Centro Mada Amman by Rotana welcomes new human resources manager

Centro Mada Amman by Rotana appoints new Human Resources Manager Rasha Rusrus.With over 20 years in the hospitality industry in several international brands and a previous role at Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa, Rasha brings her ambition and experience to her current position at Centro Mada Amman by Rotana. Her accomplishments are countless from regulating the work environment, preparing solid action plans, competing for fair salaries against the market and ensuring quality control. In her new capacity, she will oversee and continue to improve the HR policies and procedures and implement a practical approach to guarantee optimal results in the workplace reflecting the Rotana brand.       A native of Jordan, Rasha has climbed the Human Resources chain gaining knowledge and skill-sets allowing her to lead and guide the team effectively. She is well-trained with a background in interviewing, group training, reporting & investigating, health policies, local labour laws and managing performance. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and watching movies and lives by the quote: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”.

Saudi Coffee Company Partners with Siemens to Elevate Saudi Coffee Farming

Saudi Coffee Company is proud to announce today its collaboration with Siemens, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help in constructing a high-tech smart factory in Jazan based on Siemens’ electrification, automation, and digitalization technologies, while considering the highest standards of sustainability and efficiency.As fully owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Coffee Company is on a mission to transform Saudi Arabia’s coffee industry and present the nation’s deep-rooted coffee traditions to the world. The establishment of the smart factory is set to revolutionize coffee farming in Jazan. Currently witnessing the implementation of several development initiatives in modern technology, water management solutions, and advanced equipment, Jazan’s farmers will benefit immensely from this collaboration through having visibility and control over all their systems in one integrated platform with high tech.Saudi Coffee Company's vision expands beyond increasing production and job opportunities to include promoting a culture of collaboration and sustainability across the entire coffee value chain.This collaboration is part of Saudi Coffee Company’s initiatives to join forces with the private sector and introduce cutting-edge technology into Saudi Coffee Company’s production processes with the smart factory set to revolutionize coffee farming in Jazan. The construction and operation of the factory are in line with the latest global sustainability standards, ensuring a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. The complete digitalization includes unifying various systems under one advanced platform while also introducing initiatives like carbon capture, renewable energy adoption, responsible waste management, and eco-friendly packaging.Karim Chabara, CEO of Saudi Coffee Company emphasized that “This partnership marks a defining moment for Saudi Coffee Company in the coffee industry, as we are proud to be shedding light on the Kingdom’s coffee heritage and to help in elevating the local coffee production. We are delighted to join efforts with the private sector, leveraging their expertise to fully optimize our local resources and showcase our coffee heritage to the world.”Ahmad Hawsawi, CEO of Siemens in Saudi Arabia stated: “We are proud of our technology collaboration with Saudi Coffee Company, highlighting and developing coffee farming and manufacturing. Siemens is committed to transform manufacturing facilities into intelligent and connected ecosystems based on real-time data analysis, predictive maintenance, and seamless collaboration between machines and humans, leading to improved productivity, reduced costs, and enhanced product quality.”Hawsawi highlighted Siemens’ contribution in supporting the Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Strategy through the cutting-edge digital technologies by leveraging digitalization and automation.

Haltia.AI champions ethical AI revolution

As the global focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) intensifies, Haltia.AI, a cutting-edge AI startup rooted in the UAE, is setting the standard for ethical AI application. As the company gears up for its highly-anticipated alpha release, the co-founders - CEO Talal Thabet and CTO Arto Bendiken - emphasise that ethics are not just a component of their AI platform, but the company’s north star."We keenly aware of the transformative power of AI and its potential consequences. It’s not just about building smarter machines; it’s about aligning them with the values that make us human," asserts Talal Thabet, CEO and co-founder of Haltia.AI. "This approach is deeply ingrained in our superstar team, guided by leading experts such as AI Ethicist Steve Cobb."Steve Cobb concurs, "We are setting a new paradigm. In a world where AI technologies are advancing at breakneck speed, we’re committed to shaping an AI landscape that is ethical by design, drawing on the combined decades of experience and leadership provided by Talal and Arto."With this commitment to ethical practices in mind, Haltia.AI recognises its influential role in the rapidly evolving tech landscape, calling for responsible innovation. Haltia.AI highlights the unparalleled expertise of its engineering team, each of whom is hand-picked for their prowess and commitment to excellence while rooted in ethical considerations.Consistent with the UAE leadership’s vision for international impact and technological advancement, Haltia.AI invites companies and institutions worldwide to collaborate. "The UAE stands as a beacon for global innovation and we aim to contribute to the UAE government’s legacy by spearheading partnerships in the ethical sphere," says Talal Thabet.As the company transitions from stealth to spotlight with its impending alpha release, this ethical stance serves as both a corporate mission and an industry call to arms."Our focus on ethics isn't a trend—it's a non-negotiable responsibility," concludes Talal. "We have the expertise and vision to not only implement ethical AI but to also guide other organisations in doing so."

Al-Futtaim Motors launches dedicated motorsport division

Al-Futtaim Motors has deepened its commitment to motorsport in the United Arab Emirates with the launch of a new Motorsport Division dedicated to expanding their support and involvement in all forms of motorsports, both on- and off-road, as well as esports racing.In addition to supporting motorsport, the new Al-Futtaim Motorsport Division will encompass the Toyota Gazoo Racing and Lexus F Performance brands in the UAE, both of which offer high-performance versions of some of the most popular models from each brand, such as the Toyota GR Supra, the Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport, the Lexus RC F, Lexus GS F and the Legendary LFA, to name a few.Globally Toyota has an illustrious motorsport history spanning five decades of successful participations in the World Rally Championship, Formula One, FIA Cross Country World Cup and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From the championship-winning Toyota Yaris GR WRC to the Toyota Hilux that has enjoyed huge success in the Dakar Rally, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Dubai International Baja, Toyota vehicles have championed the spirit of motorsport at the highest level.Also no stranger to competing at the highest levels, Lexus first entered the world of motorsport in 2002 at the historic Daytona 24-hour race, and from 2006 to 2008, its cars won three straight victories in the 24 Hours at Daytona. In the UAE, Lexus stepped in the world of motorsport when they built the first ever Lexus RC F drift car which made its global debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2019, as well as launching the first Lexus F Club for F and F SPORT owners. Lexus has since competed successfully across a range of disciplines, from GT3 and GT4 series to endurance racing, hill climbs, off-road rallies, drifting and more.The newly launched Al-Futtaim Motorsport division builds on this proud tradition by supporting the UAE’s motorsport community through partnerships with illustrious home-grown sporting events such as the UAE Autocross Challenge, the Dubai International Baja, and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, as well as developing motorsport talent through the Toyota Gazoo Racing Academy, a driver development programme which took place earlier this year.Commenting on the launch of the new Al-Futtaim Motorsport Division, Jacques Brent, Managing Director at Al-Futtaim Toyota & Lexus, said: “Al-Futtaim Motors has always been deeply committed to motorsports in the Emirates, and this new division reinforces this commitment with a new team entirely dedicated to supporting and developing motorsports across the UAE. In a nation that is so passionate about motoring, the Toyota and Lexus brands have become an integral part of the motoring and off-roading culture of the UAE. The Al-Futtaim Motorsport division empowers us to further develop this culture and our historic ties with the UAE’s motoring communities, and engage and give back to them by developing and supporting local events and driving talent.”Ensuring the success of the new division will be a dedicated team led by Alaa Tarawneh, Motorsport Manager at Al-Futtaim Toyota & Lexus, with a mission to spearhead Al-Futtaim’s drive to support motorsports in the Emirates and build awareness around the exceptional performance of Toyota GR and Lexus F Performance models.The Al-Futtaim Motorsport Division’s calendar kicks off almost immediately with support for the UAE’s participation in the Toyota Gazoo Racing MENA Esports Cup, with the top two competitors qualifying to compete at the regional finals in Amman, Jordan, in October.This will be followed by event partnerships with several motoring events in the UAE including the Dubai International Baja and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with more to be announced soon. Further developing the UAE’s undiscovered driving talent will be the second edition of the Al-Futtaim Toyota Gazoo Racing Academy, also set to launch later this year.The inaugural edition of the Al-Futtaim Toyota Gazoo Racing Academy was a huge success, with the different stages streamed to millions of viewers across the region on Shahid, the Arab world’s biggest digital streaming service, and Brandon Hancock was crowned as the winner and the Al-Futtaim Toyota Gazoo Racing Off-Road Ambassador for 2023.

Elie Kassis joins Futuretech as Sales Director

Futuretech has appointed Elie Kassis as Sales Director, across KSA. He will be heading the sales department.  Kassis is an industry veteran with more than 17 years of extensive global and regional experience, fulfilling roles with various multinationals, SMEs and start-ups within the marketing and advertising, telco, media, digital, and tech sectors, focusing mainly on Europe, Africa and the Middle East.In his role, as Sales Director, he will be responsible for growing the business in the MENA region with a special focus on the KSA market, working with both agencies and enterprise partners.Elie Kassis is an MBA graduate, specialised in International Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Sciences. He is fluent in French, English, and Arabic languages. He is passionate about building and leading high-performing teams. He is an individual with a highly analytical, data-driven and strategic mindset.

PRCA MENA Conference 2023 agenda revealed

PRCA MENA, the leading professional association for public relations and communications in the Middle East and North Africa, is delighted to unveil the agenda for its highly anticipated PRCA MENA Conference 2023, set to take place on November 8th, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Dedicated to industry professionals, this event is expected to draw both local and international attendees, marking a significant milestone for the PRCA MENA community.PRCA, founded in the UK in 1969, expanded its reach to the Middle East and Africa with the establishment of PRCA MENA in Dubai in 2016. Over the years, PRCA MENA has experienced steady growth, particularly in the past two years. Now, PRCA MENA is proud to venture into organising the Conference and Digital Awards in Riyadh for the first time, with the vibrant city providing the perfect backdrop for this occasion.Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA MENA, stated, "PRCA MENA is privileged to have members who work closely with us, and they have consistently expressed their desire for a conference in Saudi Arabia. In response to their needs, we partnered with One Group, a marketing and communication group based in Riyadh, to create an exciting conference program tailored for PR professionals in the region."This premier industry gathering promises to bring together the crème de la crème of the public relations world, providing a platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and recognition of outstanding achievements in the field. The conference agenda boasts a diverse range of insightful sessions covering key PR industry topics and trends.Conference Highlights:Keynote Session: Prepare for an electrifying revelation.The Value of PR in MENA: Delve into a comprehensive report jointly crafted by PRCA MENA and YouGov, offering insights into how the PR industry is perceived across diverse countries and industries in the MENA region.Crafting Successful PR Campaigns: Unearth the secrets behind crafting successful PR campaigns in the distinctive Saudi Arabian landscape.AI vs. PR: Engage in a riveting panel discussion exploring the transformative potential of AI in PR and how the industry can adapt to this revolutionary change.Sponsored Sessions: Immerse yourself in a series of specialised sessions conducted in both Arabic and English, designed to provide practical insights and valuable takeaways.Evolving PR Agencies in Saudi Arabia: Gain perspectives on the dynamic shifts and challenges facing PR agencies in the Saudi market.Saudi PR VISION: Peer into the future of PR within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Esports Middle East Earns 'Great Place to Work' Status in UAE Gaming

 Esports Middle East LLC (ESME), a world-leading esports and gaming solutions provider based in the Middle East, was awarded the first Great Place to Work® certification in the UAE for a company dedicated to that industry, after an exceptional year that saw big involvement in the growth of the industry.Great Place to Work® is a global research and management consultancy that recognizes the Best Workplaces™ in over 60 countries worldwide and provides premier business and advisory services.  Its mission is to improve people’s lives and create a better society by improving the workplace experience. The award was held at the annual ceremony in the UAE, where ESME was officially certified a Great Place To Work® after it was ranked highly across all fields.Employees now place an increasing amount of importance on a good business culture, and expectations for the workplace are also changing quickly. This is what the team at ESME and their leadership has managed to convey to the organization, and received its certification in August 2023. In the same vein it had previously been awarded as an “Excellent Service Provider” for its collaboration with Tencent.“Being recognized as a Great Place To Work® is an honor and a pleasure because we always thrive to be leaders in our industry from the inside out. Without its incredible workforce, Esports Middle East wouldn't exist today. Because of their perseverance and unwavering faith in our mission, this certification on top of Tencent’s 2020 "Excellent Service Provider" and the 2023 “Excellent Partner of the Year” is a big recognition for our work.”  stated Saeed Sharaf, CEO and Co-Founder of ESME on the occasion.Ibrahim Mougharbel, Managing Director of UAE for, Great Place To Work® Middle East stated: “Congratulations to the UAE's first Great Place to Work Middle East certified esports company for their exceptional focus on employee satisfaction and workplace culture. It is truly inspiring to see an organization prioritize the well-being of its employees, leading to this remarkable achievement. By valuing the opinions and feedback of their workforce, Esports Middle East sets an incredible example for organizations all around the world. This is a testament to their commitment to fostering a work environment where employees feel valued and supported. Keep up the fantastic work!”Esports Middle East is set to continue its successful streak in 2023, having recently closed the curtains on the Moontoon Mobile Legends Pro League ( MPL MENA) event.Since its inception in 2014, ESME has pioneered in the esports operation and marcom business, running highly profitable campaigns for brands such as Tencent Games, Samsung, Moonton, Coca-Cola, Spotify. Some of their most recent accomplishments include local legs of international events such as the PUBG MOBILE GCC Cup, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang MENA Pro League, as well as lending a helping hand to produce the official Arabic broadcast for PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021 and the M4 World Championship and Asia Games..It is worth mentioning that thanks to this certificate, Esports Middle East is now the first esports and gaming company in the UAE to receive the highly coveted Great Place to Work®, and the second company in the MENA region after SAVVY Group in Saudi Arabia.

LinkedIn research reveals UAE professionals ready to embrace AI

According to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, employees are gearing up for a new way of working thanks to new advances in Artificial Intelligence such as generative AI. A majority of employees in the UAE (67%) believe that AI will bring significant changes to their work within the next year, and even more employees (72%) expect AI to significantly impact their work within the next 5 years.More than three quarters (81%) believe it is likely that AI will function as an “invisible teammate” who assists them with their work in the next 5 years.The UAE has been investing in AI long before the creation of ChatGPT and the recent uptick around AI. In 2017, the UAE launched its National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, which aims to put the nation at the forefront of AI innovation in different sectors, an initiative considered the first of its kind regionally and globally.We see this enthusiasm about AI reflected in the UAE’s workforce as a little over half (54%) are already using AI in their job, with 41% trying out AI tools like ChatGPT. The possibilities of AI at work are endlessThe lack of knowledge about AI is not stopping UAE professionals from wanting to experiment with it. Although 30% of them say they have not been provided with any formal AI training from their employer, over half (59%) want to learn more, even if they don’t know where to start. It is clear that UAE professionals are optimistic about the potential AI can bring to their careers, with an overwhelming majority (98%) saying they are excited to use AI in their work, and a similar percentage (97%) who believe it will help their career progression in some way. Most are already thinking of ways AI can help them be more productive with 82% envisioning AI to improve their work-life balance. Over a third (67%) plan to use AI to say goodbye to boring work tasks and assist in answering questions they’re too embarrassed to ask their colleagues, and 63% have progression on their mind as they plan to use it for career advice. We also know that more needs to be done to educate professionals on how to use AI as 45% of them feel their colleagues know more about AI than they do, 48% have even admitted to pretending they know more about AI to look ‘in the know’ in front of teammates.Pairing soft skills with AI skills essential for the future  Overall, the mood of the nation is one of embracing AI and people are focusing on the skills they believe will complement AI the most, which comes as no surprise as the UAE was one of the first countries to adopt AI.Professionals in the UAE believe interpersonal skills such as problem solving (66%), time-management (69%), resilience and strategic thinking (67%) will become even more important as AI grows in prominence.With LinkedIn's data showing a significant 21-fold increase in global, English-language job listings mentioning AI technologies, including Chat GPT, since November 2022, embracing AI could be a pivotal move for those seeking career development.Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader and Head of LinkedIn MENA, says: “Just as we’ve moved past the pandemic, once again professionals are adapting to another wave of change as generative AI becomes more prominent in the workplace. In a country as technologically progressive as the UAE, where a move towards innovation and integrating new technologies has long been apparent, it is encouraging to see that also its people are embracing the shift. Even more so, our data clearly shows that workers in the UAE are focusing on the many benefits AI can bring to their working lives, including more time to focus on the work they care about and helping with career progression.It’s also clear that people are eager to learn more about AI and we’re seeing a significant increase in conversations on LinkedIn with members already adding AI skills to their profiles, but our data also highlights the enormous value of soft skills as humans learn to partner with AI– and this is what is now shaping the future of work.”Top tipsWhether you’re AI-advanced or eager to learn, taking the plunge can help you in your career and job, and LinkedIn’s Career Expert Najat Abdelhadi shares some advice to get you started: Learn the lingo: Having the language to talk about and understand AI will put you ahead of the curve. Study up on popular AI skills with resources like LinkedIn Learning where you can find the most popular AI courses unlocked for free until the end of the year. A good place to start is with How to Research and Write using generative AI, and What is generative AI and you can find the full list here. Embrace the experts and tap into your network: Reach out to your network to share learnings and stay up to speed on AI by following thought leaders and subject matter experts on LinkedIn, including Allie Miller and Greg Coquillo.Sharpen up your soft skills: Don’t underestimate the value of highlighting your soft skills in a world being reshaped by AI. LinkedIn’s AI at Work report shows a staggering 25% shift in the skills demanded by various global jobs since 2015. And with AI accelerating these shifts, people can expect a swifter transformation, with the skills required for many jobs to evolve by at least 65% by 2030. The top skills anticipated to be most in demand: problem solving, strategic thinking and time management.Take advantage of existing tools: Use AI tools already available to you on LinkedIn including collaborative articles — knowledge topics published by LinkedIn with insights and perspectives added by the LinkedIn community. These articles begin as AI-powered conversation starters, developed with our editorial team. Next, with the help of LinkedIn's Skills Graph, the team connects each article with subject experts who contribute with their advice and insights. Microsoft’s WorkLab Guides also give helpful tips from how to use AI to dominate your task list to how to make in-person time count for your team.Acknowledge your AI worries: It’s okay to feel a little nervous or overwhelmed with new technology! People felt similarly when the internet was introduced and it’s important to remember that these changes don’t happen overnight. These are long-term changes and you can do the work to be part of the change, not just be impacted by the change of AI.

Baaz partners with Petal Ads

Petal Ads, a leading advertising platform by Huawei, and Baaz, the first Arabic social media platform, have inked a new agreement, strengthening the two companies’ successful collaboration. The signing ceremony took place at Huawei premises in Cairo, Egypt on July 18th. Through leveraging Petal Ads' innovative capabilities, Baaz aims to accelerate the growth of its social network throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.Baaz is a social media platform specially created in the Arab world for the Arab world. Baaz incubates diverse communities enabling users to connect with others who share similar interests, hobbies, and passion, all while upholding the region’s numerous significant cultural and societal values. Baaz Empowers those communities by providing them with innovative features enabling them to connect, conduct their conversations and share their content in a healthy environment. The platform employs advanced encryption technology that follows international laws and regulations to ensure privacy and data protection, and offers users a safe space for sharing authentic information through its easy and secure verification process. The official Baaz app is available on HUAWEI AppGallery and has already surpassed 6 million downloads in Egypt alone.Petal Ads, Huawei’s revolutionary next-generation advertising platform, enriches ads with premium features and utilizes big data analytics to perform meticulous multi-dimensional targeting in order to deliver them with pinpoint accuracy to users throughout HUAWEI Mobile Services’s smart ecosystem and beyond. In addition to Huawei’s own media, Petal Ads provides additional coverage in MENA’s major third-party apps and media. Currently, there are over 18,000 apps integrated with Petal Ads, attracting millions of users per month and enabling partners to communicate key information on a vast new scale.Petal Ads supports the creation of niche audiences through the Data Management Platform (DMP) for enhanced targeted advertising, as well as unobtrusive one-click installation, allowing users to download an app without having to navigate to a new page. Furthermore, with automatic bid adjustment, partners can improve conversions while drastically reducing cost-per-conversion, maximizing the effectiveness of any advertising budget.The Managing Director of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Eco Development and Operation, North Africa, stated: “We are overjoyed to share the establishment of this new partnership between Petal Ads and Baaz. HUAWEI Mobile Services prioritizes supporting the growth of local companies that can make a difference through their groundbreaking offerings and share our vision for a smarter AI world for all. We are confident that the unparalleled multidimensional targeting, excellent cost-effectiveness, and adaptability of Petal Ads will add more value to Baaz's vibrant social media platform.”The previous partnership between Petal Ads and Baaz during the fourth quarter of 2022 yielded exceptional results. The social network’s Petal Ads-powered installs campaign achieved an impressive amount of AppGallery installations and a competitive CPI rate in comparison to other advertising platforms. Building on this accomplishment, Baaz opted to extend its collaboration with Petal Ads through the second half of 2023, investing in always-on campaigns to drive strong app growth by tapping into Huawei's massive user base of over 730 million.“The partnership with HMS widens the horizons of collaboration to better serve our mutual and huge Egyptian users' base. At Baaz, we constantly seek partnerships that enhance our users' experience, empower them to purposefully lead communities, and encourage meaningful discussions around their interests,” said Mossab Sharayri, Chief Executive Officer at Baaz. “We have adopted a philosophy that thrives on change, new technology, teamwork, and partnerships within and beyond our organization, and Huawei’s innovative advertising platform, as well as its broader open, and smart ecosystem, align perfectly with our vision for developing the next generation of social media.”In addition to the revolutionary advertising capabilities of Petal Ads, HUAWEI Mobile Services provide partners with exclusive benefits throughout the company's ever-evolving smart ecosystem. HMS shares its knowledge and expertise to assist in the development of cutting-edge apps and creative digital services for regional users, while its partners gain access to a vast and active audience, resulting in genuine joint success.

GAMR to monitor and regulate the Saudi media sector

The General Authority of Media Regulation (GAMR) has announced that it will be the authority tasked with the supervision of the entire media sector in Saudi Arabia. The Cabinet has approved the new regulation giving authority to the body.GAMR declared its new mandate, encompassing the development, regulation, and supervision of the entire media ecosystem. This includes infrastructure enhancement, media content improvement, and elevating the media economy's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These strategic moves are in line with Saudi Vision 2030, aiming to propel the media sector forward as a pioneer, ensuring the delivery of transparent and reliable content.With its broadened scope, GAMR is now the authority in charge of all forms of digital media content on media and social platforms. Its mission involves fortifying the role of media in Saudi Arabia and aligning it with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. GAMR places a strong emphasis on nurturing media talent and empowering Saudi youth through comprehensive training and development programmes. Additionally, the authority is committed to creating an attractive environment for media sector investors, streamlining procedures, and offering robust infrastructure support.GAMR is steadfast in its commitment to position the media sector as a vital contributor to the national economy. It will ensure market competitiveness and content quality by safeguarding media rights and the interests of media professionals. Furthermore, GAMR will champion the localization and empowerment of Saudi media talents.GAMR serves as a vigilant guardian of media professionals' rights and content integrity, proactively combatting piracy and enforcing regulations. It will persist in its efforts to support and enhance the capabilities of media professionals, including fostering media research and studies, hosting seminars and workshops, and implementing training programmes and incentives for budding media talents.The authority will continue to uphold national and societal values and is dedicated to enriching content diversity and expanding entertainment options within the media landscape. GAMR will maintain rigorous oversight of advertising and media content to ensure compliance with all regulatory standards, thereby preserving the integrity of the industry.

META Film Fest to return this November with four-day celebration of cinema

Organisers of the META Film Fest have announced the star-studded, four-day international motion picture gala will return to Dubai for its second edition from November 9-12. The annual festival, which showcases the very best of international film, promises an extraordinary celebration of cinema for filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie lovers alike.Building on the resounding success of last year’s inaugural edition, the META Film Fest 2023 will focus on delivering an unparalleled experience through its emphasis on quality content, workshops and masterclasses tailored for budding filmmakers, premieres of cutting edge independent and studio-produced films, and a prestigious, high-profile judging panel.With the support of content partners such as the Royal Film Commission – Jordan, Papillon Creative, Frontrow Entertainment, and MAD Solutions, and Festival Partners including Cinema Akil, the META Film Fest is set to bolster Dubai’s Creative Economy and support the UAE’s National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries. The four-day celebration of film will take place at VOX Cinemas, Wafi City.Leila Masinaei, Founder of META Film Fest, said: “Following the festival’s hugely successful debut in 2022, this year’s META Film Fest will cement Dubai’s position and capability as a hub for filmmakers and creatives to congregate, share knowledge, and promote their own and their peers’ work. The festival garners immense appreciation from movie enthusiasts and industry professionals, and this year’s edition will see significant growth in both the number and calibre of films being shown.”The META Film Fest adopts an independent, objective approach in its shortlisting process, ensuring the best of the regional industry is spotlighted at the event. Over the four days, it will show more than 70 movies from 20+ countries, host 10+ workshops, and welcome more than 50 global celebrities and 15,000 attendees. The incredible roster of shortlisted films is set to be announced in the coming weeks.At the heart of the festival lies the star-studded red-carpet awards ceremony, which is set to attract luminaries from the film and entertainment industries, along with international and regional celebrities. The evening, a culmination of four days of cinematic celebration, will honour outstanding films in multiple categories, recognising the exceptional talent that contributes to the world of cinema.The awards this year will span 12 categories, covering feature films, short films, documentaries, debut works, student projects, films with a sustainability focus, and newly introduced special categories to celebrate home-grown UAE talent.Under the theme of 'Cinema and Sustainability', the festival has welcomed eco-friendly lifestyle and homeware brand Innara as its official Sustainability Sponsor, in addition to a number of new directors, aiming to spotlight the those leading the charge in sustainable practices in film.The festival is organised by GM Events and held in partnership with VOX Cinemas and Wafi City. Stephanie-Alexandra Chartier, Group Head of Marketing, Wafi Group said the partnership underscores its commitment to fostering the UAE’s creative economy strategy.“Emphasising local content production, promoting Arabic-language content, and empowering youth in the film industry are crucial aspects we wholeheartedly support,” she added. “Wafi City's exceptional ambiance and vibrant cultural scene make it a perfect location to celebrate the power of cinema and amplify the voices of emerging talents in this growing festival.”Sanjay Patney, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment, added: “As a long-standing supporter of the regional cinema industry, VOX Cinemas is proud to sponsor the META Film Festival once again. Festivals such as this provide an important platform for filmmakers and key industry stakeholders to connect, share ideas and be inspired as well as enabling established and emerging talent to showcase their creativity on the big screen through the language of film.”Film lovers are urged to mark November 9-12 on their calendars with META Film Fest inviting the general public to embark on an unforgettable cinematic journey in the heart of Dubai. With opportunities to experience the magic of cinema, interact with industry professionals, and be a part of the burgeoning film community, those interested should stay tuned for updates and announcements.

Media maven and happiness evangelist Raj Nayak joins the advisory board of YAAP

YAAP, a forward-thinking specialized content and influencer marketing company, proudly announces the addition of Raj Nayak to its advisory board. Raj Nayak, the former Chief Operating Officer of Viacom18, will play a pivotal role in guiding YAAP's strategic initiatives for growth and expansion across regions. The appointment of Raj Nayak, a distinguished stalwart of the media and entertainment industry, underscores YAAP's commitment to its ambitious long-term goals and rapid growth plan. Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP, expressed his delight at the collaboration, saying, "It's an absolute pleasure to have Raj Nayak join YAAP's advisory board. Raj's rich legacy and extensive experience in the media and entertainment industry will be instrumental in driving YAAP's strategic growth and expansion plans in the coming months. His addition to the board aligns perfectly with our ongoing expansion across regions, key leadership appointments, and our relentless pursuit of product and service excellence."Raj Nayak's illustrious career spans over three decades, during which he has founded and held leadership positions at some of the world's largest media and entertainment companies, including Star TV and NDTV. His most recent role as the Chief Operating Officer at Viacom18 saw him spearheading some of the network's most iconic shows and properties. Following his celebrated tenure at Viacom18, Nayak ventured into a new domain with House of Cheer, a full-service happiness and technology hub specializing in creation, curation, and consultancy, where he serves as the Managing Director.Commenting on his new role, Raj Nayak shared, "Embodying its philosophy of 'Built for Now,' YAAP has successfully harnessed content, data, and technology to deliver immense value to its clients, establishing itself as a dominant player in the industry. YAAP's promising roadmap for growth and expansion in the coming years, driven by innovation and strategic expansion into new markets, resonates with my business philosophy. It presents us with an exciting opportunity to break new ground together."YAAP has been on a trajectory of strategic growth, with recent additions such as Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, the former UAE Ambassador to India, to their advisory board, as well as key leadership appointments across India and GCC. The company has also formed a strategic partnership with Tagger Media, a leading US-based influencer marketing platform. These developments follow YAAP's acquisition of Crayons Communications, a renowned advertising agency in the Middle East, and an impressive financial performance, including a remarkable 97% increase in top-line growth and a fivefold rise in profitability for FY21-22. YAAP's prestigious client portfolio includes industry leaders such as NPCI, Visit Dubai, IndusInd, Lufthansa, SBI Cards, Disney, Apparel Group, MPL, Amazon, and Square Enix., a forward-thinking specialized content and influencer marketing company, proudly announces the addition of Raj Nayak to its advisory board. Raj Nayak, the former Chief Operating Officer of Viacom18, will play a pivotal role in guiding YAAP's strategic initiatives for growth and expansion across regions. The appointment of Raj Nayak, a distinguished stalwart of the media and entertainment industry, underscores YAAP's commitment to its ambitious long-term goals and rapid growth plan. Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP, expressed his delight at the collaboration, saying, "It's an absolute pleasure to have Raj Nayak join YAAP's advisory board. Raj's rich legacy and extensive experience in the media and entertainment industry will be instrumental in driving YAAP's strategic growth and expansion plans in the coming months. His addition to the board aligns perfectly with our ongoing expansion across regions, key leadership appointments, and our relentless pursuit of product and service excellence."Raj Nayak's illustrious career spans over three decades, during which he has founded and held leadership positions at some of the world's largest media and entertainment companies, including Star TV and NDTV. His most recent role as the Chief Operating Officer at Viacom18 saw him spearheading some of the network's most iconic shows and properties. Following his celebrated tenure at Viacom18, Nayak ventured into a new domain with House of Cheer, a full-service happiness and technology hub specializing in creation, curation, and consultancy, where he serves as the Managing Director.Commenting on his new role, Raj Nayak shared, "Embodying its philosophy of 'Built for Now,' YAAP has successfully harnessed content, data, and technology to deliver immense value to its clients, establishing itself as a dominant player in the industry. YAAP's promising roadmap for growth and expansion in the coming years, driven by innovation and strategic expansion into new markets, resonates with my business philosophy. It presents us with an exciting opportunity to break new ground together."YAAP has been on a trajectory of strategic growth, with recent additions such as Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, the former UAE Ambassador to India, to their advisory board, as well as key leadership appointments across India and GCC. The company has also formed a strategic partnership with Tagger Media, a leading US-based influencer marketing platform. These developments follow YAAP's acquisition of Crayons Communications, a renowned advertising agency in the Middle East, and an impressive financial performance, including a remarkable 97% increase in top-line growth and a fivefold rise in profitability for FY21-22. YAAP's prestigious client portfolio includes industry leaders such as NPCI, Visit Dubai, IndusInd, Lufthansa, SBI Cards, Disney, Apparel Group, MPL, Amazon, and Square Enix.

Coca-Cola introduces ‘drink of the future’ using AI

Coca-Cola, known for launching various limited-edition mystery flavours, has announced its latest mystery flavor, Coca-Cola Y3000 Zero Sugar, using AI.According to the brand, Coca-Cola Y300 is “the first futuristic flavor co-created with human and artificial intelligence.” The flavor is designed to celebrate an optimistic future through "the connections we make" and was created by tapping into both human and artificial intelligence as a way to understand how people envision the future. The taste of the Y3000 beverage was a two-step process. First, researchers at Coca-Cola collected ‘key flavour preferences and trends to understand what consumers imagine and think the future tastes like’. Then, that information was crunched by Coke’s artificial intelligence system to ‘help develop flavor profiles and pairings.’Coca-Cola doesn’t describe what the new flavor tastes like in any of its materials, but the drink comes in regular and zero sugar varietals. The use of AI, for Coca-Cola Creations, is a natural step that positions the drink in a way that could attract the interest of younger consumers who will want to try it, before potentially increasing their consumption of other Coca-Cola products. This latest version of Coca –Cola, doesn’t promote or reveal a flavor profile, such as cola, cherry or vanilla, but rather a mood or experience.Oana Vlad, Senior Director, Global Strategy, The Coca Cola Company, said,“We hope that Coca Cola will still be as relevant and refreshing in the year 3000 as it is today, so we challenged ourselves to explore the concept of what a Coke from the future might taste like. The ‘Real Magic’ brand platform celebrates unexpected connections that make the ordinary extraordinary, so we intentionally brought human intelligence and AI together for an uplifting expression of what Coca Cola believes tomorrow will bring.”While Y3000 is the first flavor developed with AI from Coca-Cola, it's not the first, nor the most unique flavor from the brand. Last summer, the brand released a "pixel-flavored" soda, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte.

du and Hashgraph association join forces for blockchain innovation at Envision

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), inked a groundbreaking partnership with The Hashgraph Association at Envision 2023. The collaboration focuses on harnessing the potential of the Hedera blockchain to offer secure, traceable, and scalable solutions on a corporate blockchain platform.As part of this strategic alliance, du and the The Hashgraph Association will provide innovative blockchain solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), governmental institutions, and municipalities. Leveraging the efficiency of Hashgraph on a decentralised, public network, the Hedera Distributed Ledger Technology ensures a trusted and reliable foundation for the newly developed solutions. Target sectors include manufacturing, healthcare, education, smart cities, and agriculture, catering to a wide range of industries seeking secure and efficient applications.Notably, Hedera stands out as the greenest proof-of-stake network according to UCL research, aligning perfectly with du's commitment to providing sustainable solutions. This synergy strengthens du's position as a leader in promoting ecological responsibility within the telecommunications industry. This partnership holds the potential to transform industries, drive innovation, and transform the way businesses operate in the digital landscape.

Deliveroo UAE reveals takeaway map of Dubai

Deliveroo has just revealed the launch of its Takeaway Map to showcase the most sought-after dishes in neighbourhoods across Dubai. Building on the platform’s deep understanding of the local market, the Takeaway Map takes customers on a culinary journey unveiling the most coveted dishes in the country. Starting with Dubai, Deliveroo is revealing the most popular dishes of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. Dubai, the vibrant melting pot of cultures and flavours, comes alive through Deliveroo’s Takeaway Map. Extending to areas such as Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Greens, Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, Motor City, Mirdif, Satwa, and Deira, the map guides customers through an immersive exploration of Dubai’s food scene, one neighbourhood at a time. Whether in the heart of the city or nearly by the sea, the Takeaway Map reveals that food lovers in Dubai Marina have a fondness for Margherita Pizza, while foodies in Downtown Dubai prefer the Rigatoni Bolognese. The map reveals that Birria is the ultimate pick for customers located in JLT. Residents in Jumeirah opt to start their day with the ultimate bite of a Breakfast Sandwich, whereas those living in Motor City prefer a comforting Chicken Sandwich. Travelling back to the Greens, Deliveroo’s Takeaway Map uncovers that the Katsu Curry is the favoured dish in the neighbourhood. Navigating to Satwa, Deliveroo’s findings show that residents sate their cravings with Chicken Strips. As the map crosses over the Creek, Deliveroo reveals that residents prefer salmon, with the Crispy Salmon Skin Sushi being the favourite dish in Deira, and the Salmon Bowl the most-loved in Mirdif. Yasmine Mroueh, Head of Commercial at Deliveroo UAE said, ‘At Deliveroo, our mission is to connect people with the food they love. Through our Takeaway Map, we celebrate the diverse culinary landscape that defines Dubai’s neighbourhoods. Dubai is a city where every corner has its own unique flavour, and we’re proud to deliver this world of food to our customers’ doorsteps.’ Whether a Dubai resident or a visitor, Deliveroo’s Takeaway Map of the city is a customer’s passport to an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Bahrain Tourism sees remarkable 51% surge in visitor numbers

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), recently unveiled its latest statistics for the period of January to June 2023, showcasing remarkable growth in their tourism sector. According to the latest BTEA data, Bahrain welcomed a staggering 5.9 million visitors during the first six months of 2023, representing a remarkable 51% increase from the same period in the previous year when 3.9 million tourists visited the country. This substantial surge in arrivals emphasizes Bahrain's growing attraction as a premier tourist destination. The Kingdom of Bahrain, renowned for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant shopping scene, and diverse tourist attractions has emerged as a desirable destination for tourists across the globe. It continues to make significant strides in its tourism sector. Bahrain, an island nation situated in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, has become a favorite choice for tourists seeking a unique blend of culture, history, and modernity. Visitors are drawn to its historical sites, such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bahrain Pearling Trail and the ancient Qal'at al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort), offering a glimpse into the nation's rich history dating back over 4,000 years. Moreover, Bahrain's cultural festivals, stunning architecture and warm hospitality attract visitors from around the world. This showcases the country's commitment to embracing global cultural diversity while preserving its own traditions. The nation's culinary scene is another highlight, with a plethora of restaurants offering a delectable fusion of Middle Eastern and international cuisines. From authentic local dishes to gourmet experiences, Bahrain satisfies every palate. One noteworthy trend observed during this period is the increasing number of tourists from India. The country witnessed 87% surge in the number of Indians visiting Bahrain. In the first half of 2023, the number of Indian visitors soared to 5,04,173 compared to 2,69,302 for the same period in 2022, showcasing the substantial growth in this tourist segment. The Indian market has shown tremendous interest in Bahrain as a preferred destination for weddings, vacations, and relaxation. The Kingdom's proximity to India, convenient connectivity, and a diverse range of offerings cater to the preferences of Indian travelers, making Bahrain an attractive choice for both leisure and business purposes.  Maryam Toorani, Director of Marketing & Promotion at BETA, said, “Bahrain's significant growth in tourism during the first half of 2023 is a testament to the enduring charm of our country. We are delighted to welcome 5.9 million visitors who have chosen Bahrain as their destination of choice. As we continue to evolve and welcome travelers from around the world, we remain committed to crafting unforgettable experiences that showcase our rich culture, history, and the warmth of our hospitality.” Bahrain's government continues to invest in its infrastructure and initiatives to ensure the sustainability and growth of its tourism sector. These efforts include enhancing accommodation options, expanding transportation networks, and promoting cultural and recreational activities. As Bahrain's tourism industry continues to flourish, it remains committed to providing exceptional experiences for visitors from around the world and nurturing its relationship with India, a key market in its tourism expansion strategy.

Babyshop unveils lullaby for kids in war zones

Babyshop, the baby and children’s retailer in the MENA region, has launched an initiative called ‘Frequencies of Peace’ with the help of creative agency FP7 McCann. Its main aim is to improve the lives of children in war and conflict areas, in support of UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. ‘Frequencies of Peace’ is a lullaby, developed with a dedicated team of neuroscientists from music therapy platform ‘Spiritune’. It is a specially developed song, which can calm, soothe and assist children go to sleep while living in devastating situations and also for those who have had experienced the turmoil early in their lives.   Babyshop has adopted this novel approach to address and support babies and children affected by war by replacing the sounds of war with the sounds of a lullaby to bring comfort and hope across the Middle East. This will surely assist parents and caregivers, as the lullaby has been made by evidence-based research in music therapy and neuroscience from leading institutions, such as New York University and Stanford.Moreover, scientific studies show very clearly that music has a profound impact on the nervous system. Lullabies, in particular, are highly effective in regulating children’s nervous systems. Across the world, an estimated 200 million children are living in the world’s most lethal war zones in the Middle East. Babies exposed to the sights and sounds of terror and war have been shown to develop PTSD, depression, and high rates of anxiety as they grow up. According to UNHCR’s Global Trends Report 2022, children make up to 30% but account for 41% of all forcibly displaced people. Children living in countries affected by wars and disasters often experience psychological distress, including anxiety, sadness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Mitin Chakraborty, Head of Marketing at Babyshop, commented: “As Head of Marketing for Babyshop, I've seen firsthand the impact of collective action. 'Frequencies of Peace' was born from a realization that peaceful sleep is a luxury for children in conflict zones. This scientifically-designed lullaby is our humble attempt to offer them the tranquillity they deserve. It's a joint effort with our incredible partners—UNHCR, Spiritune, and Anghami—uniting us in the commitment to make a real difference, one lullaby at a time.”<div class="video-container"><iframe src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>Fanti Federico, Chief Creative Officer at FP7 McCann, noted: “We are extremely proud to be part of this campaign, and to work with Babyshop, the artist and the team of neuroscientists from Spiritune. There is nothing more rewarding than using creativity to build effective and long-lasting tools that can benefit underprivileged people. This Lullaby can not only help children in war and disaster zones, but it can also represent a meaningful symbol of peace for the wider audience.” He added “The process has been humbling to be part of, and with the support of the UNHCR we hope that we can bring comfort to millions of children all over the world.”In a world where millions of children are burdened by the trauma of war and its aftermath, the simple power of a lullaby offers a glimmer of hope and solace amidst the chaos.

From words to results: The power of good communication

Maya Angelou once famously said: 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.' This profound statement continues to hold true in the present day. Women, often referred to as the fairer sex, have consistently confronted and conquered the myriad challenges that cross their paths. They have demonstrated an indomitable spirit and emerged as inspiring role models for countless others.Karolina Slowikowska-Jaworowska is a prime example of a successful woman who has made a significant impact over the past two decades in the fields of media and communication. With more than 20 years of experience as a communications specialist, she stands as a testament to what determination and expertise can achieve. In an exclusive interview with Adgully, Karolina Slowikowska-Jaworowska, Director-Brand Communications at amana, delves deep into her journey of success within the realms of media, content, PR, and finance. She shares insights into the evolving role of women in our predominantly male-dominated society. Furthermore, she discusses her passion for writing and public relations, highlighting how these two facets complement each other seamlessly. Excerpts:Can you please share your career journey? How do you think the role and scope of women leaders have widened in the current market ecosystem in the UAE?My career journey started nearly two decades ago in the field of journalism, where I had the privilege to work with some of the world's most distinguished journalists, including Pulitzer Prize finalists, at the renowned Reuters news agency.Around a decade ago, I smoothly transitioned into the realm of communications and media relations. It felt natural. I’m now working in the world of finance, which I’ve grown to consider the lifeblood of any economy.While it's true that women have not traditionally dominated the financial sector during my journey, I have been fortunate to work in environments that were exceptionally supportive and inclusive, regardless of gender ratios. I firmly believe that the dynamics of one's workplace depend on the people around you.Over the years, I have witnessed a notable increase in the representation of women in the financial sector—an encouraging trend. It reflects the success of educational systems in providing girls with access to finance, mathematics, and science-oriented education while actively fostering their interest in these subjects. This transformation benefits not only the economy but also corporations, which now have a growing pool of talented women in fields that were previously male-dominated.We are increasingly aware that diversity, particularly in terms of diverse perspectives and thought, is a crucial driver of progress and innovation. This evolution is undoubtedly a positive sign for the industry and society at large.You are Director of Brand Communications at amana as well as have been an Editor and play many other roles simultaneously. What drives Karolina Slowikowska to fulfill all this?My passion for journalism and communications is deeply rooted in my upbringing and personal experiences. Watching my father, a dedicated journalist, immersed in his work left a lasting impression. Those father-daughter trips to his newspaper, the print section with that unique smell of ink and paper that I still remember, all left me enamored with the power of media. Now, as the Brand Communications Director at amana, I carry forward that energy and understanding. I firmly believe that effective communication is vital in fostering trust within the financial industry. I'm driven by the knowledge that my team and I contribute significantly to our brand and company's success.What is your first love? Media communications or content strategy? What is the one topic that you really like to write about?Both! Media strategy and content strategy are two essential components of a comprehensive communications plan, each serving distinct yet common purposes.Media strategy primarily focuses on selecting the right channels and platforms to distribute content effectively. It involves decisions about advertising budgets, media buying, target audience analysis, and scheduling. The goal is to ensure that the content reaches the desired audience through the most appropriate channels, such as social media, TV, radio, or print.On the other hand, content strategy is concerned with creating and curating compelling, relevant, and valuable content. This includes defining the messaging, tone, and style, as well as determining the types of content (e.g., articles, videos, infographics) needed to engage and inform the target audience.The two strategies are intimately connected. A well-considered content strategy informs the media strategy by providing the content that will be disseminated through chosen channels. Conversely, the media strategy guides the content strategy by determining where and when to publish content for maximum impact.For a communications director, daily responsibilities involve overseeing both strategies. This includes monitoring content creation, ensuring it aligns with the brand's goals, and adapting media choices based on real-time feedback and data analysis. The director must maintain a delicate balance between the two to achieve optimal communication outcomes. This entails continuous evaluation and adjustment to keep the strategies intertwined and effective.What can you say about the dynamics of the communication Industry, especially in the MENA region? What can you predict about its future?We live in an incredibly fast world where change is practically constant. And this is also true of the communications/PR industry. The PR industry is dynamic, constantly evolving to adapt to changing media landscapes and communication technologies. It involves building and managing relationships between organisations and their audiences, utilizing storytelling, social media, and data analytics to shape public perception. Flexibility, agility, and adaptability are key in this ever-shifting landscape. With the recent emergence of AI, we’re entering an entirely new phase, where change is even faster and adaptability will be the absolute key.What is your mantra for maintaining a successful work-life balance?It takes a village! Achieving a healthy work-life balance for women and men, especially in senior or leadership roles, first requires the acknowledgment that ‘balance’ is an important part of our lives. There are a few ways that I think can help anyone achieve a better work-life balance:• Prioritising tasks and responsibilities• embracing technology to work remotely when possible• establishing clear boundaries by setting designated work hours and respecting personal time• regularly scheduling self-care and leisure activities• learning to ask for help from a strong network, including family, friends, and mentors.I have been fortunate to collaborate with incredible teams and exceptional managers over the years. I've witnessed a significant evolution in corporate culture during the last couple of decades, with companies, leaders, and managers increasingly prioritizing work-life balance and mental health. As someone who leads a team, I'm making every effort I can to live by the above rules. This includes setting clear boundaries, promoting flexibility, and actively encouraging a healthy work-life balance to ensure that my team thrives both personally and professionally.According to you, what makes women the best in crisis management?Studies suggest that women often exhibit qualities such as empathy, collaboration, and strong interpersonal skills, which are often crucial during high-pressure situations. Their communication style also tends to be more transparent and inclusive, fostering trust among stakeholders. Additionally, women leaders are often seen as more approachable and relatable during crises. While individual capabilities vary, these findings underline the valuable contributions women can make in effectively handling crisis communication scenarios.A good example of a study that provides insights into women's effectiveness in crisis communications is "Crisis Communication in Public Relations: A Test of the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) in the Context of Female CEOs" by Audra Diers-Lawson and Julia L. Daisy. This research examines how female CEOs handle crises in their organizations. It found that female leaders tend to adopt more accommodative strategies and engage in proactive communication during crises, contributing to more positive public perceptions and outcomes.What are the five most effective leadership lessons that you have learned and would like to share with others?Leadership, in my experience, transcends authority. The top five lessons I have learned include the importance of emotional intelligence, building positive team relationships, practicing empathy, fostering a sense of common purpose, and continuous personal growth. True leadership isn't just about power; it's about connecting, understanding, and guiding others towards shared goals with compassion and emotional acumen.Is there anything in your career bucket list that you have yet to do?I would like to develop my own course or workshop, so I can share my expertise and knowledge, helping to empower leaders and individuals in mastering public speaking and effective communication. This also aligns with my long-term goal of sharing insights and knowledge through a potential book, enabling others to communicate confidently and authentically, fostering stronger connections and building better relationships with brands, people and/or institutions. One day, I’ll find the time!

Synamedia Showcases the Future of Sports Video Streaming at IBC

Leading video software provider Synamedia today announced that it will share its vision of the future of sports streaming at IBC 2023 with a preview of several innovations from its R&D labs designed to meet Video Network’s target customers’ needs: B2B distribution SaaS solutions, D2C streaming SaaS solutions, and IP network optimisation products. These early technologies will include compression, CDN switching, in-stadium experiences and a new way of distributing sports content. According to Marc Baillavoine, recently appointed as CTO of Video Network at Synamedia, “With many patented and unique technologies, our video network portfolio meets the needs of every type of video service provider from niche streamers through to tier-1 operators with specific scaling and operational needs. Working with these customers we know how sports streaming pushes technology to its limits. Anticipating future demands for flexibility, scalability, and quality of experience - yet with an eye on cost control - we are continuing to innovate. Just like concept cars in the auto industry, we now want to share our vision to get content owners and operators’ feedback and to collaborate on real world applications.” Synamedia believes it will have the industry’s first demonstration of Versatile Video Coding (VVC) running in the cloud on the latest Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances. It will highlight the benefits of using AI for compression, including customisation by sport to optimise the results depending on the sports. For example, it features a lightweight, real-time AI model that ensures every image is properly rendered, including the grass on the field. It will also show how it can support compression in 8K. Continuing its efforts towards a more sustainable streaming, another demonstration will show how Synamedia is optimising energy efficiency with a multi-CDN approach that simultaneously improves QoE by negotiating between the CDN tenants for more optimal usage of physical resources. Synamedia will also highlight a breakthrough solution that combines ultra-low latency, with sub-second glass-to-glass latency alongside content delivery at scale, combining the latest standards. Building on an earlier demonstration at NAB 2023, Synamedia will show enhancements to its immersive in-stadium experience with partner NativeWaves. This application brings viewers closer to the action when watching their favourite teams and athletes at home, on-the-go or from their stadium seat. It includes Synamedia’s end-to-end ultra-low latency to allow fans to instantly re-watch the action – such as scores, overtakes, injuries - from different camera angles using companion devices at home or 5G devices while in the stadium or on the move.  Synamedia will also provide a sneak peek at its latest innovation in global content distribution that will reduce content acquisition and distribution costs. This new business model uses SaaS gateways that will allow customers to be operational in minutes with auto registration and signal availability. This means sports content owners will be able to quickly start delivering content when and where they need it using cloud connectivity and CDNs. It will also make it easy for them try out new business models in different regions and extend their reach. Synamedia demos will be at IBC 2023 in hall 1 balcony suite 21.

Visa and FAB announce winners of second UAE edition of She's Next program

Visa (NYSE: V), the world's leader in digital payments, together with First Abu Dhabi Bank today announced Jennifer Sault, the Founder of Thrift for Good, a charity shop in Dubai that rehomes preloved clothes and items to raise funds for children’s charities around the world, as the much-anticipated winner of its second She's Next grant program for UAE. The winner was selected at an award ceremony held at Museum of the Future in Dubai.Handpicked from a pool of over 880 applicants from across the GCC, the winning woman-owned small business received a US$50,000 grant along with a year of business coaching from International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations and World Trade Organization, and US$3.000 of Amazon Web Services credits. The business coaching will be provided by the ITC SheTrades Initiative, ITC’s flagship women and trade program. The winner was selected from a pool of applicants representing a range of sectors including but not limited to textiles, education, food and beverage, professional services, beauty and wellness.A jury evaluated entries based on the following criteria: the progression of applicant’s entrepreneurial journey; robustness of their business metrics; digital presence; and demonstrated ability to problem-solve confidently. The members of the jury included: Shaikha Ali AlNaqbi, Head of Contracting Segment – Corporate Banking, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Khuloud Al Omian, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Middle East; Carl Manlan, VP, Inclusion Impact & Sustainability, Visa, CEMEA; Houda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding; Wendy Paratian, Program Officer, She Trades; and Hadi Aloh, Head of Sales, Commercial Segment, UAE, AWS.For the first time, She’s Next included a People’s Favorite award, voted for online by members of the general public. This award with cash prize of US$10,000 went to Nada Alawadhi, the Founder of The Bookshelf, a bilingual book subscription for kids.Further highlighting the increasing focus on sustainability in today’s local business landscape, most of the She’s Next applicants showcased sustainable business practices. In fact, based on the SMB Digitization Index commissioned by Visa to support the She’s Next program, all the women entrepreneurs surveyed in the GCC (100%) acknowledged the increasing importance of sustainability in the current business landscape, indicating their commitment to reduce waste, recycle products (45%), and minimize plastic usage (51%).Through their participation in the She's Next program, these women entrepreneurs have already gained access to practical insights from women leaders, valuable tools, educational resources, and facilitated trainings. This includes access to AWS Connected Community and ITC SheTrades Initiative's "Elevate Your Business" training program. Visa and ITC will also provide one-to-one advisory support for 30 finalists – equipping these individuals with the guidance and insights to boost their business and financial strategies."In a world where women-owned small businesses consistently demonstrate their resilience and future-forward optimism, Visa is proud to acknowledge and support these trailblazing female entrepreneurs in UAE. We extend our heartfelt congratulations once again to the winners of She’s Next in UAE and look forward to supporting them in their business journey," said Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s SVP and Group Country Manager for GCC.Sara Al Binali, Group Head of Corporate, Commercial, and International Banking at FAB, said: “The She's Next winners exemplify the strength and depth of women-owned businesses in the UAE. FAB is proud to be part of a program that is proving to be so effective at empowering and elevating women entrepreneurs in their journey to success. As we celebrate these exceptional winners, we eagerly anticipate their businesses reaching new heights and making a lasting impact on the UAE's entrepreneurial landscape.”

Gartner forecasts 15mln electric cars will be shipped in 2023

Dubai: Nearly 15 million electric cars (battery electric and plug-in hybrid) are expected to be shipped worldwide in 2023, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Shipments of electric cars are estimated to increase 19% in 2024, to total 17.9 million units.Gartner forecasts that shipments of all electric vehicles (EVs) - cars, buses, vans and heavy trucks - will total 18.5 million units in 2024, with electric car shipments will representing 97% of total EV shipments next year (see Table 1).Globally, battery electric vehicles (BEV) shipments are forecast to grow from 9 million units in 2022 to 11 million units by the end of 2023. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs are expected to grow at a slightly slower rate, from 3 million units in 2022 to 4 million units in 2023.“The proportion of PHEV, as a percentage of total EVs in countries like the U.S., Canada and Japan will slightly grow as consumers in those countries prefer PHEVs to BEVs. U.S. consumers who are transitioning from a pure internal combustion engine (ICE) car are choosing to adopt PHEVs over their BEV counterparts because PHEVs combine the ability to deliver emission free urban driving, with the convenience of gasoline powered propulsion for longer journeys,” said Jonathan Davenport, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner. “The situation is different in Western Europe, China and to a lesser extent India, where consumers favor BEV’s lower overall running costs, quieter driving experience and green credentials.”EV Models to Represent Over 50% of Car Maker Models by 2030Governments’ decisions to reduce particulate matter emissions from vehicles and some country-level initiatives, such as implementing legislation to only allow the sale of zero-emission vehicles and seeking to enforce PHEV as a minimum, led to changes in automaker behaviors. Some automakers are looking to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and others are aspiring to achieve sales of 40% to 50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicles by 2030. In addition, the growing importance of EVs has led to new market entrants launching EV platforms.“Ever-tightening emission regulations will lead automakers to pivot more than half of the vehicle models marketed to EVs by 2030,” said Davenport.By 2027, BEV Prices to Reach Parity with ICE Vehicles of Similar Size and ConfigurationGartner analysts expect that by 2027, the average price of a BEV will reach parity with ICE vehicles of similar size and configuration, which will accelerate the global adoption of EVs. However, by 2030, power generation and network capacity have the potential to act as inhibiting factors to mass EV deployment regardless of price.“Unless countries take actions to incentivize EV drivers to charge outside peak electricity consumption periods, the switch to EVs may put an additional strain on both the power generation capacity and the distribution infrastructure,” said Davenport.“Using dual day and night or even half-hourly electricity tariffs can incentivize EV drivers to charge outside peak times, which would require a mass roll-out of smart metering,” added Davenport. “Likewise, the ability of utilities to control EV chargers directly via application programming interfaces (APIs) would enable EV charging to be momentarily curtailed at peak consumption times to ensure grid demands weren’t exceeded.”Gartner clients can read more in “Forecast: Electric Vehicle Shipments, Worldwide, 2022-2032” and “Forecast Analysis: Electric Vehicle Shipments, Worldwide.”

More than 250 global experts to address 12th IGCF tomorrow

Sharjah: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of Sharjah Media Council (SMC), the 12th annual International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2023) is set to convene tomorrow (Wednesday) under the theme 'Today's Resources... Tomorrow's Wealth' in Expo Centre Sharjah.Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), IGCF 2023 brings together the experiences and expertise of more than 250 thought leaders, thinkers and experts in government communication, both at local and international levels. They will be leading over 90 main discussions, side sessions, inspiring speeches, seminars, programmes and activities on 14 stages in collaboration with 35 local, regional and international partners.The two-day event will underscore the role of government communication in managing and optimising a country's resources, over 4 main pillars - natural resources; non-material resources of culture, arts, sports, and human capital; technology and data, the wealth of our era. The forum will also explore government communication’s role in identifying and optimising sources of future wealth.In its 12th edition, IGCF will also promote a comprehensive developmental culture, with a focus on individual well-being and strengthening communities' resilience by offering the practical ideas and insights from distinguished speakers, including HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chairperson of the Emirates Food Security Council; Frank Caprio, the world famous US judge known as "The Nicest Judge in the World"; David Daokui Li, a prominent Chinese economist and the Director of the Center for China in the World Economy (CCWE) at Tsinghua University; Dr. Raja Al Marzouqi, GCC Chief Negotiator – FTA Negotiation; Dr. Osama Kamal, former Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Dr. Ayman Ayyash, Chairman of the Royal Commission for the Mining Sector, Jordan.Other distinguished speakers who will address the forum include Maria Antonia, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines; Koh Jean, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Digital Platform Government, South Korea; HE Ambassador Ahmed Rashid Khattabi, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League; Robin Sharma, renowned global leadership expert and Canadian author; Prof. Dr. Ger Graus, Global Director of Education, KidZania; Ambassador Marco A. Suazo, Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office; Prof. Dr. Fan Gang, Professor of Economics, Peking University and President of China Development Institute; Prof. Alexander Likhotal, President of the International Green Cross; Dr. Inhyok Cha, Digital Twin TF team leader of the Presidential Committee on the Digital Platform of the Republic of Korea, Sheikh Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, CEO of the National Center for Cybersecurity, Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the Government of the UAE, Eng. Khalifa Musabeh Ahmed Alteneiji, Chairman of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in Sharjah.Optimal resource investmentOver the course of two days, IGCF 2023 will highlight the importance of strengthening partnerships between countries to achieve optimal resource investment and utilisation. It will shine light on successful global experiences and practices in resource investment, such as food and water security and the adoption of green energy sources. The forum will also explore the significance of non-material wealth for societies, including human and cultural wealth encompassing heritage, arts, sciences, talents, education, and technologies, while emphasising the role of government communication in defining these assets' concepts, highlighting their value and impact on development.IGCF will also address the challenges and solutions in building and preserving these forms of wealth, and demonstrate ways in which society can transform them into a key fuel for socioeconomic progress.

Dubai International Chamber further strengthens its presence in Europe

Dubai: Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has inaugurated a new representative office in Paris to boost trade and investment with France. The launch comes just days after the inauguration of the chamber’s new office in Italy, further strengthening its presence in Europe and increasing the total number of international representative offices to 24 across five continents.The opening comes as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative, which seeks to attract new business, investment, and talent to the emirate while enabling Dubai-based companies to expand into priority international markets. Launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Global aims to establish a powerful network of 50 representative offices around the world by 2030.The inauguration ceremony for the new office was held with the participation of Her Excellency Hend Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to France, and Salem Al Shamsi, Vice President of Global Markets at Dubai Chambers, in the presence of distinguished representatives of the French business community.Commenting on the launch of the Paris office, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “France is one of the strategically important global markets in which we are keen to establish our presence. Our network of international representative offices will play a key role in boosting Dubai's non-oil foreign trade from AED 1.4 trillion to AED 2 trillion by 2026, in line with the goals of the emirate’s five-year foreign trade plan.”Lootah added: "We remain committed to achieving our strategic priorities and strengthening our efforts to attract companies from France and the wider European region to Dubai, as well as assisting Dubai-based companies that wish to expand into France. The new office in Paris unifies our efforts to enhance the reach and resilience of Dubai businesses in global markets while supporting the Dubai Economic Agenda by attracting new foreign direct investment to the emirate."Her Excellency Hend Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to France, commented: “Dubai International Chamber’s opening of a new Paris office is testament to the strength and dynamism of France-UAE trade relations. This milestone comes at a crucial moment in time as our economy is diversifying at full speed, presenting exciting new opportunities for French companies to expand their footprint in the UAE in fields varying from space and technology to health and luxury."472 French companies registered with Dubai Chamber of Commerce during the first seven months of 2023 alone, up 33% from the same period in 2022. This impressive growth brought the total number of member companies from France to 3,068, underlining the strong level of interest in Dubai among the French business community.The value of non-oil bilateral trade between Dubai and France reached AED 24.6 billion during 2022, representing significant year-on-year growth of 33.7%.Prominent sectors for trade between the UAE and France include aircraft and parts, machinery, precious stones and metals, perfumes and cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products. The new office in Paris will further strengthen an already robust commercial relationship by identifying and capitalising on high-potential trade and investment opportunities in areas such as cereals, dairy products, jewellery, and the automobile industry.The Dubai International Chamber team in Paris will focus on building strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders, as well as providing comprehensive support for French companies seeking to enter Dubai and expand internationally through the emirate. The launch of the office creates new channels for communication and economic cooperation between the two markets and will strengthen cooperation with local partners to co-organise networking events, business seminars, and business matching events.Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities have established the emirate as a preferred trade hub for French companies with global ambitions. Offering easy access to over 2.2 billion consumers, Dubai serves as a gateway for businesses in France and the wider European continent looking to expand their footprints globally.

Indosuez Wealth Management strengthens ME operations with new leadership

Dubai: Indosuez Wealth Management, the global wealth management arm of Crédit Agricole Group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Emile Salawi as Head of the Middle East. This strategic appointment further strengthens Indosuez's commitment to the region and comes within the scope of the recent opening of its DIFC branch in October 2022 and the recruitment of Vanik Baghramian as its Senior Executive Officer.Emile Salawi will lead the organization's efforts across the entire Middle East region, capitalizing on the expertise of not only the Indosuez Wealth Management teams in Geneva, Zurich, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, but also the unique capabilities of Crédit Agricole CIB and Amundi teams in the region. Salawi has an outstanding wealth management track record in driving business growth and delivering high-standard quality relationship management to high-net-worth individuals.Isabelle Jacob-Nebout, Head of Wealth Management for Indosuez in Switzerland, Middle East and Asia , said:"We are delighted to announce Emile Salawi as the new Head of Middle East, further bolstering our commitment to this key market. As highlighted in the recent Wealth Report by Knight Frank, the UAE recorded the world's fastest growth rate of ultra-rich individuals standing out with an impressive 16.9% growth in their population of UHNWIs for the region.Emile's extensive experience and multifaceted skill set make him the ideal leader to capitalize on these opportunities, strengthen our presence in the region, and deliver exceptional client experiences."With the recent opening of its DIFC Branch in October 2022 and the recruitment of Vanik Baghramian, as Senior Executive Officer of the bank’s branch in DIFC, Indosuez Wealth Management, which roots date back to 1949 in the Arabian Gulf states, now boasts a dual presence in the UAE, comprising: a DIFC Branch operating under the regulatory purview of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and a Representative Office in Abu Dhabi governed by the Central Bank of UAE within its on-shore jurisdiction. The Group’s ongoing expansion uniquely positions the business to effectively cater to the diverse financial needs of its clientele and further contribute to the flourishing financial landscape of the region.BiographiesEmile Salawi brings over two decades of comprehensive international banking experience to the Middle East clientele, with a background in investment banking at UBS, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Deutsche Bank, as well as in private banking at BNP Paribas. He joined Indosuez Wealth Management, in 2020 as Head of Key Clients and Family Offices of CA Indosuez (Switzerland) SA.Vanik Baghramian was with UBS for 15 years, covering various wealth management positions, including Head of Arabian Gulf business in Geneva and member of the MEA Management Committee.

Neo Capital Names Babak Sultani as CEO to Lead Growth and Strategy

Neo Capital, a leading global real estate investment management firm, announced today the appointment of Babak Sultani as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Babak will be based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and takes up this role with immediate effect.In his new role, Babak will focus on strengthening Neo Capital’s position in the market, with the objective of growing the firm’s Assets Under Management (AUM) from approximately US $1 billion to US $3 billion in the medium term. He will spearhead efforts to expand the firm’s investor base in the GCC, as well as lead the acquisition and asset management activities; ensuring optimal performance and value creation for investors and shareholders.Babak Sultani brings over 20 years of real estate experience to Neo Capital. He joins from Investcorp, where he spent 15 years and held the role of Managing Director of the Real Estate Group. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in growing Investcorp's real estate AUM to over US $10 billion. Babak holds a Master’s Degree in Science in Accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington.Commenting on the appointment, Hani Obaid, Founder and Chairman of Neo Capital, said: "We are delighted to welcome Babak as our new CEO. His extensive experience in the real estate industry, combined with his strategic and leadership skills, will be instrumental in leading Neo Capital through its next phase of growth. Babak's appointment brings structure, focus, and a strong client-centric mindset to the role."Babak Sultani, Chief Executive Officer added, "I am excited to be joining Neo Capital at this time of its growth journey. The market timing is ideal and I see great potential in the firm. With a strong team already in place, I believe we have the expertise and skill set required to deliver on our strategic objectives and capture more opportunities while delivering value to our clients."Founded in 2015, having transacted approximately US $1 billion to date, Neo Capital has a strong track record of successful transactions across the US, Western Europe, and the UK. The latest addition to their portfolio is the acquisition of Liverpool’s Royal Albert Docks, a historical site and landmark attraction in the City of Liverpool, UK.

Dubai Sports World wraps up its largest edition ever

The 2023 edition of Dubai Sports World (DSW) - Dubai’s largest and most diverse indoor summer sports destination - has concluded its largest edition to date, setting new records with its larger-than-ever array of sports offering and cutting-edge fitness facilities for all age groups throughout the summer. Celebrating its 13th edition this year, Dubai Sports World returned with an unparalleled selection of sports fun spread across an expansive 300,000 square feet featuring over 40 courts and pitches at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Complemented by a multitude of new fitness facilities, the event spanned three months, from 01 June to 10 September, and was organised by DWTC in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council and in support of the UAE leadership's commitment to fostering a healthier and more fitness-oriented lifestyle. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2023 EDITION This year, participants took part in a plethora of sports, fitness classes, academic coaching, and an exciting range of activities for all ages. DSW offered the perfect haven for sports enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: "Dubai Sports World has become an essential event in the city’s annual sporting calendar, creating a positive impact on sports, physical fitness, and community participation. The 2023 edition has set new standards for success - from the number of events and participants to the diversity of sports and activities on offer, and the involvement of leading sporting academies.” “At Dubai Sports Council, in close collaboration with Dubai World Trade Centre and government entities, we have worked tirelessly to make Dubai Sports World inclusive and accessible – a place for people of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life. For this edition, we welcomed seniors from the Thukher Club and hosted cleaning engineers from Dubai Municipality and the hardworking personnel of delivery companies in Dubai. The participants enjoyed a positive sporting experience - fostering wellbeing and happiness while strengthening community bonds. It’s also a small way in which we can convey our appreciation for the invaluable services they provide to our city and its community members." Featuring new facilities for the season, such as pickleball courts, a 300m running track, a dedicated gym equipped with top-of-the-line Matrix cardio and strength training equipment, and a private fitness studio with daily pay-as-you-go classes spanning HIIT, Martial Arts, Zumba, and Yoga, the 2023 Dubai Sports World truly delivered the ultimate summer escape. Mahir Julfar, Executive Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre, said, “We are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished with the 13th edition of Dubai Sports World. We’ve not only achieved substantial growth in the number of participants, sports offered, fitness challenges and venue space but also had various initiatives that brought the local community together. Our mission complements the Dubai Government’s agenda to empower all community segments from all fitness levels and age groups including the children, the elderly, and people of determination to lead a healthy lifestyle, while promoting the Emirate as a fitness destination. We thank all our partners, sponsors, and participants who made this edition a huge success. We have big plans for next year and are looking forward to a bigger and better edition of Dubai Sports World in 2024." EXPANDED FACILITIES In 2023, DSW’s comprehensive offering encompassed over 40 courts and pitches, including 17 badminton courts, 8 table tennis tables, 6 football pitches, 3 basketball courts, 2 padel courts, 2 tennis courts, 2 volleyball courts, 1 cricket pitch, and 2 pickleball courts. INCLUSIVE EVENTS FOR ALL AGES AND ABILITIES The 2023 edition of DSW was a catalyst for promoting an active and wholesome lifestyle across all segments of the community, including the elderly, children, and People of Determination.  DSW collaborated with various organisations such as the Community Development Authority, the Emirates Down Syndrome Association, and the Dubai Police, among others, to make sports activities more accessible to everyone. This included days for the elderly, providing them with the opportunity to participate in their favourite sports and activities throughout the event, and in partnership with the Emirates Down Syndrome Association, DSW offered courts and pitches for people with Down Syndrome to play their favourite sports alongside their companions each week throughout the event. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT The 2023 edition also saw DSW host a ground-breaking community event for delivery drivers, the first of its kind, as part of the ‘Sports Summer’ initiative launched by Dubai Sports Council. The event brought together more than 450 delivery workers from prominent companies - Talabat, Deliveroo, Careem, Noon, Noon Food, and Now - uniting them in sportsmanship and camaraderie. The event included organising fun sports and entertainment competitions in five different games: tug of war, football, volleyball, badminton, and cricket. In a first for DSW, the year saw the debut of the HYROX event in Dubai, combining running with functional workout stations. With divisions catering to all skill levels, HYROX promoted inclusivity, teamwork, and personal accomplishment. Other initiatives featured local community fun events, such as the Zumba Masterclass, World Yoga Day, and Balance and Control Challenge, which introduced unique physical trials namely "Balancing Act," "No Touch Stand Up," and "Low Boat Pose Challenge." These enjoyable contests not only tested participants' physical prowess but also fostered a sense of achievement and unity. SPORTS ACADEMIES To break new ground at DSW in tuition and coaching, Dubai Sports World this year also partnered with 12 renowned sports academies, providing children aged 4 to 14 with exceptional skills training and endless fun throughout the summer. Children were able to try out the various academies that train at DSW throughout the summer, which included Real Madrid Academy, Star Football Academy, Soccer Kids Academy, IFA Sports Academy, Irish Football Academy, MVP, Star Basketball Academy, Professional Sports Academy, Deepika Sports Academy, Star Badminton Academy, Tennis 360 and American Middle-Eastern Dance Conservatory. "Dubai Sports World has consistently provided an exceptional opportunity for kids to actively participate and thrive during summer. Our summer camp, featured Accredited Coach Education Program (ACEP) qualified coaches and emphasised the vital role of basketball in children's development, nurturing teamwork skills, and improving their fitness levels,” Anees Makrous Co-Founder of Star Basketball Academy commented. On keeping the community active during summer period, Gwen Tan-Sproule, Founder and CEO of Tennis 360 said: "The variety of sports & facilities at Dubai Sports World is truly exceptional and a lifesaver in summer! The Dubai Sports World team is dedicated to enhancing the customer experience by continuously improving and upgrading their facility. This commitment provides us with the platform to deliver well-structured and progressive tennis programs for both children and adults. Our fruitful collaboration with Dubai Sports World over the past 12 years has made a significant impact by involving everyone in tennis and fostering awareness among diverse age groups in the community, inspiring everyone to remain active throughout the summer season." Sriyani Deepika, General Manager and Head Coach at Deepika Sports Academy said: "At Deepika Sports Academy, badminton transcends mere sport; it's a vehicle for nurturing relationships and instilling core values like teamwork, respect, and resilience. Beyond imparting the fundamentals of badminton, our summer camps are crafted to boost self-esteem through interactive learning experiences. We are grateful to have joined with Dubai Sports World in its 13th edition as this collaboration has played a pivotal role in amplifying the reach and impact of this wonderful sport."

Publicis Groupe ME sponsors MeasureCamp’s debut in Dubai

Publicis Groupe Middle East, a global leader in marketing, communication, and digital transformation, has sponsored MeasureCamp Dubai, the digital analytics' unconference' for and by the digital analytics community.The sponsorship reinforces Groupe's commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration within the digital and tech domain.Inspired by the success of BarCamps and the global MeasureCamp community, the inaugural MeasureCamp Dubai saw many industry professionals, beginners, and enthusiasts gather to share ideas, knowledge, and insights in an informal and interactive setting.Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey shared, “"We recognise the pivotal role digital analytics plays in the future of businesses, which is why events like MeasureCamp Dubai hold immense importance.”Commenting on the Groupe's partnership, Rajesh Verma, Business Director of Epsilon and one of the committee members of MeasureCamp Dubai, said, “At Epsilon we believe that technology and data-driven solutions can transform the future of marketing and customer experience, and MeasureCamp is a great place to discover what’s next for digital analytics and measurement. Having Publicis Groupe ME as a sponsor elevates MeasureCamp Dubai to new heights.”Publicis Groupe has significantly accelerated its foray into providing real identity and data-driven solutions through Epsilon and continues to actively partner and collaborate to converge upon new insights and diverse perspectives in the field. Originating in London in 2012, MeasureCamp has swiftly evolved into a global phenomenon, with over 20 local editions annually. These 'unconferences' defy conventional passive conferences, fostering lively discussions and idea exchanges. From a modest 130 attendees at its inception, MeasureCamp now spans 24 cities worldwide.

DSMG wraps up the spectacular Dubai Summer Surprises 2023

Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) has announced the successful conclusion of the highly anticipated 'Shop, Drive & Live It Up' campaign part of the 2023 edition of Dubai Summer Surprises. After a thrilling ten-week run, the campaign has offered the lavish Nissan X-trail to 6 lucky winners among thousands of participants, namely: Wahida Gani, Sunu V Jacob, Nikita, Jayson Reyes, Khalid AlJallaf and Deebu George.Drawing attention and excitement from enthusiastic shoppers, the 2023 DSS took retail therapy to newer heights this year with captivating promotions and offers for one and all. This year's DSS also offered extensive discounts and distinguished experiences for its shoppers through its 20 participating malls.Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, expressed his delight at the success of this year’s DSS, saying, “Once again, the Dubai Shopping Malls Group has delivered an extraordinary summer shopping experience with the 2023 Dubai Summer Surprises. We are proud to have been part of an event that brings joy, excitement, and unparalleled value to our shoppers. This year's DSS was a testament to Dubai's resilience and its commitment to offering world-class entertainment and shopping experiences. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners, retailers, and the entire Dubai community for their unwavering support.”Wahida Gani, one of the winners of the Nissan X-trail, said, “It is an incredible feeling! This was my very first time participating, and I can't express how blessed I feel to have won the car. It's truly a wonderful experience, and I'm so grateful for this opportunity.”Jayson Reyes, another Nissan X-trail winner said, “I am overjoyed and still in disbelief that I won the raffle! After participating at Dubai Outlet Mall for three consecutive years, it's incredibly rewarding that my persistence has finally paid off. Patience truly is the key, and I'm so thankful to DSMG for this opportunity. This victory has inspired me to participate again next year with the hope of winning once more. Thank you all for this incredible experience!”As the curtains fall on the 2023 Dubai Summer Surprises, DSMG remains committed to enhancing the shopping experience for residents and visitors in Dubai. The organization is already setting its sights on the future, promising to bring more joy, discounts, and surprises to the city's retail landscape in the years to come.

Saudi's first social media network Jaco attracts 1 million users

Saudi Arabia’s first social media network Jaco has attracted more than 1 million users in its first two months.In his first appearance on the business stage of Jaco, Saudi entrepreneur Fahd Al-Shidi, the supervisor of the project, announced a special challenge the team is undertaking to reach five million users soon.He added that Jaco's attraction of more than one million users in the coming two months from other networks, including well-known names, proves that they share our ambitions to present the world with a leading Arab social networking platform capable of challenging and competing.At the official launch ceremony of the Jaco application in Riyadh, attended by influencers and VIP guests, Al-Shidi expressed his happiness with the success Jaco has achieved so far, announcing that the network has acquired one million new users in just two months. He expressed his confidence that Jaco will reach five million users by the end of the year.He added that launching a new network like Jaco is a difficult challenge, but its acquisition of one million users in a few weeks indicates that it could change the rules of the game. The question remains: Will Jaco enter the club of major social networks soon? We hope so.The announcement received widespread attention, as the hashtags #Jaco_Million_User and #Jaco_Million_Subscriber dominated various social media platforms, including Twitter, on Thursday. This generated significant engagement from renowned Saudi, Gulf, and Arab social media influencers.

Enas Rashwan launches Saudi Ad School in Riyadh

Enas Rashwan, the visionary behind Cairo Ad School, has announced the inauguration of the Saudi Ad School in Riyadh, marking a significant milestone in the realm of Saudi advertising education.This pioneering ad institution is celebrated as the “first Saudi occupational advertising institute” in the country, designed with the noble mission of empowering the upcoming generation of Saudi advertising professionals.Enas Rashwan, the accomplished Founder and President of both Saudi Ad School and Cairo Ad School, boasts a rich tapestry of experience spanning over 18 years in the advertising and communications sphere. Having initially established Cairo Ad School to bridge the educational gap for creative industry professionals in her region, Rashwan has now extended her vision to Saudi Arabia.Rashwan envisions the Saudi Ad School as an extraordinary platform for aspiring creative talents in Saudi Arabia, where they can cultivate their skills and make a profound impact on the advertising industry, all while aligning with the ambitious objectives of Vision 2030.In order to achieve these goals, Rashwan has invited industry professionals, encouraging them to contribute through mentorship and collaborative partnerships. She firmly believes that the Saudi Ad School's mission hinges on the substantial involvement of industry luminaries and key stakeholders.The school's comprehensive programmes will offer industry-specific training, equipping budding talents with the requisite skills and knowledge demanded by the advertising field. These training modules encompass top-tier specialized education and hands-on experience through industry projects, internships, and workshops.In addition to offering real-world insights and opportunities, the school maintains strong ties with advertising agencies, industry experts, and influential figures, ensuring students receive a holistic education.The school's distinctive feature lies in its cultural integration, where it seamlessly weaves cultural sensitivity and local context into its curriculum. This approach enables students to create campaigns that resonate with and authentically reflect the Saudi culture, thereby establishing a profound connection with the Saudi audience.The Saudi Ad School's offerings are organised into four core pillars: educational programmes, career development, talent placement recruitment, and a community platform.Under educational programmes, students can explore an array of courses encompassing disciplines like copywriting, art direction, strategic planning, ad filmmaking, branding, and digital marketing.As a vibrant community platform, the school fosters networking events and awards festivals, tapping into the extensive online resources and networks of industry organizations and creative professionals.Furthermore, the Saudi Ad School offers flexible educational options, including diplomas (6 months), mini diplomas (3 months), courses (5 weeks), workshops (3 days), and sessions (3 hours) to cater to the diverse needs of its students.

Etihad Airways takes off with bollywood icon Katrina Kaif as brand ambassador

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced its partnership with Bollywood superstar Katrina Kaif as the new brand ambassador. This collaboration marks an important milestone as Etihad strengthens its presence in the Indian market and reunites with one of India’s most celebrated Bollywood stars.Katrina Kaif, renowned for her global appeal and elegance, embodies the shared commitment to excellence as she reunites with Etihad. Her association with the airline will be unveiled through a captivating series of videos to be showcased across Etihad and Katrina’s social channels.Katrina Kaif shares her excitement about the association: “I am thrilled to be back with Etihad Airways, a brand synonymous with world-class travel experiences. The airline's commitment to excellence and its dedication to bringing people together resonate with my own values. I am excited to be part of a team that aims to create thoughtful connections and memorable experiences. I look forward to representing Etihad and being a part of their journey."Amina Taher, Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Sponsorship at Etihad Airways, explains the significance of this collaboration: “We are thrilled to welcome Katrina Kaif to the Etihad Airways family as our brand ambassador. Our partnership with Katrina is far from ordinary, it embodies the spirit of innovation and sophistication our airline represents, while celebrating our commitment to uniting cultures and communities. With her remarkable journey and global recognition, we're not only showcasing Etihad's offerings, but also fostering authentic connections that genuinely resonate with Indian travellers and celebrating our commitment to India.”The new partnership builds on Katrina’s collaboration with Etihad in 2010 when she was featured as a discerning traveler showcasing Etihad’s travel experience. Her prior partnership showcased her appreciation for the airline's commitment to comfort and top-notch service. Returning to partner again, Katrina and Etihad are showcasing Etihad’s strengthening relationship with Indian communities both domestically and in significant global markets such as the UAE, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.As the brand ambassador for Etihad, Katrina will be featured in a series of creative and engaging campaign videos that highlight the airline's commitment to unparalleled comfort, flawless service, and seamless global connectivity. Her partnership with the airline bolsters its foothold in the Indian market, where it currently serves 8 Indian cities, further solidifying Etihad as the preferred choice for travelers and aligning seamlessly with the airline's strategy for sustained growth in India.The first video from the collaboration to be unveiled features Katrina Kaif on board Etihad’s newest A350 aircraft, offering a cinematic journey filled with emotions akin to a Bollywood film – featuring drama, love, and delightful surprises. The film also highlights the exclusive Armani-Casa dining wear, luxurious bedding, and complimentary in-flight Wi-Fly service, beautifully encapsulating the very essence of Etihad's unwavering commitment to excellence. The captivating film can be seen on both Etihad and Katrina’s social media channels now.

Visa study: 91% of Egypt consumers at risk of responding to scammers

Over-confidence is leaving consumers in Egypt open to becoming victims of fraud, according to Visa’s latest Stay Secure study released today. Despite more than half of respondents (58% vs. 56% global average) claiming to be savvy enough to sidestep online and phone scams, the reality is that nine out of ten (91% vs. 90% global) are likely to disregard the warning signs that suggest online criminal activity.Conducted by Wakefield Research in countries across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), finds that just over one in two people (53%) in Egypt has been a victim of a scam at least once, compared to the global average of 52%. Even more alarming is the finding that 14% of the victims have been tricked multiple times, against the global average of 15%.“In today’s digital-first world, scams are evolving in sophistication with criminals using new approaches to trick unsuspecting consumers. Whether it’s a parcel held up at customs, a streaming subscription claiming to have expired, or a free voucher for a favorite brand, scammers are adopting extremely persuasive tactics to deceive their victims. With the rapid growth in digital payments, it is essential now more than ever that consumers in Egypt understand the language of fraud and act with a high level of caution,” explains Leila Serhan, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for North Africa, Levant and Pakistan (NALP), Visa.The Stay Secure Study is a part of Visa’s annual Stay Secure Campaign, which reflects Visa’s commitment to raising consumer awareness, strengthening education, and building confidence to combat social engineering threats. The campaign aims to pave the way for a secure and seamless digital payments experience.“Costly Confidence”: The Disconnect Between Awareness and ActionKey Findings of the Visa Stay Secure Study:Knowledgeable or naïve. Considering themselves knowledgeable might make people even more vulnerable, as false confidence can propel someone to click on a fake link or respond to a scam offer. It is concerning that those who consider themselves more knowledgeable are more likely to respond to a requested action from scammers compared to those who say they are less knowledgeable, including a positive news (74% to 75% for Egypt vs. global 74% to 67%) or urgent action (69% to 60% for Egypt vs. global 65% to 55%).People worry about the vulnerability of others. While respondents feel confident in their own vigilance, over half (47% vs. 52% globally) are concerned that their friends or families will fall for a scam email offering a free gift card or product from an online shopping site. Around 47% (compared to 36% global) of respondents are concerned about children or minors, as well as retired people falling prey to online scams.What makes people suspicious. In addition to notices involving orders, product offers, or feedback, people are most suspicious of password requests. Less suspicious types of communications are updates regarding delivery or shipping (just 40% listed as a top three source of suspicion; 42% globally), marketing communications regarding a sale or new product offering (46% vs. global 41%), or an invitation to provide feedback on a recent experience (40% vs. global 37%) – all of which can be used by scammers.Overlooking telltale signs. Only 51% (vs. global 57%) reported looking to ensure a communication is sent from a valid email address, while 60% (vs. global 52%) will check if the company name or logo was attached to the message. Fewer than half of respondents look for an order number (41%; global 45%) or an account number (48%; global 43%). Interestingly, only 34% vs. 33% globally look to ensure words are spelt correctly. Decoding The Language of FraudScammers try different approaches to craft messages that appear genuine and compel recipients to take immediate action. The Visa Stay Secure Study identified prevalent patterns in the language most associated with scams – and how vulnerable respondents in the surveyed countries are.Orchestrating Urgency: Cybercriminals often feign urgency to spur people into action, such as clicking a link or responding to a sender. Up to 41% of respondents (compared to 40% globally) will fall for messages about a security risk, such as a stolen password or a data breach, while a notice from a government entity or law enforcement can trick 36% (vs. 36% global).  Sharing Positive News: 74% (vs. 71% global) of respondents would take action if a message had a positive hook, like “free gift,” “you’ve been selected,” or “you’re a winner.” Gen Zers are more likely to act on a giveaway (36% vs. 39% global) than a notice from the government (21% vs. 31% global), while 41% of respondents (vs. 44% global) would click on a link or reply to a message that offered a financial opportunity.Action Required: 65% (vs. 60% globally) would respond to action-required phrases though respondents are most suspicious of requests to reset their password.Spot The Signs: Education and Awareness to Catch Scams in ActionConsumers can better protect themselves by taking a few extra moments before clicking, including understanding the language scammers use.Among simple but effective best practices:Keep personal account information to yourself.Don’t click on links before verifying that they’ll take you where they say they will.Regularly check purchase alerts, which provide near real-time notification by text message or email of purchases made with your account.Call the number on corporate websites or the back of your credit and debit cards if you are unsure if a communication is valid.

Al-Futtaim partners with Arduina, RESET Media Group to launch

Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company has launched, a pioneering editorial platform aimed at fostering awareness and understanding of electric mobility in the UAE.This editorial platform is curated by creative agency Arduina and produced by RESET Media Group. features a wealth of information, including the latest developments in e-mobility, benefits of electric vehicles, how-to guides for first-time buyers, reviews of the latest EV models, expert interviews, and updates on governmental policies affecting electric mobility. The content is available in both English and Arabic and is designed to be a credible source of knowledge for EV adopters, manufacturers, regulators, and stakeholders.The world is witnessing a rapid shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), with more than 5% of global car sales now comprised of electric vehicles. This marks a significant milestone, indicating mainstream adoption in 23 major countries. However, in the UAE, EV sales represent only 1% of the automotive market, despite the government's ambitious target to convert 50% of all cars to electric by 2050.The UAE's Electric Vehicles Strategy envisions 42,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2030, and the nation ranks 8th in the Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index 2022, showcasing strong receptiveness to electric vehicles. Moreover, the UAE is ranked as the fourth cheapest country globally to charge an electric vehicle, indicating a promising future for green mobility in the country.Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company is taking a comprehensive approach to building the UAE's EV ecosystem. This includes bringing renowned all-electric brands like Polestar and BYD to the UAE and developing the Charge2Moov charging platform. Simultaneously, the company recognizes the need for public awareness to dispel myths and misconceptions about EVs.The official launch of coincided with World EV Day on September 9th. World EV Day unites companies, policymakers, thought leaders, and individuals to celebrate and promote the electric mobility movement.Dominic Shales, Editor of EV Life and Founder of RESET Media Group, stated: "The UAE is electrifying. We see huge interest from drivers in switching to electric cars and our new platform helps people understand more about EVs, their advantages and how to make the switch. We are extremely grateful to Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company for their support in enabling us to launch EV Life."Hasan Nergiz, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company, added: “With the UAE on a major green mobility transition, we realised through multiple surveys and studies that there is a gap in the market for reliable, localized information on electric vehicles. This is one of the hurdles for faster adoption, and we decided to support the initiative as it will help fill in the information gap and guide customers to make well-informed decisions about transitioning to EVs. As one of the major stakeholders of the automotive industry in the UAE, we believe it is our responsibility to shed light on the way the industry is progressing and provide credible, insightful information to steer the green transition in the UAE.”

UAE leads the Middle East in data centre evolution: JLL

As the governments’ push towards digital transformation fuels demand for data centres in the Middle East, the UAE has firmly established itself as a leader in driving the data centre evolution with around 28 active colocation facilities, revealed JLL in a whitepaper at Cityscape Global. Several data centres and cloud providers have either established a presence or are seeking to expand their footprint in the country.The whitepaper, titled ‘Unleashing the Potential: The Future of Data Centres in the Middle East and Africa’, recognises Dubai and Abu Dabi as the country’s prime data centre markets and two of the smartest cities, not only in the region but among the top 20 globally, according to the latest Institute for Management Development's Smart City Index. This reinforces the UAE’s continued efforts to transform into a strong digital economy and consolidate its position in the region’s growing data centre landscape. Key players like Khazna and Equinix are further accelerating this momentum, with the former aiming to achieve a total planned capacity of 300 megawatts by adding 12 new facilities to its portfolio in just two years.Besides boasting an outstanding internet penetration rate of over 98%, the UAE has also gained recognition as the regional Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation hub, driven by initiatives such as Smart Dubai and Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Health. Moreover, on the back of a strong Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the country also aims to integrate AI across various sectors, including healthcare, transportation, and government services. These notable achievements make the UAE an attractive destination for data centre investments, with investors viewing it as a safe and dependable option.Delving into the multitude of factors influencing and enabling the investment environment, JLL’s whitepaper highlights the role of hyperscalers in shaping a thriving data centre market in the region. While the Middle East is attracting substantial investments from top hyperscalers and major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, the UAE currently has the largest presence of hyperscalers in the region. These companies have announced novel cloud availability zones slated for deployment through their data centres in the country, augmenting business competitiveness by providing advanced architecture and robust end-to-end security for seamless business operations and reliable disaster recovery solutions.“At a time when data has come to define the parameters of innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness, not only in real estate but across industries, the UAE is boldly leading the charge in the data centre domain in the region. Through strategic investments in smart city infrastructure, a robust AI strategy, and a visionary approach to talent development, the country is not only becoming an investment hub; it is positioning itself for even greater success ahead. Initiatives like the ‘National Cybersecurity Strategy’ further underlines UAE’s commitment to digital trust, making it not only a regional data centre leader but also a bastion of security and reliability,” said Faraz Ahmed, Associate, Research at JLL MENA.“With each stride in innovation, the UAE propels itself to new heights of digital excellence and economic vitality. It is clear that its current momentum will only accelerate, cementing its standing in the realm of data centres and strengthening the region’s position on the global stage,” he added.Whilst the data centre market in the Middle East and Africa is still in its early stages of development, it is growing rapidly. The region is expected to be one of the fastest-growing data centre markets in the coming years, given its strong potential for expansion to bridge the gap between limited supply and growing demand. At present, around 73 colocation facilities are operational across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

Jawwy TV brings more exclusives and more entertainment this September

Jawwy TV is enthralling audiences with a premium OTT digital entertainment experience, presenting a vast and diverse collection of titles enriched with fresh additions for September. This month, viewers will enjoy watching exclusive series, movies and compelling documentaries, catering to the entertainment preferences of every family member.Exclusive titles and children’s contentHadatha Bel Fe'l (It Has Really Happened) – Based on true stories, the series delves into the complex world of mental health, with each narrative told across a trilogy of episodes. Navigate the fine line between sanity and hidden turmoil, revealing dark secrets held in the most intimate circles — a raw and riveting exploration of the human psyche.Son Yaz (Last Summer), a Turkish drama, follows the journey of a young criminal who suffers in a ruthless society and decides to join the crime world as a teenager.Axel 2: Adventures of the Spacekids - Standing on the brink of devastation, the survival of the once beautiful Planet Kepler relies on three brave space kids -Axel, Jono and Gaga to embark on a daring quest to find a lost oasis and rebuild their world.Some secret missions require special skills – The incredibly cute C.I. Ape is not only the bravest in espionage but also can warm the coldest and most villainous of hearts, making him the perfect Ape for the job!Bunyan & Babe is the perfect family-friendly film that will leave both kids and parents smiling. The delightful movie follows the legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his pet ox, Babe, as they embark on an extraordinary journey to save their beloved forest from destruction.Super Furball Saves the Future – Join Super Furball on a mission to save the world, beginning with the bees and unexpectedly involving the rescue of the school bully — a story of heroism and unlikely alliances.Explore Gripping Documentaries and Lifestyle Series from discovery+From discovery+, viewers can dive into the details of the high-profile celebrity case of Megan Thee Stallion vs Tory Lanez: Five Shots and follow the gripping real-life experiences of Roadworthy Rescues and Saving the Gorillas: Ellen's Next Adventure. Also, watch as brides-to-be choose their dream wedding dresses in Say Yes to the Dress with Tan France.

McCann launches its own content studio

McCann, a brand that provides marketers with best-in-class strategic and creative services, has introduced McCann Content Studios, a global center for social and creator capabilities. With an aim of simplifying the process for clients working on social and creator-led campaigns, this new studio will offer creative services, audience development, creator partnerships, and performance measurement — combining full-service social and creator strategy and execution into a single entity. The McCann Content Studio will include the social and creator strategy and execution, all under one roof. Before the launch of this studio, the work was divided across two agencies- McCann Live which handled social, and ITB which focused on creators. McCann Content Studios will now handle both the practices and bring their teams together under one roof. It will also take on both agency’s clients, immediately adding Aldi, Converse, Ulta Beauty and the New York Lottery to its roster.Monica Tailor, Chief Social Marketing Officer, Crystal Malachias, Global Head of Influencer, and Amit Sutha, President and Global Chief Client Officer, will have the responsibility of the core team, which will consist of more than 100 employees. The core team will be serving clients previously managed by McCann Live and ITB, including Aldi, Converse, Ulta Beauty and the New York Lottery and many more. All the three heads, Monica Tailor, Crystal Malachias and Amit Sutha, will be taking on new roles as McCann Content Studios launches. Tailor, prior to this, was Global Director at McCann Live. Malachias was SVP of Global growth and innovation at ITB, and Sutha was Global Chief Client Officer and Global President of performance and campaign content at Mediabrands’ Content Studio.McCann Content Studios aims to complement the agency’s growing audience practice by looking for content consumers and creators that are a right fit for its clients.Daryl Lee, Global CEO of McCann Worldgroup, says: "What McCann Content Studios allows us to do is marry brand storytelling with cultural storytelling and make sure that they are complimentary. You're participating in cultural conversations, but you're keeping that brand narrative front and center so that it all adds up and doesn't feel like it's coming from two disjointed places."

Roxy Cinemas to showcase English Premier League matches this September

Roxy Cinemas will serve up a thrilling line-up of English Premier League matches this September. Fans of the greatest game will get closer than ever to their heroes with the chance to watch the biggest and best teams from the EPL at Roxy Cinemas in Dubai Hills Mall.As the only cinema in the UAE screening matches, fans of all ages are in for an unbeatable game-watching experience, where they can cheer on every kick, tackle and goal, experiencing the unique passion and drama of the English Premier League in a larger-than-life spectacle.With tickets starting from AED 55, fans can watch their favourite teams battle it out in Roxy Cinemas’ Silver screens featuring plush, reclining seats and a wide selection of classic cinema snacks at the concession counters, such as popcorn, nachos and hot dogs.Following the international break, EPL action kicks off with Wolves taking on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on 16th September at 3.30PM, followed by Arsenal’s visit to Everton on 17th September at 7.30PM and Nottingham Forest vs. Burnley on 18th September at 10.45PM. Newly promoted Sheffield Utd take on Newcastle on 24th September at 7.30PM and super September reaches a climax with Brighton going to Aston Villa on 30th September at 3.30PM.Tickets can be booked at the Roxy Cinema website or via the Roxy Cinemas app, via the App Store, or Google Play.

Keel Comms becomes first Gulf-based UN Global Compact participant

Dubai-based ‘purpose relations’ agency Keel Comms today announced that it has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. Keel Comms is the first PR agency from the Gulf to become a UNGC participant.The UNGC is a call to companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Born with sustainability at the core of its operations, Keel Comms is the only purpose-driven communications agency in the MENA region. Founded upon an unshakeable belief that purpose relations is the new public relations, Keel is designed to create shared value for governments, businesses and communities alike.Highlighting the significance of this step, Baha Hamadi, (pictured above), Founder & Managing Director of Keel Comms, stated: "Consistent with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, we are committed to contribute to responsible business practices. Our UNGC participation aligns with the UAE's vision for sustainability, as evident in the ongoing Year of Sustainability.”“This move further equips us for the essential role we aspire to fulfill in empowering brands, not just in anticipation of COP28 but also within the larger framework of advancing sustainable development. Our goal is to serve as catalysts for positive change locally and globally," Baha added.Baha Hamadi is a Board Member of the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA MENA) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Community of ESG Practitioners. He also serves as a mentor for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Responsible Business, helping promote CSR and guide organizations to adopt sustainable and responsible business practices.“As a participant of the initiative, we encourage you to visit our profile on the UNGC website and learn about our latest work in relation to sustainability,” Baha concluded.Keel’s focus is to serve government bodies, enterprises, SMEs, startups, public figures and influencers whose work is rooted in purpose. While not all entities or individuals have a knack for sustainability, Keel strives to imprint good citizenship in its clients’ DNA. Whether at the inception, early or maturity phase, the company advises clients on how to incorporate Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) factors into their operations and branding, so that it can then help them communicate their efforts genuinely.In light of the growing ESG movement globally, Keel seeks to empower brands and individuals to play an active role during the ‘Decade of Action’ and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.The ‘keel’ is the supportive structure along the base of a ship. Its purpose is to enhance the overall stability and balance the framework, helping the ship seamlessly plow its way through the water. Keel’s leadership firmly believes that brand purpose provides a sturdy foundation for stable, long-lasting and meaningful relationships.

Wego acquires Travelstop to expand into business travel

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) acquired Travelstop, a revolutionary platform that simplifies business travel and expense management for companies globally. This strategic move will expand Wego's reach into business travel and expense management.The acquisition will also empower Travelstop to tap into Wego's regional network and leverage its deep understanding of the travel industry to drive growth and provide enhanced services to their customers.Wego has long been a leader in the travel industry, known for its innovative solutions and commitment to delivering exceptional and seamless travel experiences. Since its launch, Travelstop has emerged as a game-changer in the business travel industry, providing businesses of all sizes with a modern platform that streamlines travel management and automates expense processes.By combining their resources and expertise, Wego and Travelstop aim to revolutionize the way companies navigate the complexities of corporate travel as well as contribute to the growth and development of the travel industry in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions."We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Travelstop," said Ross Veitch, CEO and Co-founder of Wego. "This strategic move is in line with our vision of offering comprehensive travel solutions to businesses in the region. Together, Travelstop and Wego will empower businesses to streamline their travel and expense management processes, introducing new levels of convenience and cost-efficiency."Through this acquisition, Wego aims to address the unique challenges faced by businesses operating in emerging markets, such as fragmented travel options and manual expense reporting. The combined platform will provide businesses with a one-stop solution, enabling them to seamlessly manage their corporate travel needs while gaining greater visibility and control over expenses."We are excited about the immense potential that this partnership brings," said Prashant Kirtane, CEO & Co-founder of Travelstop. "With our combined expertise and assets, we are confident in our ability to deliver an exceptional business travel experience to our customers.Our focus on product innovation and on customer satisfaction will enable us to set new industry standards and redefine the future of business travel."According to August 2022 'GBTA BTI Outlook Annual Global Report & Forecast', the APAC and Middle East regions stand as the largest and most rapidly expanding markets in business travel. In 2023, APAC and the Middle East regions are set to contribute to 46% of the total global business travel expenditure.As Wego and Travelstop join forces, both companies are excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings. By leveraging each other's strengths, the combined entity is well-positioned to redefine business travel and expense management in emerging markets and empower companies to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving global economy.

Cheil India thrills Dubai with the launch of new TVS X

Cheil India orchestrated a mega event for the launch of TVS X on the largest canvas in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai. TVS X is a top-of-the-line and the most advanced electric two-wheeler to have hit the Indian market that will transform the future of electric mobility in the country. Cheil India won the creative duties of TVS X in a multi-agency pitch. The 360-degree mandate includes strategy, planning and creative direction for this new two-wheeler which pegs TVS as a leader in fast-growing EV market in India. Post this launch, Cheil’s electrifying campaign called THRILLECTRIC shifts gears to make TVS X stand out in the crowded digital world among the thrill seekers who want a very different riding experience than what most two-wheeler EVs offer in India. Taking a 360-degree approach, Cheil is focused on building an exclusive patronage this vehicle will command.Commenting on the win, Mr. Saurabh Kapoor, Vice President Marketing– EV Business, TVS Motor Company, said, “The on boarding of Cheil India as the creative agency marked the culmination of our search for a partner who could help us launch our new futuristic two-wheeler and create a new unexplored category globally. Cheil India’s integrated capabilities combined with their in-depth expertise in auto and the consumer durable sector helped us take our decision to partner with them. We look forward to creating exciting and meaningful campaigns through this association”.The exciting launch on Burj Khalifa was followed by the release of the brand film. The film showcases the thrill the new TVS X promises with its very futuristic design, power-packed performance, and advanced connected technology. The film creates the world of modern metropolitan target audience who look for an ultimate riding experience and not just another commuter EV.Neeraj Bassi, Chief Growth Officer, Cheil India said, “In our pursuit to grow our new business  portfolio, we are keen to partner with marquee Indian brands who are making a mark globally to deliver gold-standard work in the industry and with the ambitious plans that TVS Motor Company has for the EV category, it was a great match. The addition of TVS motor company coalesces our auto expertise as we look forward to leveraging our creative, media, data, activation, and retail capabilities to create work that creates value for the clients and resonates with the consumers.”

Game Changers Magazine reveals the X Factor of

The August issue of the famous Game Changers Magazine was recently published, with a special topic on its cover titled: “The X Factor of Empowering People to Drive Success in a Dynamic industry”. The issue included a series of short interviews conducted by the magazine with a number of esteemed leaders at the Global FinTech & Financial Services Provider XS Group “” with the aim of Revealing the X Factor of the success of the Global Multi-Asset Broker.The topic started with the below introduction:The X Factor of Empowering People to drive Success in a Dynamic IndustryRevealing the X Factor of“ has taken the global news and international media world by storm since the beginning of this year. This is due to the number of online trading professionals and financial market veterans joining the global fintech and financial services provider. The global multi-asset broker, established in Australia in 2010, has grown into a market leader in the FinTech, financial services, and online trading industry. In this edition of Game Changers Magazine, we delve into the world of, a company driven by the power of people and firmly believing that individuals are the X factor in their success. When referring to people at, they are not just talking about their exceptional employees but also traders, partners, and every member of their dynamic community. In this edition, we had the privilege of speaking to esteemed leaders who hold key positions at to reveal how their people-oriented values are reflected in different areas of the business”.The above introduction was followed by short interviews with the below esteemed leaders at the Award Winning Online Trading Broker:Andreea Ilies, Global Head of EventsChanelle Tsoka, Country Manager (South Africa)Stephanie Michael, Global Head of HRNihal Al Sayah, Marketing Director (MENA)Gywen Goh, BD Team Leader (Asia Pacific)The interviews can be viewed in English through the Game Changers website at the following link: Company ReviewThe XS Group (operating under brand name “XS” or “”) is a Global Multi-Asset Broker providing access to trade a wide range of financial products.Established in Australia in 2010, has grown into a global market leader in the FinTech, financial services and online trading industry with licences in various jurisdictions and offices in different locations around the offers traders, institutional investors and brokers worldwide access to deep institutional liquidity and advanced trading technology, combined with an efficient user experience, high-quality relationship management and excellent customer support.Risk Warning: Our products are traded on margin and carry a high level of risk and it is possible to lose all your capital. These products may not be suitable for everyone, and you should ensure that you understand the risks involved.

TBWA\RAAD appoints Salwa Elmeniawy as Chief Finance Officer

TBWA\RAAD announced today the appointment of Salwa Elmeniawy as Chief Finance Officer (CFO), effective immediately. Elmeniawy, previously serving as Finance Director, will succeed outgoing CFO Ralph Khoury, who has been named CFO for Nissan United in the AMIEO region.In her new role, Elmeniawy will assume responsibility for overseeing TBWA\RAAD's financial operations throughout the Middle East, further supporting the agency's ongoing expansion in the region. Collaborating closely with the agency's CEO, Reda Raad, and executive team, she will play a pivotal role in realizing the company's vision. As a female leader, she is committed to introducing diverse perspectives, driving positive change, and contributing to the organization's overall success.Reda Raad, Group CEO at TBWA\RAAD, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: "The finance industry has historically been male-dominated. It is truly heartening to witness a woman take the helm with such confidence and determination. Salwa has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership skills during her tenure at the agency, contributing significantly to our long-term growth. I wish her every success in her new role."Commenting on her appointment, Salwa Elmeniawy said, "I am deeply grateful and excited about embarking on this new chapter. TBWA\RAAD has a rich history of success in the region, and I eagerly look forward to contributing further to our organization's growth. It’s a real privilege, and personal joy, for me to see so many young women coming up through the ranks of finance. I can only hope that, as a female CFO, I can pave the way for more of those women to take up leadership positions and support them on their journeys.”With over 25 years of experience in finance, working with distinguished organizations across the Middle East, Elmeniawy holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from Cairo University. Additionally, she is a certified life coach, a holistic nutritionist and a firm advocate for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Socialeyez appoints Alaa Abdulrazek as the first Head of Operations

SOCIALEYEZ, the Middle East’s leading digital agency, has promoted Alaa Abdulrazek to the role of Head of Operations, effective May 1 2023.  Alaa Abdulrazek has been an invaluable asset to SOCIALEYEZ for an impressive 12 years, during which her dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment have propelled her to move upwards and onwards. She embarked on her journey at SOCIALEYEZ as an Account Manager and swiftly rose through the accomplishments, attaining the position of Director of Strategic Consultancy in Digital Marketing & Business Development.With over a decade of experience in researching, understanding and implementing the most effective socially connected platform opportunities, Alaa has consistently delivered measurable business impact and driven client acquisition through various social media and digital channels. Her keen insights and innovative strategies have been instrumental in shaping SOCIALEYEZ's success in the dynamic digital landscape.Alaa Abdulrazek holds a wealth of experience and knowledge that uniquely positions her to excel in her new role.As Head of Operations, Alaa focuses on ensuring effective communication between different departments and introducing new processes that seamlessly connects all the departments of SOCIALEYEZ. In addition, the new role emphasises on tracking and measuring the performances of team members through a qualitative and quantitative analysis using innovative technology. Moreover, the role underscores the agency’s profitability by an effective utilisation of resources and liaising with the finance department which is further supported by factual data and insights.Tarek Esper, Managing Director at SOCIALEYEZ, said: “At the heart of SOCIALEYEZ is its people. Appointing Alaa as Head of Operations speaks volumes about her dedication and willingness to grow in the agency and take it to newer heights. Moreover, the introduction of the new role will ensure that all the processes and internal communications between departments function in an effective manner. With that being said, I can’t wait to see Alaa grow and prosper in her new role”.

Investcorp sells its stake in Indian luggage brand Safari Industries

Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm, has announced the successful exit of its investment in the publicly listed Safari Industries, one of the largest luggage brands in India.Investcorp invested in Safari in February 2021. During Investcorp’s ownership period, Safari Industries successfully increased its production capacity and expanded its physical stores footprint in new and under-served markets in India. This transaction marks another significant milestone in Investcorp’s journey of partnering with companies demonstrating high-growth potential in India.Yusef Al Yusef, Head of Investcorp’s Private Wealth, said: “As we expand our investments across India and continuously review and strengthen our portfolio, Safari is another example of how we invest and accelerate the growth in companies with an exceptional market position, solid fundamentals and strong growth potential. This is our fourth exit in India in just a few years, highlighting how our approach of working side by side with ambitious companies to help them generate and realise value pays dividends for both the companies and our investors.”Gaurav Sharma, Partner & Head of India Investments at Investcorp, added: "It gives us immense pleasure to witness Safari Industries' transformation into a leading luggage brand in India. Millions have trusted and chosen Safari for their travel needs over the years. Collaborating with Sudhir Jatia’s visionary leadership and dedicated team has been a rewarding journey, and this partnership is a testament to Investcorp's commitment to investing in companies with strong growth potential. We are confident of their continued success in their next phase of growth”.Sudhir Jatia, Chief Executive and Managing Director, Safari Industries, said: “Working with Investcorp has been an incredible journey. Their partnership and unwavering support have been crucial in propelling Safari Industries to new heights, bringing both scale and success to our endeavors."This transaction marks Investcorp’s fourth exit in India over the past two and a half years, following the sale of ASG Eye Hospital, a leading eyecare hospital chain, InCred, a leading tech-enabled financing company and Bewakoof, a leading direct-to-consumer online apparel brand.In India, Investcorp is an active investor in mid-market companies across consumption-linked sectors and in the real estate business. In the private equity space, Investcorp targets opportunities across the consumer tech, healthcare, financial services, and retail, SaaS, e-commerce, and technology sectors. Its investments over the last four years include V-Ensure, Intergrow Brands,, Freshtohome, Zolo, InCred, Citykart, NephroPlus, Unilog, XpressBees, and Safari Industries.

Amazon Egypt hosts local seller summit to foster growth in online businesses

Amazon Egypt hosted its second annual Seller Summit for local third-party sellers, aimed at recognizing and empowering successful selling partners, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), while encouraging their continued operations and providing them with valuable opportunities to best leverage Amazon’s capabilities. Attended by hundreds of existing selling partners, the Summit allowed participants to explore Amazon Egypt’s advanced innovative solutions, tools, and programs, encompassing shipping, delivery, marketing, and brand-building, among other benefits. The Summit also focused on opportunities for selling partners to maximize their sales during the peak shopping season, including White Friday.In line with Egypt Vision 2030 to create an environment that unlocks business opportunities, broadens the economic base, and creates jobs for all local sellers, Amazon’s Seller Summit brought together local and regional experts from Amazon to share knowledge with hundreds of existing selling partners across Egypt.“We are thrilled to have met hundreds of our selling partners during Amazon’s Seller Summit,” said Ahmed El-Sobky, Head of Marketplace, Amazon Egypt. “Our goal is to help sellers realize their potential, discover innovative solutions, and leverage our fulfillment and brand-building tools to strengthen their business and reach millions of customers on We also provided businesses with the information, skills, and tools needed to ensure a successful upcoming shopping season, including White Friday. As we move into the next phase, we remain dedicated to enhancing the operations of our valued selling partners and delivering even greater opportunities for growth.”The Seller Summit also recognized top sellers by presenting awards to top performing sellers across several categories. The sellers were acknowledged for their performance related to customer satisfaction, delivery speed, and use of Amazon seller tools, among other criteria. Some of the businesses awarded at this year’s Seller Summit included Mesery, Dala’ Mobilek, and Testa Toro.Joining the Amazon Egypt network grants selling partners access to millions of customers and helps build trust in their brand. With over 30 product categories, ranging from home and kitchen supplies, cosmetics, fashion, health, sports, electronics, groceries, baby products, and more, Amazon actively promotes selling partner products, particularly during sales and deal seasons. The highly anticipated White Friday sales event, scheduled for November, presents an excellent opportunity for selling partners to boost their business by offering competitively priced items, while customers can benefit from attractive discounts, fast shipping, and reliable delivery services.To facilitate convenient and seamless product delivery, Amazon Egypt also provides selling partners with various shipping options. These options include Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which enables entrepreneurs to focus on product creation and business expansion, while Amazon Egypt handles packaging and shipping on behalf of the sellers. Yasmine Fekry, Co-founder of Raw African, shared her experience with stating: “Through my brand, Raw African for natural cosmetics and skincare, I was able to grow my business and reach more customers through I started my project in 2016 with a capital of only EGP 500. After selling on, my sales growth witnessed a 50% increase.” She added, “During sales seasons such as Eid and Ramadan Sale events, my sales increased by 88%.”Selling partners interested in joining the Amazon seller network can upload required documents through The registration process includes providing a national ID card, email address, cellphone number, tax registration number, tax/VAT registration certificate, and commercial registry for companies.

Hongqi KSA is the official sponsor of Ettifaq Club “ Knight of Dahna”

The Universal Premium Motors Agencies (ALTAWKILAT Premium), the exclusive dealer of Hongqi in Saudi Arabia, announced that Hongqi KSA has entered into a partnership agreement with Ettifaq Football Club whereby Hongqi will be the official sponsor of Ettifaq Club’s first team for two seasons “ 2024-2025”. Executed by Mr. Jason Blane, General Manager of Hongqi KSA and Mr. Faisal Al Ghamdi on behalf of Ettifaq Club, the partnership agreement provides that Hongqi KSA will be the official sponsor of Ettifaq football team . As a result, Hongqi will be widely present at stadiums during all football matches played by Ettifaq Club’s first team and be visible across the kingdom, GCC countries and Arab World .In addition, Hongqi’s logo will be printed on Etiifaq’s shirts, and the club’s superstars will be driving Hongqi H9, along with a selection of New Ousado, and HS5 during the period of sponsorship. Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Jason Blane , General Manager of Hongqi , said “ We are delighted to have connected Hongqi with Ettifaq Club who are one of the oldest and most important football clubs in Saudi Arabia. The addition of key players this season made the partnership even more appealing for us, and this will definitely contribute to enhancing our role and presence in the Saudi market”.Mr. Blane emphasized that: “ As our partnership with Ettifaq grows, and with the current exposure of the Saudi Pro League, it goes far beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. We are looking forward to bringing the fans closer to our brand and showcasing some new and very exciting products. In the meantime , Mr. Faisal Al Ghamdi, Marketing and Media Manager at Ettifaq FC, expressed his pleasure that Hongqi brand will be the official sponsor of the first team of Ettifaq FC for two seasons, noting that Hongqi’s logo will be printed on the top chest of the shirts of “ Knight of Dahma” and the club will have unique privileges in return.Mr.Al Ghamdi said “ We are delighted with the partnership with Hongqi brand as an official sponsor , besides other eight sponsors which are : Aldyar Alarabiya, Kammilna, Taamini , Direct, Procare Hospital , Tempo, Qaed, and Berin”.Mr. Al Ghamdi went on to say “ our success in winning these sponsorships is definitely attributed to the legacy and heritage of Ettifaq FC which have the most titles in Saudi Arabia , in addition its current market value and popularity. We do hope that these seasonal partnerships would be unique and different".

Keventers' UAE odyssey: Agastya Dalmia on achieving sweet success

Keventers is a renowned legacy with origins tracing back to 1925. It is widely recognized for its delectable dairy products, which evoke a sense of nostalgia and a deep appreciation for Indian milkshakes. The brand experienced a hiatus during the 1970s but was successfully resurrected by Agastya Dalmia in 2014. Today, it is under the ownership of Super Milk Products Private Limited and boasts a network of more than 200 Keventers Milkshake restaurants and outlets across India. In 2021, Keventers expanded its presence to the Middle East, where it has quickly become the preferred choice for milkshakes among the local populace. In an exclusive talk with Abha Garyali Peer, Adgully, Agastya Dalmia, Founder and CEO, Keventers, opens up about the brand’s revival as well as its success in India and the UAE as well. He talks about the challenges that the brand faced and dealt with, to become a famous milkshake for the people of the UAE. Excerpts: Share with us your entrepreneurial journey? What initiated you to re-launch Keventers?My entrepreneurial journey has been an exciting one, characterized by a passion for the food and beverages industry. When it comes to Keventers, the decision to re-launch this iconic brand stemmed from a desire to bridge the gap between nostalgia and modern preferences. Keventers has a rich heritage dating back to 1925. However, with changing consumer tastes and preferences, we saw an opportunity to breathe new life into the brand. The re-launch was driven by the aim to reintroduce Keventers to a new generation of consumers while preserving the essence of quality and authenticity.How has been the Keventers journey? You must have faced some obstacles on the way. How did you overcome them?The journey of establishing Keventers has indeed been a challenging yet rewarding one. We encountered several obstacles along the way. These challenges include positioning the brand in a competitive market, changing consumer preferences, supply chain disruptions, economic fluctuations, etc.To overcome them, we implemented a multifaceted approach. This involved extensive market research to understand consumer preferences, expanding our product offerings, modernizing our operations, and leveraging digital marketing strategies to connect with our audience. Additionally, forging strategic partnerships and collaborations played a significant role in our success.You forayed into the Middle East with Keventers in 2018. What factors encouraged you to take the brand to the UAE?The Food and Beverage market in the UAE is among the leaders in the Middle East, with a constant influx of tourists all year around. Expanding Keventers to the Middle East, particularly the UAE, was a strategic move based on the region's promising market dynamics. The UAE market is lucrative and offers a diverse and cosmopolitan consumer base with a penchant for international brands.Can you please share the growth of Keventers in the UAE market?Our growth in the UAE market has been steady and promising. Since entering the market, we have seen a positive response from consumers who appreciate our commitment to quality and innovation. Currently, we have stores in JBR, Al Karama, Sahara, etc.Our expansion strategy includes opening new outlets in strategic locations, and engaging in marketing efforts to build brand awareness. We are optimistic about the potential for further growth in the UAE.Are you looking for Product expansion and diversification in the Keventers Portfolio?Product expansion and diversification are key strategies to remain relevant and meet evolving consumer preferences. We are always looking at innovating our product offerings. Recently, we launched new flavours of Bubble Tea and Fruit Tea in the UAE market. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the coming months!What business strategies have been undertaken by the brand for its success in the UAE?It involved thorough market research, localisation of products, effective marketing, and trying out different formats including Food Trucks. Based on the success received from our recently launched Food Truck in JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence), we are eager to introduce this format in new locations!Please brief us about the business expansions plans and the number of new outlets the brand is targeting in UAE?Our goal is to increase our presence in key locations across the UAE. We aim to reach a broader audience by strategically positioning our outlets in high-traffic areas, shopping centers, and prominent commercial districts. We aim to open 5-6 stores in the coming year in the UAE, sharing our love for all things sweet with newer consumers.Did you face any challenges in the UAE market? How did you overcome them?Like any market entry, we faced specific challenges in the UAE. These challenges encompassed adapting to local regulations, understanding cultural nuances, navigating competitive landscapes, and ensuring efficient logistics. To overcome these obstacles, we invested in comprehensive market research to tailor our products and marketing strategies to local preferences. Building strong relationships with local partners and suppliers was crucial in ensuring a seamless supply chain. Additionally, we remain flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of our customers in the UAE.

New Balance opens unique retail concept store in Dubai

New Balance, a leading global athletic brand, has opened its doors to its revolutionary retail concept store at Dubai Hills Mall, marking a significant change in how the brand interacts with consumers. The uniqueness lies in its concept, which is ‘built to put people, not products, at the centre of the consumer experience and to revolutionise the running experience”. This store aims to put the focus on people rather than products. It has been designed with central seating areas. The space invites customers to gather, share ideas, and find their unique styles. The curated assortment of products aims to cater to a diverse audience, from elite athletes to fashion influencers. Each product will be accompanied by visual storytelling elements that spotlight the origin and creators behind them, situating New Balance at the crossroads of sport and culture.New Balance had recently launched a store based on this unique idea in Abu Dhabi. Ian Fitzpatrick, Senior Director-Global Brand Strategy and Operations, New Balance, shares, “This store signifies a notable step forward in how we approach our retail spaces, featuring a more focused and specific collection tailored especially for younger customers.”

Samar Maakaroun re-joins Pentagram as Partner

Pentagram, one of the world's largest independent design consultancies, has made Samar Maakaroun a partner at its London office. Prior to this, Samar had been working as Creative Director and Graphic Designer at Studio Right to Left since 2021, where she helmed a team that works across multiple languages and disciplines. Samar Maakaroun specialises in ‘multicultural and multilingual designs’.Samar has been working in the design industry for more than 15 years, leading projects with major studios, including coining the first integrated destination brand for Dubai with M&C Saatchi in 2015. She had also collaborated with Apple to launch the brand in Arabic across digital, retail and print in 2017. She had worked at Pentagram for five years in the past as well. She has led various expansive projects, notably rebranding the Abu Dhabi Media portfolio with Angus Hyland, and later bringing the Diriyah City brand to life with Domenic Lippa. After leaving her permanent position, she had been content with returning as a consultant on a regular basis, until she received the offer for being a Partner in Pentagram. She believes in embracing the fluidity and nuances of identity, seeing complexity as a source of creative inspiration. Marina Willer, Partner at Pentagram, in her post welcomed Samar Maakaroun, said, “I am delighted that Samar Maakaroun is joining as our new Pentagram Partner. Samar is a wonderful designer, she thinks and works in a different way to all of us because of her unique cultural mix, approaching design simultaneously in Latin and Arabic alphabets.”

DIEZ Launches ‘MIT DesignX Dubai’ Accelerator

Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to introduce MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator, MIT’s first accelerator in the region aimed at facilitating the establishment of innovative businesses.The agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ and Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning at MIT, at the MIT campus in Boston, US.With a strong focus on sustainability, this innovative venture accelerator programme will empower entrepreneurs in the region to devise efficient and sustainable solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges facing the urban environment in diverse areas such as water, climate, food security and energy, through design innovation.The accelerator provides comprehensive business development and design support, including access to MIT mentors, investors and corporate partners.The DesignX Dubai will be guided by distinguished MIT faculty, operating under the management of the Global Growth Hub (GGH), a leading Dubai-based management and consulting firm specialised in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth.Commenting on this initiative, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), said: “DIEZ prioritises technology-driven sustainable development and supports entrepreneurs that offer smart city solutions to boost efficiency. Through our partnership with MIT and GGH, we aim to catalyse the creation of revolutionary solutions that address global challenges while positioning Dubai as a hub for sustainable entrepreneurship. DesignX signifies a substantial leap towards advancing sustainability-focused innovation not just within Dubai, but globally.”Dr. Al Zarooni added: “By nurturing entrepreneurial creativity and empowering innovators to bring their visions to life, this partnership underscores DIEZ’s commitment to fulfilling its role as a hub for attracting and nurturing talent, technology and knowledge, as outlined in the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.”Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning at MIT, expressed his enthusiasm about this partnership, saying: “This initiative will provide an ideal platform for cutting-edge projects to flourish, showcasing MIT's unwavering dedication to addressing global challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. By granting teams access to MIT's accomplished faculty, mentors, and resources, we aim to foster groundbreaking solutions for a more sustainable future.”He added: “DIEZ is the ideal partner for this initiative, given its commitment to smart city solutions and its status as a preferred destination for technology entrepreneurs.”With a global footprint spanning Hong Kong, Venice, Boston, Mexico City and Reykjavik, DesignX has nurtured and graduated 118 companies with a combined portfolio valuation of approximately US$1 billion.Since its establishment in 2016, the MIT DesignX program has been at the forefront of driving design innovation and fostering ventures that address crucial issues and opportunities in design, urban environments and human-built interactions. By harnessing the profound expertise of MIT's faculty and mentors, the MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator will guide ten visionary teams through developing their sustainability-focused innovations, from conceptualisation to practical realisation.