Ronnie Screwvala's War Saga 'Pippa' Misses the URI Standard

A joke to start with : When I told my wife that I am watching Pippa, she inquired if it was name of some computer virus or new thunderstorm. After watching the two hours twenty minutes war drama, I could finally confirm to her that Pippa is a amphibious war tank used by the Indian Army in the Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971. The movie per se, is sorta spiritual line up to Tejas released to a disastrous theatrical response two weeks ago. The producer Ronnie Screwvala seems to be making war based dramas on a spree but none of them are matching up to his truly spectacular URI (2019). Like Tejas, Pippa has an interesting and inspiring story to tell but the wrong casting and tepid execution play spoilsport. Based on the real life Brigadier Balram (Ballu) Singh Mehta and his heroic performance at the battle of Garibpur where he used the Pippa tanks to literally blow away the Pakistani intrusion, the film has some awe-inspiring moments but doesn't impress as a whole. Ishaan Khattar, playing Ballu is a complete misfit for this role. Sorry but he's just not convincing in a commanding part which would suit our dear old Sunny Deol in the '90s. The parallel track of Ballu's sister Radha (Mrunal Thakur, looking gorgeous as usual) rising up the ranks in RAW is another unconvincing element. And pray, are RAW officers really recruited like this just on a hunch??!!! On the positive, the war sequences are deftly filmed. The brother-sister equation is endearing. For a change, there is no mandatory love interest for our hero Ballu, thank you. And the end credit real footage of the 1971 war heroes makes you salute our army men with a loud "Jai Hind"!! With all its hits and misses, Pippa is at best, a one time watch on OTT. The makers seem to have learnt their lesson after Tejas and gone for direct digital release for this one. Its kinda wise decision, I would say. Better to avoid those cancelled shows in cinemas again!! Ratings on some key aspects* : 1. Acting : 2.5/5 2. Direction : 2.5/53. Music : 3/5 4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 2.5/55. Cinematography : 3.5/56. Editing : 3/5 7. Costume Design : 2/58. Special Effects and VFX : 3.5/59. Action : 4/510. Production Quality : 3/5 #SNRating for #Pippa : 2 & 1/2 stars out of 5. - Sumeet Nadkarni Liked the review? Click on the link below and like the #SNRatings page to subscribe to honest and unbiased reviews of all latest movies : You can also follow us on Twitter handle : @sumu76in * - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others. #Pippa #WarDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #IshaanKhattar #MrunalThakur #RonnieScrewvala #URI #BollywoodReview #Filmreview #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Zee5 #SNRatings #SNRatings barometer:1 star = Poor1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable2 stars = Average2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch4 stars = Very good5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding. 2023 SNRatings.

PepsiCo introduces locally produced 100% recycled plastic bottles

PepsiCo is introducing 100% recycled plastic bottles for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi Zero in the UAE. A first in the country, PepsiCo is paving the way for the integration of fully recycled*, locally produced packaging in the Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSDs) category, ahead of COP28 taking place in the UAE.The new bottles generate over 30% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to traditional PET bottles, a pivotal step in combating climate change and aiding COP28’s efforts to reduce global emissions. The bottles, excluding the cap and label, are produced from recycled, reprocessed, and repurposed plastic and meet globally certified standards of quality and safety.PepsiCo is also an active partner across the plastics value chain in the UAE, collaborating with various stakeholders to innovate packaging solutions, enhance recycling infrastructure, and foster consumer education about recycling and sustainable alternatives, in addition to advocating for progressive regulatory reforms. In 2022, PepsiCo drove rPET regulatory approvals in 12 countries across Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, and launched 100% recycled bottles* in six countries, including Qatar and Kuwait in the GCC.Aamer Sheikh, CEO of PepsiCo Middle East, said, “More consumers are considering sustainable product options – conscious of environmental impact when deciding what to buy[1]. We’re proud to be the first brand in the CSDs category in the UAE to launch locally produced fully recycled plastic bottles, and thanks to the scale and expertise of Dubai Refreshment Company we’re able to give consumers more choice as to how they enjoy their favorite beverages.We also recognize that this is only one step in the circular economy journey, and more needs to be done to empower consumers to act, for which we’ve established partnerships across the value chain. Improved access to recycling infrastructure and ongoing consumer education plays an important role in shaping positive behavior, and we will continue to prioritize efforts across these areas simultaneously to boost recycling rates as we inch closer to COP28 later this year.”Ahmad Bin Eisa Alserkal, Chairman of Dubai Refreshment PJSC, added, “As the exclusive bottler and distributor of PepsiCo beverages in Dubai, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates, we’re proud to lead the way in producing fully recycled packaging for CSDs. The UAE is taking important steps towards a more sustainable future, and we’re committed to being an equally contributing partner in this journey alongside PepsiCo. Providing more choice enables more positive decisions, and we encourage consumers to opt for the sustainable packaging, paving a greener path for future generations.”Tarek ElSakka, CEO of Dubai Refreshment PJSC, commented, “We are committed to sustainability in all its forms. We have received the LEAD Platinum Certification per existing Buildings; the highest energy saving Certification from USGBC. DRC has a Wastewater treatment plant to reclaim the production wastage and reuse the water, as well as the Solar power generation plant that generates a third of its energy consumption”.In September this year, PepsiCo, in partnership with Talabat and Yalla Return, launched an innovative recycling solution in local communities in the UAE to shape more environmentally positive behavior and boost recycling rates. Last year, in collaboration with BEEAH, one of the region’s leading environmental management companies, PepsiCo also met its commitment to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% Aquafina plastic packaging produced in the UAE, a commitment that has been renewed for 2023. PepsiCo also recently became a founding member of the Circular Packaging Association; an initiative established by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce to foster public-private partnership and drive positive action towards a circular economy.As part of the company’s pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) strategy launched in 2021, the company aims to achieve net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2040 and reduce virgin plastic usage by 50% across its global food and beverage portfolio by 2030. PepsiCo has implemented 100% rPET beverage packaging in 26 other markets globally, and at the end of 2022, over 88% of PepsiCo’s packaging was recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable.

Liz Wilson appointed as Group Chief Integration Officer at Landor & Fitch

Liz Wilson has been appointed as the Group Chief Integration Officer at Landor & Fitch, a specialized brand and design consultancy. Prior to this role, Wilson served as the Managing Director, Growth and Integration for Accenture Song Europe. She also held the position of Chief Operating Officer across Karmarama's diverse capabilities, overseeing integration into Accenture after the agency's acquisition in 2016.With over 25 years of expertise in advertising, branding, digital, and customer experience, Wilson specializes in integrating these disciplines to drive growth. In her new role, she will bring together Landor & Fitch's growing group of brand and design specialist agencies to create unique integrated client solutions. Wilson will report to Jane Geraghty, the Global CEO of Landor & Fitch.As part of the company's ongoing strategy to expand its offerings to meet evolving client needs, Landor & Fitch has brought in new capabilities, including ManvsMachine (motion design), Fitch (experience design), bdg (workspace design), and most recently, amp (sonic branding). This move aims to offer comprehensive, multi-faceted brand-led design solutions.Jane Geraghty expressed her excitement about Wilson joining the team, highlighting her unique qualifications to strengthen the company's offer for clients. Geraghty emphasized Wilson's extensive experience and track record of transforming and growing creative businesses, making her the ideal candidate to lead integration and growth efforts.In response to her appointment, Wilson shared her enthusiasm for the new role, expressing her excitement about leveraging her experience in creative and professional service businesses to contribute to the rapid growth already initiated by Landor & Fitch. She looks forward to collaborating with the talented team to create innovative solutions capable of transforming clients' brands and businesses. The appointment reflects the company's commitment to bringing in strong, inclusive female leaders into its leadership team.

Iconic PAUL Bakery & Restaurant finds a new home in Dalma Mall

Abu Dhabi, UAE: – Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi's favorite shopping destination, is proud to announce the exciting addition of PAUL Bakery & Restaurant to its distinguished array of culinary offerings. PAUL Bakery & Restaurant, an esteemed international chain of French-style cafes and bakery restaurants, has taken its place in Dalma Mall, delighting residents and visitors. PAUL Bakery & Restaurant, originating in France in 1889, marked its entry into the Middle East through Kuwait and the UAE under the AZADEA Group in 2003. PAUL Bakery & Restaurant is famous for its outstanding pastries, freshly baked bread, aromatic coffee, and a varied menu of French-inspired dishes. Specially, the new All Day Brunch menu at PAUL offers a variety of dishes that blend flavors from around the world. The standout items include the Salmon Croll, featuring poached eggs on smoked salmon with cream cheese, served on a croissant croll. Another must-try is the Brunch Burger, a juicy beef patty with turkey, Emmental cheese, fried eggs, candied bacon, and Sriracha Honey Mayo on a soft potato bun.The pasta selection features Shrimp Burrata Rosé with linguini pasta, shrimps, burrata cheese, and rosé sauce. Additionally, there's the Corn Ribs Chicken Bowl with mozzarella cubes, mango chutney chicken, grilled corn ribs, avocado salsa, edamame, and lettuce in an orange dressing.Not only that, the warm and inviting ambiance of every PAUL Bakery & Restaurant outlet makes it an ideal setting to enjoy a variety of options. Renowned for its commitment to preserving French culinary traditions, PAUL Bakery & Restaurant has established a global presence with more than 750 locations in over 51 countries.Speaking on the partnership with PAUL Bakery & Restaurant, Bhupinder Singh, General Manager and CFO of Dalma Mall, said, We are thrilled to introduce PAUL to our mall. Dalma Mall has long been a beloved destination for shoppers and families in Abu Dhabi, and we believe this addition will strengthen our commitment to providing a diverse and enriching customer experience. Dalma Mall has been a famous spot for experiencing a variety of culinary options, and PAUL Bakery & Restaurant will definitely add immense value by bringing the traditional French taste to our customers.”Jerome Georges Vivien, the Country Manager at AZADEA, shared his excitement about this significant milestone, “We are thrilled to choose Dalma Mall – Abu Dhabi’s Favorite Mall as our newest destination. As we embark on this exciting new chapter, this will mark the 34th destination in the UAE, and we are happy to serve our customers in this wonderful location, which gives us amazing visibility. We always strive to maintain simplicity, while ensuring consistent quality for every customer coming to a PAUL outlet. We look forward to catering to our customers at Dalma Mall and delighting them with new and improved dining experiences.”Dalma Mall, one of Abu Dhabi's largest super-regional shopping centers, is home to over 450 globally and regionally renowned brands and offers a diverse space of F&B experiences. As a result, it has earned the prestigious title of 'Abu Dhabi's favorite mall.'Visitors now have the opportunity to relish an unforgettable dining experience at PAUL Bakery & Restaurant, conveniently positioned on the ground floor of Dalma Mall. Whether you're craving the authenticity of French cuisine, seeking a cozy spot for coffee and pastries, or desiring a delightful family meal, PAUL Bakery & Restaurant at Dalma Mall caters to all.

Dubai Business Forum attracts 2,000 participants from 49 countries

Dubai Chambers has successfully concluded the inaugural edition of Dubai Business Forum under the theme ‘Shifting Economic Power: Dubai and the Future of Global Trade.’ Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the transformative global event took place from 1-2 November at Madinat Jumeirah.Over two exciting days of discussions and dealmaking, the forum attracted more than 2,000 global changemakers, business leaders, industry experts, investors, and economists from 49 countries. A total of 24 high-level plenary sessions and talks featuring 32 distinguished speakers were held as part of the event. The sessions delved into the roles of globalisation and digital transformation in connecting economies and shaping the future of global trade, as well as the impact of emerging markets on the shifting economic landscape and the importance of driving FDI in priority sectors.Bringing together key public and private sector stakeholders from across the globe, the forum created a platform for global corporations and fast-growth businesses to forge partnerships, cultivate international networks, and unlock new opportunities. The networking and thought leadership sessions at the forum enabled participants to explore strategic economic partnerships, opening new horizons for business, trade, and investments.Reflecting on the forum’s resounding success, His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers said: “The impact of the Dubai Business Forum speaks volumes about the emirate’s strategic position in an increasingly interconnected world. By hosting such a wide cross-section of speakers from all over the world with expertise in diverse strategic fields, the forum offered unique insights into Dubai’s growing role in shaping international trade and the global economic landscape. In addition to serving as a valuable platform for knowledge sharing, the forum also proved highly rewarding for those seeking networking and partnership opportunities.”His Excellency added: “The Dubai Business Forum has created a seismic shift in the global business landscape. With the presence of international business leaders and significant economic players, the forum has played an instrumental role in advancing the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) and shaping the emirate’s future as a dynamic hub at the epicentre of the global marketplace. The event reflected the emirate’s continuing success in attracting foreign direct investment and supporting business expansion, further reinforcing Dubai’s position as a leading capital of the global economy.”Anchored on four key pillars, the forum’s thoughtful agenda addressed Globalisation, Foreign Direct Investment, Digital Transformation, and Emerging Markets. Key plenary sessions highlighted Dubai’s strategic position as an international hub connecting economies and the crucial roles of SMEs and trading blocs in accelerating global economic development. The discussions also examined the importance of advanced technologies in transforming business and the future of the workforce, as well as driving global growth.Another key component of the Dubai Business Forum was The Future Theatre, which hosted TED-style talk keynote sessions examining a thoughtful mix of eight thematic pillars. The platform took a deep dive into the future of industries, trade hubs, investments, economies, IoT, robotics, AI, and cities. Hosted in a more intimate setting, the insightful experiential sessions tackled future trends that are poised to catalyse growth across economies, industries, businesses, and societies.More than 550 business meetings were scheduled through the forum’s app, and the event also saw over 20 deals signed as part of The Deals Hub, a dedicated platform for global business leaders and investors to forge and announce major business initiatives, partnerships, investments, and commercial alliances.Notable deals involving Dubai Chambers included the establishment of a new China Innovation Centre and an MoU for the launch of an ‘Innovation Corridor’ with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, as well as an agreement with PT Bank Syariah Indonesia – the largest Sharia bank in Indonesia – to enhance the sharing of banking and finance intelligence.Additionally, the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) announced the launch of a VC fund worth AED 500 million to finance technology startups and contribute to achieving the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 by promoting the growth of SMEs in various emerging sectors.Previously known as the Global Business Forum (GBF), the Dubai Business Forum supports the D33 agenda’s drive to double the size of Dubai’s economy over the coming decade and consolidate the emirate’s position among the top three global cities worldwide. The forum successfully boosted engagement with key international stakeholders to accelerate the growth of trade and investments. The event is closely aligned with Dubai Chambers’ strategic objectives of attracting international business and investments to the emirate, supporting the global expansion of Dubai-based companies in targeted markets, and further enhancing Dubai’s favourable business environment.

PRCA MENA Digital Awards 2023 winners celebrated in Riyadh

The PRCA MENA Digital Awards were held on Wednesday, 8th of November 2023 at the Movenpick Hotel & Residences Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to celebrate the best in Digital PR and Communications across the Middle East and North Africa.This year’s strategic partners are One Group. Additional sponsorship includes Atteline, Carma, Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, Commpass, Dubai Cares, Guinness World Records, GWPR - Global Women in PR, ICCO, MCG Talent, Provoke, Seven Media, The Work Crowd, YouGovWe are proud to reward the excellent achievements of these individuals and teams.Monika Fourneaux, Head of EMEA, said:“The awards brought together the MENA region's PR and communications community, acknowledging, and celebrating outstanding achievements over the past year. Winners and finalists showcased great talent and exceptional skills, and we're privileged to shine a spotlight on the dynamic PR industry in the vibrant city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.”The night’s winners were:Digital Team of the Year – Weber Shandwick MENATDigital Professional of the Year – Sanya Ijaz, AttelineBest Use of Video in a Campaign – Weber Shandwick MENAT & EwaaBest Use of Social Influencers in a Campaign – TouchBest Use of Reporting and Measurement in a Campaign – ASDA'A BCWBest Social Media Campaign – ASDA’A BCWBest Use of Content Marketing in a Campaign – TouchBest Performance in a Digital Campaign – ASDA'A BCWBest Use of Paid Media in a Campaign – British Council,Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Weber Shandwick MENAT & Department of Health Abu DhabiBest AI-Driven Digital Campaign – AttelineA big thank you goes to our amazing panel of Judges, who had the nearly impossible task of selecting this year’s finalists. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Riyadh Air partners with Microsoft for aviation sustainability drive

Riyadh Air and Microsoft today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to drive innovation and sustainability across Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector. As part of the agreement, Riyadh Air has selected Microsoft’s trusted Azure cloud platform as its preferred platform for accelerating digital transformation and will leverage the highly secure, scalable, and reliable platform to improve operational efficiency and customer service.The announcement will see both organizations collaborating to leverage the potential of cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, copilot experiences, the Metaverse, and Virtual Reality to enhance Riyadh Air’s offerings, services, and operational models.Adam Boukadida, Chief Finance Officer, Riyadh Air, said: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Microsoft as we embark on an accelerated digital enablement journey to fuel the growth and innovation within the aviation industry. Leveraging the robust Microsoft Azure platform is just the beginning; we are poised to tap into the vast network of Microsoft partnerships and harness the remarkable AI capabilities offered through Microsoft’s comprehensive suite of services & solutions, empowering Riyadh Air to grow & thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. By embracing Microsoft’s platform and solution capabilities, we aim to build a unique customer and employee experience and expedite our progress in achieving our sustainability targets.”Riyadh Air and Microsoft will also jointly establish a Centre of Excellence that will provide a structured framework for driving innovation and delivering substantial business benefits for both organizations. The partnership also sees both parties forming a dedicated board that will actively drive efforts in line with the Kingdom’s national sustainability agenda.Turki Badhris, Acting General Manager at Microsoft Arabia, said that the partnership is a perfect demonstration of Riyadh Air’s forward-thinking vision which leverages the power of cloud and AI to redefine innovation and sustainability in the aviation sector. “In adopting a cloud-first approach, Riyadh Air is paving the way for the creation of intelligent new solutions that will not only reimagine new ways of working and doing business but also revolutionize the experiences of its employees and customers.”Microsoft will also extend its technical expertise to Riyadh Air by offering guidance in architecture design, scalability, security reviews, and more. This support will empower Riyadh Air to make the most of their journey on Azure.Riyadh Air's digital and technology strategy also support its mission, aligned with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, to lead the aviation industry by transforming Saudi Arabia, given its unique strategic location, into a global aviation and trade hub.

Qatar Airways welcomes new CEO with a vision for innovation and excellence

Qatar Airways is proud to announce that Eng. Badr Al Meer has assumed the role of Group Chief Executive Officer at Qatar Airways Group following the retirement of H.E. Mr. Akbar al Baker after 27 years of unparalleled service.Eng. Al Meer’s distinguished career has been forged over two decades pioneering multi-billion-dollar aviation, construction, and real estate development projects, while also reflecting Qatar’s succession planning towards a new generation of leaders. Since 2014, Eng. Al Meer has served as Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport, leading critical divisions such as MATAR – the Qatar Company for Airports Operation and Management, Qatar Duty-Free, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aviation Catering Company, Qatar Distribution Centre, Dhiafatina Hotels, and Qatar Airways Global Real Estate.“His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker has left an indelible mark on this organization, having built Qatar Airways from the ground up into to the world class airline it is today – with 241 aircraft, 43,000 employees and over 160 worldwide destinations. It has been an honor to serve under his guidance, and I pay tribute to him as he heads into a new chapter,” said Al Meer.“For the past 10 years, I have dedicated my career to making an impact at Qatar Airways Group and am looking forward to leading our national carrier into a new era – one in which a culture of trust and empowerment will be the building blocks of our shared success.”“In today’s dynamic and constantly evolving travel industry, I plan to invest in the priorities and concerns of my generation, and will place a renewed focus on harnessing emerging technology, developing and implementing sustainable aviation solutions, and further improving our customer experience – while simultaneously continuing the aggressive growth and world-class service we have always offered. I take immense pride in our role as the most welcoming gateway to the world – and look forward to further enhancing our position as a favored travel destination.”During his tenure at Hamad International Airport, Eng. Al Meer adeptly guided the airport through major milestones and unprecedented challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, a 10 billion QAR ($2.7 billion USD) expansion project, and the historic FIFA World Cup 2022 – which saw the airport welcome more than a million visitors.His leadership has also played an instrumental role in Hamad International Airport being named “World's Best Airport” by the prestigious SKYTRAX World Airport Awards (2021 and 2022), as well as “Best Airport in the Middle East” for nine consecutive years by SKYTRAX, the largest annual global airport customer satisfactory survey in the world.Prior to joining Hamad International Airport, he spent a decade with the United Development Company (UDC), a Qatari public shareholding company and the Gulf state’s leading construction firm, ultimately rising to the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer. During this time, he oversaw the delivery of UDC's flagship endeavor, the Pearl Project, a renowned urban development project in Qatar celebrated for its architectural design.With engineering degrees from the American University of Beirut and the University of Colorado, Eng. Al Meer brings to the role a solid educational foundation and a wealth of business insight and technical expertise in engineering, construction, and large-scale project development.In his new role as Group CEO, Eng. Al Meer's track record of successful projects and expertise in aviation and project management uniquely positions him to lead Qatar Airways Group into an exciting new era.Last week, Qatar Airways Group reported soaring profits of $1.026 billion for the first half of the fiscal year, an increase of over 100% compared to the same period last year. Passenger levels also witnessed growth, increasing by 22% to 19 million, due to higher load factors. The airline's profit’s were supported by the return to service of its Airbus A350 fleet, its partnership with oneworld members, and other strategic alliances across China, Europe and Australasia.

AI to make $136 billion contribution to Saudi economy by 2030

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is poised to have a profound economic impact, with the potential to contribute an astounding $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and an anticipated injection of SR511 billion ($136 billion) into the Saudi national treasury, as reported by PR consultancy firm W7Worldwide, citing PwC.Moreover, AI is proving to be highly beneficial in the realm of public relations, as evidenced in a report titled "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Relations Industry," published by W7Worldwide, a prominent marketing communication agency based in Saudi Arabia. This technology empowers professionals to scrutinize extensive datasets, enabling the detection of trends and patterns that enhance their comprehension of target audiences. This data-driven insight, in turn, facilitates the optimization of social media campaigns, the identification of potential influencers, the assessment of PR effectiveness, and the anticipation of forthcoming market and business trends.Additionally, AI chatbots and virtual assistants, like "ChatGPT," enhance user experiences by overseeing a wide array of tasks, including responding to customer inquiries, scheduling appointments, and even conducting interviews. This delegation of routine tasks liberates PR professionals to focus on more strategic responsibilities, such as formulating strategies and engaging with the media.The report underscores the pivotal role of AI in crafting PR content and tailoring its delivery to specific audiences by leveraging data pertaining to customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, interests, and ideal communication channels and timing. AI-powered writing tools excel in generating press releases, posts, blogs, and other written content with remarkable accuracy. However, it is important to note that, while these tools are invaluable in specific scenarios, they have not yet reached the level of sophistication required to fully replace human writers.Furthermore, the report addresses the challenges and mounting concerns related to AI's impact on the PR industry, encompassing worries about job displacement due to automation, the potential generation of misleading or fraudulent content necessitating stringent fact-checking, and ethical considerations regarding AI application, particularly concerning data privacy and bias.The report underscores the PR industry's ability to adapt, having effectively managed the digital transformation in previous instances. PR professionals have demonstrated their ability to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape and can replicate this success with AI. This entails staying informed about the latest AI technologies and applications, comprehending their functionality, and harnessing them to enhance their businesses and maintain their leadership within the industry.

BEEAH enters strategic partnership with KSA’s SIRC and ALMQR

BEEAH, the Middle East’s leading sustainability and digitalisation pioneer, the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF); and Al-Maqar Development Company (ALMQR), the investment arm of the Municipality of Madinah, have signed an agreement to establish a limited liability company that will develop and provide integrated waste management solutions in the Province, from collection of waste at the source through to treatment, recycling and disposal in the general landfill.The signing ceremony, which took place earlier this week in the city of Yanbu, was witnessed by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Salman bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud, Governor of Madinah Province, in the presence of His Excellency Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and His Excellency Eng. Fahad bin Mohammed Albelaihshi, Secretary of Madinah Province. The agreement was signed by Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH, Eng. Ziyad AlShiha, Group CEO of SIRC, and Majed Alshalhoob, CEO of ALMQR.Speaking on the partnership, Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH, said: "We are pleased to partner with SIRC and ALMQR, two institutions leading the way in the areas of circularity and urban development. BEEAH looks forward to drawing from our experience in waste management in the Holy City of Madinah and in the UAE, where we have achieved several regional firsts. By combining our strengths with SIRC and ALMQR, we look forward to achieving new benchmarks in sustainable waste management, supporting the development of thriving communities, shaping the circular economy and progressing towards a zero-waste to landfill future in the Province of Madinah.”As per the agreement, BEEAH, SIRC and ALMQR will work together to drive innovation and efficiencies across the waste management value chain, from waste collection to waste treatment and enhanced material recovery. Ultimately, the partnership aims to foster the circular economy while shaping a cleaner and greener province in alignment with KSA Vision 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.Speaking about the partnership, Eng. Ziyad AlShiha, Group CEO of SIRC, said: “Creating local and global partnerships are key to innovation and investing in circular economy solutions. The Holy City of Madinah is an important area for the Kingdom and for SIRC, as we work to drive the circular economy. Through this partnership with ALMQR and BEEAH, we look forward to implementing advanced solutions and leveraging recycling best practices to uncover value across the waste management chain in Madinah.”In 2020, BEEAH partnered with the Municipality of Madinah to oversee waste management in the North, West and East regions of the Holy City. BEEAH has already implemented a range of solutions encompassing waste collection, transportation, sterilisation, and disinfection of waste containers. These operations are facilitated by a substantial workforce of thousands of skilled professionals and best-in-class equipment, including waste collection trucks and street sweepers.After it was founded in 2007, BEEAH began its waste management operations in the emirate of Sharjah, where it has steadily grown an integrated, digitally-enabled waste management ecosystem that has positioned the organisation as an industry leader in the region. From waste collection operations powered by a digital fleet optimisation platform and a network of RFID-tagged bins to integrated, digitally-tracked material recovery across 10 specialised facilities and waste-to-energy innovation, BEEAH has achieved a 90% landfill waste diversion rate in the emirate of Sharjah, the highest in the region. By expanding regionally through partnerships and collaboration, BEEAH is scaling its waste management solutions and innovations to contribute to circularity and a sustainable future in the UAE, KSA and across the Middle East.

Leo Burnett ME declared frontrunner at NYF’s AME agency report

New York Festivals has released its 2023 AME Agency Report ranking agencies for cutting-edge and effective creative work for prominent advertisers. Leo Burnett Middle East, a Publicis Groupe agency, has been declared the frontrunner in this year’s AME Awards annual ranking report. Its impressive array of outcome-focused campaigns received top honors and secured the agency a premier spot on this year’s AME Agency Report.Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, said: “Awards shows like the AMEs are important as they continually raise our standards as an industry. They encourage agencies and brands to improve the effectiveness of campaigns and ultimately deliver better value for the end consumer. Having been most awarded at the recent AMEs, and now being ranked number one globally validates that we’re leading the curve in both creativity and effectiveness. And this is only possible when you have exceptional talents to make this happen.”Leo Burnett Middle East earned the highest number of points for its exceptionally progressive creative and effective campaigns including the result-driven Gold-winning campaign “Self Check Out” for client K-Lynn. “Self Check Out,” on K-Lynn’s e-commerce site, pioneered a unique channel that engaged Arab women during captive moments, prompting effective self-checks comfortably.Gold-winning “Homecoming,” Leo Burnett Middle East’s campaign, created for client Home Centre, championed adoption, confronted cultural taboos, and became the pioneering initiative addressing orphaned children in the Middle East, resulting in their placement into homes. In total the Publicis Groupe agency earned an impressive two AME Gold Tower Awards, six Silver, 10 Bronze, and four Finalist Awards.Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, said: “The best agencies win at both creative and effectiveness award shows. The AME Awards by New York Festivals have, for many years, been respected as a premium competition for creative and marketing effectiveness globally. It is not easy to win awards there. And seeing us rank number one globally and our work win the most globally across a range of brands from our region, following the success at other shows for those same brands, is a testament to the fact that we are making work that does work for our brand partners.”Vector B McCann was in the spotlight with its state-of-the-art campaign, “The Greatest Guide to Jochos & Burgers,” for client Bimbo. Its innovative work catapulted the agency to the number two spot on the prestigious AME Agency Report. Prominent agencies ranking in the top tier of the report include BBDO China, Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East, Leo Burnett Manila, and McCann Canada.

King Long secures $1mln at Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Bus

AG Auto, the exclusive distributor for King Long buses in the UAE and part of Al Ghurair Investment, has announced that the Chinese automotive manufacturer has secured first place at the Dubai World Challenge for its groundbreaking self-driving buses, showcasing cutting-edge smart technologies.The momentous win, accompanied by a substantial USD 1 million prize, was unveiled at the Dubai World Congress (September 26-27), with a portion of that slated to be used for potential deployment of the autonomous buses in Dubai. Measuring six meters in length, the King Long bus K06 model is designed to operate autonomously, eliminating the need for a human driver. It relies on sophisticated technologies, including artificial intelligence, to deftly navigate and control the vehicle. Outfitted with an array of 27 cameras and sensors, it boasts a quick 120-minute full battery charge time, a top speed of 69 km/h, and a capacity to transport up to 12 passengers.Commenting on the win, Mohammed Maktari, General Manager - AG Auto, said: “We are thrilled to witness King Long's remarkable victory at the Dubai World Challenge. As the exclusive distributor for King Long buses in the UAE, AG Auto takes immense pride in this achievement.”He further added: “We are fully aligned with Dubai's ambitious vision of achieving 25% smart and driverless trips in the city by 2030, and we eagerly anticipate playing a pivotal role alongside our esteemed partner, King Long, in realising this transformative journey."As the first Chinese automotive firm to participate in the UAE’s public transport sector, King Long has had an active presence in the nation for nearly 15 years now, with AG Auto delegated as its sole distributor. King Long is associated with entities including Sharjah Roads & Transport Authority, Emirates Transport and Dubai Taxi Corporation.On his part, Chen Weiqiang, CEO of King Long Smart Transportation Business Unit, said: “We are honoured to be recognised as the winner of the Dubai World Challenge for our self-driving buses equipped, a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability. King Long is proud to be at the forefront of autonomous mobility, and together with our long-term partner AG Auto, we look forward to bringing future-oriented solutions to the region.”

Anthology survey reveals enthusiastic approval of AI in UAE Universities

Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced the results of its 2023 global research study: Comparing Global University Mindsets and Student Expectations. Findings revealed 56 percent of students in the Emirates feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will transform teaching and learning methods.More than 5,000 higher education leaders and current students from countries around the world, including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States, Brazil, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, participated in the survey.Findings revealed that students in UAE are among the most frequent users of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, with 32 percent saying they use the tools weekly. Their adoption of AI is more than three times that of their peers in the United States and the United Kingdom. And this trend is likely to continue as 80% of the students surveyed in UAE indicated that their use of generative AI tools will increase in the next six months.The study also finds that students (36 percent) in UAE are very comfortable with using AI chatbots to get quick answers to their questions, compared with only 13 percent in the United Kingdom.  When asked what role they think AI will play in higher education, 56% of students in the UAE believe it will revolutionise teaching and learning methods. They also believe in AI's collaborative potential, with 40 percent saying they believe AI will enhance students' engagement and interactivity. In addition, 38% of UAE student respondents feel artificial intelligence can provide personalised learning experiences."Personalised learning experiences remain the sought-after goal for educators worldwide. By understanding the needs of each student, teachers can target the areas that require focus and boost productivity,” said Bruce Dahlgren, chief executive officer at Anthology. “I’m excited to see students embracing AI and the opportunities it can deliver to support them on their learning journey.”A third of the university leaders in UAE acknowledged AI could create new challenges to identifying plagiarism, however they also cited a number of areas where AI tools could have a positive impact on higher education, mainly focused on increasing efficiencies for the instructors such as assisting in course building (33%) and drafting assessment questions (31%). “We are still at the early stage of understanding all of the different ways AI will impact education,” continued Dahlgren. “As a pioneer in applying advanced technology in education, including AI, the enthusiastic endorsement from students and university leadership in UAE is highly encouraging. It demonstrates a region where schools are ready to adopt AI to enrich student experiences and deliver much better outcomes."Anthology recently announced a host of new features facilitated by artificial intelligence, including AI Design Assist, a tool that helps instructors quickly create engaging learning experiences in Anthology's Learning Management System, Blackboard Learn Ultra. All product features that leverage AI are developed following Anthology’s Trustworthy AI program and commitment to responsible, lawful and ethical use of AI. Anthology will showcase these new AI features and other advancements in their portfolio of EdTech solutions at Anthology Together Middle East in Riyadh, 13-14 November.

Samsung Teams Up with Dubai Knowledge Park, Unveils Exclusive Student Discounts

Samsung Gulf Electronics has partnered with Dubai Knowledge Park, part of TECOM Group PJSC and a global hub for lifelong learning, to offer students across universities within the district exclusive discounts and benefits on select Samsung products.The announcement was made during a student roadshow, which was inaugurated by DooHee Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics and Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President of Commercial at TECOM Group. DooHee Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics, said, "We are delighted to partner with Dubai Knowledge Park to offer exclusive benefits to its talented and aspiring students, who are the future leaders of our knowledge-based economy. At Samsung, we always strive to empower students with latest innovation and technology, so they are future-ready for the new work of world. This initiative is one of our many efforts to enhance learning and development opportunities for them and we look forward to the success of this program.”Commenting on behalf of Dubai Knowledge Park, Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President of Commercial at TECOM Group, said: “Opening pathways to access modern technology and innovation holds the key to accessing limitless knowledge and fostering innovative thinking. Embracing these advancements cultivates a generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers, poised to shape a brighter, more inclusive future.“Dubai Knowledge Park’s strategic vision is aligned with the goals of Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ to grow the global knowledge economy through homegrown innovation. We are pleased to partner with Samsung Gulf Electronics to offer further avenues that support creative thinking within our community of talent."The campaign will enable students to enjoy up to a 30% discount on select products when purchasing from In addition, they will be eligible for an exclusive top-up voucher with code ‘DKP’ to be used when checking out on, enabling them extra perks such as Galaxy Entertainer, Samsung Care+ for Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip5, and a 10% discount on select Samsung products.Samsung Gulf Electronics is among the global technology leaders with its regional headquarters located in Dubai Internet City, within TECOM Group’s ecosystem.Alongside Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Knowledge Park makes up the education district of TECOM Group, providing a vibrant ecosystem for almost 30,000 students to be connected through activities, workshops, and events that encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing to drive Dubai’s innovation economy.Dubai Knowledge Park and Dubai International Academic City are part of TECOM Group’s portfolio of 10 business districts, including Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Industrial City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Design District (d3).

Qatar Airways to participate in the Dubai Airshow 2023

Qatar Airways is poised to make a striking presence at this year’s edition of the Dubai Airshow 2023 scheduled to take place from 13-17 November 2023 at Dubai World Centre.The award-winning airline aims to reinforce its position as a global aviation pioneer by showcasing a selection of its state-of-the-art aircraft to the industry, including Boeing B787-9, Airbus A350-1000, and Gulfstream G650ER. Additionally, Qatar Airways will offer first-hand experience to media and aerospace professionals of its cabins by hosting exclusive tours on board of its latest generation aircraft that reinvents the concepts of design, comfort and technology.Since its debut in 1986, the Dubai Airshow has grown to be one of the most influential and largest gatherings for commercial and non-commercial aviation in the industry attracting thousands of world-renowned exhibitors, as well as senior representatives from private and civil aviation.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, said: “The Dubai Airshow brings together a multitude of world-class aviation exhibitors and industry leaders, which makes the event a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to showcase our most advanced aircraft. Qatar Airways will take centre stage to exhibit our cutting-edge fleet equipped with the most sophisticated technology. This year, we are proud to display our Gulfstream G650ER, from our Qatar Executive fleet, as well as long-range Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner, and one of our Airbus A350-1000 aircraft for a reimagined passenger experience. We look forward to welcoming all partners and visitors to our stand during the Dubai Airshow.”With 15 Gulfstream G650ER in its fleet, Qatar Executive has become the world’s largest owner and single commercial operator of the aircraft type. The G650ER is designed for long and ultra-long-range flights, boasting an extremely spacious and luxurious cabin, and efficiently flies passengers to their destination.The Airbus A350-1000 features a wide body cabin, creating a very spacious interior, as well as having the widest seats of any jetliners, further providing passengers with generous space in all classes. Passengers can expect the quietest cabin of any twin-aisle aircraft, allowing for a more peaceful journey.The airline will also display a Boeing B787-9, which has a two-cabin configuration, comprised of 30 seats in Business Class and 281 Economy Class seats with a high standard of comfort on board, including individual television screens for all Economy Class seats and a full complimentary food and beverage service.

Ed Kim promoted as Chief Commerce Officer at MRM

Ed Kim has been promoted as Global Chief Commerce Officer by MRM, a McCann Worldgroup agency. This has been a special designation, created for him to elevate him from his previous post as EVP of Total Commerce Experiences. As Global Chief Commerce Officer, Kim will report to Bradley Rogers, MRM Global President and Chief Operating Officer. Bradley Rogers said: “Ed’s promotion is an essential step forward in delivering transformative creative solutions to our clients – especially as we’re seeing more demand to build connected relationships with customers across all channels and geographies. In his elevated role, Ed will accelerate commerce growth opportunities for brands across multiple B2B and B2C categories by integrating our commerce capabilities into every discipline across our global network.”Since joining MRM in 2021, Kim has been building MRM’s commerce expertise within McCann Worldgroup and IPG networks, leading to more than 30 percent growth of the practice and a series of new client relationships. He led all of the agency’s existing and new commerce initiatives globally with a focus on sustainable growth at scale, evolving its solutions to include a more holistic end-to-end offering. Kate MacNevin, MRM Global Chief Executive Officer and McCann Worldgroup Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are pleased to elevate Ed after the tremendous strides he’s made to enhance MRM’s commerce expertise over the past couple of years. This position signals an important step forward for our agency, and our prioritization of creativity and growth. Creative ideas need to have commerce embedded in everything we do from design, strategy, processes and beyond. Ed’s new role will help us make that vital integration to ensure that this crucial capability is embedded in our DNA,” Kim added: “Commerce has been traditionally viewed as somehow separate from creativity, which represents a massive missed opportunity for brands. By aligning the two, we’ve been able to increase engagement and amplify our brands in every interaction they have with audiences, lifting sales as well as brand affinity. As marketing and sales further converge, the need for commerce and creativity to do the same will only increase and I am excited to continue to make this happen for our clients.” In line with this promotion, MRM seeks to further prioritise the end-to-end commerce model that Kim has built as a key growth lever.

Amazon trains massive AI model 'Olympus' to rival OpenAI, Alphabet

Amazon has formed a dedicated team to train a massive AI model called "Olympus," according to a Reuters report.Amazon is making a significant financial investment in this large language model (LLM) with the hope that it can compete with leading models developed by OpenAI and Alphabet, according to insider information.The "Olympus" model is said to possess a staggering 2 trillion parameters, potentially making it one of the largest models under development. In comparison, OpenAI's renowned GPT-4 model is reported to have one trillion parameters.Rohit Prasad, the former head of Alexa, is leading the team responsible for "Olympus" and now reports directly to CEO Andy Jassy. In his role as the head scientist for general artificial intelligence (AGI) at Amazon, Prasad has brought in researchers who were previously engaged with Alexa AI and the Amazon science team to collaborate on model training, thus consolidating AI efforts across the company with dedicated resources.Already Amazon has trained smaller models, such as Titan, and has also established partnerships with AI model startups like Anthropic and AI21 Labs, making these models available to users of Amazon Web Services (AWS).The insiders indicate that there is no specific timeline for the release of the new model.LLMs serve as the foundational technology for AI tools that learn from extensive datasets to generate responses akin to those of humans. Training larger AI models is a costly endeavor due to the substantial computing power required. In an earnings call in April, Amazon executives expressed their intention to increase investments in LLMs and generative AI while reducing expenditures in their retail business related to fulfillment and transportation.

Global agency Team Lewis launches in Dubai

Dubai: Team Lewis, a Global B2B, consumer and technology agency, has launched its 25th international office in Dubai. The UAE agency has launched with global client accounts including BlackBerry, which will be led by Maha Ayash. Prior to this, Ayash was an Account Director at Four Communications.  Expanding to Dubai seems like a strategic move, especially with a seasoned professional like Maha Ayash at the helm. BlackBerry as a client is no small feat either. It's fascinating to see how agencies like Team Lewis navigate the global landscape, connecting with clients across various industries.Ayash has worked with clients across sectors including mobility, business advocacy, sustainability and aerospace, and is fluent in English and Arabic. Yvonne van Bokhoven, Executive Vice President for EMEA and APAC, Team Lewis, said: ‘‘The UAE and MENA region are lynchpins for many global industries. The opening of this office is an important step on our journey. Our clients asked us to open in this geography due to the significant market opportunities, and we responded.” She added: “Maha is a talented specialist consultant with an international mindset. I’m excited about working with her to deliver world-class services for our clients in the UAE and beyond.”Ayash said: “I am thrilled to join Team Lewis. I look forward to building a talented team to deliver integrated services to our current clients, as well as diversifying our client portfolio.”Team Lewis now has 650 employees across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Dubai Press Club and MBRU Join Forces for Specialized Health Media Training

The Dubai Press Club (DPC), in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), organised a training programme titled ‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ focused on raising the capabilities of media professionals to cover healthcare-related topics. The initiative forms part of DPC’s ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ aimed at enhancing professional benchmarks in Arab media.Representing a synergistic partnership between the media and health sectors, the initiative is part of broader efforts to integrate high-quality specialised health coverage into mainstream media. The new programme was aimed at making journalists aware of the latest healthcare issues and providing them with the tools and frameworks needed to convey information regarding public health crises and pandemics accurately and responsibly.Dr. Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club, said: “Amidst the rapid transformations happening in the UAE and across the globe, this initiative was designed to enable journalists to keep pace with the emerging wave of developments in the health sector and beyond. With the rapidly evolving nature of healthcare, there is an urgent need for journalists to stay abreast of changing approaches to public health management and the vast new innovation and research in this vital sector. Guided by the vision of the UAE's leadership, we seek to work closely with various partners to raise the media’s expertise in addressing health challenges. In collaboration with MBRU, we created a set of training modules to raise journalists’ understanding of today’s healthcare landscape. Our goal is not only to enhance the depth of health coverage in the media but also inculcate a proactive mindset amongst media professionals and raise our community’s broader awareness and vigilance to deal with any future pandemics.”The organisation of the ‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ programme is a testament to the close partnership between the media and healthcare sectors in Dubai to enhance coverage of health issues. The various components of the programme were structured to help media report on health issues with precision and insight. The four-day programme held at the Dubai Press Club sought to help journalists understand contemporary medical terms, interpret health data correctly and communicate statistics effectively.Dr. Amer Sharif, CEO of the Dubai Academic Health Corporation and President of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), said: “Our commitment to academic excellence and evidence-based healthcare journalism lies at the core of this programme. By equipping journalists with the essential principles of health sciences, we seek to provide them with the tools to navigate the complexities of this critical and transformative field. We extend our appreciation to all participants who joined us in this programme for recognising that it is our shared responsibility to safeguard the accuracy of healthcare reporting. We would also like to thank the Dubai Press Club for their partnership, invaluable contributions and support for the programme. Together, we can propel healthcare journalism towards a future where it plays a key role in creating a healthier, more informed society.”Through training sessions, immersive workshops and assessments, the programme taught participants to track and analyse health-related data, especially in times of health crises. Another key objective of the programme was to combat the potential ripple effects of misinformation resulting from a fragmented understanding of health issues.Building upon the previous outcomes of the ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ introduced in 2017, the latest specialised training is part of the Dubai Press Club’s commitment to raise professional standards in the media’s coverage of diverse sectors including politics, economics, culture and science. Significant previous initiatives undertaken by DPC as part of the ‘Advanced Journalism Program’ include the ‘Science Journalist Program’, organised in 2017 in collaboration with the Emirates Scientists Council and the ‘Advanced Economic Journalism’ programme held in 2018, with the support of DP World and delivered in collaboration with global media organisations including CNN, CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, AFP, Sky News Arabia and Murdoch University.‘Introduction to Health Science for Journalists’ sought to provide journalists with the wider knowledge base needed to enhance their health reportage. Apart from foundational health principles, the session covered specialised topics such as anatomy, epidemiology, healthcare systems, medical research, clinical trials and clinical ethics.As part of efforts to further enrich their knowledge, resources and research capabilities, participants in the training programme were given a one-year membership to the Al Maktoum Medical Library at MBRU. The participants were also presented with certificates that acknowledge the proficiency they gained during the programme.

RTA wins three Asian Leadership Awards

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has won three Asian Leadership Awards (ALA) for Excellence in Sustainable Water Management, Business Innovation and Digital Innovation.The ALA Award Excellence in Sustainable Water Management was earned by Maintenance and Services Department at RTA’s Public Transport Agency for Wastewater Management and Recycling project implemented at bus depots. This innovative project is in line with RTA’s sustainability initiatives aimed at reducing water consumption and carbon emissions associated with wastewater transportation. It also promotes the use of recycled water to expand green spaces at the stations through growing more trees and plants.RTA’s Rail Agency also won two other ALA Awards, namely the Business Innovation Award for Configuration Management CDE Synergy, and the Digital Innovation Award for The Rail Engineering Information Digital Platform for its key role as a strategic tool for sustainable growth in transportation.The Configuration Management CDE Synergy project is an innovative technology that effectively contributes to improving the train operating performance, through the analysis of monthly reports. The achievement affirms RTA’s commitment to digital transformation and the development of a flexible and efficient rail management system, which contributes to enhancing the overall mobility experience across the region.The Rail Engineering Information Digital Platform is instrumental in managing the information governance of Dubai Metro data and documents. It also nurtures a digital environment that promotes collaboration among the relevant stakeholders to ensure data consistency.The Asian Leadership Awards honour prominent business leaders and organisations across Asia for their continued commitment to excellence and advocation of the best practices and innovative strategies. These Awards proudly maintain a tradition established since their inception in 2011, fostering a culture of achievement and celebrating the remarkable business leadership prevalent throughout Asia.

Mastercard & Ottu Boost GCC Payment Access via Gateway Partnership

Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ottu, a prominent fintech player in the Middle East region. This pioneering partnership is primarily focused on Ottu's integration of Mastercard Gateway, enabling a range of local payment methods in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.Mastercard Gateway offers advanced payment processing and fraud prevention technology to acquiring banks, merchants, micro-merchants, and technology partners. It provides its partners with the reach, security, and innovation to compete in the world of digital payments.Ottu provides an Online Payments Management Solution (OPMS) designed to streamline online payments, crafted to optimize online payment processes for enterprises across a wide spectrum of industries. Ottu’s solution also seamlessly connects various online sales channels and payment methods, harnessing Ottu's expertise in building an efficient ecosystem.Through this partnership, Ottu merchants can tap into these local payment methods through a streamlined integration, thereby bridging the gap between international payment networks.Talal AlAwadhi, CEO of Ottu, stated, "Our partnership with Mastercard Gateway is more than a strategic alliance. It's a vision for integrating global technological might with regional transactional traditions, ensuring the Gulf's payment ecosystem is robust and resonant with its users."Maria Parpou, Executive Vice President, Mastercard Gateway, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to partnering with innovative fintech companies such as Ottu to bring advanced payment solutions to the region with the aim of fueling the growth of the digital economy. Mastercard Gateway offers a single connection to help local merchants accept payments globally, facilitating secure and seamless transactions that surpass customer expectations.”

Warner Bros. Discovery loses 0.7 million streaming subscribers in Q3

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. has reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. Global streaming subscribers decreased 0.7 million to 95.1 million at the end of Q3 vs. 95.8 million subscribers at the end of Q2. However, global DTC ARPU was $7.82, a 6% increase vs. the prior year quarter. Barbie was the highest grossing film in Warner Bros. history, generating nearly $1.5 billion in global box office. The Nun II was the sixth film in The Conjuring Universe to cross $250 million in global box office. As a franchise, The Conjuring Universe has grossed nearly $2.3 billion globally, the most of any horror franchise. The company successfully launched news streaming service, CNN Max, in the US, on September 27, ahead of the October 5 launch of the Bleacher Report Sports Add-On tier. Total revenues were $9,979 million, an increase of 1% compared to the prior year quarter. David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “I am very pleased with the strong financial results that our company delivered in Q3, underscored by 22% growth in Adjusted EBITDA and over $2 billion in free cash flow, putting us on track to meaningfully exceed $5 billion for the year and contributing to our nearly $12 billion in debt paydown to date. Among the highlights, our Direct-to-Consumer business had another profitable quarter with $111 million of Adjusted EBITDA and launched its new live-programming offerings with CNN Max and the Bleacher Report Add-On, which are showing early signs of contributing to increased engagement and lower churn on Max. We’ve made great strides in just 19 months and are excited to continue building on this strong momentum, as we focus on driving future growth and creating long-term value for our shareholders.” Other highlights: Net loss available to Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. was $(417) million, and included $1,758 million of pre-tax amortization driven by acquisition-related intangibles and $269 million of pre-tax restructuring expenses. Q3 total Adjusted EBITDA was $2,969 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 22% ex-FX compared to the prior year quarter. Cash provided by operating activities increased to $2,516 million. Reported free cash flow increased to $2,059 million. Repaid $2.4 billion of debt during Q3. Ended the quarter with $2.4 billion of cash on hand, $45.3 billion of gross debt, and 4.2x net leverage.

Core42 sets new benchmark for Arabic large language models

Abu Dhabi– Core42, a G42 company and the UAE-based national-scale enabler for cloud and generative AI, announced the launch of Jais 30B, the newest and most proficient version of its open-source Arabic Large Language Model (LLM). Featuring 30 billion parameters, this new iteration of Jais follows the release in August 2023 of the 13 billion parameter model, underscoring Core42's commitment to provide a rich linguistic and culture-focused generative AI experience for the over 400 million Arabic speakers worldwide.Jais, born from the collaboration between Inception - now converged into Core42 -, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate research university dedicated to AI, and Cerebras Systems, immediately set a benchmark in the Arabic LLM landscape. The model was trained on the Condor Galaxy-1 (CG-1) - one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers, with 4 exaFLOPS of training compute, 54 million cores, and 64-nodes - built by G42 in partnership with Cerebras Systems. Jais 13B went from concept to fine-tuned, leading open-source model in less than four months. Notably, the production training run for Jais 13B was completed in 21 days on CG-1.The new Jais 30B model was trained on a substantially larger dataset than its predecessor, made of 126 billion Arabic tokens, 251 billion English tokens, and 50 billion code tokens and shows an increased performance across all key indicators. It offers 160% longer and more detailed answers in Arabic and a 233% increase in English, reflecting significant improvements in language generation. The model also presents better performance in summarization (53% in Arabic and 85% in English) and formatting (130% in Arabic and 134% in English). Jais 30B performance is now on par with monolingual English models and outperforms most open-source models in Foundation Model evaluations.Jais 30B’s enhancements have been tested and validated using heuristic, cross-model comparison, and human evaluations, showing that the responses of the model’s fine-tuned iterations outperform those of Jais 13B 96% of the time in Arabic and 97% in English.Reaffirming its dedication to responsible and safe AI practices, the developing team has also further enhanced its processes and policies to guardrail biases and the production of hateful or harmful content by the model, a process made easier by its open-source release.Jais’s versatility and unique capabilities in the Arabic language domain have already shown promise in applications across various sectors including telecommunications, energy, education, healthcare as well as innovative solutions for the marketing communications industry.Dr. Andrew Jackson, EVP, Chief AI Officer, Core42, said: "The launch of Jais 30B marks another significant milestone for Core42 and represents a giant leap forward for the Arabic-speaking world in harnessing the potential of generative AI. This release underscores the powerful synergy between Core42's technological leadership, our extensive partner ecosystem, and our shared dedication to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the field of AI. I eagerly anticipate close collaboration with our customers and partners to explore new applications and continually enhance the model's capabilities, as we intensify our efforts to create top-quality LLMs for various other languages."Andrew Feldman, CEO and co-founder, Cerebras Systems said: “Less than eight weeks after we introduced Jais 13B to the global Arabic-speaking community, the Core42 and Cerebras teams have delivered a new state-of-the-art LLM that is more than double in size. Jais 30B leverages the incredible, massive compute of Condor Galaxy 1 to set another record in bilingual performance and impressively fast training time.”Jais 30B is available for download on Hugging Face.Hugging Face foundational model: Face chat model:

Omdia partners with GDC,

LONDON, November 7, 2023 – In partnership with Informa Tech sibling companies GDC and, Omdia has announced the launch of the Game Developer Collective, a first-of-its-kind community of game developers selected to participate in surveys on the key issues surrounding game development. Already counting over 600 fully verified game developers as members, the Game Developer Collective is uniquely positioned to generate insights into the game development industry through regular surveys of a large and high-quality panel. The first Game Developer Collective survey, carried out in October, explored developers’ use of tools and services and found generally cautious sentiment, with budgets increasingly tight. A 58% majority of developers reported flat or decreasing spending in the second half of 2023, compared to just 12% with increased spending.This survey also explored Unity’s recent pricing changes, finding a potentially dramatic impact brewing in the game engine market. Some 71% of Unity users are considering switching games engines for future projects. Whether this comes to fruition of course remains to be seen—and Game Developer Collective survey results are set to become a key barometer in judging these market shifts by regularly re-polling the views of its stable and verified panel of developers.“This first round of results already offers fascinating insights into the state of game development,” commented Liam Deane, Principal Analyst for Games Tech at Omdia. “But what’s truly unique about this product is that for the first time ever we have a reliable long-term barometer of developer sentiment. By repeatedly surveying the same panel of developers, we can see how their priorities, expectations, and budgets shift over time, making this an essential tool for games tech and service providers looking to understand their target market.”The full results of current and future Game Developer Collective surveys, including raw data and cross tabs, is now available exclusively to subscribers to Omdia’s Games Tech Intelligence Service.

DeepLearning.AI and Coursera launch Generative AI for everyone

Dubai, UAE: Coursera, a leading online learning platform, announced the launch of Generative AI for Everyone from DeepLearning.AI, a new course taught by global AI leader Andrew Ng. The course is designed to help learners everywhere navigate the profound shift generative AI is bringing to the world.McKinsey research shows that generative AI could enable automation of up to 70% of business activities across almost all occupations by 2030 and could add up to USD 4.4 trillion a year to the economy in productivity gains.This beginner-level course will help everyone, including those with a nontechnical background, gain a deeper understanding of how generative AI works and its impact on the workplace and everyday life. Professionals and business leaders will learn how to apply generative AI in their work and get ahead of the changes this technology will inevitably bring.“Generative AI is helping many individuals work more efficiently, and also enabling businesses to deploy AI applications in days – which previously would have taken months to build. I’m excited about sharing generative AI best practices to enable many more people to take advantage of these revolutionary new capabilities.” – Andrew Ng, Founder, DeepLearning.AIThroughout the course, learners will:Gain expertise on how generative AI works, including what it can and can’t do.Learn to use generative AI to help their day-to-day work and receive tips on effective prompt engineering.Receive a framework for systematically analyzing an individual or a business’s workflow to identify promising generative AI automation and augmentation opportunities. Understand generative AI’s impact on business and society, including its risks and responsible use. Andrew co-founded Coursera in 2012 to help empower learners with the skills necessary to succeed in a world transformed by new technologies like AI. Today, Coursera has 136 million registered learners, including over 8.4 million from the Middle East and North Africa region. His 2019 blockbuster course AI for Everyone has more than 1 million enrollments to date.

Mr. Toad's partners with Extra Time at the Weekend for live broadcasts

Dubai: Mr Toad’s, Dubai’s go-to destination for big-screen sports action and tasty food and beverage deals, is teaming up with Extra Time at the Weekend on Dubai Eye 103.8 for live broadcasts every Saturday from 4 pm to 7 pm.Kicking off on Saturday, 11 November at Mr Toads Premier Inn Al Jaddaf, the weekly events include live broadcasts from top UAE sports presenters, including Chris McHardy, Tom Urquhart and Robbie Greenfield, as well as appearances from sports guests and personalities.Running for eight months to cover the global, regional and local winter sports calendar, the activation will be held at a different Mr Toad’s each month.Mr Toad’s is among the most high profile and popular F&B destinations in the Emirates leisure retail portfolio.Tyrone Reid, Group Chief Executive Officer, ELR and MMI, said: “Mr Toad’s is delighted to team up with Arabian Radio Network and Dubai Eye for yet another exciting activation. At Mr Toad’s, sport is at the heart of everything we do, be it hosting globally renowned sporting legends, supporting local fitness and wellbeing initiatives, screening live events or creating menus that reflect the cultures of participating countries in world sporting events. This partnership is a natural fit for us and highlights our commitment to continually enhancing our guests’ experiences.”Simon Leigh, Managing Director, Premier Inn Middle East, added: “Premier Inn is proud to host a live radio show, dedicated to all things sport, at Mr Toad’s. With the winter sports season firmly under way, we can’t wait to kick off this great new partnership, and look forward to welcoming the team onboard.Mr Toad’s venues across Dubai are currently featuring Championships at the Pad as part of their Cricket World Cup activation, with menus inspired by the cuisine of teams taking part. Dishes start at AED30. Earlier this year, Mr Toad’s and Premier Inn hosted the 100 World Legends for a week of exclusive events for guests and local community initiatives to mark the Rugby World Cup.Mr Toad’s can be found at Premier Inn hotels at Al Jaddaf, Barsha Heights, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Investments Park, Ibn Battuta Mall and Al Garhoud. For all the latest offers, events and activations at Mr Toad’s, follow @mrtoadsme.

Lamborghini Abu Dhabi and Dubai debuts the Revuelto in the UAE

Lamborghini Abu Dhabi and Dubai unveiled the highly anticipated first super sports V12 hybrid plug-in HPEV (High Performance Electrified Vehicle), Revuelto at a private function in Abu Dhabi. With its unprecedented new architecture, innovative design, maximum-efficiency aerodynamics and a new carbon frame concept, Revuelto sets a new benchmark for performance, sportiness and driving pleasure. With the power of three electric motors, a double-clutch gearbox and a brand-new combustion engine, the 12-cylinder Lamborghini model gives an output of 1015 CV for the first time.The powertrain combines high specific power elements: the new 127 CV/litre combustion engine works synergically with two front axial flux motors that deliver an outstanding weight-to-power ratio, with a radial flux electric motor positioned above the first eight-speed double-clutch gearbox debuting on a12-cylinder Lamborghini. The three electric motors are powered by a lithium-ion high specific power (4500 W/kg) battery pack that also supports a fully electric drive mode.Mr. Rakan Turki, CEO of Lamborghini Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said: “The unveiling of the Revuelto represents a quantum leap for Lamborghini. since its announcement our clientele in the UAE had overwhelmingly positive feedback on the latest flagship model, the Revuelto exemplifies Lamborghini's V12 super sports heritage through its avant-garde design, highly efficient aerodynamics, and innovative carbon frame concept.”The main structural element of the new automobile is carbon fibre, which is produced through artisan craftmanship in the Sant'Agata Bolognese facility. It is utilised in the frame and monofuselage as well as numerous bodywork components. The extensive use of carbon fibre and lightweight materials, combined with the potent engine power, contributes to achieving weight-to­ power ratio of 1.75 kg/CV, which is the best in the history of Lamborghini. The new Lamborghini Infotainment System in Revuelto provides a fully immersive experience for both the driver and the passenger.The new Revuelto combines these features to deliver performance figures at the peak of its segment which is acceleration from 0-100 km/h in only 2.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 350 km/h. The model demonstrates its amplified qualities on the track and in everyday driving attributing to these figures combined with its exceptional power that comes from the introduction of electric torque vectoring and four-wheel drive, which is also available in fully electric drive mode. Mr. Rakan Turki added: “This debut in the UAE automotive market signifies a remarkable step in providing automotive excellence through iconic design & performance, and we cannot wait to see the Revuelto making its mark on the UAE road just like the Aventador did.”

KIPCO appoints Samer Abbouchi as Group Senior Vice President – Investments

KIPCO – Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – has announced the appointment of Mr Samer Abbouchi as Group Senior Vice President – Investments. With two decades of experience in finance and investment banking, Mr Abbouchi will make an important contribution to the development of KIPCO’s investments in the financial and real estate sectors.Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, KIPCO’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said:“We are delighted that Samer is joining our investment team at KIPCO. He brings with him a wealth of experience in investment banking in the local and regional markets, which will add great value to the executive team.”On his part, Mr Abbouchi said:“I am very pleased to be joining KIPCO and have the opportunity to work with the Group CEO and the executive team to implement the company’s strategy.”Prior to joining KIPCO, Mr Abbouchi was Deputy GM - Investment Banking at Gulf Bank. He started his career with Ernst & Young, then joined Global Investment House where his last position was Senior Vice President – Investment Banking. Mr Abbouchi holds a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut, an MBA from London Business School and is a CFA Charter holder.

Leejam Sports holds “Leejam Day Conference” with the Ministry of Investment

 In collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and the presence of the Ministry of Sports, Leejam Sports Company, the only publicly traded fitness company in the Middle East and North Africa region and the proud owner of the “Fitness Time” brand, hosted the Leejam Day conference under the topic “Invest in Sports” which is an initiative within Invest Saudi program affiliated with MISA.The discussion convened a prominent assembly of industry leaders, policymakers, and visionaries, sparking an insightful conversation that focused on the trajectory of the private sports sector in the Kingdom. The discourse explored the current sports landscape and investment plans, highlighting Leejam Sports’ ambitious vision and pivotal role in supporting the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Sports Strategy by promoting health and well-being as well as economic diversification.Distinguished speakers included Basim K. Ibrahim, Investment Attraction and Development Manager at the Ministry of Investment, and Donal McElwee, Partner and Head of ME and Africa for Portas Consulting. Together, they shared valuable insights into the achievements of the sports sector in the Kingdom to date and charted out plans to attract investment and bolster the nation's sporting prowess.Based on the importance of the private sector role in achieving these plans, Basim K. Ibrahim thanked Leejam Sports Company for organizing this conference and emphasized that Leejam is a pivotal success story in supporting and enabling investment projects within the sports sector, as Leejam Sports stands out as one of the prominent private-sector leaders, dedicated to enabling this vision while fostering a culture of a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity.Adnan Al-Khalaf, the CEO of Leejam Sports Company, expressed his excitement for the event's resounding success. He stated, “Our Leejam Day Conference has not only provided a platform for robust discussions and insights but also showcased our steadfast commitment to realizing the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Strategy of the Saudi Sports Federation, with the invaluable support of the Ministry of Investment, aiming to increase public sports participation to 40% by 2030. We take pride in leading the private sector and empowering the sports scene in the Kingdom."Al-Khalaf added, “Leejam Sports has experienced a remarkable boom, effectively navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19, thanks to our strong foothold and capabilities that empower us to expand and diversify our ambitious growth plans. Today, Leejam Sports boasts a network of 173 sports centers and specialized studios with over 448,000 members, supported by more than 1,500 certified sports trainers and 570 professional trainers across 19 different sports. Through its efforts to invigorate the sports sector in the Kingdom, Leejam Sports plays a key role in economic diversification and enhancing individual lifestyles, with the ultimate goal of building a healthy and vibrant community.”He further highlighted the significant achievements of Leejam Sports in the sports sector, including its recent strategic partnership with Burjeel Holdings to launch PhysioTherabia centers, the first-of-its-kind network of state-of-the-art physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and wellness centers in Saudi Arabia. The centers are set to provide the region’s most innovative and comprehensive physical therapy, advanced rehabilitation, and sports performance services.As the panel drew to a close, attendees left with a glimpse into the future of the private sports sector in Saudi Arabia. The event reiterated Leejam Sports Company's commitment to fulfilling its health goals of fitness for the mind and body through its expansion plans. These plans seek to open over 100 additional centers in the coming years, further solidifying its position as a leader in fitness and wellness in the Middle East and North Africa. The success of "The Future of Private Sports Sector in Saudi Arabia" paves the way for a healthier, more active, and economically vibrant future for the Kingdom.

Abu Dhabi welcomes Global Media Congress second edition

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the second edition of the Global Media Congress 2023 is slated to commence next week in the capital, Abu Dhabi, with record-breaking international participation from major global companies in the media industry, as well as decision-makers, experts, and specialists from around the world.This announcement was made during the press conference held today to disclose the latest preparations for the launch of the second edition of the Congress, organized by ADNEC Group in partnership with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) from November 14 to 16 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Global Media Congress, declared: "In anticipation of the Global Media Congress's second edition, we've strengthened our global media network through strategic partnerships following our first session. These collaborations are poised to enhance this year's congress, offering participants unparalleled value. In conjunction with COP28, our Congress's opening day will spotlight the pivotal role of environmental media in sustainability and climate advocacy. Day two shifts focus to media education, with a special emphasis on youth engagement. We're excited to welcome students from 100 universities, equipping them to shape the media landscape. We're also launching the Education Stage and Co- Production Majlis, alongside the Innovation Stage, NexTech, and Future Media Lab, to explore the nexus of media, education, and Al as we navigate the industry's evolution."Al Rayssi expressed his pride in the record-breaking interest shown by companies, decision-makers, and experts from all over the world in participating in the second edition of the Congress, noting that such interest reflects the trust and professional credibility that the event enjoys despite its recent inception. He also highlighted the significant contribution of the Congress in creating a supportive and innovative environment for building new partnerships between companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, stated, "Organizing the Global Media Congress aligns with ADNEC Group's strategy to support a wide range of economic and knowledge sectors in the country in line with the aspirations of our wise leadership for the next fifty years, with the media industry being one of its main pillars."He added: "The exhibition's mission aligns with our vision to enhance the direct and indirect economic contributions of these vital sectors to the country's economy and confirm the position of Abu Dhabi as the capital of exhibitions and specialized conferences industry in the region."Al Dhaheri stated that the record-breaking interest in the second edition of the Global Media Congress is a testimony to the success of this policy and an effective translation of the aspirations of the wise leadership into reality; noting that the second edition of the Congress is witnessing high interest form the part of prominent worldwide specialized media companies.The current edition of the Congress witnesses a significant increase in the number of exhibiting companies and brands, with a 33% rise reaching 257 brands compared to last year’s first edition. The number of participating countries also increased by 22% to reach 172 countries, with 31 countries participating for the first time. The total exhibition area has expanded by 78%, exceeding 32,000 square meters compared to 18,000 square meters in the previous edition.The Congress will also feature a dedicated event for top players in the sector, attracting over 400 top industry players from around the world. This will be facilitated through the launch of a Council – “Majlis” that provides an exclusive space for industry leaders, production companies, and content technology innovators to communicate, share knowledge, and explore opportunities for collaborative production and partnerships in the media sector.Additionally, the second edition of the Congress will host a specialized conference over three days, featuring 77 speakers representing key players in the media industry from 18 countries. The conference, held under the theme of "Shaping the Future of the Media Industry. “includes 36 main sessions covering discussion topics namely, sustainability, innovation, cutting-edge technologies in the media sector, sports media, and youth engagement, as well as the role of training and development in enhancing the future of the media industry.The Congress will also include five associated events, some of which are being held for the first time, most importantly, the Innovative and Startups Stage will feature more than 24 startups, with national companies accounting for 36% of the startups. This Stage offers companies the opportunity to showcase new technologies and ideas in the sector to a wide range of relevant institutions and decision-makers.The second platform will focus on training and education, organizing more than 30 training workshops for participants from around the world, with 40 trainees in each workshop, supervised by 25 international experts and institutions specialized in the sector. This platform aims to enhance the skills of participants in sustainability, sports broadcasting, and artificial intelligence.The third event will attract top executives in the sector, policymakers, and entrepreneurs from around the world under the Future of Media Labs platform. This platform will include six closed sessions aimed at exchanging and developing ideas that will drive the media sector forward.The fourth platform, dedicated to innovation in the influencers’ sector, will provide a creative space for content developers to interact, collaborate, and share their insights and experiences with emerging influencers through 21 dialogue sessions featuring 19 speakers.The fifth platform will host four new media sessions and roundtable discussions with the participation of 32 experts and speakers to study the challenges and opportunities in the sector in the presence of a group of creative talents and decision-makers from various media sectors worldwide.Furthermore, the Global Media Congress is receiving significant media coverage compared to the previous edition last year, with nearly 800 journalists from 58 countries, marking an 8% increase, emphasizing the growing importance of the Congress regionally and internationally and its significant role in advancing the media sector.

Etisalat by e& welcomes the 5th batch of AI Graduate Training programme

etisalat by e& welcomed the 5th batch to join the AI Graduate Training programme, launched in 2021 with the aim to build UAE’s future leaders by enabling graduates to build their capabilities in emerging technologies and digital leadership, aligned with country's digital future.Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO, etisalat by e&, welcomed the new graduates, “We are beyond excited to welcome talented graduates to the AI Graduate Programme this year. It is a priority for us to nurture future Emirati leaders and digital architects of tomorrow with the right skills from day one to ensure you are all ready for a rapidly changing, technology-driven world. This programme is a great platform for them to kickstart an illustrious career.”Ali Al Mansoori, CHRO, etisalat by e& also welcomed the graduates of the programme that has celebrated the joining of more than 200 UAE nationals until now. He addressed the newly joined graduates sharing his insights on etisalat by e&’s strategy and continued focus on investing in Emirati talents and develop them by supporting their goals and charting out a successful career path at the same time leading the digital future in UAE.The AI Graduate programme is a testament of e&’s commitment to build future Emirati leadership through offering a rewarding and engaging career.The rising talents will work on business-critical projects and real-life cases, providing the next generation of leaders with authentic learning experiences that sets them on a roadmap to success as well as bringing their value from the beginning of their career journey to e&.The AI graduate training programme is designed to provide a holistic and hands-on experience, imparting essential behavioural and technical skills while fostering confidence through consultative abilities and a support network.These graduates will embark on an exciting and challenging nine-month journey in three phases mainly understanding data culture and analytics, deep-diving into power skills such as communication and decision making, emotional intelligence, learning AI for business leaders and leadership development.

Dubizzle Group: Rising Demand for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in the UAE

Dubizzle Group, the Middle East technology unicorn and #1 regional classifieds platform, says that there has been a significant uptick in the listing and sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars in the UAE. Proprietary market data compiled by the Group’s classifieds platform shows a sustained increase in the inventory of second-hand low emission vehicles, signalling a clear shift in consumer preferences towards more sustainable transport options, as well as a maturing of the electric and hybrid vehicle category in the UAE.During the first nine months of 2023, dubizzle’s automotive classifieds data shows a 28% increase in EV listings, compared to the first nine months of 2022. Over the same period, hybrid car listings surged by 142%, further underlining the growing popularity of low emission vehicles. By contrast, non-EV car listings went up by just 9% over the same period.Within the EV category, listings for the Tesla Model 3 increased by 9.2% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Tesla appears to be the preferred brand among buyers, with the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.6 close behind. Listings for the Volkswagen ID.6 increased by 97% during the same period but declined by 73% from a peak in Q4 2023, likely due to measures taken by the UAE in March of this year to regulate the import of EVs through non-approved dealerships and traders.The strong growth in demand for low emission vehicles, according to Dubizzle Group, can be directly correlated to rises in fuel prices, with spikes in demand for low-emission vehicles closely linked to spikes in fuel costs. Moreover, accessibility of EV ownership in the UAE has improved, with prices for low-emission vehicles decreasing since early 2022, making them more affordable for drivers. Used EV prices have also decreased since the mid-2022 supply shortage has corrected.Dubizzle Group believes that the widely available EV charging infrastructure in the UAE has supported stronger demand. The number of EV charging stations in Dubai has seen a more than threefold increase since 2015, with more residential and commercial property developers introducing EV charging stations to their properties. With Dubai targeting a 170% increase in EV charging stations by 2025, ownership of EVs is likely to continue to rise.Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Dubizzle Group MENA, commented: “As the second-hand automotive sales market leader, we are in a unique position to understand changing consumer preferences, and we can clearly see a shift in trends for electric vehicles. With the availability and affordability of electric vehicles improving across the segment, we can expect to see further escalation in the adoption of electric vehicles in the months and years to come, helping the UAE stay on track for its commendable sustainability goals. At dubizzle, we are deeply committed to helping the UAE achieve these milestones and offering our users the best, most holistic experience while buying or selling their vehicles online.”The UAE's EV market is poised for continued growth, with a projected CAGR of 28.5% from 2023 to 2028, according to BMI Research. The UAE currently ranks 8th globally in terms of readiness for electric vehicles, bolstered by ambitious government initiatives for the transport sector, according to Arthur D. Little research.The accelerated progress of the introduction of EVs to the local market is bolstered by the UAE's commitment to increasing the penetration of low emission vehicles, for example through the National Electric Vehicles Policy announced in July 2023. This policy seeks to create an environment conducive to green mobility by establishing infrastructure standards for EV charging stations and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. The Government’s goal is to increase the share of electric vehicles to 50% of all vehicles on the road by 2050.dubizzle’s growing role in the second-hand EV and hybrid car market is a clear demonstration of the UAE's evolving automotive landscape, as current and future transportation shifts to a cleaner footing. Through its portfolio of leading classifieds brands, Dubizzle Group is actively supporting the UAE's ambitious green mobility agenda, while enabling a circular economy through trusted marketplaces for products and services. Dubizzle Group has played a significant role in building confidence in used cars, introducing innovative features to better facilitate buying and selling, including financing and insurance options. This approach makes the purchase of used EV and hybrid vehicles more accessible and efficient for consumers.Haider Ali Khan concluded: “Benefiting from strong macroeconomic tailwinds, including a significant uptick in long-term residency visas, rapid population growth, and thriving GDP growth, the outlook for the UAE’s EV market is very positive.”Dubizzle Group comprises a leading portfolio of brands, including the UAE’s #1 real estate classifieds platforms Bayut and dubizzle, with 4 million active listings and a monthly regional user base of 27 million people. More than half of the UAE’s population visits one of the Group’s platforms every month.

Evision by e& launches next generation streaming service STARZ ON

evision, media and entertainment arm of e& and the largest content aggregator in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region, today unveiled its own OTT free-to-watch streaming platform, STARZ ON, to bring regional, Hollywood, Bollywood, English, Arabic, and French content in addition to sports all for free.This new AVOD/FAST platform is available to all users based in the MENA region and West Africa to access FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) channels on their Android and iOS devices. Subscribers will have access to 50 Fast and Linear1 channels in addition to thousands of hours of content for free, with plans to expand the diverse content offering to more than 25,000 hours and over 100 channels by 2024 available on all devices and SmartTVs.This new cutting-edge streaming service is part of evision's long-term strategy to develop services that enable users to get the most out of online content, using cloud-based technologies to promote a digital lifestyle.Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, e& life, said: "STARZ ON is more than a service, it's an experience. As e& transforms into a global technology group, e& life is championing a revolutionary AI-powered digital journey and we look forward to changing the landscape of the streaming industry with a positive impact on the communities we serve. STARZ ON is poised to redefine the dynamics of regional entertainment and become the gold standard in streaming."STARZ ON is destined to become a cultural phenomenon, hosting shows that profoundly influence and shape societal trends, strengthen its position as the embodiment of must-see television in the streaming world."The exciting line-up includes premium content in English and Arabic, with dramas, comedies, top box office productions, documentaries, and reality shows, in addition to live sports and boxing events. Olivier Bramly, CEO, evision said: "Currently, the growth of video streaming in the MENA region is expected to proliferate over the next five years. evision is bridging the content gap for a multilingual free ad-supported platform in the MENA region and is committed to becoming a pioneering leader in the region by offering free access to premium entertainment that will be a game changer for everyone."The new streaming platform will include AI-based recommendations to engage users and deliver exceptional, relevant content to audiences to enhance their experience. Users will be segmented and targeted across different groups. In addition, more cutting-edge features will be continuously integrated into the outstanding interface to enhance the customer experience and provide a value-added offering for advertisers."Subscribers will also benefit from exclusive FAST and in-house Linear channels such as "STARZON KIDS", "STARZON CHILLZ" and "STARZON THRILLZ". Additionally, over 40 premium channels including the best in news, reality shows, Bollywood, sports and more from renowned creators will be offered to provide the best free streaming experience to users across the region.STARZ ON will include new ad technology that allows smart targeting, addressable advertising and advanced personalisation. The new platform will also offer a download and play easy to use features with a great user experience including a premium content navigation menu, auto-play and remarkable promotions for featured brands, languages and genres.STARZ ON offers a panoramic view of global entertainment, catering to a wide range of tastes, from movies and TV shows to educational and entertainment content, in multiple languages including English, Arabic, French, South Asian and others.STARZ ON users have the option to subscriber to STARZPLAY to watch premium entertainment and live sports such as Cricket, Rugby, and Serie A Italian Football.MENA-based streaming enthusiasts can now discover the unlimited world of STARZ ON. Users can download STARZ ON from Google Play Market and Apple iOS.

META Cinema Forum Promises to Elevate Cinematic Experience in Emerging Markets

The 6th Edition of META Cinema Forum, the largest and most influential cinema convention in emerging markets, commenced with great anticipation today, on November 7th, 2023, at the prestigious Grand Hyatt in Dubai. With the cinema market size forecasted to increase by USD 660.48 million by 2027, this year's META Cinema Forum promises to be a pivotal event for the industry. Over the years, META Cinema Forum has evolved into a pivotal gathering for cinema industry leaders, expanding its reach to encompass more regions, projects, and partnerships. It stands as the premier platform for the exchange of ideas, strategies, and innovations that are shaping the cinema sector in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the CIS region and at this year’s edition, there is a special focus on Women in Cinema. The session with female panelists is a round table discussion on the business side of the film industry titled ‘Beyond the Glitz’. Panelists include Nancy Paton, Founder, Desert Rose Films and President of WIFTGCC,?Charlotte Louise Sutcliffe, Entertainment Lawyer, Associate at CWB and Head of Events at WIFTGCC, Ozge Conduroglu, Acquisition & Distribution Lead, The Plot Pictures MENA?and Ashleigh Potts, Marketing Director, Studio Distribution, Majid Al Futtaim LLC. The Forum's program is extensive, featuring a convention and tradeshow, conference sessions, product presentations, special screenings, premieres, workshops, masterclasses, a Black-tie awards ceremony, networking reception, meetings areas, and content and cinema construction breakout sessions. Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, Great Mind Events Management, remarked, "The success of the 6th META Cinema Forum reflects our unwavering commitment to advancing the cinematic landscape in emerging markets. This year's event has reinforced our belief in the power of collaboration, innovation, and shared experiences within the industry. We are excited about the future possibilities and the role META Cinema Forum will continue to play in shaping the cinema sector in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the CIS region." Tony El Massih from Vox Cinemas commented, "The META Cinema Forum is a remarkable event that brings together industry visionaries and thought leaders to chart the future of cinema in emerging markets. It's where ideas come to life, where trends are set, and where the future of cinema is defined. Today’s success is a testament to the Forum's significance that it continues to evolve and grow, fostering innovation and collaboration across regions. We're excited to be part of this transformative journey." Serge Plasch, Chief Commercial Officer, Cinionic said, “It is great to be back at the META Cinema Forum and connecting with the industry. As the leading cinema partner Cinionic, founded in the heritage of Barco, offers exhibitors ways to laser that is set to WOW moviegoers time over time, and we are excited to share this with the visitors attending the forum.” The theme for the 2023 edition is "Growing the region’s cinema share," reflecting a commitment to foster growth and innovation in the industry. Discussions, presentations, and workshops will revolve around the industry’s challenges, solutions, and the current market situation. Topics covered include Regional Content Production and International Collaboration, Cinemas of the Future, and an in-depth look at emerging cinema trends and technologies with key cinema statistics and case studies on Rewarding Patrons and Effective Pricing Strategies. On day two, there is a panel discussion on successful movie marketing for the region and a panel discussion on ‘Elevating the Experiential Elements of Cinemas’. Leaders in cinema design, technology, and hospitality will discuss strategies for enhancing the cinema-going experience. The META Cinema Awards and Gala Reception is a night of celebration recognizing outstanding achievements in the cinema industry. The awards will be presented by Nathan Gilligan, Senior Operations Manager, Comscore and Nena Loncar, Client Insights Manager, Comscore. Recipients of the prestigious accolades include:  Best Cinemas 10 screens & above - VOX Mall of the EmiratesBest cinema 10 screens & below - AMC Stars AvenueHighest grossing distributor of the year - Majid Al Futtaim DistributionBest Film – English - Universal Pictures International  for OppenheimerBest Film – Indian - Yash Raj Films for JawanBest Film – Arabic - Majid Al Futtaim Distribution for Go Media (Licensor) and Vox (Distributor)Best Film – African - Film One for OrisaOutstanding Contribution to Emerging Markets - Sattar for Frontrow Organized by GM Events, the META Cinema Forum guarantees a two-day immersion in priceless knowledge, networking prospects, and a sneak peek into the future of cinema.

Dubai welcomes elite investors at the launch of MENA 360° Private Club

Dubai – The Grand Opening of MENA 360° Private Club at Habtoor Palace promises an extravagant gala and an exclusive glimpse into the world of luxury and success. The select 200 guests, including celebrities from film, sports, and entertainment, have a unique opportunity to become part of this exclusive private club in Dubai and benefit from numerous exclusive events.The evening kicks off with a gala dinner, where high-profile personalities from around the world will be in attendance. Guests have the exceptional opportunity to connect with industry giants, including political leaders and successful entrepreneurs.MENA 360° is the result of a successful merger of multiple businesses and partners, including Liza Amani, Garen Mehrabian, Maximilian Reidl, and Ramin Seyed. This partnership creates a unique business hub in the region, showcasing groundbreaking projects and innovative ideas with the potential to revolutionize the industry.The event will be hosted by the renowned presenter Lilly Becker, whose elegance and charm never fails to captivate the audience. As the evening unfolds, a handpicked assembly of guests will be introduced to the venture partners, cutting-edge products, and green initiatives encompassed in the MENA 360° portfolio. In a special segment, the distinguished Brazilian artist, Romulo Kuranyi, will bestow an artistic surprise upon the VIP attendees, extending an exclusive insight into the realm of contemporary art with a personalized message for the private club.Another highlight is the much-anticipated show by the award-winning designer Ebru Berkiden. She presents her first Abaya collection, aiming to demonstrate that Abayas are not just culturally rich garments but also beautiful fashion statements worthy of recognition in the Western fashion sphere. Situated in the heart of Dubai, Ebru's show promises to blend creativity with elegance, offering guests a glimpse into the sophisticated trends and the cultural allure of her designs.Garen Mehrabian, COO of MENA 360, assures, "This event is unprecedented in the Emirate. We're hosting delegations of prominent investors, converging for the exclusive purpose of investing in Dubai. It highlights Dubai's premier status in the global market as the prime choice for discerning investors. We're honored to orchestrate this event and to elevate UAE's profile globally."Prominent models like German actress Luna Schweiger, daughter of Hollywood Star Til Schweiger and Persian superstar Ahllam will take to the catwalk while performing her best songs, bringing Ebru Berkiden's collections to life. After the fashion show, guests will have the opportunity to network and connect with each other.Enhancing the event's appeal, every attendee will be gifted a bespoke gift bag crafted by Moreno Pisano, the star Italian furniture and accessory designer, and scion, filled with select offerings from our partners.The Grand Opening of MENA 360° Private Club promises an unforgettable experience for those looking to be part of this exclusive community. Immerse yourself in the world of luxury and success and discover the exclusive benefits of a membership in the Private Club.

Dubai welcomes elite investors at the launch of MENA 360° Private Club

Dubai – The Grand Opening of MENA 360° Private Club at Habtoor Palace promises an extravagant gala and an exclusive glimpse into the world of luxury and success. The select 200 guests, including celebrities from film, sports, and entertainment, have a unique opportunity to become part of this exclusive private club in Dubai and benefit from numerous exclusive events.The evening kicks off with a gala dinner, where high-profile personalities from around the world will be in attendance. Guests have the exceptional opportunity to connect with industry giants, including political leaders and successful entrepreneurs.MENA 360° is the result of a successful merger of multiple businesses and partners, including Liza Amani, Garen Mehrabian, Maximilian Reidl, and Ramin Seyed. This partnership creates a unique business hub in the region, showcasing groundbreaking projects and innovative ideas with the potential to revolutionize the industry.The event will be hosted by the renowned presenter Lilly Becker, whose elegance and charm never fails to captivate the audience. As the evening unfolds, a handpicked assembly of guests will be introduced to the venture partners, cutting-edge products, and green initiatives encompassed in the MENA 360° portfolio. In a special segment, the distinguished Brazilian artist, Romulo Kuranyi, will bestow an artistic surprise upon the VIP attendees, extending an exclusive insight into the realm of contemporary art with a personalized message for the private club.Another highlight is the much-anticipated show by the award-winning designer Ebru Berkiden. She presents her first Abaya collection, aiming to demonstrate that Abayas are not just culturally rich garments but also beautiful fashion statements worthy of recognition in the Western fashion sphere. Situated in the heart of Dubai, Ebru's show promises to blend creativity with elegance, offering guests a glimpse into the sophisticated trends and the cultural allure of her designs.Garen Mehrabian, COO of MENA 360, assures, "This event is unprecedented in the Emirate. We're hosting delegations of prominent investors, converging for the exclusive purpose of investing in Dubai. It highlights Dubai's premier status in the global market as the prime choice for discerning investors. We're honored to orchestrate this event and to elevate UAE's profile globally."Prominent models like German actress Luna Schweiger, daughter of Hollywood Star Til Schweiger and Persian superstar Ahllam will take to the catwalk while performing her best songs, bringing Ebru Berkiden's collections to life. After the fashion show, guests will have the opportunity to network and connect with each other.Enhancing the event's appeal, every attendee will be gifted a bespoke gift bag crafted by Moreno Pisano, the star Italian furniture and accessory designer, and scion, filled with select offerings from our partners.The Grand Opening of MENA 360° Private Club promises an unforgettable experience for those looking to be part of this exclusive community. Immerse yourself in the world of luxury and success and discover the exclusive benefits of a membership in the Private Club.

Former Talabat CTO & Ex-Careem, Khaled Rashed, joins food-tech KASO as CTO

DUBAI, UAE: KASO, the leading B2B platform that digitizes procurement between restaurants and suppliers in the Middle East, is thrilled to welcome tech industry leader, Khaled Rashad, as their new Chief Technology Officer.Khaled, a distinguished technologist with two decades of tech expertise, comes on board after contributing to the success of the region’s most successful tech companies, Talabat and Careem, and global tech giants Microsoft and Amazon.Most recently as former CTO of Talabat, he drove technological innovation, making food and grocery ordering effortless for millions of customers daily. Furthermore, during his tenure as the Sr. Director of Engineering at Careem, Khaled built a tech team from the ground up, leading them through the Uber exit.On joining KASO, Khaled Rashad shared, "What drew me to KASO wasn't just the innovative tech or the business model, but the potential to reshape the entire food industry. Over the past years, I’ve seen the deep intricacies and possibilities within the food supply chain industry. At KASO, there's a genuine drive to address challenges and turn them into tangible benefits for restaurants and suppliers. There's so much we can do to shape a more efficient and sustainable global food system, and at KASO, I’m excited to make that vision a reality.”Manar Alkassar, Co-founder of KASO, said, “Having Khaled on board is more than just having a new tech leader; it’s about incorporating the insights and entrepreneurial spirit that drove successes, for household names like Talabat, Careem, Microsoft, and Amazon. His ability to drive tech-driven innovation is exactly what we need as we enter our next stage of growth.” A graduate of The American University in Cairo, Khaled is recognized for his passion for building impactful products and fostering high-performing and collaborative tech teams. With his vast experience building engineering organizations across Vancouver, Berlin, Madrid, Dubai, Cairo, and more, he brings a global perspective to KASO’s operations.With the addition of Khaled Rashad to its leadership team following the company’s $10.5 million seed round earlier this year, KASO continues to strengthen its role as both an industry disrupter and leader.KASO also thanks Frank Biedka, the outgoing CTO, who will continue to lend his insights and experience to KASO as an advisor. His leadership and expertise from his days as Zalando's CTO have been essential in KASO’s early-stage growth.

GosuGamers Revamps and Partners with GRID to Empower Gaming Communities

Global esports media, GosuGamers, is proud to announce a transformative rebranding initiative that marks a pivotal moment in the delivery of premier esports content, news, insights, and partnerships. This evolution is powered by a strategic partnership with GRID, the official esports and gaming data platform, heralding a new era of enriched user experiences and dynamic content provision.The global gaming market revenue is set to amount to USD 187.7 billion in 2023, with esports playing a key role in this projected growth. The popularity of esports has surged, captivating not only consumers but also drawing significant interest from investors. This has led to a rise in growing opportunities for engagement activities, increased viewership numbers and ticket sales, and sustained demand for tournaments. In response to the growing regional demand, GosuGamers has also since expanded its international footprint with dedicated websites in Vietnam, India, and Indonesia, with upcoming plans to venture into new territories in the near future. Through white-labelled solutions offered by GosuGamers, brands will be able to share key messages, interact and strengthen their relationships with the gaming community on the platform based on their desired scale. On top of working with GosuGamers for hosting and logistics capabilities, brands can also amplify their reach and engagement through gaming entertainment solutions such as brand partnerships, influencer marketing and content production. With this rebrand, GosuGamers will also be launching its community tournament platform, GosuBattles - a new gaming platform made for the world’s diverse gaming communities, organisers, and brands. “With the esports community remaining at the core of our vision, we are thrilled to embark on a journey of new beginnings,” remarked Samson Oh, CEO of GosuGamers. “As we broaden our services and extend our influence to global communities, we hope to continue to empower untapped talents, advocate for an inclusive gaming industry, all while building towards a new generation of entertainment through gaming media.”With GosuGamers going through major changes, all its products and innovations will continue to be powered by official esports data coming from GRID. This partnership is a continuation of a long-standing commitment to unlocking the potential of data-driven entertainment in esports.Mikael Westerling, Chief Sales Officer and Co-Founder of GRID said, “GosuGamers has always embodied a visionary approach to entertainment in esports, and their pioneering recognition of the potential that in-game data holds within this space is the quality that brought our long-standing partnership to life. Their evolution as a company in esports demonstrates this mindset, and we are glad to continue powering their revamped platform and innovations with official game data as they explore this potential in Southeast Asia and foster a global esports community.” Being an esports media powerhouse, GosuGamers is committed to connecting brands with targeted gaming communities seamlessly and effectively. The partnership between GosuGamers and GRID signifies a collaborative effort to continue innovating in the esports media landscape, leveraging data to create compelling and engaging content for a rapidly growing audience.GosuGamers and GosuBattles are designed with brand touchpoints and a seamless player user journey in mind. Learn more about innovative solutions to engage with the gaming community on GosuMedia.

PROVEN launches Arabic-first AI chatbot Habot

Dubai, UAE: PROVEN Solution, the leading provider of solutions in cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and VR/AR, announced the launch of Habot, its innovative no-code Arabic-first conversational AI chatbot, which will transform customer service across Arabic-speaking markets. Built with AI, easy no-code platform, and natural language processing capabilities, Habot allows companies to build and publish their own chatbots without any prior coding experience.“While there’s been a global surge in chatbot solutions, there was a clear gap for a no-coded tool armed with the Arabic language with its varied dialects. We, at PROVEN Solution, are deeply rooted in our Arabic culture and have extensive experience with Arabic speakers,” said Ahmed Sabry, Head of AI, at PROVEN Solution. “While developing Habot, our primary focus was to cater to native Arabic speakers in the GCC region and beyond. Habot is a result of our commitment to providing world-class technology, which is easy to use, and perfectly suited for the Arabic market. It will help companies to reach out more effectively to their customers and bring tangible value for our local partners.”Understanding the growing demand for solutions in the region, PROVEN Solution has developed Habot as a unique chatbot that prioritizes delivering exceptional user experiences in Arabic. This comes at a time when businesses are expanding their presence in the Middle East and seeking localized solutions now more than ever before.With unique features such as the no code implementation, Habot can integrate with the customers’ service channels easily thereby reducing deployment time. Habot is specifically designed to address the linguistic nuances of the Arabic dialects ensuring accurate and effective communication with customers in the region. The solution is highly scalable and customisable and caters to the needs of small and large enterprises alike, providing a flexible solution that can be tailored to align with specific business requirements.The Habot platform can be integrated with many software and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, etc., and easily deployable across industries. Habot supports in lead generation, sales, customer support automation, and HR automation, and can be deployed in cloud as well as on-premises allowing companies to secure all their data within their infrastructure.Habot is designed to be secure, flexible, and accurate and can be used across large-scale enterprises across diverse sectors such as BFSI, Retail, Healthcare, Corporate, and Travel and Hospitality. The chatbot platform empowers businesses to deliver exceptional customer service, automate tasks, and drive growth. Habot is available in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.

Novatiq tie-ups with DMS for best-in-class campaigns

Novatiq, the telco-based identity platform, is delighted to announce its new partnership with Digital Media Services (DMS), the digital arm of Choueiri Group, Exclusive Media Representatives for over 25 Arabic and international publishers. This collaboration provides brands with unparalleled access to privacy-first, data-driven ad campaigns of exceptional potency.Novatiq’s Fusion platform allows DMS to add value to its clients by making their ads more relevant across its sites. Readers will be served highly relevant ads delivering better customer experience.The announcement is perfectly timed as brands across the globe try to get to grips with regulator-driven deprecation of third-party cookies, which makes marketing far more difficult. Novatiq solves this problem as its technology is not reliant on cookies or persistent customer IDs. Furthermore, the platform uniquely draws on telco customer intelligence to provide fully addressable advertising based on deep customer insight.For DMS, the solution offers its clients a new way to recognise, understand and activate audiences in a privacy-first world where traditional advertising models are no longer fit for purpose. The telco-based ID solution couples audience recognition with media activation and verifiable first-party data, to activate addressable advertising with industry-leading accuracy at unprecedented scale.Novatiq is setting benchmarks in first-party data privacy. Thanks to its privacy-centric Fusion platform, which encompasses a complete and fully privacy-compliant solution for consented audience validation, creation and activation, consumers are always in control of how their personal information is used and can retract consent at any time.Jonno Hulford-Funnell, CEO, Novatiq, said: “We’re delighted to announce this tie-up with the region’s leading publisher group. We truly believe our solution enables the most private addressable advertising around the globe, for the benefit of publishers, brands and their consumers. Audience reach and advertising performance results so far speak for themselves. Novatiq brings addressability that works harder for ad campaigns, with automation and efficiency that means no extra effort, while also protecting everyone’s privacy.”Ziad Khammar, COO of DMS, added: “Our partnership with Novatiq is another step in our ongoing commitment to support our publishers and help advertisers effectively reach their target audiences. We’re pleased to carry forward our track record of innovation, providing practical solutions that benefit our partners.”Mathieu Yarak, Group Senior Director – Data & Insights at Choueiri Group, added: “This new solution offers a brand-new way of recognising and activating audiences in a privacy-first world where old advertising standards are not fit for purpose. With the demise of third-party data and the inability to activate it, the advent of a telco-based ID solution that couples audience recognition with media activation, and verifiable first-party data, enables addressable advertising with the greatest accuracy and match rates, whilst preserving absolute privacy for consumers, the telcos and publishers. Advertisers suddenly have back the best parts of what has been lost from third-party cookies but leave behind the third-party cookie and all the problems that came with it.”

PureHealth Sets Precedent by Partnering with National Security for Cyber Defense

PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, announced the official integration of its inhouse Cyber Security Operations Center (SOC) with the National Security Operations Center, operated and managed by the UAE’s Cyber Security Council. This first of its kind move by a healthcare entity in the UAE aims to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity efforts and reaffirm its commitment to safeguarding sensitive clinical and patient data.Building upon an earlier agreement signed by PureHealth and the UAE Cyber Security Council, which focuses on strengthening the UAE's cybersecurity initiatives within the healthcare sector, this is a significant milestone following the initial announcement. The alignment will enable real-time sharing of threat intelligence, offering a comprehensive view of the nation's threat landscape and delivering valuable insights, all while enhancing the capabilities of the SOC teams. His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement that is signed with a leading company in the field of health care: “With the increasing reliance on advanced technology, cyber threats and terrorism have increased, which made it necessary for us to join hands and protect our national achievements against emerging threats. This agreement is the first of its kind, with PureHealth being the first healthcare entity to integrate to the cloud, confirming the proactive approach and readiness to raise the efficiency of our health systems to be able to address any threats to the privacy of individuals and institutions. The Cybersecurity Council has built a robust base and a strong infrastructure for cybersecurity in the UAE, and is promoting a general cybersecurity awareness culture among individuals and institutions." Farhan Malik, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer of PureHealth said, "In the ever-evolving digital healthcare landscape, cybersecurity is the guardian of our data. Aligning PureHealth's Cyber SOC with the UAE Cyber Security Council's SOC will allow us to enhance our cyber resilience through real-time threat intelligence sharing, as well as empower us to confront the escalating sophistication of cyber threats. Our commitment to harnessing pioneering IoT and artificial intelligence solutions is intrinsically linked to our journey where we focus on taking healthcare to the cloud. Digital technologies will play a key role in our society’s development; however, we cannot ignore the threats this connected eco-system will bring. Therefore, while we capitalise on the industry 4.0, we are also proactively building our reliance framework.” Over the past 12 years, the healthcare sector has consistently experienced the highest average data breach costs among all industries, reaching a record-breaking global total of US$10.1 million. Notably, these costs have increased by 42 percent since 2020.[1] As a technology-driven healthcare platform with the largest integrated healthcare network in the UAE, PureHealth is spearheading the creation of a resilient healthcare ecosystem that harmonises scientific innovation with cutting-edge technology, reshaping healthcare for future generations. Within this vision, PureHealth is committed to ensuring the data security and protection of its patients and its extensive network of healthcare facilities, proactively addressing escalating cybersecurity threats, and actively contributing to the broader enhancement of national cybersecurity.

Starcom Middle East appoints Stuart Mackay as Business Lead

Starcom Middle East, a leading media agency and part of Publicis Groupe Middle East has appointed Stuart Mackay as Business Lead. In this position, Stuart will oversee multi-market portfolios and guide the strategic direction of the business, while also leading media and digital strategies for key clients. “With Stuart, we have a unique and powerful combination of deep expertise and extensive experience in media, technology and data coupled with an excellent track record in delivering innovative solutions. This appointment is yet another positive step forward in our continued drive to increase our digital offering and help clients maximize benefits”, said Tony Wazen, CEO of Publicis Media ME. Stuart has joined Starcom Middle East from Reprise Digital, where he served as the Managing Director, overseeing the impressive transformation of the business into one of the Middle East's foremost marketing transformation agencies. Prior to his time at Reprise, he held the key role of Chief Technology Officer at TAG, London's leading travel and event management company, defining the company’s IT strategy and future state application architecture. With over 18 years of experience in Digital, Technology, and Media transformation, Stuart has consistently played key roles in renowned organisations such as Hewlett Packard, Vodafone, and Travis Perkins, driving their transformative agendas. Commenting upon his appointment, Stuart said “It is an exciting time in the industry and region that requires media agencies to offer much more than just a traditional agency product. I am looking forward to working with the Starcom Middle East leadership team and our clients to enhance our media offering further with the integration of performance, data, and technology solutions from the wider Publicis Groupe portfolio.” introduces XS Prepaid Mastercard integrated with “XS Cards” mobile app

Global –, the global FinTech and financial services provider, has today announced that it has introduced the XS Prepaid Mastercard along with XS Cards Mobile App fully integrated into the XS Client Portal in an effort to make the entire funding process smooth and simple.According to an official press release, the global multi-asset broker has partnered with Gate to Pay, a pioneering company in the FinTech and PayTech sector, to launch the new XS Prepaid Mastercard & XS Cards Mobile App.The XS Prepaid Mastercard & XS Cards Mobile App have several exclusive features and will enable traders and partners to track their transactions on their mobile phones.Commenting on the latest announcement, Mr. Wael Hammad, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at said:We are excited to introduce such an advanced payment tool, which will make the entire funding process for traders and partners very smooth and simple. At, we are committed to continuous improvement in all aspects of our services, and we constantly put all our efforts to ensure a seamless funding process, and efficient and secure handling of client’s funds. Based on our understanding of the complexities of e-payments globally and of the specific needs of each local market, we believe that XS prepaid Mastercard card will be an important milestone in our journey to provide the traders globally with an exceptional trading experience.The multi-award winning broker has accelerated the expansion of its product and services since the start of 2023. Recently, the company has introduced its new carefully crafted account types designed with varying features and advantages to cater to traders of all levels.Rasha Asfour, Gate to Pay’s General Manager, added "We are honored to partner with and contribute to elevating their services, enhancing the user experience for their global client base. Through our offerings, we aim to empower partners to offer digital banking products and solutions for their clients., a global industry leader, remains dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation, setting new standards and benchmarks within the sector." has recently been recognized with a range of awards that have recognized their mission to empower traders with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive in the dynamic world of trading.

WPP partners with Sprinklr for AI-powered customer experience solutions

Sprinklr (NYSE: CXM), the unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for modern enterprises, today announced the launch of an expanded strategic partnership with WPP. Together, WPP and Sprinklr plan to create AI solutions to help global clients deliver more personalized and consistent experiences to customers using Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform.In today’s world, where creating a consistent and seamless customer experience across a variety of channels can be a challenge, it’s essential for global clients to have enterprise-grade AI solutions that make it possible for brands to reach, engage, and listen to customers at scale. As the market leader in the unified-CXM space working with over 1,400 brands, including many of WPP’s largest clients, the Sprinklr platform provides companies a comprehensive view of data to inform insights and analytics.Through this partnership, WPP will become Sprinklr’s first global agency partner, and the two companies will collaborate on a new offering, CX Live AI, that connects Sprinklr’s AI+ platform, which includes both Sprinklr customized AI models and generative AI capabilities, with WPP’s own AI resources. This first-of-its-kind, joint offering will help WPP teams create optimised content that reaches the right audiences. WPP and Sprinklr are collaborating on solutions with select clients, such as The Coca-Cola Company, where teams leverage AI insights around customer engagement to inform creative development and channel selection.The companies will work together on shared data, analytics, and solution development for joint clients, and WPP teams will also receive priority support from Sprinklr including bespoke enablement programs and early access to new Sprinklr products and platform features. In addition, WPP will participate in Sprinklr’s Partner Advisory board to help shape the roadmap for products.Stephan Pretorius, CTO of WPP, said: “Through the seamless integration of WPP's AI toolset with Sprinklr's AI+ platform, we are reshaping how brands can connect with their audiences. This partnership enhances our existing AI offerings and enables our clients to create customer experiences across all touch points on a scale like never before, further solidifying our position as a leader amidst the technology revolution that is transforming our industry.”Sprinklr CEO & Founder Ragy Thomas said: “Sprinklr and WPP serve many of the world's most iconic brands. Together, this partnership will enable customers to effectively deploy AI that will result in measurable productivity, cost savings, and the seamless experiences customers have come to expect today. Integrating Sprinklr’s AI-powered Unified-CXM platform with WPP’s AI toolset will help our shared customers quickly adopt the latest AI technologies while ensuring the enterprise-grade privacy, security, and governance that Sprinklr and WPP have built our businesses on."

New report warns VPN users against privacy pitfalls

Internet users increasingly rely upon virtual private networks to ensure their online privacy, but VPN providers have a dubious track record of breaking promises to safeguard their customers’ privacy, engaging in shady efforts to woo potential customers, and associating with entities in the dark underbelly of the Internet that target users for harm, according to an investigation conducted by the Digital Citizens Alliance and White Bullet.The six-month investigation found:While relying on online reviews is the most common way people choose VPN service, some review sites aren’t the independent and neutral arbiters they pretend to be. For example, Kape Technologies, the owner of ExpressVPN, acquired VPN review sites in 2021, raising the question whether Internet users can now trust that those reviews are truly independent.While VPNs tout privacy, some associate themselves with illegal content theft websites – a nefarious $2.3 billion dollar industry that has been demonstrated to intentionally expose their users to malware designed to violate their privacy. The investigation found that VPN providers spend an estimated $45 million a year advertising on piracy sites.Users may not realize that their VPN provider logs their online activities. Free VPNs may make money by selling that data to third parties. VPNs claim to not retain user data. However, in 2020, seven VPNs left user data – which they claimed they were not collecting – for roughly 20 million people unprotected on a cloud server. The Center for Democracy and Technology – a well-respected tech think tank - has raised concerns that the claims made by VPNs that they protect user data have proven too often to be false.“By engaging in questionable activities, VPN providers undermine the trust critical to the future of the Internet and support illicit actors who are notorious for targeting Internet users to spread malware and engage in credit card fraud,” said Tom Galvin, Executive Director of the Digital Citizens Alliance. “What does this mean for Internet users? Choose carefully when deciding on a VPN provider.”“Piracy sites provide real audiences attracted to rich media content: this means advertisers are hugely exposed when programmatic algorithms and negligent affiliates choose these eyeball-rich environments for ad placement, without using proper filtering solutions,” said Peter Szyszko, CEO of White Bullet Solutions Limited. “Brands that use these advertising and marketing mechanisms are particularly at risk. Programmatic systems are only as good as the "exclusion lists" that control them, and if these are not dynamic or real-time, then lists quickly become out of date. Affiliate partners seek to maximize commission from brands for clicks made on their ads, so unless they are closely monitored and audited by brands, greed may get the better of them.”In places such as the United States VPNs have access to that data without any direct regulatory oversight - although most Americans don’t realize that. A Digital Citizens research survey conducted in October found that a majority of Americans believe that VPNs are regulated by either the federal or state governments.Concerns about how VPNs operate are compounded by a general lack of understanding about them. The research survey of 1,318 Internet users found that 54 percent of Americans weren’t sure whether they even used a VPN. Only 1 in 5 reported having a strong understanding of a VPN’s purpose.ürkiye-africa

Daikin appoints Hasan Onder as President of Daikin Middle East, Türkiye, Africa

Daikin Middle East and Africa FZE (“Daikin”), a leading manufacturer of Air Conditioning, Heating, Ventilation, & Refrigeration solutions, has appointed Hasan Onder as President of the Daikin Middle East and Africa Region in addition to his responsibility in Türkiye and CIS regions. He has served as the CEO of Daikin Türkiye since 2011 and in his expanded role, Hasan Onder will also assume the role of President of Daikin Middle East and Africa, covering a wide geographic scope as part of Daikin's emerging markets expansion strategy.Hasan Onder started as an entrepreneur in 1999 by establishing Airfel in Türkiye HVAC market. In 2001, Airfel merged with Sanko Holding, one of the most prominent conglomerates in Turkey, and became one of the leading HVAC manufacturers and distributor companies in the country. Onder was selected as Türkiye's "Most Successful Young General Manager" in Capital Magazine's "Road to Success" competition in 2008. Following Daikin's acquisition of Airfel in 2011, Onder has been at the helm of Daikin Türkiye and CIS countries for 12 years. Under his stewardship, Daikin Türkiye's Euro-based turnover surged by a remarkable 520% since 2011, securing top positions in prominent industry rankings, including 113th in the 2022 Türkiye's Top 500 Industrial Enterprises List.Hasan Onder, President of Daikin Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa Region said: ‘’Daikin has established a commanding presence in the global market, solidifying its leadership position across most regions. Our goal is to achieve unrivaled leadership in emerging markets, building upon our successes in Türkiye and the CIS countries. At the same time, we continue to remain at the forefront of technological advancements, offering energy-efficient heating-cooling solutions for both individuals and businesses. Additionally, our work across the region will be steered by our unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility, encapsulated in our Daikin FUSION 25 strategy, and our Environmental Vision targeting net zero carbon emission by 2050.”

DIEZ achieves international LEED Zero Energy and LEED Zero Carbon certificates

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) announced that its headquarters, which is located within Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), has obtained the LEED Zero Energy and LEED Zero Carbon international certificates from the US Green Building Council. This achievement establishes DIEZ as the first entity in the Middle East to attain these significant certifications.This achievement comes in line with DIEZ and its affiliated economic zones, Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai CommerCity (DCC), commitment to the directives of the wise leadership’s strategic vision for advancing sustainable development, as well as investment in renewable energy infrastructure and increasing energy efficiency. Additionally, it aligns with the strategic direction of DIEZ to adhere to the highest global standards in sustainability.The certificates were officially presented to Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), by P. Gopalakrishnan, Managing Director of the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) India, MENA, and SEA markets. The ceremony was attended by Ms. Deepthy K. B., Regional Director of GBCI MENA, and several representatives from both sides.This accomplishment coincides with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who proclaimed 2023 as the Year of Sustainability in the UAE. It also precedes the commencement of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), hosted by the UAE this month. With this milestone, the total count of LEED-certified buildings in DIEZ now stands at 31, all holding platinum ratings.Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, Chief Officer of Engineering and Sustainability at Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) said: "We are proud that the headquarters of DIEZ has obtained these two prestigious certifications, as today DIEZ stands out as the first entity to obtain the LEED Zero Energy and LEED Zero Carbon certificates in the Middle East. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to adhering to sustainability standards and delivering excellent services to our customers and business partners.”“Moreover, this achievement consolidates DIEZ’s global standing as a role model in adopting a culture of sustainability and responsible environmental practices. It aligns with our ongoing efforts to build an environmentally friendly future and serve as an ideal destination for both local and international companies, foreign direct investment, and adherence to the highest standards.” Al Katheeri added.The LEED Zero Energy certification is awarded to buildings that generate energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, equivalent to their average annual consumption. The LEED Zero Carbon certificate acknowledges a facility's effective reduction of carbon emissions or their offsetting throughout the year. Both certificates highlight DIEZ’s unwavering commitment to employing cutting-edge technology and sustainable solutions in building management, ensuring the highest quality within a sustainable and health-conscious environment.DIEZ had already made significant strides in meeting sustainability standards and reducing carbon emissions in 2022. Their achievements were in alignment with international specifications, including the ISO 50001 system for optimal and sustainable energy usage and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. These successes included a 24% reduction in carbon emissions and a 46% improvement in the performance of their smart waste management system in 2022 compared to 2021. DIEZ's achievements were made possible through responsible environmental initiatives, the adoption of the latest sustainable and smart technologies, and effective management of energy consumption, cooling, irrigation, and waste recycling systems.