Middle East agencies bag 48 metals at the Lories 2023

At the 45th edition of the Lories, the premier awards event recognising creative excellence in advertising and brand communication across the MENA region, Middle East agencies shone with a total of 48 awards. Agencies such as McCann, Havas Middle East, Impact BBDO, Leo Burnett Beirut, MC Saatchi, MullenLowe MENA, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Middle East, and Saatchi and Saatchi ME were among the recipients. The prestigious Grand Prix was jointly awarded to FP7 McCann for its digital campaign "Heinzjack" and Impact BBDO for "Newspapers Inside The Newspaper" in the print communication category.Additionally, four campaigns received gold awards, including FP7 McCann for "Frequencies of Peace" and "Ketch-Up & Down," and Publicis Groupe for "McDonald’s Drive Thru School" and "Unseen Tears." Impact BBDO led the way with the most metals, securing 8 Silver and 8 Bronze, in addition to their Grand Prix. Publicis Groupe earned a total of 12 metals, including 2 Gold, 3 Silver, and 7 Bronze. FP7 McCann received 2 Silver and 3 Bronze awards in addition to their Grand Prix.Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi ME secured 3 Silver and 2 Bronze, while Publicis Middle East earned 2 Silver awards. Meanwhile, agencies Havas Middle East, Leo Burnett Beirut, MC Saatchi Abu Dhabi, and MullenLowe MENA each took home 1 Bronze.On a network level, Publicis Groupe was the standout winner with a total of 20 awards across its agencies. The event also honoured Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication from the UAE Government Media Office, as the recipient of the Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation 2023 award. He is the first awardee from the Middle East to receive this prestigious honour.

UAE’s rising stars head to Arab Youth Hackathon final during COP28

Dubai:  PepsiCo and the Arab Youth Center (AYC) have announced three teams from the UAE for the Arab Youth Hackathon final, following a three-day bootcamp hosted by PepsiCo, PepsiCo Foundation, Plug and Play and AYC. The regional entrepreneurship program aims to create smarter solutions for climate-related issues in agriculture, circular economy, water security, and renewable energy. The bootcamp took place at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, where finalists received mentorship through curated workshops from industry and subject matter experts. The first day kicked off with sustainability activities and introductions to help set workshop objectives, followed by an ideation assignment to help identify the strongest ideas. Over the next two days, participants learned more about design thinking, evolving an idea into a viable product, and green communications, complete with mentor-led working sessions. This extensive training culminated in a final pitch to a judging panel of five experts across the innovation, sustainability, and business development spectrum to hone in on the top three winners from the UAE. The entries were evaluated based on their sustainability alignment, ability to reduce emissions, and the magnitude of impact on areas under the four pillars of the competition (Water, Agriculture, Climate and Circular Economy).Esaal, SolAir, and Krabby are now set to compete against other regional challengers at COP28, as part of the Arab entrepreneurship program. Esaal, represented by a trio of founders from the United Arab Emirates University, includes Reem AlMussabeh, Alhasan Farajallah, and Anas Al-Tomili. Their idea revolves around a digital analytics platform, aiming to revolutionize business decision-making. Esaal eliminates paper receipts and transforms them into smart digital receipts, offering actionable insights.SolAir, led by founders Keegan Cobb and Azzan Farooq, both from the American University of Sharjah, boasts an innovative concept. They have developed an autonomous device that utilizes pressurized air to linearly clean solar panels, all without the need for water. This innovation aims to maintain solar panels at their maximum efficiency, contributing to sustainable energy solutions.Krabby, a team led by founders Harsh Garg, Sanober Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Anurag Kumar Jha from BITS Pilani, presents an autonomous coral restoration service. Employing artificial intelligence, Krabby identifies healthy coral fragments and transplants them to suitable locations, contributing to coral reef preservation.Aamer Sheikh, CEO – Middle East at PepsiCo said, “Through the Arab Youth Hackathon, we are advancing COP28’s goal to promote youth engagement in climate action. There is incredible innovative potential in the region, and we believe we have a role to play in creating an environment for young people’s collective action and innovation to be supported and accelerated. We’re inspired to see the caliber of young climate challengers in the region and look forward to working closely with our partners to support entrepreneurs at all business stages.”Mr. Sadeq Jarrar, Executive Director - Arab Youth Center said, “The Arab Youth Hackathon is a vital initiative to engage young people and capture their visions. It also harnesses the creativity and potential of promising talent in our region. Through this initiative, we are working to empower young people to find effective solutions to pressing climate challenges.” He added. “Youth’s valuable participation in the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties (COP28) is an affirmation of the will of Arab youth to lead a meaningful transformation towards a sustainable future, and we look forward to seeing their creative imprint on the global stage.”Jordan Bray, Country Director UAE, Plug and Play said, “We are genuinely excited by the outstanding ideas showcased by the UAE's young innovators during the Arab Youth Hackathon. Fostering regional talent is at the core of Plug and Play's mission, and we believe in these young innovators' potential to create a more sustainable future. Congratulations to the three UAE finalists, and we eagerly anticipate their contributions to the global dialogue at COP28. We have full confidence that their innovative solutions will drive meaningful and lasting change on an international scale.”Finalists from Egypt were announced last week, with Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia expected to follow in the coming weeks. The finals of the competition, featuring 15 of the most promising solutions from the five countries, will be happening in the Youth Hub taking place on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai. The three best innovators will receive an equity-free seed fund from the PepsiCo Foundation to launch their businesses, worth $30,000 for the winner, $20,000 for the runner-up, and $10,000 for the second runner-up. In addition, they will participate in a one-month incubation program that will help them develop and scale their groundbreaking ideas and ensure long-term success.

Shariah-Compliant Crypto Islamic Coin to be listed on KuCoin

Middle East: Islamic Coin, the Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency that has been grabbing global attention, recently revealed its listing on KuCoin, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. This eagerly awaited launch on October 10th marks the first of what appears to be a series of listings for Islamic Coin, hinting at further developments in the near future.Founded in 2017, KuCoin has made a name for its reward system. The platform supports more than 1,200 cryptocurrency trading pairs and 700 coins. With over 30 million users worldwide and a whopping $30 billion in trading volume in a single day, KuCoin has been marking its position among top platforms.Commenting on the announcement, Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi, CEO of Islamic Coin said: “We are excited about this milestone and look forward to building more relationships with leading exchanges throughout the world, in order to bring the benefits of Shariah-compliant finance to the Muslim community and beyond,”With charity and philanthropy a major part of the ecosystem, the Team has been actively cultivating connections within sustainability circles and participating in international events such as COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh and the Youth International Conference in New York, both held under the auspices of the UN. Islamic Coin, along with the HAQQ blockchain built on a Proof-of-Stake mechanism, is widely recognized for its eco-friendly attributes and alignment with the UN's objectives related to reduced energy consumption and enhanced access to financial services.Both Islamic Coin and its underlying Haqq Network have garnered substantial global attention. They have established strategic partnerships, notably with London's DDCAP Group, facilitating seamless integration with more than 300 global Islamic Banks. Additionally, the team has solidified collaborations with key entities like Fambras, the largest global Halal certification agency, and Sushi, a prominent decentralized exchange on the global stage. The ecosystem also encompasses Pyypl, one of the Middle East's largest payment applications, and Holiday Swap, the world’s leading home-swapping service worldwide.The Advisory Board itself already includes members of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Ruling Families, including Sheikh Dr. Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammad Bin Khalid Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. The team also boasts top names in traditional and Islamic finance. Islamic Coin’s Executive Board includes Emaar’s Hussein Al Meeza (who is also a co-founder), one of the key personalities involved in establishing Dubai Islamic Bank — the first fully-fledged Islamic Bank in the world. The Executive Board also includes Khamis Buharoon AI Shamsi, the former Assistant Director of the Finance Division, and Assistant Director of the Internal Audit Division of the Central Bank of the UAE. The impressive list includes Greg Gigliotti, CEO, Chief Investment Officer, and Founding Partner of Xtellus Advisors, Gigliotti is a respected fund manager with experience at Goldman Sachs and other global institutions who has managed a portfolio of over $16 Billion during his career.Islamic Coin’s Shariah Board is led by Sheikh Dr. Nizam Mohammed Saleh Yaquby, recognized by Bloomberg as 'The Gatekeeper' of a $2 trillion market for Islamic financial products. Sheikh Yaquby sits on the Shariah boards of top international finance, including HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and Barclays; France’s BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole and Citigroup.

TikTok highlights shopping behavior trends in the GCC in new report

Dubai: TikTok has released its first-ever What’s Next: Shopping Trend Report to explore shifts in shopping behaviors and culture on the platform, and how brands can take on a more active role in community commerce.The latest in TikTok’s What's Next series, the report breaks down key community insights into actionable takeaways and trend analysis, supported by data and case studies, to equip businesses with the tools they need to engage with audiences on TikTok.Commenting on the report launch, Aref Yehia, Head of Retail & E-Commerce Business Partnerships at TikTok MENA, said: “By blending community, entertainment, and shopping, TikTok is reimagining the face of modern retail. As customers continue to turn to the platform for product discovery, brands of all sizes and across all industries have an amazing opportunity to connect with their own unique audiences on TikTok. We hope the What’s Next: Shopping Trend Report will help brands seize this opportunity and build lasting relationships with customers.”Our world is cluttered with everyday stressors for regular shoppers. When their relationship with a brand is weak, shopping can feel less like an event and more like a chore. Friendship is the key to brand love and loyalty, and TikTok is one of the only platforms on the internet that fosters friendship between brands and audiences to drive deeper connections, love and loyalty.The findings of the What's Next: Shopping Trend Report are broken down into three key 'Layers of Love' that underpin shopping culture on TikTok, accompanied by the relevant 'Shopper Trend Signals' that show emerging behaviors and interests.It's a Match: Relatable creators and attention-grabbing storytelling are the keys to finding your brand's ideal audience.Audiences are constantly shopping and making active connections to the content they see on TikTok. Here, users decide in seconds whether or not to engage with content. If brands don't immediately communicate added value, users are inclined to swipe away.If brands want a spark from audiences, they should avoid overt product marketing at the starting point. Instead, build and maintain user trust with unique, honest, and authentic perspectives to create longer-form content, connections, and partnerships, eventually leading to long-term loyalty from audiences.METAP brands that advertised on TikTok consistently over an extended period increased their trust with viewers by 41%. Moreover, TikTok ads were found to spark positive first impressions. After seeing an ad on TikTok, viewers in Saudi Arabia were found to trust the brand 24% more, and were 42% more likely to be loyal to the brand.Getting to Know You: Build the foundation of a friendship through personal identity and community to engender real value in your audience's lives.Brands often only share at the surface level, not digging into the motivations, communities, and aesthetics that inspire impulse and long-term purchase decisions. Tapping into identity and community unlocks new pathways for audiences to learn more about themselves, their communities, and their favorite brands.Moreover, communities influence purchasing decisions; in fact, 44% of TikTok users in the GCC buy something to fit in with friends, community, or because everyone is talking about it. Additionally, TikTok users make purchases that spark joy, with 41% of users in the GCC shopping to lift their spirits or as a treat for themselves.Shopping on TikTok is a safe, engaging and entertaining experience where users can discover and engage with products they love; 60% of TikTok users globally feel communities on TikTok are supportive and inclusive.Growing Together: Drive user intent and brand loyalty by repeatedly making the shopping experience more fun.It is easy to get lost in the instant gratification of product 'sell out,' 'virality,' and 'hype.' While TikTok is a catalyst for these moments, the real shopping magic is in the sustained fidelity established through the platform, which keeps products selling out and has customers begging for more.Positive customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, and organic word-of-mouth lead to sustained brand growth. TikTok generates double the post-purchase content creation than other platforms. In the GCC, 57% of TikTok users create a post about a product or brand they purchased from.Moreover, TikTok users are 1.2 times more likely to buy from the same retailer again when TikTok is part of the purchase journey.The full What's Next: Shopping Trend Report is available for download here:

Global female-led consultancy to launch in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah:  LOTUS Arabia, an award winning and female-led consultancy, officially launched in Saudi Arabia this week. Having partnered some of the Kingdom’s most prestigious brands and entities over the last three years, the global agency is now setting down roots bringing to the nation a totally new approach to marketing and communications.Designed to mirror the ambition of the Kingdom and its people LOTUS Arabia is an antidote to the existing networked model of agency. The new approach will be dynamic, creative and strategic giving Saudi’s start-ups, brands and projects the tools to accelerate and maximise growth. Providing destination marketing through the lens of travel, sport, entertainment, culture, celebrity and influencers the agency will offer a one-stop shop for brand fame and commercial growth.With offices in Jeddah and Riyadh amplified by existing presence in London, New York and Singapore LOTUS Arabia will provide a local to global service marrying international expertise with local understanding and nuance. With a commitment and mandate to nurture, train and grow Saudi-based talent LOTUS Arabia will also source the best international talent to spearhead and share best-practice.Led by a female team of multi-discipline experts LOTUS Arabia will be headed up in the Kingdom by Saudi brand communications professional Shorouq Mufti and award-winning CEO of the LOTUS Group, Jules Ugo.Jules Ugo, CEO of LOTUS Arabia, added “Having worked in international communications for over twenty-five years I can hand-on-heart say I have never seen such ambition and vision as shown by the Saudi nation and people. I am deeply honoured and humbled to be part of this vision through setting up LOTUS Arabia. To be here, establishing deep roots and offering something new to market is incredible and I look forward to working with Saudi’s most innovative and creative people and brands.”Shorouq Mufti, GM of LOTUS Arabia comments “I’m delighted to be part of establishing LOTUS Arabia and bringing this unique and fresh marcomms approach to Saudi. It’s a great honour to work with such an experienced and award-winning team. I look forward to applying my passion for my nation combined with my experience in storytelling to build lasting partnerships that support Saudi Arabia in achieving its goal of becoming a global tourism destination.”Our Services:StrategyCreativeBrand CommunicationsMedia Outreach & Press OfficeRepresentationSales & MarketingSocial MediaActivations & EventsCelebrity & Influencer EngagementThought Leadership and KOL Strategy

IPG Health furthers expansion in Middle East, North Africa

IPG Health, the world’s leading global healthcare marketing communications network, is reinforcing its offering and presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the launch of McCann Health Cairo. The new full-service agency is a continuation of IPG Health’s commitment to delivering the best talent, capabilities, and expertise to provide the right, bespoke solutions for our clients in every global market. McCann Health Cairo bolsters the network’s regional hub in Dubai, positioning IPG Health to provide specialized capabilities, including production and medical expertise to pharma and healthcare companies across the entire MENA region.“The MENA region is a dynamic and rapidly growing market that is increasingly important for our global clients, and for our own business as well,” said Dana Maiman, CEO of IPG Health. “As with everything we do, expanding our offering into this region is part of our commitment to doing what’s right for our clients, their brands, and our people. That is how we accelerate value, impact, and growth.”Offering a comprehensive suite of health marketing and communications capabilities, McCann Health Cairo is led by Karen Kamel as Regional Managing Director. The agency builds on the growth and momentum of the network’s McCann Health Dubai, which has enjoyed a string of creative and business successes in 2023 including – several “best places to work” recognitions, and its acclaimed “Wall Street Balls” campaign with FP7 McCann Dubai and the Testicular Cancer Society earning several awards in prestigious awards programs including the Cannes Lions Festival.“The healthcare industry in MENA is evolving at an incredible pace as our clients face increasing pressure to become more nimble, resourceful and effective at a global AND local scale”, said Karen Kamel, Regional Managing Director of McCann Health Dubai and McCann Health Cairo. “The addition of McCann Health Cairo to our group enables us to bring the unparalleled creativity and global scale of IPG Health to our clients, which will undoubtedly take them, and us, to even greater heights.”The launch was in collaboration with IPG’s FP7McCann Cairo, one of the most prominent creative agencies locally, under the leadership of Amr Kalaawy. As sister agencies within the IPG network in Egypt, FP7McCann and McCann Health Cairo will collaborate leveraging synergies, resources for the benefit of clients in the region.Saturnino Izquierdo, IPG Health’s President of Global Client Solutions, International Markets said: “This move is testament to our unwavering commitment to our clients and their brands. The MENA region is undergoing an extraordinary transformation of healthcare systems that is bringing massive opportunity. With McCann Health Cairo, we are now even better positioned to help our clients drive their growth, creativity, and impact in the region to even greater heights.”

UAE emerging as a global hub for Web3 innovation

Stablecoins have been one of the most pivotal use cases for digital assets. Traditionally, the stablecoin landscape has been dominated by US dollar-backed stablecoins such as USDT, USDC, and the recently introduced PYUSD. To gauge their popularity, one only needs to look at the numbers, i.e., the total market cap of stablecoins hovers around $124.117 billion (according to DeFi Llama), with USDT leading the way with a commanding 67.13% market share. Given its association with the world's most influential currency, the US Dollar. As crypto regulations keep developing across more regions, one will see a corresponding growth in the popular use cases.  The primary utility of stablecoins lies in their ability to facilitate cross-border payments at an exceptionally low cost. Globally, corporations shuffle approximately $23.5 trillion (as per JP Morgan's report) across borders each year. The associated transaction costs for these massive sums tally up to a staggering $120 billion annually. Issues like trapped liquidity, delayed settlements, and the need for foreign currency conversions also plague this process. In this context, stablecoins offer a streamlined solution, enabling seamless transactions with unparalleled security and traceability on a distributed ledger technology. These transactions can easily be facilitated through regulated and compliant custody solutions providers.The UAE market has already surprised us with its commitment to becoming a leader in the digital assets space, and it is not surprising to see such highly innovative and simple-to-use Web3 products emerging from the nation. The launch of Dirham-backed stablecoin shows that the digital asset market in the region is entering a more mature phase and is ready for the next stage of growth on the back of evolved regulatory frameworks.Not only that, the UAE market is also emerging as a global hub for Web3 innovation, and the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) is acting as a fulcrum to strike a fine balance between regulations and the business aspirations of Web3 entrepreneurs. The growing popularity of the UAE as a Web3 hub clearly shows in the statistics released by DIFC. There has been a 23% rise in the companies enrolling at DIFC this year. Out of these, 660 companies are led by fintech innovation. The UAE regulators are focused on boosting the local economy by liberalising the policies to suit the needs of emerging technologies like Web3. The move will create high-quality jobs for the local community, provide skill development opportunities and add to the region's economic growth through operational expenditures and services to the public. The rapid advancements on the policy front will ensure that the UAE is at the forefront of the web3 revolution and stays ahead of its global counterparts. Liminal is keen to build a strong presence in the UAE region and has received in-principle approval from ADGM in Abu Dhabi to provide digital asset custody services to Web3 businesses and institutions. As an active player in the region, Liminal already has a premium clientele and will look to leverage its position further. We are committed to the UAE Web3 growth story and have hired local talent for leadership positions. We will continue to expand our operations across the Middle East.

Silal acquires majority stake in SAFCO Group

Silal, Abu Dhabi’s leading food, agriculture, and technology company, is strengthening its market presence and expanding its footprint in the food service and distribution industry by acquiring a majority stake in SAFCO Group, a leading food and beverage distributor in the UAE.The acquisition of SAFCO integrates with Silal’s strategic growth ambitions and significantly strengthens its presence in the hospitality, restaurant and catering segment, leveraging SAFCO's 30-year track record in importing, distributing and exporting a wide array of premium food and non-food products across the UAE, Middle East and Africa. The acquisition integrates with Silal's strategic objectives and growth ambitions.As pioneers in the food service and distribution industry, SAFCO has continually strived to uphold its preeminent status through innovation, an expansive distribution network, cutting-edge facilities and commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. SAFCO's foundation rests upon a strong organisational culture, team loyalty, a strong work ethic, deep commitment and trust, all of which form the bedrock of the company's operations.SAFCO’s acquisition is a pivotal step in enhancing Silal’s capacity to meet the market's demand for a wide range of high-quality products and will accelerate the company’s efforts to enhance its food distribution.

Franklin Templeton hires new CEO to lead its Saudi Business

Riyadh: Franklin Templeton is pleased to announce that on October 2 Muneera H. AIDossary has been appointed Chief Executive Officer for Franklin Templeton Financial Company, a new entity being established in Saudi Arabia. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for expanding Franklin Templeton’s presence and business in Saudi Arabia. Based in Riyadh, Muneera will report to Sandeep Singh, Head of CEEMEA & India, Franklin Templeton.Singh commented: “I am delighted that Muneera AIDossary has joined our firm. Franklin Templeton has been doing business with Saudi-based clients for around 25 years and with the rapid growth of the local Saudi market and increase in client demand, this is an exciting time to welcome Muneera on board. With a proven track in Saudi Arabia’s asset management and banking sectors, she brings robust experience and in-depth knowledge of the local market, which will strengthen our regional efforts and expansion plans.”With over 20 years of industry experience, AIDossary joins Franklin Templeton from ANB Capital where she was Head of Asset Management. Prior to this, she served as Head of Asset Management & CIO for HSBC Saudi Arabia. AlDossary held various leadership roles at Mulkia Investment, Saudi Fransi Capital, part of Credit Agricole Asset Management and Banque Saudi Fransi. Additionally, AIDossary has served as Chairperson for the Board of the Capital Market Institutions Committee in Saudi Arabia from 2020-2022 contributing to her deep knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s regulations and capital markets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Arab Open University.She commented: “I am thrilled to join such a dynamic and experienced team. This is a pivotal time in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia continues to develop its financial strength as part of Vision 2030. With Franklin Templeton’s strong brand, decades of investment expertise and a diverse and innovative range of investment solutions, I plan to leverage my experience and relationships to further expand our business in Saudi Arabia.”President & CEO Jenny Johnson added: “We see exciting growth opportunities as Saudi Arabia continues to transform its capital markets given its geographical position at the crossroads of three continents and as the fastest growing member of the G20. As a result of the increased demand from both local retail and institutional segments, Franklin Templeton is looking forward to offering our breadth of capabilities across all asset classes and a wide choice of strategies to Saudi investors.”Within the global asset management industry, Franklin Templeton is known for being an early entrant in the Middle East. A key region for our global distribution business, the firm has been operating in the region for approximately 25 years and serves some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, central banks, family offices and global private banks based in the region.

Cenomi Retail signs agreements to enter Uzbekistan retail market

 Cenomi Retail, the pioneering retail brand partner of choice in Saudi Arabia and international markets, has announced its entry into Uzbekistan with the signing of nine international brands to open in Tashkent City Mall. This upcoming 250,000 sqm development sits at the heart of the urban regeneration of the capital city, setting the benchmark for lifestyle, retail and entertainment in the country.Having signed Aldo and Cinnabon agreements in April, the company completes its inaugural market entry with the confirmation that it will open seven Inditex brand stores in the new development, anchored by a 3,200 sqm Zara store, in addition to Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho and Zara Home. Uzbekistan represents the eleventh international operation for Cenomi Retail. Having formed in Saudi Arabia three decades ago it has a firmly established presence across the MENA and CIS regions.With a population of more than 30 million people, Uzbekistan has seen a marked increase in interest from international retail brands looking to capitalize on maturing consumer habits. Having previously been dominated by the traditional market format, the country’s retail sector is seeing a move towards retail chains as it modernizes to meet the increasing demands of its large consumer population.Dr Gunther Helm, CEO, Cenomi Retail, said: “The retail sector in Uzbekistan is continually picking up pace, seeing double digit growth in sales and a consumer that is asking for greater choice in modern, experiential lifestyle destinations.“Having experienced strong success in a number of CIS countries to date, where Cenomi Retail operates some of the world’s leading fashion, beauty and F&B brands, we are confident that our know-how will promote Uzbekistan as a vibrant market for growth.”

Katerina Bazalova promoted to VP of Creative at Incubeta MENA

Incubeta MENA, a well-known digital agency, has recently implemented strategic changes in its senior management to further solidify its position as a leading digital agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As part of these changes, Katerina Bazalova has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Creative for the EMEA and APAC regions.Incubeta MENA, a well-known digital agency, has recently implemented strategic changes in its senior management to further solidify its position as a leading digital agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As part of these changes, Katerina Bazalova has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Creative for the EMEA and APAC regions.Katerina previously served as the Regional Director of Business Operations, where she was responsible for overseeing regional operations related to SEO, Social Media, and Creative. In her new role, Katerina's primary focus is to drive growth for Incubeta by developing world-class, client-centric creative solutions on a global scale. Her aim is to maintain Incubeta's reputation as an expert client partner. She has already assembled an exceptional team that shares Incubeta's passion for creating bold, impactful, meaningful, and memorable work. Before joining Incubeta, Katerina held senior positions at Geometry MENA and Cheil Worldwide in London, UK, and she will continue to advance Incubeta's global and regional creative solutions.Upon her promotion, Katerina Bazalova expressed, "I feel honored to be a part of this challenging yet incredibly inspiring and invigorating industry. I am excited to lead and bring about changes in our products and industry culture alongside the best professionals in the field."In addition to Katerina's promotion, Incubeta has also welcomed Dominic Honess as the Regional Business Director. In his new role, Honess will oversee the company's client portfolio, with a specific focus on enhancing Incubeta's offerings in the areas of Media, SEO, and Social. With 14 years of experience in the digital industry, Honess brings extensive global expertise, having held prominent positions in multiple markets at UM and Mindshare UK.These changes are in alignment with Incubeta MENA's regional business strategy, aimed at fostering long-term growth within the MENA region. The strategy involves cultivating a diverse leadership team with a deep reservoir of experience and a strong drive to fuel the company's growth

Being Human Clothing Welcomes Alizeh as the Face of Its women's Collection

Being Human Clothing, the iconic fashion brand recognized for its commitment to both style and philanthropy, proudly unveils its latest Women's Collection. In a move that has set the fashion world abuzz, the brand is delighted to announce the charismatic Alizeh as the face of this new chapter. Being Human Clothing has always been synonymous with trendy and impactful clothing lines. With the addition of the new Women's Collection, the brand is ready to redefine fashion once again. This collection is designed to resonate deeply with the vibrant spirit of today's youth, drawing inspiration from the dynamic Millenial.At its core, the Women's Collection is a fusion of high fashion and contemporary trends, expertly redefining athleisure as versatile and enjoyable. These timeless styles are perfect for both indoor and outdoor wear, showcasing a lively color palette and seamlessly merging sporty silhouettes with retro geometrics. What truly sets this collection apart is its commitment to self-love and positive inclusivity. Each piece carries meaningful messages through its prints, reinforcing the brand's mission of spreading love and care including graphics that are printed in Braille. With a wide range of fabrics, from cozy knits to lightweight mesh, the collection offers a variety of on-trend silhouettes featuring intricate details like ruching, tie-ups, and retro co-ord sets. Understated in color in line with current fashion trends, these styles prioritize comfort and self-expression. Whether adorned with earthy textures, flowing palm motifs, or inspiring messages, the Being Human Collection invites you to embrace every season, from winter to summer, with grace and style. This collection transcends clothing; it's a testament to the beautiful tapestry of life, woven with threads of love, care, hope, and joy.Alizeh commented about the association “Collaborating with Being Human has felt extremely wholesome. I did my first shoot with them nearly 10 years ago. That day has remained a core memory, as I learned more about myself and what I wanted to do with my life. As a family, we take immense pride in this brand and it’s meaningful impact on our society. Fashion is a powerful medium, a way to express yourself and what you believe in. It unites people in their distinct, individualistic ways and it creates a community. It is a privilege to be a small part of a brand that stands for something larger: love.”"We're thrilled to welcome Alizeh into the Being Human family. Her vibrancy, talent, and dedication to making a difference align perfectly with our brand's ethos of 'Doing Good, Looking Good.' Alizeh embodies the spirit of the Millennial, and we're excited to see her shine as the face of our Women's Collection." says Sanjeev Rao, CEO, Being Human ClothingDiscover the Being Human Women's Collection at your nearest Being Human store, with over 80 locations across India showcasing this fashion-forward vision. Soon, the collection will also be available online, bringing the spirit of Being Human to your doorstep.

Global premiere for new ‘Tom and Jerry’ Singapore miniseries set for October 21

The first ever localised Tom and Jerry series, featuring the beloved cartoon cat and mouse in Singapore, will premiere on Cartoon Network, POGO and the Cartoon Network Asia YouTube channel from Saturday, October 21. In the seven-part series, the legendary cartoon frenemies take their adventures to the Lion City as they weave through the labyrinth of colourful neighbourhoods, modern skyscrapers, and luscious city-in-nature experiences. New episodes air every Saturday. Christopher Ho, Head of Kids – Southeast Asia, Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “It was important for us to create stories and environments that feel authentically ‘Singapore’ – and at the same time honour the distinct animation style and sense of humour that has made Tom and Jerry so well loved for generations. Catch their antics as they experience local delicacies durian and ice kachang, and encounter Merli – a character inspired by Singapore’s mythical Merlion – in iconic locations like the Botanic Gardens, Sentosa and Marina Bay.” Tom and Jerry is one of the leading animation properties in Warner Bros. Discovery’s franchise portfolio with a global social reach of 50 million and almost 30 billion minutes watched on the Warner Bros. Kids YouTube channel. There have been more than 500 episodes and 15 movies made so far in its 83-year history, securing seven Academy Awards along the way. This new series is part of a wider partnership between Warner Bros. Discovery and Singapore Tourism Board to collaborate on content that will spotlight and inspire travel to destination Singapore. Episode Descriptions:Ep 1 (series premiere on October 21): Sky's The Limit - Tom & Jerry take their chase to the skies. Kite-flying has never been this intense. Who will emerge as the ultimate master of strings?Ep 2 (October 28): What Goes Around Comes Around - Tom is up to his usual nonsense, but two can play at this game as they take their chase into the neighbourhood. Leave it to Jerry to turn the tables on Tom!Ep 3 (November 4): Be Careful What You Fish For - Jerry has his eyes set on Tom’s catch of the day and is determined to stand in the way. Tom is also bent on getting a taste of the sea one way or the other! Will they sink or swim?Ep 4 (November 11) Count On Merli - Tom & Jerry zip along Singapore’s vibrant riverside and make a new friend – Merli! Will Merli succeed in being the maestro of peace between the two?Ep 5 (November 18) Ice Ice Paradise - It’s another hot and humid day in Singapore. Cool down with Tom and Jerry by the beach as they chase each other into a frenzy for an icy delight – Ice Kachang!Ep 6 (November 25) Colourful Chase - Jerry fancies himself an artist, but Tom disagrees. Their artistic antics blur lines between art and chaos. Other than a trail of mess, what else will they leave behind?Ep 7 (Sneak peek premiered on August 7, 2023 ) What's That Smell - One cat’s delicacy is another mouse’s poison. Tom & Jerry get caught in a thorny issue over the aroma of durian. Will the King of Fruits help reconcile their differences?

ALEC announces appointment of Barry Lewis as CEO

 ALEC Engineering and Contracting LLC (ALEC), a part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), today announced the appointment of Barry Lewis as its new CEO and the transition of former-CEO, Kez Taylor, into an advisory position on the board as a Non-Executive Director of ALEC. Barry will be charged with continuing to lead ALEC’s ambitious growth strategy with a focus on diversification into construction-adjacent lines of business, further penetration across the GCC, including into Saudi Arabia, and expansion into new geographies.“Under Kez’s leadership, ALEC has firmly established itself as one of the leading players in the region’s construction sector. With Barry Lewis as CEO, ALEC will be led through its next phase of growth, marking a new and significant milestone in ALEC’s journey,” said Khalifa Al Daboos, Deputy CEO at ICD, about the change in leadership. “Having worked closely with Kez for over two decades, and having expertly led ALEC’s operations, Barry has proven himself as a highly capable leader with a strong reputation in the industry. As CEO, I am confident that Barry will take the company from strength to strength, maximising ALEC’s value proposition to our clients, and distinguishing the group as the leading provider of world-class construction and related services in the region.”ALEC has been on a steady upwards growth trajectory in recent years. The company has recently been awarded major projects including the Wynn Resort Ras Al Khaimah and has achieved a year-to-date growth in revenue of 25%. The current work on hand is at a record level of over AED20 billion. To effectively deliver its impressive pipeline of projects, the company continues to expand its workforce of over 22,000 employees. The CEO transition plan has been in place for over four years, during which Barry Lewis has played a vital role in enabling these successes and will now lead the company through its ‘next golden phase’.In the months ahead, Barry will focus on overseeing three company-defining initiatives currently in progress ALEC’s focused expansion into Saudi Arabia; the continued diversification and growth of its business in areas such as modular and data centre solutions; and enhancing activities at TARGET, the recently acquired subsidiary, as a leader in the Energy, Oil & Gas and Marine Industries.Outlining his longer-term strategies, Barry highlighted his intentions to develop greater synergies between the Group’s multiple industry-leading lines of business to create highly comprehensive and compelling value for clients. He also aims to nurture the company’s culture and make further investments into its people development, innovation and the adoption of digital technologies — three areas which he believes give ALEC the definitive edge when it comes to attracting the industry’s best talent and delivering some of the most iconic projects in the region.“We firmly believe that it is our people, company values and culture, willingness to embrace technology and push the boundaries of what’s possible, and relentless pursuit of excellence that have earned us a reputation as the industry’s trusted partner in delivering complex mega projects,” said Barry Lewis. “As clients in the region continue to commission ambitious mega projects, that are establishing the Middle East as the epicentre of global tourism, culture and innovation, ALEC stands ready to turn these visions into reality.”

Sunil John steps down as ASDA’A BCW founder and President

Sunil John, the PR veteran and founder of ASDA’A BCW, is stepping down from his role as President of the Middle East and North Africa after 24 years. This decision aligns with BCW's global leadership restructuring, the first significant changes since Corey duBrowa assumed the position of global CEO in August, succeeding Donna Imperato.Sunil John had already sold his shares to WPP earlier in the year and will continue as President until the end of 2023. He will assist in transitioning the region and clients to Scott Wilson, President Europe & Africa at BCW Global, as they collaborate to appoint new leadership for ASDA’A BCW, as stated by the company.Scott Wilson, a 13-year BCW veteran, has been promoted to CEO of BCW’s newly-formed EMEA region. Another noteworthy change is the departure of Mary Corcoran from her role as President, North America at BCW by the end of 2023.Corey duBrowa, Global CEO of BCW, said: "Sunil built ASDA’A BCW from the ground up over two decades, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."Sunil John, Founder and President of ASDA’A BCW quitting company after 24 years

Masdar City releases Ad film to revamp brand identity

Masdar City, billed as the first ever low-carbon, low-waste city, has released a new ad film to initiate its revamped brand identity and bring forth the offerings of the sustainable city.The ad film titled, ‘Sustainable Living, Made Easy,’ has been developed in partnership with Stew Game and Tim Orr from Films by Nomad. It is directed and produced by Philip Clyde-Smith. The ad film is all about how living sustainably can come with its set of difficulties and challenges but then it shows Masdar City can help solve these struggles and live a green lifestyle easily.The campaign has been launched in order to align with the upcoming COP28 that will take place in the UAE towards the end of the year.The problems are shown in a series of lighthearted scenes in which people are cycling in their office to generate electricity, a person running to make it to their meeting and an electric car running out of battery. Than it shows how living and working in Masdar City can solve these small problems. From electric scooters, autonomous green vehicles to future tech, the city showcases its solutions to make living sustainably easier.The campaign shifts away from the typical fear-based sustainability approach and refocuses on acknowledging people's efforts, even when they are facing challenges, rather than just highlighting what they are not doing enough of.                         Nermeen Negm, Head of Marketing and Communications at Masdar City, points out that the ad aims to break away from the stereotypical environmental fear-mongering tactics, and instead, inspire and celebrate the proactive efforts of individuals in embracing sustainability. According to her, at Masdar City, sustainable living isn’t just a concept; it’s "our way of life."

Omantel a major sponsor of the North Al Batinah Entrepreneurship Award

Muscat: Omantel, the leading provider of integrated telecommunications services in the Sultanate of Oman, has announced its support for the North Al Batinah Entrepreneurship Award. This sponsorship reflects the company's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and contributing to the economic development of Oman.Recognizing the vital role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth, Omantel aims to encourage creativity, innovation and growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) while fostering healthy competition and development opportunities.This initiative aims to create a comprehensive environment and operational framework for entrepreneurship in the North Al Batinah Governorate in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.Saeed bin Hamad Al Maawali, General Manager of Omantel in the governorates of Al Batinah, Musandam, Al Buraimi, and a member of the Award Committee, stated, "Omantel's participation in the North Al Batinah Governorate Entrepreneurship Award underscores our commitment to supporting SMEs and entrepreneurship. As the leading telecommunications company providing integrated services and technical solutions in the Sultanate of Oman, we are dedicated to nurturing emerging companies and entrepreneurs. Omantel continuously strives to equip the business organizations with cutting-edge technologies, empowering entrepreneurs to maximize growth opportunities."Al-Mawali emphasized, "The SME sector in the North Al Batinah Governorate is experiencing rapid growth, with communication and technical solutions being integral components of commercial ventures. At Omantel, we are dedicated to delivering innovative solutions tailored to the diverse needs of enterprises, drawing on our extensive experience in supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs. We have been at the forefront of stimulating SMEs through initiatives like the 'Small and Medium Enterprises Excellence Award' project since 2012, and we have forged partnerships with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority to further strengthen this sector."In parallel, Omantel Innovation Labs are actively accelerating emerging technology companies and offering specialized programs in the field of information technology and communications solutions. These programs encompass a wide array of services and facilities. Omantel also extends innovative services and solutions to SMEs, including unlimited internet and calls packages with discounts of up to 50% for selected packages. Additionally, the company provides information and communications technology solutions, such as the Nama package and the GoBiz roaming package.Omantel recently announced that it awarded more than OMR 3 million worth contracts to SMEs during the second quarter of this year, benefiting 17 SMEs. This demonstrates the company's commitment to enhancing collaboration and synergy between the SME Development Authority and Omantel.Omantel has succeeded, through the integration of its operations, processes, and extensive expertise in the field of communications and digital technology, in establishing its position as a leading telecommunications company within the Sultanate of Oman and beyond. The company's innovative approaches have contributed to providing the latest solutions to various consumer and business sectors. The company aims to deliver an unparalleled, exceptional experience to its subscribers and strives to always exceed their expectations. Omantel works towards contributing to the achievement of Oman Vision 2040 objectives by investing in emerging technologies and providing cutting-edge solutions in modern technology, information and communications technology, such as cloud solutions, ICT solutions, AI, Smart solutions, cybersecurity, and much more, in addition to harnessing its technological capabilities to enhance innovation and leadership in new and advanced technologies.

Asyad Express partners with Evri

Muscat: Asyad Express, part of Asyad Group, is proud to announce an agreement with Evri, the UK's largest dedicated parcel delivery company, to establish a landmark strategic alliance set to revolutionize e-commerce and e-fulfilment logistics in the Middle East. The agreement was signed during Bloomberg's high-level business event, "Foreign Direct Investment: Scaling New Heights", that focused on Oman's FDI prospects as a rising regional hub for foreign investment.The exciting partnership will attract major UK, European, US and Chinese e-commerce players to Oman and the region, where they will have a unique opportunity to capitalize on Asyad Express' developed network and world-class capabilities and infrastructure, powered by Asyad Group's state-of-the-art integrated logistics ecosystem.Shaikh Ibrahim bin Sultan Al Hosni, Acting CEO of Oman Post and Asyad Express, expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic alliance with Evri: "Our collaboration with Evri is a testament to our commitment to positioning Oman as a prominent e-commerce hub in the Middle East. By partnering with a distinguished global industry player such as Evri, we solidify our presence in the vital e-commerce markets of the UK, the US and China and establish Asyad Express as the logistics partner of choice in the region. We are confident in this strategic partnership's potential to promote sustainable economic growth in Oman and the Middle East.""In keeping with Asyad Express' priority of ensuring customer satisfaction, the strategic alliance will also provide international customer service support, catering to local languages and delivering high-quality assistance to clients." Shaikh Ibrahim added.Jason Ashbrook, VP Commercial at Asyad Express, said: "Under this partnership, we will jointly build a comprehensive e-commerce logistics ecosystem that completely integrates our combined services and creates a solid e-commerce gateway for Evri's clients, placing Oman as Evri's exclusive e-commerce fulfilment hub in the Middle East. Asyad Express and Evri will also be developing an international outbound product that will utilize Evri's network, providing Omani SMEs with a platform to market and sell their products worldwide."From his side, Evri's Director of International Operations Ed Ayyad commented on the beginning of this promising strategic collaboration: "We are immensely excited about the potential this newly formed alliance holds. By joining forces with Asyad Express, we are well-positioned to offer a superior e-commerce solution that caters to the unique needs of the Middle Eastern market. Together, we will create a seamless and efficient e-commerce ecosystem that fuels growth and empowers businesses across the region and from the UK & European markets where existing Evri customers are looking to enter one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets.""Through this strategic alliance, Evri and Asyad Express will bring together our industry-leading capabilities, innovative technologies, and deep market knowledge to optimize the e-commerce landscape in the Middle East. By focusing on customer-centric solutions, streamlined logistics, and a commitment to excellence, we are confident that this partnership will redefine the e-commerce experience in the region," Ayyad added.With its latest partnership and future expansion plans, Asyad Express forges ahead in fulfilling the Group's strategy to broaden Oman's e-commerce capabilities in key global markets, highlighting the Sultanate's growing potential as an e-commerce hub and attracting international brands seeking to expand their services in the region and beyond.

Elev8 showcases AI-driven business future at Qatar AI Summit

Doha: Reiterating its commitment to uniting people with technology, elev8, the world’s leading partner for digital skilling and transformative education, sponsored the 5th edition of the Middle East Enterprise AI & Analytics Summit held in Doha, Qatar, on October 5, 2023. The company’s participation aligned with its mission to empower the workforce of tomorrow by equipping them with the digital skills needed to successfully transition to the jobs of the future.Under the theme "Accelerating Innovation in Enterprises through Applied AI and Analytics Strategies," the summit brought together leading decision-makers and tech experts from the GCC region to explore opportunities in AI and Advanced Analytics and facilitate their real-time implementation across strategic industries. Guided by its commitment to being a driving force in shaping the future of AI-powered business, elev8 proactively demonstrated its capabilities while engaging with prominent players in the sector to enhance its strategic partnerships. Furthermore, it leveraged the platform to raise brand awareness among government bodies and large corporations by highlighting its prominent AI skilling programs that empower diverse sectors in Qatar to stay competitive in the AI era, as envisioned in the nation's AI strategy.The event emphasized the significance of upskilling present-day workforces to effectively embrace AI technologies. Indeed, according to most speakers and attendees to the Summit , the largest influence of AI adoption will be the development of complementary human skills as AI technology advances. elev8 spotlighted its reskilling programs that focus on transformative skills, learning, and employability initiatives that support enterprises and governments in meeting the future demands of the digital economy.Commenting on the growing impact of elev8’s strides in facilitating lifelong learning, professional growth, and collaborative excellence in the technology-enabled realm, Maria Balbas, President at elev8 Education and Executive Vice President of YNV Tech Talent, said: “As we witness an intense race for AI talent and a substantial deficit in specialized AI skills, it becomes imperative to train and upskill present-day professionals and develop new talent to harness the full potential of AI technology. As a global learning partner for innovative skilling programs, elev8 is committed to continually bridging this skills gap. Our innovative skilling programs and partnerships are designed to empower both individuals and organizations, in line with Qatar's digital transformation strategy.”As embedded in its core values, elev8 strives to create role-based learning pathways that empower businesses to advance competitively in the modern era. This is especially significant in view of the massive demand for AI-focused roles like Data Scientists and AI Software Engineers. The company firmly believes that a solid AI strategy for education and training should be the first strategic pillar for the companies driving the digital transformation journey of the country.With its competitive suite of training solutions, elev8 empowers the next generation of digital experts in the public and private sectors and assists modern-day organizations in turning digital disruption into competitive advantages. The company’s growing partnerships with key government entities and global leaders in technology and education empower it to catalyze digital transformation while actively supporting the digital transformation agendas of governments worldwide.

The Case for Yearly iPhone Launches: Tim Cook's Perspective

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the company's practice of releasing a new iPhone model every year, stating that it provides an option for those who want to upgrade annually. In an interview with Brut, Cook addressed the question of whether there's a genuine need for a new iPhone each year. He emphasized that having an annual iPhone release is beneficial for users who desire the latest technology.Cook also highlighted Apple's efforts to be environmentally conscious. He mentioned the company's trade-in program, where users can exchange their old iPhones for new ones. If the old device is still functional, Apple resells it, ensuring that it continues to be used. For iPhones that are no longer operational, Apple has processes in place to disassemble them and repurpose the materials for manufacturing new devices.The discussion arose in the context of growing concerns about the environmental impact of technology companies. Apple has been actively working to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Cook revealed that Apple's recent product launches, including new Apple Watch models, are already 100% carbon neutral. The company aims to extend this carbon-neutral approach to its iPhones by 2030 as part of its commitment to sustainability.

META Records Strong Stock Performance in Recent Trading

Meta Platforms (META) closed at $318.36 in the latest trading session, marking a 0.93% increase from the previous day. This outperformance compared to the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.63%, the Dow's 0.59% increase, and the Nasdaq's 0.39% rise.Over the past month, Meta Platforms' stock has climbed by 5.89%, surpassing the Computer and Technology sector's 2.3% loss and the S&P 500's 3.39% decline.Investors are eagerly awaiting Meta Platforms' upcoming earnings release scheduled for October 25, 2023. Analysts anticipate an EPS of $3.57, reflecting a substantial 117.68% increase from the same quarter last year. The consensus estimate for quarterly revenue stands at $33.41 billion, up 20.55% year-over-year.For the full year, Zacks Consensus Estimates indicate expectations of earnings per share of $13.34 and revenue of $132.79 billion. These projections represent changes of +35.71% and +13.87%, respectively, from the previous year.It's important to monitor analyst estimate revisions for Meta Platforms, as they often reflect short-term business trends. Positive estimate revisions can signify optimism about the company's outlook.Zacks Research has shown that estimate changes are closely linked to short-term stock price movements. To harness this insight, the proprietary Zacks Rank model was developed. With rankings ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven track record of strong performance, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has risen by 1.58%. Currently, Meta Platforms holds a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).Additionally, investors should consider Meta Platforms' current valuation metrics, such as its Forward P/E ratio of 23.65. This indicates a discount compared to the industry's average Forward P/E of 37.56.Meta Platforms' PEG ratio, currently at 1.1, is also noteworthy. This metric, akin to the P/E ratio, factors in expected earnings growth. In comparison, the Internet - Software industry, as of the last trading session, had an average PEG ratio of 1.52.The Internet - Software industry falls within the Computer and Technology sector and boasts a Zacks Industry Rank of 63, positioning it in the top 25% of over 250 industries.The Zacks Industry Rank evaluates the strength of individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of constituent stocks. Research has shown that industries in the top 50% of rankings tend to outperform those in the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Stay tuned to for further updates on these and other stock-moving metrics throughout upcoming trading sessions.

Omaima Saad's journey: From translator to innovator at BAB Middle East

BAB Middle East, excels in the art of mind-reading and skillful expression. The company is renowned for delivering innovative, affordable, and rapid custom language services and copywriting expertise, tailored to foster cultural connections and meet industry demands. In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary business, AI emerges as a promising force with its learning and improving capabilities, and BAB Middle East is at the forefront of harnessing this potential.Within the realm of BAB ME's content creation, AI's brilliance harmonizes with innate human creativity, infusing an authentic human touch into the content. As a result, BAB ME has unveiled its pioneering copy-shop, a hub designed to offer AI-powered translations, copywriting solutions, interpretation services, and meticulously perfected proofreading tasks, all under the watchful eye of human experts.In an exclusive interview with Adgully, Omaima Saad, Managing Partner and Arabic Creative Director at BAB Middle East, sheds light on the unique and practical copy-shop dedicated to crafting creative, cost-effective copies. Here are some excerpts from the interview:Can you please share your career journey with us? Have you experienced any highs and lows in your career that you would like to mention?I started as a translator in Beirut right after my graduation, then I moved to Dubai where I started my advertising career, I joined Grey Group as an Arabic copywriter and stayed for almost 15 years. I have always been passionate about the Arabic language, looking for new creative ways to craft it. Not to forget the challenges we had back in the days, when we had to come up with new Arabic terms to reflect everything happening in the world of technology in our mother tongue.Could you tell us about BAB Middle East - its inception, its success, and its ideology?BAB Middle East is a translation and copywriting company, founded by women, and operated by women to make communication easier for everyone. For us, it is a small world when we communicate with each other, and we aim at making it smaller and smaller with our new app and our endless determination to communicate.BAB Middle East recently launched a Mobile App to provide AI-powered translations, copywriting solutions, etc. Could you share some details about it and explain how it will make life easier for the users?We've made the conscious choice to embrace AI as a powerful learning tool. Instead of considering it a hindrance, we've chosen to turn it from a potential curse into a valuable blessing. Our approach is all about harnessing the machine's capabilities to provide our clients with cost-effective and swift content solutions, saving them both time and money.Our user-friendly mobile app simplifies the process: You upload your file, receive a cost estimate and a deadline, give your approval, and we take care of the rest. We offer a range of services, all enhanced by AI: AI-powered translations, perfected by human touch; Copywriting solutions, crafted by human creativity; Interpretation services, carried out by our skilled team; and proofreading tasks, meticulously completed by humans.At BAB Middle East, we maintain the perfect synergy between technology and the human touch. We're here to save time and money while delivering copies that are refined to perfection. Our app is not just a tool; it's your one-stop copy-shop for creative and cost-effective content.How is AI changing the business landscape in the Middle East? What are your predictions for its future in the region?The scene is very much different with AI, but this breakthrough will never replace the irreplaceable. It will never excel without the human touch. True art lies in harmonizing AI's capabilities with the depth of human insights. One needs to picture AI as a fledgling learner under our guidance. By embracing it as a collaborator, businesses will continue to streamline processes, elevate content, and ensure that the true driving force – human expertise – remains at the helm of success.What are your views on women leaders in the region? What progress have Middle Eastern nations made in terms of women's leadership?They lead by example, I get motivated every day seeing a new achievement signed by a woman here in, so I always feel the urge to compete, excel and shine.What are your future plans and growth projections for BAB Middle East?My goal is to transform the BAB Middle East App into the go-to copy-shop for anyone seeking cost-effective and creative content. Our mission is to facilitate effective communication, making the world a smaller place, and empowering more women to contribute to the betterment of our global community.

Drink Dry announces new partnership with TVM Collective

Drink Dry, one of the leading non-alcoholic beverage distributors in the GCC, has announced its newest partnership with the world’s leading alcohol-free bar group, The Virgin Mary (TVM) Collective. The exciting collaboration will see these two drinks powerhouses join forces to bring world-class alcohol-free cocktails to people across the Middle East. Strengthening their position in the market, Drink Dry is proud to be the leading importer and distributor of non-alcoholic drinks in both the UAE and KSA.In their quest for a regional distribution partner with the same ethos, Drink Dry was the perfect choice for TVM, with both brands being true pioneers in the sector with the same alignment when it comes to quality, alcohol-free products for the Middle Eastern market. With multiple venues in both the operating and planning phase, TVM is at the forefront of a socialising revolution that centres the social occasion for consumers around conviviality rather than alcohol. With Drink Dry at the helm of distribution operations across the Middle East, the partnership is a perfect match and will delight the growing category of non-alcoholic drinkers and sober curious consumers across the region.Erika Doyle, Founder of Drink Dry, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering exclusively with the esteemed TVM, bringing additional world-class products to the people of the GCC and further cementing the growth of the NoLo sector here in the region”. Providing consumers with even more quality choices, we are incredibly excited to showcase increased non-alcoholic drink options on menus across venues in the GCC.”Vaughan Yates, TVM Collective Founder and Co-Owner, said: “We are named after the world’s most popular alcohol-free cocktail – The Virgin Mary, and we pride ourselves in delivering an unparalleled flavour journey for our customers. That is why we are so pleased to be working with Drink Dry to bring a range of products to our venues in cities like Riyadh and Dubai, that will enhance the social experience for everyone who joins us.”“The Middle East is an incredibly diverse landscape with an increasingly discerning population, and we know people are looking for a place where they can sit down with friends and really connect in a lively yet mindful drinking environment. In partnership with Drink Dry, our TVM bar menus will feature a wide range of alcohol-free cocktails, beers, wines and more to ensure there’s always plenty to discover.”Under the moniker TVM, the group now has venues open in Diriyah Gate in Riyadh and Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, with several more operations coming on stream in the Middle East in 2024. Drink Dry is the preferred supplier of alcohol-free products for all the bars in TVM Collective’s Middle Eastern franchise operation.Are you ready to #DrinkDifferent?Find out more about Drink Dry by visiting their website and stay updated on their news and developments via their social media channel @drinkdrystore. Drink Dry delivers UAE-wide with free home delivery on purchases over AED 250. Place your order before 1:00pm and receive same-day delivery across Dubai.

Veeam shines spotlight on cyber resiliency at GITEX GLOBAL 2023

Dubai: Veeam Software, the leader in Data Protection and Ransomware Recovery, today announced its presence at GITEX GLOBAL 2023, taking place between 16 - 20 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The company’s participation this year is centered around the theme - ‘Cyber Resilience To Keep Your Business Running’.Mohamad Rizk, Regional Director, Middle East & CIS at Veeam Software said: “Digital transformation is important to every enterprise in the Middle East today. However, organizations are also facing the risk of increased cyberattacks, especially ransomware attacks. As per the Middle East and Africa edition of the Veeam 2023 Data Protection Trends Report, 86% of regional enterprises experienced at least one ransomware attack in 2022 and 79% of enterprises have a ‘Protection Gap’ between their tolerable data loss and how often IT protects their data. When your business is digital, protecting and recovering data is critical. Following the adage of, ‘When you modernize production, you must modernize protection’, data protection strategies must be equally inclusive of physical, virtual, and cloud-hosted workloads. In addition, to optimize their agility and flexibility, businesses should plan for workloads moving across clouds and even back on premises. A data protection strategy should accommodate that fluidity.”“As the #1 global provider of Data Replication & Protection software[i], we will use GITEX to showcase our latest innovations that help customers drive business efficiency and agility, protect data, and ensure organizations are well prepared and supported for the next stage of their digital transformation.”Veeam will demonstrate how it offers organizations radical resiliency through the Veeam Data Platform - a single platform that provides data security, data recovery and data freedom for hybrid cloud infrastructure including Cloud, Virtual, Physical, SaaS and Kubernetes environments. In this age of sophisticated and frequent cyberattacks, the Platform gives businesses peace of mind, knowing their apps and data are protected and always available to keep their businesses running.Trade attendees visiting the Veeam stand D-20, Hall 7 at GITEX can expect to learn more about the following innovations among others:Backup-as-a-Service (Baas) for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure: The company will unveil its latest launch at GITEX - Cirrus by Veeam, which is now available for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure customers. The solution provides a simple, flexible, reliable and powerful BaaS offering. It gives companies the option of simplifying the management and administration of their backup operations with all the resiliency of Veeam technology.Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365: Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is the leader in Microsoft 365 backup and is being used to protect more than 15 million users. The product is being integrated with the newly launched Microsoft 365 Backup via their backup APIs to bring customers and partners new capabilities for backup, recovery, ransomware protection and business continuity.Kasten K10 V6: Kasten by Veeam is the most complete enterprise data management solution to date, purpose-built for Kubernetes. This latest release includes features that will help customers scale their cloud native data protection more efficiently, better protect their applications and data against ransomware attacks, and increase accessibility by adding new cloud native integrations.Veeam Data Platform: GITEX Trade visitors will be given a preview of for the New Veeam Data Platform 23H2 update, which includes new security and ransomware protection functionality for Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam ONE and Veeam Recovery Orchestrator. The new release of the Veeam Data Platform delivers more advanced data security, malware detection, automated recovery, and hybrid cloud capabilities across the entire IT environment – Multi-Cloud, Virtual, Hybrid, Physical, SaaS (Microsoft 365, Salesforce) and Kubernetes.Veeam will also look to engage and enter into high level discussions with its ecosystem of channel partners at GITEX. Providing advice to the channel community, Kinda Baydoun, Manager of Channels, Distribution and Alliances - Middle East & CIS at Veeam commented: “We are in a region that is moving fast to embrace the latest technology and we are also witnessing nation-wide AI projects such as ‘Mall of the Metaverse’ - the first virtual shopping centre for customers who are seeking increased digital experiences across retail, entertainment and leisure offerings.”“The growth in digital transformation is delivering incredible benefits across the region but it also demands the right levels of data protection and recovery to ensure projects can be available. Our partners play a big role in helping customers by building skills and expertise around cloud, artificial intelligence and data security from consulting services all the way to professional and delivery services - and most importantly spread awareness about the importance of including data protection in their customer’s cyber preparedness strategy, as unfortunately most customers are dealing with data loss reactively,” she continued.Veeam will have its own dedicated booth in Hall 7 stand number D-20 at DWTC. The company will be joined on the stand by 4 sponsors - Red Hat, ExaGird, Alpha Data and BPS. Tim Pfaelzer, VP EMEA Sales and Amaury Dutilleul-Francoeur, VP EMEA Partner Network at Veeam will be at the event to meet with customers and partners.

100 experts and CEOs will highlight Dubai's AI achievements in January 2024

100 CEOs along with AI international experts are set to showcase Dubai's initiatives and strategies to integrate artificial intelligence technologies. This conference is slated for January 2024 in Dubai and is graciously patronized by H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Maktoum.Organized by Future 10X in partnership with Eventalist Events, the conference will take place at the Palazzo Versace Dubai from the 8th to the 9th of January 2024. The event will spotlight Dr. Rasmus Rothe, a distinguished AI scientist renowned across Germany and Europe.H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Maktoum, the honorary president of the event, voiced his belief that the conference will serve as a global stage to debate the significance of AI in amplifying Dubai's economic development.The event aims to spread technological understanding region-wide, implementing transparent strategies and welcoming both established and budding companies in the AI realm.Dr. Hikmat Beaini, the Chief Executive of the conference, underscored Dubai's vanguard position in AI technology evolution, its governance, and its multi-faceted impacts spanning the social, cultural, and economic dimensions.The conference promises an AI exhibition, interactive discussion sessions, and dedicated networking opportunities for CEOs to exchange insights on AI advancements. The event will also commend individuals and organizations pivotal in the AI sector's growth in Dubai.An estimated 2,000 attendees are anticipated, eager to explore cutting-edge applications and breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.The event will roll out 8 sessions that delve into: AI's role in academic and vocational education, advancements in healthcare, ethical considerations, regulatory norms governing tech across sectors, and the pivotal role of tech in cybersecurity. Subsequent sessions will explore AI's transformative influence on supply chain and logistics, enhancements in communication and transport sectors, augmenting consumer and client experiences, elevating human resource management, and optimizing talent acquisition strategies.

OMNES Media launches the digital "PR On Click" tool to manage PR tasks

As part of its ongoing efforts to empower businesses that connect brands with its PR teams and agencies, OMNES Media, the leading provider of, marketing and media solutions and services, has recently unveiled its latest innovative online communication and PR management tool, ‘PR on Click’.The ‘PR On Click’ is a comprehensive platform that to improve business systems and processes, ensuring the quality of business within the communication and public relations industry is at its highest efficiencies. PR On Click is a customizable tool designed to suit the business requirements of both the brand and media agencies.The platform provides unique features including management of the various work teams’ information and member tasks, as well as securing the customer data while archiving nature of the services provided to each of them. The tool has ac prelisted database of media, media professionals and suppliers and allows users to issue tracking tools, alerts, in addition to a business control system, and offers detailed reports on the performance of work teams, customers and services.Commenting on the launch, Fahed Aldeeb, CEO of OMNES Media, said: “At OMNES Media, we understand the importance of developing innovative tools to enhance business flow in this industry, and always strive to contribute to improving the efficiency and quality of public relations and corporate communication processes. Through our technological arm, OMNES Technology, we continue to provide cutting-edge digital solutions in the media, advertising and marketing landscapes."Aldeeb pointed out that investment in public relations tools is witnessing a remarkable growth at the global level, with a report issued by Statista expecting a 10% increase in the market size of public relations tools in 2023 to reach nearly $14.79 billion, compared to $13.4 billion in 2022. This annual growth is set to continue and exceed $ 29 billion by 2030.Aldeeb further noted that this increasing investment in the public relations industry is perfectly aligned with the growth the industry is witnessing, which is expected to record an increase of 6.6 percent in 2023 to reach almost $107 billion, compared to $100.4 billion in 2022. This annual growth rate is also expected to continue in the following years at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7 percent to exceed $133 billion by 2027.

Quest Esports aims for greater global influence with appointment of Elie Gemayel

In a strategic move to enhance its global influence in the esports industry, Quest Esports today announced Elie Gemayel, the co-founder and driving force behind the company’s acclaimed Dota 2 initiatives, will take the reins as new CEO. The significant leadership change will be effective immediately.Gemayel, renowned as a Middle East esports visionary, has had an illustrious trajectory in the gaming world. Beginning his journey with a fervent passion for Dota 2 in 2004, he has been instrumental in nurturing regional talents and propelling them to the limelight in global tournaments. Under Gemayel’s stewardship, Quest Esports’ Dota 2 team has not only emerged as a top contender in international championships but has also qualified for “The International”, the world’s most prestigious esports tournament featuring a prize pool of US$20 million.As Quest Esports charts its course for the future under the dynamic leadership of Gemayel, it is propelled by a vision that extends far beyond gaming. The organization has set its sights on nurturing a holistic esports ecosystem in Qatar and the broader region, taking decisive steps to revolutionize the industry with innovative ventures, such as the construction of esports hotels. These establishments promise to be a haven for enthusiasts, offering immersive experiences that synergize luxury and gaming culture.In addition, Quest Esports is fostering education in the sector by developing comprehensive esports educational programs. Collaborations with tech pioneers in the educational landscape are in the advanced stages of planning, with the goal of birthing esports academies that will stand as a beacon of knowledge and skills development in the region, nurturing the next generation of esports talent.Under Gemayel’s aegis, Quest Esports is poised to deepen its roots in the region while branching out to set new benchmarks in the global esports panorama, fostering innovation, and paving the way for unprecedented growth in the industry.“We stand on the threshold of a transformative era for Quest Esports,” the company said in a written statement. “With Gemayel at the helm, wielding unmatched expertise and a forward-thinking approach, we foresee a horizon broadened further in the esports realm. Our core commitment is not only to evolve as a global entity, but to raise Qatar’s flag high in the esports community worldwide.”Gemayel, detailing his vision for the future, added: “This new chapter symbolizes our elevated ambition to enhance, expand, and exemplify. To our partners, we promise renewed vigor and excellence; to our dedicated team, a future brimming with limitless opportunities; and to the global gaming community, innovative experiences that will set new benchmarks."

Snapchat introduces reality lens for hearing-impaired people

Snapchat, in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture, has launched an augmented reality lens to help improve interactive experiences for the hearing-impaired.The lens was launched at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Sept. 28 at the King Saud University in Riyadh.It utilizes machine learning technology, which allows the camera to accurately identify and interpret 28 distinct hand gestures from the Arabic alphabet used in Arabic Sign Language. The fair features a unique 3D technology display, encouraging attendees to participate in an interactive experience in which books spring to life through a selfie camera.The event also introduced a specially designed lens experience for children, aimed at promoting a passion for reading. The experience will take users on a hot air balloon ride, with the balloon designed in the shape of a book and featuring the message “Reading Uplifts You” alongside Riyadh Book Fair’s logo and branding.The lens marks a milestone for Snapchat as it is the first Arabic sign language lens ever introduced in the Middle East and North Africa region.Mohammed Hasan Alwan, CEO of the Literature, Publishing & Translation Commission, shared: “This year’s participation in the book fair is unique and innovative, as we are launching special services for the deaf community. We look forward to the impressive results of the augmented reality experiences at the exhibition, which align with our mission to promote cultural exchange and make literature more accessible to different segments of society through the positive impact on visitors.”Abdulla Alhammadi, Regional Business Lead for the Saudi market at Snap Inc., said: “AR can provide powerful opportunities to enhance learning, from educational guides to recipes and beyond. This is the greatest untapped opportunity for brands to become early adopters, further highlighting the growing interest in AR for educational purposes.”

Manaseer Group strengthens its EV lineup in partnership with W Motors

Manaseer Group has recently announced a strategic partnership with W Motors, the leading UAE developer and manufacturer of high-performance luxury sports cars, security vehicles and commercial EV’s in the Middle East. Through this partnership, Manaseer Group will become the exclusive importer for W Motors vehicles in Jordan and surrounding countries starting January 2024. The agreement was signed by Mr. Ziad Al Manaseer, Chairman and Group CEO of Manaseer Group, and Mr. Ralph Debbas, Founder and CEO of W Motors, during a signing ceremony held at the Group's headquarters.Through this agreement, Manaseer Group will offer W Motors vehicles in Jordan and the region by introducing a new brand that combines technology and outstanding performance. As the first phase of this partnership, the group will offer electric vehicles including vans and pick-up trucks in the market. Currently, Manaseer Group is preparing to showcase W Motors cars at both the Group’s showroom, located in its headquarters building, and at the Al-Adiyat showroom on Airport Road. The Group also has plans to commence car assembly by the end of next year, with manufacturing operations in Jordan expected to commence by the end of 2025.Commenting on this partnership, Mr. Ziad Al-Manaseer, Chairman and Group CEO of Manaseer Group, said: "We are proud to sign this new partnership with W Motors, a distinguished manufacturer of high-tech cars. We believe in our role in continuing to drive innovation and contribute to the significant expansion in the world of electric car technology, which aligns with our passion for introducing advanced vehicles and services that elevate the electric vehicle market in Jordan and the region." He added: "We continuously seek to invest in the latest technological developments, highlighting Jordan as a center for creativity and progress, in line with Jordan's Economic Modernization Vision and its vital pillars in economic growth, quality of life, and sustainability.”Mr. Ralph Debbas, Founder and CEO of W Motors, said: "Through this strategic collaboration with Manaseer Group, we will succeed together in changing the future of transportation in Jordan by covering a wider range of transportation needs. Together with our partners Manaseer Group, we will introduce electric pick-ups, vans and trucks in Jordan to be the first of their kind in the MENA region. We have a shared vision with the Group in exploring green energy solutions and encouraging their use, investing our efforts in adopting environmentally friendly vehicles for a more sustainable environment.”Founded in 2012, W Motors is the first manufacturer of high-performance luxury sports cars in the Middle East. Based in Dubai, the fully integrated company capabilities span automotive design, research & development, through to technology and engineering, as well as consultancy and manufacturing under the Special Projects Division.Manaseer Group is considered one of the leading companies in Jordan and the region since its establishment in 1999 in sectors such as fuel, mining, construction materials, automobiles, and other vital industries. As the largest private company in Jordan, the group provides employment opportunities for Jordanians and residents while delivering high-quality products across various industries. It contributes to creating a dynamic environment for innovation and sustainability, thus driving economic growth in Jordan. Additionally, the Group plays a significant role in social responsibility through numerous community initiatives and environmentally friendly practices. The Group has also been listed in Forbes "Top 100 Arab Family Companies" 2023 for the second consecutive year.

Cricket stars return: Boult, Pathan, Rayudu in Abu Dhabi T10 2023!

Ahead of the much-anticipated 2023 edition of cricket’s fastest format; Abu Dhabi T10, the Player’s Draft has been announced for Monday, October 9th, 2023, with the participating eight teams, Bangla Tigers, Chennai Braves, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls, Morrisville Samp Army, New York Strikers, Northern Warriors, and Team Abu Dhabi – also announcing their list of retained players and direct signings for the season.  The ‘23 edition of the season saw a registration of total 782 players from across the globe, including some of the biggest names in international cricket. Former Pakistan great, Shahid Afridi is among the list of Icon Stars who will be up for grabs on Monday, along with his compatriots Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal, and Sri Lanka’s Dasun Shanaka.  The pre-signed players by the teams feature former Indian superstars Ambati Rayudu, and Yusuf Pathan. While Bangla Tigers roped in the explosive all-rounder Pathan, Delhi Bulls have signed on the ever-dynamic batter Rayudu.  Speaking on competing in the upcoming edition of Abu Dhabi T10, Pathan said, “The 10-over format is exciting and hence, I am always delighted to be a part of the league. My aim is to entertain the fans and help my team win the trophy this season.”  Among the retentions for the new season, the 2022 title winners Deccan Gladiators have kept hold of the powerhouse Nicholas Pooran. The left-handed batter was the leading run-scorer of the previous season as he smashed 345 runs in 10 games at an average of 49.29 and a whopping strike rate of 234.69. Pooran also smashed 25 sixes, the maximum by any player last season. Meanwhile, The Chennai Braves retained Captain Sikandar Raza, who has been a symbol of consistency over the years.  Raza said ahead of the players’ draft: “It is good to be back for another thrilling edition of Abu Dhabi T10. The tournament has become even fiercer now as players and franchises know what it takes to win. We will hope we can go all the way this year and lay our hands on the beautiful trophy.”Other strategic retentions and direct signingsFan favourite Pakistan pacer Hassan Ali has also been pre-signed by the Chennai Braves. The defending champions have also brought on kiwi speedster Trent Boult on board, while Morrisville Samp Army have roped in the services of former South Africa Captain Faf du Plessis, among other new names.The runners-up of last season, New York Strikers retained former West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard, while Morrisville Samp Army kept hold of Moeen Ali. Team Abu Dhabi have kept the game-changers Philip Salt and Alex Hales in their squad for season.Northern Warriors made a strategic move with retention of allrounder and T20 specialist Wanindu Hasaranga, while Bangla Tigers retained veteran Shakib al Hasan to bolster experience among their ranks. Delhi Bulls kept hold of dynamic Windies allrounder Dwayne Bravo, who will once again be a key player for them this season.  Abu Dhabi T10 2023, players draft on October 9                                                   England spinner Adil Rashid and Australia's fiery batsman Chris Lynn are among the players listed in the Platinum category for the player’s draft, along with Kusal Mendis, Liton Das, Mohammad Nabi, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The remaining players in the draft are divided across five other categories - Cat A, Cat B, Cat C, Emerging, and the UAE local players, who will be up for selection on Monday.  Speaking on the upcoming draft, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman, T10 Global, said, "The franchises have made their first moves with smart player retentions and direct signings. Some selections may come as a surprise, indicating the teams already have a few tricks up their sleeves, promising another high-octane draft day and an even more exciting edition of the Abu Dhabi T10.  Cricket's fastest format continues to grow each year and it has been our endeavour to present the most entertaining format of the sport possible for all our fans. This wouldn’t have been possible though, without the unwavering support of our partners at the Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub and we thank them for joining us on this journey. I wish the 8 teams my best ahead of the 2023 Draft and the 2023 Abu Dhabi T10 season!”  Full List of Player Retentions and Pre-Signings:  Team Abu Dhabi:  Retained: Philip Salt (Icon), Tymal Mills (Cat A), Alex Hales (Cat B) Pre-Signings: Noor Ahmad (Asian Super Star), Kyle Mayers (Platinum)  Morrisville Samp Army:  Retained: Moeen Ali (Cat A), Maheesh Theekshana (Cat B), Basil Hameed (UAE-RES) Pre-Signings: Faf du Plessis (Icon), Jason Holder (Platinum), Dewald Bravis (Cat A)The Chennai Braves:  Retained: Obed McCoy (Cat A), Sikandar Raza (Cat B) Pre-Signings: Jason Roy (Icon), Charith Asalanka (Platinum), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Cat A), Hassan Ali (Asian Super Star)  New York Strikers:  Retained: Kieron Pollard (Icon), Sunil Narine (Platinum), Akeal Hosein (Cat B), Muhammad Waseem (UAE-RES) Pre-Signings: Mohammad Amir (Cat A)  Deccan Gladiators:  Retained: Nicholas Pooran (Icon), Andre Russell (Cat A), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Cat B), Joshua Little (Cat C), Zahir Khan (UAE-RES) Pre-Signings: Trent Boult (Platinum)  Northern Warriors:  Retained: Wanindu Hasaranga (Icon), James Neesham (Platinum), Kennar Lewis (Cat C), Adam Hose (Cat C) Pre-Signings: Hazratullah Zazai (Cat A)  Bangla Tigers:  Retained: Shakib Al Hasan (Icon), Iftikhar Ahmed (Cat C), Matheesha Pathirana (Cat C), Rohan Mustafa (UAE-RES) Pre-Signings: Yusuf Pathan (Asian Super Star)  Delhi Bulls:  Retained: Dwayne Bravo (Cat A), Rilee Rossouw (Cat B), Fazalhaq Farooqi (Cat B) Pre-Signings: Quinton de Kock (Icon), Rovman Powell (Platinum), Ambati Rayudu (Asian Super Star)Fans can watch the 2023 Abu Dhabi T10 Player Draft Live on YouTube on the official channel:

NextWealth increases footprint through expanded global partnership with Jumio

NextWealth, a leading pure play data services provider in the country, announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Jumio, the leading provider of automated, end-to-end identity proofing, risk assessment and compliance solutions. With this partnership, NextWealth will renew and expand its work to provide identity verification services for Jumio, allowing Jumio to continue accelerating its innovation in the arena of automated, technology-driven solutions. For NextWealth, this long-term partnership will help to add more centers in small towns in keeping with its purpose of generating local employment.NextWealth, with its proven track record of hiring and developing talent, and delivering enterprise-grade quality at scale, will enable Jumio to ensure seamless continuity of their global business and scale its operations securely. “Jumio’s mission to make the internet a safer place relies on the ongoing development of innovative fraud prevention solutions to thwart cybercriminals and their increasingly sophisticated tactics,”said Stuart Wells, Jumio CTO. “Partnering with NextWealth enables Jumio to focus on our core business and technology objectives and support our customers wherever they do business across the globe.”   “We are excited about expanding our partnership and supporting Jumio in its growth journey. The partnership between NextWealth and Jumio will further cement our position as one of the largest pure play, AI/ML-driven data services players in the country,” said Mythily Ramesh, NextWealth CEO. “NextWealth’s portfolio of digital solutions and service offerings will provide Jumio international- level quality, with the flexibility to manage business fluctuations in a secure business ecosystem. This will enable Jumio’s customers to have a smooth and seamless experience combined with the assurance of security and trust.”

As Gucci Ambassador, Alia Bhatt generates 3.8M$ EMV post Milan Fashion week

Alia Bhatt who was appointed the first Indian Global Ambassador of Gucci early this year, attended the Milan Fashion Week recently. This marks Alia's first appearance at the Milan Fashion Week, which saw its biggest season yet with an EMV of $215 million across platforms.As per a recent report, Indian superstar Alia Bhatt’s influence led to significant contributions from India, landing in the 10 top contributions worldwide. As per Karla Otto, a massive 3.8M$ EMV was generated by Alia Bhatt during her presence at the fashion week.Alia along with K-pop group ENHYPEN, Thai darling Win Metawin, and Pinoy fashionista Heart Evangelista racked up the highest media value during the cultural zeitgeist. She was also responsible for Milan Fashion Week’s overall top post — “Personal style but guccified ,” she wrote in the caption. The carousel of pictures amassed $1.1 million in MIV (Media Impact Value).

Changing Tree goes global, opens new office in Dubai

Changing Tree, a Bangalore-based creative and tech company, is thrilled to announce the opening of its new office in Dubai. This expansion marks a significant milestone in the company’s growth and underscores its commitment to serving the dynamic Middle Eastern market. The project embodies the spirit of innovation and collaboration that Changing Tree is known for, showcasing its ability to seamlessly blend creativity and technology.One of the exciting initiatives introduced by Changing Tree that coincides with the Dubai office launch is the release of a series of intriguing videos. The initial Changing Tree launch video shows the city of Dubai turning blue. A masked man is seen riding a bike around the streets of Dubai as everything from crosswalks to traffic lights to vehicles on the roads—in fact, the entire cityscape—is awash in blue. The next video announces, ‘Change is Coming’, in the backdrop of the first video, thereby building up suspense for the reveal climax.The final reveal video shows Idrees, Founder-CEO of Changing Tree, introducing their newly set up Dubai office heralding the dawn of a new era and endless possibilities. With this new office, the agency now becomes 200-plus change-makers across Bangalore, Mumbai and Dubai. In this video, Idrees is heard saying, “We’re a creative and tech company… we deliver the transformation that brands need—whether in optimizing performance marketing, providing e-commerce solutions, or revamping branding and marketing strategies of organizations and for new product launches.” At the launch of the Dubai office Idrees said, “We’re thrilled to bring Changing Tree to Dubai and contribute to the vibrant tech and creative ecosystem of this city. Our team is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital world and, with the launch of this video, we aim to inspire and engage our audience with cutting-edge content that reflects our passion for innovation.”Changing Tree has built a reputation for innovation and creativity in the digital space and its presence in Dubai is poised to bring a fresh wave of creative and technological solution to the region. With a diverse portfolio of services that range from digital marketing to cutting-edge software development, Changing Tree is well-prepared to cater to the evolving needs of businesses in Dubai and the wider UAE.The opening of the Dubai office marks a strategic move for Changing Tree as it seeks to establish a strong presence in the Middle East and engage with local businesses, entrepreneurs and creative minds. With a team of talented professionals and a commitment to excellence.

McCann appoints Shannon Washington as Global Chief Creative Officer of Gotham

McCann Worldgroup, part of the Interpublic Group, has strengthened its creative leadership by appointing Shannon Washington as Global Chief Creative Officer of Gotham, the network’s global boutique creative agency. This marks her return to Gotham; she was a director of digital creative and strategy from 2012 to 2013. Maybelline New York has been her primary account, which Gotham still counts as a core client.Shannon will be bringing her fresh approach to creativity, which blends innovation, cultural storytelling and tech, to gotham's current clients, while working to expand the roster into complementary categories. She joins McCann from IPG sister agency R/GA, where she led creative work for clients like Sephora, Samsung and The Ad Council/Love Has No Labels. Moreover, she is Javier Campopiano’s first appointment since joining McCann Worldgroup as global CCO last month.Shannon will partner with Laurie Donlon, gotham’s president and CEO, to deliver the most culturally impactful and effective solutions for clients.  Sharing her happiness on Shannon Washington joining gotham, Laurie Donlon says: “The ability to activate the full potential for brands, to not only drive culture but to vastly improve it, makes her an unmatched talent in our industry and the exact right person to take gotham forward. ” Javier Campopiano, Global CCO, McCann Worldgroup, says: “Shannon has a pioneering spirit. Her approach to creativity blends innovation, tech, and cultural storytelling and it’s exactly what’s needed to drive growth for brands in today’s modern world. She is a true talent champion, empowering teams to find their voice and make amazing, award-winning and effective creative product.” Shannon Washington adds: “I am excited to return to Gotham and its team, the place where my journey in this industry truly began, and leverage the agency’s incredible track record in beauty, luxury and personal care with my love for technology and smart media to help brands in other categories grow by finding their rightful and impactful place in culture.”There are other major shifts in McCann’s creative leadership. The network hopes to “fuel creative excellence and enhance client focus.” McCann New York’s co-CEOs, Shayne Millington and Pierre Lipton, have both shifted to creative roles within the company.Millington will take on creative leadership at McCann New York as the shop’s chief creative officer, while Lipton will work across the company’s global brands as McCann Worldgroup’s global executive creative director.“It’s exciting to deepen the bench of creative leadership at McCann Worldgroup and put leaders in the best positions to create the most positive impact,” said Campopiano about the hires.

Get ready for a Halloween treat at C Central and Royal Central on The Palm

 It's that time of the year again when the ghosts and ghouls come out to play, and there's no better place to celebrate than at C Central Resort The Palm and Royal Central Hotel The Palm. This Halloween, prepare to be mesmerized by an unforgettable evening of spine-tingling surprises, mouthwatering delights, and spooky spectacles at Waves Restaurant and La Maison Restaurant.  On October 31st, 2023, dress in your spookiest attire and enter an enchanting world, where the air is filled with anticipation and eerie charm. The restaurant will be transformed into a thrilling spectacle, with cobwebs dangling from every corner, skeletons lurking in the shadows, and carved pumpkins lighting up the room. As you step into this bewitching atmosphere, be prepared to be amazed by the attention to detail that has gone into creating an otherworldly experience.  But it's not just about the spooky ambiance; it's also about the tantalizing treats that await guests. Indulge in a sumptuous Halloween-inspired menu, specially curated to delight the taste buds. From creepy cocktails to delectable dishes, the international cuisine buffet will leave you craving for more. Enjoy this hauntingly delicious feast at just Dhs199 with soft beverages or Dhs299 with house beverages.  What's more, the hotel staff will be joining in on the Halloween fun by dressing up in their scariest costumes, ranging from zombies and ghosts to werewolves. They'll be dressed to send shivers and ensure your night is nothing short of electrifying.  For the little goblins and those young at heart, both properties have a selection of spooky-themed treats that will leave them spellbound. It's a night of family-friendly frights, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime.  Don't miss this thrilling Halloween extravaganza at C Central Resort The Palm and Royal Central Hotel The Palm. This Halloween promises to be a memorable, thrilling, and utterly enchanting experience that you won't want to miss!  For Wave Restaurant Reservations: please call 04 873 5500 or email  For La Maison Restaurant Reservation: please call 04 873 9300 or email   What: Join Us for a Spooktacular Halloween Where: Waves Restaurant at C Central Resort The Palm        La Maison Restaurant at Royal Central Hotel The Palm When: Tuesday, 31st October Timing: 7 pm until 10:30 pm Price: Dhs199 with soft beverages, Dhs299 with house beverages Offer: This Halloween, prepare to be thrilled as C Central Resort The Palm and Royal Central Hotel The Palm invite residents and guests to an unforgettable evening of ghoulish fun and eerie surprises at Waves Restaurant and La Maison Restaurant. Dress up in your spookiest costume and immerse yourself in a world of Halloween magic like never before.

Beyond: The great illusion show is coming to Dubai on October 28th

Prepare to be enchanted, Dubai! The world's first immersive illusionists' show, "Beyond," is set to mesmerize the city on October 28th at The Agenda in Dubai Media City. This unparalleled spectacle promises to be an unforgettable experience, one that promises to leave the audience spellbound and in awe. "Beyond" is not just a magic show; it's a journey into the realm of dreams and reality. Inspired by the acclaimed film "Now You See Me," the groundbreaking show features four master illusionists who will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.  Mike Berdnikov (The Mentalist) is the mastermind behind "Beyond: The Great Illusion Show." As the founder of the show, he has successfully united the most talented illusionists onto one stage, creating an extraordinary and unparalleled spectacle. Mike is renowned as a true master in the art of hypnosis. His most celebrated performances include the seemingly impossible act of walking on water. With 24 years of experience under his belt, Mike is a master of improvisation, never faltering in any trick.   Dmitry Polyakov’s (The Vanisher) charisma shines as he effortlessly engages the audience, involving them in the challenges he faces on stage. His forte lies in daring stunts and dramatic escapes, drawing inspiration from none other than the legendary Harry Houdini, renowned for his iconic straitjacket tricks. Dmitry's most audacious feat involved breaking free from a straitjacket secured with chains in a mere 2.5 minutes. His talents have graced the stage of "Central Asia Got Talent."  Alan Gladkovas (The Trendsetter) brings this unparalleled fusion of magic and fashion to the stage. Hailing from Lithuania, prepare to be swept away by his enchanting blend of magic and fashion. He's the embodiment of youthful creativity, adding a unique and fashionable twist to the world of magic that will leave guests both spellbound and stylishly inspired.  Mikhail Gutorov, known as "The Comedian," may not be a traditional stand-up comic, but his undeniable sense of humor is a delightful addition to his magical prowess. He weaves a unique tapestry of humor and enchantment that defies conventional labels. Mikhail achieved the title of a finalist in the prestigious Chinese competition, "Nanjing Got Talent." He's a master of the mystical and a true crowd-pleaser, promising an experience that will leave you in stitches and in awe of his extraordinary magical talents.  Beyond: The Great Illusion Show will captivate audiences in two languages, with performances in English from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and a Russian show from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Ticket prices are AED250 for Silver, AED420 for Gold, AED670 for Platinum, AED980 for Platinum Box and AED1,450 for VIP. Exclusive booking is available now through Platinum List. "Dubai has been deliberately selected as the launchpad for 'Beyond,' serving as the ideal canvas to unveil this groundbreaking show to the world. The city's boundless innovation perfectly aligns with the vision of 'Beyond,' and we promise an enchanting experience that defies imagination. My advice? Clear your phone's memory because you'll be capturing a treasure trove of content. We're about to embark on a journey through time, so prepare for the extraordinary," shares Berdnikov. One of the unique aspects of "Beyond" is its circular stage, allowing the audience to view tricks from all angles. Drawing inspiration from the movie "Now You See Me," "Beyond" brings this concept to life in a digital show that encourages the audience to record, share, tag, and even broadcast live. The goal is to showcase the dexterity and transparency of the tricks, giving the audience an immersive and interactive experience. "'Beyond' goes beyond the realm of traditional magic shows, offering a unique fusion of death-defying stunts, captivating escapes, and mesmerizing hypnosis. It's an immersive experience where magic truly takes center stage, inviting our guests to become an integral part of this enchanting journey," adds Gladkovas. But there's more to "Beyond" than meets the eye. Guests have the opportunity to create a personalized experience. Whether you want to surprise your partner with a marriage proposal that will leave her flying in the air or celebrate a birthday with a magical twist, these creative options are available for booking. Don't miss your chance to delve into the mysteries of "Beyond" and prepare to be mesmerized by an experience unlike anything you've seen before. Kids under 12 years old get a 50% discount (except Silver, VIP and Platinum Box) while groups of 10 or more will have a 20% discount. Join us on October 28th at The Agenda in Dubai Media City for an evening that will challenge your perceptions and leave you spellbound. For enquiries and other information, please WhatsApp +971 58 165 1447, visit, or follow their Instagram @beyond__show.

Monster Jam set to roar back into Abu Dhabi in June 2024

Following this year’s rip-roaring success at a packed Etihad Arena, Monster Jam®, the world’s most action-packed motorsports experience, is bringing its unique blend of full-throttle family fun back to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi for a second consecutive year.Promising an adrenaline-fueled weekend of motorsport mayhem, a selection of 5,500kg monster trucks will scream back into the Etihad Arena for two shows on June 8 and a third show on June 9. Despite their staggering weight, the high-octane trucks will once again perform a host of daring stunts at astounding speeds that had attendees at last May’s shows hollering with excitement after each repertoire of flips, jumps, and tricks.Next year’s competition will see the sport’s top competitors come head-to-head in three divisions: Racing, two-wheeled skills, and freestyle. Mirroring the same format as this year’s edition, the performance is the ultimate family event with an exciting interactive element enabling fans to vote live after each stunt to help crown the show’s overall winner. As with this year, the event will also feature an incredible air-borne motocross performance and an exciting pre-show Pit Party to meet and greet the drivers and witness the massive trucks up-close. Tickets are available now at and platinumlist.netBrought to the region by Proactiv Entertainment – the leading producer and promoter of large-scale shows, international exhibitions and music concerts – and in partnership with Feld Motor Sports, the return of Monster Jam to Yas Island presents a new opportunity for thrill-seekers to experience the trucks up close as they skilfully race around the dirt track with a range of fearless stunts to collect points in the freestyle, skills, donut and racing divisions.Nicolas Renna, Chief Operating Officer at Proactiv Entertainment, leading international producer and promoter of large-scale events, said: “After witnessing a packed arena this year, bringing Monster Jam back to Abu Dhabi was a no-brainer. This year proved there’s such a massive appetite in the UAE for events of this nature, and if you missed out this year, we’re delighted to provide another opportunity to attend this next one – the experience is unmatched, and while the truck line-up for next year is yet to be announced, it’s probably my favourite one yet so be sure to watch this space!”Magnus Danielsson, Vice President of Motorsports for Feld Entertainment Inc., owner of Monster Jam, said “Monster Jam is a global premier experience which entertains and delights millions around the planet, bringing families of all ages together. We are excited to be bringing Monster Jam back to Abu Dhabi. The record numbers from last time around speak for themselves, and now we’re looking forward to exceeding them and putting on the biggest event so far! Monster Jam in Abu Dhabi is definitely a must-experience, and tickets will for sure be in high demand!”This year marked a historic moment when Monster Jam made its triumphant return to Abu Dhabi after nearly a decade. Following its roaring success, Yas Island’s Etihad Arena is ready to host the highly anticipated event once again in June 2024, reinforcing their commitment to bringing the world’s most sought-after global entertainment to residents and tourists.WHEN:Saturday, June 8 –1.00pm | Pit Party – 10.00amSaturday, June 8 –6.00pmSunday, June 9 –1.00 pm | Pit Party – 10.00amWHERE: Etihad Arena | Yas Island, Abu DhabiTICKETS:All tickets are available for purchase online at and www.platinumlist.netVIP – 645 AED (inclusive of show + Pit Party)Platinum – 485 AEDGold – 385 AEDSilver – 250 AEDBronze – 145 AEDAside from the VIP tickets which are all inclusive, all the other categories can access the Pit Party for an additional cost of Dh50. Fans buying family packs of four Gold or Silver tickets can avail a 15 per cent discount.For more info about the event follow Proactiv Entertainment’s social media channels: Facebook and Instagram.

Qatar Airways expands presence in Saudi with two new gateways

Qatar Airways, the World’s Best Airline, is proud to announce its expansion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the launch of services of two new gateways: AlUla, Tabuk and the reopening of Yanbu. These additions to the airline's rapidly growing network mark a significant milestone in Qatar Airways' commitment to connecting travellers across the globe.Effective 29 October 2023, Qatar Airways will commence operations to AlUla, followed by Yanbu on 06 December 2023, and Tabuk on 14 December 2023. These new routes will offer passengers even more options to explore the rich cultural heritage and natural wonders of Saudi Arabia.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: "We are thrilled to introduce AlUla, Yanbu, and Tabuk as our newest destinations in Saudi Arabia. These cities offer a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural experiences, and we are proud to connect travellers from around the world to these remarkable places."AlUla, known for its breath-taking landscapes and historical treasures, will be serviced with two weekly flights. Travelers can look forward to experiencing this UNESCO World Heritage Site's wonders, including the ancient rock formations and archaeological marvels.Yanbu, a vibrant port city, will be connected with three weekly flights. With its beautiful beaches and diverse marine life, Yanbu is the perfect destination for those seeking sun, sea and adventure.Tabuk, nestled amidst stunning mountains and valleys, will see Qatar Airways operate three weekly flights. Travelers to Tabuk will have the opportunity to explore its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.Qatar Airways now operates to nine cities in Saudi Arabia, operating more than 125 flights weekly. These cities include AlUla, Dammam, Gassim, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh, Tabuk, Taif, and Yanbu, providing travellers with a comprehensive network to explore the diverse landscapes and cultures of this dynamic country.Passengers in Saudi Arabia traveling from these exciting new gateways will enjoy seamless connectivity to over 160 destinations worldwide, including the China, Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the United States. Qatar Airways continues to be a global leader in connecting travellers to some of the most sought-after destinations across the globe.Qatar Airways' new routes to AlUla, Yanbu, and Tabuk are expected to facilitate business and leisure travel, further strengthening economic ties and cultural exchanges between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The airline is dedicated to providing passengers with the highest level of service and comfort during their journeys.Tickets for flights to AlUla, Yanbu, and Tabuk are now available for booking through the Qatar Airways website, mobile app, and travel agencies.