Axis Communications and AlJammaz Technologies announce partnership

Dubai: Axis Communications, the global leader in network cameras, access control, and network audio devices for the physical security and video surveillance industries, announced the onboarding of AlJammaz Technologies as its newest distribution partner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The strategic decision to partner with AlJammaz Technologies will enable Axis to expand its reach in the KSA market, making it possible for Axis to invest further in the future of Saudi Arabia, a country showing immense potential and dedication to innovation, as is evident in the scale and ambition of Vision 2030.This collaboration brings together the innovative surveillance technology Axis is known for and AlJammaz Technologies' excellence in Value Added distribution and channel network development, which addresses the growing demand for advanced security solutions in the KSA market. The partnership leverages the strengths of both organisations to provide KSA customers with world-class security technology that meets their evolving needs. The decision to work together results in a strategic combination of Axis technology with AlJammaz Technologies' robust distribution channel network, expertise and local market knowledge, resulting in a comprehensive offering for Axis customers across a variety of sectors.As such, one of the critical advantages of this alliance is the ability to provide end-to-end solutions that encompass every aspect of security. From high-quality cameras and advanced video analytics to network infrastructure and management software, customers can rely on the KSA-based distribution network developed by Axis to deliver integrated solutions that enhance security operations.Speaking about the strategic partnership, Sheetal Rao, Distribution Manager of Axis, stated, "We are excited to partner with AlJammaz Technologies to expand our existing network of partners in Saudi Arabia. With Al Jammaz Technologies’ extensive reach and expertise, along with its product portfolio, we are confident in our joint ability to cater to the unique security challenges faced by organisations in the region and beyond. This collaboration also further expands our legacy in Saudi Arabia, where we’ve been involved in some of the most prestigious projects in the country."In accordance with the standards established by Axis and its distribution partners, AlJammaz Technologies joins the ranks of a world-class distribution network within the KSA market, alongside existing Axis distributors Ingram Micro NIT and Wesco Anixter, that is committed to delivering superior customer service. This level of support enables the Axis team to bring its customers security solutions that ensure the safety and protection of businesses, assets, and individuals. The partnership will drive innovation, enhance the customer experience, and set new standards in the security industry."As a trusted distributor in the region, we are delighted to partner with Axis Communications," said Adel Qahwash General Manager of AlJammaz Technologies. "Together, we aim to provide innovative and reliable security technologies that meet the requirements of businesses, government entities, and critical infrastructure in the region."

E& money introduces Samsung Wallet to elevate customers’ purchasing experience

Dubai: e& money, the fintech arm and financial super-app of e& life, today announced that customers can now use their e& money cards in Samsung Wallet, a digital wallet solution that allows mobile payment services and more, to complete secure contactless payments at several online and in-store outlets around the world.The partnership seeks to create a seamless and secure digital payment ecosystem and accelerate a convenient and comfortable lifestyle for UAE residents by integrating mobile payment solutions with the e& money card.Samsung Wallet is a quick, easy, and secure way for users to complete payments. It will be equipped with additional features in the near future, including the ability to store sensitive documents such as IDs, electronic keys, and boarding passes with just one swipe.The introduction of Samsung Wallet is part of e& money’s continuous commitment to enhancing services and improving the payment experience for customers. This addition aims to provide customers with a secure, fast, and convenient mobile payment experience, further elevating their journey towards hassle-free transactions.e& money enables every resident in the UAE to obtain a card within 10 seconds by simply registering on the e& money application. Every customer is instantly issued a 16-digit Mastercard- branded e& money card, packed with a rewarding programme that currently offers a 1% cash reward on every card payment. With this launch, the card can be added to Samsung Wallet within seconds to enjoy contactless payments, both in-store and online.Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, e& life, said: “We are thrilled to introduce the Samsung Wallet to our customers, empowering them with a range of convenient and secure payment solutions through seamless integration with our platform. Our goal is to elevate the purchasing experience for our valued users by offering them cutting-edge features while ensuring their financial transactions are secure, efficient, and hassle-free. We are determined to transform how people engage with the digital world, simplifying payments and unlocking a new level of convenience and control for our valued customers.”Fadi Abu Shamat, Head of Mobile eXperience Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “Our partnership with e& money is a critical step for the brand as we continue expanding our outreach to consumers in the region so they may avail of next-generation payment solutions. We are currently working to maximise convenience by adding even more features to Samsung Wallet for our customers to benefit from seamless journeys, both in and out of the digital sphere. We look forward to this next step with e& money.”The Samsung Wallet platform is protected by strong hardware and Samsung’s Knox-based security technology to safely store sensitive information in the device, including fingerprint recognition and encryption to make sure users’ important data are protected. It also replaces sensitive data with unique identification symbols, which offers an extra layer of protection against potential digital and physical hacking attempts. To activate Samsung Wallet, customers can download the Samsung Wallet App from the Galaxy Store, log in to their Samsung account directly from the Samsung Wallet App to set their PIN and fingerprint, then tap on ‘add card’ and scan or manually enter their card number. The card can also be added to Samsung Wallet directly from the e& money application.

Du achieves milestone in next-generation 5g implementation

Dubai: du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) today announced that it has started deploying multi-carrier aggregation technologies within its commercial wireless network. The new innovation involves aggregating 3 carriers of 100Mhz each within C-Band and 2.6Ghz band. The aggregation of carriers will mean that the network will be capable of delivering 3 times data speeds than what is available currently to users in the UAE.The mainstay of the multi-carrier aggregation will be Home wireless services, a service which was introduced to UAE market by du in 2021 and instantly became a hit and garnered thousands of users in a short time.As a next phase of the wireless home broadband service which can support futuristic uses requiring high bandwidth and low latency such as artificial intelligence, 8K video streaming, metaverse and UHD cloud gaming, du has initiated this multi-carrier aggregation deployment. This innovation will enable du’s subscribers to continue enjoying the bandwidth intensive applications without worry.Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer, du said: “Since inception, du has placed immense importance on continuously enhancing the user experience and has been staying ahead of the curve when it comes to connectivity demands of UAE consumers. We anticipate that in near future average bandwidth demands of users will increase multi-folds. Multi-carrier aggregation is a proven way to enhance the peak and average throughputs of wireless networks and thus we embarked on this journey. This deployment shows our unwavering commitment towards UAE’s plan to enable greater use of technology and innovation in every part of our lives in the country.”.du was the first operator in the UAE to introduce 4G based home wireless services and was also the first to introduce 5G based home wireless services. With this deployment, du will also soon offer 3CC enabled advanced 5G home wireless services. A service which is capable to support futuristic use cases such as AI, metaverse, Extended Reality (XR) gaming and (XR) meetings which are expected to become widespread within next 12 months due to recent announcements by some popular technology ecosystem players.Earlier in February 2023, du had announced that it is embarking on exploring technology innovations in 5G-Advanced and today’s announcement shows that the exploration initiatives of du over the past six months have been successful and services based on these innovations are being commercially deployed for the benefit of users in the UAE.

Museum of the Future to host immersive future experts talks, interactive worksho

Dubai: The Museum of the Future, a hub for intellectual discussions, a playground for innovators, and a catalyst for change is set to host a diverse range of talks and interactive learning sessions during the month of August.The forthcoming Future Experts session will delve into topics such as digital health and AI-designed medication, whilst the hands-on workshops offer participants the opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge in a range of sectors including the fascinating worlds of game development, virtual reality (VR) and photography. Please see below the list of events and workshops taking place at the Museum of the Future during the month of August:Future Experts DiscussionWith: Dr. Alex Aliper of Insilico Medicine; Patrick J Moloney of P4ML; Dr. Louiza Chitour, of Plug & Play Tech Center and Dr. Shaikha Almazrouei of UAE Stem Cell GroupTopic:  Beyond Today: The Future of AI in MedicineWhen: Saturday, 12 August 2023Time: 11:00 AM – 12:40 PMVenue: The Auditorium, Museum of the FutureUnder the theme of ‘Artifical Intelligence, Drug Discovery and Development’, this thought-provoking session is set to provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of health technology. It will give attendees the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, its impact on the health industry, and the future of AI – all through the eyes of three esteemed speakers. The discussions by industry experts including Dr. Alex Aliper of Insilico Medicine; Patrick J Moloney of P4ML; Dr Louiza Chitour, of Plug & Play Tech Center and Dr. Shaikha Al Mazrouei of UAE Stem Cell Group, will see these pioneers share their insights, sparking inspiration among the attendees.Generative AI and 6th Generation Drug Discovery Robotics for Chemistry, Biology and MedicineDr. Alex Aliper, President and Co-Founder of Insilico Medicine, is a leader within the field of artificial intelligence in drugs and medicine. He has pioneered the application of AI within multi-omics data for drug discovery, drug repurposing, generative chemistry and generative biology. Recognised as one of the "Top 100 AI leaders in drug discovery and advanced healthcare" by Deep Knowledge Analytics, Dr. Aliper has also been selected as one of the top 20 under 40 biotechnology executives globally.What Types of Data Will Be Most helpful For Delivering Personalized Medicine in the Future?Patrick J Moloney, CEO and Founder of P4ML, is a globally recognised subject matter expert specialising in the areas of drug discovery and development. The founder of P4ML, a revolutionary precision medicine company, Moloney is also part of Adjunct Faculty at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI) and has also been delegated as a member of the Forbes Business Council. Patrick Moloney is heavily involved with SFI – Science Foundation Ireland, CancerX, and the Global Alliance for Precision Health to lobby for change in healthcare.Tech Trends Reshaping the Future of HealthcareDr. Louiza Chitour, Health Director for the Plug & Play Tech Center GCC, has a wealth of experience within healthcare, pharma, biotech, and digital health across the GCC and China. As the health director at Plug & Play Tech Center in the GCC, she works in partnership with several key stakeholders across the healthcare value chain to develop a sustainable digital health ecosystem in the region. Dr. Chitour is also a FoundHER ambassador, as part of Plug & Play’s community initiatives to foster female entrepreneurship. She is also the founder of female empowerment non-profit organisation ‘Wovid Diaries’, which provides mentorship for female founders across the region.UAE Vision For Future MedicineDr. Shaikha Almazrouei, Head of UAE Stem Cell Group, is an accomplished researcher and speaker in the field of biotechnology. Dr. Almazrouei is an active member of the International Stem Cells Research Association (ISSCR) and the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy. She received her PhD from King's College London, where she studied liver transplant using hepatocyte microbes. She also holds an MSC from UAEU, where she researched the genetic basis of familial hypercholesterolemia, and a Bachelor's degree in cellular and molecular biology from the same institution.Photography Workshop with Abdullah Al ShayjiDate: Saturday, 19 August 2023Time: 10:00 AM to 14:00 PMThe Museum of the Future will also host an exciting photography workshop this August, featuring renowned Kuwaiti Photographer, Abdullah Al Shayji. Professional corporate photographer, photography trainer, and social media content creator, Abdullah Al Shayji has worked with iconic brands such as Apple and Samsung. He shows aspiring photographers how they can capture powerful imagery using their phones. This interactive workshop will take place during World Photography Week and will offer a unique opportunity for photography enthusiasts to learn from a master of the craft. Al Shayji’s expertise and artistic vision has earned him recognition within the photography world. This hands-on session allows participants to dive into the various aspects of photography, composition, storytelling, and techniques to capture moments that evoke emotions.Empowering Through Lenses | Photo Tour for People Of DeterminationDate: Monday, 21 August 2023Time: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AMThe Museum of the Future will also host another exciting photography tour this month forPeople-of-Determination. The tour will be held in line with World Photography Week and will consist of two parts. Participants will experience a photo tour in selected locations at the museum, while also getting the chance to learn about basic photography techniques. Led by experts in the field, participants will discover visual marvels within the interior walls, and will proceed with another tour of Level 3 (Al Waha), which is dedicated to helping visitors reconnect with their senses.Workshop: 3D Games with UnityDate: Sunday, 27 August 2023Time: 11:00 AM to 15:00 PMThe museum will host an interactive session delving into the fascinating world of game development and virtual reality (VR). During this immersive experience, participants will embark on an exciting journey to design, animate, code, and publish their very own 3D video games using ‘Unity’, a leading game engine. Led by expert instructors, this interactive workshop will provide a comprehensive view of game development techniques, from conceptualising unique game ideas to creating stunning visuals. Aspiring creators will be able to gain knowledge on programming, games, and design as well as also gain knowledge on how to optimise their creations to be VR compatible, allowing players to fully develop their own games.

Sony and Zoom partner to bring video conferencing to BRAVIA TVs

Dubai: Sony Middle East and Africa today announced that Zoom Video Communications, Inc. will be coming to Sony’s BRAVIA TVs that are compatible with BRAVIA CAM[1]. This partnership will allow users to easily connect with friends, family, and colleagues for video calls and meetings from the comfort of their living room. Sony’s BRAVIA is the first TV brand to support the Zoom for TV app on Google Play Store.With Zoom on BRAVIA TVs, users will be able to take advantage of all the features that make Zoom one of the leading video communication platforms. This includes video communication on a TV screen, screen sharing, and collaboration tools. Users will also be able to use BRAVIA CAM’s advanced features – it recognises where you are in the room and how far you are from the TV, then adjusts sound and picture settings so they're just right. All of that is possible with a very simple setup – when using a compatible TV with a BRAVIA CAM, it only takes downloading the Zoom app from Google Play and launching it with the TV’s remote.“We are excited to partner with Zoom to bring video conferencing to our BRAVIA TVs, making Zoom services available on the Android TV platform” said Shusuke Tomonaga, Head of BRAVIA TV Product Design, Product Technology Center, Sony Corporation. “This partnership will make it possible for our customers to enjoy more realistic video communication on a large TV screen in the living room, enabling them to be more connected with the people they care about, whether they are working from home, learning remotely, or just catching up with friends and family.”“We are thrilled to work with Sony to bring Zoom to their BRAVIA TVs,” said Eric Yu, Head of Hardware Partnership at Zoom. “We are allowing our customers to enjoy the best of both worlds – the convenience of video conferencing on their TV and the power of Zoom’s collaboration tools.”

McDonald’s UAE presents the 'As Featured In Meal'

Dubai: From classic films and binge-worthy comedies to hit songs and anime series, McDonald’s has been famously featured in entertainment for decades. Now, McDonald’s UAE is giving fans a front-row seat to a new experience, headlined by some of their most beloved menu items. Introducing the As Featured In Meal, a collection of fan-favorite menu items that have made iconic appearances throughout film, television and music. Starting August 14, the meal will be available in more than 100 countries across the globe and will co-star exclusive merch and never-before-seen content.For a limited time, fans can relive the magic of their favorite characters and artists with one of four main menu items and sides – all famously featured. The meal will include a choice of Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Fillet-O-Fish Double-Up Sandwich, or 9-piece Chicken McNuggets, along with large World Famous Fries, the newly-branded Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce – inspired by Marvel Studios’ “Loki” Season 2, streaming October 6 on Disney+ – a large soft drink and a McFlurry Oreo.“The McDonald’s brand continues on its legacy to leave a lasting impact across both culture and pop culture, transcending borders, generations and mediums with the As Featured In Meal, delivering feel-good moments to fans around the world. We’re excited to bring this global campaign to fans in the UAE, touching on both resonant and nostalgic moments in pop culture they have enjoyed through the years and across different entertainment mediums” said Walid Fakih, CEO at McDonald’s UAE. “The As Featured In Meal is our biggest Famous Order yet, celebrating the most memorable McDonald’s references across the world of entertainment that our UAE fans of all genres and generations know and love and can experience for themselves with our lineup of star-studded meal offerings.”As part of the campaign, McDonald’s will be partnering with PALACE – London-based skate and street wear brand that has featured McDonald’s across its disruptive, witty designs and skate videos – to create custom merchandise. Fans who purchase the As Featured In Meal can scan the QR code on the packaging to access the exclusive PALACE McDONALD’S merchandise line, available to purchase online.Additionally, with McDonald’s having a special role in Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Loki” Season 2, fans can enjoy a sneak peek via a themed AR experience on Snapchat. When fans scan the newly branded Sweet N’ Sour Sauce lid on Snapchat, they will see a pop-up with never-before-seen animated videos inspired by the series, with new content available weekly throughout the promotion. The As Featured In Meal is available to fans on the McDonald’s App, in-restaurant and via the Drive Thru at participating restaurants across the UAE, for a limited time.

International stars line up for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup

Dubai Duty Free’s European horseracing sponsorship programme reaches Ascot this weekend for the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.An all-star-line-up of twelve top riders representing Great Britain & Ireland, Europe Rest of the World and the Ladies will showcase their talents on one of the sport’s most iconic stages as they compete to lift racing’s most prestigious team prize on Saturday, 12 August.They include Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup veteran, Frankie Dettori, who has chosen the event as part of his farewell tour before he retires from the saddle in October. The charismatic Italian will captain team Europe at his 12th Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and has been part of the winning team three times, most recently in 2014. He will be supported by French ace Olivier Peslier and Kazakh-born Bauyrzhan Murzabayev, who claimed four consecutive champion jockey titles in Germany before being appointed stable jockey to Andre Fabre earlier this year.Dettrori said, “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is always a fun event, and I was keen to be involved in my final year riding.“Ascot does an excellent job attracting some of the biggest names from around the world, while the prize money and incentives for owners, trainers and stable staff are fantastic.“I like the look of our team. Olivier and I were on the winning side in 2014 and hopefully we can repeat the feat this year.”Great Britain & Ireland will be led by Luke Morris, who won last season’s Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Alpinista. Tom Marquand, successful on Desert Hero for Their Majesties The King & Queen at Royal Ascot, and former Irish champion Declan McDonogh complete the line-up.Team Rest of the World is captained by Brazilian sensation Joao Moreira. He is joined by Kazuo Yokoyama, a multiple Group 1 winner in his native Japan, and Hong Kong-based Matthew Chadwick a previous winner of the Alistair Haggas Silver Saddle at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.Hayley Turner, the most successful rider in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and twice a winner of the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle for the rider amassing the most individual points, heads up the Ladies team. Hollie Doyle is set to make her third appearance at the event, fresh from riding three winners at Royal Ascot, while Saffie Osborne makes her debut in the competition.Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “Once again the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will deliver a line-up of international stars who will have the opportunity to shine on one of horseracing’s greatest stages.“I am delighted that Frankie has chosen the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup as one of his final showcase events in the UK and we can expect the competition to be as fierce as ever.”The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will be played out over six competitive handicaps which will be broadcast live in the UK by ITV and worldwide via a wide range of distributors including DMI who will be screening the event live throughout MENA.

Sohar International sponsors Oman Equestrian Federation as Diamond Sponsor

Muscat: With the bank’s purpose of promoting the spirit of ‘Winning’ and bringing positive socioeconomic change by promoting Oman as an international sporting destination, Sohar International sponsored the Oman Equestrian Federation as Diamond Sponsor, held in Dhofar.The Oman Equestrian Federation organized a series of sports events as part of the Khareef events for the year 2023. These events were held in cooperation with the Office of the Governor of Dhofar, Dhofar Municipality, and Dhofar Equestrian Committee. Speaking about supporting Oman’s prospects as a sports destination, Mr Mazin Mahmood Al Raisi, Chief Marketing Officer at Sohar International, said, “At Sohar International we are committed to constantly engage with the communities we serve. These events, among other similar initiatives, offer good platforms to showcase Oman’s rich cultural heritage and diversity while contributing to the economic progress by attracting thousands of visitors from Oman and abroad and helping local businesses grow in the process. We are proud to sponsor the Oman Equestrian Federation events, a testament to our strong belief in the transformative power of sports to inspire individuals and unite communities. We thank the organizers for their efforts and congratulate the winners in the racing.”The Omani Equestrian Federation has strategically chosen to hold these events in the Dhofar Governorate, capitalizing on its favorable monsoon season climate and suitability as a host for such exciting activities. This year's equestrian lineup saw a series of thrilling championships and competitions, featuring events like the ponies race, a challenging 100 km endurance race, a qualifying race, and the tent pegging championship. Mr. Kahlan Said Mustahail Al Mashani, Chairman of Dhofar Equestrian Committee stated, "On behalf of the Oman Equestrian Federation, I am honored to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Sohar International for their unwavering support as the Diamond Sponsor of our prestigious event. The bank’s commitment to promoting equestrian excellence in our nation not only enhances the quality of the event but also contributes significantly to the growth of equestrian sports in Oman. This will undoubtedly contribute to promoting Oman as an international sporting destination."Sohar International has undertaken various initiatives in the past to encourage sports and community development, which contribute to Oman's progress. By investing in such endeavors, Sohar International aims to create a positive impact on the society it serves and foster the growth of sporting excellence in Oman. Furthermore, Sohar International has actively supported initiatives that bolster Oman's position on the world map and showcase the Sultanate's diverse assets through sponsorships, public representation, and financial support.

Liverpool connections and home comforts the key to Mane’s Al Nassr move

JEDDAH: With the new era of the Roshn Saudi League set to get underway this weekend, new Al Nassr signing Sadio Mane has admitted that words of encouragement from some legendary names – and an important member of his family – tempted him to join the influx of superstars in Saudi this season.The former Liverpool striker signed for Al Nassr this summer after a season in the Bundesliga with champions Bayern Munich and will team up with former Manchester United rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the Riyadh giants aim to go one better than their second-place finish to Al Ittihad last term.Mane enjoyed a warm embrace with former Anfield team-mate Jordan Henderson at the official Roshn Saudi League launch event in Jeddah, and he admits the former Liverpool skipper is just one old team-mate he has a strong connection with ahead of the new season.Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard took Henderson under his wing as Al Ettifaq coach, while Mane’s former strike partner Roberto Firmino will play for Al Ahli and midfielder Fabinho has signed for champions Al Ittihad.Mane joked about how Firmino and Fabinho had both encouraged him to join them at their new clubs. He laughed: “I think first of all I spoke with Firmino for sure, I think he wanted me to come to the wrong club - I’m joking! He always called two or three times to convince me to come to Al Ahli.“At the same time I spoke with Fabinho because he was quite close to me and he also wanted me to come to Al Ittihad, but in this time when Al Nassr came, I chose Al Nassr. Of course Henderson is here also, and he sent me a message two days ago to wish me good luck and I’m excited to meet all these great guys and also to meet them face to face for the first time. I’m going to win against you guys!”Mane may have had words of encouragement from his former team-mates, but it was some sound advice from his mother that sealed the deal. He said: “Since I had the opportunity I spoke to my family, and they were happiest of course because it is a Muslim country. My mum especially encouraged me to go.“My mum is Muslim like me, she was the first to vote for me to go there and my whole family was excited for me to come here so it was not hard - it is important to my faith. I am pleased to be part of this project and to make it go forward, we have a bright future ahead.”The prospect of a mouthwatering attacking partnership with Ronaldo also played a big part in Mane’s decision, and he said: “I think you can see how quick everything goes for me, because he is one of the best players in history if not the best of course, and that was easy for me, he makes it easier for me. And (Brazil midfielder) Talisca and the other boys, they are all really great players and I am really excited to start the league with all these boys to make the club a real success.”Mane admits he has been “really impressed” by the Saudi players since training with the Al Nassr squad, and another former team-mate agrees about the genuine talent in the Roshn Saudi League.Mane’s international team-mate Edouard Mendy is another big name starting a new chapter in Saudi this season. Widely regarded as one of the world’s best keepers having won the Champions League Super Cup and Club World Cup with Chelsea, as well as the African Cup of Nations alongside Mane for Senegal, Mendy is set to turn out alongside Brazilian Firmino as well as Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez and Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin in a star-studded Al Ahli line up.The 31-year-old is confident this season’s influx of talent can quickly take Saudi’s players to the next level. He said: “We could see in the World Cup, the Saudi players are very good technically, they know how to use the ball, they are really comfortable with the ball.“So it was not a surprise to me to see the quality of the young players and also the experienced players - they just need to have the principles and they will improve, this is what we are doing. We want them to be at the highest level possible, and that’s why we work closely with the young players to help them to be better and better every day.”When it comes to personal targets and demands, Mendy is as hungry as ever.“My ambitions for the next year and the coming years is the same as at Chelsea, my previous club: to win and to perform in the best way possible. This club is used to winning trophies, so we know the expectations and we have to deliver on the pitch.”The 2023-24 Roshn Saudi League season kicks off in Jeddah on Friday, 11 August as Al Ahli take on Al Hazem at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium.

Homegrown seafood chain augments team to coincide with planned expansion

Dubai: Paving the way for future growth, homegrown seafood chain Golden Fork has appointed a number of senior figures to its leadership team in the region.Simon Wosket has joined as Head of Retail Finance at Golden Fork. His extensive experience at hospitality leader Bourne Leisure Ltd, is certain to stand him in good stead in this new role. Simon brings a wealth of financial expertise and industry insights that will be instrumental in shaping Golden Fork's financial strategy and strengthening the brand's financial health as it continues its planned regional expansion.Vikas Mahajan has also come on board as General Manager of Retail Restaurant Operations. A seasoned hospitality professional with more than 25 years of experience working with the likes of Ruby Tuesday and Alchemist F&B Ltd, his operational expertise and keen understanding of the industry will play a crucial role in enhancing restaurant operations and delivering exceptional experiences to Golden Fork’s valued customer base.Rajj Mohan Pudussery has also been promoted to Senior Area Manager at Golden Fork. A Golden Fork veteran having joined the team as a steward in 1999, Rajj Mohan’s extensive experience and in-depth understanding of Golden Fork's soups, products, and customer service have made him an asset to the organization. Fluent in Arabic and Russian, Rajj has been instrumental in fostering the connection with Golden Fork’s diverse customer base over the years.“These key leadership appointments underscore our commitment to growing the Golden Fork brand and will drive our strategic direction and initiatives. The leadership team has been consolidated to align with our priorities and we are very excited to see the formidable team of Simon, Mohan and Vikas take a legacy brand like Golden Fork into a new era,” said Shanavas Mohammed, partner, Golden Fork.As part of their growth strategy, the company participated in the The British Franchise Exhibition '23 earlier this summer.“This exhibition provided a platform for us to showcase our brand, connect with potential franchise partners, and explore avenues for growth in the UK market. We believe that this opportunity will open doors to exciting possibilities and enable us to take our homegrown success story global,” added Mohammed.“Golden Fork has the same strong ethos that I enjoyed in my previous role. From a long-term, defined view to the steadfast commitment of the team to quality and service, the foundation is already there, and I am delighted to be joining them on this exciting growth journey,” said Simon Wosket commenting on his new role.“Loyalty is what has driven Golden Fork’s growth for more than 4 decades and enabled this homegrown chain to rise above the noise even as competition intensified, and the UAE cemented its reputation on the global F+B map. I am looking forward to working closely with Shanavas, Simon, and the rest of the team to continue to deliver on guest expectations and continue to provide that memorable Golden Fork experience that has stood the test of time as we take the brand to greater heights,” added Vikas Mahajan.Golden Fork recently announced their intent to open 23 outlets across the UAE and KSA in the next 18 months. The AED 10 million expansion plan of the iconic family friendly brand will see branches activated in Deira City Centre’s exciting new Food Central food hall, Motor City, Al Ain Mall, Mega mall in Sharjah and Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi. Already having opened their doors are Golden Fork outlets at Dalma Mall, City Seasons hotel in Deira, Lulu Mall in Fujairah, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Mushrif Mall.

Stc Group's subsidiary center3 collaborates with Oracle

center3 by stc, a regional data center and data services provider, has announced a strategic collaboration with Oracle to provide hosting and data services for the planned Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region as well as support the expansion of the existing Oracle Cloud Jeddah Region. This will help accelerate the rollout of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services to support the increasing cloud computing demands of private and public sector organizations in Saudi Arabia.The planned Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region is part of a US $1.5 billion investment from Oracle to expand cloud infrastructure capabilities in the Kingdom. The Oracle Cloud Riyadh Region will be the sixth Oracle Cloud region operating in the Middle East, joining another planned cloud region to be located in the futuristic city of NEOM. Oracle currently operates four cloud regions in the Middle East and is currently one of the few major cloud providers to offer a cloud region in the Kingdom with the existing Oracle Cloud Jeddah Region.This collaboration represents a significant milestone for center3, aligning with the company’s commitment to the Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision and the digital transformation of the region connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. The initiative is expected to bring significant economic benefits to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.Fahad A. Alhajeri, CEO of center3, a subsidiary of the stc Group, stated, "This strategic collaboration will allow us to grow our business and support the digital economy of the region. We are confident that this long-term partnership will empower both center3 and Oracle to achieve new heights of success."Nick Redshaw, senior vice president, Middle East and Africa, Cloud Tech Oracle, said, "Oracle is driving one of the fastest expansions of cloud services offered by any major cloud vendor in Saudi Arabia to help boost cloud computing capacity in the Kingdom. We are delivering unmatched innovation in the cloud with comprehensive AI and machine learning capabilities already embedded into our infrastructure and applications for HR, finance, supply chain and sales teams. We are well positioned to deliver powerful generative AI services planned that will help organizations solve today’s most complex challenges. These unique capabilities and our collaboration with center3 will further support the growth of the country’s digital economy.”As part of stc Group’s broader focus on digital enablement, center3 is rapidly establishing itself as a leading player in the regional and global digital ecosystem. With its comprehensive portfolio of data center and data services, center3 positions itself as a one-stop-shop for digital services in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Africa.OCI’s multiple cloud regions in the Middle East are a component of its distributed cloud strategy, which offers multiple deployment options to address differing customer needs in regulatory requirements, data residency, or latency reduction. For example, OCI customers can also address demanding data residency, security and sovereignty requirements by running their applications in a self-contained OCI Dedicated Region where all hosted data remains local and private with a customer-controlled data center.

Liverpool FC and Google Pixel partner to bring fans closer to the game

Liverpool FC has announced a new long-term partnership with Google Pixel to become the club's official mobile phone partner and will use AI-powered technology to bring Reds fans even closer to the game they love.LFC and Google Pixel will work with the club's men's and women's teams to create exclusive content as well as deeper, tech-driven experiences, using Google's AI-powered camera features on the device to amplify fan experiences across Anfield and Prenton Park, as well as for fans watching at home.Part of the aim of this exclusive new content is to help close the visibility gap between men's and women's football, inspiring more girls and women to get involved in the sport, and move the game forward.The multi-year partnership will kick off with Google Pixel working with LFC to create their first dedicated women's football show on YouTube, going behind the scenes during an exciting season for the Reds in the Barclays Women's Super League.LFC will also work with its new partner to produce a 'Pitchside, Presented by Pixel' content series that will take fans into the heart of the action with exclusive content from the sidelines, all shot on Google Pixel phones.Ben Latty, commercial director at Liverpool FC, said: "We are incredibly proud to be announcing this partnership between Liverpool FC and Google Pixel. At LFC, it is important to us that we are not only partnering with the biggest and most exciting brands, but that the brands we are partnering with allow us to offer something of real value to our supporters."We are looking forward to seeing how over the course of the partnership we will work together to give fans of our men's and women's teams exclusive content and experiences that will bring them closer to the game they love."Eileen Mannion, vice-president of marketing at Google UK, added: "We are thrilled to partner with Liverpool Football Club. As their official mobile phone partner, Pixel will use its legendary AI-powered camera to enhance the matchday experience, bringing fans closer to the game they love and helping them capture all the emotions of football."We will also work with LFC to help close the visibility gap for the women's game, delivering on our commitment of making football more accessible and equitable for all fans."LFC will also support Pixel FC, a landmark collective of dedicated women's football content creators and presenters, with exclusive access, training, tools and investment.This announcement further expands Google Pixel's role within football, expanding its reach across both domestic and international competitions, helping to benefit fans across all levels of the game.

Disney+ to launch ad-supported model in EMEA

Streaming company Disney+ will unveil its ad-supported subscription model in some markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) towards the end of this year.In a recent announcement, the company reported a substantial decline of 12.5 million paid Disney+ subscribers in the third quarter of 2023. This marked a substantial decrease, representing the largest membership reduction since April 2020.Responding to this decline, Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co., laid out a fresh approach for international markets, encompassing increased pricing and the debut of a novel standard tier subscription scheme. Moreover, Iger divulged plans to introduce a standard subscription tier with advertisements in chosen EMEA markets and Canada.At present, a Disney+ subscription in the UAE commands a monthly fee of AED 29.99. However, the company stated that the proposed ad-supported plans will start at 24.1 dirhams (€5.99 or $6.58) per month in EMEA and $7.99 per month in Canada.Customers currently subscribed in relevant markets will remain within the premium tier, exempt from advertisements, despite the impending price hike in December. They will have the choice to transition to one of the new more affordable plans. Launching on November 1, the ad-supported, Standard, and Premium packages in designated European markets and Canada will give users access to the comprehensive Disney+ content library, including substantial offerings from Hulu. Iger also revealed the company's intention to clamp down on password sharing, taking a cue from the actions taken by streaming counterpart Netflix this year. He said: "We are actively evaluating strategies to tackle account sharing and exploring optimal solutions for paying subscribers who wish to share accounts with their acquaintances and relatives." Iger additionally conveyed that the company intends to implement approaches to drive revenue generation by 2024.

Hares Studios & ATL join forces for their first joint Arab production: Transit

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Hares Studios and ATL - A Zee Network Enterprise proudly present their first co-production, "Transit," a captivating Pan-Arab series that marks the debut production of Hares Studios. The series, a first of its kind, was entirely produced in the UAE, showcasing the region's immense creative potential.Inspired by the famous Zee series "Chupke Chupke," "Transit" was adapted by Syrian writer Lujain Khalaf and directed by Bassem Salka. The series stars Nadine Tahseen Beik, Haval Hamdi, Jihad Saad, Nadine Khoury, Badih Abou Chakra, Jalal Shamoot, Nazli Rawas, Nora Rahaal, and Moayad Al-Kharat, alongside actors from Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, and the UAE due to Dubai's geographical significance, which attracts people from various nationalities worldwide.The series follows the journey of a couple who embark on a journey, only to encounter unexpected events along the way. It offers a captivating blend of romance, drama, and human experiences intertwined with a mysterious murder that unfolds throughout the story. In a statement, director Basem Salka said, 'The series dives into the bustling city of Dubai, where love and relationships break free from social norms, shaped by circumstances and emotions of individuals, as they interact with their surroundings."Transit" was shot using advanced technology cameras, meticulously selected locations that reflect the pace of modern life in Dubai. This series serves as a testament to Hares Studios and ATL's commitment to delivering top-notch productions that captivate audiences worldwide. Manoj Abraham Mathew, EVP and Territory Head of Zee Entertainment, “This is our 7th production of Arabic originals, and we have a slate of 5 productions on the floor with another one with Hares Studios signed. Also, as an Executive Producer of this series, it is a matter of pride that we could do our entire filming in UAE, with majority of the locations being in Dubai. Ammar very successfully assembled a stellar cast and crew. This country and region have exceptional creative talent and at Zee we would love to continue to nurture and invest in this.”Ammar Hares, CEO of Hares Studios, expresses his enthusiasm for the project, stating "We are thrilled to present 'Transit,' our debut production at Hares Studios, and we are incredibly proud to partner with ATL for this endeavor. This marks a significant milestone for us as we venture into productions and redefine entertainment with powerful storytelling from the Arab region."Hares Studios, founded in 2022, aims to be a leading entertainment company with a global vision, sharing captivating stories from the Arab region and attracting audiences from all over the world while highlighting the richness of Middle Eastern cultures, traditions, and artistic works.

Studio52 recognized as a top video production company in Dubai by Clutch

Dubai: Studio52, a renowned video production company, is thrilled to announce its inclusion in Clutch's esteemed list of Top Video Production Companies in Dubai. This recognition underscores Studio52's unwavering commitment to excellence and its position as a frontrunner in the field of video production.Clutch, a reputable B2B ratings and reviews platform, has identified Studio52 as a prominent player in Dubai's competitive video production landscape. With a steadfast focus on creativity, innovation, and unparalleled expertise, Studio52 has consistently delivered exceptional video content that resonates across diverse industries.Studio52 offers a comprehensive range of video production services, encompassing corporate videos, animations, safety videos, timelapse videos, and more. The company's track record of crafting videos that effectively convey messages, captivate audiences, and achieve desired outcomes has solidified its reputation as a trusted partner.The success of Studio52 can be attributed to its team of skilled professionals who possess a profound understanding of visual storytelling, cutting-edge technology, and industry trends. Studio52's collaborative approach ensures that each project is an authentic representation of its clients' visions, fostering enduring partnerships founded on trust and exceptional results.As Studio52 continues to thrive in the dynamic realm of video production, this recognition by Clutch reaffirms its status as an industry leader. The company remains committed to pushing boundaries, embracing innovation, and delivering videos that make a lasting impact

Jawwy TV brings a refreshing menu with new exclusive titles this August

Riyadh: Jawwy TV is captivating audiences with its August lineup, unlocking enjoyable viewing experiences through a wave of TV series and heartwarming family features. Curating an array of top-quality content, Jawwy TV delights viewers across the MENA region with a world-class OTT experience, offering new uploads of hilarious comedies, enchanting tales, and gripping suspense that will ignite the spirit of adventure.Laughter-filled EntertainmentShalaby, a heartwarming family comedy, takes viewers on a journey of friendship and the power of dreams. The talented Karim Mahmoud Abdelaziz stars as Saber, who dreams of quitting his mundane 9-5 job and becoming a marionette show creator when his life takes an unexpected turn and brings him face to face with Karma, a nine-year-old girl who tragically lost her voice due to recent trauma. Determined to help her speak again, Saber aims to give her a once-in-a-lifetime show of a lifetime.Batn w Dahir explores the concept of twins from a fresh and funny perspective while highlighting essential social and humanitarian issues.Get lost in The Turkish Trap SeriesFollowing the tale of three brothers seeking revenge for their stolen childhood, viewers will be drawn into a world where distinguishing between good and evil, reality and illusion, becomes a daunting challenge.Time for Family Fun!With Toy Guardians, Mini Tiger and Toothless, two plushies owned by a little girl named Laura, enter into a video game and embark on a perilous adventure to save Laura from the pitfalls of the cyber world.Packed with colorful animation, Two Tails follows the adventures of two furry friends, a feisty cat and a daring fox, on a quest filled with laughter and friendship as they discover the true meaning of courage and loyalty.My Giraffe is a must-watch movie filled with heartwarming moments, combining action, family bonds, and hilarious comedy, following the adventure of a young girl named Elsa and a talking baby giraffe.The Adventure of A.R.I.: My Robot Friend is a family-friendly sci-fi movie about a boy, Noah, who befriends a discarded robot, A.R.I. They embark on an adventure to save ARI from a pursuing corporation. Amidst the excitement, a deep bond forms, highlighting themes of friendship, courage, and empathy towards artificial intelligence.More Exclusive Series from StarzplayOutlander fans will travel through time with Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser in an epic tale of love, adventure, and sacrifice that will keep audiences hooked as they delve deeper into the rich tapestry of the historical past in the show’s seventh season.The power-packed financial drama Billions returns, promising intense rivalry, high-stakes games, and complex characters. The audience will join in the battle of wits between the formidable Chuck Rhoades and the enigmatic Bobby Axelrod as they navigate the cutthroat world of high finance.A Master Aggregator of Curated Content!The Jawwy TV platform provides viewers with a next-level, seamless user experience and hours of entertainment. With its innovative Master Aggregator content strategy, Jawwy TV offers multi-device compatibility, ensuring that viewers can explore and discover their favorites anytime from any place.

Conversational AI to drive worldwide contact center market growth: Gartner

Dubai: Worldwide contact center (CC) and CC conversational AI and virtual assistant end-user spending is projected to total $18.6 billion in 2023, an increase of 16.2% from 2022, according to Gartner, Inc.“Near-term investment growth rates for CC and CC conversational AI and virtual assistants are expected to dip as business volatility creates a lengthening of decision cycles,” said Megan Marek Fernandez, Director Analyst at Gartner. “Longer-term, generative AI and growing maturity of conversational AI will accelerate contact center platform replacement as customer experience (CX) leaders look to simultaneously improve the efficiency of customer service operations and the overall customer experience.”The global conversational AI and virtual assistant market represents the fastest-growing segment in the contact center forecast, helping to spur 24% growth in 2024 (see Table 1). Conversational AI capabilities are receiving greater investment as contact center decision makers look to incorporate conversational AI as part of a long-term strategy to reduce reliance on live agents. While the number of customer service interactions that are touched by AI continues to increase, most of these interactions are augmented with CC AI instead of fully offloaded to a virtual agent. Overall, Gartner estimates around 3% of interactions will be handled via CC AI in 2023, growing to 14% of interactions in 2027.Gartner expects general economic and geopolitical uncertainty to create some budget restrictions in 2023, resulting in a slowdown of premises-based contact center replacements and upgrade projects. However, customer-facing projects may be viewed as an important part of revenue retention and generation strategies.“This means that while many IT investment areas will be weakened as budgets tighten, customer service and support initiatives that have the potential to differentiate the customer experience or streamline customer service operations could receive easier investment ‘buy-in,” said Marek Fernandez. “These factors will help contact center as a service (CCaaS) projects receive funding associated with broader corporate digital transformation budgets.”Gartner expects CCaaS investment growth to accelerate as decision makers implement cloud-based contact center capabilities to modernize their customer service operations. This includes adoption among contact centers with many thousands of agents, which have been slow to adopt CCaaS. As part of modernization projects, CCaaS solutions will be implemented to support a broader mix of communications channels and will feature more significant uptake of advanced dashboards, analytics, routing, workforce optimization (WFO), knowledge and insight, and conversational AI capabilities. Garter clients can learn more in “Forecast Analysis: Contact Center, Worldwide.”

PRCA MENA conference and digital awards to be held in KSA

Riyadh: PRCA MENA has announced that its highly anticipated Conference and Digital Awards 2023, will take place on November 8th at the M?venpick Hotel & Residences Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.This conference is a curated experience catering to the discerning tastes of PR and digital communications aficionados. The agenda boasts a curated selection of enlightening sessions meticulously designed to empower professionals in these domains.Anticipate thought-provoking discourse on pivotal subjects such as "Unveiling the PR Industry's Value in MENA," "Navigating the AI-PR Confluence: Embracing the Paradigm Shift," "Reshaping Saudi Arabia's PR Agencies: Navigating Dynamics and Triumphing over Challenges," and the riveting "Saudi Vision 2030 and PR: The Nexus of Distinction and Innovation."Seizing the essence of the rapidly metamorphosing PR and digital communication landscape, these sessions promise privileged access to bespoke insights and tactical approaches indispensable for triumphing in a fiercely competitive marketplace.As the sun sets on the conference, the spotlight shifts to the grandeur of the PRCA MENA Digital Awards Gala Dinner, set within the lavish confines of the M?venpick Hotel. These accolades are poised to not only commemorate, but also exalt the luminaries and campaigns that illuminate the digital communications sphere.In essence, these accolades resonate as a platform to extol and commemorate the trailblazing endeavors that are propelling the digital frontier forward.Monika Fourneaux, the Head of PRCA EMEA, said: "We are thrilled to invite you for a day filled with knowledge-sharing, networking, and inspiration. The conference and digital awards celebrations will bring together like-minded professionals, industry experts, and visionaries from across the MENA region and beyond. Together, we will shape the future of PR and digital communication, setting new standards of excellence.”

Iris Media launches new website dedicated to Gulf tourism

Abu Dhabi:  The leading press and media services company in UAE, Iris Media, announced the launching of a new website that is dedicated to gulf tourism news; new website is considered to be a hub for daily news regarding tourism, entertainment, education, and other vital sectors in UAE as well as other countries in the MENA region and the world.It was designed in a modern innovative way following the latest trends in website designing, programming, and management. The website seeks to cover daily news regarding the aforementioned domains in the form of press releases supported with images.Commenting on the launch of the new website, Dr. Jamal Al Majaida, Founder and Managing Director of Iris Media, stated, “We seek to attract our target audience through unique ways that stand out from the conventional methods usually followed in media communication”.“We hope for the new website, which possesses an exceptional interface, to fill the gap between media channels and the readers.”Al Majaida concluded his statement by saying, “The new website will help us offer more social contributions while playing a vital role in developing the ever-evolving media seen”.The news website,, comprises various sections including hotels, aviation, economy, education, and world news, in addition to coverage of exhibitions and conferences, as well as health, medical tourism, and writers’ perspectives and articles.Moreover, the website seeks to satisfy readers of various interests by dedicating sections to arts, technology, entertainment, restaurants, fashion, and beauty.

Freshworks unveils AI-powered customer service suite

Dubai: Freshworks Inc., (NASDAQ: FRSH) announced the launch of its AI-powered Customer Service Suite which brings together self-service bots, agent-led conversational messaging, and automated ticketing management in an all-in-one solution. Uniting Freshchat™, Freshdesk™, and the company’s generative artificial intelligence technology, Freddy AI, the Freshworks Customer Service Suite enables a modern customer support experience accessible to any company, with pricing that scales from small business to global enterprise.Ninety four percent of business leaders surveyed in Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise, 5th Edition, agree that AI is critical to success over the next five years. However, many (42%) see implementing AI technologies a barrier to doing that. Freshworks Customer Service Suiteis easy-to-implement, easy-to-use, and easy-to-scale solution for companies looking to leverage AI to retain and delight their customers."At Freshworks, we've always been committed to delivering innovative solutions that anticipate the needs of our customers. The new Freshworks Customer Service Suite is firmly rooted in generative AI technology and empowers businesses to automate customer resolutions, supercharge agent productivity and make smart decisions quickly at a price point that every company wants,” said Freshworks’ Chief Product Officer Prakash Ramamurthy.The Freshworks Customer Service Suite follows the June launch of Freddy Self Service, Copilot, and Insights, which brought generative AI enhancements to a wide range of Freshworks products, and builds upon Freshworks’ generative AI enhancements released in March, which are already reducing agent time required on certain tasks by more than 80%.Using Freshworks’ Freddy AI capabilities with the Customer Service Suite, companies of all sizes can:Automate and personalized self-service across channels. Freddy Self Service AI-powered bots work across channels to help customers find answers fast. Ticket deflection happens faster and customers receive an overall better experience with personalized resolutions.Supercharge agent productivity and collaboration. Freddy Copilot equips agents with next-best-action suggestions, streamline workflows and enable them to deliver accurate and personalized service. Integration with an advanced ticketing system promotes seamless teamwork among departments.Leverage actionable Insights to make smarter decisions. Freddy Insights continuously analyzes data to surface key issues and generate reports using conversational prompts.The all-in-one Suite offers value for businesses seeking to elevate their customer support capabilities with more engaging customer experiences and improved agent productivity.Freshdesk customer, David Yabubik, Director of Customer Support at Restaurant 365, said, “We have big aspirations for the future and if we are ever going to hit the kind of revenue, service margins, and scale of support, we're going to need to get more efficient and automate our work. AI promises to do just that, with a potential game changer in the Freshworks Customer Service Suite.”Frank Servidio, Director of Service Operations at Ryan Specialty, said, “Our existing Freshdesk knowledge base automations combined with the new Freddy AI Self-Service capabilities will play very nicely with the Freshchat bots we are implementing. We’re expecting bots and automations will decrease tickets by at least 10 percent, probably more."

Rebecca Gill takes the helm as Social Media Account Director at Q Communications

Gill will be at the helm of supervising and guiding a diverse array of digital media undertakings, spanning from ideation to execution and ultimate delivery. Moreover, she will provide oversight and direction to the digital team of the agency, nurturing its progress.In addition to these responsibilities, Gill will ensure the seamless provision of services to a wide-ranging clientele, while also furnishing strategic counsel on digital marketing maneuvers.Having become a part of the Q Communications in 2022, Gill boasts a half-dozen years of experience with PR firms in the UAE, deftly maneuvering both PR and social media domains. Her expertise has encompassed fruitful collaborations with lifestyle and hospitality brands in the GCC, including names like Rotana Hotels, Splash Fashions, Topgolf Dubai, MMI, among others, for their social media offensives.Elsa Roodt, the Managing Partner at Q Communications, said: "Advancing Rebecca to the role of Account Director is a well-deserved progression.Her unwavering determination, coupled with her innovative approach, and in-depth understanding of the digital landscape, has consistently impressed both our clients and the internal team. Rebecca’s leadership and management skills have been instrumental in driving successful outcomes for numerous projects and accounts. Without a doubt, she will continue to excel in this new position, contributing significantly to the growth and success of Q Communications and our clients.”Gill said: “I am thrilled to embark on this journey and embrace all the challenges that come with it. It’s a tremendous opportunity to lead and collaborate with such a talented and creative team. I’m extremely passionate about driving out-of-the-box digital media projects and delivering excellent services to our clients. I’m grateful to Q Communication’s leadership for their trust and support throughout my journey at the company, and I look forward to contributing to the company’s growth and success.”

Volkswagen appoints Matthias Ziegler as new Managing Director for Middle East

Dubai: Volkswagen has appointed Matthias Ziegler as the new Managing Director for the German Manufacturer’s Middle East operations. Based at the company's regional headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, Matthias will be responsible for overseeing the Volkswagen brand across eight countries in the Middle East.Matthias brings with him a wealth of experience in the automotive industry. He has been with the Volkswagen Group since 2006 and held several senior sales positions in the company. Most recently in Wolfsburg, the home of Volkswagen, where he was responsible for overseeing the Volkswagen brand across the Asia Pacific markets including Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Japan. Matthias returns to Dubai and Volkswagen Middle East after completing a three-month project in Dubai in 2006 after the opening of the Audi Volkswagen Middle East opening in 2005.“We are delighted to welcome Matthias Ziegler to the Volkswagen Middle East team,” said Benoit Tiers, CEO of Volkswagen Group Middle East. “Matthias has a proven track record of success, and we are confident that he will be able to continue our growth and fuel demand for the Volkswagen brand in the region as we prepare for a series of pivotal new product launches.”Matthias is passionate about the Volkswagen brand and is committed to building on its global foundation as a “Love Brand.” He believes that the Volkswagen brand has a unique heritage of producing era-defining cars such as the Beetle, Bulli and Golf and is excited about the future of the brand here in the Middle East. In his new role, Matthias will further build on the success of the Volkswagen brand including new launches of new models and enhancing the brands relationship with the Middle Eastern customer. “I am excited to join the Volkswagen Middle East team,” said Matthias Ziegler. “I believe that the Volkswagen brand has a strong future in the region with multiple new product launches on the horizon, and I am committed to working with the team to continue building on their hard work and success.”Matthias will be based in Dubai, UAE, and started his new role on August 1, 2023.

DXB LIVE Marks 20% Business Growth in H1 2023

DXB LIVE, the experiential agency of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), announced a 20% business growth in the first half of 2023, compared to the corresponding period in 2022. The agency successfully served 100 distinguished events, including 35 exhibitions, three conferences, 21 diverse public and entertainment events, and a range of concerts and graduation ceremonies. The number of events organised outside the UAE reached 15, and the agency designed and constructed 120 exhibition stands, covering a total area of over 250,000 square feet.Overseas ExpansionThe first half of 2023 saw DXB LIVE expanding its operations into international markets, constructing exhibition stands at various international events in cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Marrakech (Morocco), Istanbul (Turkey), Düsseldorf (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). The agency also participated in several international exhibitions to boost its brand awareness, including events in Germany, the United States, and Greece.Building Extensive ExperienceKhalid Al Hammadi, Senior Vice President of DXB LIVE, said: "We aim to increase our operations in foreign markets, including European and American countries, and in the Middle East and Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia, which is experiencing promising growth in the commercial, entertainment, sports, and festivals sector.We are also forging alliances with international companies to organise and manage events and construct exhibition stands worldwide. We are steadily moving towards becoming one of the largest integrated event service providers globally, leveraging our three-decade-long experience and innovative services for global exhibitions, conferences, entertainment events, national events, and festivals."GITEX AfricaAmong the most notable events DXB LIVE served outside the UAE was GITEX Africa's inaugural edition in Marrakech, Morocco. Additionally, it designed and constructed five exhibition stands for HPE, Oracle, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Rubrik IT Solutions, and Schneider Electric. The exhibition drew the attention of global technology leaders to Africa's vast potential.World of Coffee Attracts 10,000 VisitorsIn January, the second edition of the World of Coffee exhibition, organised by DXB LIVE, attracted over 10,000 specialised visitors, and showcased 1,500 companies and brands from 44 countries, reinforcing Dubai's status as a regional hub for the coffee industry.Three Prominent Conferences"DXB LIVE organised three important conferences, including the 'ICOPLAST Congress', which attracted about 1,500 doctors specialising in plastic medicine and surgery from 112 countries, with the participation of over 60 international associations. It entered the Guinness World Records by organising a session that included the largest number of plastic surgeons (480) and the greatest number of participating nationalities (89).Main Contractor for 20 Major EventsDXB LIVE served as the main contractor for 20 major events and was responsible for constructing all 100 event areas, spanning a total area of over 200,000 sq. ft. These included major events like Gulfood, GISEC, CABSAT, Dubai International Boat Show, Intersec, Jewellery Show, Middle East Lighting Expo, and many more.Modesh World Attracts 200,000 Visitors AnnuallyModesh World, one of the most remarkable events crafted and managed by DXB LIVE, in association with the Dubai Festivals and Retail Corporation, has been consistently drawing around 200,000 visitors each year. The festival spans an impressive area of more than 300,000 square feet and is renowned for its array of offerings. Visitors can experience over 90 exciting games and rides, alongside a diverse set of activities in dedicated areas. The event also features theatres, live performances, and a selection of restaurants, catering to a wide range of tastes.In addition to Modesh World, DXB LIVE organises several long-standing events throughout the year. These include the DWTC’s Ramadan Majlis, and Dubai Sports World.Success at Middle East Events Awards 2023DXB LIVE received the "Best Stand Design & Build" award at the Middle East Events Awards 2023 for Sharjah Digital Office stand at GITEX. This prestigious award further underscores DXB LIVE's leadership in providing integrated event services.50% Growth in the Weddings BusinessThe first half of 2023 saw a 50% increase in revenues from wedding parties held at DWTC. The creative efforts of the weddings team in organising spectacular events have reinforces DWTC’s position as a preferred destination for hosting large wedding parties.

ADNEC partners with Kenes Group for MICE in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: ADNEC Services, a subsidiary of ADNEC Group, has partnered with events management company Kenes Group to launch new specialised conferences and exhibitions in Abu Dhabi across multiple sectors, enhancing the emirate’s position as a leading destination for MICE events.The agreement was signed by Ahmad Shaker, CEO of ADNEC Services, the event agency arm of ADNEC Group and Dan Rivlin, Executive Chair and Chief Vision Officer of Kenes Group, in the presence of senior officials from both sides.ADNEC Services, in cooperation with Kenes Group, will launch a number of specialised events in Abu Dhabi across several vital fields. The two parties will build partnerships with institutions to launch specialised conferences and exhibitions across a range of sectors.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “Signing this agreement forms part of our commitment to enhancing cooperation with global institutions specialised in the business tourism sector. The agreement will launch new specialised international conferences and exhibitions to be held in our venues in the UAE. The partnership will help strengthen ADNEC’s direct and indirect economic contributions to the national business tourism sector. We will also improve the transfer and localisation of knowledge across a number of key sectors to solidify the position of Abu Dhabi as the business tourism capital in the region.”Dan Rivlin, Executive Chair and Chief Vision Officer (EC & CVO) at Kenes Group, said: “At Kenes we are always looking into building strong and meaningful partnerships that enable our mission of empowering knowledge in different fields through Kenes Original Events. Our collaboration with ADNEC Group is a step forward in the consolidation of an international gathering in Abu Dhabi that will bring together professionals working with guests across industries and showcase the latest technology to enhance the guest experience. Here, we as Kenes Group are also bringing expertise from almost 60 years in the events sector and our vision to integrate leading-edge technology into several aspects of our society.“Kenes considers ADNEC Services to be the perfect partner in terms of the value they bring and the support and expertise they can deliver. We are certain that this strategic partnership will be pivotal in helping us achieve our vision of creating the world’s largest guest tech event, which we believe will transform the guest experience across multiple industries.”ADNEC Group plays a crucial role in driving Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification, positively supporting the evolving interests of businesses in the emirate and the UAE, while exploring new and innovative ways to showcase Abu Dhabi as a fast-growing and dynamic business and tourist destination.

STARZPLAY partners with TPAY for mobile payments

Dubai: STARZPLAY, one of the region's top three subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, has announced a strategic partnership with TPAY, the leading payments provider in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META). With this partnership, customers will be able to make their subscription payments using their mobile phone numbers, to access STARZPLAY’s premium sports and entertainment content.With an initial focus on expanding its presence in the MENA region, TPAY will enable STARZPLAY to accept subscription payments from 9 million viewers via Direct Carrier Billing (DCB). The partnership will commence with Orange Tunisia, followed by Sudatel Sudan and Chinguitel Mauritania, with plans to expand across more countries in the region.Isik Uman, TPAY Group CEO, commented: "Partnering with STARZPLAY strengthens our position as the region's preferred payment processing partner of choice for merchants, especially those in the streaming vertical and beyond. We are proud to have built a platform that can eliminate all the complexity of cross-border settlement. We also provide faster payment cycles, compliance, and risk management, allowing our partners to remain focused on growing their business in the region."Raghida Abou-Fadel, Senior VP of Sales & Business Development at STARZPLAY, said: "We are excited to announce our partnership with TPAY which will enable us to instantly deliver our premium content to all entertainment and sports fans across the MENA region. By teaming up with TPAY, we can ensure a seamless and secure payment experience for our customers while continuing to expand our footprint in the region."The Middle East Media and Entertainment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% during the forecast period, 2023-2028. The market size is predicted to grow from USD 39,05 billion in 2023 to USD 61,2 billion by 2028. The industry has been one of the first business sectors to steer digital disruption, and its transformation is far from over. STARZPLAY will continue to strengthen the industry with a focus on expanding its presence in the region by diversifying its offerings to include premium sports coverage (football, basketball, boxing, and more).

Dubai International Chamber attracts six multinational companies

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has announced details of several notable achievements during the first six months of 2023 in attracting foreign direct investment and supporting chamber members in their efforts to expand into global markets.The chamber succeeded in attracting a total of 56 businesses to the emirate during H1 2023, including six multinational corporations and 50 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). It also supported the expansion of 15 local and national companies into global markets, either by increasing their exports or helping them to establish a presence abroad.During the first half of the year, Dubai International Chamber inaugurated six new international representative offices in Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, South Africa, and Singapore. The openings brought the total number of international offices at the end of H1 2023 to 21, located across Africa, Latin America, Eurasia, India, China, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.The new offices come as part of the drive to achieve the goals of the Dubai Global initiative, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. Led by Dubai International Chamber, the initiative seeks to establish a powerful network of 50 representative offices for Dubai across five continents by 2030.Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai International Chamber, commented: “We remain committed to achieving our strategic priorities of attracting foreign direct investment to Dubai and supporting our members' trade and expansion into international markets, in line with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). Dubai International Chamber is working to consolidate the emirate’s position as a leading global hub for business and investments in accordance with the vision of the wise leadership.”"Dubai is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and offers a diverse business environment that is rich in opportunities across various sectors. We will continue to work to attract international businesses, investors, and global talent to the emirate, as well as supporting the expansion of Dubai businesses around the world,” he added.Dubai International Chamber intensified its efforts to support Dubai-based companies in their plans for global expansion with the launch of the ‘New Horizons’ initiative. Aimed at identifying and capitalising on partnership opportunities, the initiative arranges specialised trade missions that enable Dubai-based companies to visit targeted global markets. Participants in these roadshows can explore investment opportunities and prospects for joint economic partnerships through a series of pre-arranged events and business meetings.The chamber successfully arranged more than 550 bilateral business meetings during H1 2023 as part of the New Horizons initiative, connecting companies and investors from Dubai with their counterparts in Central Asia, London, and South Africa.Dubai International Chamber is focused on boosting Dubai’s status as a major global trading hub. The chamber supports Dubai’s vision of expanding into new global markets, forging economic partnerships, and supporting local companies in achieving global success, while also attracting international talent and investors from around the world. Dubai International Chamber is targeting 30 international markets of strategic importance to Dubai through its growing network of international representative offices.

Majid Al Futtaim brings LiveRamp’s data collaboration platform to MENA

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, today announced a long-term strategic partnership with LiveRamp, a leading data collaboration platform headquartered in San Francisco.The partnership is set to accelerate the Company’s digital offerings, driving value for customers by providing more personalised recommendations based on their shopping preferences and needs. Taking powerful insights gathered through privacy centric data collaboration, the platform seamlessly connects Majid Al Futtaim to its customers, to build a deeper understanding of individual customer journeys. This in turn enables the company to deliver tailored real-time promotions to customers resulting in a more engaging digital experience for consumers.Majid Al Futtaim will leverage LiveRamp’s cutting-edge data collaboration platform across its business and brand portfolio, extending the platform’s benefits to ecosystem partners to enable privacy-centric data collaboration and personalised digital activation.Furthermore, as the exclusive strategic partner of LiveRamp’s data collaboration platform in the Middle East and North Africa, Majid Al Futtaim will be able to offer the innovative data collaboration solution to partners outside its ecosystem, enabling the secure use of first-party data to target, measure, and optimise campaigns, in a privacy-preserving environment.Joe Abi Akl, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said: “We are thrilled to introduce LiveRamp, a global leader in data collaboration, to the region. We are confident that this partnership will boost our digital efficiency through precision targeting and A.I. driven campaign optimisation, enabling an improved hyper-personalised experience to our customers.”“We are also pleased to be LiveRamp’s exclusive partner leading the development of the data collaboration ecosystem in the MENA region, and welcome businesses across sectors to explore LiveRamp’s unique capabilities, which ensure compliance with local data privacy laws while enhancing brand equity and value-unlock through retail media.”Alexia Nakad, VP of Global Expansion at LiveRamp, said: “Majid Al Futtaim has long been a pioneer across MENA, setting new benchmarks for innovation and excellence in people-based experiences. We are delighted to be supporting Majid Al Futtaim’s pursuit to deliver advanced and impactful data-driven capabilities for their brands, ecosystem partners, and other businesses across the region.”“The future of consumer interaction and personalised experiences is fuelled by the effective use of data, and with this new partnership, our goal is to ensure that data owners possess the necessary privacy-focused technology, identity and connectivity infrastructure to deliver meaningful business outcomes. Furthermore, it is important to recognise that in a privacy-first era, it is essential that more businesses partner together and collaborate to continue to protect and deliver value for customers. LiveRamp helps to enable the privacy-forward infrastructure that can fuel such collaboration at scale, while also making an important addition to our premier global ecosystem. We are honoured to be partnering with such an innovative and visionary business such as Majid Al Futtaim, and together, we are optimistic that we can unlock value for businesses regionally.”

PayTabs partners with MEPS to enter Palestine’s emerging web commerce market

Palestine: PayTabs Group, MENA’s award-winning payment solutions powerhouse today announced that it had entered into an agreement with Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), Palestine to power digital payments in Palestine.The key objective of the alliance is to enable and empower small and medium merchants, ecommerce entrepreneurs, webpreneurs and creators in Palestine with simple and trusted payment solutions to be able to sell over the internet or social media.PayTabs along with MEPS Palestine, aims to achieve these objectives by facilitating seamless online payments, recurring payments, electronic invoicing, and accepting business payments in US dollars, Jordanian Dinars, and the local currency. The full stack technology deck and capabilities of PayTabs aims at allowing more flexibility in payment acceptance, especially via Visa and MasterCard payment options.Via PayTabs digital payment solutions Palestinian e-tailers and online merchants will also be able to use PayLinks to sell over social media channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Datareportal states there were 2.95 million social media users in Palestine in January 2023 which is 56% of the total population. Further over 80% of the population has mobile connectivity which presents a huge opportunity for social commerce.According to World Economic Forum, numerous Palestinian companies are now using social media platforms to offer delivery services. Importantly, their product delivery range is wide – from groceries to electronic devices and gym equipment. Many Palestinians are now, for the first time, experiencing the convenience of ordering a product online and getting it delivered to their doorstep. This is an exciting development.It is no secret that the pandemic necessitated the acceleration towards adopting digital payments in most cash driven markets around the world, including Palestine. Hence, because of the competitive product pricing and affordable website integration solutions offered by PayTabs, retailers in Palestine stand to benefit by scaling up their businesses, making them financially viable in the online space.Speaking at the media briefing Sami Abu Yousef Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of MEPS Palestine said “We are pleased to collaborate with PayTabs because of its importance in facilitating and accelerating e-commerce business for owners of small projects, e-commerce sites, and virtual stores through social media sites, as this service contributes to the promotion and expansion of sales operations, as well as the variety of electronic payment mechanisms, including the acceptance of all types of international payments.The development and introduction of the e-commerce market in Palestine is one of the engines of the economy, with a direct impact on supporting entrepreneurs, digital innovations, and openness to the global trade market, and contributes to increasing Palestinian exports and improving the trade balance on the one hand, and an opportunity to display Palestinian products and services on the other.”Eyad Musharbash, PayTabs Regional General Manager for Levant & Southern Gulf added: “PayTabs is honoured to enter the Palestine market. Web commerce in the market is at the cornerstone of development and we are privileged to be part of this journey with SME businesses, inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs. As MEPS global payment solutions partner, we are determined to continue innovating to fill the regional fintech gap by leveraging the massive potential of the Palestinian market, and the Levant region. It gives us a deep sense of purpose to be able to contribute to the growth of the developing economy of Palestine.”

talabat partners with ADCB to offer credit card

Abu Dhabi: Online food ordering app talabat has partnered with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) to provide credit card. The talabat ADCB credit card presents a delectable array of benefits, including talabat credit, free delivery privileges, and a tantalizing selection of foodie card designs.The talabat ADCB Credit Card provides a host of advantages:1. 35% talabat Credit Back on First 10 Orders Monthly: Elevate your dining experience with a remarkable 35% talabat credit back on the initial 10 orders each month. This savory reward ensures you savor both your meal and savings, accumulating up to AED 350 in talabat credit per month, conveniently deposited into your 'talabat pay wallet.'2. Unlimited Free Delivery from talabat-pro Restaurants and Stores: Indulgence knows no bounds with unlimited free delivery from talabat-pro restaurants and stores. For orders surpassing AED 50 for food and AED 100 for non-food establishments, experience the luxury of complimentary delivery, sans subscription fees.3. A Welcome Bonus of AED 500 talabat Credit: Embark on your culinary journey with an exquisite welcome bonus of AED 500 talabat credit. Savor this appetizing reward by spending a minimum of AED 2,500 with the credit card within 45 days of issuance.4. Monthly talabat Credit on Global Transactions: The card bridges borders, granting you up to 1.25% of transactional value as talabat credit. Whether you're exploring international flavors or savoring local delights, indulge in the convenience of talabat credit seamlessly deposited into your talabat pay wallet.The talabat ADCB Credit Card harmonizes taste with design, offering seven distinct, food-themed card designs. From the traditional allure of hummus to the vibrant zest of chili peppers, each design embodies a unique foodie archetype. Discover your culinary spirit: 'The Traditionalist,' 'The Health Fanatic,' 'The Sweet Tooth,' 'The Snacker,' 'The Comfort Eater,' 'The Daredevil,' and 'The Everything Foodie.'Applying for the talabat ADCB Credit Card is a seamless journey. Via the talabat app, the ADCB website (, SMS 'talabat' to 2626, or a visit to an ADCB bank branch, immerse yourself in a world of culinary convenience and financial innovation.To partake in this gastronomic journey, customers should be UAE residents, adults, and earning a minimum of AED 5,000 per month.

39% in UAE using AI without employer or teacher awareness, says Oliver Wyman

Well over a third of the UAE’s workers and students are already benefitting from the enormous potential delivered from generative AI technologies, yet their employers and teachers are not even aware of this growing usage within their organisations, according to global management consultancy, Oliver Wyman.Generative AI is the type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content for its users, including text, audio, and visual. Examples of generative AI applications that are popular in the GCC include: ChatGPT, GPT-4, Bard, and Synthesia.At 39%, the UAE’s covert use of generative AI mirrors the global average, while Mexico is the highest at 46%, and Italy the lowest at 34%. By industry, 45% of those in manufacturing in the UAE have used AI without employer awareness, 38% of those in tech, and 33% in financial services.The UAE research into AI behaviours was conducted in July 2023 by the Oliver Wyman Forum, the management consultancy’s think tank dedicated to building leadership communities to act on shared global challenges.“The workforce of the future will be hugely, and in many ways positively, impacted by generative AI technology. That’s no longer up for debate,” says Jad Haddad, Head of Digital at management consultancy Oliver Wyman in India, the Middle East, and Africa. “However, the rate of adoption, and therefore transformation, will vary widely by industry and company, and that will depend greatly on policies, actions, and general openness. Enabling people who can use AI with purpose will be key to growth in the future.It is not surprising that 39% of employees and students in the UAE have used AI covertly, adds Haddad, because it has the potential, when approached correctly, to streamline and speed up processes, including those that are tedious. The risk factors need to be taken seriously, of course, but the more the technology is ignored by organisations, the more covert use will be seen which presents a severe cybersecurity threat.“All GCC organisations need to be thinking seriously and boldly about early generative AI adoption policies now – it’s not something that we can just ignore. The AI technologies are well and truly out there,” concludes Haddad.

Revolutionizing creative industry: Pew.'s innovative branding approach

Dubai:  pew. design bureau, a leading branding studio born in Cairo, spotlights the success it has achieved having recently expanded its creative arena to the USA after spearheading some of the largest projects in the MENA region, continuing to revolutionize the creative industry with its innovative and unorthodox approach.Founded in January 2017, pew. rapidly emerged as a disruptive force driven by unmatched creative brilliance offering rebranding strategy to spatial design experience. The dynamic duo behind the design bureau, Nourhan Wahdan and Al Hassan Elwan, joined forces to challenge traditional design norms, bringing together cemented industry experience backed by their unorthodox ways, to create a design studio unlike any other. The founder’s unique, unconventional design approach echoed back, seeing the bureau in its first year establish profound, long-term partnerships with some of the globe’s biggest household brands including Youtube, Google, and Lipton.Additionally, pew. has been the mastermind behind strategic partnerships for distinguished brands such as Unilever, Lipton, Tabby, Swvl, RiseUp, Dukkantek, UN Women, Sync School, Idealz, and SOKNA, solidifying their position as the go-to design and branding studio in the MENA region. With a prominent portfolio, the pew. design bureau gained interest from US house-hold brands, sparking its expansion to Los Angeles, California in 2022. Establishing the US office was a strategic move to adapt to new opportunities in the US market whilst still offering and retaining Middle Eastern roots.Among its impressive accomplishments, one standout success story is its collaboration with Tabby, a prominent buy-now-pay-later app in the MENA region. Since its inception, pew. has served over 175 clients, and Tabby sought pew.'s assistance in late 2021 to enhance its brand strategy and visual identity, aiming to expand beyond Dubai's market and secure larger investments. pew.'s transformative approach to Tabby's branding was a game-changer, propelling the app to unparalleled levels of success. Working closely with Tabby's marketingteam, pew. crafted a fresh and larger-than-life branding strategy, positioning Tabby as its own currency—a symbol of independence amidst a saturated market. The reimagined brand resonated powerfully with the public, catapulting Tabby's value from a local startup to an astounding $660 million company in less than two years. Today, Tabby reigns as the leading BNPL app in the region, a testament to the innovative and strategic vision brought to life by pew. design expertise solidifying its position as a trailblazer in the field of brand design.The essence of pew’s success lies in the seamless integration of thorough research and daring experimentation. With each project, the studio crafts compelling narratives that resonate deeply with the brand's identity, establishing a strong and meaningful connection with the audience. This skillful balance of creativity and strategic thinking leads to impactful designs that leave a lasting impression on both the brand and its target audience.pew.’s creative process is highly tailored, ensuring that each client receives a personalized and holistic experience. The studio begins with comprehensive Discovery Sessions, collaborating closely with key stakeholders to identify objectives, challenges, and the essence of the brand. Through qualitative and quantitative research, the team crafts a Concept Presentation that aligns the brand's vision with empirical insights, setting the stage for impactful design solutions. pew. utilizes a multifaceted approach to gain a comprehensive understanding of audience behaviors and preferences while simultaneously utilizing research to achieve a sweeping view of the industry’s most relevant and stellar insights."As a creative, I’ve always held originality in very high regard but with such a fast-paced market I’ve come to realize that it’s more about agility and being ready to adapt and accommodate change. When it comes to our work now, especially with branding, we try to worry less about being original and more about being influential." said Nourhan Wahdan, Co-Founder of pew. "One thing we noticed the industry gets hung up on is aesthetics. Whether it’s conversations about taste or form they ultimately don’t matter if clear business goals and audience insights are overlooked or not properly taken into account. I really think we, as designers, should stop prioritizing aesthetics over strategy.” said Al Hassan, Co-Founder of pew.Looking towards the future, pew. welcomes tech and entertainment companies in the GCC and USA with plans to expand operations further into Europe by the end of 2023, as it continues to solidify its position in the global design market by boldly pushing boundaries of design definitions and principles.

FeatureMind launches in the Middle East

DUBAI: FeatureMind, a leading provider of digital solutions within the retail environment, today announced its launch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With this launch, FeatureMind will bring its expertise in delivering comprehensive end-to-end omnichannel support to businesses across the region, empowering them to elevate customer experiences and drive growth.According to Alpen Capital, the GCC retail industry sales are forecasted to grow at a 5.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2026 to reach US$ 370.0 billion. FeatureMind’s team of experts is perfectly positioned to help clients adopt technology-driven solutions, positions retailers to tap into this potential, offering seamless shopping experiences, expanding market reach, and fostering sustainable business growth. By providing innovative solutions that seamlessly integrate multiple communication channels, FeatureMind empowers businesses to create cohesive and personalised interactions, enhancing brand reputation and fostering long-term customer loyalty.The team, led by Edwin Stonestreet as the Managing Director, brings together experts from Salesforce, Emakina and EPAM Solutions and have over fifteen years of experience in delivering end-to-end digital transformation projects within the retail and travel industries across the Middle East region. FeatureMind have delivered transformative digital experiences for Mamas&Papas, Bloomingdales, Mouwad, Graff and several of the Gulf Marketing Group (GMG) brands across the region.“The retail industry in the Middle East is undergoing a significant transformation due to technological advancements”, said Edwin Stonestreet, Managing Director at FeatureMind. He added, “To achieve regional financial growth, retailers must adopt innovative strategies and overcome cultural differences and infrastructure challenges. FeatureMind has been fortunate to receive support and cooperation from industry leaders and clients, who have played a vital role in shaping the company's journey thus far. We are excited to continue supporting these partnerships and exploring new projects as we embark on this thrilling new chapter.”FeatureMind provides its clients with a complete end-to-end omnichannel support system, a more tailored and cost-effective approach. By integrating various communication channels, such as websites, mobile applications, social media, email, and chat, into a unified ecosystem, the platform enables businesses to offer seamless and consistent experiences across all touchpoints. Leveraging advanced analytics and AI technologies, FeatureMind empowers companies to gain deep insights into customer behaviour, optimise customer journeys, and deliver highly personalised interactions.This expansion follows news of FeatureMind’s latest partnership announcement with Timsoft Group, with further growth expected to continue throughout the year as operations expand into Africa with a planned centre of excellence scheduled to open in Nigeria in Q4 2023..

TimeAI summit unites tech giants and visionaries to shape AI futureTimeAI summit

Dubai: The future of artificial intelligence is here, and it's time to embrace the next era of innovation. The highly anticipated TimeAI Summit is set to revolutionize the AI landscape by bringing together global leaders, pioneering tech companies, and visionary entrepreneurs. This groundbreaking event will take place on October 4-5, 2023, at the prestigious Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Center, offering a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and cutting-edge advancements in AI.Why AI Matters:Artificial Intelligence has emerged as the driving force behind the transformative technologies of the 21st century. It's potential to analyze vast datasets, recognize patterns, and make intelligent decisions has revolutionised industries and improved lives globally. From healthcare and finance to transportation and education, AI's impact is undeniable. Embracing AI is no longer an option; it is a necessity for organizations to thrive in the fast-paced, data-driven world.Dubai's Visionary Approach to AI:Dubai, a city synonymous with innovation and futuristic endeavours, has embraced AI wholeheartedly. As a testament to its commitment, Dubai has become an AI hub and a testing ground for cutting-edge technologies. The United Arab Emirates' forward-thinking approach to AI adoption has positioned the nation as a global leader in the AI revolution. Hosting the TimeAI Summit in Dubai underscores the city's dedication to fostering collaboration and driving progress in the AI industry.Inspiring Speakers and Captivating Sessions:The TimeAI Summit is thrilled to welcome a lineup of influential speakers from around the world. These AI experts and thought leaders will share their insights, expertise, and visions for the future of AI across various sectors. Attendees can look forward to engaging keynotes, thought-provoking panel discussions, and interactive workshops that will shed light on the latest AI trends, innovations, and real-world applications.Notable Speakers Include:Dr. Ebrahim Al Alkeem - Digital Transformation, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence Expert, Director at Government of Abu DhabiVladimir Nikolenko - CBDC & Digital Assets Associate Director at AccentureFred Sun - Head of Strategy at Tencent Cloud InternationalLennix Lai - Global Chief Commercial Officer at OKXMartin Hanzl - Head of New Technologies at EY LawSam Blatteis - CEO of The MENA CatalystsAkshay Chopra VP - Head of Innovation & Design at Visa CEMEAMatthew Sigel - Head of Digital Assets Research at VanEckUnmissable Networking Opportunities:The TimeAI Summit provides a platform for attendees to connect with like-minded individuals, potential partners, investors, and clients. The extensive networking sessions will foster collaborations, spark new ideas, and propel AI initiatives to new heights.Join the Global AI Movement:As AI continues to revolutionize industries and societies, the TimeAI Summit stands as an unparalleled opportunity to stay at the forefront of this dynamic field. The event's diverse international representation and extensive media coverage make it a pivotal moment for AI enthusiasts, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs alike. Secure your spot at the TimeAI Summit now and be part of shaping the future of AI.

Emirates unveils its stylish Bulgari amenity kits

Dubai: Emirates is unveiling its new collection of stylish Bulgari amenity kits for the Autumn/Winter season in First and Business Class. The range features new colour palettes and new fragrances, along with a keepsake mirror, and a myriad of thoughtful amenities for passenger comfort – onboard select routes and long-haul flights now.In keeping with Emirates commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience onboard, the First and Business Class kit bags feature new trending pantones and designs, along with Bulgari fragrances encapsulated in bottles designed exclusively for Emirates. The new range presents eight different collectible bags across First and Business Class, in a classic tan and black fabric, contemporary silver with lilac, or understated black with lilac highlights.New Business Class Amenity KitsFeaturing one of 2023’s most stylish pantones – silver, the Business Class range offers two bag shapes, a pouch and classic toiletry bag silhouette, both made from vegan leather in a standout metallic silver shade with lilac accents. Each kit features several Bulgari products, including the iconic fragrance BVLGARI OMNIA Amethyste Eau de Toilette. The scent opens with the bright and citrusy facets of pink grapefruit and green sap accords, while the heart reveals rich Damascena Rose Absolute, accompanied by a warm, woody trail where the sweetness of a heliotrope accord melts into the vibrations of solar wood notes. Passengers will also receive a complementary Omnia Amethyste face emulsion and body emulsion to keep their skin hydrated, alongside a rich Bulgari lip balm, and some comfort essentials including a dental kit, double mirror made from a sustainable wheat straw material, deodorant, tissues and a foldaway hairbrush.Two contemporary classic black fabric bags in varying shapes with tan vegan leather accents will appeal to those who prefer a masculine style. The fragrance included in these kits is BVLGARI POUR HOMME Eau de Toilette, a woody and floral musky scent in which notes of Darjeeling tea, water lily, and guaiac wood blend flawlessly to create a soothing effect. Inspired by the same iconic scent, a complementary Bulgari after shave balm and body emulsion are included, alongside a Gillette razor, shaving foam, a dental kit, deodorant, tissues and a foldaway hairbrush made from sustainable wheat straw.New First Class Amenity KitsIn First Class, the luxurious range features 4 individual collectible bags, two in black vegan leather with lilac accents, and two in a high-quality black fabric, some with tan vegan leather accents - both containing an array of personalised luxury products.In the black and lilac kits, encased within a soft Bulgari pouch is the new engraved gold Bulgari mirror – a keepsake piece exclusively crafted for Emirates, alongside a 30ml exclusive bottle of BVLGARI LE GEMME Desiria Eau de Parfum. This rich and sophisticated floral rose scent features violet jade, magnolia and radiant rose petals. The fragrance is complemented by a matching face and body emulsion. The kit also includes a dental kit, refreshing cleansing towel, deodorant, tissues and foldaway hairbrush so that First Class passengers arrive to their destination fully refreshed.In the black and tan kits, passengers will enjoy a 30ml exclusive bottle of BVLGARI LE GEMME Gyan Eau de Parfum -a sophisticated, woody floral fragrance expressed through Patchouli and Jasmine Sambac. The scent profile reveals that ‘patchouli embodies the velvety sapphires of Kashmir, while jasmine sambac is reminiscent of sumptuous Himalayan skies’. The kit also features a hydrating Bulgari Le Gemme Gyan after shave balm and matching body emulsion, cleansing towel, Gillette razor, shaving foam, dental kit, deodorant, tissues and foldaway hairbrush.Onboard A380 aircraft, First Class passengers can also use the Onboard Shower Spa which offers a separate range of luxury products – organic and sustainable Voya, from Ireland. First Class passengers can also find a skincare set from luxury Swedish brand Byredo, in their private suites.Economy and Premium Economy passengers can also look forward to new collectible amenity kits, to be launched towards the end of the year.

Abdallah Bibi to Lead dentsu's Content, Sports, and Gaming Design

Dubai: Dentsu has announced that Abdallah Bibi has been appointed as Commercial Director – Sports, Gaming and Content Partnerships, leading the development and design of dentsu’s offering in this space in the MENA region. Reporting to Tarek Daouk, CEO of dentsu MENA, Abdallah's new role will leverage opportunities in content production, rights distribution, naming and broadcast rights, gaming, anime and sports franchise infrastructure. Concurrently, Jad Noujeim, former Group Trading Director at Carat, assumes the position of Head of Trading for Amplifi, dentsu’s media investment arm. In this newly created role, Abdallah, with over 15 years of regional media experience, will oversee dentsu’s regional content and production efforts, integrating capabilities across the organization to build cohesive brand experiences. Jad, another stalwart of the dentsu team with 16 years’ expertise, having spent the last decade with Carat and most recently leading the media agency’s trading division, will take on Abdallah’s previous responsibilities leading Amplifi MENA. Globally, dentsu has an established Entertainment and Gaming business backed by a worldwide studio footprint, pioneering craft and technology capabilities and a roster of production partners and independent creators, enhanced by seamless integration with dentsu’s product and data offering. Abdallah will lead strategic investments and partnerships to leverage global entertainment opportunities and engage the thriving Middle Eastern gaming community. Working with the newly established Dentsu Anime Solutions Inc. in Japan, dentsu MENA will introduce new opportunities to market with anime licensing and merchandising to broadcasters and streaming platforms, along with peripheral businesses such as games, merchandising and events. Abdallah Bibi, newly appointed Commercial Director – Sports, Gaming and Content Partnerships remarked: “I’m excited to leverage my career experiences and dentsu’s rich heritage in this field to design our regional Content, Sports and Gaming offering. We are uniquely positioned to unlock new revenue opportunities for sports franchises, content producers and our clients. We will also be looking to create, enhance and invest in authentic gaming experiences for our clients in publishing, creator worlds, anime and e-sports. There is huge potential to produce transformative work in this space in our region, and I can’t wait to get started”.Jad Noujeim, now Head of Trading, Amplifi MENA said: “I'm thrilled to be leading our trading division into new horizons within the dynamic MENA media landscape. My focus will remain on cultivating strong partnerships, while leveraging deep industry insights and client-centric strategies to deliver on dentsu’s commitment to excellence and ongoing advancement.” Tarek Daouk, CEO, dentsu MENA added: “Dentsu Japan has an exceptional history in Entertainment and Sports as critical players in major sporting events and properties, as well as having a vast array of film, television, gaming, and anime experience. Dentsu’s content business is one of its true differentiators and as anime, gaming and sports continue to generate enthusiasm in MENA, particularly among Gen Z audiences, I’m excited for us to build a compelling regional offering in this space with Abdallah at the helm. Jad is also extremely well placed to lead Amplifi going forward, bringing together innovations, capabilities, and expertise to unlock new opportunities for our partners and clients. Congratulations to them both, I wish them every success in their new roles.”

Dubai’s BEDU announces ambitious AI vision to fuel the future of the Internet

Dubai:  BEDU, the regional pioneer at the forefront of Web 3.0 and AI, today announced a bold strategy set to change how individuals and enterprises engage with the digital realm. The announcement comes at a time when the company is targeting substantial growth and regional industry leadership through a pre-seed investment round.Over the past 18 months, BEDU has achieved significant milestones in its continued investment in innovation. The company showcased its leadership in emerging technology by launching the Virtual Mars Experience 2117 in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. BEDU’s community-building efforts include leveraging blockchain for societal engagement – a reflection of its tradition of identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends, through bringing digital collections such as ‘From Desert to Mars’ and ‘Colonies on Mars’. Leading to BEDU making an impact at Art Dubai 2023, as it showcased the role that technology and Web3.0 are playing in the Art space.The global AI investments projected to reach $110 billion by 2024 and by 2030, the market impact of AI is expected to be even more significant, with estimates indicating that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy. With that BEDU’s long-term vision, announced today, represents fertile ground for investment. The company will bring AI and blockchain into industries to redefine them, harnessing the farthest outskirts of tech to bring new user experiences that connect, engage, and entertain.“We’re at an exciting juncture," said Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, BEDU. “Our vision, coupled with this investment opportunity, represents a unique chance for investors to be part of a transformative journey. With our portfolio of innovations and a pre-seed round, we're poised to forge a future that will shape the very essence of the digital realm.”The main pillar of the company’s vision and its flagship is the AI Builder Tool, an agnostic platform that can be used by all types of people, organizations and enterprises to build their digital and virtual experiences which will contribute heavily to the future of the internet. In addition to that, the company announced BEDU AI, a portfolio of impactful products and services that include, a market-ready platform that uses AI to streamline media management in recognition of the rapidly growing need for effective asset management in a content-driven world. This includes advanced natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning that redefines document processing across industries from finance to legal, automating tedious tasks that prevent professionals from focusing on higher-value activities. And an advanced AI solution to process voice and visual data and enable real-time insights which are frontier capabilities with use cases in arenas from security to healthcare.“Today, we’re setting the stage for a paradigm shift in the digital landscape,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, Co-Founder and Chairman, BEDU. “Our vision that encompasses the convergence of Web3.0 and AI, is at the helm of reshaping industries and human experiences. As we embark on this transformation, we invite likeminded visionaries to join us in this journey where innovation knows no bounds and technology drives endless possibilities.”BEDU’s pre-seed round is aimed at opening the door to regional growth. The funding will allow BEDU to enhance its delivery speed, extend its reach, and reinforce its position as an industry leader as it turbocharges its prolific R&D function and its flagship platform development.éline-gauthier-darnis-on-ad-tech-future

CTV, retail media, gaming: Equativ's Céline Gauthier-Darnis on Ad Tech future

In the dynamic world of business development, experience and expertise are paramount, especially within the intricate landscape of ad tech. Céline Gauthier-Darnis, the Executive Vice President of MENAT & APAC at Equativ, brings her extensive background in fostering growth and strategic partnerships to the forefront of the ad tech industry. With a deep understanding of market trends and a penchant for innovation, she has successfully navigated the complexities of this realm. In this exclusive interview with Adgully, Céline sheds light on her approach to bridging the gap between advertisers and publishers, her insights into Equativ's programmatic solutions, strategies for navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape, team management in a fast-paced environment, and Equativ's unique communication and marketing strategies. Furthermore, Céline delves into emerging trends and challenges within the MENAT and APAC regions, revealing her plans to tackle these issues head-on. Let us explore the dynamic world of ad tech through the lens of Céline Gauthier-Darnis, an industry trailblazer and a driving force behind Equativ's success.Can you tell us about your experience in business development and how it relates to the ad tech industry?Business development involves creating and implementing growth strategies to expand a company's market presence, increase revenue, and enhance profitability. My business development expertise is grounded in fostering growth, innovation, and strategic partnerships to thrive in a dynamic and competitive landscape such as the ad tech industry. It has also helped me understand market trends, form strategic relationships, and continuously adapting to the evolving needs of advertisers, publishers, and consumers.As the EVP MENAT & APAC at Equativ, how do you ensure that the interests of both advertisers and publishers are effectively served?In my role, its key is to act as a bridge between advertisers and publishers, ensuring that their interests are aligned and that the partnership benefits all parties involved. This involves proactive and transparent communication, strategic decision-making, and a commitment to fostering a healthy and sustainable ecosystem within the ad tech industry. Additionally, it’s important to recognize that the needs of advertisers and publishers may differ. I work closely with my team to ensure we create customized solutions to align with our client's specific needs and goals.Could you share some examples of programmatic solutions that Equativ offers to advertisers in the UAE?Thanks to Equativ’s holistic ad monetization platform (Adserver/SSP/Buyer Tools/DSP), brands can achieve greater efficiency through their advertising spend and publishers can act with certainty and have the control they need to provide the right blend of transaction models, channels, format (Display, Audio, Video, CTV, Mobile) and audience data to deliver true value path optimization to brands. On top of that, our programmatic solutions including PMPs, auction packages, and contextual targeting solutions, enable a more streamlined and accurate ad transaction across various platforms and screens and help our clients reach their target audiences with the right message in the right environment.How do you approach the challenge of connecting advertisers with their target audience in the ever-evolving digital landscape?Navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape requires a combination of data-driven insights, technological innovation, creative messaging, and a deep understanding of your audience's behaviors and preferences. Adapting to changing technologies, consumer behaviors, and industry trends are essential. Here are a few strategies we work with our clients to leverage:A holistic approach to tap into multi-channel strategies that span across a variety of formats, devices, and platforms to ensure a consistent brand experienceData-driven insights to gain deeper insights into their target audiencesAudience segmentation to leverage first-party data to create more precise audience segmentsContextual targeting to ensure ads are placed in relevant contextual environments so that ads resonate with their target audiencesMeasurement and optimization solutions to continually establish, track and optimize against KPIsHow do you effectively manage and motivate your teams in a fast-moving environment? Can you provide examples of how you have successfully structured and managed an office to optimize productivity and efficiency?In this fast-paced industry, keeping your teams motivated and engaged is essential. I tailor my management style to each team member's preferences and strengths, and coupled with my enthusiastic and hands-on leadership approach, I always want to ensure my teams are feeling motivated and inspired.Here are a few ways I ensure this:Clear communication (and a lot of it!). Transparency and open discussions are essential to making teams feel inclusive and part of the teamEncouraging autonomy and trustRecognizing and celebrating achievementsFocusing on professional growth and identifying new opportunitiesContinued education in ad tech for my teams (always changing!)And have fun! I want my teams to feel excited to come to work and feel they are part of contributing to the success of the company.Communication and marketing play a crucial role in the ad tech industry. How do you approach these areas to effectively promote Equativ's services and attract clients?At Equativ, developing a comprehensive communication and marketing strategy is vital in the ever-changing ad tech industry in order to promote our services, attract and retain clients, and build trust by clearly explaining our solutions and the value they can expect by working with us. I love working with our central marketing team and my local team of marketing specialists to come up with new and creative ways to not only establish a strong brand presence and showcase our innovative global solutions but also connect the Equativ brand with the local community in the APAC/MENA region by tailoring our data, insights and strategies. Whether it’s through thought leadership, content marketing, social and events, to me, it’s always about ensuring a customized approach!In your opinion, what are some of the emerging trends and challenges in the MENAT and APAC regions when it comes to ad tech, and how do you plan to address them?Connected TVThere is a growing demand from advertisers in the MENAT/APAC region for CTV advertising. Currently, we have successfully executed campaigns for various industries targeting American and European audiences, specifically in sectors like hospitality, tourism, and real estate. While the inventory in the Americas and Europe is robust, publishers in the MENAT/APAC region are still in the process of developing programmatic solutions. However, we maintain an optimistic outlook and anticipate that the market will soon catch up. Once this happens, we will be able to effectively target the local audience through CTV formats.Retail mediaEvery e-commerce player has a gold mine to uncover. With the end of third-party cookies, the market is exploring the power of first-party data to unlock new targeting opportunities. Equativ provides a privacy-first addressable solution for retailers to monetize their data. This technology creates a new revenue stream for advertisers and an alternative to cookies to run highly targeted campaigns. Advertisers are almost ready technically to unlock this opportunity.Gaming advertisingOver the past 18 months, Saudi Arabia has invested $8 billion in global game companies with the objective of positioning itself as the primary global hub for the games and esports industry by 2030. These investments have been made through the public investment fund known as Savvy Games Group, and they mark just the initial phase of their plans. The group aims to allocate a remarkable $38 billion to establish 250 game companies, including developers, publishers, and studios, by 2030. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the gaming industry is projected to generate a revenue of $6 billion by 2027.By 2025, the global esports audience is anticipated to reach 318 million enthusiasts, with the MENA region accounting for 15% of that figure. This substantial gaming audience presents a significant opportunity for advertisers to connect with the market and captivate their customers by offering innovative experiences.Moreover, there is great enthusiasm surrounding the potential achievements in this field. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the View Through Rate and the Click Through Rate tend to be higher, indicating the advantageous timing of engaging with customers while they relax and enjoy their favorite games.

SRJ Sports Investments announces Gold sponsorship of Al-Ittihad Club

Jeddah: Al-Ittihad Club has signed a gold sponsorship agreement with SRJ Sports Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund.As part of the sponsorship agreement, SRJ Sports Investments will have its logo displayed on Al-Ittihad Club’s distinctive kit, as well as a series of other rights including its brand and content being displayed on LED billboards in the stadium and in the backdrop of media interviews conducted by Al-Ittihad players.Abdulwahab Abed, CEO of Al-Ittihad, said: “Today, we signed a sponsorship agreement with a national company that begins its journey to contribute to the development of Saudi sports, contributing to the realization of Vision 2030 which prioritizes the sports sector and meeting the demands of our youth. We are committed to making our capabilities available to our partners and sponsors, to help them achieve their investment goals and utilize the overwhelming popularity and prestigious position of our club which will represent all the Saudi clubs in the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup™.”Bander Bin Mogren, Chairman at SRJ Sports Investments commented: “We are proud to sponsor this year’s reigning Roshn Saudi League champions. Al-Ittihad Club is a winning team, boasting one of the most dedicated football fan bases both internationally and within Saudi. The team maintains a deep heritage within Saudi Arabia’s football scene, and we have seen them demonstrate resilience and ambition. These are all synergies that SRJ Sports Investments continue to draw on as we embark on our mission to develop a world-class sports sector in Saudi Arabia and across the MENA region.”For more information on SRJ Sports Investment visit:

Sandsoft Games strengthens global team with major hire from Meta

RIYADH: Sandsoft Games, the mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent, announces the appointment of Ahmed Sharif, formerly Meta’s Head of AR, VR, Metaverse Automation and Platform Engineering, as its new Chief Technology Officer. Ahmed’s appointment is another significant milestone in Sandsoft’s trajectory to becoming a leading global mobile gaming powerhouse. The experienced leader will drive technology and innovation across the business, which has a diverse global team of more than 50 people across its headquarters in Riyadh and offices in Barcelona, Helsinki and Shanghai. Ahmed will focus on enhancing and scaling the Sandsoft Publishing Platform while providing technical direction for Sandsoft’s in-house game development, supporting and guiding the studio and engineering teams in their development journeys. As a senior engineering leader and strategist, Ahmed brings to his role at Sandsoft extensive experience of building software and hardware to power gaming experiences. His career to-date encompasses top gaming brands such as EA, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Criterion Games, and titles such as Need for Speed and Pearl’s Peril. As well as shipping the Meta Quest 2 globally, Ahmed’s portfolio includes the development of PSVR1, PS4 and PS4 Pro, and EA’s Frostbite game engine.  David Fernandez, CEO of Sandsoft Games, commented: "It goes without saying that Ahmed is a significant hire for Sandsoft. He has spearheaded engineering strategy for many of the most recognizable commercial technology products and worked on globally renowned gaming titles. I’m excited to welcome him to the team and convinced that he’ll play a major role in driving the next phase of Sandsoft’s growth.” Ahmed Sharif, Chief Technology Officer at Sandsoft, commented: “Throughout my career I’ve worked on technology and content that delivers unforgettable gaming experiences. Sandsoft’s commitment to creating engaging and diverse games aligns really well with that objective, with a team that brings the best of cross-platform gaming to accessible, mobile-first environments. I believe Sandsoft is primed to become a leader in the global games industry and I’m looking forward to playing my part.” Sandsoft Games recently announced its partnership with Jam City, one of mobile gaming’s most successful publishers, to support the global launch of DC Heroes & Villains and publish the title in the Middle East and North Africa markets.

Savvy Games Group welcomes new General Counsel

RIYADH : Savvy Games Group (“Savvy”), the games and esports company founded to drive the long-term growth and development of esports and the wider games industry worldwide, announced today the appointment of Feras Houhou as General Counsel.Feras brings extensive legal and governance experience to the company and will play a pivotal role in ensuring legal compliance, managing risk, and driving strategic growth initiatives.Feras is a seasoned legal professional with a distinguished career spanning over 16 years in the capital market industry. Prior to joining Savvy, he served as a Legal Advisor and later as the Chief Legal and Governance Officer and Board Secretary at SNB Capital. During his tenure, Feras demonstrated exceptional legal expertise and leadership, overseeing critical legal functions and governance affairs, and providing advice on major cross-border financial transactions.In his role as Savvy’s General Counsel, Feras assumes responsibility for five key control and advisory functions, including legal affairs, risk management, compliance, governance, and board affairs. His expertise in navigating complex financial transactions, particularly demonstrated during his time at SNB Capital, will be instrumental in guiding Savvy through its strategic investments and growth plans both locally and internationally.Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, expressed his enthusiasm about Feras joining the team, stating, “Feras has an extensive legal background, corporate governance acumen and experience in managing complex transactions. Bringing him onto the Savvy team as General Counsel will provide invaluable guidance and support to our organisation and strengthens our commitment to excellence, legal compliance, and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability.”An alumnus of Harvard Business School’s General Management Program, Feras additionally holds an LLM from Georgetown University Law Centre

ThePubverse teams up with Lotame to transform data-driven monetization

ArabyAds' platform for monetizing publishers, ThePubverse, has collaborated with Lotame, a renowned global tech enterprise. ThePubverse will leverage Lotame's cutting-edge data platform, Spherical, to amass firsthand data while obtaining unrestricted access to an extensive reservoir of consented third-party data.Lotame, headquartered in the US, is a technology company specializing in data solutions. Its primary role revolves around collecting and creating customer databases utilized by marketers and media owners to cater to their clientele across the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region.The collected data will empower ThePubverse in making informed decisions, amplifying advertisement pertinence, and enhancing the efficacy of campaigns. Furthermore, it will harness real-time insights to meticulously tailor messages directed at distinct target audiences.ThePubverse CEO Imad Sarrouf said: “We are thrilled to join hands with Lotame on this exciting journey. This collaboration opens a wealth of opportunities for our clients and us, as we aim to provide unmatched data targeting and activations backed by cutting-edge data analytics. Together, we are poised to set new industry standards and create transformative campaigns that drive meaningful results.”Ross McMillan, VP of Commercial Solutions EMEA at Lotame, said: “Lotame’s mission is to empower publishers to drive growth and derive value from customer data — whether they have it or need it. We’re excited to join forces with ThePubverse to enable their clients to use data in smarter, faster, and easier ways that expand their monetization and yield."Through this collaboration, ThePubverse will also delve into Lotame's specialized audience segment generation, audience augmentation, enrichment of audience profiles for persona creation, and enhanced cookieless targeting opportunities.  Earlier this year, ThePubverse had partnered with the regional Arabic content provider Mawdoo3. ArabyAd's retail-centric media advertising platform, Ritelo, has also collaborated with Daleel Store, a Saudi Arabia-based online retail establishment.