts, and seasoned industry professionals immersing themselves in the world of gaming. Gamers transformed the development of the gaming technology landscape with over 75,000 of the best local and global gamers participating in a variety of esports tournaments and games at the event. The dynamic line up of events included pulse-pounding tournaments and mind-bending virtual reality experiences. A focal point for the convergence of innovation in the gaming and esports sectors, DEF 2023 celebrated and empowered gaming talent, fostering the growth of esports communities in the UAE and throughout the world. Held from June 21 to 25 June this year, the incredibly popular DEF 2023 featured the GameExpo Summit, GameExpo, Regional Tournaments and the new Play Beyond tournament with the South Halls of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, filled to capacity and transformed into a gamer's paradise. The festival and summit brought players of all ages together to enjoy incredible experiences and some of the latest and biggest games in the world.  DEF 2023 kicked off with the GameExpo Summit, powered by Pocket Gamer Connects (PG), with more than 1,800 high profile attendees enjoying over 50 engaging sessions, panels, and talks by over 100 industry thought leaders and government agencies. Cementing its reputation as the region's premium games industry and B2B knowledge platform, over 2,000 meetings were held using the ‘MeetToMatch' system, with 38 investors and developers meeting on Investor Connector to elevate the gametech sector in the UAE. Dubai's biggest gaming weekend happened at GameExpo with an unmissable line-up of 14 esports competitions including high-octane Play Beyond Tournaments, all-time gaming classics at the Retro Zone, cutting-edge gaming products and the latest games, including 11 newly released games. Eager gaming fans, families and the public played 57 unmissable games with attendees immersing themselves in the world of virtual reality, with gaming enthusiasts connecting in the Dubai Police Esports Arena and more than 40 exhibitors, including industry giants such as Xbox, Ubisoft and Capcom. Official leading UAE-based sponsors included Du, Emirates NBD, KitKat, Emirates, VOX Cinemas, Rove Hotels, Alienware and Virgin Radio Dubai with Ubisoft, Capcom and Teleios displaying their latest games in the du Gamers District. In addition, more than 3,200 students attended the exclusive ‘schools only' days aimed at promoting careers in gaming and driving a passion for esports at the grassroots. The exhilarating second edition of DEF 2023 transformed Dubai into the epicenter of the esports and gaming industry, cementing its position as a global destination for enthusiasts worldwide. The festival catered to gamers, families, friends, industry professionals and esports experts with the aim of uniting and developing the gaming and esports communities in Dubai and the region with next year's dates confirmed for 1 to 5 May 2024.

Beban TV Show Expands to Saudi Arabia in GFH Capital Partnership

Manama: Entrepreneurship-themed reality television show ‘Beban’ announces the expansion of its third season to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as Hope Ventures, the investment arm of Hope Fund and producer of Beban, partners with Saudi-based GFH Capital S.A.Saudi-based businesses can apply for season 3 online through by July 23rd. The expansion comes in line with GFH Capital’s efforts to support Saudi-based businesses in their entrepreneurial journeys and provide them with the tools, resources, and networks needed to grow and scale across the region. Having aired for two seasons, Beban featured a total of 62 businesses of various sizes and resulted in successful co-investments by the private and public sectors exceeding USD 6 million in GCC-based startups.Through the partnership, GFH Capital will sponsor Saudi businesses’ participation in Beban TV show, which is centered around promising entrepreneurs as they pitch their existing businesses for equity investment and business development opportunities before a panel of regional investors of the private sector who can strategically accelerate the growth and expansion of these businesses to international markets.Furthermore, Beban entrepreneurs will also benefit from the intensive training bootcamp they will undergo as part of the Beban journey to develop their businesses in various aspects like expansion planning, financial modeling, and pitching in front of a panel of regional investors on a televised show.Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Razi AlMerbati, CEO of GFH Capital, shared: “Saudi Arabia features one of the most exciting and vibrant startup ecosystems, not just in the region, but globally. We are thrilled to partner with Beban in a move that underlines our commitment to the growth of entrepreneurialism and business development in line with Saudi's Vision 2030. Through this collaboration, we aim to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their innovative ideas into successful ventures. We are proud to support the cultivation of an ecosystem that fosters innovation, drives economic growth, and nurtures the next generation of business leaders.”On her part, Fajer Al Pachachi, General Manager at Hope Ventures, said: “We created Beban to act as an investment platform that facilitates a borderless and seamless flow of regional co-investment opportunities alongside the private sector in promising businesses. We are truly excited to be partnering with GFH Capital to expand Beban to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it aligns with our objective of Beban and because we believe in the caliber and the potential of Saudi businesses. We look forward to welcoming their applications and participation in season 3 of Beban.”It is noteworthy to mention that entrepreneurs will be selected through an evaluation process comprising five stages, starting with screening businesses for viability based on certain criteria, followed by an evaluation stage led by experts and specialists in the business sector. Candidates will then be nominated to participate in an intensive training bootcamp stage. The final stage will announce the eligible finalists, who will then go on to film the production’s episodes.

AIQ Joins NVIDIA Inception to Accelerate Development of Advanced AI Solutions

Abu Dhabi: AIQ, a technology pioneer focused on driving artificial intelligence (AI)-powered transformation for the energy industry, today announced it has joined the NVIDIA Inception program, which provides technical guidance and support for cutting-edge enterprises. By joining Inception, AIQ will gain access to the latest AI technology and expertise from NVIDIA and will receive technical training through the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute. AIQ will also use the latest NVIDIA hardware and software as part of its strategy to develop cutting-edge applications and maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic AI market.Omar Al Marzooqi, CEO of AIQ, said: “Joining NVIDIA Inception will allow us to further optimize our innovative AI solutions with best-in-class infrastructure. With access to NVIDIA's unparalleled frameworks, comprehensive training, and deep technical expertise, we will expand our reach to international markets and new horizons in innovation as we continue to provide our customers with advanced solutions to transform the energy sector and other hard-to-abate industries.”AIQ will join a global ecosystem of more than 14,000 NVIDIA Inception members comprising like-minded AI innovators and industry experts and will be able to use the program's platforms to continue showcasing its innovative and pioneering solutions at industry events as it expands its market reach.

Fanfix: A $65mln revolutionary Creator platform launches in the MENA region

Dubai: Fanfix is a leading exclusive clean content platform that empowers creators to pursue their passion and connect with fans on a new creator and fan interactive experience. Following its tremendous success in Los Angeles, USA, with Harry Gestetner, Simon Pompan, and Cameron Dallas at the helm, and with over seven million creators worldwide and an eight-figure deal with SuperOrdinary, the brand now sets foot in the MENA region’s thriving creator economy to revolutionize the way content is created, consumed, and monetized.Fanfix is brand-friendly and prioritizes the safety and security of its creators and users. Through proactive content moderation and a robust community reporting system, Fanfix maintains a welcoming environment that is suitable for all ages and fosters inclusivity. This ensures that creators thrive, and users confidently engage and enjoy exclusive content by their favorite creators.Recognizing the immense talent and potential of content creators in the region, Fanfix MENA is committed to providing them with the necessary tools and support to flourish in their respective content fields; fashion, music, beauty, gaming, and much more. It has become the go-to platform for beauty and lifestyle influencers in the region, with over 15 influencers including Model Roz and Summer Bujsaim who have surpassed six figures cumulatively in their monthly earnings, and continues to diversify its portfolio. Ally Salama, Director of Fanfix MENA, commented saying, “The creator economy is a $250 billion market, with much of it still untapped. We are on the cusp of witnessing the most significant paradigm shift across the UAE and KSA within the MENA creator economy, as countries adopt innovative ways to harness the power of the internet and community building over the next five years.”Fanfix uses a web-based application accessible across all browsers, supporting all types of content under 13+ content guidelines. To receive an invitation to join the platform, individuals must be over 18 years and have a minimum of 10,000 followers across all social media platforms. The application process happens through the Fanfix official website, which then goes through an internal review process. Upon approval by the Fanfix team, creators are contacted and, after verification, can begin publishing content and promoting their activated profile. Furthermore, creators can set their subscription and Tip-to-DM prices, allowing them to earn based on their unique value proposition. Creators retain 80% of their earnings, while Fanfix holds 20% to cover operational expenses and maintain the platform's functionality. The platform also offers subscriber count and daily revenue insights to all creators to better understand their audiences. Fanfix also has a regional success team that works one-on-one with creators to ensure their launch strategies effectively engage with their top fans worldwide to ensure the continued success it has amassed over the past year of operating the business.With exciting growth plans for the region, including launching a live-streaming feature allowing creators to stream content live within their exclusive communities, Fanfix continues improving creator and fan experiences by pioneering a new medium for fan and creator interactions.

Netflix sensation Sima Aunty joins forces with Mahzooz

Dubai: In a sensational partnership that will leave hearts aflutter, Mahzooz, the UAE's most popular weekly live draw with the highest and frequent pay-out, is thrilled to announce its collaboration with the ever-popular social media sensation, Sima Taparia (aka Sima Aunty), from the hit Netflix Indian Matchmaking Netflix series Sima Aunty, the reigning queen of entertainment and laughter, will be broadcasting live from Mahzooz studios on Saturday, 8 July 2023. She will captivate your attention with her infectious energy as she graces the screen and spreads joy to all.It doesn't end there! Known for making dreams come true, Mahzooz has prepared something truly extraordinary for its participants. This lavish collaboration aligns stars...and luck, giving Mahzooz participants an exclusive chance to win extra prizes. This engaging experience relies on the element of excitement and suspense, so we won't reveal everything just yet. We are absolutely thrilled that Mahzooz is partnering with Sima Aunty," says Pamela Cordina, Director, EWINGS LLC, Managing Operator of Mahzooz. “We are focused on creating unforgettable moments for our participants that they can cherish, and her ability to entertain aligns perfectly with our mission. In addition to making Mahzooz Saturday Show a must-watch event, this collaboration will also offer our loyal patrons the opportunity to win incredible prizes."The Mahzooz Saturday Show, starring Sima Aunty, promises to be an evening of entertainment and surprises. Mark your calendars for the forthcoming Saturday Show and immerse yourself in an enthralling experience like no other, whether you are a long-time Mahzooz participant or just interested in joining in the thrill.Stay tuned for more details, surprises, and announcements as Mahzooz and Sima Aunty's collaboration develops. Follow Mahzooz on social media and check out our website to make sure you don't miss out on any of the exciting moments from this unique collaboration.For only AED 35, participants can purchase a bottle of Mahzooz water, and enter the weekly draw every Saturday consisting of the Grand Draw, for a chance to win the new top prize of AED 20,000,000 and the new weekly Raffle Draw, which will grant AED 1,000,000 every week to a GUARANTEED millionaire-to-be.Mahzooz means ‘lucky’ in Arabic and is the UAE’s favourite draw that offers participants a life-changing opportunity to win millions every week. Mahzooz is dedicated to making people’s dreams come true and giving back to the community.

Batelco retail shops undergo digital transformation

Manama, Bahrain: Batelco, part of the Beyon Group, has revamped all of its retail shops, adding a self-service digital zone, designed to elevate the customer retail experience. This step is in line with Batelco’s on-going digital transformation of its customer journey in multiple touchpoints such as the website, the Batelco app as well as the retail shops.Batelco’s new shops enable customers to complete majority of transactions through a simple digital journey. Today, Batelco customers can find advanced self-service kiosks that incorporate a wide range of functions including the ability to instantly register and activate a new Postpaid or Prepaid line and receive a new SIM card, as well as subscribe to Home Fiber Broadband services with just a few easy steps. Customers can also complete package upgrades, SIM/eSIM replacement, voucher refills, and check device availability in addition to bill inquiry and payments.It’s worth noting that introducing a digital zone at Batelco’s retail shops offers convenience, which allows customers to complete various types of transactions quickly and easily as well as reducing queuing time in branches, hence improving the overall customer satisfaction.Aseel Mattar, General Manager Consumer at Batelco said: “The concept of self-service has grown in popularity recently, and customers dependence on technology has increased too. In response to this trend and in line with Batelco’s digital retail transformation journey, we digitized Batelco retail stores by offering a full-fledged self-service digital zone where customers can complete their transactions on their own.”“I would also like to highlight that the kiosks complement the services provided by Batelco’s retail sales agents, who will still support the shop visitors and are happy to assist them with any queries,” she added."Digitizing the customer journey will continue to be a priority theme for 2023. Completing the transformation of all existing shops is one of the key elements of this journey and there will be further exciting advancements in the upcoming months.” she concluded.Batelco shops, which are located in 9 areas around Bahrain, are accessible daily during mall opening hours and 24/7 in certain locations such as the Airport and Zallaq. Customers can benefit from exclusive offers when subscribing through Batelco digital channel

MUFG appoints Yohsuke Takahashi as Regional Head for Middle East

MUFG has today announced the appointment of Yohsuke Takahashi as Regional Head for Middle East. As part of MUFG’s focus on deepening relationships with clients across the Middle East and delivering leading financing solution for the region, Yohsuke will be responsible for all operations from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) branch in Dubai. His appointment is effective from 5 July 2023 and will report into Hidefumi Yamamura, Deputy Regional Executive, MUFG EMEA.Yohsuke joined MUFG in 1996 and has worked in various roles in Japan and throughout MUFG’s global footprint. Starting out in New York as part of the Investment Banking Division, he has progressed to cover securitised products and corporate planning. Most recently, Yohsuke held the role of Head of Investor Relations Office in Japan where he has led on strategic planning and investor engagement.Yohsuke replaces Masashi Sakai, who successfully led the operations within the Middle East region since August 2020.Hidefumi Yamamura, Deputy Regional Executive, MUFG EMEA, commented:“Yohsuke’s extensive international experience is extremely valuable as we continue to develop important relationships with clients, regulators and stakeholders in the Middle East region. I look forward to seeing his strong leadership in action, and have no doubt he will continue to build upon Masashi’s success to strengthen MUFG’s presence in the Middle East.”Yohsuke Takahashi, commented:“I am excited to be leading the team in the Middle East and further growing our presence in the region. The Middle East continues to be an exciting place for innovation, sustainability and technology and I look forward to working with clients on effective and forward-thinking solutions.”

MENA region secures Gold at Cannes Young PR Lions competition

Dubai: Judy Bakieh and Sarah Alsalem, account managers at Gambit Communications in Dubai, are the winners of this year's prestigious Cannes Young PR Lions competition, making them the first individuals from their region to achieve this remarkable prize.This year’s Young Lions PR competition brief was supplied by EcoTree, an NGO that sustainably manages forests and ecosystems, in which it asked competitors to create a PR strategy that effectively communicates their offering of carbon credits. At the global final, Judy and Sarah competed against 28 national winners, with their campaign #BestBadInvestment, to be crowned the world’s best young PR creatives.Expressing her delight at their achievement, Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, stated, "Congratulations to Judy and Sarah on their remarkable success. PRCA MENA annually organises the regional Young Lions PR competition, which acts as a stepping stone to the Cannes competition. This year, Gambit Communications from Dubai showcased their prowess and stood out among numerous participating agencies to secure the victory."Commenting on their win, Judy Bakieh said, “We are proud and privileged to bring home the first ever Young PR Lions Gold to the MENA region, and even prouder to do it as part of an independent agency from Dubai. We knew that the Cannes PR Young Lions would be an opportunity for us to break some of the global stereotypes around Middle Eastern women, and showcase the talent, passion and potential that exists across the diverse countries that make up our region. I hope this win encourages the young talents in our region to get here and show what they can do.”Sarah Alsalem added, “We came to Cannes with one objective – bring home a Gold, and we did just that! We knew that with just 24 hours to put together a global campaign, competing against the best young minds from around the world, we needed to be brave enough to take risks and decisive in our creative decisions. That decisiveness saved us crucial time which allowed us to give the campaign an important touch of finesse in the final hours. Thank you to PRCA and the Cannes Festival of Creativity for the experience of a lifetime!”Khaled Al Shehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at UAE Government Media Office, welcomed the winners and expressed his pride in the team's achievement, stating, "Judy and Sarah have proven themselves to be exceptional talents in the field of PR. Their victory at the Cannes Young PR Lions competition is a testament to their hard work, creativity, and dedication. This incredible accomplishment reflects the nurturing environment we have in the UAE, where talent can flourish and dreams can be realized. It showcases our robust ecosystem that supports, encourages, and propels young creatives to unleash their full potential.”

Sharjah Government Award calls on youth-focused communication practices

Sharjah: The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) is calling on the movers and shakers in the communication field who have spearheaded impactful campaigns targeting youth to compete in the 10th edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA). The award is offering two specialised Arab categories tailored to recognise outstanding efforts in youth-focused communication, including accelerators and incubators’ support for entrepreneurs and startups, in addition to a third category for talented young individuals who have outstanding initiatives in government communication.Additionally, universities in the UAE and the wider GCC region have the opportunity to participate in the Universities Challenge, a platform that recognizes and celebrates outstanding communication campaigns and programs developed by university students.Honouring youth-focused programmes and initiativesThe ‘Best Communication Targeting Youth’ award is dedicated to individuals, governments, semi-governments, or private institutions that have achieved tangible and measurable results in communication campaigns and programmes targeting youth. It has three subcategories, namely Best Campaign for Positive Impact on Youth Awareness and Practises, which honours communication campaigns by entities and institutions that contribute to shaping positive values and concepts among youth or those that have reinforced positive social practises among them.The newly launched 'Best Communication Programme to Support Youth Entrepreneurship and Projects’ category shines light on government, semi-government, and private institutions that have established successful communication programmes supporting youth projects, entrepreneurship, and startups, providing solutions and building networks that have made a difference in overcoming challenges youth face in the business communityThe third category, ‘Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication,’ honours individuals or youth groups that have launched a communication campaign or initiative that addresses vital issues, creates innovative mechanisms for communication between policy-makers and the public, or motivates government entities to initiate projects or initiatives aimed at supporting youth campaigns and their issues.Open challenge to universitiesInvolving youth in communication and addressing the public has become more pressing than ever. The ‘Universities Challenge’ is launched as part of the International Government Communication Forum in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), to support innovation and creativity in communication among university students in GCC countries. The teams from each university will craft and design innovative projects in government communication. These projects can include developing essential institutional services, designing digital platforms for public institutional communication, or any other government communication initiatives that bring broad social benefits.The challenge opens up opportunities for universities in the UAE and GCC countries to nominate a representative team to apply, regardless of their academic majors, to produce and develop effective, implementable communication mechanisms that showcase students' skills in creative thinking and contribute to building an innovative future for government communication.

Chestertons MENA taps Rebecomms for PR, comm services

Dubai: Dubai-based real estate advisory Chestertons MENA has appointed Rebecomms for regional PR and communications services.Rebecomms will handle all Middle East media relations and corporate communications for the company, which celebrates 15 years of MENA operations this year.Nick Witty, (pictured above), Chief Executive Officer at Chestertons, said: “It’s an exciting time at Chestertons MENA, with big expansion plans in terms of markets, services and team members. With a rich history, impressive track record and plenty of news to share, we are pleased to appoint Rebecomms as we grow our business at our Dubai headquarters and across the wider region.”Rebecca Rees, Founder of Rebecomms, added: “I am delighted to add Chestertons MENA to my client list, and to be part of the region’s world-famous, record-breaking real estate success story. With more than 30 years’ PR experience, including 17 years in Dubai’s real estate sector, this new partnership is a natural fit. Chestertons is an internationally-renowned, highly trusted brand, and it’s an honour to be working with the Middle East team.”Chestertons MENA offers the full range of real estate advisory services, including commercial and residential sales and leasing, building consultancy and project management, property management, consulting and research and valuation services, with a dedicated, expert team for each function.Established in 2022, Rebecomms provides tailored communications services for a wide and diverse range of businesses and individuals in the real estate, hospitality, tourism, environmental and wellbeing sectors. Clients include Premier Inn Middle East, a number of Emirates Leisure Retail dining destinations, Propertycheck, Breathes Wellness and several small businesses. Rebecomms also collaborates with The Brill Collective and In2Consulting on various PR projects.

Ajit Ramaswami joins Publicis Groupe ME as APAC Advisor

Dubai: Publicis Groupe Middle East announced today that Ajit Ramaswami, CEO of MSL ME, a regional strategic communications agency, has taken on a new role as a strategic advisor and corporate practice head for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. In this new capacity, Ajit will be focused on identifying and driving strategic initiatives that support MSL’s growth objectives across key thriving markets within APAC.   “For nearly two decades, Ajit has been the driving force behind the successful transformation and expansion of MSL across the Middle East,” said?Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe ME&T.?"It’s an exciting time for him to be leveraging his deep expertise to unlock new opportunities in a dynamic new business landscape. I wish him the best in this new role, and I have every confidence that he will continue to propel the Publicis Groupe ‘power of one’ vision forward across APAC and beyond.”    Ajit is a communications veteran with 27 years of experience in the Middle East and India, delivering strategic communications to multinational and regional organisations across a diversity of industries including financial services, telecom, FMCG, technology, tourism, public affairs and family businesses. He joined MSL ME and Publicis Groupe in 2004 and was appointed CEO in 2008. During this time, he was instrumental in securing prestigious accounts for the agency including DU, Samsung, key P&G brands and TAMM for the Groupe.“Ajit is a seasoned and well-respected practitioner who knows how to drive transformative results for both the business and our clients,” said Margaret Key, CEO at MSL Asia, Middle East and Africa. “Having worked together for the last few years, I know the value he will bring to this region, and I am excited to see how we can partner together to further accelerate MSL’s growth agenda.” Under his stewardship, Ajit has built MSL’s credentials as the go-to consultant for industry verticals such as Professional Services, Technology, Media and Telecommunications while making significant advances in key growth areas in Healthcare, Automotive and Utilities. He is credited for establishing a proprietary framework for Brand Resilience and C-Suite profiling and establishing the agency’s reputation as a Crisis & Incidence Management leader. “I’m incredibly proud of the past 19 years with Publicis Groupe ME and MSL for the Middle East, but I am also excited for the opportunity to tap into a dynamic and booming market such as Asia-Pacific,” said Ajit?Ramaswami.?"I am grateful to Publicis Groupe ME’s leadership for enabling a culture of opportunity where this has been possible and to our valued clients who have entrusted us as their partner over the years. Lastly, I am immensely proud of my exceptional team, who I know will continue to thrive and deliver exceptional client results.”In this new role, he will work closely with the MSL APAC leadership team to provide strategic counsel to strengthen their offering with a focus on the corporate practice, introduce new, measurable solutions for clients and expand the network’s footprint across key markets and industries.

SBICAPS opens branch office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi: SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS), a wholly owned subsidiary and investment banking arm of State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced the opening of its first overseas branch office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre and free zone located on Al Maryah Island in UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.Dinesh Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI), inaugurated the SBICAPS ADGM Branch Office in the presence of H. E. Sunjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to the UAE and Mr. Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO- Registration Authority, ADGM. SBICAPS ADGM branch has received a Category 4 license from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. The operations will be led by Mr. Vishal Gupta, Senior Executive Officer, SBICAPS ADGM Branch Office. “India and Middle East have forged an exceptional partnership, driven by mutual trust, shared values, and a common vision for economic growth. Our bilateral trade has witnessed an unprecedented expansion, reaching new heights. The State Bank of India, a leading bank in India and a key player in the international banking arena, remains committed to providing seamless financial services to Indian and Emirati businesses. We have established a strong presence in the UAE through our branches, ensuring that businesses have easy access to banking services and tailored financial solutions. To further strengthen our economic ties, we must focus on diversifying our trade basket and exploring new avenues of collaboration. In line with this, the ADGM Branch office of our investment banking subsidiary, will act as a credible bridge between growth-oriented investors operating in and from UAE, having patient capital and seeking bankable investment opportunities in India and elsewhere.” said Shri Dinesh Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI).The opening of SBICAPS ADGM branch office coincided with the UAE-India Economic Summit: Fostering Synergies– Uniting the Falcon and Tiger Economies. This high-profile event was jointly hosted by SBICAPS and ADGM and attended by Industry Captains from India and UAE. The Summit focused on forging a vibrant and enduring economic alliance along with identifying common growth opportunities for both economies. “We are witnessing a lot of interest from investors including domestic and international corporates, trusts, financial institutions, specific purpose funds, governments and government linked entities, and professionally run family offices, across jurisdictions and geographies for credible investment opportunities in India. Our ADGM office will act as a one-stop-solution centre and help in the ease of doing business for clients from India and UAE. We also plan to expand our team as business grows and that will enable us to have a significant presence in UAE,” said Amitava Chatterjee, Managing Director & CEO, SBICAPS.

Aldar, IHC, and ADNEC Group to merge property and facilities management business

Dubai: Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer Aldar Properties has joined forces with International Holding Company and ADNEC Group to create the region's largest property and facilities management company.IHC and ADNEC Group, a subsidiary of the investment holding company ADQ, will merge their jointly owned property and facilities management businesses, Eltizam Asset Management Group, within the Aldar Estates platform.The merger will see IHC and ADNEC Group become strategic shareholders in Aldar Estates, with Aldar retaining a majority stake and control of the combined platform, the developer, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi's ADX exchange, said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.The enhanced platform will manage a portfolio of residential properties totalling approximately 135,000 units, prime retail and commercial spaces with Gross Leasable Area of more than 1 million sqm, and facilities management contracts valued at approximately 2.5 billion dirhams ($681 million).The platform will also target new strategic opportunities, it added.

Bahrain signs deals to invest $1.3bln in UK economy

Bahrain has signed a memorandum of understanding for strategic investments and collaborations with Britain that will see the Gulf state's private sector invest 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in Britain, the Bahraini crown prince's social media account said on Monday.The investments will be through Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, Investcorp, GFH Financial Group, and Osool Asset Management, the twitter account of the crown prince of Bahrain said.($1 = 0.7881 pounds)

MEDIA Global Chess League fans cue in to Amazon Music for audio streaming

Dubai: Chess fans from around the world are listening to the historic developments in Dubai from the ongoing Global Chess League through the popular platform of Amazon Music, the official audio streaming partner of the league. The debut edition of the league is being held from June 21 and the final is scheduled for July 2.There have been many intriguing clashes between the best players from the world of chess, including six world champions across different formats in the sport, in a never seen franchise-based league format.The partnership between Amazon Music and the Global Chess League aims to drive the sport's popularity amongst the audio-savvy regions of the world. As part of the partnership, Amazon Music is conducting exclusive podcasts on the league. There are analysis of the most significant results on each day, providing valuable insight for the enthusiasts. Amazon Music is also showcasing audio highlights of the matches for chess lovers across India, the US, Australia and New Zealand.Mamta Saraf, Director, Amazon Music India said, “Tech Mahindra’s Global Chess League is an intriguing concept, and the first of its kind. At Amazon Music, we resonate with the pioneering spirit of the tournament and are excited about this partnership. Music is integral to the game and how it helps players to concentrate, which we saw in the World Championship. We look forward to bringing highlights, interviews and updates from the tournament to our listeners. We look forward to building a long-term relationship and create more opportunities for engagement with chess lovers.”Jagdish Mitra, Chairperson, Global Chess League Board said, "We are delighted that Amazon Music has partnered with the Global Chess League. In chess, audio plays a vital role, and the context of every move depends on listening to world-class commentators. With a partner like Amazon Music providing curated content for audiophiles across regions, we can achieve the objective of connecting with a wider cohort of fans through the expert voices we have onboarded for the league." The league is also setting the standards for technological innovations in the sport of chess as Tech Mahindra and FIDE have explored innovative ways to promote the game through interactive technology-enabled platforms by leveraging next-generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, among others.

Anghami and Samsung partner to redefine audio entertainment in MENA

Amman: Music-entertainment streaming platform Anghami and Samsung Electronics have partnered to redefine the audio entertainment experience for consumers across Middle East and North Africa.Under this one-year collaboration, Samsung customers in the MENA region will have exclusive access to an exceptional offer from Anghami. With the purchase of a Samsung Smart TV or Sound device, such as a Soundbar or Sound Towers, customers will receive a 3-month Anghami Plus voucher*. This special offer allows users to enjoy access to more than 100 Million International & Arabic songs and podcasts through an enhanced audio streaming experience on their Samsung devices, enriching their entertainment choices.The partnership between Anghami and Samsung is a strategic alignment of two significant industry leaders. By harnessing Samsung's strong ecosystem, which features cutting-edge technologies like Dolby Atmos, SamsungTV unmatched TV viewing experience, and feature-rich mobile apps, alongside Anghami's extensive audio catalog and personalized streaming services, users can expect an unparalleled audio experience that transcends boundaries.This collaboration not only highlights the commitment of both Anghami and Samsung to offer innovative solutions to their customers but also reinforces their shared vision of providing seamless and immersive audio entertainment to the MENA audience."We are delighted to partner with Samsung, a global leader in the technology industry, to bring exceptional audio experiences to our valued users in the MENA region," said Choucri Khairallah, VP of Business Development at Anghami. "This collaboration is part of our mission to deliver exceptional entertainment options and provide our users with a seamless streaming experience across a range of Samsung devices."“We are thrilled to provide our Smart TV users with the ultimate music service through our partnership with Anghami,” said Mustafa Sadick, Head of Visual Display Group, Samsung Electronics Middle East and North Africa. “Smart TV capabilities are constantly evolving with the addition of innovative apps, and we are committed to continually delivering advanced technology and latest experiences through partnerships with companies like Anghami.”This partnership signifies a remarkable milestone in the regional audio streaming industry and marks the beginning of an exciting journey for both companies as they strive to redefine the audio entertainment landscape.

Thomson Reuters Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Imagen Ltd.

Thomson Reuters a global content and technology company, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Imagen Ltd., a cloud-native media asset management company.Imagen helps sports organizations, businesses and media companies manage their digital content libraries with fast, secure and controlled access through a highly customizable media management and distribution platform. Imagen also owns Screenocean, a platform that provides production companies and others the ability to license video and photo content from around the world.The business will be operated as part of the Reuters News division of Thomson Reuters."The acquisition of Imagen will continue our plans to build a world-class experience for Reuters News Agency customers, making it easier for them to discover, access and manage the content they need to deliver a best-in class product to their audiences, while ensuring Imagen's customers continue to get the outstanding service they are used to," said Reuters President Paul Bascobert. "With the addition of Imagen, clients will have the ability to seamlessly add media asset management services to store, manipulate, permission, distribute and monetize all their visual content.""We're delighted to become part of the Reuters family and are excited for the potential this gives us," said Imagen CEO Charlie Horrell. "The combination of Reuters and Imagen brings significant opportunities to reach new customers and better-serve existing ones. We look forward to a bright future together."

CTV Accounts for Half of Global Video Impression Share

Among retail advertisers, connected TV (CTV) accounted for half (50%) of global video impression share in 2022, an increase of nearly 52% compared to 2019. That’s according to a new retail vertical benchmarks report released today by Innovid (NYSE: CTV), an independent advertising platform for the delivery, personalization, and measurement of converged TV across linear, CTV and digital.“Shifting consumer habits, combined with the increasingly fragmented media landscape, have pushed retailers to rethink their advertising strategies in order to stay competitive in a saturated market,” said Dave Helmreich, Chief Commercial Officer at Innovid. “It’s no surprise that, as a result, CTV has taken a significant stake in retail advertisers’ media mix due to its ability to drive reach alongside granular targeting. With the use of advanced creative technologies like shoppable ads, coupled with customizable formats for personalization (day, time, location, weather, etc.), retail advertisers can better engage their target audiences at every step of their individual journeys with more personalized ad experiences at scale and, ultimately, drive business outcomes.” The report analyzed 23 billion global video advertising impressions from retail advertisers served on Innovid’s platform in 2022 across devices (CTV, mobile, and desktop) to provide a holistic view of how retail advertisers are leveraging video advertising and adapting media and creative strategies. Key findings from Innovid’s platform include: CTV Stays Dominant in the Retail Media Mix: While CTV has maintained the majority of total video ad impressions for the last two years, mobile represented the second largest share at 32%, followed by desktop at 18% in 2022.Dynamic Video Takes Flight: Retailers ran 39% more dynamic video campaigns in 2022 compared to 2021, optimizing creatives for personalization and increasing relevance based on date, time, location, weather targeting, sequential messaging, or publisher/third-party targeting.Interactive CTV Drives Engagement: Among retailers, interactive CTV saw modest growth with 7.7% more advertisers adopting the format in 2022 compared to 2021. It’s worth noting, however, interactive CTV was the clear performance winner, with the highest engagement rate (1.9%) compared to standard video and other advanced creative formats.Shorter is Sweeter for Retail Ad Engagement – but VCRs Vary: For retail advertisers, ads under 10 seconds garnered the most engagement, outpacing engagement of the second highest length (15 seconds) by 20%. But, despite ads 75 seconds or longer, all lengths had solid video competition rates (VCRs) – averaging around 86%.

VIZIO launches new Home Screen for easy streaming

VIZIO, a leading provider of premium entertainment products, has launched its all-new VIZIO Home Screen. This reimagined design revolutionizes the way users discover and stream entertainment, offering a more intuitive and personalized experience than ever before. With enhanced built-in features and customizable options, VIZIO Home Screen makes it easier for consumers to enjoy their favourite apps while discovering exciting new shows and movies.The key features of the upgraded VIZIO Home Screen include:  1. Intuitive and Navigable Design: The menu and settings structures have been completely revamped with a new left-side navigation and hierarchy, making browsing effortless. The inclusion of genre pages and an easy-to-use grid keyboard allows users to quickly search for the content they love.  2. Seamless Content Discovery: Discovering entertainment has never been easier with VIZIO's new content exploration options. Users can explore various places to find captivating content, accompanied by rows of recommended shows. By hovering over featured titles, users can access helpful information such as Rotten Tomatoes scores and reviews, making VIZIO Home Screen the ultimate starting point for an immersive entertainment viewing experience.  3. Customization: VIZIO empowers users to personalize their Home Screen experience. The App Row can now be easily customized to sort favorite apps with a single click. The app catalog has been enhanced with comprehensive details and recommended programming for a better understanding of each app's offerings. Furthermore, users can add movies and shows from different apps to their personalized Watchlist, allowing them to access all their content in one convenient location.The VIZIO Home Screen delivers an unmatched entertainment streaming experience, combining simplicity, efficiency, and personalization in one powerful interface. It will be available on VIZIO Smart TVs and VIZIO SmartCast™ platforms, ensuring that VIZIO customers can enjoy the benefits across a range of devices.

Fourth Dubai Gastronomy Forum celebrates culinary excellence

Dubai: The fourth Dubai Gastronomy Forum, organised by Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), served as a significant industry event bringing together stakeholders and highlighting key culinary events, including a look-back on the recently concluded 10th edition of the Dubai Food Festival 2023 and the latest Gastronomy Always On (GAON) survey results. Hosted at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam in Dubai on 21 June, the forum welcomed key stakeholders from across the gastronomy industry including restaurateurs, hoteliers, and key industry specialists.During the forum, DET also shared upcoming opportunities and plans with industry stakeholders in the gastronomy sector. These initiatives included a calendar of events, content series, activations, and partnerships aimed at supporting and promoting the F&B industry. The goal is to strengthen Dubai's dynamic ecosystem, which already boasts over 13,000 restaurants and cafes, and to rally their support in further enhancing the city's year-round global gastronomy hub status.The Gastronomy Always On (GAON) survey findings, which were unveiled during the forum, shed light on the positive trends in Dubai’s culinary scene, capturing the interest of industry stakeholders, diners, and F&B innovators, and also unveiled DFF’s pivotal role in contributing to the flourishing dining culture in the city. The survey findings showcased the festival's impact on the city's dining landscape, solidifying its role as a key contributor to the flourishing culinary scene. The results provided compelling evidence of the festival's ability to elevate the dining experience for residents, leading to an increase in their frequency of dining out.The results speak volumes: an astonishing 61% increase in the average number of occasions per week, with residents now enjoying an impressive average of 2.9 dining experiences per week compared to the previous average of 1.8. This exponential growth demonstrates the festival's unmatched ability to captivate taste buds, enticing residents to explore a myriad of culinary delights offered by the city's vibrant restaurant community.Furthermore, the survey emphasized the festival’s commitment to providing value for money to residents and visitors. Residents now spend an average of AED 162 per week, or 51 AED per outing, when eating out, a testament to Dubai Food Festival’s efforts in ensuring that gastronomic delights are accessible to everyone, regardless of their budgets. This dedication enhances the city’s reputation as a destination that offers exceptional value for money.The survey also indicates a rise in dining in, with an increase of 17% in the number of occasions per week people order in, rising from 1.7 to 2.0. The industry has actively embraced technology-driven services, promoting convenience and accessibility through online food ordering platforms. By adapting to changing consumer behavior, the festival continues to provide a diverse range of authentic culinary experiences, even in the comfort of people’s homes.Residents' high satisfaction levels with Dubai Gastronomy offerings were evident, with a mean score of 8.7 in Wave 3, representing an impressive 11.5% increase compared to Wave 2. Furthermore, the survey highlights a growing popularity of street food dining, which can be attributed to the festival's dedicated Street Food content, activations, and awareness campaigns.Looking back, the Dubai Food Festival’s 10th edition showcased an exceptional lineup of diverse culinary events, affirming the city’s commitment to authenticity and culinary innovation. The festival attracted a wide range of international and local chefs, renowned restaurants, and street food vendors,

Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection Greets New Leadership at Hilton Dubai Al

Dubai: Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is elated to announce the appointment of two industry stalwarts to lead the team at their landmark luxury hotels – Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City and V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.Leading Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Saeid Heidari has just joined as its new General Manager. Overseeing the 1,004-room property, Saeid brings over 30 years of experience in managing luxury hospitality. A seasoned hospitality professional, Saeid comes with a proven track record in providing top-notch quality assuring seamless guest satisfaction and delivering first-rate financial results and operations management. Saeid exhibits strong skills in managing profit targets, developing new and innovative projects, and being proactive in property sales efforts. He is also adept with negotiations and motivating diversified colleagues while maximizing productivity and efficiently controlling costs. One of Saeid’s remarkable achievements includes winning the HR leadership award twice in a row. He lives by the motto ‘Compassion is more important than passion’. In 2022, Saeid started his time with Habtoor Hospitality at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and now finally at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. He loves seeing the progress in Dubai while celebrating how this beautiful city embraces diversity. Previously, Saeid led luxury properties such as Marriot International, Katara Hospitality, Anantara Hotel & Suites and many more. He began his hospitality career in 1988 at Marriott International in Frankfurt, Germany as a buy-out in Housekeeping, Executive lounge attendant and security officer while funding his education in Chemical Engineering and Nuclear Chemistry. In 2001, Saeid decided to move back to his roots in the Middle East by joining Marriot International in Saudi Arabia as the Director of Food & Beverages and then moving across the world in different positions – Egypt, Czech Republic, Dubai, India, Doha, etc. Likewise, Luke Wooley has just joined V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton as General Manager and Director – F&B. He brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry with a track record in managing immaculate F&B operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia. Luke was part of the Al Habtoor Group since the early 2000s and having been elevated to V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton as its General Manager, he will now be overseeing the operations at the 356-key luxury property along with two food and beverage outlets, and meetings & event spaces. First joining Monkey Island Hotel in his home town UK in 2000, he was transferred to Metropolitan Beach Club, Dubai and then to Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa for the grand opening of the resort. He then joined Habtoor Grand Convention Center and Spa in Beirut and returned to Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa in 2010 as the Director of Food & Beverages. Luke is proof of a true Habtoorian with his two-decades-long association with the Al Habtoor Group. Luke’s taste for travel took him to Georgia, Botswana and Kenya where he held leadership roles at independent properties and not least to the Sultanate of Brunei as the Executive Hotel Manager of the prestigious Empire Hotel. Before joining V Hotel Dubai, Luke was associated with Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa as its Hotel Manager and was also in charge of the hotel’s F&B section since April 2022. Welcoming the two seasoned professionals, who jointly bring over 50 years of experience in contribution towards the sector, Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection is poised to become the most sought-after destination in Dubai, recognized for its luxurious hospitality clubbed with exhilarating experiences including La Perle, seasonal Winter Garden, only Bentley Suite in the region, and several other attractions in the vicinity.

PepsiCo becomes water, beverages, and snacks provider for Gamers8

Riyadh:  Gamers8: The Land of Heroes today welcomed PepsiCo as a Main Sponsor to the world’s biggest gaming and esports festival, which will see the global leader in convenient foods and drinks exclusively supply water, beverages, and snacks.PepsiCo brands Aquafina, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Rockstar, and Doritos will all be on offer at Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, which runs from July 6 for eight weeks at Boulevard Riyadh City.PepsiCo is providing an incredible 1.5 million bottles of Aquafina water for Gamers8: The Land of Heroes – all of which are available complimentary to festival goers from the special, cooled fridges dotted around the venue.Ahmed Albishri, Deputy CEO at the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “We are delighted to unveil PepsiCo as a Main Partner for Gamers8: The Land of Heroes this summer, building on the tremendous work achieved between our organizations at Gamers8 last year. The work that goes into putting on live events – particularly ones such as Gamers8 that last an entire summer – should never be underestimated. Food and beverages are a crucial part of that and having a renowned, trusted partner like PepsiCo is essential.”Aamer Sheikh, PepsiCo Middle East CEO said: “We are thrilled to be to once again involved with the world’s biggest gaming and e-sports festival, which takes place right here in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Building on the tremendous success that the festival witnessed last year, we are looking forward to having festival visitors enjoy their time alongside our snacks and beverages, which go side-by-side with the exhilarating events taking place at Gamers8.”Gamers8: The Land of Heroes has a prize pool of $45 million – triple that of Gamers8 last year. The festival concludes with the Next World Forum, a gaming and esports forum held at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on August 30-31, that brings together sector leaders and experts from around the world.

DIFC to build ‘Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus'

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced it will build the “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus”, the largest cluster of Artificial Intelligence and tech companies in the MENA region.The announcement comes in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and President of DIFC.With ambitious plans to expand into a dedicated campus spanning over 100,000 square foot in the next five years, the Campus located at the DIFC Innovation One premises will focus on the use of AI and Web 3.0 in the financial services industry.The “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus” will be home to visionary entrepreneurs, disruptors and engineers who possess a deep passion for emerging technologies. The Campus will provide world-class physical and digital infrastructure including R&D facilities, accelerator programmes and collaborative workspaces, to attract, build and scale AI companies.Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, “DIFC’s 2030 strategy is central to shaping the future of finance and innovation. AI is expected to inject AED103 billion into the UAE economy by 2035 and contribute 14 percent to the country’s GDP by the end of the decade. The Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus will significantly contribute to this growth as a global nexus for R&D, investment, and innovation by attracting over US$300 million in collective funds, over 500 global AI and Web 3.0 start-ups, and create over 3000 jobs by 2028.”DIFC’s 2030 strategy is centred around driving the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. DIFC’s Innovation Hub offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulations, innovative accelerator?programmes and funding for growth-stage start-ups. The fastest growing sector in DIFC with 686 associated firms, FinTech and Innovation saw funds of over US$615 million raised in the Centre during 2022.The “Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus” will act as a catalyst for growth, attracting global innovators, start-ups, and industry leaders to establish a vibrant ecosystem of AI-driven initiatives within the region. AI & Web 3.0 companies will also benefit from a sector-specific dedicated licensing and regulatory framework, in addition to leveraging DIFC unique soft infrastructure.Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, stated, “At DIFC we believe that being at the forefront of tech innovation and AI advancement is imperative as we pave the way for a digitally empowered future of finance. The ‘Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus’ will act as a catalyst for growth by attracting global innovators, start-ups, venture capitalists, and industry leaders, as we establish MENA’s largest ecosystem for the AI and Web 3.0 sectors. By nurturing a collaborative environment, the Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus will accelerate the development of future-forward technologies and empower organisations to unlock the true potential of AI and Web 3.0.”DIFC is spearheading the creation of a global ecosystem, the largest in the MENA region for AI and Web 3.0, by fostering cutting-edge technologies and attracting global talent. By seamlessly integrating physical and virtual infrastructures, the Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus is on track to emerge as the preferred headquarters for leading AI and Web 3.0 companies and venture capitalists operating in the region.DIFC plays a critical role in leading and shaping the future of finance through innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity by creating an environment that fosters growth and development. The 33rd edition of the Global Financial Centre Index rankings classifies Dubai as one of only 10 financial centres in the world as a global leader with a broad and deep offering.

Meta launches VR subscription service

Meta has unveiled a groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) subscription service called "Meta Quest+" at a price of $7.99. This innovative offering grants Meta Quest users the exclusive privilege of accessing the two most sought-after titles each month. Marked by its exceptional value, the Meta Quest+ subscription comes with a monthly fee of $7.99 or an annual payment of $59.99.The first indications of this remarkable service emerged in March when an astute Twitter user uncovered a description of a game pass feature within the Meta Quest app. Subsequently, another Twitter user stumbled upon the mention of Meta Quest+ and its associated pricing in the app selection of the Meta Quest app.On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg officially confirmed the arrival of Meta Quest+, emphasizing that it is currently compatible with Quest 2 and Pro. Furthermore, Quest 3 support will be extended upon the release of the new headset later this autumn.The initial game lineup for Meta Quest+ includes the adrenaline-pumping action-rhythm game FPS Pistol Whip and the captivating arcade adventure game Pixel Ripped 1995. In August, users will have the pleasure of experiencing Walkabout Mini Golf and Mothergunship: Forge.An intriguing aspect of Meta's subscription service is that subscribers retain access to all titles for as long as they remain subscribed to Meta Quest+.This new subscription offering from Meta distinguishes the company from PlayStation, which notably excludes VR games from its PlayStation Plus subscription.In its announcement, Meta expressed enthusiasm for the value that subscription services bring, harking back to the golden days of Blockbuster. With a monthly value of up to $60 USD, Meta Quest+ amalgamates affordability with the convenience of a curated experience. The company is thrilled to introduce Meta Quest users to an entirely novel approach for exploring the boundless potential of their VR headsets.To entice early adopters, Meta is extending an introductory discount, allowing users who sign up between now and July 31 to pay a mere $1 for the first month.Meta has also delighted fans by unveiling an array of forthcoming games for their VR headset.

Meta’s Messenger unveils parental supervision tools for teen safety

Meta has launched parental supervision tools on Messenger, aimed at empowering parents and guardians to ensure the safety and well-being of their teenage children in the digital world. By offering access to Messenger supervision tools and expert resources through the Meta Family Center, parents can now actively support their teens' online experiences.The parental supervision tools on Messenger are initially available in the US, UK, and Canada, with plans for a global expansion in the coming months. These innovative tools provide parents with valuable insights into their teen's Messenger usage without compromising their privacy. It is important to note that these tools do not grant parents access to their teen's private messages.Key features of the parental supervision tools on Messenger include:  1. Monitoring Usage: Parents can track the amount of time their teens spend on Messenger, gaining valuable insights into their online habits.  2. Contacts List Updates: Parents will have visibility into their teen's Messenger contacts list, as well as their privacy and safety settings, ensuring a secure online environment.  3. Report Notifications: Parents will receive notifications if their teen reports someone on Messenger, further enhancing safety measures and promoting open communication.  4. Message Settings: Parents can view who can message their teen, whether it is limited to friends, friends of friends, or no one. They will also receive notifications if any changes are made to this setting.  5. Messenger Stories: Parents can monitor who can view their teen's Messenger stories and will be alerted if any modifications are made to these settings.Over the next year, Meta plans to expand the range of features available through Parental Supervision on Messenger, enabling parents to assist their teens in managing their time and interactions effectively. It is important to note that these tools will function in both unencrypted and end-to-end encrypted chats, allowing for privacy while maintaining enhanced parental oversight.The launch of Parental Supervision on Messenger is part of Meta's ongoing commitment to creating the Meta Family Center as a central hub where parents and guardians can access valuable resources and tools to manage their teens' experiences across Meta technologies. This initiative aims to foster meaningful dialogue between parents and teens, ensuring a healthy and informed approach to their online lives.In addition to the introduction of Parental Supervision on Messenger, Meta is actively testing new messaging privacy features on Instagram. These features are specifically designed to safeguard teens from unwanted interactions and protect their well-being. The new measures include:  1. Invitation-based messaging: Individuals will be required to send an invite to connect with someone who doesn't follow them on Instagram. This ensures that permission is obtained before initiating a conversation. Users can only send one invite at a time and cannot send additional invites until the recipient accepts the invitation to connect.  2. Text-only invites: Message request invites will be limited to text-only communication, preventing the transmission of photos, videos, voice messages, or making calls until the recipient accepts the invitation to chat. This restriction aims to prevent the receipt of unwanted media from individuals not followed by the recipient.To promote responsible usage and encourage a healthy relationship with technology, Meta is taking further steps to nudge teens to manage their time on Facebook and Instagram. For instance, Facebook will notify teens after spending 20 minutes on the platform, encouraging them to take breaks and set daily time limits. Additionally, Instagram is exploring a new feature that nudges teens to close the app if they are excessively scrolling through Reels at night.

Sharjah Government Communication Award invites pioneering researchers and writer

Sharjah: The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) has called on international academic and educational pioneers, including researchers and writers in government communication and public influence, to showcase their exceptional work in communication sciences in the tenth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA).Recognising outstanding works, research and publications in communication sciences that capitalise on the growing array of traditional and modern communication tools and their public influence, the award aims to support educational and academic institutions, advance the academic research in communication and media, and provide a conducive environment for professionals in this realm. SGCA is accepting submissions across its categories until August 15, 2023.Best Research in Government CommunicationAmong the global categories of the 10th edition of SGCA, the ‘Best Applied Scientific Research in Government Communication’ recognises researchers, educational and academic government institutions that address the challenges of government communication and present practical communication solutions and methodologies. The award celebrates two winners through its subcategories: ‘Individual or Group Research’ and ‘Research by Government, Semi-Government, or Private Entity.’ Through these categories, SGCA aims to create a broader positive impact through institutional and government communication while also engaging the theoretical and academic facets that support the success of the communication process system.Honouring specialised authors and writersAcknowledging the crucial contribution of research to the progress of public communication, SGCA is introducing the global category of ‘Best Writer or Author in Government Communication Sciences.’ The award celebrates authors who offer fresh perspectives and valuable knowledge, greatly influencing government communication and its implementation. To ensure credibility, the award honours publications accredited by academic institutions with significant circulation.

Aston Martin, Lucid Group form partnership to boost EV portfolio

Riyadh: Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc and Lucid Group Inc. have joined forces for electric vehicle technology, bringing together the iconic British carmaker and the innovative newcomer, both with backing from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. This collaboration has significantly boosted the stock prices of both companies.In a deal announced on Monday, Aston Martin will invest $232 million in shares and cash to acquire battery-electric powertrain components from Lucid. Additionally, Aston Martin has extended its existing collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Group AG, without issuing further stock to the German automaker, which already holds a stake of approximately 9%.As part of the agreement, Lucid has committed not to supply its powertrain technology to specific competitors of Aston Martin until three months after Aston Martin commences production of its electric vehicles or April 1, 2026, whichever comes first.These announcements have propelled the shares of Aston Martin and Lucid, with increases of up to 15%, although the gains were later tempered. At 2:45 p.m. in New York, Lucid's shares rose by 3.1% to $5.64, while Aston Martin experienced an 11% surge in trading on the London Stock Exchange.Chairman Lawrence Stroll hailed the proposed supply agreement with Lucid as a "game changer" for Aston Martin's future growth driven by electric vehicles. Stroll, who took charge three years ago, has been leading efforts to revitalize the 110-year-old British manufacturer, which has faced significant financial challenges over the years. Since Stroll's rescue in early 2020, Aston Martin has undergone multiple capital raises, with China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund becoming major shareholders.Philippe Houchois, an analyst at Jefferies, noted that Lucid is a strategic partner for Aston Martin due to its efficient electric vehicle powertrain, which will reduce future funding requirements. Furthermore, the Public Investment Fund's stake in Lucid could lead to additional synergies in terms of scale and market access.According to Bloomberg data, the Public Investment Fund held approximately 49% of Lucid as of March 31, but recent information suggests its stake has risen to around 61%. The wealth fund also owns roughly 18% of Aston Martin, as disclosed in a filing from last month.Aston Martin's newly announced 3.7% stake in Lucid through the BEV-technology partnership assures investors that the luxury brand is on track to achieve its goal of becoming fully electric by 2030, while simultaneously reducing reliance on Mercedes for technology.The financial challenges faced by Aston Martin in recent years have necessitated partnerships for core technologies that other automakers consider integral to their offerings. Models such as the DBX sport utility vehicle and DB12 sports car currently rely on Mercedes engines.While Aston Martin will continue to have access to Mercedes' powertrains and electric architectures for its present and future vehicles, the company will make cash payments instead of issuing shares, as previously planned. An Aston Martin spokesperson explained that Lucid's technology is already available, whereas Mercedes' AMG electric platform will only be accessible in late 2025.This deal with Lucid, known for producing the Air sedan since September 2021, will accelerate Aston Martin's pursuit of its ambitious electrification targets. The British automaker aims to launch its first plug-in hybrid supercar, the Valhalla, early next year, followed by its debut battery-electric vehicle in 2025. By the subsequent year, all new product lines will offer an electrified powertrain option.Aston Martin has committed to making phased cash payments totaling $132 million to Lucid and will invest at least $225 million in the EV maker's powertrain components.

Likee offers Dolby cinema tickets to create a spectacular Eid Al Adha

Dubai: Likee, one of the region’s most popular short video platforms, has announced an extraordinary Eid Al Adha celebration in 2023. Likee aims to immerse users in the magic of cinema while offering them the chance to win incredible prizes such as Dolby Cinema movie tickets through Likee's dedicated 'Delightful Eid Al-Adha party' event page, offering users the chance to redeem free tickets at select Dolby Cinema® locations at Reel Cinemas.At the heart of this campaign lies Likee's unwavering commitment to engaging its users and providing them with unforgettable experiences. The 'Delightful Eid Al-Adha party' event page on Likee serves as a central hub for all the festivities, ensuring users can seamlessly participate in Eid-themed activities and revel in the joyous spirit of the occasion.Likee users will be thrilled to discover a myriad of activities specially curated for Eid with chances to win exclusive prizes such as avatar frames like the "Generous Goat", the "Loyal Bull", and Eid Al-Adha 2023 wallpaper. By visiting the event page daily, posting videos with Eid Al-Adha hashtags, sharing the activity page, and engaging with hashtag videos, users can unlock opportunities to draw and claim remarkable rewards. The allure of free Dolby Cinema movie tickets adds an extra touch of excitement and exclusivity to the grand prizes up for grabs."We are thrilled to create a mesmerizing Eid Al Adha experience for our Likee users," said a spokesperson from Likee. "Through our Eid Al-Adha 2023 event page, we aim to foster creativity, inspire connection, and bring joy to millions of users during this festive season. We can't wait to witness the incredible content our users will create and share with the Likee community to celebrate Eid this year."Dolby Cinema unlocks the emotional impact of every film allowing you to see the subtle details and ultra vivid colors of Dolby Vision®, and hear the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos®. This unmatched combination is so lifelike — you’ll forget you’re at the movies. Lucky winners can expect an unparalleled immersive experience by redeeming the Dolby Cinema movie ticket at its partnering outlet, Reel Cinemas in Dubai.

Qatar Tourism reveals exciting line up of events for Eid Al-Adha

Doha: Qatar Tourism has announced a vibrant and diverse schedule of events set to take place across the country in celebration of the joyous occasion, Eid Al-Adha (June 29 – July 5).Visitors from the region are sure to find something to complement their Eid Al-Adha celebrations in the line-up of initiatives organised by Qatar Tourism, which include a special live performance by the country’s most prestigious children’s choir, a concert by one of the region’s megastars, fun-filled children’s shows, cultural workshops and a hospitality gesture welcoming all international visitors this Eid.In keeping with the spirit of Qatar’s famously warm Arabian hospitality, all regional visitors arriving via Hamad International Airport and the Abu-Samra border during this year’s celebrations will be welcomed with a special ‘Eidya’ gift package. Among other festive items, the packages will contain a complementary voucher booklet with special discounts to some of the country’s most sought-after attractions, including Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park, Doha Quest, Angry Birds, Kidzania, Megapolis and Kidzmondo, as well as stays, spa treatments and dining offers by some of Qatar’s leading hotels including Katara Hills, Maysan Doha, Banyan Tree and Al Rayyan Hotel. Offers can be found on Qatar Tourism’s page on the curated festivities, Sheikha Hessa Al-Thani, Head of Marketing and Planning at Qatar Tourism said: “We invite our beloved regional neighbours to visit and feel the true joyful spirit of Eid in Qatar this year. Following the resounding success of our ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ campaign and the country’s re vitalised hospitality and leisure offering, we are delighted to keep this sense of positive momentum going during Eid Al-Adha celebrations. With an array of entertainment options for all ages, Qatar’s Eid Al-Adha 2023 festivities promises to be a truly unforgettable experience.”Enjoy Daily Cultural Workshops from Local Eco-FarmJune 29 – July 1, Place Vendôme Mall, 4:00pm to 9:00pmEach day throughout Eid Al-Adha, representatives from famed local sustainable farm, Heenat Salma, will hold a series of bespoke artisanal workshops for shoppers at Place Vendôme mall from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Focusing on arts, culture and food, the workshops will bring a slice of the farm’s unique ethos to the city.The Magic of Baream TV Comes Alive for ShoppersJune 29 – July 1, Place Vendôme Mall, 5:00pm and 7:00pmAlso at Place Vendôme, some of the best-loved characters from Qatari children’s TV channel Baream TV will be making a very special appearance for residents and visitors twice a day at 5:00pm and 7:00pm.Special Performances from Beloved Children’s ChoirJuly 2 - 3, Place Vendôme Mall, 5:00pm and 7:00pmA cornerstone of arts for children in Qatar, the prestigious Siwar Choir will make a very special appearance at Place Vendôme, with two live performances a day, one at 5:00pm and the other at 7:00pm.Qatar Live Program Continues with Performance from, Wael KfouryJuly 5, Mall of Qatar, 9:00pmPopular Lebanese superstar, Wael Kfoury, will perform a free live set at Mall of Qatar’s central Oasis stage on July 5 at 9:00pm. The performance marks a continuation of Qatar Tourism’s successful flagship live music program, ‘Qatar Live,’ which has brought mega stars throughout the year, including the likes of John Legend and Asala.For more inspiration on what to do and where to go during Eid Al-Adha, Qatar Tourism has launched a special Eid edition of its monthly ‘Qatar Calendar’ guide – the official tourism round-up of events taking place across the country. Eid Al-Adha Edition, a special edition of its monthly Qatar Calendar featuring a curated round-up of the most exciting offers and festivities taking place throughout the country during this exceptional time of year.Qatar Calendar HighlightsArts and culture lovers will find plenty to suit their tastes in Qatar this Eid Al-Adha, starting with an exquisite ode to haute couture at the Zwara: Focus on Forever Valentino Exhibition (M7, every day until September 10). Exhibitions will be available for art lovers across the country, including the fascinating The Curious Desert by Olafur Eliasson (National Museum of Qatar & Al Thakira Mangrove Nature Preserve, until August 15), and the dramatic collection of paintings in Eduardo Navarro’s Free Spirits of the Wild Horses exhibition (Fire Station, until July 10).Those in search of a little drama will not be disappointed, as a thrilling production of the famed The Black Magic Play (Abdul Aziz Nasser Theatre, June 28 – July 7) will be staged in the heart of the city. And the country’s most prestigious children’s choir, Siwar Choir (Place Vendôme, July 2-3), will enchant local audiences with two very special public performances. Finally, a vibrantly colourful Eid Al-Adha Festival will be hosted at the Al Shaqab Longines Indoor Area over the weekend (June 29 – July 1).For adventure seekers, there will be plenty of ways to get active during the Eid, including an exclusive Mangrove Kayaking Adventure (until August 31) in the crystal-clear waters of Purple Island and a PSG We Run Doha 5km run taking place on June 30 at the Katara Cultural Village.The Eid Al Adha edition of the Qatar Calendar also features an array of not-to-be-missed offers at Qatar’s industry-leading hotels, including ‘Stay 3 nights pay for 2’ at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel Doha (until August 31) and 30% off a three-night stay at the JW Marriott Marquis (until December 30).The magic continues in Doha post-Eid, starting with very special performances of Disney on Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder (Lusail Multipurpose Hall, July 4-9). Miguel aspires to be a musician and journeys through the Land of the Dead to uncover family history, Moana and Maui bravely restore the stolen heart of Te Fiti, Anna and Elsa save their kingdom, and the Disney Princesses inspire with stories of strength, determination, and kindness. Share every magical moment filled with breathtaking ice skating and beloved Disney songs and stories that give everyone a reason to believe.With the recent re-launch of the Hayya platform, visitors who require a visa can easily travel to Qatar by applying at, or through the application on their smartphones. For GCC nationals, Hayya provides an option to apply for an entry permit for companions. For those entering Qatar via land at the Abu Samra border, Hayya will provide a pre-registration option for faster entry for vehicles, making the stay in Qatar even smoother and more enjoyable. Hayya also provides further services that help round out a visitor’s stay, including maps, transportation options, offers and current events.

Bigo Live join hands with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon

Dubai:  Bigo Live, a leading global live streaming platform, joins forces with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) to ignite a beacon of hope this Eid Al Adha. In a remarkable collaboration dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of children battling cancer, Bigo Live proudly pledges a donation of USD 15,000 to CCCL. This heartfelt contribution will empower and support the cancer treatment journey of young patients in the Middle East.The highlight of this collaboration is Bigo Live’s prominent role as an official donor of the esteemed "Hands of Hope" initiative. The initiative enables sponsors to leave a lasting mark by supporting CCCL's patients and covering the expenses of their vital treatment. Through this meaningful gesture, Bigo Live not only introduces a glimmer of hope into the lives of children battling cancer but also receives a special certificate adorned with the handprint representing the mark Bigo Live left at CCCL and in the lives of Children fighting cancer.Moreover, to mark this momentous occasion, Bigo Live's Charity Ambassadors will be organizing a heartwarming event, offering the children at CCCL a day they will cherish forever. The event will include a special event for the children, and a donation ceremony to officialise Bigo Live's generous contribution to CCCL, further reinforcing their dedication to making a difference in the lives of those in need."This Eid Al Adha, Bigo Live is delighted to collaborate with the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon," said a spokesperson from Bigo Live. "We are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences for all that positively impact the society, making a lasting expression. Through this partnership and the support of our passionate Charity Ambassadors, we hope to bring smiles to the faces of these brave children and contribute to their journey towards recovery."To further celebrate Eid Al Adha on the platform, Bigo Live will be introducing a dedicated ‘Eid Al Adha’ event page, commencing on June 15th and running until June 28th, promising to be a captivating experience for users in this region. With an array of special features, users can customize their profiles, send festival virtual gifts, and convey Eid greetings in unique and memorable ways, fostering a deeper connection with their audience.What’s more, top Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) such as Supersisters will conduct special livestreaming sessions to celebrate Eid with their fans. Users can expect thrilling live sessions, ranging from cooking competitions to mesmerizing musical performances, creating a buzz and capturing the attention of millions.While the event thrives in the digital realm, Bigo Live aims to bridge the gap between online and offline experiences. Join in spreading joy to children with cancer in the Middle East through special offline events organized as part of this initiative. By engaging in various charitable initiatives, Bigo Live aims to strengthen its bond between its users and their communities, making a significant impact in the lives of those in need and ultimately promoting positive changes in our societies."We believe that every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the power to create a ripple of hope in the lives of children battling cancer. Together with Bigo Live, we are united in our mission to bring smiles, joy, and healing to those who need it the most. Let us hold their hands, leave our mark of compassion, and ignite a beacon of hope that will illuminate their path to recovery," said Saad Kurdi, International Fundraising and Events Supervisor from the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL).The Eid Al Adha campaign solidifies Bigo Live's reputation as a corporate leader in the live streaming industry, showcasing their dedication to creating memorable experiences for their users. By aligning their platform with compassion, kindness, and togetherness, Bigo Live establishes itself as more than just a technological platform—it becomes a community that values corporate social responsibility.

Sterve unveils next-gen AI-powered platform for personalized marketing

Sterve, a leading full stack platform for MSMEs in the region, proudly announces the launch of its revolutionary next-generation AI-powered platform for personalized marketing. The cutting-edge technology aims to transform the way businesses engage with their customers and deliver tailored marketing experiences like never before.In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, personalized marketing has become a crucial aspect of successful customer engagement. Sterve's new platform leverages advanced AI algorithms and machine learning capabilities to deliver highly targeted and individualized marketing communications. By harnessing the power of AI, MSMEs can now better understand customer preferences, behaviors etc, enabling them to send more relevant and impactful marketing communications.The innovative AI-powered platform by Sterve offers a range of powerful features designed to empower MSMEs. Key features include:Customer Segmentation: Utilizing AI algorithms, businesses can segment their customer base more effectively, ensuring that marketing communications reach the right audience at the right time.Personalized Content: The platform enables the creation of dynamic and personalized content, ensuring that each customer receives messaging tailored to their specific needs and interests.Real-time Insights: Through advanced analytics and data processing, businesses gain valuable real-time insights into customer behavior, allowing for immediate adjustments and optimization of marketing commuications.Speaking about the launch, Jaicky Kumar, Cofounder & CEO of Sterve, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are thrilled to introduce our next-gen AI-powered platform for personalized marketing. This cutting-edge solution will empower businesses to connect with their customers on a deeper level and drive better results through personalized engagement. By leveraging the power of AI, we are revolutionizing the way MSMEs send marketing communications, providing businesses with the tools they need to stay ahead in today's competitive landscape."Deepak Mishra, Cofounder & COO reemphasized company’s vision and said “The unveiling of Sterve's AI-powered platform coincides with World MSME Day, emphasizing the company's commitment to supporting and empowering small and medium enterprises. With the new platform, even businesses with limited resources can harness the capabilities of AI and enhance their marketing communications and increase their sales.”

Addressable TV now a $56bn industry

 A new report on the addressable TV market published today by Ampere Analysis in partnership with GroupM Nexus’s addressable TV solution Finecast and Microsoft Advertising, finds that the global addressable TV sector is now a $56bn industry. This is set to rise by over 50% to $87bn by 2027. The report, which was informed by over 100 interviews with advertisers, streamers and agencies – and supported by extensive bottom-up market modelling and quantitative consumer research – finds that: • An average of a sixth of advertisers’ video advertising budgets are currently being spent with addressable TV service providers. This is as high as a fifth in mature markets like the US, with all major industry categories represented among addressable TV advertisers. • Both B2B and B2C marketers are using addressable TV to support performance marketing and brand-building objectives, targeting specific audience segments or geographies. • Brands are using addressable TV to extend campaign reach beyond broadcast TV. This is key in younger groups for whom the aggregate reach of addressable TV services provides a nearly 25% incremental reach boost over total monthly broadcast TV reach in developed markets. • While both small and large brands are using addressable TV, smaller advertisers devote less of their marketing budget to addressable TV. Addressable TV service providers need to work to remove non-cost barriers to using the technology, simplifying the purchase and planning process to support uptake. • Addressable TV typically commands higher pricing, which is attractive for service providers, but there are also incentives for service providers to deploy addressable TV to support viewer satisfaction and retention. Viewers who believe their TV service offers relevant advertising rate their streaming service higher in terms of user satisfaction – with an average Net Promoter Score 16 points higher than those viewers who don’t feel they are receiving relevant commercials. “The exponential expansion of the addressable TV advertising market serves as a clear indicator of the immense prospects awaiting service providers and brands. This research illustrates the inherent potential of addressable TV as a powerful tool for targeted communication with previously hard-to-reach audience segments. The seamless integration of such capabilities with the storytelling possibilities and brand 2 Ampere Analysis 2023 © protection mechanisms inherent in broadcast TV is well demonstrated,” says Kristian Claxton, Managing Partner, Innovation and Strategy at Finecast. Countering misconceptions is key to further adoption Despite the rapid growth of the addressable TV market, interviews revealed an array of attitudes and opinions that could hold back future growth if not countered by the industry. In emerging markets, there was a lack of clarity about the capabilities of addressable TV. Some brands were unaware of the targeting capabilities addressable TV platforms offered in their region, leading them to spend with alternative media. And even in developed markets, where addressable TV technologies are more mature, some marketers were not aware of the reach of addressable TV services, believing it to still be limited compared to broadcast media. The report also found that among those advertisers not yet purchasing addressable TV there was a widespread perception that addressable TV services were expensive. This contrasts the belief of brands already purchasing via addressable who felt that addressable TV was just as cost-effective as other formats. Richard Broughton, Executive Director at Ampere Analysis, says: “The extent to which addressable TV advertising is now being used by non-traditional TV advertisers, including smaller companies and B2B brands, is illustrative of how the medium can support TV service providers in their push to reach beyond traditional broadcast TV budgets and to open entirely new revenue streams. But it’s clear that there is still work to 3 Ampere Analysis 2023 © Notes to Editors: Research was conducted by Ampere Analysis on behalf of GroupM Nexus and Microsoft Advertising. B2B interviews involved discussions with 100 representatives of agencies, brands and streamers, taking place between November 2022 and February 2023. B2C quantitative research involved interviews with 8,000 internet users across the US, UK, Germany and Australia, taking place in February 2023. Market sizing and forecasting was conducted independently by Ampere Analysis. Link to report: be done by the industry in challenging entrenched opinions and in countering common misconceptions.” New technologies and applications will drive market growth The report forecasts that as case studies filter through to the wider market, those advertisers who are still wary of the technology will begin their addressable TV journey, contributing to the sector growing to an $87bn industry by 2027. But the research also expects that, even for those media buyers who have already incorporated addressable TV into the media mix, there will be a host of new and emerging technologies and screens that will support future campaigns. Interviews revealed that connected cars have already debuted as an addressable TV channel in some markets, with some brands taking advantage of geotargeting opportunities to reach passengers with messaging. And some agencies and brands were thinking about how targeted QR code-based formats support a level of follow-through and sales attribution. The report also suggests that new technologies such as generative AI may begin to support the creative process in the next few years, helping to address the practical challenges associated with developing the multiple creatives required for dynamic or addressable creative campaigns. According to Dave Osborn, General Manager, Sales at Microsoft Advertising, “Addressable creatives already allow media buyers to adapt messaging by audience group and in response to events, keeping commercial messages fresh and relevant. However, many of the most exciting developments in the addressable TV market have yet to be fully explored by brands. As many advertisers now see addressable TV as a core part of their media mix, their focus will shift to take full advantage of the capabilities of addressable TV and innovations such as generative AI and emerging technologies.” announces Eid Sale with up to 75% off

Cairo:, the Middle East’s leading online shopping destination, announces its Eid Sale of 2023, live from the 28th of June until midnight on the 2nd of July. The sale event is packed with up to 75% off hundreds of thousands of items, exciting bank offers, and split payment solutions. Fashion offers on noon.comWith prices starting at 49 EGP, you can save up to 75% off fashion brands like American Eagle, DeFacto, and Adidas, as well as the latest eyewear and watches from brands like Fossil, Cassio, Tommy Hilfiger, and Boss. Get up to 70% off beauty and fragrance products from renowned brands like Maybelline, Braun, Calvin Klein, and CeraVe.Bank offers and zero interest installment plansCustomers can now apply for the noon-branded "CIB noon Credit Card," in collaboration with CIB and Visa, to improve their shopping experience through interest-free installments of up to 15 months and 5% off (up to 150 EGP) all purchases.Customers can use noon’s Buy Now, Pay Later options and benefit from 3 month split payments with no interest, purchase fees, or downpayment thanks to noon's partnership with Paynas, powered by valU. Shoppers using valU can benefit from 60 month installment options with zero downpayment or purchasing fees, and get 25% off unlimited Sketchers and Anta purchases. National Bank of Egypt cardholders can get up to 12 month interest-free monthly installments for their noon purchases.Electronics & home appliances deals on noon.comCustomers can save up to 35% on smartphones from brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Infinix, as well as up to 60% on electronics like TVs, laptops, and home appliances from well-known companies such as LG, Lenovo, Carrier, and Fresh, as well as coupons for up to 500 EGP off Samsung and LG TVs until 30th of June.Customers can get 10% off Neoflam, Nouval, and Trueval and up to 70% off kitchen and home necessities from brand favorites like Bosch, Grandi, Nouval, and Englander (from just 20 EGP). Bosch, Black & Decker, and Kenwood appliances come with a discount coupon worth up to 1500 EGP until 30th of June. Baby and toys deals on noon.comBaby brands like Molfix, Philips Avent, and Johnson's are available for up to 65% off (from just 20 EGP), and Bebem products are on sale for 400 EGP. Get 40 EGP off, Buy 3, Get 1 Free deals on Molfix and BabyJoy products, and up to 60% off toys from Bestway, Intex, and Nilco.Super saver grocery offersCustomers can also stock up on grocery essentials with up to 70% off from brands like Oxi, Papia, Lipton, and Crystal for as little as 18 EGP.noon Minutes’ crazy offers delivered in 15 minutesnoon Minutes is also offering massive discounts of up to 65% off. Various products are on offer from brands like Fresh, L'Oreal, Dettol, and Temry, starting from 15 EGP with speedy delivery in as little as 15 minutes.noon’s Eid Sale is live from June 28th until midnight on July 2nd, with super-speedy delivery and thousands of amazing deals across fashion, beauty, home, electronics, appliances, and toys ready to wow customers.

Gift purchases for men to increase by 25% in 2023, according to Flowwow

Dubai: Flowwow, a leading online gifting marketplace, has announced a growing trend in buying gifts for men in 2023. According to the company’s data, there will be a 25% increase in gift purchases for men compared to the previous year, when men were allotted only 3% of all gifts bought.The sales increase has been attributed to a number of factors:The expansion to new markets such as the MENA region and the UAE, specifically in February this year, where acts of gift-giving are a traditional part of the celebrationsFlowwow has introduced new more male-oriented product categories (confectionary, live plants, perfume, and coffee, to name just a few), which helped to attract more customersHigh demand for gifts on Father’s Day contributed to the overall increase in gift purchases for men‘Such a significant increase highlights that we’re moving in the right direction as it doesn’t only give us the growth of the number of men among the recipients but also provides small businesses with access to more orders and customers.’ — commented Slava Bogdan, Flowwow’s CEO & co-founder, adding: ‘We will keep supplying efficient tools for people to reach out to their loved ones, regardless of their location, whether it’s with the help of a flower shop in the UAE or a jewellery brand in Spain.’Flowwow offers a wide variety of gifts for men, including pastries, mini bonsai gardens, fruit and flower baskets, and gourmet coffee sets. The company’s website features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for customers to find the perfect gift for any occasion.With the holiday season fast approaching, Flowwow expects to see continued growth in gift purchases for men and is committed to offering its customers high-quality products and exceptional service. ??

Etisalat by e&’s GoChat celebrates 5mln downloads

Dubai: etisalat by e& announced today that its Super App GoChat crossed 5 million downloads, achieving this major milestone in less than a year since its official launch, and has now taken a step further by introducing its own GPT-powered chatbot ‘GoChat GPT’.With the launch of GoChat GPT, consumers can easily access the latest technologies and revolutionise the way everyday tasks are carried out. This is an addition to the plethora of services provided by GoChat Messenger, including but not limited to gathering information, writing text, answering complex questions, or sparking innovative ideas. GoChat GPT will be more than just an assistant; it will be a partner in productivity and exploration. Moreover, GoChat users can now easily share their exchanges with GoChat GPT with their family and friends using GoChat’s chat and chat group functionalities.To launch GoChat GPT, etisalat by e& has leveraged cutting-edge Generative AI technology running on Microsoft’s Azure Open AI Service to enable subscribers to access the service conveniently and reliably, redefining the future of communications. GoChat GPT does not require users to sign in or sign up for the service and is easily accessible from the chat screen for customers to ask their questions.The popular messaging app, which only requires a mobile phone number to register, enables UAE residents to connect globally and offers a host of unique features that make it a comprehensive application tailored to the needs of UAE users.In addition to free HD video and voice calls, the Super App offers local and international money transfers, bill payments, games, the latest news, and much more. It is available for download worldwide on Android and iOS.With many easy-to-use features, GoChat Messenger offers a variety of 'Buy 1, Get 1 Free' offers, grocery ordering, and various insurance options with exclusive discounts. Users can also keep up to date with their favourite brands through GoChat channels and earn rewards by referring friends and family through the 'Invite and Earn' offer.For users looking for an extra touch of exclusivity, GoChat Messenger's VIP membership enhances their experience with unique benefits including VIP status, exclusive stickers, an ad-free environment, the ability to customise the app's home screen icon, and more.

Analog Room chooses SOCIATE Communications for PR services

Dubai: SOCIATE Communications is pleased to announce that Analog Room has joined its client roster.Analog Room is dedicated to maintaining a steadfast commitment to delivering electronic music of the utmost excellence. With unwavering focus, Analog Room consistently strives to showcase the finest calibre of electronic music to its audience. By prioritising the highest standards of quality, Analog Room aims to provide an exceptional experience for enthusiasts and connoisseurs of this genre. Whether through meticulously curated DJ sets, expertly crafted live performances, or cutting-edge sound production, Analog Room remains steadfast in its pursuit of excellence in electronic music.SOCIATE is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Analog Room and support their ongoing efforts to promote the eclectic night of electronic dance music.SOCIATE Communications is a full-service PR and communications firm, with a reputation for delivering results for its clients.

OPG’s founder and MD bags honorary award for ‘Excellence in PR & Marketing

Dubai: Nidal Abou Zaki, Founder and Managing Director of Orient Planet Group, a leading PR and marketing communications consultancy in the Middle East, was awarded an honorary recognition for ‘Excellence in PR & Marketing Communications’ at UAE'S MASTERMIND BUSINESS LEADERS AWARDS 2023.The event, which hosted 100 senior business leaders, diplomats, bestselling authors, influencers, media, and heads of corporates, was organised by AIWA global at the Crowne Plaza – Dubai Marina on June 24, 2023. Three awards were given for industry verticals such as UAE Business Leaders Awards 2023, UAE Authors Awards 2023 and UAE Coaching Leaders Awards 2023.Abou Zaki, commented: “It is an honour to be a recipient of this award, and I look forward to contributing more towards the development of the PR and Marketing Communications ecosystem in the region. This achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication and exceptional talent of our incredible team at Orient Planet Group. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every member of our team for their relentless efforts and commitment towards our shared vision. This award serves as a testament to the collective achievements of Orient Planet Group, and I am truly humbled to be recognized amongst such remarkable industry leaders, diplomats, authors, influencers, and corporates. Together, we are shaping the future of PR and marketing in the Middle East.”The UAE'S MASTERMIND BUSINESS LEADERS AWARDS 2023 recognises and honours exceptional achievements of business leaders, authors, coaches and speakers across the UAE who have been transforming lives and inspiring actions.

Up to 75% discounts in UAE: Mega shopping fest kicks off in Sharjah

Dubai: Summer Promotions 2023 kicked off on Saturday, with discounts ranging from 25 per cent to 75 per cent on renowned international brands at shopping malls and stores across the emirate.Organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the 65-day shopping extravaganza also rewards shoppers spending Dh100 or more with a chance to win a wide range of prizes.The Sharjah Chamber has allocated vouchers worth over Dh100,000, as well as hotel packages, tourist packages, and a grand draw for a brand-new Nissan Patrol 2023.This year is the 20th anniversary of the Sharjah Summer Promotions. Under the slogan "Ya Hala Bsaifna in Sharjah" (Welcome Summer in Sharjah), Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, SCCI director-general, noted: "Celebrating its milestone 20th anniversary, the event stands as one of the emirate's most significant commercial happenings. Retailers and shopping centers are eagerly participating to capitalise on the heightened spending trends during this season filled with enticing events, discounts, competitive prices, and prizes, as well as recreational activities catering to diverse age groups and visitors.”Abdulaziz Mohammed Shattaf, assistant director-general at SCCI’s Communication and Business Sector, added Sharjah Chamber strongly collaborates with its strategic partners from the public and private sectors to bolster the retail sector, drive economic growth, and encourage businesses both within and outside the emirate.”Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( The content of this article is syndicated or provided to this website from an external third party provider. We are not responsible for, and do not control, such external websites, entities, applications or media publishers. The body of the text is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither we nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this article.

Saudi Arabian Football Federation launches groundbreaking funding program

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) today announced an unprecedented funding initiative and support system for women’s football clubs. This groundbreaking initiative is designed to further enhance the rapidly growing women’s football leagues and the wider sport in Saudi Arabia, ensuring its sustainability and development for years to come.With a clear vision to inspire and nurture future generations of female footballers, SAFF's funding program will provide vital financial assistance to the Saudi Premier League and Women's First Division clubs.To be eligible for this funding, clubs must have a SAFF membership and Nafes license* to actively participate in all women’s tournaments organized by the Federation. They must also meet the organizational and technical requirements issued by SAFF. Furthermore, clubs must demonstrate their financial adequacy and commitment to the financial efficiency system according to national standards. Under this ambitious program, SAFF will allocate 49.9 million SAR to women’s football programs across the country, supporting clubs and players to continue the impressive growth of the women’s game.Commenting on this occasion, Lamia Bahaian, the newly elected Vice President of SAFF, said: “Today’s announcement is another monumental step for SAFF in our unwavering dedication to developing and sustaining a thriving women’s football presence in the Kingdom. We aim to inspire young girls that a career in football is not only feasible for them but promising. Women and girls are central to everything we do in sport, ensuring that we provide equal access to facilities, opportunities, and careers both on and off the pitch. This is made possible thanks to the tremendous support received from SAFF's management.”She added: “A key motivation behind this program has stemmed from witnessing an incredible 30% growth in women’s football clubs and players across Saudi Arabia, not just the major cities, over the past year. The interest potential of women’s football is vast and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to support and sustain this growth.”The program sets four key goals for participating clubs:Enhance club governance and sustainability through improved structure and strategy, in addition to financial and operational monitoring.Expand competitions and diversify teams to include an U-17 team and women’s futsal senior team.Create job opportunities and develop the workforce by appointing Saudi female coaches within the technical staff, and recruiting women in the administrative, technical, and medical positions.Cultivate athletes to represent national teams by signing professional contracts with Saudi female players and nurturing their development from the grassroots level to the senior team.Mirroring much of the transformation happening across all areas in Saudi Arabia, the strong women’s football movement embodies SAFF’s long-term strategy andcommitment to grow interest and inspire participation at all levels of women’s football. The Kingdom has made unprecedented investments in grassroots initiatives, player development, coaching, refereeing, and competitions, fueling much of the progress seen today.In alignment with the Saudi Vision 2023, women's sports in the Kingdom have made remarkable progress, with over 190,000 females now actively participating in sports each week. Women's football, in particular, has witnessed substantial advancements, including the establishment of a dedicated women's football department in 2019, the creation of a national women's team, and the launch of the SAFF Women's Premier League.Today, the Premier and First Division leagues feature 30+ clubs and 600+ players representing over 20 nationalities, forming a diverse and united force on the pitch. On an amateur level, almost 50,000 schoolgirls took part in the inaugural schools’ league across 4,700 teams from all corners of Saudi Arabia.Off the pitch, over 49 female referees are officially registered and officiating league matches, with the first Saudi female referee – Anoud Al Asmari – breaking into FIFA’s prestigious licensed list. There are 1,080 additionally licensed coaches playing a significant role in nurturing young female talent across clubs, academies, schools, and training centers in different cities across the country.

Dubai Esports & Games Fest: Thrilling finale with immersive performances

Dubai: The Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival (DEF 2023) reached new heights of excitement and entertainment on its fourth day, leaving attendees in awe of the incredible experiences offered. As the festival entered its penultimate day, gamers and enthusiasts from around the world flocked to the South Hall 1 of the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo City Dubai, for an unforgettable gaming extravaganza.Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Day 4 of DEF 2023 commenced with a mesmerizing performance by the Cosplay Idol Group on the main stage, showcasing their incredible talents and bringing beloved characters to life. Sumi Cosplay took the stage, captivating the audience with their stunning cosplay artistry and immersive performances. The passion and dedication exhibited by these talented cosplayers left spectators inspired and in awe.One of the highlights of the day was the highly anticipated Cosplay competition, where participants displayed their extraordinary creativity and craftsmanship, wowing the judges and onlookers alike. From intricate costumes to breathtaking performances, the cosplayers left a lasting impression, making it an exhilarating competition to remember.In addition to the Cosplay competition, Dubai Police hosted the FIFA 23 and Valorant Tournaments where skilled virtual footballers and FPS players showcased their talents in intense matches. The crowd was on their feet, cheering for their favorite players as they displayed exceptional skills and strategic gameplay with the conclusion of the Dominos Pro regional final.The Play Beyond tournament took center stage on the Mainstage, featuring a clash of gaming titans from around the world. Influencers from both the Regional Team and the International Teams battled it out across multiple genres, showcasing mind-blowing gameplay, awe-inspiring skills, and epic moments that left spectators in awe. Such as the beloved influencer MiniMinter (Instagram: @miniminter), who added an extra layer of excitement to the event, in addition to Grant (Instagram: @granthinds), the gaming superstar Demisux (Instagram: @demisux) and gaming tournament expert Granthinds (Instagram: @granthinds). Also AboFlah (Instagram: @aboflah) was there from the Regional Team alongside Saeed Wolf (Instagram: @saeed.wolf), Bashayer (Instagram:, an influential figure in the gaming community known for her impressive gaming skills, and Basharkk (Instagram: @basharkk) where fans will also have a chance to see them on the final day of the festival.From intense matches in games like Fall Guys, Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA 23 with finals for Overcooked, Street Fighter 6, and Call of Duty today. The influencers left no stone unturned in their quest for the coveted Play Beyond Trophy.As the Play Beyond tournament unfolded on the main stage, attendees were immersed in a world of intense competition, surprises, mid-game challenges, and stoppage time. The energy in the Gaming Theatre, in association with VOX Cinemas, was electric, creating a thrilling and unforgettable experience for all.With only one day remaining, Dubai Esports and Gaming Festival promises an epic finale on 25 June, where attendees can continue to immerse themselves in the world of gaming, experience captivating tournaments including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the finals of

UAE students use AI to design immersive game ideas

Abu Dhabi: Repton Al Barsha, part of Excella, a leading operator of high-performing K-12 schools, hosted the largest iteration of its annual Creativity Festival on Wednesday, 31 May 2023. 108 students from Years 3 to Year 6 across nine participating schools in the UAE demonstrated innovative gaming ideas, showcasing how technology is changing the world.In its fourth edition, the annual Creativity Festival was a resounding success as schools across the UAE celebrated students’ creative flare and passion for innovation. Participating schools included Repton Al Barsha, Horizon English School, Hartland International School Dubai, Kings School Al Barsha, Safa British School, Dubai English Speaking College, Bloom World Academy, Repton Dubai, and Repton Abu Dhabi.Under the theme AI Game Pitch Challenge, students were tasked with creating engaging and creative pitches for unique game ideas using generative AI tools such as Picsart, Songen, Revoice, Keynote, Pages and Clips. Students honed their skills, including creativity, problem solving, teamwork and communication, while learning about the exciting and endless possibilities of generative AI tools.Gillian Hammond, Principal of Repton Al Barsha said, “As a proud Apple Distinguished School, we aim to provide excellent educational journeys that offer personalised and experiential learning outcomes for each student, and we are committed to encouraging student curiosity in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. Our innovators of the future creatively showcased their ground-breaking ideas on how technology and innovation is changing the world in which we live.”Repton Al Barsha teachers also hosted multiple workshops throughout the day where students explored various aspects of the design process, including pitching narrative, art, drama and music. In the AI workshop, students explored how to use AI tools to develop game ideas as well as experiment with new tools and technologies that are rapidly integrating into everyday life.Students participated in groups of four and recorded their innovative pitches showcasing their creations. These were then submitted digitally for judges in the industry to review and score.Winners Category List:Overall Best Winning Pitch: Repton Al BarshaBest music: Hartland International SchoolBest drama: Repton School DubaiBest art: Kings School Al BarshaJudges on the day included serial entrepreneur and founder of the world’s fastest growing Edtech application – School Hack.AI, Mr Muhammad Khalid. Dr Jihan Zahran also joined the judging panel; as an educational specialist for Middle East Data Systems UAE, she brings over 20 years of experience as an educational and innovation expert in the field of technology. Anand Ramachandran, Co-Founder of Bigfatphoenix Interactive also engaged in the festival as part of the judging panel, celebrating the students’ creative pitches and shared his expertise on game development concepts.As an Apple Distinguished School, Repton Al Barsha is committed to engaging with the community of learners across the country and offers nurturing and holistic educational pathways. The Repton Family of Schools in the UAE provides students with a supportive environment to develop confident and resilient students who are well equipped for life after Repton.

SRMG and Billboard launch Billboard Arabia to celebrate Arab artists

Riyadh: SRMG, the largest integrated media group from the MENA region, and Billboard, the world's most influential music media brand, have partnered to launch Billboard Arabia. The newly launched platform is dedicated to celebrating artists with Arab roots by spotlighting their music and promoting personal stories on a global stage.SRMG media group and Billboard have partnered to launch Billboard ArabiaBillboard ArabiaBillboard Arabia will be the premier global destination for artists with Arab roots – bringing the latest releases, reviews and interviews from the biggest names, exclusive coverage of regional and global events, original photography, and special video content together in one centralized location. Billboard Arabia will launch several charts over the next year, utilizing data from the top digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, Anghami, YouTube and others to highlight the artists and songs driving the global and regional music industry.Billboard Arabia celebrates and amplifies the work of Arab artists for a global audience by republishing content across Billboard's digital products. It will also host the Billboard Arabia Music Awards, as well as live concerts, activations, and regional and international events to celebrate all music genres and the artists that are inspiring innovation in the industry.Since its founding almost 130 years ago, Billboard has transformed the music industry. Through its platforms, Billboard has created a passionate and deeply engaged audience, celebrating popular culture and bringing people together around the world. Billboard Arabia will bring that same passion for music to cover the stories, experiences and cultures from the MENA region.According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, MENA is the fastest growing music region in the world. In 2022 alone, a handful of rising Arab artists garnered more than one billion streams, demonstrating the significant potential of the music market in the MENA region."The music scene in the MENA region is rapidly transforming. However, there is currently no dedicated platform to spotlight and tell the stories of the Arab artists leading innovation in the global music industry. Our partnership with Billboard will help fill that void in the market." said Jomana R. Al-Rashid, CEO of SRMG. "Billboard Arabia is more than just a digital platform. It will be the premier destination to celebrate the Arab music community and empower the business of music through data-driven charts, live concerts and awards. Our vision at SRMG is to ensure that creators and audiences have increased access to high-quality, original content and impactful experiences.""We are excited to join forces with SRMG to launch Billboard Arabia," said Mike Van, President of Billboard. "Billboard has a strong legacy of recognizing and amplifying artists across genres, languages, and cultures with a mission to share the power of music with new fans everywhere. SRMG's reach and access in the region coupled with our experience will ensure artists with Arab roots are heard around the world."Billboard Arabia was announced today from the SRMG Beach at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. As part of the announcement of Billboard Arabia, several artists from MENA are joining SRMG in Cannes to celebrate the diversity of sounds from the region. This includes performances from Elyanna, Felukah, Kouz1, DJ Outlaw, Jeed, Moayad Al Nefaie, Flipperachi, Meshaal, and DJ Rodge.Billboard Arabia is now live across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to check out Billboard Arabia's engaging content about Arab artists.