MSL Middle East appoints MacLean Brodie as their new CEO

Dubai: Publicis Groupe Middle East has appointed MacLean Brodie as Chief Executive Officer of MSL Middle East, a strategic communications agency.In his new role, MacLean will be responsible for overseeing client business and driving growth for MSL Middle East. Drawing upon the Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ strength, he will focus on harnessing talent, fuelling creativity, and strengthening MSL’s presence and earned media capabilities in regional key growth markets."We are delighted to welcome MacLean onboard; he brings a wealth of public and private experience that will provide MSL with invaluable insights and solutions. His deep understanding of the regional media ecosystem combined with his advocacy experience and strong communications skills will be a tremendous value add to clients and our capabilities”, said Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe ME&T.MacLean's career in communications has spanned more than 15 years, with senior roles in Asia and the Middle East. A long-time advisor in strategic communications, he will be joining MSL from his current role as Head of Public Affairs at the Qatar Foundation. Formerly, he led the Corporate and Public Affairs work for Ogilvy across the MENA region and managed a substantial public relations practice for Ogilvy Qatar, overseeing clients such as Qatar Tourism Authority, beIN Media Group, the Ministry of Transport and Communication (TASMU Qatar), Hamad International Airport, Sasol, and Doha Forum.Margaret Key, CEO of MSL APAC/MEA said, “We are excited to welcome MacLean to the MSL family to lead and strengthen MSL’s capabilities in a key region. As the PR industry continues evolving, MSL has developed an exceptional approach to servicing an array of clients that looks at integrated work across digital, PR, creative, socials and analytics. I look forward to working closely with MacLean to further expand MSL’s growth in Middle East.”For more than ten years prior, MacLean was based in China, where he anchored Ogilvy China's Public and Government Affairs practice and built a strong reputation in communications strategy, campaign planning, crisis management, state/location branding, and market entry programmes. During his time in China, he worked closely with Emirates Airlines to promote their aviation and aero-political affairs agenda and was instrumental in launching Dubai Week in China. Further client roles include experience in health innovation with J&J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, mining with Teck Resources and Rio Tinto, destination branding with the city of Chengdu, and development work with the World Bank in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.Commenting on his appointment, MacLean said, "It's an incredible moment to be joining MSL and the Publicis Groupe. The ambition and growth of the region are matched by a leadership team making transformational moves in digital, creative, and analytics that are changing how we work and enhancing the power of earned media to generate influence and make a bottom-line business impact. I am excited to be a part of MSL and harness this growth for our clients and our team!”.

Globe Soccer unveils plans for ‘Road to Dubai’

Dubai, UAE: Globe Soccer, the UAE-based organisers of the prestigious Dubai Globe Soccer Awards that annually attracts some of the most recognisable names in world football, today confirmed plans to expand the concept internationally with five new ceremonies across four continents in 2024.Billed as the ‘Road to Dubai’, the new Globe Soccer Intercontinental Series will feature a quintet of standalone award editions covering Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East next year, with specific details of each territory’s seasonal awards set to be revealed in coming months. The winners of each of the continental main awards – for example Best Men’s Player, Best Women’s Player, Best Club, Best Agent – will automatically qualify as finalists for the annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, in partnership with Dubai Sports Council. “For 13 years, the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards has helped bring the football world to the emirate,” said Tommaso Bendoni, the founder and CEO of Globe Soccer, which is headquartered in Dubai. “In recent years, we have seen huge growth in terms of the number of awards, and also the number of fan votes and media coverage. We believe now is the time for us to take the show – and Dubai – to the world. “The Intercontinental Series will provide greater opportunities for those operating in global football, as well as allowing us to engage with even more fans. The year-long ‘Road to Dubai’ programme has been designed to ensure the ultimate focus remains on the emirate, while also enabling us to recognise clubs, players, coaches and managers, agents, directors, scouts, and other stakeholders from every corner of the world.”An annual celebration of the beautiful game, the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards provides a voice to worldwide soccer fans, who vote to shortlist players, coaches, clubs and more. Since the inaugural event in 2010, the number of awards distributed has increased from three to 21, with recent additions including the Power Horse Emerging Player of the Year, Best Youth Team, and Best Transfer Deal. Last year, more than 33 million fan votes decided the shortlisted nominees, before a judging panel of experts crowned Karim Benzema and Alexia Putellas as the Best Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year, respectively.His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “We are proud of our partnership with the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards. This partnership commenced with the inauguration of the event as a significant occasion rooted in Dubai, but with global reach. Today, it has become one of the most prestigious events in world football, serving as a gathering for football stars and decision-makers."The new 'Road to Dubai’ awards format enables us to acknowledge and honour a greater number of stars from various continents, thus highlighting their achievements. Moreover, it offers the winners a chance to take part in the main ceremony in Dubai. This development aligns with the award's growth, evolution, international reputation, and influence in global football.”Ferran Soriano, the CEO of European champions Manchester City and the City Football Group, sits on the event’s judging panel. Soriano believes having the winners of the five new standalone events automatically shortlisted for the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards will provide timely recognition of talents operating in regions often neglected by such awards and organisations. “The Globe Soccer Intercontinental Series will recognise all manner of professionals working in the game, including those operating in underrepresented regions,” said Soriano. “As CEO of City Football Group, which operates in a range of international markets from Uruguay to China, I have seen first-hand the wealth of talent working in football around the world. In acknowledging the work of these people and providing them the chance to travel to Dubai and network within the industry, Globe Soccer can directly and significantly benefit the careers of these people and, indirectly, further globalisation of the game.Previous attendees at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards read like an elite gathering of the world's most prominent football stars, from Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Robert Lewandowksi to Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Jose Mourinho, and the late Diego Maradona. For more information on the Intercontinental Series and to view previous winners of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, visit

Apparel Group brand LC WAIKIKI opens its 4th store in Oman and 44th store in GCC

MUSCAT: The newest LC Waikiki store at Salalah Grand Mall covers a space of 13,433 square feet that lets customers take pleasure in the wide range of collections for Women, Men, Kids, and Babies. The store offers the ultimate selection of colorful summer outfits, casual attire, and smart formal wear made fit for the brand’s diverse audience.Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, stated: “This is another monumental achievement for us, as we continue to strive and prove the commitment to providing an exceptional retail experience that everyone across the region can enjoy. This strategic expansion will further fortify our brand’s market presence as we cater to our customers all over the GCC.”LC Waikiki has continuously raised the bar in the fashion industry with its innovative designs and sophisticated ensembles. The brand looks forward to reaching more demographics and communities, promising an ever-evolving array of fresh styles and fashion-forward ideas.In line with its strategic growth plan, Apparel Group is determined to further enhance LC Waikiki’s retail footprint across the GCC. This unwavering commitment aligns with the group's vision to make stylish, high-quality clothing accessible to individuals across the region.

Connect Ads by Aleph becomes Google ads reseller in Morocco, Iraq

?Dubai: Connect Ads by Aleph made an exciting announcement, declaring its new position as the authorized distributor of Google Ads in Morocco and Iraq.In a bid to fortify and extend Google's influence in Morocco and Iraq, Connect Ads by Aleph has introduced an innovative venture named Mediam Group. This entity will concentrate on the sales and management of advertising campaigns exclusively for Google.The primary objective of this partnership is to furnish an amplified number of customers and agencies in Iraq and Morocco with Google's comprehensive solutions. This, in turn, will enable these businesses to flourish through localized support catered specifically to their needs.Google Ads serves as an invaluable tool, empowering enterprises to connect with billions of potential customers actively seeking information, products, and services across various platforms within Google's extensive network.Mediam Group operates as Aleph's specialized representative arm solely devoted to Google. With a dedicated and proficient local team, Mediam Group strives to assist agencies and advertisers in optimizing their Google Ads accounts, ensuring optimal performance across a variety of Google Ads Products.Anthony Nakache, Managing Director of Google MENA, said: “We are pleased with our partnership with Connect Ads in Morocco and Iraq where there is massive potential to grow the digital ads ecosystem. This partnership will help us bring more comprehensive services and ad support to local advertisers across the different Google tools and solutions.” “We are proud of this partnership with Google. It is a testament to what we have been building for over 22 years now at Connect Ads. We are also very excited about launching Mediam Group in MENA, Aleph’s Google dedicated representation arm. We are committed to this partnership, dedicating on-the-ground teams of experienced professionals that are well versed in Google Ads to successfully scale the business in Morocco and Iraq. Our mission will always be to grow our partners and better serve our clients, advertisers, and brands,” said Mohamed Megahed, Managing Director of Connect Ads by Aleph.“Working with Google is a privilege and a huge responsibility for us. We are gearing all our experience and our capacities towards a strong and successful launch and to scaling the business onwards,” stated Mohamed El Mehairy, CEO of Connect Ads by Aleph.

Sav launches the region’s first “Save-now-buy-later” solution

Dubai: With over 46.7% of the UAE population falling into credit card debts and 12.8% actively looking for loans, the UAE’s leading fintech App, Sav, has launched a groundbreaking "Save Now, Buy Later" (SNBL) feature with the aim to bridge the gap in aspirational goals and sustainable affordability for the UAE residents and families. Sav’s SNBL feature has been launched at an essential time as the UAE residents face rising inflation and lifestyle challenges. By highlighting the importance of disciplined savings, Sav aims to alleviate financial stress and guide individuals towards a more sustainable lifestyle. SNBL promotes a savings-focused approach to big-ticket purchases rather than relying on credit and accumulating debt.Flip side to Buy Now, Pay Later - Sustainable AffordabilityFor the last few decades, for large ticket purchases and casual consumption, using credit cards and BNPL has taken precedence.According to market reports, "Buy now, pay later" (BNPL) payments in the UAE are expected to reach US$2,531.1 million in 2023. While BNPL has facilitated affordability, the trend encourages impulsive spending and excessive borrowing, leading to financial instability and stress for many.Credit-based options reward users with points, cashback and discounts for casual borrowing. However, savings and planned purchases have been barely incentivized. Understanding the consumptive behavior of young households, and the missing benefits in planned consumption, Sav is addressing the impending need for innovative debt-free personal finance tools. The SNBL feature presents a flip side to BNPL, incentivizing users to practice good money behavior and responsibly plan their purchases.Giving back control to BrandsSNBL creates a win-win situation for both customers and merchants.Customers who prioritize savings over debt can earn cash rewards when they hit their savings milestones. Brands stand to benefit significantly by gaining access to wider, in-market audiences. The SNBL option puts brands in charge of their customer’s purchase journey early on, thereby boosting brand affinity and building loyalty. Moreover, Sav helps brands overcome challenges like rising customer acquisition costs and online shopping cart abandonment."We understand the importance of fostering healthy financial habits and promoting a more sustainable approach to affordability," said Purvi Munot, CEO at Sav. “Sav’s SNBL solution allows users to make high-value purchases with their own savings, without in debt. We are proud to launch this feature with some of the UAE’s top consumer brands across multiple categories.” According to Purvi, “This is especially an invaluable tool for young families in the UAE who have high outlays on essentials and aspirational purchases such as a home, furniture, a car, maternity, children’s education or a dream vacation. Sav automates saving and has an array of features that enable users to take full control of their money.”“With Sav, we start to change the relationship between brands and consumers. In our experience, most brands in the UAE are also keen to support responsible consumption and see SNBL as a new payment option that’s truly in the customer's best interest, said Saurabh Bhardwaj, who leads Partnerships and Growth at Sav.”    Aligning with the UAE’s visionSav aligns with the Ministry of Finance's Savings awareness initiative, which emphasizes the importance of saving for a secure future. It promotes financial awareness and responsible spending habits among young couples and families in the UAE. Drawing insights from Sav's growing database of over 45,000 users, the top three categories for savings are Travel, Home & Furniture, and Education, accounting for nearly 60%, in addition to emerging savings areas including Automobiles, Electronics, and Jewelry. The platform strives to reach a milestone value of AED 40 million in savings, underlining its loyalty to transforming users’ economic well-being.

Entrepreneurial networking platform debut in UAE

Dubai: After securing $11 million USD in initial funding,, a burgeoning social networking platform for entrepreneurs in London, has successfully expanded its operations to the UAE. With an already impressive user base of over 200,000 ambitious individuals, the app offers a novel approach to connecting like-minded entrepreneurs in real life based on their shared interests. By enabling online connections that lead to offline meetups, allows users to engage in various activities, network, discuss business, play sports, and socialize. The platform has already facilitated over 400,000 connections and witnessed more than 25,000 events.The platform gained significant traction with the Dubai Padel Tournament, a widely popular event hosted by Dubai-based entrepreneur and former Miss World Australia, Jessica Kahawaty. This event attracted over 50 entrepreneurs and achieved viral fame on Instagram, accumulating a remarkable 170 million views. It has become one of the most-watched sports videos to date.Noteworthy figures such as Sam Altman (Open AI founder), Nik Storonsky (Revolut founder), Jeremy Jauncey (Beautiful Destinations founder and MyDubai creator), Michael Acton Smith (Calm founder), Camilla Al Fayed (Farmacy founder), Pavel Durov (Telegram founder), Natalia Vodianova (supermodel and co-founder), Herman Narula (Improbable founder), and Matthew Freud (Freud Communications founder) have all utilized to organize meetups and events within the past two months.The platform's rapid growth led to its selection as Apple's "App of the Day" in the UAE, showcasing its expanding local and global user base. was conceptualized by serial entrepreneurs and founders Eugene Nevgen, Natalia Vodianova, Sergey Gonchar, and Timon Afinsky, with the vision of establishing the largest online "real-life" social networking community for entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Their goal is to facilitate connections between local entrepreneurs and their counterparts worldwide.Beyond catering to personal interests and hobbies,, initially launched in London in 2021, fosters a thriving entrepreneurial community. It provides a platform for business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs to network, meet, and cultivate their businesses, regardless of their stage, whether they have an idea, are just starting out, or are seeking advice on scaling and expansion.The app is backed by venture capital investors such as Goodwater Capital, TheSoul Publishing, and Michael Antonov (Oculus co-founder). Expanding into Dubai is part of a broader strategy to establish a distinct online and offline networking community across the wider Middle East region.Eugene Nevgen, Co-Founder and CEO of, expressed his enthusiasm about the Dubai launch, stating, "We are delighted to launch and expand in the UAE. The country has always been a hub for entrepreneurs, with over 94 percent of businesses in Dubai classified as small and medium-sized enterprises. We aim to introduce our unique social networking vision to the market, allowing entrepreneurs and changemakers to connect with like-minded individuals based on their professional and social interests. Our Padel event video, with over 170 million views, was an overwhelming success, highlighting the region's strong appetite for a distinctive approach to real-life social networking. Through activities and events, our aim is to build a secure and influential community that fosters meaningful connections and drives entrepreneurial growth in the UAE."The founders of have ambitious plans to further develop the platform, positioning it as the premier app for real-life social networking in the region. Natalia Vodianova, co-founder of, emphasized the vibrant entrepreneurial scene in the Middle East and articulated the platform's goal of not only connecting individuals with fellow entrepreneurs and businesses but also providing opportunities for people to discover communities and events that facilitate genuine real-life connections. Vodianova hopes that by offering a valuable online and offline experience, can build a robust community while helping individuals expand their businesses, aligning with the government's objective of doubling the size of the UAE economy by 2033. She concluded, "It's a thrilling time to be an entrepreneur. The business landscape is evolving, and we are proud to have created an ecosystem that supports this growth both online and offline."

Moharram & Partners launches the first regional research project

Cairo: Moustafa Moharram: The project is an important step towards the modernization of regional legal systems related to data protection. The delay in modernizing legal system by some countries of the region deprives them of digital investments and denies their access to the applications of fourth industrial revolution technology.Mohamed Hegazy: We welcome the contributions of international and regional bodies by joining this project, in order to improve the legal and regulatory environment for personal data protection in the region.M&P Public Affairs and Strategic Communications announced the launch of a research project to lay the first classification of personal data protection legislation in the Middle East and Africa, with the aim of creating an enabling environment for digital investments, as the region is experiencing a rapid growth in the use of technology and Internet and that requires greater protection of personal data.A specialized team of regional experts in the field of digital legislation and personal data protection are developing this classification, which includes the provision of a comprehensive guide and assessment regarding the legal systems applied in the region and encouraging governments and regional institutions to adopt better standards for the protection of user data, as it will be designed according to a set of reliable and internationally recognized standards and indicators for assessing compliance and harmony with international frameworks and standards related to the protection of personal data, in a way that enhances the digital economy structure and the citizens’ privacy protection.Moustafa Moharram, CEO of M&P, said: "This project is an important step towards modernizing regional legal systems related to data protection and creating an enabling investment environment to attract digital investments. It also aims to enhance transparency, accountability and trust in the processing of personal data, thus helping to achieve sustainable economic and social development in the region.Moharram indicated that the delay, in updating and establishing legal system related to data protection by some countries of the region, deprives them of digital investments and denies their access to the applications of artificial intelligence and fourth industrial revolution technologies, and also it affects their ranking in international indicators.For his part, Dr. Mohamed Hegazy, Digital Legislation Expert and Senior Advisor to the project, called on all stakeholders in the region to join this project and to share their experiences for improving personal data protection, enhancing confidence in the use of technology and Internet and maintain users’ privacy. Hegazy indicated that the research team includes a group of the most important Arab and African experts that are specialized in the field of digital legislation and this project completes the role they play in supporting the formulation of digital legislation in a number of Arab and African countries.Hegazy added that the project is intended to classify the legislative and regulatory frameworks and enforcement mechanisms, but it also aims to build and implement capacity-building programs for workers in data protection agencies in the region and to raise the awareness of users and the public on the importance of protecting personal data and the challenges faced by institutions in this field, thus contributing to improve the results of personal data protection classification in the region.

Qureos launches AI Recruitment platform Iris

Dubai: Qureos, a UAE-based startup dedicated to advancing careers in the MENA region, announces the launch of Iris, a game-changing AI recruitment platform set to reshape the talent acquisition landscape in the region. Designed to empower employers with unparalleled efficiency, Iris delivers an entirely new approach to candidate sourcing, evaluation and matching the requirements by harnessing the benefits of advanced AI and ML algorithms. Streamlining the entire process, Iris can present an average of 47 relevant candidates per search in just 26 seconds. This groundbreaking platform holds the potential to reduce time-to-hire and slash recruitment costs by up to 43% and make the age-old challenges associated with talent acquisition a thing of the past. With Iris at the helm, hiring managers no longer have to undergo tedious manual screening and sifting through endless resumes. Iris conducts rapid and comprehensive evaluations of candidates, pinpointing ideal matches with remarkable precision. Iris will also play a pivotal role in helping employers to address the prolonged time to employment in the region, which currently is up to 18 months for early-in-career talent, narrow the skills gap and tackle the pressing issue of job creation. According to a recent study by McKinsey, the MENA region is predicted to witness a significant workforce expansion of 127 million in the next decade, primarily driven by its burgeoning youth population. Alexander Epure, CEO & Co-founder of Qureos, emphasized the significance of Iris, stating, "Iris embodies Qureos' mission to accelerate 100 million careers, redefining the hiring process and aligning aspirants with their goals. Its power lies in uncovering hidden gems among a sea of candidates, often overlooked by employers. Recognizing that 30% of Middle East respondents, as per a PwC survey, are seeking new career opportunities, Iris serves as a critical catalyst for career advancement in the region. By enhancing hiring effectiveness for employers and empowering candidates to harness their potential, Iris aims to reshape the recruitment landscape”.Qureos features a talent pool of over 7 million candidates from countries, including UAE, KSA, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon. To ensure that employers get access to a diverse range of highly qualified individuals, Qureos also offers candidates unparalleled opportunities to grow and upskill. Through practical, hands-on projects and personalized 1-on-1 mentorship, candidates are guided by industry-leading mentors from organizations such as Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Amazon, Cisco, and over 100 global businesses.Iris enhances the candidate experience by ensuring transparency at every stage of the recruitment process, providing AI-generated matching summaries to objectively shortlist candidates based on their skills and performance. Abdulrahman AlKooheji at Gro Partners, a renowned investments-focused consultancy and advisory company in the UAE, had the opportunity to use Iris during its beta phase and lauded it for its game-changing impact. “In an era where instant results are not only desired but expected - a sentiment mirrored in sectors like retail and delivery - Iris emerges as a timely and apt solution for the entire recruitment industry. My personal experience with the beta version left me appreciative of their AI's ability to quickly and accurately process results. With its rapid execution and potential for significant cost-saving, Iris is well-positioned to be a game-changer, serving businesses both at a regional and global level. Kudos to the team for this excellent work!”Since its inception, Qureos has been diligently serving prominent companies in the UAE, including RemotePass, DP World, and Unilever. With Iris, Qureos aims to disrupt the recruitment space and create enhanced career prospects throughout the region.h its AI Recruiter, Iris. Iris automates the sourcing, shortlisting and outreach to candidates - all in the blink of an eye.

FOOTBALL SCAI announces its sponsorship of Al-Ahli Saudi Football Club

Riyadh: Al-Ahli Saudi Football Club and the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), have signed a three-year strategic partnership to scale and develop the Kingdom’s sports sector. The agreement, extending until the 2025-2026 season, was signed by Eng. Tarek Khalifah, Acting CEO of Al Ahli Club Investment Company, and Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Muammar, Chief Operating Officer of SCAI.Eng. Khalifah, expressing the club’s enthusiasm over its partnership with SCAI, said, "Our mutual agreement will open up new avenues for success and the scaling of Saudi Arabia’s sports sectors. Furthermore, it will strengthen SCAI's position as a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company and play a key role in the sports sector’s local and global development."Eng. Khalifah emphasized that the collaboration with SCAI will enhance Al-Ahli Football Club’s interconnectedness with other sectors and allow the club to fulfill its role for the benefit of all, stating that the strategic partnership is in line with Kingdom's efforts and aims to develop local talent and enhance the experience of the club's fans.Mr. Al-Muammar said, "The collaboration between SCAI and Al-Ahli Club affirms our commitment to promoting innovation in the sports sector in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. We at SCAI seek to leverage AI and modern technologies to create value across various sectors, helping our partners achieve their goals in addition to enhancing the well-being and quality of life of individuals throughout Saudi Arabia.”SCAI is dedicated to actively influencing the upcoming era of AI applications and providing inventive resolutions to address worldwide challenges, aiming for a more sustainable future. Through internal capabilities and varied investments, the organization acts as a driving force for Saudi Arabia's AI ecosystem, working towards establishing the Kingdom as a globally competitive center for advanced technology.

Mobmio launches in MENA: Revolutionizing the mobile app market

DUBAI: Mobmio is a new mobile performance network with ambitious plans for the MENA mobile app market. A business from global IT company Mitgo, Mobmio specialises in mobile app user acquisition and CPI/CPL/CPA/Revenue share monetisation services.Launched as a stand-alone business in 2023, Mobmio has already reached 500+ million mobile users, generated 50+ million interactions and acquired 15+ million new users for its customers worldwide. Now, it has a firm focus in the MENA region - fuelling app growth for local brands and driving publisher revenues for mobile-first publishers and in-app advertisers. The mobile app market is growing fast - and the MENA region is no different. According to Statista, total app market revenues for 2022 reached US$475.90bn, and they expect to see an annual growth (CAGR 2022-2027) of 8.58%, resulting in a market volume of US$755.50bn by 2027. According to Mitgo's data, the number of mobile sales in MENA grew by 20% in H1 of 2023 YoY, their GMV grew by 18,3%, over half of all orders in the region are made through mobile phones. Alexander Bachmann, CEO and Founder of Mitgo, states “Mitgo has always been - and continues to be - an innovative hub for emerging and mature markets. That's why launching Mobmio is a logical step for us, allowing our publishers to harness the full potential of the fast-growing global mobile market.” A successful beta test leading to full roll-outMobmio grew out of a mobile services segment within Mitgo business Admitad’s partner network. During a successful beta test, it was decided to spin-off these services into a separate, expanded business.This test saw 10,000 Admitad partners from all over the world take part. Between January and May 2023, these partners saw a YOY profit growth of +20%, demonstrating the platform’s market fit and growth potential. The first half of 2023 saw the service's global profits grow by 27%, and Mitgo plans to invest a total of $10 million into Mobmio’s development between 2023-2025. Ambitious plans for MENA’s fast-growing mobile app marketWith ambitious expansion plans focusing on the MENA, USA, Europe, LATAM and India, MENA will be a key market for Mobmio’s success.  By the end of 2023, Mobmio plans to partner with at least 2000 MENA apps - and another 4000 worldwide. “Brands will benefit from the expertise of a team with years of experience in the mobile app industry. This launch will help Mitgo enter new markets, enable us to attract new partners and increase the group's profits.” - Alexander BachmannA user-centric approach to mobile app servicesIn comparison to other CPA-based networks, Mobmio offers a dedicated monitoring and compliance department, allowing publishers and advertisers to track and prevent suspicious or fraudulent traffic, providing traffic transparency and ensuring only high-quality traffic. Along with worldwide coverage and instant payout systems, Mobmio offers its network of advertisers and publishers a tailored approach, with personal success managers and work models aligned with a brand’s goals and objectives.  Mobmio’s launch also reinforces Mitgo’s on-going mission to invest in and grow innovative tech businesses and solutions that provide new revenue streams and added value to their partner network.

SleekFlow debuts WhatsApp retail-tech solutions in UAE through L'Occitane

DUBAI: Media OutReach - 11 July 2023 - SleekFlow, APAC’s leading SaaS omnichannel social commerce platform backed by Tiger Global, is proud to announce the launch of its omnichannel social commerce platform in the UAE. The market expansion officially kicks off with SleekFlow joining L’Occitane ME’s first Accelerator Program, powered by The Greenhouse, Chalhoub Group’s space for innovation and entrepreneurship.SleekFlow Team and L’Occitane ME and Chalhoub Group's Demo Day, which took place at The Greenhouse in Dubai Design DistrictIn August 2022, SleekFlow was one of 4 out of 180 global retail-tech startups chosen to implement its cutting-edge solutions in the Middle East, as well as the potential of developing tailored solutions catered to beauty and luxury sectors for the L'Occitane brand in the future. This new partnership with Chalhoub Group, the region’s largest retailer, is a testament to SleekFlow’s potential to enhance the region’s rapidly growing luxury retail sector.Since its founding in 2019, SleekFlow has achieved 2-3 times YoY revenue growth and successfully expanded in Hong Kong - the company’s current HQ - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brazil, with its customer engagement solution for SMEs and enterprises. The company has identified the UAE market as an ideal location for expansion based on early traction and strong buying behavior through WhatsApp, the communication channel that 80% of UAE consumers use daily.As the first Asian company to participate in the Microsoft Pegasus program, SleekFlow’s ongoing partnership with Microsoft enables the platform to leverage GPT-4 technology from Azure OpenAI Service to power its chatbots. SleekFlow has recently developed SleekFlow AI, a context-aware AI-powered chatbot that can refine and translate content, generate concise reports upon completion of service, and even automate talent training, helping businesses increase efficiency."Over the past year, SleekFlow has experienced explosive growth, with our enterprise customers increasing sixfold, accumulating over 5,000 customers in 120 regions worldwide,” says SleekFlow's founder and CEO Henson Tsai. “At the same time, we continue to optimize the platform to help businesses upgrade their customer service quality, increasing their sales converted with chat threefold and boosting the online to offline (O2O) sales by 18%. I believe that AI will be an indispensable part of businesses in the next three years and become the driving engine of various industries in the UAE and beyond." reveals prime day deals with exclusive offers

Dubai: has announced hundreds of thousands of deals exclusively for Prime members in the UAE this Prime Day on July 11 and 12. Starting at 00:01am (local UAE time) on July 11 and running until July 12, the sale event will offer Prime members across the Emirates exclusive savings across all product categories including electronics, grocery, Amazon Fresh, fashion, beauty, kitchen, home, health, toys, sports, and Amazon Devices. Anyone can join Prime through a free 30-day trial, followed by a membership fee of AED 16/month or an annual fee of AED 140, at to participate in Prime Day, get access to the full set of benefits including unlimited fast and free shipping benefits, and enjoy entertainment with Prime Video and Prime Gaming.Throughout the 48-hour sale event, Prime members can enjoy savings across top local and international brands such as Bose, Samsung, Microsoft, PlayStation, Black+Decker, Philips, Nespresso, Nivea, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Revlon, Guess, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, and Amazon Devices. Additionally, members can support local businesses by exploring a specially curated ‘Shop Local’ collection available at which connects millions of customers with local small and medium-sized businesses. Prime members can discover Prime Day deals from local businesses by category or directly explore featured local brand owners such as Emirati Coffee, Elegant, Royal Malaki, and Nappy Time, on the page. Prime members can also shop select Prime Day deals from Amazon US and UK via the Global Store, with Free International Shipping with no minimum purchase required. Throughout Prime Day, Prime members in eligible locations across the UAE will also be able to enjoy deals on hundreds of grocery products from Amazon Fresh, including fruits and vegetables and everyday essentials, with free and fast two-hour scheduled delivery options available.Stefano Martinelli, GCC Retail Director, said: “Prime Day is the most exciting time of the year for Amazon Prime members around the world. This year, we are once again celebrating Prime and all it has to offer, ensuring members in the UAE get the most value from their membership with greater savings and more promotional offers than ever before. This Prime Day will not only feature deals across every category on, including recently rolled out categories such as Amazon Fresh, but also deliver additional discounts from select banks, and benefits including unlimited free and fast shipping. This 48-hour sale serves as a true testament to our continued commitment to make Prime members’ lives more valuable, easier, convenient, and fun.”Prime Day Deals on PreviewPrime Day 2023 will feature incredible savings exclusive for Prime members, with a continuous release of new deals across various categories throughout July 11 and 12. Here is a glimpse of some of this year’s best Amazon Prime Day deals that members can expect during the sale event on up to 62% on speakers and headphones from brands including Anker, Bose, and SonySave up to 46% on mobile phones and smart watches from brands including Samsung and Xiaomi Save up to 24% on laptops from brands including Microsoft and Asus Save up to 23% on TVs from brands including HiSense and PanasonicGaming Save up to 43% on video games and gaming gear from brands including SteelSeries, PlayStation, Xbox, Sony, and Cougar GamingSave up to 59% on gaming headphones and speakers from brands including Redragon, SteelSeries and SonySave up to 31% on gaming laptops from brands including AsusAmazon Devices Save up to 41% on Ring devicesSave up to 43% on Echo Show and Echo Dot devicesSave up to 35% on the Eero WiFi RouterSave up to 31% on Kindle devicesThe All-New Echo, just launched in the UAE this month, will also be on offer exclusively for Prime members during Prime DayHome Save up to 38% on home appliances from Black+Decker and BluSave up to 35% on vacuum cleaners from brands including Roborock and EcovacsSave up to 30% on Amazon Home Services including massage, car rental, moving, house cleaning, house painting, and pest control servicesKitchenSave up to 43% on mixers, air fryers, coffee machines, and other kitchen appliances from brands including De’Longhi, Nespresso, Panasonic, and TefalSave up to 31% on major cooking appliances from brands including SiemensGrocery and Amazon Fresh Save up to 83% on fresh fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, blueberries, cucumbers, and tomatoes, from Amazon FreshSave up to 23% on every day essentials from brands including Nescafe, L’Or, and Red BullBeauty and Personal Care Save up to 62% on skin care items from brands including QV, Neutrogena, and EucerinSave up to 50% on self-care and beauty items, as well as skin care routine packs, from NiveaSave up to 24% on perfumes from brands including Davidoff, Calvin Klein, and Hugo BossSave up to 23% on personal care appliances, such as hair dryers and beard groomers, from brands including Revlon, Philips, and Braun Fashion Save up to 82% on watches from brands including Michael Kors, Anne Klein, Citizen, Tommy Hilfiger and CasioSave up to 52% on bags from brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and GuessSave up to 31% on apparel from brands including Columbia, Crocs, Skechers, Puma, and Champion reveals Amazon Prime day deals and savings

CAIRO: is planning to launch hundreds of thousands of deals exclusively for Amazon Prime members this Amazon Prime Day in Egypt on July 11 and 12. Kicking off at midnight on July 11th and running until July 12th, the sale event will offer members of Amazon Prime across Egypt with exclusive deals across all product categories with savings benefits of up to 70% on fashion, 40% on electronics and accessories, 20% on TVs, and 50% on beauty and perfumes. Anyone can join Prime and become a member through a free 30-day trial, followed by a membership fee of EGP 29/month or EGP 249/year, at to participate in Amazon Prime Day. This membership will give access to unlimited fast and free shipping benefits, and enjoy entertainment with Prime Video and Prime Gaming. Amazon Prime Day 2023 will feature incredible savings to Amazon Prime members across top international brands including Samsung, Panasonic, Adidas, and Guess, and tens of thousands of deals from selling partners including Nabtah, Healthy Spread, Shana, and Verde, with a continuous release of new deals across various product categories throughout July 11 and 12. Amazon Prime members on using MasterCard debit or credit cards for Amazon Prime Day orders can enjoy an additional discount of 15% off, with a maximum discount up to EGP 200. Banque Misr MasterCard debit or credit cards will enjoy a discount of 15% off, with a maximum discount up to EGP 300. This is in addition to installment plans with 0% interest with CIB for a period of six months and 0% interest with Banque Misr for a period of 12 months. Omar Elsahy, Amazon Egypt General Manager, said: “Amazon Prime Day is the most exciting time of the year for Amazon Prime members around the world. Last year when we launched the Prime program, we wanted to make sure we provide our Amazon Prime members with greater saving benefits and a premier shopping experience. From deals across every category available on, to additional discounts from select banks, and benefits including unlimited free and fast shipping, Amazon Prime Day serves as a testament to our continued commitment to make Prime members’ lives in Egypt easier, more convenient, and fun.” Amazon Prime members across Egypt can make their shopping experience even easier by downloading the Amazon App to browse, shop, and ensure they never miss a deal or by shopping directly on the website on  Amazon Prime members can rely on Amazon for fast, free delivery on hundreds of thousands of eligible items to make their lives easier. Amazon Prime Day orders are made possible thanks to Amazon’s world-class last-mile operations and delivery station technologies. Amazon’s advanced capacity management systems, enhanced tracking, and global routing solutions will ensure a faster, more reliable, and more convenient customer experience. Today, the Amazon network across Egypt includes 22 delivery stations across cities like Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Ismailia, and Assiut, and several established corporate and customer service offices.  Amazon Prime Day deals include:  ElectronicsSave up to 40% discount on JBL, BOSE, and Anker accessories Save up to 20% on Samsung & LG TVsSave up to 15% on Samsung phonesSave up to 20% on Dell laptops Home and Kitchen AppliancesSave up to 10% on Samsung appliances including refrigerators and washing machines Save up to 15% on ElAraby, Fresh, and Panasonic appliancesFashionSave up to 60% off Adidas and AndoraSave up to 40% off Levi’s, Ravin and PumaSave up to 25% off all New Balance and Cottonil.Save more with Buy 1, Get 1 Free on fashion items from select brands including Adidas, Andora, Ravin, and mantra.Save more with Buy 1, Get 1 with 50% discount off from select brands including Levi’s and Skechers Beauty, Health, and Self-CareSave up to 50% off on select perfumes from Guess, Jaguar, Euphoria, Yves Saint Lauren, Armani, and Dior  BabySave up to 50% off baby products from Sanosan and Johnson.Get EGP 60 off when you buy a worth of EGP 600 or more from Pampers and extra 20% off Huggies products.Get EGP 50 off when you buy a worth of EGP 500 from Molfix

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

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

Emirates unveils global campaign on CNN, targeting business travelers

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

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

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

OPPO appoints Chi Zhou as President, Bolstering MEA Leadership

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

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

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

Beban TV Show Expands to Saudi Arabia in GFH Capital Partnership

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

AIQ Joins NVIDIA Inception to Accelerate Development of Advanced AI Solutions

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

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

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

Netflix sensation Sima Aunty joins forces with Mahzooz

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

Batelco retail shops undergo digital transformation

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

MUFG appoints Yohsuke Takahashi as Regional Head for Middle East

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

MENA region secures Gold at Cannes Young PR Lions competition

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

Sharjah Government Award calls on youth-focused communication practices

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

Chestertons MENA taps Rebecomms for PR, comm services

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

Ajit Ramaswami joins Publicis Groupe ME as APAC Advisor

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

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

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

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

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

Bahrain signs deals to invest $1.3bln in UK economy

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

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

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

Anghami and Samsung partner to redefine audio entertainment in MENA

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

Thomson Reuters Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Imagen Ltd.

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

CTV Accounts for Half of Global Video Impression Share

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

VIZIO launches new Home Screen for easy streaming

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

Fourth Dubai Gastronomy Forum celebrates culinary excellence

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

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

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

PepsiCo becomes water, beverages, and snacks provider for Gamers8

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

DIFC to build ‘Dubai AI & Web 3.0 Campus'

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

Meta launches VR subscription service

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

Meta’s Messenger unveils parental supervision tools for teen safety

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

Sharjah Government Communication Award invites pioneering researchers and writer

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

Aston Martin, Lucid Group form partnership to boost EV portfolio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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