Dubai enriches its visual identity via the Public Art Strategy

In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the best city in the world and strengthen its position on the global cultural map and a capital of the global creative economy by 2026, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), has begun the implementation of Dubai’s Public Art Strategy that seeks to transform the emirate into an open, accessible and global art gallery, offering exceptional artistic experiences that enhance visual culture and the spirit of innovation and contributing to enriching the region’s cultural and artistic scene whilst supporting Dubai’s creative economy.His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, approved the Public Art Strategy last year in January, and Dubai Culture, headed by Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Member of the Dubai Council, leads an inspiring artistic movement in line with Dubai’s cultural vision to cement the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent.This step confirms Dubai Culture’s keenness to empower creatives and coordinate with various institutions and stakeholders to transform Dubai’s streets, neighbourhoods and public areas into touristic and cultural destinations. The Authority aims to transform Dubai’s public spaces with artwork, sculptures, paintings, murals and art installations that reflect the creative identity of the emirate and generate an interactive social space between artists and the public. This increases art accessibility and establishes a sustainable creative environment, in line with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) that seeks to double Dubai’s GDP by 2033.A unique cultural environmentHala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, affirmed the significance of achieving the Public Art Strategy’s objectives, which contributes to the development of Dubai's art scene and provides it with distinct and inspiring experiences, saying: “The importance of this strategy lies in its ability to establish a unique cultural and artistic environment within Dubai. The strategy reflects the features of Dubai’s identity and the richness of its art scene, in addition to its role in supporting cultural tourism and making it a key source of the creative economy.”Badri added: “Expanding public art is part of Dubai’s vision to become an incubator for creatives from all over the world, promote the spirit of cultural innovation and raise the level of artistic and visual taste in the city.”Badri stated that activating the Public Art Strategy represents the Authority’s backing for creatives and private sector institutions, saying: “Through this strategy, we seek to create a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship, support Dubai’s creative economy, and strengthen partnerships with the private sector. We aim to extend bridges of cooperation, empower artists, and enhance their presence on the art scene, which helps make Dubai a global icon and a unique model for cities of the future.”Open CallTo ensure the success of the Public Art Strategy, the Authority sought to empower the creative community by collaborating with Art Dubai, Tashkeel, Alserkal, Art Jameel, and Akaas Visual Arts, who in turn will undertake the task of issuing open calls to all artists, offering them the platform to participate in presenting a series of unique, site-specific art installations.Within this content, the Authority announced that it has completed defining the strategy’s roadmap for the distribution of the installations across the emirate, and is launching, in cooperation with Art Dubai, the AED 2 million inaugural commission and open call to all Emirati and UAE-based artists, designers and architects to submit their suggestions, ideas and artistic designs for the first large-scale site-specific installation for one of Dubai's most beautiful public gardens in Al Hudaiba, overlooking the Etihad Museum and Union House, which will be unveiled to the public in late 2023.Dr. Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of Arts & Literature at Dubai Culture, said: “In line with the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which aims to make Dubai the global capital of the creative economy and increase the cultural and creative industries' contribution to the national GDP to 5% by 2026, Dubai Public Art is part of a strategic approach that will foster the growth and sustainability of the city's cultural ecosystem and creative economy. The displaying of new artistic masterpieces in Dubai’s key locations will celebrate our heritage and promote Dubai's rapidly developing cultural landscape.”Bin Kharbash added: “This initiative demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the creative sector and we are proud to collaborate with Art Dubai as an institutional partner for this new landmark commission, given their decade-and-a-half-long expertise in delivering some of Dubai’s largest and most successful cultural moments.”The Authority will manage the selection process and production for this first commission in partnership with Art Dubai. Carlo Rizzo, Special Advisor to Dubai Public Art; Maryam Mohammed Mudhaffar, Project Manager in the Museums Department at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; and Benedetta Ghione, Executive Director of Art Dubai are the members of an expert committee who will evaluate the submissions and select the winning proposal.All preliminary submissions must be received by 23:59 UAE time on 13 February 2023. Shortlisted artists will be announced at the 16th edition of Art Dubai on 1-5 March, and each will receive a fee of $5,000 to create a detailed proposal and a prototype or maquette of their pieces. Late 2023 will mark the grand reveal of the winning landmark piece. Full details of the open call are available on the official Dubai Culture and Art Dubai websites and social media pages.The objectives of the Public Art Strategy are integrated with those of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which aims to improve the quality of life, enhance the emirate's global competitiveness over the next twenty years, and confirm its position as the best city in the world to live, work and visit.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce launches five business groups

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has launched business groups for five economic sectors—medical equipment, plastics & rubbers, optics & eyewear, paper, tissue & stationery, as well as chocolate & confectionery. These business groups will encourage engaging discussions that will drive the competitiveness of these business sectors within Dubai’s economy.Commenting on the establishment of the new business groups, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “The new business groups will play a notable role in supporting their respective economic sectors and activities, enhancing their competitiveness, and driving growth. The Chamber works to improve the economic performance and enhance the contribution of the private sector, which the business groups represent, in ensuring sustainable development.”Lootah noted that the partnership between the public and private sectors is a top priority in the vision of the emirate's wise leadership, stressing that Dubai’s economic model has established itself as a prime example in setting visionary, future-shaping, and proactive strategies. “Business groups have a tremendous responsibility to keep pace with the emirate’s strategic plans and contribute to developing and improving various sectors and economic activities,” he added. “The Chamber remains committed to providing all the support the private sector needs to play its part as a strategic partner of the business community.”Medical Equipment Business GroupAt an annual compound growth rate of 4.4 per cent, Fitch Solutions has estimated that the UAE’s medical device market will reach US$1.52 billion by 2025, benefiting from an overall strong economic performance in the coming years.Key market drivers supporting this trajectory include, population growth, changing epidemiology, a growing medical tourism industry, healthcare infrastructure developments, expanding health insurance, digital transformation and new technologies.The setting up of the Medical Equipment Business Group will further bolster business activity within the sector, bringing together members in transparent conversations to support the sector in advocating beneficial policy changes that will in turn enhance its competitiveness.Plastics & Rubbers Business GroupPlastic products are one of the UAE’s main exported commodities. Its exports of polyethylene to the world reached US$1.4 billion in 2019, growing with a CAGR of 15% from 2011 to 2019.Among plastic products, UAE mainly exports raw material but there is a high potential to apply product diversification in plastic exports, in the form of intermediate or final plastic products.The Plastics & Rubber Business Group supports various businesses within the sector by providing them a platform for constructive dialogues to increase business activity and boost potential export opportunities for plastic and rubber manufacturers.Optics & Eyewear Business GroupEyewear in the UAE witnessed a rebound in retail volume and value sales in 2021 following double-digit declines during the first year of the pandemic. Trends such as digitalisation and working from home will continue to affect consumer purchases for the next five years.The pandemic has forced many retailers and manufacturers to develop digital eye health and virtual try-ons, as well as investing in e-commerce infrastructure. However, eyewear is still heavily driven by store-based retailing, with e-commerce accounting for under 10% share of total sales in 2022.The Optics & Eyewear Business Group will shape the future of sector. Through collaboration, the setting up of this business group allows its members to be ahead of the curve in new trends such as tele-optometery and smart glasses. Due to rapid innovation, these are areas that are expected to gain momentum in the coming years.Paper, Tissue & Stationery Business GroupTwo essential products in everyone’s daily lives, the setting up of the Tissue and Stationery Business Group comes at the right time as purchasing momentum continues to accelerate post pandemic. The business group is a crucial element to maintaining relevance and competitiveness of the sector in Dubai’s economic landscape.The pandemic has generated a surge in demand for tissue and hygiene products over the last few years. While restrictions will continue to be relaxed, depending on the threat level of the pandemic, demand for tissue and hygiene, especially products directly related to personal cleanliness will continue to grow.Despite a short period of decline in the first quarter of 2020, the UAE stationery market has since witnessed robust growth. Increasing government investment in the educational sector, growing disposable income of consumers and high literacy rate in the country, rapid urbanisation and increasing employment will continue to increase the demand for the stationery market in UAE.Chocolate & Confectionery Business GroupConsumers are regaining their purchasing power especially after the lifting of restrictions. As they attempt to return to some level of normality in their lives, increasing consumer confidence combined with higher disposable incomes will positively impact demand for discretionary snacks.With a more health-conscious demographic, the demand for organic and chocolate confectionery variants with lower sugar content is on the rise. The Chocolate & Confectionery Business Group will support producers and manufacturers navigate the changing business landscape.There is also a clear demand for premium and innovative chocolate confectionery as well as luxury gifting boxes and boxed assortments. The business group will also support its members by providing them an exclusive forum to discuss the various trends shaping the future of Dubai’s chocolate and confectionery sector.This initiative is part of the chamber’s plans to increase the number of business groups that represent the various economic sectors and activities in Dubai. The chamber plans to increase the number of business groups to 100 by March this year.

TikTok highlights the three trend forces that will define the year

TikTok has announced the launch of the What’s Next Report 2023, the company’s third annual trend forecast. The global report, which includes data from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, is designed to help marketers understand how consumer wants and needs will change this year, and what that will mean for their strategies, both on and off TikTok.2022 saw entertainment reimagined by the global community on TikTok as brands and users shared real, personal stories that brought communities together and helped others discover new ways of thinking. The latest What's Next Report is a deep dive into how consumers' wants and needs will change in 2023, unpacking long-term TikTok-first cultural forces and the implications for brands to succeed on the platform.Commenting on the launch, Shadi Kandil, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan - TikTok said: “Now in its third year, TikTok's What’s Next Report has provided actionable insights for marketers both globally and here in the region, to amplify their voices and create impactful content leading to real-world business results. From making the time for joy and tapping into niche communities, to actionable entertainment that captures attention, 2023 looks to be an exciting year for brands on TikTok."According to the report, 67% of users engage with TikTok during platform-focused occasions, such as when taking a break or winding down at the end of the day, and based on global research studies, TikTok predicts that three macro trend forces will shape the platform this year: actionable entertainment, making space for joy, and community-built ideals.Actionable entertainment: In 2023, TikTok-first entertainment will inspire people to test out new products and ways of thinking and behaving.People are weary of misleading thumbnails and videos that start with "wait till the end" in the interest of sharing a rote call to action. In 2023, marketers need to make videos that grab attention while also earning trust. Capturing attention comes down to a video's entertainment value. TikTok ads are considered entertaining when they're funny, personalized, and uplift viewers. These creative elements will be essential for driving success on the platform, as content that focuses on a selling point will get diminishing returns.Trust, however, boils down to who's telling your brand story. Our users love to see content from relatable people. If a TikTok creator shares traits or interests with your audience, their content will feel more relevant and meaningful to viewers. Ultimately, when you make ads that are good, fun, and engaging, it won't just improve your storytelling clout—it will also help with your bottom line.Making space for joy: In 2023, messaging on TikTok—and beyond—should speak to this desire for levity and encourage people to make more room for themselves.After the pandemic, people reevaluated their priorities regarding work, hobbies and relationships, and many of them have come to the same conclusion: they're burned out. They want to create real, meaningful space for themselves in 2023, and much of that will come from prioritizing joy in all its forms.Humor is a great way to make users feel happy on TikTok. It helps them connect with each other and tell stories—not to mention the power it has to help marketers reach their audiences. Audio trends, in particular, let you tap into what users find funny and provide a little levity. Marketers can also give users ideas on how to indulge at any budget level with at home hacks. When brands tap into these corners of the platform, they help people carve out moments of joy in their lives. Globally, joy is a growing factor in peoples' purchase decisions. In fact, 50% of TikTok users said the platform boosts their mood and makes them feel happy and/or positive, with a further 41% saying that “lifting their spirits” is key in motivating them to make a purchase. By making content that helps users discover their avenues to happiness, brands can better connect with audiences and drive success in 2023.Community-built ideals: It's not just about aspiration. It's about users finding people who fundamentally understand them, which inspires them to change things for themselves.One-size-fits all ideals are on their way out as people embrace specific and varied lifestyles. TikTok communities, which are both specific and deeply relatable, help users quickly bond over these new interests and priorities. From there, they broaden each other's horizons and inspire one another to make changes in their lives.TikTok is not a town hall meeting, it's a collection of hyper-personal spaces, where people can explore their passions and live their lives. In fact, TikTok is 1.8 times more likely than other platforms to introduce people to new topics they didn't even know they liked. As people seek out ways to break the status quo, they'll look to peers and role models on TikTok who are already living the way they want to. A number of TikTok trends facilitate this kind of connection and exploration. For example, users often turn to TikTok to find answers to specific questions and needs, like cooking advice and parenting tips. This year, marketers should lean into the specificity that makes TikTok communities special. This will leave audiences feeling more understood and validated. Once you understand these groups, you can amplify the voices that define them and augment the honest, authentic conversations that people care about, particularly through Creators within those communities. In fact, after watching Creator content on TikTok, more than 2 in 5 users agreed that it made them feel like a part of the Creator's community.

Netskope Threat Research: Malware-delivering cloud apps nearly tripled in 2022

 Netskope, a leader in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), today unveiled new research showing that over 400 distinct cloud applications delivered malware in 2022, nearly triple the amount seen in the prior year. Netskope researchers also found that 30% of all cloud malware downloads in 2022 originated from Microsoft OneDrive. In  the Middle East, the report shows a slight increase in the overall percentage of cloud vs. web-delivered malware compared to 2021.Cloud apps are widely used by businesses, a fact not lost on attackers, which view these apps as an ideal home for hosting malware and causing harm. The Cloud & Threat Report from Netskope Threat Labs examines how these cloud security trends are shifting and advises organizations on how to improve their security posture based on those shifts.“Attackers are increasingly abusing business-critical cloud apps to deliver malware by bypassing inadequate security controls,” said Ray Canzanese, Threat Research Director, Netskope Threat Labs. “That is why it is imperative that more organizations inspect all HTTP and HTTPS traffic, including traffic for popular cloud apps, both company and personal instances, for malicious content.”Rise in Uploads to Cloud Apps Means Rise in Malware-Delivered DownloadsThe most significant change in cloud application use in 2022, compared to 2021, was the marked increase in the percentage of users uploading content to the cloud. According to Netskope data, over 25% of users worldwide uploaded documents daily to Microsoft OneDrive, while 7% did so for Google Gmail and 5% for Microsoft Sharepoint. The drastic increase in active cloud users across a record number of cloud applications led to a sizable increase in cloud malware downloads in 2022 from 2021, after remaining close to flat in 2021 compared to 2020.The correlation between uploads and downloads among the most popular apps is no coincidence. Nearly a third of all cloud malware downloads originated from Microsoft OneDrive, with Weebly and GitHub coming in the next closest among cloud apps at 8.6% and 7.6%, respectively.Cloud-Delivered Malware Is Increasingly More Prevalent Than Web-Delivered MalwareIndustries have increased their reliance on cloud applications and cloud infrastructure to support business operations over the last several years—a trend further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a worldwide shift toward hybrid work. As a result, cloud-delivered malware is now responsible for a much higher percentage of all malware delivery than ever before, especially in certain geographic regions and industries.In 2022, several geographic regions saw significant increases in the overall percentage of cloud vs. web-delivered malware compared to 2021, including:Australia (50% in 2022 compared to 40% in 2021)Europe (42% in 2022 compared to 31% in 2021)Africa (42% in 2022 compared to 35% in 2021)Asia (45% in 2022 compared to 39% in 2021)In certain industries, cloud-delivered malware also became more predominant globally, especially:Telecom (81% in 2022 compared to 59% in 2021)Manufacturing (36% in 2022 compared to 17% in 2021)Retail (57% in 2022 compared to 47% in 2021)Healthcare (54% in 2022 compared to 39% in 2021)Cyber Preparedness: The Remote Workforce is Here to StayCompanies have made considerable adjustments to enable remote and hybrid workplaces to flourish. While some industries sought to bring employees back to the office on a more frequent basis in 2022, remote work options appear to remain largely in place. According to Netskope data, user dispersion—the ratio of the number of users on the Netskope platform to the number of network locations from which those users’ traffic originates—is 66%, the same percentage it was at the start of the pandemic over two years ago.Remote and hybrid work dynamics continue to pose multiple cybersecurity challenges, including how to securely provide users access to the company resources they need to do their jobs and how to scalably and securely provide users access to the internet.Netskope recommends organizations take the following actions to avoid increased risk of security incidents stemming from cloud- and web-delivered malware:Enforce granular policy controls to limit data flow, including flow to and from apps, between company and personal instances, among users, to and from the web, adapting the policies based on device, location, and risk.Deploy multi-layered, inline threat protection for all cloud and web traffic to block inbound malware and outbound malware communications.Enable multi-factor authentication for unmanaged enterprise apps.

Tasleeh Holding’s CEO bagged a recognition at CEO Monthly

The CEO of Tasleeh Holding, Salem Al Matrooshi, bagged recognition in CEO Monthly as Military Equipment Provider CEO of the Year 2022 in the United Arab Emirates. CEO Monthly is a digital magazine from the internationally renowned publishing house, Al Global Media, that gives acknowledgement and high regard to CEOs worldwide, for their influential leadership and massive contribution to their organizations. Tasleeh Holdings achieved noteworthy milestones under Al Matrooshi’s outstanding leadership, that includes successful participation in the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), allowing them to showcase their word-class and latest weapons and leverage their market, not only in the UAE but all over the world.Under his direction, Tasleeh aims to exceed its client’s expectations in line with the latest innovations and standards. His team’s goals are also to discover and keep up with the technological advancement to enhance their military and law enforcement in the UAE in parallel with fostering economic growth and sustainable development for their clients and the country.Focusing on transparency and effective communication, his clever vision for the company led them to fully understand the requirements of the evolving market and made their premium products, mainly firearms, airsoft, airguns, and accessories, meet the expectations and standards of their clients.Commenting on his recognition, Salem Al Matrooshi said,” I am grateful for this recognition. We will continue to provide exceptional services and to expand our network between global corporations and UAE-based companies to target a greater tomorrow.”

Dubai Shopping Malls Group’s awards up to AED 1mln to 25 winners

 With the onset of 2023, Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) is pleased to announce the first round of winners of its Shop & Win campaign running through the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).Thousands of shoppers flocked to the 16 participating malls and indulged in bountiful deals, while also taking advantage of DSMG’s signature draw. So far, eight winners have walked home with cash prizes.The excited winners include Federico Filisetti, an Italian residing in Dubai, who shopped at Festival Plaza. Having won AED 25,000 by spending a mere amount on food and party supplies, he said: “This win has given me the most elated feeling that I can’t even express, especially as I have a baby boy on the way. I dedicate the winning amount to him and will donate half of the amount to charity in February after his arrival.”For her part, second-time winner, Irene Barbaza, a Filipina mother who will keep the winning for her young daughter's education said: “This is just an amazing feeling as I have won for the second time in the last 15 years in Dubai. What’s surprising is that I have won both times with DSMG. The AED 25,000 that I’ve won is very important to me and I will be using it for my kids' education. Thank you so much for running these campaigns and giving us a chance to win.”But the fun doesn’t end here! AED 1 Million to be won till the end of DSF and all that shoppers need to do is spend AED 200 at a participating mall, approach the customer service desk to participate in the digital draw to take part in the draw and let lady luck shine.The malls participating in the Dubai Shopping Malls Group DSF promotion this year include Al, Barsha Mall, Al Barsha South Mall, Al Ghurair Centre, Al Bustan Centre, Al Khail Gate, Al Warqa Mall, Arabian Centre, Bay Avenue, Century Mall, Dubai Outlet Mall, Dubai Festival Plaza, Etihad Mall, Karama Centre, Lulu Silicon Central, Nad Al Hamar, Serena Market Palace.

Microsoft for Startups graduates third cohort of B2B tech startups from GrowthX

Microsoft for Startups Middle East, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), today graduated the latest cohort of tech startups from its GrowthX Accelerator program. The conclusion of the cohort was celebrated during a Demo Day event, hosted at Abu Dhabi’s financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), with attendees including startup founders, government officials, investors, business leaders and stakeholders from the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. Run as part of a strategic partnership between ADIO and Microsoft for Startups, GrowthX is specifically designed to empower growth-stage B2B startups ranging primarily from Seed to Series A stages to grow and scale in Abu Dhabi. The program features weekly sessions from Microsoft experts, as well as regional and global leaders in business and technology. The 12 startups in this cohort hail from across the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, and are developing solutions in E-commerce, EdTech, Fintech, HRtech, and Insurtech. The companies in this cohort are Fortyguard, Ilmversity, Klickit, MonSpark, Pisano, Poilabs, Raabtaa, Supercommerce, Vita Virtues, Xina AI, Edraak Systems, and Pay Caps. Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General at ADIO, said, “The rapid pace of digital transformation is an opportunity to continually find new technological solutions to global challenges. The GrowthX Accelerator is a proven platform to identify and empower innovative startups to achieve scale and impact. We congratulate all the graduates on completing this program and look forward to seeing how they leverage the tools gained to accelerate their growth and enhance the regional startup landscape.” Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, said, “It has been both inspiring and encouraging to witness the growth and development of each of the startups enrolled into this cohort. They’ve leveraged every opportunity to maximize the potential of their offerings, enhance their skillsets and embrace the support and resources available to empower them to grow and scale their businesses. Together with ADIO, we are proud to have empowered another incredible cohort of startups to showcase their innovative ideas and develop them into real-world solutions, that will strengthen the regional ecosystem and develop our digital economy.” Investment in tech startups across the UAE and the Middle East continues to grow exponentially as demand for new, creative, and innovative products and solutions continues to rise. Over the past year, venture capital funding in MENA reached $2.6 billion, 138% more than in 2020, according to MAGNiTT. Startups in the UAE accounted for?26% of all deals?closed across MENA and?45% of all funding?raised across?the region in 2021.The GrowthX Accelerator helps startups develop their offerings and unlock new opportunities for success. The 10-week program offers a variety of group and one-on-one virtual sessions and training on enterprise sales, technical readiness, investor readiness, and customer engagement tactics. Participating startups also work closely with Microsoft to co-create technology solutions that address real challenges facing organizations in the region, and receive support from regional partners including legal assistance from Clara. Following the conclusion of the program, the startups will also work closely with Masdar City, a GrowthX program partner, who will support the graduating cohort in obtaining business licences and establish operations in Abu Dhabi. The Masdar City Free Zone hosts more than 1,000 companies that benefit from the city’s unique ecosystem of education, R&D, technology startups, incubators, and corporates.Including the recently concluded cohort, the GrowthX Accelerator has graduated a total of 48 startups since its inception in 2021. To learn more about the Microsoft for Startups GrowthX Accelerator program, click here.

Oliver Wyman global survey reveals GCC streaming habits

 People in the GCC have access to an average of 3 video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services, according to a new survey by global management consultancy Oliver Wyman that analysed household media consumption habits around the world.The survey canvassed people in three countries across the GCC: the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Its findings included:The UAE consumer has access to the highest number of VOD services on average, with 3.1, followed by Saudi Arabia (3.0) and then Kuwait (2.5). VOD services include those such as Netflix, Shahid, Amazon Prime, YouTube Premium etc.60% of UAE respondents have access to 2 or more VOD streaming services.In the UAE, only 12% of respondents do not access any VOD services, while 22% of those in Kuwait and 20% of those in Saudi Arabia do not access any VOD services.GCC consumers access the second highest number of VOD services per person, with an average of 2.9; second only to the United States of America, where each person has on average 4.7 VOD subscriptions. The GCC has higher penetration than Canada (2.8 on average) and Europe and Australia (both 2.6 on average).Importantly, the GCC has the highest potential for growth in subscriptions when compared to the other regions surveyed: 75% of respondents in the GCC said they expect to increase the number of VOD streaming services they access. This suggests much more appetite for growth in the GCC than in the other regions: in Europe, only 37% expected to increase subscriptions, with 34% in Australia and 29% in the USA.Within the GCC, respondents in Saudi Arabia showed the highest appetite for growth in subscriptions, with 80% stating that they are likely to increase the number of video streaming services that they access.Rogerio Dienes, partner and lead of Oliver Wyman’s Communications, Media and Technology vertical in India, the Middle East and Africa, noted that: “The GCC having a globally high rate of video-on-demand subscriptions does not come as a surprise considering the region has one of the highest penetrations of internet users in the world. Additionally, the finding that GCC consumers are more likely to increase the number of video-on-demand subscriptions compared to other regions is in part connected to the fact that consumers here are facing less inflationary pressures on their wallets compared to those in other parts of the world.”Nader Kobrosli, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Communications, Media and Technology practice, pointed out that: “The survey also shows that the under 25 age group is the group most likely to increase their access to subscriptions. Despite having the lowest income bracket, under 25s are generally the first movers in the ‘shift to digital’, so we expect them to continue to be the major driver of growth for video-on-demand subscriptions in the GCC.”The Oliver Wyman Global Household Media survey canvassed more than 13,500 people in 10 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the USA.

GoDaddy’s Small Business Survey reveals important facts

GoDaddy, the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, announced the results of its MENA Small Business Survey showing that most small businesses are optimistic about growth in their business sector in 2023. In Egypt, the report stated that the top three business sectors perceived to have the most potential growth in 2023 are food and beverage (27%), information and communication technology (23%) and eCommerce solutions (21%).In 2023, the top plans to grow small business in Egypt include increasing online efforts such as online marketing (21%) and developing online presence (19%). The report also saw that two-thirds of businesses surveyed acquire up to 30% of their customers through online channels. In Egypt, over 20% of small businesses responded that they make over 60% of their revenue through social media channels (21%). Facebook was the most popular platform in Egypt at 91%, followed by WhatsApp at 67%.Selina Bieber, Commercial Strategy Senior Director, International Markets at GoDaddy said: “As we slowly recover from a global pandemic, we are starting to see increased online activity and growth among start-up businesses in Egypt and wider region. The GoDaddy MENA Small Business Survey shows optimism with more sector growth in Egypt, and more and more small businesses investing in an online presence and digital tools to help acquire new customers. GoDaddy is there to support the region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners every step of the way.”When looking at the economic outlook, small businesses reported rising fuel prices, inflation, currency fluctuations, increasing raw material costs, supply chain and COVID-19 to be the most common concerns for small businesses. Notably, respondents cited fixed costs and securing financing for businesses as a challenge.The survey shows that 28% of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the MENA region expect government support for their business growth represented in the deferral of tax, rent and debt support and other expenses such as utilities. While 27% expect their businesses to be supported by access to market, value chains and alternative sales channels, and cash grants. Additionally, more than two-thirds of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the MENA region said that government policies and regulations are addressing the challenges faced by small businesses.The GoDaddy MENA Small Business Survey, conducted in association with YouGov, is part of the ongoing research efforts by GoDaddy to share insights and trends on startups and entrepreneurs across the region. GoDaddy offers support through digital tools, online solutions and resources available in English and Arabic languages for businesses to grow online. For more information and to learn more about how GoDaddy can help your small business, please visit

WWE sold to Saudi Arabia, say reports

It has been rumoured that WWE, the wrestling entertainment behemoth, has been sold to Saudi Arabia.The company has of late been going through tumultous times, with the resignation of it Chairman-Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon on January 10. This was following her father Vince McMahon was reinstated to the Board of Directors. Nick Khan will now serve as the lone WWE CEO.Rumours had it that Vince McMahon was reinstated to set the ground for the WWE to be sold. Multiple reports say that the sale has already been finalised. An imminent deal, say reports, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) could be confirmed. The PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. It is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of $620 billion (£514 billion).Vince McMahon said in a statement: “First, I’d like to express my full support for Stephanie’s personal decision. I’ll forever be grateful that she offered to step in during my absence and I’m truly proud of the job she did co-leading WWE. Stephanie has always been the ultimate ambassador for our company, and her decades of contributions have left an immeasurable impact on our brand. I’m proud to announce that Nick Khan will serve as WWE CEO. Nick’s business acumen and mastery of the media industry have helped catapult our business to record revenue and profitability. Together, we look forward to working with the Board at this critical moment in time to review our strategic alternatives and maximize value for all WWE shareholders.”Stephanie McMahon said:“I cannot put into words how proud I am to have helped lead what I consider to be the greatest company in the world and I am confident WWE is in the perfect position to continue to provide unparalleled creative content and drive maximum value for shareholders.”

Sky News Arabia appoints Abdou Gadallah as new Head of News

Sky News Arabia today announced the appointment of Abdou Gadallah as Head of News for the regional news network.With more than 20 years of experience in the media industry, Gadallah held various roles across the region, spanning a variety of roles within the journalism and media industry. He first joined Sky News Arabia in 2012, where he held multiple positions across the editorial team. Throughout his career within Sky News Arabia, he was instrumental to the progression of its newsroom, and played a leading role in the development of its digital and social media platforms. In 2019, he was appointed as Deputy Head of News, playing a pivotal role in keeping the channels’ day-to-day operations and editorial team driving forward, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.Nart Bouran, CEO of International Media Investment, and Sky News Arabia, said: “Abdou’s appointment comes in recognition of his great skills, efforts and dedication over the past decade to Sky News Arabia; and is testament to our firm belief that our organization houses some of the best talent in the region. We are confident that in his new role, Abdou’s wealth of expertise will provide our editorial team with the support needed to keep our organization driving forward and reach a wider base of audiences across the Arab world.”In his new role, Gadallah is responsible for implementing the Sky News Arabia newsroom editorial strategy and content, with a particular focus on growing and expanding its reach digitally, in line with the network’s digital strategy.Gadallah commented: “I am honored to have been selected as Head of News at Sky News Arabia, one of the most prestigious media organizations that I am lucky to call my second home. Over the past decade, I was lucky to have been part of the growth of Sky News Arabia regionally and internationally, and I look forward to continue working with the team across the world to further ensure that we continue expanding our audience base by delivering fast, accurate, credible news across all platforms.”Sky News Arabia broadcasts 24/7 to households across the Arabic-speaking world with a free-to-air TV channel, audio platforms and online platforms.

Aalibaba unveils top technology trend forecasting for 2023

Alibaba DAMO Academy (“DAMO”), the global research initiative by Alibaba Group, has shared its annual forecasting of the leading technology trends that could shape many industries in the years ahead. Among the leading technology trends, Generative AI, which has already gained considerable traction, is expected to make further strides with its growing applications set to transform how digital content is produced. Aided by future technological advancements and cost reductions, Generative AI will become an inclusive technology that can significantly enhance the variety, creativity and efficiency of content creation, according to DAMO.Another important emerging technology is dual-engine decision intelligence. Supported by both operations optimization and machine learning, the dual-engine decision intelligence system enables the dynamic, comprehensive and real-time resource allocation, such as real-time electricity dispatching, optimization of port throughput, assignment of airport stands and improvements in manufacturing processes. As such, the technology can also help businesses enhance operational efficiency.Cloud computing and security is predicted to continue playing a key role in businesses’ digital transformation. As security technologies and cloud computing are becoming more integrated than ever before, security services have embraced the shift to become more cloud native, platform-oriented and intelligent.Other rising trends in DAMO’s forecast include pre-trained multimodal foundation models, chiplets, processing in memory, hardware-software integrated cloud computing architecture, predictable fabric based on edge-cloud synergy, computational imaging, as well as large-scale urban digital twins.By analyzing public papers and patent filings over the past three years and conducting interviews with almost 100 scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers worldwide, DAMO presents the top technology trends in 2023 that are expected to achieve accelerated breakthroughs and impact positively across core industries economically and socially.“Looking towards 2023, the advancement of various technologies will drive software/hardware co-design and the integration of computing and communications technologies. The wide application of technologies will facilitate the rollout of AI and other digital technologies in vertical markets and promote the collaboration of public and private sectors and individuals in security technology and security management. The innovation driven by the advancement of technologies and their industry-specific application has become an irreversible trend,” said Jeff Zhang, Head of Alibaba DAMO Academy.In 2023, DAMO expects to see technology progress and the surge of related applications across fields:Trend 1: Generative AIGenerative AI generates new content based on a given set of text, images, or audio files. Currently, Generative AI is mainly used to produce prototypes and drafts and is applied in scenarios like gaming, advertising, and graphic design. Along with future technological advancement and cost reduction, Generative AI will become an inclusive technology that can significantly enhance the variety, creativity, and efficiency of content creation.In the next three years, we will see business models emerging and ecosystems maturing as Generative AI becomes widely marketized. Generative AI models will be more interactive, secure, and intelligent, assisting human beings to complete various creative work.Trend 2: Dual-engine Decision IntelligenceIn the past, traditional decision-making method is based on Operations Research. Due to its limitations in handling problems with great uncertainty and its slow response to large-scale problems, academia and industry began to include machine learning into decision optimization. The two engines are perfect complements to each other, and when used in tandem, can improve the speed and quality of decision making. In the future, this technology is expected to be widely used in a variety of scenarios to support dynamic, comprehensive and real-time resource allocation, such as real-time electricity dispatching, optimization of port throughput, assignment of airport stands, and improvement of manufacturing processes.In the future, dual-engine decision intelligence will be applied in more scenarios. It will serve to increase the number of entities and expand the scale in regional resource allocation scenarios, and eventually achieve dynamic, comprehensive, and real-time resource allocation.Trend 3: Cloud-native SecurityCloud-native security is implemented to not only deliver security capabilities that are native to cloud infrastructure, but also improve security services by leveraging cloud-native technologies . Security technologies and cloud computing are becoming more integrated than ever before. We have witnessed applied technologies evolve from containerized deployment to microservices and then to the serverless model, and security services embraced the shift to become native, fine-grained, platform-oriented, and intelligent.In the next three to five years, cloud-native security will become more versatile and can adapt more easily to multi-cloud architectures. It will also become more conducive to building security systems that are dynamic, end-to-end, precise, and applicable to hybrid environments.Trend 4: Pre-trained Multimodal Foundation ModelsPre-trained multimodal foundation models have become a new paradigm and infrastructure for building artificial intelligence (AI) systems. These models can acquire knowledge from different modalities and present the knowledge based on a unified representation learning framework. In the future, foundation models are set to serve as the basic infrastructure of AI systems across tasks of images, text and audio, empowering AI systems with cognitive intelligence capabilities to reason, answer questions, summarize, and create.Trend 5: Hardware-Software Integrated Cloud Computing ArchitectureCloud computing is evolving towards a new architecture centered around Cloud Infrastructure Processor (CIPU). This software-defined, hardware-accelerated architecture helps accelerate cloud applications while maintaining high elasticity and agility for cloud application development. CIPU will become the de facto standard of next-generation cloud computing and bring new development opportunities for core software R&D and dedicated chip design.Trend 6: Predictable Fabric based on Edge-Cloud SynergyPredictable fabric, a host-network co-design networking system driven by advances in cloud computing, and aims to offer high-performance network services. It is also an inevitable trend as today's computing and networking capabilities gradually converge on each other. Through the full-stack innovation of cloud-defined protocols, software, chips, hardware, architecture, and platforms, predictable fabric is expected to subvert the traditional TCP-based network architecture and becomes part of the core network in next-generation data centers. Advances in this area are also driving the adoption of predictable fabric from data center networks to wide-area cloud backbone networks.Trend 7: Computational ImagingComputational imaging is an emerging interdisciplinary technology. In contrast with traditional imaging techniques, computational imaging makes use of mathematical models and signal processing capabilities, and thus can perform unprecedented in-depth analysis on light field information. This technology is already used on a large scale in mobile phone photography, health care, and autonomous driving. In the future, computational imaging will continue to revolutionize traditional imaging technologies, and give rise to innovative and imaginative applications such as lensless imaging, and Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) imaging.Trend 8: ChipletChiplet-based design allows manufacturers to break down a system on a chip (SoC) into multiple chiplets, manufacture the chiplets separately by using different processes, and finally integrate them into an SoC through interconnects and packaging. The interconnect standards of chiplets are being unified into a single standard, accelerating the industrialization process of chiplets. Powered by advanced packaging technologies, chiplets may bring in a new wave of change to the R&D process of integrated circuits and reshape the landscape of the chip industry.Trend 9: PIMProcessing in Memory (PIM) technology is the integration of a CPU and memory on a single chip, which allows data to be directly processed in memory. In the future, compute-in-memory chips are projected to be used in more powerful applications such as cloud-based inference. This will shift the traditional computing-centric architecture towards the data-centric architecture, which will have a positive impact on industries such as cloud computing, AI, and Internet of Things (IoT).Trend 10: Large-scale Urban Digital TwinsThe concept of the urban digital twins has become a new approach to refined city governance. So far, large-scale urban digital twins have made major progress in scenarios such as traffic governance, natural disaster prevention and management, carbon peaking and neutrality. In the future, large-scale urban digital twins will become more autonomous and multidimensional.

IATA reports 84.6% growth in travel for Middle Eastern airlines in November

Middle Eastern airlines had an 84.6% growth in traffic in November compared to the same month in 2021, according to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which also noted that global air travel recovery continued throughout the month.Globally, traffic is now at 75.3% of November 2019 levels, according to the report. Total traffic in November 2022 rose 41.3% compared to November 2021.International traffic rose 85.2% versus November 2021. The Asia-Pacific continued to report the strongest year-over-year results with all regions showing improvement compared to the prior year.“Traffic results in November reinforce that consumers are thoroughly enjoying the freedom to travel. Unfortunately, the reactions to China’s reopening of international travel in January reminds us that many governments are still playing science politics when it comes to Covid-19 and travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

DWTC kicks off 2023 with action-packed Q1 agenda

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is ushering in the first quarter with an impressive and diverse line-up of conferences and exhibitions. “The last 12 months have seen Dubai return to pre-pandemic economic form with year-on-year GDP growth of 4.6 percent in the first nine months of 2022 alone. Dubai World Trade Centre played a definitive role in propelling economic momentum by hosting a full calendar of large-scale MICE events, welcoming international visitors in record numbers, setting new event benchmarks, and actively supporting the wider business ecosystem. This growth is set to continue in 2023 with our Q1 events calendar of events spanning a range of industry sectors, reinforcing Dubai’s position as the MICE destination of choice for the world”, said Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar, Executive Vice President of Venue Services Management at DWTC.Dubai Pharmaceuticals and Technologies Conference and Exhibition (DUPHAT) is the launchpad for the 2023 events calendar. Taking place from 10th-12th January and building on last year’s performance, which saw business deals signed totalling AED 5.1 billion, the 28th edition will once again provide a platform to showcase the latest innovations in the pharmaceutical industry.World of Coffee Dubai, the premier coffee trade show for exhibitors and visitors returns for its second edition from 11th-13th January. Organised by DXB LIVE in partnership with The Specialty Coffee Association, Europe’s premier coffee trade show made its successful debut in 2022 with features such as the Roaster Village, Cupping Room, the UAE National Championships, Brew Bar and SCA Community Lounge.Leading global emergency services, security and safety event, Intersec, takes centre stage from 17th-19th January, with a mandate to unite the industry and accelerate conversations to explore strategies and source technologies for the challenges faced by global security leaders and professionals. Representatives from over 50 countries will take part including 10 official international country pavilions plus four high-profile conferences across the three days. Intersec will host a world-class accredited conference, with over 500 international and regional speakers.Rounding out the month from 30th January to 2nd February, DWTC will host Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region. New for 2023, The Intelligent Health Pavilion is a ‘show within a show and a conference within the conference’, with a focus on enlightening demonstrations of the most innovative and sustainable healthcare technologies, with use cases from collaborating equipment manufacturers, e-Health solution providers and digital health disruptors.Another legacy medical event is the UAE International Dental Conference & Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC Dubai), which is pegged to take place from 7th-9th February. The largest annual scientific dental conference and exhibition in the world and now in its 23rd edition, the conference theme once again is laser-focused on Education & Innovation Transfer and is the must-attend industry showcase for dentists, dental specialists, hygienists, technicians, radiologists, students, and dental association members, along with ministry representatives, manufacturers and suppliers.For a flavour of what’s new in the world of food and beverage, Gulfood, the world's largest and most influential annual trade show for the industry, returns from 20th-24th February. A DWTC flagship event, this supercharged five-day event spans the full spectrum of the food and beverage industry, offering an unrivalled trading platform, a world-class showcase for industry excellence and talent and a forum for highlighting the latest trends, innovations and business opportunities.In the run-up to Ramadan, a back-to-back line-up of events will see March one of our busiest ever months with Dubai Derma kicking off proceedings from 1st-3rd March and the largest scientific skincare gathering in the Middle East, North Africa and Indian Subcontinent. Three days of quality education, inspiration, and skills development anchor the popular annual conference, with insights from 250 renowned speakers supported by direct access to a show floor packed with global exhibitors sharing the latest breakthroughs in skincare and cosmetics.Hosted under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and our guide to the future of energy transition, the Middle East Energy (MEE), which runs from 7th-9th March, will span five key product sectors and host the first Strategic Conference; the only high-level forum exclusively focused on unpacking the complex opportunities and challenges for senior decision-makers in the energy and utilities sector in the Middle East and Africa. In 2022, Middle East Energy facilitated business deals worth more than AED 2.5 billion.Adding colour and creativity to Q1 from 9th-12th March, World Art Dubai (WAD) brings inspiration and originality to Dubai's event calendar with artworks spanning every medium, from paintings, prints and photography to sculpture, pottery and glass. Organised by DWTC, the 2023 edition will witness the WAD Awards, which celebrate the top talent across five categories: Emerging Artist; Solo Artist; Gallery; Outstanding Art, and NFT Award.From 13th-15th March, attention shifts to the 19th edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD). Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, this year’s theme is ‘Energy and Aid: capitalising on available resources’ with the agenda focusing on the way many energy sources have increasingly limited output, while others may be made inaccessible, as demand grows.The region's first humanitarian aid and development event, DIHAD has been building bridges in the humanitarian aid and development communities since 2004, bringing together key decision-makers from international NGOs, the Red Crescent and Red Cross, UN agencies, charity organisations, academic institutions, relief aid suppliers and governmental bodies, to address the needs of people and countries affected by crisis and natural catastrophes.GISEC, the region's most established networking and business platform for IT security, will gather information security and technology professionals, business leaders from 14th-16th March for unique access to key learnings and networking opportunities with high-profile government figures and top businesses from across the world. Officially supported by the UAE's Cybersecurity Council, Dubai Electronic Security Centre, Telecommunications & Digital Government Regulatory Authority and Dubai Police, GISEC welcomes more government decision-makers and solution buyers than any other tech security event in the region, and is the only show featuring 300+ government entities in one place.Other calendar events include Light Middle East (17th-19th January), The School & Nursery Show (4th-5th February), Breakbulk Exhibition (13th-14th February), Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) & Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (1st-2nd March), World Police Summit (7th-9th March) and Dubai International Horse Fair (17th-19th March).“DWTC is a key trade enabler and a destination for innovation, knowledge exchange and idea generation, and we will continue to develop our portfolio of legacy and industry-first events in alignment with the government’s long-term strategic vision,” Julfar said in conclusion.

QFC announces appointment of deputy Chief Executive Officers

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, has announced the official appointment of Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Business Officer, and Nasser Al-Taweel as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Legal Officer.Sheikha Alanoud started her journey at QFC as the Vice President of Strategic Alliances at the CEO Office, and soon after became the Associate Director of Economic Affairs for the MENA region, before becoming the Managing Director of Business Development in 2017, a designation she held until she took on her current position as the Chief Business Officer, where she heads both the Business Development and Client Affairs departments.Sheikha Alanoud has played an integral role in driving QFC’s record growth over the past five years and expanding its reach to China, the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Singapore, Switzerland, and other key markets across the world. Her continued efforts to form and strengthen strategic partnerships within the local and international markets have helped attract businesses in key sectors, such as sports, digital and professional services, increasing the number of firms registered on the platform by 400 per cent since assuming the role of Managing Director of Business Development.As Client Affairs head, Sheikha Alanoud led the delivery of a streamlined client management strategy through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and by launching a Client Dashboard to sustain best-in-class service delivery.Before joining the QFC, Sheikha Alanoud served as the Qatar Country Representative and Director for Silatech, a Qatar-based social initiative that connects young people to employment opportunities across the Arab region, she also held the position of board member in various local and international organisations, initiatives, and programmes.In addition to these achievements, Sheikha Alanoud is a recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Global Shaper accolade by the World Economic Forum, Young Arab Achiever, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani Education Excellence Award, the 2021 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She was also recognised by Forbes as one of the Middle East's "50 Most Powerful Businesswomen in MENA" in 2022.Nasser was appointed Chief Legal Officer and Board Secretary of the QFC Authority in 2015. He leads the organisation’s multi-award-winning legal department and oversees the QFC’s Monitoring, Enforcement and Company Registration Offices.Furthermore, Nasser ensures the QFC Authority’s adherence to global best practices in corporate governance and compliance, spearheading the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and models to drive efficiency and growth.Prior to joining the QFC Authority, Nasser served as the Legal Counsel at the Royal Dutch Shell plc and The Hague, where he advised on a wide range of significant corporate and commercial matters. He was also Advisor to the Minister of Finance, involved in implementing key national-priority projects with primary importance to the Office of the Prime Minister of the State.Nasser has been recognised as one of the industry’s most prominent leaders by The Legal 500 GC Powerlist Middle East in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022 for his expertise and leadership at the QFC.Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC, said: “We are delighted to officially announce the appointment of Sheikha Alanoud and Nasser to the Deputy CEO positions. Both are valued members of the QFC executive team whose talent and leadership have been instrumental in the growth and development of the QFC. In their respective roles, Sheikha Alanoud and Nasser have proven their acumen in fulfilling the demands of the role and acquired a track record of ensuring that the QFC maintains its position as an ideal platform for expanding a business in the region.” Al-Jaida added:” We recognise the importance of building a highly qualified and talented national leadership team. The two new high-level appointments come in light of the QFC’s continued employment strategy and demonstrate our commitment to implementing a successful corporate succession plan and fulfilling the Qatarization objectives.” Sheikha Alanoud and Nasser have been supporting the Chief Executive Officer in the overall direction of the QFC and will continue to play a major role in leading and executing the 2030 QFC strategy.

IDE Technologies opens Dubai regional headquarters to grow UAE presence

 IDE Technologies, a world leader in water treatment solutions, today announced the opening of a new regional office in Dubai, IDE Meyah Water Solutions, in an effort to grow the company’s presence in MENA and deliver industry-leading water treatment solutions to local industries and municipalities. The move supports IDE’s mission to provide seawater desalination plants, end-to-end water treatment solutions and water reclamation and purification to regions in need.“The UAE has been a strategic area of growth for IDE for some time, and we’re thrilled to now have a physical presence in the region,” said Mohamed Sebbane, Regional Manager, MENA, IDE Technologies. “This regional office opening will improve our ability to connect with existing and prospective customers, further growing our understanding of their unique water treatment needs and how IDE can partner with them for a more sustainable water future.”Recently, IDE hosted a professional seminar in Abu Dhabi for local industries and government agencies. The seminar, “Explore the Future of Water Solutions with IDE,” focused on the water challenges and solutions of the industrial and municipal sectors with lectures and one-on-one sessions for attendees interested in learning more about seawater desalination, efficient and environmentally friendly water treatment solutions, large scale projects and more.“Our Dubai office opening and IDE’s professional seminar last month are two key steps in expanding IDE’s reach to the UAE, its industries, municipalities and residents – a longtime goal of our executive team,” said Dr. Efrat Miller, VP, Head of Water Treatment and Business Development, IDE Technologies. “This is just the beginning for IDE and the UAE, we look forward to much success in the region for many years to come.”The IDE Meyah Water Solutions office is located in downtown Dubai, Boulevard Plaza, Tower 1, 3rd floor. For more information on IDE water treatment solutions, visitéropostale-opens-its-latest-branch-in-seef-mall

Apparel Group brand Aéropostale opens its latest branch in Seef Mall

Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain: The leading global and fashion conglomerate, Apparel Group, has recently announced opening of the latest Aéropostale shop at Seef Mall – Seef District, becoming the brand’s 39th store in the GCC.The new Aéropostale store is located on the ground floor between Gate No. 8 and Gate No. 9, offering a wide range of trendy, comfy, and high-quality fashion for men, women, and kids Aéropostale is the leading shopping destination for fashionable young adults, which is also famous for its attractive prices, offers, and products made of eco-friendly fabrics.For over 13 years, Apparel Group has succeeded in doubling the value of the Aéropostale brand thanks to its deep awareness of the needs of consumers in clothing and accessories, exceeding their expectations through innovation in the world of casual fashion. The Group operates Aéropostale stores in the GCC, while Aéropostale stores are also located in several locations worldwide.On this occasion, Mr. Mohammed Al Qaed, Acting Chief Commercial Officer at Seef Properties, commented: “We are pleased to announce the opening of the latest Aéropostale store in Seef Mall – Seef District, which will represent a valuable addition to the group of stores hosted by the mall, which is keen to create a diverse shopping environment that meets the needs of all family members. Seef Mall – Seef District continues to attract more prestigious international brands, thanks to its strategic location in the vibrant business area of Seef District and the modern facilities it provides, making it a preferential destination for tenants of major brand names from around the world.”Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, stated: “Over the last few years, Bahrain customers have become increasingly discerning and attentive to global shopping trends while staying true to their culture and roots. Continuing Apparel Group’s commitment to providing an elevated shopping experience to our loyal customers, we are proud to be partnering up with Seef Mall and further expanding our strong retail footprint in the Bahrain market. Our brand’s expansion with Seef Mall is in line with our strategy of being responsive to consumer demand. Bahrain continues to be a strategic market for us and we are proud to be part of the country's growth.”

MO:ME:NT partners with Crypto Oasis to bridge the real and virtual world

Crypto Oasis Ventures has inked a strategic partnership with MO:ME:NT and added it to its portfolio of disruptive and innovative blockchain organisations. MO:ME:NT bridges the real and virtual world by offering easy access to web3 in an innovative way. As the UAE continues to be the global Crypto capital, MO:ME:NT is all set to bring its remarkable offering to the country.The unique offering called MO:ME:NTs, instantly turns moments of public interest into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) through a fully automated API trigger. These precious moments from as an example sporting events are endorsed by the heroes behind the MO:ME:NTs, creating a one-of-a-kind collectible item. With MO:ME:NTs, users have the opportunity to buy, own, collect, and trade these special NFTs.This enables a new level of interactivity, ownership, collectability and utility. MO:ME:NTs not only serve as unique collectibles but they can also be easily enriched by the brands or individuals who were involved in creating the moment. By using MO:ME:NTs, these brands can build engaging communities and provide various relevant utilities to their followers, ultimately increasing the value of the MO:ME:NT to its holder. Brands can open up a world of new opportunities for their followers and create meaningful, immersive experiences in the real and virtual world driving engagement and value.Crypto Oasis Ventures is focused on forging new partnerships and bringing innovative organisations to its ecosystem. An investment in a startup such as MO:ME:NT that has a strong business model and a unique value proposition is just one of the many initiatives in the Crypto Oasis to advance the local blockchain economy.The new partnership will allow for strategic collaboration that will help boost branding, community growth, and investor relations for MO:ME:NT in the UAE. With the support of the Crypto Oasis' world-class talent and infrastructure, MO:ME:NT will gain access to new markets and customers. This partnership will add further credibility to what MO:ME:NT has been building and ensure it enters the local blockchains space on a strong footing.In addition to being a strategic partner and investor, Ralf Glabischnig, Founder of the Crypto Oasis, will be joining MO:ME:NT as an advisory board member. This represents a significant step for both companies and Ralf brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in the blockchain industry."We are delighted to have MO:ME:NT onboard to help them embrace opportunities that can transform the local Web3 space," said Ralf. "We have always been early movers and believe Web 3.0 models like NFT, and Metaverse are going to be the key players in the next iteration of online business. MO:ME:NTs will be revolutionary as brands can harness their power to create meaningful connections with their audiences and drive value. As access keys to relevant real-life experiences, they offer an easy connection to the Metaverse using the limitless possibilities of virtual reality while complimenting the offering of our own venture Tokengate. These are exciting times and we are humbled and privileged to be a market driver in the region's accelerating startup ecosystem.""We are excited to welcome Ralf to our advisory board," said Rudy Banholzer, Co-Founder and COO of MO:ME:NT. "We are looking forward to working with the Crypto Oasis Ventures team as we continue to grow and innovate. This partnership represents a new chapter for both of us, and we are excited to see what the future holds. We are committed to helping brands provide their audiences with better, more relevant, and exciting experiences by seamlessly bridging the real and virtual worlds. By joining the Crypto Oasis Ecosystem, we hope to leapfrog ahead by expanding our prospects, creating value, and connecting with the broader Web3 community."MO:ME:NT has released NFTs and built Metaverse spaces for various brands such as the Erste Bank Vienna Open (ATP 500), Burger King, GPX Store and 6thStreet. Upcoming projects include NFTs for FC Twente, a Dutch football team playing in the Eredivisie, NFTs and a Metaverse space for TCL for the NFL Playoffs, and a Kia Metaverse Space for the Australian Open. MO:ME:NT gives the opportunity to brands to automatically mint NFTs as and when a relevant event takes place.MO:ME:NT will leverage this partnership with Crypto Oasis Ventures to drive the strategic direction of the company. With the extensive experience in the space and its curated ecosystem, this collaboration will help MO:ME:NT successfully navigate the complexity of the fast-paced Web3 economy and explore the myriad of opportunities it offers.

KEO appoints Jason Morris as MD, Project & Construction Management

Jason joins KEO with over 25 years of international and regional construction and real estate industry experience. Prior to joining KEO, Jason spent 18 years with a global multi-disciplinary consulting firm holding various very senior positions, including that of Vice President in the delivery of PMC services in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia and other GCC nations. His qualifications include an MBA in Construction and Real Estate, BSc and Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management. He is a member of the Association of Project Management, Construction Management Institute of America, Australian Institute of Project Management and is a Chartered Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Commenting on the announcement, KEO’s President and CEO, Donna Sultan stated “We are really excited to bring Jason into our firm. Given his impressive professional achievements in the delivery of PMC services I have no doubt he will bring incredible leadership and expertise to his new role and as a key member of KEO’s leadership management team.” On his appointment, Jason stated, “I am excited to be joining KEO, an organization that shares so many of my own values. The legacy that KEO’s PM/CM teams have thus far forged in the region provides the perfect springboard for continued growth. With a focus on our people, our clients and excellence in delivery we will continue to deliver programs and projects that benefit the communities where we live and work".

First .ae domain investing course & workshop to launch in Dubai

Veteran domain name investor and CEO of marketplace will host an educational course & workshop on building a domain investing business in .ae, the rapidly growing country-code top-level domain extension of the UAE. The material will provide investors with the professional knowledge and tools to trade .ae domain names effectively.As the aftermarket for short, brandable .ae domains has heated up in recent years, the rush to pick up single-word, category-defining domain names has been a fierce competition. The portability nature of domain names has incentivized investors globally. Domain Names, also referred to as Virtual Real Estate, can be sold from any corner of the world.The majority of great .ae domain names were registered many years ago; however, a number of gems become available for registration due to non-renewal by the previous owners. “The domain game involves applying domain investing knowledge to sort out precious gems from fool’s gold. As an investor, you’d want to own a collection of digital assets that renders the most favorable results,” said Abdul Rahman Tarabichi, CEO. “Our course will help you understand how to acquire great domains, market them, and avoid the trade pitfalls to ensure a successful domain name investment,” Abdul Rahman added.Domain Investing can supplement one’s income by providing passive income from sales and leases. In contrast to physical real estate which requires significant commitments, domain names are low-entry seeds to a potentially blossoming business. Premium .ae domains have fetched 4-5 figures on the retail aftermarket.

Kearney ME Survey: KSA consumer spending power remains strong

Consumer spending power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains strong despite concerns about the global macro-economic environment. This is according to local research by leading management consulting firm, Kearney, exploring consumer sentiment and purchasing habits. 79% of those surveyed highlighted concerns about global market volatility and rising inflation, and 72% noted an increase in the prices of goods purchased over the last three months.Price increases were felt most in food and beverage (76%), restaurants and hotels (67%), clothing and footwear (63%), electronics (61%) and transport including gas prices (57%). However, despite concerns and noticeable price hikes, consumers do not expect their spending to be impacted with almost half (46%) planning on making a major household purchase (SAR 1,000+) in the next six months.“The Kingdom’s progress over the past five years has contributed greatly in further strengthening its economic foundations. Businesses and individuals have benefitted from favorable policy changes which have given consumers’ confidence in their purchasing power, regardless of the macroeconomic environment. In fact, spending on non-essential items in KSA has increased compared to 2021 (11%) reinforcing this, and we anticipate that this trend will continue into the new year,” commented Debashish Mukherjee, Partner, Kearney Middle East.Online purchasing remains a popular channel for KSA shoppers, mainly due to the ease of purchase (74%), saving money (58%), variety (51%) and ease of delivery (49%). When it comes to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, the importance of the in-store experience and convenience increased by 36% and 26% respectively, compared to 2021.“Many retailers have had to adapt their strategies over the past three years to weather the challenges posed by the pandemic. We saw an increase in the adoption of omnichannel approaches to ensure that the business impact was cushioned. Consumers have also been increasingly shopping online, forcing retailers to think of new ways to build stronger brand connections and offer more engaging in-store experiences.” added Mohammed Dhedhi, Partner, Kearney Middle East."Overall, there is a positive, local sentiment when it comes to the retail sector in the Kingdom, despite global macroeconomic headwinds. Key stakeholders can capitalize on this by closely monitoring its evolution and adapting strategies, ensuring that they stay competitive, relevant and engaged with consumer needs,” concluded Mukherjee.

IDE Technologies opens Dubai regional headquarters to grow UAE presence

 IDE Technologies, a world leader in water treatment solutions, today announced the opening of a new regional office in Dubai, IDE Meyah Water Solutions, in an effort to grow the company’s presence in MENA and deliver industry-leading water treatment solutions to local industries and municipalities. The move supports IDE’s mission to provide seawater desalination plants, end-to-end water treatment solutions and water reclamation and purification to regions in need.“The UAE has been a strategic area of growth for IDE for some time, and we’re thrilled to now have a physical presence in the region,” said Mohamed Sebbane, Regional Manager, MENA, IDE Technologies. “This regional office opening will improve our ability to connect with existing and prospective customers, further growing our understanding of their unique water treatment needs and how IDE can partner with them for a more sustainable water future.”Recently, IDE hosted a professional seminar in Abu Dhabi for local industries and government agencies. The seminar, “Explore the Future of Water Solutions with IDE,” focused on the water challenges and solutions of the industrial and municipal sectors with lectures and one-on-one sessions for attendees interested in learning more about seawater desalination, efficient and environmentally friendly water treatment solutions, large scale projects and more.“Our Dubai office opening and IDE’s professional seminar last month are two key steps in expanding IDE’s reach to the UAE, its industries, municipalities and residents – a longtime goal of our executive team,” said Dr. Efrat Miller, VP, Head of Water Treatment and Business Development, IDE Technologies. “This is just the beginning for IDE and the UAE, we look forward to much success in the region for many years to come.”

DFM and DWTC to launch the MENA IPO Summit

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) today announced their partnership to host the MENA IPO Summit – Dubai, an essential new platform set to unite the entire IPO value chain and the region’s only IPO-focused summit. The inaugural Summit will shed light on the strong impetus and promising prospects of the initial public offerings (IPOs) sector in Dubai. The launch of this event Series comes at an opportune time for Dubai and the wider region’s investment community following record IPO activity – large-scale initial public offerings have been a mainstay of the regional business landscape in 2022 and the expected momentum in 2023. During 2022, DFM has strengthened its role in empowering economic development in Dubai and the UAE, as an efficient fund-raising platform through IPOs and listings of five government-related and private sector leading issuers namely: DEWA, Tecom, Salik, Empower and Taaleem. These companies have successfully raised more than AED 31 billion and their IPOs witnessed remarkable oversubscriptions drawing AED 672 billion of subscribed amounts.Taking place from 23rd to 25th of January 2023 at The Museum of the Future, the Summit will gather industry experts who will share first-hand knowledge of the IPO process and the opportunities and challenges of becoming a public company, as well as how to advance ESG agendas. It will also showcase a roadmap for startups and SMEs in Dubai, including expertise around its regulatory environment, business culture and capital opportunities for scaling ventures through to an IPO. Helal Al Marri, Director General of Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, said: “The organization of this flagship gathering stems from DWTC and DFM’s mutual efforts to showcase the favorable dynamics and latest developments of the IPO sector. Dubai capital markets are witnessing robust IPO and listing activities supported by the strong fundamentals of Dubai’s economy as well as the successful implementation of Dubai’s strategy to develop its financial market in a number of areas. The new markets’ ecosystem and its regulatory enhancements have created an attractive environment for various types of businesses such as government-related conglomerates, private corporations and family businesses to going public and listing through an array of listing options that cater to their requirements in terms of size, growth stage and jurisdiction.”Hamed Ali, CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai, said: “With the increased momentum in Dubai capital markets in terms of listings and investors’ engagement, we are delighted to launch the MENA IPO Summit - Dubai as an important catalyst to exploring market opportunities in collaboration with capital market and IPO experts. DFM’s primary focus continues to be to develop a vibrant and progressive capital market ecosystem in partnership with all market stakeholders.”The Summit will provide a platform for industry-shaping discussions, providing institutional investors, family businesses and startups with the opportunity to explore the latest regulations, best practices, and market trends in the Dubai capital market as well as learning about recent regional IPO success stories. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with key IPO issuers and thought leaders from the investment and capital market industry.The Summit will spark lively discussion between issuers, investment experts, regulators and companies undergoing strategic preparations for a future listing.Experts set to share their insight include Her Excellency Dr. Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, CEO Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA); Hamed Ali, CEO, DFM and Nasdaq Dubai; Mohammad Al Bastaki, CEO, Emirates NBD Capital; Fadi Ghandour, Managing Partner, Wamda Capital; Thomas Varghese, CFO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA); Abdulla Belhoul, CEO, TECOM Group; Miguel Azevedo, Head of Investment Banking, Middle East & Africa & Managing Director, Citi.The Summit is supported by a group of leading international financial institutions including HSBC and Emirates NBD as Platinum Sponsors, Goldman Sachs, Rothchiled & Co. and Edelman Smithfield as Diamond Sponsors, and Moelis & Company as a Supporting Partner. It also enlists the Gold Sponsorship of BARCLAYS, Al Tamimi & Co, Arqaam Capital, EFG Hermes and Grant Thornton. BHM Capital, Century Financial, Protiviti, and Teneo are also supported the event as Networking Sponsors.

Elcome brings Starlink high-speed, low-latency internet to maritime industries

Elcome International, a leading provider of maritime systems and integration solutions, is providing SpaceX’s Starlink internet services to its global maritime and mobility customers.From merchant vessels to oil rigs to luxury yachts, Starlink enables maritime customers to connect from the most remote waters across the world, just like they would in the office or at home.For more than fifty years, Elcome has been providing its maritime customers with communications solutions based on both terrestrial and satellite technology. Starlink is one of the most significant advancements in communications for the maritime industry in decades.Powered by the world’s largest constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Starlink’s highspeed, low-latency broadband Internet service for all types of maritime and offshore assets is a revolution in performance and cost. With speeds up to 100 times faster and at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellite internet services, Elcome will equip its customers with cuttingedge technology-led solutions that leverage the unique capabilities of Starlink.“We are so excited to bring the benefits of Starlink to our customers,” said Jimmy Grewal, Elcome’s Executive Director. “It’s not just about fast Internet, but the opportunity for us to implement real-time remote monitoring and autonomy solutions for these customers in ways that were not previously possible. Also consider the benefit to crew members who will now be able to better stay in touch with family and friends while out at sea.”The company will also provide installation, integration, and field support to customers using Starlink. Elcome has already implemented multi-antenna Starlink arrays delivering hundreds of megabits of low-latency bandwidth on two superyachts catering to more than 100 crew and guests simultaneously.Those interested in learning more about Starlink mobility solutions can visit Elcome’s website at where they can place orders for delivery to numerous countries around the world. Orders will be fulfilled from the company’s logistics hubs in Spain, Dubai, and Singapore with a variety of installation and support options available. The company also provides a comprehensive web portal for customers to manage their Starlink subscriptions, including month-to-month billing with no contractual commitments and the option to pause the service.

Ooredoo Group announces new CEO of Ooredoo Qatar

Ticker ORDS – has announced the appointment of Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani as the new Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo Qatar.Sheikh Ali moves to Ooredoo Qatar from his most recent role as Chief Legal, Regulatory & Governance Officer at Ooredoo Group, and brings to his new role several years’ experience of senior leadership responsibilities across Ooredoo Qatar and Ooredoo Group since joining the company in 2013.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani will end his secondment in the role of CEO at Ooredoo Qatar and will be fully dedicated to his role as Deputy Group CEO at Ooredoo Group, with responsibility for Group management and operations.A particular highlight of his tenure was the tremendous success of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, for which Sheikh Mohammed is to be commended for his invaluable leadership. With Sheikh Mohammed at the helm, major partnerships were signed to ensure the creation of the best FIFA World Cup™ yet, with records being set for data traffic and calls and the most enhanced fan experience ever seen. Further C-suite appointments include the confirmation of Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Bin Nasser Al Thani - previously Chief Commercial Officer at Ooredoo Qatar - as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Ooredoo Group, and Dr Hamad Yahya Al Nuaimi as Group Chief Board Affairs Officer, moving from his previous role as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Ooredoo Group.Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Managing Director and Group CEO at Ooredoo Group, said: “I am pleased to announce these senior appointments, which reflect the ongoing evolution and development of Ooredoo. We have a strategic commitment to investing in our people; to attracting and recruiting the brightest talents; and to developing a robust cadre of leaders through a comprehensive programme of development.As CEO of Ooredoo Qatar, Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani will build on the strong foundations put in place by his predecessors and enable us to continue to innovate and drive value creation in our home market, and we wish him every success in this new role.We offer our thanks to Sheikh Mohammed, who successfully led Ooredoo Qatar for three years, steering the company through the challenges of the pandemic and on to some of our greatest successes, including our record-breaking performance during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.”Sheikh Mohammed’s tenure as leader of Ooredoo Qatar included many more such notable achievements: the company’s contribution to the flagship TASMU Project, designed to cement Qatar’s position as a digital leader; expansion of the pioneering 5G network; and partnerships with some of the world’s leading technology and innovation giants.

Gulf Insurance Group wins prestigious awards

Gulf Insurance Group, one of the leading insurance service providers in the Middle East and North Africa, announced that it has been awarded several international awards throughout the year 2022. The awards reflect GIG’s commitment and focus on its core values, building long lasting, premium quality and rewarding relationships that are based on mutual respect.GIG was recognized with eight prestigious awards as follows:Most Diversified Insurance Group MENA 2022 by International Business Magazine,Insurance Brand Of The Year MENA 2022 by Global Banking & Finance Review,Most Sustainable Insurance Group, MENA 2022 by World Business Outlook,Best Investor Relations Co. (Insurance)–Kuwait 2022 by The Global Economics,Best Insurance Group MENA 2022 by World Economic Magazine,Best General Insurance Company MENA 2022 by World Economic Magazine,Brand of the Year 2022-23 by World Branding AwardsMost Admired Insurance Brand, MENA by Global Brands MagazineThese awards are absolutely a testament to GIG’s dynamic leadership, strategic direction and ability to meet the ever-changing business demands, coupled with its promising strategic developments despite a challenging market environment. GIG’s strive to be a regional insurance powerhouse through its regional expansion strategy, diversified product offering with an increased focus on product innovation, digital transformation journey with a customer centric approach, the brand performance and executions, operational and financial performance delivery, among other initiatives, were well appraised during the award selection process.GIG’s significant commitment to the development of sustainability framework also stand at the top of the criteria where GIG aims to integrate environmental health, social and economic dynamism while simultaneously helping to build robust and more prosperous societies aligned with New Kuwait Vision 2035.Mr. Khalid Al Sanousi, Group Executive Manager at GIG said: “It is our absolute pleasure to receive these profound recognitions. The year 2022 has unfolded significant positive turns for the Group. The successful launch of a corporate identity upgrade with an evolved brand and a historic milestone of celebrating 60 years of our operational excellence are few among them. Being one of the largest and most diversified insurance groups in the MENA region, we continue to be successful in diversifying our insurance offerings to ensure a sustainable growth and profitability in the markets we operate in. These recognitions, aligned with our regional profile and strength, pave the way to further enhance our business excellence and achieving corporate vision. ”He added: “On the Investor Relations side, GIG successfully positioned its IR culture by applying best practices and standards across the Group. We practice an effective and structured communication program that gives an accurate and timely information to our valued investors, other stakeholders and financial markets locally, regionally and internationally.”

Lapita, Dubai arks and resorts appoints Faiek Al Saadani as new GM

 Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection has appointed Faiek El Saadani as the new General Manager, bringing over 24 years hospitality experience to the role. El Saadani’s career has taken his across the globe, having amassed a wealth of experience in the likes of UAE, India, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Germany, and Poland.Prior to joining Lapita, El Saadani held the role of General Manager at W Abu Dhabi- Yas Island, where he oversaw the overall rebranding and repositioning of the first W in the Capital of the Emirates.The early days of his hotelier career seen him hone his skills predominantly in the food & beverage division. Continuous exposure to this thriving and ever evolving facet of hospitality solidified his roots in Food & Beverages and operations. His finger remains firmly on the pulse of this vitally important aspect of the overall guest experience.Faiek joined Marriott in 2003 and held Director of Food & Beverages positions, across Marriott Hotels in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangkok. In 2015, he returned to UAE as Hotel Manager of St Regis Hotel Dubai then, located within the heart of the Al Habtoor City Complex.After a year, he was promoted to the General Manager position of the same hotel and being a part of the opening team of The St. Regis Dubai, he has played a key role in setting up all operational and strategic elements, which has helped maintain the hotel’s position as one of the leading luxury properties in the region.Commenting on his new role at Lapita, El Saadani said, “I am very excited by my new role as GM at Lapita. It is an incredible, unique, and highly regarded property, and I can’t wait to make my mark. I am particularly passionate about two aspects, the first being the cultivation of a strong team who works together and an unparalleled customer experience that boasts both high-end and personal service.”

IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

IBM today announced IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market. The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure, and modernize their businesses.IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple, and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers - Silver, Gold, and Platinum - which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program. “IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, General Manager, IBM Ecosystem.“We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the center of IBM's go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.“The Partner Ecosystem is at the heart of IBM’s growth strategy, and the new IBM Partner Plus program is the next step in our mission to grow with partners, as together we cocreate and help our clients in MEA to transform their business,” said Zaidoun Arbad, Vice President Partner Ecosystem IBM MEA. He added: “The program demonstrates IBM’s investments in its partners’ ecosystem to motivate, support and reward partners who invest with IBM, by helping them win with clients and meet their growth goals.”IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. “The IBM Partner Plus is a great example of how IBM is enriching the role of partners, offering access to skills and opportunities that will help us win in the market and support clients better,” said Sami Abi Esber, President for MDS System Integration and Board Member at Midis Group. “We look forward to IBM’s new and modernized partner experience that will fortify our collaboration and fuel growth as we work together to support our clients with best of breed solutions from IBM that helps them accelerate their digital transformation journey.”Competitive incentives Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.* IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.Insider access IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.Enhanced support and benefitsPartners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Hope Ventures & Private Investors invest $ 160,000 in Steel Masters

Hope Ventures, the investment arm of Hope Fund and producers of Beban TV show, co-invests USD 160k in 2 local businesses: Steel Masters, and Frozen Nutrition, alongside the private sector on the first episode of Beban Season 2.During the first episode, Steel Masters, a Bahrain-based manufacturer of customized barbeque equipment, grills, smokers, and food trucks, co-founded by Mahdi Taheri and Hussain Yousif, raised USD 120K from Hope Ventures and private investors. While Frozen Nutrition, a platform founded by Mohammed Al-Aradi that offers fresh frozen fruits and detox cubes that are preservatives and sugar-free, raised USD 40K from Hope Ventures and private investors.Mahdi Taheri, Co-Founder, and CEO of Steel Masters, commented on the investment by saying: “Being a chef for 17 years, my co-founder and I started Steel Masters to meet the demand of BBQ lovers who are looking for the right equipment for the right price. We always had our eyes and efforts set on going regional, with Oman being our first stop. The investment raised on Beban will enable us to further expand regionally at a faster rate.”Also commenting on his investment, Mohammed Al-Aradi, Founder and CEO of Frozen Nutrition, shared: “Starting a business that caters to an underserved segment of society was key to me, which is why I am beyond excited to receive this investment through Beban. We will be developing Frozen Nutrition’s operations, increasing our production of frozen fruits and detox cubes, and utilizing the expertise of Hope’s co-investors to mentor us through growth.”Fajer Al Pachachi, General Manager at Hope Ventures, said: “Our investment in Steel Masters and Frozen Nutrition is an investment in Mahdi, Hussain, and Mohammed. These founders demonstrated true determination and knowledge of their businesses’ industries with a willingness and vision to grow and expand on a regional level.”She further added: “Steel Masters has a competitive edge over the ready-made equipment market through its personalization and adherence to its clients’ precise needs and affordability, while Frozen Nutrition fills a gap in the local food and beverages market – and we are thrilled about our co-investment in both businesses with our co-investors who will strategically empower these businesses to scale.”Episode 1’s investors’ panel consisted of Mrs. Roaya Saleh, Founder of Villa Mamas restaurants, Mr. Mohamed Al Aali, Managing Director of the United Enterprises Group of Companies, and Mr. Suhail Algosaibi, angel investor, and was moderated by His Excellency Aymen bin Tawfiq Almoayed, Chairman of Hope Fund, who was also representing Hope Ventures’ investments.A new episode of Beban will air every Wednesday of this month. You can watch the next episode airing on the 11th of January 2023, on Bahrain TV at 6 PM and on AlRai TV at 9:30 PM or anytime on the region’s first and biggest video-on-demand platform, Shahid.

Expo City Dubai extends Winter City activities

 The festive spirit continues at Expo City Dubai, with Winter City extended until 12 January and a parade on 14 January kickstarting celebrations for Chinese New Year.Expo City Dubai’s wintry wonderland activations will continue until 12 January, with new timings of 15:00-21:00 from 9 January. Visitors can enjoy a market with arts and crafts, arcade games and a range of seasonal food and beverages, Santa’s House, the zip line and skating rink will be open, and the Christmas projection show at Al Wasl Plaza.Marking the start of celebrations for Chinese New Year 2023, the "Happy Chinese New Year" Grand Parade at 16:00 on 14 January promises to be the biggest Grand Parade outside of China, featuring around 60 parade group formations, more than 20 parade floats and 2,500 participants. The carnival-style event will continue until 28 January and include kiosks and Chinese cuisine as well as entertainment, street dance, games and a cultural area.Expo City Dubai is a strategic partner of the "Happy Chinese New Year" Grand Parade, which is co-hosted by the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the UAE, its Consulate in Dubai and Hala China, with support from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce launches the Medical Labs & DCBG

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has announced the establishment of the Medical Labs & Diagnostic Centers Business Group. Supporting the robust healthcare sector in Dubai and the wider UAE, the new business group seeks to foster collaborative relationships between its members and relevant stakeholders to cement importance of medical labs and diagnostic centers within the healthcare sector.“The setting up of this business group comes at the right time as it brings together businesses within diagnostic labs sector and the further strengthens Dubai’s burgeoning healthcare industry. The business group will play an instrumental role in supporting the sector, helping it thrive in the coming years,” said Maha AlGargawi, Executive Director of Business Advocacy at Dubai Chambers.Dubai’s healthcare market is worth more than $4.63 billion annually. Dubai and the wider UAE is rapidly emerging as a healthcare hub with major opportunities. The UAE hosts the world’s largest medical free zone, Dubai Healthcare City which comprises 160 clinical partners across over 150 specialties and professionals from over 90 countries. Medical tourism sales are expected to record a CAGR of 17.1 per cent between 2021 and 2025, according to report by the Ministry of Economy and the UAE International Investors Council.Founding member, Dr. Ola Elgaddar, General Manager at Al Borg Diagnostics UAE, highlighted, “The healthcare industry in Dubai and the wider UAE is clearly flourishing. As a founding member of this business group, I am keen to start conversations with my fellow peers to see how we can further embed our sector and businesses in the healthcare industry. This business group will serve as an opportune platform to discuss topics that are critical to our sector and bounce off ideas and suggestions on ways to move forward.”The establishment of the Medical Labs & Diagnostic Centers business group plays a crucial role in recommending policy changes to improve the sector’s competitiveness and attractiveness while promoting international best practices and supporting the emirate’s economic growth. It is part of the chamber’s plans to increase the number of business groups that represent economic sectors and activities in Dubai to 100 by March 2023.

Asian Paints Berger hosts Confluence 23 to drive ambitious growth in MENA

Asian Paints Berger, a subsidiary of Asian Paints Limited, organized high-profile industry events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to connect with the consultant, architects and engineer fraternity and accelerate its ambitious growth plans in the region on the back of an AED244 million investment in a white cement manufacturing plant in Fujairah.Operating in 16 countries and serving consumers across 60 countries, Asian Paints Limited is the world’s seventh largest coating company and third largest paint company in Asia. With a turnover of USD 3.8 million in 2022, the company is fast expanding in the region by building strong partnerships through such industry events.At the events named Confluence 23, top consultants, architects and project managers of leading firms in the construction industry discussed emerging trends and opportunities in the sector, which is expected to reach a value of over US$133.53 billion by 2027, according to the UAE Construction Market report.The strong rebound of the industry in the UAE and with massive infrastructure projects ongoing in Saudi Arabia and other parts of MENA, the construction sector is poised for growth and Asian Paints Berger is leveraging the opportunity through a strong regional presence.Mr Pragyan Kumar – CEO, Asian Paints International, said: “Asian Paints has established itself as a very strong consumer brand by keeping the need of the consumers at the core of all its innovation and offerings. Today, we have a state-of-the-art research and development centre with over 200 scientists striving to deliver the best products to the market. We invest approximately 4-5% of our total revenue in R&D to serve as a trusted partner of our customers.”He said Asian Paints is committed to the region and is exploring robust growth opportunities underpinned by the investment in Fujairah as part of its backward integration strategy. He said the company will bring innovative solutions that meets the most challenging requirements of its clients, covering paints, construction chemicals and protective coatings.Asian Paints forayed into construction chemicals under the umbrella brand of SmartCare over a decade ago and has fortified its presence as the market leader in the Indian Subcontinent and a formidable player in the countries where they are present. Currently, the SmartCare brand offers over 250 products for various requirements related to waterproofing and surface protection.At Confluence 2023, industry veteran Dennis Jacob, a NACE level 3 Coating Inspector and a member of the Polyurea Development Association, explained the use of Polyurea as a sustainable solution for the construction industry. He highlighted the four product offerings in Asian Paints Berger’s portfolio of Polyurea that gives the company an edge over competition. Asian Paints Berger today also offers potable water approved (WRAS) Polyurea, and is one of the few suppliers in GCC that can offer this solution.Mr. Naheed Younis, a forensic expert and one of the most respected names in construction world in GCC, shared his views on the challenges in flooring, and highlighted how exercising caution from project conceptualization stage can save millions of dollars in liability. He talked about different solutions such as Terrazo, PU Screed, ElectroStatic Discharge Flooring, Epoxy- Polyurethane flooring and Epoxy Flooring for different industry requirements that are offered by Asian Paints Berger under the brand name, ApcoFlor.Mr. Joseph Eapen, Regional Business Head of Asian Paints Berger, said the company’s growth in the region has been powered by listening to the needs of customers and focusing on providing innovative and cutting-edge solutions. “We take pride in being the only organization that can offer quality solution from ‘Foundation to Finish.’”The demonstration of strength of Asian Paints Berger’s Hypertron Polyurea on the coated hollow brick wall sustaining the continuous knocks by the sledgehammer was really impactful and left the audience in awe.

IMG appoints David Collins as SVP and MD for MENA

International Management Group (IMG), a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, has appointed David Collins as its Senior Vice President and MD for the MENA region. Based in Dubai, Collins will be reporting to Robbie Henchman, President of global partnerships for IMG Events, IMG Media.Collins has more than two decades of experience in the sports marketing industry. He has been working in the Middle East in the last ten years. He was with Wasserman’s as SVP, head of growth and development, EMEA. He was in charge of launching Wasserman’s Middle East business.Apart from overseeing the regional team, he will manage IMG’s MENA events and worldwide partnerships business, which comprise the Arab Gulf Cup, Lusail Winter Wonderland, and Mubadala World Tennis Championship. David has played a crucial role in establishing golf’s Race to Dubai, helped Emirates NBD on its Expo 2020 Dubai association. He also was instrumental in launching Ladies European Tour, an elite women’s professional sports event in Abu Dhabi.Collins said: “Having started my career with IMG, it’s a real privilege to be back working with the business. It’s such an exciting time for the Middle East region, off the back of mega events such as Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. When considered alongside IMG’s world-class portfolio of events and services, as well as the wider Endeavor network offering, the opportunities for further regional growth look incredibly bright.”Robbie Henchman said: “We are delighted to welcome David as our new Managing Director of IMG’s MENA business. Through his impressive track-record of establishing and delivering world-class events and partnerships with federations, key government stakeholders and leading brands, David brings extensive regional experience, expertise, and relationships to this role.”Founded in 1960, IMG operates in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce launches Solar

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has launched the Solar & Renewable Energy Business Group. Gearing up for COP28, the business group will drive the uptake of renewable energy amongst businesses and the private sector in Dubai. “As the world shifts to renewable energy and a decarbonized economy, the establishment of the Solar & Renewable Energy Business Group is timely and relevant. It comes at the heels of UAE’s COP28 presidency, highlighting the importance of the country’s Energy Strategy 2050 and Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy. The business group will foster better understanding of these clean energy targets amongst local businesses while providing them insights to drive the shift to renewable energy. This will boost their efforts to support and accelerate Dubai’s energy transition and the ambition of making the emirate a hub for the green economy,” said Maha AlGargawi, Executive Director of Business Advocacy at Dubai Chambers. Over the last couple of decades, the share of oil in the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) has considerably decreased. From approximately 43 per cent in 2001, this share dropped a third of GDP to 33 per cent in 2011 and much lower to 27 per cent in 2021. The UAE is well on its way to achieve its clean energy targets as outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. Announced in 2017, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 aims to reduce carbon footprint on power generation by 70 per cent, improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent, increase the contribution of clean energy from 25 per cent to 50 per cent and save a total of AED700 billion. The UAE has since launched notable initiatives and taken significant steps towards realising these goals by 2050. The UAE Government will invest AED600 billion in renewable energy by 2050 to meet the country's growing energy demand from clean and sustainable resources. Dubai launched its own Clean Energy Strategy in 2015, with the objective of producing 75 per cent of its energy demand from clean sources by 2050, making Dubai a hub for the green economy. One landmark project in solar energy is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai which it is expected to have a production capacity of 5,000 MWh by 2030. L K Verma, Managing Director at Power n sun and founding member of the business group said, “Creating organizations such as this is important for our sector. It will drive the discussions that are necessary to enhance the competitiveness of our business and enable the dialogue amongst peers and other stakeholders on speeding up the solarization in the region.” Fellow founding member, Simon Brennan, General Manager at Al Shirawi Solar added, “I am very pleased to have been part of the setting up of this business group. It underlines the importance of environmental sustainability and I am certain with the establishment of this business group, our members will play a bigger role in supporting the UAE’s clean energy ambitions.” With renewable energy at the forefront of the government agenda, the chamber’s establishment of the new Solar & Renewable Energy Business Group is a significant step in supporting the UAE as it prepares to host the COP28 Conference in 2023. The chamber plans to increase the number of business groups that represent economic sectors and activities in Dubai as they are representatives and advocates for their respective business sectors. Business groups play a crucial role in recommending policy changes to improve a sector’s competitiveness and attractiveness while promoting international best practices and supporting economic growth. Dubai Chamber of Commerce plans to increase the number of economic sectors and activities represented by business groups to 100 by March 2023.SHARE NOW

Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup kick off 7 Jan

The Dubai International Endurance City will host the 119km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup on Saturday, 7 January, at Seih Assalam. The Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival’s final and most prominent race, is sponsored by Emirates Airline, one of the largest supporters of equestrian and racing in the country and worldwide. Thanks to the quality of riders and horses, and the lavish prize pot, the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup is one of the most prominent events of the UAE’s endurance calendar. Some of the best riders and horses are expected to participate in the forthcoming event, aiming to lift the coveted title. Dubai Crown Prince: World-Class Equestrian AthleteSheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, is a world-class equestrian athlete. The festival reflects His Highness’ commitment to providing UAE citizens with diverse platforms to participate and excel in sports. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed is known for his love of equestrian sports, particularly endurance racing. He has competed in numerous endurance races and has had several notable accomplishments in the sport. His Highness the Crown Prince has an impressive record of achievements. After winning his second successive CISM World Military Endurance Championship in March 2014, His Highness was crowned world champion of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France, organised by the International Equestrian Federation. His Highness then went on to win the 2015 His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup for the second year in a row. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has won several other prominent international titles and produced memorable riding masterclasses in endurance races. His achievements in horse racing, generally, and endurance racing, in particular, have contributed immensely to inspiring and attracting the young generation of UAE citizens to this sport. In addition to his competitive career, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed is also a patron of equestrian sports in the UAE and has played a key role in the development of the sport in the region. He has supported the establishment of equestrian centres and training facilities and helped promote the sport at the international level. HH Sheikh Hamdan’s love for equestrian sports and his endurance racing accomplishments have increased his popularity in the UAE and beyond. Among his notable achievements in endurance racing was winning the gold medal in the equestrian event at the Asian Games in 2006. TitleholderSalem Hamad Malhouf Al Ketbi won the previous Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, which was held unusually at the beginning of the festival due to delays caused by rains last year. Al Ketbi, who holds the World Endurance Championship title, covered the 119km distance in 4:04:09 hours riding “Wilomere Anchor” for M7 Stables. At a press conference hosted today by the Dubai Equestrian Club, Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Gulf, Middle East and Central Asia Region, said: “Emirates has a strong affiliation with horse racing and equestrian sports around the globe. We are honoured to be a partner of this year’s edition of the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup. In the UAE, we proudly embrace our traditions and culture. The love for horses is deeply embedded in the fabric of our heritage. These strong and beautiful animals, and the sporting traditions that celebrate horsemanship, echo strongly in our past and present and will continue to resonate in the future. “Emirates is well-established in the sports sponsorship arena. We are committed to supporting horseracing in the UAE and internationally. We have numerous partnerships with many elite racing clubs and marquee races around the globe. Our sponsorship of this world-class equestrian event reconfirms our commitment to this graceful sport. This race is a true testament to the horse’s endurance and the rider’s skills, and we look forward to the race.” Major General Dr. Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Racing Club and Dubai Equestrian Club, said: “The Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Festival is one of the most important events in the season’s endurance racing programme as it bears the name of Dubai Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “It celebrates the association of His Highness with this traditional sport in which he had personally accomplished many global titles. It is an appreciation for His Highness’ support and contributions to the sport, following in the footsteps of his father, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. HH Sheikh Hamdan is a world champion in endurance racing as he holds the title of the Endurance World Cup 2012 in the United Kingdom. “We thank Emirates Airline for their continuous support for this prestigious event in our endurance racing season. We look forward to seeing the region’s top riders and stables compete for this coveted Cup.”

Hero MotoCorp to become title partner of the Dubai Desert Classic

Hero MotoCorp has today been confirmed as the new Title Partner of the Dubai Desert Classic, the second Rolex Series event of the 2023 DP World Tour season.The Hero Dubai Desert Classic brings together Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles, and the DP World Tour’s longest-running event in the Middle East. The iconic tournament returns to Emirates Golf Club on January 26-29 for its 34th edition and will once again boast a stellar field headed by World Number One and two-time Dubai Desert Classic winner Rory McIlroy.The tournament was elevated to Rolex Series status in 2022 and next year will once again form part of the traditional ‘Desert Swing’, which annually attracts golf’s leading players to the region. The four-week series of events begins in January with the Hero Cup - a new team match play contest aimed at giving European players experience in the format ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup – followed by back-to-back Rolex Series events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and concluding at the Ras al Khaimah Championship.The new agreement extends Hero MotoCorp’s long-term relationship with the DP World Tour which began in 2015 at the Hero Indian Open. Since then, Hero has also supported the Hero Challenge - a series of fast-paced showpiece events and short form social and digital content, which have taken golf to new audiences - as well as the Hero Open, which featured on the DP World Tour schedule from 2020 to 2022.Hero MotoCorp will be Title Partner of three events on the 2023 DP World Tour International Schedule – the Hero Cup, Hero Dubai Desert Classic and Hero Indian Open.Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said: “We continue to have a long -term partnership with the DP World Tour; and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic is an extension of this engagement. We are delighted to be associated with this iconic event and will now be supporting two much-awaited marquee tournaments in the Middle East – the Hero Cup and the Hero Dubai Desert Classic – as part of the traditional Desert Swing. It surely promises to be an exciting start to the season, and we look forward to seeing world-class golf on display.”Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director – Hero Dubai Desert Classic, said: “We are delighted to welcome Hero MotoCorp as the new Title Partner of the Dubai Desert Classic as we once again prepare to host a global field at Emirates Golf Club.“Hero have been supportive of golf, and particularly innovation in the game, for a number of years and we look forward to working together to continue the evolution of the tournament as we enter our second year as part of the Rolex Series.”Keith Pelley, CEO of the DP World Tour, said: “It is my pleasure to welcome Hero MotoCorp as the new Title Partner of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. We are proud to further develop our long-term relationship with Hero MotoCorp and thank Dr Pawan Munjal for his continued support of golf in general and the DP World Tour in particular.“January promises to bring yet another memorable edition of this historic event, as we once again welcome some of the best players in the world to Dubai for the second Rolex Series event of 2023, two weeks after an exciting season-opener in the new Hero Cup.”The Dubai Desert Classic was the DP World Tour’s first event in the Middle East region in 1989, cementing the Tour’s relationship with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. That association has developed significantly since then, including through the introduction in 2009 of the season-long Race to Dubai, and the ground-breaking evolution of the European Tour group’s long-term partnership with DP World, with the leading provider of global smart end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions becoming the Title Partner of the group’s main Tour from the start of the 2022 season.The historic event has been won by some of golf’s great names, including Major Champions Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Jose Maria Olazábal, Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau.For more information about the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, please visit the tournament website here.

Nokia and etisalat by e& show first 100 Gbps fiber broadband in Middle East

Nokia has today announced that the company -- in collaboration with Etisalat UAE, branded as etisalat by e& -- demonstrated the fastest passive optical network (PON) speed in the Middle East and Africa region. Nokia Bell Lab’s PON proof of concept (PoC) demonstration achieved speeds up to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) on a single wavelength -- four times faster than the most advanced networks available today.In the long-standing partnership between both the technology leaders, they have achieved multiple industry-firsts, including the world’s first single-carrier terabit-per-second field trial, setting optical transmission capacity record over etisalat by e&’s fiber network in the UAE.To achieve 100 Gb/s on a single wavelength, Nokia Bell Labs used pioneering digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. Once advanced DSP is adopted, the steps to 50G and 100G are straightforward and 100G could be commercially available in the 2030s.The Nokia Bell Labs 100G PON prototype is the world’s first application of flexible rate transmission in a PON network. Flexible rate transmission works by grouping fiber modems (ONUs) that exhibit similar physical network characteristics (e.g., loss or dispersion) and makes data transmission more efficient. Using flexible rate transmission results in lower latency on a PON and cuts power consumption in half -- two essential characteristics for fiber networks that have a rapidly growing role in the massive delivery of fixed and mobile broadband services.The PoC is Nokia's most recent industry-first in fiber access, following XGS-PON, TWDM-PON, and 25G PON. 100G PON could be commercially available in the 2030s.Marwan Bin Shakar, Senior Vice President/Access Network Development, etisalat by e& said: “Fiber networks are fast evolving into becoming the backbone of the entire telecommunications sector as they play an important role in delivering any service to any end point, including residences, businesses, and cell sites. As their use case evolves, they must become quicker, smarter, and more cost-effective. We are thrilled to have showcased a working prototype for 100G PON with Nokia. Our partnership with Nokia is a demonstration of our commitment to maximise value for our customers and bring positive change to their lives in the age of digitalisation. Through our partnership, we are looking forward to continuing our efforts in bringing in the best-in-class solutions to our customers and enabling the adoption of innovative technological solutions within the UAE and the region.”Samer Makke, Head of the Customer Team for etisalat by e&, UAE, at Nokia, said: “etisalat by e& is a pioneering operator in the region and we are proud to have demonstrated our industry-first prototype technology with the company. Fiber broadband continues to evolve and will play a critical role in enabling services for enterprise customers, premium consumers, and supporting 5G rollouts. 10G XGS-PON is now mainstream; the first 25G city is a reality; and 50G and 100G are being developed. This just shows the unlimited potential of fiber broadband.”Resources25G PON media gallery: Images and videoFiber for everything webpage. One fiber broadband network, many opportunities

LBank lists iTeller on its Digital Asset Exchange

 iTeller has announced the listing of their token ITLR on LBank exchange on January 5th, 2023, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. This listing will provide greater accessibility and liquidity for the project, as traders can now buy and sell ITLR tokens on the platform using a variety of trading pairs, including BTC, ETH, and USDT."We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our reach in the crypto market through listing on LBank," said Mohammad Taher Khayami , COO of iTeller. "We encourage everyone to try out the platform and experience the fast and secure trading services that LBank has to offer," he added.Since its launch, iTeller has become a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking for a reliable and user-friendly payment solution. With the addition of the Lbank listing, the platform is aiming to make cryptocurrency easily accessible to the masses by providing users with myriad options to easily remit money to people living in another country without paying exorbitant fees.“Having ITLR token listed in our platform further empowers our users to explore more innovative cryptocurrency options. This cooperation is with no doubt of xmutual benefits,” said an LBank representative.To start trading $ITLR on LBank, visit

AmiViz certified as a Great Place to Work

AmiViz, the first B2B enterprise marketplace for the cybersecurity industry in the Middle East, is proud to announce that it has been certified as a Great Place to Work after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work Middle East. This certification is based on direct feedback from employees, provided as part of an extensive and anonymous survey about the workplace experience.AmiViz has always been a believer in the spirit of people and the company has been able to create a platform that provides them with a flexible working environment where any member of the team can thrive, irrespective of their role in the company. Working with leading global brands and serving international markets, it is important that AmiViz offers a great workplace to all its employees.Commenting on the achievement, the COO for AmiViz, Ilyas Mohamed said “It has always been our endeavor to take care of employees and work as a team so that we can create an environment where everyone takes pride in their work. We have a clear mission to help people create, transform, and grow. I am glad that our efforts have helped us earn the trust of our employees to create a great workplace culture that delivers not just outstanding business results but also job satisfaction.”“The Great Place to Work certification is a validation of each and every employee in our company, which has tirelessly worked hard to create a work culture that is imbibed with integrity, respect, and compassion. We would like to thank every team member of AmiViz for making this possible,” Ilyas added.

Hevolution Foundation appoints William Greene, MD as Chief Investment Officer

Hevolution Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides grants and early-stage investments to incentivize research and entrepreneurship in healthspan science, has appointed William Greene, MD, as Chief Investment Officer (CIO). As CIO, Dr Greene will oversee all aspects of Hevolution Foundation’s investment strategy, planning, analysis, and execution.Over the course of his career, Dr Greene has been a life sciences company founder, operating executive, investor, and clinician. Most recently, prior to joining Hevolution as an advisor in May 2022, he served as CEO of Fountain Therapeutics, a longevity biotechnology company founded by Stanford Neurology professor Thomas Rando, MD, PhD.“After conducting a thorough search process, and working closely with Bill for over six months, I could not be more pleased to officially welcome him to Hevolution,” commented Mehmood Khan, MD, Chief Executive Officer. “Since our unveiling over the summer we have announced a number of promising collaborations and grants programs. In 2023 and beyond we look forward to building on this momentum, not only on the grants side of our operation but with some key investments and impact-focused initiatives, led by Bill and his team.”Prior to Fountain Therapeutics, Dr Greene was CEO of Iconic Therapeutics, ushering the start-up through discovery and development through to pharma partnerships and a successful sale of the company. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at MPM Capital where he was a Managing Director and member of its Investment Committee. He also served as founding Chairman of the Board and head of the Investment Committee at the Global Health Investment Fund, an impact-oriented venture fund founded with the Gates Foundation. Earlier in his career he was Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and spearheaded strategy and clinical trials in several therapeutic areas at Genentech. He holds a BA in Biology and Neuroscience from Wesleyan University and an MD from UCSF. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).Dr Greene commented, “Hevolution Foundation and its bold mission speak to what has driven me throughout my career: a desire to tackle the most pressing problems, work with great teams, and use science and medicine to drive positive change. I am eagerly anticipating driving Hevolution’s investment strategy in partnership with the scientific team and the rest of the organization as we expand internationally and seek to play a global role in meeting one of humanity’s greatest challenges: unhealthy aging.”

MX Studios partners with Dubai Economy & Tourism for 'A Spin Around Dubai'

India’s leading OTT platform, MX Player is recognized for catering to its audiences’ diverse needs with engaging content across genres and formats. With a view towards building a wholesome entertainment ecosystem, MX Studios announces its association with Dubai Economy & Tourism for an adventure-packed three episodic mini-series ‘A Spin Around Dubai’. Starring siblings Jamie and Jesse Lever, the series will stream exclusively on MX Player starting today (5th January 2023).Popular comedy duo and siblings, Jamie and Jesse Lever who are known for their whimsical content share a passion for adventure during family holidays. On the hunt for their next destination, they choose Dubai, a city that offers timeless experiences and adventures. Only, this journey has a twist as they head to Dubai with no itinerary and just a spinning wheel in hand that decides where they head to in the city. The series explores nine exciting locations and quirky activities that the siblings undertake with their own comical twists. From witnessing a desert sunrise in a hot air balloon to a fountain show with a magnificent view of the Burj Khalifa, or experiencing the edge walk on the 53rd floor of the Sky Views Observatory, to meeting master chef Vineet Bhatia who matches the duo's vibe, Jamie and Jesse will take the audiences through some of Dubai's finest locations whilst being their hilarious selves.Bader Ali Habib, Head of Region – South Asia, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “We were thrilled to team up with MX Player to launch its new mini-series, designed to inspire Indian travelers to explore Dubai and all the excitement the city has to offer. As one of the most Instagrammed cities in the world, Dubai offers a diverse range of backdrops, from untouched landscapes to world-class attractions and experiences. Jamie and Jesse are truly a fun duo, popular for their brilliant comedy and we look forward to seeing Indian audiences journey our city in the true ‘Lever’ fashion.”Elaborating on their adventures, Jamie Lever said, “This is our first series together and we are extremely excited to see how the audiences react. We hope we have managed to create excitement and showcase the true connection with Dubai, its people, and its culture. This series taught me that sometimes, the best experiences are those which are unplanned and I think both Jesse and I can’t wait to come back to Dubai for more such adventures and let that wheel keep spinning”Jesse Lever further added saying, “Other than getting the chance to discover such a wonderful city and its adrenaline filled activities with Jamie - it was the unique experience that ‘A Spin Around Dubai’ offered us. Dubai has always been known for its innovative experiences and architecture but what we’ve shot is a variety of memorable experiences and I can’t wait for audiences to stream the show and start planning their unplanned vacation.”MX Player’s branded content arm, MX Studios creates bespoke solutions for various brands.Unravel the true spirit of Dubai with ‘A Spin Around Dubai’ that will stream exclusively on MX Player from 5th January 2023

Valor Hospitality Partners name Cluster GM for four properties

 Valor Hospitality Partners Middle East has appointed hospitality veteran Thierry Perrot as the Cluster General Manager to oversee the four hotels that have transitioned to be managed by Valor Hospitality Partners while continuing to work under their existing brands.Perrot’s most recent role as Cluster General Manager for the Wyndham Dubai, Deira, Days Hotel by Wyndham and Super 8 by Wyndham, saw responsibility for 515 keys for the three properties located in the Deira Enrichment Project, adjacent to Dubai’s historic Gold Souk area, Dubai Creek and the Corniche.The successful transition will see his role as Cluster General Manager for the Wyndham Deira hotels evolve to include the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek, Dubai’s first-ever 5-star hotel, which opened in 1975. His purview now comprises a portfolio of 800 plus keys and more than 20 food and beverage outlets, covering two, three, four and five-star ratings across the four properties, with one of the most diverse scale of properties in the market.As a venerable hotelier, Perrot has spent more than 25 years in the region, of which the last 10 years have been in the UAE in cluster roles for IHG Hotels & Resorts and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. His international experience of over 40 years across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, covering multiple high-value hotel assets, has seen Perrot carry the transition, renovation and delivery of hotels and clusters to maximum performance through his stewardship. He has a consistent record of conceptualising and implementing innovative hotel operations that deliver on both service quality and profitability.When speaking of the appointment, Julien Bergue, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Valor Hospitality Partners Middle East, said: “Thierry Perrot is the ideal guardian for these properties; his ability to adapt to change and drive to perform have been evident in his successes with the Wyndham Deira properties and we feel he’s going to bring his operational excellence to the fore and build a team of future hoteliers through his transformational leadership.”A graduate of C.H.F Besancon’s Hotel School in France and the USA’s Cornell University’s Senior Executive Programme, Perrot has achieved a series of qualifications both within hospitality and the business spheres, as part of his drive to bring better performance to profit and motivating teams under his guidance. “The prospects that lay ahead with the joint venture, and these four properties in particular are an exciting challenge to any hotelier. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to show how a diverse portfolio of hotels can perform in concert, sharing market knowledge and industry exertise, serving the various customers that each of these hotels provide for, particularly in Dubai’s traditional business district, with its wealth of historical sites and the enduring legacy it plays in the city’s success” said Perrot.

Zain title sponsor of ‘Khaleeji Zain 25’

Zain, a leading mobile telecom innovator in seven markets across the Middle East and Africa, will be the title sponsor of the 25th Arab Gulf Cup silver jubilee edition, entitled “Khaleeji Zain 25”, to be held in Basra governorate, Iraq between 6-19 January 2023.Zain is a passionate supporter of youth and sports tournaments across the region, and the reintroduction of international football activities to Iraq re-establishes the country’s presence on the regional football map once more.The Arab Gulf Cup was last hosted in Iraq in 1979 when the country won the title, and 44 years later, the tournament triumphantly returns. The competition is held once every two years in one of the member states of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation, namely Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE or Yemen.Supporting this milestone occasion and welcoming the teams and delegations participating in the tournament, Zain launched a campaign entitled “Eldenya Basra”, emphasizing the importance of this event and highlighting the joint efforts undertaken to maximize youth empowerment, sports development, and the return of regional competitions to Iraq.As part of its “Eldenya Basra” campaign running on social media platforms and media channels, Zain released a special song performed by Iraqi artist, Mahmoud El Turki to reflect Basra’s rich cultural background and historic links to the Gulf countries.“Khaleeji Zain 25” is organized and supervised by the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation in Basra, with live telecast and streaming available on various TV and online media channels. Following the successful hosting of the World Cup in the region, “Khaleeji Zain 25” will bring together fans, officials and the best Gulf players on Iraqi soil in Basra.

Elevatus ranks highest amongst the biggest software companies & startups in KSA

 Elevatus, the globally renowned and first recruitment and video interviewing software of its kind, today announced its recent listing in the report "101 Top Riyadh Software Companies and Startups" from BestStartup.Asia. The listed companies and startups have all picked up their pace in the KSA market and are taking a variety of approaches and steps to innovate the software industry.Elevatus has exemplified continuous efforts to disrupt the way companies across the globe find and hire the best candidates by offering an agile technology that helps them streamline the full hiring cycle in only a couple of clicks. Elevatus' rapid growth is fueled by the high adaptability and agility of its technology – which is built on years of scientific research and market best practices."Our partnership with Elevatus has played a monumental role in strengthening our innovative capabilities in preparation for Vision 2030. Elevatus' AI technology has been a major driver in evolving our work processes and helping us operate at a much faster rate. We now feel well prepared for the future that lies ahead, especially in realizing and achieving our Kingdom's vision with ease." said Ali Alzahrani, Director of Human Resources at the Middle East Propulsion Company.Elevatus' vast collection of success stories highlights the agile transformation companies are experiencing across the Kingdom. This has led the tech provider to be recognized as one of the top software companies in Riyadh based on four key categories: innovation, growth, management and societal impact. Elevatus covers a wide spectrum of innovative recruitment modules that support companies in creating job requisitions, shortlisting talent, interviewing candidates, assessing top performers, managing visas,accessing advanced analytics, inviting recruitment agencies, and onboarding new hires. This year alone, Elevatus powered over 120,000 job posts and 3 million video assessments to date – fully automated by its award-winning recruiting solutions."Elevatus is a phenomenal software that simplifies and automates the entire recruiting process. You can find all that you need to recruit top talent in one single place. It's easy, smart and user-friendly. If your company is growing, then Elevatus will definitely make the process more seamless and easier." adds Mohammed AlRasheed, Head Of Human Resources at AlRaedah Finance.This recognition marks the third consecutive year that Elevatus has been named a top software company in the recruitment industry – and carved its spot in top positions globally. This ranking further validates its commitment to building and designing the most innovative recruiting solutions the world has ever seen. Today, Elevatus is empowering enterprises and companies worldwide to recruit at scale and thrive in an increasingly challenging recruitment landscape.

Astra Tech's PayBy disrupts fintech solutions

PayBy, a leading fintech innovator recently acquired by Astra Tech in August 2022, has been licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE to conduct Stored Value Facility (SVF) and Retail Payment Services (RPS) operations. The license represents one of the country's highest levels of financial services approvals, enabling Astra Tech’s PayBy to continue altering the fintech landscape with its payment solutions. Customers and merchants will experience ultra-fast and secure services, such as international money transfers, seamless payment solutions, wallet top-ups, and more on Astra Tech’s upcoming app to be launched in the coming months.Founder and CEO of Astra Tech, Abdallah Abu Sheikh, commented: “We are honored to have secured the license from UAE’s Central Bank which marks a huge milestone achievement for both Astra Tech and PayBy. We’re excited to launch our secure payment solutions to customers and merchants in the UAE to enable smoother digital transactions and make everyday commerce friction-free. We have always aligned with the UAE’s vision of creating a cashless ecosystem and are thankful to the Central Bank for trusting us with our secure technology. Astra Tech will stay true to its mission of offering a more robust value proposition to customers and merchants by eliminating the burden of unfavorable & compounded commission structures that are usually passed on to suppliers, partners, and consumers by today’s super apps.”Astra Tech is acquiring and equipping sector-leading customer-centric businesses with disruptive and progressive technologies that will enrich merchants’ and users’ lives with effortless usability and efficiency, a gap that currently remains unfulfilled in the UAE digital commerce space today.Astra Tech is one of the biggest additions to the MEA’s ever-growing tech ecosystem aiming to raise 500 million USD (AED 1.8 Billion) from various strategic investors and partners, bringing the company one step closer to its vision of launching an app. PayBy is one of the largest fintech companies in the region, with over AED 600 million in transactions as of May 2022, and aims to build an all-in-one mobile payment ecosystem in the UAE and GCC, offering a safe and contactless payment solution. Astra Tech’s acquisition of PayBy follows the company’s recent acquisition of Rizek, a platform for on-demand personal and home services.

EA Sports and Anghami announce FIFA 23 global in game vanity drop

Anghami Inc., the leading music and entertainment streaming platform in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region, announces a first ever in-game vanity drop in FIFA 23.FIFA 23 players, globally, will now be able to access an Anghami themed kit and stadium design in FIFA Ultimate Team. They are also able to customize an avatar of their own with an Anghami look in both VOLTA and Pro-Clubs.The creative direction of the kit was inspired by Anghami’s vibrant new positioning and rebranding that aims to empower Arab youth everywhere to create and connect with the world. With its tagline “The world is listening”, Anghami brings its new identity to the screens in a cool, bold and engaging way.Qossay Alsattari, Anghami's Distribution Partnerships Lead, commented: "The synergies between music, video gaming and football are unparalleled, allowing us to offer our audiences unique innovations that resonate with them and enriches their entertainment experience. We are quite excited to have FIFA 23' players across the world access and enjoy the Anghami Kit and to showcase their best kicks with our playful branding."The vanity items will be available in game from Friday 23rd December till Thursday 30th December, and can be unlocked through Squad Building Challenges.Earlier in the year, EA SPORTS had partnered with Anghami to celebrate the release of FIFA 23 with a special track and music video titled ‘Merengue’. The track was written and performed by Saudi based rapper and hip-hop artist, Lil Eazy and produced by DJ Outlaw and Sarah Nabil.Download the app and learn more at July 2022, Electronic Arts released details on EA SPORTS FIFA 23, available worldwide on September 30, which will feature updates to its groundbreaking next-gen HyperMotion2 gameplay technology† that elevates every moment on the pitch and much more. With 300 individual licensed partners, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world, FIFA 23 is the place you can play in iconic competitions such as UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, Premier League, Bundesliga, LaLiga Santander, CONMEBOL Libertadores and CONMEBOL Sudamericana.Join the EA SPORTS FIFA community on Instagram, or follow us on Twitter @EA_ME EA SPORTS FIFA 23 assets are available to download on the official EA press site at PRESS.EA.COM.†HYPERMOTION TECHNOLOGY ONLY AVAILABLE ON PLAYSTATION 5, XBOX SERIES X|S, PC, AND STADIA VERSIONS.