Injeel Moti: Leading success with Catch Communications and Catch Academy

Catch Communications is a new-age media agency known for providing customized communication solutions that deliver quick, impactful, and effective results for businesses. Injeel Moti, the driving force behind Catch Communication and Academy, boasts a decade of experience in communications and brand reputation, primarily in the GCC region. Through Catch Academy, she offers training to business owners and MARCOM professionals, focusing on contemporary marketing strategies.In an exclusive interview with Adgully, Injeel Moti, Founder and Managing Director of Catch Communications & Catch Academy, shares her insights into harnessing effective marketing to support and grow businesses, brands, and concepts. She also delves into why public relations can be a strong suit for women and highlights the progress made in the MENA region in positioning women as industry leaders and accomplished professionals. Here are some excerpts:Kindly share your journey, starting as a PR professional, and leading to your role as the Founder of Catch Communications and Catch Academy?I never intended to be in PR; it happened to me. My very first job upon graduating from university was that of a content writer in a marketing firm which involved working very closely with the PR department. The role gave me exposure to the wondrous world of communications, and there has been no looking back since. I was drawn to the industry, the creativity, ideation, and ability to influence perception through story-telling was very exciting to me as a young professional and continues to be till date. Starting Catch too was a gamble, I acted on intuition and knew I had enough passion for the profession which would fuel my entrepreneurial journey.What motivated you to establish Catch Communications and Catch Academy?Catch Academy was born during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a business, we faced a significant challenge, losing 90% of our clientele overnight due to budget cuts and a reluctance to market during this difficult period. Recognizing the essential nature of marketing for our business, we conceived the concept of an academy and introduced crash courses. These courses aimed to educate people on the fundamentals of modern marketing, enabling teams to handle their marketing needs in-house. We witnessed a positive response from a diverse group, including marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, and students, all expressing keen interest in our courses.Could you provide insights into the brands that Catch Communications has collaborated with?When we launched in 2018 our core focus was the consumer space and our clientele typically was in the fashion, beauty, wellness, entertainment & hospitality space; however, over the last couple of years we have evolved and now have a corporate division too where we service brands in the finance, tech, health, and FMCG space.Can you share an example of someone who gained prominence after training at Catch Academy?One of our very first enrollers went on to set up her own independent marketing consultancy which was the primary goal for her when she signed up to the course. It is deeply gratifying to say that she was able to fulfill her dream through us.How do you see Artificial Intelligence impacting the Public Relations Industry? Is it a positive or negative influence on the PR sector?Most definitely, AI is a positive influence. I like to look at AI as a useful tool that helps PR professionals do their job quicker, better and more accurately. Ethical AI surely will become a major force in PR, as more people see its importance in creating honest and responsible communication that reaches a wide audience.Do you think the PR sector tends to attract more women, and if so, what might be the reasons behind this trend?There are a few reasons for this, but I'd like to highlight two in particular. First, effective PR often demands a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence, as professionals must comprehend and establish connections with various stakeholders. Women tend to exhibit higher levels of emotional intelligence, which can be an advantage in this field.PR also involves creating written content, press releases, and other materials that require strong writing and creative abilities. Women have historically been encouraged to develop these skills, which can be advantageous in PR roles.What's your perspective on the progress of women in the Middle East? How do you view women's empowerment in the region?In recent years, the MENA region has come a long way in positioning women as industry leaders and driven professionals, with governments and institutions introducing pioneering reforms and an increasing number of women defying boundaries and pursuing their ambitions. The communication space is no exception, In fact, women in leadership roles within the comms/PR spaces are aplenty and growing every day.What advice would you offer to individuals, both men and women, aspiring to become leaders in the PR sector?First and foremost one must have a deep passion for the space; PR isn’t your typical 9-5 job, and the evolution is constant and endless. Practical experience is invaluable in PR. Look for internships, entry-level positions, or volunteer opportunities that allow you to build your skills and develop a portfolio of work. Learning from mentors and experienced professionals is essential.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy launches mobile application development courses

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has launched the foundational phase of the Emirati Training Academy. The state-of-the-art online training programme comes as part of the ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative and is designed to equip talented UAE nationals with the knowledge and skills required to build a successful career in mobile application development.The self-paced courses build on the programme’s initial phase, which was launched in August, to provide a comprehensive learning journey with two distinct tracks focusing on Android and iOS app development. Participants can opt to complete one or both tracks, and those who successfully complete this phase of the programme will have the opportunity to apply for a course that leads to a globally recognised nanodegree certificate.Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, commented: “We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the Emirati Training Academy. Building on this success, the upcoming foundational phase of the programme will deliver an engaging in-depth curriculum on designing and developing apps.”Al Gergawi added: “The Emirati Training Academy comes as part of the 'Create Apps in Dubai' initiative and advances the emirate’s forward-thinking vision to transform Dubai into a leading player in the global digital sector. We recognise the importance of embracing future opportunities and believe this world-class training offering will enable us to build an experienced and highly qualified cadre of Emirati coders and app developers, positioning Dubai as one of the world’s most agile and diversified technology-enabled digital hubs.”The programme’s foundational phase will focus on equipping participants with the technical, user experience, and user interface skills required to successfully develop mobile applications. In addition to Android and iOS app design methodologies, the comprehensive curriculum features specialised courses on app marketing and monetisation, rapid prototyping, and introductions to key programming languages. Participants in the Emirati Training Academy will be guided through workshops delivered by expert Emirati tutors to ultimately help transform their skills and ideas into businesses.The programme aims to create well-rounded developers equipped with a deep understanding of the market and the needs of users, preparing them for the real-world challenges of the app development landscape. Learners will not only develop the skills necessary to become Android and iOS developers, but also cultivate capabilities that will significantly enhance their career prospects within the broader technology sector. Available exclusively to UAE nationals of all ages and from any of the seven emirates, the Emirati Training Academy is designed to educate and upskill Emiratis with the goal of enabling participants to start their own business ventures. Launched earlier this year by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ is designed to empower and enable Emirati talents to play key roles in realising the country’s digital vision.Led by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ seeks to train over 1,000 Emiratis on the fundamentals of coding, building mobile applications, and business creation models. The initiative aims to triple the number of app developers in Dubai by 2025 and will support 100 new national projects for the development of cutting-edge applications, which will be made available in digital app stores over the coming two years.

Sharjah Media City participates in MIPCOM 2023

Sharjah Media City ‘Shams’ announced its participation at the upcoming International Television and Entertainment Content Exhibition (MIPCOM 2023), to be held in Cannes, France between October 16th to 19th, 2023.‘Shams’s delegation joins the largest global gathering for the television and entertainment production market, with the aim of attracting significant projects to Sharjah. The focus will be to showcase Sharjah's journey and achievements in the creation and development of media content, highlighting current and future successful projects.Rashid Abdullah Al Obad, Managing Director of Sharjah Media City ‘Shams’, stated, "We are delighted to participate in MIPCOM 2023 to shed light on Sharjah's media efforts. Our goal is to attract projects to the Emirate by highlighting advantages of our company licensure and office spaces, along with our outstanding production services, future studios, wide range of media companies, content distributors and highly skilled workforce, all of which streamline the production process under one roof."He added, "Our participation is in line with ‘Shams’ vision to present and support successful and advanced media content. It is an opportunity to engage with the world's leading companies specialised in the media, television and entertainment content industry and establishing strategic relationships, thereby enhancing cooperation opportunities and discovering new projects in Sharjah."‘Shams’ aims to support unique creative industries capable of driving progress and enhancing community well-being, ultimately boosting the economic performance and competitiveness of the Emirate of Sharjah.MIPCOM 2023 brings together a selection of the largest companies across various media fields, specialising in the production of various content such as films, series, and programs. The exhibition provides a comprehensive platform for showcasing, buying and selling, in addition to facilitating international partnerships, contracts, and deals in the production and business development sector. Participants have the opportunity to explore and finance production projects, and develop media content, television and entertainment programs.???

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Unveils a Distinctive Global Brand Evolution

 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the world's first and largest international luxury hotel brand, is embarking on an exciting new chapter with the launch of an extensive global brand evolution announced today.As part of IHG Hotels & Resorts' luxury and lifestyle portfolio, InterContinental is set to yet again reimagine the luxury travel experience, striking a harmonious balance between freedom and familiarity. This transformative journey is driven by the brand’s long held belief that travel can expand minds and connect cultures, enhanced by cutting-edge technology, innovative design, and the exceptional talents of InterContinental’s diverse team members.A FOCUS ON MODERN LUXURY TRAVELLERS AND DIVERSITYInterContinental aims to captivate the imaginations of modern luxury travellers by satisfying their desire for knowledge and culturally rich experiences. This holistic evolution includes new offerings and experiences, a fresh brand culture, unique brand differentiators, and a game-changing food and beverage and hotel design strategy tailored to the traveller of tomorrow. With InterContinental hotels in the world’s finest cities from Rome to Shanghai, and 93 new hotels and resorts in the pipeline, these concepts will shape the future of InterContinental.Tom Rowntree, Vice President of Luxury Brands at IHG Hotels and Resorts, said: “This isn't a rebrand or repositioning; rather, it's a comprehensive transformation from start to finish of InterContinental, ensuring we stay at the forefront of crafting a luxury experience for the modern luxury traveler. Collaborating with our 215 hotels worldwide, we are committed to delivering precisely what todays and tomorrows guests, owners and colleagues require.”"At its core, this brand evolution revolves around our exceptional team members globally. Alongside a new brand service platform, we're introducing a fresh brand culture and a range of programmes aimed at attracting and retaining the finest talent in the industry. Our colleague brand culture is grounded in InterContinental's core belief that travel expands the mind. We unite in diversity and wherever you are in the world, you belong at InterContinental.”INTENTIONAL FLEXIBILITY FOR MODERN LIFESTYLESModern travellers lead diverse lives, and InterContinental acknowledges the need for seamless transitions throughout their day. To address this, the brand is committed to helping guests "shape shift" through their day.New initiatives include scientifically backed food and beverage programmes aimed at helping guests reduce travel fatigue while ensuring dining options reflect differing guest needs throughout the day. All guests will also receive access to the Timeshifter, a jet lag app which enables travelers to use the latest circadian science to adjust quickly to new time zones. InterContinental is collaborating with neuroscience-based designer Isabelle Sjovall to revolutionize guestroom spaces to enhance the restorative process needed for travel fatigue and reimagine other versatile physical spaces so they can seamlessly adapt to evolving needs at different times of the day.INSIDER EXPERTISE; UNRIVALLED KNOWLEDGE OF CULTUREInterContinental Sydney InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, with properties in 60 countries, leverages its rich history as a pioneer in hospitality. The brand's colleagues serve as cultural connectors, helping guests embrace and explore cities and local neighbourhoods. The concierge, at the heart of cultural exploration, will play an even more significant role. InterContinental will develop innovative Concierge Galleries in hotel lobbies, transforming them into epicentres of unrivaled local, cultural knowledge. Going far beyond the standard concierge desk, these new outposts will more closely resemble a luxury boutique, bringing together interactive displays, library spaces and informative features, in some cases even art installations or designer pop-ups. From a design perspective, these social spaces will eschew the traditional desk in favor of a more interactive worktable allowing for more natural and engaging interactions between the guest and concierge.INCREDIBLE OCCASIONS; THE VERY BEST MOMENTS IN LIFEModern luxury travellers place great value on special moments and celebrations but finding time to plan for them can be challenging as life gets busier. Long considered the setting of countless celebrations and special moments, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts will further elevate micro-occasions for guests who wish to enjoy any number of life’s milestones, from birthdays to baby showers, through its brand-new Incredible Occasions programme.The Incredible Occasions programme will help signpost bookable spaces around the hotel, where groups of guests can enjoy privacy while celebrating memorable moments. Unlike grand settings or spacious ballrooms, each intimate space will include programming and packages, consisting of amenities and experiences, such as beautiful tablescapes, decadent candlelit dinners or private masterclasses which can be offered.Bringing together expertise, infrastructure and imagination, InterContinental will also unveil Celebration Suites across its global portfolio. These are reimagined spaces designed specifically to help guests elevate life’s most special moments, from lavish dinner parties to landmark birthdays.CULTIVATED ELEGANCE; A PORTFOLIO OF FASCINATIONInterContinental Hotels & Resorts boasts a diverse portfolio of remarkable properties catering to various travel needs and purposes. The brand evolution focuses on further elevating quality design and timeless style under the umbrella of "Cultivated Elegance."Melissa Messmer, Global Head of Design for Luxury Brands at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “Each InterContinental hotel or resort is an experience-driven bespoke concept, tied together by our new Design Pillars that form the strength of our brand design style, Cultivated Elegance.”InterContinental's diverse style domains cater to different traveller preferences, from idyllic escapes such as InterContinental Maldives to romantic getaways at InterContinental Rome Ambasciatori Palace to unique stays at properties such as Bill Bensley-designed InterContinental Khao Yai.InterContinental Hotels & Resorts' global brand evolution embraces modernity, diversity and the desire for meaningful experiences, ensuring that guests can continue to explore the world while feeling right at home.With acquisitions and new brand launches, IHG Hotels & Resorts has become a significant player in the luxury & lifestyle segment, offering a unique portfolio that spans over 479 properties in more than 70 countries.

Du sets industry standard with 98.5% population coverage of 5G

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has achieved 98.5% 5G population coverage across the UAE as it continues to cement its leadership in delivering cutting-edge connectivity. The milestone reaffirms du's commitment to providing customers with future-ready network experiences in alignment with the UAE’s national vision to create a smart and connected nation.In its ongoing pursuit of innovation, du has partnered with Huawei to bring the future of connectivity to households with the development of 5G Advanced (5G-A), also known as 5.5G. Their collaborative effort resulted in the unveiling of the world's first 5G-A demonstration Villa, showcasing the potential of 10.5Gbps smart home living. This immersive experience integrates advanced technologies like glass-free 3D and Extended Reality (XR), creating a more enhanced and interactive smart home environment. This partnership serves as a catalyst for future advancements, exploring new applications and paving the way for a connected ecosystem that transforms the way people live and interact with their homes.Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO at du, said: "We are proud to announce that we have achieved a 98.5% 5G population coverage across the UAE. This milestone not only showcases our commitment to providing customers with cutting-edge network experiences, but also contributes to the UAE's vision of embracing advanced digital infrastructure. As we continue to push the boundaries of innovation, our partnership with Huawei has resulted in the world's first 5G-A demonstration Villa. The project represents the possibilities of 5G Advanced technology, immersing residents in a transformative and interactive smart home environment.”As a leading digital telco, du aims to foster an ecosystem that harnesses the unique features of 5G Advanced technology, including improved connectivity, faster speeds, comprehensive IoT capabilities, and widespread coverage. In recognition of its efforts, du received the prestigious LEAD Award for "Fastest 5G FWA Experience" from SAMENA Telecommunications Council. This recognition highlights du's active contributions in advancing 5G FWA from both network and business perspectives geared towards enhancing the quality of life for UAE residents in a transformative and inclusive environment.

GuestReady appoints Shruti Arora as Managing Director, GCC

Dubai: GuestReady, the leading global hospitality & property technology company with a focus on urban short-term rental management has announced the appointment of a new Managing Director for the GCC region.Shruti Arora has been tapped to oversee all aspects of GuestReady’s GCC operations including business development, strategic partnerships, guest and owner relations, as well as to drive services and technology innovation. Based in Dubai, her primary focus will be on expanding GuestReady's footprint in key cities across the region, nurturing relations with property owners and other key stakeholders, and continuing to elevate GuestReady’s guest and host experience.A seasoned leader with a proven track record in building and scaling start-ups, Arora joins during a pivotal period of growth for GuestReady within the region, including the recent launch of a GuestReady’s Saudi Arabian office this past summer, and following a year of unprecedented growth.Arora brings a wealth of diverse expertise to her new role having held positions in fast growing e-commerce and tech businesses within the region. Her history of designing and delivering high-impact growth strategies in dynamic industries across the Middle East aligns with GuestReady’s wider vision and ambitions.GuestReady CEO, Alexander Limpert said: "We are delighted to welcome Shruti to GuestReady. Her experience in scaling technology start-ups and proven leadership skills will be instrumental in propelling GuestReady's continued growth in the GCC region. We have full confidence that under her guidance, we will continue to deliver exemplary property management services to our clients and stakeholders and offer unforgettable experiences to our guests."“As someone who gravitates towards dynamic and innovative growth sectors, I am thrilled to join GuestReady,” said Arora. “With the rise in leisure and business tourism, the short-term rental industry across the GCC is thriving. Expanding upon the strong presence and talented team that GuestReady has already established in the region, I see tremendous potential to further build and solidify our position as market leader.”Arora will be replacing long-time and outgoing GuestReady GCC Managing Director, Reem Al Khatib who, after having built the company’s regional presence from the ground-up over the past six years, will be leaving the company to pursue new endeavors.“Our Middle Eastern presence, with its solid foundation and continued growth is testament to the wonderful team that has been established and guided by Reem throughout the last six years. Her service and strong leadership has been instrumental in our success in the region, and she leaves a legacy of innovation and growth that Shruti will now build upon,” added Lampert. Along with the opening of GuestReady’s Saudi Arabia office, the company recently introduced what is believed to be a regional technology first within its innovative proprietary platform and property management system (PMS), RentalReady.RentalReady offers all-in-one functionality for managing short-term vacation rentals to both property owners and managers, while offering streamlined, convenient services and information to guests. Two new Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrations were recently introduced within RentalReady, a first within the region. These integrations enable personalized itineraries for guests across GuestReady’s global network, including cities in the region, as well as AI-powered guest communications. RentalReady is currently used by GuestReady as well as independent property managers, hosts, and their respective guests across the Middle East and worldwide. GuestReady offers a wide range of services designed to support investors and property owners every step of the way with their world-class technology, local expert advice, and end-to-end support including but not limited to property listing optimization, professional photography, 24/7 guest communication, housekeeping, maintenance, and more. By leveraging its industry-leading technology, RentalReady, and its global expertise, GuestReady ensures that property owners can maximize their rental income and deliver exceptional guest experiences.GuestReady’s GCC properties are available to book on GuestReady’s direct booking website, and via Airbnb, and For more information, visit

NEOM partners with the Korean Film Council

NEOM: NEOM Media Industries and The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) have announced an exciting strategic partnership aimed at nurturing emerging talent in the filmmaking industry.The Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), South Korea's premier national film school operated by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), a key entity dedicated to the promotion and support of the nation's film industry, is committed to delivering comprehensive training across various filmmaking disciplines to the next generation of filmmaking talent at NEOM.KOFIC (KAFA) training and development plans will be available for both aspiring and experienced film and television content creators and will prepare them to work on projects across local, regional and international levels. The partnership will offer a wide range of training disciplines, including workshops, masterclasses and programs for various roles in filmmaking, such as producers, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, and sound designers, among others.Scheduled for Q1 2024, the inaugural program kicks off with a Directing Masterclass and Workshop, to be conducted in the Media Hub at NEOM - the largest purpose-built screen production facility in the region.Wayne Borg, Managing Director of Media Industries, Entertainment, and Culture at NEOM, said: "We are privileged to partner with The Korean Film Council to support Saudi emerging filmmaking talent set to contribute to the global film industry. This collaboration represents a significant opportunity for mutual growth and enhanced collaboration. Leveraging South Korea's remarkable achievements in the global film arena, and the invaluable insights this partnership offers, holds immense potential to raise production standards, accelerate ecosystem development, broaden international market reach, nurture talent, facilitate co-productions and usher in a new era of storytelling. This collaboration perfectly aligns with our dedication to nurturing talent as a cornerstone of our strategic vision, aiming to cultivate a diverse and highly skilled workforce."Park Ki-yong, Chair of KOFIC, said: “We are delighted to partner with NEOM in nurturing Saudi filmmakers for the future of the world cinema. KAFA’s presence in Saudi Arabia in 2024 will be our third international collaboration, in addition to KAFA in Kazakhstan in 2022 and KAFA in Vietnam in 2023, which we have initiated to share our 40 years of experience and know-how in filmmaking and training. As one of the world’s leading film agencies, KOFIC, and best film schools, KAFA, it is our responsibility to contribute to the cooperative development of the global film industry. We anticipate this collaboration to lead our two countries and film industries to much greater cooperation in the future.”Both South Korea and Saudi Arabia have seen a surge in talented young filmmakers who are making a significant impact on the international media landscape. Their fresh perspectives and diverse storytelling styles are contributing to the richness and diversity of world cinema.

Saudi Festival of Creativity unveils 10+ speaker lineup

With a little over a month to go for Saudi Arabia’s largest, most vibrant, and dynamic festival for the creative marketing industry, Motivate Media Group and TRACCS, organisers of Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, today unveiled an impressive four-day programme and exceptional speaker lineup of over 100 national and global industry strategists, innovators, and experts. The announcement was made in the presence of key representatives from Saudi Conventions & Exhibitions General Authority (SCEGA), a strategic partner, and MBC Media Solutions (MMS), a co-partner of the festival, which promises to be a groundbreaking event that celebrates and nurtures creativity in the Kingdom.Held from 13 to 16 November 2023 at the Hotel Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC, Athar Festival will be able to accommodate around 1,500 delegates from across the globe, including participation from some of Saudi’s top companies such as Saudi Tourism Authority, Red Sea Global, STC, Saudi Aramco, SAUDIA, HungerStation amongst others.Athar Festival will feature 12 academies for young professionals, along with CMOs and the Maheerah Women’s Programme which is open to 10 high-potential women in the creative marcomms industry. The festival will culminate with the Athar Awards Gala Dinner which will feature the Legacy Awards of the Decade and Special Awards, which will be presented to the agency, network, brand, creative leader, and marketer of the decade among others. The awards will also feature the winners of the 24-hour hack competition part of the young talent academies.Amjad Shacker, Acting CEO of SCEGA said, “Creativity and innovation are at the core of Saudi Vision 2030, and as part of our ambition and role as a facilitator of global business collaboration and partnerships, it is our responsibility to attract and support new and high potential industries. Identifying new business streams is imperative to the Kingdom’s thriving economic growth, and we believe that unlocking the full potential of the local creative industry is vital for Saudi Arabia to achieve its transformation aspirations. As a strategic partner of Athar Festival, the first and largest of its kind in the country, we are realizing our goal of truly attracting high calibre international events.”Emphasising the festival's significance in promoting creativity across various sectors, Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, said, “Athar Festival will be the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry ever staged in the Kingdom. Our main objectives are aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, focusing on enriching the local innovation, advertising, and creative ecosystem. We are thrilled to bring together the best minds and talents from all over the world, creating an environment of collaborative learning and innovation, showcasing the boundless potential of creativity as a force for business, for change, and for good."Citing the recent description of Saudi Arabia as the biggest success story of the 21st century by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince, Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS said, “For centuries, Saudi Arabia has been the global epicentre for trade, shaping its identity with a distinctive blend of culture, commerce, and creativity. Time is rife for us to truly celebrate and recognise the power of creativity as a key accelerator and enabler of the Kingdom’s sustainable, thriving, and future-forward economy. Athar Festival is a unique platform where imagination will flourish, industry aspirations will be renewed, and new collaborations will be forged, creating infinite possibilities for Saudi Arabia and its people. I am positive that Athar Festival will leave a lasting mark on the Saudi landscape.”Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, CEO of MBC Media Solutions (MMS), added, “It is our great pleasure to be a part of Athar Festival as it brings together the region's most influential brands and individuals to foster connections and spark creativity. Athar Festival allows us to showcase our creative solutions and connect with creative individuals and make a difference. Being a part of Athar Festival is not only an exciting experience but also a testament to our commitment at MMS to push innovation and growth."Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in an engaging agenda that features a distinguished lineup of speakers who will deliver thought-provoking insights across six content themes, namely, Technology as a creative driver; Strategies that help grow brands; Inspiration and idea generation; Work culture and talent; Bringing a positive change to society; and Saudi Arabia - a thriving market for the creative community.These themes and the main lineup of activities will be divided across two primary stages which will run in parallel and feature two days of inspiring content including a series of keynotes, in-depth panel discussions, informative talks, fireside chats, and engaging and interactive workshops. The Cultivation Stage, themed 'The Impact of Strategy,' will spotlight the transformative power of strategy and technology in the creative marketing sphere. Meanwhile, the Momentum Stage, themed 'The Art of Creativity,' will delve into the realms of inspiration, culture, and talent, exploring how these elements contribute to groundbreaking creativity.The festival promises to showcase a diverse lineup of speakers to learn from, including creative business leaders representing some of Saudi’s top companies across myriad sectors. Attendees can expect to hear from the likes of H.H. Princess Loulwa Bint Yazeed Al Saud, Founder & CEO, +966 And CEO, RiseUp Saudi; Asmaa Quorrich, CMO of Saudi Tourism Authority; Mohammed Abaalkheil, Vice President Corporate Relations, STC; Tracy Lanza, Group Head of Global Brand Development, Red Sea Global; Khaled Tash, Group CMO of SAUDIA; Mohammed Jifri, CMO of Hungerstation; and Kirk Collingwood, Director of Brand & Communication at Saudi Aramco, to name a few.Creative industry veterans and representatives of the foremost creative agencies in the region and beyond, such as Fernando Machado, Global CMO of NotCo, USA; Khalid Abdulaziz, Head of Strategy, The Fullstop; Dani Richa, Chairman and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa at BBDO; Bassel Kakish, CEO ME and Turkey of Publicis Groupe; Elda Choucair, CEO, Omnicom Media Group; Mohamed Sehly, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett; Mohammed Bahmishan, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, FP7 McCann KSA; and Rayyan Aoun, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson among others, will take to the festival’s stages to share their invaluable insight.Offering a broader perspective on commerce and creativity at the global level, some of the world’s most recognizable companies and brands will also partake in the festival and will be represented by their most creative thought leaders. Some of them will include Ali Cheikhali, Creative Strategy Lead at Google; Garrett Olexiuk, Campaign & Creative Manager at Amazon; Hala Zgheib, Head of Retail at Snapchat; Sasha El Jurdi, Head of Content Programming, TikTok; Jacqueline Bourke, Senior Director, Creative, Getty Images; and Aamir Allibhoy, Regional CMO, Tim Hortons MENA to list a few.For more information on the festival, the registration process, and the festival’s programme, please visit

SearchInform launches the unique information security service in the MENA market

Dubai: SearchInform, the leading risk management product developer, is expanding its presence in the MENA region. The vendor is introducing its information security outsourcing service to the market. The single service ensures customers’ comprehensive protection and helps to improve business efficiency. This offer brings a unique proposition to the market. With the help of outsourcing services, companies can prevent data leaks, monitor user activity and reveal inefficient business processes.Lev Matveev, SearchInform Chairman of the Board of Directors: "We have been working on the MENA market for a long time; our solutions already protect banks, hospitals and manufacturing facilities. Being the service provider requires even more close cooperation with customers. To meet this goal, we have strengthened our presence in the UAE, opened an office in Dubai, and expanded our staff to be in closer contact with our customers. The client doesn't risk anything - the free-of-charge one-month trial is available. The client can decide whether the service suits the company’s needs during the free trial. During this month, the client gets the full picture of their business's state of safety and efficiency. We’ve been successfully developing the service since 2019 in several countries. According to our statistics, 100% of companies, even at the test stage, detect incidents: data leaks, corporate fraud, misconfigured access rights.”The service by SearchInform enables solving the following tasks: ensuring protection against data leaks, data classification, access rights audit, monitoring of employees’ activity and much more. With outsourcing, it is possible to perform regulatory compliance audits (Personal Data Protection Law, DCC-1: 2022, SAMA, GDPR and many others). This service stands out for its ability to handle the tasks mentioned above, a feature not commonly found in other options on the market.As the service provider, SearchInform protects the clients with the help of its security solutions (DLP, DCAP, Risk Management solution) and provides analytical experts who manage these solutions. The company's specialists implement and maintain the software in the customers' IT infrastructure, set up security policies for effective monitoring and help customers fine-tune the software. The analyst working with the software constantly monitors the situation, detects incidents and investigates them if necessary. The analyst provides the customers with detailed reports and also notifies them urgently in case of an emergency to prevent an incident. Protective solutions can be deployed in the cloud, such as Microsoft Azure.Sergey Ozhegov, SearchInform CEO: "The concept of the service is unique - we offer the platform, ensuring internal security and improving business efficiency available by subscription. Our service is useful for literally any organization. For SMEs, it is the opportunity to get full-scale comprehensive protection at low expenditures, as there is no need to purchase expensive hardware and software or hire onboard IS officers. Large enterprises with their own IS departments can delegate some tasks (e.g. routine tasks) to MSSP, what reduces the load on in-house specialists; what’s more, they get access to MSSP’s specialists’ unique tools and expertise. We believe the best thing about our new service is that it makes information security more accessible to all organizations."SearchInform, a privately held company, specializes in developing cutting-edge risk management products and holds a prominent position as one of the industry leaders. With a client base spanning over 20 countries and over 4,000 companies, SearchInform provides an advanced platform for internal threat mitigation.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy launches global entrepreneur’s guide

Dubai: Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has published a comprehensive guide for startups that aims to simplify the process of setting up a business in Dubai.‘Building Your Business in a Dynamic City: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Setup in Dubai’ is designed to guide aspiring entrepreneurs through the intricacies of the emirate’s dynamic business landscape, equipping them with the information they need to make informed decisions.Launched as the chamber prepares to host Expand North Star – the world’s largest event for startups – the guide is packed with essential information for anyone considering establishing a new business in Dubai’s rapidly growing digital economy ecosystem.The UAE has outlined an ambitious strategy to double the contribution of the digital economy to the national GDP to 19.4% within the coming decade and achieve a value of US$ 140 billion by 2031. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy aims to support these objectives by empowering aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights they need to unlock the vast potential of the emirate’s digital economy.The new guide is available to download free of charge and has been developed based on in-depth research and feedback from the business community, which highlighted the need for a convenient reference tool to assist ambitious innovators who wish to become part of Dubai’s success story.With Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy gearing up to host this year’s Expand North Star, the event offers the perfect platform to release the guide. This landmark gathering will attract the global tech community to the emirate and connect venture capitalists with unicorns, scaleups, and startups, further strengthening Dubai’s position as a leading centre for global digital capital.Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy commented: “The launch of this informative guide supports our ongoing efforts to attract and assist entrepreneurs in the digital industries to set up in Dubai, in line with the chamber’s drive to achieve the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).”Al Gergawi added: “Ambition alone is not enough to establish a startup – it requires a thorough understanding of the local business ecosystem, legal and regulatory frameworks, and wider economic landscape. The release of this guide represents an advanced step in our journey to help entrepreneurs from across the globe successfully set up their businesses and leverage the exciting opportunities emerging in Dubai’s digital economy.”The guide commences with a section highlighting interesting facts and statistics on Dubai’s vibrant economy, future strategies, diverse talent pool, and fastest-growing sectors, before diving into useful information about key ecosystem enablers, including accelerators and incubators.This is followed by a visual guide to major investors covering pre-seed to growth stages. The publication also takes entrepreneurs through the process of how to open a business account in the emirate and features a handy list of startup-friendly local banks. The guide continues with a section dedicated to the diverse range of free zones in Dubai, which includes a map of the 28 tax-free business zones, a brief outline of the various business structures available, and an explanation of different visa types.The guide concludes with a series of comprehensive one-page set-up guides for key sectors of the digital economy, including Fintech, Digital Assets, Metaverse & Web3, AI, Cybersecurity, Software & SAAS, Healthtech, 3D printing, and Edtech. These feature step-by-step setup guides; sector-specific accelerators, incubators, and sandboxes; regulations entrepreneurs should be aware of; and a list of relevant conferences and events.Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is committed to building the economy of the future and supporting the emirate’s dynamic startup ecosystem. The chamber is working to create the world’s most advanced digital infrastructure, enhance the contribution of the digital industries to the national economy, and attract business, talent, and investors to Dubai.‘Building Your Business in a Dynamic City: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Setup in Dubai’ can be downloaded by visiting the following

IDDA empowers Azerbaijani innovators at GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star Dubai

Dubai: The Innovation and Digital Development Agency (IDDA), an institution in Azerbaijan to promote the country’s technological development, has announced its participation at GITEX GLOBAL, as well as Expand North Star Dubai, the world’s largest event for startups and investors, taking place between 15-18 October. IDDA, represented by its Chairperson Inara Valiyeva, Advisor to Chairperson Shahin Aliyev and Deputy Chairperson Rashad Khaligov, will be bringing along three local startups as part of the Azerbaijani delegation to showcase the country's growing innovation ecosystem.At its premier appearance at the events, IDDA plans to talk about the digital development of Azerbaijan and how it creates and fosters an ecosystem for local and foreign ICT businesses there. Through a set of meetings and active networking, the agency plans to grow its expertise, while promoting the successful projects they have at hand, including the rapidly evolving ‘Relocation Program’ and the educational initiative launched in collaboration with Holberton School.Elaborating about IDDA’s participation Inara Valiyeva says: “It is an honour for IDDA to be amongst the IT market leaders that have gathered at GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star Dubai this year. This is a great chance for us to learn from the best, while sharing our own unique experience of transforming the digital landscape of Azerbaijan, which is a country with an actively developing innovation ecosystem. IDDA’s mission is to foster a culture of innovation, support the development of innovative products and services, and drive economic growth through technology, entrepreneurship and digital transformation. We do all that through enabling the environment in the country for local and foreign ICT companies, investing in human capital and supporting the infrastructure that helps startups develop their potential. Building new business relations here at the event will help us accelerate our efforts to ensure Azerbaijan’s continuous digital growth and provide it with a competitive edge internationally.”One of the key discussion points at the event will be the ‘Relocation Program’, launched last year by the Agency to attract global ICT talent and companies. It currently has over 60 residents who have benefited from the technopark residence law introduced in 2023, which offers IT companies a significant set of benefits, including multiple tax waivers for 10 years and no work permits for relocating ICT specialists. Currently 6 international companies are in the process of obtaining technopark residence. As part of the ‘Relocation Program’, IDDA offers businesses comprehensive support - from relocation advice to work permit procedures.In addition, as part of its mission to develop skilled professionals in the ICT sector locally, IDDA has initiated a collaboration with the globally renowned Holberton School. Over two thousand applications have been received to date and 60 students have already enrolled in the program. Known for its unique peer to peer tech programs that match Silicon Valley benchmarks, Holberton will play a significant role in fostering the emerging ICT talent in Azerbaijan.IDDA also has its own Technest scholarship program, launched in 2021. To this day, it has already granted over 3,500 scholarships and aims to grow to 11,000 recipients in its fourth year, covering up to 100% of tuition for selected candidates.The IDDA stand will be located at Expand North Star in the new Dubai Harbour venue, where the three Azerbaijani startups - Bonpara, SchoolPlus and Imajin - will be featured as well to showcase their talent and technologies. As a sponsor, "PASHA Holding" will have a reception desk in the IDDA booth.

Major facelift to light up Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: The iconic Sharjah cricket stadium, the leading venue in the world for One-Dayers has gone in for a major refurbishment of its facilities.A floodlight upgrade using Philips ArenaVision LED lighting is further enhanced by employing DMX control system technology to deliver the perfect lighting for players on the field and facilitate top quality coverage of light and laser shows as entertainment during game breaks for fans across the world through HDR (high dynamic range) and ultra-high-definition TV transmissions."The state-of-the-art illumination using cutting edge technology will give us a strength of 2600 lux on the pitch," said Khalaf Bukhatir, Managing Director of Bukhatir Group and CEO of Sharjah Cricket Stadium.He added that the Sharjah stadium is known for keeping pace with innovation through the years."In keeping with that constant spirit of improvement we are the first LED lit cricket stadium in the GCC Region that uses innovative and advanced control systems and DMX Technology simplifying the operation by putting it under the control of one console,” he said.The new pitch lighting Signify system replaces 392 conventional metal Halide floodlights with 176 LED floodlights, allowing for energy conservation.“Teamwork is the ability to work towards a common objective. The leadership and people of the Emirate of Sharjah have proven this throughout its history. And Sharjah Cricket Stadium is an eminent part of that history since the 20th century, bringing international recognition to the Emirate in the sporting world. Now, in the 21st century, Al Ghandi Electronics and Philips Lighting are proud to be associated with Sharjah Cricket stadium as providers of the most advanced sports lighting solutions with the flagship product, “Philips ArenaVision” with controls, adding great value to the system, successfully executed in just ‘2 months’ – thanks to a great teamwork,” said Krishna RS, General Manager, SE Unit, Al Ghandi Electronics.“As a world leader in lighting, we’re providing cricket fans from all over the world with a perfect view as we illuminate the most iconic stadium in the GCC. Not only will we be offering an unparalleled sporting experience for players and fans, we are also helping the stadium achieve its environmental goals by enabling a more cost-effective and durable system,” he added.The groundsmen have also worked very hard to maintain the outfield and the centre pitch has been re-laid. Today the stadium boasts eight playing pitches and six of these are within the broadcast range.Not to mention a world-class Fit Capital gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, and upgraded steam, and sauna area. The stadium also boasts 11 VIP suites, a VIP grand dining area and the parking area has also recently been enhanced. The face-lift has occurred right in time for the third season of the very popular CBFS T20 tournament which started this week with the final scheduled for 2nd November 2023. This will be closely followed by the equally exciting S-10 tournament with its final taking place on 28th Nov 2023.

VT Markets appoints Eslam Elshafay as Operations Manager for MENA Region

VT Markets, a leading global forex broker, is pleased to announce the appointment of Eslam Elshafay as Operations Manager for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. With a wealth of experience in the forex industry, including a successful tenure at Accuindex, Eslam brings valuable expertise to his new role. Eslam Elshafay joins VT Markets with a remarkable track record in the field, having served as the CS & Operations Manager at Accuindex for two and a half years. During his time at Accuindex, Eslam showcased exceptional leadership skills and a deep understanding of operational efficiency in the forex market. His dedication to providing exceptional customer service and driving operational excellence played a pivotal role in Accuindex's success.With over five years of experience in the forex industry, Eslam possesses a comprehensive understanding of the market's dynamics and a keen eye for identifying emerging trends. His expertise in risk management, compliance, and operational strategies will prove instrumental in further enhancing VT Markets' position as a leading player in the industry.As the Operations Manager for VT Markets in the MENA region, Eslam Elshafay will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, ensuring seamless execution of services, and maintaining the highest standards of customer satisfaction. His strong leadership abilities and strategic vision will help streamline internal processes, drive organizational growth, and foster a culture of excellence within the MENA region.I am thrilled to be joining VT Markets as their Operations Manager for the MENA region," said Eslam Elshafay. VT Markets is renowned for its commitment to providing clients with innovative trading solutions and exceptional service. I look forward to working closely with the talented team in the region and contributing to the company's continued success in the global forex market.

XP Music Futures unveils 2023 initiatives, announces second round of speakers

XP Music Futures, the leading music conference in the Middle East, is set to return this December. This year, the innovative event is opening an array of initiatives and activations, together aimed at nurturing regional talent, promoting inclusion, and ultimately elevating the music scene in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Known for shining a light not only on the current state of the music industry, but its future as well, XP Music Futures is a must-visit for anybody looking to take their career, network, or industry knowledge to the next level.This year, XP’s 8 initiatives represent an entire ecosystem designed to foster and educate the next generation of talent in the scene:XPERFORM: In partnership with YouTube and sponsored by the FORMULA 1 STC SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX, we’re on a mission to uncover the region’s emerging talent through a singing contest that puts star quality, charisma and vocals to the test.XCHANGE: XChange is a series of touring workshops across the MENA region done in effort to integrate, and better understand, the regional music ecosystem. In 2023, XChange visited Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Amman, and Riyadh with tailor-made workshops to identify key themes, pain points and strengths in the music industry for the conference program while promoting community building within the region. The outcome of these workshops are recorded in the annual Xine - a magazine made as an homage to the region’s ecosystem.HUNNA: Hunna is a one-on-one mentorship program designed to connect established women in the music industry to budding female artists to promote equity in the regional music industry. Alongside the on-going mentorships, Hunna hosts listening circles, gathering women across the regions to share, connect and be heard.HEARFUL: Raising awareness about tinnitus and ear health, HEARFUL educates people about prevention methods by simulating the sound of tinnitus.Sound Futures: The musical version of Shark Tank that you’ve been waiting for, Sound Futures invites aspiring musicians and innovators to pitch their original music and groundbreaking ideas to successful music industry investors, with the goal of securing funding and mentorship for their careers. Sound Futures is proudly partnered with Sea Ventures.XP AIR: XP Music Future’s very own on-site streaming container will host interviews, sets, and feature brand takeovers from the day and nite program’s artists and industry leaders.Artist Management Bootcamp: Launching in 2023, the Artist Management Bootcamp aims to empower aspiring artist managers in the region through an intensive manager bootcamp program, followed by mentorship from a globally renowned manager for the top six candidates.Storm Shaker: DJs have the opportunity to submit their sets for a chance to perform at the Soundstorm festival by MDLBEAST through the Storm Shaker competition. Partners for Storm Shaker include DJ Corner, Berklee Abu Dhabi, SPAARKD Powered by PANGAIA, and Deepgrooves.In addition, XP Music Futures continues to proudly collaborate with partners who share its vision for the future of music, including talent incubator and multi-media production company Merwas, Berklee College of Music, and SOWT, the leading independent podcast company in the MENA region. The aforementioned partners will be hosting audio mixing and production workshops at the conference. 2023 will also welcome partners like sonic titan Dolby, as well as MassiveMusic, who will be holding a session on how to best value your content, IFPI, and Warner Music, who will be covering distribution rights. On the conference, Warner Music commented, “Warner Music eagerly anticipates XP Music Futures, where we'll share invaluable insights and connect with industry leaders, showcasing our commitment to pioneering the future of music – a future that holds immense potential and growth opportunities for Warner Music.”As XP has announced the first round of speakers and talent at the beginning of the month, they now continue to pull back the curtain, revealing the second batch of speakers at this year’s conference. This year, attendees will be able to see and pick the minds of Multi-platinum, Grammy nominated producer and composer Khaled Rohaim, Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Audiomack, Charlotte Bwana, West coast hip-hop talent and The Whooligan, Chief Strategy Officer at Factory People, Wassim Bou Malham, and Saudi Arabia's first superstar DJ, Cosmicat. Also joining the event this year is DJ Michelle, Bayan Abuzinadah, German DJing superstar Topic, Will Stephenson of Paradise Worldwide, Yuri Dokter of DJ Monitor, and José Woldring, CEO of The Media Nanny.This year, XP Music Futures strives to be more than a music conference; but a catalyst for change, a bridge to diverse voices, and a platform for musical excellence. With the beautiful Riyadh as the backdrop, XP Music Futures is set to ignite the global conversation surrounding the future of the industry from December 7 to 9.

PRCA MENA Digital Awards 2023 finalists revealed

The Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has revealed the finalists of its Digital Awards.The PRCA MENA Digital Awards, organised in cooperation with strategic partner One Group, reflect the outstanding work across the region’s digital communications industry over the last 12 months. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, 8th November, at Movenpick Hotel and Residences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.The 11 award categories were judged by some of the industry’s most innovative minds.Finalists:Best AI-Driven Digital Campaign:Atteline - BOTIM Launches Execution Arabic CHATGPTWeber Shandwick MENAT and Ewaa - Navigating to Freedom with AIBest Digital Marketing Campaign:Cicero & Bernay - OPPO Reno 7 LaunchONE Group for Communication and Marketing - (Jood Eskan Charitable Campaign) ???? ?????? ??? ??????W7Worldwide - Communicating the Unifying Spirit of RamadanWeber Shandwick MENAT and Department of Health Abu Dhabi - Gifting Lives With HayatWeber Shandwick MENAT and Epson - Keeping Epson top of mind with content creatorsBest Performance in a Digital Campaign:15th annual ASDA'A BCW Arab Youth Survey - Living a New RealityCicero & Bernay - OPPO Reno 7 LaunchONE Group for Communication and Marketing - Marketing campaign for the Fifth Saudi Global Conference on Occupational Safety and Health 2022The PR Academy MENA - Take Off In Style - Sahara CentreW7Worldwide - Showcasing the excellent work behind HajjWeber Shandwick MENAT and Department of Health Abu Dhabi - Gifting Lives With HayatBest Social Media Campaign:15th annual ASDA'A BCW Arab Youth Survey - Living a New RealityASDA'A BCW - Truth About Weight by Novo NordiskBritish Council - Voices4Climate – Empowering Climate ChampionsBahrain Network (BNET) with Seven Media Middle East- The ShiftWeber Shandwick MENAT and Dorco - Demonstrating Dorco's PersonalityWeber Shandwick MENAT and Epson - Keeping Epson top of mind with content creatorsBest Use of Content Marketing in a Campaign:15th annual ASDA'A BCW Arab Youth Survey - Living a New RealityAPCO Worldwide - Diriyah Biennale Foundation - Launching the world’s first Islamic Arts Biennale (IAB)Cicero & Bernay - OPPO Reno 7 LaunchTouch - Awareness Campaign to Reduce Food Loss and Waste  Touch - Jood Eskan Charitable CampaignWeber Shandwick MENAT and Emirates Steel - Steeling the LimelightBest Use of Paid Media in a Campaign:APCO Worldwide - CHANGE TRAVEL. CHANGE THE WORLDASDA'A BCW - JasadyAtteline - BOTIM 3.0 LAUNCHBritish Council - Voices4Climate – Empowering Climate ChampionsMG Motor & Performance Communications - Launch of the New MG HS Plug-in Hybrid EVThe PR Academy MENA - Take Off In Style - Sahara CentreWeber Shandwick MENAT and Emirates Steel - Steeling the LimelightTouch - Local Content Award    Best Use of Reporting and Measurement in a Campaign:15th annual ASDA'A BCW Arab Youth Survey - Living a New RealityCosmopole - “TRIMMING THE FAT” for Embody FitnessThe PR Academy MENA - Take Off In Style - Sahara CentreW7Worldwide - Redefining Ramadan Dining ExperiencesW7Worldwide - Launching the Region's New Healthcare Insurance HQBest Use of Social Influencers in a Campaign:ASDA’A BCW - #HalaaloTouch - The International Judicial ConferenceWeber Shandwick MENAT and Dorco - Demonstrating Dorco's PersonalityWeber Shandwick MENAT and Epson - Keeping Epson top of mind with content creatorsBest Use of Video in a Campaign:ASDA'A BCW - JasadyONE Group for Communication and Marketing - Hajj Season 1444HONE Group for Communication and Marketing – Draw Your DreamThe PR Academy MENA - Take Off In Style - Sahara CentreW7Worldwide - Showcasing the Excellent Service Behind HajjWeber Shandwick MENAT and Ewaa - Navigating to Freedom with AIDigital Professional of the Year:Dr. Basma Alotaibi, Digital Associate Account Director - APCO Worldwide (Riyadh)Reem Masswadeh, Head of Communications - The PR Academy MENASanya Ijaz, Account Director – AttelineDigital Team of the Year:Matrix PR - Revolutionizing communication through digital transformationWeber Shandwick MENAT - A Superpowered Team

UAE brands shine at 19th Superbrands tribute event

Superbrands, the independent authority and trendsetter of branding, has honored 33 brands from the UAE at the 19th annual Superbrands tribute event, held recently. Reputed retail brands like Aldo, Arakkal Gold & Diamonds, Captain Oats, Crocs,Dubai Duty Free, Forest Essentials, Tommy Hilfiger and Skechers were awarded at the event. With over 2,000 brands in the UAE competing for the Superbrands title, only 33 scored more than 80 per cent of the total possible marks.The selection process involved polling by the Brand Council and online voting, reaching out to almost 2,000 senior managers and marketing professionals. The criteria evaluated covered market presence, customer perception, innovation and the overall impact created by the brand.Director of Superbrands Middle East, Mike English, said: “It is crucial for brands to stay relevant in an ever-competitive market, where it is often hard to successfully retain brand loyalty. Customers are often easily swayed or overwhelmed by various market options, and are quick to spend on companies that they are not only familiar with but also feel a lasting value and connection with.”The Superbrands organisation was originally set up in London in 1994 where it published the first Superbrands book. Since then, it has expanded its operations to 93 countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and the US.To date, over 43,000 individual brands have been featured worldwide.

Dubai Internet City returns to GITEX Global 2023 to foster collab innovation

Dubai Internet City, a member of TECOM Group PJSC, is returning to GITEX Global 2023 as Innovation Partner for the world’s largest tech event. GITEX Global 2023, due to be held on 16-20 October at Dubai World Trade Centre, will unite inventors, academia, researchers, and developers from around the world across 10 co-located events addressing themes including artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, mobility, and future urbanism.With a strong focus on emerging tech trends and innovation, Dubai Internet City’s pavilion at GITEX Global 2023 will be a hub for the world’s brightest minds using technology including AI and augmented reality to solve the world’s most complex problems. As a founding member of Dubai’s thriving digital sector, Dubai Internet City has supported regional economic diversification efforts and strengthened the local knowledge-based economy for over two decades by attracting top industry investors and innovators to Dubai. Commenting on behalf of Dubai Internet City, Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President – Commercial at TECOM Group, said: “Mitigating barriers to innovation and promoting collaborative research and development can pave the way for technology-based solutions that help to safeguard future global economic growth.“As a vanguard of tech innovation in the region, Dubai fosters business-friendly regulation and strategic support through programmes like Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ and Dubai Digital Strategy, helping to unite world-leading technology leaders for profoundly impactful breakthroughs. Dubai Internet City is a prime custodian of Dubai’s vision to nurture collaborative innovation that uses technology to address the most critical trends reshaping global society and economy. Our ecosystem will continue to connect the world’s biggest tech brands with the industry’s most ambitious innovators.”A journey through AIAttendees can expect to engage with experts and innovators based within Dubai Internet City through networking opportunities and live demonstrations of the latest tech offerings from the district.Additionally, visitors to Dubai Internet City’s stand at GITEX Global 2023 will be invited to take on an AI-powered programmed robotic arm to compete in a high-stakes interactive checkers game. The interactive experience will be presented as global tech enthusiasts continue to explore how AI stacks up against human intelligence. For an immersive experience, guests will also be guided to a ‘secret door’ inviting them into a world brought to life by actors and performers from Dubai Internet City. Dubai Internet City’s pavilion will be located at Concourse 2 of Dubai World Trade Centre. The GITEX Global Media Centre, presented in collaboration with TECOM Group, will be open to journalists and content creators attending the exhibition. Visit the GITEX Global website to register for the event.Dubai Internet City, the largest leading tech hubs in the region, is part of TECOM Group’s portfolio of business districts that include Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Industrial City and Dubai Design District (d3).

8th World Investment Forum to attract 7,000+ investment stakeholders

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will hold its 8th World Investment Forum at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi from 16-20 October 2023, bringing together more than 7,000 investment stakeholders from more than 160 countries.Supported by the Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the event will convene the world’s business and investment community to Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Economy, guiding the emirate’s next phase of economic diversification and the transition to a smart, circular, inclusive and sustainable development. Additionally, special panel discussions, keynote speeches and interactive workshops will be organised to highlight the Make it in the Emirates initiative to develop the industrial sector in the UAE in line with the country’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.These events will help in exchanging ideas and best practices, enhancing dialogue and collaboration, and stimulating collective efforts to shape global investment policies and strategies.His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “Hosting the 8th World Investment Forum reflects our leadership’s vision and unwavering commitment to enhance international cooperation and collective action to develop innovative solutions to benefit the global community, leveraging on the strong fundamentals of our soaring Falcon Economy to achieve the UN sustainable development goals, to contribute positively to shaping a brighter future for humanity.“Abu Dhabi has made great strides in achieving the objectives of its diversification strategy, laying down a solid foundation to continue developing a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. We are fostering and incentivising talents to find solutions to current and future challenges, as well as continuously enhancing the business ecosystem to provide investors with opportunities to grow and expand. We look forward to welcoming the world leaders and key decision makers in business and investment in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways of strengthening necessary frameworks to ensure international trade and investments are geared to achieve common goals of the international community.”The World Investment Forum will be split into three segments including the Invest in Tomorrow: Abu Dhabi’s economic transition forum, organised by ADDED, which will take place on 18 October, the third day of World Investment Forum. The segment of the forum will provide a vital platform for business and investment community to learn about Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Economy and its attributes as a rising economic and financial powerhouse, preferred destination for talents, businesses, and investment, as well as its transformative strategies to engineer a sustainable and prosperous future.It features keynote addresses and panel discussions, including Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the Era of Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenges, which also examines why Abu Dhabi is an appealing destination for talents, entrepreneurs, and investors, and highlights its alignment with Industry 4.0’s transformative technologies and methods.The session further delves into foreign direct investment’s (FDI) role in advancing technology and boosting manufacturing. It emphasises the importance of government policies, incentives, and clear regulations in attracting foreign investment and enhancing advanced industries. Additionally, the session highlights international trade, sustainability, social responsibility, and holistic development as key drivers for economic growth.The Invest in Tomorrow will highlight the vital role played by startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in boosting economies through job creation, driving innovation, and contributing to economic diversification. Participants will be able to discuss the measures implemented by the government of Abu Dhabi to attract, nurture and empower talent.The second part of the World Investment Forum will be under the Make it in the Emirates initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, a panel discussion entitled Investing in the Emirates: Unlocking Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity, highlighting programmes designed for manufacturers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to set up ventures in the UAE and benefit from the country's exceptional manufacturing advantages.In this panel, participants will showcase UAE's industrial and technological advancements, driven by the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology launched in 2021. The strategy aims to elevate the national industrial sector's growth, GDP contribution, investment attractiveness, entrepreneurship support, product competitiveness, and establish the UAE as a global hub for manufacturing and innovation. It also aligns with the Year of Sustainability, the UAE's commitment to Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and its preparations for hosting COP28.The session emphasises the UAE's favourable business environment, underpinned by reliable energy, strategic location, strong logistics, and advanced technology. It backs the Make it in the Emirates initiative with significant financing, thus fueling the Technological Transformation programmes that targets 1,000 projects by 2031, focusing on Industry 4.0 technologies in various sectors including healthcare, transportation, and logistics.Finally, World Investment Forum, in collaboration with AIM Congress, will also host a side forum that includes two dialogue sessions; Digital Financial Inclusion: Moving Towards an Innovative, Interconnected, and Inclusive World Economy and Supply Chains – The Road Ahead: 2023 Challenging Questions. In addition, there will be a fireside chat and an on-platform interview.The first panel highlights the transformative power of digital finance in improving access to financial services for underserved groups, while the second one delves into the challenges and opportunities in global supply chains, covering labour shortages, cyber threats, geopolitical tensions and climate change. It also explores the application of AI and digital technologies within supply chains and assesses how evolving legislation and geopolitical issues affect these networks.The fireside chat The Future of Cities – Thriving Amid Turbulence examines the future of cities worldwide over the next 30 years, which is expected to witness unprecedented changes towards green cities.

Stream Shreek partners with inStreamly to revolutionise gaming market

Stream Shreek, a popular gaming communications firm, has joined hands with inStreamly, an European company, connecting millions of gamers through their favourite gaming streamers. This partnership is sure to revolutionise this era of ‘brand-to-streamer connectivity solutions.’The partnership will see the combination of Stream Shreek’s in-house streaming marketplace with the technology capabilities of inStreamly along with communities of Arabic-first streamers in the MENA region.inStreamly’s technology platform will allow brands to push their gaming campaigns with creativity and at scale across popular game streams in the MENA region. It also includes brand safety among its many offerings. The platform provides trackability and a two-layered safety solution powered by AI for brand campaigns.Aasim Shaik, Managing Director, Stream Shreek, said: “The recent partnership between Stream Shreek and inStreamly reaffirms our commitment to extending the reach of our revolutionary solution. By merging the expertise and experience of inStreamly with Stream Shreek’s profound understanding of the GCC market and its extensive streamer network, we are primed to revolutionize the way brands engage with Arabic-first streamer audiences.”Jakub Janaszek, the General Manager of Streamcoi, in his post, shares: “With their model and technology, inStreamly has brought together 100,000+ streamers in Europe and executed 300+ campaigns for brands like adidas, Netflix or Disney. Now, thanks to a partnership with LPS, one of the leading Dubai marketing agencies, MENA streamers will also be able to monetise their passion. At the same time, brands from all over the world will be able to implement effective campaigns in the region targeting Generation Z.”

PwC Middle East predicts AI automation in 18 months

PwC Middle East expects Generative AI (GenAI) to be able to automate a significant part of day-to-day tasks in the next 18-20 months.Speaking at the panel discussion, GenAI Today, AGI Tomorrow, at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI on Wednesday, Ali Hosseini, Chief Digital Officer at PwC Middle East said evolution to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is imminent, rather than a “distant dream”.  Hosseini, along with Stephen Anderson, Partner, Strategy and Markets Leader at PwC Middle East, explained how we can now get a new idea to market in 20 minutes using GenAI. He said: “AI and humans can collaborate, augmenting each other's capabilities to drive innovation and efficiency across industries.”He highlighted the need to stay up to date with the latest GenAI tools and capabilities, noting improvements in ChatGPT accuracy with latest plugins.Hosseini said: “AI can now be utilized for market assessments, pricing strategies and competitive analysis, using the impressive capabilities of tools, such as Midjourney and Leonardo. These, along with others, are transforming the way we design and create digital content. It not only saves time but also enhances the quality of our output.”Anderson and Hosseini stressed the need for transparency, acknowledging that AI models have limitations in terms of data accuracy and potential biases. They emphasised the importance of establishing frameworks and educating teams to work effectively with AI, ensuring ethical and productive AI implementation.Anderson commended the UAE's role in the global AI landscape, citing innovations like Falcon, the generative AI model developed by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII). He highlighted Dubai's readiness for exponential change, emphasizing that AI is not eliminating jobs but rather transforming them. "AI holds the key to addressing challenges such as climate change and sustainability. It is an exciting time, and technology is our ally in overcoming these hurdles," he said. Hosseini said: "AI will touch every aspect of our lives and industries, creating new jobs that require different skill sets." During the assembly, PwC hosted a side session titled, ‘The Rise of Open Source: LLM Deep Dive and Open-Source Frameworks’. It offered a comprehensive exploration of key topics in the realm of AI. Featuring demos and discussions on multi-agent systems, PwC experts delved into crucial concepts such as the rise of AI, model sizes, usage, and the intricacies of quantization. PwC also hosted an exhibit titled ‘Industry Use Cases in Generative AI?’, showcasing how generative AI is being deployed across various sectors to enhance efficiency and productivity.The Dubai Assembly for Generative AI brings together more than 1,800 officials, experts, and decision-makers from around the world. Organised by the Dubai Future Foundation, the GenAI Assembly takes place on 11-12 October at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071.More than 70 keynote speakers are participating in around 45 sessions and 12 exhibitions. The event covers five main themes, including Generative AI 101, Generative AI Sector Deep Dives, Governments, Regulators and Generative AI, Generative AI and Other Emerging Technologies, and Big Tech vs. Emerging Startups.

Riyadh Bank partners with XELEMENT

Riyadh Bank has formed a strategic partnership with the Saudi creative agency XELEMENT to usher in a new era of innovative marketing practices. Within this collaboration, XELEMENT will assume the responsibilities for marketing and advertising on behalf of the bank.Riyadh Bank has shown a strong dedication to adopting progressive and forward-thinking marketing strategies. Leveraging its expansive reach and extensive customer base, the bank has played a leading role in the development of pioneering marketing initiatives.Both companies view this collaboration as strategically significant for their respective objectives. Riyad Bank aims to elevate its marketing efforts to new levels by harnessing the creative expertise of XELEMENT agency. In turn, the agency sees this partnership as a testament to its capabilities and a vital opportunity to make a lasting impact in the financial sector.Earlier this year, the agency had announced plans to restructure and integrate its creative, strategy, and media teams under one roof, addressing a notable gap in the market. They also unveiled an expansion of their services, including media strategy, planning, buying, and data analytics. These new media services are under the leadership of Eddy Hanna, an experienced professional in the region, serving as the Media Director.

Huawei and du jointly released the world's first 5.5G Villa

 At the 2023 Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), the global tech company Huawei, in collaboration with du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), unveiled the ground-breaking world’s first 5G Advanced (5G-A) demonstration Villa, an archetype for the future smart home living powered by a staggering 10Gbps networks. Early in March this year, both entities signed an MOU on 5.5G centered on 5G-A technological innovation, application exploration, and ecosystem development. This latest reveal stands as a testament to their joint innovation prowess.The 5G-A Villa epitomizes the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies, offering an unparalleled smart home experience enriched with applications such as naked-eye 3D and XR. As consumers increasingly crave superior experiences, this inspires the evolution of content and applications, subsequently amplifying the demand on network capabilities. To satiate these growing needs, carriers find themselves compelled to amplify their home networks to a remarkable 10Gbps.Speaking at the launch, Fahad Al Hassawi, the CEO of du commented, “From the beginning of the 5G era, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has been a transformative catalyst, empowering us to deliver cutting-edge solutions to our valued customers. As pioneers, we at du are honored to pave the way with such novel innovations. Our enduring partnership with Huawei has been fruitful consistently, and with the introduction of FWA², we are poised to redefine the boundaries of user experience, offering our subscribers unparalleled internet connectivity indoors.”Echoing this sentiment, Li Peng, Huawei's Corporate Senior Vice President and President of the company's Carrier BG, remarked, “Today, Huawei is excited to launch the 5G-A Powered Villa at the Home of the Future. The showcase offers a first-hand look at the infinite possibilities that 5G-Advanced technology will bring to future homes and the better network experience that 5G-A will offer mobile users. It is the result of du's continuous pursuit of a better digital experience. This achievement is only the beginning. Moving forward, Huawei will continually support du in its effort to build the best 5G networks, explore the commercial use of 5G-Advanced networks, while championing du’s leadership in this transformative era.”5G-A Villa sheds light on the boundless potential that deterministic experience technology heralds for the households of tomorrow. Harnessing Huawei's innovative FWA² solution, it illustrates how, in the 5G era, FWA became an operator's powerhouse tool for rapid user expansion. As we transition to 5G-A/5.5G, the FWA² solution, encompassing FWA Pro, FWA Lite, and FWA Biz, promises unparalleled services for discerning customers. Specifically, FWA Pro is engineered to support a phenomenal rate of 10Gbps, thus reimagining smart home living and unlocking vast business opportunities.The unveiling of the villa coincided with the 14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum, themed “Bring 5.5G into Reality” from October 10 to 11 in Dubai, UAE. Hosted by Huawei and backed by industry partners GSMA, GTI and the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, the forum showcased a deep dive into the successes of 5G, the maturity of the ecosystem, the fast-track commercialization of 5G-A/5.5G, and insights into how mobile broadband technology is shaping the future and transforming people's lives and industries.

Digital Ad Expert: expansion to MENA region offering courses in Arabic & French

Aleph, which connects local and global advertisers with billions of consumers worldwide through digital media, is excited to announce that Digital Ad Expert by Aleph, a social initiative to create economic opportunities through digital advertising education, is now available in Arabic & French. The program was originally launched in MENA in April 2023 in English and Spanish.Digital Ad Expert by Aleph aims to equip the next generation of digital marketers with premium, free skills-based education through its Digital Ad Expert Certificate program in countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria among other MENA countries, where there is vast opportunity for digital growth and a rise in demand for digital marketing talent.The digital advertising landscape is a fast-developing industry, with high demand for experts. Digital Advertising spend alone in the MENA region reached $4.58B in 2021, nearly a full $1B increase on the previous year according to the IAB GCC. Growth in digital advertising reflects a growing shift towards digitizing economies in MENA. In the region, fully digitizing the economy would lead to a 46% increase in GDP per capita over 30 years - or in dollar terms, a long-term gain of $1.6 trillion, according to The World Bank.The demand for digital skills remains high in the MENA region and Aleph's Digital Ad Expert Certificate program accredits newcomers, with no prior experience, to effectively learn how to advertise on the world's leading digital platforms. The program provides specific, in-depth knowledge of the major global advertising platforms including TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, ???? (the platform formerly known as Twitter), and Meta, among others. To join, applicants simply need to register for free on   and complete the introductory course. The program is hosted on the same platform, which also offers updated content, best cases, and other valuable material for consultation, in addition to masterclasses by renowned experts from Aleph.Gaston Taratuta, CEO of Aleph stated: "We are on a mission to empower a new generation of global digital professionals. I want us to close the digital skills gap and certify as many people as we can to set them up for success in an ever evolving digital world. We owe it to the communities we are in. I believe that education is the only currency that never devaluates and through our platform, we are offering that currency to aspiring digital marketers and advertisers worldwide. They will have the access and knowledge they need to flourish in the digital era as we make digital advertising accessible to all."Already more than 280k students in over 140 countries have registered in the Digital Ad Expert by Aleph initiative, providing glowing reviews, averaging 9.2 points on a scale of 10. Ever since the launch back in April, the number of registered students from the MENAT region reached 45,124 from 14 countries. We have received more than 11,000 requests for the French language and more than 9,000 requests for the Arabic language and now with the launch of both languages we expect the number of registrations and certification to increase even more. Digital Ad Expert by Aleph also has alliances with several prominent universities in the region including American University in Dubai, The American University in Cairo, DGCI. The Knowledge Hub Universities among many others in the pipeline.

The Surpluss wins 2023 London Business School’s MENA startup competition

The Surpluss, world’s first B2B platform for industrial asset exchange, has won the London Business School (LBS) MENA Startup Competition 2023 at the AstroLabs Academy Campus in Dubai last night.The Surpluss is an innovative enterprise offering cross industrial collaboration that aims to convert under-utilised resources into value. With a growing customer base in the UK, Denmark, and the UAE, the company is set to assist 500 companies in the UAE alone within the next year to take transformative climate action to halve their emissions by 2030.Sharif El-Badawi, judge, and the CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, commended The Surpluss for their ingenuity and said: “As venture capitalists and investors, what piques our interest are out-of-the-box and novel business ideations that provide exclusive solutions across the board. Our enthusiasm lies in fostering and elevating such startups, as they are the ones to bring real change to the entrepreneurial frontier in the region. The Surpluss platform has the potential to revolutionise the way we think about and manage industrial waste. It is especially timely given the upcoming COP28 in the UAE, which will focus on accelerating sustainable solutions. We eagerly await to see what The Surpluss has in store and look forward to witnessing all the participants ascend to exceptional levels of success."Rana Hajirasouli, the founder of The Surpluss, said winning the competition, now in its second year, would open new doors for the business. “The Surpluss was created as an answer to the climate change challenges that businesses face. Winning this competition in the Year of Sustainability resonates our purpose louder. This distinguished award will greatly improve our recognition across the UAE and MENA region, helping us to attract new and exciting opportunities, and deepen the strength of our network,” she said.Zeal, a Cairo based fintech company, and Hulexo, a UAE-based retail ERP system provider were the competition runners-up.The 2023 LBS MENA Startup Competition builds on the event’s growing reputation as a dynamic platform for fostering innovation in MENA. Supported by the esteemed LBS Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC), the competition has solidified its position as a crucial link connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and investors throughout the region. It represents a distinctive opportunity for founders to catapult their startups to greater success, secure essential financial support, expand their market reach, and receive valuable media visibility.This year’s competition attracted more than 90 applications and saw ten seed-stage startup finalists present their pitches to a panel of distinguished judges.From sponsorship packages and awards generously offered by Innobayt, AWS Activate, Floward and community partner AstroLabs, to an impressive cash sponsorship of $USD10,000 from BNK Holding KSCC, a privately held shareholding company headquartered in the State of Kuwait, this year’s event attracted considerable backing. Other forms of invaluable support included immersive workshops hosted by respected businesses such as Spark! Studios, ADG Legal, Bambucorn, and Khwarizmi Ventures.Bader Al-Kharafi, Founder of BNK Holding & Vice Chairman & Group CEO of Zain Group, said: “This competition continues to showcase the remarkable entrepreneurial talent in the MENA region, reaffirming our belief in the potential for innovation and growth in this dynamic ecosystem. Witnessing the creativity and dedication of these startups has been inspiring, and I am excited to see their continued progress. BNK Holding remains committed to supporting emerging businesses and the London Business School MENA Startup Competition, and this competition aligns perfectly with our mission to foster entrepreneurship. Congratulations to all the winners, and may your success serve as an inspiration to others. We look forward to witnessing your continued growth and innovation in the years to come.”London Business School’s IEPC is a key backer of the competition, offering access to education, training and business, and the alumni network that it has produced and continues to support.In total the entire package of support is valued at a total of $USD80,000.LBS Dean François Ortalo-Magné said: “On behalf of LBS and the School’s Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital, my heartfelt congratulations to the winners. The School very much looks forward to hearing more about the continued success and future endeavours of these businesses. What heartens me about the LBS MENA Startup Competition is the participation from across the region in this competition, and the support the School, its local alumni community and the IEPC is giving to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are witnessing, right across MENA, the development of an ecosystem that allows for the fast flow of talent, information, and resources that helps entrepreneurs quickly find what they need at each stage of growth.”

FinMark Communications launches the fourth episode of the "Design Your Future"

Manama : "Design Your Future," an initiative founded by FinMark Communications with the support of Lead Partner CrediMax, proudly announces the release of its fourth podcast episode featuring the insightful perspective of Ms. Mashael Isa Fairooz, Founding Partner, and Board of Director at JEO Capital Management. The episode was unveiled at Harbour House in the presence of prominent CEOs and senior leaders representing both the private and public sectors.The “Design Your Future” podcast series has become a popular part of the campaign, which is dedicated to is dedicated to empowering high school graduates, university students, and vocational training program participants in actively shaping their future. The fourth episode of the podcast series was presented once again by Ms. Zahraa Taher, Managing Director of FinMark Communications. In keeping with the tradition of involving promising young talent, Mohammed Helal, a Networking Engineering Student, and the founder of e-sports Majlis in Bahrain, also took part in the episode.Ms. Fairooz emphasized the significance of creativity, resilience, and networking in one's career journey. She highlighted that creativity plays a vital role in any career path, with each life experience contributing to skills development. Ms. Fairooz noted that challenges are an inherent part of a successful career, requiring perseverance and effort, but the ultimate rewards are worth the journey. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of networking as a key to success. She encouraged students to expand their horizons by interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries. In a departure from traditional thinking, she emphasized that a degree, while valuable, should not overshadow the significance of practical experience gained through internships, even if they are unrelated to one's field of study."Design Your Future" was inaugurated in February 2023, aligning with the Kingdom of Bahrain's vision to accelerate human capital development and cultivate a highly skilled and qualified national workforce, as outlined in Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030. This initiative, in addition to its dynamic podcast series, comprises engaging skills development days, and various programmes aimed at nurturing core competencies and attributes indispensable for future success.

Al Ghurair Centre plans 25 new shopping outlets & a brand-new food hall concept

Dubai: Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai’s first shopping mall, has announced the opening of 25 new shopping and dining additions, as part of a major ongoing revamp that has seen the gradual establishment of a new entertainment complex and development plans for a diverse and expansive food hall.The new units bring the total store count at Al Ghurair Centre, which first opened its doors in Deira in 1981, to over 240, with a host of big brands set to be unveiled over the coming months. Under Armour and Giordano opened their doors in September, while Nike, Converse and a new large format Sun and Sand Sports will launch later this month. Fila, Homebox and a host of others are set to be operational before the turn of the year, while Zataar W Zeit, Brand Bazaar, and many more major brands will open in 2024.With 15 million people expected to come through the doors of Al Ghurair Centre in 2023 alone, the latest expansion plans will actively encourage even more visitors to one of the region’s most loved and lauded shopping malls.Spanning an impressive 3,700 square meters, GLITCH stands as the latest family entertainment hub in the emirate, offering over 30 interactive attractions, including a 10-pin bowling alley, soft-play areas, climbing walls, and much more. Since its opening in June, GLITCH has already drawn an average daily footfall of nearly 3,000 visitors, with total daily sales exceeding AED 30,000. The Centre’s future enhancements include the launch of GLITCH Laser and GLITCH Kart in 2024.Meanwhile, Flayva, the new upcoming ‘street food’ hall will comprise of 23 all-new F&B units, all of which are a mix of homegrown and international concepts, tailored to the local market. With an overall capacity to seat almost 500 people, spanning across 3,318sq, the new dining destination promises a gastronomic experience like no other with diverse culinary options.Anwar Atari, CEO Chief Executive Officer - Properties, Commercial, and Residential, said on the latest developments: “The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenging times for malls, causing significant shifts in market dynamics and deal structures. However, we are proud to say that Al Ghurair Centre has achieved the highest occupancy levels, with international and prominent local brands eager for visibility.He continued, "We are committed to enhancing the leisure and entertainment experiences for our valued customers. This began with the successful launch of GLITCH, one of Dubai's premier family entertainment venues, and it will soon be followed by the introduction of an authentic street food hall, among other exciting developments, within the next 12 months.”

UAE businesses face growing demand for ESG action

Dubai: A landmark survey revealed the continued strength of community expectations for environmental, social and governance (ESG) action among UAE corporations. Globally, business leaders are warned that public expectations for authentic action on ESG issues remain high in the face of cost-of-living pressures, and inaction — combined with silence about their efforts — could cost them customers.The findings come as part of the third annual ESG Monitor, a 12-nation survey led by SEC Newgate*, the global strategic communications, advocacy and research group, with regional office in Dubai.Over 90% of UAE respondents agree that corporates must prioritise ESG issues, indicating a shift from a sole focus on economic contributions. The research shows that we may have reached a tipping point, suggesting that the need for genuine action by corporations to address the impacts they have on people and the planet is no longer up for debate.Some of the main UAE findings include:86% rate their interest in ESG issues as high at 7+ out of 10, up by 3% since last year;61% are aware of NetZero, a significant increase from just 56% in 2022;86% gave the national government a rating of 7+ out of 10 when it came to acting responsibly on ESG issues; however, ratings of small companies have declined significantly this year;The research shows that community opinions on ESG issues are translating into action and impacting behaviours. Compared to other countries, citizens in the UAE appear to place a higher importance on ESG issues in their day-to-day decision making. In particular, in the types of foods they eat (77% vs. 62% globally), the types of products they buy (76% vs. 62%), and how they choose to travel (74% vs. 55%).There is a stark difference by generation across all surveyed countries, with Millennials far more likely to factor ESG issues into their decisions. For example, when it comes to the type of investments they make, 57% of Millennials rate ESG issues 7+ out of 10 on importance, compared to 47% of Baby Boomers. When considering a job with a new employer, 58% of Millennials give ESG issues a 7+ importance rating compared to 39% of Baby Boomers.Speaking on the findings, Elena Gramatica, Managing Partner, SEC Newgate Middle East, said: “The third annual ESG Monitor highlights a shifting corporate landscape in the UAE. Traditionally, businesses were mainly seen as contributors to the economy, but now, our community demands they balance financial success with ESG responsibilities. People expect action on ESG issues and a voice on matters vital to employees and customers. To respond to the community, companies must proactively address their environmental impact and support others throughout their operations, from customers and employees to supply chains.”Last year's survey identified a 'Great Disconnect' in ESG communications, and the 2023 survey shows that this disconnect still persists, particularly in the UAE. The community wants clearer communication of ESG efforts from companies, but trust in this messaging remains a challenge in the region.Fiorenzo Tagliabue, Group CEO of SEC Newgate, commented: “Overall, it is clear from our research that consumer expectations have changed and the global community now expects organisations to think about their impacts on the planet and people from the outset.“Employers will also have to respond to generational and national differences when communicating around the ESG issue. The good news is that community support for ESG agendas is continuing to grow, and there are now a multitude of organisations that companies can partner with to further their ESG credentials and communicate these initiatives in more impactful ways.”Additional global ESG Monitor research findings:67% rated their interest in ESG issues at 7 or more out of 10, up from 56% in 202277% agree it is important for companies to take action on ESG issues71% agree that companies should speak out on issues that are important to their employees and customersMillennials are more optimistic for their country’s future than Baby BoomersThe top three ‘most important’ issues across the globe, the research found that respondents were most concerned about:Addressing the rising cost of living (37% rated in top 3 issues)Ensuring quality, affordable healthcare for everyone (30%)Strengthening the economy (25%)*How the research was conductedParticipants were sourced from global panel provider PureProfile, with questionnaires translated and completed in-language in Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Poland, Spain and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fieldwork was conducted from late July to early August 2023.Quotas were set by age, gender and location to ensure a nationally representative sample of citizens aged 18+, and the final results were weighted by the actual age and gender proportions within each country or territory. For the ‘total’ results, each country is given equal weighting.The full research is available upon request.

Cloudflare helps discover new online threat

Dubai: Cloudflare, Inc., the leading connectivity cloud company, today made public that it helped lead the disclosure of a new novel zero-day vulnerability, dubbed “HTTP/2 Rapid Reset.” This global vulnerability gives attackers the ability to generate attacks larger than anything the Internet had seen before. To help mitigate the impact of this new threat for the entire Internet ecosystem, Cloudflare developed technology purpose-built to automatically block any attack leveraging Rapid Reset for its customers.Cloudflare successfully mitigated these issues and halted potential abuse for all customers, while simultaneously kicking off a responsible disclosure process with two other major infrastructure providers, to extend mitigations for this vulnerability to a large percentage of the Internet prior to disclosing its existence to the general public.“Successfully mitigating this threat for every critical infrastructure organization, customer, and the Internet at-large is the lifeblood of what Cloudflare stands for. We are one of the only companies equipped to identify and address threats of this magnitude, at the speed required to maintain the integrity of the Internet,” said Matthew Prince, CEO at Cloudflare. “And while this DDoS attack and vulnerability may be in a league of their own, there will always be other zero-day, evolving threat actor tactics, and new novel attacks and techniques—the continuous preparation and response to these is core to our mission to help build a better Internet.”Deconstructing HTTP/2 Rapid ResetIn late August 2023, Cloudflare discovered a zero-day vulnerability, developed by an unknown threat actor. The vulnerability exploits the standard HTTP/2 protocol—a fundamental piece to how the Internet and most websites operate. HTTP/2 is responsible for how browsers interact with a website, allowing them to ‘request’ to view things like images and text quickly, and all at once no matter how complex the website. This new attack works by making hundreds of thousands of ‘requests’ and immediately canceling them. By automating this “request, cancel, request, cancel” pattern at scale, threat actors overwhelm websites and are able to knock anything that uses HTTP/2 offline.Cloudflare Traffic Pattern Timeline: Late August 2023-Early October 2023 (Graphic: Business Wire)“Rapid Reset” provides threat actors with a powerful new way to attack victims across the Internet at an order of magnitude larger than anything the Internet has seen before. HTTP/2 is the basis for about 60% of all web applications, and determines the speed and quality of how users see and interact with websites.Based on Cloudflare's data, several attacks leveraging Rapid Reset were nearly three times larger than the largest DDoS attack in Internet history. At the peak of this DDoS campaign, Cloudflare recorded and handled over 201 million requests per second (Mrps), as well as the mitigation of thousands of additional attacks following.How Cloudflare thwarted the attack with Industry peersThreat actors who possess record-shattering attack methods have an extremely difficult time testing and understanding their effectiveness, due to the lack of infrastructure to absorb the attacks. For this reason, they often test against providers like Cloudflare to better understand how their attacks will perform.“While large-scale attacks such as those leveraging vulnerabilities like Rapid Reset can be complex and difficult to mitigate, they provide us unprecedented visibility into new threat actor techniques early in development,” said Grant Bourzikas, CSO at Cloudflare. “While there is no such thing as ‘perfect disclosure,’ with downtime and bumps along the way, thwarting attacks and responding to breaking incidents requires organizations and security teams to live by the ‘assume breach’ mindset the Cloudflare team fosters. Ultimately, this allows us to be a proud partner that helps make the Internet secure.”

Julius Baer promoted Rahul Malhotra to lead emerging markets

Julius Baer Group has announced the promotion of Rahul Malhotra from Global India Head to Lead Emerging Markets and to the newly restructured Group’s Executive Board. Leading the newly created Emerging Markets Region, Mr. Malhotra will be based in Dubai and is set to assume this role at the start of 2024.In his expanded role as a member of the executive board, Malhotra will take on the additional responsibility of overseeing the newly created Emerging Markets region. In addition to his existing role heading the Global India franchise, his remit will now encompass Middle East & Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. Malhotra will be based in Dubai, given the strategic positioning of the country between Switzerland and India and its growing influence as a financial hub.Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Malhotra said, “The world is changing fast, and successful organisations must evolve rapidly to keep up with the changes. Julius Baer has a vision, structure, and leadership team ready to meet the challenges ahead. I'm excited to be part of this renewed energy and optimism. Julius Baer has built a strong positioning in the Middle East over the last two decades and I look forward to working closely with our talented teams across the region to support our clients in their wealth journeys.”Rahul Malhotra has over thirty years of experience in the financial services industry and has worked at Julius Baer since 2021 where he held the responsibility of overseeing the global India franchise, covering both onshore and non-resident Indians, in addition to overseeing operations in Japan and serving Asian clients from Switzerland and Japan. Prior to joining Julius Baer, he served as the head of Southeast Asia for the regional private banking business at JP Morgan. His professional background also includes roles at Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

RemotePass secures prestigious SOC 2 Type II Certification

Coinciding with Cybersecurity Awareness Month, RemotePass, the UAE’s leading platform for managing remote teams, has announced that it has achieved the SOC 2 Type II certification, highlighting its dedication to maintaining the highest standards of data security and that its clients’ sensitive information, including payroll and personal details, is managed with utmost care and the highest security measures.SOC 2 Type II is a widely-recognized certification within the technology and cloud computing domains, managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It focuses on a company's ability to manage data securely and uphold privacy and confidentiality. Achieving this certification requires a thorough independent audit spanning six months, examining a company’s adherence to stringent criteria that relate to security and operational processes.The certification, which is often a prerequisite for business with public and regulated entities, is vital for RemotePass, enhancing its competitiveness and ability to acquire business. The rigorous assessment and audit enable the company to identify, address vulnerabilities, and enhance its security framework, safeguarding sensitive data. Achieving and maintaining this certification enhances the company’s market standing, credibility, and trust among existing and prospective clients and partners.Kamal Reggad, Co-Founder and CEO of RemotePass, commented, "Securing the SOC 2 Type II certification is not just another badge for RemotePass, but a promise to our clients and remote teams that their data is in safe hands. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that our client’s data is handled with the utmost security and precision. This certification echoes our continuous commitment to providing a platform that businesses can trust, ensuring that every transaction and piece of information is safeguarded with the highest security standards.”Since RemotePass achieved SOC 2 Type I certification in 2022, it has refined RemotePass's internal processes, incorporating regular audits, enhanced security measures, and comprehensive training programs to uphold and elevate its data protection and compliance measures. This recognized standard bolsters confidence in RemotePass's services, giving teams the confidence that their information is secure while they work towards their objectives.Maintaining and enhancing credibility remains a steadfast focus, with RemotePass not only pursuing its SOC 2 Type II certification annually but also exploring other relevant certifications. To ensure enduring compliance, RemotePass employs continuous monitoring, regular internal audits, and swift improvements to its processes.To highlight its commitment to secure remote work solutions, RemotePass will also participate in the upcoming Expand North Star Dubai during GITEX Global 2023.

Middle East travel industry experts convene at Global MICE Congress in Moscow

A large-scale international event in the field of business tourism Meet Global MICE Congress took place in Moscow from 6 to 8 October, attracting over 300 industry experts from 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, India, and China. This influential gathering served as a pivotal platform for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism discussions. The congress featured enlightening business sessions, discussions, debates, and B2B negotiations.Topics ranged from the essential qualities cities must possess to attract business tourists to key considerations for this segment and the industry's promising future. Business tourism is vital for Moscow, contributing one-fifth of its total tourist influx. Non-CIS countries leading the tourist arrivals included China, Iran, UAE, Turkey, and India. The UAE ranked fifth in the share of foreign tourists staying in Moscow hotels this summer.Evgeny Kozlov, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee, highlighted that, “Moscow is a business center, which has all the infrastructure required for hosting international business events. In the first half of 2023, two million business tourists visited the capital - this is 10% more than in the same period of last year. The segment of business travel has not only fully recovered to pre-Covid levels, but has also surpassed them.”To enhance its appeal further, Moscow has adopted a multifaceted approach to attract tourists. The Moscow City Tourism Committee has placed substantial emphasis on promoting business tourism, collaborating closely with travel agencies to ensure a steady influx of tourists to the city.“From the very beginning, our journey to Moscow has been excellent. The city’s infrastructure, innovation and technological sophistication are amazing. Especially worth noting is the possibility of obtaining an e-visa for citizens of many countries. The process takes only a few days and eliminates complicated procedures with documents. Another advantage is the direct flight connection between Moscow and Bahrain. In my opinion, tourists from Bahrain will be very attracted to Moscow in winter time, as well as to the space centre, which shows Russia’s rich past in the field of cosmonautics,” shared Deepak Janardanan, General Manager of Akbar Holidays.Russia introduced e-visas for citizens of 55 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, and Kuwait in August. Over 30,000 tourists utilized this streamlined process in its first month, offering a 60-day validity period and a 16-day stay option.Moscow offers a wide range of services catering to business travelers, with 30 venues capable of accommodating over 40,000 attendees for large events. The city boasts 1.9 thousand hotels, 18.5 thousand cafes, and restaurants of various segments, ensuring comfort and convenience for visitors, with English signage at major locations.The Meet Global MICE Congress in Moscow showcased the city's commitment to fostering business tourism, its world-class infrastructure, and its appeal to international travelers. With a strong recovery in the business travel sector and streamlined visa processes, Moscow is poised to remain a top destination for MICE tourism in the Middle East and beyond.

Commvault appoints industry veteran Richard Gadd as Senior VP of EME

Commvault, an enterprise data protection leader for today's global businesses, today appointed Richard Gadd as Senior Vice President of Commvault’s EMEA and India (EMEAI) region. Gadd will lead the region in empowering global organisations with industry-leading cyber resilience offerings that protect and recover data from today’s biggest cyber threats.Gadd brings 25 years of sales experience in the technology industry to Commvault. He most recently held the role of VP and General Manager, EMEA at Cohesity, building his experience in the storage and data management industry. Prior to this, he also held senior roles at Hitachi Vantara, EMC, and Computacenter.In these previous roles, he was successful in growing Hitachi Vantara’s EMEA business to become the company’s largest region worldwide, as well as leading on Cohesity’s EMEA portfolio to make it the organization’s fastest-growing region. Gadd plans to bring this experience into Commvault and achieve similar go-to-market successes within the EMEAI region.“To join one of the longest-established companies in the industry is incredibly exciting,” said Richard Gadd, Senior Vice President EMEAI. “With its strong pedigree in innovation and ground-breaking technology, I’m looking forward to being able to lead and contribute to the Commvault team’s excellent work in empowering global organizations’ cyber resilience going forward. I am very excited to begin this new challenge.”Riccardo Di Blasio, Chief Revenue Officer at Commvault, said: "Recognizing the tremendous potential and the dynamic momentum within the EMEAI region, it was important to onboard a leader of the right caliber, business insight, and engaging persona. In appointing Richard, we are incredibly confident that we have made the right choice. His distinguished track record of guiding several large-scale organisations to accomplish remarkable growth and market share aligns perfectly with the vision and potential we see in him spearheading Commvault's team in EMEAI."

Honeywell to showcase the latest 5G, ML and sensing innovations at Gitex 2023

Dubai: At GITEX 2023, Honeywell will present its newest digital solutions in important industries, helping customers accelerate their digital transformation efforts. The event will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from October 16-20.“Digital transformation is bringing about widespread change and significant impact throughout the region. Honeywell is an established leader in digital transformation across the Middle East, and through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based solutions, we have enabled many of the region’s major projects to improve performance and efficiency,” said Taylor Smith, vice president and general manager of voice automation at Honeywell’s Productivity Solutions and Services business. “We look forward to showcasing the key solutions that are contributing to fast-growing developments in the region, which is a key priority for local governments.”At the event Honeywell will highlight a diversified portfolio based on software-enabled technologies, including:Fit for purpose tools for industry: Honeywell’s mobility solutions, including the CT30 Handheld Computer, include the technology designed to help transportation, logistics, warehouse and retail workers complete their tasks faster and deliver a superior customer experience.Voice automation technology: Currently available in more than 40 different languages, Honeywell Voice can help oil and gas companies streamline repair and inspection processes while documenting every step to ensure strict compliance with regulations or standard operating procedures. Utilizing machine learning, mobile workers can speak in their native languages to quickly complete tasks.Healthcare technologies: With the Real-Time Health System (RTHS), Honeywell solutions can help save clinicians’ time and limit unnecessary interruptions for patients. The RTHS captures and records patients' vital signs both within the hospital setting and remotely using a wireless device paired with an app. Caregivers can access real-time respiratory and heart rate, skin temperature and posture from a central location, enabling more targeted interventions.Honeywell Building Technology offerings: These ready-now solutions include Smart Cities that connect more than 100,000 IoT sensors, Data Center solutions to optimize uptime, reduce costs and achieve sustainable operations and Cybersecurity technology to help customers protect brand, assets and people. Honeywell has been operating in the Middle East for more than 70 years, creating value for customers and ultimately supporting long-term national development visions and economic diversification. GITEX attendees can experience Honeywell’s offerings at Hall 5, Stand B1 at the DWTC.

UAE gets innovative chalet booking platform: 'Lodging'

An Emirati-owned company has unveiled "Lodging," a cutting-edge booking website designed exclusively for farm owners and visitors seeking and hosting the perfect chalet experience in the United Arab Emirates. Starting in October 2023, this visionary platform invites local farm owners to participate with an exceptionally affordable registration fee.Lodging represents the UAE's best-dedicated platform catering to chalet owners and retreat enthusiasts alike. This innovative platform empowers chalet owners to effortlessly and conveniently rent out their properties to individuals in search of exceptional and comfortable getaways. By joining Lodging through a straightforward and complimentary registration process, you can unlock the full potential of your chalet and generate a lucrative secondary income stream.Founder Faisal Salem Saeed Salem Alhosani expressed his vision, stating, "If you own a chalet in our UAE and wonder how to transform your property into a profitable income source and an ideal destination for relaxation seekers in the Gulf region, Lodging is your answer." He further emphasized, "Regardless of the type of chalet you own, you will find the perfect opportunity on Lodging to showcase it to renters. Whether you own a beachside chalet offering breathtaking sea views or a chalet nestled in pristine natural surroundings for ultimate relaxation and tranquillity, you can present it to attract the perfect guests."Visitors and property owners can easily navigate the user-friendly registration process on and access 24/7 customer support for additional assistance. To cater to diverse preferences, visitors can choose the Arabic language option. They can peruse a diverse range of available chalets, read authentic guest reviews, and explore provided amenities before selecting the chalet that aligns with their needs and budget. With just a few simple clicks, guests can book their stay and prepare for an unforgettable vacation.The primary goal of this pioneering website is to unite all chalets and farms in the UAE, promoting travel, hospitality, and multicultural chalet experiences. As more individuals discover the wealth of expertise within the UAE, their holidays become opportunities to explore and appreciate local chalets and farms, gaining deeper insights into the rich culture of the UAE.

Ghassan Kassabji named CEO; Jad El Rabahi appointed MD at Impact BBDO Dubai

Impact BBDO in Dubai has unveiled a fresh leadership lineup, with Ghassan Kassabji stepping into the role of CEO and Jad El Rabahi assuming the position of Managing Director. Ghassan Kassabji brings substantial regional expertise, with 15 years of service within Omnicom agencies. His journey with Impact BBDO began in 2022 when he took up the role of Chief Growth Officer for MENA. In his new capacity, he will continue to drive growth in the region, while also taking the helm of Impact BBDO's operations in the UAE.Jad El Rabahi, who has been part of the BBDO family since 2009, has most recently been leading the Dubai agency as General Manager. He has overseen a diverse portfolio spanning various industries such as retail, technology, and government during his tenure. Over his 14 years with the company, he has held pivotal roles in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.This announcement follows Impact BBDO's remarkable achievement of being named Cannes Regional Network of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

Insight Out Consultancy reveals fascinating trends on the hospitality market

Insight Out Consulting, a prominent hospitality consultancy with a reputation for leading-edge market research, has yet again partnered with Phocuswright, the world’s leading travel research authority, to conduct the research and development of its annual Middle East Travel Market Report since its inception in 2012. The report highlights key shifts within the industry, including the development of the region’s travel sector, which is expected to grow by 40% between 2022-2026, mainly led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).With a 15-year legacy of empowering the region’s travel and hospitality industry, Insight Out Consultancy has a dedicated team of subject matter consultants who conduct primary data collection and executive interviews in the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors, to answer pressing questions and uncover insights that drive industry evolution. Over the years, the company has assisted a multitude of private and public businesses and organisations including Amadeus, Jumeirah, Seera, and various GCC Tourism bodies in developing data-driven in-depth research in the Middle East.The latest Phocuswright report provides a comprehensive view of the Middle East travel market, including detailed market sizing and projections, distribution trends, analysis of major travel segments (air, hotel, car rental), key developments, and more. It focuses on four key travel markets within the region – the UAE, KSA, Egypt, and Qatar.Commenting on this report, Li Hawkins, Managing Director of Insight Out Consultancy said, “Our research conducted with Phocuswright continues to yield invaluable data and insights into the Middle East’s fast-paced and ever-evolving hospitality and travel market. The sector is undergoing a significant shift, including adapting to the rapid digital transformation and the rise of experiential travel. Visitors to the Middle East are no longer content with generic tourist experiences; they are increasingly seeking deeper, more meaningful interactions that reflect the richness and diversity of the region's history and traditions.”Key Takeaways from the Report:United Arab Emirates: The UAE was one of the first destinations to fully recover its travel and tourism activities and is primed and ready to capitalise on the growing demand for travel and tourism, maintaining its leading position as the largest travel market in the Middle East. Overall, the travel market in the UAE witnessed significant growth in 2022, a 101% year-on-year increase from 2021, and is forecasted to grow by a further 10% in 2023. This growth is largely supported by the national government, which has invested significant funds and launched several initiatives such as the UAE Tourism Strategy, which aims to attract investments worth AED 100 billion and host 40 million hotel guests by 2031. The UAE airline sector is also one of the most developed in the world, with Emirates, Etihad Airways and FlyDubai being among the top 50 airlines in the world. Furthermore, the UAE’s hospitality sector is also rapidly expanding and is expected to witness the number of hotel rooms reaching over 200,000 keys by 2030, driven by the increasing number of tourists visiting the UAE and the growing demand for luxury hotels.Saudi Arabia: KSA is the fastest-growing travel market in the region, with a 107% increase in 2022 gross bookings compared to 2021 figures and is forecasted to grow by a whopping 65% by 2026. The Saudi government’s alignment with the private sector to develop mega projects such as the Red Sea Project and NEOM is expected to attract millions of tourists to Saudi Arabia in the coming years. The country recently revealed its plans to invest $800 billion in its tourism sector over the next 10 years, as part of its Vision 2030. Additionally, the government has also invested in improving critical infrastructure, such as airports, roads and hotels in order to realise this vision. Saudi Arabia has also eased visa requirements, which has significantly impacted the number of leisure tourists coming into the country.Qatar: Qatar’s tourism sector witnessed a dramatic recovery in 2022, driven by the FIFA World Cup event, the continued expansion of Qatar's infrastructure, and the increasing popularity of the country as a leisure destination. The Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) is investing heavily in the country's tourism sector, with plans to develop new hotels, attractions and cultural experiences, and has forecasted to welcome six to seven million visitors annually by 2030. Qatar Airways stands as a testament to this vision and has worked to continually expand its global footprint to support the country’s tourism sector.Egypt: While Egypt's tourism levels are still below pre-pandemic levels, the country has witnessed significant improvement since 2020. This recovery is driven by a number of factors, including the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, and the government's efforts to promote the country as a safe and attractive tourist destination. Domestic tourism has been on the rise in Egypt in recent years, as Egyptians become more interested in exploring their own country. Additionally, Egypt’s wide variety of natural attractions has also made it well-suited for adventure tourism, which is another growing trend in the region.Digital Maturity and Transformation: 2022 was a remarkable year for online travel bookings in the Middle East, as the region witnessed a staggering 103% increase in online booking values compared to 2021. This growth has been largely driven by the increase in tech-savvy travellers, the increased adoption of customer-facing tech solutions such as AI chatbots, mobile apps, and loyalty programs, and the integration of more advanced online back-end systems, such as booking engines and distribution channels, by travel suppliers, particularly hotels. With digital maturity and transformation on the rise in the Middle East and online penetration continuing its ascent, the online booking market is experiencing rapid expansion. Online bookings are anticipated to account for 50% of the market's bookings in the UAE and KSA by 2026. In this fast-paced and highly competitive market, where guest experiences and operational efficiency are paramount, it is crucial for players to continually maintain, optimize and adapt their technology stack.

Metaverse could reach up to $900bln by 2030 but will take time to scale

Despite recent headlines that “metaverse-hype” is dying down, new research released recently by Bain & Company shows the metaverse could reach up to $900 billion dollars by 2030 though it may remain in the seed stage for at least another five to 10 years. Bain’s report, Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse, concludes that the metaverse poses real and growing economic opportunities for businesses. Companies that engage in the metaverse’s early stages of development, known as the “seed stage,” over the next five to 10 years, are more likely to become the market winners. “As the metaverse quickly evolves, we’ve already seen these types of technologies take hold within different industries,” said Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice. “A good example of this is immersive gaming platforms, which are already boasting hundreds of millions of monthly active users. And while it’s not immediately clear how the metaverse landscape will shift, our research shows there are five competitive battlegrounds that executives should be considering if they wish to get ahead and eventually scale. This is an ongoing journey toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, enabled by rapid improvements in the underlying technology.” The metaverse is – and will be -- pluralAs consumer and enterprise applications become increasingly immersive and collaborative, Bain’s report finds it’s unlikely that the metaverse will emerge as one singular platform. Instead, platforms with large user bases today may take steps to become increasingly immersive and engaging, while smaller, metaverse-like environments will try to attract bigger user bases. These virtual worlds are likely to remain independent silos as private companies seek to recoup their investments by leveraging the value of the underlying data sets. “Today, a mix of metaverse strategies exist, from companies with a vertically integrated approach that spans multiple segments of the metaverse technology stack to those with a horizontal strategy that focuses on a single layer of the stack,” said Moncef Maghrebi, Partner at Bain & Company Middle East. “It remains to be seen which will prove to be most effective as the market develops and the shape of the ecosystem (vertical vs. horizontal) is likely to evolve over time.”  Industries that have since exhibited the use of metaverse-type technologies include but are not limited to: entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare, education and employee training. Five key competitive battlegroundsFive key competitive battlegrounds that executives should consider if they want to gain market share in the metaverse according to Bain include:Virtual experiences (forecast by Bain to be about 65% of metaverse projected market size in 2030). Although gaming is currently the leading consumer metaverse application, immersive fitness and entertainment could also be compelling in the medium term. On the enterprise side, innovative use cases are emerging, primarily in collaboration and productivity, but also in digital marketing, employee training, education and healthcare.Content-creation tools (about 5% of metaverse market size in 2030). There’s a growing field of software tools that provide the building blocks, editing platforms and interfaces for creating metaverse worlds and experiences. These features make it easy for users to generate content.App stores and operating systems (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). The app store role will be crucial during the metaverse’s seed stage, providing users with curated, high-quality experiences to keep them engaged with the platform and headset they use to access the metaverse.Devices (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). Significant technological barriers must be overcome before the arrival of comfortable, stand-alone devices that allow for truly immersive experiences. To achieve mass adoption, metaverse content will need to work across all types of devices- including, for the foreseeable future, personal computers, gaming consoles and smartphones.Computing and infrastructure (about 10% of metaverse market size in 2030). Hardware companies will face pressure to develop higher-performing chips, servers and networking technologies to render high-quality graphics and reduce latency.

Deliveroo reveals new brand identity

Deliveroo has revealed its revamped brand identity since 2016. Crafted by Deliveroo Creative, its internal creative agency, the refresh is aimed at establishing greater differentiation and creative consistency across its 10 local markets.Deliveroo Creative dedicated eight months to this project, employing customer research to develop the refreshed and "playful" brand identity, which resulted in the creation of 400 assets. They pinpointed the visual elements that are most recognizable to consumers, which include the teal colour, the Roo head-shaped logo, and the Deliveroo wordmark.The Roo Head served as the primary inspiration for the entire brand identity, building upon DesignStudio's 2016 rebrand. Notably, the typography features a six-degree angle, matching the Roo head's nose. Additionally, Deliveroo has introduced the 'Rooute,' inspired by the teal journey line of riders, which appears when a customer places an order and allows tracking of the rider on the app. This 'Rooute' design incorporates elements of the Roo head's angles and twists.The overarching objective of Deliveroo Creative was to create a more unified customer experience, spanning from advertising to the Deliveroo app, while considering how the brand's new positioning influenced the creative process.Emily Somers, global director of brand and creative at Deliveroo, stated: “Our in-house talent, combined with knowledge of the brand, meant the team were perfectly placed to develop a brand identity – flexible to the needs of the entire global organisation – including our external agency partners.”Paul Hewitt, global head of creative at Deliveroo, said: “This is the teal deal. For the first time since 2016, we have a consistent visual foundation for our creative campaigns. Our new work shows how much life is left in our most distinctive brand asset. Looking afresh and discovering new elements inspired by the Roo head has been a total joy to direct. Proof that sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face – literally."

Lhamim Marketing and Media unveils fresh corporate identity

Lhamim Marketing and Media, a Saudi-based agency, has introduced a fresh corporate identity that showcases an innovative initiative centered on further expanding and innovating in the field of media and communication.The agency emphasized that this transformation was not a mere change for change's sake but a vital step to foster growth and adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of modern marketing in the industry.The new identity incorporates an upward-pointing arrow as its symbol, representing the pursuit of growth, positioned above its name to signify the continuous flow of new creative ideas and inspiration propelling it towards establishing a new frontier for marketing campaigns and contemporary communication tools.The logo is adorned with the color purple, symbolizing boundless passion, while the orange color conveys radiance and vibrancy. The inclusion of black immortalizes the brand's journey, symbolizing creativity and beauty.Lhamim proudly declares that its steadfast values encompass growth, respect, value, clarity, creativity, and control, ingrained through a natural growth strategy mirroring the simultaneous upward and downward growth of a plant. This mirrors effective communication with clients and the realization of visible goals, referred to as "upward growth," as well as the fortification of underlying objectives, known as "downward growth."Driven by a sense of national duty and embodied in the new brand identity, Lhamim has introduced its novel offering, the Winner Ad Platform. This comprehensive Saudi platform, led by marketing experts, enables the rapid launch of marketing campaigns, garnering high customer ratings and achieving success by keeping abreast of the latest media and communication tools.Saleh Aleidan, the CEO of Lhamim Marketing and Media, expressed his pride in the launch of the new identity, symbolizing progress and innovation. He anticipates a bright and innovative path for the brand.He also revealed the inauguration of the Lhamim Space initiative, aimed at advancing the sector and supporting the vision by hosting face-to-face meetings with a select group of distinguished marketing experts. These experts will share their real-world experiences in large-scale campaigns and creativity with practitioners, specialists, and marketing students.

GoDaddy's Selina Bieber takes center stage in empowering panel discussion at TS

Cairo: GoDaddy, the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, announces the participation of Selina Bieber, Vice President of International Markets at GoDaddy, in this year's highly anticipated Techne Summit 2023. Selina contributed to a panel discussion titled "Shattering Ceilings, Igniting Success: Women Entrepreneurs Changing the Game."As a panelist at the summit, Selina Bieber delved into the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and their unique journeys in overcoming barriers to achieve success. The panelists shared experiences, strategies, and insightful perspectives, helping to inspire female entrepreneurs working to break down barriers and succeed in the small business world.During this discussion, Bieber underscored GoDaddy's commitment to gender equality, emphasizing that GoDaddy provides tech solutions and practices tailored for all entrepreneurs. She also mentioned that GoDaddy's WAM + Studio are valuable resources for those who are re-entering the workforce or embarking on side-hustles after a break. These initiatives enable entrepreneurs to explore and leverage the digital landscape with ease and affordability. They remove the barriers traditionally associated with entering the online business arena, making it accessible to a broad spectrum of ambitious individuals, regardless of their gender or prior experience.Bieber highlighted how women entrepreneurs can harness GoDaddy's resources, illustrating with successful examples such as collaborative initiatives with organizations like GIZ and Crunchmoms. These partnerships provide valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage with the community, gain insights through annual surveys, and learn from the stories of GoDaddy's customers. These resources provide women with a supportive foundation to begin their entrepreneurial journey, offering guidance on self-branding, partnership building, and sharing customer success stories, all of which contribute to their journey towards success.Selina also touched on recent tech trends for women founders, highlighting the integration of AI in corporate level and its potential to level the playing field for women balancing multiple responsibilities. Notably, she emphasized the significance of GoDaddy’s .AI Domain extension, a gateway to a wealth of opportunities for individuals, developers, startups, and research institutions. ‘.AI domains’ bring numerous advantages to small businesses across various sectors. By associating with AI, these domains become powerful branding tools, projecting innovation and technological expertise to customers and stakeholders alike.In addition to joining the panel discussion, Bieber also conducted an interactive workshop titled "Disruptive Thinking: Redefining Business Norms in the Online World," where she shared GoDaddy's transformation journey from a web hosting provider to a comprehensive technology provider offering essential tools for small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive in the digital landscape.Selina went on to say that she appreciated being included in Techne Summit 2023, sharing how digitalization can help to jumpstart women entrepreneurs. “Participating in this event that fosters innovation, diversity and empowerment is line with GoDaddy’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs, by providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive in the digital age.”Techne Summit 2023, held in Alexandria, Egypt, from 7 - 10 October 2023, brought together startups, technology enthusiasts, investors, mentors, and public officials from all over the Mediterranean. This premier event is celebrated for its commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, providing an exceptional platform for networking, learning, and collaboration.

Dubai AI, Web3 Campus to equip businesses in Dubai with AI capability

Dubai: The Dubai AI and Web3 Campus has launched an Artificial Intelligence Transformation Programme (“The Programme”), a highly customisable sector agnostic corporate accelerator, to help future-proof businesses in the region by enhancing their Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. The initiative will further help elevate Dubai’s abilities to compete at a global scale to harness talent, innovation, and grow its economy.Designed for businesses of all sizes, the programme provides C-level coaching on industry trends to enable organisations to stay ahead of competitors by adopting the latest in AI and technology innovation. The initiative will also facilitate partnerships with start-ups and industry giants to fast-track proof-of-concept (POC) creation and internal adoption.Participants will benefit from Dubai International Financial Centre’s strong innovation ecosystem and Dubai’s broader technological landscape to deliver actionable and timely solutions. The programme participants will also gain access to a state-of-the-art corporate innovation lab, high quality hardware and software, facilities enabling concept creation and prototype testing, in collaboration with tech industry experts.The programme further fosters start-up success by facilitating adoption of their technologies through strategic ecosystem partnerships and access to specialised licensing and regulatory solutions. The Dubai AI and Web3 Campus will also assist in corporate deal flow and partnerships to enable collaboration between leading corporates and upcoming start-ups to cultivate a culture of technological advancement.Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Artificial Intelligence Transformation Programme, a pioneering initiative by the Dubai AI & Web3 Campus. We look forward to working with corporates in the region to streamline and scale their businesses through adoption of artificial intelligence across different verticals. Our expertise will allow us to enable business growth across sectors and attract forward thinking entrepreneurs and executives to the region. We remain committed to attracting and retaining top talent that will solidify Dubai’s position as the business destination of choice for tech professionals.”The launch of the Artificial Intelligence Transformation Programme follows the announcement of the Dubai AI and Web3 Campus, which boasts state-of-the-art physical and digital infrastructure within the new DIFC Innovation One premises, including research and development facilities and collaborative workspaces, which is helping to attract, build and scale firms in the region. The Campus has already begun issuing AI and Web3 licences supporting activities ranging from Distributed Ledger Technology Services, specialised Artificial Intelligence Research and consultancies, IT infrastructure builders, Technology Research and Development, and Public Networking Services through DIFC.Applications are now open for the Artificial Intelligence Transformation Programme via this link.

Castrol unveils refreshed brand identity in Middle East

Dubai: Castrol, a global leader in lubricants, and part of the bp group, has unveiled its refreshed global brand identity in the Middle East.The brand refresh, including an updated look and feel, is aimed at better reflecting its unique positioning in the market and the opportunities it sees in meeting the changing needs of customers.The refreshed brand identity maintains Castrol’s iconic red, green, and white colours, which are strongly associated with the brand and is set to improve brand memorability digitally.The updated logo features a more modern, dynamic, and vibrant design, with a focus on Castrol’s core strengths and differentiators as it aims to broaden appeal with a more diverse customer base."Our refreshed brand identity represents an exciting chapter for our company, and it reflects our commitment to investing in the future and creating new growth opportunities," said Robert Gerritsen, General Manager, Castrol Lubricants, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt & Pakistan.The brand refresh includes a new sonic identity, crafted to enhance the refreshed visual look and feel, with music and sound design that elicits feelings of acceleration, forward-momentum, and dynamic movement. The new identity is a powerful future distinctive brand asset that will drive awareness and memorability.Castrol is exploring opportunities to provide solutions and services that will complement its core lubricants business. It has a range of advanced EV Fluids including EV Transmission Fluids, EV Thermal Fluids and EV Greases - Castrol ON.Castrol has plans to invest $60 million in a new electric vehicle (EV) battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK. Castrol’s ON immersion cooling fluid for data centres has been approved by Submer for use across their portfolio of products.Jayakumar Natarajan, Marketing Director, Castrol Lubricants, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt & Pakistan, said: “Refreshing a globally recognised brand is not just about changing its appearance or messaging. It's about reinvigorating its essence, and relevance in today's world. Our refreshed brand is a strategic imperative that drives growth, differentiation, and long-term success.”

89% of UAE CXOs expect revenue growth

C-level executives (CXOs) in the UAE overwhelmingly anticipate revenue and profit growth for their companies in the next 1-2 years, a new study by Darwinbox has revealed. The "HR Evolution Perspectives 2023" report by the HR software leader provides an in-depth analysis of what companies and employees expect from HR today and how equipped HR departments are to handle it.The study found that 89% of UAE CXOs expect profitability to rise, with 89% anticipating revenue growth. Almost three-quarters (72%) expect this growth through M&A, while 82% anticipate growth through organic expansion. As sustainability kicks into top gear, financing of green initiatives is rising, with 67% of CXOs expecting a rise in ESG investments.Meanwhile, 80% of these CXOs believe their organization will increase headcount. The study indicates that along with the focus on increased productivity, CXOs are also looking to hire for critical capabilities and emerging skills.Chaitanya Peddi, Co-founder of Darwinbox, said: "Undeniably, the CXOs in the UAE have an extremely positive economic outlook, and this will convert into more hiring in the coming 12-24 months. Hence, there will be more emphasis on strengthening the HR functions. HR teams must navigate a period of heightened employee expectations, a rapidly shifting digital landscape, and stakeholder pressure toward inclusive workplaces. The report makes no attempt to downplay these challenges; instead, it calls upon HR professionals to seize the opportunity to transform their organizations, powered by the transformative role of technology."  Despite the opportunities, UAE businesses are challenged by a rapidly shifting digital landscape, remote and hybrid work models, and renewed demands for more inclusive and sustainable work practices. UAE CXOs identified the inability to align culture and low employee productivity as a significant risk, with 38% saying their organization could not attune its corporate culture to changing business environments. With the full force of digital transformation sweeping through the business world, 69% of CXOs in the UAE now recognize the imperative of adapting to new digital work paradigms. Alarmingly, 31% of them feel unprepared to effectively address this challenge, revealing a significant vulnerability. A further 31% said they cannot redefine work by effectively leveraging digital and connected teams.In response, organizations are ramping up investments in technology to improve HR's effectiveness. In the next 12 to 24 months, 64% of UAE organizations plan to adopt robotics and automation for HR. Additionally, 64% plan to invest in digitizing their HR Systems, while 53% plan end-to-end process redesign. As a seasoned expert who has successfully navigated the digital adoption roadmap with numerous enterprises in the region, Darwinbox is already solving for this digital adoption and finds a strong appetite for transformation in the Middle Eastern market.Chaitanya Peddi added: "Worldwide, and particularly in the UAE, organizations are increasingly prioritizing the Digital HR agenda to enhance productivity, agility, and overall employee experience. At Darwinbox, we firmly believe that while identifying and implementing technology to drive efficiencies is the initial phase, the true return on investment emerges when organizations continually embrace technology and use it to adapt to evolving circumstances. Therefore, we collaborate closely with our customer base, attentively listening to their needs and delivering innovative solutions that empower them to stay ahead of the curve."Darwinbox's cloud-based Human Capital Management platform caters to HR needs across the entire employee lifecycle with new-age employee experiences and disruptive AI-powered technology. Powering 850+ enterprises across 110 countries and trusted by 2.2 million employees across the globe, the company has clocked a 2.6x revenue growth and increased its headcount by 240% in UAE since its Series D Unicorn funding round in January 2022. The company has opened its regional office at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).The survey was carried out in collaboration with People Matters, the study gathered responses from over 1,200 HR practitioners and around 1,500 employees in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. Online surveys took place between February and May of this year.

Memac Ogilvy promotes Ghassan Maraqa to MENA CEO

Memac Ogilvy, the leading award-winning integrated creative network, announces new leadership, marking the beginning of a new era focused on creative excellence, strategic innovation, and growth acceleration in the MENA region.David Fox, a seasoned Ogilvy veteran with a rich global track record, has completed his term as CEO, steering the agency through a period of growth and success. David’s illustrious career has seen him bring an extensive wealth of experience from WPP and Ogilvy to the region.In a transition marked by continuity and renewal, Memac Ogilvy announces a joint leadership team, appointing Ghassan Maraqa as MENA CEO and Jon Marchant as MENA Group President. Jon joins the agency after a six-year journey as MD FP7 McCann Dubai, Momentum and Craft MENA.Ghassan has been at the helm of Memac Ogilvy for two decades as its regional COO and CFO. His visionary leadership, ability to turn challenges into opportunities, and especially deep commitment to long standing client partnerships and talent makes him the ideal leader to drive the agency forward.Patou Nuytemans, EMEA CEO, who worked closely with Ghassan during her tenure leading the region, expressed her confidence in Ghassan, stating, "Having worked with Ghassan hand-in-hand for many years as my partner in leading Memac Ogilvy in the region, I've witnessed his passion for and commitment to our agency's values, talent, and clients. He has been instrumental to our success for such a long time, that I have no doubt that Memac Ogilvy will thrive in his trusted hands."Commenting on his appointment, Ghassan Maraqa said: "I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to our exceptional team and valued clients for their steadfast commitment and partnership. It’s such a privilege, together with Jon, to now lead an agency network that has always been a pillar of the industry in the region and bring our promise of borderless creativity to life for the leading brands across MENA.”Jon Marchant, as MENA Group President, will bring his incredible track record in impactful creative ideas, trusted client partnerships and agency growth, both internationally and in the region, to Memac Ogilvy, with a mission to drive excellence for clients.Commenting on Jon's addition to the agency's leadership team, Patou expanded on her thoughts, stating, "Jon's addition marks an exciting juncture in our journey of growth and innovation. His extensive experience speaks to his deep understanding of our industry. His passion for amazing ideas that drive impact and for nurturing talent is simply contagious. We welcome his fresh perspective and I’m sure together with Ghassan he will shape an exciting new future for Memac Ogilvy."Jon Marchant expressed his sentiments saying: "I'm deeply honored to join Memac Ogilvy during this pivotal time in a rapidly growing market. The Ogilvy brand is celebrated for its creativity and commitment to excellence. Together with Ghassan, I look forward to contributing to its journey amid dynamic economic and cultural transformation in the region."Ghassan and Jon will work with the MENA Exco and the regional leadership team in Memac Ogilvy’s 11 offices to drive Memac Ogilvy's promise of borderless creativity across Advertising, PR, Experience, and Health. As Memac Ogilvy embraces this new chapter, it reaffirms its commitment to innovation, talent development, and client excellence. With Ghassan and Jon at the helm, the agency is poised for even greater success as a leading creative force in the MENA region. Jon will be joining Ogilvy in early December this year.

Saudi minister Salman Al-Dosari unveils media training and digital projects

Saudi Minister of Media Salman Al-Dosari unveiled an array of cutting-edge media training and digital initiatives at the inaugural 'Media Partners' gathering, which took place at 'Via Riyadh' in the Saudi capital on Monday. The event showcased the introduction of several projects spanning diverse sectors, all geared towards bolstering the talents within the media industry.Over 200 specialists, experts, and government and private sector officials in the realm of communications and media from across the Kingdom converged at this meeting. Its primary objective was to fortify the collaboration between the ministry and its government and private sector partners within the media domain.In his address, Al-Dosari underscored that the event emanated from the ministry's fervent commitment to nurturing relationships with various stakeholders in both the government and private sectors. This was seen as a pivotal step in realizing the objectives outlined in Saudi Vision 2030, with a central focus on enhancing global competitiveness through the development of human capital. This entailed investing in national talents, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, skill refinement, and capacity-building to pave the way for a thriving economy driven by highly proficient domestic resources.During this event, the ministry formally introduced several groundbreaking media initiatives. First in line was the 'Communication Academy,' designed to enhance the advertising sector in the Kingdom and provide aspiring individuals with opportunities to hone their digital advertising skills.Following suit was the 'Tawasul+,' an integral component of the 'Ignite Initiative' under the Saudi digital content program, which aspires to offer training prospects in the realm of digital content creation. The third project, 'Media Leadership Training,' was aimed at preparing a new breed of media leaders, empowering them to assume leadership roles within local and regional media institutions, and honing their leadership skills and management techniques.The event marked the inception of the 'Media Zone' project, intended to establish a collaborative workspace for practitioners in various media disciplines, thereby facilitating the dissemination of media knowledge and skills through contemporary methods. Last but not least, the 'Speakers+' initiative was unveiled to nurture and empower leaders within government agencies and the private sector by imparting media expertise through a series of training programs.On the sidelines of the 'Media Partners' gathering, an exhibition showcased some notable media projects, including the 'Saudi Treasures' initiative, which featured its most noteworthy artistic creations.A significant memorandum of cooperation was signed during the event between the Government Communication Center at the Ministry of Media and the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF). This memorandum was geared towards the advancement of talent in the media industry, involving training, qualification, and the development of local professionals to incentivize their involvement in the digital content creation sector. Furthermore, it sought to consolidate and localize various professions within the media sector, encompassing digital advertising, digital gaming, digital audio, and video.The agreement also paved the way for leveraging HADAF's programs and products, including the Income Support Program, HADAF Leadership Program, National E-Training Platform (Doroob), Vocational Professional Certificates Support Program, On-the-job Training Program (Tamheer), HADAF Training Support Program, and the Skills Program.

Huawei Li Peng: Powering a positive 5G business cycle and embracing 5.5G (5G-A)

Huawei kicked off the 14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Dubai, UAE. Li Peng, Huawei's Corporate Senior Vice President and President of the company's Carrier BG, delivered a keynote at the event. In his speech, Li called on global carriers and industry partners to rise to the occasion, address increasing demands on networks, and make the most of the future trends."Let's start today, build tomorrow's networks for future services, and unleash 5G's infinite potential for continuous success," he said.In his speech on powering a positive 5G business cycle and embracing 5.5G (5G-A), Li stated, "We are already on the right path towards 5G business success, and 5G-Advanced is the natural next step in 5G's evolution."He emphasized that when we look back at history, every major economic transformation came from innovation in general purpose technologies. "Now we're in the digital age, where the Internet is powering the digital economy," said Li in his speech."5G is a critical part of new economic transformation," continued Li. "And it's enabling new innovation in general purpose technologies. For digital industries, 5G is developing fast, opening up new markets and opportunities."According to Li, future mobile networks need to have six key features: 10 Gbps downlink, 1 Gbps uplink, deterministic networking, support for a hundred-billion IoT connections, integrated sensing and communication, and native AI capabilities. To make this happen, carriers and industry players not only need to continuously enhance their capabilities in three core usage scenarios – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) – but also develop three new capabilities, including Uplink Centric Broadband Communication (UCBC) and Real-Time Broadband Communication (RTBC).Speaking on 5G-Advanced, the next evolutionary step in 5G technology, Li also noted that the industry needs to work together to promote the development of device and application ecosystems, verify use case scenarios, and accelerate the large-scale commercialization of FWA Square, Passive IoT, and RedCap.These efforts are crucial to make the most of the five new trends that will shape an intelligent digital future.Glasses-Free 3DThe glasses-free 3D industry ecosystem is maturing fast. Breakthroughs in technologies including cloud rendering and real-time 3D virtual humans will take immersive experience to new heights. Moving forward, more and more devices like mobile phones and TVs will support glasses-free 3D, which will drive data traffic up by a factor of ten relative to 2D video.Self-Guided VehiclesBy 2025, there will be more than 500 million smart vehicles on the road. With high-bandwidth and low-latency networks, smart vehicles will be able to share information with people, vehicles, roads, and the cloud in real time. In assisted-driving scenarios, smart vehicles will consume more than 300 gigabytes of data every month for cloud-based model training and weekly algorithm updates. In self-driving scenarios, data consumption will rise by a factor of 100.Next-Gen ManufacturingWith breakthroughs in capabilities like network slicing and edge computing, the number of 5G private networks for enterprise use has increased a hundredfold, and the market size has grown to over US$10 billion. However, as production lines become more flexible, increasingly reliant on wireless networks, and more core production systems are deployed on the cloud, higher requirements are posed on 5G networks.Huawei worked with a carrier and industry partners to build the industry's first 5G-Advanced flexible trial production line. For this production line, 5G-Advanced supports high-concurrency and highly deterministic network connections, which helps more efficiently connect computing power between cloud and network edge.Generalized Cellular IoTThere are more than three billion mobile IoT connections around the world, and 5G now connects more things than people. In the near future, 5G will support a broader range of IoT technologies like medium-speed RedCap and Passive IoT. This will provide more options for different IoT scenarios, allowing for more efficient flow of data, information, and computing power. For example, in the home appliance manufacturing sector, Passive IoT can help provide visibility along the entire distribution and production chain, and has helped increase overall productivity by 30% in verification trials.Guaranteed Intelligent Computing EverywhereWith the rise of new developments in AI, such as foundation models, demand for AI computing power will see explosive growth. By 2025, this demand is expected to be 100 times greater than current levels. To unleash the full potential of AI computing power, more advanced network capabilities are key. Networks will need to have larger bandwidth and lower latency to power truly intelligent connectivity. In addition, as traffic models begin to change, future networks will need to be more autonomous and intelligent to deliver a reliable experience.

Beyon Money launches new digital payment solution in Bahrain

Beyon Money, part of the Beyon Group, has launched Beyon Money Checkout, an innovative online payment acceptance solution for corporates and businesses in Bahrain. Delivered in partnership with Ottu, a leading financial technology company, the solution is reshaping the landscape of merchant services in Bahrain and other Middle Eastern regions.This collaboration with Ottu will support the expansion of Beyon Money’s services by empowering merchants in Bahrain to seamlessly integrate Beyon Money Checkout for their e-commerce channels. As part of their commitment to merchant solutions, Ottu will be offering Beyon Money’s payment solutions across its extensive merchant network in Bahrain and other regional markets.Beyon Money Check Out, the new online payment acceptance solution reduces the number of steps for processing payments when compared to traditional solutions, leading to cost savings for merchants. Furthermore, the solution benefits Beyon Money users through delivering a seamless payment experience, with transactions completed instantly by simply using their phone number registered with Beyon Money, instead of entering their payment card details.Beyon Money CEO Roberto Mancone commented, ”Beyon Money Checkout leverages its digital wallet, enabling merchants to receive instant payments from Beyon Money customers, at lower costs compared to traditional card payment methods. Together with Ottu, we will empower merchants while also elevating the online payment experience for Beyon Money customers.”Speaking about this transformative partnership, Ottu CEO Talal AlAwadhi said, "This partnership is a testament to our shared vision of simplifying transactions in Bahrain, the UAE, and the GCC. Ottu will spearhead the expansion of Beyon Money’s new payment service, Beyon Money Checkout, offering an advanced online payment solution that will redefine the way we conduct financial transactions."

Raff Publishing to release 92 Disney titles in MENA

Raff Publishing has announced a license agreement with Disney to release 92 Disney stories to the MENA region. The countries include countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. This marks a significant milestone as Raff Publishing ventures into the dynamic realm of children's publishing.Through this license agreement and titles that Raff Publishing will publish, Raff Publishing aims to inspire children's creativity and curiosity, offering families a wonderful opportunity to come together through captivating narratives. By nurturing a lifelong passion for reading and learning in the MENA region, starting from early childhood, this license agreement represents an important step forward in expanding the literary landscape for young readers in the region.These titles include 48 stories translated into Arabic and 44 in English. Among the featured franchises are widely popular stories from Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars.This license agreement brings the magic of Disney to readers across the MENA region, creating connections with readers of all ages, promoting the joy of reading, and encouraging families to bond over stories that ignite the imagination.Remarkably, this collaboration addresses a significant gap in the Arabic literature market, as a tiny proportion of the books published annually are translated into Arabic.With a particular focus on offering Arabic-language books tailored for children and young readers, this collaboration is poised to enhance access to literature in their native language. Early literacy in a child’s native language lays the crucial foundation for academic success in later stages of education, making this collaboration all the more significant for the region.Paula Scott, General Manager of Raff Publishing, said: “Raff Publishing is focused on enhancing the availability of Arabic-language children’s books catered to the changing needs of our youngest reading audience. In addition to delivering top-tier Arabic-language literary material, this collaboration with Disney serves as a significant component of SRMG's forward-looking strategy for growth and expansion. We remain committed to fostering literature and instilling a passion for reading in the MENA region.”As part of SRMG's mission of making Arabic-language content more accessible in the MENA region, Raff Publishing is part of a global alliance that broadens SRMG's reach and offers a wider range of media content to a dynamic audience. Disney is the latest addition to SRMG's list of esteemed partners, which includes Warner Bros. Discovery, Bloomberg, The Independent, Billboard, and Shueisha.Raff Publishing has collaborated wiht this year's Riyadh International Book Fair, held from September 28 to October 7 at King Saud University, and organized by the Saudi Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission.